Saturday, November 23, 2013

Graditude Tree

We have a week off from school.
Which made me wonder... WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO FOR A WEEK!
I know, that sounds dumb.  
The kids were complaining the other day that we haven't made any craft for a long time.  So, what do you do when you need a craft idea?  

You go to Pinterest.

 Trey and I found this cute Graditude Tree, and I knew we could get all the supplies for free with a little trip to the dead end at the end of the street, the school for paper, and our rocks in yard for the bottom of the jar.  

It turned out really cute! 
And it was heartwarming to see what the kids wrote down that they are thankful for.

We put more leaves in a littler jar so we can add to it during the month of December.  
So cute for a free craft!


Saturday, October 12, 2013


How about this weather, eh?
It was so beautiful today I knew we had to get outside at some point.  But, an open house tomorrow took up my morning cleaning up the house.  

I promise I clean house every Saturday morning.
Not sure you would believe me by Tuesday night.

However, after a birthday party for Jada's friend late this afternoon, we took the kids to a park in town.  

And suddenly the park wasn't a park anymore.  
And our children weren't children anymore.
They were archeologists.
And they dug up dinosaur bones.

Right before the sun went down, we put all of the "fossils" together, and found out these archeologists dug up this creature!  

Can you tell where its ribs are? 
Can you see the triangle spikes on its back?
Can you find the horn on its nose?

Monday, October 7, 2013

What's going on...

It's been a while.
I'm here.
Been busy.
Here's a glimpse at what we've been up.
The Barn Sale. (Yes, THE Barn Sale.  Is there any other that's more fabulous?  And wonderful?  And makes you love Kansas?)

 The girls have been enjoying their friends again, now that school is back in session.
Jada's bestie is so adorable.  She's in my class this year- I guess she cried and cried and cried that she wasn't in Jada's class, but I get a nice smile and hug everyday from this little cutie.
Gracie has been so much fun!  Middle school has brought out her funny side.  She has the best one-liners.  
A few weeks ago, 5th and 6th graders had their first dance at our local rec center.  She was so nervous about what to wear that she started asking friends with older siblings about what to wear a full two weeks before the actual date.  This picture shows so much in my eyes.  She's growing up so fast.  And it's fun watching the beautiful girl she continues to be. 
 Lately we're just loving the weather.  
Drive-in movie.
Playing outside after school.
Watching "shows" that our children perform.
Playing Switch-n-go dinos.
Piano lessons.
 The van is dieing.
Which means this mom will soon be driving something that ISN'T a mini van!  
Woot! Woot!
I've done my time in a mini van. 
8 years.

However, I'm not looking forward to the day we actually sell it.  Do your kids get as attached to family vehicles as our's do?


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Learning to Rest

The following is something I read recently from my mom.  It's on her blog post and it was too good to not share.  
Tonight was one of those nights where everything was caving in around me.  On the outside, I looked fine.  Calm.  Collected.  But, on the inside, I was crying- get me out of here.  I just needed to leave.  And you know where I left to?  The library.  Interesting that my car took me to a place where it was quiet, not crowded.  Where I could hear my thoughts, and I happened to listen to them and realized that I needed some books for school.  So, I checked out several, and prayed all the way home.  
Learning to rest is something I learned to do this summer.  And I've missed it terribly since school began.  I have a ghetto glider in my garage from a garage sale this summer where I couldn't get myself to give that thing away.  I had rocked my babies in it.  And this summer God told me to not sell it.  
He knew.
He knew it would be a place of rest for me.  A place where I can go outside and just glide and look at the sky and know that He is with me.  He's providing all my needs.  When other people disappoint me, or can't fill me up.  God can.  
So, that's why learning to rest is so important to me.  
I try to be so organized.  Every night I make a “to do” list.  I wake up in the morning furiously giving my best to complete every task.  There are never enough hours in my day to get them all done.  I wake up the next day to do it all over again, only this time, the unfinished tasks from yesterday’s list carry over to today’s.  I’m so tired!
My dear friend and mentor calmly interrupted, “You must learn to rest.”
“Is resting something I have to learn?”
“Yes,” she said firmly, “you must learn to rest.”
“Okay,” I said, “I’ll go to bed earlier and when I feel super tired, I’ll take a short nap.”
The cure to our weariness won’t come from resting our tired bodies or delaying our duties for a time with a catnap.  There is a difference between being physically tired and needing to catch up on some zzz’s, and being worn out in our hearts, minds and souls.
The truth is, we aren't weary simply because our schedules are full. We are weary because our spirits are depleted.  Within each one of us resides a soul that desperately needs renewal and restoration, something an overloaded schedule doesn't always allow.

It's easy to hide our exhausted souls.  On the outside we may appear well-organized, emotionally stable, and put together.  But on the inside we are often hopelessly overwhelmed and completely stressed out.  The rememdy for our weariness will not be found in a nap, but in God alone.

Our Good Shepherd can only restore our souls when we turn our hearts and minds away from the noise and busyness of the world back to Him. Sitting alone with the Lord leads us to peace and gives us the strength we need to move forward.
Return to your Good Shepherd
Invite Him to restore your Soul
Receive a fresh filling of His love, mercy and grace.

When you do, He will replace your weariness with strength, your resentment with thanksgiving, your irritability with patience, and your anxiety with peace.
Meet with Him. He will refresh and renew you, enabling you to go out into the world to serve your family and friends filled with a newfound sense of His peace, love and joy.
The Lord IS MY shephard
I shall NOT want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures
He leads me beside the still waters
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
for His name sake.
Yea tho' I walk thru the valley of the shadow
of death, I will fear NO evil 
For You are with me.
Thy rod and Thy staff comfort me
Thou preparest a table before me
In the presence of mine enemies.
Thou annountest my head with oil
My cup overflows.
Surly goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life
and I will dwell in the 
House of the Lord Forever.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

look what I found...

Remember when you and your friends rented a limo for the last day of 9th grade?  And you felt SOOOO cool riding around the lakes...
Remember those high bangs you had in high school?
  And the time your best friend and you went to wilderness camp and you couldn't use a curling iron to put up your bangs that high?

 And remember that time you took German with your bestie, Jess, and you had an assignment to create a restaurant and serve your moms German food that you had NO IDEA how to make (and so you can then imagine what it tasted like.. ahem.)  And you had to dress up in a white button up and red bowtie and black skirts.  And remember how your moms wore their WEDDING DRESSES just to be uber fancy!
Don't forget the time you snuck up on the boys at the park, and someone in the cul-de-sac that required you to run and jump onto a lawn like a frog.  You were the coolest.  And so was she.
And how about the time you threw up on her carpet floor while having a sleepover and your mom sent your cool older brother to clean it up and walk you home.

This sweet girl has been with me through some really hard times, some really fun times, and some really crazy times.  

I miss her so much since she's 600 miles away. I think what she wrote to me for my 18th birthday present sums it all up---

roller blading in Omaha

At the beginning of the summer I took the kids to Omaha.  The weather there was U.N.B.E.L.I.E.V.A.B.L.E.  
 Because of a promise to my kids this summer that we would try and take a bike ride and/or walk everyday (when it's not too hot), we hopped into the van and went to the lake.  It has a 3 mile walking/bike trail around it.  
We brought bikes and roller blades, so we were good to go!  About half way around the lake I started hearing whinny voices so we all agreed it was time to turn around. (Not sure they realized that it was just as far to keep going, but turning around seemed like the shorter way to go.)
  It was the perfect, peaceful place to spend time with the kids.  And, of course, they were excited about the promise of playing at the park when we got back to the car.

 Another mom there was having trouble with her younger daughter who didn't want to go in the sand.  Her older son was having fun playing with another kid.  The mom looked at me and said, "You look like a trustworthy person.  Would you watch my kids while I go to the bathroom?"  WHAT?!?!?!   What do you say to that?  Um.... sure?  And what do you know... her son got hurt while she was in the bathroom.  Glad I look so trustworthy.  I'm thinking I could have held it for a little while.  But, I was glad to help another mother out.

Back at Mimi and Papa's house, Gracie did some stunts on her roller blades.  I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard with her.  She would go up the hill to the end of the block.  Then, turn around and go back down the hill toward the house.  She would get going so fast that she had to start running in the grass to slow herself down to the stop. Here's how it went when I would try to take pictures.  The way she was running across the grass just made me laugh so hard.

She is such a funny kid. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

middle of the pan type of girl

It's a joke with some people I work with that when they see a piece of ______ taken out of the middle of the pan- they know it was ME who did it.

So, when Gracie made chocolate chip cookie bars today and asked if I wanted one, my answer was, "YES!  But, I want one out of the middle."  
Apparently, she didn't hear that part of my response and expected me to get my own.  This is what I saw when I got to the pan to get my own cookie bar...
 I just had to laugh...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

out in the open field

We've been pretty stressed here lately.
So, when we had a chance to go out to harvest, we went!
 On the left side of the picture is mom and dad's house.
Jada isn't an outdoors kind of gal, so she always stays with Nana while Gracie, Trey and I go out to the field.
Trey said his favorite thing is to ride in the combine.  See him in there with Uncle Robert?  Robert said he was getting pretty sleepy and was having a hard time staying awake, but he stuck it out for a while.  
 Gracie and Trey took turns riding the combine and the tractor (with my cousin Jon- Jada sometimes refers to Jon as "Uncle Jon.  I'd take him as my brother.  He's a good guy.)
While they were taking turns "helping out," I got to talk with my other cousins, Kevin and Tim, for while.  Gracie and I took a load of wheat to town with Kevin, and then I we hung out for a while as they filled up the trucks.

 For the first time this year, I let Gracie go up on top of the wheat truck and play in the wheat.  It was funny watching her slide through it and play in it just like I did when I was MUCH smaller than her.  The trucks are bigger now, and it was a little frightening standing on the cab watching her.  We saw a ton of ladybugs and some other ones we couldn't identify. Later, when we were cleaning up at Nana's, Gracie was amazed at all the "places" she found wheat!  HA!

 And then I got some alone time to just sit.
Out in the open field.
And talk to God about what was on my mind.
It was so peaceful.

I love harvest for so many reasons, but this year was different.
My heart needed repair, and a small piece was repaired two days ago out in the open field.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


She's 10.
Double digits.
How did that happen?

We always decorate the dining room for each kid's birthdays.  Then, they get to wake up to streamers and balloons.  It's kinda a thing for the kids...

Gracie is a pretty fancy girl, so she picked Ci Ci's pizza for supper ON her birthday.  We love that everyone has a favorite and it's really cheap for our family to eat there!  :)
She hates fire, so here's her birthday candle that she made from a straw and paper.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRACIE!

Gracie's favorite thing to do right now is roller blade. She got new roller blades, a few blank books she can write a story in and illustrate, knee pads, a helmet, a KU necklace, fingernail polish, and lots of money!  Her friends are still into American Girl dolls, so she bought a knock off one at Target, and a chair to go with her.     

Chad and I took our kids, and Gracie's friends to the skating rink that he and I used to go to for our birthdays, but it wasn't a hit.  I felt really bad.  Most of her friends didn't know how to roller skate and weren't really willing to give it a try.  It made Gracie sad.  And then a mean girl (13?) was really snotty and said some really mean things to Gracie.  So, we left and went to Bogey's for ice cream.

It was fun watching Gracie and her friends talk about how late they were going to stay up, and what they were going to do once they got back to the house.  Little did they realize, with two younger siblings in the house, it's not always easy to be as loud and giggly as you want with a mother coming down and "checking" on you every so often.  
But, they had fun.  They stayed up late.  They really made Gracie happy.  :)  And I'm happy that she's finally letting me take pictures of her again.  

Monday, June 17, 2013

1, 2, 3....

Beautiful evenings in Kansas= family walks.
 This family walk happened to have a purpose to it. 
We wanted to seek out markers 1, 2, and 3.
(Of course this was my plan all along...
I just love to see their surprised faces!)

So, we drove to Bethel and set off down the bike path.
Soon we came to... #3!
 And after we walked awhile more, we came to...#2!
 And then waaaayyyy down the path behind Gracie we came to...#1!

Trey pretended to be Spiderman sticking to the 1 sign.
Jasper had a hard time since he doesn't know how to walk without choking himself.
The weather was perfect.  
8:00 p.m. in Kansas is the most perfect time of day.  
So glad it's not super hot yet.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


'Cause we all make mistakes sometimes
and we all step across that line.
But nothing's sweeter than the day we find, we find

It's hanging over him like the clouds of Seattle
and rainin' on his swag fallin' deeper in his saddle.
It's written on his face.
He don't have to speak a sound.
Somebody call the five-O for we gotta man down.

You can go and play it like you're all rock and roll.
But guilt does a job on each and every man's soul.
and when you're head hits the pillow at the nightfall,
you can bet your life that it's gonna be a fight y'all.

'Cause we all make mistakes sometimes and we've all stepped across that line.
But nothing's sweeter than the day we find forgiveness.

And we all stumble and we fall,
bridges burn in the heat of it all.
But nothing's sweeter than the day, 
sweeter than the day we call out for forgiveness.
We all need forgiveness.

My momma told me what I would be in for,
if I kept all this anger inside of me pent up.
My heart been broken, my wounds been open.
And I don't know if I can hear I'm sorry being spoken.
But those forgiven much should be quicker to give it,
And God forgave me for it all, Jesus bled forgiveness. 
So when the stones fly and they aimed at you,
just say forgive them Father, they know now what they do.

No matter how lost you are, you're not that far.
You're not too far.  No matter how hurt you are,
You're not that far.  You're not too far.
No matter who you are, you're not that far.  
From forgiveness.

We all need forgiveness...


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Scavenger Hunt

We don't have the summer list up yet.  
Actually we haven't even started.
But, we have lots of ideas to put on our list.
And we came up with one tonight as we headed to the Bethel trails for a walk.

I'm trying to keep us active this summer- to be healthier, to explore more, to spend more quality time with each other.
So, we started off with the trails.
When we walked on a trail sort of across the road/field/parking lot (?), we noticed these big markers that had numbers on them and thought it would be fun to find all of them.  We knew, when we fed the horses, that we had seen numbers 6 and 7, but we had no idea where the other ones were.

Tonight we found our answers.
They were at Bethel.

 So, we started a scavenger hunt to look for them.  But, quickly decided to take a "break" and climb up the castle stairs.  As you look at the next few pictures, just imagine two princesses and a prince walking down elegantly down the staircase and posing in their windows.

Our mission, if we all accept, is to look for numbers 1-3 tomorrow.
Not sure what to call this trail-marker-scavenger-hunt activity on our 2013 Summer List of things to do, but it made for one out of (hopefully) a ton of fun things we'll do this summer.

Oh, and what's that?
Jackets in June?
Yep.  It was chilly in the shade- which was what the trail path was mostly in this evening.  It was beautiful!  Perfect way to end the day!