Thursday, December 15, 2011

At the end of the day.

The suitcases are packed, and the anticipation is high for we are heading to Ohio {home for me!!} to celebrate this joyous time of year! I didn't do much decorating around here, and most of the gifts we're direct shipped, and waiting to be wrapped it doesn't look much like Christmas around our house!

We did get the nativity scene out, which is always a favorite and provides a perfect opportunity to teach about the marvelous story of Christmas and the people that God used to carry it out! I love how toddlers relate it to their daily living to remember the one afternoon I was informed that the wise men brought Jesus "gold-fish" as a gift! :)

I've realized this year that regardless of the task that lay ahead for which I would simply call "preparation" for this time of year...(decorating, shopping, wrapping, baking, cards, ...or packing for a trip), the day-to-day tasks still seem to be inescapable!

In fact they actually seem to compound when I'm pre-occupied! If I put a certain level of expectaion on my accomplishments for the day, there is bound to be an extra load of laundry or somebody will wake up teething or sick! Right about when I feel like I'm heading into a tailspin,

I'm reminded of what really counts at the end of the day!

After picking up & putting away the contents of a cubbord or drawer for the umpteenth time, or fixing the same tailgate off the same wagon over and agian, I'm reminded of what accomplishments are ever going to make a difference.

At the end of the day...

It's not whether the gifts all got wrapped beautifully, but whether I taught what it means to have a heart of giving.

It's not whether the cards all got sent on time, but whether I taught what it means to share the true meaning of Christmas!

It's not whether the nutmeg got put in the cookie batter or not, but whether I took the time to let the little hands dump in the ingredients & shared the enjoyment of baking together.

The list could go on, but I'm stepping on my own toes, so I will stop with that! ;) I wanted to write about this today because I want to remember this stage of life that we are in & the how I'm challenged throughout it! Christmas is such an exciting time of year, and I want to produce memories that are pleasant rather than being the frazzled mother who is caught up in all the details that aren't important!

*Remind me of this all over again next year. Preferably right about the middle of Nov. instead of me some fussing & frazzling! :)

Blessings to you all as you go about your "preparations" and "anticipations"!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

the quiet miles

It's been awhile, I know...Thanksgiving came and went without so much as a squeak from me, but blogging hit the back burner when the calendar turned to November. Looks like December isn't going to be much different!

It's only the 7th, but it's actually been a relatively "not-as-stressful" month, mostly due to the convenience of online shopping. :)

And partly to a quick weekend trip with just my Hubby. We decided kind of last minute to attend a wedding we were invited to in Pasco, WA. Although, we weren't sure how it was going to fit in the schedule since we leave for OH on the 16th.

After working out a way to leave the peeps at home, we decided we didn't want to miss out! I'm not one for long drives, but it seemed feasible, and I imagined the"quality time" would be well worth it!

Turns out we didn't have so much to talk about, but found ourselves just enjoying the quiet! ;) I'll admit, I got a little fidgety the last couple of hours, but I did enjoy the beautiful scenery!

We didn't stop much, except to fuel up and the occasional Starbucks (both equally essential for road-trips.) Only, the grande latte just seemed to make me more fidgety!

Needless to say, It was worth it! We were privileged to watch this sweet couple walk down the isle as the newest Mr. & Mrs. and enjoyed a wonderful evening catching up with some old friends!
The little time we had the day before the wedding we spent with this stunning couple! Our time was short, but our laughter was not!

You must know though, that this beauty & I rode the same bus together way back in elementary school. She also had the disadvantage of being my next door neighbor! We survived the side pony & high-top years together!

All too soon we found ourselves climbing back in the car for the return trip home! The stops were shorter and fewer than the ride up, but we were done with the quiet! The chaos and crazy was beckoning! :) We'll see how stress-free the rest of the month goes!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Athletes for Adoption

Along with everyone else, this week has me feeling the heat, as the holiday season is now directly upon us and the "un-finished" list is being added to, instead of crossed off! As I sit down to write this, I keep thinking I need to be doing those things on that list instead of blogging, but for this "cause" I will take the time!

So, as the peeps sleep, I will quickly add a few comments to the pictures that I took during last weekends events! We had the opportunity to support a wonderful ministry for a tremendous cause!
Athletes for Adoption is a fundraiser that takes place at the Big Sur half marathon in Monterey, CA. These runners raised money & ran the 13k as a way to speak out about adoption and help bring orphans together with their forever families!

Fitting that the month of November is actually national adoption awareness month! The statistics are staggering and beyond heart wrenching, so for the outreach that these organizations have done we know many have been blessed!

We eagerly awaited them at the finish line to encourage & cheer on their efforts!

Other "spectators" that we had the blessing of enjoying their company for the weekend!

One of the sweet families that participated in the run. Even the kids did a 3K & 5K the day before!

The weekend was also filled with making memories with wonderful friends!

The kids enjoyed the beautiful sunny weather on Saturday afternoon! As if running a couple of miles that morning wasn't enough to wear out their energy! ;) G thought playing with the big boys was pretty neat!

Before I publish this, I want to add a paragraph about 3 beautiful children that God used to help soften our hearts towards adoption. These dear children, we have the privilege of calling our nephews and niece!

The first was brought together with his family 3 years ago, and the sweet girl and baby boy hopefully sometime in the coming new year! They are as precious as the rest of the family is to us, and we continue to pray for each of them as they continue on their journey! Follow along here! How grateful we are that these children will soon be blessed with the love of their forever family and to be taught the marvelous grace of Jesus!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Seeing the Cross

There is much for us to learn from the simplicity of a childs faith, and as a mother watching that faith develop is a heart-string tugging experience! This week found me soul searching, on several occasions as I answered the sweetest, most innocent questions from our three year old, that I pray are just the beginning of discovering the magnificent grace of Jesus!

As we sat and read from one of his bible story books one day this week, he became riveted to the picture of Jesus hanging on the cross. The questions came one after another about everything from the angry looking clouds that were painted across the sky, to why the soldiers below Jesus were carrying swords on their sides. He pondered how the nails in his hands and feet must have been so ouchy, and if He was scared when they put him in the dark tomb! The realization of how fascinated he was with all this became apparent when every time he saw anything bi-secting lines he ask me if it was a cross. Driving down the road he discovered telephone poles, and the grout lines in our tile we're "hole buncha crosses"! His constant search for crosses spoke to me in so many way.
Looking for the Cross in everything we do, is a conscious effort to continually be reminded of what Christ did for us!

Later this week our conversation was about sin, and here's how the dialogue went:

G: What do our sins do?
M: Do you mean what are sins?

G: Yeah, what ARE sins?
M:"Sins" is another word for when we do things like disobey or say things that are unkind and hurtful to other people

G: Hmm...I don't like sins
M: Jesus doesn't like our sins either

G: Jesus doesn't love my sins? (with raised eyebrows)
M: Jesus loves YOU, but He is sad when we choose to sin. He forgives us when we say we're sorry though. Remember Jesus died on the cross for our sins because He loves us VERY much!

G: Jesus is a cool guy!
M: {stifled laughter}

The simplicity of knowing that God loves us and provides forgiveness of our sins is the blessing of a child-like faith!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

giving credit

So you may, or may not have noticed the updated photos to the right on my blog. Either way, I'm dedicating this post to the talented photographer of these beautiful photos and giving her the much deserved credit!

We've worked together a little in the past, and she has a natural talent and a way with kids that makes for some great photos that we will treasure for years to come!

When I presented to her the oppertunity to capture a couple of hours of our little family at the Mission in Carmel, I knew she would not let me down! :) We had a beautiful afternoon, and the boys both did terrific! Everyone knows how hair-pulling these settings can be when your trying to get little ones to cooperate! We appreciated how relaxed both her and her husband were, and how sometimes the best pictures aren't always the ones where everyones perfect!

It's about capturing these precious moments in life, and the individual personalities of each child, even if it is a wrinkled up nose or pout! :)


Sunday, October 30, 2011

MORE, for the burlap lover!

Turns out more of you share a love for this rustic natural fiber than I thought! :) Well, truth is I can't quit thinking about it! I have all these ideas to try, some of them turn out to be somewhat clever, others not so much! Anyway, I'm sure some of you have some clever ideas for yourselves, but thought I'd share a couple of my latest! I didn't include tutorials this time, sorry...but they aren't too hard to figure out, and if you really want to me, I'll be glad to share!

A couple pillow covers made from linen with burlap design top stiched to the front. I'm hoping in time the edges fray out a little more!

This one I added a chalk cloth insert! Not so easy to work with, but turned out fun!

And a wreath I'm hoping to maybe use this christmas for something or other!? Or give as a gift!

Hope this gets you all itching to craft!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

An act of War

Here in the west, as the fall weather sets in, it creates the opportunity for "winter crops" in the garden. In the midwest, there was not a lot of life in the garden much past Oct., so I'm still learning what crops to grow in what season. A couple of weeks ago, I put in a few different varieties of lettus, spinach, carrots, winter squash, onions etc...! They germinated in less than a week, and we even had a nice rain to welcome them to life! I thought to myself..." this is easy growing"...and "I'll be harvesting some of these greens in another week or two"!

Lo, and behold...there was harvesting done alright, but I was beat to it! In a matter of 24 hours I went from having a nice big garden fresh salad, to a measly picked over half of a salad!

This, my friends, is the works of my newest enemy! The sheer thought of them, makes my skin crawl! Apparently they are of a picky nature, because they didn't so much as touch my spinach!

Let me introduce you to the cabbage worm, or looper. Yes, I had to google it to figure out what they were, and yes the image is off of google as well because I would rather not be in that close of proximity with my enemies! Someday, when I am a grown-up gardener, I will pick them off my precious plants with my bare fingers. For now, I am asking each of you for your secrets in organic pest control to declare war on these invaders! I tried 10drops of peppermint oil + a tsp. of dish soap in a spray bottle of water to run them off! I can't seem to find them in the lettus, but I'm still seeing damage, so I know they're in there somewhere!

And in the meantime, we'll stick with spinach salads. Oh and my tomatoes still seem to be going full force...

(why don't the loopers want them? there's plenty for all of us)

I will be awaiting your wise comments! :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

gobble. gobble.

Here's a shout out to all you moms that want a fun, easy treat to make with your kiddos!

Came across it in my BHG magazine this month, but couldn't find it online to post a link, so guess I'll have to type this out the old fashion way...

3 tbsp. butter or margarine
4 c. mini marshmallows
6 c. rice krispies cereal
1 (12 oz) pkg. semisweet choco chips
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 1/3 cup candy corn
48 small white candies
24 lollipop stick or wooden icecream sticks

It's pretty self explanitory! Make the rice krispies into balls using a 1/4 cup measuring cup and let them cool before dipping into chocolate and decorating. You insert the stick last after they are all cooled and firmed up! Makes about 12 treats!

I had to snap the pictures quick before they we're gobbled up!

Have fun!!

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