Friday, August 23, 2019


I was so sure that I took more pictures at Skateland, but perhaps I was remembering the summer skating night and this one in February is a bit more fuzzy.  I am so thankful for the ladies in the pictures below.  I have no idea where I would be without them.  We need each other!  We need to know that we are not alone.  We need to be reminded that we are great moms, that we need to drink more water, that we don't need that late night snack haha.  Seriously, having friends who love Jesus and seek Him in their lives, in their parenting, in their marriages... it is a great great blessing!  The fact that we all love to skate is just a bonus! 

So blessed!
Charissa and I have been friends now for over a decade.  We have literally walked with each other through so many challenges and life changes.  We have shared parenting and our oldest boys truly grew up together since we spent every day together.  There is nothing too TMI for this friendship and my Charissa time tank will never overflow!
Cheesy and Thankful!

Apparently I am feeling sentimental.  This was really just supposed to be about going skating!  We did go skating with the church and it was an amazing event with a huge turnout and so much fun... and I didn't fall!!

Creative Intervention

Deer love our yard.  They wander through most days.  The really really love our bird feeders in the winter.  Sometimes they tilt the feeders so that birds can't really sit on them.  Brandon wanted to fix the feeder, but wasn't too interested in going out in the deep snow.  Being an engineer, he quickly came up with a plan.  He grabbed a floor lamp and was able to use it to hook the feeder and move it back to a level position. 

Me: I don't think this will work. 

Brandon:  Sure, it will work!

Brandon:  Done! 


Each of our cats has unique personalities.  Amazingly Sunshine LOVES the sunshine!  You might think that all cats love the sun, but Sunshine loves to chase it and follow it and bask in it.  Buttercup is fine with the sun, but he would rather watch birds. 

Sunshine:  I am trying to catch the sun!
Sunshine:  I entertain the people  while they eat dinner with my sun catching abilities!


Way back in February I sent this picture to Brandon or maybe to my girlfriends... I was supposed to be folding clothes, but the amazing cuddles of a special cat trapped me and made it impossible for me to work.  What a blessing those cuddles are.  Before we became cat owners I googled "therapy cats" many times.  While our cats have had no training, they are the better than any therapy I could imagine.  

Buttercup:  I wait until mom needs to do work and then I snuggle in and she is always up for a cuddle! 

Thursday, August 22, 2019

She's SEVEN!!!!

*I wrote this whole post in April and never published it.  Oops!  Well it was fun to reread.  T's Birthday is February 16th so she is now 7 1/2!

My baby girl is now SEVEN!!!  My mind still can't comprehend that she is seven... and yes she has been seven for almost two months at this point!   We are so blessed to have T for our daughter!  She is probably one of the coolest people I will ever know in real life.  She finds adventure everywhere.   She is creative and has a style that is all her own.  She thinks outside the box and isn't afraid to try new things.  She laughs easily.  She learns quickly.  She is excelling academically and devours books just like M did.  She has many tender sweet moments that melt your heart.  She loves to memorize the Scripture each week at iGnite and can be heard singing all the verse songs every time she is in the bathroom! 

She still has several growth areas, and we are hopeful that year seven could lead to some therapies which could help her process things in ways that previous therapies have not.  We have seen much growth in her in the last year.  T started taking a couple of meds and these have truly helped her have more control over her emotions when she is upset.  We are thankful for her gains and praise God for His work in her life. 

We can't wait to see what God has planned in T's life in the next year!

Her Birthday was on a Saturday this year.  This meant a full day of celebrating and festivities planned by her.  For a girl who used to want literally every single thing in the store as a gift and every person she met at her party, she has changed some through the years.  This year she just wanted one friend, our buddy L who has been friends with both M and T from day one. 

The day started with T writing a story in the basement while Brandon biked indoors and I walked.  

I am a seven year old writer!

Once I got home she was ready for opening presents right away!

T: What could it be? 

T: I just love the bag!!!

LEGO sets!!!!!

M: I LOVE my half Birthday gifts!

T: I really really really wanted a lamp like this!

I hopeed for my own bank and I got it!

After presents it was time for pancakes!!!  I made lots of pancakes and the kids ate lots of pancakes.  After breakfast they began to investigate their LEGO sets.

T and M: We love getting new sets!

Brandon and I have decided that LEGO's are truly the gift that keeps on giving because the kids want to do them right away and the focus that it takes to put them together is so helpful on a "big day."  In the past holidays have been really tricky, but now that we have LEGO's in our life the day goes much more smoothly.

Getting started!

While the kids worked on their new sets I worked on baking the cakes.  It was a full day of food prep for me!

T: I am on bag  2!

The kids continued to do their LEGO sets for most of the morning.  I was able to get my Sunday School class set up and Brandon was able to help them and get work done at home.  I can't remember every detail of the morning.  The kids might have watched a movie in the morning or perhaps worked on LEGO stuff all morning.

In the afternoon we went up to pick up L and have a little party.  The whole time was planned by T and I just went with whatever she suggested.  The kids played pretty well together.  It is tricky having a group of three, but I was quite impressed with their willingness to take turns.

T: I am thankful that L and M were celebrating with me. 


7 going on 13!

The wind up!

The Blowout!

T had various ideas and games that she wanted to play.  They did sort of a ninja warrior thing where they challenge each other with stunts.  This is something that T loves to play!

T: I could do this all day!

The three kids worked together to find candy around our house and then make a piñata!  I was quite impressed with their idea and design.  They even found a way to hang in it in the basement with very little help from me. They each took turns giving the box the hardest back they could.

T: Here I go!

T: I will get you box!

L took some fierce swings as well!

M got in a huge hit and it fell and opened!! 

After the piñata T wanted to play twister.  We all had such great fun laughing at the positions they were getting into.  T is incredibly flexible and no position seemed to phase her.

T: Make it hard L! 

Eventually we brought L home and came home for a pizza night.  I was able to prep the crust and the toppings during the playdate party so all we had to do was bake them when we got home.  We have had some pizza flops over the years, but this pizza was by far the best pizza I have made.  T was so thankful for her Birthday meal.

T: This pizza is perfect!

I am pretty sure that we watched an episode or two of "The Cosby's Show" (we are working our way through the series as a family) after dinner.

We were so blessed to celebrate this special day as a family!
End of the day Birthday Girl Shot!!!

Talent Show

Just before T's 7th Birthday both kids performed in the elementary school talent show.  M did a football passing thing with a friend and T sang a solo.  T sang the camp song "All in All."  She was the only student to sing a cappella and she did a great job.  M caught a trick catch at the show which was also a relief.  

M:  I am not sure we really planned well. 

M: Whew!
T: I loved singing but I was a little bit nervous. 

A beautiful tradition. A new tradition.

I was such a good blogger back in February and March... and then I went to Mexico and came back and wrote a post promising to blog.  It was a lie... because it that was April and now it is late August.  At any rate, I remembered how to get back on to blogger and I have an itch to blog so we will see how ambitious I am this time.

The reason I believe I have some potential to actually blog now is that my kids are on a vacation with grandparents and I have time at home to catch up on things like the blog.  It feels so good to have this time to sit in the quiet.  Brandon's parents have taken the kids for a few summers now and it is such a treat and a gift for both Brandon and me.  Today I have been sorting papers and making my house look messier and messier, but it is just the storm before the calm and soon things will be more organized than they have been in a while.  I am so thankful for this wonderful tradition.

The new tradition is something that T suggested we do on the drive to meet the grandparents yesterday.  She wanted to do a license plate Bingo but since I didn't have time to find a cute game on pinterest make one, we just printed off a list of the 50 states.  I drove a little over three hours to meet them and then turned around and came home.  T tired of the game after about 30 minutes, but I was excited to continue and it made the driving a lot more engaging.  Would you believe I saw 28 states and 3 provinces?  Impressive.  I think I have found a new long trip hobby.  I feel like I had a really good first round though... will I ever be able to break this record?  I will have to keep you posted on the journey next week when I pick them up.

So how is this whole blogging thing going to work?  Well, since I am still blogging about February events I will get to relive the highlights with all of you as I share the pictures from long ago in a hopefully fast version of at least two posts a day.  I also plan to try to post in real time too.  T has a surgery coming up in a week and I do plan to post some updates on here about the surgery and the recovery.

Stay tuned to see if I can follow through with my posting commitments.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Back in the saddle!

Why yes, I have taken a month off of blogging!  During that month we have prepped for and taken our annual trip to Mexico, switched insurances, applied for some special county programs, searched every where for documents for this application which led to sorting all of M and T's papers and projects since they came home (which was a large undertaking), hosted family, taught Sunday School and iGnite lessons, had countless discussions about the upcoming church building renovation and the youth pastor search process.  It has been a busy month.  I have the itch to blog once again!

I don't have a new photo post ready for you today because I was inspired to take photos of every one of each child's art projects to make little digital shutterfly books for them so that we don't have to keep (all) the artwork.  We are still keeping many special pieces, but so many of them have already been damaged in storage so a book will keep all of them fresh.  Anyway, I have the photos I need for the next post mixed in with about 1000 photos of the kids art projects.  Hopefully Brandon will help me get them into Lightroom soon so I can get rolling with the posts once again!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019


While we didn't have a sixth snow day, we did get another six inches of snow one night.  The piles were so tall that I forced the kids to stand by them to get some photos.  I told them that this is a winter they will remember for a long time and they will want these photos of them by the snow hills! 

M: The piles are taller than me! 

M: You can spot me behind the pile. T: I look tiny! 

So much snow everywhere! 
While on a walk one day I snapped this quick photo of a play area at the kid's school.  The snow piles are huge and the main attraction during recess.  The kids look so tiny on the big hills!  What a fun winter!  The hill below is the 1-2nd grade hill, but I don't see T in the photo.  M (in third grade) has hills on the other side of the school which are actually taller than these.  He loves playing King of the Hill and I am thankful that they still allow kids to have some of that kind of "80's kid" fun!

The little flecks of color are kids! 

$9.00 Balloon

A couple of days before Valentine's Day Brandon and T were at the grocery store getting some on sale chicken.  T spotted this awesome balloon and needed it.  Brandon usually gets her something special for Valentine's Day so he said yes and she was THRILLED and told everyone she knew about it and it's $9.00 cost!  They also got a lovely arrangement of flowers for me.  I am not a huge flower lover, but T got such great joy from them and loved them so much that it made me love them and the givers even more! 

T: Don't worry.  I close my door so the cats don't attack it!