Saturday, December 13, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

As Christmas draws near, we take a moment to wish each of you a Merry Christmas filled with the Blessings from our Savior -- Jesus Christ!
A historic 100 year old sled at our neighbor's home

This Christmas we are excited to announce that in June 2015 we will be expanding our family to five.  We love our boys and look forward to one more child!
The boys going for a little joy flight

Below is our 2014 family Christmas card photo -- even our furry boy found a smile to share with you.  (thanks Jackee Austerman photography)
Justin, Deedra, Kale, Greyson, Cedar, and Baby

Friday, September 12, 2014

How to Spend Your Weekend

My husband emailed me this morning from work and asked if there was anything that I wanted to do this weekend.  I replied back with this: "Fly to a remote island and sit on a sandy beach sipping cold beverages while listening to the waves lap."
Before I get into this too far, I will state that I love my boys dearly.  They bring an immense amount of joy to our home and make so many things FUN.  I feel lucky to stay home with them and nurture them as they grow and learn about the world around them.  However, typically by Friday, the week has worn on long enough.  I often envision myself strapping on my running shoes so that when Justin arrives home from work at 5:00 or the dreaded 5:30 (what is it with that extra 30 minutes that just about sends me over the edge?) I can catapult myself out the door and leave everything and everyone behind.
Since becoming a parent, I realize how selfish I can be.  Weekends are not like they used to be.  Before I would enjoy sleeping in, going for a run or bike ride, possibly go to a store or two and leisurely take it all in.  If it were a rainy day around the holidays I might cozy under a blanket and enjoy a Lifetime movie or four.  There was free reading and looking through magazines for new decorating ideas.  Oh and meeting friends at a coffee shop and talking for hours.  You see, after long weeks, sometimes I daydream about those days and even long for them.  Then a whiny voice or stinky diaper smell wafts by and I'm shaken back to reality that THAT AIN'T HAPPENIN' THIS WEEKEND!
It's not that I suddenly don't like my kids or am not thankful for our current life situation, I think I just long for some respite, some solace, a step away.
Aren't we lucky that God doesn't feel that way about His relationship with us?  In Joshua 13:5 it reads, "...Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." He is always yearning for us to turn to Him, to spend time with Him.  Even when I whine and when my thoughts or words have a stench, He still longs to hold me in the palm of His hand.  He never flies to a remote island for vacation.  He's always here.  This God who loves us so much that He sent His only Son to endure a painful death so that we could live.  And yet, many choose not to live for Him.

Friend, are you living for the Lord?  

The events of the world today would lead me to believe that He will be returning soon.  It's never too late to give your life to Him, to make better choices with how you spend your time or your weekend.  Don't delay! 

"Behold, I am coming soon!  My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.  Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.  Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.  I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches.  I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star." -Revelation 22:12-16

Monday, August 25, 2014

1st Day of Preschool

Today was Kale's first day of preschool.  
 After a weekend away celebrating a family wedding and then a very rough thunderstorm night, I was wondering how tolerable he would be of something new, but he took it all in stride.
 I've been told that mothering is not about letting go but about letting go a great number of times.  Today wasn't the first for me, but it was a big one.
 We took lots of pictures, he asked me to stay and play for awhile, and had to give me a series of hugs and kisses before I could go.
 Kale with his teacher Mrs. Blough.
 Kale with Mrs. Williams, the para in the room.
 There are 14 total  kiddos in his class as well as a classroom fish, "Blueberry."
 This was a sign that Kale was in the right classroom!
When I picked him up he said, "I missed you, Mama, but you are always in my heart."  You too, bud, you too.

Friday, August 08, 2014

A Weed Among the Flowers

I was at a friend's house recently and on her porch she had a beautiful display of "flowers" in several small glass jars.  I commented how beautiful they were and she laughed, squeezed my arm and said, "I collected those weeds out of a ditch on a drive home yesterday."  Did you catch that?  Weeds.
Later that afternoon when the boys were napping, I went a few feet up the gravel road alongside our home and cut a few of my own weeds and assembled them into my own glass jars.
 Have you ever felt like a weed among the flowers, friends?  You go on a play date and the other kids are way more well mannered than your own.  You visit a friends home and she decorates and cleans so much better than you.  You go to a potluck and want to hide your dessert because next to the others, it just doesn't measure up.  You meant not to think ill thoughts of that woman you keep seeing at the grocery store that looks like she just crawled out of bed and didn't give personal hygiene a thought.  Weeds.
But you know what?  God even makes weeds beautiful.  Weeds.  We are imperfect people living in a sinful world.  We think imperfect thoughts, do imperfect things, and struggle to stretch out for the sunrise and drink in the goodness of God's glorious riches and live.  Truly live.
The next opportunity you get, take a long stroll down a gravel road and look and see the beautiful weeds.  And remember, you were created in God's image.  He wants you to flourish like a flower.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

The Season of Summer

I have a love-hate relationship with summer.  Amazing lightning bugs to end the day after the mosquito bites have gotten big, red, and itchy.  Plump, tasty garden produce after hours of toil to get rid of the pesky weeds.  Happy, sweaty, sandy boys who need baths every night.  Love-hate.
This season that is sandwiched between spring and fall.  This season that often drags on in its dog days or seems to fast forward when the temps dip keeping us out of the pool.  This season that hosts my birthday and adds another wrinkle to my face.  Love-hate.
When I was a kid, I loved summer; lived for summer.  School was out, my feet were on the softball diamond, our family enjoyed fires on our patio watching the stars above.  Not a care in the world.  Now, I carry sweaty boys who skin their knees, endure whining when it's time to leave the pool, skip the campfire most nights because I'm too tired to watch the stars.  Love-hate.
As a mom of young kids I feel my soul is in the season of summer.  Many days feel stagnant and humid and nothing seems to want to grow.  Days of no breeze and only thunderclouds in the distance.  Days when the mosquito is feasting.  But amidst these barren, dry days are days of refreshment.  Days of rain and cool breezes and icy lemonade in a glass that runneth over.  Love-hate.
How thankful I am that just as with any season, this season too shall pass.  And that in the dead of winter I'll long for summer once again.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Greyson's Dedication

Greyson was dedicated to the Lord on Sunday, June 29 surrounded by our families and our small group.  We enjoyed having our worship pastor, Pastor Alex, dedicate Grey.

Greyson's "I AM Prayer:"
I am...a man of God, I am a King and a Priest.  I am loved by God and loved by my family.  God has a plan for me, a future for me, a hope for me...and it's in Him.  I will do great things because He strengthens me.  His promises live in me and I am His creative work.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Kale's 4th Birthday

Kale turned 4 years old in June.  To stay with tradition, his bedroom was filled with balloons the night before.
 And Kale stuck with his tradition of having to move all the balloons downstairs...
 During the day, Kale, Grey and I celebrated by getting cupcakes and visiting a park.
 In the evening after Papa arrived home, we went to a family fun park with go-carts and a bounce pillow, followed by supper at Pizza Hut.
 Kale chose what cars Papa and Mama would drive.  I think he's figured our driving out already.  Note the flames on the side of Mama's car!!!

 We held Kale's party on the Sunday following his birthday in conjunction with Greyson's dedication at church.  We went with a cars theme.  Kale helped with party prep gluing traffic signs for the ceiling.

 Kale also selected the cars he wanted placed on the tables.

 We did a brunch for lunch with breakfast casseroles, pancakes, and other fixins.

 This year's cake was a car cake.  After baking it, we found that the details were pretty cute and hated to frost it and lose the detail.  So, we placed a bowl of frosting next to it with a sign that read "Paint Detail."
We love our four year old!

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Attic Reno 16

I had purchased a desk off of a Facebook for sale group several months ago.  I've been itching to tackle this project and get it placed in our attic space and begin to utilize it.  The before pic:
 And after:
 Paint color: Tidal Teal from Lowes.  
 Found the awesome knobs at Hobby Lobby.
 The cubby on top I purchased from a friend (Thanks, Nicole!).  It holds loads of cards and other essential mailing items.  The chair was purchased from a barn sale-already the orange color.  I've found this is a great spot to park myself during afternoon nap time for the boys.  My sweet little corner of office space :)