So glad you came to visit today! Here at my little corner of bloggy world I share a little bit about everything--family, parenting, goals, struggles, photography, recipes, n more! So curl up with a cup of hot tea {or not} and feel free to peruse around my site! Check out my sidebar for links. And come back again!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Psalm

Psalm 47

Clap your hands, all you nations;
shout to God with cries of joy.
How awesome is the Lord Most High,
the great King over all the earth!
He subdued nations under us,
peoples under our feet.
He chose our inheritance for us,
the pride of Jacob, whome he loved.

God has ascended amid shouts of joy,
the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets.
Sing praises to God, sing praises.

For God is the King of all the earth;
sing to him a psalm of praise.
God reigns over the nations;
God is seated on his holy throne.
The nobles of the nations assemble
as the people of the God of Abramam,
for the kings of the earth belong to God;
he is greatly exalted.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

8 random things about this moment in time.

I know I said I was going to be off the blog this week but here I am. Just wanted to share a few things real quick...

1. Kevin has been cleaning and reorganizing our storage things in the basement. We discovered that some of my boxes of photos waiting to be scrapbooked got a little water damage. The pictures themselves are all fine thank goodness, but some of the other papers and ticket stubs and so forth might not be keepable. This is suddenly motivating me to get these trips scrapbooked before I lose it all. So today I'm going through my box of Europe things from my trip in 2004. I can't believe it's been 8 years, and I also can't believe how little I can remember. Even reading my notes hardly trigger any memories! It's sad! I'm not doing anything fancy with the scrapbook so I'm hoping it's a relatively short project. We were required to keep a journal throughout the month, so I'm currently typing it into a Word document so that each entry can be included in the scrapbook.

2. I got my hair cut again and colored yesterday. Here's my new "do". I love it.

3. I really need to make a new blog header with updated pictures! Coming... sometime...

4. I love Pinterest. This is one of the projects I want to try soon. Like tomorrow maybe. If you follow the link, the demo is done with a gray shirt, and I think that looks great for this time of year. But this white one would especially be nice in the summer, in my opinion.
5. Eli is now brought home by a school van in the afternoon, instead of riding the bus. The school was trying to shorten the route for some of the kids who were having to ride for quite awhile. Today the superintendent was the driver of the van, and I just think that's impressive. He's very PRESENT, and smiley, and on our level, not just the HEAD of the school. It's a good school, and all of this year I've been very pleased.

6. I've been having a pretty good week with the kids this week. Much more patient and less yelling and frustration, and they've been nicer with each other. Now I'm feeling really blah about the way I keep the home, so I'm rethinking how I can stay on top of things better. Really gonna focus on keeping to my schedule I created awhile ago.

7. Carter was actually standing on his leg a little bit today. Like actually bearing weight on it from what it looked like. And then I even got him to limp across the room with assistance. That's sort of walking, and definitely a tiny bit of progress!

8. Kara got to go home last night! AMAZING! I'm planning on going up to visit on Sunday afternoon. Hoping my kids aren't maniacs!

Alright, signing off now!! Have a great rest of the week!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Sometimes I just want to curl up in a ball and hide from this internet world. Sometimes I blab too much about my feelings. I find myself just becoming extremely defensive and I hate it. I hate that I don't have the answers. I hate that I'm so insecure in my path. I'm hate that I'm so full of anger as I try to train these children just right. I hate that DOING is so much harder than knowing. I hate that I'm such a walking contradiction, as I yell angrily at the kids "YOU HAVE TO DO IT WITH A HAPPY HEART!" So this week I'm just going to be quiet here on the blog. Not that that alone is instantly going to change ANYTHING. But I want to spend more time focusing on what's HERE in my actual home. Get off my lazy butt, go over to my squabbling children, put a gentle hand on each of them, and quietly remind them to choose love. 

We'll see how THAT goes!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Prayer Update

I just wanted to give you all a quick update about Kara...  A few days ago the Dr's starting turning down her sedatives and paralyzing medicines, and soon after she was wonderfully responsive, correctly answering hand squeeze commands, opening her eyes partway, trying to talk even with the ventilator tube still in, and moving her arms and legs. What an answer to prayer!  And she continues to AMAZE us with daily improvement! Now she is off the ventilator, her speech is getting more and more understandable and lucid, though she does still have some confusion, and she's able to stand with assistance. She's not been able to sleep really at all and she keeps trying to get out of bed to go home, so stopping her escape attempts all through the night is probably tedious. She will be moved out of ICU very soon, like today maybe. There have been many friends and family helping with night shift so Ward and Linda can take turns going back home to sleep. Kara still has a ways to go but it appears she is making a near full recovery! It's INCREDIBLE and we are sooo thankful!!

Thank you for your prayers and support!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

{Sewing Tutorial} From scrap to valance!

After Christmas we got new curtains for our living room. The previous ones were beige, probably original to the house.
 But some of the curtains needed altered to hang above our radiators. So I cut and re-hemmed them. (Because doing that was easier than trying to find just the right sizes in the store. I really wanted to SEE the curtain fabric in person instead of ordering online. Browns come in so many different shades!! This is not a bedroom so they didn't need to be black-out curtains.)
 And this is the scrap that I cut off.
 But turn it around and that's going to be a valance for the upstairs bathroom!
 This is what the bottom (soon to be top) of the scrap looks like.
 It's sewn shut along the edge.

 So using my seam ripper, I gently pulled out those stitches, so it's open again for a curtain rod to go through.
 Now, the dashed lines indicate where you need to sew.

Now to sew that top dashed line... I'm just sewing straight through the hole, so that instead of the curtain hanging straight down from the curtain rod, it will have a little ruffle ABOVE the rod. The guide lines on my sewing machine are too close to the edge of my fabric. I want a larger ruffle, so I use masking tape to mark my line. I used to draw a pencil line ON my fabric but using the tape was way easier and saved time. So instead of your eyes looking at where the needle is going up and down and making sure you're sewing on a pencil line, your eyes look at the edge of the fabric and the edge of the tape and as long as that is lined up, you'll be sewing straight.
The top ruffle should be done now and the curtain rod can pass through. Now hem the bottom and the curtain will be done. So double-fold over the bottom of the fabric, pin, and iron (I like ironing before sewing, it helps the fabric lay flatter and not shift so much as I go along.)
 Then sew as close to the fold line as possible.
 All done and ready to hang!  (this is the back view of the valance)
 To make valance look bunchy instead of just flat across the window, make TWO panels following these directions. Here is the bathroom before...
 And now...
 Closer view

They're really basic, but it's better than the NOTHING we had there. And better than the lacy thing that used to be there when we moved in. And I'd rather be resourceful than continue searching for THE perfect fabric. (our colors in there are brown, purple, and green, and I just wasn't finding anything. Not to mention we don't really even live anywhere near fabric stores like that.) So wa-lah! Project complete!!

Where's the support?

Homeschool vs Public School for Christian families.  

I can't even stand the debate and it makes me sick in my stomach. There are tons of networks for homeschooling families. But where is the support for those of us Christians going the public school route??  

I feel so alone and frustrated in this. Everyone around me is homeschooling, and whenever in conversation about it, I just feel like it's shoved in my face that homeschooling is the right way to do it, "but it's different for every family", "it's not right for everyone." yadda yadda. Yet everyone I know is choosing that.

I've been reading the book Going Public by David and Kelli Pritchard, and it's giving me great hope that we can do this well. Honestly, we have a great little school here. Eli is excelling. His confidence is growing and he's making friends with good kids. Being a good example to others. And putting his training into practice. He didn't use to be a social kid, but now he's coming out of his shell and gaining confidence and being a light to others and in his classroom. 

He's not gone ALL DAY, we still have plenty of time together at home and as a family where we can just be together and do more Bible teaching and whatnot.  It seems like a good balance right now. I have time with the Littles even doing some homework with Hannah, time to run errands and not tote everyone with me, time to get housework done, and still feel pretty fresh at the end of the day. And the kids have some time APART where they can grow individually.

So please, who else is out there that DOES public school?  Do you relate with any of my same feelings??

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook

I've been a little blank for posts lately so I thought I'd start occasionally doing the "simple daybook" that gives a fun little glimpse into my day and life...

Outside my window... are some water guns laying in the grass from the kids playing outside the other day. It's been unreal weather this winter and playing with water guns in January was actually a thing!

I am thinking... that I am bored waiting for Kevin to get home and I really just want to watch my ABC shows from last week!

I am thankful... for health kids and three beautiful children.

In the kitchen... is carrot cake waiting to be eaten following dinner tonight.

I am wearing... Hannah's clips all over my hair because Carter brought them to me and wanted them on me.

I am going... to maybe get up and run first thing tomorrow morn.

I am wondering... how Kara will be when she wakes up from her coma.

I am hoping... for a miracle.

Around the house... are still some random Christmas items that need put away.

One of my favorite things... is playing piano and guitar.

A few plans for the rest of the week... a MOPS planning meeting, a couple of play dates, a "bridal shower" at church Saturday

A peek into my day...  Put Carter to nap reeeaaally early because he was reeeaaally crabby, did some "homework" time with Hannah, worked on writing the piano part to a favorite worship song

A photo to share:
the song I was working on. Bonus points if you can tell what it is...

Never take a day for granted.

Saturday night my 16-yr old cousin Kara was at a youth event at a church where she suddenly collapsed, her heart stopped, she turned blue, and she was without oxygen for 10 MINUTES. Just like that. It took three shocks for the paramedics to finally get her heart going again and they could transport her to the hospital where she remains heavily sedated for several days while her brain rests. When they finally wake her they'll do an MRI to assess the damage, but friends, this is just not good. We have NO IDEA what to even expect and all we can do is wait.

We're an hour away so I was able to drive up yesterday to visit. It's just unbelievable.

She's a spirited 16-year old girl who loves musicals and books and Facebooking with her friends, and now there she is lying in a hospital bed while machines rhythmically raise and lower her chest and soft monitor beeps fill the room.

At the end of July my aunt Linda (Kara's mom) was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and she is currently smack-dab in the middle of chemo treatments. We've all been covering her in prayer week after week.

And out of the blue this happens with Kara.

6 years ago Kara herself had bone cancer and one of the chemotherapy medicines decreased her heart function. She's since been cured of the cancer and has continued to be checked routinely for heart function and except for a slight decline this year, she'd been plateaued. No one EVER expected this. A massive heart attack at the age of 16. 

This all so overwhelming for such a sweet, loving family.  They are believers though and even in the middle of these darkest times, they continue to give glory to God. They continue to trust and lean on Him.

But please pray for this family. Pray for Kara that God would heal whatever damage is in her brain and she would make an amazing recovery. Pray for Linda that she'd stay healthy even though she's being exposed to soo many friends and visitors during this time. Pray for Ward as he watches the two loves of his life suffer. 

Thank you.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

2 years ago today...

...I was out scooping about 4 ft of snow off the sidewalk because it was a sunny afternoon and I didn't want the weather to get wasted. Make no matter that I was 9 months pregnant, I felt great, and there was work to bed done! Following that, I even made an apple pie for the neighbors. HELLO NESTING!

 However, allll that led to this a few short hours later!

And my heart was once again swept away in an instant.

And somehow






I thought it was official at 1 Year. That he was no longer a baby. But it really feels official now. Perhaps because this time around at 2 years there isn't another baby below him. My womb is empty. And the plans, as far as WE know, are to be done. Which I am totally FINE with but... I dunno... These years are passing. My little babies are growing. All of them, including my last.  And I can't help but savor every bit I can as it slowly slips away into a new moment.

Monday, January 9, 2012

IN the picture. In the MOMENT. {Week 1}

Look at me type "Week 1" like I'm actually starting something here!  LOL Although I DO hope I'm starting something here. The practice of actually getting IN pictures!  I'm going to try to post 1 every week. So this is for last week!

{This is us. In Nebraska. See that? Not wearing COATS! In January! Seriously unbelievable. We were all outside playing til the sun set, and Carter here with his broken leg and all can't get around quite so well outdoors so I snuggled him up for a few snaps!}

Monday Meanderings - Jan. 9

It was an awesome weekend and I'm kinda bummed we're back to Monday again! Kevin's work holiday party was Saturday night at a local lodge, so it doubled as our anniversary celebration.  We got to have a fun night out with friends AND enjoy an overnight away and sleep-in in the morning all the way to 7:45am! (LOL) We had a fabulous breakfast buffet and chilled out in our room for a little bit before returning home to our 3 beautiful children and my mom who so graciously came to stay with them! I am so thankful!

Bible Study... chronological Bible reading

Memory Verse... 2 Timothy 3:16
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

Husband Encouragement...
♥ Tidy house. 
♥ Fresh towels.
♥ Positive attitude.

Train Them Up...
* Reading the book Going Public (I found my book again!!!)
* Morning devotions in the morning and a short family Bible time after dinner. (whether Kevin's home or not)
* School time with Hannah.
* Christmas thank-you's.
* AWANA verses.

Personal Goals...
* Get back on track with the diet
* Run 4x this week
* Drink WATER!!
* Afternoon Bible time

New Habit of the Month...  {january}
*  declutter-a-day

MUST Do... 
* MOPS - lesson plans, activity packets, snacks, call 2 workers
* Christmas thank-you's
* Filter through Eli's school papers from first semester. His file folder is jam packed.
* Blog Christmas

Zone(s)... Living room hutch

Menu - TBD

M - 
T - 
W - 
Th -
F - 
S -  
Su - 

* MOPS tomorrow!
* Carter gets his cast off Friday, we hope!
* Carter's birthday on Saturday!
* Starting a new mini-project with photos soon, I'm getting excited to put it together!

3 things I'm thankful for today...
1. 7 great years with my hubby and a happy weekend celebration. ♥
2. The fabulous weather. Seriously, it's unreal! 50s in January!!
3. Motivation. I've been in the mood to organize and CLEAN lately and that doesn't happen all that often!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy 7 years to my love!

7 years
3 moves
3 kids
1 big job change
Sold a house
Bought a house
Several house renovations later
...and here we are
still standing
still holding hands
still staying
still loving
still choosing each other.
Because that's what love is all about.

We haven't been without our ups and downs, fights and cries, and uncertainties. The first year was hard. I wasn't especially glowing. It was hard, because reality came into focus and expectations got thrown out the window and we just had to learn a way of respecting and loving each other. And that, my friends, never ends. Then pregnancies, nursing babies and fussy toddlers came, one after the next after the next. And parenting and learning how to discipline continued to increase. And now, here we are. Finally feeling a little bit like we can breathe again. The kids are getting a little bit more independent each day and we can enjoy them and each other as a family, marriage can and is becoming a priority again, and I'm so excited.

I'm so excited about the 7 years that have brought us to this point. I am thankful for the three BEAUTIFUL children God has given us. I am thankful for the man I have come to KNOW. Like REALLY know. And I'm excited for all that is to come!

Happy anniversary!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Monday Meanderings - NEW YEAR!!!

Hello friends! It's been a fun and busy Christmas season and here we are greeting a new year already! I'm so excited! As a goal-maker and list kind of person I get excited about the fresh start and an opportunity for new routines. I'll talk more about that soon perhaps, but for now, here's this week...

Bible Study... chronological Bible reading

Memory Verse...  John 3:30
"He must become greater; I must become less."

Husband Encouragement...
♥ Tidy house. 
♥ Fresh towels.
♥ Positive attitude.

Train Them Up...
* Reading the book Going Public
* Morning devotions in the morning and a short family Bible time after dinner. (whether Kevin's home or not)
* School time with Hannah.
* Christmas thank-you's.
* AWANA verses.

Personal Goals...
- Starting the 17 Day Diet. I think?

New Habit of the Month...  {january}
*  declutter-a-day

MUST Do... 
* Christmas thank-you's
* Outfit for holiday party
* Christmas stuff put away
* Post office: tea, magazine
* MOPS- postcards, lessons for next week
* Filter through Eli's school papers from first semester. His file folder is jam packed.

Zone(s)... all-over declutter. I LOVE doing this!

Menu - trying a new diet for 2.5 wks, so for awhile it's going to be lots of chicken and turkey!

M - X
T - artichoke chicken
W -  chicken vegetable soup
Th - lemon chicken, cauliflower
F - egg white and turkey scramble 
S -  holiday party
Su - turkey tenderloin?

* back to routine
* MOPS planning meeting tomorrow
* possibly shopping on Wednesday
* play date Thursday
* holiday party Saturday night! It's sort of formal and we've never gotten to go before (Carter's due date 2 years ago and bad weather last year)
* anniversary on Sunday!!

3 things I'm thankful for today...
1. Time home with the kids. I've really enjoyed having them all home and not meeting any morning schedules!
2. Family. Wonderful time spent with them over the holidays!
3. The new year. New starts. Making life more meaningful.

Join me with YOUR weekly plans!! I don't have a linky but you can leave it in the comments! =)