Quick Visit...

6:20 PM

Nana Judy, Great Grandma Hilda, Great Uncle Allen and Great Aunt Janet stopped by yesterday! Livie was smitten with Aunt Jan!

Winnie LOVED her, too!

I didn't have the heart to scold Janet for jumping on the trampoline, when only little kiddos are supposed to!

Look how much fun they had.... :)


12:25 PM

My little peanut graduated from Speech on Wednesday!

She has been receiving speech services since she was 2.

With the exit tests she had to complete, she scored very well, and only has 2 sounds (r and sh) that she still needs to learn :)

We are grateful to her speech teacher from this year, Jennifer, and her speech teacher from the last 2 years, Rachel!

and her "old teacher" Megan.

Crazy to remember that we once were testing to see if she had hearing loss, and beginning the road to getting her talking!

We are so proud of you Liv! Way to go!

oops...forgot to add...

12:17 PM

I found some more pictures on my phone from our Big Town weekend!

We stopped off at Barnes and Noble, and Olivia was so funny. The second we walked in the doors, she booked it to the Children's area. Not for the books, but straight for the stage! HA! Here she is dropping a book about Tim Tebow that she was reading to us :)

We also ate at the WONDERFUL Mr. Goodcents! Anyone who lives in or around Big Town NEEDS to go there! SO much better than any other sub joint around!
At the mall, there was this Santa looking guy who was giving train rides around an area of the mall. The girls had such a fun time!
Winnie is on day 22 of her heat. Seriously....enough is enough already....
These beauties arrived this morning for me! For the past 2 weeks I have been "working out". It is beginning slowly, but I am sticking with it. Trying to eat better, and going to do the 30 Day Shred and Couch 2 5K (maybe) :)

Weekend trip to SF!

8:55 AM

Our family just returned yesterday from a 2 day FUN weekend to BIG Town :) A couple from our church gifted a night at a hotel with a water park, and we were finally able to go enjoy it!

We woke up and headed out super early on Sunday morning, to make it to church! We attended a church that Daddy preached at when it was a new "sister" church plant when we lived in Big Town. It was great to see some familiar faces, and also a former preschool student of mine (who will be 15 this year!!!).

After church, we went to Red Lobster and stuffed ourselves to the brim! Next was a little mall shopping, some Target, Barnes and Noble, and some driving around to show the girls where we used to live!

Avery had some money to spend, and of course...she bought books!

This is the children's hospital in Big Town. Couldn't believe how beautiful it is! This was a block of houses when we lived here!

Next, on to Falls Park!

A nice lady taking a boys senior pictures took a few pics of our family!

After Falls Park, it was finally time to check in to our hotel! The girls were SOOOO excited! We swam and played for close to 2 hours.

There was a super fast slide at the water park, and Avery was brave enough to go down it with a floatie on. Olivia went down as well, but only on Mommy's lap, or Avery's!

After taking the following picture, some ladies sitting nearby made the comment "Oh, you're going to have your hands full with that one".... :) Yes, Livie is our spicy little girl!

Don't you love their suits? I got these 50's inspired suits on clearance at Land's End last year! Love them! More modest, and we like that!

The girls (and mommy) loved the hot tubs!

We then went out for some supper, and some more driving around Big Town. It's amazing how in 8 years a town can change! We ended up having supper at Mr. Goodcents, which was a favorite of ours when we lived there! YUM YUM!

Then, back to the hotel for another hour of swimming! :)

The next morning, we swam some more, and then headed on out for some shopping and lunch. We were lucky enough that Nana Dianne came out to our house a few days earlier, and volunteered to stay with Winnie while we were gone (by the way...on day 17 of her heat...grrr).

A very nice fun filled family trip!

Learning to READ!

12:11 AM

Olivia has been working on reading, and she has been doing a pretty great job! :)

See for yourself :)

It's pretty darn exciting! Avery learned how to read 1 1/2 months before she turned 5 (see here), and Liv is now learning 1 week before she turns 5 1/2! She'll have such a great start to Kindergarten in the fall! :)

Yeah Livie! SOOOOO proud of you! Keep it up!

ADDED: I found the video of Avery beginning to read! :) So cute!


8:40 PM

miscarriages, that is....


3 in our church family, us included....

1 more in our family...

a young couple from our church, who found out they were pregnant right at the same time we did, lost their baby during the night last night....

4 miscarriages, within 2 months...

Do I wonder why? yes...a lot

Do I trust in Him? Completely, totally...

still doesn't mean it doesn't hurt like heck....

Curly Sue :)

8:19 PM

I have been asking Liv to curl her hair...just for fun! She and Avery are in Uncle Josh's wedding this summer, and I wanted to see what would happen with her hair, and a curling iron.

Folks, her hair is sooo hard to curl, braid, anything really. I think it's called "fine".


She let me tonight. It took about 15 minutes, and we got some curl! She kept going to the bathroom to look in the mirror at herself after each layer I did. She would say "I look beautiful!" :)

Here she is...and no, I didn't do any editing with those big blue eyes!

And, I did a blog recently for a cookie lady. (CookieCrazie). She wanted to send me a "little something". Well, she sent us some amazing cookies! They were so good, and so beautiful! I felt guilty eating them! Hubby didn't though :)

Your Children Want YOU!

11:15 PM

This blog entry is going "viral" right now, and it is so true. I know of folks who want to have the cleanest house, with the nicest clothes, with the most thoughtful parties, and the cutest this, and that....and it somehow makes them a "good parent". This post below, is what's really important...

may I do better at unplugging from my work/computer stuff, and plugging more into my family...

Hope you enjoy the read. It can be found here

There’s this crazy phenomenon going on right now.
Good, devoted mothers get on Pinterest . . . and blogs . . . and Facebook . . . and Twitter . . .
and then they flip through parenting magazines and TV channels (full of advertisements and media hype) . . .
and they’re convinced they’re not enough.

They’re convinced that everyone else has magnetic, alphabetized spice containers,

and unless their garden parties are thematically accessorized with butterfly lanterns,

and they’re wearing the latest fashions (in a size two, of course), there’s no point in even showing up for the day.

Last Saturday, this happened to me.

I came home from a lovely day out with my extended family and had serious intentions to spend the evening dyeing Easter eggs and making bunny buns.

By the time I got everyone settled and fed, however, I was so tired that I just laid on the couch and dozed while my children played and got themselves to bed.

Around 8:30, when I finally had the energy to sit up, I decided to try out Pinterest for a few minutes until my husband got home. There it was–1,000 reasons why I’m failing at all things domestic.

I don’t make grilled cheese sandwiches look like ice cream.

I don’t even have seasonal throw pillows on my couches or live plants anywhere in the house.

Is it really so hard? Can’t I pull myself together and wrap some candles in green foliage and bring happiness to our decor with bright fabrics and hand-crafted photo frames?

As I was trying to calm my frenzied state of mind, my husband came home and held me tight. We talked about our day, and he told me how much he loves me and that he wants our boys to marry someone like me. I fell asleep snuggled under his arm.

The following morning, our children enthusiastically bounded into our bedroom and tucked themselves into our covers. My four-year-old gave me an arm massage, and we all sat there together–joking, laughing, planning the day ahead, and enjoying that special feeling of family. Reflecting on the discouragement I’d felt the night before, I realized that my family doesn’t care about what I see on Pinterest. They care about me.

My daughter Grace loves me to sing “Baby Mine” to her each night before bed. When I go to our Power of Moms Retreats, she misses that special ritual. We have recordings of Michael Crawford and Allison Krauss singing their versions, but Grace doesn’t want those. She wants me. So I recorded myself singing “Baby Mine” and emailed the audio file to her and to my husband so Grace can hear “her song” before she sleeps. As far as she’s concerned, my untrained voice belongs at the top of the charts.

My daughter Grace is my “snuggliest” child.
Back tickles and “Baby Mine” each night are how I show that I love her.
A few months ago, I was practicing sideways dutch braids on my two daughters. They had found these great “how-to” videos online, and we set up our comb, brush, and hair bands in front of the computer so I could become an expert.

Half-way through the braid, my fingers got all tangled up, the hair was too loose, and one of my daughters had been sitting with her head to the side for several minutes.

Feeling extremely frustrated, I said, “That little girl in the video is so lucky to have a mom who knows how to do hair.”

My daughter stopped me in my tracks when she responded, “But I have a mom who is trying.”

My mom is in her 70s, and her memory is starting to go. Her sweetness and love are as strong as ever, but when we talk on the phone, she can’t remember the last time we spoke or the last time we saw each other.

At the end of one phone call a few weeks ago, I whispered, “I miss you, Mom.”

She said, “Oh, I miss you, too! But we’ll get together soon. You can come down to the park, and we’ll get an ice cream cone at McDonald’s.”

I replied, “Yes, that will be fun.” But then the tears started, and I had to use every ounce of control to keep my voice even so she wouldn’t know I was crying.

What I really meant was, “I miss being able to talk to you, Mom. I miss laying on the grass while my children make a hopscotch and savoring our long phone conversations. I miss you remembering all those secrets I used to tell you. I miss you asking me if I’m okay. I miss seeing you read books and hearing you sing while you do the dishes and having you drive out to my house without getting lost. I miss you remembering how much I need you.”

My mother didn’t specialize in home decor or gourmet cooking, and she didn’t lift weights or run marathons. But she makes me feel like I am the most important, wonderful person ever born. If I could pick any mother in the whole world, it would be my mom.

There’s something deeper going on in family life than can ever be expressed on a social network. Whatever it is we feel we are lacking, can we collectively decide–as deliberate mothers–that we are not going to sit around feeling discouraged about all the things we’re not?

Can we remind each other that it is our uniqueness and love that our children long for? It is our voices. Our smiles. Our jiggly tummies. Of course we want to learn, improve, exercise, cook better, make our homes lovelier, and provide beautiful experiences for our children, but at the end of the day, our children don’t want a discouraged, stressed-out mom who is wishing she were someone else.

If you ever find yourself looking in the mirror at a woman who feels badly that she hasn’t yet made flower-shaped soap,

please offer her this helpful reminder: “Your children want you!”

QUESTION: How do you keep the right perspective on your importance to your family–in the midst of so many ideas and temptations to compare yourself with others?

CHALLENGE: Recognize any tendencies you might have to get wrapped up in discouragement, and set up a regular way to remind yourself that your children want you.

Busy day!

4:24 PM

Whew....today has been something! I'm not usually this busy!

I picked Olivia up from preschool today, and then on to Speech.
Her speech teacher thinks she is able to be "tested out" of speech, so today was the day!

During her testing, I was able to talk to the Principal at that school, where Avery will be attending next year. He was so accomidating, and gave me a tour of the building, lunch room, talked to numerous staff, etc. We were able to request the teacher team that would be the best fit, and also a particular teacher as well. Even got to meet her "team!" So thankful for that...we will be meeting with this core team before the end of the school year with our current teacher (who suggested she comes over with us to meet! so nice!). Whew...good news...

Then, back home quick, then back to speech for more testing for Olivia. The teacher said that a lot of the items she tested her for, she tested around a 7 year old.

Some of the funny things she said:
Teacher: "Olivia, if you were to need your Grandparent's address, where would you look it up?"
Olivia: "Facebook!"

Teacher: "What is something that you can't do now, but you can do as a grown up?"
Olivia: "Say bad words!"

Such a funny girl! The testing took 2 hours!

THEN, I took Liv to the dr for her scratcy, itchy skin.
Got some cream stuff that will hopefully help!

So, we're at home for a bit now, and then onto church for the night! I'm already tired!


4:44 PM

just a girl and her (in heat) puppy....

Daddy's 1st day of sabbatical...he made cedar plank salmon and steak on the grill...
and I tried my hand at the Red Lobster cheddar biscuits!
Great first day to his sabbatical!


I made the mistake of signing up for those "pregnancy week by week" emails.

I had to click on it last night, just to see what would have been.....

and, what hopefully will be for us again someday....


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