Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Sunday, November 28, 2010

There's nothing quite like...

 ...the first snow of the season!

Well, it was more like a dusting, but we were still super excited to see the fluffy snowflakes spinning through
the air.  And of course these guys were flying out the door to tromp through the yard with their new boots and put together a snowball or two.
Fun memories!

Ethan and Jonah had already asked to run around the neighborhood, so I didn't get any pictures of those speed demons.

Something tells me that these two wouldn't have been nearly as ecstatic about the powdery cold stuff-
Nah, they look pretty cozy, ha!
I am seriously in love with those stripes!

This morning we still have a bit of snow left on the ground, but only in the shady spots.  Our yard looks like an oreo cookie, with the snow in the middle behind the shadow of the house, and the sides already melted.

We are off for a hike in the sunshine in a few minutes.  I love getting out on Sundays to celebrate all God's beauty around us.  Happy Sunday!

I'm linking up to this fun blog hop this week...check it out!
Graphic design by Tara
Sorry, I can't get the button to work, so just click the link!

...and this one, hosted by my friend Erika and others- these are great blogs!!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 Festivities

Our Thanksgiving day was filled with friends and family, and lots of laughter.  We have so much for which to be thankful!

Yesterday the kiddos were home from school, so we celebrated with a yummy breakfast...
 and created wonderful treasures...
Caleb was teaching us how to make bear skin drawings, just like the natives.
Ethan got an impromptu babysitting job for a neighbor, so it was just the four of us until lunch.
I love that my children are so creative!
Someone was a little upset that she couldn't get her pajama top off to the side, like big brother Warrior Jonah.
She got over it.
I was planning on taking a picture of them with all their artwork, but the day got away from me, and they gave them away to various family members today.  They did a great job!

This one lost a tooth.
Well, removed is more like it...such a bad, bad Mama.
No worries, he thanked me afterward because it had been getting sore.
Man, I never get tired of looking into those amazing blue eyes of his!
And I'm very pleased to report that the Tooth Fairy remembered to make an appearance.  And to pay up.

I baked Autumn Apple Squares early this morning while listening to an old Johnny Cash cd Bill got me from the library.  There is, nor ever will be, any other quite like Johnny Cash.  Love love love him!  Got in a full hour of writing, too, before the mayhem began.  The end is near!

We headed over to our neighbor's house for the annual Turkey Trot.  So much fun!  We were freezing, but it was so worth it!

Thanks for the picture, Adrienne! 
And for all the fun!

We came home and watched the Macy's Parade, and Bill helped me make Sweet Potato Casserole to bring to his parents for dinner.  That was it!  I had it easy this year....and it felt great!
We had a nice time visiting with family and some dear friends.

 This little purple bundle of energy isn't getting left behind!

Then we were off to my parent's house for pie.
I already informed my mother that I'd be happy to bring anything but a pie- they are the bane of my existence!  
My Mom laughs at me, and then sets out the most gorgeous, picture-perfect pies.  Show off.

With my beautiful niece, Darianna- Enjoy, Mom!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


We just got home from a rather quick trip to the grocery store.
Isabelle kept saying her "tummy ache hurts" and I know better than to push my luck during flu season.
Thankfully, we made it home unscathed.  Whew.
So...imagine my delight in noticing that the counter looks all wet as I'm about to put a bag of groceries down, then my feet are soaking wet and slipping all over the floor, the recipe I left out is unrecognizable, CD's all drowning...and I see the vase miraculously settled in the chair and the flowers scattered everywhere.
Not so adorable now.

Where to start first...
I'm having some serious issues people.
For whatever reason, this year I am having the hardest time getting myself motivated for the holidays.  I'm completely overwhelmed, spent, tired, drained.  I'm not ready, for any of it.  It's coming too quickly.  Life, in general, is going by too quickly.

I have made The Worst Lunches Ever for the boys this week.  I was just at the grocery store on Friday, but there's already nothing in the house.  Might as well have sent them in with a bag of marshmallows and a liter of Mountain Dew.  Okay, so I don't actually have those two items, but you get the idea.

Bill helped me (when I say helped, I mean fixed by himself while I was editing on my laptop) make some changes to the blog to get the spacing the way I like it.  I like it.  But I'll probably change it in a month.  Sometimes I think I change things too much.  I've tried to stop but I can't help it.  And while I'm thinking of blog stuff, I'm still ticked that my pictures don't upload the way they used to.  Grrr.

But there has also been laughter and silliness and fun things.  Things that have made me smile.
Like silly boys drinking hot cocoa, and adorable kitties, and smoochy-faced little girls.

And just a day earlier, we were enjoying a lovely picnic in the warm sunshine...
Making cupcakes to celebrate the boys' fabulous report cards!  Honestly, grades are secondary to us- we care more about them being respectful and kind and excited about learning things.  So proud of them!  Other fun stuff.

Then of course I started playing around with the settings on my camera and couldn't take any pictures I liked.  None!  I didn't give up, and finally something clicked, ha ha.

I have a feeling these pictures are not going to look the way they look as I write this once I post.  Anyhoo, can you see the difference?  I'll spare you the mountain of dark, dark pics of the forest.
It was such a beautiful cold morning- I've decided I need to get outside more in the mornings instead of being lazy and or working.
I threw that last pic in there because I love the turkey leg hanging over the edge.

Bill just called.  Car issues.  This is a very sore subject.  Long story, not for today.  But he made it safely to work, so that's good.  I hope he can make it safely home, because that would be, well, not good.

I forced myself to go to bed before midnight for the first time in almost a week.  Not a big deal for most I would imagine, but when you're up between 4:30 and 5, it makes me grumpy.  The extra sleep made me feel so much better.  I was cheerful when the boys came down for their breakfast shift.

Yesterday I began cleaning out some of the piles we relocated downstairs when we lost the storage space in the office, and I couldn't help but bring up just a couple of Christmas things.  Candles mostly.  They smell deliriously good.
I was fiddling with the settings again and was able to finally capture the look I wanted in the dark- this is great because I've got two birthdays coming up soon soon soon and I've been trying to perfect the glowing cake birthday picture!
Then I discover another flower from the bouquet Bill got me has been victimized by the cats.  Every morning there's a new casualty.
Note the two flowers in the other vase.  Is it always something, even if it's a little something? ? ?

Poor Ethan had been telling us for weeks how much he wanted a school spirit tee shirt or sweatshirt, and was going to pay for at least half, and I totally spaced it and missed the deadline.  This isn't the first thing I've missed like this recently.  Well, I felt bad enough that I lugged Isabelle over to his school after our cleaning fit and ordered him a shirt with his name on it.  He was mad at me when he left in the morning, but he was acting fine yesterday afternoon.  I didn't tell him what I did.  :)
He also needed the next level clarinet book and had been telling me that for weeks as well.  We got that too.  That's it- send your Mother of the Year Awards to me this year.

And poor Caleb has a bump or something on his big toe.  It has caused tears this week, so it can't be ignored any longer- I was wishing it away.  It hasn't gone away.
He sees the doctor this afternoon.
During my only free time this week.
Sigh.  I know I'm being selfish.

I did go shopping this weekend, which I don't particularly enjoy- I'm not a shopper.  It's part of my frustration lately- when you re-do one room, then something else comes up, and another thing, and it never ends!  I'm not good at this kind of thing, though maybe I had deluded myself into thinking I was for years.  I panic, worry about making mistakes and wasting money.  So both rooms are quasi-finished. 
Now that the new furniture is here, I cannot enjoy it because I'm so worried about the cats clawing it or the kids doing something to it.  I hate that part.  Maybe once the newness wears off a bit, I can relax more.
A little.
We needed plates badly- ours were bridal shower gifts- standard, nothing fancy or earth-shattering-, and they are missing quite a few pieces now.  I don't know how many sets I have bought this past year only to change my mind and return them in a few days.
I don't want expensive because I would cry every time something got cracked or broken.  But I don't want cheap either.  Kohl's had a sale.  They're pretty.
I like plain white.
Ha, the santa mug holding those awesome straws is making me smile.
That photo of the chocolate-y dessert we call Brownie Volcano (like a molten cake) is making me hungry.  I should share the recipe with you....another day.
Isabelle and I have to get ready to go grocery shopping since I will inevitably have to feed someone here later.

I think I'll just say a little prayer first.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Laundry Baskets & Shoe Boxes

I rarely complain about household chores (except mopping, ugh, I hate mopping!), but I especially enjoy doing the laundry.  Maybe it feeds that slightly OCD, recovering-perfectionist, clean freak heart of mine.  I love the whole process, really, everything from sorting to watching the colors go round and round in my front loader, and folding wonderful-smelling, clean laundry into the appropriate piles.

As I was happily tackling the mountains of clean clothes yesterday morning, my heart was very nearly ready to burst with gratefulness for the fact that I can provide my family with these essentials, plus many extras.  I thanked God for the simple yet profound joy of having clothes to wash and the means to do it.  I know this chore is really a luxury in disguise. 

Anyway, I got a kick out of what my bed looked like by 9 am, and I hadn't even finished with the rest of the loads....just clothing, too!  Sheets and towels are Thursday's fun!  :)

3/4 of the way done!

Here's what Isabelle Kate does while I'm folding...she dances with her babies to "Jesus songs" and then gives them train rides in the laundry baskets
...and then she bundles them up and keeps them toasty warm in my slippers...ha!
This girl lacks nothing in the imagination department!

This morning, there are more piles, but they're on the kitchen table, and they're for the shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child, and they make my heart so, so happy!  What a beautiful way to show Christ's love and compassion for those who would otherwise go without.  I know it is a very small thing on the larger scale, but I believe those little things add up, so please consider filling and donating a shoe box (or any plastic container) for a child in need around the world.  Donations are being accepted through Friday.  

Visit Samaritan's Purse for more information.

We are also getting into full swing with our Angel Tree Ministry at church. This ministry helps children whose mothers and/or fathers are imprisoned and unable to provide Christmas gifts for them. I just love picking names off the Christmas tree there and taking a special shopping trip for those children. It's something so small but so meaningful! We pray over the toys and things we give, for the recipients as well as their families.

Visit Angel Tree Ministry for more information.

Another organization close to our hearts is the Chapman's ministry Show Hope. There are many ways you can help!**click on the sidebar to visit the site**

And of course ADOPTION itself is where our hearts are at. Please consider giving a child the ultimate gift of family!

 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I heart faces- silhouettes

I heart silhouettes and that just happens to be this week's theme over at I heart faces

Lucky for me, Saturday was such a beautiful day we loaded up the van and headed over to the seacoast for an impromptu afternoon at the Atlantic, and I got to practice....I've still got lots to learn!  I think of it as one last hoorah before winter officially arrives.  It was such a fun day with my sweet, crazy, fun little family!

This picture cracks me up because the personalities of my children and husband are so evidently displayed through their body language- I love it!
I was trying so hard to capture more of the ocean in the photo, but the sun's rays weren't cooperating.  Silly sun.  This was around 3 pm.

To check out other great silhouette entries or to join in the fun, click here!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Show Us Your Life- Bathroom Edition

It's been a while since I've participated in Kelly's Korner, so if you're hopping on over from her blog, welcome!
To view other great bathrooms, click here.
My bathrooms are nothing to die for, but they serve their purpose, ha!

This is the wash room downstairs- I love the colors in this bath!
(these are incredibly difficult rooms to photograph, btw!)

this room is located in the hallway in between the garage and the kitchen, and the porch is directly across the way, so it was PERFECT for all that potty-training!

The kiddos' bath central...
the oh-so-original nautical themed bathroom...but I love the different colors, so it works

the master bath...
there is a large shower w/seat, but one day I'd love a deep soaker tub, ah....
and I'm getting over my pride issues and didn't even clean off the counter for you, so now you get a peak at all my beauty stuff  :)

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

ten on ten :: november 2010

Welcome to my second ten on ten...a little late, just like last time, sigh.
The challenge is to capture the beauty of everyday life by taking snapshots for ten consecutive hours on the 10th day of the month.

Here's to everyday life...
 aww, this was a surprise!
I went upstairs after Round Two of breakfast duty, and this is what I saw- big brother Caleb reading to Isa right after she woke up

 Isabelle bundles- she leaves groups of pals like this all over the house each morning as she sings to them and plays with them- you never know what you'll end up sitting on if you don't look first!

dancing/jumping in prep for dance class

dance class!
then off to Target for stuff- Isabelle even has a picnic lunch for the carriage ride through the store, because I guess, yeah, I am that cool!  HA

forgot to take a picture of us at Target, so you get to see the stuff in the trunk as proof...and actually this was after a "quick" trip to the car place to get my registration sticker put on after getting my horn fixed (that sounded funny) Isabelle Kate had a picnic outside at a very nice patio table near the dealer's office area, and it was such a gorgeous autumn day!

 beautiful day for a long walk, something I haven't been doing much of lately

met these two cuties at the bus stop
I think their hair is looking a bit shabby, but I promised them they could grow it out like the boys in Big Time Rush- I might be regretting that promise soon!

Isabelle and I enjoyed the Jonah, Caleb, and friend Liam skate show

 hmm, maybe if I stare at it long enough, something will jump out at me and ask to be dinner
the potatoes are already boiling for potato salad, so I'm thinking steak

 Ahh, three out of five done!

Now it's time for dinner (thank you Bill), which is good, because I'm starving!!

Peace out...after dinner Ethan and I are headed to Youth Group for some serious fun and fellowship!
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