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

Monday, July 30, 2012

All Under One Roof Again

I couldn't wait to get to camp to pick up Ethan and Jonah on Saturday morning! I missed having them in their beds down the hall each night, at the table (or counter) for breakfast each morning, beside me on the couch when we watched a movie on a rainy afternoon, but...
they had an AWESOME time!
They were challenged, encouraged, instructed and engaged in many spiritual ways, and we are so, so proud of both of them!

 It felt SO good to wrap my arms around these guys again!

I just have to post this picture of Ethan as a newborn. I can hardly believe it was taken almost 13 years ago!
 13 years!!!!!!!
One week from today, I will have a teenager on my hands!
How did this happen?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Beat the Heat With a {FROZEN} T-Shirt Contest

While I was stuck at the orthodontist's office last week waiting for Jonah, I noticed an article in Family Fun magazine that looked like, well, fun. Oh, and don't feel too bad for me. The office is nice and cool, there is a Keurig with my name written all over it, and an old video game set up for the other kids. Not the worst place to pass an hour or so on a sticky hot summer day. Anyhoo. The article gave me the idea for...
a family frozen T-shirt competition!!!
No no no, not that kind of t-shirt competition!  ;)
It's just good ol' fun for the whole family!

It was about 93 degrees that particular day, with humidity so thick it punches you in the face the moment you step outside. I asked each child to get me a t-shirt (not from the hamper, eww!), and I drenched them in the kitchen sink.

Next, wring them out a bit, fold up a few times, then layer them individually on waxed paper. I put my t-shirt pile in a grocery bag and popped it in the freezer to set all afternoon. Of course Bill would want to participate, wink wink, so I prepped his shirt with a sly chuckle.

The more you fold before you freeze, the harder {and more hilarious} it will be to pull apart!
The object of the game sounded so simple to all my naive, adorable children: unfold your shirt, put it on, and strut your stuff..and the first one WINS! Funny how the element of competition always gets 'em raring to go!

But it wasn't quite that simple after all.

In fact, it was really rather difficult to pry those frozen layers apart!

But persevered they did!

Chills and all.  :)

This was a terrific way to cool off and enjoy a laugh or two!
So what are you waiting for? Go freeze some t-shirts!  =)

linking up here & here for more summer fun!

Oh, I almost forgot...
Summer is a great time for shopping Shabby Apple!
Click on one of the Shabby links on my sidebar and check out the deals!
20% Off Plus Free Shipping Site Wide?

You're welcome!  ;)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Off to Camp!

This week feels strange already. Not bad, just...different. Yesterday Ethan and Jonah left for camp, and I'm really noticing how quiet things are this morning. I admit, I was worried about Jonah, wondering if he likes the boys in his cabin, how he slept, if he'd be able to sleep because of nerves- all that stuff. That made it difficult for me to get to sleep; plus it was so sticky hot all through the night, so I mostly I just laid there, thinking. At least I also got some cute toddler dress designs swirling around in my head at one point, so that calmed me down a little bit.  :)

We will continue to pray for them both, and I'm sure they are having a blast!

I have to chuckle at this picture...
...and this one...

Isabelle is such a sweet, loving, beautiful little girl- inside and out- but lately.... 
Well. Bring ear plugs, I suppose.
I'm sure it's a phase. But let's move it along, shall we?

And now I've got an injured Caleb- his wrist of course- about an hour before tennis camp begins. We'll see what happens.

I still can't believe I have only my youngest two this whole week! I've got some fun things planned for my little mini-family- I'll share later.

Oh, yes, I have pictures again. How 'bout that? 
It seems deleting tons and tons of pictures from the Picasa album wasn't the brightest idea I'd ever had. Now I have several posts with black squares where my precious photos used to be. I'll deal with that later. I did buy the storage for $2.49 per month, but I'm going to try to resize the pics in the album, which will solve the problem anyway. But not today! Today we're doing fun stuff!  =)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Little Changes, Big Changes...

Blogger is being a hater this week. Ugh. So no pictures for today, or until I figure out if I'm going to now pay 2.49 per month for storage. I don't like it.

The humidity has finally broken this morning after a week of unbearable sticky heat. It feels SO good! I know other parts of the country are really suffering, but after our bedrooms reaching 85 degrees each night, and not sleeping any of those nights, nerves are slightly askew about now. I had to apologize to both Caleb and Isabelle this morning for being unkind and yelling at them last night. We all make mistakes. I wanted to right my mistake.

Earlier this week I met some friends at the lake and we had the most wonderful day! Then Bill and I were settling into Season 5 from FNL (Friday Night Lights) when my stomach got all wonky. As in, toss your cookies wonky. No fun! For the next hour, I ran back and forth to the bathroom, doubled over in pain. I'm sure Tami Taylor would've told me "to hang in there, y'all!" or some other perfect words of wisdom. This was doubly tragic since this was the second attempt at watching this particular episode- I'd fallen asleep halfway through it the first time, ha! Well, I'm happy to report that last night we made it through and even got to the next one.
Bill and I have gotten into the habit of saying "words" with a snicker when we think a scene break is going to be the end of the episode. I think it started when we watched the first season, and the shows were so good, I'd yell at the TV when the "words" appeared. "No words, no words!" I never wanted the show to end! I guess it kind of stuck.
Words.  =)
I have been without my van for over two weeks now. Bill's parents have been so generous to let us borrow their truck (for Bill) so I can use Bill's car, so we can actually leave the house. Yay for leaving the house! Three in the back are squished to say the least, but I am so proud of them for not complaining {too much} about it. We need a new van, but we had not planned on needing to buy another van just yet, so it's been very stressful.

The biggest change by far has been finding a new church. We had been feeling led to look for another place to worship for quite some time, but we kept resisting. It's one thing to visit churches without children, but with's not something we take lightly. We are SO thankful to have found a place that feels so right for us. It's more conservative, but there is such a genuine love for God and people, and there are so many wonderful activities for kids! That's something we'd been missing out on at our church. I'll be honest, it kills me that I'd been at our first church my whole entire life, and nobody even notices I've gone. Or that the kids have gone. Breaks my heart.
But we are excited about where God has brought us and we have a special fondness for the people there we've just begun to get to know. 

The big guys will be away at camp next week, so it will be just me and the youngies. Looking forward to some special activities with them, but boy will I miss Jonah and Ethan!

I think I'm about to embark on some sort of personal metamorphosis. Random, huh? I don't know exactly what, but something needs to change; or rather, some things need to change. I want to be...better.

Okay, for now better entails making my way to the grocery store because we are out of nearly everything!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Confession Time on Friday the 13th

I had no idea it was Friday the 13th until my friends started posting about it on Facebook this morning. Well how 'bout that? 
Caleb and Isabelle Kate are off at VBS this week and have had a wonderful time, so it's been the oldest two here with me. It is so, SO different when a kid or two is out of the picture! The dynamics completely change!
I'm up to my elbows in piles of fabric for Etsy orders, which I suppose is a really great problem to have. But my house looks like a perpetual disaster area! I just can't keep on top of it! And with all the summer fun stuff to do...yikes!
There is one little something I'm totally excited about ~ my Dad is taking all three boys up to Maine to our cabin for the whole weekend! In about an hour! I even tried to talk him out of it, thinking ahead to the mayhem that surely awaits, but he wasn't deterred in the least. Brave man!
And...I arranged for Isabelle to have a sleep over with my in-laws, so we are FREE! Free for the whole afternoon, evening, and tomorrow morning! I'm so tickled I can hardly stand it! If I want to blast music at midnight, for no other reason than I just want to, then I'm going to do it! Shoot, I could even vacuum the whole upstairs and nobody would care in the least! No, I'm thinking I probably won't be doing those things. But I could
Whoa, the bliss in that kind of freedom is unlike any other!

For now, though, this is where I'm at. Just keepin' it real.  =)

I just learned how to draw arrows and stuff, and I think I'm in love...
Oh nice and neat house, I sure do miss you! Maybe we'll meet again!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Jonah's Star-Spangled Fruit Tart

July 4th came and went so fast this year! I blinked and the whole day was over!
Honestly, it was a bit of a challenging day...we were literally on our way out to the festivities when the van screeched and then would. not. move.
My Mom and Dad came over to celebrate with us, so that was nice, but then the dark clouds rolled in and within 10 minutes the whole sky opened up. It poured all night long! No fireworks, boo!
I think I want a July 4th Do-Over. Maybe this weekend.  :)

One of the highlights was this fabulous pie- or rather, tart- that Jonah made for us. I'd been pinning tons of patriotic desserts and such, and this was the one he decided on. Super easy and so good! He was very proud {as in, still talking about it, ha}, and I was too.
Didn't he do a great job!?!

Caleb had his heart set on making a red, white and blue swirl Bundt cake, but I think I just ran out of steam that day, so I promised we'd make it this weekend. When I get that do-over. And a cute family photo of us all decked out in our patriotic duds.

I'm throwing in these pictures too...Isabelle has been obsessed with brushing the cats lately, and I thought this looked so cute. 

Oh that beautiful girl!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I Heart Faces "Enjoying Life"

Photo Challenge Submission

You know how some pictures just stick with you? You catch a glimpse of a certain photo and it instantly catapults you back to that very moment, and you remember it with such clarity...the heavy, luscious scent of magenta petunias, the tangy taste of lime tortilla chips on my lips, that familiar sunshiny sting on the top of my shoulders because I'd been outside too long. Beautiful summer.
I chuckle. This memory also includes a brother in a time-out on the edge of the pool, a fearless sister canon-balling into the deep end {sans her vest or tube, and permission, of course}, another brother demanding I "Look at this!" and "Watch this one!"
And then, this guy.
Enjoying Life.
You'd never guess what was going on all around him. Makes me smile every time I look at it.  =)
I love this picture!
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