Friday, May 30, 2014

For beauty's sake

Sometimes when your husband comes home, you smooch him a good one while you fly out the door with your camera and he understands completely. 

I pass by these beauties going into town and was waiting for the right time of evening to capture them. 

I'm thankful for a world of green, yellow and crimson. Thankful that although there are goat heads and thorns, growing right up through them all is such a gorgeous sight to behold. 

The world may be going mad but at least nature knows how to get it's worship on. :) Bloom for Jesus you beautiful flowers you! 

Things learned in May

1. You have to be very careful when transplanting tomatoes. Their roots are super sensitive. Broccoli and cabbage need to go in earlier than the middle of May. It's getting hot and they don't fair so well in the heat. Potatoes are easy to grow. We do live in Idaho. 

Oh, please survive. I want to eat your fruit so bad!

2. Kids love to do it (whatever *it* may be) themselves if at all possible. Don't step on their toes. Let them fail and learn from it. But sometimes even when they know how, they love Mom to do it for them. Like making breakfast. One day they are all empowered on knowing how to make their own food and the next morning they are wanting to sit on the couch and have their mama serve them. It's all good. 

3. Yerbe Mate Chocolatte doesn't make great ICED tea. Keep that one HOT. 

4. Archimedes was born in Syracuse and Paul the Apostle traveled through Syracuse during his missionary travels. Random books coming together. I love when that happens! Archimedes and the Door of Science and the book of Acts from the Bible. 

5. There is a tender and important balance between taking photos to remember an experience and just letting it be experienced for the goodness of what it is and not having any hard evidence that it happened. I have not mastered this but am attempting to find that balance and enjoy the moments for what they are without having to run and get the camera. 

Chatting at the Sky has a link up. I read Emily's book, Million Little Ways early this year and found it very inspiring. Her blog is just the same. 

What have you learned in May? 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

20 ish

I have fallen behind on the weekly photos. I knew it would happen. 

All I can say is that the last couple of weeks have been fantastic. 

Adventure and relaxation. 

Busyness mixed with pure laziness. 

Sick days mingled with healthy ones. 

I have almost no pictures to show for it all. 

But I shall share a short story with you:

It was early in the morning and we knew it would be a nice, warm day. Micheal officially had the ENTIRE day off and we didn't know what to do with ourselves. 

Just about that time our daughter woke up and immediately mentioned she would like to go to the south hills. 

Sounded good to us! 

So off we went with just enough snacks and water to last the afternoon. 

As we parked the truck and jumped out the sun was shining bright and we could feel the heat on our winterized skin. It was lovely. I grabbed the camera and soon realized there was not a memory card in it. First inclination was disappointment, but shortly after, it felt a bit freeing. 

So we started a short hike down the first ledge of ground only to find that the usual spot to cross the river was not crossable. When Micheal and the kids had come in the winter the river was very shallow and easy to cross. 

I was ready to head to a different spot as I was NOT prepared- in my mind- to cross a waist deep river. 

The family was feeling a bit more adventurous. I wanted to pout. This getting wet part was not something I wanted to do. 

We walked along the river looking for a narrower way to pass, all the while hacking through brush and swatting away some bugs. The kids were in heaven. I was waiting to get there. 

With the rest of the family so determined, we found a smaller river pass and decided to try it. Micheal went first and was up to his thigh. He threw the bag to the shore and called for Liam as he came back across. I was like, "WHAAAAA???" 

He brought Liam across and since the logical thing would be not to leave him there by himself, sweet, adventurous husband of mine suggested I go now to hold Liam while he helped the others get across. 

Hmmm. Not what I had planned on. Here it goes. Up to my upper thigh of very cold water and the whining..... stopped. It was quite fun actually! 

I joined my family with their smiles and we all made it across and the rest of the day was spent tromping through the woods, spotting deer, making forts and dams, throwing sticks and dirt clods into the water, and taking naps. 

As the sun was started to descend we hiked back to the truck and journeyed home. 

It was a lovely day. 

That is the "picture" in my head and treasured in my heart from that fun family adventure. 

I can only hope to have many more as the summer flies by. 

Do you have someone in your life that gently pushes you to get out of your comfort zone? 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Not to be put in a box

Years ago, I told myself I was not creative. Art wasn't my thing, not in my mind nor in my gifted abilities. 

But since those days of high school, I have changed. True, I still can't paint a masterpiece and I haven't tried, but I find the idea of me not being creative to be untrue. And that goes for everyone, in my opinion. 

 I have never been the best basketball player or photographer, cook or writer, and the list could go on and on. But I still try and that is the sweetness of life. We get to try and then try again. We get to fail and either decide we didn't like it anyhow, or be determined that we would master it. 

Random thought. I was worshipping at church on Sunday and a girl was playing the hand drum. I'm not sure why, maybe because she was so confident (not cocky) in the way she quietly walked up there and joined in the celebration and act of worship to God, but her playing really moved me.  I have never claimed music as something I was good at or wanted to pursue, really pursue. There are times that I have learned a song or fiddled with strings or keys, but not really ever taken the time to master it, or even become skilled in any way. 

The way she played though, made me think upon the freedom of being.  We are all created and in turn get to create. We are not bound by what so and so said about us when we were eleven. Or maybe more accurately what we said about ourselves. We are free to open the box and do a new thing! It doesn't have to be his or her thing anymore, but can become something that makes up our own life. My thing. Our thing. 

So we try new things. 

I started a garden this year, and some plants have survived my lack of care and knowledge and some have not. The fun thing about it is that I tried and have found a new thing in my box. If the kids don't end up getting to eat broccoli picked straight off the plant this year, then maybe next Summer will be our moment of triumph! If I don't accomplish the photography goal I set this year, then it could happen next year or the year or years after. Stay positive and keep moving forward! 

Don't put yourself or anyone in a box. It isn't good for anyone. Our boxes enlarge and shape shift as we get older and all of a sudden you may find yourself a different person. Let others grow with their box too. How about this? How about we throw those boxes away? 

My God has asked me to dance with Him, and this is part of learning the steps; freedom in Christ. Is there a twirl coming up or a tight embrace? Whatever the move is, I stay close to Jesus and let Him lead and step by step, from slow dance to the jitterbug, this life will be lived and enjoyed and held in gratitude. I will praise God for the wonderful and personal dance He shared with me and exalt Him for His ability to dance with us all. 

You can't stop these dancing feet! 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

For the love of words

I keep seeing book lists for the summer.  I don't have the slightest idea what I will be reading a month from now, as I am more of a free spirit, live by the moment kind of gal, but these are the hopefuls to finish by the end of June.

A bit random. Ministry of Motherhood I have read before. I am into Paradise Lost by just 2 chapters. Messenger is in The Giver series, and an easy and quick read. I have started A Tale of Two Cities about 3 times and have never gotten into it. I am hoping it will be different this time. The Light Between Oceans has to do with water and a baby lost and wanted and will probably make me cry. 

Happy reading! 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Oh, my dear son

Today my third son, LIAM VIRGIL is 18 months. We longed for another child and by God, we have him! 

He is wild and boisterous! He is sweet and funny! He loves shoes, hats and cars. He does not love sleep, most food, or when I tell him no. He has found the fight in him and now we are learning how to guide and direct it. Whew. He wears me out and I think both Micheal and I are on the same page about him being our "baby". 

He adores his sister and looks up to his brothers and they feel the same love toward him. 

He loves the book Goodnight Moon and also books about animals. Virgil means strength and I can safely say that this boy is strong in the physical sense and also in his mind, meaning strong willed.  We pray he has a strong love for Jesus in the years to come. 

At this time of year, most are celebrating their 18 year olds. It is a great time of accomplishment and excitement for what is to come. We aren't there yet and for now we enjoy what we have in these little ones and hope that the time coming for them to spread their wings will be celebrated with what we have come from and for what the future holds. God only knows at this point! 

 One moment you are running circles around me and getting into everything and the next you are falling asleep in my arms. 
I love you son. 

Some words the little mister can say:

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


This last week has been a full one with lots of gathering together with family and friends which naturally means an abundance of food and fellowship. Gotta love all those "F" words! 

We had the joy of having some friends over on Sunday for lunch. All these children together bless me! Raising up a generation of Jesus lovers and super heroes! See all those BOYS!! 

I took some family photos for a sweet friend and as much as I wanted to bless their family, they ended up blessing my family far more. How did that happen? They're amazing, that's how. 

The kids and I went to Boise for a couple days to meet up with my cousin who I haven't seen in 9 years. It was such a sweet 2 hours! 

There were a couple tears, happy ones of course and mostly smiles and laughter as we caught up with how life has been since high school.  Can't wait to see him again and hoping and praying it isn't 9 more years. Love you cousin! 

On the way up to Boise our van overheated and we found out it needed a new water pump. I called my brother in law and as I pulled into Boise, by the grace of God, I dropped off the van to have his friend fix it for us. Seriously cool guy! No picture of him though. ;) 

My brother in law gave me his car to drive for the day. "What's mine is yours," he says. Seriously blown away by the thoughtfulness and generosity of others. 

Then there's Gma and Auntie and cousin. They made it out to the zoo with us and made it far more fun than what it would have been with just the kids and I. Plus they fed us! Food and fellowship equals love right? 

And we will end this post with colorful pictures because that is how this week has been! Life is beautiful and crazy and sometimes both at the same time. 
It's been a colorful week with lots of beautiful and lovely people who blessed me and encouraged my family in one way or another, whether they were intentionally trying to or not. This week was full and blessed and I am a thankful lady. 

"Count your blessings, name them one by one. 
Count your blessings, see what God has done....." 

Thanks to you all for your love to my family. We love you back a million times and we "count" you as one of our many blessings! 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
                                                    - Khalil Gibran

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mama roar!

I have dinner in the oven and the husband is almost home so I have literally 2.4 minutes to write this......

Today we were at the park and some older(ish) kids were making fun of August. He has had to stand up for himself a lot more now that his hair is longer and I am fine with that, but today I stood up for him. It wasn't ugly but I basically just called the kid out and said that she wasn't being nice and she knew it. I probably could have used the moment to teach her a better lesson of "let's be nice" but I didn't. I will next time. I hope.

Mama instinct came in full force and I did what I had to to stand up for my son. 

I dream of a world where we are all loved so deeply and fully that we are secure in who we are and how we fit into this big ol' world. I dream that children would not even think to put others down for being different than them, but would have the conversation skills and love in their hearts to maybe start a conversation about why the person does what he or she does. 

May we as adults lead them in this! Please! May we lay down our pride and insecurities and engage with others with love and respect. 

Lord, start with me. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014


Time warp? Where did week 17 go? 

1. Daughter exploring. We went on a hike with some friends on a gorgeous Spring day. It was lovely. And hot. 

2. His hair grows so fast. I cut it again this week. He jumps from one thing to the next so quickly I hardly have time to grab my camera so I actually asked to take a photo of him, in the glaring sun. :)

3. Oobleck! Need I say more? 

4. Waving bye. Little brother is talking more and more. 

Another great week! Thank you Lord. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

All means all

The Lord looks from heaven;
He sees all the sons of men.
From the place of His dwelling He looks
On all the inhabitants of the earth;
He fashions their hearts individually;
He considers all their works. 

Meditating on these verses this weekend. Mainly the words "all" and how they apply to what is said. And the fact that He sees, considers and fashions individually. He is so Mighty!

Dome living

Packed up the truck and headed out early Tuesday afternoon to "camp out". As much work as it is, well, it is still worth it to get away, even if it's just for the night. 

Micheal's Dad always says, "Makin' Memories!" I hope our children remember these times. Micheal works so hard and we long for a season, hopefully soon, when that will change. Not so much not working hard, but not as many hours a day. I treasure the times when we can get away and spend uninterrupted time together. Doesn't happen a lot but that makes it more sweet when it does.

A tradition of getting bottled ginger ale or root beer when we go camping. We don't allow soda pretty much any other time so the kids look forward to it!

All good things are wild and free. 

I love the picture of Micheal squeezing that clip. The kids were so impressed! They couldn't do it! But maybe more impressive was that MOM could do it! 

The cutest thing ever! Liam opened the door for big brother and made him get in! 

And it wouldn't be complete without some hot springs swimming. Not so much swimming on our part as sitting and relaxing. ;)  The kids are getting to be better swimmers which turns our stress level down quite a bit. Things are starting to get easier again, as Liam is getting older. We joke that it's time to have another baby, but we are feeling very good with where we are at size wise. 

A family with 7 children came and we felt small!! Ha! 

At one point, Micheal and I were quietly watching the kids run around exploring and we just looked at each other and smiled. We feel so blessed with our family and the love and fun we share.