Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ruby Shenanigans.

This girl of mine.  She has brought outrageous amounts of joy and very rarely fusses or cries.  She is so funny and does not miss a thing.  But, she is our child who climbs, loves danger, and lives a little on the wild side.  Every family needs one, or so I hear.

She climbs up onto the counter via the stools.  The stool falls over?  No worries.  Just makes her life more interesting...

Stinkin' cute...

Will not sit still for a picture to save her life...

No step stool?  This tractor will work just fine.  It rolled away, she went with it, and laughed.

She is so very 18 months old.  She is curious, inquisitive, testing her limits and my patience, and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

gifts continued...

36. Going to bed at 8:30 last night.
37. Winter.  I love it.
38. A workout with my great friend to start the day.
39. A morning of chatter with a group of ladies.
40. Seeing my two middles giggle together at the table in a room of many.
41. A nap.
42. Life.  It is so fragile and such a gift.  I'm very simply thankful to be alive.
43. Christmas shopping.  It is so fun to give.
44. Ruby mimicking my every move, to the point of rolling laughter.
45. Worship music that fills my home, and little feet that dance to it.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fall funk.

This fall found me in a funk.  It was a funk I didn't care for one bit.  I could never pinpoint it, but I didn't like who I was in it, and I definitely didn't like how it made me feel.  While it wasn't a certain feeling or instance that got me there, I think it was a combination of things.  The culmination was my loneliness at the end of harvest season.  The icing on the cake was a husband discouraged with his crops, and though we have so much to be thankful for, we were just down in the dumps.

By Saturday, I was downright crabby.  Dallas was running ragged.  He had worked until 11:00 Friday night, then up at 5:00 the next morning for a church pheasant hunt, then straight back to the field.  I was hearing about everyone else doing fun things, enjoying the last of the fall weather, and I was jealous, irritated, emotional, and a big ol' grumps.

I am so thankful that it is very rare for me to get into this kind of mood.  God created me with a joyful spirit.  Pair that with positivity as one of my top five strengths, and life is pretty good.

After having a momentary meltdown Saturday afternoon, I got the kids and I ready, and we took off for church.  We were early, so were just driving, and came upon this beautiful sunset...

And this song was playing:

We pulled onto the side of the road and the kids and I just thanked God, right then and there, for His majesty.  They were just as amazed as I was with the colors and beauty of it all, and we talked about how the God of the universe who can paint such a beautiful picture in the sky, does the same beautiful things everyday in our lives.

At church, as I held my communion, I cried and cried.  Here I am, remembering Jesus Christ's body and blood shed for me.  Who am I to feel sorry for my pitiful little self, that really has very little to pity about?  Perspective shift.

That night when I got home, I picked up my book 10,000 Gifts again.  There is so much all around me.  When my head is down, it's hard to see.  So, pick myself up, and look around.  Blessings abound.


This morning in MOPS, Mom gave encouragement about the fruit of the Spirit: JOY.  We were all invited to write a "joy," or "gifts," list.  I decided I'm not going to stop with this list, but rather keep them going...


1. My salvation.  Even if nothing else made the list, this is enough.
2. The beautiful sunset that lifted my head from my valley.
3. My best friend and husband who I would choose over and over and over again.
4. My babies.  Even when they cry or say, "Mommy" 100x a day, praise God they have a voice.
5. Parents who love each other.
6. Sisters.
7. Food, and not only food, but so many choices.
8. Puzzles.
9. Hot cocoa.
10. My freedom and those who fought and are fighting for it.
11. Our church, PLC.
12. MOPS ministry and the opportunity to invest in the women there.
13. Fall colors and smells.
14. The different seasons.
15. Charlie's Carharts, John Deere hat, and work boots that sit right by his Daddy's.
16. My friends.
17. Our small group.
18. Good health.
19. Provision.
20. S'mores.
21. Yoga pants.
22. Talking in bed every night with Dallas.
23. All six of us in the combine.
24. Our babysitter, Melanie.
25. Watching Maleah learn how to water ski.
26. Our home.
27. Layla's comments that make me roll in laughter.
28. Watching the kids be pulled behind the 4-wheeler in the snow.
29. Listening to Maleah sing, play piano, and play violin.
30. The smell of a Christmas tree.
31. The pitter patter of the kids' feet upstairs.
32. Dancing in the kitchen.
33. Footed pajamas.
34. Watching the kids play on the beach.
35. Ruby's exploding vocabulary.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Good morning!

Mornings are so predictable around here.  They go the same way and in the same order pretty much every single day.  These little details are among the precious things I never want to forget as the years go on.  I want to remember that when the kids were 7, 5, 4, and 1, they...

Layla: the first to arise every morning.  She quietly goes to the living room or dining room and typically colors or reads.  She is very quiet, never waking us.  From 7:15-7:45, she watches the clock like crazy.  She is very concerned about getting to school on time and always is the first to be dressed and have her backpack ready.  [to be totally honest, for as "free spirited" as she is, her responsibility this year has taken me by great surprise.  good job, layla!]  Layla wakes up so pleasantly.

Charlie: is the next one up for the day.  We know he is awake, however, as every.single.morning he opens the door and yells a resounding, "Ta Da!"  This is no joke.  He is smiling ear to ear and ready for the day. He first looks to see if Daddy is home, then straight to his tractors.  He, on the other hand, takes forreevveer to get dressed.  The boy has work to do.  He wakes up happy.

Maleah: has to be awoken from a deep slumber every morning around 7:00/7:05/7:10/ya know.  She likes to hold my hand down the stairs [I'll take it.], then plops on the couch.  Then plops on the kitchen chair.  Then plops to the potty.  Then plops back to the couch.  After about five minutes of plopping, she gets ready.  Maleah wakes up groggy [and sometimes a bit owly].

The three are dressed [usually] and sit down to eat breakfast about 7:20.  I sit with them and we have good conversation and I read them "Jesus Calling" for children devotions.  At 7:30, the girls head upstairs to brush their teeth.  [Not real sure how much Charlie brushes his teeth.  Ha!  Dallas says he was the same. Hilarious!]  After they brush their teeth, Maleah gets...

Ruby: sometimes is up for an hour in her crib while other times Maleah picks her up in a dead sleep. The little peach just enjoys her morning time in her crib, talking and singing.  There are times she is awake for over an hour, but never fusses, yells for me, or even stands up.  Even when she is sleeping so hard and Maleah goes in her room to bring her down, she wakes up with an instant smile.  I am thankful for her joy.

And Saturdays?  Yeah, we all sleep in, stay in our jammies, eat breakfast at 9:00, and love it.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween 2014

Here's the crew...

A butterfly, duck, bumblebee, and Daddy (hunter/farmer).

Friday, October 31, 2014

Layla reading.

Layla has taken off on reading.  There is so much joy in seeing the wheels turn and pictures and words clicking to stories.  She has gone from knowing sight words, to sounding out, to now being able to read a story as a story.  Layla has always been very animated, so you can imagine her reading a book.  And, she wants to read all.the.time.  You moms know this is so fun!  [But, also a bit painful.]  It's slow moving and sometimes hard to sit and listen to them souuunnddd it out.  But the pay off?  So very worth it!!

I had her parent-teacher conference the other day and was so proud.  Of course because of how well she is getting along academically, but more so because she has a good attitude, eager to learn, respectful, and sweet to her classmates.  We have a few sounds to work on, and Mrs. Bader commented that she reads lips a lot.  Yes, she does and always has.  I'm not sure if her ear problems led to that or if it's just a Layla thing, but she learns her sounds best by watching her mouth in the mirror.  This doesn't surprise me in the least.

Kindergarten is off to a great start!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Maleah's Violin.

This weekend Maleah had her violin recital.  She did such a great job!  It's so fun to watch her blossom and progress with her talents.  She is very musical, doesn't seem to get nervous one bit, is willing to put in the time and be diligent with practicing, and loves to bless people with her gifts.  It's pretty easy to be so proud of her.

This recital was at the Western Home assisted living facility.  The recitals used to be at a church, but what a great idea this was!  It was packed with family and friends, but also residents.  What a highlight of their week.  Not to mention a great outreach opportunity for the kids.

Maleah had a crew of supporters.  We are so thankful she is so well loved and people have invested interest into what she does.  So, so grateful.