Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Planting 2014

I always like to get in writing when we start planting.  And, today is the day!
April 23, 2014.

Prayers for safety (above all!), good crop, nice weather, minimal breakdowns, energy and stamina for the men, joy in their work, and for us at home to not grow weary, but instead be the best support system we can possibly be.  And, prayers for Charlie as he has been sitting by the window since 7:30 this morning.  I couldn't love my little farm boy more if I tried.  And my big farm boy?  Him too.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter 2014

We had a fabulous Easter weekend.  The older I get, the more I appreciate the traditions, time with family, and what Jesus did for me.  Along with maturity comes deep, deep gratitude.

We spent Good Friday going to an Easter party, doing a cross craft, and just enjoying the day off.  I love doing all the extra stuff that makes the holidays special.  There are so many "normal" days, that I really enjoy making the special ones really stand out.  It doesn't always go as planned, but I love being the celebrator of the home.

That night, we went out to eat and to Good Friday service with some friends.  Good Friday is so intense, as it should be.  What is Easter Sunday without it?  The service was powerful.

Making a stained glass cross.

Turned out awesome!

Special Easter snacks.

Saturday evening we celebrated at Rod and Bonnie's.  It was so much fun, and seeing all the little kids together is just a hoot!

Sunday morning, we went to church.  I love Easter morning.  It is so glorious!  We came home, took naps, died eggs, then headed to Papa and Nana's for more Easter celebrating!

Next year she will be into it all.  This year, she was held captive in her high chair.

Ruby thinks the feel of grass is just hilarious!  And weird.
She will NOT put her foot down on it, standing or sitting...


I love watching my grandma with Ruby.  She adores each grandchild, and we all adore her.

Won't put that foot down!

Me and my baby.  Her first Easter.
And lastly, do you think we got a family picture, or even one of just the kids in their Easter outfits?  Of course not.  Thank goodness I get their photos taken in their Easter outfits each Spring.
Here they are in all their cuteness (at Voss Studio)...

Happy Resurrection Day, the best day of the year!  He brings all things death to life.  Live in that truth today!

Monday, April 14, 2014

And this...

(Following my devotional yesterday...
I love how God does this.)

You rock, mamas! Busy, still, old, young, at peace, or feeling frazzled.  You are amazing.

Be thankful for quiet days...

I hear my friends talk, and even joke, about how many times their vehicle leaves the garage in a day.   I just don't get that.  There are more days than not that our van doesn't even pull out of this driveway once.  I hear of all the extra curricular stuff, church activities, on and on, and the lies start to creep in.  Are we doing enough?  Are my kids being socialized?  Will they be on the only ones who don't know how to behave on a team?  Will they not know as much as children who have been in preschool for years?

I know in my heart of hearts that what we are doing (not a whole lot) is what God has called us to do. I know, and the fact is, that when our kids are older in only a few short years, our van will be taking many trips to and fro.  When they are all in junior high, then high school, then college, we will be on the go, go, go.

So for now, we have made the choice to sit tight.  We have made the choice to eat our meals together. We have made the choice to host ball games in our yard with bunches of friends.  We have made the choice to keep them home for now.  I don't consider what I do homeschooling; I am mothering.  This is just what we do.  It is not right.  It is not wrong.  It's just us.

It's as if the Lord knew I needed a word.  I feel our life is very "ho hum" some days.  Sometimes it feels lonely, or I feel we aren't involved enough.  I know we will be, soon.  But for today? It's just "routines" that speak volumes in spiritual realms.  Thank you for the affirmation, Lord.

This is what He gave me yesterday.  He speaks directly to His children.  He did to me.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ruby [10 months]

Time is flying by, and Ruby girl is now 10 months.  
We might be biased, but isn't she the 
cutest little thing you've ever seen?!

Ruby has been the easiest, happiest little girl!  She is getting more curious by the day, and shakes her head "no" as she takes the picture frames off the shelf.  They aren't as clueless as we think they are!

She crawls as fast as lightning, walks along the couch, does sign language, and is standing up without any support.  Slloooowww down, dear one.  While it seems to be going too quickly, each new thing she does is so exciting, and there are lots of little ones who celebrate and clap for her.  Then, she claps too, pretty proud of herself.

If it is one thing Ruby does not lack, it is attention.  And love.  And lots of love and attention.  Oy, is someone always swooning over her.  Her big brother and sisters definitely adore her.  Makes me a proud mama.

Pretty soon we will be celebrating the big ONE.  Party on!

Monday, April 7, 2014

This Weekend.

This weekend was good.  Really good.  It was just what I needed before we kick off busy season.

Friday night the John fellas came over.  What a joy they are!

I think they could pass as twins!

They raise the activity level around here.  We love it!

The Dean Machine.  Mr. Personality Plus!
Asher slumber partied that night, while Noah and Canaan slept at Papa and Nana's.  But Saturday morning, Noah was back for some work!  Charlie absolute adores Noah, and they had a wonderful morning together.

We spent the afternoon working around the place.  We picked up sticks, I made breakfast sandwiches for Dallas for the week, went on a run, mozied around with their outside toys, and just chilled out.  The weather was beautiful and it was so nice to have nothing on the agenda.

These are the breakfast sandwiches.  I bake the egg in these Pyrex glass dishes.  They make the perfect circle!
First: spray the dish.  Crack one egg, scramble it up a bit, add some salt and pepper, and bake at 350.
I buy these breakfast canadian bacon, maple flavor.  Next, cut the cheese to fit, and assemble the sandwich.
I wrap them in foil and put them in the freezer.  They are perfect for Dallas, as he just microwaves it for a minute or so.  It's better than the processed ones, cheaper, convenient, filling, and yummy (for him!).

I had to take a photo of this.  Maleah is wearing her bike helmet.  You just never know.

Seriously precious.
That night, the girls and I cleaned up and went to the symphony.  Our violin teacher, Cara, plays and got us a couple tickets.  It was lovely!  And long.  But mostly lovely.  The girls did so well for the entire two hours.  It was late and they were tired, but very much enjoyed it.  I asked them what they thought and Layla responded with, "Long," while Maleah said, "It was really good, but would be even better if it was in the morning."  :)

Sunday we went to church, which was great, as always.  I love being filled up with life giving truth.  It is always the boost I need into a new week.

We had small group in the afternoon.  Oh, small group.  Whatever would we do without them?  Our small group has been together for a really.long.time.  Our roots are really deep, and we have incredible relationships with one another.  We have all gone through seasons of really needing our small group, and it's been a joy to walk through those hard seasons together.  We keep each other accountable (right now focusing on our marriages), are brutally honest and speak truth in our safe place, laugh together, study together, and always lift each other up.  We are all busy and aren't able to meet as often as we used to.  But, we all make it a priority, and it is always so very worth it.  We aren't all the exact same, but having community with like-minded people who truly love the Lord is life giving.

I feel ready for this week.  We start speech for Charlie this morning (he doesn't want to go...great), his hearing test this week, my teaching job is winding down to the Spring program, and later this week I am taking off with my sister and mom for Lincoln to help Erica be completely ready for that little babe.  There's a lot to look forward to.  Happy Monday!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Muffins with Mom

Yesterday morning was Muffins with Mom.  While I have to wake up Maleah every morning for school at the very last second, yesterday morning was a different story.  She sprung into our bedroom at 7 a.m. sharp declaring it was the day I go to school with her!  Special days are so worth it.  They don't have to be out of this world, but making the ordinary a bit extraordinary is a treasure.

The moms and/or grandmas attended chapel with their school kiddo, then sat at tables with a cute little flower centerpiece and enjoyed homemade muffins together.  It was short and sweet, and an absolutely splendid morning with my little lady.