may the force be with you.....there's no place like home.....little bo peep and her lost sheep

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Our primary hosted another wonderful Trunk or Treat, and it was so much fun! 
The kids had a great time.
Way too much sugar was collected. 
Now on Monday we can stay home, eat some candy and watch Scooby-Doo!

{Debra, you win for most fabulous trunk decorations}

all from the push of a button

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My mom gave her bread maker to me 8 years ago. I was pregnant with my 3rd child, and every night I would put the ingredients in and push the start button. In the morning we would wake to fresh homemade bread. 

Then I had my baby and it went into the cupboard to gather dust. I recently took it out and started using it again. We have been baking bread and making dough for pizza, buns, and pretzels every day.  The kids love making fun shapes and, even more, eating them.

Why?.... Why have I not been using it all along. 

Autumn {Abby Lane Farm 2011}

family virtues

Friday, October 21, 2011

For those who care to know and those who ask me questions about the kinds of things we do for homeschooling I thought I would pass this along:

We started the Virtues Project this year. I am loving it. Every day the kids have the opportunity to earn appreciation cards when they have been seen displaying a virtue. When they earn a certain number of cards they get to pick a reward from the jar. I have had to put a cap on how many cards I distribute a day! 

For those who feel that it is wrong to reward, that the act should be a reward in itself and that the kids will learn to do things for the wrong reasons - I hear you and I understand. I have worried about this myself. But when I see the things they are doing for each other and the areas in which we are all improving, I would rather have them learn these things and get a reward, than do nothing at all.

If you want to know more about this program (founded by locals) you can go here

the heart of a child

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Last night on the way to Cubs, right out of the blue, Bergen said, "mom, I like hearing you and dad talk. I get to hear what happened at work, and sometimes I hear about some fun things you are planning........ and I get to hear funny stories about things that happened in your day (in your day! cute or what - I have 'a day!'). I could tell that this was one of those moments that needed to be handled with extreme caution - I needed to be very careful in my reception. Not too gushy that he would not want to share something like that again. Not too lightly that he would feel unheard. These thoughts were coming straight from his heart, so very sincerely. This is one of those gifts given to parents, usually few and far between, but just when it is needed most, to let a mother know that everything is alright - that children are feeling loved, that marriage and family are such amazing blessings, that I can do this and give my children what they need. The rest of the trip was driven in silence. But I sat there filled with hope. My heart felt like bursting out of my chest and I could not help but smile. My son, my 10 year old son, finds connection and comfort in the words and voices of his parents. How was I to know that as we connect as a couple, not only is the bond between husband and wife being strengthened but our ties to our children as well. I hope I will  always remember just how much we hold the hearts of our children in our hands.

when I'm 3 I'll be queen of the world

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

 Dear Nya, You turned 3 this Sunday. 3 years old! 

Noelle and Emma prepared gifts for you well before your birthday, and the morning of your birthday you asked me if you could open them. I told you that you needed to go and ask your sisters. You ran to the top of the stairs and yelled down to them as they were eating their breakfast, "SISTERS... SISTERS, SISTERS...... SISTERS! until they came up.

Nya, When you are grown and have a little one of your own, and you wonder what you were like when you were 3 I would want you to remember:
  1. You love all things pink.
  2. You love to sing and dance.
  3. When you are upset at someone I will hear you say, "YOU ARE A RUDIE!" (your way of telling them that they are acting rude).
  4. You love having your toe nails painted.
  5. You love playing with your siblings (when they are not being rudies).
  6. You LOVE your dad, and he in turn could not love you more!
  7. You have a special blanket called Bmm, and it is your favorite thing.
  8. You love Strawberry Shortcake, just like I did when I was small.
  9. You love to go swimming, but you mostly want to sit in the hot tub (birds of a feather we are) 
  10. You love meat! 
  11. You say the same thing every morning to Daddy, "butter jam". This simply means, "breakfast, please!" 
  12. You can screech like nobodies business, and mostly you do it just because you can.
  13. You kiss the picture of Jesus every night before you go to bed and say, "Jesus loves Nya!" 
  14. You love books.
  15. You love your baby cousin Lyla.
  16. You love the bath.
  17. You prefer to wear dresses.
  18. When someone asks you how old you are you will stick up 4 fingers and then with your other hand you will bend down your pinky and put it under your thumb and say, "not that one".
  19. You love to give hugs and kisses.
  20. You are feisty, but oh so sweet.
  21. You love chap stick.
  22. You love hand lotion.
  23. You look most like Bergen, except girlie of course.
  24. You want up a lot, and I need to remind myself that you will not want up forever and someday all too soon you will be too big for me to carry. 
  25. You have a great belly laugh.
  26. You love animals, of all sorts.
  27. My friends are your friends, and you think of them as such.
  28. You love the beach.
  29. You will say to me, "rowning (rowing), mommy?" every time I get ready to leave, and I love how you say it.
  30. You love to do stamps right now and will sneak into the school room any time you can. Something I don't quite love you doing as much as you do.
  31. You do the funniest things with your fingers. You will walk 2 fingers along your arm and up to your hair and when I follow your lead you will say, "Come in!" and we play a game using our fingers as people.
  32. Daddy and I play a game with you that you love. When either of us is holding you the other will say, "My baby" and then steal you away. It will continue back and forth between the 2 of us until at the end we all hug and mom and dad will say, "Our baby!" 
  33. You have been the very best way to complete our family. We all love you SO much.

love, mom


embracing unfamiliar {part 2}

Monday, October 17, 2011

Over the past few years of blogging I have come across many, many blogs. Some I follow for a bit, while others I will follow for many more years to come.
I begin to feel like I know these ladies, and that if we ever met we would be friends for sure.

Some think it weird to read the blogs of those you don't know. I believe it can be used to view other ways of life, other peoples passion of Christianity, and it can open our eyes to the abundant blessings we have, even (and maybe most especially) the strength and purpose that can be gained through trials. There are many people out there doing such great things to make this world a better place by big and grand offerings of time and sacrifice, and I find myself wishing I could do the same. While others remind me that I am already doing a great work - that of raising a new generation, and that it can be fun and enjoyable, as simple and mundane as it can sometimes appear. They remind me of just how blessed I am, all without ever knowing they do so. Some I have much in common with, others are very different. The point - I can gain inspiration and a renewal of determination from each one, no matter how diverse we are.

I have a hope that someday I as an individual and all women as a whole will be able to join together, stop judging, and start loving each other for all we have to offer.

There is something I can learn from every person I meet. And to those whom I think I have something to give, often end up teaching me the most of all.

We are different. That is the way it is suppose to be.

We are so very powerful. We can bless the lives of others in a way that only our female hearts were created to do. But, we can also do great damage. I have done more than my share and have had to learn many lessons the hard way.
I have also come very far. I can continue to learn and grow, and that is what I need to focus on.

Amanda from Soule Mama - When I read her I feel something. She inspires me to do better and be better. She challenges me to return to simpler ideals. I find myself wishing for a life much different than the one I set out to build when I began my family over a decade ago. Return to the basics, stop and smell the roses and expand your talents - these are the lessons I learn from her.

Sara from August Fields - She teaches me to relax and laugh. To love with an open heart. To enjoy this life with 5 kids however crazy it may become. To remember that each one of these mini's is the best blessing I could ever be given.

Sarah from Clover Lane - I learn to stick to my guns and do what I know is right, even if it goes against pop culture, AND not to feel badly about it. She teaches me that you can be friends with your kids while maintaining the position of leader and exemplar. She is honest with her short comings which in turn makes me love her more. She will not apologize for her beliefs or her standards. She is like a big sister showing me the way.

Edie from Life in Grace - Sometimes I laugh. Sometimes I cry. She exudes passion and determination. She is fun and happy. She reminds me to never give up, to live my life and give it everything I have.

Shannan from Flower Patch Farm Girl - She is just cool. She is one of those people who doesn't have to try. Yet she is humble and honest and so very refreshing. She pulls me back to the age of innocence I sometimes feel that my children and I have so long ago left behind. She shows me just how big a heart can get, and teaches me that charity is not an act, but a way of living, a condition of the heart and mind.

For these women, in different parts of the world, of different beliefs, different ages and backgrounds, destinations and orientation, for each of you who teach me to be happy in the skin I'm in, for every time you make me laugh, or I leave with my chest ripped wide open and my heart soft and vulnerable, I thank you.

No matter how different one may appear, no matter how little we may seem to have in common, the choice is always mine between humility or pride, between acceptance or exclusion. I can extend the hand of friendship at all times, even if it means that sometimes and most painfully no hand is unfolded in return. I can forgive myself when I have hurt and do all I can to change. And I can offer this to all people  I come in contact with, in the hopes that I will learn to become a stronger yet softer person as I continue to embrace the unfamiliar.

off we go again

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Let's hope for sunshine!

at last

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I am not a hairdresser, and I will never profess to have hair savvy abilities, but when it comes to paying for a haircut for the children or trying to do it myself, I will try and do it myself. If I mess up too terribly bad, I will humbly go into the salon and have someone fix my sad attempt. But so far it has worked out alright. It is never perfect, but I have also paid for less than perfection, and that hurts a whole lot more than free.
Noelle has been wanting her hair cut for a while now, but I have been stalling and putting her off, for the above reasons. Also, she is not little anymore, well she's little, but she's not. And she wanted a big girl haircut. I was not so sure I could do what she wanted. So 3 loooooong months later I gave in. It is her hair after all and she seemed to trust in me a little more than maybe she should. So cut we did!