Friday, October 30, 2009


Dustin took us to the new sculpture park downtown. None of us were in very good moods, so we didn't have the fun we could have, but still, it was nice of him to take his grumpy family downtown. I must say, if I had known they were paying millions of dollars to create this art I would have signed up. I felt that this spider was the most difficult piece in the whole thing. I mean really.... how hard can it be to create that backside of two snowmen?

Don't know exactly what she was looking at, but she was very cute.
My precious family sitting on a man made of letters. Forgot to read the sign, so am not sure of the symbolism. I'm sure there is something deep and meaningful behind it. :-)

Odds and ends

Not only do we have stairs now, we have finished stairs. Well, all but my part of sanding and staining. :-) Which I'm going to try and do this morning. They are beautiful and the guys did a wonderful job. I'll post a before and after picture when I'm done.

We rake....

And after we get a pile of leaves we spread them all out again. You see, if you do this, you not only get to rake everything once, but twice, three times, and then you get really lucky and get to do it all over again the next day. The concept of bagging in our house seems unreasonable to those four and under. If you bag them, you don't have piles like these to jump in. If you look hard you can just see Karis in the middle.
Starting school. I'd love to say we are very diligent at it, but I started right as the construction on our kitchen started, so it has been hit and miss. I'm hoping that will change, but am not too concerned as she is only four. :-)

I am weary...

I opened my Bible today to Prov. 30 and the first verse grabbed me. I don't have my Bible in front of me, so it said something like, "I am weary O Lord and worn out." That struck a chord. I feel pretty good, actually, as far as my lung and general health goes, but for some reason I am just worn out - weary. It could be everything combined. My health, the busy girls, some sleepless nights and the never ending remodel that is about to end. I guess added up it would make one weary. :-) In verse eight He says, "I am a shield to those who take refuge in Him." That is what I want today. Just to curl up behind that shield and take refuge in the one who created me and controls the circumstances in my life. I figure since He did all of that He should know how to handle it better than me. :-)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I have only just a minute....

Only sixty seconds in it

Forced upon me, can't refuse it

Didn't seek it, didn't choose it

But it's up to me to use it

I must suffer if I lose it

Give account if I abuse it

It is only just a minute

But eternity is in it.

This poem that I memorized when I was a little squirt(as is evidenced by the fact that I had to come back and change it a few times before I think I got it right) came back to me last night. It came back because I had just put the girls to bed after a long day of being out of the house because of construction. The amazing news is that their part of the remodel is done, the other good news, but not so fun, is that it is now my turn. Anyway, back to my poem. The girls were asleep and I was exhausted. I wanted nothing more than to crash, but my kitchen was a mess and I really needed to fill in the knot holes in my floor so I can sand and stain. In my tired state this seemed like it would take hours. Shaking my gloom and doom mood off I determined to set the timer for fifteen minutes and do what I could. Six minutes later the kitchen and living room were clean (All well answering my four year olds questions and sending her off to bed yet again), and I started filling the holes in my floor. That was when the poem came to mind. I rarely think about it but when I do it always amazes me how much you can get done in little minutes of time. So, as I was reciting my poem, filling my wood floor with gooey stuff, I talked to God about all the minutes I waste and how much I should be allowing Him to do with my life. My prayer today is that I use those minutes to accomplish something for eternity! Thanks for letting me stroll down my memory lane. :-) I'll try to post some pictures today of our new stairs. They did such a good job!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Apple orchard

We made an unexpected trip to the Apple Orchard where Faith works. Everyone had said how big it was. I had no idea. You could spend the whole day out there if you didn't have a two and a four year old.

Gabi wasn't too thrilled about the corn. She didn't make it more than two feet into the corn pool.
My little pumpkin.
Can you find Karis? She could have spent the whole time on this, umm... whatever it is.
Hayrack ride. It got a little long, but for the most part was fun.
Both the girls LOVED the slide. An added bonus was seeing Auntie Faith working at the top of it.
Gabi LOVES her grandpa.
This was a new experience. She isn't quite sure what to think.
Do you ever look at yourself in pictures and wonder why you didn't take just a little more time on yourself before you walked out the door? That is how I felt looking at these pictures this morning. No makeup, didn't do anything to my hair, and I have one of Dustin's sweatshirts on. When we got there I saw all these moms who looked like it was family picture day, or something. I think I'm going to have to reevaluate my apple orchard wear, or maybe not. Maybe , just maybe it was me who was the smart one, and the other moms who wished they hadn't spent quite so much time putting their outfits together and that the mud, which was everywhere and on everything, was on their husbands sweatshirts and not their cute new sweater. :-)

You know those reality shows....

where people come in and organize other peoples houses? Houses that look like a hurricane went through and not only pulled everything out of the closets and threw it around the room but added stuff from other peoples houses to create even more chaos? Well.... let me tell you a little story about Karis' room. :-) We had one of those hurricanes visit. Yes, it was very localized, and as far as I know the neighborhood as a whole was not affected. In general our house wasn't affected, though some of the winds escaped her bedroom and did cause a little disorder. :-) But her room, oh my, let me show you.

See, and my pride will only allow you to see a portion of the room. It was bad. We were picking our way to her bed. Let me explain. Our hurricane came in the form of the guys who are remodeling the kitchen. They needed to go up into the attic. You can only get up to it through the tiny hole in her room. And you can only get up the tiny hole if you entirely empty out the closet. Her closet is unfortunately the biggest in the house, so you can fit a lot of clothes and various sundry items. Items which ended up on the floor. Items I couldn't put back until they finished the work, which took days longer then thought. Days which turned a messy room into the above picture. One day I couldn't take it any longer and since the reality show wasn't going to visit anytime soon I rolled up my sleeves and went to work.
Ah, you can see the floor.
The drawers are back in their place, the toys are in their box, the books are somewhat in order. For my friends that put them in according to size, you go girls! I'm just happy if they are upright and the spines are facing out:-)
Enjoying her tentless bed. And mommy is enjoying a room she can walk on the carpet in. The little joys of motherhood.

Quick post for my long distance friends

It's not done yet, but getting the back splash up, though not completely done, makes me feel like I am almost there.

Isn't it pretty? The picture doesn't quite catch the sparkle, but it is so much better than torn out drywall. :-)

Friday, October 23, 2009

More Birthday

See, this is what I mean by going all out. I don't know if it is just that I don't have that patience or I don't have the talent. If I were to take a stab at it I'd say it is both. Noelle is amazing.
What little girl wouldn't love this cake?
Gabi got a Dora backpack from her aunt Linda. She went around saying "backpack, Dora, Dora, backpack." Very cute.

Happy Birthday Gabi!

Our kitchen is under construction for several hours random days in the week. Often we are out of the house because we need to be out of the way. I must confess that baking a birthday cake was the last thing I wanted to do, let alone let them help. By God's grace we all had a fun time and managed to even bake a passable cake. :-)

Karis was a super decorator. She even managed to get most of the candies on the cake, not just her mouth. :-)
Some of our guests.

Faith, my musician sister, is going through a hat phase. :-) I think she is cute, though it is a little out there. :-)
Karis was all over the gifts.

I am not a cake person. I see these beautifully decorated cakes and cringe. Not because I don't like them, but because I feel like somehow my kiddos are missing out because their mom just doesn't have the patience to create something like that. For example, this cake I frosted, then sent my four year old around the house digging up all our rubber duckies. (I did boil them, so don't worry) Then I placed the rubber duckies on top and had Karis finish the rest. Oh, I did add two candles. :-) See, my poor kids. Good thing they have an Aunt who likes decorating for the really hard stuff. I'll post a picture of Karis' B-day cake later.

She had been dying to do this ever since she saw the cake.
Karis was a big helper, a little too good, though. We had to keep calling her off the presents.
She got two baby dolls. Probably her favorite gift, although she got a lot of them that she liked. :-) We have a great family. I didn't even call to tell them we were having the party until less than a week before. Dustin had been thinking about going to a concert, so the date was up in the air. Then I call, leave a message on most of their phones, thinking that because of my lack of foresight Gabi would be having a very slim party. Nope, they showed up like the amazing people they are and my little girl had a super night! Thanks everyone for your thoughtfulness, and I can't wait to put Gabi in all her spiffy new clothes, because let's face it, those really are for me. :-)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall Photoshoot

Just an updated picture of my photographer and little Kelvyn. He is such an adorable little bugger. Love his chubby cheeks.

Trying to catch some leaves mommy is throwing.

What she is really trying to get is the millions of ladybugs, or Japanese beetles, can't tell which, that are crawling everywhere. They made the photo shoot really hard for my two bug loving girls.

Holding her was the only way we could get face shots around the leaves and trees.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fall vacation

Dustin took a few days off to spend with us this past week. It was a fun time, unfortunately we didn't get any pictures of it.

We had a couple of days to ourselves while Grandma and Grandpa took the girls for the night. I was curious to see how that would go. The only downside to having Grandparents and sisters so close is your kiddos never sleep anywhere but home.

They did, amazing, however. Grandma Kristie had set up their garage as a huge playroom. Grandpa Brian built a nifty house out of cardboard with doors and windows that opened, as well as a skylight and a doorbell. (made from an actual bell.)

Dustin and I had an enjoyable couple of days shopping, going to see Wicked, and eating out to our hearts content. I also took a nap (such luxury) and lounged around. But in the end, we missed our girls like crazy and it was so good to have them back.

Karis was eating one, too, but somehow she disappeared for these pictures.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A sad goodbye and sacrifice

Yesterday morning we went to the airport to see our longtime friends off to Brazil to be missionaries. I had been telling myself that it wouldn't be that big of deal. We would have facebook and skype. I already have a few wonderful long-distance friends and it has worked out fine. No big deal.

We got to the airport and the tears started to well up. After pastors words and prayer, which made me cry more, (thankfully I wasn't alone:-) I busied myself with my kiddos. A great distraction. After all, the more I avoided Teresa, the longer I could be in denial. Hey, even a few more minutes is worth it. Turns out she had the same idea. :-) See, there is a reason we are such good friends. :-) Unfortunately our minutes were running out and we had to face reality. I know our friendship will always be as close as it is, but distance does change things just because it does, not because we want it to. The friend that I could see everyday if I wanted to has now been relegated to a long distance friend who's presence I can only be in once every four years. As long as I've known they were leaving I've thought about the sacrifices they were making to go share Jesus with Brazil. I neglected to think about the sacrifice it would be for us, for me. Teresa's favorite verse has been a blessing to me the last few days. "As for God, His way is perfect." Ps. 18:30 I love that girl, and I know we can trust that God has our best in mind, I'm just glad my other long distance friends don't require an expensive plane ticket or a visa to go visit them. :-) Guess I'd better start saving money now. :-)
This picture represents what makes me almost more sad then sending a friend overseas. Our kids. My girls adore her boys. Gabi has said their names even before her own sister. One morning she woke up before five and refused to go back to sleep. I put her in our bed. She was quite for awhile, but then out of the blue she starts to chant "O-en, ackson, o-en, ackson. thaniel." Owen, Jackson, Nathaniel. It was super sweet, even if it was slightly annoying at 5 in the morning.

Karis and Owen, as you have seen, adore each other. So my prayer is that somehow that relationship can continue. Reality says that isn't possible, but we will see. Who knows what God has in mind.
So, while it stinks to be so sad to have someone leave, it is also a sign of how much God has blessed us with good friends. It wouldn't hurt if we didn't love them so much. I'm excited to see the plans God has for them and can't wait to hear about the first year of language school. :-)