Tuesday, April 30, 2013


There is so much going on here.
All the time, it seems.

First of all . . .
It has been a beautiful Spring.
I mean, we're getting some rain.  That's to be expected.
But Easter weekend was high seventies and sun, and this week's forecast . . .
I just want to jump up and down, I'm so excited!
{But I won't, because I am typing this in bed ~ Kam on one side, Tay on the other, sound asleep}.
We may not have to move after all ;)

My brother is getting married in a few weeks.
Weddings are always cause for celebration, right?

And speaking of celebration:
My nephew is getting married this summer.
{Let's not linger on the fact that I am old enough to have a nephew planning a wedding} 

We've got birthday parties, and field trips, and homeschool testing {okay, so that's not all that fun, but it does mean the end of a school year.  Summer break, woohoooo!}

So much to look forward to in the coming months.

There are some sad changes ahead too.
Our best friends are moving away.
I can hardly believe it.
They have an actual move date, now.  So, it's official.
I'm beyond excited for their new adventure.
I know God has so much in store for them.
But my heart hurts.

 A little happy.  A little sad.
And we continue to seek joy.
I was just reading with my girls about the difference between happiness and joy.
Happiness is conditional. 
It's based on what you have or what your circumstances are.
Joy is not conditional.
It's a choice we make.
And it is present in spite of our circumstances.

Powerful stuff, right there.
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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Road Trippin'

We just got back from THE most fun trip ever.

Last week Jeremy asked how we'd feel about heading over east to turkey hunt.
I'm going to be honest, I was a little skeptical.

*5 hour drive.
*1 little tiny who can't stand to be in the car 15 minutes.
*1 mama who stresses out at the thought of long car rides.
*Tiny cabin in the middle of nowhere.
You get the idea.

But.  We don't get out all six of us all that often.
So we packed.
And headed out.

And seriously had the most amazing time ever.

Taylor was super wonderful in the car.
I didn't even mess around.
 I started right out sitting next to her so that I could tend to her every need.
And other than a throw up episode about an hour in to the trip, it was smooth sailing.

We got to the cabin Sunday afternoon, and settled right in.
We got to explore on 8,000 acres of land.
And every single acre was gorgeous.
This poor little shack was right down the road from the cabin.

Once we unpacked, we headed out for a drive.
We saw some cows . . .
Miss Taylor thought they looked mean,
so all we heard for the next half hour was, "Mean Tow".

And then . . .
We saw some wild horses!
They were just beautiful.

The next morning Sierra and Jeremy headed out early to track down turkeys.
It was chilly! A whopping 12 degrees on our last morning.

And the rest of us relaxed, snacked, and headed out to explore on our own.

We found a little cemetery right down from the cabin.

And fell in love with the little tiny school house next door.

Later we went up on the hillside and found fossils.
Fossils, people.
It was the most amazing day ever.

This adorable school house was right next to the cabin.
I cannot even imagine owning this gorgeous land.
All the history here.

The girls loved the merry-go-round.

I think I could live there.
I really do.
No people for miles around.
The nearest grocery store, over an hour's drive.
No cell service ;)


But oh my it was beautiful.
And peaceful.
And perfect.
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Monday, April 15, 2013


Tulips are a favorite of mine.
They're so beautiful, and bright, and cheerful.
I mean, don't they just scream "Spring"??

We try to make it to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival every year.
This year my dad came with.

Are these two the cutest things ever?
Taylor calls Grampa her "buddy".
She talks about him first thing in the morning.
She asks about him in the afternoon.
They are quite the pair.
{Yeah.  It's freezing here.  Hoodies and jackets, socks, and boots, and we still froze!
I keep asking Jeremy if we can move . . . I think his resolve is weakening ;)}

We arrived at the tulips.
And found that 4.2 million other people had the same idea.

The girls got side tracked, though, when we first arrived.
There were pony rides, and bounce houses.
Trampolines, and rock walls.

While Kenners and Kam were waiting in lines, Miss Tay found her favorite activity:
I couldn't get her out of that thing!

Kam loved the pony rides.

So did Kenners, for that matter.

But Tay started getting fidgety, so we tromped off to look at the pretty flowers.

 And hitched a ride on the wooden shoe train!

There was every color of tulip you could imagine.

So gorgeous.

 Next time, we are hitting the field first.
Once I am satisfied with the "group shot", then the girls will be rewarded with the activities, lol!

Because, you see?
This is what I got:

Kam was hungry and tired, Kenners was grumpy because Sierra was using her camera.
Tay was just plain ready for a nap. 
Thank you, Sierra.  That's what I'm looking for!

 Please girls?  Just a quick smile?  Mkay.  A little better from Kenners.  Sis is still rockin' the smile.
Kam?  Totally had it.
And this, folks, is the best one.

Awww.  My biggest and littlest.
These two have quite the bond.
And they remind me so much of one another!

I had about 2.3 seconds to snap a few more pictures, and then that was it.

The girls couldn't handle any more. 
 So, it was off to Arby's for a drive-thru lunch.
And then home for naps.
For all of us.
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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Girly Nature

I love getting outdoors
{I feel soooo cooped up these days with the constant rain}.
Nature walks, as the girls and I call them.

But, this is what I've discovered.
There is nature.
And then there is Girly Nature.
I love Girly Nature.
Watching the trees come into bloom.
Listening to the birds sing their songs.
Catching glimpses of the bunnies hopping about.

Taking a walk down to our pond,
peering in to get a closer look at the salamanders . . .
and stumbling upon a HUMONGOUS bull frog . . .
Not girly nature.

Nearly stepping on a centipede?
Also, not Girly Nature.
Finding a slug crawling across the bottom of Sierra's pantleg,
then searching frantically for a stick so that I could scrape it off
{rather than have to touch it ~ ew, ew, ew!}
None of that counts as Girly Nature.

You know what else is not on the "Girly Nature List"?
Sorry, but no.

 These guys are okay :)
Caterpillars, butterflies, ladybugs . . .
They all make the list.

What do you love the most about the outdoors?
What can you live without? 
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Monday, April 8, 2013

Dancin' Again

 After a very welcome winter break, the girls are back at dance.
And they couldn't be happier.

It may not look like it, but Sierra is thrilled.
She takes dance so seriously, it's pretty sweet.

And Kenners . . .
She has her four bestest buds in class, so I'd say she's enjoying it as well.

Kam decided to take a break this session, but even Tay is having a good time . . .
Hanging out with her little friend.

It's funny, sometimes, to think back to when we were first starting our family.
I was so convinced I'd have a house full of boys
{and not know a thing about how to take care of 'em!}
God definitely had other plans.
We have the girliest girly house around, I'm afraid!
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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Easter 2013, and my new word ~ JOY

I knew Easter weekend was going to be a toughie.
It's so hard to know what to be for everyone.
I want to be the support for my husband, but I don't want to overwhelm.
I want him to know I'm always here.
Ready to drop everything to listen.
But I don't want to hover annoyingly.

And my girls.
This last year has been so hard on them.
Harder than most anyone realizes, I think.
I know how I feel, as an adult. Not knowing what the future looks like.
I can't imagine that from a child's point of view.
How frightening it must all be for them.

I'm determined to seek out the joy in the every day.
They NEED to know that joy still exists.
I need to know.
And speaking of joy . . .

Nothing more joyful than two besties {and cousins!}
enjoying an evening out for ice cream.

I was so happy to hear that my sister and her lovies were coming up for Easter.
Just the kind of joy my kiddos needed!

We colored eggs.

Miss Tay colored in her own way.
Little Miss Lefty ;)

 Look at these dolls!
My dad gives them all walkie-talkies and they play "spy" games.
It is pretty much the most adorable thing ever.

If this doesn't put a smile on your face . . .

And if it looks like we're a little . . . under dressed . . .
We had an Easter heat wave!
77 degrees on Saturday!

Easter Bunny came . . .

Cousin Kuaile spent the night . . .

And we woke to another glorious day on Sunday.
Ya gotta seek that joy out.
It doesn't always find you.
You have to find it :) 
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