Friday, March 28, 2014

How We Do

Watching Bambi *with* Bambi is a must in this house . . .
 {And the same goes for Aristocats ~ with our Marie stuffy,
Lady & the Tramp ~ with our Lady stuffy,
and Frozen ~ with our Anna stuffy ;) }
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Monday, March 24, 2014

I was going to title this: The Oregon Garden, but then out spilled so much more

Life has been a touch gloomy around here lately.
And when I say "lately", I kinda mean for a long while now.

If I were to be truthful, {and I think that's important},
I would have to say that we've had a long {several years} season of trials.
That is not to say that it's been one dark rain cloud for years on end.
We've most certainly had some amazingly wonderful experiences recently.
But the fairly carefree life we led prior to, say, 2011 just doesn't exist anymore.

I always blame "the new house", lol.
That was the turning point in my mind.
If you're considering building a house, people, don't do it!
Hehehe, just kidding. Kind of.

I hated building.
I know plenty of people who love it.
{My parents, for example, who must've loved it because they built a new house,
every few years, for practically decades}.
And I think Jeremy liked it.
Even Sierra, the other day, was saying how she loved that time period.

I'm not a decision maker by nature.
And building a house seemed to be one decision after another after another,
for 10 months straight.
Also . . .
it was expensive.
Waaaayyyy more than what we had anticipated.
So yeah.
I'm getting off track.
Where was I?
Oh yeah.  The turning point.
That seemed to be it, for me.
We were faced with the enormous task of building, I was pregnant with our fourth daughter.
It was the beginning of a stressful season.
Finances became an issue, when they hadn't been before.
I had a fourth daughter.
Oh, did I already mention that?
Well, I'm mentioning it again, because I thought having a fourth child would be a
And that, my friends, is when this semi-organized and together lady, kinda fell apart.
Miss Taylor continues to be my . . . .
How shall I put this nicely?
I keep thinking she will grow out of it, but no.
She is just going to be a spirited child.
And I've made peace with that  :)

But then life started to unravel.
There was the accident which left our family broken upon losing Justin.
Almost two years ago, now.
If someone would have told me how it would affect us.
The pain that would come.
I still couldn't have imagined the complete and total destruction.

Very recently our church divided, and we've felt a great loss there.
Lots of emotion.
Missing those precious people we don't see regularly anymore.
It feels like a death.

TOO many people dealing with cancer.

So many deaths, and tragic accidents.
So many.
Most recently with our friend's loss.
It's like it just tears wounds that were beginning to heal, wide open again.

So. Wow.
I didn't really expect for all that to come pouring out.
It's been a tough season of life for us.
Ahhhhhh, the silver lining :)
God has seen us through, and given us the strength to continue on.
I can see a little flickering of light at the end of this long tunnel.

And that brings me to last Friday.
Or Thursday, rather. I had been trying to think of a fun outing, that wouldn't cost a fortune, and in which I didn't have to drive forever {not one of my girls loves a car ride}.
For years I have wanted to go explore
The Oregon Garden
And I just had never gotten around to it.
I thought it might be fun to make it a surprise for the girls.
They woke up Friday morning thinking we had some Math to do, probably figuring we'd do some house cleaning ;)
But instead we headed off to the garden.

And I am SO glad we did.
What an amazing experience.

I know it probably sounds silly, but it was like "old times".

No worries about life, no stressing about the everyday stuff.
Just being.

Oh, and the above tree? 400 years old.  FOUR HUNDRED.
It's like God was just telling me,
"Hey you, get out there and look at this wondrous place I created for you, that you've been IGNORING because you're so caught up in what you don't have".
He must really be trying to drive that point home, too, because that's specifically what we're discussing in our new Bible study right now.
Just because God isn't providing you with what you *think* you need,
doesn't mean He's not providing.

I love how He doesn't give up on us.
He just keeps making the point until we get it.

And to see the looks on my girls' faces as we wandered the 80 acres of beauty . . .

They loved it.
They didn't want to leave.
Sweet Kam . . . there is a beautiful lodge on the grounds.
As soon as she found out there were hotel accommodations, she was all over it.
She must've asked 17 different times if we could stay :)
She's my hotel girl.
I finally thought she'd give up, and just as we were headed home she gave it one more shot:
"Mama, PLEASE?  Can you just call Daddy and ask??"

 So, that's it.
That's my lesson I'm working on right now.
Being grateful for what He provides, even when it's not what I thought I needed.

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;  great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him".
Lamentations 3:22-24
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Friday, March 14, 2014


Life is out of control these days.
Day after day zooms right by.
It's got me wondering how I can simplify a bit ~ truly enjoy every minute.
Because, at this rate, I'll be blinking my eyes and Sierra will be grown :/

So. I figure I'd better keep track of what we've been doing.
My memory . . . not so good.

Right before we left for Kansas, we took a little trip to the ocean.

Nana and Grandpa had had it planned for awhile.

Honestly . . . I wasn't in the mood.
I was so torn up over our friends' accident.
Trying to plan how on earth we were going to get to Kansas without taking out a loan.

But in the end I figured I could either sit at home and be miserable
{and probably make my girls miserable as well},
or we could all go to the beach for a couple of days, and regroup.

So we did.

And guess what . . .
It was supposed to pour rain the entire time . . .

. . . but it didn't.
The sun shone, and we got to enjoy it!

And the girls, as always, brought a smile to my heart.

We ran, we explored, we cuddled.

Sissy found a hermit crab!!!
She begged and begged to keep it.
I gave her the long lecture about how they live longer in the wild, blah, blah, blah.
"Go return him to his home, Sierra".
So she does, and not 5 seconds later, a sea gull swoops down and eats him!

We got home from the beach, and immediately packed for Kansas.
And then, in the blink of an eye, we were home again.

The weather is starting to turn, ever so slightly.
We get sun breaks.
It's hit 60*!

So, we've been outside a bit . . .

Discovering all sorts of treasures.

Enjoying the little things.

What have you been up to?
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Monday, March 3, 2014


I don't even know where to begin.
First of all, the longer I'm away from my blog, the less comfortable it feels to share my life here.
I'm not good with words anyway.
I think that's why I enjoy photography so much.
It's my way to tell a story without having to get wordy.

Where to begin?
Maybe at the end.

We just got back from Kansas.

Tay, Jeremy and I.
{Tay because she is impossible to leave ;)}
It wasn't planned.
Truth be told, I never thought I'd make it to Kansas.
I've wanted to go ever since my dear friend, Amanda, and her family
packed up to move over there last spring.
Gah, that was excruciating ~ saying goodbye.
I remember the day I found out they were going to move.
Jeremy was at work.
I called him and asked if we could move to Kansas :)

Our families.

We shopped for homeschool supplies together.
We went on field trips together.
We berry picked together in the summer.

We lived life together.
And then they were gone. 

Super long story short, last Friday I got a message from Amanda's sister-in-law
letting me know that Amanda's husband, and one of her sons was in a bad car accident.
That was all she knew, and she'd be in touch.

Time pretty much stood still, and we waited, and prayed.
Prayed, and waited.
Willing with all of our might for God to restore this precious family.

Amanda's husband was improving, but
on Saturday, her son went to be with Jesus.
Typing that out, I still can't grasp it.
It sends a pain right to my heart just thinking about it.

I spent the next couple of days at a total loss over what to do.
I wanted to be there for the service, but I wanted to be there afterward too.

In the end, we decided to make a quick trip there.
We really felt called to attend the service.
We flew out on Thursday.

The service was Friday.
I knew I wouldn't have much {if any time} with Amanda while I was there.
So long as she could catch my eye and know that we were there.
We were supporting.
We loved them.
That's all that mattered.

I was so thankful to have some time with her before the service on Friday.
Time to listen.
Time to hold tight.
My mind cannot comprehend what this mama is going through.
What she will continue to go through in the coming months . . . and years.

What a celebration of a beautiful life.
Ryan James touched so many in his short, seven years.

Saturday morning we headed back out.
To be home.
To love on our own babies.
But we will go back.
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