Thursday, October 25, 2012

Any ideas?

Does anybody have any ideas to help me with this blog? A few months ago I uninstalled Java because it was driving me crazy and then I realized I could no longer upload pictures to Blogger. I've since re-installed Java to see if that was the issue but it still will not upload my photos! I've had so much I want to share and I can't add pictures so it makes for an unexciting blog. Do I need to do something more with Java? Is it even that? I go to upload photos and get the message "Upload failed: Server responded invalid response". I've tried searching the message on help pages and can't figure out what is wrong! Grrr! Thanks for any tips or help anyone can offer!

Friday, August 17, 2012


Can I just be candid for a moment?

I am an imperfect mom.

I've snapped at my kids more times than I should. I've rushed them because I just had to be somewhere 5 minutes ago. I've spoken words carelessly and hurt their tender hearts. I ache at times for the chance to redo days, hours or even moments with them.

Instead, I've asked for their forgiveness, prayed for forgiveness and been completely humbled at how far I still have to go. My kids are a constant mirror of me and so often I don't like the reminders of who they see.

I needed this encouragement yesterday. Maybe you do to. Print out the list and keep it somewhere it can catch your eye and remind you of what really matters.

By the way, today was a GREAT day! :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Just for Fun

Howard and I often take time around our anniversary to check in with each other on where we are goal wise, where we hope to be in 10 years, and what some of our dreams are.

We love our home but both of us feel the itch to find a single home (we are currently in a twin) with land. We want room for our kids to run and space from our neighbors (although we are very fortunate to have wonderful neighbors around us!).

We have no idea when we can even begin looking. The market put a bit of a damper on that for a while! It got me thinking about how different everyone sees the world.

Howard and I like some similar home designs and couldn't be more different on others. For example, I LOVE log cabins (Howard's version of a log cabin is from the 1700s and he does not like the modern cabin design I favor!). We both adore cape cods.  If we ever build our own home I already have the floor plan for the house I want! Howard also likes more traditional colonial style houses (which I don't care for so much) and we both strongly dislike bi-level homes (nothing against anyone who has one, that's why there is chocolate, vanilla and strawberry! :) )

Anyway, my dream house is a log cabin, cape cod style home with a big front porch and all the rustic/modern charm I can cram into it. When we get old and feeble I would love to own an American Craftsman style home. I am definitely a fan of certain arts and crafts styling and the rich woodwork and design of those homes fascinate me.

I LOVE floor plans and it's a guilty pleasure of mine to take out floor plan books from the library (as well as books on different styles of homes) to examine and enjoy.

So what style(s) of home do you like? I'm curious how varied the answers would be and what/how that home(s) fits with your personality! Happy dreaming!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

We are getting ready for...

     That's right! Our kindergartner is going to start his first year at home! We've talked about this, prayed about this and planned for this. I am so excited and nervous and starting to get a head full of ideas to teach this year! I'm sure there will be more posts to come about the wonderful information I'm finding. For now I'm assembling all the materials I will need to teach and making list after list of available resources! School starts in a few short weeks!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bike Racing!

Pre-Olympics we took our kids to a local bicycle racing venue. We met up with friends of ours on a very hot night to watch the races and spend time together.
There was a very tall hill behind where we set up along the wall so the kids spent most of the night running/rolling down the hill and climbing the fence.

We saw one of the Amercian Olympic cyclists, Bobby Lea, win all three of the races he ran. We also saw two German Olympian teamates win their heats. We were front and center for the show!

 Despite the heat (and humidity!) we had a great time.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Olympics 2012

We've been living it up with the Olympics on tv! The kids are getting to stay up past their bedtimes so they can see more of the events. We even really bent the rules the other night and had popcorn and Reese's Pieces in our family room while we were watching the events.

It's been a lot of fun hearing the kids comments on the different events and sharing something outside the norm together. Go USA!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


...lost his first tooth last night!

We didn't even know it was loose! I was brushing his teeth last night and it just fell out! What a traumatic experience. Howard and I were so shocked and his gum bled pretty bad (probably from my brushing right over it) and Chase started crying so hard that at first we thought he was really hurt. Apparently it just scared him. One of his first questions was if he would still be able to eat! Oh I love this boy! :)

We are all smiles now. A visit from the tooth fairy improved his outlook on lost teeth too!

Monday, July 9, 2012


Our back yard (well our neighbors really!) used to look like this. The hill was no fun for them to mow so they decided to do something about it.

For the last few weeks our yard has been right on the front lines of a construction zone. Chase was in little boy heaven. Can you see his head peeking over our playset?

We had backhoes, dumptrucks, skid steerers, wheelbarrows, dirt, trees and mulch piling up everywhere!

The end result is that all their hard work and our neighbors money has given us this beautiful garden to enjoy. There are all kinds of flowering plants as well as quite a few trees that will eventually mature and give privacy to quite a few of us. We love it!

Friday, July 6, 2012

4th Outtakes!

We tried to get some family pics before heading out to celebrate the 4th of July. Some were good and some are worth saving to laugh about later!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy 4th!

We celebrated the 4th of July a little early with my family. These pictures were actually from last Saturday. It has been one busy week since then!

The kids were fascinated by the black snake fireworks Howard bought. They pretty much looked like piles of dog poo when they were done but the kids thought they were cool.

One of Howard's work buddies dropped off these bouncing toys for the kids. They were having fun giving them a try.

And falling off too!

Just hangin' out.

The kids spent time in the pool, sprinkler hose that Peter and Kendal brought over and climbing on the play set.

This little guy got such a big kick out of dragging these around the yard. He kept pulling them around our shed and then would go around again for another loop. Too cute!

He also seems to be quite taken with his cousin. These two smile at each other, study each other and seem to like each other. He was quite insistent with Kendal that he be able to push Evey himself. (Don't worry Aunt Kendal was right outside the shot to take over pretty quickly!)

The best shot I got of all the cousins (and mommies!) together.

Tanner had a great time throwing washers with Uncle Billy. He just doesn't like to share or care if it's your turn so it's not so much fun for the other person...:)

"But I wanna play too!"

Getting ready for fireworks.

Remember this scene from last year? She still doesn't like the sound of fireworks and didn't really enjoy them. She did much better on the actual fourth. 

We all brought fixin's for ice cream sundaes and by the time we had all eaten them we felt like absolute pigs! Too much candy and ice cream. All in all though, we had a really nice time together.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Window Seat Wanderings

Every Wednesday I post about a book I’ve read that I think is worth passing on. I have a personal love for Christian fiction so that is my main focus but you will find other reads sprinkled in here from time to time.

I’d love to hear what you thought of a book I recommended or if you have a new one for me to try. So grab your favorite beverage and get comfortable, let’s get wandering!

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

This weeks book has been such a blessing to me! I have followed this woman's blog for a year or more now before the her book came out. She writes in a style that requires you to read slowly and think through what you are reading. I relate to so many of her struggles and frustrations. I was curious what her book was about and excited to find it at my local library. The book couldn't have been more timely for me! I would like my own copy so that I could read it again with more time to ponder some of the stuff I read. It is so full of encouragement and the call to find joy in every moment(and she has lived some hard moments).

Here is the books backcover wording: One Thousand Gifts beckons you to leave the parched ground of pride, fear and white-knuckle control and abandon yourself to the God who overflows your cup. As Ann Voskamp invites you into her own moments of grace, she gently teaches you how to biblically lament loss, turning pain into poetry; intentionally embrace a lifestyle of radical gratitude; and slow down and catch God in the moment.

Not a book merely to read, One Thousand Gifts begs to be embraced as a dynamic, interactive primer inviting you to engage with truths that will serve up the depths of God's joy and transform your life forever.

A dare to live fully right where you are.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012


     These two are about as close as you can get these days. Typical siblings they fight and annoy each other constantly when together but can't stand five minutes separated from each other. I love watching them interact together. I also want to pull out my hair from all the refereeing I'm doing! All kidding aside I am sooo grateful to be able to have this time with them. So grateful that they love each other and cheer each other on. 

Monday, June 18, 2012


We pulled out the kids fabric tunnel the other day. So much fun in such a small space. Tanner thought it was the best. Kept giggling and racing right after his big brother.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tips worth Remembering

I am always on the lookout for simple tips that will help save me money in the long run. I came across two recently that I thought were worth sharing.

I am forever getting grease stains on my clothing from cooking. I've thrown away a few really nice shirts because I couldn't get the stains out. I use aprons as much as possible now but stains do occasionally still find their way onto our clothing (imagine that!).

I read recently how white chalk will remove grease stains from clothing.

I had a nice pair of shorts that had a grease stain on them. I'd washed them, dried them and tried all kinds of treatments and nothing had worked. I figured I had nothing to lose trying the chalk. The crazy thing is it worked! The shorts had already been dried so I thought it was hopeless. I am over the moon about such a simple tip! You simply rub the chalk all over the stain and launder like normal.

My second tip is great if you get ink on your clothing (or in our case most often the kids, who have it somewhere on their shirts). Before you wash the clothing, or whatever else you have an ink stain on, saturate the stain with aerosol hair spray. Be sure to hold a paper towel on the back side of the stain because it will bleed right through to whatever is behind it! The paper towel will absorb the stain and you can launder your clothing like normal. This doesn't work so well on clothing that's been dried but sometimes you can still get the stain to lighten.

If you have any other great tips to share please send them to me and I'll get them posted in the comments. Happy saving!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Working Weekend

So, last weekend was Memorial Day weekend. Ours was a planned work weekend, as we had much tending to do to our flower beds. We've been in our home a while now and had never finished landscaping.

The boys had a blast "helping" daddy play in the dirt. He came up with "jobs" to keep them busy!

This garden has been a pile of dirt for years. Howard kept telling me he was going to build a paver retaining wall to fix the sliding mud and mulch. This year he promised it would get done. It was such a labor of love but I love the final results! He did such a great job and I am so proud of him!

I think it is beautiful. We worked all weekend in 90 degree heat/humidity (it was like soup here) and kept having to stop because of thunderstorms moving through. It took all three days but together we mulched, dug holes, built walls and planted shrubs, trees, plants and flowers.

This juniper tree is going to add some privacy to our back deck. We've had an empty mulch garden for about 3 years. It's nice to have this to fill it out now! We are so happy to be done landscaping and now be able to enjoy our hardwork.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Batman in the house!

I know this is a "Window Seat Wanderings" day but I am not feeling it at the moment. Besides, we've got Batman in the house! He's been here since Saturday and doesn't seem to have plans to go away anytime soon. I've taken him to the grocery store, library and Walmart. So cute to see him enjoying the attention.

Meanwhile, this little guy took one look at his big brother all decked out and thought it was hilarious. He just laughs at Batman. Then he decided to make his own interpretation of a mask. Quite funny watching him walk around like this, bumping into things.

Monday, May 28, 2012


This weekend our not-so-little boy started pulling wheelies on his two wheel.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sun Fun!

We've been having a good 'ol heat wave around here. The kids have been begging to get in some water so we broke out the sprinkler the other day.
I just keep realizing how big he is getting.

Some brotherly reassurance that the sprinkler wasn't so bad. :)

Made a water slide and then had to turn it off so that little sis could get in on the fun. She's not at an age where she's really into the sprinkler yet!