Thursday, April 30, 2009

Beautiful Christian Sister

By Maya Angelou'

A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ
That a man should have to seek Him first to find her.

'When I say.... 'I am a Christian' I'm not shouting 'I'm clean living,
'I'm whispering 'I was lost, Now I'm found and forgiven.

'When I say... 'I am a Christian' I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say.... 'I am a Christian' I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I still feel the sting of pain....
I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner Who received God's good grace, somehow!

Pretty is as Pretty does... But beautiful is just plain beautiful!

Personal Triumph

About a year ago my friend Jori was over one afternoon when I noticed her amazing travel cup. It looks just like a Starbucks venti cold cup, but it a reusable, insulated travel cup for cold drinks. I was absolutely elated because I LOVE STRAWS and DIET COKE OVER ICE from sun-up to sun-down (depressing, I know...). So typically I take a glass (a real glass from the house) and a straw with me when I go somewhere. I haven't broken one yet, but I wouldn't put it past myself. So when I saw Jori's cup, I searched high and low for one of my very own. I scowered many a Starbucks and searched the internet. I found them on E-bay but I wasn't willing to pay more than 50 bucks (which is already outrageous), so I have waited and waited and waited. Jori spotted the cups yesterday at the Silverton Starbucks in Safeway and I zoomed there just in time to get my very own. I am proud to announce that I am the new owner of a Starbucks insulated cold cup (okay, so three of them). Your drink stays cold, they don't sweat, and the lid screws on tight! What an amazing day in my world...Praise the Lord for the small blessings!

What's been going on...

Things around here have been business as usual...busy! Ryan (and company) are done planting onions, which is always a blessing. I took this picture when I went to pick up Logan after he spent the afternoon in the planter with daddy!On Sunday Ryan took the kiddos to Ag-Fest (at the fairgrounds). Ag-Fest has all sorts of animals, tractors, exhibits and fun agricultural related acitivites for the kids. I spent the day catching up on errands. Nana and Papa were kind enough to go along for the adventure to help Ryan out and spend the day with the kiddos. I reluctantly skipped out on Ag-Fest this year in hopes of getting some, much needed, errands done. I was able to hit Costco, did some returns and got the kiddos each their spring jammies. Ryan only got a few pictures before the battery in the camera died, but here they are:

Logan milking a 'cow' I am guessing she is the Rodeo Princess...Logan drives a tractor! Nana and Papa with the kiddos! Next on the list of exciting happenings is Mason started walking. It is kind of a hoot to watch because he is so stinkin' tiny. In fact, he primarily wears t-shirts because his shorts fall off of him when he crawls and he trips on his pants. Mya realizes that she is missing out on the new adventure. She is trying, trying, trying to walk. She just started to stand on her own (since Mason started walking)....she practices ALL THE TIME. It is so funny to watch the dynamics between the Mason and Mya--they totally have their own communication and they are always looking for each other and working together. For Mya's attempts at walking she gets herself steady, holds her arms out and squeals a long squeal as though to give herself a little pep talk before attempting to take a step and promptly falling. It is HILARIOUS!
Maybe she thinks she's doing the hula!Mya is getting so adventursome! She is just blossoming and coming into her own. She used to be really timid and afraid to try things on her own, but she is really just enjoying life these days and getting brave. This morning when I went into Logan's room I found Mya on the train table. She got there all by HERSELF.

Friday, April 24, 2009

and growing...!

I'm sure you all have been dying to know how the our sunflower project has been going!--(Yes, I am being sarcastic)! So here are a couple pics of the ones that are working out. We planted five, with two being in small terra cotta pots and three being in little plastic pots. The plastic pots aren't really working out because they are so light and small that they keep falling over and dumping the soil and seeds. The terra-cotta pots are working much better. The seedling that is so much bigger was planted the week before (hence the size difference) as I was was checking out the soil pellets and giving the project a trial-run. And don't worry, I promise to update you on how our plants are growing over the next few weeks ; )

Iron Sharpens Iron!

Today as I was reading my MOPS, Mom Sense magazine I was struck by an article about friendship entitled "Moms Sharpening Moms" by Kristen Strong. She based it off of Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." She shared about a few of her 'mom-friends' who have sharpened her parenting skills. After I read the article I couldn't help but think of my own mom-friends who I look-up to and value their parenting input for various reasons. I wanted to share just a couple with you.

Becca is my "selfless/kiddos first" mom friend. Becca can leave something messy so she has time for art and Bible time with her 3-year-old. She focuses on the moment with her daughters and truly enjoys them in a way that makes her time with them special. I love this because I feel like I always have my own agenda for the day (projects, cleaning, etc) that I am trying to reconcile with keeping my kiddos happy...rather than staying focused on putting them first. Thanks Becca!

Annie is my "reflective"mom friend. We can have deep conversations about parenting, relationships and the Lord. I can always count on Annie to give me an opinion worth real thought. She chooses her words carefully and has a heart for things that are genuine and worthwhile. Thanks Annie!

Robyn is my "blogging" mom friend. Robyn was one of my roommates in college and she is a faithful blogger. She blogs about her joys, tears, struggles and successes as a mom. They are a source of real encouragment to me as she handles life's challenges with grace-she may beg to differ. Sometimes I can't believe the things she is willing to do and face head-on. I love that she is willing to blog openly about life's adventures so people like me can be encouraged. Thanks Robyn!

I value all of my gal pals for reasons that are too numerous to post. I have truly been blessed with a garden of friends that is home to beautiful, unique, outstanding women. My heart swells with joy when I meditate on the goodness of God through my mom friends and gal pals who aren't mamas yet. Thank you Lord for all the amazing women in my life that make me a better mom, wife and friend.


I couldn't help but laugh and take a few pictures of my kiddos in our new gated play area--they looked like cute little jailbirds. I bought it to use outside for the times when I needed to tend to Logan or his toys and had no where safe for Mason and Mya to be. Our yard isn't fully-fenced and a very busy road goes right by our house in the front. When we were all outside the other day, evertime I needed to help Logan get his power-wheel unstuck or had to get something out of the shed I had to STRAP Mason and Mya snugly into the wagon (with they can dump if they work together). So the solution I came up with was this little gated area. I brought it inside to figure out how it worked and the kids thought it was pretty stinkin' exciting. We put balls in it, made forts and even made it into a drive-thru. It turned out to be a fun inside adventure as well as a practical outside solution.

Monday, April 20, 2009

To have it altogether....

I struggle with the desire to seem like I 'have it altogether'. I like my kids to be dressed just right, my house to look just right, and my gifts to have perfect 'wire-ribbon' bows. I like perfectly themed birthday parties, dinner on the table, great thank-you cards, frames with completely updated pictures, and anything else you could imagine . Not only that, for some reason I want people to think it is natural and easy for me-which it's not!. No one sees behind the scenes where the truth lies. In actuality it takes me, my mom, Judy, a cleaning gal, and evening help to hold it altogether. Today I was laughing outloud as I looked around my house. It was an absolute disaster and I found myself thinking, "man, imagine if people could see what it is really like around here..!" Then I started thinking, "Why not?" "What's the big deal?" here it is. This is my house when I am unsuccessful at holding it together in a way that would I would like. On the bright side, the kids and I spent the whole morning outside playing and Logan and I planted sunflowers. I guess 'having it all together' is a matter of perspective...and now my secret is out. What a relief!
Breakfast and lunch least the kids ate at both meals right?

Spring Blessings!

Spring is here...I love the sights and warmth that the season brings. What a blessing!

Flower Garden...inside.

Today Logan and I planted sunflowers and some other random flowers. I got some of the soil pellets (just add water) and tiny pots at Target in the dollar section. Logan loved watching the soil grow planting the seeds. It goes against my nature to do projects like this because I don't love dirt or even getting dirty. I try really hard to just get past it, but nonetheless I feel good when I actually go through with my 'dirty projects'. Mason found some dirt that Logan had dropped but other than that...all went well. Logan is so excited to watch his plants grow. He watched them intently for about 15 minutes after we finished planting them. We will update you on the results of our new project. I do NOT have a green thumb at all, but I figure I probably can't goof these up...right?
PS: This is a really good book with some excellent illustrations. It shows the soil, roots, etc....a good companion for a project like this one!

Birthdays, girlfriends, and a day out!

On Saturday I went to my friend Jen's kiddos' birthday party. Elias turned one and Isaiah turned two. Yes, you heard right! The kiddos are one year and four days apart. She is a wonder-woman. It was a solo mission again because when the sun shines, Ryan is working (bittersweet...glad they are getting things done, bummed I am taking care of the kiddos on my own day after day). It really is good for me to get out of the house and be FORCED to tackle doing stuff with the all three kids by myself.

I couldn't help but reminisce at the party because Jen and I have known each other since our first year of college. We later shared an apartment and came to be great buds....with all the memories that come along with being roomies. I was also 9 months pregnant at Jen's wedding. I flew to Idaho with a couple of other girlfriends toting my GIANT brown bridesmaid dress. In fact, I had to alter it with TONS of extra fabric (and my feet would no longer fit in shoes). I felt like a giant Hershey kiss, but I loved standing with her at her wedding. Years later, I am at her sons' birthday party. How special is it that God allows us to walk through life with our friends and share history, memories and special occasions. I love girlfriends! (Have I ever mentioned that before???? )

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He IS Risen Indeed!

What a blessed day of church, family, friends, and Easter Baskets! We went to church this morning with my mom and then spent the rest of the day at Nana and Papa's house with the rest of the family. It was so fun for Logan, Mason, Mya, Addi, and our newest niece Lilly to be together. They played (well not exactly Lilly) and enjoyed the day together. We finally got home tonight about 9:00, but Logan decided to stay the night with Nana and Papa. It is such a blessing have someplace that you always belong and are completely welcome as you are.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Oh Mason!

Mr. Mason tends to be relatively stubborn. For example, if he decides he doesn't want to take a nap (despite the fact that he is roaming the house crying out of shear exhaustion), he will whine and cry until I come rescue him-which I seldomly do. The other day he cried, whimpered and moaned for quite some time until he fell asleep sitting up against the bars in his crib. I couldn't resist documenting the humorous situation with a picture.

Dinner and a Fire!

Last night Kim, Enez and I headed to Bridgeport for dinner at P.F. Changs. After dinner we visited and shopped (go figure...). It was so nice to have a dinner free from cleaning up messes and having to shovel food down our throats. All was normal until Enez and I were driving home, and we came upon a road block. All of a sudden I saw thick smoke and realized that there were firemen putting out a car fire--those of you who know me well, know that I have an absolute PHOBIA/PARANOIA about car fires. In fact, the other day in Portland, I had a minor panic attack while driving because I swore I smelled smoke. Shortness of breath, sweat, lightheadedness...the whole nine yards. However, last night I totally pulled it together. I handled the situation like a trooper (even if I do say so myself). My calm may have had something to do with the glass of wine I had just enjoyed. I did manage to stick my camera out the sun roof to get a shot before we zoomed away. For the blog...of course!

P.F. Changs!

We tried to take a picture of ourselves in the car, because we realized we had neglected to take pictures for most of the evening! The picture is fuzzy because we were actually pretty far away....I couldn't/wouldn't get any closer, so I tried to zoom way in.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Easter Pictures!

All three of them...the very best we could do!Today I took the kiddos to Picture People to have their pictures taken in their Easter clothes! I am thrilled that we did it, because I have the pictures, however it is always an ordeal to get pictures of all three of the kiddos. All is I can say is HALLELUJAH FOR GRANDMAS! Judy went with us and helped us survive the whole oredeal. I have gotten so spoiled having a photographer as a close bud. Jess typically gets amazing candid shots of the kiddos with little to no effort--since she is around so often, she sees opts to capture them at their best (surprise, surprise). Unfortunately we didn't have that luxury today, but hey...all is well that ends well, right? This last one is just a super cute, couldn't leave it out, kind of picture. In a last ditch effort to cheer Mya up we gave her my necklace....she is a Tiffany & Co. girl already!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I did it!

I climbed the highest mountain and crossed the deepest sea--okay, not exactly, but I did take ALL my kids to a birthday party ALL BY MYSELF. One year-old twins that don't walk plus Logan makes quite the combo. I was 100% committed to making it to the birthday party-Kylie Grace turned ONE today! The fact that Ryan was working made things a little more difficult. We rallied the troops and I took the kids all by myself. My mom was busy, Judy was busy and Holly (my helper-extraordinare) was sick so I set out on a solo mission. The kids and I started getting ready about 8:30 this morning, and we made it! We were even on-time! Hallellujah! Happy Birthday Miss Kylie!
PS: Becca is party queen so Kylie's party was incredibly cute--I had to post the pics!

4 generations!

On Friday, Mya and I met my mom, grandma and a couple of aunts for a collective birthday lunch at Red Robin. My grandma, mom, me and Mya made 4 generations all out to lunch. Grandmas love that sort of thing. It started out kind of crummy because I got insanely lost (even with navigation)...but it ended well--I eventually found it. Good company and the best french fries in the world!


On Thursday nights Logan goes to Kindermusik (as you likely well know). In class, they had a guest visitor--a puppy in training for medical service. Logan and I walked in a few minutes late (surprise, surprise) and the dog was just about ready to leave, so Logan and I hurridly sat down and 'had our turn' with the dog (there is this whole little song deal). The lady gave Logan a dog biscuit to give to the dog and Logan didn't understand that it was for the dog so he started to eat it. It was absolutely hysterical. Needless to say, he isn't around dogs that often. So of course we grabbed the dog biscuit and explained that it was for the dog. He is still really confused, just for the record. I wish that I had had my camera with me at that exact moment-but I didn't. I did, however, capture a few pictures during the rest of class.

Mom's birthday basket--

My mom's birthday was April 1st and for her birthday we thought we would get her some help in the yard (being a single gal, there are some things she sort of needs help with...moving big stuff and so on). Since Ryan is busy with work, and I am absolutely worthless in the yard-(REALLY WORTHLESS), we gave her the gift of labor-from an outside source. A full day of hired help to do with as she wishes. Since I didn't have any landcapers that were dying to be wrapped up in a box for mom to open on her birthday- I made her a little landscaping basket with all sorts of goodies in it (primarily so she had something to open). Didn't it come out cute? It had plant markers, seeds, a little pink rake, shovel and sprayer (how cute is that?), a magnetic list (to keep track of her projects), and a pink water bottle all in a little tin!

Logan the elephant

My Elephant Thinks I'm Wonderful

My elephant thinks I'm wonderful.
My elephant thinks I'm cool.
My elephant hangs around with me
and follows me into school.
My elephant likes the way I look.
He thinks that I'm fun and smart.
He thinks that I'm kind and generous
and have a terrific heart.
My elephant thinks I'm brave and bold.
He's proud of my strength and guts.
But mostly he likes the way I smell.
My elephant thinks I'm nuts.
--Kenn Nesbitt

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Gift Giver-Logan

My heart has paused in gratitude the last couple of days as my son has taken up the 'hobby' of giving gifts. His favorite gift to give is that of Mack, the Mack truck on the Cars Movie. He loves to hide it under a blanket and 'surprise' me with a special gift. I shower him with praise and thank him for thinking of me and taking the time to be thoughtful. He is quite in tune with gifts. At the age of three (barely) he honestly knows where most of his toys came from. He will says things like, "That was sure nice of Owen and Jack to get me that car for my birthday." -his favorite ride-on-car from his 2nd birthday. Or , "That was sure nice of Grammy to get me that." Of course we do make sure to tell him who his gifts are from (initially) and that sort of thing, but he just seems to notice gifts and care where they came from for that matter. He genuinely has a heart of gratitude and I take such pleasure in it. The fact that he appreciates the gifts he has been given and is beginning to take joy in thinking of others makes my heart glad.
My love language is gifts- I love to give them and I love to receive them (being honest here). I typically shop for birthdays weeks before they get here. I take joy in the small details of ribbon, tissue and bags, and I especially love planning themed baskets. To me, it is a small way to show others how appreciated they are!
Today is my mom's birthday (Grammy) and Logan was really concerned about when and where her birthday party was going to be. He also wondered about her gifts and her cake. I loved seeing him taking an interest in someone else's special day-and wanting to celebrate it. God has given him a gracious, tender spirit that is genuinely concerned about the best interest of others. I feel so fortunate to receive his special gifts all day long-even if they are Mack wrapped up in a blanket over and over. They are an expression of Logan's desire to make my day special by giving me a 'good gift'. I'm off to take Mack for a spin down the hallway, so Logan can see me enjoying my gift! Blessings!