Monday, November 19, 2012

A happy fall

It is hard for me to believe that Thanksgiving is just a few short days away. This happens every year it seems. September rolls in and I'm ready to savor all the goodness of fall.  And then I blink and it's Thanksgiving and I need to Christmas shop! This year was no different especially since we added to the mix a busy baby boy who's schedule alone keeps me hopping. But we did manage to find lots of fall fun.

 Fall festival horse rides- she loved it!
 Mati wasn't quite so sure.
 We enjoyed some beautiful weather and taught the baby about mini golf. 
 Haven found herself a new reading spot. Looks really uncomfortable but she was thrilled with herself!
 We did some art projects, too. Oil pastels and water colors- a favorite combo!
 Trick-or-treaters ready to go!
This year we had a soccer player, a baby zebra and a veterinarian. They had a blast despite the rain.

I might have my eye on December and be itching to do all manner of Christmas-y things, but I will be clamoring to be the first to share my thankful heart on Thursday. We had a huge hearing for E last week and found out that he will be staying with us for the foreseeable future. We've lived so much of 2012 in 6 week increments, always waiting for the next court date and to not have one looming for many, many months is such a relief.  We have so enjoyed being a family of five this fall and are thrilled to get to celebrate the holidays together!

Friday, October 19, 2012

ten years strong

Ten years married...

Ten years of new dreams taking root in our hearts and old dreams dying.
Ten years of new relationships growing and others fading away.
Ten years of choosing to love each other and liking each other mostly, too.
Ten years of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
Ten years of saying yes to the Lord and sometimes Him saying no.
Ten years of holding on to each other and sometimes pushing away.
Ten years of meals shared, dishes dirtied, laundry washed and the everyday mundane.
Ten years of Friday nights on the couch and the just being us.
Ten years of trips and travels to different corners of the world.
Ten years of family and who He's growing us to be.
Ten years of weekends and laughter and being the best of friends.
Ten years of waking up next to and kissing goodnight.

I love you, CHZ. I am overcome when I consider the faithfulness of God in my life and that He gave me you to share it with. You will always be my best one.

Love will be enough. We are stronger than we know.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A long time missing

16 years. That's a long time to miss someone.

But today we're going to focus on celebrating instead of missing.  I'm going to look my people in the eye and tell them a story about this man they've never met.  I will fill my table with new friends and good food.  I will open my heart and mind to the truth of His Word and praise His faithfulness with my church family. I will remember his laugh, his voice, his gestures and maybe cry some.

But mostly, I will celebrate this life that I live and his indelible influence that runs through my life like a strong, bright cord.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Favorites

It has been way too long since I shared some Friday favorites.   So what do you say? How about today?  Good.

-This will be a no-brainer to most of you, but I'm loving the new Mumford & Sons album, Babel. Favorite song so far- "I Will Wait".  It has been my afternoon soundtrack the last 3 days.

-Orla Kiely and Method: a perfect match to me!  Cute bottle, great smelling soap and I'm sold.

-Okay, be patient with me on this one, but Cale and I are loving the ridiculous show "Duck Dynasty".  I had heard people talk about it several months ago and assumed that was not a show for me.  Earlier this week several blogs I read mentioned the wife that is on the show and I decided to look more into it.  All it took was one minute long clip on hulu to know that this was a show Cale and I needed to watch. It is SO FUNNY!  We have watched 5 or 6 episodes this week and we are constantly laughing out loud.  If you want to see some crazy rednecks in action then this is your show.  It sounds ridiculous and it is, but we can't get enough of it!  Good news is you can watch all of season 1 on hulu. I'm going to refrain from posting a nice picture at the top of this note because you might get scared!

-We are going to have family pictures taken by the best photographer I know next week and I've been trying to figure out what everyone is wearing.  I ordered this dress for Haven from Land End and it is adorable.  The top is t-shirt like and the skirt is fine wale corduroy and I love it.  It's a little brighter in person, but I think we're going to make it work.  Thank you Lands End for a 40% off coupon and a sale.

-I saw these English muffins at the store and didn't think anything of it til I read about them on a blog (which I can't find the actual link to).  Then I saw the big packs at Sam's Club and knew we needed to try them.  Let me implore you to buy them!  They are delicious- not too strong of a flavor.  Just right for these fall mornings.  I might stockpile my freezer with them!

And that's all I've got.  I, for one, and very glad it is Friday.  It's been a long week and I'm ready for a not-too-busy weekend!  Hope it's a good one for you, too!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Here we go again

It has been a week since the phone rang.  And just that like, he was home.

I think it's finally settled in that he's here.  I get to rock him to sleep at night and kiss his chubby cheeks and listen to his silly laugh.  He's here.  For now, anyways.

I'll take it.  And all the crazy that comes with him.  Any day with him is better than without.

sorry about football face, but at least you can see how big he's gotten!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Field Trip: Learning Tree Farm

We are fortunate to have several friends who also homeschool and we decided it would be a great idea to organize some field trips together.  We had our first one last week at Learning Tree Farms and it was so much fun for all of us.  Learning Tree Farms is completely hands on and the wonderful ladies working at the farm that day were so helpful and patient with our kids.
 We got to hold chickens....well, not me.  Didn't volunteer for that one myself, but my son did!
 This is the farm's only black sheep.  Guess what it's name is?  That's right, it's Mattie.  We were dying laughing!  My Mati thought it was cool that the sheep had brown skin like he does.  
 Coolest part of the visit was the baby goat that was born while we were there!  This little guy (who we got to name- we picked Gibson) is minutes old in this picture.  
They also had two little goats that were only about a week old.  The moms couldn't get enough of these baby goats!
 Best buds with the donkeys; we learned that male donkeys are called jacks and females jenny. 
 We took a hike through the woods on the property and were rewarded with a clearing and a tire swing.  Also swarms of mosquitoes, but that didn't bother the kiddos!

See, I was there!  That's me and baby Casper, the goat.  Oh they were cute!

This was a great place to have our first field trip.  It was such a joy to see all our kids of various ages interacting and playing and learning together.  And it doesn't hurt that I got to hang out with some of my favorite women in the world.  We had such a great experience at Learning Tree Farm and I hope that this was the first of many visits there!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Afternoon snack: Cranberry Cereal Bars

Need a little afternoon snack to get you through til dinner?  These little bars are a favorite around our house. As easy as Rice Krispie treats, but a whole lot tastier in my opinion.  There's something about the crunch and flavor of the Cheerios in these bars that I just love.  So a quick, easy, kinda-not-terrible treat for your kids will love to help make them!

Cranberry Cereal Bars
4 Tbs butter
1 10 oz bag mini marshmallows
6 cups Cheerios (or other toasted O kinda cereal)
1/2 tsp salt (sounds weird, but critical- don't omit!)
1 cup dried cranberries

Spray a 9x13 dish lightly with cooking spray.  Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in marshmallows.  Stir constantly until completely melted.  Remove from heat and add cereal, salt and cranberries.  Immediately transfer to prepared pan and pat into place firmly.  (I usually use a large spoon sprayed with cooking spray to keep from sticking.) Let cool about an hour.  Cut into 24 bars and enjoy!

recipe slightly adapted from Everyday Food
photo: courtesy of Martha Stewart