Thursday, November 20, 2014

Right Now I am Thankful For | Week Four

Right now I have loved linking up over at, where she's hosting a thankful link party. Document your gratitude and then go link up too.

Right now I am thankful for...

A husband who is competent with a chainsaw and is able to safely fell our own trees.

Two girls who aren't embarrassed, but proud when all three of us put on black boots.

A little girl who loves to help with whatever project I'm working on.

My Silhouette Cameo.

Getting mistaken for a homeschooling momma at the local library.

A local farmer who raised beef and the local butcher that cut and wrapped the side of beef that filled up our freezer.

Good friends for my kids to play with on a day off from school.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Right Now I Am Thankful For | Week Three

I didn't post yesterday. I didn't have photos. I still don't. (I read somewhere once you needed to have a photo with every post and every since then I have a hard time posting without one. Words don't seem like enough.) But I do have lots and lots of thankful thoughts, so I am posting now, anyway. I really want to link up over at Angela Strand's blog. You can too. Go Here.

Right now I am thankful for...

A momma who prays with me on the phone when I tell her my feelings hurt. Then she comes running over so she can hug me and be with me.

Right now I am thankful for...

A God who extends lots of grace and mercy, heaping it on my head and covering over a multitude of sins and shortcomings and mess ups.

Right now I am thankful for...

Three precious children who seem to hug mommy tighter when I need it because I feel like a failure.

Right now I am thankful for...

Redeeming love that can make relationships beautiful, not because of perfect people, but because of imperfect people who God chooses to redeem anyway.

Right now I am thankful for...

The cleansing feeling of a cold hard fall wind that whips around you with so much speed and ferocity that you are reminded of your very small place in the world and the corresponding greatness that God loves me and would have sent His son to die, just for me.

Right now I am thankful for...

Music. Oh the sweet balm of music written to heal and inspire.

Right now I am thankful for...

The truth that His mercies are new every morning and that so many shadows are gone in morning light.

Right now I am thankful.

What about you?


Friday, November 7, 2014

Right Now I Am Thankful | Week Two

Right now I am thankful, so I am linking up over at Angela's blog.

Little girls that want their fingers and toes done with Mommy.

Property. Husband who has walked the property and already taken down any trees that could fall on the house and do damage. So when the winds come, I am not afraid.

There freedom right now to spend a morning taking off to shop and try on clothes without kids, even when I don't get much.

A boy who still loves Legos and plays for hours with them.

Flannel sheets. Oh how I love flannel sheets living in the Pacific Northwest.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Week In The Life 2014 | Saturday and Sunday Words & Photos

With the Week In The Life project at an end I'm a little sad and a little relieved. It's hard to focus on pictures and stories all week. Sometimes it feels like taking pictures gets in the way of just being. But I am always thankful and glad I did it.

I'm posting Saturday and Sunday's photos together to limit postings. I've posted more in the last week than I have posted in the last two months.

Saturday's Words and Photos

Saturday morning we slept in a bit. Then Eric encouraged the big kids to come outside and help rake up the leaves. They had fun and it was awesome to get some Fall photos of the big kids.

Mercy's coloring is perfect for Fall pictures.

Daniel worked diligently for a couple of hours. Halfway through Mercy came in and Gracie went out. Mercy was a cold emotional mess (we'd had a late night the night before and it affects her). So she and I snuggled under a couple of blankets on the couch. So no pictures of Gracie's hard work, but she did work about an hour outside too.

When they came in at lunch they had hot chocolate with mini marshmallows, a special treat.

While I cleaned up after lunch Eric sorted the mail. We're notorious for leaving our mail in the box for days. It's okay because we have one of those huge locked mailboxes, but it's always quite the sorting project when we get around to getting the mail.

After I cleaned up from lunch the kids went to a friend's house to play. Eric and I had three hours at home alone. Eric took a much needed nap. I spent time doing household chores. Real exciting, I know. But wonderful. I felt grateful for my friend who invited all three over at once.

Sunday's Words and Photos

Eric and I help with one of the children's programs at our church. The first Sunday of the month I have an awesome crew of volunteers that give Eric and I the week off. Love them. It was their Sunday. All I had to do was have the activities prepped.

The team said it went great. They had 18 kids this morning.

The Seahawks played this afternoon. We don't have TV so we've been making a habit of watching the games at Mom and Dad's, at least since last season when the Seahawks did well enough to make it to the Super Bowl. Eric is the only who really pays close attention to the game. The rest of us do other things, mostly just enjoying being together.

The kids all love going. Gracie is pretty selfish about time with Grandma and demands she sit with her. Grandma never seems to mind.

Mercy lefts to climb up at the kitchen counter and work with the art supplies. I love this picture. Uncle is hovering in the kitchen, giving her a hard time. She loves it. So does he.

Daniel us usually in an rout of the game. He wants to keep up on the score. But right now he's loving playing outside on Grandpa and Grandma's property, which has a great mix of trees and clearings where fort making can happen. He and Mercy spent a lot of time outside too.

This picture is nothing special, but I love the story it tells. My parents don't care about football at all. I don't think either has ever sat through a whole game. But they care about family and they really adore their son-in-law so they have us over and they even keep checking in on the game between doing activities with each of the grandkids. Love that. Love that they show love that way.

When we got home it was dinner time. Eric helped Gracie with her reading while I got some chicken caesar salad on the table for dinner. The kids got to bed by seven-thirty.

After the kids were down Eric and I sat at the table and talked about church stuff. I think that's one of my favorite things about Sunday evenings, verbally processing things with Eric. We talked about how we saw God working as evidence by some of the things we heard.

Eric called his mom and chatted. Then we headed back to the bedroom to watch a couple episodes of Alias before bed. Lately when we watch things we've tried to do it in the bedroom so that we aren't tempted to snack. I love to snack in the evenings and I'm really trying to cut back on it.

And there I have it, a Week In The Life. So thankful Ali Edwards inspires this kind of documenting because I would never have thought of it on my own.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Week In The Life 2014 | Friday Words & Photos {Halloween}

There are no Halloween costumes in my Friday Week In The Life post. That might seem really odd and if you don't know me very well you might already be making assumptions about why that is.

People really get into Halloween!

I was scrolling down my Facebook feed and saw Mary Poppins (definitely my favorite), Superman, Batman, Alice in Wonderland, Frida, and even a deer. Those were just the adults. Incredible costumes people! I am amazed at how elaborate and all out many go for Halloween. In some cases it appeared that more time, effort and money went into the grown-ups costumes than the kids'. People were having a lot of fun with their costumes! And I don't have a problem with that. I think it's awesome, if that's what you love to do.

Around here we don't really get into halloween that way. Not doing a holiday seems to require an explanation. And if you don't explain some jump to conclusions about why you don't do a holiday in the same way as everyone else. Mercy had a classmate tell her we were taking all the fun out of Halloween.

The reason we do Halloween differently has nothing to do with "not believing in Halloween." I don't think that most people who celebrate Halloween do so for any spiritual reasons. And I imagine that there are some who don't do it for spiritual reasons, but that isn't the case for us. We don't think that Halloween is evil or that dressing up in costumes somehow goes against our belief in God.

We do Halloween differently for lots of much less "holy" reasons:

  • Our family lives in the country and not in a housing development. No one knocks on our door and we would have to make more effort to go to someone else's neighborhood to knock on their doors to ask for candy. It somehow doesn't feel like a fair trade.
  • Two out of three of our kids wouldn't actually knock on a strangers' door (and I'm honestly okay with that).
  • Eric and I aren't huge fans of crowds or chaos, so "Halloween Parties" and "Events" aren't something we are naturally drawn toward so it's an easy thing for us to say no to.
  • When and where I grew up Halloween wasn't such a big deal. So I don't personally have a lot of great warm happy memories surrounding the holiday that I am trying to recreate for my children.
  • Most years since children Eric has been gone hunting over Halloween weekend or it was a rare weekend home that I wasn't willing to give up to do something we didn't love.
  • We don't really like spending a lot of money on costumes that aren't likely (in our house) to get used again and again. Frankly, the basic costumes have gotten quite elaborate and I struggle too much with being competitive, even with costumes. It would be a pricey endeavor if we decided to really do it.

But we don't completely skip Halloween. The night before our kids' school had a "Harvest Bash". We attended. I spent plenty of time on one kids' costume. One was super easy and the third child wanted to go as herself. She's a little like me, I think. She'd rather not dress up than have a "lame" costume. (This is the same kid who had a friend tell her we were taking all the fun out of it.) We stood in line with our punch cards and the kids literally left with five or six pieces of candy each. But we did it.

Friday night, Halloween night, I wanted more, more FUN! OUR idea of fun.

One of our favorite things to do as a family is a scavenger hunt. I write clues and we drive around town, hitting different places. So I planned a family night for the kids. They earned or won points throughout the evening. At the end of the night they cashed in their points for pieces of candy. They ended up with lots more candy in their "stash" than they'd gotten the night before and there was a lot less waiting in lines or crowds or insecurity about their costume. It works for us, but it probably wouldn't work for everybody.

We had a mini marshmallow dropping competition. I'm not afraid to brag, Eric and I ROCKED that!

We had "wooden sticks" (french fries) at Five Guys. I love this guy and it's not just because he brings me hot french fries.

We even had them practicing their spelling words for points. You are welcome, Mr. C.

We had a scavenger hunt at Target where we had to take pictures of everything on our list.

The girls won. Just saying. Because I know you were wondering!

We had ice cream at Big Scoop. The one with the current high score got to choose the flavor. Gracie choose cotton candy.

We had pizza at our favorite pizza parlor, Round Table.

We even played Name That WOW Hits Song and Artist on our drive to our favorite donut shop, The Donut House where we shared a donut.

We all had fun. It wasn't Halloween like I saw posted on Facebook, but it was our kind of family fun just the same. The kids are talking about doing it again next year.