Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Don't Go Away!!!!

You are reading the right blog!

I decided to change things up.  I can't even remember when I last changed the layout of my blog....it's been years for sure.

I checked and this is my 639th post (give or take a couple of unfinished or non posted posts).

Several things led me to revamp the blog.  The biggest one being that I feel that I am a completely different person from when I started blogging. My first post was in August 2007.  Over five years ago.  I was 26 years old. I had a 5 year old and a 3 three old.  We were getting in the groove of homeschooling. We had been married six years. Wow...we were babies! ha  ha!

  My life has had a makeover.  The past three years, especially, have refined and produced a stronger, more faith-filled, spirit led, and submissive individual.  When we began the journey to create a family of five, almost exactly three years ago, we had no idea what kind of journey we would be taking as a result of that decision.  And every step in our lives from that point on has urged us to a place of complete surrender. Surrender of our plans.  Surrender of our goals and means.

It is a wonderful place to be.  And it has taught me the meaning of time.  Time is fleeting.  As the mom of a ten year old, three years seems like one night's sleep.  As the mom of a very energetic 18 month old, every day feels a lifetime long.

There are things I want to do! Take the kids to hear an orchestra. Hike to a waterfall. Get a passport. Make homemade pasta!

So often the day, week, month, or year, goes by, and I realize that so many things I intended to do were never done.  Sometimes it's because it wasn't the right thing for me to do.  More often, it's because I never planned and actually took a step in order to actually get those things done.

I never intended to become a stay at home housewife.  My "plan" was to do the whole working thing, and "maybe"  adopt "one day." But....God had other plans and when the reality of leaving them every day to spend hours,days,weeks.... with a bunch of other kids sank in...well, my heart changed.
I felt freedom like no other as I loaded my classroom into my car during post planning that last year. It's the job I never knew I always wanted.  Being a mom is easy to fall in love with.  Being a housewife...eh..not so much.  For me anyway.  All the rest that comes with the package (housework, meal planning, housework, laundry, budgeting, organizing, did I mention housework?)  is hard for a scatter brained, unorganized, easily discouraged person like myself.

I want to embrace the role and see what happens when good intentions meet good planning!

We have a fresh start in our lives right now. It's the perfect time to develop better habits, try our hand at a simpler life, and hopefully become more intentional with every single day. To look back in a year and be able to not regret all the things we  never got around to doing, because the list of things we DID accomplish is so bright! :)

Now I know what it means to plan and things not turn out the way you want.  I've learned that lesson!  But,I am convinced that being intentional with your actions, the days and weeks that turn into years, with some standards and goals, is a totally different thing than having a "blueprint" for how your life is going to turn out.

Perhaps I can (un)intentionally turn into Donna Reed?  Someone who has it together and not just looking from the outside in.

Stranger things have happened!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Our Three Gift Christmas

Christmas this year is definitely going to be different!  Last year, (the year of the tornado) was the last year in that house, though we didn't know it at the time.  This year will be in a different, very cozy, new place, and some slight changes in the traditions.

We are still going to be doing our three gifts.  But, I came across a blog post earlier in the season that put a new spin on the three gifts.  I love the way she explained what they do.  We always had done three gifts in the "idea" of Jesus receiving three gifts, but now they will be based more on the meaning behind the actual gifts that Jesus received. 

The first gift will be a "gold," gift.  In other words, something that is worth a great deal to the recipient.  "Fit for a king."  This translates perfectly into our "something they want" gift from the past.  

The second gift will be a "frankincense" gift.  Frankincense was burned in the temple as part of worship.  This represents a spiritual gift, something to help them in their walk with the Lord.  This one will be the biggest change, from our usual "something for the family to enjoy together" idea of the past.  Honestly, I was struggling with ideas for this now that Ruby is around...there aren't very many things that we can ALL enjoy together, specifically as far as a physical gift to open goes.  We could have done the zoo, etc, but there are only so many ideas for that now.  So instead, we will replace this idea with the spiritual walk gift.  You can see some examples in the post I linked, but I won't give away what we chose for them until after Christmas. (Katie has been known to read my blog! ;)

The third gift is a "myrhh" gift.  Myrhh was used to anoint the body before burial.  Wonderful symbolism in the first Christmas.  But...not so much for kids, ha ha. However, it's EASY to get something for the body as a gift.  Our "something they need" gift almost always ended up being something for their body (clothes, etc) so that's the theme for the third gift now and replacing that particular gift idea we used in the past.

I love that our three gifts have even more symbolism now, in tying directly in with the three gifts from the Magi.  Oh, and last year we got new stockings for the family that are NORMALLY sized, so that will be new and different as well.  And a little more *under control* ha ha.

Looking forward to the new and old this year! Old traditions with a new spin.  The same family and love in a new home. Getting together with old friends with new stories and fun memories to make!

Friday, November 30, 2012


It has been a VERY busy time around here.

I have never lived anywhere else while posting to this blog, yet here I sit. In a different bedroom, in a different house, in a different town.  Though we have changed our surroundings, we remain the same family.  Stronger because of the change that has occurred over the past few months.

8 years = the number of years we lived at our former house.

126 days: (18 weeks, less than five months) the amount of time between Corey's last job ending and the time we moved here, which was the final transition to our current stage of life.  I know it won't be permanent, because there are many things in the works for us.  But, what seemed like such a LONG period of time, really in some ways has flashed before our eyes.  God's timing has been so perfect.  We found a wonderful place, in a GREAT location, that is just right for us, right now.  Corey's job is going wonderfully, he has gotten fantastic reviews, lots of good feedback, and is really impressing them all around! And some opportunity for advancement will be coming his way very soon!  He has ROCKED at school-straight As so far, and getting closer every day to having his degree!  The kids have been wonderful....well, Ruby has not adjusted very well to sleeping in the new place, but oh well, it's always something with a toddler around.

We are settled and preparing to celebrate our first Christmas in this new place.  It's so cozy.  And I am loving the convenient location!  The appliances here work great (much better than our old ones!), and the kids have a playroom.  We look forward to using the sunroom as the weather gets warmer, and are really just amazed at what God has provided for us during this transitional period.  

We couldn't have made it through these past months without the love, support of our family.  I truly do not know what people do who don't have someone to turn to when times get tough.  We still have some settling in to do (getting into the groove of the new budget) and the next few months will be make it or break it, but I know we will make it.  I am thankful that I have a husband who works hard and who gives to and for his family.

Now, to end, I will leave some pictures of an impromptu photo session I did with the kids tonight.  Ruby is 18 months old now.  CRAZY.  Corey and I celebrate our thirteenth Christmas together this year.  My, how those years have flown!

Oh, and I am so tired that I forgot to address the title of the post.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Maze

I've been trying to think of what our life is like right now.  An example, a way to explain things.  This is what came to mind.

If, it was a maze that you didn't know you were in until you'd gone down some dead end paths.
And, if it was a maze that you really weren't sure what would be waiting when you come out at the end.
AND, if it was a maze in which you had a guide Who waited right up until you got to the point where you HAD to make a choice, left or right, straight or back, before nudging you in the right direction. 
Don't you love guides like that? 
Of course not.  We want a guide that says, "okay, up ahead, in about 2 miles, you are going to turn right."
Or, like the GPS: "Take the exit right, then stay in the left lane."

Nope, this is the one that when you stop at a red light, they wait and wait and wait, and when the light turns green and you put your foot on the gas they THEN yell, "OH turn right!"

But, if it's someone you really trust, you are going to turn right. I mean, just because they didn't tell you 3 miles back doesn't mean that they don't know where you are going.  If you don't know how to get where you are going, or even KNOW where you are going, you really don't have a choice but to turn right.

Getting from point A to point B, when all you know is how to get to point A.  

We are in awe of God's timing.  When we arrive to the little points in between point A and B, we realize that if we hadn't gone down the dead end path, or if we'd known where we were going and therefore gotten there faster, then each little event wouldn't have happened at the right time.  It's being at the right place at the right time with the right people and under the right circumstances.  

Have you ever seen one of those cartoons where a baby is crawling around and all these calamities are following right behind them, or things happen at just the right time to keep them from falling off the roof of a building, or stopping the rock from falling on their head?  I also think of that.  If that baby had stepped one second sooner or later, disaster would have occurred.

God is so good!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Katie's 10th Birthday!

Katie turned TEN!  I can't believe it.  Still in shock. ha!
She had a "rainbow" and "Moshi Monsters" themed birthday party.
She made invitations, handed them out, went to spend the night with her Meme, and we SURPRISED her with her party a week early!

 The rainbow tablecloth swag, thanks Aunt Jenn!

 The Moshi Monsters Cake, from Heaven Scent Cakes, in Cartersville.
The rainbow cupcakes, thanks Aunt Hannah!

 The moment of SURPRISE! She came right before the guests and got to see everything and gear up for the party!

 Arts and Crafts: bottle cap bracelets and scratch off masks/door hangers.
Some of the food sitting out, with the "moshi monster" themed names, like sludge dip, and slugs in rugs.
Thanks Meme and Nanna for working so hard getting the food out!

 Nail Art. 
Ruby got a fingernail painted.

 Blowing out TEN candles was hard work!
Noah and a friend, spent most of the party outside, but came in for a cupcake.

 Enjoying time with her friends.
All the gals at the party.

Beautiful nails! by Aunt Jenn! THANKS!

A wall of pictures of Katie, and the shoe donation table. 
We ended up with 19 pairs of shoes for Simone's Kids.

Aunt Jenn finishing up Katie's nail art.

 end of party pics with the grandparents.

 Katie reading her "things we love about katie" book, put together by her friends and family.
She has probably read it 50 times, and I am probably underestimating that!
One of my favorite pics ever.  I got the biggest hug ever!
It was a really fun day!
I measured her just a few minutes ago and she is now 4'9". Only 7" shorter than me!

And now, Katie is going to tell you about her party, with pics she picked out to post. :)

Hey everybody this is the main character Katie and I have sevral pics to share.

below: a hug from Ru (Rare)

                                                            Below: A boy I invited to keep Noah occupied.
                                                          Below 3 times: YUMMYS

Below: the cutest thing in the galaxy.                                      
 Below: CRAZY CREW!!!!!
 Below: La di da I am a cute 10 yr old!!!!
 Now Impressions
 um what?
 OH its a.......
 IS THIS A........
 TICKET TO A.........

Ok thats it for the show thanks for watching STYD tv (scream till you die)

Friday, September 21, 2012

A New Season

Where did summer fly away to so quickly? Tomorrow is the first day of fall, but around here it will still look that picture for a while.  Green and colorful as well.  I had never seen this quote about fall before, but it seems quite appropriate for us right now......

As summer turns to fall, we will be experiencing some big life changes.  Changes that will be almost like a spring of sorts.  A new start.  A new schedule, a new job, a new everything really.
Corey and I have always claimed fall as our favorite season, so maybe this one will come through as a time we can look back on as a favorite in our lives.  It's hard to think that way now,  but the following verse came up twice to me today and I am reminded of what we were given back in the summer about holding on and being confident of our choices.  God is with us and isn't going to step out before we get to wherever it is we are headed. Philippians 1:6

In the meantime......

I will hold on to my Strength.  
Continue to be refined and not allow doubt and worry to make my days fruitless. 
 School is going very well.  Ruby has adjusted somewhat and has found a friend in Elmo to get her through the times I can't allow her to sit in my lap while I teach Katie or Noah, ha ha.
She has NOT however, stopped her climbing adventures.  Yesterday I found her sitting in the very middle of the kitchen table.  Pro: we keep the kitchen table cleared off now. Con: All our stuff is going to be on top of the cabinets before she hits two!
Corey, in the midst of everything, remains a straight A student, it's a good thing he doesn't require much sleep!
I started up my Bible study again at church and am loving it! We are working through the book and dvd series "Unglued" about getting in control of your emotions/outbursts.  Very useful stuff!

My phone died Sunday, so I can't share any new pictures. :(
Hopefully they aren't lost forever. And hopefully I will get a new phone going soon.

What a day! What a week! What a summer!
Memorable for sure.