Thanksgiving 2015

Another Thanksgiving at the Fire Station, which means… I don’t have to cook or clean, kids have a blast, and we’re together as a family.  The only down side?  Driving home without Daniel.  Other than that, we had such a wonderful day!

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Playing in the fire truck… all day long!

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Riding scooters… a firehouse holiday must.

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We brought Malachi’s electronics set for fun.

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Allison and I had a lot of fun with the volleyball!

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The highlight this year came after the feast.  We went for a little hike behind the fire station.  It was so beautiful!  (I needed to do about 10 more hikes to burn off all the calories I ate!)

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We came back for dessert and a round of “Don’t Eat Tom Turkey” before heading home.

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So thankful.

Making Lemonade…

What happens when the weather decides to be gorgeous and sunny just as Thanksgiving break comes and all school pressure is off?  Apparently one thing that happens is a blogging break.  Then there’s a whole bunch of time spent playing outside.  Woohoo!  And, finally, there is lemonade to be made.

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These past few days really have been so wonderful.  Somehow this break just snuck up on me, and I found myself surprised in the most wonderful way that it was here!  Of course, there are Christmas cards to be sent, birthdays to prepare for, Christmas decorating, and a whole list of other things… but with this weather (and our yummy lemonade of course), all seems well in the world!  Not to mention, the joy of this season is so real when you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Without Him, peace on earth doesn’t even make sense.  With Him, there is such peace and joy and contentment in one’s heart.   I pray you feel that joy and peace today!

Almost 4

In just over a week, my baby will turn 4.  Overnight he seems to have changed from a toddler to a little pre-schooler.  Perhaps it’s the haircut.  Anyway, his last birthday party was simple; construction.  He used to love construction vehicles more than his mama!  The sandbox was such a great fit for him.

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Sometime mid-summer, however, he informed us that he no longer wanted a sand box.  (Say what?!)  Because of sheer laziness, er hopefulness that it was just a phase, I left the sandbox.

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Now we still catch him once in a while playing for long periods like he used to.  I’m so glad it’s not quite over.

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I’m not sure I’m ready for this little guy to grow much more!

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I’ve heard 4 is kind of a tough age with boys.  Something tells me that will be the case with this one.  Whatever it takes to keep me humble and on my knees, I’m ok with that!  But, Lord… please help me!

Big Day!

For my birthday last year, my friend gave me a fun black and white canvas of all the important dates we have as a family.  It hangs proudly in my kitchen, and I love it!  But 11/15/15 needs to be added.  As a church family, we celebrated the opening of our new church building and 25 years as a church.  I believe God moved me to this city 18 years ago just so I could raise a family in this church.  Truly.  I love my church deeply.

For our immediate family, Daniel, Allison, and Natalie chose to be baptized together.  In the car on the way their, this song was playing loudly.  The girls in the back seat were belting it out, and I knew it was significant.  They get it.

‘Cause love came running like a river
And we got washed in the water
Then He said you’re forgiven
Your sins are gone

That was then, this is now
You’re bought by the blood, saved by the Son the saints all sing about
That was lost, this is found
And it’s time to say goodbye to the old you now

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I am sure I am one to overuse the word awesome.  But this really was awesome.  May God richly bless you, my beloved ones!


Today marks the end of our first ever volleyball season.  The girls wanted to try something new this year, so volleyball it was.  Overall, it really was a fun season.  They learned a lot and showed much improvement.  Unfortunately, their team didn’t win a single game.  (But they still had play-offs today and still got a trophy.  Huh?)  Great job, girls!


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Apple Store

Homeschooling is such a misnomer.  It feels like there is something going on every day, and days at home are such a luxury!  I do love the flexibility it affords us, and the opportunity for cool field trips like the one we just took to the Apple Store!  Wow, do they do an amazing job there.  They are super organized, and had one worker for every 3 or 4 of our kids.  They told us moms to sit in the back and chat… um, ok!!!  (It didn’t take long for someone to make a Starbuck’s run for us!)

The kids were introduced to making videos and adding music/ editing.  They got to go with their little teams around the mall making a movie, (while we moms chatted and drank coffee.)  Then we got to watch the movies and each kid got a thumb drive bracelet to take home with them.  Incredible.  Thank you, Apple Store!  We were so blessed!

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Dinner or Marbles?

The last thing I wanted to do tonight was cook dinner.  I was beat.  Thankfully, my husband was home and he makes the best Japanese Curry… I would just recruit him!

When I went to let him know, I found this…


Oh man!  The last two days, Malachi had been asking me to build his marble run.

“Maybe when Papa gets home!”

Sure enough… his sweet Daddy can’t say no to building together.  I knew if Malachi asked, he would say “yes.”


I still asked if he’d make dinner… I then heard him telling Malachi, “I gotta go make dinner, Buddy.”


Despite everything in me that wanted to scream otherwise, I heard myself yell back into the other room, “That’s ok.  I can do it.”


And, I am glad I did.  How can you rob a boy of this special time with his daddy?  I am one blessed wife and mom!

(I’ll have to let you know what I make him cook tomorrow.  🙂 )

Beautiful Day

Lately, my heart has been longing for the outdoors.  If we had a camper, there is a good chance we would be up in the mountains doing math rather than in our kitchen.  I daydream about hikes through fall leaves, strolling along the banks of rivers, and being out in the open.  Despite the cooler temps, our windows are open all day long.  Life is busy… but it always will be.  Whenever opportunities arise to relax with friends and to enjoy God’s creation, we have to take them.

Today we took a break from “normal.”  We had a tea party for lunch, did a minimal amount of school work, then spent hours outdoors.  (All with sweet friends.)  It is exactly what my soul needed.  It is exactly what we all needed.  We are refreshed.  I don’t see my desire for the outdoors going away any time soon — but if I can just sneak in a day or two like this each week, that would be wonderful!














Yes, we enjoyed a second cup of coffee.  But, I don’t think that will keep me awake tonight.  Perhaps the “high” that comes from such a beautiful day will consume me as I lay my head down on the pillow, but I am quite certain I will sleep well!

Sierra’s Birthday

It’s been a week, and I am just now getting around to posting Sierra’s birthday pictures.  **sigh**  I actually took very few pictures, but here is the day’s agenda:  Per Sierra’s request, we had bacon and eggs for breakfast  and opened family presents.  Next we went to our homeschool co-op where Sierra brought doughnuts to share with her friends.  After a full day at co-op, we went out to Souplantation, (Sierra’s favorite), with Grandma and Grandpa.  It was a fun (and exhausting) day, and pictures stopped after breakfast, so enjoy what we have:

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I love you Seesers!

Sierra’s Sixth Spa Party

Planning a birthday party for the day after Halloween is a bit exhausting.  But, having that extra hour of sleep was a huge blessing!  This year Sierra’s request was for a spa-themed birthday.  She gave me plenty of time to come up with ideas, but for some reason this was a tough one for me.  And, it snuck up quickly; (How is it November?)  As is always the case, things came together and we had a great time.

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Since we had about a dozen girls coming, I decided to have four stations so that they didn’t have to wait too long for any one activity.  The stations were: face painting, (care of big sister Natalie), nail polish, (care of our favorite teenagers), spa sandal decorating, and face painting our paper model.

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Goody bags were care of Oriental Trading.

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Party food is usually my favorite part.  In this case, it is what prompted the entire theme.  Sierra saw the marshmallow/ tootsie roll “nail polish” pictured in a magazine and decided that was what she wanted for her birthday party…. hence, the theme.

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Another favorite part of parties is having Sierra choose friends, then opening her presents with them.  I think it makes the guest feel special along with Sierra, (and provides for good pictures).  This year my oldest wrote down the gifts while my next oldest folded tissue paper and organized.  All I had to do was sip coffee, nibble on cake, and take a few pictures.  Aw, the joys of having “older” kids!

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Hope you had a fun-filled spa day, my sweet six year old!  It was so fun to see you so mature this year.  You welcomed guests, tried to make sure everyone was included, and were such a gracious host.

Love you!!!