Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Broken and made new again

I have a mom confession for you (gulp). Here it goes. This past summer I took my oldest son's Samsung tablet from him because his time had elapsed for using it. And as I turned the corner from his room....I dropped it! I practically shrieked as I bent down to pick it up. Because I just knew. I knew that it was broken. And I would have to confess to my sweet son what I had done. I looked at the front of his tablet and it was certain the screen was broke. However, it was still in working order. How can that be. I could still swipe it and tap on the different apps. How had it been that he's had it for close to 15 months and never once dropped it? I'm constantly telling him to be careful and low and behold I hold it for 15 seconds and drop in on the floor causing it to break. Ughh! 

So what did I do? After practically crying at my error at being careful with it. I thought hard about it and realized that cell phone screens can get fixed at repair shops. So, could this tablet be fixed? Without him knowing? Possibly? I was hopeful in this. I did some research and found a repair shop close to my work to drop it off at. As I walked into that shop I could have practically hugged the kind person helping me check out. This is because it would be fixed and all would be good :). But, it definitely came at a price. A price that I didn't want to pay but was not willing to have my son saddened at the thought of me dropping it causing all his games to be lost. Oh, I know it's just a tablet but the buildings he has created on Minecraft were cool and important to him.  As well as the fact that he used his own birthday money to pay for said tablet. It's a reward for him to watch football games on it and have some downtime. 

When the day came for me to pick it up it looked just like it had before I dropped it. Actually, even better than before. The screen was not scratched and sparkling with clarity. I was so thankful! And after I had received it back I researched for an otterbox to help protect it from  happening again :). Because honestly, I do not think I will pay that price again to have it repaired again.

This entire situation made me think of God's love for us. (Hang on :) ).
I love when God can use an example in my life and tie in a Biblical perspective. 

Imagine us broken as the tablet was. Face down on the ground. Still in working order but clearly broken. As the tablet was fixed and made brand new at a price, Christ has paid the price for our sins and made us new again. Just as we are. I can hide that the broken tablet was fixed all I want. And to my son, he will not know (unless someone tells him ;) ). But God sees us as we are even if we try to "fix" ourselves outwardly. He cares for us and what we're going through. He understands us and loves us far more than we can fathom. From broken to made brand NEW we are in Christ. The old brokenness is gone and the new has come. Praise God!

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" -2 Corinthians 5:17 

Matthew 18:21 comes to mind as well. When Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive those who sin against him "7 times?" Jesus replied "seventy-seven times." That is a lot of times, Wow! I would not be willing to pay the price to fix that tablet that many times. But Christ paid the ultimate price by dying on the cross for us. And how very thankful I am that we serve a God who constantly loves us and cares for us. 

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9

Blessings to you, Jamie 

Monday, September 21, 2015

A beautiful day for a bike ride...

Last week we took the opportunity to go on a bike ride to the nearby park while big brother was at school. The sun was shining and it was a glorious day! I rode my bike with the trailer for the kiddos. 

It started as such a picture perfect bike ride. The kids enjoying the scenery and myself enjoying the exercise. The bike ride to the park is only a little over a mile away so it didn't take too long for us to approach the path through the woods. Although, I underestimated the ditch we had to ride in. 


The bike trailer hook broke from my bike. I tried to fix it but it was not going to hold the weight in the back. Possibly the weight in the back exceeded the max limit? :)

My sweet boy had to walk and was not loving that idea. You can only imagine. (Insert whines here). And I was thinking how am I going to get them back home? We can't go to the park as I promised and now I'll need to force him to walk. I knew he could do it, though. But I needed to gain patience to encourage him. 

So with some coaxing and "You can do it"s we were on our way back. Thankfully I was able to walk my bike with the trailer still attached fine. I started chatting about the day and the road. Distracting. As well as asking God to strengthen us. 

Then I noticed the tar strips in the road. Hmmm...I asked Troy see if he could jump over the tar strips. He did it once and twice. Smiles from ear to ear!! And in that second I was thankful for something as silly as those tar stips on the road! Because they encouraged Troy to keep going with no more complaining. Pretty soon he was running far ahead and I was counting each one he jumped over and cheering him on.  And they just kept going..... 

And that is the day I wrote "I am thankful for tar stips" in my thankful journal. I never thought I'd write that :). We got home and all were happy. From feeling frustrated to feeling more thankful is an awesome thing!

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." -Proverbs 3:5&6


Blessings, Jamie

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Fawn Doe Rosa

This summer I couldn't wait to take my kids to the Fawn-Doe-Rosa! I just knew they'd love it now that they're getting a little older. I remember going there when Austin was just about 1.5 months old with my in-laws for their anniversary. It was so much fun! And here we were, 7 years later :).

As soon as we entered, the deer (and other animals) came to us. Such a warm welcome ;). This was Austin's expression for the first time when they were digging into his bag for food. Complete shock and joy at the same time! I love it!!

Proudly standing with one of the bucks. 

Troy was also loving it! He kept feeding them very generous amounts :).

Look at all the deer at Austin's fingertips. He so enjoyed feeding them and taking in their beauty.

We fed the ducks, too. And there were 2 baby fawns in this gated area with their Mom and Dad under a big tree. Such a beautiful place.

Farmer Troy :).

How cute is this pony!

Cute little piglets eating away.

We weren't allowed to touch the deer's antlers because of the fuzz on them. But how amazing to look at.

This silly boy was enjoying the adorable goats.

He picked one right up. Strong 4 year old he is!

He even asked if we could get a goat. 

My sweet hubby and I sure had fun with our family here. It was a perfect family fun outing. 

Jamie :)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Untaken pictures

There are so many moments not photographed that I want to forever remember. Some moments are gone in an instant that are beautiful reminders of the blessings in life. During those times that are so special I find that by the time I get my camera to snap a quick photo...that sweet "moment" has vanished. That is why sometimes I just stare and soak it into my memory because I don't want to miss it. I don't want to miss a thing.

Like the time the 2 youngest kids were sitting outside in the beautiful sunshine in the late morning. It was one of those sweet moments that will be cherished. They were working on finishing their lunches. As I walked up to the table from the garage I could see their adorable legs swinging back and forth in pure delight. THAT is the picture I have in my mind. Their legs unable to touch the ground because they were so small in those big patio chairs. Giggles were heard and their smiles were obvious. 

Or the time the youngest picks up her baby and rocks her so gently. So careful not to drop her. Her kind smile says that she truly loves that baby as if it were real. And I have no doubt in my mind that one day she will be one fantastic Mommy.

Another very special moment is when Daddy gets home and the "Daddy is home" "Daddy!!!" can be heard throughout the house. And they run to the door to be the first to see him. His face shining with humbleness at the importance of himself. Just as he is, even if it is slightly dirty from working hard all day, they give him huge hugs and try to help bring his lunch box upstairs. And almost every time it falls down the stairs. They laugh.

Moments of my boys together are some of my favorites. When I see them sitting together as close as can be on the couch, I love it.

Like when my amazing Dad in-law takes the two youngest grandchildren on a 4 wheeler ride. All 3 of them with big smiles on their faces! Going slowly around and around the path and very carefully.

Or when all the kids are together walking in the beautiful sunset. Rays of sunshine dance across their bodies and I think how perfect a picture would be if only I had my camera near me.

These are only some of the very special moments that I will never forget. They are etched into my memory forever. The next time you are rushing to get your camera....take in the moment, be present not to miss it.

Jamie :)

Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday Favorites: Sunny Summer fun

I can't believe August 1st is tomorrow! July has been such a fun and hot month. We honestly couldn't have asked for nicer summer weather. I'm going to talk about some of my favorite summer moments lately for Friday Faves!!

I'm linking up with Erika for...

1.) It has been so much fun swimming this summer in my Mom in law's pool. Troy is loving the pool this year and will jump onto the mattress with me close by. So grown up!

2.) We've found a total of around 6 frogs this summer. And this boy loves to find them and keep them :). We still have our sweet little turtle. We've gone bug hunting a couple of times, too. Great memories! I have found that the very best memories are made doing such simple things :).

3.) This sweet girl is loving her fancy dress up shoes! It sure is cute listening to the 'clickity click' noise on the hardwood floor. Music to my ears ;).

4.) My sister and her kiddos came to visit a couple weeks ago. The cousins get along so very great! I love watching them together. This particular day we did some fishing and some unexpected jumping off the dock into the water. Fun times!!

And afterwards we were able to enjoy some yummy pizza and ice cream! 

And these cool mustaches were a favorite for the kiddos. All the kids got one to wear. 

5.) This is what summer is about. Playing in the mud with trucks getting nice and dirty! I say a dirty kid is a happy kid :)!

6.) We have been meaning to go to the Library this summer. So on this hot day it was a perfect excuse to be inside getting some books. Our local library has the cutest corner for kids with a beautiful outdoors mural on the wall and tons of puppets to play with. 

Had to stop by and let Troy use the phone. Haha! At first I asked him "Do you know what that is?" :) 

7.) I'm so proud of these kiddos! They built this amazing "house" fort all by themselves. The older cousins hammered the nails in. And they even made mud concrete to keep the posts stable. With a little help from Grandpa ;)  I just love them so much! And their creative minds!

8.) We went to a water park this past week and Austin passed the swimming test to go in the deep water. I was so happy for him! And he grew in courage. As much as I love my kids being little I enjoy seeing them face their fears as they grow up :). My Mom took this picture as we were heading over there together. And I remember thinking "I wish I could've gotten a picture of us walking over there." So thankful she did that without me knowing. 

Have a great weekend!!
Jamie :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Thankful Challenge//Giveaway

I started reading this amazing book "One Thousand Gifts" By: Ann Voskamp. My sweet sister gave it to me for my birthday and it was one of the very best presents to be given. In it the author speaks about writing down 1,000 reasons you are thankful. Since reading it I've been sounding off things I'm thankful for...from the moment I wake up until the time my head touches the pillow at night. And my friends, it has CHANGED MY LIFE! It makes waking up much more easier, too. :) One of the secrets to living a happy life isn't just living a thankful life it's living a thank FULL life and taking note of each thing. To actually fixate on each particular reason I'm grateful every single day is deeply humbling and satisfying. Simple things that I hadn't given a second thought have given my life more meaning with this new habit. Allowing God's perfect plan to unfold by being more aware of His gifts is making me grow stronger. We have been given countless beautiful gifts from God. Everywhere we look there is something. Just looking out the window and seeing the beautiful texture of the trees each being completely different. And looking up at the gorgeous blues of the sky with big white fluffy clouds that vary in size and shape. Looking into the eyes of your child so pure and loving. Listening to the laughter of your friend. Tasting the sweetness of fruit. So many gifts to see, feel, hear and taste. As well as so many moments to treasure.

Here are just a few of the things I have become more grateful for:

30.For the sun that allows natural light to shine while I'm reading outside

 31.For cold water in my kid's kiddi pool that feels so refreshing on my hot feet

32.For the calming sounds of the birds high in the sky

33.For a cool breeze that brushes by me in the heat of the day

34.When my child grabs my hand to show me something special to them

 35.For the sweet taste of refreshing watermelon

36.The joy that a baby turtle brings

37.Beautiful wildflowers that bloom in the field with no special attention

38. The smile of a stranger at the grocery store

39. My Mom's kind and beautiful eyes that brighten as she sees her grand kids together

40. Being able to read The Bible any time of the day and anywhere

41. The quietness of the house at night while all are sleeping

42. Pretty butterflies that Troy can always spot and run after to catch

::::The MORE thankful we are the MORE fully happy we become::::

I encourage you to take the "Thankful Challenge" with me!! Each day write down in a journal 5 (or more) things you are grateful for and do this for 200 days to meet our goal of 1,000 things we are thankful for. And it doesn't even have to end there :). I have a new journal I've dedicated to this. I've been waiting to use it, almost as if saving it especially for this. And how fun it will be to look back on in years to come. Writing down the gifts we are grateful for is key. I love this book so much that I'm going to send one person her book. Just comment below or "like" my post and I will randomly select one person to receive her book. I can't wait for you to be blessed with her Godly wisdom! The drawing will end this Friday at 11:59 pm. I will then contact the winner. 

Have a great day, Jamie :)

Friday, July 24, 2015

Cragun's Resort Summer '15

Such a fun trip we had 4th of July weekend. I told my hubby "Now this is our kind of a vacation." Cragun's resort had so much to offer for our kids. We were able to stay there and just walk down the path to eat and enjoy activities all day long. I highly recommend it to those with or without kids.  I'll recap some of our favorites from the trip!

We arrived around 6:00pm. The boys sure were happy to see that sign! I didn't get any pics of the outside of the resort but it was beautiful. Click HERE if you want to check it out. Think brown/white with turquoise accents and lots of beautiful bright pink flowing flowers. Gorgeous sight!

Here is one of the paths to follow.

Here's part of Gull lake and to the right is where we kept our boat on the dock.

Such a cozy feeling it had all around.  

The first evening there we got some food and hung out on the deck. Here are 2 of my handsome men :).

Here was one of the hungry birds ready for some fries. Troy had the BEST time feeding them and giggling like crazy because they chowed down a whole fry. Haha! It was fun entertainment!!

We got a bag of duck food for a quarter and had some fun feeding the ducks after. I love watching them so happy doing something so simple :)!

The next morning we had a delicious breakfast buffet. It was scrumptious!! And we got ready to do some boating and fishing. Gull lake is HUGE with so many areas to fish. The kids sure enjoyed the boat ride. Troy loves going fast! 

Austin was ready to get those fish! He had tons of bites in the beginning. We finally realized that his line was messed up. Once it was fixed, he was reeling in the sunnies and a nice bass. 

Happy fisherman!

This kid caught 2 bass right in a row and reeled them in all by his big self. Big brother was proud of him!

Bass #1
Bass #2

And Daddy caught a nice one, too! Great fishing on Gull lake.

Mama caught a little one! After my husband took the picture, he was like "You always do that face and hold the fish like that!" And now that I see "the face" he is 100% correct. It is just how I roll :) He tried to get me to hold the fish inside his lips but I just can't do it. Not, yet anyways.

We played on the beach for awhile. Frisbee was a favorite. The kids swam and swam some more. We even met some sweet friends.

This cutie pie fell asleep. 

Time for some walking and supper. 

And playing pool. The boys were taught how to play by Dad. And Austin really enjoyed himself. The indoor pool was also in this giant room. 

After supper we went to the rec room. And it was huge! The upstairs "deck" had a running area. Troy and I ran around twice and were tired out afterwards. I was thinking that so many "firsts" were on the trip. Austin's first time playing pool, tennis and volleyball by the beach. 

The next day, July 4th, the big boys did some golfing in the morning. The resort package included a 9 hole course for each of us. But since the rest of us weren't interested, Billy and Austin did the 9 hole twice and had a total blast together. They even rented a golf cart. 

We went to the beach which also had a playground in the sand. And I had the most beautiful view :). 

Then we went to the outdoor pool when they opened. There was a kiddie pool that was just right for little kids. 

That afternoon we signed up for the horse-trolley ride. The "driver" was so sweet to talk to and has been giving these rides for many many years. He said he has a farm and loves his horses. He even gave out suckers to the kids on the ride. Such a nice man. 

We had reservations for supper at the Hungry Gull Restaurant. We told Austin he could  order anything that he wanted. He chose.....the Walleye. Most expensive thing on the menu :). And he was a champ because he ate the entire thing. I didn't even get a try. The food was amazing and the service was spot on. 

It was the street dance in the evening. Austin and I noticed the sumo wrestling suits! He wanted to do it bad. So, like a good Mother, I did it with him. :) It was so much more difficult to get into the suits than I imagined. But with some extra help we were ready. 

They went down the inflatable slide over and over. 

And loved every second of it. 

After we played beach volleyball Austin put the suit on again with someone his size. Troy was laughing because Austin fell down. And he might have also jumped on his big brother, again. And afterwards Austin said "It didn't count" because he was in the suit. :) Brothers.

The fireworks that night were gorgeous and so close! We sat in a big field and were handed out a TON of glow sticks. It was a beautiful night. 

The next morning we had a yummy breakfast and headed home. 

Such fun memories together! :)