Thursday, November 5, 2015

Friday Favorites!

It's Friday Favorites time!

 So I'm linking up with ErikaAndrea, and Narci

One of my favorites this week has been the weather. I'm so grateful that we had some extra beautiful days outside. Pretty surprising for November and so lovely!

It was so nice outside that the youngest and I were able to take a walk. Running, walking, running, giggling, walking, running....

We also were able to play outside on the grass barefoot....and loving it! 
70 degrees will do that to you :). We played football, airplane, played in the woods and I took some sweet pictures. Such fun!

Sometimes you just have to create your happy place by making pumpkin bread while sipping on a whipped cream topped pumpkin spice coffee while watching Dawson's Creek. :) Pumpkin bread is my fave to make in the fall. It's so easy and delicious!

This came in the mail. Christmas is in the air :). I just adore paging through the "Pottery Barn Kids" magazine. Everything is just so cute!

And this isn't necessarily a "favorite" picture but what it symbolizes is a favorite of mine. 
-2 backpacks (meaning the boys are home from school)
-Groceries (meaning we have food to eat)
-A mess on the stairs (meaning I have a family :) )
Because this is my everyday beautiful messy life and I wouldn't change it for the world!

7.) Some of my favorite new bars here. These Clif bars are scrumptious! "Iced Gingerbread" and "Spiced Pumpkin Pie." Hello yummy!

8.) This week I had paint class with some sweet gals! Painting is so relaxing and fun! I've never went to one of these classes but I am so thankful I did. A night to remember! :)

Happy Friday to you, 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

When all seems right in the world again...

On tough days it is amazing what a simple thing can do to lighten your feelings. 

My cute 4 year old was busy playing with toys in his "fort" as he loves to do. He wanted me to close my eyes because he had something for me. I did so and he was very adamant that I don't open them until he said so. 

So, I waited and waited. 

Then I felt his sweet and warm hands touching my finger wiggling something on there. When I was allowed to open my eyes, I see that he placed this big plastic ring with a bow on my finger. 

Then he ran away excitedly. 

Awe! My heart melted into a puddle and I gave him the biggest hug (and may have shed a tear).

 Such a sweet surprise! His heart is so kind!

....And all is right in the world again :). 

And then he gives me a fake shot in my arm and takes some of my blood and tells me I'm brave. That little charmer has my heart forever and ever. 

Here we are after he put the ring on my finger :). The picture is blurry and perfect at the same time! I've come to realize that it is hard sometimes to get a "still" picture. And I will accept that because in this season of life, that's how it is with playful kids. I will cherish the blurry pictures because they are so special.

Like this sweet friend of mine who took a 2 hour walk with me on a beautiful fall day. She's such a blessing in my life! Her kindness shines for all to see and I love her so much. Spending time with friends is so precious!

And the perfect timing for a specific devotion from "Our Daily Bread."

"Time spent in prayer is always time well spent." I love that! We will never regret praying and praying. 

I am so very thankful for these special moments to treasure. They seem to turn up while being intentional about watching and listening for. 

Blessings to you, Jamie

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Thank you...

Have you ever had one of those days where your eyes are opened to so much thankfulness your heart could just burst?! 

This one day my 2 littles and I headed out for some errand running fun. It was a long drive to the stores we needed to go to and it ended up being a long morning.  

And I met so many sweethearts that day who just made my day :)!

Thank you to the kind hearted man that drew smilies on my Costco receipt to give my kids a smile. You have no idea how much that meant to us. 

Thank you to the business man who told me he would push my cart back after I unloaded all my groceries into my car and buckled my kids up. He said he'd been there before with the kids and gave me a big smile. ❤️ I practically teared up at his generous act. I told him "Thank you" probably 5+ times. This simple act of kindness I have never encountered before. And it made me think that I need to do this for others. 

Thank you to the cute Grandma who commented on how good my kids are which made me very thankful! She was absolutely darling and my kiddos were being really great. This allowed me to give the littles some praise as well because hearing it from someone else means so much.

Thank you to the pretty lady at Once upon a child who gave my kids stickers to keep them busy while I was paying. She kept chatting with them while ringing up my purchases. And she paid attention to them. Kids love to be noticed and loved on. And she did just that. 

And last but not least....Thank you to the adorable Grandpa who gave me a laugh telling me the kids clothes I was purchasing wouldn't fit me. He was so cute I could've given him a hug. 

Thankfully, Jamie

Friday, October 16, 2015

favorite things//fall moments

Today I'm talking all about some Friday Favorites and I'm linking up with Erika, Andrea, and Narci! I'm blogging about some fun stuff (I will not mention that my boys have strep throat this week. Poor boys!!)

1.) Last weekend was absolutely gorgeous! It was 70's on Saturday and my oldest had a soccer game. Watching his soccer games are one of my all time fave things to do! I want to keep my eyes glued to his game the entire time. Of course I love chatting but oh how I enjoy cheering him! The team is a blast to watch!

We're so proud of our strong and determined 7 year old!

2.) In the cooler weather this fall it sure has been a good time playing in our woods...climbing trees and crunching the leaves under our feet. My middle child is such a little monkey! I can remember fun times as a child climbing trees and exploring the woods. 

3.) We got the chance to attend a glorious wedding reception for my dear friend. The decor was amazing and the bride was stunning! What a great time we had. Dancing is always so much fun!

4.) I've taken pics of this trail before because it is just dreamy. I love the pine tree lined path with the tiny bit of light at the end. Love!! This is my favorite little running trail to get to. It's almost like a reward to myself :).

5.) I've never created new crayons from old ones. But this day we did and I'm so happy we finally did! And it's so much easier than I thought it'd be. Just take off all the paper from the old crayons. Randomly place the pieces into an old muffin tin (or these oven safe star molds I have). Bake at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes or until all melted. Then let them sit for 1-2 hrs until completely cool and hard. Pop out and color away. What a blast!!

6.) I've been binge watching episodes of The OC at bedtime lately. This show brings me back to my teenage years. I remember my husband (then boyfriend) coming over to my parent's to watch this show weekly. Haha! 

7.) I just got this hand soap and it smells so so good! I've realized that I'm in love with the scent of lemongrass. Give me all the lemons :).

Earth Friendly Products Hand Soap, Lemongrass, 17-Ounce Bottle (Pack of 6)

8.) I've almost done with the book. Live Love Lead by: Brian Houston. I got the book from a Hillsong concert I went to recently. Brian Houston was there and gave everyone a copy of his book. How generous! And it is an extremely motivating book!!

Happy weekend to you!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Family Bible Study

Having a family Bible study has been recently placed on my heart. I think it had a lot to do with a recent message at Church on the restoration of the Family being the key to revival. We as parents have a beautiful and most important role in teaching our children. In our home we are teaching our children values. The Pastor also spoke about Church starting in the home. So powerful those words were.

I am so excited for the present and future of it and the benefit it will have on my family. Because we are raising the next generation. They are little people who will grow into amazing adults. And I want to raise leaders. I want to have them feel loved and valued in their home. I want for them to know that the Bible is real and it shows truth. I want them to remember sitting together reading the Bible as a family and not just something that happens on Sundays at Church. Because in the end all that will really matter is that my kids know and love God. 

 "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth."
3 John 1:4

In having family Bible Study we are also bonding and enjoying eachother's company. We are growing as a family in strength and courage. Our first study happened and it was fun! We learned Luke 6:31 "Treat others as you would want to be treated." I wrote it on this chalkboard frame I made. It's above our fireplace in our living room so it's always visible.

This was our week 2 memory verse.

We talked about what that meant. We then thought of something we could do for 5 minutes to treat others the way we want to be treated. A treat was given for the first who could find said verse in Bible.  Sure there was running and around by the 4 and 2 year old. But, we were still together as a family reading the Bible and talking. We made a promise that this would happen every week on Wednesday evenings. We enjoyed treats at the end together and prayed. It was awesome! I am so thankful for a God who is allowing this to happen. And I'm praying this will continue and strengthen us! Also, I hope this encourages someone out there!


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 :)