Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Last week we had the privilege of going to Alaska to see my mom and step-dad.  We had a great trip, and the biggest take-away for us was how blessed we feel that our kids get to experience such an amazing place!  We always loved our trips to Alaska when we lived in Utah... but now living in crowded suburbia of SoCal, it made us cherish the open space, majestic mountains, quiet waters even more!

If you have never been to Alaska, you really should add it to your "bucket list!"  God's glory is seen all around!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I need a little more patience in my life!  Especially when we are heading out the door, or it is bedtime!  It seems like I tend to be in a rush for both of these occasions... both of which happen daily... definitely an area I can't be complacent to not change!

I keep thinking about the fact that "LOVE is PATIENT!"  I want to love my husband, my kids, my friends, neighbors and strangers.  Yet, am I showing them patience??

Am I taking the time to really listen to what my child is trying to tell me?
Am I interrupting their story?
Am I listening fully (not letting my mind race a head to a to-do list)?
When milk is spilled or any other little acident happens, am I patient in instructing my little one to clean it up, or am I quickly get frustrated, loosing my cool and raising my voice?
When it is time to get in the car, am I planning for the time it takes to really load 3 little ones (and all their gear) up?  Or am I trying to hurry and rush everyone out the door, scrambling at the last minute?
Am I enjoying the process (especially bed-time), or am I just looking forward to it being done?
Am I making life feel like a crisis because of my impatient responses?
Is the clock or my child's heart more of the guide of my day?

I am by nature not a patient person!  Not at all!   I don't want to tell you my ugly answers to the questions above... so I won't.... but I can tell you that I so desire growth in this area!  And I am going to start praying daily for a patient heart!  A thankful heart that can be patient!

If you need some encouragement on patience, you should read this amazing post from Ann Voskamp.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Playroom ideas

we have a play room, which I love!  Whoo Hoo!  And with a door that closes, which is even better : ) I have been scrounging the lovely internet for ideas of what I want to do in this space.  I want to make it fun for the kids, functional for our storage of kids stuff and a place we can hang out as a family.  Her are some of my favorite ideas from Pintrest.com.

i love this growth-chart that I found here

And this is the bookshelf we were planning on getting.  Love the baskets, love the map, love it all

And I love the idea of a verse being a piece of art in the room... ahh so many great verses, which ones for which rooms.
I love the idea of having a chalkboard in the room.  Love the idea found here for making one!

And an art wall, area... set place to display all of the treasures my kiddos make!
There is not one room in our house that is completely settled... give us 6 months! Haha!  I will post pictures soon of what we have done so far.  But hope you enjoy all of my lusting of completed rooms!  Someday, someday : )

Oh, and I just saw this on one of my favorite blogs... an instant fort!  My kids would love that!

ps. if you don't know what pintrest is... it is the BEST image search on the web! 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pace of life

Today, we stayed home ALL day, and I had the realization that our pace of a day directly correlates with my patience and perspective.  You see, I have been short on patience lately and my perspective on life has been a bit grim... but we have also had a hurried pace of life... with all of the details surrounding our move.

This week I have been intentional to SLOW down, and man I feel like a new woman!  I spent so much of the day smiling and laughing with the kids.  Even when they needed correction and consequences I was calm, had wise words to say (PTL), and was able to better draw out their heart.  I so wish everyday could be like this.

I know school starting is right around the corner (part-time homeschooling), soccer will be starting for H, Mr. Steady's job is going to be crazy busy in the Fall, we will have new commitments with church, and I have a pretty big event that I am planning.  If I think about that hurried pace it makes me want to stop the clock.  I so very much like/ need/ thrive in this slower pace of life!  I pray that in the next few weeks of calm, that my heart can be prepared for busy.  That rather than dreading it, I pray that we can move forward with great anticipation of what each day will hold.... that busy won't necessarily coorelate with me being stressed and short-fused.

I know it will take some time once Fall is underway, to find our new grove and pace, just like every season change in life takes adjustment. 

a few new conclusions... (for me... lots of you have already had to figure this out)
I have a school-aged child... that means 3 mornings a week we have a set time we have to be out of the house... uggh!
To not regret every school morning, I have to be totally prepared... hmmm, need to figure this one out
That I might will have to say "no" to a lot of things that sound fun to me, but need to know that I can't do everything with everyone.

Can anyone relate??  I know some of you out there think that I am crazy! You like life at a fast pace and you think your kids do well with lots going on... but for me and my kids SLOW is what we do best : )

Friday, August 5, 2011

All american weekend

Last weekend we were able to go and see some of our best friends that live in the Santa Ynez Valley.  We had an AMAZING weekend!  The Santa Ynez Valley feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of SoCal.  There are huge open pastures with cows grazing, acres and acres of beautiful vineyards, quaint  main street areas, honestly it is idyllic!  We love it up there!

The weekend was perfectly planned out...
Picnic in the park
Berry picking
Triptip sandwiches... yummy!
S'mores around the campfire
Dressup clothes (for the kids)
Playground craziness
Wine- tasting
Vineyard tours
Peanut butter M&Ms (perfect paring for a Merlot, don't you think)
Running through the grass
Hike through the creek
Tadpole catching
Sweet time with one AMAZING family

Good thing last weekend was so fun... we won't be doing much this weekend... I have bronchitis... who gets that in the summer?? Uggh!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Worst Costco Trip... so far

Today we headed to Costco for a grocery run around lunch time.  We started by grabbing a bite to eat - we all love Costco cheese pizza!  I couldn't cut the food fast enough for B.  He would let out a scream, yell, whatever you want to call it, between each and every bite.  (So wish he would learn to sign or talk, cause he has an opinion he is trying to share)

Then off to the potty... always an adventure with 3 little ones... holding B while trying to help Bug up on the potty... and can you imagine how hard it is to pull up your own pants while holding a 1 year old... I am sure many of you can actually totally picture it, because you have done it before : )

On to the shopping... enjoying samples along the way
And what Costco trip is complete without random comments from strangers...
grandpa #1 "You have your hands full!"
me: "Yes and I love it!"
grandpa #1: "I had 4 kids, I know what you mean!"
Made me smile

Then a lady stopped me for a few minutes to ask if 3 kids is really doable.  "Umm, yes! Of course! It is busy, especially once the baby is mobile.  But totally doable!"  I don't know if she was convinced or not...

Then the chaos really began.  H was my helper, grabbing some of the groceries for me.  He picked up the salad dressing that I asked him to get.  Instead of putting it right into the cart, he decided to shake it... just like daddy does.  I should have asked him to put it in the cart, but I figured he had it.  Two isles later, he dropped it, the plastic lid split and the floor of Costco was covered in Italian dressing!  Uggh!  We had to find a worker to clean it up, apologize, ask if we can pay for it, wait for them to clean it up... not fun, but it happens.

Then we get to the checkout... B was OVER being in the cart and was starting to take it out on Bug, who was sitting next to him.  So I put on my Beco, and put him in.  Then started unloading groceries.  I must have looked pathetic.  Because grandpa #2 set down his Nicorette Gum, and silently starts unloading my cart.  "Thank you I said." He nodded.  Again once the cart was unloaded, I told him how much I appreciated his help, he didn't say a word, just nodded!  I thought that strange, but I was thankful none the less.

Walking out the kids ask the receipt-checker at the door for a smiley face.  To which she obliged them.  She handed the receipt to H, who was walking.  Two feet out of the door, H is walking with his hand on the side of the cart and admiring his receipt smiling at him, when he stepped toward the side... BUMP.... I heard the cart wheel over his foot.  AHHHH!  H is screaming (and for good reason - a huge, fully loaded cart just ran over his toes)!  I bent down (B still strapped on me) and tried comforting him... still crying... I looked up at the cart and there was not an inch of room to put B back in or to put H in.  I contemplated putting him up on my shoulder to make it to the car.  Just as I was analyzing my possibilities a lady ran over and said, "Can I please help you?"  "Yes, please!"  So this sweet lady, pushed the cart with Bug in it, while I carried B on the front and my huge 5 year old on my hip to the car.  Then she proceeded to unload all of my groceries while I strapped in the kid.  She was a God-send for sure!

We survived!  H's toes are just fine, he hasn't even complain about them since we have been home.  I am learning to accept help when I need it and realizing that I probably really do look like I have my hands full!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summertime Give-away

It is summertime!! The sun is out, the pools are ready,  kids are out of school... at least momentarily!  As a tribute to the end of summer, I wanted to host a give-away!

If you are like us, you have spent a lot of time either in the pool, running through sprinklers, or at the beach this summer.  Not only is great sunblock needed, but toys and of course beach towels.  My kiddos love having their very own special towels.  These fun towels are shaped like a surfboard with a hood attached.  My big kiddos love these...

I would love to give these away to two of you faithful readers...  Pink towel to one of you and blue to another : )

Here is how to enter:
1.  Leave a comment and let me know if you would prefer the pink, blue or either.
2.  For a second entry, let me know if you are a follower... if not, let me know when you become one!
3.  For a final entry, what has been your favorite "out of the box" summer activity you have done this year?

** Give-away ends on Sunday at 5pm (Pacific Time)

Happy last month of summer sweet friends!


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