Thursday, April 23, 2015

a little of this and that

This afternoon, I received this text from my Hubby. . .

He actually texted me from work to tell me that March 25th was my last blog post! I did have to think about it before I responded with "Blog?" because March 25th was the day before my birthday. I was frantic I missed something, but the #30daysandcounting helped me out! He's a fan and a keeper! ;)

Life has been a whirlwind, but I've wanted to blog so many times in the past few weeks, I truly have. So much I've wanted to say, express, memory-make, etc., but it hasn't flowed. What better way to get back at it, than to include some photos that missed the Instagram cut?!

As I mentioned, my birthday came and went, but with it, I got a BOB jogging stroller! I'm beyond thrilled! Our now old stroller was perfect when Way was an infant and Miles was still only 1. It was a double, sit and stand stroller and we loved it! But recently, the wheels started having a mind of their own and it wasn't always staying latched when open, so it was quite a hassle to maneuver on any excursion. Now, let the fun begin!!! Way loves the BOB already and even whines when it's time to get out!

Spring is finally here! We've been enjoying the outdoors while we can---before those uber hot days of summer arrive and we melt! As much as you read and hear me talk about how much I love winter, and I really, really do, I am still enjoying the spring. The daylight lasting longer is so inviting! I despise making my boys come in and do homework or chores when the weather is perfect for playing outside! Good thing the end of school is approaching, because this Momma is starting to let things slide for a little more laughter together in the backyard!!

Yes, life has been a whirlwind, and some of it has been hard. I'm still dreaming of living on that farm one day and kissing the hustle-bustle good-bye! But these smiles, family time, the joy and squeals of dog-piles with friends, learning how to ride a bike, shooting hoops til dark, hiding in flowering bushes, swinging and being filled with glee----these are the moments to cherish!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Green Frog Farm adventures

Spring break has already come and gone around these parts. And, it was an extra long spring break that started 2 days early for us due to snow! Although after today's spring weather, it's hard to believe we just had snow less than a few weeks ago!

Our family ended up having a staycation! I think we considered nearly every major city within a day's drive and even some within a 2 day's drive. However, after looking at the weather and how we were feeling the first weekend of spring break (a smidge under the weather and exhausted) we decided to stay put. Hubby took off work and that made it all the dreamier!

One of our favorite parts of the week was heading out of town for a day to a log cabin! Ohhh my, it was fantastic! We weren't really sure what to expect. We actually only decided to go based on photos from a friend! Turns out, it was a good choice.

We pulled up in the rain. I wasn't worried because we packed tons of board games and books. But in no time, after exploring our amazing log cabin, the boys were outside exploring! They weren't going to let a little rain stop them. Or mom.

Green Frog Farm. The boys could hear the frogs and searched for them, but I'm not sure any were ever found! ;) This place was a settlement back in the day. The owners of our cabin are former missionaries to Thailand! Awesome!

So we ventured out. Our first discovery was a one-room school house--by far my favorite place--on the settlement. Ohhhh, my little heart went pitter-patter when we walked in! The boys loved it too, including Hubby, who took to teaching right away! Little Men, indeed!

Luke wanted to take the photo with him reading a school book. Melt.

And look at Chuckles' eyes. Always watching big bro! :)

And our sweet youngin's learning how this school desk thing works!

We found a little church too. And an organ. And a piano. Simple and sweet. Charlie's favorite place!

We kept exploring and came across open fields (little boys' dreams) and an old cotton gin too. Just really cool!

Basically, there wasn't much time for board games! We let ALL of the boys bunk up together in the little loft upstairs. Their dream come true. They BEGGED for Way to be with them and we decided to let it happen. After all, we did bring our pack n play! Just check out this little nugget of a find! Ship lap everywhere!!! I LOVED it!!!

The boys are 100% all in for going back sometime! We all thought it was pretty special!

Friday, March 20, 2015

FYI Friday: Let's celebrate! The future is bright!

It's tough getting back into the swing of things, say not posting for a month, and knowing where to start. But, I'd say a perfect way to pop back into the ol' blog is an FYI Friday

Here's what you need to know . . .

1. Tomorrow is World Down Syndrome Day, celebrated on 3/21! Why 3/21? Because individuals with Down syndrome all have 3 copies of the 21st chromosome. Interesting little tid-bit, yes? And celebrate? Yes!! We celebrate because we love people with DS! We celebrate to inform and to spread awareness! There are so many incredible things going on to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day. All kinds of Random Acts of Kindness activities, parties, National meet-ups at various locations and some really cool campaigns. I'd highlight them all if I could, but I'm especially excited about . . .

2. Ruby's Rainbow. Ruby's Rainbow is an organization that grants scholarships to adults with Down syndrome for college, enrichment or vocational classes. They believe that learning doesn't have to stop after high school and they want to help individuals with Down syndrome reach their highest potential!

Who doesn't want that?? And have you heard about their 3/21 pledge? Ruby's Rainbow is setting a goal of raising enough money by March 21st to grant educational scholarships to 21 Rockin' Recipients! How amazing is this? So promising for the future for individuals with Down syndrome!

3. I have taken the pledge and donated $21. Will you read more about Ruby's Rainbow? Will you take the 3/21 pledge?

Sure, our little Waybe is still in a crib. We aren't sending him off to college just yet. But we are all about supporting organizations who believe his future is bright!! Hope you will too!! Take the #321pledge here!

Happy World Down Syndrome Day!!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

6th Annual Ode to the Oscars!

It's OSCAR NIGHT!!!!!!! My favorite night on TV! Oh, how I love the Academy Awards! But then, if you've been around this little space much, you knew that. I'll keep on saying it every year though. Don't worry. Or be forewarned. Whichever way you wanna take it.

For me, it's more than just a night of movie recognition. It's more than just our forever long family Oscar poll competition. It's now also the anticipation of my Biffer's (sister) Ode to the Oscars! For the past several years, in honor of Oscar night and my love for all things movie, she's been writing poetry for me (and let's face it, for the rest of the world---I'm just waiting for her writing talent to be discovered)!

And she's outdone herself again this year! Every year her poem is set to a Christmas tune (this night is like the Christmas of movies for me)! You can also revisit her Oscar poetry in 2014, 2012 (for some reason I didn't post 2013), 2011, and 2010. My favorite part of this year's poem is the 3rd stanza--that really fast part of Bing's song! She nailed it!

Without further delay. . .it's the . . .

6th Annual 
Ode to the Oscars
(set to the tune of the amazing Bing Crosby's "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas")

It's beginning to look just like the Oscars
Everywhere I go
Take a look at the Malco lot, filled up in every spot
With cars and vans rushing to see the show

It's beginning to look just like the Oscars
Costumes to best score
But the prettiest sight to see will be all celebrities
On the carpet once more

A pair of Oscars for Boyhood though Birdman was quite good
And Sniper might squeak out a win
Reese was the talk cause she took a long walk
Could Keaton be a shoe in?
And my dear Biff can hardly wait to see Tom Cruise again

It's beginning to look just like the Oscars
Where did Ben's girl go?
There's popcorn in the microwave, a Coke that she did crave
And Cumberbatch might try to steal the show

It's beginning to look just like the Oscars
Soon Doogie will start
Eddie Redmayne as Steve Hawking
In "The Theory of Everything" was a perfect part

It's beginning to look just like the Oscars
Fran, er, Julianne Moore
But the prettiest sight we'll see is our fav celebrity
In Christian Dior
Cause it's the Oscars once more      

Love it, Mary! You always amaze me! Now on with the snow! I mean, show. But I would take more snow!!!! A repeat of last year, maybe???

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

an icy blessing!

Could I really have gone this long without posting? I think I've poured more inspiration into Instagram lately. It's quicker and a place I can be a little artsy here and there. But like I've said before, I still enjoy writing and sharing and capturing moments here, so I am not going anywhere!

We've had a February like never before. Crazy calendar busy! I typically love February. It is the love month of course, but it usually brings cold weather and white spaces on our calendar. Not so much this year!! It's been one project, party or program after another at school and lots going on with church. Not a lot of down time! Well, except for this week! We've had bitter cold and 3 days of ice-out-of-school days so far!! That's my ideal week!!

I've decided that my one of my biggest dreams in life (other than taking our family on a trip around the world for a year) would be to homeschool, but not actually have to do the school part! If there was some way the littles could just stay home everyday, but we could just play instead, that would be perfection!!

And at least the past 3 days, that's what we've done! We've been sledding and eaten lots of snow/ice! We've had P.E. outside and run up and down our driveway doing jumping jacks, deep breathing, lunges, etc. to make sure we stay sane even in the bitter cold! :) We've enjoyed board games, slam dunk and 3 point competitions on our indoor hoop! And bonus for me, there's been no rushing!! I haven't felt the need to put on make-up. Nobody has been forced to get dressed, and when they did to go outside, they came back in and put on jammies! We've had leisurely breakfasts and lunches and even designated reading time! I even let them play the Wii a smidge today! I have loved these past few days!! And my littles have too!!

So thankful for this icy blessing!!

Friday, January 30, 2015

FYI Friday: What I Learned in January

We are a whole month into 2015! It's time to share what I've learned so far this year. Or, at least share what I remember that I've learned! Ahem. . .

What I Learned in January

1. I'm sold on bullet journaling! Have you heard of this? It's a way to make lists, take notes, organize and plan all in one spot! This is right up my alley! Just seems to flow with how my brain processes! I am SO excited! Just got my journals yesterday! Yep, it's those little, exciting things in life. . .

2. And speaking of exciting, I've been feeling a stirring to create around here. I've discovered and bought into the idea that we are all artists. Painting. Photography. Writing. Drawing. Crafting. Singing. Loving. It's all art. So, for my first creation of the year, I decided to figure out how to make a book wreath! A little whimsy, a little art, a little love. I'm thrilled! Thanks to Myquillyn and her book the Nesting Place for the inspiration!

3. And because I've been inspired to create, this past weekend I took my boys out on a little photography adventure. I love photography and getting behind the camera. Last year, I did a whole lotta photo snapping behind my phone instead of my big, real camera. So, in the theme of creating art, I decided it was time to grab my big ol' trusty camera again. But . . .with helpers. I gave my boys a mission and let them be the artists with my phone. We stopped at different places around our city and each one had a turn to snap. They were lying on their backs, perfecting the camera tilt, and framing their shots well! Even if a finger snuck into a frame! What did I learn from that? I need to let my littles have more control at times. More freedom. More room to create and imagine. They aren't little robots. They don't always have to have boundaries and rules. They need space too. Boundaries and rules are good and certainly needed. But, looking for an opportunity to give them space to imagine is something we will continue to do!

4. I don't have the perfect segue from creating space to our doggy, but I have learned something about our Glory this month. She's the perfect addition to our family! Oh sure, we rescued Glory back in November. We were smitten! But for me, she kinda quickly added one more being to our mix of 6. She was like adding a 5th child. And she was work. But then we sent her off to puppy school for 2 weeks. I was afraid I'd get used to not having a doggy again. And I did. I eased back into the 4 children is easier than 4 children and a doggy. And truthfully, it is. Oh, but then. Glory returned home from puppy school this week. I'm not sure what she learned. I've already cleaned up an accident in our house. She still doesn't sit on command. Or come to us when called. But I know what I've learned. Glory sure is loved! The boys were elated to have her back. Miles was telling strangers in the grocery store that we were getting our doggy back! I had a rough couple of days getting used to keeping up with her again. But the snuggles and her carefree bopping around the house and the seeing the love our boys have for her (Hubby included) warms my heart so much! She's another being in our house, but she brings joy! I love her and I'm happy to have her back home!

5. And finally, speaking of doggies. . .Super Bowl weekend is here! You know there's a big football game on Sunday night and I'm pumped!! I'm guessing you are pretty aware that with the Super Bowl comes the often discussed, super hyped commercials! I'll admit, I'm one for surprises. I certainly don't want to watch the commercials ahead of time. But it seems, there are many who do! My Hubby, my dad and my sister have all asked if I've seen this commercial. Nope! However, I'm excited to see it! Looks like Budweiser and their little doggy and Clydesdales are back with what is being touted as the best commercial this year! Certain to make me tear up! Watch below if you are ready, but I'll be waiting until Super Bowl Sunday!

Have a Super weekend!
Linking up with Emily to share what we've learned!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

on creating. on art. on home.

Fresh. Warm. Inviting. Comfortable. Beautiful. I've been pondering these words for the past couple of weeks. This is how I want our house to feel. But more than that, I want our house to be a home. Not perfect and spotless, but our home. Lived in, but where love and security reign! Our place to dwell, to abide, purposefully!

And it is. We did some renovations on our house when we moved in 2.5 years ago. Gutted the kitchen and designed my ideal kitchen. Simple and crisp and farmhouse-ish. It's my favorite room in our home! Good thing, because I spend much of my time there and so do our littles!

But I've been feeling this urge to make more rooms "the oasis" that I feel in our kitchen. I'm content with our home, but making our space here feel fresh, warm, inviting, comfortable and beautiful just feels like the next step that I can do for our family.

Of course, when I say "I" can do for our family, I mean, Hubby and I come up with ideas and tackle some of them, but also know when to call in some help!

Aside from the big stuff though, I can make changes. I can create. I can make art. I'm all bought into the "We are all artists" thinking. And I'm not talking about painting a beautiful piece of art like several of my very talented friends. I mean, I'm just thrilled I finally put photos in frames the other day. Empty frames that had been sitting out for 2.5 years! Little things can be art!

But I did fall in love with a piece of art recently and decided I wanted to make one too. A book wreath. Have you seen them? I just read the Nesting Place (super inspiring my house into home desires), and discovered the book wreath. I'll admit, I don't think I would normally be drawn to it---or at least in the past. But it hit my "fresh, warm, inviting, comfortable, beautiful" and I'll even tack on "romantic and whimsical" button and so I went for it!

I'd read how people making book wreaths went and found books from the dollar store to rip up. Good idea from a cost perspective! But, I wanted to have my book wreath have a little sentiment behind it. I remembered that my old college lit books were still on a shelf at my parents house. I haven't wanted to part with them, however, they were sitting on a shelf, unopened and not even at my house! I love literature and thought it would be special to have my old lit book in a book wreath! So, I tore out pages of Wordsworth and Shakespeare, Bronte and Browning, Keats and Shelley and Tennyson, etc. and rolled them into cones!

The most difficult part was the excruciating glue gun burns I had on 2 of my fingers. NOT fun at all. I've never had a glue gun burn and never want one again. OH my stars!!! My sweet hubby looked up home remedies for burns and I sat with my hands in a bowl of cold milk, followed later by a bowl of honey when the heat just would not subside!

But it was worth it! I love this wreath! I can see some of my favorite authors and poets. I can see my starred poems and notes I've written along the sides. It's different for me, but it adds a calming and romantic piece to our bedroom! Love!!

And I'm inspired to do more. To look for the beauty in the imperfect, create art and a fresh, warm, inviting, comfortable, beautiful haven for my family. In our home!


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