Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Summer is . . .

Summer is . . .

the juice of a peach (picked by you) so ripe, that it overflows out of your mouth!




Summer is . . .

the biggest waves of the ocean knocking you down, but enticing you to get back up again!


Summer is . . .

hanging loose and wild and free!



Summer is . . .

date nights on a patio outside!


Summer is . . .

enjoying the view!



Summer is . . .

throwin' it back on the beach.


Summer is . . .

finding a spot with the perfect book! Or two! Or five hundred!




Summer is . . .

searching for treasure!

Summer is . . .

riding the waves!



Summer is . . .

scanning the horizon for what's to come!



Summer is . . .

swingin' til our hearts content!



Summer is . . .

letting things go and just divin' in!



Summer is . . .

busy and relaxing and time to soak everyone up! We're still around, just enjoying our time together!





Monday, June 1, 2015

a return to Kazakhstan!

It's been a month since Hubby and I departed for Kazakhstan to help lead a marriage/family conference. Leaving in May was quite a feat as any of who have children or are in the teaching field know. May is not for the faint of heart! There are so many school programs and projects being wrapped up, field trips and field days and by the end of May we are all tuckered out!

And yet somehow, the week that Hubby and I went to Kazakhstan, we missed nothing school related! Hooray!!! We've told plenty of people about our trip, but I've yet to document it here, so I thought it's time I do!


That's our team above, minus another man who met us in Almaty! We were so blessed to go with this crew--we learned so much and were just amazed by what each person brought to the team! Our first day in Kaz was a day of acclimation. We needed to adjust to the 11 hour time difference and get our bearings about us. What better way to do that than visit with some old friends (Dan and Catherine used to be missionaries in Kaz, and I met some of the friends on my trip to Kazakhstan last year) or new friends for Hubby and Delana over lunch! And then, we headed up to the mountains! There's nothing quite like God's beauty in nature for me. I'm mesmerized and just in awe of it, especially these mountains! It was a great way to get the trip started!




Over the next 4 days, we spent 2 days leading a marriage and family conference to a Russian speaking church and then to a Kazak speaking church. First, our entire team spoke briefly before Dan led an introductory talk. We then separated into men's and women's groups. The girls talked to the women about being the heart of the home and the guys taught the men about being the spiritual leaders of the home. Once we joined back together, Fred led us all through a talk on conflict in marriage. And finally, we wrapped up with a question and answer time. The conference material was jam-packed and our friends were eager for more! Honestly, we needed more time there!

I absolutely loved the relationship building part of both trips to Kaz that I've been on. Throughout this trip we were able to meet with several families, hear about what the Lord is doing in their lives, pray with them and just get to know them better! I fell in love with the people last year and once again felt the same way this year! And as usual, just like here in the States, our time with friends always involved food or tea and coffee! These people truly know what hospitality is all about!










When Hubby and I were asked to consider going, I think both of us had no clue why the Lord wanted us to go. We were excited to be going on a mission trip together for the first time in 15 years and were excited to say "Yes" to the Lord, but we didn't know much more than that. I had been last year, but that was a special needs trip and was completely different.

By the end of the trip though, the Lord showed and taught us why he had us going. Different reasons for both of us, but we are so thankful we went. It was truly a blessing to be with our team and to get to see the Lord at work in Kazakhstan! We treasured the time spent with our Kazak friends and are thankful for all the Lord taught us!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Way -- a study of the heart!

Good morning, little cutie! I see you studying that big heart. Wondering what it is. What it does.
You know, hearts keep our bodies alive. They help us thrive. Hearts also represent love.
And love? Well,
"God is love." 1 John 4:8


One year ago today, Mommy and Daddy were studying the heart, too. We were filled with information on your heart and the ASD and VSD, the holes in your heart. And we handed you over to a surgeon, who knew so much more than we did, and prayed the Lord would guide his hands as he mended the holes in your heart.

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." 
Psalm 73:26


Last May 6th, was a study of our heart. I remember being at peace with it all, but emotional as you left my arms in your little gown. This surgery, if all went well, was supposed to help you thrive. Ideally, it would relieve your body from working as hard as it was and prevent future complications as well.

"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way." 1 Thessalonians 3:16


Heart surgery is a pretty big deal. God is an even BIGGER deal! You (and Mommy and Daddy) were showered with love and support! So many friends and family members prayed for you and came by to see you. They came to love on you and love on us. The Lord granted us the prayers we asked. You were a champ and your surgery was a success! 

"And this is the confidence that we have toward him,
 that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us." 1 John 5:14


We handed the Lord our hearts and you, Waybe, our little heart. And here you are. 
YOU are a study of the heart!



Happy 1 year Heart-versary, Way! We love you and your smile. You are a joy and a light! Thank you, Lord, for mending our little boy and pouring out love on us! You are Mighty and we praise you!

"It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night" Psalm 91:2



Monday, May 4, 2015

motivating THIS Monday!


Monday's motivation.
Monday's prayer.
Monday's confidence.

Leaving our littles behind for a week. Heading overseas on a mission trip. Nursing my heart, but praying this as I leave, knowing He is our Shepherd! Little bits of my heart may be staying back home, but we are going, with confidence because He's asked us to go!

May your Monday be filled with confidence that YOU are His sheep and all of your people are too!

Monday, April 27, 2015

motivating the Monday

Is it just my tulips that get droopy? Or do tulips just get droopy in general?


I've loved tulips for years and they always seem beautiful in bouquets at the store. And actually, I really like the ones above. Floppy, droopy, doing their own thing. We don't have a lot of natural light in our house due to a front and a back porch that prevents the sun from sneaking in. I've wondered if they droop because they are in need of sunlight. Maybe some of you know? I most certainly do not. Not a green thumb on either of my hands!

But as I sat speculating this morning, on my beautiful, regardless tulips, I couldn't help but think of how I tend to droop and fall weary when I'm not spending a lot of time with the Son.

When life gets busy and it's go, go, go, I can fool myself into thinking that my downtime needs are to plop onto the couch and watch a show. Or flip through my phone. Or even get immersed in a good book. And I truly don't think there's anything wrong with any of those. But only, if I'm filled up first.

When I'm not basking in the Son, I'm thirsting for other things.

I might not notice it at first, but it catches up to me quickly. Some mornings are hairy around here. Actually, most mornings are. If I haven't set my alarm to have some prayer time or just time to be in His Word, then I'm putting it off until later. And then later comes, and along with it, so does everything else. This and that and go, go, go!

For me, I'm always better off going to Him first. The more time I spend in the Son, the more thirsty I stay. And that's a good thing---because only He can quench our thirst!

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”
John 7:37-38 

 

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!


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