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!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

parenting and love and messy.

After some unusual events in our house this morning, (Hubby had both sets of keys with him at work) we were left with a couple of extra minutes to sit in our car before school. There was a whole bunch of tattling going on and just defensive attitudes all around. I predicted this yesterday, when we had a playdate (which was wonderful) that never ended--since it continued to Wednesday night church. I knew our boys would be tired today. Actually, they were fine this morning, until this small inconvenience got them off track and stirred up some anxieties about being late.

I shushed the tattling voices. I just couldn't take it any longer. I wanted no explanation of who hurt who and whose turn it was to sit in the middle instead of the back.

I just wanted love.

Thinking back to the Christmas season, I remember telling my boys all I wanted for Christmas was for everyone to show each other love. These people are your brothers. Your best buddies. Stop the bickering.

I knew it couldn't happen. I love my entire family, but I bicker and speak harshly and get frustrated and snappy right along with them.

I even sometimes think absurd thoughts like, "Yeah, but it hurts me more when they are mean to each other than it hurts them when I snap at them." Hello. Modeling? Ohhhhh, goodness.

And then, there I was reading John 13: 1-38 this morning with She Reads Truth. And there it was on the pages of my Bible. . .Jesus washing his disciples' feet, in the midst of his pending betrayal, serving and loving his people, anyway.

Debbie Eaton, from She Reads Truth, pointed out . . .

"Jesus knows what you will do to hurt, deny or betray Him, and yet He will always love you unconditionally and will forgive when you ask for it. Through His love and forgiveness, we can humbly serve another because it shifts our view from self to others—an act of love."

And it just hit me. It sucker-punches me every single time any of my boys are mean to each other. I feel sick to my stomach and it crushes my heart. I focus so much energy on figuring out how to make them show love to each other.

And then I thought. Oh my goodness. If it hurts me so very much when my boys are unkind to each other. How must my Father in heaven feel when I speak harshly to my children or snap at my husband or get frustrated or critical with so and so? He knows I'm going to hurt Him daily and he loves and forgives me every single day. What an extravagant, amazing LOVE that is!!

So, how do we fix ourselves and our attitudes? How do we start acting loving at all times?

We don't. We cannot. We are not perfect. But we can continue to follow the One who is. He modeled His love for us to teach us! So we pray daily. We confess our sins, repent and give thanks to our Extravagant Lord!

**And I just have to insert here, for my boys reading this in my blog books one day, that you do, in fact, love each other. Truly. But we are all sinners and we aren't always kind. However, there are so many days you do show love to each other! I'm so very thankful for you, each and every day, no matter what!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

"Glory to the New York king" (NYC Christmas trip recap)

Miles was singing his version of Hark the Herald Angels Sing this morning. Still singing Christmas! I love it! I love even more that this sweet 4 year old just sings the words as he hears them! "Park the hammer manger's sing, Glory to the New York king!" Precious! And still, I cannot change the lyrics for him yet. That will come too soon. Although, I was LOTS older before I realized the words in Silent Night weren't "All has come, all is bright" and were instead "All is calm". (Not that I needed to tell you what the right words were. Figure you know that by now!)

Anyway, Miles' version of Hark the Herald Angels Sing reminded me that I hadn't yet posted about our recent trip to NYC!!! I know I Instagrammed, but I wanted to get our trip down in this little spot too!

Welcome to New York!

We left on the 17th of December and went with the Stouts, some dear friends of ours, and it was just the four of us! We collectively left all 8 of our children in the hands of grandparents! People, if we can figure out a way to do it, then you can too. And you should!

Upon arriving in NYC, we were greeted in a taxi with TSwift singing to us! No, not really her. Well, really her singing, but not actually in our taxi. Anyway, perfect arrival if you ask me. I didn't stop singing Welcome to New York the entire trip! :)

Ohhh, we had a blast! We nearly ate our way through the entire city! We had our first brunch, more like pastries, at Ferrara's in Little Italy. And from there we dipped into Chinatown (and left quickly due to some shady dealings going on around us) and then onto SoHo! We window-shopped a smidge and popped into Happy Socks where the men bought some fun! And I stopped into Bite for a little splurge and designed my own lipstick!

We explored more, at in Little Italy, and headed off to see Aladdin that night! You can't pass up a hotdog stand on the corner of NYC. So, we ate again! The show was great! The Genie was quite funny and of course those Disney songs were wonderful! We soaked up some Time Square with a million other people and took Dana and Kevin to Carnegie Deli! Hubby and I had been before, but this was Dana and Kevin's first NYC trip. They, of course, had to experience the ginormous sandwiches! And because we were still hungry (HA!), we had to hit up Serendipity 3 as well! I can't even write about my frozen hot chocolate without salivating. And Hubby might have never had something so delicious--but his wasn't chocolate. Just heaven.

And that was just Day 1. OH my goodness!!
Over the course of our next few days, we went to the 9/11 Memorial and museum--something you don't want to miss. I get extremely emotional over the entire event and anything related, so I wasn't sure how I felt about going. So, so glad we did.

We also continued eating our way through the city and snagged some pizza in Brooklyn! Love these friends!! We naturally had to walk off our meals and chose to hit the High Line! It was cold and I'm positive in the spring and summer it would be an amazing site to see! We learned about the High Line from a book our boys have, The Curious Garden. We've enjoyed the book for a few years, so it was fun to go walk the High Line!

We, of course, kept eating, window-shopped the West Village, worshipped at Redeemer Pres. and heard Tim Keller, dreamed of moving to NYC, window-shopped 5th Avenue, and so much more!

And what's NYC without more Broadway, Central Park and Rockefeller Center???

Ahhhhh! I love the hustle and bustle of NYC! I loved it at Christmas--it truly is an amazing city to see during the holidays! BUT---being with my Hubby and our sweet friends was the best part! We are so thankful for my parents who held down the fort back home! We ALL love our 8 children, but to spend time as just a couple and with friends is priceless! It was a trip that we will always cherish! Love you, Stouts!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

the ever growing book list

Marcel Proust

I love compiling a book list! Every year, at the beginning of the year, I make a book stack (from the books I receive from Christmas) and get super excited to pour into them! However, these books are just the new books on my list. Since I make this stack in January, I have so many other books I add as the year progresses. I am never ever able to finish the list. My book goals/dreams/desires kinda match my current mood whether in January or July. Soooo, I still have some books from my last January's stack that I never tackled! And, I have other books I added to my list that I've already conquered! Doesn't really matter though. I read what I want to read, when I want to read it!

Unless, I read for my boys. Take one of Luke's current book interests. He begged me to read the first of the three book series he just finished. And while I think it's so sweet that he's dying for me to read one of his books, I just finished Unbroken. Yes, I know. Unbroken came out several years ago. Just started it in December and just finished it. A little behind, but I had to read it before and if I see the movie! Now, that, was a long and pretty intense book. By the time it was over, and I liked it, I was just ready to read a different type of book. Say, a much lighter book that I chose! But, Lukey grabbed me first and had an eagle eye to when I finished Unbroken. So I'm reading his book first! Truth be told, I'm kinda excited for him and to be following a book of his passion right now!

However, once I'm done with that book, I'll be tackling one of these. And then one from my other list of 48 books!

What are you reading? Do you have a book list? I'd LOVE for you to share! Always excited to keep adding more to my list!!!


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