I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.

26 Nov

readin’s for the dogs

Does your library have a cool reading program like this?  Ours is called “Ruff Readers.”

A couple of dogs are brought in … they’re usually rescue dogs and SO very sweet!!  And all you have to do is sign up!  You can pick out any book and you get quiet time to sit and read with the dogs.  We’ve only done it a few times … and it’s pretty low key, but the girls seem to enjoy it.

And here we have Hunter and her friend ZachaWie reading to each other!  :)

Posted in family photos, girls, outing

9 Jun

chicago smiles

I thank my God every time I remember you.
Philippians 1:3

We started the day as new friends, and ended as kindred spirits.

Kate and Katherine are the most lovely, beautiful, creative and talented of women … and fast becoming amazing friends!  Oh the damage we could do if they lived closer!

We met in Chicago for a day of fun … only to arrive during a torrential downpour.  I arrived Union Station at 9:30, hopped a ride to Millennium Station to pick up Katherine at 10:30, and met Kate, who drove, immediately after.

We ran to Kate’s car in the rain and ended up sitting … in. her. car … for well over an hour as we became fast and furious friends!  When we finally looked up from our conversation, we’d realized it had stopped raining!  Up next was lunch and then off for some fun!

Chicago Smiles!

We found a street not too far off the beaten path.  We set up a beautiful red chair.  Large red balloon in hand.  Chocolate kisses to give out.  Token polaroid ready to be taken.  Mustaches ready to be used.  Encouraging signs prepped.

Silliness started.

People intrigued.

Blessings given.

It was absolutely amazing the reaction people … complete strangers … had towards us.  People couldn’t help but smile, they couldn’t help but participate!

We had a bridal group, a woman bringing home pizza, business men, families … and they all smiled!


That’s what you are!

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Posted in blessed, friends, outing, photography

2 Oct

pumpkins … already?!

CJ was out of town for a few days this week … so the girls and I found ourselves looking for a bit of action.  Enter, the pumpkin farm.  Can you believe it’s that time already?

It was a brisk, Wisconsin afternoon … so we were pretty much the only ones there … which was just fine with us!  We were freezing … hmm, wonder if the ice cream their eating has anything to do with that?  :)

Okay, and see this photo of Hunter squeezing her one eye closed and pointing?  This is my absolute favorite face of hers and can’t believe I finally caught it on camera!  I want to squeeze her to pieces when she does this!

Anyway, we had a great afternoon … and I got a few caramel apples outta the deal … all-in-all … success!

2009 fall collage

Okay, and look. at. this!!  As I was taking the photo of Piper, I had a flashback of taking the same photo years earlier.  I hunted it down … six years ago!  She was a mere 18 months old!  Seriously, where do the days … years … go?

piper growth chart

I pray this Fall season is off to a great start for you and full of pumpkins, apples … and of course caramels!  :)

Posted in family, family photos, outing, piper

21 Apr

what a day …

So today is Taylor’s birthday.  Guess I made no secret about that!  :)

For some reason, I feel timid to pray with Taylor.  I think it’s because she didn’t grow up praying with me.  We didn’t go to church when she was little {something I hugely regret & am trying to change now}.  We pray at mealtimes, and sometimes when something is troubling her deeply, we pray about it.

There are many times I want to cover her in prayer, with her.  Instead, I do it silently.  I let her know I pray for her.  But I never quite seem to be able to pray with her … not the deep, meaningful prayers that I want to pray with her.  Maybe I’m afraid of being rejected by her?  That may sound silly, but I think there’s some truth to it.


Today, I was determined to cover her in prayer.  And so I did.  And it was great.  I usually wake her over the intercom to her room {is that strange??}.  But this morning, being her birthday and all! I went to her room to wake her.  I sat in bed with her, wished her a happy birthday and asked if I could pray for her.

I prayed she’d have a special day.  I prayed the Lord would hold her, and love her and let her know she was special.  I prayed her friends would surround her in love.  I prayed for a special year.  That 14 would be her year.  That the Lord would reveal himself to her, help her figure out what He wanted for her.  I prayed He would continue to guide me in raising her to be what He intended.

It took everything to fight back the tears that were welling as I was praying … you know … play it cool and all!  But they are flowing now.  I truly pray that God covers this child and protects her.  Protects her heart from harms way.  Sigh …

Okay, kleenex away.

The girls made some cute gifts for Taylor this morning and she was a good sport about it.  They each gave her a worm in a box.  And the worm was their finger.  A hole cut in the bottom of the box.  A latex glove finger, colored in brown marker poking through the bottom.  Kinda cute.  Kinda typical of my ‘earthly’ girls.

Curt gave her a full box of Skittles and a full box of Razzles.  Yikes!

Before you know it, the celebrating’s over and we’re off to the car to go to school.  We’re getting in and everyone starts asking what smells so bad.  Truth is, there was some kinda funk happening for a couple of days … in fact, the night before, I left the windows down in the car to air it out, it had started smelling so bad.

We visited a friend on Saturday and Hunter had an accident while we were there.  I’ve stopped carrying a diaper bag, so didn’t have a change of clothes and needed to borrow one.  I ended up throwing her pee-pee clothes in the back of the SUV and forgot to take them out.  I finally noticed on Monday, so took them out and thought that was the smell.

I was wrong.

So this morning … it. is. smelling. horrible!!  Like someone died horrible!  Turns out, my pack rats that sit in the back and never clean up after themselves, left a bottle of milk back there.  Yuck!!  It had to have been over a week old.  Seriously!  Yuck … my stomach is turning just thinking about it!  Now running late, I had to run back inside, get some stuff to try to clean it up {yeah, it had leaked into the pocket thing back there}, and ended up putting up with the smell all day!

Alrighty then …

So, I always look forward to my Tuesday’s with Hunter!  But I gotta admit, this dreary cold weather is putting a damper on the things we can do for our outings … and who wants to go home and sit around playing with toys? :)

This morning, I absolutely didn’t know what we should do.  I’m tired of our same ol’ haunts and didn’t feel like treking her through the grocery store, Target, or Sam’s Club.

So when we get back into the car after dropping everyone off at school, I truly was at a loss.  Hmm … idea brewing, I ask, “Hunter, wanna go to the shopping mall today?”

OMWord, you would’ve thought I told her Santa was comin’ to town!  She was beyond-the-roof excited!  She started singing about the shopping mall and was doing a little car seat jig … you know the one!

When I ask, “Hunter, do you know what the shopping mall is?”  Um, no.  In fact, she didn’t know what the shopping mall was.  Didn’t matter, I suppose.  She was just happy to go where mom wanted to take her.  And I’m learning, if you ask anything with any kind of excitement, they automatically assume it’s the most exciting place on earth!

Here are a couple of photos from our day.  I thought you’d enjoy seeing what happens when you ask for a ‘big smile’ …


Oh!  And for the record, lest you be thinking I have time to ‘do’ three girls hair in the morning … these are left over braids from Hunter’s daycare teacher the day before!

So we finally get to the shopping mall.  And … I’m smiling just thinking about this … I just love this girl.  I love how goofy she is.  I love her speech, the way she says things.  I love how serious she can get about something.  And we had a great time … that is until she realized the shopping mall is not Santa and it definitely isn’t as fun as the museum!  :)

Side Note:  Before we headed out to the mall this morning, I had to swing back home to pick up the stroller.  I am slowly moving out of stroller territory, but I’m sorry … one definitely can not take a toddler to the mall without a stroller … especially on a rainy day.  Apparently, the wheels on strollers are growing, or the aisles in stores are shrinking!  I was getting stuck on every corner I took!

Okay, so right before we’re ready to leave, we made a pit stop in the bathroom.  I see the family bathroom and decide to head in there with my stroller and bags of goods.  It took me about, oh … I don’t know … five minutes to get into that darn bathroom!  So we finally make it in there … and I gotta go pretty good … when I see only one very small, teeny-tiny potty.  Hmm …

As I’m deciding it absolutely is not worth spending another five minutes to get out of this bathroom and into the regular one … I sit on this wee-sized thing and go.  Hunter, of course, was super thrilled because everything was “just her size.”  I, on the other hand was peeing with my knees tucked under my chin!


We finally make it out of there and head home!  Whew.

After nap, Hunter and I headed to school to pick up the girls … a lot of girls!  Taylor’s 3 besties came with us too.

I’ve been asking Taylor for months what she wanted to do for her birthday.  Her reply was always, “nothing.”  Okay … but you need to do something … right?


So we settled on going to a movie and dinner with her friends {and sisters}.  Hannah Montana was the pic of choice … have you seen it?  I really enjoyed it.  The best part was an empty theater!  The girls ended up going to the front of the theater and laid on the floor watching the movie.  At times, they’d get up and dance, jump around, twirl each other … and as I’m watching them all down there I started crying!  What is with me?


I was just so happy to see Taylor happy and having fun.  I loved seeing my little girls having fun with them too.  I don’t know … I’m also in an emotional state right now I think.

CJ’s traveling and I miss him.  Sometimes you just need your buddy to talk to or give you a hug when you’re down, right?

Okay … but back to the theater … there was something magical {outside of my emotional state} watching them in the dark theater … uninhibited and having fun.  Then … this song comes on:

It’s called “The Climb” … Taylor listens to it all the time, but the words always make me think of her and some of the struggles she’s going through.

I can almost see it
That dream I’m dreaming but
There’s a voice inside my head sayin,
You’ll never reach it,
Every step I’m taking,
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking but I
Got to keep trying
Got to keep my head held high

There’s always going to be another mountain
I’m always going to want to make it move
Always going to be an uphill battle,
Sometimes you going to have to lose,
Ain’t about how fast I get there,
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side…
It’s the climb…

The struggles I’m facing,
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes they knock me down but
No I’m not breaking
The pain I’m knowing
But these are the moments that
I’m going to remember most yeah
Just got to keep going
And I,
I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on,

There’s always going to be another mountain
I’m always going to want to make it move
Always going to be an uphill battle,
Sometimes you going to have to lose,
Ain’t about how fast I get there,
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side…
It’s the climb…

There’s always going to be another mountain
I’m always going to want to make it move
Always going to be an uphill battle,
Sometimes you going to have to lose,
Ain’t about how fast I get there,
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side…
It’s the climb…

Baby, just remember … it is the climb.  God has a plan.  Keep your faith and one day you’ll watch His plan unfold beautifully around you.

Again, happy birthday my baby …

Posted in birthday, hunter, outing, taylor

25 Oct

a girls night …

Yeah, we saw it.  And yeah, it was pretty cool.  I’m just glad I had an excuse in the form of young girls that wanted to see it.  :)

I took Piper, Wynter, Taylor and my {other} daughter, Ana to see High School Musical 3 tonight.  We had a pretty good time and the girls really liked it.
Troy … Gabriella … Sigh …

Posted in our family, outing