Monday, November 25, 2013


Happy Monday!
How was your weekend?
Hopefully many blessings came your way :)

460- Harrison ran a 5K in Chicago's freezing temps. We all attempted it. Let me say I should be very thankful the littles are not frost bitten still. The morning chill of 25 degrees- we have a warm cocoon thingie for Hudson in the stroller and super bundled him & Hannah, yet the first leg of the race, screams and whines from both. So we got rescued mid race and stayed in the truck until Harrison crossed the finish line!

461- Celebrating family. We went to Maggiano's for supper with Dustin and my mom's friend and our family. The waitress asked if we were celebrating anything. And you know- we were. Being together. Being reunited. Being a family. She was like Oh- ok, that's great. I wanted to be like YES ITS AMAZING - if you only know the 1/2 of it :)  I  think we often forget that THAT is a HUGE celebration! What a blessing being together IS.  Hopefully you are celebrating that today too :)

462- my brother's sense of humor

463- my dad's thoughtfulness is lived through my brother. My dad would always make the world revolve around us and then once Harrison was born, it was around him, when we were together ( he passed away before our other 2 were born). Dustin is passing on the love, like my dad used to.He makes our kids feel very special and very important. He is getting to know them, getting beat at Playstation by H, getting bossed around by Hannah, getting drooled on by Hudson....the list is endless. Yesterday- he came in bearing Dunkin for us all & donuts for the kids & toys. He's like "I love being an uncle! Toys R Us is so cool!" :)

464- pintrest success for our thanksgiving centerpiece (Glitter + spray paint + pumpkins = gorgeous)

465- heat & shelter

466- my new read " Dont Make Me Count To Three" by Ginger Plowman. Amazingly written (so far), and has great biblical perspectives on parenting and changing the heart - and once the heart is changed, then the behavior should be changed too. (It speaks to me too- funny how parenting books show the parents how much they need to grow too)

467- Christmas lights are up outside & garland and lights are up inside!

468- the dentist! (One of my biggest fears. However today I had a sermon on while the drill was going, and the message was about Doing All Through Christ... All includes the dentist... so I took a few deep breaths, and tried to relax.... an hour later I was done & had survived) Anyone else dislike the dentist so much!?

469-an encouraging outreach dinner for the Sunday School families at our church here

470- Thankful for the story of the 10 Lepers in Luke 17. It helped me remember that I was like the Lepers- sick in sin, (not leprosy). But I need to be thankful each and every day. Not like the 9 who walked away without a thankful heart. But be like that one leper, who glorified God and was thankful. Some days I take being saved for granted- instead of really being amazed by His grace. Take time to read the story in Luke 17- it's just a couple short verses, but such a great lesson in thankfulness.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Multitude Monday is here!

The gratitude journal continues.....getting closer to 1,000!

450- Thankful we made it home safely, despite the inclimate weather (refer to yesterday's post!)

451- Thankful that we are able to serve Thanksgiving Dinner at Pacific Garden Mission (If you live around here, let us know if you want to join! The more the merrier!) What a blessing to give this time of year. The gift of time is more precious than you realize! Maybe you can give that gift too?

452- Thankful that this week is the Operation Shoebox Collection week, so all the boxes that have been lovingly stuffed, can now be shipped! (And our dining room can be normal once again :))

453- Thankful for Lifetime! Oh how I have missed you!

454- Thankful that God is  overall & although we need to plan and prepare for each day, we know that He controls all the goings on and even though somethings are way unexpected- He knows. He has it under control.

455- Boston trip is getting closer!!

456- Patriots play tonight!

457- Thankful that I have two motivating guys here to help our new eating plan go right. Dustin and Matt are awesome chefs and super intense when a competition is near. I think I will beat them both though :) Woot woot! We are just doing a crazy 2 week stint. (Hopefully it will last for a lifetime, but I like short term goals and instant results - are there such things!?)

458-  Makes Xmas shopping so much easier! Also, I am SUCH an emotional shopper & a sucker for ads! (You too??) So when I walk into a store and smell their cinnamon pine cones, or hear the Xmas music or see their neon sparkly clothes for Hannah- I want to shop til I drop & my debit card dislikes that. So I thought I would be intentional this Xmas, and budget and plan ahead. Both foreign concepts to me :) But yay, we are following an idea from Pintrest, to give 4 gifts to each kiddo. A need, a want, a read and a wear gift. And Hannah & Harrison are done! My inlaws are 1/2 done & my debit card loves me & I did it on the deck in FL with waves in the background & the best part- packages get to arrive!!! Fun mail = best mail!

459- 2 uncles to shop for this year. Praising the Lord for family.

460- Homeschool play date tomorrow for Harrison & art class & service project this week. Really excited to see how the Lord directs about Harrison's education. School is WAY better with fun friends- so pray for us this week especially :)

As the official Thanksgiving day approaches, what tops your list for thankfulness?


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Tornados...In November??

Tonight (Sunday) - we are back in IL safely.
The morning started off with our silly kiddos bouncing around the Louisville hotel room & doing a Sunday devotion. Then we started getting our stuff ready & my mom texted us to be careful because of weather. We turned on the Weather Channel- but it didnt seem to be that bad of a storm yet. We drove for a bit and the weather was calm. But then... it hit... and we had some scary weather. It reminded us not to take our road trip safety for granted. Matt had the truck at 90 for a long time, and normally I am the worst co-pilot, and remind him of the speed often, but today, I was wanting 90-100 the whole time( I knew that cops wouldnt be speed trapping- they too would either be wanting us to speed home to safety or helping others). The dark storm clouds loomed all around.At one point Matt had to slow way down because the truck was literally trying to move side to side because of the winds. My brother was texting us radar info the whole time. We kept the potty stops to 2 for the 4 1/2 hr trek which was a miracle! But oddly enough, our last stop was in Lowell Indiana. And then tonight- during the November Tornado news- someone called in from .... Lowell, Indiana!! Wow. I got shivers. Apparently there were several tornados around that area, and then closer to our home -so seriously, as we saw that footage tonight, we cannot thank the Lord enough. You know those days when prayer is a forced ritual almost? (Hopefully for you they are few and far between if ever- but I definately have those days when I dont quiet my heart like I should & really trust in Him to get me through. Today my heart was quieted. The whole time we drove, we were praying & trusting.We knew God was watching us. We knew He knew our hearts and thoughts. Tonight we are thankful & are heavy hearted for the 5+ casualities, and the many without homes & power. Pray for Washington, Peoria and Frankfort Illinois areas tonight. And continue to pray for the Phillipines.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

*Say Cheese!* Photo upload.

 Trying to get a Xmas Picture, took 3 million attempts ( or closer to 40 ;)), but these are a couple bloopers.


 Hudson runs on Dunkin :)

 He is full of babbles and expressions

 Manatee Park Ft Myers- 2 hour drive, SO not worth it- but we checked it off the list.  3 Manatees were there, or their backs were- thats all we saw- since they can hold their breath for 20 minutes, they were not fun to watch.  It was great to take a little nature walk though :)

 Dinner & Playdate with our friends from church

 Charles, Harrison, Zach, Edward

Hannah & Adorable red haired Jude


I need this verse. I am going to find it somewhere or make it. "He maketh the woman to keep house... and to be a joyful mother of children" Psalm 113:9... I can "keep the house" and I can be a mother...but the JOYFUL part escapes sometimes....excited for this daily reminder that parenting is a divine responsibility " Colossians 3:23
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.
Have a terrific Tuesday!

Monday, November 11, 2013


Happy Monday!

Our final Monday here by the beach- so we will soak up the sun and memorize the sounds of the waves crashing on the shore. Matt & I wondered, if we lived here at some point- would all the beach wonders grow old? Or would we wake up each day, with the sun, ready to embrace the squishy sand in our toes and the palm trees blowing ? We both thought - the latter. We would always enjoy it. Maybe one day :)

440- Dolphins jumping

441- Key lime pie

442- My new read " The Gospel According to Jesus"

443- New friends at the pool

444- Bedtime  snuggles with the kids or as Hannah calls it "Monster Hug"

445- Dole's Strawberry Dippers

446- Early morning strolls with our early bird Hudson who missed the daylight savings memo about gaining an hour (which is another super cool perk about being on the East coast- AZ never changed times, but here we did, and how cool! but sad for super early darkness (630pm its dark! Whats up!?)

447- Hudson eating sand. Maybe that's the new teething medicine?

448- Hannah's love for sensory time- she can sit in the sand for ever & organize shells into a rainbow- silently. But then when birds come by- she runs past them - sounding like she belongs to their species, and shows pure j.o.y.

449- Harrison giving his friends directions on games. While I was tanning today & the littles were upstairs napping-  I got to just lay & listen & hear Harrison aka Mini -Papa give the very s.p.e.c.i.f.i.c directions to the game. He is such a little leader with a big heart.

450- Extension on our time here! So Matt wont take any days off, we are leaving Friday afternoon instead, so we are here ALL week long instead of just a couple more days. Why rush back to cold?! Although, we are ready to see Uncle Dustin again & have a tad more space & we need to decorate Mimi's house for Xmas!! She gets all sorts of crazy for Xmas & we L.O.V.E that!! I'm dreaming of a WHITE CHRISTMAS! Who's with me!? :) :)

Monday, November 4, 2013


430- Coconut Oreo Ice Cream
Seriously the best combo yet!

431- Trip down memory lane every time we go to John's Pass and Candy Kitchen. Loved coming to FL each Xmas with my parents and our friends & love sharing my childhood memories with our kids! They have their mama's sweet tooth! (Oops!)

432- Seagulls stealing donuts
Hannah was done with her donut. She nibbles all the frosting off, then the bottom half is trash- soo we threw it  and literally it was caught mid air! Those sea gulls must really run on Dunkin too :)

433- Reading 1,000 Gifts, on the deck, coffee in hand, waves crashing, kids sleeping, sun is rising. I will finish this book this trip & begin another great read by John MacArthur.

434- Homeschooling. This week we have been thankful for our flexibility. Harrison is still unsure of what option he wants- but he has time, and so do we. In the mean time- we are pushing full steam ahead with the current curriculum & excited to watch the Lord direct us. It was interesting to get a very encouraging email from a fellow homeschool mom, whom we havent met, but wants to connect as she has a 3rd grade son too, once we get back to IL. She provided info for an Art and Music Class, which would be great! A couple friends from the church here in Tampa are Harrison's age, so a playdate with them & new friends his age at the pool here, have been such a blessing!

435- Pediatricians. Hudson had thrush and a crazy nasty diaper rash. After taking him to 2 clinics that couldnt see him- we found a wonderful fast Dr office close by the beach. She gave him some meds, and thrush is gone, and the diaper rash is getting better!

436- Red Sox won the World Series- IN FENWAY! Hasn't happened in Fenway, since 1918!!!!

437- Red Sox T Shirts that came as a love gift in the mail from east coast fam

438- Trick or Treating Condo style. Go down to the Ground level on the elevator. Ride it up to floor 2. Ring bell. Yell trick treat to Mimi :) repeat. repeat. repeat & then do a candy hunt in the condo :) Matt's not into Halloween at all, sad for this dress up lovin' mama- so we compromise, candy needs to happen, but agree that the world has really made Halloween extra wicked and gross, and we need to take a stand and be the light.

439- Watching pelicans scoop their breakfast & watching seagulls that resemble dive bombers

440- Thanksgiving is coming!!!!! This one is super meaningful. We will all be around the same dinner table. My dad will be watching, all smiles, in Heaven.

Here are a couple favorite lines from Ann Voskamp's 1,000 Gifts
" Thanks-giving might literally become thanks-living"
"Our happiness comes not in the having but in the handing over. Give your life away in exchange for many lives, give away your blessings to multiply blessings, give away so that many might increase- and do it all for the love of God"
"Spend the whole of your one wild and beautiful life investing in many lives"

Be a blessing today!
 Hudson gets the ride of his life each day. Hannah zooms him up and down the tile in his walker :)

Do-A-Dot Art. The best invention ever, besides color wonder :)

This is THE life. Ipod was finally found after being M.I.A for a few months.

 Working with waves in  the  background!

 Yay Red Sox!

Hudson looks thrilled ;)

Beautiful love.

Trick or Treat!

So cute, so gross to eat though, so the seagulls had another happy breakfast :) Dunkin rocks out here!!


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Florida Fun Week 1

We have been blessed by amazing days of swimming, schooling and beaching (tanning for mama :)) and even more amazing sunsets each night. Our Creator creates masterpieces each night for us to enjoy, and we are truly enjoying His handiwork while here. These are days that I can wake up early and read solo, listening to the crashing waves on the shore- and wanting to walk on the golden shore with my Saviour. What will it be like?!
Being here in FL is sentimental too, as this is where my mom was when she got The Call. The Call that rocked my world. The Call that was a true wake up call to serve the Lord & changed Matt & my life in SO many ways. The Call that showed how final and real death is. The Call that my dad had passed into Glory. He had just left the condo here a few days earlier and my mom was here over seeing the finishing touches on the kitchen remodel. We hadnt been here together as a family since Harrison's 2nd birthday, and this condo was our family getaway every Christmas for years. So as I get some quiet time - as rare as it is- I enjoy it. I reflect over the many volleyball games my dad and I played in, or the beach walks where he would enjoy Harrison chasing the seagulls. But my favorite memory of my dad here - besides our awesome Christmas mornings, was Disney World for Harrison's 2nd birthday. He was such a patient and hands on Papa, and treasured time with Harrison. As we walked into Pirates of the Caribean today, there was the trash barrel. The trash barrel that my dad starting drumming so that Harrison could be entertained for a little during the insane wait. My dad just knew. He had that nack. Such a silly thing- but so special. Be encouraged, on a side note, that those small moments in your life or the small times you do something for others, really means way more than you think :)  I miss him like crazy. So, those golden shores? Come Lord Come!

Our hearts have been driven back to reality with death, as my mom got a text that her neighbor Michelle passed away. Breast cancer won. She is gone. We have no hope of her eternal peace and hope. We are just so sad. Death is so real. So final. Make each day count. Make the mundane seem extra ordinary. This is the ONLY chance we have to live for Him. "Only one life twill soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last"
Please pray for Dan- Michelle's husband. Simone, their sophmore in college daughter & Andre- who is a junior in High School. Losing a loved one is NEVER easy- no matter the age- but these critical teen years - the heart break is so overwhelming.

Here are some recents pics. (Disclaimer, thanks to a good friends board on pintrest, I found some cheap rainy day life savers like trash bags instead of 8.50 disney ponchos :) Possibly no tackier moment ever, BUT we were semi- dry and $50 bucks richer :) We knew it was supposed to rain today in Disney and Matt & I had the BEST date in the rain- here at Disney- back in the day, so we wanted to relive that- with no lines no waiting no crowds etc, and we almost got that exact thing, but with 3 kids in tow and one very meltable Hudson who is still an AZ baby and did NOT like rain AT ALL :) So even though we did walk right on to ALL the rides (AMAZING!!) Hudson was not feeling all that happy in the happiest place on earth :) The rain stopped mid-day, and it was perfect. And we left with two kiddos in the stroller zzzing and the rest of us with smiles.