Monday, February 27, 2017


Thankful for amazing audio messages that encourage.
Jacksons 2017 conference messages are available... two of my faves were done by a fave preacher of ours... Dale Vitale... here is the link

Dale's Message #1

Thankful for Hannah learning to ride her bike without training wheels!

Thankful for a fun short 4 day week last week. With one day being on Internet Safety & digital learning. 

Thankful for a fun new ride!

Thankful for a fun Food Friday activity ... praying the students did not have night mares ;) But we got to be the predator ( big fancy word for these kiddos) and eat the Peep ( aka penguin). It was a blast and yummy ( and zero prep !!)

Those are their scary leopard seal faces ( loved that Hudsie could come with me on Friday too :))

Thankful for dad son dates & the love of taking car wash selfies ;)

Thankful for an encouraging Fellowship Friday with a dear couple from church... and the sushi we enjoyed was delish!! Month 2 of Fellowship Friday 
( kinda excited as sometimes our best intentions are short lived, but with 2 months down, we think we can make this idea a new norm )

Image result for brandon heath quotes give me your eyes

Thankful for hearing Brandon Heath's song "Give Me Your Eyes" after not hearing it in like FOREVER.... came at just the right time... 

Thankful for baby Al being a celebrity, bringing our fam into town! 

Monday, February 20, 2017


Thankful for our kids' love of singing. The collective kid fave is Toby Mac's "Undeniable"... and hearing Hudson pipe in with the repetitive "You Are, You Are", makes my heart happy. Image result for tobymac undeniable
Listen here! Toby Mac's Undeniable

Thankful for continued patience in the parenting journey. This week's honest heart update is for Hudson Frederick. This boy who is all BOY... all sorts of charming... my baby who always will be my baby ( although he is like 50 pounds and almost as tall as Hannah!)
He is killer in public social settings... and it's breaking my's physically exhausting, emotionally taxing and just flat out embarrassing... when the mom of a sweet little girl watches your big beastly valentine throw a wooden thomas train at her head?! or that sweet petite little angel at church who looked at his candy the wrong way gets rocked to the floor? or that boy in his center at school that wanted his car, so he punched his face? Or that time when you go bring Big Bro to the hair cut place and watch 3 little boys all get their hair cut without a blink, fight or scream... and tears well up because why on earth do they all get it so easy?! Why on earth does Matt have to wait in the car with him because he dislikes that place so much...I want an easy hair cut time ... instead of the fight, screams and sweat ....
Where is my baby's use of words!? Why on earth is he so physical? He is talking sooo much more and is soo much more understandable.. but still... the hands come out way too often... the term "safe hands" reminds him to fold his hands and be still {Thank you amazing Miss Daley for being so patient, loving and concerned with Hudson and helping him SO MUCH!}
  Do we do time outs? Do we spank? Do we just hug it out and move on wondering what his brain is processing? The hows and whats and all the in between questions are sooo hard... I love that we have to go through this as it provides a different glimpse into how I view other kiddos... and although Hudson does not look like he has any form of disability on the outside... he acts cray cray.. so when I look at other kids {actually adults too!!} I'm just reminded not to judge a book by it's cover or a human by their face... because ... there is so. much. more to that face....
 God spoke..... through 2016's Jackson Conference Message from Paul Theissen about our career of and call to Motherhood...access it here ( scroll to 2016 Conference) Paul T ....
.and when I was listening to the importance that God places on the job of mothering these precious souls that only God has given... I just cried and thanked God that somehow He thought Matt and I could parent this special, unique, hard headed, car loving, octopus obsessed boy {Thanks to Finding Dory }... and so with that- I will work harder to see him as God sees him.. a precious soul that needs care, compassion and endless training.. knowing that THIS is our call in life... to parent these souls.,, and although we are working and parenting... the call to mommyland is a far higher calling & I need to re-balance my emotional outflow at work ( those precious 28 kiddos take alootttt of my love... and I pour it out freely...} but then come home & have little to pour out to our 3 souls here... so that is my weekly intentional parenting tidbit...of course also treasuring all the positives along the way ( which are MANY), his fave movie is Trolls, and he is obsessed with it always being "Hug time", hoping we can transfer more Hugs to the social settings i.e the gym school & church, and less hitting time ;)

πŸ’ŸThankful for a fun week of Valentine's learning & 100th day fun! πŸ’Ÿ

Thankful for 4th graders who earned special time out of their classroom & came to help my pumpkins with heart measuring. πŸ’—

100th day! 100 minutes outdoors! Yes please! #geniusteachers

 Thankful that although these sleepy heads were all out ( even big H! what in the world!?) before Wednesday night meeting... God gave my heart a little dose of "tough it out, wake them up and stay for meeting" when maybe I was tempted to do a U-turn and drive back the 40 minutes home... night time events without Dad make for a sometimes wimpy momma... but God gets the credit for holding me close and giving my weary heart energy!

Thankful for these gorgeous sunrises on the way to work. 😎😍

Thankful for the coolest thing ever.... Blinky Bill on Netflix! Blinky Bill was an all time favorite childhood memory for Dusty and I... my dad brought the chapter book back from his business trip to Australia... and we would curl up on our green plaid living room couch to snuggle in with him as he would read us a chapter or 2 each night... and now it's a movie?! Ohh to pass along our memories to our kids!! πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—

Thankful for another timely devotion,

Thankful putting the above devotion, read just 45 minutes prior to actual use... I got called out from my fave gym class to handle Hudson... and so without further ado.... we went to Starbucks... got food and soaked up the SUN.... nothing's going to rob our joyful hearts on the 60 degree weather weekend!! Not even a spitting son 😱

Thankful for a few minutes before gymnastics to hula hula!
( and thankful to put away that winter poinsettia wreath and bust out the Flip Flop sign!! Hopeful that with that sign up Spring will STAY)πŸ˜ŽπŸ’š

Thankful for Matt being encouraged at a Men's Leadership breakfast with CCCH ( Christian Church of Clarendon Hills)... he was able to minister to the men there and left totally uplifted! God works in all sorts of ways and we l.o.v.e that! 
He and Dave are going for their 1st ride together! Matt had a mid life crisis and bought a bike {thankful for friend's perspectives of "that's all he did for his midlife crisis? You should be thankful".. ohh ok not where I was going ... but now that she said it YES INDEED...very thankful..} when I say he bought a bike.. I mean the research.. the time invested in this thing and the excitement he and his cycle friends find in it.. are priceless! And yes... it's the most pricey thing in our house, so of course it needs a spot in our bedroom ... yikes.. lol πŸ™ˆ

Thankful for our country. Thankful that even with all the political hubbub we live in a land where the red white and blue fly free. πŸ’“πŸ’™

And our weekend had one big highlight... an RV show.. true story ... we are prayerful about Road Schooling our kids and living life in an RV traveling all over... and so 1st step is to look at RVs in person... over and over and over again :) Success.. we found our dream home... so now we pray, we search for online teaching jobs and watch God work... and by work we know that He may want to us to be patient ( man- that P word!!)... and we are committed to being okay with God's amazing timeline for us...

Sushi anyone?! It had been TOO long.. so we totally went for the kill... and it was worth every calorie and every dollar πŸ˜‹

Here's to another great week ahead... love you friends!Image result for glitter clipart

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day 2017

Thankful for one of my FAVE holidays of all time. The prep for V day... the store decorations... the foods... the crafts... the celebrations... seriously what's not to L.O.V.E!?!

Thankful for online inspiration for Hannah's card mailbox... ours was adorable, but finding the perfect square box was next to impossible in our time frame... so we did the best we could and today after her party I went to take a pic and 1/2 of the pieces are off haha.. so durability test failed, cuteness test passed.

 Thankful that Auntie Paula was kind enough to be shared with us, taking a break from a newborn to come help with 3 crazies, was brave! But much appreciated :) And our 11 year old is the same height haha!

Thankful for a fun night out with Auntie Paula at Dave and Busters, where Hudsie mastered the art of Skee Ball! 

With all these happy smiles, has to come a  dose of reality ..or my blog is fake and a mask & that is against everything we want... soooo our parent hearts got broken last week by an incident at school with our big H... crazy how fast your world feels like it just fell apart... that one voicemail from the principal that makes me shudder... yeah that... the moment where you question your parenting... this is all new to us- this middle school age thing- so we try to do the best we can- learn from our experiences as young parents & pray that God intercedes in massive ways as we know we make too many errors...  but thankful for the lessons we all learned together and for the grace that God gave me to literally shut my mouth. Thankful that Matt is my sounding board and was the 1st face to greet big H after school, after the call... and that there was a drive home by myself from work that day to process pray and sing ... and drink my iced coffee ;)
Both Matt & I had childhood's where the response during an incident would be anything but gracious, and forgiving and calm, and yes there is always an excited spark in me for the positive or the negative... but we do have an understanding that we all ( even my nearly perfect kids ... wink wink) make mistakes, do dumb things, say even dumber things and so if we, as the totally imperfect parents are washed in grace and redeemed every minute of every day- what better lesson of the gospel for us to share that with our kids too?! That in those mistakes, life lessons are learned... and God is glorified... and we all are humbled... but we are calm. full of hugs and ready to move on and hit reset! {Disclaimer, easy for me to write now, a week later... in the moment this would have been written slightly different :)}

Image result for scripture about being humble

Thankful for mini carts at Mariano's. Limits my shopping time and spending :)

 So with Matt working night shift now, and Hudson still working on his social skills ... this day he got booted from childcare in the morning due to hitting, so I couldn't go back in the evening ( insert all the "are you kidding  me??!!"  faces), I got my ab workout and some love ... down & up with a lot of weight ;)  {Real life unmade bed and laundry to tackle too ;0)}

 Thankful for Food Friday where I was observed ( see Dr Shabazz scripting me), during my Fruit is a Suitcase for Seeds. The lesson was not what I wanted it to be.. .but the student input, discussion and food time was ideal. Praise the Lord!

Here are some excerpts that I screen shot this weekend ... I really appreciated these words of wisdom...

Thankful for warmer temps and bros on bikes!!

Thankful for my Hannah and Hannah time. These girls are so special & we pray that they stay friends forever! Always a plus when you adore your kid's friend's parents!!

 And Annabelle. The little princess who the shop is named after. She is always at the store with her mom and grandparents and is TOO CUTE.
Pink Ice Cream cones?! Yes please!

Thankful that we began this week with a Monday Movie Field Trip! Love that I planned it and was able to get them out of the city and up by our hood in the 'burbs, where the movie chairs recline :) It was 2 hours of bliss I tell ya, the best field trip yet :)

Hannah and Dad on a gym date!

Thankful for my hubby who knows one of the keys to my heart is Heart Shaped ANYTHING... sooo hooray for Costco having Heart Ravioli!! Since he was off Monday night we celebrated early...Woot Woot!

Thankful for a fun and cheap way to celebrate all the amazing people in Hudson's school day. He has the best Early Childhood team, with what seems like endless patience... 

Thankful for a new fave song of the week !

Let Love Fill the Air... "let them see you in me "Image result for let them see you in me

New Center idea props to my bestie Meg! 
Dollar Spot Erasers, Sight Word Flash Cards... partner one reads the word, partner 2 spells the word out of FUN erasers! Then switch...  CUTE right!?

That's all from here friends, XO