Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012


It can not go unnoticed that I have been extremely affected by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary.  I find my myself thinking of it multiple times during the day and then dreaming about it at night.  I have a six year-old.  And it hurts to think about.
At church they spoke about free will.  So I am trying to process it because when a young life is taken too soon because of an illness or an accident I am always able to say it was God's Plan.  It was part of a bigger picture... one we can not see.
But when a young life is taken for no good damn reason well, that line of thinking just doesn't work.  It doesn't fit. 
Free Will.  Everyone can choose.  Well I know how I choose. 
"Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Matthew 6:9-13
Please laugh with delight.

Go ahead, play in the water

Even if it gets you wet.

And Love. Love. Love.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Full of Thanks

The holidays always hold a teeny tiny bit of apprehension for me.  I worry it won't all work out.  Feelings will get hurt.  I won't spend enough time focusing on the TRUE meaning of the season.  My kids will be exhausted.  I will burn the one batch of cookies I decide to make.  The gifts I pick will be wrong.  I will forget to buy a gift.  I will be tired and crabby at the wrong time. I could go on, but like I said... just a teeny, tiny bit of apprehension. 

But wow 2012 is proving me wrong this year.  Thanksgiving was great.  It was easy and painless.  I was assigned the veggie tray and cranberries so no chance of screw up there.  And the weekend that followed turned out to be just wonderful.  We finally went on the "Destination Christmas Present" that was given to us in 2011 by Justin's Parents.

It started out as the gift that kept on giving...*wink wink* but when we finally decided that Sedona was the place we would spend two nights exploring it was pure relief on all fronts.  


The Girls wasted no time getting in the pool.  (Yes, heated...but still it is November!)

The first night we walked through the lovely Light Display at Los Abrigados Resort.  Carissa spotted Santa and decided to get a closer look.  I loved that she is a pure hearted little 6 year old.  Full of belief and hope. 
She had a nice long chat with St. Nick.  He even whispered to her that he loved milk and cookies.  There is a strong possibility this wasn't one of Santa's Spies.  She thought it might have been the REAL one!  Audrey choose not to participate...

 The next day we headed out into the desert for a full 8 hours of 4-wheeling. 
Pink Goggles? Check.  Set Belts fastened? Check.  Let's hit the dirt! 
(You might not know this but apparently my family has a Need for Speed.)

 Our first stop took us to this cave on the side of a mountain.  Now I didn't personally witness this sight for fear of ... well, my life.  But Daddy took the girls.  And Grandma.  The next part is her story to tell so I won't include it but I will say it reconfirmed that I made the right choice.


So far we had diverted soo many obstacles.  Spirits were really high and the girls weren't even minding the hike.  It was like the aura of Sedona was flowing through all.  Until...

Audrey fell hands first into a cactus. 
If it was going to be anyone, it would be her. 
So we spent a good while extracting as many needles as we could then moved on. 
Next stop was the Hohokam Ruins (more Pics here).  They were over 1,000 years old.
  It made my life seem slightly insignificant in the grand scheme of things.   

The trip was fantastic.  We went.  We did.  We were spoiled by the Grandparents. 
*thank you thank you thank you*

With our new found love of 4-wheeling we may be doing it again very soon. 

Oh, and it's true what they say about Sedona.  It IS very calming.  Everything just felt right - so we couldn't resist!
To the great annoyance of our darling daughters!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

When you stay home...

You take your "job" seriously.  You put in a lot of thought in simple things like how the clothes are put away and where the backpacks are hung up.  You know which bathroom is running low on toilet paper and what mirrors haven't been windexed in a while.  You pass the same small little toy stuck between the couch and the wall every time you vacuum - but you just let it lie.  Because only you know. 

Sometimes it feels good.  What difference does it make that you forgot towels were in the washing machine (again.)?  You do the laundry and you can just rerun them.  Yes, maybe it's been a full month and that beef stew is still in the back of the fridge.  But, then again, YOU clean out the fridge.  So it can wait until tomorrow.  It is a little bit of power and control in our little piece of the world that only someone who stayed home would know. 

So when you stay home it's nice to have someone notice.  It feels good when you have made a conscious effort to change out all the soaps to the holiday-theme scent and someone mentions they like it. 

Nothing is better then being asked where the long blue socks are and you can rattle off the location without even thinking.  A "Your the best" mom, makes it worth it. 

You hope they all get that you care about making it nice... for them.

So your husband bringing you a rose fresh cut from the garden when your have the stomach flu makes your day.  Because it is you, who usually does the little things, when you stay home. 

And to think that they just might know, that it matters...

At least to you.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Food is what it's about

We called and said we were coming to Lake Havasu for the weekend to visit.  She texted and said we were having Chicken Noodle Soup.  For most people this wouldn't mean much.  But for us...Food is what it is all about.
When we arrived the house smelled so yummy.  The broth was nearing completion and the noodles needed to be made.  So we mixed the eggs with the flour and the girls kneaded and created the dough.  Grandpa brought out the equipment.

 Carissa helped stretch the dough as long as it would go. 

Then it was put back through to be cut into smaller strips. 

We improvised and made a drying rack with PVC pipe and wax paper.  All the while we are talking. 
 How easy is it now to just go and purchase a bag of noodles for $1.00 and toss them in a pot of boiling water?   That saves so much time.  But for what?  (I often wonder if the modern day conveniences have maybe given us more time but taken away more moments?)

  I have spent many years with my family around the kitchen counter.  If you ask anyone they would tell you this is where you will most likely find us if you stopped by. 

And if you did happen to knock on the door, rest assured, we would give you a drink and we would feed you. 
Because the Food is what it's all about.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Are you?

 I must admit as a parent I am always thinking of YOU.  Do you have enough time to be carefree?  Tell me you are not holding back.  Tell me you are still embracing every moment that comes your way. 
Are you being Challenged?
  Do you want to know more?

Are you curious and questioning? 
Do you know you can ask us anything?

                                      Are you Silly?


Are you noticing the Beauty outside your window? 
Do you know it is from God? 
Are you eating good?  Are you getting enough exercise?

Are you Courageous enough to climb to the top? 

Do you know we would love you even if you weren't? 
I am always thinking...of you.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

You are Beautiful - Printable

I am a sucker for Subway Art and when I listened to Melissa Taylor and her Daughter here I was just so moved.  Not only did she give an awesome reminder of how beautiful each of us are in God's eyes but she did it with her little girl.  It was really sweet. 
But... on a daily basis that message can be really hard to remember especially in those moments when you aren't feeling just oh-so-special.  So I created this Subway Art so I can read it, my girls can read it and we can imprint it on our hearts.  Because I don't care how old you are or where you are in your life EVERYONE needs a little reminder that YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. 

Click here for your free BEAUTIFUL Printable or just click on the image to save and print.   
 It's my first time making one of these so I hope it works :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Swinging Spooky

Meet Lucy.  She is our family skeleton. 
She hangs outside my office window and keeps bad spirits away. 
Carissa picked out her necklaces and even taught her a dance.

We are excited to have Lucy visit us and think she makes a great addition to our home.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Pictured below is the completed Book Report Project my daughter finished last night. 
Yes it is darling.  Yes it deserves an A.  Yes it took ALL I had not to become UNGLUED over it! 
 Thankfully I reading an awesome book by Lysa Terkeurst called Unglued ~ Making wise choices in the midst of Raw Emotions.    I am part of an Online Bible Study (Hi - if your visiting!!) which is helping to give me constant reminders not to LOSE IT.
Don't lose it if your child waits 28 days to complete a project at the last minute running around looking for a marker at 8:30pm. 
Don't lose if it makes you late the next morning and you are heading off to school with said project WITHOUT your shoes even on!!

But it is allright because as Lysa so gracefully points out in her book "God gave me emotions so I could experience life, not destroy it."

So instead of becoming unglued this morning I choose to smile (I choose "imperfect progress") and I reminded myself that next month has another 30 days in it.  In October we can get it right!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fall is Forced!

Around here it is still mighty HOT outside.  Unless you are one of those crazy Arizonans who love it when the temp is 102 degrees.  The girls rushed in Friday and begged Justin to get the Halloween Box down.  (I might have begged a little too...)  We are forcing Fall around here! I would give anything to be able to throw all the windows open and put on a pot of chili - SOON...soon!
My favorite part of our decorating so far is the top of my black hutch.  Here is what I did:
  •  Embellished my burlap wreath with a little pendant -  perfect touch. 
  • Wrapped some scrapbook paper around my candle - (taped on the back!)
  • Printed the word Boo on Orange Card stock and put in black frame.
  • Dollar store pumpkin was a hideous orange so I painted over it with glitter and made the stem black. 
  • The owls were a special find this year in Heber, AZ at an antique store.

 It makes me happy!

It wouldn't be Fall without Soccer!!  Audrey had her first game (they won 2-1!!)  Here face was red for about 3 hours after. Thank you to the lifesaver who brought the E-Z UP. 

Although it is not summer, and Lemonade Stands scream Summer, I let the girls have a stand on Sunday.  Pink Lemonade and Snickerdoodles were on the menu.  ( I was dying to make this recipe from Junk in the Trunk anyways - so YUMMY!)
The girls had to make a list of all the ingredients and we went shopping.  Supplies were fronted from Mom who had to be reimbursed. I was so impressed by my little entreprenurs. They managed to keep the stand open for 3 hours and they made $27 (after paying me back, of course!)
Confession:  It took all I had not to take over!!  At one point they even had to say to me "we got this Mom!".  Guess they did - so humbled!
On the Menu this week: Chicken Noodle Soup
Fall People - we are Forcing Fall!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

35 Now....

 I am 35 now. Raising these two angels.  My life is full because of them.



Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Labor Day Success

We have always had good Labor Day Weekends.  This time was no exception.  We booked a Staycation at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge and the best part was my family was there too!

Carissa was extremely relaxed because the day before she had lost the tooth that was driving her nuts and was anxiously waiting for a visit from the Tooth Fairy in our Hotel Room.

The girls are so beautiful.  

They probably get it from their crazy Grandma. 
I think the boys had a good time too.  The water was good and the company was best!!
Where to next year?