Friday, November 28, 2014

Thankful all of the Days ♥

With my sporadic ramblings lately, it probably comes as no surprise that my Thanksgiving post is late.  But I try sincerely to be thankful all of the days, in all ways.  Not just focusing on one week or holiday.  Opening each and every prayer with thanksgiving.  Giving thanks and praise daily, from the bottom of my heart, for the showers of blessings that I do not deserve. For the people I get to share this crazy, messy, beautiful life with.  
For family & home.
For health & happiness.  
For grace, mercy, love, & forgiveness. 
For so much more.  

"I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High." 
~ Psalm 9:1 & 2

"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations."
~ Psalm 100:4 & 5

My cup runneth over...

 Blessings to you and your family as we head into another glorious season overflowing with goodness and joy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Summer Reflections in the Midst of Fall

You know when summer vacation is on the horizon, all you can see is beautiful time and your accumulation of amazing plans and projects laid out before you in their shiny, pinterest-worthy glory...then the months unfold {Instagram takes over your blog} and before you know it, you're losing daylight, adding layers, and wondering where summer has gone.  

I told someone the other day that all I really wanted to do was homeschool my children and grow things.  Summer vacation is my respite.  I am always entirely disappointed by how quickly it goes...

~ I'm pretty sure we nailed our Fourth of July picture ;) ~

Little hands picked all the flowers in all the places...if the delicate flowers were lucky enough, they were delivered with bright smiles as gifts to mommy and made it into water for a few days.  

We added to our backyard flock {chicken math}. 
A Welsummer, a Blue Favaucana, and two of the cutest Blue Copper Marans : Peanut Ice Cream, Maleficent, Regina, and Miss Grace.  

Hoping to add more colors to this beautiful basket.

And share more eggs with friends and's one of our favorite things ♥

We were so consumed with our chickens and our garden...we hardly did any crafts.  Compared to the summer before, it was a little disappointing.  We had to rescue the paint from the depths of the closet, dust off the tops, mix a few colors.  The girls often collected chicken feathers whenever they found them, so we decided it would be fun to paint them.  A cute little craft with feathers from our own chickens.
It sounded like a good idea...
Until I hear, "You want to put so much paint on it that it almost won't dry!"

Then we get distracted by all the pretty colors...
We are easily distracted by lots of things.

I was so proud of our little garden.  We planted all kinds of tomato seeds...which is crazy because the girls and I don't even eat tomatoes.  But our guy does.  I told him that I just want to grow all the things and let someone else cook with them.  Give me some dirt and sunshine.  You can have the kitchen.

The backyard farmyard crew also enjoyed the summer harvests.

and clovers.

These two found all the dirt.  The fluffy girl on the right had her own methods of staying cool.  She preferred mud baths to bubble baths, and just look at that youthful skin.

Runner beans running.  Green garden growing.  Little love looking.  Savoring sweet summertime.

{These were just a few of my many favorite moments.} 
We hope you had a blessed and beautiful summer!
We're off to greet falling leaves and s'mores weather...

Monday, July 7, 2014

Conquering Disney...or Something Like That

While it may seem we never leave our backyard, we did venture quite a distance from home to the most magical place on I hear ;)  

Our guy's sister and brother-in-law call Oregon home, and they made a cross-country flight to Florida for their summer vacation inviting us to come along for the week. These are a few of my favorite moments: 

We stayed just minutes from the Disney parks. It was beautiful. I think these girls would have been content to hang out at the pool all day, every day. 

My big girl always seems to have dinosaurs on the brain. One of her first observations when we arrived, "I like the trees in Florida! They look like they could be in Jurassic Park...couldn't you see a dino chomping down on that!" Yes, yes I could.

We took a couple of days to visit the beaches. This is where I should point out that I'm fair-skinned and freckled. The good Lord did not design me for Florida in the summertime. I put on more sunscreen this week than I have in my entire life. Hats and umbrellas were my constant companions. I'm sure I was a sight. Survival mode isn't pretty people ;)

I'm so thankful these girlies have their daddy's pretty skin. I married up ♥

 We're off to have breakfast with princesses! Can you just feel the excitement?!

The girls have different favorites from the week, but this was definitely one of mine. This was the closest I came to tears while I watched them. Wide eyes, big smiles, complete awe. Each princess came by our table to say hi, take a picture, and sign their hats. I would like to say that we are super awesome and prepared parents and planned the autographed hats, but really it was a frantic, spur of the moment choice because we showed up without autograph books. {I know} I think the hats are awesome, though. Clearly, that was a genius idea. 

This Ariel was the cutest. She carried on with our shy munchkin in the most adorable way. She was my favorite. 
{Dear Disney, give this girl a raise.}

By the end of most days, we looked like this. 
complete. exhaustion. and stained lips from random cold, sweet treats.

 I hung out of the van window like a crazy lady to get this picture and was more afraid of losing my phone than falling out. You know, whatever it takes.

This. The castle, the music, the energy, those smiles. Yes, there is a bit of magic here.

This guy. I'm so thankful to share these moments with him. At the end of another hot, sticky, exhausting day, I turned to him and said, "We conquered Disney!" He looked back at me and said, "I think Disney conquered us!"

The light parade and fireworks were two of my favorite things. I can't put into words how tired we were at the end of this day, but we were determined to hang on a little longer for this magic.

The dragon was my big girl's favorite, naturally.

I watched her as much as I watched the fireworks. Moving her hands to the music, eyes fixed on the of those moments you want to hold on to always.

On one of our non-Disney excursions, we headed to Clearwater, FL. Our plan was to just go to the beach and check out the gulf coast waters, but thanks to a quick text {thank you Jill!} we stopped by to meet a movie star living in the area.

Meeting Winter from the movie Dolphin Tale was the highlight of their week. Don't get me wrong, the princesses were nice, but Winter. {they now watch the movie daily} 

After the Clearwater Aquarium, Animal Kingdom ranks a very close second on their list of favorite days. Because dinosaurs. 

Yep, they're mine.

We enjoyed the Kilimanjaro Safari ride, twice!  

The Animal Kingdom was the last of the Disney parks we visited. It was a unanimous conclusion that we saved the best for last.

I asked the girls about their favorite moments from the week, and they made lists. 

The big girl's list: 
1. Winter the dolphin 2. Animal Kingdom 3. Magic Kingdom 4. spending time with my family 5. riding all the rides 

The munchkin's list: 
1. swimming in the swimming pool 2. seeing the alligators 3. seeing elephants 4. seeing giraffes 5. princess breakfast and seeing the hippo

I think they had a pretty great week!

A special thank you to the sister & brother-in-law for inviting us along on this grand adventure! ♥

I hope you're having a blessed and beautiful summer!