Monday, September 29, 2014

going home

Wendell's best friend moved a few weeks ago. 

Timothy and his sister Maggy have been great playmates for Wendell and Harlie.

Their mom Norma and I used to work together so it was a joy having a neighbor that I knew.  
And not too many stay at home moms in our neighborhood.

They decided to move back 'home' to Kenya, Africa.  

She said they always wanted to move back and now was the time.

Norma loved Alveda to her core, and Alveda loved her too.
Norma had babysat her a few times and couldn't believe how good she was.

We miss them but are excited for their new journey.  
We hope that we will see them again some day!

food experiments

Here have been some of my latest experiments.

Guacamole on my baked potato. 

Rhubarb oatmeal. 

Zucchini Lasagna. 

Zucchini spaghetti. 

More zucchini spaghetti.

Alveda Grace at TERRIFIC TWO

Alveda has been a gem at 2 years old.  The other day I thought, we're almost half way through her second year.  Maybe she'll be a late terrible two but maybe.. she will just be that 'easy' child.

She went through that phase of putting other people shoes on.. don't they all?

Spider girl ... kind of creepy looking.

Ohhhh.. scary ghost!

Don't all kids look cool in their 'shades'?

This naked girl is ready to go swimming!

or ride her big wheel

Doc McAli loves to check our blood pressure, even if Daddy is runny late for work, she wants to make sure he's okay.

Baby Ali stole the baby doll's pacey.

We should have this beautiful pose turned into a master piece painting.

Oh, how I love her soooo... just like HE loves us.

sweet find

A random picture I found.

My nephew that I got to see this summer.

He's a chatter box sweet heart.  So nice to see him and my sister and her two other boys but for a sad reason.  I had a 30 year old cousin die this summer which was the first death in our family in many many years... and definitely the first tragedy.  He died suddenly in his sleep of a seizure.  A very sad  event.

The 'lemonade' was seeing my sister, and the rest of my family.

However, another reminder to me that this life is temporary and you never know what will happen to you and your family.  In the past few years I've been drawn to the realization that I will die and I want to be ready.  I thought the other day that death for us (to God) is probably similar to birthing a baby (to us).  We wait and wait and get so excited.. 9 months seems so long and then finally that sweet little baby makes their way into this world and we are so excited to meet them and hold them and snuggle them.  How must God feel when we die and 'arrive' in his world?  Our God is so loving and I bet, in a way, so excited for us to die and join him.  I love God, I trust God, and I'm excited to meet God but I'm still scared.  This week, it occurred to me that God will prepare my heart for death as long as I am walking with him and talking with him.  When my 'time' comes and if I know ahead of time then I trust that I will feel safe in God's 'womb' and be ready to join a new world.  If I'm 'lucky' it will be a surprise and unplanned.. and not for a long, long time.

On a side note, our church just has a teaching/service that had a great visual.  They brought out a rope and the end was painted red.  The rest was white.  Imagine a very, very long rope that never ends.  The red represents life here on earth and the white represents eternity.  What do we 'earthlings' focus on?  Earth... and we need to know we are made for eternity.. made for heaven, not here.  And that brings me to one last thought.  Do you ever feel a longing in your heart for something?  Something that you can't really pinpoint?  You're grumpy, you're tired, you're not happy, you're lonely, you're just sad.  One unique thing to you that makes you feel 10% incomplete?  Well. God made you that way.  None of us will be 100% until we die and go to heaven.. no matter what you do.  Let me repeat this, you will never be 100% here on earth.  Kind of sad but also explains that pain in my heart... that longing.

I hope if you read this, then you think about eternity a little bit more, and how you feel about your own 'birthing' into the other world.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Harlie's birthday

To Chucky-E-Cheese we went...

with neighbors...


more friends...


lots of people came..

My Harlie's balloon.

Presents we forgot about.. so opened the next day.

I asked everyone to draw her a picture for her birthday as she loves to draw and receive 'letters'.  
I should take some pictures and show them off.  Some very neat ones from adults and kids.  

first day of school 2014

 It all happened so fast this year.  I'm not sure why but we left the house and poof they were gone.. it seemed surreal, almost.  They both had a great first day and seemed to enjoy their day.  Harlie said a few times she didn't want to go to school but now a month later she's doing just fine and no complaints (I kind of wonder if a neighbor kid said they didn't like school or something because she had never complained about school).  She has Mrs. Hammer which is the same teacher Wendell had and Wendell has Mrs. Frohwein who we think is a great fit for him.  He does well with calm and quiet and Harlie likes the loud and playful teachers.  We have parent teacher conferences coming up next month so I'm curious to see what they say about Harlie.   Riding the bus seems to be going fine, for now they have assigned seats and Wendell and Harlie sit together, kind of makes me snicker but I also wish they could sit with friends.

That's it!... apparently I didn't take very many pictures.

ball + concession stand popcorn = yum fun

blooms and garden 2014

2nd year in a row and we had babies out our back door. 

This year we had the 'dudliest' garden we've ever had.
For some reason, most things died off the first round.
The second planting did a little better.

Wendell wanted to grow carrots.  About 5 made it.
We've eaten one of them.
We look like  we live in the country with the 'corn field' in the back ground.

Phil and his beets. 

Our helper, one of them anyways.

We actually had two sets of babies in the same nest.
Different times.. one early spring and one late spring.

We loved watching these guys hatch and grow. 
A true blessing and joy from God.

Sometimes it's the simple things that take our breath away.

family camping at Hickory Hill

We didn't travel much this summer, intentionally taking a break from all the traveling we do.  This came from a decision in January when our church encouraged us to come up with a family mission statement.  Ours has been 'Simplify to Follow'.  We want to simplify our life so we can follow Jesus better.  Phil read a book 'Not a Fan' (which I later read) and also 'Simplicity Parenting' (which I had already read).  We both agreed to combine the idea to come up with a simpler life for our family but try to refill with Jesus.  We easily feel overwhelmed with traveling so that was one cut.  We have also been working on cleaning out the junk in our house but have found that it is a long process and can easily be stressful so we do a little then take a break.  We also have done a few things that we feel called to do as service projects.  We had a family meeting and we all came up with ideas of how to serve other people... ideas from coloring, making cookies, to picking up trash and prayer walking.  Honestly, we haven't done much as we easily forgot this summer.  Something that Phil and I are talking about again.  The year isn't over.. there is more simplifying and following to do.

Back to camping.. we had a nice weekend with family and were blessed with staying at a cabin instead of tent camping.  We truly had a great time with family.  Corny me had a 'church' service on Sunday and although it flopped I did have a great discussion with my grandma and aunt.  It was hard to put myself out there but was glad I did.  Thanks to my Grandma and Grandpa Elliott for providing lodging, a meal, and for the family they had created!

These dogs were the highlight of the kids' vacation. 
They were able to dog sit while there and they fell in love.  
Some day we'll get a dog again but it'll be awhile.