Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spring! {amongst other things}

Another season passes and a new one begins. I got a bit spoiled here in Iowa with our 80 {yes, 80!} degree days for a few days. Reality settled back in and the cooler days just make us eager for those warmer temps!

It's a lazy day here and even now my eyes are heavy and making me feel like I need a nap. Still almost 10 months after my last baby was born I need/require/want SO much sleep! The dishwasher is swishing away, my hubby is reading and my two littlest are napping. It's a calm day and for that I am thankful. I feel like we are finally in a good groove and life feels normal now, like we always had three girls. Some new things are on my plate these days and I'm enjoying the added structure. Last month I joined up with the blog, All Things with Purpose, as a contributor. You can see that post here. It was great to jump back into blogging and share some of what's going on in my home! I'm currently working on the next "edition" which will be mostly about hospitality and Good Friday. My fave. :) I'll be sharing something on that site on the first Monday of each month, join me!


In T-minus a few weeks we are heading to Florida to attend The Gospel Coalition in Orlando. Alone. Without kids. Woot Woot! While a big chunk of my heart always, always, aches to leave my babies... the other bigger chunk does a happy dance just thinking about time alone with my beloved guy and some awesome teaching at this conference. Plus, Grandpa and Grandma have a pool - I'm sure my girls will love that bonus time with them! But anyway, yes, I'm so excited for our trip and I'm thrilled as I looked over the 84 names that will be teaching and preaching and leading workshops. I'm sure it'll feel like we are drinking from a fire hose, but I need it. And I need some sun.

Speaking of my children. Ah, I love them. At 6, 3, and 9 months we are loving these ages.
Jane is now crawling and getting into anything she can find. I love this baby! She says Mama and Dada and adores us. She also loves her sisters, it's beautiful. We are so thankful for this easy going, precious, little baby girl.

Ava and August are treasures as well. Ava is quite the reader and is constantly making her own books. I remember doing the same thing, it's cute. August is our peace-loving middle child who just dances and primps her life away. All three girls are so different and we really enjoying our days with them. Gifts!

Projects. A friend of mine sent me a note a few months back that said something along the lines of how she didn't know how I did all my little projects with three kids. After I laughed out loud and reminded her how sometimes social media makes reality a little more... pretty, I just told her it's a little at a time. My current projects list is extensive and ranging from upstairs to the basement and now to our back yard/deck. I'm in WAY over my head but that's one of the blessings of being a homemaker and keeping busy. By the end of spring I hope to have:
- Deck power washed and restained
- New mulch down in all the flower beds
- Small raised salad garden planted (???)
- Finish master bathroom painting that I started in January ;) 
- Plan and organize and MASSIVE yard sale
- Paint the dining room hang up my wall of plates. Eeeee! 
- Paint a small desk in my bedroom
- Make dining room curtains from sheets. Pinterest better be legit on that! 
- Create a REAL laundry room space in the unfinished side of the basement. 
- Find a free or cheap hutch. Paint it. (dining room project)

There is always something to be done and with summer approaching I'm hoping for an energy surge and lots of days to throw open the windows and get busy.

I hope all is well where you are. I'm hoping to hop on here again tomorrow and do a quick post about the yard and some BIG plans I have for our outside space, and a sneak peek at what I'm whipping up to bless our cell group on Good Friday. Join me!


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Come.On.Spring.

Am I right? I mean, I'm all about treasuring each moment and enjoying the seasons... I even LOVE, LOVE winter time. But, the itch for spring is definitely here! This morning I woke up to the sound of birds and even now as I sit in the quiet of my TV room there are adorable little pudgy birds chirping away at our feeder outside. They are ready. We are ready. I'm pretending I didn't see this little sight from the Weather Channel. (Buzzkills!) Winter storm Thor... we don't like you.


But rather then belly ache, let's focus on something pretty instead. :) And speaking of birds earlier reminds me - Spring has arrived inside our home! Our deck might be ice coated but the interior is green and blossoming. Here's a peek at what I've been up to this weekend.





I'm feeling the warm breeze of spring already. {Sigh} But seriously, this was a fun time for me to go through what we already owned and fill in pieces with frugal buys. The little bird was found at the Dollar Tree! The bunting was cut from my old hymnal! I love cheap and free :) I will say, if you have any "fun money" stashed away Hobby Lobby has some awesome deals right now. I picked up the boxwood balls, some silk flowers and that cute round basket on my buffet this weekend. Super great prices and 40%! Also, Burlington Coat Factory of all places. I was really surprised at the aisles of clearance stuff that was in GREAT shape, and super cheap. Housewares were all marked WAY down.

So anyway. We are eager to put this cold February behind us and look forward to some sunny days.
I hope you are having a fantastic weekend! Enjoy your Saturday!


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Shocked & Amazed

{Gasp!}
Look at me all sitting down and blogging and stuff.

And, did you notice the new look? I've been finding moments here and there and thought it might be time for a little makeover, blog style. :) Now, to update that family picture and we'll be golden. But who has time for that right now? My darling third born daughter - you are loved. You will someday be represented. Here's a Christmas picture in the meantime.


Hi friends. Oh how life has changed now that we've added this third child. It's beautiful and messy and busy and wonderful all rolled into one. It's taken me til just about right now (almost 9 months) to feel like my head is above water, and I'm thankful to be getting there. Life is full for us right now between ministry things and having a child in school type of things to day to day life and relationships in general. FULL. To be honest some moments (days) have not been pretty for me - there has been a lot of ugly hard times, learning curves and just flat out failures. Those times have reminded me time and again how beautiful GRACE and forgiveness are! Thank you Lord for that! Also, thank you for elastic waistband pants, chocolate and coffee. Juuuust keeping it real, folks. ;)

We are doing well. Ava is still enjoying kindergarten, learning to read, and becoming a little writer. She has lost her first tooth and seems to be growing by the minute. I still can't believe she's 6!
August keeps me busy during the day with all things dress up, pretend, and being as sweet as sugar. I'm so thankful for her constant hugs - she seems to have the gift of empathy and tenderness. :) Jane is 8 months old and just about as darling as they come. She's at the pre-crawling, pushing herself back stage. So cute! She's a smiley momma's girl and I'm eating every moment up. My heart is in denial that June 6 and that first birthday is just peeking around the corner! What is it about the knowing it's your LAST baby that just tears at you?!!?

Some exciting things are coming down the pike for us as we prepare for the spring and summer. We've got some family trips and ministry things going on that we are pumped about. Including ME getting to sit through a real-live Jen Wilkin workshop at The Gospel Coalition. Wooooooot! Not to mention being in FLORIDA. The countdown is on! But right now we are smack dab in the middle of mundane every day. You know what I mean? School, kids, weekly routine, meals, homework, repeat. Not that it's a bad thing - just, feeling a little monotonous right now. Also feeling cold. Very cold. Maybe that makes the mundane feel more heavy?

I can't close a post down without sharing what I'm reading - and, thank you those of you who have mentioned missing me. Blesses my heart! And I love, LOVE giving these recommendations to you. Words are so important. God's word is MOST important, but I'm so thankful for teachers and writers who can write to help us learn too.

Mom Enough.
Remember Rachel Jankovic from "Loving the Little Years"? She's starts this one off and while I'm only on chapter two - it's fantastically encouraging! Gospel truth for the heart of moms! Dig in!


Miserly Moms.
LOTS of good ideas for those of you looking for ways to stretch your dollars.


Life Together.
Oh man. If you need an excellent reminder about Christian community together... this is it.

And, this little nugget below. I've been working on this (tiny) book for almost a year! Ha! But, it's so good and meaty. A little bit of a heavy, wordy, read - but great.
The Hospitality Commands.

Blessings to you, friends. Hoping to catch up soon! 



Thursday, January 8, 2015

Seriously. Life.

Sometimes I miss this old blog.
Actually, I often do.

But there's just no time, or computer, or... Energy.

So, know that all is well for the most part.
3 girls are growing & changing constantly.
Ministry is growing & busy.

Someday I'll get back here.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Weekend Update


Helloooo weekend! And hello October! Two of my favorite things all rolled into one :) Autumn is settling in nicely around these parts and while life has by no means slowed down... I am finding little times day by day to enjoy my favorite season.

Speaking of seasons - wow, this one of raising 3 little kids is a fun one. And crazy.
My littles are growing up way too quickly and we are really trying to treasure the days and memories.
Jane, 4 months old THIS week!

Ava, soon to be 6! (in Dec.)

August, bouncy 3 year old
Jane is growing leaps and bounds and getting all chunky and completely adorable. I love it! She has just started doing this very loud yell/laugh thing and scares herself every time. She adores her big sisters and is really getting into grabbing at toys and...my glasses and earrings. Ouch! Of all three girls she is my first spit up baby, which is taking some getting used to. Kinda hoping she grows out of that quickly. Otherwise, I would love to freeze time and keep her right as she is - curious, perky and loooooves her momma. On a few occasions now I have noticed that when I hold her, she lays her head on my shoulder and chest still - even though she is more then capable of holding her head up. She's my first baby to keep doing that into the 4th month! Loving it! Jane Evelynn, you are so precious to me.
August is really diggin' this whole big sister at school all day thing. {grin} We are finding our new groove and she's loving access to basically all the toys during the day. My Augs keeps herself busy which is so different (and refreshing) to me. That girls plays and pretends all day long! From tea parties to barbies to coloring and dress up - she's busy! I am so thankful for her happy disposition and easy going little temperment. The Lord knew I needed her. Her hair is finally long enough to put into a tiny braid or a mini-bun and it seriously doesn't get any cuter. :) Love love love my 3 year old! I'm eager to start preschool with her in a few weeks. We are just waiting for baby sis to catch onto her 4 hour routine first. ;)
Ava is my big girl now. In so many ways. Kindergarten is going wonderfully well and she enjoys it. We had our first parent-teacher meeting the other night where we found out she is above average in several categories, and right in the norm for others! So proud! Her teacher commented that she is a joyful child - always whistling, skipping, etc. Oh how that warms the heart! I don't always see that side at home. She is really into journaling and drawing - always has a pen in her hand... just like her momma. But don't tell her that! :) She turns 6 in December and I don't see how that's even possible.
Hubs and I are adjusting and enjoying a new phase in life with one in school. Brad is now a seminary student and just had his first "on campus" class in Kentucky this week. I think he really enjoyed his time and I know he loves the learning. Ministry continues to be busy and fruitful and we see many new salvations and baptisms at our church. It's awesome! We've had a whole slew of teens get baptized and it's been neat to see last years' class branch out to college and really already be impacting the world for Jesus! Out of the last class 4 of them chose Christian colleges or universities! We haven't seen that in all our 6 years here so far. :) Not that you can't make an impact at other schools - but what a cool experience to watch kids choose those schools for the purpose of becoming a pastor, womens ministry leader and teacher! We are excited to get to know the new classes now and build new relationships. I've been reminded recently how hard that can be - but how worth it the teens are. :)

Personally, I'm coming out of a bit of a slump. Housework and raising kids and full time ministry was feeling a bit overbearing for awhile... but, the Lord has faithfully pulled me through (sometimes kicking and screaming) and has restored the joy! Where would we be without our Father God? In my "down" time I've been doing a little crocheting, some decorating, a lot of kids clothes transitioning (3 girls?!!?!), started an instagram account, ordered my FIRST EVER IPHONE, welcomed a new niece into the world and started taking budgeting more seriously. :) Last night I was able to enjoy a girls night out with some of my best girls - which was so refreshing. It was the first time sans baby and we had a blast! Needed some mom time out and cheesecake factory was just the ticket!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

.::ch-ch-changes::.

As if life needed more change. We are at it again switching things up and making some much needed (albeit sometimes difficult) changes. Which explains why my blog has been little more then an online ghost town of a space. :)

First up, duh-duh-duhn...
Meet my friend, Dave. You've heard of him I'm sure. If not, here's a picture.
My husband and I are taking a "Financial Peace" course through our church. So far, SO good. We are only in week 3 and I feel like the take-aways have been helpful and eventually life changing. This week we'll be testing the waters of the envelope system and looking proactively into setting up a solid emergency fund. We have never done either of those - so this should be a good challenge. Our goal in taking this course is to really get a grip on our finances. We praise God that our only debt is student loans (Dave says a mortgage is not considered a debt), and I don't say that lightly... as we both have... enough. (boo!) But being in our early thirties with three children under our belt - we really feel NOW is the time to get serious and take control. We have always lived with the mindset that on payday you set out your tithe, pay your bills and then just don't spend. Imagine my slight surprise to find out there are better ways. :) I'm eager and excited to put what we've learned to practice! I'm also looking forward to being prepared for emergencies, broken whatevers, and extra expenses. {sigh}
So, big change. But it's time.

Next, managing this home and these children.
Yikes. This stay at home mom thing is not for the faint of heart. There are days when I go to bed feeling completely exhausted and yet I cannot actually remember why I'm so tired. Been there?
Part of my problem I'm realizing is that I haven't delegated much out - and I'm taking on everything. Which, I enjoy doing, but it's time for a change here also. So, today I jotted out a few jurisdiction charts for my children and started my "command center" that I hope to get done here within a few weeks. It will be a spot for kids to check off finished chores, see meal schedules, school info, etc. I grabbed a notebook and made a chore chart for myself as well. I constantly feel like I can't stay on top of the house work & organization - so I get overwhelmed and just sit down and do nothing. And then that goes on for several days until our home resembles a Hoarders episode. Or... until we are going to have company. Hey, just being honest.
The organized work schedule is something that I have thrived on in the past and I know it will help me stay on task, and then have designated intentional time for my babies throughout the day. I need this. My family needs this. We have been in survival mode since my 8th month of pregnancy until now. It.must.end.

And, bible study. Another new.
In my 19 years of walking with the Lord I don't think I've ever done a study on the Sermon on the Mount personally. This year our fall ladies bible study is based on just that and it's AWESOME. Seriously. Jen Wilken teaches on a video lesson and then we have great discussion time after. I'm already so challenged on topics like - what really does it mean to be salt? To be light? What exactly do the beattitudes mean? So good.

Lots of changes. Lots of busy but good things.
Ah, life is sweet.

Friday, September 12, 2014

There are no perfect days

For the last few days the sky has been gray.
The mornings start out cool and the sun is going down in a flame of oranges and reds at the end of the day.
It's my season.
A neighbors tree has the most amazing orange leaves that have started to change already. In the evenings you can stand on the porch and smell wood burning stoves and nearby bonfire pits, as people enjoy the last of the warm season. There's enough chill to notice. Fuzzy socks have been put back in our dresser drawers... for me, it's the best time of the year. I adore this season of all things Autumn.

And, while there is no such thing as a perfect day, we may have come close today. While my kindergartener was at school - the rest of the fam headed out for some library time. I love the library for many reasons - but especially when I'm going in search of cookbooks. I've been feeling so frazzled lately and slightly overwhelmed with all of life and responsibilities, etc. There is something so soothing to me to walk up and down rows of cookbooks just dreaming and thinking and planning. After finding a good one I rejoined the fam and we found some good fall themed books to read at home.
The book on the right is so fantastic! It was in the cookbook aisle but is such a good, fun, mommy read. It has recipes and little stories, crafty ideas and the authors family memories.


"Give me the splendid silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling, 
give me juicy autumnal fruit ripe and red from the orchard."
Walt Whitman

I'm eager to dig in and enjoy. And, because my husband knows of my joy in this season... he treated me to one of these gems. :) Oh pumpkin and apple everything. You are my favorites.
And now, as the youngest children nap and my hubby and big girl are out and about. The quiet. It's not perfect, but it sure is good.