Friday, February 16, 2018

Here we are already smack dab in the middle of February!  What a winter of illness it has been for our family.  After another round of the stomach bug for 4 of us and a brief run in with the flu bug for one of us, I thought maybe we were in the clear.  And then Luke woke up last night with a fever.  Since becoming a mom I cannot remember a worse winter for sickness.  And it's not just our's everywhere!  It's not good when you are repeatedly starting your days by asking, "anyone feeling sick today?!"....just assuming that someone is bound to raise their hand!!  shew...and I thought I was ready for spring in January.  multiply that desire by about 100 and that's where I'm at.  Come. On. Spring.  We are ready for little league baseball!  for Major League baseball!  for flowers!  for a few less layers of clothing!  for more hours of daylight!  so that we can spend even more time outside with this guy!
oh Buckeye.  I'm starting to love you.  you are like a fourth child....requiring more patience than I feel like I can muster on most days.  but there's just something about you that makes me smile.  

I read an article recently by a mom who has become very intentional about her attitude towards preparing meals for her family.  She said there was a time when she became so frustrated by how much time she would put into preparing a meal and then just like that it was scarfed down and over with and everyone was moving on to the next thing.  I understand where she's coming from.  I love being in the kitchen.  I love preparing yummy, healthy meals, and indulgent, not so healthy desserts for my loved ones.  And yes, sometimes it gets scarfed down way to quickly and perhaps they may not realize just how much time I put into it.  But as the article reminded me, what a joy it is to be able to serve my family in this way....what a privilege it is to be able to have ingredients in the pantry....what a blessing it is to sit down as a family for that time together.  and then I get notes in my kitchen like this one and it really makes it worthwhile :)  love you Chase!

He's growing too fast.  It's like if I stare at him for long enough I can actually see it happening.  One Sunday he will fit into a pair of pants and literally the next week those same pants have him looking like he's ready for the great flood.  I'm trying to embrace it.  Trying not to weep when I see my little boy looking all grown up... 
He was ecstatic to go on his very first hunting outing with his grandpa.  Even though  he came home with nothing to show for it, it really didn't matter.  He got to walk through the woods, with a gun, with his grandpa, in his camo.  a happy boy. 

And then there's this guy.  my right hand man.  my best little helper.  He keeps telling me how excited he is to go to kindergarten.  I keep telling him he's not allowed to go. ever.  

Happy Friday!

Monday, January 15, 2018


Well we survived the blizzard and finally got the kids back to school after adding an entire week off to their Christmas break.  Yikes.  That was a lot of snow days to be stuck inside with hubby out plowing, 3 antsy boys, and 1 very ornery puppy.  But we survived!  with board games, card games, puzzles, the Wii, movies and popcorn, and some very brief attempts to play in the snow...but was just too cold!!  Things have leveled out a bit and we're back to a more normal winter feel.  still cold. still windy. have I mentioned I'm ready for spring?!
if you're stuck inside and the windows are being buried in snow there is nothing better than a dinner of hot soup.  
and when you're stuck inside and your garage doors are blocked by snow drifts you may as well eat waffles and bacon.....every morning....for a week.  
dunkin date with this guy once the older two went back to school.
so handsome and ready for the cold
oh buckeye.  I've not yet come to love you.....but these three sure do!!

He cheered hard and waived his towel with pride yesterday.  tough loss for his Steelers :(

and now in honor of the great Martin Luther King Jr .....
(who in all seriousness definitely deserves this day to be honored)
I'm off to cook some waffles and bacon for my crew. 
we will try again next week for a full week of school.  
happy wintertime!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Family addition

there's been an addition to family.  

meet Buckeye.  

he's adorable. the perfect Christmas present for three little boys.  however, he's a puppy.  he chews, he pees everywhere, he chews, he bites, and chews, and pees get the picture.  Who thought this was a good idea?!  haha!  after a few rough first days and a sincere desire to return him, I'm trying to remember what I told myself with my babies.  It's only a stage.  Here's hoping the puppy stage passes quickly and as painlessly as possible!  and let's be honest, just one look at that sweet face and usually all of the days antics and accidents are forgiven.  Oh Buckeye.

The holidays have come and gone.  so quickly like they always do.  The boys went back to school yesterday and now are off again today because of this crazy blizzard on the east coast.  Yikes!  I'm ready for spring!!  I'm pretty sure I say that every single year on the week after New Year's.  The holidays pass and I'm done with the cold, I'm done with the snow, I'm ready for the pool.  Yes, I realize the wait will be long.  So for now I will sit here by my fireplace pretending it's the sun's heat I am feeling :)

Saying hi to Santa!

bowling alley Christmas party with second grade

Christmas came a few days early for these guys

love this crew so much

be still my heart.  so proud of this kiddo

a new shiny fire truck from Grandma and Gramps

more Christmas fun at Grandma and Grandpa's house!

everyone loves a spot next to Mimi and the fire :)

stop. growing. up. 

waffles on my new waffle iron!!  thanks Mom!

best buddies

who knew that "make your own bouncy balls" was actually a thing?  one of Chase's fun presents.  

Wishing you a very Happy New Year!  
My hope for this year is to love my family give them the absolute best version of grow closer to the God who is the only one who can give me the strength and grace to do that....and to daily be thankful for this very blessed life I have been given.  
Happy 2018!


Saturday, December 9, 2017


Christmas is in the air!  Today we are getting a very unusual early December snow.  And even for this summer loving girl, snow around Christmastime is just fun and magical.  Our house is decorated and cookies are baked.  We've been enjoying the holiday cheer...apart from this past week when the stomach bug decided to wreak havoc on a few of us.  but we're moving on and looking forward to healthy days ahead.  As I look at my calendar for the rest of the month, the days are full of activity and there doesn't seem to be much free time.  But it's my prayer that with each party, with each gathering shared with friends and family, we would never forget who we are celebrating and why we are celebrating.  I'm always overwhelmed when I think about the amazing gift of Jesus.  We are so blessed and undeserving to receive such a gift.  But how grateful I am for such a loving and gracious God.  For a God who gave the world his baby boy.  a baby boy that would grow and change eternity for all who believe in Him.  

My heart is full of such joy and gratitude.  

Wishing you that same joy as we celebrate the greatest gift we've ever been given!  

 three little monkeys

so proud of my Awana kids and all of the shoeboxes that were packed 
for Operation Christmas Child

Luke loves the Christmas decorations at Lowes!  it's like a free amusement park.  LOL!

Dressed like Christmas

this was just so sad.  3 days of this for my middle boy.  missed his school program... 

but Jack was able to go and be part of another wonderful presentation. Great job ECS!!

And Luke had his very first on stage Christmas program.  He did great seeing his songs!

so excited to show off the presents he made for his family :)

from our family to yours....
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

It's November!  The start of the month that holds my favorite holiday.  Thanksgiving is my favorite.  A time to focus on all that we have...not all that we need....or should I say, want.  I'm thinking of my children in particular.  Teaching them the importance of gratitude and contentment is a deep desire in my mommy heart.  I feel very strongly that when we do not really grasp those two concepts and truly live with an attitude of thanksgiving, it becomes really difficult to have a spirit of joy. As Christians, we are given the gift of eternal life...the gift of mercy and grace that is new every morning...the gift of being a disciple of Christ.  As Americans, we are given the gift of freedom...the gift of living in a country that is a blessed land...blessed in ways that most of the world can only dream of.  And as members of our own families, we are given the gift of acceptance and love....the gift of belonging...the gift of knowing those people will always be there for you.  These are the things I want to focus on.  On the days that I'm not content....the days where I'm not a very joyful mom....the days that are just hard.  It only takes a moment of realigning my thoughts to remember all that I have to be grateful for.  To be reminded to not focus on myself, but on God...and on others.  Happy month of Thanksgiving to you!

Party fun!

costume day at Preschool!

field trip fun
trick or treating...
with 14 friends is the best :)

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The one we didn't know we needed...

Today my baby turns 4.  my littlest one who makes every day an adventure.  There are many times when I look at him and am overwhelmed by God's amazing greatness.  If there is ever a moment when I doubt God's power or his ability to do the impossible....I just look at Luke Vernon....and there it is.  A living, breathing gift of God's goodness and grace.  And also a very clear reminder of how desperately I need him to guide me in raising this little spark plug.  He knows no stranger....which can make for some pretty awkward moments in public places....he loves to make people laugh....which makes for some pretty interesting moments in school.....he loves to be just like his brothers....which makes for some really entertaining moments as he attempts just to keep up....he is so sincere and just beginning to grasp what it really means to love Jesus and how much Jesus loves him. He is learning to pray and understanding how to bring his concerns to God.  What a joy to watch it come together in his mind.  Earlier this week I was struggling to get through a migraine and by the end of the day, sitting at football practice, I just needed to hold my head in my hands for a moment.  As soon as he saw it, he came running over, put his little hand on my shoulder, squeezed his little eyes shut, and proclaimed...(right there among all the other weary parents...remember he knows no strangers :) )...."Dear Jesus! please help mommy's head get better!!  AMEN!"  and then ran back off to play like nothing had just happened.  And that is my Luke in a nutshell.  I cannot wait to see what God is going to do with his life.  I'm just so glad I've got a front row seat to watch it happen.  Happy birthday my sweet boy!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

I'm not sure how it can be.  10 years ago I became a mom.  After days of labor and an emergent delivery, God blessed us with a son.  Nothing could have prepared me for the intense love that overtook me when I first held him in my arms.  He was perfect in every way....entering such an imperfect world, with such imperfect parents......who were relying and trusting in our perfect heavenly Father to guide us through parenthood.  What a journey it is.  Nothing has brought me more joy than watching our children grow.  There have been so many happy moments....and a few hard and challenging ones.  But through it all I have watched my tiny little first born baby, transform into a young man who I am so proud to call my son.  He loves Jesus...with a kind heart that cares for others in a way that goes far beyond his 10 years.  He loves his family and expresses his love freely...everyday...and holds so tightly to all the things that make us his family....our traditions, our quirks, our way of life.  He longs to please and works so hard to do his absolute best.  My heart soars when I think about what God has in store for him. 
Happy 10th birthday Jack.  
I love you more than words could ever say!