Friday, August 29, 2014

Summer Catch Up

I can hardly believe that August is coming to a close. I guess that means it's time for a Summer Catch Up post, since it seems I'm lousy at keeping up with the blog.

We had the most memorable Family Reunion camp-out yet! 

We got to celebrate a pretty special milestone...

My Aunt and Uncle's 50th wedding anniversary!  I'd say they were pretty surprised!

We enjoyed a week of gorgeous sunsets...

Watching beautiful animals...

And taking in the lovely scenery.

And we had the company of some pretty wonderful people. Aunt Judy just happens to be Miss Taylor's "Favorite Girl Ever". And that's impressive, folks.

But the fun didn't slow down once we got home, oh no. 

We got to meet new babies! Very dangerous for a gal like me who is definitely having baby withdrawals. 

Family came for a visit ... 

and we made our annual trip to Enchanted Forest!

We celebrated a BUNCH of birthdays!

And the girls had a slumber party... We even made Kool-Aid Lipgloss.

I had more photos, but they're not uploading :( So you'll just have to use your imagination to envision lots o' partyin', cake, ice cream, and FUN!

I love Summer. This year, especially, we've crammed in a lot of activities.
But I think I'm ready for Fall. Sweaters and boots, candles, and baking... Yeah, I'm ready. How 'bout you?


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Happy 12th Birthday, Miss Sierra Elizabeth

 Ohhhkay.  Deep Breath.


My baby girl is 12 today.

I can't even say those words out loud without tears springing to my eyes
{I guess I can't even say it in my head, either, because ~ yeah ~ tears}.


Miss Sierra Elizabeth,
Our oldest baby girl.
The biggest big sissy.
You are twelve today.
And what a milestone that is.

You are the one I can count on for help in any situation.

The planner.
The organizer.
You are an old soul.

I always joke that when you are grown with a family of your own, you'll run a mighty tight ship.
You expect a lot.

But deep down, you have a tremendous love for others.
Miss Tay, for example.  She thinks you're about the greatest thing on earth.
And I think the feeling is mutual :)


You are my beautiful dancer.
I could watch you dance every day {and I guess I do!  You're always dancin' around}.

You love to have fun!
You are always up for a new adventure . . .

And while you are super comfy in your camo, sitting in a blind, hunting with Daddy,

 You are equally comfy in your dressiest dress, hair curled, earrings in, glammin' it up.

You are a perfect combination!

You love to go on nature walks,
photograph everything,
shop till you drop,
and write in your journal.

You are growing into a beautiful young lady, right before our very eyes.

And while I couldn't be prouder of who you are becoming,

I would be lying if I said it didn't make me a little sad too.
Sometimes I wish I could keep you just as you are.
Right here with me.

Love you so very much, baby girl!
Happiest birthday ♥

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Busy Busy Bees

I like to stay busy.  We're a family of busy little bees, by nature.
But this Summer . . . a little too busy even for my liking!
We've hardly had a moment to breathe.
Good for memories, hard for the little ones to adjust to.
Which means . . . I have seventy million photographs to go through, leaving me a liiiiiiiitle overwhelmed. So I've decided to work from my current folder, backward.  I told myself not to take ANYmore pictures until I get this under control.  But then I laughed at myself, because, NOT take any more pictures?  Mmmmhmmmm.
So. Show and Tell Summer Edition:
We've been camping twice ~ our first camping trip, my family reunion, deserves a post all its own {and I swear I'll have time at some point!}.  Our second trip was a laid-back fishing trip for Jeremy. 
 The girls and I crafted and got to spend time with Grandma {Jeremy's parents were able to come along}. 
We made a lot of wonderful memories in one of our favorite places on earth.
The day we got home from camping, my sister and her family were here.  And they got to visit for almost a week!  We had movie nights with our cousins, swam in Nana and Grandpa's pool, and, of course, went to another one of our favorite places: Enchanted Forest.

Yearly tradition, this is.

We were unable to go last year, so the girls were extra excited!!


When family had to go home, no fear.  We had a packed schedule to keep us busy!
Birthday dinner for the hubs:


Slumber party for the girlies:
We made Kool-Aid Lip Gloss,
Root Beer Floats,

And let girls . . . be girls ♥

Next on the list, VBS Week!
{Currently happening}

This year I'm Craft Leader, Sierra is Assistant Crew Leader for the Preschoolers {and doing a super awesome job!}, Kenners has graduated to the oldest group {sniffle, sniffle}, Kam is going off with her own group, like a big girl {not even needing her mama or sissies anymore}, and even Taylor is typically happy to be with Sierra in her Pre-school group. Ahhhhhh. Life is continually changing, isn't it??
 So. What's going on with y'all??  Busy Summers?
Winding down?
Ready for School?
Already started?

I want to hear about it!
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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Trying This Again

I tried settling in at a new place over at Wordpress, and I just couldn't love it.
 So I'm back here trying to figure out how on earth to get my blogger blog to WORK correctly!
So frustrating. I feel like all of this time has passed that I want to document, and I can't :(
 Here goes: another attempt. I don't even know where to begin, so I'll just jump in!
Summer is halfway over. How can this be?? My most favorite time of the year, and I can feel it slipping right through my fingers.
We've been busy with BBQs, get-togethers, camp-outs, and so much more.
And our August calendar . . . I don't think it has one blank day!

We had a wonderful 4th!
Jeremy and I spent the first part of the day at the Timber Festival with our "big girls",
and we spent the rest of our day roasting hot dogs and marshmallows at home, while enjoying our modest, little backyard fireworks show.

The girls helped make our favorite dessert, and it was gone just minutes after presenting it :)

Just a few days after the 4th we were headed for our week-long camp-out and Family Reunion in Central Oregon!


And that's as much catching-up time I have for today :)

I've missed y'all!

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Friday, April 18, 2014

New Blog

Over the last few months, I've had a harder and harder time using Blogger. 
And most recently, I can't post at all  from my computer
 (I'm using my phone to post this.... Soooooo fun).

So, while  it makes me sad (and frustrated, because I have no technological ability, whatsoever) 
it is time to move to a new blog. 
If you want to follow along, head on over!
I'd love to have ya!

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Countdown Part 2

We're continuing our Disney Count Down with . . .

Day2 ~ Letters to Disney characters.

Kam chose to write to Ariel, her "second favorite princess", lol!
Sorry, Ariel, when Elsa came to town, she took your place!

The next day we made "Mulan" fans.

And I can't remember what the fuss was about here . . .
It's hard to say, since this is the face that looks back at us about 88% of the time.
I *think* I stapled the bottom of her fan, and then she screamed that she didn't want it stapled, so I took the staples out, and then she came unglued that I took them out . . .
and so forth.

 Then I looked at her, and apologized.
I think that's what brought on this episode.
Seriously considering posting to
Reasons My Son Is Crying
Have you ever checked that out?
So so hilarious.
And sadly, very real.


And day 4 ~ Penny Containers.
The plan is to collect shiny pennies to take to the park with us for the Penny Presses.
We needed a fancy shmancy spot to keep 'em, ya know.

We've got lots more countdown fun coming this week!
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Friday, April 4, 2014

Countdown to Disney!

For Christmas we were gifted with a trip to Disneyland,
and we are {FINALLY!} in countdown mode! Hooray!!!
I'm all about being real, so I will just say,
realistically we may never make it to Disneyland as a family of 6 again.
{And no, that is not code for our family is growing, lol!
That is code for: Travel is expensive,
the last time we made it to Disneyland, Sierra was 5
 . . . she's now 11 . . . if you do the math, you'll note that she will
be nearly an adult in the same 6 year span since our last Disney trip :( }
So . . .
I want it to be special.
I want every little part to be magical.
I REALLY like a good countdown.
We're gonna be countin' on down the days with a fun
Disney activity daily.
So, here we go.
Our countdown kicked off at Grandma and Grandpa's house
{they're going with us, by the way!!!}.
Day 1 of Countdown to Disney:
Lady & The Tramp Dinner & Movie
 We started with Spaghetti, of course!
 A little chit chat around the dinner table.
 Grandma had printed off coloring pages for each of the girls.

And you-know-who brought her "Lady" along, don'thcaknow.

Then it was snuggle time as we watched the sequel to Lady & The Tramp.


I'm so excited for a fun activity every day!
Go ahead, lay it on me:
Disney tips, travel tips, I'm all ears!

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Friday, March 28, 2014

How We Do

Watching Bambi *with* Bambi is a must in this house . . .
 {And the same goes for Aristocats ~ with our Marie stuffy,
Lady & the Tramp ~ with our Lady stuffy,
and Frozen ~ with our Anna stuffy ;) }
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Monday, March 24, 2014

I was going to title this: The Oregon Garden, but then out spilled so much more

Life has been a touch gloomy around here lately.
And when I say "lately", I kinda mean for a long while now.

If I were to be truthful, {and I think that's important},
I would have to say that we've had a long {several years} season of trials.
That is not to say that it's been one dark rain cloud for years on end.
We've most certainly had some amazingly wonderful experiences recently.
But the fairly carefree life we led prior to, say, 2011 just doesn't exist anymore.

I always blame "the new house", lol.
That was the turning point in my mind.
If you're considering building a house, people, don't do it!
Hehehe, just kidding. Kind of.

I hated building.
I know plenty of people who love it.
{My parents, for example, who must've loved it because they built a new house,
every few years, for practically decades}.
And I think Jeremy liked it.
Even Sierra, the other day, was saying how she loved that time period.

I'm not a decision maker by nature.
And building a house seemed to be one decision after another after another,
for 10 months straight.
Also . . .
it was expensive.
Waaaayyyy more than what we had anticipated.
So yeah.
I'm getting off track.
Where was I?
Oh yeah.  The turning point.
That seemed to be it, for me.
We were faced with the enormous task of building, I was pregnant with our fourth daughter.
It was the beginning of a stressful season.
Finances became an issue, when they hadn't been before.
I had a fourth daughter.
Oh, did I already mention that?
Well, I'm mentioning it again, because I thought having a fourth child would be a
And that, my friends, is when this semi-organized and together lady, kinda fell apart.
Miss Taylor continues to be my . . . .
How shall I put this nicely?
I keep thinking she will grow out of it, but no.
She is just going to be a spirited child.
And I've made peace with that  :)

But then life started to unravel.
There was the accident which left our family broken upon losing Justin.
Almost two years ago, now.
If someone would have told me how it would affect us.
The pain that would come.
I still couldn't have imagined the complete and total destruction.

Very recently our church divided, and we've felt a great loss there.
Lots of emotion.
Missing those precious people we don't see regularly anymore.
It feels like a death.

TOO many people dealing with cancer.

So many deaths, and tragic accidents.
So many.
Most recently with our friend's loss.
It's like it just tears wounds that were beginning to heal, wide open again.

So. Wow.
I didn't really expect for all that to come pouring out.
It's been a tough season of life for us.
Ahhhhhh, the silver lining :)
God has seen us through, and given us the strength to continue on.
I can see a little flickering of light at the end of this long tunnel.

And that brings me to last Friday.
Or Thursday, rather. I had been trying to think of a fun outing, that wouldn't cost a fortune, and in which I didn't have to drive forever {not one of my girls loves a car ride}.
For years I have wanted to go explore
The Oregon Garden
And I just had never gotten around to it.
I thought it might be fun to make it a surprise for the girls.
They woke up Friday morning thinking we had some Math to do, probably figuring we'd do some house cleaning ;)
But instead we headed off to the garden.

And I am SO glad we did.
What an amazing experience.

I know it probably sounds silly, but it was like "old times".

No worries about life, no stressing about the everyday stuff.
Just being.

Oh, and the above tree? 400 years old.  FOUR HUNDRED.
It's like God was just telling me,
"Hey you, get out there and look at this wondrous place I created for you, that you've been IGNORING because you're so caught up in what you don't have".
He must really be trying to drive that point home, too, because that's specifically what we're discussing in our new Bible study right now.
Just because God isn't providing you with what you *think* you need,
doesn't mean He's not providing.

I love how He doesn't give up on us.
He just keeps making the point until we get it.

And to see the looks on my girls' faces as we wandered the 80 acres of beauty . . .

They loved it.
They didn't want to leave.
Sweet Kam . . . there is a beautiful lodge on the grounds.
As soon as she found out there were hotel accommodations, she was all over it.
She must've asked 17 different times if we could stay :)
She's my hotel girl.
I finally thought she'd give up, and just as we were headed home she gave it one more shot:
"Mama, PLEASE?  Can you just call Daddy and ask??"

 So, that's it.
That's my lesson I'm working on right now.
Being grateful for what He provides, even when it's not what I thought I needed.

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;  great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him".
Lamentations 3:22-24
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Friday, March 14, 2014


Life is out of control these days.
Day after day zooms right by.
It's got me wondering how I can simplify a bit ~ truly enjoy every minute.
Because, at this rate, I'll be blinking my eyes and Sierra will be grown :/

So. I figure I'd better keep track of what we've been doing.
My memory . . . not so good.

Right before we left for Kansas, we took a little trip to the ocean.

Nana and Grandpa had had it planned for awhile.

Honestly . . . I wasn't in the mood.
I was so torn up over our friends' accident.
Trying to plan how on earth we were going to get to Kansas without taking out a loan.

But in the end I figured I could either sit at home and be miserable
{and probably make my girls miserable as well},
or we could all go to the beach for a couple of days, and regroup.

So we did.

And guess what . . .
It was supposed to pour rain the entire time . . .

. . . but it didn't.
The sun shone, and we got to enjoy it!

And the girls, as always, brought a smile to my heart.

We ran, we explored, we cuddled.

Sissy found a hermit crab!!!
She begged and begged to keep it.
I gave her the long lecture about how they live longer in the wild, blah, blah, blah.
"Go return him to his home, Sierra".
So she does, and not 5 seconds later, a sea gull swoops down and eats him!

We got home from the beach, and immediately packed for Kansas.
And then, in the blink of an eye, we were home again.

The weather is starting to turn, ever so slightly.
We get sun breaks.
It's hit 60*!

So, we've been outside a bit . . .

Discovering all sorts of treasures.

Enjoying the little things.

What have you been up to?
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