Monday, June 30, 2014

One Week Later

The last week has been exciting and exhausting and busy and blessed all rolled into one. Late nights, hard work, worship, good conversation, prayer, brownie sundaes, laughs, sweat, life. 

Our church hosted a teen group from a church in Missouri, and while the days were so busy they rolled into one block of time, it was a pretty fantastic time for both our church and our family.

My kids played hard, worked hard, and were loved on hard this week. We had two chaperones and 3 teenage girls staying at our house, and those girls just might have renewed my faith in teenagers in general. They were so sweet and fun.

We were too busy to take pictures, but here are a few from my phone.

Camden watched South Korea lose their World Cup game one afternoon. Love the flag.

Camden and Rory helped hand out over 750 flyers one morning. I was so proud of Camden especially - he walked over 4 miles with the big kids without complaint. And it was h.o.t.
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Rory and Grace
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Our church hosted a community block party (wildly successful, by the way, for those of you that care about that sort of thing).
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Rory had this level of adoration going on pretty much all week. If she weren't pretty sweet, she'd have an ego that wouldn't fit in this house.

I'm feeling really bad about all these pictures of Rory. Camden was mostly gone working or playing.
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Debriefing with the group every night was my favorite part. No matter how late or how tired I was, I left those meetings feeling so blessed. And, yes, this is alot of people in one living room.

Rory enclosed in a Kivette sandwich.
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Honestly, this was such a good experience for us all. I did not really know what to expect, but it was amazing.

Today was filled with trying to get caught back up around the house, grocery shopping, and laundry. Tomorrow we're going on a little day trip, and I'm determined to lug around the big girl camera and take actual pictures.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Summer might be time off for most teachers, but when the teacher is also a Family Pastor, summer is pretty busy! This week a teen group of 22 from Missouri is visiting so if I'm MIA, it's because we're hosting 5 from that group at our house. Every moment is full of outreach events and serving the people at 180 Church. Brian is the man in charge, which means I'm the support staff. :)

Camden and Rory are going to be living in our room for the next week so it's going to be close quarters and will provide good opportunities to practice patience. Way to look on the bright side, right?

And speaking of Camden and Rory, here's a glimpse of our household during the summer. They play hard during the day, but we're kind of ready to call it a day early. Supper and showers are usually done by 7:00ish, so kids are in their p.j.'s and we settle in with NBA Finals, World Cup, food network, etc. Sometimes there's ice cream or popcorn as well. It's summer!




Friday, June 20, 2014

Popping In

Like everyone else, I'm knee deep in summer. Always trying to strike a balance between finding down time but not too much down time, having kid activities but not too many kid activities, keeping up with a little schoolwork, but not too much schoolwork, etc. etc. etc. 

Also. Not let the kids know I am counting down the minutes until bedtime.

Also. Reminding myself that time is precious.

Today I'm heading to Nashville for a port flush and then to meet friends for lunch. Brian and the kids are mowing the church yard. Even with the port flush, I think I win for today. Our Friday night includes How to Train Your Dragon 2 - both kids are bouncing-off-the-wall excited.

I have not been taking many pictures, mostly because it's hot and I am not a fan of sweating, but here is one from yesterday.

And just in case this seems like an idyllic summer day, let me just assure you that I literally forced them to go outside at 9:00 a.m. and when they were bored, told them they must play with the sidewalk chalk. There was alot of grumbling, but the chalk art turned out fun. I think they might try it again sometime.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Last week while the boys were at camp, we invited one of Rory's friends over for the day. There was a big discussion as to whether or not they were Best Friends Forever or Best Friends Always.

There was alot of "just chatting and talking about babies." Also. "Where do twins come from?" I did not touch that with a 9 foot pole.

We went to a movie and they thought it was kind of the best thing ever that people thought they were twins.

And they held hands everywhere.


They wanted before and after shots.

Before they changed into swimsuits.


After they changed into swimsuits.

Water gun fight.

Seriously. They were too cute.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Snapshot #15

Outside my window: bright, bright sunshine and hot, humid temps. I'm thinking summer has definitely arrived!

I am thinking: that there's something about Mondays that I like - the idea of a fresh new week starting up is very appealing.

I am thankful for: the 6 days we had with my family in Illinois; for some recent financial provision

Last 3 purchases: cheap Old Navy flipflops for Camden to wear in the shower at camp, the newest Fancy Nancy chapter book for Rory (we read it out loud while Camden and Brian were at camp last week), hemp hearts for smoothies. Exciting stuff.
Dinner plans: hmm, a very strange mishmash of homemade guacamole, roasted squash, and veggies with hummus. Why, yes, I am cleaning out the fridge.

 Future plans I'm looking forward to: Does a haircut tomorrow morning count as future plans?

In the kitchen: lots of salad ingredients. Also, strawberry/banana muffins I made this afternoon.

Reading: Big Red by Jim Kjelgaard (reading out loud to the kids - it was one of my favs growing up). Hoping to start Harlen Coben's newest, Missing You, today or tomorrow.

Watching: Just finished up the NBA Finals. Yes, I'm a Lebron James fan, but I thought the Spurs win last night was well-deserved, and they were a classy bunch. I remember when Tim Duncan won his first championship way back in 1999. I am so old.

Listening to: Rivers in the Wasteland, the newest Need to Breathe album and the JTHO Pandora station. Strange confession: prior to Jen Burgess Thompson's death, she posted this station as one she listened to while focusing on not worrying. I find myself turning to it at night when the kids go to bed, I'm in my p.j.'s and curled up in bed with my iPad and reading material. 

Snacking on: Not sure if you can count this as a snack, but I've got milkshakes made with fresh strawberries planned for tonight.

Rest-of-the-day-plans: I've been a busy girl since 6:30 this morning so the productive part of my day is mostly over. That's totally legal since it's summer, right?

And how about a few recent scrapbook pages.

credits here

credits here
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credits here

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tuesday Tidbits (6/10/14)

Brian and Camden are off at camp this week so it's been just the girls. To be perfectly honest, I was kind of dreading the whole week because Rory and all the talking and chatting and talking some more and begging to do "something special." It's not been without challenges, but we're good so far.

Today's "special" included pedicures -  matching sparkly purple toes.

And, by the way, most "something special" include things like helping me bake, reading out loud, using my computer to work on math review, etc. Exciting stuff.

Speaking of camp, Brian is not only the evangelist for the week but has a room full of boys. He is apparently in high demand from the parents as a counselor - probably because he'll make sure the boys all take actual showers.

 So I did manage to start piano lessons for Camden last week, and he did fantastic (as expected). From my previous teaching experiences, one of the hardest things for kids is rhythm and keeping a steady beat. Camden had it down pat. Rory sat beside us watching. I looked over, about halfway through, and saw this cute sign she had made him.

We took a trip to Nashville last week and found this cute coffee truck. Seriously, could not be cuter.

We hiked (using that term pretty loosely) a trail one afternoon last weekend, and when I posted it on Instagram received several comments about looking good. Clearly, I am using a filter here, friends!

They pulled out the water shooters last week. They're both getting very brown already!

Brian has decided to document his summer and has been trying to take a picture a day ( did not even prompt him to do this if you can believe it!). Here's a shot with all of us in hats in Gymboree. Totally his idea because I am way too much of a stick in the mud to do this.

Remember when Pioneer Woman's iced coffee recipe (you cold brew it) was all the rage? I spent probably 2 summers in a row making it, and that was back before I even drank coffee - only the kind with ice and lots of additives. I decided to make some up this week, and it's so funny how tastes change. Now that I actually drink coffee, I find it to be way too weak and I probably won't make it again.

I tend to watch Korean dramas during Christmas/spring/summer breaks. This break is no different, and I started a new one this week - Angel Eyes. I am obsessed, I tell you. Ob.Sessed.

I've been off the smoothie kick for a while now, but I made one this morning: banana, spinach, hemp hearts, almond milk, and a little cocoa powder. It wasn't bad!

Monday, June 09, 2014

More Cousin Pics

Oh, motivation, where are you? We've had 3 full weeks of summer, and they have been good, full, meaningful.

And now I'm done. Bring me back my schedule.

Because I've done nothing else worthwhile, here are a few (relative term) more pictures from the cousin photoshoot. It was about as stressful as you might imagine photographing 5 kids might be, but they make me smile.

Getting set up. Becky is always the model.

Notice Micah with his shirt over his head? Yeah, that would be because the gnats were out in crazy force. As in, they made the news they were so bad. The adults had bugs in their noses, mouths, ears, etc. I think the kids had it a little easier somehow.




Addison and William's faces crack me up here.

We chose this bench because we've taken the kids picture on this bench for YEARS.


Changing spots. These two offered to be my stand-in.

They were thrilled.

I should clarify they weren't mad. I think these were their "cool" poses.

Things started to take a turn for the worse right about now.



Let this be a lesson on how not to pose 5 children.

Are we done yet?

Still taking pictures?

Hi, Uncle Matt (who chose this moment to drive by).





This should be enough to satisfy Grandma until next year.