Wednesday, May 27, 2015

D Day

Today is Disney Day!


  •  I apologize for Brian's feet
  •  if the time it took to take this picture of our arm bands and Brian's feet is any indication of how photos are going to go this trip, I may as well put down the camera now so that we can all have a good time

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Snapshot #20

I am . . .

Thinking: that when we leave for Disney, I will be leaving my work computer behind . . . officially the first time I've been unplugged since I re-entered the work force last August.

Thankful for: days that give our family a chance to take a deep breath, be together, and rest. These times were missing during the month of April, but have been a little more present in the last 7-10 days.

Wondering: how I can possibly say thank you properly to everyone involved in our Disney trip.

Hoping: my knee decides to behave. After running errands for a good portion of the day both Friday and Saturday, it started swelling and stiffening up, and I'm thinking a bum knee sounds like a very bad thing when you're headed to Disney!

Buying: summer clothes for the kids - they grew SO much this past year! I also picked up croc flip flops for me and some canvas crocs for Brian.

Cooking: Honestly, not much. Between graduation parties, meeting family for dinner, and trying to clean out the fridge/pantry before our trip, there has not been much cooking going on.

Snacking on: strawberries. I feel guilty admitting we didn't pick them ourselves - just went to the farm and bought the bucket. The "to do" list was much too long for picking strawberries Friday, but since we showed up at the strawberry farm literally several weeks past strawberry season last year, I was determined to have a bucket of fresh strawberries whether we did the actual picking or not.

Drinking: iced coffee. Specifically, iced caramel macchiato. I've developed quite a craving for them.

Reading: Stranger by Harlan Coban is loaded up on my Kindle app ready to read while on vacation; Everyday Grace by Jessica Thompson, and The Case for Christ (youth edition) by Lee Strobel with the kids. Also . . . Disney food blog. :)

Watching: Survivor finale (I love when Brian finishes up the school year because he can stay awake for TV), Masterchef, and Selma (first movie we've watched in forever!). I need some suggestions because our summer TV schedule is wide open.

Listening: to Uninterrupted audio book on my way to work; The Art of Simple podcast, and The Happy Hour podcast

Smelling: Camden's dirty socks and shoes. His room reeks these days. Sounds so appealing, right?

Working on: decluttering. It's an ongoing project, but seems like spring/summer is the prime time to get rid of some things after a long winter. Nothing makes me feel better than dropping off bags at Goodwill. I love decluttering. Brian even managed to take 4 big bags of things from his closet yesterday.

Starting: Our very first summer with me as a working mom. I can't decide if I'm going to miss the freedom of no schedule or if I'm going to be happy to escape to work 3 days a week. I do know I'll miss the opportunity to pick up and travel to visit family. Those visits will need to be carefully crafted around work days for me and Sundays for Brian.

Finishing: . . . . oh, boy. Nothing that I can think of. Which happens to be the same answer from last month.

How about a few pictures?
She is dressed like a rainbow.

Those strawberries I mentioned.

So much photo-bombing by this one these days.

He's the only pitcher on the team so lots of practice in the front yard these days.

It's lovely when I catch them with their heads together, and it's been happening on a fairly regular basis.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Grades 2 and 5 All Wrapped Up

Second and Fifth grades are in the books, which means our family has survived the first school year with two working parents (throw in a little chemotherapy for good measure). The kids were both super hyped up from the moment I picked them up from school until they went to bed at nearly 9:00. Summer means later bedtimes around here. It also means the parents might be a little more frazzled at 9:00 than normal. :)

Camden says he's grown out of crying on the last day of school (he's done this every year but this one), and that was true although he was still a little bummed. 

They don't look hyper at all, do they? The traditional last-day-of-school Sonic slushies didn't help. They spent the afternoon going over their yearbooks, scrapbooks, journals. So funny. It's probably the only time of the year that Camden would let Rory read out loud to him for an hour at a time.

Rory's so ladylike.

Everything might have been all sunshine and roses yesterday, but on today's first summer morning, Camden is tasked with mowing the yard, and he is none too happy about that job. Rory is currently party and menu planning because she is insistent that we celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary (remember, she's very into romance these days). She is taking her cues from Fancy Nancy and thinks Brian needs to wear a suit and I should wear these shoes . . . which she's been wearing since she got home from school yesterday. When I agreed to let her plan a meal, I didn't know it was going to run into a full blown dress-up party. Not sure we have time for this right now, but it feels like we're committed to it now.


I've been working on the ever-growing "to do" list that should be finished before we leave for Disney (we're down to single digits!). Four days after we arrive home from Disney, Brian and the kids head to summer camp for a week so I'm trying to get as much done as I can prior to our trip.

On that note, I've got packing to get started on!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tuesday Tidbits

Our Disney countdown is in the single digits.

(that is equal parts excitement and sheer panic)

I got a tetanus shot last week, and my arm is still knotted up and sore today. Ouch!

We played Catch Phrase with the kids last weekend for the first time, and it was awesome. Things were a little tense at first it was tense as they struggled to express themselves. And then it just got really funny to see the way their minds work.

Rory's current default noise level is . . . screaming. Granted, it's usually a scream of joy, but it is incredibly shrill and loud.

Today is the last day of school, and I'm thinking I may have used up all my photo credits with the kids since it took me three different times to take these pictures yesterday. In my defense, some default camera settings had gotten changed and I could. not. figure. it. out. Right before round 3, I got everything back to normal. But I'm thinking these might have to count as the official last day of school photos.





Unfortunately, Field Day 2015 was canceled because of rain. The kids were both really disappointed although they quickly saw the up-side. Camden says now he can finish elementary school as the undefeated champion in the softball throw (this is his last year to participate since he moves on to middle school next year) and Rory said she didn't really have enough time to train this year. Why, yes, Field Day is a serious matter around here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Awkward Family Photos 2

Smiling for the camera is so hard.




Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tuesday Tidbits

It may have pushed us almost over the parenting edge, but Camden finished up his last project of the year Sunday night.

Rory is plugging away at her last book report of the year and will accept no help. Even though she needs it. Whatever.

School is over one week from today. How is that possible?

Mother's Day photos continue to be less than successful around here. Difference is that this year I just laughed when I saw the two Brian had taken.
mothers day

Brian planted a garden for the third year. He showed some restraint this year and didn't try to include every vegetable known to man in our little plot.

When did he get to be all elbows, legs, and feet? He's so big, right?

We had some visitors Saturday - I know some fellow adoptive mamas who will recognize these two. It was a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Just Another Day at the Park

With all the sunshine and warm weather we've had this past 7-10 days, I was pretty excited about taking the kids and Addison to the local park Friday night. Of course, about an hour before we planned to go, storm clouds settled in and the weather turned hot and steamy fast. And super overcast. But, still, lots of fun at the park.

Side note: Why is it that when take Camden and Rory to the park alone, they're bored immediately. Add a 3-year old into the mix, and they want to stay forever.

Also. Addison is quite a bit more adventurous than my two. I could barely keep up. And she might have taken a few tumbles because she was so bold, but there were no tears so I'm pretty sure she's okay.

She went up and down the slide at least 50 times and said "Hello, Captain!" every. single. time.

And see this nifty bendy-twisty little tripod? I got it for Christmas and haven't used it a single time. So sad.

Unfortunately, I still haven't used it. Unless you count this gem.


Saturday, May 09, 2015


Everywhere I turn the last several weeks, I'm running into grace. Grace from Brian and the kids as I mess up. Grace from my God who forgives me over and over again.

Also, reminders of how often I fail at giving grace to others. And since God keeps putting it right in front of me, I know I need to take seriously the practice of showing grace. God loved me long before I loved Him back, and He continues to love me even though I make mistakes each and every day. I have been challenged over and over these past 2 weeks to show my children that same kind of grace and acceptance, and I am sorry to say that I am falling short.

But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.
Romans 11:5-6

Catch that? If being loved and accepted by God were based on works, it would no longer be grace. By definition, grace is the free and unmerited favor of God.And this is the kind of grace and love I want to show my kids. It couldn't be more simple (or more difficult to put into practice if I'm honest).

A few more grace references crossing my path this week:

 "there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." 
Romans 8:1

Quotes this from Ted Cunningham and Yancey Arrington from their talks at the D6 Conference:
"We don't obey God to be accepted; we are already accepted."
"Condemnation never motivated anyone."

I also just bought Jessica's newest book, Everyday Grace.

Jen Hatmaker's talks at the Simplify workshop at Victory Church


Thursday, May 07, 2015

Magic Bands

When I called the kids into the living room Friday afternoon, they thought I wanted a picture. You can see just how excited Camden was at this prospect.

But, really, I just wanted to let them open up some mail.



Disney is getting very close!!

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Slowing Down

It has become increasingly clear over the past 6-8 weeks that I needed to slow down a bit. Between working 4 days a week, the commute, the doctor's appointments, church commitments, kids, husband, etc. things felt out of balance. Work was getting all the best parts of me and Brian and the kids were getting the leftovers at night. Tamoxifen is causing headaches, which hit big time at 6ish every night. My mood at the end of the day has not been pretty! 

So starting this week through the summer, I'm only going to work Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Fridays will continue to be reserved for our women's Bible study group, extra doctor's appointments, grocery shopping, etc. etc. But Wednesdays are going to be my day to take a deep breath, clean the house in peace and quiet, declutter, maybe do a bit of scrapping, focus on photography, catch up from the rest of the week.

Of course, there's only one Wednesday left before school is out for the summer so that whole peace and quiet thing will be short-lived, but the point is that I really needed to take a breath and re-evaluate our schedule. So on today's agenda is switching out kid closets from winter to spring/summer (which I'm guessing is an ALL DAY event) while watching D6 Days online. Oh, and working a bit because my boss forgot I was off. :)


Monday, May 04, 2015

May already?

Two clues last week wasn't quite as quiet as I thought it would be? It's been 8 days since I blogged and Brian beat me home from work 3 days last week. When I was tempted to feel frustrated, I made myself focus on how fabulous it is that we can be this busy and that I'm not stuck at home sick. Gratitude is so much better than complaining!

Tonight marks Camden's return to baseball, and he could not have been more hyped up. It makes me appreciate his great attitude last year when we told him we needed to slow down our schedule and put sports on hold. He's such a good kid!


His new team is the Cubs, and he thinks it is hilarious that he's wearing a St. Louis Cardinals shirt to his first practice. He's been planning this for weeks; completely cracks me up.

In other news, they both got new glasses. I'm thinking it's a pretty good sign this mom did a good job picking out new frames when they look so natural it's hard to tell they're different. Doesn't hurt that there's not much variety for their non-existent Asian nose bridges.



How is it already May??