Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Traditions

A friend recently posted about things they do as a family for Christmas. So, I thought this would be the perfect time to share my own. There are many things we do this time of year that I would classify as a 'family tradition' but there is one that I'm so glad we implemented.

The first year we were married I had read an article about a military family who, being low on funds, had adopted this tradition. At the time funds weren't low but I was very discouraged with how commercialized Christmas had become. I was looking for a way to downsize Christmas without giving up gift-giving all together. When I told my husband my idea, he was all for it. Now that our family is much bigger, it helps financially to know I won't go overboard.

It's plain and simple. 3 gifts. Jesus received 3 gifts from the wise men and in turn we give each of our children 3 gifts, to remind them of the true meaning of Christmas. If you ask them, they know exactly why we do this. They know we are celebrating the birth of Jesus. The focus then turns to gift-giving instead of gift-receiving. I love hearing their ideas for something my husband might like or even one of their siblings. And they're usually right on.

Over the years I have realized there are added benefits to this tradition.

  • You don't overload your house with toys that won't be played with in a month or two.

  • You don't overspend.

  • It has helped our children learn to not be greedy. They actually think about what they want instead of making a list a mile long - and actually, up until this year, they never asked for anything.

  • They appreciate what they get just a little bit more.

  • You are teaching your children that it's not about what they get - it's the thought that counts.

  • You are keeping Christmas focused on the birth of Our Savior.

This is one tradition I'm so glad we started. I'd love to hear some of yours. We're always looking to make new memories with our kids.


Thursday, December 10, 2009


I have not written anything in a long time. I wasn't sure what to say, if anything. Life was busy, but who's isn't these day? So I wrote nothing. But recently I have felt to pick up my blog again, unsure of where to start. And then it hit me.....

I started this blog because I felt God was changing things up in my life. One of those things being friendships. I have had a hard time, more than once this year, over the loss of, what I felt, was a good friendship. I tend to take things personally even though I try not to. It just breaks my heart that a friend would willingly end a friendship without trying to work things out. Because I think too much I wanted to know what the true meaning of friendship was. I decided a good place to start was Websters, which says:

a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard
a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile

Those definitions lead me to believe I have lost two friendships, which was not really what I wanted to hear. So I decided a better place to turn was to the bible. The very first verse that came to mind was:

A friend loves at all times. ~Proverbs 17:17

Which leads me back to my struggle......Have I lost these friends for good? I do trust God and I know He will help me walk through this, but it doesn't make the path any easier. It does, however, have me turning to Him for guidance and direction.........Maybe I should have been blogging all along.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Changing Seasons

After being without our computer for more than 2 weeks I've had some extra time to pray, contemplate, and look into some new ventures. I had been considering changing curriculums for one of our daughters who has low vision. In talking with a friend (thanks Kimmie) and doing some serious praying I've been looking into changing our curriculum for all the girls. The hard part for me is to change mid-year. In my mind - I like to prepare things ahead of time - it makes more sense to start fresh with something new. But as I seek out our options I don't think God wants me to wait another year. So I continue to pray and seek His guidance, so I can be where he wants me to be. It feels like life is changing with the seasons. I pray God makes our home as beautiful as the New England colors outside my window.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Just For Fun....

My friend Kimmie from Over the Moon With Joy
who is a follower of Jenni (One Thing)...
who is a follower of Linda (2nd Cup of Coffee)-
who created this little meme...
...sucked me in.

1. When you go to Wowmart, what one thing do you get every single time, besides a funky-wheeled squeaking cart full of frustration?
2. What is something that people are currently "into" that you just don't get or appreciate?

3. What is something that really hoists your sail that other people might feel "ho-hum" about?

4. Favorite song to sing in the shower or car?
Depends on my mood. Usually country. Sometimes worship.

5. A really great salad must have this ingredient:

6. Advice in a nutshell to new bloggers (one or two sentences):
Be yourself, share your heart, and make friends along the way.

7. What was the alternate name that your parents almost named you?

8. What in your life are you waiting for?
To have a cleaner house, be a better wife/mother, & to be transformed into the woman God wants me to be. (I'm still waiting:)

9. You get a package in the mail. What is it, and who is it from?
Something I won on Ebay...

10. Today--what song represents you? many to choose from. I'll have to get back to you with just one.

12. How are you going to (or how did you) choose the clothes you're wearing today? What do they say about you in general or specifically how you're feeling today?
Jeans & a tee because that's what I like to wear when not leaving the house :).

Hope you'll play along too! Copy the original text for the meme over @
2nd Cup of Coffee

Friday, August 28, 2009

Learning from our Mistakes

I have always believed - and even shared with my children - that "mistakes are ok as long as you learn from them". If you don't learn then why or what needs to change for you to learn from the mistake? It always seemed like a fairly easy lesson to teach my children. Then our youngest entered the picture.

She is a joy, a blessing, and a delight........but sometimes she's far from easy. I'll give you a little background. She's been walking since she was 8 months old and it opened up a whole word of things to get into. I know this sounds normal, but for us it feels a little extreme. All our other children were quiet, compliant, and yes, even easy. I call her "Joy" - that's what she brings with her. Joy also tests my limits. She's a climber.......climbs on couches, up bunk bed ladders, tables, and more. No matter how many times she's told 'no' and removed from the object she's scaling she will jump right back at it in no time flat. Almost 2 weeks ago she was sitting at the kitchen table with one of her older sisters. I thought they were coloring nicely until I heard the bang. She decided to try to reach across the table for something and her foot slipped of the table bench. When she fell she hit the kitchen chair before the floor. She actually broke her collar bone (remember she's only 17 months old). Since that happened 12 days ago (but who's counting) she has fallen from the same bench 3 more times - one of those times actually landing on her bad arm. I'm just wondering when she's going to learn from this? I'm so glad she brings us joy......when she's not climbing of course :).

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Oh....To Be A Princess

One of our vacation days we took the kids to StoryLand in NH. I knew they were the perfect age & it would be a fun day. My girls are definately girly girls. They play dress up, pretend they're at the ball, and much, much more. When they met Cinderella they were quick to point out why this lady was "not the real Cinderella". They gave me an entire list of things the park had done wrong with picking out their version of this princess, but for some reason they were not bothered in the least by this imposter. They enjoyed meeting her and getting their picture taken with her but, to my surprise, the hightlight of their day was getting to ride in the pumpkin coach. Maybe it was because in all of their imaginative play they had never been able to experience it for real. Whatever their reason I will never forget their excitement.

Friday, July 3, 2009

New Beginnings

I have felt for some time that God has been leading me in a new direction. Just some of the things I have felt God nudging me to do are:
  • I have known for quite some time that it was time for me to take a step back from some of the responsibilities I had committed myself to.
  • It is time to reorganize my house and do some cleaning out - so to speak.
  • I have also felt as if I will be reaching out and making new friends. (This is a stretch for me because I am quiet until I get to know someone).
  • Have a new focus for my household. (Ex: more responsibility for the kids, more focus for me so I stick to a schedule, etc...)

It was amazing to me that once I made the committment to following this path God was taking me down everything started to fall into place. I will be updating and letting you know about all that is happening soon enough, but I just want to encourage you that God may not give you the answers you are looking for until you agree to his wishes without questions. One thing I learned through this - and I'm glad it didn't take me too long to figure it out - is that God will be patient with us until we 'get it', so to speak. I look forward to sharing more with you in the week(s) to come.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Laughter does not come easy for me. Don't get me wrong - I'm not a miserable person. I enjoy my life very much, but I have a hard time finding laughter in the midst of life, especially when it throws me a curve ball. As God works on me I'm noticing my children are much more able to laugh at a frustrating moment than I am. I've decided I want to see life through the eyes of a child. My children have been such a great inspiration as I learn to find laughter in the little moments.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Outdoor Learning

As we finish up the homeschooling year the girls seemed to have a little "spring fever". It was a very long winter here in New England. Once the warmer weather arrived there were more than a few days that we took school outside. From studying the wildlife to nature walks they always love the outdoors approach. It is always a favorite and the kids learn and take in everything around them. Here are some pictures from our adventures. We are looking forward to more warm sunny days. The learning never has to stop when you close the book.

One of my daughters named this baby turtle "Claws". She was very disappointed a few days later when I made her release him so he could go home to his mother.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Tap Dancing 101

With a house full of girls I still get amazed at how much they love to dance & sing. Baby Giggles wants to dance sooo the point where I have to pull her off the dance floor at her sisters practices. With recital time right around the corner the older 3 have been hard practicing. Yesterday they decided to practice in the kitchen & I just happened to catch this on video. If you have sound it makes it that much cuter......she was so happy no one stopped her attempts this time.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Memorable Moments in Homeschooling

Last week was a very busy week. I had numerous committments and tried very hard not to let them interfere with our schooling. I think I took multi-tasking to a new level and tried to do "my things" while trying to teach the girls. On one of these particularly crazy days my 1st grader was waiting very patiently - as patiently as a 6 year old can be - for my help. When I came to help her she was sound asleep on her school book. It was at that moment I realized I needed to slow down - and maybe just take a nap with her :). It amazes me how much we can learn from our children - if we are willing to learn.

Friday, April 10, 2009


I love to crochet. It is so relaxing. I just wish I had more time to spend on it. My mother taught me when I was 5, but it wasn't until after I was married that I picked it up again. Believe it or not, after a few tries, it was almost like riding a bike. After many years of searching for 'just the right patterns' and not being able to find what I wanted I decided to try designing my own. It was difficult for me to try it. I like to know how things are going to turn out....and I don't like to make mistakes, so to go out on a limb and try something that doesn't have a pattern was a stretch for me. I'm glad I did. If nothing else it has taught me it's ok to try something new.....even if you do fail. Most of my patterns are basic, and so far all are baby afghans, but I'm always trying to take my designs one step further.

If you would like the pattern to any of them just send me a message. I'll be more than happy to share them with you. I will eventually try to add them to the blog. The only exception is the very first picture. I started making this from a pattern I bought, but the directions were wrong, so I improvised & created some of it freehand. But because of copyright laws on the part I did use I cannot share that pattern. All the rest are baby afghans that I have made for friends.

This basket-weave afghan was my very first design. A friend of mine had a preemie (10 weeks early) and I could not find a preemie pattern I liked. So this pushed my hand at designing. If you like it the instructions do include re-sizing info.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Yesterday Dan & I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary. I look back on all that has happened in those years & I stand (or sit) in amazement. We have created wonderful memories, children, and an everygrowing bond. I love him more than the day we married & I thank God for bringing us together.

"They a re no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not serperate." -Matthew 19:6

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spring has arrived

I went in search of some new spring photos to take. Here are a few I found.

New life is always a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Motherhood - I love it! There is nothing I would rather do with my life. I have recently stepped back from some activities just to spend more time at home with my children. After a few weeks of my newfound "freedom" - so to speak - a friend told me I needed to "take a break from taking a break". At the time I thought 'nope, I'm loving this' and I wished there was more time on my plate I could free up. So, the more I ponder my friends statement the more sad it makes me. If I was given the option of going out for a cup of coffee with a friend or going for ice cream with my husband & kids I'm happy to say I'd choose the latter. No offense to my friends but I'm glad I don't "need a break" from my family. I hope & pray I'm not alone. I believe our husbands & our children need to know that, aside from God, they are the most important people in our lives. I'm still a work in progress but I pray God shows me the path HE wants me to take.

Monday, March 30, 2009


My very first post! I had decided to put this project on hold for a while. I was very busy & felt the need to step back and review my commitments. Then we all ended up with the stomach bug, which circulated through our house for 2 weeks. A friend of mine encouraged me to pick it back up and gave me some pointers on getting going. (Thanks Kimmie).

The last year of so I have picked up photography as my new hobby. I love it. There are so many of God's creations that I want to take pictures of. I don't have photoshop or any other photo editing program yet, so everything you see is un-edited, but I hope you can enjoy them with me just the same. I figured I start my blog with some of my favorites.

Butterfly - This is the photo that started my love for photography.

One of our daughters has low vision and is unable to track fast moving objects. (Primarily animals & insects). They don't stay still longer enough. We saw this butterfly one day & I decided to run in and grab the camera. When I came out it was on my lilac bush. It stuck around long enough for one picture & it was perfect for her to see the true beauty of a butterfly - up close & personal. From this picture my passion grew to help her see the smallest of flowers - to the deer too far away for her to see. Below are just some of my other favorites.


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Since April 2010