Thursday, June 30, 2011

You Capture: Water

A day at the spray park:

Watering the driveway " it will grow grass, Mom!"  :)

And just some extras from our day because I thought they were cute (but nothing to do with water - sorry!)


Saturday, June 25, 2011

If I could go back and do it again...

I was standing outside with my friend, Shelly, tonight just talking about our kids and how we both wish we could go back and do all this mommy-ing thing all over again - not because we want to necessarily change anything (though I'm sure there are a few moments I'd like to take back), but because we want to take it all in once more - to more appreciate my time with just one sweet baby, to take my time with her and take in every moment.  I did back then, but now that I know that along with more kids comes more tasks and more responsibility as they get older, I'd enjoy every small moment just a little more, seeing it as a little bit sweeter.  Know what I mean?

With three kiddos now, I sometimes find it harder to slow down and just take it in, breathe in my kids and the little things they do.  One of the harder things for me to do is to sit down and just pretend - particularly with Braeden, since that's what he always wants to do.  I don't know why that's hard for me - I get a little bored and start thinking about all the things I should be getting done and I just don't get INTO it.  But tomorrow I am promising myself to sit down and pretend whatever it is he wants to pretend - that I'm his baby, or that we're camping in a tent, or that he's spiderman and he's here to save me... whatever it is.... and I will play my part well. 

You see, my kids aren't going to remember that the house was spotless or that my fridge was organized, but they WILL remember Mommy playing on the floor with them, pretending, or painting, or reading books, or riding bikes.  Those are the memories that stick. 

SLOW DOWN.  Just be with my kids - which includes no computer, no phone, no facebook, ouch!  Are you guilty of this, too? 

Some of the fun we DID have today:

An extra one I decided to throw in because they looked so cute.  The little one in the middle is my friend, Shelly's little boy, who is best buds with my kiddos. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The heart of my girl...

She is beautiful.  God has given her a soft spirit.  A deeply caring, passionately loving, very discerning spirit.  Sometimes it's hard to treat her like the 6 year old she is, expecting so much from her because she demonstrates so much for us.  She is full of love and compassion and gives it freely to all who is around her, especially if she senses or understands if something isn't quite right.

I can be biased, I know, I AM her mom.  :)  And she still sometimes has her normal six-year-old moments, for sure, but I sure do love this girl and how God has made her.

As I mentioned earlier, I began watching a sweet little boy and his baby sister yesterday.  It's very part time, which is nice, but we love spending time with these kiddos.  Anyway, Emerson was my designated helper yesterday, their first day back, and I'm so glad she was designated!  :)  She searched for things to do with the sweet boy when he was sad his mom left, she held the teeny baby while I got her bed ready, and offered to pull the boys in the wagon and on bikes when it was time to go outside.  She even helps contain my littlest while I'm making dinner (which is a hard job) and loves a clean room (a girl after my own heart!).

I'm so thankful to have her!  Not because of all she does, but because of who she is - the substance of her containing what words can't completely describe, but the words compassion, kindness, and sensitivity hold their places in there somewhere.  She's not perfect, by any means, nor did our parenting have much to do with it, but we do pray over her daily with hopes she becomes someone who loves and serves and strives to understand the heart of God.   

Braeden, the early riser, was up with me at 5 this morning (I don't normally choose to be up at 5, but had to this morning for an early appointment in a town about an hour or so away), so while I was just getting ready to head out, Jon quickly got him dressed.  He accompanied me to my appointment, which lasted so much longer than it was scheduled to, but Braeden sat so still while we were there!  This warranted donuts for the drive home.  His choice?  The powdered ones, which, of course, made for a fun clean up when we got home!  It was fun, though, to have him to myself.  He filled up our time in the car with adventurous stories of foxes and wolves and the train moving along slowly next to us. 
Then as another treat, both because I didn't take the other two with me and because Braeden did so well, we made a quick trip to the park before we had to be home for lunch.  And it was HOT out there!  I'm not complaining, though, AT ALL! (P.S.  A shout out to Jon who had the house completely clean when I got back from my appointment today.  He sure knows my love language!  :) )

(Don't you love the ears on that hat?!  Ha!)

Hope you are enjoying your summer day, as well, and get a chance to get outside and soak up some sun!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Yep, I'm quite alright

1.  Father's Day weekend was wonderful (click here).  Celebrating my husband and dad was great, but Jon and I also celebrated our 9th anniversary (a few days early) by eating at one of our favorite restaurants and then a movie together and staying at my sister's house for the night - all without kids (a shout out to Jon's mom and sister for watching our kiddos!  Thanks again, guys!)

(This is a repeat post of this picture because I love it so much!)
 2.  Experimenting with my camera and the settings have been a major time suck for me lately because I'm LOVING it!  Posing my kids,learning about light, reading and reading and reading about aperture, exposure, ISO and film speed, and taking good pictures has become a new hobby for me and I am THOROUGHLY enjoying it.


3.  Savoring my time with my kiddos has become a priority (it always is, but even it's even more intentional lately) as I'm anticipating leaving them in August (I know, still a ways away!) for 2 and a half weeks - the longest I have ever, and ever plan on, leaving my kiddos.  Unfortunately it's not by choice, but by necessity, and so I'm soaking in the fun things we're doing and capturing the moments so they can refer back to these memories in a book I'm creating for when we're gone.

Soon, those teeth of mine will be very different!  And to be honest, I'm looking forward to it!

4.  Today I begin watching a sweet little boy again, whom I've been watching for about a year except for a quick three month break while his mommy had a brand new sweet little girl!  We're lucky to be watching her, too, as my kiddos are SO, so excited to help me with this new sweet little one and I can get my baby fix by holding her and loving her every day.

5.  Learning to ride a big boy bike can be tough and discouraging at times, but with the help of a great daddy and big sister, one can make big strides and gain the confidence they need to do it on our own!  My big boy, Braeden, doesn't quite have it down, yet, but he's getting close - and definitely before the end of the summer.  Learning to ride a bike with two wheels is a big deal around here!

I'm linking up today with Carissa at lowercase letters for Miscellany Monday.  Click on the link below to check out her Miscellany and many others.

Have a great day, friends!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

I'm a little late in getting this posted, but I wanted to wish Jon and my dad a very happy father's day today!  I'm so, SO thankful for both of them and all that they do.

We spent some time at my parents house this weekend barbequing and playing outside and celebrating these two guys.  My dad ran and played in the grass with the kids, while also somehow keeping an eye on the grill and making excellent burgers for all of us.

It was lounging and laughing and relaxing on the patio furniture for the rest of us (though Mom had made some excellent - EXCELLENT - potato salad and deviled eggs earlier that day).

(On a side note, I was practicing with the camera in my newly discovered manual mode!  Woo hoo!  Well, I knew it was there, but had NO idea what I was doing. So some of these pics may be a little bright or a little dull - still figuring things out!)

And Jon, I love how you love us - very intentionally and creatively and with all your heart.  You work hard to be a good dad - but you're a GREAT one.  I don't say that lightly.  I can't point out many husbands and fathers who do all you do.  Thank you, from the very bottom of our hearts.  I love you! 

I'm lucky and so thankful to have these two men to celebrate - they're both there for our family, they support and encourage, and love to spend their time with us - playing and running with the kids. 

Thanks, Jon and Dad.  Love you guys!  Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A little impatience at the park

It has taken a little bit of adjustment having all of my kiddos home with me all day, every day,  for the summer.  I have been anxiously anticipating the full days with my girl again and the fact that so many adventures await our kids TOGETHER instead of individually.   But I also anticipated the disagreements and having to hesitantly share their space and toys all the time again.  I knew it was coming, yet I find my patience short many times.

Several days ago we took a short trip to see my sister for lunch and then enjoy an afternoon at a local park.  The sun was hot with a small breeze and it was perfect for this little children's village that included many spots to wade their little feet in shallow water.  I soaked in the sun and watched as my kiddos found all the fun to be had and places to explore.  The favorite was the aforementioned water spots and it was so fun to watch them explore and feel and find all the crevices of the waterfall and small stream.

It was a perfectly fun afternoon playing together.

However, in attempting to tear the kids away from their fun, I'd lose one of them to another discovery while trying to take another one from their own fun, and then realizing I had lost the other one again.  This happened more than once!  My great mood from our time there began to waver and impatience was setting in.  Then on our way to the car we found a sweet little gazebo and I couldn't help but want to find a great shot with all three of them inside.  In their disappointment of just leaving their fun, they hesitantly sat where I arranged them, but as quickly as I sat them down, they were arguing with each other, fidgety, fussing, and unwilling to smile.

I found myself very frustrated and saying things like, "Come on!  If you would just sit and smile for just one second we could just go!"  and some other unfriendly things.

A good motivator to smile, right?  (Um, it was late afternoon, my littlest hadn't had a nap, I didn't plan well and didn't have any snacks on hand, etc., etc!)

I finally got two good ones, despite the silliness of Braeden and the half opened eyes of Emerson!

Whoops!  Definitely a failed parenting moment and a good example of the needless impatience I find myself in a bit lately.  Many prayers for patience have been uttered this past week or so!  Thankfully,  those prayers have sprouted ideas for keeping our time at home a little more focused and a new routine is being created.  Thankfully, it's helping a little!  :)

Such is the life of a parent - teaching our kids the same things we are also re-teaching ourselves!

Anyway, here's to the rest of our day that was really quite enjoyable!  And another fun adventure to put on our list for the summer of 2011!

I was reminded, however, of how thankful I am that our kids, despite the arguments that sometimes arise, are really best friends.  Really, I'm SO, so thankful and joyful for that (and prayers are being uttered right now that this is a lifelong thing!).

Oh, and I love this.  It's just me and my littlest (and possibly a good picture to compare with after my upcoming surgery? Only 56 more days - I think.)

How do you deal with the adjustment of summer?  If you have struggled with impatience with your kiddos, how do you plan for and deal with that?

Just wondering?  :)

Have a great day today, friends!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sweet Summer Days

Childhood summers are built for the fun, laid back, the whimsical, and the spontaneous.

 They're built for playdates and the kind of play that requires baths every night that leave the water slightly cloudy from all the dust and dirt and chalk and grass picked up from adventures outside.  THAT'S the sign of a good summer day.

And the kind of day I wish for my kids each morning as we list what fun adventures we plan to have that day and hope for some unplanned ones, as well.  And they come, and it's fun and beautiful.

With it also comes sunburns and scrapes and that darn nap time each afternoon (which I will not be giving up any day soon!), but I hope that the thoughts of my days at home with my kids over summer vacation dominate their memories when they get older because of the careless and free fun we had over each one.

Home made popsicles!

It's kind of sad, actually, to think that 13 summers total with all three of my kids at home with me.  And really, there are only a few when they'll want and desire to spend these sunny days playing with me.

So we're taking it in now.  I'm so thankful for these sweet summer days with my babies and plan to not take even one for granted.

I'm filled with gratitude to have more visits to the pool, bike rides to the park, cartwheels in the grass and picnics outside to fill our days. 

What fun summer adventures are you taking with your kiddos this summer? 

I'm linking up with Carissa at Lowercase Letters to share my miscillaneious!  Stop by by clicking the link below to enjoy hers and other fun and miscillanious blogs.

Have a happy summer day today!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Silly Daddy

I caught a beautiful moment last night in the kitchen.  
Definitely one of my top favorite moments of the week.  I adore these two!


Linking  up with Rachel at Finding Joy for her Friday Favorites today!  :)
Please go check out more of hers and other Friday favorites by clicking this:

friday favorite things | finding joy


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