Tuesday, June 29, 2010


The past few days I've been feeling whiny. I really haven't felt like I should sit and write anything while I was feeling that way. But I've decided instead of avoiding this blog, I will attempt to list 10 things I'm thankful for. It will give me something positive to write about, and possibly even change my mood in the process. So here goes...

10 Things I'm Thankful For (not in any particular order):

1. The beautiful wildflowers we see and pick every day. Thanks to an extra rainy spring, they are extra beautiful this year.
2. That my kids get along (most of the time). While it often irritates me that they spend so much time at night giggling when they should be sleeping, it does mean that they enjoy each other's company. I know they love each other very much.
3. A wonderful, almost traffic-free place to run in the spring, summer, and fall (just too much snow and ice to run in the winter).
4. A healthy body that allows me to run, and to play with my kids.
5. A God who loves me and gives me a new start daily.
6. My husband, who loves me in spite of my crankiness, and who makes me proud every day.
7. My MOPS group, which has meant the world to me these past few years.
8. Friends who encourage me, challenge me, lift me up in prayer, support me, and love me.
9. The most comfy bed ever.
10. Living where there is lots of space outdoors for my kids to play.

Hey, I feel better already! It helps me so much to look at all the great things in life, rather than focusing on the things I wish I could change. I wish it came more naturally to me to see all that I have to be thankful for. But I'm challenged, knowing that the more often I practice this exercise, the more natural it will become. I think I'll try to make these "Thankfulness lists" a regular thing!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My wonderful hubby!

I have been having a hard time knowing what to blog about the past couple weeks. Today, though, I was thinking about how much I love my husband, and how wonderful he is, and I knew that that's what I should write about. Jared and I have been married for almost 6 years. I cannot say that it's always been easy, but I can honestly say that I wouldn't change a moment of it. Going through hard times has helped us to appreciate the good times even more. I have seen us both grow since the day we got married - spiritually, emotionally, and yes, even physically! We've grown so much closer to each other, and there is not another person I'd rather spend time with than Jared. I'm so excited to experience many, many more years together! Jared is my other half - literally. Where I have weaknesses, he has strength, and vice versa. It's easy to become annoyed with the differences we have, but when we see them for what God intended them for - to strengthen each other - than we know that they are blessings.

I think I'll just end by listing a few (of the many) things that I love about Jared.

*I love that he can fix anything.
*I love that he is such a great father. He's a wonderful example to the kids, and they love spending time with him.
*I love that he's easygoing, and doesn't get uptight about things like I do.
*I love that he gives people the benefit of the doubt, and doesn't jump to conclusions.
*I love that he often knows me better than I know myself.
*I love that he would drop anything to help out a friend in need.
*I love that he's adventurous, and often pushes me out of my comfort zone.
*I love that he listens for God's will in his life.
*I love that he's loyal - to me, to our family, to his friends, etc.
*I love that he loves me!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

An amazing Father

Today is Father's Day, and while I am so thankful for all the fathers in my life, what I want to focus on right now is my Heavenly Father. I am a daughter of the King! Sometimes it's hard to fathom what that means, and how that can be. In fact, when I truly think about it, I am completely in awe. God sent His only son to die, so that I could be His daughter. So that YOU can be His son or daughter. None of us deserve to be called sons and daughters of God, but if we believe in Christ, repent of our sins, and receive His love, we are adopted into His kingdom! I am AMAZED by the love of God. As much as I love my children, and I know Jared loves them just as much, God loves us all infinitely more. Love is not just something God does, it is what He IS. He cannot act outside of love. Everything He does, He does out of love for us. And He does not simply sprinkle His love on us, He LAVISHES His love on us. My life is full of blessings from the Lord. Every day I realize more and more His great love for me, and in turn I fall more deeply in love with Him daily. Earthly fathers, no matter how wonderful, will fall. They will fail, at some time or another. God, however, cannot fail. He is perfect. There is no darkness in Him, only light. No matter what your earthly father is/was like, you can count on God the Father. No matter what you may have done in your lifetime, you can turn to Him, and He will completely and utterly forgive you. No matter what you may be going through right in this moment, He is there for you. He longs to hold you, to carry you through. Nothing is too big for Him. Nothing is too insignificant for Him. He cares. For you. He is the PERFECT Father.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


This is our last week before the craziness of summer camps, so we decided to take a night and go camping on Monday night. We got a new "family tent" this past winter at Cabela's, to use in place of our little 2-man tent for now. We tried to surprise the kids, but they heard us talking about tents and figured it out. They were so excited to go camping! Our first stop was Walmart, to pick up air mattresses, a tarp, and a few other things we needed for the trip. Then it was off to the campground. It was a campground that I had never been to, and Jared had been to years ago (it was his suggestion - thanks, Hon!). It's right on a lake, and there are tennis courts, a soccer field, volleyball nets, a big playground, a nice place to swim, lots of area to run around. It was perfect! We had such a wonderful time. It was just nice being away together as a family, since I know we won't see much of Jared this summer. The weather was really nice and warm when we arrived, and got super windy that night. The next morning was not quite as warm, but still wonderful. Parker didn't sleep real well, so we were all pretty tired yesterday, but it was so worth it! I love camping, and it's something I want my kids to grow up loving, too.Jared "roasted" marshmallows over our camp stove for s'mores, because we forgot to bring any wood for a fire!What a sweet smile! Parker sure loved the playground!Ellie really enjoyed the obstacle course on the playground. At first she wanted Jared's help, but before long she could do it all herself! It was a real confidence booster for her.Both of our kids really love to climb. They liked having so many things to climb (including some boulders right in our campsite!).
Parker is a fair-weather water boy. He enjoyed playing near the water, but wouldn't go in because it was too cold.
Ellie loved getting in the water, even though it was pretty cold. She's our little water lover!
Jared and Parker sleeping in the morning - what sweet angels!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Flowers and waterfalls

There is a beautiful spot near our home (one of many), where every year there are thousands of flowers blooming. We live near a meadow, and at one end of the meadow there is a sea of blue, purple, and yellow. Each year I think that I should take the kids' pictures in the flowers, and then somehow each year it remains just an idea. Well, yesterday I decided that I'd better take the opportunity while the flowers are in bloom. So the kids and I took a walk (about 1 1/2 miles each way), and did an amateur photo shoot. It was a lot of fun! There is also a small waterfall (I don't know if you would even call it that), which we took a few pictures by. The kids wore their rain boots, which was good because it was a fairly swampy area. Ellie was very happy because she got to pick a bouquet of wildflowers (one of her favorite things to do)! Oh, and if you know Ellie, you know that she LOVES to pick out her own outfits (which was the case here)!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Oregon, Part 4

Okay, so life in Oregon got too busy to blog. Now I'll try to go back and remember the details.....

Last Thursday the kids and I met my dad at the playground near his house for a picnic. It was such a blessing that it didn't rain! The kids had a great time, and I know Dad had a lot of fun watching them play on the playground. We went back to Mom's house for naptime, and then drove to visit my sister-in-law, Annie, and her sweet family. She has a 2-year-old daughter, Kya, and Ellie and Parker love to play with her. It's always special to get together with cousins! We played outside in the rain, read books, and had dinner together. It was great to get a chance to visit with Annie for a while.
Friday was "my" day. Mom watched the kids while I went into Portland and got my hair cut and colored, and then went out to sushi with my brother, Rob. It's always great to spend time with Rob. He's an amazing guy, and a very talented hair dresser. Friday evening Ellie had a slumber party with two of her cousins, and I went to visit my sister-in-law, Willy. We had a nice visit, and ended up talking for hours!

Saturday was my niece Lisa's graduation. We had the graduation party at my sister Karey's house. We spent the morning decorating and setting up for the party. Then the graduation in the afternoon, followed by the party. It was the only sunny day while I was in Oregon, which was perfect timing! It was a nice graduation (although it could have done without so many speakers), and the party was a lot of fun. Again, the older cousins played with Ellie and Parker, giving me a chance to just visit!
Sunday we went to church with my mom and my grandma. Ellie was very excited to be able to go to children's church, and Grandma Kathy was the helper, which made it extra special! Sunday afternoon, after naptime, we went to my sister Jill's house for a family gathering of my dad's side. It was great to see all the kids running around, and Ellie and Parker got to hold another baby, their second cousin, Isabelle. We had a b.b.q. and really enjoyed spending time together. Then we went back, the kids went to bed, and I packed up the car.

Monday morning we left at about 4:30 for home. We had an uneventful ride home, and were super excited to get home and smother Jared with hugs and kisses!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Oregon, Part 3

Our trip is about halfway through, and I've been having a wonderful time, but am missing my hubby very much! Yesterday the kids and I went into town with my mom and we did a little shopping and met my sister for lunch. Other than that, we spent time playing out on the farm (my mom's).

Today we drove to Lincoln City for the day. It was super windy and rainy, but it was our only chance to go to the beach, and we wouldn't have missed it! The kids and I were accompanied by my mom, three of my nieces, and one of my nephews. We did some shopping at the outlet stores (much different experience than my last outlet shopping trip without the kids!). Ellie was super excited to get a Hello Kitty umbrella, Parker got a new puzzle, and they got their Father's Day present for Jared. We ate lunch at Mo's, which was yummy as always. Then we spent all of twenty minutes on the beach, and by the end we were all wet, sandy, and cold. Both kids slept all the way back to my mom's house. It was an adventure! I would have loved a warm, sunny day on the beach, but God had something more exciting in store for us, and it was great! In fact, I don't think my two kids even noticed the cold and rain. They were just happy to be in the sand! Oh, to have the excitement of children!