This isn't going to have any profound order to it, it is just a glimpse of our lives the past month.
It is amazing the changes that can occur in one year! Last year the lawn mower was just a bit too much for Cole, he would do half of the lawn every so often. This year-what a difference in this incredible young man. He mows the lawn entirely every week! It has been unique to see our family change and see how everything falls into place. Just when it feels a bit overwhelming to accomplish all the weekly tasks, someone steps in and takes on a new role. It has been fun to watch Noah watch his older brother and want to be like him already!
I just love apple blossoms. I wish they would stay all season. I took some photos of these on a hike.
We spent some time playing on a sort of "island" near us.
All the kiddos
Noah is just about to turn 3, he is growing into such a sweet little man. And incredibly independent.
Madison picking flowers.
Can we say "Karate Kid"
This one takes a bit of explaining;) Matt and I have been praying-not to increase our possessions, but to decrease or simplify. When we bought our house almost 6 years ago and I started the shop, we were definitely taken off guard at the costs surrounding these things, and for awhile were definitely living a bit above our means. This has been an area we have continued to bring before the Lord, asking for wisdom, help, and direction. We have been able to live within the means He has given us for some time now but have some debt we would like to put to rest once and for all. We desire to use what He has given us wisely and to let go of needing more. And most of you know, we live in a very materialistic culture-funny how it never brings happiness or joy, and yet we buy into it quite often. Anyways, with so many unemployed and struggling, we found it even more upsetting to be tied to debts and commitments that we really did not need! Now obviously debt, we are responsible for, but! the Lord has been gracious and softened our hearts yet again and we have let go of some of our pride about even what cars we drive. Our van is older but paid for-yeah! But our second car(Matt's car) was a fun little SUV. Well around Nov last year, it broke down, and being that we were trying to live within our means-we were not going to rush out and get it fixed-we were going to save for it first-it was a decent amount of money to fix it. So we went to one car, for months. We simplified life and did just fine! But, others started noticing that Matt was driving the van everywhere, and a friend mentioned to Matt that he would take the car to his mechanics and see what they could do. Now Matt and I had wanted to sell it for quite some time and buy a clunker instead to be free of payments, but in this economy, we just didn;t see how it would work, what we owed was probably a bit more than people would want to pay, the effort was not something we wanted to waste, sooooo.....we had just continued to pray, and pray, and trust the Lord. And this is where it gets pretty cool! This friend who took the car, found that he could fix it, sell it , and trade an older car to us without us spending any out of pocket money. Wahoo! I know, it seems really funny, that we are excited to be trading down-funny that our older van being the "good car" makes us smile, but here is what it is-FREEDOM- we are free from obligation- free from materialism-free from the stretch every month. In the big picture, it is a small thing, but for us it has been a big victory- and we saw the Lord orchestrate it while all we did was pray and trust. So- we are now the proud owners of a beater 1990 something toyota camry-fully loaded with tape deck, key entry, and rust;) and we are as happy as can be! Someday we will need to buy a newer car, but we will relish this completely for now!
The dominos are just a fun decoration that double as fun for everyone and maybe a lesson in patience too-why is it that they always get bumped after you set up all but a few!
Fresh air always makes the kids sleep so well! The trusty old swing has made it through another winter season. Looking forward to sitting outside in the nighttime air.
Cole, our oldest has been working through his Awana books the last 4 years with this goal in mind. The awana books have given him a chance to hide God's word in his heart-to memorize scripture. This was his last year in Awana and he accomplished his last book to earn the Timothy Award. He was pretty excited and so were we. They honored each of the kids at church and I was able to snap this photo for him. He actually begins youth group in a few weeks!! Hard to believe the 12 years of us being in ministry has passed so quickly! We began in youth ministry 2 weeks after Cole was born, so this is quite a milestone for us to have one of our kids now in the ministry with us.
Cole and some of his buddies who also earned their Timothy Award.
So, just a few little changes in decor. I finally took some time to get the shabby plates I have collected up on the wall. I just love how pretty pretty they are-so girlie. And it will be fun to add to them bit by bit. All thrifted-i might add!
Well-you will probably laugh-for those of you who have followed along with me. I am a compulsive furniture changer! Somehow it helps me deal with things I cannot change, like small space! Well, I switched tables and put a smaller table in the kitchen and put our dinner table out in the livingroom-wierd I know. We always struggle to consistantly sit around a table for meals but we just do not have space to fit all seven of us. We all too often end up sitting around the coffee table at meal time, but it is just not good for us not to have family meals around the table-so i did some more editing and moving of furniture to give us a table to sit around easier. We do have to pull it out at meal time but we are now back to eating breakfast together and doing our family devotions in the morning together, and dinner is around the table too. So that did give me a chance to plat around with the kitchen a bit, and it is comfy now.
I am slowly collecting red and blueware for the sofit.
Now-Mother's Day-I actually was given 3 dozen roses! So pretty to see all of those flowers together!
We spent the afternoon over at my Grandmas and my mom and Dad were there as well. It was fun because one of my Aunts and Uncles with my cousins were there as well. Their kids are our kids ages, which is the closest our kids have to cousins. It was so fun to see them play together!
Noah rested on grandmas porch steps while the guys plated basketball and the girls played with the neighbors dogs.
The clematis has bloomed and is breath taking! I am slowly working on covering all the ugly chain link fences around our yard with them! maybe we will have our own secret garden someday;)
Just couldn't pass this one up! Noah really LOVES ice cream but freaks out when he gets messy! And that happens quite often!
This was a fun find that I am hoping to find vases or bottles for-wouldn't flowers look so pretty in old milk bottles! Our I may just put our silverware in the bottles for easy mobility during the summertime when we cookout in the back yard.
Madi and I took a special treasure hunting trip recently to look for a tea set for the girls to have tea parties with. We actually found every thing we needed-First the tea pot- then we found three tea cups and then the three saucers- each item was found separately and they ended up making the perfect matching set! It is so fun to see the girls have tea parties!I found this gorgeous blue pottery on that same hunt with Madison. I love blue pottery and dishes! This was $2!
It is my newest member of the blue obsession.
And here is a fun little thing I thought i would share concerning my shop. I have mentioned before that I cut around 20-30 sheets into fat quarters each week. I tend to stay away from fitted sheets for a couple of reasons, 1 being they usually are too worn and 2 they are more of a hassle to cut. BUT! If they are in great condition and are a fabulous print-I do make an exception;) I tend to cut of the ends where the elastic is and save them for later to cut into smaller pieces. Well.......they tend to really build up and quickly! Well-the kids have been asking for ways to earn a little extra spending money and wondered if I had anything they could help with in the shop-Yeah! It took me awhile to organize things and teach them-but this has become a fabulous solution for bith of us! The older kids know that anything in this basket is ready for them to cut. They simply cut off the elastic and clip the corners so they are flat. Then it is quicker for me to cut inot useable peices of fabric for the shop. I pay them a specific amount for every peice they cut and we immediately pay them from the coin jar. They seem to enjoy working on this when they are watching TV. And there is no pressure on them but there is always a way for them to earn a little extra.