Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013!

I am switching things up for the new year and welcoming 2014 with a new look for my blog.  Change is good (as well as posts)!  I will be back very shortly in the near future, but for now I leave you with heartfelt wishes, hoping you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

June ~ Full of Firsts

Oh June.  I love the month of June.  The end of another school year, beginning of summer, warm sunshine, barbeques, family trips; the making of memories.

I love looking back at pictures and recalling family trips, birthdays, weddings, time with friends.  Though, in all of our family trip pictures, none were of just Nate and I.  We had never been on a vacation, just the two of us, since our honeymoon in 2004.  June brought the first one in almost 9 years!  We flew to Orlando, since Nate had a work conference there.

We would have gotten a day and a half to ourselves before his meetings began, but we both got the flu when we arrived.

There was a NCIS marathon on our "sick day"

 Thankfully, it only lasted 24 hours, but by the time we both recovered, our fun together days were over.

 I, on the other hand, got to enjoy the resort all week by myself, while Nate worked during the days.  It really was a relaxing week for me.  I read, laid by the pool, napped, and took walks around the resort.  It was fabulous, even if it was a little boring.

 Here are a few pictures of the resort and "my pool" as I referred to it.



                                                     I laid at this pool every day, all day.

We did get to play a little bit.  We had dinner out at Bob Marley's restaurant and got to experience Universal Studios.  It really was fun!


This was my last day to enjoy the pool.

                Hogsmeade, for all my Harry Potter fans!                                        Hogwarts Castle & Nate

We really did have a good time.

So on top of our first vacation alone, I had my 31st birthday.  I didn't throw a big bash or spend the night out on the town.  (I'm too old to stay out that late anymore!)  We did, however go out for dinner at Johnny Carino's and enjoy some time with friends and family.  My in-laws were in town watching the kids while we were in Florida, which just happened to be right around my birthday. 

June was filled with memory making moments.  We are very blessed to be able to go on vacation and spend time together.  Go make some of your own memories!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summer Edition 2013

I'm just going to call this post "Summer Edition."  It has been so long, I can almost call it my "quarterly installation."  I have so much to update you on, I'm going to just highlight the biggies out of each month.  (I will do future posts with pictures for the birthdays and vacations!)

May (pulling out my calendars to try and remember): Jeremiah played t-ball in April and May.  He loved it.  His team was called "The Razorbacks" and it was no joke.  They had embroidered hats, really nice jerseys and he had to wear red socks, black baseball pants and a red belt to each game.  They played their hearts out, no matter how hot it was!  Jeremiah did awesome, playing mostly at short stop, but a little at third base, first base and outfield.  He was a great hitter and was super fast.  It was so much fun to watch him. 

Benjamin started going to speech therapy twice a week.  We have seen a great improvement in his articulation and fluency.  Even after the first week, our friends and family noticed a difference.  What a blessing for Benj to be able to communicate easier and for us to be able to better understand him!

Lulu is still plugging away at being a little sister.  She's always curious and finding the action.  Keeping her busy during school time is a challenge, but I find ways to distract her or have her join in with minimal interruptions.  There is never a dull moment!

This also is our final month of school.  I had been planning on finishing in June, but an unexpected vacation became available through Nathan's company and I decided to finish before we left.  It was a lot of work and I'm happy to say that we did finish by the end of the month and the kids all enjoyed the school year.  Jman is reading well and astonishes me with how much he can learn and retain.  BG is a quick study and is a little sponge as well.  This fall, Jman starts 1st grade (crazy!!) and BG will be in preschool again, with just a few more add ins this year.  Lulu finally gets to officially start preschool, even though she's really been with us in school since she was born!

June (flipping pages): Lulu turned 2!  Grandpa and Grandma Davis made the journey south and joined us for the birthday party and baby sat while Nate and I went to Florida for a week.  We left the day after Lulu's birthday party, with Jman having the flu the night of our departure.  We got to Florida and both ended up having the flu.  Our first 2 days in Orlando were spent in our hotel room.  Once we recovered, it was fabulous.  It was very relaxing (for me.)  Nate was at a conference for work, so his days were completely booked up from 7 am until 10pm.  So while I was all alone, all day long (don't feel too sorry for me), I sat by the pool.  Literally, all day long.  I got up in the morning, grabbed breakfast for the walk to the pool, found my lounge chair and that was it for my day.  I only moved from my lounger to cool off in the pool or get food.  It was wonderful.  I finally finished Anne of Green Gables, which I adored.  We got home on a Friday and the following Tuesday, I turned 31.  My birthday started off with a doctor's appointment for BG, speech in the afternoon, and crown at the dentist for Jman in the afternoon.  All appointments were scheduled before hand, not by my choice, but from doctor availability.  Go figure.  I did get to enjoy a nice dinner with family and friends and that's all you really need.  We had an early birthday party for BG with his friends in Texas since we were going to be out of town on his actual birthday.  It was a huge success with water balloons, squirt guns and a slip-n-slide.  Perfect for a hot Texas day!  The very last weekend of June began my BIG vacation, 2 weeks in North Dakota and 1 week in Montana.  My sister flew down, only to turn around and drive 2 days up north with the kids and I.  I am so thankful she drove with me.  It would not have been a grand "adventure" if she hadn't! 

July (finally caught up, but still flipping pages): The first 2 weeks were spent in Fargo.  It was so great to be with family.  We had birthday parties for BG, a day at the farm, lots of time with GG, dinner with Great Uncle Leroy, the boys camped on the deck in a tent with Uncle Nick, a day at Chahinkapa Zoo with Grandpa Roger and Uncle Nick, and lots of time spent outside in the little pool, sprinkler and on the play set.  It was definitely a time of making memories.  Nate finally flew in 12 days after we first departed and we were fortunate enough to get so see my aunt Sandy for a little while before we left for Montana the following day.  We ventured west for Nate's grandma, LaVerne's 90th birthday party.  I met some family for the first time and saw many that I hadn't seen in over 7 years!  It really blows my mind how fast time goes.  We had multiple family dinners of about 30 people.  I had such a good time getting to better know everyone.  We all had a fabulous time.  We spent one day in Yellowstone National Park.  God's creation is so beautiful.  His imagination really shines there.  We also went to visit my cousin Holly and her family for an afternoon.  We hadn't seen them in 4 years!  All of the kids had a blast playing in the huge yard, checking out the neighbor's chickens, and racing on the deck.  We were so blessed to get to spend so much time with family we rarely see!  The trip home was two 12+ hour days, getting home on the second day at 2 am.  (So technically 3 days, but we aren't getting THAT technical.)  It was almost like a big exhale to get home and finally be home.  We do miss everyone, but there is something about being at home that just feels nice. 

And of course we jumped right back into the swing of things come Monday.  Jman started a week long, morning soccer camp, BG started up speech right away, and Lulu is "thinking" about starting potty training.  Nate is back at work and I'm trying to finish up school planning.  (I'm refraining from telling you about my chores because those are no fun to mention.)

Regardless of how busy we are, where we are, or what's going on, we always try to keep Jesus Christ at the center of our lives and our eyes focused on Him.  Who would we be without him?  I am so thankful for the many blessings he continues to give us.  He is so good!  Worthy is He, the Lamb of God.

I hope to keep my blog from reverting back to a quarterly journal, but I make no promises.  Until the next time you join me here...


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Hearing His voice when I least expect it

Shattered.  Broken.  That is what became of my glass patio table.  We had left the big umbrella up and weren't expecting the wind.  All I heard was a whoosh of the wind, a thud from the umbrella hitting the ground and the crash of the table top shattering.  I didn't want to believe it really happened.  I went outside to look and saw the pieces all over the ground.  What a mess! 
I began the tedious and careful process of sweeping, scooping and throwing away the pieces.  All I kept think about was "How am I ever going to pick up all of the pieces?" 
That is when I heard Him.  "You can't.  You can only pick up one at a time."  I no longer saw glass, but I saw broken hearts, broken lives, and lost souls.  I saw the brokenness of the world. 
It was overwhelming.  Compassion flooded me and I began to pray.  It was all I could do.  I knew God made that table break for a reason.  He wanted me to see, with my own eyes, what He sees when He gazes upon us.
As I started to vacuum up pieces embedded in the grass, I knew it would be impossible for me to get all the pieces.  So many pieces had fallen down, lost in the thick grass.  I would have to trust with faith.  Blind faith that my children won't cut their feet playing in the backyard.  Blind faith that He will protect us and pick us up when we need Him.

I can only go so far on my own. 
But with Christ, I can do anything.  I can start with one person.  Show one person the love of Christ.  No judgment.  No hatred.  Just love.  That's how I can begin to mend the brokenness.
And you can too.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Our Classroom has a New Member!

Now before you go getting any crazy ideas, let me just say that our "newest member" has been needed for a long time and was store bought.  (That should curb any wild imaginations running away!)

We have been plugging away this year at kindergarten and preschool.  It has been going really well.  Don't get me wrong, we usually fight over who is going to go first (seriously, it hasn't changed since we started), for many months I heard "I don't want to do reading!", and my kids have so many wiggles, it's a miracle the chairs haven't broken yet.  Despite these normal occurances, we have fun and I can see improvements in my boys that keep me encouraged.  Well, we had been conducting our business on a little table from IKEA, about 18" x 24".  In reality, we had school time on the floor.  It was not very convenient, but we made it work.

School used to be all over the place and you can see the little table in this picture.
So now can you guess who our new member is?  Yep, a table!  (It's the little things in life.)  I just set it up this past week, and it is SO much better.  I can honestly say that the boys are able to concentrate better and can see and complete workbook pages much easier.  There is less fighting over who is taking up too much room on the table and cleaning up is a lot easier.  The crayons, markers and paper are mostly on the table, rather than sprawled all over the carpet.  If I would have known a table would make the day go this much smoother, it would have been a necessity from day 1! 

Doesn't it look awesome?!?  I'm super excited!!  (It is only a 6' plastic folding table we bought at Walmart, but still.)  No more fighting over who gets to use the table.  Now it's fighting over who gets to sit in which seat...there is always something.

Also, I have rearranged and reorganized my school shelves.  I tried to put as much in fabric bins and plastic totes as I could.  I needed things to look and be organized or I wouldn't be able to function.  (I'll just say that this day of rearranging and organizing was amazing.  My type A side was on cloud 9!) 
What does your classroom look like?  Have any must-haves you want to share??

Saturday, March 23, 2013

March Snuck Up and Raced By!

Oh boy, has it really been this long??  A lot has happened since I last posted in February...Yikes! 

The quilting class I taught is over and it was a lot of fun!  It was great to get out of the house and just sew for a couple of hours.  I actually got Nate's quilt completed in a reasonable amount of time!  (It helped having a deadline.) 

Nate's T-shirt quilt
We have stayed busy with homeschooling as well.  I am still teaching with Heart of Dakota curriculum and my boys are enjoying it.  I'm glad we made the change.  Lulu likes to sit with us and listen sometimes too, which is much easier than trying to keep her out of "adventures."  (I'm going to be posting some more about homeschooling in the near future.)

In March, we celebrated Jman's 6th birthday.  We had a pirate party and played pin the tail on the Tick-Tock croc and had a treasure hunt that lead to a pinata!  Our house was full of friends and laughter and we loved every minute of it!  Now, BG keeps asking when he gets to have his birthday party!  It's going to be a long three months if he keeps asking! :)

Birthday Friends!
We also went up to North Dakota for spring break.  Usually people go south, so we should have gone farther south, right?  Not this year.  We decided to fly, which turned into a fiasco.  We were supposed to fly out on Friday the 8th at noon.  We arrived at the airport at 9:30 a.m., with all 3 kids and carry-on bags in tow.  First, our flight got delayed until 2:45 p.m.  We passed the time by riding the Skylink (the train that connects the 5 terminals in Dallas), playing on "the boys'" (really Nate's) new tablets, and working on some school worksheets.  At 2:15, when we were getting ready to board, our flight was cancelled!  While I tried to find us a new flight to Fargo, Nate kept 3 crabby and tired kids busy and out of trouble.  We ended up getting a flight the next morning, Saturday, at 6:20 am to Chicago, then from Chicago to Fargo.  Thankfully, Nate's great aunt and cousins live in Frisco, and graciously let us come back to their house Friday night.  What a blessing!  They also drove us back to the airport at 4:20 the next morning.  Just when we thought we were in the clear, 5 minutes before boarding at 5:50, our flight switched gates and terminals!  Back to the Skylink!  By this time, our kids knew what was going on.  The boys pulled their backpacks (on wheels) and headed up the escalator to the train.  They got lots of looks and chuckles.  After making it to our gate in Dallas, landing a little late in Chicago and running through the Chicago airport, we finally made it to Fargo!  I am glad to report that the flight home went much smoother.  We had a great time in Fargo, but were very glad to get home.  When we left, it was -7 degrees in Fargo.  Upon arriving in Dallas, it was 85 degrees.  Much better!!  The picture below is at the Snocross races in Glyndon, MN.  Cold and fun with Auntie Ash and Uncle Nicky!!

The weekend we flew back to Dallas, we ended up being able to go to the MLS game in Frisco.  We got to watch FC Dallas beat the Houston Dynamo in the stadium where the Bison won 2 football championships.  Lots of fun! 

We are finally home and back in the groove of school, work and church.  Our weeks are a lot busier, now that Jman is in T-ball and soccer.  He has T-ball practice twice a week and soccer practice twice a week.  We are gone every night of the week either at practices or church.  He has only had one soccer game so far and was awesome!  He scored 1 goal and did a great job playing defense.  Nate was proud, especially since he is the coach of his team!  T-ball games don't start for a couple of weeks, but they will be played on Saturdays, just like soccer.  We will really be racing then! 

Our BEST news is that BG gave his heart to the Lord this past week!  He decided he wanted Jesus in his heart forever.  His prayer was precious and sweet, just like him.  A very special day!!!

As we come into this Easter season, I am so thankful for all the blessings we have received since moving to Texas.  God has a plan for us and we continue to walk in faith, knowing we are where we are supposed to be.  When the time comes for us to move on, in God's direction, we will do just that. 

I pray you all have a very blessed Easter and are showered with blessings and reach out for the hope and assurance of salvation through Christ's death and ressurection.  What an amazing gift He has given to us!!

Blessings and Love~

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

For My T-Shirt Quilting Friends

I wanted to put a few pictures of the squares on Nick's quilt that had smaller squares making up the larger square.  You can see how it looks!

The 2 squares on the upper left and lower right are 6-1/2" squares. The upper right and lower left are 4-1/2" squares with strips sewed onto the side and top to make it a 6-1/2" square.  

Hope this gives you a better idea of the smaller squares making a larger one!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Gone Long, but Not Long Gone

It has been so long since I've been on my blog, I forgot what it looked like!  I bet you're wondering where in the world have I been?  All I can say is busy and enjoying the everyday tasks of life.

After my last post in November, Nate got a promotion at work, so he's been a little busier than usual.  Not too much though, since he was already really in that position without the title and compensation for two months.  We continued to homeschool and I signed up to teach a quilting class at the college in February.  The week of Thanksgiving, we traveled to San Antonio for 5 days and visited Sea World, The Alamo, the River Walk, and the old World Fair site, which included the Towers of America.

At the Alamo
A waterfall along the River Walk
The kids absolutely loved Sea World.  When we pulled into the parking lot the first day, Jman exclaimed from the back seat, "Shamu!! We are here!!"  His excitement reflected all of our attitudes.  And to make it even better, Sea World was celebrating Christmas.  It was decorated in Christmas trees, lights, "snow", costumes, carolers, a Mariachi band dressed in Santa suits, lights set to music, and a Santa Shamu!

BG feeding a dolphin
Jman was the only one not afraid of the characters

December brought more school and preparations for our trek up north.  We celebrated Christmas and New Years in Fargo and then spent our last couple of days in Minneapolis.  It was lots of fun getting to see family and friends.  The weather wasn't as much fun.  It was cold, windy and icy.  But we weren't expecting anything different from North Dakota or Minnesota.  It was great to get home and have temperatures in the 50s.  We didn't NEED our coats on!  As wonderful as it was to see everyone, we were grateful to be home after our 16 day vacation and not living out of suitcases anymore.  It's a long time to be away.
At the farm
North Dakota winter 

Now, as we are getting to the end of January, we are back in the swing of things.  The only new adventure in our horizon is that I start teaching my quilting class in less than 2 weeks.  It's only one night a week for 4 weeks, so it should be a nice, fun break for me!  

It doesn't seem like a lot, but it sure kept me busy.  We continue to walk in Christ's footsteps and grow as a family and as Christians.  God has provided for us and blessed us immensely.  We are so thankful.

How have you been staying busy??


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