Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wonderful Warm Wednesday.

Oh, just a week behind! : )

But seriously, If I could have captured this weather and lovely sunshine in a bottle...I'd be making serious bank these days. It seems I can't go five minutes without talking to someone about how they wish the weather would go back.

I mean look at this, right?!?!
Day 83: The Man kept telling me over the weekend, you need to take the kids picture under that tree. He said it only bloomed for a few days. I should have listened to him, but I didn't. The blooms were flying off right and left as I was taking this pic. : ) Sorry, Scott!
We played and played all morning long.
Sweet little legs.
I'm not sure I can convey what this picture does to me. It makes me happy to live in our neighborhood. Walks are so pleasant and happy. And BONUS...there is a school playground not even two blocks away. SCORE!
But even still...our trusting ole' free swing set does just fine entertaining these kiddos.
After we got L back from school, we went back outside. How could we was just too nice! We ordered a pizza and hung out on the porch to eat supper.
Here is N finishing off her applesauce. Wish you could see her dirty, cute little face!
So I'm not sure how you get around the violence issue with little boys. I mean I really don't want him to be all about killing, guns and swords. But there seems to be no stopping it.
If this boy has a stick he's either using it as a bat or as a sword. : )
Love little piggies free to run around outside.
See, no stopping the boy!
But me and my peaceful child, well we decided it was a gorgeous day to lounge around the front porch flipping through magazines. Don't worry, she only read the Lowe's ad!
Blue, clear skies please come back. And bring the sun with you!

Friday, March 25, 2011

I'm not a politician

but this doesn't seem logical.... hurting children (and our future leaders, teachers, politicians, doctors, parents) to save money.

Do you know that in our country, 1 out of every 12 children lives in extreme poverty?

or that every 32 seconds a baby is born into poverty? (stats from

Now I have had soo many conversations with people over this topic. I understand people who argue that poverty is caused by laziness or personal issues. I see why people get frustrated in thinking poverty is the problem of that person. But the truth is it's more complicated than this. And no matter what you think about adults and how they got in poverty, children are NOT RESPONSIBLE for the state in which they are born into.

I feel like as Christians we have such deep compassion for the poor in other countries yet we aren't moved when it comes to those in need in our own community. How many pray for the orphans across the world, but neglect to even consider the children here longing for a family?

Don't get me wrong, I have a HUGE place in my heart for those in need from other spaces in this world, but I also have a DEEP PASSION for people here in Daviess County. I'm sure that this was fostered first from a Campus Crusade trip to Chicago for my 2003 college spring break trip. I worked mainly with a Hispanic after school program. It was such an eye-opening experience and I fell in love with children. After college, I worked with a local Christian mentoring program, MentorKids Kentucky. It continued my love for those in physical and spiritual need. And most recently, our involvement in foster care.

I often think about what type of life our children would still be living in, if not for the state stepping in. Without sharing any details of their case.... I think things like:
* where would they be sleeping tonight?
* would they be walking in this snow/rain?
* what would they be eating for dinner tonight or would they be eating dinner tonight?
* when would they realize how different their lives were from others?

So many other thoughts cross my mind everyday. Simple things that I took for granted growing up. When reading L books at night, he tells me that he never had books where he lived before. That breaks my heart and makes my eyes well up right now because he LOVES books. There have been many other moments where certain comments he makes or others who knew their life before have caused me to stop in awe. How can this be happening in our very own town. Maybe even down the street from our neighborhood.

Some of you might be thinking right now, ok... poverty sucks, what can we do about it. First off, we have to PRAY for those living in poverty. Especially, for the children who have no choice in the matter.

Also, being an advocate for these children. Become a mentor, volunteer in schools, get to know ALL TYPES of people in your community and stand up for the innocent.

One way you can do that RIGHT NOW is what I really want to talk about.

My Little Man is in our city's Head Start. He is doing great and has grown leaps this year! We are thankful to the teachers and other staff who make this possible. Head Start makes such a difference in the life of children in poverty or those with developmental/speech needs. Children who may not have the best living conditions are fed, taught life skills, encouraged, challenged educationally and LOVED everyday in head start classes around America. The years before a child steps into a elementary school are important foundational steps into what their academic career will look like. If L had been still at his old home and not in head start, I have no doubt he'd struggle all the way through school. They've helped him socially, academically, given him confidence and instilled so many life skills.

Recently, the House has proposed a bill that includes cutting Head Start program funding by 22.4%. In just L's preschool, it would cut 385 spots for children in our community to have the same chance L has had to prepare for school. Please support Head Start, First Steps and other programs serving children in our community.

Go to and send the email/letters to our representatives.

2 other great sites for finding ways to take action to help children:

I watched The Talk one day and saw a great interview with Marian Wright Edelman. She is an amazing advocate for those living in poverty and children in need. Here's a picture of her {yes, i took it of my tv : ) }....

Thanks for enduring this long post and I hope it has an impact to make us all more OTHERS minded and compassionate to all those in need. The biggest motivation we should have to love (ALL) others is the love Jesus displays to us!

"And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25: 40

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

I have many excuses why I've been MIA the last few weeks...
1. I've finally been left all by my lonesome to fiend for the children and I....ahhhhh. Help, me Mommy! haha. {this can't be it...I managed two children and a blog before my back, hmmm}
2. Going back to work must be the culprit {oh wait, I only work two days a week. well,}
3. L has had a ear infection. {you know this does make a difference}
4. The Man has been hogging the computer {yes, it is his computer and yes, he might be doing actual you know WORK on it...but still.}
5. N has been trying to get her molars in {this is just murder on everyone, come on people}
6. How about pure exhaustion...if the others don't work as a good excuse, this one has to.

Every time I wanted to blog in the past few weeks one of these things would get in the way: A baby would be crying, my hubby would have the computer with him, I'd have to clean up some spilt something or fix some toy something, or pass out while loading pictures from my camera onto the computer. So there you have it. Forgive me and indulge me while I catch up on my 365 Days of Pictures project.
Day 67: L laughing his head off (i have to describe b/c of stupid hearts) and of course holding a football. Seriously, I don't make him pose with different types of sports equipment....he just chooses to do so. Summer should be fun!

Day 68: L's book fair was all out FUN. They had story time with Clifford and the black bear (not sure what he's from), a guy making balloon animals/swords, and his teacher was even dressed up like a (CUTE...not scary) clown {this is didn't think I'd let any clown take our children, did you?!?!?} They had a blast!
Day 69: The Man, my FAVORITE man in all the world (sorry, Daddy) made pancakes for dinner. How did I get such a blessing for a husband? He's the real deal people!!!
Day 70: The great thing about visits with the kids' biological family is they get to see their sister who is with her father (court mandated they get a visit at least once a month). We love visiting with her and the kids just have such a great time together.
Day 71: One of my favorite parts about being home with the kids more is when we get to play with others and have company. This day we met Nana, GiGi (my sister), Fynn and Nina (my German sister) at Chick-fil-a. We then came back to our house for a play date. Here is Aunt Nina reading to Fynn!
Day 72: For the length of time we've lived in this house (which I shouldn't devulge because it would make us look that much more lazy) we've endured what we've lovingly called the jungle. It was this overgrown hedge on the side of our house between us and our neighbor. It was trees, ivy and LOTs of overgrown weeds. Anyways, thanks to family, the jungle is now a junglet! Still there with more work to finish, but not sooo bad. Thanks to Herman (a.k.a Chainsaw Man), Ann, Mai Beth, and Cindy!

Day 73: On this special day we celebrated Papa's 81st Birthday. We all met at Briarpatch to eat lunch and party hard!!! : ) Not sure who enjoyed it more the adults or the kids.
Day 74: On the way home from preschool, we picked up my mentee Haley. We baked cookies while the kids napped. I had been wanting to take some to a new neighbor who moved in almost a month ago. Finally, got to package them up in this cute bakery box I'd saved for over six months! See being a pack rat pays off every now and then! : )
Day 75: N and I met Mai Beth and Kaylen at the park for some modeling time. I needed some spring pics for our photography business and well, she is just so darn cute. Before they got to the park, we took this pic. I used the self timer and balanced the camera on top of a sippy cup on top of a park bench arm rest. Whew....the things we do to be in pictures with our children!
Day 76: Made heart shaped biscuits for breakfast on this morning, just because!
Made the babies smile!
Day 77: Leah Mae turns 20! What? Where did my baby Mae Mae (on the right) go? We got wild and crazy celebrating at Cheddars. Happy Birthday, Mae! I'm so proud of who you are and the woman (gasp) that you've become.

Day 78: Even though my excuses kept me from blogging....doesn't mean that I didn't open up blogger a billion times to either fall asleep with it on my lap or give up after perusing other blogs first. I do however really love this little space to share and be a little creative even though my lack of recent activity shows my passion for capturing life in this little blog. I do appreciate those who come back after my lapses to continue to read and write me sweet comments.
Day 79: JAY'S DRIVE IN. Anyone reading this blog from Calhoun most likely recognized these steps or even has a picture of themselves at some point on them. These stairs are right outside the local burger joint in my hometown. I can picture at least a million different moments on these stairs. I remember when we used to walk downtown with our school class and sit here to eat ice cream cones. I remember going out to eat on the stairs with my friends when it wasn't cool to talk around your parents because we were soo grown up in the sixth grade! : ) I remember hanging out with friends here after high school basketball games, cheer practice or while "cruising" in town. Ha! This place is chalk full of memories! Ya'll got any of Jay's or other special places in your childhoods?
Day 80: Speaking of childhood, look what Scott and I found cleaning out an old truck that has been locked for at least ten years. It had all kinds of goodies in it. Let's just say we rocked out my Party to Go 8 c.d. from 1995 all weekend long! Wake Up Wake Up, It's the First of the Month <3
Day 81: Love this's just the cousins playing in the sandbox at Granny's and Grandaddy's house. On our weekly monday night dinner... I love me some good traditions. You can tell kids thrive on it!
Day 82: See, I told you he was hogging it. I had to capture this to prove my point and I think he looks super cute when he's all sleepy like!

Well, now that I'm caught up with my picture a day stuff, I have some other important things to discuss this week. One important topic, tomorrow!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday Dinners

Though I was tired and ready for the kids nap today, nothing could kill the high of having Sunday Dinner as a family (with some friends too)!
You see this dinner was the perfect excuse to clean off the dining room table, light a candle and pull out the linen napkins.
Using these lovely things to serve my family/friends makes me ever soo happy!
I sat the table while the children played and tried to remember the last time I'd done this? Most nights dinner is thrown together as we are huddled on the clean side of the table with nothing fancy or special. I hate that and pledge to do more of this. Pretty simple, just a few tasks to make the meal special and give me a good feeling.
The girls colored with the kids so I decided to cut up one of the sheets to make place cards. They loved it!

I was reflecting today about how blessed I am. Long before I was blessed with two children, God filled my home most Sundays with these sweet children. You've been introduced to my mentee, Haley. Well, these are her sisters and you might remember her brothers making an appearance in pictures here or there. I've been friends with their mother forever and enjoy them being apart of our sundays.
Day 66: A good day of worshipping the Lord and having fellowship together over a dinner.
The kids played together while The Man and I fixed the complex cooking of Julia Child (err... Stouffers Lasagna with some extras). It was a lovely Sunday afternoon.

Sunday dinners, a lost art or a steady tradition in your family?
Curious and as always love ideas.

A few moments from our recent days...

We went to my parents on Thursday afternoon... we played until time for supper.
My Moma and I noticed that the first signs of spring (blooming crocus) had popped up in the front flower beds.
Day 63: Aren't the colors gorgeous?!?! Way better compared to the usual tapestry of greys and gloomy winter tones.
It was tough choosing between the vibrant purple or this delicate spring yellow bonnets for my picture for the day. Oh, I'm soo READY for spring!
Day 64: The Man and I have developed a thing for tv shows on dvd over the past few years (Ok, mostly me, but he watches with me). Lately, it's been How I Met Your Mother thanks to my sweet friend, Rach. This looks like a pic pulled off some site, but it's actually our tv late Saturday night. We are on the fourth season and makes me laugh out loud a lot! Oh and we totally didn't leave our home from Friday around six thirty p.m. until a little before nine a.m. on Sunday. Pure bliss, I tell you!
Day 65: I knew I wanted this picture. I wanted to remember her in my fav jammies, her standing up in her crib looking over at us. I know time is short and this won't always be the case (even though I'm leaving her in a crib until I absolutely can't anymore). She will inevitably grow too big for this passed down crib, and her little toes are already wearing holes in the feet of these jammies. I can't help but want to slow time down long enough to remember these last moments of her being a baby.
and him being a toddler. He's only four, but he's huge. I mean this boy has grown 2 1/2 inches since coming to be our boy and weighs around 45 lbs. But his little cheeks and mischievous looks peeking out from his comforter begging me to sing one more time, shows that he is for just a little while longer my toddler boy.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

In like a lion, out like a lamb (i hope)

Nope, not talking about the weather.
Talking about my emotional state! : )
Everyone that knows me would say that I'm pretty easy going and usually happy.
While, I enjoy this about has just a few downfalls.
You are almost never allowed to be grumpy or have the occasional meltdown.
And feeling extremely guilty when you are this way.

Yesterday morning, March 1st, I had such an episode. It was ugly. Let me tell you there was anger, self-pity and lots of UGLY crying. It was just sin and that's the truth of it. This happens to me every now and then. My sin sneaks up on me and rears it's ugly head in a BIG way. You see because I'm easy going (most of the time), I let things roll off my back. If I get mad, it normally lasts less than a day. Sometimes, I want the feelings and anger to stay longer than they do. But I just can't keep the steam. The problem with this is things apparently gradually build up under the surface because I don't take them to the Lord.

We've had lots going on lately, as I've vented on here in previous posts. Renovations GONE WRONG, severe back pain then back surgery, the Man finishing school, having to put dog to sleep and add my two blessings who can really tire/frustrate this foster mommy.... and you've got one OVERWHELMED girl!

So I had my lion like roar for about oh a couple of hours (the worse of it was about thirty minutes, but I couldn't stop the tears). I was alone this day and had looked forward to some R & R and lots of fun me time. But God knew I needed something else. A cleanse of my doubts, burdens, sinful heart and giving it all back to the Him.

So I cried, a LOT (which really is pretty rare for me). Prayed some unrecognizable sentences, read God's Word several times while I was with myself and had some great talks with Godly friends.

I kept coming back to this verse in Psalm that is an old favorite.
"Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit." Psalm 51:12

It is actually EXACTLY the verse/prayer that I need. The JOY of the Lord is my strength, but lately that hasn't been so true. So prayerfully I'm going to see not only spring come lovely with it's bonnets and sun rays through March, but a rejuvenation of my spirit.


Here is my recent pictures:
Day 58: My sweet LITTLE cousin's 21st Birthday. WHAT? How can this be? She must have skipped a few years because I'm only 25, right?!?!?!
But in all seriousness, she is this brilliant, funny, Godly and gorgeous girl. I'm so proud of who she has become!
Day 59: Oh how I wish I could show you their precious little faces leaning against each other. They have the sweetest expressions! These are the pictures that make me stop and go...WOW, we have such BEAUTIFUL children. I'm not biased at all.
Day 60: Speaking of not being biased. We got to hang out with this little man for a few hours today. My adorable nephew, Fynn. Hasn't he gotten sooooooo BIG? Look at that grin. Trouble, ladies. That's all I'm going to say.
Day 61: God is GOOD and I am His...enough said.

Day 62: I forgot to take pictures during the day and well the kids were asleep. Scott was upstairs working and I know my friend Rach (who was over for our weekly tv/veg together night) would have killed me if I'd even thought of posting one of her on here. So I had to get, errr creative this evening. Pretty amazing, huh. You might be asking what is so special about a wall candle thingy and my window shears...... here is the story and I promise I'm done with this post marathon.

We bought these at Hob Lob just when we were getting our house ready during our engagement. They were rought iron and that was what we were going for. They looked cool and that was it. Fast forward at least one year later (maybe more...can't remember exact date). Sitting on the couch one night, I turned to Scott and told him to really look at the sconce things. I can't believe we bought owl sconces (do you see it) and never noticed. Good thing I like owls and they are semi "in" right now.

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