Saturday, July 5, 2014

15 Years

July 3rd marks the beginning of our "Miracle Month".
15 years ago, on July 3rd, my husband almost died after suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury because he rode down a steep driveway to get a basketball that had rolled down into the street on a skateboard--without a helmet--and crashed at the bottom.

He would almost die again and again throughout the following weeks, but I praise my Almighty God for literally saving him each and every time. I praise the Lord for not only Tim's miraculous recovery but for the work He did in both of our hearts and minds through it and because of it for a decade to follow. I will never forget the Lord's faithfulness, grace, and mercy when we were so undeserving and I will never stop thanking our God for the gift of my husband.

To read the whole story, click here.

{July 3rd, 1999}

{July 3rd, 2014 at sunset}

Sunday, June 15, 2014

First and Last Days--Homeschooling 2013-2014

We made it through another year of homeschooling-the end of my 8th year to be exact-with flying colors. :) Our last day was June 10th (last Tuesday).
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I got teacher burnout in April and May (more on what I learned in this burn-out later) but got a burst of perseverance from the Lord after some long prayer time that simultaneously came with the realization of how close we were to the finish line--I was wanting to give up when the end of school was in sight--and since that felt so ridiculous to me, it motivated me to keep on until the end, and kept on, we did!
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Right now we are enjoying doing absolutely nothing. It feels great to wake up and ask, "What do you feel like doing today?" And then do whatever we feel like that day without any commitments to tend to. It is SO freeing. I only registered them for their own age church camp, each for one week (though Chelsea is going to be a Junior Leader for both of the little kid camps and I couldn't be more thrilled about that), this summer, on purpose because I am not an "overbook our schedule so we are always on the go" type of mom.
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I'm a go with the flow, spontaneous, mellow mom who likes to enjoy the little things like sitting on the beach all day listening to the hum of the ocean and reading a good book while the sea breeze blows gently through my hair, or watching my kids laugh and jump and play in the pool with their friends. I am all for spontaneous relaxing friends time, not organized rushed stressed out anything time. :)
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Thankfully my kids are wired the same way. They are really good at enjoying the little things...so much so that I admire them. They are better at it than I am and so I learn how to do it better by watching them. I am thankful for that.
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We made a lot of progress this past school year, so much so that I felt like we accomplished a lot.
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That isn't to say that Gavin and I are not going to still work on his phonics curriculum (All About Reading Level 3) and finish his HSP Math book this summer--on the contrary, we are going to work on it, and I am happy that he wants to because I decided he has to. He has too many sick days in the year to take the entire summer off but it will be so much more relaxed to just do one lesson here and one there, taking our time, going off to have fun right after, because it doesn't take long to finish any of it.  
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Chelsea is done though. And she IS happy about it. Aside from reading like a maniac (as usual) she plans to not do anything school related all summer, and I am A okay with that!
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More on our new plans for our next school year, including what did work and what didn't work this year, and what we accomplished to come. For now, I am going to snuggle in bed with my family and watch Return of the Jedi for the upteenth time.

But how could you possibly watch Star Wars too much?

You can't, right?! :)

Monday, June 9, 2014

My Girl Turned 12

I have been wanting to write a blog post for so long now but I never have the time anymore...but our last day of school is tomorrow so hopefully I will have more time this summer to write. :)

A lot has happened in the past few months...first off, Chelsea turned 12!
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We celebrated her birthday in the most awesome way--camping at our favorite beach {to camp at} in a 28 foot travel trailer for the weekend--and her 4 best friends spent one of the nights there with us-- :)
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and two more good friends came for the day. :)
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The theme was "My Favorite Things", so everything was yellow--her favorite color in the world--with some aqua--her second favorite color.  I made a burlap pennant banner that said "sunshine" on it since "You are My Sunshine" has been her lullaby since she was born. I forgot to take a great picture of it, but you can see most of it below. It hangs proudly in her bedroom now, which I will show pictures of another day. :)
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I decorated with her favorite yellow daisies, mason jars, sea stars, her favorite ocean picture that I took, her favorite picture of her and her brother in a favorite yellow frame, and yellow candles that smell delicious {see above for all of that}.

I also made a "These are a few of my favorite things" print since The Sound of Music is one of her favorite movies and that song is one of her favorite songs. {This is in my Etsy Shop in multiple colors}.
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Then, we had all her favorite food (organic chicken hot dogs over the bonfire, with sea salt ruffles and all kinds of fruit; we had lemon drops and lollipops, shave ice, Shirley Temples for the drinks (with lots of cherries!) and dessert (peanut butter cup chocolate cupcakes and peanut butter cup ice cream)...all the party plates, napkins and table cloths were from Target (Mara Mi) and I put yellow peeps on top of the cupcakes because not only is it one of her favorite candies, but she LOVES birds, especially yellow ones. 
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Since we also held the party at her favorite beach {A.K.A. "Our Happy Place"), and we spent the weekend doing her favorite thing--camping at our happy place--all of it together was so perfect for her! We both think it was her best party ever.

I was happy with all of it until I realized I should have went way out like this next year when she turns 13. Oops. 

Our happy place was beautiful, as usual.
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And Gavin and Tim had fun too even though they were surrounded by girls. :)
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{Our messy-faced loves}
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And this was our last morning right before we checked out of the campsight to go home...
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It was an awesome weekend celebrating our favorite girl at Our Favorite {vacation} Happy Place--thank you Lord!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Taking Stock

I can't believe I went back to not blogging again when I was so motivated to be consistent. Life gets busy and I don't do busy well.  I saw this on Carissa's blog and I decided it's a great way for me to re-enter the blogging world....so here it is:

Taking Stock

Making: new prints for my Etsy shop...here's one.
Take Me Deeper Than My Feet Could Ever Wander--Oceans by Hillsong

Cooking: what's that?

Drinking : coffee...always.

Reading: I just finished The Hunger Games Trilogy and The Divergent Trilogy...both super awesome books. I decided it was time for a genre change so now I am reading Jane Eyre. I can't stop reading; I am seriously addicted.

Wanting: my new prescription progressive bi-focal lens glasses to be ready so that I can see well (hopefully)...I now can't see near or far well...not a great combination as a photographer, designer, reader and teacher. My eyes are so high maintenance that I need a stronger reading glasses for when I am editing and designing on the computer; the bi-focal progressive lens for all waking hours inside and the same prescription on super cool new sunglasses all waking hours outside. Let's just say that it was a hefty bill after insurance paid it's portion!

Looking: at my girl and how much she has grown...she's going to be a 7th grader!

Playing: nothing. Sad, I know.

Wasting: time on Pinterest, usually. :)

Sewing: Me? Ha. That was in my pre-mom days. Who has time for that now?

Wishing: there was more time in a day.

Enjoying: the fact that there are only 14 more days left of school until summer vacation is here and that we will get to be at the beach with our friends A.L.O.T. when it arrives!


Waiting: for summer vacation. {this picture below makes me think of summer vacation}


Liking: summer vacation...yes, I really want it to be summer vacation. Like yesterday.

Wondering: how our clinic appointment will go on Friday with our Mastocytosis specialist.

Loving: this new song I discovered called,  "Just Be Held" by Casting Crowns. It's AMAZING.

Hoping: that the plans we prayerfully made together as a family work out well and that the Lord will bless these plans every step of the way, assuring us that it was the right decision for our family.

Marveling: at how wonderful it feels to just let go of all that weighs me down and "Just Be Held" by my Lord and Savior who has it all in His hands (you really have to listen to this new Casting Crowns song!)...and at how I can say thank you in the storm.
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Needing: to focus on the cross instead of on my problems always. I forget. A lot.

Smelling: the night blooming jasmine outside my window. It's blissful.

Wearing: blue jeans, a white cami, and a grey hoodie. I am super comfy.

Knowing: that the Lord will provide for our every need even when I am not sure how.


Thinking: about how I will feel about wearing glasses all waking hours of the day...will I like the way I look? Feel? Will my headaches go away? Because that last one would be marvelous if the answer was yes.  

Giggling: at a text I sent to my friend Heather late last night. I said "before I shit in .jpeg....". I didn't even notice that I wrote shit instead of shot (as in photographed!) until she pointed it out by asking me, "What does a .jpeg shit smell like?" :) It made me laugh so hard and so loud that I woke up my family. I am still giggling over it. Even now as I type 24 hours later. OOPS and HA! :)


Excited: over how much progress Gavin has made in Math and especially, Reading(!) this past year....he's wrapping up his 2nd grade year as a just turned 9 year old on June 10th and he's officially a reader despite having Dyslexia! 

Feeling: silly, thankful, achy, tired, stressed, annoyed, the need to let go and trust, and soooooo ready to go to bed. It's after 2am, but hey, I finally posted on my blog again. Hooray and Night-Night! ;)