We survived…

Week one of home school, CHECK!

We did it, we survived!

This week went surprisingly well. She was such an eager student. I suppose part of that has to do with both of us being so excited about the new adventure we are on. But, for now I will try and remain naively optimistic that this is how every school week will go at our house… yeah right!

We had handwriting lessons F & E & math. In science we talked about the world that God made and what science is. We had a bible story, discussed the first fruit of the spirit, love. In Social studies we checked out Google earth. I found it amusing that she was just as fascinated as I was the first time I saw it. We talked about our community, read a book about different types of houses and made a sack house. And lastly phonics. I saw amazing progress in her reading skills in only one week! She was looking at picture and spelling words and reading full sentences unassisted. Not to bad for Kindergarten!


We not only survived our first week, we rocked it!

What adventures will next week bring?!


Today was our first day of Kindergarten.

Home school Kindergarten.

I NEVER imagined myself sitting at my dining room table teaching my child. But, there is something about it that just feels so right.

Am I still scared out of my mind? Completely. But with one day under our belts I am already confident that we made the best choice for our family.

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I am so excited for this year, excited to spend time with her, teach her, love on her and by God’s grace teach her about God and his saving grace.

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Crazy to see how much she has grown in a year.

We are so blessed.

The best six years of my life ~ Happy Anniversary

Today we have been married for 6 Years. 6 wonderful, trying, fast, beautiful, busy, seems like yesterday we got married years.


In 6 years we have had 2 kids and 4 job changes. We lost almost everything in a tornado, picked through the remains and tore down a house that had countless memories. Then we started over and rebuilt our home. We have had 12 cars (including some really cool vintage ones). We went on the most amazing trip to Disney World. I transitioned from working to being a stay at home mom. Most important we became part of an amazing, grace filled, really living out the gospel church. I can’t imagine what these 6 years would have been like if they hadn’t been a part of almost all of them.


Definitely the best 6 years of my life.

Happy Anniversary love, here is to many, many more!

She is beautiful

Marissa turned 5 in June and she had never had a real haircut. I have snipped at the ends a couple times, never trimming off much more than an inch at a time. On several occasions I have asked her if she would like her haircut. She has always looked at me like I am out of my mind and said a very disturbed “NO”. Like the kind of no that says why would you ask me such a bizarre question mom!!!


Until yesterday.

I was brushing and playing with her hair and I showed her what it would look like shorter. She got SO excited and said “Let’s do it!” “Get the scissors mom.” I was shocked, hesitant, and excited. As the day went along she kept asking and asking and asking when we would cut her hair. At bed time she asked again if we could cut her hair tomorrow. She had made up her mind and she wanted to do it now!

So, we did!


At 10:00 this morning she chopped right at 8″ of hair off grinning the whole entire time.

Best part is she cut just enough of to donate it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. She was excited about being able to donate her hair after I explained the cause the best I could to her five year old brain.

She absolutely loves her new hair and can’t wait til daddy gets home so she can surprise him.

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She is beautiful, inside and out. I am so proud to call her mine.

My very first giveaway!

So remember a couple weeks ago when I took my girls on a random photo shoot? I said I had big plans for that picture and I am ready to let you know what they are…


Isn’t it beautiful?! This picture doesn’t even come close to doing it justice.

I recently teamed up with Easycanvasprints.com, they were amazing to work with. Their website was super user friendly and easy to navigate. I was amazed at how quickly I was able to get my order ready for purchasing. They also give you loads of options and great examples of what your order will look like. I really dislike ordering something and having it turn out to be a disappointment. Easycanvasprints.com will not disappoint you! They also constantly have sales and promotions going on. I know you will be surprised at just how affordable their products are. The hardest part for me will be figuring out where I want to put this picture!

This picture isn’t all Easy Canvas Prints had in mind. They also have offered to host a giveaway. One of my readers will win a FREE 8×10 canvas print and everyone that registers will receive a 60% off coupon! The giveaway will start today and run through 8/28. Anyone who lives in North America is eligible to win!

Enter here!!!

Here are some links for Easy Canvas Prints and their affiliates. Check them out

Photo to Canvas

Easy Canvas Prints recommends:

Bumper Sticker Maker
Banner Maker

custom shirts
Custom T-Shirts

So today we went to the park

It is amazing at how much you can get accomplished when you wake up just a tiny bit earlier. Typically I barely am able to roll myself out of bed around 7:30. I leave just enough time to go get Emily up, pour juice cups for the girls and fix Russ something to eat before he walks out the door. This leaves no time for me to get around without interruptions and no time for me to mentally wake up before being bombarded with giggles and questions. Most important I am rushing into my day without even giving a second thought to the one who should most consume me. A God who loves me completely and want me to put my hope and trust in him. He desires a relationship with me…. but I just didn’t have time for that, especially in the morning. It is easy to realize how absurd that sounds, but 6:30 comes and it is hard to put those thoughts into action. I knew this needed to change so I recently started putting a greater effort into waking up early. It is hard, but it has been so good.

This morning I was thinking about how much I had already accomplished it wasn’t even 8:30 and so much was done. Then I heard the pitter-patter (or small heard of elephants) running toward me. Two bright eyed blonde girls who excitedly said “MOM, can we go to the park?” My heart sank and I verbally let out an ugh. My first thought in my head was “I don’t want to go to the park”. I didn’t, it wan’t on my list of fun things I could do and it certainly wasn’t on my agenda. Key words revealing my sinful attitude, I and my. I was being completely selfish not even giving a second thought to what sounded fun to them. Just 1 minute before I was thinking of how ahead of the game I was. It should have been clear to me that a 45 minute trip to the park wouldn’t ruin the days schedule. Sometimes as a mom I forget that I am not just an “I” I am an “Us”. Not that I times don’t exist, they are important and needed. But on a day to day basis we operate as an us unit. My schedule is our schedule and I need to be more intentional at not just filling it with things that bring me joy, but my girls to. Sometimes I may not want to go to the park but maybe I should that day because I love my children. So today we went to the park. We may not go every time they ask but hopefully the next time they do my heart won’t be so selfishly tied to an agenda, or my desires. Maybe I will react with a positive attitude and be excited about something that brings them joy. After all, it isn’t all about me.

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God bless the sister

From the moment I found out Emily was going to be a girl I was excited. Excited for even more pink, and sparkles. Excited for the familiar. But most of all I was beyond excited that Marissa would have something that I never had, but always wanted… a sister. The picture in my head was fairy tale like. BFF’s forever, loving, nurturing, and caring for each other. I never in my life pictured the flip side to the coin. which happens to involve a lot of drama.

From the very moment I thought about sisters I thought about this…

I adore this movie, and I adore this song. Some days it seems like my hope and prayer may never come true among the bickering over whose doll is whose, or which one gets the pink bowl today. Some days Marissa wants to help Emily with everything and Emily just wants to be left alone.  But other times leave me hopefully optimistic that they are forming an amazing bond that will never break.

For now I am just trying to stay calm, have extra grace and pray a lot! I hope I am teaching them the value of the each other. Having a sister is a blessing and a gift that I pray they will always cherish.

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A trip that never seems to happen…

Today wasn’t the day we had originally planned.

Plan A had been made months ago, finally after last years trip never happening we had planned an early anniversary trip. Nothing fancy, just a one night quick get-away to Branson. We booked the room over 2 months ago and were pumped to finally have something planned. After 5 years of parenthood we were finally going out of town for our first overnight trip. Then, then things changed. Thing changed for reasons more complicated than I care to try and explain in writing. To summarize things just weren’t working out the way we hoped they would to be able to leave the girls overnight. So, we felt it was in their best interest for us to just cancel. I thought I would be angry, or upset, or bummed but I wasn’t. I think this is Gods grace. I never once was upset about the change of plans. I knew we were doing what was best for the girls even though that meant sacrificing a trip.

So, we went with plan B. At first we didn’t have a plan B. But we figured one out. Russ already had the day off work why not make the best out of it! We decided to go out of town to spend some fun time together as a family. We slept in, comparatively speaking. Drove to Springfield and went to Russ’ sisters house for a quick visit. From there we left and went downtown. We took the girls to a real restaurant for lunch at The Springfield Brew Co. They were so well behaved and they actually ate their food which always equals a proud mommy moment. After that we took them to the Discovery Center for a fun filled action packed afternoon of over stimulation. After about 3 hours of more excitement than I could handle we stopped by a book store to grab a devotional book I had been eyeing for the girls and headed home. Today was a great day. Even though it wasn’t plan A and even when a trip that never seems to happen is once again delayed. Sometimes Plan B can be even better.

Spending time with the most important people in my life was just what I needed today.

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Photo shoot

You know how tricky it can be to get a decent picture of a child? I imagine this is a problem that seems to be multiplied by the number of children you have under the age of 10. Yesterday I took the girls down town to snap a new picture of them. The last one that I had done was over a year ago. I kept meaning to take them and have another made but the portrait place has been being remodeled and it really hasn’t been in the budget either. So, I got this crazy idea that I could do it myself. Surely I could snap a picture and with a little help from it would turn into something beautiful. I was even ambitious crazy enough to envision multiple poses and individual shots. So, at 8:30 after hair and a few melt downs over wardrobe choices (Emily our 2 year old is apparently VERY opinionated)  we went out and I started snapping away. I QUICKLY realized this wasn’t going to be the experience I hoped for. But I made the best of it snapped about 40 pictures loaded the kids up and came home. As soon as we got back I popped my memory card in the computer and realized that not one of the 40 pics I took was good. I almost gave up. I told the kids were going back they both let out some sighs, we immediately loaded up and went back. This time I decided to simplify things and make it as quick as possible. I took about 15 pics and felt confident I had gotten a good one for sure this time.

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We didn’t get multiple backgrounds, individual shots or wardrobe changes. Emily isn’t wearing exactly what I thought she would wear and she IS wearing her sneakers. That girl LOVES her sneakers and cries anytime you put anything else on her feet. I didn’t spend hours curling, straightening or fixing their hair. But I did get one shot, one single shot that captures exactly who they are.


Exciting things are in store for this picture… stay tuned for more details about that!