Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Real Merry Christmas

I started to put up a lovely photo of our four children, when I realized there were actually way more of the not so lovely shots of my kids. And then I decided I was just going to be real about this Christmas greeting. 

We have a lot of kids. And sometimes...or a lot of time... I feel like we're barely keeping up with them.

 They move fast, talk fast, react fast, play fast, mess a house up fast, and make life go by quickly

 So, I try, really hard chase them slowly. To move slow and make schedules slow and speak slow and react slow-this one is so hard to stay on top of- and be slow within our home and what we commit to outside of our home. 

 Some moments my cup flows. Over and over. Some times, I want to pull my hair out, crawl into a corner and cry. And then take a huge nap.

 Having so many kids has made me appreciate the little things more and worry less about the big ones. You know, sometimes it's just enough the way things are. We're enough.

 The hustle and bustle of the daily happenings can easily defeat a person's spirit here if you don't keep a pocket full of humor and big serving of grace. And a lot of love. Lots. And do-overs.

 We've got big kids here and little kids here and I'm not sure who I am failing more at times, but we're together and we have a Savior and He is the one who reminds me that they are His... and He is faithful to them... sometimes through me and sometimes through the kind help of others.

 But you know what? For as tough as some days get here... I've yet to lay my head down at night and not feel so ever thankful for...

 I am learning so much through these hard, wonderful, tiring, joy filled years.

 We actually have gotten a few things right...and when we don't, we try again. Sometimes more then once. "I'm sorry's" are a big deal here.

 We've got healthy kids...a little mouthy and whiney at times... but they are healthy and fill my days with much purpose for this season.

 We are all growing together, we are learning and stories are being written as we raise this abundance of gifts. I am amazed at how our children are shaping up to be and love each of their unique knitting.

And as we leave another Christmas season, I am thankful for the not so perfect people God has planted in our lives to help raise our not so perfect kids, and a God who gives me second chances we've I've lived a not so perfect day.

And that list of not-so-perfect people that we live life with is an example of His perfect love. To end one year and start another knowing we've got faith filled friends and family and a house full of blessings to call ours, makes for a real merry christmas from our house to yours... it's not perfect, but its wrapped in His love and grace. In all the mess that life brings with us, we celebrate and adore the One who was born in a stable for every single one of us. 

Have a Real Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

little helpers

While I hold many memories of standing next to my grandmother's and my own mom in the kitchen, I hope my own kids are building the same thing in their hearts. Between the pouring and the spilling and the stirring and the mess the elbow bumping and chatting and laughing and learning and creating with each other. I love (most the time) a counter full of willing helpers. And we always have to eat, so why not do it together? Plus, nothing woo's a gal more then a man that can cook for her! I'm just training them before they meet that lucky gal... ;-)

Friday, December 20, 2013

quick, the last of fall

The first day of winter is tomorrow. It seemed appropriate to finish up a few falls pictures before we leaped into a new season. So here's a few of my fave's...

Savannah's 1st Halloween. Literally so excited about it she was asleep standing up. Or maybe so tired from it, she couldn't keep her head up :)

 She made up for it later...
 Fall party 2013...a beautiful night out in our back-yard with some of our favorite people! I forgot to get the camera out until every single person was gone... oh well, here's what was left when everyone went home. 4 sweet, happy hearted kids. 

 Pure unfiltered beauty. Our yard. Our beautiful Creator at His best...

 Sis tried her first food! Squash it was.

 Daddy snuggles.
 This boy, turning a corner... a sweet side of him shining through more and more each day. Knock on wood.

 And don't forget all the fun in our front yard in the fall!!

 A little work...
 and a little play. Or a lot of play!

 First snow... seeing my kids faces wake up and see snow is magical. I get sad when they wake up some year and no longer see the wonder in a world full of sparkling white fluff.

 Savannah...up on all fours and wanting to crawl. Scooting everywhere!

 Boys being boys. Wrestling until someone gets hurt...every single time. Sigh....

 And a 6 month old already? Gheesh! Where do the months go?

Just a lot going on always...baths, potato peeling, dinner making, game playing... 

we are never bored here! Welcome Winter! See you tomorrow! After you comes...spring, yeah!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

we're back

After two computer deaths in the last couple weeks...we are back!

And just in time for the sweet gathering of our favorite little people and one of the most wonderful times of the year...

Friday, November 8, 2013

it was apple season here!

We have lived in our home for almost 10 years now and never have we had a supply of apples from our back-yard trees like this year. It was so awesome. The best part...not sprayed with anything and they tasted good! We have some bee friends who joined our neighborhood awhile ago and I think our little busy friends did a pretty good job this year! I think we'll be happy to have them stay...

 This kid picked apple after apple after apple...

 The trees just kept producing and we couldn't even use them fast enough.

 Hauling in baskets of your own fresh produce from your yard might be one of the best feelings as a food consumer!

 No really, we had a.lot.of.apples.

 What a gift to feed our family and our neighbors and our baby girl this winter!

 A sight to see... this outdoors loving boy climbing the apple trees and bringing me many arms full looking like this...

 Carson was all about the cooking process. 

 We spent afternoons making applesauce, babyfood, apple pies, apple crisp, apple muffins... you name it, we probably tried it this year.

 This was a wedding gift. And most days it collects dust in my cupboards, but it showed off in style this fall! (Thank you, Russell family :)

And some how I have no final product pictures. So I leave you with this...a bowl full of peelings that tell me apples and this house of six will be enjoying sweet treats all winter!