Friday, November 21, 2014

Sophie's Indian Pow Wow

Yesterday I had the privilege of going to Sophie's preschool's "Indian Pow Wow".  Those little kids had so much fun.  They roasted marshmallows,  hot dog wieners, played cowboys and indians (go figure), just really had a good time. 

I love her little face here :)!

The glare was so bad... it was hard  get a good class picture.

Sophie and her friend, Sara Kate playing in the tee-pee

Eating a yummy marshmallow

Soph and Ms. Becky

And she got to see her friend Emmie Kate :)
I am so thankful that she gets to make sweet memories like this.  Karter still remembers and talks about his Indian Pow Wow last year. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Packing 2500 Shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child

We have looked forward to this night for a while now.  The rush that you get as you are packing the shoe-boxes is unforgettable.  This year our church packed a little over 2500 boxes.  It was once again, amazing. 

For a crowd this size and that many boxes, everything has to be organized.  VERY organized.  There are a lot of people that spend numerous hours working and preparing for this night.  It definitely didn't happen over night. 

Our children's classes wrote letters to put in the boxes.  Out of all the boxes I was so surprised when we picked up one of Heidi's very own letters.  I was blown away. I took a quick picture as she was trying to get it away from me to start stuffing.  THEN I had SEVERAL people come up to me and said they too had gotten a box with her letter and that it made them cry.  I was so thankful I thought to take a picture so I could read it later.  Heidi wouldn't tell me what she wrote in it.  My friend, Stacy, got a picture of one that she found too.  It completely melted my heart when I read it.  Just to know that she wrote this same letter for several boxes to be delivered to boys and girls all over the World. She is a special kid with a big heart.
....ANDDDDD..... to end the night we were enjoying eating a chicken finger plate in the chaotic kitchen, when Sophie knocked over her tea glass.  I got the mess cleaned up and stood in line while they made more tea.  Once I got it, I headed back to the table.  She had just got back in my lap when all of a sudden the second cup of tea fell out of her hands.  It. Was. A. Mess!!  Thankfully I had some help cleaning it up, but I had no hope for my clothes at that time.  I boxed up the plates and we headed home :)!!  I hadn't been more happier to change clothes than I was last night in a long time.....
If you have never packed a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child, I highly recommend you doing that.  Do it with your children, grandchildren, or just for yourself.  The feeling it gives you is indescribable.

This is my blog post from last year when we did it.  What an amazing memory for our children.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

10 Things Every Spouse Needs (dotMom)

I can't believe that I haven't already blogged about this.  When I went to DotMom in September, I went to a break out session called, 10 Things Every Spouse Needs.  I know what I want from Kyle,  but do I really know what he wants/needs from me?  Steve and Debbie Wilson did a fantastic job explaining what each spouse needs and I wanted to share it with you all. 

Fundamental Verse: Eph 4:4, "You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both inwardly and outwardly."

* We have to love steadily.  We cannot just pick and choose when we love.  A good example of this is when a farmer's cows knock a fence down, the farmer has to fix it right away.  He can't just wait around to fix the fence or more problems come up.  When our "fences" get knocked down in our marriages, we have to do the same thing.  

(1)To feel valued
* The biggest way to show value is the way you look at your spouse and listen to him/her.
* Your family desperately wants to know they are important to you.  Ask your spouse what makes them feel valued by you.
* We need to value our husbands/wives as much as we want him/her to value us.

(2)Honest & open communication
*When your husband asks you what's wrong, QUIT SAYING, "Nothing! I'm Fine!".  TELL HIM what is really wrong!!!
      ---Bless Kyle, he knows that when I say, "nothing", that something is up and he will insist on me telling him.

(3) My shoulder before my mouth
* When something is wrong, the 1st thing your husband wants to do is offer a solution.  Tell your husband that you want him to ask questions.
 * This is hard to do.  Crying makes people uncomfortable.
        ---Kyle has seen me cry so many times this past year it isn't funny.  YESSSSS a lot of the times were at a silly Netflix movie, but some of the time was just from.... "life".  Sometimes he will just give me a big hug and no words are needed to be said.  He is offering his shoulder to me and I know that by being embraced in his arms that I have the comfort that I need.
* We also don't know how to grieve.  We are used to people telling us to "get over it".
      --- Eventually the grieving will catch up to you.  When it does, you'll come crashing down.  It is hard to not hold things in,  but that is what our spouse is for.  Our best friend.  Our go to.
* Our husbands are taught when they are just a child to be "macho", but they also have a heart.  Things that bother us can just as easily bother them.  We need to make sure our shoulder is there for them when they need it.

(4)To know I will defend them
* In our marriage our spouses may do something we don't agree with, but we have to have their back.

(5)To be held and touched
*Our marriages have stopped doing this.  Touch is healing.  It softens the heart.
* James Dobson said, "Your husband needs 1 ten second kiss a day". 

*Your spouse needs an "at a boy". 
*Let them know how proud you are of them.
*Affirmation is a choice.
      --- I try to tell Kyle very often how very proud of him I am.  I don't have to put it on facebook to tell him.  I just tell him.  I tell him in person, I tell  him on the phone, text, or emails when he is at work.  He sacrifices A LOT to provide for our family and I am forever thankful for that and oh so proud of him.  Plus I call  him the, "Doctor of Mechanics"..... he can fix just about anything.  He can take something a part and put it back together like it was nothing.  I am proud of him and I try to make sure he knows that

(7)Quality Time
*You have to carve out quality time for your spouse. 
*Quality time is really being present.  Being on your phone or doing something else while talking to your spouse is not being present. 

(8)A partner
* Do things together.  (EX: Debbie took golf lessons thinking she would learn to love the game to be with her husband.  BUT she decided she didn't want to play.  She just enjoyed being with him more than anything.)
     --- This made me think of my friend Kayla and her husband.  Her husband LOVES to play golf and I used to tell her all the time to go with him and ride/drive the golf cart. I used to look forward to going with my dad so that I could drive the cart around the course.
     --- When Kyle is home, he is constantly dragging me to check deer cameras, or get under his truck with him to help him tinker with something, etc.  Although it is things that I don't necessarily enjoy, I enjoy being with him.

* Your husbands are still little boys in big bodies.
     --- CAN I GET AN AMEN???  I have been guilty of telling Kyle that I feel like I have 4 kids when he  is home.  BUT the kids love having a Daddy that constantly plays with them, and I am thankful that they have an involved Daddy too.

* We get married to enjoy life with someone.

(9)Forgiving Heart
* Let's face it...... forgiving is hard. 
* Our marriage should reflect God at all times.

(10)Pray for each other
*Your spouse needs to hear you pray for them.  The most important thing you can do is pray together.  Let your kids hear you pray.

One of the biggest complaints in marriages is "my needs aren't being met!".  I came home after dotMom ready to be the best wife and mom I could possibly be.  Marriages are a constant partnership.  It takes two to make it work!  Hopefully these ten things will help you the way they did me.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Wonder Works Weekend

 Saturday morning after prayer breakfast we loaded up and headed to the beach for the day.  My aunt and uncle had a condo for the weekend, so we hung out there and took the kids to Wonder Works.  Lots of fun!
 Dad and Aunt Kathy doing an upside down ride.... they were the only two brave enough :)!

 The huge bubbles were lots of fun....

Sophie and Papa moving a ball with their mind. 

Heidi snap chatted this while the other kids were playing arcade games.

My cool Karter Man!

Sophie, Frazier, and Karter
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend as well :)!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

In This House We Will Giggle

 My friend, Valerie, surprised me with this book (she went to college with the author)...
 It has become my school line read.

So far I have really enjoyed it. 

In the intro I came across this page....

She hit the nail on the head for me.  Raising kids is so tough!  It is the absolutely most rewarding experience EVER.... but it oh so hard at the same time.  When they are little, they are sweet and very dependent on you.  The older they get, the sassier they become and the more "independent" they think they are.  It makes it hard to figure out the correct discipline sometimes.  Each child is so different that this method or that works on this child, but not that one. 

I liked how she said that her daughters were not her whole world.  So many times we say, "our children are our whole world".... but they shouldn't be.  God should be our whole world.  If He is our whole world, then our children will see that and He will hopefully be their whole world too.

Being a single Mom for 3 weeks at a time can become tremendously overwhelming.  Especially when some are sick, or they don't sleep nights on end (yes.... my 4 and 5 year old still get up sometimes.... twice this week... which twice is a huge improvement), or they get hurt.... and the list goes on and on and on.  Sometimes it is hard not to let finances, sickness, chaos, etc.  get in the way of being the best Mom that I possibly can. It is my job to make sure they know and understand that they are God's children before they are mine.  He has just lent them to me here on earth.  I am so grateful that He chose me to mother them.

I want our home to be full of giggles, laughter, and lots of tickles.  I want our children to grow up wanting their home to be like ours is now. 

Most of all, I want our children to know that God should be the most important thing in our lives.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pumpkin Creating/Carving, Pnut Festival Fun

 The 3rd grade does a pumpkin competition every year.  Heidi has been looking forward to it since about the 1st grade and we have had many conversations about what she wanted to do over the past couple years.  I wanted to make sure it was her project and not mine.  So all of the ideas were all hers.  They could only use 1 pumpkin and it couldn't be carved :)!!  She decided on a butterfly... and although she didn't place, she had a lot of fun making it.

 Unfortunately, the ball we had gotten for the middle section of the butterfly wouldn't stick.  We tried for a couple days to get it to stay on.  So it had to be a 2 sectioned butterfly :)!  I did paint the face, and Kyle helped to assemble it.  Other than that, it was all her :)!!
She created this on my phone.  I thought it was cute because Kman was in the background on the one :)!
 Now to think about Karter's pumpkin :)!! Thankfully we have a few years.  

We ate supper with Kyle's Uncle Randy and Aunt Angela for his Uncle Randy's birthday... the kids had a lot of fun getting their Halloween treats and Aunt Ang got them all crafty things to make Halloween cards with. 
 .... and then it was pumpkin carving time......

 They each drew their own faces and we helped them carve them out. 
(excuse the sad pot that needs redoing in the background)
 We also went to the Peanut Festival last week.  We hadn't been since Heidi was little.  We had a BLAST!  We were so glad that Trey was able to go with us.....

It didn't bother Sophie one bit to ride with complete strangers.

Sophie couldn't ride the ride in the next picture, so while we waited we took a selfie :)

 Now before we know it it will be Thanksgiving and then Christmas.... OH MY!!!