Friday, December 31, 2010

Just a few Christmas Moments

A few things I wanted to remember about this Christmas...

- My (almost) 2-year old nephew saying "so much" when I told him "Aunt Cathy loves you!"
- Sarah saying the favorite thing she got for Christmas was love, laughter and celebrating Jesus' birthday - then her DSi.
- Morgan leaving a note for Santa that said "My sister made this book. it is good. I think you should read it." It was called "The Gingerbread Princess"
- My mom making her yummy homemade hot fudge sauce, not once, but twice!
- Staying up til the wee hours of the morning one night just talking and laughing about nothing in particular with Mike.
- My neice staying the night and all 3 girls sleeping in one twin bed. Giggling and singing and telling stories. Too cute!

Of course there were other memories - but for some reason, my heart wanted to capture these ones tonight. 

2010 has been a wonderful year and I look forward to living deeply and fully in 2011!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I know a lot of people have busy Christmases - rushing here and there, trying to see both sides of their families, often putting up with 'crazy' in-laws.   And I'm sure if I was in their shoes, I'd sometimes sigh in the midst of it too.

Yet, today, as we were cleaning the snow off the gravestones of Mike's dad, mom and sister, I felt a silent ache.  The truth is our Christmases should be filled with hustle and bustle and too much family.  We should be sharing laughter around the fireplace with my in-laws too. We should not be standing outside in the cold, trying to explain to our daughter why sometimes little sisters die before their big brothers. 

And while I am super thankful for my family and all the time I get to enjoy just hanging and relaxing with them - I know I'd share it in a heartbeat in order to crowd in the love of both families to our holiday festivities.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas from the Bakers!

So as another year comes to a close, here is my last A to Z list for 2010.  We are thankful for a savior, born long ago, in whom we find freedom, hope and happiness, not only at Christmas, but all year long.

A – A to Z Summer Fun activities all summer long.
B – Brick-laying, Mike tackled a new project of making benches with some leftover bricks. Love them!
C – Celebrated our 16th Anniversary with a float trip down the Buffalo River in Arkansas.
D – Daisy dog blew out her knee and had to have surgery – she was pretty cute in her pink cast.
E – Entertained by the girls singing and dancing on their stage.
F – Fairy Fortresses built in the woods.
G – Girl Scouts-both Morgan & Sarah still participating. Sold 200+ boxes of cookies!
H – Happiness found in all the little things. Especially in the smiles of our girls.
I – Ice cream – ate it every chance we got!
J – Job change for Cathy, went from being an Aide @school to subbing, and spending extra time writing, hoping to pursue that passion more.
K – Keeping in touch with friends & family thru facebook and blog
L – Lawnmower needed lots of repairs, but Mike got a welder out of the whole deal.
M – Michigan Memories with Cathy’s family.
N– Neighbors. We have been thankful over and over again that we moved into this neighborhood two years ago. We love our neighbors!
O – Overnight camp for the girls (first time!). We all had 2 nights of fun.
P – Pomme de Terre Lake (aka, Potato Lake)– camping, boating, tubing, friends
Q – Quiet times to enjoy lots of reading and good stories. So many talented authors.
R – Running. Mike, Cathy & Morgan all ran their first 5k race!
S – Soccer – Sarah played soccer for the first time.
T – Treasure Hunting – Still enjoying geocaching!
U – Upstate New York memories with Mike’s family. Loved Niagara Falls.
V –Visits from Cathy’s parents in March and October.
W – Wildfire rollercoaster rides @ Silver Dollar City (upside down 5x).
X – Xcellent Health, which we try not to take for granted.
Y – Years old, Morgan, 9 yrs (4th grade); Sarah 7 old (2nd Grade)
Z – Zoo – of course we made it to the zoo this year – twice!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

20th Christmas

So, I got to thinking (ok, so my brain never stops thinking!), that this makes the 20th Christmas that Mike and I have shared.  Wow. 

So, that first Christmas, in 1991, I got him a sweater. I loved it. Um yeah, he hates sweaters. It was the last sweater he ever wore or owned since I've known him.  He got me a Mich. State Sweatshirt. I loved it and wore it until I ruined it by leaning into a greasy vent in a plane we were touring. Now I just steal his MSU sweatshirts.  He also got me a Precious Moment figurine. The one with the little boy holding the mistletoe on a fishing pole over the little girl. Awwww. 

We didn't actually spend Christmas day together, as he still travelled with his family to New York until we were married. But I remember before he left, I gave him a card and in the ice on the card were the words "I Love You"! It was the first I had really said those words to him. We had started dating in September (the week before he went away to college and I was in my senior year of HS), and in October he had said "I love you" and I said something like, "you don't love don't even know me!"  And he said, "I love everything I do know about you!" :) Apparently we fell in love pretty quickly!!

Who knew, here we'd be 20 Christmases later, deeply in love after all these years, sharing this amazing life, with two beautiful daughters?!  All I know is that I thank God everyday for the gift of my husband and that "I love you" grows sweeter and sweeter with each passing year we share!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Perspective

So, I've probably spent a little too much on our girls this year. I don't know why.  Maybe because Morgan didn't want to see Santa this year. Maybe 'cuz I feel these precious childhood years slipping by.  Maybe 'cuz I can. Maybe just 'cuz I love them and want to shower them with gifts. 

For the past three years, we've helped at 2nd Saturday at our church.  1500 people came this last Saturday... and our church gave them toys, food for Christmas dinner, visit Santa, a winter wonderland with awesome bounce houses, free haircuts, free immunizations, donuts.  It's pretty awesome.  So our pastor just posted this letter on his blog:

A story I wanted to pass along…

I teach first grade in miller (a rural school district outside of Springfield.) One of my sweet girls came in today telling me how excited she was about a present she had gotten this weekend at a church. As a member of NPC, I had an idea she was part of second Saturday. When I asked her about the gift she said it was the only one she would get this year and it was a littlest pet shop toy. Even though she knew what it was, she wrapped it up when she got home and and would open it on Christmas.

I have been going to north point for almost 4 years now and have served at kid point for most of that time. I have seen a lot of changed lives, but this one just hit a little closer to home than normal.So, a great big thank you for your vision and heart for my sweet kids.

Ok, let me give that girl a Merry Christmas! Let me spoil her like I spoil my own kids! Oh, it was the Christmas perspective I was needing today.  I don't know if I'm more excited for my girls to get home to open the presents that arrived in the mail today, or to read them this letter and tell them about how they were a part of making a little girl very happy.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Celebrating Darian: Part Two

The girls with their favorite sitter. Beautiful.

Darian helped add some of the gorgeous decorative
touches to her wedding cake.

Mr. and Mrs. Stinson

The Happy Couple

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Celebrating Darian

Darian has been an amazing part of our family for the past 9 years!! She is one of the sweetest, most giving, kindest, un-selfish, fun people we know! And for whatever reason, she has decided to LOVE our girls these past 9 years (really, she loves all kids!)  She has graciously watched our kids for several weekends for the past few years. This was an email she sent me last summer: No thanks necessary for last weekend. I should be thanking you for "sharing" the girls with me. We always have such a good time! I'm looking forward to our weekend next month. One day just wasn't long enough!!! Ok, what parent doesn't love to hear that when we leave them for a weekend!?! On top of that she makes them amazing birthday cakes. Darian always makes our girls feel special, important, and loved, no matter how short or long her time is with them.  She comes to their games and activities when she can. To say she is a blessing in our life falls short of how much we love her!!

Well today is her day!!  She is getting married today!! We are super excited for her and Beau. We look forward to watching them create a beautiful life and family together in the years to come.  Someone as beautiful as she is, deserves all the happiness her heart can hold!! We're thankful we get to be a part her life and this very special day!! I'm sure more pictures will follow!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Strange Conversation

Here at the Baker house, sometimes we have the strangest conversations. Here's last night's:

Mike: Can I pull out some of your hair?
Sarah: (with a look that he's slightly crazy) NO!
Mike: It's for Science!
Sarah: (with a look that he's still slightly crazy) Well, Okay.

So, Sarah,  Morgan and I proceeded to surrender a few strands of  hair (roots and all), as he carefully placed them each in their own Ziploc bag.  Apparently at the crime lab he's doing some training for a new employee and needs some samples. Ah, glad we could help fight crime! We jokingly told the girls they 'better be good' because we had standards for any evidence now! (I know most people, this time of year, are telling their kids they better be good 'cuz Santa is coming! Like I said, strange conversations!)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Last Day on Earth

Fourteen years ago, this was (most likely) Mike's mom's and Mike's sister's last day on Earth.  They did not know it would be their last day. We did not know it would be their last day. Yet, their last day came. One moment that forever ended their lives and changed ours. Forever.

I wonder how they spent their last day. I wonder what their thoughts were. I wonder if they would have done anything different if they knew it was their last day. Oh, if I had known it was their last day, I'm certain I would have said a few things more to them, but mostly, I'm thankful for the great relationship I had with them - one filled with both joy and laughter!

The small gift I've received through all of this, is the gift of cherishing every day.  Life is a sweet gift and we are never promised tomorrow.  Really, all we have this moment.  This moment is life. Full of life. I don't always appreciate it, but I try. Try to make the most of this beautiful life I've been given.  To wake up grateful that I have this breath. Grateful that I am surrounded by my family's love. Grateful for the the memories I have which remind me of all that is important in life.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Traditions

My mom did a great job of creating Christmas traditions for us when we were kids.  I remember driving around looking at Christmas lights every Christmas eve. We also got new pjs every Christmas eve.   We got new ornaments every year and she always let us have our own tree to decorate. There were tiny stocking ornaments on the tree that she always put lifesavers or gum in. Even now, I smile, thinking back on these traditions.

Now that I'm grown, there are a few decorations that I enjoy every year. Actually, there are lots of things I enjoy really - lots of my ornaments and decorations are handmade gifts of love. They just make me smile when I get them out.   

Here is my absolute favorite decoration. It's our tree skirt. Mike's mom made the skirt. Then my mom painted it.  This is just one of the pictures on it. Every year I get it out, I just hold it. Admire the talent. and let the tears fill my eyes with all the love I feel. 

One of the easiest things I do (and it's cheap!), yet has a big 'wow' factor - is wrapping the girls bedroom doors up as presents.  I was super happy when they gasped with joy when they saw their doors again this year.
Another tradition I started is our 'countdown to Michigan' stockings.  We are never here on Christmas Day, so I just do it for the 24 days before we leave...and that means the stocking opening started today!! At our last house, I hung them on a clothesline on our stairway. At our new place, I have them on suction cup hooks in the window.  They have pieces to the nativity set in each stocking (I bought an unbreakable set for this purpose).  Each day we tell part of the Christmas story.  I also have small prizes and candy on some days, as we don't have 24 pieces to our nativity set.  Last year I added another element to the stocking.  It's a slip of paper with a family activity on it.  It's my reminder to slow down and enjoy the season with them.  Includes things like, watch a Christmas movie, do something kind for someone, play a game wearing Santa hats, bake cookies, do a Christmas craft, go see Santa, etc. 

Lastly, Morgan made me hot cocoa last weekend... as you can see, we go all out and have 1st class hot cocoa in our house... marshmallows, whipped topping and sprinkles! Life is just too short to drink just plain hot cocoa!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Our Thanksgiving Day

 Being that on Thanksgiving Day my heart is both abundantly full and tenderly aching at the same time, I've come to appreciate the peacefulness and laid-back-ness to our Thanksgiving Days.  Here are a few moments I wanted to remember about today.

We slept in a bit, then enjoyed cinnamon rolls while watching the Macy's Day Parade on TV, in our pjs, as the sleet and freezing rain fell outside.

The girls also enjoyed a scavenger hunt around the house.  As soon as they were done, Sarah wanted to make a scavenger hunt for us.  Then Morgan made one. We enjoyed finding their treasures.

For the past several years, the girls have made all the dishes for our thanksgiving meal. Mike takes care of the turkey, because frankly, I don't touch raw turkeys. I assist the girls as needed, but they are getting so grown up and are doing a great job reading recipes and making yummy dishes. 

As Sarah, Mike and I worked on a puzzle, Morgan insisted on setting and decorating the Thanksgiving table all by herself. Didn't she do a beautiful job? Candles, leaves, fancy glasses. 

As we sat down and filled our plates, I looked over at Sarah and she just had a look of pure happiness on her face - smiling at the fancy table before her.  It was precious. 

The girls insisted on toasting our sparkling grape juice...for the many things we have to be thankful for.  They both wanted to say our Thanksgiving grace today. And they both did.

I got a nap in this afternoon, Mike got to watch some football, and then had 2 desserts! Then off to our annual tradition of ice skating downtown!
We returned home, had a cozy fire, and ended the day watching Miracle on 34th Street together.  Relaxing. Perfect.

I also enjoyed the phone calls that connected me to my family whom I could not be with in person today.

A to Z Gratitude: Part Two

Ok, here's the rest of my list.

N – North Point Church (and the 1000s of lives changed every year because of it.)
O – Opportunities to celebrate milestones (like Darian & Beau’s upcoming wedding!)
P – Photos (that capture so many sweet memories on life’s journey.)
Q – Quietness (that replenishes my soul.)
R – Remembering those I love (thru tangible things they made me…paintings, woodworking, baskets, quilts, and other things around my home)
S – Sarah (who reminds me to enjoy the moment, who is both sweetness and compassion, and who adds much joy to my life as I share life’s journey with her.)
T – Teacher Friends (who keep requesting me as a sub!)
U – Unrushed evenings (where we can kick back and relax.)
V – Visits from mom & dad (every Spring and Fall for the past 14 years we’ve been in Missouri)
W – Writing (and chances to pursue writing as a career)
X – Xcellent Health (for myself and my family)
Y – Yesterdays memories (of holidays spent with my cousins.)
Z — Zippers (‘cuz it’s ‘z’ and ‘cuz they add a lot of convenience to my life! Afterall, it’s the little things in life!)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Daddy's Christmas Present

So, I ask the girls what they want to get their dad for Christmas.  To which one responds, and the other agrees, "Work Clothes - not the kind he wears to work, the kind he wears to fix the lawnmower and other stuff!"  So, after I stop laughing, I explain that work clothes are old clothes we no longer want or have gotten to worn to wear for nice. 

But I was thinking, why would they say that?  It's because they have a great dad, that's why! Who is super handy at fixing (almost) everything around our house! And who does so with a great attitude! Who when they ask to fix a necklace or a broken figurine, he does so without hesitation or complaint.  He has definitely had to fix the lawnmower way too much this summer (different things keep breaking!).  And because he's so good at it and does it so willingly...they think this actually makes him happy (and it kinda does!).  Don't worry, we will be finding him something besides work clothes for Christmas though. :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mrs. Baker

I've been subbing a lot this fall, for Kindergarten thru 3rd grade.  It makes me smile at all the names the kids come up with trying to say Mrs. Baker.  Here are a few... Mrs. Bakes, Mrs. Bakers, Mr. Baker, Mrs. Cooker, Mrs. Cook, Mrs. Bakery, and the latest... Mrs. Bacon.  I love kids!! :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A to Z Gratitude: Part One

On facebook, several friends are writing something every day they are thankful for this month.  One friend is doing gratitude from a to z, and well since I've been all about A to Z this year (same friend got me started!), I decided to 'copy' her idea and make my own list a to z of things I'm thankful for.  I decided to post it on my blog, so I can always remember the things I'm thankful for in this season of my life.  Here is the first half of the alphabet (not necessarily in order of importance).

A – Amazing Grace (I’ve yet to discover anything more powerful than grace. I’m spending my life in pursuit of understanding it better every day!)
B – Being an American (It’s election day, afterall!)
C – Computers (They help me keep in touch with those I care about and give me access to almost any info I need!)
D – Daisy Dog (have you seen those big brown eyes and floppy ears? Need I say more?)
E – Education (and the opportunities I’ve had to expand my horizons thru it.)
F – Family (and their love that is always there for me.)
G – Girlfriends (they add both depth and joy to my life!)
H – Home. (There’s no place more beautiful. More sustaining. More life giving.)
I – Incredible husband (the perfect one for me. He still makes me smile everyday.)
J – Jesus (and the joy of knowing him.)
K – Kisses (my husbands, my kids, and chocolate ones too!)
L – Laughter (is there any sound more beautiful?)
M – Morgan (among other things, she's thoughtful, helpful, trustworthy, and I love being a part of her life and watching her become this amazing young lady (too quickly, I might add!))

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fall Humor

So, I'm walking by our Fall Scarecrow...only to discover the poor guy has to use the bathroom! Apparently the girls' friend was over (love her!) and she moved the scarecrow's limbs a bit. Cracked me up! :) Just thought I'd share the humor! :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Morgan's First 5K...You Go Girl!

Today Morgan ran her very first 5K and I ran my second 5K. The morning dawned cold and crisp, as we met up with other racers at 6:30 this morning to get checked in. 
These past 10 weeks, Morgan participated in a program called Girls on the Run. Today was the accumulation of 10 weeks of working hard and having fun.  I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the Girls on the Run program and I'm so thankful Morgan got to participate. As you can see from these pictures, she is a tad bit excited about her run this morning, ok maybe her excitement is bursting out of her! It certainly brought joy to my heart too! It was fun to be able to participate in this with her.

Morgan and Madisyn - Running buddies in training and friends forever.
Darian, who is very special to us and who really is more like an aunt than anything, came to cheer Morgan on in her first race. That's love...coming to watch her at 6:30 in the morning when the temp is hoovering around the 30s! She also brought donuts too!! Yum!!

Here we are crossing the finish line. Morgan actually sprinted to the finish line 13 seconds ahead of me. Something abour her dad promising her $5 if she beat me to the finish line. And me, from behind, with a smile on my face and a tear in my eye, watching my daughter cross that finish line. So proud of her!!  p.s. She finished in 37 minutes at 16 seconds.

"Your feet will take your soul where it wants to go."
(quote on the back of my race shirt)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Weekend

Friday Night: Halloween Night @ the Museum. A heart dissection (pig heart), making wounds, glow in the dark fingerprinting, explosions, levitation (with magnets, air and static electricity), dry ice bubbles, making slime. Needless to say, it was spooktacular!

 Saturday Night: Thriller performed by over 100 people on commercial street. A couple friends participated. I don't think the girls knew what to think. The thriller dancers did a great job!

Sunday Night: Trick or Treat Fun. We went trick or treating with the neighbors, followed by a campfire, smores, the laughter of friends and the screams of kids playing games in the dark. The girls convinced me to dress up this year and I'm glad I did. It was a lot of fun.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Gratitude. It's the gift I received today.  I had the joy of planning the Fall Party for Sarah's class.  I've done Morgan's class parties the last 4 years, so this year was definitely Sarah's turn.  We played M&M fall bingo, made a fall craft, did the mummy wrap game, ate spiders for a snack, and made a giant spiderweb.  Good times. The best of times, really.

Afterwards, as we are walking out to the car, Sarah says to me, "Thank you mommy for coming to have lunch with me! and thank you for the fun party!"  So as fun as the party was, and planning it was, the greatest joy came in my daughter pausing to say thanks at the end!

I also got to drop in for the last half of Morgan's party. She's in 4th grade and still gives me hugs when I see her at school, oh, I'm soaking it all up! I'm not going to be 'cool' for much longer, so I love that I am still cool in her 4th grade eyes!

Both classes did the mummy wrap game. Here's a few pictures I took of the cutest mummies I ever did see!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Pumpkin Carving Night! Sarah's is on the bottom left (she bought a pumpkin that doesn't stand up! :)) and Morgan's is on the bottom right (it's her 'oh no' pumpkin). On the top, Mike and I decided to carve our alma mater's - Go Spartans! and I didn't feel like carving a tiger, so here's the Go Mizzou pawprint! :) 

As an added fun bonus tonight, the ice cream man stopped by while we were out carving, so we got to get ice cream! Yes, it's really that warm here right now!!

I Breathe, I Write

Lately I've found myself playing around with words on paper, enjoying the process of writing itself. I'm not sure if my writing will ever go anywhere, but I do enjoy the journey of it. I often find myself 'lost' when I'm in the midst of writing and I love that feeling. So, I've started a second blog, so I can share a few things I've written with others. I've called it, I Breathe, I Write, here's the link,

Saturday, October 16, 2010


The love of grandparents is a beautiful thing. My girls always enjoy the times they get to spend with their grandpa and grandma. Twice a year (Spring, Fall) they visit us and twice a year (Summer, Christmas) we try to get back 'home' to visit them. Here are a few sweet pictures of their most recent trip.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Welcome Fall!

Unofficially, the Guinness Book of World Records Mum is in my front yard. I have NO idea how it grew this huge. I was trying to take some pictures to capture the enormity of it. The mum is so huge that it's blossoms are making the middle split open. I bought it at the PTO mum sale two Falls ago - I think it should be the poster mum for next year's sale! :) Notice the 4' bench behind the mum! Beautiful mum, beautiful girls, beautiful Fall day.

It was a perfect afternoon for a walk at Wilson's Creek National Battlefield. Loved the family time before Mike headed off to KC for the week. I hate it when he travels. Really hate it. So I'm trying to think of what I'll love about him being gone...hmm, no football games on the TV, a bed to myself, and the alarm not going off at 5:30 in the morning! At least I have my parent's visit to look forward to this week, as they are arriving sometime mid-week! With fresh Michigan Apple Cider, I might add!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Poor Daisy Update

So as if the pink cast/bandage wasn't bad least it was kinda cute on her...she had to chew on the bandage and expose her stitches and bother her stitches, which left me no choice but to purchase her this humiliating cone. She literally shook for the first 2 hours it was on her. :( She is still not happy with it and neither am I, but what can I do? Besides wonder how we are going to make it a whole week, that is. The worse part is that she can't even put her nose to the ground to feels like pure cruelty to keep a beagle from sniffing's like 75% of her entertainment in life!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Poor Daisy

So begins a looonnnnng 45 days of recovery. Daisy 'blew out her knee' (torn cruciate ligament) and she could either hobble around on 3 legs the rest of her life or have surgery. Being that she is only one year old and we have an active lifestyle, we opted for the surgery. sigh.

Poor pup! I'm glad she is back home, but I'm not really looking forward to the next 45 days. First challenge - keep this cast on for the next 10 days!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Yesterday I was reminded of the special bond of sisterhood my girls share. Sarah's teacher let the kids write letters to someone else in the building and Sarah took her letter to her sister. So Morgan's teacher sends me the following email:
Just now, Sarah brought Morgan a letter. It was the sweetest exchange ever. I got a little misty eyed. Precious girls.
Awww...I love teacher emails like that one! :)
Being only 19 months apart, they have always shared a special bond of friendship. Oh, they have their sister moments, but they really are very close. Here's a couple pictures from 2003 that I've simply labeled "Sisterhood begins..."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Not my Proudest Morning

Apparently I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Unfortunately, the girls got an earful of my screaming this a.m., lets just say it's not one of my prouder moments.

It was an accumulation of stuff out of the toilet they dropped in there, their clothes still being all over the bathroom floor after I'd already asked them a half a dozen times to pick them up, trying to get ready for picture day, needing to sew a button on at the last minute, and the last straw was stepping on the tube of toothpaste that they somehow managed to get on the floor without a lid, so I had glob of toothpaste all over the bottom of my foot. None of that is major, so I'm not real sure why I was so grumpy, but I was.

So I called Mike to calm down and what does he do? Make me cry! Yes, he has to say "You know, you're gonna miss this one day!" That did it...I know I am going to miss this one day, however crazy that might sound. I went and apologized to the girls. We all make mistakes and I certainly did this morning. We had a good rest of the morning getting ready and I enjoyed seeing them both while subbing at their school forgiving they are, all smiles and hugs.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I've been loving - it's been fun to listen to so many songs that I had forgotten about. If you haven't tried pandora for your music enjoyment - you should! You type in a song or artist and it creates a radio station for you based on that. My list of free radio stations is growing. Just now, I had typed in the song Shepherd Boy (by Ray Boltz) - I realize not too many people know his music, but it stirred something in me many years ago. I don't listen to this music much anymore, but when I hear it, it still moves me. Well the next song that came on was Find Us Faithful (by Steve Green). I don't think I'd heard this song since becoming a parent, but today, I found it inspiring me in this journey of parenthood. Here's some of lyrics:

After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone
And our children sift through all we've left behind
May the clues that they discover and the memories they uncover
Become the light that leads them to the road we each must find

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey

Friday, September 17, 2010

Just a few reasons...

Here are just a few reasons I've appreciated my husband this week -
  • At this moment he is downstairs singing karaoke with the girls and their friends.
  • 10 minutes after our small group bible study left, I walked into the kitchen and found it all cleaned up.
  • He's believed in and encouraged me to pursue my dreams of writing. He's excited for me and the writing competition I entered. He told me that I'll be the first to know when they've declared a winner 'cuz they will be calling me to say I won!
  • He took 2 hours of vacation time to take the dog to her surgical consult with me.
  • He paused to reminisce with me about our first date 19 years ago.
  • He packed my lunch last night.
  • He gave me numerous back rubs.
  • When I was stressed he asked, "What can I do to help?"
  • He made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion.

Life is just sweet with him by my side!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Where Fairies Fly

In the magical world of my children’s minds there still exists a place where fairies fly. I love imagining this place with them! When we go camping, there are two staples on my list of items to pack – 1. s’mores fixins’ and 2. Fairy Dust (aka, glitter).

Again this weekend, at Pomme de Terre Lake (or as my girls call it, 'potato lake') the girls spent literally hours building fairy houses, which eventually turned into fortresses. As I watch them search our campsite, they turn leaves into fortress walls, rocks into tvs, couches, & beds, moss into carpet, twigs into trees and gardens, bottle caps become bird baths (after all, fairies do love shiny things!), leaves become towels that are left next to the fairies pool (an empty plastic fruit cup).

I love their creativity! I love the magic of it all… of them imagining the fairies visiting the houses they created after they go to bed! I love sprinkling magic fairy dust all over their homes and dropping a few shiny things (dimes) into their fairy worlds. I love their look of sheer delight when they see the fairy dust in the morning and exclaim, “look, they slept in the fairy bed!”

I know they are skeptical and keep trying to ‘figure it out’ – “mom, did you bring glitter?” – “ummm, why would I do that?” I know these days of ‘magic’ are quickly coming to an end, although I hope they will always hold on to a bit of that magic deep within. I hope their creativity never ends and they keep believing in places where fairies fly and visit magical fortresses, made by little girls, in the middle of the woods.

The pictures don't do these magical places justice... but at least they remind us of their existence!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Hint of Fall

While it is still very much summer, with today's high reaching 90, yesterday I noticed an ever so slight hint of Fall in the air. The humidity has left the air (although it's still August in Missouri, so I'm highly expecting it to make another appearance!) and it feels so good to breathe in fresh air again! As I walked around our yard I noticed that the leaves from the Walnut trees had begun to turn from green to yellow and were ever so silently raining down around me. As I sat in the shade enjoying my last half-price Sonic happy hour drink of the summer, I noticed that my arms got the smallest goosebumps when the breeze blew.

The hint of Fall seemed to perfectly match the fact that the girls returned to school today. Now 2nd and 4th graders, another milestone is reached.

I could not have asked for a more perfect summer with them. I loved the time we spent just hanging out at home, completing our A to Z of summer fun, taking trips together.

And I just have to say that I LOVE how creative my girls are! I noticed that here it was just a couple days before school was to begin and they were still making up creative stuff! I love that summer gives them this down time to be creative - for example in these last two days- they got a cardboard box and decorated it up as a room for Sarah's new stuffed animal, lamby; they turned the hammock sideways and played volleyball over it; and, they made up their own Deal or No Deal game.

Here are pictures from the bus stop this morning, marking the end of one season and the beginning of another in their sweet lives, and in mine.