Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Same Old Trains, Older Boys

We visited the Southeastern Railway Museum during our recent trip to Atlanta.  We've been once before and it is amazing the changes the boys have had in the past few years.  The boys' train obsession has ebbed and flowed over the past six years, but never gone away. They had just as much fun as the first go around plus one.

Don't try this at home
August 2008

Train Musuem
May 2012

Boys working on the train
August 2008

Train Musuem
May 2012

Train Musuem
May 2012

Three and a half years! Years! It feels like we visited for the first time just a few months ago.  Time, it is a chugging forward.

Train Musuem

Train Musuem

So glad to be along for the ride.

Train Musuem

The write up on the previous trip.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pretty Reminders {Giveaway}

Edited to Add: The giveaway is now closed. Congrats to @taylorlane with her winning comment #8 : taylor lane said...
Can friends enter this? Im gonna answer yes, then I can just bring my mug over to your house and we can have coffee out of our inspirational mugs together!!

Well, I rotate my favorite keepsakes sometimes but my current fav is the seeds of praise cd (that a most precious person gave me) that continues to bless me over and over and over.... love.

Original Post:

Most of the jewelry I wear reminds me of something special or someone special.  My wedding rings, anniversary earrings, my mom's necklace, her bracelets,  and so forth.  My mom blessed me with a legacy of loving God more. More than anything else.  What a humbling reminder to wear.

Most of the decorations in our home are special item picked up on adventures together or gifts from loved ones.

When I give gifts I try to give things that carry some meaning beyond the just gift.  Something with more meaning than the outfit, jewelry or household decoration. 

Dayspring excels at giving us these little things we need that are pretty and have eternal words on them. 

I love useful things that carry happy little reminders and encouragement. 

Like this coffee cup to remind me that he is filling me with much more than coffee each morning.

And this fantastic tote bag to remind me to bless The Lord as I load it.

This is quickly becoming my summer pool bag.  It is an oil cloth material that is water resistant, has several pockets on the inside, including a zippered pocket and also has a magnetic closure.  Ever so important when scooping up kids and I don't want everything falling out.  And, of course, it is just pretty.

Dayspring sent me this adorable set to review and one to giveaway to one of you!  Just leave a commet sharing an inspiring everyday item in your home or piece of jewelry.  You can also tweet mentioning this giveaway for a second entry.  Just be sure to come back an leave a separate comment.  Giveaway closes Friday night, June 1st.  I'll notify the winner by email, so be sure to include yours!

You can visit the Dayspring (in)spired deals page to see all the products highlighted this month.

If you would like to order your own set you can here.

*Dayspring provide the products for review and giveaway, but the opinions are my own.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Heart Notes on a Thursday Night

When I think of California...

Jason has been in California for 10 days. This summer is still in flux and we aren't quite sure how he is going to be spending all of his time.

The Lord has sustained me in his absence and things have gone really well during his time away. That isn't trite lip service.  It is the way I have honestly seen Jesus love me through these days in nothing short of supernatural ways.

But, it turns out my threshold for doing this solo business is about 9 days. Honestly, I don't miss him for the kid or household help (which he is great at). It is more just that this family is a team sport and doing as an individual just feels amiss.  We are good together and when we are apart, it doesn't feel right.

I stayed up far too late last night watching a movie and missing my husband.  Always a good idea when you are at the end of your rope (ha).

Walker woke up early this morning with a stomachache and throwing up.  Poor kid, when he goes all gray and weak there is nothing I wouldn't do to stop it.  I'm running around getting rags, ice, bowls, medicine and so forth and innocently Eli says, "Mommy after you get Walker his new rag you should pray for him."

Time stops.

I pray over the kids when they get sick, but after I get the mommy remedies going. Why? How prideful of me.  Of course we should pray first and then see where The Lord leads.  Oh Lord, make that my first impulse.  I did stop and pray over him and he recovered more quickly than I can recall.  Thank you, Jesus, for healing my boy.  Thank you for using my little blond boy to remind me to stop and talk to You first.


So we rented a movie and settled in for a movie morning, under my new favorite favorite thrift store find (isn't it great? $4 and look at that amazing handmade pattern).


By lunch he was ready for a freeze pop.  He took a good nap and by dinner was back to his zippy self.


As we were eating our delivery pizza tonight the sunset starting putting on an amazing show.  Colin and I went out to admire all the pink.  And I noticed just how thick and green the grass is.  Jason has been working on bringing back the scorched earth from the incredible heat of last summer.  And here is this thriving lush growth he fostered, just eagerly waiting for his return.


The scorched earth of last summer.  The Lord is restoring that as well.  Slowly and with much patience and love.

We are awaiting Jason's arrival in the early Saturday morning hours, because this family thing is the best.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Ooohhh and Aaahhh

The boys and I took a quick jaunt to Atlanta last week to visit Grandma and Grandpa Hermie.  Oh, how these people are a blessing in our lives.

We also finally made the trip to the Georgia Aquarium.
It was the first trip for young and old alike, and it was aww inspiring for us all.

Atlanta Aquarium

The giant tank with whale sharks and manta rays was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen.

Atlanta Aquarium

The boys agreed.  Anything that gets 5 and 6 year old boys to sit for 45 minutes you know is impressive.

Atlanta Aquarium

This is my favorite. Watching the seahorses. Boys on the ledge for a close up view. Grandma and Grandpa close by keeping them safe. Grandpa wearing Grandma's purse. The boy's faces in the reflection.

Atlanta Aquarium

The color of this tank was amazing.

Atlanta Aquarium

A tank of daddy's nightmares, but the colors were fantastic.

Atlanta Aquarium

The pre-departure photo opp. It was bright, yo.

Atlanta Aquarium

Linking up with Beth's You Capture: Life. How amazing is my life that these people I love, who have more than 70 years between them, are loving and enjoying this together?

PS - I wish I had done some research on photography inside aquariums, because this was a challenge.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Our Family in Mini Figures

Walker has been asking to go to the Lego store for a while now. We can't possibly need anymore Legos, so we usually say no. But as a Sunday afternoon treat we went to build Mini Figures at the Lego store.

The boys are currently really into the "Lego guys" and wanting the take the guys on adventures.  They have even been making some little movies and documenting their creations.

New characters are always a good thing.

Lego Guys
Mommy, Eli, Walker, Colin, Daddy

Walker - Winking, brown hair, retro astronaut shirt, caveman pants, and the coffee cup he has wanted for months

Lego Guys
Eli - Unibrow, baseball shirt, baseball hat, green pants, 2 guns and a "leaf blower" on the back

Lego Guys
Colin - Sunglasses, business shirt, pirate hat {He actually built it himself and was very passionate about it}

Lego Guys
Mommy and Daddy - No explanation needed, I mean that is pretty much who we are.

Lego Guys
And an Indian - because we have been watching A Town Called Panic lately and it is hilarious. {Ridiculously funny for the preschool/grown up set.  If your kids are a little older and can keep up with reading the subtitles it probably won't be appropriate, but it is on netflix.}

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Swim Lessons May 2012

We finally put Walker and Eli in swim lessons.  Oh my, has it been fun to watch the transformation in a just a couple of weeks.  They are much more comfortable in the water and I can actually see a future where they can swim well enough for me to take all the boys to the pool by myself.

Colin is too comfortable in the water to be left unattended for a second.  He will (and does) march right out never concerned with the water quickly covering his head.  I bought him a puddle jumper today, let's all pray he wears it until he is old enough for swim lessons.  

Anyway, back to Walker and Eli.  Walker has always had a healthy fear of the water, that has made him miss out on some swimming fun.  Eli just needs someone to tell him what to do, because his spirit of splashing fun is there.

These lessons were just to get them comfortable in the water with the possible goal of swimming 5 feet without floats or assistance.  Walker reached that goal!  I am so proud of how quickly he has learned to control his body in the water.
Swim Lessons May 2012

Swim Lessons May 2012

Eli is still trying to grasp the concept of putting his feet behind him instead of underneath, so he still looks like he is running in the water instead of swimming, but he will get there.

Swim Lessons May 2012

Walker was all super sad when we were leaving.  I thought he was upset that he wouldn't get his swimming time each day, but he said he was going to miss Ms. Deb.  Sweetheart!

This is the last few minutes of the last lesson where she had them chase the beach ball.  Of course, as they got closer their paddling pushed the ball away.  Clever, very clever, Ms. Deb.  Walker loved it, and I feel confident he would have spent another hour chasing that ball around.

Also, both of them smile so much in the pool they can't help from drinking a gallon of pool water. Gross.  Not the smiling, but the pool water. Ugh.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day Ponderings


There is little documentation of actual mothering.  I went searching, and (of course) there are many pictures of the boys, but few of me actually doing something.  Because actual mothering takes place in the passing moments, often just myself and the boys. It's this dance between the boys, myself and God.  So thankful for the Lord in this cord of three.

Eli meets the beach

The mothering takes place in the middle of the night with soothing, feeding and changing.  The  mothering takes place is the busy of day with the playing, teaching, feeding, and cleaning.  The hard parts come in the discipline and guidance.  In the example setting and leading.  In the letting go.


The mothering is a moving target and constantly changing.  The needs, the demands, the goals it is this continuously growing thing, much like the boys themselves.

Eli settled after first bath

I'm so grateful to be chosen to be their mommy, in the successes and the failures. In the constant learning, both theirs and mine.  In all that is to come.

Waking up from an Easter nap, while big brothers hunt (now empty) eggs.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

2, 1, 3

Eli, then Walker, then Colin.
2, then 1, then 3.

From last summer walking back from a day at the aquarium in Monterey. Jason and I following close behind after one of the most enjoyable days we've had in our little family.

Monterey Bay, CA

And once again 2, 1, and 3.

Easter 2012

Walking down a trail at Oak Mountain.  Enjoying a particularly wonderful day out with our little family just before Easter.

Easter 2012

Jason and I both saw it instantly.  In a flash we were both here in our present and reminiscing our past. Fully living in these times and places we have built, together.  The growing, the changing, the staying the same. What a gift.

I love that we have these moments, these flashes where we think the exact same thing and know that we are completely in the same moment.  This is the family building.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

5 days of Randoms

Phone snapshots to catch up...

Last Thursday we met Aunt Elaine for a burger and a rousing game of throw the rocks in the creek.  It was lovely.

Waterfall visiting. Sometimes it's nice for the loudness to come from nature and not us.

That night at the gym Walker hurt his foot.  It swelled and bruised pretty quick, so we were treated to doctor visits and x-rays on Friday.  No break, just a bad sprain and he is healing pretty quickly. {I figure pretty soon we will have x-rays of a little boy from top to bottom}

iPhone Dump 4.30.2012

Friday afternoon he told me his stomach hurt and then proceeded to throw up for 8 hours before finally finding some relief.  He is still recovering.  Lots of rest and tiny bites of food.  When a tummy trouble hits him, it is so hard for him to recover.

iPhone Dump 4.30.2012

{Ok, wives, hold onto your jealousy.} Jason cleaned the boys room from top to bottom.  We are talking sorting toys, rearranging furniture, hanging curtains (forthcoming), touching up paint, so you know - everything.  And then just to prove his amazing-ness he cleaned the van inside and out.  I'd rather not talk about how bad it had gotten, but the man deserves some praise.

iPhone Dump 4.30.2012

Eli and Colin were more than willing helpers with the van clean up, in their Sunday collared shirts. {sure, why not}

iPhone Dump 4.30.2012

I put together a cute outfit for Sunday.  I spent most of the service in the lobby with Walker in my lap, but I felt adorable anyway.

iPhone Dump 4.30.2012

On Sunday Eli, Colin and myself were able to have lunch with Aunt Elaine at Pops and Grandma Jayne's house one more time before she heads back to California. We should have taken pictures before it was painfully past nap time.

iPhone Dump 4.30.2012

Nothing too wild has happened over the past few days, but they have felt wild to me.  We are slowly getting our feet back under us and desperately grasping at our routine.