Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Today's Surprise Picture

Today features my beloved middlest child.
Isn't she the cutest??
And no, I did nothing to those eyes. They really do sparkle!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Don't you just love when you go back through pictures, deleting shots that never should have been kept, and come across one that takes your breath away??
I have an incredibly beautiful daughter.

She has two incredibly cute siblings, too. But today this is the picture that took my breath away.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Christmas Tree, Part II

We celebrated Thanksgiving early with Josh's family, and a day late with my family. So the day of, we decided to go look for our tree.

And can I just tell you how glad I am that we didn't choose one of the less-than-ideal ones we saw last weekend??
Because it was perfect. A tad chilly, and more than a little muddy, but a huge selection of beautiful trees.

We ended up with a Concolor Fir, we think. It looks pretty green in the house, but compared to the other ones at the fam, it's much more blue-gray. And it smells like citrus!! It's gorgeous!

(picture taken by Charity with my camera)
And, um, huge.

(picture taken by Charity)

We found out when the farm owner helped us get it on the house: he had a chainsaw. Josh didn't need to cut it down by hand. We just look at it as his exercise for the weekend!
(picture taken by Charity)


And now, a brief commercial break 
I've decided to join in on the "Small Business Saturday/CyberMonday" sales going on, and put my entire etsy store on sale! Everything is 20% off. Feel free to tell your friends!! And if you're not already, you can like my Facebook page and hear about new products, since I rarely think to mention them here!!


We are now all decked out. I haven't found a place for the beautiful nativity from Josh's grandma, but everything else is out!

The tree grew when we got home.
The angel has less than an inch of head room. The tree takes over the entire section of the room. It's HUGE!! You really lose perspective when you're outside among so many trees, even though we tried to compare it against Josh's height.
But it fits, and it's beautiful. And the house smells GOOOOOOD!!

So now to find new owners for our old artificial trees!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Searching for a Tree...Part One

We've decided to get a real tree this year.
I'm excited. I've never had a real tree. We've always been an artificial tree family.
Josh grew up with real ones, but we always had pre-lit artificial trees since we got married (he's not a fan of dealing with strings of lights. Needless to say, we don't put lights on the house, either).
But the tree we had last year was, well, missing some lights.

So we decided to try a real one this year!

All the nurseries in our county don't open until the day after Thanksgiving. Which would normally be fine, but we're celebrating Thanksgiving on Friday, so that puts it one day later. And since it was warm this weekend, it seemed like a good time to get out and look for a tree. So we found a place online that was out of the county but not too far away, and decided to give them a try. Cheap, easy-going, and they had free-range eggs and some vegetables advertised as well.

We invited Charity to come with us on our adventure and headed out. Off to find a tree...

....and make friends with a "meow"...

Hudson found a cute one. It will be a nice Charlie Brown tree in about 5 years!

So we kept walking.

And we walked.
And walked. And walked.

We went through their whole property. There were some lovely trees that would have put Clark Griswald's to shame. Wisely, we kept looking.

(Look at that sunflower, Mommy! It's the biggest flower I've ever seen! It looks like it's showering on me!)

Tired, hat-haired, and out of luck, we all decided we would be better off waiting and going to a more official nursery next weekend.

so...like all good "part one"s...this is...

To Be Continued

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dear Emma Grace

Dear Emma Grace,

I met you one week ago.
And my life was forever changed.

I'm not exactly sure what our relationship is (first cousin once removed, plus a marriage in there). But I know you've found a place in my heart that will stay yours forever.

I've known for months that you wouldn't have long to live. I watched your mommy learn more about all the things that weren't going right in your body, and I prayed for you so many times.

And maybe it seems like my prayers weren't answered. But I know better.

You breathed. You heard your parents tell you they loved you. You cried.

You lived.

Not as long as you should have, but you lived. And that was a miracle. A beautiful, God-given miracle.
And now you're dancing with Jesus. You are whole and complete (like your name, Emma). You get time with your wonderful great-grandparents.

I'm so honored that I got to see you for those few minutes, and that I could be the one to take your pictures. You taught me to be thankful for the time we have with those we love. You taught me to treasure each breath.

Your beautiful mother taught me so much about faith. She showed me (and everyone who knows her) that faith really is strengthened in times of testing. She's been through the fire and has come out purer, stronger and more beautiful.

I hope you don't mind that I'm going to keep crying about losing you for awhile. It doesn't take away from my understanding that you're with Jesus, and that you are whole and perfect. It just means I miss the opportunity to get to know you better.

Your "cousin" Charla

Thursday, November 10, 2011


This is a cheap cross-post. Charity mentioned that it's nearly impossible to find a link from this blog to the homeschooling one, so I thought I'd mention that one occasionally, especially when I'm planning on continuing this being-online-less thing.

So here are a few new pictures of school this week!

And since this isn't my school blog, here's something else, too!
(an outtake picture from Vivian's senior picture shoot 2 1/2 years ago :) )

Enjoying the Journey

I'm finally disciplining myself and spending less time online. And I love the feeling. I feel so free! My house is staying cleaner. We got the week's school done in 4 days, and I think all but one day it was done before lunch. Which is good; tomorrow we'll start in on some of next week's school, since we have outings three days next week!!

But I did manage to get a few pictures :)

This was Monday morning's pile. One morning.
And yes, we got it all done!

Yeah, I know. It's a sandwich.
No, it's not a gun.
She recognized that the shape looked familiar: she matched it on her puzzle and proclaimed it Oklahoma!
Then she ate it, saying things like "I just ate a big church!"

Playing with the abacus after finishing her worksheet.

Bekah, proudly showing off her work.

Happy end of week 21!