Tuesday, June 29, 2010

such characters

my kids recently enjoyed being around these characters

a note was posted at my hubs' job asking for people with pick-up trucks to volunteer if they so wished

he wished and the kids could not have been happier

can they smile any wider?
the lovely girl in the middle holding the beverage is my friend, Christine's daughter
she happens to be a great friend of my girls
Claire had a blast!

while driving down the main street in Battle Creek, they got to wave at people, throw sweets out to the children, and even saw a few people they know

it was a hot day

but it was G-R-R-R-REAT!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

consistently inconsistent

I'm sure you've noticed that I haven't been the best blogger on the block. And I haven't been a slightly good commenter either. Reason? Way too busy for words. I won't bore you with all the goings on, but I will say that I miss you and I miss writing with some kind of consistency. I miss journaling about our family and the kinds of things we are doing. I miss posting pictures so that one day I will have all the memories in one place... a blog book.

Yesterday, I read my friend, Joyce's, blog and was reminded of some things. She and I have a very huge thing in common. That commonality is the fact that we both lived in England and have recently repatriated back home. She has been back for the past year and I moved back just a few months ago.

Having that experience changes you. It opens your eyes to so many new things, things you like and some things not so much. It makes you vulnerable in the sense that you know no one, you don't understand the culture, you have no friends for a while, your home church is exactly that~ at home. You eat differently. You walk instead of getting in your car for e.ver.y.thing. You're thankful for things like Fac*bo*k, e-mailing, texting, and this new-to-you phenomena called blogging. You are very familiar with jumping on a plane to see a new country or to go home and see faces that are truly known and know your heart.

Then a little time passes and you start to get to know people. You begin to get the new culture. You know how to find places with the all important GPS, aka sat nav that you and your hubby knew you needed beyond the shadow of a doubt. You eat beans for breakfast. You find a church because God knew where you needed to minister and be ministered to. You were a part of an amazing small group that brought the most unlikely people together. You pine after those same people hours, days, and months later. And when those same people send you a package in the mail, you tear it open with joy and anticipation. You see their children performing mini skits and dramas that was burned to a cd where the characters are each member of your family, but they have English accents. Perhaps that was their best "American" voice and it's endearing to hear. You read the postcards that they enclose of recent places they have been to and you think, "Oh, we never made it there. That was some place I would have loved to see." But God reminds you of all that you did see, and do, and all that you have now and all is right with the world again.

So in the midst of basketball camps, VBS, baseball games, meetings, pool gatherings, weddings, girlfriend outings, family gatherings, DIYing, spray painting, grocery shopping, texting, taking care of 3 new kittens, and just living, I am thinking of you my blogging friends. I am remembering my English friends, and I am appreciating, loving, and embracing the friends I had before I left. The icing on the cake is when you spend time with family that was separated by an ocean for a time.

One of these days life will slow down just a little to be more consistent, but in the meantime, I will cherish what once was and what now is.

Blessings Always,

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Thrifty Treasures ~ Magazine Rack

Rhoda from the "Southern Hospitality" blog hosts Thrifty Treasures each week to give us the opportunity to show off treasures we have found either at garage sales, Good Will (GW), etc.

A couple of weeks ago I found a neighborhood garage sale and scored with several different things. I didn't take photos of everything I got, but I will try to do that next time.

When I saw this magazine rack for $12 that had "Pottery Barn" on it, I thought I could use it but knew it couldn't stay in this condition. I actually paid $10 and this is what I did with it.

I spray painted it and then made tags for each compartment. The tags say, "Cooking, Quilting, Decorating, Scrapbooking." I bought paper that color-coordinates with my window treatments and made the edges of the paper look distressed. I printed the tags on my computer and my handsome hubs mounted it on the wall.

Have you found anything recently? Please share it and link up with Rhoda.
I'm also linking up here:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

From "Burden" to Blessing

It's not the best picture to demonstrate the "burden" in hulling bunches of strawberries. I forgot to shoot one of the baskets full of berries.

It's not exactly a burden, but it can feel like it when you're busy. But boy is it worth it!

Strawberry freezer jam is one of our favorites around here.

Besides strawberry picking & jam making we've been running back and forth to basketball camp, going to baseball games, spray painting, mowing, garage saling, good will visiting, swimming, hanging pictures up, entertaining at the pool, planting flowers, and on and on.

What have you been up to?

I'll be more consistent with blogging and commenting soon I hope. I have been reading yours sporadically due to time constraints, but certainly not for a lack of interest.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

52 Weeks/Shoot Me ~ Meals on Wheels!

Forever In Blue Jeans

Shoot Me! (52 Weeks) is a meme that Carin started over at "Forever in Blue Jeans." She says, "It's time to stop hiding behind that camera of yours. Your family is missing you in the picture. So it's time to post a picture of YOU (yes, you) every Thursday with your child, your spouse, your friend, your dog, or even by yourself. Just get in the picture, you'll be glad you did! And just jump in now with 1 of 52, you can do it!"

My girls and I brought Andrew & Jamie a meal since they recently had their sweet baby girl, Emma. Well he didn't have her, but you know what I mean.

She is such a pretty baby and the two of them make great parents. On the evening that I was there, Andrew was getting ready to head to work for the first time after being home for a week. The two of them were feeling sad about that and I could totally relate. Shawn always stayed home for about a week each time our babies were born. That's such a hard adjustment, but I know they will work through it.

Isn't that the cutest little outfit on her?

Melanie loved holding baby Emma. My girl looked like such a big girl holding her.


Braaten was loving having her own turn with the little sweetie pie. She begs me to have one more as if that's even possible.

We can just enjoy Emma, Honey.

Look at the adoration in Jamie's eyes for her precious little baby girl.
God is so good.

Stop over at "Forever in Blue Jeans" to see more moms getting "in the picture."

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Wordless Wednesday! ~ Sailboats in Scotland

One of our trips, while living in England, was to Scotland. What a beautiful, magical place!
My hubby took this amazing photo.

For more Wordless Wednesday posts, visit "5 Minutes for Mom."

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Tuesday Talk

Things have been pretty busy around here. With what, you may ask?

~ Grading homeschool tests & quizzes

~ Trying to settle in and make this a home. Realistically, this will go on for months, but I would love for it to be done much sooner.

~ Enrolling my firstborn into high school. This is HUGE for us since he has been home educated for the past 7 years. I am trying to let go of some fears in letting him go. It's both scary and exciting.

~ Signing up for VBS

~ Thinking about having a garage sale which means more organizing & planning

~ Signing the kids up for basketball camp

~ Getting ready for an "end-of-the-school year" pool party for homeschoolers this Thursday. There will be at least 30 people here. So thankful that the weather is looking great for that day!

~ Helping my friend, Sarah, with her daughter's high school 'Open House' this coming Saturday. Our friends, Mike & Liz, are graciously hosting it. Our family had her party this past Sunday for close friends and family.

~ Lots of baseball games

~ I need a pedicure, but that can and will have to wait

~ Strawberry picking & batches of strawberry freezer jam

~ Making a meal for my friend, Jamie, that had her baby a couple of weeks ago. They are doing fabulously.

How about you, dear friends, what's keeping you busy?

Have a happy Tuesday!

(Update: After publishing this post, I received a phone call from a chiropractor that wants to meet with me for part-time work. More excitement and busyness to add to my schedule.)

Jeremial 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Wordless Wednesday! ~ sun and fun

The pool, some sun, friends, and loads of fun. I'm all about that!

For more Wordless Wednesday posts, visit "5 Minutes for Mom."