Friday, August 31, 2012

High Five


This is my first "High Five for Friday" post.  What a fun idea!  I like recapping great things that have been going on lately!  So, here we go:

1. I got to go to Dig In - A Taste of Indiana with my sister!  It was a delicious way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

2. We took Nate on a fun field trip day to Chicago for the Mythbuster's Exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry.  It was awesome!

3. Made some progress on a fund raiser I'm working on.  A friend is adopting from China and I'm helping her out by offering discounted photography certificates and donating 75%+ the proceeds to her adoption fund.  Praying it makes a difference for their family!
4. Got some great deals at Goodwill yesterday!  Because of his developmental delays Joe needs to be in footie pjs all the time (primarily to keep him from taking his diaper off and making a gigantic mess).  Well, now that he's getting older its getting harder to find them in his size.  I got three pairs of size 6/7 footies for $6!  Whoot!

5. And lastly... I got to do something special for my sister.  Lauren is getting ready to have her first baby.  Yay!  But she lives in GA and all of the rest of us live in IN.  I hate that I can't be there with her for this!  So, I recorded a few sound bites of my voice reading birth affirmations to her that she can play on her smart phone when the labor gets tough.  I hope it helps even in some small way.  I can't wait to come visit and meet my new nephew!

Thursday, August 30, 2012


My hubs is not a fan of watching kid shows, so he has found a few non-kid shows that are (usually) suitable to watch together with Nate.  One of their faves is Mythbusters on Discovery Channel.  In case you are not familiar with the show it is a documentary in which two Hollywood special effects experts attempt to debunk urban legends by directly testing them. Which usually results in something being blown up.  What little boy (or man) doesn't love that?  ;-)

 So, when we saw that the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago was having a Mythbusters exhibit we knew it would be right up Nate's alley.  Thanks to a friend who works there we were able to make it an affordable day trip for the three of us.
 The exhibit was very hands on and kid friendly.  It started with an area that held lots of props that have been used on the show, many of which were familiar to us.  Then it had several stations that had myths for us to "test".  Nate had a blast building houses out of straw, wood and bricks to see which would blow down.  And Isaac pulled the table cloth out from under the table setting (he only lost one plate ;-). 
 There was a live show set up where a few volunteers got to test their response time and one lucky guy got to attempt to dodge a paint ball bullet.
 After the Mythbuster exhibit we explored a lot of the rest of the museum too.  We learned a lot about storms, tornados and various aspects of weather.  Nate got to stand inside a wind tunnel with me. 
 There was so much to see we could have stayed longer but it was 3+ hours each way so we had to head out far too early.
 We did make time for a Chicago style dinner at Giordano's Famous Chicago Style Pizza. Nate raved about how it was the best pizza he had ever had.  When I asked him why it was the best he said: "Duh, 'cause its the cheesiest!".  ;-)  That's my boy!
  Nate insisted on going around and around in the rotating door just like Buddy did on the movie Elf. 
 We had such a great day.  This is one of the great things about homeschooling... we have the best field trips!  ;-)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lesson Learned

A few days ago in school Nate's geography activity was to work with a compass.  We drew a compass rose on the driveway with chalk.  I stood him facing north and gave him note cards with each direction written on them.  Then he had to find each direction on his own. 

Just a couple days later we had a teaching moment that involved Nate's moral compass.  We were getting ready to have lunch at Costco and Nate was "SO thirsty".  He went up to the food counter on his own (with permission) and got a water cup.  As he approached the soda machine he asked me if he could get Sprite.  I said "no, get water".  I was busy with Christine and did not watch him closely while he got his drink and I assumed he had gotten water.

A few minutes later while we were eating I decided to explain the situation a bit more clearly.  I explained to him that the reason why I told him to get water was because the water is free and the soda costs money.  If we get a free water cup and fill it with soda we are stealing.  He gets this serious look on his face.  He said: "How did you know I got Sprite?".  Well, I didn't know that.  So, I took his now empty cup away and told him that because he disobeyed and got Sprite when I had specifically told him not to that he would not be able to partake in the dessert that had already been purchased.  I knew Nate felt bad and I didn't want to drag out a huge lecture so I planned to just leave it at that.

My friend and I went about the rest of our meal, chatting and such.  Nate seemed very downtrodden.  I asked him what he was upset about (frankly we had talked about a couple of things during the course of the last few minutes and honestly thought he might be upset about something altogether different).  Nate was practically hiding his head in the crook of his arm.  He said he was upset because he stole.  I asked if he wanted to make it right and he said yes.  So, we counted out the change necessary to pay for a drink.  I explained what he needed to do and he said he was ready.

So, my seven year old stood in line patiently.  When it was his turn he told the gentleman at the counter that he had gotten soda with his water cup and he wanted to pay for it.  The man was very business-like about it. My friend and I both applauded Nate for doing the right thing.  He still felt the gravity of the situation but he soon returned to his usual rambunctious self.

I am thankful for the opportunity to teach Nate a valuable lesson. He is growing into such a special young man!  Love that kid!

Proverbs 22:6  - Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Friday, August 24, 2012


 Have you ever done or said something that was completely idiotic?  I had one of those moments recently.  Here is the scenario:

Near where we live there is this house that has a zebra statue.  Its been there for as long as I can remember.  Its kind of a local mascot or icon.  It even has its own facebook page.  It gets dressed up for holidays and such.  People will take their pictures with it.

Well, during some recent construction the poor thing was decapitated.  :-(  So, naturally its getting additional attention now, being headless and all.  So as we were driving by last week I noticed another statue had joined our zebra friend.  As we get closer I see its a small striped feline statue. Because of the size in proportion to the zebra my first thought was: "oh look, a zebra cat".


Total brain freeze!  By the time we had passed it I realized my error and was kicking myself for not seeing it for what it clearly is: a tiger!  Or was is a "liger"?  ;-)


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What kind of woman are you?

 I am sad to admit that I often strive to be "super woman" instead of allowing myself to be the the Abiding Woman that I know God wants me to be.  My flesh and my need to please others pull me away from the path the Lord has set before me.  I am tempted (and often fall) in so many ways every day.  I am comforted to know that I am not alone in this struggle.  The Apostle Paul was familiar with this too.  He wrote about it in Romans:

For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. - Romans 7:15 NASB

We are blessed to have a forgiving and faithful God.  He never gives up on us.  He will continue to be by my side and guide me whenever I need His help.  And I do.  I need His help to be a better wife, mother and friend.  I need His help to be patient when my kids drive me crazy.  I need His help to love the people close to me when they are careless or hurtful.  I need His help to keep moving forward when life seems overwhelming.

And He is there for you too.

Can I get an "amen"?  ;-)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

New School Year Ahead

This year I am using Bigger Hearts for His Glory (Heart of Dakota) for Nate's second grade curriculum.  I am getting more comfortable supplementing if/when I find that something isn't working for us.  We're only a week into the school year and I'm already considering another handwriting program.  Nate and I both are still getting the kinks worked out and trying to find a routine that works for both of us.  We've had a few battle of wills this week.  Hopefully those will subside as we get settled into the school year.  We are looking forward to resuming activities with our homeschool group.  A few families from our church are joining this year so we're excited to have our friends join in the fun!

Joe has started in a Life Skills kindergarten class.  So far he seems to be doing well.  We get simple updates daily from the teacher letting us know what activities he did that day.  The teacher said the class is very focused on communication and that is very good for Joe.  He needs a lot of work in this area because he is getting so frustrated at home when he cannot express himself and tell us what he wants/needs.  Joe is also continuing with outside PT, OT and Speech.

Christine is working hard in her First Steps therapies.  Earlier in the summer we had some therapist swapping and we have been getting used to the new schedule and therapists.  Christine has made some really good progress since her last quarterly report.  She is slowly but surely working on getting the hang of crawling.  We keep thinking any day now its gonna click and she'll be all over the place but she's taking her time for now.  She has been very jabbery lately.  She is trying lots of new sounds and being very intent.  So cute!

We've been so busy.  Isaac's new job keeps him away from home 9am-8pm every day during the week.  We only have meals together on the weekend.  While we have the occasional guest most of the time the kids and I are on our own.  It makes my days very long. And Joe and Christine are in the middle of another series of doctor's appointments (which are wearing me out on their own). I have had plenty of days when I feel like I'm at the end of my rope.  But I am thankful for the help of my parents and Jess providing help and company.  I don't know what I'd do without them. 

Proverbs 1:8-9 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.

Monday, August 06, 2012

DIY Wedding

Hannah & Ted's DIY Wedding

When my sister announced in April that she was engaged we assumed we would have awhile to plan... when she shared that they were planning on getting married in August we felt hurried!  That is barely enough time to plan a wedding, especially when you are a DIY family! Almost right away we made a whole Pinterest board dedicated to ideas for the wedding.  For awhile we were all just coming up with random ideas and concepts (there is a whole lot more on the board than what I've included in this post).
It took us a little while to pare down to the things that actually worked together.  Hannah and Ted are both English majors so we decided to incorporate a literary theme into the wedding. From then on things sort of fell into place.  It was a lot of work but we are so pleased with the results!  Here are photos and links to a few things that inspired us followed by our interpretations of them:

Whew!!  It has been a whirlwind of activity this summer.  I am looking forward to winding down from it all but we are so happy with how it turned out!

If you are interested in seeing more photos from the wedding visit my photography site at: or on facebook under Unforgettable Photography.

I'll be linking up to a few of these fun blogs!

Creations by Kara

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Just say YES..

I've been thinking about writing this post for awhile now.  But reading Why It's Okay to Not Be Enough encouraged me to finally do it.

No matter who you are, not matter if you have one kid or a dozen kids, homeschool or public school, or whatever else is going on in your life.  We are all busy, it just happens that way.  Some of us more busy than others sometimes. 

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galations 5:13-14

I have had some rough days as a mom.  With one very active son and two special needs kids life can be crazy around here.  I've had days when I feel desperately alone, and I wonder why God has dealt me this hand... I have been in seasons where I tried to hide how hard things are.  I put on my Sunday smile and when people ask how I am I say "Fine." and when help was offered I would politely decline or say it didn't work with our schedule because I didn't want to inconvenience anyone.  What I was doing was neglecting to show my true self, my weakness, my need.

 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace... 1 Peter 4:10

But I have been more of a "yes" girl lately.  And I have been truly blessed by it.  My family and friends have stepped up to relieve some of the strain I have felt.  Obviously the kids are a lot of work, but especially since Isaac has gotten this new job its been hard for me because he is gone from 9am-8pm all during the week.  It makes for really long days.  Joe and Christine both have therapies throughout the week and misc. doctors appointments, etc.  So, when someone offers to take a kid or two so I don't have take them all to this appointment or that... I don't politely decline anymore.  I say:  "Yes, thank you.". 

Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.Proverbs 11:25

 This is a pix of my three kiddos and my friend's beautiful daughters at the end of the two weeks of swim lessons that we rotated the responsibility of watching the littles and running the big ones to lessons.  We loved seeing them every day!

God uses His people to carry out His will.  He uses those people in our lives to answer our prayers for help.  I could stay in my pit and wonder why nothing is getting any easier... or I could accept the help being offered and be thankful that He has placed certain people in my life to share my burdens with me.  It is a huge blessing to me to have a bit of relief from the business of this life.  But I am realizing that it also blesses the one who is serving as well. 

 "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Acts 20:35

Don't deprive your friends and family the blessing of helping you. Be a "YES" girl!  Say yes to the blessing of allowing your friends or family reach into your life and your heart.  You won't regret it!

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.  -  1 John 3:16-18