Friday, April 4, 2014

Flashback Friday - Little Brother Edition

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I love it when I upload a new batch of pictures from our camera and then I find some little treasures that I completely forgot that I snapped.  Today’s blog post would be an example of just that. 

I snapped these pictures a few weeks ago of Merry Layne. She was playing so sweetly and quietly all by herself in our little “Elmo Kitchen”. It was precious and I am so glad that I captured this moment.

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Here’s another example…

Joy Lynn and Merry Layne play so well together (well, most of the time).  This is just another example of the everyday around here where we have lots of dress ups and giggles.  I believe they were having ballet class this particular afternoon and Miss Jo Jo was the teacher. 

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And then of course, I look over to check on little baby Ben…

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Bless Him!!  He was enjoying the ballet and snuggling with his pretty pink baby doll.  Ha!!  Smile 

It totally reminded me of another photo that I remember seeing several years ago…

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Baby Josh + 2 older sisters ~ circa 1980

And yes, that would be a pair of Wonder Woman underroos on my sweet husband’s head.  I guess Josh can teach Ben all about life with 2 older sisters. 

Speaking of Josh…  Thank you all so much for praying for him these past 2 weeks.  He is doing well, still dealing with the effects of Bell’s Palsy but we are trusting God for complete healing soon.

Happy Friday!!
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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Weekend Away

Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Convention 2014 Nashville

Ahhh…  Does that title not just bring a smile to your face?  Smile

Now don’t get me wrong, I really love my dear, precious children but Josh and I try on purpose to get away at least once a year, just the 2 of us.  There is just something so nice about packing a few things into a small bag and then leaving town, whether it be by plane, train, or automobile.  The adventure really does not matter and it usually involves a nursing baby these days, but that is really not a big deal anymore. 

This year we really did not have a preference on what we did so when the Teach Them Diligently Convention started popping up on our radar and it was so close to home we knew that this was the retreat for 2014.  It also did not hurt that it was held at one of our favorite spots.  If you recall, this was the place where Josh proposed to me 11 years ago.  We usually go back each year to get our photo taken under “our gazebo” and reminisce about how this crazy, fun chapter of our lives got started right here in this very spot. 

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Photo Taken:  December 30, 2012.

It has also been very fun to take the children back with us and share the memories with them too. 

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Photo Taken:  December 30, 2012.

A little side story here…  I did not know it in these pictures above but I was pregnant with Baby #7 at that time.  I started to not feel so great on the ride home that night and then I later put the pieces together the next day (New Year’s Eve) that we were expecting another baby.  As it turned out, we would later miscarry this precious blessing just a few weeks later but I will never forget that there were 8 of us when I look at this picture.

Now back to my main thoughts for this blog post… 

Josh and I really enjoyed our time together during the long weekend.  It was nice to finish our thoughts and even just sit and not have any thoughts at times.  Ha!!  Smile

This was our 1st actual “homeschool conference” to attend.  You know the ones I am talking about, right?  Sessions, Vendors, Exhibits, and lots of families and strollers everywhere?  We were a little overwhelmed by all the sessions and vendors.  I mean there is NO WAY POSSIBLE to see, hear, and experience everything at one of these big conventions.

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Jamie + Bennett during one of the FABULOUS sessions that we attended.

But all that really did not matter to us because we were just there to relax and enjoy ourselves.  We really did not take many photos at the actual convention.  I so wish I would have whipped my camera out more, especially during those times that we met up and saw a ton of friends, both near and far but I was relaxing and enjoying myself so the camera stayed tucked away in the stroller most of the time. 

Thumbs down          Bad Blogger!!!  Bad Blogger!!!         Thumbs down

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Speaking of those millions of sessions…  the ones that we did attend were FABULOUS!!  We were encouraged and inspired as they all spoke, each from their hearts and on totally different topics.  We also enjoyed the exhibit hall where we strolled around and found some new vendors that we were interested in and explored others that we recognized.

Bennett Lawson was along for the ride this time and he did so great.  I think he really enjoyed having Daddy + Mommy all to himself.  He has not had that since his little 2 week NICU vacation, which I hope we NEVER have to experience again. 

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And I think this little guy really enjoyed his 1st time in a hotel room.  He certainly had that relaxing part all figured out.  Ha!!  Smile

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We are so thankful to Josh’s parents who came up to our house and took over the ranks while we were away for a few days.  They even tided up our house, did our laundry, planted the garden, pressure washed some of the house, took the boys to their 1st soccer game, and found us a new school table at a yard sale.  Say What???  How in the world they got all that done is beyond me.  Super Grands, I guess!!  Ha!!  Smile

We really did have a great time, learned a lot, and came back home refreshed and encouraged to finish out this year strong and get ready to start a new school year, oh so very soon!!  If you have a chance to attend one of these conferences in your area, I highly recommend it.  They are so great!!  Laid back, but yet very professionally done and inspiring.  There are some other great locations left this year and I would love to attend if it would work out with our schedule.  (I secretly tried to talk Josh into the  DC one so that we could see our precious friends before they move across the country but it is during our crazy May that we have planned so he was not really going for it.  Bummer!!)

So tell me…  What do you do to relax and get refreshed each year?
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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

One Day…

I know that there will be one day when I will treasure this picture.

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It is evidence of my babies playing with their toys.  It shows where little hands have been and it shows where an imagination has been used.

One day I will not even remember the frustration of toys all over the house or how I long to have all the rooms in our house picked up (and kept that way while I do other tasks throughout the day).

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I want to remember the giggles and happiness of a new toy.  I want to remember the innocence of having nothing to do each day but play and find the fun in everything.

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I want to remember these precious everyday moments that I am blessed to spend with my children.  Each day we are at home living, loving, and learning together.  This is a treasure.  It is a blessing from God and I really do not want to overlook how precious these days together are. 

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This quote pops into my mind often when I am having those long, hard days... 

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I know it is so true and I really do not want to take even one of these normal, busy, loud, crazy days for granted.  I made this photo in our yard when we had the big snow a few weeks ago.  I know we all are getting spring fever around here but I still love this photo and I think I might enlarge and frame it.

But what about you?  Are you cherishing these crazy, busy, messy, (and often at my house LOUD) days that God has blessed you with?
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