Friday, March 13, 2015

Ending the Week Right

Today is one for the memory books.  We’re celebrating Thomas and all he’s accomplished this year.  Last June, Thomas tested in the 2nd percentile for his speech articulation, and today he re-tested above the 50th percentile and graduated his speech therapy program!

Can you make out that incredible decorating job?  I don't even pretend to try.

He was beaming as his amazing teacher and therapist placed a medal around his neck, and I announced that tonight would be a celebration for Thomas and all of his incredible hard work.  Of course, that meant I needed to plan a celebration :)  We kept things simple with pineapple and olive pizza (his favorite), sprinkle cake, ice cream, and juice pouches.  I sure do love easy-to-impress four year olds! 

Katherine's bummed she has to finish her dinner before she gets dessert.
Thomas has proudly worn his medal all afternoon, and loudly announced to anyone who would listen (with wonderful articulation!) that today he GRADUTATED!  

And with that, here's my Friday photo dump:

Sickness hit us late last week

It didn't take long before all the kids were down with high fevers.
We still managed to enjoy the nice weather with an outdoor nap.
Flowers everywhere!

William loves taking pictures

And so do I!  Everyone got a haircut this week.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The One You're Gonna Wanna Read

Tonight we wished this guy a happy birthday.  The big 3-4 might not seem like much of a milestone year, but Michael has done so much recently to serve me and our family I wanted to do something nice to celebrate his birthday. 


Over the weekend we had a nice date night out, and then I got to work planning for his "real" birthday this evening.   

Yesterday, the kids and I ventured out of Oregon and up to Washington to do a special gender screening ultrasound.  All three kids did an amazing job inside the ultrasound office.  Katherine played happily with princess castle, Thomas pointed out all of the cobwebs underneath the exam table, and William sat silently on the chair and watched the screen intently.  Within just a couple of minutes, from just a black and white moving picture, we gained insight into how our lives would be changed forever. 

And then, I bribed the kids.  Keep this secret, and I'll take you to lunch.  Don't tell Dad, and I'll read you an extra story.  Stay quiet, and your daddy will have the best birthday surprise ever.  I promised, and they delivered. In truth, Thomas may have gotten excited and told our sweet next-door neighbor first.

I ordered a cake from a local grocery store.  "Plain on the outside, with a big question mark.  Yellow or green, I don't care." I said.   "The inside, that's the surprise.  You can color the filling?  Thanks for doing this on such short notice, I had a long day and I'm too tired to bake my own cake."

I picked the cake up this morning and brought it to the office, handing it off to a church friend who works for the same company (really, everyone here works for the same company).  And this time, he was the one who delivered. The cake was nothing fancy, but what was hidden inside?  That was treasure beyond measure.

(Side note: in the three minutes I left my children in the car, with the windows partially rolled down, to walk the cake into the lobby, the security guards found my children and were playing peek-a-boo with them while waiting for their terrible, negligent mother to return.  SO glad I didn't end up in jail this morning.)


 And this little girl down here?  Little sister is so happy to have a little sister.  It's going to rock her world, the one where she's the center of everything, but it's going to be great. 

Happy Birthday, Michael!  Hope this year is your best one yet :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Thoughts: Mine, Photos: Not

Just like that, our trip is booked.  A few days of hard driving, with fun stops along the way to see family and friends.  And in the middle, four nights in our old stomping grounds, the place that brought two individuals together to become one, the city where we welcomed our first two children into the world and learned how to be a family.

Not my photo, but it's pretty, isn't it?

For the next month, I’ll stay busying living our current life, embracing the homeschooling freedom that let’s us get up and go, stay in to hibernate, or most often some of each.  No matter what I choose, the day-to-day of dishes, laundry and cooking sets a rhythm for our life that’s inescapable.  
Also not my photo.  Do you sense a pattern?

God, in His infinite wisdom, knew that my vocation to the married and family would ground me and bring me closer to Him.  The simple drudgery of the routine work brings me to my knees, literally.  I kneel to clean spills from the floor, bow down to wipe the bottoms of babes, genuflect as I tie shoelaces for those who don’t know how; my physical posture is my reminder that in serving my family I serve the Almighty.  

We’ve now made it through the first week of Lent. This year, in this season, I’m working on remembering.  Already, I’ve failed - I always do.  Yesterday I forgot to pray the 7th day of novena, so today I prayed twice.  In my forgetting, I am remembering my humanness, the weakness of my will, my need for a Savior.  I’m remembering that my God is good, merciful, and forgiving.  I’m rejoicing in the beauty of Heaven and salvation.  

Nope, don't own this clock.

I’ve got my methods for this remembering and forgetting - adding good things in, purging the bad. Keep on keeping on, we’ve got another five and a half weeks to go, and I have no doubt I’ll be doing plenty of forgetting and remembering in that time.  No matter what, I’ll still be drinking my morning cup of coffee, because who could do ANY remembering without that?!

Wouldn't it be nice if this were actually my morning cuppa?

Happy Wednesday everyone :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

California Calling

My brain is on overload, thinking about school and curriculums and all the hard work I’ll need to do to make sure I’ve prepared the boys for the transition to traditional school.  I have no doubt they’ll adjust and thrive, but it’s near impossible to stop a thinking mama’s mind.  

My remedy for uncertainty is always sunshine, and this February, Oregon has delivered.  Be calm, my heart, and bathe in the Light.

Warmth calls my name and I feel my past beckoning.  Somehow in the last twenty-four hours, California has become my future.  Numerous tabs and windows sprawl across my computer screen, with search items like “kid-friendly resort hotel” and “surviving a family road trip.”  I’m fortunate to know where and when to stay in Southern California, to have an even longer road trip under my belt, and to know that this will be another adventure to add to our family memory book.  
“An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.” G.K. Chesterton

Our past in sunny San Diego, about eight years ago.

We’re embracing our present, living the free-range homeschool lifestyle, taking advantage of all that is right now.  Today, that’s sunshine, smiles, and a few extra writing assignments thrown in for good measure.  And as it should be, filling up with Goodness miraculously erases all that worry, unknowing, and uncertainty.

Friday, February 20, 2015


 I recently told a friend of mine, an aspiring Catholic speaker, that her testimony needed to include crying ugly tears.  And then, you know, stopping the ugly after about 20 seconds, regaining composure, and going on to convert the hearts of whomever is listening.  

The conversation made me think of this blog of mine, where I never cry those ugly tears, not literally or metaphorically or in any way at all.  I make everything look beautiful and perfect and happy, and it’s not.  Oh, my real life is so far from any of those things, and anyone who really knows me knows that.  But here?  It’s hard to draw the line between sharing and oversharing, spouting truth versus breaching family privacy.  So I’ll share the lovely, the happy, the enchanting.  We know that in any good fairy tale, or Ferry tale, there’s plenty of ugly and evil.  It’s a comfort that in so many good stories, and I hope mine included, the evil and ugly is conquered by good, love and Truth.  Just know that you aren’t seeing all of the story here - not even close - and that the struggle is the most moving part.

Today we sent William off for his first day at “real” school.  He was so excited to be there, when I dropped him off in the classroom I didn’t even get a goodbye.  My mommy heart two years ago would have been a bit crushed, but today I just smiled knowing this is the way growing up works.  And when I picked him up at the end of the day?  That smile was even bigger.

Why the change?  Homeschooling was/is going well.  William’s a smart guy, who excels at just about anything academic, and homeschooling him was pretty much a breeze.  We’ll be finishing out the year at home.  Yet along with all the easy came lots of hard, the struggle in the fairy tale.  Hard to fill the hours, hard to entertain the littles, hard to be on all. the. time. So sometimes?  You need a change.  I need a change.  Sometimes it’s nice to let the big kid be big and let little brother step up to learn how to fill his shoes.  And he does, and it’s good.  Not better, no, but different.

I’ve always loved changing things up - new shoes, new hair, new city, and I guess my momma style is no different.  So today we embraced the idea of change, of sending off and growing up, and seeing what fruit that yields.  And while I’m sure we’ll come across the occasional thorn, my guess is that the harvest will be sweet and plentiful.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Remember me?

Hello, again. 

It's been a while, huh?  Two years almost.  You could say two years of blog neglect, or maybe just two lovely years of home-making, family-growing, child-educating and toddler-raising. 

For a brief time, there's no baby in this home of ours anymore.  And when I popped onto this blog myself, for the first time in over a year, I saw a picture of our past, the final easy-access written and recorded memory of these three babes of mine.  I couldn't believe how much time has past, how far we've come.  It's nearly impossible to measure the day-to-day growth, and I'd probably make myself crazy if I tried.  But we've grown, oh my, how we've grown.

It used to be that I could lift all three children at once.  Now I can't pick up either boy without straining myself, and even Katherine has transformed into her own little person - one that I can physically lift, but who would much rather walk on her on two feet. 

So what am I doing back here, you ask?   Why now, after all this time?  I missed the creative outlet, the excuse to take lovely photos (The ones here today?  They're from almost six months ago.  Time to dust off the camera), the chance to share the beautiful parts of our days without getting bogged down with all the ugly on Facebook. 

So here we are today.  Well, this was a couple of months ago - please be patient with me as I unearth my camera and remember how to find the lovely in our everyday living.  I'm doing some growing and stretching, too.  Enjoying the present, preparing for the future with bigger-little kids, and a new baby I'll be able to hold in my arms again.  It's a beautiful season, a beautiful life. 

I'll be praying for each and every one of you to find the beauty in your days, too.