Friday, January 13, 2017

A Walk In The Park

I went to go grab some socks out of my bin so we could go on a walk to the park today.

Apparently I waited too long to do laundry (again) because I didn't have any.

It's a good thing Rainy has the same size (within a half of a size) foot as me.
And it's a good thing she was generous enough to share a pair of clean socks with me.
And it's a good thing that I don't have any issues with wearing mis-matched, tie-die socks,
because that particular kind was my only option, ha!

This means two things:

  1. I care very little about my own personal fashion
  2. My daughter is growing up
Both of which can be good or bad depending on the way you look at it, lol.


Josh and I didn't realize the gem we had when we moved into this house over 7 years ago. The trails that connect to Rolesville Park are practically in our backyard and I can't even count the hours we've spent running/walking/scootering/pushing strollers/pulling wagons/adventuring in those woods and on those trails.


Today we spent most of our time back in the deepest parts of the woods looking for hidden trails we've missed over the years.


Sometimes when I'm in these woods I take for granted the utter beauty that is right in our own backyard.  But not today.  The last 3-4 days have been mentally very dark days for me, but this morning I woke up and that dark fog had lifted, bringing a fresh motivation for beauty and life.

(I have also realized I have a love affair with old red barns.
Or maybe it's just old things in general.)

Today I'm overwhelmingly thankful for the sunshine, the gorgeous weather, the lifted "fog" and the treasures we can find in our own backyard.  But most of all, I'm grateful for my keeper who never slumbers, but instead keeps my foot from being moved, even on the darkest of days.

"He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber."
Psalm 121:3

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Pane Inflicted Pain

It was time to take Christmas down.
I LOVE the cozy feelings that Christmas decorating promotes.

But as SOON as Christmas is over I begin getting antsy to put it all away 
and get on with he New Year,
packed full of new inspirations...
motivated by organization and cleanliness of course.

So as SOON as New Year passed I decided it was time.
I waited until Rainy and Josh were occupied
(my two most nostalgic Colony members)
and started "un-Christmasing" the Colony home.

Well, all those things are fine and dandy,
until you have a cute Colony kid contently playing with Legos 
on the fireplace stone ledge right under the 14 lb window pane 
that you are maneuvering around on the mantle to get the decorations cleaned up...


My head kept telling me to move Cai to another spot to play until I finished that area,
but my mama heart saw a boy playing so sweet and quietly by himself.
And we all know how hard it is to interrupt a kid playing sweet and quietly.
Especially with a city of Lego creations that will have to be relocated.


So I ignored my head and followed my heart,
and a split second later the window pane came crashing down on top of Cai's head!

He screamed.
I froze.
He grabbed the top of his head.
I knelt to console.

The blood. 
The other scared kids.
Did I mention the blood?!

The dad who was working away in the back bedroom (and by God's grace not away at work)
heard the commotion and ran to the scene.
Typically my sweet Josh passes out at the sight of these types of things (bless his heart),
but this evening we reversed rolls.

He took Cai straight to the ER.
It was then that the first prayer was answered "yes".
They were placed in a room almost immediately.

Then the second prayer was answered "yes".
They didn't have to shave his head AT ALL!
(In fact, his hair helped in the staple removal a week later!)

This boy may be small in stature but he is my dare devil and beasted those 5 staples!
The doctors said that other kids have kicked and cursed and hit...
but Cai was so sweet and patient and took it like a champ.


A week later we found ourselves in the pediatrician's office
with a room full of cheerleaders and helpers.
He was pretty fearful of the staple removal,
but after the first one, he realized that it didn't hurt at all!


I mean, just look at that face.

We know it could have been SO much worse and are so, so grateful.

What a way to start the year!

***No window panes were harmed during this episode.  
And no glass was even broken!***

******It IS, however, in the attic, safely placed away for use...
in ANOTHER, safer location, of course.******

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Story In Pictures - Snowmageddon 2017

After Jude's snow in the shirt incident, ha!

We began our adventure with the prep for the storm.
We walked the trails of Rolesville Park with Jude's wagon to get some firewood.


And waited for the snow to begin.
We all know that NC doesn't always get their weather predictions right,
so we tried to keep realistic expectations, while still holding out hope for the best.

We woke up to a thick layer of ice and some flurrying,
but it later turned into a day of snow and fun!


Freezing Chickens


Mouth full of snow

My sexy bearded man

snow angels

because snow down the shirt is no fun

throwing snowballs (I use that term loosely, ha!)


so.much.wrestling.

Ice Sledding

Frozen trampoline

I got to have a little fun with my camera, which seems like a rare occasion lately.




We took breaks for hot chocolate...


...reading...

My view from my chair as I read and watched the snow fall.
...worked a little to get ready for Journey's online Sunday services...


...and snowcream!


The Aftermath



Now it's time to get our chili and cornbread on the table that's been cooking all day!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Colony's Rockin' New Years Eve 2016

Our family had a great day today as we closed out our year together (1).

The day was spent playing games (2), baking (3) and reminiscing about all that's happened this past year (4).  Josh and I planned a special activity with the kids to help them grasp the concept of New Year's Resolutions (5) and helped them write out their own plans for the next year (6).

Josh and I were able to squeeze in a little workout at the gym (7) while the kids played happily together in the gym childcare area(8).

Jude was having an abnormally great day (9).  Typically he knowingly pushes his siblings buttons (10) and frequently disobeys (11).  But today he was so sweet (12) and compliant (13) that we rewarded him with some sweet treats (14)!

And it was a good thing too, because we were invited to a birthday bash/New Years party at a friend's house and it would have been devastating to have to make an unruly Jude (and as a result, mom) stay home from the fun festivities (15) because of bad behavior.

We loaded up the car and headed to the party with smiles all around (16).  Fun was had by all (17a) (17b), but we couldn't stay out partying too late because we had Journey first thing in the morning.

After the party Josh and I were so excited (18) to cozy up by the fire(19) and turn on Dick Clark's Rockin' Eve show (20) to watch our favorite artists (21), especially Mariah (22), perform our favorite tunes (23).

It was so sweet to kiss in (24) the New Year with my best friend!

Here's to another year with our spicy circus of a Colony.  I wouldn't trade it for the world (25)!

***************

1 - Well, actually, we weren't together for a few hours (see #14)

2 - Let's see if the outdoor fire pit (because yard debris) or the indoor fireplace (because New Years Eve and fires in the fireplace HAVE to happen simultaneously) will have a bigger flame! (The outdoor fire pit won all day.)

3 - Rainy spent the entire afternoon in the kitchen baking yummy goodies for the neighbors because it's never too late to spread some Holiday cheer to the ones closest to us, right?! Right.  Merry Christmas Happy New Year, from theVia's

4 - Who am I kidding?!  I can't even remember where I placed my phone 5 minutes ago and I literally had to go look at my past blog posts to remember when Jude's birthday was this afternoon, so trying to remember what happened over this past year, yeah right. *sigh*

5 - Nope, we didn't.  As a matter of fact, that phrase never even escaped our lips, but I do remember the activity of cleaning up flour from every crevice of the kitchen after one of Rainy's aforementioned baking episodes...

6 - Again, we're in a season of just making it through the day-to-day, so our long-term goals consist of nobody peeing on the toilet seat and picking up our toys for an ENTIRE DAY! Let's do this!

7 - If by gym you meant the floor between the living room where the Legos threw up in front of the cozy fire and the dining room where leftovers were being eaten, then yes. (I'll give you the first month free if you can workout under these conditions with me, ha!)

8 - The kids enjoyed some time playing outside swinging from our  ghetto  EPIC  tree house ledge in the backyard and pulling each other in the wagon between the free ranging chickens that Rainy was keeping an eye on (because our relationship with our neighbor is more important than our free ranging chickens).

9 - No, he really wasn't.  It was a pretty typical day.

10 - He was pushing everybody's buttons. ALL. DAY.

11 - He disobeyed so much that we grounded from life for the rest of the day:(  At it was only 3:45.

12 - He destroyed Lego creations and broke his siblings toys...just to name a few.

13 - We have a friend using our front yard/lot to sell their car (let me know if you're interested!) and we had instructed the kids not to talk to any people who came to look at the car.  But Jude did.  Because Jude.  And he told the guy, well, I'm not even going to write it because it was that inappropriate.  Because Jude. (Sorry Aaron, I hope you can still sell your car!)

14 - Jude was sequestered to his room for the remainder of the day because he proved that he was incapable of making wise choices.  Which meant that I, too, was sequestered to the house, so I wouldn't be going to the birthday/New Years party either.

15 - Jude and I had to stay home.

16 - Poor Zeke was having such a hard time leaving Jude in the midst of consequences that he literally couldn't stop crying.  Just another reminder that consequences hurt more than the person who is being punished.

17a - I have the FaceTime chats and videos from my friends to prove it, ha!

17b - I ran through the songs for the morning and folded some laundry while I enjoyed the peace and quiet of my house (minus Jude's crying because he was missing out on the party).  It was kind of my happy place.

18 - I literally had to talk Josh into staying up for the ball drop with me because we have to wake up so early for Journey.  But I have pretty persuasive powers;)

19 - We had such a hard time keeping our indoor fire lit all day, except for the 30 minutes during my workout video, of course.

20 - This is Josh's and my yearly pop-culture fix.  (Remember 2010) We're SO Relevant, lol!

21 - Ok, so we DO have a middle schooler, but I STILL don't know half of these people!

22 - Poor Mariah!!!

23 - But for real, why do they feel like they sound better if they wear less?!

24 - Sorry, that's all you're getting for this one, ha!

25 - For real, I truly love now.  I confess to the occasional eye roll and I certainly have my moments of huffing and puffing through exasperating parental moments, but I wouldn't trade it for the world!  Even if one of us didn't make it through to the ball drop;)

***************

Here is a link to our Rockin' New Years Eves from 2014 and 2013 just for fun.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Less Is More In 2017


We all know that the day dawning a new year isn't any different than the other 364 days of the year.  But there is just SOMEthing about this day.

We all feel it.
And nobody is exempt from what happens next.

We all say goodbye to the past year and anticipate what is just around the corner.
We are all hoping and praying that what comes ahead will be better than what lay behind.

Even if it was a great year, it's exciting to look forward to the possibilities wrapped up in a new one.

Some have had really difficult years and have been fighting for the finish line, grasping for the fresh air that is hopefully just around the corner.

We all dig deep trying to figure out how we can be better than before.

Over years past I have focused my year on healthy habits, both spiritually and physically. I have worked on building better, STRONGER relationships.  And just plain being a better mom, Christ follower, wife, sister, friend, daughter...

...but always praying that the Holy Spirit will help me keep my focus on the Heavenly Father.

Last year's focus was to be present.  My mantra was Jim Elliot's quote, "Wherever you are, be all there."

This year, though, all I can wrap my mind around is MORE.

More of Him.

That's it.

Because more of Him will mean less of me.
And Lord knows we all need less of my personal opinions and injustices, my tendency to make decisions based on my fickle emotions, and my predisposition for critical thinking.

More of Him will mean acting in His love and patience.
More of Him will mean more obedience from me, whether that is in daily conversations about His goodness and soul-saving grace, embracing His interruptions in my schedule, or walking in faith not fear.

No more overthinking, just overflow.
My identity placed solely in His hands.

Everything else I strive to be better at, or do harder, pales in comparison to Him and what He wants to do in and through me.

This New Year's Resolution:
"He must become greater, I must become less."
John 3:30

Thursday, December 29, 2016

My Prayer Closet


This place used to be a place of defeat.

For whatever reason Satan would wreak havoc as soon as I'd step foot in the shower.  Maybe because my mind didn't have to think much while I was getting clean, so why NOT bombard me with lies in an attempt to sabotage my day.

The lies that would swirl around in my head, the previous conversations that would play over and over until untruths became absolutes, and past hurts that would become present hurts all over again...

I remember, on numerous occasions, flying through my shower routine in order to get out of there as quickly as I could, to stop the voices that were echoing so loudly within those enclosed walls.  I would feel absolutely exhausted and sometimes near panic by the time I stepped back out onto the tiles of the cold bathroom floor.

Sunday mornings were the worst.  Waking up so early to get to band run-through meant that my brain, during my morning showers, was still waking up and foggy.  Truth seemed to still be sleeping while the lies poured on thick, making it nearly impossible to prepare spiritually for the job ahead.

But somewhere over the years this very scary place has transformed into a place of solitude.  And it's certainly not because I don't have kids in and out using the bathroom or brushing their teeth or asking to get a snack (this Colony NEVER ceases to be hungry!).

But now, when I step into the shower other people come to mind.

Those with struggling marriages, the one searching and searching for a job, the relational conflict of another, the ones fighting for contentment.  My squad girls whose lives run deep through my veins, my parents, in-laws and siblings, my own husband and kids.  Those people who I utter those precious words, "I'll be praying for you".

I may not have a ton of quiet in my life, but this space and the mundane activities that happen within (although I have been known to accidentally wash my hair with face wash a time or two), allow for some very sweet time where I don't have to do anything but fight for others God has placed in my life with the very real weapon of prayer.

Now when Satan thinks he can play with my mind when I jump in the shower I simply ask God to bring to mind those that I need to be praying for.

Your prayer closet doesn't have to be an elaborate haven.  I have friends who have told me they have been praying for me while mowing their grass (Which can take HOURS for some people.  Just ask my dad, ha!).  We have another family friend who traces alphabet letters with his GPS while jogging, praying for people whose names begin with that letter.  Another one of my friends uses the time at her kitchen sink to call out to the One who promises to hear his children.  Maybe it's the drivers seat in your car, or your teacher's desk between classes.

God doesn't care WHERE we pray, so get creative and find a place to do battle, even if the only place you can think of is in the shower.

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, 
that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, 
and having done all, to stand firm. 
14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, 
and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 
15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness 
given by the gospel of peace. 
16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, 
with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, 
which is the word of God, 
18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. 
To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
Ephesians 6:13-18

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Words Worth Remembering

Jude:"Zeke, can you read me my quiet time again?"

Jude:"But WHYYYY do I have to go to bed right now?"
Me:"Because you are SO tired."
Jude:"I'm NOT tired. I'm GRUMPY!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cai:"Mom, you're passing the wall."
translation - You're crossing the line

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jude:"Hmmmm, I like the chicken that is in that tuna!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Me:"Come on, let's do school outside today!"
Rainy:"No, not math. It is too pretty outside, but math deserves a dark place."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jude:"It's called a comperstation. That's what talking is."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Zeke:"Mom, can I show you these?"
Me:"Sure, what is it?"
Zeke:"It's what I drew last night and wanted to show you but daddy said that you were a little cranky."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jude:"Who said that? Not me. It was the other dimension Jude...Good joke huh!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cai:"Mom, who's in the car?"
Me:"Zeke, Rainy and Laithy."
Cai:"What did you say? What about money did you say?"
Me:"I didn't say ANYthing about money.  I said Zeke and Rainy and Alethia are in the car."
Jude:"What about cheese?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jude:"You wanna see my ball?  It's a Duke ball."
Poppie:"Is it a basketball?"
Jude:"No.  It's just a duke ball.  But it's called a basketball sometimes too."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jude:"I just gotta get a little taller so I can get into third grade."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cai:"Ooooh, Jude, what happened to your foot?!"
Jude:"It's OK, it's just eczemO."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jude:"You know what I like most about today? Hugging you."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Josh:"The smell of a musty old books brings me to a happy place."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jude:"Mom, can we get some parrots?"
translation - pears

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Zeke:"Jude, you have to go take your shirt off cuz you're the drummer."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cai:"I like how this lip chap tastes."
translation - chapstick

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jude:"Oh man, I'm so steaming cold out here!"


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Story In Pictures - 4th Annual CCGDCAWKSBBE


4nd annual
Girls vs. Boys
Colony (+ friends) (not this year) -Christmas-Gingerbread(house)man-Decorating-Create-A-Wonderland-Kick-Some-Butt-Bottom- EXTRAVAGANZA!
















With well over 100 votes from friends and family like YOU

This Year's CCGDCAWKSBBE WINNERS ARE:

First place - ColonyMOM #2
Second Place - Rainy #5
Third - Cai #7
Next best - Colony DAD #1
Next best - Jude #6
Next best Ending Tie - Zeke #3 and Alethia #4

The competition is getting stronger each year and the the numbers were surprisingly close!
Thank you to everyone who participated this year!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

theColonyShop Is Going To The OTMS

I have the opportunity to add some of my items from theColonyShop to my friend's booth at the Wake Forest "Old Town Market Shops" venue THIS SATURDAY!  So this week I've been working on some new pieces to sell and see how we do.






I am so excited to see the other 30+ vendors and all the products that are going to be available as well as get my first taste as a vendor.

Come on out and get some of your Christmas shopping done and support some local artisans!

11900 Louisburg Rd.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
Open 10am-3pm

You can find them on Facebook too!