Thursday, May 24, 2018

I Did NOT Cuss Out My Riding Mower Today

I may have gotten a little carried away with my mower today.  The belt is old and wasn't catching the spring to lower the blade.  Something so little can seem so big when it is added to difficult news about friends or the heaviness on the news that is already circulating in my mind.  But today while I was kneeling down cussing out checking out the mower I was gently handed a thought that made me smile.  And then another one.  And then another one.

I thought I'd share some of my the things that I love and that make me smile to jumpstart your smile so that you can try to find some of your own.

Breast cancer runs in my family.  Knowing this has kept me in search of the perfect natural deodorant.  And let me tell you, I have found some doozies.  I have finally found one that I love though! It goes on smooth and clean, not sticky and wet.  I don't have to reapply nearly as much as the other natural deodorants I have tried.  And my friend is the one who makes it!  So if you are in the market for a good REAL deodorant let me know and I'll hook you up with my friend

Which leads me to something that puts this awesome deodorant to the test!  

Every other push mower we have had has been used and pretty beat up.  Not to mention that they have been quite literally heavier than I am and difficult to push up the hill at the bottom of our driveway.  But not this bad boy.  Josh had to finally break down and buy one, but even though it was the cheapest on the lot this puppy is light and even has a lower handle, which is perfect for my not-so-long self. 

Along the same "natural" lines...this little 1 lb. bag of soap nuts was only $19 and should hopefully wash all of my laundry for the next 2 years (because my last bag was 1/2 a lb. and I ordered it last April) .  How is THAT for savings?!  My sister-in-law told me about these gems and I haven't gone back since.  I've even done the whole "make your own detergent" and this, my friends, is even better!

My favorite face cleanser.  I've tried tons of these too and this is my go-to lately.

The vinyl I'm listening to right now.  Have you heard of Nils Frahm?  You need to look him up and take a listen right now.

The two corners of our front porch have 6th generation (at least!) bird nests.  Every year we get about 3 families in each corner and they just keep building their nests higher and higher with each year.  It's so fun to watch the life cycle right outside our window every spring ALL spring.  God even has a perfect family design for the birds.  Both parents prepare the nest.  The mom then lays the eggs and sits.  The dad finds and brings food to the mom as she waits on those eggs to hatch.  Then after they do hatch the dad still brings food (until the baby birds get older and bigger) and brings food to the mom who then eats and "shares" with the babies.

These are my favorite kinds of bouquets.  Wild and free, delivered with love.

That feeling when I finally get time to do Alethia's hair (and pray that it lasts for at least a couple weeks).

Jude checked out a cupcake baking book from the library and I promised that we could try our hand at one of them.  These are little horse cupcakes that Jude made almost all by himself!  That kid LOVES to bake:-)

My favorite pair of shoes

Picnic dinners outside.

Cai is REALLY loving soccer!  We claimed some of the land next to our backyard and Josh made a soccer field.  Then he crafted a goal out of old wood and old packing saran wrap we've had in the shed since we moved here in '09.  This is most likely where you'll find our family in the evenings before bed.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Happy 15th Anniversary (for our 16th Anniversary) ~ A Story In Pictures

We are always running a little behind on celebrations around here.  For example, Jude's birthday was February 9th and I have yet to plan his birthday outing with a buddy.  We are just trying to promote the discipline of patience;)

So we finally made our big 15 year anniversary getaway right after celebrating our 16th.  We decided to go back to Cancun like we did for our 10th anniversary (on our 11th anniversary...see what I mean?).

It did NOT disappoint.

My parents were gracious enough to come hang out here with the kids and take them around to all of their life things while we got away for 5 whole nights of uninterrupted, quiet, peaceful, relaxing, time together.  No instruments, no kids, no agenda...just us and the beach and all the food we wanted to eat, ha!

Embarking on our journey

I thought this was so cool!  I looked out my window and saw our airplane
reflecting on the clouds beneath us.

We were getting so close.  The water was turning crystal clear

Josh brought a book bag FULL of Spanish Gospel tracts and Bibles.
The guy on the cooler was SO anxious to get His and couldn't stop reading it
as soon as Josh told him what it was.

The view as soon as we walked into our room

We woke up with a beautiful sunrise EVERY SINGLE MORNING as we listened to the surf and birds

This was our favorite place to go every night after dinner.  It was a rooftop lounge overlooking the city.

We even kissed a couple of times while we were gone.

And some of this happened too.

Sunset at the rooftop lounge


Antonio, our favorite waiter

Coffee and reading on the beach were a favorite morning occurrence.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Easter 2018

Well, better late than never, ha!

I don't remember the last time we had an actual family Easter photo because we get up WAY before the sun comes up and by the time we are done we are all D.O.N.E.  So this is as close as we got this year...but what a sweet one it is.

This is the first year ever that we have lived close enough to my parents to have Easter dinner with them.  And it just so happened that Easter fell on April 1st, April Fools Day, and it ALSO just so happens that my parents are secret pranksters, so it made for an eventful afternoon!

After a full morning worshipping at Journey we headed over to Wendell.

Upon arrival my parents began quickly setting the feast out on the table.  A lovely dinner of... OCTOPUS!

My kids looked at each other.
Then they looked at us.
Then they looked at Nonnie and G-daddy.
Not quite sure how to respond.

They didn't want to hurt my parents feelings,
but they DEFINITELY didn't want to eat that octopus.

Then my mom's "April Fools" rang through the air and they all sighed in relief, lol.

You can tell by Cai's reaction he wasn't too excited about the menu options, and Jude's face is priceless, ha!

After we got a good laugh my parents brought out the REAL dinner and a couple of the kids actually volunteered to at least try the Octopus.

For dessert my mom began by passing a bowl around of little chocolate eggs.  You know, the kind that are wrapped in foil decorative paper.

Zeke opened his and began eating his yummy chocolate.
Then Jude began opening his and upon closer examination realized that his was not chocolate.  It was a grape!  He curiously looked around while my mom tried not to catch his eye.  They Jude grabbed another one hoping for better luck.  Again, when he opened the piece it was a grape.  And then AGAIN.  We were ALL laughing at this point until he finally found the chocolate wrapped egg he was looking for.

My mom had spent the evening before unwrapping some of the eggs, which my dad gladly helped get rid of;), and wrapped purple grapes in the foil to trick the kids.

It was a fun Easter afternoon we will not soon forget.