Image by Laura Ketteman

Image by Laura Ketteman

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Day 59. "Faux"hawk.

My little guy LOVES for me to do his hair this way.  It fits his personality, I assure you.  He even requested this "do" for his first day of school.  Yikes!  I figured we might as well give his teachers an accurate first impression.  HA!  His hair is very much like his dad's (the exception being the color)... As soon as it gets any length on it, it waves.  Add product, and it CURLS.  Yesterday, when we attempted his faux hawk, this was our end result.  He said, "Mom, do I look like a girl?"  I said, "No, why would you ask that?"  He answered, "Because my hair looks like it has a bow!"  I explained that curls weren't for boys OR girls, and they looked nothing like bows.  He was then confident in his favorite look again.  Such a funny kid.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Day 58. Spring.

This little flower has grown in one of our front flower beds.  I don't know where it came from.  I don't know what kind it is.  We didn't plant it.  My middle child informed me, "Well, Mom... you know, the birds eat the seeds... Then, they 'do their business' and the seeds get replanted.  A bird probably planted it there for you."  Well, that may very well be exactly what happened!  And I'll thank the bird, because it's a pretty, little sign of spring.

A week before Easter, and this is how my guys are dressed... in sweaters.  Sheesh.  Well, they look handsome, at least!  And I was reminded just how thankful I should be, because I read on my sweet friend's FB profile this morning, that they have snow!  She lives in Romania, you see.  It's often cold there.  She considers it a bountiful blessing when the sun is shining, regardless of the temperature.  So, I should not complain that my boys are wearing sweaters, when at least, they're not wearing their snowboots!!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Day 57. Faith.

This is my Bible.  Isn't that a great picture?  This is unedited, I want to mention.  I messed with the colors a bit, but that beautiful, blurry background is all the lens.  It has the ability to go all the way down to F1.8 in the aperture setting.  Mmmm, I LOVE it!  Anyway, that's all a side note. 

We went to church this morning, as we typically do every Sunday morning.  My husband's Sunday school lesson was about faith.  It was a good lesson.  He challenged us in evaluating ourselves, and how strong our faith is... not just our belief in something.  He referred to the story of Abraham, being willing to sacrifice his son, Isaac... a well known Bible story to those of us who grew up in church.  Just because Abraham had a belief in God, would NOT have been enough to carry out God's request of him.  It was Abraham's faith that set him on his journey that day.  As a mother, I cannot fathom the faith that Abraham possessed.  I often wonder if Sarah, Isaac's mother, knew of Abraham's plan ahead of time.  Wow.

Our pastor brought a wonderful message, as he always does.  This morning, he informed us that he was throwing out most of his prepared sermon notes.  He felt he needed to get very BASIC and speak about the gospel.  He talked about living RADICALLY for Jesus... and how so many of us who claim to be Christ-followers are so afraid to do that.  In previous weeks, he has challenged us to stop "playing church" and to OPEN our mouths and TELL people what we believe... WHO our faith is based upon!  I agree with my beloved pastor wholeheartedly.  And I am convicted.

Allow me to be very transparent for a moment.  I thought about how much I surround myself with people of "like mind."  I wondered how many people outside of that circle, truly know that my desire is to follow God's will for my life and for my family.  Do I just "believe it?"  Or is my faith strong enough to handle the REAL challenges that come my way?

You see, I don't struggle in having faith that Jesus is real.  I believe my Bible is true.  I believe it was inspired by God Himself.  I believe that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, are all equally GOD.  I was blessed to have a mother and father who taught me these things.  As I grew, I realized how near and dear to my heart, these beliefs truly are, and they became MY life... not just something that was taught to me.  I don't struggle with wondering how Noah built the ark, or how Jonah was swallowed by a whale.  I believe Jesus was truly God with skin, and that He came to the earth for the sole purpose of taking on the sin of the world, by dying on a cross, and giving us the option to just believe in Him, that we may have eternal life.  I believe He wants a relationship with ME.  I believe He loves ME... just as He loves every human being He has ordained to live on this earth.  This is NOT where I struggle in my faith.  I need more faith that He will give me the strength to be BOLD in living for Him.  I need more faith that He will give me the words to tell someone MORE than, "Yes, I go to church."  I live in a country where I can profess His name as Jesus, and how often do I take that for granted?  How long before it may be challenged?

Yes, I know there are those who think such things are nonsense.  I know that some folks actually believe that my way of thinking is weak.  I should find wholeness in myself... completion in who I am.  Some may even challenge that it takes someone uneducated to believe in something which has no proof!  And then, there are those who think that because I believe in Jesus, I must be some holy-rolling, radical, door-knocking, tract handing, think-I'm-so-much-better-than-you-cuz-I-go-to-church, kind of person.  Well, you couldn't be MORE wrong.  I can't MAKE you believe that God is real.  I can't "reason" with you, why science can't "prove it."  And I would NEVER tell you that I'm better than you or anyone else, because I know that I'm just as messed up as the next person. 

What I CAN tell you, is that I know how He has changed my life.  I don't have an emptiness that needs to be filled, because He has filled it.  I hope that when true struggles come my way, my faith in Him is what will carry me through.  He has proven to me time and time again, that He will never leave me, nor forsake me.  He has given me peace when I've asked Him for it.  He has told me "no" when I thought I knew better than He did.  He gave me grace when I didn't deserve it.  He loved me when I believed no one else could.  He is God.  He is my heavenly Father.  And I love Him.  It's not just what I believe.  It's WHO I AM. 

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day 56. Treasures.

My youngest child has started collecting pinecones to give to me.  Don't you love it when your children give you similar gifts?  Dandelions.  "Special" rocks.  Blades of grass.  :)  Artwork from school.  Chewing gum from the  bottom of their shoe  :)  ... if it's interesting to them, it's a very generous gesture that they willingly part with it to give it away as a gift.  I have an awful time throwing any such things away.  I started taking pictures after VBS weeks, of all the crafts and projects they come home with.  That way, I feel better about discarding them later.  But there are some things I will never ever part with... locks of hair from their first haircuts.  Sweet KG paintings.  Handmade Mother's Day cards.  Oh, they are precious treasures!  As we approach those precarious teenage years, I'll look back on these memories as a needed reminder that they once loved me!  :)

MC (middle child) wanted to take a photo, too, while I was "capturing" my pinecone memories.  As often as I can, I try to oblige them when they want to take pictures.  I encourage it, because I want them to ALWAYS take pictures.  It will mean a great deal to me when I'm a grandmother one day.  :)  His preferred subject was his mommy and our puppy.  Yes, she actually does love me.... she was just more interested in what was going on in the backyard, so I kind of headlocked her there for the moment.  Don't worry, it was an affectionate headlock.  She didn't mind.  She's a very snuggly dog.  We love her!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Day 55. Baby Chicks.

Another school project.  My son's class had an incubator with these eggs, for the kids to await the arrival of baby chicks.  Today, when I dropped him off at school, we entered the building to hear very LOUD chirping sounds coming from the sweet baby chicks who had hatched!  So cute!

Day 54. Homey.

This was a huge deal for me the day I received this in the mail!  I've had a hard time hunting it down!  Isn't it darling?  I love to save cards.  We are blessed to have family that sends us cards for just about any occasion.  My husbands parents, especially, make sure that my children always receive cards for anything from birthdays to Valentine's Day, to Thanksgiving!  :)  This is a great way to display those cards, and serve as a reminder of how many people LOVE us and send their thoughts our way.  :)

Day 53. Pretzel.

My son's class made these at school the other day.  Have I mentioned how much I LOVE his school?  They do the coolest things.  He was very proud of this pretzel... even shared a  couple of bites with his siblings.  :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 52. Spring Soccer.

And here it is.  We finish up basketball, and head straight into soccer again.  You'll have to forgive my lack of enthusiasm.  I'm such a fuddy duddy when it comes to these outdoor activities.  I'm just not an outside kind of girl.  Dirt.  Rain.  Heat.  Sweat.  Ick.  I'm a big baby, I know!  But my kiddos love it, and I LOVE watching them play.  And I enjoy it immensely on the rare chance that we go to a game that is on a beautiful day!  But I suppose I can't really pick and choose.  :)  So, I'll put on my smile and enjoy watching my kids play... One day, I'll wish I had these days back, so I will enjoy them while I've got them!!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

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Day 51. Art.

We went to the Sculpture Park yesterday after meeting my husband for a lovely lunch.  Took a little walk.  Enjoyed the beautiful weather, and the open area where the kids could just run to their hearts' content!  Loved it!  Here are a few of our findings:

Day 50. Homemade Cookies!

This is the batch of cookies I made Sunday evening.  They were YUMMY!  The last couple of pans got a little overdone (which is okay, because my husband likes them that way anyway).  This is what happens when you're making dinner, talking to your sister on the phone, helping your kids with the projects they're working on, stopping to help your husband fix the water pipe that had a leak, washing the dishes.... all while baking a batch of cookies.  All in the evening of a typical mommy!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day 49. First Day of Spring.

Ick.  Uck.  YUCK!  The last two days have been so breath takingly beautiful outside!  If the weather was like that EVERY day of the year, I would be such a happy girl!  But today, on the first official day of spring, it's cold and rainy.  Isn't it funny how we all complain about the weather?  It's something that, no matter HOW hard we try, we have absolutely no control over it.  And yet we will whine and complain about something so insignificant, really.  Too hot.  Too cold.  Too humid.  Too wet.  Too sticky.  (I live in Missouri.  Yes, "sticky" is a very accurate adjective for weather here.)  But I have found, as I'm sure anyone else has as well, that the weather is often a determining factor for one's mood.  Our emotions are kind of tied to it.  After too many rainy, dreary days in a row, people get cranky and sleepy and stir crazy.  I wonder why that is.  Do we have something inside us that NEEDS to be able to get outside and enjoy God's creation?  Why can't we do that when it rains?  Hmmm.  Just my thoughts for the moment.  Aren't you glad you dropped by?  Haha!

This was our family's "first day of spring" treat.  It didn't matter that it was cold and rainy, because we eat icecream (or frozen custard, for that matter) ANY time of the year.  Silky's, however, is not open all year, so when the Silky's season begins, we enjoy it as often as we can!  :)

Guess what else happened today?  ...the release of New Moon on DVD.  This was MY little "first day of spring" treat.  :)  Oh, come on!  Laugh, if you will.  But, seriously, be a good sport.  It's harmless fun!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Day 48. Spring Shoes.

Tomorrow is officially the first day of spring.  I wore these shoes today, and thought they were a great way to celebrate this time of year.  :)  Never mind the fact, that they're calling for snow this weekend.  We're not discussing that right now.  At this moment, we're enjoying the gorgeous spring day that is upon us, and that this was the first time I wore these darling shoes.  That is cause for celebration.  They were a Christmas gift from my parents, and they were comfy and cute with my jeans today.  I enjoy comfy and cute!  :)  Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Day 47. Childhood Memories.

Yesterday, we made a visit to my parents, and hung out with my siblings.  :)  It was a beautiful day, so my brother and sister joined us for a trip to the park with my kiddos.  I took advantage of the gorgeous weather, brought along my camera and captured some historical moments... well, historical in my life, anyway. 

This is the "spaceship" park, a park we attended several times as kids.  However, this is the "new" version.  The old shuttle became a bit unsafe in its old age, so they reconstructed and rebuilt the whole thing.  Now my own kids enjoy this part of my childhood neighborhood.  :)

I took this as we were leaving the park.  My grandmother lived in some apartments on the other side of these railroad tracks.  Her father was a train engineer, so she loved that she could hear the trains passing right outside her window throughout the day.  Good memories.  I never see a train that I don't think of my grandma.

I took a detour throughout this shopping center, to take a photo of where I had my first job!  This shopping center was built when I was a teenager.  They even got rid of a baseball field to put it in, and now, it hardly has any business in it at all.  :(  This store used to be "One Price Clothing."  It was one of those inexpensive clothing shops, and I just LOVED it.  I worked there my junior year of highschool, and spent most of my paycheck before I ever left the building.  Haha!

After going to the park, we grabbed some DQ blizzards, and headed back to my parents' house.  I spotted these day lilies starting to sprout next door, and they always remind me of the lady who used to live there.  She loved flowers, and her name was Rose, coincidentally enough.  :)  She was always so sweet to us when we were little.  These flowers are on the other side of my parents' fence, and when they grow, they probably reach half the height of the fence.  They bloom EVERYWHERE, and I just love them.  After Rose passed away several years ago, her nephew moved into that house, and he doesn't really keep up with the gardening like she used to, but these lilies have maintained all on their own.
This is the house, where I grew up, and now where my kids visit Papa and Mammaw.  That's my dad and sister, sitting up on the porch.  It was such a pretty day, to just enjoy being outside!

My sister's dog, Boscoe.  My brother says he's not a dog, but a cow.

And this is my sister's baby, Koda.  You can't tell, but I took this picture from the other side of the fence, where my sister was playing with our nephew.  He was trying to JUMP high enough, or squeeze down low enough... Either way, he WANTED THROUGH that fence to get to her.  Such a jealous, little thing.  :P
My baby brother's baby.  :)  Ahh, yes, the men in my family love their cars!

My son wanted me to take a picture of him running so fast he became a blur, as in "Dash" from the movie, "Incredibles."  I thought this was a fun one to include.

My dad and brothers.  :)  This is a common occurence for them... hanging out on the side of the house, looking under the hood of any of their several cars.  This is what I witnessed most Saturdays with my dad.  You can still often find his head under the hood, or his legs lying on the ground beneath one of his cars.  He passed down this mechanical gene to my brother, who has a God-given GIFT of knowing how a car works.  And now, my baby brother has grown up right along with the same passion.  Yes, the men in my family have their identifying differences, but they share similar passions... a love for God, for their families, and for their cars.  :)  It seems as though this has been handed down to one of my own sons as well.  For a good portion of the time, he was out there alongside his uncles.  He thinks they are just the greatest.  I do, too, for that matter.  They're good guys.  It's hard to believe they were once so little.  I often wished I had big brothers, but before I left home, they were still just small boys.  I can't imagine what it would have been like if the boys had been born first, and the girls on the end.  They may have kept me from getting into a lot of the trouble I did as a teenage girl.  :)  My boys are blessed to have so many strong men in their lives to be examples to them.  I'm very thankful.


I've included some of my kids' photography in entries here and there, and I thought I'd add a few of those today as well.  One of the kiddos took along one of my older cameras with him yesterday, and it's always fun to see what they will capture.

How my children see me SO often!

He got this one of my brother and sister, and I thought it was very cute.

This was one of the SEVERAL pics he took of his uncles' cars... parts of cars, hoods of cars, back ends of cars.  I don't know how many I found on there!  I think he may be obsessed.  :)

Day 46. Baby Girl.

Finished this proof album this week, and liked this little collection, so I thought I'd use for today's photo.  Love this family.  Such a great testimony of God's faithfulness!

Day 45. Sick Day.

My husband has a plethora of little quotes he likes to use.  One of my favorites is, "Some days, you're the windshield; some days, you're the bug."  This day, I was definitely the bug.  Fighting a bit of a cold this week, and this was the worst day.  When I don't feel well, this tea is my favorite treat.  :)  Makes me feel better for all of three minutes!  So, yes, I drink a lot of it!

Day 44. DIRT!

This is a photo of my son's pants, after recess at school.  He came home, took everything off, started his bath water, and said, "Mom, I am FILTHY!  I need to get cleaned up!"  Well, at least he acknowledged it!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Day 43. Food Challenge.

I have been doing some research recently.  I will tell you that, as a mom of three children, what to feed them is a very common dilemma.  There are very few food choices that all three would agree in liking... and not a single ONE of them has ever been great about eating fruits and veggies.  Don't disparage me yet!  It's not that I don't offer these as choices!  They are all pretty good about trying something if I encourage it.  However, I can't control the gag reflex and almost vomitting that may occur after they've reluctantly put whatever it is in their mouth!  You can understand why this may be a bit discouraging for a mommy!  Often, I've been known to offer snacks such as granola bars or string cheese as a substitute, thinking I was giving them a healthy alternative.

I won't bore you with all of my findings, but the fact is, I've decided to make some changes for my family.  My husband encourages it 100%, and is glad I've finally jumped on board with what he would have loved all along.  Even if I continue to get the turned down mouth when I offer carrots to my children, it doesn't mean that I can't find a healthier option for what they DO like. 

We've dragged our kiddos to four different grocery stores this weekend.  We've looked at online recipe planners.  We've gotten advice from friends.  We watched Food Inc.  Wow, Wow, WOW!  We've read ingredient labels until our eyes are tired!  Last but not least, I went through and pitched a good portion of my pantry contents!

I still have a lot to learn.  I'm trying to remember that it's a process!  Little steps are okay.  I have to keep my kids interested and on board.  That means finding things they LIKE...  For example:

This is a better option to make their chocolate milk than what I previously had in the fridge.  Have you read the back of Hershey's syrup?

This is our new bottle of ketchup.  My oldest didn't like it quite as well, but he'll get used to it.  It actually HAS tomatoes in it!

And this is the new hamburger for our family.

Yes, some of these things are more costly.  It certainly takes more effort to find them.  I have been nearly to the point of tears in the grocery store, due to being completely overwhelmed!  It will require more planning and organization, because I will have to be more particular about WHAT I buy and when I buy it.  But like so many other things in life, it's about making choices.  We will be paying closer attention to what is IN the foods we eat, and making more meals from scratch at home.  So, wish me luck!  It will be an adventure!

Day 42. Sweet Baby Girl!

This is why I LOVE taking pictures.  :)  Just look at this precious face!  I had the pleasure of photographing this family only a week before this little miracle entered the world.  What an amazing story this awesome family has.  I am honored to be a part of helping them cherish these special memories!

Darling!  Darling!  Darling!!!

(You can take a look at their maternity session if you click here:
January 2010)

Day 41. Breakfast

This picture is weird.  For the life of me, I couldn't make the color accurate. 

This is a picture of the french toast I made for my kids and their friends on Saturday morning.  We swap with some sweet friends of ours, and let our kids have sleepovers at the other's house while the other couple goes on a date night.  Both ends of the spectrum are fun.  Our kids are great friends with theirs, and it's always fun to spend time with them, listening to them play... watching movies and eating popcorn... and they love to get all bundled up in their sleeping bags on the family room floor.  The next time, will be our turn for date night.  Needless to say, that's fun, too!  :)  Good friends are certainly a treasure!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Day 40. Threes.

Well, here I am on day 40.  That should be a marker of some kind, right?  I woke up yesterday morning, and let my doggies outside, and I was trying to get my camera fast enough to take a snapshot of the cardinal bird that was flying around my back yard.  I missed the bird.  :(  But in my search for him, I found these three, perfect raindrops.  I've mentioned before that anything in 3s catches my attention.  :)  Always reminds me of my children.  I felt like this was God's little way of telling me "good morning."  :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Days 37, 38, and 39.

Well, my A.D.D. has kicked in, and I guess I'm kind of bored with this project.  I'm trying not to become unmotivated, because I'm afraid of letting it fall through the cracks.  I don't WANT that to happen at all!  So, forgive me, if I'm not very faithful about legitimately posting DAILY.  Here are three photos to catch me up... AGAIN:

Loving the warm weather.  :)


Our blue skies, that were supposed to be gray and pouring out with rain today.  I'm thankful they are not!
My photo
ilLaurastrations Photography began in Spring of 2009.