Monday, January 2, 2012

Top 11 of 2011

Happy 2012!

A little 2011 recap might be in order.  Especially since I haven't posted in such a long time.

But first:

I'd like to share my top 11 photos of 2011 of my kids.  Mostly of my youngest as she lets me play around with her and the camera a lot more than the others do.  Plus the expressions on her face are priceless.

1.  I love this fall sky and her happy smile.

 2.  My rustic beauty!

3.  My daughter that - (shhh...) took this picture of herself - and I for a split second thought it was a picture of me when I was younger.

4.  Trail Breakfast :: Family camp ::  what a cutie.

5.  This is what happens when she sticks her face in my camera... I get lucky!

6.  Father and son...

7.  June bug dress!  I love most of the pictures from this "photo shoot" but this one is the bestest.

8.  My middle child reading up on her history.  Lincoln memorial.

9.  Emma

10.  Princess

11.  Her eyes

Well, there you have it.  I would have put about 11 more pictures on here if I could have.

Looking back on these photos reminds me that this past year wasn't all that bad.  I'm so glad that I was able to catch the moments that I did.

Click It Up A Notch

Monday, November 7, 2011

Parenting :: Giving them Grace

I have been very blessed by this book:

This is the hardest thing about parenting.  Not the diapering, or feeding, or driving around, but the giving of the gospel.  Giving them the law is easy.  Telling them to follow your rules and punishing them for disobedience is simple.  We just need to be more consistent, right?

Well, what about grace.  What about teaching them that righteousness cannot be gained through the law.  I don't want Jesus death on the cross to count for nothing in my home. (Gal 2:20-21)

I want Jesus death for sin to be the most important thing.

And here at the end of chapter three:
"Do you want to do the work of God?  Okay, then believe.  Believe that God is strong enough to save your children, no matter how you fail.  Believe that he is loving enough to bring them all the way into relationship with himself, whether you understand "grace parenting" or not.  And believe that he is wise enough to know the right way and the right time to do it.  What do you need to do?  Simply believe...
In the words of Martin Luther, "The law says, 'do this,' and it is never done.  Grace says, 'believe in this,' and everything is already done."  Everything is already done.  Car you believe that?  Will you?"

"Even though the tight buckles and restricting harnesses of the law might feel like a welcomed security to you, in the end they will chafe, and you'll want to throw them off.  The law may serve for a time to keep your kids from rocking the cage too much, but eventually it will chafe against them, too.  They will look for ways around it.  The law cannot save them either.  Tight buckles and restricting harnesses might make you feel more secure but the shocking truth is that you cannot control the direction of the gondola - you're completely at God's mercy.  
Does that frighten you?  Why would it?  Doesn't the gospel teach us that being at God's mercy is a place of rest and blessing?  Isn't falling into his merciful arms a good thing?"

May my family find rest in God alone and not in our "good works".

Friday, September 23, 2011

This Moment::Growing up

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

Linking up here.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Favorite August Picture

Family Camp 2011

I was able to take some time for myself and take a walk with my camera.

  I only had the kit lens with me but the kit lens is not too bad.  I don't have editing software so I only touched up the fill light, highlights, and shadows.

Its fun to take pictures of flowers.  I think that I should have moved over a little (or waited for the cloud to move over) to make the cloud off to the right of the picture more and more blue to appear behind the flower.  Each picture I look at carefully teaches me something new to look out for next time.  Hopefully I'll remember this the next time I'm shooting the sky!

Want to see all the other August favorites?  Go here:

Click It Up A Notch

Monday, August 29, 2011

Noticing the Gifts:: First Day of Homeschooling

Sometimes I am so surprised by where God takes me.
I still can't get over that I am here in Minnesota, that I'm a wife and a mother, and that I have five kids!
I'm still amazed at how God carries me through and accomplishes things in my life that I can't imagine doing on my own.

I'm also often surprised by the beauty each day holds.  I'm so thankful for how the camera can capture that beauty and since I've been practicing taking pictures I seem to find beauty more and more.  I see "the most perfect picture" when my daughter runs up to the open doors of the ballet studio and squeals with delight.  I see how the light reflects off the water at the lake, I see the sun falling on the table...

I see the beauty in school supplies!

And it's not just beauty for beauty sake.  It is a reflection of our Heavenly Father's beauty.  It is His goodness and love and do you know what?  It is everywhere!

I'm so thankful that:
34. He is with me and taking me to new places every day.
35. He helps me to plan.

36. And clean.

37. and prettify.

38. and pre-test.

39. And just love schooling at home.

I love these pictures because they make school look so

  My last post might have worried you a bit.  You might have thought that there was no way I was going to start school today.  YET, I was able to clean up (with God's help - seriously it was like someone else was cleaning for me!) and things were organized just in time.
oh, so that was number 40 up there:  He got me organized just in time.

So to be real let me just tell you that today was not perfect.  There was some yelling from mom, a crying three year old, a broken glass in the sink, a bathtub full of seashells, chocolate frosting all over the kitchen, and a lot of TV watching.

Yet, I'm thankful that:
41. Ben is learning to read.
42. My daughter is learning to cook.
43.  I am able to leave the house on short notice ALONE!

Remember that our God is good and that we are his beloved children.  We are His children!

And yes, I did say a bathtub full of seashells.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The last hurr- (ha ha)

So this is my attempt to be witty.

Yesterday we went on our last "field trip" of the summer.  Our last hurrah, so to speak, and we went to Minnehaha creek.  Get it?  Hurr-haha.  Don't blame me if you hurt yourself laughing.

Going to the falls was something I've wanted to do since we moved here.  I was a little afraid that I would get some grief from my olders about walking around in nature.  But a few days stuck in the house with nothing to do really changes ones perspective.  They were glad to get out and do something... anything!  And guess what?  They really enjoyed themselves!

Ok, the picture above really made me laugh when I took it.  Do you see there on the right how the middle sister is hanging on the big sister?  She posed like that right at the last minute because she knows that big sis would NEVER let her touch her like that!  Big sister's face is reflecting the shock and horror.  I'm so glad I got to capture this!

So here is the falls.  Amazing that this is next to the airport and really close to downtown.  We climbed down the stairs and ate lunch.  Even though there were a few buses of day care kids (a nightmare for homeschool field trips)  the place was still peaceful.  See a class of them on the top looking over?  They were the yellow t-shirt group.

We walked down the path just a little ways and we reached an area to wade.  We really didn't know what to expect on this trip.  We could not find much information about this park online or even a map when we got there!

This ended our little trip.  It was just long enough to want to come back.  We have some plans for Nana and Grandfather!

And this being our last hurrah, homeschool starts on Monday.

Wish me luck!  (yes, that is my school room.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Yarn Along :: 10 on 10 edition

I'm linking up two places today.  Something I said I would never do but I really don't want to do two posts in one day.  SO...if you are here for the yarn along and wonder what the 10 on 10 thing is go here and if you are here for the 10 on 10 and you want to see what people are knitting and reading go here.

For the yarn along look for the 4:00 picture.


My coffee brewing.  The picture is a bit blurry but it accurately depicts how I felt.  Turned off my alarm in my sleep and 9:00 is what happened.

Needing a little pretty in my life.

Collecting the goggles to take to the lake.

12:00ish - 1:00ish

Fudged on this one.  We were not having fun.  Having a family full of girls sometimes is really hard.  We were still home and not very happy.


Their first plunge.  Waiting for the life guard to let them in after the hourly safety check.  (notice the goggles)


Wafer break.  The goggles are very important as you can see.

I am still knitting myself the same sweater.  It is taking forever to knit the scarf-y thing that goes around my neck.  I still LOVE this grey color and a few months back I was knitting in a group setting and a little girl squeezed the yarn and said,  "Oh, soft and squishy."  Yes, soft and squishy it is!

I'm reading this EXCELLENT book on prayer.  Paul Miller is so real about our human condition and what real prayer is supposed to be like.  
Here is a quote:
"This is the gospel, the welcoming heart of God.  God cheers when we come to him with our wobbling, unsteady prayers.  Jesus does not say, "Come to me, all you who have learned how to concentrate in prayer, whose minds no longer wander, and I will give you rest."  No, Jesus opens his arms to his needy children and says, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest".  The criteria for coming to Jesus is weariness.  Come overwhelmed with life.  Come with your wandering mind.  Come messy."

If you ever have struggled with prayer this book is for you!  (wow, that sounded like a Reading Rainbow moment - da da da - could you hear that?)


(taken by Emma)
Packing up to leave.
The lake was a much needed breath of fresh air.  It was cool and breezy and the puffy clouds gave us breaks from the sun.  Praise God for His little blessings!

So this turned out to be 8 on 10.  I did enjoy taking pictures today, and knitting, and playing at the lake, and being with my kiddos.  (even though that was pretty touch and go for a while!)

ten on ten button small