Thursday, July 2, 2015

Life Lately.

Life lately...

I mean...I should just go ahead and change Kensington's name to Grace.  She would be thrilled if I did ;).  She came downstairs matching the cover of her Grace book perfectly.

Grocery shopping with my big, middle and little.

 We took Ashby to see her first movie in the theater and she loved it!  My big kids really loved Inside Out  (I thought it was really cute too!), and I think Ashby liked the whole experience.  She sat on my lap, ate her popcorn and watched (she also commented quite loudly when she thought things were funny).


Ashby loves it when the air temperature is just to her the car, she's always saying "too hot" or "too cold"...she's very particular about it.  On Sunday, she was saying "too cold" at the restaurant, so Kensington snuggled with her.

Backyard time with this guy on Sunday afternoon.

Trying to take a group picture while we waited in the car for the pool to open...two kids are looking and one is giving bunny ears.

Smith entered the cannonball contest :)

And Ashby decided that she loves jumping off the blocks!

Chasing bubbles on the driveway is always a fun thing to do!

Sweet girl and her bubbles :).

We ate supper and swam with the McAnallys on Tuesday night.  I love me some Andrea :).

And I love these six kids too.  

Life lately has been very low-key this week.  We're excited because even though today is's really Friday, right?  We're super pumped about our three day weekend!  Want to know what else we're pumped about???  My Lemon Ice Box Pie with a Golden Oreo crust...

...only five little ingredients to the pie (including the crust!).  This would be excellent for your three day weekend!


And don't forget, if you're praying with me this month, the prayer request post can be found here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July Goals

Well...yesterday, I cried off and on all day.  (And I'm not even a crier!)  If you missed yesterday's post about prayer requests, you need to read it here (read the comments!).  Friends, my heart just breaks for so many of you out there.  I will be praying for you individually all month long.  I was also so blessed and overwhelmed by the number of people who were commenting and praying back to these requests.  What an amazing group of ladies you are.  You are praying and encouraging these women with so much love.  From the bottom of my heart, I cannot express how much I love each of you.  I'm praying for you.  I'm praying for all of you., I'm wipin' the tears and movin' on to today's post...

Can I tell you a secret?

I used to not like summer.

I know.  Awful, right?

 Now that I have kids though...I love, love, love it and don't want it to end!  Fall will always be my favorite season...but summer (the one that used to be my least favorite) is now my second favorite.  Now, I really appreciate the lazy mornings, long evenings, outdoor activities, swimming, sunscreen, chlorine...I love it all.  Instead of focusing on the oppressive heat, I focus on the fun...and I love summer.

Happy July 1st friends!

Before we get to my July Goals, let's recap June...

1. Spend one on one time with all 4 of my loves: I am so excited about this one!  When I posted this goal, I was thinking about taking each of my kids somewhere one day this month to spend one on one time with them...until one of you precious people left the most brilliant comment!  A mom of five said that five nights a week, each kid gets to stay up 30 minutes later than the other four kids and then they do something special that just that kid wants to do.  Genius.  

We've been doing this all month and I have to tell you...I hope this is a tradition we continue until they go off to college :).  We're aiming for 5 out of 7 nights (so each week, two kids go twice), and the other two go to bed at their normal time while Andrew and I stay up with the other for an extra 30 minutes.  During this time, we've been doing exactly what that kid wants to do...activities have included Uno, crafting paper crowns, watching an episode of Paw Patrol while eating popcorn, tea parties, reading books in bed, Legos and such.  My kids call it "Fun Night" and they have loved it! 

 Honestly, this has been one of those little ideas that really shaped our month.  My kiddos can tell you whose turn it is tonight, who goes next, what they're next activity is going to be...they eat it up.  I mean, it's been such a blessing to our entire family :).  Such a simple (and free!) idea that has given us these sweet little moments with each of our kids all month long.

2. Visit the eye doctor: Well...I had good intentions (I even had an appointment scheduled for June 22nd!), but I had to reschedule because my childcare fell through.  No eye exam this month...but I have rescheduled! Anyone want to babysit ;)?

3. No social media/phone time from 4 to 8: Hey, I did pretty good with this!  I started charging my phone in our bedroom during this time and then it was out of sight.  Of course, there are lots of exceptions to this...when I wasn't home in the evenings with my kiddos and especially when I was out waiting, then I used it (what did we do while waiting before phones???).  You know....Kensington decided to sign up for a summer dance intensive two nights a week for 5 weeks, so on those nights while I sit up there and wait, I look at my phone.  I look when I'm...waiting in line at the grocery store.  When I'm...waiting in line at Walgreens to pick up pictures.  When I'm...waiting to be seated at a restaurant and my kiddos are coloring.  (Side note: I should make "stop waiting around so much" a goal!  I apparently wait a lot!)  So, when we were home and together, it was being charged but while I was waiting (or while the kiddos were off doing other things like playing at the neighbor's, then I put my feet up and looked through IG and Pinterest).  Over all, it was a good effort this month.

4. Watch extra kiddos: Did it and loved it!  I thought I would only watch kiddos once or twice but it ended up being more like 7 or 8 times.  Each time I had some extra kids over, my kids had extra it was win, win for everyone!

5. Find a good tinted moisturizer: Oh girls! You gave me so many good suggestions!  I went through your comments and the two most popular were Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier.  I went to Nordstrom and they gave me samples of each to take home and try...and was like being asked to pick my favorite was so hard.  I honestly, honestly, honestly can't tell you which one I liked the most between the two...I loved them both (they were pretty identical).  I ended up buying the Bobbi Brown because since I already use her eye brightener (in Bisque) and her eye shadow sticks (in sand dune and golden pink), it pushed me over her way.  Both were really nice though and stayed on all day.  They both moisturized and provided just enough coverage without feeling cakey.  I bought the light to medium shade.

6. Get my hair wet: Done and done.  We are making the most out of the pool this year.  I love going to bed after a full day of swimming :).

And so for July...

1. Write notes: I love getting cards in the mail, so this month, I'm going to send some to people I love.  I know text messages and emails are nice...but so is a good old fashioned card.  I'm very thankful for so many people, and this month, I'm going to send thank you notes and then some notes of encouragement and love to those who I know need some right now.

2. Invite families to dinner: I did this one back in March and it was really nice.  I'm excited to do it again this month too.

3. Begin Christmas shopping: Don't judge...but I start my Christmas shopping each year in July.  I've been doing this since we were first married and it's helped me stay on budget and not get stressed.  I always try to have everything purchased by November 1 and then wrapped by December 1.  I'm not going to go nuts this month...but I'll make my list of recipients (including neighbors/teachers and such) and then set my budget too.  After that, I'll start really paying attention to items that would make nice gifts.  After I bring them home, I write down what I purchased along with how much I spent and then hide it (I also write down where I hide things too...because I've forgotten before!).

4. Pray for others: I asked for prayer requests yesterday...and this month, my plan is to pray over these requests every single day.  I'm always finding myself praying for people and things...but I want to be really intentional this month about praying for you guys and your needs.  (If you have a prayer request, please leave it on this post!  This will be the post I refer back to daily when praying).  Which leads me to the next thing...

5. Walk 5 miles a week: One of my favorite times to pray is when I'm out walking.  My phone's at home, I'm not distracted and I can walk around our neighborhood and pray for people.  I'm thinking if I walk one mile five days a week, that will give me some great uninterrupted and focused time of prayer.  I'm going to read through the requests before I set out each time and focus on about five people or so at a time.

6. Back to school shop: We will be on vacation for half of August and when we return, there is only a week until school this means, I need to get my kids all ready for school this month.  Sigh.  Makes me sad to think about...but I know I'll be so much happier when I come home if they already have their stuff in order and in their closets.

So that's that!

What are you guys focusing on this month?  I'd love to know!

And for supper tonight... Shrimp Risotto!

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Let's pray.

So, today's post is going to be a little bit different.

Tomorrow, I'm going to set my goals for the month of July...and one of them has to do with prayer.

Every day, I get prayer requests emailed to me.  Most of the time, they have to do with infertility or adoption...but sometimes, they have to do with other things too.  I pray for each and every person who emails me.  My heart sincerely breaks for so many people out there that are really going through hard times.  Let's face some point, each of us has gone through something really hard or will go through something really hard.  In this's inevitable.

My goal this month is to pray more.  I really want to set aside time every day to really focus and pray above and beyond my normal prayers for those of you out there that are really struggling.  When I was thinking about this goal, I thought about how there are many, many, many of you out there who are prayer warriors too.  You love the Lord and love praying for others, so I'm inviting you to do this with me.  Today, I'm asking for prayer requests...not just for me to pray over but for others of you out there to pray over too.  In Matthew 18:20, Jesus clearly states that "when two or more are gathered in my name, I am there with them".  

 My promise is to pray over each prayer request before I publish it and then to daily go back this month and continue to pray for you guys.  I am...dare I say...prayerful...that those of you out there that spend time in God's Word and in prayer daily, will also join me this month in praying over these requests too.

Right now, the biggest prayer request I have in my own life is Ashby.  Ashby's health problems are a lot more serious than we first expected.  Right now, she is so happy and full of joy.  She runs and plays and acts just like any other three year old would.  Unfortunately, that could all change on a dime.  My prayer is first and foremost for her heath.  I pray she stays healthy.  My second request is for one of these doctors to figure out the best treatment plan for her.  They all seem very concerned and very stumped at the same time...not exactly the best combination.  So, right now, that's my biggest prayer request.

I'm praying for YOU this morning.  I know there are a lot of hurting people out there. I know there are a lot of angry people out there.  I'm praying for you (and I know in my heart that other believers who read my blog will be praying for you too).  Please leave your prayer request in the comment section and we will be praying for you.

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