Friday, December 19, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Man oh man I wish I could sit down with each of you over some tea and cookies and catch up . . . Or sit down at the computer and write a long letter.  Instead the moments are so fleeting and the little miss is into so much . . . That I am standing here at the kitchen counter, pecking on the iPad.  Not idea, but in this ever growing process, I'm learning to snatch and savor what I can.

These days are so full, and full of good things.  Things that challenge me to be constantly organized, intentional and keep moving when I'd rather lay down and do nothing.  But that's what so much of this life is about, isn't it?  Pushing beyond ourselves to something greater.  Like this sore bottom of mine.  Squats are NO fun but the results sure are, aren't they?  TMI perhaps, ha!

These past two weeks have literally been filled with events, here at the Ranch.  We've enjoyed most of them and I've learned that sometimes it's impossible to simplify life . . . I can't cut out any activities, because they are part of work. So I've leaned in, taken pictures, tolerated "past 8pm bedtimes," and held my breath.  A loud exhale is coming on Saturday afternoon . . . . as Christmas vacation starts for real!  One final event on Saturday morning- Shannon's ballet is performing at an old folk's home.  Rather than do a recital in the winter, each class performs for children's homes, nursing homes, rescue mission, etc.  I love a chance for them to serve in this way!

We are staying home for Christmas, so I'm looking forward to two weeks of resting, cooking and baking for my family, evaluating the fall semester of school, planning for the spring.  AND catching up on organizing projects around the house.  Much needed to be done around here!

I'll be back with a few more updates once the kids leave tonight (updates on our family and such).  For now, a few pics of our last couple weeks!

Reaching way back to November . . . we created a GIANT leaf pile and made some great memories. First time most of these kids have jumped in leaves, let alone a pile this big!








Then it was time for Christmas tree decorating!!!  Kind of weird to realize my older two could actually do most of it themselves, and do a great job at it!!!




Over Thanksgiving break, I did several "photo shoots," and the kids got in lots of play time with their best friends.  Oh the giggles here!




Little Miss . . . has a new game where she sits on the blanket (so I can take her picture) and then just as fast as she sits down, she jumps up and runs to see what picture I took!




And that's it for now . . . 


Saturday, October 18, 2014

FIVE years with Forest

Five years ago . . . . 


my boy came into this world!  Without a lot of drama or nonsense, he came.  You can never fully have an idea how a little person will change your life.


Forest Timothy


My fall pumpkin.




My little go-go!


chubby cheeked, squishy leg boy!








My train-loving boy . . . before he was even old enough that he should know what trains are!






Yup, loves the trains!





Loves cars . . . anything that moves!


My #1 destructo!


Have I mentioned cars?








My nature boy!




My goofy boy!


My "I don't want to eat meat because I don't want to get a heart attack" boy!


Train loving boy!


Amazing big brother- sweet and caring and gentle.


Goofy . . . have I mentioned goofy?


And messy and muddy and messy!


Careful and methodical, creative and unique.



I sure am thankful for FIVE years with these inquisitive and wondering blue eyes.  Forest keeps me praying and wondering, laughing and shaking my head.  And that's usually just in the first five minutes of being awake each day.  I love you Forest, foo-boo!