a wedding through the eyes of the flower girl

•October 5, 2015 • Leave a Comment

My sister in law got married this weekend. It was a weekend filled with fun, late nights, and lots of pretties. Bycemaster, Jena and I were all part of the wedding party. To be quite honest the stress of having us all perfect for this wedding amidst all that is already happening in our life right now had me in more than one panic attack. I was having dreams of getting the baby call when we couldn’t leave to go get her (which my rational brain knew was a very small window, but tell that to my subconscious!)

But it’s done now and it all worked out! It happened, it was gorgeous, I survived, there was no baby call during the wedding weekend and I even gained a brother out of the deal. On the flip side now, it’s all good. We are having a day of rest over here. I’m trying really hard not to think of the prep still needed for birthdays and babies on the horizon. I NEED A DAY PEOPLE. JUST ONE DAY. (I’m really screaming at my own brain here, that is desperately trying to get me to sit down and start the planning, ONE DAY BRAIN).

Back to the wedding. I let my daughter woman my camera for the wedding. That was a first, I’ve never let the kids touch it. It was bought with an inheritance from my grandpa at a time when money was beyond tight and the likelihood of replacing it was slim to none. I’m not sure much has changed in that area, but she was being extra careful for once and I decided to let her go. 400+ pictures later and we’ve found a few gems. Jen and Jaron

I’m impressed with Jena. I know the bride is a little blurry, but I love this picture of the happy couple. I’m looking forward to watching them grow together.

a rose among thorns

Jena loved the flowers and I must agree. They came out beautiful. She took a lot of ‘artsy shots.’

sunflowerI wish I could take credit for some of these!Mom

I love this shot of my mom. So rare to catch a real smile on camera.

goofy papaShe got lots of my dad, 80% look like this. My mother wonders where Jena gets her goofy side. Wonder no more mom.
fun hairArtsy shot she snuck of my hair. Love the way the pink came out.

dancing with tired boyFinally convinced my little guy to dance with me at the end of the night. I think he mostly just wanted me to pick him up. The poor thing was so so tired. Also take a good look at the hair. I made it to the wedding without cutting it, but it’s about to be gone.
Anders dancingNot all the little people were dead on their feet though. Jaron’s little nephew (son of one of the awesome bridesmaids) was a dancing fiend. This kid was seriously adorable.
3togetherSpeaking of adorable children. She obviously did not take this one. I do wish sometimes for shots where they are all smiling and looking at the camera. But this is my real life and I love my real life. I can appreciate photos like this for what they are.

Jena selfie 2I also found a series of selfies. I mean what photo shot would be complete without them! (I really do need a sarcasm font)
Jena fleeing

Here she is in her actual role as flower girl. She’d just finished her petal throwing and was fleeing the scene of the crime. She did eventually make her way back up to the front to sit, after I bit of running around. You can also see all of the lovely bridesmaids. I only knew one of them before this wedding, but they were a great group. Even though most of us were strangers, everyone banded together to do what needed to be done. They were a great crew. It was a beautiful wedding. Many congratulations to the bride and groom!

update on Brooklyn

•September 28, 2015 • 1 Comment

Thank you to everyone that was praying for Brooklyn’s birth mom this past week. She has made her decision, and it was not us. We found out yesterday, ironically, right as I was finishing painting the baby dresser. We will continue to apply for grants and get ready over here. Hope for a chance at a baby moon. All the while hoping that our plans and prep get disrupted sooner than we expect. As we’d much rather have the baby than the plans.


I have a life motto, if you will. The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears or the sea.

My attempt at the sea today has failed, but the other two are readily available. I did not get as excited about this attempt, however, the disappointment has been worse. I know another family is happy. I know our baby will come. I know the perfect timing is what I want. I know all the things I’m supposed to know right now. I don’t feel any of them today, but I also know that will come.

In the meantime, I am very happy that my husband, who still occasionally drives me crazy, is at his best in the hard times. When I really need him, he far surpasses expectations. If anything I am grateful for another opportunity to see him in action.

baby news!

•September 21, 2015 • 1 Comment

We have baby news!

Hopefully good (for us) baby news. We’ve submitted again for another special circumstance. Deadline is tonight, we think books will be shown this week. There is a chance we will know by next week one way or the other. I’m cautiously hopeful. We don’t know much, but birth mom would like her to keep her name Brooklyn.

So please pray for Brooklyn’s birth mom and family (if they’re involved, we don’t know) as she is looking through books this week. I’d like to ask you to pray that she picks us, but really just pray that she has supernatural wisdom and can see the real families through these books. It’s so hard to convey all of who you are without meeting a person.

In related news we also found out we’ve been awarded a grant! Some of that work is paying off! We were super excited to get that letter in the mail, even earlier than we expected! I’ve adjusted the fundly goal down to reflect the new need, really wish I could make it reflect what has actually been provided so far. We are just barely under 6,000 dollars already between fundly, grants, and personal checks received. We are so grateful for you all!

You can visit our fundly for updates or to give here!

Happy Birthday Jacob boy!

•September 14, 2015 • Leave a Comment

We celebrated a birthday over here this weekend. The littlest boy in the house is now six. SIX. That’s like a whole new category of kid, he’s no longer little. The last week he was five I think I told him he was only 5 about 100 times. Only 5, you are still only 5. But no more, he is officially 6 now.

Dear Six year old boy,

You have been eagerly anticipating this birthday. This is the year I told you quiet time could go away and you could having reading time downstairs with the big kids instead. You are thrilled, I am dealing.

You have learned so many new things this year. You overcame your fear of putting your head under the water and lo and behold you swam. Right away, first lesson I did with you and you were getting your head above water. You spent the rest of the summer turning yourself into a fish. Pool time this year has been amazing for all of us, you were my last non swimmer and now you are a fish, we have had lots of pool time. You also learned to ride a two wheeled bike this year. Various adults and big kids had ran with you and that little bike at the beginning of the year, but just a month or so ago it clicked and off you went. You are also reading now. Though you and I are of different opinions on this. You have not taken off and hit your stride yet like your brother and sister so you do not believe you are reading. The stack of books you have read continues to grow however and I believe you can. Watching you realize it yourself is something I am very much looking forward to in this next year of your life. I cannot wait to see what things will grab your attention once you realize you can pick up any book and read it.

I do not think I can adequately express how much you are loved. I am not sure I am even going to try this year. To put it in your terms, we love you even more than you love your beary, who had to come down and sit with me this morning while you were playing cops with your brother. I suppose there is some little boy left in their yet.

Much love,


Just a mini photo real of my boy, my personal favorite is the last one. This kid has personality :)


how to set goals with your kids

•August 31, 2015 • 1 Comment

I feel like I talk about goals a lot for my out of a business office atmosphere. I’ve never quite understood why the concept of goals seems to be so heavy in business work environment, but so lacking in a home, family or personal environment. Aren’t the later actually more important, more valuable, more worth setting goals for? I know there are some of you out there that feel me on this, I’ve heard you talk about them too! Especially my homeschoolers out there, setting schooling goals for each kid every year.

Since this is something I may or may not be a tad obsessed with, I incorporate the family into my own personal goals every year. No these are not new years resolutions (aka wishes), these are actual, measurable, tracked goals for the year. This year I decided the kids were big enough to participate as well, and we picked something we all could work on together as a family. Flossing.

Yep, simple, easy, but something that is often overlooked for all five of us.

First we set a measurable goal and made it specific – 30 days of flossing, all five of us, no missing a day or we’d have to start all over.

Second, we set up a way to track it and put it in a highly visible place – here is our completed 30 day sticker chart of awesome!


This was right outside the bathroom they flossed in, only three feet from the floor so it was at their eye level. Every morning the kids got to mark off another day done and see their progress. I was honestly expecting to have to restart this a few times as they got in the habit, but they did not want to miss a day once this chart was up.

Finally, we picked a reward to celebrate our success!

This is the hardest one for me, once I’m on a roll I have a natural tendency to add more to my goal, make it bigger, stretch farther. I try to stop myself from doing this, especially with the kids. It’s so demoralizing for them to have an end be almost there and then watch that end move (it can be for me too!) But, I’m getting better about leaving the original goal the goal and celebrating it’s success, THEN setting a new one and starting all over.

We all need a chance to celebrate actual accomplishments (and yes I feel flossing everyday for a 5, 7, and 9 year old is an actual accomplishment!) Kids are often lacking opportunities to celebrate something they actually accomplished on their own. Not just showed up to, but actually participated in and achieved. It really doesn’t hurt the adults in the family either! We all need wins.

So here they are celebrating, they picked Menchie’s for their reward. It was oh so yummy.


Being a goof, as per usual. Get one of me with my spoon like this mom. Ok, let me see that.


Mmmmm….it’s so good mommy.


This picture was immediately followed by “I want more!”

Time to set another goal! We are trying to decide what our next family goal will be over here, mommy has a few ideas, but we need whole family buy in!

What goals are you tracking right now? What would you like to set?

what ‘first day of school’ pics look like when you homeschool

•August 24, 2015 • Leave a Comment

It’s not really our first day of school, I’m a slave driver and I don’t give them summer break (or at least that’s how they like to sell it to anyone that asks how they are enjoying their summer break!) I do however, enjoy seeing how the kids grow from year to year in ‘first day of school’ pics so I try my best to remember to take them.

Ironically we are actually not doing “school” per se this morning. We are field tripping it. We are kicking off our Year of Science with the Mummy’s at the Orlando Science Center. It should be significantly less crowded with the rest of the child population back in school. There are perks to being different. Less crowds for one. We get so spoiled during the school year. Parks mostly to ourselves, stores emptier, most field trips cheaper during the day when there is little to no demand. Love it.

Anyway here’s our ‘first day pics’


The professional shot


The personality shot


They were all personality shots with this one. This was the most “professional” of the bunch.


This is what I get when I say smile nice, lol.


He was very upset about something, I can’t remember what at the moment, look at those puppy dog eyes.


A momentary laugh for sister caught on blurry camera, it was that fast. Now you see it, now its gone!


All of hers were this cute. Stepped right up, put on a smile. See kids, you could learn something from the little one.


The official class photo of our 2015-2016 school year.


Lord help me.

We are going to have some fun this year!

I really do love this gig.

we now interupt your regularly scheduled broadcast

•August 17, 2015 • 2 Comments

Hey everyone! I know it’s monday, and there’s usually a new post up by now. I’m really trying to crack down on these grant applications so I’m here at Panera about to finish the next one up! *and there was much rejoicing, yay* (please tell me someone got that Monty Phyton reference…)

Anywhoooo I have more stuff planned for you! It’s just going to have to wait, at least for this week. In the meantime I’ll leave you with this cat video. That’s what all the peoples are watching these days, right?

Till next time!


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