Friday, August 22, 2014


There are only two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as though everything is a miracle.  ~Albert Einstein

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Be Brave

The other night we went to the river,  late enough that we had the place to ourselves.  The girls did some exploring and eventually got it in their heads that they should swim across to the other side.

Initially, they doubted themselves and debated the merits of attempting it.  What if they got stuck in the middle?  There were no towels.  If they did make it to the other side, how would they get back?

Though Shaun and I teach often about "doing it afraid" and how that never goes away, it just gets easier with practice, I chose to stay uninvolved in their conversation.

Finally, after a few more should-we/shouldn't we's, they stripped down to as few clothes as they could  and just went for it.
 They made it to the other side...and back!  Their hearts were pumping and their arms were tired, but they had done it!!  
 They were so proud, so confident.  In that moment, they felt like they could conquer anything.  They did it again, maybe just to prove to themselves that it had been real, maybe to experience that euphoric feeling once more.

It was such a beautiful story to watch unfold.  I pray that they keep that lesson, and the feeling from it close to their hearts.
 "Doing it afraid" doesn't end when you turn 21.  Its a lifelong effort.  Today, let's face that thing we really know we need to do or pull out that dream that's been tucked away and let's be brave!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Project 365, Week 33

Uncharacteristically, I wasn't "feeling" taking pictures this week.  In fact, one day I took none {gasp!}.  Still, I'm soaking up these days of having the kids around, being kids.  Life is sweet.

August 10
Aiden thinks Renna is SO cute and is so gentle and sweet with her.
 August 11
Girls night out on a lovely evening.  Thankful for friends who know my heart and a husband who can hold down the fort.
 August 12
One never knows how Aiden will wake up.  Often, he seeks me out to snuggle for a few minutes (more often after naps), other times he is full of swirling ideas that are just waiting to be implemented, such as a new lego design.  And then there is no time for "good mornings".  :)
 I drove an hour to drop off E at the DCF office to visit her bio mom.  We took her up the elevator (an adventure with four littles) and I was just going to let her go into the ratty closet visiting room herself, but she was insistent that we meet her mom and younger sister.  I stuck out my hand to greet her mom, but she threw her arms around me in a warm hug and thanked me several times for the note and pictures I'd sent with E the week before.  Wow.

Its a post for another time, but my views on and approach to the bio families have radically changed since we began this adventure.

It was emotional to be face to face with this woman in her business suit and heels, each of us with our three small children hanging off of and around us and just one thing setting me apart from her...God's grace, His unmerited favor.  My prayer each day is that she would meet the great Rescuer.
 August 13
These girls made cookies almost on their own.  They were also part of the cleanup crew.  :)
August 14
Shaun took Avery and Amanda to see Hillsong in Boston.  So sweetly, he was planning on it being a surprise and was including E and me.  Alas, she had a visit that evening so it didn't work out.  Points for the thought though!

August 15
Just crazy...middle of August, sitting around a campfire, I was dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt.  Holding out hope for as mild of a winter as the summer we've had.
 Also kids + my sister's kids = enough people for a soccer game
August 16
Makeovers By Maddy....

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August's 10 on 10

10 pictures on the 10th day of the month!
{Document a snapshot of your life & find beauty among the ordinary things in your day!}

6 AM
Over a cup of coffee, I worked on my Project 365 post.
 7 AM
At the gym when the doors open.
 9:26 AM
Long run complete....15 miles on the board and my book is finished.
 10 AM
Back at home, savoring a recovery drink of chocolate milk.
 12 PM
The kids and I walked over to where Shaun was working.  We got a little time to talk while the kids played hide-n-seek in two floors of empty, clean apartments.
 2 PM
Shaun had a Lights Up meeting for the next show coming later next month so the kids and I dropped him off and went to cousins to play and swim.
 4 PM
Sweet boys "fishing".
 6 PM
The boys gathered around the grill.
 7 PM
One last dip.
 8 PM
Dance competition.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Project 365, Week 32

You might agree with me that I have entirely too many pictures from this week, but sometimes its so hard to choose which to I don't.

It was such a great summer week and we're really enjoying having E here and I'm doing my best to not think about school which will be starting in a couple weeks.

August 3
I asked the girls to pick up their room and when I went in later to check...

There are three beds in the room, but since school let out, they have opted to sleep together on the floor.
 August 4
Never gets old.
 A cool enough day to run the oven, so we did.
 There was a little scare with Great-Grandpa, so we went over to see him.  The kids showed him pictures from Maine....
 ...and they chased turkeys out in the yard.
 August 5
2 AM wake-up to drive R to meet up with the group at the airport bound for Guatemala.
 Shaun continues to painstakingly work with Aiden on riding a two-wheeler.  It always begins with tears and insistence that "I can't", but Shaun patiently powers through and Aiden is always so proud of himself at the end.
 A surprise visit from cousins...all seven on Shaun's side!
 Love this!  Shaun has been studying hard to get his license as a financial planner to complement his work as a tax preparer.  He catches an hour here, an hour the middle of the afternoon, middle of the night, etc.  Aiden wanted to sit with him and watch his "Jesus movies".  Two awesome boys right there.
 I took the girls to the library and we ended up doing a little exploring in back of the building.
 One of the mom's is sending me periodic updates on how R is doing on the missions trip.  Sounds like everything is going really well.  Here's the team, minus the two pastors who are leading it.
 August 6
River time.
 When we got home I made the kids lay down for a rest.  Amanda slept in the fort for two hours.  When she woke, she had a headache and fever, but just briefly.
 Shaun passed his first exam, Series 66!!  Is there anything that man cannot do??  We went to DQ to celebrate.
 August 7
Aiden went for his annual physical, but since I missed last year he also got shots.  He was so brave and didn't even whine or cry.  On the way home we stopped to pick up a little prize.
 Hours and hours of the "baby game"...two babies, two moms, two strollers, four happy kids.
 Aiden and I were cracking up when we saw this closeup he took of me.  :)
 August 8
These four are playing so well together.
 Shaun's dad was visiting from out of state, so the family got together.

 We were supposed to do the beach the day before but plans changed at the last minute.  The kids were disappointed and I figured since it was a beautiful day and we didn't have anything scheduled until church time, why not go?  So, we loaded up and went!

 My sweet handsome boy who always makes it a point to get dressed up for church.
 Shaun and the pajama girls checking out fun stuff on the computer.

Message on the chalkboard:
Do the next right thing that's right in front of you.

Make it a great week!