Wednesday, July 31, 2019

I Love Summer But --

-- this is coming!

anna 1

Bright yellow leaves - a blanket of colorful leaves to crunch on -- cool, crisp air -- sweater and jeans weather -- her favorite old flannel dress -- pretty sunshine -- I love summer and don't want to miss one single day -- but fall is coming!

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anna 3

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Surprises --

Where in the world did this video come from?  It was over a year ago!  And it was surprising them for THIS TRIP last year!  Wow... how did I ever forget to post it. 

I love when I find little gems like this! {even if it was over a year ago for a vacation that has long past}

Monday, July 29, 2019

"Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat."

~Laura Ingalls Wilder


Friday, July 26, 2019

I Believe


disclaimer: This is not a stay-at-home vs. work outside of the home post. Can we all just stop fighting about that? I choose to work outside of the home during the school year. I am a classroom teacher. I also stayed at home for 13 years just being mama. (there is not 'just' in just being mama) Both have taught me more that you can imagine. I am blessed to have done both. And I am blessed to be doing both in my age/stage of life now. Being a classroom teacher doesn't mean that I can't put my home and my family first. It does mean that I can get creative about being able to do both. And one more thing - it's okay if you don't agree with what I'm about to say. I'm not saying that I'm right and you're wrong. It is just what I believe. On to the post -- 

I believe that a mothers role is to nurture and nourish her family

  • through the words she speaks 
  • through the simple meals she prepares
  • through the cozy, homey environment she creates 

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I believe that her family and her home should come before all other pursuits so that her home and her family is cherished  -- now I work outside of the home -- I'm a fourth grade teacher -- so how do I put my family and my home first when I teach all day long? 
  • it's not really about my teaching vs. my family and my precious home -- that fight needs to end 
  • when I say all other pursuits, it's about putting my home and my family above everything else in my heart and honoring them when I'm home
  • it's about a little decorating here and a little there as I can so that this is a pretty place to be 
  • it's about keeping our home orderly so that my family can function well 
  • it's about creating an atmosphere that my family wants to come home to -- oh, it's good to be home feeling
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living room 3


I believe that meals should be together with your family. Eating together is the glue that helps us all stay strong to do the 'work' we need to do outside of our house. And it is that warmy welcome home that only 'around the table' can bring. It's conversation and healthy food. It's about how when the four of us are around the dinner table the world 'out there' and our work 'out there' stops and we are all cherished and cared for.

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I believe that teaching your children that hard work and working toward something is honorable. I believe that teaching them that there is value in a goal and working to pursue it all on their own awards great satisfaction.

(this taken on her way in to school to be inducted into the Chinese National Honor Society)


(walking into an audition)

(judges looking at her science fair project)

I believe that making the time to have fun with your family creates bonds that can not be broken. It's not about going far - having fun can be as close as a game and your kitchen table, a near as a neighborhood apple orchard or as far as a world cruise. Having fun is about connecting and laughing. It's about taking the time to look in their eyes to remind them you love them and you're in it together.


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family fun 10

I believe that for as long as they are not grown, no matter their age, as long as they have still not moved on to college or beyond, children should be tucked in. Yes, at 16 children should have a good night hug and a kiss. A prayer offered in gratitude and thanksgiving at the end of the day together.  A prayer for needs. A read aloud from a chapter book can also be a powerful tool to tell your children that stopping everything on 'my list' to just be with you is important to me. It also allows you to travel to other places through books and through your imagination. Reading aloud and a tuck in and prayer gives peace and comfort to children of all ages. It nurtures their souls.




I believe that saying grace -- a prayer of thanksgiving offered up to God at the start of meal time. It reminds your heart and also teaches the heart of your children that God comes first, that He's always there, and we have so much to be thankful for. At the start of each dinner meal we say 

For the food before us, the family beside us, and the love that surrounds us;
For these thy gifts we are about to receive, let us be truly grateful. 


See, day after day we are teaching and reminding them that the 'gifts are about to receive' are love surrounding us, food before us and the family beside us. Those are GIFTS! 

I believe that children should be taught to wait on God's timing - for the one God has for them in marriage. I believe that teaching purity is more than a long-ago, old fashioned 'rule'. It is important that children (and teens) (and teens growing into adults) know they are precious and going from boyfriend to boyfriend or girlfriend to girlfriend just takes a tole on their soul and a little part from the one that God has for them. God has great blessings for those who wait - for those who wait upon the Lord. And being in the sacrament of marriage is the only time living together can be blessed abundantly. 

I believe that mothers should teach their daughters how to dress modestly - and that can still be fun and cute. I believe that mamas can gently lead their daughters to a 'style' that honors their body as much as it fills their heart. Girls need to be taught that their smile is what the world needs to see, not too much of their body. I believe that this starts at an early age and teaching daughters to love a style or fashion from the time they are little naturally leads them into their preteen, and teen years loving a pretty clothes and the battle is not on for modest vs. teen clothes because the battle never started - they just love pretty clothes.

roses edited lg


I believe that your child's birthday when they are still growing up should be important - simple celebrating is fine -- in fact I think that that the more simple the birthday, the more relaxed you can be as a mama and the more you can spend your energy on honoring your child. Let them have balloons, cake, a special card, a tradition that is all their own in your family. Let it be the most special day of the year for them.

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I believe in keeping them little for as long as possible -- for forever.  All the dolls, all the toys, all the playroom, all the music, all the little -- they have their whole lives to be big!



I never sat down and decided "this is what I'm going to base my life on -- this is what I'm going to teach my daughters". It's just what came naturally to me and what God has led me to over the years. I've been a mama for almost 15 years and these are virtues and values that I've come to realize are true for me as a parent. I am most humbly walking these things out with God each and every day. I don't always have it right but God knows my heart He is helping me every step of the way. 

Thursday, July 25, 2019


It has been a spectacular summer for all things faith in our home.

Summer has been a time to unwind and really unwind our minds.

It's a lovely time to dig deep {because our minds are not cluttered} into God's Word.

And I adore that my girls love it.

This past spring I spent some time teaching Anna how I study the Bible. How I use it in my everyday life, how I keep track of what God is leading me to and teaching me.

God's Word - the Bible - my time in prayer is my everything.

Everything comes after that in prority in my life.

I am most grateful that Anna loves the Word too.

These pictures are what I often see in her bedroom -- it's so common I almost didn't take a picture. But then one day I realized that I wanted to remember the summer that she transitioned from our faith (as a family) to her own deep faith and desire to be closer to the Lord.

pie 5

pie 7

Girl, read your Bible.

You can eat all the kale,
buy all the things,
lift all the weights,
take all the trips,
trash all that doesn't spark joy,
wash your face and hustle like mad,
but if you don't rest
your soul in Jesus,
you'll never find
peace and purpose

Every single word of that I believe. You can have it all but if you don't have God, it's nothing.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Christmas in July

christmas in july 2

If you've been on this space for more than a minute you know that I love Christmas - everyone does! But I actually say everyday to my family, "is it time to decorate the house for Christmas yet"? They laugh and tell me I have to wait until the day after Halloween.

Christmas in July is just plain ol fun! I play our favorite Christmas music all day, we play a game, and make cookies. These were bar cookies and were so yummy!

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christmas in july 3

christmas in july 4

And then we used our Christmas in the Forest plates and all watched a Christmas movie -- this one (because Alaska) It was a fun day!

Monday, July 22, 2019

The Middle of Summer - some thoughts

at home 1

It is July 22nd -- smack dab in the middle of summer.

And I am feeling grateful.

Grateful for home.

Grateful for time.

Grateful for my daughters.

Grateful for no hurry, no worry.

Grateful for reading on the couch and chatting with my girls in the kitchen.

Grateful for no school work.

Grateful for letting my mind unwind and heal from the tizzy that it is often in September through June.

Grateful for the series I am re reading for the millionth time.

Grateful for this precious summer I don't want to end.

But in about a month I'll begin to think about my classroom -- and my mind will shift. 

Shift to students who need a teacher who loves books and reading teaching them to have a passion for both.

Shift to lunch boxes and a schedule.

Shift to earlier bedtimes and an alarm to wake me instead of the sunshine.

Shift to bulletin boards and Reader's Workshop - Guided Reading - and math.

Shift to back to school dresses and backpacks lined up on the bench in the mudroom.

I'm not ready to shift. I'm so grateful for this time. This time when I glance at the clock and it tells me it's 2:00 in the afternoon - nowhere to be. Fold a little more laundry, invite the girls to play a game with me - text Scott about my dinner ideas to see what he thinks- just time.

Why anyone in the world wouldn't want to be a classroom teacher is beyond me. A career that completely ends every year for a few months. There are no emails, no correcting, no planning. Nothing. Just being.

And for that -- I am grateful.

at home 2

Saturday, July 20, 2019

A Catch Up Post

I was looking through my phone and noticed all sorts of 'gems' on there. I can't imagine them getting lost someday so I had to put them here on this blog so that I'd have them forever. That is one thing I love about this blog - a memory keeper for me - for the girls - for our little family. A place for too many pictures that I take - for the moments I don't ever want to forget.

This was a 'solo' in a sixth grade concert sometime in the spring. She loved this song!

And this she played at the Bushnell in the G rand Foyer

A closer one

I want to remember how she loved tennis this summer.


I took her and a friend to a water park one weekday.


Oh & Scott and I took the girls to tea with my Mom




Found this on my phone from her 12th birthday!


And from Anna's Confirmation night


Tea in NYC with Kelli was the best!


I miss her!


I've got to keep more up to date on this blog - blog more in the moment as things happen. Now that I'm all caught up that'll be easier! I love my life!