Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Yesterday was a first for us.

It was the first day of school.  At a new school.  And it was Skylar's first day of kindergarten.

We had prepared her the best way we knew how.  She can write her name, read short books, and knows how to count to 100.  More importantly, she knows when to say 'please' and 'thank you', how to raise her hand, how to follow directions, and how to be a friend.

We picked out an outfit, packed her backpack with 30 pounds of supplies, and made a snack.

The night before school started, she was getting misty-eyed.  When I asked what was wrong, she said, "I'm excited to start school, but I'm sad to grow up."

Me too baby....me too.

Yesterday was Reagan's first day of third grade.  She made a friend in the first five minutes and after school she said, "I have a feeling we're going to be best friends.  She's very polite and sweet and she loves God!"

My girls are growing up.

Lord give us the strength and wisdom to continue raising them in the way they should go.

celebrating with frozen yogurt after school!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Beach beauties!

Ok, so first of all, html and I are not bff's.  Please pardon the bloggy mess if you are visiting the actual site. :)

We had a wonderful day at the beach with some of our friends yesterday.  It was actually chilly when we got there, but the sun came out and we warmed up quickly. The girls could have played in the water ALL DAY.  The most incredible part was that there were three moms (and my mom as the grandma for the day), and ELEVEN girls, ages 8 and under.  There was no fighting, whining, or complaining.  They were eleven of the most incredible girls (my 3 included, of course).  They were all so sweet, and well-mannered.  I was thankful to be able to spend time with other moms, working hard to raise Godly little women.  It made for such an enjoyable time! There was plenty of girly shrieking at the waves of course!!

Bailey's "cheese" grin.  She's part bulldog apparently. 

The water was frigid when we first got in! That didn't keep them out of the water though!

My precious oldest has grown up so much in the past year. 

Pure.  Joy.  

This beach has a playground on it.  How cool is that?! 

Lots of squealing girls chasing the shore breaks

My beach beauties!

Someone commented that Skylar's eyes matched the ocean.  She was right! 

We hurried home, shook off the sand, and headed to Open House at the girls' new school.  We're excited to start next week, and so glad we squeezed in a beach trip before the summer was over. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Married Mothers Manifesto

Found this today and thought it was worth sharing:

"We are all raised with "do's and don'ts" from the time we can move.  Our rules change as we get older and then we realize that everyone has different ideas about what we should or should not do. I learned early on in my life as a mother and wife that God has far different expectations than we could ever imagine.  So I wrote my own set of "rules" to look back on when I get pulled too far from the road I should be traveling.  Hopefully they speak to you too.  

I will not obsess over the 5, 10, or 15 pounds that show up on the scale and destroy my self-esteem.  
I will lace my shoes up and do something about it.

I will not downplay or minimize a compliment. ("Oh you look great in that dress!"... "Oh, it's just a slimming color.")
I will accept it gratefully and smile and pay it forward with a compliment to someone else that just might need it.  

I will not make excuses for my house being too small, or not decorated, or too lived in.  
I will remember that God can use any house when it is offered for His glory.  

I will not believe that being married means I can stop trying.  
I will give my husband the best of me, and not the leftovers.  

I will not expect my husband to meet my every need. 
I will try to bless him each and every day.  

I will not feel guilty for needing a few moments away from my children. 
I will remember that God's voice is loudest when I am quiet.  

I will not compare myself, my house, my children, or my husband to others. 
I will treat my family as the gift they are. 

I will not continually hope for the next phase of life. 
I will embrace this season.  

I will not spend our money, and incur debt on frivolous things. 
I will store up my treasures in heaven.  

I will not let my children become "those kids" that people dread being around.
I will shepherd my children and teach them how to become responsible, respectful, adults.  

I will not be in such a hurry.
I will smile at strangers. It may be the only one they see that day.

I will not be so busy.
I will spend time just playing with my children. 

I will not be judgmental. 
I will give someone the benefit of the doubt.  

I will not lament over what we don't have. 
I will make our house a home by the attitude and atmosphere I set. 

I will not be a screaming, yelling woman.
I will remember that a gentle tone turns away wrath.  

I will not live a life of regret. 
I will tell those close to me that I love them.  often.  

I will not beat myself up over mistakes.  
I will remember that God's grace is sufficient. 

I will not be anxious.
I will pray.

I will not let anger fill my heart.
I will pray.  

I will not walk in fear of the unknown.
I will pray.

I will laugh at myself.  
I will treasure my "now".  
I will learn to cook healthy meals.  
I will let my children eat cake for dinner sometimes.  
I will say please and thank you. 
I will remember that God made me, and He doesn't make mistakes."

What would you add??

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

She's still 5

Most days I feel like I'm running at full speed just to keep up with my "list."  I know there will always be something else to do, so I end up doing only what is absolutely necessary each day.  That means the big projects often get pushed aside.  Skylar's 5 year pictures were no different.  We have a tradition of doing portraits at 5 years old (in a white dress) in our family.  Someday I would love to display my moms, mine, and all 3 of my girls, in one frame.  Reagan's portraits were a little pricey so we've been holding off on doing Skylar's pictures.  But her bottom tooth started getting wiggly....and I really wanted to have them done before she lost her baby teeth.  Thankfully, I've been able to pick up photography as a little hobby and when we were asked if Skylar could be part of a magazine shoot in San Diego, I jumped at the chance to take some pictures of her myself.  I'm still saving up for that DSLR, but I was thrilled with what we got.  She may be five and a half, but it was worth the wait.

It doesn't hurt that she's so beautiful and totally photogenic. :)

Now to pick a favorite.....

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Baby Blues

This weeks theme at I Heart Faces is "Beautiful Eyes."  How could I not enter a photo of my sweet middle girl and her gorgeous baby blues?

Last week we had a little outing down to San Diego and I took advantage of the setting to take some 5 year old shots of my girl.  We have a tradition of photos in a white dress when you turn five.  I'm only six months behind :) But, they were totally worth the wait.

This shot is SOOC.  Yes, her eyes really are *that* blue!

Go check out the other "beautiful eyes" at iheartfaces.com

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Not all 'healthy' is created equal

I have a friend (and I'm kinda hoping she doesn't read our blog!), that recently tried to make the "switch" to organic foods based on my recommendations.  After almost a month she emailed and said "I don't see any difference.  It's too expensive and frustrating.  I'm going back to the way we did things before."

This is a topic I could disucss for days, so, let me address here a few reasons why all things labeled 'organic' are not always healthy.

As with all things in life, I like to take a comprehensive approach.  In parenting, there is no "one" method that works best for each child.  Our kids are not textbooks, so we need to adjust what we do and how we respond for each one differently.  With exercise, you can't just run for 30 seconds everyday and expect weight to fall off. With being healthy, you can't just make a switch to buying foods that have "organic" on them and expect to feel different within a few weeks.  In fact, eating organically is a long term investment.

Many of the pesticides that leave a residue on our foods are known carcinogens and cancer takes years to surface.  By eating organically now, I'm investing in my children's future by not exposing them to harmful chemicals.  Likewise, organic foods do not contain GMO's (genetically modified ingredients).  GMO's have not been around long enough for us to know their true impact.  Again, until we know the long term effects, we try to avoid them.

With milk, chicken, and beef, the non-organic versions contain antibiotics (which can lead to antibiotic resistance), and hormones to make the animals mature faster.  Those hormones are passed on to the person eating the food, or drinking the milk.  Doctors are noticing that children are maturing faster (girls as early as second grade) and some have linked this fact to the hormones in our food.  Obviously, just a month of eating organically won't make a difference here.

In addition, the 'organic' industry has exploded so there's a lot of money to be made by misguided consumers.  Just because something says "organic" on it, does not mean it's healthy for you.  Granted, when choosing between a regular and an organic cookie, the organic is the lesser of two evils, but not by much.  Cow manure is considered organic but you don't see me feeding that to my kids either.  :)

Our bodies were not made to process refined white flour and refined sugar.  We were made to eat foods that are whole, natural, and fresh.  Just because a cookie has an organic label on it, doesn't make it any easier for our bodies to process.  Does that mean that we only eat fresh, whole, natural foods at our house? No.  But we're careful about the quantity.  The bulk of our diet is made up of the good stuff.

We also (in that comprehensive approach) make sure that our kids get plenty of exercise and we take daily vitamins (with extra D and probiotics).

If you're considering a switch to 'healthy' eating, I encourage you to do some research on your own.  And give it more than a month.


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