Thursday, February 27, 2014

Happy Pappy and Dear Danielley!

Today is my dear Daddy's birthday...
He's 53 now, but there's no way anyone could tell. Approximately 90% of the pictures I have of him are him on the floor playing with his grandsons!! 
He's tough, yet tender; hardworking, and yet will fall asleep if he sits still for longer than 10 minutes. He's full of wisdom, and seems to be able to read my mind. He's pretty awesome, and I'm super happy that God saw fit to place me in his home for the first 22(ish) years of my life.
Happy birthday, Pappy!

Also, yesterday was my dear sweet sister of a friend's birthday! 
She's now 30. I would say that seems so very old, but I'm chasing her quickly and will be there before the year's out, so I'll hold my tongue. :)
Danielle was at my 12th birthday party, and we've been relatively inseparable ever since. Despite my gradual moving eastward (first Spokane, then Idaho, then Virginia--WOAH!), our friendship has withstood the test of time and distance, and we are just as close now as we were during those junior high sleepovers where we ordered Chinese takeout and watched silly TV shows and created oodles upon oodles of inside jokes... which we still like to crack!
I credit Danielle with playing a huge part in the steadfastness of my faith. She's a woman who fears the Lord, and has been a constant source of blessing and wisdom in my life for these past 19 years. 
I just love her!
The last couple days of February are always so fun, celebrating two of my favorite people each year. 
I so wish I could be with them this week!
Happy birthday to my Happy Pappy and Dear Danielley!

Saturday, February 22, 2014


Today the sun was golden bright, and my bare arms welcomed its return. A warm breeze held a promise on its breath as it kissed my budding bulbs...

Spring will come.
It always comes.
It is the story of this world.
Life, death, resurrection...


It is not here yet, but I'll welcome the tease while it lasts.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

And I laughed... and laughed...

I received this in the mail today from my mother-in-law.
And I laughed...

I laughed out loud. For a loooong time. Oh my!
She even wrote their names in. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Our Little Valentine's Day

Despite being on top of the decorations, Valentine's Day still managed to sneak up on me. 
I got the Valentine's cards out to long distance family on the last possible day, forgot to make cards for the boys, and didn't get around to making Riley's gift (Grand Marnier Truffles) until the day of! 

But, we still had an absolutely lovely day... of course!
It started with heart-shaped cinnamon rolls:

Since we enjoyed a big snowfall just before Valentine's Day, our Friday School was cancelled and we got to stay in and enjoy a slower-paced morning. Daddy left for work and the boys and I enjoyed watching a couple of Valentine cartoons, reading books, and playing together.
For lunch I cut out little heart shapes in the boys sandwiches for a fun treat, but Gray was quite upset that I was requiring him to still eat it. He exclaimed, "But I not want to break my Balenstimes!"
It all went well in the end. ;)

The boys got little heart-shaped boxes of chocolates that they enjoyed throughout the day, and they gave me a couple chocolate goodies, too! (Chocolate all around!)

Riley surprised us and came home early from work! He greeted me with a caramel latte and an offer to take the boys out for a walk so I could make dinner in peace.
He knows the way to my heart!

And to top it all off, here's the valentine he made for me.
(The previous night he had asked me where I kept the hot glue gun, and had instructed me to not ask any questions.)

The love passage from 1 Corinthians 13 was written on the tip of each petal.

The night we were married, we got to our hotel room where I found his Bible on the coffee table, laid open to this passage. A wonderful reminder of what we are really working toward, what we really mean when we say "I love you," in this marriage, both then and now.

It is absolutely gorgeous!
I was so impressed that he loved me enough to search pinterest for me. (hehe!)
What a guy! Love him!


Monday, February 17, 2014

Well, that's one way to wake up!

It had been a rough night. My typically good little sleepers had been up every hour between the two of them (for no apparent reason), giving their Mama little to no rest for the duration of the night. By around 5:30 I decided I was calling it quits, and roused the always-willing-to-help-but-very-sound-sleeper Daddy for back up. He went to their room and tucked the littlest in again, as the eldest began stirring in his own bed because of the commotion. He gave them both a sip of water, told them goodnight, and then snuggled back under the warm covers and off we dozed.

An hour later we began stirring, as a beeping alarm clock signaled the start of another day. We both sat up, and I began thinking to myself how impressive it was that the boys went back to sleep, and were still sleeping. (They normally come in around 6 to get us up.) It was then that Riley noticed their door was open, and the light was on downstairs. He had to get ready for work, so he sent me off with a quick, “prepare yourself...” as I began to make my way down the stairs, sleep still clinging to my lashes.

I heard muffled squeals from behind a closed door. A closed bathroom door. Not good. I opened it to find two boys standing on a basket at the sink, the eldest of which was completely naked. He apparently thought he needed to wash his clothes, and was flinging them around wildly in an overflowing sudsy sink, which was the obvious culprit for the standing water I found my feet sloshing through as I reached to pull them both out of the mess. I sent them upstairs to sit on their beds and wait for me while I cleaned up after them. I was still so drowsy that I didn’t even think to dry them off first, and the idea of having them help clean it up was way off my radar. I removed the (now empty) bottle of soap and the dripping wet clothes from the crime scene and walked toward the laundry room to fetch a towel (or 10) to wipe up the evidence of a morning well spent, but on my way I glanced toward the adjacent kitchen. I couldn’t help but notice that my baking cabinet door was open and the contents within seemed a little lacking. I deviated from the task at hand to investigate a little further, only to find that all the baking goodies had been removed from the cabinet and what little remained was stashed in a cubby around the corner. It turns out that washing clothes was not the only house chore Asher took upon himself that morning. He decided to feed himself and his brother a wholesome breakfast as well, which included (but may not be limited to): Half a bag of marshmallows, half a bag of dark chocolate chips, two candy canes, sprinkles, and a handful of miniature Reese’s Pieces baking chips! Oh my.

I staggered back to the task at hand, fetched some towels, and began walking back to the bathroom when I stumbled across my purse, which had been turned inside out and left in a heap, my completely emptied wallet sprawled on top. Now, fortunately I don’t keep a whole lot of cash on hand, but the little bit of coinage I had stored in there I later found stashed under the couch. Asher claimed they were saving it to buy gumballs. Gumballs!  How could they possibly have an appetite for gumballs after a breakfast like that??

I managed to do a good deal of damage control, with eyes still longing to be closed tight, and we were mostly back to normal in no time. Although, when you think about it, is any of this really *that* abnormal in this house? ;)

Another day last week the boys pulled out every movie we owned and stacked them on the cabinet. 
Their idea of a subtle hint... ;)

But they're cute!!


Monday, February 10, 2014

How do they come up with this stuff?

Gray came trotting down the stairs and said, “Mommy! Asher needs you. He’s up there on top.”

I of course went to investigate, and found Asher panting frantically and hanging from a high bookshelf. Beneath his dangling feet was his little rocking chair stacked on top of a toy basket that had been emptied and turned upside down. 

Startled by the precariousness of the situation, I asked him what he was doing. 
He squeaked, “Oh, oh, I don’t wish to fall!”

Very thankful for this kid’s unintentional ability to make me laugh, thus curbing the temptation toward panic attacks.

(He is now safe on the ground and has promised to ask for help should he ever decide he needs something from the top shelf…)


Friday, February 7, 2014

House Tour: Entryway

I just updated our entry, and have found it much improved. Such a cozier, cleaner feel. 


The update was so minor that I didn't think to take a before picture, but I did find this picture of the boys from a few months ago and you can see the previous look in the background. I had four (adorable!) blue buckets lined up, one for each of us.

 The idea was for us all to have a place to keep a pair of shoes, mittens, hats, etc. downstairs by the door. We would have an organized spot to put them when we came in from outside.
Well, it didn't really work. The chief reason being those two rascals in the foreground!
They seemed to think that because there were buckets full of things on the ground, that meant they should dump them all out, spread the goods all about the landing, and repeat any and every time Mommy puts them back where they belong.

So I scratched it. And while I miss the splash of cheery blue, I'm loving the simplicity of the new look.

Fresh paper whites sprouting offer a welcome reminder that Spring is on it's way!
Just a few scarves and hats in the basket. No sorting necessary. And strangely, it's not been emptied once!
The buckets are now upstairs housing toys in the toy room, and I'm happy to announce that they're still gleefully dumped every day, but now it's a little more acceptable!

You can see the bulletin board displaying the boys' school work and festive cards from the landing...

The boys have had one and only one pair of shoes all season: rain boots! 

Best purchase, ever! We'll be adding tennis shoes for running around outside as the weather warms up, but they've been great, all purpose shoes and we'll probably repeat this little system for many Autumns and Winters to come.

The coat tree was Riley's Grandma's, as was the nightstand by the stairs. The other end table was a garage sale find ($3!!!) and the chair I snatched up from a friend who was getting rid of it. The bucket was purchased for our wedding reception. The little basket the bulbs are growing in came full of fruit after our miscarriage, a sweet gift from our church family. 
Just about everything in our house has a story and a purpose. 
A reason we own it, and a memory tied to it. 
I love it!

And our favorite feature of the entryway is how large it is. Just the perfect size for floor puzzles! 

And with no winter wear strewn about it all day every day, we have room to play!