Friday, March 23, 2012

Sweetest things in life!!

 My sweethearts are just that: SWEEEEEEETHEARTS! 
They bring me flowers (even ones they shouldn't really pick because they aren't ours), and they smile at me with such pleased little faces. It melts my heart and makes my day. McKenna and Carter brought me these flowers, and McKenna took a picture of them for me. <3
The fellowship that our congregation has every week is super special. I love working together with the members of my congregation. The excitement we share, the work that needs to be done is made better by doing it together. They are teaching and training me so much. We had to tell our sweet, talented, awesome Morne and Amanda goodbye. God bless them as they begin their new work!

A super di duper fun part of this month was our family vacation over spring break! We went to Oklahoma City!! It was the best trip EVER!
 There were so many things we saw, places we went, beautiful days spent endlessly outside soaking up the warm sunshine... I can't even begin to express how incredible it all was. But the best, best, best part was just having time with Dad. The kids love Dad more than anything-- and to have him all day, every day for the week was the best present they could ever be given!
 It was such a sweet time to watch my babies grow, to laugh, to cuddle, to sing, to just LIVE~ to throw in some Pollyanna. The best moments didn't happen when we were doing some awesome event, just like in every-day life, they happen when you catch the person's eye you're with, smile, and know that everything is just right. Because you love each other. <3
 We had an awesome night going to see an OKC Thunder game!! Wooooot! We screamed and cheered and LOVED it. Carter Man was so tired that he slept through a lot of it, and Kenna nodded off at one point, too. But when they were awake, they loved it, too!
 We ate lots of yummy food on our trip-- this might have been Carter's favorite: BREAD! He was such a cuddle bug on our trip. Such a big man. Kept surprising me with all the things he's getting big enough to do. I love hearing his laugh, his voice, listening to him singing in the car... he makes me world bright!
 My princess cracks me up all the time-- she loves that it's warm enough to wear shorts one day, then the next she's saying that she wishes it would snow because she is so hot! She kept us laughing all through the week, just as usual. She sure is a joy to have around!
 Dad is the best ever-- loves his kiddos with all his heart, takes such good care of all of us, made the trip SO FUN! It made us all happy to just be together all week.
 Such pretty flowers... I'd not realized that I missed them so much. Enjoying the beginning of spring maybe more so than any other year. God's creations are so varied, so incredible!!
 Sweetness. Trust. Love. -- It's the most beautiful sight in the world!
 Got to see my sweet Sarah on our trip and go to Bible Class with their family. How fun!!!
This week certainly counted as school for my babies-- we went to the zoo, bone museum, spent time outside every day, botanical gardens, war museum, and a fantastic science museum. SO many things to learn about!!
We laughed a LOT on this trip. Tried some new things. Added a new state to my list. Just enjoyed the little things. We weren't ready to come home, but it is always good to come home, too-- I love our family. The sights of home. All the normal feels. My family made me feel so loved when they ALL came outside as soon as I pulled up to give me hugs. It made me happy to get to talk to my Mommy and Daddy and sisters, too. God blesses me over and over and over again with the people He puts into my life to love and teach me, to make me happy. <3

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Magic Moments!

 Seeing Kenna and Carter holding the baby chicks at Grandma and Papa Dud's.
 Feeling how tiny they were. Learning about them. Knowing that God made them.
 Being so gentle and sweet. Spending time running around the kitchen and talking about Mom with Grandma.
 Playing at the park with the Becks while it was raining. We will never forget that. When it rains, we'll think of them. You know, the little things really can be soooo big.
 The sweet little face of Joshua.
 The adorable smile of Jacob.
 The high-pitched squeals of my babies!!
 The first sightings of spring!!!
 Oh, we were sooooooooooooooooooo excited!!!
Aren't they just beautiful!?!?!
 An incredible weekend at Higginsville for a youth rally. I was so encouraged. I loved it especially being with my beautiful Barrett sisters!! AND we matched and didn't plan it! =)
 Getting to have my babies, and my families there... knowing that our #1 goal in life is to go to Heaven and take as many people there with us as possible is totally worth fighting for!!
 Meeting new friends!!!!
 Spending time with my Abs. One of my very best friends. My sweet lil sister. We had a CRAZY weekend together, one of the most awesome ever!!!!
My cutie. She is just adorable!!!
Magic is very easy to come by-- it's all around us in everything we do. It's the love we share with our family, our friends, and the world. It's the sunshine, the rain, the flowers, the clouds. It's the funny moments. The serious ones. The quiet ones. It's the dancing around the house for no reason. It's the praying for dear friends who have lost someone dear to them. It's the wind, music, and books. It's deciding to have a good day every day, no matter what.
 Don't ever write off a day as a "BAD DAD"-- 
~I challenge you: Find at least 3 GOOD things about every single day!!~
CHOOSE to "Live in the SONSHINE!"
Love you all!

Homeschooled! =)

Looking back on my childhood at home, I have been blessed in too many ways to count. Just in everything: familywise, I have such awesome parents and sisters. I have an amazing trio of grandparents who have taught me lots and supported me in everything! I just love my congregation at Duluth. All the people who have come and gone over the years have made me who I am today. All the missionary work in foreign fields have shaped my life in so many areas. The years at Roundhouse cannot be described, they are so perfectly wonderful. Having grown up "in the church" is the hugest blessing of all. Now, one that is incorporated in everyone of those: My parents homeschooled me!!! It gave my sisters and me the chance to try so many things. To work so many places. To learn so many things hands-on. To travel all around the world at a young age. To spend weeks at lectureships and at camps with incredible Christian examples surrounding us... I wouldn't trade those years for anything. All the time with my Mommy at home, teaching us, watching us grow every day. Taking the time to talk to us, she was always there... she was always ready to help. She is smart in EVERYTHING! Other than computers, and that's why we then have Daddy because he's smart in EVERYTHING and computers! :) hee hee I spent every day with my sisters learning about... well, all the subjects in school, but then soooo much more: how to run a house, how to do the grocery shopping, time management, craft-time, cooking, a deep love of reading and being a home-maker. <3 It was a priceless childhood and one that I pray to be able to give to my own children one day.
~And now, catch up to present time, I'm doing it!!! =) Just that... I am now homeschooling my babies, able to watch them grow everyday. Able to see how what we're studying comes out in what we do during our days together. Watching their imaginations soar! Dragons, dogs, family relations, dress up, dancing, fights of all kinds, forts out of cushions, and cuddling around "campfires" happen all the time. It's soooo much fun!!!
I couldn't ask for anything better. We are able to study the Bible together every day. We are able to pray to God together every day. We are able to sing praises to HIS name every day. We are SO blessed!!
There are so many joys of homeschooling-- We can take our time in learning things that are harder, we can take off a day when we need to, we can do school anywhere: in the car, at the park, in the yard, under a table, in a bed, in the bathtub... And we have! =D
Being together all the time makes for so many incredible talking/teaching times. And I don't mean that I'm the one doing all the teaching. These two sweethearts teach me every day more about God's LOVE. But they also have so many questions that they're able to just ask whenever they think of them... we talk about how wonderful GOD is. How horrible the DEVIL is. And how we can't wait to be in HEAVEN with MOM.
We are also extremely blessed to have a HUGE homeschool group near us. We spend time together every month at our Homeschool Get Togethers. We have KONOS days. We plan playdates together. These are our best friends. My babies get to "go to school" with their fantastic Heck cousins!!
There are kids of all ages in our group, and I think that's one of the biggest blessings of all. I remember growing up and looking to the "big kids" (the teenagers) at Roundhouse thinking that they were just the coolest ever. Then we grew up, and we were the big kids-- and we still go together with our homeschool group, but these times were to focus on the kiddos-- to teach them, to show them how awesome school can be, to listen to and encourage them as they give reports and show what they've accomplished. NEVER underestimate how much joy and support you can bring to someone just by being there and smiling at them!
 And you can add in friends, too! We were sooooo happy to have three of the sweetest, prettiest, funniest, and just more awesomest girls over for the whole day last week. I LOVED having 5 sweet kiddos around- calling my name. It was like having a 7-year-old and then two sets of twins (5s and 3s). 
 We played outside all day because it was just a GORGEOUS day-- and we did school, played Bible Basball and laughed a LOT!
 Taryn enjoyed taking lots of pictures with my camera. I didn't realize I was sooo tall. :) hee hee
 We worked together, shared, learned, and were very happy. We stopped to see the flowers growing. It was the first time that we'd spotted them this year. We didn't "do" anything that day, but it was one of my very favorites!!
I could never have been ready for this "job" without my Mommy and Daddy and sisters. 
Without my second mom. Without all my kiddos in GA, Preschool, and my Pooky. 
Without Roundhouse. 
Without the homeschool moms and dads here. 
Without Ashley, Miss Debbie, Aunt Chas, and Stacy. 
Without Darren working so hard for us and giving us the best life ever here at home. 
We are SO blessed!