Sunday, December 10, 2017

Light the World

As part of the Light the World, Christmas challenge, today we served our neighbors by taking in their trash cans. It snowed last night and was so cold and icy. I was expecting the big kids to do one or two, but much to my surprise, they did nine! Cache and Ky even got in on the fun!

Watching them serve warmed my heart and talking about how good it feels to help people was the highlight of my day. Often times service is more rewarding for those that are serving, rather than those that are being served. And today was no different. Feeling all sorts of blessed! 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

DIY Spruce Up

Our kitchen island got a little update. And I am so excited about it! 

I'm happy to have a brighter kitchen and get rid of some of the dark. And it's perfect timing before the winter comes! Cheers to all things DIY. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Thanksgiving Birthday

Scott's birthday wasn't actually on Thanksgiving, but it was the day before and it sure felt like it. I spent the day baking pies, making roles and cooking cake. The boys sat around the table crafting cards and banners for their dad, I worked in the kitchen, the Christmas music played and the dogs laid around. It was quite the perfect afternoon. 

The kids were so excited to celebrate Scott. We made the best camouflage cake we could and sang loud and proud for our daddy. We sure love him. 

Thanksgiving was so wonderful. We spent the day at Packards house and the evening at the Mennears. I love being surrounded by our family. My favorite part of the day was watching Beckett devour the turkey leg his grandpa Packard gave him. Cache tried his best on the other one. 

I'm so grateful for the life I have. As I watched my kids fill our thankful tree and listened to them voice their gratitudes this month, my heart swelled. We have so much to be thankful for. Our house, our shoes, food, brothers to play with, elk and deer in the freezer, lights that work, warm beds, church, grandparents, pets, dads job, America, cake on birthdays...the list goes on and on. We really are so blessed. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


More Indian talk from the Packards. Tayden came upstairs the other morning, decked out as an Indian. Loin clothe and all. His name was Ottowa, Boy Who Runs on Lightning. He spoke like a native all morning and even ate his oatmeal with his hands. It was hysterical. At least he took something away about the First Thanksgiving lesson they had in school.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

I'm a little Indian

Cache had a preschool Indian program the other day and it was so cute. He is so lucky to have the best teacher, Miss Kymm, that cares about her students the way she does. All the kids had a speaking part, sang some songs and told what they are grateful for. Cache was grateful to clean his room everyday. The audience got a laugh out of it, but I sure was proud. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Elk 2017

After two unsuccessful elk hunts, Scott finally got one with his Uncle Fred. I have officially adopted the role of a hunters wife and was thrilled to put the meat in the freezer. It no longer bothers me when Scott goes...except when he forgets to tell me, like on this particular hunt. Either way, he got an elk and I am feeling grateful.

Excited as I was, I think our dog was just as excited. Even though she was terrified of the meat hanging in the garage and wouldn't come near Scott until he showered off the smell of death, once she got a bone...she learned that hunting isn't so bad after all. 

Scott is the hunter and butcher, while I pack the meat. I have a system and my weird OCD self likes to have the all the packages in my hand writing. This year, I got the boys involved and even let Cache do some of the writing.

And while it would have bothered me years ago, the pride I was feeling was too overwhelming to be bugged. I was proud of Cache for writing, Scott for providing and my family for working together to get it done. I love that my boys will have this tradition and skill and all the memories that go with it. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

This Stage

Its time to start Christmas shopping and as I was checking one of my favorite deals sight, I stumbled upon this and immediately had to copy it to my blog. Because this is my life and this is the perfect reminder.

"This stage of life. It’s hard, you guys.

I’m talking right now to you moms who are in your late 20's to mid 30’s. You have kids. Likely two, three, maybe four ...of them. They probably range in age from newborns to 7 or 8 year-olds. (Give or take a few, on all of the above mentioned stats).

In this stage of life, you are dealing with exhaustion. Mental, physical, and emotional.

In this stage of life, you are dealing with teething. With ear infections. With stomach viruses. You are juggling nap schedules, and feeding schedules and soccer, dance, or cheer schedules. A million balls you are juggling, and you probably feel like you are dropping most of them.

In this stage of life, you are dealing with guilt. Guilt over having a career, and not spending enough time with your kids, or guilt over staying home with your kids, and not doing enough to contribute financially. Guilt over being too harsh with your kids. Too lenient. Guilt that your house is clean, but your kids were ignored, or guilt that you enjoyed your children all day, and now your husband is coming home to filth. Guilt.

In this stage of life, you are bombarded daily with a whole host of decisions. Some of them life-changing, some of them not. None of them with clear cut answers. Do I vaccinate my kids? Do I not? Do I send them to public school? Homeschool? Charter school? Do I continue to breastfeed? Do I blow the budget so that I can buy all organic? Do I force my child to apologize, even though the apology will be insincere? You don’t know the answers to ANYTHING, but you feel constant pressure to figure out EVERYTHING.

This stage of life is less and less about watching your friends get married and have babies, and more and more about standing by and witnessing your friends struggle in their marriage, and even get divorced. It’s a stage where you’ve got to put in the time and the effort and the work and the energy to make sure your OWN marriage stays healthy. And that’s good, but it’s hard, too. At this point, you or someone you know has experienced infertility. Miscarriages. Loss of a child.
It’s a stage where you are buying houses, selling houses, remodeling houses, packing up houses. And then you do it all again a few years later.

It’s a stage where your hormones are all out of whack. I mean, you’ve basically been pregnant, postpartum, or breastfeeding for the last ten years, right?

It’s a stage where you are struggling with identity. Is my entire identity “mommy”? Is there anything even left of me that isn’t about mothering? Is there something more glamorous I could have/should have done with my life? I LOOK like a mom now, don’t I? I totally do.

It’s a stage where you are on a constant quest for balance, and can never find it.

It’s a stage of life where you are overloaded. Constantly. You are overloaded with questions. Your children never stop asking them. You are overloaded with touch. Someone is constantly wanting to be held, holding on to you, hanging on to you, touching you. You are overloaded with to-do’s. There is so much to do. It never ends. You are overloaded with worry. You are overloaded with THINGS. Your kids have way too many toys. You are overloaded with activities. You are overloaded with THOUGHTS (thoughts about how to not be so overloaded, perhaps?).

It’s hard.

So….what do you need to do to survive it all?
You need to ask for help.

You need to accept help when it’s given.

You need to not neglect your marriage. You need to put your kids down for bed early. Sit outside on the back porch with your husband, drink a glass of wine, and have a conversation.
You need girlfriends.

You need your mom.

You need older friends, who have been there and done that. Who can reassure you that you AREN’T screwing it all up as badly as you think you are.

You need to not feel bad about using your kids nap time every now and again to just do whatever the heck you want.

You need to lower your expectations….then probably lower them again.

You need to simplify. Simplify every single part of your life, as much as it can be simplified.
You need to learn how to say “no”.

You need to practice contentment.

You need to be ok leaving your kids overnight, and going away somewhere. Anywhere.

You need to do something you enjoy, every day, even if it’s for no more than 15 minutes.

You need to pray. Girl, you need to pray.

You need a pop you love, a treat you love, and a bubble bath that you love.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, you need to remember that…..
….this stage of life is beautiful, too. Like, really really beautiful. This is the stage of life where every single older person you ever meet tells you, “you’re going to miss this”. And you already know it’s true. It’s the stage where your kids love you more than they are EVER going to love you again, for the whole rest of your life. It’s the stage where they can fit their entire selves into your lap to snuggle…and they want to. It’s the stage where their biggest problems ARE ear infections and teething and stomach viruses, and you’re not having to deal yet with things like broken hearts or addiction or bullying. It’s the stage where you are learning to love your spouse in an entirely different….harder…..better…. way. The stage where you are learning together, being stretched together, shedding your selfishness together, and TRULY being made into “one”. It’s the stage where you get to see Christmas, Halloween through your kids eyes, and it’s so much more fun and magical than it would be just through your own eyes. It’s the stage where you get to watch your parents be grandparents…and they’re really good at it. It’s the stage of life filled with field trips, class parties, costumes, swim lessons, bubble baths, dance parties, loose teeth, and first steps. And those things are so fun. It’s the stage where you are young enough to have fun, and old enough to have obtained at least SOME wisdom. It’s SUCH a great stage.
But, man it’s hard."
-author unknown