37 Reasons

For Tim’s birthday this year, the boys and I made him a card …. a 8 x 12 card ūüôā

IMG_2256

The boys drew things that they love most about their dad …

This one is from James

(his favorite thing he did with his dad is going to COSI)

(his favorite food that dad makes is his breakfast sandwiches)

(he loves dad most because Dad loves him!)Image

(and the picture to the left of the page is a picture of Tim throwing James in the air …. another favorite activity that James loves)

This one is from Peter

(his favorite thing that he did with dad is make his Awana race car)

(he loves when dad makes tacos – his favorite food)

(he loves him most for being his Dad!)Image

For my card, I came up with 37 reasons that I love Tim most ….

1) You love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength

2) You love our kids and desire them to love Jesus

3) You love me more than yourself

4) You change poopy diapers

5) You see a need and meet that need (whether that means giving a quick massage or bringing home a pizza)

6) You love your parents and still respect them

7) You put US first, before the kids

8) You take me to our favorite bed and breakfasts’

9) You fix our cars and things around the house, saving $$ on repairs

10) You love others and want their cars to run as smoothly as possible

11) You have a heart for missions

12) You let me listen to Christmas music during the ‘bers’

13) You teach our children to respect our things and others

14) You have a sincere hatred for Walmart just as much as I do

15) You helped breed three children, instead of the original plan of two

16) You saved up and shopped wisely for our Pacifica, only to let it be ‘mine’

17) You are consistent

18) You love cooler weather

19) You ride all of the crazy rollercoaster rides that I won’t go near, with our boys

20) You love vacations

21) There’s no dollar amount you won’t spend to make sure our boys go to a Christian school

22) You have good taste in clothing – well, in MY clothing

23) You enjoy taking family walks

24) You love my family – all 327 of them

25) You are a loyal friend – even, sometimes to a fault

26) You love giving others a chance to ear money and/or serve

27) You’re the first one to volunteer to help someone out, no matter how difficult the task may be

28) You’re picky with painting

29) You call me beautiful when I’m in my yoga pants and a spit-up covered t-shirt

30) You call me all sorts of names of endearment – all created by you

31) You love cabins

32) You have patience with the children

33) You love our youth group and go to extreme to interact with them

34) You pay and keep track of all of our bills

35) You go Black Friday shopping with me – no matter what time the doors open

36) You find it the upmost importance to see that your family attends church and Sunday School ever Sunday

37) No matter how many games they may loose – you are still the most dedicated Viking’s fan

Happy Birthday to the Love of My Life!

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New Beginnings ….. [for my lil sis!]

Another Amazing, Sweet and Cuddly new beginning, that we all got to experience, was my little sister having her first baby!!!!!

Now, I’ve heard from Caralee that being an Aunt is such an incredible feeling. ¬†She, herself, was in doubt and thought that her friends that were aunts were a little silly for pouring out so much ‘bragging rights’ about their own nieces and nephews, until I had Peter and James and then Caralee said she was immediately transformed into ‘crazy aunt mode’! ¬†So I knew, slightly, what to expect. ¬†However, even still, I surprised myself ….. I thought ‘how could I possibly love anyone equally, like I love my own children’? ¬†But, I believe I do!!!

We got ‘the call’ around 5:00 AM, “Caralee is at the hospital and she’s contracting really close!” …. wahoo!!! ¬†I immediately jumped up, got dressed, collected the things I wanted to take to the hospital, while awaiting this little sweet pea’s arrival … only to have been stopped by my husband’s question … “Exactly what do you plan on doing with our boys, who are still asleep?”. ¬†Oh, yeah. ¬†I have kids too, don’t I? ūüėČ

So, despite my alertness and quick emotional high, I had to pace around, practically leaving a ring in my carpet, awaiting for my own children to awake from their deep, (in my opinion, slightly unnecessary) slumber. ¬†How dare they sleep! ¬†Don’t they know my sister is having a BABY?!?!? ¬†So, I waited, until about 6:20 – until I could wait no longer. ¬†I woke up the boys with the good news, and they – as quickly as I did – jumped out of bed and got dressed. ¬†I packed their book bags and made their lunches, and out the door we went. ¬†Peter wanted to see his aunt before he went to school, so we stopped by the hospital on our way to Dayton Christian, and Peter got to see ‘Aunt Dee-Dee’s baby bump one last time. ¬†He kissed his Aunt and then off to school we went.

¬†{we say morning prayers, every morning, on the way to school, so this particular morning was especially special because all of our prayers were for baby Owen and Aunt Dee-Dee. ¬†Pete prayed that the Lord would be with her, help her to have a safe and quick delivery and that He would watch over them. ¬†James ….. he prayed something to the effect of “I pray that Baby Owen is cute”…. thankfully, BOTH of their prayers were answered with ‘yes’!!}

Baby Owen Graham was born on September 4, weighing in at 7.6 pounds.  He is just the cutest!!!

 

 

 

Instantly in love with this little guy ….. how stinking cute is he?

 

Even though I would rather do so much more often, we are able to visit him at least once a week.  Peter and James just eat him up!  Tim loves holding him like he once held our own little babies Рlike a football, and I just enjoy kissing his little chubby cheeks and listening to him coo.

 

 

That’s our most funnest …. yes, I made that up …. news so far this year! ¬†Being an aunt ROCKS!

 

All Things Fall

 

 

Fall, undoubtedly, is my absolute FAVORITE of all seasons. ¬†Here’s a list of things that I look forward to every year (as well as my kids) – it’ll definitely put you in the mood for Autumn and all things Fall! ¬†Enjoy! ūüôā

Fall brings decorating Pumpkins, with good buddies:

Fall brings little boys dressed in strange characters:

Fall brings little brothers the chance to throw something and not get in trouble:

Fall Brings Back-To-School & New Teachers:

Fall brings First-Day-Of-School special lunch-outings!

Fall brings School Feasts & Programs:

 

Fall brings some of the Whitest Indians you’ll ever meet!!

Fall brings special Mommy/Daddy trips to a cabin far, far away:

Fall brings Hayrides:

Fall brings yummy recipes:

Fall brings the beauty of God’s Creation:

Father’s Day

This year, for Mother’s Day, Tim took me (far away) to one of my absolute favorite restaurants … one that we usually only get to go to on vacation!

So, for Father’s Day, I wanted to do the same …. take him somewhere super nice, NOT in Dayton. ¬†As I was telling him that I had some great, secret plans on where to take him … he kindly interrupted me and said, “Actually, there’s this new place down the street I really want to try”.

Now, for those of you who know my husband well …. he’ll eat just about anything unique, strange, unappetizing sounding, just because he can. ¬† It DOES create some good tales, though, I will say. ¬† However, ‘this place’ had a very strange and creepy-unsanitary-type name to it. ¬†It was a restaurant that has changed names, owners, building colors and themes MANY times. ¬†That made me a little nervous. ¬†I will be honest …. I fought him on this one. ¬†I really tried to talk him out of it. ¬†But, I eventually ‘submitted’ (caved in, tired of trying) and said ‘OK’!

What was the reason he wanted to go HERE, soooo badly?

Because they must be – the only place one Earth – that serves a 1/2 pound bacon cheeseburger in between TWO grilled, glazed donuts!!!

Ew.  That was my thought, at least.

I must say – I was pleasantly surprised ….. as Tim was enjoying his heart-attack-on-a-plate, the boys and I had a really, delicious lunch. ¬†The service was nice, there was NO-ONE else in the place, and we had a nice, quiet meal together, as a family.

Tim DID allow me to take him somewhere familiar for dessert ….. good ol’Dairy Queen.

(Tim and I used to spell everything out in ‘code’ for our children’s ears …. until we had a first grader who is excellent at spelling …. so, now, we initial everything. I said, “Honey, do you want to ‘MC’ it (McDonalds), ‘CS’ it (Cold Stone) or ‘DQ’ it (Dairy Queen)?” ¬† Peter asked what ‘DQ’ stood for ….. I told him if he could figure it out, we’d let him go there (jokingly …. he was allowed to whether he could come up with the correct answer or not). ¬†He sat all during lunch, after we paid the bill, and finally, before we got into the car said “Ahhh ….. it means ‘delicious quality!’ ….. close enough!) ūüôā

Weekend of Crazy!

Oh my goodness! ¬†Our weekends have been a little nuts around here ….. super busy, crazy running around, event after event after event – and it’s not even Summer vacation yet!!!!!!!!

A few weekends ago – this was our weekend ….

The weekend started off with a birthday sleepover – for both boys. ¬†They had a TON of fun – and my friend threw a phanominal party, but going to bed late and waking up early make for some pretty tuckered out feller’s. ¬†So, after Tim pulled a 4 hour shift at 6AM on Saturday morning, we were off to Peter’s school for their first ever School Fair. ¬†The boys had a lot of fun playing games, ‘fishing’ for prizes, winning some passes to the skate rink, eating pizza, playing with school friends and all that good stuff! ¬†Tim, then, dressed Peter in all of his baseball gear, and off we went to his game. ¬†He played for 2 hours and then back in the car we went. ¬†Now, another important fact to note here is that the weekends temperatures were HOT HOT HOT! ¬†So, needless to say, mid-day Saturday, we were all a little sunburnt. ¬†ouch!

Here’s the boys in the car, after the game ….

We had to run home so that I could make a side-dish while the boys catch up on their sleep.  Then, Tim loaded the car up with our corn hole board and bags, we got the kids up, dressed and off we went to a pig roast/mission-fundraiser for our church.

This is a picture of James and I after we got our face painted…

THEN …. the teenage girls (in our Youth Group) asked if they could do more … so, being the good youth leader I am, I told 3 teenagers to do “Whatever they wanted” ….

THIS is what ‘whatever you want’ LOOKS like …..

Even though we had a SUPER fun, fantastic weekend – unfortunately, sometimes the Lord gives us a complete halt in the busyness of our lives. ¬†And that halt for us was the stomach bug. ¬†It started with Pete. ¬†He’s a little bit of ‘milker’ when it comes to being sick. ¬†When he’s sick – he’s actually sick – but, he lets it go a lot LONGER than it usually needs to go. ¬†So, he was out for 2 days, missed one full day of school, and passed it along to Tim, who had it for only one night. ¬†James had it too, but once he got it out, he bounced back and was back to his normal self. ¬†I – thank the Lord – didn’t end of getting it – merely for the reason that I was the cleaner/sanitizer of every surface, every bathroom floor and toilet, every blanket, sheet or pillowcase and sprayed my house down like no-one’s business. ¬† I had a sour stomach for a day, but nothing ended up coming from it.

This is a picture of Peter, thinking for sure that he was still under the weather, but determined to get back to normal play…

That would be his barf-bucket, and his play guitar. ¬†He totally passed out (asleep) with the sun beaming into his room. ¬†He even managed to tuck himself in his blanket ¬†– ALL on the floor. (next to his bed) Pitiful, isn’t it? ūüôā

The Lord knew we needed some down time – so down time it is!!!

Emotional Rollercoaster

This weekend was filled with highs and lows. ¬†And, the highs were like mountain top experiences and the lows were heart wrenching. ¬†One of the ‘highs’ was on Friday night. ¬†Tim and I – along with another couple from our church – took on the ‘task’ (even thought I don’t really see it as that, I truly see it as a totally fun opportunity to be with some cool teenagers!) of Youth Group Leaders. ¬†We are sharing this opportunity with an amazing couple – and I am SO thankful to work so well and close with such godly people. ¬†Our personalities mesh so well and we have laughed until almost tears and have joined with each other over sorrows and painful experiences – and it has been wonderful! ¬†I am really looking forward to getting to know them better, grow as leaders, unified and to have this incredible chance to be accountable for one another in and through everything we do in leadership. ¬†We had a wonderful time with the teenagers – ordered a ton of pizza, had lots of snacks and pop and a few homemade goodies too! ¬†We played Rock Band, guessing games, wii games and really had a total blast with the teens. ¬†We had about 7 kids, and at least 4 more planning on coming regularly and have had SO much support from our church, I can’t even put into words what it has meant to Tim and I. ¬†A.Ma.Zing.

My ‘low’ point this week was when I heard the news of a friend from church, Susie Thomas, who has two adorable kiddo’s (my boys’ ages) and just adopted a little boy last year, from Rwanda – has a softball size tumor in her brain. ¬†It was devastating news. ¬†My heart just dropped. ¬†Total shock. ¬†I have been praying for her, her family and all those involved in this process. ¬†In addition, she is also 14 weeks pregnant, which intensifies¬†the situation by leaps and bounds, but makes it that much more dependant and solely reliable on God. ¬†He is capable and able to do SO much more than we could ever think or imagine and in THAT I am confident. ¬†She will be having surgery within the next few days – and I truly ask for prayers for her. ¬†Not ‘good thoughts’. ¬†Not ‘sending good feelings’. ¬†Prayer. ¬†To God, only. ¬†He is the Perfecter¬†of her faith, the Author of her life and the Sustainer of her whole being. ¬†I also know that no matter what happens, it is good. ¬†He is good. ¬†It is to His will and for His glory.

James is learning his letter recognition and how to write letters and numbers.  SO proud of him!

Peter is reading and acing all of his reading homework and assignments with 100%’s- down the board. ¬†SUPER thrilled!

Tim is feeling much better and will be seeing his Proctologist on Monday, again, to make sure everything is continuing in the right direction.

As far as I’m concerned, I have lots of goals I want to meet this year, but am super confident that they may not all ‘come true’ – so learning to be flexible and live in the moment. ¬†I continue with lessons, Monday through Friday and wouldn’t trade it for the world. ¬†I think my 5th’s disease has finally kick the bucket and hope to get back to the gym soon! ¬†I have some amazing things and events happening in the next 6-7 months and can’t wait to share them all -soon! ūüôā