Summer Fun

I realize it is almost the end of November but I thought I would post some pictures from this past summer.  We went on several hikes and spent many days outdoors with friends.  It was wonderful to spend so much time outdoors enjoying God’s creation.  It is so easy to get stuck in the TV/movie rut but we have made a real effort to avoid the TV more often and enjoy each other and the outdoors more.  I find it easier to invest in each other and our children when we aren’t just sitting in front of the TV.  I’m so grateful for a husband who likes to take us on adventures and get us out of the house!  So, here are a few pictures of our summer fun.

Kids at park June 2016

Kids at park June 2016

Elk Meadow, Evergreen August 2016

Denver Zoo July 2016

Camping fun with Uncle Andy and Miss Renee June 2016

Camping fun with Uncle Andy and Miss Renee June 2016

Elk Meadow, Evergreen August 2016

Elk Meadow, Evergreen August 2016

Family hike at Elk Meadow in Evergreen, August 2016

Family hike at Elk Meadow in Evergreen, August 2016

Hiking in Elk Meadow in Evergreen. Katherine fell asleep as daddy was carrying her. August 2016

Hiking in Elk Meadow in Evergreen. Katherine fell asleep as daddy was carrying her. August 2016

Outside the Denver Museum of Nature and Science June 2016

Outside the Denver Museum of Nature and Science June 2016

Bear Creak Lake Park June 2016

Bear Creak Lake Park June 2016

Hudson's Gardens July 2016

Hudson’s Gardens July 2016

Deer Creek Canyon Park Oct 2016

Deer Creek Canyon Park Oct 2016

Deer Creek Canyon Park Oct 2016

Deer Creek Canyon Park Oct 2016

Another Wedding!

Our family was blessed to attend another beautiful fall wedding this year on October 8th.  This young couple is part of our church and it was such a privilege to watch them go through the process of friendship to courtship to engagement and then to begin their life as a married couple.  You see, these 2 have been going to church together since they were about 11 years old but they never really talked much.  The groom had an innocent crush on the bride since the age of 12 but because of his upbringing it just wasn’t something he acted upon at such a young age.  Instead, he grew up and focused on education and building his career; working towards getting to the point of being able to support a wife.  During this time he began to pray for the young lady that God was preparing for him and as time went on he was still aware of his crush on this sweet young lady in his church.  Rather then jump in and ask her on a date he felt it wiser to talk to her dad about building a friendship with Rachel and see if their 2 personalities were even compatible for a life long relationship.  After a couple of months talking on the phone and visiting at church they decided that yes, indeed, they liked each other and desired to see if their relationship was the Lord’s will.  They prayed together, they asked their families to pray for them and entered into a courtship.

I realize to you romantics out there this all seems rather unromantic but really as I was able to watch it all unfold it was quite enduring how it all worked out.  It wasn’t long after they started courting and spending more time together that the young man knew he wanted to spend his life with Rachel but he didn’t want to rush her into marriage.  So they courted for about 7 months before he asked for her hand in marriage and they were married about 5 weeks later.

It’s so refreshing to watch a young couple go about building a relationship in a honorable, pure and Godly way and not get hung up on things the ‘world’ calls important to a relationship.  Their wedding took place in the groom’s large family backyard filled with beautiful trees with stunning fall colors and changing leaves.  The weather was absolutely perfect and the couple were surrounded by friends and families who loved them, prayed for them and celebrated with them.  When it was time to announce to the groom that he may kiss is bride (and yes this was for the 1st time) he took off his cowboy hat (all the guys in the wedding party wore cowboy hats) and with charm and grace, held up his hat so that he and Rachel could have their first kiss behind the hat.  It was classy and made all of the guests say AWWWW!

Once again, I was blessed to be able to make the wedding cake.  It was a 4 tiered cake with 2 of the tiers being chocolate and 2 being vanilla with a raspberry filling my mom made (thank you mom!) and covered in vanilla bean buttercream.  The cake topper was absolutely adorable with a girl on a horse leaning down to kiss her groom.  So creative!  Just like the topper from the wedding in September with the pine cones!

As a side note… this wedding and the one a couple of weeks earlier are just proof of how creative you can be with a wedding and that you don’t need to spend $10,000 to have a beautiful, meaningful wedding.  Kudos to these 2 sets of bride and grooms for making their special day special without breaking the bank!

I’m thankful that my kids are able to see that there is another way to go about dating and marriage then the way the world presents!

Enjoy a couple pictures!

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Our son is 6!

It’s hard to believe it’s been 6 years since our only son entered this world.  I remember waking up very early (like 3am) with a tummy ache and sitting on the couch so I wouldn’t wake Phil.  Eventually he was up and getting ready for work as was his brother Andy.  As Andy was leaving he looked at Phil and said “Well, it looks like you’ll be a dad again today!”  And by mid morning Jonathan was born.  Is it terrible that I cannot remember exactly what time?  I do remember trying to get off the bed at the hospital as in my mind I figured if I got off the bed the pain would go away.  I also remember telling my doctor that I had to get this ‘thing’ out!

Fast forward 6 years and Jonathan is growing and just started kindergarten.  He enjoys school…. as long as I keep his sitting time down to less then an hour and he gets lot of activity in-between his studies.  Which… isn’t much for kindergarten… it really only takes about an hour and a half for his school work.

Anyway, we are so blessed by having Jonathan in our family!  He is fun, loves to laugh and loves one on one time with me and daddy.  He’s growing fast and is only 2 inches shorter then Alex!  Here are some pictures from his recent birthday party and some older pictures I found.

Jonathan with his Uncle Andy and his cousin Jake.

Jonathan with his Uncle Andy and his cousin Jake.

Jonathan about 3 months old I think.

Jonathan about 3 months old I think.

Great grandpa and Jonathan.

Great grandpa and Jonathan.

Jonathan and his favorite cousin... Jake!

Jonathan and his favorite cousin… Jake!

Our sweet Belle and Jonathan.  Love those faces!

Our sweet Belle and Jonathan. Love those faces!

Coming in from the playing out in the cold in Breckenridge.

Coming in from the playing out in the cold in Breckenridge.

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Birthday dinner with mom and dad.

Birthday dinner with mom and dad.

Birthday dinner with mom and dad.

A Wedding!

Wow, it’s been over a month since I’ve posted.  Life has been busy…. crazy busy and I wouldn’t change a thing!

This is just a short post about a wedding we went to in September.  It was a beautiful outdoor wedding tucked away in a quiet valley northwest of Denver.  The weather was sunny, although a bit chilly.  After the ceremony they built a huge fire to stay warm along with lots of good food, good company and I hear there was dancing although we headed back to Denver by the time all that fun started!

I was blessed to be asked to do the wedding cake (thank you Jared and Alyssa!) and it was so much fun!  Vanilla bean cake with vanilla bean buttercream was requested.  The cake topper was super fun with 2 pine cones dressed as bride and groom.  A couple pictures below are of me and my girls and the cake.  I had a picture of the alter set up for the wedding ceremony but I must have deleted it… darn it!  For those wondering, I didn’t include pictures of the handsome groom and beautiful bride as I did not ask for their permission ahead of time!  I try to honor other people’s privacy!

Congratulations to the bride and groom!   I pray for a lifelong beautiful, fun and strong marriage.

Me and the girls getting ready for the wedding.

Me and the girls getting ready for the wedding.

Wedding Cake with Burlap decorations.

Wedding Cake with Burlap decorations.

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Fountains of Blessings

I love the book My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers.  If you haven’t read this book you should!  It has short daily devotionals for every day of the year.  Today’s devotional focused on John 4:14 The water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.  This is the story of Jesus talking with the Samaritan woman at the well and Him revealing to her who He really is and that He can offer everlasting water.  By springing up I believe Jesus is talking about abundant life.

That’s the life I want.  Not abundant in material things or money but abundant in being a blessing to others, serving others, praying for others.  As a sinful human I can so easily get caught up in what I want, what I desire, what I need (or think I need) and yet no where in the Bible does Jesus say to focus on what I want.

In his book Oswald says “We are to be fountains through which Jesus can flow as ‘rivers of living water’ in blessing to everyone.”  He compares that to people who are like the Dead Sea… always receiving and never giving because their relationship is not right with the Lord.  My favorite quote from today’s devotion is “Stay at the Source, closely guarding your faith in Jesus Christ and your relationship to Him, and there will be a steady flow into the lives of others with no dryness or deadness whatsoever.”  So incredibly powerful!

I see so many people get hung up on different things of the Bible and I just don’t understand.  There are many things in the Bible that are beyond my comprehension… and I’m ok with that!  I have a finite mind, not God’s mind so not understanding everything in the Bible every time I read it is not a problem for me.  I choose to believe the ENTIRE Bible and trust God with my life.  I’m certainly not perfect at it but I don’t want to be a luke warm Christian and only read my Bible on Sunday or go to church when it’s convenient or a major holiday.  He calls us to be in His word EVERY DAY, to worship, pray and serve others.  Satan loves nothing more then someone who calls herself a Christian yet does not live a Christian life.

Romans 13:12  The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.

Ephesians 6:11  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 

Walk worthy in the Light of Christ!  If you call yourself a Christian, understand that everything you say and do is a reflection or a witness of Christ to those around you.

10 Things I Learned About Tongue and Lip Tie

  1. A frenectomy is a procedure done to correct tongue and lip tie.
  2. A frenectomy is easier (on the kid and the parent) to do when they are a baby as opposed to a 2.5 year old.
  3. A frenectomy can be done with a laser which is supposed to reduce pain and healing time.
  4. Both a tongue and a lip tie cause problems with nursing.
  5. Both a tongue and a lip tie cause problems with speech.
  6. Correcting a tongue and lip tie does not end once the frenectomy is complete.
  7. Stretching exercises must be done several times a day for 3-4 weeks after the frenectomy.
  8. The stretching exercises are not fun for either the child or the parent.
  9. If the stretching exercises are not done the tongue and lip can reattach.
  10. Valium does not always work on a 2.5 year old… even a full dose!

So, you might be wondering how I gained all that helpful knowledge about tongue and lip tie.  We have been concerned about Katherine’s speech for a couple of months.  I had been assuming she wasn’t talking much because she has 4 older siblings who do the talking for her.  But, after being around other 2 year olds who were talking up a storm I figured maybe we better get her checked out.   I was referred to a specialist named Sandra Coulson.  I have 2 dear friends who have used Sandra’s practice for various speech, dental and breathing problems with their children.  Sandra has a different protocol when it comes to correcting speech issues but after much prayer and research we decided to take Katherine to see her.

As many of you know, Katherine is shy and doesn’t really warm up to new people so I figured this visit was probably not going to be very pleasant for anyone!  Yes, Katherine was shy but by the end of the hour she let Sandra put her fingers in her mouth, do measurements and mouth exercises.  After examining her mouth, Sandra discovered that Katherine had a tongue tie and quite possibly a lip tie.  She referred me to a dentist who specializes in correcting this condition.

We headed to the dentist Wednesday afternoon in hopes of getting it taken care of that day with a little laughing gas.  Well, Katherine would have none of that!  Dr. Witkoff suggested a prescription for Valium to give her the night before and the morning of her procedure which was scheduled for Thursday morning.  I gave her 1/2 a dose of Valium before bedtime Wednesday night and a full dose an hour before the procedure Thursday morning.  Let’s just say that, apparently, Valium doesn’t work on everyone!  I figured my little 31 pound 2.5 year old would be completely loopy and relaxed for the procedure… NOPE!  She was still raring to go when we got there at 11am.  After trying to convince Katherine to put on the elephant mask to breath in the laughing gas it came down to holding her down to get the mask on her and about 12 minutes of her screaming at the top of her lungs.  Finally the laughing gas kicked in and she just sobbed for the last 15 seconds.  The procedure itself is fairly quick – 3-5 minutes.  Now, we are just working on the stretching exercises to avoid reattachment.  We will be heading back to Sandra’s office next week to continue with her program.

So, there you have it… what I have learned about tongue/lip tie and frenectomy in the last 5 days.  The 3 pictures below were taken after the procedure.  Now she looks a little loopy!

After her Frenectomy and popsicle treat.

After her Frenectomy and popsicle treat.

Now she sleeps!

Now she sleeps!

After her Frenectomy and popsicle treat.

After her Frenectomy and popsicle treat.

A New School Year Begins

It’s that time of year already!  But really, doesn’t learning take place all the time?  For homeschoolers, we consider most of our day as school time.  Whether it’s book learning, cooking, cleaning, laundry, diaper changing, grocery shopping, mowing the lawn, raking leaves or serving others, it’s all learning.

Our oldest, Natasha is starting 8th grade.  WOW!  It’s hard to believe we’ve been homeschooling her for 7 years.  I have learned so much about being a mom from being her mommy.  We love her dearly.  She’ll be busy with math, science, Spanish, geography, Bible Road Trip, spelling and history with added reading assignments throughout the year.  She is about 75% independent and is taking charge of her own schedule for her day to day lessons.  She has really taken a liking to baking and can be found in the kitchen often making her daddy’s favorite gluten free chocolate chip cookie.

N 8th Grade

Next up is our sweet Belle.  As a 6th grader she will be studying similar subjects as Natasha.  Belle’s reading ability has really taken off in the past year and she has 1 more level to complete with our All About Reading curriculum.  She continues to expand her knowledge and expertise in crafts and loves to show others how to make something.  She has such an amazing imagination and loves to share her creations with others.  She too, enjoys learning how to cook and often asks to help me with meals.

Belle 6th Grade

Next is our Alex.  Alex is starting the 2nd grade and is VERY excited to finally learn cursive.  Can you believe many public schools don’t even teach cursive any longer?  Anyway, she’s excited to learn to do something her two older sisters can do.  She’ll also be studying math, science, Spanish, geography, spelling & reading, history and Bible Road Trip.  Although she really only likes to help in the kitchen with daddy’s pizza or cookies, she loves to WATCH in the kitchen.  One of these days I would imagine her cooking skills will take off!

Alex 2nd Grade

Finally, Jonathan gets to start Kindergarten.  He has been quiet eager to start more school to be like sisters.  We will be focused on reading and math mainly.  He’ll be learning other subjects as well but not on a rigid schedule.  It’s fun to have a kindergartner again!

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As for Katherine…. well enjoy the pictures!

Mischief!

Mischief!

Katherine's first ride in the bike trailer.

Katherine’s first ride in the bike trailer.

Sleeping angel!

Sleeping angel!