Thursday, December 18, 2014


 Thankful we are HERE, in the warm air and sunshine!
We decided we needed to leave Minnesota for the winter.
We will be back March 1st
 Thankful I was able to get all the things we needed packed for our 3 month trip away from home.
 This was not an easy, take note of those black suitcases there.
Mine is on the left, packed full, carrying three days worth of clothes for three days of travel,
for myself and 3 of the kiddos,
Simeon's baby blankets, his favorite books, my 5 year old's favorite pink cowboy boots,
extra jammies and any extra last minute things I'd forgotten.
Tom's suitcase on the right there, his has his clothes for 3 days,
along with 3 of the older kiddos clothes for 3 days, including jammies,
Tom's work laptop, all his meds and vitamins, checkbooks, his i-pod,
all our Star Wars DVD's, and many other things.
 Thankful we have 12 lives at the Lake + 1's son living in our home while we are gone!
(He's awesome by the way)
 OH, my gosh, look at that snow and those gray skies....
Thankful we loaded up the U-Haul and drove off to the Twin Cities and
spent our first night at Tom's folks home.
Now, I have a "God Story" for you.
The next morning, we left around 5am from the Twin Cities.
Within 15 minutes, Tom noticed something fall of the U-Haul in his side mirror.
Now, it was dark, and he wasn't sure, we stopped along side the freeway.
Cars were zooming by at 70-80 MPH.
Sure enough, the back of the U-Haul had come unlatched
and we lost our luggage.
Thankful we did not lose everything.
The luggage must have exploded or a semi hit them,
because by the time we backtracked there was not much left.
Jedi had a pair of jeans that had $75 bucks in, and those were beside the freeway
(he was freaking out a little about his "worked all summer for that money" money)
Simeon's baby blankies were lost.
Along with his favorite books.
(I had plans on reading those in the hotels at night)
OH, those hurt this mama's heart.
Something black flew up when a car zoomed by,
it ended up being my 10 year old's Tee.
"Got Jesus?"
was the Tee.
We were feeling pretty defeated at this time,
no clothes to wear for the next 3 days,
the laptop, Tom's meds...we lost so much,
but you know what?
We have Jesus.
And He is all we need.
Now, if that was not a direct sign from God,
I sure don't know what would be!! 

 Traveling with 6 kids was not fun.
Thankful it is over.
Until February.
We planned 2 very long days and one not so long.
Thankful we learned our lesson
and on the way home plan to stretch that out to
3 1/2 not so long days.
An extra stay in a hotel will be so very worth it!

 She does have her seatbelt on here...but not the arm strap...Hmmmm....
 We took turns driving.
His back was killing him, the whole time.
It didn't matter if he was driving or riding, it hurt no matter what.
OH, I wish that could just go away for him.
 I have to say that Iowa was pretty boring....
But Kansas, was beautiful!!
once we got to Texas,
there were cactus's and palm trees everywhere!!
And it was SO WARM!!!
Look at the beautiful street!!
Thankful for the scenery changes from state to state!  

Thankful for our view from our patio.
The pools and the ocean and the beautiful sky.

 Thankful every morning, I get up to walk the beach during the sunrise
and before I do, I go to our patio and put on my shoes,
and get to look at this!
It's like the clouds part the way for the SUN to come up!!
It's amazing.
 The sunset over the bay is not so bad either.
 Thankful for lots of beach time
 Thankful for 5 year olds that sing while they play.
OH, I could watch her all day.
Oh, yeah, I do.
I'm Thankful for that!
 Thankful for hot tub time and swimming pool time!
Free Vitamin D!!
 Thankful for big brother moments like this.
 And little brother toesies moments like this.
 The big girls said they were not going to go in.
They ended up getting soaked.
We have a hard time staying out of the water!
 Thankful for shell searching!!
And buckets
And these 2 cutie pies!!
 Thankful for soft sand under our feet
 And for our hands to dig in.
 Thankful there is so much to do here, he is back to taking naps.
(wherever he can)
 Thankful for our little tree for our simple Christmas..
 Thankful for these cool pool chairs!!
Wouldn't you love to have one of these?
(I'd have to add some pillows though)
 Thankful for sunny beach days
 And cloudy beach digging days
 Thankful for the most amazing scenery.

Thankful for busy boys exploring a new world.

 I'm going to end this with a HUGE thank you to
Charlotte--Waltzing Mathilda
She made Simeon his original baby blankie.
that he lovingly called, his "Quack-Quack"
It was lost when we lost our luggage
and you know what?
She made him an exact replica
the day she found out
and sent it out.
He was so happy when he got it,
he rolled around the lobby hugging it and smiling and dancing with it.
 He got into his carseat
(why yes, he does have a hand-me-down carseat from his sister, why do you ask?)
and laid his Quack-Quack duck side up
and was the happiest I'd seen him since we left the morning we lost the luggage.
It was like having a little of  "home" again.
My mama's heart was happy.
Now, this blankie is even more special than before.
Thankful for the sun on my face,
the sand under my feet, the smell of the salty ocean air,
the breeze in my hair and
for a God so BIG
He created it all.
Now, don't look at these pictures and think we have it all perfect and all.
We've struggled to live in tighter quarters than we are used to.
We've got anxiety issues and fighting and unappreciative kids.
We are 8 very different personalities with constant wants and needs.
Just like you.
I'm not sure how much blogging or blog reading I'll be doing.
It will be here and there, but my main focus
is my family at this time
I don't want to be distracted from what God has given me.
I have a little girl begging me,
"Mama, find me something to do!"
(in a very whiney voice)
over and over and over.
I have an almost 3 year old
 at my side wanting me to "weed to me mama"
(Read to me mama!)
 I waste the precious time given me with my children.
while I look at this rectangular thing.
I'm losing so many opportunities
for joy and grace.
All in balance
God bless you!

Friday, November 21, 2014


Thankful my grandma had cancer removed from her breast and 
she is doing AWESOME!!
(She's 92!)

 Thankful my father in law here (not a great picture of him, but
it's a great one of my mother in law!)
He has like 9 lives.
He's had some really amazing things happen to him,
with his health.
God is being Merciful,
We pray for his soul every day.

Please pray for him, he is going through cancer treatment

Thankful for Thanksgiving crafts!!

 Thankful for easy Art projects!
(OK, a little messy)
 Just paint black circles using a paper cup...wait for it to dry
 then water paint!
 So pretty!
 Adds some color to a usually dull November...(more on that later)
 Thankful for Awesome 5 year olds that love to do just about everything!
 She's showing her funny cats here!

 Thankful for sitting on the floor times...try it, just sit on the floor

 and watch them come and tackle you!!

 Thankful for little children in my life, these years are fleeting.
I tell you, they go from one activity to another...
Cute as can be...please stay this age for a few more years...
Thankful for Ramen noodles!!  Yes, I am. 
 They make for an easy lunch and the kids love them!
Ummm, and that dull November, well, we got snow early this year...
Just a few days after our graveyard walk
(thank goodness!)
It is pretty...this is the morning sunrise shining on the frosted branches...

Thankful even though we gave away all our boots, and had to buy 5 pairs
for our last couple weeks here,
it was worth it...
The kids love playing in the snow....
Thankful for kids....gosh, they make anything bearable!
I have no idea what they are doing here...
Snow and cold make me want to bake cookies.
But, I don't have time to bake cookies.
I baked Pan Cookies!!
Just put your dough in a 13x9 and bake for 20-30 minutes

Thankful for Frosty.
Oh, Frosty, you bring so much joy to all.
Over and over and over again and again!

My favorite line?

"Busy, busy, busy!" 

Come on, you know who says that in Frosty, don't you?
(The Magician)
Thankful winter means we take out our Easy Bake oven!!
Thanks to their auntie Heidi, we've had mixes to supply us for 8 years!
We just used up the last 2 packets!

Thankful for peppermint gum!
Did you know that peppermint gum helps prevent tears while chopping onions?
It works!

(I chop my onions and freeze them)
Thankful for awesome meatless meals for Fridays!
One of my very favorite recipes!
I even have sauteed just the veggies and spices (I use dried basil)
 with no yummy!

Here's the recipe!

Thankful for friends coming to say goodbye!!
I had to block out my whole week this week, I'm just too busy with a million things
trying to get ready for our winter get-away.
Christine and sweet Ava here...look at that awesome smile!! 
(she's my goddaughter)
Look at my little whitey next to Ava.  
They are so dang cute together.
Best friends.
It's so easy when you are little, isn't it?
Oh, Sims!
Little Red wanted in on the picture taking!! 

Thankful for flashlights!!
And Forts!
In the dark!!
It gets dark so dang early now, we have to figure out something fun to do!
This is another favorite when it's dark out!
Lite Brite!
Thankful for oldie but goodies
(I cut construction paper squares and they make designs and then staple them into books)

 Thankful for Lego masterpieces!

He's an awesome builder!

Thankful for a big brother nice enough to let them 
break apart his masterpieces and make their own...made up ones.

Thankful for rosie cheeks
and hot cocoa after playing in the snow!

Thankful, I got caught up on my laundry.
But as I type this, I'm already behind again.

Thankful for littles that want to make our giant water jug be unique to any others out there.

 Thankful our awesome piano teacher is letting us use
this keyboard to take to Texas this winter!! 


Thankful on the way to piano today, I spotted this beautiful tree.
The kids made fun of me, but I went home and got my camera.
I had to get a picture of it.
Isn't it amazing?
We need to notice these little things or they will pass us by.

Thankful for the love this sweet boy has for Elsa.
Her blanket must be laid flat on his bed
(yes it's a mattress on our bedroom floor--Sh!!)
Anyway, it must be laid flat, or he will freak out!!

Well, the other day, I saw this beautiful Elsa doll at Wal-mart for $19.99
so I got it for him.
(look how he holds her neck)
He loves Elsa!

My 5 year old, who had always NOT loved Elsa,
all of a sudden, decided she did love Elsa.
and was crushed.
(I felt like the worst parent of the year!)

So I went back that night and got another one.
Yep.  Best parent of the year. 

At least to these two.

And they have not "Let it go" (Elsa) since they got her!

Thankful for Elsa 
and Elsa dolls
and for Wal-mart.

Oh, my gosh, that was long, and if you are still here, 
I am thankful for you.


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