Archive for the 'family' Category


On being still

Abstract autumnal backgrounds with petzval lens bokeh

One of my favorite Bible verses is Psalms 46:10 Be still and know that I am God… 

I would love to have “Be Still” tattooed on my wrist as a daily, or rather, moment by moment reminder to be still, to pause, to reflect, enjoy, be thankful in all things. This verse has been a sort of catalyst for Jason and I to change how we do life and make sure that what we choose to do and even spend money on has a purpose that is lasting and meaningful.

Over the last several years we have been working to simplify life. Create memories that are meaningful, focus on adventures and not materialism or overabundance of things.

Quite a while back we choose to streamline Christmas and give a focus to our gift giving. Our children only receive 3 gifts each from us and they represent the gifts given to Jesus by the Wise-men.

Gold – their most wanted item

Frankincense – something to represent worship

Myrrh – a gift for their body

We also give these gifts on Christmas Eve so they are separate from all the other gifts given by family and friends. We include Jesus birth story and the significance of what the 3 gifts represent and why they were given to Jesus.

As far as birthdays we gift adventures not things.

We have limited time with our children living at home and we want to make sure that when they leave home their heads and hearts are full of memories and their cars are not full of possessions that would be a burden and collect dust. The bonus is that when they become parents they most likely will give how we gave and encourage that generation to not be consumed with materialism.

This year for Thanksgiving Jason and I decided to forgo the huge, traditional meal that takes so much time to prepare where we over eat and eventually the leftovers get thrown out because there was too much food and it eventually got tiresome to keep eating over and over. As of late it just seems so glutinous.

So we are packing up all the camping gear, the dogs and exploring together for a few nights. Just the six of us, some books and games. It will be dark around 5 or 6 pm and our only light will be a campfire. There is something about a campfire that causes you to be still, relaxed, and free to let your mind wander, open up and share things and recall memories that bring laughter. I am sure bedtime could be earlier than normal (or later) but the extended quietness we will have in the evenings will be a well-deserved and longed for rest bit for all our minds and souls, even if the children don’t know they need that or even how much they truly want it. But as parents I feel not only are these forging of memories and time together one of our most important jobs but so is enforcing the rest from the sounds, clutter, light and busyness of the world.

Only one child is not excited about this idea. She like, her mom, loves certain traditions and planning of holidays but we learned it comes down to some of her favorite foods that we only seemed to really make at Thanksgiving. That is an easy fix…. I will just change-up another tradition slightly when we return from camping. I know she will be thankful and happy for the change.

I am even pondering how we can show our thankfulness and gratitude for our blessings by giving back in a way that will truly transform someone else’s life that needs it. I am so excited about this camping trip over any others ones we have taken thus far and I love how our learning to be still is changing how we are parenting and doing life together.




This is my JOY

fam good life“What is one thing that brings you Joy? “

Once a month I host a dinner, If Dinner, is the name. Its purpose is to build community, deepen relationships around Christ centered conversations. Since I love to cook, throw parties and have a house full of people this is fun and easy for me. Our meals have varied, our attendance has been low and high, conversations have always been interesting and although we have questions to ask we have rarely gotten to all 4 or stayed on topic because the conversations, the learning from each other, the laughter has taken its own course and always ends up where we needed it to.

This past weekend was May’s If Dinner and the question “What is one thing that brings you Joy?” was asked. Although the list is long in answering this one thing that popped into mind and the reasons why it was joy filled kept flowing the answer is my kids. More specifically being friends with my kids. Now, we did not try to be friends with our kids, we have always and will continue to be parents first. We have been so much parent to our children we have been criticized about that from others. They say we are too strict, don’t let them have fun… Our children will even tell you that we have said multiple times things like… ‘I am not here to be your friend, I am here to parent you’ and ‘we can be friends when you are grown.’

kissing jasonBut as each year passes and experiences and memories are made I feel because Jason and I can parent well (meaning we are a great cohesive team whose end goal is how our children can function outside our home to stay safe, healthy, care for themselves, be kind and contribute positively to society) we have easily made friends with our kids.

I feel the parenting leads to trust and respect and boundaries. All things that make one feel safe and loved. I say I am friends with my kids because we laugh so much, we joke and they speak my language of song lyrics and movie lines. When I tell them I miss them and want them to hang out with me they say, “OK, sounds great.” I don’t get an attitude or sighing or argument.

When I substituted for a everyday for a month they told me they missed me. My older 2 wanted me home before they went to school. They seemed to miss our morning talks, even if it was just about the day’s schedule. They missed me not being so tired.

family mr rodgersI don’t know if it is coming or if we skipped it or if I will get double doses in the younger two but my older two have yet to show the “normal teenager angst” I am not even sure what that is… but I don’t have kids, like others I know, who back talk and complain and argue and huff and stomp away because they don’t get their way. We have all had our moments where we let emotions get the best of us and I have listened to my kids tell me they don’t like my decisions and feel I am unfair with great passion… but I don’t get the behavior from them that others I know carry on about. I like to think how J and I manage our homes atmosphere is why. If I’m honest, I won’t be too surprised if someday we get a nice dose of hormonal teenager attitude. But I have so much hope in how we navigate away from that bad behavior because when they ask if they can do something with a friend and the answer is no we are rarely questioned…when we explain we haven’t all been together lately, or I want to just be around them their response is positive, a simple ‘OK, I can catch up with them later.’

I have an almost 15-year-old and a 13-year-old who asks to do things with you, for you and as a family, well, that’s huge. It makes be excited about the bittersweet future we have in front of us… the future where they move out, get married have kids and come home again.

Just this weekend I sat at the kitchen counter sipping my coffee watching my oldest cook crepes while J filled each one to order, listening to them all joke and talk and plan. I soaked it in, laughing and making up stories about the future stories and shenanigans that would all be part of our life years from now.

love you so much


Wrapping up 2015

So it has been a few months… life just gets busy. We had a full fall schedule with Hannah dancing each week at football games, Taylor’s golf tournaments, Joshua’s foot ball. I started substitute teaching plus the work for RedSky as well.

Mom and dad came to visit in September and daddy baptized Joshua. During that time Mercie prayed such a sweet prayer for Joshua. I wrote it down because I knew eventually I would share with y’all.)

She prayed….

Please God let Jesus come into Joshua’s heart on Sunday when he’s baptized and please take out all his sin.

All 4 kids are doing great in school. We could not be more proud.

We camped some more this fall and Joshua earned his Polar Bear patch for cub scouts since it got down to 30 degrees while we camped. It was great and we all had fun. Looking forward to more this spring.

At Girl Scout Camp Mercie learned archery, kayaked and learned how to use a compass. It was a fun weekend for her and I.

We spent Thanksgiving at home and shared dinner with our neighbors. It was a fun, relaxing game filled day. We also spent Christmas at home, just the 6 of us. It was perfect. Or course we missed all our family but it was nice to be just us. Kids have had great quality time with us, each other and their friends. New Years Eve will be the same, I am sure friend will be in and out.

2016 looks to bring some excitement and changes.

Joshua will play basketball. Hannah will start taking dance classes and we start the year off with Jason getting back surgery. It been a long time coming and we are both looking forward to him feeling better being pain-free and able to do more things in a couple of months.

Summer will be upon soon I am sure. Kids are looking forward to some church camps and time with grandparents.

Here are a few favorite pictures from the summer to now…Enjoy!

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Game Night

IMG_6806When we are not having a Friday movie night with dinner we pull out the games. A few weeks ago we taught all the kids how to play Farkle. As I sat there looking on my wonderful family while we played I couldn’t help but chuckle about how the are between turns. So I had to capture the moments. One day I might need the evidence for a future spouse to help him or her understand that despite appearance of not having dedicated focus they wouldn’t want to be anywhere else than playing a fun game with those they love.




Jason and Taylor are doing math, I think. It could have been science. I probably don’t remember exactly because it involved letters and numbers and things I never found interesting or did well.



Hannah always has a writing utensil and paper nearby. So she was busy making art. Mercie, who adores her older sisters, followed Hannah’s lead.

IMG_6805 IMG_6804










Poor Joshua was very focused on the game. He had yet to get on the scoreboard and was sulking a bit. But each turn he was determined to score high. He eventually did and all was right with the world.

I love how each are different. It was amusing because growing up I do not remember us multi-tasking while playing a game. But then again I am competitive so I was unable to truly let my focus go elsewhere.


Summer Fun

As you could easily guess due to my lack of posting for a few months we have had a full and busy summer.

It started out with HOT camping the weekend school got out. We went with 3 other families and despite the heat it was fun, but we can cross off summer camping in TX and never do that again. I couldn’t sleep but not because of the heat but the cicadas. They are SOOO LOUD!!! The volume of them ALL night I just knew if I looked out of the tent then all I would see what cicadas in a plaque like amount.

hot camping


Then Mercie has Horsemanship camp. She was in love. She learned how to groom horses, clean stables, ride, feed and what a veterinarian does when giving a horse a check up.

horse camp


Next we were off for our family vacay to VA Beach with friends. It was a GREAT week. So much fun to hang out and catch up with so many good friends. We also got to spend the week with Bubbie, Callie and Penny.

The kids had fun in the surf, playing in the sand, swimming in the pool, hanging out with their friends, body boarding, and parasailing. Mercie chose to parasail next summer. The 3 other kiddos and I parasailed and it was fun. terrifying for me and the video shows just how scared I was. However, I am glad I did it and showed the kids I wouldn’t let fear paralyze me and we have great memories together.

pre para sailing



We were home from VA only 3 days before heading to Dallas for July 4th. The kids had their usual fashion show from Aunt Deb’s closet.


Then J and I got a break as mom and dad took the kids for a week. They drove them back to ATX and Bubbie, Callie and Penny came with them. Taylor and I had great birthdays surrounded by family.

All of the kids have had camps in between our travels. Taylor and Joshua had basketball camp, Hannah had art camp and they also did VBS and Super Week.

Just a couple days of summer left and we are taking it easy. The older girls went to Abilene to hang out with grandma. I think J and I planned some fun things with just the 2 younger ones. It has been fun to have just them.

Well, on Monday we will have a 1st grader, 3rd grader, 6th grader and an 8th grader! Oh my! We are almost high school parents.


Easter 2014

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Egg decorating, Egg hunts, Bunny cakes, coordinating outfits….we had a fun and relaxing Easter weekend!


New Years Eve

Yes, I am 17 days late. Oh well.

We had a family New Years Eve party with games, firecrackers, questions about the past year, and smores. We all had fun. Everyone was a good sport, thank you daddy! The 3 younger boys did not make it to midnight, they lasted until 11 or so.

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May 2018
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