winter

Less of me.

I remember posting about organization and gardening. It feels like a whole lifetime ago. Before I get all angsty here, I’ll share a few changes from this past year:

Last March/April we started training for foster care through a wonderful Christian agency. We had foster care and adoption on our hearts since we were first married. Basically youths. Little babies, dreaming a big dream.

The Monday after our training ended, (our last class was CPR/First Aid on a Saturday) we were thrown into a new world. When I checked on E. he has having a seizure in his bed. It’s hard to think about what happened during the moments that followed. It’s been nearly a year, and with time the realness fades a bit. In a heartbeat… the sound of sirens, hearing songs or bible verses we clung to during that time… the memories come flooding back, nearly choking me. I know it’s partially PTSD from the trauma, but it’s also a way of healing. It’s real, and it’s hard. It’s therapeutic to share E.’s story these days. I’m following my heart in how much to share, and when to share. I hope to write more posts about all that happened to E.

In August, we resumed our foster care/adoption home study process. and fast forward 3 months we were certified for both and had our first placement. It’s been a wonderful experience so far. I hope to share more about this ever-changing journey of foster care. We’ve been learning so much about many aspects of foster care and adoption. There are many hard decisions to make, and often only minutes to an hour to make these life altering decisions. It’s a calling for me. I know I wouldn’t be able to do any of this on my own strength. God gives us the strength we need, through the Word, Prayer, Songs, and other people.

Both O. and E. started school last fall. O. is in Kindergarten, and loving it. She’s studious and hilarious at the same time. She has a refreshing perspective. E. started preschool in October. He’s receiving speech therapy there, as well as learning how to interact with other children. He loves his two days a week there. It’s hard for me to let go, to let them mature and become independent at their own pace. Sometimes it’s a bit delayed, and other times Mama bear holds on too tightly. This parenting thing is not for the faint of heart. I’m so thankful God pours his love and mercy into our lives, filling in gaps and leading us.

I’m hoping to share more this year as I have time, or let’s be honest…sleepless nights. 🙂

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What I’m reading: finally, but it’s taking me a looong time

What I’m listening to: Hillsong

What I’m watching: Part 2 of this heartbreak

Happy weekend, friends.

Life Lately.

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What I’m reading: Shiloh Autumn, by Brock and Bodie Thone

What I’m listening to: I Get To Be The One, by JJ Heller

What I’m watching: The Drop Box

Blog recommendation: Skies of Parchment

Today we’re enjoying a snow day. Being at home with family is my favorite.
So far today we have:
• played piano (on our new/old baby grand!)
• ate our first dutch baby (YUM!)
• had Sunday School (hello Daniel and being committed to praying)
• sang too many songs to count
• painted with watercolors while listening to relaxing music
Still left to do:
• take naps
• finish blogging
• play in the snow

We’re enjoying our day, and hope you do too!

Simple Christmas Decor.

As promised, here are pictures of the simple Christmas decorations we put up around the house. I enjoy decorating so much. This year I was determined to keep the Christmas decor simple and meaningful. I had a tote and two boxes full of Christmas decorations. I have since whittled it down so that everything fits into one tote. The rest will be going to a thrift store or sold at my garage sale next year. The Winter purging is starting early this year. 🙂

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Have a joy-filled Christmas, friends!

Simplicity is Freedom.

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It’s the most wonderful time of year. Some years I feel like doing it all. Decking the halls, baking all kinds of goodies, buying/making gifts (galore), sending out Christmas cards, and anything you could possibly think of. And it’s fun! Other years, it feels a little forced and overwhelming. What if all the doing is robbing you of joy? Maybe not even robbing you of joy, but making you feel overwhelmed and more than a little grumpy. I’m sure a few of you have grown children and you have plenty of time (am I right?) to bustle about in busyness. Are you finding joy in doing it all? Some of you may be single, not a care in the world (right again?!) and also have so much time to do everything. Are you finding joy in doing it all? I’m guessing there are a few mama’s with little children. Ah, someone who relates! When the days are long, but at the same time have a way of flying by. At the end of the day you sink exhausted into bed and wonder what you accomplished that day.

This year I’m taking a little break from all the doing. Our decorations are staying simple (pictures coming later this week), our presents are quite puny, but our joy is still here! There is also much freedom in saying, “Hey, I don’t need to do it all!” When I hear “Mom, can you read this book?” I will more than likely say yes. I should probably sweep under the table after lunch, but I don’t (unless it’s absolutely horrid). I’m guessing you understand. I play more with L. lately. I get the house with the blue garage door and she gets the schoolhouse with a manger scene. She gets lemon meringue and strawberry shortcake and I get a mouse and two little puppies. It’s okay, my puppies each have a separate bed.

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This is often my daily view when I look down. I’m not complaining, I love my little side-kick. We’ve had many adventures, whether it’s on top of the washer while I iron or beside the stove while I cook. Sometimes Mom is very loved.

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So with all the extra time on my hands…..oh wait! Somehow these days fill right up. Time seems to have a mind of its own. But every day I try to say yes to reading another book and squeezing in more snuggles during the day. I’m doing the best I can, and so are you. If you find yourself doing it all, WAY TO GO! Keep going! If you’re like me, and would like a little break…TAKE IT!

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“Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.” – Margaret Young

Simplicity is freedom.

Life lately.

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What I’m reading: Grace for the Good Girl by Emily P. Freeman

What I’m listening to: Lord, I Need You by Matt Maher

What I’m watching: Mr. Kid President because he’s the best.

What I’m thinking (well, a tiny portion): Today is the atticroseblog’s first anniversary (or blogiversary). It’s hard for me to comprehend really. I knew it was sometime this week, but didn’t realize until I started typing this post. :: How can we keep Christmas simple this year? (read: not all about us) Are we really enjoying everything we’re doing? Am I taking time to slow down and read to my children, or would I rather bake cookies to give away to friends? Which is more important? (should I blog about my thoughts on this?) 🙂 :: We spent some time at thereliefbus.org in November. Some seriously life-changing stuff.

Blog recommendation: A Holy Experience

Happy weekending, friends!

Hold Fast.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” II Corinthians 4:18

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These days it’s easy to just see sticks hugged tight by snow. Snow, that I love and wouldn’t mind a few more feet of. But then, you all know my stance on Winter. These sticks are what I see now, but with a little sunshine and warmth, they will bring beauty:

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And beauty abounds.

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I love that God sends us reminders in the form of small things (like rose bushes in snow) to show us more of His glory and purpose. This one, beautiful life is only temporary. How glorious will eternity be!

Enduring a Long Winter.

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Lots of people don’t like Winter. A few (like me) love it. I have no animals to feed or tend to. Well, that’s not true. I have a cat. She greets me every morning by scratching on the window or hanging on the screen door. Yep, that screen is ripped. It’s okay, the screen can be replaced. Once it’s warm, I’ll train that cat. I digress.

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My way of enduring is by loving Winter. It helps to play in the snow, or shovel the snow until your shoulders ache. The way I see it, at least snow makes the world sparkle. If it’s going to be cold and frozen, snow will only make it better.

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Sometimes when the children are sick, or it’s just too cold to play outside it’s easy to get cabin fever. Plants help keep this mama sane. Oh, I’ve killed my fair share of indoor plants. I do not even claim to have a green thumb. But even if every plant dies, you can bet I’ll try again next year.

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Orchids are my nemesis. I try every winter. So far it’s Orchids 3 :: Carrie 0. This year may be different.

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Baby tears are an easy indoor plant. I bought one plant last Sprint for L.’s fairy garden. Last fall I divided it into three or four plants. I kept one for myself and gave the rest away.  I plan on using this in our fairy garden this year.

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Ferns from my mama. She has a green thumb and graciously shares her plants with me.

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This geranium has been blooming since last Spring. I found it at a local green house and loved the color.

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I know I probably should have let it go dormant in the basement, but it has been such a joy to look at. I plan to take cuttings off soon and root them in water.

If you can’t enjoy the pure white snow and cold, try some green. It also helps to plan a garden. This is my best defense against cabin fever. This year, L. is planning her own garden. So far, she has picked zinnias, broccoli and rainbow carrots. Last night we decided to add some sweet peas to the mix.

Spring is coming soon!