August 31, 2015

Didjya Know?

Ski helmets are multi-functional!
In fact, we've gotten more use out of our ski helmets in the off-season 
than we did all of this past ski season.... BIG sad face :(
We're hopeful for a much better season this year!!!!!

The boys have really been having fun riding this sweet bike I bought them for $15 at a yard sale!

This is pretty classic Sawyer....
...for those of you who don't know who Rory Bushfield is,
i'm afraid that is who Sauce reminds me of... here is a link to explain...
(Also to clarify, by afraid, I mean... I love Rory! Truly, he has an amazing story 
and he is SUPER talented... (link) -p.s. grab a tissue...
but, Sauce is my baby!  He scares me!!!) 

I could've just captioned all these pictures with "WEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!" to make it easier!
Good times... GOOD times :) :) :)

P.S. For more on Rory Bushfield and his amazing late wife,
please take the time to watch "Sarah Burke and Rory Bushfield" 
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

"Praying for Boys" ~ End of the Month Wrap-Up

"We all want our boys to grow up to be faithful husbands, faithful givers, faithful providers, faithful to God, and on and on.  But a state of being faithful to something they can't see or touch with their fingers is difficult to teach, especially as boys are growing up and forming their own opinions about God and the world around them.  I think it might be a bit easier to teach them to be faithful with what God's given them- their time, talents, gifts, and loved ones- first.  

Jesus, our Master, has entrusted His servants with the good gifts that come into our lives when we trust Him (James 1:17).  He desires for us to be faithful with them, growing them for use in His service.  We are the ones Jesus has entrusted with His earthly ministry.  In His strength and indwelled by His Holy Spirit, we are to represent His will and be faithful with what He's given us.  Faithfulness, then, by definition, is a good work, an action, a choice, to spend wisely the good gifts we're given from God.

I want to prepare our boys to be faithful now with what God's given them so they'll be prepared to do it themselves later.  It may even translate into being more faithful in all areas of their lives because they're learning early that what they have really isn't theirs.  Wouldn't it be nice if more pro athletes, celebrities, and musicians understood that their talents were given to them not to puff them up but to bring joy to others?

God doesn't give us gifts so we can hoard them or use them only for our benefit.  He doesn't care how big our talents are, only that we use them for Him.

Teach your son to be faithful with what God's given him, and pray a root of faithfulness will grow in his heart."

-Brooke McGlothlin-
"If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up."

Daniel 3:17-18

The topic of faithfulness has been popping up for me everywhere this month... I started typing a few more quotes here from some of the books i'm reading (*which is usually like five different books at one time, yes I know that's a little crazy!), and anyway, it was just so easy to find topics of faithfulness in basically ALL of my favorite books... so I typed out as many here as I could find.  I hope you enjoy!

"No matter what our lives hold, God wants to work through the details and circumstances so that we will have a story of faith to tell throughout all of eternity.  When we live by faith, we accept that we may not understand everything until we are with God for eternity.  Own your faith.  Take responsibility for the miracles God wants to do in and through your life.  No one else can faithfully show the people He has entrusted into your care what it means to live by faith.  No one else can accomplish the work He created you to do."  
Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson

"Faith is the first of the three theological virtues [faith, hope, and love], It is the realization of our need for something beyond us, the understanding that we cannot function on our own strength.  Fundamentally it is saying yes to God, trusting that we can surrender our lives into his hands because He knows what's best for us.  We cannot reduce faith to intellectual knowledge.  Faith is our ultimate allegiance to the personal loving God who has redeemed us and is committed to making us new creatures."  
Children of a Greater God by Terry W. Glaspey

"Walking in genuine intimacy and full surrender to God requires great faith.  God does not call us to be comfortable.  He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if he doesn't come through."  
Crazy Love by Francis Chan

"Are you consistently responding every day to the callings of God upon your life?  The way in which you follow through with the stewardships God has given you will be a strong example to your children of how to persevere in their own lives."  
Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson

"Let us together learn to respond to God with reverence.  
Let us, in faith, kneel before the sacred and stand up to the profane, accentuating our astonishment of God's person, words and works.  
Let us learn to say with David, 'Praise the Lord, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name' (Psalm 103:1)."  
Awakening the Quieter Virtues by Gregory Spencer 

"Faith itself has in it something that most people would call feeling.  Saving faith means 'receiving Christ'.  But receive as what?  We usually say, 'as Lord and Savior.'  That's right. But something more needs to be said.  Saving faith also receives Christ as our Treasure.  A non-treasured Christ is a nonsaving Christ.  Faith has in it this element of valuing, embracing, prizing, relishing Christ.  It is like a man who finds a treasure hidden in a field and 'from joy' sells all his treasures to have that field (Matthew 13:44)."  
Desiring God by John Piper

"Jesus never made light of the cost involved in following him.  In fact He made it painfully clear that it was a rugged life of rigid self-denial.  It entailed a whole new set of attitudes.  In brief, seven fresh attitudes have to be acquired:

1) Instead of loving myself most
I am willing to love Christ best and others more than myself.
2) Instead of being one of the crowd
I am willing to be singled out, set apart from the gang.
3) Instead of insisting on my rights
I am willing to forego them in favor of others.
4) Instead of being 'boss' I am willing to be at the bottom of the heap.
5) Instead of finding fault with life and always asking 'Why?'
I am willing to accept every circumstance of life in an attitude of gratitude.
6) Instead of exercising and asserting my will,
I learn to cooperate with His wishes and comply with His will.
7) Instead of choosing my own way
I am willing to choose to follow in Christ's way:
simply to do what He asks me to do.

 He wants us to walk with Him."  
A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller

"Every aspect of parenting is a family-by-family, day-by-day walk of faith.  And perhaps no other arena of life are we challenged to walk by faith more than in the discipline of our children.  After all, we're talking about sinful human beings, both our children and us.  But when we discover the biblical pattern of discipline by faith, we are freed from the tyranny of flesh, feeling, and formula.  If you understand the nature of the Christian life, you'll begin to see that discipline by faith is as much an issue of your own maturity and trust in God as it is an issue of how to discipline your children.  Discipline by faith has to do with walking in the Spirit, and that's the essence of the Christian life."
Heartfelt Discipline by Clay Clarkson

August 30, 2015

Hanging out with our Buddy

We had the pleasure of "babysitting" Colby again yesterday, 
(I put quotations on the word babysitting because having one more little boy around 
hardly qualifies as babysitting... he blends right into our little life!),
and all we do is have FUN!

His favorite activity of the day turned out to be playing with the hose...
well, anything that had to do with water actually... water is his favorite thing!

Everyone taking turns on the cell phone camera.

We headed toward the backyard for some more exploring...

Colby understands the importance of the phrase
"stop and smell the roses"...
...or daisies... or whatever flower you might find!
And I mean reeeeaaaallllly smell them!!!! :)
Sawyer and Colby are two months apart in age.

Lots of new adventures to be found in our backyard, 
and Colby was not going to leave any territory uncharted!

Two year olds on the loose!!!
(Also of note, Colby's mom ran track in college... and Colby definitely takes after his mama in the regard of running... and running FAST!)

It was a really nice morning while we enjoyed a little relief from the smoke as we played outside... that is until the wind picked up BIG time, and started blowing heavy smoke and ash and blackened/burned tree parts straight in our direction... at that point in time things got a little unnerving and we hunkered down inside and closed all the windows and prayed and starting discussing what we would do if the evacuation warnings reached Chewelah.  Having a 64,000+ acre wildfire 15 miles away from your home is certainly scary, but I can't imagine what the people are going through who have already lost their homes or people who have evacuated and don't know what the fate will be of their homes or their livelihood.  Such a sad and uncertain time in the northwestern part of the country right now.  Everyone is praying for rain right now (which we actually got, finally, but not enough!), but I have started praying for snow.  LOTS of snow.  I'm pretty sure a foot of snow would put out ALL THE FIRES!!!!!!  Who's with me?! 

Some of our indoor activities.
A little gaming... some snacking... and bath time of course!

All of a sudden we got a small shot of rain and the smoke seemed to disappear, 
so of course we bolted outside again to enjoy the clear air while we could!
 It was still pretty windy, but the wind had shifted and the fire was no longer being blown in our direction.  Good news for us, but we're still not out of the woods as far as these fires go... no one here is. They are everywhere.  Literally, everywhere... as of today (August 30th) there are said to be 39 "large active fires" burning in Washington and Oregon.

Click this link for a good visual of the fires in our area.

Going with a little diddy from "Finding Nemo" here, just changed one word...
Just keep praying, Just keep praying, Just keep praying!!!

 A couple other random pictures from the day.

The twins, they live in our backyard.  
They (and their mama) ate the pumpkins I planted but I still think they are so sweet!
(P.S. Check out our "grass"... Any wonder why Washington is on fire?)

We ended the evening with a lovely (and completely impromptu but surprisingly successful) dinner when Colby's mom and dad arrived to pick him up.  Erik and I are blessed with the friendship we have found in Brad and Bekah, and our sons with the friendship of sweet Colby James.
"I give thanks to my God always for you..."
1 Corinthians 1:4

August 22, 2015

The Few... The Proud... The Succulents.

All of the "succulent" style plants I planted this year are thriving in this hot & dry climate.
(The non-succulents did OK, but they are all brown now, so I took them out.)

So here are some pictures of all my pretty succulents!

I planted 8 small "red beauty" hens back in early May, and they have made SO many chicks!
It was strangely exhilarating to propagate them!!!

They are so neat, i'm really glad I got these hens & chicks this year!

These are my "cherry tarts" starting to bloom... which I didn't know they would do!

I love the detail my camera got on this little section of my coral carpet.

"Sedum Neon" starting to bloom!


I actually got some more hens and chicks "donated" to me from my boss a couple months ago, 
they are happy in their new home :)
From what i've researched, I think this variety of hens & chicks is called "Spring Beauty".
They are starting to hatch a few chicks already too :)

Another one I didn't know would produce flowers... my sedum "red carpet".

Last one, "Purple Emperor"