Sunday, November 22, 2015

Give Thanks....

Gratitude can transform ordinary days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.
William Arthur Ward


Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home,  a stranger into a friend.
Melody Beattie


Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earn, worn, or consumed.  Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.
Denis Waitley


Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.
Brian Tracy


As we begin one of my favorite weeks of the year I thought I would share a little bit of something that has been happening in my life. I have been on a journey that past few months, making changes, lots of changes and one of the changes I have been working on is trying to have gratitude for everything....everything!  I am trying  to have gratitude for everything, even the stuff I don't like to do, like laundry, emptying the dish washer (my most unfavorite job), taking out the trash, you get the idea.  Here is what it looks like for me.  I dislike emptying the dish washer, but I am so grateful to have a dish washer...It may seem silly or small, however, the change in my attitude and how I feel and view my life has been amazing. Gratitude is a noun and means the quality of of being grateful or thankful.  Many of you may practice this daily, and I have always felt  grateful in general, however, I have not applied this practice of  feeling grateful to the ins and outs of my daily life and it has been a game changer for me.  I just wish it didn't take me so long to figure out!

So, what does this have to do with the pictures you are asking yourself.?  I host our annual Thanksgiving celebration and am adding a new tradition...The Thankful Tree.  We all get a leaf to write a personal thanksgiving on and we will attach the leaves to the tree.  I know some teenage boys may give me a hard time, but if they want some turkey they will fill out their leaf (just kidding), and if the boys don't want to participate I know two small girls who can't wait to get their hands on those leaves and Sharpies.  Hopefully, this will be just another part of a special week and a reminder of how much we have to be thankful for.

PS: So "grateful"  I grabbed those branches out of the yard before  2 feet of snow covered us yesterday and turned our beautiful Fall into a Winter wonderland!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Harvest Pumpkin Bars

These are quickly becoming a Fall favorite around here!  A few years ago a friend brought a try of these to us along with a copy of the recipe.  I tucked the xeroxed copy into my cookbook and thankfully pulled it out a few weeks ago.  YUM! QUICK! EASY!




The other great thing about these bars is you probably have all the ingredients in your house right now.  What are you waiting for?  

Here is a link to a printable recipe for HARVEST PUMPKIN BARS

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Friday, November 6, 2015

After school snack........

After school the other day Kendall decided to have a snack right in the hallway and when I saw the light coming in the front door I grabbed my camera.  Kendall is thankfully still a willing subject, I don't know what I am going to do in  few years when she won't be so quick to oblige a quick picture now and then.


While we are on the topic of  Kendall we are a few months into Kindergarten and she is doing great!  I was a little worried about how she would do because she is full of energy and had a hard time focusing, at least for me.  However, she seems to be rock'n the "K" grade and I could not be happier.


She is reading well and likes to do her homework.  Some days she comes home a bit tired, but it is a long day.  On those days we readjust our schedule and move on.


Sometimes it's hard to wrap my head around, but TJ will be 20 next week and Kendall is just starting seems like yesterday that I was dropping TJ off at the Kindergarten tree at his school in Tennessee and now he is almost halfway done with college.  It is a blink of an eye.
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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Front Porch Update

After three years of being in the house it was time to paint.  One thing led to another and we decided to give our 1984 home a little bit of a face lift.






We wanted the front door to be the focal point of the house so we started my moving the pillars and adding a small portico.  It was clear once we did that the the exterior landscape would need an update also.  In the end we ended up with a new porch, landscape, paint, and we are awaiting gutters.


We also added a few details to parts of the front facade so that the whole front of the house was coordinated.  We added shake to the bay window and an arch to the front gable to match the new portico.


We also added new lighting which we were in desperate need of....




The pumpkins from our "fill your car" pumpkin patch adventure were the perfect touch for our Fall decor.  Overall I love how our project turned out the front of the house is open and inviting and you don't have to fight the landscape to get in the house!
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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Just around the corner........

Imagine my surprise yesterday when I was listening to the radio in the car and the announcer said "only 64 days until Christmas".  I started doing the math and realized it is going to come up soon and I have to say I am okay with that.  Usually, Christmas is a stressful time of year for me, I don't really enjoy it like I should, however, I am confident this year will be different!  The past three months have been full of change for me, maybe, it was a mid-life crisis, I don't know.  I do know I have changed how I do just about everything, I feel better physically and mentally and am trying to enjoy my day to day life in a way that I have not done before.  It may sound silly, but I am trying to enjoy the little stuff, even the stuff I don't like to making school lunches...and you know what, it's working.  So this year I am going to embrace Christmas, bring it on!  The girls are still small and eager to celebrate the season and I am going to enjoy all of it with them.  So Merry Christmas a little early.

 I picked up some twine and tags the other day at Ikea and thought I would have a bit of fun with my camera.  Hope you enjoy, sorry for the overload!







PS: Been working on some projects around the house that I hope (cross my fingers) to share.  We will see how it goes with my periodic blogging:)
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Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Pumpkin Patch

Monday was Columbus Day and the kids had off school, so we headed to the pumpkin patch with some friends.  This was the first time for us at this patch and I would say it was a success.  For seventy dollars you can fill your car with as many pumpkins as you can fit, yep as many as you can fit.  Did I mention we have a Suburban...5 kids big car!  Anyway, although it was the last day for picking we managed to fill the car to the brim.  We took home about 60 pumkins in total.  The girls did a great job gathering and carrying all the pumpkins.  I look forward to going back next year....maybe a little earlier.


I LOVE this one of June and Gwen, they have been friends since kindergarten!


They worked together to carry the big ones...


Kendall stayed close to Ms. Amy and carried the small ones, collected caterpillars, and found the smallest pumpkin in the patch (a few pictures down).


This one doesn't even need to be carved...and the smallest pumpkin.


June carried this big one all by herself....


Gwen was the only one to pose for a few shots, my girls are tired of posing:) Isn't she adorable?


Finally we had to load the car and the girls got their silly on.


Overall I would say it was a great what to do with all those pumpkins after Thanksgiving?
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Friday, September 18, 2015

June...Gotch 2015

Eight years ago today we were blessed in a way we never could have imagined or dreamed in our wildest dreams when this sweet baby girl was placed in our arms.......




I am honored to be her mother and can't imagine my life with out her.  She brings all of us joy and happiness and her smile and laughter can light up a room.  Happy Gotcha Day to our June-bug.  We love you with all our hearts.


And to my sweet Kendall who wishes that she could have a Gotcha day and a Birthday....I love you with all my heart and soul too:)
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Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Homework.  It is that time of year again.  Homework.  Kendall had her first homework assignment, "All about Me".  Over the years we have had to complete many of these assignments in our house.  Finally, after 5 kids I have learned a little something and I let Kendall complete the project all by herself.  Of course I printed the pictures off of the computer, but she did everything else all by herself.  It took a few days, but she worked just a little everyday afterschool until it was complete.  This was a long time coming for me and my Type A the past I may have coached too hard and worried too much about what the final product looked like, but I guess that is all part of the journey of parenthood.  It is a journey and five kids have given me a lot of practice, a lot of mistakes, a lot of successes, and a lot of  love.

Here is to the rest of the journey.






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