Friday, December 23, 2016

christmas cheer

sorting, investigating and predicting new wrapped presents under the tree. 
avery even rearranged all of the presents under the tree.  i have such fond memories of doing that as a kid. 

ice skating in acacia park

sipping on a praline latte while watching avery set up mouse trap at the library. 


making pine bark with uncle matt

some teenager came to help us decorate cookies this year.  i'm not sure where my kids were, but she was sure super cute. 

aunt erin got the kids a whole slew of the "what's in the bible" series along with their own bible journals.  they were so cute watching and jotting stuff down. :)

a very merry houle christmas at dave's parents!

more cookie baking with the gigi's!

a cute dinner helper

straight after snow play rosie cheeks!

christmas crafting

lots and lots of wrapping going on here!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

a hodgepodge picture post

 i think avery was the one who snapped this of me. i'm happily sitting in my new "teacher's chair".  it's over-sized with a casual slipcover slung over it.  it's right by the fireplace. dave built desks down in our snug little family room for the kids and surprised me with a cord (i think) of firewood that's stacked up against the house in the back.  now i build a fire pretty much every day right after breakfast and we do math sipping hot chocolate by the warm blaze.  it's pretty fantastic. and this chair!  it's just so cozy.  i may or may not fall asleep snuggled next to ian while he's doing a reading lesson. ;)  

first snow of the season and he was out there gathering every bit of it he could for this tiny snowman.  i love being ian's mom.

christmas has come to our house.

thanksgiving with cousins at grandma nancy's!

we played this game!  oh the memories!  any one know what this game is?

girls trip touring glen eyrie!
 losing teeth like crazy!

grandma nancy always does gingerbread houses with the kids.  she has a secret "cement" frosting recipe.  it works so well!

our messy, busy, new to us school room.  ian and ashton were working in a store called "paper cuts" and were putting chains EVERY WHERE.  ;)
 school open house!

ian gets the sweetest notes from his teachers!  they all adore him.  no surprise there!

and i always hear about how well the girls read and write.  such smarties!!

christmas tree hunting!!

look at that darling boy!

they each have their own bin of ornaments.  ian kept pulling one out and saying "good memories".  ha!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

fall family photo shoot

christianna williams did our family photos this fall!  she was in my God's Girls class at vanguard when she was avery and ashton's age.  so fun to watch kids grow into amazing people.

we went up into palmer park a few weeks ago and had a gorgeous evening.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

when you just need to exhale

several years ago a close friend spoke of her 40th birthday with such tender strength.  she said she felt more alive, more confident and more comfortable in her own skin then when she turned 30.  

this fall i believe i am getting a glimpse of the sweetness that getting older provides. i was a frantic young mother, desperately wanting to get ALL of it right.  the naps, the schedule, the food.  this same passion driven anxiety followed me into homeschooling.  doubts would creep in and i would slap a new schedule over them or rework a system to silence my fears. and as i enter this year i can feel it all just settling down a bit inside of me.  i can't tell you how thankful i am for this undercurrent of peace. i am recognizing and trusting that God's strength will be made perfect in my weakness.  i show up for my days, i don't have to control them.  

the beginning of this year has very much been an exhale for me.  i didn't realize i was holding my breath for so long. 


my parents have a time share in vail the 3rd week of october every year and they invite us to join them for part of their week.  it just so happened that sarah mackenzie was speaking at a small homeschooling retreat about 20 minutes from where we were staying.  i've been listening to sarah's read aloud revival podcasts for close to 2 years now, devoured her book and have been changed and inspired by the way she calls us all to expect God to show up in our homeschools.  
her voice and most recently julie bogart's (i might have to write more about her...she is changing my life! if you are homeschooling you MUST go to her youtube page and watch every single video.) have had a profound impact on me. 

this was the setting of this intimate retreat.  i had to snap this for the girls. 

i put on my brave pants and gave her a giant hug and told her how thankful i was for her work.  we chatted for awhile about her podcasts and i shared with her a very powerful moment we had in our homeschool group when i read an essay from her book about peter walking on water and then we listened to "you called me out upon the water, the great unknown, where feet may fail...."

such an honor to meet her. 
my brother and his wife, rocio were up in vail with us!  we had a lovely time! so beautiful up there.
my growing up babies!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

and when i dream

in my dreams they have dirt under their finger nails and wind in their hair.

they have long afternoons of losing track of time in pretend play, a book or a game.

my dreams show petting pigs, riding horses and taking bites of apples freshly picked.

in my dreams we make containers for their education. containers called memories and made of popsicle sticks and glue guns.  memories are such capable companions.  they hold so very much.