five in the fast lane

Our Thaddeus turned five this week.  When did that happen?  I blinked and now he's a big kid.  It's been a whirlwind of five years!  Thaddeus wanted to have his birthday at his Mimi's house, so we decided to just invite family this time.  He talks incessantly about his imaginary green race car, so I knew I had to make a race car cake.  And baking is not my trade.  I was petrified.  Last year we had a pirate ship cake made for him that was nothing short of amazing.  I wasn't sure what he would think about this one, but he ended up loving it.  At least it was edible!  There were several moments in the process where I wasn't sure it would be!

We had a lovely time with our aunts and uncles and cousins of all ages.  I must say that I really love this family that I've married into.  They are some wonderful people.  It was a great party!

The chocolate race car

Mimi whipped up these homemade waffle cones

All our favorite ice cream toppings in a dozen jelly jars

Thaddeus blowing out his candles

Boston wearing his waffle cone

The pool party

Legend learning how to swim : )

Blueberry spritzer swirled together by the lovely Aunt Beth
  (post coming soon on how to make this classic summer drink)

The birthday boy breaking in his brand new radio flyer Big Wheel.


a dresser, diapers, and dining chair trains

I love my husband.  We're perfect for each other.  He knows I love vintage furniture, especially art deco.  So when he saw this baby at a yard sale on the side of the road he snatched it up for me and hauled it home.  I was giddy with delight.  I'd been wanting something like this to store our art supplies and other nick nacks, but I didn't want to spend any money on it.  I'm so glad I waited.  This was worth the wait.  The picture above looks a little too serene.  Our house tends to look more like this:

Diapers on heads and dining chair trains.  
I took this picture a couple weeks ago when everyone was sick and bored and stuck indoors.  Now we're all sick again and stuck indoors.  Is there anything worse than summer colds?  It's been miserable.  I was trying to treat us all with natural remedies, but Legend now has an earache and he's on an antibiotic.  I have a real aversion to prescription antibiotics and I don't like to give them to my kids unless it's completely necessary.  I'm not sure if I did the right thing putting Legend on an antibiotic so early.  His fever wasn't too high, only around 100.  I'm just praying that God heals him and restores his immune system.  Thaddeus had to have his tonsils removed at two years old and I strongly believe the overwhelming number of antibiotics that he was on were responsible for the increased number of throat and ear infections he had as a baby.  They're just so hard on the immune system.  And that's my rant for the day on prescription medications.  Promise.

Now that I've been sort of attempting to potty train,  I'm realizing two little ones tinkling everywhere can be a little overwhelming.  Astair is all about sitting on the potty, she's been going several times all by herself already, I can tell she's going to be easy.  Boston, on the other hand, is a typical boy and just doesn't get why there's so much fuss over a shiny white bowl when his comfy diaper works just fine.   I'll admit that I'm holding Astair back a little bit because I'm scared.  I really don't know if I can handle cleaning up all the "uh-ohs" right now.  But maybe she could do learn in a day?  Thaddeus took FOREVER to potty train so I'm very, very uncertain about it this time.  I don't want to push it before she's really ready, but I don't want to miss it either!  Today she used the potty almost all day.  I guess I better go buy some big girl undies : )  

P.S.  If you read this far:  #1 you are awesome  #2  I'm sorry for the total random mommy rants  
P.P.S. We celebrated Thad's B-day last Saturday and I'll post pictures soon!



It's a shame there's only one day out of the year devoted to thanking you.
You deserve 365.
Seriously, you are the most awesome daddy.
Any man who can take two year old twins, a four year old, and a newborn to the shopping center all by himself deserves recognition.  You are a brave, brave man!

We are so lucky to have you!

I asked our kids what they love doing with you and this is what they said:

Thad:  Swinging on the tire swing really, really, super high!
Boston:  Really supah high!
Thad:  Riding the four wheeler in dee-ee-eep mud!
Astair:  Wide!
Thad:  When daddy takes me fishing and we find worms!
Me:  Ewww, worms!
Boston:  Ewww, worms!
Astair:  Ewwww!
Thad:  And crickets, too.
Thad:  Going on adventures!
Astair: (skipping around the house) Yey!
Thad:  Fixing things, and we wrestle, and watching Tom and Jerry.
Astair:  Dadah!

Every minute you're not working hard for this family, you're making memories with us!
Thank you for all the good times!
It's an adventure having you for a daddy!

on the ferris wheel

at the aquarium

taking us fishing

holding us close

On this Father's Day, we're happy you're ours!


Ninety-nine dreams

I read a great feel-good list called ninety-nine experiences over on Letters From Coco.  It made me think about all the lists I used to make in study hall when I should have been studying, but always ended up daydreaming instead.  My "dream lists", I used to call them.  I always knew God was looking over my shoulder, watching me scribble down my plans, smiling because He already knew the outcome.  And I was ok if He scratched off some of my plans and added His own.  Excited even.

His plans have always been so much better.  Even if I didn't think so at the time.

I thought I'd share some of my dream list, the ninety-nine things I've always wanted to experience while I'm here.  It's fun to see how many have already come true.  Right before I hit publish, though, I have to admit, I got a little scared.  This post feels incredibly personal for some reason.  And I didn't even share a few of the big dreams (the Joseph from the Bible dreams).  Because I did learn a thing or two from him.  You have to be careful with whom you share your God-given dreams.  

Dreams reveal so much about us--they're the real windows to our souls.  So, here's a peek inside:

1.  Swim in the ocean
2.  Own a horse
3.  Be a missionary overseas
4.  Write novels
5.  Fall in love
6.  Have children
7.  Make a quilt
8.  Visit Hawaii
9.  Live in Hawaii
10.  Build a treehouse
11.  Travel to Europe
12.  Design clothing
13.  Marry my first kiss
14.  Sing on a stage
15.  See thousands of teenagers fall in love with Jesus
16.  Go on a cruise
17.  Take my children on mission trips
18.  Sleep in a treehouse
19.  Dance in the rain
20.  Hike the Trail of Tears
21.  Climb a mountain
22.  Climb to the top of the Statue of Liberty
23.  See Niagara Falls
24.  Go on a second honeymoon
25.  Walk on the beach in the moonlight
26.  Camp on the beach
27.  Swim with dolphins
28.  Take my kids to Disneyworld
29.  Help families in need
30.  Rescue orphans
31.  Open my home to teens that need a place to live
33.  Have a place I can call my own
34.  Decorate my home
35.  Be in a movie
36.  Walk where Jesus walked
37.  Change the world in some small way
38.  Be a mommy
39.  Raise kids that love Jesus
40.  Watch my kids change the world
41.  Give more than I have to give
42.  Be content
43.  Travel to some remote village and bring them the good news about Jesus
44.  Witness miracles
45.  Sky dive
46.  Bungee jump
47.  Learn another language/ culture
48.  Encourage the hearts of women
49.  Bring hope and healing to hurting people
50.  Provide food for the hungry
51.  Build homes for homeless
52.  See my husband's dreams fulfilled
53.  Be on the Amazing Race with my man
54.  Be in full time ministry with my husband
55.  Lay hands on the sick and see them healed in Jesus' name
56.  Have a faith that moves mountains
57.  Know that my children are walking in truth
58.  Become more like Jesus
59.  Recognize God's voice more and more
60.  Walk closer and more intimately with Jesus
61.  Love like Jesus
62.  Be joyful always
63.  Less of me and more of Jesus
64.  Bless my parents
65.  Bless my husband
66.  Learn photography
67.  Always write poetry
68.  Play the guitar
69.  See needs and fill them
70.  Have a house full of love
71.  Be led completely by the Holy Spirit
72.  Be on time (ha!)
73.  Transform our ranch in Nebraska into a ranch for troubled youth
74.  Own several vintage thrift stores to fund missionary work
75.  Open a fun little etsy shop 
76.  Make clothes for my children
77.  Sew a dress for myself
78.  Learn interior design
79.  Publish my children's book
80.  Memorize scripture
81.  Speak words of life into the lives of others
82.  Travel around the world with my honey
83.  Sleep under the stars
84.  Enjoy every second with my kids
85.  Have fun
86.  Feel deeply
87.  Feel deeply for someone else
88.  Be an answer to prayer
89.  Pray like Daniel
90.  Dream with God
91.  Do the things I can't
92.  Love the rejected ones
93.  Know the Word of God like the back of my hand and 
94.  Live it
95.  Get wisdom
96.  Sell out for Jesus
97.  Love God with my whole heart
98.  And soul
99.  And strength


strawberry cupcake cones and one sensational summer

Summer, summer, here we come!
I am determined to make this the best summer ever.
I've had a few rough days weeks months lately getting up around the clock with my little Legend.  (He's waking up every hour--any suggestions??)  And that has made me blah and tired and not the most creative and fun mommy.  Well, I have decided that sleep or no sleep, I'm going to get my mommy game on and serve up some sweet summer memories.  Thad and I had a blast making strawberry cupcake cones a few weeks ago.  It was super easy and super yummy.  We'll have to make some chocolate ones next.  And then we'll have to do everything that's on our summer fun list at least two times...

What are your summer plans?
I'm always looking for more fun activities!


fave family photos...try saying that 10 times

I will warn you now.  This post is long.  And full of pictures!  I tried so hard to only post my favorites, but, well, as you can see, I have a lot of favorites!  Last year, I wrote about how I happened to meet a beautiful, talented, and all around incredible gal who took the most amazing photos of my little gang.  When I heard she was going to be in town, I was practically giddy.  I couldn't wait to take some family pictures!  Amee showed up and just fit right in with our chaos.  We felt like she was family.  And anyone who can get this many incredible shots of three pre-schoolers has got some mad skills!  At one point she was even shooting pictures while holding Legend.  Yeah, she's awesome!  You can view our photo shoot on her blog amee sorensen photography.  

I can't wait to cover an entire wall of our house in these photos.  I love. every. single. one.
Thanks, Amee, for making our day year!


engine failure

I know this may come as a shock to many of you...but I can't do it all.  I'm no supermom.  Go ahead.  Feign surprise.  I really had myself convinced that I should be able to function at top notch on three to four hours of sleep every night.  And I was going at a pretty good speed, too!  But then my laundry hit me like a ton of bricks.  My engine started to smoke.  Seriously, it was coming out of my ears : )  I've sputtered to a halt.  I asked God to help me and he pretty much told me I needed to get my priorities straight.  I'm disappearing with him for awhile and he's going to teach me how to live.  A little lighter.  A little freer.  A lot less stressed. 

I'll be back sometime next week with an overhauled heart : )



I know it's gone viral and everyone and their dog has seen this, but there's just no way I could NOT post this video! This is SO US! We always said we'd never own a minivan. But four kids and four years later we caved and bought a Toyota Sienna. And we love it!

Thanks, Toyota, for totally making us feel cool again!


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