"May the God of hope fill you with great joy and peace as you trust in him." Romans 15:13

Friday, January 20, 2017

Choosing Gratitude over "Grumpitude" Day 8

I hate snow.  I hate cold.  If it were up to me I would stay inside from the first snow until my tulips start blooming.  Truly.

But because it was "warm" today, I decided to be a "good mom" and take Mataya out to play.  I had not taken her outside since Nov 28 - the day of the first snow, except for necessities like work and groceries.  (True confession.)

When we walked out of the house, she was bouncing.  She was so, so happy to be outside.  I snapped this photo, and to be honest, my smile was totally fake.  I was thinking, "How many minutes until we can go in?!?"  But her smile. . . it radiated pure joy.  And her giggle, oh my, it melted my grumpies away in an instant.  She is so good for me.

First we walked down the road a bit.  We have a historic amount of snow.  Our ditches are completely full.  Most of the yard is covered with snow that reaches past my knees.  Poor Riley (the dog) can only circle the house.  Almost the entire yard has too much snow for him to get through.  It is astonishing.  The tree you can see in the background is staked at about my hip level.  As you can see, the snow nearly covers the stakes.

With snow that deep, play options are pretty slim - but we decided to head back to the driveway and climb the snow mountains that daddy has created with the loader.


 Little Miss Determination made it to the top where Riley was waiting.  She was so proud of herself.
 Then he ran down the HUGE snow mountain, wagged his tail, and showed her THIS smaller snow mountain.  They climbed that one together.  I am not sure which one of them had more fun.
The other big accomplishment of the day?

She tasted a big ol' mouthful of snow.  

Ick!

Truth be told. . . I will probably always hate snow -  AND, playing with that giggly girl in the awful white stuff was the best part of my day.

Joy is contagious.  Hang with someone joyful and you will be, too.

I am thankful for you TayTay Hopie girl.  You make me a better me.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Choosing Gratitude over "Grumpitude" Day 7

Today, I feel nearly normal!  I'm not quite ready to workout again - but I ate three meals and my body is not aching this evening!  I am so thankful for the amazing healing properties God has woven into our bodies.

I am also thankful for toddler art!

I heart toddler art!  So does Mataya!  We have so much fun working on projects.

Today's was an oldie... I actually got this recipe during college!

 I have made it into hundreds of different things.  Magnets.  Ornaments.  Gift tags.  Jewelry.  Sculptures.  It is always quick and easy and cheap!
Today we decided to make Valentine heart magnets.  Mataya helped with every step!
She mixed.
Rolled!
 And cut the dough.
 Mataya is all enthusiasm and energy in all she loves.  She HAS to be in the middle of it all, which in this case means in the middle of the counter top.  NOPE!  This was not allowed when the older kids were toddlers.  I wish I could go back and be a little less strict sometimes.  Other times I think I should be more strict now. . . balance is a myth!
Mataya's favorite thing in the kitchen is the sink.  When I let her wash dishes, she thinks she's won the lottery.

(Also check out that permanent cowlick.  Her hair is so stubborn - but it suits her perfectly!  Crazy and curly and untamable!)

We made these fairly thick, so they baked for an hour.  Then they cooled while Mataya napped, and I worked on payroll.
 After nap it was time to PAINT!!!!!

TayTay Hope LOVES, LOVES, LOVES to paint!  She skipped out of her room after nap today -   ecstatic that we would be painting soon.  She said, "Mommy.  You paint too.  It's sooooo fun!"

Here is her finished project!

Poor Joshua thought they were cookies when he got home from school.  He was not happy to hear they were actually salt dough! I probably owe him cookies.  Mataya told him, "Joshua when I get bigger I will mix you cookies.  BUT I'm not bigger yet!"

Messy toddler art oozing with enthusiasm and a bit of glitter made my heart happy today.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Choosing Gratitude over "Grumpitude" Day 6

I felt better today.

Not great, but better.

I trudged through the day slowly.  Had a frustrating set back at work.  Kept supper down.

And as I went to tuck my littlest side-kick into bed, I discovered this!
Our little busybody fills her bed with toys, books, blankets, and puzzles. 

Tonight she literally fell asleep sitting up in bed.  She was tipped forward but still on her rump, and although you can not see them, she had a toy in each hand!

She gave her daddy and I a good giggle as we headed off to bed.

(I had waited all day for this moment.  This breath of silly or fun or SOMETHING other than blah!  It was such a good lesson in watchful waiting since it came just as I was ready to collapse into my bed for the night!)

Because it looked like she might smother, we did settle her into a more comfortable position!


Such a sweet, sleepy, pack rat!

(She doesn't get THAT from me.)

(Truly!)

(I throw everything. . . but her daddy on the other hand. . .)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Choosing Gratitude over "Gumpitude" Day 5


I woke up sick today.

And it got worse before it got better.

For (perhaps) the first time ever, I asked Chad to come home from work and help me.  I was a mess!

So today, I am thankful for CHAD! A heating pad.  Tylenol PM.

And that tomorrow is a new day!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Choosing Gratitude over "Grumpitude" Day 4

I was able to spend an entire day with two of my favorite young ladies today.  We did nothing special, but because they are so special, the day was, too.


And in case you can't tell, it might have been Mataya's favorite day ever!  Having two bigger girls lavish attention and love over her had her glowing.  She even snuggled in tight and napped during a movie with her newest favorites.

Joy and enthusiasm and sweetness are contagious.

I am very thankful for the way those precious traits permeated my home today.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Choosing Gratitude over "Grumpitude" Day 3

When we got home from church, Krissy and her kids AND Jamison were all at our house.  My whole family filled my family room for an hour or two.  My family room full of family makes my heart happy!

And this young uncle loving this tiny niece. . . 

Yep.

I'm a puddle.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Choosing Gratitude over "Grumpitude" Day 2

I road tripped today with Joshua and Sierra.  The goal was to watch Jamison race at an indoor meet.  As an added bonus,

 We took a detour to a pretty little shoppe, and found Sierra her first Prom dress!  Here is a sneak peak!  It was so fun to watch her try on dresses.  But the moment she put on this dress, her whole face changed.  It was "the one."  What a great mommy moment it was to witness her joy.
Look really closely here.

Joshua is on the track. (purple shirt)  Jamison is nearby (blue tshirt and shorts) on the inside of the track cheering him on.  Several of Jamison's teammates (also in blue) are clapping for Joshua, too.

As a bit of a back story, Joshua has been going to track and xc meets since he joined our family.  He hates them.  EVERYONE wants to know when he's going to start running.  EVERYONE!  Jamison's coaches have all asked Joshua when he will start running for their team.  He says, "NEVER!!!!"

It is TOTALLY, completely, absolutely, TOTALLY fine with us all if Joshua NEVER runs.  We never push it.  

At this indoor college meet, they had a kids' fun race.  They encourage all the kids 10 and under to get on the track and move.  It is SUCH a great idea.  There is no place for the kids to wiggle in this facility, and after sitting and watching races, they CRAVE movement!  When they called the kids down, I poked JG and suggested he try it.  He said, "NOPE!"  So I went back to chatting with Sierra.

The next thing I know, my mom pokes me and says, "Look!"

Joshua is lined up on the track ready to take a lap!  He is waving to Jamison (who is preparing to race in the next event) and grinning ear to ear!

Sierra and I were totally shocked!

Jamison waved back, and quickly told his team which little runner was his brother. 

The gun went off, and Joshua's long legs went wild.  He worked SO hard.  By the time he rounded the last curve near Jamison, he was spent!  I didn't know if he would be able to keep running.  But when he heard Jamison and his friends cheering his heart took over where his legs and lungs were failing.  He kept his head down and staggered across the finish line in about fourth place.

The crowd near us had figured out he belonged to us, so they cheered for him until he was back into his seat.  It was precious.

He was completely DONE.  He slumped over and breathed for quite a while.  After a bit he told me, "Mom! I almost puked!  Next time I race, I better not eat chips and drink pop first."

Jay raced soon after.  However, after he finished, he came loping up the bleachers to fist bump his little bro and congratulate him on his first race.

Watching big guys mentor and encourage little guys makes my heart melt and my eyes leak.

(Jay has a good race, too.  He looked strong and his stride looked smooth and healthy!)