Monday, August 20, 2012

a groundhog named frankie

Yesterday we decided to escape to our property for the afternoon. It was a beautiful, end of summer afternoon, in the mid 70's and breathing some fresh country air was exactly what we needed! We invited Stephanie & her kids out to play and as always the afternoon created memories we never could have anticipated. :)

Shortly before Steph arrived Billy and the boys spotted a groundhog in the next field. I see a groundhog, they see a challenge. Before long the gun was out and my boys were ready for the hunt. I could see the testosterone pumping through their veins - they were men who needed to shoot something! Billy sent the kids to a safe spot and waited for the groundhog to pop up from his hole. Not 5 min later...  BOOM!!!!!  ...he had met his maker.

Steph pulled up just as the kids and Billy were hiking through the fields to find their catch. Her kiddo's quickly caught the enthusiasm for the moment and after they found the poor groundhog I could have sworn I was being attacked by little Indians - they were hooping and hollering and SO proud of their accomplishment!!!

The groundhog, which they quickly named "Frankie", found his final resting spot near the entrance to our property on a 4x4'll have to see that in person to truly appreciate it. Lol! Oh my - I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I married a hunter! The rest of the afternoon was not quite as eventful - we filled it up with 4-wheeler rides, exploring in the creek and sitting and talking with my sister.

Breathing the air out there always was exactly what the Dr. ordered for this momma.
Bring on the week - my soul can breathe. :)

reason to celebrate

My little sister Jessica is just a few short weeks away from the birth of her first child... birth is a miracle I will never tire of!!! For my sister Jessica it is truly a miracle in every sense of the word. Her story will remain private to her, but let me just say that along the way her story has taught me firsthand that God has a beautiful plan for our lives greater than we can ever imagine!

This weekend we got to celebrate the upcoming birth of the "yet to be named" Princess Stemm. We gathered all her best girlfriends for an evening on the lawn.

Jessica is probably one of the most loved women I know. She has deep, rich friendships and you would need more than two hands to name all the women who count her as their "best friend". She has a compassionate heart and a beautiful sweet spirit. Celebrating her was easy - trying to make the evening a fraction as beautiful as her was the challenge.

Someday for Jessica's birthday I think I'll plan an overnight slumber party for her with all these wonderful girls. They could talk for hours and one short evening on the lawn was not long enough to truly catch up!

Martin Luther King once said, "To serve you only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love."
I couldn't agree more. These women are living proof.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

paper bag puppets

I'm still waiting on Mason's Kindergarten curriculm to arrive in the mail, so school hasn't officially started for him yet. We have however attempted to do fun crafts and read lots of books.
Today he wanted to make puppets out of paper bags & I thought I'd teach him how.

He complained the whole time I was making the puppet and refused to make his the same way. He kept saying, "I already know how!!!". Fully realizing that how he makes his paper bag puppet really doesn't matter I decided to let him do it however he wanted instead of insisting he use the googly eye stickers (which I thought would be a big hit, but he wasn't interested in). I half anticpated him getting half way through and realising it was harder than it looked and asking for help. Boy was I wrong! 

He started making his and I quickly realised that he indeed did have his own idea in mind...and to be honest it makes mine look silly. Why do I think I have all the answers? Why did I think there was a "right way" to make a puppet?

Here we are with our completed puppets....

Yep. Mason's is the really good one on the left with a whole body and a fun head that bobbles when you stick your hand inside. Mine is the weird one on that right with giant red lips and squiggly hair.

Humbled by my kindergartener this morning.

Not sure who's gonna learn more this year....Mason or me. :)

back to school

My three little ones headed back to school yesterday after a wonderful summer together. We packed this summer full - and my only regret is not having a lot of "down time". Thankfully we tried to be intentional with how we did spend our time and made lots of family memories. Let's just say I didn't hear the words, "I'm bored!!" very often this summer. :)

Will is my kind and uber-responsible oldest child. The thing I argue with him the most about are "rules" and it's usually because he thinks that I'm breaking them! :) We are blessed that his 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Bergstedt, is looping up to 4th with her class from last year! She is the first teacher Will has ever had that really pushes him to reach his full potential and I love that!! Academics come fairly easy to him - let's just say he has his daddy's mind. Praying that his love for reading continues to grow this year and that he will continue to grow into the young man God designed him to be.

Ella is my strong, fiercely independent, creative, "little momma". It's hard to believe she's going to be in 2nd grade already. She's thrilled to have Mrs. Mast for her teacher, and I've already told Mrs. Mast that she is an answer to our prayers.Learning is not the reason Ella goes to school - recess is! :) She is our social butterfly and I think Mrs. Mast will be a great fit for her this year - I watcher her in 2nd grade when Will had her and she has a knack for making learning fun. Exactly what my sweet little Ella needs! Praying Ella learns to use her natural leadership gifts appropriately and not just to "be the boss", and that God would continue to reveal himself to her in real and tangible ways.

And then there's my snuggle bunny Mason. He is the most affectionate little guy I've ever met. He will not hesitate to give me 10 kisses in a row before he goes to play in another room in the house! We've decided to home school him for Kindergarten this year and I'm thrilled to get to pour some one-on-one time into him. He's creative and incredibly detailed. Not to mention smart - the way that boys mind works stops me in my tracks sometimes. I think (and hope and pray) that homeschooling him is the perfect fit for this year. He didn't seem socially ready to be gone all day, and I don't regret the years I home schooled Will & Ella for a second. They were challenging at times but those were days I'll never get back and I cherish them. Praying that Mason learns that God is always him, even when I'm not, and that he can find comfort and strength in that.

I'm excited to get organized and get back into a routine. Sometimes I think it's easier for me to be an intentional momma when I have a schedule. I want to make the hours I have with these little ones count. I want them to know they are loved - and not only by me but also by the Father who created them and has big plans for their little lives.

Asking God to shape my days and my heart - I have so far to go to be the wife and momma he wants me to be...

I'm a work in progress - and committed to the process.