Wednesday, January 23, 2013

more love.

Sometimes with a bigger family it can be easy to focus on the negatives....more laundry, more messes, more dishes, more fighting, more opinions, more craziness.

But when I do that I lose focus of the bigger picture...more laughter, more people to play with, more joy, more reasons to celebrate, more prayers, more memories, more hands to hold.. and most of all more LOVE.
I especially see this with Eden. They kids line up to take turns holding her, fighting to see who can win her famous grin and steal her affection. The other night I overheard Hope talking to Eden in the bathtub. "I love you so much Eden. Best sisters FOREVER.

Yep, a whole lot of love.  
And when it feel like I can't take any "more".... I want to remember there is always more love.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

on decorating and dreaming....

Two years ago on a dreary January day I started a dream book. Kind of like old fashioned pintrest I cut and pasted pictures out of magazines along with quotes to form the house of my dreams. Last night as I was cutting and pasting some pictures into my book and leafing through the pages I was amazed at how many things I had cut out and attained. A vintage colander with flowers that I had found an exact replica at a yard sale. I cut out a gold round frame painted as a chalkboard and the next day found something very similar at Goodwill. A red and white canister. A butcher block. And I could go on. But you get the idea. 
I was marveling at this. What is the secret? Does God just love me that much? I know He does. But I think the key is in the dreaming. When I cut and paste and put my dreams into that book however small, I am opening up my heart. And somehow in that stuff starts happening. I find my dreams and desires coming forth.
I started thinking about what would happen if I got serious about "cutting and pasting" my desires and dreams for other aspects of my life. Opening up my heart to possibilities bigger than what I can find at a yard sale or goodwill. I know I wrote about this before here . However I was challenged by it again last night. Sometimes I can shut my heart down to dreams for fear of disappointment or failure. And if I don't really get excited about something than it won't hurt that bad when it doesn't happen. But that just stops me from being able to feel when something good does happen because one you close up your heart in one area it affects the rest.

So in 2013 I want to dream more. Cut and paste like crazy. Open my heart even if it gets hurt or disappointed. Believe for things that are bigger than myself. Pray for things in my life and my children's and see them come forth. 

"Those who HOPE in the Lord will not be disappointed."

These pictures were taken at our old house at Blossom View. This room, as you can see in the background, has beautiful 70's vintage floral wallpaper, purple trim and once was adorned with thick pink shag carpet. This past summer we ripped up the carpet and painted the floor. I added some vintage touches and turned it into a cozy nursery that I actually loved...wallpaper and everything. These pictures remind me of the old house where a lot of my love for decorating was reawakened. Where my creativity was put to the test and dreams were birthed. 

"Keep Dreaming and believing Mom. I am proof of that. Don't be afraid"

Saturday, January 19, 2013

heart connect.

"If they could just stay little"
I remember being a mom of three, three and under and balking at that phrase not getting it at all. Thinking to myself, "They are so much work when they are little and need you for everything. I don't want them to stay little at all". Fast forward six years and I am starting to get it. All of a sudden my youngest is crawling, pulling herself up and eating puffs and getting so big and I want to just stop time...for her to just stay little. I love the way her little hands cling to me and her sweet smell after bath time and they way she looks at me like I am the best thing she ever did see. She doesn't yet yell in the store that I am the worst mom ever because I won't buy something she wants or say that my gluttous maximus looks "weird" in those pants I am wearing or want to continually talk about farting and burping at the dinner table. Ahh yes they do get big and I do love those kids too. But realizing how much easier it is when they are little. Yes there is sleepless nights and continual demands but sometimes the emotional and spiritual element to the bigger kids takes me completely off guard. I don't really want them to stay little just close to my heart. How do I keep that heart connection I feel with Eden with the bigger kids in the midst of whining, fighting, yelling, homework, and life. That is my desire for this next year. To be intentional about connecting with my children and their hearts. To yell less and laugh more. Cause the truth is they don't stay little long.

Friday, January 18, 2013

I miss him already.

Well. This morning at 4 am we said our farewells. For a whole week. We have not been separated for this long in years. Maybe since Moses was a baby. I miss him already. 
I may be blogging more this week. Mark left me with 800 images or so to mess with and I have started a few entries over the last two weeks but didn't complete them due to lack of photos and time. I have more of both this week so we shall see....
Mark will be spending a week in Colorado with Jeremy Hess doing some photography and coaching. I will be spending the week with five children. Pray for me :) No I think it will be good. We are going to try to do some fun stuff while he is gone to make the time go faster.

We love you Daddy and miss you already! 

the Buckwalter farm

On a snowy December day we packed the entire contents of our house into several  truck loads and started the new year in a new little house in Conestoga that we now call "home". After months of searching and waiting and hours and hours of painting it is hard to believe we were here.

The day after Christmas I started a marathon of packing that did not stop until I unpacked the last box almost two weeks later. There was grace for the journey but I am so glad to be settled and if I don't have to pack up our house again for a very long time I would be very happy. :) I tossed and turned the week before we moved wondering how it was all going to work out and how in the world we were going to fit everything into a house half the size of our old one. We got rid of a lot of stuff, decluttered and simplified.  I am pleasantly surprised that everything has a home and it even feels roomy. I like that there is a lot less house to clean and everything is freshly painted.

My other worry was about the kids changing schools. All Christmas break Sarah would ask me how many more days till she has to go back to school. I could tell she was worried and I could feel the butterflies in my own stomach when I thought about them having to switch schools half way through the school year. The night before it was time to head back to school we prayed and at this point Sarah was still saying she did not want to go. But suddenly as we prayed she remembered a little girl she saw when she was visiting and that maybe just maybe she would go tomorrow and ask this girl to be her friend. The next morning after many prayers and farewell hugs Moses and Sarah got on the bus smiling and waving. Thank you Jesus.
Sarah did not meet her new friend the first day but on the second day she came home saying her new friend was Grace. I thanked the Lord for Grace and his Grace on this transition. A week later I went to a mom's prayer group where I met a mom who had a daughter in Sarah's class only to find out she was the mother of Grace. She told me she heard about us before we moved and was praying for us. She went home and told Grace, who prayed that the new little girl would be in her class. I came away from that conversation so encouraged that God was working and preparing a friend for Sarah even before we moved and that His grace is sufficient for every transition!

So Conestoga is starting to feel like home. When we were looking into buying, Moses had two requirements...the property needed to have sticks to build forts and trees to climb. We found that the houses in our price range did not fit this requirement or our heart desires. So we opted to rent where the kids can climb trees and romp through fields and have space to be free. Where we can have a wrap around porch and grow a garden. It feels right to raise our kids on a property like this.

A crazy comfirmation that we were in the right place was that this farm's previous owner was a ninety something man with the last name of Buckwalter and the property was known as the Buckwalter farm. Pretty nice confirmation if I do say.

Probably the biggest transition is getting used to the ten extra minutes it takes to get anywhere! Seriously...there is no fast way to and from Conestoga. :)

Last Saturday was a little gift from God with weather almost near sixty in the middle of January. Mark had the entire day off and we spent lots of time exploring the property and taking pictures. Here are a few pictures Mark took of our new house. If I would have known he was taking pictures I might have cleared away a few dishes but then it would not truly be home right? I would love to give a full house tour sometime but for now here is our kitchen, living room and the outside room to live. 

 Welcome to our kitchen.  Pull up a seat and sit awhile. One of my favorite parts of the kitchen is the butcher block we found at a local antique store. The other is the vintage hutch I found on craiglist. Both are new things we added when we moved and I love them!

 Here is little Miss Eden exploring her new playroom/office.
 Our cozy little living room.
 The house has been sitting empty for three years so there is a lot of yard work and clean up to do. But there is tons of potential and I can't wait till spring time to get busy. The house looks big in the picture but we actually only live in one half. The other half was an addition that was built on in the 1900's but never finished. So there is rooms but no plumbing or electricity. It is just sitting empty. There is a lot of potential there as well.
 This is the cute little spring house that we are using as a garage to store bikes and such. I like the character.

 The back door.
 The porch is one of my favorite parts of the house. I picture myself spending lots of time out here in the summer watching the kids play in the yard.

 Like our last house there is lots of room to roam. This property has a lot of little creek beds and ravines to climb and explore. The kids thought this was the coolest thing ever to have this in their back yard.

 And yes, Moses is happy to report that there is a lot of sticks to make swords and forts and lots of trees to climb. They are happy boys even if the picture says otherwise!

"There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragant than ever again."
~elizabeth lawrence~

Friday, January 11, 2013

mashed potato grandma

So I don't know why they call it the terrible twos because my kids always seem to hit the peak of whining and fussing at age three. And let's just say we are in it right now with a certain three year old although I must give her grace because we are just coming off of Christmas season busyness and a major life transition. But even in the midst of some growing pains I love my conversations with Hopey. They always have some humor and an element of surprise. Today was a perfect example. Here is our morning conversation:

Me: Guess who is coming to watch you tonight. Grandma Yocom!
Hope: Which grandma is that ?
Me: Ummm...the grandma with the chickens.
Hope: The mashed potato grandma?
Me: (laughing) No My mommy.
Hope: Oh, the grandma that has an Aunt Liz.
Me: Why yes! (laughing again)

And that is why I want to cherish this three old stage. And Grandma Buckwalter I guess you are now officially known as the "Mashed Potato Grandma". We all do love your potatoes! :)