Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer Fun New England Style

Protecting Snow White from the hot summer sun.
We loved the octopus the life guard made.
Sharks & Minnows
She can fly!
Abby Sue is working on a neighborhood newspaper she calls "The Garnet Gazette"

Friday, June 25, 2010

Chilson Beach

The kids and I found a "favorite place" just a few miles down the road from our house. It's a private beach on a lake owned by the city of Franklin. We paid $75 to use it anytime we want, all summer long. There are four life guards, a playground, perfect sand, and great swimming. (chlorine free!) Needless to say, we have already gone 3 times this week! It has truly been a blessing, especially since Aaron has been working in San Diego until Saturday. It's been amazing to watch Abby Sue and Ben swim (all by themselves:) out to the anchored dock with all the other big kids and catch fish (with nets). There are a lot of fish in the water...in fact it kinda freaked Zibby out.
The other day Abby Sue, Ben, & Zibby made friends with a family of 4 kids...all with the most beautiful black skin you ever saw. I couldn't help but smile to myself watching them all play "Sharks and Minnows". Instant friends...without judgement. It made me wonder why we can't be more like them, and see the friend before we see the difference?
Lately I feel like we haven't just moved. I feel like, for some reason, we have all been given a fresh start. Not that life was anything but blessed before...I just think that I'm starting to see this as more of a beginning for us as a family. His story, written especially for the five of us. I have no idea if we will be here for 2 or 20 years. I'm not supposed to know or worry about that. I just know that we have been taken out and placed here for a purpose, and that is.. to witness the wonderful love of God.

p.s. what's the home-remedy for homesickness???

A few more shots from our anniversary celebration in Beantown

Ours was the red one.
A view of Boston from the Charles River
Daddy's Girl
I love this boy!
Our beautiful daughter...such a gift from God.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ballerina Girl

video
This is her favorite thing to do...and my favorite thing to watch.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Eleven Years in the Making

We had the best time celebrating our eleventh anniversary yesterday with the kids. We took a trip to the city and did the touristy Boston Duck Tour. We were blessed with perfect weather, so when the truck became a boat and sailed out onto the Charles River we enjoyed the greatest views of our new favorite city.

Abigail took this picture of us together just before we all got on the truck/boat...I think we have a budding photographer:)

Friday, June 18, 2010

From Fearful to Fear Free


Exposure.

I hate that word. The very thought of it makes me cringe in fear. But today I got to thinking...what the heck am I so afraid of?

I was born brave. Any family member will recall the times I risked life, limb, or reputation..simply for the thrill of it.

So what happened to me?

With each passing year a brand new fear decides to hitch a ride in my heart.

From flying in airplanes to meeting new people (and everything in between)...at times I'm almost crippled with fear and anxiety.

I think that fear is meant to hold us back. To keep us "safe". It is an appropriate response in the right environment. But...the fear that cripples me, and so many other souls, is out of context and can lead to addiction, depression, and isolation...among other things.

So...time for some exposure.

Why?

Simply because I'm just so sick and tired of being afraid.

Here it goes...

I'm afraid of what people will think of me when they find out that I didn't go to college.

I'm afraid of what others may think about my many imperfections. (I have ugly toenails, a lot of horrible moles, fake teeth, bad temper...etc.)

I'm afraid of what others think about my kids. I want everyone to love my kids and think that they are the smartest, most well mannered, beautiful, talented, adorable children on the face of this earth. (Well...they are aren't they?)

Sometimes, I'm afraid my husband won't love me anymore. I fear that he will leave me for someone who is more successful, athletic, gorgeous, interesting, nice...etc. (especially the "nice" part:)

I'm afraid someone will hurt my kids. And I'm afraid of what I would do to them if they did.

I'm afraid to fail.

And...I'm afraid to publish this post because now you all know what weirdo I am:)

Well, that's just to name a few of the big ones for me. I know that we all have them, but there are times when it feels like I'm the only one in the world who feels this way...sharing them is my way of "releasing" them. It makes me accountable to keep these things in check. To hand them over to my Savior and to live a life that is a lot more "Fear Free".

Thanks for listening.










Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New School Days

Western Day
Fun at the Southwick Zoo
Peace Day
Wacky Wednesday
It has been "Spirit Week" at the kids new school and we have been so proud of them for jumping right in to the fun. Even Zibby enjoyed a day at the Southwick Zoo with Ben's class. The weather has been warm enough for strawberry picking with new friends and swimming. Almost everyday after school the kids run off into the woods and have adventures of their own until the sun goes down. Summer vacation is just around the corner! We are so thankful that the kids had the chance to meet a lot of friends before the end of the school year. We all feel much more connected with this wonderful community. (I can't tell you how many birthday party invitations are piled on the bulletin board already:)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Royalty

This morning the little sister begged me to play dress up with her. After she realized I was too big to fit in any of her dresses (like Alice in Wonderland..she observed).. I went to the closet and put on my wedding dress...

"Oh...mommy! You are a princess!" she squeals. "Let's dance!"

So we danced together.

I asked her if she was going to marry a prince when she grew up.

"No...I will marry a King!" she replies.

"Oh.." I say, "What is the name of the King?" I ask.

"His name is Daddy!" she states without hesitation.




Franklin School for the Performing Arts - Study Music, Dance & Drama and Join the Excitement

Franklin School for the Performing Arts - Study Music, Dance & Drama and Join the Excitement
I'm so excited about this! What a blessing to have such a wonderful school for the arts in our new town!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Daredevil Dan

video
Our crazy kids...I'm sure this won't be the last of "Daredevil Dan"!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Turning Three



















































It was a simple, quiet, perfect day. She wanted pink...everything. She was showered in girly gifts from the most loving grandparents in the world. We went for a hike and found frogs. She gazed into a looking glass pond. We ordered pizza and watched her dance all night in her new pink tutu. She made a wish and we ate pink cake. She smiled a lot. She said, "Thank you mommy for my pink birthday." Such a sweet girl. Thank you Jesus for the treasure of our beautiful daughter Elizabeth Jane.

New friends, bug bites, and dirty feet..



More Photos of "The Tree House"





We love sitting outside together on our back porch. It's so peaceful.

Abigail decorated her room on her own! We thought she did a great job. She is obviously in a polka dot stage:)

Another area that I love in "The Tree House" is the entry way...I feel like it welcomes everyone with a bright warm hug.

The special cross painting from our church family in Salem found a place to greet our guests...new and old.



So...it's been a little while since I last posted some pictures because I couldn't get the blogger to sync with our iphoto app...(wow..I kinda sound like a techno geek:) Anyway, my genius husband figured out the problem (restart the computer blondie, duh!) So... here are some photos of all the recent happenings over here in our new home, which we lovingly refer to now as "The Tree House."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Oregonian


Yep...that's me. The weird girl that just moved into the neighborhood...who rambles about homeschooling....compost...and vaccines.

Hey, New England...I can't help it.

I'm an Oregonian!

p.s. go ahead, double click on this picture...it's even more hilarious and/or hideous close up!

A conversation on the way to school...

Just so I don't forget...here is a little bit of a conversation that Abby Sue and Ben were having in the car today;

Ben: "I had a very strange dream last night."

Abby Sue: "Well...what was it?"

Ben (with a sigh): "It's a little too complicated and random to explain." (seriously..the vocabulary of these two is beyond me at times.)

Abby Sue: "Ben, if you know how to spell the word "Plymouth" than you can explain your dream to me."

Ben: "I can't explain it all, but I will tell you this; it was about a giant booger that was animated."

Don't ask me...I really have no idea where they come up with this stuff...but they never cease to amaze me and make me double over in laughter every day.

During a Thunderstorm


The other night during a thunderstorm Zibby was snuggled in between Aaron and I with her Bunny B draped over head and said, "Daddy, I'm scared...please turn it off now."

I'm with her on that one. And it makes me think about the painting we have of Jesus standing at the head of of a boat with huge waves crashing everywhere and a dark sky above. His hand is outstretched, His countenance; steadfast.

I love that He has compassion on us when we are afraid. And I love that He challenges us to trust Him.

Life feels like that to me lately.

I want to just hide under the covers, I want Him to "turn it of now..please!"

And He says, "Peace, be still."

The One who calms the storms, He knows my name.