Monday, December 31, 2012

The purpose of this blog is really to document our memories for our kids to able to look back on someday since I don't scrapbook. But every now and then I like to add in my housey projects.

After Christmas, I like to organize our gifts and go through everyone's stuff and weed out the old to make room for the new. I organized all of the closets this week, and ended up fixing up the hall closet, took the doors off, painted, used contact paper on the back wall, wrapped my photo boxes in brown paper and added accessories. I love it. It makes the walk down the hall a lot more interesting!

I also bought some lettering for Jack's wall with one of my gift cards. I have wanted this quote for a while. So cute! And Jack got a comfy chair for his room from Craig's list. I have more ideas so stay tuned!

I also added a picture of my early birthday present. A new coffee table that I love love love! Also got a great deal!

Friday, December 28, 2012

We had a wonderful Christmas with family! December is always so busy with obligations that my favorite part is when all that stops and then I can focus on the birth of Christ, the real reason for Christmas. Anyway we made it through and all got spoiled. Hopefully we were able to spoil others a little too. Jack got a lot of superhero stuff. Now he has no excuse not to be one! Ava got lots of books, some pink Legos, other girly things, and they both got clothes. I always feel like that's a present for me too. Everyone was so kind and generous to us.

We have had sickness this past week. Yes on Christmas week! And two years in a row! My poor family. I'm the only one that hasn't been down with it. Yet. I really hope they don't have it the entire vacation. I love having Jack home for two weeks! It's been fun just being together in spite of the sickness.

I have been keeping busy with a couple of organizing/decorating projects so that always excites and motivates me. I will take pictures when I'm finished.

Ava frequently says now, "wanna watch a show". She also asks us if we are ok. Today when I was leaving to go to the store, she said, "Mommy, wanna hug." Awww. Both of them had trouble going to sleep tonight so I got some snuggling in.

Here's our favorite picture this Christmas. I wish we could have gotten it a little earlier but it's hard to predict when they will take such a good one!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Church Program

Here are a couple short videos of Jack's parts in the Christmas program.  The one video starts a little late, but Jack is quoting John 3:16

Monday, December 17, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012!!

We have had a great year! Here are our top events of 2012.

Our vacation to Florida in March is always a highlight.
Ava turned 2 in July and is talking a lot!
Jack turned 6 and started kindergarten in August.
Matt was ordained in October.
Shannon is staying busy working 2 days a week, volunteering at Metro Women's Center and is also the class mom for Jack's class (her favorite job). And Ava tags along.

We are looking forward to next year: hopefully being debt free and celebrating 10 years of marriage!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ava has started saying "I go potty." Then she goes into the bathroom, shuts the door (I peeked last time) and sits on the potty with the lid down, then gets up and flushes. I asked her if she wanted to actually go in the potty and she said no. But I thought it was funny that she's practicing.

She loves the snow which she calls "nose."

Jack's part for the program is sounding like "Thanks be unto God for his DESPECABLE (yelled) gift!"

I love the way kids say things, and I will miss that when they get past it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


It has been a while since I have done a picture post, so here are some random pictures from the last few weeks.
The kids are looking forward to a wonderful Christmas with family and friends!

Jack is enjoying a cookie after going through the Macy's 8th floor display

Ava looks great with her new haircut and new pajamas!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Jack is reading! He was doing his blends while I was semi-listening the other day when all of a sudden I hear him reading words! What a thrill! Ok it's our first time experiencing this so indulge me for a minute. So of course I took a video that I never know how to upload onto here. My favorite part was when he came to the 4 letter words and said "Oh this is going to be hard". But he sounded out c-a-mp and then shrugged and said "See? I can read!" He said it so matter of factly that we laughed a little. Anyway, it was an exciting day!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Getting ready for Christmas

We have had a sick week with everyone except Jack having something or other. I can always tell when I start feeling better because I crave burgers and also driving around yesterday I was just so happy and thankful for everything I saw. I was thanking God for Ava being a good shopper, for coupons and deals, and even for 610 that allows me quicker access to school than 694 would. It was a fun day and always better when you feel good!

I discovered World Market! So many fun and cute items for gifts and home decor. I've already been there a couple of times and can't wait to go back!

Jack has been cracking us up. We will put on a DVD on his little DVD player before he goes to bed, and he watches the previews. So he will yell from the other room all of the "new" cartoons and that they are coming in 2006 or 2008. It's so cute when they don't have a concept of time quite yet.

Well we are heading into the church decorating weekend. It's a big job because the church is big. I'm thankful we have help! Here are a few pictures of the house.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving and more...

We had a great thanksgiving weekend with the family! I'm so thankful for my family! It's always been such a special time for us, and I would probably cry if I had to miss it. Matt worked through his sickness and is doing better now. We had a good Black Friday shopping experience and got a jump start on Christmas so that was fun. We are lowkey Black Friday shoppers. This year Heidi joined me and Bek as we headed out around 5 to the Mall of America. It's nice there. We don't have to stand in the cold but still get in on some deals. And I have to say that even though I'm not a coffee drinker (one of the last in the family), the sea salt caramel mocha from Caribou was delicious!

The kids are learning how to push each other's buttons so that is not always fun to deal with. And getting up for school after time off is tough! But I still want to record everything Ava says, and I still love hearing Jack's chatter.

We decorated for Christmas, and the kids were so excited about it. It was a blessing to hear Jack say, "This is nice, but it's not what Christmas is about. It's about Jesus." Yes, he got that from a book we read and maybe from school, too, but what a blessing to hear your children talk that way! It also made it fun since Matt and I were so tired from the weekend. Pictures will come soon! On a lighter note, Jack was talking Matt's ear off, and Matt finally said, "Jack, can you just stop talking?" Jack said, "I can't help it. God made me that way." And then, "I'm supposed to help people." I don't know if that means he thinks his talking is helping or what, but it gave us a laugh.

Last week we also went downtown for the 8th floor of Macy's display. It's the same every year, but we just keep going and still have a good time. We also love the bakery and toy shop!

Thanksgiving was early this year and that gives us plenty of time to enjoy the holiday season without being too rushed. We are looking forward to all the goodies involved in the next few weeks!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Jibber jabber

Ava says she wants to baw down for get down. I kept thinking she wanted to fall down. Weird! It's so funny to hear all of the new stuff. She says guy now when she sees a man. It just takes me off guard sometimes. And then to hear a whole sentence can be crazy...Today she said Mommy, how are you? And then jabber jabber jabber.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

First report card

We got Jack's report card yesterday, and it was mixed reviews. A+ on Bible memory and math and phonics and a B+ on writing. Needs improvement in cutting. I struggle with cutting too so I guess I understand. For the most part, he is an eager learner, but gets distracted very easily. So we will be working on self control.

Ava is saying so many things. I know I say that about her in most posts, but I just want to follow her around with a recorder so I never forget the little voice saying, "Yes, Mommy" and the many other things she says. It's funny to hear her tell on Jack. Socks are "hockeys" by the way. Flower is still "wawa".

We have been so busy. I feel like I'm going to wake up one day soon, and the kids will be grown up and out of the house. Time is just flying, but what a wonderful time in our lives.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Best day ever!

"Jack had the best day of kindergarten ever!" Said his teacher to me this week. He was the Writer of the Day, faced forward in line, did not lose any marbles, and generally amazed everyone with his Christian spirit, brilliant intellect and athletic prowess! Ok I added the last part, but we were pretty excited for him. We will take it!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Our tree

I took a picture of our tree with the leaves partially fallen off. I'm pretty sure they are all off now. It's my favorite tree, and I'm always kind of sad when its barren. I just want to remember it like this.

Housey Stuff

As my friend Sharron would say, we got a Jesus present. Our new table. It's beautiful, and we got an incredible deal on it. I loved the paneled farmhouse table look, and God gave us one. It fits our space perfectly. Also we got our kitchen island at Goodwill. It is so nice to have a huge place to work or have the kids eat a snack or Jack to say his blends while I'm working in the kitchen. And the other pictures are just of the house. It is my playground, and I'm always playing in it and switching things around.

Ordination Service

Today was a special day for us as Matt was ordained by our church. We had a great service followed by the laying on of hands as the men of the church and other ordained men of God prayed for Matt. Then pastor presented him with his certificate of ordination. We had a cake for family and friends afterwards. Here are a few pictures although maybe not of the best quality since most are with my phone trying to zoom in. We appreciate our church, pastor, family, and friends and all of the love and support shown to us. I'm proud of Matt. It's been exciting to see God use him, and I look forward to many more years of being married to him as we serve the Lord together.

Cupcake fever

My first attempt at frosting cupcakes. Don't laugh. I liked it enough that I will try again.

Brushing teeth

Somehow it turned into brushing hair, and everything was wet. What were we doing?

Uniform Night at Awana

Friday, October 26, 2012

Is fall over?

I think fall is over in Minnesota. Here's why:

The leaves are almost all off the trees now.

There were snow flurries yesterday and an icky rain the day before that.

Tuesday was 75 degrees, and yesterday was 40.

I had to dig the winter coats out.

I haven't seen the sun in a long time. I feel in need of some sunshine.

Yep that clinches it- time to go to Florida! I do love Minnesota but I notice it gets harder to endure the winter each year. I'm not quite ready for that yet. I don't know if I ever am!

Maybe we are just at the end of fall, the part right before the holidays and the beginning of winter with the first snow. Ok there's still some goody left in fall so I will hang in there! I do love the holidays in Minnesota close to my family. There's a lot of fun things we do. But it is interesting how much the weather can affect you!

You can tell I have extra time today!

A day off!

It's nice to have a day off today. We slept in and have all day to get ready for our busy weekend. We have Matt's ordination council and lunch tomorrow while Jack has an Awana activity. Then Sunday is the ordination service in the afternoon with cake and the family over afterwards. I'm excited for Matt and looking forward to hearing him talk about the Bible. I know he will be great. It's an exciting time for us!

In other news, Ava is singing a lot and now sings "BIBIB" and yells "Bible". That's the only part she knows of the B-I-B-L-E. I really wish I could just video her all of the time now because I know it's so easy to forget all of these cute things they say and her little voice. She also likes to "pay" before we eat. And she makes sure everyone is doing it! While at my parents the other night, Aunt Bek apparently wasn't "paying", so in the middle of the prayer, Ava said, "Bekah, pay!" And she did! Finally someone is getting Aunt Bek in line!

Jack is doing great in school and Awana. He loves both. He can recognize and write all the letters - whew that happened fast! - and is starting to understand about how they work together to make words. He's working hard on not losing all of his marbles every day. He gets to go to the Dollar Tree if he gets 2 or under taken away. So he got to do that twice this week. He is also anxious to get there early so he can have play time before school. Apparently there's one cowboy hat, and he has to race Joshua to get it every time. It was funny the other day when we arrived at the same time as Joshua, and Jack didn't stop to say hi, just sprinted into school to get the hat. Priorities!

He also loves his Sparks teacher and group and working in his book. He's still very energetic at the end of the day, but that makes him Jack I guess. I wouldn't mind a little tiredness, but that's just because I'm tired by that time and can't keep up. I think I was a little afraid of the change in our lives, but progress is always good! And it's exciting to see God working in all of us. I could use a little more work, but I'm glad He doesn't give up on me!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Busy Busy

Well I've been waiting until something exciting happened to write again. Nothing in particular has happened, but it's been awhile since I've updated the blog so I feel I should check in.

We have been busy with life. I like it overall, but I am glad this week has time for our family to just be at home. Jack even loved a break from school last week. When it gets this busy, I have to remind myself that the family time is the most important. I know when I start to get irritated at the kids that I am too busy. So this week is about slowing down. Our ladies fellowship is studying the book Come Sit Stay this year, and it is fitting for me. Also at our Awana conference this past weekend, one of the workshops was about intimacy with Christ and trying to pass that onto the kids. This must be a point God is trying to drive home in my life. I get anxiety at a long red light or in a long line. It is hard for me to sit quietly. I am thankful He's still working on me! That's encouraging.

Matt is preparing hard for his ordination at the end of the month. We are looking forward to it. It's an exciting time!

Well, that's about as exciting as it gets this time!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Wow I can't believe it's already October! Fall is in full swing, and we have some beautiful colors around our house. It seems early but maybe time is just flying. It certainly seems that our lives have just taken off since school started a month ago. My new favorite thing is helping at school. I love seeing Jack there and being a part of his new world. It's so weird that he has a world apart from me now but I guess that's ultimately the goal. I'm glad it's done gradually!

We went to the apple orchard last week and had a great time and a beautiful day. I have enjoyed meeting some of the other moms too.

Awana started this past Wednesday and wow! We had many first timers, some from our VBS this summer and some brought new friends and we even had a few just wander in wanting to check out our church. What a blessing and how exciting to see it grow. It's definitely the largest group since we have been involved so that is very encouraging.

I am looking forward to the MOMS group this week and hoping to see more moms!

I am still volunteering at Metro Women's Center in our store Blessingdales, and it HAS been such a blessing! We receive many donations every week from various places with most of them coming from the Kids Rack, a consignment shop in Champlin. I can pick up donations 3 times a week. It has become a part of my routine now, and it's so worth it to be able to help so many people. Being a part of Metro Women's Center and Blessingdale's is truly a blessing to me and to so many others. I love being a part of this place that is doing so much good.

So after a couple of adjustment weeks, I am into my routine and am really enjoying it. I was a little overwhelmed when school started, but now I'm getting in the groove I think. And I like to be busy! My main concern is being able to have Ava with me, and I have especially enjoyed having a little buddy with me doing these things.

Here are a few pictures of the apple orchard.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Happy Fall!

Well, the school year is in full swing and other than the first day that I felt like Eeyore, I have loved it! Jack is putting his energy towards learning and other skills, and I (after a couple of adjustment weeks) am starting to get into a routine.

School, work, Metro Women's Center, MOMS Group - all revolving around time with Ava. I love that she can come with me to everything. I had forgotten how easy it is to go with just one. And a compliant one for the most part. She's always ready for the next thing. It's nice!

Jack brought his first set of papers home yesterday and has done well. He has also learned his vowels and their sounds and has a new verse every week. "C" is this week.

The discipline system is based on what color beehive you are on. Their goal is to stay on the green beehive and away from the white one. Eek. And to ensure you stay on the green beehive, you must not lose the 7 marbles you are given at the beginning of the day. So far he has stayed on the green beehive, but has come close to losing them all a couple of times. Apparently due to a lack of focusing on what the teacher is saying. What? Yes, I know. I love that everyone points out how much he is like me when it comes to his negative points.

Last week I was able to tag along as Jack's class went to the fire station. It was great! Coming soon is Emma Crumbee's apple orchard. Can't wait! Ever since he was born, I have looked forward to this time of being involved in his class. I always enjoyed school, so have been excited for him to experience it.

The fall weather has started just in time for the first day of fall this weekend. I hope it's a looonng one! Matt is enjoying Vikings season. Sort of. So far. Here's a picture of them in their Vikings gear. And here's a bonus picture of what love looks like. Spending all afternoon trying to get a stubborn kite to fly so your kids can enjoy it. Well, they enjoyed playing while he fussed with it. We have decided not to spend any more time on kites. But happy fall anyway!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

End of summer... Boohoo

We had one last hurrah at the state fair for me and Jack. I have really missed him while he is at school, so we had a great mama-son date on Labor Day while Ava played with Grandma and Grandaddy Hanks. I enjoy fall, but it's so short I really don't look forward to it. School is going great for Jack. He has entered into it and greeted it with enthusiasm. I am excited too to be able to be involved in his class. I get to be a classroom mom so that helps.

We started our moms group this past week, had a few first timers, and also had a great speaker on organizing. It was a great kickoff to this year. I'm really looking forward to it and each time have received such a blessing from both our Bible study and speaker.

So now we are just waiting for Awana to start at the end of September, and then our fall will be in full swing. Life goes on even when we want to hold onto certain things or seasons. Thank God He goes before us!