They’re growing up!

Got a few pics of my sunshines together tonight!  
 I’m so happy with how they turned out, I had to show you!
I think the two above are getting framed to go in my kitchen.  🙂
Mattie is 6 1/2, and Jacob is 10 1/2.
And at this point, they’re having more fun than is helpful…

Beautiful Family Pictures!

My sister in law, Cherilyn Magee, took these photos of us when she was in town this spring.  I love the way they turned out!  I thought I’d share my favorites.  Several of these are already up around here!

 Mattie, 5 years    ~~~~~~~~~    Jacob, 9 years
 I think this one is my favorite of the entire day.  🙂 No attachment issues with this child, that’s for sure!

  This one is so sweet because Jacob got Mattie a honeysuckle flower and helped her put it in her hair.

  One thing I have always wanted is photos of Robert and I together.  We had some good ones one year, but didn’t have a home that was ours, so we never got them hung.  I’m going to take several of these below and decorate our bedroom with them now!

God has blessed us with a wonderful family!  I’m so thankful Cherilyn captured that blessing so well.

Our Beautiful Dancing Girl

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful.  I know that full well.” 
Psalm 139:13-14

“Then maidens will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.” 
Jeremiah 31:13

“Let them praise His name in the dance: let them sing praises unto Him with the timbrel and harp.”  
Psalm 149:3

“They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance.”  
Job 21:11

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: … a time to dance and a time to laugh.” 
Ecclesiastes 3:1, parts of 3:4

Before winter is gone

I know it’s almost Spring, but I have snow pictures I haven’t shared yet!  Because of where we live, there’s always a chance it could be two years before we get snow again, so I try to help them get as much time in it as possible when it comes.  We had quite a few good snow days in January!  Snow is one of my favorite photo settings because it takes away so many visual distractions, plus the cold makes the kids coloring so great!
Mattie Enjoyed a bunch of good runs down the middle of the road. No worries, though.  People don’t drive here when there’s snow on the road!
She just looks so big to me!  Where did the time go?
 These four play together many hours each week.  The two boys you don’t recognize are our neighbors.  There is one more boy too, so Mattie is quite outnumbered.  She’s quite the trooper!  Thankfully, she and MacGregor (the happy guy in the red) get along beautifully when it’s jsut the two of them, so sometimes we try and separate the bigs and littles to avoid all of the wrestling and lightsaber fighting.
Jacob goes out to sled for HOURS!!
I still love my birds.
Notice the one Robert caught with the flash?
This was taken with the flash at 5:30 one morning.  Some editing pulled out snow in more than several layers and the darkest trees are about 50 feet away.  I love how the snow is all in circles!

The Individual Snowflake.

The kids and I are learning about winter this week using the DNG Winter Wonders (more to come in a couple of days!).  We were planning on reading about this stuff in books, but God delivered a beautiful snowfall for us last night! 
A thick, heavy, wet snow… perfect for photos and snowmen.  🙂
So for the first time in my life I sought to find an individual snowflake among the white blanket.  I knew they were there all clumped together, but it was so neat to find flakes displaying their distinct shapes!  A Moment of Joy for sure!
I was like a kid in a candy store outside in my jammies, slippers and really bad bedhead trying to take some pictures before it all started melting.  Then I carefully scooped some snow up with a spatula and put it in the freezer so we could look at the later for our science lesson.  I was supposed to pull together a physics lesson, but I had this great snowflake book and this lesson was way cooler!  Then because I also had to do an introduction to PowerPoint lesson, we made a PowerPoint together to review what we learned about snowflakes today.
~ ~ ~
I want to slow down and teach my children to appreciate the beauty and delicacy of an individual snowflake
and the grandeur of His entire creation.
And I believe they will, one little nature lesson at a time.

We love you, Daddy!

Happy Father’s Day to Robert!
The kids were really excited to celebrate Father’s Day this year, and I was proud of myself for actually completing two creative projects!  Robert is a great father and worthy of celebration.  🙂
Superheroes are a part of every day life here right now, so I used this idea for a Superhero Survival Kit.  The kids were so excited about this one and loved helping with it.  I was pretty impressed both of them kept a secret!

Here are some pics we took dressed up in all things Daddy.  I’ve wanted to do this in years past, and knew that Jacob’s almost old enough that it wouldn’t be cute anymore.  I made a framed collage for him to put on his dresser, and the kids had photo frames they made at Lowe’s to fill.
Silliness in Robert’s big white undershirts.
White button ups.

Robert’s hobby gear.
Trying really hard not to smile in the hats he wears every day.
We love you, Daddy!  You’re the best!

The Blessing of Birds

I can’t say how much I enjoy the birds that frequent our feeders.  One of the things I asked for for Christmas was to have my bird feeder hung up (after being down since we got our new windows).  Robert did that for me and I got a new feeder from my mom as well!  So now I have feeders just outside both of the windows in the main area of the house, and I love them both as they attract different birds!  
Sometimes I sit down to eat by the back window and watch.  
Sometimes I notice a bird eating, and end up sitting for a few minutes for a much needed rest.
Sometimes the kids notice a bird and come tell me in their excitement!
Sometimes I just sit there on purpose, because it’s quiet, and I enjoy watching God’s little creatures.
Sometimes God teaches me little tidbits about His great love for us.
Sometimes I get just the right shot.
This male cardinal looks so manly, standing up all straight, tall, and strong.
One day a red-winged blackbird came to visit!
It’s always exciting to draw a new bird.  It’s like beating a game.  
This is a European Starling and this was the first day he came.  Now they come several times a day!  They like the suet (which helps them keep fat in their diets in the winter), so I’m not sure if they’ll keep coming now that it’s warming up.
This red bellied (yes, red-bellied – the red-headed woodpecker is something else) woodpecker must be camera shy.  He eluded me for a long time!  So much so that Jacob would tell me whenever he saw him so I could try and snap the shutter before he flew away.
This cardinal looks like a picture of the security we have in Christ.  This was a very windy day (you can see his feathers ruffled on his back), and he sat in this spot for a long time.  He’d get caught by a gust every now and then, but he’d regain his balance and settle back in, the seed cylinder blocking the wind.
Bad weather will come, steadily like falling and in harshly like strong gusts of wind, but God offers us a place of rest and protection right under His wings.  I just have to know my way well so I can head there when the storm is coming.
These are brown-headed cowbirds.  Not very fancy, but I liked the snow on their little beaks.
And this looks like a bird after my own heart… one all fluffed out to keep warm.

This is the bird that flew into the window on the morning of Mattie’s birthday.  He was too rattled to fly away right away, but he let Robert pick him up and hold him.  This is another picture of the rest we have in God.  His strong hand offers security, protection, and a place to rest while we recover and are ready to fly again.
And once we fly again, we can be still in knowing the He us in His hand and we don’t have to worry.
A downy woodpecker.  He and several girlfriends come often!
I can’t forget the faithful tufted titmice that are here every day.
You know, we really can all get along!  We all have the same needs anyway… security, love, food, water, and salvation.  And we all have to go to the same Person to have those needs met.  We really aren’t that different!
And while we have the same basic needs, God knows what I need during each season so I can wholly find security in Him; He knows what kind of food is best for my body, and even makes stuff I like just because He loves me; He knows my love language because He created it in me.
Most importantly, the salvation we all need is offered in one place, no matter what size, shape and color He made us.
God is good!