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Dino Arms.

July 3, 2015

One evening this week, we decided to bust out the chalk and do some art.  I wrote Brooks’ name first, then asked him if he could write it.  For his first try writing his name, I think he did a bang up job:

brooks

I remember being so proud when Landon first started writing his name. It makes them seem so grown up!

Then we did some other abstract art of their favorite thing right now: Dinos!  We tried our hand at a diplodocus and then moved on to a T Rex.  Mom freehanded the outside and the boys colored it in.

dino

After it was done, Brooks looked at it and said, “Mom, T Rex only has two fingers!” (I’d drawn 5!)

That boy, he’s absolutely right!
#futurepaleontologist
trex

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Wonder.

July 1, 2015

“Mom, I wonder if we could have a dino live with us.”
“I wonder if we can eat lots of gum when we turn 10.”
“I wonder if that dog will eat that grass.”
“Mom, I wonder if we have only one more month until my special trip.”
“I wonder if we get to have a treat tonight if we are Clean Plate Rangers.”
“Landon, I wonder if dinos really eat people.”
“I wonder if there are monsters who sleep under my bed.”

Yep, my kids are full of wonder.

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Be strong and courageous.

June 30, 2015

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

This was a verse I read several times in Battlefield of the Mind and I love it. It encompasses so many things that I need to remember. And if you read the verses that precede it, Joshua (or whoever wrote this book) says be strong and courageous 3 times!  Obviously, God knew that we’d really need to have this beat into our heads, so he put it on repeat. Strong. Courageous. Strong. Courageous. Strong. Courageous.

I want to be strong and courageous. I want my kids to look at their mom as I strong woman who stands up for what she believes. I want my friends and family see me stand strong in difficult moments.  Sometimes my self-doubt leads me to internally cower from what I believe I can do.

I need to be remember to be confident in who I am. I am a wife. I am a mom. I am a daughter and sister.  I am a follower of Jesus. I am a friend.  And that when I doubts myself, I trust that God will lift me up because I am exactly who He created me to be. He is with me – always. Even when it feels like He’s not there, I can read this verse/truth that tells me that He is!

I don’t want to shrink back in my roles. I want to be headstrong and confident. And when it gets hard, I can remember that God is walking not just before me and behind me, but He’s also right beside me, I can be confident that I’m not alone in my struggles.

Be strong and courageous.

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They get it from their Papa

June 25, 2015

Their entrepreneurial spirit, that is.

For Fathers Day, my sister and I decided to give our hubbies a morning of quiet freedom and we set the kids up with their very first lemonade stand.

lemon1

And before you go all “perfect mom” on me, I’ll be transparent to say the fun lasted for about 20 minutes.  And my sister and I spent 90 minutes prepping lemonade, baking cookies, setting up the table, making the sign – yes there was some kid help at various points, but we all know that kids get bored quick and they tended to run off and play while the mommies got it prepared.

Then the kids came out and worked their booth.

lemon2

Of course, there were some disheartening moments when the cars would pass without stopping.
“Maybe they don’t have money and are going home to get it.”
“Maybe they are running late to lunch and don’t have time to stop.”
“Maybe they are coming on their way back home.”

And if we’re being honest, here’s what they were really doing about 80% of the time we were out there:
lemon3Playing, bike riding, golfing, blowing bubbles, wagon rides, etc. So the mommies had to man the stand most of the time ;)

And one of the cutest things was when the kids would get paid, Lawson kept taking money out of the jar and giving it back to the customers.  A quarter would go in and he’d try to give a dollar back – essentially trying to hand all the profits away!

We made one last push when Heidi started a little dance party and the sign turned into the dance floor.
lemon4All in all, a fun morning for the kids and an exhausting morning for the mommas! But they made about $35 (not bad when your product is only $.50 and $.25). No COGS were included in this profit ;)

All in all, a great first entrepreneurial event!

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A sweet brother moment.

June 22, 2015

My kids have both gone through spurts where they are scared of the dark or thunderstorms or (fill in the blank).  Landon had an especially hard time with thunderstorms and still sometimes creeps in and snuggles between Dean and I when there’s a bad one that wakes him up at night.

Recently, Brooks said he didn’t want to go up to the playroom by himself because he was scared – yes, it was early evening but the hall/stair lights were on.  After a little prodding, he started trudging up the stairs by himself.  Landon rushed over to Brooks slowly heading up the stairs, grabbed his hand and said, “Brooks, when you are scared you just need to say, ‘when I am afraid, I will trust in God.’ and then you won’t be so scared.”

It was such a sweet brother moment to see Landon show compassion to his brother and encourage him with the perfect verse.

While these brothers go through occasional fights, there are many more times of encouragement, sharing and love and I am so grateful for these two precious boys and their relationship with each other.

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Today.

June 17, 2015

Today was a great day.  It was like most other days, but what made today great was a choice I made this morning: I am in charge of my reaction.

I was reminded recently of this concept when reading a Christian family blog.  I know there are times in my day that don’t go according to plan – that the idea of perfect, in my mind, rarely exists in real life – but I get to choose how I handle the imperfections.  

Today was a great day.  Not because my kids were perfectly behaved (although I will say that tantrums were minimal), but because I chose to handle those tantrums differently – patiently.

Today was a great day. Not because work went according to plan (it rarely does), but because each time something came up to be addressed, I made a choice for how I’d handle it – expecting that unexpected items would come up.

Today was a great day.  Not because a bedtime was a breeze, but because I chose to embrace the chaos of bedtime. Spending a few extra minutes on prayers and pillow talk with my kids.

Today was a great day. Not because my husband and I agreed on everything, but because I didn’t take it to heart when we didn’t. Because it’s ok for us to have different opinions and work through the decisions.

Today was a great day.  Because this morning, I decided to take control of my reactions. I decided to try to be a little more like Jesus than I have been lately. I decided that I would strive for a perfectly imperfect day – handling it as it came.

This isn’t easy for me. I struggle with many Type-A-isms that drive me to want to control everything. But today, I decided that letting things go a little out of control was best not only for me, but for all those in my daily circle.

Today. Today was a great day.

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Recipe: Teriyaki Tilapia Salad

June 17, 2015

Summer and salads go together.  Just like winter and a pot of something delicious go together.

At this point, my husband and kids are sick of kale salads. We’ve had them about 8 of the last 12 days.  I can’t help it, they are delicious and there are tons of things you can throw in there. Plus I got a huge bag and have to use it all up before it goes bad. So that means lots of kale on repeat!

Here’s a non-kale salad we enjoyed recently.
tilap

I usually cook my tilapia the same way – cumin or taco seasoning. I wanted to mix it up but I thought teriyaki might be too heavy for the light fish. I was wrong, it was delicious!

Teriyaki Tilapia Salad
4  tilapia filets
teriyaki marinade/sauce

salad:
1 head romaine, chopped
3 tbsp craisins
3 tbsp sliced almonds
1/4 small red onion, sliced
2 mini packages ChickFilA roasted pepper croutons (not sure what they are but my MIL brought them home from a date with the kids one day because she didn’t want them on her salad and they were delicious)
Olive Garden Italian dressing

Cook tilapia in skillet in a small amount of oil so it doesn’t stick.  Lightly brush with teriyaki glaze on both sides. Cook about 3-4 minutes per side until white. Meanwhile, mix all salad ingredients together.  Serve salad on plates and top with a filet. Serve while fish is hot!

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