Good report


We took a quick trip to Sacramento today to check in with our girl’s neurologist.

Two and a half years ago she had her first seizure. We were terrified & worried for what it meant for our sweet girl.

We laid it at Jesus’ feet and have had so many friends and our families join us in prayer for her.

Today the neurologist gave us good news! Her blood tests look great and she hasn’t had a seizure since they changed up her meds at our last appointment.

So, now our next goal is to reach two years seizure free. We are currently at nine months free. Please join us in prayer that the meds will continue to control the seizures.

The doctor told us originally he believed she would outgrow her epilepsy, and today he reiterated that there is still an excellent chance she could completely outgrow it! Praise the Lord!!

We are so thankful that her epilepsy can be managed & that it doesn’t affect too much of her every day life. We are blessed!

Ending Summer with a bang


We’re back from our whirlwind vacation.

It.was.fantastic.

We hit very little traffic on our way (glorious) and arrived in just over the 3 hours google told us the trip would take. It probably would have been exact, but I’m a terrible traveler & always have to stop. My husband has a bladder of steal & never needs to pull over. Needless to say, he is generally displeased with the kids and my inability to ‘just hold it’.

We arrived at the amazing home we were staying in, unloaded the car, & immediately went swimming. The weather was 30 degrees cooler than we’re used to & the pool was heated. It felt perfect!

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Then, we went for a picnic. There was a lovely redwood area with a park. We got to relax, eat, and enjoy wandering around.

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We went back & the boys played basketball while the girls swam. The house had an amazing basketball court & hoop. My boys were impressed!

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We finished the night with dinner, more swimming & Mama had some margaritas. ūüėä

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The rest of the weekend we hung out with various friends, laid by the pool, ate more than we should, played cards, and just relaxed!

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We did take a quick trip to the beach. It was a little too cool for most of us to get in, but we still had fun.

This was the first vacation that we have been on where I didn’t try to fill every waking moment with something to do. I am a doer. I want to be doing something all the time. Something about doing things calms & relaxes me. My daughter is the same. She loves a good plan just like her mom. But, my husband and sons are not doers. They like to pause & just be. This trip was the first we had time to just be. It turned out wonderful. And, truth be told I feel pretty relaxed from just hanging out too.

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Now, all three kids leave for a few days with my mother in law. They arrive back in time to go to my company picnic. Then, two days later Cora & I have a trip to the neurologist we are doing our best to make into a girlie trip. Our exchange student arrives soon after that. I’m so very thankful we got to spend just a few days relaxing before we end this summer with a bang!

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VOTE VOTE VOTE!


My sister is a genius photographer.  You can see tons of her work here.  Her name is Betsey Walton.

Right now two of her photos are in a contest for the cover of Enjoy Magazine.

Please vote for her photos.  The one with the cute little boy and his cardboard rocket ship has the most votes so probably voting for that one is best.  You can vote here!!

Thanks friends!!

Gardening


My mother always had the most amazing yard. ¬†It didn’t matter what the ground was like or what she picked to grow – she had the ability to make anything come up beautiful. ¬†I do not have that gift. ¬†In fact, my husband calls me “The Plant Reaper”.

But, we’ve moved into a house that hasn’t had anyone taking care of the front yard for a bit. Basically, there were multiple dirt patches that obviously were gardens and we decided we should fill them. ¬†The conversation between my husband and myself went something like this:

H: We should plant something out front so it doesn’t look so barren.

Me: I agree.

H: What do you want to plant?

Me: *blank stare*

H:  What kind of flowers and stuff?

Me: Bright and cheerful ones that will still grow when I don’t remember to water them…?

H: I’m not sure that’s a thing. ¬†Let’s go to the garden center and see what we can find.

So, I followed him to the gardening center. ¬†We looked at tons of plants. He hemmed and hawed about the cost of mulch, planting soil, and rock. ¬†Then, we went to look at plants. ¬†He pointed out cactus (ew!) that would grow nicely in the environment I described. ¬†He also pointed out some bush type plants that I didn’t love either. ¬†He kept asking “do you like this?” ¬†And, I kept looking around feeling lost and wishing I could call my mom. ¬†She was aware of my gardening lameness and would have told me exactly what to plant – or even better she would have had me plant something great and then come over to be sure it survived. ¬†Finally, I picked out a few things and we made our way to the register. ¬†The first line was really full, but there was a little grandmother like woman standing at the other register. ¬†We made eye contact and she waved us over. ¬†We stood in line and she looked at me and said “Do you want to know a secret? Want to know what plant is really cheerful and bright and its nearly impossible to kill?” ¬†I’m sure my expression was total amazement as I nodded yes. ¬†She left her register (there was still no one else in line) and took us out to the garden. ¬†She helped us pick lots of seriously beautiful flowers. ¬†She patted me on the back and said “these are not any work at all. ¬†Just put them in the ground and you can simply water them when you think of it¬†and they come back every year!” ¬†Daisies. ¬†I love daisies. ¬†Who knew they were low maintenance? ¬†We also got some snap dragons. ¬†By the time we finished I had tears streaming down my face and she just smiled and patted me and rang us up. ¬†My poor husband didn’t know what to make of the tears so he just got the car. ¬†When I got in he said “Don’t worry about it – this store makes me want to cry too”. HA!

We spent most of Mother’s day weekend planting my cheerful flowers. ¬†The front of the house looks like someone lives there now! ¬†And, what a fun splash of color.

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There’s still so much to do, but I feel like we’ve made serious progress. ¬†And, I feel like I may need to go visit the garden center every once in awhile now too.

 

Talents


Each human on this planet is born with talents that are uniquely theirs. ¬†That’s not to say others don’t also possess the same talent. ¬†But, more to say that each of us has our own “talent grouping”. ¬†While many people may be good at something – not everyone has the exact same talents.

I fully believe that we are each created to do something special. ¬†The ‘special’ doesn’t really have to be something that everyone you meet sees as special. ¬†But, my thoughts are – God has put us all together to do something specific for His kingdom (even those who don’t know they are doing it for His kingdom are contributing and that thought makes me smile a bit). ¬†Someone may be put here to run the government of their country. ¬†Someone else may have been put here to sing. ¬†And, yet another someone may have been put here to write a book. ¬†Any and all of those are talents.

But, there are lots of talents that we overlook on a daily basis and people never really get credit for excelling at them. ¬†Today I read a blog about running the race God has set before us. ¬†And, not only using our talents, but also recognizing them. ¬†It really struck me. ¬†And, the interesting thing is that this isn’t the first time it’s come up recently. ¬†I’ve had a few discussions with the kids over people’s talents and what it means to have a talent. ¬†I’ve challenged them to make a game of noticing their classmates or teammates talents and seeing what they can find out about those around them. ¬†I’ve also taken a few personality tests for work and other things that weigh in on this area too. ¬†So, the whole ‘realize your talent’ thing is just where I am right now.

A few talents I see daily that I’ve noticed and yet haven’t made a point to praise are:

  • Friend of strangers¬†Those people who walk up to random strangers and start conversations. ¬†They’ve never met a true stranger, and they think nothing of making new friends any place and any time. ¬†They start conversations with people in line in places like Target or the airport. ¬†How many people can truly do this without concern for feeling like they are being a weirdo? ¬†Not many. ¬†This is a SKILL and should be recognized as a talent. ¬†They never leave the new person to themselves and they are great at just making everyone feel like they are a part of whatever is going on.
  • Sitting quietly while listening (TRULY LISTENING – not thinking about your to-do list while someone else talks) Kudos to you! ¬†I am not gifted in this area. ¬†I want to be multi tasking at all times. ¬†I am constantly impressed by those who have the ability to simply listen with interest.
  • Go with the flow These people do not need to force their will or agenda on anyone. ¬†They are willing to help reach other people’s goals. ¬†They are agreeable and generally the center of every team because they can be depended on to help, but not to overrun.
  • Being a friend The person who remembers to call you when your life is too busy to call them first. The girlfriend who notices you are a little down and drops you a note. ¬†The one who takes the time to memorize all your favs and all your dislikes just because it comes natural to them. ¬†These people are amazing. ¬†Everyone needs at least one in their life and I am so blessed to have many!!
  • Cheerleaders Those who have no desire to rush out and change the world, but who willingly sit and cheer everyone else on. ¬†They are outstanding ‘words of encouragement’ people and truly desire to see everyone else succeed.
  • Organizers Not just the people who keep things and events organized, but those who do it as a blessing to others. ¬†Those who see one of the go-getters going out to get things done and steps in behind the scenes to simply organize the charge. ¬†They don’t seek glory or praise. ¬†They’re gift is that they can do it without needing any of that. ¬†It’s just their natural talent.
  • Nurtures¬†Those who simply care. ¬†They share their heart with others because others NEED that. ¬†They aren’t afraid to give a little tough love, but they also take the time to share some sweet, kind, and squishy love too. ¬†They mentor others, they support dreams, and they think of ways for others to accomplish them.
  • ¬†Decision Makers Believe it or not – not everyone is good at making decisions. ¬†We all like to pretend we are, but the truth is that most people only want to make decisions that specifically affect them – not everyone. ¬†Great job for sticking your neck out even when you know it won’t always be comfortable!
  • Dreamers¬†The people who take the time to sit in a field of flowers and just enjoy thinking and dreaming. ¬†They show us what it’s like to actually stop and smell the roses. ¬†They think of impossible things without fear. ¬†They don’t worry about how they will accomplish those things – they just enjoy thinking them. ¬†That is NOT me. ¬†I’m constantly impressed by people who dream well.
  • Positive People¬†Those people who only see the rain for a few seconds and then come away with a positive spin. ¬†They find the rainbow in every situation. ¬†Not everyone can do that. ¬†It’s inspiring!

There are so many more. ¬†But, what I have had pointed out to me many times recently is that we need to recognize these talents (and all the other non-recognized ones) and celebrate them. ¬†Let’s teach our kids and our friends that we KNOW they are special. ¬†We know we are unique and we are perfectly made. ¬†Keep up the great work of being YOU.

Live it!


School is in session and we’ve jumped into things head first. ¬†It’s sort of my style, I guess. ¬†We have so many things going on and we love all of them. ¬†I just need to sit down and make some sense of the schedule so I don’t get overwhelmed.

Already, we’ve had the normal new school year things. ¬†The assessment of the new kids in the class after the first day – you know – names, descriptions, and first impressions. ¬†Last year, Trevor and I had a conversation about what a name means and why we should remember the names of people. ¬†This year he was able to come home and tell me all the names of the new kids. ¬†I didn’t even ask him – he volunteered it. ¬†So cool.

I have an ongoing discussion with my children about befriending kids who don’t have someone to play with, eat lunch with, or just to talk to. ¬†It’s true that there are people who are difficult to get along with. ¬†It’s also true that you simply will not get along with everyone in the world. ¬†But, the biggest truth is that Jesus loves us all despite our personality flaws and character faults. ¬†One of the things I remind my kids is that a good friend lets others know when they are annoying the group too. ¬†Some people really don’t even know they are being annoying! ¬†They can’t improve if no one helps them. ¬†The same is true of the kids who are ‘too cool’. ¬†It’s a different, more socially accepted annoyance. ¬†But, it is still annoying to watch as an adult and sometimes as a kid too and they don’t even know sometimes.

I’ve told my kids about my youth as a snobby teenager and how that put me in a position to have to apologize to someone as an adult. ¬†It was such a humbling and eye opening experience. ¬†I want them to avoid that as much as possible. ¬†Today a friend posted this on Facebook. ¬†I read it and had tears and wanted to yell “YES!!”. ¬†The only thing I would add is that the kids won’t necessarily be rewarded for showing Jesus. ¬†My oldest was informed he couldn’t be in the ‘cool group’ because he was too nice to the people who were not cool. ¬†It blew my mind that such a conversation would even take place, but I can see my teenage self saying something just as stupid.

My prayer for my children has always been that they be better than I ever was at anything and everything. But, when it comes down to it – nothing really matters except how they are living what they believe. ¬†If they are not living it then it’s worth nothing.