Ordinary Days

I love praying in our church when it is empty and quiet.  It is gorgeous.  They don't make churches like this anymore-I'm not sure why.  Every little bit of it is a work of art.

Matt who is now in college-I love looking back at these photos and sending them on to the kids.  Remember who you are in that new crazy world you are living in!!!

These guys went on a ski trip with Dad and had a blast.  Next year Janey will be ready to learn and we will join them instead of miss them.  It was nice getting little photos and videos.

Abbey was a good big sister and taught them all how to snowboard (she is actually really good which is why this is funny).

I have been subbing in art class and LOVE it.  It's so much fun but I do come home exhausted.  The kids are so so cute and most want to learn-just have a thirst for knowledge.  It's so fun to watch.

Teachers are amazing and we should all be worshipping at their feet.  I have SO much to say about that but that is going to be a whole other post.  Basically-throw out all the tech and teach your kids to be calm and concentrate and be respectful.  But throw out the tech.  Really do it, hurl it into the attic forever.  It is hurting and damaging children's brains immensely and there is a marked obvious difference in the kids who play video games and spend time on screens and the kids who don't.  If there are any non-believers in that statement spend some days with kids at school.  Or just try it-try it for 6 months.  Take it out of the house and just say no, it's gone, no more.  ALL OF IT.  

A great friend I met a long time ago through my blog has an AWESOME instagram account full of the coolest art projects-she's been teaching for 20 something years. Some simple and not complicated to do at home.  

I bought a few new but basic art supplies for Janey and Patrick to keep then busy-I know the northern kids across the continent are going stir-crazy.
All-Media Art Paint Set by Artist s Loft (126391) 
Really nice art supplies in a sturdy box.  It comes with directions for all the different types of paints, crayons and pencils.

Coolest Paint Markers-we love these!  If you aren't in the mood for paint clean-up or have littles ones that make it too difficult these are the answer.

This playdoh is the best, and fun for the kids to make.  Smells so good!  Janey loves choosing the flavors at the grocery store.

Can you believe it?  My fourth child I get to teach to drive.  Actually my husband gets to teach to drive-I just can't do it. 
 I remember trying with Abbey-I think I was pregnant, but after about 10 minutes I felt so so car sick with the starts and stops.  I can laugh about it now but I think I was pretty impatient.  We all have our strengths and that's just not one of mine, although I can honestly say I've chilled immensely as the years go on.  The gift of aging I guess, along with wrinkles. :)


How Lucky I Am

Kathleen Mary "Kate" Kelly
Thank your for your prayers-my beautiful, holy, Saint-like friend Kate went to heaven (straight there I know it) on February 12 after a short battle with ovarian cancer.  Kate was the kind of person everyone walked away feeling like they just met someone special.  I met her years ago at a soccer game and we reconnected when we were both diagnosed with cancer and she supported me through all of chemo.  She was the first person I hugged after my last treatment, which was a cry-fest for me.  I could call her and say "I need you" and she would be anywhere I was in a minute.  She was going through her own chemo at the time, and we cried together but she was a never-ending well of hope and strength to me.  She is the one who shaved my head, she is the one who gave me the strength to take off my itchy hat and be bald in public.  (She could pull it off, she was strikingly beautiful.)  She has raised or was in the process of raising (she has 8, with far apart ages like me, that's how we connected) incredible children along with her husband-just one of those amazing families, that humbly set a beautiful example of a Christian family.  I will miss her but I feel her presence always.  I know she is joyful,  I know she sees the plan in it's entirety and is at peace with it all.  The feeling that I 'know' this is so strong I never doubt it.   I think of the quote from one of my favorite people who passed last year- "How lucky we are to feel this way."  How lucky, blessed, filled with gratitude I am that Kate has touched my life for all of our eternity.  I am sure every single person who knew her is saying the same and her life will serve as an inspiration to us all.


Thinking, Playing, Reading

Gorgeous Florida beach.

Frozen Mid-West landscape.
We've been enjoying quiet winter days and a really relaxed (of course still busy) season of life with just three at home.  I've been to Florida twice over the last two months, and feel so lucky to soak up the sun.  The memories are fading from the horrific last winter thankfully.

I am asking for massive prayers for two close friends (Kate and Ann) who are suffering from cancer, and in the middle of chemo and its side effects.  Mothers just like all of us, trying to stay faithful and boy is that difficult when it seems like there are setbacks.  I think I say "thank you" hundreds of times a day in my head, and have learned to say it much more to those around me, as I am incredibly lucky to be finished with that awful experience, but it is bittersweet when I know that there are still battles being fought.


We've been enjoying some fun Christmas gifts-lots of art and Legos.
These sticker-by-number books are so relaxing and fun.

Steaming out clogged sinuses-the goggles were her addition.  All healthy now knock on wood, because boy did we battle colds in December.

Valentine's Dance!  Thought this was cute without being crazy as is the trend it seems.

Dress like your favorite teacher day.

Lots of snow=hot chocolate.

We've been reading so much around here.  Janey and I decided to go through her whole shelf of books this winter, reading every story.  We are making headway!  She is just on the verge of reading herself, but that little "click" I know happens, hasn't happened yet.

Patrick and I are reading Island of the Blue Dolphins.  

I have read and LOVED:

So much good history and a gripping novel-we read this for our book club.

Had to read her other novel next and maybe loved it even more?  I think I read this in one day on vacation.  Loved it.

Our newest book club novel and oh boy, so much to talk about.  Very emotional read-picks up about 1/3 of the way through-wasn't sure I liked it till then and of course, by the end, I was crying and didn't want it to end.  Really incredibly well-written first novel.

Another history lesson, quick read, makes you glad you were plopped onto the earth now, in the age of easy living.