That Time We Overdid Halloween

Our Halloween started in the beginning of the month at Disneyland. The kids were on fall break, so we took our family vacation. I told them I wanted one good picture with the castle and their costumes. Easier said than done. I got about 20 shots like this one.

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This was the best we could do. Mickey’s Halloween Party! We highly recommend it. The kids had tons of fun!

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Jon and I had a little grown up Halloween fun at a murder mystery party with our friends. It was set in the 1920’s in Chicago. Jon was a gangster and I was a lounge singer.

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The kids also wore their costumes to hospice to cheer up their great grandma.

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Then we had our annual carving party with our family. Of course, I only have this blurry camera pic to show you.

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Then after a month of wearing our costumes out, we made it to Halloween and trick-or-treating! Our nephew has had his birthday party on Halloween night for the past couple of years. We all go over to their house and all of the aunts and uncles follow the littles around the neighborhood, while all of the Jr high kids go trick-or-treating on their own.

IMG_5671My sweet girl helped one of her little cousins through most of the night.

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IMG_5679My little football did pretty well too. He loved this house.

IMG_5676They were showing It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown in the driveway, and they had puppies to pet! He did not want to leave. We caught a few glimpses of our big kid too.

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I don’t know when Halloween became such a big holiday for us, but we celebrated it all month long. Hope you had some good family fun too!

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Summer Schedule

Oh, summer!  At this very moment, I am sitting in a bedroom and the temperature is climbing above 80 degrees.  I am propped up on my bed with laptop on lap, because my lovely desk, near the window, is bathed in beautiful sunshine that unfortunately brings an enormous amount of heat with it.  Time to rearrange the furniture.

It’s also time to rearrange the schedule.  Is summer a busy time for you as well?  I always think ahead to summer as lazy days of sunshine and lemonade goodness, but whenever I get here I find lots of busyness.  So, in order to enjoy, and do well with all of my summertime commitments, I will be moving to a summer schedule for blogging.  I will only be here about three times a week, but if your summers are like my summers, you will be here less too.  So, it should all work out.;)

But, I want to leave you with a little more goodness from last summer.  This is a little video of the zipline the grown people made for the little people up at the family place in the woods.  Notice who is riding it towards the end.;)

Swinging into Summer

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This is what the kids did last summer, when we were up in the woods.

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If his sister wasn’t on there, Roc would have been swinging up above the roof.  That’s how he rolls.

This is how a mother’s heart grows strong.

Sometimes unwillingly.

And, because it takes pushes from Dad to get that high, this is also how a wife’s trust in her husband grows strong.

Also, sometimes unwillingly.

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Cheers to summer!  Cheers to pushing the limitations on fun!

Hope you all are swinging into summer beautifully!

Our Love to You

So, we didn’t do Christmas cards this year because we were moving and life was crazy, but instead we worked on a little valentine to send out to our friends and family on Valentine’s Day.  Our friends and family are Ah-mazing and they put up with a lot from us because we are kind of all over the place, so we really wanted to find a way to say, “We love you!  We couldn’t do life without you.”
The alternate title for this little movie is Look What You Can Do with an Iphone, because we just used what we had on hand. We also filmed in our cave of a kitchen.  Hmm, not exactly sure why. But, all that really matters is that we wanted to show some love.

Which brings me to my I-know-it’s-not-Valentine’s-day-point, thank you for stopping by this little corner of internet!  We love having you!  I know most of you are the friends and family, I mentioned above, but in case you aren’t, I just want to say, “Welcome!  Our casa es su casa.”  If you ever have questions, comment or email, we’d love to hear from you!

Easter Candy!

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This isn’t even the start of it!  We have SO much more.  Speaking of more Easter candy, take a look at this poor bunny.

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My husband, Jon, and our daughter searched high and low for a hollow bunny for me for Easter.  (He made me an Easter basket full of Easter candy to celebrate the fact that I could have sweets again.)  I love the hollow ones.  But, because he had to hide it from me (on the top shelf of our closet) poor bunny melted and collapsed on himself.  This is what Easter looks like in the desert!  We have all of our chocolate candy in a crisper in the refrigerator.  That’s right folks!  Instead of vegetables and healthy choices, we have a crisper full of chocolate.  Awesome.

What’s in the case?

Hey all!  It’s time to play that game again.  Guess whatever you want to guess.  Play within your comfort level.  I’ll give you a few clues:  Right around this time of year, we all have some of this stuff.  That is, unless you are a very disciplined and healthy person.  We have WAY too much of it.  I blame the grandparents. 😉

Happy Guessing!  I will post inside pics tomorrow.


Celebration!

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Celebrations seem to be everywhere these days.  Everyone is having babies, graduating, or getting married.  At least, that’s how it feels.  It’s been so great!  We love celebrations around here.  I know it seems like such a no-brainer to celebrate good things, but some of us aren’t as good at it.  We weren’t.  We were always too busy, or we pushed it to the last minute.  We used to do this because it didn’t seem as important as the other things in life, like working, ministry, chores.  You know, the “serious” stuff?

Then, a couple years ago, we took on celebration as a spiritual discipline.  I know, awesome, right?  That’s like taking a college class on remedial partying.  But, we took it seriously.  We read books on the importance of celebration and we searched the Bible for instances when God asked his people to stop, and celebrate what He had done.  It’s all over the place!  Did you know that God has asked us to take the time to celebrate?  He has.  A lot.  And, not just the parties that you and I know, he asked Israelites to take DAYS, weeks sometimes.  Don’t you just love that?  And, then of course there is the fact that Jesus’ first miracle was at a celebration.  Remember when his mom made him turn the water into wine?  God loves celebration.

As I’ve taken celebration on as spiritual practice, I’ve learned how much I need it.  Not only do I need the fun and refreshment it provides, but I need to practice the kind of gratitude that looks like dancing around and being silly.  I need to have times with God where we just laugh together.  Times where we can look back on a long day and we can say, “Look what we did there together.  How did you pull that off?”

What do you get to celebrate with God today?  Find something.  And, do it up!  Bake a cake if you need to. 🙂

Comfort

Comfort is such a funny thing. It takes on such interesting forms. Let’s talk coffee mugs, for example.

Over the years, I have acquired multiple chunky white coffee mugs.  They go with all our chunky white plates.  I love them because they feel like the mugs at an All-Night Diner: sturdy, dependable, full of ceramic integrity.  But, in the morning when I reach for a mug to fill with caffeinated goodness, I do not reach for these.

Embarrassingly, I need to admit that we have TWO shelves of coffee mugs.  These guys come from that huge coffee company that everyone wants to hate but secretly loves.  They come from all over the globe.  They are HUGE so they are perfect for the lazy person’s (Me, me!) morning caffeinating, but they are not my mug of choice either.

These beautiful cups don’t even live in a cabinet.  We’ve run out of room.  They were carried home by hand by my loving husband all the way from India.  I love them and all of their artisanal uniqueness.  We serve tea to company in these.  I do not drink my morning coffee out of them.

So, what kind of mug is my favorite?  I, who think WAY too much about warm beverage accessories and must always stop to give a verbal critique of all the new mugs at Starbucks?

This atrocious monstrosity!  I don’t even know how it made its way into our lives.  I don’t normally keep seasonal things.  I like having simple all-year-round stuff (read: lazy), but this guy isn’t even cute seasonal.  It has a scary nutcracker like mailman who seems to be delivering “birdie food” to birdhouses and wrangling them with a candy cane. YET, every single time, I reach my hand into the cabinet, I shuffle past the cute mugs to pull out this ridiculous thing.  Explain it to me.  I don’t get it.

Side note: if you happen to have a collection of these mugs in your Christmas dishes, please don’t be offended.  This is my FAVORITE mug.  So, I get it.  And, I don’t.  All at the same time.  Let’s just celebrate how much comfort they bring us, okay?