Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Beautiful Little Things

I definitely have a thing for color and for vintage finds... so when you put the two together, my eyes glaze over a bit and my heart skips. Just plain happy goodness. I love this shelf in the playroom (which is actually the little boys' shared room, but we've always called it the "playroom," as all the toys are in there!) I keep my sweet little "happy finds" here, although anyone is welcome to get them down and play at any time.
These things make me smile!

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful,
or believe to be beautiful.
~William Morris

Teeny little "children of the world" Matryoshka dolls. Love.

~ Jack-in-the-box ~ Wooden train ~ vintage books ~
~xylophone ~ tambourine ~ Rubik's cube ~

I find these things beautiful.
Thankfully, my kids also find them "useful," so they meet both criteria for my house. ;)  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fitness Friday Color Love

Our homeschool group is extremely active, and there are a ton of opportunities around us. One activity that we always try to attend is Fitness Friday, every other week. It is so organized, so-oo fun, and soo-ooo great during the cold winter months. We were given access to the John Brown University gymnasium, and have plenty of space for our group there. This past Friday, the group played volleyball and, in addition, the younger groups had parachute time, which is always a favorite.
I'm so thankful for Fitness Friday and the amazing lady who leads it!
Obviously, we all need physical activity to stay healthy and get our hearts pumping. Getting a good workout in also boosts endorphins, so it helps with moods (and who couldn’t use a little help with that?) Staying active increases a child's strength and helps with his body image as he grows, too. I don’t know about you, but on days when I get a great workout, I just feel better and more comfortable with my body in general. I want my kids to feel that way, too! Plus, childhood obesity is really a big problem for our country. It's important to form good habits early on. If they LIKE biking, running, jumping on the trampoline, skating, swimming, and other sports, from a young age, they're far more likely to keep up many of the same things as they get older. Start young!

As I wasn't signed up as a volunteer this time around, I chatted with other mamas and snapped pictures of random cuteness, like these little snugglers, below. Dots, stripes, pink sneakers and red sweaters. Plus, ya know, balloons are always wonderful. I'm a sucker for bright colors and patterns.
My energetic little bopper...
And my other energetic bopper, streaking by...
Then there were these two cutie pies (and my dear friend Bridg, in the background.)
Oh, boy, she's chewing him out for something!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday Moments

Recent captured moments~
My friend's adorable munchkin, munchin' away on his apple of the day.
Can't beat 70 degrees in January!! After school, we met at the park and let the kids run off energy. My Oldest Boy had some bonding time with our friend's pup.

Starting early at archery! My Youngest, taking aim.
Yes, I need to repaint the door. Still. It makes me smile. :)
Serious bedhead kitty lovin'~

 Aaaaaaand, seemingly unrelated, but definitely a happy moment for me, I dressed up in one of my favorite stripey dresses and stripey tights, and spent a night out with my sisters this past weekend.
Life is good in stripes!

What's a Monday without a game of Sorry? It's our Go-To game!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Little Artists and Art!

Look at my precious, eager little art students!
I love working with kids. They believe in themselves. They appreciate their talent. They try hard, encourage each other, and put their own unique spin on everything they do.

“Every child is an artist,
the problem is staying an artist when you grow up”
– Pablo Picasso

I found I could say things with color and shapes
that I couldn't say any other way -
things I had no words for.
--Georgia O'Keeffe

I love that my children pursue art on their own,
in the car, while I read aloud, or just during "Quiet Time" in their rooms.
Here are some of their most recent pictures:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cousin Stations

I had my little niece and nephew yesterday, on their day off school. What do you do with 6 kids, when it's too cold to spend much time outside? Stations! We built Legos, played with Playdough...

My Oldest Boy was kind enough to make dough birds for his little cousin. Sweetness.

Dino station, below...
And weapons... because a station area isn't complete without swords, right?
Half an hour to play Just Dance...
The stuffed animal battle, and warrior Scarlett, with her pan shields.
Snack time!
Honestly, I could do stations and crafts with oodles of kids nearly every day! Fun stuff!!  

Friday, January 18, 2013

Colorful toddler in our colorful home

We've been spending some time watching this tiny sweetheart.
My ovaries ache, my heart melts, my spirit is happy.
Kids make me happy!

My own sweet "baby" (okay, he's a kindergartner now) did everything in his power to make the little princess giggle with delight.

Oh, the cuteness!!
She loved this particular wooden block, setting it atop her head, and declaring, "princess."
(heart melts)

Then my Middlest Boy got all amazing and artsy, and created this:

His own personal wrestler body. Baahaaa! Such incredible creativity!

Those eyes!
Kids truly are the greatest gift God gives, whether your own or a friend's, or a random child in the store. They are the future.
Make them feel as special as they are.
Smile, play. Forgive. Show grace and humility.
And I'll say it again:
Recognize the special moments for what they are.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Texas internal debate

I love Texas.

However, we've decided (or re-decided) NOT to pursue moving there.
Which, let me tell you, is tough.
I love their laws, their oceans, their heat.
I love the art and quirky shops along the Riverwalk.
I love St. John's Island, and South Padre Island.
We have had wonderful vacation after wonderful vacation there!!
I passionately love the ocean.
I went through a lot of internal debate (naturally, in the form of doodling.)
Are you tired of the big city?
Yes? Move to Texas!
No? Move to Texas!
Because, ya know, it has the best of both worlds.

Even a little debate going on here, for football fans (which I really am not, but this was a husband-convincing-measure. He may not love the Cowboys. He may not love the Longhorns. But, boy, does he dislike the Sooners, and that right there could almost be reason enough for a Texas move!)
Need an ocean? Move to Texas!
Seriously, Port Aransas was fabulous.
South Padre was AMAZING.

The ocean beckons me with her siren song.

But, after much soul-searching, and self-examination....
We've come to realize that, while TX is an amazing vacation spot for our family, our hearts are here among the Ozarks, the rolling hills and lush green beauty of the Natural State.

All the things we love-- camping, hiking, caving, rafting, mountain can all be done right here, right out our own back door. And THIS is wonderful. I don't want to take it for granted. Everyday with this kind of beauty around me, is a kind of dream in itself.
Oh, yeah. This is where it's at.
This is where we've made our home, and will continue to explore the amazing wilderness around us.

Texas, you are fabulous, and we'll still visit often.