Monday, June 29, 2015

Starting the Week Right

It's always a little more challenging to get out of bed on a Monday. This morning was no exception. But, with a morning class at the gym that I usually attend with the boys, I had my incentive to get us up, dressed, fed, and out the door. 

After my workout, we decided to spread some Monday morning cheer by picking up a coffee for Braden when we dropped off his lunch at work. Just for fun I covered it in hearts and potentially embarrassing loving messages. ;)

As an added bonus, there was some construction going on outside of his building. Ryder was so excited to watch the digger at work.

One of the added bonuses of a quick trip to the base was a free airshow for Ryder as well as many more airplanes to admire. 

Happy Daddy, happy Ryder, sleepy baby, fit Mama. 

How are you setting yourself up for success this week?

Happy Monday!  :)

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Weekend Happenings

We're experiencing our first full summer here in Fallon. As you can tell from our forecast, it's been a warm one!

We visited a new store this last week, picking up a few things for an upcoming camping trip. Ryder wasn't sure what to think of the moose.

He did love the monster truck however. This was his first time on a ferris wheel as well, though I didn't capture the moment as I was in the coffee shop feeding Lynden.

After a brief hiatus, due to overworked husbands, the summer supper club was back at it this week. This time we had a Greek night, my first time making tzatziki to go with our colourful kabobs and panzanella. 

Having friends over helped put a dent in Braden's triple chocolate birthday cheesecake. It also brought smiles from Lynden and hysterical giggles from Ryder. <3

And we started our Saturday off celebrating a dear friend's baby. Lynden was pleased with the attention lavished by all of the young ladies while Ryder played with friends in the yard.

Happy Weekend All!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

My Latest Pinterest Project

With a little extra time these last few days, I've been able to get started on a new project that's been on my mind for a few months already. There are a few spots on our dining room table where the finish is worn through, so placemats are in order. 

I chose some brightly coloured fabric to match my Fiesta dishes last month when a friend was in town. This week I finally got to measuring, cutting, and sewing.  They're not quite finished, but my goal is to finish them in time for Braden's birthday dinner this weekend. 

If any of you crafty readers out there are interested, I found the VERY SIMPLE tutorial on Pinterest. Here's the link. 

We also said goodbye to the 3 roosters we got in our batch of chicks. I was worried that the neighbours were going to say something about their early morning wake up calls (yikes!) and so we passed them along to go live in the country. 

Ryder was excited to get some treats and 'creature stickers' from the cousins. Oh yes, I also got back the car keys I left in Canada.  Oops! Thanks Jo!

These two sillies are just their typical selves. There's nothing quite like brotherly love. <3

We've made a couple of trips to the library recently to take advantage of some of the summer reading club programs. Brings back memories of biking to the Mt Lehman library for Nancy Drew books and Tintin comics all summer long as a kid. 

It makes my heart so happy to see Ryder loving books. George is a current favourite and he was given this book at the library as a reward for all of the books we read at home last week.

And of course my baby just keeps on growing. Look at the little guy holding his head up so well!  Some days this is how I can best get my work accomplished, and I don't mind. :)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

5 Ways to Honour Your Kids' Dad This Father's Day

On this special day, I've been mulling over some thoughts on fathers. So for what it's worth, here's what I've come up with for myself to pursue. May it encourage you as you consider the special Dads in your life. <3

5 Ways to Honour Your Kids' Dad This Father's Day:

1. Make Him the Most Important Man in Your Life

What? What does this have to do with being a Dad? Well, in this age of child-centered families, we've taken the emphasis from the life-long marriage relationship to the temporary parent-child relationship. So wives, to make him a better father to your children, make that permanent relationship the priority - not only does it give your children an environment in which to thrive but it also requires giving up some of the energy you would otherwise expend on your children, to building up your marriage.

2. Speak Well of Him in Your Home

Children, both young and old, are SO perceptive. They pick up both on what you say and the attitude with which you express it. When Daddy isn't home (as we military wives know so well) speak well of him. When Ryder asks where Daddy is during the day, my standard answer is, "Daddy's working. Daddy works so hard to take care of us." From an early age, build that expectation for and appreciation of hard work. One of the first things that comes to mind when I think of my Dad was just how hard I saw him work, sometimes in terrible weather and not feeling great, yet he was committed to working his hardest to provide for our family. And when I talk to our children about him, I'll be sure to speak well of his work ethic too.

With my Dad when I was in college.

It may not be work, it may be some other character quality you choose, whatever it is, speak well of your children's Daddy in the home.

3. Speak Well of Him in Public

Not only do your children hear and perceive how you honour their father, your family and friends are sure to pick up on how you speak of your husband. Do you casually participate in 'husband bashing' with your girlfriends? Maybe laughing about how he botched some household task - like loading the dishwasher or getting the kids ready for something. It may seem harmless enough, but every instance of seemingly harmless belittling chips at that foundation of your relationship - that relationship that provides stability and an example for your children in their future relationships.

4. Encourage Him Personally

What I've said above only goes so far if you don't let him know personally, daily that you're proud of him and you love him. What does he love to do? Tell him he's great at it! Spend time learning about his hobbies from him. Join him if you can. Sometimes encouragement is hard to give. Sometimes you're just not feeling it. Sometimes you really have to dig deep to find something to commend. Words of affirmation go so far though. They give hope. They inspire. Pray for him. Pray with him. Let him know how proud you are of him as a Dad to your children.

5. Let Him Lead

Oooh, isn't this one hard? It can be so easy to undermine Dad's authority. Well, Dad said no screen time, but if you're good, I'll give you 10 minutes. It can be so easy (especially in the home after he's been gone for a long day of work) to think that he just doesn't understand that way you operate things (and maybe he doesn't). But talk to him about that, not your kids. It sounds crazy in our culture, but the biblical home is one in which Dad leads and Mom functions in her role as helper. Be on the same page in your parenting, weigh in and discuss your ideas and goals together, but ultimately, let him lead the family.

My two boys are blessed to have a wonderful God fearing Daddy who loves and nurtures them. On this Fathers Day, I couldn't be more thankful for the Father Braden is to our boys.

Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ryder and the John Deere

A quick call from some friends this afternoon led to a fun farm adventure. It's time for the alfalfa to be cut and so we headed out to watch and ride along.

What a beautiful day it was. You'd never be able to tell from this picture that we live in the middle of the desert. With the recent rain and full canals, the fields were all deliciously green. 

Ryder was over the moon to 'drive' the John Deere. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Those Sanctifying Moments

They happen every day. We all probably refer to them in different ways. Times when our patience is tested. Moments when even our faith is put to the test. 

Over time, I've come to realize that it's not the situation itself that is so much the problem, but how I choose to respond that matters.

Today is a prime example...

I had my grocery lists written out, coupons printed, and diaper bag fully stocked. I was all ready for our bi-monthly trip to Reno. We were up and out the door by around 8 and I was feeling good. It's a good thing we left early too, because a nearly potty trained toddler, asked for and got 6 different trips to 'the potty.'

Target - check
JoAnn's - check
Whole Foods - check
Costco - check
Gas Station - check

That's how I thrive - checking things off of my list. We did great. The kiddos were cheerful, we ran from our air-conditioned car to air-conditioned stores and had a great day of it. By 2, we were well on our way home with both boys sleeping soundly in the backseat.

And then it happened...the car overheated.

I had been watching the temperature gauge, after seeing it climb on our recent road trip and had even asked hubby if I should maybe just take the truck instead. But that little needle didn't look back and all of a sudden I started to hear a rattle. I pulled over and the engine died before I had even come to a stop beside the highway. 

Flashers On

Oh boy!

After a quick call to Braden, help was on its way - but his work is on the opposite side of town and I knew it would take a little while for him to go home, get the truck and meet up with us. Sigh....  The temperature inside the car climbed as we sat there in the baking sun. Before long both Ryder and Lynden were awake and getting antsy. 

Yes, I was the crazy lady nursing her baby by the side of the road when a kind truck driver pulled over and offered to help. 

Hurry up, honey! 

I can tell you the initial thoughts running through my mind:
1. Why couldn't I have just taken the truck? I knew this would happen.
2. Now? Really?! I have all kinds of cold food in the back that needs to get into a fridge.
3. Great!  Now the kids are going to be cranky for the whole rest of the day without a decent nap.

It wasn't pretty.

But then I caught myself. Here I was grumbling and complaining inwardly when I didn't really have it so bad. 

1. Braden was in town and though at work, he was able to leave and come rescue us.
2. Today was 91 degrees (33 for my Canadian friends) but it's supposed to get up to 100 later this week.
3. I had remembered to bring the big cooler along and the cold food was not going to spoil in the extra hour we had to wait without AC.
4. We were only about a 10 minute drive from home, not a whole hour away, which would have been the case if it had happened in Reno.
5. We were safe. The car died on a not very busy highway where we could safely pull over and wait for help. Not too remote, but not so busy that we were in any danger.

I catch myself doing these mental evaluations every so often. I suppose the goal is to one day get them so ingrained that I think these grateful thoughts before allowing the complaining ones any place in my mind, but it's all a process.

That's the way sanctification works. These trials - some big life changing blows and others fairly trivial, like my hiccup today - are all part of the bigger picture and God intends to use them to bring about growth in my life.

So instead of whining, I'm going to choose joy in this moment, and hopefully I can remember this lesson and save myself the trouble next time. But if not, I can remind myself of these truths:

Trials are going to come and are not without purpose.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4 ESV)

What I have is good, from the hand of a loving God.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 ESV)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Back At It

This was our first full week back home, getting back to life as usual. Here are a few glimpses into the last few days. 

Ryder has been loving his new construction memory game - a gift from the cousins before he left. Since we've been playing with it, he's correctly identified a few different pieces of heavy equipment we've seen while out and about. 

A big digger was spotted after finishing up at the gym on Wednesday and a large crane later on in the week on a quick trip to Safeway.

Sweet Baby Lynden is still just so happy and content. He weathered many hours on the road like a champ and is so much stronger and better at holding up his head on his own. Oh my sweet boy, slow down....

The sun has been out and so we make a point of early morning play time outside before the heat of the day sets in. When Lynden accompanies us, it's hard for Ryder to leave his side - he'd much rather be playing with and entertaining his little brother. <3

I came home to 6 new orders at my Easy Shop. What is it about holidays that brings in the multiple orders, leaving me only a short time to get everything completed and in the mail. Thankfully, I can get a lot of sewing done during nap time and Ryder is going through a book 'reading' phase, so he'll come sit beside me and we talk about and identify each object in the pictures while I work. Love my little bookworm!

In search of a way to beat the heat while getting projects checked off of my to-do list, I put Ryder in his swimsuit and we 'washed' the truck together. 

And two nights this week, we've been able to enjoy fresh lettuce from the garden - our first harvest of the year!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Until Next Time

Saying goodbye is never fun. But, our time ran out and we needed to get on the road again. We rounded out our Canadian holiday with a breakfast visit at Oma's - saving the best for last!

Ryder tried on a few of Grandma's latest knitting projects and snuggled in for story after story. I made off with a few of our family history books and documents that I will enjoy going through in the coming days. 

The cousins were all played with one last time, given great big 'loveys' and waved to as we pulled out. 

Ryder said bye to the 'big doggie.'

Our drive home was fairly uneventful. We visited Bob's Red Mill in Portland, OR - though the factory wasn't open for tours during the weekend - and stocked up on all kinds of pantry essentials, including 25lb bags of flour and oats. I suppose I'll console myself with baking in the coming days. :)

Ah, what a great time we had with family! It hasn't happened often enough and I'm already looking forward to the next time. Love this sweet sis and her beautiful family. <3