Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hurry UP and Grow UP

As kids a lot of us wish we could hurry up and be a "grown up". For me I couldn't wait to make my own decisions in all the little things and big things too. Our middle son Kotah, is just like I was!

The Christian school our boys attend arranges a SPECIAL DAY at the end of each school year called "Student Teacher Day". The teachers and students vote and nominate 2 kids in each class to be the teacher for the day. This is such an awesome concept the school created. Not only does it recognize students for a job well done, but it also gives a lesson in learning adult responsibilities. Life Academy does an amazing job rewarding students in special ways throughout the year.

Last year, BOTH Titus and Skyler were chosen for each of their classes as STUDENT TEACHERS and they soaked up their moments to shine. You can read about my excitement over the experience here. But this year, Dakotah had his chance to be a grown up! Students are voted based on grades and behavior. We are so HAPPY about this FUN news for our little man!

He was voted in as MR. MOORE for the school day!

He studied his lesson plans the night before.
I woke up that morning to find him like this...
yes, he arranged his own "grown up teacher clothes" for the day.
I have no idea how long he was out here...

Needless to say, I don't think he got much sleep.
So like a lot of grown ups,
we started his day out with a couple sips of coffee.
He was the man.

Wearing a tie just like Daddy...
taking this all so seriously..

He arrived at school to find his desk set in front of the class,
complete with a shiny apple!

He got to teach both a phonics and a math lesson.
However, I believe he was most excited to
put students in TIME OUT.

Once in awhile, it is so important to kneel down eye to eye with our kids, show some mutual human respect, and give them responsibilities that otherwise we would think would be TOO BIG for "just kids" to capably handle.

I am ALWAYS shocked and surprised at what young children can accomplish when we allow them that opportunity. These quick minutes that we hand them responsibility are simply moments for them to dip their little toes into the water of adulthood, swirl around, then shake the water from their feet as they run off and be kids again. However, those brief moments that we trust our kids to do adult things will imprint lessons for life and will swell their little hearts with the happiness of knowing they have their mama and daddy's approval.

This post is linked to: Spotlight Yourself

Friday, May 21, 2010

Some MAJOR weight on my finger

Ummm, so I'm a bit hyper and still bouncing off the walls, driving everyone crazy about my latest LOVE. You know those nauseating people who brag and gush and go on and on ? Well, that's me.

As most of you know, Chris and I just celebrated our 10th anniversary! It was exciting and a pretty big deal in our little life. AND....Chris got me a NEW, sparkly, bright, massively huge {slight exaggeration} diamond ring for a way to honor the milestone. All the work of putting up with that crazy boy (my husband) deserves a BIGGER diamond, right?

Quality photo compliments of my mobile phone, haha

My first wedding diamond was 1/2 carat but had all the special ratings to make a gorgeous diamond. I will always treasure it and I hope to now put that original diamond in a necklace.

But.....!! My new ring is  2 carats and I am SO EXCITED. It is brilliantly perfect and I'm in love. Jewelry is VERY difficult to capture in photos...grrr....We are getting a custom band/mounting made for it with all the special touches I want. So, for now I have a traditional band to wear the diamond on while I wait. I'm a happy girl.

In summary, YES, I'm shallow.

And YES, diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend.

And being a lover of diamonds has never felt better!

Oh...and that Bible verse about "NOT" storing up my treasures on earth...I'm not. I plan on taking this with me...

Thanks for indulging my little Show N' Tell. My excitement was bubbling over!

This post is linked to: Spotlight Yourself, Inspired Room, Lovin' It

Monday, May 17, 2010

Supper Solutions: Meals in Fast-forward

I've had three babies. All in a row. So I know that feeling of craziness after you arrive home from the hospital with a precious little thing who steals your sanity and your sleep that you once so freely enjoyed.

To prepare for those trying first weeks of being a new mom I made 30-35 meals in advance shortly before I had each baby. The idea was from my mom who did Once a Month Cooking a handful of times while I was growing up. I have done it only 3 times: before I had each baby. It was a brilliant solution for those seasons of my life! Basically, my mom and I followed this cookbook:Once-A-Month Cooking. We shopped and cooked for 2 1/2 days and ended up with 30-35 wonderfully prepared meals each in our freezers!

A few years later I discovered a new business trend that used the system I explained above EXCEPT in Fast-forward Mode!! What once took 2 1/2 days of very hard work now could be accomplished in a couple of hours. Supper Solutions is the franchise in our area that I experimented with and was instantly sold. I have gone there several times over the last few years and enjoyed every moment (and every meal!).

The food was delicious,

the atmosphere was pleasing,

and the satisfaction I felt
when I filled my freezer with dinners was IDEAL.

Here are some photos from a past visit and that time I had two adorable helpers!

Skyler concentrating on forming the burgers

Checking the meals off...
Titus is a serious chef

He is camera shy but ready to work
And when it's time to hang up your apron,
you have more time to go be with your family.

Explore your area for a meal prep kitchen near you!
And let me know if you're already doing it...

Attention Western Slope Locals:
Our local Supper Solutions is having a

Tuesday, May 18th &
Wednesday, May 19th
1:00pm to 6:00pm

Be there or be square!

For more ideas: The Inspired Room, I'm Lovin It, Do It Yourself Day, Works for Me Wednesday

Thursday, May 13, 2010

a DECADE down with my Baby!

"For Better or Worse, til Death do us Part..."

If there is one thing in my life that I treasure above all else, it's my household of boys! We are a team in this little life journey and it is surely sweet to have them! What makes our FAMILY possible is the marriage that I share with my BEST FRIEND! Chris and I are celebrating a DECADE of marriage today. Today marks 10 years together. We are both {extra} excited to celebrate.

I was your classic little girl, the one who twirled around in her pink bedroom, dreaming of a someday family, with a strong protector, and a little house with shutters and white picket fence. My childhood was beautiful but was instantly interrupted as I fast forwarded to a full-on adult before age eighteen. Quickly, I faced the world, but thankfully not alone. My always supportive family stood in as the strong foundation and Chris took my hand as my new husband.

Neither of us wanted to be the "teen pregnancy" victims. We were both excited and scared to tackle life as we began our American dream as ADULTS. Our ambition coupled together was thrilling as we bought our first house when we were eighteen, Chris became a stockbroker by age 21, and we had three beautiful boys before my 21st birthday. The successes all of us experience in life is like the frosting on a cupcake. It is meant to be savored and enjoyed. People put their trophies on the shelf to remember the euphoric feeling of reaching success. Each one of us has moments of success to celebrate, a time where excitement can't be contained, and it's meant to be shared with loved ones. That's one of the beautiful things in life.

(click photos to enlarge)
Chris and I were two normal kids
with a
not normal love for each other.

However, life is an artful combination of experiences and lessons. A trying season hit our young family as my innocence was instantly lost and pain pressed in on us from every side. The pressure of the hurt was suffocating and almost crushed us. Chris and I are deeply passionate people. We love fiercely and that can never be duplicated. The passion during this time threw us in circles, we were spinning with no direction. The magic carpet that we once rode on fell from underneath and gravity tumbled us to the ground. There were those still moments lying on the hard dusty ground when I truly didn't think we would recover. In my infinite mind it didn't seem possible to repair the heartache and move forward. But one step at a time we began a new journey. I pressed forward with little hope, no trust in us, and cowardly injured. This song held me countless times. Chris amazed me at every turn, with his steady and quietly secure actions forward. We made a choice. A choice to breathe and a choice for new life. We chose OUR FAMILY.

I cannot image walking hand in hand in life with anyone else.
I have found my best friend.

The life lessons I learned are golden treasures, tucked into my pocket, which I will carry with me for always.
I learned...
to allow the pain in to help mold me as a human.

to trust in the new small joys and delight in them.

to cling to my husband as my best friend.

to never let go of what God has blessed us with as we made our promises to each other.

And I learned to utilize the strength within,
press on, and never, never, never give up!

I'm SO happy God held us in his arms. Because now we are living life after the rain. And I truly didn't see anything from that dark point ever looking happy. I actually didn't have hope for the future! However these last few years have been the happiest times of my entire life. Not only does it look good, but it feels fabulous, and I get literally giddy with excitement of the blessings in our life and marriage! I am astounded at this miracle but NEVER take it for granted.

Today Chris and I are best friends, just like the day we got married 10 years ago. We both know that we are soul mates and that life with each other simply can't get any better. He is my hero and I am his special girl. Of course today is a day of immense celebration....we've done a decade and we can't wait for 50 more. We are excited about each day. Life may once again bring some pain, but this time I have my best friend and LOVER by my side. Chris "gets" me....he just does.

And like Chris constantly says to me about our marriage.. from the classic Jerry Maguire movie, "You Complete Me".


And Chris really did "have me at hello"....

I guess me and my boy just fit together. We understand that the bond we have was built through literally growing up together, making mistakes together, and living together through the consequences. We were made for this life. And life is good.

Cheers to 10 years...
to the successes and to the failures.

This post is linked to: I'm Lovin It, The Inspired Room

Monday, May 10, 2010

Big Love from my Boys

It's so fun when I get to be a LUCKY GIRL. We actually don't usually do much for Mother's/Father's Day but this year my three boys (with the help of their Daddy) got me a new RING! The three of them scampered into my room this morning with SUPER SIZE smiles spread across their faces. They all three stood in a line and with wide eyes presented my gift. It was an especially BIG DEAL because we usually don't do gifts for this holiday.

It's from a recent new
favorite company of mine, LeVian.

LeVian Jewelery is absolutely gorgeous and I want an entire collection! They are from Israel. LeVian has the signature on chocolate diamonds and they also use a lot of strawberry gold. They call their the mix PINK CHOCOLATE! Strawberry gold is such a warm, happy alternative to the traditional white or yellow gold. I feel so spoiled and excited. Quality motivates me and propels me forward in life and jewelry is one of those girl things that make me smile inside out.

This definitely makes all those sleepless nights of baby cries worth it. {wink}

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I also wanted to share a bit more of what my little heartthrobs did for me last month on my birthday. I'm not an early bird so I got to sleep in on my birthday. I woke up to the sound of VERY loud dishes. When I walked out, I saw all the boys anxiously whispering, cabinets all open, and their little feet moving about the kitchen. They had set me a special table for my birthday....ALL BY THEMSELVES!! I was so touched by it.

I was one thousand percent amazed at how 3 little boys could make a table look so beautiful with ZERO ADULT help!

And check this out! I was a super proud Mama to see how the place settings were all quite proper, with everything in the perfect place.

I delighted in their creativity and in the way they spoke my love language that day.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Oh, and Kotah has also been wearing my FAVORITE shirt lately. I told him he could get a tattoo before he moves out... ONLY if it was the classic Mom Heart Tattoo. We will see what happens...

Sooo, I learned a few things from little kids lately:

1. Get excited from my heart when I GIVE.

2. Give in a special way that speaks the person's love language.

3. Put passion into all gifts and acts of service that I do for others.

This post is linked to: I'm Lovin It Inspired Room, Tablescape Thursday, Show and Share Day

Monday, May 3, 2010

{Please Help} Spring Cleaning

Organizing I LOVE...
Decorating makes me happy...
but cleaning is always a nightmare.

I dislike it immensely. My super cool husband has hired house cleaners for me OFF AND ON throughout our marriage. Sadly, this is the OFF time. I used to think he did this for me because he loved me so much, but looking back it's possible he did it so he could exist in a peaceful and clean home. *wink* Who knows?

image used from google search

I will procrastinate on cleaning at every opportunity. But it's spring and the fresh air in the open windows is showing the clean beauty around us and now our home sweet home is begging for some fresh clean lovin'.

I need some ideas on how to remove hard water stains from glass shower doors. We already do the "squeegee-thing". I always manage to forget to squeegee the doors after each use, but my husband always remembers thankfully! So, the water is instantly removed 50% of the time.

I'm ready for your advice!
Because at this point I'm longing for
these GORGEOUS ruffle
Anthropologie shower curtains instead of the glass doors.

Regardless of whether my shower doors get cleaned or not,
I desperately NEED these curtains!

Or these work too...

image used from Anthropologie.com

Oops, once again.... I got sidetracked with decorating instead of cleaning. Please share your ideas on how to remove hard water stains from glass shower doors.

I have the CUTE and GIRLY cleaning gear!

I got these Gloveables last year.
They are sold in a variety of colors and are super fun.
Diva Housewife!

I found these colorful scrubbers at
the Target dollar section.

Anyone else a fan of Mrs. Meyers?
If you use any other unique or cute cleaning supplies, I would love to hear.
And, in addition to the hard water stain advice, ALL cleaning tips are welcome!

And once I get your advice,
I'm sure I will be motivated to clean...(??)