Friday, November 14, 2014

No place like home

How has it possibly been 2 months since my last post?  Well, I suppose I know how it is possible. Homeschool, preschool, and soccer, just to name a few, have definitely made it busy around here lately.  I thought it was time for a bit of an update on life in Colorado!

First of all, little man had his first dentist appointment and did a wonderful job.  Turns out he has great teeth!  Unfortunately, look like his big sis is going to have some problems in the orthodontic world.  Mouth that is too small.  I'll blame it on her daddy.  Ha, actually no both her dad and her mom had braces as kids. She was doomed. No cavities for anyone though! Yay!

We spend our days working hard on school these days.  I love that homeschool is flexible.  We can do school downstairs, at the dining room table, or we take the occasional trip to Starbucks! I"ve also been tutoring for our Classical Conversation Community every Thursday and have come to really enjoy it!  I'm thankful for the opportunity to be able to tutor and introduce the new information to the kids for the upcoming week.  It has definitely made life a bit more busy too!
Stamping her words and then writing them

Her first math worksheet. She was so proud.  

Soccer came to a close at the end of October, and we were all a bit sad. The weather was absolutely gorgeous the entire season and the girls played hard. It was their second season playing together and you could tell they were really starting to learn the basics of the game!  This girl is already asking when the spring season begins. 

I took a short trip to Dayton in October and it was so wonderful to see friends and give lots and lots of hugs. 


I did a Norwex party while I was there and not only got to talk about Norwex, but also go to see many other friends there and give more hugs.  It was awesome.  I miss the girls I worked with so very much. It was great to see them. It is hard to believe that I haven't been working for 2 whole years! Wow, time flies.  Here is a pic of some of my favorite Norwex products.  Love em.  They make cleaning so much faster, easier, and take out all chemicals.  Ok, enough about that.  I could talk for hours. 

We had a lot of fun as a family this fall. We visited a pumpkin patch, carved pumpkins, made homemade apple butter and applesauce, and spent time with neighbors on Halloween.

This is the only picture I got of their costumes.  Brandt was not so happy about all of the scary things. Mostly due to a house on the corner that literally had someone chasing kids with an ax. REALLY PEOPLE? This mama was not happy!!  Oh well, we got to teach the kids about pretend things and how not be scared. Let's hope he's not scarred for life right?

We had a very special visitor in November! Uncle Mark came to visit for an entire weekend.  Josh and he got a day to go to fun stuff together and they let us join them the next day for a trip to Rocky Mountain National Forest.  It was a great weekend!!

So, how is life in Colorado? I would say this month was definitely a turning point for us.  It is finally, after almost 11 months, starting to feel a bit like home.  There are still days when I'm really missing Dayton and our life and the people there, but I"m slowly able to become more content with where God has us now.  I"m excited for what He has in store and for what he's doing in our lives.  To be honest, I was not at the point 6 months ago, but I knew God was trying to grow me and teach me more things about Him.  I'm thankful for how far he has brought our family and for what he's already done in the last 11 months.  Several friends told me to give it time.  They told me it would take at least a year to feel settled.  I knew it, but my heart didn't want to deal with it.  I wanted to run away.  Thankfully, God is faithful.  So here we are in Colorado almost 11 months later.  I don't have to use the GPS everywhere I go anymore.  We have established doctors, eye doctors, and dentists.  I have a Colorado drivers license and am not covered in paperwork for insurance changes and all other paperwork involved in moving.  We have great neighbors and a great small group (thank the Lord for them!) and a church family.  We are beyond thankful for where God has placed us and for the home he has given us. It's funny, but we count our wood fireplace as a gift from God.  The very first cold night we had we made a big fire. We sat in the dining room and marveled out how it helped our place feel like home.  It was good to say that.  We were home. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

This and That

Just a little on life these days...

We now have a milk man. Holy goodness this milk is delicious.  
He also delivers chocolate milk and orange juice. YUM

We took the kids out to celebrate Brandt's 2 year anniversary of the day we picked him up in ET. We asked him what he wanted. Of course he shouted, "pizza!"  We laugh so hard at how much he loves pizza, because he absolutely hated it when he first arrived in America!  We are a little fearful at how much pizza he can put down.  What will it look like when he is a teenager?  Help!

This girl is growing up too fast.

If Starbucks stands beside the pizza place, it is assumed you also go to Starbucks to get a treat!

The kids and I went to see Dolphin Tale 2.  There were reclining seats. 
 I think I could have just taken a nap right there in the theater.

To me, the beginning of September equals fall candles, pumpkin flavored everything, 
and making lots of food with apples.  Amaya helped me whip up an apple pie. 

So far I've done 2 crockpots full of applesauce. It isn't the quickest way to make my applesauce, but until I get that nifty Kitchen Aid contraption it'll have to suffice!  I"m hoping to make a lot more!

This year was my very first experience with snow in September.  It gave me a good excuse to break out my new sweatpants from Breck.
They are ridiculously comfortable and were a great find.  
Don't you just love my pink comfy socks?  
Needless to say it was 80 degrees again the very next weekend. 

I"m trying to step it up a notch in the running department. My goal is run a 10K sometime soon.  Our neighbors let us borrow their treadmill, which means I can run in the middle of the week.  I've also upped my weekend runs to 4 miles.  I'm still pretty slow, but I decided to concentrate more on distance right now than speed.

These two love our Saturday morning runs as a family. I loved how they held hands after our run this weekend.  They love each other (most days).

Josh ran the Tough Mudder again this year! From what I can tell, 
he had just as much fun (crazy right?) this year as last!!

The kids began Awana a few weeks ago. This guy was proud that he learned his first Bible verse!


We love fall soccer! It is getting more fun as the girls get older and learn more 
about how to play the game. 

He picked out this shirt to watch the soccer game. Proud mama.

We attended our first Colorado Rapids game!  We are definitely going back again.

Thanks to my awesome husband the gutters are clean, the grass is mowed, and the garage is clean!  He always gets that look when I say, "I thought we could organize this weekend!"  I think he secretly want to run away, but he knows how happy it makes me. 

That is a little of what is going on in CO this month!  I really do believe that God has been teaching me more and more each day that life is not all about me.  Being a servant isn't just a once a week thing. It is a way of life.  It is making sure that life is focused on others (my husband, kids, neighbors, and those I see every day) and not on myself. That is so much easier said than done, and there are many days that I fail miserably.  After being here 8 months I expected to know WHY God had us here and to feel like it was worth it TO ME.   I felt him whispering to me in church today saying, "wait and trust. Start focusing on who you can serve instead of why you are here and how much you miss home. Focus on the fact that It Is Well and be still" So, I'm praying that God can help me do just that.  I'm thankful for His grace and the fact that He knows I will not be perfect.  I might mess up a lot but I'm praying that He can use me through it all.  That being said, I've been listening to this song a lot. In fact, I bought the song the very first time I heard it.  I love the words and the message.  Until next time!

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Beginning

Wow!  It can't possibly be two weeks into school already can it?  Where does the time go?  The weekend before school began we had a special visitor come visit!  PapPap flew in on Thursday, and we kept him going the entire time he was here.  We were able to show him a little bit of everything from the Denver Zoo to Rocky Mountain National Forest!

Breakfast as Snooze is a MUST

Josh and his dad enjoying the Rockies (um er Reds) game together

Rocky Mountain National Park

The kids were very excited to see some wildlife.

The day after PapPap flew home it was time for the first day of school. On Mondays, Amaya has her all day program offered through the public school specifically for homeschoolers.  She loved every second!  I'm so glad that she has the opportunity to attend the school.  

On Tuesday we got down to business. This girl works hard.  So far she is doing well.  We've had our moments of not wanting to complete work, but for the most part we push through.  She says that right now her favorite subjects are Math and History.  This year in Classical Conversations we are on Cycle 3, which is U.S. History.  I"m so glad we get to start with U.S. History.  Amaya absolutely loves her Classical Conversations History sentences and timeline. I've been trying to read a book each week that goes along with her history and she eats it up big time.  I must admit I am enjoying it as well.

Reviewing our states/capitals during our co op time on Thursdays.

Working hard at home

One week later B started school!  He was all smiles and went right into class with no problems.  He has already made two friends and seems to be adjusting well.  He is currently practicing tracing letters and lines and learning to cut independently.  We are so thankful for the preschool we found when we moved here 8 months ago.  Not only it is close to our house, but we love the teachers and staff.  

I think that the hardest part of homeschooling right now is finding our groove and figuring out when to fit all of the other household chores in.  When to get the laundry and cleaning and cooking in becomes a bit more challenging when you are focusing on teaching!  The first two weeks reminded me a lot of my times teaching in public school.  It was tough getting back into the routine and finding what works best, but over time we always found it.  Then it was usually time for a break and we'd get out again!  I think we'll find our groove at home too and learn to be flexible in all of it. After all, that is definitely one pro to homeschooling! Speaking of breaks, the 3 day weekend for Labor Day was wonderful.  We had the opportunity to get out and go hiking.  We found Eldorado State Park this time. It is just on the outskirts of Boulder and fairly close to home, which was a plus.  It is also absolutely gorgeous.  Even with the flood damage from last year it has incredible views.  We chose a moderate/difficult hike and Amaya kept up every step of the way.  The way up was quite a climb and she was the leader of the pack!  You can also walk by way of Boulder Creek and take time to watch all of the rock climbers.  I think we could have stayed all day, but BOTH of our kids were ready for a nap after the hike. 

Her favorite part of hiking is finding rocks to climb.

Having views like this make you keep going up!

We are thankful that daddy had an extra day off after traveling last week.  None of us are used to the travel and we all were slightly grumpy upon his return. Thankfully the grumpiness didn't last too long.  We are really going to be starting the busy season over the next few months.  Every single time I get out on a run and start talking to God I feel like I hear him whispering to me, "don't fret over the small things."  I"m am a first born, type A, perfectionist, and I readily admit it.  Therefore, It is so hard for me to just, "let it go" at times.  I know that is what He is trying to teach me. If every schedule for the week doesn't go exactly as planned it is ok.  God had a better plan anyways.  I'm attempting to learn this and put it into action, but it is something I have to pray about every single morning before my feet hit the floor.  In fact, Ann Voskamp had an excellent blog post about this last week titled, "What Every Week Ahead of You Needs." I am so thankful for these words that God gave her. 

"More than needing schedules and productivity, this week will need a Savior and prayer.
God’s not asking me to produce– He’s asking me to pray.
God’s not asking me to climb ladders — He’s asking me to kneel and let go.
Right there at the mirror, right at the beginning, the week begins to unfurl in slow, in hope.
And that’s what I whisper into the mirror:
His grace will be more than just sufficient — His grace is guaranteed to actually save.
Time, me, the week, all redeemed and miracles happen in mirrors and to people we know. When we know Christ, we always know how things are going to go — always for our good and always for His glory."