March 2016 archive

Random Rambles

The chicks are alive and well and getting lots of attention.  Sawyer named hers Dot and Penguin Cindi.  Wryder named his Corny and Wheater.  If that boy doesn’t farm or sell tractors one day, I’ll be shocked.

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Sayble has mastered pulling herself up – watch out world!

How we found her this morning in her crib

How we found her this morning in her crib

She has been pulling up on the dishwasher, the coffee table, any chair she kind find, the back of my legs – honestly, anything!  She got herself into quite a pickle the other day when she did this:

What do I do, mom?!

What do I do, mom?!

She was so proud of herself but then had no idea how to get down!  That’s been the biggest problem lately.  After she went to bed tonight, she started screeching 20 minutes later.  I went in to check on her and she was standing up in her bed but didn’t know how to let herself back down.  This could be fun for a while…

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We talked a lot about Palm Sunday yesterday and what exactly this week means for us as followers of Christ.  During supper, we were reviewing with dad all we learned and Wryder excitedly exclaimed, “Saywer!  Jesus is our King!”  I melt.

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It was such a lovely day on Sunday that the kids just had to ride horses.  Sawyer has gotten really good at riding and understanding general horsemanship and, of course, Wryder thinks he has.  :)

He really likes to say, “Ho” or “Whoa.”  The only problem is that he likes to say it all the time.  That makes going anywhere a little difficult.  Regardless?  He looked darn cute.

Sawyer and Ozark, Wryder and Ernie

Sawyer and Ozark, Wryder and Ernie

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Today was one of those days where we didn’t do anything really over the top – we were just together – but it was one of those days I’d do 100 times over.  We played Barbie Pop-Up Camper and learned more about Easter and read stories and did school and explored the back pasture and searched for pine cones and played with chickens and did chores and sang songs…

We have some friends – several friends – who are in the trenches…fighting for answers and fighting for life.  We are so thankful and humbly grateful for our whole, healthy family.

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Sawyer wanted to color and create this morning so she got busy with her crayons and made this beauty.

Hosanna!

Hosanna!

In case you can’t tell…that’s Jesus riding on a donkey while someone waves their palm branches.  Be still my heart…

He Is

Today is one of my favorite days of the year when it pertains to church.  Being Palm Sunday, all the cute little kiddos parade down the aisles of the church waving their palm branches proclaiming, “Hosanna!  Hosanna!  Hosanna to the King!”

After we all ooed and awwed over their cuteness and returned to worship ourselves, the weight of Palm Sunday really dropped into my heart.  As I was thinking about Jesus, Palm Sunday marked the beginning of the end.  As He rode into Jerusalem to ultimately meet His death, He was greeted with such celebration and splendor with people laying down their branches and coats in submission and allegiance to Him.  Hosanna…

As I think back on my life, I feel like the one name or attribute of the Lord that is most marked  for me is that of Hosanna.  He IS the God who saves.

He has saved me from a life of mediocrity.  I know a lot of lukewarm Christians…or followers that believe the Lord exists but don’t truly have a vibrant and thriving relationship with Him.  Most of my life, those were the only kind of people I knew.  When I entered college, the Lord changed that for me.  Through some incredible mentors and an extremely handsome guy named Wrex, the Lord showed me what a real relationship and walk with Him looked like and I’ve never looked back.  I’m big on living a life of excellence and that has to start with Jesus.

He has saved me from mediocrity in other ways, too.  For me, there were certain areas of my life that I always assumed would look exactly like what I’d seen lived out in front of me, even though I desired something different.  I can admit that I had high hopes for marriage but there was a part of me that was skeptical.  Did the type of relationship I hungered for really exist?  Today, I can attest that it does, indeed.  Because I was obedient to follow His lead (even though that meant hurting someone else), the Lord gave me an amazing husband!  My relationship with Wrex and my kids is something I treasure (and try not to idolize!) and I’m so glad I didn’t settle in my search for Mr. Right.

He has saved me from warped views regarding myself.  I went through a period of my life where I felt like I just wasn’t good enough…for anyone, anywhere.  I wasn’t smart enough for these people, I wasn’t wealthy enough for these people, I wasn’t thin enough for these people, I wasn’t outgoing enough for these people, I wasn’t funny enough for these people…I wasn’t ever enough.  Sadly, I held these people in the highest of regards (at the time) and I can look back now and see how they really reinforced these ugly things I had started to believe about myself simply by the way they were treating me.  It’s taken a lot of years to untangle some of those webs and I wouldn’t even say that they’re all undone, but I do know that the Lord has used some people from the opposite end of the spectrum – people who really “see” me – to save me from those lies and help set me free with the truth.

He saved me from my own stupidity.  Poor decisions, poor choices, flat out disobedience…  Times I should’ve been dead.  Times I shouldn’t have made it out of horrible circumstances.  Times I should’ve had stiffer consequences.  Times I should’ve never been given a second chance, yet time and time again He has shed His grace on me with loving-kindness and patience.

He saved my life.  Literally, my life.  There are memories related to my health and well-being engrained in my mind that still cause me anxiety.  There are times I made poor choices and He was merciful to me.  There are times when I was trying to be tough and probably should’ve gone to the hospital but He was my healer.  There have been times where I’ve just had some of the weirdest, freak incidents and He has spared me every single time.  Even this winter with the tumor on my thyroid, His mighty hand has saved me (literally!) again and again and again.

He saved my life, my whole life.  I am not a slave to death.  He paid the ultimate price through His death and resurrection and I get to LIVE because of that.  Not just in the here and now…forever.

Palm Sunday is the beginning of the end…but it’s also the beginning of the beginning.  The beginning of the new covenant…the beginning of our salvation through faith…the beginning of the cleansing of our sin…the realization of Hosanna…the God who saves.

Today I Learned…

Sawyer went to the sale barn with daddy today so I got some good one-on-one time with Wryder.  (Well, as one-on-one as you can get around these parts).  Sayble is pretty easy going and doesn’t have too much to say in conversations so it was nice to be able to give him a lot of undivided attention.

The weather was so nice here today – until about one o’clock when the wind rolled in AGAIN – so we set off for the back pasture to explore a bit.

Badger hole?!

Badger hole?!

Poop examinations...

Poop examinations…

Fixing fence

Fixing fence

Wild and free

Wild and free

Today, I learned…

Life is better if you run…

Daddy can fix anything…

Fences can “hot wire” you…

Doritos taste better when dipped in apple sauce…

Jumping really high on the trampoline makes you giggle uncontrollably…

Jumping on the trampoline with bricks is unwise…

Badgers should be trapped and caught and fed corn…

Toy chainsaws can be used to cut anything and everything, including baby sisters…

Woofy momma cows don’t really scare two year old boys standing outside the pen…

Everything should be touched and examined, even poop…

Even the wildest of boys have soft spots for their mommies…

I seriously had a really great day with my little buddy.  Let’s do it again soon, shall we?

Sawyer had fun with daddy, too.  She was already awake when I went to rouse her up at 6:45 this morning.  She hung out with all her sale barn buddies, helped daddy load some calves and sweet-talked her way into mexican food for lunch – a girl after my own heart.

Have a little salsa, babe...

Have a little salsa, babe…

I think we’re all a little tired tonight after a busy Monday and a busy weekend.  We got our fence put back up that the last major wind storm blew over.

Blew it flat over...

Blew it flat over…

Ouch.

Ouch.

We reset 8 posts and reattached the boards and the kids helped clean up all the old wood.

Yes, Wryder is pantless.  At least he has on shoes, right?!

Yes, Wryder is pantless. At least he has on shoes, right?!

Sawyer is so strong for her age.  She carried posts like it was no big deal.

There’s a lot going on this picture and I belly laugh every time I see it…

Little worker bee...

Little worker bee…

Wrex needs new jeans, Sawyer is doing all the work, Wryder is playing with a milk carton, pantless (what the what?!) and they’re loading posts on the pony cart.  Yeah, that’s life at the Phippses!

Sayble enjoyed the afternoon from Wrex and I’s backs.

Look at that smile...

Look at that smile…

We toted her around in this thing for quite a while and she thought it was fantastic!

Sweet girl!

Sweet girl!

Pretty sure I might have a small bald spot from all the fun she had with my hair…

I’m thinking we’re all gonna sleep good tonight…

Random Rambles

It’s FRIDAY!  Do I really need to say anything else?!

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I love to see the gifts in my children become glaringly obvious.  Sweet Sawyer is such a little administrator.  It takes one to know one, perhaps.

Wryder has a crush on a cute little high school girl and the minute he saw her last fall, he’s been telling her (and everyone else) that he was gonna marry her.  He and Sawyer have made plans for him to live in the playhouse with his new wife, with a sled for a bed.  Sawyer has been busy planning his wedding for months and this week, she got their wedding clothes done.

She made notes and designs in her notebook and would check off each piece as she completed it.

Her designs...

Her designs…

Her main construction materials were paper towels and washi tape and they look surprisingly good!

The dress and "gail"

The dress and “gail”

Wryder's tuxedo shirt.  Note the red rose and the bow tie...

Wryder’s tuxedo shirt. Note the red rose and the bow tie…

I feel like we’ve fought their obsession with this project for quite some time.  I do love that they love the concept of marriage and how joyful it truly is.  We must be doing a little something right…

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Sawyer has her first 4-H meeting this weekend.  We are so excited for her and she is so excited for herself!  Wrex and I’ve done a lot of talking this week about the joys and advantages of a slower pace of life.

Everything that he is today – from follower of Christ, to husband, to father, to cattle buyer – all of the things and people that influenced him most, took place before he was 15 years old.  It wasn’t high school…it wasn’t college…it was the things he got to try and experience during his most formative years that shaped his being.

I am so grateful that I get to be a stay-at-home mom…that I get the opportunity to spend more time with them than anyone else…that we get to encourage them and teach them and train them and provide them with opportunities and experiences that will translate into their futures.

We were watching Duck Dynasty the other night and one of the older kids was pursuing his dreams as a musician and just watching his mom’s reaction made me sappy, of course.  There are times when it feels like those days are so far down the road, but we all know they’re not; they’ll be here in the blink of an eye, just like everything else.

It made us wonder what our kids would be doing and pursuing…and we pray with all of our might that at the heart of whatever it is, that it’s Jesus.

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The neighbors didn’t have school on Monday so we loaded up for a midday play date.  Sawyer got to ride in the go-cart and thought that was pretty fun stuff!

Bye, mom!

Bye, mom!

Wryder went over, looked at it, tried the helmet on and then settled for the porch.

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This cute little booger is just joy in every way!

:)

:)

She was a little fussy for the babysitter on Tuesday night and has had a few bouts of that with us lately so we assumed she must be getting a tooth.  Yesterday, Wrex was playing with her and saw the monster coming in on the top.

Lately, she’s really been pursing her mouth and that must be why.  Not sure what explains all the nose crinkling but I LOVE it.

Cute toot!

Cute toot!

Seriously, she’s the cutest thing E.V.E.R.

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We’re hoping hoping HOPING that the guys get our barn and shop finished this weekend.  They’ve been working weekends and the wind hasn’t helped their cause much….or the fact that they don’t ever get here until 10 am.  *ahem*

They have the shop all done but are still working on the barn.  I promise to post pics when they are done.  I know it’s going to look so nice but there’s something I’ll miss about the chippy old barn…

A few winters ago...

A few winters ago…

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Wrex is still sporting the mutton chops.

Yeeeeaaaahhh...

Yeeeeaaaahhh…

Extroverts are so funny.  I spend most of my days not wanting to be seen and he’s putting himself out there front and center, with radical facial hair no less.  Cracks me up.  Here’s to hoping they’re gone by Monday…sure hope that razor doesn’t zip up his face in the night!  ;)

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It’s Fun Friday around here and today is errand day.  We’re gonna run to town and take some checks to the bank for daddy and get some cash for our Dave Ramsey envelopes and take a cupcake to a special birthday lady and get some birthday cards to send to some other special people (PaPa and RaRa!) and if the wind stops howling, we may stop at the park to burn a little energy (them) and calories (me).

Whatever you find yourself doing today, I pray that you choose and find joy in all of it.

A Ridiculously Rad Night

Our church turned 30 years old yesterday!  Their very first church service was on March 2, 1986 so we celebrated with an 80s theme party – totally rad!

Wrex and I got to come up with a photo booth for the event and since we had a 3 piece backdrop system, we decided to do three different backdrops for people to choose from.

Didn't they turn out cute?!

Didn’t they turn out cute?!

We, of course, had to do a splatter paint background.  I didn’t know how easy it would be to do but let me tell ya – it was easy.  We didn’t even end up using brushes, we just kinda dabbled our paint containers and it worked out so well!

Cutest little 80's girl I know!

Cutest little 80’s girl I know!

The other easier one we did was the one with bright colored lines.  We just used neon duct tape and went to town laying down strips of color. I really liked how it turned out, especially for the photo booth.

Simple and fun!

Simple and fun!

The favorite of the night was the PacMan backdrop!  It is pretty cool, isn’t it?!  I dyed the sheet black (and got it grey -ha!) and then my mathematician husband took the photo I found online and scaled it and we got to work.  We used duct tape for the game board and then I just used cardstock for all of the characters and circles.  It really turned out great for not a lot of cost, just time.

Pacman!

Pacman!

We wanted a few bigger props so we made a giant rubix cube using a cardboard box, poster board and a LOT of black tape…

Awesomeness...

Awesomeness…

a giant Etch-a-Sketch out of an old red frame we had…

Oh man, he's cute!

Oh man, he’s cute!

and no 80’s party is complete without a boombox, courtesy of a Pampers box, some duct tape and some cardstock!

Boom.

Boom.

We blew up some pictures at Staples and did our faux canvas work and hung those up for everyone to giggle at…

Back in the day...

Back in the day…

A fellow church goer decorated the fellowship hall and turned it into a totally bodacious space!

Fun!

Fun!

There was cake and live music – just a lot of fun!

Yum!

Yum!

It was just a REALLY fun night!  It was easy and laid back and people totally got into the 80s spirit…it was just a really nice night to fellowship and be thankful for such a wonderful church family.

My crew got all dressed up for the event, of course.

It's 80s night!

It’s 80s night!

Sawyer looked so cute, she could be in style no matter what the decade…

So cute!

So cute!

Same for Sayble…

:)

:)

and Wryder, too!  His outfit was hard for me to come up with…but then I remembered that I had some of Wrex’s clothes FROM 1986ish and so Wryder wore Wrex’s old shirt and jacket and looked CUTE.AS.A.BUTTON!

Oh man, he's cute!

Oh man, he’s cute!

I was the last to get dressed of course and did the best I could!  I’m pretty sure the 80s color palette is not my favorite, but I worked it!

One of every color...

One of every color…

The winner…hands down…was Wrex!

He's all mine, ladies....

He’s all mine, ladies….

I found this windsuit at the local thrift for $3!!!  The tag said it had been there since September.  THANKFULLY, I snatched it just in time!

His beard had been bothering him for a while now but we all really like it.  He decided last night was a good night to shave it off…and leave mutton chops. *ahem*

Yeeeeaaaahhh...

Yeeeeaaaahhh…

I’m pretty sure some people will never be the same after seeing all that…

Oh.  My.  Goodness.

Oh. My. Goodness.

It was a ton of fun, despite the facial hair madness that he STILL hasn’t fixed yet.

Yesterday was also a special guy’s birthday!  One of our favorite friends and pastors had a birthday yesterday and Sawyer wanted to make him a cake, so we did!  She did 98% of the work herself!  He wanted chocolate cake so we turned Grandma’s delicious chocolate sheet cake into a layer cake…

Making the batter...

Making the batter…

Letting them cool...

Letting them cool…

She REALLY to do sprinkles and candy hearts so we tried to limit them to just a few :) and then she made a birthday banner for the birthday boy and delivered it with balloons, to boot!

Happy Birthday, Mr. Bill!

Happy Birthday, Mr. Bill!

Today, we’re all recuperating.  I did the math and Sayble’s about 6 hours of sleep behind schedule – ha!  Don’t call us between 1-4…we’ll all be napping!