Posts Tagged ‘blessing’

Life has felt extra busy lately.  With summer coming to a close, county fairs, vacations, church and community activities – we’ve all been on the run!  When Sawyer said all she wanted for her birthday was to do Legos with her friends,  I was sold!

She’s really gotten into building Lego sets in the past year (and even worked through a chore chart to purchase a Lego house!  It was huge and she has had a lot of fun putting it together and playing with it).

We kept things pretty simple and played a little Lego Friends bingo, painted boxes to store our Legos in and then built a Lego set.  She hand-picked a set for each of her friends and she did a great job – no one had any of the ones she picked for them!

We all had a really good time!  It was a nice, fun birthday party with some nice, fun girls!

Of course, I had to make her a Lego girl shirt for the occasion.  She looked precious!

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The Lego bunting made the whole party! It was a cheap, easy wow factor!

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We used all of Sawyer’s Lego sets for decor.

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We got Sawyer this little set for her birthday – the classic Lego man in a birthday cake! She loved it!

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Bingo was a way bigger hit than we imagined! These girls were Bingo queens!

The winners got edible Legos - what could be better?

The winners got edible Legos – what could be better?

After bingo, it was time to paint!

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Painting their boxes

Painting their boxes

There was only one paint spill and it was just the birthday girl's brush water...I'd call that a success!

There was only one paint spill and it was just the birthday girl’s brush water…I’d call that a success!

Next, it was time for Lego building!

DSC_0123DSC_0121Then, it was time for cake and presents!  She had such generous friends and got some really fun things!

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Lego cake from mom's kitchen...  Sweet girl thought it was wonderful and that's all that matters!

Lego cake from mom’s kitchen… Sweet girl thought it was wonderful and that’s all that matters!

Her smile in this picture melts me.  She's not my most expressive kid (read: dramatic) so a genuine smile like this is the best!

Her smile in this picture melts me. She’s not my most expressive kid (read: dramatic) so a genuine smile like this is the best!

May all your dreams come true, sweet one!

May all your dreams come true, sweet one!

I bought a silicone Lego mold and we froze pink and purple Kool-Aid to make ice cubes that we put in our Sprite!  The girls had more fun mixing up their drinks and making them change colors.

Pretty in pink with her pink and purple drink!

Pretty in pink with her pink and purple drink!

We sent this girls home with Lego necklaces and rings made by Sawyer and a Lego cup, like the Lego characters hold in all of the sets – super cute!

DSC_0120And then?  They each got a kitten!

DSC_0131 HA!  We tried to find them all a home, but only one got to become a house cat.  ;)

We are so proud of our sweet Sawyer girl and would do just about anything for that little sweetie!  She felt so loved this weekend.  She is such a great friend and we pray she always has a good group of friends around her that point her to the Lord.

Happy birthday, sweet Sawyer!  You are so loved!

Summer So Far

Today is the *official* first day of summer…but we’ve been calling it “summer” for well over a month now.  Lucky for us {insert sarcasm here} summer is really showing off and it’s supposed to be over 100 today.  Gag.

Despite the heat wave, we’re really enjoying our summer!  The kids are at such fun ages and we’re in a season where life is relatively easy again.  (I know, I know…it’s time to have another!  We’ll have to see about that…)  We’ve tried to take full advantage of our time and resources and do some fun things!

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We started June with a birthday party for the big guy!  He turned 35 this year and has been wanting to have a Minute to Win It party with some of our favorite friends so, that’s what we did!

The birthday boy

The birthday boy

We played silly, ridiculous games – and had a blast while doing so!

Unwrapping candy with oven mitts

Unwrapping candy with oven mitts

The classic knock the water bottles over with pantyhose on your head game...

The classic knock the water bottles over with pantyhose on your head game…

At the end of the night, this team DOMINATED the competition…which, I mean, look at them.  Bonafide athletes, all of them!

Minute to Win it Champs!

Minute to Win it Champs!

We made their trophies out of something from each of the games we played.  If they made it home, I’d be impressed!  HA!

Trophy time

Trophy time

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Sawyer got a new horse from her friend Mr. Jeff.  This sweetie’s name is LuLu and we. are. in. love!

Sawyer and LuLu

Sawyer and LuLu

LuLu is strong and stout and as sweet as they come.  She loves to eat treats from your hand and will stand all day where you tell her to.

On her first ride!

On her first ride!

These two are going to make a lot of good memories together…  We just have to keep the fighting down when it comes to who gets to ride her!

We love LuLu!

We love LuLu!

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A mobile Children’s Museum came to town so we checked that out!  It was fun enough inside.  The kids got to build and color and explore…

Testing out his foam house

Testing out his foam house

Playing with tops

Playing with tops

Petting the buffalo

Petting the buffalo

Making a magnet house

Making a magnet house

The best fun was outside!  They had a chore challenge race that was a LOT of fun!  They had to move the cow, throw the “cow patties”, haul the corn, churn the butter and shoot a buffalo!  The kids had a BLAST at this station!

Moving the cow

Moving the cow

Tossing those patties!

Tossing those patties!

Hauling her corn

Hauling her corn

Churning some butter

Churning some butter

Sayble's turn!

Sayble’s turn!

She loved every bit!

She loved every bit!

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Of course, we’ve already hit up Cody Park!

First ride on the carousel

First ride on the carousel

Sweet sisters

Sweet sisters

These two had a ball!

These two had a ball!

Sayble loved the train

Sayble loved the train

Love this pic...

Love this pic…

This is their favorite ride because it's FAST!

This is their favorite ride because it’s FAST!

Sayble loved holding the tickets

Sayble loved holding the tickets

I’m sure there will be a few more trips here for some good, cheap fun!

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We celebrated Father’s Day with this sweet guy!

He is so loved!

He is so loved!

We had yummy food (his love language – ha!), watched shows with snacks (Wryder’s idea), rode horses and played outside!

Daddy's girl

Daddy’s girl

Silly goose!

Silly goose!

Twins

Twins

My kiddos are so incredibly blessed to have this guy as a daddy.  He received two different father’s day cards in the mail that BOTH said, “I believe you are the kind of father that the Lord intended men to be.”  I couldn’t agree more…

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We just got home from a mini-vacation to Kansas!  Wrex had to go to the feedyard down there so we tagged along and had some fun when he was done!

Cute as buttons!

Cute as buttons!

We stayed at fun motel that had bunkbeds for the kids, checked out the local zoo (it’s free!!) and then went to the new indoor water park called Parrot Cove.  It. Was. A. BLAST!

Sawyer LOVES flamingos!

Sawyer LOVES flamingos!

Sassy cat

Sassy cat

This one just wanted to roar...

This one just wanted to roar…

At the water park

At the water park

They had 4 little kid slides, a lazy river, several pools, a rock climbing wall, 4 big water slides – it was a LOT of fun!  We can’t wait to go back!

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Sure do love these littles…and they’re only little once.  We do our fair share of work around here…we kinda like to work hard and play hard.  Can’t wait to see what the rest of summer brings!

RaRa Robin

Wrex bought an old, bred milk cow that Wryder really took a liking to.  He named her RaRa Robin (after his grandma).  She’s the sweetest ole thing…and she really loved him, too.

Wryder and RaRa

Wryder and RaRa

We all waited so patiently for her to have her baby and prayed and prayed that the kids would be able to watch see that baby born.

In the days before she calved, Wryder took such great care of her.  He’d walk to the corn stalks south of our house and grab a couple of partial ears of corn, bring them home and shell them for her.

Shellin' corn

Shellin’ corn

We’d been watching her and checking on her every few hours every day.  Wrex was even getting up in the night to check her.  One Monday morning, they went out to check her and then Sawyer came runnin’ back to the house telling me that RaRa’s water bag was hanging out!

I threw some shoes out and sure enough, a baby was about to be born!  Wryder brought a lick tub over outside the fence and within 10 minutes, the kids got to see LIFE!

Good momma!

Good momma!

RaRa had a sweet little heifer calf that Wryder has named – are you ready for this?  Betty Harbor Baby Whanny Kroeker Phipps.  Ahem.

Wryder and Betty

Wryder and Betty

Despite that big ole bag RaRa has, there’s not much milk to be had so we all made the decision to sell her so that Wryder could buy a cow to really get his herd started, just like Sawyer did at four.

My big boy was so brave!  He loved sweet RaRa but understood that it was the responsible thing to do.  He didn’t cry at all…and I bawled all day!

One last goodbye

One last goodbye

Love this sweet boy

Love this sweet boy

He took her to the sale barn with dad on Monday and got her sold.

Watchin' her sell

Watchin’ her sell

This boy is just one of the sweetest, funnest, brightest balls of energy I’ve ever met!  Saying goodbye to a good friend – even when that friend is an animal – is never easy and he did it with such grace.  So proud of my brave boy.  Here’s to finding the next great one!

Mother’s Day 2017

I’ve had some really good Mother’s Day celebrations…like last year, celebrating a less than week old Sayble.

I’ve had some not-so-great Mother’s Day celebrations…like the year Wryder was born and I was sicker than a dog.  I mean, SICK.

This year?  This year was one for the record books – it was just a really, really good day.

The kids had me stay in bed until they said I could come out.  Well, if you insist!

Wrex had breakfast cooked and they had some really fun gifts and cards and pictures for me – melt my heart!

Happy Mother's Day, mom!

Happy Mother’s Day, mom!

A Lego Mother's Day wish!

A Lego Mother’s Day wish!

My card from Wryder.  Just WOW.

My card from Wryder. Just WOW.

We spent some time outside and then I got to spend the majority of the day with the girl who made me a momma as she performed in her last dance recital of the season.

When she was all done, we came home and hung out with the rest of the family outside because it was beautiful!  We took a little golf cart tour into the neighboring pastures and Wryder got to show me the dead cow he’d seen – a real treat!  Ha!

I remember going through a season where being called “mom” (by a friend, out of sarcasm and a nod to my mature, responsible nature) felt like an insult.  I was young!  I was fun!  I wasn’t a mom!  I don’t quite know what was going on in my heart…but just let me say oh, how the tides have turned.  There’s not much sweeter to my ears than hearing, “Mom/Momma.”  (I mean, the 580th time on a Friday, I might not enjoy it as much as the first time I hear it on a random Tuesday, but still…)

Being “momma” is a badge I wear with pride! So thankful for these sweet little cubs – some of my favorite people/best friends/the most wonderful little humans on the planet!  They are the product of our love, our reward, our heritage.

My babies

My babies

It’s an amazing thing to have the opportunity to shape the future by what you spend your time on and pour into today.  Nothing is wasted in the Kingdom of heaven and nothing is wasted in motherhood – no hug is addled, no words will return void, no teaching or training or correcting will turn up empty.  It ALL matters.  I am thankful I get to be the full time shoe tier, hands washer, book reader, swing pusher, hair brusher, nap time tucker in-er, school teacher, morning pray-er, owie kisser…

I’m thankful for their daddy, too – for lots of reasons – but especially for the fact that he works so diligently so that I can be at home during the week to actually BE momma.

Good gosh, I love this man

Good gosh, I love this man

Some days in mommyland are just plain hard.  Some days are just plain cake.  But all of them?  All of them are worth it.

Cheers, mommas!

Mesa Is Growing Up Up Up!

I had the privilege of throwing a birthday party for a SA-WEET little one year old today!  I adore her and her little family and we couldn’t wait to honor her – we are so glad that she was born!

She sure is!

She sure is!

We went with a hot air balloon theme…and I’m not really sure why except that I thought it would be cute?!  Is that a good enough reason??

Those cloud balloons, though...

Those cloud balloons, though…

Everything was pink and white and minty blue/green.  We made hot air balloons out of paper lanterns and berry baskets and I found the cutest cloud balloons and cups to go with our dinner ware.

The spread

The spread

Up, up and away!

Up, up and away!

We made cloud and hot air balloon bunting and had it hanging in the window…

Happy birthday, indeed!

Happy birthday, indeed!

We had 12 months worth of pictures of our little sweetie hanging on the mantle…

Sweet baby Mesa

Sweet baby Mesa

It was so festive in here!

It was so festive in here!

We made giant hot air balloons out of, well, giant balloons and apple baskets!  They turned out so cute!

The big kids had fun in these!

The big kids had fun in these!

The whole shebang!

The whole shebang!

We got to hang out with Mesa and her momma most of the day – always a treat in my book!

Pretty girls!

Pretty girls!

The kids were so excited to give her her gift and kept wanting to pose with it themselves!

Take my picture, mom!

Take my picture, mom!

She finally got to play with it and I think it was a hit!

Tea time!

Tea time!

Good gravy, she's cute!

Good gravy, she’s cute!

Once the daddies got home from the sale barn, we played tea party, a few Wii games and then the real party started!

Sayble got to sit in the booster so that our guest of honor could have the high chair.  Needless to say, she thought she was big stuff!  I don’t think she was quiet the entire dinner!

She was full of all kinds of antics, including the towel on her head!

She was full of all kinds of antics, including the towel on her head!

Mesa really loved the balloons on her seat…and the pancakes, too!

Where's Mesa?!

Where’s Mesa?!

There she is!

There she is!

Waiting (patiently) for cake time!

Waiting (patiently) for cake time!

We made her a hot air balloon cake and she was so cute trying to blow that candle out!

Cake time!

Cake time!

Wondering what the heck this thing was!

Look at that face!

Hurry and sing so I can eat the cake instead!

Hurry and sing so I can eat the cake instead!

Let's do this thang!

Let’s do this thang!

Eatin' it by the fistfuls!

Eatin’ it by the fistfuls!

Startin' to get full...

Startin’ to get full…

One more little bite...

One more little bite…

Oh, Mesa Moo…we sure do love you!

The Phipps Five and Mesa Moo!

The Phipps Five and Mesa Moo!

We bless the day you were born!  May you embrace your role as the daughter of the Lord of the Lords, the first born, a princess of the King of Kings.  We pray you run to Him all the days of your life.  He is worthy of your adoration and you are worthy of His love.  Can’t wait for number two!

The Calm Before the Storm

For a January day, it sure was a nice enough one!  We’re all bracing for a nasty snow and ice storm that’s supposed to roll in tomorrow, but today?  Today was pretty pretty.  (I think the lack of wind helped as much as anything!)

Sayble has been dying to go outside since she’s gotten her wheels under her, but it’s been REALLY cold prior to today.

As dad got ready to head outside to do chores, Sawyer and Wryder wanted to go to.  Well, once Sayble saw them suit up, she sure wanted to join in the action.  We got her all bundled up and out and the door we went!

How cute is this little toot?!  Can you see her under there?

How cute is this little toot?! Can you see her under there?

I bet she walked a good mile or more this morning, quite a ways with her little legs!

She looked so tiny next to the house...

She looked so tiny next to the house…

Of course, we had to stop and pet the doggie…

Sweet ole Booey

Sweet ole Booey

and the kitties…

Say and Tractory.  Wonder who named that one?!

Say and Tractory. Wonder who named that one?!

and haul one around…

Say with Damilla Willa.  Don't ask.

Say with Damilla Willa. Don’t ask.

We spent some time at the park with brother and sister…

Good grief I love these kiddos...

Good grief I love these kiddos…

then we spent a little time swinging before heading inside for a peanut butter sandwich!

Pure joy!

Pure joy!

Who knows what this weather will actually bring…but we took advantage of today!

Tour Two

You guys sure know how to make a girl feel loved and appreciated!  It was so fun to connect with so many of you yesterday…Facebook is good for something, yes?!

So today, let’s look around downstairs.  The entry way of the house was painted a pumpkinish orange.  It really just reminded me of the Texas Longhorns and I just. couldn’t. do. it.

Entry before

Entry before

As you can see, we painted it a dark, dark grey and I like how it toned down all of the other wood in the kitchen and dining area.

Entry after

Entry after

Entry after

Entry after

Entry after

Entry after

So the right is the kitchen, and right in front of you is the bar we installed.

Entry after

Entry after

It’s the perfect little space for breakfast and such…and for the kids to sit at because the rest of the official dining room has carpet.  When I swept after the first meal, I knew we had made the right choice with the bar!

Our previous home did not have a dining room and I’ve never grown up in a house with one, yet my heart looooonged for one.  I love family dinners…I love the breaking of bread and feasting and raucous laughter that comes with sharing something yummy with people you love.  This place has a great dining room…

Dining room before

Dining room before

and my sweet husband filled it with the perfect table…

Dining room after

Dining room after

Isn’t he amazing?!   We kept our old chairs and used the same table base, but he built the table top and the benches!  We can get a solid 12 people around this thing.  My heart is racing just thinking about it!

It’s my favorite room in the house, truly, because I love all that it represents.  My other favorite thing is the fireplace guard.  Another gift from the brother-in-law.  It was an old stock rack that you’d sit in the back of a pickup to haul livestock and it fit PERFECTLY in this space – it was made for us!

Off of the dining room is the school room – a close second for favorites!  We didn’t do much in here except paint the pumpkin the same dark grey as the entry way and replace the light fixture…

School room before

School room before

Are you ready?  Seriously?  It’s divine!  We spend so much time in this room and school hasn’t even started yet!

School room after

School room after

School room after

School room after

School room after

School room after

We ordered our curriculum last week and got our approval letter in the mail and we are ready to REALLY use this room!  Off of this room, is sweet little patio area with a good view of the neighboring cows…peaceful and sweet.

Ok, so back to the kitchen.  We didn’t do anything to it besides paint.  The walls were a light yellow and, again, we went with a grey just to tone everything down a bit.

Kitchen after

Kitchen after

Kitchen after

Kitchen after

I love the brick, I love all the storage.  It doesn’t look huge but it has far more room that our previous kitchen.  The only thing I’m missing is my gas stove; electric just isn’t the same!

Off of the kitchen is our room and bathroom; two of the less “wow” rooms of the house. We didn’t do anything in our room except upgrade the ceiling fan that threatened to fall on us in the night.

Master bedroom

Master bedroom

It’s sweet and simple and easy to keep clean.  And?  It has a nice sized closet – something else we’ve never had before!

The master bath is one of the more dated rooms, but we did our best at making it look at least nice enough.

Master bath before

Master bath before

Master bath before

Master bath before

We changed a lot in the room, starting with the color.  We put in new lighting, new mirrors, new fixtures…a good head start without ripping the thing to shreds and starting over…

Master bath after

Master bath after

Master bath after

Master bath after

Master bath after

Master bath after

It’s better….

Off of the kitchen, is the stairway leading to the basement, the laundry room, a mudroom bathroom and the living room…but I’ll do those another day.

Today, we’re headed to Mullen to see the original WD Phipps and the kids are fired up!  Wryder has his “cowboy clothes” on and Sawyer is dressed to the nines…their great-grands are pretty lucky!

Updates and Upstairs

Oh, sweet friends!  Were you wondering if I’d ever return?!  Life has been crazy and GOOD – crazy good!

To catch you up in one, simple run-on sentence, we had the opportunity to sell our house, rent an upgraded (read: bigger, newer, central air having, more-than-one-bathroom-and-an-actual-dining-room) home that answered all of our prayers…so we packed our things and cleaned out barns and buildings and took way longer than we ever imagined to move in because apparently we have a lot of stuff and like things just so…BUT we are in and feeling settled and LOVING. IT. HERE.  The Lord blessed our socks off and we feel this is exactly where we are supposed to be for the here and now – not much better than that!

And?  Apparently, I have some of the sweetest, most encouraging friends on the planet who want to see pictures of the place so what better day than today to get me back in the saddle of blogging.  I’ve missed it so!

Moving had been on our minds for a while for lots of reasons, one being that we had bought our home on what we had called a five-year plan.  It suited us well and we loved that sweet, little 100 year old farm house but with the addition of two other children, things started to feel a little tight.  (And, I know, that is definitely a first world problem.  We have never felt anything but blessed to live there - remember that awesome story!? – but we felt the Lord prompting us towards something different and we were ready to go!)

We had heard about the house from friends from church.  They told us where it was so we drove by just to see if it was even something was an option for us.  Whoa. Nelly.  It was like dream-home material!

Yes.  Just YES.

Yes. Just YES.

A month or so later, we took a tour, prayed our faces off, sold our home and moved in here!  We LOVE IT.  I’m afraid, no other home will ever compare – truly!  Obviously, there are things we might change if we owned the place but for now?  It’s perfect for us!  The Lord answered all of our requests and desires and then some!

From the moment I walked in, I could SEE us making memories here.  I could see myself in the kitchen, cooking with Sayble while looking out the window at the other 2 playing outside.  I could see Bible studies and card parties in the big ole family room and loud family dinners in the dining room.  I could see kids playing for hours in their big kid rooms and looking out over the pastures from their windows – I could just see us here!

Some people probably think we’re crazy for renting but for us, this was the best option for now, for several reasons. (And just so you know, I don’t feel the NEED to explain myself, but if you don’t know that I’m an open book by now…)

1) We had reached a point with our old home that we felt we had maxed out or profit potential without doing something drastic…and we weren’t up for drastic.  2) Moving is always on the table when you work for a company 3 states away.  While we love this area and home we never have to, it’s always an option.  3) Building costs mega $$ these days!  I don’t know if we built what we’d like and then had to move, if we’d ever get our money out of the place. 4) There aren’t very many farmsteads in the area that AREN’T either a modular or a 100 year old farmhouse and we’ve been there done that.  5)  It was the Lord.  All Him.  I won’t argue.

So, to recap…moving with 3 small children is hard.  Moving with livestock is harder.  Moving 112 chickens is hardest.  We love our new home and can’t imagine life anywhere else!

Here are some pics of the new digs!

We’ll start upstairs.  The stairs come up out of the dining room, up to the kids’ floor.  All three of their bedrooms and their bathroom is up here, which is so nice!  They’re all together and it’s REALLY quiet for them…which means good sleep for them, so good sleep for mom and dad!

Don’t knock the paneling – ha!  We weren’t gonna mess with that!

Upstairs - empty

Upstairs – empty

Upstairs - empty

Upstairs – empty

Top of the stairs

Upstairs after; top of the stairs

Now, why did I start with that picture?!  The bookshelf.  Sigh.  I have visions of it being artfully arranged…but then I remember that I have 3 small children who I want to LOVE to read so I’ve given up the fight on the perfect bookshelf and have gone with the “we use it all the dang time so it’s always disheveled look.”  You should try it, too!

Upstairs after

Upstairs after; truly a happy place!

My brother-in-law got me that dreamy pew last year and I was so happy to have a place for it in our new home!  I started out like this:

Pew before

Pew before

and after a good sanding and a fun color, it’s one of my favorite things in the house!

Pew after

Pew after

The kids’ bathroom isn’t huge but I think it’s perfect for them!  I’ve been so impressed with how clean they have kept it!

Kids' bathroom before

Kids’ bathroom before

Kids bathroom after!

Kids bathroom after!

Kids' bathroom after!

Kids’ bathroom after!

Kids' bathroom after!

Kids’ bathroom after!

Since then, they’ve gotten a new faucet, as this one bit the dust about 2 weeks in, but it’s just a fun, sweet little bathroom – I love it!  (It was the first room that was completely finished in the whole house!  Gotta love small rooms that didn’t need paint – ha!)

Wryder’s room DEFINITELY needed paint.  It’s hard to see in the pictures but the walls were in pretty bad shape as far as scratches and dings.

Wryder's room before

Wryder’s room before

Wryder's room before

Wryder’s room before

Wryder's room before

Wryder’s room before

We painted it a pretty, neutral grey and I love how it turned out!

Wryder's room after paint

Wryder’s room after paint

Wryder's room after paint

Wryder’s room after paint

Wryder's room after

Wryder’s room after

Wryder's room after

Wryder’s room after

Wryder's room after

Wryder’s room after

Wryder's big closet!

Wryder’s big closet!

Sayble’s room is the smallest, but it suits her needs just fine for now!  I love how it turned out…so sweet and cute – like her!

Sayble's room

Sayble’s room

Sayble's room

Sayble’s room

Sayble's room

Sayble’s room

Sayble's room

Sayble’s room

Sawyer got the biggest room.  It was an easy choice for us as far as layout goes…and?  The girl’s got a lot of stuff.  There’s a hoarder gene on the Phipps side and by golly, the girl’s got it!

Part of why she needed the big room was for this:

LOVE LOVE LOVE

LOVE LOVE LOVE

There’s just something about a cute farm house with two twin beds in a room!  I bought those headboards at an auction one day for $5 each.  They are vintage 20’s and just cute as a button and I’ve been storing them for this room!

Headboard before

Headboard before

Headboard after paint - Sweet Caroline, to be exact!

Headboard after paint – Sweet Caroline, to be exact!

Sawyer's room

Sawyer’s room

Sawyer's room

Sawyer’s room

Her room is so sweet and so totally her.  She loves her double beds; she loves the little table for tea parties and such and she loves using the toybox as her desk/office.  And?  She has a huge closet – a must for a girl with a penchant for cute things!

Sawyer's room and a few of her fun things!

Sawyer’s room and a few of her fun things!

Sawyer's room

Sawyer’s room

Sawyer's closet

Sawyer’s closet

And, yes…that is exactly what you think it is!  She has a “secret room” behind the bookshelf in her closet!  We turned it into a toy room for her and all of us love spending time in there.

I wish I had taken before and after pictures of it because we did the works in there!  New carpet, new lighting, boarded the walls…

Sawyer's toy room after

Sawyer’s toy room after

It is so fun and the perfect place to store all of her Barbies and babies and doll house things.  And?  Wryder has one, too.  How did we luck out like that?!

Wryder's playroom before

Wryder’s playroom before

Wryder's playroom after

Wryder’s toy room after

We put in new carpet, painted everything and put in new lighting.  I LOVE this space and he does, too!  I love having the toys out of sight, too, I won’t lie!

Wryder's toy room after

Wryder’s toy room after

Wryder's toy room after

Wryder’s toy room after

And?  Sayble has a little crawl space in her room that we can turn into a playroom for her one day.  But we’re tired.  And she’s still a baby.  So we’ll wait.

Thank you for humoring my little house tour with my awful iPhone pictures.  ;)  We’ll hit downstairs tomorrow.  Maybe, all of my pictures will have uploaded by then.  Oh, how we miss our good internet service!

Random Rambles

The weather was SO nice last week so we tried to be outside as much as possible – always a good thing for small children with lots of energy.

This girl LOVED riding the little car...

This girl LOVED riding the little car…

Forgive the two-toned fence in the picture above.  We replaced the boards earlier this spring after Wrex left his pickup in reverse when I waved him back to the house.  Apparently, he thought there was a sincere emergency (I just had a a letter that I needed him to drop in the mail) and came running in without shifting into park.  Thankfully, there’s a small hill in the pasture behind it and it stopped it – on this flat farm ground, who knows how far it would’ve traveled!

We had a cheeseburger picnic one day last week after an impromptu trip to town.

Aren't they cute?!

Aren’t they cute?!

They played at the park, ran their hearts out and tried to sneak up on a little robin.

Quiet...

Quiet…

It flew off, but it was worth a shot.

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The impromptu trip to town was to get a little chicken house we found.  It. Is. ADORABLE.  We wanted it to put close to the house for some of our momma’s and babies.  So far, it’s just housed cats and dogs…

Peanut being patient

Peanut being patient

A new breed of chicken....

A new breed of chicken…

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We went to town on Friday to buy groceries and someone wasn’t too thrilled with his attire.

Doesn't he look handsome?

Doesn’t he look handsome?

He swore this was a girl’s shirt.  It’s not.  I made him wear it.

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Saturday we strayed from our red meat diet and had some roasted chicken.  This was Wryder’s first experience with a chicken leg and he was a HUGE fan!

Yum!

Yum!

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We also had some fun visitors last week!  Our sweet friend, Diane and our NEW sweet friend, Katherine stopped by!

Awwww!

Awwww!

The kids adored them and Wryder wanted them to stay to tuck him in bed.  They doted on the kids and took a tour of the Phipps farm and ate cookies and punch with us! They even brought the kids supplies to do a fun craft which Sawyer did this weekend.

Ms. Diana brought her a bunch of torn up tissue paper and some mod podge and Sawyer made a box for a baby shower gift for our neighbor.

Cute - both of them!

Cute – both of them!

It turned out so cute!

You ladies come back ANY time!

****************

Saturday was equally beautiful and we took the kids to walk around the little fishing pond in town.

Beautiful evening, beautiful kids

Beautiful evening, beautiful kids

We saw 1 goose, 4 ducks but no fish or turtles.  They had a ball exploring and running and checking out the water…and we had a ball being with them.

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This little dandy showed up on Facebook this morning:

5 years ago...Sawyer and Uncle Blake

5 years ago…Sawyer and Uncle Blake

Be still my heart.  Sweet girl has grown a little since then, yes?!  (Blake is just as dashingly handsome, just FYI.)  I love seeing all these clothes in Sayble’s closet now.  We put her in some of Sawyer’s old jammies yesterday and it just made her even cuddlier!

Sawyer/Sayble

Sawyer/Sayble

That Sayble…she is just pure joy, I tell ya!

Look at that face!

Look at that face!

She hams it up for the camera, that girl!

****************

Today, we got to shower our sweet neighbor who is expecting a sweet baby girl in about a month!  Sawyer got to see two of her favorite girls (and fellow flower girls from Gillian’s wedding) and they had a ball together!

Hugs!

Hugs!

2.5 years ago...

2.5 years ago…

They’ve grown a little…

***************

Gillian has some of the sweetest family members a girl could ask for.  Two of her aunts (and ladies I’m proud to call friends) were there today and were just so encouraging to me regarding motherhood.

One of them told me that if the Lord would give her any day to do again, she’d choose one when her kids were around the age of mine because they are just so fun.  And it’s true.  This right here:

Heaven on earth

Heaven on earth

This is the closest to heaven I’ll get on this earth.  I love them with every ounce of my being…

I love the way Sayble NEEDS me right now and needs me with ferocity!  I love to hear her little jabbers and her sweet smiles.  I love the way she pats me when I pick her up and the way she only wants to be where I am.

I love the way Wryder is all boy.  I love how he wants to mow and shoot guns and eat dirt and poop outside.  I love how he helps pick up after meals and how much he loves his sisters.  I love how he always hollers, “love you!” one more time as I close his door after tucking him in.

I love the way Sawyer has entered a self-sufficiency of sorts.  I love that she and I can go anywhere and she’s fine and I’m fine and we can go and do without a lot of planning (or extra bags)!  I love that she loves so many of the same things I like.  I love that she loves to talk to me and is, truly, one of my best friends.

Tomorrow is Monday and before I know it, Friday will be here again.  Another week done and gone.  It happens so fast…  Lean in and love it, momma…

Pressing In

I have a temper.

And I hate it.

I’m an opinionated, passionate, perfection-loving, anxious person and the unsanctified parts of those things tend to rear their heads through frustration and anger.

I try to be even keel – that helps when you have small children – but sometimes, it gets the best of me.  After the 300th time that I have to repeat the rules that have yet to change since the beginning of rules – no banging on the table, no back talking, no pushing your sister, no jumping off of the coffee table, not getting ON the coffee table, no pulling Sayble around by her legs, no dumping out the dog food, no putting food from our plate on the floor, no sneaking snacks without asking, no screaming while Sayble naps…you get my drift – my flesh takes over and I go into angry-lecturing parent mode.

It doesn’t happen all of the time or even the majority of the time, but one time is one too many and I find myself fighting with that urge more than I’d like.  The Lord gave us emotions and He gave us the ability to feel anger but He does not give us the ok to sin in our anger; when I raise my voice or roll my eyes or let an exasperated naughty word slip or lecture on and on and on hoping they get the point?  That doesn’t please Him.

Anger is one of those really difficult emotions because in the moment, you feel completely justified.  Whatever you feel like doing in rebuttal MUST be ok because of what the offender did or said.  BUT?  That’s just not the case.

The Word says repeatedly that the Lord is slow to anger and abounding in love.  While He’s flipped some tables for the sanctity of His holy place, we don’t see Him on this constant rampage with a furrowed brow and venomous lips.

Parenting is HARD.  HARD, I tell you!  In this stage, with three littles under the age of 6, it can be exhausting.  There is so much physicality to the job right now.  One day, it will switch to more of a mental exhaustion and we’ll be craving those dirty diapers and untied shoes again, won’t we? 

As a mom – especially one that has the luxury to be with her babies all day, every day, weekends-mean-nothing – we are constantly pouring ourselves out to tend to their needs and mend their hearts and navigate their emotions and guide them back to the trail to kindness and righteousness.  Add in the daily chores of laundry, dishes, meal prep, feedings, cleanings, prayers, school work, yard work, etc. and the weight of all of those duties can pile up and sends us teetering on the edge of a meltdown.

While I do want our home – our sacred place – to be a place of peace of righteousness, how I respond to the sins of my children will determine the tone of my household more than their choices do. 

They’re not perfect.  They’re gonna sin.  That’s what they do!  But how I handle that will either lead them TO Jesus or AWAY from Him.  Another big job to add to our list, yes?

This weekend, I felt like we had all been really busy this past week and because of that, our prayers had become choppy and repetitive and insincere.  We regrouped together as a family on Sunday night and we began praying things that aligned with the heart of the Lord.  When we take our desires to Him – things that HE desires for us as well – He is faithful to move on our behalf.

He doesn’t want me to be angry.  He doesn’t want me to sin in my anger.  He doesn’t want me to speak harshly.  His desire for me is to be slow to anger and abounding in love.  And that has been my prayer.

Prayer is not an argument with God to persuade him to move things our way, but an exercise by which we are enabled by his Spirit to move ourselves His way.

While I desire obedience for my children, let the sanctification and obedience start with ME.  I still pray they choose obedience but oh, I pray for me to be more like YOU.  I want to move myself your way…

Lord, we want to be more like You, simple as that.  Isn’t that the goal?  That with each day and week and year, the maturing Christian would look less like the world and more like Jesus?  Pressing in to get there…

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