Saturday, January 23, 2016


what do you do when you are given 30 days to relocate your family, and your move date falls the week before christmas?!

first, you scream, cry, pout and lose your mind for (ehem!) a while!

then you pull it together and set up your christmas tree anyways!!
 next...the night before you move, you shove said tree into the back of your trusty mini van and sneak into the new place at night to set it up again to surprise your super-duper-flexible kiddos who have moved more times than they can count!
 lastly...when you realize that there is are blocks of JOY literally a short walk away from your new make it your family photo (and motto!!) for the new year!
God is good...ever and always!

Monday, September 14, 2015


year three of attempting to homeschool our sweetmess...

first...we smooshed one last looong, restful and AMAZING trip to LA for endless fun, friends and beach time!!! (pt dume is the BEST!)

 our first day of school started with this...
 our fav breakfast joint in fresno!

 first day of school pics of these precious ones!! 4th grader!

2nd grader!!      

6th grader!!!!

and our 7th grader!!!
our fun first day ended with this...
a mild concussion from (ehem!) trying to jump onto an exercise ball! after a quick ER visit, we were reassured that she would survive!
the massive goose egg (right side of her head) went down WAY before her double black eyes went away!

all in all, a wild start to year three!!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

happy first day of august

 did you know???? its been literally a year since i posted anything to this silly family blog!?
i was really sad initially about this truth. how could i let SO much time slip by without capturing in words and photos all that is oursweetmess?!

but i have come to remember some sweet words that i read once, long lack of documentation of all that fills our days is proof that i was fully in those moments...not taking even a second of time to stop and write it all down! hopefully the blog posts in my mind will stand the test of time!

for is a moment of celebration...our family has a funny tradition of celebrating the first day of august! it started years ago when i was looking for an excuse to make a cake! after making a homemade chocolate cake (yummy recipe from my mom!) my kids asked what the cake was for...who were we celebrating?

i thought about it...saw the calendar, and declared, "We are celebrating the first day of august!"

it stuck!

now living in the central valley where it is nearly illegal to turn on your oven, baking anything is pretty much akin to SUICIDE! so...we have taken to ice cream this ice cream cookie sandwich!

Messy, but yummy!!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

underwater basketball

???did you know??

 that if you fill a balloon with water you can play basket ball underwater!!
 we've added it to our list of super fun ways to beat the endless central california heat :)

 hours of fun!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

El! Ay!

...and when you return from said oregon road trip, exhausted from packing and unpacking your sweetmess 10 times in 10 days and the city in which you currently hang your hat is STILL over 100 F nearly 24 hours a day, what then?

what is a momma of four homeschooled "humans in training" supposed to do? i mean, really people?

well, first, you style your hair in your best "up do"...
and then you load up that trusty mini van and head south....till you get to pt. dume! (think half dome, but at the edge of zuma beach in north malibu!)
and once you have watched dolphins and seals play in the surf and soaked in all the sand and sun one little body can hit a local burger joint with 8 kids, 12 and under, for wild fun! (including a splits contest! nathan rocked the straddle splits!)
since "back home" is still way too hot, you stay the WHOLE week in an AMAZING house that is graciously offered to you while your dear friends {the owners} are on vacation!! that way you have loads of time to climb trees with friends, play at all your old favorite parks, enjoy the views while you lay flat on your back doing NOTHING...
and conquer a long standing fear of heights!
                                         (yup! that's right folks, those are august!)
and no vacation would be complete without a little face painting with good friends!!

If you've not yet experienced the street lights exhibit at the LACMA, really, you must go! (i know a few folks you could stay with!!)
and while you are visiting the exhibit, the try playing hide and seek in it after the sun sets, with 12 kids!!! a total blast! but, count heads before leaving...we nearly left one behind! order to best prepare yourselves for re-entry back into the reality of life in the dry, hot central valley, a few rounds of twister in the old neighborhood are a must!

as we crested the grape vine and descended back into the new life He has graciously called us to i shed a few tears over the life i had been called to leave behind. but there were also tears of joy as God reminded me of how many ways He has already refined our family into more of His likeness during the past 12 months.

His grace IS always sufficient.
His mercies ARE always new.
His ways ARE always perfect.
His will IS always right for my life...even this, even now, even stinking hot fresno...and so we WILL rejoice!

Monday, August 11, 2014


first, you go slightly crazy. then, you pack up your circus and take your show on the road...
 a really long road that leads up the Oregon coast!!!!
 and a wildly long road trip would not be complete without cousins!!!

 and long, quiet runs on the silently loud beach...
 plus endless, precious moments with the world's BEST family!


Saturday, August 2, 2014

un LOVE able

"Stop touching me!" "Don't! Stop!" "Stop looking at me!" "Stop! Stop! Stop!"

that's my back ground noise these days...

how do you love someone that behaves in such an UNloving way SO much of the day?!?

it's constant. unending. a low level noxious someone standing an inch from your face asking you "why?!" one thousand times in a row.

it's no wonder i scream at the top of my lungs by the end of the day (or by noon!) so often.

imagine sitting at your work place and coworker in the next cubicle whines and complains the ENTIRE day! how annoying would that be!?

i was sitting here, growing frustrated at the constant bickering and fighting and whining and tattling that is my "work day", judging them all to be "unlovable"!

that's when the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear...

"you are JUST as unlovable."


and there's this...

DESPITE my unloveliness; despite my willful disobedience; despite my woefully sinful heart...

Christ died for me.

for me!

for you!

for mysweetmess!

for all the unlovables.

(truly!) amazing grace!