Monday, May 1, 2017






"There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again." ~ Elizabeth Lawrence











Wednesday, April 26, 2017



"  Because your faithful love is right in front of me—
    I walk in your truth!
I walk all around your altar, Lord,
        proclaiming out loud my thanks,
        declaring all your wonderful deeds!"

Psalm 26:3, 6 & 7

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

ten on ten - April 2017


creating


deciding


breakfasting


imparting


hydrating


pottying


hair brushing


hugging


enjoying


prepping


lining up


contemplating


bringing


journaling


photographing (by Cora - here Mama, I'll take your picture) 




lunch preparing


tidying


more tidying


relishing


lunching 


schooling


anticipating





planting


planting


demolishing


sweeping 


unloading


folding 

We had a big day today (started this post on the 10th, am now finishing on the 11th) and yet it was very ordinary as well.  Full of blessings and I'm so thankful for today and all of our days at home!  

I want to remember what our days were like at this stage so I am journaling this for myself.  Feel free to read if you feel like it.  :)  

At our house you can get up at 7:00.  If you wake up before that you can read or play in your room.  I wake up at six most mornings to shower and get ready, try to get a handle on breakfast prep, read and pray, maybe listen to some Julie Bogart while I unload the dishwasher . . . most mornings my kids ROCK at this . . . even Cora who does not have a clock in her room (sidenote: why are alarm clocks so ugly?  This has been my hindrance in buying one for her.) but this morning she was up at 6:30 so she went back into her room (with some gentle guidance) and proceeded to create with her new art kit.  

Breakfast seems to always have several bumps in it at our house in this season.  Deciding what color straw, throwing a whining fit when your preferred straw color isn't available, not liking what is for breakfast, being grumpy about needing to finish a glass of water or about not getting MORE breakfast . . . seriously, breakfast could last ALL day.  

breakfasting today:  leftover blueberry muffins that I made ahead for Sunday breakfast to help it be a day of rest, a beautiful REAL (the kids, especially Cora are impressed and enthralled by this fact) palm branch from Sunday school to remember Jesus coming into Jerusalem, scrambled eggs and green chile made by Adrian for me - Cora is allergic to chicken eggs and David prefers no green chile in his - a memory verse 3 x 5 card to review, puppets on the table for me to talk to them with in funny voices are very popular.

Our book stack that we do selections from during breakfast in the mornings.

glasses staying out on the counter all day and a pitcher help us in our quest to consume enough water through the day

What is working for us these days is to take a potty break after each meal and read a book . . . the upside is we are getting more reading in!  

I can't believe how long her hair is getting!  And we are so thankful for hand me down clothes and hair things!  

me and my girl

white dishes on display were inspired by a walk through a shop in downtown Littleton last week.  This little space feels springy to me. 

prepping books for us to read later in the day . . . doing the ever present book rotation from the library, our personal library, etc.  We love books!  

It's interesting how innate "playing school" is.  We homeschool and so "school" settings of lots of kids lined up listening to a teacher are more rare for my kids than some but Cora is constantly lining up "kids" or "our friends" these days and singing a song with them or reading to them, etc.  It's really cute.  (and gives her an outlet for being bossy ;) )

After reading the Legend of the Indian Paintbrush last week, David and Cora set out to make their own paints with flowers, weeds, grasses and vegetable scraps, oh and pinecones.  David is trying to figure out here why the huge stack of bricks has not yet compressed the pinecones he put in between them on Friday and where to go from here.  I love how his mind works.  

We are attempting to be good neighbors by picking/uprooting our dandelions as soon as they show up so we aren't spreading downy fluff seeds to neighboring yards.  And besides, how sweet is this??

Originally I went outside alone to journal, read and pray and have a few minutes by myself but I could hear strife and bickering through the open door so I knew it was time to get my littles outside for a break in the great outdoors too.  I called them out to see our new daffodil blooming and then sent them around to the backyard to see the iris coming out.  By that time they were hooked and finding their own things to do and play outside including the preceding pics and some of the following (they loaded out of order and weren't correcting so I'm leaving them).  

When we came back inside Cora wanted to take my picture.  

Today I made a big salad with cheese chunks for Cora and I in it (David's dairy allergy is getting MUCH better but he hasn't really developed a taste for cheddar cheese) and all three of us loved that fresh, yummy lunch.  

We have begun trying to do a Flykids challenge most days (which honestly has been about one day a week lately but still better than nothing!) to chip away at keeping our rooms cleaner in small increments of time and activity.  I gave them each a big rubbermaid tub to dump everything from their floors into and at times we will pull items out and work through whether to keep them or give them away, where they go, etc. but at least if nothing else, they can easily pick up their floors and that makes a world of difference.  David dubbed it their "disaster boxes"!  

We are firmly entrenched in the lego phase!  Lego creations all day long and hearing all about their creation, features, etc.  

This huge science poster of himself that David did at our one day a week homeschool classical academy just makes my heart super happy for some reason and he added in all of the white chalk words after reading more books about the human body.   

We do a lot of our schooling during breakfast, lunch and dinner!  It's what works well for us.  The school year is wrapping up.  David's last day is May 4th although Cora's preschool will continue through the end of May.  I can't believe I'm going to have a second grader soon!!!

Walter, the Lazy Mouse has been a highly anticipated and much loved read aloud this week!  We finished today!  After reading couch each day David heads to "quiet alone time" during which he works on math, builds and creates with legos, draws, plays outside, reads, occasionally watches Wild Kratts, etc. and Cora goes down for an afternoon nap.  

We also had two visitors this morning!  Visitors are so fun.  Both visits were super quick, dropping off hand me downs, letting me show off the one day, zero dollar bathroom refresh, picking up the leopard gecko we pet sat and bringing goodies.  We are so blessed by many wonderful friends!! 

And out of order in how our day went, we planted our sensitive plant today!  Thank you Clementine and Mrs. Melissa!  

David told me today that he likes demolition.  I THINK I already knew that!  ;) Here he is demolishing a stick.  

They took turns sweeping mud off the front porch.  I am working really hard on not cleaning up after them all day but training them to think about messes before they make them to a reasonable degree and to decide if they are willing to clean it up.  

For about a year now I have been making laundry a joint effort where the kids and I all work together on it.  I will be honest, it was terrible there for a while.  Our day would turn into meltdowns during laundry.  I would get frustrated that they couldn't seem to stick to a task and finish it.  Remember we are all working together here, it is not like I say "get to it" and disappear.  Some things that have really helped us have been setting a timer for 15 minutes and when it goes off I say something like "when the red table is empty" (meaning they have put away the things that I have folded and set on that child sized table in our family room) "then you are done".  They like to know there is an end in sight and exactly what needs to happen to get to that end.  

We also moved WHEN we do it.  It used to be right after breakfast.   I have discovered that for our family in this season, after we do a structured breakfast time with reading poetry, working on a memory verse, singing a hymn, doing a devotional as well as sometimes other reading/discussion/youtube video on a topic of interest, etc. and we clear the table, that everyone needs to be able to get up, get energy out and be self-directed for awhile - including ME! 

So now we have a big chunk of free time after breakfast and reconvene in the 11:00 hour to do laundry, flykids challenge, lunch and the bulk of our school.  Nap doesn't usually happen until sometime in the 3:00 hour!  Thankfully that is working for us right now.  

As far as laundry, I also give them separate jobs now instead of them collaborating on the same thing.  When they were both working together to switch laundry from the washer to the dryer, clothes were flying everywhere, I was frustrated, they were dissolving into giggles.  Now they still play during it to some degree and take swings on the trapeze we have hanging next to the laundry room as they go by but everyone is more focused and efficient.  I also started using a basket placed at the base of the washer for whichever kid gets the privilege of sitting on top of the washing machine that day (they LOVE that) to drop the clothes down into and THEN load them into the dryer from that basket instead of trying to go straight from washer to dryer.  It is a much better system for us!  

They are really new to folding socks, as in it started in the last week or so.  David told me he pretends that one sock is swallowing the other sock and then it gets really big.  They look pretty funny when he's done but they are matched and stuck together and inside a drawer!  I'll take it!  

So that is a little glimpse into our day in this season.  If you actually read all of this I hope it was interesting to you!  I know even in a few months things will have changed once again in the flow of our family and schooling life and I will forget how we once did things if I don't write it down! 

Kelly












Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Bidding Summary for the Water Raffle

Interested in seeing which raffle items have more/less bids (and which ones you have the best chances on if you donate to The Adventure Project and bid???!!!)

go here!  

$3,317 away from a BIG God sized $15,000 goal 

to bring a piping system to four villages in Uganda where there would be clean water taps outside schools, etc. for people to get clean water rather than hauling water from dirty puddles or other contaminated water sources.  

Plus!  That $15,000 will be matched by One Day's Wages.

Already, women in Uganda who are so excited about the possibility of clean water for their families are raising money by taking on extra jobs themselves to make this a reality!  Read below from Mandy's blog.  

when water for people was visiting western Uganda and trying to figure out the best system for getting water to these 4 villages, two women over heard the plans to pipe water closer to their families.

they immediately sought some extra work at a nearby farm and in 5 days they each proudly contributed 10 dollars toward this new piping system.  becky straw (co-founder of the adventure project) says that each family from these villages is giving what they can to make this piping system a reality. 

these brave, hard working women gave what they could in 5 days, and this raffle is going to follow their lead.

5 days. 15k.

because of an astounding match from one days wages, every dollar raised starting today will be matched. turning our 15k into 30k. 

you know, in heaven none will be thirsty.  and so today, this week, we fight to restore a bit of order to this old, dusty earth. 

we fight to bring heaven here.

may these loaves and fish multiply into miracles.

you will find the bidding page with all of our amazing raffle items here.

after you look through the items and submit your bids, go here to donate.

music camp!



I would love to offer your kids or your grandkids (this would make a GREAT gift!!) a music “camp" experience (4 mornings one week to be determined between the winning bidder and I) at my home in Colorado Springs (if you live in a city I might be visiting this summer it could potentially be open for travel, leave a comment).  (a $100 value per child!!) 

I will work with the winner to tailor the camp to the ages of your kids (best for preschool - early elementary) AND you can invite friends of similar ages, up to 8 children!  


This music camp experience will provide your kids with great opportunities to sing, play instruments, dance and learn other musical skills such as learning to read music all while having a lot of fun with friends and siblings.  The kids will also enjoy confidence building as they build on the skills they are learning throughout the four days.

I am offering this music camp in the 
that my friend Mandy is hosting for World Water Day TODAY!!!


Bid here (on music camp and lots of other fun prizes!)

Then total your bids and donate here!

Happy World Water Day Wednesday everyone!

Kelly


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Water!!!

Photo disclaimer:  All of these photos are old.
😊   Most were not taken in Colorado.  And no, I am not pregnant again.  😊 😊 😊 

Also, this post is a long one, be sure to read or at least skim on if you are interested in putting your kids in music lessons, like to win things, have gifts to buy or want to hear about incredible HOPE being brought to Uganda!  




It's March!  Spring is on it's way!  Things are beginning to green.


Today, March 19th, marks 9 years since this wonderful man asked me to marry him!  

Do you have any special occasions coming up in your life?  


Today is also the day that I want to tell you that World Water Day is coming up!!!  



Wednesday, March 22nd is World Water Day and once again I am joining The Adventure Project to change lives in real ways in Uganda, Africa!  The Adventure Project doesn't exist just to give hand outs or build wells that can then fall into disrepair.  They are all about jobs and providing for LONG TERM success and hope!!  





My dear, dear friend Mandy (we actually met through The Adventure Project's fundraising for World Water Day when I had first moved to town and discovered that someone in my new home was fighting for clean water the same way I had been and our friendship has blossomed and grown and she is now a mentor and life-giving encouraging friend to me!) has been hosting a water raffle to raise money for clean water and JOBS and HOPE in India and Uganda for several years now.  Each year the raffle and the money raised gets a little bit bigger and a little bit bigger.  

All of that "little bit" - items donated by friends, services offered, Mandy putting it together and getting the word out, encouraging us to share as well . . . all of that "little bit" has raised A LOT of money (in the tens of thousands!) over the past several years.  

Mandy got to meet Diana, the well mechanic we have been working with these last several years!  She talked about HOW BIG these small gifts are to them!  I tried to upload the video but it won't load.  You can check it out here!  

When Diana was four years old the well in her village broke and she can remember her dad and others standing around trying to figure out how to get clean water back for their village.  A desire within her at a young age was born to be a fixer for this problem and that is what she is doing today!  


Heaven is coming to Earth!  

We love, we care, we give because we love Him and because of what He has already given to us!!!  

If you desire to donate you can do so here.  

And the fun thing about donating through Mandy's fundraising page is that she hosts a REALLY SUPER FUN raffle!!  


Do you have any gift giving occasions coming up?
Birthdays, Easter baskets, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Teacher Gifts, Graduation, Wedding???

You could potentially win a really awesome present to give or have a fun something for yourself!  

Check out these offerings!!    

There are BUNCHES of things you can bid on!!



(and if you like reading "favorite things" lists my friend Melissa has put a GREAT one together with this offering!  Check it out in the link above!)  




can be bid on on Wednesday!  Special reserve raffle item for World Water Day itself!
scroll to bottom of post



AND you don't have to live in Colorado Springs to participate in the raffle.  Many of the prizes can be shipped!


It is such a joy and honor and privilege to be able to bless other families with what we have soo easily!  Clean water, jobs, ways to provide for their families and the HOPE that their water sources will be around for their whole lives because people who are in their own communities are trained and equipped to fix them and keep them maintained.  

Here is the specific scoop on this year's project in Mandy's words from her blog: 

when water for people was visiting western Uganda and trying to figure out the best system for getting water to these 4 villages ( Bubare, Muragyi A, Muragyi B, and Kabuye, in Western Uganda), two women over heard the plans to pipe water closer to their families.

they immediately sought some extra work at a nearby farm and in 5 days they each proudly contributed 10 dollars toward this new piping system.  becky straw (co-founder of the adventure project) says that each family from these villages is giving what they can to make this piping system a reality. 

these brave, hard working women gave what they could in 5 days, and this raffle is going to follow their lead.

5 days. 15k.

because of an astounding match from one days wages, every dollar raised starting today will be matched. turning our 15k into 30k. 

you know, in heaven none will be thirsty.  and so today, this week, we fight to restore a bit of order to this old, dusty earth. 

we fight to bring heaven here.

may these loaves and fish multiply into miracles.

you will find the bidding page with all of our amazing raffle items here.

after you look through the items and submit your bids, go here to donate.

if you are the very first one to bid on an item, your name automatically goes in twice for that item!

we will draw winners at 8pm mountain time on world water day, wednesday, march 22nd. 


So if you have made it this far in this blogpost, here is a little something more to tell you about.  



Two years ago I knew that besides just giving money and getting the word out, I wanted to offer something to be raffled also.  God gave me the idea to offer a music camp to last year's raffle.  I had no idea who would win it or how it would work out but I committed to a four morning camp in my home for whoever won it.

I didn't know the winner at all but she gathered several of the families from their small group and these women and their kids were a complete delight and blessing to me!  We had SOO much fun and they are now treasured friends!!  










I mean look at that!!!  


So, again this year, I would love to offer your kids or your grandkids (this would make a GREAT gift!!) a music “camp" experience (4 mornings one week to be determined between the winning bidder and I) at my home in Colorado Springs.  (a $100 value per child!!) 

I will work with the winner to tailor the camp to the ages of your kids (best for preschool - early elementary) AND you can invite friends of similar ages, up to 8 children!  


This music camp experience will provide your kids with great opportunities to sing, play instruments, dance and learn other musical skills such as learning to read music all while having a lot of fun with friends and siblings.  The kids will also enjoy confidence building as they build on the skills they are learning throughout the four days.

Soo . . . would you like to get in on all this goodness???

Bringing Heaven to earth?


Maybe even music camp for your kids or grandkids?  













ALL Mamas want clean water for their babies!  

photo: Iceland when I was pregnant with Cora



People don't want our handouts.  They want JOBS.  This provides them jobs, clean water, a package deal . . . teach a man or woman to fish . . . 



Again in Mandy's words:  

There is something magical about the way working toward peace and hope on behalf of someone else invites the very same peace and hope to seep into the cracks and broken places of our own lives. 

We were made to give. 

We were made to be a blessing and made to receive a physical and emotional benefit from serving and sacrificing and advocating.  This is beautiful and extraordinary and we all have known this abstract principal to be true in our own lives, but it's easy to forget when you are walking through the hard. 

The pathway to joy is in sharing the gifts we have. 




We have it, let's share it!!!  

p.s. in the past $150 has been donated from this little circle of you guys!  What if we did even more this year??!!!  

Kelly