Sunday, October 14, 2018

A Unicorn Party for a FOUR Year Old

What little girl doesn't like unicorns? I mean it's the best of both worlds - horses and fairy tales. Naturally, Karsten decided that's what kind of birthday party she wanted and that's exactly what kind of party she got. So here's a little peek of our morning last Saturday, as we celebrated Karsten with all-things-unicorn.















Sunday, October 7, 2018

Karsten is Four

Yesterday, the baby of our family turned FOUR. I'm still in denial.

We spent the day celebrating her and had So. Much. Fun.  I'll write about it later, but for now I wanted to take a minute to put down on paper (screen?) what Karsten is like at 4 years old.

Karsten is the most on-the-move kid that I have ever been around. She is constantly running, jumping, skipping, hopping, twirling, bouncing, spinning, or SOMETHING. Walk is not a word in her vocabulary. She has wanted a watch like Kate's for months now, so she can track her steps.  Kate has NOT wanted Karsten to get a watch because she said Karsten would beat her in steps every single day. I mean, when a seven year old realizes that you are active, you know it is true!

She is always smiling. Unless she is in trouble, she almost always has a smile on her face or is laughing at something.

She is so sensitive. When she DOES get in trouble, she takes it hard.  A few weeks ago before church, she drew on our brand new refrigerator with an invisible ink pen that Kate bought at school. You could still sort of see where it was, but it wasn't a huge deal. The ink was washable so I just wiped it off, but I did have a talk with her about drawing on things and that we only draw on paper. I barely even fussed at her but she took it SO HARD and cried and cried about ruining our fridge. I calmed her down and showed her that it was okay and we fixed it.  At bedtime, we were praying and she interrupted to say "Dear God, please forgive me for drawing on Mommy's refrigerator."

She is girly. She loves painted fingernails and toenails and would have me redo hers every day if I would (but I won't).  She loves to watch hair shows on TV (Sunny Day on Nick Jr).  She's always asking for her hair to be braided, or have twists or pig tails. A few nights a week we have started doing what the girls call "family movie night", where we just watch Little House on the Prairie together as a family. Karsten loves to sit beside me and comb and braid my hair. It's just her thing.

She loves her big sister with her whole heart and wants to be JUST like her. She'll even tell you that. I'll sometimes ask "Karsten, why do you want to ______?"  and she will answer "Because Kate does and I want to be like Kate."

She is sassy, silly, sweet, cuddly and we sure do love her so. Happy birthday, Karsten. You are FOUR.



Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Painting Fun

These pictures are pretty old.  I'm talking at least 2-3 months old.  Yikes!  But, since I print this blog out into a book each year, I didn't want to miss including them and remembering these moments.  Kate has had this easel since she was 2 or 3 years old and it has gotten a LOT of use. However, the mean mom that I am, we don't use paint inside the house very often. So in the summer, I drag the easel outside and let the girls have at it. This was one of those days.  Seeing how much fun they have doing this, I'm going to make a point of dragging it outside more often!

(PS- I promise Karsten has shorts on under her oversized t-shirt!)









Monday, September 10, 2018

Dream Small

I've posted before about songs - like that time I wrote about Johnny Diaz song Breathe here.  I'm in the car about an hour each morning - from the time I leave my house, take Kate to school, and roll into the parking garage at work it's been a solid hour.  Kate and I talk for the first little bit, but then I've got some time to myself to listen to podcasts (yes, I'm one of those people!) or listen to music. Thank heavens for XM radio.

About once a year I hear a song that just gets stuck in my head. It's usually a song that resonates with me for one reason or another and lately I've got a few of those.  This one is one of my favorites at the moment, and it's basically a subject that I've blogged about on more than one occasion in the past few years. (Remember this post?) If you haven't heard this song before, pull up YouTube and listen in. What a great reminder about how important the "small things" are in life. They change the world.

Dream Small, by Josh Wilson:


It's a momma singing songs about the Lord
It's a daddy spending family time
That the world said he cannot afford
These simple moments change the world

It's a pastor at a tiny little Church
Forty years of loving on the broken and the hurt
These simple moments change the world

Dream small
Don't buy the lie you've gotta do it all
Just let Jesus use you where you are
One day at a time

Live well
Loving God and others as yourself
Find little ways where only you can help
With His great love
A tiny rock can make a giant fall
Dream small




Thursday, September 6, 2018

Officially a Pre-Schooler

The past month has been filled with lots of "first day of _____"s.  Last week was Karsten's first few days of preschool.  She has been so excited and looking forward to this day.  It did not disappoint!


She will happily tell you that her teacher is Mrs. Bradshaw and she is in the jungle room!  The first day of school, I walked her into her classroom and I am pretty sure I didn't even get a "bye mom!".  She just took right off into the room and left me standing there. Ha!


The next day, Kevin took her to school and dropped her off in the car line, where she walked in like the big girl that she is. Baby no more!


She's just in 3K and only going to school 2 days a week, but I know these will be 2 fun-filled days for her!  So far, she has loved it!  I can't wait to see how much she learns.


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Second Grade Girl

Last week, Kate started second grade! Time is a thief!


She was so excited because second grade is upstairs at her school, so she really feels like a big kid.  However, when we actually got in the car to drive over there, I could tell she was getting a little nervous. (So unlike her!)


The last 2 years, she's wanted me to drop her off in the car line on the first day and just be on my way. Both years I've told her that I "needed" to help her carry her school supplies in. Ha! Really, this mama just needed to do some mama stuff while I still can. 

On this day though, she said "Mama, you're gonna walk me in, right?"  

Yup, sweet girl. I sure am.


She found her seat, with crayons and a coloring page, saw some friends, and was good to go. So far we've done this 2nd grade thing a solid week, and seem to be off to a good start! Here's to a happy year filled with lots of good learning!


Oh and then after I dropped her off, I had to take a picture of what "back to school" looks like for all the non-students out there. This was my morning commute to work. Man, the summer drive to work is so much easier!


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Mission Trip 2018

At the beginning of August, our church always goes on a mission trip to Wears Valley Ranch in TN. It is a children's home and we do all kinda of projects. Basically, we do whatever they need.  Landscaping? We'll do it.  Roofing? We'll do it. Picking potatoes in the garden? We'll do it.  Staining tables/benches? Yep. You get the idea.

It's a trip that started out for our youth group but has expanded to include parents and any (little) kids that they want to bring and be responsible for. I mean it IS a children's home so they definitely don't have a problem with us bringing kids.

Kate has gone 3 years in a row now, and for the first time ever, we brought Karsten. I love that we get to teach our kids about serving others in a tangible way that they can play a real part in.

Anyway, I'll leave you with just a FEW pictures. It's just a small snapshot of what we did all week but if I included every picture that I have from the trip, you'd still be scrolling next week.

First, here's a look back at the last 4 years of mission trips. Bottom right is 2015, bottom left is 2016, top right is 2017 and top left is 2018.


On the first day, some of the girls helped with staining benches that the campers use around the campfires in the evenings.


We had to check out the horses- so beautiful! 




When we drove IN to Pigeon Forge, Karsten saw the big ferris wheel and that is all she could talk about for days. So on Thursday, we had some free time and took some of the kids to ride. This girl was in heaven.







Both of our kids worked hard (relatively speaking). There were a few trees down that needed to be cut up and cleared. Karsten helped gather up the smaller twigs and branches. 


Kate took a turn with the blower and "helped" blow leaves. 


This place is beautiful, and we love coming here each year.  This church building was barely a shell last year.  One of our jobs last year was to spread pea gravel underneath the foundation. Just a small part, but look at what it is now. So beautiful in fact, that one of our couples got engaged on the front steps of this building during our trip! 



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