A Weekend to Remember

Have you ever heard of Family Life Today? They are a non-profit, Christian organization dedicated to strengthening marriages. They have weekend events called “A Weekend to Remember.” These are all over the country, and they happen throughout the year. David has become friends with a man in our community who was a pastor and is now the chaplain of our local police and fire departments. He also works for Family Life Today. He mentioned to David that FLT gives scholarships to pastors to attend the weekend for free (except cost of hotel, but the event has a discount set up with the hotel). And so, we went over the weekend! The hotel it was being held was literally 15 minutes from our house, but because they want you to stay at the hotel to be away from life’s distractions (and kids!) we stayed at the hotel and my MIL stayed here with our kids.

It was a great weekend. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to stay for the Sunday morning sessions, but we did got to the rest. It was also a very hard weekend. The intent, I believe, is to get you and your spouse talking. There are people there on the brink of divorce. There are newly weds and one couple there had been married for 53 years! They also had pre-married folks and everyone in the middle. I don’t care who you are, how long you’ve been married, there is always something you can work on in your marriage.

You are forced (and it might be a true “forcing” for some couples) to be with your spouse and pretty much only your spouse. They don’t provide any meals, you have to go out and feed yourself. At first I thought this strange, but then figured it’s so you have all the time you can to talk with your spouse. They do not encourage buddying up with other couples. They really encourage you to stay a couple and do everything together. It’s only for 2 days, after all!

The speakers were really good and added a lot of humor, seriousness, honesty about their own marriages and Scripture to what they were saying. I appreciated that. They also had a very good set up of books and resources for your family–from stuff for kids of all ages to you as a couple. Would I recommend this to people? Absolutely!!!! Will we go back? Probably at some point! Who knows? It was the right time and place for us to go this past weekend. We went in to it asking the Lord to open our hearts to the things he would have us hear from him. I truly believe that happened and for that I’m thankful!

Snow Day!!!!!

Well, this winter has been a doozy, huh? I mean, really, it seems no matter where you live in the U.S. you are getting abnormally cold weather and way more snow than you’re accustomed too! The same is true for us. Even though we live in a the snow belt of our state we have had so much more snow than usual, and the temperatures are just so darn cold!!! The school kids have had more snow days then I think ever before, and Cora has not been happy with all the preschool she’s missing. I’m only able to appease her by saying the big kids also don’t have school. Now when I tell her she won’t have school she says, very forlornly, “even the big kids don’t?” She has also been wanting to go out and play in the snow, but with it being so cold it’s just not been safe. And, the snow we’ve had has been that powdery, non-packing snow and not overly fun to play in. However! The other day everything came together, and it was the perfect day to play in the snow! The night before, and morning of, we got dumped on–my husband figures about a foot. And the day itself was in the mid-30s, so the snow was perfect for packing (making a snowman!), and since it wasn’t bitter cold, and the sun was shining it was just the best time to bundle them up and send them out! David took them outside, and they all 3 had a blast! I took pictures from the porch as I had to keep an eye on Bekah…As they played outside I made hot cocoa inside to be ready to warm them up. I’m so thankful the Lord provided such a gorgeous day, and we were able to have them go outside! It did us all good!!

Ben wasn't too sure he wanted to go in the snow. But, David carried him down and in like 2 seconds he was having fun!

Ben wasn’t too sure he wanted to go in the snow. But, David carried him down and in like 2 seconds he was having fun!

Snowball fight!!!!

Snowball fight!!!!

I sure do love these 3!!

I sure do love these 3!!

Is it good Ben?

Is it good Ben?

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Cora making a snow angel

Cora making a snow angel

Building the greatly anticipated snow man!

Building the greatly anticipated snow man!

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Oooo! Who's that handsome man in my yard???

Oooo! Who’s that handsome man in my yard???

I LOVE the pride shining on Cora's face over her snow man, which she named Frosty, naturally!

I LOVE the pride shining on Cora’s face over her snowman, which she named Frosty, naturally!

I threw a hat on Bekah's head and took her outside with me so I could get a good photo of snowman and his creators. It really was so warm (or felt that way!). No worries, she wasn't even out 5 minutes!

I threw a hat on Bekah’s head and took her outside with me so I could get a good photo of the snowman and his creators. It really was so warm (or felt that way!). No worries, she wasn’t even out 5 minutes!

She's so beautful...

She’s so beautful…

This is how Molly and Bekah spent the time...looking sadly out the door wishing to be out with everyone!

This is how Molly and Bekah spent the time…looking sadly out the door wishing to be out with everyone!

Warming up with hot cocoa!

Warming up with hot cocoa!

Sibling Love

Here’s some of the cuteness abounding in our home these days! It makes my heart burst with pride to see my 3 children love each other. Now, don’t misunderstand. They are not perfect, and they DO argue just as much as other siblings. However, they love each other and are not afraid to show it. I love watching the 2 older ones helping Bekah get toys, pull things out of her way that she shouldn’t have and do things to make her smile. I love to see Ben dole out hugs and kisses for his sisters, color and play with play-doh with Cora. One of Cora and Ben’s current fun activities is waltzing together. Yes, waltzing. We asked where they learned to dance like that, and Cora says, “George!” As in Curious George, the monkey. Made us chuckle, however it is SO dang cute to see them dancing together! I love to see Cora helping her brother put his shoes on, clean up after him without being asked, in fact she often offers. I love how she is a little mama to them and enjoys being so to them. God has blessed us richly with these children. Yes, I have days of immense frustration and times when I wonder, “what was God thinking???” but those are passing moments. And, often in those moments God will have my kids do something precious, and I’m reminded that I love them, appreciate them and am so thankful for them. We know our kids don’t always get along. However, to us, what is important is that at the end of the day they love each other and know they are loved by each other.

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40 Years Ago…

On Sunday my parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary! They were young, in college and deeply in love! They are still young (seriously, I don’t think my parents look their age, or old enough to have been married for 40 years!), not in college and still deeply in love. My sister and I threw them a party on Saturday (with the help of our husbands and my sister’s MIL). We invited many of their friends and family and simply celebrated them! We had a great time of eating, visiting, laughing, sharing stories and sharing what Dad and Mom have meant to us, and how they’ve touched the lives of those who attended. It was such a special night. The thing both my sister and I shared is when growing up, we always knew our parents didn’t have a perfect marriage, but we never doubted their love for each other. We also knew, and still do know, they are together not simply because of a piece of paper but because they WANT to be together. I love the example they have given to us as to what a marriage based on God looks like. I love you Dad and Mom! Happy Anniversary, again!

My sister took care of all the decorations. She's very gifted in this...she made copies of my parent's wedding photos and clipped them to the balloons and also around the mason jar center pieces. So cute!

My sister took care of all the decorations. She’s very gifted in this…she made copies of my parent’s wedding photos and clipped them to the balloons and also around the mason jar center pieces. So cute!

Mom's wedding colors were lavender and light pink! The bridesmaids carried pink carnations...

Mom’s wedding colors were lavender and light pink! The bridesmaids carried pink carnations…

We had a card on each table with 2 truths and 1 lie written on it. It was so much fun to hear what people thought was the truth! And, even funnier when Mom and Dad couldn't remember the correct answers! :)

We had a card on each table with 2 truths and 1 lie written on it. It was so much fun to hear what people thought was the truth! And, even funnier when Mom and Dad couldn’t remember the correct answers! 

Mom's bouquet was white roses, white carnations and baby's breath

Mom’s bouquet was white roses, white carnations and baby’s breath

We had everyone sign the photo mat and then put it all in a frame for Dad and Mom!

We had everyone sign the photo mat and then put it all in a frame for Dad and Mom!

My sister redid their wedding album, which was literally falling apart! She did a beautiful job!!

My sister redid their wedding album, which was literally falling apart! She did a beautiful job!!

Dad and Mom with us, their kids! Just no grandkids this time around!

Dad and Mom with us, their kids! Just no grandkids this time around!

The happy couple!

The happy couple!

Girlie Weekend

Cora will be starting preschool September 3. She is SO stinkin’ excited to start!!!! She really needed to have her hair cut after our disaster earlier in the summer, so I thought it would be fun for her to go with me to the salon I go so we could get our hair cut together. We did have a really fun time. She was afraid for the stylist to wash her hair since the last time she ended up drenched. I assured her this wouldn’t happen here and thankfully it didn’t! She asked if Lizz cut my hair when I was a little girl, and I said no–I doubt Lizz was alive when I was 4 years old! After getting our hair cut we stopped at a local coffee shop, and I got her some ice cream (which she ate about 2 bites of), and we just sat and talked. I asked her what she was most excited about doing in preschool and she said, “Coloring!” Really? She rarely colors at home because she doesn’t seem to enjoy it. We had a great time together, and I had to chuckle as she said a few times, “Mommy? Can we go home? I reaaaaaaally miss Daddy and Ben!” I’m thankful she loves (and misses) the men in her family!

I took this photo of her...

I took this photo of her…

...so, she took this one of me!

…so, she took this one of me!

She almost always insists on a cone AND a bowl!

She almost always insists on a cone AND a bowl!

Rebekah slept the whole time!

Rebekah slept the whole time!