Tuesday, October 6, 2015


~ Guest post by Devon, who I snapped this picture of as he headed out the door on 9/24/15


I had sent out multiple letters to veterinary offices asking if I could volunteer and so far I’ve only received one answer. Woodburn Veterinary Clinic said that I couldn’t volunteer, but I could job shadow for a few hours. So we planned a time and I went over and watched them work.  I watched them do a surgery on a dog and spay and neuter a couple cats. They had a big wall of medicine.  I got to pet one of their cats while eating candy they gave me. I had fun and I hope I can go again.

Q: Did you know that a normal cat temperature is 102-107 degrees? 
A: I bet you didn’t. 
Q: Did you know if you touch a cat where its back ends and its tail starts the tail will twitch?
A: I bet you didn’t know that either.

Monday, October 5, 2015


Not only did my dad stop for a quick visit on his recent trip north, but he also took the little Ws and I out for lunch on his way south a couple days later. I wanted a picture of just he and I, so Silas snapped one for me. Me and the padre.

Then Teebs chimed in with, "I want to take a picture with Papa. On his lap. But just me. No one else!" So, I granted his request.

Naomi didn't want to miss her opportunity, so she also requested a picture with Papa. Although Dad had taken off his glasses because of the glare in the previous pictures, Naomi asked him to put them on for her picture with him so that they could be matching.

The big boys didn't have the same burning desire for a picture that the rest of us had, but that's fine. They love him just as much as their younger siblings do.

Getting two quick visits in one week was pretty awesome!

Thursday, October 1, 2015


I'm thankful for laughter.

What's one thing that you're thankful for?

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


The Kindness Diaries: One Man's Quest to Ignite Goodwill and Transform Lives Around the World, written by Leon Logothetis

Sometimes I choose books from my TBR list, other times they're random pulls from library shelves. This book was one of the latter and I enjoyed it. Logothetis tells the story of a trip he made around the world depending totally on the kindness of others for food, lodging, and gas. In the process he learns about other people, other places, and himself. He receives kindness and gives it out. While I don't have a burning desire to travel without a plan for where to eat and sleep, I do love it when people look for opportunities to serve others and hold their resources with an open hand.

p. 52, Maybe it's the luxuries of life that make us forget the necessities. I know I forget them time and time again. I get so caught up in the things I want that I forget to honor the things I have.

p. 91, I loved the road less traveled, and yet so much of this world demanded permanence, demanded commitment, demanded valor in order to keep safe the places we call home and the people we call family.

p. 102, And it all comes back to the same flawed idea: that somehow one person is more important than another. < snip > I lived in the lonely belief that my feelings were somehow more important than those around me. And then one day I woke up in so much pain; I realized that the rewards of my selfishness would never outweigh the pain of isolation.

p. 157, In Bhutan, they determine the success of their country by the happiness of their people. It's not about wealth. Or power. Or their GDP. The concept of Gross National Happiness was built on the foundation of how love and kindness are traded between their people, and how that trade - not of money and goods, but of real human connection - bring the one thing you can't trade: joy.

p. 203, Perhaps loneliness is the most fatal disease.We all need to feel acknowledged by those around us. We need to be seen. And we also need to be able to see others.

The Corn Grows Ripe, written by Dorothy Rhoads and illustrated by Jean Charlot
Naomi and I read this book for school. It's the fictional story of a boy coming of age, learning to take responsibility for others and be a hard worker in the wake of a serious injury his dad gets. Good life lessons, even on my third time reading it.

The Five Love Languages of Children, written by Gary Chapman, Ph.D. and Ross Campbell, M.D.
I read this book several years ago, but thought I'd read it again. While the whole book has good information, the chapters dedicated to each love language (quality time, gifts, acts of service, words of affirmation, and physical touch) were my favorite because they give practical ideas on how to show love to your kids in those ways. I also like the chapter on discipline because it helps parents understand how the effectiveness of various forms of discipline will vary according to a child's love language.

A Lion to Guard Us, written by Clyde Robert Bulla and illustrated by Michele Chessare
A father moves from London to America to start a new life for his family, leaving his wife and children behind until he's ready for them. Eventually the kids make a decision to cross the ocean to find him. Naomi enjoyed reading this with me for school, as did Silas and Devon in years past.

Room: A Novel, written by Emma Donoghue
Someone mentioned this book in a Facebook group I'm part of and it intrigued me. The narrator is a five year old boy who has spent his entire life in an 11 x 11-foot  room that he and his mom are held prisoner in. It took me a little while to get used to how he talks, but then I got totally sucked into the story and finished it the same day I started it. While the premise of the story is disturbing, I think it's a great story of creativity, resourcefulness, adjustment, and resiliency. I didn't realize it when I started the book, but there's a movie based on the book coming out October 16th.

p.116, "Scared is what you're feeling," says Ma, "but brave is what you're doing". 

Spare Parts, Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream, written by Joshua Davis
This was another random selection from the library and another that I didn't realize had been made into a movie until after I'd started reading. I love true stories of people who beat the odds and that's exactly what this story is. The book make you excited for the success, both small and large, of those who know nothing but hardship and failure, discouraged that smart people who work hard can be trapped in a life they don't want, thankful for people who invest in others, and grateful to be born in a country with opportunities to earn enough money to cover your family's most basic needs.

(This post contains affiliate and/or referral links, which means our family earns a little bit of money or credit for any purchase you make and/or search you do after clicking those links. Thank you to those who use them!) 

Sunday, September 27, 2015


I woke up to a voicemail from a friend yesterday morning asking me to return their call. The two of us never chat on the phone, so I wondered what was going on. As it turns out, they had two concert tickets that weren't going to be used and wondered if we wanted them. I said I'd talk to Tim and then let them know.

Normally I'd have been excited for a free date like I was when we got to see Crowder last year, but I've been fighting allergies or something and was so wiped out yesterday that even the chance to go to a free concert didn't make me want to get out of jammies. With one ticket up for grabs and three kids old enough for Tim to take along, we had a choice to make. Which kid would get to go? Any of the bigs would have loved it, but Devon is the one who is the most obsessed with music, bands, knowing who sings what, and so on. We decided Tim would take Devon and told our friend we'd accept the tickets ... but we didn't tell Devon or any of the other little Ws.

We carried on with our day as usual until Tim told Devs to put on some shoes and head to the car. Devon had no clue what was going on and probably just figured they were running an errand together. He remained clueless until they walked into the venue and he saw all the merchandise tables. He asked Tim if they were at a concert, but Tim just shrugged. Then they walked into the auditorium and he saw the stage set up with banners for the different bands that were playing. Devon's suspicions were confirmed.  Newsboys headlined and both Hawk Nelson and Ryan Stevenson opened.

The guys took some pictures in the lobby. (We incorrectly assumed the concert was outdoors because it was at the fairgrounds, so Devon was carrying extra layers for warmth later in the night. Oops.)

They took some pictures in the auditorium.

And I took some pictures of one very happy boy when they got home.

Such a memorable night and I'm so thankful for the generosity that made it possible!

Thursday, September 24, 2015


I'm thankful that a stranger posted a delicious crockpot bean recipe online and that I found it many years ago.

What is something that you're thankful for?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


I never do anything to celebrate the changing of seasons, but I took the kids on a spontaneous trip to Bauman's for apple cider doughnuts this morning to mark the first day of fall. I think I earned some "cool mom" points with that decision.