Wednesday, July 15, 2015

California 2015

Ahh along with the crazy busy travel we have had  my computer pooped out on me, so I had a silent June in the Blog World.

I finally just got around to looking through some photos and making a video.

The video warmed my heart because it reminded me what a great time we had.

When you only get 14 days a year in California, you have to make the most of every minute: Park City Mountain restort. Family. Eating Outside. Swimming. In&Out. American River. Park. Apple Hill. Paradise. Billie Park. Disco Cab. Rock Wall. Slumber Party. Capitola. Farm House. Zip line. Hornaceks. Family. Exploring. Camping. Fresh Berries. Late Nights. Dirty Faces. Great Heat. Boegar Winery. So many Memories.

 Check out our video.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How we do it- a quick guide to road trips

Let me say that taking our family on a road trip is not an "easy" experience
Packing a pile of life saving medical supplies and homecooked foods while traveling for hours in the car with 4 little ones; one who gets car sick;  the same one who has diabetes, one who is allergic to soy and a 1 year old that has the patient of a.... well one year old. 

 but if I were to not do things in life simply because they weren't easy, well I pretty much would do nothing

Road trips take a lot of planning and prep, we cannot just stop by McDonalds or taco Bell, without at least 2 of our 4 kids have some type of medical attack..... so we avoid that

I plan each meal we have and each snack the kids will be eating during our travels.  And if we are gone for the long weekend, I plan every single meal and snack for our entire stay.

I put each days food in a ziploc with the menu written on

Then I put their meals in these for ease while in the car or at a park

I plan out each outfit for each day for the kids by previewing the weather for the destination we will be going

I do not have room to over pack, nor do I want to.

We always back lysol and paper towels because vomit and diarrhea seem to accompany road trips

I plan our day in the car like a day at home,: time for breakfast, then coloring, then a snack, then a movie, then lunch, then quite time/nap time in the car, then electronics (refurbished i-pods).  It makes the day not so dredful (except for the Driver Brett) and it gives them something to look forward too.

I always put a toilet in the car, because it is a million times quicker than a gas station

I want our kids to be able to see places and people and family.  I want them to know what the beach is like, chase fireflies, and get muddy next to a river.  I want them to know their aunts and uncles and great grandmas and lets be honest hardly anyone ever comes here and there is certainly no beach in Colorado.

We stay with people to reduce costs.
We don't eat out much, but allow for it as part of the fun.

Don't get me wrong, I am a total crazy lady the week before we leave on a trip. I'm sure my husband totally loves it hates it.

I do have the kids help a lot!  They love packing for a road trips and my constant reminders of
"if I don't have help we can't go" probably get a bit naggy (working on that)

And you know I can't leave with a messy house, so you know what I'm doing at 10pm the night before while everyone is asleep.... yep being the crazy cleaning lady

Yep, I am sure you can all tell I am a type A all the way.

But then we get to enjoy stuff like this and it makes it so worth it!

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You should try it too!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Take it all out! Everything!

I am sure you all remember my last post about the missionaries from India, Sam and Cam.
And I needed some perspective about what I really need, or don't need. 

Basically I want to live more simply.

I don't want things consuming my life.

 and then I happen to see a post about a wardrobe capsule on facebook. 

I knew I had to do it, like immediately!  Little did I know one of my closets friends Heather was doing the same exact thing! Nothing like motivation when your best friend is doing it too!

It's about how less is more!  Minimilizing your wardrobe but still wearing cute things!
 With a wardrobe capsule you are able to mix and match different things together and it is based on season, which can be tricky in Colorado since the winter likes to come back out in May, so I do a blended season.

Yea so here is my closet....... totally embarrassing.  Full of crap!
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I had to take it all out!  Everything! You have to take everything out of the closet and sift through.

Not gonna lie, there was some anxiety going on here.  What if I need 14 pairs of painting pants and 400 pairs of underwear for the apocalypse?!?!?
Really, Jen.

And then I did it.  I just started 3 piles.

Get Rid Of.
And my keep pile was super small. Phew. (its the pile on the right)

I found things that I actually wear and like and that fit me, and I kept those.
I've had a few babies, gotten a few years older and little more lumpy, time to trash the fitted shirts.

And apparently I'm some sort of bag hoarder! I had so many reusable old navy and I dunno what bags for my imaginary bag party.


Here is what my closet looks like now 
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I used the money from the clothes that I sold to buy a few basic things. And really I didn't have to buy much bc I had plenty in my closet. I bought 3 things.  
A cute pair of jean shorts from the Banana republic outlet for $12, 
A white T-shirt for AE, for $8 
A black maxi skirt from Gap outlet for $12.  
Totally basic and simple and not expensive.

Once you complete your capsule you do not buy anymore random pieces for that season, you save money and time and most importantly it is sooo freeing!!!

This is an outfit I made with things I already owned

Ahhhh, now for the rest of my house.  
One. Bag. At. A. Time.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

I didn't really want to do it...

A few weeks back we had a couple from India visit our church

What they do for the kingdom is simply amazing!

Before leaving, our pastor made an announcement that anyone was welcome to have them over for dinner as they were in town for the next few weeks.

It wasn't really something that I jumped up and was so excited to do, but I knew we were suppose to invite them over for dinner

It's not that I did not want them over, we love having people over, and serving them!

I knew there would be some awkwardness, the language and cultural differences can sometimes make things feel a little more forced, but I actually welcomed that because I wanted our kids to have culture come to us, since world travel isn't currently an option for our family.

But I knew that having them over would mean that I would hear the hardness of their lives, that I would be broken, especially for the children in their orphanage.  That I would remember that we have sooooo much and how they have so very little. That I would want to give, and things are tight now.   I was welcoming something a little hard, and sometimes I just liked to dodge that bullet, but knew that wasn't what I suppose to do.

So we had them over, Sam and Cam, and I'm so glad we did!

The children in their orphanage, although they have a roof over their heads, sleep on the dirt.
For this couple to see our bunkbeds, and revel and chat and wonder if maybe someday, just someday they could have that for their children....... broken

My children did not understand, "why don't they just go buy a bunk bed?"

"Girls they don't have money for that"
"well here, they can have my money"

And so easily my children were not bound by their jar of money, it was easily given away at something they could not see, to help someone...

and here's me over here wondering when we are ever going to have enough money to finish landscaping our backyard or when I can paint the kitchen.... and my giant closet filled with crap, gross...

and Sam & Cam, they are truly persecuted, living in risk of prison or death because of what they do.

And again here's me in the corner with  my 15 Bibles that I hardly ever open...

And you know what, Sam & Cam see death and disease all the time, but they prayed for  our little Norah, they added her to their prayer chain, that God would heal her!

 wow, perspective.  I needed a little.
These people with seemingly nothing, have so much!

Sometimes I get so overwhelmed by the great need in the world that I freeze and do nothing..... but this is not at all what I want to do.   

I needed this reminder.  The reminder of joy that Sam & Cam have, despite their hard circumstances.  The reminder of what I really "need".
The reminder that I do not have to help the whole world, but maybe just one person.
Sam & Cam are forever etched in my heart.

If you want to learn more about Sam & Cam's ministry you can visit here

Thursday, April 16, 2015

I don't know what to do with her

I see so much of myself in her

Not just looks, but the way she is.  She is sooo much like me!

And sometimes it scares me

When you have a child that is similar to you, you see your self in them, the good and the not so good you are.

And you want to help them, help them to overcome things that you struggled with, things in life that were harder....

I want her to know it is ok to not always be perfect, to make mistakes, to color outside the lines

I want her to know that no matter what someone isn't going to like you and that's ok

I want her to embrace the hard moments because that is when you rely on God the most and grow the most

This is Maya
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but Maya is a much smarter version of me.  And I don't know what to do with it

There is something special to her, the way her brain works.  She inherited Brett's ease of just being smart without trying.  She is a lefty so it seems she just grasps things in a different way.  She reads chapter books non-stop and I can't even keep up with her.  Math is a cinch for her and her teacher mentioned putting applying to some time of gifted program for her and I kinda freaked out.

I can tell you we are just normal people, and I am nothing close to a super parent doing crazy things to make my kids smart.  I'll I have ever done is just read to them since there were little because I didn't know what else to do.

Brett and I both feel this pressure to put Maya in the right thing or find her nitch, but it overwhelms me in both time, finding it, and expense..... so I just do nothing.....

I fear the jack of all trades setting in for her future, just like me and I know there is more for her.

So I just pray.  Because, well I don't know what else to do.  That the Lord will lead us into best helping with Maya's future.  Even this can be hard for me, I am such a tangible person I want to do do do, know the answer now, randomly swirl my finger around and have it land on the right thing for Maya.
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And then there is the part of me that just wants her to be a kid and not worry about any of that, to feel no pressure to grow up fast, or find her thing now, but to just be Maya

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Happy 7th Birthday Maya!  The girl I don't know what to do with you.  I am so proud of you! You have such a big heart.  You always do your best!  You are kind and smart, but more than anything you love Jesus.  I can't wait to see what He does with your life!