Just a couple scriptures that have spoken to me lately. Thought Id share with those who don’t have instagram :)

A great piece of #truth to #reminder when you're in a hard place. #scripture

I saw this today on my bible app via @annettetate - funny how we met. It was years ago on the coast of NE NC. She had three boys and we had three boys. Almost identical in age. We struck off a convo and kept in touch. Her last name is my son Taites first

Those btw were made with the new IMAGE option in the Bible App.
Its fun to create and free!

& to end, a few grams from our weekend….

Anyone else doing laundry today? :) I realized after taking this it was a bit unfair Owen was vegging while taite did all the folding. He's five now. Time to work dude ;) #teachthemtoserve #boymom

Blessed to have such an awesome father to my boys and husband. While it may annoy me he leaves clothes beside the hamper or continues to store left overs he never intends to eat. I know I'm blessed to have him ????#marriage #12years #blessed

What keeps Reed busy during our history lesson. #jellytoast his favorite. The iPad and Netflix too help #boymom #homeschooling

Our cat lives on the wild side. Always on the ledge….

My #kitchenwindowview ????our cat Toby scared me. The drop would be around 25 or more feet. He loves sitting on the ledge of this deck and tries to catch bumblebees. #blackandwhitecats

He also seems to enjoy taking up space in our school room. Such a social cat. We love him.

Not only do I have a two year old constantly interrupting our #homeschooling - Toby who I mentioned is not your typical cat decides sitting on our books and reading chair is appropriate. ???? #blackandwhitecatofinstagram

Sometimes I totally pretend he's still a baby. #theygrowsofast #mamasboy #boymom

Taite (8) teaching Owen (5) how to put away silver ware. We make our boys empty the dish washer daily if not twice a day. They work together and it's done in less than 5 minutes. Owen hasn't been allowed to really help yet because he breaks to many glasse

The above image of Taite and Owen putting away dishes is really sweet for me to see. I spoke about this briefly on instagram… about how we are training our boys to teach their younger brothers. Obviously in every day things… “don’t hit…” “don’t spit” – you know basic 101 brother stuff haha… things they shouldn’t do but do have to learn. Beyond that though teaching our boys to serve is high up on our list. We think its super important. Now that Owen is 5 he will be assigned some chores. He is still young and his motorskills are still developing… I wont expect him to clean toilets just yet… or fold a perfect towel or shirt… but he can do little things.

So in that particular photo Taite who is 8, was teaching Owen who is 5 how to put away dishes.

We make the boys unload the dish washer at least once or twice a day. As a team it can be done in 5 minutes or less.

I also as you can see from above make them fold clothes. I wash, they fold. The only time I fold clothes is when I feel like it. That usually involves towels and my clothes/Travis’ clothes. To me, if the boys dirty 2 baskets a week of clothes, they can help out and fold majority of it. It if anything will teach them not to dirty so much, because it would only mean more for them to fold. :)

I have lots of areas I need to work on in parenting these dudes… but so far I am so thankful for 4 boys who despite some fight on occasion, seem willing to learn… and grow. It without a doubt takes lots of work... That work is worth it though… So to the Mamas who may be struggling and feeling as if they can’t get it all done. Know that 1. You can’t :) – so don’t stress out and quit worrying about perfection… but 2. Teach those children to serve to love on you and Christ…. I try really hard to explain how Mommy can’t do it all… and that even if they didn’t “dirty that dish” or “drop that toy” – by them helping me, they are blessing me. That Jesus tells us to serve and love others… to be giving and to be peace makers. Its something we all need reminding of daily. :) Even me.

America seems to have handicapped our children… by making them seem incapable of doing… and only being served… far from it. We don’t give our kids enough credit for what they are capable of. They can and should be a great help.

My dude looked nice this Sunday in his #thriftedblazer

Sunday I wore my clip in extensions. So fun to play with. I def do not wear them daily though.

#decaf junkies

Decaf coffee is a treat we allow the boys on Sundays. They think its “so cool.” :)

Reed adores the trolly! @fbcwoodstock  - any time we pass church he talks about it. Makes me wanna have a friend professionally photograph our family on one for memory sake.

and of course, the trolley ride is always a hit with Reed.

One more for Nana @dulceknits

I hope everyone else had a great Weekend.

Fire Fighter Museum

Fire Fighter Museum

Today we took a little field trip. We don’t do field trips often (although I hope one day we can be settled enough to do more with a local home school group… ). This trip worked out great. Travis has a 3 day weekend due to rotation week… so we made the best of a friday off and went to a local Fire Fighter Museum. Its free (we love free). It also wasn’t far. So that was a perk as well.

Reed’s big obsession lately are fire trucks. He makes the cutest “wooo wooo wooo” fire truck sounds ever. Very loud and vocal too. Its adorable. SO we knew this would be a hit. He had so much fun exploring the antique fire museum… but the real icing on the cake was when an actual fire fighter let him sit in the fire truck.

Made his day.

The older boys enjoyed it as well. All in all, a great trip.

Here are a few memories from our time.







The machine Caleb is in front is called the Aurora. It has quiet the history! There are only 3 around to date.



Fire Trucks sure are high too. A boys climbing dream :)



The truck the boys were climbing on today cost A MILLION DOLLARS. Phew!







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Organizing my Essential Oils

Organizing my Essential Oils

How to organizing Essential OilsOn a recent post you all may have seen an Essential Oil shelf I had set up in my kitchen. This is my new way of organizing my Essential Oils. For a while I kept my oils in a small box I found at Goodwill for under $2.00. I still use this box to store extra oil bottles that didn’t fit on my shelf, stickers and other things… its a great box. However, it was getting cramped in that small box… and it made it hard to find certain oils sometimes because it was so small.

So I have been on the look out for an Essential Oil Shelf. I saw lots of fun ideas on Pinterest… but with a non-handy husband and lack of time on my part… I just kept putting it off.

Until one day while at a local goodwill (again haha) looking for a helmet for my 8 year old. His helmet was to small. I tell you, Goodwill is the place to shop for helmets! Most are under $5.00.

While there, I of course wandered around seeing if I could find any treasures… and I noticed a weird looking cassette type shelf in the home goods area. As soon as I saw it I knew I could turn it into an oil shelf. So I purchased it for $4.95 and came home.

I wish I had gotten a before photo… but I sadly didn’t think to. The shelves on this thing though were really close together. They are made out of a thin particle board material. So it was easy to break the shelves I didn’t want out. If you look at the shelf images below, you can see notches where the other shelves use to be.

So all after breaking out a few shelves. My shelf unit was complete :)

The outside of this shelf thing is solid wood… so it is kinda heavy. Which is a good thing. I was going to hang it onto the wall some place… but because it is so thick, I was nervous someone may bump into it. So for now this is in our kitchen. I have it high enough up that Reed can’t play with it (unless he really tried). I also wanted it higher up on the back area of the counter, so any time “friends” would come over, their kids wouldn’t get curious haha.

My older 3 boys do not touch my oils in any way. So I felt pretty good about its placement and so far (months later), no issues at all.

I also keep my oil book on top of the shelf, since I go to it often.
I keep my carrier oil nearby as well.
I also keep my travel bag of oils near it too.

The boys know when they need an oil (to ask) but then to go to the “travel bag” first.
I’ve taught them never to use my oils from the “real bottles” :)

How to organize your oils without paying a fortune
and yes… I put them in ABC order :) – as best I could any way.

How you can organize your Essential Oils


So how do you organize your oils?

I will say, between the box and the shelf. I much prefer the shelf.

If you are curious where I got my “travel bag” from – feel free to read the below post:

How you can organize your Essential Oils
New to Oils? Here is an old post of mine explaining what I use and why. Let me know if you want me to do an updated list? I have added a lot of great oils to this list since posting it.

What Essential Oils should I get? and how to organize them once I have them.

Owen’s officially 5

Owen’s officially 5

ED9A8919We celebrated Owen’s 5th Birthday over the weekend… but today is actually his real birthday :) … and I had to take a little walk down memory lane for my own personal journaling to remember.

A few fun facts about Owen at age 5.

He is almost as big as his older brother Taite who is 8.

He loves stuff toys.


Cars. Trucks. Trains. :)

He has a loud cry but its all show (most of the time).

He laughs so hard you can’t help but smile.

He can ride a 2 wheel bike like the best of them.

He isn’t really into sports but I bet he’d be good at them.

He follows Taite constantly. Those two are so close.

His favorite thing to drink is still to this day white milk (as he calls it). He must have inherited that love from his Daddy… every night he has to have a big glass of it before bed, just like Travis.

He wears a size 13 shoe (in boys of course).

His favorite food is pancakes.

He loves to cuddle (thankfully).

Kisses from Mommy are far from yucky yet. :)

… and despite telling me he isn’t old enough to do school. I have a strong feeling he’s going to blow us out of the water with his smarts. He is one clever little dude.

Love him and just wish he’d slow down a little… cause boy did he get to 5 fast….

Laboring with Reed – my 1st Natural Labor experience. (not easy… phew!)


Big Brothers sitting side by side for the first time.


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and if you can’t tell, Owen loves music.





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Owen’s 5!

Owen’s 5!

This weekend we celebrated Owen turning 5. So hard to believe that my 3rd born son is now old enough to be considered a Kindergartener. It goes so fast!! Owen is still just as sweet as ever. Despite growing leaps and bounds this year, he still remains true to his adorable laughter and innocence spirit. I remember vividly when Owen turned 3. He wanted to go to Build a Bear at the mall and so I took him with the other 3 boys. Travis at the time was working evenings… so he was unable to join us. I still remember having a great time and the memories from that day are etched into my mind.

I didn’t expect for Owen’s 5th birthday that he’d want to return to Build a Bear. I thought for sure this was a thing of the past. He was 5 now.. not a toddler anymore… yet this cutie did my heart good and we got to experience another sweet trip to the Build a Bear store. This time with Daddy along.

Before going to the mall. We had a fun morning at the Lowes Workshop. Its totally free (you just have to pre-register). This was our first time going but it looked like a fun choice of activity for the day… All four boys built a truck and had a great time.

We have found over the years that the sweetest and most intimate birthdays can be some spent with just the family. While I love parties where we get to see friends… I find the more kids I have and the older they get… the more I like to just spend that day with my boys and possibly do a party another time. They grow so fast… I don’t want my memory of their birthdays to ever be clouded with stress and anxiety over party planning. Id much rather love on them in special ways… from simple decorations surprising them in the morning… to letting them pick where they would like to eat for dinner. :)

Here are some memories from our day :)

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Reed really got into the “Monster” part of the Truck :)




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and to end… a little flash back :) to Owen’s 1st Birthday back in 2011.




Encouraging the Moms

Encouraging the Moms

A few days ago I posted the images to the right on my instagram. It is an image of myself as a newborn in the hospital, shortly after my mom had me back in 1983. That is me in the first container crib. :)

When I look at this image the first thing that comes to mind is the fact that not only am I placed on my tummy… but the baby behind me… In fact I am pretty confident every baby in that nursery was on their tummy.

Yet 21 years after that image was taken and I became a mom, you would have been crucified by medical professionals as well as other moms, if you placed your baby on their tummy. I remember when I first became a mom back in 2004, I was greatly criticized. 4 months after I had Caleb we moved to Northern Ohio. Where my husband served as an Associate Pastor and Youth Pastor. I was 21, a new mom and really a fairly new wife. This was our first FULL time ministry position. We knew no one in the area… and everything we knew was now different. My mom was 12+ hours away in Charlotte, NC… and this whole journey through motherhood was something I was about to face head on with no shoulder to cry on.

It was HARD.

I remember ladies in the nursery rolling eyes… talking down about the way I chose to do things… cracking jokes… and making me feel about as small as it comes. I remember dreading going to church many sundays because of the fear of what would be said next to me in regards to how I chose to parent Caleb. Are they malicious and hateful? Probably not intentionally… but it was hurtful. This is in no way meant to talk bad about the church btw… this can happen anywhere…

To add to the pressures of motherhood came the pressure that I began to feel by other moms.

My mom in 1982 with my big brother Kevin
Moms would throw things in other moms faces about their choices.

Underhandedly making remarks about what a mother should choose when it comes to child birth. How the epidural was for sissys and how dangerous it is for baby. I remember when I first got the epidural the judgement I felt from other moms made me feel less than. I remember feeling almost pressured into attempting a natural birth experience. With my 3rd born I finally made the decision to go through child birth without an epidural… and the first thing I yelled out after Owen entered the world was “NEXT TIME IM GETTING THE EPIDURAL!!!” haha. Yet with Reed I chose not to get it either. Not because I felt I had to prove something… but because I wanted to try a water birth experience…. We only live once after all :)

Breast feeding became an area of severe depression for me… baby after baby facing hurdles that seemed to never end. What was suppose to be so natural was so crushing for me. Moms staring me down as I filled a bottle of formula… and anonymous commentors on my blog would tell me how selfish I was for not nursing my children without even knowing why I couldn’t.

Even when I thought I was doing things right and babywore constantly, I still got stares… some maybe curious stares but often times not.

When I had my 2nd born Taite and decided to Cloth Diaper. You would not believe the remarks I got on that. I remember people thinking I was so strange… and I would often feel pressured to put my son in a disposable diaper just to avoid any looks.

When it came time for my oldest to enter school, that too even became an area of attack.

As if my choice to keep my son home to home school him was to hurt them. I remember hearing remarks from women who happened to be public school teachers, in around about ways would tell me how I was sheltering my child and he should be in public school. How my keeping him home was an insult to the hard work public school teachers put in. As if that was my intention, to insult….

scan0001-1When I turned my 1st born around in a car seat, you would have thought I stuck his head out of a car window. I cannot count the times I was rebuked for switching him early… and while I do believer it is safer to keep them rear facing until age 2 (IF YOU CAN), I do believe there is a better way to go about explaining this to a new mom… without sounding judgmental and harsh…

The photo to the right btw is myself in a carseat, not in the back seat but the front. I mean look at that thing! haha… you’d be burned at the stake today for that one. Yet it was what my parents knew then…

I often wonder if my mom back in the early 80’s got ridiculed by other moms like most of us do today.

I wonder how much less stressful motherhood was for her without social media… constant articles about what we need to do to be better moms. How we need to cook with these certain ingredients. How things should look in a mud room and how our nurseries should be pinterest perfected to make our homes complete. How our child may contract endovirus or whatever and they need x-amount of new shots in order to live… because chicken pox kills you apparently. Did our parents worry about such things? Did my mom feel pressured to get an epidural or not to? or to nurse vs. use a bottle? Did she feel less than if she didn’t have certain baby gear or feed us certain foods?

or could my parents just be… and enjoy us while in that season.

Me just after delivery
I have been in this battle for a while now with social media… knowing the great good that can come from it yet seeing and experiencing the bad as well. It is truly a love hate relationship. I love keeping up with old friends and family… yet each and every time I log in, I leave stressed. defeated. small. lonely.

I know that for my business and my blog… staying on social media is sort of a must. Most of my clients I find via facebook… and a lot of my blog promoting happens not only through facebook but instagram and pinterest. To do my job and bring in income for my family (that in this season we need to pay our bills), I can’t abandon social media completely… even though a huge part of me wants to do so.


One thing I have been trying hard to do is to cut the phone off.

Delete facebook.

To put the ipad down.

I feel a little bit like a broken record in this post… but I just cant stop thinking about it.

On a night where I feel a little weepy because of a situation I can’t yet really express fully… I can’t help but feel frustration over how we treat each other through social media... I just want to encourage all those reading to love other moms… to bite the tongue even if you feel the need to chime in (trust me, I have been there and done that…guilty…guilty…guilty…) Before you hit “enter”, remember that mom is doing her best… and loving those babies well… Sometimes keeping our thoughts to ourselves is best and wise.

… and if anyone reading my blog has ever felt judged… or less than. I am sorry. Whenever I blog those are never my intentions.

I am in the thick of motherhood just like the rest of you :) – and my decision may work for me but it isn’t gospel.

Lets love those babies and each other today.

I’m on my moms lap, brother to the left. Dad to the right.
Abuela (Grandmother) and center my Bisabuela (great grandmother)