The other day, I was sitting with a soft blanket wrapped around me and a warm drink in my hand watching my boys wrestle.  They pounced on each other like little puppies, wrapping their arms around each other and tumbling around the room.  In this show-of-manhood-type-of-game, they giggled like little girls.  I too began to laugh.  My small giggles turned in to me laughing so hard I was holding my stomach and trying not to spill my tea.

There are moments of being a mother of all boys that mystify me.  This one did.  Never as a little girl would I wrestle my siblings just for fun.  I don't get their constant desire to take each other down. 

But I was having so much fun watching them.

Then this thought popped in to my head: I bet God has fun watching us to something we love.

Life is suppose to be joyful - God makes this clear in how he fills our earth with things that bring us laughter and joy. God takes joy in our happiness.  He takes great delight in us, even rejoicing over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). Christ's love for us is "wide and long and high and deep" (Ephesians 3:18). 

And God doesn't make us climb a mountaintop to find him.  He reaches out to us and speaks to us in everyday life.  

In unexpected, ordinary moments he speaks to my heart and reminds me of his love.  When I began
watching my boys wrestle, I didn't think that God would stir my heart to feel his love.  Yet, he did.  

It made me feel grateful - that God loves us all so much that he cares about our happiness.  Maybe I should worry a little less and laugh a little more...and let God's love fill my heart with his joy.

red carpet birthday party

I just had so much fun helping at my niece's birthday party.  The girls had a blast getting ready to walk the red carpet and go see the Muppets Movie. There was lots of giggling, oohing and ahhing while we fixed hair, applied a little makeup, and painted finger nails.  When the girls were all feeling fancy we - of course - had to have a quick photography session before we went to the movies.  Awesome party.
Happy birthday to my sweet niece - you are growing up entirely too fast!


We had an awesome day at the dinosaur museum.  Our boys always have lots of questions about the history of the dinosaurs and we found this fantastic video that explains the answers in relation to the Bible.  It is called Dinosaurs, Genesis and the Bible.  The maker of this video, Ken Ham, has also opened a Creation Museum.  Looks awesome - would love to take our boys to that one too.

Linked to:  Sincerely, Paula Linkup Party

photoshop elements actions

I love reading blogs that share their photography secrets, so I thought I would share some of mine.  I have primarily been using Photoshop Elements with some free actions from The CoffeeShop Blog.  It is a fabulous blog, full of great tips - it is well worth it to swing by.

My favorite free actions are:  Dandelion Wine, Sun-Kissed Butter, Soft Velvet Matte, Matte Color, Vintage Matte Color, Vivid 2, Mellow Yellow Sunshine and Luminous Color Burst.

Before and after shot using Coffeeshop Vivid 2:
Before and after shot using CoffeeShop Matte Color:
Before and after shot using Coffee Shot Sun-Kissed Butter:

What I am especially giddy about is that I just loaded Photoshop on my computer (the fancy one, not elements - though I still love and will use PSE).  I also downloaded some cool actions for PS from here and I am excited to start playing! My poor kids...I am their paparazzi momma...

five on friday

I thought I would join in the Friday fun over at Hello Happiness, so here it goes:

1.  I spoke at Fellowship of Christian Athletes this week. I just shared what God placed on my heart to a bunch of teenagers -  I feel like I can do anything now.

2.  I had writing club and it was amazing, as always.  One of the members brought inspirational books that made my heart pitter-patter.  If you want to read about my writing club click here.

3.  I am going through pictures from my boys school choir concert and I love how my middle son, who loves to play it cool while at home, gets really excited when he sees us at school. 

He actually said to us, "My choir concert is Monday.  Can anyone come?" 
"Of course we will come!"

Our oldest always acts like he is totally bored (like in the first picture), but as his mother, I know he feels totally cool doing his concert (like in his second picture).  No one would know by his actions that he was been singing at the top of his lungs for weeks at home preparing for his big moment on stage.  It's such a great reminder that you never know what is going on in a person's heart and if their actions really reflect what they are thinking.
4.  Our youngest son was especially cute this week, for no reason other than he is three and that is just an awesome age to be.
5.  I was recently introduced to this kind of tea - I may never drink anything else again.

paint the sky

I asked my boys if they wanted to watch God paint the sky.

I needed to get out of the house.

We had a busy ten or so days of my husband spending long hours at work and our boys fighting the stomach bug.  About halfway through this time, I decided my no-video-games-and-cartoons-during- the-week rule was dumb, and we flipped on the TV.  I am pretty sure we didn't turn it off for like five days straight. So, in my love-hate relationship with the television, what started off with me loving the television for making my life easier, I began hating the noise and how it seemed to make our time more meaningless.  So, we turned it off.

We picked up shamrock shakes from McDonald's and drove to the frozen lake right by our home. We parked our car and watched the sunset.  It was a little too cloudy and golden rays didn't quite dance across the sky like I have seen in other sunsets, but the boys still loved it.

They were so funny.   All three piled into the front seat and we had a lively conversation about what side airbags did  and the front seat's ability to lean all the way back.

But what I loved most was how the next morning, they paused in their playing to notice how spectacular the sunrise was from our living room window. And later in the day, my three-year-old asked if we could go again to watch God paint the sky. Yes, of course, baby....

Then, a few days later, my youngest snuck down in the early morning to find me sitting at my computer.  He whispered that I should come upstairs and look at the sunset (sunrise).  Priceless.

Linked to:  Pig and Dac