Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Get your Merry on!!

Can you believe Christmas is almost here?  Holy catfur!

We've been keeping up with our advent challenge...although some days it's been difficult to find time between soccer, school, grocery shopping, etc.  But we've done it!  We've made gifts for each other.  Here is Sawyer making bling bling wall letters for Jackson and Finley.  (Thanks for the idea, Design Mom.)
Glitter!  Eeeeeks.
We decked the halls.  The boys pretty much did the entire tree...
...which explains why there are 4 ornaments on some branches and none on others.
We baked cookies from scratch  a roll (hey, it's still baking!)...complete with icing and sprinkles.
(Love ya, Betty Crocker!  You sure make life easier.)

And....we rocked out!!! 

You what? 

We rocked out.

Today, I'm inviting you to join in our advent challenge!  Yes, you.  (Play along.)  Here's today's advent challenge.  (We did it this's serious fun!) 

Let's call it "Get Your Merry On."  Here are the rules.

1.  Scroll over to the right and turn the blog music off.
2.  Turn off anything in your house that is making noise...the boob tube, the radio, whatever is in the background.
3.  Turn the sound on your computer all the way up.  Louder.  I'm watching you...I said all the way up!
Please note...step 3 is very important.  I had our radio up loud this the point that Jackson said, "That's too loud!"  To which I responded...says who?  (Which brought a big he realized something was up.)
4.  Now, click on the video below...step away from your computer...and....


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Do you see what I see?????

No???  Well...take a closer look.

Waaaaaaaaahhhh!  She'll be talking back before we know it...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Think about it...

"We are all part of a broken system that has a pointlessness problem. So whatever you're doing--make it insanely meaningful."
--Umair Haque

Monday, November 29, 2010

Advent Challenge.

In my current efforts to raise water for Living Water International, I came across a fantastic video.  The video has an amazing theme of buying less gifts and giving more presence.  Well...the past few days I have not been able to get this video out of my head....and I have been inspired to create my own advent challenge.  The challenge being:

Give my children 24 days of Advent presence.

Yes.  This year I am challenging, vowing, and committing myself to buying less gifts and giving more presence.  After all, what is Christmas really all about?  It's not about shopping all the best sales.  It's not about decorating the house from top to bottom with the teeny tiny possibility that Martha just may show up and see how perfect your decor is and pat you on the shoulder.  It's not about big.  Shiny.  Expensive.  It's about the birth of Christ.  Duuuuuh. 

But maybe we have forgotten this?  Maybe, just maybe we get too caught up in all the commercialism, consumerism and other isms this holiday season brings?

Enter Advent Challenge.

Everyday, from December 1st to December 24th I will spend quality time with my children focusing on Christmas.  We will bake (and I will let them get super messy).  We will make gifts for others (and I will let them get super messy).  We will sit and read 10 books at one time.  We will enjoy the season.  Together.

And maybe when Christmas morning comes and they see less gifts (eeeeek!!!) they will not care...because they know what Christmas is all about...and they will have already received lots of Christmas presence.

Do you wanna join me?  Even if you don't have kids (or kids at home) you can still be part of the challenge.  Give the gift of Advent presence to your spouse, yourself...or a different person everyday!

Oh...and check out the awesome video.  (Scroll over to the right and turn off the music.)

Disclaimer:  I know advent started last Sunday...but my challenge starts December 1st!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Things I'm Thankful For...

Family.  Good health.  Friends.  Caffeine.  Pets (usually).  Music.  A safe home.  Rain.  Sunshine.  Jesus.  Being happy.  Food.  Water.  Education.  Our jobs.  Dr Pepper.  Pilates.  People with big hearts.  Clean air.  Technology.  Hugs and kisses.  Forgiveness.  Pumpkins.  Knowing we can change this world.  Prayer.  Fettucini Alfredo.  Flowers.  Hikes.  Children (mine in particular).   A strong marriage (also mine in particular).   Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet.   Pictures.  Memories.  Birthdays.  Today.  You.  Laughter.  Barefeet in the sand.  Nature.  Snow.  God.  Heat and air conditioning.  Babies.  Books.  Old comfy sweaters.  Yoga pants.  Wine.  Lightening bugs.  Time.  Snuggling.  Bandaids on scraped knees.  Being called "Mama,"  "Mommy,"  "Mom,"...even "Moooooommmmmeeeeeeeeeee!!!!".  Crayons.  Quiet time.  Naps.  Shoes.  Love.  Snickers.  Smiles.

What are you thankful for??

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


In the past few weeks, there is one question that I've been asked quite often. I'm pretty sure you have been asked it, too. "What do you want for Christmas?"  This is a typical question this time of year. In fact, most of us are quite used to this question.  We make Christmas lists, shop the best sales, and stuff our homes with gifts for those we love. But you know what? This year is different.

This year I'm over it.

I'm done.

I'm not caving to consumerism.

This year I'm awake. Awakened. I've realized that we are rich. Okay...not "rich" in the American sense of the term. But good grief, we are rich! We are blessed with a wonderful family, friends, a safe home, a good school system, good health, food, clothing, pets, and water. I could go on and on. And truth be told...I bet you could, too.

I bet you also know that many people are not "rich."  Many people are far from it.  Many people are homeless. Hungry. Thirsty. And this is where the answer to that seasonal question lies for me this year. "What do you want for Christmas?"  My answer....


Water? Yes. Water.

Did you know that 884 million people in the world do not have access to safe water? This is roughly one in eight of the world’s population.

Did you know that the average North American uses 400 liters of water a day? And the average person in the developing world uses only 10 liters of water every day?

Did you know that households in rural Africa spend an average of 26% of their time fetching water, and it is generally women who are burdened with the task?

These facts are difficult for me to grasp. If I want water, I turn on the sink. If I want water, I buy a bottle of it at the store. It I want a hot bath, I fill the tub! I just can't imagine not having clean water...can you?

So this Christmas season, I am teaming up with Living Water International and joining their Advent Conspiracy. They believe "Christmas can {still} change the world." And you know do I.

So, if you are one of those people who have asked me what I want for Christmas...and I said "nothing" or "I don't know" or "I really, really want an iPad"...well...I've changed my mind.

I want water. Won't you help me give it??

Please take 2 minutes and watch this video.  (Don't forget to scroll over and pause the blog music.)

212 Days from Living Water International on Vimeo.

And please help me give the gift of water. Even if you can't donate...please say a prayer for those who are thirsty.

Have I convinced you to help?  Please visit my fundraising page and donate now.

And if you're not comfortable donating worries.  Contact me and I'll tell you how to send a check.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post.  If you think this is good stuff...please email the info to your friends, post it on Facebook, tweet it....whatever!  Just help me spread the word.

You all rock!!!!

Photo courtesy of Living Water International.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Trick or Treat.

Of course I have to post the annual Halloween pics, right?  But instead of just posting this year's pics, I thought I'd spice it up with some memories from Halloween's past.

Here is Jackson back when we lived in Chicago.  Halloween 2005...he was one!

Halloween 2006.  Jackson was 2...just 2 weeks before Sawyer was born:

Halloween 2007.  Jackson is 3 and Sawyer is almost 1.

Halloween 2008.  Jackson is 4.  Sawyer is almost 2.

Halloween 2009.  Jackson is 5.  Sawyer is almost 3.

And drum roll please for Halloween 2010!!

Alright.  So they are the same outfits as last year, but you know what they say.  If the costume fits...

Oh yeah...and we had a little addition to last year's costumes.
Hope you had a good Halloween.  We did! the words of Jackson:  "It was the best Halloween ever!"

Friday, October 29, 2010

Go get 'em...

"To live is the rarest thing in the world.
Most people exist, that is all."
-- Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Project Simplify.

My dad told me a few months ago that "you are consumed by what you own."  Maybe he crafted these words by himself...or maybe he was quoting someone else...I don't know.  What I do know is that I have been thinking about that quote quite often.  Think about are consumed by what you own.

These words are also resonating in my mind for other reasons.  You see, recently, my brother started a new blog based upon living simply...and as Christ wants us to live.  In his blog posts, he talks about clearing the clutter out of our lives and living in a Christian manner.  I find it all a little "funny" (but not "funny, haha" as they say) that my brother and I are half a country away, yet yearning to do the same thing.  To simplify.  To help others.  To reach out.  To improve ourselves.

Through my brother's blog posts and tweets, I have been introduced to the ways of minimalism.  I have done some reading on the idea and it is totally intriguing.  I mean, wouldn't it be nice to not have so much stuff?  To just have what you need?  To find happiness in what is truly meaningful?  And to not get caught up in wanting all the latest and greatest?  (Although I still really, really, really want an iPad.) 

Well, I think it sounds marvelous.  Enter:  "Project Simplify." 

Project what??

Project simplify.  I'm getting ridding of it.  The clutter.  The junk.  El crappo.  I'm purging, selling on EBay, donating, and trashing.  Maybe you want to do it with me?  Really.  Try throwing out that unused stuff that has been sitting around your house for the last 6 months.  It's freeing.  It's gratifying.  And it's going!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Another shout out... my kiddos.

Heard a song the other day while listening to my Indigo Girls station on Pandora radio.  As soon as I heard it, I ran upstairs to check out the artist.  Sometimes I am moved to do this...but usually I am in the middle of cooking dinner, yelling at my hugging my kids, and putting stuff away while my Pandora is I never get around to it.  Anyway, the artist intrigued me enough to check out her website....she is amazing!

Turns out, Sara Groves (the gal singing the tune) is categorized as a Christian singer...of which I have never been into before.  Maybe the Christian radio stations I have tuned into are just not that great...or maybe I am just a sucker for Lady GaGa (yes, the freakshow) and other smutty music.  But hey, you gotta indulge somehow.

So the shout out already.  It's called You Cannot Lose my Love:

"You will lose your baby teeth.
At times, you'll lose your faith in me.
You will lose a lot of things,
But you cannot lose my love.

You may lose your appetite,
Your guiding sense of wrong and right.
You may lose your will to fight,
But you cannot lose my love.

You will lose your confidence.
In times of trial, your common sense.
You may lose your innocence,
But you cannot lose my love.

Many things can be misplaced;
Your very memories be erased.
No matter what the time or space,
You cannot lose my love.
You cannot lose,
You cannot lose,
You cannot lose my love."
I also added it to my song you can listen too.   It's a good one, eh?  (Come on...I know someone cried...I did!)

Monday, October 11, 2010

And I quote...

"Everyday, think as you wake up, ‘today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.’"  --  the Dalai Lama

Friday, October 8, 2010

Picture(s) of the Week

Ok...I know I said I'd post a "picture of the week" of something that has been keeping us busy.  So far....haven't done it, eh?  So here are several pics of the week to make up for it.

Play on, play-ah!

Monday, October 4, 2010


I never thought I'd say this.  I mean, after all, if anyone could compete with Rip Van Winkle for hours of sleep required...that would be me.  But I'm going to say it anyway.  I'm awake.  Ok, Master of the Obvious, stop cackling.  I heard you.  Of course you're're blogging, aren't you?  But that's not what I mean.  I mean....I'm awake.  AWAKE.  Or perhaps I should say....awakened.

I don't know what it is.  I can't explain it.  Ever since Finley was born I have felt completely different.  Content.  Complete.  Alive.  Not that I didn't feel all these things before....but now it's in such an energetic and spiritual way that it is difficult for me to comprehend.  Maybe it's because we are done having babies.  I mean, before Finley was born, I just felt like someone was missing.  (Enter, Chopper. wasn't him that was missing.  No offense, dog.)  Knowing that our family is complete is a wonderful feeling.  Let the next chapter begin!

Since I feel as though I am starting a new journey...I have decided to make a commitment to myself.  You know, with commitments, it's better to share them.  That way you have to live them out and not be all talk.  So here is my new life rule and promise to myself.

I promise to nourish & strengthen my mind, body, and spirit. 

In other words....I will exercise.  I will eat better.  I will be kinder.  I will introduce others to God.  I will volunteer.  I will build a stronger relationship with the Lord.  I will be a better role model for my children. I will read something other than People Magazine.  I will simplify.  I will rectify. 

As you can see...I have a lot to get done.  But don't we all?  And I'm not talking about cleaning the house, doing the laundry, or going to the grocery.  These things will all get done in time.  I mean...I have things to get done! 

Better get moving...

Sunday, September 26, 2010


We had a great time in the Smokies.  Sooooo relaxing.  Of course, once we got home, life quickly shifted back into high gear.  We had great weather...couldn't have had a better week.  Just gonna post some pics so I can keep forging on!

Already looking forward to going back!

ps....Happy 6th birthday, Jackson!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Hi.  I'm Sarah....and I'm a photoshop-a-holic.

I mean really.  So much for getting anything accomplished these days.  I've discovered how to add texture to my pictures and I am addicted.  So....before I start organizing and packing for vacation, I thought I'd share some photoshopping I did using some vintage coloring as well as texture.  Or, as I like to say...textchahhhh.  (Say it with me now.....textchahhh.)

And one you haven't seen textchahhh:

It's not something I'd want to do to all my photos...but it's pretty fun.  Now I just have to find more textures to use!  BTW....great tutorial here if you have Photoshop Elements and want to become addicted with me.