Corbin turns 6

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Corbin turned 6 on Dec, 2nd. He wasn’t thrilled about having school on his birthday, so I decorated the house a little to make his birthday a little more exciting. I made him a crown and placed birthday signs around the house. I also made him his favorite waffle breakfast. He was all smiles. After school was over I gave him his gift so he could enjoy it all afternoon. Oh yes, he was a happy kid!
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Corbin was even letting his brother help out…a rare thing to see:)
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For dinner I made homemade pizza with a pepperoni smiley face and a funfetti cake for dessert per Corbin’s request. Such a fun way to celebrate!

9 Year Anniversary

October 23rd Luke and I celebrated our 9 year wedding anniversary. Not sure where the time went, but we are now a little older and I hope to say a little wiser. I am learning to be thankful for even the small things in life and in doing so, here are the things I am thankful for these past 9 years.
1. A loving God who continues to correct and guide our steps
2. A devoted husband who works hard to provide for the family. He is a great dad and makes sure to spend as much time with them in his spare time so that they feel loved by their daddy.
3. My spunky, energetic and imaginative boys, Corbin and Benjamin. Becoming a mom is the toughest job, but has the sweetest rewards
4. Our baby in heaven. One day we will see you again.
5. A home (I may complain sometimes about the dishes piling high, the clutter on the table and toys on the floor as well as other issues with renting, but when it comes down to it I am thankful that I have a washer and dryer, my kids have room to play and we have a place to lay our heads at night)
6. A church that preaches the gospel
7. My mom and dad…I miss being so far from them!
8. Family. I once thought that my family would live forever or at least I wished that were true. That bubble busts 3 years ago. My grandparents passed away on both sides, In November of this year I had a miscarriage and the very next day my mother-in-law passed away from cancer. It is truly heartbreaking, but it also makes me appreciate the life I have and the relationships I have a bit more
9. Friends who have stayed connected even though miles separate us now
10. Good health and health coverage even if we are paying out the wazoo
11. Clothes. They may not be new or the latest fashion, but they do the job they were intended to do
12. A hobby that has provided a little extra income while I have fun and stay home with my boys
13. Taking on the role as teacher. Being able to provide a christian education for my kids is something I didn’t have growing up. I am so thankful that homeschooling is an option that is widely accepted in the US
14. A car that is paid off and runs
15. Family outings and exploring our new city.
16. Family dinners are a sweet time for us to sit, eat and talk.
17. Hearing my boys pray
18. Trader Joe’s dark chocolate bars and Chai Tea. So good!
19. $4.99 rotisserie chicken from Costco. Seriously cuts my cooking time in half and tastes great
20. Melt your heart moments. My youngest likes to tell me “Mommy, you are so beautiful” and wants to snuggle and have his cheek or hand on my cheek. Both my boys like to pick me flowers “weeds” without being prompted. My oldest will ask if he can pray for me when I am not feeling well or am having a bad day.

Pumpkin Festival, Half Moon Bay

Today we ventured over to Half Moon Bay for the second weekend in a row. We walked the main street because they were having their annual pumpkin festival. It is such a cute town and there were lots of things to keep our eyes, ears and mouths entertained. There were signs for pumpkin cookies, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin pie, pumpkin churros, pumpkin cheesecake and even pumpkin corn bread throughout our walk. I was in heaven! I loved the atmosphere and all the wonderful smells. The crowds were a little much at times, but it was still a good time. The kids enjoyed making little pumpkin out of clay on the Michael’s bus and they even gave me a $10 gift card. We also scored other yummy free treats along the way like pumpkin coffee, protein bars and candy. We ended our time with a bowl of pumpkin ice cream and a rootbeer float. We can definitely say we were spoiled! Recently Updated102 (1024x683)

Corbin Starts Kindergarten

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Corbin starts kindergarten on Monday, August 19th. I have seen this day coming and now it’s here. I have the privilege of homeschooling him and can’t be more excited for us as a family to start this learning adventure together. Target, Dollar Tree and Walmart are just a few great resources I’ve taken advantage of for inexpensive school items. I found all this loot and mostly paid a dollar for each. Target has reusable 8 1/2 x 11 write and wipe plastic pockets that are awesome. I can slide a math sheet and have Corbin use a dry erase marker for the exercise and the paper can be reused later. Lakeshore Learning charges $2.49 each and Target has them for $1. Score! IMG_6147 (1024x683)

We chose to use Heart of Dakota for our christian curriculum and will be using Little Hearts for His Glory, ages 5-7. Friends of ours have used it for years and raved about how their boys have enjoyed it, that it’s God centered, the curriculum has everything you need to get started and is a fantastic value. After some research I realized that indeed Heart of Dakota was a gem and would be a great way to start Corbin’s first year of school.

I have also been busy trying to get our family room converted into a school zone. It is the brightest room in the house and will be a fun environment for us all to learn, interact and play. I also wanted a place for Benjamin to be in where he didn’t feel left out and alone. Here is a photo of our family room in progress. I’m sure it will change often as we go along, but it’s a start. IMG_6142 (1024x568)

Colleen is rejoicing in heaven

Colleen Margaret Shiras, my Mother-in-Law, went to be with the Lord around 10 am on Monday, November 26, 2012. She was 61 years old. Lymphoma ended her life much sooner than any of us could have expected and it all started a few months back when she fell and couldn’t walk on her leg. Tests discovered she had two holes in her knee caused by Lymphoma. During her stay at the hospital she lost the mobility of her legs and back, her medications were constantly being altered, her voice was becoming weaker and would talk in a whisper and the cancer was spreading to her brain. There were so many questions and no easy explanation for anything. Should Colleen have surgery on her leg &/or back? Will she walk again? Should she do chemotherapy? What about radiation? Everything overlapped one another making decisions even more difficult. No matter which way you looked at it, doing anything would greatly threaten her health. So, after more tests and discussions with the doctors they decided that surgery was out of the question and chemotherapy was not an option either due to her current state and it was just too dangerous. She was put on hospice and sent home to be cared for by her loving husband and the nurses from hospice. At this point we all hoped once at home in familiar surroundings her health would improve, but soon found out that God had other plans. Before long the good days were replaced by sleep filled days, an epileptic episode due to a medication imbalance, inability to eat solid foods or swallow, losing completely mobility, loss of her voice, a stroke, etc. Her health was declining and fast. Through it all, Paul was her rock and showered her with love and kindness. I have no doubt she felt loved by her Savior, husband, family and friends.

Unknown to us, Thanksgiving weekend would be the last time we would see her face to face. We had so hoped to be able to speak to her and have her interact with the boys, but she was asleep the entire time except for two moments where her eyes opened and then closed again. We also didn’t foresee having a miscarriage the first day we arrived either. Our baby was 9 weeks and 5 days old. I cannot even explain the pain that filled our hearts, but I am now comforted in knowing Colleen is with the Lord, her body has been renewed and she is with our baby in Heaven. I can’t be certain why things happen, but I am learning to trust God in midst of the whys.

Philippians 3:20-21 “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

M Family Photos – Maren Park

I love photographing families that are laid back and just go with it. Steve and Jennifer kept smiling even when the kids were someplace else and that helps me So much. The park they chose was beautiful in the morning light and enjoying the cool morning air was glorious. Really, thought, the best part was being able to bless my pastors family with photos they can cherish forevermore.

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