Friday, August 29, 2014

Creative Crumbs {{August}}

Are you guys ready for a new awesome, fun, and easy creative project?

I'm teaming up with my real-life friend Amber over at Take No Thought for a monthly photo project. As mothers, Amber and I got to talking about how hard it is to stay creative with so many other responsibilities on our plates every single day. So was born 'Creative Crumbs'. We decided that between sweeping up food crumbs, diaper changes, and running errands, we would make it a point every month to find a little time for creativity through all the chaos.

So how does it work? We'll give you the theme and then we will all link up together on the last Friday of each month with our photo reflecting that theme. No other rules really! We're trying to make this as easy and simple as possible. All levels of photography are welcome, all walks of life, and you are free to perceive each prompt in any way you'd like!

For the month of August, we decided on the theme 'fair'. Here are both of our photos:

Left side: Amber's of Take No Thought. Right Side: Jenn's of These Ripples and Waves.
I LOVE fair photos. They are always so much fun and I had a great time capturing mine.

For the month of September, our theme is:


So join us back here and on Amber's blog on Friday, September 26th with your photo of your everyday. And don't forget to grab the button below. (Don't worry, I'll add a nice html grab tag before this time next month - I just didn't find the time between all of my chaos this week!)

Happy Clicking!

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Beauty & Pain of Death

This week we tasted death in all of it's ugliness and beauty wrapped into an ending, and a beginning.

And questions were asked and anger was thrown one and nothing, because there is nothing to throw the anger to. Yet it reigned heavy and bold and pushed out because it had to go somewhere. It bubbled up and over and was too much to keep inside.

And tomorrow we will bury a body that never saw the outside world, that was never physically held while breathing and seeing and living. Instead it's soul made the easy travel from womb to Father's arms and so, it has only known the greatest of warmth.

Pain, but beauty in knowing. The greatest beauty of all:  this baby will never know any pain.

Still: this is how he was born and this is how he will always be known. Still and silent and yet beautiful, complete with resemblances and a birth-date and a name.

Elijah Lee.

He was loved and held, although already gone. He was cherished and he will remain cherished until the glorious meeting day that will one day come on heaven's peaceful shores. He will never be forgotten, and he will always be loved.

Today he plays ball with Pappaw, and smiles and laughs and runs while his parents struggle with questions and anger, and mourn, and wonder 'why me, why us?'.

And life goes on, the world keeps turning, and we are left with the bitter-sweet taste of what life and death really are. We are left to pick up the pieces and try to force them to create a complete picture although some are missing and they don't all seem to quite fit.

And we ask for our friends and family to pray and to understand and to be a rock when the world is sinking below our feet. And so I ask you: to be our rock, to remember us in prayer, and to help us get through this terrible time.

I will not meet my nephew here on this earth, but I will know his face when I see him in heaven one day. And I will hug him and kiss his cheeks and tell him how much he was loved, and how hard it was for his parents to let him go, and yet, how we remembered in this terrible time how much beauty can be found in the pain and hurt of death.

And how we could also celebrate the knowledge that he never knew the pain of this world, but traveled from warmth of womb to warmth of Father's arms in an instant. And his entire existence was nothing but peace.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Miami County Fair

I love fair time, it's one of my favorite times of the year. I especially love when our county fair is going because we get free passes through Jeremy's boss so Henry and I go wander around several times during the week and we usually make one or two evening trips. This year we did just that. And loved it. As usual.

Next week starts Darke County's fair. It's one of our absolute favorites!

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Preschool Prep

We toured a preschool for Henry a couple of weeks ago and although he will not be attending, we decided to proceed with preschool at home this year. This has Henry in a huge frenzy of excitement! We went school supply shopping and when we got home he opened everything and packed it into it's proper places in his backpack.

He then proceeded to run in huge circles around the bar in our kitchen, trying to burn off that extra excitement that had bubbled over. It was adorable. I wish every kid got this excited about school! (And I hope he will always have a desire to learn like this too.)

When he finally calmed down, he refused to take his backpack off for almost an hour. He played in it, he ate in it, he even asked if he could go to bed with it on. Eventually it found it's home hanging in a safe spot until it's ready to be used.

Technically our first week started yesterday, but we've been working on a few things since last week. Henry has finished all the tracing exercises that were in his workbook and yesterday we decorated the cover of his journal for the year as well as hanging a calendar, weather board, and alphabet chart.

We introduced letters yesterday and today we are introducing shapes. Tomorrow it will be numbers and on Thursday it will be colors. Fridays are going to be field trip and service days for us so I'm going to try to keep actual 'lessons' to a minimum. Next week will start our actual 'lessons' as this week we're more or less just getting used to the idea of having a school routine and going over what we will be learning this year.

Thanks to Desiree over at Macke Monologues I have an awesome curriculum to follow this year called God's Little Explorer's that not only focusing on learning the basics, but also life skills, service, and the Bible. I'm adding more to the lesson plans (a color and number each week in addition to a letter and shape) and bending each week's plans to fit our needs. You can find out more about this curriculum here.

Overall I think it's going to be a great year! I'm really looking forward to documenting it. I find myself lucky in that sense: that Henry and I can not only learn together in this way, but that I will have that opportunity to be there to take photos and remember these early educational moments in his life.

How is school prep going in your home? Are your kids as excited as mine?

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Thursday, August 07, 2014

Henry's 3 Year Questionnaire (And Then Some)

I decided I would do a birthday questionnaire with Henry to help document his personality each year. I tried to video record his answers, but it was split into almost 6 videos because he knew I was doing it and wanted to show off - haha! Silly kid.

Henry's 3 Year Questionnaire

What is your name?

(Yup, you got that right kid - and you should hear him say 'Ovenshire', it's adorable!)

How old are you?

(He's very excited about this fact.)

What is your favorite color?

(I'd swear on blue, kid, considering that everything you pick out is blue. But you always say things are black and that your favorite color is black so, if you say so.)

What is your favorite food?

(I'd believe that. You also love doughnuts, fruit snacks, bug juice, and pizza.)

What is your favorite thing to do with Mommy?

Play all day.
(I was hoping you'd say something like cooking, but yes, we do play all day - and I love that too)

What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy?

Help him in the garage and ride the motorcycle.
(It's a mini dirt-bike, not a motorcycle, and you do love that thing.)

What is your favorite toy?

My bike!
(True that, kid, true that.)

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A boy.
(I wish I could keep you my little boy forever, but I know I can't. You take everything a part and are mechanical like your Daddy, I say you will do something that pertains to that.)

What is your favorite book?

Bug book!
(Okay son, we do not own a bug book (Unless you're talking about The Very Busy Spider) despite the fact that you tore every single book off the bookshelf looking for one so I have no idea what you are talking about, but after this we got you some bug books from the library and you did love them. You often bring me your Curious George book and you really love this Little Golden Book called The Happy Man and His Dump truck. Honestly, we have a ton of books and you love to read them all.)

What is your favorite TV show?

(You do love Thomas - but you also love Curious George and Clifford. You like both Clifford and Puppy Days - you call them BIG Clifford and little Clifford and you always say 'Mommy, remember when Clifford was little and he grew BIG: it's so cute.)

Who is your best friend?

The girl.
(Not sure which girl you are talking about, but I'd say a girl would be your best friend. There is the neighbor girl behind us, Layla, and Izabel. Oh...and Mommy. You meant Mommy, right?)

And now for some random extras about you, Henry:
  • You weigh almost exactly 30 lbs.
  • You are 37 1/2 inches tall.
  • You wear size 8 shoes and 3t shirts and pants - the pants have to be adjustable however, other wise they will fall right off your skinny butt.
  • You are completely attached to your 'Doggie Blankie'. This is actually new to us, you always had to have a silky blanket, but now doggie blankie is IT for you.
  • You are refusing to potty train. Matter of fact, I am completely out of ideas because we have tried EVERYTHING.
  • You are starting home preschool this year and are a smart little cookie.
  • You have SO MANY CARS. I would be embarrassed to count them and have an actual number.
  • You sleep smack-dab in the middle of Mommy and Daddy.
  • You have a huge interest in photography. I'm going to get you one of those Little Tykes cameras for Christmas so you'll stop stealing our phones and trying to get to my 'big' camera.
  • You typically do not nap anymore.
  • You love animals of all kinds - especially your doggies.
  • You are very, very independent. We are typically not 'allowed' to help you with anything. You want to do it all on your own.
  • You keep telling us you want a baby.
  • You are constantly on the move although you've recently found TV shows a little more appealing and will sit still to watch them.
  • You eat like a bird - as in, very small amounts sporadically. We can tell when you're growing because you actually have an appetite.
  • You always say 'thank you' but we have to ask you to say 'please' every. single. time.
  • You cook your own egg in the morning with Mommy's supervision. You can't break it without getting shell everywhere yet, but we're working on it. I love that you want to learn these things.
  • You are super sweet, love to cuddle, love to give hugs and kisses and will throw the HUGEST fit if you don't get the amount of hugs and kisses you want when one of us leave.
  • You are our entire world, the light of our lives, and by-far the BEST thing your Daddy and I have ever done. We love you, boog.

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Monday, August 04, 2014

Lesson Learned

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know how important parenting is to me.

I know that sounds silly. Of course parenting is important to me. If you're a parent, how can parenting NOT be important to you? Right?

I don't know how else to say it though. Parenting, or my way of parenting, is important to me. Attached parenting is important to me. (That's what it's called, right?) Spending these younger years by my son's side, teaching him, playing with him, exploring with him, and being that constant in his life is very, very important to me.

So when I started watching two other boys in my home five days a week, I realized I didn't really think it all the way through before I made the commitment. And I regretted it, almost immediately.

My time, my precious time, was then split between three instead of one...and the youngest one needed fed, and changed, and fed again every few hours...and the other boy, he needed more attention because he was constantly into everything and I was afraid that if I took my eye off of him for even a second, he'd end up hurt...and Henry played at my feet, and pulled on my shirt, and said 'Mommy, I want to go outside. Mommy, I want to go see Daddy. Mommy, come read to me.' and I had to tell him no, or not right now, or in a little bit, and I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.

Mom guilt set in fast and I had to step back and think 'Is this worth it?'. Really, is staying home and having my attention pulled away from Henry any different than working outside of the home 9-5? I'm here, but I'm not.

So when the girl just didn't show up with her boys today (I'm sorry, but who does that?!?), I kinda let out a huge sigh of relief.  I knew that this was probably coming because we had butted heads several times in the previous week (No, I can't watch your kids later while you run errands and lolly-gag around, I have another job to get to after they leave. Please change your son before he comes over so I don't have to clean up the inside of his diaper when it falls apart all over my house. If he's that sick, you shouldn't be bringing him here because then, HELLO, my son is going to get sick too!) and we really just did not seem like a good match for each other, at all.

I am so glad for this experience because it made me realize how much I love spending time with my son, and just how blessed we are to have this time. I have thought so much about purpose this year, and right now, Henry is mine. I want to cherish and be thankful for the opportunity I've been given to do so much with him, and to be there, and to really enjoy it.

This is so important to me, this parenting job. The next time I think 'well...we could really use the money' I'm going to remember this and take a step back and realize what I have to sacrifice first.

Lesson learned.

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Friday, August 01, 2014


I can never get enough of this boy. Never, ever, ever.

I can't believe how fast he is growing and changing. I just love him so much that I just want to hold him tight and cherish every single moment as he grows.

I'm trying. But it's hard sometimes to slow down enough to cherish it all the way that I really want to. Still, he is my priority.

Last night we toured a preschool. Henry loved it. And by loved it, I mean, threw a huge fit and didn't want to leave.

I hate to break it to him, but we were told he would probably not be able to go this year. The program only had a couple of spots left open and he needs some medical records and things before we can proceed any further. Plus - there's the potty-training. Ya know, the one thing we've been struggling with for a year now.

That wasn't a deal breaker, but he still needs some work.

I told Jeremy that I would make it a point to do some home-schooled preschool this year since he isn't going to be able to go. But next year we will probably definitely go with the same program. We loved it.

In other news: today I ordered a new camera. Because ya know - priorities. I've been saving for almost two years now to make this purchase and I'm finally doing it despite the anxiety that maybe I should wait, or maybe I should just purchase a couple new lenses, or maybe I should use the money for marketing, etc...

But I finally just bit the bullet and bought the camera because it's really what I need next.

Now I must attend to the three snotty-nosed boys that are screaming and fighting over toys (well, the youngest is probably just hungry) instead of writing a blog post. Somehow, over a very short period of time, these kids became a priority.

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