Saturday, November 19, 2011

kids: stewardship and giving

Giving.  It’s not something that comes naturally to some.  Actually, I should say I think that it comes very naturally to the little people around us.  They see someone in need and think that it is very obvious that we should give to help.  I think that it is as we become older, we hold more tightly to “our” money, “our” stuff,  “our” things.


What’s sad is that for all of us, we forget that it is not ours.  It never was, it never will be.  Everything that we have been given has been a gift.  Blessings from God…and I imagine that He is just sitting there anxiously awaiting us to figure out how we are going to give it back to Him.  Are we going to wisely invest the money or throw it away on useless items?  Are we going to give it to those who are in need or help buy a snack for a friend at school who doesn’t have the money?  Are we going to set a goal of saving toward something specific that we can then use to bless others?

Yes, we all have needs.  Our basic human needs.  And we have wants.  And they aren’t bad either – but teaching small children the difference is walking a fine line. 

I have seen the AMAZING PROVISION OF GOD when Chris and I have faithfully given out of  nothing.   When we write that check KNOWING that there are other needs we have, other bills that need to be paid.  It is painful sometimes (being honest here – my humanity soooo doesn’t want to) – but I have witnessed time and time again of God providing in our need…and amazingly, in our want, too.  I have stories and stories of times over my life like this and could fill pages and pages of His goodness and mercy in my life, but that’s not the point of this post.


The point of this post is how we decided to try to impress upon our children the importance of Giving – Saving – Spending.  I think my parents did a good job with me on this…I got an allowance, FIRST set aside what I was giving to God, THEN had to choose what I was saving and what I was using toward lunches and needs.  (So, if I wanted more money to save, I packed my lunches, and didn’t buy.) My parents weren’t the kind that gave me 20 dollars to just go to the mall with my friends; they just said, go check your bank.  And because of this, it taught me to budget and wisely use my money. (at least most of the time! :o)

So for our children, we did some research.  We’ve worked with them quite a while on saving.  And when they wanted something, they took money from those jars.  And when they wanted to buy food for the Horn of Africa Food Crisis through World Vision, they took money from their jars.  (Ask Hudson about this – he is passionately concerned about the people in Southern Africa and their lack of food!)  And if they wanted to put some in the bank, they sent it to Poppy.

It was working – but we wanted something more.  So I found this great idea online, and with a little tweaking of our own style, we came up with the “bank of Hudson” and the “bank of Anna”.  Each week they are paid a minimal amount (that’s another post) and they must equally divide the money between  give – save – spend.  It’s also been a good early division lesson for Hugs.


We’ve been doing this since September, and they love it.  And you know what has been making my heart sing?  When gifts in a card come to them for Halloween and Thanksgiving and they want to put it all in “give”. 

Now that is the kind of heart adults need. 

I have a lot to learn from my lovebugs.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

maternity shoot

When our framily asks me to take pictures, of course I am going to say yes – because they are my favorite people to shoot!  Our friends Kyle & Dawn are expecting their fourth child ~ and as Dawn declares that this is their last, she also wanted to make sure she had some good shots of her and her beautiful belly before it was gone.  IMG_0429 EDIT

I won’t tell you she also insisted that her face was getting full – oops – but the fact is it isn’t, and she is in fabulous shape for a 7.5 month pregnant mama.  She just ran a 1/2 marathon a month ago.  Yea.  That kinda shape.  And per her request, there are not a few of my favorites here because she thinks her belly is pasty white.  It’s November. :o)

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So I am not a professional by any means, but my dad put my first SLR in my hands around age 8 and I was in love.  Through HS, college and beyond I’ve loved looking at the world in my mind’s camera lens.  I have a lot to learn, but find joy in practicing on those I love.

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And maybe, just maybe, this beautiful friend will enjoy the pictures of her gorgeous self.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

happy birthday weekend!

Happy birthday to a wonderful husband, daddy, and best friend…(all picture credits to my SIL, Stephanie Smith :0)

DSC00679DSC00680A walk on one of our favorite back country roads.DSC00684

Meeting the whole family for dinner together!  Including these crazy grandkids!










Mom-Mom and her favorite “baby” girls….and then all her favorites by the Christmas tree.DSC00702DSC00704Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Pirate and the Princess

My noble protector…Captain Jack Sparrow.


My eternal princess….Rapunzel. (I made her dress.  I just had to say that.)


The above pictures were blessedly taken when the Pirate and the Princess attended a costume birthday party, as for when the day arrived, the Princess was puking.  Not pretty.  Yes, that was a lot of “p”.  Rapunzel really wanted to ride along, hadn’t puked in 4 hours and her temp was down.  Hudson didn’t want to miss Halloween and as Mommy was on her own, in the stroller she went.


On the steps, bundled up to leave.  The Princess wore her Panda hat (another “p”!).

pirate hudson halloween

Upon arrival to our friends’ home in another community (ours had been cancelled that previous Saturday because of snow – remember that post?), we plopped Anna in the stroller and off we went for 45 minutes – until she was almost asleep in the stroller and Hudson had “enough candy for one night.”

anna stroller halloween mommy

Grandmom soldiered on with us trick or treaters and valiantly went to doors for the Princess when she couldn’t get out of her stroller to go to the door.  What a good Grandmom!!!!


(I love the eyeliner on his eyes – like they don’t stick out enough, right? Smile)


The next morning Pirate was happy to dump his booty and sort it into piles of “like” things.  Many piles….many piles.  Booty was collected and the pirate was happy….maybe not his dentist, but he was!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011



subtitled: What we did during our 30 hour power outage…

sub-subtitled: What the heck-snow in OCTOBER?

Chris attempting to battery start our gas fireplace.  I say attempted, because it didn’t work.  Grateful that it was not windy, just cold.  Now we know for next time – we think we have to have a remote starter.  To Home Depot we will be going soon!


Grateful that my hubby is an amateur meteorologist – because he warned me that the power was probably going to go out.  We had our bathtubs filled with water to flush toilets, pitchers of water, and hot water in a carafe.


Playdough kept us entertained for quite a while ~ CafĂ© Hudson was open for business.  His sous chef?  His adorable sister.



We sang some songs together and Daddy serenaded us on his guitar.  Pays to have a musician in the house sometimes all of the time.  Music is always floating in the air somewhere!


We wouldn’t let the kids go out in the storm because we had no way to get them dry and warm – so we played games, did puzzles and art projects and……


attempted a family nap.


(BTW, the wall behind our bed? I am totally doing a post on this sometime soon – Aunt Cindy and Uncle Tommy visited and we got our project on.)

So while we were laying there, the power came back on!  Wahoo!  We transferred Anna to her bed, cranked up the heat, and got as warm as possible.  Grateful we did….because right as we were dressing to go out in the snow after Anna rested for a bit – the power went back off.  Oh well.  We didn’t want to miss a bit of play time in the most PACKABLE snow we have had in a while.

Hugs snow octoberhugs anna snow octoberIMAG0594anna dom snow

Our neighbor, Dom, came over and played with the kids in the snow.  She went sledding with us last year for her first time ever, so she loves playing with the kids and digging tunnels together.


2 hours later and with darkness fast approaching, we headed inside and whipped up a delicious candle light meal of sliced fruit, meats, cheeses and hot chocolate (with the mint chocolate marshmallows Grandmom got us!).  The kids were a bit disappointed there wasn’t going to be trick-or-treat (because ours was to be on Saturday night), but we promised them that we’d go to a friend’s on the 31st.


We rounded out the night with going through the Toys R Us big book and making a list for Mom-Mom and Poppy, followed by books.  Lots of books. :o)  Daddy took a measurement of the snow after dinner and it was 7.5 inches.  The official by the time the storm was over was 9 inches….in October.  Forgive me, I am still processing this…God and I are still working through my shock.


Of course the next morning, there was no rest for the weary as Chris had to figure out how to get into the church to lead worship services.  I’ve come to learn that big churches don’t close.  Ever.  So he got up early, froze his tuckus off, and ventured to church over our unplowed and untreated roads.  He was able to get a shower there.

When the kids and I crawled out of our down filled bed, we were a bit cold, to say the least.  It was toasty in bed, not so much out of it.  My phone was dying and Hudson used the handcrank emergency radio to recharge it for me – it has a usb input that my phone can plug into. (GRATEFUL!)  He charged it enough that I was able to communicate with Margo and she invited all of us to come get warm and get showers at the mission house. She rocks.  Thank you, Margo.

After church, the power still wasn’t on….but it returned around 4 pm that afternoon.  We had an adventure and reinforced the fact that our family definitely knows how to have fun together.  What a great memory!