I’ve got associations.. big time.  I’ve mentioned a couple here and here.

I also associate every single sign I see like this to my Nanny Juntunen.  Growing up she had it (in white and purple) sitting on top of her thermostat on the living room wall.  It took quite a few visits before I saw what the sign said.  Until that point I remember wondering what it meant, squinting my eyes to try to see it a different way.  I guess I was too embarrassed to ask.

When it comes to putting words around our house, I put them up when I think they are significant.  I put them up thinking I want our kids to remember them- because words are powerful when you understand what they say.

I ordered this wall decal off Etsy last week and love how it completes our girls room.  A message I want them always to remember: its their heart (a happy heart) that makes them beautiful!

photo (16)*to see our sisters room- check here.



We have a two year old who calls herself “baby”.  She is a doll.  If she weren’t such a doll, she’d be in a lot more trouble.  Because seriously her face is pretty hard to say no to.  You try!  Especially when she does this strange half closing the one eye thing for extra emphasis:

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Having a two year old and not having an infant is new territory for me.  She still gets to sleep in her crib (because no smaller body needs it).  Honestly, I’m not sure at what age we’ll move her from the crib.  Confinement seems like a really good idea.

Because Colette is the baby, it is also easy to compare her development and personality to her older two siblings.  The one thing that has been SO different about Colette is her slower vocabulary.  Our pediatrician hasn’t been alarmed, but has said Colette is at the lower level on vocabulary the last few times we’ve been in the office.   (What a polar opposite from our Lucia!)

Just this last week Jameson and Lucia were off to VBS in the mornings for a couple hours and Colette and I had extra time: just mom and baby.  This is so rare.  It was sweet.  She would follow me around and mimic everything I said!  Each day Colette was saying something new.  It wasn’t that I talked to her so differently.. I guess she was just game for some girl conversation.

My favorite new little sentence she puts together: “mom, it’s not too bad”.   And if you could hear her sweet little voice and extra emphasis you’d love it too.

Good perspective, baby.  It’s not too bad.



your neighbor

God’s definition of what matters is pretty straightforward. He measures our lives by how we love. - Francis Chan

I’ve been on an unintentional hiatus here.  Spring means parties.  Four birthday parties in two months here.  It’s where I switch party themes from princess, to monkey, to ninja.. and I smile because they each are so unique.  We have a two, four, and six year old now.  No one is joking when they say: “time flies by.”  The days can be long, but the years are quite terribly short.

Spring also brought my baby sister moving out.  Ten months she was with us!  I miss hearing the baby gate by the basement stairs squeak (as I head to bed).  It was at that time most nights Debbi emerged from her room downstairs for the fourth meal of the day- ice cream.  (Oh.. to be seventeen and eat ice cream every night without gaining a pound!) Glad we said “yes” to sharing everyday life with Debbi & that we survived still liking each other.  (Because she only moved a mile from here – I also don’t have to miss her too bad).

My in-laws visited us this spring as well.  It had been much too long since our last visit and we managed to squeeze in lots of extra fun while they were here.  I think Jameson put it perfectly a couple nights after they left and I was tucking him into bed: “mom- I like it when Grandpa and Nana want to do whatever we’re in the mood to do”. That is my in-laws! They are easy to have and want to be a help.  They love through giving.  They do dishes, play with the kids, fill the candy jar, and treat us to dinner out.  They make regular days pretty spectacular days.. which is exactly what grandparents should do- right?

I also was able to take a spontaneous trip (with my sister Kate) to see my brother Joe. This is the first time I’ve flown to see a sibling because I wanted them to know they weren’t alone.  Because I could say on the phone “I’m here for you” but I really felt like I wanted to literally be THERE for him.  My siblings agreed and we made it happen.. i love seeing what love can do!  (I guess you could say Kate and I were sent as ambassadors.)

We’ve been doing a series at church this spring on how loving God is shown through how we love others.  It’s been good.  Meanwhile I’ve felt this personal struggle to do a better job of just that- loving others.  I can love my children through planning cheap birthday parties that they’ll talk about for the next twelve months.  I can love my sister by letting her in.. letting her see my better days and letting her see me when I’m a wreck.  I can love my in-laws for exactly who they are and the way my children miss them immediately when they’re gone.  I can love my brother by going.  But- in each of these things.. I could also make it about me.  (Because face it- we’re pretty self centered.  We come first).

The second commandment is to love thy neighbor as thyself.  The problem is I can stay so busy taking care of myself,  I just don’t have time for “extra”.  (This isn’t an extra, God measures our life by how we love).  I could focus so much on how I’m feeling or what I need.. that I could miss the opportunity to care for someone else.

I need to love better.  How do you love those around you?

Who is your neighbor?  

the laundry situation

Are you always looking for ways to do things better?  To save a little money.  To become more efficient.  Me too!  There are so many options of what I could do.  I like doing things well and moving on to the next thing on my list.

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Laundry is one thing that is always on the list.  I like doing laundry just fine- but it would really be nice to have the satisfaction of having empty laundry baskets for half an hour. (What does the bottom of a laundry basket even look like?  Who knows).  I do a load of laundry most days.  A friend of mine does her laundry one weekend A MONTH as a family of six!  How awesome is that?  If there is a way to do things in bulk & eliminate doing the same task every single day- I’m jazzed.

My laundry suggestion for you: Make your own laundry detergent.  I’ve been using this recipe for a year now (that was shared by one of my super smart “green” friends).  The recipe lasts our family nine months and costs $2 to make!  Compare that to what you’re currently spending.

One thing to check off the shopping list: laundry detergent.  You’re welcome.

What is one thing you do to make make things easier and cheaper at the same time?