Category: Family

Feb 20 2020

Every year we typically do a puzzle during the winter. This year “Penguins” was the puzzle of choice!  I enjoy doing the puzzle, but if it stays out for a really long period of time it starts bothering me so usually we try to do it in a timely manner. The various members of the family can walk by and put in a puzzle piece here and there. Also, during family movie time the puzzle gets some more work done on it. Once we finish we will leave it out for a few days, take a photo of the puzzle then we donate it. Does your family have a winter activity you do together at home?

Feb 12 2020

Karlie made me this beautiful “wooden flower”

I received this super special flower from Karlie.  She found the wood, cut it into the perfect length, carved out the flower and presented it to me in a field of evergreen leaves.  Love it!  It was a creative, thoughtful, and beautiful gift.

It makes me smile seeing the kids use their creativity and often I am blessed with getting to enjoy the end product.  The best part of this pretty flower is that I don’t have to water yet it stays gorgeous. My type of low maintenance and beautiful decoration that lasts for a long time.  Grateful for Karlie’s talent and thoughtful gift.  I know this took her a good bit of time to design, create, and put together which means a lot to me. Love my girls!

Feb 05 2020

The big apple and beautiful plant on my desk!

These past couple of weeks I have been in a bit of a funk…. Some little unexpected things happened that I let pile up and bother me. Instead of letting these incidents roll off of me and turning my focus towards the many blessings in my life I let these little disappointments and inconveniences capitalize too much of my energy.

All I have to do is look around me to how truly see blessed I am and yet at times I struggle with being content.  My negative attitude is not benefiting myself nor those who are in close proximity of me (family, friends, co-workers). In reality it is probably pretty toxic to myself and those who have to be in my presence.  While my life is not even close to being “perfect” mostly because I manage to mess it up more than I care to admit, it really isn’t bad by any means either. There are a lot of people that are going through far more challenging situations.

As I was thinking about some of these recent events, situations and incidents that got me into this little funk I was reminded of big apples and beautiful plants.  I know it sounds random, but sometimes it’s silly little objects that help bring clarity and focus to my messes of life. Often times these objects remind me of the person who thoughtfully and gave or made them for me which in return makes me smile.

My husband will randomly get me something that he knows I will enjoy.  An apple is a common fruit found in my work lunch, one day he surprised me with a very large apple as my work snack. It made me laugh because the apple was so big it barely fit in my lunch bag and ended up being part of my snack and lunch.   I love all kinds of plants and flowers, however, I have a black thumb which means it is a miracle if I keep a plant alive for a year or more (yes, I have managed to even kill a cactus….). One day he brought home an adorable potted plant for me.  I took it to work and had so many files on my desk that day that it ended up finding a home next to my monitor and in front of my main work space.  He is thoughtful and knows how to make me smile. The photo above is the day I had the big apple next to my beautiful plant. While these are just two visual examples of ways I am reminded of him and the many blessings in my life there are many more if I take a moment to look around me.

Unfortunately, there are many days when I am busy with tasks that I overlook the big apples, beautiful plants, and the many other little reminders of the multitude of blessings in my life. Some days I get sucked into tackling a variety of “to do” items or choose to focus on disappointments which tend to weigh on me instead of working hard while appreciating the positive blessings all around me.   It’s time to break out of this funk and remember who really is in control of my life.  When left up to myself I get off track, my focus is not on what truly matters in life, and I am not the easiest person to hang around.  I am ready to get back on track, anybody else ready?

A few ways to encourage us to turn our focus towards positive blessings:

  • Look – What do you see around you that makes you smile or brings are certain special person to mind?  You probably have more blessings than realize you once you take a few minutes to look around and think about it.
  • Relax – The to do list is always growing, don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself.  You can relax every once in awhile without being considered lazy, it’s actually healthy for us.
  • Breathe – Take a few deep breaths, it helps clear your minds and relaxes your body
  • Focus – Choose to focus on the good parts of your life.  The hard times and inconveniences will come, but they do not have to monopolize all your time and energy.
  • Time – Spend quality time with family, friends, and people you love. Life really is short, make a point to invest time in people.

Here’s to a life full of many blessings!  May we always remember what’s truly important and if we forget hopefully we’ll get back on track quickly.

Feb 01 2020

Brina made this cool piece in class

Well we have made it halfway through the 2019-2020 school year! WooHoo!!!  While there are aspects of school that can be quite exhausting there are other parts that are fun.  Brina recently brought home this neat project.  It’s cool to see everything that they are learning in their classes. She had a great time doing this at school and it turned out really well. I think it’s awesome that she is learning how to use and operate a variety of tools. The first projects she made when she was little were treasured works of art as well, but she has come a long way from the crayon scribbles on a sheet of paper.  Thankful for the opportunities for the kids to learn and use their creativity.

Like anything in life some projects are more fun and exciting to do! Whether you are doing tasks around the house or work some are going to use a lot creativity and be more enjoyable while other projects that are just as important will not be as much fun (laundry, washing dishes, etc).  May we always continuing learning and growing no matter what stage of life we are in whether it is doing something creative and fun or tackling the necessary life activities for that day.

Nov 04 2019

Hallway through the center courtyards, the water tower is in the middle

During our stay at Huntington Beach South Carolina State Park our family visited the Atalaya Castle. There is a small fee to tour the house, if you want you can purchase an audio tour for an additional fee.  We choose to do the tour on our own.

Atalaya has a neat history!  It was built by Acher and Anna Huntington during the Great Depression. Archer was their philanthropist from New York City and Anna was an artist. They built the house in South Carolina as a place to stay during the winter after Anna was diagnosed with tuberculosis. They designed the house after Spanish and Moorish architecture. The house has 30 room with a center courtyard full of native plants and a water tower. The Huntington’s insisted that the house be built by people from local community to help boost the economy in that area during the Great Depression.  The house was once on 9,000 acres of land.

If you are in the area and have some extra time we recommend stopping by for a visit.

One side of the inner courtyard

Touring the castle

Anna was a sculpture and she designed these wrought iron pieces to cover the windows. They are both decorative and serve as protection from hurricanes.

Entry doorway

Vine growing up through the window

In the kitchen….

My crew!

Outside of Atalaya Castle