August 20, 2009

Babies Are Sweet

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I just love little coffee shops--especially when they are in historic homes packed with character. On this particular afternoon, the Blue House overflowed with women and little girls celebrating a baby.


Kristyne is eagerly awaiting the arrival of Kohen this fall. She's always cute, but she is absolutely glowing right now.

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Her sister Kate and friend Tara hosted the shower. They hung baby clothes and baby pictures in the window on a clothesline. The effect was amazing--the sun shone through the pictures and made them look like they were printed on vellum.

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Bags of jelly beans proclaimed that "Babies are Sweet" and thanked guests. These were especially popular with the little girls at the party.


Kristyne received lots of adorable baby things, and everyone enjoyed visiting. The thing I enjoyed most was watching her brother Tom take pictures. I learn so much from watching others compose their shots and seeing how they use their equipment. Plus, I just think it was really sweet that he braved all those women to photograph his sister's baby shower!

August 8, 2009


DaySpring is launching a new site called (In)Courage. It features some great bloggers including Lisa Leonard, Kristen of We Are THAT Family, and Tsh Oxenreider of Simple Mom. Over the next few weeks, the bloggers are writing about courage, and they have asked readers to write about what encourages them.

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John Wayne once said, "Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway." I think that sometimes we equate courage with a lack of fear. If we aren't afraid, though, we really have no need for courage.

One of the greatest battles I fight is against fear--fear of big things, fear of little things, fear of things that would sound ridiculous to most people. I take great comfort in the fact that the phrase "do not fear" appears 365 times in the Bible. That's once for every day of the year. The fact that the words are found in the context of the stories is significant as well. God wouldn't waste words telling someone "do not fear" unless they were truly afraid. All those great heroes of the faith...they were trembling in their sandals!

I was raised on a cattle ranch. Cattle, horses, and cowboys were just part of everyday life. On days when my family worked cattle, everyone was up before dawn. Spurs jingled as the horses were carefully saddled in preparation for the work ahead. They saddled up because there was work to be done, and they intended to do it.

"Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway." It means it's all right for me to be afraid, but I shouldn't let it prevent me from doing what I need to do. Sometimes I'm trembling in my boots, but God whispers to me, "Do not fear." He is always there for me, and with that encouragment, I can saddle up.

August 7, 2009

We Thought You Was a Toad

Have you ever seen the movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou"? It is the Coen brothers' take on Homer's "Odyssey". It's pretty funny. In one scene, the men are trying to communicate in whispers at the "picture show". One repeatedly tells another, "We thought you was a toad!" It's funny. You can see it here.

My husband has a job that sometimes requires the use of radios. One of his co-workers will wait until a quiet moment and drawl, " toad!" It's one of those things that's funny no matter how many times they do it. My husband laughs every time he thinks about it.

I was out on the ranch a few days ago and saw this:

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It's a horned lizard, but we have always called them "horny toads". Obviously, it's not a toad, but guess what popped into my head as I snapped this shot.

" toad!"

August 4, 2009

Sticking to Routines

Ready or not, my boys go back to school in just two weeks. That means we are back on a schedule, and we have to be sure we are ready to head out the door on time each morning.

One of the best ways I keep my kids on task is by ensuring that they do their routines. They have simple routines they need to do each morning and each evening. However, they are easily distracted and tend to forget to do things, so I created a system to help them "stick" to their routines.

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I took two little pails and stuck stickers on one to designate it as routines that are finished. I bought craft sticks at Walmart and wrote a routine on each of them. I also drew a simple picture because my little one wasn't reading yet. These are their morning routines. Each child gets a color, red or blue.

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As they complete a routine, they move it to the "finished routines" bucket.


Their morning routines include getting dressed, making their bed, eating breakfast, brushing their teeth, folding their pajamas, emptying trash cans, etc.


Their evening routines work the same way. One child has green sticks; the other has yellow sticks. As they finish a routine, they move it to the "finished routines" pail.

Their evening routines include homework and getting their things ready for the next day. They also have to clean up their room as well as take a bath and brush their teeth.

I can check on my boys' progress with their routines by looking at their sticks. In a glance I can see which ones each child has done and what remains. Sometimes I simply ask "Have you done your sticks?" They know exactly what I mean.

When it comes to getting kids out the door in time for school, routine sticks "work for me"! For more great tips, check out the"Best Back to School Tips" edition of Works-For-Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family.