Saturday, April 28, 2012

House From Scratch

So I don't know if I mentioned before but I married a pretty great guy. For about a thousand reasons. One of those reasons is how talented he with his work. A while back he was asked by Blake and Libby (Paxten's parents) to draw up plans for their new house. He was pretty excited because he got to put to use a CadSoft program we have to draw homes. He sat down with them and they began talking about their wishes and desires for their new home. Derek started drawing. Beautiful home plans came from that and then the house went up. I'm a builder's daughter and now a builder's wife so I've seen a lot of new homes. This one is definitely on my favorite list though. Everything in it is so specific and well thought out. The features are unique and important to them. I'm super proud of Derek for seeing this vision through and so happy for Blake and Libby that their wonderful style and taste was able to be brought to life. Here's a slideshow of their home.

Gorgeous!  Since this photo shoot was done Libby and Blake have styled it just beautifully and the yard has been wonderfully decked out in trees and the grass was just put in this weekend.

While this home was originally thought through with Paxten in mind, we look forward to the day that baby giggles and little running feet fill the places that were so lovingly designed for a growing family. 

Thinking of building a home?  Consider my dad and Derek!  : )

There is a virtual home tour of my parent's place on the website too. More amazing work!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Nitty Gritty Truth

I read this the other day and can't get it out of my head.

"I can't tell you how many times I have heard criticism about how our government handles the foster care system; and in all honesty, I've been the critic at times. But if we get down to the truth, the real nitty-gritty truth, it is not the government's job to care for the fatherless. It just isn't. The government isn't commissioned, the government isn't commanded, the government isn't equipped, and the government isn't empowered by the One who made it all to care for His children. The church is. We are the people that God has instructed to be different and to make a difference." Christie Erwin

The guilt of it -- I've been the critic
The truth of it -- The church is responsible
The relief of it -- I, and yes YOU, fellow Christian, have been
               commissioned, commanded, equipped and empowered by the ONE.

Hello!?! Are you being called? Are you being different and making a difference?

Maybe it's time to answer?

You don't have to tell me all the uncomfortable reasons you don't want to. I get that, I've been there. But the thing is, Derek and I haven't taken this path because we are capable and decked out with all that we need on our own because we aren't. But, joyfully, we have been made fully equipped and are daily (sometimes hourly) empowered by God, the creator of each child that He has placed in our home. What a freeing feeling.

Foster care is hard but don't quickly turn away because the truth of it makes you uncomfortable. If you're unsettled maybe there is a reason. Talk to us, we want to hear about it. I'll chat with you, a small group, an entire room. It's no secret that I feel strongly about foster care -- the bad stuff and the good. But I also feel strongly about my God who makes a way for families to love each child that he created. I'm praying now for the person God is calling to take up this mission with us.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


It seems like our days revolve around watching babies learn and pick up new things and marking those precious fun milestones. But, it was Taryn who recently tackled a big new step. Riding her bike without her training wheels! She's done really great and of course is quite styling while doing it...

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Derek and I were recently very blessed to join five other couples on a special trip to help two amazing people renew their vows.

The ceremony was perfect. Officiated by a friend, intimate, tearful and laugh-filled. If you've followed the Pearson's story at all you know that their marriage has been put to the test. As I stood there I thought about how even though they've been married fewer years than most of us there that they had endured so much more as a couple. Hard questions, loss, suffering and pain. The statistics aren't positive for couples in similar situations but knowing Blake and Libby like we do it is obvious that they have only pulled closer, drawing from each other's strengths and leaning on friends and family. They are a beautiful example of God's plan for marriage and it is just another reminder of how lucky Paxten was to have them as her mommy and daddy. If anyone deserved a renewal it was them.

Blake and Libby we are honored to know you, to be your friends and to have watched your relationship flourish even when under the terrible strain of finding your way in a world without your baby girl. Looking forward to years to come!

Friday, April 20, 2012

He's Not Here; He has Risen!

Praise the Lord! Do you know this truth? That Jesus died for you and was raised on the third day. Jesus is alive and it is for you that he lives. I pray this truth is in your heart and you were able to celebrate the wonder of that gift with loved ones on Easter. Our church celebration service was so wonderful. I got goosebumps more than once. : )

So I know it has been a while since Easter so this is a little behind. I'm hoping you'll forgive me and that pictures of my three blessings will serve as apology.  : )

Easter might be my favorite holiday. I love the promise of spring, the colors, the message of hope and joy at church and the opportunity to talk intentionally with my girls about the Lord that I pray they will grow to know and love as much as I do.

We had a good day. I attempted to get us all together, fed and dressed with a few minutes to spare for pictures before church. This is no small feat people. Three little girls fed, dressed, hair brushed and nursery bags packed. And managing to save some time in there to run a brush through my hair and slap on some mascara so that people don't start to wonder if they shouldn't up their prayer time for me at church. Anyhoo...we were ready and I got a few shots but mostly the girls just wanted to explore their baskets. We got some special memories though.

She's been working the hip-pop lately.

The patriotic addition is a swimsuit. All three got matching swimsuits in their baskets. I may just have them wear them from now on because they are So. Stinkin'. Cute.

My new favorite picture. My heart melts.

Easter-egg hunts overlapped nap-time. Hence normally forbidden-outside-the-crib pacifier.

Sweet cousins

Egg hunts did not interrupt this one's naptime! She was unimpressed with the eggs. : )

Sorry about the picture-overload. It is hard to narrow down. : ) Praying you can carry the joy of the Easter gift with you throughout the year!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Ranch

My parents live on a bunch of land. With lots of fun to be had. So we gathered up all the neighbors we could drag there a couple Saturday's ago and played the day away in the warm sun.

Love lazy afternoons and good memories made.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tulip and Fairy Festival

I love tulips. One of my favorites for sure. The last couple years I've heard the advertisements for the tulip festival at Botanica Gardens but haven't ever made it. Tulips are pretty fragile and so it only runs for a couple weeks there before weather beats them down with rain, dries them up with sun or freezes them off. Kansas is strange. I happened to remember it was taking place this year and that it had a fairy theme that I knew Taryn would be on board for so I managed to talk everyone into going. It was so fun. The day was gorgeous, the tulips were still blooming and the girls had fun wandering, making other people smile and doing crafts. I hope we've found a new tradition!

Taryn wanted to dress like a fairy. Who am I to say no to that?

Botanica recently opened a new children's garden area that was really special. It had lots to explore and a barn with several crafts going on. Taryn loved it.