Sunday, June 26, 2011

I ♥ Faces "A Touch of Whimsy"

I ♥ Faces is hosting a "A Touch of Whimsy" theme this week. We’ve even been encouraged to think “pretty”, “whimsical”, “playful”, "quaint”, “fanciful” and “oh-so-lovely” when picking our entry this week’s photo challenge.

I so enjoy the whimsical part of having a 3 year old little girl ... and the fact that she has a sweet little friend who lives just across the street makes it twice as nice! My mom blessed my daughter with the perfect gift for her birthday in May ... A Castle! Yes, her very own castle ... I wrote more about that day here. The girls have loved putting on their princess dresses and playing in the royal castle. Their dresses and hair and smiles make me think "a touch of whimsy" ... but i guess when they have 5 older brothers between them they are not likely to ever be ALL whimsy. Take note, that though they are beautiful giggling princesses they have been confiscating their brothers weaponry and stock piling it in their castle. Modern day, independent princess who protect their own castle maybe? Or just cute three year olds who love to play with their brothers' stuff. Either way I love their giggling faces!


Saturday Snapshopts & Sunday Stream In One Post ... How Lazy Can I Get?

Ali, over at An Ordinary Mom, came up with an awesome idea a few months back ... and in her own words its "simply about capturing the moments, snapshots of our weeks, captured on your top-of-the-line camera, your bottom-of-the-line camera, or even your old cell-phone… " Click here to read more about her idea and then please come join us for Saturday Snapshots.

And since I'm feeling lazy today I've combined my Saturday Snapshots with Stream of Consciousness Sunday ... all in one tidy little post (well, maybe not so little ... we'll see). Stream of Consciousness Sunday is hosted by Fadra at her blog all.things.fadra. The idea being 5 minutes of free writing ... no proof reading, no editing just write. If you want to join in take 5 minutes, start typing and just empty your brain. Then head over to all.things.fadra. and link up!

So, here we go:

Most obviously on my mind today is my oldest child, Rosebud. She is such a beautiful young woman and has such a heart for the Lord. I hugged (and hugged and hugged and hugged) and then kissed her goodbye, for a whole week, early this morning. And I mean EARLY ... as in 5something am! My hubby drove her to church to join her youth group for a one week mission and service trip to Michigan. They will be working with TeenServe, just like they did last summer in Indiana.

Yes I was annoying and insisted on pictures even at 5something in the morning ... because, you know, I'm going to miss her. I love her! This look is her telling me enough already mom. But I can never get enough picures of my kiddos. You can see the sky behind her is getting pink ... the sun rose just after she left. Yep up that early. But it made for some very pretty pictures.

I made her take this quick one for her little sister, who will also miss her Rosebud like crazy this week. The crown was laying on the floor, we knew the Little Princess Mary would find this picture funny. And after she woke up, some 3 hours later, I did show it to her and she did indeed giggle.

Another one for the Little Princess Sister ... by the castle:

And then of course one with her handsome and charming daddy ... well I think he is handsome and charming

And a few more cause I really am addicted to taking pictures of my kids. Hubby had to work a double shift on Saturday, so I took all 5 kiddos and we went to see CARS 2. We all enjoyed it, yes even the 15 and 12 year olds who were not so sure. We had a good time and I'm glad we got to do something together before Rosebud is gone for the week.

I just love this shot! I lined them all up by the tulip garden at the U of MN Landscape Arboretum, we were there a few weeks ago for my cousin's wedding ... and we had a fantastic time!

Rosebud loves to dance! Maybe even as much as my 92 year old grandpa (her great-grandpa) who she is dancing with

And of course the "sisters" picture ... I could look into those eyes forever!

Its a strange thing ... having one so ready for independence, so responsible and capable and then another one still so young and in diapers! Plus then there are the boys at varying stages in between. No wonder I'm living in chaos! Oh well, I aam glad for my chaos and all their ages and stages. Just wish I could slow it all down some days. Seems like yesterday when Rosebud still needed her mama as much as the Little Princess still does ... and if she grew so quickly ... how much longer do I get to hold on to my Little Princess? If I blink will it be her heading off for a week? Oh dear Lord HELP! And Thankyou!

Prayers for our youth group as they join TeenServe

Mikayla and the rest of the high school youth group from our church left around 6am this morning for a week long mission trip in Michigan. They are joining hundreds of other teens and leaders to work with TeenServe in Norway, Michigan this week. Please keep them in your prayers this week. I got Mikayla to let me take a few photos this morning as she was getting ready to leave:

My mommy heart misses her already ... but so proud of her!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Angels ...

As I attended a funeral yesterday for my friend's 95 year old Grandma Ruth I have been pondering some deep things ... love and life, death and heaven, God's love and creation ...

I was thinking about the angels I've been making and certain people I want to gift them to. What would I say about my Journey Angels? How do I explain the inspiration behind them? Journey was our baby, tiny and "un-born", true, but our baby all the same, created by God, for His purposes, created to bring God Glory (as all creation is). At first creating these beaded angels was just for soothing, and for healing for my broken heart and crushed spirit ... but as I've gazed at them and talked with God about them God has whispered lessons to me.

I pick up glass beads and metal pins and place them together to make this small little angel. A body, some wings, a head and a halo; then twist the metal pin to form a loop on top. I choose beads carefully, matching certain colors, certain sizes. But always with love and always hoping that this little creation will go on to bless another somewhere, someday. Beads are not perfect ... some have bumps or bubbles, or cracks. Some beads don't fit well next to other beads ... sometimes I rearrange the beads before I finish. Its fun to see so many colors and shapes and sizes of little angels hanging on my kitchen window ... they bring me joy.

God reminded me today that I'm a bit like one of my angles ... only GOD is my creator, he picked the color and size and shape that I would be ... I'm not perfect thats for sure and He knows that. He sees the cracks and bumps and bubbles in me... yet he chooses me anyway. He hangs me where the world can see and I am meant to bring Him Glory and pleasure. He has a plan for me ... thousands of years ago He knew I would live here and now. Crazy, huh? He knows my babies, tiny as they were ... he knows my living children and placed then here ... He knows 95 year old grandmas and how their life was planned to intertwine with ours. We are not alone here, we are affected by each life we meet and cross paths with. Each life is another of God's creations, a creation he loves ... he knows about the bumps and the cracks and he loves us anyway.

My tiny angle baby Journey has impacted my life, my prayers, my thoughts and today so has Grandma Ruth ... she impacted many lives in her years and some of those lives turned out to be my good friends ... friends who have blessed me and taught me, loved me and comforted me. Such an intricate plan, how He weaves us all together.

Friday, June 24, 2011

For the Love of Angel Mommies

There are quite a few talented artists and artisans out there whose lives have been touched by pregnancy and infant loss. They take pictures, write names, paint, bead, sew ... and more, but all to memorialize our sweet babies. I can't even begin to find the words to express my gratitude for the things I have received with my babies names on them. We will never take pictures of these babies first steps, never watch that first tooth grow in, never throw a first birthday party or any birthday party for these babies we lost too soon. But we gave them each a name ... a name picked especially for them and I just love seeing their names and having tiny things with their names on them.

I was blessed to recieve an email today from, Jennie, letting me know she had finished a precious gift for me. To see a picture of what she is sending me please click here

She also has a fabulous personal blog about her life and loss and hope:
My Narrow Path

Edited to add this picture ... aren't they just beautiful!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I ♥ Faces "Let's Hear It For The Boys"

In honor of Father's Day, I ♥ Faces is hosting a "Let's Hear it for the Boys" theme this week. Photos must include at least one male face in them. I have 3 fantastic sons I love to photograph, a very handsome husband, a wonderful father and father-in-law I love to spend time with and both my grandpa's are still very active and fun to hang out with. So, "Let's Hear it for the Boys" could be the theme song to my life most days.

After looking at dozens of photos I could post I finally decided to use one that honors my dad ... Father's Day and all ... this is a photo I snapped real quick a few weekends ago. We were up at my dad's cabin (by we I mean: me, my 5 kids, my sister and her 3 kids and my other sister and her 3 kids, plus my mom, my dad, my aunt, my uncle and my grandma and grandpa ... it was a full house, I mean cabin).

Recently, for two of my son's birthdays my dad gifted them each GPS units and books on geocaching. So as my dad and his brother (the two 'grown-ups' in this photo) tried to wrangle 5 of my dad's grandsons and 4 of his granddaughters off on a geocaching adventure. This is so true of my dad ... he has always loved the outdoors and does everything he can to pass that love along to his 11 grandkids. I was glad they decided there were to many to try all ride in the gator. They posed for a quick photo and then they were off to try locate the 5 geocache boxes my dad had hid in the woods that morning. They had such a great day!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saturday Snapshopts

Ali, over at An Ordinary Mom, came up with an awesome idea a few months back ... and in her own words its "simply about capturing the moments, snapshots of our weeks, captured on your top-of-the-line camera, your bottom-of-the-line camera, or even your old cell-phone… "

Click here to read more about her idea and then please come join us for
Saturday Snapshots

I believe the official first day of summer is just around the corner ... Tues, right? Well this weekend we saw a sure sign of summer, right on our own street! And actually before we could "see" it we could "hear" it ... that sweet carousel type music of our ice cream truck. Then kids come running, waving dollar bills they begged off their parents and enjoy a chilly treat on a warm summer day. We really only see this truck once a week ... which is nice, I don't mind letting them splurge on over priced cold sugar once a week :-) But it did make me think "Ahhh ... summer is really here"


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Some thoughts on Art & Grief

As I've spent some time this past month with other baby loss mamas and browsed many sites online, I could not help but notice the art used to grieve. There are photos, drawings, painting, sculptures, jewelry, poetry ... and many more! I'm not certain I really understand the healing connection between art and grief, but for me its has been a blessing to see my angels' names used in some beautiful art and it has inspired me to use my angels' names. - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

ImageChef Word Mosaic -

In many forms of art we need to work with our hands. Be it molding or drawing or painting or forming or beading ... there seems to be something soothing about our hands being "at work". And then when we can sit back and look at the piece of art there is a sense of accomplishment or completion. For me, at least, there is something therapeutic about finishing something, completing something beautiful. Perhaps because there was a beautiful little life that I miss, that did not get to be finished ... we never got to see the finished product of the baby we so loved and wanted.

Several years ago when my sister, Missy, passed away I spent hours and hours beading Psalm 23 bracelets because just weeks before her passing she had given me a handmade Psalm 23 bracelet. In those hours that I could not sleep, in those times my mind just could not make sense of anything I was able to "do" something, "make" something, complete something. I think it was also helpful that I was continually repeating the 23rd Psalm over and over as I made the bracelets. Last month, when we learned that the baby I was carrying had died I was crushed, grief stricken and I struggled to accomplish much of anything. Especially during those restless hours in the middle of the night I felt a need to keep my hands busy, so I pulled out my bags of beads. I began to string bead after bead and make bracelet after bracelet. It was busy work I suppose, but not so complicated that I had to concentrate very hard. My mind could reel and my hands could keep working ... something therapeutic about that for me. Through a "God-sidence" I learned to make adorable little beaded angels just after we lost Journey and now I have spent many hours beading angels for other baby loss moms. I have begun to call them my Journey Angels ... they remind me of our sweet baby Journey, but I also hope they will bless each mom's journey as she grieves and heals.

I know I could start a whole other post about this but I feel I should mention that my husband does not grieve this way ... if I had tried to get him involved in beading or anything crafty he would not have found it therapeutic or helpful. Each person will process through grief in their own way, in their own time. There will be things that are helpful to some but cumbersome to others. I hope you find what works for you ... find what helps you.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

On a treasure hunt!

Heres O finding his first geocache!!!! Excting stuff!

O got a new toy for his 9th birthday recently ... a garmin thingy he can use for geocaching ... I had never been geocaching until today ... and do you know what? I had fun treasure hunting with my boys! I think it does me and my mood good to be outside ... and the boys had great fun.