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Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

24 Jan

The word juxtaposition is defined as “the act or instance of placing side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.”  As soon as I saw today’s photo challenge I knew I had to participate, because my home is full of INSANE juxtaposition.

Having a boy and girl so close in age means that they do play a lot together, and their toys, so boyish and so girlish, meld together in sometimes strange ways.  Just this afternoon, for instance, the three of us were playing with Maddie’s Barbies, when suddenly Charlie ninja-kicked my princess Barbie in the face with Skipper, and suddenly we are playing ninja-Barbie.

Here are some other examples of this going on around my house:

A mixture of Hello Kitty and DC Superhero Legos.

A mixture of Hello Kitty and DC Superhero Legos.


A beautiful furry headband, torn apart by a rambunctious little boy.

A beautiful furry headband, torn apart by a rambunctious little boy.


Another result of a rambunctious little boy: a demolished tea set.

Another result of a rambunctious little boy: a demolished tea set.


Maddie loves to take Charlie's superhero figures and make them "friends" with her Barbies.

Maddie loves to take Charlie’s superhero figures and make them “friends” with her Barbies.

A princess storybook hidden on a bookshelf in a certain someone's room.

A princess storybook hidden on a bookshelf in a certain someone’s room.


A football player resting in Maddie's dollhouse.

A football player resting in Maddie’s dollhouse.


Our day is full of juxtaposition: ups and downs, laughter and tears, hugs and hitting.  With a 3-year old girl and a 4-year old boy with totally different personalities, you never know what you’re going to get, but it is interesting, to say the least.





Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy (Christmas 2013)

27 Dec

We finished up with our various Christmas celebrations last night.  While this Christmas has been very bittersweet for me, it has also been very special.  I had a great time with Charlie and Maddie throughout the month of December, working on our advent calendar and making ornaments and teaching them about giving.  I also did an advent study of my own, which was a real learning experience for me.

Here are some pictures from my family’s Christmas!  I hope you get as much JOY from looking at them as we did making them!

Keeping Focused on the Cross

23 Dec

As the month of December progresses and we get closer to Christmas day, it has become apparent to me how many things we have fighting for our attention, this month more than any other month of the year. In addition to our normal life, there are so many other things to do.  I question myself…

Have I bought enough? Have I bought too much? Did I remember to ship everything on time? Should I get a present for my 3rd cousin’s husband’s aunt?  Have I wrapped everything that I bought?  Does my wrapping paper match my Christmas decorations?

Did I do enough with the kids? Did they see Santa and get a perfect picture in his lap with matching outfits?  Did we do all of the Christmas crafts with glue and cotton balls and paint and cinnamon extract and paint and fingerprints that I pinned?  Did we do enough random-acts-of-kindness?

Did I DVR all of the Christmas cartoons?  Did the kids get to see A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer and Prep and Landing?  Did they get to eat popcorn while they watched them?

Did I forget to send a Christmas card to anyone who will be offended if they don’t get a Christmas card?  Was the picture of the kids on the Christmas card good enough?  Did I spell everything on the card correctly and spread the love of Jesus in 10 words or less?

Add to that the ridiculousness of what is in the media, plus the baking and cleaning that is required this time of year, and it is easy to lose focus.

To all of my brothers and sisters in Christ, Let’s not do that!

All of these distractions are things of the world, not of God.  Christmas is a celebration of Jesus’ birthday, and nothing more.  Santa Claus and cartoons and Christmas cards are awesome and fun and I love them, but they should not distract us from the true meaning of Christmas.


For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.  Isaiah 9:6-7
For the next 2 days, I am going to stop worrying about the things of this world that the devil is putting in my way.  I am going to know that I am good enough because Jesus has made me good enough.  He left his home in Heaven and was born as a human and lived on this earth so that I can live without fear of sin or death. I am going to celebrate Jesus’ birthday and make sure that my kids do, too, and I will know that that is more important than any cartoons I have DVR’d or crafts I have pinned.
Merry Christmas to you all!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Let There Be Light!

29 Nov

Well, Thanksgiving is over, and I hope you all had a great one!  I have really enjoyed this month and I am looking forward with anticipation to December.  I don’t remember ever loving the holiday season as much as I am this year.

I have been trying for WEEKS to get some pics of the kids for Christmas cards, but I just can’t get the perfect one!  It is driving me crazy.  Yesterday I tried to get some of them in front of one of the little trees they have in their bedrooms.  They turned out okay, but still not quite what I was looking for.  I do love the light coming from the tree, though.

Charlie was just happy to be in his PJ's in the middle of the day!

Charlie was stuffed from Thanksgiving lunch!


He is so precious-I love the light reflecting on Charlie's face here.

He is so precious-I love the light reflecting on Charlie’s face here.


I do love this one of Maddie-she is bringing out her inner supermodel.

I do love this one of Maddie-she is bringing out her inner supermodel.


...and her silly face!

…and her silly face!


Wishing you all the peace that only God can give...

Wishing you all the peace that only God can give…


...and some love, too!

…and some love, too!







Jumping in the Leaves

5 Nov

It’s turning cooler, the days are shorter, and honestly my first instinct is to hibernate in the house!  However, with 2 kids, I just can’t do that.  They need to be outside, even if it is cool.  They need to run and play and breathe in the fresh air, and I do, too.  Some days, like today, I have to make us go outside, and I am always glad when I do.

We went out today, raked up a pile of leaves, and destroyed it!  Then we did it again and again.  I will probably be sore tomorrow from all of the raking, but it will definitely be worth it.

This is my favorite picture from the day:


Isn’t that deep belly laugh just the best?


Monday Praises-God’s Creativity

4 Nov

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalm 19:1

In my Sunday School class yesterday we were talking about suffering on Earth, and how even creation is suffering and groaning and struggling.  Creation was cursed when man was, so can you imagine what it will be like when it is no longer restrained and can really show itself in all its glory?  It is going to be AMAZING!

I love nature.  I praise God for his creativity and his vision and his workmanship, and I cannot even imagine how wonderful it will be to see His creations when they are not being restrained by the sins of man.

A beautiful tree in our front yard.

A beautiful tree in our front yard.


Make sure you check out Walk Humbly With God for some more reasons to praise God today!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Horizon

25 Oct

I took tons of great pictures at the NC State Fair Wednesday, and I just knew that one day I would be able to use at least one of them for a photo challenge.  Little did I know that day would come so soon!

This week’s photo challenge was called “Horizon” and I got some gorgeous pics from the top of the ferris wheel.  Here’s my favorite:


View from the top

View from the top

Check out the gorgeousness of the sky, and the colors of the fair below.  It was such a great time!

Day at the Fair

23 Oct

I am so glad that we were able to take a trip to the State Fair in Raleigh today!  The weather was perfect and it wasn’t too crowded, and the kids are at some great ages to do stuff like that.

One highlight from our day was the ferris wheel.  Charlie and Maddie loved it, and so did Jason and I.  You could see the entire fair and the buildings in downtown Raleigh.  Also, a cold front was moving in while we were on the ferris wheel, so all of these dark clouds were going over and it suddenly got very cold, so that was pretty neat.

Another thing I loved was the Vermont Maple Syrup Cotton Candy.  It is made with real maple syrup instead of the traditional sugar, and it was so good.

We also had a banana split before we left, and I will always laugh at the image of Jason trying to get some of that ice cream before the kids devoured it.  They share his love of ice cream, so it was a feeding frenzy.

I asked the kids what their favorite part of the fair was.  Maddie said riding the pirate boat (there was a kiddie tug boat that they rode with Jason) and Charlie said the ferris wheel.

Here are some pics from our day!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Good Morning!

7 Oct

Guess who hasn’t gotten the message yet that we don’t get out of bed until the house is filled with sunlight?

That's right.....the Madster!

That’s right…..the Madster!

She gets up SO EARLY!  Sometimes I put her back in bed, but some mornings, like this morning, the alarm is so close to going off anyway that we just go ahead and start our day.

Thankfully we had sweet potato cake leftover from yesterday’s family reunion!

Sweet Potato Cake

Sweet Potato Cake

Now that is how you start a day off right!  It was so good with my coffee. And of course, the kids were like, “What? Cake for breakfast? Yeah!”

I’m such a good mama (with satire).


Weekly Photo Challenge: Saturated

28 Sep

Jason, the kids, and I had a great evening down at the fire pit.  We cooked hotdogs and sausages and had spicy curly fries, then roasted some marshmallows.

I know it sounds crazy, but that fire pit has been such a blessing to us.  Several years ago, we wanted a fire pit but didn’t have any extra money to buy one.  I had just recently become a stay-at-home mom and we were getting adjusted to a new income.  We were trying to figure out how to make one out of some leftover bricks when someone just gave us their fire pit that they never used!

Isn’t that awesome? We were so excited and we still get excited about that fire pit!  It brings us a lot of enjoyment.

We have some colorful Christmas lights strung up in the trees around our fire pit, and I thought this picture of the lights against the dusky (is that a word?) sky was interesting and pretty.