Recent Drawings & Paintings

by Madelyn

We love the arts in our family.  I am thankful for the chance to foster creativity here at home.  I decided to take some photos of recent drawings and paintings from the past several weeks.  Inspiration stemmed from different days, events, and sources.

by Brayden

by Julian

by Kalen

by Brayden

by Brayden

by Kalen

by Brayden

by Madelyn

by Madelyn

by Anna

by Brayden

by Madelyn

by Julian


River Rocks

Brayden’s 1st grade class took a trip to the Eno River recently.  They have been studying rocks and they thought it might be fun to explore the river in search of them.  I went along for the ride and took some fun photos as we were on our adventure.

Brady with his friend, Sumi

Brayden sketching some rocks for his scavenger hunt.

Do you spot what we saw from the bridge?

We hiked to get closer to the Great Blue Heron,what a beauty.  The kids got out their clipboards and sketched the bird.

A Thanks Giving Tree

We have done something similar in the past, we are collecting thankful thoughts to put on a tree made of branches from our yard.  Ann Voskamp recently posted on A Holy Experience about her family doing this, except her’s is more involved.  I think it is an easy way to get our minds geared more towards gratitude.

I simply drew out some leaves on construction paper.  We cut them out, hole punched them and hung then on the tree with ribbon.  Whenever someone feels inspired to write something they are thankful for, they can pick a blank leaf and jot their thought down.

Of course this activity is not a must.  Our family could just as well sit at the supper table and share with each other what we are thankful for.  It is the attitude of gratitude that is important.

When teaching our kids about thankfulness.  I think it is important to encourage them to be as specific and authentic as possible.  Being intentional about creating an atmosphere of thanks could become a routine fixture in our home!


I have to admit, I am not great at being silly.  I can get there, but it is a real effort.  Even though I consider myself to be a kind person, I am quite serious.  I am working on being a bit more lighthearted.  My husband can tap into his silly side so well.  I think that is one of his best dad tricks.

I was cleaning out some photos in our photo booth on our computer and found some fun and rather silly pictures of myself with Brayden, our youngest.  I giggled as I remember sitting there with him.  That feeling of softness and lightheartedness was pure and delightful.  We were seizing the moment, I guess.  There’s no telling what events or daily tasks surrounded those few moments we took just to enjoy one another.  Hmm…

Being playful and lighthearted isn’t necessarily high on a mother’s list of  to-dos …. there’s the laundry, the packing of lunches, checking her inbox, going to the grocery store, working, fixing meals, responding to the millions of kid questions that come up, helping with homework, taking the dog out, more laundry, etc.  Those tasks require thought and energy and, if there is enough left, patience.  Trying to be playful and lighthearted on top of the many things that crowd a mother’s day can just seem too difficult.

Then, I look at Brady’s face in this photo with me or I think of Kalen’s “really?” response when I ask him to play a game of Skip-Bo with me.  I see the richness of those opportunities that I greeted with a softness and I think that those moments are truly life giving.


The laundry will always be there.

The inbox will hold those emails.

We will eat.

I want my kids to remember my silly faces.

I want them to know what I look like when I dance or how it sounds when I bust out laughing.

Everyday I won’t remember to be lighthearted.

I will miss the mark.  I will resort to my more serious ways.

Today, I can aim to take time out to be playful and know that life is to be enjoyed with my family.

My kids already know how to live with lighthearted spirits.  I think I may just follow their lead.

A Bike Ride with Beauty


Fall is here and with it colorfulness and a feeling of freshness.  I took Maddie, Brady and Kalen on a bike ride on Veteran’s day.  I wanted to take pictures of everything my eyes were seeing, a beautiful mess.  This must mean I love fall …. and beautiful messes.


It was definitely one of those days that I asked myself, “why don’t I do this more often?”