Tuesday, May 12, 2015

My Disgusting Life

Sometimes life throws some crazy punches at you and you duck or swerve out of the way, but once in awhile those punches hit you square in the stomach. Direct HIT! This post is a result of one of those direct hits, but not one that angered me, but rather led me to really think, in a good way.

We are all disgusting human beings. Really, when you come right down to it, do you not all have something in your past you are ashamed of or something you wish you would have done differently? Or are you really perfect? Do you really feel so much better than everyone else around you? I don't…
I make mistakes daily and hourly. I make the same mistakes over and over, and one would think that after 40 plus years on this earth I would learn, but no… I am sure those mistakes will continue.
To call someone a disgusting human being seems rather pointless. We are all disgusting, but thank goodness Jesus died on the cross for all those disgusting sins. We are forgiven.

There are days when I am physically tired, exhausted from this whole parenting gig! Would I trade my life? No way! I feel blessed to get to parent these four beautiful children I have. I only am able to do it all by God's grace and His help. Often times, when we are out in public, I may choose the path of least resistance. One of our children has a harder time in BIG public spaces. The noise makes the neurons fire on super power and we often see the "crazies" come out. No, it's not really crazy. It's simply an overwhelming feeling. Have you ever felt like the "to-do" list is pages long and you don't know where to start? Instead of taking one thing at a time and calmly going through the list, you may do a tiny bit of each thing and keep running back and forth like a chicken with it's head cut off. Yes, that is how I could explain the actions of one child in a public setting. I don't expect other people to really understand it. I don't expect sympathy. I don't expect much at all from others. WHAT I HATE is when another individual, whom I do not personally know ONE bit, makes the judgement that this particular blessing of ours needs discipline and is absolutely disgusting. Yes, those are the exact words!

Part of that makes my blood boil and the anger start to flow. Then, I take a deep breath and think. Discipline or LOVE and understanding? What looks to the outsider as needing more discipline is something entirely different for the mother who knows and loves and understands her child. Perhaps I will confront this person, and perhaps I won't. I would ask that we all stop and think before offering a quick and disgusting judgement, for we are really all guilty of being disgusting.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Golf Season in Full Swing

I got to go to the course to see just a few finishing holes from last week's golf tournament for the boys. Hamlin had a stellar performance. Devan placed first and Dyllan placed fourth. It is so fun to watch them golf, not just because they are good, but because they play for a greater purpose, His purpose. I'm so proud of them BOTH! 
Dannika and I followed Devan for the last hole and I got a few action shots. 

Dannika has gotten into this game called golf as well. It's sort of inevitable when her brothers spend so much time at the course. I love it that they will take her and teach her too! 

I missed Dyllan's action shots, but he obliged for a few pictures for me at the end of the round. 

I do believe this 'golfing brothers' pose will be going up on the wall. LOVE this one. Makes me smile. 

We got a few with the Hamlin teammates as well. 

AND… yes, this was a shot. Devan and Ben tied, both shooting a 76 for the day. They then went to play-off round and it ended in two holes, with this shot in the mix. Poor Ben really did hit this, from under the tree. Actually, it was not a bad shot either. We just couldn't believe it. 

And. . . the two playoff golfers with their caddies for the two holes. Yes, Dyllan caddied for Ben and Cody for Devan. It was a fun and beautiful day for golf. They are out on the course again today and with the 37 degree temperature this morning and now high winds, I am not there. Brrrr…. Praying they are doing well and surviving these cold temps. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Narrow-minded…. really?

Have you ever felt attacked, not in the physical sense of the word, but emotionally attacked at so many different levels? I'm sure you have. I've been called narrow-minded recently by more than one individual and I can't help but wonder if narrow-minded is misunderstood.

I have had quite a few experiences in my life of 42 years, yes I typed that age. Eeeeks! Honestly, I'm 29 and will always stay 29, but I just have to put my real age out there because I'm not a spring chicken any more. Yes, I still feel like one, but in reality, nope… My opinions are formed from those 42 years on this earth, from my background, from my parents and from my belief in God. So what exactly would one consider to be "narrow-minded?" I have visited numerous countries and have seen first hand  how others are making their place in this great big world. My rose colored glasses have been brushed by many colors, changing my perspective.

When I think about someone being narrow minded I guess I think of someone who is not willing to listen to other opinions. I think of someone who has not thought out or looked into other sides of an issue. I don't think of someone who knows what they believe and who is willing to stand up for those beliefs to be narrow-minded. I find that person to be self-confident and sure of their beliefs. Just because people have different beliefs than I do, I don't find them narrow minded.

Often times I think this title of "narrow-minded" is thrown out there when the other person cannot convince me to switch my own opinion to theirs. (My opinions of biblical issues will not change. God's word is and was and will be forever. That doesn't make me narrow minded, that makes me faithful.) Do I often change my opinion from one person telling me theirs and calling me narrow minded? No. I will listen and try to put myself in their shoes. I will try to understand their reasons and see both sides of the issue. Then, I may research that issue even more and think on it. The ironic thing is I don't believe I have EVER called someone narrow minded. And those who have actually called me that are those who seem so angry for me having a different opinion than theirs. That's life.

Sorry for the deep issue today. It's just been on my mind. I think of a few personalities that I am sure have also been called narrow-minded and those people are self-confident, sure of their beliefs, not afraid to speak out and stand up for what they believe in, not resorting to name-calling or attacks of the personality to defend themselves, and honestly, those are people I respect. Those are people I admire. Those are people I want my children to be like. If that means "narrow-minded" to other people then narrow-minded we will be.

Monday, November 10, 2014


So blessed to have this girl, this very one, in my life. No matter how hard this disease can be, every second of the hard is so worth it. I'm blessed to get to spend time with this beautiful girl of ours. 

We were noticing a beautiful sunset one night and we quickly grabbed a few things and had a fast photo shoot. Dannika did not want to have the actual vest machine in the pictures this year and that was ok. We tried something a bit different. She came up with all the sayings she wanted. She is just growing up before my eyes. 

I can't help but think about exactly how many times she has already buckled those buckles just to shake and how many times she will have to continue that. Too many to count… 

AND - a duck face. 

She wanted to take one of her mom. She wrote on the board and instructed me to do the duck face too! 

AND - I love this silhouette. CF Strong she is. How she inspires me every day to turn to God more and more. The world around us is changing so fast, and she is so grounded at age 9, soon to be 10. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014


I have neglected my blog again. I hate it when that happens. Time just gets away from me and before I know it I'm so far gone with so many ideas to write about that I don't know where to start first. I will do a little re-cap.

Photography - - - whirlwind! I have been so busy lately and seriously I have no idea why. I love taking the pictures, and then … there is the editing. I dread it, just because I know how long it takes me. Maybe it takes every photographer as long as it takes me, I have NO idea. Once I start editing a few though, it's so rewarding. I LOVE seeing the finished image and am sometimes floored that those are the images I took. I have been blessed with some amazing subjects lately. I have to share one quote that just made my day and made me work to have a wonderful session. This came from a senior boy and sometimes those are not the most enthusiastic about a senior photo session, but this particular individual, who will remain nameless, came out with his changes of clothing and told me, "I am so excited. I have been waiting for this all day. I usually don't like pictures, but I'm so excited today." A word of advise from me, and my personality; that talk will get you far in my book. I worked so hard to capture perfect images and this young man's pictures, yup, unbelievable. It was so fun!

Homeschooling - challenging! We are now a full two months in and I'm getting a pretty good feel of it. It was hard to judge at first what I thought and how it was going. I almost have to break it into two parts because the girls are so different. Dannika: LOVE it! The girls do two hours online with a teacher and other classmates. (Virtual school so to say!) They get to do break out rooms and small groups and games and I am impressed. She is reading and discovering the pure joy of reading. Of course, she still prefers that I read to her, but… I don't want to miss out on the books either. She's reading books that I never did. Her first novel was Adam of the Road. We loved it. Devan read this last year as a 7th grader and hated it. The Science curriculum is unbelievable. She is studying Anatomy and the book is from Fullbright. It is so well written that she can't wait to read the next section and neither can I. Things are presented in such a way to make it so interesting and really stick with you. Geography is learning all 50 states this year and the order in which they became states. She's learning the capital cities, the landmarks, the interesting facts about each state and the mottos, flags, birds, trees, etc. Math is Saxon math, the good old fashioned kind of math. She is doing well and mastering so much. Fractions and long division, story problems and working with money, and she finally has her multiplication facts down. That is a huge relief. It is a huge relief to me to see the math that I know works. It works for us and all is well. The homework - well, lets just say it takes a long time. School is for two hours and then we have at least three hours if not more of homework. It's different than public school - there seemed to be more distractions or more built in breaks. Now, she has to deal with drill sergeant mom who is the homework police. This week she is trying it solo. If the girls can get homework done on their own - no reminders from mom for Dannika and no whining or complaining for Destiny there is a great Lego set that's up on the shelf. Dannika may get it and Destiny may not. I'm hoping I'm happily surprised. Yes, I have resorted to bribery here. I'm stooping to a whole new level and I'm not one bit ashamed. Bribery is what I work for every day. The paycheck is bribery - and for us this week, so is that box of Legos!

Socially - that big word that everyone fears with homeschooling --- not really an issue so far. Sure, she missed her friends and the every day "school commotion" that went on, but hasn't been in distress over it lately at all. We have time for piano lessons and studying "outside the box." She has done a little horse back riding and basketball will start soon. We have made it to every Wednesday night youth meeting and even our Junior Bible Quiz at church early on Sunday mornings. I find she is happier with more sleep and so far, healthier. I'm not saying she won't still get sick, but so far, it's been great. I also have to share that the girls have never gotten along better. Their days are spent together instead of apart and for the girls and I, the bond is growing deeper. Destiny needed that immensely. After some time in Sioux Falls last week, and I have to mention that is NOT a fun place to go with our Destiny and her sensory overload issues, I saw such amazing progress. Destiny has never done better - and I don't know if it was just a fluke or if it is really just that all cylinders in her life are clicking on progress and safety and life is good.

Now for my Destiny and homeschooling. Well, where to begin? She is learning and starting to really read. For reals! The comprehension is so much more than it has ever been. I'm not sure if that would have come at the same pace in public school or not. It could very well be. Math addition is being mastered for 0-10 numbers and they will start subtraction soon. Science is botany this year and she and I have learned so much about seeds than ever before. Wow! She has history which started out with Egypt and Mesopotamia and Sumer. It is so interesting and I am pretty sure I may be learning more than she is, but then she will have a test and I'm amazed at what she has picked up. Her handwriting is improving tremendously, but she still pretty much hates it. After the two hours online I have to decide her mood and what homework can be tolerated right away - what has to wait for more patience (on my part) and we dig in. I have to take one day at a time with this and I won't lie… I look forward to that Friday like never before, and now for totally different reasons. I do think it's good though. I'm still learning and we are getting our groove on. So far, so good. Those nudgings on my heart were real and I'm so glad I listened.

AND - my life is BUSY! I love it, but there is even less time for me. That's ok. This season of life is going by so fast and I feel like I am steadily getting older and wiser. Things the world sees as so important are really not all that important in the big picture or life. The boys are still busy in school and with sports and hunting! They've taken a strong liking to waterfowl hunting - duck and geese. I can tell you, I don't know what else to do with these birds! I've used crock pot duck and tonight we had a little chislic duck - which was delicious, but if I see any more duck in my refrigerator I may scream. My freezer will be stocked with birds I guess. I was also doing a little reflection when I read something on Facebook about being so proud of your kids. It made me stop and think about why parents are proud. This particular parent, who I do not really know, was proud for their child's sporting ability - probably football as that is what's all around us right now! It just made me stop and think - I, too, am proud of my children's intellectual and athletic accomplishments, but… I want to be proud for the faithful servants they are. I want to be proud that they are living out their faith. I want to be proud that they live for Christ and if that is through sports or grades or hard work in another area, hooray! I've been noticing the vast differences between people who truly "live for Chirst" and those who do not, because they don't know him or don't know how to live for Christ, or don't want to, or simply don't know what He is really saying to them. The happiest and most content are those that have the close relationship with their Lord and Savior. It's true, true peace and contentment can't come from earthly things but from fixing your eyes above. God bless!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Jacob and Marcia

I just started to edit pictures for this fabulous couple. I enjoyed a Saturday full of nerves for I wanted everything to be perfect on my end for them! The venue was beautiful but provided a few photography challenges… lighting and heat and stairs! I can't wait to get through them all to see what other treasures unfold. I'm so happy to have been able to capture memories for these two and I pray they provide you much joy for years and years to come. 

Ssshhhhh….. the BIG reveal!!

Love this one - Jake's first glimpse at his bride.

And I LOVE the pure joy on Marcia's face here. LOVE the smiles!! 

Thanks for letting me be a part of this very special day. I only pray that I, one day, will get to see my own daughter with Cystic Fibrosis experience all the beauty life has to offer. I admit, I shed a few tears, and went through many emotions, but was so thrilled to be a part of it all. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Hamlin Volleyball

I didn't want to leave out these wonderful volleyball players. I have been a little busy and missed getting them up on my blog. I have posted some on Facebook, but now I can share on my blog, too! I LOVE how they all turned out and for a drizzly and dreary day, we got great results. Thanks for letting me capture this special time in your high school history!