My Amazing Husband & His Boys

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Snapped this photo when we went downtown to see my husband working our annual city party called, “FIESTA!!”

My husband is an incredible hero.

It’s not just because he wears the badge, although the courage and bravery there are not to be discounted.

It’s his strength, heart, and mind that make him go above and beyond in teaching our sons how to actually be men.

Real men.

The kind that fight for goodness and against evil in our society.

The kind that are God’s warriors and ministers – both at the same exact time.

Words can hardly even describe the intensity with which I love this man so much.

patrickboys

 

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Spring

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We’ve been enjoying this beautiful weather for a couple of months now since our “Spring” starts so early.  Each year it mesmerizes me with how beautiful Texas is in the Spring.  There’s something about the sunlight hitting the newly green grass or leaves and delicate flowers with a backdrop of the most gorgeous blue sky you can imagine that is just too much!

It’s like the weather itself radiates happiness and joy ❤

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Our oldest found a rock with circles cut out like eyes from a skull LOL!!  Our boys could seriously be comedians… 😀

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St. Patrick’s Day craft making green peeps into little Irish men.  It was so fun!

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Our green Riverwalk dyed for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

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We let our oldest start taking care of some strawberry plants, it’s been fun watching them grow and produce fruit.  Just need to figure out some netting to keep the birds and squirrels away lol!  We recently found one with a bite taken out of it!

 

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This was the first strawberry it produced!  Our son ate it and although he “hated” strawberries before (yet still wanted the plants?? lol) he’s now decided he LOVES them!  (Sneaky parenting 101)

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Sometimes our oldest reads bedtime stories to his little brother.  These are honestly the moments that you live for as a parent.  Just. So. Sweet.  ❤ ❤ ❤

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New kitten adventures.

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HAPPY SPRING!!!

Gardening: Just a Little Bit Goes a Long Way

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Our garden has been flourishing since we’ve started again!  It’s reminded me of so many passages in Scripture that talk about God and gardens, His pruning us and tending to us.  Everyday it is such a joy to go out and tend it.  Even just looking out our window to see it, along with the butterflies and moths that flit around in it, brings me so much joy each day.

My husband bought me a dragonfly light that changes beautiful colors at night to light the garden.  So we’ve nicknamed it Dragonfly Garden ❤  It is so sweet.

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I’ve seen a ladybug on our giant spinach leaves every time I’ve gone out this week, eating away the pests that would harm the plants.  And to my surprise, I saw a blue dragonfly on one of jalapeno plant leaves!!  It sat there for awhile and let me look at it 😀  It was so awesome and gave new meaning to our naming it Dragonfly Garden.

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We have such an abundance of cabbages, Swiss chard, and spinach it is finally helping our grocery bill since we no longer have to buy our salad greens (something we bought weekly) for our sandwiches and salads.  It is such a wonderful feeling to be able to go out to this garden that I and my son have planted together, and pick food for our table and know that it’s bringing in an abundance of nourishing vitamins and minerals to our family!

I always wanted to be a woman who had a sustainable garden – a woman who genuinely loved and enjoyed gardening.

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It’s kind of strange to see that I’ve achieved this goal now.  Last year our tomato plants did so amazing we had a production each week to eat off of, so hopefully we can get back up to that again… but I’m particularly happy about our spinach leaves 😀  they cost a lot at our grocery store, and it’s just so fulfilling to be growing an abundance of them right in our backyard!

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For the Lord will comfort Zion [in her captivity];

He will comfort all her ruins.

And He will make her wilderness like Eden (the most beautiful garden),

And her desert like the garden of the Lord;

Joy and gladness will be found in her,

Thanksgiving and the voice of a melody.

Isaiah 51:3

 

And the Lord will continually guide you,

And satisfy your soul in scorched and dry places,

And give strength to your bones;

And you will be like a watered garden,

And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.

Isaiah 58:11

 

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God is the Gardener…

For we are  God’s fellow workers [His servants working together];

you are God’s cultivated field [His garden, His vineyard], God’s building.”

1 Corinthians 3:9

Blessings for Your New Year!

I can never believe how fast a year can fly by, it always gets to me and makes me appreciate the days even more.  Time goes by too fast!  I want to soak up the joy of being with my children and husband, I really do wish it would just go a little more slowly.

2016 is going to have some interesting adventures, I’m wondering what God will do in our life, what kind of trials we may face or joys that will come?

Sitting here, with our beautiful Christmas tree still up in the dark, peacefully quiet living room, I want to share with you some verses I was reading early this morning, some blessings for your new year 2016!

HE CROWNS THE YEAR WITH GOODNESS:

“How happy is the one You choose and bring near to live in Your courts!  We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, the holiness of Your temple. …

“You crown the year with Your goodness;

Your ways overflow with abundance!”

Psalm 65:4,11

STRENGTH & REFUGE WHEN FACING TRIALS IN 2016:

Lord, I seek refuge in You; never let me be disgraced.

In Your Justice, rescue and deliver me; listen closely to me and save me.

Be a rock of refuge for me, where I can always go.

Give the command to save me, for You are my rock and fortress.

Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and oppressive.

For You are my hope, Lord God, my confidence from my youth.

I have leaned on You from birth; You took me from my mother’s womb.

My praise is always about You.  I have become an ominous sign to many, but You are my strong refuge.

My mouth is full of praise and honor to You all day long. …

For my enemies talk about me, and those who spy on me plot together, “God has abandoned him; chase him and catch him, for there is no one to rescue him.”

God, do not be far from me; my God, hurry to help me.

May my adversaries be disgraced and confounded; may those who seek my harm be covered with disgrace and humiliation. …

My mouth will tell about Your righteousness and Your salvation all day long, though I cannot sum them up. …

God, You have taught me from my youth, and I still proclaim Your wonderful works.

Even when I am old and gray, God, do not abandon me.

Then I will proclaim Your power to another generation (hopefully to our grandchildren!), Your strength I will proclaim to all who are to come.

Your righteousness reaches heaven, God, You who have done great things; God, who is like You?

You caused me to experience many troubles and misfortunes, but You will revive me again and again.

You will bring me up again, even from the depths of the earth.

You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.

My lips will shout for Joy when I sing praise to You, because You have redeemed me.  Therefore, my tongue will proclaim Your righteousness all day long, for those who seek my harm will be disgraced and confounded.” Psalm 71

GOD AS YOUR STRONGHOLD FOR 2016:

“I will sing of Your strength and will joyfully proclaim Your faithful love in the morning.

For You have been a stronghold for me, a refuge in my day of trouble.

To You, my strength, I sing praises, because God is my stronghold – my faithful God.” Pslam 59

 

 

Christmas Joy & Excitement!

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This past weekend, our family does the usual tradition of getting all the Christmas decorations out on the day after Thanksgiving, otherwise known as Black Friday lol… my son thought that sounded scary, and I guess from what it’s turned into, it is!

Getting the Christmas decorations out, putting up lights, the nativity scene for the kids, getting out my Grandma’s old glass Christmas decorations she passed down to me – telling my son stories about the family he’ll meet in heaven as were admiring their trinkets… it all makes me so happy!!!

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Throw in the Christmas music playing joyfully in the background, and you have a beautiful scene!

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Even though this holiday season has been emotionally difficult, I’m still trying to make it as joyful as possible for our little family.

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My dad is still not completely there mentally, and my brother and I have been receiving some things he no longer wants or uses. 😦   I’ve gotten his camera 😦 and his field microscope, my brother’s gotten the family rifle, and even though he’s excited and loves guns as much as I do, as we sat talking on Thanksgiving in his room (that he no longer really lives in, my baby brother has grown up!!!!) we both felt the sadness of what this meant.

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So we’re still mourning the loss in a way… and trying to be thankful that he is still here, and that we can still enjoy him.  Over Thanksgiving, we had the best times playing games together, talking, and laughing till we cried!

The morning of Thanksgiving, my older son (5) and I made a cherry pie together 🙂 I really suck at baking… but I keep trying and adventuring into this realm of the domestic goddess, and at least this pie turned out great!

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And it was even more fun that my son had especially requested we made this kind of pie this year (he was obsessed with cherry pie for months!), and so making it together with him, letting him help me do the dough and create the lattice work, was SO fun and SO worth it, even if the pie had turned out terrible.  So hooray for that!

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It looked beautiful, and tasted amazing!!!  So proud of him!

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Fall

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We are ready for Fall in our house.  My son was telling me how excited he was about Halloween coming up, and I totally share in his excitement!  I can’t wait for the cool breezes and the leaves changing. the cinnamon, apples, and pumpkins.  Sometimes we need a change, maybe that’s why I’ve always loved every season, with it comes fresh, new changes, and growth into new seasons of life.

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I recently instructed a woman in the post My Husband Isn’t Romantic Enough, to keep a gratitude journal by her bed, and every night, to write down something she’s grateful for, and to pray over the list – even with her husband if she wants.  I thought it would be a great idea if I took my own advice and implemented this little ritual into my life.  So, this new season I’ve been keeping a journal that logs my daily activities, thoughts about our kid’s, goals for the day to accomplish and check off, a place to log my emotion (to track depression & what may affect it), spiritual insights from my devotion time, thoughts about our dog (like “vomited in our car today” lol), and then… at the end of the day and at the end of the page, there’s a space for “Gratitude Acknowledgment.”  It really has been a wonderful exercise each night to spend time reflecting on one thing in particular that I’m grateful for – it changes your whole perspective and gives you so much peace before falling asleep.

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I won’t lie though, that first night I tried this, it was hard.  It was a Monday, our busiest day by far, I had been up since 5am, my husband usually does the school run on his own since it’s the only time he sees our son in the day, but that morning, he insisted I had to come.  So we’d already done the school run with the baby in tow, ran a couple of errands together, and then my husband totally surprised me by taking me to a jeweler to order a beautiful Police Wife badge necklace – so sweet!  So unexpected :’) .  I’ve really come to appreciate this new time with him in the morning as being extremely romantic for us – whether it is just running errands together and teasing each other, or having extra time to be intimate when the baby naps.  Even with all this love and us having a great relationship and friendship even, the rest of the day after he left for work took it’s toll on my attitude.  I got the baby down at his naptime, woke the baby up only an hour & a half later (he usually sleep 2-3 hours poor thing), and we had to go pick up bubba (big brother) from school.  Because I let the baby sleep a little extra, I left later than I should have and felt rushed to pick him up on time… something I’ve learned how to handle much better since then!

Picking him up from school is like some kind of marathon when by myself with a baby.  Last week, we were faced with temperatures close to 100 F, and his pickup is on a black top with no tree in sight.  I stay there for about 30-40 minutes, too, so that I can talk and laugh with my mom friends while our kids play together.  It’s the only time I get to see some of these mommies, and even though we were dripping in sweat, our hair even plastered down and wet, it’s well worth it.  After that we make the trek to the car, feeling like we’re crossing some African desert, my huge stroller (that could seriously be a small SUV) holds all our stuff like a caravan traveling through – thank God for ice water!  We then go home, rest, start home work, eat snacks, I let my son watch a cartoon or play, the wild dog 🙂 comes in for some time with us, we dinner, I get him dressed for his sports practice, his little cleats on, change the baby, grab the dog, and travel to his practice for the evening.

Practice is outside, but it’s cooler, and with our dog… there is never a dull moment!  Super loved seeing all the kids, the high schoolers, the people running around the track.  The team we’ve joined is like a family, since they practice 3 nights a week, and see each other 4 days out of 7, you have no other choice 🙂  A 16 year old girl took immediately to Super, and after an hour, I let her take him around – she was ecstatic & so was Super!  He’d fallen in love with her ❤

After getting home, getting my son bathed off quickly and the baby to sleep, I felt like I could barely move.

I wrote my Gratitude Acknowledgement before falling asleep like a baby –

At the end of the day, I feel so exhausted… it’s so freaking hard without (my husband) at night!  I can barely even write! (True, I can barely even read my writing.)  But I’m thankful that I ended well with our oldest son, we had an argument, but I was able to de-escalate it, and keep our relationship loving even though I felt like a zombie.”

Not Ready Yet

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More beautiful vacation….

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So. Damn. Sexy.

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I can’t get over this pic.

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Beautiful sunflowers everywhere in the sand….

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I’m still in denial… still not ready to be back! 🙂

Rest Assured

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Words escape me when I have tried and retried to write a simple post after returning from our vacation.  It was just so beautiful… so breathtakingly refreshing… and so needed 🙂  Its like we’ve come away with a piece of the beauty we saw still residing in us, encouraging us to remain peaceful and to be quiet.  I’m usually never at a loss for words, but right now… I’m all out.

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We woke up a few times early enough to catch the sunrises over the ocean.  The beauty was overwhelming and caused a peace to flood our minds as we looked at the beautiful colors and heard the ocean’s crashing waves.  It was hard to come back… we’re so bombarded with negativity and ugliness in modern life.  The week long break from social media was truly eye-opening, putting so many things into perspective.

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The sunsets were just as touching.

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