Sunday, September 11, 2011

Texas Drought, 9/11, & Prayer



My heart goes out for those still mourning over their lost loved ones ten years ago. My mom & my husband's mom both died in September, so 9/11 brings many thoughts of loss to me in the autumn.

Opening the door to let the dogs out this morning, I was greeted by a brisk, cool breeze. Thank you Jesus for the cooler weather! He has heard our prayers, now please send the rain. Our dry, Texas land needs it so much. The other day Baker asked why God hasn't sent any rain. My answer: To get us to pray.


The Texas drought and 9/11 both bring us to our knees. It is in our weakness that God is glorified. When we reach the end of ourselves and acknowledge that we need Him. 

I love our country and everything that my grandfather fought for in WWII. I am praying for our nation's repentance. For America to turn from her many idols and back to the One who loves her so. Our sins are piled up to Heaven. I am so sad that we are the promulgators of so many sins in this world. Just look at Hollywood movies and tv these days. We no longer have our satellite hooked up, it was so offensive. I'm praying that we will be SENSITIVE to Him. To 'abhor evil and CLING to what is good.' We have all become so desensitized, and that's wherein much of the problem lies. Our Father's voice is drowned out by the new football season, fall line-up, rushing to and fro. We rarely have to time to BE STILL....and know that He is God. We need to stop winking at sin and being tolerant of it, and stand up for the Truth and what we know is right.


Please join me in praying for our nation. That we will repent and turn from our sinful ways. He is calling us to Himself, please pray that we can be still long enough to hear His beautiful voice.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Our house is back on the market!

Add caption
Kitchen
Entry
$425,000
Call me if you know of anyone looking for a new house in Fort Worth!!
Master Bedroom
Living Room















Boy's Room


Office/Media Room




Thursday, November 4, 2010

Birds and Brotherly Love

brothers working together
I took the boys to Hobby Lobby today to buy glitter for our school room and all of the Christmas decorations were out! It was refreshing to watch the boys' excitement at all of the decorations! It took me back to days like that with my Mama and I remember the same exhilaration as the stores became little winter wonderlands. Walking down the aisles, we ran across these darling bird houses. Baker was quite taken with them, and I thought it would be a wonderful art and nature project for him. So we picked one out and took it home. I set the paints up for him and got Bear distracted so that Baker could have a project of his own. I was pleasantly surprised when Bear discovered what Baker was doing and Baker asked him to help out! It was darling watching them...Baker was encouraging Bear and telling him what a good job he was doing! In his words, "Oh Bear! Good job little buddy! Mommy, look what Bear's doing. Doesn't our bird house look great?!" Yes my little sweetheart, it looks wonderful and your sweet love for little brother is breathtaking.

After the bird house is finished, we will have Daddo hang it up outside of our breakfast room window so we can watch the little birds (hopefully) make a home of it for the winter. We will fill the feeder which is nearby and hope to enjoy a very educational experience. I am so amazed at how God has placed into all His creation, to prepare for the winter months. If He provides a morsel for even the smallest of His creatures, how much more will He provide for us.

I met the kindest woman today at Bible study who has two grown sons just a little younger than myself. She spoke so much encouragement into my heart, I was so blessed. What stood out to me the most was hearing her speak of her sons and their relationship with each other. She said that they love each other dearly and keep one another accountable, that if they call each other out on something, there is immediate change. Isn't that the deep longing we have as mothers with sons? Proverbs 27:17 says: As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. How amazing for me to be at the beginning of motherhood with two little boys and for God to bring this woman across my path...He was giving me a glimpse of the future, encouraging me! This woman's sons are a living testimony to her perseverance, prayers and faith in God. So the next time my boys are wrestling over the big dump truck, I won't get discouraged because I know that one day these little boys are going to be mighty men of God.



Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My boy BLUE Kitty and Applesauce

Rufus and Blue takin' a cat nap?
Two of my little rascals
Sweet dreams, little sweethearts.
Blue Kitty

"You're my boy BLUE!" --Old School, the movie

This new little kitty is from God! No, really. The way he came to us and his precious, perfect disposition...there is no doubt that God sent him to our family. So one pretty, sunny day I went out to the front of the house to get the mail, and I decided to sit on our walkway to read a magazine while the boys were resting inside. I heard this meow, meow, meow. I thought it was strange because no one on our street has an outside cat, it's pretty desolate out here and we all have dogs. For a split second I thought it was sweet Cricket who ran away 2 years ago when we moved out here. Anyway, I went back to my magazine. Then I heard a really loud meow-like screaming starting up and getting louder. So I wandered towards our neighbor's house across the street, thinking they had an indoor cat that was upset about something. And there I saw him...the most precious little orange and white striped kitten in their flower beds calling me over to him. His stretched out his little paws towards me and then took off around the back of their house. So I ran inside, grabbed Baker and we went a knockin' on the neighbors door to inquire about this little fluff ball. We learned that they have come home at 5 am from a trip and there he was hanging out in their tree. The husband is allergic to cats and I asked if I could take him home and he said yes, that they had e-mailed the neighbor association to see if anyone was missing a kitty and that was about a month ago!! I truly believe that and angel put Blue in that tree for us because he knew we needed him. He has been such a little delight and joy. He and the dogs adore one another! From the moment we picked him up, he has not stopped purring...unless Bear is chasing him and terrorizing him! LOL. I had wanted an orange and white kitten for Baker for a really long time. I guess God decided this was the time, especially with sweet Osa gone. God is so precious. I am amazed by Him daily. The fact that He is so involved with His children on such a deep and personal level is astounding and speaks volumes of His character. He loves us so much!!!


Applesauce
Baker's mixing up the apples...yummy!
We decided to try our luck with making and canning applesauce this fall, and boy are we glad we did! It was a lot of fun and super easy! The boys had a great time mixing up the apples and watching us can it all. Thank goodness for YouTube...we found some kind people who had put step by step videos up for us first-timers to learn how to can. Just add a little lemon juice, brown sugar and cinnamon and you have one delicious little treat!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Home Sweet Home!

bear and his jojo...he adores her!


yampa river across from the library...our favorite spot!

camping at king solomon's falls north of steamboat
sleepy boys back at home in our big bed!




We had such an amazing summer in Steamboat! We drove our new 1986 VW camper bus up to Colorado the first of June, right after we celebrated baby Bear's second birthday. We took Scout with us and left the other three border collies home and we had a very sweet girl stay at our house and watch them for us.

We are sad to say that sweet little Osa, our mama dog, died two weeks before we came home from Steamboat. Carter's best friend Deli drove over from Dallas to put her down for us, he is also Baker's godfather. He has one of Osa's daughters, Mella, and brought her too to say goodbye.  Carter worked all summer spraying for weeds, which is a very lucrative business up there. He can start working again in February, so our plan is to head back up there after Christmas! We are really looking forward to that and seeing our sweet friends, the Anstines again! They have two little girls, that we all just adore....Sequoia and JoJo! Every morning when we would wake up, little Bear would say, "Go li-berry? Go park? See JoJo Quoia?" And that's usually what we did, and we loved every minute of it. We lived at the library and Little Toots park! They are right next to each other, so you can just spend the day and go back and forth between the two. The library is new and just beautiful...they have an amazing children's section!

We did some camping in the bus....that was a blast!! The fourth of July parade up there was darling! I will post pictures of it soon....

We have been home for two weeks and are starting to get adjusted to home again. Baker is back at Miss Barbara's at Lambs and Shepherds twice a week and I've been homeschooling the boys the other three days using Heart of Dakota's Little Hands to Heaven. We all three LOVE it! It is all Bible based and Baker is really loving it and learning a lot! We work on a different letter and number each week. It's a pre-K, preschool geared curriculum and I'm realizing that Baker is a little more advanced, so I am stepping up the math and doing handwriting on the side for him. He has good letter recognition, but isn't sure of the sounds each letter makes, so that's why I've chosen this beginner one for him. Also, I wanted to start him at the beginning of this curriculum for the Biblical aspect. It starts with Creation and goes on from there. He wants me to keep him home and teach him rather than go to L & S, so we'll see what we decide. 

It is good to be home with our stuff and our own beds, but we really wish we were back in the Boat! 



Friday, May 7, 2010

My Homeschooling Plans

Heart of Dakota Publishing

I went to the Homeschool Book Fair today in Arlington. After much prayer and research, I finally decided to go with Heart of Dakota for our homeschooling curriculum next year. I was really drawn to Sonlight, but I felt that it was too pricey to commit to each year. I really like their books and philosophy of reading to the boys daily. So I've decided to pick some of the books from the Sonlight Curriculum to read to the boys at reading time. When I prayed about what to do, I really felt like God put on my heart that the most important thing at this stage is getting God's Word into their hearts, and that's what HOD is all about! The lessons each day are so sweet and all Bible based. They include a Bible lesson, a daily devotional, music, art lesson, letters and entry math all based on our Bible story theme for that week. It's a very easy approach to homeschooling and the one I picked is for 2-5 years olds, which is exactly how old the boys will be in the fall. If we are still in Fort Worth in September, Baker will return to Miss Barbara's twice a week and I will homeschool the other three days. I also purchased two Usborne Science books: How Things Work and Starting Point Science Volume 1. Baker is SO excited about the Starting Point book...he read it all the way home from the Book Fair and said, "I love books!" Yea! That's exactly what I want to hear.

When I first heard about homeschooling. something about it truly intrigued me. I think as a previous preschool and kindergarten teacher, I am just drawn to teaching, especially my own children. I have been so fortunate and blessed to have lived next to an amazing and truly delightful woman, Jessica, who first introduced me to homeschooling. She began to teach her girls and it really inspired me to research what homeschooling was all about. I've had Baker in Mother's Day Out and preschool since he was 1. Now we are in Montessori at Lambs and Shepherds, which we absolutely LOVE! But since we plan on doing full-time missions in Honduras, I knew I needed to find a curriculum to take with us, and get prepared for when we leave. Even if things change and we stay in the States, I will homeschool. I've thought a lot about it, and I really want to be the one that experiences my boys learning. I want to learn right alongside them and with them! I want to see their faces when they figure something out and I want to be there to guide them when they struggle. I think there's something very bonding about investing in my boys' education myself. It makes motherhood take on a whole new meaning to me. The whole idea has been so alluring to me and already Baker's enthusiasm to learn is awesome! The fact that he can tell me what he wants to learn about, what excites him and spurs him on and then we can go and research it.....it's brilliant! That's how learning should be in my opinion. I'm hoping that he can focus early on what he's interested in and it will help to mold and shape who he becomes because he's excited about what he's learning.

We have had the TV turned off for almost a month now, and it's been awesome! We read books and the boys play outside all day! We are still getting our classroom all set up and I'll post photos of that soon. Carter built a table for the boys to work at and also the most darling water table!! I'm painting it and then I'm adding curtains to it, it's going to be so cute. I think he should make them and sell them. But having the media off has been so nice. Maybe once or twice a week the boys can watch a movie if they really need some down time, but that's very rare. I feel like we talk so much more and Baker's imagination and creative play has just sky-rocketed! We are going to plant a baby garden for them too.
xoxo ash


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Easter Eggs





This Easter was Baker's first time to color eggs! We made confetti eggs....we cracked the tops, dumped out the yolks, washed them in hot, soapy water and let them dry before coloring them. We actually used tie dye coloring...the only way to go to get that groovy Coleman style! It was a blast cracking the eggs over each other's heads the next day!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Baker and Bear Birthday Cakes


www.thecakecorner.com
Carol Fouts made these precious first birthday cakes for my boys! I couldn't have been more please or impressed. They just made their birthdays. She even makes a little smash cake to go with it! So many friends have asked where I had these made, so here you go. My sweet friends Laurie & Lindie introduced me to her, and I am forever grateful! Thanks girls!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Olli, Lulu and Butterflies!



Olli and Lulu came and stayed with us last weekend from New York! We were so excited to see our sweet little cousins. They are just a few months older than Baker...and it is such a joy to watch them all play together! Bear was old enough this visit to chase the crew around and try to keep up with the 4 & 5 year olds. He did a great job! The kids all got to ride the train, play at the park, go to the new Children's Museum and see all the gorgeous butterflies at the Botanical Gardens. We also had a belated birthday party for the girls 5 year old birthday! It's now our turn to go to New York for a visit.

Monday, March 22, 2010

March Catch Up

I thought this photo was so sweet of my three boys! We've had a fun month with family & friends staying with us. This week our cousins from NY are staying with us! Olli and Lulu! Baker is so excited! We had so much fun with Jill and Meegie last week. When they left, Baker kept saying how much he missed them. :( The boys are really starting to play together more...but Baker is pretty territorial with his construction projects. It also seems that whatever toy Bear has, Baker wants and vice versa. So our house rule is: any toy that causes the boys to fight and not be loving, gets put away! It seems to be working. We went to Ikea this weekend and got shelves to organize all the toys in the playroom. We're also setting up our school/project room downstairs for the boys. I'm incorporating Montessori work for them to do. So we will have our "work room" and our "play room." yea! Baker has been doing spanish every night with Rosetta Stone and so have I, it's a great program. I'm amazed at how much he can retain, and his is all listening since he can't read or write. He listens and does picture recognition, which is awesome! So, hopefully we will be ready for Honduras when the time comes! We've been enjoying this nice weather with long walks before dinner and golf ball hunts on the golf course...Bear and Baker like to chase around on the greens. More like Bear is chasing Baker! It wears them out before bed. xoxo ash

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Our Father

Every night before bed, Baker and Bear get on their little knees, bow their heads and we say the "Our Father" prayer together as a family. Two nights ago Baker wanted to say it all by himself, and he did! He only needed a little help one or two times. I need to videotape him. Little Bear will mumble his prayer, it's so cute. I love watching our little boys thank God. Baker has such an inquisitive little mind: we've already had many conversations about his grandparents that are in heaven with Jesus. It's amazing to me the depth and faith of little children's hearts.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Bye Bye Hillcrest House

We closed on our Hillcrest house on the 24th. It was very bittersweet. We are praising God that it sold in this market! But we were so sad to say goodbye to our precious little bungalow. We had such sweet memories there...when we bought it, it was in need of a lot of love. We scrubbed the walls, repainted, added crown molding all ourselves. Then we hired a guy to redo the kitchen, add in a bathroom and move some walls for us. It was our first remodel project together. It was our very first house we ever owned! We brought Baker home there, and I loved his nursery so much! Bear was conceived there too. That little house will always be home to me in my heart. We really had hoped that the Knoll Ridge house would sell so that we could move back into our cottage, but God has other plans. Now things really seem to be unfolding for us to join a couple in Honduras on the mission field. This experience has been a huge dying to self for me. It didn't work out the way I wanted, but I know it's the way God wants it, and His plans are far better, greater and more perfect than I could ever hope or dream. So I trust Him and rely on Him to comfort me in saying goodbye to our little home on Hillcrest.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Forgiveness

WOW! Is all I can say. Jesus blessed me so much today at the Ladies' Day Away at church. Jackie Kendall was the guest speaker, and I was overwhelmed in many ways. I just wanted to write the things that God revealed to me through her witness. I am blown away with the freedom that awaits us all in forgiving everyone for every single offense we've ever kept record of or experienced. Truly meditating on the fact that Jesus, as He hung on the cross, experiencing separation in His Spirit from the Father, STILL resisted the temptation to hold it against any of His mockers and murderers. He not only forgave them, but interceded on their behalf, asking the Father to forgive the, for they didn't know what they were doing. Amazing! Only the Son of the Living, Holy God could ever do something as radical as forgive His murderers before He died, while they mocked him, laughed at Him and tortured Him. If Jesus can forgive my evil, twisted, selfish sin, then how much more should I forgive those that do me wrong. I have no right to keep any record of wrongs nor hold any grudge. We should be forgiving immediately, over and over and over again. If we don't, we fall into sin because our hearts become filled with self-pity, self-righteousness, anger, bitterness, resentment, hatred and our love grows cold. When we offer forgiveness, we are truly reflecting the image of Christ. But the most radical thing is that God not only wants us to forgive each other, but He wants us to speak blessings over others, even if they never ask for our forgiveness. She shared a story of her friend who discovered that her husband was cheating on her with her best friend. As the transgressed woman sat in her car full of anger, heartbreak and brokenness, she was obedient to Jesus. She forgave him, and spoke a blessing over him that he would be reconciled to his estranged son. Immediately, she felt a heavy weight fall off her back, and she was set free! Even though we forgive someone, we will still have the memories of them hurting us, so every single time we remember the offense, we need to forgive them and pray a blessing over them. The greater the offense, the deeper the hurt, the more times we have to forgive until it is finally out of our spirits and we have God's love in it's place for the one that wronged us. I am so amazed at God and how precious He is. He loves us too much to leave us where we're at, often in our own self-made hells.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bear's Meltdown












Bear Jackson was being very dramatic, and I had to catch it on film! I was trying to feed him, and he just wouldn't have it! So he decided to cry and cover his sweet little face for added dramatic effect! Then he gave up and just wouldn't look at me, and I actually got the shot...he's too funny! I think it made him even more upset that I was taking his picture and not giving into his tantrum. He reminds me so much of Baker, who used to do the same thing. Hmmm....now that I think about it, Baker still does this! I'll have to grab the camera and try and get him when he's breakin' down! I can't wait to show all these photos to them when they're grown up! I love my little boys!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow!















The boys had so
much fun the last
two days! Baker made his very own snowman. We made snow ice cream and colored it blue with blue sprinkles, and Bear had purple. YUMMY! Today was Bear's first time in the snow ever. He loved it! His froggy boots kept falling off, and his socks got wet, but he's a Coleman! Which means..."keep on keepin' on!" Little Scout adores Bear and gave him a kiss on his cold baby Bear nose. It was a lot of fun. The dogs were snowball targets, so was Daddo! Mommy was the photographer, so I had immunity!



Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Baker's learning to serve others


We were putting the boys to bed tonight, and Carter asked Baker what he did today at Miss Barbara's. He said that he did bread cutting and that he got to use Miss Barbara's toaster! Then he cut the bread after he toasted it, put on just a little honey and some butter and shared it with the other boys! Then he cleaned up and got everything ready for the next boy that wanted to cut bread. So I said, "Wow you are really learning to serve! That's like when Mommy makes dinner. Do I make dinner and eat it all by myself?" He replied, "No you share it with us!"
We LOVE Baker's montessori school, but his teacher is the reason. She is quite a jewel. I told her and everyone else that I feel like he gets to go to his Fairy Godmother's when he goes to school. She is very gifted and blessed in what she does with the children.
It's supposed to sleet tonight! Baker thinks that means that in the morning there'll be 3 feet of snow and we can have a snowball fight. Awww....the sweet thoughts of a four year old.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My True Love!











Carter and I celebrated our 16 year anniversary February 5th! I can't believe that we've been so happy in love for so long! I was only 18 when we met, and I love him more today that I did then, which I never thought was possible! This July will be our 10 year Wedding Anniversary. I married my Prince Charming, he is the most amazing, perfect man I've ever known. I am so blessed!! It's incredible to me that God made us just for each other. I just have to brag on him! He has such a love and devotion for God, and that spills over onto our relationship and the boys. I always feel so loved and adored by him....how in the world did I get so lucky.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Welcome to my blog! This is my first blog ever, so I'm really excited about it! My amazing husband helped me get the templates all set up, and here I am.

My verse for the week is John 17. Just knowing the our precious Jesus prayed on behalf of us all is incredible and so comforting to me. I've been meditating on this verse for about 3 days now.

Little Baker is learning: "Obey the first time, every time," along with the Bible verse "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord." Colossians 3:20
Kind of a hard concept for a little 4 year old, but he's getting it!

Little Bear likes to follow Baker everywhere and grab him from behind and give him a huge ol' Bear hug! Then Baker proceeds to walk around with little Bear holding onto him laughing, then they fall down...still laughing! Baker really can't wait for Bear to turn one, he thinks that on Bear's 2nd birthday that Bear will instantly be able to speak like a 4 year old! Not likely.

Bear's 2nd Birthday will be at the end of May! I really can't believe that it's been that long. We are planning a Teddy Bear picnic party! I'm taking advantage of the bears theme as long as I can! One day he's going to be so sick of bears, I just know it!

XOXO ashleigh