Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Taking Family Photos

A couple weeks ago I convinced my crew that we needed to take another family picture...  partially because we haven't taken a photo of us in front of the house since the one from originally moved in 3 years ago.

It always seems to be such a big feat to take one that turns out ok (especially with Christmas card season just around the corner) even though its just the three of us!  So armed with my camera, tripod and handy-dandy camera remote, we set up in our front yard and ended up with a few good ones, with some goofy thrown in.

family waiting to adopt

Most of the time, I let our son hold the camera remote (thus the hidden hands) which he thinks is great fun.  If that's what it takes to get him to look at the camera...
family pictures outdoors

loving family pictures

I took one other set of family pictures recently (that I'm not going to share here).  I took extended family pictures for a friend whose family was throwing a surprise birthday party for her mother.  A group of twelve people (4 kiddos) who I didn't all know was a whole different type of challenge.  It was fun, we ended up with some good shots, and it certainly was a learning experience for me.

So much to learn but still loving photography here on the gravelly road.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Same Tree, Same Boy, Another Year

fall colors

As is our tradition, I wanted to take another fall picture of the kiddo in front of the tree that is one of my favorites when the leaves start to turn.

And since its "Throwback Thursday" take a moment to look at previous years' posts:
2012 & 2011

Looking back it was colder this time than other years as we had warm coats out yet the tree isn't as orange as it sometimes gets.

Because we can't be serious all the time time, there was a fair amount of this:
silly face

Before we ended up with this:

We measured him the other day and he has grown so much since his last birthday... no wonder I've had to change out his pants drawer several times.  Of course just as many pairs get moved because of large holes in the knees.  Just one month into kindergarten and he already seems so much older.  He loves to tell us the new Spanish words he's learned and who he saw at recess.  I'm enjoying helping in his classroom once a week and getting to know the friends he talks about :)

What an amazing blessing to watch how God is growing him into the boy He's planned.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Apple Time

Last weekend we declared it apple picking time here on the Gravelly Road. Our apples were ready and needed to be picked. Several windy days had already knocked quite a few to the ground. Since our main tree only has a heavy crop every other year and this was an off year, it was only an afternoon job to pick and sort the apples.  It was a bit chilly but we had fun in the sunshine.

fall apple fun
Between our apples and two boxes from my wonderful in-laws, we have plenty to enjoy.  The dehydrator has been running almost daily making apple chips, plus several batches of apple sauce and apple butter in the crockpot.  Of course there's been some apple crisp and ice cream a few times too.

Apple smells filling our home reminds me its definitely fall.  Treasuring each day of life here on the gravelly road.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Five Minute Fridays: New

This week I'm again participating in Five Minute Fridays at Kate Motaung's blog, encouraging bloggers to write on a prompt unedited for five minutes.  This week's prompt: NEW

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:18-19
The verse above is the theme verse for MOPS this year.  While I love the theme phrase this year "Be You Bravely", I've been pondering the sentence above that tells us God is doing a new thing.  Our God is eternal and He is still always doing/making something new.
It reminds me to stop and consider what new thing God is doing in my life, the new thing He might be calling me to, the new thing He might be asking me to pray about, the new discipline He desires for me to develop.
Today this is what first comes to mind:  He is doing a new thing in my prayer life.
I've mentioned before how our adoption wait was impacting my prayer life.  Hearing the short summaries of the women and couples working with our agency, considering whether adoption was a path they were going to choose for their unborn (or sometimes just born) child.  My prayers for them take may forms, mostly that they would have a person to lend them support as they walk through this journey, a source of unbiased wise counsel, and God-given peace in the midst of conflicting emotions and opinions.  Its been humbling to me to get a glimpse of the challenges and life situations that these individuals have often been facing -- so many things creating swirling clouds that obstruct a clear path.
As we embarked on this new journey of foster-to-adopt this summer, again I see God doing a new thing in my prayer life.  I can't help but be impacted after reading the short bios on some of these young kiddos, facing so many transitions, loss, and pain in their short lives, with many challenges ahead.  I have seen their faces and large eyes, waiting for the family that they call theirs forever.  I continue to pray for them even after we find out we are not their forever family -- prayers for their transitions, for healing, for their new families, for them to be surrounded by those that would help them succeed and move forward.  But most of all that they would find new hope and love.
What new thing might God be calling you to?  Asking you to pray for? What new is He doing in your life?  Can you perceive it?
If you'd like to take a few minutes to pray for some of the waiting kids, most states have online places where some of those waiting are listed.  Here's MN's site www.mnadopt.org.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Yarn Spider Web

Banister + Yarn + Plastic Spider Rings + a Creative 5 Year Old = a colorful spiderweb :)

Simple fall decorating here on the Gravelly Road :)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Weekend on the ATV Trails

We spent this past weekend a few hours north of our house, staying at a cabin with friends, enjoying the beautiful fall colors and riding on the ATV trails.  Because there was no school on Friday, it was a 3-day weekend which helped us to unwind a bit more.

The weather couldn't have been more perfect with fall colors at near peak.
fall colors on atv trails

I wished I could have brought my nice camera along to attempt to do justice to the colors but there was to much dust.  And of course we found plenty of mud.
mud puddle splash
At one stop on the trail, the kiddos had granola bars for a snack and while our kiddo was munching away on his granola bar his first loose tooth fell out :)  Of course that meant that the tooth fairy had to find us at the cabin but it all worked out.
tooth fairy visit after atv trails

Two days of riding ATV trails, yummy meals shared with friends, enjoying the pool after Sunday brunch, enjoying God's creation with a bit of adrenaline thrown in for good measure, mud, laughter and creating memories as a family-- priceless. 
family fall atv trip

We had a wonderful weekend away but yet so good to be back home on the gravelly road.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

First Fall Leaves

I know its only September but one of our big trees has started loosing leaves so when our kiddo asked if we could rake some leaves to make a pile to jump in, I was happy to comply -- camera in hand of course.

jumping in a leaf pile

I'm finding I need to be so much more intentional about what we do in the evenings.  After being gone all day, he's so tired that we usually don't go anywhere after school (park, friends' house, etc) yet I want to make the most of the few hours we have together.  Fun in the backyard after supper fits that nicely.

So we are celebrating fall with fun in the leaves here on the gravelly road.
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