Tag Archives: friendship

I Love my TRIBE

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Many may be surprised to know this about me..

Those who know me well will not,

but at core of who I am

lies a tried and true introvert.

When I say this to people I often get the response, “No you’re not. You are so outgoing.”

I will correct them and answer, “I fake it. I was raised by a mom who is people lover and extrovert through and through so my survival technique in social settings is to channel the spirit of my mother, ask myself, ‘What would mom do?,’ and conform in the most socially appropriate way until I can escape to the sanctuary of my own company.

I think that is why I love to blog and write letters. Both are activities that allow me that rare duel opportunity of both socializing/conversing while also being alone with my own thoughts and company.

I know this might be completely altering your perception of me and maybe even lowering your opinion of me, ¬†ūüôā

but I always strive to be honest, and the truth is:

“My name is Katie and I find small talk tedious, talking to strangers burdensome, and being social engaging overwhelming and exhausting.”

I wish I had a bit more of my mother in me. I wish I eagerly sought out new faces with the same driven desire to hear their life story. I wish I cared deeply enough and was emotionally invested enough to remember everyone’s children’s hobbies and interests and birthdays. I wish I could be that person that looks at a room of new strangers with a thrill of anticipation of the possibility of making 200 new friends. I wish my stomach didn’t drop when an invitation comes in the mail or when the phone rings. I wish a night out¬†with¬†a group of ladies¬†held as much appeal as a night at home with a book and a cup of peppermint tea.

Ok…now I really sound bad.

Its not that I don’t love people. It is not that I am anti social. It is not that I am a friend snob. I am just an introvert at the center of my soul.

What does that mean?

This sums it up well:

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And while the introverted side of me struggles with large groups, the strength of an introvert is their loyalty and complete devotion to their closest friends…that small group of safe friends that they deem their “tribe.”

People in general drain me. No, that is not quite right…

It is more like social expectations drain me.

And the more emotionally tapped out I am by stress at home (like the stress we have been consumed with the last 6 months) the more I find myself avoiding social situations that will drain me even more. Others may perceive it as me isolating or pulling away when in reality it is just self preservation. In the midst of the chaos happening at home I am desperately searching for quiet, peace, and alone time to recenter my thoughts and refill my bucket.

 My bucket fills with those closely guarded moments of solitude. The exception to that rule is my tribe.

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My tribe consists of my family and closest friends. Those people I can share my heart with safely. Those are the people that fill my emotional bucket as opposed to draining it. I am not one to have many, many¬†friends, but rather I tend to¬†draw close to a handful of ladies that I shower all of my energy and effort into connecting with.¬†My tribe is my safe place, my happy place, my stabilizing force, my council and my joy. I am grateful for my tribe. I don’t know how I would navigate this heartbreakingly hard season of life without them. I draw from their strength and their friendship.

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This week I had¬†two opportunities¬†for “tribe time.” One came in the form of a Relief Society garden party and the other in the form of a co-op ladies night out. Both filled my bucket. It was so nice to connect with friends I haven’t seen all summer. The show of concern, the words of encouragement, and the opportunity to laugh and be light, free of responsibilities and worries for a few hours was a lovely gift.

I am grateful for my tribe.

 

The Gift of Friendship

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Of all the gifts the Lord bestows upon us…

the gift of good, dear, true friends,

Well, I think that is one of the greatest.

This week Molly turns 16 and her sweet friends had a special gift planned.

They decided to take her out for a 16th birthday lunch!

Tatum and Caleigh have been plotting for weeks to surprise Molly with a special gift for her birthday. They decided they wanted to treat Molly to lunch. They planned it all out and ran it by the moms. This Momma was very touched by their thoughtfulness and desire to make Molly feel loved on her birthday.

It was a surprise.

They were taking her to Applebee’s.

And it happened while we were at co-op on Wednesday.

Miss Lana was their ride and Olivia and Grace slipped over early to set up the table for the girls so that they could walk in with Molly. Tatum and Caleigh thought of everything. There were balloons, party hats, and even a birthday cake.

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When they left co-op Molly was blindfolded. They wanted it to be a true surprise and they didn’t remove the blindfold until they were inside Applebee’s.

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“Surprise! Happy Birthday!”

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Then Lana and the big girls drove back to co-op so the birthday girl and her best buds could enjoy lunch by themselves.

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Eating out at a restaurant alone was a first for all three of them and they had a ball!

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The special lunch date ended with cake and a birthday wish.

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Although I can’t imagine what¬†Molly has to wish for…

With those two, sweet friends her cup overfloweth!

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Scrapbooking is a “Work of Heart!”

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“Preserve your memories. Keep them well. What you forget, you can never retell.”¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† -Louisa May Alcott

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The Scraphappy House

 

Every year I run away from home for a few days. This annual escape began over a decade ago when my big kids were little tykes. This annual getaway began when a friend who sold Creative Memories started organizing¬†a scrapbooking getaway for her customers at a local Bible college. For 2 1/2 days, and for minimal cost, we would be blessed with the opportunity to spread out our paper and pictures (with no fear of little fingers touching), work uninterrupted (without having to break for diaper changes or meal preparations), and just scrap without interruption. It was a lovely and always a very productive reprieve from responsibility. It became something I look forward to each year. I was able to¬†enjoy a mini vacation for a few days, but could do so without feeling any guilt because while I was away I was using my time to bless my family by recording our family’s history.

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I love to scrapbook. I find it to be a delightful melding of photography, story telling, and creative expression…3 things that bring me great joy. Scrapbooking has been an important creative outlet for me over the years (although less so now that I have the blog that meets some of that need.) I also have an inner drive and passionate desire to record my family’s story. Since I was a young girl I have been a journal writer. Through scrapbooking I have been able to combine the¬†need to record our life’s journey with my love of photography. Unfortunately, being a wife and Momma doesn’t allow me as much time as I’d like or need to stay on top of keeping everyone’s scrapbooks current. This is another reason these annual scrapbooking weekends became such a blessing. Over the course of a few days I can scrap a year’s worth of memories.

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A few years ago my friend who planned our annual scrapbooking weekend was in a position that she couldn’t continue with her annual scrapping weekend. Unwilling to give up this annual retreat some of my scrapbooking friends started looking for an alternative location and in their search discovered The Scraphappy House, a house set-up and rented out for groups just like ours.

There are four bedrooms that can sleep up to 10 guests.

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The garden room

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The Posh Room

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The memory wall, where the owner posts previous guest book entries and pictures.

 

There is a fully functional kitchen and dining area for the abundance of yummy food that is prepared over our three day visit!

There is a large and sunny living room that is supplied with a long table for each guest, rolling chairs, lamps for extra lighting,  a TV and supply of movies to watch while working, and scrapbooking supplies available for purchase.

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We left on Tuesday and when we arrived at our “Happy Place” where we were greeted with homemade scones awaiting us on the stovetop and welcome gifts of scrapbooking supplies and a pair of fun socks for each of us girls.

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A FUN gift!

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How it looks after we have made ourselves at home.

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My station…unpacked and ready to scrapbook!

 

The next three days were spent working, talking, laughing and resting. It was just what my body and soul were crying for…a chance to rest and create. I was determined to use this time away to give my struggling muscles the chance to rest and strengthen while away from my typical daily responsibilities.

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I had three projects I brought to work on, and worked on one each day: Our houseboat vacation scrapbook (I was thrilled to complete this scrapbook of our special vacation), updating Ozzie’s scrapbook, and updating Tyler’s scrapbook. I was pleased with as much as I was able to get done, knowing the struggle it would be on my eyes with the double vision I have been¬†dealing¬†with lately.

Our Scraphappy experience was wonderful…once again. We laughed a lot, worked a lot and even watched a few seasons of “Call the Midwives” on Netflix while scrapbooking. (PS- I’m hooked on this new found TV treasure!)

It was another wonderful scrapbooking getaway. Thank you Scraphappy House! We will see you next year!

IMG_9663 (2)Signing the guestbook before we lock up and leave…

Pj and Pancake Day

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Have I mentioned how much I love our co-op’s PJ and Pancake days. These days mean sleeping in an extra 30 minutes. There are no lunches to pack. There are no¬†“time to get¬†dressed” morning battles. There are no last minute “clean pants scramble.” Everyone enjoys a little extra sleep and rolls out of bed already “dressed” for co-op. It is lovely and just what I needed today.

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We arrived at co-op to find most of the co-op kids had embraced the PJ memo. Everyone looked so snuggly on this cold March day.

For lunch the moms all brought ingredients and parts to create our pancake lunch. The kids love having pancakes for lunch and the moms love only having to pack a single item rather than having to pack lunches for each family member.

For my second grade science class we were learning about light and the boys had fun with the experiments we did.

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Then for art we had messy fun with paint!

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Today was also bookmobile day. Once a month the local library’s bookmobile makes a stop at our co-op. It is so nice to be able to let all the kids pick out some new reading material… even when life’s too crazy to find time for a library visit.

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It is so convenient. At the conclusion of co-op the bookmobile pulls up to the door and the kids pile in to pick out books and movies to check out for the month. We love the bookmobile!

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Following co-op we stopped at¬†Bright Beginnings¬†for Ozzie’s weekly occupational therapy session and then it was back home for a bit before church activities and scouts in the evening.

For Tyler’s one on one time we worked on emotions. In therapy we are still working on building Tyler’s ability to recognize and name his emotions. We are doing this by introducing him to a more extensive emotion vocabulary and by helping him learn to “read” emotions in the faces and in physical cues of others. We are doing this by building an emotions book. Daily we pick an emotion, read the definition of that emotion, identify the face and body cues of that emotion, and then discuss times when he feels that emotion.

My plan was to build his emotion dictionary with pictures of him demonstrating those emotions using pictures of HIS face, but Tyler resisted this idea. Instead he asked Molly to be our “emotions model” and she sweetly agreed. Here are the Molly faces for four emotions we worked on today.

It was a good day.

In other news: Guess who is turning 18 in one week?!

Yes, Miss Grace will 18 next week and I will be the mother to an adult child! I have no idea how that is even possible…

Olivia, Gracie’s best buddy, has something special in store for this monumental birthday. She is doing a gift a day for Grace up till the day of her birthday. She has aleady given Grace two gifts with this explanation of how the next week will play out:

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Needless to say Gracie is thrilled and touched by Olivia’s thoughtful gift and the opportunity to walk down memory lane with her BFF.

Olivia sent home gifts for the days she won’t see Grace so that there is a gift to open each day. I promised to document the opening of each gift with photos.

Let the countdown begin!

“You’ve got a friend in me.”

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I am grateful for the friends my children have. I am grateful for the love those friends show my children and the joy they bring into their lives. As a mom it is so much fun to watch them grow with the friends of their childhood and watch their friendship develop as they mature from the stage of barbies and play-doh into a more mature friendship. It is an evolution I think delights me so much because it is so foreign to me.

I grew up in a military family. This meant every couple years we would pack up all we have into a moving van and drive off into the sunset to the next place we were stationed. It was a wonderful life. I loved the military lifestyle. I was able to see more and experience more than most kids my age and I loved the adventure of starting new every few years. It really didn’t become a challenge until I reached my high school years and we moved to an area away from a military base that wasn’t so transient. The students had all lived there their entire lives. No one was used to being the new kid, which resulted in a lack of empathy for the new kid. They had their group of friends, friends that had been their friends since they were in diapers, and they really weren’t looking to make new friends. It was the first time, over a lifetime of moves, that I struggled to find my place in my new school. It was all so foreign to me.

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Eventually I did find my spot in that school with a group of friends that embraced me, but I always was in awe of the friendships around me that had such history. As a military brat I couldn’t even imagine being friends with someone for 10 years. Most of my friendships had an expiration date of 3 years. I suppose I learned, for the sake of self preservation, to not become too attached because friendships do have a shelf life. Despite all our promises to “never forget each other” or “always stay in touch” after a move it was inevitably just a matter of time before phone calls ceased, letters stopped arriving in the mailbox, and the friendship died a quiet death.

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That world was a different world. Perhaps if I had been raised in today’s world of Facebook and social media, it would have been different. It would have required less effort to stay connected.

When I married Toby and became a permanent resident in western PA¬†I had to relearn how to be a friend. I wasn’t married to a military man so frequent moves were no longer part of the equation. I had to learn how to put down roots,and not flee a friendship when it got challenging or uncomfortable. (This is a skill I still struggle with.) I had to learn to navigate long-term commitments with friends. It sounds silly but it was a definite adjustment for me, but I’ve slowly learned…

And now I am enjoying the rewards of that commitment as I celebrate 10 year or 15 year anniversaries with friends.

It has also been a joy to watch my own children thrive in this area that was always such a struggle for me. It is a delight to watch their childhood friendships grow and evolve as they mature. Some friendships have weakened and some have strengthened as the Lord has used certain friends in certain seasons of their lives for certain purposes.

The most enduring friendships for both my children and myself have come from play-groups/co-op where we share a common connection of mothering/homeschooling ideology, or church where we share the common thread of faith. Both have resulted in deep, meaningful, substantial friendships…friendships that have lasting power. My teens are now coming up on the 10 year anniversary of many of their friendships and my little boys are just beginning to learn that relationships and friendships can last…they can have staying power…you can count on them. This is a tough lesson to learn when it hasn’t been your experience as a foster child.

Because of that I am all the more grateful when friendships are developed, when my boys are invited and included, and when others make an effort to show my boys that people can be trusted and counted on “to stick.”

This week was full of fun social events with friends. Here is a peek into some of their activities:

For Wednesday night activities at church we had kids headed in different directions. We had stayed home from co-op on Wednesday, due to a flu bug that hit me. Tyler also wasn’t feeling 100% so the two of us stayed home to rest while everyone else who had rallied and were feeling okay, headed out.

The Boy Scouts have begun working on their swimming merit badge so Toby, Rusty, and Ozzie headed over to the YMCA’s indoor swimming pool to meet their scout troop for swimming. They all had a good time but Ozzie informed me, when he got home, “I’m just not a very good floater. I sink like a stone!” We are still working on helping Ozzie become a stronger swimmer. ūüôā

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Rusty swimming laps.

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Ozzie working on floating ūüôā

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Molly’s church class (the 14/15 year old young women) drove with their leader over to the mall to window shop for modest clothing. The girls had fun looking for and trying on different outfits to determine if they were a modest choice. Molly always had fun with her church group of buddies. They ended their night with treats at the food court.

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Gracie’s church class (the 16-18 year old young women) had a social night and joined their leader at Steak n Shake for burgers, milkshakes and visiting. I think it was fun for the girls to be able to all get together and catch up on each other’s lives. These girls have been together for many years and it is nice to see some of the sweet friendships that have developed.

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On Friday the girls joined their church friends again as they helped Taylor, a friend from church, celebrate her 16th birthday. Happy Birthday, Taylor!

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The girls bought Taylor a purse and stuffed it with “First Date Survival Kit” items for Taylor’s 16th birthday.

 

On Saturday Grace headed out again for a little more “friend time” because evidently this week wasn’t filled with enough friend time! ūüėČ

Actually this get-together has been in the making for a few months. Grace wanted to take out her two best buddies for a day of shopping and lunch out. Olivia is her best friend from co-op and Stephanie is her best friend from church and both are such sweet girls! I am grateful for both of these young women’s influence in Gracie’s life. They had a delightful time shopping at the mall and eating lunch at a Hibachi grill.

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Olivia attempting to catch flying chicken. ūüôā

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Gracie returned home to find 3 more friends visiting. Derek, Nevaeh, and Q came to spend the night. We introduced them to the game Headbands, a family favorite. It is played by placing a card with a Disney character on your headband. You don’t know¬†who your character is and must figure it out by asking the¬†other players questions about yourself. Nevaeh and Q struggled with the concept and in their excitement would tell¬†us who¬†we were. It made for a lot of laughs for those who didn’t take the game too seriously, but was very frustrating for the¬†three 9-12 year olds who really wanted to win. ūüôā

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Tyler reading a bedtime book to Q. ūüôā

 

It was a good week with good friends…

Now off to sleep for some good dreams!

Just two gingers and two blondes with an unbreakable bond!

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What a blessing long-term friends are. As the daughter of an Army man this was something I didn’t experience until I was older. I loved growing up an Army brat. I loved the lifestyle, the culture, the lingo, and traditions. I loved the adventure of moving every few years and the chance to start new. I loved seeing the country and experiencing new cultures. It was a wonderful way to grow up and sometimes I feel sad that my own children aren’t able to experience the life that brought me such joy in my childhood.

However by growing up in one area they have experienced blessings that I never did. They have lived close to family and have become acquainted with cousins and aunts and uncles in a way I never did as a child with our many moves. They have created memories and traditions that come from living in one area for a long stretch. They have formed a connection and an identity as Pittsburghers.

But one of the greatest blessings that have come from this more settled lifestyle is friendships…

long-term, deep, intimate friendships that can only develop over time.

As a child I never had a friendship last more than 3 years and it wasn’t until I was gown and developing friendships as an adult (friendships that lasted more than 3 years) that I realized what I was missing out on. As I watch my girls giggle over memories they share with their best friends that happened when they were in first grade, my heart warms.

I love that they get to experience those¬†deep, meaningful, best friend relationships…

because those are the best!

This past Monday the girls created another special, shared memory to add to their memory bank when they surprised Tatum with a spa day for her birthday. Molly’s best friend, Tatum, turned 14 on Monday and the girls wanted to do something special to celebrate so they packed up pedicure supplies. hair products, make-up galore, and some “spa food” we bought from the grocery store, and we headed to Tatum’s house.

She was surprised when we walked in singing, “Happy Birthday.”

The girls sat her down and got to work right away. They wanted her to feel pampered and pretty.

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While the girls turned the living room into a spa, the boys scattered. Lana and I made the most of the girls’ spa time and planned¬†the menu for our upcoming houseboat vacation. The more we planned the more excited we got. It will be here soon!

After the girls were done pampering Tatum they gave her a make-over, with make-up, painted nails, and straightened hair.

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It was a memory making afternoon for best buddies.

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Happy birthday, Miss Tatum! You are beautiful inside and out!

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“Everyone has a friend in each stage of life. But only the lucky ones have the same friend in all stages of their life.”

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Here’s¬†to many more years of friendship!

The Blessing of Friends

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This weekend was one of those weekends where everything hit at once. Somehow we managed to fit a mass of fun into a mere 48 hours and now that the weekend is done I feel like I need another weekend to recover from this past weekend! ūüôā

Preparations for our fun-filled weekend began on Wednesday with date night. It was Tyler’s week to go grocery shopping and out to dinner with me while the other kids stayed home. I usually try to time date nights so that when we have a holiday or party coming up I take one of the girls grocery shopping. They can handle the longer shopping night better than the boys and are a better help when it comes to helping me party plan and shop. This time, however, it worked out that it was Tyler’s week. I was a bit nervous of how he was going to hold up since in addition to our weekly grocery shopping I had shopping to do for Rusty’s birthday party, Halloween shopping,¬†shopping for Sunday dinner company¬†and supplies¬† needed for a youth fireside at our house on Sunday night. I knew it was going to take twice as long as a “typical” date night and was worried Tyler would start to melt down before we hit the frozen food aisle, but to my surprise and pleasure he was a champ! Not only did he hold up but he was a huge help as we picked out treats for Rusty’s party. As we waited in line to check out he visited with me and helped me unload the cart. Once again I was amazed at how far he has come and how much he has matured in the last year.

After shopping we went to dinner. Tyler chose Wendy’s for his date night. It was an extra fun date night. They were giving out balloons to all the kids so Tyler picked a green one. He ordered a kid’s meal for dinner and was pleased to find out he got the toy he was hoping for…the Donkey drinking straw and ears. As we were leaving someone gave him a coupon for a free frosty. He couldn’t have been happier!

Tyler as Donkey.

Tyler as Donkey.

On Friday Rusty had his birthday sleepover. The theme for his party was Minecraft, a popular computer game with the boys. He was inviting friends over and they were all bringing their laptops so that they could spend the evening playing together in the virtual world.¬† When we allow the kids to have a birthday party with friends, which isn’t every year only milestone birthdays, we give them a budget for their party. They can use it however they wish. The girls typically will use their budgets for a craft, decorations or party favors. When I asked Rusty what he wanted to get for his party he chose to keep decorations to a minimum, the idea of a craft or games were vetoed, and instead all his budget went to food..typical boy. ūüôā¬† He decided that he wanted a variety of snacks with a Minecraft theme. He went online and printed off pictures of items found in the game and then found snacks to match the tags. He had a lot of fun with it.

Minecraft snacks..

Minecraft snacks..

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Rusty asked Gracie to make the cake which she happily agreed to. She wanted it to look like a Minecraft world which is composed of squares and straight edges so she used Rice Krispy treats to make a hillside and then added some of Rusty’s snack items to the cake as well. The end result was perfect. Rusty was thrilled.

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At¬†6:00 the boys began to arrive and the girls were picked up for their night away at their best friends’ home. Toby brought home pizza for dinner and then Rusty opened his gifts. The gifts were all so thoughtful and perfect choices for Rusty. One of the gifts was a Minecraft theme. His friends bought him a Steve head and filled a box with drinks and snacks they had labeled with Minecraft terms like “potion of fire resistance” and “potion of instant health.” It was so creative!

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Steve!

The rest of the evening was spent playing Minecraft. Rusty let Tyler join the big boys. Toby and I went to our bedroom to watch a movie. It was so funny listening to them in the livingroom. You would have though a full contact football game was taking place outside our bedroom door by the way they were all hooting and hollering. I peeked out and all the boys were sprawled around the livingroom playing together in their virtual world. It was so different than a girls’ sleepover! ūüôā Eventually we had to be the bad guys and tell Tyler it was time for bed. The deal Rusty made with Tyler was that he could be part of his party for the game time but he couldn’t sleep with them, so when it was starting to get late Toby went out to tell Tyler it was time for bed. He thought there might be a fight but was pleasantly surprised when Tyler hopped up and called out goodnight to the boys. Once again I am amazed at how he has grown. He climbed into bed and was asleep in minutes. Meanwhile the big boys went upstairs to continue their party and got very little sleep. ūüôā

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This is what a boys' party looks like :)

This is what a boys’ party looks like ūüôā

In the morning we woke the boys early to get everyone fed before 9:00am pickup. It was an earlier pick-up than usual because I was going to a scrapbooking event with friends and was dropping off some of the boys on the way. My day was spent scrapbooking with friends. It was wonderful and log overdue. I hadn’t¬†scrapbooked since January and was behind. My goal for the day was to get Tyler’s scrapbook current. All my kids have multiple scrapbooks from their first year on but Tyler doesn’t. He didn’t come to us¬†with any pictures of his life before us and I can tell it bothers him when the kids pull out their scrapbooks to look at. I have tried to be diligent about recording his life in this blog so that down the road he will have a recording of his first year with us but that doesn’t help now. The words on the screen aren’t a tangible recording of his life that he can flip through and look at so it was my goal to get his book caught up. I want him to at least have one book (for now)¬†that he can pull off the shelf and flip through with pictures of him in it. It was a productive day and I was able to finish 90% of his book as well as have some much-needed girl time with friends.

At 5:00pm I packed up my supplies and left to pick up Gracie and her friend Olivia to take them to a church Halloween dance down in Cranberry. They were all ready when I arrived. Grace and Olivia dressed as butterflies and Gracie did the face painting on the two of them. They both looked beautiful!

Two beautiful butterflies!

Two beautiful butterflies!

Grace and Olivia

Grace and Olivia

 

Molly and her best buddy, Tatum. :)

Molly and her best buddy, Tatum. ūüôā

 

They had a wonderful time at the dance. They danced their little feet off and at 10:00 we headed back north to drop off Olivia and pick up Molly.  We arrived home and finally crawled into bed for a much-needed sleep around midnight. A few hours later Molly woke up in a panic because she was having trouble catching her breath. She was wheezing and you could hear that her breathing was labored. She said she felt like her throat was tight. We put a bag of cold peas on her neck and took her outside on the porch to see if breathing the cold air helped. After sitting out in the cold for a while and debating whether to head to the ER she started to improve. We put her in our room to sleep so we could listen for labored breathing.

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Sick Molly ūüė¶

In the morning we woke up and got ready for church. This was a big day for Rusty. He was graduating from Primary (the children’s program) and moving into Young Men’s. He had completed the Faith in God program and was going to receive his certificate so even though Molly was still feeling lousy we prepared for church. Mimi Joy was meeting us there so we didn’t want to be late. Molly and I stayed long enough to see Rusty receive his certificate and then we left the rest of the family at church and headed over to MedExpress. We found out that the swollen throat was due to Strept so it was a good thing we went in. We got Molly’s antibiotics and headed back to church. Molly stayed in the car and watched a movie in the parking lot because I didn’t want her spreading her germs around church. When church was done we headed home and Mimi Joy joined us for lunch. Poor Molly went to bed.

Rusty and Mimi Joy

Rusty and Mimi Joy

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Sunday evening we prepared for the last of our weekend guests. We were having the young men and women from our church over for a fireside devotional and smores. It was a wonderful evening and the turn out was great. It was a perfect way to end the weekend!

Fireside devotional

Fireside devotional

This weekend made me realize how incredibly grateful I am for the friends in my children’s lives. They are blessed with good kids for friends. I am grateful for the parents that raised such good kids. I am grateful that my children have made wise choices in the friendships they have developed. I am grateful for the leaders that plan fun, wholesome activities for my kids to take part in. I am grateful that in this world with so many negative influences my children have found a safe place to grow into the adults they are going to become.

They say you become like the 5 people you spend the most time with…I am grateful my children have chosen wisely.