Wednesday, July 16, 2014


   My family and I live relatively simple. Yes, we splurge on going out to dinner after long days at work and we will buy things for our girls, but in reality, I shop at Ross and TJ Max,  and most of my furniture is from craigslist or handed down from family members (pieces that have been spruced up with sandpaper and a coat of paint).  
   I am not a label wearer, when you are 5'10, you don't get that privilege, if the jeans are long enough, I buy them. Period. Don't really care about the label or style. Bellbottom, fine. Skinny jeans, great. Bootcut, perfect. 
   Please do not misinterpret my first paragraphs, I like nice things, and have nice things, but boy do I love a bargain! Coupons, clearance racks, furniture off the side of the road...Woohoo! So much fun.
   BUT, above shopping, I value time with God, time with family, time with friends, and hard work! These are things I have tried to bestow in my own children, to be grateful for gifts received and to be gracious. In this family you are given what you need and earn what you want... Our girls know that we need to be "responsible" with our money and make good choices.  Lily, my 5 year old, will keep me on my toes, "Mommy, do we need that?" when shopping the dollar bins at Target. I guess we don't need it :(


  We are blessed to be in a position to give. We want to be generous with our giving. I would love nothing more than to spoil these children, all four of them. But is that helping them? Is that being responsible? Is that Godly? 

"Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom?" 

Proverbs 17:16

Alex asked for a hat last week, "Of course, you can have a hat." Thinking to myself... OOO ... shopping, maybe Marshall's will have a good deal. My thoughts were interrupted...
"Wan's hat" 
Excuse me, huh? "I don't understand"
"Wan's hat" 
Adam chime's in from the other room... "VANS hat!" 
Seriously...we are getting particular now!?!?

"OK Alex, you can earn a Vans hat. You will have to work for it though."
"He can help me paint the fence." Adam says, now joining the discussion in the kitchen.

Alex, at first was not too keen on the idea of working for his hat. He actually told us no and that was that. But two days later, when he remained hat-less, he asked again "Wan's hat?"
"You ready to paint a fence?" I hoaxed.

Love "oops" paint from home depot, 7 dollars!

They finished in 2 hours, and we went directly to the Vans store...

"Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth" Proverbs 10:4

It would have been so much easier to just give him the hat he wanted. But there is something to be said about working for things. Earning things.  I never appreciated things until I worked for them.

(Sorry mom and dad for being such an ungrateful teen, I love you.) 

And because Alex worked hard...
He loves that hat and takes better care of it than his soccer shoes (he was just given).
 It feels good to earn something. 

I wasn't surprised with the obsession of a certain brand, he is 16 years old. That stuff matters at 16. I was surprised he did not want to work for it. Alex is very ambitious, he likes to work hard. He likes to push himself in soccer. He vacuums like a mad man, getting every last piece of dog fur off the couch. He works hard at English. He continues bike riding trying to perfect the art. 
A neighbor called out to me last week, "He's getting better." 
It is cool when complete strangers notice God's work in people's lives. 
  He did have a bit of a spill, but he allowed me to clean it up. And he was out riding the next day.

 Yana has come such a long way with God's healing grace. The girl who would shutter when Adam came near her, will now play with him in the pool and grab his hand while they cross the street. She will run down stairs and greet me with a huge hug when I return from work. She will share and take turns with Lily and Elliot, and is no longer hoarding items (food, toys) in her bed. She knows that she and her things are safe here. 

We had an amazing Saturday with family. We went horse back riding and walked miniature ponies around my Aunt and Uncle's Ranch. Yana learned to ride and to lead a horse. She learned how to take off the bridle and saddle and rinse the horse, then put him back in his stall. 

She had the best smile all day. 

Love this smile, pure joy.

After all the fun outside, my cousins let all the girls put on make up and try on different hats. 

Nothing like an impromptu fashion show/photo shoot to make it...


 "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."
Matthew 25:45

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