Sunday, August 28, 2016

August little things

Seeing life from a different angle!

I got a tripod for my birthday (thanks for the birthday money, Mom & Dad!) Excited to finally be in a few pictures! Being behind the camera may not be Ben's favorite thing... especially when his wife is very specific in what she wants in a picture... so the tripod has been good in more ways than one!

Good hair day! I only seem to take pictures on GOOD hair days, where's all the pictures of a "regular" day in sweats?

Just kidding, here's one! A typical morning with all the kids, before Cheyenne started going to school :(. I picture I sent their dad.

Another good hair day

He. is. so. chunky.

Side note: the kids found an old soccer medal I had from when I was a kid and just think it is a coolest thing and love to wear it around. I'm glad it can get some use! Better than it sitting in some box.

 Been trying to capture Frank's smile/laugh on camera which he loves to do, especially when I talk or sing to him. I've been unsuccessful so far. Here's some little grins.

This kid is too funny. He's at a great age. Sometimes when he talks Ben and I just look at each other and smile because he says the funniest things/the way he says things is so funny.

He kept saying he was "going on a man date to Amish country" with his dad (Ben loves to take drives into the country, "Amish country" on Sundays). 

This kid used to keep me up at 3am, so I'd take pictures of him. No more! He's a pretty good sleeper, sometimes he'll sleep in until 7am.

I've been trying to (unsuccessfully) figure out Snapchat. Since I don't really know what I'm doing I just send my little sister snaps of Frank all the time. She loves it! I'm glad Frank has a fan besides me!

Sent a text to my sister Sarah her favorite salad dressing was at Kroger! She was so excited!

Sent a text to my sister-in-law letting her know I made her favorite bran muffins filled with cream cheese. Too bad she was 1200 miles away!

Pineapple Chicken Curry for dinner! One of our long time favorites (Recipe here)

Cheyenne's very first lunch! Packing my first lunch of MANY MANY more to come!!

She made it home on her very first day! The celebratory text I sent Ben and my mom

Cheyenne took a short reading class this summer and loved it. With her teacher, "Mr. Christian."

 We went to our cousin Gran'ts baptism just over the Indiana border in Ohio. We love seeing family! Grant was the cutest at his baptism. Also, I need to get out of the habit of taking photos when we're about to leave!
 Love Indiana sunsets! On the way home.
Cheyenne got some clothes from her cousin Jaylin that she just LOVES. She idolizes Jaylin and is always asking me when she's going to get some work boots like Jaylin, even though we don't have a farm to use them on...

 Another dress from Jaylin. This one is a particular favorite of hers because it's "sparkily."

Sunday selfie... turns out it's A LOT harder to take a selfie of six people than I thought. We need a selfie stick!

 Cute kids on the way to church

Finally stained our wood sign my sister Sarah gave us as a gift last year. It looks SO good in black! Also, hung up our huge family picture in canvas. It looks great!

Really enjoying the artistic freedom I can have with my tripod in my low light house.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Instagram Update 8/15/16

What's been up on Instagram!

Today was one of the worst days I've had in a while. I yelled at my kids, I was mean to my husband, and the baby cried all. day. long. Tonight I went for a walk down our road, into the country (it's too humid here to run! Ha. At least that's what I tell myself!). I came home and apologized to my family and I couldn't help but thank God for my physical body and for exercise, for the chance to release the extra mental and emotional pressure we have in our lives. I'm forever indebted to my Father in Heaven for the chance to repent, to say goodbye to the person I don't want to be, to shed that skin--that person--and say hello to the person I do want be the next day. It's all because of God's grace and love for us that we can change--by giving Him our own selfish wants and desires, and He in turn fills us with His love. Tomorrow you and I get to wake up and decide to be better-- how blessed we are! #exercise #mentalhealth #repentance #tomorrow #change #humility
A photo posted by Ashley D (@ourgoldtoharvest) on

This has been on my mind today. As followers of Christ, we are all at different parts of our journey. At different points I have been prideful or confused, sad or fearful. My fellow travelers could also be experiencing these same emotions. If I have faith, I need use it. We are asked to "be an example of the believers," (1 Tim. 4:12) and that should be more than kind words and good deeds. It includes bearing testimony, witnessing to others how God has illuminated your walk. Many fellow travelers, unbeknownst to you, could be sitting on the fence of belief, unsure of how to keep holding on, not knowing what having more faith would look like in their life. True testimonies are not a selfish or prideful act. True testimonies "seek not your own will, but the will of the Father who sent me" (John 5:30) and can uplift and inspire others to hold on, to give faith another chance when hope is lost. For "without faith there cannot be hope" (Mor. 7:42), and hope is the message Christ brings to all of us, no matter what our life circumstances. Don't give up, Christ is real, he is there, and I know it! #faith #hope #believer
A photo posted by Ashley D (@ourgoldtoharvest) on

A photo posted by Ashley D (@ourgoldtoharvest) on

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Kindergarten and Getting Back to our Heavenly Home

This morning Cheyenne walked onto the bus for kindergarten. She'll be gone everyday from almost 8am to nearly 4pm. This marks the beginning of our separation, mother from child.

I've been really consumed with what this separation means. It's the start of a lifelong separation, in some ways. I will no longer be the only influence in her life. Many of those influences will be good I hope, but some of them may be the opposite.

She'll have teachers who don't appreciate her and peers who don't think she's good enough. She'll experience humiliation, and being left out. Although negative, I know these things are necessary for growth and learning, necessary for developing empathy and becoming resilient. But I also know my heart will hurt when she experiences the ugly parts of this world. It is crushing to imagine my sweet, innocent five-year-old becoming somehow tainted by it all. 

I couldn't help thinking, as I was trying to process all of this, that this is exactly how our Heavenly Father feels. Maybe when he was getting ready to send us down to earth, he hugged us a little tighter and said, "Don't go!" He too knew what was ahead, the hurdles we would have to face. And more than anything that He hopes for us to learn, He longs to have us back home. 

It brought to mind this quote from one of my favorite books, President Eyring's biography I Will Lead You Along. This is from his wife Kathleen:

"Last week I took my five-year-old to kindergarten...

"The first day she left for school, the most important knowledge I wanted her to get was the knowledge of how to get home. I counted a great deal on the teacher walking my little girl down the hall after school, taking her outside to the bus, showing her which of the the three or four buses to get on, and explaining where to get off. If she didn't gain that particular knowledge, it didn't matter to me if she were to learn calculus or Latin, it would have meant nothing to me. The most important knowledge for her to get was how to get home." (p.488)

As Cheyenne got on the bus and I turned around to head back to our house without her, short sad sobs escaped my mouth as tears rolled down my face. "Just let her come home," I said myself, "Just let my sweet Cheyenne make it home!" And tonight, triumphant, beaming, red-faced and happy, she did!