Your house always seems so calm.

People say this. To me. People that know me and come to my house. People that I don’t think are under the influence of anything, but I kind of wonder. And I scratch my head questioning if we could possibly be standing in the same room.

My house feels calm when kids go to bed and the beagle is asleep. Otherwise, something or someone is constantly zooming past my head. There are days I feel like I need to buy a hard hat and spray paint it a pretty shade of green. At any given moment, something is being spilled, someone is inside, someone is outside and someone else is looking for someone missing (hiding).  My friend’s boys stayed the night at our house this weekend. When she came to pick them up, one of my boys was outside with matches and foil. Science. Or something like that he said. Don’t worry…he is trained in how to use matches. Nonetheless, my point is my house is not calm.

Since we had a few extra kids for a night, we pulled the trailer mattresses inside for extra beds. The kids brought them down to the living room to return to the trailer. Mattresses on the floor in the living room don’t get left alone. I was trying to work on SnapShops. I told them I was going to take the mattresses outside and they strongly objected. I gave in…and then got my camera. If you can’t beat them, join them.

Also, the bandaid phase is still going strong.

9.15jump-019.15jump-02She is learning to make all kinds of new sounds. Some of those she has to close her nose to make (a whole different post on cleft speech issues for that)…anyway, she laughs so hard at some noises. It tickles her to try to make them.9.15jump-049.15jump-059.15jump-06I put my camera back up and returned to my computer to work. There is a reason most people that work from home have home offices.9.15jump-08My house is so very not calm.

I’m okay with it. I am sure letting my kids jump on mattresses and create Ninja Warrior training courses does not help any. I relish calm, quiet and order. It makes me giddy just thinking about sitting in my kitchen, alone, and all projects completed. One day I probably will sit alone in my kitchen with projects completed. And – I’ll probably enjoy it. Then, I’ll find my phone and go call a kid and we’ll laugh about all the years of ninja warrior training and mattress diving.

I heard once (can’t remember from who!) that one day we’ll tell stories about this time of our lives…what kind of stories do we want to tell?

I want to tell stories of life busting the seams of our house. Stories of paint brush obstacle courses and projects that took too long because so much life was happening.

Disclaimer: The paint roller was being rolled OFF the mattress. Rolled off when jumping took place…don’t want to stress anyone out about that:)


The winner of the Totally Rad giveaway is Amy (ajgr…). Amy, you should have an email from me!

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  • Lori - Your children are beautiful! Looks like a fun place for your kids to grow up in and thrive!

  • Jenny - I love how they get so creative and just have fun. And that your oldest can tune it all out. Funny! :)

  • Mary - We had a sleepover at Nana’s this weekend, which also involved dragging the mattress to the floor. Mattress tumbling much have universal appeal!! As a Nana, I realize these seasons of childhood pass much too quickly. I am taking/making time to enjoy with the grandgirls!

  • Paige E - OMGosh, LOVE!

  • carol - When your kids are grown and gone, you want the chaos back. Sometimes the quiet is overrated. Need grandkids to spend the night soon!!!

  • brandy u - This is awesome. no disclaimers needed for this long time reader, though I understand why you have to give them.

  • Amy - Thank you!!! Still about can’t believe it! :)

  • Diana - I love this! I so miss these crazy days from my own childhood!

  • Lorraine R. - Life is too short and kids grow too fast to fight for a calm house!! What a great gift you are giving your children, to explore, be wild, be brave, and silly!! Such a great momma you are <3

  • kimberly oyler - how about i come play with those cuties while you finish that project? 😉 annnnnd have you thought about using that trailer of yours as an office? :)

  • Lynne Malan - Read an article on adoption once where it said that if a child, especially an adopted child, asks for a plaster, it is a sign of them asking for nurturing… and we should never not give them one…the same for when they ask to give you one, they are ‘nurturing’ you.

    that just changed my whole giving of plasters… my two went through that stage too and it is amazing! my daughter went from saying the plaster makes it better to mommy makes it better to i make it better and now she doesn’t need plasters any more.

    also, i believe in wild and free! Raised my kids with that intention and LOVE it! my house is the one where my kids and their friends are allowed to slide off the steps on mattresses, scream and run and hide everywhere,,even our room…

    wild and free!! and noisy!!! very noisy!! but calm? what’s that? hehe xx

  • Helen - Maybe “calm” isn’t so much a lack of activity as it a lack of stress… Maybe “calm” is a feeling and tone or the climate of the home, not the amount of movement… Maybe “calm” is the about the joy in the voices not the volume of them… Maybe… :)

  • Beth J - i continue to be inspired by you, your photos, your writing and mostly your “mothering!” thanks for sharing glimpses of your wonderful life with us! blessings to you and your family!

  • Stephanie T - When I was growing up my mother had a framed needlepoint hanging in our home that read “Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow, for babies grow up we’ve learned to our sorrow. So quiet down cob webs, dust go to sleep, I’m rocking my babies and babies don’t keep”.

  • Helen - Stephanie T, That’s a verse from a longer poem called “Song for a Fifth Child” by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton. Being a fifth child, I always loved it.

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - I so relate! My house is so nutty. When people call, I can usually barely hear them. It used to stress me out. Now, I just smile.

Sometimes I have lots of little random things I want to share or post as a reminder…it is easier to do it all at once. So, today is a random day of those things!


The Totally Rad Actions giveaway ends today

$150 gift card to Totally Rad Actions

Giveaway ends Friday, September 25th, 2015 at 5:00pm

To enter leave a comment on Monday’s post



Last week I posted about my friends’ opening Restore House. Well, this week I dropped by to check out how things were going as they prepare for the opening next week. It is so amazing! It is my new favorite store and it isn’t even open yet. I’m so giddy about it. I took a few sneak peeks to share. They are going to serve coffee too. I’ve decided I’m going to randomly show up in the store kitchen to work there instead of trying to accomplish any computer related task at home with 5 wild animals. Seriously, if you go shopping and there is a lady in the kitchen that has made herself at home – its me. Jaime is too nice to kick me out anyway.

Restore House Friends & Family Night

September 30th, 5-9pm | 924 S. Main St., Broken Arrow, OK  74012

I’ll be there at 5pm. I might pitch a tent on the sidewalk before it opens. If you are there and see me, please say ‘hi!’.


Remember the paint party I did back in July? This weekend I am part of hosting a giveaway with DecoArt for a paint party for 6. The giveaway is a ’round robin’ on instagram with a few other bloggers that have done art parties. You’ll have to visit my instagram page later today for how to enter.


flourishLastly, Chris just saw that Compassion International is hosting a Compassion Experience in Tulsa at the end of October. It is an interactive tour of life in the developing world. We’ve never been before, but have heard great things from others. The event is free, but you do have to register to reserve your time spot. If you are near the Tulsa area, you might want to check it out.

compassionMy dad recently retired (YAY DAD!!!). This means he has more time. I’m actually not sure he has more free time, but I’m deciding he does. I have some projects for him…wood. white paint. tile. floor sander. Unfortunately his retirement coincides with my busy SnapShop season, so I don’t have much spare time. I’m hoping this weekend we can sync schedules and have a little project fun.

Have a great weekend!

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  • Charity G. - We took our boys to the Compassion experience where we live. I think it was a good experience and definitely gave our boys a new perspective.

    If only I lived in OK I’d be there for your friend’s store opening. The sneak peek pictures you took were awesome!

  • ADVICE FROM A COP - My SIL lives in Tulsa–she might be interested in this. Thanks for the info!

  • kimberly oyler - i might have to drive down for that compassion experience. hmmm…

I shared my updated chalkboard on Instagram this week, but goodness…I’m a blogger at heart. I wanted to share it here with more of the story.

I sent my sister a text last week asking her to sketch out “I want to be a hummingbird in a world of buzzards.” I thought just maybe if she sketched it, I could attempt to copy it on my chalkboard.

Well, being the ever-thoughtful sister I am, I asked my VERY pregnant sister to come watch my 5 kids for a few hours.

I did ask, but I also told my kids they were supposed to babysit their 3 year old niece and tell Aunt Lesley to lay on the couch and read magazines. Instead of laying on the couch, she surprised me when I got home…


In my original text, I explained to Lesley the words were from my notes from church. An illustration was shared about how a buzzard spends all day looking and finding dead things. A hummingbird spends all day looking and finding sweet things. Both exist everyday. What is found depends on what is sought. What you find is a matter of what you are looking for…

“Whoever diligently seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to him who searches for it.” Proverbs 11:27

9.15hummingbird-02Our house is full and active and there are lots of emotions going on all the time. With 7 people sharing a space, there are our fair share of arguments and looking for dead things instead of sweet things. After hearing this illustration, I sat the kids down and we talked about it. We talked about what that looks like practically in our family, in our home.

Now, it is written in the living room. A reminder that we want to be hummingbirds. We want to train our eyes to search after and find the sweet things in life. I figure the chalkboard won’t make sense to others when they visit, which provides a great opportunity for the kids (and me) to explain it.9.15hummingbird-03

Today, we are going to be hummingbirds.


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  • Mac - Beautiful and inspirational

  • Southern Gal - This is fantastic. The message, the art, the chance to share with others…all of it!

  • Belinda - Thanks so much for sharing more as when I saw it on IG I couldn’t quite work out what the message was all about! Powerful message and one to definitely remember!

  • Paige E - I just LOVE that illustration!

  • Emily - I just love this!

  • Holly - What a great sister!

  • Kristi - I love this! Is there a podcast of the sermon? I would love to listen!

  • Dena - This is awesome!

  • karen brown - adore this! and especially that you’ll need to explain it to all who ask. brilliant!

  • Ranee - I love this…of course Lesley’s work is her usual beautiful, but the illustration is such a good one and so true. Thanks for sharing!

  • Sarah - Oh goodness, I love this!!

  • Diana - Fantastic reminder!

  • Rose - Love this!

  • Luisa - I love this and you for sharing. I rarely comment…mostly because I am quickly skimming my favorite blogs. However, this post I just wanted you to know that I loved and I thank you for spreading your positivity into this world.

  • Kate - Great message! What a wonderful word picture for training our minds, taking thoughts captive and being thankful for what been given. I will use this with my kids. Thanks for sharing!

  • Katie T - Every time I see the beautiful messages you and your sister create on chalkboards I always wonder what kind of chalk you are using. Nothing I do with regular chalkboard chalk ever looks half as nice and the chalkboard markers are beyond frustrating! Is there a secret?

  • AshleyAnn - Katie – it is plain ole’ regular chalk. Mine were all little broken pieces and she still created that art!

  • Tania - I love this quote and the meaning behind it. I so needed to hear that. I’ve been feeling pretty down about how things aren’t how I want them to be, lots of negativity, and I’ve recently tried changing my attitude. I need that bible verse hanging up. Beautiful art work too, by the way. Your sister is so talented!

  • Jill Stansell - This is beautiful! Would you sister have any created to sell? I love her artwork with this and it is an awesome reminder.

  • Katie - Where did you get your couch! I love it –

  • AshleyAnn - Katie – my dad built it :)

  • Sara W - I love this illustration so much! I’ve already shared it so many times. It was so timely for my week. Thank you!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - I know I already commented on your Instagram post, but my goodness, I just love this. So much truth and beauty!