Entries in family (40)


Family Movie Night

Mama had a movie night with friends about a month ago. When Veronica asked Ben where mommy was at, he told her, "Mama's having a special movie night with her friends." Veronica began to cry, "I want to go to a 'special movie night, TOO!!" Veronica peeked over the ledge, "Mama, mama, I want to go to the movie night!"

Ben calmed her little soul down and came upon a compromise, that we would have a family movie night accompanied with popcorn the next night. Veronica shook on it (rather said, "SURE!) and went to bed. The next evening came and got the best seat in the house...next to two cuties in piggytails.


Time for Christmas Cookies

We spent more than a couple of days at G&G Scellick's house last week.  One of the highlights was Grandma having the whole time off, which meant a lot of quality time with the girls.  Grandma had Christmas tree cookies all cut out & baked, frosting ready to go, and lots of cookie sprinkles.  Veronica took her job seriously, avoided temptation of eating the yummy elements & was the cookie decorator workhorse of the two girls.  And then there was Tayers...

Notice the bowl full of M&M's when the video starts and how it ends...

The infamous cookie

An artist at work

It wouldn't be quite done without sprinkles

Trusty ole' Veronica working hard at finishing making the rest of the cookies.  She did a great job (and so did little sis').




What a Daddy!

It must be said that I married one of the best men out there. I know, you're thinking, "well, my husband is the best," and I guess we can agree to disagree (but that's a good thing). I saw this picture and realized I didn't post it. It was from the first snow in B'ham. Afterward, Veronica thought it a good idea to get warm & cozy by the fire. So daddy sat down (after being outside with the girls playing in the snow) to read some books with them.

I love this man so much. He is truly that person who everyone loves when they meet him. Incredibly congenial, very diplomatic, harmonious, has such high integrity & work ethic, adds humor to life, tirelessly serves his family of girls, and treats me SO very well. He's a gracious individual and I am constantly impressed with how loving he is to any & all he meets.

His name at Camp Berachah (where we met) was G-Bear. It was decided that he was like the character Gentle Ben, who was a Bear; hence, he was Gentle Bear. There's a picture hanging in our home of a little girl walking along a river holding onto a bear. It's very fairytale-esque. When Ben and I saw it in an art shop many years ago, we both loved it. Without saying a word why I loved it, I asked him why first. He said, "well, it reminds me of...us! Like I'm the bear & you're the little girl." That's what I thought. The bear was gentle & safe enough to walk alongside. And that's Ben. He's gentle, gracious & loving. The girls know this too. So when he barks--it comes as a surprise (right!), because it's so rare.

When I was a freshman in college, I dreamed of having my own family and allowing God to come in to redeem my past. I never thought I would have this wonderful:)



We actually haven't been very busy this summer.  However, it seems like the month of September was filled to the brim with events, appointments and whatnot.  We made a trip to Artist Point Labor Day weekend, only to find so much fog that the point was nearly invisible.  On top of that, add that mama & daddy wore shorts forgetting that we are in the "cascades" at a 45 degree day.  Not to mention that the night before we went with friends here, so bedtime was later and girls still wake up a bit early, which made for a semi-miserable experience at the mountain.

I'm sure you can picture it.  The culmination of lethargic bodies, whining, wild blueberries not coming out of the coat pocket like a 3 year old would like, while the 21 month old is on broken record mode, "Mama, mama, mama..."  It's moments like these in a year from now (and more so in 20 years) that we will laugh about it, forgetting how painful it was and try again.  I guess that's the beauty of parenting.  We can fully see the hard, the bad & the ugly, but we keep with it, because the beauty always outshines.

Picture encapsulates our journey to Artist Point

Taking a lunch break

Do we look excited?

Veronica fell down and I'm comforting her

Tays painting on paper, and the wall too.

That rascal face

This was "paint in your pajamas" day

Both girls dedicated to their art

Long day of traveling requires a ride in the stroller, along with Puppy

The pool was all the rage

Cadence dancing with Grandpa on the Strip

Beautiful girl with her strewn blown hair (and messy face)

The love of a puppy--life couldn't be better

Auntie Mimi & Uncle Apple Bob got married!!


Something like a Mission Statement

I know I wrote about doing a mission statement back in January for our family. Ben and I have continuously worked on it, but never really felt a sense of accomplishment through the process. It seemed like it took more & more time without ever writing a family mission statement to date. And if you're family looks anything like our family (which my guess would be the majority of families around), then my guess is you don't have much time to devote to many sessions of answering questions, brainstorming & compiling a mission statement, which seems like you couldn't ever achieve.

So what do you do? Well, we both read this fantastic book (for me as the not so active reader--I read it in a 24 hour period) entitled, The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family by Patrick Lencioni. The book is written in story format, making it easier to read, digest & follow. Then, Lencioni concludes with spelling out the Big 3 Questions even further for application.

Things I liked about this approach versus Covey's 7 Habits or other "mission statement" idea are:

  1. It was straightforward.
  2. It was separating objective versus subjective, realistic goals vs. idealistic goals, tangible time lines vs. ambiguous time lines.
  3. It doesn't take FOREVER to brainstorm or apply it.
  4. There is only one major goal or "rally cry" you as a family work on at a time.
  5. There is a set time (2-6 months) to see your specific rally cry achieved.
  6. You meet as a family (or parents or yourself) 10 minutes once a week to discuss how the rally cry is coming along.
  7. The mission statement isn't suppose to be eloquent or fancy. It is written in your words that describe the uniqueness of YOUR family (not mine or anyone else).
Ben & I worked on Question #1 yesterday, which is "What makes your family unique?"
I like this question, because it doesn't ask you what you want your family to look like (that's not a bad thing); rather, who is your actual family. You actually embrace who you are. In order to know how to answer this question, sit down and brainstorm some ideas.

1. Core Values: These are those traits that you can't hide or run away from. They're inherent in who you are as a person. And most likely, these are the values that attracted you to your spouse. Brainstorm a list together of a couple values. These shouldn't be aspirations or ways you wish you were, over spiritual notions...it's simply you. As you can see from our list below, it's not that we aren't loyal or stand up for what we believe, it's just not as high on value list as the final three. Pick two or three of your brainstorming values.

For example, here was our brainstorming values:

  • sense of humor
  • loyalty
  • serving others
  • hospitality: making others feel welcomed & worthy
  • Generosity
  • standing up for what we believe is right
We narrowed it down to:
  • Sense of Humor
  • Hospitality
  • Generosity

2. Strategy: This is another way to differentiate what makes your family unique. What the strategy looks like is two or three purposeful decisions your family makes to carry out it's week by week, month to month lives. You will want to brainstorm all the things, which are true about your family. This list can be big as you make it. Once you've made your list, identify any themes throughout and jot the theme down.

Here is a sampling of our list:

  • Two young girls
  • family of four
  • mom stays home, dad works out of the house
  • mom likes to bake and blog
  • mom and dad work out at the same gym
  • like spending time with our family
  • like funny tv shows and movies
  • like good food
  • children love strawberry shortcake
  • mom enjoys music
  • involved at church
  • dad likes watching sports
  • dad likes reading
  • mom likes cookbooks
  • females enjoy farmer's market
  • enjoy being outside, not rugged
  • we enjoy vacations
  • we value harmony in our relationships
  • enjoy laughter
  • veronica doesn't like chicken mascots or train noises or ronald mcdonald
(Aside from some of the above that were added for comic relief) here are the themes we found:
  • eating good food
  • spending time with one another,
  • finding time away without our children

From there....we took our three Core Values & three Strategic themes to answer Question #1 (written in our words): What makes your family unique?

We are a family who enjoys spending time with one another and makes laughter a focal point of our time together. Eating good food, experiencing new food and cooking are important to us. We actively practice generosity and hospitality in response to the abundant generosity and hospitality God has extended to us in our lives.

Questions 2 & 3 to come...