Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Experiencing God.



We're going through a cold spell, so we were some of the only ones out on the peninsula today. We spent a couple hours at a park and then the boys wanted to go to the beach. I obliged, of course... it's my sanctuary here in Erie. 

I was overwhelmed with how beautiful the lake was today. The sun was shining down just perfectly, making it sparkle like millions of tiny diamonds. The waves were large and loud...just the way I prefer them. Aside from the crashing waves and the beautiful giggles of my little boys, there was silence. Perfect peace. 

Overcome with appreciation for God's creation, I sang out, "oh Lord our Lord how majestic is Your name in all the Earth!" I sang it as loud and as boisterous as I could. No one was around to hear, and the water all around me made for pretty incredible acoustics. 

Nearing the end of the song, as the boys searched for beach glass beside me, a massive eagle came soaring over us. The boys stopped playing and I stopped singing. We just stared upward, watching until we couldn't see it any longer. 

That may sound cool and all, but to me it was incredibly meaningful. The verse I have claimed since day 1 here in Erie and on our year long adventure into the unknown has been, Isaiah 40:31. "but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

I've gone back to this verse more times than you could ever know, and today, I know that the majestic eagle soaring over the beautiful waves was just for me. Immanuel - God with us.  




Monday, April 13, 2015

Exploring Rochester, NY.

I've been hit and miss with so many of our adventures up north, but I'm trying my best to document everything on more than just Instagram, so that I can remember the details on down the road.

Several weeks ago one of the local hockey teams made the playoffs and Husby was scheduled to cover it, so we all loaded up and went with him to Rochester, NY.  We had so much fun! I just can't get over how fun it is exploring this part of the country that we probably otherwise never would.

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The first day that we got there Husby had to go to the arena super early, so the boys and I set out to explore.  We found lots of fun sights before heading back for the big game that night.

I took full advantage of having a field trip and history lesson for the boys, so our first stop was to Susan B. Anthony's house.

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I just love how history comes alive up here where it all happened.  Amazing!  When we were finished there, Levi threw his head back on the back of his seat and said, "Phew! That was the longest history lesson of my LIFE." Haha! When I quizzed Ezra about what he had learned he said that Susan B. Anthony said bad words and had to go to the police.  Haha, oh these boys!

Next, we found this historic lighthouse and took many a picture next to it. :)

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I tried giving Levi a history lesson here too, but he was a bit burnt out after the whole SBA expedition.

After the game we had a late dinner at a Rochester fave.  My my MY!!

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We hit the streets early the next day to make the most of everything.  Husby and I love exploring the local food markets when we hit up a new city.  This one did not disappoint!

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And neither did the cannoli.  :)

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Husby and I have been on a cannoli tour the past several months, and we go to a new bakery each weekend testing out the cannoli. Yum!

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We had a fun day exploring the city and just enjoying it at leisure, finding unique little spots and shops.

Some of my favorite times when I'm away with my family are the nights back at the hotel.  We all crash together, laugh and reminisce about our days, and we each tell our favorite part of the day.  Treasured moments!

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The next day was for the boys.  We hit up the National Museum of Play and we all had such a blast!  So, so fun!  By far one of the best children's museums out there.

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My favorite part was the Berenstein Bears section.  I've always LOVED the BB's!

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It was a fantastic day.  Oh, and we ate brunch at this amazing old diner.  Picturesque!

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We had such a fun weekend in upstate New York, exploring the sights and experiencing new things. Getting to do it all with my guy and our boys is absolutely priceless.

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Saturday, April 4, 2015

3.

My Dearest Littlest: My Ezra,

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3.

There is no joy like what you bring to my life, little boy.  And today, my heart is absolutely bursting from the seams because how can it be?  You are THREE!

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From the moment I laid eyes on you, we had a special connection.  You are mommy's baby and you know your role well! ;)  We've been joint at the hip all of your life, and I wouldn't have it any way.  How I LOVE being your mommy.

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I can not look at your precious little face and not smile.  I can't do it!  Your Daddy was walking down the stairs a few minutes ago as I was reviewing the pictures I took of you and he said, "what's so funny?", because I had a smile plastered to my face.  "Oh nothing, just looking at my baby!"

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I remember getting a 4D ultrasound with you and every time we saw your face you were smiling.  In the womb!  What a treasure you are!  You bring our family constant laughs and I absolutely love that about you. You know you are funny, and your facial expressions that accompany your funny ways are just icing on the cake.  Such JOY your life is, Ezra. To know you, is to fall in love with you.  Day after day after day.

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You are growing up right before my very eyes.  You are becoming more and more adventurous doing things on your own, but you still love the comfort of having your big brother by your side.  Levi is your favorite person and the connection you share is unlike anything I have ever seen.  I've always heard amazing things about brothers, but witnessing it leaves me speechless.  You two are best buddies, and so so loving toward one another.  The other day Levi was at Sparks and we went to Wegman's to get you two a treat.  I showed you your cookie when I got in the car and Levi's was still in the sack.  I asked if you wanted to have it and you said, "well, I will eat half of it and save the rest for Wevi." :)  I melted!  I pray every day that you and your brother nurture and grow this brotherhood for all of your days.  What a blessing!

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You are so super smart!  You say things all the time that I had no idea you knew about, and on top of that, you are clever.  Very, very clever.  My phone is filled with hilarious "Ezzer-isms", and every day when your Daddy comes home I have at least 5 clever Ezra stories of the day.

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You are kind, sweet, affectionate, and a gentle little boy.  You certainly have your ornery moments which leads to you sweetly apologizing, "I'm SO SO sorry! I NEED you, Mommy!" from behind the door of Time Out, but those times are coming fewer and farer between as you grow and mature.  You love to cuddle, sit in my lap, hold hands, and hug and kiss.  You often request me to give you "helicopter kisses" where I smother your little face in kisses and you laugh and laugh and laugh.  Oh, I love you.

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You are my perfect eater, eating anything and everything I set in front of you.  You are obsessed with Mario.  You love Peppa Pig and Bo on the Go.  You love to be outside.  You love books.  You love cars and trucks and things with wheels.  You pray the sweetest prayers.  You love your Bible verses.  You can't sleep without your "soff bwankie".  Your favorite song is the Itsy Bitsy Spider.  You are innately strong.  You get embarrassed and your face turns red.  You are calm, sweet, and easy going, but at the same time, there is no talking you into anything you do not want to do (not obedience-wise, rather, choice wise).  You know who you are and nobody is going to change that.

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Ezra Ray, there is no one in this world like you.  You are beautiful, charming, and precious in every way.  My life changed when you came into our world, and you made me a better mommy and a better person.  I love you with my whole heart, and I pray that you have an amazing year being three.  I thank God get to experience it with you.

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Love you the morest and love you the mostest!
Mommy








Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What Do You Do With All That Snow?


Why, you make snow ice cream, of course!

But first you have to get you a super cute Husby to go scoop it up. 

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:)

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Here is the best recipe we have found for the winter treat.  It's seriously SO good.

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SNOW ICE CREAM

8 cups Snow
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 tsp vanilla (we use a bit more)

Mix all together, and enjoy!  You can add sprinkles, cocoa powder, crushed up cookies - whatever your little heart desires.  Or just eat it plain like I do.  It reminds me of that homemade ice cream that you spend hours churning.

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Now, hopefully you get some more snow this year so you can try it out for yourself.  Yum!




Monday, March 16, 2015

That Time We Had 104 (and counting) Inches of Snow!

The snow up here has been unlike anything we've ever seen or experienced.  Just gobs and gobs of snow dumped on us day after day .... after day.  It's pretty incredible.  Our total so far is at 104 inches.  We literally have not seen a blade of grass since January 1.  There has been FEET of snow on the ground ever since.  Amazing.  And absolutely beautiful!!

Something that is fascinating to me is the lake froze earlier than usual this year, bringing the lake effect snow totals down.  So a ton of the snow that we have received hasn't been lake effect.  I can not imagine how it would have been had the lake not frozen so early.  Wowza!

Here are some snapshots of one of the snowiest cities in the USA!

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(The lake)


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A couple houses that aren't mine...

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In the one below, the snow was literally half way up their house.  Incredible!

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(Our driveway.)

And.... our backyard!

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(Actually touching the ground in this picture.  In most of the other ones, we are walking on top of snow.)

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(His little legs can't walk through it! So he just sits on top of it and eats it. Haha!)

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Absolutely UNREAL!

What a winter to remember! :)


Friday, March 13, 2015

Love Day!

I know, I realize I am a month behind on updates, but whatt'ya do?

Another Valentine's Day has come and gone and this one was a super sweet one.  It's one of my very favorite days of the year and I just get so much joy making things special for the ones I love.

The boys were super excited to wake up to this fun table!

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I must admit.  I just took the hot air balloons down last week.  They were just so fun and cheerful I liked looking at them. :)

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I always make the boys in my life a special V-day breakfast, and they were thrilled!

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Cinnabun cake, hashbrowns, quiche, and chocolate covered strawberries!

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Oh, and when they woke up in the morning and opened the door, they were greeted with this:

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I've done this every Valentine's Day since Levi was a baby and they look forward to it every year!  So cute.

Husby had a game to work that afternoon, and then we went out on a family date (uh, those are all our dates) to our favorite - Firebirds.  The meal was excellent and the company was even better.

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