Wednesday, May 28, 2014

You are...

Look up little boy, I have a secret to tell you....

You are beautifully and wonderfully made - a pure delight. So what if your words aren't perfect , if your mouth has a hard time saying what is on your mind and in your heart - you are perfect at communicating love. You will go far, you will be a blessing to others - you are sensitive and kind. 

Hear me my little baby, you are smart. You are creative, you are funny, you love to jump and climb ... you will climb mountains some day. I can't wait to watch you. 

You are fast, you are sharp - you conquer obstacles ... sometimes you are scared but you are ALWAYS brave. Listen my oldest little, my heart, you are big stuff. Don't let anyone ever tell you anything else. You are perfect. I believe you when you say "someday mom, I'm going to be a world traveler." I would love to see the light in your eyes when you discover buzzing Tokyo, when you eat your first helping "bangers and mash" , when you see the white sands of the Caribbean. Take me with you...I have to see your eyes. 

 Listen my children, you are all exactly how you are suppose to be - in the family you are suppose to be in. Life can be a challenge, autism or not. Life can be messy, autism or not. Life holds sadness and happiness, things are given and things are taken away...sometimes we dance, sometimes we cry...sometimes we say hello ... sometimes goodbye. 

Either way, we always have each other...and an iced coffee and black bean brownie. We are fine. I'm so glad that you are mine ... forever. 

*~ Mom~*

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Oh For Joy

Oh for joy, a sunny day, a plate of goods....happy snacks that turn into a geography and cultural lesson because I have...well...

This guy. The wonderful brain, the curious cat, this simply hilarious boy. Oh for joy ....

Friendships, sibling hood, bright blues and butterflies, smirks and long hair - oh for joy!

Beauty is ordinary yet unique, simple yet extraordinary. Beauty is plain, is perfect. Beauty can abound in anything as long as you see it as beautiful. Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder... and that is something to be glad for. Joy. 

First rosebuds of the seasons, symmetry and asymmetry (I looked that up) , pink and greens and clear and white...bumpy and smooth, closed in darkness and  far away light. Oh for joy! 

Sprouts, beginnings....

Purples and blooms...endings. Purple is happy, is rich.  

Angels all around me...across the dinner table, in the bathtub, in the crook of my arm, under my feet, on my shoulders....running in my backyard - joy!

Children dancing, twirling, giggling angels - full of acceptance, full of grace, full of love .....

...full of energy, light on their toes

...singing, tagging, dancing, tiptoeing through summer grass, feeling happy, feeling free, feeling loved and funny and creative and blessed, brimming bursting with one simple yet complicated thing...


Friday, May 23, 2014


So for this week's Finances on Friday - I attempted something I've never done before. I made a grocery budget for two weeks, made up a day by day menu ... went to the store and ONLY bought what I would need, and am going to try and stay out of grocery stores for two weeks. 
At first I was a little worried about how I would have fresh produce, but decided that for the first week we would eat fresh, the second week we will eat frozen veggies and fruits. I bought some organic chicken at Costco and baked it up, shredded it up and have just added bits of it to meals for the kids. I've been eating black beans or wild salmon ( the frozen variety.) So far so good, but holy moses, being yeast free is no joke and I miss pizza. 
I also put designated "fuel money" on a King Soopers gift card so that we would have set budget for fuel. I figure if we run out gas, we will quit running and stay home. This is a trial run, mind you ... we will see if it works. We are one week in, however, and I think we are on track to meeting our goal. 

 Some of the little ways I saved money :
~ we made up our five gallons of 2 dollar laundry detergent. I had a lovely bar of almond soap from Italy that Zac bought me for Mother's Day so I donated it to the cause. The soap smells beautifully.
~ The before mentioned grocery budget and having to peel off chicken skin. Gag me.
~ I didn't spend on cent at any stores this entire week
~ I only went to one place this whole week, and it was ten minutes from our house. 

~ made a baby gift out of things I already had on hand
~ used a coupon to get a gift for Tristan ( I'm starting to collect his gifts for next month)
~ cashed in my "points" for a Amazon gift card to help pay for my hubby's father's day

~ Went to Old Navy and used up all of my points from my incredible sweater deal a few weeks ago. I also signed up for their card just to get the points and for paperless bills and got points that way. I was able to get myself 6 pieces of clothing for absolutely free. It was a good day. 
~ had my kids help me around the labor right? That counts for something
~ cut off jeans for Trin to have some shorts
~ made salt dough with the kids
~ crafted with what we had on hand
~ made all of our meals from scratch
~ skipped the coffee from Starbucks even though I WANTED it
~ made an extra payment on our credit card

And now for my confession...the way I DID spend money this week....the only was necessary. Zac and I both are having incredible back and neck pain every day...we have for weeks and we are realizing it's our mattress. We can't afford a new one...but I could afford a very nice memory foam topper. So, after much investigating I ordered one for our bed (free shipping.) It came today, we made the bed...let's just say it's my favorite place on earth at this moment. It's so amazingly wonderful. I told Zac that I feel kind of terrible ordering it, but as usual, my sensible husband said "we were able to pay for it, I don't think we need to be in pain for another year because we don't want to pay 100 bucks for something that will help us sleep well every night." The man is right. 

Oh! And we were able to SAVE our goal amount this week.
Feeling blessed,

if you want to link up to Finances on Friday go here

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

This Past Week... What We've Been Up To

We've been....

 ~ Soaking up sun
~ growing freckles
~ eating watermelon
~ watching blocks of birds eat a whole container of bird food in 4 hours

~ proud of a daddy for setting a goal and finishing (HANDSOME MAN)
~ happy to belong to someone so genuine and determined
~ kissing under a flowered tree
~ drinking homemade iced coffees
~ grilling 

~ Enjoying my blue bench

~ taking pictures of the sky
~ taking pictures of trees
~ taking pictures of flowers
~ admiring a Creative God
~ reading about Peter and his never ending devotion to Christ
~ listening to bird song
~ making new friends

~ crafting
~ remembering how much I use to enjoy making hoops
~ making a hoop for a soon to come bundle of joy
~ spring cleaning every nook and cranny ( even though it still looks dirty)
~ feeling thankful 
~ feeling content

~ simmering vanilla, rosemary, and lemon just because it smells good
~ writing down menus
~ learning about the yeast/tooth decay connection

~ learning that our oldest son has horrible teeth with no enamel on the back
~ praising God for bringing us a holistic dentist
~ finding out that my dental insurance is amazing
~ having special x rays taken of a little 8 year old mouth

~ making homemade mouth wash
~ starting the candida diet to heal several little bellies (hopefully)
~ watched several firefighter eat "bull nuts" ... seriously...gag me now
~ learning to make salt dough

~ looking cute because we are
~ reading chapter books
~ about to order caterpillars to watch them transform into butterflies

~ taking indoor toys outside
~ blowing bubbles
~ changing around a bedroom (yes, again)
~ learning to make chocolate pudding with sweet potatoes

I feel blessed.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Peas in a Pod

 These Two...


 ... two little peas in a pod, 18 months apart, stuck together like glue from the beginning...

... goofballs to be sure. 

A few days ago we found a little dead baby bird in the yard. My two sensitive children (the "Tr gang" aka Trist and Trin) were quite sad. There were tears, there was a burial ceremony complete with headstone and flowers, there was at least two gallons of dirt dumped on the deceased... there were more tears. Tristan sat quietly next to the grave for awhile and then said softly "poor wittle bird, he need a game over." I laughed to myself - because, well...he is the most precious of all that is precious. 

How about those freckles?! 

Then there is Trin ... 

We were talking about Christmas the other day and making the plan to draw names this year. I told her about how we would write names down and then everyone would draw a name out of a hat with their eyes closed, whatever the paper says... that's who they will buy for. Trin thought this idea was great, a novelty - as if I was the lone master mind behind the "draw a name" for gift giving. So then yesterday my friend is over and Trinity is telling her about our plan and says "oh, and good thing I'm good at drawing with my eyes closed - drawing their name will be no problem for me!"

Peas in a Pod. 

FOF - Creativity

  We had about 5 days of glorious sunshine this last week. I didn't keep a very detailed list of how we saved... these are just off the top of my head. :)

 - we used our Lowes gift cards to buy lots of pretty flowers for the yard. I ended up spending 4 bucks out of pocket for almost $80 worth of prettiness.
- we used an old filing cabinet to make planters (found the idea on pintrest.) Probably would have been cuter to paint the cabinets but that would have cost money so....)

- I used my 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby to buy this cute little oogely eyed garden friend. Isn't he cute? I'm in love with snail man.
- made a gift for about 3 bucks using my wood burning kit. I forgot how fun it is! I also made some magnets for my fridge using little pieces of wood, some super glue, and old magnets leftover from a project. I'm already starting to get ideas for our handmade Christmas this year. :)

- wanted a bird bath...couldn't afford I made one! I used an old shallow glass bowl, filled it up with smooth stones and some gems and filled with water. The birds visit it every night - works like a charm! The wind chime is from the dollar tree!

- my handsome hubby made a wood frame out of an old bed and then attached three of the filing cabinet drawers on the top. We are going to paint them and then put a card in the front slot with each of the older kid's names. We filled them with our leftover soil and now each kid has their own raised bed for summer time. :) He's one smart man.

- we found this patio table at the thrift store for $15 dollars and were going to look for some chairs off Craigslist but then realized..."hey, that costs money"  luckily we had these Ikea chairs from our old dining room set. They work just fine.
- found Citronella candle on closeout at the grocery store (supposedly kids shouldn't touch these things because they are toxic? My kids don't touch candles so...score for me!) I'm also thinking about buying one of those bug zapper thingys because the mosquitoes last summer were horrible!

- made Brady this link costume out of things we owned - I only had to buy him the tights :) He is already trying to get his costume ready for Halloween. :) This year we are MAKING them and NO princesses - Trinity says she wants to be a police officer. Wow.

- I've been trying new recipes that use 4 ingredients or less. One of my favorites so far has been this pasta dish. It takes a box of noodles, a can of black olives, sundried tomatoes and some pesto (okay, so that's five ingredients - i couldn't leave out the pesto). I also roasted asparagus with some lemon pepper and threw it in there. It is FANTASTIC and so simple. Another favorite has been to cook some salmon and then chop it up, toss it in leftover jasmine rice and stir in fresh spinach, sundried tomatoes, and pesto. Easy Peasy and the perfect lunch.

- I decorated our basement and made Zac a "World Cup" viewing area for the summer. I used things I already owned to decorate...framed Zac's certificates with some I had with old photos in them, moved some lamps around - it works. . We found this leather couch at the Goodwill Outlet for 18 bucks. I don't just love the area but its"palatable" and Zac appreciates having a space.

- one of the best ways to save money? Stay home. We have occupied ourselves with tea parties, doing our workbooks and reading chapter books, outside play, chores, videos we already own .... saves fuel money and then we aren't as tempted to buy this and that or have to stop for "snacks." :)

I also had two freebies this week. We were at the park up in the mountains and we found Trinity an LL Bean Fleece on a bench. It was pretty dirty and I looked around for the owner - couldn't find one - Zac said "it's ours."
I also found a package of sponges (the NICE kind) in the parking lot in an empty parking space with no cars around. It must have fallen out of someones car. I told Trinity to leave them because maybe someone would come back for them and she looked at me like I was crazy - then we saw a car wanting to park in that space so I told Trin "grab them!" What we do for sponges around here. I always feel so guilty taking something that someone family does NOT however. Our basic rule is if it's very valuable take it into the store - if it's something that's going to be trashed...well, their trash our treasure.
 I also found an iphone in hobby lobby which i took up to the front desk haha - there are limits.

If you want to link up to Finances on Friday here is the link.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Saturday Favorites

... my morning smoothie, almond milk blueberry goodness - sometimes strawberry banana with almond butter, just whatever I have on hand. The mason jar makes the sipping experience just that much more enjoyable. Thank you Costco for your nicely priced organic berry selection. 

... blue eyes peeking out of a red mask. Thank you dollar tree for ninja costumes.

... blueberry oat pancakes with a drizzle of real maple syrup.

... hard working kids and a vanilla gelato reward. (at the awana's award celebration, unbeknownst to me , they were handing out cake with hot pink icing that was at least an inch thick. I whisked my kids out of there as fast as you can say "scat" and found them gelato at Kings - ingredients were "milk, sugar, cream, vanilla, gaur gum" phew. Crisis averted.) 

... a bowl of brown eggs. I've started taking the eggs out of the carton and keeping them in a bowl in the fridge - not only is it pretty to look at, I can always see how many eggs we have left. 

... kids in capes. 

... need I say more?

... pretty little Ikea vases and green leaves. 

Have a lovely weekend

~* Alyssa Spring *~