Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Team Larsen has been in need of a vacation for a few weeks now.  
Well,  maybe some of us more than others.
Regardless...TODAY IS OUR DAY!  We are all getting to enjoy a time of rest today and I'm so thankful.  No place to be.  Nothing pressing to do.  No one coming to visit.  Just rest!
Here's what rest looks like around these parts...

John Patrick is having a little breakfast...without clothes.  Who knows really??
 T.V.!!!  My kids are in dreamland!
 Oh, and here's mr. nudie tudie in to join the t.v. watching party.
 And my rest and relaxation!
Not that this is something unusual around here.  But today I stayed in bed until 7:40 and so this is a treat to myself rather than a life sustaining drink. :)  What a beautiful day!

Monday, November 22, 2010

30 Days of Thankfulness

Today I'm thankful for my in-laws!

And I'm not just saying that because my mother-in-law reads my blog more faithfully than my own mother. (Though that should say enough)
I am thankful for my in-laws for more reasons than I could begin to list in this post!
They have loved me and welcomed me into their family with open arms.  They treat me like I'm their own daughter and that is a blessing.  They have beautiful servant hearts and are willing to help in anyway imaginable.  There are very few people who LOVE to spend time with their in-laws but I wholeheartedly enjoy it.  I love to be in their home!  I love that they want holidays to be simple and family oriented.  I love that we never have to worry about being hit by a tornado without fair warning.  My mother-in-law has an innate meteorological gift. :)  My father-in-law can create, build or fix ABSOLUTELY anything!  He has 3 times as much energy as I do and I am in awe of all of the things he is able to accomplish in a day.  I wish I could be half that productive.  They are generous, loving and kind.  They are wonderful grandparents and my kids LOVE being with them.There aren't many people who can say that about their husband's parents!
  Those are just some of the reasons that I am so thankful for my in-laws.

30 Days of Thankfulness

Today I am thankful for my family.

They are crazy and ...well crazy.  We are a C R A Z Y bunch.  And I don't mean JUST in the fun way.  We all come to the table with our own group of issues but I still love them tons!  We have so much fun together.  We can fight like cats and dogs and then laugh until we cry.  What more can you ask for??

So, today I'm thankful for my family!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

30 Days of Thankfulness

Today I am reminded how thankful I am for sweet friends!  I have learned a lot over the years about what it means to truly be a friend from my husband who is a GREAT and FAITHFUL friend.  I long to be the kind of  friend to others that he is!

I have also learned what it means to be a friend from my two closest friends.  They have loved me unconditionally (and that says A LOT in itself) and being with them is more like being with my sisters than with friends.  There is an immediate openness and honesty.  If you know me at all, then you know that honesty is one of the traits that I value most in others.  I know that I can TRULY be myself and they will not judge or turn away.  They are not afraid of my junk or my faults.  We can laugh and cry together.

God has blessed me with not only these two sweet friends but a great handful of women who speak truth to me when I need it, listen when I need it, and make me laugh when I need it.  Even though I have not always been a great friend, I am so thankful that God, The Giver of Friends, has been gracious to give me great friends both to enjoy and to learn from.

Monday, November 15, 2010

30 Days of Thankfulness

I am not a baker. Period.  My mother can bake.  My grandmother can bake.  My great-grandmother was a dream of a baker.  It missed me and that's all I can say.  BUT, this time of year I LOVE to enjoy all of the flavors of fall.  I decided this year to try to bless some of the people who love on my kids every week by baking them pumpkin bread.  Luckily, my friend Jennifer gave me a FOOL PROOF recipe for pumpkin bread that is DELISH!
 That was round one of teacher pumpkin bread.  Did I mention that I've got a LOT of kids to love on??  We made another eight loves, wrapped them up in a bag with a little raffia, and we were good to go.  So easy and such an easy way to thank all of the people that serve our family.
Since I'm not a baker, this is the time of year that I try to remember to also bless my family with yummy homemade treats.  Today we have some friends over to play so I whipped out one of my kids favorite snacks (that they RARELY get)...homemade granola bars.
 I don't know what it is that makes these a granola bar because to me they are just a quarter step below a cookie. But however we have to justify eating them is just fine!
Round one is half way gone and I thought I should snap a picture before the kids tore through for seconds!  I'm so thankful to be able to share some yummy homemade treats with my friends and family this season!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

30 Days of Thankfulness

Today's post will be short and sweet...or thankfully a little less sweet!
 After 12 days of a continuous stream of candy ingestion, we have finally bagged the remaining loot and put the candy buckets away!  Our dentist will be so thankful when he has a chance to fix all of the damage and decay that has been brought on by the candy equivilant of Fat Tuesday.  The worst part is that I'm a sucker for any and all things sweet.  So I've probably consumed twice as much candy over the last 12 days (plus some pre-halloween consumption) as my four children combined.  

Now, that's just sad really.  I'm a grown woman for goodness sake!  Is there no such thing as self-control.  Isn't that one of the things I spend my days continually teaching my children to use.  But, I'm a hypocrite.  I admit it.  BUT NO LONGER!  We are back to fruits and veggies and maybe a little family colon cleanse, at least for two and a half more weeks. 
 I know it's hard to tell, but these are GALLON sized bags.  That's a good 12 x12 in. bag of JUST THE NON-CHOCOLATE candy.

 And we had the same amount plus some extra of all of the chocolate goodies!  Wait, is that a Butterfinger still in the bag?  I'll just have to take care of that before the bags go into hiding.  
Kids, don't be surprised if Santa puts Halloween themed candy in your stockings this year!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

30 Days of Thankfulness

Today I'm am so thankful for fall color!  I feel like the trees have started to pop over the last few days.  Everywhere I look the fall foliage is breathtaking.
 I LOVE the fall!  I love the weather.  I love the colors.  I love the holidays.  I LOVE FALL!

 I love that even the summer things change to provide a new type of beauty in the fall.

 I love that I can count on seeing all four of my little ones in pumpkin orange each fall. (I'm not sure why ONE of my little ones decided to draw a face on his pumpkin but oh well.)
 I love that the painting on my mantel comes to life at this time of year!

Our home is full of the colors of fall!  I'm thankful for a chance to enjoy our Creator's creativity!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

30 Days of Thankfulness

For today's 30 days of Thankfulness post, I'm thankful for one of the most un-thanked people that I know.
My husband.
I am blessed to have a husband who serves faithfully without seeking appreciating.  He is one of the hardest workers that I know.  He sacrifices for his family and always prioritizes time with us over anything else. He love me more than anyone ever could, and as my mother told him up front, I'm difficult to live with.  He has joyfully (well, mostly) put up with me for almost 11 years now.  That's a feat in itself!
I could not have dreamed of a better father for my children.  They are blessed beyond measure to have a Dad who loves them the way he does.
And I am so thankful to have a man that I can share life with, both the highs and the lows.  I couldn't ask for a more perfect person to walk with on this journey!  I am so thankful that God has been so gracious to me!

So Chris, today I'm thankful for YOU! I LOVE YOU!
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Friday, November 5, 2010


We are currently visiting friends and family on a four day "Larsen Academy Fall Break" tour.   I am always overwhelmed by the sweetness that comes from extended family time.  Not necessarily kid sweetness (of course), but there is just a sweet renewing that comes when we have an extended time to getaway together.  It's a blessing to be free from the tug of life's everydayness to be able to focus on each other and the love God has blessed us with.

I wish I had a great picture of togetherness to post but I'm not using my own computer so you're out of luck today.

Here's to celebrating togetherness!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Two days late...

But what else would you expect from me!

My desire for this holiday season is that my heart and the heart of my family would be focused more on God's provision and goodness to us.  So we are spending time at night remembering all that we are thankful for.  Here's where we've been putting all of our ideas.

That's our leftover Halloween ghost tree. (Thanks for the thanksgiving re-use idea, Heather!) Every night at dinner we take a leaf and write what we're thankful for.  It's been a great way for us to continue to develop hearts of gratitude.

So, to start my blogging 30 days of Thanksgiving, here's what I'm thankful for...

And there are enough of them to make up for two lost days. :)

(Don't be deceived, in the last picture Caleb wore John Patrick's pants ALL DAY. That was his Bible Study outfit today.  Nothing like a little Mommy humility! )

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A little me time...

As a homeschooling mother of four little ones, I rarely have any "me time".  Usually,  it's because there are 5 other "me's" in the house that demand my attention.  SOMETIMES though, it's because I feel terribly guilty taking "me time" because that means that something else will have to be sacrificed and for me that's hard.

Lately, I have been reminded over and over about how important it is for my WHOLE family for me to have "me time".  AND, today is THURSDAY!  (I'm sure wondering why the exclamation point but here it come)  On Thursdays I have FIVE hours with no kids!  Now, I know that seems like a lot but usually it's spent running all of the errands that need to be done for the week but today I actually have some down time. So, part of my "me time" is going to be updating this blog because for the love of all things yummy, I've got to start updating more than once a quarter!  And, you're in luck, because instead of hearing about all of the craziness from this traveling circus I'm running, you get to hear about me!

So, here I am...
A couple of weeks ago,  our family and friends graciously agreed to watch our kids for the weekend so that Chris and I could go to New Mexico for a pathology conference.  Luckily, it was the same weekend as the Balloon Fiesta, which neither of us had ever been to, so we were excited to have the chance to experience it.
This is my sweet and loving husband, who was bitter that he wasn't riding in one of the hot air balloons and refused to wave to any of the balloon navigators (I'm not really sure what you call those guys).  I promise you this...the next time I post pictures from the balloon fiesta it will be with him IN a balloon and not standing next to them. :)

Here are a few pictures of the mass ascension...

Yes, that is a GIGANTIC blow torch that they are using to blow that thing up!!  I was trying to stand as close as I could every time one aired so I could stay warm.  It was like standing by a fireplace!

Here are just a few of our favorites!

Thanks for putting up with a little "me" time!  And thanks again to the Larsens and Pledgers for watching our herd of kids so we could go!  It was a much needed break!! :)