Sunday, October 30, 2011

Blog Love

I don't have a huge blogroll, I just don't have to time to pour over dozens and dozens of blogs. I could, but I probably wouldn't remember who's was who's and comment and all that. But I really do love reading them, they come in all shapes and sizes. Meeting different needs and interests and it's just fascinating.

I wanted to highlight a couple blogs for ya and have you check them out (when you have time!)



This girl is blogging from Haiti. She's there teaching missionary kids and serving along side them. Her posts are beautiful and leave you wanting for more.


This Mama of 6 is like the homeschooling guru if I ever saw one. She's honest, and inspiring. And she documents herself getting into shape, she's amazing!


This Mama writes beautifully, has awesome pictures and shares a lot about her youngest son and his struggle with Celiac disease. You will always be encouraged and challenged after you read her stuff. Her daughter also has a great blog, and does blog design as well!

She is a worship pastor's wife (yay!) has two adorable children and is so honest, and real and seriously...I love every one of her posts!!

This blog is a newer one for me, she has an incredible story that inspired an incredible ministry....go check it out!


There are dozens more I love, go click on the tab "Blogs I Follow" to see  few more!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Trunk or Treat

I love Trunk or Treat
Church parking lot lined with cars, trunks open decorated in everything you could ever imagine.
Live music with the youth band
Free food
Jumphouse
Free candy
Open to the whole community

My favorite trunks this year were:

A "barnyard" trunk...hay bales, a huge wooden barn with animals and the dad was dressed like a cowboy and the Mom had an awesome square-dancing dress on. It was awesome!

A few Star Wars trunks, one with "shoot the Sith Lord" haha

Oregon Ducks trunks, one had a mini pool with ducks in it and you got to pick one, and depending on the mark on the bottom you could get more than one piece of candy!

A trunk with adorable little old ladies at it, with their red hats and purple shirts passing out gobs of candy.

And on and on and on.

Here are a few pictures of my kiddos and friends!
Despite all having yucky colds, they did well. They just don't look too thrilled :)

Christian, Camden and Jack :)

My friend has fraternal twin girls 12 days younger than the boys....how cute are they!?!?

What 3 year old boy doesn't love a jumphouse?!

And Christian is dog tired. Hehehe


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Changes

Changes.
It's that time of year when the changing of the season is quite drastic.
Some seasons come and go quickly, before you even realize it.

Autumn is slow here.
 First you see a few leaves changing on the tops of trees...
The next week the entire tree has turned color. From a rich Oregon green to a deep red, burnt orange, Peeps yellow.

2009
And they fall, crunch beneath your feet.

Trees are bare. Cold. Seemingly lifeless.

The amazing thing is, we all know that in a few short months these same trees will perk up with little buds of greens and pinks and yellows and new life will branch out, once again staking it's claim until the next Autumn rolls around...

I see changes in more than just the trees these days.

I see changes in my Jack. He is learning so much at school, and at home. The words he says, the things that run through his little brain. They all show me he is growing, changing. I can't hold him tight enough. Pray for him hard enough.

2010
The babies. Every day there are doing something new. Every day their baby like features and mannerisms change and I'm grasping on to these moments because they are fleeting fast....

Come May I will have been married to the love of my life for 9 years. Our marriage is changing. It's deeper, it's fuller, it's.....it's hard to explain.

It's what my Mom said would happen.
It just gets better every day. I love him more every day.

This "season" of our life has been the most difficult of my life.

Starting really, back with the miscarriage. That moment was a marker in the ground.
The difficult first weeks and months really.


His Mom's fall and subsequent health issues.
It's been rough.

But when I take note of these things which we have walked through and continue to walk through there is something quite obvious to me.
My outlook. My heart. My focus.

It's on Him.
I have peace.
I have this joy that is unexplainable.

In reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, I see things differently.
It's challenged my core, to the deepest.



What He did on the cross was enough.
I don't deserve anything else.
That should be enough for me.

This shift in thinking, it pokes and prods and digs deep. It's cleanses.
It removes the dead, scrapes it away and in time...new life emerges.
New focus, new thinking....it's been drastic in my heart. It brings me to my knees.

I'm forever learning. Forever growing, forever changing...just like the constant changing of season.

This next part is hard for me. But I really want to be open and vulnerable. I've had so many e-mails thanking me for being so, so I want to continue.
Maybe you need to read it too.

There is something I have held on to. I have not been ready to change. I have not been ready to let go. And it's going to eat me alive if I don't deal with it.

I have to forgive.

I am one who loves justice. I want to see justice. I want people to know how bad they've hurt. Their actions and choices, how they have affected so many.
Caused so much pain.
I want to know that they know that.
 That's not my place. I know.

Honestly, it is so hard for me. Letting go when I feel so wronged and hurt over and over after countless attempts on my part to show grace and compassion and go out of my way to love. Was I loving for real? What were my motives? Because I had to show love?

 I was told to show love? yes.
If I strip it all away. yes.

Steps. I'm taking them. I want to learn how to forgive so that I can live fully. Nothing hiding in the corner. And I want to do it right, do it real. For good. I am ready for the next season, I am ready to move past this one.





To shake off the dead and see what springs forth.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Oh hey!

Wow...it has been way too long.
You'll know why in a bit.

Before I fill ya in...if any of you are interested in purchasing something I highlighted in a giveaway, email me at krystle.bowen@gmail.com and I can get you in touch!


So....let's see

We took a little day trip, just to get out of town.
It was the best family trip we have had since we took Jack to the Zoo and I was 20 weeks pregnant. It was near perfect.









I helped host my little sister's bridal shower.
It was so much fun!!
She's so beautiful.





Sickness has stuck again.
Actually it never left.

All 3 boys were sick.
All got better.
Trev got the flu.
He got better and then the boys got colds again.
Jack and Camden got better, Christian did not.
Christian developed walking pneumonia, got on antibiotics.
Jack got a cold again.
Shared with Camden.
Who shared with Christian. So Christian is still taking antibiotics for the walking pneumonia and now has a cold on top of that.
It's been over a month now that we had everyone healthy and it's only October.
Ugh.

I'm in week 2 of my couch to 5k training and it's soooo cold in the mornings, but I am feeling good!
Dropped another 2 1/2 pounds!

I just feel so out of the loop, with all the sickies and some family stuff....just kind of taking an unintentional break.

Hopefully that will change soon!
Thanks for hangin in!
My bear



Monday, October 17, 2011

Miscellany Monday





1) Nothing cuter than Superman playing cars. We did have a rough moment earlier in the day when he realized that even with his cape on, he couldn't fly.




2) My birthday is a month from today. Just sayin'


3) I have two giveaways going. One ends tonight and the other ends Wednesday!!

4) Babies are still sick, coughs keeping them up at night. I've done the nasal saline, Tylenol, booger sucker outer, humidifier, Vick's on the feet and chest etc etc...any other ideas???

5) We had a "pink party" with a bunch of my Mom's friends (there were 22 of us!!), just to celebrate life and her and remind everyone to do your self exams!! Doctor didn't catch it, mammogram didn't catch it, ultrasound didn't catch it until my Mom showed them where she was feeling the lump....so it's up to you!!


6) Did I mention we will be here next month? Oh...well, we will :)

Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa



7) I've used this program before when starting running again from scratch, and I had great results. So, I started today again! I'm excited :)

8) My sister and I are making Thanksgiving dinner for our family this year. First time ever. I've been searching Pinterest like crazy for fun ideas, I am so excited!!! Look for me there!


9) Something I am really thankful for is that our home is a home filled with joy. We have stress, we have really hard days, we have really bad days. We have tears, we have tantrums and time-outs (adults and children alike), we have long days, we are dealing with 3 busy boys, life in the ministry, cancer in the family, finances etc etc etc. But above all, we are thankful, we are joyful and our home is a haven. And I love that. I love that we have perspective and that we are thankful. When someone tells you they need to hang out at your house more often because it's the "fun house" and yet you have toys and dishes everywhere, and life is crazy...you know you're doing something right.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pregnancy And Infant Loss Remembrance Day

I could think of 10
10 of my friends
have had a miscarriage
And a few of them have had more than one
And there could be others that I don't even know about.
Just in my group of friends.

It is definitely a hard thing to explain to someone who hasn't miscarried.
The connection you feel to someone you haven't met.
The loss of something that you kind of never had...
a very strange thing.
I didn't get it, until I had miscarried.

We got to see our little one's heartbeat, it was beating away.
I'm thankful we did see that, but it made it that much harder.

I believe when we get to heaven we are going to meet that little one.
I believe life starts at conception, at that very moment.
And so yes, there is a little person waiting for us.
And that makes me smile.

The women I know who have lost, they are the full spectrum.
Some never did see the heartbeat
Some carried almost full term
Some even had their babies...
Either way, it's something you will always carry with you.

I wanted something tangible to remember this little one by, so soon after the miscarriage I got this necklace.
And it came with this little poem...

My little one
You have left us too soon
Though my body can no longer hold you
I hold you forever in my heart
As precious and beautiful as this flower caught in time
A mother's love does not forget


Today we remember
I lit a little candle today, and hugged my boys extra tight


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

8 Months Old

The littlest of my men are 8 months old now.
The coolest part of this is that from here on out I can really really remember Jack, what he looked like and what he did, ate, drank, slept etc.
So that just makes it all the more fun!!
We don't have a well baby check up until next month, so no official stats. But here are what the boys are up to!


Camden

Camden sleeps amazingly. He goes to bed around 6pm and sleeps until 6:00am or later. To keep them on the same schedule I usually have to wake Camden up!
I don't let them sleep past 7:00am for schedule purposes.
He cut his first tooth on October 8th and his second one is almost through!! No wonder he hasn't been eating much. A little fussy, and not interested in eating and super sleepy. But otherwise he's done great!
He hates being on his tummy. He rolls over and then just gets really really mad. He is no where near becoming mobile haha! He is sitting much better, can do like 10-15 minutes at a time, but still isn't totally to be trusted  :) He loves pears and oatmeal and bananas and peas.
Will tolerate green beans, pumpkin and carrots.
He is in 6-9 month clothes now and I can't wait to see what he weighs next month!!
He is a little flirt and super smiley.
He is definitley the more laid back, but at the same time wants to be held.
He always wakes up happy.
We've been having him nap in Jack's room, just to free up our room and sometimes his nap coincides with Jack's and they've done great. Plus I think it's adorable, the two of them napping in the same room.
Someday they'll have little sleepovers in their big brothers room :)


Christian

Christian goes to bed the same time Camden does, but he still has mornings he wakes at 4:00am and then cries for a long time before going back to sleep until 6:00am. I have a rule where we do not go in their room until 6:00am, no matter what.
I know they are fine (if I didn't think so I would go check) but they are safe and just need sleep!
He is everywhere. Crawling all over, pulling himself up to a stand on everything he can. Problem is, then he just lets go! We've had a couple bonks already, and I know there will be more to come. His adventurous nature far outweighs his skill level at this point :) This week he started pulling himself up in his crib, but he is getting stuck.  So, he is having a hard time sleeping.  Hopefully soon he'll get back on track.
He can go from the crawling position to sitting and he just started clapping Monday!
He also says "mama" and associates it with me. It was the best feeling ever when he started reaching for me and saying mama....love that!
He loves food. He will eat any and all of it. Doesn't matter what it is!
He is in 3-6 month clothes still, unless it's Carter's brand...then it's 6 months. He is lonnnng and skinny!
He has the best laugh and he is following Jack everywhere, wanting to play with his toys.
So, Jack is learning to share with his brothers and be kind....not always an easy task. But because Christian can follow him around, they have a little bond forming :)

They really are happy, great babies and I am so excited for the months to come.
We are starting sign language and using sippy cups.

Unfortunately, it looks like they have another cold. Jack gave it to them, and I'm sure with preschool and Sunday school he is just getting slathered with nasty germs. Sigh.

We've said goodbye to the swings, and bouncer chairs and hello to lots of toys and cleaner floors.

They are the most beautiful little boys I have ever seen.

So without further ado.....


Oh wait, here are a few of Jack at 8 months. Yeah, adorable I know.





I've been doing these "monthly chair pictures" for...well, 8 months now. And this by far was the hardest haha! These are quite comical.



Next time I need backup

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Birthday Present (early)

You probably know by now I love

I got my first piece as a Mother's Day gift after the littles were born.







And I just got my second piece in the mail a few days ago, and early birthday gift!
I had a gift certificate (because they featured my picture on their blog!)
and they were having a sale!!


I recently finished this book
and I wanted something tangible, visible for me to see and remember to always give thanks
in all things

So this is what I got

I love love love it


for some reason my arms look extra hairy in this...i am not an ape i promise

Monday, October 10, 2011

Miscellany Monday

1) I've hosted two giveaways this past week, and I have another tomorrow....and two more coming!! Be looking out for those!


2) We did the pumpkin patch thing this past weekend. Same pumpkin patch....more kiddos. Next year is gonna be a blast!

I just love this shot.

He was so cute...trying to find a pumpkin. Most in the field were "too big" so we settled for a baking pumpkin he found in the store. Just his size :)


Same patch
2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011!!!

Corny

3) I added little buttons to find me on Facebook and Twitter over there on the right! Thank you Liz! Check out her design page, Sweet Simplicity Designs she's got super cute designs for affordable prices!!



4) We went through Jack's old winter hats and shoes for the boys....I couldn't resist....
Lil Penguin

Elmer Fudd...doesn't he look thrilled?!



 5) I'm down almost 18lbs. And guess what, when my WW subscription needed to be renewed, I went ahead and looked at some settings. Guess what. Somehow it got set to MAINTAIN CURRENT WEIGHT!!! What the heck?!?! I was none to pleased. Basically, it's a miracle I've even lost any! So...I reset that and now hope to see even better results :)





6) Did I mention Christian was on the move? Yeah...and pulling himself up onto things annnnndddd...then letting go. Oh boy.


7) I got to go to church yesterday. And my WHOLE family was there. It was wonderful. My Mom looks ridiculously cute in her hats. Speaking of hats...watch for a post later this week about these awesome hats and find out where you can get one or two!!

8) My babies are 8 months old today!!! What!? And YAY!! I will be doing a post on that Wednesday :) Since today is all about Miscellany and Tuesday is a GIVEAWAY!  Too much fun.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

Click Picture to Link Up with Lauren



1.   Something popular that I can't stand/just don't "get" is      facial piercings (other than the nose) like seriously, in your cheek? Your forehead? What? Random and not attractive.
2.   Something unpopular that I secretly love is   Ska music. And I must also second Lauren's answer with the whole rollerblading thing. I am ready for that comeback!
 3.  When I've had a bad day I   want ice cream, preferably while sitting on Main Street in Disneyland.
4. I'd prefer    take out in my PJ's    to  "going out" for drinks   any day.

5.  Something that makes me nervous is    walking down bleachers. I feel I will trip and fall, or fall through the slats. I will always sit in the front thank you.

6.  Something worth fighting for is     my family. Protecting my family from negativity, protecting our joy and our family unit. Not letting anything distract/disrupt the peacefulness and joy we have together. No drama.
7.  When people think of me, I hope they think    she loves God, she loves her family, she is loyal to her friends and she is funny.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless (ish) Wednesday

I just love how they are cracking up!!
When I put the hats on them, they just stared at eachother. Like...what is on your head?!

New hats made by my friend Laurel :) Cute hats for even cuter boys!!



Don't forget to enter my first of 4 giveaways!!!


Linking up with The Paper Mama

Monday, October 3, 2011

Miscellany Monday

Canning edition!

I canned! For the very first time!! My friend Lisa and another lady helped me, and it was a blast!!

My in-laws have apple trees, so we got a big box of apples from them and I bought a case of jars and headed over to "canning central"!!
Jars sanitized and ready to go!


Cut and steamed

Putting them down the thingy...seriously, I have no clue what it's called. But it's so cool.



It's ready to go!


Into the jars....






Getting all safe for shelf storage..




And I totally took a "finished product" picture, but I can't find it. So, just imagine those jars OUT of the pot.

And it tasted sooo good!

Free apples, cheap jars,
no sugar added
goodness.



Next up, grape juice and green beans!!!


Oh, and it's not related to canning...but how cute is he?!




And I promised giveaways, and they are coming!!

Tomorrow will be the first one!


Saturday, October 1, 2011

October Is....




This means more to me now than ever before.

Ladies, do your self exams.
That is the only way my Mom's was caught.
Mammogram missed it.
Ultrasound didn't see it until she pointed it out.

Self exam every month, and don't wait if something isn't right.

My Mom started chemo two weeks ago.
I still can't believe it happened to my Mom.

She is handling it with grace and we all have peace.

Mom, with her sassy pink hair, my sister and me.