What I’ve Been Up To

As tends to happen with this time of year, the month of May really got away from me! I guess that explains why it’s been a month since my last post here. It’s definitely not that I haven’t had enough things to share; it’s that I’ve lacked the time to do so.

May was a refreshing month for me in a lot of ways, and it certainly held much cause for celebration in our home. Since I haven’t been “here” for a month, here are some of the highlights I’ve missed sharing with you!

Mother’s Day Youth Event

The Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend, I had the privilege of sharing a devotion with some of the girls from our church‘s Youth Group and their moms. Surprised as I was to have been asked to speak at this small event–and trying as the process of preparation was–I am quite thankful that I was given such an opportunity… not because of any wisdom I did or didn’t have to share (nor because of how well or not-so-well I succeeded in sharing it) but because of the way God stretched me and ministered to me through it all. So often I tell God that I want to be used by Him; but then when an opportunity arises, I suddenly don’t feel so ready and willing. Only because of my faith and trust in the One who promises to be with me was I able to find the courage to say yes when a “No” would have been much easier.

The 2013 NICHE Conference

Shortly following our last day of school early in May, Travis and I were blessed to be able to attend our state’s annual homeschool conference here in Des Moines. Our third consecutive conference, this year’s was by far the best… though that’s not to say that the prior two years weren’t wonderful. Whether it was the remarkable lineup of speakers or my good fortune in choosing great sessions which is to thank for my super positive experience this year, my heart is still stirred by the way the Holy Spirit ministered to me throughout the two-day event–and not just in regards to homeschooling but in regards to motherhood in general. Perhaps some follow-up posts on this topic are warranted; but for now, I suffice it to say that the NICHE (Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators) Conference was just the boost this sometimes-weary mom needed.

Origami Owl Party

The same weekend as the NICHE Conference, I excitedly hosted an Origami Owl Jewelry Bar (i.e. party). After having received a Living Locket from some relatives for my 30th birthday this year, I knew I wanted to add on to this beautiful and meaningful representation of all that I hold dear. Seeing the various elements in person made the selection process (a little) easier; and though my party was interrupted that night by a tornado warning, the time spent with my party-comers was quite enjoyable. (Oh, and my order is expected to arrive tomorrow, so I am sure pictures will follow!!) Interested in hosting a jewelry bar of your own? I know a couple great consultants: in the Des Moines area, Amy Marek; and in my hometown area, my cousin Ashley Gerlach!

This "Living Locket" was a birthday gift to me!

This “Living Locket” was a birthday gift to me!

My Mom’s Visit

Part of the reason the month of May disappeared on me is that I was busy enjoying some time with my mom! Having come to babysit the kids during the NICHE Conference, she was able to stay on for an additional week and a half for what has come to be an annual and much treasured mother-daughter / grandma-grandchildren time. And another highlight was that my dad was able to join us for part of that time, too, since he was coming to town for a friend’s wedding and my daughters’ birthday party, anyway.

My mom and dad all dressed up for a wedding

My mom and dad all dressed up for a wedding

The 4-Year Anniversary of My Double Blessing

On May 28th, my sweet twin girls Isabel and Elliana turned 4! Talk about the month flying by… how about the years?! As we celebrated their special day with our extended family, I was once again reminded of the tremendous blessing they have been to our lives. The abundant goodness of God in unexpectedly giving us a two-for-one deal to “complete” our family is still incomprehensible to me, and I treasure the double blessing that they are.

Elliana Faith (L) and Isabel Hope (R)

Elliana Faith (L) and Isabel Hope (R)

What I’ve Been Up To at DMMB

While I may have been absent from Eternal Outlook [with Angela] for the larger part of May, I was present at Des Moines Moms Blog as scheduled. If you missed me there last month, you can catch up here: Sky Zone Des Moines–Review & Giveaway and 4 Things I’m Loving.

And be sure to catch me there today, too, with Getting the Best of Your Summer (without summer getting the best of you)!

Art by Noelle

So that’s what’s been up with me! Now it’s your turn: what’s keeping YOU busy?