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The Great State of….

As a kid, I couldn’t wait to get out of Iowa.  It represented missed opportunities, no chance to explore the world, a boring life, and a REALLY cold and miserable existence.  Somehow, the years have changed my perspective. And my idea of what is important.We now cross the border into Iowa and find ourselves excited to be there.  This state is where my family is and where we will be surrounded by love and memories for the few days we are there.  Plus, I get uninterrupted time with this crew.  The holidays can’t get much better than this.

Here are our pics from Thanksgiving in Iowa.  Just warning you, I went camera happy!

Thankful Tree

As we complete our annual Thankful Tree leading up to Thanksgiving, I have to smile over what the kids are thankful for this year.

Forks, apples, coffee cake, movies, getting to drive 15 hours in the car so we can watch lots of movies, the whole universe, chairs, tables, ice skates…you know, the big stuff in life.

So far, my absolute favorite thing that was put on the tree though came from my middle daughter who said, “I’m thankful that God always knows what to do and that he is in control”.   Yes, sweet girl, so am I.

Its a Chocolate Kind of Day

Some days just need a little chocolate thrown into them to make all seem right with the world again.

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Birthday?

After a full day of birthday on Monday and a class party at preschool on Tuesday, Saturday was Avery’s actual birthday party.  I do believe this momma is birthdayed out.

I got up at 5 am to run 12 miles, then sat through a 3.5 hour meeting at the church, then came home to find I had destroyed the cake I had made!  Needless to say, it was a bit of a busy day.  So in the two hours before the party, I quickly made a new cake, ironed on stencils to shirts the kids were going to paint, and Brent cleaned the house.  We finished with 10 minutes to spare =) The best part, Avery never knew we were stressed so she thought the day was awesome!

Of course she wore her birthday girl shirt all day long.  Can you believe she’s 5?!!!

This year she wanted a Rock Star Party.  It was going to be a princess party until she went to the live recording for the CD. Ever since then, all she could talk about was a Rock Star Party with a pink and purple guitar.  On birthdays, her wish is my command =)

We also all painted rock star T-shirts because every good rock star needs a cool t-shirt.

The party was spent playing musical chairs, musical red light green light, name that tune, dance party, and all those other fun games that rock stars do.

Birthday parties aren’t complete without a little cake and ice cream.

And a whole lot of jumping on the trampoline.  This morning in church, Avery whispered in my ear, “since I’m 5, I get gum in church now right?”  When I made that rule that she couldn’t have gum until she was 5, 5 seemed so far off in the future!  I can’t believe she’s already there.

Better Late than Never

It was our first year to trick or treat, and it was a blast!  We’ve done the whole day time fall festival stuff, just never walked the streets for some reason.  But this year, the kids are all old enough to push through bed time a bit, understand what goes on with trick or treating, and have fun so we hyped up trick or treating all week long and by Sunday, the kids could hardly contain themselves they were so excited. This year we have Super A, Super E, and an elephant.  Pretty cute if I do say so myself =)By the third house, even Justus had the routine down.  Knock on the door, open the bag, and say thank you.  I think the kid ate 7 suckers while we were out.  He was in heaven!The girls got to eat as much as they wanted while we were out on the streets; then when we got home, we put half of it back into our candy bowl and the girls handed it back out to neighbors.  We went through all of the candy I bought plus all of their candy in about 35 minutes!   I think they had just as much fun handing out candy to the neighbors as they did trick or treating. Such a fun time meeting new neighbors, creating new memories, and eating tons of chocolate.  Now I’m off to bag up the remaining candy to take to Brent’s office.  That chocolate keeps calling my name so it needs to leave this house!

I Can’t Believe She’s That Old!

Yup, I cry when I think about it!  My first born turned 5 today and because I was so emotional about everything, it was as if I was seeing this grown up kid in a whole new light.

She started off the morning by saying, “It seems like just a little while ago I turned 4 and now I’m already 5.  4 went really fast.”

Then we went to the American Girl store where she used sentences like “excuse me ma’am. My sticker has lost its stickiness.  May I please have another one?”

And stopped at her best friends to play and she said “mom, that was sure nice you let us stay so long.”

Topped off by the phrase, “mom, this may be the best birthday ever.  I love you.” (that last one did me in again!)

Every year, I see my oldest grow a little bit more into the beautiful, lovable, sweet spirited, independent child that God made her to be, and it makes my heart smile. 

Today was a day where my heart smiled a lot.  We love you Aves the Babe!

Just a Few More Hours

And this one turns 5!!!  In honor of her turning 5, she asked me to please quit calling the potty a potty.  Since she’s 5, she thinks I should now say bathroom to her and potty to the two little ones. Who knew “potty” was a word only to be used for those 4 years old and under?

But if that’s all she needs for her birthday, I think I can handle it.

A Little Friday Fun

When the weather is this beautiful, you have to go to the zoo!
And when its this close to Halloween and you’re at the zoo, its only fair to check out Boo at the Zoo.The kids now think we are the coolest parents ever because 1: They got to play every game thereand 2: They got to eat as much candy as they wanted to while we were at the zooI thought we were pretty cool too until we hit 4:30pm and every kid started crying and misbehaving as they came down from a sugar high. I guess thats the price of fun =)

The Day We’ve Been Waiting For

The CD has been released! Click here to access it on Itunes or click here to access it on Amazon

8  years ago I wrote the following letter to my husband in a journal I bought him for his birthday:

…God has given you such a gift when it come to music that it only made sense for me to get you notebooks to begin writing your own music in.  You’ve said…you have ideas and would like to write songs…I can’t wait to be in the audience when you sing your first original song!

8  years ago, Brent would whisper about his secret dream to write music.  He felt God had given this desire but it was just never the right time to see his dreams come true.   So Brent waited on God to accomplish this secret dream.

10 months ago,  God began fulfilling Brent’s dream that began over 8 years ago.  Only God did it much better than we ever could have imaged.  When I wrote the note to Brent, I thought he would write a couple songs that he would maybe sing in front of a congregation at some point.  God wanted much more.   Through the leadership of NorthWood, our church,  God birthed the idea of a CD that would help bridge people to Himself.

But God didn’t stop with just giving the vision of a CD to the church, He knew Brent would be overwhelmed by such a massive project so God supported and helped Brent every step of the way.  Although Brent has written music in the past, he was not a professional song writer and so the thought of writing 10 original tracks was a bit fearful.   God quickly helped Brent conquer this fear by crossing Brent’s path with Michael Farren, lead singer for a Pocket Full of Rocks.  Michael and Brent hit it off and became fast friends.  But not only that, Michael happens to be a professional song writer so was the perfect person to teach Brent all about songwriting.  Michael also has the biggest heart and is extremely generous of his time.  He rearranged his schedule and invited Brent to Nashville to stay with him and then set up some song writing sessions with other professionals.  It was through these sessions that the majority of the CD was completed.  When God sets about to bring dreams true, He goes all out!!

The story could go on and on about ways God designed this CD, but I’ll stop at this point in the story and pray you see the Lord’s hand all over this project.  It began 8 years ago with a little dream in the back of Brent’s heart and has turned into an incredible album full of worship music that will draw you into the presence of our Lord. I know I’m a bit biased, but the CD really is incredible!  Check out the video below to get a peek at the live recording.  It will give you goose bumps! To see the other video, visit www.northwoodworship.com

The CD hits Itunes and Amazon today.  You should check it out and rejoice with me that we serve a mighty God who longs to give us the desires of our heart as we walk with Him.

Two Girls & One Boy

Sometimes I feel bad that Justus is surrounded by girly stuff.  We are all about princesses in the Minter household and a part of me is just waiting for him to look at me and say “am I a pretty princess too mommy?” 

He did learn his first color…pink.  He can pick it out anywhere.  If he messes up on saying “pink”, its only because he’ll say the color “purple” instead. 

So one afternoon, after a morning of playing princess, riding our purple and pink princess bikes, and dressing up like butterflies, I decided to take the kids fishing.  That’s a boy thing right?  (I have 3 sisters.  I know NOTHING about boy things!)

It was a beautiful day to fish.  The girls had a blast but the little man just wanted to pick flowers.  So much for trying to expose him to “boy” activities.

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