Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Full house

I don't know about you but I love a full house. I am so grateful for our friends and tent willingness to watch out girls at the drop of a hat for days on end when we have a business trip. 

Tonight we had the opportunity to care for and love on their kiddos. I love the full house. I love the noise. I love the imagination. I love how each kiddo has someone to play with. 

It's a big ole sleepover at the Spry house. And I pretty much love it. 

Tonight I go to bed with a full heart and a full house.  Praying for more pitter patters on our home. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sleepover Fun Overload

It's been a busy weekend here at the Spry casa. It's been fun... But busy. 

Last night the girls had a sweet friend stay the night. We did facials and polished nails, played games & charades, watched movies and ate pizza.... And stayed up way too late! 

Tonight as we dropped one friend off, we picked up two more! We took the girls to the University of Montana volleyball game and they all had an absolutely blast. 

The 4 big girls in the house tonight were chosen by the events team to participate in a crab walk race between set 1 and 2. They were so nervous but all four did great. I am proud of their bravery for getting out there in front of the whole gym and do a hard task! 

Then between set 2 and 3, Arly and her teammates from MVA volleyball camp played 'turbo volleyball!' 
They have improved so much in the past couple of months. They were so fun to watch tonight. Tonight's little debut on the Griz floor was their last hoorah for their camp. Joel and I are trying to decide if we should have Arly play club volleyball this late winter. She is a natural and really loves it.... But that also means two more days a week driving back and forth to town and weekends booked up with tournaments. We are already juggling softball (both club and high school) that time of year so we're just unsure. Please pray for guidance and wisdom for us with that so we can make the right decision for our family. 

Anyway, i will say that Avin stole the show tonight with her stellar dance moves. I'm serious, that girl can dance! I wish I would've taken a video but I didn't have a free hand or eye. She was dancing hard core on the bleachers... But I'm certain there will be a few photos of her floating around because everyone else was taking photos! Ha! 

Now we are settling in after a quick dance off and it's time for one movie... Then sleep. I need sleep. 

Goodness I love this girl. I'm in awe at her beauty, inside and out. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Late night TV

Pretty lame post... That's your warning. 

You know when you're so tired you can't do anything but drag the computer to bed and click on Netflix. 

Then, somehow, my fingers found the show The Black List. Whoa! I love it... And I hate it! It makes my gut wrench and my legs sweat. I'm not one for suspense but I can't shut it off! 

After a few episodes (too many to tell you!) it is time for something a little more my style. 

New Girl it is. Something I can laugh out loud, calm my nerves and go to bed happy. 

But that's just me... And my night tonight. 

What do you watch? Any bad habits like eating popcorn in bed while your husband sleeps soundly? I wouldn't know who would do something like that. 


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Hunter's Widow Freezer Meal Workshop... Velata Style

I just finished prepping eight meals for the girls and I to eat while Joel is away hunting this fall. Meal planning is just one thing I've never been good at... or consistent with. But tonight was fun! I spent about an hour and a half in the kitchen with the two older girls, laughing and chopping... Teaching them even more life skills: 'how to be a better cook than your mom' skill. 

I've participated in a few workshops like this and I seriously loooove crock pot meals and having dinner planned and prepped as soon as I wake up in the morning. Whoever started this concept... Probable decades ago!... is a GENIUS!

I'm grateful to have a few Velata consultants and friends who are willing to collaborate on this idea and take it to the Velata level! Yay!

So here's what's cookin':
I'm opening my home on Sunday November 2nd from 2-4pm for 10 women (or guys) to come prepare eight meals for their family. You will purchase a $35 Velata pantry pack that will contain your seasonings/rubs and some cheese used for your meals. You will also be provided a shopping list of items you will need to bring with you... Meat, veggies, etc. I will be providing a few things for everyone to use. 

You will have your own station set up tondo your chopping, slicing, dicing and measuring all while laughing and having fun conversations with other women. 

These are the meals we'll be preparing:
If you're interested in joining us for the maiden workshop, please let me know by end of day Wednesday (as I need to order the Velata goodies!) OR if you'd like to get your friends together we can absolutely do that too! You would earn free and half price items for you to choose on whatever products you love in our catalog! 

I have 5 spots still available for October but will be planning another workshop (with different meals) for November too. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Still I Will Worship... Overwhelmed with Our Loss

For the past three days I have been sorting baby clothes. Itty bitty baby girl clothes. I was flooded with sadness each time my fingers touched the tiny blankets, hats, onesies. 

When I should have felt joy and thought of sweet memories, I felt alone. Sad. Almost empty. 

This isn't the only thing that had me down. Every week, I get a text and an email from a baby blog. It tells me how big our baby should be, how it's developing, and what we should be doing to be prepared. 

I know that seems unhealthy to stay subscribed to but for some reason I want to know. I'm uncertain if it's filling me with more sadness or maybe filling that void of wonder. I just have to know. Maybe on our due date I'll finally unsubscribe. But I want to be reminded. I want to remember Gods love for me... Even when I don't understand. 

Ever since losing baby #5, I've been an emotional mess. Sometimes good, sometimes not. 

Although these past three days had me filled with anger and bitterness again, I've laid it all down at the feet of Jesus. 

I can't hold on to this anymore. I've felt inadequate for too long. I've tried too hard to be enough on my own. I can't be anymore. I never was. 

I'm enough because Christ bore all my sins; my shame, my guilt, my pride on the cross. He conquered it all - all death, all darkness, when he rose from the grave.  

Why would I forget His great power and try to do this on my own? 

Even though sadness is okay, I have learned to praise God through each storm... Whether it comes every few weeks, or every few minutes... 

I am enough because He is enough. 

I will trust His sovereign plan even when I don't understand... I'll never know. 

And I will continue to glorify His name through it all. The ups. The downs. The joy and the pain. He is worthy of all my praise. 

'Though You Slay Me' by Shane and Shane is a powerful song that brings tears to my eyes and had me on my knees.  And I truly believe what John Piper says here is the truth. When it's hard. When we hurt. It is not meaningless. 

Please watch. If you've ever felt pain, I pray these words bring you HOPE. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Too much excess....

Yep... That's a whole lot of clothes that still fit our big girls that they choose not to wear. 


What have we taught our children? entitlement? 

I was down right disgusted going through these bags. Not with our girls, but with us. 

Why haven't we finished our basement? Why haven't we taken a family vacation? Made memories? Created a cozy environment for our friends and family enjoy?

Ill tell you why.... Because we piddle our money on things. Stuff. That we enjoy for such a small moment and then we practically give it away. (Which I love but not having it at all would be better!)

You see we are ready to finish our basement so that we can become an open house to more than just our family. A nice guest place. Check. A place for out of town guests or our church guests to stay? Check. A temporary home to those without? Yes please. A foster home? I'm praying for Joel's heart to be warmed up to that. A place where our kids want to entertain their friends? Check. 

That is my wish. 

When we live in excess and we go go go, saving and doing is a hard thing to accomplish. But we're ready to start living today like no one else, so that we can live tomorrow like no one else. 

I will forgo new clothes for every trip I go on. I will not let my kiddos get the newest and greatest new thing until they have shown hardwork and willing to work commission to earn part of it themselves. 

It's time for the Sprys to give up a bit more to live a bit more intentionally. Thankful for friends who continually point us to the cross.  Thankful for a Savior who pulls us back whenever we have lost perspective. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Garage Sale - this Saturday!

In just one short day, we'll be letting go of quite a few things we've held onto for the past year that we've realized we just don't need or aren't using. 

Since the fire last year, we've really been intentional about only holding on to the items we are really using. 

Yesterday we got a knock on our door from a neighbor telling us they were having a garage sale so if we had anything we should set it outside. 

I've been meaning to set up a date this fall but then worried I was too late for the sellers. But I guess not. So in less than 36 hours, we'll have everything gone through, marked and ready to send off to new homes. 

Baby girls goodies, changing table, big girl clothing, men and women's clothing, toys, crafting supplies, decor, kitchen wares and tons more. 

Please stop out and share the event with others... We need to clear out the basement so we can start making that area a part of our home! Yay! 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Day Off = Off Day

I was just off today. 

Woke up beyond late. Like 10:30am! 

Felt sluggish all day. Unmotivated. Pouty. Just off.

I had many tasks that needed done written in my planner but I barely scratched the surface. 

Mondays are our 'day off.' We don't home school on Mondays. We don't have any extra curricular activities that require a drive or a schedule. Nothing. 

But we do use Monday as a 'ReStart' day. A day to catch up on laundry, cleaning or office duties. 

This Monday was just a bit off. For all of us. A little more arguing. A few more tears. A lot of 'I'm sorry.'

Tomorrow (ummm today) is a new day. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Laundry Room Makeover (1:12)

Last night a wrote a big ole long post about the laundry room makeover that somehow mysteriously disappeared. Okay actually, I was trying to use both my computer and phone to finish the last photo, and with one click of the button on my phone, the whole post vanished. So here I go again.... (using computer only!)

We have lived in our home a little over 3 years now and when we moved in I had this grand plan of completing each room right away. I really struggled with wanting each corner of the house to be perfect. To be beautiful. To look like each room was put together for a photo shoot for Better Homes & Gardens. And I wanted it NOW. 

I never really felt like our house was homey enough to have people over. I told friends over and over that I was ready to makeover a room and needed their help but I never did it. To be honest, I didn't know where to start. 

I had this conversation with my friend in June and she went to her office and grabbed this book off the shelf and gave it to me. This book changed how I thought of our home. Do you see that? Home. I finally thought of our house as a HOME and not a naked house that needed to be decorated.

Another book I had preordered in April was finally released in August. It was A Happy Handmade Home by Elsie and Emma of A Beautiful Mess. Since looking through this book, I was inspired to really challenge myself on turning our home into a happy handmade home. There are only a couple rooms that reflect our personality; our style. I made it a goal to challenge myself to makeover a room in our home each month for the next year. Twelve rooms in twelve months. That's doable. I couldn't wait for the time I could get started. 

Joel was out of town this past week and I knew this was my chance to start. But where? It was only obvious that it should be a place that we use every single day. That narrows it down to about 8 rooms. But which one? I just happened to be doing laundry the day I had this big plan that it was time to start this challenge, and the thought came into my head while I was in that room... probably complaining about how unorganized, messy and cluttered it was. So DING DING... this is the room that will get the Spry Casa first makeover! Bonus: it's the first room we see when we walk through our door. We come in through the garage so it's our 'Welcome Home' room. 

 I like to get projects done late at night when Joel is gone since I can't sleep very well. Last time he was away for a few days, Alyn and I gave her and Avin's room a face lift

So for two days, in my spare time.... (which really is like 10pm - 2am) I worked on freshening up our laundry room.

Before: I took this photo last August the week of the fire. I totally spaced snapping a before shot the other night so this is it. 

I needed a place that was well organized, functional but easily accessible and clean. I kept getting drawn to the cube shelf units. I searched online and in stores for the perfect ones. I found these 6 cube shelves at Shopko and stacked 2 of them on top of each other. The fabric bins are also from Shopko. They are 13"x13"x13" cubes. Nice and big! They were on a screamin' sale this week.... sale ends Saturday.

Next we painted the door! I have been seeing half painted doors for a while now on Pinterest, but when Elsie showed her new office door, I melted. I knew I had to try it and what better room to be brave in than the laundry room. We're the only ones that would see it. But after completing it and falling in love with the look and pop of color, I kind of want to paint a few more doors in the house. It's a nice surprise don't you think?
The gray we chose for the wall had me a little nervous when I first started painting. It looked lavender..... but after I took the chance and brushed two coats on, I was pleasantly surprised the next morning. It was the exact gray I was hoping to see. 
Since most of the room is gray and neutral, our little laundry soap display really adds a fun pop to the look. I love having a laundry bar (Layers by Scentsy) to choose different scents for each load of laundry. It's kind of like a sno-cone stand.... pick your color, pick your flavor. LOVE IT!
I knew the light colored wall (an antique linen to be exact) needed a little something. From the above office makeover link, I thought I would try my hand at painting confetti. My strokes are a little large but I think having it fade out toward the bottom turned out super cute.
Rather than having a little plug in warmer on a big wall with the opportunity to be knocked over at any moment (and it did a few times too many!), I pulled out my new favorite warmer, Moroccan Stencil. I love the mustard color with the gray. Psst... don't those two little girls look familiar? Yes, those are the big girls when they were itty bitty. Avin looks identical to her sisters, only she is a little lighter version.
Speaking of Avin, she was running around the house the morning the room was finished, grabbing the hands of anyone in sight. She would drag us to the laundry room and point at everything new saying 'TUTE!'.... Yes baby, cute. She was so excited.
One of my favorite new additions to this room is this wooden sign I picked up. 
It's a friendly reminder that when I get stuck in the rut of thinking that laundry... folding, matching many socks and scrubbing stains during the chaos of my day... really sucks. But when I really stop and think about it, I should enjoy it. It reminds me to be grateful for these dirty clothes because they represent the little people (and big) with whom I share this home. I'm thankful for the endless piles... because that means we stay busy trying new adventures (hiking, horseback and volleyball as of late.) It reminds me that we are living life. Building relationships. Being adventurous.

So that's it.... Room 1 of 12. Now to start dreaming and planning the next little makeover for November.

Washing Feet

Tonight I had written a blog post that took me nearly an hour, and with one little press of a button, it was gone. I was so frustrated. I almost cried. I was completely crushed because I worked so hard.

But then, I remembered what really matters.  The truly great things in my life. 
There they were... Staring me in the face as I started scrolling through the many photos on my phone. These feet. 
I've made it a point over the past year to be more intentional in the small things... That truly are the big things. 

One night, quite a while ago, the girls and I were going to have a pedicure night. Now I've  polished their toenails countless times, but one night, I thought it would be a good idea to soak the girls' feet and give them the whole treatment. 

I ran the tub of warm water, the girls sat on the ledge of the tub with their pajama pants rolled up. 

I grabbed the foot scrub and as soon as I started washing and scrubbing their feet, I felt humbled. Immediately. I'd never intentionally scrubbed anyone's feet before then. Except my babies of course. 

I sometimes get caught up in the role of needing to be respected by my kids. 

But when I was washing their little piggies, (dirty little piggies I must add), I was reminded when Jesus washed His disciples feet. He chose to serve by doing the task that was meant for the lowliest to perform. He showed humility. 
Sometimes with our children and spouses it's easy to forget they are 'our neighbor.' When Christ tells us 'to love your neighbor as yourself' (the second most important command) we need to start looking to our closest neighbors first. Our family. I do anyway. 

I'm quick to serve others but also quick to not serve my family. 

I try to make it a point every once in a while to just massage or wash the feet of my family. It brings me to my knees. During the act, I only think about serving. I get lost in prayer. 

I crave this small gesture now. I want to live and give more like Jesus. He is our example. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Y'all! Today I saw cottage cheese on my arm. Cellulite. ON. MY. ARM!!!!!

No words can describe how I truly feel about this. 

Here are some that might come close...

Disappointed. (In myself)
Shocked. (But not really)

But here's the deal. Slowly I've been making small changes. 

My sweet friend Dawn challenged me with 28 days of no junk food. It went great! After the first week it truly was easy to stick to. Even when Joel and I were both tempted we chose no sugar. During the month of September I lost 7 pounds by simply just not eating junk food. Chips, soda, cookies, fast food, ice cream, etc was taken away for 4 full weeks. Since our month was up, we have each nibbled on a few sugary sweets but all 4 of us older Sprys have decided that these foods should be treated as... well, a treat. 

Now that the junk food was taken care of, it was time to get on the fitness wagon. My dear friend Allison invited me to be her accountability partner for the Peak313 5 week challenge. It's a great way to stick to something when you have a buddy cheering you on.... And calling you out when you need it. What I love about Peak313 is that you are learning scripture while exercising! That's my favorite.  We are just starting week two and so far so good. 

And just yesterday, I've started detoxing my body using Arbonne's 28 day restart. I could write a whole other blog post on how much I'll miss my wine and coffee but I remember my results last August and know that I need to stay committed to help shift our lifestyle just a bit. With Jenny as my encouragement, I know I can finish this too. 

I've tried to do more, be more... Try harder, try everything... But that simply doesn't work. Try the next thing when I quit the first, second, tenth. Go all in and quit things cold turkey. 

But each time my heart wasn't in it. 

Since our miscarriage this past June, I didn't realize how much I was drinking, eating, and how much I was sitting. I didn't have energy to do anything. And slowly, I've gotten up to my highest, non-pregnant weight and I can feel it. 

I look in the mirror and my head would say 'Do something! Anything! Get fit! Eat right! Do it!!!'

But for the longest time my heart wasn't in it. It simply wasn't ready. 

I spent many moments with tear filled eyes praying that I would be satisfied with who I am in Christ. That I would stop trying so hard and putting so much pressure on myself to look and be like half the fitness girls that I finally deleted off my Instagram account. 

I prayed for peace. And love. To feel accepted by the only One that matters. To be satisfied. To give The Lord all the glory in everything I do. To let go of my anger and bitterness. 

He answered my prayers. My heart feels healed. And now finally, my heart is in it. I don't want to do this for me... Or anyone else. It's time to be thankful for my body and create good habits that will be glorying to God. Because that's why we are here. To do all things for the glory of God. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Where the Buffalo Roam... Bison Range

A 45 minute ride in the car with some sweet friends and we arrived at the Bison Range.
We've been taking Mondays off of school at the Spry Academy so we could use that day each week to play catch up,  clean & organize or simply just relax. 

But today was a day to learn all about the American Bison. The visitor center had many facts and showed ways the American Indians used almost every bit of the animal for survival. 
We also were reminded of the near extinction of this wild beast. 
Look at this wall of dots! Tens of millions... Then down to under 100!
I need to be honest here. The round up wasn't exactly what I had pictured in my mind. I guess I was expecting the Wild West. I was hoping to see cowboys and cowgirls on their horses and dust clouds from the beat of thousands of hooves. I was craving to feel the rumble of these huge animals below my feet. And what I was really hoping for was a buffalo burger cookout! (Too much... Maybe... But they're just so good!)
All my wishes aside, today was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, the mountains were glorious, the kids were well behaved (except maybe a certain bear could've used another nap or two!)
I'm happy we spent our day up at the range. We learned so much and got to enjoy some of our favorite people too. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday 7 + prep for a new week

Joel and the big girls spent the late afternoon at softball practice. Avin spent the same time napping. I actually got two hours of uninterrupted planning time. 

A little Michael Buble Pandora station playing quietly in the background and a fluffy black and white dog sitting on my feet.... And a jar full of washi tape, beautiful planners and pens in every color. 
My weekly goals.... A few seem a bit lofty but with a good plan it can all be done. 
I love the Sunday 7 introduced a couple years ago by one of my favorites... It helps keep all the small goals of the week up front and in my face. Its the small things that help make the big goals happen. This photo is what I put on my phone as the lock cover. Each week it changes a smidge. In my face is the best way to get my attention! (I'm always behind on getting back to people via email or text so please contact me again!)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Happy Mail Brings Smiles

Alyn was absolutely and completely giddy when she ran back across the street from the mailbox today. Instantly I knew it had to be a little package from her friend Addy! Isn't this precious?!
There is just something so special and heart warming when you get a fun little package in the mail. How can you not be filled with happiness and keep your cheeks from splitting from a big ol' grin when you see your name written in rainbow colors?!

Happy Mail is something that I have been trying to send more of to my family, friends, team members and customers. I made it a goal at the beginning of the year after receiving two fun packages back to back from friends. There have been months when I send a lot of letters, cards and packages and some months with just a few. 

And guess what happens?! More often than not, someone sends me back something sweet and thoughtful! 

I have two favorite reasons that I love Happy Mail. 

1) It seriously makes me happy to send something to someone through snail mail. Whether big or small, I know that when they open their mailbox, they most likely will feel a smile stretch across their face and maybe even a little hug in their heart. Sounds cheesy but it's true. That's what I feel when I receive something other than bills or political/credit card junk mail. We live in a world that is full of online/screen contact... Email, Texting, social media. Don't get me wrong, I love those things but snail mail means something a little more personal. An extra bit of love just for you.  

2) Our children feel the same way about getting fun mail as we do... If not more. If we're not careful, our kiddos might be part of a generation where the art of handwriting letters to friends will be gone. I want them to know the thrill and excitement of sending and receiving packages. I want them to write letters back and forth with family and friends. I want them to cherish these letters for a long time. I want them to feel special and connected to someone outside of the online world. 

What about you? Have you sent or received something lately that was just perfect timing or made you day a little brighter?