Like many parents I am keenly aware of how my boys are influenced by their friends. Right now they are at an age where I pretty much have control over who they are around…and thankfully there are a lot of really great kids in my circle of friends. As I consider how they are affected by the friends coming into their lives I am reminded how I am shaped in many ways by the company that I keep. I am so grateful that I can look around at the women that I spend most of my time with and see things in each of them that I hope will rub off on me – making me more of the woman I want to be. I am surrounded by some amazing women and am so grateful that they put up with me!

Last week we batted 4 for 4 in the area of our kids getting a virus…the pediatrician might as well give us reserved parking. On one of the oh so fun days of sickness, I called Chris at work to report that Big Brother was STILL throwing up. He asked what he could do to help and I replied, “Figure out a way to build a Starbucks in our kitchen.” About an hour later two friends showed up at my house with the largest Caramel Macchiato I have ever had. Despite the craziness of their schedules and their combined 5 kids they brought me coffee. I hope and pray my boys and girl grow up surrounded by incredible friends like I have. Thanks girls.809friends

(sick Big Brother laying on couch in background)

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  • Rachel - What a wonderful story of friends standing in the gap for each other. I know we couldn’t have made it through the past 3 weeks if it weren’t for our friends. Praise the Lord for great friends!

  • Lisa - It is such a blessing to be surrounded by good friends!!

  • Jill J - Ooh, don’t you just love that! Friends come through in the greatest ways sometimes… And it seems like your husband did too!

  • Shelley - Poor little guy! I hope he gets better soon! Sounds like you have got some really great friends!

  • Sarah - I know that feeling!!! Not long after the big loss in our family Jon was out of town and I was by myself on a Saturday with the kids, one of my friends brought me a venti Cinnamon Dolche Latte and I said I don’t want to get out of bed today, and she said “Ok I am here to lay here with you until you are ready to get up.” It was healing and precious and I was so grateful just to have someone that let me talk, sleep, cry whatever I needed to do THAT day. God sends special people in His time and it provides such a relief. HE is so good.

  • Jeannette Swan - I would bring you Starbucks anytime!!

  • Jeannette Swan - After I posted that, it sounded like I was one of the ones that brought you Starbucks…I wasn’t…just wanted you to know I would do it for you!

  • Courtney Connelly - Friends are such a blessing in our lives, thanks for the reminder! Can’t believe it is 11 years ago this week that we began our friendship on good ole’ Bison Hill. Wow! :)

  • Stephanie May* - Thank you God for Starbucks! My family and friends also know that bringing me a Grande Caramel Macchiato will always fill me with glee….I’ve never attempted a Venti one though – kudos!

  • christina larsen - How awesome to have friends like that. Makes me want to be a better friend. Thanks for sharing.

In a family of 6, everyone has to do their part.

We are teaching Biggest Brother to give Littlest Brother a bath….

Unrelated, but I finally got some cute ones of Baby Sister with her eyes open. She was happy, wide eyed and I put on several hair accessories:)I know the first two are basically the same, but I just couldn’t decide which I liked better…809beyes-01809beyes-03

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  • Kerry L. - I wonder will Big Brother learn to give Baby sister a bath later on too? :D Baby Sister has amazing eyes…Dark swirling into sapphire blue…&i love both of her hair accessories ;)

  • Trinity - Hey that looks like the way we pitch in to help each other at our house! So funny!

  • bopha - She is soooo cute and I love the hat! Do they make those for boys minus the flower?

  • Jeannette Swan - Helpful Big Brother and Beautiful little sister!!

  • Emily Beaty - LOL – your boys are so cute and know how to have a good time! Baby Sister is just precious!!! She is gorgeous and I love that hair accessories!

  • sheridan - I love the all boy photos then that precious baby girl…I love the last one especially! She is locked and focus on her Mama ohh I love that phase where they just follow you w/ their eyes so intently-man nothing like it!

  • Jo - I love baby sister’s eyes, she is soooo beautiful!! :) I think she looks a lot like you Ashley!

  • PamperingBeki - Love that bath! :)

    I like the one with the white flower best. I make hair flowers, so I’m always partial to those.

  • rachel - Your boys are adorable, but your daughter is so CUTE! She looks so much like you!! You have such a nice looking family!!

  • Jesse - So precious. I usually love sleeping baby pics, but have to say that these are wonderful. Love those bright eyes.

  • Liz - She is such a doll. How is Big Brother doing with kindergarten? My youngest started kindergarten last week and I miss her so much! Not that I don’t miss Big Sister too but for the last five years I have always had the little one with me! It is a big adjustment!

  • Rachel - Great pics! Beautiful eyes! How fun to play dress up!

  • Yvonne Jacobson - she’s beautiful!!!!

  • candace - she is beautiful! where did you find the darling headband and beanie?

  • amanda torres - I love, love, love Littlest Brother’s tummy. Covering up that pouchiness should be a crime! He is so adorable. As for the accessories…you know I’m proud!

  • Sara - I love all the cute hats and bows you have for your daughter where do you find them?
    She is a doll!!

  • Lisa - Ok, you must spill the beans on where you got that crochet hat. I’m drooling over it!

  • Kenna S - She is absolutely beautiful! I know that you’re so very proud of her. She is going to be one tough little girl with all of those brothers!

If you are anything like me and enjoy making things, but don’t always have the time to think of new projects…here are some fun ways to get a little help in that creative process.

Rachel and Elsie’s Autumn Craft Class

I would LOVE to do this class, but I have a project in the works right now that includes posting what I make online…I doubt they want me to post all their ideas online:)Maybe the next class!


One Pretty Thing

This is like a blog database of all the creative projects online…so many ideas are posted daily…can be overwhelming!


Design*Sponge > DIY projects

I basically love all these ideas…more are posted every Wednesday.


So pick a project for the weekend and have fun making and creating!

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  • Lacy - Thanks for sharing these links! Not like I need *even more* crafty projects to try–I so desperately need to finish all the works-in-progress right now. But it is always fun to look and gather ideas.

    I just love your blog so much! It is always inspiring and encouraging. :) One of my faves.

    Thanks for sharing your life!

  • rachel denbow - Eeeek! Thanks for the shout out!

    And…send me your mailing address. Why didn’t I think of that before!

  • evie s. - Online craft class? What a great idea!

  • Cath - I love Oneprettything, I go there every day xD I also love whipup.net and blog.craftzine.com, they’re also good inspirations for crafty people!