Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cirque du Stella

just thought i'd share this lovely pic from the baby shower me and my besties just put together for our good friend Jen, and her soon-to-arrive baby girl, was so fun planning and putting it together! this pic is only the entry, be sure to check out my good friend, Kirsten's, blog for more pics...and thanks to Krystal for free-handing the fabulous banner!


this is really a post to help me easily find these nuggets of wisdom on parenting from Kem Meyer...but if you are reading this, i hope you find it useful, too! i read this post about a month ago, and have been coming back to it for the entire last month. just some really good stuff, thanks Kem...

Parenting is hard. I'm in over my head. I'm not going to do everything right. But, I'm going to keep learning and keep trying. I don't take the responsibility lightly. I consider it an honor. And, here's a few things I've learned after being a parent for 20 years.

* I can't take the credit when my kids are a success.
* I can't take the blame when my kids choose their own path.
* My kids are not an extension of me, they are a unique God-created individual.
* I don't have all the answers; I have as much to learn from them as they do from me.
* Part of my job it is to help get them thinking, but not to tell them what to think.
* Dancing around and avoiding real conversations about awkward topics (like sex, mental illness, substance abuse, etc.) only sets them up for failure.

Let's camp on that last bullet for a minute. What parent looks forward to a conversation with their beautiful, innocent, cute & cuddly cherub about any of these topics? Our parental instinct is to protect them from all of it--act like it's not there. Our best intentions lead us to spend our time building a fortress of screens to shield them as long as we can. It's a lie many of us fall victim to. We procrastinate or avoid these conversations altogether because we don't want to be the one to take away "innocence." That's nice in theory, but naive in reality.

All of us have to face these issues and we're not in control of when that happens. it's everywhere, all around us (and them). If we don't provide our kids with a healthy, realistic context and adequate preparation, they're blind sided with life and thrown into reactive mode.

I want to be bold enough to teach my kids about uncomfortable topics. Where else will they get the truth? The media? Ugh. It’s up to us to clear the static, take the lead and help them learn the right place to find the answers when they need them.

Monday, July 13, 2009

summer update #2

Because I'm sure you've been wondering what the Lee's have been up to all summer, here ya go:

Our church's youth camp...included such adventures as Ellie's first tubing ride on the lake (which she LOVED) and her first emergency visit to the local clinic (head injury from falling off the top bunk bed in the middle of the night...ended up being more of a traumatic experience for mom than it was for her).

Lots of birthday parties and playdates, including cousin Jon's Ninja Birthday Party, and friend Eden's Princess Party, with a special appearance by REAL Princesses! (or at least REALLY pretty girls dressed in pink prom dresses like princesses:)

And fun times spent outdoors with all the family and friends we love & adore...

Ellie & Jackson in Buhl...

Be sure to stay tuned for more summer adventures from the Lee's including kids camp, pool days, family vacation, Ellie's first day of Kindergarten, birthdays, and camping trips!!

summer update #1

more highlights of our far:

Renaissance Fair in Meridian...if you want some entertaining people-watching, you must go to a Renaissance Fair!! I had to convince Ellie that Renaissance princesses didn't wear pink...told her it was before pink was invented:)

Craft Day with good friend, Keto (Krystal Bingham)...included a "food color" theme and projects like shaving creme paintings, sand art, coffee filter butterflies, and making pink-colored toast for lunch. The girls LOVED it!

Trip to Buhl to visit family...Ellie & cousin Jackson watching cartoons.

Our float in the Meridian Dairy Days...we conquered the rainstorm and persevered...and it was so much fun!

First carnival rides of the season...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

ellie's got talent

we all know she can do ballet, but here are some of the other styles she's training in (ok, not really training...just learning from "so you think you can dance")...she is a pretty mean hula hooper...

ellie's got talent from jennifer lee on Vimeo.

Monday, May 18, 2009

ellie's ballet recital

Ellie made her debut on the big stage in the classical ballet piece, "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary". I made my debut as a stage mom, I think I was more nervous than Ellie! Thankfully, our good friend and seasoned stage mom, Robin, offered to do Ellie's stage makeup and ballerina bun. Of course, I shed a few tears as she danced so beautifully and passionately (watch for the curtsy at the end, she was sooo proud!).

ellie's recital 09 from jennifer lee on Vimeo.

Friday, April 10, 2009

cardboard dreams

these people are ordinary people with extraordinary faith...with a story of overcoming fear to see their God dream achieved...i want to be like these people

Cardboard Dreams from Capital Christian Media on Vimeo.

this was in response to Pastor Ken Wilde's amazing series on going after the dreams God has for you, called "Forward Together" at our church, Capital Christian Center


there's nothin' like a kid being chosen into a family...we have mad love for Bubba Grove, read about his story at my friend's blog

we were there, waiting impatiently in the waiting room, for the little one to come into the world, and for his mom to arrive from seattle...hoping those two moments would happen as close to each other as possible...such fond memories, such a blessing to have amazing friends

Saturday, April 4, 2009

i want to go back to kindergarten!

i did the unthinkable this week...i put my little girl on a school bus...all by herself.

even though it was just for kindergarten orientation (a tour of the school, classrooms, library, gym, and a bus safety teaching), many of you asked how i handled it. surprisingly, i didn't shed a tear!

maybe it was because i was too distracted with the wonder of a small library filled with new adventures that i knew ellie would be discovering on her own...

maybe it was because i was too observant of the creative inspiration made from little hands that plastered the hallways...

maybe it was because i was restraining myself from jumping in at the playdough station, the coloring station, the puzzles station...

or maybe it was because i saw my little girl gain a world of confidence as she climbed down those towering bus steps, skipped over to me with the biggest smile i've ever seen, and exclaim, "mom, i made a new friend, all by myself! his name is jacob, and we said 'nice to meet you' and we talked the whole time we were on our bus ride!"

all i could do was share in her contagious excitement of the whimsy and adventure of a whole new world...KINDERGARTEN!!

and now, i'm a little jealous...i want to go back to kindergarten!

{ellie hanging out with "buster", the remote control, talking bus that taught the kids bus safety...a genius invention!}

ellie-the stay at home mom

check out this post on my friend Robin's blog...abour her son, Steven, one of Ellie's bestest friends...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

full moments

growing up, it seemed like my family was always on some sort of outdoor adventure...cross country trips, sailing excursions, camping expeditions, and even an attempt at navigating a boat trip from Washington to Alaska (it wasn't quite a success, but that's for another blog post). it may sound like we had plenty of money, but my parents managed to do all this on teacher's salaries. i marvel at their love for adventure, desire to find new lakes to fish in, places to camp, and beauty to take in (they're still like this).

so i've purposed in my heart to get my "city girls" out in the beauty of nature more often. we started last weekend with a trip to the Bruneau Sand Dunes, which included a serious discussion with ellie on how fun it is to get dirty and play in sand. it took some convincing, but she jumped right in in and got really dirty!

first day of spring and 70 degrees!

as i sat on the side of the sand dune with ellie and we watched the invisible wind push perfect ripples across the lake, i realized i must find more moments like these...unforgettable, life-giving, full moments

our goal is to find as many spectacular places as we can this year, and in one week, here's what we've found...

Bruneau Sand Dunes

Malad Gorge
1000 Springs Preserve
Billingsley Creek

what are your favorite places where you've found full moments?

grocery project

The Do Project - Grocery Bags from Marcus Hackler on Vimeo.

500 families in our communities will be blessed with a bag full of groceries this week...and even more, they'll be given an invitation to be introduced to the One in whom they can find HOPE and can meet all their needs. How awesome is that!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

you were, you are, you will be

you are not just....a creation of our imagination
but the creator of all we can possibly imagine

you are not just...a solution to our need
but the solution before the need ever existed

you are not way to live
but the way, the truth, the life

you are not just...a great model of servant-love
but the greatest example of live-giving love

you are not just...faithful when i call in distress
but you were, you are, you will be....faithful

Saturday, March 14, 2009


today...I wondered if Ellie should do tap or ballet or gymnasics next fall

today...Ann looked at her daughter and prayed she wouldn't have to grow up without a mom

today...I worked on planning details for our upcoming Easter services

today...Ann wondered if she'd get to experience one more Easter

today...I made plans for our summer family vacation

today...Ann held each of her family tight, never wanting to let go

Ann has already lived longer than the three month expectation her doctors gave her, due to terminal cancer. I've learned so much from Ann's perspective & faith. I've learned that no matter how many days our life holds, our days are still numbered...our time is short.

In the Message Bible in 2 Thessalonians 1:11, Paul says "Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time—pray that our God will make you fit for what he’s called you to be, pray that he’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something."

We can't afford to do anything with out HIS energy...we're on a frugal budget in the currency of time. That's my prayer today...Lord, fit me & fill my good ideas & acts of faith with YOUR energy, so it amounts to something.

Please, also, say a prayer for Ann and her family.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

blah blah blah

this made my day! my 8 year old nephew's heartfelt valentine's wish...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

finding fun in january

it's true...i'm not a big fan of january. but, we happened to find some fun, memorable moments hiding under the grey skies and frigid weather...

Steelheads Hockey Game-so exciting...they barely won in a shoot out!

Powell's Candy Shop-from Abba Zabba's to abnormally large nostalgic!

Super Intense & Competitive Scrabble game (I won:)

Late night makeovers by a 2,3, and 4 year old

and, Ellie's half-way-through-the-year performance for the parents...i'm tellin' ya, i think we have prima ballerina in the making!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

saturday mornings...

...there's nothin' like them. when i was a kid, they included sleeping in, soaking up as much tv as possible, and likely watching "Jem" or "Fraggle Rock" with my sisters. so, naturally, i still enjoy watching saturday morning kids shows with the girls...but can only handle so much dora, diego, mickey mouse clubhouse, here's a few suggestions that are quite the fresh breath of couch potato air:

is a website with lots of unique music videos for kids. This is what they say..."Discover great independent music for kids. We hand pick the good won't find Barney here." This is one of my favorite videos (and Ellie's:):

Yes, that is Lisa Loeb and yes, she is threatening to buy a a fol-de-rol-dy, til-de-tol-dy, seek-a-double, use-a-cause-a, roll...whatever that may be.

And, you must head on over to Jelly Telly for some hilarious puppetry by Phil Vischer (the original creator of the Veggie Tales). You can watch a new episode every day and a movie each week, for free!

Monday, January 26, 2009

she needs to hear from you

there's a young mom that got no sleep last night, partly because she has has a hungry newborn but mostly because she doesn't think she's a good enough mom....SHE NEEDS TO HEAR FROM YOU

there's a neighbor that just lost her job, and thinks she also lost her value...SHE NEEDS TO HEAR FROM YOU

there's a grandmother sitting in a nursing home, wondering what the day won't bring...SHE NEEDS TO HEAR FROM YOU

there's a young girl who is playing alone on the playground and feeling alone in the world...SHE NEEDS TO HEAR FROM YOU

there's a college student that wonders if she's on the right path for her life...SHE NEEDS TO HEAR FROM YOU

this is the hour for a company of women to throw aside generational differences, jealousy, selfishness, and pride...and look up from our busy lives to search out the ones that need to be have something to offer, your voice needs to be heard.


watch this discussion of Lisa Bevere's book "Nurture" that we shared last night with the ladies of our church, and be encouraged to find someone to nurture today

Nurture from Marcus Hackler on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

lazy blogging...

this is where i just steal things off other people's blogs that i find here's today's installment:

"playing in the white house" (so good, please watch!)

via Ragamuffin Soul for a good laugh, thanks "Flint"

Flint from Marcus Hackler on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

that Annie is a liar....

to all my fellow boise valley peeps that have endured this nasty, no good, colorless inversion for the last two weeks, join with me in taking your anger out on little, annoyingly charming, curly haired Annie....she said "the sun would come out, tomorrow"

well, i'm not betting my bottom dollar...i thought of something fun to help rekindle the warm thoughts of those vitamin D prolific days. make yourself a mix, a mix cd with all the songs you can find about sun. my mix would include these:

"here comes the sun"-the beatles (doo n doo doo, i'm a closet beatles fan)

"the shadow proves the sunshine"-switchfoot

"pocketful of sunshine"-natasha bedingfield (dedicated to my besties, JB and Kirst)

"soak up the sun"-sheryl crow

"seasons in the sun"-terry jacks (we had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun)

"sunshine on my shoulder"-john denver

"walking on sunshine"-katrina & the waves

"summer sunshine"-the corrs

"sunshine girl"-britt nicole

did i miss any?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

my current favorite olive-isms...

for those of you that know olivia, our little comedian, how could you not just love her! here are my favorite current "olive-isms"...

"i want loco" (I want lotion or I want yogurt)

"happy to you" (anytime she sees a candle of any kind, she wants to sing "happy bday")

"mama, are you?" (anytime she's feeling a little insecure and needs to know my location, even when i'm right in front of her sometimes)

"oh, happy day you wash my sin away" (clear as a bell, her favorite song)

anytime she hears music of any kind (yes, even the occasional hip hop) she throws her hands in the air and worships

"ya you" (holding up a fist, trying to sign "i love you")

when you ask her "how old are you", she says "two" and holds up her thumb and pointer finger (she's only 1 and a half, by the way)

when you ask her "what's my name" she usually says "Meggy"...but if she sees you, she will most likely say your name...she is crazy good at knowing people's names

anytime she pretends to talk on a cell phone, she always talks to Papa

watch out, she'll randomly grab your cheek really hard and say "kickle, kickle" (tickle, tickle)

she does what we call "silly bappy" (silly pacifier), and puts her pacifier in backwards

what's your favorite olive-ism?

Friday, January 16, 2009

some day...

...i'll live on one of these (at least that's always been my dream).

but for now i'll savor moments like these...

that's my mom!

me and my dad, sailing Icy Passages near Glacier Bay, Alaska last summer

...and keep looking on craig's list for a smokin' hot deal on a starter sailboat. Thanks Marcus for the link of breathtaking sailing pictures.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

a holiday recap

in spite of an economic downturn, bleak news reports, and gloomy grey weather, our holidays were simply amazing and forever memorable! as i pray yours were. here are a few highlights...

1. thanks to my mischievous nephew Jon, we will always have an octopus on our christmas tree

2. i abandoned the idea of an "eye candy" tree and trendy christmas color palette, and embraced a super fun, whimsical, bright color scheme...complete with homeade salt dough ornaments by ellie, and semi-homeade stockings by me

3. celebrating friends christmas with our besties...we all made handmade presents for each other (the boys went all out, their gifts had to be hauled in trucks and included sharp objects) and the kids all got new pj's! the new tradition "friends talent show" was so entertaining...from ellie's impressive hula hooping skills to Mike Barth's super creative and hilarious rendition of "The Night Before Christmas" poem.

4. baking experiments like a peppermint roll cake and oreo truffles that ellie helped with...both pretty successful!

5. an exhilarating presentation of the real meaning of Christmas with our church family at Capital Christian Center, complete with real candles!

6. soaking up every moment spent with family...watching bows and paper fly, exhausting ourselves getting the bazillion twisty ties off each strapped in toy, creating all of our mii characters (thanks Papa for the wii!), seeing ellie so blessed by all her girly gifts and olivia blessed by all her puppy stuff.

7. watching ellie launch her makeover business (she only charges "one bucks"), and seeing the transformation of her happy clients (such good sports...aunt ooch, aunt lissa, grandma midge, nana, and of course, PAPA!)

8. traveling to Oregon to see Mike's family, watching the girls bond and build special relationships with aunts & uncles, cousins, and grandmas they don't get to see very often
ellie & cousin genesis...two peas in a pod

grandma june teaching the girls out to play the guitar

ellie consoles grandma mabel after her loss at "old maid"

your turn, what was your favorite holiday memory this year?