Friday, December 31, 2010

Finny's Stocking

Ooops. I was supposed to do this on his birthday, but I forgot.
Each year, I take a picture of Finny with his Christmas stocking on his birthday (12.20). This was a brilliant idea suggested by his Aunt KC. This year was particularly hard, as Finn is completely mobile with a mind of his own this year. Last year he could walk, but he was still a "Mommy-Pleaser" and would stay when I asked. This year he just rolled around and laughed alot. So, I'll post one from the first 2 years and then a couple from this years shoot. Enjoy!

These were taken in his diaper, in hopes that, next year he'll be wearing big boy underwear... here's hoping! :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Laura of Pitter Patter Art

Makes amazing things to help raise money for her family's adoption. I have purchased a few key fobs from her, which make great gifts and now she's making CAMERA STRAPS!

You can imagine my excitement!

She is celebrating the season by giving away items that she's made via her blog.
Click below to check her out!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Give Thanks!

Ella is an Indian in her Kindergarten Thanksgiving Program.
I have so much to be thankful for. My health, my job, my home, but most of all my family. I love them so much. Thank you God for my beautiful, crazy, messy, wonderful family.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Deeper Meaning of Trees

Do you ever wonder why sometimes, God uses something simple in your life, something that's always "been" and uses it to reveal a deeper meaning? It's as if instead of hitting you sharply over the head with an idea, He subtly reveals something that reminds you of how small you are, and how He's got such a bigger peJustify Fullrspective on our little lives than we could begin to imagine.

For instance, I've always been drawn to trees. As long as I can remember, I've loved to look at them, lay under them and especially draw them. I have countless numbers of sketches and artwork based on trees. The first trees I remember admiring were the large trees in front of my grandparent's home. I rubbed my fingers across the cracky texture of the huge trunks and recall the gazillions of brown oblong leaves they left sprinkled all over the driveway during the fall. When Brian and I first moved to the Woodlands, I looked forward to my quiet time as I peeked out my bathroom window while laying in the bathtub to see a canopy of large trees, swaying above me in the breeze. My first official mural was of a tree in our home there. I also painted a forest of trees in Ella's nursery. I re-painted my tree again in the entryway of our house here in Conroe.

Ok, Dusti, so you like trees. Big whoop. Maybe, but it wasn't until tonight that I realized why it's important to surround myself with trees, or why I might be drawn to them.
This weekend has been especially hard on my spirit. I feel down. I feel tired. Every Sunday night is rough for me. It takes all the energy I have to make it through the week. I spend a lot of time alone with the kids during the weeknights when Brian teaches lessons and I do my best just to come home, get ready for another day and not lose my patience with my kids. I feel guilty because by the end of the week, the house is a wreck and the laundry and dishes are out of control. By Thursday, I'm spent and kind of coast through Friday. I get anxious thinking about starting it all over again Sunday night. I was just sitting here, praying for some sort of comfort, some sort of promise from God's word to help me through, and this is what I got:

Jeremiah 17:7-8

But Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord.

who's confidence is in Him.

He will be like a tree planted by the water

that sends out its roots by the stream.

It does not fear when the heat comes;

it's leaves are always green.

It has no worries in a year of drought

and never fails to bear fruit.

Could there be a better verse for someone who fears they'll "dry out" when the going gets tough? I love that there's a huge tree painted by my front door. When things get hectic and I'm running in and out of the house with 3 kids running in 3 different directions, backpacks, lunch kits, etc., I'll look at it and remember as long as I trust in the Lord and plant my roots by the "stream," I'll never dry out.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Off and running.

Well I guess despite my best efforts, summer vacation ended. I now find myself in the middle of week 3 of the 2010-2011 school year. 2011? Sounds like a Sci-Fi movie....

This year is an especially special year. I am starting my 7th year of teaching. And 7 is my lucky number! (Well, really it's my BLESSED number.) Can I just say that I LOVE MY NEW JOB!? I love my new co-workers and students. It feels like I've been there for years already. I love that I see my babies all day long! I love that I pass my daughter's kindergarten class 20 times a day! I could not have a better working situation (other than to be a rich, "homeschool mom" who travels the globe and teaches on location.) But, I digress....I have the best job on planet earth.

I only wish I had more time to stop and blog. It seems that as I jump back into the grind of everyday life, I only have time to come home in the afternoon and get ready for the next day before I crash for the night. I find myself longing for a time when my kids can be more independent, and yet, I clutch to these days when Brian and I are the center of their universe and can do no wrong in their eyes. I look back on my life and see how fast time flies. It seems like yesterday I was wanting to be big enough to stand at the bus stop all by myself, and look at me now with three wee ones of my own. I have said it before, and actually I say it a lot: "I have my hands full....of blessings."

Monday, August 2, 2010

Playing with Picasa and the Collage Tool
Posted by Picasa

Homey-Blog Post.

Thanks to suggestions by many friends and relatives, I have been casually surfing "home-y" blogs this summer. A lot of very talented, creative people blog about stuff they make: cooking, crafts, jewelry, Bento lunches, etc. In fact, my dear sister has a wonderful blog where she posts healthy recipes that she tries out. Please do go check it out!

In tribute of the wonderful world of what I affectionately refer to as "home-y" blogs, I thought I'd add a "home-y" post of my own. But, I have to feature my children, of course. (Come on, I've got the word "Mommy" in the title of my blog.) Armed with an Internet recipe, HOT kitchen, 3 wild children, and a nice, new camera, I created these lil' babies.:

I wanted to make these in miniature so I could freeze and save them for the kids lunches this fall. The muffin idea came from a Bento Lunch part of a blog that I really like! The author of this blog has great ideas on creating kids lunches Bento-style, but "Americanized."

As you can see it's a vicious cycle, I wanna make Bento lunches, which lead me to muffin recipes, which leads me to blogging all about it here. I'm a tech-savvy chick, no? My personal touch to the wholesome baking experience would be to tell you what it was like trying to to bake with my 3 kids running around. Finn and Ainslie were pretty fixated on the window as they watched the muffins rise. The tops must be the most exciting, because after my last muffin-baking session, Ainslie would sneak in the basket, eat the tops off of them and return the bottom for me to eat later. How nice of her, huh? Ella wasn't much interested before or after the baking. Personally, I think the muffins turned out great. They were especially a big hit with Finny. Ella said she didn't like them and added "Maybe I don't like ANY kind of muffin, Mom." This is the second recipe I've tried to get her to like with no success. Ainslie was too upset because I made her half one with her brother, which sent her into a raging fit. I'm sure I'll be able to tell if she likes them later, by the tale-tell signs of eaten muffin tops in the basket. On second thought, I think I'll go freeze those bad boys right now!

Please let me know if you try the recipe listed above, you have ever packed a Bento lunch, or if you have any healthy muffin recipes my kids would like!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Growing up Ella Grace

As most children her age, Ella has begun to vocalize her wishes to be older. She has mentioned that she wishes she was grown-up several times, and each time I tell her to enjoy being a little girl. I distinctly remember having the same desires at that age. I would ride in the backseat of my Mom's car on the way to school and see the older kids out the window, waiting at the bus stop and wish, wish, wish I was old enough to do the same. I also remember my parents driving through Humble and as we would pass the middle school and high school, they would tell me that is where I would go to school when I was that is 14 years behind me. I always feel bittersweet when we pass the elementary school by our house and Ella yells out, "That's gonna be MY SCHOOL!" I guess I know how soon she'll be saying, "That used to be my school."

Today as I was rushing to pack clothes for the girls trip to my grandparents and get everyone dressed, Ella said, "Mommy, you are always busy. You always have stuff to do." To which I replied, "You are right Ella, I don't have a lot of time to play do I? That's why you shouldn't want to grow up so fast."

"Adults don't get to play," she asked? And I hated my answer. "No, not that much."

Today on the way to meet my grandparents in Cleveland Ella said another thing to me that punched me in the gut. "Mommy, I just saw a cross on the side of the road and I think its the cross that Jesus died on." Tears welled up in her eyes, her bottom lip puffed out and I could hear the emotion in her voice as she said it. I assured her that Jesus' cross was much bigger and very far away. While at first it was cute, it soon became a painful reminder that not just Ella's body is growing up. Her mind is too. I feel like everything I say and do and expose her to, now more than ever, determines her future.

I tell my 3rd and 4th grade students all the time how "Now is the time you decide the person you are going to be and the paths you are going to take." It sounds so dramatic, but it's true. It's even more dramatic now that it will shortly be MY daughter making decisions that will shape her life, long after I am gone. I can't always control what she will be exposed to, but I hope I can prepare her mind and heart on how to react to any situation she faces, and I hope that reaction is to always to turn to God.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Mommy is a "Dusti"

I spend most of my time being "Mrs. Moran" or "Mommy" that sometimes, I just forget to be "Dusti." I kinda like being her. I forget how infrequently this happens.

I was invited to go to Cafe Express with my Mom and my sis on Good Friday and it was such a nice treat to go eat and be an adult without worrying about who was doing what at my table. In fact, I felt a bit empty-handed. I ordered southwestern chili that had been topped with raw onions on them, and anyone who knows me, knows how I feel about raw onions... as I scooped them out, Mysti asked if she could try a bite. I instictively fed her the spoonful of onion and chili and she started laughing, "You fed me that like I'm a baby. You scooped it up at the end to make sure I got it all in my mouth." I asked her if she wanted me to scrape her cheeks with the side of my spoon like I do the babies. Guess even during my time away from them, I have to be a Mamma to someone.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I have cleaned enough puke in the past 2 weeks to last me a lifetime. Please, Dear God, no more puke. No more pink eye, no more weird random nose infections. No more upper respiratory infections, but really, no more yak.

All three of my children have had upchucking spells in the last two weeks. Ella and Finny have both had to be woken up from doing it in their sleep. I have NEVER heard of throwing up in your sleep and sleeping through it, it is SO SCARY!

Please pray that this is the END of the PUKE-FEST!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Did I mention I have a 2 year old and a 5 year old?

I know I haven't updated my blog in....forever. And, I can't really make any promises on the future. My life is not my own, at least not for a while. But, I can share with you two things:

1. My daughter Ainslie turned 2 in October and I didn't even share it on my blog. Mainly because I spend most of my time chasing her and yelling at her. But, I do love her. She is a silly little girl who loves to make us all CRAZY! She loves singing "Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggety dog!" from Mickey Mouse playhouse and still crawls into our bed at least 3 times a night. She's also extremely athletic and asks to watch basketball games on T.V! This past Christmas she made a "poopie" on her Aunt Stephanie and Uncle Trent's carpet in the brand new house and just recently, she decided to create a beautiful mural of diaper rash cream on the newly painted wall under my bar in the living room. But, in her defense, when I took her to Ella's friend's house down the street to play on the trampoline with other kids, she was very well behaved. In fact her little friend Grace nicknamed her "Sweetie." (Actually, I think she called her Sweetie because she couldn't say Ainslie..... ) I guess most of the time is a toss up with her. Whatever she makes her mind up to do for the day!

2. Ella just turned 5 this past week! My big girl is a wonderful big sister. She loves Ainslie and Finn and really helps her Daddy and I take care of the both of them. She's taking dance once a week with Mrs. Kowalik and really loves learning new things in Mrs. Petty's class at First Baptist Academy in Conroe. She loves school! I couldn't be prouder of the little girl she is becoming. She has recently started asking Brian and I about heaven and asking how she'll be able to recognize us when she gets there. Such big questions for a little girl! After a dental lesson this week at school she came home on Friday with her first wiggly tooth. It makes me tear up, I can't believe my little baby is old enough to LOSE A TOOTH! I asked her how much she thought the tooth fairy would give for a tooth and she said, "I don't know? $100?" Yikes! Let's hope not!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

He's my boy.

This was taken at Finny's birthday celebration. I am proud of it for two reasons:

1. ARE YOU KIDDING? LOOK AT THOSE EYES and try NOT to melt. (OK, I'm amost done bragging...)

2. As the informally titled "photographer" of my family, I am proud to say, I didn't take this picture.... my husband did. (And, you can't see any of his fingers!) Good Job, B!


My photo
I have 2 lovely daughters and 2 handsome sons, who keep me very busy and a husband who keeps me grounded. I received my BA in Graphic Design Communication in 2003. A year and a half later after working in corporate America as a graphic designer and living through my OWN REAL LIFE "OFFICE SPACE" I got certified as art teacher. I have been teaching since the fall of 2004.