Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Psalm 127:1

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Christmas Peace....

Christmas is upon us. I LOVE Christmas. I love the smell of the Christmas tree in our house every morning when I wake up. I love wrapping presents and opening presents. I love leaving little gifts for people that least expect it. I love listening to Christmas music and watching Christmas movies with Dan and the girls. I also love the peace that washes over me. Christmas reminds me of what I already know; Jesus was born and lived so I could have a role model of how to live my life. He came for you and for me. When I think back over the year I think about how this year has been a year of refreshing for our family. The last year and a half has been hard. My aunt was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. December was a difficult time for our family as the San Bernardino shootings took place affecting our entire department. Then on December 22nd we unexpectedly lost Dan's dad. The San Bernardino City Fire Department shut its doors and Dan was forced to start over with another department in a new location. In March Morgan was feeling badly and got some crazy blood work back that caused concern.  But as I sit and reflect I can see Gods goodness everywhere. I can see His hand of mercy and grace. I think we are stronger and more grounded in Him. We long more for heaven. I think sometimes life comes at you and you think," Great! What's next?" But I feel like the scripture that says, "In this world you will have many troubles, but take courage for I have overcome the world." Is something we can all hang onto this Christmas season. It rings true in my heart this year for sure. He has overcome the world!

Ryanne found this at the grocery store one day and tried to convince me that we needed to take it home.....can you even imagine!!

Our annual trip to the Christmas Tree farm did not disappoint. We actually all agreed on the same tree this year...well mostly ha!

We took the Scout to get our tree and it gave me a flash back to the 70's!

Ellie is growing big and strong and weighs in at about 4lbs.
Basically she is terrorizing the house, chasing the cats, tearing up my furniture and bites us with her razor sharp teeth buuuutttt......we love her so much and know the puppy stage is short...right?
(Insert panic look here)

The girls and I took a day and played hooky from  school to make some gifts for loved ones. The advantage of home schooling is we can take mental health days once in a while.

This is my view for devotionals every morning. So good!!

We do an advent calendar for the girls each morning and we fill the doors with little treats or surprise outings. This year I bought tickets out to the Living Desserts Wild Nights and the girls insisted riding a camel was on their bucket list ha! So a camel they rode.

Morgan got to get dressed up and go to the LA Symphony one evening with friends....

Every year without fail since Morgan was 3, we have had one of the advent doors be a dinner at the Mission Inn and then a horse drawn carriage ride through town...This year we surprised the girls and had Dan's mom go and his aunt and uncle drive up from Santa Ana and meet us there. The girls were so excited! My mom was supposed to go but sadly she was sick. Dinner was great as usual and the company even better. So blessed.

Never ever gets old.

Morgan, Ryanne, Aunt Jerri and Grandma Betty. Merry Christmas to all of our friends and family. Be blessed and know we are lifting you up in prayer! 

Thursday, December 1, 2016


Most of you know we had to put our Macy to sleep back a couple of months ago. Morgan adored Macy and was basically crushed when she died. Her friends Dachshund had puppies and Morgan asked for one for Christmas. We went and visited her until she was old enough to bring home. Don't mind the pink dot on her head...that's how they marked the puppies to tell them apart. :)
Morgan instantly bonded with this little girl and named her Ellie...
She has moved right into our home and hearts...
She is full of spunk but thankfully still naps a lot ha!
Of course she might be a tad spoiled and has decided this is how Morgan should do school from now on. I've never had a puppy this small so we went from moving around our HUGE Dane to trying not to step on this little peanut. She's growing fast though and we can't wait to love her up.
Be blessed today friends. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Family Pictures...

Last year I tried for like two months to get Dan's schedule to line up with a day our friend Jessica could take family pictures and sadly it never worked out....

This year I told Dan I was more determined than ever to freeze just a few sweet moments with the girls because they are changing so fast and they are just lovely, sweet girls that in a blip will be off on new adventures....

Dan & I were Jessica's youth leaders when she was in high school and speaking of amazing girls; we have had the blessing of watching Jessica grow into an amazing wife and mama to three kiddos...and as usual she did a great job catching some great shots of our family...

The weather could not have been more beautiful that evening.....

and even though it was near impossible to get us all dressed and out the door on time we made it.....

Thanks to Dan & the girls for indulging me and freezing some sweet time  in pictures for me.
I love you guys! Thanks again Jess, you rock girly!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

October Flash Back...

October was a full month for us and man did it fly by. Ryanne decided she wanted to cut all of her hair off so off it went. 

Lots of school work but also some fun days off...
Morgan went to homecoming with some friends and my mom helped her make her boutonniere.....
It was fun tagging along with the girls as they got their hair and nails done..
Getting ready to go....they clean up nice huh? :)
Ryanne has been helping lead worship for the Jr. High and she is doing great!
The most amazing storm rolled through here the other morning and so I got up early and sat on the patio watching the lightening in the distance. The sky was amazing!!!
What I've been memorizing....
Ryanne has been enjoying her circus classes...just hanging out...
Dan bought a new toy last week.... a 1971 International Scout. Very hard to find and in this good of shape none the less. He's looking forward to a few days off where he can play with it. 
I voted...not that it matters much when you live in CA (insert eye roll here)....
Halloween was fun...the girls are getting older and wanting to do different things and Dan got forced over at work but we still had a good night.
Morgan was a Roman princess and Ryanne was Sponge Bob....
Morgan went to a party with friends and me and my mom took Ryanne out to dinner and then trick or treating around our neighborhood...
It's funny because Ryanne can't have any of the candy she collected due to her wheat allergies and we don't let her have red dye so it basically cancels out all the candy....she's a good sport and mostly just likes the social part of walking around and going door to door. She donates her candy to Dan's fire station (the guys LOVE it!) And then I trade her for a date day like a movie or painting at Color Me Mine. So it's a win for everybody.
I love seeing all the kids dressed up and walking out in the cool crisp air visiting neighbors but I get excited when November 1st rolls around because it means we get to prepare for Thanksgiving and Fall is in full swing. I love ALL things Fall. Be blessed today and I'm thankful for you!!

Friday, October 14, 2016

My Prayer

I wrote these words down from a song we were singing in church and thought, "Man, this so needs to be the prayer of my heart these next few weeks." It's been in my head every morning.

"Spirit of the living God come fall afresh on me and wake me from my sleep...
And blow through the cavern of my soul, pour in me to overflow."

I'm not gonna lie, I know a little about a lot. But if for one minute you think you can ask me where the time went with my kids and I will have the slightest'd be kidding yourself ha!
Morgan is driving. There I said it. Like a Band-Aid right?
I'm hoping the time slows down but we can hope a lot of things right?
Instead I'll just hope in all the exciting mile stones and grand moments like driving, graduation, first loves etc. I don't miss all the little things like the "teenager looks" I get when I say something annoying, or the quiet moments when they are sitting alone praying and reading Gods word, the random hugs or "I love you mama" when I feel very unlovable. Those are the things I want to remember as my girls grow.

I probably won't be able to forget the urgent care visits and less urgent house calls of Ryanne's injuries. She was racing some friends through the church parking lot and yup you guessed it; she was safe! Ugh! I'm a professional at road rash and removing gravel from flesh if you need me. Insert eye roll here.

Macy has been gone three weeks and everyone including Chloe has gotten back to routine.
And even though we still miss here large presence, we are adjusting and the girls are already begging for another dog.
They are convinced life isn't complete without two dogs in the house. Me not so much.
All I can think about is house breaking, the cost and the extra work of keeping track of another animal. But my husband says I'm weak and it won't be long before there is another four legged friend in our home.
I told my friend the other day that it's easy for me to wish for an animal "hair free" house, immaculate floors and furnishings; but then in the next thought I remind myself in heaven I'll have a mansion ha! And this life just isn't the same without kids launching from trees in the backyard, animals taking over the couch and running out the door all the while checking for dog hair on my yoga pants. And that's pretty much the low down around the Harker house this month.
Be blessed friends!


Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Well if you know our family at all or have followed our blog for any length of time, you know we are animal people and total suckers for a sweet furry face. So that will explain why we were heart broken to have had to put our sweet great dane Macy to sleep this past weekend. 
She really was the best dog and loved our girls so much. We used to joke that she thought they were her puppies. 
We were told about six months ago that they thought she had bone cancer in her foot and if that was the case she would maybe live at the longest six months...and that's exactly what she did. She fought hard for six months to stay active and even on bad days followed me and the girls around.
She never knew she weighed 190lbs. she was HUGE but thought she was a lap dog.  When Morgan was on her mission trip this summer she moped around for two weeks and then the minute she saw Morgan walk through the door she was like a puppy again. If Ryanne went for a run or to ride her bike Macy would sit at the end of the driveway and watch over her until she was safely back in the yard.
Saturday really was the worst day because we love her so much and she was a part of our family. Having pets is hard because we get really attached but we had a lot of good years to love on our Macy girl so that's what we are remembering. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Low Down on Skinny oil, Passport to Purity Trip & a Giveaway...

So I got an email from Skinny Co. asking if I wanted to try their products. I agreed to blog about my findings and so they shipped me a free sample of all these goodies. 
The box came with lots of information on their products and I was excited to give them a  try. I am all about natural products and especially love coconut oil.

One of the jars was a coconut oil and other essential oils for teeth whitening so for two weeks me and Dan tried it out and we noticed a huge difference in just polishing up our teeth and making your mouth feel clean. I brushed with the coconut oil and then brushed regular with my Toms of Maine toothpaste and we are hooked. One night after we got the oils Ryanne broke out in hives something awful so I rubbed her down with the coconut oil and the hives calmed down, were less itchy and gone the next day. Yahoo! Lastly, my favorite thing they sent was the coconut oil scrub that I have been using on my heels and other rough spots and it is AMAZING! So if you love all natural products like I do check them out at Enjoy!
So when Morgan was entering Jr. High I took her away for a two nights to the beach to have some girl time and work through the Passport to Purity series. This past weekend was Ryanne's turn and so we loaded up the car and headed for Carlsbad....
We loaded up on good food...

And of course long walks on the beach in the morning when it was quiet and calm...

We also decided we definitely need a living wall on our patio...
Ryanne singing on the worship team for Jr. High. She is growing up quickly but not to quickly, she still likes to jump in my bed on cold mornings and snuggle and tells me she is never going to drive ha! The time away was good and blessed both of us. If you have never heard of Passport to Purity you should totally check it out. It broaches subjects with the kids like puberty and dating and asks them to come to some kind of accountability with their parents on how they will conduct themselves as teenagers when it comes to the choices they make. In the end we gave her a purity ring and she loves it! We talked about her desire for a Godly marriage later in life and her desire to be obedient now as she's going to be faced with peer pressure etc. 
This has really been a God send for our family and we want to bless you by passing on a Passport to Purity kit. The only thing you would have to do is go on to Amazon and buy the journal to go with it. But the Cd's and workbook are all here.
Leave a comment over the next week telling me on a scale of  1-10 how freaked out are you to talk to your kids about sex and then I will have my girls pick a number and whoever gets picked wins!

 If you live close by I will drop it off on your doorstep and if you are far away I will happily mail it to you.
This is just for fun and to pass on the blessing oh and because I am doing the happy dance and survived two! Count them people, TWO! weekends away with my girls talking about the hard stuff ha!
Also, if you have sons this kit works all the same as it has the CD's for the father-son get away.
This is ideal for kids about 11-12 years old but you can always win it and put it up because they will be there before you know it.