Happy Halloween from all FIVE of us!




We are still truckin' along, as a family of five! 
For those whom this might be new news, we've had a new addition this fall, a foster baby! 

All three kiddos will be in costumes and we have plenty of trick-or-treat fun planned. 
We've also been really enjoying our fall by raking leaf piles, building fires in the fireplace, making comfort foods like soup and alfredo, and reading good books with a delicious cup of tea.  

Christmas? 

We are so not ready for you yet.  
Fall, you feel just right.

Let go.

"The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to 
let things go." 

The rosy list: first frost and fried green tomatoes


The rosy list: a basket filled to the brim with green tomatoes, bringing the plants indoors, the first frost, fried green tomatoes, afternoon sunlight, the first fire of the season, candy corn for my sweets, watching the farm change as the seasons change, picking up my camera again and again. 
#therosylifelist

Embracing the small: a film



The last slide of the film got messed up somehow.....so please ignore the "title text here". LOL.
This is real life folks. I use iMovie for these films and took Xanthe Berkeley's "Make Films" course to teach myself how a couple of years ago.  My most favorite online course I've ever taken.

You can find the class here: Make Films
This would be a great Christmas present to put on your wish list!

I want to move you.









Move you like that: by Kelly Clarkson

"Like the first time that you listen to your favorite singer live
Like an echo in a canyon
Like tears, but you're not sad
Like a sunrise on a mountain
I wanna move you like that. 

Like a symphony at sundown, in the middle of July
When a lyric really gets you and it breaks you down inside
Like the home that you were raised in 
Like faded photographs
Like the thrill of Christmas morning
Yeah, I wanna move you like that.

Like a solemn hallelujah
Like a choir shouts amen
Like your first time falling in love on a stairway up to heaven
Like a soldier who is falling as he holds his country's flag
And he fights for freedom's calling
I wanna move you like that.

Like an endless fire burning
Like a hope that fuels the light
Like the hands that simply hold you, when words can't make it right
Like the first time that I met you, I fell so hard, so fast
Like that montage in a movie,
mmmm, the way you move me.

I wanna move you like that."

This might be a lot to expect of myself when it comes to photography, but the first time I heard this song and these lyrics I thought that's exactly how I want to move people with my photographs.  Doubt tries to tell me there are gobs of good photographers and I'm just one more among the crowd. 

But God tells me that my eyes are unique. ( yours are too ! ) 
When I take a photo, I want to feel something. I want to capture something that my ordinary, busy eyes wouldn't have noticed on their own. I want to peel the curtain back on regular days, schedules, carpool lines, and commonplace pictures.  I want to instead, be dazzled by this one beautiful, messy, glorious, tangled life we get to lead.  I want to have a fire that burns in my belly not for photography alone, but instead for life.  That's what I want my photographs to capture. 

(I'm excited to share a new film with you later this week)

#therosylifelist

I was posting a daily rosy list on Instagram and then life caught up to me and I stopped. 
But, the gratitude inklings haven't stopped.  Little thoughts here and there drop into my mind throughout the days.  So for this Monday, I present #therosylifelist. 

music and the radio and singing in the car
Christy Nockel's lullaby cd
reading with a cup of tea
early morning fog
Converse shoes
pink pumpkins
Gilmore Girls
breathing deep
homemade burritos
candles
a clean kitchen
Brett's beard
chatting with the neighbors
heart rocks
laughing at "Pumpkin", the naughty cow that gets in our yard daily
cooler weather
the sound of the heater
Halloween excitement
texts from family
browsing Barnes and Noble
wearing layers
greens growing in the garden again
hydrangeas blooming
colorful leaves
Ranger rides
checking the cows
quiet
blogging
taking photos



Your turn.  :) 

Feelings as a family of five

I chose this picture for this post because it brings a huge smile to my face. 
We are a family of five now, our newest foster addition included. 

It is too soon to try and neatly bundle up my feelings on fostering. 
Too hard to answer a quick "how are you?" because there is no quick answer. 
Some moments we're super great and from the outside in I'm sure we look like the all-American, "perfect" family living the dream on a farm.  Other moments are just incredibly challenging and make my eyes fill with tears and my heart hurt and make me want to run and hide. 

But we bravely wake up each day and answer this call. 
It's quiet sometimes, answering this call.  I told Brett it feels like people picture us at home with a new little one, happy as can be.  The truth is we're deep in the trenches.  I am so thankful for a handful of family members and friends who have checked on us faithfully and consistently.  Even when the answer has been "Help! We need prayers! And dinner!".  Even when things at our house aren't pretty or perfect.  Things like dinner, a thoughtful text, a basket FULL to the brim of goodies, prayers, and a simple "do you need anything tomorrow?" have been lifesavers. 

All that to say, we are doing it! We are making it, by the grace and strength of God alone, day by day. I've stopped even trying to make it day by day, instead I try to make it one chunk of the day at a time. 

Can I remind the collective "us" that may be reading how truly needed we are as foster parents? I don't mean Brett and I, I mean "we" collectively.  I think we've received at least a DOZEN messages about kids needing a home in my county just. this. week. 

A dozen. In one week. 

So while I want to be honest with you in this space and not sugar-coat, I also want you to know that even while we're deep in the trenches, we are still so called.  And I pray that many of you are also, because there are babies, children, and teens also in the trenches, only without anyone by their side to give them hope of ever being rescued. 

Ending on a less serious note, I'm happy to say I picked up my camera today and captured my rosy view.  I had desperately prayed lately "Don't let me forget my eyes!", not wanting to lose my vision on the world.  Good news, I haven't lost it. 

I'll share the pictures soon! 

How are you? 

We are no longer empty. (!!)

Friends, our "open, but empty foster care home" status has changed. 
We have a new little one. 
We are overjoyed, although our "hello" was someone else's "goodbye", so it is understandingly bittersweet.  For us, just sweet.  

I'll pop in soon because this space feels like a dear old friend and I picture so many of you as I sit and write these words.  I just couldn't not tell you about our new addition. 

May I ask for your prayers as we transition to a family of five? 
Here's to living the rosy life, one day at a time. 

(and I just have to add, right before we picked our little one up this week we heard the song "I want to see you be brave!" the minute we walked into Wal-Mart.  Jesus is so real to us, isn't he?)





A Narnia birthday party!

We are VERY much into our imaginations in the Torbett house.  I haven't ever really grown out of my imagination (thank goodness!) and my girls can love to pretend.  A year or so ago we introduced them to the world of Narnia.  I admittedly, thought they were too young for the movies but Brett let them watch a few minutes of the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and they were hooked.  Between watching the movies and listening to the audio books, we have been thoroughly immersed in all things Narnia for quite some time.  

When June rolled around Anna Ruth said she wanted a Narnia birthday party.  For one reason and another a party never happened this summer, so instead we had one last week! You know how we live by "better late than never" around here! 
 I tried to keep the decorations simple and inexpensive, like sewing these white banners myself.  These are the cotton facial pads sold on the makeup aisle.  

I also made loads of paper chains with an old box of computer paper.  

 I wanted to have a few easy crafts for the kids to do, including these snow globes,  Each child picked out a jar and a mini tree.  Next I glued the tree onto the inside of the lid while they filled up their jar with fake snow.  

The trees were around $7 and came in a big pack of close to 15 on the Christmas aisle at Wal-Mart. They were really the biggest expense. 

 I hung snowflakes found at Dollar Tree from the dining room light.
 A plastic lion from our toy bin stood in for Aslan.  I was going to put the cake on the cake stand but it crumbled so I just decorated the stand instead. 
 Cotton balls made easy "snow" for decorating the table. 
 The jars held gold, spray-painted branches.  The girls and I are obsessed with the gold spray-paint! It is awesome!  We have plans to use it on some more things found in nature.
 The other crafts I had for the kiddos were swords and shields to decorate.  I cut the shields out from poster board and attached a small, fabric handle on the back so they could really hold them up.  I recommend getting your poster board at Dollar Tree.  It was half the price of Wal-Mart!

I made the swords from long paint sticks, which I purchased for $.37 each.  I used cardboard for the horizontal sword piece because I couldn't get any stores to sell me (or give me) any small paint sticks. 






For snacks we had applesauce cups, black olives, Veggie chips, and a healthy, homemade chocolate cake!  The kids ate, crafted, played with the balloons, and watched Narnia! 

This party was so much fun! 

Next, it's on to planning a baby shower for a friend, a fall party, and Betsy's birthday party! 
This is my kind of fun. :) 

Do you enjoy throwing parties? Do you have any events coming up you're excited about? 

Let's keep it just as real as we do rosy.

(me-not showered after a weekend camping
Brett-also not showered (don't tell him I told you) but getting straight to work on our broken dishwasher.  This is beautiful love in real life.  Even if we were stinky. :) ) 

So my last post was written in response to the war inside my head over the latest news in Las Vegas.  You know those online tests and quizzes you can take to see your personality type?  Well I've taken a few and I am an INFJ, also rated a "highly-sensitive person."  

I've been brutally honest in the past about battling anxiety and depression at times and it's mostly because #allthefeels isn't just a cute hashtag for me.  I literally have all the feels. I watch in wonder as Brett can read the news on his phone before bed, roll over, and snore the night away within a minute.  When I read the news or hear something awful or disturbing, I feel it as deeply as I can without it actually being me that the news is happening too.  In one sense, this is my super-power (or so I've been told) because sympathizing with needs just comes so easily to me.  It also means if I'm able to feel the lowest of lows, I can feel the highest of highs, with the middle range of emotions being quite rosy.  But news like Las Vegas just tears me up.  My, how I have prayed for each person involved.  And then I've done what the quote below says. 

To me, continually stewing over news stories, having tab after tab open of horrific scene after horrific scene, only intensifies my anxiety.  It makes me miss the one beautiful, glorious, worthwhile life that is right in front of my eyes and face.  THAT'S why I wrote the post yesterday.  To interrupt anxiety with gratitude.  I absolutely believe that LOVE TRUMPS EVIL, JESUS TRUMPS SATAN, GOOD TRUMPS BAD.  
Love wins. 
Good wins. 
ROSY wins.
Jesus saves and loves and wins and fills my life with good. 
Now, on to some real life! Can we please just keep it as real life as we do rosy around here?  I'm in if you are.  Because life is not always a styled Instagram photo shoot y'all.  I mean, it's like rarely not.  As much as I adore my big 'ol Nikon there are still moments I snap things with my phone and I'm so glad I have it around.  I debated sharing this photo because hello self-centeredness and selfies.  But, in my defense I've been working on my health pretty hard over the past year.  Sometimes real hard.  Sometimes hardly at all.  But mostly hard.  I've lost 13 pounds and kept it off.  I've been exercising.  

I'm proud, I'll go ahead and say it. 
Suns out, guns out, as I like to tell my nephews about their muscles! :) :) 
Plus, pics like these stay on my phone and I totally make myself look at them when I'm about to make a cruddy food choice.  Why is cruddy food so GOOD?! 
I'm looking at you salt and vinegar potato chips. 
 The girls and I spot "rainbow clouds" pretty often.  I'm convinced it's because we actually stop to look.  Look at the bottom left of this photo and you'll see the tiny rainbow cloud.  After I took this photo I went back and looked at it and THEN I noticed the arch of the rainbow.  Only we hadn't had any rain! Amazing.  

The girls and I are convinced Jesus put this here just for us. 
LOL.
Mom-life y'all! 
This day I texted Brett "my car is loaded up with all my favorite things!! Art, books, and food!"
Workout shorts (a.k.a. my almost daily uniform), dirt because where did all of our grass go?, and pretty leaves.  I took this and it instantly made me laugh. I just pictured all those picture-perfect Instagram and Pinterest photos with fall leaves, which are a stark contrast to my country dirt background. 
Something that helps distract me from all the dishes that always need put away is a pretty countertop! My counters stay clean, minus this little art area and my homemade bucha.  Kombucha, for you newbies. :) 
I realized almost two years ago how calm I felt when my kitchen counters were mostly clear.  Like physically calmer. 

Are you a visual type too?  What home tricks do you instill that make your insides calm?
AHHH!

This naughty cow decided the grass was greener in our yard.  This definitely isn't the first time we've had a cow in the yard (remember the bottle-fed bull calf last year?!) so I headed out with my sleepy eyes to try and shoo it back over the fence. I've done this before without a problem.  I may not be a true farmer, but I AM more of a farm girl than people realize.  Meaning when I get the "cows are so cute!" comment I inwardly roll my eyes.  Sure, they're cute.  But they're also stubborn and can be slightly scary if they start towards you.  Which is what this one did! 
I was planning to run for the girls' playhouse but made it inside safely where I hid from the naughty cow.  It stayed about 4 hours and then let itself back into the pasture. 

Life is never dull around here. 

What's up in your world? 
What are you keeping it real about and what is your rosy? 

I'd love to hear from you and I'm so glad you're here!

Does it even matter?

There's a cemetery I drive past a handful of times a week.  It is the resting spot of my father-in-law actually and so a place I always glance over at with a bit of an ache.  

Some days I see the chairs lined up in a row under the big tent, ready for a funeral.  I quietly whisper a prayer under my breath.  The days filled with sunshine and the rows of chairs feel even more cruel and even more prayers are uttered for whoever has to lay their precious person to rest on such a bright, cheerful looking day. 

The past few weeks I've noticed a new visitor.  He is always seated criss-cross on the grass, ball-cap in place, balloons in hand.  Later, I always notice the balloons waving majestically from the tombstone and I wonder what sorrow this man must carry.  My how I pray for him in-between the whispered "that's not fair" under my breath.  Because it's not.  It's just not fair that for whatever reason this man has added "cemetery" to his list of weekly obligations.  Although, who are we kidding?  This is no obligation, I'm sure he simply must go. 

Today as I prayed a simple prayer for this man and his family I had the quick thought-does it even matter?  Do these prayers for strangers, taking the time to notice the clouds, hands digging in the garden, and waiting for tomatoes to ripen even matter?  Does grabbing hold of the treasures on this Earth right here, right now matter? Do prayers have any weight once they're more than breath on our lips?  Sometimes with the media SO loud and the evil and angry so intense it feels like we're being hemmed in by sadness and darkness.  Sometimes it feels like I'm clawing my way out of a hole of yet another sad story, to try and find the light.  I imagine you must feel that way too.   

I'm reminded of a story Anna came home from kindergarten with and I'm reminded that yes, each of these tiny measures of worship, light, and love-matter.
As I unzipped the backpack on yet another afternoon I noticed a colorful bucket Anna Ruth had filled in with crayon at school.  I asked her about it and her eyes lit up explaining that we each have a bucket and when we're not kind to someone we not only take out of our own bucket, but out of theirs as well.  But then her eyes REALLY got bright when she explained how we can actually fill our buckets and others too! She even used this against me later when I was lovingly teasing Brett and told me I was taking from her daddy's bucket! 

The world is a great, big, giant bucket.  "The world" meaning the greater world and people and places we may never encounter anywhere except for on this computer.  It also means the tinier world that sits outside your front door and mine.  We have obviously been born at this time in this age, for this season.  That wasn't a mistake because scripture tells us in Psalm 139 that God knit us together in our mother's womb!  Add that fact in with the knowledge that God is light and He is love and good and I'd say yes, all of these tiny ways to fill our buckets and others, matter.  

It matters when we smile at the person in line next to us.
It matters when we utter a prayer for someone we see outside our car window. 
It matters to get up every single morning and choose the light. 
It matters to choose to add doses of joy to our day and let that light and goodness seep into others around us. 
It matters to worship through acts like watching the tomatoes slowly ripen and be reminded that God is on the move, however small it may feel. 
It matters to be delighted by a cup of hot coffee, the garden in early morning, and dew drops dancing. 

The world's bucket (and maybe yours) is oh, so empty right now. 
What can we do to fill it for just one single person today? 

We are more than breath.

"Listen, are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?"
-Mary Oliver

Prize Pumpkins

We were outside, wandering about, waiting for our farmer to tell us when to hop in the Chevy and start helping with the hay.  Camera in hand, strap around my neck, I quickly glanced to the back pasture just as I had done dozens of times in the past week.  This particular time my eyes landed on something just orange enough to catch my eye.  In my dress and Converse sneakers I quickly began to make my way toward the back fence.  Gingerly I bent down low and held up two of the barbed wires with one hand, holding onto my dress with the other.  Moving as slow as molasses I maneuvered my way through the sharp wires of the fence, all the while saving my fresh haircut, shaved legs, and dress from any nicks or cuts.  A true feat for any farm girl. 

I approached the orange bulge and almost couldn't believe my eyes! Not one, but two tiny prize pumpkins sat waiting in the back pasture, surrounded by muck and manure.  I quickly twisted their gnarly stems off the vine and started shouting for the girls.  They came running, their hair streaming behind their backs, their long legs flying, their eyes aglow with excitement. 

These prize pumpkins seemed to have grown just for this one moment for this one day to say "welcome to October!"  I imagine there's wonder 'round every corner if we'll only look hard enough. 

The rosy in my real life!

Hello friends! I'm here for another edition of "rosy in my real life!"  I tried to number these and do one for every week o...