Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Program

 Claire did a great job on her solo! :)






 The little ones did such a great job singing their songs. I was especially proud of Benjamin and Grace for doing their motions so nicely. :)




 Benjamin tried to keep his sister in line, but that is a BIG job!

We are thankful that Gracie was not as animated as we had feared!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

SNOW much FUN!

I have a love-hate relationship with this blog thing. But I don't regret posting the pictures and stories of the kids and figure it will be helpful for scrapbooking if I ever get a chance to work on them again! So to make up for the past two winters lack of snow, we have had a LOT already this winter and it isn't even Christmas! The kids love it! I think it's pretty, but it's ccccooolllddd!
 Benjamin loved sledding down the hill just on his belly!

 This girl looks like a pro sledder or something with her stance and the way she made it up the hill was incredible! Again and again and again!

 She seriously loved it!
 Mannie came out to join in the fun too!

 This boy loves snow and sledding as much as he loves the pool and swimming so I'm not really sure what his ideal living location should be...maybe he will need an indoor pool when he gets a house of his own!
 Such a great brother! Took time out to take his sister down and I think you can tell how they both felt about it!
 Aamah and Grace!
 Always so serious...
 ...or is he?




How'd that work out, Buddy?!?! ;)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sibling ❤

Benjamin is playing with Grace and her baby dolls. 😍 She was trying to move her rocking chair to his room and he came out and handed off the baby to her and moved the chair. 💗

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Almost F-I-V-E...

Almost F-I-V-E! I can't decide if that makes me want to cry or smile so big my face breaks...he is so excited to be turning 5...after all, that means he will be the same age as Emma(even if it is for only 3 weeks). He was my assistant at a photo session recently and wanted me to take a picture of him so I took this one as we were leaving. I love it even if he is wearing play clothes...and for posterity sake, here is his birth post. Sigh...time is going so fast now...

Favorite foods:
Apple
Honey Nut Cheerios
Bananas
Boiled eggs

Favorite color:
Green
Blue

Favorite book:
Where the Wild Things Are
The Very Hungry Caterpillar







Friday, August 16, 2013

Legoquests

On the left is legoquest #1-create a car. Noah's description: it is a round car and it spins in awesome circles.

On the right is legoquest #34-30 pieces. Noah's description: it's a bird capturing ship. It captured an awesome bird and the guy killed the snake in his hand and uses it to recapture the bird if it tries to escape.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Bittersweet

One night recently when putting the kids to bed, I was explaining to Noah what bittersweet means and how it relates to the fact that he isn't a baby anymore. I told him I that I loved watching him grow up and become a gentleman, but that it's sad that he doesn't need me like when he was a baby. I cannot make this stuff up! The kid looks at me and says, "I may not need you, but I'll always want you." May as well have ripped my heart right out of my chest! He could write the quote book for melting a momma's heart! He always knows just what to say!

Friday, April 05, 2013

TV Scawwy

Woke up at 530 this morning to the sound of snow on the tv quickly followed by the wail of a certain little girl. Joel got up to get her and the conversation was priceless!
J: What are you doing out of bed, Grace?
G: All done bed. Tv scawwy. Tackle daddy time?
J: No, it's not tackle daddy time. It's still dark out.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Resurrection Celebration!

I love Easter! Not the bunny! Not the eggs! Not the new clothes! The celebration of the most life changing event in history! I truly felt a sadness on Good Friday as I thought of my Savior being crucified, murdered. For me. Imagine the sadness of that day so many years ago. All the work the disciples had witnessed and this is what it has come to. You have to wonder what questions went through their minds. But wait! That's not the end of the story! Today, the joy of what came to be just 3 days later! The most important event that altars the course of my destiny! My Redeemer lives!!!!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Once upon a time...

Benjamin's favorite thing to do at age 4 1/2 is to tell stories. Def creating a scrapbook page for this one. Sooo cute! Every story starts with "once upon a time" and ends with "and that's all". Usually, it is about him and whoever he is telling the story to and includes events that he remembers but can't place on a timeline. They are really sooo sooo cute. I will def have to record one too! :)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Valentine's Day

I had fun making valentines special for the kiddos this year. For about a week before valentines, I would leave a special note and small gift on their door. They were always excited for it, but at the same time I felt like I was more excited than they were. The gifts were nothing extravagant...swirly straws, play doh, cars, crayons, etc.
I will admit it was a lot of work getting it all ready each night and I was glad when Vday finally arrived and I was done. It wasn't until a couple weeks later and now even over a month later that I realize what an impact it had on them. Both boys have asked if it will be next valentines before they get something on their door again and Noah has mentioned how much he liked the notes several times. I am mulling over ideas for mailboxes that they can check and I can put a note in at random. Back to Vday, we went to chick fil a and had a great time and I got this gem picture!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Responsibility:Time

Responsibility...my word to live by in 2013. Read more here and here. While I continue trying to eliminate all excuses from life, I have really been challenged lately to guard my time as if it were my heart. I was especially reminded of this just this week when I engaged in an argument on a friend's link with a person I have never met about a topic that I'm not willing to change my mind on and he was obviously not willing to change his. Ok, it was only 5 minutes and I was smart enough to virtually walk away, but that is 5 minutes that I will never get back for something pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of life!

I was going to use a picture of the quote: "Time flies, but the good news is you are the pilot." I do absolutely love this. We do have control over what we exhaust our time doing. I can spend an hour at the gym or an hour watching tv.(Granted, that time watching tv is spend with my hubby so while not a complete waste of time, an hour at the gym will give more lasting results.) More than that example of time, my strongest conviction is the time I waste on things that have proven time and again to never change. I need to spend my time with eternity in mind...preparing for Sunday School, my own 3 children and impacting their hearts for eternity, encouraging the body of Christ(card, meal, etc). I am given 24 hours in a day and while some things (like sleep and food and showering) that have no impact for eternity need to be accomplished anyway, I must look at the time remaining and use it for eternal impact.

I decided to use this one because you know as you get older it really does start to feel like the years get shorter. The reality is that each day our lives get one day shorter. Now I don't know how many days I have left to use my time for God, but I do know that it's one less than yesterday!
Realizing that time is so valuable and precious and also limited has struck me to the core on a few areas that I've been wasting time. No more! I will use my time for God! I will not waste it on fleshly things, but rather impact souls for eternity!

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Precious chit chat

Gracie's misspeaks:

Shuw=sure (favorite)
Id-eno=I don't know
Wassat=what's that?
Benjin=Benjamin
Oah=Noah
O-fee=Sophie(her fwend)
Bwitzen=Blitzen
Dacie=Gracie
Baaw=bear
Bandee=Brandi(her speech therapist)
Mownin=Morgan
Joshy=joshua(who she always wants to see when we go to church)
Uckw=uncle Justin
Et book=aunt brook
Cowtnee=Courtney
Gamma=gramma
Gampa=grampa
Ug=hug
Oh-guck=yogurt
Tiss=kiss
Wuv you=love you

She says so much now and regardless of how many words are "misfits", we just love to hear her talk!

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Sweet Snippets

Staying home full time(as in never going to work or really anywhere by myself) has been so much fun for the past 2 months. I am really going to miss it when I find a new job. I have had moments where I feel like they are going to make me lose my mind, for sure, but the sweetness of the moments I don't have to miss sure makes up for it. Really the only time I wish I were working is when I have to pay bills... :/

I know how quickly this time of little people passes. I mean in just a few short months I will have an 8 year old(can't even believe I've been a mom that long) and my "baby" will turn 3! I am sad, truly sad when I have that realization that I will never hold a sweet newborn(of my own, anyway) and feel them snuggle into your chest. There truly is something about a baby. I'm so proud of my 3 and so thankful that their hearts are shaping to God and His ways. I do still miss them being little babies though. 

This post is to help me remember when these stages are past just how precious these times are. 


Benjamin:
If I had taken my phone or camera upstairs with me last night, I would have the cutest pictures of that kid and his many expressions, but as much as I love a picture--they aren't everything. Sometimes you have to live in the moment, drink in the sweetness, and just soak up the cuteness for yourself not from behind a camera lens! We have started discussing Valentine's day because we are going to be doing some crafts and things for V-day. I had explained that Valentine's day was about loving on the ones we love. Instantly, his mannerisms changed, his ears perked and his eyes twinkled. Benjamin has dimples that are only visible with a certain squinty eyed twinkling smile and those dimples popped right out as he said, "I love Emma." I can't help but smile when her name comes up. He's so nonchalant usually, but at the mention of "Emma" from anyone's mouth and the kid turns to mush. I'm not kidding it's sweet...and scary! He swoons over green sour apples and Emma. Sigh...anyway, I obliged and said, "Oh yeah, what do you want to give Emma for Valentine's Day?" Without hesitation, "A card that says 'I love you from Benjamin'". Well, he certainly is not wishy washy...THAT is for certain! :)


Grace:
Grace has been singing all the time lately. It's really super sweet! I have to get it on video soon! She just makes up her own songs, but they always have Jesus in them! ♥ 
Here are a couple examples of the words we hear:
♫Jesus wuv you a-wa-wa

Ooo aaa ooo aaa, Jesus, ooo aaa ooo aaa♫

I kept Gracie up after the boys went to bed the other night because she doesn't get much one on one time to spend with mommy. We played with her doll house. Her pretend play skills are impressive and she is serious! Even her therapist says she is amazing to watch play pretend. :) So we were getting set up to play and she couldn't find the mommy doll. So she was looking all around for it and suddenly says "I found mommy!" Then she couldn't find the potty, I wish I had a video of it, she was bent over in her footie jammies, bulky diapered tush in the air looking under the radiator(heater) saying, "Po-o-opppy?   Po-o-opppy?    Po-o-opppy? Whewe awe you, poppy?" Soooo sooo cute! Once we did find the potty, everybody had to use the potty! She is so obsessed with the potty! I think we are getting very close to having ZERO in diapers! I think the biggest hold back for her has been the ability to communicate effectively and admittedly, as exciting as it will be not to have to buy diapers there is something distinctively sad about 'no more diapers'. It's the last hold on "baby-dom" that we have left! :(


Noah:


As I was putting Noah to bed a few days before my birthday, I was telling him how I just didn't care for birthdays anymore. Stunned, he asked why. I explained to him a little about how when I was little like him, birthdays were always a big deal just like they are to him and now they just aren't so much special. He said something about gifts and I told him he could save his money, that didn't need to buy me a gift. He said, "well, I could probably make you something." Ugh! Talk about choking back a flood! He will not likely ever know the impact those sweet, straight from the heart words spoke to his old(compared to him) mama! Those words made me realize so many things! I am so thankful for the gentle teachings God sends through these beautiful blessings He has entrusted to me.

 

Monday, February 04, 2013

Responsibility: No excuses



I can't even believe how much God has already used this word in my life in just a month! Where to even start? Excuses. I have to not only be responsible for making no excuses, I need to eliminate every effort of an excuse. So here's my top ones...

 "I don't have time." Truth: We MAKE time for what we value as important. Assuming sleep takes up 8 hours, 16 hours is a pretty good chunk of time to divide and conquer what matters most.

 "I'm too tired." Truth: Nobody can deny you this, so it's always an easy out. Tired? Power nap or go to bed and start your day early.

 "I can't afford that." Truth: Same as time. We afford what's important to us. (This is not to say but things you can't pay for, but rather don't just make an excuse, speak the truth.) This one is especially important to me with my kids, because rather than telling them we can't afford something, I believe it is better to show them we have priorities.

 "I'm having a bad day." or "I'm just not in a good mood." Truth: I choose my mood. Barring tragedy, are we really ever having a bad day? I mean, I know some days the kids are going crazy or everything breaks when you look at it or you can't seem to get anything checked off the to do list, but really, unless you just received tragic news, it seems kinda lame to just throw out the bad day card. (Whew! This is gonna be tough! That's an easy card to play!)


God has blessed us with so much and yet it seems we take it all for granted and just want more or different. God has given us a free will and with that comes incredible responsibility. Not to do great things, but to BE great things for Him!!!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

{Responsibility}

My One Word. Last year I chose {love}and God truly worked in my heart in ways I could not have imagined when I chose that word. I was thinking since no way had I mastered or even come close to learning all there is to know about love that I should keep it for another year. However, toward the end of 2012, I felt God pulling me in another direction. Responsibility. We live in a world that thinks fast food made us fat, the bank lending us too much money made us broke, and our childhood is to blame for our depression/anxiety/emotional instability/mental illness or whatever you choose to term it. Recently, even just looking at my own successes and failures in this life I realized how quickly we are to take credit for the good..."I worked my butt off and lost 50 lbs." Or "I studied hard and aced that test." Even in our spiritual journey, we are quick to self promote our studies. Flip the tables and let's see how those same statements pan out. "I have been under so much stress, I think my hormones are messed up and just looking at food makes me gain weight." Or "The test questions were worded weird and that smart guy in the back ruined the curve." Or even in our spiritual walk, "I've just been so busy and tired and haven't had time to really get in the Word."

In this world where we wish to label bad behavior with a disease to remove the personal responsibility, where we feel we cannot just say, "I'm sorry, I messed that one up. How can I fix it?", where saving face is more important than owning up! I want to teach my kids, by example, that personal responsibility is truly a beautiful thing! When you take responsibility, you can alter your mood, your outlook, your attitude, even your course in life!

I have been working on this post for weeks now. I'm so glad I chose this word. I have seen so many areas that I need to apply this to and am looking forward to big changes in 2013!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Bedtime reports

Sometimes I complain that I have to put the kids to bed 5 nights a week completely all by myself. Joel works evenings and has for a LONG time and despite many prayers for change, I see no future of any change in sight. It's hard sometimes. They ask for Daddy when they are going to bed. Some nights I am so exhausted by the time I read to all of them and snuggle with each of them (and don't forget about baths!) that I simply flop onto the couch and look at the mess and say, "I will get it tomorrow(which never happens btw.)"

Even when I am complaining, I know it is wrong. How many parents who have lost their little children to cancer or an accident or some other tragedy would beg God for one more night of chaos to have the hugs and kisses and snuggles and "just one more book". Even on the nights Joel is home and he puts them to bed all by himself sometimes to give me a break and I get to sit on the couch and do nothing, I don't feel a sense of relief. I feel guilty. I know that all too soon there won't be bedtime stories and snuggles. If I wasn't doing bedtime by myself every night I would miss moments like these just from last night...
Grace: she fell down the stairs earlier in the evening and had a nasty little bump and bruise right behind her ear. I read about signs to check for with an injury in that location. One said to whisper in their ear and have them repeat back what you said. That just isn't happening with Grace. I tried counting. She is very good at that and can count to 10 all by herself most of the time. Nothing. I tried ABC's. Nothing. So I sang her favorite song Away in a manger, all the way up to her favorite part "the stars in the sky" we do hand motions with it and as soon as I stopped she put her little hands up and did the stars in the sky looking down where he lay. Relief! And it was beyond cute!
Benjamin: I always have to weasel kisses out of Benjamin, but the past few nights he has been telling me he gave all his kisses to daddy and has none for me. Last night he didn't even have a hug for me! So after shamelessly begging for just one kiss, I switched it up on him and told him I didn't want any of his stinky hugs or nasty kisses. After making a huge deal about it for a few minutes what do you think I got?!?? Yep! Stinky hugs and nasty kisses! Oh, how I love reverse psychology and 4 year olds! :)
Noah: I finished tucking him in and asked him if he had done something I had asked him to do. He said nope and then showed me that he had using what he called an "analogy". He just started learning about these in school and while it was not an analogy in fact at all, I just love when he learns something new and tries to put it in practice!!

I can't imagine missing these moments and am thankful that for the rest of their lives they will likely remember bedtime fun with mom. Now I just have to remember to keep it fun and not a chore!

Friday, January 04, 2013

Blogging Schmogging

I miss blogging. I think too much as my husband puts it. He's right. I don't see it in myself, but I sure do in my sweet little girl. That girl doesn't stop. When I put her in bed at night, she makes every effort to sit herself up and get one more toy or read one more book. You can just tell that her mind is goin a million miles a minute just to keep her awake! Ahh, yes, she is just like her mama, poor girl! We have brains that go faster than a google commercial! Sigh! For Gracie, I have found that if I gently stroke her forehead and sing or talk about her day, I can calm her little mind and she will drift right off. For me, I think I need an outlet. A creative outlet. It's why I love the things I do. Photography. Scrapbooking. Writing. Decorating. DIYing. The problem now is that I have left this space blank for so long that I don't know where to begin. I have drafts that I've never published. I have thoughts that I have typed out only to delete. It's kinda like my whole entire life right now. I don't know where to begin. So many irons in the fire I can't remember which ones are hot anymore! ...