Tuesday, May 31, 2011

community living

We are beyond thankful for the wonderful community God has given us. These people love the Lord and love others in a beautifully Christ-centered manner. We love living life with them. For Memorial Day we BBQed at the Walkers, swam, chatted, and Matt & Jenny Beth led us in God Bless America. What a crazy crew! All together we have 18 adults and 27 kiddos I think. Not sure we will ever manage a picture of us all but we sure do have a good time!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

catching up...road trips and daddy's home!

When I re-began blogging I promised myself to blog every week. So, oops. I lapsed. But not too badly and here are all my wonderfully justified excuses. 1. Andrew went overseas for two weeks-enough said. 2. My fabulous mama-in-law and I took a crazy road trip with my 3 kiddos to Ohio to visit Christian, Seuli, and Asha. And Aunt Lizzie flew in as well. 3. Andrew came home and we've been enjoying every family minute over this long weekend. Okay, no more rambling. Here are some cuties from our last couple weeks. Also, I am not the smartest blogger on the block and I haven't yet figured out how to get my pictures in the order I want them. Therefore, they are random and out of order. Smart bloggers, what do I do? The first 5 pics are from our day trip to Devil's Den after Andrew got home. We had a blast & all 3 kiddos did great. Even made it through a 1.5 mile hike! And, yes, my kids are lapping at the creek water. The last ones are from our visit to Ohio. Kiddos dancing and playing at the park. Loads of fun.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

lessons learning

Lately we've been having some melt downs. Crying. Yelling. Whining. You name it. It's not been pretty. Disobedience. Defiance. Stubborn sinful pride.

You may think I am talking about my kiddos here but the truth is the person I just described is just as often me as it is them.

When Madeline rebels I ache for her. I lament my own shortcomings and weep over my feelings of failures as a mama. I cry out to help her, teach her, make it all better. If only I think. If only she would hear my words and listen. Know that I am doing what's best for her. Trust that I will take care of her. If only. How can I love her enough to make her see? Can I?

She's a sinner. And so am I. When I read my Father's word I often walk away. I ignore His calling. I trip and fall over my stubborn sinful pride. I say yes Lord and turn and do nothing. I say send me Lord and walk back to my self and my ways.

And He loves me. And He knows that if only. If only I would listen, let Him lavish His love upon me. If only I would desire Him above all else. He would and will always answer. He will never change. He will be there.

Instead I live a life that gives me all the glory and acts as if I've given it to Him. I ache over all this. I want to live differently. How do I turn my eyes from me to Him?

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light

I so wish this to be true of my heart. Desire beyond anything I can imagine. I am praying this for myself daily-to long for my Savior.

Riches I heed naught, nor man's empty praise
Thou mine inheritance, now and always
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart
High King of heaven, my treasure Thou art

I definitely heed my riches and even more so man's empty praise. I am praying this for myself daily-to treasure my Savior as my perfect inheritance.

High King of heaven, my victory won
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heavens sun
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all

Whatever befall. I am praying this for myself daily-to know my Jesus is victorious over sin and to live for heaven's joys.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Baby Chub

I can't get enough of her sweet little baby chub. She oozes. And I love it!

And, because I haven't written a single milestone down anywhere regarding Anna....
1. 2 months: sleep through night in general
2. 4 months: big smiles frequently
3. 6 months: rolled over
4. 7 months: first tooth
5. 8 months: sitting all by herself
6. 9 months: lots of laughing & smiling
7. 10 months: giving kisses & reaching for Mama

If you are wondering where scooting, crawling, pulling up, cruising, and all those other baby terms that refer to babies in motion are I will tell you. She could not care any less about being mobile. Seriously. I have seen her roll over fewer than 10 times. She won't push up on all fours. She is content to watch the racing world around her and never move. Except of course to Mama's arms. And truthfully, I am totally great with it! She is so much fun and makes our lives so much better. Thankful to God for His wonderful surprise gifts!

Oh and yes, she is a little mini me!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Prom Beauty

Many many weeks before the big event this sweet gal began talking and talking and talking about all the prom oriented details. Her date, dinner plans, what group to go with, what time, pictures, what to do after, the perfect shoes, and of course, the perfect dress. She was g.i.d.d.y with excitement. Her cheeryness related to a high school dance made me smile and laugh and be thankful. Smile because I love seeing her happy. Laugh because she practiced dancing in her shoes for the 48hours prior to the dance. And be thankful because this beautiful young woman has a heart that far surpasses all her outward loveliness. She exudes the joy of the Lord. She desires to be nearer to Him. She longs for Heaven to be her home. She speaks of it, wonders about it, looks forward to it, and her Jesus makes her smile, laugh, and be thankful. Can't wait to watch the Lord's plans unfold in her life.

Beautiful Girl. Love love love her.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

projects and parties

April was a big project-y month for us. Amidst and through all the crazy rain we've had we got several fun things done, both inside and out. First, our kiddos Christmas present from Andrew's parents was a swing set. We finally picked it out, ordered it, and invited Howard & Katherine over to help assemble it. If you've ever been so fortunate to do this, you know it is quite the undertaking! Howard & Andrew did a GREAT job and after about 14 hours we went from this

to this

It has been so much fun around here. Notice the giant tractor behind the swing set. We also took on the minor project of clearing a huge rock filled area out of our backyard. We borrowed a tractor and truck and began what turned into 11 truck fulls being hauled off. It was far more massive than we imagined. And we still need to now cover the area over with dirt. And plant grass. And water it. And wait. But overall, what could be more fun to a 3 1/2 & a 2 1/2 year old than a huge tractor in your backyard? Let's just not talk about the baby bunny family we (and I mean ME) dug up. I am still believing their mama came for them and they are thriving in a new home.

Soon after the swing set we had this sweet wonderful little fella come visit! Hudson & his mama & daddy came up for a few days and it was a blast! Becca & Matt live a few hours away but with little babes none of us travel much. This was their first trip here since Hudson was born. I was so glad for some qt with my sis. And he is so presh!

We also had a hail storm that the kiddos loved watching & eating and then some good movie snuggling with Uncle Matt & Aunt Becca. My kiddos really do love them like crazy!

Our next project was making popsicles one afternoon. We just made some lemonade, poured it into popsicle molds from good old Walmart, added food coloring and sweet tarts for a bonus kick, and froze them. After naps they were a delicious treat!

Our big inside project was turning the big empty wall in our kitchen into a white board. I got this idea from Andrew's office and we decided it would be perfect to do. We ordered the paint from Sherwin Williams, cleaned & sanded the wall, then primed and painted it, and waited 7 long days to use it. We absolutely love love love it. We write memory verses up, notes to each other, birthday wishes, and lots and lots of drawings and doodles. And it has inspired me to work on more learning-y activities with the kids. We are taking a letter a week and doing sounds, words, songs, pictures, and anything else I can come up with to go along with the letter to help them learn it. They have also been practicing writing their letters & are much better than I thought they'd be. Like I said, we love love love it!

Lots of fun going on at our house that I didn't photograph well, like Easter projects, a visit from North Carolina family, and a fun crazy Saturday with some friends and their kiddos. And coming soon...Ren's prom pics. She's a beauty for sure!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Parenting out of the side of my mouth

Let me confess...and ramble a good bit....

Been doing a lot of thinking these days about parenting. This stuff is hard. Nothing major going on. Nothing too out of the ordinary. But all the dailies of life and mama-ing. I can't decide when to let things go, when to discipline. When I'm being inconsistent and when I'm showing grace. When to be stern and when to hug. When to give them space to figure things out and when to intervene to prevent meltdowns. Hmm...any answers anyone? I have several thoughts on disciplining them, praying for them, and teaching them and will continue these thoughts soon. The one thing I have noticed about myself is that sometimes when I loose my patience the quickest and when my kiddos seem to fall apart the most I can pinpoint it to what I am calling, parenting out of the side of my mouth. Half looking, half listening, half trying to focus on myself or something else. Anyway. I really want to be intentional, attentive, and genuine with them. Would love thoughts from anyone on any of this stuff. And also, aren't my kiddos so cute? Good thing. :)