Friday, August 31, 2012

Happy Birthday Abi!


You turned one today my dear and I cannot even tell you how quickly this year has gone by.  You have met all the major milestones in the order we'd expect - rolling, crawling, standing, walking and I am so proud of you.  I love the milestones and moments that they don't talk about more.  The moment I fell head over heels in love with you, when I knew that you LOVED to play peek-a-book and how you love to giggle when your sister plays with you.

I cannot help but laugh when you bonk your forehead against mine or scream at the top of your lungs to get my attention.  I love that you wow'd Grandma by saying "thank you" at an appropriate time last night and that your cautious walking captures everyone's heart.  I love that you let your sister push you around because she is still learning how much bigger she is than you and that you think you are big enough to take on anything she does.

I love your easy-going personality - if my big sister woke me up, talked to me and sang me songs after I was asleep for the night I don't think I'd handle it as well as you do.  And I love seeing the excitement in your eyes as you try new things.  You are certainly a crazy kid and love to be flipped upside down and thrown in the air - and I love that you know mom and dad will always catch you.

I know sometimes we won't see eye to eye and I'll do things that frustrate you.  Like tonight when I tried to make you eat a chocolate cupcake and you were entirely too tired.  But I did enjoy snuggling with you and singing you to sleep. 

I love you Abigail Ann, I always will.



Five Minute Friday: Change

Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking

Five Minute Friday: Change


i don't generally do well with change.  i like things the way i like them and that should be that.  i am sometimes afraid to try new things, even when most of me knows that i won't fail.  i sometimes get overwhelmed with the what-ifs that i run in my head.

but then i remember that this, right now is not who i am called to be.  i am not called to have a spirit of fear or be ok with settling for who i am right now.  He who began a good work in me will complete it but that will require change - change in all aspects of my being.

and sometimes change is painful.  sometimes it hurts.  but i think most times after the hard part the new is a welcome relief from the old.

change. grow. persevere.


Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #72

Thankful Thursday Top 10 Reasons I'm Thankful For My Husband
seeing as Thursday WAS his birthday and all...

1. He loves and will fiercely protect his family.
2. He is a wonderful combination of realistic and optimistic.
3. He challenges me to be a better person, wife, mother and friend.
4. He is an AMAZING cook and cooks more often than I do!
5. He loves his kids with his whole heart.
6. He protects my heart.
7. He does not believe in playing games with people.
8. He is generous and compassionate.
9. He is a very hard worker.
10. He loves the Lord first.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My crazy days

Today breakfast was eleven waffles. Lunch was at a park. I refilled sippy cups at least 20 times.  Dinner was an entire box of mac and cheese, four pieces of toast, three bowls of cheerios and a fruit pouch.  Dessert was served in small bowls because we did not need more sugar and we ran out of treats for using the big girl potty.

I loved it.

I'm not used to having four kids around but it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the time with them.  I've mentioned in the past how some of my in-laws have hung out at our house for extended periods of time so this time seems much shorter.  The 3 year old and 5 year old came over this morning and will go home tomorrow morning.  It makes me laugh how kids play together.  Some snippets...

Grace: Mom, Hannah kicked me in the back.
Me: Grace, it was an accident, she didn't mean to.
Grace: Mom, there are rules!
Me: Laughing.

Gabby: Grace, your mom said to sit on the couch!
Me: Gabby, why don't you just let me be the mom ok?

Gabby (5): Umm, do I get a treat for going potty?
Me: Laughing.

Gabby to Lady at park: This is MY baby!  (Referring to Hannah who is 3)

Oh, it was a fun day.

I was also reminded about how my kids are both very touch-oriented and NEED their mama time so I tried to make sure they got that as well and I checked in with them frequently through the day.

I love being close to family.  I love getting these chances to bond with the little in-laws.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Join

Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking

Five Minute Friday: Join


there are so many awesome opportunities out there.  right now i'm a wife, a mom, work full time in ministry, lead/co-lead two Bible studies, involved in a women's group challenge, teach sunday school and occasionally cook dinner.

i like to join.  i like to be a part.  i like to have a group that i know i can count on.

but when is it enough?  when are there too many good things and i have to start saying no?  i really want my daughter to get involved in awana and i really want to volunteer with that group because i LOVE their ministry...but at what cost?

sometimes i think the Lord gently tells me no, you need to not join but to finish.  finish the tasks you've already been given.  finish YOUR race and stop trying to run them all. 


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #71

First of all can I just say I love that 2 year olds are very forgiving?  Otherwise I think my kiddo would hold the bad attitude I've had for the past couple days against me for a long time.  That being said, I do have some things I am thankful for!
1. Thankful for time on the porch and at parks.
2. Thankful Abi is more mobile and starting to be able to explore.
3. Thankful for friends who are able to meet me at the park with very little notice.
4. Thankful my husband listens to me and gives me wisdom.
5. Thankful my husband firmly believes what the Bible says is true.
6. Thankful for getting rid of a LOT of clutter...still a ton to go.  Post on that later.
7. Thankful for friends who will babysit while other friends keep me company at events.
8. Thankful for parents who believe the Lord will do what He says.
9. Thankful for my grandparents' displays of faith and assurance.
10. Thankful for the hard stuff - it is here we grow.

I don't make a habit of taking pics of my kiddo in the bathtub
but doesn't she look OLD?!?!?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Stretch

Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking

Five Minute Friday: Stretch


the moments tick by and i'm not sure what i'm supposed to do next.  file the paperwork, start dinner, tend to the baby...what is most important and which needs my attention first?  which way do i turn and how fast do i run?  these moments, the hard moments of choosing between important options stretch my heart.

no matter what i choose a piece of me is still pulled another direction.  i find myself thinking about that email while i change the diaper or i think about that silly cat with that silly hat and chuckle on a business call.  i'm stretched.  stretched between good things and most of the time that slight tension keeps things interesting. 

sometimes, sometimes it stretches too far and i simply say, i'm tired.  and i rest.  and i condense.  and i pull back.  untill i am ready to be stretched again.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #70

Sometimes I feel like my heart is being pulled in so many directions with so many stresses of life to deal with - it is a joy knowing that I can come here and focus, even for a few minutes on some of the very positive things that keep life pushing forward.


1. I am thankful the Lord gives me wise women in my life who have been down this road I am traveling.

2. I am thankful the Lord give me young women (also wise!) in my life who keep me in check and help me stay sharp.

3. I am thankful for my little girls who love with all they've got.

4. I am thankful for my husband who is passionate and cares deeply for the ministry that has been given to him.

5. I am thankful to be able to look forward to seeing my grandmother in I miss her.

6. I am thankful that my cousin is doing 21 days of prayer and is giving my family and ministry a portion of her prayer time.  And I am thankful that I was able to send her a message the very next day with a praise.

7. I am thankful for the opportunities to get involved with others, to be held accountable and to grow together in the knowledge of the Lord.

8. I am thankful for Christian music that streams on my computer to comfort my soul.

9. I am thankful for time to play tennis with my dad and that he loves to play at the park with his granddaughters.  (My children have four grandparents that love them VERY much - I am so thankful)

10. I am thankful for sillyness, big blue eyes and green tongues.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Potty Training

Potty Training!

Frankly, I dreaded potty training.  I am of the mindset that until she is ready it is really just a way to torture mommy to have to clean up pee if I forget to remind her to go every hour on the hour.  So, I avoided it. 

Finally, a friend let me borrow a "Princess Potty" - a little training potty and I just put it in the bathroom.  She would sit on it, play with it (it was clean) and started asking questions.  So then I thought, ok, maybe we are actually ready!

Over the summer for a few days I pumped her FULL of juice then we went outside to play.  I was having a hard time explaining what the goal was (ya know, when your body makes water outta, well, there and it needs to go in the potty...ugh, never mind).  Finally after many "mommy, why is there water running down my leg!" moments she was in the right place at the right time.  We had treats, we called daddy, we called Grandma - it was a BIG deal.  And she finally understood the end goal.

We did the same thing for the next few days.  And pee was easy, she was not going to do anything else on the potty though.  After quite awhile using pull-ups to train I started making a HUGE deal out of it when her pants were dry - starting with right after we had changed them and working toward right before she went to the bathroom.  Lots of treats here too. 

Finally it dawned on me that unless she HAS to go to the bathroom she might, but she might not.  So we switched to big girl underwear.  She got to go pick it out (day of the week Princess underwear - the kid has good taste!) and it was a family event. 

She had a few accidents at first and I had to do a lot of reminding to go to the potty but over time she did better and finally started telling me when she needed to go.  Now I only remind her if it has been awhile and I know she has had a lot of juice.

At night she still wears pull-ups and frankly, I'm fine with that.  I don't feel like it is fair to ask a child to be mindful of their bodies when they are sleeping (different than an older kid who just decides not to go before bed or get out of bed when they need too).  Once she is routinely dry at night we'll switch to big girl pants all the time but for now I am quite pleased with her progress and the smoothness of all of it!

For a time table - I'd say our first "outside potty day" was in April and we are currently in August.  She has been dry during the days routinely for probably the past two months with only a random accident here or there.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Waffle and Frosting Sandwich and other fairly odd tales

What a weekend!

My husband has been working all weekend because he is amazing - and for me weekend runs from Friday afternoon to Saturday night.  Sunday is church/family day and while it isn't work it doesn't ever seemed to get grouped into my that we've got that cleared up...

This weekend I have...
  • Cleaned out my car
  • Cleaned out my diaper bag (eww)
  • Cleaned out the girls clothes closet and drawers
  • Made two batches of homemade waffles for the freezer
  • Made muffins
  • Re-stained the bench on our front porch (varnish to follow)
  • Thought about cleaning my office (a task in itself!)
  • Done laundry
  • Unloaded the dishwasher I think three times
  • Prayed on some life decisions (nothing major - just a refocus mainly on ministry)
  • Thought about family/teaching priorities with the girls
  • Cleaned out the photos on my cell phone
  • Found Abigail's baby sized Sketchers (picture at some point in the future)
  • Played at the park
  • Played at Grandma and Poppa's house
  • Played in the living room
And last but potentially most important, I discovered that when you don't use enough batter to make waffles they come out a little crispy on the outside but still light and fluffy on the inside.  Then I discovered that if you add some chocolate frosting (in the name of cleaning out the fridge of course) it is DELIGHTFUL.  Good thing that was the last of my frosting or people would start asking when the baby was due - it was THAT good.  (No, that wasn't an announcement).

A Sampling of the Phone Pics

Friday, August 10, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Connect

Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking

Five Minute Friday: Connect


i love when people get me.  when my people are there to reach out to.  i love when i meet someone new and i think - yep, she can be one of my people and i'd like to be one of hers.

there are people that i can call and just sigh and they know.

there are people that don't need words to know my emotions.

my husband, my best friend is able to pinpoint what i am feeling a lot of times before i am able to put words to it.

i have a hard time letting down my guard and letting people see beneath the surface of my life.  the parts where it isn't all shiny and pretty.  the parts that hurt and exhaust and ache. 

but when i do - joy.  and when they are brave enough to let down their guards and let me in - what a joy to experience that genuine connection.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #69 I'm writing my header I really have no "oh yeah, I NEED to write this as a thankful" which I usually do have for at least my first if they start to get weird just hang in there.

1. I am thankful for family who pull together.

2. I am thankful for swimming and park dates with friends and family.

3. I am thankful for an app that gives me money...(and I'm not putting the name on here so that if you want to sign up you use my link so it gives me even more free money).  Seriously, playing with an app a little bit at a time I've gotten I think $35.

4. I am thank for an insane amount of free stuff recently at the store.  Insane.

5. I am thankful for friends to call.

6. I am thankful for memories and random laughter when a funny memory resurfaces.

7. I am thankful for Husband, Grace and Abigail.  They light up my life.  I am humbled by having to ask forgiveness for my terrible attitude from a two year old.  Fortunately she forgave me...but then reminded me of my terrible attitude for the rest of the day.

8. I am thankful for three weeks(ish) of no potty accidents...on my watch anyway :)

9. I am thankful for an awesome date night last night.  We went to Olive Garden where we were not acknowledged for 10 minutes after we sat at a table...but once that was handled we had a great time (and 25% off - we didn't complain, just said we'd like to eat!) and then got "second dinner" at The Crepe Place because it's amazing!

10. I am thankful for the young lady that has come to my house once a week almost every week this summer to hang out with my kids.  AND super thankful she said that even though she is going back to school she'd like to cover over one afternoon a week still. 

11. I am thankful for all the people I know who are pregnant and/or just had babies.  I love it!  (My wonderful friend Stephanie had twins so now any time Grace talks about her she is "Miss Stephanie-two-babies")


First, let me just say that 1 and 3 are GREAT ages (ok, 3 weeks from one and 5 weeks from three).  I am LOVING these girls and although they both want to be in my lap at the same time all the time, it is awesome.

Second, I think having a question answered by a blogger I really respect and enjoy reading is like a a huge Internet hug.  Check it out here...I am the question about a three year old and a one year old :)  Of course, when people write entire blog series because I asked questions that's like a dinner party with a great friend.  Although I only lasted six weeks breastfeeding again, I'll review before future kids and hopefully one day I'll get it!  Start Here.

Now, about purposefulness.  I have been trying to be more intentional with my days and lately that has meant either getting up and playing tennis with my dad then coming home and stepping back into the routine OR getting up with or before the girls and immediately stepping into the routine. 

I am not a fan of doing things twice so when the girls get up for the day and get their pants changed they also get dressed.  I've just found it is easier that trying to herd them in twice.  So, before they are out of the room they are dressed, changed, hair done and with everything they "need" (blankets, cups, lovies, etc).  Then we head to breakfast.  On a good day we have eggs, grits, toast, etc and on best days Husband is able to join us.  On normal days we have cereal and toast.  I'm ok with that. 

Soon we will probably add some character training to this time.  I am going to get Grace a book (I'll share which one when I actually pick) for her birthday that I think we will read together before we get up from the table.  Speaking of getting up, we are also purposefully doing some manners training including asking to be excused from the table after meals. 

After this they are allowed to watch one show while I get dressed, write, think and make a plan.  Typically if we have errands they go here or we just hang out and play together for a bit.

More on purposeful play, dinner and activities soon!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

White Flag

We raise our white flags, we surrender all to You, all for You.
We raise our white flags, the war is over. Love has come, Love has won.

Sometimes I need to take a few minutes to take a step back and say I don't have this - I am falling apart and give it over to the One who can hold it all together.  I love that I don't have to be strong for the Lord but I can be strong in the Lord. 

I am finishing up Experiencing God with one of my kids and I'm blown away at how God works around me and how quick I am to dismiss it as something else.  I like going through the study because it refocuses my attention on Him and what He can do.  And of course it reminds me that I do nothing on my own but the Holy Spirit manifests in me to equip me. 

I know my Redeemer lives, a
ll creation testifies,
this life within me cries
I know my Redeemer lives.

At the end of the day I have to be faithful with what I am given - from gifts and talents to the little people that have been entrusted to my care to my time and money.  But at the end of the day, it is not about me...and that is delightful.

I serve a loving, living God and He's got this, even when I don't.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

August Photo Day 4: Somewhere You Sat

August Photo Day 4: Somewhere You Sat

While the girls were playing on the swing set in our backyard I sat in the little blue chair for awhile.  Lets just say it is more suited to Abi's size than to mine...picture the chair coming with me when I stood back up. 

Our backyard now contains fenced in room to run, kick balls, a swing set and a pool.  The girls have been loving the outdoor play when their mama feels up to supervising them!  I don't do well with heat so I'm kind of reluctant to spend too long out there - but an evening in the pool is usually quite welcome.

And, add this to Thankful Thursdays - I just got a new bathing suit...the second one I tried on and as far as bathing suits go, I LOVE it.  You probably won't see any pictures of it on here since it is still indeed a bathing suit but its nice to have one that isn't five years old with all the elastic no longer elastic-y.

Friday, August 3, 2012

August Photo Day 3: Coin

Day 3: Coin

Ok, this may technically not be a coin but it is my kid's piggy bank filled with coins...and that might be a "I Owe You $5" note that I stuck in it because I needed cash for parking.  I mean, maybe. :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #68

Thankful Thursday!!

1. I am thankful for celebrating my 28th birthday with my family!  My husband jokes that birthdays in my family are more like 10 day celebrations rather than a single day.  This is very true.  I spent the weekend with my parents and grandparents and then Sunday with my family and Monday with my mom and some alone time.  It was good.

2. I am thankful I got to go to the Air Force Museum with my Grandpa, dad and my kids to see the planes that Grandpa used to fly!

3. I am thankful to get to have my grandparents in my life and hear their stories and the things that are important to them.

4. I am thankful for phone calls from my big kids who love the Lord so much and let me pray with them.

5. I am thankful for that ah-ha moment when my big kids start to get kids of their own and finally get what I've been doing with them all these years :)

6. I am thankful when #4 and #5 happen within 20 minutes of each other - feels like a hug from God.

7. I am thankful for tennis with my dad!  We have been playing a lot and it's fun, gets me out of bed in the morning and makes me sweat! 

8. I am thankful for people who speak wisdom into my life and that I'm never too old to need someone who I can call for wisdom!

9. I am thankful for no potty accidents this week!
(Ok, one time there was a little bit of an accident but it wasn't for lack of trying.  I asked Grace what happened and she said "My pee pees JUST DON'T LISTEN" and I about lost it I was laughing so hard.)

10. I am thankful for Abi walking, talking and doing so great! 

11. I am thankful for 3 more family birthdays in the next 6 weeks...we are all within 7 weeks of each other.  Weird? (July 30, August 30, August 31, September 16)

August Photo Day 2: One

Day 2: One

My awesome adopted kid came over this week to help me out for a few hours and took this sweet picture for me.  ONE laundry basket with TWO beautiful sisters! :)

Abi is walking like a champ and has said her first two word phrase "SIT DOWN" courtesy of her standing up in the bath tub all the time.  She is such a sweet girl.  Grace's smile melts my heart.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August Photo Day 1: Outside

August Photo Day 1: Outside

5 Things I Love About This Picture:
1. My kid goes up to people and says "HI" and then plays with them for an hour.
2. My kid doesn't need to be right next to me all the time.
3. My kid is big enough to use playground equipment without help.
4. My kid is not afraid.
5. My kid still runs back to mom to say hi every once in awhile.

2 Things I Hate:
1. I always think "when did she get so big?"
2. It isn't going to slow down.