Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mommy's Moment:Life

I'm lacking quality pictures. You know, those, creative, funny, capture the moment, kind of pictures. And when I lack quality pictures, I lack posts. But, the pictures above, well, that's real life. They aren't perfect. They aren't carefully proportioned and the kids aren't posed. But, this is what we look like. Half the time (and I'm being generous with that percentage) my kids often don't make it into carefully laid and planned outfits. Hannah, well, she ends up in some sort of mismatched, Punky Brewster array and lately, I don't have it in me to argue. For the moment, and I do mean moment, she has chosen to grace the world with her Black Swan attire. Her hair. Oh her hair. I will be so bold to say many a days, if we don't leave the house, I don't brush it. If you want to know why, I invite you to come and sit while I run a brush through it. Apparently, I take after my own mom when it comes to working through tangles.

As for Grant, well, he actually matches in this picture. That's a major accomplishment. There's no telling what he'll wind up in by the end of the day. He too changes several times a day, however, not due to a keen fashion sense but due to an amazing inability to hold his bladder or, well, you know. Thanks to a recent hair cut his hair maintains some sort of decency.

As for why they have placed chairs out our front door, it is one of their many "games" they make up together. Perhaps this was the "train" or the "movie feater." As for me, this was my, get out of my hair for just a few minutes game. It worked. For a minute. As you can see Hannah has a stand in for Kate.

But, this is life. It's not what I expected. I'm not the mother I expected to be. It isn't neatly packaged. Nope. Not in our house. And, I'm sure not in most houses. If you walked through my door you would be met with a mess. Another mess. It seems impossible for me to maintain a house that I am not embarrassed for someone to walk into. I've had to swallow my pride many a times as people unexpectedly have stopped by. Often greeted by children who could be the poster children for an area plagued by a natural disaster as well as a home that also could be described as having undergone a natural disaster of its own, my guests have got to be wondering what in the heck goes on in here.

But then I remember.

Laughter. Imagination. Discipline. Teaching. Learning. Love. That's what I have to remind myself. It's not neatly packaged. We won't be gracing the pages of Southern Living. But this is life. Our life. The real deal. And one day, one day, my house will be clean. My kids will be grown (and well groomed I'm sure, I hope). And I will long for the messiness again.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Just Another Day in the Life...

Yes, you're seeing correctly. My FOUR YEAR OLD sister is feeding me. My first thought, "Mommy, are you sure you want to do this?" After what appeared to be a yes, my second thought: "Hannah, are you sure you know what you're doing?" Thankfully, it appeared she did. Just another day in the life of the third child.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Things that Make You Go Hmmm....

Take a close look. Is there something that appears a bit odd to you? Yes, that's Hannah in the second picture, and while she is sometimes odd, that's not what I'm getting at here. Look more closely. If you have an eye for detail you may just notice that Hannah and I are wearing the same outfit. Not too odd. I do get all of her hand me downs (a perk or a pitfall, however you choose to see it). Look more closely. Note Hannah's fuller head of hair. Note the way she is sitting quite confidently on her own. Now, look at me. I still have peach fuzz for hair. And I've yet to learn how to sit up on my own, because, believe you me, I would NOT be lying on the ground if I knew how to sit. So, what's the oddity I'm getting at? It's the fact that Hannah is eleven months in that picture and I am five months...AND WE'RE WEARING THE SAME OUTFIT. I think this qualifies as "things that make you go hmmm..."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

One Thousand Gifts: 16-20

Another week has passed. With its passing come new gifts to be thankful for. Yesterday John and I celebrated seven years of marriage. Our celebration came with little fanfare but with much contentment. Little fanfare simply because that's where we're at right now, a season where celebrating an anniversary means enjoying our family and grabbing a bite to eat at Zaxby's (hey Zaxby's was our celebration dinner the night we got engaged...that's just how we roll). And, with much contentment because celebrating another year of marriage is not about fancy dinners or extravagent plans, but about what the Lord has done in both of us through 7 years of sharing our life together. And He has done a lot. Besides blessing us with three beautiful children, He has blessed us in so many, many ways. But, more importantly, He has changed us. Changed us for His glory. Changed us for our good. Changed us for the better. Marriage is great. Marriage is hard. Marriage is for His glory and our sanctification. With joy, I can look back and see His work in my life. I can see growth, fostered and carried out by Him, not me. This reminds me yet again of His faithfulness to me, my husband, our marriage. With that...

I am thankful for:

#16: my marriage and the Lord's commitment to it

#17: a gift card that came through the mail yesterday through an anonymous friend
(thank you friend if you are reading this, we are truly thankful).

#18: a daughter who is not inhibited by fear when meeting new people and going
to new places.

#19: $10 off of $10 coupons

#20: a run on a beautiful afternoon listening to worship music and being reminded

of our great and awesome God.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

New "Do"

Check. It. Out. Who's that handsome, hip, dude? It's me guys. Don't let this look fool you. It's still Grant. Now that our hairstylist, Mrs. Kim, has moved I've had to search for a new stylist. And stylist I found. Little did I know upon entering the local Super Cuts that I not only would get a haircut but I'd also get that haircut styled. I don't think Mommy even recognized me as I moseyed into the house with my "off the chain" style. Unfortunately, Mommy or Daddy have not kept up the look. "But that's okay (my favorite new saying now)." Daddy says real men don't use hair product. I'm a real man (except for those times I ask Mommy to give me a squirt of her hairspray, but that's just between us).

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Introducing Your Baby to Solids...The Third Child Way

As I said before, being the third child has its advantages. Eating solid foods is no exception. I've documented some of those advantages that I'm sure the first born children were deprived of. So if your a third born...or fourth, or fifth, or nineteeth if you are a part of the Duggar's family, then this post is for you. When you're feeling as though your being tossed from one sort of contraption to another during the day and missing out on those special snuggle times or reading marathons your older siblings enjoyed, take heart. There are advantages to your birth order. Advantages that can literally be found right at your fingertips. Just take a look.

As a third child, you're allowed to get messy. really. messy. By the third child, moms have given up on their desire to see a clean face after every bite. In fact, the only time you're wiped is after all the cereal as been devoured (or spit back out onto your bib or previously super cute outfit). And we all know messy=fun.

Who said you need to be 18 months to start feeding yourself? Because there are other kids in the house that are competing for Mom's attention, you're given full control of the wheel. Yahoo. Sure I have no gross motor skills for such a task but who cares? It's like a game. See how close to the mouth you can get with the spoon. Bonus points if any of the food actually gets in.

Thirsty after all that action? Well, have a drink. Of Coke that is. Mommy's so deprived of sleep and sanity from running after three energetic kids that she has no idea what she's offering me.

Finally, well, I'm not quite sure what being a third child and eating solid foods has to do with this picture. It's just plain awesome. I do think that my face looked something like this as I came out of the womb...and the baby food, well that is a lot like that cheesy stuff I was coated in.

So, take heart all you third, fourth, Duggar children. This could be you. Enjoying the freedom of your birth order as you munch on some chow.

*disclaimer: no Coke was actually consumed while taking these pictures.

Monday, March 14, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

The past week has been a bit of a blur. Sickness has hit our home. Sickness has hit me. Twice. I'm not one to usually get sick. But sick I have been. Thankfully, it is nothing more than a nasty head cold that followed an illness associated with nursing. On top of sickness, a close friend's daughter had a major scare that ended her up in the emergency room. Though she was not my own daughter, I found myself praying as though she was. Then, on top of localized craziness, we have the sheer devastation in Japan and the continual and growing unrest in the Middle East. Life is crazy. This past week, near and far, crazy. However, in the midst of chaos, there is hope. My discipleship group is reading a great book, Trusting God Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges. What wonderful words of truth this book brings as we walk through a world that is full of hurt and disappointment both small and large. Bridges writes to believers:

"Because God's sacrifice of His Son for our sins is such an amazing act of love toward us, we tend to overlook that it was for Jesus an excruciating experience beyond all we can imagine. It was for Jesus in His humanity a calamity sufficient to cause Him to pray, 'My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me' (Matthew 26:39), but He did not waver in His assertion of God's sovereign control.

Rather than being offended over the Bible's assertion of God's sovereignty in both good and calamity, believers should be comforted by it. Whatever our particular calamity or adversity may be, we may be sure that our Father has a loving purpose in it. As King Hezekiah said, 'Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish" (Isaiah 38:17)."

In the midst of uncertainty I can hold fast to the truth that the Lord "works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).

So, from that, my list of thanfulness #s 11-15:

#11: Romans 8:28

#12: the good health report of my friend's little girl, Ada

#13: a HUGE answer to prayer, John's first job sold with his new job

#14: though everyone but John has been sick the past two weeks we have not had to go to the
doctor...another answer to prayer since we have yet to receive our new insurance benefits.

#15: that Kate slept through the night...11 hours STRAIGHT...thus giving me 7 1/2 hours of
uninterrupted sleep since Oct. 12th. Yes, I am that aware of my last night of full sleep!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Special Bond

There are times Grant and I don't get along. But, more often than not, we're best buddies. In fact, when Mommy asks Grant, "who's your best friend?" Grant often replies, "Hannah." Though I have many best friends, Grant is on the top of my list. He's my buddy. In fact, that's what I call him, "buddy," along with "pup." He likes to pretend he's my pup. And he does a good job at it. He's by side twenty four seven (literally, we share the same room). We play all sorts of games like, toss the coins in the cup (yes we still play with coins, yet none have been eaten), slide down the stairs on your tummy, make piles and piles of pillows to jump on, and other games that would blow your mind. We also enjoy the traditional activities such as swingset fun, riding bikes and trucks, painting, and coloring. We wrestle. And yes, sometimes we get hurt but not before lots of belly-rolling laughter has been exchanged. And we share the same admiration and love for our dearest little sister. I'm so glad buddy, you're my brother. I wouldn't have it any other way! You're the best brother a gal could ask for!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Taking Notes

It seems I have a lot to learn. Take playing in the rice, for instance. Apparently there are rules. The rule of top priority: keep the rice off of the floor. Hannah and Grant are kindly modeling that for me. Word on the street is they have broken that rule. It wasn't pretty. So, I take notes. I sit back. I watch. I learn. I have a feeling there are a lot more rules to learn. I also have a feeling that Hannah and Grant haven't quite learned all the rules yet. The screaming, yelling, crying, lots of prayer time, and "I'm sorry's" and " I forgive you's" are dead give aways. So, I'm taking thorough notes. Very thorough notes.
On the subject of notes, here's a side note. Hannah did not get a perm. Nope. Mommy braided her hair (yes, the braiding has turned into braiding madness) and let Hannah sleep on it. The results, well, you can see it. A little crazy if you ask me. But Mommy said Grandma used to do it to Mommy's hair when she was little. Not sure if that's cool anymore Mom. But, then again, I'm only 4 months.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Bonus Points

Just showin' some love to Mommy. Hopefully this will earn me some serious bonus points in the form of extra milk. Happy Friday everyone.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It's About Time

I'm four and a half. I've done many things, including having held a raccoon. However, one thing I've never had done was my hair. That's right. Braids? What's that? You would think if I'd held a raccoon, then surely I'd had my hair braided before. Nope. I was missing out on something grand. Thankfully, Mommy gave in to her hair laziness and braided up some hair. Now, thankfully, she's perfected her technique since this picture was taken. Instead of a rubberband at the top of the braid she now only uses them at the bottom. It's more stylish. And I'm all about style.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Forever Friends

We have some sad news to share. Well, sad for us. Our bestest of friends, Ellie and Nolan (and soon to be Kate's best friend in June, Baby Roberts #3) moved. We shared a last hurrah a couple of weeks ago at our favorite spot, Noah's Ark. I've known Ellie since I entered this world. She got here first, I followed 5 weeks later, so our moms tell us. Grant knew 6 months without Nolan, but who really remembers their first 6 months of life? So for Grant, it's as if he's known Nolan his whole life. Mrs. Kim told Mommy that upon entering the nursery at a new church the Roberts were visiting in their new city, Nolan asked Mrs. Kim, "where's Grant?" Yep, that's how tight us kids are. Thankfully, Mommy tells us we can visit them in their new house. It's like driving to Grandmama's and Grandaddy's. That's not too long. I've got lots to catch up on with my friend Ellie. And Grant, well, he's hoping to find solace in Nolan regarding potty training. Hopefully Nolan can encourage Grant to press on in this endeavor. Even though our bestest friends have moved, it's not the end. No, I like to think of it as a new beginning in the next chapter of our friendship. Doesn't it say somewhere that "absence makes the heart grow fonder? (I'm well read)?" I think it's true. So, here's to the next chapter of our incredible friendships. We love you Ellie and Nolan...and baby #3...who we most certainly believe is a girl...is just has to be.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Just Hangin' Out...No Really

I know you all are wondering what I've been up to. So, let me kill the suspense. I've been doing a lot of hanging out lately...literally. Mommy put up my jumpey that Grandmama and Grandaddy got me for Christmas. It seems Mommy has been feeling badly that my days are filled with swing time and floor time. She felt a need to spice up my life a bit. Enter, the jumpy. Even though I'm rocking it in the 66th percentile for my height (that's big for us Harmans), I can't quite touch the floor. Okay, I might as well be a mile away from touching the floor. So, Mommy put a pillow beneath me. Still, nothing. But I like to take some rides, often initiated by my well intentioned brother and sister. However, after seeing Grant pull me high into the air to be followed by a fast plummet that may just swing me across the den, Mommy put a halt to it. No more wild joy rides. So for now, I gracefully swing around in circles. And Mommy's right, it does jazz up life a bit more.

For those of you that noticed, yes, I have a double chin when I smile. I think that is the first prerequisite for the Chub Club. Besides being in the 66th height percentile, I am also in the 40th percentile for weight. For those long followers on our blog, that definitely should put me as Chub Club president. For perspective, Hannah weighed a whopping 10 lbs. 10 ounces at her 4 month check up. I weighed in at 13 lbs. 4 oz. So dear big sister, I've got you beat...by almost three pounds.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Mommy's Moment: A New Beginning

As noted in a previous post, John is starting his own business with his good friend, Jeremy. It has been a big leap of faith as we have entered unchartered waters. We have been trusting the Lord to provide a job for them in March. Yesterday, the first day of March, John received a lead. No soliciting has been done yet. A guy who used to work for John passed on John's info to a customer of his. Today, John and Jeremy sold the job. Praise the Lord. I am reminded today of one of His many names, Jehovah-Jireh meaning The Lord is our Provider. Thank you Lord for this provision for our families. Thank you for remembering us and seeing us. We are so grateful. I am reminded of His faithfulness and that it has nothing to do with us, apart from Jesus. It is because He is faithful. period. It is who He is. Thank you Lord, yet again, for your provision.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Conversations with...Hannah

Okay, so I'm starting all sorts of different topics to blog about. My newest...Conversations With....simply because my memory is so short that my only hope in remembering these precious conversations is to write them down.

Me: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Hannah: A mom. I will cook for you (definitely will be sharing this with her and holding her to it).

Me: What will you cook?

Hannah: green beans, (yes that green bean she chews for thirty minutes), macaroni, and basghetti (still, after two years of talking she can't quite get this right. fine by me.)
Hannah: I'll take care of you because you'll be old. You'll be old and die (we've just recently had SEVERAL discussions on death after mourning the loss of my grandma and I must say, she has no fear of death in her tone).
Me: Yes, but because I love Jesus I'll be in heaven having a good time.
Hannah: Do you walk to get there?
Me: Only Jesus knows how we get there.
Hannah: I want Great Grandma Hart to move (again, remembering the funeral)
Me: Well, Great Grandma Hart is probably dancing and singing in Heaven and I'm sure she has no wish to come back down here.
My sweet Hannah. I am so thankful for her inquisitive heart and the compassion that shines through. I am thankful she sees the role of a mom as something to be desired. Perhaps one day the Lord will grant her that opportunity. I am thankful that she sees no fear in death because those who love the Lord find their greastest joy in heaven with Him. She tells me often that she wants to go see Jesus (of course I tell her I hope that's a long time from now because I want as much time with her as I can get!) But, I pray daily that she comes to know Him and love Him and that she will spend eternity with Him.
And, on a lighter note, I'm thankful she wants to cook for me! Yes! I already am eagerly awaiting that day. Let's hope she's as enthusiastic about this in forty years as she is now!
I love my sweet Hannah.