Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A One Man (Woman) Band





I like to think I've got rhythm. And thanks to my band stand, I've got a way to fine tune that rhythm. Not only can I work on my singing voice, a little underdeveloped at this time, but I can also work on tickling the ivories. In addition, I can pound a few beats out on my drum while also strumming the guitar. Let's just say I have no excuse for poor musical talent (other than the fact that Mommy has no musical talent). I know many of you are curious as to when my adept musical skills will be on display. . .i.e a concert. As soon as I can talk and string a few words together, I'll let you know. Until then, listen to Beethoven. I like to think my musical prowess is similar to his own.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Collector's Items




Lately I've been on the move. I crawl. I army crawl. It isn't pretty but it gets me to where I need to go. Obviously, these pictures do not showcase me in action. But, in lieu of my new found skill, these pictures will soon be hard to come by. I just don't want to sit still anymore. Can you blame me? I've got two older siblings who move at lightening speed. I've got a lot of catching up to do if I plan to move the same. So, enjoy these shots, taken back in my immobile days. They are soon to become collector's items.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Wonder



Her eyes twinkle as she holds a ladybug that crawls its way up her arm.

A butterfly flutters its wings and holds their gaze.

My son gasps at a train that stands still on a track. "Does it change color?" he asks.

The buds on our flowers slowly unfold to reveal pink and yellow flowers. They run in with such excitement to tell me the news.

Gray clouds move in and thunder begins to roll. The wind blows and their bodies dance as the breeze moves them along. Then they quickly race inside just in time to watch from the back door as the raindrops fall.

All the time their eyes full of wonder.




Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mommy's Moment: To Remember

He carries several coloring books spilling from his arms.


"I got some extra in case someone loses their's," he says with such seriousness as he walks outside to join his sister and our neighbor.


I watch him as he walks away.


His green bug boots, reaching his shins stand out against his pale, stocky legs. They just miss the edge of his black Nike sports shorts.


His legs, a bit cumbersome thanks to the added weight, bow a little as he meanders down the hill with heavy steps.


Meandering is his way.




There is such a sweetness about him as I watch him. I can't help but stare at him. This little stocky boy. He turns around to give me a smile. My mind grabs it and hides it away. A memory quickly embedded.


I drink him in for a moment longer. All too soon this little boy will be a man. His childlike ways will be gone. This Grant, this three year old Grant, will be gone. A stranger. A new, more mature Grant will slowly emerge. A man will emerge from this little, awkward, but oh so sweet body.  And I don't want to forget. So I stand a bit longer. I try to remember this moment, his movement that embodies him.


A picture would not do this moment justice.


And so I write. To remember. To hold onto that moment. To that little Grant that captures my heart. To keep a piece of him that will soon be the past, in the present. To keep this Grant from becoming all to quickly a stranger.


Monday, June 20, 2011

One Thousand Gifts: 106-120


It's Monday...

My list continues...(even though it looks unorganized...I can't seem to fix it)

#106: A SOLD JOB for John's business. Praise the Lord!

#107: Another lead

#108: seeing my own selfishness in light of my children's ease
 to share

#109: friends and family who diligently pray for me/us.

#110: friends and family who delight with us in our joys.

#111: friends and family who carry the burden with us in our
 trials

#112: that we have a Friend in our sufferings who is far more
 acquainted with trials and hardship than we will ever be
 and that He offers us refuge in the midst of our struggles.

#113: a meal eaten out/a night off from cooking

#114: Grant's growing success on doing his business on the potty.
 Do I dare say he may be fully potty trained (minus night
 time)?

#115: the joy in Kate's face as she plays with her reflection in
 the mirror

#116: lots of rain the past week

#117: daily reminders thanks to my sin that I can't do this thing
 alone which lead me back to Him

#118: a "new" dress thanks to a giving friend

#119: two helpful children who actually enjoyed their new laundry
 chore implemented today

#120: a week's worth of full night sleeps...

Conversations with...Hannah



Hannah: Mom, I think I like Coke now.
Me: What made you change your mind?
Hannah: The Coke did.

Obviously, how could it NOT?

Hannah: Mommy, you're eating really well.

Said as I eat my second (small) bag of SUNCHIPS (hey, they're healthier right?).

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dear Daddy








Dear Daddy,

Today is Father's Day. We don't have a snazzy gift for you. Our piggy banks are running empty. Perhaps we should have thought of that before we spent our coins on water bottles last week. We'll blame it on Mommy. But, six dollars can't buy you a new bow or special hunting supplies. Or even small hunting supplies. We can take you out to lunch with your money. And, let's face it, Mommy probably will appreciate it more than you.

So, this post is just for you (and the 30 others who read this).

What makes you a good Daddy? Lots of things. Let us count the ways:

1. You take us to Lowe's to ride the tractors.

2. You let us ride in the back of your truck to go feed Dumbo and his other cow friends.

3. You give us great exposure to wildlife...dead wildlife mostly..hogs, deer, turkeys, just to name a few.

4. You buy us Sonic after church even when money is tight because
you know how much we love it.

5. You tickle us real good.

6. You tell us made up stories that make no sense at all.

7. You let us help you water the trees.

8. You bring us home treats.

9. You let us ride on your shoulders.

10. You give us a game plan so we can collect the most eggs

11. You let us help cut the grass.

12. You pray with us.

13. You teach us about God.

14. You work really, really, really, really, really, hard for us so that Mommy can stay home with us each day and so that we can have all that we need.

15. You tell us you love us.

16. You laugh at our funny, potty humor.

17. You make us laugh at your funny, um, your humor.

18. You tuck us in at night.

19. You write letters in our soapy hair in the bathtub.

20. You're always there for us.

Daddy, we love you and are so thankful you are our Daddy.

Happy Father's Day.

Love,
Hannah, Grant, and Kate

Friday, June 17, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Home






Home.

Too often I think of what my home looks like instead of what it is.

Too often I think of dirty dishes in the sink instead of family dinners at the dinner table full of talking and laughter.

Too often I think of dirty floors caked with grass, spilled food, smudgey footprints instead of the outdoor fun, meals shared, and beautiful feet that grace it each day.

Too often I think of toys scattered about the floor instead of the fun had by my children as they sat together and played.

Too often I think about dirty bathtubs, toothpaste crusted sinks instead of the fun they had playing outside til the sun goes down.

Too often I think about the piles of laundry waiting to be washed, or folded, or put away instead of the blessing to have the wide array of clothes we have each day.

Home is more than a place. It's more than an appearance. It's where life is lived and enjoyed. My hope is that I can embrace that and not miss out on the real stuff because I was worried about the appearance.

And isn't that what Real Life is? Going deeper than just the outside appearance and dealing with the heart?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Christmas Challenge



Christmas Challenge 2011 continues. For those unaware of my new goal, I've alloted myself $100 total to spend on our three kids' Christmas. Today, I spent $2.93 to purchase the above Pillow Pets (though I don't think this is the NAME BRAND but they're still cute) for Hannah and Grant. This is a perfect gift for them because they love pillows...come see my living room floor in the middle of the day. It's a pillow extravaganza. And they love stuffed animals. Okay, I can't stand stuffed animals but this, I figured, could stay on their beds since they are also pillows. I may regret this purchase in the future.

So, they were regularly $20. On Zulily, they were on sale for $11.99. I had $30 store credit thanks to friends who have signed up through me. So, that left me a total of $2.93 to pay out of pocket. The great thing about Zulily is that your store credit also can be used toward your shipping. Love this.

If you haven't signed up for Zulily, you can sign up under me
here
It's a great website that has sales each day on a variety of items from kids clothes to toys to maternity clothes.

So, as far as my Christmas Challenge goes...here are the totals:

Total of $100 spent: $7.89
    Total remaining: $92.11
 Total gifts bought: 3

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

8 Months





It's the 14th. You know what that means. Today I am 8 months old. Hard to believe. But here I sit. 8 months.

For those of you curious as to how my charming good looks compare to those of my older sister, we've snagged a photo of Hannah on her 8 month birthday. And while it would have been awesome if I sported her same outfit on this special day, I couldn't. Let's face it, I'm a bit heftier than she at the ripe old age of 8 months. And so, I'm wearing a better fitted outfit. And while I may have more pounds at 8 months, Hannah had more hair. Jealous? Just a little.

As for my newest accomplishments, I'm sure they've all been well documented on here. But for those of you who have more pressing things to do in life who may have missed those posts, then here's a quick rundown of my recent lifetime acheivements:

- I roll.
- I sit up.
- I have two teeth-bottom
- I eat a lot.
- I am now officially sleeping through the night thanks to Baby
  Boot Camp
- I can drink out of a sippy cup
- I can tell some pretty funny jokes

There you have it. My life in a nutshell at 8 months.


And, for good measure...not wishing to leave anyone out...here's our little buddy Grant at 8 months old. It seems he and I have matching bottom teeth to sport in our pictures. He is a handsome little guy.

Monday, June 13, 2011

One Thousand Gifts: 91-105



The list continues...I am thankful for

91: sleepy kids at naptime...a quiet house for an hour

92: the Lord's protection in the every day

93: the smell of fresh cut grass

94: kisses from Grant

95: Hannah calling me her best friend

96: my good health as I'm reminded that many live each day in physical pain

97: another lead for John's job (praying and hoping the Lord will
use one of these leads as a means of provision)

98: the lake in the back of our neighborhood, especially at dusk in the middle of my runs, such a reminder of the Lord's beauty and source of inspiration

99: Kate finally making progress in "Baby Boot Camp" by showing sure signs of sleeping through the night (yes, she's 8 months)

100: straws, an added perk to drinking a Coke!

101: that the Lord does not deal with me as I deserve

102: children who reflect simplicity, simplicity in the way they forgive and forget, simplicy in what makes them laugh, simplicity in what makes them content, and the reminder that I should be like minded

103: rolls of laughter I too rarely share with my children

104: modern conveniences that make life so easy

105: milk, that although its date expired, never tasted spoiled...thank you, thank you. :)

Pirate Party




Ahoy thar Matey's.

I'm a "piwet." At least I was a "piwet."

For a couple of hours.

I guess when you're a boy and you turn three, you become pirate. It's like a rite of passage. . .you move from being a toddler to a boy. A pirate boy.

So to celebrate my coming of age...preschool age...we partied like pirates. We got hats, mustaches, eye patches, and lookers. . .telescopes?

Then, then there was hidden treasure.

So, my pirate friends and I used the clues to find the hidden treasure. . .full of gold coins.

And then there was my treasure chest cake. Apparently Mommy was going to chunk it but I insisted it be present at the party. And, since I'm the birthday boy, I get my way. At least in cake matters.




So, being a "piwet" is pretty darn awesome. At least when it's for your birthday.



Until next time...


Friday, June 10, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Backwards






Backwards.

What comes to mind is the Gospel. It's backwards. It goes against every human tendancy. The tendancy to work. To achieve. To find significance and worth in what we do.

But the Gospel is backwards. The Gospel tells us our works are as good as filthy rags. The Gospel tells us we CANNOT when the world says, WE CAN.

We cannot make ourselves right with the Lord through what we do. Our best efforts leave us short. Our best efforts don't bring us a "promotion" in heaven or in our standing before the Lord. The Gospel does.

The Gospel says you can't do it. But He can. The Gospel says you are a failure. But He will make you a success. The Gospel says we are hopeless but He will be our Hope.

The Gospel is backwards because it's not about us. It's about Christ. It's about Him doing what we can't nor ever will be able to do even on our best days.

The Gospel says, you need rescued, and I've got THE RESCUER to do it.

Thank you Jesus.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Soul Sister

Soul sister.


That's how I feel at least.

My hankerchief hat makes me feel soulful.

I guess.

Is that the right word?

I mean, it's stylish. That's my only reason in wearing it. I suppose the real reason is to keep your hair out of your face. However, my hair is short. Super short. For the moment.

Just call me Soul Sister then. Or is it Soul Sista?

Word.

Oh and don't worry about the Tylenol. . .or Triaminic as Tylenol is still off the shelves. I simply enjoy chewing the squirter. It's good for the gums. The teething gums.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Rullching

I get around. In fact, there's rarely a moment I'm sitting still. No, I'm not crawling yet. However, I've managed to still get what I want. Just like the dancers on "So You Think You Can Dance" make up new dance forms such as "whipping," I've made up my own form of crawling called, "rullching." It's a form of rolling and pulling and reaching. Sure to be a hit.

Let me elaborate. You just roll, then stretch your arms as far as you can as though you were pulling on a rope and propel your body in the forward motion. These three vital moves complete the rullching phenomena. Who knows, it may be showcased on your favorite dancing shows next year.

Rullching allows me to grab my favorite things such as that red guitar. Sure, it's fallen on my head A LOT, but that's okay. I don't cry. Instead I take it with me to my favorite spot, under the swing. You see, my family thinks I accidentally end up here. However, that's not the case, at all. Through rullching, I intentionally end up here so my over zealous sister doesn't bother me. Sure, she means well, but sometimes I don't want to take a ride on that flotation device. Nor do I want to have her scream in her enthusiastic voice right in my face. It gets old. So, I take my guitar and rullch on over to where I can enjoy it in peace. Do you see my face? Does it look like I'm unhappy here? On the contrary, this is my happy space.


Rullching also comes in handy when I go for my other favorite toy, the ball. After I grab it I do all sorts of exercises with it. It works the abs, buns, and thighs. And you wonder why I'm so girthy? 



Finally, the last way I'm on the move is not due to rullching. No, it's due to my favorite contraption. The jumper. And here, I will admit, I enjoy the input of my sister. Of course I enjoy the bouncing aspect, however, what I am enjoying more is the high paced swinging that goes on thanks to my sister. Yes, she understands the dare devil in me. Unfortunately, Mommy and Daddy sometimes play referee and make Hannah tone it down. Yet, it's not due to my lack of enthusiasm. No sir, I'm all smiles and squeals as my jumper turns into a blazing rocket reaching lengths only known to motorized vehichles. 




As for Grant, well he enjoys a good Stomp session while watching...check out his moves! He's really getting his groove on in that one photo. Perhaps in 12 years he will be gracing the stage of your favorite dance show to showcase his stomping...and I wouldn't be surprised if Rullching was there too. Just remember where you saw it first.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Homeschool Diaries and One Thousand Gifts 81-90






Homeschooling continues...

The Good GREAT: today Hannah read a book. Of course, I sat alongside helping her here and there, but overall, she was able to decode and recognize her sight words with little prompting. I was proud. And, so thankful I got to witness it on my own. She's using Bob Books and I'm already a big fan.

I've slowly been regaining some of my teacher confidence also. 5 years out of practice has made me a little rusty, but slowly it's all coming back to me and I've begun to venture out a little bit more on my own. I created a graphic organizer for Hannah a couple of weeks ago. I wrote four familiar words from our word family charts. I had her read them. Then, she drew a picture. My reasoning behind it was to see if she could recognize the words out of the "chart" context. She did.

As I've witnessed Hannah start the reading process I've felt priviledged. I am thankful I've gotten to experience this first hand and as a result, have grown in loving homeschooling. What a treasure to witness my child's eyes open up with excitement as the Lord opens her eyes to His world He's created.

The Bad: time management continues to haunt this list. How do I get it all done? I want to be diligent in teaching my kids but it is HARD. We are on letter K. My goal is to finish the alphabet by the end of August. And now that the pool is open I am trying to juggle pool time with learning time. Yes, we will continue school time through the summer...another perk to homeschooling I suppose.

The funny: listening to my kids recite the Pledge of Allegiance. "And to the publix..." Yes, we're big fans of Publix!

And, with my homeschool update...I am also prompted to add to my One Thousand Gifts list..

#81: getting to witness Hannah read her first
book and seeing the excitement in her eyes. 

#82: bathtubs that turn into castles and
blankets that turn into tents, all done
in the name of imagination

#83: trials from the Lord that keep us from
getting too comfortable in this world and create in us a greater longing for
heaven.  

#84: three kiddos splashing with delight in
the tub

#85: Kate sitting up...means more managable
pool time and bath time

#86: a bag full of teaching materials given to
me by a friend

#87: another lead for John's business

#88: fresh sheets just out of the dryer

#89: a FINALLY clean kids' bathroom

#90:    Me: what can we pray for tonight?
     Grant: Daddy asked me to pway for his
            business.
        Me: do you want to?
     Grant: yes.
    
And he did.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

A Warning

 All I have to say is, "What was Mommy thinking?"
In a rush to get Grant to the potty she handed my four year old sister the spoon.
"Feed Kate," she says as she races to the bathroom.
It's one thing to feed me baby cereal, but apples and blueberries, that's a whole nother story.
I think my face says it all.
One, she put WAY TOO MUCH on the spoon. She managed to fit a normal spoon's portion on the tiny baby spoon. On top of that, she moved at lightening speed. Before I had closed my mouth from the previous spoonful, she had another heaping spoonful forcing it's way in.
Obviously I can only hold so much. As my mouth was pried opened by the spoon, the previous mouthful spilled over with the new helping all onto my bib.

Thankfully, Mommy returned shortly. No need to tell her the trouble of handing a four year old a spoon and free reign. My face and bib did all the talking for me.

As a result, I have been spared another feeding disaster.

So, I leave this warning to infants with older siblings. Beware. If your mommy hands the spoon to them, well, hold on to your hats, it's gonna be a bumpy ride. Better yet, just scream. It'll save you the embarassment of having your picture taken and having it posted for the world to see.


Friday, June 03, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Every Day




Every Day....

I wake up to three happy, usually, kids

Every Day...

is usually unmomentous

Every Day...

is often momentous, momentous in the small things. Like my children's laughter. Their funny words. Their big hugs. Their "I love you's."

Every Day...

I'm tired.

Every Day...

I grumble at the mundane.

Every Day...

I empty the dishwasher...E.V.E.R.Y day

Every Day...

I make three meals and clean up another messy kitchen

Every Day...

I get to spend my time with three PRECIOUS gifts from the Lord

Every Day...

I need to be thankful for this "unmomentous," "mundane" life I wake up to each morning because I'm doing what I love and what the Lord has created me to do. Thank you Lord for this "EVERY DAY" life.


Thursday, June 02, 2011

Finally



Finally. My pink swing is up. Finally. I'm included in on the big kid fun. I've got it made.There's practically a line waiting to push me. Better yet, I don't even need a push. As long as Hannah and Grant are swinging, it pushes my swing along.



  
This is the life.