Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Just Have to Document it!

McKenna's Official First Steps:
Saturday, April 26th
She took two steps towards me. She didn't realize she did it and I could not get her to repeat it and there were no witnesses.
Official First Steps for Real:
Wednesday, April 29th
McKenna grabbed Daddy's ear buds for his iPod off the desk and stood there on her own playing with them. She didn't realize she was standing on her own and when I put my hands out for McKenna to walk to me she did it. Daddy was standing there and saw the whole thing. We looked at each other is disbelief (I think we've been wondering if this girl was ever going to walk) and immediately plopped ourselves down on the floor to see if we could get her to do it again. We didn't dare take the ear buds out of her hands and she proceeded to walk back and forth between us for the next 20 minutes. She took about 4 or 5 steps on her own at a time. Christian heard us cheering and laughing and got out of bed to join us. Then McKenna started walking towards him because he had Thomas on his pjs (Thanks Jake & Nikki - who knew those pjs would help get McKenna walking) and she loves Thomas. It was so cute how she would tumble into Christian's arms when she got to him. Can you tell that I'm just a tad bit excited? I can't wait to see if she'll do it again tomorrow.


As promised, here's McKenna looking cute on Sunday! Thanks Aunt Lindsey for the cute outfit! I love it!
My sweet boy is looking older and older every day.

I tried to get a nice picture of them together but McKenna was fascinated by the tree and all the bees buzzing around the flowers.

It was a HOT HOT weekend, but tons of fun with a water bottle in hand.

A giant tub of water is another great way to stay cool and perfect entertainment for a one year old.
Uncle Ryan set off our first fireworks of the season.
McKenna liked it at first and then it quickly went downhill from there. I have a feeling she will NOT be enjoying fireworks this summer.

But the cousins sure love them!

This is the duck pond where we headed when our house was being shown. McKenna LOVED seeing the ducks and barked like at dog at them the entire time we were there (She thinks every animal barks. Right now that's the only animal sound she can make.)

Yes, it does look like they could have fallen in at any moment :) But I kept my mouth shut and just let them be kids. We've fallen in this pond before and lived to tell about it ;) You can click here to read about that adventure.

Let's see: Christian's shorts are on inside out. Abby's wearing long sleeves and long pants in 85 degree weather b/c she ruined two other outfits in the mud we had going on yesterday. Nate is not even wearing pants. But we've got popsicles and are lovin' life!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"Mud Monsters"

It is a gorgeous day here on the east coast! We are doing our best to soak up every bit of sun that we can because tomorrow the rain and cool temps roll back in.
McKenna loves being outside, but I haven't been keeping her out for too long because it really is hot and she tries to eat everything in sight (hence the binkie).
Christian and Abby were having a great time this morning with the hose and a few buckets. After about 30 minutes I told them to turn off the hose so we don't waste water and just use what they have.

When I went outside later ^this^ is what I found.

Children caked with mud. They decided they wanted to be "mud monsters." There was a huge mud puddle in the middle of the yard that wasn't there earlier and I asked how it got there. Did they turn the water back on after I told them to turn it off?

Abby: "No we would NEVER do that! Chrish just had to pee really bad."
((picture me looking shocked trying to process what I just heard))
Me Shrieking: "You mean you made that mud puddle with Christian's pee?"
Abby: starting to cry "yes."
Me ((still shrieking)): "And that's the mud you have all over your feet?"
Abby: "uh huh."

Me: "And is that the mud that's on Christian's head?"
Abby: "uh huh."
I very distinctly remember my brother Tim doing something very similar when he was about this age, so I'm guessing this is just one of these things that little boys do, but I did serve up a healthy extended dose of time-out just to make it clear that we do NOT make mud out of pee ever, ever again! ((sigh)) I still haven't let them come back in the house.

Monday, April 27, 2009


I'm glad this day is over. The weather was gorgeous and I hardly got to enjoy it, but that's okay the kids had a great day. I fussed at them way too much. I hardly let Abby and Christian in the house, but I could hear giggling through the sliding glass door so I don't think they were too bothered by it. I had planted some grass where we had our pool up last year. I no longer have any faith that the grass will ever grow. Abby and Christian spent a significant portion of their outside time watering my grass, despite the fact that they were specifically told not to even go near the baby grass. It turned into a complete mud hole. PopPop would not be happy :(
The seat cushion on the glider rocker in McKenna's room had a milk stain on it, so I decided it needed to be washed. I put it in the washing machine on the gentle cycle (I've done this successfully before with other cushions from the glider rocker) and the cushion came out shredded. It looks awful and probably can't be salvaged. Then my glider rocker was looking ridiculous, so I put a couch pillow on it and covered with a quilt that matched McKenna's crib bedding, but it looked even more ridiculous. So I called Ryan to complain and he told me to put the rocker in the garage to hide it. I didn't have the energy for that, so I just ended up with a silly looking chair as the focal point of McKenna's room. Oh well, such is life!
The house showing was at 4:00pm and we pulled out of our driveway at 3:55pm. I felt like I was about to hyperventilate but the house really did look perfect (except for the chair of course). I even spot cleaned the carpet and hid the laundry basket in the crawl space. The kids were excited to be "super sleuths" so we spied on the realtor and potential house buyers. They looked young, like first time home buyers. I haven't heard anything from our realtor so we'll see what happens! After a short time of spying we headed to McDonalds and everyone got an icecream cone. I had a looming feeling that ordering 5 ice cream cones and a milkshake (for McKenna) would be a very, very bad idea, but it actually wasn't a disaster. After everyone got their cone, I drove as fast as I could to the duck pond and we ate our ice cream there. There was one other mom there and I was mortified when I realized that I knew her. Of all things. with no shower, no make-up, snot and who knows what else on my shirt, and I didn't even have my sunglasses b/c I couldn't find them... it was delightful. She was kind and didn't remark about my disheveled appearance and she hoped into her Ford Mustang convertible and drove off with her well behaved children. Ha! It was amusing!
Olivia came thru her surgery well but not without a little drama. You can check her blog for the details but I am praying that having a trach will allow her body to heal quickly so she can go home :) Thanks for praying for her!
Sorry my posts have been so "wordy" lately! I've got so many cute pictures to share, I just haven't had time to upload pictures. Tomorrow - I promise!! McKenna wore the cutest outfit on Sunday and you've got to see it!

Surgery for Olivia

My day is not going so good. I've got an hour to be out of the house and an endless list of things yet to be done. My clean house plans were detrailed by a backyard injury, a potty accident, a massive rash all over Christian and the destruction of the cushions to my glider rocker (ugh...that's another story). BUT I had to take a minute to ask you to pray for Olivia. She is having surgery at 4:00pm my time (3pm her time) to have a trach put in. This has been a huge decision and surgery is always full of surprises with Olivia. So if you're reading this would you just take a second to pray for her and her doctors too? That certainly puts life in perspective doesn't it! My day doesn't seem so bad afterall when I think about that precious girl!
We're praying for you Miss. O!! And we love you so much! Can't wait to hear a great report!

In a Panic....

I just got a call from our realtor and we have a showing this afternoon! My house is a disaster! I've got a one year old trailing me like a tornado, destroying everything she can get her hands on. The three preschoolers are outside for the moment. I've given them free reign over the hose and lots of buckets and squirt bottles so hopefully they'll be entertained for a good long while. They're caked with sunscreen so I'm leaving them out there as long as possible
In the meantime:
make beds
put clean laundry away
scrub kitchen floor
put out the nice towels
arrange pillows on the couch
pick up toys
turn the AC up!!!
organize the toys in the garage
pull weeds in the front flower bed
take all the junk off my desk and hide it
get dressed at some point
feed children
change diapers
empty dishwasher and refill with dishes from lunch
take a deep breath
okay - let's sell this house

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Matter of the Heart

Up until recently I thought that you were a successful parent and that your child would turn out well if you did certain things. That if you teach, admonish and train your child using Biblical principles that you were guaranteed success with your child. Now don't get me wrong, the Bible does have a lot to say about parenting and I would never be so arrogant as to dismiss Biblical principles, but my theory about guaranteed success with children was not taking into consideration the fact that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." God is very clear about the fact that we are ALL sinners. All of us have a sin nature that constantly pulls us towards our own selfish desires. Thankfully Jesus came to overcome sin and when we accept Him as our savior He gives us the tools we need to overcome sin too. But no where in the Bible does God promise that our kids are doing to turn out great because of our hard work. We only point them in the right direction, we can only be the voice behind them encouraging them to walk the straight and narrow, we can only set the example and pray for them, they make their own choices.

God blessed me with a treasure named Christian almost four years ago. When I was pregnant with Christian I truly thought that parenting would be easy. That's funny isn't it? My heart's desire was always to be a mom and my dream was coming true. I expected my delivery would go perfectly (wrong), that I would have him sleeping through the night by two months ( was 6), I would most definitely nurse him for a year because that's what good moms do (I did it but was pretty much miserable the whole time and just for the record - I didn't last that long with McKenna), and my child would never be the screaming kid in Target. He would never tell me that he didn't love me. He would never hit other kids, spit at me or have to be carried out of the baptismal service at church kicking and screaming. He would be a good friend and would obey his parents because I was going to teach him all of those things and I was going to be consistent. I was going to pray for him constantly and I was going to be strict with discipline. I was going to read lots of great parenting books and I was going to do what they said. We would not have the TV on in our house all the time and Christian was going to eat vegetables because I was going to tell him to and he was going to obey. We were going to read books every day and eat healthy meals and we would most certainly not go to McDonalds once a week. He was going to fill our home with pure joy!

So do you wanna know how it's going?

So far Christian has succeed at filling our home with pure joy! I love that boy more than earthly words could ever describe. I love how God has used him in my life to change me forever. I am a better person because I am his mom. I feel honored to be his mom and love spending my days with him (well, most of the time). I will also say that Christian is a fighter. I am thankful that God gave him an amazingly strong will because the moment he was born he had to fight for his life and he has pretty much been feisty ever since. Age two was rough, but I survived it hoping that it was just the terrible twos and that three would be better.

Unfortunately age three has been much worse. Christian can be completely endearing one moment and the next moment he can be so angry. It doesn't take much to fuel his anger and he has no idea how to handle it correctly. He's disobedient, defiant, disrespectful and very loud during these times and it absolutely drains my energy. Thankfully McKenna seems to be entertained by it all, but this mommy has felt like a failure over and over again. I have shed so many tears over this precious boy God has given me. I know that he is my responsibility and God gave him to ME because he knew that I would be the best mommy for this difficult child, but I definitely don't feel like I'm going a very good job most of the time.

A week or so ago we had had a particularly difficult day and I was putting Christian to bed and we were talking about the day and I told Christian that I really thought it would be a good idea for him to pray and ask Jesus to help him with his behavior. I always pray and ask Jesus to help Christian obey his parents and make good choices, but I felt like it was important for Christian to ask Jesus himself. Much to my surprise Christian said, "I don't need to pray. I can be a good boy by myself."

It was in that moment that the real issue became apparent to me. Pride. I realized that Christian's behavior issues were not about me, they were about him and his own sin issue. Over the past few weeks I feel like God has gently been showing me that sin is sin and although I'm not a perfect parent, I am doing the best I can. Certainly I'm not a perfect parent but the behavior problems I'm always trying to solve and control are really just heart issues deep inside my little boy. He knows the right thing to do, he's just not doing it.

We had a really sad night tonight. Daddy got Christian some new fireworks yesterday. They're a firetruck, monster truck, helicopter, air plane, tank, etc...and you light them up and they jump around and shoot out some sparks. Christian has been looking forward to setting these off for two days. The cousins were on their way over to our house for a fireworks display when Christian made a very bad choice and as a result he sat in his room and cried the entire time the rest of us were watching the fireworks. It breaks my heart just to think about it. He cried for over an hour, but when we talked about it he was only crying because he missed the fireworks not because he was sad that he had done something wrong. ((sigh))

Right before bed we were sitting on the couch and Christian said to me "Mommy, I'm going to be really, really, really good tomorrow" I just nodded feeling rather weary about the whole thing. Feeling sad that we couldn't have a fun family moment. And then Christian continued, "But sometimes I'm not nice. What if I can't be good? I don't think I know how."

It totally made me think of Romans 7:18 which says; "I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out."

So I explained to him, again, that we can't be good on our own that we have to ask Jesus to help us. So that's what he did. He folded his precious hands and used his own words and asked Jesus to help him be a good boy.

I know that's not the end of our struggle, but it the start. I'm so excited that his little heart is starting to soften. Oh how I pray that God will use all of this to draw Christian closer to Him. And in the meantime I am going to work on not growing "weary in doing good." I am going to continue to seek the wisdom of my Heavenly Father, my earthly parents and my godly husband.
I wanted to share this because I have the sneaking suspicion that I'm not the only person with a trouble maker in their family. I have a feeling there just might be one other weary mom out there reading this blog and I just want to encourage you to continue to run the race with perseverance! Don't get discouraged! If you're overwhelmed - talk to God about it, share it with a friend, email me - I would love to encourage you!

I am so thankful that God has given me these frustrations in life because it has shown me how He must feel. Think about it for a minute...I love Christian with all my heart and right now God has given me authority over him and as a result I know what's best for him. He needs to obey me for his own good. It breaks my heart to see the hardship and sadness he brings upon himself because of the poor choices he makes. And I am so sad. I hate to see him struggling like this. Everything would be perfect if he would just listen to me Ha! BUT isn't that exactly how God feels about us. Doesn't he know what's best for us and want us to obey him, yet we make poor choices and it breaks His heart. It makes Him sad.

So today I'm going to do my best to honor my heavenly father and I'm going to focus on telling my little boy, not just that I love him, but I'm going to tell him all the things I love about him. And I'm going to tell him how much his Heavenly Father loves him and how He desires for him to have an abudant life filled with hope, joy, and peace!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Soccer Mom Aunt

Emma and Abby both had soccer games this morning. They play at the same park but their fields couldn't be further apart. Amy actually has to drive back and forth between their games, so I packed up the kids and headed to the field too this morning so that one of us could be at each game. This whole staging the house thing is annoying me! It took me 15 min. this morning to find our chairs to take to the game (they were buried in the crawl space) so we were late, but it was so much fun to see the girls in action.
Abby has the cutest team! And she is delightful to watch. She actually knows what she's doing, although she's not that aggressive. She did get knocked down once but jumped back up, brushed herself off and kept going. She's a great runner and got control of the ball multiple times. I was impressed with how good she is at turning the ball to get it going toward the correct goal. And she's very good at guarding the goal.
She really took the game seriously and did a great job listening to her coach....
...except for the times when she was making silly faces at McKenna. I think McKenna might have been a distraction for her :) But McKenna loved it and clapped and pointed the whole time, which Abby loved.

It's so fun to watch Abby bouncing around out there with her pony tail bobbing up and down. She seriously jumps up and down and skips around while she's playing. (She's #5)

Then Amy and I switched places and I got to Emma's game just in time to see ^this^. So I never got to see #10 play! There's always next time!
So you'll have to hop on over to Amy's blog to see some pictures of Emma playing. She should get them posted some time this weekend. Feel free to bug her about it :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thankful for rainboots

We went ^HERE^ today! It was supposed to be a gorgeous 75 degree day.
But as soon as we got to the covered bridge the clouds rolled in and it started raining. So we decided to wait it out inside the bridge. Christian spent his time dropping rock through the cracks in this bridge built in the 1800s.

Our friends joined us and hung out in the bridge with us until the storm passed.

McKenna was such a good girl and hung out in her stroller for most of the day. It's hard to have her outside because she still isn't walking so she gets filthy. I actually bring mittens with me to put on her hands when she crawls around. You see those jeans she's wearing? They're her outside jeans. I put them on every time we go out and she gets them all yucky and I don't care because those are her "outside jeans." You'll be seeing them a lot!

There's nothing like eating your lunch on the slide!

Christian and his buddies had the best time digging in the mud/leaves/stream! Thank goodness for those rainboots he just happened to put on this morning. I brought sneaker for him and forgot to put them on him. I'm glad I forgot!

And this is what the kiddos did for a few hours.

Love this picture!

The perfect, perfect way to spend the day!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lunch Date

It occured to me this week that the school year is coming to an end for Emma and we had only gone to have lunch with her once this entire year. Yikes! Not so good considering how much she loves to have us come visit. So Christian, McKenna and I headed to her school to surprise her today. Anytime we go have lunch with Emma will be a surprise because I could just see me telling her that we're going to come and then she wouldn't pack a lunch and then somebody would throw up or something that morning and we wouldn't be able to go and she would be stuck wondering where we were. So, I've decided, that I'm never going to tell her ahead of time

She was surprised to see us and we even got there in time to head out to the playground with her class. McKenna was once again the center of attention, although this picture doesn't really show the vast crowd she drew. Kids are so funny. There is no such thing as personal space with them. I can't even begin to count how many times I said, "Please don't touch her face." "Please don't hold her hands, I don't want her to get any germs." And I also found myself saying "thank you " over and over again to all these cutie pie kids tell me how much they liked my baby! Pure entertainment is what that playground is! I think they also thought I was some sort of substitute because I helped someone zip their coat, I button another girls sweater, looked at a scrape on some one's ankle and settled a dispute about somebody pushing someone else. Ha! And we were only on the playground for 15 minutes.
Here's Em with one of her best friends, Anessa. They are good friends from church and they get to see each other at recess too! Emma and Anessa did a great job of watching out for Christian. They stuck with him the entire time they were outside. I think it was a little overwhelming for Christian to be around that many kids (I think the whole 2nd grade and a few first graders too, were on the playground) but it was good for him. He needs to have that experience as he begins to adjust to the idea of going to school one day.

Now this is funny! Seriously, I can't believe it!

Christian walked upstairs with Emma because he was curious about what her classroom looked like. I stayed downstairs b/c I had McKenna in the stroller. We were standing by this picture of all the teachers and students in Emma's school and McKenna starts pointing and saying something that sounded like "Mama" but now I think she was saying "Emma." I pushed her closer to the picture and she put her finger right on Em's picture. Hello, there's like 300 people in that picture and she spotted Emma that fast! I had been standing there looking at it and I never did see Em.

So there she is, right on the bottom (I guess it helped that McKenna was eye level with it) right next to her buddy Ella!

It was a fun way to spend our morning! My goal is to make two more lunch appearances before the end of the school year. One in May and one in June! I'll keep you posted!