Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Safety First

Christian is my cautious child! I'm surprised he didn't have life jacket on too.
Just for the record, that pool isn't even a foot deep :)

Monday, June 29, 2009

"Marshall Monday"

It's time for another edition of "Marshall Monday!!"
Who's that grumpy boy sitting front and center?? None other than Nathan Alexander!
This week is all about Nate!
Isn't that a funny picture of him?
Well, I just have to share with you one of my favorite memories of that binky boy! Thankfully the binky days are long gone but he still had the binky when THIS happened! It's hysterical, well it wasn't actually hysterical when it happened but it sure is funny now! Make sure you click on the link to check it out! And just to be annoying I'm going to make you look at another old post as well. This is one of the very first posts I ever did about just Nate. Wait until you see how little he was and his face is so sad because of what I had just caught him doing. Click HERE to see it!

This is how Nate felt about fireworks last year! This year he loves them. Well, at least he says he does. We'll see!

He's grown up so much just in the last couple of months! Remember I asked you who you thought was heavier and who was taller out of Nathan and Christian? Well, Christian is taller by about a centimeter and Nathan is heavier. He weighs a pound more than Christian!

Nathan is still a shy little guy (this picture was taken at VBS) and he definitely likes the comfort of home and his mommy. He does not like new places or things.
This is a big week for Nate because he'll spend the night in his new house for the first time on Thursday night. He's going to share a room with Abby because there is NO WAY he would ever sleep in a room by himself. So would you join me specifically praying that Nate will adjust well to his new home and that he will sleep good without waking up to try to find mommy.
Nathan has such a gentle, sweet spirit about him. Everyone who meets him just falls in love with him. He is dear. He used to tell me everyday when he would see me for the first time that he missed me! I definitely miss hearing that, but to my great surprise and sheer delight I have gotten to talk to Nathan two times in the past week! I think he might just miss me just a little!
We are heading out this morning to visit our sweet cousins at our grandparent's house and we can't wait! I promise to take lots of pictures!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

It's Done!!!

I can't believe it!!! The Jesse Tree project is finally complete! I have all 25 ornaments in my possession! I decided on Friday that this was the weekend. Even if I had to make the rest myself I was going to do it! I ended up making two extra ornaments (which really means I made 50 ornaments this weekend), but I'm excited because that means I have a few extra Jesse Tree kits to give as gifts or maybe even provide a way for one of you to get one. Stay tuned! I've got to pack the boxes now! I'm so excited! Pictures later!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Buddy Time

Christian was really in need of a buddy! So at the end of the week we invited our friend Jacob to come play with us! They had a blast playing with every single thing in our backyard. I think Christian was exhausted by the time Jacob left :) Just the way I like it!
I love this little girls squat!

That whale slide is a sprinkler and it's really fun once you stick it in the pool!

It is just the cutest thing ever to watch two little boys sit around and talk.

Thanks for coming to our house Jake! Christian had such a good time with you and I had a great time chatting with your mommy! Let's do it again soon!

A Present for Olivia

So here's how the conversation went:
C: "Do you think Oivia (I'm spelling it wrong on purpose...that's how he says her name) can see fireworks in Heaven?"

You know that fireworks are a big part of our lives right now :)

Me: "I really don't know Chrish. Maybe she can but the clouds might get in the way."

C: "Do you think she can see the really, really high ones?"

Me: "I'm really am not sure. It would sure be nice if she could but I'll bet Jesus has fireworks in Heaven for Olivia if she wants them. Why do you want to know?"

C: "I'm just trying to think of a present I could send her."

Me: "Well, fireworks might be a good idea. Why don't we light them off for her tonight."

C: "But you said she might not see them." You can't pull a fast one on this little guy.

Me: "I did say that, but I still think it's a nice idea and if she can't see them then Jesus could just tell her about them."

C: "No, I don't want to do that anymore. I want to send her something nice that she can keep. I know, I can send her my Thomas balloon from my birthday. I'll bet she loves Thomas and it's big, so she'll love it."

Me: "That sounds like a great idea."

So that's what we did!

And this was not some big emotional thing for him (like it would have been for me if he had even given me a second to think about it). He just grabbed his balloon and sent it off to Olivia, all in about the span of two minutes. Completely confident that she would get it. Completely sure that she's happy and having a great time with Jesus. I love his FAITH. I love to see life through his eyes. I loved the simplicity of that moment and what it did to my heart. It kind-of made the rest of the day melt away and it brought the simplicity of life, of faith, of what we believe, of what I'm trying to teach him...to the forefront.

Notice McKenna trying to chase after it!

We miss you Olivia!
My goodness, you touched our hearts and became a part of our lives!
We will never be the same!

Friday, June 26, 2009

1st Popsicle

McKenna had her first Popsicle last week.
These are not the most flattering pictures of her. Her hair is a mess these days. It's in this funky stage of growing out. I don't know if I should try to trim it or not. It would look cute if she would just keep a little hair clip in her hair, but she won't do that. I digress....back to the popsicle.

She loved it and immediately went inside for a bath!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Just a guess,

but I'll bet your dad didn't have cake for breakfast on Father's Day!
Well, ours did!
Christian decorated this cute little cake for his daddy the day before Father's Day and he couldn't wait to give it to him. He was so proud of his rainbow! So on Sunday morning he woke me up by tapping me on the shoulder and asking "Do you think Daddy's hungry." I told him to ask Daddy and daddy played along very well and said he was really hungry. So guess what he got for breakfast! Yup...lots of icing and a little cake!

Such buddies!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dealing with Discouragement

You know how sometimes lots of little things start to go wrong and pretty soon you find yourself zapped of all your joy? Well, that's how I've been feeling lately. Major stuff, trivial stuff and it just seems to keep happening. I know that JOY should come from deep down inside of me and should not be dependant on my circumstances but sometimes....
  • Olivia went to be with Jesus and that was major. Crushing...
  • An unnamed child left the freezer door open and it was about 24 hours before I realized it (it's in the garage) and I had to throw out hundreds of dollars worth of food.
  • Ever since we staged our house to sell we've had a storage unit filled with lots of our stuff. I went to check on some things the other day and found MOLD. Mold all over my good love seat that I spent way too much money on that I love. It's ruined. And who knows what else..
  • McKenna was just diagnosed with Molluscum Contagiosum. It's a virus that's part of the chicken pox/small pox family. It's not major and usually goes away on it's own, but it can be major and hers is starting to spread and that's scaring me. She's got a spot on her face now and it just makes me sad!
  • Emma, Abby and Nate moved away :(
  • I was just diagnosed with Plantar Faciitis and it's bad. Really I've had it since December but I'm just now dealing with it. Sometimes I feel like I can hardly walk on my right foot. I limp around the house all the time. My podiatrist wants to give me cortisone shots into the bottom of my foot (That was supposed to happen today until I called and postponed the appointment until next Friday...I'm just a tad bit terrified :) And then there's the $425 orthodics that I now need. I've had foot issues since I was in the second grade. I basically don't have arches at all in my feet and my flip flops with their lack of arch support are finally catching up with me. I know I have to deal with this now or I'm going to end up having screws up in my arch, like my mom, to keep my arch from falling.
  • And lastly, and I haven't even mentioned this to Ryan yet, there was the cement pole that my car encountered tonight while I was at the carwash vacuuming out my car. It was one of those short poles to keep you from running into the vacuum machine. I didn't see it and let's just say the front fender of my car will never be the same.
  • Add "fireworks season" aka "single mom" on top of all that and I've been lacking a little joy.

Thankfully I recognized that I was feeling pretty down and a tiny bit on the edge (you know...short with my kids...grouchy...etc). So tonight it was time to take matters in to my own hands - oh wait - that doesn't work. I've tried it before. It was time to spend a little time with my Heavenly Father. So I packed the kids in the car. Sippy cups in hand, fruit snacks in my purse, we were ready for a good time. Christian asked where we were going and I told him that I was feeling disappointed about some things so we were going to spend some time with Jesus because he always makes me feel better. He looked at me with these huge eyes with just a tiny bit of panic in them. So I assured him that we were not going to heaven just the closest thing we could find to it. And we hit the road and headed just a few minutes outside of town to watch God paint a master piece.

This is just the tail end of one of the most incredible sunsets I've ever seen. We talked about how God painted it just for us. We talked about how God formed the mountains the sun set behind.

We talked about how God gave us cows so we could have milk.

And we rolled the windows all the way down so we could smell the sweet corn and the cow manure too. We waved our hands out the windows and laughed and laughed at the wind blowing in our faces.
We watched farmers bring their crops in from the fields and talked about how God always provides plenty for us. And we turned the music up and sang worship songs as loud as we could to our creator. And I made a decision to get my eyes off myself and focus them instead on the author and perfecter of my faith. Who for the JOY set before him, endured the cross for me (Hebrews 12:2). Now that puts JOY in perspective. Jesus found JOY in enduring the cross for me. So I'm feeling much better and we might just take a little road trip to spend some time with Jesus again sometime very soon. It's good to be purposeful about spending time with the Lord and I don't think it always has to come in some traditional way. He can meet us where we are...doing laundry, mowing grass or driving down the road. It was so good to spend some time with Him tonight. Just what I needed!

P.S. Before I get lots of comments admonishing me not to take pictures while driving down the road you should know that I stopped or almost stopped for all those pictures! The only traffic we encountered were a few lightning bugs buzzing around us :)

Son Rock Kids Camp

I've been so excited to tell you about VBS, I just haven't had the time until now!!
This was the first time Nate and Christian got to go to VBS. They weren't so sure about the idea at first but then they found out it was called Son Rock Kids Camp and they were excited.
It was a very busy week, but so worth it for the kids to have this experience.

Look how proud he is to be sitting there like a big boy. He did tell me later that he liked the playing the best. He didn't like all the singing and stories. What on earth is he going to think of preschool next year.?
That's our buddy Carter on the left!

And Nate doing some of the motions to a song, while sitting backwards in his seat.
See if you can spot Christian and Nathan!
I was pleased that Christian was actually trying to do the motions. This was during the closing program for the parents. That was my one BIG disappointment of the week. I missed the entire preschool closing program because I was teaching the elementary students that night. Since I've never had a kid in VBS before I didn't put two and two together to realize that I was going to miss Christian's program until the week of VBS. Note to self...don't volunteer next year to teach on the last night! But Ryan and Auntie Mimi were both there to cheer him on and I caught a few minutes at the beginning so he didn't even know that I was missing.

Love him!

And I'm not quite sure why Abby is looking all grumpy in this picture. She really did love VBS! It was a great week for her!
The elementary students had a different VBS. Theirs had a boot camp/army theme. Sorry, but I didn't get a picture of me all dressed up in my camouflage. I know you would have loved it! And I loved being called Sargent :)
It's a super blurry picture because we were sitting far way, but there's Emma during her closing program!
I may have been disappointed that I missed Christian's little program, but what God accomplished last week was so much bigger than me and I am humbled to pieces that He chose to use me to minister to the hearts of these kids last week. I taught the 4th and 5th graders on two different nights and both nights were totally amazing! I could go on and on about how I really and truly felt God move in our midst, but I'll sum it up by saying that on Tuesday night I had the honor of leading 9 kids to Jesus! WooHoo, nine kids who will spend the rest of eternity with Jesus! It was thrilling. And I think a total of 28 kids asked Jesus into their hearts last week. Of course I cried, some of them did too. You know when you're in fourth and fifth grade you start to deal with some pretty major stuff. And some of these kids indicated that they really felt like they were in a "battle"(remember it was an army theme) in their lives. Several kids shared with me their struggles they were having with their parent's divorce. Some of them shared fears that they had been dealing with for years. On Friday they had the opportunity to write down something they felt like they were "battling" and it was a major moment for some of them. I saw lots of tears. Then we talked about who wins the battle in the end and who can help them with the things they're facing. JESUS! It was an awesome week and I can't wait for next year.

We ended our VBS week with an ice cream social. What fun for these three and if you think my husband looks like he's wasting away...he is. That running fool has lost...I wonder if I'm allowed to tell you....well I'm going to...he's lost over 40lbs! I'm so proud of him, especially for maintaining it during this stressful time at work. Now if only I could do that...
I've got to give a huge thanks to everyone who helped make VBS an incredible experience for my kids! A special thank you to Chris and Annette! You guys are amazing! Thanks for giving of yourselves to help our kids grow to be more like Jesus. You accomplished something for eternity last week!


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Wordless Wednesday

I miss these moments so much already!