Monday, November 30, 2009

The Farm

We got to Grammy and Grampy's farm pretty late on Monday night, but everyone was up early on Tuesday (like 5am). Christian couldn't wait to get outside. He had been looking forward to this for weeks.
Grampy was such a good sport. He took us on a tractor/wagon ride.
McKenna loved riding in the wagon!
This guy liked it but he was made for speed and really couldn't wait to get on the go-kart!
Hi Grampy!

And then Grampy hooked up a little wagon to the four wheeler! That was more Christian's speed! McKenna didn't last too long though.
And then there was the much talked about and anticipated go-kart!!
Don't you just love how Christian likes to wear his hat? He doesn't like it to cover his ears, which is sort of the purpose, but whatever!
McKenna and I checked out the tractors while Christian was on his go-kart ride.
This little cutie loved to hunt for kitty cats! But when the doggies barked at her she said "inside" for the first time! I never knew she could even say that word, but she said it over and over. She also said "quiet" for the first time when daddy was trying to sing to her.

The Airport

So our trip started at the airport in Baltimore. My mom met us in Baltimore and dropped us off at the airport and then took our car home (isn't she nice??!!) I did my best to keep it simple. We didn't check any bags because Ryan had driven the car with all our stuff in it. Christian had a backpack of activities for the plane. I had a purse, diaper bag and a backpack full of our last minute stuff that we needed. And then of course there was the stroller, but getting through security was a piece of cake.
We got there in plenty of time and had fun watching all the planes take off and land.

I was feeling pretty good about how well the airport experience was going! Soon it was time to start boarding the plane. All the pre-boarding people went first, then group A...and we were next. I picked McKenna up out of her stroller to carry her onto the plane when I felt something sticky. Uh oh! She had diarrhea coming out of her diaper. It was all up her back all over her shirt. Sorry if this is TMI :) There was no time to go to the bathroom. I laid her down on the airport floor and started stripping her clothes off. There was poop everywhere. It even ended up on my shoes, the rug in the airport, etc. Nasty! But I got her changed and pretty well cleaned up and all with an audience of about 50-60 people who were still waiting to board. So we got on the plane. We got settled and I looked at McKenna's face and saw that she had poop smeared on her face (and of course we were sitting in the back of the plane, so we had just walked past about 100 people). She had put her hand in it and touched her face. Oh my! And that's how our trip started. Thankfully things got better after that, but I will tell you that the whole time I was thinking "well at least it's a good blog story!"

Just a sneak peek of the 279 pictures I took last week!

Can you believe it?? That really is me, with my toddler, driving a go-kart.
And we were racing these guys! There was lots of giggling and hollering and a certain little boy who yelled "faster, faster" the entire time! And just so you know...we love Illinois....we had a great week...and we were all sad to leave (especially since we knew exactly how long it was going to take to get home). And over the next couple of hours you are going to get to see our trip play by play. So get ready!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The BIKE and The BOYS

The Bike:

Notice anything interesting about this bike and it's rider?

Well, what we all didn't know is that Uncle Tim is an expert at teaching children to ride bikes without training wheels. expert! None of his kids have training wheels on their bikes. So he taught Abby to ride her bike WITHOUT training wheels in about 30 minutes.
That's Amy hanging onto the back to give Abby a little balance. That didn't last very long.

Here's how Uncle Tim did it:
  1. Raise the training wheels up high, so the bike is a little wobbly. This will force the child to begin to depend on their own skills to balance.
  2. Watch the child ride with the wheels raised and notice which side they favor (you'll notice that they lean more to one side and need one training wheel more than they need the other one).
  3. Take off one training wheel. Leave the training wheel on the side that they favor. Let them ride like that for awhile.
  4. Take off the last training wheel!
  5. Cheer!!

The Boys:
All the same age! Three totally different personalities! The best of friends!
I took this picture from inside the house. I just love seeing them play together. I've already decided that we need to have "boys camp" at our house this summer so they can all have more time together!

I love it that they just go in a room by themselves, get out a game and play together all on their own. I snapped this picture from the doorway and then left them to have fun together! Now if only we all lived a little closer!

Big Girl

I love seeing McKenna playing with the big girls! She loves it when she gets attention from her big cousins and they all seem to love her!

We're home from our trip to Illinois and I've got literally over a hundred pictures to upload and sort through. I haven't even looked at them yet because I've been so busy with laundry. In the meantime I'm trying to wrap up all the pictures from our weekend with the cousins on my side of the family. More to come...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

1 Chronicles 16:8
Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.

I cannot even begin to tell you how thankful I am for each of you who read this blog. It's such a surprise to me, but I truly love sharing my life with you through pictures and tid bits of our day. You bring me such encouragement through your comments, you help me make decisions and you give great advice :) and you pray for us! I am blessed and I love you guys!!! Hope you're having a HAPPY day with your family!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The many faces of CHRISTIAN

He's such a character!
All I wanted was one nice picture and this is what I got!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Full House

All the big girls (McKenna did not want to cooperate)!
Charis, Sophie, Em, Abby, B-Beth, Hannah (I think I got the last two girls right :)
Hannah, McKenna & Abby

Emma & Elizabeth (or maybe Hannah...I'm so bad at this...somebody please help me get it right!)

And we're off...

First words out of Christian's mouth this morning = "Mommy, I just can't wait to get to Illinois. Can we go right now?"
Well, we didn't leave right then. There was still some last minute packing. Breakfast. A little girl who needed a bath b/c her diaper leaked in the night. Which also meant a load of laundry needed to be done. Whew...
But now we're off.
I'm flying with two kiddos all by myself, but I know it's going to be great. Christian is so excited! I know he'll cooperate and be my helper!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! I hope you guys have a great week with your families.
My computer is NOT coming with me, so you'll be hearing very little from me this week, but I'll be back soon with lots of pictures and stories!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Conductor of this symphony

The last few years around here have been pretty interesting. My heart has been yanked and pulled is so many different directions. There have been intense valley's of despair, moments of indecision, complete exasperation, and just about every other emotion you could explain. And yet this week God has been trying to reveal his masterpiece to me. You see, I forget so often that He is the conductor and that my life is His symphony, not mine. It doesn't sound very good when I'm in charge and I know that, yet I still try to push him out of the way. I am pretty much a squeaky, out of tune instrument most of the time, but somehow he is orchestrating such beauty in my life.

I can just picture him waving his little baton as he brought McKenna, our ray of sunshine, on the scene at what I thought was the worst time possible. But this song would not nearly be as beautiful without her. Our orchestra is perfect with her in it.

And then he brought this little song into my life with his snuggles and kisses and endearing love. He's made the music of my life so much sweeter.
And I'm so thankful for those years when my sweet pink girl got to be a part of the orchestra everyday. I miss those songs, but God is conducting a sweet symphony in her life right now. He's at work in her, I can see it.And then I've got this little instrument that always seems to need a tune-up, but he and I are both being conducted by the ONE who knows what it's supposed to sound like, so I know that it's going to be the most enthralling symphony of all.

And just when I thought I needed to play my own song and get grouchy and stop trusting...My conductor orchestrated something surprising and beautiful. I don't deserve the symphony playing out in my life right now. In fact it's hard for me to even comprehend all the tapping His baton must have done to make all this happen. My life is the sweetest of symphonies and I have no idea why....except GRACE. It's so undeserved. So unexpected. So incredibly wonderful. Thank you Jesus!

1 Chronicles 16:8
"Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done."