Monday, November 30, 2009

Turkey Day 2009

This year Thanksgiving was a little bit different. Mike and Kyle headed south to see his Dad and family in Shreveport. Mike's Dad's health is not great, so Mike wanted to go check on him and of course, Kyle's loves to see his cousins.

I headed to Radford for a few days to hang out with my parents with David and Hope. We spent Thanksgiving Day at my parents house with my grandparents. My brother and his family came over the day after Thanksgiving and we all got to visit.

My Mom was one of the crazy Black Friday shoppers that went out in the middle of the night. She brought home an Xbox and Rockband for the grandchildren. It was fun watching the boys rock out on that game:)

The holiday was nice but it was even nicer to have all my chickadees under one roof again. It was weird to be separated this year, but with Hope being so little that big trip was not feasible.

Thanksgiving night I stopped and reflected on the many blessings in my life. I am so thankful for good friends, family, my husband, my children, and Jesus:) Here are some fun pictures over the holiday!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

David was so excited today when he came home with his indian vest and headdress:) The other exciting news today is that a real hairbow clippie will stay in Hope's hair now!! Oh, the possibilities now that she will keep an alligator clip in her baby fine hair!

Catching My Breath

I am sitting here at the computer to catch my breath. We have been in overdrive for several days now and it is catching up to me. Over the weekend Kyle went to the Hokie game with my Dad and brother and David had a birthday party. Then Sunday the whole family (my parents included) went to Johnson City to see Mercy Me.

The concert rocked. Johnny Diaz opened for Mercy Me and sang his sweet song, More Beautiful You which I talked about on my blog several months ago. I so enjoyed singing that wonderful song with a wonderful message to my little girl. I want her to learn NOW that she is wonderfully made by God and that she is perfect just the way she is:) Awesome. Then Mercy Me came out and rocked the house. There first set was super loud and then they mellowed some with some great worship music. David is our music dude and he LOVED the music and played every imaginary instrument he could think of:)

Today is rush around day as I prepare Mike and Kyle's stuff to head south for the holiday. Mike really feels that he needs to go to Louisiana and check on his Dad and see his family, but the trip there is brutal with a new baby. Flying is not really an option because there are not many good connections between or airport and the one there, so driving is just easier all around. They are leaving today and will be home Saturday or Sunday. I will miss them, but I know in this season of life sometimes you just have to do what your heart tells you to do. Mike's Dad's health has been precarious over the last year and he is almost to the point that he needs assisted living but for now he is still living solo. Mike's feels guilty that he is not thee helping his brother with the more day-to-day care of their Dad so when he gets a break he wants to check in with him. Kyle is THRILLED to go-he loves his cousins and spending time with them is a treat:)

I will miss my boys, ESPECIALLY because while they are gone we will celebrate our 10 year anniversary. I will talk more about that later, but for now, I am packing bags, making goodies, and trying to finish up some laundry:) Pray that my boys have a safe trip full of Daddy-son bonding and fun times with cousins. Hope, Davey and I will hold the fort down here and eat lots of yummy turkey food while we wait for them to come home:)

Friday, November 20, 2009

For Such A Time as This

Who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14) I love that verse and love to think that just like Esther was in the place where she was suppose to be, I am in the place where I am suppose to be for such a time as this. That is such a cool thought for someone who has the wonderful job of folding laundry, cleaning dirty underwear off of the floor, or scraping cheese from a stubborn lasagna dish.

I am so sad that Esther is coming to an end-I love all the bible studies I have done, but this one has really made me think and spoken to my heart. The one verse that I have studied and found so interesting for such a time as this is Nehemiah 4:14 Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.

That verse speaks to me as we come up on our (gasp) 10 year wedding anniversary this week. It has been a WONDERFUL 10 years, but not without the tough times that marriages endure. Mike and I have made a commitment to a marriage for life but the peace of no divorce does not immune you from the daily struggles of marriage. Mike and I truly had the fight of our marriage this summer over a $12 shower curtain-truly. It is a funny story now, but the stress of a new baby that cried all the time, a disruptive kitchen remodel we never planned, kids home without a structured summer, and lots of rainy days made for a ROUGH time. When we are stressed to the max, we tend to take it out on the safe harbor of our mates.

Anyway, that verse pierces my heart that my marriage, my boys, my daughter, and my home are something that I must fight for. A strong home life does not just happen by chance. Raising godly and kind children do not just happen by chance. Having a strong and love-filled marriage does not happen by chance. I must fight for these things. Studying that scripture gave me a swift kick in my yoga pants to be more purposeful in my marriage and in my parenting.

I must turn my home and family over to God and lift them up in prayer. I must train up my children to the seek the things that truly matter in this world-equality, compassion, love for the Lord, and love for others. I must train my daughter to value modesty and remember that she is a princess of the most high God.

If you come into my home anytime soon, you will see a little notecard with Nehemiah 4:14 on an index card on my refrigerator between the school lunch menu and David's sight words. This is a reminder to me that my family is worth the fight:)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sweet friends

This has been a long week already here around our house. Mike left Tuesday to go to a conference and he returns Friday afternoon. The boys take it very hard when he is gone and time tends to drag. Thankfully my parents came to help out.

Here are some updated pictures of Hope. She is really starting to love playing on the floor:)
The two playmates in the house right now are Hope and David. He is such a great playmate for her. He sings to her, reads to her, and overall just gives her so much attention. Kyle loves Hope also, but Davey is the one that can really make her smile. The boys were so excited when we pulled out the bath ring for Hope to sit in and take a big girl bath. David got so excited that he took off his clothes and wanted in also:)

Davey insisted that Woody play with Hope also, so here are the three amigos playing in her gym! I know when my kids are grown I will miss these sweet times, but with Mike out of town I am exhausted!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Five Months

How can it be that there is a number 5 on my daughter's onesie??? How can five months fly by so fast? She is so much fun (except for today-she has slept about 20 minutes all day long due to gas)!

What are you up to these days sweet girl?

You love to be talked and read to. Amazingly you love storytime at the library but you always take a big nap afterwards:)

You still are nursing exclusively but lately I am starting to think that maybe you are almost ready for some cereal.

You sat for the first real time last week and we were all so proud!!

You are about 13 pounds still. you wear 3-6 months clothes and are still in size one diapers. I am so excited for your 6-12 month wardrobe, but they still swallow you.

You love your bath and also your first swimming time last week. You might also be my water baby!

You are spoiled to me, but you are starting to think that maybe your Daddy is okay also:)

You are at that stage where you grab at anything you can-my hair, my drink, the computer, ANYTHING!!

We are so thankful for you and love you dearly:)

What a Weekend

We had such a fun but busy weekend. One of those on the go weekends that are fun but leave you wiped out Monday morning. Friday night we went to watch our local high school play in a playoff game. We won and will continue playing next weekend:)

Then we spent Saturday and Sunday at Virginia Tech at a swim meet! The weather was beautiful thankfully because we had to walk halfway across campus to park:) It was fun to stroll around the campus. Kyle proclaimed on our trip back to the car that he was going to community college because he wanted to come home every night for dinner:) God bless that Mama's boy!

Kyle swam amazingly well this weekend and hit a BB time in his backstroke. Basically there are time standards that you try to shoot for and that is one of them. The standards are for 10 and under boys so we are thrilled that he hit one at 7. He had personal bests in every swim except his breast stroke, but he had a horrible dive going in that knocked his breath out. As a mom watching him swim that event, I thought his asthma was acting up, but I was relieved that he smacked his stomach on his dive instead:)

Yesterday was sweet Hope's 5th month birthday and I will post pictures later.

Today is cleaning, laundry, and catching up on life. It was such a fun weekend that it is hard to come back to reality:) We had primo seats at the swim meet. We sat with our team friends up above the pool right in front of the windows. We all "camped" out and got up to the window when one of the team members was swimming. It was actually relaxing and Hope was able to play on a blanket in the floor. David went with us on Sunday but stayed with my parents on Saturday.

But this morning there is laundry to do, beds to make, and a kitchen floor desperate for a mop:)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Precious Gifts

Check out this GORGEOUS nightie that Karen Chamberlain and her daughter, Sarah Claassen made for Hope. Yes, it is a handmade, smocked nightie and I just gasped when I opened it. It has taken me a few weeks to muster the courage to put it on her. They assure me that it can withstand baby blowouts, spit up, and anything else that comes its way and that it is washable. It makes more sense for me to hang it on her wall!:) I am so touched by their special gift and frankly she looks precious in it. Now, if her mother can figure out how to duplicate this:)

Look at those baby legs in her sweet slippers:) These were hand-me-downs from the Whites.

I think Karen and her daughter, Sarah were able to stand in the creativity line twice when God was giving out gifts:)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Random Tidbits

Life is passing so fast these days that I had to stop tonight and organize my pictures and sit down to journal some things that are going on right now in our household.

These pictures below are taken by me from our back deck. Gorgeous fall scenes overlooking the golf course. This was taken last week and this beauty is gone until next year. We have had two days of rain and all the leaves are gone:(

Hope is slowly recovering from a cold/bronchitis that has made her cough her sweet noggin off. We have finally stopped the daily breathing treatments and she is starting to cough and gag less. PRAY that she does not turn out to be asthmatic like Kyle. She is such a petite delight these days. She lost weight during her bronchitis and is slowly starting to put some weight back on. A few days ago she was 12 pounds, 15 ounces.

The big news with Hope Madeline is that she is starting to sit up some! Exciting! The doctor has advised us not to start any solid foods until after 6 months hoping to ward off food allergies and so far she is still content with just nursing. She is in 3-6 month clothes for now and probably will be for a while. Her hair is really starting to come in now and every few days I try a regular hairbow without the band to see if she has enough yet! HA!

Check out the big girl sitting up! (If you notice Mike is sitting beside her to "spot" her!
Of the two boys, David right now gives Hope more attention-they are such sweet little playmates together. David likes for her to sit in her Bumbo seat and he will put on a concert for her, read to her, or just generally entertain her David style! Here is David putting on a little concert for her-he is singing his rendition of Jesus loves me, and Do Lord! I love it! Kyle loves his sister, but he is ready to teach her stuff and he gets really into her milestones! (my ever competitive child!)

David jamming for his sister. HE is quite the entertainer these days and loves singing and music. He loves to watch youtube videos on the computer and sing with his guitar:)

Kyle is doing great finally. He had the same bronchtitis that we all had but of course his asthma was triggered and we have been trying to get it under control. I think he has finaly turned the corner and he went back to swim practice this week. We are heading to Virginia Tech this weekend for a swim meet and he is so excited. My boy loves a dose of competition! Swimming is his passion now but he also loves the upward basketball team that he is on. Mike and a friend are coaching that team.

David is finishng up swim lessons this week and will start another round of lessons next week. He loves to swim and we are so thankful that he likes it. We are adamant in this house that all of our children will learn to swim. We spend too much time around water for them to be non-swimmmers.

Those are all the random tidbits I can think of tonight:) Thanks for checking in with our family!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Betcha Didn't Know

My mind is all over the place this morning. I went to a great bible study last night and looking ahead to a busy week. Every bible study is fun and wonderful, but sometimes the message just pierces your heart in a way that takes you a few days to process. I learned last night that we should not be victims of our culture, but victors for Christ. Wow.

Anyway, one of my sweet but delusional friends made the comment last week that it seems that I have it all together. I laughed at her and it made me realize that often only a few really close handful of people really get to see all the different sides of us. I thought it would be fun to do a blog post on some random facts about me that you may not see often (thankfully)!

I hate smoke. I mean I really, really hate the smell and often will give dirty looks to people that do smoke. I do not mean any harm, but I think if they are smoking close to my sweet asthmatic child then they are selfish.

I stay out of Mike's school business due to the fact that this is such a small community, but woe be the person that says something negative about my hardworking, selfless, spouse. I can come unglued quickly when I hear that someone is trashing my hubbie in the community. I just got over holding a grudge from 10 years ago when Mike was treated so amazingly unfairly.

I really like Metallica and Kayne West. Shocking for someone that listens to praise and worship music the rest of her time.

I can be a tad bit judgmental sometimes and that is a struggle I deal with daily.

It still blows my mind that I am a mother to three children when we were told nine years ago that having children would be a challenge. It then makes me so abundantly thankful that God chose to make me a Mommy the old-fashioned way when doctors felt like it would take "help." I guess God wanted all the praise for my children and not some fertility drug.

I love women's bible study. I dig the fellowship, the inclusive feeling of anyone's welcome, and it has thrilled my soul that my daughter has gone with me to everyone so far. It is so fitting that Esther has been Hope's first study when I totally dig her myself. There are only a few places you can go in the world where you feel totally welcome and people are thrilled to see you and that is how I feel at bible study. I want Hope to love it also.

I has taken me ten years of marriage (almost) to realize that Mike cannot give me everything I need. I have tried miserably to mold Mike into my BFF and thankfully that has not happened. Don't get me wrong....if something good or bad happens he is the first call I make, but thankfully I have given up the expectation that he will sit and beat the horse dead with me on every issue-get what I mean? Thankfully because Jesus is all I need then my friends can be my friends, Mike can be my spouse and life partner, and my kids can just be my sweet children. What a burden lifted!

I love cooking for loved ones.

I love to listen to my brother and mother sing-together preferably.

I suffer from road rage. I am a great driver-why can't the rest of the world drive as well? :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Thoughts to Ponder

Sometimes things happen in your world that make you stop and think. I think sometimes we are all so busy surviving the day to day, that we often do not get below the surface on anything-friendships, marriage, spiritual walk with the Lord, etc.. This week in our community a beloved young guy died in a freak accident. He was a volunteer coach in the community and my boys have enjoyed his free soccer clinics that he has graciously offered in our community. He will be missed by so many and his death has sent shockwaves through our town.

His death as well as my bible study (Esther) have really given me so much to ponder and pray over this week. I really want to live large-but not in the worldly definition that Hollywood teaches us. I mean live large in selflessness and in the way that I give to others.

Sometimes the people around us do not get the best of us. We are crabby at home and smiling and happy out with virtual strangers. I know I have been accused of that before:) I have for so long wanted to do an overseas mission trip. I am not clear how the legistics would work out with my hairdo and all (I really NEED my curling iron) but that is a different topic for another day. I have a heart for missions, but this week it has hit me like a ton of bricks-there are people in my own life right here in my sweet little town that could use a dose of love and kindness. I could give of myself here in my own town within the comforts of my own curling iron:)

I so wish in my life that I could have Esther's guts and bravery and tie that together with the ability to give of myself to others in need. I know it is not time for New Year's Resolutions, but on this random November day I choose to give of myself and pray that God can use this hormonal, loud-talking, silly at times, addicted to my computer, procrastinator, servant of His to minister to people in my own zip code that may need to see Him through an earthly servant. I do not have to travel around the world and suffer flat, frizzy hair to love on people and show them how much Jesus loves them:)