Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Little Things

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Robert Brault

I had written this quote in a scrapbook album I made several years ago for Micah's parents and it has always stood out to me. Raider and I were reminiscing today about Haylie's first words and the things she did when she was one, when I started thinking that I really want to get better at writing down all the "little things" that the kids say and do so I can remember them later on. I have little journals and baby books I had intended to use for that purpose but I never get around to writing them down. So, since I have this blog and I always seem to find time to write things on here...from now on I want to do a weekly recap of all those priceless memories I hope to treasure forever!

-Some of Haylie's newest sayings include:
  • Uh-huh
  • U-uh
  • How about...? (H: "I want to watch Veggie Tales." M: No we're not going to watch a movie right now." H: "How about... Dora?" M: "No, no movies right now" H: "How about... Ariel?")
  • A couple more minutes (she thinks she can say this over and over to get what ever she wants like they are magic words!! M: "It's time to go to bed" H: "A couple more minutes")
  • No Thank You (M: "Haylie you need to eat your chicken" - H: "No Thank you Mommy!

-All of the sudden I have a glimpse of Haylie as a teenager - lately she has been quite the little smarty. She is constantly correcting me i.e. H: "Where's Raider?" M: "He's at school." H: No Mommy, he's at church." M: "No Haylie, he's at school." I have been telling Micah about this for a week and finally the other day Micah said something to Haylie about a Baseball sitting on the floor and Haylie said "No Daddy it's a basketball." D: "No Haylie, it's a baseball." The funny thing though is on more than one occasion Haylie and I have started into this back and forth conversation and Haylie actually ended up being right!!!

-Lately when Haylie gets nervous or uncomfortable or just plain feels like being silly she starts making faces. I'm pretty sure Raider taught her these! (One day I'm sure she will be quite mad at me for posting these!)


-James has gotten soooo ticklish lately. When I tickle him he screams at the top of his lungs like a little girl - it is sooo hilarious!

-James has just started grumbling whenever he gets irritated. It is the funniest sound - I will have to try and get a video of it. For now we'll just go with the tickling video we caught a week or two ago (Note: this doesn't even capture the sound James makes when he gets going - he really cracks up and screams!)

-Raider and I watched the Country Music video countdown today. We both love music so it's fun sharing songs on iTunes and talking about the newest Country Songs and CD's with him. I like that we have that in common!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Baseball Baby

Whether he likes it or not I believe James is destined for playing baseball. As soon as he can swing a bat I'm sure he will be in tee-ball lessons and I know Micah is counting down until the days of little league! You know - we're the kind of parents who are all about making our children live out our unfulfilled dreams! :) j/k

I decided to try and take some quick shots of James as I was inspired by this adorable outfit (wardrobe courtesy of Eli Tyler). I was really trying to get some with a baseball too but he wasn't cooperating! I'll have to try agan later.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Eyes on the King

Over the last several weeks I have had the pleasure of participating in a book club blog (or as my friend Mindy calls it - a "book clog"). It's like a traditional book club but instead of getting together, since we are all spread apart, we have been blogging our thoughts on the book we are reading. It has been a great experience but I wanted to share a post I recently did because it is something I have been so passionate about in my own life lately.

The book is Cure for the Common Life by Max Lucado and here is the jist of the message:

"Cure any flareup of commonness by setting our eyes on the King." (p.75) or straight out of the Bible: "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." (Col 3:2)

In the book Lucado shares the following story: "During our summer vacation I took my daughters on a snorkeling trip. I took advantage of the occasion to solicit a sailing lesson. After awhile the captain offered, 'Would you like to sail us home?' ...he pointed to a rocky outcrop on the shore. 'Target that cliff,' he instructed. 'Set your eyes and the boat on it.' I found the instruction hard to follow. Other sights invited my attention: the rich mahogany of the deck, my giggling daughters beneath the sail, rich foam cresting on the waves. I wanted to look at it all. But look too long and risk losing the course. The boat stayed on target as long as I set my eyes beyond the vessel. Worship helps us do this in life. It lifts our eyes off the boat with its toys and passengers and sets them "on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God's right hand." (Col 3:1)

Every time I seem to lose my way, doubt my self, have a bad attitude, or just plain disobey Him (the list could go on forever), it's a matter of focus. I took my eyes off God, I focused on something other than Him and it made me lose my course!! Every time I focus squarely on Him, I feel more content, more joyful and the results are always better than I could imagine.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Borders Buddies

One of my most favorite ways to spend my free time is going to Borders and reading books - I have loved to do this since college. I was a pretty cheap date then; Micah would take me out for dates and I always loved just sitting in Borders for hours looking at books together - I could do it all day if I had the time. Most recently I have found a new Borders buddy. Haylie loves to read books too so we like to venture up to Borders and sit for an hour or so looking at books. I am always checking out the photography section, "religion" section, or the parenting section, while Haylie reads every Dora book she can find. We get a little pile of books and sit in a corner and read - it is one of the most enjoyable things for me. I recently found out our local Borders has free storytimes every Tuesday. Haylie had a fun time this morning listening to the story and singing songs with all the other little kids (there must have been at least 20). Also just to note - I have decided to add a little column on the side of my blog with the latest books I am reading - in case anyone wants some book reviews!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Man Down!

In reference to my previous post (Last Man Standing) Micah has now been taken down like the rest of us. Poor guy is very sick, but thankfully the rest of us are all recovering. Let's just hope it doesn't come back around - not one of us made it through without "losing our lunch." What a terrible bug this has been! We will steer clear of all our friends for a couple more days so as to avoid passing it on!! Hope everyone else is well!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Last Man Standing

We have had a horrible flu bug hit our house and take us all out one by one over the last couple days (I won't describe the details of it but lets just say I've scrubbed the carpet, couch, etc - too many times to count). First Haylie, then Raider, then James, now me - Micah refers to himself as "the last man standing." We are hoping he doesn't get sick because we need someone to take care of the rest of us :) Just before we got hit hard with everyone sick we ventured out to see my friend Sarah who was in town this week from Seattle. I hope you and Jack don't get sick Sar! Here are a couple pictures from the park...

Jack was sharing his cars with Haylie - so cute

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Baby James is 5 months old

James turned 5 months old today. He is up to all sorts of fun this month. He has been rolling all over the place - he often ends up a different direction in his crib from where we laid him down (no more laying him on the couch or bed!). He loves to make motor boat sounds with his lips all the time, which Haylie is enjoying right along with him (picture spit everywhere). He is waiting for the day when he will be bigger than Haylie as he continues to take more and more abuse from her :) James is also very interested in all his toys - he constantly wants to grab everything and put it in his mouth. He concentrates very hard as he reaches for things and pulls them to his mouth. He will hold his own bottle for a little while, then he loses focus and drops it. He LOVES to eat. He will eat anytime, anywhere! Pretty soon I will be starting him on baby food and I'm sure that will be a big hit! He is finally, consistently sleeping through the night - thank goodness!!! He sleeps from about 8pm - 5:30am then eats and sleeps until about 7:30am. I can live with that. We are enjoying every second of watching his personality develop and mommy is holding onto every minute she can while he still likes to cuddle!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Party Central

This weekend was Party Central around our house. We had my sister's birthday Friday night, her daughter Lea's birthday Saturday morning, our friend Eli's dedication Saturday evening with a little party after; then James and Lea were dedicated together Sunday morning and we had family over after to celebrate the dedication, Father's Day, and Raider's birthday on Sunday afternoon!!! Whew - I'm out of breath (oh yeah I'm typing, nevermind). Needless to say it was a busy weekend but it really was just so fun celebrating all of the most wonderful people. It was really great seeing the same group of friends from party to party all weekend long ("see you at the next event, see you at the next party..."). It really made me grateful to be surrounded by good friends! Here are some photos from our weekend of parties!!!

Nicole's Birthday on Friday night
Lea looked so pretty at her birthday party
Lea loved her cake
Nicole rented a huge Dora bounce house for Lea's party - Haylie was in heaven!
Eli's dedication at Lakeside
James and Lea dedicated at First Cov
The whole family and many friends came to support
Haylie and Kiley were dedicated together when they were little so it was fun we could have James and Lea dedicated together too
Raider's chocolate chocolate cake

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to my honey!!! I wanted to take a moment to celebrate my wonderful husband. There aren't words to express how grateful I am for him and what a great father and husband he is. I went searching through my memorabilia bins in the garage today to find a journal I had kept in college, and in it, neatly tucked away was "The List"...When I was in college one of the leaders in our women's group encouraged us to make a list of qualities that described our ideal guy. Believe it or not I still have the list after all the years. The list containted not only qualities for a husband but also for the husband when he becomes a Dad (I was just that thorough). Here are a few of the qualities straight (as written) from the list that I wrote 10 years ago.

"The Ideal Guy"
-A man of God
-A witness by his life
-Genuinely loves others
-A servant
-Kind and Caring towards others
-Does not drink or smoke
-Loves his family!
-Fair /open-minded
-Hard worker / ambitious
-Self Confident (through God though!)
-Constantly striving to grow and make himself better

A Good Dad
-Loves the Lord
-Loves his children
-Humble - takes advice from others
-Not high-tempered
-Fair (Gives reasons behind decisions)

I can honestly say God found exactly the right person for me. Micah fits all of the qualities on my list (and trust me it was long!). He is an attentive, patient husband who puts his family before himself. I love taking the kids to bed with him every night. I feed and change James while Micah dresses Haylie, reads to her, sings Ariel or Jasmine songs (which he never thought he would know by heart) and then says prayers with her. Later when we go to bed we stop by the kids' room and peek in on them - sometimes I forget and walk straight into our room but Micah never does - he always checks on them first. We peer over them as they are sleeping and then head off to our room talking about how silly they look or how big they are getting.

A couple years ago Micah got me a garden sign that says, "Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be." It is so true - with every new stage in life Micah's character shines out of him and I am just so grateful.

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine, to Him be the glory forever and ever Amen." Eph 3:20

A picture from today - we let Dad be the boss for the day! :)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Lookout On The Roads...Soon To Be Driving

Raider's 15th birthday was yesterday - Happy Birthday Bud!!!! Micah woke up in the morning and got him donuts for breakfast and then shortly after, Grandma picked him up for a weekend at the cabin. This wasn't just any weekend at the cabin though - we got word that Raider had his first driving lesson!!! I can't wait to hear about this one (he will be back from the cabin tomorrow). He has been reminding us for months that when he is 15 1/2 he will be old enough to get his permit! We have been trying to avoid the topic but the time is drawing near - I cannot even believe that we have a teenager and that we are thinking about our children driving!! I'm anxious to hear what kind of driver he is. Well here is his first photo behind the wheel:

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Mom After God's Own Heart

My friend Danielle recently inspired me with her post about being a "Student of Motherhood (you should check it out)." I loved the points she made about how we study and prepare for every job in life, and how we should give the same attention (not just going by our instincts) for the most important job we have - being a Mom. I really want to be intentional about how I raise my children and Danielle's post sent me back thinking through a book I just read. The book really made me examine how I interact with my kids and whether I am daily pointing them towards God or not. (I think this ties into being a Student of Motherhood because the more I take the time to read books like this, the more I learn and gain perspective about how to raise children who love God. I really need to spend time continuing to develop my knowledge to be a great parent for my kids.)

The book is called "A Mom After God's Own Heart." It was a great book and I thought I would share some things I learned. The title jumped right out at me because of course that is what I want to be. The key emphasis of the book was that in order to raise children who love God, we need to love Him ourselves and demonstrate this for our children every day. "Do you want your children to love God? Then simply talk about Him. Why talk about God? Because we talk about what's important to us. And when we don't talk about God we send a loud message to our children that God really isn't that important to us."

The author continually emphasized that this needs to start with our own hearts and that we should be intentional with our kids right from birth. "A Mom can never begin too early to teach God's Word diligently to her children." "Imagine the heart, faith and emotion of the Mom who holds her baby and prays Psalm 121 over her newborn. The Lord is your keeper...your shade at your right hand..."

At the end of each chapter she helps to give practical tips that we can do to take action on what we've learned. She calls it "Little Choices That Reap Big Blessings." Here are a few that really stood out to me:

1. Read from the Bible first - "As a busy Mom of a family that runs on a variety of schedules, there's only so much time that can be found for reading together. So when that precious time comes around, be sure you treat the Bible as the most important book."
2. Examine your daily routine for opportunities - "Do you have little ones at home during the day? How can God be the center of their at-home time? You could have verses for them to memorize and illustrate with crayons and markers...have a CD of children's hymns that play in the background all day...Do you play DVD's in your home? If so have a storehouse of Christian videos to fill their minds with teaching about God."
3. Budget for books - "It's staggering how much a family can pay for cable TV service, videos and CD's. So don't hesitate to have a budget for Jesus books."
4. Pray as a lifestyle, Create a Family Prayer List - "As you and your family deal with the everyday cares of life, make it a point to pray...Let them see that prayer is a natural first response to everything."
5. Lavish them with love - "Write '3 ways I can love my children today' on a 3x5 card and list three choices you can make today that say, 'I love you, I cherish' you to the little and big people that make up your family."

What great responsibility God has given me to raise the most precious people - Raider, Haylie and James... How could I do anything else but take it very seriously, as a great honor and gift, definitely something where I shouldn't be "winging it!"

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Pink Toesies

I painted Haylie's toenails this morning, just like Mommy's. She held very still and was careful not to touch them until they were dry. She is so excited, now she walks around showing everyone her "pink toesies."

Monday, June 9, 2008

Backyard Birthday BASH - literally!

Happy Birthday to my Dad!!! What a fun day we had on Sunday, celebrating his birthday and chatting about how old we're all getting! The girls all had a great time with an impromptu swim - Dad and the guys decided to run up to the store and get a little pool so the kids could play in the water. We weren't prepared with suits so all the girls were swimming naked (photos not appropriate for website publishing!!).

My Dad (left) and his best friend Mario (since highschool)
Onto the bash part- my Dad and Kathy's house isn't exactly child-proofed. They have done a ton of work on their backyard and it is quite the quaint, artsy little retreat, complete with statues and fountains, etc. All of these things were like magnets for Haylie and Kiley who were instantly soaked after trying to drink from the fountains, get in the fountains and take apart the fountains. It's all fun and games until something gets broken.... CRASH went a gorgeous little green duck statue into lots of tiny pieces. We felt terrible and hence it was time to distract the kids with something else, so off to the store for a little pool.

Battle Wounds

At my Dad's on Sunday Haylie got into a little battle with the cat and the cat won. She was following it around most of the day smacking it's backside when finally the cat got fed up and took a quick swipe. Poor Haylie!!!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Near Drowning

Ok so it wasn't as close as near drowning but it sure felt like it!!! Yesterday Haylie, James and I went to a friend's house to swim, along with our playgroup buddies. Haylie was playing on the step of the pool and I was sitting on the edge with James on my lap. Haylie was having a very fun time splashing in the water and playing, and I was chatting it up with the girls. Then it happened, Haylie bent over and bumped her bottom on the back of the pool, sending her head down, diving into the water. It was only a second or two before I grabbed her arm and pulled her out of the water and up onto the side of the pool, but honestly it felt like an eternity as I watched her go straight down, towards the bottom of the pool, completely under the water. When I pulled her up onto the side of the pool, our playgroup moms were so amazing... I must have had an absolute look of panic on my face and James was screaming on my lap (since I probably smashed him in half jumping to get Haylie). Haylie looked at me and was about to start crying when all the moms started clapping and telling Haylie what a good job she did. Haylie instantly felt like she was a little diving star, which thankfully made her comfortable enough to return to the water later. In addition, right when I pulled Haylie out, my friend Sara who is so great at helping and sensing a need, ran right over and took James off my lap to calm him down so I could focus on Haylie. After it all settled down, my friend Christine reassured me saying, "I know to you that felt like forever but it was really just a couple seconds." Looking back I am sooo thankful for the great moms we were surrounded by and most importantly for the fact that I was right there next to Haylie, paying close attention. I hear so much talk about water safety and the fact that it only takes a few seconds for a child to drown - yesterday I really felt the truth of that. I praise God for that lesson!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Back To The Fun

I am so excited to be working part time and this week was the beginning of my new schedule. To kick off the summer, my sister Nicole and I decided to take the kids to Funderland, a little amusement park for children. We had a blast all day long and were completely worn out at the end of the day. Nicole and I loved watching the girls have fun on all the rides and thinking about how big they have gotten. We took sooo many pictures and I was so excited to look through them when I got home. As I pulled them up I had to laugh at myself, I felt like such a geek becuase I wasn't sure who had more fun - the kids or me. See below:

Why is my mouth always wide open???

Isn't she so cute?

There were so many great pictures I had to include a little slide show too. In some of the pictures Haylie is crying - poor girl got scared on the fishie ride and it took her several more rides to get over it. At the end of the day we told Haylie and Kiley they could each pick their favorite ride to go on one more time. Haylie picked the tea cups and Kiley picked the fishies. So good to be back to the fun!!!

Back To The Fun

Monday, June 2, 2008

My Silly Kids

Here are some photos and stories of my silly kids, from the past couple days:

James enjoying his rice cereal!

The boots revisited... The other night Micah and I went to check on Haylie after she went to bed (around 10 pm) and look who we found sleeping in her rain boots!! (Note: she wasn't wearing them when we put her to bed!)
James loves his new Bumbo chair that we borrowed from a friend.
Princess Haylie!!
And now a story - last night we went into Haylie and James' room twice only to find Haylie in James' crib with him. He had started fussing so she got up, crawled into his crib and turned on his music player for him. As cute as it sounds we are quite worried about making it a habit!!