Friday, May 18, 2012

PHOTOS!!!!

In March, a certain someone turned 1!

Reading.

Torturing the baby. (Who actually really enjoys it.)

Water play in the front yard.

Communicating to mommy without words...

Wicked bedhead.

more reading!

what a rascal.  pic got snapped a second too late.  there was major straining involving tippy toes and all.

my kids can be witty....

I have always suspected that the little people in this house are highly intelligent but today their brilliance was confirmed. Discovered that they have made a nasty old basketball their baby and have named it, "Poop." This way they can say things like, "I am going to throw poop at you." and "Come kiss my little poop." without consequence. Imagine my pride

Today we were "swimming" in the small plastic pool we have in the yard.  Daddy dearest was home for lunch, but as he had to go back to work, he was sitting off  a bit from the revelry.  At some point, Ethan walked over to him with a bucket full of water and a gleam in his eye.  Eric reminded him, "I have to go back to work.  I can't get wet, Buddy."  At this, Ethan turns to me with a wicked gleam in his eye, points and says, "But you can."

Yesterday Ethan was climbing into a small red rocking chair we have and jumping out of it. At one point, he turned around while in the chair to face the wall and I asked him, "Buddy, you going to try to jump out backwards?" My ever cautious middle child turns around to the front and says, "No, I'm gonna jump this-wards."

Convo with Emory over breakfast.... "Mom, are we going to ever get a bigger house?" (we live in a small 3/1) "Why do you ask?" "Well, what I really want is a house with stairs, like Philip's house." "I'm not sure if we'll ever have a house with stairs. It depends on what we find when we are ready to move. Ella Margaret will have to get bigger before mommy is ready to move." "Well, then, can I go and live with Philip until you are ready?".

One evening last week we went to see a small friend's school choral performance.  Afterwards we headed to Zaxby's, them for dinner and dessert for us.  I was by myself with all 3 kids (who sat almost all the way through the one hour performance.  Music is magical at our house!)  My children were generously provided with a milkshake courtesy of the friend's grandfather.  (The grandfather in this story is a dear friend, and has been a prominent figure in our church's denomination... that  denomination being the PCA.)  Hoping to drill home the difference that loving Jesus makes, I ask the kids on the way home, "What would make a man that generous to buy you a milkshake even if you are not his own grandchildren?" Emory says from the back of the van, "I bet he was born on the Sabbath. That has to be it, right mom?"

Monday, April 2, 2012

Mark Twain...

said the following....

"Be careless in your dress if you will, but keep a tidy soul."

AND

"A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval."

I love these and I'll explain why later.  For now chew on this and let me know how it hits you.  I'm off to shower while the kids rot their brains out in front of Sesame Street and the baby naps.  Gotta dash!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

She's a keeper!


Want to know why we love this baby?  Let me count the ways....  ok, I'll just give you ten.  It's an appetizer, really.  Here goes:

1.) she's really cute.  I mean, just look at that face!
2.) she gives THE  BEST kisses.  She's the only one of my children thus far to love being kissed and to reciprocate the blessing.  *LOVE*
3.) she jabbers constantly in this really cute, non-feminine, guttural growl type noise.  We have no idea what she's saying, but it cracks us up.  Every time.
5.) She sleeps anywhere.  This is an invaluable tool.
6.) She can go all day without a nap, be held up impossibly past her bedtime, and still charm the pants off of anyone. 
7.) She is almost always smiling.  Seriously, we should have named her Joy.  If she's crying, we tend to actually pay attention because she. never. cries.  Never.
8.) Have I mentioned how really cute she is.  Just look at her.  So kissable!
9.) She mimics things we didn't even know we did.  I think she'll probably be our ham.  The class clown, if you will.
10.) Doesn't back down from a fight.  Can give it to big brother and sister as well as she can take it.  She has even been known to provoke a fight or two.  I love that she stands up for herself.

I love this kid!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

all things good...

..... we recently took a road trip where nothing went according to my plans.  Not a darn thing.  I was frustrated, anxious, and even a bit irritated with God that my plans had been so hijacked.  As I was licking my wounds on Monday morning, doing all the laundry that comes home with you after a road trip, and pondering how the frustrating things that happened on that trip could be considered good, it occurred to me that I had Romans 8:28 completely wrong.  I've always read that as "God only sends good thing to His people."  Um, I don't think so. 

This past year has been really, really hard for a whole bunch of reasons I won't go into here, but very few of the things that happened to make it hard are "good".  I haven't been totally truthful with myself, but I've been getting angrier and angrier with God for all the hard things when I was believing He had promised me nothing but good.  Which meant, to me, that when  a hard thing came, I had to be happy about it because it had to be good somehow. 

On Monday, I finally gave myself permission (or maybe the Holy Spirit did when He whispered this truth to my heart) to see all the hard things as bad.  They are bad.  We live in a sinful, fallen world and there is no way that everything that happens to us is good.  But, we can't stay there just knowing that the things are bad because it will only cause us to harden our hearts, which is not at all fruitful or even good for us.  Ever been around someone with a heart hardened by life?  Not fun.  I tend to avoid those people, don't you?

Here is God's promise in Romans 8:28 ".... in all things God works for the good of those who love Him....." (emphasis mine!).  He doesn't promise me all good things.  How can I share in the sufferings of Christ if all things coming down the pipe of my life are grand?  But, my heavenly Father, who cares me for me as tenderly as I tend to my newborn babies, promises me that He will take the yucky, tainted things that happen to me and weave them into something that is good for me.  I can swallow that pill far more easily than trying to drum up false joy at the next trial that comes my way because I'm believing a lie that I have to find all things good.  Guess who whispered that lie to me for 34 years?  And, I fell for it.

Not any more.  I'm going to trust my Father the way I teach my children to trust me.  I have something I do around here when I've made a decision the kids don't like and their mouths gape open in horror that I would deny them some joy or pleasure that they desire.  I get right on their level and ask them, "Does mama love you?  Does mama want good things for you?  Please trust me, I have a plan."  A lot of times, it actually works and the child calms down enough to listen to mama remind them of times it looked like mama was destroying their hopes and dreams, but really had better things waiting in the wings for them.

I can almost hear Him audibly, "Have I ever failed you?  You can trust me even when it seems like you can't.  I know something you don't know yet.  I have a plan for you, to prosper you and not to harm you.  I will never hurt you."(Jeremiah 29:11)  Maybe I can start to listen a bit.  Isn't it interesting that His actual requirements are not nearly as harsh as I make them out to be when I am throwing a spiritual temper tantrum?  We can trust Him. His yoke is easy and His burden is light (see Matt 11:28-30).  Throw off the temptation to  approach God like the Israelites in the desert and allow Him to draw you close as Jesus did the small children.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

the end of the day....

..... with one child, goes a little something like this....
"Thank goodness it is almost 5:00 and Eric will be home soon and there will someone else to talk to."

.... with two children, goes a little something like this...
"Look at that!  It's already 5:00!  Daddy will be home soon."

....with three children, goes a little something like this....
"Holy crap!  It's almost 5:00 and Eric will be home soon, and just look at this place!  Holy crap!"

Thursday, February 9, 2012

the sippycup chronicles...

.... I am so thinking of changing the title of this blog again.  By my absence, you can guess how busy we have been around here.  Life with 3 non-school age children underfoot is busy to say the least. Add to that, a wee bit of kindergarten homeschooling and no mother's day out budget and my world revolves around whose sippy cup needs refilling.  But, truth be told, I'm loving it.

Ella Bella Ding Dong was 11 months old today.  I didn't realize it until after dinner and happened to glance at the school calendar that we forgot to do today.  What does it say about me that I routinely go the entire day without knowing the date?  Anyhoo, the kids are flourishing, and that makes my heart full.  We've unloaded some furniture since we keep adding humans to the abode.  So, space is at a premium. 

I went to ease Emory out of my way as I was clearing dinner dishes and she thought she was getting a hug so she leaned in.  I didn't correct her.  I'm glad that she is so used to getting hugs that she assumes that is what I am doing if I touch her. 

Ethan is our most likely to say thank you.  I've seriously never met such a grateful two-year-old.  I never wanted a boy, but I am so glad God (in His infinite wisdom) knew better what I needed and gave us our E-bug.  Still loving his paci, with no steps taken yet towards kicking the habit, he is officially potty trained and sleeping in a big boy bed.  And, he still has a month to go before he's officially 2 and 1/2.  I think being a younger sibling stimulates his desire to "be a big boy" because none of these milestones have been our idea.  The kid literally potty-trained himself.  It was A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

Emory is a book worm and can usually be found with a book in hand.  She is sometimes successful in convincing her brother to let her read to him, and when she's not, she reads book after book on the couch.  Today she was having some serious difficulty opening the van door.  I couldn't see her from where I was on the other side and I couldn't step away to help her because I was buckling the baby in.  When she was finally able to get the door open I could see what the problem was... she had a book in hand and was attempting to open the door while reading.

The youngest in the nest is such a ham.  We love this baby!  Always ready with a smile, is a bottomless pit at mealtimes, and can smell an open bathroom door from clear across the house.... Ella Bean is a 21 pound party animal.  That kid loves to play in the toilet!  We haven't done anything more than pull her away and wash her hands when she's been able to satiate her whim for potty splashing, but she cries as though her heart has been broken when you interrupt her water play.