30 April 2012

Of Submission

Our oldest two children were both sucking down bottled milk by the age of three weeks.  Of course, I nursed them as often as possible, but a Momma likes the freedom to go on a date, or a night with the girls, or an out-of-town retreat.  Or even just Sunday School.  Yes, sometimes a little time without my tiniest sidekick is treasured.

Which is why you might be able to understand my frustration with our youngest who had decided he was too cool to be seen with a bottle hanging out of his mouth.  Yes, it was mostly our fault.  While he took his formula bottles like a champ when he was only a week old because Mommy's Benadryl had kept him from getting his milk the natural way, as soon as that 24-hour window was closed, I rushed to get him back to Momma and stayed away from bottles for several weeks.

Thus, you can understand how he might be averse to the idea of sucking his milk through some rubber topper rather than the way he has grown accustomed to eating during the first two months of his life.  And since we didn't force the issue, it got to the point where he would simply rather not eat than take a bottle.

And now we have a problem.

Because Mommy still likes the freedom of not having to be attached to the little man at all times.  Mommy likes the freedom of expressed milk stored up in the freezer on the off-chance she can sucker a free baby-sitter into giving her and Daddy a night out of the house.  But when Baby refuses said milk, those frozen containers of liquid gold turn to stress - a stressful reminder that it's being stored for nothing, because this kid won't take it.

So, Philip and I came up with a plan - Joseph would be given a bottle at every meal until he learned to accept it as the same milk Mommy has, just in a different form of delivery.

Joey didn't like our plan.

So, after a heated discussion (because, let's face it, when your child has just spent a half hour denying his lunch and is now screaming his head off, no discussion is going to be pretty), I finally realized I was pushing to do things my way and ignoring my husband's ideas for how this process should be approached.  And when I realized how sad it was that I was not only not listening to my husband, but I was forcing him into something he didn't think was right, I relented.  I submitted, rather.

Though we were trying things Philip's way, I still knew Joey might not be too happy about the situation.  So, with much trepidation we approached his next meal.  I roused him from his nap so he could eat in time for evening church.  I placed the bottle in his mouth.

And he took it.

No questions asked (if he could, that is).  No crying.  No shaking of his head.

Just the blissful sound of a little baby boy sucking on his bottle.  Like it ain't no thang.

And then, just to prove it wasn't a fluke, he did it again for his next meal after that.

It would seem someone in this house simply needed a lesson in wifely submission.

Such a big boy - so proud!

1,000 Gifts:
426. Doing things God's way.
427. Eating shrimp in my own kitchen.
428. Free pizza.
429. An empty bottle.
430. Movie night.
431. Turning off the computers.
432. New friends.
433. Strawberries - lots and lots of strawberries.
434. Free plants.
435. Money back in my wallet.
436. Hard work for beautiful results.

26 April 2012

Of Priorities

My children napped for two hours today.  All three of them.  In their own beds.

Well, one of them napped for two hours, the other two kept right on going.  And, honestly, this is not an entirely rare scenario for me (yes, I recognize how extremely blessed I am).

Now, typically when this happens, I either find innumerable stupid things that I think important at that moment to fill the time or I recognize this golden window and actually accomplish things - folding clothes, cleaning up the kitchen, making dinner.  Useful things.

But while going about trying to accomplish one of those useful things this afternoon, I found something I had printed for Micaiah over a month ago that I had meant to actually get ready for her so she could play with it.  I knew she'd love it.  But it was set aside, forgotten about, and, when remembered, set aside again, in favor of a million "useful" things.

Today, though, I realized I had nothing I would rather do than spend an hour cutting out cardstock cats that will probably be partially destroyed or lost in less than the time I put into them.  Yes, there is still unfolded laundry in the dryer and, yes, the kitchen counter still needs de-cluttering and, yes, the bathrooms still need cleaning.

But those fleeting moments in which my daughter will delight in cardstock cats are so much more precious than a clean kitchen that, let's face it, will be destroyed in less than the time I put into it.

1,000 Gifts:
419. Cardstock Cats
420. A little man that can decidedly hear - only two months old and already passing tests with flying colors.
421. Evening plans.
422. A negotiable budget.
423. A calendar filled - with things I want to do.
424. Knowing what's for dinner.
425. Cupcakes (with sprinkles!)

My Life: My Friends
There are many people I could have included in a picture here, but, really, my husband is my best friend.  And I love watching him bond with our children, who are also our friends (but not to the point that they get away with things, of course).

25 April 2012

Of Thanks

I have, at times, what can be considered a thank-less job.  There are days when it seems no one notices the folded clothes that magically replaced themselves in their drawers when they weren't looking or the home-made snacks that miraculously appeared in the fridge while they were sleeping.  It can seem I spend my days on one task after another that are all just taken for granted.

Gratefully, though, I have my son.  The one who can talk.

There are moments when I may, in passing, pick up his spoon, of which he has so carelessly lost his grip, and casually place it on the table as I walk by, to which I am surprised to hear, "Dank oo, Mommy, my spoon."  Or the times when I ask him to clean up the toys scattered about and I stoop to help, receiving a polite, "Dank oo" when we're done.

Yes, there are occasions when I deliberately perform actions for which I expect my children to thank me, because they know they should - when they are given a snack or when they are kindly handed the cup for which they have been begging.  These are things for which we have taught them to express gratitude.

But the random acts of kindness which I think nothing of, the things I do because I'm mommy and that's what I do, these are the actions for which I am surprised to receive a verbal expression of thanks.

Surprised, but oh so grateful.

So, thank you, Emmett, for making my day a little less thank-less.

1,000 Gifts:
412. Smiles at 4:30am.
413. Being on-time.
414. Girl time at Bible Study.
415. Time to get things done.
416. Help with the purge.
417. A sweet sister laying next to her brother so he will hate tummy time a little less.
418. A tiny co-conspirator in teaching her brother to ask first.

My Life: My Book
After finishing the second book during an early morning feeding, I'm almost done with The Hunger Games trilogy!

24 April 2012

Of Facing Fears

Tonight marks a milestone for our oldest son.

This boy hates getting his head wet.  Hates it.  He screams and writhes at bath-time as the water is poured over him.  I have often felt like I was bathing a cat in the way he yells and tries to claw his way out of the tub.

He also hates getting his haircut.  Hates it.  No matter what we put on the T.V. to distract him, or what snack is in front of him or what Daddy does to divert his attention from the scissors at his hair, he wails, wiggles and tries to get away (which, of course, only makes matters worse).

But tonight.

Tonight he sat patiently as Daddy washed his hair ever-so-gently.  Even more surprising, the little man picked up the cup himself, pouring water down his face, declaring, "I do it!" and giggling.  Giggling.

And then it was haircut time.  Though he wasn't quite so brave as to try to snag the scissors himself, there was an impressive lack of tears (except, understandably so, at the point when Mommy accidentally nicked his ear, drawing blood, even).  Overall, though, with marshmallows in his snack cup, Blue's Clues on the television and Daddy engaging him in conversation about all of the above, he remained relatively still (for a nearly-two-year-old) and quiet.

That's our tough man.  We're so proud.

1,000 Gifts:
406. Chicken jambalaya - which everyone loved!
407. Overheard on the monitor - "No, Emmett, don't get up there; Mommy will be mad!" - a big sister trying to keep her brother out of trouble
408. A fresh haircut
409. Non-stop smiles from the littlest.
410. Making handprints
411. Releasing captured insects into the wild.

My Life: My Favorite Outfit
I love my convertible dress (that I got for 80% off!).  Pregnant or no, it's my absolute fave!

23 April 2012

Of Self-less Celebrating

Somewhere (I'm thanking blaming Dora), Micaiah has learned that Mother's Day is the next holiday after Easter and has, therefore, been asking me daily, "Is it Mother's Day today?!"  Every day I tell her, "Not yet, Baby."

I've informed Philip of her anticipation and suggested he make this Mother's Day super exciting - you know, because we don't want to disappoint the children.

I'm all about the children.

1,000 Gifts:
398. Popcorn
399. A polite daughter
400. Micaiah:"Emmett, tell Mommy you're sorry you play with the wipes." Emmett: "I dorry, Mommy."
401. A cooking partner
402. A healthy meal for my family
403. A tiny baby who just wants company.
404. A nap to refresh a mood.
405. Small group

My Life: My Sweet Tooth
These are the buttermilk pancakes and buttermilk syrup Philip made from scratch.  The syrup tasted like caramel - it was absolutely amazing.  Nothing like a little dessert for dinner.

My Happy Place
So, I'm kind of cheating because I can't really think of one place that is my happy place.  I'm happy wherever I have friends and family.  Thus, I'm presenting Joey's happy place - his swing.  Sure, he doesn't look happy, but I know he's smiling on the inside.  And, honestly, this kid could sit in here for hours (and sometimes does).

21 April 2012

Of Colors

Why is it we are always amazed at how our children have developed?  I mean, I knew someday Emmett would know his colors.  And I know Micaiah has (mostly) known her colors for a long time.  So, logically, it should not be surprising to see he's already beginning to pick it up.

But when I'm playing Draw Something on my iPad while he sits in my lap and I hear him suddenly exclaim, "Black!" as a black line appears and then, even more impressive, "Two black!" as another black line appears, I cannot help but be in awe.

Interesting, though, that black and blue are the only two he can confidently recognize.  And if all else fails, every other color is "blue", too.

But he's getting there.

1,000 Gifts:
390. A productive naptime
391. Great garage sale finds
392. Helpful neighbors
393. My man representin' at Regionals.
394. A successful end to a long search
395. Egg hunts at dusk.
396. An outfit coordinated by Sissy (consisting of an American flag t-shirt, bright green froggie swim trunks and brown sandals - to go over his white socks)
 397. Joey, lovin' on his "lovey"

My Life: My Favorite Color
I have multiple favorites.  Last night I told my husband I liked silver and purple best.  And then I found this nightstand (with coordinating dresser) and remembered my deep love for turquoise.

20 April 2012

Of Bread

As referenced previously, I have recently undertaken the task of being my family's sole bread provider.  And when I say that, I mean it literally - as in I'm the only one making bread for our family, not some factory somewhere (which has given a whole new appreciation for the invention of sliced bread, though I'm still good with slicing our own when I know what's been put in it).

My first accomplishment in regular bread making was a honey-wheat loaf with which my husband fell in love instantly - touting the wonders of this fresh bread straight from the warmth of our own oven.  He could eat it every day, he said, and he especially loved the idea of making sandwiches with his new wheat friend.  Yes, he was definitely infatuated with this bread.

But then . . .

After partaking of the deliciousness of some home-made Italian bread from church friends, I discovered my own recipe.  I had never before considered the possibility of creating Italian bread in my very own kitchen.  And it turns out the affection my man had for that wheat bread was nothing but pure puppy love.  His feelings for the Italian variety?  These run deep.

Suddenly old wheat is nothing to him, tossed aside for a younger, sleeker model.  When I recently mentioned I'd be making more bread, he eagerly asked which kind.  I noted we needed more for sandwiches, so I'd be making the wheat.  To which he replied, "Well, I like sandwiches on the other, too."

Yep, wheat might as well be chopped liver.

In noting my disdain at his so easily tossing aside what had previously been like heaven-on-earth for him, his response was, "You're lucky I haven't met any Italian girls."

And when, during our date this evening, he partook in the soft, fluffy variety of bread at a local Italian restaurant, he mentioned it was a good thing I didn't have a recipe for that or he might be just as fickle toward his newer passion.

What I'm really thinking is I'm lucky I'm not a loaf bread.

1,000 Gifts:
384. The thrill of the hunt.
385. Date night with my man.
386. Bed-time stories with my boys.
387. Friendship re-kindled.
388. A stranger who chooses to be gracious and forgiving rather than bitter and hostile.
389. Overwhelming options (especially when it comes to dessert).

My Life: My Breakfast
Special K (Fruit & Yogurt variety) and scrambled eggs - the breakfast of champions (or stay-at-home moms).

19 April 2012

Of Bugs

Our home has recently become inundated with fruit flies.  While basically harmless, it's little things like these which drive me nuts.

Thus, at dinner this evening, as two swarmed around the table, I attempted to clap at least one between my two hands, to which my dismayed daughter responded, "No, Mommy!  Not the bug!  He just has to get back home!"

Someone has been watching a little too much of "A Bug's Life" recently.

1,000 Gifts:
376. Ridding our home of the unnecessary (and putting a little cash in the pocket while we're at it).
377. A bill coming in under-budget.
378. My little kitchen copycat.
 379. A toddler-designed headboard (that Mommy and Daddy made her undo)
380. Time to sit in the car and talk about nothing important.
381. Chopping up vegetables for dinner.
382. A little guy enjoying time on the playmat.
383. Reading the Sunday comics.

My Life: My Hobby
I have many hobbies, but the two I'm engaging in today are cooking (Ratatouille!) and crafting (excited about this birthday present for my niece to celebrate her first year of life!).

18 April 2012

Of Sparky

We believe it may be a result of watching a little too much Bolt lately, but we now have a new addition to our home: Sparky, a.k.a. Micaiah's imaginary dog.

So far I have heard Micaiah declare it's Sparky's turn to have his diaper changed (but she insisted she would do it herself), I've encouraged her to tell Sparky it's time to go potty when she didn't want to leave him behind (and, yes, I overheard her telling him how to do it), she has been dismayed over leaving Sparky in the bath (though I told her he could swim across the tub to her, at which point all was good), she has asked if Sparky could share her breakfast (but I told her no dogs allowed at the table), and she has cried over leaving Sparky at Wal-Mart (at which point Daddy suggested he might just be in the garage, and sure enough, there he was).

Oh, and when Micaiah was introducing her Daddy to her new friend, Emmett overheard and decided he, too has a Sparky; his is blue (apparently).

Not gonna lie, kind of adoring this stage (for now).  And imaginary dogs are so much easier to live with than real ones - their barking is tons quieter.

1,000 Gifts:
369. Tiny fingers engulfed in mine.
370. Diapers rinsing in the washing machine.
371. A diaper train or baby (and other adorable diaper creations)

372. Sno-Cones after church.
373. Stripes
374. A project to work on.
375. Spontaneous gifts from friends.

My Life: My Inspiration
So much of my inspiration for so many things (couponing, frugal living, crafts, gifts, etc.) comes from reading blogs (I subscribe to a ton).  This is one of my current favorites for adorable projects, from clothing to baby gifts.

17 April 2012

Of Independence

Our oldest boy has become quite the independent.  While he'll still follow his sister to the moon and back, he loves to assert his ability to take care of himself where Mom and Dad are concerned.  He has recently learned to crawl into and out of his own car seat (that's right, hiking his tiny self up into our ginormous Expedition).  His newest catch-phrase is, "I do it!"

If you offer to help, "I do it!"

If you try to give him a boost, "I do it!"

When we want him to eat and he's refusing, we can threaten spankings and he'll straighten up a little, but still dilly-dally.  We can offer cupcakes and he dawdles.  But I warn him, "Mommy will do it!" and start lifting his fork to his mouth and I earn an adamant, "I do it!" as he pulls his own utensil toward him.

That's our boy.

Meanwhile, Micaiah has found a new way of asserting her own bossy independence by controlling our choices in her pretend games.  While offering her Daddy invisible stickers, she gave him two choices, "The lion sticker or the rainbow sticker?"

"Uh, the lion sticker."

"No, the lion sticker is too scary.  We'll just put that over here.  You can have the rainbow sticker."

Likewise, she had, a couple of days earlier, offered me an invisible cupcake, "What kind do you want?"

"Can I have a chocolate cupcake?"

"Um, no, the chocolate ones are for me and Emmett.  Here, you can have the sprinkle cupcake."

Really, child?  You can't just make an extra pretend chocolate cupcake?  I'm pretty sure she enjoys the feeling of saying "No" to our desires every once in awhile in the same way we shoot her down at least once a day.

Way to stick it to the man, little girl.

1,000 Gifts:
368. A strawberry slush after the kids are in bed.
369. Cheesecake squares waiting for me in the freezer.
370. A freshly cleaned baby.
371. Problem resolution.
372. A tiny one resting next to me, squirming happily, as I try to grab a little extra shut-eye in the morning.
373. Sweet smiles from someone just learning how.

My Life: My Favorite Stuff
A Sonic run for half-price slushes, window down on a clear night, wind in my freshly cut (by myself!) hair, Grits streaming from the speakers while I rock my hip-hop moves, arms straight on the wheel, elbows locked, shoulders popping.  This is the stuff.

16 April 2012

Of Hijacking

Please forgive my internet silence.  Ours has been rendered lifeless since, literally, seconds before we hurried out to the storm shelter on Friday night to evade the impending tornado (which, to the best of my knowledge, stayed on the northwest side of town, issuing little-to-no damage to anyone or anything).  Thus, until the repairmen visits tomorrow afternoon we are hijacking our neighbor's internet signal (insomuch as using it with complete permission, with the password they, themselves, passed along - thus, our hijacking is entirely legit).

Then again, after sharing the air of our six-foot underground cube with the two of them and their three pets (all in one crate - I was thoroughly impressed that everyone survived the encounter) as we waited out the hail and thunder that may or may not have heralded the impending doom of our two side-by-side homes, sharing a wireless signal is practically nothing, right?

1,000 Gifts:
247. True peace in the storm.
248. Fair warning.
249. A clean bill of health for our 13lb 10oz, 24 inches of baby boy.
350. Lollipops and stickers at the doctor's office.
351. Asking the doctor, "Am I being good?"
352. Balance in the chaos.
353. Three kids napping at the same time, in their own beds.
354. Sleeping through the night.
355. A Saturday morning on the phone with my brother.
356. Friendly neighbors.
357. Bags of produce crowding my counters:
358. Keeping it clean.
359. Blooming irises.
360. Sunday showers.
361. Waking to the boom of thunder and roar of rain.
362. Showers of blessings.
363. Having more than we know what to do with.
364. Conviction to make no provision for the flesh.
365. Technically being able to afford even what we "cannot afford."
366. Two months with this guy:
367. Doting on Joey.

My Life: My Evening 
It's always a little nerve-wracking when the weatherman starts pointing at your town on the map (even our little thumb-sucker looked nervous watching the news).  Thus, we spent our evening tuned to the coverage, before and after spending some time in the storm shelter with the neighbors, the little ones either watching School House Rock or sleeping while the adults kept up what was going on outside.

My Family
Our little family of five.

My Lunch
Maybe not the healthiest fare, but my baby shower fodder was plenty satisfying nonetheless.

My Guilty Pleasure
Spending my afternoon reading the second book of The Hunger Games trilogy and watching the latest episode of ANTM while snuggling with my little boy.  I promise this one episode per week is the only television I actually watch during the days at home.

12 April 2012

Of Friends

One thing I love about Micaiah, which is so unlike her introvert parents, is the fact that every person she meets is a friend.  

On Saturday, as the neighbor child and her cousins played in the wooden castle overlooking the fence and, therefore, our own backyard, Micaiah got so excited, "It's my friends!"  And, yet, she had never met these girls.  Not once.  But the fact that they were there and Micaiah was there was all she needed - they carried on quite the conversation for the duration of their time outdoors.

Likewise, as our wonderful neighbor (on the other side) came to take me to a Ladies' Tea Party (which was wonderful), Micaiah was thrilled that a friend had come to play.  Sadly, we left quickly, leaving no time for play.  So when I arrived home and entered their room to kiss she and Emmett good night, Micaiah inquired of her friend.  When told she had to go to her own house, my little extrovert's response was, "Awww, but whyy? Her's my best friend!"

If she's seen a picture of a child, it's her friend.  If someone walks in the front door, they're a friend.  If anyone smiles at her, they're a friend.  

Someday I'll learn from her - to recognize the potential for friendship in almost anyone who crosses my path.  For now I live in admiration of her open heart and eager spirit.

1,000 Gifts (inspired by the lists here and here):
241. A well-worn CD, remembrance of days past colliding with the present.
242. My "Love" necklace purchased for a quarter at a garage sale hosted by surprisingly spunky elderly women in a deceptively sketchy old farm house.
243. The jeans that are probably marked as a size too small, but they make me feel good. 
244. A God who cares enough to place valuable friendships into my life.
245. Kissing kids good night in the dark, when they should be sleeping but are really waiting for Mommy to get home.
246. One warm child on either side, with an infant in my lap, begging me to read their books, whether they be alphabet-centered or inspired by Dora the Explorer.

My Life: My Eyes
I have yet to have a little one inherit these baby-blue irises (much to the chagrin of my parents), but I love my three brown-eyed beauties, so I'm not complaining.

11 April 2012

Of Emmett

I groaned to myself in dismay this afternoon as I read a brief article on-line.  With all the horrifying things in our world, what could have caused the sadness I felt?  Only a tiny snippet detailing celebrity-inspired baby names which are rising in popularity these days.  The name that topped the list?  Emmett.  Even worse than the fact that our son's name is becoming "all the rage" is that it's sudden rise in fame is linked to the Twilight series.

I shake my head in remorse.

To be honest, I had actually discovered the link between the name and the vampiric love story before our firstborn son ever entered the world.  I noticed it on some obscure website as I first researched this name we were considering for our baby boy.  And it was almost enough to deter me from using it altogether.  Almost.

And now, though I truly love the origin for our own son's name, I still almost feel the need to apologize for labeling him with such a moniker which is apparently plaguing the sons of his generation and for the association with a fictional blood-sucking brother.  I am deeply sorry, Son.  As you move along in this life in a sea of boys risen by vampire fangirls, I am sorry for the fact you may get lost in the crowd.

Also, I'm sad because I will constantly feel on the defensive when introducing my son to strangers.  "His name is Emmett, but I swear it had nothing to do with Twilight and I swear we chose the name before it was ever even trendy.  I swear."  So, really it's my pride that is sad.  My pride likes being original.

And now my pride feels like a brain-washed, pop-culture-leeching lemming.  Yuck.

1,000 Gifts (inspired by the list here): 
238. Irises, overflowing the small bed in our front lawn, just showing signs they will be opening soon.
239. The tree in the center of the irises, grown to adolescence, seems to be so grown-up from when we first met it as a young newlywed couple so in love with each other and this, our first house.
240. Our Little Man, heading to the church nursery for the first time.

My Life: My Transportation
It may look like a beast in the garage (or, really anywhere), especially in contrast to our tiny Cavalier, and may not boast the best gas mileage, but this vehicle fits three carseats with room to grow, so we're happy with it.

My Space
This is pretty much my view most days, sitting on the couch, staring at my laptop.  Although, I've been doing better about getting active with my kids, this spot in the middle of the sofa is still "Mommy's seat."

10 April 2012

Of Giving Up Fear

I always feared the idea that having three children would leave Philip and I outnumbered.  It's no longer, "You grab that one, I'll get this one."  Instead, it's most often, "You take the older ones, I'll get the little guy."

What I have realized this week, though, as severe weather has threatened parts of our state, and we have been warned of a higher-than-normal rate of these storms coming this season, is that on top of our being outnumbered, I, when I am alone, no longer have enough hands for each child.  So when it comes down to it, if we are forced out to the storm shelter in the face of a looming tornado, in the middle of the day with no husband to help, I will have the sole responsibility of getting three scared little ones to safety while only being able to hold onto two, at most.  

Yes, the fear can be a little overwhelming at times (especially considering how dominant the terror of these storms was for me even before children entered the picture).  These are the times when I must remember I have been called to a life without fear in the midst of my circumstances - at least not a fear of the unknown.  Because, though I don't know the future, I belong to the One who does.  Which means, even if the outcome isn't as I desired it, I can always trust in His goodness.  Thus, I have no need to fear the future.

Therefore, this season, rather than biting my nails at every overcast sky or becoming frozen at every discussion of tornadoes on the news, I will trust.  

1,000 Gifts (inspired by the lists here and here): 
231. Opening the storm shelter to get it ready for the season, while praying it won't be necessary.
232. Opening the shower door for a morning shower - before the kids are even out of their rooms.
234. Opening my eyes at 7:34am, realizing my youngest son has still not awoken after laying down to bed at 8:30 the night before.
235. Sour gummy vitamins (made for adults!) - yes, they're mostly sugar, but they still make me happy.
236. Emmett, turning to his "diddy" for help, and her willingness to assist.  Too sweet.
237. Celebrating National Cheese Fondue Day in our own kitchen.

I failed to take my "My Life" photo for today, but no worries, I'll catch up tomorrow!  In the meantime, you can adore my little post-bath cutie.

09 April 2012

Of Checking In

Lately . . .
- Joey has been smiling up a storm.  He giggles and coos and grins.  It's quite adorable.  Also quite boyish as I tend to find smiles when I discuss his poop or his boogers.  He loves it.

- Micaiah has been responding to my calling her with, "Yes, Mommy?" and to my requests with, "Yes, Ma'am."  I love it.

- Joey has been going to bed at the same time, or closely thereafter, as his siblings.  And then he sleeps for 9-10 hours.  And he's not yet two months old.  I love it.

- Emmett has learned to say "Peenwin" as opposed to confusing "penguin" and "rainbow" into one word, "Beembo." This is just the latest in a long string of new vocabulary, which seems to grow daily.  I love it.

I guess, basically, we can sum up life lately with the McDonald's catchphrase, "I'm lovin' it!"

1,000 Gifts (inspired by the lists here and here):
225. Our children running and squealing as they hid from the vacuum cleaner.
226. Joseph, holding his Easter duck, as placed gently in his swing by his older siblings.

227. "Swing me on the bed, Daddy!"
228. The phone which connects me to long-distance family.
229. A little boy who sleeps peacefully in his swing - two hours past feeding time, even.
230. Snuggling with a book and a boy as Emmett points out Dora, Boots and Tico.

My Life: My True Love
The man I married - this ring, inscribed with the words "I will wait for My Beloved," lived on my left hand until the night he proposed, at which point he wore it until our wedding.  He was worth the wait.

08 April 2012

Of Greetings

Happy Resurrection Day from our little family of five!

1,000 Gifts (inspired by the lists here and here):
219. A baby who sleeps all night, waiting to rise until 7am.
220. Children who can entertain themselves when they rise.
221. Words so moving you have to rise to your feet to sing them.
222. The sun, hidden by clouds by shining radiant all around them.
223. Watching my dress twirl at my calves as I turn in the mirror.
224. Birds in flight, seen only as their shadows cross the stained glass window.

My Life: My Sunday
This is the spire under which we enter every Sunday morning.

07 April 2012

Of Celebrating Spring

I had decided I wasn't a big fan of Easter baskets - not wanting to teach our children to associate this most precious day - the reason we have hope in salvation - as one of colored eggs and chocolate candies (which, let's be honest, would definitely take precedence to a toddler mind).  But since they had been gifted a plethora of small goodies from grandparents and great-grandparents alike (and since we happened to have three such baskets from years past), we filled the baskets anyway.  Though, we opted to present them to the children today so the actual day of Easter could be reserved for celebration of the risen Savior.

And I'll admit, it was definitely fun showering them with baskets of goodies (purchased by others) and spending part of the day outside as they enjoyed the spring weather and a few of their new treasures.  Not a bad day to celebrate the joy of life.

Three baskets ready for giving.

 Entertaining herself with her brother's cheeks before Mommy and Daddy showed her what she was waiting for.

 What is it?

 Micaiah: "Oooh!"; Emmett: "Dandy!" (aka Candy); Joey: "Where's the milk?"

Exploring the contents.  Emmett was kind of stuck on the candy idea and it was hard to get him to focus on anything else.  But Daddy tried!

Micaiah loves new books!

Joey's still wondering where the milk is, but someday he'll appreciate these new stuffed friends.

 Emmett, donning his new hat, waiting for breakfast.

 Micaiah loved sipping milk through her new straw.

Breakfast, compliments of Chef Daddy.

Playing with bubbles.

Micaiah loved dancing with her new sheep.  She's kind of adorable ;)

1,000 Gifts (inspired by the lists here and here): 
213. Seeing an old favorite, back in theaters, with my beloved.
214. A daughter old enough to play games and memorize Bible verses.
215. Resurrection cookies sealed in the oven.
216. "Mommy!" and a hug from a little guy who missed his parents.
217. Breakfast and a clean kitchen compliments of my helpful husband.
218. "Mommy, can I get down on my own?" Always patiently asking before she clambers out of her seat like a big girl.

My Life: My Town
It's no small feat to claim three exits on an Oklahoma Highway, but what else would you expect from the town which can introduce itself as the founding place of Sonic (America's Drive-In) - which would be why we boast five in our relatively small radius - and even a mall (again, no small claim for an Oklahoma).  Of course, we can always look to places like the Honey guy (my personal supplier of home-spun honey by his very own bees) selling on the side of the road to remember our small town roots.