Thursday, December 31, 2009

Encouraging Thankfulness this New Year

I like to make resolutions - goals for myself starting a new year! I do have a few like trying to get more physically active, doing a quiet time in th morning, being a better mom and wife and stocking up our freezer with MEALS before Baby comes:)

Anyway, last year was a time when God really started teaching me to be thankful for all He gives and not to dwell on those things (even good things) that I desired. Hence the blog name change and I really want to think an attitude change in myself!

I read my friend Angela's blog yesterday and was really encouraged. If you want a look into what a "thankful heart and attitude" is check out her post:)

I love him MORE!

Today is fun day for Brian and I as we remember our "history".

I've blogged our engagement story before, you can read it HERE! And HERE are some pictures from that day:) Here is the song mentioned on that blog:) We loved how they "fell in love" in autumn and that their engagement also happens on a mountain:)

If you know our story (or just read it) you'll know that I was quite surprised when Brian proposed... we'd only known each other for about 4 months!! And looking back there was MUCH I didn't know about him or he knew about me...

But there is no doubt that we were paired together perfectedly (as much as two imperfect people can be paired). We have weathered our share of "storms" and joys throught our 7.5 years of marriage and each has brought us closer.

As I was listening to the Bebo Norman song this morning, I was reminded that marriage is HARD but it is through God's grace and the grace, service and compassion that we extend to each other that allow us to enjoy and grow in our marriage:)

I KNOW I loved Brian that day on the mountain, but I know that I love him WAY, WAY more now!!!

Happy Engagement Day, Brian!!!
Happy New Year's to Everyone Else:)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Christmas Smiles

One of my favorite parts of Christmas, now as a mom, are the expressions and reactions of my kids when they open gifts!! And I was soo excited to capture a few as well as some fun/sweet memories:)

The girls opening presents that we'd given them!

Christopher multitasking - Talking to Grandma on the phone while eating a Christmas Stocking apple;)

Cousin time... but little Miss Hannah is alot busier... LOL!

Anna was soo surprised and excited to get a "real" camera... a 1.5 year request!!

More Wordless Wednesday at
Wordless Wednesday, 5 Minutes for Mom and Go Graham Go!!!

Works for me Wednesday - Holiday Survival Tips (for me next year)

I've already "confessed" that I was NOT as prepared as I wanted to be this Christmas as I wanted to be!!

So as I reflect about things that could have made the "last minute crunch" and actual family gatherings easier, I decided to blog and "share"!!

* Pack Christmas decor so that it is "ready to use"..... yes, I had lights up outside this year, but no way to give them POWER!! Brian is helping me to brainstorm ways and collect power cords for next year. This will make it a little easier to decorate right after Thanksgiving next year!

*Speaking of Christmas decor:) I was able to stock up on some wrapping paper, lights and some Christmas candles, for next year, the day after Christmas at 50% to 75% off:) Nice!!! So now I have a little more to work with and I got them for GREAT prices!!

*One thing I did RIGHT and plan to do again is to stock up on Christmas supper items during the Thanksgiving food sales:) While Thanksgiving can also be "busy" it doesn't seem to be "as busy". It was really nice to have most of the items for our Christmas supper already in the cupboards or freezer!

*I loving sending out Christmas cards.... I usually do a photocard and Christmas letter to keep our extended family and friends updated, since I'm soo bad keeping intouch with people! This year we learned how to turn our Excel address book into a Mail Merge and just print the addresses on the envelopes (we need to work on getting the return label !). So easy and eliminates the $ for labels!

*CUPS!!! With having 7 or 8 adult cups on one table is sooo confusing PLUS everyone ends up changing (or throwing out) their cups because they don't know which is theirs! At my parents' house we used disposable and just wrote our names with Sharpies... ghetto, I know:) At my house, we had Anna make quick namecards where we could set our glasses:) Both worked well and I was thinking what a "fun" project namecards could be for the kids to make for everyone next year... even to "set" the table with to help with the "where do I sit" confusion!

Ahhh, feels soo nice to feel a little more organized for next year... there are all sorts of fun posts this week at Works For Me Wednesday at We are That Family:)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Our Christmas Blessings

Focus on the Reason

It was nice that we did purposely focus our Christmas preparations with Christ... from reading Christ prophecy boxes, nativity countdown, the Luke 2 reading and our own church services.

Sure there is more that I'd love to add to our Christmas preparations that focus us more! But I have been soo glad to incorporate what we could and did this year! And I have been blessed as my kids have explained the Christmas Story to me and others!!

Time with Family
Christmas Day we ventured out to my parents' house to have Christmas "lunch" with my family. My parents were working last week, so it was just the siblings and our "families"!! It actually worked out really well and I was soo glad for some time getting to know the girlfriends of my brothers:) Both are super sweet!!

Saturday after Christmas, we had Brian's family over our Christmas with them! We ate a simple meal and spent the day "hanging out"!! It's soo great marry into such a sweet family... I am blessed indeed!

A major part of celebrating Christmas in America is gift giving and receiving. We enjoyed finding some gifts for family members, others are a challenge to buy for:) But we are grateful that we were able to exchange gifts with our loved ones!!

One of the hardest things for me is accepting gifts.... I've always felt uncomfortable accepting gifts. But we are blessed with family, friends and church members that are always soo generous to us throughout the year. We are soo grateful for everyone's generousity to us!

Our Home
I know it's winter, but it's been soo cold and wet lately!! We were soo thankful for our little warm and comfortable house during those cold, wet days! And even having the ability to having our family at our house and feed them!

I should also mention that the church bought a new oven 2 weeks ago for the parsonage! The old oven had many older parts that needed to be replaced. And because it was an old model the pieces were a challenge to find and our church decided that it was time for a new oven:) Oh, it's sooo nice:) So we enjoyed cooking our holiday dinners in our new oven!!

How were you reminded of the blessings that you have (and enjoy) this Christmas season?

Monday, December 28, 2009

i heart faces - Hilarious Holiday Outtakes

The challenge this week is Hilarious Outtakes.... I wish I had some that were super funny but I did have some fun memories from the holiday this year:)

Brian and I decided LONG ago not to exchange presents with each other. Brian LOVES opening presents, so I wanted him to have something to open:) So I "sneaked" around that rule, and I let the kids pick out gifts for him at the Dollar Store:)

I love Brian's silly/confused expression!

Christopher picked out some CARS planes for his Daddy!! It was a toy that he would have also LOVED to receive... while we were shopping I asked him why we should get that gift. His response was, "so we can play it together!"

Sounds like a good plan to me:) And a funny and sweet Christmas memory:)

Another fun memory was the "boyz" going outside to play football on Christmas Day... yes, even when it started to rain a bit! They were determined to play football though!! And you can see the determination on my brother's face.... LOL.. love ya, BOYZ!

Here are two more from our family "shoot" in early Dec:)

Weird baby expression:)

Lydia lick.... but lollipop not in the right place:)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I told you....

A couple of days ago I mentioned that the kids had enjoyed listening to a reading Luke 2 from a CD that Brian had picked up FREE somewhere. Everytime we have been in the car the last 2 weeks they have asked to listen to it numerous times... over and over.

I have to admit that I am a little surprised that they request and listen to it soo much. And it has sparked some conversations about Jesus' birth which have been fun and natural teaching moments.... ahh, don't you love those:)

Anyway, on Christmas morning as we were traveling to see my siblings, the kids requested to listen to the Christmas Story. In the back I heard Chris reciting some of the passage....

The video is a just a piece of the recording. It's hard to hear and he was doing it quietly with the CD! But even for him to mouthing part of the verses of Luke 2 was very, very SWEET to hear:)

Oh and I love his expressions afterward, when he realizes I was recording him:)

This CD was definitely a great find!! And has been a wonderful way to keep our Christmas season focused on our Savior coming as a baby!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry CHRISTmas!!!!

Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

May you have a blessed day/weekend with friends and family as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Anticipation ...

Our kids have been counting down the days until Christmas morning!!! After church tonight I got this picture...

The picture was a response from my friend Rachel, she saw this post and suggested having the kids posed in front of the tree! I think Rachel had something more artistic in mind but the kids were excited!!!! I was lucky to get them to be THAT still:)

Here was another picture just on the auto setting... not as pretty, but the kids were cute! (Chris had already changed into his PJs.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Momma's Favorite Doll

While cleaning out the girls' closet, I found my favorite doll! It was the one gift (besides my TI-82 in high school) that I remember asking for and having to wait through a few seasons before getting - since they were in demand and pretty pricey for my family. It has lasted the test of time and been brought into my own home.

Honestly though, my girls don't play with my Cabbage Patch they have their own favorites... but it's the ONE toy I have kept from childhood and it was sweet to see Lydia snuggle into bed with my doll:)

It only took me a second though to realize who the REAL doll was:) LOL!! I just love her big brown eyes and those pudgy cheeks that are slowly leaving :(

More Wordless Wednesday at
Wordless Wednesday, 5 Minutes for Mom and Go Graham Go!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Did you brush your teeth??

We're heading out the door for our last big Christmas "get it together" shop :) I call to the Chris, "go brush your teeth!"

He responds, "Mom, all the candy I just had washed all the bagel out!"

Oh well for checking my email while the kids were supposed to be getting dressed and getting ready!

Off to really brush his teeth and get going!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Not Me!! Monday - Balancing Christmas Stress!

So if my trip last week wasn't enough...

After reading over my "to do" and "to get" list, I've come to the conclusion that I must venture back into town with the kiddies, making many tiny stops!! I know they can handle it and did sooo well last week.... but I'm wondering????

Why didn't I do this EARLIER????

Seriously the ideas and decorations I had planned to have up this year are still half done... most of the Christmas cards are sent, the wreaths and Christmas tree are up, and the Christmas dishes are down (so the kids are excited).... but there are still items I need to get for gifts and meals, my mantle really needed some Christmas touches and my outdoor decor is dead or not lit (hmmm... should have thought how to get power to the lights first... duh!)!!

When I look around to what NEEDS to be done and what I'd LIKE to have done.... it can be overwhelming! BUT then I am reminded the of the reason and the heart of Christmas....

*We've really enjoyed a CD Brian found in a free box at a homeschooling store. in September... it contains Christmas carols by well-known Christain artists as well as a reading of Luke 2 from the New Living Translation. The kids LOVE listening to the story and I'm thankful for this awesome way to celebrate Christmas while in the car!

*While I'm out, I've really tried to be cordial and sweet to other people... shoppers, cashiers, and managers!! I remember working at Christmas and dealing with all the disgruntle shoppers... it is really ugly to behold... yes, even when a young college student takes a SUPER parking spot when it is sleeting outside and you've been shopping with 3 kids ALL DAY!! I took a deep breath and then found another :)

*When the kids and I make the time we have been using our advent calendar and a set of prophecy boxes to count down to Christmas. The calendar is cute with little velcro figures to use each year. The prophecy boxes are a little above the kids' head... but when I explain the background of how Jesus fulfills each, they sit still and ask questions and really seem interested. And it's kind of fun to celebrate/remember Jesus' whole life during Christmas!

So maybe the un-lit lights out front and the un-Christmasy mantle can just be like that this year (and probably next year, too)! And we can just finish those few things that NEED to be done and continue to enjoy the season of Christmas and not stress about the extras:) And maybe our company will over-look the floors that need another cleaning :)

Easier said than done!!

20 weeks!!! Is halfway here already!!

I haven't posted a preggo update in a while:) I figured 20 weeks was a BIG enough milestone... LOL!!

I continue to feel well:) I really am blessed that my pregancies have been pretty normal and easy! Although I was feeling VERy pregnant this weekend as I tried to get some baking done, after our day of shopping!!... but it didn't keep me from having such a great time getting everything baked and gifts wrapped up :)

My wardrobe is half maternity, half regular clothes (mostly shirts and forgiving pants)!! My favorite pants right now are some dress/casual pants I picked up from New York and Company when I was pregnant with Anna... they aren't too big in the waist and are comfortable... things that matter right now:)

I barely look too pregnant in the pic to the left:)

But then when you see how I"m really having to wear my non-maternity white shirt...

it shows that I AM "poking out"... LOL!!

What is the right thing to say to a pregnant lady when they start "showing"??? I had a couple of funny comments lately....

"You're really getting big quickly" and "You make a mighty fine pregnant woman." LOL!!! These were spoken by sweet friends so I wasn't offended or creeped out!

I've continued to want to eat silly combinations:) Brian took me to a K&W (hahha it was his choice) and so I chose what I wanted! I had a salad, mac & cheese and a slice of chocolate pie.... haha a preggo lady "dream" lunch... I'm glad we don't eat out much!! My newest craving has been Doritos (which are usually non-existant in my milk-allergy house) when I have a sandwich. I still am downing plenty of water... nothing like glass of water!!

Baby is also moving around more. It such a sweet feeling to have baby active inside usually when I am sitting and still (only at rest time and night or in the morning)! He'll also move those first few waking moments in the morning... taking punches at my full bladder I'm sure... sounds like he is already pure BOY!! LOL!!

I am hoping that soon my family can feel Baby moving:) I think it helps Daddy and the kids connect more with Baby!! I remember Anna and Chris feeling Lydia move and how special those moments were....
even Lydia kicking a sleeping Christopher through my belly... not much has changed outside the womb:)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Not quite how its supposed to work...

I know it's the season but we have been busy, busy, busy around here

Thursday we schooled in the morning and then partied with Taite at lunch and into the afternoon!! The kids had soo much fun and they love seeing their buddies... Andrea has a ton of pics on her blog and flickr:) After naps we were supposed to eat and head over to choir practice.... the kids were boucing off the walls, so I played it "safe" and stayed home with them! No reason for us all to "go crazy"!! LOL

Friday, Brian headed out-of-town for a friend's graduation:) Congrats, BLAKE!!!

I had barely started my Christmas shopping, so I was determined to catch the sales I needed to knock off a BIG portion of my list as well as pick-up some baking supplies:) So YES, I took all 3 kids Christmas shopping... insane, I know... but no other options!!

We stopped at least 6 different stores, one being Toys R Us!!

My plan for Toys R Us, was to bring my BIG reusable bags and "sneak" toys into the bags while they were distracted (idea from Andrea).... hmmm, nope didn't happen!! As soon as they got into the store, I hear "I want..." from all 3!!! And then I knew I my plan had to change!!

So I told them that we had planned to get them ONE toy from the store and since they were there they got to pick ONE toy!! They are little so I didn't give them any other limits, except I had to say it was "ok"! It's really funny because the differences of their personalities really came out:

Anna saw a toy she really liked, a new double stroller for her baby dolls (I would have never picked this out for her). But she knew that she could only choose one, so she opted to look around longer. 30 minutes later she pulled me back to the same aisle and made the final decision to get the stroller... she really didn't like anything else.

Christopher would have taken the whole store home. He would have been pleased with ANYTHING:) There were a couple of Lego sets he REALLY liked, but I know he's too young and it would have been Brian's set!! I'll share after Christmas what he ended up with!! LOL!

Lydia really liked the Baby Alive. She has been asking for this doll for months (like she really needs another doll... LOL)!! She picked it off the shelf and put it into the cart.... she was done in like 20 seconds:) The problem is that she already has the baby... friends gave her theirs but I don't think Lydia realizes that it's the same Baby because the baby at home didn't come in the same box. So when Anna made her final decision I again reminded Lydia that she had Baby Alive and if she wanted to change her mind.....

She pointed to another little doll furniture/accessory that was from the same set as Anna's and put that in the cart. I reminded her that she could only have one and she got the baby out and put it on the shelf.... LOL!! Just like that no drama:)

I did "sneak" a few gifts past Lydia and Christopher who were busy looking at their toy or all the other toys:) So there will be a few surprises Christmas morning;)

We ate a picnic lunch in the car as the kids tried to convince me that they should have their presents when we got home... LOL!! It's not quite how getting Christmas presents is supposed to work..... anyway, we left the decision up to Daddy:)

Then the kids followed me through Kohls... where Lydia got a new outfit (since she dumped water from lunch on her and I forgot extra clothes!) and I picked up a few more gifts!!

I dragged them through 2 grocery stores... it should have been only one, I was soo disappointed with the prices at Aldi's!! At Lowes Food, they were getting very tired. I just got the items on my list and then let them pick out a treat! As I headed out I browsed in a health section... I turned a corner without Chris. I knew where he was and the store was deserted (it was sleeting outside) so I didn't worry that he was behind me. Anyway, I heard the loudest cry... it was Chris afraid that I had left him and he couldn't see me. He stuck to my cart like glue after that 5 second incident!!

The two youngest CRASHED on the way home! Chris still had a lollipop in his mouth (a treat for being soo sweet at the stores!) when he fell asleep, Anna pulled it out for me and he didn't even notice! Poor little things!!

But the trip was very successful!! We got most of the items we had listed! And I'm finished shopping for the kids!! But most importantly was that we had a good time together.... the kids were good, I stayed patient and understanding and we worked together!

Here's another "not quite how it's supposed to work" for you.... brought to you by the Veggie Tales nativity in Christopher's room:)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Tree: Before and After

The Before.....
I am NOT a good decorator! But every year I attempt to decorate our tree with some ribbons, bows and collection of familial ornaments!! This year the kids wanted to add some candy canes into the mixture so I agreed.... it's Definitely NOT going to be featured on the cover of any "home decor" magazines!!! LOL!!

But it's our little tree and the kids love watching the lights and seeing their little 1st Christmas ornaments:) And that's what matters, at least to me!!!

I love seeing other's trees and so I tried to take a picture of our "little tree"... but it's homliness was a little too much for me....

So I tinkered with Andrea's camera.... changed some settings.... made sure the flash was off... tried to move so I could get the "whole" tree into the viewing area:) So this was what I got.... (no editting, I promise!)

The After....

I LOVED this picture! I like the lights on the walls, the lights shining through the tree limbs and ornaments! The "glow" that the tree puts off:)

But maybe it's just me (and my decorating skills)... it seems to me like my tree looks better in the dim lights:)

Off to work on those Christmas cards.... :)

Photobucket Funny my little Christmas tree post fit into this week's theme:) See more Christmas Themed "you capture" by clicking on the button:)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

WW: Flushies

We found another "safe" treat for the family! The best thing about this treat is that it is local and cheap.... Sonic Slushies:)

As we pulled up to the drive-in, there were excited cries from the back of the van," SLUSHIES!!"

Then Lydia piped up, "Flushies!!!" We just all started giggling:) It just was soo innocent and funny!!

Here they are enjoying their Flushies!!

More Wordless Wednesday at
Wordless Wednesday, 5 Minutes for Mom and Go Graham Go!!!

The Brevity of Life

With the news of Josh's illness and then his death, I have spent many moments in PRAYer, in tears, and in thought. Knowing of the death of a child that you know and you know has struggled.... really has caused me to "pause" (as much as life can pause) and reflect.

First, I have been reminded to pray over and over throughout the last few days for this sweet family. They are doing well and have a great network of support with family and friends. But when the busyness of funerals and visiting family/friends is over they will need time to reflect, remember and grieve.

Second, I am reminded of the brevity of life!! Here was a 5 yr old little boy who teachers thought looked fine on Tuesday. None of us is guaranteed any amount of time!! We need to be thankful for each moment and be ready to face eternity at any time.

Are we thankful? Even in the midst of the minor challenges of life... the fussy kids, the housework, the extra tasks of preparing for Christmas, lost coupons.... do these inconveniences cause us to not be grateful for ALL we are blessed with, yes, even the stinky bottoms (found at my house)? And are we settled in our faith and secure in our eternal destiny? Do we know Christ and rest in the Lord's promises from the Bible?

Third, I am reminded of the short amount of time we have with our children.... our moments with them are not guaranteed either. I have really started to look at my time to see if I am giving the "best" of me to my children. And whether, I am being faithful to the task of mothering them and guiding them to know the Lord!!! Do I let the mundane tasks get in the way? Or am I distracted?

Even though the time I have known Josh has been very short, his sickness and now death has been a constant reminder of how fragile and brief life can be. And to live life it to the fullest!! I am reminded of his 5th birthday party and all the kids running around playing.... and Josh and his brother climbing up into the tree (yes, an actual tree) fort that their Dad made them. All of us moms on the ground watching all of our monkeys follow the pair and stand there with our arms ready to catch anyone... LOL!! You would have never known Josh was as fragile as he was just by looking at him.

At an Awana meeting before Thanksgiving, the teacher asked the kids if anyone had any prayer requests. Anna told me this week that Josh raised his hand and said, "Pray for me because I am very sick." Anna kind of chuckled when she told me and responded, "Mommy, that was silly because he doesn't look sick at all." But now we can look back and see the simple child-like faith and knowledge this sweet little boy had.

Please, Continue to pray for this family. Visitation is tonight and services are tomorrow.

TIny Talk - Names and Pronouns

I'm hoping to get out of the blogging "funk" soon....

But I have wanted to share this with you for a week now:) Right after we found out we were having a boy, the technician asked us if we had any names picked out. We told her that we have a LONG list we are considering, so she asked the kids.... LOL

Lydia pipes up : We could name him Sweetie Pie?

Everyone giggles and the technician says: I'm not sure he'll like that name.

Chris jumps into the conversation: What about just calling him Pie!!

LOL!!! I WAS a Math major in college.... so I'm thinking naming my kid with just a pi symbol might actually be cool!! I mean if "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince" can do it why can't "Pi".... LOL

* Lydia's other favorite name for Baby is Christmas Tree!!


Brian has had a couple of name suggestions:) He'll ask us as we are all around the table. I just LOVE how Anna responds to some of the suggestions. She'll say the name slowly a couple of times then say the name with a middle and our last name.... really seriously like she's pondering whether it's a good name:)

Then she makes up her mind and scrunches up her face and says, "Nah, no, I don't like it" sometimes adding "I think it doesn't sound right". LOL!!

When will this poor Baby be named??? How long will he be the "Nameless Baby"??


Lydia has been using pronouns in her sentences... it's super cute because they aren't always right. We can understand what she's saying, but it's hard not to just scoop her up mid-sentence to have her repeat it and hug her tight:)

Some of my favorites have been:

"Is it time for we to go now?" or "We go in we van?"


I've enjoyed participating in Tiny Talk Tuesday... check out more by clicking on the button below:)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Update on JOSH

With a very heavy heart and through many tears, I tell you that Josh passed away last night.

Thank you for your prayers. And continue to pray for this family who greives over the loss of their sweet little boy!!! Pray for these next few busy days filled with family and friends offering support.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Pray for a MIRACLE!

My heart is burdened and my hands are folded...

We have a sweet family in our town that is really struggling. Their 5 year old son, Josh, was diagnosed over 1.5 years ago with Gorham's Disease. Thankfully, they have learned to treat and take care of Josh... enough for the family to participate in community, school and church activities:) We have gotten to know them better through VBS and Awana:)

But this week as Josh was receiving his bi-weekly treatment, something happened. We're not sure what or why but Jennifer (his mom) had it explained to her that his brain was "angry"!

So this sweet little boy has been in ICU since Tuesday night, truly fighting for his life!! The prognosis isn't good... doctors told his parents that Josh is probably completely paralysed, he has fluid in one of his lungs that needs to be drained and other health issues. When he is alert he can see and move his eyes. His mother has to encourage him and help him not be frustrated with his limitations (a frustration she can see in his eyes).

Please PRAY!!! Jennifer shared this afternoon that we have to
pray for a MIRACLE for JOSH!!!
And Pray for his family... that strength, stamina and peace would be on them as only the LOrd can give!

*The picture was taken of Josh in July 2008 when his family came over to play and enjoy a popsicle picnic with us!! What a great little kid this guy is and such a fun and sweet family!!! We pray for more "picnics" together!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

WW: Making Cousin Giggle

When we had the opportunity to get family pictures, it was cute to see the cousins together once again. Like I said I wasn't able to get my normal picture of Lydia and Hannah... but these cute cousin pictures with their Grammie and Pey are fun, too!!

One of the challenges with taking our kids' pictures was getting them to smile... especially little Hannah Grace (6 months)!! While we were getting ready and hunting down some fun spots...

the kids entertained Hannah (being worn by Grammie...he hhee)!! It was soo funny watching them jump up and down and be super silly to get HUGE smiles from Hannah Grace. So sweet:) too bad these smiles weren't saved for the actual photos:)

More Wordless Wednesday at
Wordless Wednesday, 5 Minutes for Mom and Go Graham Go!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Our News:)

Well after a LONG (over an hour) wait with 3 little kids we finally got to have the ultrasound!! The technician at the practice I go to is soo sweet and informative, she always seems very content answering questions and pointing out baby parts:)And I am always amazed at how formed babies are this young!! And how personalities are already being formed:)

So the BEST news is that baby is super healthy and growing exactly like Baby should. The little heartbeat was going just as fast as ever and Baby was very cooperative so the technician and doctor could complete the "first check-up"!!!

The second best news is that we will be having......

Let Anna tell you :) (the others chickened out!!)

And I wish I could tell you that Baby has a name. But I had a great name picked out for the opposite sex!!! So we will be playing the Name Game for a little longer:)

Sorry guys....

Sorry to keep everyone waiting....LOL!!! I was in town so I took the opportunity to get some cheap groceries and I did take my dead cell (ooppps!)!!

Anyway, the kids wanted to tell you all so it is uploading:) Hope it finishes soon, I can't wait to tell you!!!

Christmas Pic and Excitement

While visiting my parents last weekend we took advantage of some "nice" weather and got the family snapping pics of each other in the hopes of having that "perfect" Christmas picture:) LOL... having three little kids, family members all around and not even novice photographers... we got lucky and got some "decent" pictures;)

Here is one.... we liked this because of the bridge in the background and the "belly"!! Some tops really "show off baby":)

The excitement is brewing.... and off to the ultrasound we go! We'll share when we can:)

Monday, December 7, 2009

what the predictors say.... LOL

Just for fun, I have taken a few "gender predictor" quizzes.... like I said, just for fun! Most use old wives tales and I'm sure some of those answers are just based on my own preferences:) There were some questions that I just guessed on... so they're probably not right for me at all.... LOL!!!!

We'll find out tomorrow what we will be having.... and from a more reliable source:)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

i heart faces - sweet dreams

I heart faces this week is Sweet Dreams:) I have my favorite sleeping pics of my kids... but they are stored away. So I hunted through some of the pictures that we've done with my youngest "model".... Miss Hannah Grace, the doll baby:)

I liked this picture because of the colors, her sweet little hand next to her face (done by her) and the bright flowery headband my sister put on her!! She was definitely in dreamly land (or about to go) in this pic:)

We actually visited with Hannah Grace and family (LOL) this weekend!! And we did some pictures of each other's families... but I was looking through old pictures and was sooo bummed that I didn't get any of just Hannah and Lydia (or even Chris and Anna)!!! I know they all took turned holding her!! Not sure how much longer she's going to let them do that:) I'll share when I can:)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Loving to Learn Together

I love the classical model we are following for many really good reasons:) But one reason that I have enjoyed it sooo much is that we do a lot together.... right now while Lydia and Christopher are just doing preschool/kindergarten we aren't even really feeling the benefit of all!!! It will be really nice when I have different grade levels for math, reading, writing and grammer but we come together for Bible, science and history:)

This year Anna and I have tried to include Christopher and Lydia in our science studies, which has been pretty simple because we've been learning about different animals:) Today was one of those "sweet" times where we read our books about pandas together, did our fact sheet, and got to work on making some pandas:)

They LOVED their pandas:) All were willing to take some pictures with their new little friends... they even named them:)

*** While this "project" was super simple for Anna and really just a following directions activity, she enjoys the break from books and worksheets! It's nice for her to have some "fun schooltime" with her younger siblings that get a little more play time than her:) And who didn't enjoy ART class???

Hooked On Friday.... the Name Game

Since we find out Baby's gender next week, we have been talking "Names" all week:) The list continues to grow and the discussion continues:) When we played the Name Game during our first pregnancy we discussed having a pattern to all our future kids' names. And so far we've followed the pattern... first name is biblical and the middle name is from the family!

The funny thing is that with both Anna and Christopher, we were solid with their names before we knew whether they were a boy or girl. On the way to the appt with Anna we were solid about naming her Anna and a little worried that we weren't sure of a boy name:) LOL... we were a little relieved that Anna was a girl since we liked her name soo much:) And our experience with Chris was the same!!

Lydia was a little different! We brainstormed names in the van with family members on the way to the appt and we all liked Lydia (not settled on a middle name though) and were still debating a boy's name.

So as we discuss names, I keep wondering if we are sure about names from one gender versus the other. Or are we talking about boys' names more versus girls' names???

So we are Hooked ON the name game... and probably will be until we find one we think we both like:)Oh, I really liked this site for baby names:)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Yes... Sisters can Corrupt!

Christopher is BIG into all sorts of boy stuff:) One new interest has been dinosaurs!!

One of our neighbors graciously gave us some of their grandchildren's toys... some of those being dinosaurs!! Christopher has really been playing with the remote control T-Rex... what boy doesn't like the T-Rex???

But poor Christopher is surrounded by sisters who have totally corrupted him to thinking that , yes, even the T-Rex could use a bottle to eat:)

I found his shelf this afternoon and thought it was too funny!!! Does show the "sister influence" on him!!!

Just one more reason Christopher is pulling for a little brother to balance out the "girls" during the day:)

*** And I should say that Christopher had definitely influenced the girls as well:) My little girlie Lydia can make " gun shooting" noises... lovely, I know! So it DOES go both ways with the corruption!! LOL

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Almost 18 Weeks.... already!!!

Did you see the counter??? I'm in the 150's!! I know it's still a big number, but it's amazing that in less than 160 days we'll be meeting our new Baby:)

And we're getting closer and closer to that halfway point!!!

I finally dug through my winter and maternity clothes to see what I could find to wear... LOL!! I've never been a fashionable person, but I find that I struggle with clothes a LOT more when I'm pregnant...

So as I'm throwing clothes out of the attic I made two piles... those to keep and the "why did I ever save and wear this?" LOL But I do have a good start and plenty to wear .... for now :)

What is fun and super exciting is the development of Baby....According to,"About the size of an avocado now, your baby weighs about 6 ounces and is about 5 inches long!" Also during the 17th week Baby is starting to hear in the womb, just one reason we'd love to know his sex and have a name picked out. PLUS... Baby can start to hear her siblings:) It touches my heart how excited the kids are about Baby and that Baby will begin to connect with them while in the womb just by hearing them:)

And I've still been blessed with a easy pregnancy thus far! A little heartburn and lacking some energy are just a part of this sweet stage of life! And I finally found a generic prenatal vitamin that DOESN't make me nauseous... ahhh, nice:)

Tiny Talk Tuesday ; Boy or Girl

A week from today we will find out if we will be having a girl or boy!! I do find out the sex....

I just like knowing... it's easier to prepare for baby and I feel like I'm more connected to baby when I know their sex and name. Brian also likes finding out because it's a "middle of the pregnancy" surprise:)

With this pregnancy it's even more fun because Anna, Christopher and even Lydia can join in (although I'm not sure if Lydia is really grasping it all yet)!! We've been asking them what they would prefer: Girl or Boy? And what they would like Baby's name to be??

Anna (age 5): Anna thinks the baby is a girl and her name suggestion is "Nina".

Christopher (just turned 4): Christopher has been very consistently asking for a brother... cute:) He thinks baby's name should be Christopher or Diego:) LOL

Lydia (almost 3): Lydia goes back and forth about the gender of Baby... sometimes she wants a little brother and sometimes she wants a sister! When I asked her last night she said thought Baby was a boy and that his name should be "Sweety Pie"!! LOL... she's been naming everything Sweetie Pie:)


While baking with Grandma on Saturday morning, Christopher stuck his WHOLE hand into the bowl filled with flour. I had the camera in hand and Grandma quickly wisked him to the sink. We asked him "Why?" he did it.

He shook his head and said, "I just didn't know the rules here." LOL!!

One of my sweet children (will remain nameless was sitting on the potty this morning and had a bit of "gas". They looked up at me and said, "Oh, my stinky just burped!"


I've enjoyed participating in Tiny Talk Tuesday... check out more by clicking on the button below:)

And I'd love to hear what your opinion is on Baby's Gender.... maybe I'll leave more wishes and "ole wives tale" guesses and then by next Tuesday we'll all be ready to be "surprised"!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Blips and Pics from Our Thanksgiving Trip

On Thanksgiving we joined the masses to grandma's house for Thanksgiving supper:) We left super early so we could spend most of the day with family and make our weekend trip seem longer:) Although it was short and relaxing, we definitely had plenty of fun!

Christopher noticed the birthday presents almost as soon as he got to Grandma's... so he opneded them up and headed outside to test out his HUGE remote control monster truck!!

Since Anna was a little intimidated by the bigger bike Grandma and Grandaddy had waiting, the boys took it our for a spin, or two!! You will never meet a father/son pair with such similiar mannerisms, sense of humor and interests... LOL!!

On Friday, we skipped the shopping to visit with Gran-Grandma!! She had fallen on Thursday, so we were all comforted to see her and be reminded that she's a tough little lady:)

Brian dotes on his grandmother! It's soo sweet to see! It's amazing that she'll be 101 years old come January!!

A flat tire on the way home from Gran-grandma's!! Nothing makes you worry more about your husband than seeing him laying on a highway shoulder changing the tire on the family van! Then nothing makes your more thankful and proud when you're back on the road minutes later.... I've got a great hubby! And a super father-in-law!

On Friday night we tried to sneak out for a movie! But the movie we were all hoping to see was "sold out"! So we headed to the Red Box! The girls enjoyed the warm car and sent the boys to do the soul searching of whether they were going to get a movie for their wives or themselves:)

I'm happy to report they are good husbands and got the girlie movie, although they totally got into the car singing the Transformer theme song... LOL!!

Grandma making breakfast with her three little "helpers"!!

Want to know how to really confuse Grandaddy???

Give him his Christmas present the Saturday after Thanksgiving while he's reading the newspaper:) LOL

We want him to try it out before Christmas!!

We tried to get some family photos for Grandma and Grandaddy's Christmas card.... LOL!! Chris wanted to wear binoculars... what a nutty kid!! Cute though:)

Before we left on Saturday, we did do a little shopping. Brian and I woke early to get some deals at an empty store... LOL... we probably didn't need to get up quite so early on Saturday:) But they appreciated the business, maybe not the morning breath!!

Later we visited the outlets:) At a children's store Brian and I scoured the 99 cent racks to find t-shirts for Anna next summer:) We wished we would have picked out some for Lydia too... since she already fits in their size 4 shirts:)

I thought these little shirts were adorable.... the girls loved them and wore them all day:)

We had a great trip and Thanksgiving with family:)