Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Day

Waiting to go downstairs and our first peak around the corner...Lucy was very excited. I think she could see her house from upstairs.

After church and a change of clothes we opened stocking and got down to the business of playing with new toys! A great day!

In the evening on Christmas the kids were still a bit excited and Murray wanted to try out his new bike. Given it was cold and dark we didn't do it outside but at church in the gym. Definitely a perk to being a PK...who else spends an hour on Christmas running around the gym? It was so much fun, even Ginny was laughing. Murray used some Christmas money to buy some new Cars Duplos. He was very intent on following the directions and building it just right. Since then his train table has turned into a Lego table and he LOVES spending time building new fun things! (Thanks Granny Lu)

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

A boy after my own heart

Being married to a Pastor there are a few things about Christmas morning that are a bit different than I did growing up...

One of those is getting to church early on Christmas morning...the one car situation makes it even more complicated because we all need to get there when he needs to get there. So, instead of the rule being everyone must have their teeth brushed and hair combed before we go down to open presents (like it was at my house), the rule is No One may go downstairs by the presents until Everyone is dressed for church! 

This year the tree was down 2 levels in the family room, so we could be in the kitchen. I do a baked french toast so we eat breakfast just before leaving for church (after presents). 

We were just about ready to head downstairs, but waiting for a few people to finish up (I think Ginny was getting ready at this point). I started emptying the dishwasher figuring whatever I can get done now I won't have to do later....when Murray started helping out! 

This is a boy after my own heart! Christmas morning, he's anxiously awaiting the presents under the tree, just 5 steps away and he asks yes asks me..."can I help you put the dishes away mama?" Oh my goodness! That boy can be full of sweetness!

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

We were taking pictures waiting for Nick to finish making his dinner...
he had to eat while each kid opened 1 gift and then he headed back to church.
We were so thankful he was able to sit with us at the early service and had time to do our tradition of opening 1 gift before heading back in! I was so glad the kiddos didn't have to wait up for him to get home after services!

Not sure if Ginny enjoyed wearing or eating her dress more...but she sure was cute for her first Christmas!

Grammy made Ginny a ring stacking set for Christmas...she loves it! It's one her favorite new toys!

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Christmas Cookies

On December 23rd it finally happened. We were all able to slow down and enjoy the season. I had plenty of time throughout December to do special activities with the kids, and Nick had times he was home and we were together as a family, but it wasn't until this night that we felt like we really took a step back and had a moment to relax. It was wonderful!

We had prepared for it as best we could, keeping the kids out late the night before to finish some last minute grocery shopping so that when Nick came home from work on Friday we had nothing left to do. The kids and I worked throughout the day to finish up schoolwork and preparations for my parents arriving in town the next day (more on that later). 

From the time Nick stepped in the door it was just a fun family time...minus the tears shed over who got to use which cookie cutter and which cookie cutters were "Christmas appropriate". Overall it was a wonderful evening that ended with beautiful cookies (sad we didn't get a final pic) and a special favorite Christmas movie. 

The best part of the night was that my parents left early to get a head start. They planned to stop and stay somewhere overnight, but they made such great time they just kept driving and arrived shortly after we'd put the kiddos in bed. It was so fun to have my parents sneak into their rooms and give them kisses just as they were about to drift into dreamland! There were lots of happy voices and requests for extra kisses. A wonderful end to a wonderful night!

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Murray's Christmas Program

Murray did a great job singing at his preschool Christmas program. We were all very proud of him! 

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

One little bug....

One VERY long week!!

This past week the grown ups in our house got hit with the flu.

It was first with mom...then dad...then mom again...

We are extremely grateful it skipped over the kiddos...

I am also extremely grateful that my husband made me toast...a whole loaf worth over the course of the week...

took care of the kids....

picked up a few messes...

woke up early with kiddos to let me sleep in a bit. 

I'm also thankful to our "resident Grandma" for taking the big kids one day feeding them both lunch and dinner so we could recover a bit. 

It's moments like these that you realize how much you do in a day, how thankful you are for your spouse to get through it with you and how much God has blessed us with an understanding staff for my husband (even when he was better he worked from home the rest of the week to help me out) and the wonderful people God has given us even though He has placed us so far away from home. 

Love being reminded of the ways God cares for us...not sure I want the flu again next time I need to be reminded.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Evangeline Kate is 5 months old!

Oh sweet Evangeline Kate...

You're FIVE MONTHS OLD!!! Stop growing already!

Slow doesn't enjoy every small moment of this year!

Lately I've noticed that your ears are growing. Your small beautiful ears are just as adorable, but they're slowly getting bigger. Gone are the delicate newborn ears...

You're trying hard to sit up these're not there yet, but you're trying!

You're playing in the exersaucer and you LOVE the perspective it gives you. Your big brother will bring toys around you and you just watch him play. He actually shares with you...this will most likely change once you start moving and you can help yourself to his toys, but for now he showers you with dinosaurs (the nice ones) and cars. 

You love to "sing" with your big sister Lucy. She sings to you in a baby voice and you just squeal and sing back! You two have a very special relationship and she made up a song just for you when you start crying she sings it and you usually stop to listen to her. 

You know your name! You turn and respond to both "Ginny" and "Evangeline Kate". We love to sing songs about "Evangeline Kate"...great for rhyming...

I think you've rolled both directions....the other day I think you finally rolled from your belly to your back...but I was very tired and may have helped you as I reached for the ringing phone...I don't smiled lots at me though...I think you were very proud...

You still guard your belly laughs saving them for things you find very silly (like mommy dancing, Murray falling over, and daddy's silly faces), but smiles are abundant and make everyone around you smile!

Oh how we have all cherished the last 5 months! I keep thinking back to Christmastime last year when I was hunkering down and trying to make it day by day...what a difference a year makes. I am no longer struggling with morning sickness (that lasted all day!), but snuggling with you and putting dishes away with a baby on my hip!

We love you sweet girl...just slow down a bit for me please?!? I want to remember every little detail of you...and your ears are just growing way too are your sweet little toes...

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Lucy's first snowman on her own...
(Just a little bit of help from the boys lifting and decorating)

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for a sense of routine. A few moments of quiet in the midst of the Holiday Season. Lucy finishing her school with me today. The long nap Ginny took that allowed the school to happen so fluidly. Lucy's unique look at things, her love for crafts, drawing and art in general. Her amazing ability to complete her math, and the quick way she does it (I don't think she'd enjoy it at this point if it took her much longer). That I can see her beginning to read. Lucy's love of of learning really. 

I'm thankful for a warm cup of tea. I'm thankful for my nursing baby who reminds me to sit and be still and quiet a few times a day. 

I'm thankful for the cars strew across the floor that show a little boy lives here...

I'm thankful for my husband who comes home in the middle of the day for lunch and gives me a hug and asks how my day is...

I'm thankful for the love of my family...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday--Thanksgiving Edition

The things I could list that I'm thankful for go on and on. It's a quiet Thanksgiving this year, out of the norm from what we usually celebrate. In some ways it helps to have a quiet relaxing day to truly think about what we're thankful for.

I can't remember the last time I lounged around in my parent's house with no big plans impending. What a special day for Lucy to sew in Grammy's sewing room and  play with all the Barbies and Little Ponies from my childhood.

I'm thankful for the sweet little boy who awoke crying at 4:50 in the morning looking for his lovie. I wasn't very thankful when I couldn't find it and had to turn on lights searching (Nick eventually found it), but I am oh so thankful for the little boy things Murray clings to. He's getting so big too fast and I know one day I'll turn around and he'll be taller than me, so searching for a lovie in the middle of the night is a way to remember he's still little.

I'm thankful for Ginny's smiles, her snuggles and her cheerful nature. One year ago I began to feel a bit nauseous on Thanksgiving day and it worsened each day after that. Who knew it would last until the day she was born! I look at her each day and am so thankful for all the sickness, tired days and lack of eating I was able to endure to bring such a special girl into our family. I've watched our family grow in love in numerous ways since finding out we were expecting and since her arrival in July, it is truly an awesome experience as a mother and wife.

I'm thankful for Lucy. My parents have so many pictures of Lucy throughout her house and thinking back on her first Thanksgiving when we went and took family pictures, Lucy learned to clap and she was just learning to stand holding onto furniture to who she is today is amazing. A sweet girl who is so bright and sees the world in such a unique way. A little girl who is happy to help with her sister, the bags while we're flying, sewing with Grammy and learning to read. I'm not sure where my wild baby Lucy disappeared to, but I am sure thankful for the young girl who is appearing before my eyes.

I'm thankful for my amazing husband who gets up in the middle of the night (even though he would just sleep through all the chaos on his own) and searches the house for a square foot of fabric to comfort our son. I'm thankful that he shares his passion for the Packers and more importantly his passion for our God with our children. I'm thankful that he's the head of our house and cares for all of us accordingly. I'm thankful that 7 years ago we were celebrating Thanksgiving with our family anticipating our wedding day fast approaching.

I'm thankful for my parents and family who watched me grow from a baby to who I am today and helped me get to where I am. I'm thankful for my extended family who did the same for Nick and continue to encourage us today.

I'm thankful for Kate and Kelly who flew in to celebrate with us a day early and share in a PACKERS VICTORY at Ford Field with Nick and Murray.

A lot to be thankful for today...and I just named the people. We are certainly blessed! Boba and Tommy just I'm off to be thankful for their love for my sweet girls as well!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful we live in a connected world. So many times we talk about how "disconnected" our society has become, and it's true. There can be so little true face to face time with people, but in this disconnected society there can come a moment when people are suddenly connected again. You have to remember, there is a real live person on the other side of the phone, email, blog or facebook profile picture.

Sure, it can be a way to have meaningless connections with people you once knew...a way to "keep in touch" with someone you probably wouldn't put the effort into keeping in touch with otherwise. I'm guilty of these things as well. However, on a daily basis I use technology to connect with friends and family that I would otherwise have intermittent communication with. They might call or stop by and catch me in the middle of an awful mess and not know the joy I have in my day to day as a mom...or they might stop by in the midst of a wonderful day and not know that sometimes my house really is a mess or I forget to make dinner or love my family the way I should. Sometimes with technology we're comfortable enough to take our gloves off and show ourselves for who we really are.

Sometimes, technology can join us together in a way that nothing else could.

Twice this week technology has proven itself to me as not a way to disconnect our society, but a way to bring us together. Twice this week I've seen a community of people band together for the common good and reach out to that "real person" on the other side of the profile picture. 

Twice this week a status update has brought my day to a stand still. A stand still that made me choke back tears and spend my late nights nursing my baby girl, hold her a bit tighter and pray, pleading for mercy from our Heavenly Father. 

I'm so thankful that while I can't hug my friends and family far away I can know they're there and share in their daily tasks. can be disconnected...or you can just say that the "village" we're living in has changed a bit. 

I'm thankful that even though I'm far away from so many people I love...they're still right here with me living in my "village". 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ginny at 4 months

Really?!? There is no way she's this big already...

Yep, it's true! We're 1/3 of the way through her first year of life! I've said it before and I'll say it goes way too fast! It feels like she just got here, she shouldn't be this big, but at the same time, it feels like she's always been here...she's the perfect fit to our family.

We're loving Ginny smiles these days. She loves to watch us all and smile when we talk/look/dance/sneeze/whatever at her. Her daddy can get the best giggles from her, with her big brother Murray coming in at a close 2nd. Murray has also shown us that she can get scared...yelling "boo" in her face may make her giggle once or twice, but more often it makes her cry.

She also cries when Murray cries. Her big lip sticks out and she just wails if he doesn't stop quick enough...some days there's lots of crying!

We went to the doctor for her 2nd cold so far...ugh! But, we found out she's 16lbs 1 oz with her clothes on...yikes! What a big girl! We just packed away the 6 months clothes (most of them) and pulled out the 9 month stuff!

You can wiggle your way around in a complete circle or scoot up on your back, but no rolling over....yet...

We still love you over the moon! Lucy and Murray fight over who has had more time with you each are one loved little girl!

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Thankful Thursday

I can't believe I missed last week...we did have a busy week, but's November and everyone is focusing on thanks and the lady who is thankful every Thursday apparently just forgot, or missed it...or most likely...didn't realize it was Thursday!

Well, today I'm feeling extra thankful.

Thankful for a warm cup of tea on a cold morning. I'm thankful for it's warmth, the pause it gives me in my day and the hint of caffeine it gives me...we did turn clocks back this week and Lucy doesn't quite seem to get that she should sleep just about 10 minutes longer every minute :)

I'm thankful for homeschooling. I love watching my kids learn and work together. Yesterday we used some letter beads to work on letter recognition. I had planned the activity for Murray, but Lucy wanted to join in. So...Murray spelled his name and Lucy worked on spelling our last can be a bit tricky sometimes! Watching them work together and get excited about learning is absolutely priceless! I'm so thankful that we made the decision to give them/us this time together.

I'm thankful for phone calls with my sisters and friends who live oh so far away. It doesn't make them live any closer, but it certainly makes the distance seem less. I so wish I could meet up for a cup of tea and some Betsy snuggles or shopping or all of the above, but at least I can hear how life in (fill in the blank) city is going. I've had lots of fun conversations this week. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Murray Man: It's always nice to have a superhero in the house!

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Friday, November 4, 2011

November Warmth

I can't believe how warm it was today! Relatively speaking that is...don't let Murray's short sleeves fool you. When I suggested he put a coat on his response was "It's ok Mom, don't worry about me, the sun will warm me up." I think he's been hanging around Nick too much!

It was a wonderful afternoon to get outside and spend some time with the kids, but I wanted to do more than just sit Ginny in the stroller. Then I remembered the baby swing. So, Ginny had her first swing ride way earlier than either of the other kids. She seemed content...not overly excited, just enjoying the ride.

The big kids and I played pirates and chased the octopus and evil turtle away so thankfully we won't have any invasions during the winter...whew!

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

It's always nice to have a little helper!

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thankful Thursdays

The weather is changing, the fall colors are starting to come's cold in the morning, it's rainy most afternoons (or so it seems)...and it can be tough to be thankful!

It's been a tough day for me...a tough day with Lucy, a tough day with myself and my thoughts.  It's in these moments I'm reminded that I'm not perfect and I don't need to be. After a tough math lesson this morning Lucy and I were doing her hair and talking about why it was important she learn her numbers. At the end of the conversation I said to her...

"but you know I love you right?" 
Yes mom, I know you love me lots! 
"and you know Jesus loves you too?"
of course mom!

and that's why I do what I do!

I'm thankful that my children know they are loved. I'm thankful that Ginny smiles and giggles at us and my kids interpret it, by saying "she loves me! she's smiling at me, she loves me!"

I'm thankful that at the age of 30, when my phone rings and I see it's my own mom calling I get excited because she has something to share with me. I still love my mom and she still loves me! You don't outgrow it...the love of your mom (or dad) is forever and endless and wonderful. I imagine that God created this love between a parent and child and said " they'll get just a glimpse of what it's like for me to love them". I just imagine that on my worst days He's looking down and saying, "but I just want her to understand, I just want her to listen to me...oh I hope she gets it!"

I know Lucy will learn her numbers...I know one day she'll see the number 12 and call it twelve instead of 1-2 or instead of Aaron Roger's number...and I know I'll love her until then, past then and through all the life lessons she has to learn. 

Today I'm thankful for the ability to love my kids, my parents and the assurance that God loves me even when I'm not perfect!

She lost a what?!?

That's right...our baby girl is growing up too fast...
Lucy lost her first tooth! I still remember her biting me at church in Albuquerque when I realized her first tooth (well, teeth) had just broken through...

Now they're falling out and coming in all over again. Lucy lost her first tooth last week on Wednesday, October 19th! I couldn't believe it!

We had been looking at making her tooth fairy pillow and I was actually out buying the supplies for it when the tooth fell out. Needless to say, we stayed up a bit past bedtime to get the pillow made so she could leave it hanging on her doorknob for the "tooth fairy" to visit. 

We still have a few finishing touches to complete on the pillow, but overall it worked great and is pretty cute (not as cute as mine growing up, but hey...I try!)