Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day ... aka MudFest 2011

Today we headed over to my parents' house for a Memorial Day picnic.  The bummer was that Chad was not able to come with us.  He was scheduled to fly home from Chicago this morning but his flight was cancelled and I am currently waiting for him to come home.... FINALLY!   We all missed him but I'm glad he could have a fun weekend with some of his very best friends in the world.

Anyhow, I was glad to have some fun with my family today.  Since it was (once again) hot and humid today, we took a sprinkler and some water squirters over. 


 The hammock was a popular lounging spot.
  Audrey and Chloe "hung out" together for awhile.
 Girl bonding.  :)
 The kids enjoyed some popsicles (or, as Chloe says "pah-soos")
After a cookout and dinner on the deck, the grown-ups talked, while the kids played.  I should have known when it was so peaceful for so long that they might be getting into a little mischief.
The sprinkler had made a puddle at the edge of my parents' yard and they were busy splashing around in a big muddy puddle.  They were already dirty and having such a great time that I figured - why not just let them enjoy it?

See?  I told you it was a mudfest!


 
They were an absolute mess.  But I just hosed them off ... and they were good to go.
I think my brother (who does not have kids) was appalled ... haha!
I am hoping they have sweet dreams and happy memories of a fun day splashing around in the water ... and the mud.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Firstfruits

 Look what came out of our garden today!
The kids and I have been enjoying beautiful fresh strawberries.
All of a sudden, the grocery store variety tastes really lame.

We also have a bunch of lettuce and baby spinach to harvest.
Good thing I have a "bunny" for a daughter. :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Zoo Night


Just a couple pictures from Audrey's Zoo Night.

I was really impressed.  The kids (and teachers) put a lot of work into this event!  

The kids sang a few songs (that Carter & Chloe -and I also, truth be told - cannot stop singing). Then each child went and stood in front of the habitat that they had created.  There were "animals" lining all the hallways of the school!!  They each wore a sticker that said "press my button to hear more about my animal" and would then recite a bunch of facts about their chosen animal.  I thought it was such a creative program!

Audrey in her "habitat"



Audrey and her fellow research bunny, I mean buddy!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chad can breathe a sigh of relief

Why can Chad breathe a sigh of relief?
Here is what I found in Audrey's not-so-secret "secret book": 
 A.  She does not like boys.  PHEW!  Isn't she a little young for boys??
AND
B.  Chad - despite his gender - is excluded from the list.  :)

 Unfortunately ... it looks like Carter has not fared so well....
(Although last night she said that Daddy AND Carter were the only boys she liked.) 
Don't be fooled, Carter gets on her nerves, but she loves him too!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's official: I'm a mother.

As if the c-section scar didn't confirm it for me... you know you're a mom when:  you are sitting up at night, long after the children have been put to bed, stitching together a bunny costume.  :) 

The first graders at Audrey's school are putting on a "zoo night" tomorrow evening.  They have learned some zoo-related songs.  They have researched their chosen animal at the school library.  They have designed and colored a habitat background to stand in front of and answer animal-related questions.  And apparently their mothers have been hard at work coming up with costumes!


So I have spent the last few nights working on this:
 
Okay, these ears were actually bought by Grandma at Easter.  THANK YOU GRANDMA!
(One less thing to try to put together!)

 But this beautiful bunny shirt was handcrafted by yours truly, haha!
 Yup, I have spent a few hours stitching feather boa material to the edges of this previously boring gray t-shirt, as well as adding a pink felt "tummy."

 Then I spent a while surfing the web learning how to make a pom-pom ball (aka a bunny tail) out of yarn.  So I made a huge awesome tail!  But then I realized it was way too big and heavy.  So then I made another smaller tail.  THEN, I spent quite a bit of mental energy wondering how to attach it to the shirt!  
(I finally just glued it to a clothespin.  Hope it stays!)

I'll have to post a picture of Audrey in her get-up after zoo night tomorrow!

Speaking of being a mommy ... Chloe spent quite a bit of time and energy trying to put this little beaded necklace on her dolly this morning.  My girlie loves her babies!
(I think I see some costume-making in her future ....)

Friday, May 20, 2011

The end is here ...

... And I don't mean May 21st.

Preschool is now over for the year.  {Cue crying of mothers of preschoolers everywhere. :) }  I am mostly a little weepy because Carter had such a fabulous year - he LOVED school.  He has grown and matured in lots of ways this year.  I think the main stride is that he is learning to be more independent.  But he has also learned more about sharing, and how to be a friend.  He even had his first preschool playdate this past week. 

His year ended with a "Spring Sing".  I uploaded a little one minute sample of him and his class singing "Superman".  He is so into it, I love it!  (In case you have trouble locating him, he is the cute little guy in a white shirt and light blue vest.)
One of the things I love most about childhood ... singing proudly and unabashedly in praise of our God. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

A new generation

 The other week Audrey came out of her room carrying this contraption she had made:
 Her own "cell phone" complete with texting capabilities
I seriously don't know where the kids get this stuff.  I hardly talk on my cell at all let alone text.
Even Chloe walks around with her princess phone "talking" and "texting"!
It's a brave new world, folks.

And to think I used to sit on the rotary phone with the twisty cord talking to my friends in junior high (and in high school ... and in college for that matter).

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I want to wish a gigantic Happy Mother's Day to my Mom, my Mom-in-law, and all my other Mom friends out there!  It is a special gift to be a Mom.

And to those of you who have lost moms recently or not-so-recently ... or who are hoping to be moms someday and waiting.... or who have lost children ... you are not forgotten.  Prayers and hugs to you on this potentially difficult day.  May God's love and comfort surround you.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Blessing of Prayer

If you have ever had others pray for you, you probably have known the comfort and peace it brings to know that others are with you, lifting your deepest desires to the throne of God.

But I am finding that equally amazing is the blessing of praying for others.

I shared at a previous time here in my blog about how, shortly after Chloe was born, I often struggled with feeling like I didn't really have much to "offer" anyone (at least anyone outside the four walls of my home). I was mostly limited to taking care of my children, especially my baby, and managing the house as best I could. And many days I felt like I was hardly doing that very well.

And then God showed me that I could have a valuable ministry within my own home - one that no one else even had to know about. That was the ministry of prayer. So at the time, I would spend my extra moments (usually while I was nursing Chloe, to be honest) to just pray for whomever and whatever was on my mind that day.

So, I especially began praying for a few women in my small group. I haven't mentioned it here for quite a while, but Chad and I lead a small group in our church. We are a group of 6 couples who meet weekly for Bible study, prayer, fellowship, fun, and basically to encourage each other in our lives as followers of Christ. We have been meeting for ... wow, I think about 4 years now. So we have all been through a number of ups and downs together and have grown to really care deeply for each other.

Anyhow, a few women in our group had been praying for babies, and in my own prayer time, I began praying for them - that God would bless them with more children ... but also that He would give them peace no matter what the outcome.

One friend had 2 children, but then had 2 unexplained miscarriages.

One friend had 1 child, but then was just not getting pregnant again after trying for many months.

One friend had no children, is approaching her late 30's, finally got pregnant after trying for quite awhile, and then had a devastating miscarriage.

(I also have a few other friends aside from our group who I have been praying for re: pregnancy as well. I don't know ... having been in a place where I deeply desired a child, I just really know the pain of wanting a child so, so badly.)

So back to the blessing of praying FOR someone?

I want you to go to this link:  http://www.wanaselja.com/?p=2131

Isn't it amazing???  Every. single. one. of these women had some difficulties getting pregnant, and now each one has a baby or is about to have one!  Praise the Lord!

So something I've been learning in all this? I am coming to learn that much of the beauty of prayer is that it forces us to step outside of our own little world and all the little "stuff" of our day, and focus on something larger. Much of prayer, honestly, seems to be a mystery.  But through it we begin to realize that God is big, and we are small. To grasp that He can do anything, and "apart from Him, we can do nothing." To see the beauty of His holiness, and the depravity of our deepest thoughts and motivations. To hear His voice, and silence the world at large. To understand that He cares about all that we bring to Him, and that nothing is too small. To realize that He knows all ... and we know very little.

But for me, it also involves realizing that sometimes the best thing you can do for a friend is to pray for them. I can't help anyone get pregnant. But I can pray about it. And if God, in His wisdom, chooses to give that person a child -- then I get to rejoice right along with them in our answered prayers.

Just so this all doesn't sound too pollyanna - I have many friends who I pray for that are still living in the land of unanswered prayer. I am happy to see some of my friends expecting babies. But I also have a number of friends who are still hoping for a child (or dealing with illness, or struggling in a difficult situation). It is a hard place to be - in a place of waiting and hoping. I have been there. We have probably all been there in some way. And, sometimes - though it is a mystery to us -we never see our prayers "answered"... but for me, this is where FAITH comes in. Faith that God has a plan for us that is so much better than one we could have picked out ourselves. It is in that truth that we can all have hope... even in the worst of circumstances.

But for now - I am rejoicing with these dear, dear friends of mine .... and loving holding all the babies.

Monday, May 2, 2011

On his road to the big leagues...


It begins.
Saturday, April 30, 2011

 Gloves on, ready to go...
 Taking a few practice throws.... (look at that form!)
 Getting the pep talk ....
 "GO CUBS!"  
(how appropriate for us former Chicagoans - hopefully their record will be better than the Chicago Cubs...)
 Getting set for his first "at bat" ever...
 A few last minute adjustments ...
And it's a hit!
Safe at first!

Although truth be told ... everyone swings til they get a hit ... and everyone is safe at first.  :)
That does not make me any less proud though. 
I have it all recorded so that when he is in the majors I can sell his memorabilia to collectors on ebay.  haha!

video

That's my boy!!