Monday, September 29, 2008

The Fair

I got a chance to take the kids to the fair. I loved the fair as a kid and I was happy to share the memories with my own kids. It was a lot of fun, but doing it solo with 3 kids was a bit of a challenge. Trace could not make it because of some things he had to finish up and I was insistent on going on the dollar ride day (it is just too expensive any other day and that was bad enough). We managed very well, except for a few moments like when we had already been waiting in line for a while and Rebecca insisted it was potty time and the one time that Aidan asked to go ride the ride right beside the one Becca was on and for some foolish reason I said yes. I could totally see both the kids and they were fine, but it did really stressed me out. Oh and there were the moments when Andrew had all of the stroller he could take and he just screamed, but those moments didn't last for long. Wow, I just realized what a fun picture I am painting. I am sure you are wishing you could have traded places with me. Well...maybe some pictures will make it look like more fun.

Here we are walking through the animals.

We saw this calf being fed a gigantic bottle. The kids thought this was neat.

And here are some pictures of some of the rides

Andrew during a happy moment in the stroller.

And what kind of fair would it be without some of this

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Curtain Tour

I mentioned that I have a few more curtain projects around the house to wrap up. Well, I finally finished this weekend. Let me take you on a quick tour. Here is the breakfast nook/dining room in my house. This is what it has looked like for a long time.
I love this little area because it gives off so much light and this is the place we all come together as a family for breakfast and dinner. I added this fabric treatment. If you are curious about how I did this you can read about it here. I was going to show you myself but I remembered Kimba had already done it so why bother. Thanks Kimba! Again, these are mistreatment's and no sewing was done in the process of making any of these.

And here is a picture from the opposite angle. I am happy with them and I think they finish off the space, but I do think if I was ever to make more I would use a heavier fabric. This one is pretty thin and I think a heavier fabric would hang better.
This is the small window on our glass door. This one is my favorite in the room. I added a simple center pleat in these to add a little more interest.
For this treatment I just used velcro to attach the fabric to the blinds that were already on the door. It was super easy to do.
And these last two windows are above my sink in the kitchen. It is open to the breakfast nook so I decided to use the same fabric to unite the space. For these I simply folded the fabric and hung it up with upholstery tacks. Nothing special but from nothing to this is an improvement. I hung the fabric high mostly above the window and made it long enough to hide the white blinds when they are pulled up like they are here.

And remember these mistreatments...

I decided they needed just a little more so I added toppers above each window. Again, these are hung with nothing but upholstery tacks and I folded them to make the pleats.
Well, that wraps up my decorating posts for a while. I still have a chair and table I want to update and a simple project for the computer area, but those may have to is extremely full right now and these things just don't seem to be the greatest priority. Plus, it is now officially Fall so that means the holidays are right around the corner.

I feel like I once again have to give credit to the Nester for all the inspiration. I would have never put hot glue on fabric and just tacked them onto the wall without you.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Link

Read This if you have time. I think you will find it to be challenging, but good. I know I did.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Lesson in Trust

The kids and I have been reading about the life of Moses in our daily bible reading time. I am studying that at BSF and that is what Rebecca is learning in class so I decided we should all read it together so that I know Aidan is also learning what we are learning. We were reading part of chapter 2 in the book of Exodus. I am sure you know the story. It is about baby Moses. We had already learned in chapter one that Pharoah had made a decree that all male Hebrew babies were to be put to death in the Nile River. We then learn about a mom who becomes pregnant and decides to hide her baby for 3 months until she can no longer hide him. She then makes a plan to take her baby and put him in a basket and send him floating down the river. As I read it hit me that we have a baby basket up in Becca's closet and visual aides are always good teaching tools for kids so I said hold on and ran to get the basket. I came back and used the basket and one of Becca's baby dolls to demonstrate putting Moses in the basket and sending him on his way.

Well, this time the special effects were not for the kids, but for me. It brought the story to life for me and I teared up as I told the story and I was awed by the faith and courage that this woman displayed. Even beyond that, I have found myself completely taken aback by the soveriegnty and provision of the Lord. This was a terrible thing...many babies had been ordered to be put to death. But the Lord is going to redeem his people and he will use this baby to bring them out of slavery. He is going to prepare a leader by raising him in all the knowledge of the Egyptians, giving him a heart for his kinsmen, and giving him a mighty task for the Lords glory. He is going to act and he is going to use even this bad for His glory and His plan. And what does He ask of us? He asks us to obey and to trust Him. Just like Moses' mom we are asked to do what is in front of us to do and to trust in the Lord Almighty to take care of the details.

As I acted as if I was releasing this toy baby doll it hit me that God wants me to trust him like that also. The fact is the Lord has a plan already set in motion for all of my children. He has a plan to grow them and form them into the people He desires them to be so that He can use them for His glory. That will include many different events and circumstances. Some will be good and proud moments, some will be hard and painful moments, but He can use them all for His glory. It is not my job to stop all evil and negative things from coming to my children (although I will try to prevent as much as I possibly can) but it is my job to trust in the Lord that no matter what may come, He has a plan and He is in control. This was a moment of brokeness for me. A moment of stretching my faith even more.

Aidan watched as I teared up and asked me why I was crying. All I could say is don't you see how hard this is? Sometimes God leads us down a road that is hard and scary, but it is all for His glory. It is for his plan. His plan for Moses was not thwarted by this evil decree. God used it to prepare him for what was to come. And I told Aidan that God has a purpose for you and I told Rebecca the same thing. God has a purpose and He will use even the bad things in our life to bring that about, but He will bring it about. There is such comfort in that.

What happened to the Baby?

Andrew is growing and changing like crazy! It is wild how much he has changed in the last couple of weeks even. Today we went to the park for our weekly play group and he proved just how big he is. He was all over the play ground equipment, climbing and sliding, and even falling once or twice (but no big falls so no need to worry). I could not believe him. I was definitely a little more anxious today and on my feet most of the morning while I followed behind him. He LOVED every minute of it. Here is are a few pictures of him and Becca on the swings today and then a few of him outside running wild in the neighborhood.

We are fortunate to live on a cold-de-sac and this boy has watched his brother and sister ride bikes on the street for months now. He does not get why he cannot run right behind them into the street. I am having a hard time communicating to this 16 month old mind that Aidan is older and he has a healthy fear of cars and moving vehicles UNLIKE this guy. Andrew has recently started getting into EVERYTHING. I fold a load of laundry and he throws it all over the house before I can get it put away. Just yesterday he pulled out my lemon squeezer/juicer and threw it down to get to watch it shatter. And yes I do realize I used the word threw, not dropped. He throws everything. He is so stinking cute though that I just can't stay upset for long. The main challenge we are facing is corralling his can he throw a fit. I said today while I was helping Aidan get ready "Man, who taught him how to scream like that". Aidan responded in all seriousness by simply saying "Becca". I don't know if that is where he learned it, but he is sure good at it. Oh Andrew, you may just be the death of me but I am loving every minute of it. You have such a contagious personality and if we can just get the anger under control.

On a completely unrelated note Aidan had favorite T-shirt day in honor of the letter of the week which is T. I asked Aidan to pick out whatever T-shirt he wanted to wear and this is what he chose.

It made me smile. If you have no clue what I am talking about you can find out here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happy Birthday

We celebrated Trace's birthday about a week ago and following my recent habit of bloggy laziness I didn't post it. We celebrated at home by having some of daddies favorite things. We grilled steaks, ate outside, and the kids and I made a carrot cake for desert, which is his favorite. Becca and Aidan proudly presented daddy with his special card that played the Star Wars theme song and then quickly took it back to play with it. It was a great evening together with the family celebrating our favorite daddy around! Thank you Trace for all your do for this family. You work hard to keep us organized and grounded because we all know I am not the best at that. You are my best friend and I truly thank the Lord for you and the opportunity to live this life as your partner. We love you!
This cake has every candle on it in the house that we could find and we still fell short at 31 and that is counting the 5 as 5 candles. Oh well, I think you get the point that this is a lot of candles.

What happens when you have a big brother?

You insist that this is your Halloween costume

I bought Aidan and Andrew costumes at the CCC sale (local twice a year consignment sale) this year, but I didn't see one I loved for Becca so I decided she could be Cinderella again or we would just find another later. So today when we went to Walmart we walked through the costumes. She insisted this was the one. I showed her many princess dresses, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, and a Raggedy Anne. She liked several but was convinced this was the must have. She cracks me up! I heard her the other day with our 3 year old neighbor playing and telling her they needed to hide from the bad guys. Her brother has definitely made an impact. As soon as Aidan got home he wanted to put on his superman costume from last year and play heroes. Good times!

Recap of end of summer

I told you that we tried to do a few fun and special things to wrap up the summer and kick off the new year, but I never posted any of those pictures. I know you are over the curiosity and have totally forgotten, but since I use this to keep a record of our lives I thought I would post them for me.

Right before school started we took the kids to the Water park at the Villages. We intended to go to Splash Kingdom but the weather was bad so we had to compromise and try the indoor water park. Our sweet friends the Bryans offered to watch Andrew so we could go with less stress and it was a HUGE help! The first 30 minutes or so threatened to be disastrous. They have this huge bucket of water that fills up every 30 minutes or so and then dumps gallons upon gallons of water on whoever is below. Becca hated this! We couldn't get near the area without tears and she even got upset when we weren't around the water and it fell because it was just too stinkin loud! Eventually she got used to it, got over her fear and we had a good time. Aidan needed a little bit to warm up also but he did get braver over the course if the day and he had a good time. Here are some pictures.

Then we went to dinner in Dallas at the Rain Forest Cafe with my brother and his family and my sister and dad. We decided to pick a place the kids would enjoy since it was the Friday before school started. We had planned to let Aidan pick any place he wanted to go which would mean Chucky Cheese or McDonald's but since we were in Dallas for my grandmothers funeral we changed plans and chose a place for him. It was really fun. It is a great atmosphere and the kids liked it. There were a few points when the noises were a bit much for Rebecca and she needed to hold daddies hand...isn't that just too sweet! Here are some more pictures:

And finally we read the Kissing Hand book and made Kissing Hand cookies. This is a cute book about a raccoon going to school and his mom sends him to school with a kiss on his hand so he can know that she is sending him her love throughout the day. It is a really cute book and was probably more special for me than Aidan. Here are the cookies we made.

We used hand shaped cookie cutters and placed a Hershey kiss in the middle. I don't know exactly what we did wrong but these cookies did not come out right...but they sure were cute and it was fun to do together.
And since I am recapping our lives with pictures why not add these:
Aidan reading to Andrew

Aidan attempting to teach Becca chess. His daddy taught him how to play and he knows the rules but isn't great at strategizing yet. He has trouble finding a partner to play with and since I don't know how I am not much help.

Sweetness between the Boys

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Update and Random Thoughts

Today was a much needed day of refuge at home. I have done very little today. I folded laundry, read to Rebecca and Andrew, found quick solutions for meals (meaning little time in the kitchen), and I took a good long nap this afternoon while the little ones slept. It was much needed! Things have been busy. I even told Aidan when I picked him up that today was going to be an indoor day. No friends or extra kids...just time as a family. I LOVED today and although I still have a long list of to dos I needed to just relax and rest.

So what is it that has kept us so busy? Well part of it is trying to complete some projects around the house. I made one update to our living room curtains, hung some in the breakfast nook, and still need to figure out what to do with the windows above my kitchen sink. I have also started a huge project of scrubbing the dirty grout in my kitchen and then I plan to seal it so it doesn't get so dirty again. I just don't get it...I mean white tile and grout in a KITCHEN??? Oh, well. We will make the most of it.

We have also been super busy with life. Trace is staying busy with work and the addition of his online seminary class. He is really enjoying it so far, but it definitely takes time. I started BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) this week, which was like a breath of fresh air. It will be so good this year, my leader is great and my group is relatively young. We are studying the life of Moses and I am so eager to study these books of the Bible. It is such good thorough teaching. I am also the nursery coordinator for BSF this year. It really does not mean much, but I am in charge of finding workers, collecting payments, and paying the workers. After this very first week I realized that the Lord something to teach me here. I did not really want this position, but since no one else was offering to do it and I knew I needed it I said I would. My appreciation for nursery workers has already increased exponentially! They work hard and it is such a thankless job. I hope that I NEVER take these ladies for granted again! I know the Lord will use the position that He placed me in this year to teach me and change me.

I also met with my Moms in Touch group for the first time last Friday and I really believe that Fridays are going to be my favorite morning of the week by far. Moms in Touch is a national ministry for moms to pray for their children and their child's school. That means we pray for the teachers administrators, school needs, and our kids. I left last week feeling fully energized and I can't wait for tomorrow. The Lord was so faithful in bringing this group together. When I first started praying about being a part of this and starting a group I was simply hoping to have one other lady join me. The Lord has brought 4 women who are dedicated to praying for their kids. I was concerned about child care while we prayed and where we should meet. The Lord answered both of those prayers with minimal effort on my part! He is SO GOOD! I know that this group was truly brought together from the hands of the Lord and I am looking forward to seeing how He uses it throughout the year.

And my Aidan has been busy with school and will start soccer this week. His first game will be next Saturday. He is excited about this. School has gone well. We have had a few minor bumps in the road, but we are working through those. He is already growing and changing. He has learned so much and seems eager to learn more. He has one little friend that he talks about regularly and I can't wait to meet him. I plan to attempt to be in the classroom about twice a month to help so I will get to know the kids and see what the feel of his room is. I know that this new stage of releasing him a little bit into the world and praying hard for him will require me to experience some heartbreak, disappointment, but so much joy. I have enjoyed seeing him grow and mature in these past weeks. There are many days that I miss him terribly and can't wait until 3:00. I just am so used to him being with me, it is a change for all of us. He has really made me proud over the past few months. I have seen little things that he has done right even when I am not with him. I am thankful to see the fruits of some of the training we have done, now that he has more freedom and I would likely never know. I truly am proud of you my Aidan! You have such a sweet spirit about you. It has been my privilege to watch you these past few weeks.

Today is such a huge day in the recent history of our country. Trace and I had only been married for about 6 months on 9/11. He was finishing school and we were living in a small apartment in Lubbock. It was the pre-child days and I was still asleep when he turned on the TV to see the first plane hit. He woke me up and turned on the TV in the bedroom. I watched, shocked and horrified as they replayed the first strike and then came the second. That day shook our security. It produced fear and anger. I have thought of this often today. It was such an unthinkable offense. I think about that, I think about IKE that is approaching the Texas border. I think about the terror that floods this country and the world and the only response I have is to pray. I thank the Lord that He is sovereign and He is good. I thank the Lord that my security can be found only in Him. I am praying for those who are remembering personal loss on this anniversary of 9/11. I am praying for those who are packing up and leaving their homes today because of Ike and the only thing that I know to pray is Lord, use even this for your glory. It is all for your glory. I have prayed that Ike makes a turn and decrease in intensity, but I trust that whatever happens the Lord will bring glory to His name through it (no matter how hard that is to understand).

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Birthday Flashback

Tip Junkie is featuring birthday parties for kids this week and in honor of her I decided to dig up these old pictures and show you my favorite birthday bash I have thrown for my kids. When Aidan turn 3 we celebrated hero style. He was loving to dress up and in particular he loved Superman. We invited his buddies and they all received a Superman cape with the letter of their first name on it instead of an S. We decided to party at the park to give more running room and less clean up. Here is a picture of the boys all decked out in their capes. We had a Bad Guy Hunt (much like an Easter egg hunt but with little plastic bad guys as the objects). The boys enjoyed it!

Next we did a Hero training course or obstacle course which was pretty simple and really didn't hold their attention all that great but it was another simple and fun activity.

We were at the park so we had to give them a chance to play. They were cute on the swings in their capes. It looked like they were flying.

And I simply had to include Super girl (yes that is Becca- she was one)

Aidan was not so sure about all the attention when we sang to him so he hid under the table cloth like a good hero would.

And here they are racing towards me. It was a fun cute party.

By the way...I was featured on Tip Junkie earlier this week for Becca's princess castle at her Princess Party. You should go check it out and look at all the other cute party ideas.

I also got an award this week from my sweet friend Ame.

Thanks for the bloggy love. I love your blog too...great decorating ideas here! But, since you already got the award I will have to nominate...
1. Brianna at Brianna Saban Photography

2. Shannon at Glenney Party of Five

3. Renea at Meet us in the Middle

And a few people I don't even know but I do look forward to reading:

4. Debra at Debra Parker Designs - Debra has a heart for the Lord and ministry and they are currently in the process of raising money to adopt their baby from Haiti - amazing story.

5. Erin at Embracing my Cup - Erin is my favorite mom blogger outside of my dear friends. Her blog is such an encouragement to me.

OK girls, here are the rules:
1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you’ve nominated.
6. Enjoy your awards!
So how is that for some link love for today! Hope you have a great one!