Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sunday Sing

Last Sunday morning Ivory had her first experience singing standing on stage for Sunday morning church.

Waiting with her preschool music teacher, Mrs. Loretta, before the preschoolers turn to sing.
Watching the preschoolers sing is one of the highlights of my year.
Ivory remained frozen the entire song.
This picture taken before Izzy & the little boy to her right exited the stage mid-song.
Ivory's movement included cutting her eyes and turning to see what/who was behind her.  Ivory = stage fright.
She might not have done much singing--but she sure looked cute up there!   Recognize that dress, Mrs. Patti?
We were also delighted to hear the kids sing 66 Books in the Whole Bible.  The theme this year for Kids Inc. is the Amazing Book.

We were excited to witness the ordination of our precious, Mr. Bob.  Ivory loves Mr. Bob and could hardly wait to rush up to him and give him a big hug following the service.
He has already demonstrated such a servant's heart.  I'm excited to see how God is going to continue to use this kind, hard working man to further advance His Kingdom.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Interview with a Toddler

favorite color: done. no. i'm tired.
favorite drink: want mooooothie.  that smiley face!  make a chin.
favorite song: done.  something. want something.
favorite food(s): blueberries.  mommy own coffee!  coffee n there?
where do you like to go? done! hurts.
do you like to take naps? k.  want naps!  i WANT naps!!
what movie do you like to watch? ummmm. watch our God? wanna watch our God!
what do you like to do with mommy?  done.  DOOOONE!  done with questions.  want buttons, want buttons, want buttons.
what do you like to watch on the computer?  watchin elmo green.
what clothes do you like to wear?  no. NO!  done.  close eyes.

I'm guessing we'll have to try this when she's feeling a little more cooperative...

McDonalds + Scrabble = Date Night

Sometimes the simplest things in life are the best. Date nights with my sweetheart are no exception.  While I'm all about fancy and fun, I do love me a simple trip to McD's with my honey.

And check out how nice this McD's is!  They're really getting a lot nicer in our area.  Some have gas fireplaces, big screen TVs, individual game screens/tvs, kid craft nights, etc.  Definitely taking a turn for the better.

Loving the fact that they have pictures of fruits & veggies on a grease-pit restaraunt...ha.  Make us feel guilty while we're enjoying our grease, thank you! =)

I'm loving this Southern Style grease chicken sandwich we discovered on our road trip to Indiana.  It resembles Chik-fil-a's deliciousness...though McD's could never truly compare to Chik-fil-a's wonderfulness (aren't you loving my sophisticated use of vocabulary today?).  It has, however, made eating at McD's somewhat enjoyable compared to the former painful experience.

So...about counting those calories...ya.  You can see I'm a very dedicated dieter.

The date night is complete with our own version of apple scrabble.  We recently discovered how much more enjoyable scrabble is for us when we don't keep score.  We're both a little on the competitive side so this way neither of us can feel bad about losing--we're both winners!   Thanks, Beth, for our apple scrabble game--it's *perfect* for these date nights!

Enjoying some ice cream on the way back to pick up our kiddos.

Thanks Mrs. Robin + Brother Mike for watching 1 challenging toddler + 1 fussy baby.  Ya'll truly are the best.  Nights like these make the challenging days melt away and my love for my adorable husband stay strong.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Friday "Fun"

Last Friday was filled with the fun of a still-sick-4-month-old and a trip the doctor.  We wanted to check before the weekend as to whether or not the antibiotics were really working.  After a frustrating fiasco of over 4 hours of trying to actually talk with someone in the doctor's office, we took off to the doctor's office to squeeze in as the last appointment of the day.

God bless Mrs. Robin for letting Ivory nap at her house and for watching her when she woke so I only had to take one kid and my husband joined me!  I was exhuasted after wrestling him (sick) and Ivory (fussy + jealous) and appreciated him driving me the hour to the doctor's office and the hour back.  Micah was actually a little angel the whole time, sleeping in the car and smiling in the office.  But, isn't that how it always goes?  Actually, Mrs. Patti had reccommended using tylenol and that worked like magic.  Sometimes I forget the simplest of the time I'm finished having kids I think my entire brain will be consumed by...empty space?

He stared in awe at the Physician's Assistant--like his cousin, Carter, he knows a pretty girl when he sees one!

Loving the fun, bright, art work on the waiting room walls.  Ivory finds it highly entertaining and Mom finds that educational + wonderful.

Turns out it was a wasted trip.  The antibiotics are working and he's on the mend--he's just not 100% yet.  He still isn't.  Last night was another rough night!  So much for my newly attained energy yesterday. I thought a new page was turning...ha, think again.  Oh well, we'll worship God and praise Him because He has a plan.  And I am very grateful that my little man doesn't have to go on stronger medication and his infection is getting better!  Definitely something to rejoice about.  He's eating SO MUCH BETTER while on the tylenol.  Poor guy, his ear was hurting too much to such before.  It's so wonderful to go back to pleasant feeding sessions rather then screaming sessions.  Another praise for sure.  Now, here's to hoping my little girl stops fussing + my little man feels better today!  Either way, I'm setting my heart to worship God for who He is.

Oh, did I mention Ivory received her first "strong" discipline from her beloved Bobo during this visit?  Apparently Ivory decided their blue carpet needed some creative touches...and decided to do so with a purple crayon.  Mrs. Robin, of course, handled the situation with love and grace, but I'm grateful there was discipline that took place--even if it did crush Ivory...for all of 65 seconds.  She was so scarred she was begging to return to Bobo's withing 36 hours and crying when she couldn't stay.  Ivory did help scrub the carpet and all traces have been removed.  I am grateful for people who are loving and patient toward my child as well as willing to teach her what they need to learn in life.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Porch Picnic + Fall Art

Ivory was very excited about our porch picnic. (Ivory's taken to nakey eating because of her love of messy eating--Mom's tired of excessive clothe + child washing.)

Our little hero was chill with it, like his sister he loves being outside.

I love how such simple things thrills kids. Love this kids fuzzy baby hair.  Do you notice how light it's getting?  The hair underneath + roots are extremely blonde.  I think we're going to end up with two tow-headed young 'uns before long.

Later we decided to try our hand at leaf coloring.  This is how we make fall leaves in Florida...

We even made the ever fashionable masking tape-paper-rainbow bracelet.

...that someone was NOT HAPPY about modeling.  She loved the bracelet, just the standing still for a picture part.

But Daddy's arrival made it better.

And then a sippy cup of "yellow milk" was the cherry on top.

Ivory has been so loving to her brother lately.  I walked in his room this mornign to see her little arm stretched through the slats of his crib as she gently patted her screaming brother on the back and told him "stop crying, Micah!"  She loves holding him, making him smile, and talking to him.  If he's laying on the floor she wants to lay down next to him, touch, him and talk to him.  We're still working on teaching her not to put her fingers in his mouth. 

If she hears daddy playing with Micah she immediately has to stop what she's doing and join in the fun.  She doesn't complain or get jealous--just wants to be included in the fun. Just imagine the giggles taking place in the picture below.

Lately life has been *extremely* busy.  Last week we called a halt on all that, as best we could.  We canceled a lot of plans and minus doctor visits stayed away from excessive Panama City trips & even play dates.  I was exhausted physically, Jason overbooked, and the kids battling illness.  Micah's ear infection affected his eating, which in turn affected the feedings and milk production.  It was a very stressful, emotional, exhuasting week.  I believe it was no accident I started reading in Job that same week  in my quiet times.  Every time I thought I couldn't handle any more I would remember Job and know my life wasn't that bad.  I also vividly remember Job's response to losing all of his possessions + children.

Job 1:20-22 ::

Then Job arose, and rent his robe, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped; [emphasis added]
and he said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: Jehovah gave, and Jehovah hath taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah.

In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
Worship.  Job fell to the ground in worship.  Not despair.  Not hopelessness.  Not grief alone.  Worship.  I definitely have a ways to go to embrace this life outlook.  I am learning, though, Praise God.

The other day I was imagining what I would want somebody to say if they saw me again after being absent from my life for a long period of time.  In some aspects I pray my character remains the same--that I'm steady.  However, I do desire to always grow & change in Christ likeness that I won't be viewed the same a week, 2 months, 10 years down the road.  I pray the same for my entire family.

Last night Jason invited me to a morning date on our porch swing before the kids (well, Ivory) awoke.  Though a house fire call (Jason's now a volunteer fire fighter--and yes, the people in the house are safe, praise God!) nearly threatened our time together, he arrived home in time.   I really enjoyed our uninterrupted conversation.  We talked about what we've been reading and learning in our quiet times, about the Crown Financial Ministires course we're starting in Sunday School,and a lot about the kind of parents we want to be and the spiritual vision God has given us for our children. 

I vividly remember my dad sitting me down as an adolescent girl and telling me how he desired to see me full of joy.  He wanted me to learn to find my joy.  I really took what he had to say to heart. I began searching for how to find that joy.  I've been a Christian since a very little girl, but joy is something I struggle to continually feel & display.  Not just simple happiness that comes and goes, but true joy that lasts through the rough times--times like what Job experienced.  One day while reading the Psalms a verse almost jump out the page at me.

"Thou wilt show me the path of life: In thy presence is fulness of joy; In thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."  Psalm 16:11
I memorized it and decided to make it my life verse.  Every time I begin "losing" my joy I evaluated my personal quiet times and realize they're been a lack of personal fellowhsip with the source of all joy--my Lord, Jesus Christ. Really all lack of the fruit of the spirit results from this same source, but my joy leaving and the black cloud of depression that seeks to overcome me is usually my first signal. 

I'm so grateful for a dad who had the wisdom and sensitivity to the Spirit to cast this vision for my spiritual growth/life.  I desire to do the same for our children.

I'll never forget one time in my college years when I did some things that really disappointed my dad.  I expected him to get upset, be hurt, come down hard on me in discipline, but I never expected his tears.  The look on his face as tears streamed down will forever be branded on my mind.  When I sin I often imagine that same look on God's face.  I NEVER want to do something to hurt my dad like that again.  I carry the same feeling now toward God.  Thank you, Dad, for revealing a glimpse of my Heavenly Father's heart.

I pray that as Jason and I raise our children we will reveal a glimpse into the heart of their Heavenly Father.  I desire to discipline in love.  Spend quality time with them.  Show them we treasure them for who they are, not just what they do.  I don't want to pump them full of empty dreams, desires, and false praise.  I desire to see them pursue that which will bring true fulfillment and praise from their Heavenly Father.

Jason expressed he doesn't want to look back and say, "If I had it to do over again I wish I'd done it differently."  I wholeheartedly agree.  We desire this for God's glory and the benefit of our children, not for our own satisfaction or pride.  If pride motivates our parenting then we're already failing.  I feel so blessed to have godly mentors surrounding us who we can learn from and seek to emulate.  We want so much to learn from the good and bad choices of those around me.  I pray we never take the easy way out but will choose to follow these wise words: "Let thine eyes look right on, And let thine eyelids look straight before thee. 26Make level the path of thy feet, And let all thy ways be established.27Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: Remove thy foot from evil." Proverbs 4:25-27

May we see our children, " a tree planted by the streams of water, That bringeth forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also doth not wither; And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." Psalms 1:3

I praise God for the truth He has already impresed upon my heart and pray I will only learn more each day.

Thanks for being patient with the ramblings of a young mom...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

What's on Your Phone?

 Ivory sharing her precious blue blankie & bear.
 Napping with Mr. Arlin + dog.

 Zeke Zeke chillin at the park.
 Micah + Aunt Mel
 Ivory enjoying a beautiful sunset at the local park.
 Caleb + Ivory at local park
 Ivory + J + Caleb
 Ivory digging in the sand...that's full of ants.
 Ivory + Caleb swinging at sunset.
 Ivory entertained for well over an hour in the sink.
 I looked down at my scrabble letters to see this.  Didn't plan it at all.  Guess I'm missing a certain somebody.  Come home already,girl!
 Scrabble date night at McDonald's.
 Ivory making a sad face to send to Mr. Jamey telling him she's sad he doesn't feel good.
 Not wanting to be photographed anymore...
 Tore up about Mr. Jamey's recent boo-boos incurred from gallbladder surgery. She's been praying for him and recently made him banana muffins even decorating the ziploc bag  with smiley faces and beautiful drawings.

 Micah chillin' while big sister watches Sesame Street video clips.

Ivory enjoying the homecoming parade with Halley. Her "Eeya" (Aliya) is riding by in the car.
(and yes, I just recently learned which way to turn my phone so the videos are the correct orientation on the computer)

 Not sure what to think about Mommy pouring cold water on her head.
 The "Po Po" and fire trucks were by her favorite part of the parade.
 I was pleasantly surprised by how well she obeyed (unlike the rest of this week) when I told her to stay sitting & not to run out in the road after the candy.  Of course, she's no fool, the kids just brought it to her.  Perfecting her older sibling enslavement role, I suppose.
I enjoy living in a small town where the parade goes down the main road and my child personally knows a lot of the people in the parade.

What's on your phone?