Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Out. Of. Control.

A load of laundry a day keeps the "mounds" away. . .

Thursday, August 27, 2009

First Day of School

I love being a follower of Christ. He makes life exciting. He leads me down paths I would NEVER choose on my own. One of these paths lately is the decision we have made to follow His leading to homeschool our kids this year. Hayley is in Kindergarten and Jack and Riley are pre-school. Mallory is in on the fun too. See pictures below. : )

I have people all the time say, "Oh, well it will be easy for you to homeschool---you were a teacher!" True. I was a teacher. I taught math to 6th graders for 5 years in Euless. I have a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies and I'm "certified" to teach grades 1-8. But there is a BIG difference in teaching a room full of 11-12 year olds who have been in school for at least 6 years and in teaching a room full of an infant, a toddler, a preschooler and a kindergartner. I think I was more nervous on the first day this week than I ever was on my own first days of school as a student or a teacher. Not to mention the fact that it is MY OWN children. If they miss something, I'M the one to blame! That's some serious pressure! But the Lord keeps reminding me that He equips the called. He's not going to call me to this new way of life and leave me high and dry. He is so faithful too. This week has been a lot of fun and I can't even believe how much I LOVE teaching my children!! We live next to an elementary school and every morning when I look out the window and see everyone heading to school at 7:45 and we are all in the kitchen getting ready for breakfast, I thank GOD for knowing how very much I needed the slower pace. No scurrying, no arguing, no making lunches, etc. We finish with breakfast by 8:30 or so and my eager beaver (Hayley) is ready to start school. The girl comes down at 7:30 or so every morning completely dressed with a smile on her face and tells me she has her bed made and room cleaned. She does this just because she wants to. Jack on the other hand occasionally sleeps in his clothes so that he doesn't have to "get dressed" the next morning. One night he had on jeans and a tshirt after his bath. JEANS. And getting him to make his bed is a major challenge. His favorite quote to use is, "I'm stuck in the mud." Lots
of character training to do in this house! : ) Anyway---we have praise and worship time with all of us upstairs and then Bible Time, Calendar time, and then Handwriting. Riley and Mallory do a lot of playing during that time and Riley enjoys the Bible stories. I also use that time for character training. It's about an hour and then we move down to put M down for a nap and have snack time (usually coordinates with color of week or letter of week) and storytime. The rest of the day consists of an art project of some sort, some bookwork, and lots of playtime and of course NAPTIME. Another time of day that I am thankful to be either resting or working on some of my stuff when I see the line of cars at the elementary school. : ) I'm sure I'll add in things here and there as the year goes on, but for now it is working out wonderfully. At times I have a hard time believing I am really doing this. I LOVED school growing up. Loved my teachers, my friends, everything about it. I loved teaching school---my co-workers (who I really miss a lot!) my students, etc. I'm not 100% sure why God has us on this path. Maybe I'll never know. But for now--although it has just been one week--I am so thankful to be on this journey with my most favorite little people in the world! I know there will be days of weariness and frustration but so far it has done nothing but bless me!

Here are a few pictures of our first day:

Clothes are optional at our school : ) And you have permission to wear navy socks with your undies in the 100 degree heat in the afternoons. (Daddy disagrees with this.) : )

The letter of the week is "A" so we made some applesauce. And we ate some too. . .

Riley letting Mallory in on the applesauce---so cute! Mallory LOVED it!

YUMMY!! (apparently the "Woody" costume got a little toasty---hence the undies and socks)

Ouch, Jack! Such a rough look! : ) Riley got in on the finger painting too. She tried eating it, but discovered the applesauce tasted a little better.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Few Pictures. . .

Little princesses! Fun times with cousins on a Sunday afternoon. Notice Jack's sullen face because "Adalyn has my necklace!" You'll see later, it's not just his "necklace" she has on . . .

Just went face down in big sister's oatmeal. This captures our Riley Kate. A Happy Mess!!
Squeezing in the Jumparoo with little sissy---Sorry Mal!
Ummm, maybe we need some boy dress up clothes around here. . . FAST! (He is not going to appreciate this picture on his wedding slideshow.) I couldn't resist snapping this picture. . .
Look who is sitting up! I said "SITTING" not "SPITTING" (although we've still got a little of that going on too).
Love this little girl! Already 6 months old---where is the time going?
Happy 4th of July! We had a FUN day with both of our families!
Sisters. . .
Before the first haircut---I think I waited a few weeks too long? : )
Front view of "The Hawk"
Cousins. . . I love these boys!!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Catching up. . .

Ok--I knew I would have less time for me when Mallory arrived, but wow. I rarely get more than 30 minutes in the afternoon during nap/quiet time and then not again until 9:00 or so when the last little chicky goes to bed. And I have no "juice" left by then. So there's the reason for the blog slackin. Even now I need to go work on dinner before I have a baby in my arms. (I managed to slice and peel the skin off of an apple the other day one-handed while holding Mallory---I was pretty amazed at myself.)  : )  But wanted to update with a few pictures before we celebrate Mallory's first birthday. Ha! By the way---can you tell my teeth are gritted in the Easter family portrait? I was saying, "JACK--LOOK AT THE CAMERA!!" Yes, it was even more chaotic than it looks! And notice the trend with Riley and family pictures. Love it.

Mallory will be 5 months
 old next week. She is such a little sweet pea. She loves LOVES attention from anyone and LOVES to have her hands held. It is so sweet. She started rolling over la
st week from her back to her front and then to her back again and now there's no stopping her! If you put her down, she's rollin. She is sometimes sleeping from about 9-7 but that's pretty sporatic. I'm wishing we could
 figure out what makes her do that so we could get it every night! 
We all love Mallory---even when she has fussy days her brother and sisters love on her. 

Riley Kate is 18 months tomorrow. Where has the time gone?? Her vocabulary has exploded this
week--she has been more interested in
 listening to everyone else talk than to talk herself until now. Some favorites of mine are hearing her say, "DADDY!!!!!  DADDY!!" over and over when he walks in the door from work. SO precious. Today when I put her down for her nap she said, "I wuv oo" back to me. Melt my heart. And this morning she was singing along with the Doxology (we keep music going around here pretty much all day) and it was so sweet to hear her belting out, "PAISE GOD!! PAISE GOD!! PAISE GOD (who) SAY (my) SO!!  PAISE GOD (to whom all) SESSINGS SO!! So sweet!! She loves water and 
MUD. We're not sure if she likes the taste or the texture, but she likes to put it in her mouth. YUCK!  She is becom
ing very independent and I find her places like halfway up the pantry shelves (scaling them), sitting in the pantry with a box of crackers and eating them the other day (she climbed up to get them first), she climbs up the ramp on their swingset and came flying down the slide face first yesterday and did a face plant in the mud---all in her mouth, teeth---but she likes it so she didn't mind! We adore this girl!

He is 3 and is a STITCH. He loves "playing" his guitar and plays it multiple times a day. If he isn't playing it, he is playing his air guitar or he's strumming the logos of the guitars on his shirts. We really believe he is going to be a praise/worship leader or musician one day. Music is in this boy's soul. He
has grown up a lot over the last several months---wanting to do everything just like his older sister. 

Hayley is turning 5 in 2 more months! So hard to believe. She 
has been planning her 5th birthday since last August. She is so much fun to hang out with. I'm amazed at all she picks up on these days. She is becoming more and more helpful around here. She would run the place 24/7 if I let her.  She has learned how to write most of her letters this year and loves reading books on her own (the short early reader ones). It's so fun to watch her sound words out and really read them! Some of my favorite things she has said lately is, "J is for Jerusalem."  (not the word I would have picked, but hey, it works!)  We told her we were going swimming last weekend and that the water would probably be pretty cold and she goes, "Oh, well, that's okay! I'll just roll with it!"  

So many more that I want to remember and this is the only place I write them down!  I never want to sound "braggy" or anything about my kids ---I just want to remember all of the sweet things. I don't really want to remember the sassiness, disrespectful tones,  arguing b/t siblings, screaming at the top of her lungs from Riley (instead of talking), and the clinginess that tends to totally beat me down by about 3:00 from Mallory. : ) We've got PLENTY of normal day to day hard stuff around here too. As I was walking M around this afternoon and going to the place of "another day without a moment to myself again" the Holy Spirit reminded me to just let it go and be thankful for this sweet time to hold my baby in my arms. It's a season---- a very SHORT season. So I held her until she fell asleep and enjoyed it! Kitchen a wreck, dinner not cooked, weights not lifted, elliptical not run on, toys not picked up, the bulk of M's birth announcements STILL not sent out, and the list goes on. It's so hard to keep a positive spin on life when you feel so unproductive, but it's a lie from the enemy that I am "unproductive" and to all you moms out there who are also taking care of your babies. I'm choosing not to believe it and to work on enjoying these short months of feeding, changing, holding, rocking, bouncing, etc. these babies! Hope someone was encouraged by this today! And hoping to post more soon!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Wedding!

Ryan and Abby Dunagan!

I am LONG overdue for a blog post. I only have a few minutes and wanted to post a couple of pictures of Abby's (one of my 3 favorite sister-in-laws!) and Ryan's wedding! It was so beautiful and so much fun! Abby was breathtakingly gorgeous. What an honor to stand next to her as a matron of honor! I'm so excited for them and the adventure they have ahead of them. I'm hoping to get back to posting more "regularly" soon! 

Tra and Hayley having fun in the photo booth! 
The best family picture we got the whole weekend. Really? I guess getting all 4 to look at the camera with joyful expressions and no fingers in their noses is out of the question for at least a few more years? :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Mallory Grace

So much for downloading a picture on Tuesday! Our sweet little Mallory was born on January 13 at 1:35pm. She was 7 lbs. 14 oz. and 19 3/4 in.  We were VERY surprised to have a baby under 8 pounds!! She is such a good little baby. She is jaundice and under a light going on day #2, but she gets to be at home! We are so happy she is here! 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mallory's Birthday!

It is 6:30am and I'm sitting in my hospital bed all hooked up to an IV and being pumped with pitocin and strangely feeling a bit like I'm on vacation at the moment. Tra and I had some sweet time praying blessings over our sweet baby girl who we will hopefully be holding in our arms in a matter of hours! He has gone to get some breakfast and I am watching the news and blogging. No breakfast to make, diapers to change, dishes to wash, clothes to fold, noses to wipe, etc. At this point I'm not in any pain. They've turned up my pitocin 3 times and I'm still not in a regular contraction pattern. So I'm enjoying the next few moments of feeling good and preparing to call for an epidural as soon as these contractions start picking up. I came in at a 2 and 60% effaced and after an hour of pitocin my dr. just came to check me again and I have had no change. His words were, "You've got a long way to go." Love it. My last 2 labors took 7-8 hours. So I'm hoping by 1:00 that this baby will be here!

I wanted to write a little note to Mallory before her birth and I'm running out of time, so here we go!

Mallory Grace,
I am so excited to finally get to see you face to face today! I can't wait to hold you and look at your little fingers and toes, and see your pretty hair (I'm certain you'll have a pretty good amount!), and every part of you that God has so meticulously knitted together over the past 9 months as you have grown inside of me. Your daddy and I (and many others) have prayed for you since before we knew you were even on the way! When we found out that God had blessed us with you 9 months ago we were filled with so many different emotions! We were so surprised because Riley Kate was only 4 months old! When I told daddy that you were growing in my tummy we both just laughed and laughed and thanked God for the sweet, wonderful blessing of you! We knew God gave you to our family for a very special purpose and we are excited to see those purposes for your life unfold. God has great plans for you. He needed you here at this time and has blessed you with 3 older siblings who are beside themselves excited about your arrival. Hayley was talking to you last night as I was putting her to bed. She likes to push on my tummy to "find you" and feel you move and kick. Jack can't wait to hold you! When I say, "Are you excited to see Mallory?" He answers, "Yes, I want to hold her." Riley is pretty clueless about having a new sister, but you 2 are going to be two peas in a pod for the rest of your lives. You are going to have so much fun growing up together being SO close in age! You will not know life without each other. We are all so excited to have you in this family. You are a blessing and we love you so much already!
I love you!

**I hope to post a picture or 2 later on today when she is here!