Sunday, April 25, 2010

March/April Favorites

Thought I would do a little catching up with pictures from the last 2 months. They actually go backwards, from April to March.

Jack's new "look"
My baby is growing up!
All dressed up for a "black tie" wedding---fun!
Mallory Grace---always smilin'
Feeding the turtles--or--themselves : )
Jack got to "borrow" the fireman outfit from Mimi's Treasure Chest one day... the best day EVER.
Riding rides at a carnival at Northwood Church---so much fun!!
Braving the ferris wheel---
Watching Riley was worth the price of admission...
These 2 both won a game--the only game they were allowed to play. They were HAPPY campers.
I have pictures of my sister and me looking through fence holes at the puppy in my grandparents "alley" in Lamesa. This was an unstaged, sweet little moment for me...
Riley Kate LOVES her daddy. He is eating dinner here and she can't get close enough to him. : ) She kept saying, "My daddy, my daddy!"
This is Easter morning... I had our church service on the computer as we were about to leave for Tra's parents' house for the day. Love modern technology and love these 2 little hearts. This was unstaged too. I love how they love each other.
Hayley loves praising the Lord!
Easter Eggs!
The stickers were a hit this year.
The biggest strawberry ever...
Tra doing one of the things he does best...being DADDY!!!
I think one of my favorite things about these pictures is that he has Jack's Diego sunglasses on.
I looked out the back door one morning and saw this sweet little sight. Although they were probably scheming the next crazy mess Riley could make and making their plan on how Mallory would distract me from her...
Happy Birthday to Daddy!
This may have been the mess they were scheming... got into a trash bag full of ashes from our grill. Mmmmm, soooo fun.
Pulling a blanket off of heads really fast=static electricity=HILARIOUS.
Especially this one...doesn't she look like Alfalfa without the little curl? hahaha!
The moment I realized, "Maybe I should cut her hair.." A theme in our family..
Mallory helping out her sister...
She sat like this for about 5 minutes one night. Such a cutie!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bedtime Talks

I should start recording some of our bedtime conversations with Hayley. Tonight was something like this...

Hayley: Why do you have all those hairs in your nose?
Me: That's how God made me (sweet voice with a forced smile) It keeps out the dirt (my mom always gave me that answer)
Hayley: Ohh, so it's kind of like a GATE?
Me: Ummm, yes, kind of. Mommy's REALLY tired, so I'm going to go to bed---I love you!
Hayley: Can we go somewhere to eat tomorrow? Like Taco Bueno? I love Taco Bueno. They don't have a play place, just all those pictures. That way Riley and Mallory don't get lost and you won't be like, "Hayley, where is Riley? Where is Mallory?"
Me: (with a chuckle) Do I ask that question too often?
Hayley: YES. It drives me crazy. I'm like, "Ok mom, please stop asking that question..."
Me: I'm sorry---I'm not sure if we'll go out to eat tomorrow or not. I love you! (get up and walk to door)
Hayley: Ok. I just can't WAIT to see what God's skin looks like. If it will be dark brown, brown or white? I think it will be one of those?
Me: I know--I can't wait either! Maybe it will be rainbow?
Hayley: LOL. I don't think it would be pink or blue...
Me: Me either (closing door) Love you!
Hayley: I think Jesus is the best man I ever saw. Well, I didn't really SEE him, just in the movies.
Me: I know---he IS the best man. I'm so glad you love him so much. I love you! Goodnight! (try to close door again)
Hayley: I just cannot WAIT to ask God how in the world he got to heaven all by himself first?! I just don't know how that happened!
Me: I know--we have LOTS of questions for Him don't we? I love you! Mommy is VERY tired so I'm going to go to sleep now. I love you guys!
Hayley: (smile) Ok. Love you too..

Meanwhile, Jack is facing the opposite direction almost completely out. I wonder how many words he hears from Hayley every day? The girl can TALK! And I LOVE it!! As exhausting as it is, I treasure these bedtime chats with my girl.

Here is Riley's evening routine:
Me: I love you, Riley! Night night!
Riley: I want my water!
Me: Ok--I'll get your water... (refill cup with water) Here ya go! Night night!
Riley: I want mommy's shadow!
Me: Ok... (stand over her night-light and look up and wave hands while shadow of mommy is on ceiling) Night night Riley! (waving on ceiling)
Riley: I want Jesus died on the cross...
Me: (Make a cross shadow with fingers on ceiling)
Riley: (Giggling) There it is! There's Jesus died on the cross!
Me: Thank you, Jesus...
Riley: ...died on the cross, take away sid (sin), together (so we can all live together), forever (in heaven forever).
Me: I love you---night night! (as I lean over her crib)
Riley: (with a giggle) That's like Em-ee (Emily---cousin/babysitter) That's like Bet-ee (Bethany--babysitter)
Me: Do they lean over your crib like this too? : )
Riley: Yea. (giggle)
Me: I love you---(walk to door) goodnight!
Riley: I love you too! I love you too! I love you too!
Me: I love you too--night night! (start closing door)
Riley: I love you too! I love you too...
Me: I love you too---go to sleep! : ) (close door)
Me: (open door) I love you too, baby! Night night. : ) (close door and hope for silence, all the while eating it up that she wants to keep the conversation going as long as possible. Some nights drag out longer than others with the I love you too's. So cute.)

I LOVE my kids. What a GIFT each one is to me... thank you LORD for the privilege of being mommy to these 4 treasures...Forgive me for EVER having anything but a grateful heart for them!! Thank you for the glimpse I have into how you LOVE YOUR CHILDREN!! To think that your love for me is greater than my love for my kids completely overwhelms me. I rest in that tonight...

ps. I get tickled thinking about my bedtime talks with Tra each night. And me asking after a long ramble about something most likely very important about my day like an update on a friend's blog or facebook status, "Are you awake?" Silence. Long pause. He groggily answers, "Barely." Ha ha! The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.... : ) We girls just get chatty at bedtime! Those boys are OUT seconds after their head hits the pillow! So funny...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Catching up

We have had lots going on around here over the past few months. Here's an attempt to do a little catching up!

--Jack turned FOUR in January. We had fun celebrating with his Mimi and Poppy, cousins (Scout and Ryder) and sisters (minus Mallory who was much happier at home taking a nap) at Incredible Pizza. The highlight for me was watching Poppy and Scout race daddy and Jack in the race cars. Not sure which generation enjoyed it more! : ) They also had a lot of fun bowling and riding rides and shooting basketball hoops. I love that boy more than I can put into words.

--We took the older 3 to the Rodeo and had fun watching them at the petting zoo especially. My kids all LOVE animals. Tra took Hayley and Jack last year one night right after I had Mallory, so I had fun getting to go with them this year! Riley experienced cotton candy for the first time. That was worth the price of admission!

--Tra and I got to go to Washington DC for a couple of days in ourselves!! My mom braved it and watched all 4 of our kiddos for us. She's a superstar. Everything went great and everyone slept all night every night, thankfully! We got to attend the National Prayer Breakfast and it was a really neat experience. It was very strange to sit just a few rows back from the President and Michelle, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton (the main speaker). I felt like I was in an episode of 24 watching the secret service guys scanning the room. We spent the rest of the day sightseeing and I LOVED every second. It was my first trip to DC and I can't wait to go back! We spent a couple of hours at the Holocaust Museum and could have spent an entire day there. It was extremely impactful. We sat with a congressman from North Carolina at breakfast and he had us come to his office and one of his staff members gave us a tour of the Capitol. That is the way to do it, people. We went on the speed-walking tour and it was a perfect speed for us. (Anyone can call your congressman/woman and ask if you can have a tour if you ever want a "private tour" which I think a lot of people already know, but I had no idea.) Being there made me want to be more involved in my community and made me realize that I'm not as insignificant as I feel like I am when it comes to governmental decisions, etc. I have a voice and I can choose whether or not to use it. I came home wanting to read some American history books! I haven't... yet. : ) The day we left to come home was the day the huge blizzard hit the east coast. The airport shut down 3 hours after our plane took off. Can we say close call?

--We had a surprise 60th birthday brunch for my mom the weekend we got home. She has several "friends for a lifetime" friends that live in the D/FW area, along with lots of family and it was so much fun celebrating HER!

--The day we got home was the day after Jenny Bizaillion went into the hospital. I spent the rest of the month, like many of you, praying more fervantly for her and her family and friends than I have ever prayed for any situation in my life. I knew Jenny in college but haven't talked to her since. I don't really even know how to put into words what that whole situation did to my spirit, but it changed me. My faith was strengthened---as we prayed for certain aspects of her health, they were answered. I know in my head that prayer is powerful, but this made it take more root in my heart. I think about Jenny's family and friends every day and continue praying for the Lord's peace to comfort them as they grieve her earthly loss for the rest of their lives. Especially her precious daughter.

--The day Jenny died was the day we buried Tra's sweet granddaddy. We all know our grandparents won't live forever, but man it is hard to let them go. It was a sweet day of remembering a wonderful, godly man who I had the privilege of calling "Granddaddy" for 9 short years. I will miss his dry wit and the way he always made me feel like I had always belonged to him, and just hearing his cheery voice. I don't know that I've had another day in my life that I was more aware of my own mortality. It made me think---really think. What am I DOING here? It's all going to be over one day. It made me want to re-think why I do what I do in every area of my life. More than ever, I want to live my life more purposefully and literally seek first the Kingdom of God. It is ALL that matters! Relationships with my family and friends----they are the only thing going with me! It also makes me long for Jesus to return---QUICKLY!!!

--Hayley has lost her 2 bottom teeth and learned to tie her shoes. She makes her own breakfast some mornings and makes her own bed. She has really taken off with reading. She told me last night that she loves Jesus and she is going to teach a lot of people about him. I told her I believe she will too!

--At night when I put Riley to bed, lately she points up to a corner in her room and says, "There's a angel!" Tra and I were in there last night and I asked her if she saw the angel and she said, "No, I find him.." and proceeded to look behind her curtains and said she couldn't find him. After prayers and reading her favorite Bible story about the shepherds (Jesus' birth)she looked up at the corner and said, "Oh! There's the angel! There he is!" Ohhh, to see what these little ones see.

--Hayley and Jack have totally gotten into Little House on the Prairie. I can't tell you what this does for my heart. : ) Angie and I watched this show every day for years and rarely missed an episode. To see them love it as much as we did is so much fun! The musical is coming to Bass Hall this summer---we can't WAIT!

--I'll end with my favorite event of 2010 so far. On Tra's birthday (Mar. 20) Hayley told us that night that she asked Jesus to be her Lord and Savior. She was at church listening to the Bible story that night of Jesus dying on the cross and she said she asked Him "quietly" during the Bible story. I asked her how she felt when she asked him and she said, "Ready." There is nothing sweeter than seeing the Holy Spirit getting a hold of my babies' hearts. In some ways 5 1/2 seems so early to really understand what she is doing, but I have to remind myself that we in no way pushed her to do this. HE, the Creator of the Universe, has been drawing her to Himself from the moment she was a little life in my womb. She is HIS! Just as they all are. As many crazy, hard days as there are with little ones it is moments like these that make every little (and big) mess and sleepless nights WORTH IT ALL!!

Pictures soon to follow..

**I just realized I started this entry on March 12, but finished it and finally published it today, April 6. Not that anyone but me would probably pay much attention to that. : )

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The first of many. . .

. . . blog entries for 2010, that is. I've SO become a blog slacker and it makes me sad. I'm hoping to become a better time manager this year with the ole blog.

So today is my baby girl's FIRST birthday! How HOW is that possible? She is such a little doll. We had a fun day celebrating little Mallory Grace today. Pancakes for breakfast, lunch at the mall and playtime in the play area (no wonder Hayley was sick all the time as a toddler---we hung out there at least once a week! I have turned into a germ-a-phobe and I was NOT one when she was little--yuck), naptime, lasagna for dinner and of course CAKE! : ) That's what Riley Kate said when I told her first thing this morning that it was Mallory's birthday today... "CAKE!!" Love my Riley Kate.

Mallory has been a huge fan of mommy this past year. And I've been a big fan of hers too---but I'm so happy for her that she is discovering that my legs are not the most exciting thing to be next to all day long. : ) She has become so much more independent over the past couple of months. She loves opening cabinets and pulling things out (oldest sister might have taught her that trick), she likes to mess with her Daddy's type A personality and pull EVERY book off the bookshelf in the playroom, every dvd case out of the drawer, and every cup/plate/bowl out of the kids drawers in the kitchen. Ha! She is taking a couple of steps and SO proud of herself. She LOVES and ADORES her big sisters and big brother. And they adore her too. I can't get over how fast this year has gone and how quickly she is growing up. I made a HUGE effort to just enjoy my LONG nights with her (she didn't sleep through the night until she was almost 11 months old) and I'm so glad I did. Lots of snuggling with that baby took place in her rocking chair in her room in the wee hours of the night. And now, that baby just wants to get in her bed and skip the rocking chair. : ( Here are some birthday pictures of our ONE YEAR OLD!