Monday, December 28, 2009

Baking cookies

When the Christmas lights are twinkling on the tree, and its cold and snowy outside, I always feel like I need to bake. There is just something about cooking in the winter time that is so soothing-- the aroma that fills the house, the warmth of the oven, and the pure deliciousness of eating fresh baked cookies.
So whipping up a batch of sugar cookies was the perfect fit for the day-- Nick was home from work, the boys were looking for something to do (or maybe I was looking for something for them to do!!)and perhaps my growing belly and appetite figure in as well. Regardless, these sugar cookies were just right.
So... I made the dough and put it in the fridge to chill. Then we set up an assembly line.

Isaiah and I rolled the dough into balls

Nick and Joshua covered the dough balls with colored sugar

We lined them up on the trays

And then waited patiently for them to come out of the oven. These ready hands (Isaiah's) could barely wait to try one (or two).


A few pictures from our house on Christmas Eve. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Yesterday morning, my 3 year old sat staring at the presents piled up under the tree. He then looked up at me and said, "Mom, I think its time for me to open my new car."
I started laughing and asked, "Are you expecting a new car for Christmas, Isaiah?" He looked confused for a minute and then grinned like a cheshire cat-- as if to say, "I thought all presents were toy cars, Mom!?!?"
I love the childlike joy and anticipation of cars on Christmas morning. I don't know that he's getting a single one, but it makes me smile to think of him imagining all the boxes under the tree to be cars of different shapes and sizes. Because after all, cars make the best presents.
And no, this is not a hint for my husband (who reads my blog) to buy me a new car for Christmas.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Little Angels

These are the boys who smile like little angels, who beam innocently at their mother, and grin in delight. These are my boys.

These are also the boys that "washed" each others hair with hand soap one evening while we entertained guests. Playing a little too quietly upstairs, the "suspicious mom" in me quickly ran to check, and discovered not only soap in their hair, but also on their clothes, the mirror, and in their eyes. Things changed from quiet to loud quite suddenly.

So into the bath we put them, to wash all the tear causing soap. After making sure they were settled, we hurried back downstairs to bid our friends farewell. In the moments we were gone we heard laughter and glee, and our stomachs sank. Before we even arrived back upstairs we knew what it meant. And as we suspected, these "little angels" had been at work again. Water covered the floor, the bathmat, and everything around them.

Yes. These are the faces of my little angels.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Getting round

While I LOVE the end result of pregnancy and holding my beautiful babies, I still dread getting big and round. I am such a self conscious pregnant woman!! :) While most people notice the little basketball in my belly, and that "pregnancy glow," I instead get focused on the water retention and the clothes that don't fit.
If I'm honest, I've really done remarkably well keeping the weight gain to a minimum. I've been exercising every day and watching my diet. Despite my efforts it always seems that before my belly really gets round, my face shows off the pregnancy roundness first. :) I love the irony!!
Ah well, the good part is that I'm doing well, eating well, and the baby is growing strong and healthy-- thats worth all the facial and belly roundness in the world!! (just don't look for too many more pregnancy pictures)
16 weeks (4 months) and just starting to show

22 weeks (5 1/2 months) and obviously pregnant

Monday, December 7, 2009

Photo's by Isaiah

Everyone's been asking for pictures of me---and as most of you ladies know, we're usually the ones behind the camera, not in front of it. While these may not be the pregnancy pics you've been waiting for (perhaps I can coerce Nick to snap a few tonight??), I thought you'd enjoy the artistry of my 3 year old, Isaiah.
Yes. I sat in front of the Christmas tree, taught him how to take pictures, and sat still while he snapped a few. He had a great time, and most of the pictures turned out. The funniest and sweetest part about it, was that when our little photo shoot was over, Isaiah asked me, "Mommy, would you like a treat for being so good?"

Book Boys

The boys take after their parents--they really love books. They love reading, they love looking at pictures, they love being read to. And since I love reading and am happy to develop the same love in my children, I say that books are one thing we can't have to many of.

Until today.

Well, no not really. The mess was a little daunting, but the photo op was there and so was the evidence of my children's keen interest in books.
Oh well.

If this is the price I have to pay, its worth it. Reading develops language and vocabulary, builds intelligence, creates conversation topics, and as we discovered today, it also causes tornadoes...

Couldn't resist

I know. I really shouldn't post pictures like this. But... I couldn't resist.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Home again

Just a quick update after a few weeks of being absent! We made it home yesterday night after 1400 miles in the car on our way back from Nana and Papa's house. It was such a long trip, for those of you that have entertained little ones in the car for 20 + hours, you know just what I'm talking about. But the long trek on the road was worth it. We had so much fun!
We spent our time:
  • talking and catching up with relatives
  • looking through photo albums
  • making Christmas cards
  • drinking Starbucks
  • decorating Christmas cookies
  • refreshing morning walks (in the wonderful warm weather!!)
  • eating, eating, eating
  • laughing at Isaiah and Joshua's antics
  • and generally enjoying each others company

What a great trip!! We were spoiled rotten by Nick's family each and every day:

  • Nana never came home from Starbucks without a peppermint mocha for me.
  • My sister-in-laws provided more free babysitting than I've ever received
  • The boys were showered with love and attention by each and every relative
  • I relaxed and did things like making cards and baking pies without distraction
  • We came home with a car full of gifts
  • Megan even CLEANED our room and made our beds one day while we were out!!

To add to the spoiling, we came home tired, hungry and cold (it had just started snowing as we pulled in) to find a warm cheery house waiting for us. Nick had taken care of everything while we were gone. (As a side note, Nick was able to fly out for Thanksgiving, but had to head home for work on Monday).

  • he planned the menu and did the grocery shopping
  • he completed a huge "honey-do" list
  • he cooked dinner (and baked COOKIES!!!) that were hot and ready for us as we came in the door
  • he vacuumed, dusted, and cleaned the entire house (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
  • he paid the bills, did the filing
  • pulled out the Christmas tree and decorations and...
  • had Christmas presents wrapped and ready to be put under the tree

On top of all Nick had done, we also were thrilled to see many Christmas newsletters and cards from friends, and best of all, a box from Grandma with all kinds of goodies (e.g. maternity clothes (yes!!) and toys)

And now... back to business. Being spoiled rotten for two weeks has repercussions:

  • 500+ emails to go through, respond to, and delete
  • mail, ads and coupons to look over
  • unpacking
  • laundry (!!!!!)
  • Christmas decorations and gift wrapping
  • baby shower planning (tomorrow!!)
  • and lots and lots of detail work, phone calls to make, letters to write etc etc

So yes, being spoiled has its downsides, but I'll take what I can get! What fun!! :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009


The smile on my husband's face matched my own as I greeted him at the door. He carried a handful of shining roses, kissed me, and smiled again. It was a day of many smiles.

Earlier that morning, I had made the 2 hour drive to the hospital for the "big" ultrasound. As I lay there, excited and perhaps a little nervous, I smiled. Today I would see the sweet child that moves within my womb. In a few moments, we would discover it's gender, it's health, and it's growth. I smiled.

As we started the ultrasound, the baby kicked and squirmed. A lively little one to join our family. After measuring the heart, head, and spine, I was assured of the baby's well being and appropriate development. Is it not amazing that a child can grow so perfectly and safely inside? I marveled at the wisdom and handiwork of our Creator. And I smiled again, and in truth, I held back tears. Thank you, Lord, for this precious life that grows within me.

As we continued to assess the baby, it also became quite obvious that this healthy little one was a boy. A tear slid down the corner of my eye. And I smiled. A boy!! Another sweet boy to join our other two. A round little cherub to be added to our family. A boy!! Perhaps it was not what I was expecting, but there was no disappointment in my heart or mind. And these were not tears of sadness... only tears of joy. A healthy little boy was given to us by God, and what an incredible gift it is. I smiled again.

When we were done, I smiled as I walked across the hospital for my Dr appt. I tried calling my husband, but received no answer. Finally, after a blood draw, stepping on the dreaded scale, and reading aimlessly in the waiting room, my phone rang.

The waiting room, though full, was quiet. My phone disturbed the silence and every face turned to look at mine. While it was news I wanted to first share with my husband, I had no choice but to share it with 15 bystanders as well. I quickly relayed to my husband his success in creating another man-child to join our clan. The smiles across the waiting room were contagious as everyone eagerly eavesdropped. But more than that, I could feel my husband smile through the phone. I sensed the excitement in his voice and the glint in his eye. "WOW!! A BOY!! THREE BOYS!!" We smiled at each other, despite the distance.

And I smiled most of my 2 hour drive home. Three boys! Wow is right!

Later at home that evening, after the roses had been arranged, and our children in bed, we pondered over what three boys meant and how our lives would change. What does a house with three little boys look like? And what about the grocery bill? the pictures? the activity level? Despite a few overwhelming thoughts, we smiled together. Rich payment are men's sons (Psalm 127).

I admit, that we also pondered the lack of pink dresses and doll houses in our home. But we didn't contemplate too long. The thought of 3 boys filled us with joy. Truly, our cups overflowed as we considered our children; the bonds they will share, the trouble they will get into, the mischievious grins and the leadership and loyalty they already exhibit. Oh how we love our boys!! While we do not know what the future holds, it is clear for now that we were meant to parent boys. And we smile at the thought.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Veteran's Day Parade

This year on Veteran's Day we went to watch the Veteran's Day Parade (one of those nice benefits of living in a military town). Not only was it a fun experience, but it was also a chance to teach our kids about the soldiers who gave (and give) their lives every day. I think it will be a fun family tradition to do every year.

We enjoy so many privileges and freedoms in the wonderful U.S.A, but more often than hearing the positive side of things, we hear complaints and disappointments. Yes, there are disappointments... and decisions that go against our Christian beliefs... and it is sickening to think about how far our country has fallen...

But today was another opportunity to remember the blessings and benefits we enjoy as Americans... to be thankful for the chance to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness... to teach our children a part of our American heritage... to remember that freedom isn't free... and to thank God for our soldiers, for our families, and for the sacrifices they've made.

Our first family tailgate party as we waited for the parade to start

Waving to the motorcycles

Enjoying some candy that was given to the kids

The Color Guard

Joshua and Isaiah clapping and cheering for the soldiers, fire trucks, and Army band as they passed by

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A salute to my soldier

For the truth you stand for
For the lives you've saved
For the battles you've fought
For the sacrifices you've made
For proudly wearing the uniform and standing up for what is good and right and true:
I love you.

For the times you held my hand
For the life you have given me
For the times you wiped my tears,
For the truth you made me see
For the day you gave me your heart, your love, your life and said, "I do"
I love you.

For all those times you loved me when I was so unlovable
For all the times you listened and encouraged
I love you.
For all those times you hugged me, when I was busy crying over milk that had spilled
I love you.

For the children you've given me, both on this earth and yet unborn
I love you.
For all these things and so many more
thank you, my dear husband, you are what I waited for.
Thank you for being all that you are and for doing all that you do
I love you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Dear little Joshua needs his naps. And what is more, he knows he needs his naps. In fact, he usually wants his naps. But today still surprised me...

After a busy morning (as Tuesdays always are for us, after getting the boys up, dressed and fed,we do a quick 30 minutes of exercise/stroller ride through the neighborhood, and then head straight to the commissary for our weekly groceries, and then on to the library in time for story hour and crafts, and then home again for lunch), Joshua was glad to get home and relax. We had a simple lunch and then I let the boys play while I finished unpacking groceries. Then I sat down at the computer for a few minutes. Joshua, who had already found his precious yellow blanket came up to me, and lay his head down on my lap.

I asked him, "Joshua are you ready for a nap?" "Uh huh" was his speedy reply.

Before I even stood up, he was already headed towards the stairs and towards his bedroom. If he could climb into his bed on his own, I'm sure he would have just gone to bed without waiting for me. Dear, sleepy little guy.

Joshua is so much like his Daddy. When Nick is tired, he needs a nap and doesn't function well until he's rested. Josh is the same way. He knows when he's tired, and instead of resisting naps (like Isaiah and I typically would), he instead comes to remind me to put him in his bed. I love him for that, for his honesty and openness (yes I really do think it's honesty!! So many kids would whine, "I'm not tired!!" when they are really exhausted and in need of a nap), and for his sweet cuddles and snuggles as I carry him to bed.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

New Shoes

Today I went shoe shopping for my two little cherubs and landed a great deal.

I found these cute "sports" Carter's shoes on the clearance rack for 50% off. What a steal!!! To make things even better, they had a pair in each of my kids sizes!! Yes!!

(Joshua proudly modeled the shoes for me)

Perhaps even better than finding a bargain, was the looks on my sons faces when we all discovered that these were the "cool" shoes that light up when you walk in them. The boys didn't know shoes could be so AMAZING. When we got home, the boys both put on their shoes and ran around. Literally. They ran around and around, stomping and jumping and dancing in these new fancy shoes. While they ran, skipped and hopped, they also tried desperately to look at their feet in order to see the lights flashing. I couldn't help but laugh a few times as I saw them be so absorbed in watching their shoes so as to not watch where they were going.
Despite the fact that it was quite amusing to see the boys bang into furniture and each other as they focused on their feet, I couldn't help but thing how analogous the situation was to our human natures and our Christian walk. Isn't that the way life is? We get so caught up and mesmerized by new things, new toys, new friends that we often lose sight of where we are headed? We take our eyes of the One who gives us these blessings, and instead become caught up in the blessings themselves? Food for thought.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Words of wisdom

My dear son, Isaiah, is full of words of wisdom. As a mom who likes to remember sweet little things, I'll share a few conversational tidbits so as not to forget these one liners.

----This morning at 6am, Isaiah bursts into our bedroom and says with delight and mischief, "Wake up, Fisherman Pig!!!" For those of you that are not familar with this line, it is from Richard Scarry's Busy Town book, where you see Fisherman Pig napping in a boat (when he is presumably supposed to be working, i.e. fishing).

----Around 10am, Isaiah comes up to me, and whispers, "Mom... I'm just crazy about you!!"

----Before lunch, I overhear a conversation between Isaiah and his younger brother, "Josh, our hearts must be changed before we can believe in Jesus and go to heaven." This of course brought a smile to my face, as it is a direct quote from the Children's Catechism that we work on every morning at breakfast.

----After dinner, Isaiah needed to go to the bathroom. On his way across the living room to the bathroom, he started strutting with a very manly swagger and informed us in a deep voice, "I'm a MAN!!"

----Later this evening, at bedtime, Isaiah was getting ready to pray. He said, "Mom, can I pray for the soldiers at Ft Hood in the 'mist' of this tragedy?" Earlier this afternoon, when we first heard about the shootings, Isaiah and I prayed for the safety and protection of the soldiers and families. Obviously it stuck with him.

This is not an exhaustive account, but just a few tidbits from our day. Priceless. I'm proud of my little boy.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A pregnancy update

It's been a while since I wrote about myself and the little one that grows inside of me. So here's a few updates.

I'm 16 weeks into the pregnancy now!! Wahoo!

The baby is growing and growing. I've been feeling my waistline "thickening" for a while, but the uterine growth is only just now becoming visible. I haven't had to pull out maternity clothes yet, but I don't think it will be long before I'm showing in earnest. :)

The boys are more and more aware of the fact that there is a baby inside of me too. Joshua likes to point at my abdomen and say "Bay-bee." And Isaiah is always praying "... and thank you for the baby that mommy has underneath of her stomach." He also frequently adds, "and thank you that daddy doesn't have a baby, and I don't have a baby, and Joshua doesn't have a baby. Because we're boys." You have to love 3 year olds. :)

I'm feeling the baby move more and more. It's still mostly quivering and fluttering (no distinct kicks) but it's exciting nonetheless. :)

I was "all day sick" during this pregnancy (I'm boycotting the term "morning sickness because it really doesn't seem to have anything to do with the mornings!!) with lots of nausea and queasiness, but I am past that phase and feeling really good now. I'm enjoying food again and cooking up a storm. I know my husband is glad!! :)

I have not really gained any weight yet, maybe a pound or two, but I'm sure that will be coming as my appetite increases. I always gain weight really easily during pregnancy, so the minimal weight gain is foreign to me---especially when I feel like I'm eating like a horse!! But maybe this will just be the pregnancy of all pregnancy's and I'll be one of those annoying skinny people the day after I give birth. ;) I can dream, can't I?

Nick is rooting for another boy, and I'm excited at that prospect as well. But having a girl would be pretty exciting too. I'm thrilled either way. I love babies!! I also love the fact that the baby's gender is not up to us, and that we get to be surprised and amazed by the Lord's sovereign plan. What fun anticipation!!

Overall, this seems to be a very different pregnancy from my last two. Although my previous two pregnancy's were a lot different from each other as well. With a big change of location, climate, elevation and # of children I'm chasing around, I'm sure these things are contributing to the differences. Either that, or this baby is a girl. ;)

A subject of some concern is a "glitch" in the health care out here and the challenge of living in a small town, with only small towns around. Because this baby will be born (Lord willing) as another VBAC, it looks like I will be delivering at a hospital 2 hours away from our home. I meet with the OB/GYN next week (at this very distant location) to discuss the details. The thoughts of driving 2 hours for appts, as well as a lengthy drive when I'm in labor are quite daunting. But we know that the Lord is in control and that He knows best. Again, a wonderful lesson in trusting God's sovereign plan.

I think that covers it for now!

Monday, October 26, 2009


It doesn't seem that impressive until you add the word "miles"

Yes, 26.2 miles. A marathon.

And now my husband has run two of these 26.2 mile races just this year. His first marathon was in Iraq of all locations. During Nick's second deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, he was able to participate in a Boston Marathon sponsored race for soldiers. In Iraq. That last part still amazes me.

His second marathon was much closer to home. It took place in Kansas City, MO. Obviously, the race was much different from the first in location, conditions, and climate-- but they still both involved a grueling 26.2 miles.

The best part of the run (for me anyway!!) was there at the finish line. I stood waiting for my husband to come running across. Perhaps you will think it silly, but I stood there with tears in my eyes. I couldn't help it. For a military wife who has been through so much waiting and anticipation, all the same emotions of pride, joy, and amazement came flooding in. Of course a marathon isn't the same as a 15 month deployment, but I felt every bit as proud of my husband at that moment. He had trained hard. He had worked hard. And now had reached the culmination of all the months of effort-- he had finished the big race and had finished well. I'm so glad that we were there to greet him at the end!

The boys were proud too. And they seized the opportunity to congratulate daddy as soon as he got down to stretch. Too cute. :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

All terrain vehicles

My boys love TRUCKS.
They love playing trucks.
They love making truck sounds.
They love reading truck books.

This morning the boys and I read one of our truck books. The book has a plethora of pictures and information about almost every kind of 4 wheeled vehicle imaginable. The book was progressing along nicely until we got to the Farm Vehicle page. On it there was a picture of an all terrain vehicle. For fear of overwhelming the boys with the long name (and in truth to make reading this book a bit easier on myself), I abbreviated all-terrain-vehicle to ATV.

However, as is frequently the case when I try to outsmart the boys, I was quickly corrected by my 3 year old. "Mom, I think thats really an all terrain vehicle."

No more short cuts here. At least when it comes to something with 4 wheels.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Learning curve

Almost every afternoon I do preschool with Isaiah. Mostly it's simple things like shapes, comparisons, and colors. But the other day, we worked at the alphabet. Isaiah is very good at recognizing letters and names most of them quite well. Seeing that he already had the hang of memorizing letters, I started teaching him the sounds the letters make. So I would say cheesy things like, "A is for a-a-a-a-apple" and "D is for duh-duh-duh-duh-dog" and make the sounds. Isaiah seemed to think this was great and was happy to repeat the sounds with me.

Meanwhile, Joshua is in the phase of his language development that he can repeat (or try to repeat!!) different words. It's so cute to see what he comes up. "More, please" is "Moo-are, eeze." Some days he does better than others, but he really loves to talk and copy. So throughout the day, I prompt Joshua, "Say, bye-bye" "Say, Thank-you" etc. Isaiah frequently helps me teach Josh and is always asking Joshua to repeat things too.

Now, remembering that Isaiah has "learned" the sounds letters make and also loves teaching Josh, I overheard this "instructional lesson" this morning:

Isaiah: "Joshua, can you say, Bubble?"
Joshua: "Buh-bull"
Isaiah: "Good, Josh! Can you say, Trucks?"
Joshua: "Trux"
Clearly satisfied with Joshua's skills, Isaiah tries to take it up a notch.
Isaiah: "Joshua, can you say buh-buh-buh-buh-orange?"

I cracked up. :) Oh well. I guess Isaiah likes saying the sounds, but doesn't get that the sound is supposed to be the first part of the word!! Hopefully he'll figure it out before Joshua starts thinking that "orange" starts with a "B" sound.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fire trucks

For Fire Safety Week, the local fire department on post had an open house. They welcomed kids of all ages to come look in, climb on, and check out the fire house and fire trucks. Knowing how much our boys love TRUCKS, we put it on the calendar.

Just touching a fire truck gave the boys thrills

The boys had a marvelous time. I think they would have stayed all day if we'd let them. They started by exploring all the fire trucks. Then they spent some time meeting fire men and asking important questions like "Can you turn on the lights?" "Are you going to go to an 'mergency'?" and making statements like "Fire is hot" and "I'm not going to drive it"

Our little fire fighter

Not so sure about driving with this hat on

After seeing the fire trucks outside, we headed into the fire house and saw things like a fire man racing to put on his gear before leaving for an emergency, a "smoke house" that taught kids how to get out of their house if there was a fire (Isaiah loved this part because he got to climb down a ladder at the end). They also had arts and crafts set up, a robot fire hydrant, and Spotty the Fire Dog shaking people's hands. What a fun day!


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