Friday, January 30, 2009

Bathing beauty's

Bathtime is always so much fun, especially now that Joshua can sit safely on his own in the bath (without mommy having to hold him). Both boys enjoy playing and splashing an incredible amount! It seems they never get tired of pouring water from one cup to another, or pushing Noah's Ark around in the tub. For little ones who are just beginning to explore the world, what an exciting and amazing thing water must be!!
I am frequently telling Isaiah, who is memorizing the Childrens Catechism, that God made ALL THINGS. I like to point out to him, when he is having a blast running around in the yard, or splashing in a bath tub of warm water, that God made these things. God made them all by the word of His power, in the space of six days, and it was all very good. I love to see the looks of joy and excitement on his face when he tells Joshua, "God made dat, Josh." Isaiah is also learning to thank God for all the wonderful things He has made. I will sometimes here Isaiah pause and say "Thank you, God, for my toys." It almost brings tears to my eyes even now, to see and hear his thankful heart. I'm so thankful for their tender hearts and the delight they find in the little things, whether it be a warm bath, a tool bench, or a pretzel.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Boys being boys

A good friend of mine offered to watch the boys for me so I could get some time to myself. So in my new found freedom, I went thrift store shopping! :) Always the bargain hunter. :) The great thing is, that I went in and out of 5 or 6 shops in the space of 2 hours. I would probably have done one or two stores, before having to call it quits with the boys-- so this was a real treat to be able to run in and hunt for things without two little boys in tow. :)
I really lucked out on the bargains, and the boys did too, as you can see. I found a bookshelf for the family room for my piano music and our childrens books. I also found one of those great Lego brand tables, with a lego platform for building on. It has weighted legs so that its hard to tip over. And last but not least, the amazing tool bench pictured above. All for under $50 total!!! It was great! The boys couldn't help but have looks of amazement and excitement on their faces when we carried the new toys into the house. Isaiah was so excited when we filled up his tool bench with the tools he already has, and showed him how to hammer in the bolts. Joshua quickly joined the team, and the two have them have been hard at work ever since.
Today, Isaiah has come running up to me multiple times yelling, "I fixed it!" "That was easy!" and other such manly talk when you're completing household projects. :) I tell Isaiah that he is just like Daddy, and a real helper around the house.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Feeling nostalgic

I've been looking through old pictures to put on the wall in our bedroom, and thought I would share a few of them with you all. When I look back, its hard to believe we've been married for 4 1/2 years, and even harder to believe that we pulled this wedding together in less than 2 weeks! Wow!
I'll never forget all the details that fell into place. For those of you that were involved, thank you again for the work that you did!
Nick had been stationed in South Korea, and had just received deployment orders to Iraq. We had initially been told that they would not give the soldiers leave to visit their families. This changed, and Nick was given 2 weeks of vacation to come home. We had been engaged for 9 months at this point, with the wedding plans in the works for a January (not June) wedding. As soon as we got the go ahead from my parents that we could do the wedding before Nick deployed-- we hit the ground running. We quickly decided on a date, June 4th based on my schooling, as I was in my senior year of college, with final exams, presentations and projects all due the week before and week of the wedding. I would graduate from college the Friday after we got married.
Once the date was in place, it was amazing how people pitched in and all the details of the wedding came together. We quickly found a gorgeous church to rent with availability in JUNE with less than 2 weeks notice (unheard of!!) My sister, Jen, knew people who ran a catering business, so we got the food lined up right away. Jen also knew some very musically talented people and in a few hours we had a trumpeter (for the grand entry of the bride) a pianist (for background and ceremony music), and two talented vocalists (who sang during the wedding). We had several family members and friends who were photographers, and offered their services. My mom and her close friend set to work in overtime to finish sewing my wedding dress (my mom is a very talented seamstress!). We bought bridesmaid dresses off the rack at a bridal store, and they conveniently had everyones size so there was no waiting or ordering or anything. The guys got all their tux measurements in to Men's Wearhouse from their prospective locations and all the tuxes arrived in WA at the appropriate time as well. Nick flew in from South Korea just in time for us to purchase the marriage license, that required a 3 day wait before it became valid. One of my fellow nursing classmates' mother owns a gourmet bakery and offered to provide the wedding cake. Family members flew in from across the country for the event. All of our immediate family members were able to be there for the wedding, and many of our extended family as well. One of my aunts flew in early to help with planning and decorating. Another aunt took on the role of wedding planner and helped pull all the details together. Costco provided all the wedding flowers/roses. Friends and family spent hours putting bouquets, corsages, and boutineers together. My college professors allowed me to take all my final exams early so that after the wedding we could leave on a week long honeymoon before flying home for my college graduation. My classmates threw me a bridal shower. Nick planned our honeymoon while still overseas...
It was truly amazing how all the details came together. Of course it was a stressful time, but when I look back on it, I don't think of the stress, I think of how God provided so wonderfully for his children. He brought Nick and I together, gave us an amazing family, an stunning wedding, and time alone together before he left for Iraq. Its neat to see the Lord's hand so obviously in ones life, as the details and plans fell into place in such a short time.
We are so glad that we got married! I remember people asking, "Was it really worth it? Looking back would you rather have waited till Nick came home?" And the answer is always that we would have done it again, if given the choice. Aside from the fact that we didn't know how long Nick would be gone, or even if he would make it home, Nick and I had been through so much, we had been tested and tried. We'd had had a long courtship (almost 6 years) and had loved each other for so many years. We wanted to be married, to be able to join our hearts and lives before God and man. We had spent so many years holding back, restraining our thoughts, our words, our bodies, and our hearts--- and had been patiently waiting for the moment when we could share our lives completely, not just as friends but as husband and wife.
God blessed our marriage from the start. It was hard for sure, as Nick was gone for the first year, but we came out of the fire, purified and strong. Nick and I were able to connect and relate on so many levels, and were able to truly open our hearts and minds to each other, and struggle through the challenges together. God used that time apart to strengthen and test, and grow us in our relationship to Him. We learned on a even deeper level what trusting the Lord means. We understood the longing that Christ has to be united with his bride the Church. God bound us together, closer to Him and closer to one another.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Playing the piano: the aftermath

Here are my beautiful boys playing on my beautiful piano. From the angelic looks on their faces, you would never have guessed the busy and chaotic activities that occured just moments before.

1) Isaiah is potty training, hence the very cute blue underwear. Isaiah loves wearing his big boy underwear, but going to the potty, not so much. Isaiah, who had been accident free all morning, went upstairs and hid while I was talking to Daddy on the phone. Never a good thing. Although I had been keeping a close eye on him all morning, I got distracted and the inevitable happened!

2) Isaiah wet his pants all over the upstairs bathroom floor. While this always distressing, the nice thing about it is that there is tile floor in the bathroom which makes clean-up a bit easier.

3) Joshua can now climb the stairs faster than you can blink your eyes. Well, almost that fast. So in the seconds that I was distracted while talking to Daddy, not only did Isaiah make a mess on the floor in the bathroom, but Joshua also climbed the stairs to see what was going on.

4) Joshua, seeing a fun looking puddle on the floor, crawls right to it, and right through it. Of course, puddles are slippery, so Joshua slipped mid crawl, face first into the enormous puddle on the bathroom floor.

5) I arrive at the top of the stairs to see both boys soaked and needing complete linen changes. Sigh. I begin to start undressing the boys, and mopping the floor. I leave them in their underwear/diaper to finish talking with Daddy.

6) I finish the phone call with Daddy. I take these lovely pictures. I go upstairs to get the other laundry so that I can run a load of wet clothes. I come downstairs and apply dishsoap to a grease spot on a shirt (I'd been meaning to do this when I did laundry next, as dishsoap works amazingly well, even on dried in grease like this particular shirt). I head to the laundry room to run through the load.

7) I come out of the laundry room, to discover that I had left the dishsoap on the kitchen table and Isaiah had now discovered it. Although it had taken me only a few seconds (or at least it seemed this way) to run through the load, Isaiah had already climbed up onto his chair and squirted dishsoap all over the table.

8) Apparently I had been gone long enough for Isaiah to not only squirt dishsoap everywhere, but also play in it and rub it all over himself. Sigh.

9) The phone rings, I answer it. As I'm talking I bring Isaiah into the bathroom to wash his hands and chest. I get distracted on the phone. Isaiah begins smearing soap onto the bathroom cabinets and Joshua (who has now followed us into the bathroom).

10) Bathtime! Who gives their kids a bath in the middle of the day? I do, thats who. The good news is that I LOVE my boys. I LOVE their messes. I LOVE their curiousity. And I know that I will LOVE reading this story in their scrapbooks years from now. But right now... arg!!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Playing in the snow

Isaiah on his way to discovering a new world

Isaiah peering into this cool looking thing

Hmmm... I wonder what this could be??

Why, its a snow fort, perfect for someone about my size!

I think I'll just relax in here for awhile

Friday, January 2, 2009

Christmas at Nana & Papa's

Isaiah opening his stocking and discovering a Buzz Lightyear Pez Machine

Joshua enjoying Isaiah's super bouncy ball. Yum!

Isaiah sharing his puzzle with Josh (which Joshua in turn is attempting to eat)

Joshua is clearly delighted with his new blocks from Aunt Megan

Isaiah testing out his new workmans helmet

Isaiah multitasking (eating licorice and wearing a helmet)

Isaiah, enjoying his toys amidst the chaos

Road trip

For Christmas this year we headed off to Nana and Papa's on a long road trip. Long is a relative term. A term I use to describe a length of time that is greater than what my two little boys can endure without difficulty. Like a long wait in the check out line, or a long sermon, or in this case a long car ride.

Its funny that I preface this story with that description, because really and truly this long road trip went incredibly well. We had 831 miles to cover between our house and theirs, and the goal was to do it all in one day.

Being a goal oriented person, I was quite determined to complete the trip in one day To break it up into 2 days would seem to prolong the agony so to speak.
So... the plan was to leave at 0600 with the hope that the boys would sleep for the first few hours of the drive. I made sure to load the car, get gas, and have everything ready so that in the morning, all we needed to do was get the boys out of bed, and buckle them into the car. No getting them dressed or feeding them breakfast, they were just supposed to make their carseats a new bed and SLEEP!!
Of course, the boys had other plans. Isaiah always knows when something is up, when I wake him up early and put him in the car in his jammies. Sometimes it means going to a friends house, and other times it means a doctors appt before the office gets busy. Either way, he somehow knows that getting up early means something "exciting" is happening. So, before the sun was even up, Hannah (my trusty sister-in-law who flew in to help me on this road trip) and I listened to a two year olds verbal train of thought and questions:
1) Road trip to Nana, Papa's?
2) Don't crash, Mommy.
3) Trucks, trucks, trucks on the long long road (this is the title of a library book that we read often)
4) Hannah coming with us?
5) Woooooh!!! (when Mommy turns the corner)
6) "Uh oh, I dropped it"

Isaiah was content to play toys and read books, eat snacks and occasionally play at a McDonalds PlayLand. Both he and Joshua were amazingly content to sit and watch the trucks go by. There were of course, some tense moments, especially on the way back home, about 40 minutes from reaching the house, both boys lost it completely, and just cried, and cried, and cried. Hannah and I were about ready to join them, and I think that we both thought about stopping at a hotel for the night even though we only had 45 miles to go.
All in all it was a great trip. I think the fact that Hannah and I are still friends after 16 hours in the car together, is proof that it went really well. :) In fact, I believe that Hannah and I are better friends, kindred spirits, and much more patient people than before the trip...


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