Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Smiling

(Noah, 4 months)

How can you keep from smiling when you see this little face?



I know I can't.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mowing

Lately my chore has been to do THIS:




And if you'll notice, that is a "power" mower... as in "use every bit of power in you" to mow the lawn. This is not one of those gas powered, horse powered, motorized lawn mowers, this is "by the sweat of my brow" lawn mowing!! This is, in fact, reel lawn mowing.
Let me tell you, its not for the faint at heart. While it may look easy, don't judge until you've given it a try. And... I better add, until you've given it a try on our 1/2 acre lot where the grass grows green and THICK. (this does not compare to Arizona or Colorado grass)
But before you think I'm complaining, I actually have to beg my husband to let me mow the lawn these days.
Crazy as it sounds, I love mowing the lawn. I like the exercise and the sense of accomplishment. I love the smell of fresh cut grass. I love working hard and the taste of ice cold lemonade when I'm all done.
I also love helping my hubby out. Nick is so busy right now (he's the Commander for a new company) that keeping up with yard work is extra hard to squeeze into his overflowing schedule. What a practical and relatively simple way to show him my love!
Okay. So its not quite that selfless-- I love doing it and... if I'm honest, I'd rather mow the lawn myself, than share Nick with the lawn mower... or do I mean the lawnmower with Nick?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cute to the core

Yesterday, I got all three boys in the bath.


Together.


I'm not quite sure how I managed it without getting soaked myself. But the older boys actually thought it was quite fun to have the baby in the bath with them.

And it was quite fun. Noah (4 mos) kicked and splashed in glee, while Isaiah(3yrs) and Joshua (2yrs) shouted, "He's swimming!!"

A photo op wasn't quite working while in the bath (bathing 3 boys three years and under requires both hands, even if your middle name is Supermom), so I made up for it afterwards and took these "cute to the core" pictures of the boys in their undies.


Now that's a super model pose, if I ever saw one!




Oh, the fat rolls on this "little" guy!






Don't you just love these poses? He looks so wistful!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Minute Maid Commercial


We enjoyed a lovely day at the local "Splash Pad." --one of those new fangled "spray parks" for kids, where all the play equipment is actually water equipment and you are ALLOWED to get soaked and mom doesn't even mind.


It was the perfect place to run off some energy without mom having to feel anxious about keeping 3 little boys afloat in a "real" pool. How does anyone do that, by the way?

The boys enjoyed these lovely juice boxes while we were there. After we got home, I couldn't help but notice, as I browsed through the pictures, that the boys hands were perfectly poised around the juice boxes so as to reveal the "100% Juice" each time I snapped a picture. How's that for free advertising??







And boy did that slightly frozen refreshing drink of 100% juice taste good!!


Perfect for little boys on a hot sunny day in the South.






While I'm advertising for Minute Maid, I might as well mention that I do so love their raspberry lemonade--full of high fructose corn syrup and the like, but still SO good, especially with fresh raspberries thrown in the bottom and a touch of club soda for a little bit of a kick. It's also terribly good with a shot of vodka and a squeeze of lime...but that's only for after the kids who-like-to-drink-out-of-my-glass are in bed for the night.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sneezes

Does anyone else think its funny when your 2 year old sneezes and then promptly exclaims, "Bless ME!!"

This happens frequently in our house and each time it cracks me up. I guess it is a good sign of language progression though. :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Glue



Noah (4 months) is always talking these days. It is so sweet to hear him babble and squeal. I just love the baby noises and love to think of what Noah is really trying to "say." Apparently, Isaiah (3 yrs) does too.



The other day, while I'm working busily in the kitchen, Isaiah runs in and announces, "Mom! I think I need some glue!!"

Confused, I respond, "What??"


Isaiah explains further, "MOM, I really think I need some glue! Noah keeps yelling 'Glue-gluck! Glue gluey!' and I think he really means it!"
Ahhh!! Good thing Isaiah came to ask!! I'm so glad that I store the glue out of reach from all 3 boys... but I need to keep things like this in mind as Noah starts to "talk" more and the older two boys run to do his bidding. :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Needs and wants

Today I'm wondering...


Why do I spend a majority of my time doing the things I need to do... instead of doing the things I like to do?


And more than that, why don't I long to do the things I need to do... instead of longing that they'd just be DONE ALREADY?!?!?!


In one sense, I know the answer. I do the things that need doing because that's what needs to be done!! (say that 3 times fast!) The laundry, the yard work, the cooking, the spanking... it all needs to be done... and more so, it's part of my job description!


And, of course, there are many many many things that I love about my job--like the satisfaction of completing a project, the snuggles of my sons as we sit and read books, the contentment and happiness in a clean house and a well-cooked (dare I add, "gourmet"?) meal.


But still, at times I struggle! Why don't I desire the things I should? Why is it a constant act of self denial to unload the dishwasher? I know that God has called me to do all things as unto Him, to serve others, to love my husband, to train my children... but... do I NEED to desire to scrub toilets in order to bring Him glory?


Sigh.


I suppose... I really do know the answer, as you probably do to, I'm just trying to avoid it, trying to pretend that its okay if I complain or begrudge or resent just a few household responsibilities. After all, I don't complain that often, and more importantly the job is getting done!!


Whoops! Does anyone else hear that? The "did God really say?" in that last paragraph? Yes. God really said. He really did command me and He really did create me to bring Him glory!!



Lord, give me strength and courage to wage war against my flesh; to live for you and not myself.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Happy Birthday, Grandma

Today is my Mom's birthday. I'll not say which birthday just in case the birthday girl wouldn't want that information out to all of blogdom. But... for the record, my mom is not old.


My mom is, however, a wonderful mom and has years of experience under her belt. I've learned a lot from her, and hope to keep learning. My mom has taught me a lot of things during my life, here's a few tidbits:



  • She taught me to crochet (yes!! I can crochet!! Someday you will all see proof!)
  • She taught me to bargain hunt (oh, yeah!! Back in the day this was something I hated, and was so embarrassed about, but now... wow!! The skills I've learned from her in this regard have blessed my family, my budget and my oh so money conscious husband time and time again).
  • She taught me to read and bestowed on me a love for books. And to this day, and till the day I die, I think I'll always love to read
  • She taught me how to "make a lot, out of a little"-- another one of those blessings of growing up in a big family. If there is anyone who can decorate a room, make a meal, or take professional pictures WITHOUT a lot to work with, it's my mom.
  • She taught me to keep smiling---my mom is always so cheerful and upbeat, and taught me to do the same.


As most of you know, my mom and I live on opposite sides of the country now, so sending birthday greetings is a little more challenging than it used to be. I can't even call her when I wake up in the morning because of the 3 hour time difference.

Yes, that would be one of the birthday phone calls you DON'T like to receive.


So anyway, knowing that my mom is very creative and crafty, I opted to exercise some of my own creativity and send my greetings via the grandsons. (score!!) During "school" last week, the boys and I cut, glued, and colored birthday cards for grandma. The cards may not be "Hallmark" quality, but they were made with love!!


And then I took this very clever video, and figured out how to post it on my blog. Go Kath!!






video

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Paratrooper

This morning the boys and I had the honor of coming to watch Nick's first jump with his (airborne) unit. He just finished Airborne school last week, so it was a great stroke of providence that he was able to do a jump so soon after the schooling. (He did 5 jumps at school, so this was not his "first" jump, just his first jump with his own unit since graduating with his wings)



I am SO glad that we were able to see Nick in action. It was truly breathtaking to see it all happen. I can't express how proud I am of my husband! He is simply amazing.

The soldiers ready to board the plane and make the first fly over



The plane flew off, turned around, and then came back to make the first pass. It was so amazing and exhilarating (and scary!!) to see the first soldier jump.



The boys were awe struck when the saw the soldiers leap out of the plane. We all started screaming and cheering when we saw the first parachute open. Wow!!




Nick is somewhere in the middle

Nick after a safe jump and landing

Proud family picture with our paratrooper! Yay Nick! We are so proud of you!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

J.C.

At church on Sunday we met a sweet 7 year old boy.

He said hi and asked the boys what their names were. After Isaiah (3 years) and Joshua (2 years) announced their names, I prompted them to ask the little boy his name too.

Joshua asked, "What's your name?"

The boy replied, "My name is J.C."

Puzzled for only a moment, Joshua replied with a HUGE smile on his face, "OHhhhh!!! I got my sandals from J.C. Penney!!" And then looked up at our new friend with obvious admiration.

I can just imagine his thoughts, "Wow!! He must be the one who made my sandals!!"

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

4 months!

The 4 month check-up revealed the truth: We have HUGE babies.
Noah is off the growth charts, in true family form.

He weighed in at 19lbs 7 oz and 26 1/2 inches long at 4 months of age!








(he started laughing when I took the picture!)







Like his brother's before him, Noah is a MOOSE!! He has the chubbiest little legs and the roundest cheeks. He also couldn't be a better baby. Noah is so happy and content. He is always smiling and laughing. Noah adores his older brothers, and his face lights up whenever Mom or Dad is anywhere near. He sleeps well at night (except for this week after having a chest cold). Noah is such a precious child!! Praise the Lord for 3 wonderful sons!



Oh, and as the picture attests, his is obsessed with his tongue right now. He sticks it out whenever I get the camera and is frequently caught "tasting" the air.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Eggs

During an educational session at the breakfast table, I started quizzing the boys about where different foods come from.

"Where did the milk come from?," I ask.
"Cows!!," they yell.

Where did the juice come from? I ask.
"Oranges!!" they say.

"Where did the eggs come from?," I ask.
Before Isaiah could say anything Joshua shouts, "Eggshells!!"

Friday, August 6, 2010

Angels Unaware

As many of you know, during the past 2 weeks we had the opportunity to open our home to...well... strangers!

Not strangers in the broader sense, as these were friends, of friends, of friends (my parents friends children/grandchildren); but strangers in the sense that we did not know them or know anything of them. What we did know is that they were reformed believers and they were traveling out here to welcome their son home from Iraq.

We do so love to be hospitable; to open our home to friends, family, and those in need. So without too much thought on the matter, we quickly extended the invitation to stay with us.
Despite the gut feeling that this was the right thing to do, it still took some courage to invite strangers to live with us, especially while my husband was away. Looking back, I smile when I think of how much courage it must have taken on their part too--to send the email or make the phone call and say, "can you help us?" (Wow!!)
It was only after they moved out yesterday that I re-discovered the verse, Heb 13:2
"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."
I don't know if they were angels, but sometimes they certainly seemed that way!! This family was very kind and helpful and provided not only a great distraction while Nick was gone, but also wonderful conversations, assistance with house chores, and free babysitting, to name a few. It was wonderful to see how the Lord worked in the situation, allowing us to bless and help each other.
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As I reflect on the last few weeks and thank the Lord for his blessings, I also meditate on the above verse and remember that being hospitable is not just something that Nick and I like to do, it is something that we are commanded to do in Scripture. I Peter 4:9:
"Be hospitable to one another without complaint."
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So...doesn't this make you contemplate true hospitality? Am I really hospitable? Do I do it as unto the Lord? Do I open my door only when it is convenient or personally worthwhile? Am I happy or begrudging to share my home, my food, my life?
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Matthew 25-35-40
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Car wash

Yesterday, the boys and I washed our ultra cool minivan (a.k.a. the swagger wagon).


And while it did get clean, I'm still not sure how quietly washing the car like this:






led so rapidly to this:
or this:


But... I do know that it made me laugh harder than I've laughed in a long time. Boys WILL be boys! There is no doubt about it!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Scales

5 days till Nick comes home (I'm so excited!!)

and

5 more lbs to lose before he gets here. While I haven't been quite successful in losing the full ten pound goal, I'm halfway!! And that is wonderful!! I sure made a valiant effort too. Aside from the package of Oreo's that I devoured.


Oh, and the coffee cake (from Costco!) that's been staring me down all day.



My moments of weakness aside, I did exercise nearly every day, usually for about 45 minutes. I used a great Tae Bo work out series with resistance bands and can literally see the difference. I also breastfed my infant (burns 500 calories/day--isn't that awesome?? A mercy from the Lord in providing a natural post-pregnancy way to lose weight) and chased two little boys around for hours on end (200 calories/hour). With all that calorie burning, it seems like I should have lost 20lbs by now. But... weight loss couldn't be THAT easy, now could it?


But this whole challenge of mine got me thinking. How does one decide their "target" weight? Is it just a number that I like? A number I'm not ashamed of? A number that I like to see when I step on the scale?


Sometimes, I'm convinced that scales should be thrown away, and that I should judge my weight by asking myself a few questions and demanding a truthful answer.


Do I honor God with my life? Do I eat and drink to His glory?


Ah yes, a little soul searching may be more beneficial in assessing true health than all the scales in the world. And so I wonder...

if I can answer those questions appropriately and then be weighed in the balances, would I be found wanting?

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