Sunday, December 27, 2009

To the Birthday Girl:

To my baby girl:

I know you argue that you are not my baby anymore. But, I have to tell you, you will always be my baby girl. When I got pregnant with your brother, I tried to stop calling you that so you would get used to the idea of having another in the house. I couldn't do it. You are my baby girl. The one who made me a mother. You rocked my world. Your presence has brought a joy and purpose to my life like nothing else.

In this fourth year of your life you have really become your own personality. You are a unique blend of your mommy and your daddy- with a touch of your Aunt Brandy for sure. You became a big sister this year. It suits you really well. Your brother loves you and smiles and laughs each time he sees you. Sometimes when he cries you sing to him and it makes him smile. I love watching you be his big sister and I can't wait to watch your relationship grow as he gets bigger. I suspect there are some beatings in your future, but I think that little boy is going to have a fierce love for you. You love to help with him and often you can calm him down when he is upset. On days when I feel down on my mothering, I hear you speak to your brother in a tone that I recognize as my own, and I recognize that the Lord's grace is big enough to cover my mistakes.
You also started school this year. You have learned so incredibly quickly. You learned all your letters and some of their sounds in just a couple months. You know your numbers and even some basic addition. But, more importantly than that, you love people. Last night I watched you walk right up to some ladies in a nursing facility and bring smiles to their faces with your smile and a quick conversation. You have a compassion for people who seem different and I hope that never changes. You have a fashion sense all your own. I see that confidence in so many areas of your life. Stay strong in your convictions, Baby. Whether it is the clothes you wear or some other choice, stick to those convictions. They will serve you well in this life.
This year has been challenging for sure. There have been many changes in your life. You are taking it in stride. There have been some bumps along the way. But, you are secure enough to handle it and I hope you keep that confidence. Keep growing in the Lord. Keep practicing those memory verses. That knowledge will save your life. Our God is bigger than all the difficulties this world has to offer. I pray that you grow up and believe that with all of your heart. I love you with everything in me. Jesus loves you even more.

Happy 4th Birthday, Alivia!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
Enjoy the magic of the season that is the unconditional love offered by the birth of that baby in the manger so many years ago.
Hug your family tight and make many memories to take into the new year.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ornament Exchange

I hope you all have been receiving and enjoying your ornaments. I received mine and I just love it! Thanks, Christine! If you have not received your ornament by tomorrow and have not received an email that it is on it's way, let us know. I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas! Thank you so much for joining us in one of our favorite holiday traditions...ornaments!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Holiday Recipe Exchange

The sisters are having a recipe exchange over at What's For Dinner? Jump on over to check out some yummy recipes and dig out your recipes to share.

This is one of the easiest recipes by far. This is, of course, why i chose to share it first. Because I am lazy. That and the children don't actually like to let me sit down...

Peppermint Bark

4 candy canes
White Chocolate Chips or that white substance that I can't currently remember the name of... You know the stuff, it's in the baking aisle with all the bakers chocolate and such. But, DO NOT buy bakers chocolate...that stuff is nasty by itself.

Now that we have cleared that up...

Put broken candy canes into a baggie and smash them up with a rolling pin or something of the sort.
Melt the white stuff over a low heat. Stir until smooth.
Pour onto a buttered cookie sheet and top with crushed candy canes.
Refrigerate until hardened
Pull off sheet with a spatula
Break into pieces
Enjoy with some hot chocolate or diet soda. Whatever you like...


Monday, December 7, 2009

Girls and Boys

This is a conversation that Alivia had with her 5 year old boy cousin today.

Alivia: Do you want to play home?

G: No.

Alivia: Do you want to play house?

G: No.

Alivia: Do you want to play babies?

G: No.

G: Do you want to play killing?

It is amazing to me the innate sense of gender roles that children possess. These 2 children love to play both Star Wars and house together. They play Transformers and Kitchen.

(And for anyone who is concerned...G went on to explain that the killing game he meant was like shooting in Star Wars.)


Tids and Bits

I know I have been absent from this here blog for a while. Partly, it's because I don't have internet access and it is difficult to get on other people's computers and sit down and compose. Especially since I seem to mostly get inspired in the middle of the night. That would be awkward...knock, knock. "I know you and your family are sleeping, but I was inspired to write some mediocre posts for my blog. Do you mind if I come in?" Even I am not that socially awkward...
There are lots of other reasons I have been absent, but I won't bore you with the details.

Here are some things I am thankful for as we go into this most blessed season:

Friends who will be there anywhere, anytime. Friends who allow me to talk or not talk when I need it.

My mom took my daughter to the Polar Express. I can't wait to hear all about their adventures!

So many people have come along side us and offered to help with our kids gifts this year. Far too generous, really. My dad and stepmom took our kids out shopping to buy Mommy and Daddy gifts. How thoughtful!

Christmas decorations! I love decorating for the holidays. It gets me in the spirit. Putting up the tree is probably the best for me. I love to wax sentimental about each and every ornament. Every one is special to me in some way.

Apparently my daughter has my innate love of Christmas tree ornaments. She has been taking one off the tree each day and putting it in her purse. She takes it to school to show her friends. She also likes to "decorate" other parts of the house and it isn't uncommon to find ornaments hanging from tables or dresser knobs or some other random location. When she discovers I have moved it back, she says in a really exasperated voice, "Mom, I was decorating for Christmas. That makes it pretty for Jesus." I can't really argue with that, so don't mind my randomly placed decor the next time you stopped by. I am more interested in cultivating my daughter's love of our Savior than I am in a house decorated "just so".

And the number one thing I am thankful for this season is a renewed hope at a time when it seemed hope was a long shot.

Thank you Lord for all the blessings in my life!


Friday, December 4, 2009

The Big Ten

10 years ago today, I stood next to Chris and pledged a covenant with our Lord. I committed that "your people will be my people, and your God will be my God." Today, I still mean those words to the core of who I am.

In honor of Chris, and in praise to the God who brought us together ~ 10 things I love about my man.

10. You are not afraid to admit when you have lead incorrectly. It makes me want to follow you more.

9. You are, without a doubt, one of the most committed people to providing for your family that I know.

8. You learn about what people are interested in, just so you have something to talk about with them. I love that you want to know what gets people going. What a great relational quality.

7. Your diet soda addiction. Sure, it may take you out 20 + years earlier than you would die, but at least I won't have to embalm you.

6. Your fake laugh. And the fact that I can identify it.

5. Your heart for teens.

4. The way you parent Addie and Brody. You don't just love them, you like them a whole lot, too. Nothing makes you more attractive.

3. You are a dreamer. And you do not let time diminish your dreams. I adore that about you.

2. You are quick to forgive me, and are very merciful.

1. Your commitment to the Lord, me, our family, ministry, and Star Wars.

I love you, babe. Here's to many more adventures!