Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Checking In...

Hey everyone...Late Tuesday night here, and I'm just checking in! We arrived at the beach around midnight last night, excited and exhausted all at once! This morning we officially started our vacation, and we had an AWESOME day!

The kids LOVED the beach...we played in the sand and got our feet wet in the cold water. It was pretty warm, but also pretty windy. We played and ran and dug...Jon and his dad found a couple crabs...there'll be a story about that later...stay tuned!

After lunch, the kids watched a movie, then we went out to fly kites. After dinner, we had a family birthday party for Lawson. (His birthday is Sunday.) He LOVED it!!!

After his party w/cake and icecream and his new RollerBlades, Jon took him swimming in the heated pool!

Baths, snacks, kisses and last drinks...and I think they are finally asleep...Exhausted from such a FUN family day!

I warn you...when I get home (maybe before if I have time) there WILL be pictures!!!!

I hope you all have a great week... :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Before we ever left for our Thanksgiving trip, I told Lawson that when we got back we would put up our Christmas decorations. They have been very "into" decorations lately, ever since we got out our Halloween and Fall stuff. I told him it would be time to put up our Scarecrows and pumpkins and get out our Snowmen and Santa Claus-es. The whole time we were gone, he kept asking me about it and reminding me...as if he was so afraid I would forget.
When we got home Sunday at 5, he immediately asked Jon to get our stuff down. So, we did!!! We spent 3 hours going through our decorations and ornaments and stockings and Santa hats and putting up the tree. This is the first year both of them are SO excited about Christmas and everything that goes with it, and it was magical to see their faces when we started going through it all!
Mommy, look at all these decorations!!!!

"Where do we even start???"


Now here's some Christmas cheer for ya!


Cutting open the tree...apparently the only tape we could find last year was the shiny reflective electrical tape...

Well, if that isn't the cutest deer I've ever seen, I don't know what is!!! :)

Almost done...

Just like a kid...bored with the tree, so on to the box!! Who's in this box, you say?

Well, Lawson, of course!
And didn't you know?
A christmas tree box is much better suited to being a sled for the stairs than a box, anyways!

It can only last so long, though!
Guess we'll have to find a plastic tote big enough for the tree this year!!!


By 8pm, our tree was trimmed! Granted, the ornaments are bottom-heavy...but what can you expect? Our kids are only 3 feet tall!! :) To me, though, it's just beautiful!

I never grew up loving Christmas. I never got excited about Christmas. Jon always makes fun of me--when we first got married, he FORCED me to go out and buy decorations for the living room. He always tells me I'm a bah-humbug scrooge. He's probably been right! But not this year!! I am EXCITED! I couldn't wait to get our stuff out either! I couldn't wait to see their faces. I can't wait to see how excited they are--they know Santa's coming to their house!! For the first time for me, this Christmas is going to be...magical!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with our friends Kenny and Jamey. I think this was our 6th time to spend Tday with them. The first year we had just moved to Huntsville and no one could go home for the long weekend so us, them and our friend Michelle along with some other friends and family had a potluck Thanksgiving. Each year the "extras" changes a little bit, but I love that anyone is welcome around the table! This is one of the things I look forward to each year--I truly enjoy this time. Now that Kenny and Jamey have moved away, the time together is even more precious.

This year the kids really enjoyed playing together. Two 3-year olds and a 2-year old did remarkably well. There were few fights or arguments, and they all pretty much entertained each other. Braden is laid back, and really didn't need anyone to entertain him. He was just along for the ride...well, and the food! :)

This is the first year we've been able to stay the whole weekend--we've always had worry about the paper routes and rush back get back to deliver some more! This time was so laid back--it actually felt like a little vacation! We got in Wednesday night, and left after lunch Sunday.

Thursday, of course, was getting food ready and EATING!!! Dawn and Chris joined us again this year and we all had such a nice day of visiting! There was turkey, a slap-yo-momma-delicious ham, dressing/stuffing..whatever you call it, green bean casserole, garlic cheesy mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, baked macaroni and cheese, yummy rolls and plenty of desserts!!! Don't worry about me, fellow contest members!! I think Thanksgiving took me out of contention!! :)

Friday Jamey and I hit the road at 4:30 to do some shopping! We got some great deals, and we also got a lot of fun visiting and talking time. Especially in the 1 1/2 hour long line at Target! We were SOOOO upset we forgot a camera, because we had a killer blog planned out!! We got 7 hours of shopping in, and still made it back home by 1pm!

Saturday we headed up to BassPro Shop, and the kids had a really great time. We loved seeing all the animals, plus they had the Christmas Wonderland set up. We stood in line to see Santa, and the closer we got Jordan started telling me, "I don't wanna see Santa Claus!" Well, when it was our turn, she flipped out!!! Lawson ended up sitting there alone and giving a cheesy smile to the camera! Avery knew all along that she didn't want to see him--she didn't even get in line! She just waited patiently with Jamey while we made it through. We wrapped up our morning out with lunch at Steak N Shake, then headed home to give the kids naps and to watch games 37, 38, 39, 40, 41 and 42 of football for the weekend!!! :) (That's all I need to say about what Jon and Kenny did all weekend!) :)

Sunday we were able to worship with our friends. It was so great to meet some of their friends that we've heard so much about. It's neat to share a friendship, but it's even more special when you are able to worship with your friends and share that bond too.

It really was a wonderfully refreshing weekend.

I enjoyed the opportunity to spend extra time focusing on what I am truly thankful for. I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for the place that God has us in our lives right now. I am thankful for our church family and all the ways that we are so bountifully and exceedingly blessed.

And I am thankful for our forever friends.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Hooting

There is an owl hooting outside in our neighborhood right now. I tried to get it on the video function of my camera but it wouldn't pick it up. Owls sound so cool!

Last year he was here in the cold fall, but went away for the warm season. Several weeks ago, we heard him back. The kids LOVE this owl!! Every time we come in or go out, they try to "call" him by hollering "HooooT, HOOOOOOT, WHOOOOO" in a very 'non-owl-ly' way to see if he will hoot back. They even stand at the back patio door and open it to hoot and see if we can hear him hoot back. It is precious.

It wasn't love at first hoot, though. The first time we heard him this year the kids were fascinated. That night, I decided to look up some videos of owls on YouTube so they could see video of what they were hooting at. They watched intently as an owl used his sonar skills to find and attack a lemming under the snow somewhere.

It was really very neat, but they were apparently paying too much attention. When it was time to put Jordan to bed, she got scared and told me that she didn't want that owl to come into her bed. I told her that it was outside and couldn't come into our house.

Lawson prayed this prayer:
Dear God, Thank you for my mommy and my daddy and all the blessings you give us. And thank you for the owl in our trees, but please help him not to try to catch us and bite our toes because that might hurt. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bible Across America

(I must say it's a bit awkward posting this right after my previous, questionably appropriate post!! Maybe this is God's way of really teaching me a lesson!!)

I am very excited to have participated in Zondervan's Bible Across America project! Today they came to Mayfair from noon-6pm. Anyone can come handwrite one verse in an continuous manuscript that will be published into a handwritten NIV bible. There are two original copies--one will be auctioned off and the other will either be on display in the Smithsonian or the Library of Congress. I think this is a very cool thing to be able to contribute to!! :)

I was just hoping to not get some part of a long boring geneaology, and so-and-so begat so-and-so..., so when I got there he said they were working on 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 Kings. He showed me the next verse for each book, and I was excited to get the one I got. I wasn't sure about the story it was in, but when I got home I read through it and spent some time thinking about it. I think it's a neat verse to get to write:

"Then even the bravest soldier, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will melt with fear, for all Israel knows that your father is a fighter and that those with him are brave." 2 Samuel 17:10

It's Hushai, King David's friend, talking to Absalom, David's son. It's when Absalom has conspiracized (word?) and caused King David to flee in fear for his life. Absalom has been advised by someone else to attack his father, but Hushai tells him that is bad advice, then proceeds with verse 10 to tell him why.

It's too bad that Absalom did not love and respect his father, because even through his faults David was a man of God. I think that my verse is a neat testimony, and would cause most sons to beam with pride and security when they hear someone talk about their father with such admiration. To know that the whole nation is sure of David's strength and courage, and to know that all those who follow him are brave, just because they know he's their leader.

I think good leaders live out the example they want their followers to see. David was brave and strong, but his strength was not his own...he said so:

The LORD is my light and my salvation -- whom shall I fear?

The LORD is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid?

When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.

Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.

One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.

For in the day if trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.

Psalm 27:1-5

Stupid Cups

Sunday night, we arrived home from our awesome weekend with Kenny and Jamey and the kids were so excited to put up the decorations. After we spent 3 hours putting up the tree and her trimmings, we realized we had not eaten dinner. It was 8pm, and we had no groceries in the house. I knew Casa Blanca would not fail us in quick service, so we got ready to head out. I quickly poured some milk cups to try to avoid buying drinks and avoid the kids drinking coke so late.

We got to the restaurant and I looked for the kids' cups. I looked up to Jon after a hefty gusty sigh and said, "Gah...I poured that milk then I forgot their stupid cups!" I wasn't mad, just frustrated, and really thought nothing more of it. For about 4 minutes.

Because when we walked into the restaurant and were led to our seats, the waiter asked us if we wanted anything to drink. Lawson looked right up at him and said, "Yes, we need drinks, because mom forgot our STUPID CUPS at home!!"

My jaw dropped. And he's only almost 4.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Fat Turkeys

So...I know it's past Turkey Day, and I really wanted to put these up for my Tday post...but I forgot my camera cord!!! So sorry, but I have to post the Turkey songs my kids learned for the big day. They were singing these for a couple weeks; I found the songs online...so cute! I love hearing their sweet little voices!

video video

video

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Occasional...

Smoker? No

Blogger? Apparently so.

I have been busying myself with other things, it would seem, and the blog has, once again, gotten the shaft, so to speak.

So now, for such the long hiatus, you get my stream of conscious.

Let me say that I am planning a stream of blogs..but we'll see how that turns out! :)

~I am very sad that it is no longer the season that you have to rush back out to the car to get the groceries before they ruin. I could leave them out all night and they might be cooler than in my fridge for that matter.

~We had a wonderful Thansgiving with our non-blood family. There will be a post about it. Probably. If I don't get around to it, just know it was fabulous! ;)

~I was floored tonight when we were on our way home from Walmart and Lawson was singing with the songs on our CD and he almost perfectly sang the letters to

"I am a C. I am a C-H. I am a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N. And I have
C-H-R-I-S-T in my H-E-A-R-T and I will L-I-V-E E-T-E-R-N-A-L-L-Y."

He has no idea what these letters spell, but gosh-darn if he can't spell the sucker! Maybe he will follow after my own spelling-bee-heart!

~Christmas has come to our house. Let me tell you...I have never been so excited for Christmas as I am this year! I did not grow up loving Christmas. I really have never loved it, and that has been a sore spot between Jon and me. (Probably a blog about this too...) Anyways...the kids are SOOOO excited about everything Christmas, so how could I not be excited too??? We are decorated and ready...so Let it...well, no. I'm not that excited. But Santa, you're welcome to come. And if it just happened to be too warm to wear your big red jacket, well, that would be fine with me! ;)

~A very embarrassing story will be coming up. When your kids repeat what you say it is either the sweetest cutest thing you ever heard, or somehow it sounds so much harsher and inappropriate than when you said it. Anyways...embarrassing!

~I am so hungry right now!!!

~Jamey and I went shopping on Black Friday! We got some good deals, but more importantly than that, we had SO much fun! It was really the first time I've ever gone out...mostly b/c of doing the papers. It was GREAT!!

~Jon's family is having a little reunion next week, and we are going! I'm exciting about that, but I'm even MORE excited that it's at the BEACH!!! This will be the kids' first time to go. I'm sad it'll be too cool to swim, but hopefully they will get to play in the sand and we are planning on going out on Jon's aunt's boat. SO excited!!

~I guess that will be all for now.

~UPDATED~ I am coming back to say that it is now 12:11 am and I have just spent forever writing about our recent activities. Things I wanted to get down...but now I've spent half-the-night BLOGGING!!! Gracious! Well, I had to write them while I was on a 'blog-kick' or they may have never been written!! There are now plenty of posts in the 'pitching machine' and they're coming at-cha...one a day! Stay tuned...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Two Little Piggies

I am expecting my kids to grow out of their clothes at any moment. The reason for this is that I CANNOT fill them up! This week, all they do is eat, eat, eat!!! They get up and ask for breakfast. Then an hour later they ask for snack. Then an hour later they are ready for lunch! All day, they ask for food!! It's CRAZY!! I had to post about today's lunch.
This morning for breakfast Jordan ate a bowl of Cheerios, some apple and a fruit bar. Lawson had a whole apple and most of a poptart. An hour and a half later, they each ate a bagful of grapes as a snack while I was at the gym. An hour and a half later we were eating lunch. I asked them if they wanted a grilled cheese OR a hot dog. They wanted BOTH. Seriously?? So, I made their lunch while they played, then called them down. Here's what was on their plates: a whole grilled cheese sandwich, a whole hot dog (and some ketchup), 4 baby carrots (and some ranch), a half of a banana and a small handful (8-10) of pretzels.


This is what they DID NOT eat:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Handy Husband

Many of you know how incredibly handy Jon is...He can fix ANYTHING! He can also MAKE anything! If I draw a picture of what I want, he will go out to the shed and design my idea into something that will work. He always does the best job! Recently he finished a shelf he's been working on for a while, and we moved it into the playroom. I saw something like it in a Pottery Barn store a couple years ago as a sofa table, but I asked him to make me one for our cubbies. I am so excited about how it turned out...I just love it!

Our new cubby shelf

After we first moved in, I realized I needed a place to keep some of our MANY books...the wall under the staircase seemed to be the perfect spot. It was unused wall space, and with the doorway right next to it I couldn't put much on that wall. I came up with the idea for this bookshelf, and Jon made 2--they came out exactly how I pictured! I love how the kids can see the front of the books, and it's easier for them to put the books back on this shelf than on a regular bookshelf.
Our bookshelf

I'm also excited that I was able to move the small bookshelves that were in the playroom up to the kids' rooms. In doing that, I was able to take a lot of their toys up to their rooms and 'declutter' the playroom a little.

Last year for Christmas Jon's mom wanted to get Lawson a train. We didn't have anything to put it on. I looked in the stores, but I didn't really want to spend over $100 on a small table that I didn't really even like. I drew out what I had in mind, and Jon made this for me. It's the perfect height for them to stand at and play. It's also so sturdy--the kids climb on it all the time--and it's pretty generic. When it's not for trains, it's for the barn set, books, cars, etc. Eventually, he's going to make me 4 1-foot cubes on wheels with removable lids to go under the table. They will serve as extra storage, as well as little seats for the kids to sit on and color or whatever.
Our playroom...

Anyways...the kids and I cleaned up before naptime today and I thought I'd take a few pictures and share our playroom. I am so blessed to have a husband who will spend his spare time working on things to make our days at home so fun and enjoyable! Thanks, Juan! :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Lately...

So...the blog has been pretty neglected in the last couple weeks...I've been checking status updates on Facebook more than blogs lately! :)


A few weeks ago some friends with high schoolers gave us their old trampoline! We are so excited, and the kids LOVE jumping on it! At first Jordan wouldn't even get on it, but after a few days she is all over that thing! She's great at jumping by herself, but when Lawson's jumping too she just lays on her belly and bounces around. It's so funny! This picture makes me laugh because Jon and I both stick our tongues out when we're concentrating on something. I didn't even notice til I was looking back through pictures that Lawson has his tongue out in this picture...
Just one of many motion-blurred pics I got...Both kids suspended in the air...When this picture's enlarged, I LOVE the smile on Lawson's face...he has SO much fun jumping!

She keeps trying to get up, but everytime he bounces she flops back down to her belly....

So funny to me...





Lawson helped me cook dinner the other day...I had to use canned biscuits for the shells of these cheesy/meaty cupcakes, and gave him the leftover biscuit to play with...
He loves to "help"...but I'm not sure he's ready to help with the real thing...
Quite floured and patted, huh? :)



They were goofing around the other day....Jordan kept going up behind Lawson, hugging him, then pulling him down. They were cracking each other up...they play so well together. (Well, most of the time!)
This is what I get now when I say, "Cheese!"
I love this boy! :)
So, here's a step by step of how Jordan gets on the potty these days. She peepees on it some, never poos, but loves to sit on it in her clothes. In fact, she'll sit on it then poo in her diaper, but not actually in the potty! I'm afraid to even try to train her now, though, because if this is how she gets on a potty I'd throw up if she had to go potty in a store or restaurant...Ewwww...the germs!

The other day I decided to get something out to get us to lunch time. Both kids have good fine motor skills, so I got some beads and pipecleaners out. Jordan just had fun naming and picking the different colors. I started teaching Lawson about patterns and how to pick and place the colors to make different patterns. We all sat and did this for over an hour!!!
BTW...neither of them actually have their tongues OUT, but they are both very close. I'm telling you...I couldn't deny these kiddos if I tried!
One more thing...for those of you who've been to our playroom, maybe you notice the new shelf in the background...Jon finished my cubby shelf a couple weeks ago and I LOVE it!!!! It's just the right height for the kids...Well, I'll probably do a post about it in a couple days b/c he worked so hard on it--If I do it now, it'll mess up the rest of these pictures, then I'll scream and delete the whole thing!

Finally, yesterday the kids spent a couple hours playing on the stairs. Sliding down, throwing balls down, throwing them up and letting them roll down...you name it! They both came in to me in the kitchen to show me this....they said they looked like Mickey Mouse. Maybe it's time for a trip to ol' Disney World???

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday Morning

video

The kids woke up pretty early this morning. After they ate breakfast I was checking email and I started hearing thumping sounds on the stairs. I thought it was a kid falling...but no one cried. After several more times, I went to check and saw they were rolling balls down the stairs--lots and lots of balls! They were cracking themselves up!

A few minutes later, I heard a different kind of thumping, and I had to video what I found. Lawson did this over and over for probably an hour or more! He loved it! Jordan only did it a couple times... This made me laugh at what kids will find out to do to entertain themselves!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It really is MAGIC!!!




I must say...after a looooong time of completely neglecting the inside of my van, I gave her a good cleanin' today!! There were many newspaper ink stains, on the doors, on the dash, on the console, on the leather and on the armrests. I could not get them off. Then I thought, "What do I do when I can't get something clean on the inside of my house, Stacy?" And I told myself, "I use my Magic Eraser to see if it will come off..." So... I listened to myself and tried it. Let me tell you--I wouldn't believe it if I did not see the change myself, and I wish my battery had had enough power to take before and after pictures. That thing really is magic!

I have used it to remove impossible stains on walls, floors, counters...Do you use it? What has it worked its "magic" on for you?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Spinning

Sometime last year I got this Sit-and-Spin, and the kids use it ALL THE TIME!!! Lately, whenever Jordan gets on it she just spins and sings for EVER!!! Tonight I caught her singing a montage of her favorite songs...She pulled her ponytail holder out in the car. That's th explanation for the wacky mohawk! :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I Heart Your Blog!!


Kathy used-to-be-Keller hearts my blog! Thanks! Now I have to answer all these questions with one-word answers! You should all know this is so difficult for me...I may be the wordiest person I know!!! :)

1. Where is your cell phone? Pocket
2. Where is your significant other? Couch
3. Your hair color? Brown
4. Your mother? Faithful
5. Your father? Hard-working
6. Your favorite thing? Sleep
7. Your dream last night? Scary
8. Your dream/goal? Skinny
9. The room you're in? Dining
10. Your hobby? Making
11. Your fear? Kidnapping
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Here
13. Where were you last night? Party
14. What you're not? Neat-Freak
15. One of your wish-list items? Pool
16. Where you grew up? Michigan
17. The last thing you did? Planning
18. What are you wearing? Jeans
19. Your TV? Football
20. Your pet? Dead
21. Your computer? Addicting
22. Your mood? Excited
23. Missing someone? Jamey
24. Your car? Van
25. Something you're not wearing? Earrings
26. Favorite store? HobLob
27. Your summer? Fun
28. Love someone? Dearly
29. Your favorite color? Yellow
30. When is the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Wednesday

Now, I tag 10 people to answer, because I heart your blogs too!!! :)

Sunny
Jamey
Kera
Alisha
Bethany
Joy
Stefanie
Amy D
Paige
BROOKE--get back on that blog!!! :)

Ugly Hands



My hands are ugly. My nails are short and broken. My fingers are dry and cracked. My skin is wrinkled and worn, not smooth. My hands get hot, cold, wet and dirty--usually on a daily basis. My hands do not get manicured or pampered. My hands do my work. My hands are ugly.

It's okay, though. My hands do my work. My work is for my family. My hands have delivered thousands of newspapers. My hands wash dirty dishes. My hands do loads of laundry. They rake and mow and sweep and clean. They cook and paint and sew. My hands touch my husband. My hands feed and clothe my kids. My hands push swings, carry kids and fix boo-boos. My hands play and discipline and tickle and wipe tears.

My hands are ugly...but my hands are how I love.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Do we scare you????

2005--Crayons

2006--Elmo and a Little Pumpkin
2007--Mickey and Minnie

2008--Diego and Dora


There she lays...

The Last One

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Scary One and a Silly One

Saturday morning we went to a pumpkin patch (a field where a farmer had set up all his pumpkins...not Tate Farms!) and let the kids walk around and pick pumpkins. I didn't think to put them in "Fall-ish" clothes...I'm just not that prepared! So in regular clothes we went, and the kids picked their own pumpkins. Lawson kept picking up bumpy ones, and Jordan kept trying to pick up heavy ones. We finally settled on some and came home with 3, because somehow Jon got one too!
We put them on the porch to carve that afternoon, but we didn't get time until Sunday after Funfest. We asked the kids what kind of Jack-o-Lanterns they wanted. Lawson said Scary. Jordan said Silly. Lawson, for some reason, picked the hardest pumpkin I've ever seen. I started out doing his, but it was so hard to carve that Jon and I switched after just cutting the circle out of the top!