Thursday, January 22, 2009

Little Hops and Mountains

The last couple weeks have been a little bit stressful. Between planning a trip for this weekend, washing all (and I do mean all) of our laundry, trying to keep the house straight, having errands to run, a couple dr appointments, having some company, and going through the ups and downs of 30, I have felt tired and strained.

Sometimes this happens to me--I let all of my little things pile up until all my eyes see is a huge, insurmountable mountain in front of me. If I would look at each item as a single item, it would merely be a few little hops along my path, but instead I only see an Everest I can't get past. I haven't really had to face a true mountain in my life yet, I don't think.

Then I am so subtlely prescribed a fresh dose of perspective. God knows when to put encouragement in my path that causes me to wake up and just see my life as many little hops instead of a single mountain. I am also brought to realize that when I get so overwhelmed it's because my list starts to only contain the problems, and the blessings somehow get dropped out. When I put the blessings back in, they always far outnumber the pains.

Today I learned of a family that truly is facing a mountain. Through a couple blogs, I was led to and read about the King family. They welcomed 25-week quads into their lives on Dec 30. At this point 3 of the babies are doing relatively well, but their sweet son Preston is in kidney failure and is in desperate need of prayers for healing.

I know I don't have a huge following, but for those of you who check in I'm sure the King family would appreciate if you talked to the Father on behalf of their baby boy.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Splishing and Splashing

A couple months ago I decided the kids' bathroom needed something to decorate it.... Since we have no extra money--especially for decorations--I decided to make something! I decided on making a collaboration of little canvases and Mod-Podging various pictures of the kids in the bathtub at different ages... I love how they turned out!!!

The coloring in the pictures isn't quite right...If I used the flash, it whited out the pics. I also fuzzied out some particular places in case a sick, nasty person happens across this post.
The background is a mild lime green. The bubbles are 2 different blues and the pictures are black and white. I also used a fine Sharpie to write who was in the picture and the date on the bottom of each picture. The four are by the tub. The two are over the toilet.

What do you think??

Friday, January 16, 2009

Happy Trails or Trail of Tears??

The other day, we spent about 40 hours plagued by near-torrential downpours! Our backyard had 2 inches of standing water in many places, and there was no way I was getting out of the house for anything short of an emergency. The kids had been playing on a tote I had bought to put old clothes in, so I decided to help them make a "trail". We started out going from the khaki chair by the wall over to the stairs. Later I brought in some kitchen chairs and stretched it to the playroom train table.

The kids spent pretty much all morning tracing back and forth across the "trail." Hours, really. Up til lunchtime they played, then after lunchtime they played some more.
Once, while they were on the train table together, they decided to strike up a little sibling band. It was cracking me up, because they were harmonica-ing and singing like they were really putting on a concert!!!
Jordan even struck a pose to hit a big note!!!
Then it was naptime. I haven't caused impromptu fits of this proportion in a very long time!!! As soon as I mentioned putting everything up and going to bed, there was an uprising among the people!!!
I know they were upset, but I couldn't resist taking pictures of their sheer devastation that their Happy Trails had to come to an end...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Lawson's 4th Bday Party

We had Lawson's 4th birthday party at the church gym last month after we got home from the beach trip. His theme was Spiderman, and I had full intentions of making and frosting an AWESOME cake for him! I was gonna ice out a Spiderman body with his arm extended shooting web....but ran short of frosting, had to make a late-night run to Walmart, and it took over an hour since it was only 5 days before Christmas!!! What he ended up getting was a pretty generic (but homemade) cake! I'm such a cheater for putting a toy on it instead of decorating it! :)

Jon's parents rented a bouncer for the party! The kids had so much fun! I tried to find a Spiderman one, and the only one was ridiculously expensive...but no big deal because Lawson LOVED this dinosaur one!!!

Several of Lawson's friends came to enjoy some lunch and birthday party fun!

Jordan was being cheesy with an apple slice...

The boys sizing up the pinata...they really had a lot of fun with this! I put the goody bags inside so everyone would have something to grab.

After the pinata, everyone went back in for more bouncer fun. I think Jon had as much fun as the kids!!! They sure had fun climbing all over him!

The most important thing--the birthday boy had a great time at his party!! We are thankful for our family and friends who all make our special days so special!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

At four...

It has been one month since Lawson's 4th birthday. I can't even believe that my little boy has turned four already! This time has flown by!

Lawson is just the sweetest boy I know, I think! He has the most tender heart and really cares about other people. He hates to hear about when other people are sick or don't feel good. I love to see him help and try to take care of Jordan. Of course they have their, um, un-tender moments, but they are really best friends and they love to do everything together.

The older he gets, the more of a cuddler he becomes. I love when he just stops in the middle of playing to come crawl into my lap and give me an "I love you, Mommy" and a big hug.

He has always been such a singing boy, and that certainly has not changed! He loves to sing, and picks up on songs so quickly! I try to let him listen to lots of different things so his favorites depend on what we're listening to that week. Some of his recent favorites are anything Carrie Underwood, all of the Christmas songs, Dora and Diego songs, and any song he has learned at church or Bible Class. Some of his favorite praise songs are For the Lord is a Righteous God, God has Smiled on Me, How Great is our God and Here I am to Worship. At night, I sing a few older ones to him--his favorites are Abide With Me, Sweet Hour of Prayer and I Need Thee Every Hour. A couple Sundays ago we sang I Need Thee in worship, and my eyes filled with tears hearing my 2 and 4 year old children singing out that song that they already know and love!

Lawson loves to play outside! Swinging and climbing on our swingset, jumping on the trampoline, riding bikes and scooters and just plain running around are some of his favorite things to do! I cannot wait until the weather is warmer and we can start taking camping trips, because he just loves being outside!

His other current obsession is Dinosaurs! He loves dinosaur movies, books and toys! He asked Santa for 'lots of cars and dinosaurs' and Santa Nana helped fulfill that dinosaur order between birthday and Christmas gifts! Nana also provided us with dinosaur bouncer at his birthday party!

He still loves all of his Bible Classes and teachers. He loves to tell me about his Bible stories during lunch on Sundays. Also, every night we read 'Jesus stories' out of a paraphrased Bible story book. It's a collaboration of all the gospels that reads like an in-order story about Jesus. It always amazes me when he remembers details about the stories we've read even days later! Because of some of the stories we've read, he has begun to ask questions about Heaven, and God, and our souls. We try to answer his questions as much as possible in a way that a 4-year-old can understand.

God has blessed our lives through Lawson. I am so thankful for him.
My prayer for Lawson is that he continues to grow strong and healthy. I pray that his heart for people stays tender. I pray that he grows in his love for Jesus and that we can instill in him the ability to trust in God to provide everything that we need.

Happy Birthday, Bud!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Orange Beach, December 2008, Part Three

Friday we went over to Pensacola to see Aunt Brenda and Scott's boat. They have been preparing in over the last several months so that they can sail all over the world! Isn't that so exciting!? Anyways, while we were over there, they took us to a fish market they love called Joe Patti's. The kids loved seeing the crabs and lobsters and such...but I am thoroughly disgusted by seafood. As soon as I walked in and got one whif of the air inside, I turned right back around and waited in the parking lot til they were all done.
While I was waiting, I looked around. It was really a neat place. It was right on the water, and I guess they caught all their seafood fresh daily. (If I had been inside, there probably would have been a sign telling me that. Since I was outside, I had to deduce it myself and make an educated guess!!!) These boats parked right next to the store are what told me they went out to catch their merchandise!

Pelicans (I think) were flying around everywhere.

A couple landed in the water right in front of where I was standing on the dock.

In Michigan, where I'm from, we have lakes. And seagulls. They are nasty and dirty and they come up to anyone or anything to get a bite of any kind of food. That is my impression of these birds. It walked right up to me and stood there, waiting for me to give it something. Are these the seagulls of the gulf? Hmmm...

When we got back to the condo, Aunt Lucy started to cook the fish that they had bought for dinner. Jon and I took the kids out to the sand again to play while dinner was being prepared. It was sunny and beautiful, but pretty darn chilly!!! No one was on the beach except for us! I think if we ever go when it's actually busy, I'll be upset b/c now my expectation is to have the place to ourselves!
Sorry for so many landscape pics--maybe for you 'beach veterans' they get old...but I don't think my eyes will ever get tired of a great shot of God's awesome creation! Truly, it's amazing!
Earlier that afternoon, Jon's Aunt Celeste flew in to spend a couple days with us.

Lucy and Great Grandma in the kitchen...

The only good shot I got of Aunt Brenda and her fiance, Scott. They just got married last week! Congratulations!

Family dinner around the table! Everyone except Jon, Scott and I are visible in this picture.

Saturday, Nana and Papa caught some kind of bug that made them feel yucky. We didn't do much more than sit around and visit, since it was our last day there! When we laid the kids down for their nap, Jon and I got to go out for a walk on the beach together--It was so nice! It was mostly sunny, but still cool in the 50s. In a couple hours, we saw only a couple other people out there--it was amazing to have the whole beach to ourselves!

Sunday morning we packed up and headed out early so we could get back in time for our Huddles Christmas party. We drove halfway, stopped at Bass Pro then ate lunch in Montgomery, then the kids passed out for the rest of the trip.

Our van was LOADED down!

We had a wonderful time on our family vacation to Orange Beach! We are so thankful and grateful that Scott and Brenda invited us to join in on this opportunity! Getting to visit with everyone and also get to let them meet our kids was awesome!
This concludes my series of posts on our beach trip. We made some awesome memories. Orange Beach made it's mark on us. We also left our own mark, of sorts:
Jon, Stacy, Lawson and Jordan
Orange Beach, Alabama

Monday, January 12, 2009

Orange Beach, December 2008, Part Two

Tuesday night, after our fun day out at the beach, we had a little family birthday party for Lawson. This is the first time either of the kids has had enough family around to actually have a birthday party with only family there! It was great! We ran out and bought a few decorations and a cake, then after dinner we surprised Lawson with the party!
The day after Thanksgiving I scored a GREAT deal on some RollerBlades for Lawson's Bday present! He had been asking for roller skates for months now, and I saw these on sale and decided if he wanted them that bad we'd get them. I figured if we spent all winter practicing then he'd know how to skate when the weather warms up! He was SO excited--he loves them! He loves putting them on and walking/rolling around on the living room carpet to practice keeping his balance!

This was the first time I had ever met Jon's Uncle Mike and Aunt Lucy. They live near Houston. I really enjoyed meeting and spending time with them. All of us ladies at the beach took turns preparing meals, but Lucy is a great cook and loves being in the kitchen and fed us a TON of yummy food!

Jon, kids, Great Grandma and Uncle Mike
Jon's mom had just celebrated her birthday the week before our vacation, so the next night we had a little celebration in her honor--complete with Lucy's homemade KeyLime Pie!!! I got a couple great pictures with Nana and the kids:

It had rained all day and night Wednesday, and Wed and Thursday were soooo cold! It went from 70 to 35-40! After it had stopped raining Thursday morning Jon, Papa, Uncle Mike and Lawson drove over to Mobile to see some battleship. They had a great day, even though it was FREEZING!!

Thursday afternoon we went out to the sand for a few minutes, but it was so cold we came back in! The kids dug around and found some more sea-shelfs!

Stuck playing inside, this is what they came up with: a bridge 'across the water'! They played on this for a long time--walking across, hopping down, running around then hopping back on the other end!

They also watched WAY more TV and movies than they are usually allowed to watch! We wanted to spend some good time getting to visit with the family we hardly ever see, and we wanted the kids to get to do more of something they love to do too while we were on vacation. This is how they looked most of the time we were inside the condo:

Thursday night Uncle Mike, Aunt Lucy, Jon and I went out to the beach late to see if we could find any shells that had washed up during Wednesday's storm. The water had finally started to calm back down a little and we found lots of 'storm victims':

This pretty fish didn't make it...
Neither did this least I think it's a crab...
We saw TONS of these Man-of-Wars, Mans-of-War, um...Men-of-War---let's just call them 'blue jellyfish' that washed up! Jon had gone out barefoot--so he had to be extra careful not to step on their tentacles!