2008 * If only....

...I could write my family's 2008 resolutions for them:)

*Joel* will play as much soccer as possible because it makes him so happy--and I can't resist a man in soccer shorts...he he:)

*Parker* poop in the potty every time, continue to charm the ladies with his percussion skills, and wake up on the right side of the toddler bed...more often!

*Griffin* will try his darnedest to stop eating things he shouldn't, stay out of the toilet, walk proficiently, and use his dimples for something other than mischief!

Oh, and my resolutions not as fun to write for myself.. and I have too many to list. But here is one to document: I am going to be a healthier Amy by the end of the year. I'm not talking about looking good in jeans or being able to lift a whole bunch of weight (which would be cool), but this year has been a doozy as far as how I'm taking care of myself and my health has suffered. I have plans to make small changes and hopefully not be sick as often.


sweatpants and HGTV

I could think of no other title for this random, slightly uninteresting post!

So Parker has entered the stage of caring about what he wears. I knew that girls start this sort of thing earlier, but I really didn't think Parker would ever get to that. He always wants to wear his soccer shirts or guitar shirt...or his plain white t-shirts that look just like Daddy's. But now he just wants to wear sweatpants all of the time. Sweatpants?! He's very adamant that he doesn't want to wear his pajama pants--he wants his sweats! Okey dokey. He only had one pair that fit him so we went out this morning and stopped at Children's Place. If he has to wear sweats, I want them to be cool:) They were having a super-duper sale and got a couple really cheap. I especially like the camo.

We're hooked!! We're fairly new to satellite/cable TV and we literally just discovered HGTV. I'm not really sure how it happened, but Joel and I end up watching this stuff after the kids go to bed quite often! We're so close to starting construction on our unfinished basement and I guess we're just in that mode of thinking. I am so excited to have the opportunity to design it just how we want it to be for our family. And even more, I'm really looking forward to having twice the living space. We just need to get it done so we can stop watching all of this HGTV:)


night out with my sister

My little sister and I went out on the town last night...dinner, a little shopping, and a great movie (Twenty Seven Dresses, a pre-screening). I love going out with Kelsey to have girl time because she is one of the few people that I feel like I can be totally silly with or completely honest and not even think twice. Sometimes I wonder what people think when they listen in on our conversations. It is so fun to be able to laugh at strange family quirks, roll our eyes at common annoyances, and it is even great to laugh the exact same laugh at the exact same time!

{We had so much fun...despite the near fainting while in line at our favorite store. How embarrassing, but what can you do? Turns out, I was coming down with something. We made it out alive:}

But here is the thing...Kelsey is leaving in one month to study in Spain for a semester--six months! How could she? Actually, I couldn't be happier for her, but I'm still feeling sorry for myself. What am I going to do? Not sure...but I do know that one of the benefits of Kels being out of country is that I'll be able to raid her closet! She's only a few inches taller than me and I really feel like that would make me feel closer to her while she's gone. What do ya think, sista?
In the meantime, I'm just going to continue my state of denial and pretend that nothing big is about to happen. I've heard that denial is really healthy anyway!


Call Me Crazy?

Parker received a drum set for Christmas from unnamed sources;) Just kidding...we actually approved of the idea before the purchase. Honestly, I'm so excited about them! Music is Parker's passion--it's his thing. I love it...I'm so excited to see where his passion will take him. Sure, it will be a little annoying and loud sometimes, but the look on his face when he is in "the zone" is just priceless.



a costly love...

Listened to a great sermon this morning about the cost of love. My pastor said something about the power of love and how love always wins. Real love always perseveres, it always wins. Real love never gives up and gives until the end. I wish that I could love perfectly. This is why I love Jesus. He is the only human being who has ever loved perfectly. He loved me so much that he died. His love never gives up--it perseveres. His love is why I celebrate Christmas. And I'm so thankful for that.

This is a video of Parker that I recorded a few months ago as he was learning to push the pedals of his trike. He was also learning how to persevere. He's still learning that one. Me too:)



Oh, so many gifts to be thankful for...

I didn't realize how sad I was about my husband having to work Christmas Day...until he was given the day off!! I had no idea that we would have a mini-Christmas break together, but it turns out vacation started the 21st and he doesn't go back until the 26th. I am so happy and giddy...finally in the Christmas spirit that I've been waiting for.

I also didn't realize how bad we needed a date until my sister came and babysat for us for a long, long time last night! We went to dinner (at the restaurant where he took me on our first date, no less), shopped at the GAP (lucky Joel), and went to a great movie--P.S. I Love You. We came back feeling more refreshed and connected...and our boys were tucked into bed, sound asleep. Thank you Auntie Kels!

And speaking of gifts...Griffin is into re-gifting lately. It is really quite sweet. He takes his sucked on food out of his mouth and holds his hand out like he's giving me a diamond ring. He's really so generous;)


good thing he is cute...

Can't stay mad at him for long.

Okay, so I'm not really a huge fan of my son right now...the first one. I realize he's just having a bad day, week, whatever. And he just is emotional and tired. So am I...so he's driving me absolutely crazy! He has become a hitter. He pretty much only does it when we're in our own home to his friends and his brother. It makes me so mad! Sometimes it feels so good to just get it out and say that I'm mad at him. But I love him more than words. Aaaahhhhh!!! Now I'm going to go and read the verse below. Again. And again. And then some more....

Happy week before Christmas!


What is love?

A couple of days ago I started reading 1 Corinthians 13 to Parker and I'm working on memorizing part of it with him. We started with the first sentence. I love how much expression he uses to recite his first verse. He shakes his head with plenty of conviction and says...

"Love NEVER gives up."

This has been rolling through my head today. Love is so hard...but love is everything. Real love never gives up. Never. It will be good for me to memorize this passage in a new version (The Message). I need the reminder all of the time...every single minute, it seems.

I betcha Parker will have it memorized before me!

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.


I couldn't help it....

Yeah, so didn't I just write a post about avoiding the hustle and bustle of the holidays? So of course, I decided to head out to the mall this morning with the boys. Nothing like the peace and quiet of a mall and hauling around two tired children to soothe the soul:) I'm not sure what I was thinking or IF I was thinking. But looky what I came home with!

Ho Ho Ho!!!

I have to admit, it was really fun and Parker LOVED meeting Santa. He asked him for a motorcycle. I had planned on going to the mall to pick up one thing (which never really works out) and to let the kiddos play a bit. However, there HE was and there was no turning back once we saw the jolly red elf. I kind of wish I had dressed the kids for the part and that Griffin didn't look so bald and double chinned--because he isn't! But whatever...it was fun and I think I'll continue the tradition. Aren't Santa pictures supposed to look weird anyway?

And doesn't our Santa look authentic? That isn't a fake beard...or fake belly:)


*quiet for christmas*

I'm not exactly sure why, but we feel like being quiet this season. All around us, life seems big and slightly stressful. Nothing too terrible at the moment, but we've just had some seriousness about our days. But the quiet haven of our home feels welcome right now and we are enjoying life within our walls for a time. Not that we aren't going out at all, but the typical rush and busyness of the season isn't something we're pursuing this time around. Until yesterday, I was feeling guilty for my lack of festivity, but I'm now feeling good about how we're spending our time. My heart feels reflective and I'm pleased that life is allowing us some breathing room.

This DVD, Behold The Lamb of God has been playing over and over for the last couple of days. We got it a few years ago from a good friend and it has now become a huge part of Christmas for me. The songs have changed how I view this holiday. It is no longer just a celebration of the birth of Christ, but about celebrating the entire, intricate story of God's love--start to finish. This is a quote from Andrew Peterson (the song write) about the concert...

"What I wrote is a concert that tells a story. There's no speaking--only songs, some of which are intimate, some epic, some humorous, all with a purpose, which is to convey the true tall tale of the coming of God into the world."

The cd is good too. If you don't have them, you should buy a Christmas present for yourself:)


back home and good things

I've been avoiding getting back online because I am so behind on just about everything related to this crazy online life! I have so many emails to return, bills to pay, blog posts to write (okay, so not super important), things I need to research...not to mention phone calls I need to return and the grocery store that keeps calling my name. Oh yeah, and this Christmas fanatic only has a tree with lights up--nothing else. Ugh! But of course, I'm just going to ignore my to-do list and procrastinate. It is really a good strategy. Try it:) A few things to share...

~We just returned from a week-long holiday whirlwind trip to visit Joel's family. We spent a couple days with Joel's siblings, then each set of parents. Last year we decided to start spending the first week of December celebrating the holidays with this part of the family instead of traveling over Thanksgiving and Christmas. We love it! It is honestly now one of my favorite holiday traditions. We get to spend quality time with our family instead of rushing all over. And we get to preserve our time during this season as a young family. So important!

~No pictures. I too absolutely no pictures during our trip. I was in camera rebellion. I just didn't feel like it and it felt good to not worry about capturing the moment. I just lived it instead. Now I'm just hoping

~Question: Is it a bad thing when my two year old starts asking for a Starbuck's scone every time we go through a drive-thru? He's even asked for a latte before. I'm wondering if this is a reflection of my habit? Don't answer that.

~Christmas cards in the mailbox. We came home to a full box full of Christmas cards and it was so exciting! I loved reading the letters and looking at all the pictures. It is one of the best parts of the season. Send me your cards!


preparing him room

Joy to the world! The Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;

Let every heart prepare him room

And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

I love to send out Christmas cards each year. I'll be sending out the last of our cards this weekend. I know it sounds crazy and I think many people just think it is a lot of work, but it is such a special thing for me. I do something a little different every year. Some years I write a letter and others I do something more simple, but the motive remains the same...I like to let our friends and family know we're thinking of them and that they are special to us. I like to begin the holiday season by sending the cards out early to kick-start my heart for the season. It is part of how I prepare room in my heart for the true meaning of the Christmas celebration. Some people bake, some make homemade gifts, some sing, some do everything. Lately I've tried to simplify and if I do nothing else but get the tree up, buy some gifts, and send out cards...I'm a happy little Christmas elf:)


living with boys...

Photo: Attempting to capture a decent photo for our Christmas card. As you can see, it was very successful!

I must admit that I secretly love being the only female in the house. I'm Princess Mama and I prefer to keep it that way:) As much as I love it, the males in this house never cease to make me crinkle up my nose in confusion. They're so strange. I try so hard, but their boy games are very hard to understand for this girly girl. How can they entertain themselves for hours with crashing cars ...or playing games with no rules...or scaring and wrestling each other? They just do things that girls would never do! Some examples...

~My husband rose early a while back and dressed in the dark to go work out at the gym. At the gym, he realized that he had two different shoes on. And these are not just two sort of similar shoes...this is one brown hiker and one white running shoe! Now at this point, any normal person (a female) would have hopped back into the car and ditched the workout for a Starbucks fly-by or something. But no, my husband didn't care and went through his entire workout with mismatched shoes. I think he enjoyed the stares!

~Now Griffin is sort of another story. He's a bit disgusting as everything is edible to him. I'm choosing to believe that it is because he's just a boy, so don't comment here and tell me what your little girl eats. It MUST be the male factor! We also have a term for the type of mess made when Griffin is let loose...we say something has been "Griffinized"!

~I walked in on Parker one day as he was playing in his room in just his underwear. This is probably never a good way to start a story! He was sitting on the edge of his bed with his leg crossed over the other--he probably sees me doing this. But he had his body all contorted and I realized that he was leaning over to be able to see his muscles flexing back and forth. Oh, my....how I wish I had my camera. I'm sure I could have found some use for a shot like that:)


strange packages of hope :)

Within the span of 24 hours this past weekend, Parker made some big leaps and was able to make me feel like I might be doing something right every now and then! First he asked for a chicken nugget and then ate it. This is just huge...because he hasn't eaten a chicken nugget in almost 2 years. It is embarrassing, but I almost cried. The next morning, he asked if he could poop on the potty and then sat up there on the throne like he's been doing it for years!

If someone would have told me three years ago that I'd be posting this type of thing on the web, I would have been mortified. But...here I am. I'm not ashamed to admit that little victories like this make me feel like I could do anything. Little glimpses of hope can come in very strange packages:)


our latest food project...

Well, it was sort of sticky. In the orange juice sort of way:)

Parker playing with his orange wedgie boats. This was one of the more successful projects. I actually got him to put it into his mouth and suck the juice out. Score!

Oh, and looky here....Griffin eating ummmm...my phone charger. Of course. I love the taste of those. Don't you?!


Life Lately

Just a bit of life to share...

I haven't been in blogging mode lately. Nothing is wrong...in fact, lots of things are right and I just don't feel much like sitting in front of the computer most days. This is fine with me because I never want to blog just for blogging's sake, you know? Oh, but I still love this little blog and today I'm in the mood!

My lovely sister is home from school and came to watch the boys yesterday for 5 hours so I could go Christmas shopping without the boys. It was BLISS, I tell you!! Lately I've been thinking that I didn't like shopping anymore, but I was wrong....I don't like shopping with the kids! I loooooove shopping alone. Oh, and I got so much done! It would have taken me five or six trips if I had ventured out with the boys. And who doesn't like an uninterrupted stroll through Target:) So fun!

While on my shopping adventure, I ended up buying my new CD. It is so good! I'm so happy with my purchase. I'm listening to good old Bebo right now and I'm enjoying myself immensley, thank you very much. I highly reccomend that everyone add this to the Christmas collection....

I am finally reading Blue Like Jazz! After years of hearing people tell me how much I would love it and how I should read it--I'm finally doing it! I'm really excited. I'm just a chapter into it so far, but I can tell that I'm going to enjoy the process. I'm typically in a good place while I'm reading something that makes me think and dig deeper.



Writing that title above reminded me of Friday night TV during the nineties. I loved me some Full House, Step by Step, Family Matters:) Anybody else remember those cheesy theme songs? At this point in my life, I don't count the days until TGIF. I can't say I even know what is on on Fridays now as I tend to prefer Thursday programming:)

I'll tell you what, I am sure glad this week is coming to a close and a weekend is coming. As for our family emergency, we saw an extraordinary turnaround and the week is ending in a much different way than we all expected. I truly believe that it was a miracle. The whole ordeal got me thinking a lot about the depths God will go to reach us...even sacrificing his own son. All glory to God.

My kids are sick with a bit of a cold ('tis the season) and I'm in the mood to nap. I really think I could sleep for hours but I've got stuff to do during nap time. I've really never understood the whole "nap while the children are sleeping" thing. I always want to try but it never works out. Maybe I should try harder...but I have a plan!

I buy new Christmas music every year and this year, I have my heart set on this one:I've actually never listened to it but I figure it will be wonderful since I love Bebo, love Christmas...so I will love it. I plan on purchasing it this weekend. And then this is my plan...I've thought a lot about this: I will pour myself a cup of coffee, add some Peppermint Mocha Coffee-Mate, light this delicious candle (thanks mom), and relax to my heart's content. Am I dreaming?



Holding Jesus

We've had an interesting week so far. Much of Joel's family is in town due to a medical emergency. Joel has been at the hospital for hours and hours, both working and being with the family. The boys and I have been back and forth. While it is a terrible reason to be able to spend time with our great family, it has been a wonderful chance to have an unexpected visit. Prayers for the family are needed...

On a lighter note, Parker has been obsessed with holding his newborn cousin, Avree (who is here in town with the rest of the family). He's so obsessed that he tells us that he needs to hold Avree. I understand wanting to hold Avree, but needs? It is so cute, though. While holding her, he sits perfectly still, tries not to smile and holds her head the wrong way--on top:) Well, last night, I figured out one of the reasons he's so obsessed with her right now: he thinks that Avree is the baby Jesus! This was our conversation last night...

Parker: Mama let's pray.
Me: Okay...go ahead.
Parker (singing): Jesus loves my mama. Jesus loves my Griffin. Jesus loves my daddy. Jesus loves my Parker. Amen.
Me: Amen. Thank you, Parker. Yep, Jesus does love you. You know that?
Parker: Yeah. I held her. I took care of her.
Me: Ummmm...yeah, okay. (what is he talking about?)
Parker: I take care of her. I'm big.
Me: Ooooohhhhh, yes you did hold Avree, didn't you?

It finally occured to me that I started reading Parker books about Christmas on Sunday and he saw Avree the next day. This is why babies are all of the sudden so important! To him, Avree is Jesus and he wants to take care of her! I love it. Little ones really are the smartest of us all...

"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."
Matthew 25:40


our cafe~our community

I’ve never felt so connected to my community as I do right now. It is such a great feeling—one that I’ve always wanted, but never seemed to grasp. I’ve been trying to figure out why I feel such a strong connection and I’ve decided that it just has to be more than just one thing, but the perfect combination of ingredients. I hope to write little tid-bits about those ingredients as I think of them. Definitely not ground-breaking, but I feel the need to document how I feel about my community right now.

A new café opened a few months ago just blocks from our house. We waited all summer as the new owners of the building fixed up the property and prepared the new business. We tried to get a glimpse of the café through the covered windows. We were just so excited that a neighborhood café would be within walking distance. Our town is not short on places to get coffee…not by any stretch of the imagination. But this would be our place. OUR Café! You know, kind of like Friends and Central Perk:)

We waited and waited and finally it opened….and boy, it was way more than we could have imagined! It has everything that a good café has…great coffee/tea, pastries, sandwiches, soups, etc. But, get this…it has a children’s room full of cool toys that keep my kids entertained for long periods of time. Whoever thought of this is just brilliant. I love her. We get to enjoy our food and beverage while our children enjoy themselves. Who could ask for more? We also have the opportunity to meet more of the people who live around us. I feel as though I am no longer on the outside looking in…but really in the inner-circle. Not that I know everyone at all…but I feel comfortable being myself and enjoy just being around others. I love that I can call up a friend and we can plan to meet at “the café” without even using the proper name. Because it is ours. We have a sense of ownership….a sense of community. What a good, good thing…


Nine whole months...

Griffin Jacob turned nine months on Wednesday. I can't believe he has been out in the world as long as I carried him in my body. I much prefer him on the outside! Even though he keeps me running and just a bit on my toes, he has much more personality out here. For the longest time, I thought my baby inside of me didn't have limbs and was very passive--for lack of movement. However, I was so wrong. Oh, so wrong! There is not one bit of passivity in this child. He knows what he wants and will figure out a way to get it. Some may call it being resourceful...I call it being a rascal! But for every ounce of rascal-ness, he is every bit as sweet. He's purely a mama's boy and I plan to keep him that way forever.

My dear Griffin...I love you and you know it. I wish I had some of your spunk and personality. Your smile is so adoring and so contagious. Everyone mentions how happy you are. My favorite times with you are when you are content to sit on my lap and receive my endless kisses on that adorable forehead. You are a light in this house, Griff and you are so loved. In fact, I love your everything. Love, Mama

For the record...pulls to standing, crawls all over, eats everything (including non-edibles), loves Parker so much, says "mama" ,"dada" and "Karker", 19 lbs 8 oz, 27 1/2 inches, healthy as a horse and verrrrry adorable:)


Picture Me

Jenn tagged me for this fun meme. I love doing these sort of things...

I'm supposed to post a picture of myself and write about it, but I couldn't decide so I chose two!!

April 17, 2005~This is one that I actually posted here but I just wanted to post it for this because I actually love it so much. It isn't flattering by any stretch of the imagination. This picture was taken after 27 hours of labor, three hours of pushing, an emergency c-section, and finally...the moment they told me I was a mama for the first time. I can't believe my sister was able to capture this moment on camera, complete with the tear rolling down my cheek. Priceless.

September of 2002~Joel and I were taking our dream vacation around Europe. This picture was taken in Venice and just captures us looking exactly how we felt...young, carefree, in love, and so blessed for the experience.

Now I tag Kati, Ruth, and Liz
And whoever else wants to participate:)

Who needs a dog?

We always talked about getting a dog before having kids. I'm a nurturer at heart and I just wanted to take care of a little, needy creature! I was basically just impatient for motherhood and I didn't like God's timing at all! Well, now I'm thinking it was probably a good thing that our plans never worked out...because we sure don't need one now! I clean up enough poop and pee as it is and sure feel needed! Our house isn't suited for an animal and I'm not a big fan of dog hair. One of the things I thought would be nice about having a dog is that they clean up after meals under the table. Now we found another reason why we don't need a dog--we have Griffin! After we clean him up from meals, Griffin goes directly under the table and eats the scraps. It is a convenient situation for all of us ;)

I promise you, I didn't plan this.
While I was writing the above paragraph, Parker peed on the floor, took off his clothes and then proceeded to tell me that there was a poop too. Before I could get there, Griffin picked up the turd. Nice. Definitely no dog. But maybe a dog would be easier to train? Oh, my...


who did that?

So I have one question...who in the world invented the whole time change idea?! Why do we have to have standard time and daylight savings time? Blah! Whoever they were must not have had children. Don't they know that this messes up everything? My kids wake up pretty early, around 6 am. Occasionally they wake up at a quarter till six. This is okay with me most of the time because once we hit the fives, it is officially doable for me. HOWEVER, since the time change, we've had two mornings of 4:45 am!!! Not good. Not good at all. Yes, I believe waking up in the fours is ungodly....sorry dad:)

I'm sure that my kids will adjust fairly soon, but until then...I'm going to vent my anger toward that inventor! Or maybe I could just choose a better attitude? :)


like grass

“People are like grass;
their beauty is like a flower in the field.
The grass withers and the flower fades.
But the word of the Lord remains forever.”

So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.

1 Peter 1:24-2:3

Whenever I start to drift or even start to wonder again what in the heck I am doing in my life, I remind myself of this passage. I know we've all been there numerous times. Sometimes it seems strange to me that this specific part in scripture totally rocks me...but then again, it is the WORD of God. It is crucial to always return to the basics of my faith--be in the Word, love people, commune with God, and see sin for what it is. Get rid of it....be done with it! I must crave pure spiritual milk, cry out for this nourishment in order to grow into a full experience of salvation. Yes!


Good Times:)

Another shot of the four bambinos last night. As you can tell, they were having the time of their lives ;)

a halloween night...

We had another great Halloween spent with family and a lot of food! We have a bit of tradition on October 31...we have family over here for dinner (most items are pumpkin related) and we just spend time together and open the door for Trick or Treaters. We also get to ooohhh and aaaahhh over our very own little darlings. This year we had a bumble bee (Griffin), Superman (Parker), a princess (Miss Audrey), and an Elf (Elliot). I will try to post a picture of the four of them later today when my sister emails me the picture. I was a bit lazy again with my camera! I know I'm biased, but they seriously are the cutest little halloweeners I've ever seen. Did I just make up that word?

Our friend Dan brought over the greatest game for the boys...Elefun! I love it and so does Parker. Griffin....well, he tries to eat the elephant and the butterflies, but he'll get it in a while. But it keeps Parker occupied and he's learning how to do it himself--which is huge!

Here is my recipe for our special chili. I know it sounds strange, but believe me...most people love it. And it is super healthy too!

Pumpkin Black-Bean Chicken Chili

1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. oil

1.5 tsp. dried oregano

2 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. cumin

2 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained

2.5 cups chopped chicken

16 oz can pumpkin
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth
Bag of frozen corn
3 Tbl. brown sugar

1. Saute onions, yellow pepper, and garlic in oil for 8 minutes, or until soft.
2. Stir in oregano, cumin, and chili powder. Cook 1 minute. Transfer to slow cooker.
3. Add remaining ingredients.
4. Cover. Cook on low 7-8 hours.


a new life to love

We spent the weekend with family across the mountains. We made special trip over to meet our new niece, Miss Avree Jean! She's two weeks old and just beautiful. I love watching new parents with their little ones. I think it is so amazing how life can change in an instant when a new baby is born. I love it! Congratulations to Aubree and Derek!

Parker was so proud to be able to hold little Avree. This picture totally cracks me up. Check out Griff trying to be so cool because he's a whole 8 months older...:)

And Parker got to hang out with his older cousins, Sean and Mattison. Sean is his idol. Sean is everything. Sean'sthe bomb! Parker even has dreams about him. This past weekend, Parker realized a dream...he slept in Sean's cool bed. Oh my!

And now we're back home and trying to get back to normal. Funny thing is, whenever I try to get back to normal, I suddenly realize normal has changed. Ha! Out of necessity (vacation, illness, etc.), I've let some things slide and been pretty lax regarding discipline with myself and my children. I'm actually enjoying adding a little bit of routine and order to our lives. Not too much though:)



That terrible stomach bug hit the fourth member of our family last night. Poor Joel. It is probably good that I got it early on because it gave me a ton more sympathy. I'm afraid that I used to be a bit of the "suck it up" kind--which is just terrible to admit.

This has been a weird week. I expected to come home to beautiful October and enjoy our regular routine of friends and activities. Instead, we came home to beautiful October and have spent the whole week indoors, hanging on to this bug. Gosh, it is just gorgeous outside. I already miss October and it isn't even gone:)

I went to the mall today because I just had to get out! I found a book I'm excited about...

I haven't started yet, but I think it is going to be interesting. Lectio Divina sounds pretty cool, doesn't it?


Breaking out the Christmas Music...

Well, I'm sitting here recovering from one heck of a stomach bug that went through three out of the four of us. Oh, my gosh...so bad, so disgusting. Of course, no need for details, but I will say it was the kind that defied gravity...a lot.

My babies are napping and I don't have enough energy to clean my messy house or even an appetite to eat my lunch. So what does one do in this situation? Blog, of course:)

My sister in law, Vicky, is famous for sending really awesome packages at just the right time. As I was laying on the couch this morning, feeling sorry for myself, I heard that delightful sound of the mailman leaving packages at my door. Woo Hoo! In addition to fun Halloween goodies for the boys, Vicky sent along quite a few new Christmas CD's for my collection. What a girl! She sure knows how to make my day! You see, I make a goal every year of not bringing out the Christmas music until November 1st--but I rarely make it. This year is no exception...I just can't help myself, I love it so much! And maybe, just maybe I can blame my cheating on Vicky this year, since she sent the new music a week or so early:))

The Sarah McLachlan album is one of the CD's in the great package. I highly recommend it...if you like her style. I think it is a great addition to our mix. The second to last track, In The Bleak Mid-Winter, reminded me how much I love this classic. The lyrics are just great. Here are a few lines...

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

In the Bleak Midwinter, Christina Rossetti


so much to say, so little time

Our vacation to Colorado was beyond good. Way beyond! I really couldn't have asked for anything more. We spent the majority of our time up in the mountains at Beaver Creek in a beautiful condo. What did we do? A whole lot of nothing...watched movies, read books, ate a lot of food, played with our boys, went on some mini hikes, and took numerous naps. We did all the things we want to do to relax at home, but we never seem to make enough time....basically we had good, old-fashioned family time and we came back so refreshed. Perfect!

Oh, and our time spent with Jenn and her family was even better than I expected! Her family is beautiful and sweet and really...she's a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of girl. So genuine...so lovely...so fun! When I'm around her, I feel filled up and blessed! I would hang out with her everyday if I could. If only....:)

We were also able to meet up with Sarah and her family! Like Sarah said, it was way too brief....but so wonderful to meet her! I feel like they have something in the water in Colorado--she's another one who is so genuine and has such a good, good heart. Oh, how I wish we lived closer...

I really feel like I could write volumes about how this vacation was so excellent on every level, but I have sick boy on my hands and can't spend much time here on my 'puter. I put together a little slide show, but I have to admit that I was a little bit of a slacker when it came to pictures. I guess my camera was on vacation too! Jenn and Sarah have some that are much better. Enjoy!


a fall vacation...

It seems as though vacation always seems to come just in the nick of time. Just when we feel as though the days are too long and the nights too short...when work becomes too much....when we grow tired of the daily grind ....VACATION! Woo Hoo!!

I've been a bit absent from my normal blogging routine already this week, but now I'm going to be really absent! Maybe my mind has just been preparing for next week and checked out early. I tend to do that. We get to go on our first vacation as a family of four:) We'll be hanging out at a condo for a week in a state I've never visited. AND we'll get to spend time with Jenn and her family! How cool is that? I am beyond excited! I can't wait! Not super-excited about the flight with the two kiddos...but I'm sure that it will go better than I've imagined!

And so...see you all later! I'll be back sooner than later with some great pictures, I hope!

leafy greens...

I haven't found anything that Griffin won't eat. I'm so surprised that he isn't HUGE because he eats like a horse....grass and all. A couple of weeks ago, I was making my spinach salad for lunch and dropped a few leaves on the kitchen floor. Before I realized the mess, Griffin managed to make his way over to the leafy greens and stuff them all in his mouth. He was quite proud of himself. I wasn't shocked he'd eaten off the floor, just that he seemed to really enjoy the spinach. Lately he's been into our house plants. He likes to dig around in the dirt and enjoy a mud pie. Gross, I know. We're not encouraging it. But he's so obsessed with the leaves of the plants--they're like a delicacy for him. When we're not looking, he goes and rips huge leaves off the plants and stuffs handfuls in his mouth. It's like chocolate cake to him!

It is so ironic...while I'm pleading with Parker to try a chicken nugget, Griffin is happy stuffing foliage into his mouth. It's like he has pica or something. Oh well, at least he likes food!


change tense

"It is extraordinary to realize that this moment, framed in time--not the memories, not the expectations or ambitions--is my life. And in this moment I change tense: stop becoming and just am."
"Seeing in the Dark" ~ O, Oct 07 ~ p. 298

We made a family trip to Costco last night. Love that place! I tend to get more than we need, so for that reason, I don't love it...but it is just so darn fun! Yes, even fun with two little ones in the cart and ice cream all over their faces. They were fascinated with the Christmas merchandise. What kid wouldn't be excited about a lit-up, life-sized reindeer? :)

I've written before about how I am striving to live in the moment...not dwelling on the past or camping myself in the future either. I think the key is to live like a kid in some ways. They are so simple and practical. Parker's prayer after we got home (before bed) was a good reminder of this...

"Dear God, thank you for the stooooorrrr.....ummmmmm......thank you for ice creeeaaaam....ummmmm....thank you for fwosted middy eats (a.k.a. frosted mini-wheats). Jesus. God. Amen."

I love that he was just thanking God for what he knew to be good, for the exciting things he had just experienced and for the practical things in life God gives us. He was praying with a grateful heart and certainly knows how to live in the moment.

And all this time, I thought I was supposed to be teaching him.... ;)


these boys, my delight

I know, I know...I've been mainly posting pictures lately and not writing a whole bunch. Truth is, I haven't been super busy, just really enjoying my gifts. Friday was one of those days that I was truly able to live in the moment and enjoy plenty of one on one time with both of my sons. I was able to forget about the absolute disaster all over the house and decided to spend more time with Parker and Griffin. Totally refreshing.

I hope these boys know that they give me such delight...


mama joys

Being a mama is so fun. So fun! Now, I'm not saying it isn't work--it is the hardest work, but there are some really great perks. Check these out...

These are Parker's new shoes I just bought for him at Nordstrom Rack! Aren't they snazzy? I love to dress my kids! I know that it isn't that important in the grand scheme of things, but we've got to have a little fun, don't we?!

This picture was taken in between flops. The action shot probably wouldn't be blog appropriate:)

And speaking of fun...I wish I could post an awesome picture I took of Parker practicing his belly-flop in the bath tub tonight! It was so hilarious! He decided to do a sort of hand stand with his feet on the back wall...then he'd push off with his feet, land on his belly and send water everywhere. It was so cool! I know, it probably wasn't the safest activity, but it was supervised and I couldn't stop laughing in time to intervene. Oh, the mama joys...

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