Saturday, January 28, 2012

Christmas at home

I love the traditions that are starting to form for our family around Christmas. On Christmas Eve, we serve at church during one service (this year we did nursery) and also go to one of the services together. Then we come home and the kids get to open one present- their new Christmas pjs. They put them on, read the Christmas story, and then start our movie night (complete with popcorn and smoothies and a bed on the floor). Of course, Jace missed out on most of this fun but he caught the beginning of our movie time.

The next morning we wake up (bright and early of course) to open presents and eat breakfast.

Jace was excited!

Stocking time!

Jace got Addelyn a new stuffed puppy. By the way, this puppy is the new favorite. She carries it around, sleeps with it, and calls it Lucy. Good pick little brother!

A book to share!

A school desk, exciting!

Singing Happy Birthday to Jesus! What a great day and celebration of the birth of our Savior.

Christmas 2011 catchup

My blogging (which is my scrapbook) has been behind. I'm trying to get Christmas caught up on before February arrives! So here are some of our special Christmas memories. We spent some time in Ackley with my Mom and Tanner. The guys actually took Tanner to a movie in the afternoon which was fun for them while the gals hung out at the house.

What a wonderful Grandma!

Aunt Jiller, we love you!

The girls with our Christmas socks. This is a tradition. My sis buys us sweet, weird Christmas socks every year. We wear them while we open gifts. The best part of this picture is you see the beginning of a tantrum. Addelyn didn't get special socks and she was upset. So she was trying to remove mine for the pic. I ended up losing a reindeer head in this tantrum! Ahh the reality of kids over the holidays. There are good, beautiful moments- and then real and ugly ones too.

Don't I look hot with long blonde hair?

Christmas treats, yum! We have a little baker! This girl LOVES making treats, especially ones to deliver to other people.

She actually made these treats with Daddy. Impressive huh?

All dressed up for the DTI Christmas party, Mark's work crew. Don't we look awesome in our amazing Christmas outfits?! It is an "Ugly Christmas party" where you are supposed to show up in an ugly sweater or outfit.

More Christmas updates to come! What a wonderful Christmas season we had.

when mom turns around....

Hard to believe things like this can happen when you are standing in the same room, with your back turned. Addelyn gave Jace a black colored pencil, which he enjoyed eating. Sigh....

Thursday, January 26, 2012

comments of the week

Tonight Addelyn said, "Mom, God made the world. He made everything, he made rain. He made trees. But sometimes we paint our houses."

She loves to pretend she is "Jiva." This is the place she has gotten her haircut. The other day she was Beth and was doing my hair. She brushed it for awhile and then she said, "I just can't work with this hair. It is too crazy for me."

Oh Addelyn, you make us smile!

playing together

I LOVE watching Addelyn playing sweetly with Jace. It doesn't always happen. When I leave the room, often she is trying to do things like change his diaper, change his clothes, pick him up, or hang him upside down off the side of the bed (that was last night!)
This time, I caught her "building" with him and it warmed my heart!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Nearing Home by Billy Graham

In the book, "Nearing Home," Billy Graham shares valuable life lessons he has learned along the way in his ninety three years of life. He shares some of the challenges he has faced as he grows older, along with important learnings he has gleaned from scripture. The book is really focused on those that are entering their later years, but has important lessons for those at any age.

I picked up this book because I was curious to read and hear what Billy Graham has to say. I went to one of his crusades when I was first following Jesus and although I would say some of our strategies of doing ministry may look different, I deeply respect Billy Graham and would love to learn from him. This book, for me, was filled with important truths- some that I feel like I already know and want to remember as life goes on and some that seem new to me. One of the things that stuck out to me was how Graham shared about that none of us can really understand/prepare for the reality of what growing older is like- the pains, the loss of family/vision/hearing/etc. He talked about how that has affected him and the true need of knowing and following Jesus now (earlier in life) so that when we don't have the use of our hearing/vision/memory as well, we will have a solid foundation.
I think this is a book I'd like to try to read every five-ten years - to continue to think about the truths he shared as I continue to grow older. I would definitely suggest this book to people who are considering how they want to live well- both in a younger age or when they are older.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Raised Right by Alisa Harris

I'm loving being a "book reviewer." Free books and a deadline to read them by. Not a bad idea for someone who loves to read but often doesn't make time these days. When I have a deadline, I ALWAYS make time.

I just finished reading, "Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics" by Alisa Harris. This book tells the story of a young woman who grew up in a family that was very active in politics. She spent a lot of time as a young girl, picketing abortion clinics and learning about being a conservative Republican. Harris spends time in the book, sharing about her story from a young girl to a young adult, when she started questioning how her politics intersected with her faith. A lot of this book is Harris' story but at the same time, it looks at the questions of her generation about politics and faith.

I am still trying to decide what I think about this book. I liked it but at the same time, it moved slow for me. I really appreciated and could relate to some parts of Harris' story and many of her questions were challenging to me. The main thing I walked away from the book is that no matter where you stand in your political beliefs- it is very important that people of faith are speaking out about important issues. It was also a great challenge to me to continue to ask questions about how I'm "supposed" to take a stance as a Christian (or so it seems) and to continue to try to follow what God says. I loved Harris' honesty in this book- it was refreshing. Overall, this was a pretty good book that I enjoyed reading.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

four years old

I'm a little behind on my blog posts but here we go on the catch up. On December 11th, our little girl turned four! I don't know where the four years went but I would say this last four years has been the biggest life changing four years ever. Being a parent to this wonderful little girl is incredible and challenging all wrapped up into one. Every day she keeps us on our toes.

Addelyn's birthday weekend always seems to be busy- right before Christmas. Last year we moved into our new house the same weekend so at least this year was a little less crazy! Friday night, we had a little "party." We decided a big party didn't need to happen- Addelyn is young enough that we let her invite two friends over instead of throwing a big party. It was a bummer at first, one friend couldn't end up coming so she ended up having a birthday "play date" with her buddy Austin. They ended up having a blast, just the two of them. We went to the bouncy house at the mall, made homemade pizzas, and had some "Dora games." Swiper even hid the cupcakes and the kids had to find them.

Saturday, we went to serve at the Craft Fair, which is a part of the ministry "Christmas in Walnut" that our church has partnered in the past few years. I have served at the Craft Fair every year and now it is fun for Addelyn to be able to come along too. We had some good quality time together, making crafts and helping other kids make crafts too. That afternoon was the family party. Addelyn had lots of fun having the family over for her favorite dinner that she chose, spaghetti. She got lots of fun presents- I'd say this year was the Rapunzel theme (she loves Tangled!) I even made a little cake. I'm not going to lie, I didn't have the energy to go crazy and make a cool cake. There was just too much going. So I was happy with the easiest cake decorating idea ever, see below!

For Addelyn's birthday, she got a "big girl bed" from us. She has loved this bed. I wasn't sure if it would be a hard transition but it has been great. We decided we needed to have a bigger bed in one of the kid's rooms so we would have a place when guests come to stay. Crazy to think, we bought her a mattress that she will probably have til she goes to college. Weird to even say that.

At four years, Addelyn is a smart, creative, spunky little girl. She has shy moments and very bold moments. She likes to be social but also thrives on time at home- not on the go. She loves playing with her little friends, loves her stuffed puppies (Lucy 1 and Lucy 2), dislikes having her hair brushed (I would say I almost need a stronger word here than dislike!), likes dessert, has a good sense of humor, loves her brother, tests us often, some days has a hard time listening, asks amazing and hilarious questions ("Where do raccoons go potty?"- yesterday's question), likes to play babies, doctor, and school, is a little bossy- I'd like to call it leadership, and is just a sweet hearted little girl. She is asking us daily when she can get a puppy.
We love you Addelyn, and are so thankful for the past four years of your life. It is going to be so fun to watch you grow up into the woman that God has made you to be.

the masterpiece!

Family party time!

Look where Swiper hid the cupcakes! In Mom's closet!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

a kid forever?

Tonight I had the BEST ever conversation with Addelyn before bed.

"Mom, I really really really love the picture above my bed. I love my toes. Can it hang there forever?" (this picture has her as a baby- pics of her little hands, feet, etc.)
"For sure," I said.
"But will we live here forever? When we will have a different house?"
I told her we plan to stay here for a long, long time.
"Well, mom, I think I want to stay a kid forever. Can I stay a kid forever?"

Oh, my sweet girl, I would love for you to be my kiddo forever!

6 months

I am not a good blogger these days. Just have had too much going on to sit at the computer to blog. I realize how behind I am when my six month post for Jacers isn't going up til he is seven months. Along with Addelyn's fourth birthday, which is still yet to come. So here is our little buddy at his half birthday! Crazy, a half of year with this sweet little man already. We love him so much! Jacers, you have definitely brought much joy to our lives!

Love that toothy grin- those bottom teeth arrived at four months- and now he is working on his top two teeth!
I will eat you six months! Ahhh the months of him trying to eat/rip/play with the month sign have began!
Addelyn has felt left out of the picture shoots with the monthly stickers lately so instead of her being onry the whole time I tried to take pics, I tried a different approach this time. She got to wear a onesie like Jace- you must note- a 12 month sized one- and she took the same pictures. She loved this idea and had a blast. We laughed a lot this photo shoot!

At six months, Jace is:
*eating different foods pretty well at dinner time, depends on the day though, he has figured out he can spit too so sometimes Mark or I will wear more of it.
*Goes to bed around 7:30 pm- gets up once or twice a night to eat, usually up between 5:30-6:30 am (an early riser, oh no!!!!)
*Giggles lots, but will give you his serious face too. Gotta love that serious look- he is trying to figure out the world!
*Sits up well without support- his favorite position to be in these days
*Likes to play with, grab toys (and anything else in his way- which means we really have to watch the little toys these days that Addelyn got for her fourth birthday!)
*Rolls over well, can push up on his arms well, scoots a little to grab for a toy but not much. Is starting to act like he wants to go places though, yikes!!!
*Is an easy going little guy!

Can you see the love? And the 4 year old tie she has on? Gotta love it!