Monday, October 31, 2011

His first pumpkin. His first ice cream. His first birthday.

October 22nd was a Saturday! It was also our baby boy's birthday! A great excuse to do something super great as a family.  Dolan took the day off, so we loaded up the cameras, diaper bag, jackets, sippy cups, stroller, and our little kiddos...and we traveled to Wilson to Dean's Farm.  A hayride (with popcorn), some pumpkins, farm animals, a brand new playground, including a giant tube slide, topped off with McDonald's ice cream (Levi's first!) made for a perfect day.  Here's a look back.

family days are the BEST days!

Happy Birthday, once again, to our baby. xoxo


Monday, October 24, 2011

How Embarrassing!

I think embarrassing moments just come with know...of being a mom.  It's been a while since I've really had one.  So I was due.

Just the other day, a friend of mine (and fellow homeschool mom) reminded me of one of the coolest place in our town....the lending library.  We were at the regular library for our weekly story-time/craft when we had the discussion about what wonderful, educational items could be checked out across town at the lending library.  Usually, after an hour of helping a 4 year old pick out books, chasing a 2 year old, feeding snacks to a 12 month old, keeping all still for the duration of a 20 minute story time, and helping with crafts...I'm sort of ready to go home and call it a morning!

Well, I was just too excited.

So, we headed across town and I began the talk.  You know, the one about how it is very important to use our manners, stay close to mommy, use our inside voice, yada, yada, yada.....

We get out and load Levi into the stroller, Noah walks beside me holding the stroller strap, Savannah holds Noah's hand and we head proudly into the overly quiet office building.  I'm feeling good because, we talked!

A nice middle-eastern lady escorts us down a long hallway into what is known as the lending library.  It is a single room with floor to (nearly) ceiling industrial shelving holding more clear plastic tubs than I could possibly count.  I've never seen so many educational items so organized and in one place!  Of course, all tubs are labeled making it easy for mom to pick and choose! =)

As I am noticing the beautifully typed labels, I'm realizing that my 2 year old is also amazed by the room and has wandered out of my sight.

Seconds after my realizing this, the nice lady with her middle-eastern accent raises her eyebrows and says, "Ma'am, are you watching him?  (begins walking dashing to the back of room and around a wall into another area) Ma'am where is your son?" Well, considering it had been about 2 minutes total since we had entered...I had not been that worried, until her questions! Should I be worried, I'm thinking.

She comes back around the corner gently guiding him in front of her and most politely, but assertively makes this request....

"Ma'am would you please monitor your son?  He was on my computer!"

2 minutes inside this place and I am starting to sweat.

I kneel down beside sweet little Noah and remind him of the talk.  We find a toy he is interested in and after checking on Savannah, who is thankfully doing as she was told, I browsed.

Overwhelmed by all the "stuff," I begin to make my allotted 7 choices.  Pumpkin puzzle, Bowling game, little people set, 2 counting peg board sets...  Savannah spots a bright pink bouncy ball and is excitedly asking if we can check it out.  So, the nice lady gets it for her and then kindly gives her permission to bounce with it in the hallway.  How nice.

Noah picked up on what was going on and dashed out the door to join her.  I hear some giggling (including a little from the lady)...and some bouncing.  Then, running.  Then the sound of this...

"Miss, are you finished?  Your children are quite unruly!" 

Unruly.  Unruly.  Her words just resound in my head and I can't get past...Unruly.

What is it about that word that makes me think of a child screaming to the top of his lungs at his mother in the grocery store while jumping up and down in the shopping cart crushing all the cereal boxes?

Feeling a little disheartened with my unruly children, I replied calmly AND with a smile, "Yes, ma'am."

She needed to go over all the procedures with me about check-out.  (Oh, and my heart rate is on a continual climb).

I have Savannah and Noah sit down by the door in the hallway.

The lady and I finish and she helps us to the door.

The talk resumes.

You know, as I'm learning how to be a mother (because it really is a never-ending cycle of learning) I'm realizing the task is quite huge.  It involves day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second guiding...nurturing...modeling...  and the list goes on.  I must see their heart as Christ sees their heart.  I could have scolded, in anger, both of them in that hallway.  But, despite my embarrassment (for my "unruly" children), I saw their hearts.  So, I'm thankful today for that.

So you want to know my prayer? It's simply this.

"Lord, you gave me three precious children to mother.  May I see them as you see them.  May I correct them as you might correct them.  And may they see your unending love through me.  Amen."

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Levi James. What a difference a year makes!

One year ago, today...I had forgotten how little they were.

Or, how in love I would be...all over again.

One year ago, today...we had no idea just how much our hearts could love another child.

One year ago today...we had 3 "three" and under, and 2 in diapers.

One year ago, today...Dolan became father to another son.

One year ago, today...I had no idea how hard it would be to keep up with it all!!

One year ago, today...Savannah and Noah gained another playmate!

One year ago, today...Levi James joined our nest.

And look at him today.

What a difference a year makes!

We couldn't be happier.

Happy Birthday, Levi James.

Another precious gift.

1 Chronicles 29:13
Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Forgot to put the "play rice" away!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

School Days

Oh, how I love teaching these children.  But, OH some days it is so HARD! I have to keep reminding myself that they are only 4, 2, and almost 12 months! Every single day is different.  Actually, things can change in a matter of minutes here. We can go from 2 sitting at the table working on an activity and 1 on the floor playing with one 4yo who is devastated that a 2yo marked on her paper followed by 2yo sweeping ALL crayons/markers on the floor in retaliation followed by a mommy asking 2yo to clean them followed by an hour of whining and "I caaaaaaannnnnn't"   

For this very reason, school often carries over into other parts of our day...and I'm thankful for that.  Yes, we are doing reading lessons most nights around 8:30 in that little 4yo's room.  Trust me, she thinks it is soooooooo great! 

And as for that little 2yo and 12 mo. old....well, they keep this mama hoppin!

Here's a peak into our school room during the week we learned the letter "E." 

This is our makeshift flag because I can never remember to pick one up when we are out! I'm glad the kids don't mind! Savannah and Noah both are doing great on the "pledge of allegiance."

Give this little fella some scissors and he is occupied for at least 10 minutes! So proud of his "E" (and all of his Thomas the train stickers). =)
Lookin good, Savannah!

And there is always background noise, thanks to this little cutie.

Book Basket Baby! Quite the little sneak, he is. =) He sure does enjoy watching his brother and sister during school time.  Many mornings, I leave him in his high chair from breakfast and he just looks on with such adoration (or maybe it's just that he simply feels safe there...) =)

Thank you God for our three. They bless my heart every morning.

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