Sunday, January 22, 2012

Happy Birthday, Hope!

Dear Hope,

Happy Birthday, Pumpkin Pie! You are four, although you wake up every morning asking if you are five yet. :) Mommy isn't ready to let you grow up that fast.

This year you have grown up so very much. You are growing tall. At your check up you are in the 90% in height. You are a quick learner too. You love to sort things, figure out new words, color, write your name and anything else you think you can write and work puzzles. You are trying to hard to read without anyone teaching you. That's the way you do everything, On. Your. Own. You make us laugh!

One of your favorite activities this year was going to the zoo. We went a couple of times in the winter, this was the week of Becca's birthday. We went just after a huge ice storm. You were thrilled to see the dolphin show. Since our membership has expired you keep reminding us that the giraffes are very sad that you don't go to see them any more.

You love to help me cook. That one of your favorite activities. You want to help with everything, including peeling vegetables, stirring and pouring and, my personal favorite, "hatching" the eggs when we are baking.

You absolutely love church. You are developing such a soft heart for the things of God. You want to live for him already and the blesses your daddy and I to no end. You often lift your hands during praise time at church and can't wait for Miss Lisa or Miss Rebecka to take you to "Scunday school" as you call it.

This will forever be the year you cut your hair in my mind. Everyone thinks I went and had it cut now. The cut you gave yourself is so cute. :) I think in another month or two your bangs will finally be out of your eyes again. I can tell you are beginning to get frustrated with them. Hopefully you won't be grabbing for the scissors again.

Every now and then I still get a little peak into the tiniest bit of baby left in you. Like when you weren't feeling well and conked out on the couch. I love your sweet, sweet sleeping face.

 This was taken on your first ever camping trip. We went with a few other families from our church and you had a blast. I think  you lived in a hammock half of each day. It was so hot. You would climb in and rock for what seemed like forever. Mommy and Daddy loved knowing exactly where you were!

 You are having so much fun being you! Daddy and I are so proud of the little girl you are and know that God will continue to direct your life. We pray that you will acknowledge God in all your ways and allow him to be the center of your life. You are so very, very precious to us. I love you, baby girl!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Beautiful Things

I'm taking a quick break from catching up.

This week has been long. Not that we've been busy. It's just been long somehow.

The kids have done great with the new school routine we've started second semester. It's been fabulous to finally have a new structure since Breeley gave up her morning naps.

Speaking for Breeley, she is talking so much. She was saying a around 20-30 words right before Christmas. Now she's in the "popcorn" verbal stage. We are loving listening to her. Today she saw a gag gift I'd gotten Doug for Christmas.  (A really, really tacky hang over the door basketball hoop - that talks to you carnival style. Doug was horrified that I bought it from our friend's garage sale. The kids and I thought it was hilarious. It was Becca and Bree who played with it the most.) She pointed to it and said "Boom baby" totally enunciated. I was dying laughing. She also says "Ang Bur" when she wants to play Angry Birds on Doug's phone.  Some days I think my baby may be a genius; and then I see her eating crayons....

Hope and Becca have found a new love in playing together. It's fun to watch the two of them dress up and put on shows. Becca is normally the producer/director/ gopher, while Hope enjoys center stage. They both are happy that way.

Ty is getting ready for his first solo camping trip. It will be interesting to hear how he does overnight by himself. Of course it will be on private property, but it's still hard for this mom to believe he even is ready to try something like that on his own.

I'm being reminded right now of the beautiful work God is doing in my family. I know that God is working in every family who allows Him to be the center of their home. The gift and the honor that it is to be a part of the kingdom of heaven sometimes grows stale. I love that He has already made all things beautiful in his time. I pray that the eternal perspective he so greatly desires me to have is where my focus stays.

My family is growing up and these years are going so fast. Maybe that is why this long, long week was a gift. A time to slow down and scoop my babies off their feet to rock or read or color or play computer games. I want to grow close to the Lord's heart and close to my husband's and children's hearts so that I don't miss the beautiful things God is doing in our home.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Catch up!

It's been awhile. Since Living Christmas Trees I've been tired and busy. Mostly just tired though. I'm hoping to get caught up in the next few days on our family's life.  

Starting where I left off, here are the highlights of the 2011 LCT. 

 The  obligatory family photo! Right before the last performance I remembered to get one on the set. Thanks to my friend Katie for taking the time in the midst of her assistant director(ing) responsibilities to not only snap the picture, but make sure lighting was a good as it could get and make my baby laugh! I love that she's laughing so hard you can't see her eyes in this one!
My precious angel! This was by far her favorite role this year. She loved learning the dance and being a part of this scene.
 This sweet lady heads up the childcare for all the younger kids in the cast. She has "adopted" our family into theirs and we are blessed beyond measure. She and Hope put each other's lipstick on before the show.
 My Hopey girl! She was a trooper again this year. She was a bundle of joy and brought joy to many hearts. She was adamant about which scenes she did NOT want to be a part of this year. It was so nice for her to be able to articulate what she wanted to do and didn't. Of course, it was a big disappointment (and therefore some less than joyful moments) when she learned she wasn't quite old enough to be an angel. But she did awesome in the Palm Sunday scene and the finale where she learned the whole dance and rarely missed a beat. We were so proud of her and thankful to Mr. Dan for being so patient to help her on stage.
 One of my favorite parts. This year to the scene depicting Jesus' ministry they added Jesus welcoming the children. I love the look on the disciples face as Jesus gives his full attention to the children.
 A very special teen volunteered several  nights to come help with the kids.  If you remember, Breeley was not having a great week. She was tired and teething. Once this sweet girl came to play, Breeley was so happy. She would even fall asleep for her in a room filled with playing kids.

 My boy in the choir room which served as our green room, prior to a show. Ty did a great job in more grown up rolls this year. This was the first time he was a part of the crucifixion scene. I was so proud of his listening to directions and learning from each practice and performance. He had a joy about him and a hard work ethic with learning the finale dance. 

It was a great year again. I'm not sure we'll be back on board again next year, but there are a lot of fun memories to carry us for quite awhile. I love how this brings us together as a family and a church. We are so grateful that so many of our family and friends came to see the show. It's so much fun to  know a few in the audience. Thanks for making time to come share the fun with us!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hope's 4th Birthday Party

Hope's Birthday was almost a month ago. Time is flying by so fast. First here are the pictures from her birthday and birthday party.

 Hope's actual birthday was crazy busy. We had Bible study, followed by a trip to Chick-fil-a, then a few stops before home. Daddy brought her these beautiful flowers. And we had dinner of her choosing: Fish sticks (Thanks, Grammy and Papaw, for introducing her to these!) followed by chocolate cupcakes. She opened a few of her gifts from our family before bed.
 The next morning she woke up and we were planning her birthday party with extended family and friends. She thought for a few moments, threw her hands up in the air and exclaimed, "Now I'm five!" After a good laugh, we realized she was (and remains) quite certain that since she had two parties she is indeed five. Funny girl!
 The previously mentioned Mr. Dan and Mrs. Dan came down to help us celebrate. It totally made Hope's night to have them there. The purple butterfly pajamas they brought her were only icing on the cake.
 If you've read my blog for very long, you'll understand my great relief when Hope agreed to a pink lady bug cake this time. We had lots of fun making it.
 One of the favorite things about my kids birthday parties is when they get old enough to be interested in the cards. Hope "read" several birthday cards aloud. It was so stinkin' funny!
 Tyler was so sweet to read the names from the cards for her so she would know who brought the gift. The party was a lot of fun and we are once again blessed to have so many to love on our baby.