Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Shannon's Shower

*I bought Zach's reward chart at a local teaching supply store. We've done it one week with him, and I can already tell a difference! Small steps. ; )

This weekend Colson and I rode with Shannon to Little Rock for Reagan's shower. We had a fun time. Even though we live in the same city, we had lots to catch up on!
 Colson got lots of grandparent lovin'.
I'm sure Shannon will post more pics soon. She got lots of goodies.

Jason and Zach stayed home and had a guys' weekend. He texted me pictures throughout the weekend, and this was my favorite one.
Kohen came over to play. These two are precious together!

Zach's furniture is also finished, and I'm excited to share pictures soon. ; )

I'm loving this spring weather!


You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes.


James 4:14

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Rewards

Our sweet firstborn son is a bit strong-willed. He has a such a tender heart but also challenges me in many ways. I'm learning so much by being his mom, and I really do like this age. Much better than two or three. ; )
This "rewards chart" has become a part of our lives this week. Since Z is taking on more responsibility and wanting to be independent, I thought it would be a good idea for him to see his progress.

The goal is for me not to remind him to do certain things. On the chart I listed things like brushing his teeth, taking his vitamin, putting his shoes away, and sharing with Colson. I also included no fits and no whining. Those two are my favorites!

At the end of the week if there are a lot of check marks he gets a surprise. I want to encourage his little heart and also let him see all the good choices he is making. I'm crossing my fingers (and praying hard) it helps, and so far so good.

Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.

Proverbs 17:9

Friday, February 24, 2012

Zach

You guys are the sweetest. I've been reading through some old comments, and I'm just encouraged. Some of you are dear friends. I don't know how the heck this happens though the internet, but it does! Who can limit how GOD works? ; ) I see your hearts, and I'm so blessed.


The latest news around our house is that Z is signed up for spring soccer. Knowing his coach we will begin practices any day now! Seriously. He is also still BFF with Peanut. She is a little sweetie, and I've let my guard down a tiny bit. Ha! I'm friends with her mom so this helps. ; ) Peanut is a little older than Z so she will be going to kinder in the fall. Sigh. 
 I've been writing down a few things Z is saying these days that make me laugh. ; )

At dinnertime: 

Me: "Zach eat your dinner."
Z: "Fork's not on my food yet, Mommy."

Early one morning: "Mommy, when the sun wakes up can we call Kohen?"
 Driving past a playground: "Mommy, your bottom's too big to go down that slide."

Before bedtimes prayers: "I will pray tomorrow."

Watching Elmo's Potty Time: "Mom, can we go to the toilet paper factory?"

When he wanted water: "Mommy, my throat is about to choke I'm so thirsty!"
 After Bible study I told Z I loved his craft. He said, "I didn't make it. The teacher did!"


After his Valentine's Day party: "Mommy, why did you eat all my candy?"


Before getting in the bath: "What time is the temperature?


During the middle of a birthday party: "WHEN DO WE GET THE FAVORS?!"
Before a doctor's appointment: "Maybe if I get a shot, I can get in the treasure box."


After AWANA Zach asked me how the wall of Jericho fell. I told him God commanded Joshua and his men to march around the wall, and because they obeyed He caused it to fall down. Zach said, "Yes, because GOD has big legs."


I love this crazy kid.


Instead, you should say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that."


James 4:15

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I Like to Move It Move It

For the 3 of you who would like to know, I'm happy to share what kind of exercise I do or how I fit in working out during my day. We are all so busy, right?


When Jason and I got married I told him two things were big priorities in my life. If I didn't do these things I would be extremely cranky and not myself. The first was spend time with the LORD and the second was working out. Almost ten years later it's still true.


Working out clears my head and makes me feel stronger. I like setting goals. I make healthier food chooses when I'm consistently exercising. I like plenty of sweets, but thankfully I also love fruits and veggies. I'm not picky. I could be a vegetarian, but I like chicken too much. ; )


It also helps me with our boys. I'm more positive and have more energy to keep up with them. They are in constant motion from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed (as many of your kids are)! Except for those blessed naps/quiet time. ; ) 


The most important thing is to find something you enjoy. This is key! If you don't like it you won't make it a part of your life. I was in a huge rut last winter, and that is one reason why I started playing tennis. It had always been on my "to do" list, but it hit me at that point "Why was I waiting?" So I jumped in and just fell in love.


I knew absolutely nothing about it, and it's a great challenge for me. I take lessons once a week and also go to a cardio tennis class offered at our gym.


When I'm feeling really dedicated I'll get up early two days during the week. I never ever ever thought I could do this, but I was determined after Colson was born to lose some weight so that helped!


On average I exercise five days a week. I'll do cardio or play tennis three days and do weights/abs the other two days. Each of my workouts is 45 minutes to an hour.


My week looks something like this: 


*Monday and Thursdays are my early days. I go to the gym around 6 then come home to take the boys to school by nine. On Mondays I  do cardio for 30 minutes (run around the track, elliptical machine, or stair climber) and then do abs.


*Tuesday and Thursday I lift weights, do lunges, abs, and the stair climber. I never really did weights until one year ago because I was afraid they would bulk me up. Ha! Now I feel they have helped tone my muscles, and I can definitely tell a difference. So don't be afraid to try new things!


*Wednesday and Friday I do cardio tennis.


If I miss a day I'll try to make it up during the weekend.


It also really helps that the boys love our gym. I feel like sometimes people there are our close friends because we see them so much. The childcare workers love our boys, and there is so much for them to do to get some energy out, too.

The gym recently got some new machines, and I can check my email, blog, get on facebook, anything! It's wild. 
If you're not a member of a gym there is still countless things you can do. I didn't take Z or Colson there until they were 3 to 6 months old, so I would run around our neighborhood after Jason got home then do abs and leg lifts (ha!) at our house. You just have to get creative sometimes!

I hope this helps. For our family it's making exercise a part of our daily lives. My dad talked me into encouraged me to run a 5K with him when I was eleven, and he hasn't stopped. ; ) Just yesterday he was asking me about a race, and I love that. So really his love for exercise just rubbed off on me.


But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead...


Philippians 3:13

Monday, February 20, 2012

Boat Expo

Jason and I have always enjoyed going to the boat expo every February, so we were excited to take the boys this weekend. They had the best time!
Z was beyond thrilled.
Love this picture. Ah this boy. If we could guarantee that all of our kids would be as sweet as Colson, we would have lots more. 

Be still my heart.

My life is filled with four wheelers, boats, engines, and anything with wheels. Whatever my boys love, I love too. Or will learn to love. ; )

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns.

Psalm 139:23

Saturday, February 18, 2012

My boys

I can't believe it's already mid-February!

This week Z got his first AWANA patch at church. Colson and I went to his little ceremony, and Z was so proud when he saw us. Of course Colson thought everyone was clapping for him each time a name was called.
I love helping Z with his Bible verses, and I pray he is truly hiding them in his heart!
Colson and I also met Shannon and Westin at our library's story time. I used to take Z when he was little, but I haven't been as good at taking Colson. I want to do better!
He thought he was big stuff.
Tonight we took dinner to our friends the Smiths. It was fun catching up, and Colson made himself right at home. ; )

Hope ya'll are having a great weekend. I'm counting down the days until spring!

The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer. 

Psalm 6:9

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sugar & Spice

Jason and I celebrated Valentine's Day Monday night by going out to eat and to a movie. We wanted to beat the crowds. ; )
 On Valentine's Day we met our small group friends to pass out cards at a retirement/nursing home. It was a sweet time, and the kids were precious. Z always makes me laugh by saying everything on his mind with his loud voice! Ah I'm in trouble. ; )
The kids loved it. The older people loved it. I know we'll go back again.
Jason gave me a box of chocolate turtles on Valentine's Day. Anyone else just love these little bites of perfection? 


They are some of my very very favorite things, and I only let him give them to me once a year. They can't stay in my house because I have to eat them all immediately. I tried not to eat each one on V Day, so I finished them off yesterday. ; ) 


I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.


John 10:11

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Be Mine

I love Valentine's Day! It's fun celebrating the little things, and I enjoyed getting the boys' Valentines together. Of course they could have cared less and that's ok. ; ) 
I printed off Nicole's cards, punched a hole in each one and tied a sucker to them. It was so easy!
It's kind of sad that I can't wait to see what kind of candy the boys get so I can "share" with them. ; )


Happy Valentine's Day!

GOD is greater than our hearts...

1 John 3:20

Monday, February 13, 2012

19 Months

Happy 19 months, Colson!
Today your big sister has been in Heaven 2 1/2 years. Every month without her is another month with you, sweet sweet boy. We love you so much and know GOD's timing is magnificent.
 You are so happy and love to play and wrestle with Z and your Daddy.
 You still love for me to carry you around everywhere and are definitely my cuddler.
 Your face lights up when you hear music, and you love to dance.
You are wearing shoes now. YEA!
This is proof you throw some fits, but not very many thank goodness!

The Spirit is the One who gives life.

John 6:63

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sustaining Faith

This has been on my mind for a long time now, and it's time to step out in faith and write about it.

Sometimes I get asked, "What can I do for my friend who just lost her baby? I hurt for them so badly, but I have no idea what to do or say."


Someone wrote to me recently describing perfectly those who have walked beside us the past 2 1/2 years. We've had "the sustaining faith of family and friends" carry us when ours lagged. This is what you are to your friend. Sustaining faith.

I made a list of things that family and friends and several of you did for us right after Reese went to be with Jesus. I'm sure I've left some things out, but this is a start. ; )


Everyone is so different in their grief, so I'm by no means speaking for every woman. From what I've observed though there are several common themes among families who have lost children.


Of course you know your friend the best so think about what she likes or what would mean a lot to her. Make whatever you do personal and unique to her and her family.

Start a name gallery for them. I started one for Reese, but anyone can do this and even make a book with pictures of their baby's name.

Make a meal for them one night and/or organize friends to bring them meals for a few weeks. Our church had two people deliver the meals so we didn't have to deal with seeing a lot of people. This was a wonderful thing.


Be there be there be there. Do not shy away. My friends wanted to be there for me so badly but had no clue what to do. They felt helpless, but there really is a lot you can do.


Hug, cry with them, listen, and let them say anything to you. Their emotions are everywhere and will be for a long time. You feel such loss for your friend. Tell her this.


Be there with them in their pain. It's a hard place to be but this is where they need you. Remember right now to them their lives are over. They have lost their most precious treasure. 


Music was very healing to me. I received a few cds like Selah's "You Deliver Me" and Steven Curtis Chapman's "Beauty Will Rise." They are wonderful! I also love Kari Jobe's music. 


Several friends sent me cards with Scripture on them. I still have them up in my bedroom and use some of them as bookmarks.

This is truly one of the best things you can do.

I cling this verse like a lifeline. Insecurity and fear gripped me like never before after Reese went to Heaven, and this one verse constantly reminds me of GOD's deliverance.


I received jewelry with Reese's name or initials on it. I wear something almost every day that connects with Reese in some way. A charm necklace or a bracelet is a good idea.


Those close to me shared what the LORD was teaching them through our loss. Your friend will be seeking truth, and GOD's word is the only thing that will provide this.


Do NOT EVER EVER say, "Everything happens for a reason or good will come from this." It is not comforting to anyone and usually just shuts people down. Some things should just be left to the LORD to instill in hearts. I'm SO thankful no one said this to me. 


Do NOT say, "GOD never promised an easy life." Unfortunately people did say this to me, and all I could think was, "I never said He did." 


Let them know you will always remember her sweet babies. Did she name them? Did you see pictures? Say their names often. I know this can feel strange, but to them it isn't I promise.


Talk about how handsome/beautiful he/she was (if you saw them or pictures), and how special they are. I love how people send me pictures of Reese's name for her name gallery. It's so special to me.


Affirm what wonderful parents they are to their babies.


Call, text, or email every day or every other day just to say I love you. Send a card in the mail to let them know you are thinking of them.


Remember every month the exact day their baby was born and passed away (especially the first year) and let them know you are thinking of them. Donate to something important to you in their honor.


Always be available. This was one of the most important things to me. Several people offered to go to lunch or coffee. Know your friend may not ever accept, but it's still important. Just knowing people are there gives some security.


I hope this helps! All of these things validate the precious life that is in Heaven. Follow your heart as you know your friend. They need family and friends now more than ever.


Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from GOD and not from us.


2 Corinthians 4:7

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sippy Cups

Yea! I'm so glad ya'll are with me on the work out clothes. As busy as my boys (and so many of your kids) are it only makes sense. ; ) I love how someone said they must be stylish work out clothes. Absolutely! Too funny.

I love cleaning out. I get the itch about every other month. I don't want anything in my house that I don't just love or that we don't use. SO why on earth do I have this in my pantry?
 It kind of stresses me out.
 I also don't like to waste things, so it's hard for me to throw away sippy cup pieces because I think we'll someday need that exact piece for another cup. It has happened once.

The main reason I've kept them is because the boys love to play in the pantry but enough is enough. ; )
This is my sippy cup/bottle downsize, and please don't ask why I'm keeping bottles. It may or may not be because Colson still drinks milk from one. Things are mismatched and pieces are missing, but I already feel better!

I am the LORD, and there is no other...

Isaiah 45:5

Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Bowl Party

Our small group had a Super Bowl party last night. So fun!
 Cody, Westin, & Shannon
 Jodie, Abby, Landon & Stacy
 Stephanie & Nate
They were so sweet to have us!
My man & me


Random thoughts today...

1. I realized this morning I'm that mom who likes to wear work out clothes all day (when we have nothing going on) in the winter even when I don't exercise. And I'm fine with this. ; ) Anybody with me?
 2. Z made the cutest 17 inch snowman I've ever seen at school today. He was proud.
This face! I'm crazy about this kid.

3. A woman asked me today if I was potty training Colson. Are you kidding me? Ah....no.

4. Z helped me make this lasagna tonight. If you're looking for something different and your kids like pasta, it's delicious! The recipe I posted is for two entrees. ; )

 I will rejoice because I know this will lead to my deliverance...

Philippians 1:18-19

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Saturday

It's been a nice Saturday. Jason played in a tennis tournament, and then we got a sitter for the boys so we could check some things off our list. The number one thing was to buy Colson some shoes. Ya'll, he has never worn them a day in his life!

Whenever I've put shoes on him he stands there and cries like he doesn't know what to do. It's all my fault. I LOVE baby bare feet so the first year of his life he just wore socks when it was cold. I've put it off as long as I can.

Thankfully we found some we liked but had to order them online because they didn't have his size in wide. I'm crossing my fingers he likes them!


Colson's new thing is saying, "Whoa!" I love it.
video
Meredith gave Z this rocket launcher for his birthday, and it's a favorite at our house. He loves to put on "shows" for us. ; )

By day the LORD directs His love, at night His song is with me... 

Psalm 42:8

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lots of Thoughts

**I've gotten a few sweet emails about this, so I thought I would respond here about Z's car seat. When I put him in I move the straps up to his chest, and he moves them back down when I'm not looking. He knows better, but I need to do a better job of reminding him. ; ) Thank you for your concern! 


I love how Wendy said, "Maybe Colson just wanted a little part of Reese too." That's precious!
Our little love is back, and life is settling back into our normal crazy routine. These boys melt my heart. I hope they marry sweet girls one day who like me! Ha.
We registered Z for preschool in the fall. He will go three full days! I can't believe it.
He was so tired tonight he was begging to go to bed at 6:15. Crazy! This never happens. I hope we are not up at 4 am staring at each other. ; ) Since he doesn't nap much anymore his busy days catch up with him sometimes.


We are also in the middle of redoing Zach's room. Well, actually just starting. ; ) The furniture in his room was Jason's growing up so we wanted to change it up a bit. 
A woman in our church is refinishing all three dark wood pieces. This is a picture she sent us last night to make sure we liked it. I'm excited!

He turned the curse into a blessing for you because the LORD your GOD loves you.

Deuteronomy 23:5
 
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