Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Happy Birthday Josiah!

My dearest Siah-Monkey,

How can you be 5 already? You are growing so fast! Just this week I was looking at you and thinking how much taller you are!

You are the life of the party, Josiah Robert. Your facial expressions tell a story all their own. You laugh, you act crazy and you have fun. This family would be boring without you here.

You are super cool. At 5 years old, you already have more style than your dad and I put together. Luke keeps saying he's gonna get you a flat bill, and I gotta admit, you could pull it off.

It's quite possible you will be the best athlete in this family- you are tough, and fast and coordinated. I can't wait to watch you play soccer this fall. I think you will do great!

 I am so glad that even though you are growing up so fast, you still love to hold my hand, give hugs and kisses and snuggle with me on the couch. I will miss these days when they are gone. You are one sweet, sweet boy.

You love school- you love to read, but most of all you love to spout off math facts. "Mom, 4+4 is 8. And 3+3 is 6." "Mom, 5+2 is 7" will be heard a random times- in the car, while I'm cooking. I'm not even sure where you learned these facts! Smarty pants!

You learned how to ride without training wheels this year. We didn't think you were ready. You were only 4. But you INSISTED we take your training wheels off.... and then you just started riding!

Josiah, you are a treasure and a gift to me. I love you more than words can say. God gave you to me after a hard season in my life. What a beautiful gift of His grace you are to me. I pray that God will continue to use you. That you would grow to be a man who knows and loves Jesus, who draws people to Christ. I pray that your outgoing, happy personality will display the joy found in Christ to everyone who meets you. Happy 5th Birthday, monkey!! I love you, no matter what, forever and ever.



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Farm Table and New Rooms

For a while now I have been wanting Jack to build me a farm table. Our current table holds 6- which works well for normal days. But if we have anyone over for dinner, even just one person, our table is too small. I love the look of a farm table- and I wanted a big one. To make that happen, some rooms would have to change. I thought it would be a ways down the road before that could happen, but then I had an idea- what if my awesome farm table had a drawer for each child and could also be our school table? And our summer projects were born!

I switched our current school/playroom that is an extension of our kitchen with our formal dining room. Now our old dining room is the kids' playroom and the old playroom is now a large eat in kitchen with a beautiful 8 foot farm table. Here are the before/after pics:

Jack did an incredible job on the table. It is gorgeous. We got the wood at a sawmill- so it is imperfect with knots and swirls and I LOVE IT. And it has 4 drawers to hold this kids' pencils, crayons, Bibles and notebooks. I still have to refinish the chairs. The table holds 10 easily! The centerpiece is a work in progress.

As an added bonus, what used to be the playroom has a fireplace- that we never used because it was in the playroom. But now it is in the awesome country kitchen! I found an awesome old mantel and fireplace surround at this place in North Carolina called Cline's Antiques for $50. I don't really know how to describe this place- kind of like the places that you see on American Pickers- barns and out buildings and trailers and fields full of junk and antiques and trash and treasures. I still have find things for the mantel and hearth, but it's already looking so great.

I also found this window at Cline's for $2! After I got it home I realized it had blue paint on it. It was perfect to hang on the big wall.

Then I used some reclaimed wood from an old shed to make a word art piece. Jack helped me attach the boards together and I dry painted them with a blue paint. I had Jack use his graphic design skills to put the phrases I liked together. Then I ordered the words in vinyl wall lettering from a local print shop. It looks great beside the window!

I reorganized the built in desk so that Caleb will be able to sit there and do his computer work. Everyone's books and curriculum are in the bins so they can be easily transported to the farm table for school each day.

All the kids' toys fit nicely in the new playroom- I got a second bin organizer and threw away 3 trashbags of things!

I really love the way everything turned out so far! I have another trip to Cline's in September to look for mantel and center piece decor. Ready to have a big dinner party now!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Happy Birthday Eden!

My dearest Eden,

Oh how quickly these 3 years have flown by. You have grown so much. Everyday I am amazed at you! You are a mess. You always make us laugh. You have an infectious joy- I don't know anyone who doesn't smile in your presence. You are silly and happy most of the time and bring a light into our lives.

You love to sing! And you have an amazing memory. You only have to hear a song a few times before you know the words. Right now, without a doubt, Frozen songs are your favorite. But you also love Part of Your World that Ariel sings. And you love worship songs, too. Probably your favorites right now are Christ is Risen by Matt Maher and Sovereign Over Us by Aaron Keys. Some deep theology for a 3 year old!

You love to have your toenails painted. You call them "pretty toes." You love pink and purple and anything princess. But you also love to run, and get dirty, and do anything your brothers do. You love animals- you love Macy and Sasha- when they are around you are never far away. And when we went fishing- you were right in the middle of everything- holding the worms, holding the fish and tossing the fish back in the water. My favorite was when Noah caught his first fish. While Daddy was getting the fish off the hook, you got your face right down next to the fish and said, "Aww, I love you little fish!"

As has been the truth for the past 3 years, your brothers and your Daddy are wrapped. You still call Caleb "Bubby" and I love it. And boy does he love you! Your brothers all love to make you laugh. They were so excited for your birthday today. And your Daddy- man that guy is head over heals for you, little girl. But you have that way with the men in your life- Pop-Pop, Paw-Paw, Luke, Tyler- well none of them can resist you.

And I.... well Eden, I just didn't know how special a daughter was before you. So many times when people see our family out, they'll comment, "Oh I guess you're done now that you finally got that girl." And that has always bothered me. Your Daddy and I, we didn't keep having kids because we were unhappy to have so many boys and we just really had to have a girl. We love your brothers to the moon and back- and we honestly figured you'd be another boy, too. And we were excited either way. But man oh man, you have changed our lives. You are such a gift to me, precious girl. God blessed this home and this family with you. I love you more than you know.

Eden Frances, we pray everyday that God will bless you. That you will know and love Jesus and find your security, value and worth in Christ. I pray that God will bind us together in joy and love. You were the perfect addition to this family 3 years ago and we are grateful everyday that God gave you to us. Happy Birthday!