Monday, April 26, 2010

1,000 Gifts

It's been a while since I've recorded the many, endless gifts in my life. Confession time: my attitude has not been great this morning- Caleb is whinny, Josiah is teething, Noah couldn't find his milk- everyone was melting down at one time. And I lost it. And I instantly regretted it. I've been trying hard lately to use words that only build up those around me- words that will strengthen the hearts of my children and my husband. I was convicted and inspired by this blog by Ann Voskamp. She writes her own blog (where I got the 1,000 gifts and other things), and occasionally she writes for (In)courage. As I read her blog last week, I was convicted over the angry, frustrated, exasperated words that so easily slip off of my tongue. And I was encouraged to change that- to have the words I speak, to my men especially, be the kind that build up, not tear down. And today I failed. And today I am grateful for grace. And I realized that the key to changing my words is changing my heart (His work) and my attitude (my responsibility). So to that end:

111. boys dragging blankies behind
112. an empty dishwasher
113. my sister, my friend
114. a lazy monday
115. hugs and kisses
116. a beautiful weekend
117. sweetly well behaved boys at a friend's wedding
118. a lunch break with daddy home
119. a child's forgiveness
120. His grace, greater than my sin


holy experience

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Our Reader

So, I've been telling people how Caleb is reading. Today, I caught it on video. This child just turned 4 two months ago and he is reading like crazy. And the most amazing part is that I have hardly worked with him at all- no flash cards, no lessons, not even reading games. He has just over the years learned the letters and their sounds. Before Christmas he was begging me to teach him to read, so I planned to start in January. To my surprise, when I sat down to work with him, he began sounding out words all on his own! And so now all we do is read a book together each day, sometimes two books. I got lots of beginning reading books at a consignment sale for his Easter basket and we've just chosen one each day. He reads and I've just helped him with some words that are harder to sound out and we've talked about some things like oo, ow, ea, ay. That's it. He's just started reading on his own.

This is a video of him today reading the book Hot Dog with Jack. I promise, cross my heart no fingers crossed, that he has never read this book before. This is his first read through. I am amazed by my smarty pants son! Enjoy!

Pictures from Our Weekend of Fun

Here are some of my favorite pictures from our weekend of fun last weekend! Enjoy!

Watching the train at Stone Mountain

On the train

On the train

On top of the mountain

I'm the king of the mountain!

Riding down the mountain

Riding the Ducks

Noah fell sound asleep with the quacker in his mouth!

Fun with the quackers

Caleb driving the Duck

Noah in Grant Park outside of the zoo

Caleb

You don't want to know how crazy I was acting in order to get them both to smile!

Noah is exhausted

Caleb caught his first fish!

Fish #2

Noah's turn

Timer shot!

So happy!



We had the best weekend- as I am sure you can tell!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Piano for Sale

Well folks.... I am going to sell my baby grand piano. I have prayed long and hard about it. I love my piano. My great aunt, Toss, who was very dear to me, bought it for me. I love to play it. I love to open it and hear the pure sound.

But reality has won out over sentiment. First, with three growing boys we really don't need such a large piece of furniture in our living room. I am hoping to sell this piano and buy a console piano so I can continue to play and teach piano lessons, but without taking up half of our living room. And second, we could really use the money for some minor home improvements. We need some trees removed as they are dead or dying and one is leaning over our house. Our deck is in bad shape. And we would like to try to get sod in our backyard so there is actually grass for the boys to play on. All these things are important and they cost money. So, I am sacrificing for the good of my family. When I first considered selling the piano, I had a hard time. But now, God has given me a peace about it and I know it is the right thing to do.

So...... if you live in the area and want a great piano or you know some one who does, check out our ad on craigslist by clicking here. We have listed it for about $600 less than it appraised for, so it really is a good deal!


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thanks for Praying

Thanks for praying for Josiah. He did great. The doctor said he had lots of fluid in both ears- and he's been on antibiotics for 6 days! So clearly, tubes were in order. The cyst in his mouth came out easily and he has 4 disolvable stitches under his tongue. They did not use any topical anesthetic in his mouth because it would have lasted a long time and numbed his entire tongue making it hard for him to eat. Makes sense- but when he woke up, he was pretty pitiful and in pain. Poor guy sucked his thumb for comfort, but that hurt so he'd cry, then he'd want to suck his thumb for comfort- it was a vicious cycle! The nurse gave him some tylenol and after about 20 minutes of fussing, the meds kicked in and he's been much more like himself. They had to insert a breathing tube since they were working in his mouth and he had an IV. He's hoarse from the breathing tube. They sent the cyst off for testing, but the doctor was pretty sure it is benign. He's sleeping soundly in his crib right now. He's smiled and cooed and eaten well since we've been home. PS- Janie, Josiah took your blanket you sent him into the OR with him as his comfort item!

Thanks so much for praying for him. It meant a lot to know our friends were lifting him up. I got a little emotional as I carried him back to the OR and held his hands and stroked his face while they put him to sleep. He's such a precious gift. I was grateful today to know that God has His hand all over Josiah and that I didn't need to worry. He loves Josiah even more than I do! Praise Him, from whom ALL blessings flow!

In recovery right after waking up- still fussy and waiting for the tylenol to kick in!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Prayers for Josiah

Hey friends! Please pray for Josiah tomorrow morning (Thursday). He's having surgery at 8:30 am to have ear tubes and to have a cyst removed from his mouth. He should do fine (Noah got tubes last year, but the cyst is a new procedure for us). Thanks for lifting up our precious little monkey!

Family Fun Weekend

Last weekend we took a little mini-vacation. We had planned to get away for a few days, but Josiah is having surgery tomorrow to get ear tubes and to have a cyst removed from his mouth. And of course his pre-op appointment was scheduled for last Friday. So, since we couldn't go away, we decided to take day trips here in Atlanta. We went to Stone Mountain, the zoo and a state park.

We loved Stone Mountain! The boys had a great time- we rode the train, rode the tram up to the top of the mountain where they ran all around, we rode the "Ducks" and the driver let Caleb drive- Noah fell asleep so he didn't get to drive!- we saw a family band called Laughing Pizza that has videos on PBS, the boys played in this indoor barn obstacle course and there was a ropes course that Caleb LOVED- seriously, he loved it. It's on the video- watch him as he wait to go on the zip line at the end of the course- he can't stand still he is so excited! We had a super fun day- I am sure we'll go back again (I am still kicking myself for not upgrading to a year long membership!).

Then on Friday after Josiah's doctor's appointment we went to the zoo. We had a great time, although the zoo was packed out for spring break. I think the best part was feeding the parakeets. The boys really liked it.

And Saturday we went to Sweetwater State Park. We had a picnic and went fishing. Caleb caught his first fish! It was very exciting. We caught two fish total, not bad with a 4 year old, 2 year old and 7 month old in tow! We had a wonderful weekend together as a family. I'll post some still shots in the next post, but for now, enjoy this video from our weekend. Thanks to my amazing husband for making it!


Caleb's Children's Choir Debut

So, a few weeks ago was Caleb's children's choir debut at church. The choir starts with 4 year olds, so when he turned 4 in February he got to go to choir. He has loved it. And for the performance, he even got a speaking part. His line was "My God is a strong tower." We practiced all week and he knew it front and back- he even made his arms like muscles when he said "strong!" Jack played the Kutless song "You are My Strong Tower" for him and he was so excited about it!!

Performance night..... well things did not go as planned! First, the choir sang 3 songs with motions. Caleb just stood there- he sang one word- the word "me" at the end of the first song. He just stood there looking cute while the rest of the choir around him moved and sang. And then when his time came to say his line, he just smiled. He didn't say it. When I asked him afterward why he did not say his line, he said "I was shy and a little nervous." So sweet.

He did better than his friend, Landon (the pastor's son) who when it was his turn to speak said, "I gotta go to the bathroom!" :) And as you will see in the video, Caleb keeps looking up at the microphone. Part of me wonders if he just couldn't figure out how to say his line into that microphone way above his head! Oh well! He sure was cute though!

So, here is the video from that night. I will warn you- only watch this if you think my kid is the cutest cause it is a 3 minute video of him standing there- and this is the edited version- the actual footage is 10 minutes of him standing there!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Swagbucks

Ok, so I have been trying something new called Swagbucks. Here's how it works- you download their toolbar which is installed right under the address bar on your internet browser. Then you do all your internet browsing through their search engine- I search for everything, even if I already know the address, like Facebook, my blog, other blogs, basically any website I am going to. And I also use them to search for things that I need to find- instead of google. And I earn swagbucks by doing what I was already going to do on the internet. You then take your swagbucks and cash them in on items or even for paypal cash. I joined 2 weeks ago and I am just 7 swagbucks away from getting my second amazon gift card. It's super easy and free! Who doesn't like getting something for free? And for doing what you were already going to do anyway? If you are interested, click on the link below and join!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Weekend

Friday we played outside all day. It was a beautiful day here! 
 
 


Then Saturday, we had the Easter Eggstravaganza egg hunt at church. It was a lot of fun!


Caleb with his buddies Landon and James

Noah ate a snickers through the wrapper- we did not open it, he just ate it with the wrapper on!

Then Sunday we went to church to celebrate the risen Savior! And of course, the boys looked mighty handsome!
Two attempts at a family shot with the timer!

Checking out their Easter baskets!

Baskets Full of Blessings and Resurrection Rolls

Thought you might like to see how our Baskets Full of Blessings and Resurrection Rolls went. It was wonderful to see and hear Caleb begin to understand sin and Christ's death and to rejoice with us that He is alive. He really seemed to understand a lot more than I thought he would at such a young age. I am grateful for these family traditions we have started that are planting the seeds of faith into our boys' hearts.

Painting our "sins" black. We even named some of our sins as we painted. 

Here's what Josiah did while we painted!

Our basket filled with sin. We talked about how it would be nice to have treats in our baskets, but that we just don't deserve treats because of the sin in our lives.

On Easter, we celebrated that Jesus took away our sins by dying on the cross and through His resurrection He gives us the blessing of new life. And guess what? In our baskets Jesus took away our sins and gave us blessings instead!

Making resurrection rolls- rolling the marshmallow ("Jesus") in butter

Coating the marshmallow with cinnamon and sugar. 

We sealed Jesus in the tombs and put them in the oven 

When they were finished we cut them open and the marshmallow was gone and the tomb empty! To which Caleb exclaimed, "Jesus melted!" :)