Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Random Thoughts

Some random thoughts that have been rolling around in my head.

I bought a new vacuum. But not a carpet vacuum. A hardwood floor vacuum. I posted on Facebook a month or so ago that I needed a new vacuum. Our house has hardwood floors/tile floors in the main living areas and carpeted bedrooms. My cousin recommended a hardwood vac. Jack was able to fix my old vacuum. A few years ago, my sister got me a swiffer vac. I liked it a lot. But lately it hadn't been working well and I wondered if I just needed a new one. I was looking into getting a new one and realized they cost $40. The vac my cousin recommended was $50 on Amazon. It is the Bissel PowerEdge Pet Hard Floor Vacuum.
So I bought it. And..... I am in love. Seriously. In love with a vacuum. This thing gets up everything... everything the four small kids drop on the floor during dinner and track in from the backyard. We don't have pets, but we have four kids. Seriously. If you have kids or pets or both and hardwood floors you NEED this vacuum. This vacuum has gotten up fruit loops, still wet/sticky rice (seriously, rice after dinner last night!), sticky macaroni and cheese noodles, huge biscuit crumbs, tiny biscuit crumbs, dirt, leaves, dust. I even cut the boys' hair in the kitchen and it vacuumed up their soft, fine blonde locks with no problems. I haven't used a broom, dustpan or dust mop since I got this vacuum.

Caleb started swimming on a swim team this week. Right now they are not in the competition season, so he doesn't have meets yet- and that is just fine with me, I'm not sure I am ready for all of that anyway. They have an hour long practice twice a week to maintain their skills and build on them for the next competition season. I was very nervous. Caleb taught himself how to swim. And in the spring we took him for one round of swim lessons where he learned the basics of free-style and back-stroke. But that is all of his experience. Jack took him on Monday to his first practice and said he did great! They swam for the whole hour! They started off with 100 m warm ups!! When he texted me that, I was so nervous. Could Caleb swim that far free-style or back-stroke? But Jack said he did great! I am so proud of him. We go back this afternoon for today's practice and I am going this time. Gonna try to get some pictures of my big swimmer!

I haven't been sleeping well lately. It's very frustrating and I haven't been able to figure out why. Well, I just figured it out. Two weeks ago, Pepsi products were on big time sale. Now, I'm a coke girl all the way. But I couldn't pass up the great prices, so I got Pepsi instead of Coke. Jack and I really like Coke Zero, so I got Pepsi Max- Pepsi's version of Coke Zero. Today, I wondered if their might be more caffeine in Pepsi Max than Coke Zero so I looked on the can. Did you know Pepsi Max has more than two time the caffeine than Coke Zero? No wonder I'm not sleeping! No more Pepsi for me!

School is going well. I love our curriculum. Josiah has even joined in with Noah's lessons. It's hectic, but it's also good. Noah and Josiah start going to preschool two mornings a week next week. In some ways, I'm glad so I can really focus on Caleb, but I'll also miss them. I'll still be doing school with the whole crew three days a week. 

Eden is walking like crazy. She took her first steps back in July, but really hasn't done much more than a few steps when we encourage her. She's been crawling mostly, until this week. Now she is standing all on her own accord and walking across the room!

This summer we've purchased a CSA from a local farm, Bush-N-Vine. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. You by a share- small, medium or large- and throughout the season you get a basket full of whatever fruits and vegetable are ripe. We've had fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon, okra, green beans, egg plant, peppers, sweet potatoes... it has been amazing! We've saved money versus buying produce at the grocery store and it is so much fresher! Plus we are supporting local agriculture! We've gone ahead and gotten a share for the fall! Can't wait to see what else we get! If you want to see if there is a farm in your area that sells shares through a CSA check out this website

And we are about to purchase half a cow from a local farm! Watson Farms has grass-fed beef with no hormones or antibiotics and they sell the meat many different ways, but one way is wholesale- where you buy the whole cow or half a cow. You get to choose the cuts, which is awesome, so you don't end up with cuts you don't eat. We are going in with my parents and another family here to split the meat three ways. Looking forward to some yummy beef this fall!  

Ok. I guess that is all the randomness for now. Hoping to have some swimming pictures to post soon!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Josiah's Birthday

We don't really do birthday parties. I usually just ask the birthday boy what he wants to do for his day and then we go do whatever he chooses. When I asked Josiah what he wanted to do for his birthday he said, "Go to the water park! And eat at Chi-sha-lay!" So that is just what we did.

Saturday we went to the Baxter YMCA Water Park. We had a really fun time. We didn't stay very long as it wasn't super hot on Saturday! But these boys still swam it up! And then we went to Chick-fil-a for dinner. Our friends, the Chambers, were able to join us for dinner. And then we went back to our house for presents and cake. I made Josiah a pool cake. It turned out really good and cute, too!

We had a great day celebrating such a precious boy. It was lots of fun, just like he is!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Three Years of Laughter

Happy Birthday Josiah! I can't believe you are three years old already. What a fun three years it has been. Here are the things you've done in the past year!

  • You started preschool last year right after your 2nd birthday. You had a really great year! You did a great job at school.
  • You are potty trained! Potty training you was super easy! You potty trained in just a few days in March and you haven't looked back. And not only that, but you also potty trained at night not long after! Mommy and Daddy are so proud of you!
  • You have gotten very active! You love to run and play with your brothers and you love to jump from heights! You always have scrapes and bruises because you never slow down. And no matter what, you won't be left behind!
  • You are crazy and silly. You make us laugh all the time. Your outgoing personality is very contagious and everyone you meet is drawn to you. If something crazy happens around this house, you can believe you are right at the center of it all!
  • You're language has exploded! You talk a ton and your vocabulary is huge! Mommy and Daddy love to listen to you talk. Daddy even has a hashtag on his twitter that is #Siahsays.
    • "Mommy, mommy... the Limp-kicks are on!"(talking about the Olympics)
    • "Daddy, I put my baby suit on all by myself" (talking about your bathing suit!)
    • "Daddy, what you drinkin?" "Dr. Pepper" "Oh. I don't like diaper pepper."
    • Chi-sha-lay  is Chick-fil-a
  • You absolutely adore your sister. Seriously. You love Eden to pieces. And if I take her away because your hugs are getting too rough, you cry! 
  • I love to hear you call your brothers. You still call them "my guys." When you wake up from your nap and you can't find them, you say, "Wheres my guys?" 
  • You give the best hugs. Far and away. When you wake up in the mornings, you head out to the living room to watch shows with your brothers. And when I get up and come join you, you always run to me with a big hug. Every morning. I love it.
Josiah, you light up this family with such a fun-loving personality. You are so loving and always smiling. Daddy and I love you so much. We are praying that you will grow into a man who loves the Lord. We know that God has great plans for your outgoing personality and we pray he uses it for His glory. We are thankful everyday that God blessed us with such a wonderful son. Happy Birthday Siah-Monkey! We love you, no matter what, forever and ever!!!!



Sunday, August 19, 2012

Our God Remix

I think these guys could give Chris Tomlin a run for his money.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

More Grace

Ann's done it again. Cut me right to the heart with her words of wisdom. You should read them for yourself. It's a two part post on A Holy Experience. Part 1 and Part 2.

“Kolbe (who had volunteered to be executed in another prisoner's- Gajowniczek's- place) spent the next 14 days singing hymns and praying with those nine other men, as one by one, all of them starved to death… And only one month prior to Kolbe being dragged off to starve, on June 15, 1941, — Maximilian Kolbe had written this to his mother:
Dear Mama, I am in the camp of Auschwitz. Everything is well in my regard. Be tranquil about me and about my health, because the good God is everywhere and provides for everything with love.’”
I had memorized that line of the letter. Because if a man in the midst of one the most hideous scenarios known in the history of the world could write a line like that — not from a bad day at the office or a hard day with the kids, but from the death stench of Auschwitz — how can anyone deny this ultimate, iron-clad testimony : A Good God is everywhere — and provides for everything with love.   
How can I believe anything different when the house is loud and mothering wears and obligations pile.....
We are Gajowniczek — a Jew died for us. We who were once sentenced to death have been offered the shocking gift of salvation, of being flat out rescued, of being saved. If we believe we’re the lost who are saved — how can we lose our First Love? How can our bones not burn with thanks, with love, with the message of Who saved us? How can anything after His rescuing — be anything but appalling gift?
It’s time to be tired of being the living dead.
There is breath in my lungs.
And rain on the window and people I love and a Bible right here in my lap and there is today and the life of Christ right in the dead bones and there is resurrection happening right now and who doesn’t unwrap all these gifts with utter thanks?"

"All gratitude is ultimately gratitude for Christ, all remembering a remembrance of Him. For in Him all things were created, are sustained, have their being. Thus Christ is all there is to give thanks for; Christ is all there is to remember. To know how we can count on God, we count graces, but ultimately there is really only One.” ~One Thousand Gifts

…. that He would give any gifts at all when the gift of salvation alone is far more than what I deserve — more of  His endless, One Thousand Gifts … thanks be to God for all of these blessings:

501. substitutionary atonement
502. that He is here
503. love the overwhelms and grace that overflows and joy inexplicable
504. lazy summer days

505. chlorine soaked suits
506. sun-soaked skin
507. eyewitness of His work
508. syumi, a little Peruvian princess, and her mother

509. Gospel-filled conversations
510. laying in a hammock, leaves blowing above me, Noah snuggled beside me
511. the students at the BCM
512. an honored position at an awesome church

513. daniel nunez
514. God's provision, always true and right on time
515. new music that pushes me to the cross
516. james tealy
517. john pham

518. coffee overlooking the pacific ocean

519. a warm welcome home

520. first roller-coaster rides

521. first steps
522. pink princess birthday
523. a new school year
524. 11 years with this man

525. s'mores at the lake

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Video Fun

Jack's parents are not going to be able to be here for Josiah's birthday later this month since his dad is having knee replacement surgery on Monday. So, today they came for a visit and to bring Josiah his birthday presents. They got him a LeapPad. It takes all of the same games as Caleb and Noah's Leapster Explorers, which is great, but is more like a tablet which makes it a little easier for Josiah to play. It also has a camera and video feature on it.

When Jack and I walked his parents out this afternoon, we just ended up sitting on the back porch leaving the boys alone in the playroom. When we came back in we found that they had discovered the video and camera feature on Josiah's LeapPad and had taken several videos and a few pictures. I love them. So, so cute and all on their own. I love how Caleb says, "Moving on" and how Noah & Josiah both interview Caleb. I apologize that two of the videos are sideways- cinematographers they are not! Enjoy!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

11 Years Later

Saturday Jack and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary. The picture above was taken 12 years ago somewhere out west, Texas, I think, when we were falling in love. I can honestly say that I have never been happier- 11 years and four kids later. We've had great times and good times and hard times in these past 11 years. I love this man more today than I ever have and I cannot imagine life without him.

Jack planned out a special day for our anniversary- all a surprise to me! He got me 11 roses for 11 years. We watched our wedding video with Caleb and Noah which was really fun. I found myself really moved watching us pray together at our wedding, so young and so wanting to honor Christ, as we sat together on the couch with two of our four children. So moved by the way God has blessed this marriage. So moved as I watched us pray exactly for that and sitting here knowing that is what has happened. So thankful.

Then he got a babysitter and took me out to a fancy dinner. We went to a new restaurant recommended by a friend called 131 Main in Charlotte. It was sooooooooo good. We seriously splurged, but it was worth it.

The restaurant was in an upscale shopping area and since it was Saturday night they had live music in a fountain area. We got starbucks and sat and listened to the band while we talked about the 11 questions Jack had prepared. We started at dinner and finished as we sat outside in the wonderful weather listening to live music. He had come up with 11 questions for us to talk about and I loved every minute. Here they are, in no particular order:
  • What is your favorite thing we ever did before having kids?
    • I had a hard time answering this one.... so many memories. But I think it was either the Bed and Breakfast we went to in Virginia for our 2nd anniversary or the cruise we went on.
  • What one item in our house symbolizes our marriage? Why?
    • I still have no idea! I am not an abstract thinker!
  • What is your best memory that involves us and the purple neon?
    • First, my neon was blue, not purple. Second, definitely our honeymoon trip. 
  • What can I do in the next three months to show you how much I love you?
    • I mean, seriously, how amazing is this man?!?!
  • Can I tell you five things I love about you?
    • For real, he is awesome. This question led to a long talk that I loved about what we love and appreciate about each other. We ended up talking about how much we've grown spiritually in the past 11 years. That was the other thing that I thought as I watched our wedding video, how much we've grown in our relationship with Christ since then, how much deeper that relationship is as well as our own. A great converstation.
  • What was the best thing about our apartment in Wake Forest?
    • Easy- Jason and Karen. Nothing like living with your best friends' front door 4 feet from your own!
  • What three words best describe our marriage?
    • I said fun, solid and fruitful. Jack said fun, happy and strong.
  • What is your favorite thing we've done since having kids?
    • Family Vacation. Every year since Caleb was born we've made it a priority to take a family vacation- even if it's just a long weekend- with just our little (now not so little) family. This year's vacation was one of the best. 
  • What two places that we have been since being married would you like to visit again?
    • Ethiopia and Haiti (and Peru)- but this time with our kids. I love going on mission with this man.
  • How is marriage different from the way you thought it would be 11 years ago?
    • Somethings are easier than I thought they'd be and some are harder. It has definitely shown me more about my own sinfulness than I thought it would. And I think it's probably been the greatest agent of my own sanctification. And I need Jack today much more than I ever thought I would. His strengths have become vital to overcome my weaknesses. I think the reverse is also true. We've grown that way.
  • What do you hope our next 11 years hold?
    • I said I hope in 11 years we are still living in Rock Hill and you still love your job. Then I said, "Hmmm in 11 years, Caleb will be 17, Noah will be 15, Josiah will be 14 and Eden will be 12." And that shocked us. And so I said that in 11 years I hope our children are in love with Jesus, that by the time they are adolescents they are solid in their faith. And that our children like each other. And finally, I hope that Winthrop has a football team. :)
It was a seriously wonderful night. I am overwhelmed by God's grace to us. So undeserved. I don't deserve such a godly husband and I know he is a gift. Thankful everyday, every single day. Especially as we celebrated 11 years together. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Back to School 2012

Tomorrow we will begin our 2012 homeschool year. It's hard to believe it's already here! Caleb will be in 1st grade and we will be using a 2nd grade curriculum. Noah is in Pre-K and we will be using a Kindergarten curriculum. We decided to go ahead and start with Noah this year unofficially. There is no pressure and we'll get done what we get done. But he is very excited. He keeps saying, "I go to homeschool with Caleb." Noah and Josiah will both be going two mornings a week to a preschool at FBC Rock Hill starting in September.

Because I was going to be teaching both boys, I wanted Jack to build me a desk I could use for both of them. I found one that I really liked on Pinterest. It was just a picture, no description and no plans. But my super awesome husband built me the perfect desk! It is two desks with a bookshelf in-between. It holds all of our curriculum and school supplies and I can work with both boys easily at one time. And yet, they cannot see each other so hopefully that will help a little with distractions!

We have rearranged the playroom to make room for the desk and a reading corner. But there is still room to play and for all of our toys. We are so blessed that our house has this room we can use for school and play. Happy School year everyone! Tomorrow.... first day of school pictures will be coming!


Caleb's side of the desk

Noah's side of the desk

Reading Corner

Eden's Birthday

We celebrated Eden's birthday before we left for Peru. We had a really sweet night together. The theme was pink princess. She wore a tu-tu, her high chair even wore a tu-tu, the cupcakes were hot pink and of course she wore a tiara. Each one of the boys drew her a special picture. They were so excited about it. They worked on it during the day and whenever Eden would crawl into the room they'd say "Eden, we're drawing pictures for to put on our doors." Then they'd whisper to me, "Mommy, we're telling Eden that so she won't know we're making them for her!" It was so cute.

She loved her cupcake, as you can see, and she got lots of pretty pink toys. At her one year check up, she looked great. She is 20 lbs 13 oz. which is in the 50th percentile and she was 30 inches tall which is in the 75th percentile.

And today she had surgery for ear tubes. She has had 7 ear infections in 6 months, so we were ready to take care of this problem! She did great. She was very loopy for a while, which was pretty funny, but never cried or was cranky at all. She is napping now and you wouldn't even know she had anything done by her sweet disposition. She is such a sweet doll.

Here are pics from her birthday party. Enjoy!