Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy Anniversary My Love! Happy Birthday My Darling!

(click on the picture to see it better)

Four years ago today I married my best friend.  This man sums up everything I ever wanted in a husband and more!  We were 21 when we got married and just crazy kids who thought we knew about life, love, struggle, and selflessness.  Oh how we have grown in just 4 years!  God has changed us SO much it is unreal!!!  I am so thankful for how he has used this marriage to grow our faith, test our faith, renew our faith, and completely change our views on what faith really means. 

This marriage has taught us what sacrifice means... through the adding of children and realizing life isn't meant to revolve around us and our comforts, pleasures, vacation plans, size of our house, and what we think we know best.  God is so good and faithful and He can be trusted in all things!  Not just the easy things!

This marriage has taught us how to die to ourself daily and consider the needs of another higher than ourselves.  And my husband spoils me.  Joey you really spoil me... but I don't complain about it!

You are the most chilvalrous man I have ever met... how lucky am I? 
You always open doors for me...
Carry my bags and never expect me to load the minivan for 4 people...
You open my ketchup packets at restaurants... : )
You always let me pick where we want to eat out....
You always offer to carry the 18lb child in her carseat so I don't have to struggle doing it.
You are always quick to help me if I ask....(except maybe at 3:00 a.m. but only because you are a heavy sleeper : ))
You only have eyes for me...I trust you completely.
You will scrub a sick child's throwup off the carpet so I don't have to....that deserves an award I think!
You always think of me and the girls first and I know you desire to protect us, lead us, and provide for us.
You are so big and strong I know you could protect me from any danger...that is so comforting to me.
You know I hate to grill things and it just happens that you love to grill.  A match made in Heaven!
You make me laugh.
You listen to me.
You will watch a movie with me even if you don't want to watch it.
You want to see me happy and will die to yourself so I can be.
You are wise beyond your years and lead me in the knowledge of Christ.
You lead our family in worship.
You are incredibly humble.
You have an amazing parents and family who I'm blessed to call my own.
You are gentle but strong...laid back but crazy...and a total softy around your daughters!
Kay and Jane are crazy about you!

I can't wait to see how much we grow in the future together and I pray God will use our marriage to continually point to Jesus and how much he loves us.

There will be good times, hard times, sad times, and crazy times ahead...and I can't wait to go through all of it with you!

Happy Anniversary Babe! I love you!!

Happy Birthday Kay!

(click picture to see it better)

Two years ago you introduced me to motherhood.  That day you were born marks one of the all time best days of my entire life!  I was on cloud nine and nothing could stop that.  You have brought joy, laughter, and love into my life like I never imagined possible.  Only a mother can understand what I am talking about.  There is nothing on Earth like it and I am so thankful God entrusted you to my care.  To know this joy of motherhood. 

You are such a happy child.  You really are so goofy, and from the time you were a baby you have had this personality that loves to joke and make others laugh.  Only those closest to you have seen that side of you though because you are quite shy around people.  You have recently begun to come out of your shell around others though and can be quite outgoing and charming. 

You have the sweetest little voice... the sweetest voice I think I have ever heard.  I used to imagine what your voice would sound like and it sure is sweet!  My favorite thing to hear you say is "I'm awake Mommy, I'm AWAAAKE!" in the mornings.  When I hear that I just can't help but smile even if I'm so tired : )

You are still very smart and love to learn.  You have started to ask, "What's this?" all the time and we could read books for hours if I would let you.  You love to read!

You already serve our family so well and help me with Jane alot.  You can throw things away for me, wipe up her spit up, pick up toys for her, get diapers for me, and the list goes on.

I see you growing up so fast, and it makes me sad, but on the other hand I look forward to us forming such a close knit relationship.  A mother and daughter who laugh together, serve together, cook and clean together, read together, learn together, cry together, share dreams together, and love God together. 

You are my firstborn and will always hold that special place in my heart.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Jane at 7 Months!

Well, my little Miss Jane is 7 months old.  I'm kind of in shock but I knew it would happen : )  Some recent milestones for you Jane...

Last month you.... sat up, started not just scooting but scooting Super fast, and ate baby food for about 4 days... you had a 4 day baby food streak.

This month... you will not touch baby food... at all.  You won't even open your mouth to try it and are pretty stubborn about it.  But one day you will figure out that eating food is a marvelous thing and you will dig in. 

You weigh 18 pounds and are still in the 85th percentile.  You and Kay now wear the same size diaper and some clothes. 

You have battled a cold that turned into a chest infection that you are still taking antibiotics for.  We hope you never have to suffer like this again... or at least for a long time! You've been taking 2-3 naps a day...and sleep has been hard since you have been sick.  But we moved your sister to a toddler bed so you now get to sleep in a crib instead of a pack-and-play.  Hooray!

You still are the happiest baby and love people, and everyone loves your smile.  Especially Mommy : )  And you have figured out when I am near and lunge for me if we make eye contact.  It's all about the eye contact!

When you are unhappy or don't like something you growl at us... hopefully that will end as you get older... for both of our sake : )

You have gotten attached to your giraffe toy we got you.  And I started giving it to you when you go to sleep now and it helps soothe you... replacing your pacifier since you won't take one anymore.

You are such a joy and delight and you make every day a little more fun.  Mommy is so thankful for you Sunshine : )

Friday, December 2, 2011

Advent Begins

This is the second year we have celebrated Advent during Christmas time.  Advent is a celebration of both the arrival of Christ and his second glorious coming.  You can read more about Advent and what it is all about here

Our family has truly enjoyed celebrating Advent because it helps to focus our hearts on the true meaning of Christmas and that Jesus is such a reason to celebrate!  I literally tear up almost every time I read about worshipping Jesus as the newborn King.  Even in storybooks to Kay I just can't help it! And to even watch how excited Kay gets when we sing Away in a Manger that she asks to sing it over and over.  We do still do gifts on Christmas and stockings too, but Santa is not the central focus of our Christmas.  In fact, as we take this season to worship, pray, expect, rejoice, anticipate, and reflect upon Christ's birth and second coming, Santa just seems out of place.

I made this Advent calendar last year that holds each days devotional.  You can find the tutorial here.  Every night as a family we gather usually at the dinner table, and we use this devotional which was created by our pastor and his wife.  We light the candle for the corresponding week and in addition are also reading Luke 2:1-21, taking one verse at a time and each night adding a new one to it.  So by the time Christmas comes we will be reading the entire passage. 
We then turn the lights out and sing a few Christmas hymns by candlelight.  This is the girls favorite part of course! We make motions to the songs, and Kay has them memorized by like the second time we do them.  She has a crazy good memory!

And this is not the only time of the day we talk about Jesus's birth.

Every morning Kay can pull one book from our book basket under the tree that relates to the Nativity or the Christmas story.  I think I checked 11 out from the library and the rest I borrowed.  There are so many cute books for children that I may plan to buy some for our own collection for next year!

I also have an activity planned for most every day this month that Kay and I will do together.  Some activities include various crafts, baking cookies, making homemade ornaments, making a gingerbread house with Daddy, watching a Christmas movie together as a family, Kay drinking hot chocolate in her special snowman cup, and going to Santa's Wonderland (an awesome drive through world of Christmas lights).  I also plan to have a special Christmas Tea Party each year with my girls when they get older.  I just get excited thinking about it!

We sing ALOT.  I'm sure my neighbors think we are crazy folk up in here cause the music is loud and the singing loud too.  But who knew singing Christmas hymns could be so much fun?  Kay's favorite so far is Away in a Manger.  When I ask her what song she wants to sing she says.."I want one bout a manger!"  It's so cute! Jane loves to watch us and laugh.

It's also awesome to watch Kay understand some of what we have been teaching her so far.  I probably read/talk about the Christmas story to her several times a day and ask her questions as we read to see what she is comprehending.  She now loves to point out a star everywhere we go because she remembers reading about it in the Christmas story.

On Christmas day I will make cinnamon rolls and we will sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.  Only don't expect a regular candle in that cinnamon roll. : )  Oh no...instead... a trick candle will be used to represent the light of Christ and how it goes on forever and can live on forever in your life if you are a believer.  (The trick candle happened by accident last year when I pulled an old candle from my Granny's drawer.  So the tradition sticks!)

So these are just some of the fun things we do to celebrate Christmas as a family.  We pray God is given glory this Christmas in whatever way you choose to celebrate.