Thursday, May 30, 2013

Living life to the fullest (and in Eli's case, 20 feet off the ground! ;)

You want pictures? Well boy, do I have some pictures for you! My camera has been working over time the past few days ;)

The kids had really been looking forward to our home-school groups end of the year field trip to the science museum. Let me tell you, the day did not disappoint! Joel was actually able to take the day off and go with us, which made it extra-special. But, before I show you pictures from that, a certain little someone turned three this week.....


Three years ago today, we welcomed Leanna Rose into our lives. As we've said with every other child, we don't know HOW we were ever a family without her! She brings such joy to our lives every day, and is a real blessing from God!


Here's my beautiful birthday girl.


She doesn't really like cake much, so we had icecream instead. Kinda hard to fit all those Dora decorations on an icecream sandwich ;)



Why yes, that IS her second icecream treat for the evening....Hey, you only turn three once!




And now, on to the science museum........

The top floor had this awesome area for younger children, and I think Noah and Leanna would have spent all day there. Water, lots of balls, exploring activities...it was totally fun!


Leanna literally stood here for close to an hour, playing with these boats and balls.




Balls, balls, balls.....Reagan's version of heaven on earth!


He also loved the water!


Eli and cousin Uriah checking out the fish tanks.


A bigger view....


Astronaut Noah


This robot talked and moved....we had to drag Noah away from the exhibit!

Cosette went through the museum with her girl cousins and aunts today, so we didn't see her much. But here's a nice shot of them when we all bumped into each other :)


And now.....for the ascent of Eli!

Getting his climbing gear on


Starting out at the bottom

 Half way there....


At about 20 feet, the guide came up to show him where to put his feet and hands.

And he made it to the top! So proud of him! The weight requirement for this activity was 50 pounds....my skinny little man just made it! :)

Back down again :)


This was a hard activity---Noah weighs so little that the first time he tried, he didn't bounce far off the floor. He was determined to try again, though, and waited a long time in line to give it another shot. This was his second attempt, and he really bounced hard to get that far off the floor!


And now Eli....


By the time we made it to Wendy's and a chocolate Frosty, everybody was incredible sticky, dirty and HAPPY! So worth the time and money spent to have this day together! 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Greek Feasts and Flower Beds :)

Almost two weeks....that's how long it's been since I've posted on here. We're finishing up our last two weeks of school, and I've been fully occupied doing end-of -the year organizing, etc. I looked on my camera tonight and saw that I had a bit of catching up to do. But first, before I bombard you with the happenings in our life, a word from the cutest one year old walking the face of the planet:

 See? Isn't he cute? Those blue eyes get me every time! (By the way, he has a bit of a cold, and someone asked me if he could be teething---haha! He already has at least 16 teeth, so I certainly hope he's not getting any more at the moment!)


So I mentioned we're finishing up our school year. We ended our ancient world studies last week with a 'Greek Feast'. Zeus and Athena joined us.......


Appetizers of dates, almonds and olives.......

He really did like them, he was just thoughtfully contemplating everything :)

1st course of eggs and melons....

Main course was fish and toast with tomato/oregano/feta spread. Dessert was Galatopita, a Greek-style  custard, but I forgot to get a picture of it.


Today, the kids and I decided to tackle the flower bed behind our house:


Okay, so it looked more like a weed bed. I hadn't done anything with it since before Reagan was born, so the weeds and rocks kind of over took it.


We pulled weeds, dug out rocks and dug in the dirt for two full hours. Cosette and Eli worked like champs! I like when we can work together and conquer something like this! It's so satisfying to look back at it later and know you got the job done :)


Finally, the fun part---planting the flowers!


We were quite proud of our finished product :)








Saturday, May 11, 2013

Five Things I want my daughter to know

Tomorrow I will celebrate Mother's Day. Cosette Elise, YOU are the one who first made me a mother. I knew I always wanted to be a mother, and when they placed you in my arms, I felt SO blessed to have that desire answered. There are many women still waiting to become mothers, and the fact that I get to be yours makes my heart sing with gratefulness.

This year, you will turn nine. NINE. One year away from double digits. You are not a baby anymore....not even a little kid.....you are turning into a beautiful young lady. And as you get older, there are so many important things that I want to make sure you are aware of. This world can be a cruel place, and if you are prepared with a few simple truths, you will sail through it so much easier. So......

1. Value the love of your Heavenly Father above all else. Value that love above achievements, above schooling, above intellect, above career or income, even above the desire to be a wife or mother. Seek His love each and every day. Fall on your knees and seek HIS advice before you head to google, politics, friends, or the latest fashion magazine. A true women of God has beauty radiating from her that no make-up or hairstyle can ever copy. Look to the wonderful women God has placed in your life already and copy their habits--daily Bible reading, prayer, worship, etc. 
                                                                                                                   






2. 'Modesty is the best policy'---but you already know that. I see you making wise choices even now. Rejecting a skirt that's a bit too short---layering that tank top under a shirt---I'm so proud of the decisions you are making. You see, when people look at you, you want your life to radiate Christ. But it's hard for them to see 'Christ in you' when all they can see is....well....you! Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that fashion is bad, or that you should ignore how you look. God made you a woman, and you are beautiful. God loves beautiful things. Take care of yourself, care about how you look, take care of the body He has given you. Choose clothes that are beautiful and bring honor and glory to God, and dress in  a way that reflects your love for Him.


3. Be confidant in who you are and how you look. And I do not mean 'proud'. I do not mean for you to be caught up in your looks, in your appearance, until it becomes all-consuming and like an 'idol'. The Bible tells us that God looks at the heart. True beauty comes from within. What I AM saying is this---The world will try to criticize everything about you---either you are too tall or too short, too skinny or too fat, your hair is too thick or too thin, your skin too tanned or too light. Let me tell you this now, my daughter---the world doesn't know what it is talking about! You are made just right, JUST like you are! Whether you are 4' 11'' or 6' 3'', God made you exactly as He intended to. I know this all for a fact! For years, I hated my thick, coarse hair. I was sure that God had 'messed up' when he 'blessed' me with this hair. Your Grandma Karen would always tell me " Jaime, your hair is beautiful! Some girls would love to have your hair''. But still, I looked at the popular, flat-ironed hair of the day and was sure that mine was just awful. But do you know what Daddy tells me now? That my thick hair is one of the things he's always loved about me. Imagine that----what I THOUGHT was my worst quality was actually something that Daddy loved. So be happy with who you are, Cosette.

4.  Be content with where you are. The Bible tells us that God will never leave us or forsake us. No matter where you are or what you are doing in life, God will be with you. The grass will always look greener on the other side of the fence. It will be easy to think things like "Oh, if I only had more money like so and so, THEN I could be happy", or " When I finally finish school, THEN I will be happy", or "If I were only married, THEN I could be happy". The truth is, all of life is a journey, and if you are constantly waiting for the 'next' thing to happen, you will miss the journey on the way. Rejoice that you are where you are today, with a Heavenly Father Who loves you enough to send His Son for YOU. And then, LIVE LIFE!!


5.  And finally, continue to cultivate that compassionate, caring spirit I am so delighted to see taking shape in you. When you visit our older neighbors down the street and take them flowers or cookies, it makes my heart sing. When you say that you want to care for orphans and older people when you grow up, this reflects the love of Christ in your life. It proves to me that you are growing beyond just caring for yourself---you are becoming open and compassionate towards the needs of others, and the Bible tells us that THIS is 'true religion'. You are showing the love of Christ in your life, Cosette, and continue to let that light shine!


Cosette, you are my sweet daughter. There is nothing else that would make me more joyful than to see you grow up to be a beautiful woman of God. Thank you for making my first Mother's Day possible all those years ago,  and thank you for the sweet young lady you are becoming!

                                                                   Love,
                                                                     Mom








Sunday, May 05, 2013

Each of them unique

I'm sitting here today, reflecting on the differences in my children. Each one has their own personality quirks, strengths and weaknesses, and defining characteristics. Some of these things are important for Joel and I to be aware of. For instance, if a child's weakness is lying, we need to be on top of things, training that child in the value of truth, and praying consistently for them to mature in this area.

   However, there are other things that are just plain cute, things that make me smile, things that make me glad that each child is their 'own person'. These little quirks provide me with so much amusement that I thought I'd share some of them with you here.

1. Whenever I vacuum, Leanna RUNS from the vacuum----Reagan chases it :)

2. Leanna flushes the potty consistently each and every time---I think my boys will be 52 before they remember to flush the potty! (Sorry, future wives, I'm trying!!)

3. Cosette can not STAND even the sight of asparagus----Eli regularly asks for it as a special treat.

4. Noah hates getting water in his face---Leanna dumps as many buckets of water on her head as she can during bath time.

5.  Noah was walking by the time he was nine months old---Reagan is over 13 months and is only starting to show interest in taking a step here or there.

6.  Eli trys to find more and more things to dump hot sauce on---Cosette prefers her food as mild as possible.

7. When playing trucks with Daddy recently, Noah was making great trucks sounds and crashing them all over the place----Leanna declared that this truck was 'Daddy' and this truck was 'Mommy' :)

8. Cosette is my fast eater, wasting no time in finishing her plate. Noah sometimes labors over each and every bite, chewing slowly, and well, shall we say 'thoughtfully'.

9. Cosette is often shedding sweaters and socks, declaring that it's 'so hot' in here---Leanna consistently walks around with goose bumps on her arms, going 'Brrr! brrr!!'

10. In school, both of my older kids work hard and do great in all their subjects, but Cosette definitely excels in math, and Eli is a top-notch speller.

11. Cosette is a very light sleeper and has, on occasion, been found walking around her room still half asleep. In fact, I've had conversations with her before that she doesn't even remember the next morning. Eli, however, sleeps like a log---it is impossible to wake him up!

12.  Three of my kids have blue eyes (never saw that one coming!!), one has dark brown eyes that are almost black (Noah!) and one (Eli), has my hazel colored eyes. Eli is also the only child that doesn't have his Daddy's blood type. (I remember weird things that this about my kids. Do all you parents also have your kids blood types memorized? Hey, these are important things to know! :)


And there you have it. Each one of my children, unique and special.  I do have to say though, out of that list above, my favorite moment was when Reagan chased the vacuum ;)
















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