You can always pause the music on the player to the right and you can also view pictures larger by clicking on them :-)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Big Day for a BIG Girl

I love 4th birthdays! I remember the other kids turning 4 and how excited they were. I think it is the first birthday that is anticipated for a long period of time, the first birthday that they talk about nonstop beforehand and the first birthday that the child thoroughly enjoys every minute of. Hannah followed in the other kids footsteps and was THRILLED to turn 4. She told everyone she met how many days away it was, made songs up about it, talked about what she wanted for her birthday and remembered it the minute she woke up. It was a fun day filled with no chores, picking the menu for the day, a movie instead of "school", lots of games and playing, birthday glasses and presents at grandma and grandpa's, yummy cupcakes with ice cream and sprinkles and of course great presents! The day after her birthday she enjoyed a date with dad and mom out for pizza. We decided to do some alone time with each kid on their birthday to try to make it extra special for them. Brock and I often get time alone with an individual kid but not often is it both of us with only one kid. It was fun for all of us!

Now for a walk down memory lane. It was fun (and a little sad) to gather up these pictures of Hannah on her birthday each year. Look at her cute little lips, piercing black eyes and thick dark hair. What a good baby she was - so mellow and sweet.

Hannah loved getting attention (and still does!) She had a huge smile and a mischievous look. She was busy busy busy trying to keep up with the other kids
Moving to MT was rough on our immune systems and we were all sick ALOT - especially Hannah. It shows in these pics - little skinny girl had just gotten over Rotovirus. She still smiled alot, loved playing princess, loved talking (and talking and talking and talking . . . . ) and was so expressive and dramatic.
Big changes in one year - especially in the hair department :-) She now has little piggy tails to go with her sweet smile! She continues to be our little social girl - she loves Sunday School and Awana, loves talking to people, loves singing and telling stories.
And now our Big 4 year old!!! She is sweet and thoughtful, honest and straightforward - she says, "no thanks mom" when she doesn't want to do something (sorry girly - that wasn't a question). She is dramatic and serious (which is such a funny combination - she keeps us laughing!) She wants to pretend all day long - usually that I am her mom and she is my baby, horse or dog. She has a little temper and a stubborn streak that we are working on. She is usually very good and every once in a while she shocks us by being SO naughty. Throwing a tantrum of all tantrums. Thankfully, this is few and far between and she is usually fun, sweet, cute and loving. She isn't shy at all - she waits for someone to make eye contact with her just so she can talk (and talk and talk and talk . . . . ) What a fun 4 years we have had with this little lady!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

13 Years

Brock and I just celebrated 13 years of marriage!! In one sense I can't believe it has been 13 years and at the same time it's like "wow, only 13 years".
I love how each year brings us closer together, more in love, more tolerant of little imperfections and so much more in tune with each other. I can't imagine loving him more than I already do but experience has shown me that next year I WILL!
Our 13 years have encompassed life to the fullest - happiness, sadness, changes, stability, fun times, boring times, uncertainty, confidence, excitement, challenges, endurance, patience, love and so much more. Through all the changes we have learned about God's sovereignty, His power and His stability. We have learned to count on this when changes in emotions, feelings, settings and circumstances occur.
In 13 years we have:
*had 4 kids
*lived in 7 different homes (4 apt. & 3 houses)
*lived in 2 different states
*made 3 big moves
*owned 1 pet
*owned 2 houses
*started and ran a business together for 5 years
In 13 years we have:
*learned about love and respect
*learned about submission
*learned about leaving and cleaving
*learned about handling our anger
*learned about holding our tongues
*learned about parenting together
*learned about compromise
*learned about encouraging one another
*learned about praying for one another
*learned about praying together
and most of all learned that our standard in ALL of this needs to be GOD and what He commands in His Word
In 13 years we have:
*been silly together
*been exhausted together
*been sick together
*been devastated together
*been happy together
*been excited together
*been scared together
*been thrilled together
and so much more
but most of all we have learned that the key to it all is being TOGETHER
In 13 years we have learned
*that the sole purpose of marriage isn't our happiness but to refine us and make us more like Him
*that we can't expect each other to meet all our needs - only God can do that
*that we can't find our purpose in one another or our kids but in Him
*that we will suffer hardship and He will see us through it
*that hardship and trials truly do bring us closer together
*that we can trust God to work on our spouses so we don't need to :-)
*that putting the other above ourself is always best
*that our emotions can deceive us
*that communication is key but not necessarily immediate communication :-)
*that God always knows what is best even when we don't
and we continue to relearn these lessons and so many more
We know that without God in our marriage we wouldn't have the marriage we do today. We thank Him for bringing us together so many years ago and for staying with us every step of the way. He has guided us even when we weren't paying any attention to Him, He has comforted us although we were still asking "WHY", He has led us despite us being less than willing to follow. He has been more to us than we ever deserved. We have learned to seek His counsel, His guidance and teaching and we count on it as we journey through many more years together.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Here We Are Again

Another beautiful day
and another anxious little girl who CAN'T WAIT to turn 4!!

She talks about it all the time and tells everyone she meets (even strangers) that she is going to be 4 soon. When asked the details she doesn't know - she just knows that it is "after winter is over" and "soon" :-)
She made up a song about her upcoming birthday and goes around the house singing it.
Hannah's birthday's in 14 days
Hannah's birthday's in 14 days
Hannah's birthday's in 14 days
And I'm Hannah
She is at such a fun age - so energetic, serious and dramatic. In her dramatic way she fills you in on the details of all things. She talks or sings ALL the time. We started to worry that she doesn't knows how to keep quiet so we have started to practice this art. It is a HARD task for her and has required much practice :-) She is not shy at all and keeps us all laughing.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Today . . . .

. . . . is a beautiful day with bright sun shining, snow capped mountains, green grass and perfect temperature
. . . is a good day for relaxing in the sun - especially for our four-legged member of the family

. . . . is a great day to bring your school outside

. . . is a perfect time to take a picture of our soon to be 4 year old girl
. . . is a good day to admire the majesty and power of God through His creation
. . . is a perfect day to let your 3 year old wear what she wants ("snow" sweatshirt on a warm spring day?!?)
. . . is a great day to snuggle up with a favorite friend
. . . is a good day to be silly
. . . is a good day to let loose and kick up your feet

. . . is a perfect time to play legos and all other "boy" things
. . . is an awesome day to perfect your playdough skills
. . . .is a good day to SMILE!!!!!

Hope you have a GREAT day!

8 Months

Watching your baby grow encompasses so many emotions. Excitement, pride and happiness as you watch them do new things, get bigger, stronger and more mobile. Laugh, crawl, stand, eat for the first time and on and on. Yet at the same time sadness as they leave behind (forever) this stage. Knowing she will never have her little newborn cry, her sporadic bird movements, her first "ma ma", nor will I ever hold her tiny little swaddled self sometimes makes me sad. She is changing so fast that I feel like I can't even keep up. I feel like I am constantly saying, "Hey! I wanted to savor that moment - where did it go?" While these sad emotions are there, they are rarely on the forefront - they are usually overshadowed by the excitement of change in our sweet little lady. God, in His infinite wisdom, made each new stage as exciting as the last, filled with anticipation and joy. He made each new stage so filled with awe and wonder that while I look back fondly on the former stage I don't mourn it. Instead I fully enjoy the moment we are in. Besides, who wouldn't enjoy every moment with this sweet little girl who is filled with curiosity, happiness and adorable giggles??
I love how she is looking out the side of her eyes. She is always looking EVERYWHERE. She hears a sounds she whips her head over there, then quickly the other way because there is yet another sound to investigate. It is cute except when she tries to do this while I am feeding her! Yesterday Isaac was on the top bunk calling her and she was crawling around looking for him. She was looking in every spot she could think and finally realized he was UP THERE. Instead of looking straight up she moved herself so she was pointing away from him then looked up at the ceiling and then kept looking further back until she could see him! It was really funny.
She has only gained a couple ounces from last month and now weighs 14 lbs. 12 ounces. She has been very healthy this month so that is exciting. Also, the last few days she has been happily eating carrots and rice cereal. She opens her mouth wide and even fusses when it takes too long. I will see how she likes soft boiled egg yolks, avocados and coconut oil since that is such good brain food and maybe this will add some chub to her skinny little self! :-)
She still doesn't crawl exclusively but army crawls SO FAST. She pulls herself up onto anything (whether she has much to hang onto or not). She is very confident while standing - either holding on with one hand or just leaning with her body. She also will hold onto something with one hand and grab onto something else with the other then take a few steps to grab it with both hands. I am sure walking will come before we know it.
She continually lounges on her side with her top leg holding her steady. It looks so grown up and cute!
She still has no teeth - which is surprising but completely fine with me :-)
She laughs alot, investigates everything around her, sees the tiniest specks and grabs it, puts everything in her mouth, wakes up at least 3 times a night to eat, still doesn't tolerate dairy very well, copies everything people do (especially the kids) from sounds to movements (even waving back to grandma yesterday), goes to people (even strangers) with no problem, makes loud noises - usually growling - when we are in "quiet" settings, gets very distracted while eating but always expects to be able to get back to it when she wants and always makes us all laugh!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Cushions, Cushions, Cushions

On windy days the kids scramble to get the deck cushions inside to safety. Audrey loves these days because it means loads of climbing fun. Actually, she isn't the only one - the kids are always building forts or playing with these cushions. My endless dealings with them (cushions not kids) has caused me to move "deck box" further up on my need (or should I say want) list. Audrey looks so excited in this picture and I love how Samson is standing guard in the background.
One day we were driving home from town and had just turned onto our street when I saw several of our cushions. They had travelled quite a distance from our house and were still going. I quickly told the kids to chase after them (so nice to have kids to do those embarassing things for us!) They, thankfully, don't think this is embarrassing at all and think its pretty fun.

When we first moved into our house there were several cushions waiting for us on our front porch. We had asked for the patio furniture from the back deck when buying the house so just assumed the pillows were ours. A couple of them didn't seem to go with any of the others (they were green) but we just assumed they were ours. Mixed matched colors is in right?? We were not completely convinced and even scoped out our neighbors patio furniture to see if it seemed to belong there. It didn't so we settled in with our red/orange, taupe and green cushions. Two months later were were camping and came home to see "our" green pillows at the neighbors house tucked neatly on their furniture! It had been a real windy day and most of our stuff had blown into their yard (including toys and dog bowls). They nicely returned it all minus their long lost pillows! We laughed and laughed about it (amongst ourselves - not with them) and imagined them watching us use them month after month and trying to find a way to ask us for them back. Their daughter comes and plays with Madison all the time so I am not sure why they didn't tell her to tell us. They must not be like some parents who get their kids to do their embarassing things! :-)

As a baby Madison looked very similiar to Audrey. Although now she looks more like me as a baby she looked just like Brock (and therefore just like Audrey).
Oh the joys of cushions! They provide a nice comfy place to sit, endless fun for kids, exercise for kids as they blow around the neighborhood and lots of laughs as you remember "stealing" them from new neighbors