Friday, March 29, 2013

A Good Friday...

So my house looks like a bomb went off.  
A laundry bomb for the most part. 
I'm ignoring it.  

Alex has a full weekend.  
Between speaking at a conference, Secret Church, and 
preparing for Easter Sunday...
We won't see him much until after church on Sunday.  

The girls and I have stayed busy doing stuff around the house.  

Not laundry.  Other stuff.  

Amelia dyed eggs for the first time and loved it.  
She kept asking me to cook more eggs after we finished.  

She also kept asking why we dye eggs for Easter. 
Um...honestly, I have no idea.
Just dip the eggs baby.  We'll google it later.

She is her father's child. 
I'm certain I could care less at the age of three why we were dyeing eggs. 
And Alex was probably researching it in his personal set of encyclopedias.

We used kool-aid to dye the eggs.  
I'm sure you've all seen it on Pinterest.  
It works and it makes the eggs smell fruity.

We've blown bubbles. 

Sweet thing dressed herself this morning.  
I love seeing the outfits she puts together. 
Girl has style.

She made our lunch yesterday. 
I gave her pizza dough and she went to town.
It was actually really good.
She made half cheese for her and my half was tomato and artichokes.


Sydney is fighting sleep. 
And I don't use the word fight lightly.
I've never seen anything like it.
She fell asleep like this yesterday.
And that was after MANY hours of me going in and wrestling her.
I mean rocking her.
Hoping this is a very short phase. :)

We're reading our books about Easter.
I asked Amelia, "what's Easter about?"
Her response: "um...Jesus being born?"
Nope, good try.  Let's keep reading. 

Makes me cry reading all of the scripture on social media today.
How refreshing.

A Good Friday, indeed.

"God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son."
- John 3:16

Love to all,

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Build 'Em Up: The Joy of Playing With Our Kids

This is the second part of the Build 'Em Up Series.  You can read how other bloggers find joy in playing with their kiddos by heading over to Blue-Eyed BrideKelly's KornerLife in the Green House, or Lil Light O' Mine

I love the scripture in Ecclesiastes that says there's a time to build up, laugh, dance, etc.  There's a time for everything!

There's certainly a time to clean house, make meals and do the laundry.  These things have to be done.  With little ones, there's so much of the time that we're having to discipline throughout the day and that's not fun for anyone.  There should always be plenty of time to play with our little ones.  They need it.  We need it.   

I don't believe there's a wrong or right amount of time that we should spend with our kids every day.  Some days they get more one-on-one time, some days they get less.  It all depends on what's happening that day.  Having more than one child changes things a bit when it comes to play time.  I know the older they get, the more they'll play together or we can all do something together.  As of right now, Sydney is on the move and I have to watch her like a hawk or she's eating paper in secret.

I don't think Amelia is keeping a tally on how many minutes I'm spending with her but I do know it means the WORLD to her when we do anything together. 

We have these little human beings that want nothing more than our attention.  Spending time with our kiddos should be fun and something we enjoy.  I don't feel like I have to schedule play time, there are plenty of opportunities throughout the day to stop and play.  

I thought I'd write about a few things that I do with my girls. 

1. Laugh.  Maybe it's just because she's three years old but Amelia could sit and make up jokes that make zero sense all day long.  And if I laugh at her jokes...oh should see how she lights up and just gives full belly laughs!  It's priceless.

2. Dance.  There are certain times in the day when we stop to dance.  It's usually when a certain theme song comes on.  The theme songs to Strawberry Shortcake, Veggie Tales and Fresh Beat Band are some of our faves.  We've been dancing to them for so long, if we hear them on in any room, we all know to stop and dance.  Amelia loves it.  And Sydney is starting to dance with us which is hilarious.  

3. Sing.  I make up silly songs that rhyme every day and Amelia has started doing the same. Lots of laughs.  I inherited this from my Mother.  She sang to us about everything.  We sing A LOT around here. 

4. Bake.  Amelia and I used to bake a few times a week, starting when she could just sit on the counter and watch. There's not as much time for this with a one year old, but I'm trying to start back during Sydney's nap times.  This gives me some one-on-one time with Amelia.  I let her pour in all of the ingredients and then lick the spoon at the end.  

5. Get the mail.  Ok, this sounds nuts but my child loves to go to the mailbox.  She loves to open the mail and thinks every piece is a special letter written just to her. (LOL)  When I get ready to get the mail every day - she is grabbing her shoes to go.  I always put Sydney in her high chair so Amelia and I can go together.  THE MAIL.  Who knew it could be an activity? HA!

6. Paint nails This is something we've just started doing.  Amelia loves to have her nails painted.  You would think she won the lottery afterwards. Piggy Paint is the best.  It dries quickly and if your child picks it off and eats it like mine, it won't kill her.  So that's a plus.

7. Dress Up I think all kids love this.  Girls and boys.  Amelia changes outfits several times a day.  And if she can get me to participate - even better. 

8. Talking At Naptime/Bedtime And this isn't a time where we play but it's some of the sweetest times with my girls.  When they're lying down for naps or bedtime.  I love taking this opportunity to snuggle them up and talk to them.  Tell them how much they mean to me and exactly why.  I don't think they'll ever get too old for this.  Amelia loves for us to tell her about the day she was born.  Every minute with our children is precious time.

Before I finished this post, I decided to ask Amelia what her favorite things are to do with Daddy and Mommy, and no joke, she listed 100 things without taking a breath.   Here are a few of the things she mentioned:

Dress Up
Bake Cookies
Freeze Tag 

None of these things cost a thing.  Except our time.  

Spending time with a child makes a happy child.  And it should make us happy too.  It shouldn't feel like an inconvenience.

Just a few days ago, Amelia looked at me and said, "Mama, since you don't know how to play basketball, do you want to play something else?"  I looked at her and said, "I know how to play basketball!"  She replied with "great, let's play!"

She knew exactly what she was doing starting the conversation out that way, and ya know what, that was her way of asking for my time.  How could I say "no" or "hold on a sec" or "maybe in a little bit" to that?

I couldn't.

We've all heard it and I believe it to be true, Kids spell love T-I-M-E.

Love to all,

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring has sprung!

Today is the first day of spring!

And we're excited!

Nothing says spring like beautiful tulips!

I love having fresh flowers around the house.

I love the pastel colors.

I love hearing the birds chirping in the morning.

I love that Easter Sunday is near!

I have some friends whose family is full of artists. 
I bought one of their paintings that had two brunette angels standing in the doorway of a church.
It reminded me of my two brunette angels.  
I just love everything they create.

We recently purchased this piece.
I was surprised at the conversations it has sparked with Amelia.
She first noticed his lips and giggled.
And then she noticed the "crown of thorns." 
The look on her face when we tell her what happened to Jesus is pitiful.
You can tell she's trying to understand but just doesn't.
Just last night, she asked why Jesus' eyes were so sad.
Again, it gave us an opportunity to talk about what He did for us on the cross.

We pulled out our resurrection eggs at the beginning of March.  

We went through the Easter story with Amelia last year but she really just wanted to play with the eggs.  This year, she's asking questions as we go through the story.  
We both get so excited when we get to that last egg!

I actually cried the first time we went through it this year.  Amelia was looking at me like I was crazy. She asked why I was crying and I said, "because He's risen, Amelia, He's not there!!" 
She doesn't "get it" yet, but one day she will, and then she'll cry too. HA!

As a believer, Easter Sunday is what it's all about.  
Everything we believe is centered around the fact that He didn't just come...
He died.
He rose from the dead.
And He's coming back.

I never get tired of talking/singing about the fact that death couldn't contain Him.
He won. 
And because He wins, we win!!

"And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain."
I Corinthians 15:14

"But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him."
Acts 2:24

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him."
Mark 16:6

Praise the Lord, He's alive and He won it all!!

Happy Spring!

Love to all,

Monday, March 18, 2013

St. Patty's Day...

We had the best weekend.  Every Friday, Alex asks me, "do we have any plans this weekend?"  I usually answer with "yes, we have a birthday party." If not a birthday party, we usually have a commitment of some sort.  We love having a free weekend to just spend as a family.  

We celebrated our nephew, Tyler on Friday evening.  He's going to be 20 years old!  This is the kid that made me an Aunt for the very first time.  I was thinking back on when he was little.  I was still in high school.  My sister would bring him to my basketball games and I was so proud to show him off to my friends.  I loved spending time with him and to this day have a special place in my heart for him.  
My sister made homemade ice cream sandwiches.  
That's vanilla ice cream sandwiched between peanut butter cookies. 
Goodness, they were delicious!

The girls played so hard with their cousins.  
They were out before we hit the freeway. 

We took our time getting out of the house on Saturday.  
We left around noon and went to lunch. 

It was 80 degrees on Saturday.  
Gorgeous day!!  

We headed to the mall for a few things after lunch. 
I don't know what possessed Amelia to do this. 
She jumped up in the window and started posing with the headless mannequins!
We couldn't stop laughing. 
Alex went outside and took her picture. 

She also saw the bunny at the mall and asked to have her picture taken.  
Alex just knew she would lose it once she was in his lap, but she didn't!
Sydney could care less that a giant bunny was holding her. 

 Daddy bought Amelia this beach hat.  
She wore it around the mall until the bunny gave her some ears.
The bunny also gave us a coupon for free CFA ice cream. Yum!!

We left the mall and headed to the Garden Market. 
We ordered our container gardens and will pick them up after Easter.
We're starting small but we're really excited.
We'll be growing our own tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and strawberries!
Amelia is going to love picking and eating her own fruit/veggies.

It was so beautiful outside, I didn't want the day to end!
We had intentions of eating outside but everyone else had the same idea.
We had dinner at one of our faves and settled for a table inside.

Daddy and Amelia.

Mommy and Sydney.

Me and my girls.

Sunday was St. Patty's Day so we dressed in our green. 
I tried to explain to Amelia that you wear green or you get pinched.
She kept saying, "I hope everyone has on their green or they're getting punched!"
Luckily, all of our friends and family wore green to church.

Nothing says St. Patrick's Day like Outback?

I surprised the girls with some mini cupcakes from Gigi's after lunch.  
They were offering these cute packs of St. Patrick's Day cupcakes!

We went to our friend, Alyssa's birthday party on Sunday evening. 
It was nice to visit with our neighbors and Amelia loves a party!

Sydney is acting puny this morning. 
Both girls are dealing with double ear infections (AGAIN).
She seems to be struggling getting over hers. 
I see tubes in our future.

We're having a lazy day at home on this rainy Monday!

Love to all,

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Build 'Em Up: Bringing Faith to Life

I'm linking up with Erin at Blue-Eyed Bride today. 

Is there anything better than hearing or reading encouraging words as a mother?  Knowing you aren't alone on those days where you feel like you just don't have it in you to be a Mom that day.  Knowing you aren't some special kind of crazy.  That there ARE others that think and feel the same way.  Having relationships with other women that build one another up is a priceless gift.  I'm grateful to have that.  We as mothers seem to want to have it all together.  Especially in today's culture. 

I'm so thankful my Heavenly Father doesn't expect perfection.  Even more than someone else's words; His words encourage me.  They give me peace.  They give me hope.  They carry me through those sleepless nights and the tough days that include lots of no-no's, time-outs, wiping noses and changing diapers.  He knows that we get tired and need a break.  That we're unable to do it on our own.  He wants us to give it to Him.  He wants to carry it for us.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:28-30

God doesn't ask for perfection.  It's through our imperfections that He grows us and He is glorified.  I don't have to have it all together all the time.  I shouldn't expect my children to have it all together either. Sometimes I have to stop and remind myself they're only three and one!  There are many opportunities in parenting to offer my children grace.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

As a parent I want my children to obey; my Heavenly Father desires the same of me.

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.  As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.  But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;
I Peter 1:13-15

I was reading an article yesterday on God knowing our hearts. I know there are days that my heart isn't very pretty. Days where I'm asking my three year old to forgive me for the way I responded and it's only 9am. The beautiful thing about having a relationship with my Heavenly Father is that He forgives. He offers grace.  Asking my children for forgiveness when I've done something wrong in our relationship teaches them early on the importance of repentance and asking for forgiveness from their Heavenly Father. 

I was looking for keys in the kitchen the other day while Amelia sat at the kitchen table. I was talking out loud about how I wish I could find them and she yells, "Jesus, please help Mama find her car keys, AMEN!" My three year old taught me at that very moment. We should take it all to Him. And it doesn't have to be some fancy-pants prayer. Prayer is a conversation between me and the Lord. Just like if I were having a conversation with a friend. One of the sweetest sounds to my ears is praying with Amelia at bedtime. She always wants me to start the prayer and then she jumps in here and there as things/people come to her mind. :)

Stopping to pray before a meal.  Praying for our family and friends. Praying for someone who is sick. Praying for something our heart desires. Even praying to find the car keys. We're teaching them to go to the Lord in every situation. And when He answers our prayers, whether it's the way we pictured or not, we should praise Him!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 
Philippians 4:6

I'm very aware of the little eyes and ears that are always watching and listening.
It's an awesome responsibility to live out my faith for my children.  I can't do it without putting Him first in all I do.  Some days I fail miserably, but I'm thankful He is faithful. His love and compassion never fail. His mercies are new every single morning.

Love to all,

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday, Sydney Faith!!


Today you are ONE YEAR OLD.

How on earth can that be??   Seems like just yesterday that I was holding your little 6 pound - 8 ounce self in my arms for the first time.

I love the little person that you've become in just your first year.

You're our little dare devil.  You're our little fire cracker that's either hot or cold, there's no in between.

You're beautiful.  You're smart.  You're hard-headed and strong-willed.  You have the most beautiful smile and the best laugh.  You love to scream in restaurants which is totally new for us.  It's not even a mad scream.  You just love to scream/talk.

You're the best little sister and love Amelia so much.  You love to run when you see us coming to get something from you.  You run in the opposite direction, laughing as though it's a game.   You love all food, just like your Mama.

I love everything about you.

You're our baby girl and on March 7th, 2012 at 4:59PM, our world was forever changed for the better.

We look at your sweet face and thank God every day for completing our family with YOU!

God is faithful and good and He loves like no other.  He proved that in giving us you, Sydney Faith.

You are a precious gift.

Happy 1st Birthday, baby girl!

We love you so much!