Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December is full of fun!

December is a fun month for so many reasons - of course - COUNTDOWN to Christmas! We've had so much fun! Jacob and Jonathan got this cool countdown thing - it has little windows for each day and a piece of chocolate is underneath. The very first thing Jacob asks for everyday is "what number do I get to do today???" Thanks Mamaw for this special treat! Jonathan likes the chocolate, but doesn't really get the whole countdown thing... Then we got to go to a Christmas party at my aunt and uncle's in Louisville last weekend. So much fun. Neither of my boys were crazy about Santa, but we managed to get a "sort of" picture. Then to top it off, we traveled to Cave City to celebrate Pa's birthday. Jacob and Tay even helped make homeade biscuits - pa's favorites! I love seeing my dad be a grandfather - such a neat experience. My boys are the apples of his eye and he just loves hanging out with them! We are so blessed! Sometimes its so easy to take for granted all the wonderful things in our lives! May we truly take some time this Christmas season to thank God for all our wonderful blessings and of course - the biggest blessing of all - the birth and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

take one...take two...take twenty

Family pictures are a treasure! But on my goodness, when you have a squirmy and hungry 1 year old and a jumpy, silly-smilin' 3 year old, it's tough! Even with the best photographer (Angela Wisley is one of the best!!!!), it is tough to capture everyone looking right at the camera. Tough to have no eyes closed. Next to impossible to get everyone smiling. Here's the evidence! All things considered, we were VERY pleased with our Christmas pics this year. And we had fun with Angela and Cheri Ann.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

A few observations

In lieu of the traditional "letter to my boys" this month, I thought I'd do something different. Here's a few observations about my sweet boys:


* Your hair looks like a chia pet. :-) Love it, but seriously, it gets bigger and bigger and bigger.

* You have your daddy wrapped around your little finger..."but daddy..."

* You LOVE Frosty the Snowman - you've seen in 50 times in the last week. You should thank Aunt Carol and Uncle Chris for introducing to your new hero.

* Treats are of utmost importance to you. Your favorite treat is ice cream - a man after my own heart! :-) You're pretty good about not wanting treats before meals, but not so good about not wanting them right.before.bed. ahem!

* You are Mr. Independent - you take your clothes off all by yourself, pick out your clothes, put them on sometimes - you always like to zip your pants, but the button is sometimes tricky for you. You are very opinionated about what you wear and definitely make a distinction between "home clothes, play clothes and church clothes." CUTE!

* You love learning the letters at Ms. Maureen's and always ask her first thing,"what letter are we doing today?"

* You really "get" emotions and are impacted when someone seems sad. You always say,"are you happy?" and then you come give the biggest hugs.

* You think it's hilarious to pass gas or toot as you call it...must be a boy thing.

* You are one strong-willed little guy - especially coming out around your LACK of potty participation.

* You do not like to get your picture taken (unless Angela Wisely is taking your pic!)

* You are a happy little guy. I love your sweet spirit and your inquisitive nature. You are loved beyond imagination. Jesus loves you sweetie and has a wonderful plan for your life! I hope you learn to listen to Him.


* You are a squirmy little guy and hate getting your clothes or diaper changed.

* You are working so hard to communicate with us and I really appreciate your efforts. Your signs are getting really good and you even said "open" this week and "i want that." Good boy!!!!

* You climbed out of your crib once this month and nearly gave me a heart attack - don't even think about doing that again. Mommy is not ready for the big boy bed trauma to commence again.

* You love your nite nite bear. I love watching you drag him around by his little arm. Sweet!

* You would watch Mickey 24 hours a day if we'd let you! Trust me honey, playing toys is so much more fun! Mickey's okay sometimes, but give mom a break and stop doing that ridiculously cute sign for Mickey.

* You're starting to mimic counting - really cute! You play hide and go seek with your brother and have so much fun! You actually are better at finding us than Jacob is...

* Sometimes, you get so frustrated when you want something and can't get it. I hate to see you frustrated and have to remember that when Jacob was 18 months old, he didn't have to compete with anyone. Be patient little one...we're always here to help you!

* You love ketchup - seriously - if you have ketchup on your plate, you'll eat just about anything. You're a great eater anyway, but the ketchup even helps more. You love to eat hot dogs, blueberries, blackberries, bananas, yogurt, eggs, lima beans, peas...really most anything. Except spaghetti - hello, you are a Stover aren't you???

* You love all the Christmas lights and are doing a great job leaving the ornaments alone. Way to go little man!

* You are so loved and bring so much joy to our family. You are a funny guy and have the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen. You are the joy of my life and I'm so thankful to be your mommy! Jesus loves you so much and wants your life to be filled with his blessings.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Perfect Spot

Whew - I've been on a bit of a bloggy hiatus - no real reason, just busy busy busy decking the halls and fa-la-la'ing all over the house! We do have everything decorated and I just love Christmas time! I love looking at all our beautiful ornaments and the special memories they bring. I love the little place mat custom made with my boys feet and hand prints into cute little Rudolphs. I love my Precious Moments tree. I love the Mickey tree I created for the boys room. I love it all. I love what Christmas is all about and I'm glad we go "all out" for Jesus' Birthday. But, I have to be honest, Christmas takes on a whole new meaning seeing it through the eyes of my sweet children. This year seems especially exciting - the boys are enjoying the holidays already. The are fascinated with all the decorations and the full little music making stuffed animals we have. Jacob was really into decorating the tree this year - he took special care to put each ornament in the perfect spot. (the picture here shows the "special spot" for several ornaments - the exact same branch.) Wouldn't change it for anything. And today, he was putting on a white church ornament and said "mommy, is this where Obama lives?" hmmm...white church/white house - I can see how he got confused. Jonathan even got into it a little. May each of you take a few minutes to be grateful for all this season means and enjoy the "little moments."

Monday, November 16, 2009

Potty training is a War at the Stover House...

and the potty is the enemy, apparently. Potty training is a tough activity. Jacob is totally ready to potty train and hates to be wet or dirty, but OH MY GOODNESS he won't pee in the potty for anything! He is a very very good boy most of the time - very sweet and obedient (well, at least 90% obedient...) :-) He uses good manners, nice words and even likes his brother. My little Jacob is a very smart young man too...seriously. He can carry on a conversation like he's 30, not 3. Here's an example... Mommy, "Wow, that Elmo Chart you and daddy got today about going to the potty is very cool. I can't wait to put stickers on it." Jacob, "Thanks for getting me the Elmo chart, but you can put those stickers away because I not going to go pee on the potty." Traditional bribes haven't worked either...we tried M&Ms, lots of silly praise and extra kisses... nothing seems to work. Good ole fashioned peer pressure hasn't seemed to have an impact either - ohh, Ashely potties on the potty, Trent potties on the potty, Pierce potties on the potty...you get the drill. Jacob says - "I don't want to." And end of story for him... we'll trying to be patient and just trying to let it happen as it should. I know that a lot of boys don't potty until 3 1/2 -4. I know that it's not worth stressing over or fighting with him right now. I figure if he's still wearing diapers when he's married, it'll be his wife's issue then. :-)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Daddy's Boys

I believe with all my heart that my boys have the best daddy on the planet. Really - he is so active in their lives. So patient with them. Loves to "romp and wrestle" with them - he totally trumps me on this one!!! I am a girly girl to the core. :-) He is a wonderful role model. He loves to read books with them. He loves to play puzzles. He loves to watch TV with them - okay maybe he doesn't love the Wiggles and Mickey, but he sure does tolerate them. He loves to watch them play together. He hates it when they hurt or feel sad. And he (self-admittedly) is somewhat of a softie. :-) So, it's no wonder that my boys are both turning into quite the daddy's boys. Jacob, more so than Jonathan. Seriously - Jacob loves his daddy more than anything in the world!!!!! It's a really precious relationship and I treasure watching them together. And, I have to admit, this daddy's boy phase is working to my advantage some times...especially in the middle of the night. Yes, Jacob still wakes up in the middle of the night almost every night (AAACCCKKK!!!!) and when he does, he screams "DAAAADDDEEEE," which is nice for me, because I can just roll right back over and pretend he didn't wake up. Daddy walks upstairs so patiently and gets him back to sleep and usually falls asleep in the process. So yes, it has its advantages... but selfishly, I must admit, sometimes I wish I was the favorite. Oh I know that sounds terribly selfish, but those sweet mommas boys you hear about...I want that. I really do. There. I said it. Confession from deep in my heart. :-) Bottom line, I love my boys so much and I want the best life has to offer for them and I KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT that their daddy is that for them and I am so grateful. I'm grateful to share parenthood with him and I'm thankful for the amazing example he is to our boys. Couldn't ask for more in this life...ever!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Today's post is brought to you by the letter "H"

Jacob and Jonathan have been going to a new sitter for a few weeks - and they love it there! Now, don't get me wrong, they miss Ms. Mary and the whole Wisley crew (Jacob still prays out loud for them every night - each of them by name!!!)...but, they really are enjoying Ms. Maureen's house and love playing with Ashley and Michael Trent. Ms. Maureen has been "teaching" Jacob and Ashley their letters. So cute - so this week, the letter of the week is "H." They sing songs and have a Bible story attached. This week's story was about the battle of Jericho when they all sounded the "H"orns and shouted "H"orray when the walls came tumbling down. Good stuff! (made me get out my Bible and study Joshua a little more closely!!!) Anyway, to continue the "H" tradition, Jacob and I had so much fun today finding all the stuff in our house that starts with the letter "H." Enjoy our "h"appy memories and "h"ere's "h"oping my boys are super smart because of these projects. :-)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dear Jacob Man,

Hey there Jacob Man - (that's really Mamaw's nickname for you, but we love it and call you that a lot now!) You've had an exciting month - you turned three! I can't believe you are already three years old. Time really is going so fast. You are a lot of fun right now and say the funniest things. You keep us laughing and sometimes scratching our heads saying "where in the world does he come up with this stuff..." One of the most curious things that you say right now is when we're driving in our neighborhood and see some skeletons - you always say "I just saw Jesus." That's one of those scratch your head moments...why the connection, I don't know, but it really is sweet. You also say some really sweet prayers - you still love to perform little concerts and often during them, you stop to pray. Here's a couple of samples:

"Dear God, thank you for Santa and thank you for Ms. Mary." "Dear God, thank you for curtains and thank you for microwaves and lima beans." Dear God, thank you for mommy and daddy and Jacob and Jonathan and this fun family." Precious...no other words to describe it!!! You and Jonathan have a great relationship - it's really cute to watch. He loves you and you love him so much. I hope that bond is always that strong. Sometimes when we take ya'll to church, Jonathan gets a little sad and you always say, "it's okay, I'll make Jonathan happy." You are very protective of him! We still have our challenges with naptime and listening, but overall, you are such a good little boy. You are very polite and work so hard to use nice words. I love that you play nicely with other children and are respectful of adults. You got a new babysitter this month - Ms. Maureen. You love it there and we're so thankful you're in a great spot! Your little friends, Ashley and Michael Trent are so glad that you and Jonathan come visit for a couple days a week. Next month.....operation potty training. You are showing very little interest, but I hope we'll make some progress...you did pee in the potty four times the last week and I was so proud. You can do it buddy, we know you can!

Love you with all my heart and always will, MOMMY

Dear Jonathan

Hi Little Bug - I love you! You are growing so fast - your little winter clothes all make you look like a little man for some reason - I guess it's all the cute collared shirts from Baby Gap (I love me some Baby Gap!!!). Jonathan, you are a very special boy! Here's a few things you've done the last month...you continue to love your brother very much. You have a very special bond, and I pray that you always will love him and admire him like you do now. You continue to be a FANTASTIC eater (which gets major kudos at this house, since the other 75% of the residents in the Stover house are super picky!). You love grapes, blueberries and bananas, but you really will eat most everything - except broccoli. Don't blame you buddy! You love to eat, but for some reason, hate to be contained in your big boy seat, so when we sit down to eat, I know we have about a 10 minute window for you. You also continue to be a fantastic sleeper and are finally attaching to a "lovey" - you have a little white bear that you really do like. I'm so glad - I don't know why, but I really wanted both you and your brother to have a lovey - I guess because I did (and still have my Snowflake, but Billy did finally convince me I didn't need to sleep with him anymore.) You are still waiting a little bit to talk to us. You communicate just fine, just not with any audible words yet. We're working really hard on it and even have a special friend, Ms. Ann who's coming every week to help you. I know it's frustrating for you when you need to tell us something and just can't...be patient! We love you and are making you stretch and stretch your little voice and your use of baby signs to tell us what you need. You do the sign for "more" all the time. Great job - keep it up!!! Finally, you are a total TV junkie - I know I know, I hate that you actually watch any TV since the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no TV until 2 years of age, BUT oh.my.goodness.you.love.love.love Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. It is seriously the best thing ever to you! You may just follow in your daddy's footsteps - if he has the opportunity, the TV is on - usually sports. :-) Jonathan, we love you and continue to pray so hard for your salvation one day. We pray that you will understand how deep God's love is for you! Stay spunky little guy - love your smiles, love your dances, love the way you "read" books, and love it when you jump and fall on your bottom - you think you are such hot stuff!

Love you forever and always, Mommy

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Funfilled FALL day

Today was a great day! Even though it was freezing this morning, we decided to go to the Pumpkin Patch - aka Gallrein Farms. We really shouldn't have gone - the boys and myself have all been a little under the weather...BUT, we always go to the Pumpkin Patch and I just couldn't let this last chance before Halloween get by. Even though it was freezing, we bundled up and had a great time. Jacob found us the perfect pumpkin and Jonathan had a ball touching all the pumpkins in the patch. Then, tonight, we went to a "monster bash" - a party one of Jacob and Jonathan's little friends threw in Louisville. The boys wore their Tigger and Pooh costumes and looked oh.so.cute!!! They got to play with cool toys and paint a pumpkin. So much fun! My hubby is a trooper - the only man there. (sorry honey, I really thought some other dads would come too!) I love weekends! If only we had week long weekends. :-)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

quote from the Doctor's office

Yesterday at the doctor's office, Jacob said the funniest thing. The doctor was teasing him a little and telling him how big he is. She asked him if we was driving yet. As serious as can be, he said," But I don't have my license, silly." So cute! Love this little person!

Monday, October 19, 2009

my new project

Thanks to my friend Tiff (proud momma of Sir Tucker!!!!!), I was motivated to create a window treatment. No, I don't own a sewing machine, though I sure wish I did!!! I made a cornice for my bathroom. Well, so I can't really take all the credit - I had the vision and my daddy had the tools and the man power to use the staple gun on all that fabric. Me and my daddy make a pretty tough combo - what can I say - once a daddy's girl, always a daddy's girl!!! It looks FABULOUS!!! I really like it and think it adds some pizazz to our little room!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This exact time three years ago, I was...

eating the yummiest Wick's pizza ever!! Why in the world do I remember what I was eating three years ago??? BECAUSE IT WAS THE DAY I GAVE BIRTH to my sweet sweet baby boy, Jacob William Stover. A day I'll never forget from start to finish. At about 9:00 pm, my sweet sis in law, Kelly, drove to Wicks and brought us the best tasting pizza ever. I was starving. Jacob was born at 6:33 pm and I had been in labor since 8:30 THE NIGHT BEFORE. That's right folks, 22 hours of labor (and no food, which is why I was hungry!). Crazy times. Sweet times. Scary times. Joy. Terror. Tears of joy. Tears of pain. Exhaustion. Pure and absolute love for another being in one split second. The whole nine yards.

I can't believe that my baby is already 3. We've had quite the celebration week - a nice fun party with all our family on Sunday and a quiet night at home today (well, not really quiet since we bought him a drum for his b-day) to celebrate just the four of us. Jacob woke up this morning and said "i don't want another birthday. I'll just stay two forever." Sweet boy!!! Happy Happy Birthday big boy. I love you so much!

I never knew that being a mom would make me so emotional. I just can't get over how much I love my boys and how much I pray for them every single day that they would choose to love the Lord with all their heart, mind soul and strength. What a great reminder of the Father's love for me.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Bye Bye Mr. Mullet - I sure will miss you!!!

Here's a couple of shots of our day: Before, During and after the cut:

Today was a big day for Mr. Jonathan...I totally took the plunge and got him his first big boy haircut. You see, he had a mullet - an all out mullet. Little on top and long in the back. Very Billy Ray Cyrus of him, I know. But Jonathan's little mullet, you see had a few curls. And curls =girly, I suppose. We kept getting comments like "oh she's so pretty. How old is your daughter...??" REALLY - do you not SEE those sports balls all over his shirt??? And don't you know that if I had me a girl, she'd be all decked out in frills and bows and everything she wore would be monogrammed. I digress. Anyway, we took the big boy to Kid O Cuts in Middletown - fun place. A little pricey, but special for the first time! Jonathan got to sit in a little car shaped cutting chair and watch Mickey while sweet Cathie worked on his new look. He didn't scream, but he just sort of whimpered the whole time. He really doesn't like water on his head, so when she took the water bottle and started spraying, I knew we could be in trouble. But he made it and now looks so big and grown up. An added bonus - he got his first ever sucker. Suckers + 16 month old + big blue van = sticky mess. Man he loved that sucker!! I was so proud of myself...I didn't even cry. Now I feel all nostalgic. I can't believe my boys are getting so big. Amazing!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Did he really do that???

I have a really funny story and I just know that words will NOT due the situation justice, but I'll do my best. Today, we had a special visitor at our house from First Steps. I've been a little concerned about Jonathan's communication skills, so we looked into First Steps - totally recommend it by the way if you're even curious!!! The evaluator was great and Jonathan took right to her. He does seem to have a slight communication delay, not a receptive delay...he understands everything we say, he just doesn't vocalize it the same way... Anyway, so the evaluator was here, playing fun games with Jonathan and near the end, Jonathan had ventured away from the living room and came out fully decorated with some of mommy's underwear. That's right friends...he got into my panty drawer. My "pretties" as we say here. It was hilarious and very embarrassing!!! He had some around his neck and about 5 pair in each hand and was so happy to show our new friend his treasures. She was great and just glazed over it, but I had to pry those suckers out of his hands. Billy was in the kitchen and was enjoying the whole thing a little too much - he thought it was hilarious. And it was. But also VERY embarrassing!!! :-)

Friday, October 02, 2009

Favorite Time of Day

Here's a few shots of my favorite time of day with my family. My favorite time of day by far (on work days anyway...) is right after dinner with my boys. We have so much fun. Usually, all four of us pile up on our bed and sing songs, read books, watch tv or just play. The boys love our bed for some reason. Jonathan loves to jump and fall on his bottom. He just laughs and laughs! It's always been somewhat of a bonding time for us and I just love it. I often smile and tell Billy that these are the simple moments I want to remember forever. Nothing spectacular like a vacation or trip to the zoo. Nothing that costs any money. Just plain uninterrupted family time. Now, I don't know what our future will look like when the boys get bigger, but I sure hope we never ever stop having family time after dinner.

* the picture of Jonathan is just a bonus...such a cutie patootie. This shot was taken last weekend at Chuck E. Cheese. Fun times!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Quote of the Day

Tonight after dinner, Jacob got into a little trouble for pushing his brother down. When put into Time-Out, Jacob said, "I'm too busy for time-out." Mommy and Daddy could hardly keep in the laughs when Jacob said this. You never know what that guy is going to say :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

what every girl needs...

(picture has nothing to do with post, but it sure is cute!!! Love these boys!!!)

This weekend, I've had the opportunity for a little girl time and it has been oh so fun! I wasn't gone the whole weekend or anything like that, but I did get some precious moments with some of my favorite people on the planet. Friday afternoon, Rachie and Walkee came for a visit. We had a great time catching up and watching our boys play. Ya'll should have seen it - the three boys were flat out busting a move to some "wiggles" on CD. Hilarious. Sweet. And I got some video for bribery that might need to rear its ugly head when they're teenagers. :-) Then, Saturday morning, I got to hang out with one of my oldest and dearest friends, Jamie...so good to have friends who even though you're not together often, when you are, it's just like you're never apart! Jamie's cooking me a niece or nephew and I can't wait to meet them!!! Then, Saturday afternoon during the big UK/UL football game, (C-A-T-S!!!!) Rachie and Walkee came back over - my boys were napping, so we really got to chat and I got some extra sweet snuggles from Walkee!!! What a blessing. To top it off, today, we had a baby shower for another sweet friend of mine, Tiffany, mom-to-be of Tucker...a.k.a. Jacob and Jonathan's bud! Enjoyed all the fellowship and the car ride (though it wasn't long enough) with Katie - and I got a sneak peak at her new house - LOVE IT!!!!!

So, the weekend's got me thinking about what a girl needs - here's my conclusions:

* every girl needs friends who can come over and REALLY overlook the mess in your house - even when their son eats crumbs off your floor :-) You know you're soul sisters when...
* every girl needs time at Panera and the mall with a good friend

* every girl needs someone to confide in

* every girl (at least every momma) needs other mommas to share (confess) the mishaps of mommyhood and be reassured that you didn't really scar your kid for life when you___ fill in the blank there. You name it, I've done it...

* every girl needs to be able to go shopping for baby gifts every once and a while

* every girl needs (DRUMROLL PLEASE) a wonderful husband who didn't even blink an eye when he found out I had plans a couple of times this weekend and took on the superdad role, which is no stretch for him.. Hon, I love you so much and am honored to be your wife!

What about ya'll - any other thoughts on what a girl needs???

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

what now??

Today was a strange, tough day for us...this morning when I dropped off the boys at the sitter's, she told me that she and her husband had been praying for a while and have decided to stop doing child care...I was totally shocked and taken aback and of course, being the emotional lady that I am, I cried. And I felt like crying most of the day and I did shed some tears numerous times throughout the day. Ms. Mary and the whole Wisley family have been just that to us - family. No other way to describe it. The boys love love love it over there and we have just felt like they are so safe and happy there. Ms. Mary was sad and said she had so many mixed emotions - their family has a lot going on, a new grandbaby on the way who will live in Florida, family all over the place... So I'm trying to be a big girl and understand, but selfishly, I just don't like it one bit!!!! I don't want to go through the trauma of finding new childcare. I don't want my boys to have another transition. I don't want them to miss their friends... But, I know that God is good and will honor this if we honor Him. In the grand scheme of things we have so much to be grateful for!!!
Once again, God reminded me how blessed I am to be married to Billy - he was an amazing man of God today and a total pillar of strength for miss emotional me. I love that man and I love that he is the eternal optimist. Thanks, honey!!!!
To top it off, almost 50 people at our agency got laid off today. Thankfully, Billy and I still have our jobs. We do have so much for which to be grateful!!

Just praying that God would prepare our hearts and boys for change and that the perfect opportunity for child care would find us...our boys mean the world to us and we want the best option for child care when we have to work!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Dear Jacob,

Dear Sweet Sweet Jacob,

My big big boy... I love you so much! I can't believe you're almost three. Time is absolutely flying. I just ordered your 3rd birthday party invites - unbelievable. Being your mommy is so much fun. You are very creative and very very sweet! You are very smart! I know I say that a lot, but it's really true. Everyone says "I can't believe he's still 2 - he speaks so clearly and knows all his ___ " (colors, numbers, letters, animals...). You are learning so many new things all the time! I love watching your little brain work! You've also been working on memorizing some Bible Verses and you love to repeat after me. The cutest thing you say is the way you say Philippians - when you say it, it sounds like "flimikias." You have started to do the funniest thing - you follow your brother around and do everything he does -literally. Every sound, every step, every single thing he does. And he loves it!!!! He loves the attention you give him. You are best friends and that makes your daddy and mommy so proud! You continue to be a very very painfully picky eater (I know...apple doesn't fall far from the tree) - but sometimes you just skip dinner all together - you say "I don't want nuffin for eat. I fine" hmmmm...any advise here young man??? I suppose you'll eat when you're hungry. You are really into books right now and are even starting to recognize a few words! You could literally sit with us and read 100 books at a time. You "read" Brown Bear Brown Bear" all the time and it is priceless!!! You have a new renewed interest in Mickey Mouse - something you share with your brother. So cute!!!!

You are also quite the little helper these days - you love helping mommy do special tasks - like cooking, dusting, helping with the laundry... just a great helper. I love that!
Jacob, I'm very very proud of your behavior lately. You have been working so hard to be respectful and to follow the rules. You are still working on saying "please and thank you" but you really do a great job! You are a good listener and mommy and daddy really thank you for that. You're being a great example to your little brother.

I feel so happy and blessed to be your mommy. You are so funny right now and really bring joy to my life. I love talking to you on the phone when I'm not here and I love talking to you at nite nite time. We're gearing up for potty training and would appreciate your full cooperation (hey a little begging never hurts, huh???).

Love you forever!!!! Mommy

Dear Jonathan,

Dear Sweet Jonathan - you continue to be the joy of my life. You are growing too fast though!!!! It seems like the 'baby' stage is long gone. You are a full fledged toddler - I suppose you really have been a toddler for a while, but hey, I'm in denial. You are a very curious young man. Here's a few facts I've learned about you lately:

*you are a bottomless pit...I'm so proud of the way you eat!!! Keep it up, buddy! You out eat the rest of the family by a mile. Your favorite food right now is grapes - sometimes you stuff so many in your mouth that you look like a chipmunk.

*you LOVE Mickey Mouse - you flap your arms and turn around in circles when he's coming on TV. Nothing makes you smile more than Mickey these days!

* You are the apple of your brother's eye - he adores you and follows you around all the time! It's really sweet and I can tell you love his attention

* you are starting to enjoy books and being read to - you grab a book and come plop down right in my lap

* you are getting four teeth right now and I don't think you like it very much - good news is I can see all of them now, so hopefully your discomfort will end soon!

* taking you out to eat is oh not so fun for mommy and daddy - you are a little wiggle worm and have some utter dislike for highchairs. :-) (unless it's a LOUD place like Gatti Land - you can eat the house down on the salad bar!!!)

* you are a very big helper!!! You always are the first to help put your toys away and love racing mommy to put all the books away. Thanks for that!

* you are deciding to wait a while before you start to talk...no words from you yet, but I have a feeling when you do find your voice, it'll be non stop for you!

I love you so much Jonathan - you are a very sweet boy and we are so proud of you. You are the best little sleeper and eater. You are so fun right now! I pray that you keep your spunky personality and that you will learn to love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.



Sunday, August 30, 2009

Helpful Hints

Parenting is a journey...no one ever perfects it...you learn as you go...let God be your parenting guide...you will probably mess up once or twice and feel guilty, but God has perfectly orchestrated you to be parents.... Anyone ever told you those little wise proverbs about parenting? People along the way have told me these and many other little tidbits about being a parent. Okay, so here's my truth to these: If parenting is a journey, every day feels like a marathon without proper training...you learn as you go, sometimes minute by minute and you almost always second guess yourself...you mess up once or twice every hour and FEEL OH SO GUILTY (and if your neurotic like me, you wonder if you are seriously messing with your children's' futures)...if God has orchestrated me to be a parent, then why do I feel so inadequate...

Parenting is sure stretching me, that's for sure. Now, as a caveat, I love it. I really do. And I'm learning a lot. Here's some helpful hints I've gleaned along the way:

1. If there's a family outing planned right at naptime - skip it. Every time!!!!! Especially if your little guy has an ear infection and is cutting two teeth. (sorry Tay - we sure made your birthday lunch memorable today!!!!!) HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAYLOR!!!!

2. If you hear your husband whispering into the monitor at night "bring the flashlight," it's probably best to get the flashlight and go upstairs as quickly as possible...the culprit for the flashlight?? a potential poopie diaper from a sleeping toddler.

3. Don't let your toddler go birthday shopping if you want to keep everything a secret! :-) I'm milking this one for all it's worth this week!!!!!!

4. Don't ever ever ever give your toddler the syrup bottle when everyone's eyes are shut saying the prayer. (we had breakfast for dinner tonight - a fun tradition for us!)

5. Don't go to the ballpark with out baby wipes - a bunch of baby wipes. For that matter, don't leave the house without wipes - always a recipe for disaster.

6. To get anywhere on time, plan to tell yourself that the start time is actually 15 minutes before the real start time. Why oh why does getting out the door take so long?

7. Never leave your 15 month old alone with a container of puffs (you know those fruity little treats from Gerber???) oh - and if you do this, make sure you have a vacuum handy!!!!!

8. And of course, the best for last...cherish every moment and laugh all you can or YOU.WILL.GO.CRAZY!!!! Be thankful for the blessings of children.

Here's a couple of pics that totally show the personalities of my sweet boys. OH and it's important to note that all these lessons come from the last three days. Never a dull moment in the Stover house!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

God always keeps his promises

Don't know if anyone else saw it last night, but after the storm, if you stepped outside you saw what I saw... a breathtaking rainbow that literally stretched the entire length of the sky. It was a great reminder for me that God sent a rainbow to Noah to remind him that He would never leave him or forsake him. The same promise rings true today and I'm so thankful. I got to show Jacob the rainbow and was able to tell him the story of Noah again - what a great teachable moment. The pictures don't do it justice, but here's a glimpse of God's glory!!!