Sunday, July 26, 2009

What does one do when the kiddos are gone???

Thanks to my awesome hubby, we enjoyed an official grown-up weekend. That's right folks, a whole weekend without our boys. Billy played in a state softball tournament and really wanted me to go too, so he arranged for my parents to keep the boys for a couple of days.... now, softball isn't exactly my cup of tea, BUT I do love seeing my man play and of course, just being where he is and the ball pants don't hurt either :-) ... So what does one do when the kiddos are gone for a few days???

  1. cleaned the entire downstairs of my house top to bottom on Friday afternoon - it's amazing how much I got done in two short hours

  2. Walked three miles

  3. watched two softball games (church league on Friday night - my hubby was great!)

  4. Took a two minute shower and got ready for a movie in record time! Really - in the house and in the car in 20 minutes - I should get an award for that!)

  5. Watched half of a movie with my sweetie...why half you say??? Well, that's a whole other post, but let's just say I wouldn't recommend The Ugly Truth - we were pretty disgusted by the content and language and left after 40 minutes. So disappointing, but it allowed us to get some much needed rest - UNINTERRUPTED!!!!!

  6. Drove to Lexington with my sweetie to watch him play in the Bluegrass State Games -his team did pretty good - went 2 and 2 - played until 9pm. It was a nice day out - and between the games, Billy and I had some great quality time. I really am his biggest fan - on and off the field!

  7. Drove home, somehow avoiding the storm and came home and crashed. We were both exhausted.

  8. Woke up LATE on Sunday (oops - we never skip church eva, but without our alarm clock, ahem, Jonathan Patrick Stover :-), we slept in. Nice. Really nice.

  9. Cleaned the entire upstairs of the house top to bottom

  10. Organized bills and filed away a bunch of stuff that had been long ignored (well, Billy really did that while I blog-stalked and worked on some invites for an upcoming party)

  11. Took a long walk....

  12. WHEW - what a weekend!!!

Now, I MISS MY BOYS!!!!! We're on our way to get them from Grammy and Pa's house. Can't wait for some slobbery kisses and funny conversations. Love those boys! Now, don't get me wrong.. the break was nice. But part of us just feels missing. Gotta go get my sweet boys!!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Zoo baby

We took a little rondevous to the Louisville Zoo today - our first trip as a family of four. All I have to say is thank you very much Zoo member cards!!!! The line for tickets looked to be 1/4 mile long (seriously!!!) What a perfect day for the zoo - today was perhaps the nicest weather day of the whole summer. It's hard to believe that today is the middle of July. The boys and I went to the zoo about a month ago and it was over 90 degrees. The difference was amazing - a month ago, not a single animal was moving. They were all too hot to move I guess, but today, they were all awake and happy. Even baby Jonathan got excited and started pointing at the animals. Jacob's favorite part was probably the playground areas - what a great addition to the zoo! We had a great time!

Friday, July 17, 2009

My Friend

Whoo Whoo! "My friend is sweet, My Friend is cool, My Friend love me, My Friend loves you..." Last night was the grand finale of the Boomerang Express VBS at First Baptist Church. The words above are the lyrics from one of the famous songs this week - and it is!!! Of course, the song is referencing Jesus - he truly is sweet and cool and I hope each one of the precious children at VBS remember that! Billy and I teamed up with our best friends the Webbs to teach (ahem, herd) the 15-16 FIVE year-olds who attended VBS. They were really a great group of kids, but put a bunch of little people in a room with some markers, stickers, wrapping paper rolls - (which of course became swords), apple juice and sweet treats for snack and you get chaos!!! But, I really was impressed at how much they seemed to learn about the person of Jesus and that He truly is the best friend ever.

Jacob enjoyed VBS immensely - he is a little sponge and is learning so much. One of the lessons was about Jesus walking on water and it has really stuck with Jacob all week - he keeps asking me "how does he do that mommy?" His teachers rocked the house - the Collings are AWESOME teachers! So proud of my big boy. Jonathan had a tough week - he really really missed his mommy and daddy, but also had a great teacher, Ms. Rachel!

Though I'm glad it's over (really really glad...) I'm so glad we got the opportunity to share about Jesus with some kiddos who don't go to church anywhere. I pray for those families!

*** oh no pictures from VBS from me, but if you head over to my co-teacher and AWESOME friend's blog at, you'll see a few great shots!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

lessons from my children

We started a new Bible study called Parenting By Grace and it's been really insightful. One of the questions it asked was "what is one thing you've learned from your kids the last week?" - learned from my toddler and almost toddler- are you serious? Well, the question has made me ponder for a few days and tonight God spoke to me loud and clear on a rare walk by myself this evening after the boys were asleep.

Ask anyone what the favorite word of a toddler is - I bet almost 100% of people would say that it's "NO" (all caps to emphasize how loud and emphatic it sounds coming from the mouth of a 2 year-old). Well, my sweet and loving 2 1/2 year old has progressed way past "no" - his phrase of choice seems to be "I DON'T WANT TO." Hmmm. Now, as a caveat, I do have to say that overall, Jacob is a great kid - he uses his manners most of the time and says thank you and is a really really good sharer with his brother. He is very very sweet and I feel very lucky to be his mommy. With all that said... i.don' is making me crazy! What a blessed day it would be if I said "Jacob come eat - supper's ready." and low and behold, he comes running in the kitchen saying "okay mommy ready to eat." Or if I said "Time to brush your teeth" and Jacob said "sure mommy, that's a great idea..." You get my point. Really in the grand scheme of things, no big deal, but enough times a day and I'm ready to jump off a cliff. (of course not really, but in mommy language anyway).

So tonight on my walk, I was praying (out loud - neighbors if you saw me, sorry. I'm not crazy - just having a little talk with my God!) for patience with both my boys and especially for the right way to respond the next time Jacob says " I don't want to." God gently reminded me that (gulp) I DO THAT ALL THE TIME TO HIM!!!!! Not necessarily even on purpose and in reality I don't even say it out loud, but my actions sure scream it loud and clear. Oh God - I don't want to disobey you - I pray that I would be willing to say "Sure Lord, here I am..." whenever He asks me to do something.

yep, That's a tough lesson I am learning from my kiddos. What a model God as a parent is for me... even though I scream "I don't want to," He loves me still and truly wants whats best for me. The perfect model of parenting by grace. Or Lord help me every day. Every second. To be the best mommy I can be to my precious Jacob and my big boy Jonathan.
*** oh - the picture has nothing to do with this post, but I just really love this. It shows Jacob's funny personality. I love these boys!

Happy Birthday Daddy!

A little belated - but happy birthday to the best daddy ever! Billy celebrated the big 3-4 on Wednesday - fun times. What a great day - fun party at night at the in-laws with all Billy's favorites for supper. Hope you know how special you are! We all love you so much!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

taking risks

Some of our best friends announced today (and to us last night) that they are taking a huge risk! They are in the beginning stages of starting a new "mission-focused" church right here in Shelbyville! We are so excited about what God has in store for this city...their boldness and willingness to accept God's call has got me thinking about risks and what taking risks really looks like. I think I've taken a few spiritual risks before (a trip to Africa and a blind date with my now wonderful husband are a few that stick out), but when I think about my walk with Christ, I'm not so sure I have really ever had to or chosen to take a risk. My life verse, and the one that I pray for my children over and over is Matt 22:37 - "love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength." That is a powerful verse - my prayer is that I would really live this verse out every day of my life and if that means taking some risks, then I really hope I'm willing and open to jumping right in. Not really sure of the kind of risks, and I'm a little scared to even go there, but I do know that God's calling all believers to share his love and to be Kingdom minded. So, my bloggy friends - join me in praying that the Stovers would be willing to love the Lord with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength! What a journey we're on!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

pictures from the BEACH

A trip to the BEACH

We just got back from a wonderful week at Panama City Beach for our first "family" vacation. It was a lot of fun - our boys were great (thank you very much Mr. dual DVD players for the van!!). We vacationed in Panama with our dear friends Chris, Katie and Caden Gaither. What a blessing these guys are - we were fortunate to stay at Katie's grandparent's house a few blocks from the beach. We feel a little tired, but mostly refreshed and excited to be home. Here's a few things I learned during my beach vacation:
1. I LOVE THE BEACH (and always will - I never feel God's presence more than when I'm at the beach!!!) Seriously, I'm a total beach bum. BK (before kiddos) I seriously could be at the beach from sun up to sun down and never get tired of it!
2. Sand + seaweed + swim diapers + poop = GROSSSSSSSSSSSness (I mean really gross, but thank goodness for Huggies swim diapers)
3. BK I would have read three books last week and been totally sunkissed. After kiddos, I didn't read one word of a book and loved sitting in the sand looking for crabs and shells. I still got some sun, but sat in the shade quite a bit with the kiddos.
4. My little guy Jonathan eats more than any human I know. Seriously, he would eat a full 5-course meal complete with cheerios, puffs, vegetable beef baby food and crackers and STILL be hungry and mooching off any passer by with a plastic baggie full of sand-proof sandwiches or chips.
5. Seagulls LOVE cheetos and my boys LOVE feeding them (gross to me, but it sure made for some sweet free entertainment)
6. My husband is the BEST daddy in the whole world - trust me I do a lot of people watching and my husband definitely gets the star dad of the year award - complete with long walks down the beach with two slow critters, carrying a 35 pound crying little guy for three hours after a very traumatic boo boo (a teeny tiny scrape on the knee to the average adult, but a full body cast and three surgeries for repair to my sensitive Jacob), taking Jacob and baby Taylor putt putting and go-carting, arranging for our friends the Gaithers to keep our boys so we could enjoy a wonderful night out.... all that while enduring a little stomach bug. Gosh, I sure do love that man.
7. My boys sure do love their big cousin Taylor who accompanied us on our journey to the beach.
8. Sand + salt + wet carseats = stinky big blue van
9. Mosquitos love me (why is that????)
10. I have so much to be grateful for - now I know I don't have to travel all the way to the beach to know that, but a vacation from reality sure is a good time for reflection