Sunday, October 05, 2014

catching up...

Wow.  Now that's a bloggy break.  No real reason... just life with three boys and a sweet hubby - I know one day I'll regret not taking the time to update the blog with the shenanigans of our sweet family, but I guess I've just been too busy living life to stop and document it.  Here I am, though, in my big comfy recliner with a few minutes while the hubs watches baseball playoffs.  The best I can muster is a few bullets to update our craziness.  Where to begin... (uggh - can't get pictures to upload...)  so a picture less update it is tonight.

Oh, how about this? 

YEP - we are building a new home.  What a crazy and fantastic process.  Our house has been on the market for a while and we actually had a contract on another house, but that contract ended and we decided to build in Old Mill Village.  A brand new home - so exciting.  Kind of a dream for us - we got in on this house late in the process, but we are getting to pick out most everything.  I'll try to update the blog with progress.  I go over there  So excited about all the kids and their awesome parents who live in this neighborhood.  Our prayer is that God will be exalted and that people will be introduced to God in this home.  Also that as the boys grow, that their friends will want to hang out at our house - that they would be totally comfortable there.

Whew... my brain is filled with projects pinterest tells me I must do... paint colors...cabinet and granite choices. Yikes.  Fun, but slightly stressful. 

We just wrapped up another theatrical performance by the oldest J boy... Jacob was in SCCT's production of Beauty and the Beast - it was a great show.  He seems quite smitten with this acting thing - in fact, he's already auditioned and been cast in the nest show, "A Christmas Story."  I'm a proud momma.  Jacob is so funny - and so full of confidence.  I love the spirit that God is growing in him and I pray that it is always used for good things.  He continues to love school and does very well, though the play has kept him so busy, it's hard to get him to focus on his homework.  :)

The middle J is still totally obsessed with all things basketball.  He shoots hoops all the time and makes up games in his head.  Usually when I ask the score, he says "I'm winning 154 to 120" - or some high score like that.  He also really enjoyed playing soccer this year.  We decided to move him up to U8 - even though he is only 6.  He totally proved us right.  He hung right in there with the big kids - he even scored two goals one game.  :-)  I love watching him grow and develop!  I get the pleasure of volunteering in his class every Monday.  He is a sweet friend and loves learning.  He's so very quiet at school and is a rule follower to a tee (like his momma!).  He has the most kind heart - I love his servant's heart.  He always thinks of his brothers.  He got to go to the UK/SC football game last night with this daddy and loved it so much. 

Baby J... is so fun right now!  A little crazy ...okay a lot crazy, but he's so totally awesome!  He's starting to put several words together for his first sentences and he knows most of his colors (he always gets purple, blue, and yellow right!)  He's starting to say "love you" and it just melts my heart.  When we walk in his room this morning, he says "HI" like I am the best person in the world.  I love that so much! He loves to brush his teeth and is pretty obedient over all.   He has a new found love for screwdrivers and keys.  He carries them around all the time.  He's a wild man... we frequently say we've been Tazzed - like when he goes into the laundry room and dumps out an entire box of vanilla wafers or when he rips Jacob's homework into 20 pieces, or when he pulls all the clean clothes off the couch that are ready to hang up... or when he puts quarters in our CD player in the van and totally breaks it or when he marks on our hard wood floor with permanent markers... Of course these are all totally hypothetical.  My sweet little Taz would never do those things.  The cutest thing he says is what he says when he refers to his brothers.  He says, "where's bubba?" - to which I always reply, "he's at school." Then he says (in a high pitch sing songy way) "where's ubba bubba bubba bubba?" - he means other bubba, but  Can't believe he's almost 2. 

In other news, I've been continually plagued with an annoying foot injury, plantar fasciitis  I absolutely hate it and am over it.  I get to wear a lovely walking boot for a while - praying this helps!!  rrrrrr.  So ready to be healed so I can run again.  :-)

See, I told ya we've been busy!  God continues to bless us much more than we deserve.  Billy and I are enjoying this phase of life, but sometimes we wish that time would just stop or stand still. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Catching Fireflies with Pa and Grammy

It's summer y'all.  We have thrown bedtime out the window.  We are sleeping in (can I get an AMEN???).  Our house is messy.  The kids almost always smell like chlorine. There are broken water balloon remnants in the back yard.  Our van smells like a swim mom van.   Laundry baskets are full.  Sometimes we eat cereal for dinner.  We are eating way too much McDonalds.  Flip flops are everywhere.  The beach is on our brains.  Yep, it's summer time.  Thank God for special moments.  If I'm honest, my house and the laundry are totally stressing me out, but....

Sometimes you just have to stay up late and catch fireflies... oh the simple stuff that makes summer magical.  My house will be clean in 18 years.  Maybe.  ;-)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Little updates...

these boys... keep me busy and keep my house dirty, but also are the loves of my life and are so very special.  Here's a few updates about what's happening with each of my loves. 

First, Jacob  - my very spunky 7 year old.  He finished first grade with flying colors, reads like he's in middle school and LOVES sweet treats.  He is a terrific big brother and helps me entertain Joshua all the time.  He also loves to be with Jonathan and feels lost when he's gone for some reason!  He loves to watch TV, but would much rather be outside riding his bike, shooting water guns or playing on the swing set.  He is creative and has a passion for learning.  He is also the silliest of all my boys - never know what that boy is going to say! He continues to be a painfully picky eater, but is hungry all the time.  Probably because he only likes to eat carbs and he burns them like crazy! He is a total fish - would stay in the pool 24/7 if he didn't have to eat or sleep.  He's quite the talented swimmer too!

Second, Jonathan - my sweet, sweet 6 year old.  He is amazing and has such a kind heart.  That boy is OBSESSED with basketball.  For real.  We got him a goal for his birthday and our garage has now become a basketball court.  I don't know what he'll do when it's winter time and we insist that our cars be parked in the garage.  He loves legos and can do the entire set (hard ones!!) by himself.  He is a great reader too, but not nearly as confident as his big brother.  He recently was in the little Mr. Shelby County pageant and I couldn't have been prouder of him as he recited a Bible verse for the whole crowd. He got 2nd place - totally should have won, but oh well!  :-)   He is loving summer time and also loves to swim, but not as much as basketball!!! He's taken an interest in NBA just like his daddy and can name way more players than I can!  In fact, he requests that his daddy DVR every game he always wants to watch the games during rest time. 

Last but not least, Baby Joshua (TAZ!) - oh buddy.  How we love him so.  He is so busy and full of life.  He is talking a lot and says "where's da da?" at least 417 times a day.  He loves shoes and loves to bring them to people.  He is a great eater and has slowed down on the throwing food (!).  He loves to be "outshide" - in fact, you grab your shoes first thing in the morning and say "outshide outshide."  He loves bubbles and is still fairly fond of shovels and rakes, but finally, mommy and daddy got smart and hid the darn plunger so he can't carry that thing around.  He loves bedtime and is a fantastic sleeper and napper.  Praise the Lord!  His nighttime routine is so precious - one of my favorite times of the day!  He likes us to sing a few songs, say some Bible verses and sit in "momo" chair (Elmo) and read the Bible.  He's a bit of a fudger at bedtime - how could he ask for "mo bible" and us say no.  :-) 

(some photo credits - go to the amazing and awesome and fabulous Rachel Webb!!! - thanks Aunt Rachie!) 

Happy Father's Day!

Ahhh - summer is in full swing here.  And I love it.  Every single second of it!  We are having so much fun.  I have so many blog posts that need to make an appearance, but they are mostly only in my head.  I know one day I'll deeply regret that since I don't have a great deal of time to scrapbook...but I'm going to try to keep this thing updated better.  My 60 year old self will thank me many years down the road.  :-)  I think I'll just start fresh and then if time allows, I'll fill in the gaps, so off we go. 

Today is Father's Day.  What a blessed day we've had. A great church service, a wonderful afternoon with sweet friends, a nice family nap, and the evening with Billy's family.  The night ended with daddy getting to watch the NBA finals with two of his special dudes.  They definitely have a special bond over basketball - especially daddy and Jonathan. 

I'm so grateful for this man.  I've said it before, but Billy really is the greatest daddy ever.  He was built and specially designed to be a daddy to our sweet boys.  There is no greater role model for them.  He loves the Lord, adores his family, respects others, works hard and is a friend to anyone he meets.  He teaches the boys to be honest, live with integrity and consistently try to be the man God wants him to be. This man is the same whether he's teaching little girls in Sunday school, working in his office or with judges across the state, playing basketball or hanging out with his friends.  I am so grateful for his consistency.   I'm so grateful that God saw fit to bring us together.  Jacob, Jonathan and Joshua all have a special bond with him - each relationship is unique and he loves them fully.  When he's home, he's all daddy - they get his undivided attention and his time, a special gift from parent to child.  Happy Father's Day to the love of my life! 

Happy Happy Father's day to my daddy as well.  Hate that we didn't get to be together today, but can't wait to celebrate with him next weekend.  I was always a daddy's girl growing up.  He, like Billy, gave of his time and energy to my sister and I every single day.  He worked hard, but when his work day ended, he was all about us!  Some of my favorite memories of my daddy were our weekly trips (dates) to Bowling Green for gymnastics or music lessons.  What adventures!  Yes, he is indeed a great daddy - but he might even be a better Pa!!!  He hung the moon in the eyes of all three boys and I love the relationship they have with him.  Pa is completely wrapped around their fingers and will do anything they ask.  Especially if it involves a trip to DQ or Dollar Tree. 

And lastly, I'm a blessed momma to have a super duper father-in-law too!  I love how helpful he is to everyone and how much he enjoys being with family.  Billy's had a great role model too - Bill loves the Lord and loves his family.  He is a TERRIFIC Papaw too - my boys love "papaw adventures" - that usually include going to breakfast and getting a BIG Hershey bar.  :-) So grateful for the legacy he is building and pray that the Stover boys continue to love the Lord just like these awesome men in their lives. 

Friday, June 06, 2014

Mother's Day - what a blessing!

My job is mommy.  Yes, I have a real J-O-B too - I'm a part time therapist.  But I'm a full-time mommy.  Y'all - it's better than any job ever.  Harder too, but definitely better.  I used to think my mom was cuh-razy for keeping all the homemade stuff we made her.  I mean my sweet momma STILL carries the ugly key chain I made her in 7th grade shop class.  It is leather and painted pink.  It is HIDEOUS, but she still uses it every single day on her car keys.  Did you catch that?  I made it in 7th grade... that's like a million and ten years ago.  Really it's like 24, but who's counting.  She carries it because it's special to her.  The same reason that I have my homemade cards under magnets on my refrigerator and the same reason that I wear the necklace Jonathan made me at school as often as possible and the reason that I carefully water the plants the boys made me so they do not die this summer.  I am a total sucker for anything with hand prints too.  Sigh.  I love my littles.  They are making my hair gray and they've made my body look way different than before, but I wouldn't trade places with anyone on the planet.  I know this is late, but happy mother's day!
Fancy Nancy Tea Party with my big boy Jacob at school.  See his little tie he made?  Precious and so fancy.  He was so proud. 

Mother's day dinner with the best momma ever... and oh, being Grammy suits her so well!

Me and my loves on Mother's Day after church.  Just so cute!

There are no words.  (oh and check out that new swing set lovingly put together by daddy and our good friend Andy-tales.)  I am one blessed momma.  My prayer for these sweet boys is that they truly seek the Lord and that they strive to do what's right in life, even when others do not.  I pray that they grasp how high and wide and long and deep is the love of Christ. 

Monday, May 05, 2014

18 months??? (well...actually almost 19 since I'm late!)

18 months already?  Totally hard to believe!  And of course I'm running late - Jashua's actually almost 19 months old... but I'm finally getting this post out of drafts and trying to add pictures. 

Here's 18 fun facts about my baby boy...
1.  You love to be outside.  Seriously, before you even get a sip of milk in the morning, you grab your shoes and go to the door and say, "outside?" - or something two-syllables that I know means outside. 

2.  You recently got your second haircut - it makes you look so old, but boy did you need it!  I was having to resort to hats when you were going out in public.  :-)

3.  You love to look at pictures and consistently point out daddy, mommy, and pa and you smile so big when you see Jacob and Jonathan!
4.  You understand most of what we are saying - if we give you simple commands, you totally follow them.  (sit on your bottom, go give this to Jacob/Jonathan, can you find me a diaper?, give me a high five...)  It's so cute! 
5.  You have a strange affinity for brooms, mops, rakes, shovels and the plunger.  Oh the plunger... G-ROSS!  We finally had to hide it on a top shelf in the garage.  It was starting to look and feel like Sanford and Son with that darn plunger always laying around - usually in the front yard where you leave it. 


6.  You love the little toy mower - just like your brothers did - and you "use" it when daddy mows.  I know you're the third little sweetie to do this, but I just melt when I see you do this.  It reminds me of how lucky you are to have such a great role model in your daddy!

7.  You tend to make everything into a phone... any random object goes straight to your ear and you say, "Lo" and then you babble a bit and then say "Bye Bye."  I promise I'm not on the phone all the time.  Not sure where the obsession is coming from. 
8.  You are now 100% bottle free.  I even threw away our bottle scrubber away today.  Sniff. You did great with the transition!  I miss the snuggle time though! (Though today when I babysat your sweet baby cousin, you did NOT like it when I was giving her bottle to her.)  :-)
9.  We have a new night time routine - you get "nite nite milk" in a sippy and I sit you in your big ole rocking chair by your self while I sit on the ottoman and read a Bible story and say prayers with you.  I miss the rocking and snuggling that accompanied your bottle, but I do like our new normal too!
10.  AND picture frames.  Ummm, please stop that, okay? 
11.  When you give kisses it's full on wide open mouth action.  :-)
12.  You love our little neighbor, Jessica and grab onto her every time we see her.  We are trying to teach you to give high fives rather that grabbing her clothes - it's really cute.  You're not doing it in an aggressive way, but that's totally the way it comes across. 
13.  You weighed 25 lb 4 ounces and are 33.5 " long.  50th percentile.  :-) 
14.  You love bubbles.  Oh the shear joy they bring to you! 
15.  You are really a momma's boy, but oh man, when the garage door opens and daddy is home, you take off running so fast.  It's so sweet! 
16.  You love love love going to Ms. Erin's and only slightly harass her kitty and dog.  Good thing they are gentle souls.  You say, "bye" and don't even bat an eye when we drop you off!
17.  You are super attached to your pacis and green blankie. 
18.  You continue to be a fantastic sleeper and an overall, very easy (but ON THE MOVE) little dude.  You are amazing and we love you so very very much. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Kid Writing - this will blow you away!

Oh my word.  My kiddos have amazing teachers.  We feel so blessed with the ladies who get to pour into our littles.  Frequently, they text me sweet or funny things the boys do during the day.  I love the updates! They make me feel so connected! Last week, Mrs. Haggard, Jonathan's AMAZING kindergarten teacher, texted me these pictures... 

This was Jonathan's "kid writing" for the day - kid writing is a time of unstructured writing time during which the kiddos get to write about anything.  They have to work independently and then read it back to the teacher (that's where the corrected spelling comes!)  The only instructions are to draw a picture then tell a story about it.  Three sentences is the goal.  (here's what it case you can't read it) "God died on the cross for us. Three days later he came back alive.  The people were very scared.  The people cried.  God was bleeding on the cross."   WOWZERS!!!!

Y'all - I was floored.  And crying. And amazed.  And proud. And grateful. What a sweet sweet boy with an amazing heart for the Lord.  I can't believe that THIS was what was on his mind that day.  It was totally unprompted too - it wasn't even our Bible story from family worship the night before or what the kiddos had studied at church the night before.  It's two-sided (hence the two pictures).  I may just have to frame this one... it's a keeper.  I'm so glad that he's starting to keep the word of God hidden in his heart.  My prayer has always been that they would choose to love the Lord with all their hearts and minds and souls... and that they would shine in a dark world. 

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Sky Zone (run... go now!)

Oh my word... my hubby and I have been super spoiled lately.  Three weekends in a row with a date night.  Seriously, we haven't had three date nights total since baby Joshua was born and now 3 weeks in a row?  How blessed we feel!  Usually, when we actually do get a "date night," it's a date with a purpose.  We go eat and then go birthday shopping or Christmas shopping or birthday party shopping or running to a few places to return some stuff... anyway, you get the drift.  But, for Valentine's day this year, I was determined to have an intentional date - with no purpose other than having fun and being together.  I thought about movies - you know, I think there are movies out there that aren't animated.  :-)  But movies are great, but there's no communication allowed.  SOOOOOO, I planned our date this time and we went to Sky Zone - the indoor trampoline park.  Oh my goodness, it was so much fun.  We were the only "old" folks there not attached to little kids.  It was hilarious but it was really a lot of fun.  And a bonus??? After three babies y'all know how AWESOME THIS IS... I didn't even pee myself.  Now, if we'd jumped more than 30 minutes, I would've been in trouble.  :-)  Now, go.... take your hubs on a date there.  (oh - but do reserve your spot ahead of time online! - I did this and was so glad because when we got there they didn't have any open jump times until several hours later that evening!)  It was super fun.  We will definitely go back - next time probably with our kiddos, but it was a blast.  I smiled the whole time.  :-)  And that cute little blur??? That's my hubs slam dunking the basketball on the basketball trampoline.  Terrible picture but he was just too darn fast. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Family Worship

About a year and a half ago, we made a real effort to begin and do family worship every night.  Now, I will say, we don't do it every night, but we do at least do a Bible story and prayer.  But we really have tried to add scripture memorization and music to our nightly routine.  It's a little crazy, since the Joshua requires a little more 1:1 time from mommy at night, so sometimes, I'm taking care of big boy and Daddy's tag-teaming the big boys...but, nevertheless, we try.  Usually, I sing songs with the boy and tell him the verses we've learned while daddy does the Bible stories and prayers with the big boys.  So I guess it's not really FAMILY worship, but we do the best we can. 

Occasionally, we get the distinct honor of doing worship with our dear friend Luke Wisley, who has an incredible gift from the Lord.  He comes by once every 4-5 weeks or so and we do full on family worship as Luke leads us with his voice and guitar.  Tonight, was one of those blessed nights for us.  We just love Luke so much.  So thankful to have wonderful young men to be Godly role models for our sweet boys.  Joshua was precious tonight... just staring up at Luke while he was playing.  Then, he started trying to give Luke things while he was playing.  So cute.  Really.  Most of the time, he just kind of played around doing his own thing, but when Luke played "Jesus Loves Me" - he flat out stood still and was mesmerized.  He clearly knows that's his "nite nite" song.  After it, he went to the gate and wanted his pacis.  So cute!  Thanks Luke for blessing us tonight - we love ya!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

favorite moments

One of my favorite ever momma moments happened last night.  And then just like that, one of the OTHER moments that defines motherhood happened today.  :-) They really deserve separate blog posts, but I'll just put them together. 

Last night, Billy was playing ball so I was home alone for bedtime...not a big deal, but not always the easiest task either.  SO, last night at 730, I had big boys get on their jammies and work on brushing their teeth while I gave Joshua his bottle and snuggled him and sang silly songs (MY FAVORITE PART OF THE DAY WITH HIM... and the only time he's still.)  He laughs and laughs.  I tell him all the Bible verses that the boys have memorized and he shakes his head whenever I say no one or never...  it's so cute.  Anyway, when I was done with him and laid him down, I came into the big boys' room to find this...  Jacob was reading the Bible stories and Jonathan was reading the little prayer at the end.  I ran down to get my camera and when I came back upstairs, they hadn't moved - so I did what all mommas do... I eavesdropped.  Come on, you know you've done it too!  I heard Jacob say, "I love reading the Bible.  Like, I LOVE it."  Jonathan said, "Yeah, me too.  God is cool."  Ahhhhh - almost erases all the tough moments - the fighting, the tattling, the WILD boy behavior, the dirty clothes all over the floor.  What a special moment for this momma! 

And then there's today... another snow day.  Sigh.  But it's been great.  A play date, Valentine's crafts, homemade cookies, lots of Brown Bear Brown Bear reading... and then.there.was.lunch.  Joshua was getting cranky - too close to nap!  So, I put some carrots and green beans on his tray and he immediately threw all of them on the ground.  He is a thrower, that boy!  I immediately took him out of his chair said, "Uh Oh" and put him in time out - only the second or third time I've really done it.  He was pitiful sitting by the door  - but totally didn't move.  I grabbed my camera and went in to get a sneak peak and this is what I got...  Can that sweet boy turn on for the camera or what?   love his heart - but the throwing??? not so much!!!!

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

What I Should Be Doing...

Goodness... I'm sitting here snuggled under covers, perusing facebook and writing this blog.  Feeling a little guilty while doing so...Y'all - you should see my house.  There's unknown sticky substances on my kitchen floor.  Dirty dishes in the kitchen sink.  Zaxby's sacks (yep - that IS what I cooked for dinner) cluttering the counters, and countless balls and little alphabet magnets all over the place. There are remnants of Valentines Day crafts on the table and scraps of papers the littles failed to pick up after craft time (they tried!).  The contents of every basket in the bathroom is dumped out in the floor and there's a game of Candyland that we started but didn't finish in the floor.  Oh and I can't forget the bags of stuff I pulled together to spend the night with some dear friends because our power was out today.  It came back on, but the bags are still packed.   And I should be cleaning it all up.  But I'm pooped. 

I've always tried to remind myself that at the end of the day, my kiddos won't give a hoot about a clean house.  Today I need that reminder.  I KNOW that they won't remember a clean house today, here's hoping they will remember the Candy Land game, beating me at Disney Beat the Parents (twice, but who's counting...), the impromptu dance party, watching Joshua bust a move and the Valentine's Day crafts we made for my new niece. Oh and to top it off - we spontaneously went to see a movie... Frozen is SOOOOO good.   Yes, those are the memories that build a family.  Not Windex and pledge and the trusty ole vacuum.  Here's to many more dance parties and fun games of "win lose or draw" on the chalk board... 

Oh Snow days, you.are.exhausting.  Fun, but exhausting!

Here's a few pics from the other snow day this week (Monday) - today, it was too icy to get out and play.  :-) 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

snow day fun

I'm just going to go ahead and say it... I'm totally over the snow days.  Don't get me wrong... I LOVE being home with my boys.  We have a blast, but enough is enough.  Come on spring... please hurry.  I don't want my sweeties going to school in June.  But alas, today was yet another snow day, so here's some of our fun.

A family game of Mario on WiiU.  Joshua thinks he's playing too.  Little does he know he only has a fake remote.  Poor little guy.  Usually we have to keep him out of the room when they play Wii U because he just wants the cords.  But today, I found a trick.  Let him think he's playing too.  :-)  It worked like a charm.  For all of about 14 seconds.  HA!

Thanks to Pinterest, I created a couple of racetracks with electrical tape in the living room.  We had a tribute to the Olympics - Stover style.  It was so funny!  The big boys loved it.  We quickly learned that using crazy straws to "push" the fuzz balls was just too hard.  So we did different races with different body parts.  Their favorite??? Pushing it only with the booty.  It was hilarious!  I was laughing so hard I forgot to take pictures of that part.  Guess what little man was doing during our Olympics?  He was happy as a little bee - throwing little fuzz balls 

15 months

Fifteen things for Fifteen months...

1.  You are transitioning to one nap a day.  I thought I'd like it... I do not!  You do fine until about 6 pm - then you are super clingy and more sensitive than usual.  (dinner cooking time + clingy baby = bad news bears...especially when daddy works late.) Then for some crazy reason, you perk up at about 7 again and are your normal happy, playful self. 

2.  You lost (gasp) your lovey yesterday at church.  A very special green blankie went to church, but did not return.  I sure hope someone brings it back next week.  I'm sure it got put in the wrong bag by mistake. 

3.  You have an old cell phone that you LOVE.  It's so cute how you put it up to your ear and say, "Lo." - and you bring it to us and say, "bo bo" - which means open. 

4.  You love to play hide and seek with us.  Your smile is so cute. 

5.  Your favorite book is "Brown Bear Brown Bear."   - you say "ba ba bo"  when you are looking for it.  You love to look at the pages but you don't really like to be read to... you wiggle out of my lap after about 3 pages.  (maybe it's the red bird that looks like a cardinal that scares you away... HA!)

6.  You got your first hair cut.  I was sad and didn't want to do it, but your hair really was out of control.  So many people called you a girl and you finally started walking into stuff because you couldn't see.  Hee hee.  You did great!  You sat in that red race car like a champ.  Perhaps it was the sucker that helped. 

7.  Sometimes when you are hungry, you go into the laundry room/pantry and bring out random food like crackers, noodles, potatoes...  funny boy.  And sometimes if I'm busy or not looking you might dump the contents of whatever you grab from the pantry in.the.floor. 

8.  You are still a pretty good eater, but would rather eat in our laps off our plates than in your chair and your plate.  Daddy lets you.  I do not.  :-) 

9.  Daddy may be becoming your favorite.  I'm not sure how I feel about that. 

10.  You throw everything you see.  Balls are cool, baby boy.  Picture frames are not.  Just sayin.'

11.  You adore your big brothers and like to get in their beds.  You say "ba ba" and point to their beds.  I think it's because of their sippy cups.  You think you are HOT STUFF if we do let you up in the top bunk.  (no worries - totally supervised!)

12.  You are still obsessed with the toilet.  uggh!

13.  You love your little slide you got for Christmas.  You also love your ball pit/tent!!!  It entertains you for hours!
You are a happy little dude and love to play with just about anything. 

14.  You are awesome at the grocery store.  My little shopping companion.  You play peek-a-boo with people behind us in line and laugh at the people at the deli counter.  You steal the show. 

15.  To entertain you at restaurants (and at home while we eat dinner), sometimes we give you the ketchup bottle.  You are slightly obsessed with opening it and closing it... sometime with your teeth.   I know - totally gross and germie, but hey, a peaceful dinner is worth it I suppose.  Don't judge. 

Oh sweet boy - you bring us so much joy and happiness.  I pray for patience during the next very busy years with you!  We love you sooooooo much!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Jesus + magic + Santa + presents... must be Christmas!

Wow - what an amazing Christmas we had.  Must be the ages and a lot of God's great grace, but really, I think this Christmas was my most favorite ever.  We try so hard to keep Jesus at the Center of our holiday celebrations, but I know we fall short.  But we try.  And we always will.  Despite some fevers and lots of snot, we had a great Christmas!

This year, we added a new tradition - for the 12 days leading up to the big day, we attempted to complete 12 days of service.  Each day, we did a little project for others - some of the highlights were paying for a stranger's coffee when we went to get hot chocolate, making brownies for one of our ministers, making rainbow loom bracelets for the principal and asst. principal at the boys' school and choosing 3 toys to donate.  Admittedly, a few days slipped by and I didn't get it done.  But guilt can't get me down...  (well, maybe!)  Anyway, hopefully we can make this work each year.  It was fun to get the boys involved. 

One of my other favorite memories from this Christmas was the Santa Shop experience... let me explain for all my mommy friends who haven't experienced elementary school yet.  Santa Shop is this wonderful little production supported by our PTO.  Kiddos are given the opportunity to bring money and "Shop" for others.  As a confession, I have to say that when I got the notice in the back packs about Santa Shop, my first impression was, "seriously?  They want money for something else now???"  (sorry - but it really does seem like there's something a couple times a week in the backpacks asking for money or something for sale all.the.time.)  So, we gave them Santa Shop money - I mean who could say no to that???  Each of them had 5-7 bucks.  When they got home that afternoon, the excitement on their little faces was PRICELESS!!!!  They had carefully picked out something for each other and their baby brother.  And mommy.  :-)  Bless Jonathan's heart, he said, "There was a tie I wanted for daddy but it was too many dollars.  If I got it, I couldn't get Joshua anything."  They both wanted help wrapping their treasures and of course, then they just couldn't wait to give them to each other.  Y'all - this in my opinion is one of my favorite memories.  Giving.  They had totally unselfish and giving hearts.  What a lesson. 

Anyway - here's a few shots of our celebration... 


Before we do ANYTHING on Christmas morning, we spend a little time reading the Christmas story from the Bible.  The boys were anxious to get  downstairs, but were also great about waiting.  I know one day they'll hate me for the bed-head pictures.  hee hee

This little cutie pie loved his Dispicable Me goggles - thanks Aunt Carol and Uncle Chris!
Baby Joshua LOVED his little Batmobile.  So much fun.  He was excited about ribbons and bows and boxes too.  Presents were kind of an after thought for him.  :-)
We surprised Jacob by getting his last two play posters framed.  He was super excited. 
And this (even in our jammies/sweats) is my life.  Thank you Jesus for this crew that I get to call my family.   And yes, as long as possible, my kiddos will wear matching jammies every Christmas Eve and all day Christmas day.  I got no shame.  :-)
Merry Christmas everyone!!!!