Friday, November 18, 2011

Our first family vacation

A day at Sea World!
The spectacular entrance to Sea World!
At the end of the summer, we really needed a little getaway. So,on a bit of a whim, we pulled some long hours to get orders caught up and planned a quick trip to Sea World.
The trip there was an adventure in itself.  My in-laws were joining us on the trip so we had a mini caravan and lots of potty stops!  The driver side window in our car broke...I mean literally fell into the in a Walmart parking lot my husband and his dad took the door panel off and rigged the motor components with things we had handy: plastic, cardboard off a legal pad, & scraps of duct tape.  I don't know why I didn't take a was pretty sad looking!  As we drove, the wind would loosen the tape and it would flap frantically against the window, the window would begin to slide down and in addition to the flapping it sounded like a wind-tunnel...a bit nerve-racking along with normal kid noise, but honestly all we could do was laugh. Thank God for duct tape, right?

Loving on their brother
 The motel was a welcome retreat when we arrived!  The girls had their own beds in their own room!  We spent a lot of time just relaxing with each other and visiting with MeMe and PaPa down the hall from us.  It was such a welcome break for us all.  We brought the movie Soul Surfer and watched it one night.  Our girls LOVE that movie.  They get all teary and sentimental--not about her losing her arm, but at other sweet moments between the dad and daughter--I love seeing their sensitive side.

Such beautiful creatures!

Since Jessie's parents were with us, we got to sneak over and ride a roller coaster--the Manta!  It was quite possible the best roller coaster I've ever been on...then again, maybe it's just been too long since I've been on one.  There was an aquarium under the roller coaster, featuring the manta ray of course.  There were lots of other neat little sea creatures in there too (see my additional pictures below).

12,000 pounds!!
The last time I was at Sea World my baby sister was 5 years old (she's now 19).  Now I have a 5 (nearly 6) year old.  Unbelievable!  So, a lot has changed since I was last there.  The arena for the killer whales was new and HUGE...and I miss the trainers being in the water with the Orcas.  Shamu stadium wasn't the only thing that had gotten bigger in the last 14 years.  Tilikum was a beast!  The picture doesn't do him justice...he was ginormous!

Our all time favorite part of the day was the dolphin show.  I don't have pictures because we sat front & center in the splash zone.  But it was amazing!  The girls also rode their first roller coaster.  Granted it was a kiddie coaster, but they loved it! They kept their hands up in the air. They each rode it several times, taking turns with who they got to sit beside--mom, dad, and their MeMe.  I do have some more fun highlights from the day below.  We stayed one extra day in Orlando, played in the pool and just enjoyed ourselves before we had to return to our normal routine.  It was a trip we would love to do again.  Maybe next time we can venture into dolphin cove.

Ready for their first theme park!
Family Pic
A Cute & Corny little show
Finding Nemo ;)
that weed looking thing is actually a type of seahorse!!
...risers.  Love them! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

7 months and growing

Wesley you are getting so big!  You are squeezing out of you 9 months clothes and probably pushing 22 pounds.  But you are every bit as sweet as you are squishy!

Your sweet little "ma ma", "da da" and "la la" sounds complete your current vocabulary.  However, your grunts and growls are what we find most entertaining.

You have a mouthful of 8 teeth!  Did I mention you're still nursing--ouch!

You adore your sisters.  Abby mothers & carries you around like you're hers.  She says she wants to have a baby like you when she's a mom...we'll see if she's still saying that when you're mobile.

You're favorite place to hang out is your jumparoo...or anywhere mommy is in sight.

When you see your daddy you grunt with a grin, because you know he'll grunt back at ya for a little game back & forth.  You are ticklish everywhere, even the palms of your hands!

You sleep great, although you're an early riser like your sisters--making that cup of coffee a necessity for mommy (sometimes 2).

I wanted to write a little update to you because in a matter of weeks, or even days, I know you will be on the move and I will have a hard time remembering you playing on your little mat or cuddling peacefully in my arms.  You have been up on your knees rocking and scooting backwards, so I know it won't be long before my little Wesley is on his way and life as we currently know it...will change.

I know those changes will be great and fun and a bit more challenging, and I look forward to them.  It comforts me to know that no matter how big you get you will always be my baby boy.  I love you Wesley boy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Armed and Adorable

I mentioned in one of my very first blogs, Change in Seasons, about my husband pursuing the police reserves program.  I'll admit it was something I was very uneasy with at first.  I knew classes were to begin right around the same time Wesley was expected to arrive last spring.  Thankfully, there was a delay that put the classes off just long enough for us (me really) to recover and adjust to our new life with 3 children.

Jessie attended classes 2 nights a week for nearly 4 months and some Saturdays.  He studied a lot and attended his classes faithfully, while working full time, and running the machinery for our side business, and being tremendously helpful with the kids as always.  He didn't view it as a sacrifice so much as an investment in his dream.  He has a strong desire to help others and this is something he has talked about for a long time.

As I said before, I wasn't settled with the idea at first.  I was worried about the time the classes would take, getting three children ready for bed 2 nights a week all by myself, and lots of other selfish thoughts that didn't serve any purpose whatsoever.  I was stopped in my tracks one day...I was so upset and was whining and venting my frustrations out loud (no one else was around) and a supernatural peace literally came over me and God just quietly told me "you need to support your husband".  I called Jessie immediately and told him that I would support him through this.  And after I obeyed the Lord--just like that--my heart changed.

Last month we got to go to his ceremony to be sworn in as an officer.  I am so proud of him!  He has to get 200 hours in as a reserve officer.  He is eager to get started!!  One of the things he said he has been most impressed by is getting to know the people he will serve with.  The other reserve officers, and some of the officers who taught their classes, he said, are so strong in their faith.  He would come home from classes telling me about some of these guys and he was just excited to have the opportunity to work alongside them.  Being in the reserves does open the door for a potential full-time position when the department is ready to hire.  In the meantime, Jessie will serve loyally and enjoy every minute of it, like a little boy living his childhood dream.

Friday, November 4, 2011

"It's a busy life, but it's our life"

Life as we know it is just plain busy.  I have documented our lives the last 2 months with pictures and intentions of posting the script to support it, but time has not been on our side.  We've just been--busy!  The daily routine of raising 3 children, one of which is a nursing-napping infant, a new doggie, homeschooling, running our home-based business; not to mention meal-planning & cooking & cleaning & laundry....thank God we're not doing this alone!!  I MUST rely on Him to help me through moments of chaos as they arise.

I was playing around with the format of my blog page and noticed that I used to actually write a lot more.  I love writing.  I think when I have moments to process my thoughts I am not too bad at it.  As one who is guilty of saying things off the tip of my tongue, writing actually gives me an opportunity to formulate my thoughts and say things just a bit more gracefully.  I can remember when I was young--highschool & college--when I couldn't seem to find the words to pray, I would write a prayer out to God.  Somehow it helped to put it on paper.  I still have a few of those scrap paper prayers stuffed in my old Bible.

So as time permits, I will post of the events that have occurred even in just the last 6 weeks.  And if you are interested in following along, please do so.  I'd love to know who is reading along.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Katie

Katie is 4!

Katie, we love you SO much!  You bring us so much joy.  You have a timely sense of humor, big beautiful eyes that tell a story on their own, a willfulness that when directed positively will help you to accomplish greatness.  You are vivacious and tenderhearted.  It is difficult to get a good picture of your beautiful face while you are in your "shy" phase.  I will continue to encourage you and I know you will come out of it soon enough.

What a blessing that your sister is your best friend.  You love imaginative play with your dolls, and although you could entertain yourself for hours at a time, your enthusiasm encourages your (more analytic) sister to play with you.  I love this picture where I caught you and Abby holding hands at the aquarium.

Katie and Abby "scared" of the albino crocodile!

You are such a ham, and although you say hilarious things ALL the time, I can never remember what you said exactly to tell others.  Because, it's not so much what you say, as it is how you say it.  You have great comedic timing! And your expressions say more than your words.  

My favorite thing you do (and have done for a while now) is how you pray.  In your tiny little voice, you will pray for every member of our family-by name.  You pray for your friends AND their families-by name.  And every now and then you add "pray for the trees" or "pray for the windows", "pray for dance class & Abby's school", or any other random thing that comes through your mind as you sit their with your eyes shut tight.  More recently, you have cleverly, added..."and, I just pray for the whole world" to make sure you don't leave anything out.  You're so precious Katie!

As your daddy and I put you to bed tonight I gave you 3 big kisses and reminded you that this was your last night as a 3 year old.  You said, "it is!?...tomorrow I'll be 4...when will I be 5?"  Oh Katie, please don't grow up too fast.  Tomorrow you will be 4, and we will cherish each day as it comes, as you learn, and as you grow. 

I love you so much sweet girl!  

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I love old people!

What a precious couple!  You can tell he's lost his patience with the technology and moved on to silliness.  So sweet and patient with one another!  I just love old people. 


Friday, September 2, 2011

I Swear

Last week my daughter was playing with a toy that was not working properly and she exclaimed "dammit!"  My head shot up so fast and I asked "what did you just say?", to which she repeated "dammit".  I immediately brought her to me and began questioning where she heard this word.  We don't use that kind of language.  The only television she watches is Nick Jr. or an old Disney movie.  And our social circle is pretty limited to mostly church friends and family, none of whom speak that way, at least not around us.  She insisted that she made it up and didn't hear anyone or any thing use that word.  So I made sure she knew that it was not a good word, and expressed that now that she knows it is not a good word if I ever hear it again she will be in big trouble!!  

I talked to Jessie later that day about what happened.  We were trying to figure out where she might have heard that word, or how she might have made it up.  I was personally convicted of words that I often use.  I like to call them Christian curse words.  You know, "dang-it", "crap", "freakin", and a few others.  In our home even "stupid" is a bad word as my children occasionally remind me.  My thought is that if by chance she did make up this word, maybe it came from her hearing my occasional use of "dang-it".  By most standards, there isn't anything wrong with these slang words.  But I know that for me it is more of a heart issue.  When I am using these words they are generally an expression of frustration, anger, annoyance, or some other negative emotion.  The way in which I use these words makes them really no different than the true curse word they are replacing--since the "real" words are used under the same circumstances of anger and frustration.  

The Word of God says, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29

I am making a personal effort to watch these words and hold myself to the same standard that I have established for my children which is based on the Word of God.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Big girls don't cry

Katie got her ears pierced!  She was so brave!  -braver than I was as a little girl.  Although, I would like to think that the technology has improved. ;) 

She sure can shed some tears when necessary, so I was certain after the first ear it would take some coaxing to get her through the second.  But I was wrong.  She can be stubborn, or determined rather.  She can be strongly determined either for or against whatever she puts her mind to (I don't know where she get's that from).  In this case, she was determined to be brave because she was too excited to wait any longer.

My baby girl is growing up.  So I will hold in my tears and be brave like my Katie.

Friday, August 5, 2011

My sweet boy

Wesley is now 4 months old.  I know at this point there is not a whole lot a baby can do..leaving very little to write about. But this blog isn't so much for you my reader as it is for my boy. 

Wesley, you fill my heart up.  I love spending time with you: tickling you making you laugh & "talk".  I have prayed over you since your daddy and I found out you were coming.  I have prayed for God's protection, health, for a gentle spirit, and many other things.  You are such a sweet baby.  You make everyone feel so special with your big smile.  I love that you smile with your whole wiggle with excitement and your eyes are so full of joy. 

Your sisters absolutely adore you.  And other than the "accidental" hair pull, you love all the attention they give you.  When I look at you sometimes, I remember holding Abby and Katie when they were your size: singing to them, tickling them, bath time, tummy time and even the fussy moments and a few long nights...and I cherish it all.  I LOVE who they have become and the fun and challenging days that have brought them to where they are now.  And I look forward to growing with you and seeing you through those fun stages of childhood.

You look so much like your daddy, and I hope you're just like him when you get older.  He is a great man of God, a quiet & gentle leader, an excellent father & husband.  He knows how to look at himself and situations and make changes for the better.  You have an excellent example in your daddy!  And I am so thankful for that. 

You're such a good baby!  You have 2 teeth already, they both came in this week.  And rather than fussing and doing the normal baby stuff during this tough milestone, you practically slept through it!  You seriously slept your usual 12 hr night plus 3 solid naps.  I'm thankful and flabergasted at how great of a baby you are.  I have no doubt that at some point in your life you will jokingly rub that in your sister's faces. :)  But be nice because they will remember how much you spit up!!  Seriously, I don't know how you have those chunky legs when you seem to spit up more than you take's unbelievable!

My girls have taught me so much about myself and parenting, and my boy will bring new learning experiences into the mix.  I look forward to the adventure! But take your time sweet boy...please take your time.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Little Surfer Girls

We are truly enjoying some fun family time this week!  Jessie is getting his work done as quickly as possible so he can come play at the beach with us.  Abby & Katie are LOVING going out on the board with their daddy!  I took these pictures yesterday with my phone, but I really wish I had my camera this morning when we were out there.  Abby and Jess were on the board and two beautiful dolphins came by not even 15 feet away from them. The dolphins were splashing each other with their fins. Later, I wish I had seen it, but my girls were out there with my parents and they said the dolphins came back and were jumping and splashing their tails like they were playing and just showing off.  So fun!  

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I have a dream...

I have this dream of being crafty, sewing dresses and cute things for my girls, re-claiming old things into something new with a little slip cover or some paint. I will browse through a store and say "oh that's so cute..I could make that" and not buy it because I reason that I could make it myself for less. That method works out fantastically for our wallets, as I happily window shop and never buy materials to make it myself either. BUT, I day, yes one day, I will find my inner crafty self and actually make one of these fabulous projects I dream about. Here is one that I thought was an ingenious way to reclaim a broken doll stroller (which we have). Maybe you will find your inner crafty self take on this project for your little girl.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I Believe

A lot of special people have been on my heart recently.  Lost souls, broken-hearted, sick in body, whatever the need...GOD IS GREATER!  This song has been on my heart all week as I pray for so many dear friends and family.

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."  Matthew 11:28-30 (New American Standard)

Monday, July 11, 2011


This morning I asked my husband if I could borrow his nose-hair trimmer.  He didn't seem amused.  Our husbands like to see us well-kept, but don't really like to know how we got that way--they just like to see the complete package.  So in any case, I am here to confess today that I like this little device.  I originally bought it as a stocking stuffer kinda gag gift for my husband a few years ago.  But I have come to realize it is a rather useful little tool.  Not to gross you out, but every few months, you just take the little trimmer and zip away the little visible hairs just inside the nose.  

I am not a fan of waxing--at all.  I had my legs waxed before my wedding 8 years ago and although I went through with it, I knew then that it was a one-time thing (cost has a little bit to do with that decision).  Facial waxing is out of the question for me as well.  I have a little OCD when it comes to my eyebrows and I don't want mis-shapened brows because of someone else's shakey hand.  I pluck! There I said it--I pluck and I'm proud of it!  It's not so bad if you maintain.  So what does this have to do with the nose-hair trimmer you ask?  Well, nicely groomed eyebrows should also be trimmed, but not excessively. I keep an old toothbrush in my make-up bag to comb my eyebrows up and any stray (too long hairs) get a little zip from the trimmer. Then when you brush the eyebrows in their natural direction they look even and not bushy.  A new discovery is that of the little attachment to the nosehair trimmer.  I was scared at first, but it's basically like the guard guys use to buzz their heads.  Use the longer side of this guard and then comb it along your eyebrows and the excess length is trimmed off effortlessly.  Just don't go too short!!  However, I still prefer the first method.

So, this is my little secret obsession.  I hope you find this to be more helpful than it is repulsive.  

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
I linked up with LowerCase Letters today.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ready to Read

Abigail, our 5 year old, has taken all of her skills she has learned in k4 and before, and is determined to read.  She is doing very well, with the exception of the pesky exceptions in American grammar.   I love seeing her "get it". 

Photo Op

Me and my 3!  I am one blessed mommy!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

My Favorite Things

I'd like to end this week by linking up with
friday favorite things | finding joy 
My girls are pretty shy.  They are coming out of it, but still have their moments.  This moment cracked us up!

On stage accepting their trophies at their dance recital, Katie (far right) refused to turn around and face the audience.  (Abby is on the left)

Everyone was seated for over half an hour and she stood firm.

The ENTIRE time! haha

I just love my baby boy and he sure loves bath time!!  

He's got his thumb. And one of his sisters put that plush zebra on his arm like a bracelet. :)

Oh say did you see...this precious face on the 4th of July. :)

Jessie told me later how good he felt when Wesley was unhappy and he immediately calmed down when he held him.  I'm glad he can be soothed by someone other than me.

My three sweethearts!!!

Abby (my 5yo) took pictures of the firework display and got a few good ones.  I just love curling up with my family (and friends) at the park each year watching the firework display.  It's a special tradition!

At the aquarium, my girls timidly approached the giant tank looking for sharks..holding hands..makes a mommy proud to see their kids love each other so much.

Sweet friends are such a blessing and I'm thankful to have a few in my life. (Abby took this picture)

My nephew Ethan is going to be a big brother!!

Silly faces!

Today was a fun day that I would call a favorite.  My husband made us breakfast and we all went to the pool.  We had the pool all to ourselves!  Wesley took a nap in his pop-up tent and we swam and enjoyed ourselves.  The rest of the day was business as usual, but what a special start to a normal day.  

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Say Cheese

Ok, so I said the other day after my post about our crazy busy day that I would share the photos from our photo-shoot once the grandparents had seen them.  Well, here they are!  
Allow me to warn you though, this post is all about my 3 little ones...just lots of unbelievable cuteness [says their mother].  




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