Friday, December 7, 2007

An Unopened Gift

Have you ever watched kids
On a merry-go-round
Or listened to the rain
Slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?
You better slow down,
Don’t dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won’t last.

Do you run through each day
On the fly?
When you ask “How are you?”
Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done,
Do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?
You’d better slow down,
Don’t dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won’t last.

Ever told your child,
We’ll do it tomorrow?
And in your haste,
Not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die
Cause you never had time
To call and say “Hi”?
You’d better slow down,
Don’t dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won’t last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift….
Thrown away.
Life is not a race.
Do take it slower.
Hear the music
Before the song is over.

-written by a young girl with cancer

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year



It's that time of year again! I LOVE Christmas in Ohio. Our family went to a Christmas parade last night. A real, live Christmas parade on Main Street! There were 130 horse drawn carriages, all done up with lights, and we all huddled close, sipping hot chocolate, as we took in the magic. A definite new family tradition! Our tree is decorated, a bowl full of cinnamon pinecones graces our entryway, and cheerful little Santa's are strewn throughout the house. I love sitting by the tree at night reading stories to my daughters. My soul is twinkling as I try and savor every moment.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Give Thanks



This year I am thankful for many things. I am thankful for four little hands that tug at my heartstrings every day. I am thankful for the man who helps me raise our family.My best friend. I am thankful for our home in the country, the gorgeous tree out my kitchen window, our big dog who keeps my feet warm, and the teenage girls whom I am honored to work with. I am thankful for our extended families who help us with our girls. It takes a village to raise a child! I am thankful that for the very first time, Boss and I will be spending this season of Thanksgiving with BOTH of our families.

Yesterday was a hard day. I will not go into details, but some horrible things have been happening in our home that I was unaware of, and yesterday we removed the girl who was the source of the problems. I will never forget the look on her mother's face when we told her what had been happening. They will not be having a good Thanksgiving. Another one of our girls has been told that she will not being seeing her family tomorrow, and my heart breaks for her. The girls and I had a good cry last night over all that had taken place, but we have determined to make today beautiful.

We woke up this morning and turned on Christmas carols while we baked. Rain was falling outside, the whole house smelled like pumpkin and spice, and inside there were many smiling faces. Who could ask for more? I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving, and remember to praise the One who is the giver of ALL good things!

Love Ben, Kendra, Emma, and Kate

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Something Magical is Taking Place

It has been a magical morning! The first SNOW of the season is falling in fat, little flakes, and my two little girls are actually playing TOGETHER, all by themselves, in their new pink room! They are so cute. Emma is playing and singing songs on her piano, and Kate is dancing to the music. I keep peeking in on them, and my mama heart is swelling. We have opened a new chapter in this book we call life. I have dreamed about and prayed for my daughters to be close friends through this life, and to witness the start of their friendship touches my heart. With breakfast in our bellies, the heater going strong, snow falling, and no plans on our agenda, I know it is going to be a great day!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What Goes Up, Must Come Down

We are home from our romantic weekend, and it could not have been more wonderful! We had no plans, no demands of our time, no questions being asked, and nobody around except for the two of us. I have never felt more relaxed in my entire life.

We did leave the cabin a few times. We went out for both breakfast and dinner, and we also went hiking at Old Man's Cave. The weather was crisp, fall leaves covered the ground, and it was the ultimate Autumn experience. I even picked up some fall foliage to use in a Thanksgiving sign that Emma and I will be making this week. After we hiked, my wonderful husband took me antiquing before we headed back to the cabin to watch the a little football.

The cabin was made of real wood, and the entire thing was heated by a little fireplace. The bed was upstairs in a loft, and the blankets were cozy homemade quilts. We slept like babies! Not our babies, because they don't sleep through the night, and we most certainly did. We slept like good babies. I love Boss all of the time, but sometimes I forget to show him. So this weekend was perfect for reconnecting and falling in love.

However, before you begin to think my life too perfect, remember that what goes up, must come down. We left our weekend together most definitely up, but we were quickly brought back down to the reality of life. We picked our girls up from Boss' parent's house and they fussed the entire way home. Then we were greeted by our four foster girls who had all managed to get themselves in trouble for smoking during the weekend. It took me two hours to claim all of their lighters and hand out consequences. Monday was a school holiday, so everyone stayed home, and by eight in the morning, I was standing at the sink washing dishes when Boss said, Remember when we went on vacation, just the two of us, a long time ago? And I just laughed, because what goes up must come down. But the good news is that things will go up again. This stage in our lives is teaching me to cherish the special moments, when time stands still, so I can recall them in my mind when life gets hectic around me. And up or down, it doesn't matter. Because we are doing this thing called life, together. Blessings abound.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Time Away



Since we became parents three and a half years ago, we have only left Emma for one or two weekends, and Kate for a night here or there. We have never left both girls simultaneously, and this weekend we are doing just that!

Boss and I have decided to make it a priority to take a romantic weekend each year to rest, rejuvenate, and reconnect. This year we are going to the above cabin in the Hocking Hills, and I am so excited! We have loaded up on snacks, books, play station games, quilting supplies, and movies, and we may or may not leave the cabin for the entire weekend.

We are busy, with a bust life, and the last month has been busier than ever. So this weekend is just what we need. I feel so blessed to be married to a husband who works as hard as mine does, but who also appreciates the beautiful and romantic side of life. Right now, life is very, very good. I am trying to savor every moment!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sweet Kate





Kate is now 16 months old. She is a complete pistol! A very cute pistol, but boy is she ornery Kate is in to ABSOLUTELY everything, and she is in constant motion. She destroys everything in her path! Her charm helps to keep her out of trouble.
Every time she gets in trouble, she now stands on her head to make us laugh and forget about being mad. I should be embarassed to admit that it usually works.What a little stinker!

Kate always wants to be doing whatever her big sister is doing. She enjoys music and dancing, playing with anything she can push or pull, and taking rides in her wagon.

Kate is extremely independent and she wants to do everything for herself. Her current favorite foods are cheese slices, yogurt, and grapes. She is fluent in baby, but she is struggling with the English language. She has a vocabulary of about 10 words, two of which include NO and MINE. I am so proud. Kate can also be very sweet, and my favorite time of day is when she grabs my cheeks with her sticky, chubby hands, and plants a wet one on my lips. Melts my heart every time! Kate still does not sleep through the night, but I tend to forgive her when she offers me kisses and her cheesy grin.

Kate, you keep our family laughing, and my world would not be as bright if you were not in it.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Bunny One






These pictures are dear to my heart. Emma is a bright, funny, sensitive, and tender hearted little girl, and I fall more in love with her every single day. Today is not Emma's birthday. In fact, today holds no signifigance at all. Just an ordinary day. But, I have been thinking about how quickly my oldest daughter is growing, and I wanted to record a few of the things that I love about Emma at this stage in her life. I want to etch her, at age three, into my mind and my heart forever.

Emma is smart. She can recognize and write every letter of the alphabet, as well as write her name She asks one million questions a day, and she won't settle for a basic answer! She wants to know what EVERYTHING is and HOW it works!

Emma's favorite foods are waffles, grapes, spaghetti, and candy. She loves Dora, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and anything Barbie or My Little Pony.

Emma loves playing pretend, and she has an imaginary giant, aptly named Giant, that she pulls out of her pocket whenever she is feeling lonely or insecure. She currently insists on being called Bunny One.

Emma is a wonderful big sister, and she finds joy in showing off her baby sister to all we meet. She is super proud when Kate accomplishes something new!

Emma is currently in ballet, and she says she wants to be a dancer when she grows up. She also plans on marrying her daddy. I tell her that if she finds someone half as amazing as her daddy is, then she will be a lucky woman.

Emma loves God. When I asks her whose girl she is (meaning mama or daddy's), she says neither...I am God's girl! I pray she never forgets that.

Emma is growing up so quickly. Gone is the baby fat, chubby cheeks, and blubbery kisses. And in their place stands a beautiful little girl with so much wonder in her eyes and love in her heart. I am blessed and proud to witness her growing up. Emma, Mommy loves you!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Boo








Autumn

 
Autumn is beautiful in Ohio! I love driving along the roads that lead to our new home. The leaves on the trees are such vibrant colors! What amazing creation God has made! The weather is crisp, the seasonal decorations are going up, and the comfort of home is being recognized. I love this time of year.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Our New View








Mama Makes a Quilt

(a ballerina princess quilt for my biggest ballerina princess)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Grace


(Emma and our new dog, Grace)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

First

1) Boss has landed his dream job and he is now, for the FIRST time in his life, an Athletic Director at Village Christian School! It is a tiny, private school (only 100 students), so Boss will get to build his own program from the ground up! This is an answered prayer!

2) For the FIRST time in her life, Emma (Bunny One as she now insists on being called) slept through the night ALL BY HERSELF, IN HER OWN BED! And it only took a one good, long lecture (and a ballerina Barbie) to get her to do so. I am very proud of her, though I do fear I might possibly miss having her little body snuggled next to mine each night.

3) Kate said her FIRST word, and the story gets even cooler! She is 14 months old and barely speaks. She throws out an occasional Hi (sometimes even at the appropriate moment!), but other than that we get nothing out of her. However, last night in Bible class, Kate reached for her Bible and without being prompted, she said BIBLE! How fun to be able to say that my daughter's FIRST word was bible! I am so proud of my pickles!

4) I have almost completed my very FIRST (and possibly last) quilt! An awesome lady from our church has been teaching me how to quilt, and I am almost done with my first project. I love that quilting allows me to work with my hands, as well as make something beautiful.

I love when FIRST'S happen, however, I am a bit nostalgic, because it means we are learning and growing (which is great!), but it also means the leaves of our lives are changing and pretty soon all of these firsts will simply be sweet memories. It reminds me not to wish my life away and to enjoy each and every day I am given with my precious girls and husband. Enjoy today!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

From House to Home

Last week I celebrated my 25th birthday, and my mama took me to my favorite home decorating store to let me pick out my gift. While browsing the shelves there, I saw a sign that I have been pondering for the last week. Home is Where Your Story Begins. Now that I am a mama to two precious girls, I have been thinking long on what makes a house a home. Because it's true. Home is where our life stories do begin! Inside the four walls that surround you, important decisions will be made, hearts and minds will be molded, and memories will be created. What a BIG purpose the home serves in growing up young people!

Home can mean many different things to many different people. To some it means a significant place, to others it might mean a certain group of people. For everyone, I hope it means a sense of security and belonging.

Boss and I grew up in very different settings. In the twenty years before Boss left home, he only lived in two different houses, all in one county! All of his childhood memories include one city, in one home, with the same people surrounding him. Whenever we visit his parents, it ALWAYS feels like coming home to Boss.

My growing up experience was very different. In my twenty five years, I have lived in 5 states: Texas (at three different times), Georgia, West Virginia, New Mexico, and now, Ohio. The cities we have called home are too numerous to name. I also spent the early years of my childhood overseas in Saudi Arabia. And the amount of residences (including homes and college apartments) amounts to sixteen different places of residence in twenty five years! Therefore, no one particular place feels like home to me. When I think of going home, I think of going wherever it is that my family happens to be.

I do not believe that one way of growing up is better than another, as there are a million different ways to do life right. I have simply been thinking. Thinking about what I want my girls to remember of home. So far, in four years of marriage, Boss and I have already lived in four different states, so perhaps it is time for us to settle down and build our home. I don't know. Perhaps it is because the grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side of the fence, but I want my girls to have a place that feels like home to them, beyond just the sense of family. No matter where life takes them, I want them to be able to close their eyes and envision coming home when the world becomes too much. I would love to have a home where Boss and I could grow old together, and where memories were made in one certain place. I would love to chart my girl's growth on a door frame and see it for the next fifty years of my life. With Boss being in retail, I realize the idea of us staying in one place is not likely, but a girl can dream.

So, what does home mean to you? My brother is a high rise in a city kind of guy. My mom's heart belongs to the mountains and her grandkids. Boss' parent's home is in the same zip code it has always been and always will be.

Me? I am undecided. I believe I would like a little piece of land, so tht my children could run their little hearts out. I want a house with a big porch and a swing. I would love a pond and a big dog to greet us when we come home every evening. My dream is to have a large dining room table to fill with family always, and friends whenever time allows. This is my dream of turning house into home. I can't wait to see how our story plays out.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Toddler Tidbits Continued

We were playing at the play place at the mall last week, and Emma made friends with a little African American girl. All of a sudden Emma started stroking the girl's arm and saying, Your skin is so beautiful. I just love your color! She then looked at me and asked why she didn't have a pretty color.
I believe this is the first time Emma has ever noticed a difference in people's skin colors before and she thought it was beautiful and amazing!

Emma went on to tell the little girl that she used to have brothers (at the children's home) who had beautiful skin, too (they were Navajo). She said, Little girl, you are just so beautiful, and my boys were beautiful, too. I just love it when all of the colors are happy. Amen, Emma, Amen. Isn't all of life beautiful through the eyes of a child?



Summer Fun



























Above are some fun pictures of the girls that were taken this summer. They are getting so very BIG! Our summer has been splendid. The weather in the Burg has been awesome lately, and we have been spending as much time outside as possible! We are making memories in and all around our little farm house. We have filled our days with summer festivals, trips to the library, King's Island, walks to the park, the hamburger cart, and the downtown ice cream trolley, and have enjoyed swimming in our blow up pool. Emma has been in gymnastics and we are also part of a play group that meets once a week. Another bit of summer news is that Boss has been working like crazy (80 hours a week), but he has a very promising job interview on Thursday, for a job that pays more money with fewer hours. We are so thankful that God keeps opening windows of opportunity for advancement for Boss and our family. I don't know anyone who works harder than my sweet husband, while continuing to do his best and keep a positive attitude. Go, baby, go! You will do great in your interview! Next weekend is my 25th birthday and we will celebrate by eating at the Cheesecake Factory, going to see a chick flick, and sleeping in! Needless to say, we are soaking up the summer fun in our little house in the Burg! Happy summer to you, friends!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Reflections of my Heart

I have not shared on the pages here about the children's home where our family worked for a year and half, and I believe the reason was because I needed time to reflect on our time there. By the end of our service there, we were so frustrated and tired, and I believe we began to see things in a very negative light. However, now that we are looking back on those days, as with most things in life, I can see many good and wonderful things about our time in Albuquerque. For one thing, God blessed us with amazing friends as fellow houseparents, and I was never lonely living there for a single moment! And while we did not connect with every child who walked through our front door, we did develop some relationships that I am very proud of and thankful for. I loved the sense of purpose that each day at the children's home brought. I never once felt like my life was lacking during our days there. And spending every day together as a family was the icing on the cake. So, while I know it was time for our family to move on, I simply wish I had cherished our days there a bit more.

Our life here is very different. When we left the children's home we wanted to dive back into the world, and literally, into the world we dove. It has felt like keeping up with the Jone's since day one. I feel like my focus is off, my days are meaningless, and to be quite honest, sometimes I struggle with wanting money and materialistic things so badly that I can taste it. Another thing I have struggled with since moving is being a mama, something I have always longed to be. Because I don't just want to be a good mama, I want to be a great mama. And most days I feel like I am failing. I find myself longing for a nap and some alone time and more money, instead of focusing on my children as my treasures in this life.

I am well aware of all of my blessings. I KNOW God is good ALL of the time. I simply hate that I get sucked into the world so easily. I hate that I wallow in self pity, and think of not getting an afternoon nap as suffering, when in reality, I know nothing of suffering. And I praise God for that.

Tonight, a family whose blog I follow, lost their two year old daughter to leukemia. My heart breaking. I have no words. This family tried for five long years to conceive a child, and their daughter was an answer to prayer. And now, only two short years later, she is gone. As a Christian, I find peace knowing that their sweet girl is in Heaven. I find peace in knowing she will never face the trials of this world. But as a mama, my heart breaks for a woman whose shoes I tremble at the thought of ever walking in. And here I am, complaining about my old house, Boss' job, not having enough money, and the fact that my children are constantly interrupting the plans I have made for each day, when in another state, one mama's hands are now empty. She no longer has a child to interrupt her at all, and I know she would gladly exchange her alone time for having her Livi back in an instant. I may be weary, but tonight my hands are full with two beautiful girls, while hers are empty. This breaks my heart, but I have been convicted.

My focus must shift away from the things of this world and back to my God. It must. I need to praise him for the things I do have, instead of whining about the things that I want. I need to regain my focus of serving others, as I had at the children's home, and quit thinking only of my sinful self. After all, the three most important people God has given me to serve on this earth, live right here under my roof. This life is short, and it is definitely too short to waste. Please join me in praying this week for a renewed focus. Also, please join with me as I pray for James and Emily Haughery as they face life without their beautiful and courageous Livi. Thank God for all you have, and give those you love an extra kiss tonight.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

A Circus Party








































It's a Circus Party,
It will be so much fun.
Emma's turning three,
and Kate's turning one.

There will be food, games
and lots of cake, too...
To celebrate this birthday,
we NEED you!

Those were the words I penned for the invitations to the girl's birthday party. We made them ourselves, and they turned out so cute! We had the party yesterday and it was a success! We chose a JoJo's Circus theme, so we had a circus tent, streamers, balloons, a pin the nose on the clown game, a clown bean bag toss, and the signature pinata. Grammy made Kate a JoJo cake and Emma a Goliath the Lion cake. The party was very precious and special. Kate especially loved shoving cake into her cute chubby cheeks, and my Emma looked so beautiful, as she waited for us to blow out her candle. She looked so grown up that it brought tears to this mama's eyes. I want to close my eyes and remember this day for years to come. The days move slowly, but the years are gone before we know it. Savor each one.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Babies Don't Keep

With birthdays fast approaching, I am getting quite nostalgic about not having anymore babies in the house. There are many things I am looking forward to in the coming months and years, but there is nothing in the world like fat baby cheeks, slobbery kisses, and the sweet baby smell. Should they never pass our way again, I will dearly miss those things! So, I am trying to savor every moment with my precious daughter's while they are young. This poem is beautiful and sums up what I am feeling these days.

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth
empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
hang out the washing and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping's not done and there is nothing for stew
and out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
but I'm playing Kanga and this is my roo.
look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait til tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

by Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

Friday, May 25, 2007

Catching Up








I can't believe how big my babies are getting! Emma will be three before we know it, and Kate is turning one next month! A few milestones have happened around here recently. Emma is officially potty trained (HOORAY!) and Kate is dabbling in the walking business. What big girls! Our family is doing well, and we count our many blessings each day . Boss continues to enjoy his job, and I am loving being a mama to my girls. I can't believe how fast time has flown. This week we bought our season passes to King's Island, Cincinnati's amusement park, and the girl's love it. Emma even rode a little coaster with her daddy! Hope you all are doing well! Thanks for checking in!

Friday, April 20, 2007

So Long Loyal Friend




I have heard it said that quality of time is more important than quantity of time, and that has never been more true than in the life of our sweet Gus. Gus was the perfect dog. We brought him home from the pound 6 months ago, and he changed our love for the canine species completely. Many people joked that Gus was more of a prop than a pet, because he loved to curl up at your feet and would not move for hours. He would let Kate crawl all over him, and he protected Emma from other animals at the park when we played. He loved going for long walks, and he is the only lab I have ever known that I could walk easily while pushing a double stroller. I never once heard him bark. He was the best family pet I could have ever asked for. Gus' life was not the best. Before being dumped at the pound, he had been used as a breeder, and spent the majority of his life in a cage that he could not stand up in. Because of this he was very leary of humans, but he bonded with our family in a way I could not have hoped for.

Yesterday, we lost our sweet Gus. I took him to the vet and never imagined that I would not be bringing him back home with me. He had been going down hill for the past two weeks, and the vet discovered yesterday that he had cancer in his liver and in his spleen. She suggested it was kinder if we put him out of his misery, so that is what we did. Our whole family was there, and I sat with Gus as they put him to sleep. It was an emotional thing, explaining death to my daughter for the very first time. Even the death of a pet. And it will forever seem strange that he will not be greeting us at the door when we arrive home any longer. So long, loyal friend. You will always be missed.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

A Mother's Musings: From Diapers to Goldfish

CHILDHOOD IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL OF ALL LIFE'S SEASONS. ~ Author Unknown

Being a mama is most often under appreciated and unglamorous work. When you become a mama, your life is no longer your own. You are on call forever, no questions asked. Being a mama means being a servant, a nurse, a referee, a chef, a teacher, a toy mechanic, a disciplinarian, a laundress, and a personal assistant. Sometimes, all at the very same time. When viewed in this light, motherhood might seem a bit overwhelming and downright scary, but being a mama is all I have ever wanted to be.

I do not remember the first time I knew with absolute certainty that I wanted to be a mama. My own mama believes the mothering instinct was ingrained in my soul, long before my birth. She recalls a time before I could even walk, when I lovingly rocked the laundry as if it were my baby. As a young girl, I remember crying when we had to go on vacation, because I worried about who would take care of my baby dolls while I was away. Even as a teenager, while most girls daydreamed about make up, and boys, and the prom, I dreamed about having a large country home, a white picket fence, and a supper table filled with babies. And in my dream we always lived happily ever after.

I would like to tell you that my dream has come true, and in many ways, it has. I do not live in the country, but I do live in a very old farmhouse. We do not have a white picket fence,  but we are building a nice, brown, privacy fence this summer. And while I do not have an entire houseful of babies (yet), I am the proud mother of two toddler girls who keep me busy and laughing.

Yet, while I am most definitely blessed, I often wonder about the happily ever after portion of my dream. I wonder about this, because as much as I love being a mama, motherhood is hard. Harder than I ever imagined. In my dreams, being a mama was like playing house! No one ever told me about the hundreds of diapers I would change a day, or about the endless months of sleepless nights. No one spoke of the stretch marks or love handles that would permanently transform my figure, or the fact that parts of me would never look the same again without professional help. I never knew that spit up would be the only accessory I could count on wearing every single day. I didn't think about sticky little hands ruining my furniture, and I certainly never thought about the amount of worry that comes with being a mama. Not to mention the actual process of bringing a child into the world! Being a mom is a tireless job that never ends, no matter how old our babies become.

But even knowing what I know now, I would not change a thing about my life. Caring for and molding the little people in my care is the most important job in the world. And as I walk through this diapers and goldfish season of my life, I try to remember to savor every moment. I remind myself that it is simply that, a season. Before I know it, the leaves of my life will change and my babies will no longer be babies. They will be grown women and all I will have left, will be a lifetime of beautiful memories. And perhaps, if I am really lucky, a few goldfish crumbs, too. I am a mama, and I will never be the same.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Update

It has been quite some time since I have updated the pages here, and so much has happened that I do not know where to begin. We have been without Internet service for so long, and my fingers are itching to type. I have felt disconnected from the outside world. On February 3rd, we left our life in Albuquerque behind, and headed out to our new life here in the Midwest (though I am still not sure why they call it the Midwest, because clearly we are in the North!). After 24 hours in the car and 12 showings of Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses, we finally arrived at Boss' parent's house. The next two weeks were a whirlwind of closing on our new home, Boss starting his new job, unpacking boxes (we only have about 10 to go!), and setting up house. Needless to say, we have only been here for a month and we are completely exhausted!

For the most part, things are going well. We arrived during a terrible winter storm that lasted for nearly the entire month, but at last the sun is shining. Today it is PERFECT iced tea weather (sweet iced tea, that is!). Our first night in our home, I gave the girls a bath upstairs and came back downstairs to find that the tub water had leaked through the dining room ceiling, and pieces of our brand new sheet rock were covering the dining room floor. However, a month and many frustrated tears later, our plumbing is finally in order and they should be coming to fix our ceiling in the next couple of weeks. Boss' job is, well it's going. He loves what he is doing, but his boss has turned out to not be the nicest person in the world, and we were lied to about the financial aspect of this position. We are currently praying that God will show us His will on some decisions that need to be made.

The girls are wonderful. Emma has had some issues adjusting, but she adores her new princess bedroom, and we have had fun having tea parties and reading stories in her pink princess bed. Kate is now pulling up on furniture and has her first two teeth. I am doing well, too. Some days I ask myself why I begged to be a stay at home mama, but most days I would not have it any other way. My babies are growing up so fast, and I don't want to miss a minute of it!

I think that is all for now. I will upload some pictures of our house in the next couple of weeks. Boss has painted the living room already, and we have plans for a few of the other rooms. It is definitely a work in progress, as are we, but we are thankful that it already feels like home, leaky ceiling and all. Thank you for taking the time to check in on our family.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Welcome to Miamisburg

In two days, my family will no longer be residents of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Had I even shared with you on the pages here, that that is where our family has been living? For the past year and a half we have worked as houseparents for Albuquerque Christian Children's Home, but our time here has come to an end. Boss' family lives in central Ohio, so we have decided that is as good a place as any to finally put down some roots. To raise our family on small town sunshine. I know some of you are thinking, Didn't your parents just move to Albuquerque, so that all of  you could be together?  And the answer to that question is, yes, they did. However, my ever faithful parents will also be joining us in Ohio in a few short months. We know that we are spoiled, and we are actually quite good with that.

We have bought a quaint little house in the town of Miamisburg, and we are very excited about beginning this new chapter in our lives. Miamisburg (which I am secretly convinced is Mayberry in disguise) will be quite an adjustment for a city girl like me, but I find it refreshing to think about raising my daughters in a town where everybody knows your name! So, there you have it. We are trading in our city life for a small home town, and we could not be more excited.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Pictures Of The Princess







Two More Tidbits

Although it has been several days since my last post, I was correct in saying that my daughter would come up with some new tidbits in the moments to come! (I am just late in posting them!)

Last Sunday in Bible class, Emma was learning about John the Baptist. She made a paper bag John puppet and has carried him around with her for several days now. John has become a very important member of our family, and that is putting it mildly. This very same week, Emma also got a Mr. Waternoose toy (from Monster's Inc.) who is very important to her, as well. One day in the car John the Baptist and Mr. Waternoose were having a deep conversation and it went something like this:

John: Hi Mr. Waternoose. My name is John.

Mr. Waternoose: Hi, John. I am a monster. Are you a scary monster like me?

John: No, I am not a scary monster. I am a scary baptist! Ha!

Emma is also very much into princesses. And that is putting it lightly. When she is in her dress up clothes, she will only speak to you if you address her as Princess Emma. A few days ago I asked her if I could be a princess too, and she said, No, mama. You know you will always be the maid. I suppose I have been handed my true calling in life......

Friday, January 19, 2007

Toddler Tidbits

Life with a two year old is anything but boring. You never know what they are going to say or do at any given time. Sometimes what comes out of their mouths is sweet and tender, and other times you want to hide head in the hole of parenting shame. My oldest daughter Emma is quite the talker.  Boss says she most definitely inherits this trait from my side of the family. There is not a single moment in the day where you cannot hear my sweet little Emma's voice chattering on. Recently, she has even begun to talk in her sleep. I wanted to post a few of her toddler tidbits for your reading pleasure. You're welcome.

When I recently picked Emma up from her Sunday school class she said, Mom, you have got to change me because I am uncomfortably wet! (Think it's time for potty training?)

When the alarm went off too early one morning, she rolled over and said, You have got to be kidding me! Don't even tell me it's time to wake up!

Once Emma was yelling at me (in her sleep) for eating all of her crackers. I shook her to wake her up and told her she was dreaming. I informed her it was the middle of the night and she did not have any crackers. She looked at me very seriously and said, I don't have any crackers because you ate them all.

One time Emma was taking a nap with my dad and things were not going well. He was trying to get her to sleep and she was fighting it. The rest of us were in the living room, and all of a sudden we heard Emma start to cry. She walked out of the room and announced that Da (my dad) had been lecturing her and she was done with him!

Emma loves taking baths (another thing she inherited from my side of the family), but she hates washing her hair. One time she was fighting me as I was trying to wash her hair, so I swatted her on the leg. Emma looked me square in the eyes (she has never been phased by any form of punishment) and said, Mom, please get control of yourself. Oy vey! I have my hands full with this one!

And on a much sweeter note............

Boss and I have a framed picture from our wedding day hanging in our hall. Emma loves talking about weddings and looking at pictures from our special day. One day she was talking about this particular wedding picture with Boss, and she was asking him who all was there. When Boss asked Emma if she had been at our wedding, she said, No, I was in heaven sliding with God. How precious is that? Aren't kids amazing? I want to slide with God.

Those are allof  the toddler tidbits I have to share with you today. I am sure there will be more in the days (make that minutes) to come. Because life with a toddler is anything but boring!

Diva In Disguise



Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Toast To Boss

Three days ago Boss celebrated turning the big 30. I think it was slightly traumatic for him, but personally, I like being married to an older man! It ensures that I will always feel young. Our plan was to go to the new resort and casino for the evening, but we ended up with dinner at Chile's, a PG movie (Rocky), and we were in bed by 10 pm. My how time has changed things! I am not sure what we were celebrating more.....a birthday for Boss, or a night away from our children? Either way, I don't ever seem to care what we are doing as long as we are doing it together. That might sound cliche, but it is the truth.

Our world right now is filled with small children, diaper changes, and two am feedings, so time together is truly precious. Each moment a gift to be celebrated, though I am not sure we celebrated this entrance into the next chapter of Boss' life quite the way that we should have. I think as the year's pass, love in a relationship does not fade, but it changes. We know in our minds how we feel about our spouse, but it is no longer verbalized as often as it used to be. And I am feeling saddened because I am not sure that I celebrated Boss the way he deserved to be celebrated on his special day. He is an incredible man, husband, and father, and I want him to know it. Boss, the reason's why I love you are countless, but I am going to try to list a few of them here.....

I love you because you are deeply committed to providing for your family.

You make me feel as attractive as the day that we married.

You read princess stories and sing (chant) princess songs to your daughters.

You get up early with Kate most mornings so that I can sleep in.

You make me laugh.

You are a wonderful cook.

You listen to my dreams and try your hardest to make them a reality.

You are a loyal friend.

The list could go on and on. Ladies, I know each of you believes you are married to the very best man in the world, and it is okay that you are wrong in your thinking. You simply don't know better, because you aren't married to my sweet husband (and for that I will forever be grateful). Boss is Martha Stewart and Betty Crocker combined, in a very manly sort of way, and I don't thank him enough for all that he does. So Boss, thank you. It is a privilege to be your wife. Happy 30th birthday. May all of your dreams come true, because mine already have. Thank you for allowing my to walk through the years with you. I love you forever, to moons on sticks and back again.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

More Snow Pictures





Let It Snow

We rang in the new year with a beautiful snow storm. Being that I am a Texas girl (born and raised), I had never seen so much snow in my entire life! It was a complete blast! Emma and Gus (the dog) loved it the most, but Boss and I were a close second. It was a winter wonderland. I am now convinced that I was made to live where it snows. Definitely one of life's little blessings!