Monday, March 31, 2008

a few random pictures....

There has been some progress out on our new property this week. They poured the slab on Friday, so we are one step closer to our new home!

Henry was very excited to see the workers brought this out (and put it right below my favorite tree, I might add!)--he finds any excuse to use it while we're out there.

Henry and Jonah choose their own clothes and get themselves dressed every single morning. I rarely have to intervene and they enjoy the freedom to choose whatever they want to wear.

Sometimes it's sort of...well, obvious that Jonah dresses himself. Like on Saturday, for example:

And one final picture. All I can say is, when she's tired....she's REALLY tired!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Henry and his buddies, Jonah and his blankie

Henry's preschool class had a field trip to the local science center this week....can you say FUN? It was especially fun for Henry because he got to spend the entire time with his "favorite girl" Isabella (she's the one on the left).

Every time I caught up with Henry he was by Isabella's side--they are like two peas in a pod!

Tonight we had a fun time having Henry's other favorite friend (Lexi) and her family over. The kids played inside and outside and ran non-stop, but they didn't wear out! So they watched Peter Pan and had popcorn--it made for a pretty fun evening! (Please, no comments on the enormous mound of laundry behind the kids! That is only HALF of my yet-to-be-folded laundry!)

This picture isn't from today, but this one shows that Lexi and Henry are cut from the same cloth....

And I couldn't resist putting up this picture of Jonah. He was being sweet to Bridget--he gave her his blanket so she could "use the corner" (the special corner that he likes to rub his thumbs on, which was previously called 'the nose corner'). But then he decided that he might just need to use the corner himself....

Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Parents University--Finances

This week's Parent's University topic is one that is a favorite of my husband--finances! Don't forget to check over at Kat's blog for other contributors and to add your two cents.

My advice on finances? USE A BUDGET! I love having a budget. When Sam and I first got married I fought tooth and nail against being "put on" a budget. I couldn't understand why it was so important to him. I thought it was the silliest thing I had ever heard of, but Sam persisted.

Now, three kids later, I am SO very happy that we had a working budget before we had kids. It has made dealing with finances so much easier. Sam and I simply do not argue about money. Ever. Everything is decided ahead of time, so except for really big purchases, we don't even question each other about where money is going.

What are the benefits of using a budget?

Confidence that your bills will be paid and you will be able to save.

Peace of mind in knowing where your money is going.

Freedom in spending money how you choose.

Fun. It's like a game in some ways!

(That probably sounds nutty, but I love to find deals! Anything I save in one area means more I can use in another area OR more that we can put in savings!)

What are some ways that you and your family handle your finances?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

It's not hard to get a smile out of her....

...but sometimes it's hard to catch her with her eyes open!

Here's eyes open, no smile....and big smile, eyes closed...
Here we have it!
...but this one is my favorite!
I hope Bridget made you smile today! :)

I love my ducky tub....even when it's not bathtime!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Jonah dancing

I finally got youtube working! (Thanks, Russ!)

Here's the clip of Jonah dancing at the Easter egg hunt this weekend.

The boy has moves!

family pictures

I tried to upload a silly video clip of Jonah dancing, but I can't seem to do it. When I try through Blogger I get an error message, and when I try through youtube I get a different error message. Any tips? I'm trying to use video that I took with my digital camera.

On Saturday we had family pictures taken out at Sam's folks house. Not just our family of five, but the ENTIRE family (Sam's parents, brothers and sister and all the kids). I think they all came out pretty well.

Here's our family picture. Yes, Sam is in the middle of saying something, but it's the best of the bunch!
Just the adults....
The parents....
And here is the whole crew (26 in all). Sam and I are in the back left. Henry is right in front of me. Jonah is at the bottom left and Bridget is lower right.

Have a GREAT Monday, everyone!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Dallas ATF

Some of you already know this, some of you might husband Sam helps to put on a show called Acquire the Fire (ATF). It is an incredible, two day live event for teenagers. Sort of like a cross between a rock concert and a conference....lots of fun for the kids who attend, and also life-changing for MANY! Anyway, that is what my husband is doing most weekends. He is on the road helping with this amazing ministry.

This weekend the show was in Dallas, so the kids and I got to go along! :)

We stayed in a nice hotel and had babysitters at our disposal the entire time. We actually were invited to have the boys included in a really great children's program throughout the weekend, so they were immersed in crafts, games and activities pretty much non-stop. Thursday and Friday they finished up around 9 pm. On Saturday they were up until 11:00 pm!!!! Yes, these are boys who are used to going to bed at 7:30! Needless to say, they didn't get much sleep this weekend. We also had a nanny dedicated to taking care of Bridget whenever we needed her.

The real fun for me was actually seeing the show. I see my husband (and the people he works with) pour his heart and soul into this show, and I had never had the chance to see it or be a part of it. I did go to an event last year in Detroit, but I didn't have babysitters for the kids so I missed pretty much everything.
It was incredible.
Unhindered plays the worship music throughout the show. Have you heard these guys yet? They're amazing. I meant to get a picture of the band, but when I tried we couldn't find everyone. I did get a picture with Pat (he plays guitar and sings) after the show:

I got to meet Pat, Ben and JR from the band, and I just want to say these guys are the real deal. Sam has gotten to know them from touring with them, and he was really excited for me to meet them. They could not have been nicer! And so very sincere. Really. you should check them out--they are worth a listen!

This guy also played this weekend's event:

Recognize him? I know the picture is terrible. Is this next one any better?

Ha! Yep, I got to meet David Crowder too. I've really enjoyed his music (I think I've even posted some of his lyrics on this blog!), and his show was even better. This man is a great entertainer! His show was captivating. And he was gracious and humble when I had the chance to talk with him.

Here is what Bridget did while David Crowder rocked the house: She slept! It was SO LOUD, but she just sat there and watched the lights and then fell fast asleep! MaryBeth enjoyed holding her throughout the concert and held her hands over Bridget's ears the entire time. :)

And here is my hot husband! Do you love the sport jacket/shorts/white socks with dress shoes look?

I thought you might.

So what did you do this weekend? I hope it was fabulous!!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Snow in East Texas!!!!

Let me start off with apologies to my friends in the Northern states who are probably sick and tired of the snow by sorry!
For my family this was pretty exciting! This is our second winter in Texas, and we have all really missed having snow on the ground. Last winter it snowed here twice, but there was no accumulation either time.
Last Friday it SNOWED at our house! Real snow. Snowball fight and snowmen snow.

The front of the house

The boys ran to put on their boots, coats and hats over their pajamas. Then they just stood outside with their mouths open, expressions of pure joy on their faces!

Henry got it figured out pretty quickly. He made snowballs, ran around in the yard, discovered that "It's fun to fall down in the snow!" and asked for help building a snowman.

Jonah enjoyed it, but not quite as much as Henry. He couldn't help but be excited because the rest of us were so excited, but I don't think he liked having cold hands! Because we don't usually have snow around here, we no longer keep good gloves in the the boys had pretty wet hands by the time we were done.

Here's Henry with his first snowman. This one survived. His second and third ones were taller than he was, but Elmer got a little excited and knocked them down (before I could take pictures!).

It didn't last long. By the afternoon most of the snow was gone, and the snowmen were getting pretty small.

Every day since (at least four times a day) Henry has been praying about the snow. He thanks God for the snow he sent and tells him how much fun he had and always remembers to ask for more! :)

Happy Winter to you all! Hope you all enjoy the last few weeks of the season!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Parents University--Healthy Eating

Kat is hosting Parent's University. This week's topic is healthy eating...head over to her site to find links to more posts on this topic.

Healthy Eating
Obviously this is important in the age of American obesity.
As parents, we have an opportunity to teach our children healthy eating habits that they will use throughout their entire life.
The bottom line for my family is that our kids learn more by our example than they do by our words. So if we are eating healthy foods, than they want to as well.
  • We eat three meals a day with one or two small snacks in between. We limit desserts (at least until the kids are in bed--Ha ha!) and try to have them only about once a week.
  • Snacks are generally limited to fruit, vegetables, graham crackers or cheese sticks.
  • Fruit is served with every meal, and vegetables are served with lunch and dinner.
  • Everybody is expected to eat a little of everything that is served. (My kids have been raised with this rule, so now, at the ages of 4 and 3, there is no arguing about whether they like something or not. They know that they must try everything and being picky isn't allowed.) This has also been really helpful when eating at other people's houses!
  • Also I generally ask that they eat their least favorite foods first. That way they get it over with and can move on to the more preferable foods.
  • We have very few foods that are "off-limits" to the kids. That may sound strange, but we try to teach moderation. For examply, if you want fruit for dessert you can pretty much have as much as you want. But if you would rather have a piece of cake, then you will just have a very small piece.
  • I let the boys pick out our fruits and vegetables at the store (or the farmer's market in the summer). They LOVE to be able to tell their daddy which things they picked out. It has led us to try fun new recipes too!
  • My boys love to help in the kitchen too. They are more likely to want to eat things that they have helped prepare.

What do you do to help your children learn healthy eating habits? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A horrible rabbit tale....

I've always been a fan of rabbits. Even when we used to keep a garden, I encouraged them to hang out in my yard. Who cares if they eat a few vegetables....they are just so cute!

So imagine my dismay to walk out to my backyard today only to find a dead rabbit.

Not just dead, but decapitated. Fur everywhere.

It's no secret that our cat is a hunter. She leaves moles on the back patio a few times a week as little "gifts" for us. And the occasional bird, although the bell on her collar seems to have slowed that down a bit.
When I walked out and found the rabbit, Cricket (the cat) was walking a proud circle around her victim.
I went back inside to grab a camera (someone else had to see this too!) and the phone was ringing. I took the call (this was maybe 5 minutes at most) and headed back outside to dispose of the rabbit.
In the place where it had been lying was Elmer (our dog). He had just finished EATING the rabbit's body and was moving on to the head!
Not okay.
So rabbits, beware.....apparently you're not welcome in our yard anymore!

This picture is not from today. I took it last week after I told Jonah to put his coat away. Elmer didn't seem to mind being a coatrack!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

daffodil fields

What a busy day!

After Henry's early morning soccer game (Go Jayhawks!) and a visit to the park, a friend asked if we wanted to join her at the daffodil fields. And I never turn down an invite like that! So we spent the afternoon there, walking amongst the THOUSANDS of beautiful daffodils that have just bloomed. Then home again for a little rest before heading out again to have antiquities pictures taken and grab a bite to eat. Phew. I'm exhausted!

Have you seen the Antiquities pictures before? They are TOO cute. They dress the kids up in old fashioned clothes and print the pictures in sepia tone. Then they leave something bright like a rose or handkerchief to make it stand out. I didn't really feel like having the pictures taken since I don't plan on buying any of's for a fundraiser, so I get a 10 X 13 picture for $10 and then to buy more the packages are one hundred dollars and up (which is money I don't have for pictures right now!) It seemed like a big hassle to get all three kids ready, happy and cooperative for pictures when I'm only going to get one out of the whole deal.

But of course we went anyway and the pictures were absolutely adorable!!! I'm going to have to leave my checkbook at home when I go to preview the pictures or I'll be in trouble! :)

Here are a few pictures from the daffodil fields. The beautiful flowers are scattered on 28 acres of a 1000 acre ranch. There are also two lakes and plenty of bridges, stumps and other photo opportunities!

Bridget with her friend Daxton

Here's the whole crew of kids that were with us. Henry is orange, Jonah is sitting down and Bridget is the one in pink, of course!

The moms. Andrea, T and me.

And here is the kid crew again. No babies in this one, but this one does have T's two foreign exchange students. The girl on the left is from Thailand and the girl on the right is from Germany.