Wednesday, September 30, 2015

They say it's my birthday ( & other September news)

Come on cooler temps!  The fall leaves that have begun to decorate our deck and yard bring promise of ushering in of the new season.  And I, for one, am ready!
With Ezra walking around we can do more outside play!
As well as walks again!  (Walk/sprints along the currently closed golf course = some adventure)
When I think of September, though, I ALWAYS think my birthday...I mean there is no other big holiday in the month.
My parents offered to take the littles overnight which was a special treat indeed.  Beach and I were able to go out for dinner, enjoy a stop by the lake and each other's company.

The next day Beach made a yummy breakfast, his Saturday specialty (our looking rough morning pic - complements of a selfie stick - HA!).
Then we took a long bike ride to Saluda Shoals.  How peaceful it was and it has to be one of my favorite things....enjoying the outdoors, God's creation, while moving and stopping to explore and read His word. 
In case there was in doubt, yes....I'm a little nutty.
The next week we celebrated with my which I took this silly picture (and missed taking a picture of the amazing spread - my parents are master chefs!).

I was, also, able to do some things to invest in my soul this month.  Including something completely new to me....building (I'm pretty sure I have never even hammered a nail before....sad I know).  Rene was a good sport for going we me and we laughed at ourselves often!  I asked to be able to use the saw myself, so yes, I did make it all!  Thanks for this blessed gift Home Depot...we will be back!

A night to catch up with old friends and say goodbye.  These kiddos went to High school together some 20 years ago?
My swap partner in crime.  I do love how she wants to come along and behaves so well there!
Pizza sauce, beer bread, two amazing sauces, blueberry lemon muffins, Herb pizza dough, teriyaki sauce, Stir Fry starter, strawberry applesauce, homemade bread and cinnamon butter, pumpkin butter, hand warmers with essential oils, honey cinnamon butter, and chimichanga!
 Big shout out to this Poppy.  He is so amazing.  Since retirement has really freed him up, he is such a blessing to my littles!  They both enjoyed Grandparents day at Zoe's school (Grammy was sad to not be able to come! Silly work!).
He is, also, great at watching the little when momma needs to do something....often feeding them healthy snacks....smoothie anyone?
We love play dates and catching up with old friends!
Great weather, thank you, thank you!
Zoe was ecstatic to start back with ballet again.  Rene was great in capturing this picture of the girls, as her friend is now in her class.
Cousin king and his princess (made with the crafty Aunt Danielle).
These littles just seem to enjoy more and more playing together!  The girls are sweet to let Ezra join in (most of the time).  I will savor it while it lasts!
The Okra Strut Parade surprised us with rainy weather.
But we managed to still have a great time!

With a lot of switching seats to keep the troops happy.

Here's hoping to sunny weather next year!
We did find an activity for the girls to keep dry and to have some special time.
A painting pottery sale at Art Smart Academy.
Zoe chose a piggy bank and Shiloh a football bank....but painted pink of course!
This picture....because that little smile lights me up.
We want to build more deeper relationships with the littles.  So squeezing out some one on one time with dates...this one included ice dream!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Shiloh's rebirth day

When are you old enough to truly understand the gospel.  I suppose it depends and the real answer God only knows.  However, I have seen how my girls hearts have softened to His spirit.  For months now when Shiloh sees a cross, she will explain, "Jesus died on the cross because He loves me!" Oh, yes my dear.  I will often hear her tell me that Jesus will help me when I need Him, and I know this truth is hidden in her heart.  Many nights her story request would be "Sad Jesus", and I would retell the beautiful picture of the gospel to my girls and my own heart.
We don't get a ton of quiet moments in the mornings but today was special.  Big sister had gone off to school and I had made a quick morning smoothie for us.  Instead of becoming busy with the tasks ahead of me (as my nature), I decided to sit down with her in the quiet moment, as brother must be sleeping in for a couple of more minutes.  

Such a sweet time.  Shiloh asked about Heaven and where Jesus lives.  We were able to talk without the constant interruptions that her siblings often bring and her mind was focused in the moment.  It amazes me, what she can understand at three.  I suppose because of her quieter nature (in regards to discussion and sister often talking), I don't always know what is going on in her mind.  But she tracked along in our discussion.  She agreed that she was a sinner (yes, she did not respect other's personal space and did not listen to her mom and dad) but she wanted to be better.  Shiloh grasped the concept of Jesus dying as a punishment for her sins and wanted her live her life for him and to make Him happy.  She prayed after me and seemed content.  To the best that her little mind and heart could understand, she was totally sincere.  She was later able to tell her daddy during dinner without me repeating such to her, so I knew it had sunk in. 
I want this more than ANYTHING for my children.  How I pray that her love and her understanding of HIS love for her grows even deeper as time goes on.  How I pray that she does not stray from the truth of His Word and KNOWS her identity in Him even at a young age.  I love my Shiloh (Peace) so much and celebrate on this day along with a choir of angles!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

That's all he wrote....

How does one KNOW when they are done having children?  I've heard others say that they just do.  Man I would love such closure.  This is the first time I've had a baby as old as Ezra (18 months) and not been pregnant.  I hate the thought of another rough pregnancy of multiplying the craziness that is our household but the number one reason that I'm not currently pregnant is that Beach does KNOW that he's done.  The last thing in the world that I want is to add more stress and pressure on him and go against what he feels. 
However, there is this little part of me that looks at my toddler (it's even hard saying he's a toddler and not a baby), and I just want to do it all over again.  He was such an easy going sweet baby that I don't know if I'm just morning that phase being over or that my womb is calling out to me.  I would love another little boy just like him!  How great would it be for him to have a playmate, too!  There are no guarantees, though!  It does not escape me that I'm soooo blessed to be able to birth these precious healthy babies and it makes me even more thankful. 
I've yet to release all my maternity clothes, baby items and many of the baby clothes. What if... Zoe keeps asking me now, as well, wanting another baby!  I also have this place in me that is rising back up with wanting to foster children.  I know that would still be down the road but my heart is drawn to all the children that need a safe loving space!  So all I know how to do is pray... to be dependent of the Lord's leading.  No better place to be I suppose!  Praying for His true wisdom, despite what our circumstances look like, what craziness is involved, and listening to His calling for all of our lives as I wait for clarity in what He has in store (And look at these sweet baby pictures as I reminisce)!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Little artist double date!

When serious behavior challenges arise and the affects of being a middle child are in full swing, it is a reminder to me that there needs to be some positive interactions!  Especially when sister is in school, I have been attempting some extra time with my Shiloh - wanting to strengthen our bond and fill her emotional bucket.  This month I got to go on a double girl date with her and my sister and her 3-year-old.  
They have an awesome preschool program once a month at the art museum downtown.
 After story time and checking out some pieces,  the littles got to create some work of their own! 
 Tea pots was the theme and using stencils created a neat effect!
 Such focus for my artest! 
 Then smiles before a short snack time outside!
 The biggest most genuine smile I got of Shiloh was upon climbing on a statue. 
I'm not totally sure if this was allowed and even more hesitant after Shiloh got paint on the girl's hair.
However, the hilarious part came with the program's director came by and saw them....I was afraid we were about to get busted but she just thought it was funny and attempted to take a picture herself!
 Big Exhale!  There were no loud inappropriate noises or running around...No rebellion or refusal to put on shoes that were snuck off.   I couldn't be more relieved that the girls enjoyed it and behaved! I guess we will be back!  Successful and loved trip by all!