Monday, February 29, 2016

Humbled and the most conferences ever (Feb '16)

Another hard month in so many ways.  Several continual battles with sickness has left me humbled, pointing even more for my need of my Savior.  But I still wanted to highlight some of the highs!
Needed sun means I had to take the kiddos outside for a bit (even if I was feeling pretty weak still).  
Ezra enjoyed his first iced "coffee" (with no caffeine of course!).
We did some hanging around....and Zoe's face cracks me up!
Then she randomly stopped to do push ups along the trail. And Shiloh broke out in one of her interesting dances.
A friend stopped by with some fresh juice (you can tell I liked it) and helped me prep dinner and cleaned my bathroom!  What!  Yes, a huge blessing for a sick momma!
This month has also held a lot of personal growth through conferences.  I can't even tell you the last time I went to a conference (it's been a few years), so three in one month was crazy amazing.  
I was able to attend my first IF conference....stepping out of my comfort zone to go, and was so blessed by it. 
I didn't take any pics but just wanted to soak up the experience!  Beach was gracious enough to hold down the fort and the craziness (and captured their morning together)!  In leaving instructions to bring some basic fruit to my sister's party, he created this master piece.  Can I just say that he is so creative and does things that my mind would never even think of!
Surprise!  I was beyond blessed to be healthy enough to attend my sister's surprise birthday engagement party.  She was so radiant and full of joy surrounded by so many that love them!
They are so happy together and it is an exciting time for this new stage in her life!
The next day another kid down (Shiloh) had us at home but I got to finish IF on TV (that I missed in leaving earlier to attend the surprise party).  Resting in that grace!
Zoe has enjoyed using the nebulizer that a friend let me borrow as well.  I figured an extra dose of essential oils couldn't hurt her cough!
Oh, 100 days of school.  You brought much stress to Zoe, who couldn't decide if she wanted to trade in her cute dress for an elderly look.  She went for it, complete with powder on the hair in the last minute.
We're back art museum!  Shiloh lost in her stormy weather photo.
We hung out briefly afterwords as it was a bit warmer.
Happy birthday Addy!
A little snack to celebrate!
Inspired to whip up some avocado chocolate pudding and we all loved it!
Ezra was not happy he couldn't have any more.
And Shiloh just liked her first couple bites.
We had a great time on V-day attending a friends' party!
Ezra had a blast....despite my lack of pictures to prove it!
Back in December I snagged a couple of tickets  when I saw a good deal coming up in Newberry!
Add to it a great restaurant coupon and we had a awesome, unusual date!  If you are in town check out the Flying Pie (and grab a coupon first).
The Newberry Opera house was a first for us both, so fun to be so close.
The Yamato drummers were pretty amazing.  I have never seen anything like it.  I snuck a picture but these guys and girls went all out to put on an awesome show.  My date must have been pretty tired to fall asleep a couple of times though (despite the vibrating of the theater)!
I took a chance and brought Ezra to the reading program at Zoe's school.  He did alright (only crowding the librarian once) and it is so nice that he is getting a bit older to have him come along.
He is not so much into the crafts, yet.  But Shiloh enjoyed making her snowman!
 The weather has finally warmed up on some I want any excuse to get outside!  Our yard has many of them!  Usually I have a little baby or am to huge (with pregnancy) in the past to do much but this spring is going to be different, and I'm looking forward to cleaning our yard up a bit (Beach works to much to have time for such)!
My girls are willing to help some days!  Including  collecting rocks from around the yard to make a "rock train" boarder!  How fun it is to have them alongside me!  At a dollar a bucket they are a great deal too!  ;-)
I capped the month with our woman's conference - a true refreshment of the soul!  Alright 2016...I think I'm finally ready for ya!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Rooted Retreat

Its seems like forever since I've been able to get in years, at least without family. Did I mention my favorite thing to do is heart language for sure!  Although there were things that I enjoyed from the last women's retreat that I had gone on years ago, I also had a lot of feelings of rejection and insecurity.   So fear was a part of my large hesitance in going this year.  However, I told God....if I'm asked to go....then I would majorly reconsider.  

Then the question came from an unlikely source, a friend who currently lives in Greenville asked about rooming with me, as she wanted to go.  I felt I could trust her with my feelings, and after explaining my hurt heart from the past, she shared how this time could be different and all the wonderful things that could go along with it (and her going) sounded wonderful!  So I took Grace up on it and plunged into the idea.  I want to make connections with others so dearly, and in the past there was truly no time for it with work and nursing littles but this is a new season.
It's always more fun to ride there with others....and we joined a couple of people from my new community group.  So there was a lot of getting to know each other.  We stopped by the kiosk on the way out, and Grace was to cute in her excitement for her coffee that I had to snag a picture!
Part of the hilarity of the matter was how much stuff Grace in most of what is on the cart herself (yes it was just a weekend).  It made me laugh as it its the total opposite of where I am now...trying to pack as little as possible....but awesome as she shared her things with me.  
Not so awesome was finding our wouldn't think that would be to difficult...but we dragged our stuff all around....spilling a box of food (with many glasses items) in the middle of the road.  We didn't even make it to our room....there was some construction workers above where we needed to go and I was nearly missed in being intentional spit at.  The eerie feeling that I shouldn't be going in an abandoned area where these men knew where I was going wouldn't leave me.  So my new friend helped me at the front desk request another room.  It took awhile and I hated being a pain BUT it was such a blessing and the room we ended moving from had horrible paint fumes that gave me a headache later on!  Thank goodness we didn't have to stay there!
We ate like queens!  Grace brought bread that she had made the morning before....and we had fresh backyard eggs and produce with the great view from our balcony!
So thankful for warm sunshine!  I asked to switch small groups in order to get to know my new community group gals.  I truly enjoyed starting our friendships and stretching myself in such a way (yet felt to silly to actually take pictures with them yet...hopefully those will come one day).  So this post...just pictures of the two of us.
Grace and I got to enjoy some time together still with a walk on the beach and some soul dumping.  So therapeutic as we are similar in many ways!
This amazing women also blessed me with an aroma touch that night (had to put to use that massage table she brought) and let me practice one on her as well!  This process is AMAZING and so relaxing with a scientific use of essential oils.
We made a last amazing breakfast before heading home on Sunday.
The theme of the weekend was Rooted together. We got to hear several testimonies of how God has worked and been working in the women of our church.  These are always so humbling and glorifying to the father.
Along with our small group time we were blessed to hear Stacy teach on being rooted in God.  She has such an anointing of the Spirit, and it speaks to my spirit in so many ways.  The theme intertwined so beautifully with the word the Lord gave me for this season of my life, Bloom.  I will be unpacking more of what I learned with my time with the Lord in the days to come!  (There was also these beautiful pieces of artwork displayed that a couple of women from our church did for the weekend.)
I am so beyond thrilled that I answered, "Yes," to going on this retreat!  My heart returns to my loving family so much more full, refreshed and renewed.  Lord take me deeper still!

Monday, February 22, 2016

My boy - duces!

Seriously!  This boy melts me!
I cannot even begin to describe how much this past couple of years has meant to me to have this amazing soul in my life.  I was many times, how a little boy steals his mommy's heart, but seriously I had no idea!  Ezra continues to have such a joyful and loving presence that is so addictive.  
I must say the past month he has learned some 2's behavior and developing some autonomy (i.e. has started tantruming).  However, some quick time to himself and he is back to his polite self.  
He still answers "no" (but a softer tone) when be means "yes".  Even though I always say after it, "Yes, mam," which he is quick to repeat.  
It's so precious to see someone so small have manners all ready with his "excuse me" and constant "please". 
He loves being around his sisters, often trying to join in on their action (which they are usually accommodating to do so and even enjoy playing cars with him).  
He still is all about the vehicles....I never thought this would excite me as much as it does but I just love this about him.  
He is now into singing...or at least attempting to do so, which is always adorable.  
He has caught right on to my fill in the blanks and will often answer..."Ezra you need to be _____"...and in his little voice, "Patient" or "Just a _____"..." Minute."
We have gotten down to just one nursing session a day....the nap time one.  This is way longer then the girls and than I ever thought it would be. It still is such a comfort to him and part of a habit that will be hard to finally stop!  We do still love our lots of snuggle times after h    e wakes!
Sometimes lately he has been waking up early from his nap....but not quite ready to get up and may fall back asleep on his momma!
He will sit and look at books with me (as long as they involve vehicles)!
The day of Ezra's actually birthday the littles helped make a chocolate zucchini cake for that night.
We dinned outside with some of his favs....can I just say he makes the funniest faces!  So full of expressions!
Some cards and presents....including from the grands that sent their love!
All things boy for my little car lover!
Which he was pretty excited about and wanted opened right away!
Since the weather was so amazing...we also had a fun time running around on the golf course.
Ezra is always attempting to catch up with his sisters!
And finding a tree they always love to climb and explore.
To my little boy that I did not even know I could love so much!  I never forget each day how thankful I am that the Lord blessed us with you!  Telling you I love you will never ever stop!  We love you little Baba!