Tuesday, March 31, 2009

We MUST be doing something right!

So, I am sitting here at the computer, like I so often am, checking emails, sending emails, printing coupons, scheduling appointments, checking on Stellan and Jonah and Brady and Abbey, trying to get "stuff" done in the last few precious minutes of nap time. I hear children stirring upstairs, one such child has not slept but has been rather quiet in his room, only one "shhhhhhh, it is nap time" was needed today...progress!!! The other small child is methodically banging the rail of his crib with his sockless foot I am sure, not making any other sounds, just the soft bump, bump. I take that back, there is now a whole converstation going on in there...I better wrap this up before the sweet babble turns into the screams of "Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaama, Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaama!".

So, as I said, I am sitting here and what do I hear Charlie singing, in the sweetest voice? "YES, Jesus loves me! YES, Jesus loves me!" With REAL emphasis on YES!

Immediately it puts a smile on my face and fills my heart!

I guess we must be doing something RIGHT?!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Down in the country...where we LOVE to be!

Spring Break was officially last week, or so claimed Charlie's preschool! We decided to take FULL advantage of his entire school-free week and visit Grandma and Grandpa in the country! Trent was able to take off Thursday and Friday and we made a long weekend of it!

I had the clothes packed, the cooler stocked, craft projects organized, bedding bagged, lovies and binks in a secure place (God FORBID they didn't make the journey!!), boys fed, list of projects to accomplish, Sammie fed and watered, house picked up and car almost packed when Trent pulled in the drive around 5:15pm. With a quick change of clothes and the suitcase dragged and hauled into the back of the van, we were out the door and our journey began by 5:35pm! A new record for our gang!!

Of course we stopped at Swensons and devoured their deliciously greasy cheesburgers, the secret ingredient is brown sugar!, crispy fries that Trent just confessed he doesn't like...WHAT!!?, and extra thick, extra smooth chocolate shakes! This is our tradition, it breaks up the 2 hour drive, fills our tummies for under $15 and the gives the boys a little snack of fries and milkshakes, which they ADORE!!

Grandma and Grandpa are truly gracious hosts! They are SO considerate and welcoming and we just LOVE spending time with them!! They always have our rooms ready, comfy beds fluffed high with pillows and extra blankets, baskets of toys in the kids room, John Deere tractors patiently awaiting pudgy little hands, and a fridge stocked with yummies!! They actually go to lengths to make sure that their house is childproofed, comfortable and accomdating for a family that just happens to have 2 little boys!

Grandma does not squirm (or at least outwardly squirm!) at her kitchen floor that is covered in muddy dirt within minutes, or complain about the extra load/s of laundry that accumulates each day, nor does she hesitate to watch the kiddos so we can shower in peace or spend some quality time plinking cans over the hill! She welcomes the little faces and not so little voices that wake her up each morning, far earlier then she would normally arise! The best part is that she participates in all activities, from baking cookies with Tommy to climbing to the top of the sawdust piles with Charlie. And I just love the conversations that she and I have about keeping our homes, the kids, and our relationships with our honeys! She has taught me a lot! And she has a way of getting Trent to really relax, to open up in conversation and she praises us both for our ways and accomplishments....she is always lifting us up!

And Granpa, well he is just the kids FAVORITE of all times!! Tommy is borderlined obsessed and Charlie is always talking about things that "Grandpa taught him". He always prepares for our arrival with fun outings planned such as a trip to Unusual Junction for lunch (an old train depot and train cars that have been renovated into a diner and shops)....hmmmm who do you think just LOVED that!?
I truly believe that the boys have softened him a bit. I see it in his smile,
when he holds his boys close on the tractor,
when he takes Charlie for his first solo drive on the loader, when Tommy runs full force into his arms. It was amazing to watch him on Saturday transform from a shooting a match, 19 out of 20 actually, that's my Dad!, to eating a lunch of plastic celery and white cardboard milk that Charlie had made for him. Who is this man?! It doesn't matter, because you can't have him back, he is a keeper!! And he has completely adopted Trent not as his son in law, but as his son. A relationship that they both need, that I think is so beneficial for each of them, to all of us!!

The country air always does us good! Tommy and I stood for many moments watching a cow chew its cud, eating the soft wet grass, hearing nothing but the sounds of nature, feeling nothing but the warmth of a Spring day and a gentle breeze!

We LOVE to pack up our small family, to head South to the spaghetti roads, the lush vegetation, the black buggies. To Grandma and Grandpa's house we go!

Thanks, we had a great time! Can we come back again soon!!!!???

Monday, March 23, 2009

Please Pray for Baby Stellan....

Little Stellan is fighting for his life right now! Please pray that this precious babe is healed and that his heart rate returns to normal. This little guy almost lost his life inuteruo to the same thing, VERY accelerated heart rate. You can meet this incredible little man here.

Prayers for Stellan

Lord, please slow little Stellan's heart rate, please give his little body rest and peace. Continue to give his parents strength and their incredible faith in you Lord! I know you have your hand in all things, that all things have purpose and reason. Please keep their eyes lifted to You and Your Will!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

There are SO many things to be thankful for today, SO many reasons to sing praise to God!

I am so grateful for Charlie. Today he was so kind, so thoughtful, so obedient, and so tender with his little brother! It makes my heart so full to see him love on Tommy, to take care of him or to lead him in play! Tonight Charlie helped me bandage up Tommy's tattered little thumb. He carefully squeezed the Neosporin on the cuts while Tommy sat there patiently. The other day while getting ready to go to school, I came around the corner to find this....... the little men huddled together reading. Thank you God for my boys, for my Charlie!

I am so thankful that last year I lost half of my income. Honestly, I am. It was the best thing that could of happened to me, to us! I seriously believe that it was a financial wakeup call from God! It has given us the ability to see what our true priorities are, to live more God centered and to be more resourceful. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have MANY chances to learn and do better!! Thank you God for hard, yet very rewarding lessons!!

I am thankful for good friends, old and new! A girl couldn't have a better circle of friends that are truly like sisters!! They are always there for me, to listen, to give advice, to laugh, to cry, to eat cheesecake with, to decorate cakes with, to raise our children together, to have birthday parties with, to encourage, to lift up! Two of my dearest friends are faced with very big life changes. One is moving to another state and the other is awaiting the birth of her son (tomorrow infact!!). How blessed I feel to be part of these women's lives! To hopefully support and love them even a fraction of the kindness they have bestowed on me!! Thank you God for the strong, loving and faithful women in my life!!

I am SO thankful for the young man that just busted through the back door with the promise of melted cheese, quac and crunchy chips all wrapped up in a crumpled, greasy bag!! I just love him!! Thank you God for food that nourishes my body and for a man that loves it!!

SO many things to be thankful for!!

My Creative Cakes

(Easter Bunny)
My passion for making cakes was spawned by the lack of a good bakery in proximity to our house. Our beloved Cake Castle closed and so went our delicious sugar concoctions that graced our table and tempted our taste buds EVERY special occasion. In fact, when Cake Castle posted their sign that they were CLOSING, I immediately ordered a large, extra flowered, extra sweet, cake. I savored EVERY bite. Trent "might" of gotten a piece but he might not of!!
(Hello Kitty)
So, when Charlie's 3rd birthday approached I was faced with where to buy his birthday cake. I refused to go the grocery store route. I prefer not to serve our guest cardboard and decided to try my hand at making a birthday cake.

Now, my Granny taught me how to make the most delicious chocolate on chocolate cake. As a little girl I just LOVED mixing the ingredients together, making frozen treats out of icing, cutting cakes into 4 perfect layers= 4 perfect layers of fluffy chocolate cake separated by 4 perfect layers of sweet chocolate goodness! Yummy!
For Charlie's birthday it had to be Granny's chocolate cake, but with some spice. My first attempt of a "themed or character" cake was a dump truck. The "dump" was filled with iced cupcakes, ie boulders. It was cute but clearly my first attempt!
(My first attempt)
And so the busniess began! Tinkerbell, Hello Kitty, Diego, Pizza cake, Indian Jones, Thomas the Tank Engine, Easter Bunny and the list goes on and on.
Creative Cakes has given me the ability to further my hobby while providing a fun, yummy and inexpensive cakes for partygoers! Oh yeah, and it puts a little extra change in my pocket....never hurts!

Thomas the Tank Engine was Charlie's 4th bday cake.

Tinker Bell

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Toot too = Gratitude

We took a ride on the Rapid Transit, ie TRAIN to downtown. We woke up early on a Saturday morning, packed our snacks, loaded the stroller and we were off. The boys were so excited and Charlie actually squealed when we drove in the parking lot and the train was waiting...just for us! Tommy squirmed in his car seat and couldn't get released fast enough, he too had his eye on the "Toot toot"!
It always amazes me how little ones find JOY in the simplest of things. How watching the landscape change from ritzy Shaker homes fluffed up with large pine wreaths and manicured lawns even in winter, to street after street of boarded up windows and yards littered with discarded automobiles and trash, does not change the THRILL, the JOURNEY.

They don't recognize the difference in riders either. South Park riders dawn a little different dress then do Woodhill riders. They merely see them for what they are, men and women, kids. Their innocence is so refreshing, so unjaded, so pure.

I have to be honest. When we passed through the Shaker homes I felt my mind wandering to "why can't we have a large house....", "wouldn't it be nice to have a yard like that...." etc. So quickly I am tempted.

Within minutes though the landscape suddenly changes. I no longer wish to live in the dwellings, and I pity the child with the dirty and ripped coat that exists the train with her father. I am grateful for our small house, our tidy little yard, our everything! I am just grateful!

So, a journey that was to be a "fun" morning get away with the promise of greasy fries, unknown adventures and many smiles, turns out to be a lesson in gratitude, for me anyways.
I guess that I too can see the JOY in the simplest of things. Sometimes it just takes a "Toot, toot" ride to open my eyes!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Trent's 34th Birthday

Trent turned 34 a few weeks back (sorry baby for the delay in blog post!!...you know I love you!)

We had a little party for him at home, complete with bday crowns, banners, homemade decorations, grilled pork loin, garlic mashed potatoes, green bean, and of course....CAKE!! A beautiful 9 inch round carrot cake with real cream cheese frosting, all from scratch. Only the best for my baby!

The kids and I decorated the crowns that morning. Charlie wanted to add feathers to Daddy's crown, to make him feel special! And you know the great guy that Trent is, he wore the crown through dinner and he owned all the feathery pomp that crown had to offer!

The party scene. A Lydic birthday party would NOT be a party without balloons! Thanks to Nana, our official afternoon balloon fetcher!!

Another year, another GREAT year! Here is to many more my dear! I love you!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Daily Devotional John 16:33

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. John 16:33

It seems that so many around us are struggling, truly struggling with life circumstances. Whether it is the looming economy, broken relationships, job losses, or children fighting sickness (the WORST sorrow in our opinion!!), there are people everywhere faced with these daily trials.

We too have struggles, worries and fears. But how GREAT is it that we have Him to lean on, to get our strength from when we are in need! It is through Him that we are given the courage to face life on life's terms!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sweet Charlie

Charlie: "Daddy....I'll love you forever"

Daddy: "I'll love you forever too"

No words, just misty eyes!