Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My favorite time of the day.

My favorite part of the day is the children's bedtime. I nurse Penny in the rocking chair that Nie Nie and Papa bought for us when Charlie was born.  Her yellow rooms glows with the setting sun.  She snuggles close to me and holds on tightly to my finger.  I am filled with love and gratitude.

I can hear Trent wrestling with the boys in the next room.  Little Bear is playing in the background and Tommy's laughter fills the house.  Charlie runs to gather his Lovie, Kitty, Puppy and soft pillow for the night.

Penny has fallen asleep in my arms.  I hold her for a few extra minutes watching her breathe.  She is beautiful.  I carefully lift her into her crib, kiss her forehead and ask Jesus to watch over her as she sleeps.

Daddy and Charlie at bedtime 2006
I snuggle up with my boys and we watch our favorite bedtime show.  Tommy usually can't get close enough to Trent and Charlie prefers to lay at the bottom  of the bed, resting his head on my hip. 

And then a flurry of activity as the boys race off to brush teeth and wash faces.  Trent and I repeatedly quiet them in effort to keep Penny asleep.

Trent reads with Charlie curled up in our bed while Tommy and I read stories by flashlight in the big boys room.  Prayers are said, songs are sung and plenty of hugs and kisses are given and given again.  Last minute potty breaks and another sip of water and then it is lights out and time for Daddy and Mommy.

I love my family. I love our life.

There isn't anywhere else I would rather be.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Daddy and Mommy, a portrait

Mommy and Daddy
Anatomically correct portrait of Mommy and Daddy drawn by Thomas.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


We.LOVE.every.inch of this baby.  Every roll, and crease.  Those plump cheeks and pudgy fingers. I don't ever want to forget how beautiful this girl was when she was so small.  We love you sweet Penny, every.single.inch!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Love the Lovies

This girl loves her Lovies.  She has two of them, a pink elephant named Ellie (Charlie named her) that they boys got for Penny when she was born...a tradition in our family.  And a white bunny blanket that her cousins got her.  She loves them both dearly and I can not wait until she is old enough to sleep with them.  I know that they will be such a comfort to her all cuddled up in her warm, snug bed!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Best Friends

These two spend a lot of time cuddled up like this.  These pictures are from quiet time one afternoon while Charlie was watching a show.  Sammie sleeps with Charlie for a good portion of the night.  He cuddles up so close to Charlie that he is almost laying on top of him.  He loves Charlie and Charlie loves him so much.  One night I came in to move Charlie to his bed (he falls asleep in our bed) and I found this picture that Charlie had made.  He is such a sweet boy and their love is the sweetest!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

St. Patricks Day 2011

We don't celebrate St. Patrick's Day per se but we had a lot of fun this year with all things Leprechaun and rainbows.  We made some rainbow cupcakes that were awesome!  The boys LOVED these and they were a lot of fun to make, time consuming, but still a lot of fun.   The white frosting was the clouds and the gold sprinkles the are the "gold" at the end of the rainbow.

We also made pots of gold for Miss. S and her family and our cousins.  These were so easy to make, baby food jars for the pots, cotton balls for the clouds, gold foiled Hersey Kisses for the gold and rainbow ribbon.  The kids had fun putting them together and it was another way for them to practice giving.

Mr. Leperchaun also paid us a visit.  I told the boys that he might come and turn their dinner green so they better keep a look out for him. They were both very excited at the possibility. I cooked dinner while they played their Wii game, the perfect opportunity to make the magic happen.  Perhaps I over did it a little much ;)  With spatula in hand I chased the little green man out of our house scolding him for turning the boys' milk and the butter on their toast green.  Charlie thought it was a hoot, Tommy was reduced to tears.  He didn't want his food green (I obliged him and made new toast and poured new milk) and he was scared that there had been a small green, fast man in our house....ooops, bad Mommy!

It was all made good though as Tommy remembered that Mr. Leprechaun left money on Miss S's stairs.  He told me to tell the Leprechaun that he was sorry for not eating his food and to leave money on our stairs "bill money (dollar bills)".  6:30am sharp....we heard the joyful squeals of little boys finding coin money on the stairs.  Tommy told me over breakfast this morning that I am not to scare Mr. Leprechaun away next year, but that he wants to say "hi" to him. 

It was really a fun day!  I hear that in some parts of the country Mr. Leprechaun even used some people's toilets but didn't flush.  I think next year we might have green

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Aunt Jacque, Peyton, Penny, Nana, Charlie and Tommy

Monday, March 21, 2011

Is it legal?

I don't think it is legal how much I nibble on her cheeks.  Thankfully this girl isn't lacking in that area!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Daddy's Girl

She has him wrapped around her little finger....all 10 of them!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Replacing Daddy

 Trent was out of town a few weeks ago.  When he is gone over night I usually allow Charlie to sleep with me for a night or two.  On this trip Trent was gone for several nights so I also allowed Tommy to sleep in our room, something I had never done before.  I asked him mid afternoon one day if he wanted to sleep in Daddy and Mommy's bed that evening.  He got so excited and said "YES!".  So, I told him to run up stairs and put his pillow, lovies and binkies on our bed for that night.  He was beyond excited and ran up stairs and did it right away.  At bedtime I followed the boys upstairs to start our nightly routine and this is what I found,
Daddy's pillows thrown across the room on the floor,
and Tommy's pillow neatly placed on Daddy's side of the bed.

I just had to laugh, it was too sweet.
There you go Daddy, you have been replaced...not in a long shot sweet heart :)

Friday, March 18, 2011


Are your priorities in order?

1. God
2. Marriage
3. Children
4. Extended Family
5. Church
6. Work
7. Friends
8. Hobbies

This is the question that was asked of us at small group last week (Bible study I attend at our weekly Co-op outings).  

Over the last few months I have been convicted time and time again regarding the status of my priorities.  To often I get caught up in what the world thinks of me.  To often I put things in front of my family, my husband and especially in front of the Heavenly Father.

My priorities need refining, and that is what I have been diligently working on in the past few weeks.  I am starting small (ha!) focusing primarily on God, my marriage and our children, in that order.  It is one step at a time, trying to break old habits, going to God first and my husband second instead of immediately running to the phone.

I not only see this need for change in my relationships but also in our daily routine.  I have started reading my Bible again each morning, Trent and I have begun to pray together in the evenings and I am working at getting the boys and I on a good daily devotional routine.

In the last few months we have needed to clear our schedules and have spent a lot more time together as a family.  We have grown and we are much closer.

A good friend and I were just talking about how short life is, a lesson we have had to learn in the last few months.  I know that I need and want to have each and every one of those things on the list.  There are relationships that I want to make stronger, there are committees at church I want to join, there are craft projects I am excited to do.  I know that all those things will come in due time, if that is what God has planned for me.  So, instead of feeling guilty for not being able to "do it all", I am going to focus my energy on the priorities at hand.

I LOVE being Trent's wife and the mother to our children.  I CHERISH being a daughter of Christ.  I do not need the approval from anyone on how to love my husband, mother our children, and certainly not on how to worship God. I only need to seek HIS approval on all things. I only need to get my priorities in line.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Oh how he loves her

Tommy can not get enough of his little sis.  He loves her intensely.
I know that he will be a very protective big brother of "his baby".

Monday, March 7, 2011

Homeschool: The last few weeks

I haven't posted much lately about what we have been doing in school.  We still continue to have the theme of Dinosaurs and Volcanoes.  We started to make our paper mache volcano but need to paint it and then let it explode!  Charlie and I had great fun putting it together during nap time one day.  It was so nice to just do a project with him and be able to really talk with him and listen to all the neat ideas and thoughts he has.  He is such an incredible kid!
We also have been working on a Dinosaur lap book.  I found a few fun things to put in the book and so far Charlie decorated the cover, wrote down the definition of Paleontologist and a fact about Dinosaurs.  He also did an addition and subtraction Dino game. His math skills are great, that has always been his strength!    We still need to complete a Dino measurement graph and a fact sheet about his favorite Dinosaur.  We plan to finish that up this week.  We haven't made many lap books but I do like the fact that it is a review for Charlie of what we have learned and he made it!

Working in our ABC magnetic book, Buzz Lightyear costume and all :)
Color by number, I have seen a change in his coloring abilities.  He is becoming more deliberate with his strokes and trying to stay in the lines more.
Tommy has done a few worksheet pages, coloring by number and making patterns.  Nothing formal or really planned out.  I will be starting his preschool curriculum in the Fall and have found the resources I want to use and just need to get things organized.  Sometimes I get so caught up in making it "perfect", a perfect theme etc, that I lose sight that he doesn't care if there is a theme or not, he just has fun doing projects, reading books and learning together!  Our children are such good teachers!!

We made Daddy birthday cards, made fun cookies and sent them to Aunt Chelsea, had a tea party and did a lot of cleaning and organizing.  Speaking of which, I have a new chore plan for the kids.  It not only involves chores, but money management and giving to others.  We started today actually and so far they are both eager and excited to do it.  I took pictures of different things around the house, like the kitchen table, the garbage, the snack container, Penny's diaper and wipes station, dog food etc.  Then I printed them out and laminated them.  Each day the kids will be given between 2 and 4 cards.  I am thinking 2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon.  These are paid chores, not things that we already expect them to do like clean their room everyday and put their toys away etc.  If they complete each chore (without fussing and in a timely manner) then they have the opportunity to make $.25 each day.  They will get paid on Fridays and they have to divide the money into 4 different banks.  The first bank is money for God, that they will give as an offering at church. The second is for giving to others.  We will buy food for the pantry at church, use some of the money for our Good Samaritan Christmas Child shoe boxes or perhaps even sponsor a child through the Compassion network. The third bank (their piggy bank) is for saving and the fourth is for spending. Once in awhile we will take them to the toy store and match what they have to spend.  They must put their money in the banks in that order and if the earn the entire $1.25 (in quarters)  a week then they can choose where to put the 5th quarter.  I am as equally excited and can't wait to see how it goes!

We read lots of books, continued to work on our daily lessons in Phonics and Math.  Finished up the requirements for K12 LA and need to focus more on our science lessons in the next few weeks.  Charlie continues to show progress with his reading abilities and I plan on starting a new journal of types where he will draw a picture and then write a sentence or two about what the story was about.  He had to do something similar for his K12 teacher that we mailed to her last week.  He was to have no assistance with writing out the sentence, and I think he did really great!
Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne digging a tunnel through the mountain for the train.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Nana and her boys

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Our blue eyed babies

Penny and Charlie
Sweet little baby hands
Our boy

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Baby

Trent's birthday was last week.  The kids and I spent the day making cards and a cake for him.  Charlie worked for 2 days on the present he made for him, a dinosaur sticker mosaic picture.  He was really concerned if Daddy was going to like it or not.  He was really proud of it and asked Trent to not take it to work to display but leave it at home where it would be safe.  He is so cute!

We had a nice dinner, Trent's pick of pizza. We sang Happy Birthday and he opened his presents and cards while the kids scarfed down their cake.  Then it was time for everyone to clean up and head up stairs to watch our evening viewing of Little Bear (Daddy's favorite cartoon).
Trent is such a super guy.  He is a wonderful Daddy, playing with the kids and always letting them help out with a project....even when it would be easier or quicker for him to do it himself.  He reads them bedtime books at night and helps Charlie with his nightly reading.  He wrestles with the boys and lets them climb all over him and then laughs as to why they typically only attack him (honey, it is because you let them:).  I just love watching him with our children, it really warms my heart.

And words don't even really do justice to the kind of husband he is.  He is always kind, even when I don't deserve his kindness.  He is always loving to me, kissing me when he gets home or before he leaves.  He always makes sure that we have what we need and works really had to make sure that we have a lot of what we "want" too.  He never complains that I don't have dinner made or that the house is dirty.  He will sweetly remind me if he needs clean underwear and socks or just go down in the basement and throw a load of laundry in himself.

I hope you had nice birthday baby and I pray that your year will be blessed!

I love you!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Penelope Jane 4 months

Today you, Miss Penelope Jane, are four months old.  I can barely believe it has only been four short months that I have held you, for it feels as though our soles have known each other for much longer.  On the other hand it feels as if it were just yesterday that they placed your warm little body on my chest.  Funny how time can seem to stand still yet pass us by in a blink of an eye!

You are such a sweet baby, seriously, you are.  You smile and coo, you barely whimper.

Your best friends are by far your brothers.  Tommy is relentless and is forever kissing you on the mouth and smacking patting your head.  He really tries to be gentle and you are not even bothered a smidge by his love pats.  You also never seem to grow tired to his one liners "LOOOOOK at to me BABY" he screeches at you day after day, hour after hour.  And you sweet thing, just look up at him with your big toothless grin.  You are the dotting sister.

And Charlie, oh sweet Charlie.  He is so funny and always wants to know if your eyes are open.  He feels so connected with you because you both have those brilliant blues.  He loves to lay down with you on Daddy and Mommy's bed, snuggled up.  He is so gentle, always asks if he can rub your soft furry head and wants permission to play with you while you are in one of your contraptions.  He is famous for wanting to get you toys and goes to great lengths to pick out just the right one that he is sure you will like.  He is my big helper and often fetches diapers or even extra set of clothes.....for all those blow outs you are known for ;)

You enjoy your weekend dates with Daddy when I am catching up on my zzzz's.  He read you your first book, though he said you had little interest :)  He walks you around the room (just like he did your brothers) and calls you "honey".  He is always concerned that you are healthy and doing well, and he thinks that your eyes are pretty.  You have him wrapped, tightly, around your little finger!

There are so many things you are doing these days.  Kicking and laughing, you have found your fingers and want desperately to sit up.  You are talking more and tell me lots of stories.  You love the bath but hate with a passion the lotion that follows.   You weigh just about 17lbs and are in the 95th percentile or above on weight, height and head circumference (can you tell we just got back from the Pediatrician?!). You are reaching for things and know your name.  You smile all the time.

You are a hungry girl and just recently have started to get on a schedule of eating every 2-3 hours instead of every 30, 45 or 60 minutes.  You also just recently (4 days ago) went through a huge growth spurt in where you ate ALL.DAY.LONG and then 2 days later you SLEPT.ALL.DAY. long.  Within that 48 hours you outgrew all your joke!  We just started you on oatmeal cereal and bananas.  At this point you could take it or leave it.  The bananas you find mildly interesting.

At this point you are taking three short (45 min.) naps a day and putting yourself to bed by 6pm.  You often will fall asleep nursing and if not then you fuss yourself to sleep.  It usually only takes a minute or two and then you are in sweet slumber.  You continue to wake two or three times a night and are up for the day by 7am.  I still enjoy those middle of the night feedings and know that before long you will sleep soundly and not need me to comfort you in the wee hours of morning.

It is amazing to me that our Heavenly Father choose you for us.  He knew that you were exactly what we needed.  He knew that your smile would warm our hearts when there was so much sadness.  He knew that your snuggles would be a welcome embrace.  He knew that those middle of the night feedings would make me grateful and show me just how much He loves us.  We feel blessed to have you as our daughter and you bring our family so much joy, so much love and have brought us even closer together.

We love you Penny!