A Heart Toward Home

"...But as for me and my house, we will serve (worship) the LORD."
Joshua 24:15

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Elijah turns 4!!

He liked licking the icing out of the bowl...yummm!!


His cake



He liked his cake.



Blowing out candle!


Timothy enjoyed Elijah's presents too. Here is modeling a couple of the luggage pieces!


He loved opening presents!!


Elijah got the cutest little luggage set!!


Pop and Gigi with our kids!


What a great day we had Saturday as we celebrated Elijah's birthday! So hard to believe that he is 4. My parents and Bryan's parents came up this weekend to help celebrate. We were so glad they came! Elijah was so excited to see his grandparents and he got lots of loving! Elijah is a very special boy and we love him so much! So thankful for God sending us Elijah! Happy birthday my little man!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day!

This boy will be 4 tomorrow! The water gun is actually Isaac's, but they had to take turns and it was Elijah's favorite!


They used those sprinkler things to fill up their "weapons" (buckets or spray bottle).


These two loved playing together! Who could wet who?



Timothy loved playing in the water. He was so cute!


My flower bed that my wonderful hubby has been working on and is just about completed!



We had a full day. We did housework and then the kids went out and played in the sprinkler that Elijah got for his birthday (I will post about that tomorrow). The kids had a blast. Elijah was actually so funny, for two days he has bugged me about playing in the sprinkler and today he didn't want to get near it because he did not want to get wet....go figure! Then later this afternoon the kids helped Bryan do outside work (my flower bed). It was a nice day! Hope you all had a nice and enjoyable Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sarah and our swing

At any given time during any given day this is how you will find Sarah, reading a book! I love it! Bryan and I both were never readers but both our big kids LOVE to read. Sarah really likes to go and sit in the swing on the front porch and read a book. I am amazed at what she can read, a 2nd grader reading on a 4th grade level. She will pick up anything and read it and she loves to read to the little boys too. Her favorites are American girl books, Nancy Drew (the older versions) and her Bible. If we ever go in a store (Goodwill is our favorite) she always heads straight to the books. Oh how sweet this is and something that is dear to my heart.

The swing...something else that is a favorite of mine. I love to sit on the porch and having a swing makes it that much nicer. This is not just a swing that we bought at the store, it has a special story. Over 13 years ago I met a young lady named Wendy and we became good friends. She came to know the Lord and our friendship began to grow into something very special. Her father made her a swing to have on her front porch when she went to college. After college she and her husband moved to a smaller home and she didn't have room for the swing any more. Bryan and I moved to a house that had a front porch about the same time and her and her dad offered us the swing. We have now put the swing up at our new house and every time I sit in that swing I think of Wendy, our friendship and her dad that made the swing. I am sure they never thought that that swing would mean so much to us, but it does. Wendy's dad and Bryan were close and we got to see Wendy's dad come to know the Lord and what a change God did in that man's life. Wendy and I hardly ever get to see each other any more but we stay in touch and she is one of my best friends. She now has 3 little boys and one on the way and her and Ben just celebrated their 8 year anniversary. I have seen Wendy grow into a very godly wife and mother and the radical change God has done in Wendy's heart. I LOVE my swing and the story that goes with it!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Homeschool Moment

When Elijah was two he wanted to write his name soooo bad. I remember him getting upset that he could not. I decided that I would teach him his ABC's since he had a desire. Here is a picture of his ABC's he wrote about a month ago. For some reason he wanted the Y to be second and then he had a BIG space between the E and F and thought he would put the H there (did not want wasted space). He also was trying to spell something at the bottom (STUY). I was really amazed that he really could do this. I thought I would see what he could do with me calling them out and him writing them with out looking. I have come to realize that the best time for me to teach is when they are hungry for it. Elijah also knows the sound that each letter makes and so now we are working on putting the sounds together so that he can read. Yes, now he is wanting to read. Bryan has also worked with Elijah. Bryan has gone over the ABC's with him consistently and I know that has been a big help. Isaac and Sarah have learned cursive really early (1st grade) and it is because they were interested, I just took it and ran with it. If you happen to notice that your child has an interest in something, run with it!! Feed that hunger and I believe you will be amazed at what they will pick up on.

A great resource is Leap Frog videos!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Bitter-sweet week

This past week was a bitter-sweet one. Last Sunday Bryan left going to New Orleans to work on his doctoral project. The kids and I are always sad to see Daddy leave, even for a night and this was going to be for a week! So Bryan walked out the door Sunday afternoon (bitter) and in walked Maw and Paw for the week (sweet)! I am so thankful that my parents took time off work to come and spend a week with the kids and I!! We had been planning this for a while because they wanted to come two weeks after Joanna was born but I suggested that they wait and come when Bryan was going to be gone. It worked out GREAT! It was such a huge blessing to have them here this week. I also took this opportunity and did dentist and eye appointments since they would be here to help. They also helped with baseball practice and game and when Sarah had her play practice, so nice to not have to load all the kiddos up and unload and load and unload (get the picture?). Dad was great at playing with the little boys are holding Joanna so that I could do school with Isaac and Sarah or tend to the little boys. Mom was a huge help in going through clothes,to pull out the winter and get out the summer ones. She also made the best and most delicious potato soup last night, yummmy! :) I really can not list all the things they did and the many ways they were a help (I don't think blog world is that big...LOL)! We still were very busy and we all went from can to can't but it was so much enjoyable having them here. Bryan came back on Thursday night and we were all so happy to see him!! Then on Friday my dad got to help Bryan with some things outside (building a play set for the kiddos and working on a flower bed in the front). I am sure we wore my parents out but I know they loved being with their grandkids and oh the memories that were made. I know my parents well enough that they talked about their trip all the way home! We so enjoyed every day that my parents were here. They left this morning and it was an emotional moment but I am comforted to know they will be back real soon for a birthday celebration. We love you more than words can say, Maw and Paw!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cinnamon (Humble) Rolls

For Valentine's Day Sarah got this cooking thing that has 300 recipes. Remember she is my girl that likes to cook. One of the recipes is these delicious looking cinnamon rolls. We thought we would give them a try one night and I learned a whole lot more than just how to make these things.

One of my weaknesses is a lack of self control at times. Well the night that we made these was not the best night but I thought if we don't make them now we may never get a chance. I am always looking for opportunities to spend time with the children doing something they enjoy doing. If it was up to Sarah we would try a new recipe every day! So here we go making these from scratch cinnamon rolls...I am trying my best to let her do as much as possible, Joanna was a little fussy and the little boys were wanting to join in on our cooking adventure. Needless to say there was alot going on around me. We got down to the step where you roll out the dough and sprinkle the filling on it and roll it up. Then when we went to roll it up the dough was sticking and not doing as I wanted it to (remember I am a perfectionist and I wanted every thing to work out perfect). So I threw up my hands (literally) and told Sarah that I was done and if she wanted to finish it she could do it by herself and that I just did not think they were going to turn out and we were wasting our time and had wasted our time. I know what you are thinking "She is crazy". I had lost any self control that I had. So away I went and left Sarah standing there. My daughter stepped up to bat and finished those rolls and they were some really delicious rolls. They did not look like the picture with the recipe but we enjoyed every last one of them. I did go to Sarah and apologize and told her that I had sinned in my lack of self control. The bible says that two of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is self control and patience (Galatians 5:22-23) and I was bearing NO fruit! Sarah said "Mom, when you left me I wanted to cry but I just told myself that I could do this and I would try my best." My heart sank!! I was humbled, my 7 year old daughter had way more self control than I did and I was thankful for her! I pray that this is always on my heart and that God will fill me with the Fruit of His Spirit. I needed these "humble" rolls to show me my sin and to cause me to see my weakness.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

4 months
















Joanna is 4 months old today! She is rolling over and loves to be in the walker. I remember so well that first week we had brought her home from the hospital and we ALL had the flu (except her). I thought that week would never end, but here we are and she is 4 months old! She eats every 4 hours or so and naps in between each feeding. She is sleeping through the night, Praise the Lord!! Joanna is a very good baby and just loves to have someone talk to her and give her some attention. I included a picture of her and Elijah because he still is crazy about her. He has to be right with her if she is awake. I don't think she even gets to eat without him around. He wants to sit beside her in the van and being on the same seat does not count. Joanna glows every time he talks to her, she smiles at him as if he is the best brother! I also included a picture of my Nanny holding Joanna. I thought this was a good picture of them and my Nanny loved holding Joanna while she was here visiting with us. We love you Joanna and you are a very special girl!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Helpful Hints

WOW! Have you ever used a "Magic Eraser"? If you have not I encourage you to give them a try! A few years ago the kids and I were visiting a mom and her 6 kiddos, and she pulled out this white thing and began rubbing crayon marks off her walls. I was amazed that it worked so well. I thought I would give them a try and it has been great! Our kids have a small wooden table and chairs that they sit at all the time and the little boys have colored on that table and chairs, now all I have to do is grab me one of those erasers (wet it a little) and it gets those crayon marks right up. Also I used one on my white kitchen chairs to get off some marks from dirty hands and I can not tell you how pleased I was. I have used the "real" brand before but I know also that these wal-mart brand one work just as well. Hope you find them just as helpful as I have!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

Me and my children!


My dad and his mother (Nanny)



Me and my mom!


Joanna's Baby Dedication



My parents came up yesterday and brought my Nanny with them. It was so good to get to spend Mother's Day with my mom and Nanny! We also had Joanna's baby dedication this morning, it was real sweet! Happy Mother's Day to you!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Mother's Day, Gigi!

We are not able to see my mother-n-law, Joan, this year so we made a "Mother's Day" video for her! Happy Mother's Day, Gigi! We love you and miss you!!

video

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Nap Time



Our boys do not share a bed. Timothy is in a toddler bed and Elijah has a twin bed. As we do every day, I laid them down for their naps and went back down stairs. This particular day (Tuesday) it was yucky outside and the boys took an extra long nap. I went upstairs to wake them up and this is what I found! I don't really know if they took their nap like this or if when Timothy woke up he went and got in the bed with Elijah. I thought it was a preious sight and just had to capture it. This is so them, Elijah sucks his thumb and holds "blue bunny" and Timothy sucks his thumb and rubs his ear. :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cupcake

Last night Sarah had art class and they painted cupcakes. This one is going up in the kitchen also! She has had so much fun doing this, probably too much fun (LOL)! The lady that leads these classes is going to do some during the summer so I am sure we will be doing a few of those. Sarah was so excited about this painting from the beginning. Last week she was so worried that she had missed painting the cupcake that I had to get out a calendar and show her that she had not missed it. :) So here it is, the Cupcake!!

Sarah and Elijah are really close and they love doing things together and for each other. When she showed him her painting he asked her why did she put cherries on top. She told him that she wasn't sure she knew how to do a blueberry (he LOVES blueberries), but that one cherry was for her and one was for him. Isn't that sweet? He was quick to point out that the big one was for him and the little one was for her!! Too funny!! I love these kids!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bubbles





















The kids and I took a "time-out" today and went out to blow bubbles! This morning was a very "Monday" morning and I finally just said "Let's go"! Timothy had found some bubbles that Sarah got at church yesterday and was bugging me crazy to "blow bubbles". It was so nice out and Joanna was taking a nap (that is why she is not in the pictures) and a cool breeze was blowing. The weather was over cast and we just really enjoyed our time outside today. I think we might get some more bubbles and do this once a week!! :)




Joanna update: She has rolled over a couple of times today! I guess it is official, she is growing up. If anyone knows how to keep our little ones little would you please let me know! :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

3 months old!

Joanna was 3 months old on April 14th and I took her for her 3 month check up and wanted to share how our girl is growing! She weighed 13 lbs. and 11 oz. and was 24 inches long! She is a healthy baby girl! This morning when I went to get her out of her baby bed, she had rolled over. Now we will see if she does it again or if it was just a one time thing at 3 months. The day I took Joanna for her check up I also took Timothy for his 2 year old check up. Two kiddos getting check ups and shots would not be an easy task, that is why I am so thankful for my mother! My mom and dad surprised us and came up on a Thursday night and the next morning is when I had to take them to the doctor. Mother went with me while dad and Bryan stayed home with the other children. Thank you mom for coming and helping out, what a blessing! My parents have not been here in almost 4 weeks and I am so ready for their next visit, I don't think it will get here fast enough! I am sure they are just as ready to see their grandchildren as my kids are to see them!! :)