Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pumpkin Patch Pics

~We had a wonderful afternoon at the pumpkin patch as a family~



Sunday, October 14, 2012

11 months old

When I look at this picture, I honestly have to do a double take.  I spent a couple of minutes looking through JB's pics month by month, and I can't believe how much he has changed recently, and how big he has gotten.  I suddenly see him transforming into that "older baby" look- still plenty of rolls to be had mind you, but he's just looking a lot more grown up to me lately.

What are you up to these days, brother bear?
  • Probably the biggest thing has been a change in your eating.  You are now nursing only in the morning and maybe a little at bedtime.  The other 3 feedings are bottles, and we are feeding you table foods first most of the time.  I won't call you a picky eater... but let's just say you like your fruits and yogurt the best.
  • Still working on those molars!! 
  • Just generally adorable.  You have this ability to go-with-the-flow just like your Daddy.  When we are out you get lots of comments about your easy demeanor; it is true, and I take zero credit.  We were at a restaurant and this sweet older man came up to you and gave you a dollar bill, because he said you were so cute and charming you deserved to be paid, haha. 
  • You have started trying to repeat a lot of things we do and say.  You made "touchdown" arms today when Daddy was watching the Cowboy game ;) You can say "banana" and "night-night". 
  • Everything can be turned into a phone.  From your hand, to a remote, to a random toy or book. You will put it up to your ear and say, "Hi Dad." every.time.
  • You LOVE to follow your sister around and play with her.  If you get up before Emme's room time is over you will often crawl to her door and cry for me to open it.  One of your favorite things is when Emme gets in the cozy coupe and you can "push" her around in it.  You love to read books with us, and be a part of every activity we do.
  • You like to repeat animal noises like the lion and the elephant. 
  • Busy, really, really busy.  If there is a drawer you will open it, cabinet you will slam it, door you will push it open, toilet paper roll..... well you can imagine.  You spend a bit of time every day in the exersaucer or play pen so mommy can get a minute where you aren't all over the place. You seem to be fine with that. Cooking dinner with you in the kitchen was getting a little crazy ;)
I'm in love with this little man.  Nearly a year later, and I am still in awe that God gave us such a special gift.  Now the count down to ONE year old begins!

Catching Up

We had a fun couple of weekends.  At the end of September we went as a family to the State Fair of Texas.  It had been a rainy Friday and Saturday, and Sunday was also overcast- so when we headed out Sunday afternoon, we enjoyed a nearly crowdless time at Fair Park.  The cooler temperatures and lots of open space made the day one of the best we've experienced in our yearly pilgrimages ;)

Our list of "to-do's" at the Fair is pretty small.  We've learned since having kids to hit those "important" things first, and then everything else is a bonus haha.  Our first stop was Fletcher's corny dogs.  Yummy!! After that, we made our way to the little kid's farming area. Emme loves getting to give seed to the animals, pretend to grow crops, harvest, ride the little tractors... and of course the best part is getting to cash in for a snack at the little convenience store at the end.

We sampled a few other delectable fair foods: chocolate candy covered bacon, fried autumn pie, corn on the cob... good stuff!!

We got to go to the petting zoo, car show, take a pic with Big Tex, and even catch a little bit of the Irish Dancers and Uncle Kraker concert.  We were rockin' like it was 2001 haha.  Emme also got to go on 3 kiddie midway rides.  The flying elephants were a fan favorite.  JB got some quality stroller time and chilled out watching the many interesting people. All in all, a super day!

Then last weekend, Emme, Rylan, and Ransom got to go see Veggie Tales Live!  My BFF had been on the look-out for a Veggie experience for the kiddos and did an awesome job of tracking down VIP seats, complete with a back-stage meet and greet.  I am blessed to have a friend who is so great about coming up with fun treats for the kids to get to do- and I know they had a blast. It was so fun, and I loved watching the expressions on the kids faces as they watched Bob and Larry come to life on stage.  The concert was extremely kid-friendly, and they were able to get up, dance, spin around, and act silly as each silly song played. Of course I tried to get pics, but the lighting was dark and each time I would go to snap a pic, the little dancers would sit down for a break (such is life when trying to document toddlers/preschoolers???)  Anyway, they had an awesome time and also enjoyed going out to McDonald's afterwards.  We had the play place all to ourselves :)  Good times!!
The kids enjoying VIP status ;)
It has been a fun fall so far and we are looking forward to more autumn events over the next few weeks.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Find You On My Knees

Troubles chasing me again,
Breaking down my best defence,
I'm looking, God, I'm looking for you
Weary just won't let me rest and fear is filling up my head.
I'm longing, God I'm longing for you

But I will find you in the place I'm in, find you when I'm at my end,
Find you when there's nothing left of me to offer you except for brokenness.
You lift me up, you'll never leave me thirsty,
When I am weak, when I am lost and searching
I'll find you on my knees.

So what if sorrow shakes my faith,
What if heartache still remains,
I'll trust you, my god I'll trust you.
'Cause You are faithful and

I will find you in the place I'm in, find you when I'm at my end,
Find you when there's nothing left of me to offer you except for brokenness.
You lift me up, you'll never leave me thirsty,
When I am weak, when I am lost and searching
I'll find you on my knees, my knees.

When my hope is gone, when the fear is strong
When the pain is real, when it's hard to heal
When my faith is shaken and my heart is broken and my joy is stolen, God I know that

You lift me up, you'll never leave me thirsty,

Find you in the place I'm in, find you when I'm at my end,
Find you when there's nothing left of me to offer you except for brokenness.
You lift me up, you'll never leave me thirsty,
When I am weak, when I am lost and searching
I'll find you on my knees.

The Art of Simplicity

Nothing novel here, nothing new.  But lately I've felt the Lord tugging on my heart to again pursue a simple, less distracted, more focused, and intentional lifestyle.  One of the things He has been teaching me about is finding a quiet place of rest. 

Some of the Scriptures that have been particularly challenging me:

Psalm 131

O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
O Israel, hope in the LORD
From this time forth and forever.
When I really examined these couple of verses, I see two parts:
1.  Letting go of the "outside" influences that often control me
2.  Pulling into the rest and security only found in the Lord, sitting before Him like a weaned child, not a "rooting" child who is looking for his next meal, but really enjoying His presence
When I start to look around, I get anxious, my heart is torn in many directions, and I feel dis-content.  I fear the future, wonder if I am enough (of a mom, wife, friend, etc.)  There are many opportunities to be bombarded/distracted by media, as well as plenty of "good things" that I often devote my time and energy to but end up leaving me spent.  Even the daily care of my home and family, worries about finances, my extended family, day to day concerns... these things often crowd my mind and heart and rob me of the rest that I know is granted me freely when I come before the Lord and sit quietly in His presence.
Matthew 11:28-30
"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
Do I really, truly believe that what He says is true? That HIS burden is light?  Mine is surely heavy. I need only to abide.  When I abide in Him I can have the confidence and strength I need to fulfill whatever task He places before me for the day, and also I can say "no" to other things without feeling guilty.  When I abide daily, I can trust that He is leading me along peaceful streams,  or as the Message translation says in verse 29, "the unforced rythms of grace."
I have struggled often with, "Am I doing enough?" With two children at home, my time and energy are taxed.  I want to serve the Lord, I want to obey Him.  I want to love my children and husband, have a pleasant and orderly home, train my children and pray for them.  These are the basics.... and yet.... it feels like a lot for me! How can I possibly add to that x,y,and z things that I see other people doing, see on facebook or pinterest, blogs, ministry opportunities, etc.??? This gets my head spinning.
I am taking baby steps in this whole concept.  Abiding. Looking to the Lord to guide each decision for each day.  Each day may not be the same.  I might not be involved in as many things or "ministries" right now.  I need to trust the Lord's leadership and then walk out in faith, responding to those "unforced rhythms of grace."  I don't need to be worrying about tomorrow, or what other people will think, only if I am listening to the voice of my Savior.  I don't have to prove to God (or others) that I am worthy of His love by my deeds, thank GOD I am already accepted. 
"God's plan is simple: He takes responsibility for my life and service; I take responsibility to maintain my concentration on God. And when there is nothing between Jesus and me, I can calm and quiet my soul and serve simply and purely in devotion to Christ."- Cynthia Heald