Saturday, December 24, 2011

No More Babies

There are officially no more babies in this house.  Judah is two, and while he has believed himself to be every bit as big as his brothers pretty much since he was born, this morning he woke up with a two year old vocabulary and a two year old attitude.  Every time Judah says a new word Luke will say, "Mama! Write that in his baby book.  I promised him I would eventually and that I would blog about it for his birthday.  Which was Thursday. 

I'm reminded all over again that I am going to have to plan a celebration for his birthday early in December every year because if I don't, it won't happen.  Today, at Kris' parents' house, we're celebrating his birthday with a candle in brownies.  He won't know the difference and he won't care, but if we're still trying to celebrate with brownies when he's ten...well, he might need therapy.

Judah's vocabulary is growing every day, his sense of humor is growing every day, his daring is growing every day, his belly is growing every day.  Big, big boy.  Yesterday when we were in the car heading home I heard him in the backseat saying, "Hello! Bye! Hello! Bye!"  I looked back there and he had his foot up to his ear like a cell phone.  Funny!

He's saying "I'nna see" "Want this" "Wanna go" "More please" "All done" and lots of other multiple word phrases.  I'm not sure that anyone else really understands him, but his mama, daddy and brothers do.  He hauls himself over the top of things that are waaaaay too high for my comfort.  He's starting to actually sit down and play with toys rather than only wandering around getting into stuff.  He still leaves a trail of destruction wherever he goes, but he's enjoying making trucks move, putting blocks together and throwing balls.  He loves to make loud noises, fart noises, happy get the idea.  All. Boy. All. The. Time.

Judah loves a good bath, loves outside, loves his brothers, loves his family.  And anyone who has spent even a little time with him knows he loves to eat.  The boy can put away some food.  He will eat things I would never be able to get the other two to eat.  Heck, sometimes it's stuff I don't even want to eat!  Loves food.

What a treasure Judah is to us.  He absolutely is adored and enjoyed.

Judah, Mama loves you.  Daddy loves you.  Luke and Eli love you.  Grandma, Papa, Grandmama and Grandaddy love you.  You are one of the most loved two year olds in the world!  Happy birthday!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I have found that while the boys are out of school and we're not running around so much, I'm much more relaxed in the mornings.  I've enjoyed sitting in what feels like the "holy hush" of the early morning, looking at the Christmas tree with the lights burning (minus the strand that is out) and thinking about my favorite Christmas songs "O Holy Night" and "Silent Night".  I can't help but celebrate the sacrifice God made of sending His Son and the sacrifice that Jesus made in coming as a man - a baby even.

I'm grateful for Mary's sacrifice.  She gave up everything.  Everything!  In her day, she risked her life by saying "Yes" to God.  She gave up her dreams, the dream basically every girl has from the time they are little of finding their love, marrying, having that order.  She gave up her reputation.  Then and for the rest of her life she was known as the woman who said "God told her" that she would bear the Messiah.  And when we really consider the story, her claims were never truly validated because the Jewish people thought Jesus would come as a king, not a servant.  She gave up the dream every mother has for her son of a happy, peaceful, long, honored life.  She sacrificed so much. 

I've been thinking a lot about the men and women of Hebrews 11.  Abraham went, not even knowing where he was going. "Sarah received strength to conceive...when she was past the age". Moses "refused to be called the son of Pharoah's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin". Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jepthah, David, Samuel...

"All these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise."

When I think about these people, what they sacrificed, what they went through to obey, all because they believed God to be faithful...When I look at Mary, how she was never truly vindicated in her life time, never saw the promise of her son reining as King...When I look at my life, the places where I'm not seeing God "come through" on what He's promised...

"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." (Hebrews 11:13)

If it never happens, if I never see what I've worked for and sacrificed for come to be, I will trust.  Because He who promised is faithful.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

You Might Be Behind On Laundry If...

...You find yourself dressing off the growing pile of clothes on the chair in your room.

...Your husband has to walk through the house naked after showering to find clean underwear.  Every morning.

...Your middle child has been asking about the same shirt almost every day since you got back from Thanksgiving break and you keep answering, "I think it's in the wash."

And the saddest way you know you might be behind on laundry is if...

...Your oldest child comes home with a picture he drew at school of the family decorating the Christmas tree, and the dining room table included in the drawing holds the ten loads of clean laundry that still needs to be folded.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Encounter by Stephen Arterburn

I just finished my second book from BookSneeze.  The first book I reviewed was excellent, and writing a review was super easy.  This time may be a little more tricky. 

I have a healthy respect for how difficult it is to write a story in a way that grabs the interest of the readers.  I know developing the story is a delicate balance between too many and too few details.  I am always very careful in my opinions of other people's work, whatever the nature.  I like to beat around the bush when asked my thoughts.  I never want to seem critical or insensitive to the creator's hard work.  See? Too many details. 

Alas, I have to write a review of The Encounter by Stephen Arterburn, and I did not enjoy this book.

Jonathan Rush was adopted as a child.  As an adult with anger issues, he embarks on a journey to discover why his mother abandoned him at an early age.  Along the way, he meets a woman named Mercy, who knows much more about his past than she is ready to reveal.  He makes an unlikely friend in the form of a tenacious reporter.  And he finds the truth about his childhood as well as the truth about healing and forgiveness.

The book is short.  The development of the characters even shorter.  I had a hard time connecting with the story, although the premise of it was good.  Conflict, both person-to-person as well as the main character's emotional conflict,  was resolved too quickly for my taste.  Even at the risk of stereotyping, I'm going to have to say that conflict was resolved in typical male form.  What's the problem?  How can we most logically fix it?  Okay, we'll do that.  Done. 

Would I recommend this book?  As much as I hate to be negative, no, I wouldn't. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Belated Birthday Wish

Months ago I was sitting in my bed having a little quiet time before my day (a.k.a. my boys) came roaring to life, and I was praying for my old college roommate.  I can't remember what or why, but I was just thinking about all the things I think are awesome about her.  Her birthday was November 13th, and I fully intended to "sing her a love song" on my blog that day, but well, we all know about good intentions.  After she gave me the precious gift of one of her few days home last week, I wanted to give her some belated birthday affection in return. 

When Catherine and I moved in together my second year at UGA, we were both completely unaware of what we had gotten ourselves into.  I was a type A, stressed out, slightly anal, perfectionist.  I was extremely reserved, never wanting to do ANYTHING to draw attention to myself.  My idea of a good time was hanging out with four or five close friends.  My first memory of Catherine is of her climbing like a wild woman across all the chairs in the middle of worship at Wesley because she saw someone she knew and wanted to say hey.  When I wanted to do something nice for her birthday, I called her friends and family and had them send her birthday cards in the mail.  When she wanted to do something nice for my birthday, she threw me a surprise party with an apartment full of people. 

You get the idea.  We are a bit different from each other.  Which is why we nearly killed each other the first year we lived together.

Then we had a sweet, slow, laid-back summer.  And now we're friends ever after.

There are lots of things I've learned from Catherine.  Lots of gifts she's given me.  Catherine is tenacious!  When the girl sets her mind to something, she will get it done. Catherine lives vicariously through no one. When we lived together she didn't just have a bucket list.  She actually crossed things off her bucket list.  After she graduated, she left the country for six months.  Even more astounding, she later left the South and didn't come back.  If Catherine wants it, she'll make it happen.  So what if nobody understands her dream?  It's her dream.

Catherine is loyal.  She makes deep friendships.  She gives her whole heart, even sometimes when it's not fully appreciated.  She is thoughtful and generous.  She has helped me to be more thoughtful and generous. 

I'm grateful for the time I spent as her roommate.  I'm grateful for all the times she's come to visit me and my family.  I'm grateful for all the ways she's ignored my flaws and loved me anyway.  I'm blessed to call her friend.

Happy birthday, Catherine!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Big Boy Tooth

Luke's big tooth was already coming in before his baby tooth fell out. It freaked me out at first because I was afraid his big tooth would stay far back, but the dentist assured me it would be fine and his tongue would push it forward in time.  Just a future tip for those of you in the same "first time" boat as me.

He's pretty proud of his big boy smile, and it's fun for the rest of us to celebrate too.
 And then he just started having fun in front of the camera.
 But at least I got a sweet smile out of him.
 Eli and Judah snuggle a lot, but this was fun to see.
 And the inevitable. It turned wild quickly.
But such a rare moment! I got all three of them to look at the camera at the same time.  Actually, that may have never happened before.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Joe Cool

Judah came around the corner wearing sunglasses and talking on a "cell phone". I think our wallets might be in trouble for his teen years.  He's definitely going to need a job.
 'Cause, I mean, if he looks even remotely close to this cute as a teenager, I will, inevitably, want to give him everything he wants.
 He's cute, and he knows it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

For My Amusement

A few pictures that make me happy...

These two are always wallowing all over each other and making each other laugh.
 Silly boys!
 Does anyone remember Squiggy from Laverne and Shirley?
 This is what Judah looks like when I let him feed himself.  I asked a friend who had three boys and then a girl if the girl was so different.  She said, "Well, she's definitely neater when she eats." I believe it.
 But it does make him happy.
 Eli loves smoothies. If I had a little girl, what would I take pictures of?
 If only they would fold the clothes too.
 More wallowing. So sweet!
 I couldn't remember if I ever put this on here.  He was so proud of himself!
 Apparently he's part koala.
 And these pictures are totally for my amusement.
 Poor fella, maybe I should help him...
 His brother rescued him so I could keep taking pictures.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Luke's 6th Birthday Party

We had Luke's birthday party the day before Halloween.  He was super easy to please this year and didn't want any particular theme and "just chocolate" for his cake with no decorations on top.  Really, Luke, you're too good to your Mama.  All he wanted was a pinata, which Grandma supplied, along with the candy to go in it. I cooked dinner, made a sheet cake and called it done.

I'm not sure there was sufficient supervision on the pinata because Luke went first and kept swinging until the thing fell apart.  I don't think anyone else got a turn...
  But everyone did get candy, so that helped dry tears.
 I think this was a candy negotiation.
 Luke is in a board game phase. I think he has just about every board game known to man. He had been asking for Battleship for months.
 The Flarp that some friends brought was a hit.  With all the boys at the party, it had to be.
 Even Judah and Aunt Erica thought it was hilarious.
 Make a wish!
 Blow out the candles!
 The weather was perfect, and we all sat outside on the porch and hung out.
Happy Birthday, Luke!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pumpkin Party 2011

Our church has a Pumpkin Party on Halloween every year. With all the bounce houses, popcorn, games, snow cones and lots and lots of candy we have a great time! 

I was very happy with the fact that both my big boys were totally fine with homemade costumes.  I stole the idea of a ninja from a friend (Thanks, Catherine!). So, along with a tshirt from Kris' closet, we used last year's batman costume, my black winter gloves and a sword from the Dollar Tree to turn Luke into a fierce looking ninja.

At the last minute Eli decided he wanted to be a ghost.  I had a random single white sheet in the linen closet, so after five minutes of snipping here and there he was set.  Of course, the costume lasted about five minutes too because he couldn't see, but he happy with his costume.

Judah borrowed a costume from his cousin (Thanks, Tripp!), and he was the cutest tiger ever.  I couldn't get him to face the camera, so this is the best shot I could get.

After the Pumpkin Party we hit a few houses in the neighborhood behind us for a little trick or treating.  Judah, as usual, was not about to be left behind and followed his brothers right up to the front door. 

The only picture of all three of them together...
So, all total, the night cost us a dollar and gas money.  Well worth the fun we had.  I would like to say I'm trying to teach my children that they don't have to have $30 dollar costumes or all the brand new stuff to be happy.  Borrowed and home made is just a fun.  But really, I'm just grateful they don't know any better yet.  We'll keep riding this train as long as we can!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Judah's "Quiet Time"

This is what Judah did this morning while I had my quiet time. 

It's been a while since I've put an update on Judah and what he's up to these days.  He is almost 23 months; I cannot believe he'll be two next month!  What a big boy!

Judah has been trying to talk more and more.  He says way more than we can actually understand, but here are a few words that are pretty accurate:
apple (bapple), berries, book (buu), mama, daddy, MOM!!!!!!, Papa, Grandma (Gamma), ball, drink (din), this, uh-oh, thank you (da du), eyes, nose, and the one that's been around for what seems like most of his life - NO! 

He is still into everything.  Everything.  He has bruises, scratches, knots and skinned knees at all times. He jumps off the back of the furniture, tries to jump out of the back of his daddy's truck, jumps into open arms (and some that don't even know they need to be open!) absolutely fearlessly.  "Hesitation" is never a word I use to describe Judah.  If he had his way, he would already be in school.  I have to chase him out of Eli's classroom and pretty much any other classroom with an open door just about every day at drop off and pick up.   He loves going to the YMCA and does not have a very happy morning on the days that we don't go somewhere.  By the time we have to pick up Eli at lunch he's banging on the door out to the garage. 

Adventurous and fearless.  I love it.  Even if it does give me heart palpitations.  He is the reason that Kris says, "You know, when I'm sitting quietly eating my lunch at a park I think, 'Maybe we could have one more...', and then I come home at night." I don't think our hearts or our house can take it. 

But speaking of our hearts, they are full of Judah.  He is totally fun and totally precious.  Personality galore and the best snuggles ever.  Love, love, love this child!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Six Reasons

Luke, there are a MILLION reasons I love you, but here are six I have chosen for your sixth birthday:

1. You are mine.  Six years ago God gave you to me and your daddy, and we consider that day one of the best days of our lives.  Nobody will EVER love you like we love you. 
2. You love your mama, daddy and brothers.  You instinctively know how to be a part of a family.  You give, you honor, you nurture, you embrace so naturally. 
3. You are a life long learner.  You want to know everything there is to know about everything.  Sometimes I call you "Sid, the Science Kid" because you are curious like him.  No simple answer for you.  You want to know all the details, the why's, the how's. 
4. You are motivated to do your best at everything.  You don't do things halfway.  You do things with your whole heart and almost always with a good attitude.
5. You love life.  Every day is a new adventure.  And you love adventure.  You're not afraid to try new things.  You are going to spend your life leading the way.  Today you asked me what a pilgrim is.  I tried to give you a good definition, but when I looked it up, this is what I found:

pil·grim   /ˈpɪlgrɪm, -grəm/ Show Spelled[pil-grim, -gruhm]
1.a person who journeys, especially a long distance, to some sacred place as an act of religious devotion: pilgrims to the Holy Land.
2.a traveler or wanderer, especially in a foreign place. original settler in a region.

You are a pilgrim.  You will find new lands, explore new places, settle new regions.  You will spend your life on a journey, going the distance, as an act of devotion to your heavenly Father.  I can't wait to see it!
6. I love that you are learning to listen and obey.  You are learning to listen and obey your mama and daddy, and when you give your heart to Him, you will easily hear and obey God.

Just six reasons.  Out of a million.  Happy birthday, my love!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin Patch 2011

We made our annual trip to the pumpkin patch last weekend.  Judah wins the prize for being the most cooperative.  He is a ham.  So, Luke and Eli, when you are grown and going back through the family pictures, you can refer to the above statement as explanation why there are far more pictures of your younger brother than of you two.  Not because you're not just as cute.

 Luke loves to say, "Hey, Dad, I like to do the same things you do.  Because we're twins, right?"  Almost.

 I believe this is the only photo we got of Eli actually facing the camera.
 I guess we will not be replacing last year's family pumpkin patch photo.
 A ham, I tell you.  But cute enough to eat.
 Two more tasty morsels.