IT’S DONE!!!!!!!

There is another post below this one. But I have been regrouping tonight…..doing stuff I have put off all week! One of my projects was to finish painting, which we did!!!!! YAY!!!!!! I enjoyed painting, but it is so nice to be done!

Here are the pictures…..but first some kid pics!

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And now the finished product…..(if you remember, we started out with all white walls. I would post before pictures, but they are too far back in my photo album on photobucket. And I am too tired!)
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YAY! We are done!!!!!

Golly, I really do not mean to go this long in between posts! I am not really lacking material, but for some reason, I have been so bad about blogging lately.

My children are growing up too fast. I know all parents say that, but hearing my little boy learn new words each day makes me realize the years are passing too quickly. Chloe is really mobile now. Mobile. How did that happen so fast?

I have not mentioned painting in awhile, so I shall update you. We are about 20 minutes away from being done!! There is a spot on our foyer wall that is uneven. Once we get that done, we will be DONE. There is still some touch up paint to be done, but I feel like that will be over the course of a long period, as we see things needing to be done. I will post pictures this week hopefully!! Even though it is not perfect, I love the new colors. It makes such a huge difference! My home just feels warmer. I enjoy home improvement projects, so I imagine when this one is done, I will enjoy a short hiatus before moving onto something new. I try to do improvements that require no money. Costly improvements will have to be done at a later time.

I went running last week for the first time since before having children. I jogged pretty consistently in my teens and college days, but I have not done it since getting pregnant with Caleb. I have exercised; I just have not gone jogging. I got a wild hair last Sunday and went for a jog. It was a really interesting time. I felt like I got a glimpse of who I was before becoming a mom. Though I love how my life has change, it gently reminded me how important it is to nurture myself, too. It sounds strange, but it was a turning point in my parenting. I had aspirations to totally change, which, of course, did not happen. But I have taken steps toward becoming who I aspire to be. I have eaten a lot better this week than in the past two years. In fairness, I have been pregnant and/or nursing for 37 months straight, which allowed for a fair amount of justified gluttony. However, my nursing days are coming to an end in about 2 months, so I figure my eating habits should change, too. All that to say I feel like a new person. It feels nice to recharge!!

On the opposite side of that, I have long said that I plan for Chloe and my next child to be about 2 and a 1/2 years apart. Which means I will be trying to have a baby this time next year. I am not sure I am ready to take that step. Maybe by next year, I will be ready. But I am loving my life with these two treasures…I feel like I am just now really getting into the groove of two. Currently, I do not have baby fever, but I imagine it will return when the time comes. I have not actually prayed about when to start trying to have our next child, but then again, I have never actually tried to have a child (though I have been super excited both times)….so God may choose to surprise us again.

I have been thinking about traditions I want to start in our family. And one I will start doing (probably next year) is celebrating 1/2 day on July 1. That is the halfway point of the year. Having a half day sounds like so much fun!

I rearranged the furniture in our basement last week. It has been the same for two years, which I think may be a record for me. I love the change!! I really enjoy change in general. I know a lot of people hate it, but I like to keep things fresh!

I feel like I have so much more to say, but when I sit down, I seem to forget.

Have a great week!!!

Home Is Still The Sweetest Place

I am home. I keep opening my fridge, expecting for food to appear. But, alas, it has not. But, I am home. And home is sweet. I love visiting my family, I love seeing friends. And yet I always love coming home. Home is just….home!

This past week we went to Springfield to do several things. Some things we planned on; most things we did not.

A recap of the week’s events……
– Caleb got a black eye. His first. We were walking out of a restaurant. He turned to look at some people and walked right into a table. His eye looks bad, but he recovered emotionally pretty fast.

– Chloe can stand up!!!! She pulled herself to her feet for the first time yesterday. Exciting!!!!!!

– Chloe apparently loves chocolate. Brett and I went on a date (YIPPEE!!!!). While gone, my mom was playing with Chloe and Caleb. Chloe was playing in my mom’s purse, found a chocolate bar, and in a matter of seconds, proceeded to eat it/smear it all over herself. Mimi (my mom) said it was quite a sight!!

– I got to see my long time friend, Emily (Hi, Emily), which was so much fun. It was a bit chaotic with my children, but it is always so fun to catch up with an old friend (old as in long time, not as in age…although we were wondering when we grew up!).

– As I said, Brett and I went on a much overdue date. We have not been out together in awhile, so that was wonderful. We saw “You Don’t Mess With The Zohan”, which was funny at times but probably not worth the money. We also went to dinner.

– Oh, and we also ate frozen custard. Which I only did 3 other times in 6 days. What can i say, Strawberry Shortcake is in season. And it is D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!!!!!!

– Half the reason for our trip was for my mom to install a computer program on my computer. But smart me forgot my computer.

– We met with a couple of our ministry partners, which is one of my favorite things!! Raising our income can be very faith stretching at times, but I love the relational aspect of it!

– I spent a ton of time with my little sister, which was so awesome. She is just a gem. It is so sweet: she does everything I do. She will order what I order at dinner, drink what I drink. She is able to do her own make-up. When I asked her how she knows how to do that, she said she learned from watching me. Miss Lylia is all together so precious!

– I got new towels. Sweet heavens, I am so excited. The towels we have are only about four years old (most of them Brett had before we got married), but I have just never really liked them. They are not bad, just blah! I may have mentioned this before, but I feel like a lot of our wedding presents are starting to fall apart. We got married about 3.5 years ago, and it seems stuff is just starting to show a lot of wear.

– We ate out more in a week than we usually do in a month! I usually love to eat out, but doing it everyday gets old!

– While at my parents, we had severe weather. We had to wake the kids up from naps to go to the basement. Storms freak me out, but fortunately, it passed quickly!

We did a lot more, but those were the highlights! My parents’ house is much larger than ours, and with two young kids, their house is just exhausting! Additionally, Caleb and Chloe missed their naps a lot, so we are all tired!! But it was a really fun week!!!!!!

Happy Father’s Day (early!)

Father’s Day is strange, in that, it honors two different relationships in the same day.

First, the first 23 Father’s Days in my life were spent honoring one man: my dad. My dad is such a great one. If ever there were a man who cares about my happiness, it is him. I spent hours growing up talking to my dad about things going on in my life. He would counsel me, and he really helped me through a lot of rough periods of my teenage years. He always believes the best about everyone, yet he was always clear that his family were the most important people in his life. My dad has worked incredibly hard his entire life to provide the best life for me. Not only did I get to do everything I ever wanted as a child, he also put me through college and allowed me to start my own family without an ounce of debt. My dad encouraged me to be myself, even when that was not a popular choice. I have not struggled with low self-esteem because my dad believed in me and loved me unconditionally. He also told me often how beautiful I was (am). With all of that, though, I was not a spoiled brat. He demonstrated a balanced life of blessing and thankfulness. I am so thankful for the man my dad is because he raised me to be who I am. (My mom is awesome, too, by the way! But it’s Father’s Day!).

Because of my dad, I did not settle for less than God’s best for my life. I was unafraid to settle, because it took quite a man to win my heart.

But win my heart, he did. When I married Brett, I knew that he would be an amazing dad. And my thoughts have proven true over and over. I could not be more prouder of the man my children call Daddy. He is so incredible. Watching he and Caleb roughhouse and laugh together is precious. Caleb loves his Daddy so much. Brett is so interactive with him, and they have the best time together. Caleb’s favorite part of the day is when Dad comes home from work! They play football, basketball, they wrestle, draw together, and snuggle. So adorable. Brett tells Caleb how strong, brave, and handsome he is, and affirms and encourages him.
Brett is also such a wonderful dad to Chloe. He snuggles her and holds her. Chloe has her Daddy wrapped around her finger. He does anything for her. Brett tells her everyday how beautiful and sweet she is. He also reminds her that he is the only man that is allowed to kiss her until, well, a long time!
I am so thankful to have such a great dad for my children. He is the most wonderful Daddy in the world!!!!!!

Happy Father’s Day, to the dads in my life!!!!!

(On a personal note, I will be out of town for awhile, so I may not be blogging for a week or so!)

Two Posts In One Day??

Yes….but it is my first time doing a “Works For Me Wedensday”

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I have a plethora of ideas of things that work for me. Many of which I have read on previous WFMW’s. Thank you to those who loyally post and who have made my life easier!

Two things that I did this week that have streamlined my life came to me as I was organizing/cleaning my pantry (which happened to be in desperate need of an overhaul).

1. I went to Dollar Tree and bought three baskets. In them, I put snacks (Chloe’s baby Mum Mums in one, granola bars in another, and packaged crackers and other items in the third). Now instead of random boxes of snacks getting lost, they are easy to find! Plus, it eliminates excessive boxes in the pantry, which I have spent countless hours moving, knocking over, and picking up. As Caleb and Chloe get older, I will put these on the bottom shelf for easy access!

2. I mentioned this in a previous post, but I will mention it again for new readers. I freecycled all of my little plastic storage containers. When storing food, I always grab the medium or large containers because they are at the front. The only thing the little containers were doing was taking up space. And causing me extra work when they’d fall over. Getting rid of those has created more room and less mess!

That works for me!!

Normally, I am not one to blog about deep issues that concern our world. In my personal life, there are a few social injustices that really break my heart. One injustice that I pray for is God to eradicate poverty in Kansas City (and everywhere else, too, but I pray for that which is close to home). I know it is a big problem, but God is a big God. Probably once my kids are older, I will hopefully be a part of the solution.

Anyway, that is not my point.

Back to social problems….I am not one to typically blog about them. I actually try to keep an optimistic view on the world. I do not believe that we were ever meant to know about every natural disaster, every crime committed, every baby kidnapped, etc. With widespread media, I feel like we know way to much about stuff…..it creates fear more than anything, in my opinion.

Additionally, I prefer to read blogs that are personal in nature. I enjoy hearing about other people’s hurts, problems, frustrations, etc. because it is on a personal level. Those things are what makes us who we are. Debating social issues vias blogs is not my cup of tea.

However, I must share something recently that broke my heart. I understand the world we live in, but it still does not make the reality sting any less. Caleb is going to his first dentist appointment tomorrow (pray for me! LOL). On the dental forms, there is a place that asks, “If your daughter has reached her mensus, is there a possibility she could be pregnant?” This is a pediatric dentist. I am totally aware of the fact that girls are getting pregnant earlier and earlier, and I know the dentist is just doing his job by asking. But my heart just aches that our society is at a place where that is common enough to have to ask.

Maybe God is calling me to be a part of the solution…..

A few months ago, I bought a calendar for $1. It was the final day of a clearance, and because it was $1, I bought this calendar for Mom’s. I typically like that sort of thing, because after all, I am a mom. And err on the cheesy side of things from time to time. For the last couple of months, I have been hoping that each day the calendar would get better (it is one of those you rip off each day). And each day, I would be disappointed. Yesterday, I decided to read the entire calendar in one sitting then get rid of it. It never got better, but it is in the recycle bin now. I am not going to draw some life parallel or anything, but it is funny how it is hard to get rid of even the most annoying of things!

“In Christ Alone” by Avalon (or a million other artists) is currently my favorite song. It is amazing. The best 99 cents I have ever spent!

Is anyone else having an ant problem?? We have ant traps, and I kill some everyday with vinegar, but they keep coming back. A guy told us that it just happens when it rains. And it has been raining a lot here. We even lost power the other night around 9:30. For some reason, losing power makes me so nervous. Everything was fine. Brett and I actually enjoyed talking by candlelight. Then, it came back on while we were asleep. It was funny to see what we had forgotten to turn off!

My children used to sleep until 8 or 8:30. Starting this past week, they arise by 7. I do not do 7 am. So it has been quite a struggle. If I take a nap in the middle of the day, then I stay up late….and it starts a bad cycle. But if I do not take a nap, I am tired all day, which is also bad. Caleb is hilarious, though. He will wake up and some days and go down stairs and play on his own. Today, he ran full speed into my room. That boy makes me laugh so hard. He took his guitar with him to church on Sunday. Once he got there, he did not want to play it. But the whole way, he played along to the music in the car.

Caleb and Chloe are so funny together. Most of the time, they get a long really well. When in the stroller, Chloe leans forward to play with Caleb. He loves to play with her, too, and they laugh a lot. Caleb also makes Chloe laugh when she’s upset. And the cutest thing is that he will pray for her. He can only say, “Jesus,” but I have a feeling that means more than a lot of our word-y prayers!
But somtimes…..oh man, they can fight!! Caleb bulls right over her, but she can hold her own. They will be so funny as they grow.

Today actually promises to be a gorgeous day, so I am excited to play outside!!!!