Tuesday, July 31

Evie's 3rd birthday.

We celebrated our oldest's special day 2 weeks ago, family style!

  • First she woke up to a decorated house and a living room full of balloons!!

  • And daddy surprised her with a mylar princess balloon and donuts for breakfast! She had her own princess plate to eat on all day.

  • And she got to open a couple presents.

  • We did a lot of playing the rest of the morning!

  • After lunch and nap, we did one of the birthday girl's favorite things to do...swimming!! {Sorry, no pictures} 
  • For dinner we had Chick-fil-a {the birthday girl's favorite!} and ...

  • Then, cupcakes!! With strawberry 'pink' frosting and sprinkles. :) 

  • Everyone sang to the birthday girl and we all enjoyed a cupcake...

...almost all of us. Just six more months buddy!!

Happy Birthday, sweet girl!! These last 3 years have flown by but the have been a blast. Mommy and daddy enjoy you so much and we love you with all our hearts!

Monday, July 30

Caleb {21 Months}

Happy 21 months... 16 days late!

  • Your favorite book / song right now is "Baby Beluga" and it's my favorite to hear you randomly start singing the song {check out the video below to see for yourself!}
  • You LOVE avocado!! Daddy and I have to have a code word for it because if you hear us say it you are begging us to give you some! You have been known to eat a half all by yourself. 
  • You had your first Parent and Tot swim lesson last week several weeks ago and you really enjoyed being in the water with Daddy. I hope you grow to love the water like your sister does. 
  • You are mostly using 5-6 word sentences, sometimes even longer! An example of a sentence you would say is: "Can I have my truck back, please"and it's crystal clear! I forget sometimes that you aren't even 2 yet!

  • Some things you can be heard saying these days: "That's what happens," "Want hug," "Use big girl words, Evie" 
  • We are working on talking and acting 'loving' to one another. {Our next memory verse is going to have to do with this too!} And you can be heard saying things like "It's NOT funny, Evie!" in a very upset voice. When I remind you to talk loving you will say "Please, not funny, Evie" in the sweetest voice that you can manage. 
  • You are still our sensitive and emotional one. We were at a play group and another little girl started going through our diaper bag and you burst in to tears and said, "That's mommy's bag!" over and over again. You will do that if anyone out side our family touches anything that belongs to someone in our family.

  • You get very emotional at the drop of a hat. It's quite challenging for me and daddy these days. But we are working on keeping our emotions under control. As much as a one year old can do.
  • We are going to start potty training you in the next week or two! You tell us that you have to go potty and when you have a dirty diaper. In fact you have even started crying when you poop and want to be changed right away.
  • You love trucks, animals, sticks, balls and I love watching you do your toddler run or try to jump.

  • You want to {and try to} do everything that your big sissy does. She is your best friend and you are sad and lonely when she isn't around.
  • You can count to 3 and sing your ABC's, almost anyway.
  • You are wearing size 4 diaper, size 18/24 month clothes, and size 5 shoes.

I love your age and how fun you are right now! Watching you grow is so fun and I can't tell you how much joy you bring to our family. We love you, Caleb Brandon.

Saturday, July 28

A new job.

We gave Evalyn a job for her 3rd birthday.

Yep, she's a working woman now!

Thanks to Dave Ramsey and his Financial Peace Jr. {and it's 28% off right now!} we are now paying our little tot for jobs she willing does. They are jobs we picked out and are willing to pay her for if she does them willingly and with out a fight. They are things that we do anyway, but if she wants to do them, then we will pay her for them.


Right now it's just a way to teach her the value of working and earning her own money. She does her own envelopes system that we help her with. She has a 'Give' envelope, a 'Save' envelope, and a 'Spend' envelope and we help tell her which envelope to put her money in to. She can take her 'Give' money to Sunday school and give it in the offering jar in her class. And her savings we will deposit into her bank account for her.

As for her spending envelope we took her to the store and let her pick out something to save up for. Since she only earns 25 cents a chore, with the potential to earn $5 a week, she is going to have to save her coins to buy something. As she gets older, we will increase her commission and the responsibility that goes with her jobs. We will stop telling her when to do her jobs and she will have the choice to work. But she only gets paid if she works.

Of course, she also has chores and these are things that we expect and require of her because she is a part of the family. These she doesn't get paid for and can receive consequences for not doing them. Her only consequence for not doing her paid jobs is she doesn't get paid.

So far it's working great. I know it's all still new and maybe it will be different when the newness wears off, but she is getting the concept and we try to make a big deal out of her 'hard work' and 'earning money.' I'm hoping that starting out young will help instill long term good money habits in her and the boys when they are old enough.

Tuesday, July 24

This is what happens...

... when daddy is in charge of getting me dressed.

{Only he would have kept me sans diaper as well, good thing mommy stepped in.}

Sunday, July 22

There is no one like our God.

This song has been a favorite for a long time, since I first heard it. But after the tragedy on Friday it is filled with much more emotion and depth. All those effected by the events that took place, I am daily praying for healing and most of all that this city would know how great our God is, as He is our stability, peace, strength, healer and comforter. He is here now, with us, as we deal with the tragedy in our city. I am praying that many will turn to Him in this time of sorrow and mourning.

Chris Tomlin: God of this city

You're the God of this City 
You're the King of these people 
You're the Lord of this nation 
You are 

You're the Light in this darkness 
You're the Hope to the hopeless 
You're the Peace to the restless 
You are 

There is no one like our God 
There is no one like our God 

For greater things have yet to come 
And greater things are still to be done in this City 
Greater thing have yet to come 
And greater things are still to be done in this City 

There is no one like our God 
There is no one like our God 

For greater things have yet to come 
And greater things are still to be done in this City 
Greater things have yet to come 
And greater things are still to be done here 

There is no one like our god 
There is no one like our God 

Greater things have yet to come 
And greater things are still to be done in this City 
Greater things have yet to come 
And greater things are still to be done here

Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; For the Lord will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.
Proverbs 3:25-26

There were 30 some people who either go or serve at our church who were in theater 8 & 9 on the morning of the shooting and by the grace of God alone, not one of them was injured or killed. Instead they gathered to pray for and with the victims in the parking lot and in the hospitals around the city. God had a purpose for each of them. Praying that God continues to work in and through each one of them to heal the emotional, mental and spiritual wounds they are enduring. May Jesus be their everything.

Friday, July 20

Not much has changed...

Three years ago today...

...we were wrapping up at the hospital and about to head home with the sweet little baby that made me a mommy.

And this picture has strangely been one of my favorites from that day. I can still remember being so tired that I couldn't keep my eyes open if I tried. It's like I can feel the exhaustion just by looking at this picture and takes me back to that exact moment.

If I could go back and hold that tiny baby girl, just one more time, I'd do it in a heartbeat...

Wednesday, July 18

Monday, July 16

Our 'little' Artist

Wow! Has the last 6 months with our almost-three-year-old been challenging or what?!

Brandon and I are growing so much, as parents and as children of God! He is pruning us so that we can train our very independent, confident and smart child. I am so grateful that we have the Bible and godly counsel through books and friends to help direct us in how to train our littles in obedience unto the Lord!

With out it I know we would be lost. The information about parenting and raising kids is so overwhelming and most of all conflicting and confusing. It seems like every where I look, read or listen I hear complete opposite 'opinions' on how to best raise children.

But the Bible is solid. It's been around a very long time and it hasn't changed. Ever. I am so thankful.

Besides being in the Word myself each and everyday, growing and gleaning from the only true source of life, I have been reading an excellent book on obedience training in a biblical way. I have learned so much about obedience to the Lord and also how to train my kids in obedience! It's called 'Raising Godly Tomatoes' and you can check it out on Elizabeth's blog {and read it there for free!}


On a lighter note, I thought I would share a funny story about the aforementioned toddler, my sweet Evalyn...

It was nap time a couple weeks ago and my oldest actually sleeps much less often during 'nap-time' these days. We usually let her have 3 books in bed with her, but if she is too loud she loses the books. And if she gets out of bed she gets a spanking.

This particular day she was doing really well with staying quiet, even though I knew she wasn't asleep. I should have known better, but when Brandon went up stairs to get ready for work, it was just a few minutes when I heard crying and went up to find out what was wrong.

Thats when I found Brandon taking Evalyn in to the bathroom because she had been caught and was in trouble. I smelled it almost instantly, that unmistakable smell of nail polish. I looked down to see my sea green polish all over her toes and legs and about half of one hand... I had to stifle a laugh. It was pretty cute. {I had left the polish up on her dresser by accident and they little stinker had used her ottoman for her chair to step up and reach it.}

That's when Brandon told me that it was on her sheets and on the floor... He worked on cleaning the mess in her room while I worked on cleaning up our little princess. As I scrubbed the polish off of her I couldn't help but picture her sitting in her room, thinking she was doing such a good job and thinking she  was being so careful {even though it was quite the opposite}. I desperately wanted to take a picture to remember and show her one day when she grew up, so we could laugh together about it. But I restrained because I knew if I did that it would negate any discipline that I needed to do and she would think what she did was ok. And it was not.

She lost the privilege to wear 'piggy pank' as we call it in our house {Piggy Paint} until further notice. And I took a picture of the 'mess' that was left on the floor instead... When she wasn't around, of course. :)

And on the same note, here is a picture of her painting project when she was supposed to be painting the driveway {with water color} while daddy was painting some shelves in the garage...

She was so proud. :) At least it was easy to wash off!

Saturday, July 14

Eli {5 months}

I am falling behind and I'm not about to let another month pass by and not post an update!

A lot has changed with our sweet 'little' guy!! i use the term 'little' very loosely, he is currently 18 lbs!! {Just for reference, Caleb is barely tipping the scales at 21 lbs!}

Mommy gets a work out every day while I haul you around on my hip! I love your snuggly rolls and your soft skin. You are irresistible to cuddle and kiss on. You are wearing 6-12 month clothes and as size 4 diaper {same as your 'big' brother!}

You are still nursing like a champ and refuse to take a bottle or a pacifier. You are taking naps in the swing and sleeping in our room, either with us or in your pack-n-play {usually both through out the night}.

You are entertained by your big siblings and want to watch them when they are around. You want to be sitting up and fuss if I lay you down. I'm excited for you to be able to sit up so you can watch them! I don't think it will be much longer for that. :)

You also ROLL OVER as soon as I lay you on your back! That was a milestone you started on your 5 month anniversary!! And just a few days later you rolled back on to your back. So un-officially you are mobile. And that poses a bit of challenge. I can't put you up on the couch or ottoman anymore, but leaving you on the floor leaves you at easy access to an eager older brother who would do just about anything to you, in the name of love, of course! He can.not wait for your to be able to play and interact with him!!

First time swimming!

I think you have nearly out grown your swing, you fuss and hold your head up when we put you in there. Awake, that is. You still take naps during the day in there.

We haven't started you on food yet, but I'm thinking we are going to have to pretty soon. If I'm holding you while I eat you are trying to pull my arm to bring my food to your mouth instead of mine. When I don't give in to your demand suggestion you start fussing and getting irritated. You just stare at my food and hold you mouth open! Like a little baby bird. :)

You are following in your older brother's footsteps as a 'mama's boy' and prefer to be in mama's arms or in a carrier while I'm around the house and getting stuff done. Sometimes I complain but I try to be quick to remember that I'm enjoying these precious days while I can. Some day my sweet littles won't be tugging at my pant leg to be held and I'm going to miss this stage of life.

I am smittenly in love with my littlest little and I wonder each day about the person God has created you to be! I love you, Eli!!

Friday, July 13

Cow Appreciation Day!

"Will dress like a cow for free food!"

And that is exactly what we did for lunch today! All 5 of us. :) It was a blast and totally worth it. We are Chick-fil-a fans at our house. I think Evalyn thinks that is the only restaurant the exists. When ever we say we are going to go out to eat she automatically assumes Chick-fil-a, or as Caleb puts it "Chicken and fries, mama!"

And they are probably right, but as any parent knows what a huge task it is to go out to eat with 3 littles {or any number!} is no easy task! Chick-fil-a makes it easy and enjoyable. We love their food and the service. :)

Two of my cows {the third slept through the whole thing, but he was dressed the part too!}:

And with the Chick-fil-a cow... Caleb just stared at him and said "Hi cow!" about 2,396 times!

Since the kids don't have black shoes I just put some black fabric over their shoes to look like hooves! Everything we wore we already had so it was 100% free, even dessert!!

I love that they are saying 'Mooo' :)

My sweet and sassy cow!   

 Can't wait until the next appreciation day!!


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