Thursday, November 15, 2012

He stuck in his thumb and pulled out a...Raspberry!

The other day the boys were having a special treat...raspberries! My boys can down a half-pint each easily, so we don't get them all too often, but when raspberries go "on sale" at the grocery store I will sometimes snatch them up! 

During their meal I looked over and saw this... 

...isn't that priceless?!!  I know one of the "unwritten rules" of parenting is to not let kids play with their food...but come on, this is priceless!  We encourage all forms of creativity over here!  Unless it is extremely unsafe or dangerous of course!  But we do messes pretty well in these parts, and a lot of times creativity is just a fun name for messy!  ;-)

I love these lil' guys! 


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Innocent & Sweet

A lot of life is filled up with the harsh reality that this world we live in is far from perfect...but every once in a while I catch a glimpse of how it should be...and usually it's when I'm watching my children... simple, each moment enjoyed to the fullest, enraptured with what is all too often overlooked... secure, not a care in the universe, their little worlds just right... innocent, full of life, running headlong into a future full of possibilities...

...and that is how it should be.  

Have a blessed rest of your weekend, 

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Dog Who Has Nine Lives.....:-/

Oh are the sweetest, most protective, most loyal and luckiest dog ever!  We are so blessed to have you as our loving pooch....but please, oh please...don't ever do ANY more joy running out to the EVER!  

~~~The Story~~~Our poor dog ran out to the street yesterday afternoon on a whim and a Lexus SUV broadsided him in his left shoulder.  Johnathan and I saw it all and it was a sight I'll remember a long while...Johnathan asked some questions about it later on yesterday evening, but seemed to be fine knowing BoBo was okay.  

We took Bo to the animal emergency hospital and luckily he didn't suffer any major injuries.  Just some bruising at the location of the hit, but nothing more that could be determined at the visit.  He got sent home with pain meds and we're monitoring him for the next few days 'til we take him back to his regular vet.  

Even though I am just sick over the fact he got hit I am grateful for the added reminder of just how dangerous being out in the street can be.  It was a good object lesson for the boys, but mostly for all happened so fast, in just seconds, and I am going to be more vigilant than ever when the boys are out there playing.  You never can be too careful when watching over little rambunctious dudes who don't understand the full scope of the danger that are out there!


So today finds me thankful for our sweet dog.  I just can't imagine life without him.  He's been our baby since before the boys and will always hold a very special place in our hearts.  

Love you, BoBo, and glad you're living to see another day!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Happy Harvest...aka Halloween ;-)

We have had a great couple of parties to attend in the last few days to celebrate fun & happy side of Halloween and Fall Harvest!  I let the boys choose what they wanted to dress up as...just knowing that they'd want to be super heros since they love playing that on a daily basis...but nope!  Eli wanted to be a cowboy and Johnathan wanted to be a "road worker"...I think he has been sitting in traffic too much with me watching all the highway construction that is happening around our home!  So here are my two, goofy lil guys, all dressed up for the Harvest Festival!


Quiet on the Home Front...

All has been quiet here on the home front...well, just on this ol' blog really because things have been rippin' and roarin' so fast around here that I rarely have time to sit and jot down my thoughts!  We have been having a wonderful Autumn and are gearing up already for what the Thanksgiving and Christmas season will bring.  I will give you a little glimpse of what our {Fall} has been like so far...

 We enjoyed a trip to the Dallas Arboretum in early October to see the bazillion pumpkins there...

...and then had a great family day at the State Fair of Texas a couple of weeks ago....

...and yesterday we got to enjoy a fun day at the zoo with Nana!

It's been a great fall and there is so much more to come!

Many Blessings,

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Little Bit of This & That

It is definitely starting to feel like fall around here...well, not the weather, it is Texas after all, and we get about a week of fall right before Christmas!  ;-)  But the atmosphere in our home is changing with the gentle ushering in of the new season.  I've been busy getting things cozy in our home...making lots of yummy candle melts, changing up our decor around the house and enjoying the *feeling* that Autumn is here...if only in theory!  ;-)

We're into our 3rd week of homeschooling, and I have to say it's going great!  I mean, who gets to teach a superhero on a daily basis?!!

This little guy definitely keeps me on my toes, along with his little superhero brother (who was off fighting "bad guys" when this photo was taken!). 

The last several weeks I've really seen these two precious boys becoming closer and closer...they really do enjoy being together, and I am so grateful that I get to spend my days with them. 

They love doing pretty much everything together, and are two peas in a pod.  Gosh I love these 'lil dudes!

Eli is the resident ham of the house and is always cracking us up! :-)

Here is one of Eli's favorite toys...which he insisted I take a picture of! 

Oh, and here he is with another fave...face off!  Who will win?  The king of the jungle, of course! 

So anyways, just a little bit of this and that.  Life is pretty good!  :-)


Friday, September 14, 2012

The Second Worst Day of Our Lives: Losing Daniel

Today marks our sweet Daniel's 8th anniversary of entering Heaven.  Our precious boy is 8 years old, in Heaven years, and it's hard to comprehend what it must be like to spend almost the whole of your existence in the presence of God.  Must be wonderful.  For us down here though, 8 years seems like such a long time to have a part of us missing.  And all the comfort and assurance in the world doesn't take away the heartache, but it does give us hope, and that's enough...most of the time. 

Thinking back to Daniel's delivery day is always hard.  For years I put off completing his "baby book" because it was just so hard to look at all his precious little pictures and to try to find the words to explain how we were feeling in order to write them down in his album.  So his book is mainly photos, with some sweet notes here and there.  Some emotions are just too complex to put words to.  But boy do we love our sweet son, and we miss him like crazy.

Today I'm thankful for all the sweet people in our lives who have loved our precious Heaven babies and who still love them.  As a mother who has lost children it means the world to me when people still remember our children who have passed away.  Of course it's tough to have to go through all the sad emotions that a day like today brings, but I'd rather feel like my very soul is a brick in my chest than to try to forget and stuff the emotions.

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:
...a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.  (Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 4)

If the laughing and dancing is anything like the weeping and mourning then it's going to be one heck of a party when we get to Heaven and get to embrace our sweet babies again!

We love you so much, sweet Daniel.  And we remember your amazingly precious life.  

Your Mommy, Daddy, and little brothers Johnathan & Eli

Monday, September 10, 2012

First Day of School!

Well, our first year of homeschooling is off to a good start!  Here are my precious boys, all dressed in their new shirts that they picked out for today, ready to go the park.  We met up with our new playgroup, that also started today, at a really fun park here in town.  It was a beautiful day for several firsts! Here's to a good year full of many blessings and sweet memories!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

And I'm Right Back Where I Started: Homeschooling!

Tomorrow begins our first official day of homeschooling!  Talk about coming full circle!  I am pretty sure I am part of the first generation of modern day homeschoolers...the movement started in the mid to late 70's I believe and I joined the pack from the get-go once I turned school age.  (Mom, I'm guessing I started 1986?  I actually don't remember the date, but I would have just turned 5 then...correct me if I'm wrong!). 

Since Johnathan is just now a few months over 4 years old we're going to do a mix of pre-K and Kindergarten this fall/next spring.  Eli will also be getting in on the educational fun with some age appropriate learning too.  I'm going to try to remain flexible and see how to best tailor our school days to the boys' individual needs.  That is one of the beauties of homeschooling, the changing and tweaking of this or that to fit each child's unique learning style. 

Here is what is on the schedule for our first year...

-Bible Time & Character Development (a mix of Sonlight & A Beka Curriculum)
-The Writing Road to Reading Language Arts: Phonics/Writing/Reading (Spalding Method)
-Science (Sonlight Kindergarten Science Books)
-Math/Numbers (a mixture of my own teaching & A Beka Curriculum)
-Spanish (a mix of several different sources, introductory level Spanish)
-Misc...learning days of the week/months/seasons/etc. (my own teaching)

-Bible Time & Character Development (a mix of Sonlight & A Beka Curriculum)
-ABC's (focusing on one letter per week, my own teaching)
-Numbers, Learning to Count to 10 (focusing on one number per week, my own teaching)
-Colors (one new color introduced each week, my own teaching)
-Shapes (one new shape introduced each week, my own teaching)
-Spanish (a mix of several different sources, introductory level Spanish)

We're also going to incorporate lots of fun craftsy type learning activities, fun educational outings, and of course we will include lots of creative play throughout our days.  I am really excited about this new phase of life, and I can't wait to see how our new way of living goes.  Homeschooling really is a way of life, taking everyday happenings and learning all you can about them, finding extraordinary facts in ordinary things, and just getting the most you can out of each day.  It's going to be great!


Saturday, September 8, 2012

God's Timing: "...So Annoying!" :-)

Last night was a bit rough.  Johnathan got up around 3 and was wide awake, making pillow forts, tending to his "sick" stuffed animals and who knows what else.  He kept asking me to kiss his puppy, Popcorn, to feel his puppy's forehead to check if he was sick, etc.  It was sort of cute, but I was tired, so the cuteness only lasted so long.  Around 4ish Eli woke up too and was also as awake as could be.  Both boys are a bit sick and are having to take a couple different meds for their asthma symptoms which causes them to have a ton of crazy energy, so I blame their nighttime alertness on that. 

So to keep from an up and down, in and out of bed seesaw kind of night I grabbed up some bedding and headed to the boys' room to try to calm them down and also sleep a bit myself.  I made a bed on the floor to sleep on and snuggled with the boys a bit there before sending them to their respective beds.  

During our snuggle Johnathan and I were looking up at the stars and the moon that their nightlight projects onto the ceiling.  We found the big dipper and then Johnathan asked me if I wanted to make a wish.  I told him I wished that he could have a baby sister sometime soon...he has been asking and asking and asking for one lately, it's been pretty cute.  He replied to me..."Oh, you wish for a baby sister too!"  Sweet boy.  Then he added..."Why isn't God putting a baby sister in your belly yet.  It. Is. So. Annoying!"   Hahahahaha!  Oh my goodness, somebody isn't happy with God's timing!  I'm just happy that Johnathan wants a sibling, maybe, just maybe he'll get that sister he wants someday soon!

I just need God to put her in my belly!

Hope y'all have a happy Saturday.  I'll be tending to my sickies here...even the hubs has succumbed to whatever it is that's going around.  Hopefully this mama can stay well so at least somebody can care for this crazy crew!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Summer's Last Hurrah!

Well summer is "officially over" with the closing of our beloved splash park for the season.  The boys and I have gone 2-3 times per week this entire summer, many times with our sweet Princess (aka Aunt Greta) and lots with Daddy on the weekends.  We definitely got our money's worth out of our summer membership...I'm guessing with all the times we went it was well under a dollar per person per visit!  Definitely a low-cost high-fun activity to do for all of us!  

With all the times we've been there you would think that I would have lots of pictures of our fun summer at the splash park...but no!  Chasing my little dudes around a water park doesn't provide many picture taking opportunities, so the other day when we were there I snapped a couple pics...when the boys were sitting down, eating their lunch...I knew once they were up and running I'd have no time for pictures!  So here are my sweet boys, enjoying their last hurrah at the splash park 'til it opens next year.   

We're getting excited for what this fall will bring for our family.  Lots of other fun, new experiences for my precious little dudes!

Happy almost Autumn!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Bedtime Battles Continue...

If you follow me on Facebook then you may have read about our struggle with bedtime...well, the battle is still going strong with this strong-willed little guy.  He just will not stay in bed, and from the time we first put him in his bed until he actually stays in bed and falls asleep is well over an hour...anyways, it's frustrating to say the least and I dread bedtime now... :-/

Last night he was especially mischievous, and even after falling asleep he woke up, got out of bed and then fell asleep again in the hallway.  He was so cute that I just had to capture a few photos before taking him back to bed.  What a little angel, haha!  (Only when sleeping, lol!)

Loving my rambunctious, crazy little dudes!

P.S. I didn't let them nap today, so hopefully a normal bedtime will be more attainable!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Water-y Wednesday! ;-)

Today has been a day full of water-y fun.  We hit the splash park with my sister and her sweet lil' boy "Baby Cold" as my boys refer to him as, cute! heehee! (his name is Cole) and we had a grand ol' time.  All the boys thoroughly enjoyed the water, and us mamas didn't melt like we normally do during our hot, Texas afternoons.  The temps were just right to enjoy the water and the sunshine!

We got home and played for a bit before having to say good-bye to Cole, and I decided to let the boys skip their afternoon naps so they'd be good and tired and ready for an early bedtime...haha, that completely backfired on me as you will see! ;-)

Aaron got home around 6 and after saying welcome home I went into the kitchen to prepare dinner.  After a few minutes I hear "Grace, what is this?!"...Eli was jumping in a big puddle-y wet spot on the carpet, enjoying the splish-splash sound he was making, right inside our bedroom door.  At first I thought he had spilled a cup of water or gone and dumped his bath toy tub of water on the floor, but nope, the water heater (right adjacent to our bedroom door) had busted.  More water-y "fun!"

Our great landlord came to the house and helped us to sop up the mess.  Our wonderful neighbor came over with her wet vac and dehumidifier to let us borrow in order to get things back to ship shape while we waited on the plumber to show up.  Our neighbor also noticed how rambunctious our little dudes were getting (already past their regular bedtime and way past their "early" bedtime I had hoped for), so she ran back home and back & brought over this awesome small trampoline for the boys to use that has a fun jump bar on it that you can hold while you jump so you don't fall off.  Those boys jumped, and jumped, and jumped, and jumped!  Thanks Miss Katherine!

After most of the craziness had stopped I put the boys to bed...a couple hours past their original planned bedtime.  Due to all the swimming, playing, no nap & jumping they were asleep quick!  Yay!  While I did that Aaron talked to the plumber who finally showed up.  Unfortunately the water heater doesn't have a cut-off valve, so all the house water has to be turned off so it doesn't keep leaking and it the water heater will have to be replaced.  That will hopefully happen tomorrow...that's what the plumber said and I'm going to hold him to it!  Right now I still smell like sunscreen and sweat...yuck!..and my hair is a day past due with washing...that was going to be my plan to do tonight, but alas it will have to wait!

Luckily for me I've been reading the Boxcar Children series to Johnathan, and even though it's fictional, reading about how those 4 kids made the most of what they had makes not having water for a day almost an adventure, haha!  The boys enjoyed their sponge bath earlier, and now Aaron is off on a water run so we can at least have something to drink/cook with...and can fill up the toilets with after we flush!  That is a must!  

So yes, it's been a water-y Wednesday, and we're making the best of it!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Easy-Peasy "Texas Chili"

So I'm not really a cooking enthusiast, it takes way too much time to make something fancy that is just going to be inhaled in like 30 seconds (my boys, all 3 of them, eat fast and lots...and sometimes forget to thank the cook!), so I like to make it easy-peasy on myself.  I know it's not really chili weather yet, but this Monday called for something in the aforementioned "easy-peasy" I had some stew meat in the freezer that needed to be eaten.  So, here's my recipe for slow cooker Texas Chili..."Texas" because I used big ol' chunks of beef stew meat, and if you live in Texas beef is an essential part to any meal!  ;-)

Grace's Easy Peasy Texas Chili

2 lb. Beef Stew Meat, seasoned with salt/pepper/garlic
2 cans Chili Beans (I used the Great Value brand, more bang for your buck!)
1 can of Red Beans (again, GV brand)
1 can of Pinto Beans
1 can of Zesty Chili Style Diced Tomatoes
Seasonings of your choice...sometimes I'll add some cumin, sometimes I just leave as is
Dump everything into your slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours, stirring every hour or so if desired.  Reduce to low for 2 hours.  Done!  Serve with Fritos & Shredded Cheese...for an extra healthy treat add sliced avocados on top!  This dish takes basically zero work, tastes great, is budget friendly!  See, easy-peasy!

So that's what's on the menu for tonight...I've already had a bowl and I'm going back for seconds!  Mmm!  


Friday, August 10, 2012

Missing His Big Brothers

The last couple of weeks have made me very contemplative.  I've had my sweet Johnathan on my mind especially.  Several times during the last month he has expressed to me how he is sad about his big brothers, Gideon & Daniel, dying.  It warms my heart to know that he thinks of them, but also causes something inside of me to ache...that deep, soul ache that is always there, behind the happy smiles and good times, still there in the secret part of our hearts...a reminder of who we've lost.  

During our family vacation Johnathan's apprehensiveness about trying new things became very apparent.  He didn't want to try anything which made for a lot of frustration.  Eli on the other hand is a little dare-devil, and he'll try anything...he has a big brother to look up to and to try to out-do.  So I can't help but think that Johnathan is missing something, someone, two someones...Gideon & Daniel.  Two big brothers that would have undoubtedly had a positive impact on his little life, encouraged him in all things boy and would have pushed him to try to do new things, if only to out-do them!  Yet, even though our sweet Heaven babies will never meet their siblings here on this earth, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt they will still impact their brothers' lives...isn't it already evident with Johnathan's missing them?

I remember thinking and praying after Gideon passed away that someday, when we'd tell his siblings about him, that his story would open up a way for us to explain Heaven to our children in a tangible way.  And it really has, I've had numerous conversations with Johnathan about where his brothers are, Who is with them and how someday we'll be able to see them again with Jesus.  I am very thankful for that, but it doesn't stop the ache.  I still miss them. 

Next month marks Daniel's 8th Heaven birthday...there were days following his death that I didn't think I could last another day, and here it is, almost eight years later.  It is really hard to believe that we've lasted this long.  The power of Hope is a wonderful thing.  It is only because of Jesus that we've been able to make it through the toughest years of our lives...and what blessings He has now given us to take care of!  Johnathan & Eli are definitely the joys of our lives after such extreme sorrow.  Thank you, Jesus, for them!

Our Sweet Blessings!

Have a great Friday, y'all!