Friday, December 12, 2008

The Time Has Come...

The past 2 weeks have flown by and have been very full of activity...but fun activity so that is always better :) I have hardly had time to sit down at the computer or to download pictures (although many have been taken!) I am going to try to catch up on the highlights so that they can be forever recorded in blog history! We are an excited little family as tomorrow we will witness the boys school program (promising to be a big event!) and then we head north to spend the holidays with family!!! It has been 3 years since we have been with family for Christmas and we are quite ready for it. We will be with my family in Canada for a cold, white Christmas I am sure...and then back to Texas to bring in 2009 with Benjy's fam. Please pray for our travels and that we might recognize the goodness of the season and the gift of our Savior and cherish our moments with loved ones...the same desire everyone has!


Our family wishes you a very Merry Christmas and all the best in 2009! We would love to see you while we are in our crazy travels - contact us and let's make a plan!!

Chase Turns 4 With a Dinosaur Roar!

Chase approached his 4th birthday with much anticipation...asking day after day in advance if today was his birt-day. Him reaching the milestone of 4 years seems to have happened as quickly as he entered into our lives in 2004. When the morning of the 2nd finally came we filled his bed with balloons and he woke up to us all around him singing "Happy Birthday" - he sat up, rubbed his eyes and plainly said, "thank you"...almost as though it was a regular occurance. Chase makes me smile.

He had chosen months ago that he wanted a dinosaur party so dinosaurs it was...right down to the dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets (likely no one noticed this except me - its all about the little details people!!!)

Since his birthday fell midweek we waited until the weekend to have his party. I brought a cake to his school on Tuesday and he was as proud as punch to be the birthday boy! We went bowling as a family and had a great time...then celebrated with the church and some school friends on Sunday afternoon. Check out a few pictures of the celebration of this little man's life. But...first let me tell you how much we love our Chaser. He is full of life and makes everyone around him realize that life should be lived to the fullest and is full of suprises. You can rarely expect an ordinary interaction with this kid. The things he says and the things he does are usually done with total gusto... Chase is as quick to charm and be sweet as he is to run his own direction with his own spirit of determination. It has been said before between Benjy and I that no child has ever been named more appropriately. He loves to run and jump and play...he is all boy. His laugh is completely contagious! Because of Chase we are completely convinced as parents that every child is different. He has caused us to be creative and to reinvent parenting techniques that became old hat before. He doesn't fit anyone elses mold and although that can be a challenge - I do believe it is an attribute that is going to take this boy a long way in life. He is a great big brother...always anxious for Pierce to wake up so he can play with him... and a great little looking up to Reece that now he suddenly doesn't like chocolate anymore either (because Reece doesn't!) We absolutely love this boy and praise God for placing him in our family - Chaser, we think you are a pretty special guy and thank you for what you bring to our lives. We love you much. Happy 4th birthday!!

Monday, December 01, 2008

10 And Counting....


10 years ago we began this journey together called marriage. What an adventure it has been! Our lives have been interwoven in such a way that it seems like he has always been a part of mine... and I wouldn't have it any other way. It makes me happy to be able to fully believe, ten years later, that I undoubtedly chose the perfect guy for me. My life is rich with him in many ways (most certainly not pertaining to actual money - ha!)...but in all ways that matter. We have not been without our times of struggle - but overall it has been a beautiful life together and I can only anticipate more beauty ahead of us. Each year we have taken an anniversary picture together and I am in the process of making a book, recording the experiences of each year we have spent together. As I look through the pictures it is an honor and a praise to God to see us growing just a little older together. I am full of gratitude that we have arrived to this point full of happiness and hope that we are together...till death do us part!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Christmas and Crafts...

Today I pulled out the boxes of Christmas decorations and stuff. I love this time of year and since we are heading north around the 12th I decided to pull it out early to enjoy it all a little bit in our own house. It made me smile to see all the little things and remember who gave them to me or when I got them. The snow globes, the stockings, the nativity scenes and the Santa Clauses, etc.. And of course, the little school crafts that Reece has made in Christmases past. I had probably 3 or 4 little things he had made and as I pulled each one out I would oooo and awwwww and say, "oh Reece, remember when you gave me this". It was not long before Chase pulled away from his investigating and with a way that only Chase can say stated, "and what about me, I didn't make nothing?" Trying to stifle a chuckle (more at his face and tone than the concern behind it) I reassured him that it was just because this was his first year at school and soon he would have school crafts in our Christmas box too. What a sweetie - he is a little boy who is rough and tough but definitely has his sweet, sensitive side too.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Boy oh boy oh boy!


I absolutely love this picture of my boys. It makes me so happy to have images that bring to my heart and mind the goodness of my life. I think that in parenting there are ups and downs of the realities of every day life in raising little ones. Sure, it can be chaotic and noisy and frustrating. It is a full time never ending job but this morning I am reminded of how much I love it. How full I feel to be able to be at home with them and participate in their lives completely. Each one of them amaze me and bring joy to my life and today, I am thankful!

The Simple Things in Life...

Simple bathtubs!!!


In our 5 and a half years of living in Mexico, this is the first time we have had a bathtub...and, believe me, I am not taking it for granted. We used to bathe the boys in their baby tub but that quickly got outgrown to the rubbermaid container (talk about a pain to fill and empty)...then we went to two rubber maids because Reece and Chase couldn't fit in one! And now we have a bathtub! The boys love it (but probably not as much as I do for the simplicity it has brought to the bedtime routine!)

And in other bathrom simplicity.... the other day we were having plumbing issues with the toilet in the main bathroom. Off we went to purchase what was needed...a simple plunger. We stayed in the car while Benj ran into the store to pick it up. You woulda thought he came back with the coolest new gadget ever the way my boys were reacting. Reece and Chase both requested one of their very own for their birthday gift! Pretty easy!

Ahhh the joys of boys!
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Prayer and Power


We all know that prayer is important....maybe that is the reason it isn't always easy to do. In an attempt to teach my kids about prayer and how much God loves to hear their thoughts and thankfulness, I have explained to them that prayer gives you power. The other day, I couldn't help but smile when I heard Chase be first to volunteer to pray and say this, "I'll pray, I'll pray because I wanna have lotsa power!" Recently, Reece has been praying for those who don't have money or things. And little Pierce is our prayer warrior, without voicing a recognizable word! He loves to grip his little fingers together and hear what others have to say to God on his behalf...anxiously awaiting the AMEN so he can start again. I love it!


7 X 7 Praying for My Kids...

I would like to grow in my prayer life in many ways, but also specifically in praying for my children. I got this idea from Angie Smith (a lady whose blog I read) and then adapted it a bit to fit my own desires. Her challenge was to pray specific prayers of Scripture throughout the day for her children... I am going to challenge myself to, as she says, pray these 7 prayers for 7 days and see what a powerful difference it will make! Wanna join me???? Grab an index card and voice these prayers for your kids to our powerful Father throughout the transitions of an ordinary day!

1. When they wake up: "Let the morning bring (child's name) word of your unfailing love, for (he/she) has put (his/her) trust in You. Show (her/him) the way (she/he) should go, for to you (he/she) lifts up her soul." (Adapted from Psalm 143:8) And please remind (child's name) today that "Your steadfast love never ceases...Your goodness never comes to an end...they are new every morning and great is Your faithfulness" (adapted from Lamentations 3:22,23)

2. When they are getting dressed: "Therefore, as God's chosen child, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Lord, help (childs name) bear with others and forgive whatever grievances (he/she) has against others. Help (him/her) forgive as the Lord forgives (him/her). And over all these virtues, help (him/her) put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." (Adapted from Colossians 3:12-14)

3. While they are eating: "Teach (child's name) the secret of being content in any and every situation whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Teach (him/her) that (he/she) can do everything through him who gives (him/her) strength." (Adapted from Philippians 4:12-13) "Teach (childs name)that (he/she) is blessed when hungering and thirsting for righteousness, and will be filled" (adapted from Matthew 5:6)

4. When they go out of the house: "(Name of child), do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will." (Adapted from Romans 12:2)

5. While they are taking a bath/washing hands: Lord, give (name of child) clean hands and a pure heart, and let (him/her) not lift (his/her) soul to an idol or swear by what is false. Let (him/her) receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God (his/her) Savior. Let (him/her) be part of the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob. (Adapted from Psalm 24:4-6)

6. When they are going to bed: "The Lord Your God is with you; he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, be will rejoice over you with singing." (Zephaniah 3:17) and (child's name) will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make (him/her) dwell in safety" (adapted from Psalm 4:8)

7. While they are sleeping: "I pray that (name of child) will do everything without complaining or arguing, so that he/she may become blameless and pure, a child of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which he/she shines like a star in the universe as he/she holds out the word of life-in order that he/she may boast on the day of Christ that he/she did not run or labor for nothing." (Adapted from Philippians 2:14-16)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Who is looking at who?

Today was a day filled with animals.... We had a bit of a lazy Saturday morning and watched a little bit of Planet Earth (well worth the buy!!!) I am not sure who was more entertaining, however....the incredible videography and documentation by BBC or the faces and expressions of my boys as they watched the scenes unfold....Piersen clapping with glee as the gazelles escaped the rapidly advancing prairie fire...Chase covering his ears and eyes as the lions attacked the elephant....or Reece asking a ton of curious questions as he tried to figure out why the fox would try to eat the snow gooses eggs. Interesting stuff in this big world we live in.

And then we spent the afternoon at the zoo....lots of walking....lots of people...lots of different animals. Pierce was cute as this was his first time to really recognize the animals - lots of finger pointing and ooohhhing and awe-ing. And then my good friend made a similar observation to my own....she concluded that my kids were being as much observed as the animals behind the cages. Yes, they are blonde...yes there are three of them...but take a look at the orangutan please!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

"Mommy, My Tooth Fell Off!"

A milestone occurred in our household today...and depending whose perspective you are taking into account - it could be viewed as pure excitement or....with a touch of sentimentality. My little boy Reece now has a different grin. I am happy for him as he has been anxiously awaiting this event for weeks now. And the anticipation really began to build last night. His tooth was fairly loose, but he was running around last evening, and tripped....bumping his face against the couch and thus loosening the already loose tooth just a little more. So although I had thought it would hold on for about a week turned out differently.

As any sentimental Mom would do (okay maybe not "any" - but "me") I tucked the boys in last night and told Reece about when he was a little guy - with just 6 or so months of life in him - and how we first saw glimpses of that first tooth just barely popping through his gummy grin. As first time parents, it was a big deal - I must have snapped nearly 25 close-ups of his sweet smile...trying to capture and freeze the only wide and gum filled smile we knew....knowing in just days he would look completely different.....


My heart is full of how much that little boy has grown up already. I didn't think this was all supposed to happen so quickly. Where has the time gone? Yes, I know, I is just a tooth - but it is a visual change in my sweet boy, and a very real indicator that he is leaving behind those "little boy" years.


Here he is, his last picture with his full set of baby teeth...and a short video of his fine wiggling tactics!

And then, within minutes of the first video - he came running with excitement, declaring that it had finally fallen "off"! I had given him the option of working on it himself or if he wasn't ready for that, to just leave it alone, get ready for school and it would happen when it was ready. His curiosity couldn't hold off... And here is his new look with the gappy grin!


Off to school he went and he returned with a big sticker from his teacher and a tiny little yellow plastic mouse to put his tooth in under his pillow. Here in Mexico, there isn't a tooth fairy....but rather, a little mouse or "ratoncito". The little mouse pays a visit in the night, checks for the tooth under the pillow and leaves a little money surprise. We told Reece that the tooth fairy might actually come alongside the ratoncito - since after all, she likes little boys' teeth too! Reece happily put his tooth in just the right spot and drifted off to sleep...but not before asking numerous questions about what all of this looks like....



The cutest thing too... he asked me if it would be okay that the tooth fairy might see him sleeping without his shirt on. I assured him she would be mostly concerned about searching under the pillow for the tooth and likely wouldn't even notice! So off went the shirt for a more comfortable sleep...


And all is now in its place for the morning....since we are such an international family...he will receive a fine assortment of coinage - from the USA, Canada, and Mexico! Good thing both characters are participating tonight because that is a bit of a load for one to carry on their own (wink, wink) Goodnight and happy imagination.....!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Happy Halloween (said in a robotic tone!)

Straight from the science lab - here are the master minds responsible for the robotic creatures you are about to meet. As in real life, we are the ones who made these little machines, but we cannot always control them as smoothly as we would like to (ha,ha)

Fitting the head gear for proper electronic reception....

And preparing for first robotic win the costume contest at school for the most original recycled costume....





The boys got off to school and the next assignment....prepare Robot Piersen - one happy little boy to be able to participate!


Final and most rewarding mission: obtain candy!!!! We took a few moments for pics and practice postures...and off we went!



You have never seen a little boy more anxious to participate like his big brothers than little Pierce. He was so adorable and so very excited to become a robot. He got out there in the neighborhood trying to walk along and keep up with the huge crowd of trick-or-treaters....He quickly got left behind....and his helmet kept falling off - but he would patiently bend down to retrieve it and continue on his way!

We had a super fun day with a lot of laughs. Hope you had a Happy Halloween too!

Pumpkin' Carvin'


So...we invited some friends over to carve pumpkins with us (including Uncle Burke with his very festive spirit - can't ya tell by the look on his face???) Although we had looked for a little pumpkin for each of the boys....we only found big we decided to buy 2 - until we hit the check out stand and it was $12 for one!!! Yes, so our boys shared a big pumpkin - and Reece and Chase each got to design their own face on their appointed side! They both concentrated pretty hard on designing the perfect expression on their pumpkin and they turned out really cute....














Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Benjy

Yesterday, the 28th, my good husband celebrated 35 years of life. We had a fun family afternoon together. The boys were quite excited that it was Daddy's birthday and tought it was a fine reason to stay home from school....or at least get out early. Neither happened, but we had fun in the afternoon. We went out for a nice birthday meal where we dressed a little nicer....ate steak. Imagine my horror when I lift my head to see our sweet Chase using the mirror on the wall behind him as his art pallet...the buttered bread as the paint brush. Hmmmm - never a dull moment with this child :)

Benjy chose birthday pie instead of birthday cake, and we had a few friends over to enjoy it with him.

My personal highlight (although it wasn't MY birthday, I still enjoyed thinking about the good man I have in my life) was making him a birthday scroll that morning with the boys. We decided to list 35 things we love about him. Reece started us out by writing his very own ideas and sentences...Chase threw in a few ideas...and I finished it up after Reece ran out of steam. It made me realize that the list could be much longer than 35. We are abundantly blessed to have him as our Daddy and husband. Happy birthday Benj!




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