Wednesday, May 27, 2009

We have a graduate!

...a preschool graduate, that is! It really seems like just yesterday that we were at Seth's preschool graduation in the very same auditorium watching with a two-year-old and a brand new baby. And now it's Kallie's turn, and our baby is already three!

So here are a few pictures from Kallie's special day!

The kids sang a few songs before they received their diplomas. My favorite was "I Am A Promise." It's one that I always sing to my kids, and Kallie was so excited to get to perform it for us.


Receiving her diploma from her teacher, Mrs. Teri...


Here's the graduate with her proud mommy! The necklace she is wearing is one I gave her yesterday morning before the program. It's an emerald birthstone necklace that my mom and dad gave to me since my birthday is in May, and it just seemed appropriate for Kallie to get to wear it for her special graduation day in May! When we got home it went right back into my jewelry box for safe keeping until she's older.



Here are her end-of-the-year pictures...



And then today was Kallie & Luke's last day of school! Summer is here! Hooray! I know lots of moms hate having to entertain their kids at home all summer, but I absolutely love having them home and having free time and unstructured days! We are already making lots of fun plans and counting down the days until Seth is out.

Here's Luke after school today saying goodbye to Mrs. Holly, bless her heart!!


This was Kallie & Luke as we left the school this afternoon for the last time this year!


And here they are with their friend Lillian...


And this was yesterday after school when they got to swim for the first time.



Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Randomness from the last few months...

1) Because of this first picture, we now affectionately refer to Luke as 'The Butterphile'. I think you'll see why.

(And yes, Mommy enjoys her Starbucks.)


Luke LOVES butter. He unwrapped all four sticks, took a few small bites out of each one, and then neatly stacked them back up in the fridge. My guess would be that after the first few bites he realized he didn't like butter as much as he thought. Oh, and he left the wrappers there too. He hasn't really gotten the "sneaky" thing down yet.


2) The next picture has been banned from this blog before it was even posted. I have an awfully cute picture of Luke in a Cinderella dress playing with sticks in the backyard. Daddy said NO to that one. Luke does everything that Kallie does, including dressing up like princesses. It's a picture that may come in handy someday...

3) This was the really grumpy Easter Bunny from the mall. Well, maybe grumpy's not the word...he was just THERE. He didn't hug the kids, pat their heads, play with them...nothing. But then as we walked away the bunny's little helpers started holding fans up to all the holes in his costume, so I think the poor bunny was just hot. Sorry Mr. Bunny, I misjudged you.IMG_1460

Kallie and Luke loved him anyway. Mainly because he gave them these hats that they wore the rest of the day.


4) This is the picture I took the night Seth lost his first front tooth. His eyes look a little swollen because he was upset with Daddy for wanting to "help" the tooth come out. But in the end he was all smiles!


Since then, the other front tooth has decided to gravitate toward the center, so that now he looks sort of like "monotooth". I'm anxious for it to fall out so that I can take some really cute toothless pictures.

5) This is Seth dressed up as Peter from The Chronicles of Narnia for fairy tale day at school. Daddy made the costume the night before (as I headed out to worship practice and said, "Oh yeah, Seth needs his fairy tale costume for tomorrow, can you do that??) and did a really awesome job!


Well that's enough randomness for tonight! Shane is asleep beside me, so I think that's my cue. This post ended up being a little short on Kallie randomness (which is sort of an irony), but I'll try to make up for that next time! Good night friends!

Friday, May 15, 2009

May 15, 2009 ~ What a week!

It all started on Friday morning when Shane's great aunt passed away and we hopped in the car and headed to Florida for an unexpected visit.  We had known for a few days that she wasn't doing well, so we at least had time to get things worked out at home so that we could leave as soon as we got the call. 

Shane's great aunt was 97 years old, and she was a wonderful lady.  She lived in a nursing home for the last decade, and she was the most happy, contended, joyful person in the place.  She loved the Lord and loved her family. 

Shane did the funeral, and I know it meant so much to his family to have him there for that.  We were so grateful that we were able to leave when we did and be a part of this service.  I don't have any pictures of anything.  I thought about bringing my camera, but it's just a little awkward to take pictures at a funeral. 

What's funny is that she died on Mother's Day weekend, yet she was never married and never had children.  Some joked that's the very reason she lived so long!  But Shane commented at the funeral that it was such a testament to way she loved others that there were so many people still around who loved her as though they were her children and grandchildren.

On a side note, I had never witnessed all the in's and out's of funeral preparation before.  I talked to the funeral director, Jason, quite a bit while Shane and the other family members were taking care of the things they needed to do.  It amazed me the amount of patience and understanding he had.  The things he has to do in his job are so difficult.  Shane's aunt was buried at a very old family cemetery, and I commented to Jason about how many very young children I saw as I looked around at the headstones.  Most of them died at the turn or beginning of the century.  His comment back to me was that he still sees probably one child a month at his funeral home.  Life is so short and fragile.  Jason is only able to what he does with such grace because he knows the One who conquered death forever.  Praise God for the promise of eternity with Him! 

And on a more lighthearted note...being in Florida for Mother's Day weekend was an added treat!  I got to spend the day with my mom, and we both were so thankful for that.  I realize now that I'm older the unbelievable blessing of a godly mother.  We have such a wonderful relationship, and I cherish every moment we are able to spend together.


Here are my three little treasures...who could ask for more on Mother's Day??


Luke was so proud of the little hand print plate he made for me at school.  In fact, he was so proud of it that he wouldn't let me have it.

My mom directs the five-year-old choir at her church, and they just happened to be performing a few songs in the children's musical on Mother's Day evening.  So Nana quickly taught Kallie the songs, got her a choir shirt, and up on the stage she went!  It was so fun to watch my mom directing Kallie.  And Kallie LOVED it!  She is such a little ham and loves being up on stage.  Hmmm...I don't know where in the world she gets that?!

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On Tuesday night the kids spent the night with Shane's parents, so Shane and I got to go bowling with my parents.  We had so much fun!  We played couple against couple, and they won one game and we won one.  It was a rare treat to get to spend the evening with them!  I think living so far away from home makes us so much more appreciative of the time we have together.

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After bowling Mom & I watched episode one of the Gilmore Girls boxed set Shane gave me for Mother's Day and ate Peterbrooke chocolate covered popcorn.  What a perfect night!

And of course the kids got some BEACH TIME!  Luke's persistent plea day after day was "wannagobeach...wannagobeach" over and over.  And Nana and Papa graciously obliged!  They went on a day that was pretty overcast, which is great because they didn't have to worry about slathering three sandy kids in sunscreen!

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I'm pretty sure this next one was right before the lifeguard drove by and told them to get out of the water.  It was a "red flag" day, which means the water is CLOSED.  But you know the saying, what happens at Nana's stays at Nana's. Unfortunately the lifeguard didn't really care.

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So naturally what did they do next?  They went to McDonald's and played on the playground in the rain, of course! 

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No wonder they love Florida!  And it didn't stop with Nana & Papa.  When the kids got back from Grammy's house, I asked Seth what they did over there.  To which he replied, "Pops let me use his .22 and I shot a lizard in the head and then Nemo (the dog) ate it."  Sorry I asked.

And what were Shane and I doing during all of this excitement?  Well one thing we did was visit our new favorite Florida sushi place, Fancy Sushi.  It is OH SO GOOD.  They have the yummiest sauce you've ever tasted.  So if you're ever on Amelia Island you've got to try it.  We finished off our five rolls and still had the munchies, so we went next door to the 24-hour CVS and topped off our sushi with a couple of king-size Snickers ice cream bars.  It was our only choice for desert since everything on the island shuts down around 5:00.  Not really, but it seems like it!  Sometimes the stores will just put signs in the windows that say things like "closed for vacation."  It's laid-back livin', that's for sure!

We concluded our trip with a quick stop through Tallahassee to meet up with our good friends from seminary, Jay and Emily.  They adopted a little girl, Ashley, from China at the beginning of the year, and this was the first time we'd gotten to see her.  She is a doll.  She was with her sister Annalyse, who is also a doll, and they have two more sisters that were in school (and who would have been VERY upset had they known about the little adventure they missed out on yesterday!)

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We've proclaimed Shane to be the "King of I-10" because he drives us straight through the whole way...about 18 hours in the car.  It's a killer, but stopping and spending the night is actually worse.  Who wants to tell the kids, "Sorry, we've got to get in the car AGAIN!"  Not me.

Thank you Lord for special time with family and friends!

PS...I completely forgot to add that Luke fell and hit his head so hard on our last night that I had to set my alarm to go off every two hours to check and make sure he was okay!  I was about to brush his teeth in the bathroom, and he was standing up on a bench while I put the toothpaste on the toothbrush.  And the next thing I knew he had somehow flipped off the bench and landed HARD on the floor...on his head.  I checked with my friend Amanda who has four boys and lots of experience with head injuries, and she told me what to watch for and made me feel better.  We are used to Kallie-accidents, but this was the first time Luke gave us a scare!  He ended up with a pretty huge knot on his head which should turn into an ugly bruise, but he's fine otherwise.


Goodbye Two...Hello Three!

Luke turned three this month. Here are a few pictures from his bug-themed birthday party. He loves bugs so much. He hunts them in the backyard every single day, sometimes for hours. He's been asked not to bring bugs to school anymore.


And what's a bug party without real bugs?? Shane bought real worms and ladybugs for the kids to put in their bug containers. Here are Luke and his friends digging for worms with their little plastic tweezers.

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Who knew you could buy 1200 ladybugs at the nursery for $12.00? Not me! Shane let about half that amount loose on this little plant for the kids to catch. I found ladybugs in our car, house...everywhere...for days after the party.

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Luke is such a fun kid. He brings so much joy to our lives. Here are some things about him at this age that I don't want to forget:

~He still says a lot of his words wrong and it's so cute. He says "I'm all dum" when he wants to leave the table. He calls roly-polys "skittles" and we have no idea why but it's awfully cute.

~He is our only child so far that gets sent home from school with notes. The last one said something like "Luke isn't going to sleep during nap time and is waking up all his friends (frowny face)." It's not that he's bad, he's just such a HAPPY child, and very silly. Sometimes the combination gets him in trouble.

~He is very, very independent. He will always try to do it himself first, and only ask for help if he can't. This includes making his own cereal, pouring his own chocolate milk, changing his own pull-up, unlocking name it and he'll try it.

~He absolutely adores his sister. Kallie and Luke really are best friends. They play all day. He is really going to miss her next year when she goes to kindergarten.

~He is very nurturing. I think it's why he loves bugs so much. He also loves to play babies with Kallie and loves stuffed animals.

~He is such a sweet kid. He is always saying "wub-u-mommy" to me, sometimes over and over when I'm leaving him at school or in his room at naptime. He has these eyes that will just melt your heart. They have a special sparkle to them that is 1/2 pure sweetness and 1/2 pure mischief.

~His favorite songs are "5 Little Monkeys Swingin' in a Tree" and "If You're Happy and You Know It" and enjoys them the most when Kallie sings them with him.

~He really concentrates when he draws and colors. His pictures resemble actual real-life things a lot more than my other kids' did at this age. He also builds some pretty cool towers out of legos and blocks. He concentrates hard on that too. Oh, and play-dough. Loves that.

~His favorite shows are: Dora, Caillou, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Teletubbies, and Barney.

~He sleeps and eats really well.

~He loves church and loves school. His teachers at school are Mrs. Holly and Mrs. Tammy and he talks about them constantly.

~He is fully potty trained. Hallelujah! It's been several weeks now and it was surprisingly easy. It probably helped that we waited until he was 3. Although he thinks it's okay to just drop his pants and go outside, which he does frequently, and doesn't care if we're in public either. He watered the flowers after church the other day in front of the people that were standing around talking after the service.

~He doesn't ask to be rocked much anymore, but when he does I absolutely love it.


There really is something extra special about you. You have a spunk and a spark all your own. You make us laugh every single day. I can't wait to see how God is going to use your unique personality in an amazing way. You are such a joy and such a sweet little boy. We are so blessed to have you.

Love, Mom

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Holding on loosely...

One thing that God's been showing me lately is how easy it is for me to seek His hand more often than I seek His face. I shared this last Wednesday night with the ladies I teach, and a week later I still can't get it out of my head.

Last week Kallie (5) and Luke (3) were playing. Kallie was playing with a stuffed dog, and it wasn't long before Luke wanted one too. So up the stairs Luke and I went in search of a stuffed dog. We searched every bucket of toys in every kid's room to no avail. We found bunnies, kittens, monkeys, babies, and all other sorts of soft toys, but for Luke it HAD to be a dog. I finally remembered I had packed up a box of stuffed animals to save for a garage sale. So being the sweet mommy that I am, I dug it out and luckily found a doggie for Luke. He was so excited and ran downstairs to play with Kallie.

Well not even FIVE minutes later, Kallie switched from playing with her dog to playing with her Minnie Mouse. So what do you think Luke did?

He threw his dog on the floor.

You know, the one that Mommy spent 20 minutes looking for. And he ran upstairs to get his Mickey.

And a funny thing hit me as I watched them. Kallie was the object of Luke's affection...not the dog...not Mickey. He didn't care about the toys, he just wanted to be like her. He would have played with a hairbrush if that's what she decided would be fun.

If I'm honest, so often I find myself in a situation where instead of God Himself being the object of my affection, I'm focused on what He's holding in His hands (like my future). If only I could be more like Luke, ready to drop everything if He chooses to pick up something different for my life.

Holding on tightly to Him...loosely to everything else. That's what I need to do.

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,

and all these things will be given to you as well."

Matthew 6:33