Thanksgiving List 2009

This year I have so much to thank God for – His provision, His protection, His Word and His love – just to name a few. He blesses me daily despite my unfaithfulness to Him. Today though, I would like to do a video essay to show you some of the most wonderful blessings that God has given me on this earth.

My little girl is growing so fast! She is a tremendous helper and a wonderful big sister. She loves to learn new things and enjoys caring for her younger siblings. She is a big fan of Patch the Pirate, and has just started taking piano lessons.

She is a silly little thing, who is always looking for a way to make others laugh. Mere is often found singing her heart out and trying to do whatever her big sister is doing. She likes to go to the shop to visit Daddy and Grandma and do some work too!

She is notoriously spunky. She is a paradox – she loves to wrestle, yet she loves to wear dresses. She is a petite girl who loves babies, but she can play cars with the big boys. What you see is not what you get with this little one!

He is such a joy to us – born just 4 months ago, yet he has grown by leaps and bounds. He is 16 pounds of bundled energy – already rolling and desperate to crawl! You’d be hard pressed to find him not smiling, and I dare you to not smile when looking at him.

We are busy, sleep-deprived, often hungry, and challenged continually. Our arms may be full, but so are our hearts!

Ethan has grown already. And so has Sophie. Mere has certainly shot up. And Natalie is blossoming into a little lady.


I am one of “those moms” who dreads my children’s impending adulthood. I steal my motto from the Carters’ design on baby clothes: “If they could just stay little.” I love all the sweetness and tenderness, the dependency and bonding that is infanthood. I love the innocence and simplicity. I fear forgetting one single moment – a look, a smile, a coo. And I have. It is always shocking to me when I look back at pictures of Natalie and Meredith, because I don’t remember on my own how they looked years ago.

It is for that reason that many may say that I am also not a super-structured mom. We don’t abide by a set schedule. Every day is different and new. My goal is to glorify God with each day, but a sub goal would be to enjoy my children. So sometimes (not all the time), laundry goes by the wayside. Many dishes sit for over a day. Rooms do not get picked up on a continual basis. I am not a slob by any means, and yes, having a mess bothers me to no end. But these days are fleeting, and I am determined to savor them. Even in doing so I find that I still am saying, “Where did the years go?”

Even in this, I do not believe that I enjoy my kids as much as I could be. There is a lot of correction that takes place. I sincerely wish that time could be spent enjoying the kids, but discipline is essential to their growth. They sure are stubborn though! For instance, today is day number two of “clean your room”. Yesterday took 4 hours and would have been longer except Sophie had an appointment. Today, if they get it done, we will go to the park. If they do not, they will be up in their rooms until it is done. WHICH MEANS that we do not get to enjoy the day together.

Our Heavenly Father knows all about parenting. I am sure that there are many times that He would like to “enjoy the day with me”, but I have become lazy or lost focus. Therefore I have tasks I must finish first and I lose that time that I could be using to enjoy my Father. It saddens me when my kids lose out on fun because of laziness. I cannot imagine how that sadness is multiplied when we choose other options for our time rather than enjoying the Father’s company.

So for now, I think I will go motivate the girls. Perhaps we will get to the park today. And I can watch them grow some more.

It has been a long time since I last posted, yet a lot has happened. So now I will fill you in on things you want to know, or maybe didn’t want to know.

First of all, I had an ultrasound at the beginning of March. Baby #4 is in good health- 10 fingers, 10 toes, 4 chambers, everything there. Oh, and Baby #4 is a boy. Stephen is relieved, and Natalie is ecstatic. So while still outnumbered, Stephen will have a little bit of back up when our little one arrives in the middle of July.

We were able to travel to Pennsylvania for Stephen’s brother’s ordination. The break was wonderful, and we really enjoyed seeing everyone. Natalie had a wonderful surprise in seeing her friend, Hailey. We didn’t see her much the entire trip, for she was too busy playing. Meredith and Brielle played together quite a bit as well. The family was able to sing together for the ordination service, and the guys sang and played together as well, which was a treat for everyone.

In PA, the ladies even got a few hours to go shopping with no kids. It was lovely, even though I didn’t buy anything.

Sophia turns a year on Thursday. We will be having a “safari” at the zoo for her on Saturday, granted the weather stays nice. She’s still tiny for her age – only 18 pounds! The doctor says she needs more calories in her diet… how often do you hear a doctor telling you to eat more ice cream and cheesecake? That’s Sophie. There was a dedication service on Sunday for Sophie and our neighbor’s son, Dominic. She did very well having Pastor hold her while he prayed. We do praise the Lord for her, and have acknowledged that she is the Lord’s child, to do whatever He wants with her life.

Natalie and Meredith have gotten stir-crazy with all the cold weather. We’ve had a few nice days, and they certainly take advantage of playing outside. I am just thankful that we are not in a 2 bedroom apartment still… can you imagine?

The Lord has sustained us once again this winter, and continues to bring in work for our business despite the recession in progress. He truly is Our Great Provider, and we praise Him for that.

Greetings from the Frozen North… (Or “Why Do We Live Here Again?”)

We are truly frozen. I may even go so far as to say I have been frozen inside my house all week. With temps below zero, there was no way I was going to continually bundle my girls to battle the elements for a package of double-stuffed oreos. So what kind of things do you do in this weather? I’ll tell you….

1. Watch movies. I know, how evil of me to let the kids watch movies. Did I mention that w/o wind chill it got to -24? Yeah.

2. Start a new book. My sister-in-law tipped me off to a book by Mardi Collier called “What Do I Know About My God?” It is a fantastic book, and if you are struggling with a method to use in doing your devotions, this is wonderful. She really goes into how if we want to live lives pleasing to the Lord and develop a real relationship with Him, we need to focus our Bible study on knowing Him more intimately.

3. Nap.

4. Play-doh. I am so glad the girls got it for Christmas. It is a great reward for picking up toys.

5. Watch the news and see how everyone else is faring in the weather, as well as pleading with the weather man for a withdrawal date for the arctic front.

6. Visit our friend and neighbor, who just had a little baby boy. Congratulations, Andy and Dawn! Dominic Aryn is beautiful and we are looking forward to getting to know him. 🙂

There’s more. I know there is. There must be more that we did. I think my mental capacity still needs more defrosting to work properly. There were plenty of laughs in our house this week too, though.

~ We were reading a John Deere book about farms. I asked Natalie where milk comes from. She tells me, “From a cow’s bottom.” I asked for further explanation, hoping for the best. She clearly didn’t mean udders. We are in the process of clarifying this misconception, seeing she lives in the Dairy State.

~ I was on the phone with a friend when I heard a scream from upstairs. I ended my conversation, went upstairs, and found my little Sophie had been rescued from her crib. No one was confessing to the offense (both my girls are waaay to young to be grabbing Sophie out of the crib). So I pulled a King Solomon tactic: “No lunch until someone confesses to the crime.” Three minutes later, Meredith comes downstairs. “Mama, I get Sophie out of crib.” WOW! Who says a two year old does not know right from wrong?

~ Meredith is now in a big girl bed, but hasn’t grasped the concept “No getting out of bed!” I put her down the other night, and it seemed that she may actually stay down for the evening. So I went downstairs, laid on the couch and started to relax with Stephen. Until I hear, “Ho, Ho, Ho!” It was Meredith, coming down the stairs. I could tell by the Santa-like sounds that she had found the Santa hat and had it on. Sure enough. She plops down in front of Stephen and I, giggling and saying “Ho,Ho, Ho!” It was really hard not to laugh. Don’t you hate those moments, where you ought to be stern, but the situation is so hilarious you cannot contain your laughter, therefore making discipline impossible?

Holiday Limbo

Ok, I know that I haven’t been on in awhile. We have been busy… with what, I cannot account for, but rest assured, we have been busy. 🙂 Right now we are in “Holiday Limbo.” You know what I mean – that time right before the beginning of the Holiday season where there is so much you could be doing to get ahead, but it is so blah that you do not want to. That’s me. I am anxious for Thanksgiving but would rather enjoy each day than plan ahead. But we have taken pitcures, and since I know that is the most requested thing on this site, here they are!

So, what have we been up to, you may ask? Well, Natalie was once again sick with strep. We met with a specialist, who said that removing her tonsils and adenoids may be the best thing for her, since she is most likely a strep carrier. Stephen and I are in no hurry for our little girl to have any sort of surgery, so we are praying about it and will wait until after the new year to make a decision.

Stephen has been working on the house some. He painted the eaves of our house, and we are not sure if we like the color. BUT we will consider repainting in the spring… it is now officially too cold to paint! Our friend, Bryce, and Stephen laid out the rest of the bathroom floor. It looks wonderful! My only problem is I am not used to it, and I have tripped on it several times because it is slippery.

Meredith is talking a lot more. She speaks full sentences, and we are always surprised at the things she knows. Mere also likes to give hugs and kisses – to everyone! It is really cute…

Sophie is crawling everywhere. She is also a little vacuum. Everything goes into her mouth and if it happens to be food, so much the better!

I have been reading Jim Berg’s newest book Essential Virtues: Marks of the Christ-Centered Life. I recommend this book to anyone who is serious about cultivating their relationship with Christ. You will truly think on your walk with the Lord in a new way after reading this book. I am taking my time reading it because there is so much to ponder and search the scriptures on. Definitely put it on your Christmas List!!!

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