Saturday, October 31, 2009


Our Halloween was interesting. Benito (my little M&M) declared today "Melt-down Day" and had a few, along with more time-outs than I could count. So we ended up leaving Fall Fest early. By that evening he got it under control and me and my buddy went trick-or-treating. At first he was so polite, saying "Twick-oh-tweet!" and "Tank you!" each time he got more candy. Towards the end I was trying to control his grabby little hands - he was plunging into our neighbors' candy bowls, coming out with fistfuls. That "tandy" is irresistible :)

We also got TP-ed on Halloween night. Oh, the joys of being married to a middle school teacher. Lucky for me, said middle school teacher doesn't mind cleaning up after his students (and it was a watered down job - we think our neighbors scared them away mid-roll).

Our little Dalmation napped through most of the festivities. I'm betting he'll be ready to get into the action next year. Enjoy the pics.

Dressed up at school.

Sweet brothers - man, I'm blessed.

Ready to go!

There's a picture just like this with me and my dad when I was Bennett's age.

A pumpkin full of "tandy!!"

The amateur TP job (whoa, buddy could I teach those kids a thing or two :) )

Friday, October 23, 2009


I wanted to do a post for my little pal. This kid is growing so fast - it's crazy. The things that come out of his mouth are so funny. It's not necessarily what he says as much as how he says it. My mom says he's two going on twenty, and it's so true.

So here's what my first little fella has been up to:

--Bennett has had daily chores for a couple of months now, and it works like a DREAM. After breakfast, we go straight to the bathroom to wash our hands and brush our teeth (yes, I consider these chores, because they're clean-ups and they're things he could care less about doing :) ). Then we go straight to his room where he picks up his clothes from the night before and puts them in his hamper, puts shoes away in his shoe cubby, and picks up any toys lying around. Then we make his bed and fold his blanket. From there, he gets dressed (again, a chore because he much prefers running around without a stitch of clothing on). I'm really proud of him, because he has taken to all of this like a duck in water. And goodness knows it makes my life that much easier :)

--He's still totally potty trained, and the bed wetting is pretty much none-existent at this point (fabulous). I'll take some credit, but not much. The kid just wanted to do it - he cared about it. That made a HUGE difference.

--Man, this kid LOVES his brother. The way he talks to Jasper and interacts with him is SOOO sweet. He gives Jasper a play by play on what he's doing with his cars or balls or what's on TV, and when Jasper is napping, a lot of times, he'll say "I miss Jasper. I wanna play with him." I am praying that they will be life long best friends, and so far it's looking pretty good :)

--My little boy is one of the happiest, sunshiny-est kids I've ever known - and he's passionate/dramatic like his Mama, no doubt about it. The way he cheers for his friends when he first sees them and gets so excited over the smallest things positively delights me (what a great parallel for how God views His children). He might be a stink pot sometimes and really keeps me on my toes, but the Lord knows he'll always do it with a smile on his face and a song in his heart. There's just not much that can get this little one down - what a wonderful disposition. I should learn from it, and our family is so blessed by it.

--Bennett has the memory of an elephant. He remembers routes to places we're going, and when we're going down a certain street, he'll name two or three places that are on the way that we might possibly be headed toward. He also still remembers crazy things, like details from his second birthday (almost a year ago), little things that happen at other peoples' houses from a long time ago, stores we pass by that we've only been to once in over a year, etc etc. Along with this, he's got the ears of an elephant, too. He loves to talk and he loves getting attention, but a lot of times when I'm riding in the car with Michael or my mom, he'll get really quiet and listen to our conversations without us realizing that's what he's doing, and then after we're finished talking, he'll sum up what we just said! Yikes. So I'm careful around these little ears :)

--I am AMAZED at the things my munchkin is learning at school, and so proud of him! He knows how many days are in a week, several of the months and what order they come in, he can count to five on his fingers (to 27 or 28 out loud) and is getting good at one-to-one counting up to five, he knows his birthday, and he's learned a bunch of new songs, including one where he thanks Jesus for his snack :) (Thanks Ms. Liz and Ms. Jessica!!)

--He's gotten to the age where we're able to have deeper spiritual conversations, which always ends up blowing me away. I feel like I learn more from him and his sweet, innocent questions and comments than he learns from me. Recently we've talked a lot about heaven and how we'll go there someday, and also about Jesus living in our hearts when we ask Him to. He often says he wants to play with Jesus, and now when he sees a heart-shape, he says, "That's Jesus in my heart!" We also talk about how God is bigger than anything that scares us, and that God protects us (apparently the monsters have returned - bummer). He's always singing praise songs and songs about God that he's learned from church, something that I'm so thankful for. It's wonderful to know that the Lord is guiding our sweet boy, as early as two years old.

I'm sure there's more, since he is my precious boy, but that's more than enough for now :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Some pictures of our trip to the pumpkin patch. It was INSANE. I don't think we'll ever go on a weekend again. But Bennett loved it and we got some cutie pie pictures, so it was worth it this year :)

The only picture we got with Jasper looking at the camera was the family picture, and he looks so sad, it just breaks my heart! (but it also makes me giggle a little, because he's so darn cute when he pouts :) ).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Beautiful baby.

Getting sugars :)

I Heart Squash!

Mommy ADORES this expression.

I'm pretty sure I'm in T-R-O-U-B-L-E when Jasper gets older, because EVERY time I take a picture of these guys together, it looks like they're plotting something.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


How cute is this?? I'm thinking about doing it - if it doesn't make the cut for this year, then definitely next year. LOVE IT! You buy the little pumpkins, you buy the ribbon, you buy some double-sided tape. Put it all together and there you have it! The no-carve solution to pumpkins.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Here's our world in a nutshell right now...

**First, let me say that I'm doing much better. Thank you so much for your prayers and thoughts and encouragement! I had to make a difficult decision to give up a couple of things I was involved in and really enjoyed, one being teaching a class at church, and the other, taking a semester long hiatus from praise team. I really didn't want to give up either one, but God had been leading me for a little over a month to clear out some things and simplify. I was completely overwhelmed and way over-committed to too many things - even though they were all good things, there were still too many. I was doing a great job at being less than mediocre at just about everything. So now, even though I'm sad about the loss of the things I've had to clear out, I'm also very relieved, and feeling much more peaceful. Michael is pretty relieved to have his wife back, too :)

**I've continued revolutionizing in several areas of my life, as I've felt led by the Lord. I've been getting up at the butt-crack of dawn (5:50am) every morning for three weeks now to walk a mile and a half. I felt God calling me to practice discipline and commitment to something simple and enjoyable, and with something that would start my day with Him. I feel wonderful about it, and really proud that I've kept it up, rain or shine, tired or not. After a week of doing this, two weeks ago I added the doozy of a calling that I've been convicted of, which is hard to confess, but I really believe I should be honest about: I'm far too dependent on food, and I like it way too much. It's been a comfort and a trigger for me that's not healthy for most of my life, and God doesn't want this for me. So I prayed and did some reading and research and came across a book that I'm trying to follow, which is about abstaining from trigger foods and foods that are made to be addictive, including fats, sugars, and finely processed wheats. So for the past two weeks I've been eating lean protein, veggies out the ears, certain fruits, and skimmed or non-fat dairy products. It's taking me hours a week of extra cooking, it's more expensive (there are several things I get from the health food store, and fresh produce is costly), and I'm currently trying to find more variety because I'm bored stiff with salad, but I feel better, I feel free, my energy is up, and I'm losing more weight (as in 5 lbs. in two weeks so far - a definite perk). I'm committed to doing this for a full month before re-inventorying and taking stock, and although I'm pretty sure I'll be altering my meal plan a bit at some point and making modifications that work for me, for now this is the deal, and once again, it feels so good and so empowering to do something by the power of Christ in me, that He's calling me to and leading me in.
And interestingly enough, I have been attacked by Satan and discouraged and beat down by him more in these past two weeks than I have ever before in my life, so I know this is a big battle, and that it's one God wants me to keep fighting. So I will. (And I know I didn't explain this all just terrifically, but that's the basic gist of it).

**I love watching Bennett change and evolve from a baby into a toddler, and now more and more into a child - a kid - who's more aware of his surroundings, more able to understand, and more inquisitive about things I love teaching him. He went through a short phase of being scared of monsters, where he would open his closet door to keep the lights on at night, but after a week or so, before a nap one day, I said, "You're a smart boy. You know there aren't any monsters. You know they're just pretend." He smiled and said, "Yeah, I know. And God protects me." And that was the end of it. No more nightmares, no more need for closet lights.

Every night when we pray, we have him tell us three things he wants to pray about, and for a while now it's been requests to pray for Jesus, for monsters, and for the tractors and Mater (from the movie "Cars"). Funny boy. I love the innocence and watching his faith unfold. He often talks about how he wants to see Jesus and play with Him. Love it.

**Jasper's neck and muscles keep getting better and better. I was so surprised and excited when he started sitting up by himself for short periods of time a week or two ago, and about a week ago he started getting up on all fours and lunging forward a little bit. Because of the torticollis, I really wasn't expecting him to develop on track physically, but he is so far :) Thank You, Lord! We're still doing our exercises and physical play that helps strengthen him, and still going to our pediatric chiropractor once a month to move it all along, but it's all going so well, and we are blessed. Jasper is such a sweet, happy baby. He rarely complains about anything, and when he does, it's with these growls that make the rest of us laugh because they're so mild and cute sounding. The only time he seriously lets loose and cries is when he's sick, or when he's in his car seat and he's sleepy (he can't stand his car seat).

**Man, I'm loving this weather. God was genius with the way He created the seasons. Fall is my favorite, hands down. It feels like everything breathes a little easier and flows in harmony in the fall. We're soaking it all in by playing at the park, creating sidewalk chalk masterpieces, going for walks, kicking the soccer ball and swinging out back, etc. Beautiful. In leiu of the weather, I hit the JBF sale this week and finished up the boys' cold weather wardrobes, and this weekend I started clearing out their summer clothes and hanging up the new ones. I love sweaters and sweatshirts and wool hats and mittens. Doesn't get much better :) I've dropped the ball on decorating, but I'm hoping to remedy that tomorrow by getting down our box from the attic and at the very least putting our fall wreath on the front door.

**I'm wondering what everyone's doing for Halloween this year. I feel totally lost about it because our church isn't doing their usual shin dig. Anybody have some amazing plans or ideas with your kiddos? I'd love to hear about it.