Thursday, December 31, 2009


It's finally happening. Michael and I have been looking forward to the day Bennett and Jasper would start playing together with great anticipation. And though it may not seem like a big deal to most, it was THRILLING to both of us today when Bennett fed his brother some Cheerios, then they played a little game of "chase" (Bennett did the running around, Jasper did the crawling and chasing). Both of them were laughing and giggling as Bennett darted back and forth and all around and Jasper worked to keep up.

Their relationship, even this early on, is yet another blessing the Lord has bestowed on us. Bennett ADORES his baby brother and is very protective of him. He loves showering him with kisses and tickling him and blowing on his tummy after diaper changes. And he LOVES their bath time together. Jasper will lean and stretch and squeal at his big brother until I put him down to play and get in the mix of whatever Bennett is up to. He thinks everything Bennett does is hilarious and giggles until he gets the hiccups.

Thank you, God for orchestrating our boys and our family so perfectly.


This Christmas was really special for our family. Bennett is at the age now where we can really talk about the meaning of it all. He LOVES birthdays - he doesn't care whose it is, as long as he gets to celebrate, too. So when we explained that Christmas is such a big deal because it's Jesus' birthday, he thought that was pretty cool. I learn so much about having a child-like faith from my little buddy. It's like he's known Jesus all his life and they're best buds. The way he talks about him, prays to him (and for him, which is also precious to listen to), and the way he got so excited for him because it was his birthday. He asked if Jesus was going to have cake on his birthday. hee :)

Along with this, due to several different circumstances and situations, God granted me the opportunity to see just how blessed I am to have my little boy. There are times when his daddy and I are pretty hard on him, trying to teach him how to love others, respect adults, be kind and compassionate, obey, etc. We love him to pieces and we have a LOT of fun in our house, but there have been many times over the past few months that I've felt really frustrated about our rate of success with his learning curve discipline-wise.

But this holiday season, Michael and I both often found ourselves with our mouths hanging open, or huge grins on our faces, because in stressful, difficult situations, our son knows how to behave, how to be a blessing to others, and how to love others. For the first time since entering the season of difficulty that is the twos and threes with an active, passionate little boy, WE felt blessed by HIM. We spent an entire week feeling lucky and blessed and chosen to be his parents. It was a humbling experience. There were many times we felt the same way about Jasper, but those times happen fairly regularly since he's still a cute, cuddly, quiet little baby.

It was wonderful to realize that we're doing a pretty good job raising our oldest, and watching some of the fruits of our labor. And naturally, the way God made him, our Benito is such a joyful, happy, loving little boy, and that's a blessing and example to watch, too.

I'm honestly not trying to brag or toot our horns, but I want to praise Bennett and honor him where it's due, and I want to be able to look back and remember how the sun broke through the clouds during the training years, when I get to do it all over again with Jasper and any other kiddos the good Lord may bless us with.

As soon as we get them downloaded, I'll add our Christmas pictures to the bottom of this post.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Pictures of Christmas are coming...eventually.

But until then, it's that time again. For New Year's Resolutions. No, I'm not too cool for them. Yes, I actually try to do them. Yes, I get inspired and all worked up every time the New Year rolls around, and I make no apologies for this. So without further ado, here are my resolutions, with no particular order, and no particular amount - just what I deem important and what I'm wanting to accomplish this year.

1. Finish my book and attempt to have it published.

2. Lose 10 lbs. (I know this is cliche and overrated, but I tend to meet my weight goals, so there it is).

3. Read three biographies.

4. Run a 5K.

5. Get more of a schedule going with my boys and my home.

6. Find a bible study/devotional routine that works for me.

7. Save enough money to completely makeover what will be my boys' shared room.

8. Find an area to serve in consistently.

9. Love Michael better.

10.Write one encouraging letter each month.

And there they are in all their glory and splendor: My New Year's Resolutions.

Friday, December 18, 2009


I HIGHLY recommend this site (, ESPECIALLY if you've got an organized Type-A personality like I do. It's a lot like weight watchers, from what I understand. I've been trying it out for the past week, and it's really been great. I've been able to record and track my food intake, exercise, calories burned, goals, etc. Not sure how long I'll stick with it - it's somewhat tedious, even though the accountability is great. I'll keep my progress posted here.

My good friend let me know about the website, and I'd had no idea such a thing existed. So there you go!

Friday, December 11, 2009


Before I had kiddos, I loved, and only loved, the winter. There wasn't much about it I didn't like, and compared to the heat and sweat of the summer, winter has always come out on top. But kids and the different perspective on life that comes with that has changed things a bit. I still like winter, but my favorite season is fall. I was thinking yesterday about all the things I like and DON'T like about wintertime. So here it is, without further ado...

Things I Like:

*wool mittens
*wearing fleece pajamas and cushy house shoes at home
*white hot chocolate from Starbucks
*breathing clouds in the air
*hot soup or chili on cold nights
*being cuddled up warm under the covers in bed, knowing it's cold everywhere else in the house
*hot showers
*curling up with a good book by a lit fire
*cute sweaters
*super-comfy sweatshirts
*not sweating
*the Christmas season
*adorable pictures of my babies all bundled up
*the possibility of playing in the snow
*seeing all of our family
*the decorations and music
*delicious food
*fun Christmas parties

Things I'm not so fond of:

*static in my hair
*taking ten extra minutes to get everybody out the door with all their layers on
*sick babies :(
*flu season
*doctor visits
*runny noses
*chapped faces (BIG problem this year)
*iced over windshields
*traveling long distances in the car with the kids
*fruit cakes
*a perpetually cold nose and toes
*delicious food
*awkward Christmas parties

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I am PUMPED. I joined a writer's guild on-line to improve my writing skills and gain some experience for the possible future attempt at having my book published (current update: I've written 130 pages, and it's looking like it'll be around 280-300 pages when I'm all finished).

So this particular group has a writing contest every week where you submit a short story, essay or poem between 150-750 words long. It's split up into four writing levels: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Masters. If you've never been published, haven't entered contests, or haven't experienced the professional arena, you enter in at the Beginner level to start. To progress, you have to place in the top three of your level in any given week. So I entered for the first time this week, and tonight, out of 51 entries for my level...I found out that my story ranked third place!! I was SO excited. It was like an affirmation that I can actually write, that it's not all in my head. And after only one time of entering, I get to move up to the Intermediate level. I was beside myself when I saw my name and the title of my story posted; I almost wet my pants.

This particular guild and contest are really awesome because other members read your story and write comments and feedback. And since I placed, all they have to do is click on a link to see my story, rather than sort through a big generic stack. Sweet Mama!

The weekly contest is taking a break over the holidays, but will start up again in January. I'm excited to see how that goes :)

In the meantime, I'll keep punching out my book - the entire plot is up in my head and outlined on paper. It's just a matter of writing it all out and editing it to my satisfaction. When I'm finished (which I hope to be by the summer, maybe sooner, but doubtful with taking care of my boys - the definite priority), I'm planning on building a portfolio and getting the book copyrighted, then submitting the first few chapters to different literary agents. Whoa, Nelly! We'll see...

Saturday, December 5, 2009


It's happened. My baby boy is three. I didn't mind him turning one so much, or even two - but three?? He's not a baby anymore - more like a kid. And it makes my heart hurt a little. Because even though this is what's supposed to happen, and it's a good thing, I still watch little things slipping away day by day. Like the way his word pronunciation becomes more and more accurate and less and less babyish. Or the way he tells me he doesn't need my help because he can do it by himself. Or even the little things, like his ability to wash his hands or pull his shoes and socks off without me.

I miss my baby Bennett. Having Jasper on my hip helps a bit, but I'm beginning to understand what parents mean when they say it goes by so fast, and that you need to soak in the baby times.

All that aside, to get down to the statistics rather than the emotional gushing, for his birthday this year, we had a small family party on Saturday, then on his actual birthday on Sunday, we went to church, had pizza with pepperoni and olives (at his request), and went on a walk at night to see all of the blown up snow globes and lights around the neighborhood.

Things he's up to and can do:

1. He's obsessed with the movie Cars and has a ton of the little toys. We make up games and play with them all day long.

2. This kid is going to be an athlete, I'm thinking. He kicks, throws, and runs pretty well for a three year old. We had to outlaw balls in the house a LONG time ago because of his arm.

3. He's started saying his /l/ blends, which is pretty impressive for his age. The two sounds he still mixes up when he talks are /c/ and /g/. Other than that, he talks more like a five year old than a kid who's three. This boy LOVES to talk, especially when he's excited about something. The things he says these days cracks me up. Example from today: he was upset about something, and kind of half-crying. I said, "What's the prob, Bob?" and mid-wail, he told me, "My name is Bennett, not Bo-ob!"

4. We had to put a knob safety thingy on the door to his room because the kid will NOT stay in his room at night. Before this, we found him out in the living room playing with toys in the middle of the night several times.

5. We've also had to take out his night light, his lamp, and his humidifier, and we've had to hang his space heater up high on the wall, because the kid loves to make a mess and likes to turn switches, press buttons, and take things apart.

6. He LOVES the big blow-up snow globes and lights in our neighborhood. We take walks everyday to look at all of them.

7. For his birthday this year, he asked for a blue flag cake with sprinkles. I made it myself - it turned out...interesting. Luckily, he's three and doesn't know any better :)

8. Bennett LOVES his brother. He's so protective of him. He still takes toys away and agitates him just for the sake of it (like all siblings), but he adores Jasper. When we drop him off at Mimi's house on the way to school two days a week, he always says (about 10 seconds down the road), "I miss Jasper. I want him back." Precious boys.

9. He LOVES puzzles these days. It's the latest craze around our house. We probably spend 30 minutes to an hour doing 25-piece puzzles every day. And he's gotten to where he's figuring out how to rotate the pieces just right and how the pictures go together.

10. He thinks it's really funny to climb up on furniture and turn his lights on and off when he's supposed to be sleeping.

11. We've developed a reward-incentive system for him to go along with the time-outs and spankings we encounter each day. He fills a cup up with "happy frogs" and when the cup is full, he gets to go out with Daddy or Mommy to pick a prize from the dollar store, or the dollar aisle at Target. So far, he's gone straight for the candy every time.

12. His closest friends are Sage, Foy, Cason, and Taylor and Little David.

13. His favorite foods are chicken nuggets, cheese, black olives, rice, and any kind of fruit.

14. He loves to "fix" things with his little tools, especially when his daddy is already working on something.

15. Some of his favorite games are hide-and-seek (his version, where he hides under the covers on our bed with Daddy, then he roars at Mommy, and Mommy comes and tickles him until he gets the hiccups), turning off the lights and playing with the flashlight, making Lamby talk, etc.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


My sweet Jasper John is CRAWLING!!

Because of his torticollis, we were thinking it would be a while yet, so this is extra exciting! He's progressing physically with his skills at a FANTASTIC rate! He scoots and cross-crawls and lunges for about five feet before turning those blue eyes on me and protesting a bit, letting me know he's done. You can tell he's SO proud of himself, too (which is adorable), because he gets this huge grin on his face after he's worked at it for a while. He looks at us like, "Okay, it's time to clap for me, guys." hee :) I LOVE this kid. He adds so much life and joy to our family.

Thank you, Lord for his progress and for easing my fears and giving me peace when I get caught up in worrying about my baby boy. This is absolutely an answer to prayer.