Monday, February 28, 2011

A Sweet Visit...

The Emert family came to visit our family for a few days.
Our time was so enjoyable.
*Walker, Wes, Wyatt, me, Lalla (reaching for) Olivia, Courtney, Lincoln, Jeremy and Jude

Olivia and Wyatt are 1 month apart
Walker and Jude are 9 months apart
Lincoln and Lalla are 1 day apart

And the funny thing is, we first became friends when we each had 1 child.
Olivia and Wyatt.
We used to meet regularly with this family in Florence - with Tuesday night dinners. They'd bring a few items and so would we. We'd put the kids down and then the adults would talk, for hours.
*Walker, running. With passion.

our time with them was just the same. We put the kids down and talked.
For hours.
On this particular day we went to the park and had a picnic.

*Me kissing Lalla. Lalla making a kissy face

We've been through seasons of joy and seasons of pain together.
They are the kind of friends that you don't have to pick up your house for, because they've seen it dirty and they help clean when they come. We can talk through things, really honestly with.
And its comical, encouraging and just.

And we miss them.
A lot.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lalla's Baptism

Lalla was baptized last Sunday in our church. Her big brothers, Wyatt and Walker stood with us as Wes and I formally surrendered her to the Lord, claiming His covenant faithfulness in her life, praying that by His grace she will some day see her need of a Savior and turn to and trust in Jesus for her salvation.
It is tradition in our church's baptisms for the fathers to give a blessing to their child. I held Lalla in my arms and Wyatt stood on one side of me and Walker, on the other while Wes shared his blessing with Lalla.
This is her daddy's sweet blessing:
"Lalla, I have chosen a verse for you this morning that I pray will become central to who you are. It is the words of Jesus in Matthew 22:37-39:
'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the greatest commandment. And a second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'
I pray that you will recognize the love your mother and I have for you. That you will learn to appreciate the love Wyatt and Walker have for you. As they protect you through the years.
Lalla, I pray that you will be a person that is selfless. That you will love the people around you by pointing them to Jesus.
My deepest desire is that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind.
That you will one day recognize the love that God has for you and the sacrifice that was made on the cross. For it is by this that we know love, that He laid down His life for us."

*Lalla with her daddy and brothers

our family of 5

*While Wes read to her, Lalla repeatedly grabbed Wyatt's hair and made a high-pitched squeal/laugh. Wyatt, grinned at her a few times but mostly tried to pretend as if it wasn't happening. Walker had his eye on the instruments on stage; a tambourine especially.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Reflecting on our Three Gifts...

Wyatt, 5
He is a big brother in every way. That role continues even at school. He loves to look out for others and very instinctively protects. Its an amazing thing to see your first child literally grow into a role as the oldest sibling. (God's grace is so evident to me through Wyatt's attributes.)

Walker, nearly 3
He is such a funny little guy. He makes us laugh every day. He is naturally funny and witty. When he was 18 months, he somehow knew what was funny...and made all of us laugh. He continues to on a daily basis. He's a big helper, too. Very tenderhearted, yet feisty. My prayer for him is that (by God's grace) his strong-willed heart and tenderness will be nurtured in a way that channels him for right doing and for the good of the kingdom of Christ.

Lalla, 6 months
She is a delight in every way. Easygoing. Good sleeper. Laughs a lot. Really looks up to her big brothers and responds with smiles and laughter to them. She is very fond of her family. I greatly desire and pray often 2 Peter 3:18 for her - "that she grows in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."

Just thankful. So very thankful to God for these three children.

Update Potty-Wotty

Its been 5 days and I think we're in a good place.
This is much different than when my oldest was potty training
Among many mistakes with that, my biggest were:
1. rushing him into it (he. was. not. ready)
2. not expecting accidents/messes/cleanup
3. really impatient
4. didn't pray much

With Walker, its been very different. Among some mistakes, some things that we well this time:
1. waited
2. he was not only interested, talking about it, but was taking initiative on his own and using it on his own.
3. expect(ing) accidents/messes/cleanup
4. (more) patient
5. prayed for him and for us

Great news is that twice this week he initiated going #2 on his own, and went!
And so far today Walker has had no accidents.
He's gone to the potty around 10 times and each time, he actually went! We prayed that the Lord would give Walker the knowledge and understanding to know when he need(s) to go and that is happening. He is learning his little body and responding really well!

So far:
successes: 25
accidents: 8

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Attempts...

at taking a picture...

of Wyatt, Walker and I...

(my one instruction: "stand cheek to cheek with me."

this is the best I got.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Potty Training.

We're on day 2 of potty training!
Walker went potty at preschool today!
2 Big Boys!
(long have I waited for this day and if I'm honest wasn't sure that I every fully pictured it!)
Enjoying a reward together!
Walker: for going potty
Wyatt: for encouraging his brother and reading to him while Walker sat on the potty
enjoying a reward.
during pt - Walker's seat is the special seat on the couch (with the towel!)

To date
successes: 9
accidents: 3

Monday, February 14, 2011

Lalla girl.

I didn't know a baby could be so enjoyable.

My first was good but I didn't know he was good because I was adjusting to so much change as a new mommy.

My second was a crier.
And not a good sleeper.

Lalla has been my dream for a baby.
The words "will you just stay this age forever?" actually came out of my mouth recently!

I had no idea babies could be so much fun.

We all have a nickname for her:
Wes: Beautiful
Mine: Lalla girl
Wyatt: Sweet petunia
Walker: Cookie
We all enjoy snuggling with her.
And kissing those cheeks!!
She is rolling over regularly.
Laughing a lot.
Saying several consonants like "da and ga"
She LOVES her big brothers.
They make her smile a lot.
She enjoys her floor gym, on her belly or back
her excersaucer
her bouncy seat
being held
techno (just kidding, but she does have rhythm)
she is such a snuggler!
and a happy girl!

She is very alert and loves to look at us in the face.
She is very social.
Love my little girl so much.
So thankful for our little Lalla.

Its Potty Time...

I knew it was time.
I had been putting it off for so long.
I missed window #1.
Window #2, let it go right on by.

Walker has been initiating potty trips.
(as in going by himself without me in the room, taking his diaper off by himself)
He is less than 2 months away from turning 3.

I was not ready because I know how... he... is...
He can be.

But nonetheless, it is time to get these feet moving towards the potty.

So. Here we are on Valentine's Day.
Sporting some Elmo underpants.

So far:
2 accidents.
4 successes.

And it's only noon.

So far, it's been good and I've been encouraged.
I will keep you posted...

Valentine's Day

This year I woke up on Valentine's Day...late. Not even realizing I had been given the gift of sleeping in until Walker came in to tell me "Happy Birthday!"

I woke up at 8:18am!
Wes quickly pulled Walker out of the room (and I knew my Valentine was up to something).

So I came out of our room and Walker said something along the lines of
"We fixed b'fast for you!"
I walked downstairs and found this lovely table...
tulips are my favorite flower
Wes let the boys try hot tea
He and I had BIG cups of coffee (Larry's St Valentino blend!)

...and this lovely gift card
card excerpt:
"Your husband handpicked this gift card out of all the gift cards in the world specifically for
"da princess of da world."
It represents some time to yourself. Redeemable ASAP! Just say when..."

and for breakfast
belgium waffles - RED
topped with these lovelies...

It was a very sweet Valentine's Day morning for me!
Happy Valentine's to my handsome man!
Love you so!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Happy Weekend...

...from our house to yours.

*tonight (Friday) we ate some pizza and watched Sword and the Stone for Family Movie Night which turned out to be very enjoyable for all of us.

*tomorrow day Wes has 14 lectures to listen to so he will keep Lalla and I will take the 2 big boys on a special outing - park and the library.

*tomorrow night Wes and I get to have a night out from our kids (in I don't know, weeks) and we'll be Supper Clubbing it. I'm looking forward to it - it's our first time being a part of something like this. The theme is tapas! How fun is that?
I signed up to bring dessert which is this cheesecake.

Sunday neither Wes nor I have any teaching responsibilities so it will be nice to have both worship and sunday school together. And hopefully a very long, restful sabbath afterwards...

Have a wonderful weekend - enjoy your people.

Monday, February 7, 2011

My Masculine Boys

Today they were Pirate Boys.

They are:
loud. aggressive. masculine. conquering. superheroes. protective.
manly. sword-fighting. tough. eager to-defeat-the-bad-guy...


Having grown-up with a sister, I had a lot to learn as a mama of 2 boys.
They have taught me much.
I LOVE how masculine they are.
I LOVE how they desire adventure.
I LOVE their thirst for conquering, defeating, protecting.

Oh how I looooooooove them.

(i gave them no direction in these pictures. the faces and stances are all on their own...
I didn't even count to 3 or let them know I was ready)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Valentine's Cards

both of the boys' preschool classes are having valentine's parties next week.
So this weekend we are going to make these...

butterflies for girls
aliens for boys

rather than smarties, I'm using a lollypop for the center part of the butterfly.
(only because i purchased the lollypops before finding this internet inspiration)

Total Cost:
Bag of Lollypops (20) - $1.10
(Already had the construction paper, pipe cleaner, glue and markers)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Two Doozies in One Minute

One day Wes was in our living room listening to Romans on cd.
(He is taking a class in which its required to read it several times.
He often reads it and listens to it on cd at the same time.)

The narrator read the passage in Romans 9 where it says:
"The older will serve the younger.
Just as it is written:
'For Jacob I loved and Esau I hated.'"

Wyatt, (who is nearby playing with play dough) stops suddenly and says:

"Did you hear that?
He said 'for Jacob I loved and Esau I hated?
Did God really say that?
Did he... hate Esau?"

I am changing Lalla's diaper at this moment and am about to begin this journey with him but then look at Wes and say,
"Wyatt, that's a great question for Daddy."

Wes, had already stopped the cd.
He was gathering his thoughts and just beginning to answer


Wyatt (noticing me changing Lalla's diaper) says:
"Daddy, when is Lalla going to get her p*nis?"

I look up at Wes.
He says to me, "which would you prefer me answer right now?"
I say, the second perhaps?

So Wes tells Wyatt to wait on the couch.

(while he's waiting on Wes I say to Wyatt,
"Daddy is going to cover your bible time and learning time right now")

He went upstairs to where a certain book has been waiting on top of our armoire for this specific moment.
The book is called "The Story of Me"
Its the first book in a series of 4.
The first book is recommended for ages 3-5.
I purchased it about a year and a half ago but Wyatt's questions for this particular subject just haven't warranted a real need for this type of explanation until today.

They had a very sweet time of questions and answers - and Wyatt had many questions - it took him a while to get there but by the time they finished he had a full understanding afterwards that his little sister would never in fact have a male part, and that is God's design.

Now we just need to answer his other question...

Andrews Academy...

We've made our decision for schooling next year.
We've decided to homeschool Wyatt next year - kindergarten.
It took me a good nine months of praying, thinking it through, talking to friends who do public, private and homeschool to come to this decision.
Wes had hoped this would be my decision all along - his desire has been for a while that I would homeschool our children for some part of their life.
It took me a while to catch up to his desires.
But I have made the decision and am very excited about next year.
It's one year and we'll evaluate each year for what the following year will look like.

There are many reasons why we've made this decision.
My biggest is that I will be able to teach Wyatt everything with a biblical worldview.
There are many others, but when pressed with the question
"what is the most important thing you desire for Wyatt's education?"
my answer was that he would have a biblical worldview.
So from there, it was easy to work backwards towards my other important things - among the biggest being that he is social.
We are working on a plan to meet some of his social needs.

That being said, I feel it is equally important to address the following -
these are NOT reasons why I'm homeschooling:
to shelter our children
I hate public school (I really like a lot about public school and our kids will probably be in public school one day)

I feel very excited and at the same time humbled. I'm sure we will have very good days and really yucky days where I don't want to teach and Wyatt doesn't want to learn. But even despite the bad, I am pressing on towards what is ahead in great anticipation of what the Lord will accomplish despite both of our inadequacies.

So here's to walking by faith, and not by sight...yet again.
"However, as it is written: ' What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived" - the things God has prepared for those who love Him." 1 Corinthians 2:9