Friday, June 3, 2016

52 Lists: My Happiest Moments + Memories

  1. Summer "Weeks" at Grandma Betty's house.  Fishing, picnicking, ditch-flower-digging, Party Plates and The Price is Right.
  2. Honor Choirs.  Especially singing The Battle of Jericho and Elijah Rock (with Moses Hogan himself), and The Awakening
  3. Band!  Especially playing Songs of Sailor + Sea and Hoedown.  Oh, and Coronation March, of course.  I miss band.
  4. Mustering up the courage to sing a solo at Carnival my freshman year.  This was a turning point for me, I think.  Also, CARNIVAL.  Oh, how I loved it.
  5. Junior prom!
  6. My senior year homecoming parade, riding in the convertible, practicing our homecoming court "wave."  
  7. My freshman year when my good friend and bandmate, Isaiah, and I found out we both had been chosen for the Sunday Night Praise + Worship team.  We had to reaudition each year, so every year I got the call and invite to continue on the team, I was ecstatic.  P+W in general was so much fun.
  8. Prom Dress bowling.
  9. The 2005 Passion conference.  Another huge turning point for me.
  10. Christmas Programs at New Life!  April and I and the kids had worked so hard.  It was a BLAST performing for all the parents and grandpas and grandmas.  The kids were amazing.
  11. The night Mark and I had just gotten engaged, my friend Alisha came over and we retold the entire (exciting) story to her.  She was so selfless in sharing in our joy. 
  12. Trying on a million wedding dresses and finally finding THE ONE that had NO lace, no flowers, no silk and POCKETS.  That dress and I were made for each other.
  13. The afternoon of our wedding day.  It was so fun knowing ALL of the planning was OVER, and all that was left was to hang out with our friends and family and have fun.  Pictures with Tara and Danielle were the best.  The best part was riding around in a golf cart with Mark in our wedding attire.
  14. The moment Mark and I shut the car door to drive away from our wedding reception.  I may have slept all the way back to Sioux Falls.  I was so relieved to be done with the extravagance and so ready to settle into "regular" life with Mark.
  15. The last night of our honeymoon, on the beach in Hawaii, eating the best edamame in the world.
  16. Square dance night at Young Life's Castaway.
  17. Mark and I's Young Life Florida trip over my 29th birthday.  Fireworks at Epcot and the Harry Potter world were highlights.
  18. Seeing Will's dark hair as a newborn.  I prayed for a baby with good hair.
  19. Will's first Halloween - This was the first time I was really able to escape all the fear of his health issues and celebrate and have fun with him.  
  20. The nap Will and I took together after his dedication party.  I remember sleeping soundly, thinking I wasn't afraid anymore, and that I was so thankful to have such a healthy, happy little boy.
  21. Having cupcakes for Charlotte's gender reveal.  I had been so sick and scared to be pregnant so soon again.  This was the first time I celebrated Charlotte, and it felt perfect.  I started looking forward to meeting her.
  22. Discovering Charlotte's dimples.  I always wanted one of our kids to have dimples.
  23. Will's Toy Story party for his second birthday.  
  24. Being released from the hospital after Charlotte had recovered from meningitis. 
  25. Charlotte's one year birthday party - we had much to celebrate.
  26. Will and Charlie beginning to sing songs with me.  Will loves to sing The Solid Rock, and Charlotte sings a mean Happy Birthday...  
  27. The day I was gifted my Mac computer.
  28. Watching the new Star Wars movie.  The fabric rippling off the Falcon, especially.


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Shooting Flies

Okay, so our three-year-old has never technically hunted or fished, no guns or poles or weapons...  But he does have a fly swatter.  And he is getting pretty decent at "shootin' flies."  

This was his first kill.  Can you tell he was a little excited?

And enthralled?

"I get him!  I get him!"

Too bad we can't stuff a fly.  Mini-taxidermy, anyone?

Now, on to some big game.


Current Facts : Will

Color : Blue, maybe?  Regardless, you know ALL your colors.  Even the weird ones.

Toy/s : Still Matchbox cars, ball + tee, soccer ball, big plastic zoo animals

Food/s : You are finally eating just about everything!  Very slowly, mind you, but I'll take it.  You love chips, pizza, spinach salad, Teddy Grahams, and cookies, of course.

Words : "Holy 'mokes!"  "Hey, friends!  How you doin'?"  "Poop is not muddy.  No.  It's goss.  Only dirt muddy.  We don't play with poop.  No.  That's naughty."

TV : The Cars movies, The Lion King sequels

Outfit : athletic shorts, a tee shirt and dirty crocs

Accomplishments : You pee AND poop in the potty!  You also put your dishes away, put your shoes on and take care of Charlie.  You can hit a ball when Daddy pitches sometimes, too!

Game : Beat boxing and dancing with Daddy.  You love to play rice and in other sensory tubs.  "Want to play baseball wit me?"  You like to play catch with your baseball glove and ball in the house.

Animal/s : You are obsessed with birds.  Robins are nice and Black Birds are mean, according to you.

Song/s : Shout Your Name + Strong Love.  "Jon moosik..."

Funnies : Some of my laundry must have made its way into your room.  We found you sound asleep with my underwear around your neck.  Also, you refuse to kiss me on the cheek.  You will take both your hands and hold my head, hard, until you can plant a sloppy on right on my lips.

Book/s : Usborne Zoo book (you read this in the bathroom every time you poop), Trucks book that makes noises...

Best Friend : Cubey.  Always Cubey.

Fascinations : Flies.  You love to help Daddy "soot flies" (shoot flies, swat flies), and then love to pick up their dead bodies and gloat, like you've really accomplished something cool.  You LOVE to watch them fly around and get really quiet to watch and sneak up on them.

Favorite Outside Activity : Play with the kids!, playing on the dirt pile in the back corner of our yard.

Drink : Water, smoothies

In Bed at Night : Cubey, and you throw all your sheets, bedding and pillows on the floor.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Family Pictures + Outtakes

This is the best family picture we could get. 

Nice pictures are tough these days for several reasons.

1) Charlotte NEVER.HOLDS.STILL.  For every 300 good pictures I have of Will, Charlotte has one.  And even the one is a little blurry.  She is always on the move, always making a funny face or on to the next thing.  We have a mover and a shaker on our hands, people.

2) Both Will AND Charlotte are too little to manage smiling nicely, holding still, looking at the camera, AND not picking their nose at the same time.  Think about it.  That is a LOT for a little kid to handle.

3) We never wear nice clothes.  I stay at home with the kids and we tend to be homebodies, so most days, there's really no reason to dress nicely, let alone wear a full set of clothes.  30% of the time, my kids are half naked (ask the neighbors).  Another 30% of the time, they are wearing their dinner or snack or magic marker or play-dough remains.  Yet another 30% of the time, they are in ill-fitting, clothes that don't even match because WHY would I dress them in anything else given the thing I mentioned earlier about wearing their dinner...  The other 10% of the time, we are either at church and dressed appropriately (and barely made it, so who has time to take a picture?), or ONE of us is dressed nicely and the others are grubbing out.  (Mark is the worst "grubbing out" offender, for the record.)

4) I don't try very hard.  I know professional photographers exist.  I know I have that option.  But to be totally honest, I kind of like the messy photos of our everyday life.  I even love the outtakes.  Our crazy, un-frameable pictures reflect what life really looks like for us, the crap we really wear, how we really smile at each other and interact in this season.  Although I think professional photography is a worthy investment and when I see your professional photos online I sometimes get jealous, I just don't care enough to spend the money right now.  Maybe in another season?

For now, this one picture (out of at least 452 I already deleted) will do.  It represents the 4.8% of the time we're actually dressed nicely at the same time.  I will rely on my 20,467 low-quality iPhone pics to remind me of the rest of our crazy, messy, beautiful lives.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Rainbow Play-Dough Kit


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Dinosaur Play-Dough + Sensory Kit

I have been making little play-dough and/or sensory kits for Will and Charlotte every season or so, but recently made one for a gift.  

Instead of buying more toys, wouldn't it be fun to gift these sets for birthdays and holidays for little ones?  My nephew, Lewis, will be getting a few each year, I think.  :)

I am loving the inexpensive IKEA containers Jen from the Mama.Papa.Bubba blog recommends.  (Order them here.)  I bought a handful to rotate through seasons and to have on hand for gifts. 

This Dino Kit contained plastic toy dinosaurs, an army Easter egg for hatching dinos, some matching cupcake liners, large rocks, plastic trees, three mini play-doughs, and some beans for some sensory fun.  You can buy everything but the container at Wal-Mart!

I have also made my own play-dough for these sorts of sets, but in a time crunch, store-bought Play-Dough is the way to go!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Currently: Charlotte

Charlotte is ALL about sand these days.  Last summer, Grammy's sand box took quite a beating, so this year, a friend gave us their hand-me-down sand table.  Our next door neighbors also put in a big, traditional sand box.  It's only the end of May, and between the two destinations, she's logged 40 hours+...  I'm sure of it.

We have a random dirt pile in our backyard, which also gets plenty of attention.  Because, you know, dirt and children are magnetic.  Charlie will beg for help to get to the top of the pile, "Hep! Hep, Mamaaa!"  And then slide down on her stomach (I hope you are imagining the stains of dirt that accompany this) and announce proudly, "I diddit!  I diddit!"  

High fives, Charlie Sue, you did it.
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