Monday, June 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Baby!

On Saturday, our first born, baby boy, turned 5 years old!!!!

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Hugs??? Prayers?? Send chocolate? ;)

We cannot believe how quickly this precious time has gone. We JUST held him for the first time in the hospital.

He is so sweet, strong-willed, a goofball :), loves to laugh, is filled with music from his little toes to the tippy top of his thick hair, he loves to make people laugh, especially his little brother and sister, he praises God with his songs and his incredible prayers, he loves to play ball, cars and trucks, making food with the pretend food and play kitchen in the basement, his instruments (guitar, self made drums, piano, violin), he loves his siblings, loves to serve, gives us hugs and says "I love you sooooo much," all. the. time (that's how we roll! :)), he gives his little bro and sis a hug and kiss every nightnight, he is reading - SO well - we are so proud of him, is a great helper - getting diapers or things when we need them (most of the time right away ;)), can count like crazy and do some addition and subtraction, says please thank you and excuse me, he is such a blessing.

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We are constantly working on character, learning, encouraging to ask questions, empathy, being patient ourselves to be able to see his heart in disobedience and trying to stay calm when his mouth or actions take a wrong path, praying for wisdom in raising him and guiding his wonderful and sometimes challenging ;) strong-willed character trait.

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He is a miracle.

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We praise God that at 28 weeks we found out that he had a complication and would need surgery the morning after he was born, even though at the time we shed many tears. The surgeon agreed to do his surgery at 7am on a Sunday morning, something that is very abnormal. We were told that there could be many... many things "wrong" with him and we wouldn't really know until he was born. We turned down every test and said, everything in God's will. It was not an easy time. We came to a new place of trust and faith in Him. He has a purpose for everything.

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{I can't believe I am putting these pictures on here! He had an olympic sized swimming pool! ;-)}

We will never forget the video that my mom got of the doctor, after his initial assessment of BabyBoy, telling Hubby that he was perfect (besides his need for surgery).

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He was supposed to be in the NICU for *at least* 6 weeks.

He was in the NICU for 2 weeks.

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There were so many people praying for him, the doctors, the nurses. It could only be God.

It was the longest 2 weeks of our lives. It felt like an eternity.

There were good days, not so good days, and very scary days.

We were there everyday (we were kicked out of our room 1.5 days after he was born!), as long as we could be there. Until early the next morning so many days, until they told us to go home and get some rest.

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He will have a scar on the inside of his leg, from his central line, for life, even though they said it would go away.

We are glad that it won't. Because it is living proof that God is good.

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BabyBoy we love you so so much. We could not love you one little hair more. But how much we love you, God loves you even more. (Just by a little bit ;-)) We are so excited to see the plan that God has for your life unfold. We pray that always have your incredible zeal for praising God and singing of and professing His glory. 

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Monday, June 18, 2012

I wish...

I have had this post in my head and in draft form for a while now and I have been hesitant in posting it for many reasons. I write this with great conviction myself. Hubby and I have been talking about this for a long while now. And it has been heavy on our hearts, as we have seen ourselves and those around us focusing on things that don't really matter in the End. We still have a ways to go, but God has been working on us over time, and we are excited about where He has been pushing us since we've been married. 

The question is...

When we all only have moments left to live, would we be saying things like...

I wish I would have...

... spent more time at work than was necessary.

... spent more time by myself.

... bought more/more expensive clothes.

... spent more time at the gym.

... done more things that *I* wanted to do.

... dressed my kids nicer.

... done more house projects.

... went on more vacations.

... bought that shirt or or or because everyone else did.

... talked more about people behind their backs.

... stressed out more for professional pictures.

... made fun of a few more people because of the way they dressed.

... worried more about what people thought of me.

... not hung out with or talked to those people because I didn't think they were cool enough.

... complained more about my husband, my kids, my life, any-thing.

... fulfilled my dreams more.

... obsessed more about the way I look.

... worried more about "silly" things.

... gotten more blog, twitter, facebook comments.

... spent more time sulking when something didn't go the way *I* wished it would have.

... gotten all the latest technology or cars or or or right when they came out.

... shunned more people because I thought they were inferior based on earthly standards.

... was negative more or commented negatively more on insignificant matters.

Or do you think we would be saying...

I wish I would have...

... spent more time worrying about helping other people instead of focusing on my *needs.*

... spent more time with my family, friends, or serving.

... shared His good news with more people before it was too late.

... given more money to those in need, instead of buying that *thing* I *needed.*

... spent more time thinking about others' needs. Who really needed.

... spent more time in prayer.

... spent more time reading His word.

... been obedient.

... gone to an important friend's event, to encourage them, even though I was tired or wanted to work on something else that day.

... thought more about His goals, not mine.

... given more people the opportunity to live eternity with Him in heaven.

... realized His sense of urgency.

Or would we like to hear Him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

What do we need to alter to make that happen?

We have been guilty of some of these for sure.

Living "the American dream" and having all of the things that are nice or that we deserve (this just makes me cringe) or that the world has said are necessities or important, have *nothing* to do with living for Him or being obedient to Him.

Are most of these things bad? No. If they become idols? Of course. Is it good to refresh? Sure. Is it fun to get something that a friend has because it was a good deal or cute? Yep. Is it bad to lean on earthly things for happiness and assurance? Yup.

Each of us struggle with different things. Some that we might be too prideful to admit.

And, everyone spends their money and time on different things, so we don't have a place to judge anybody.

The ultimate question is: Where is our focus? 

Earthly pleasures or Eternal hopes, victories, and ramifications? All of which will not only affect us but too many other people, who are all God's precious children. He loves them all. And has asked us to serve, take care of, encourage, and share His good news - that is what we've been put here to do. And He is so good, we have lots and lots of stories, if you would ever like to hear.

Where is our focus?

My intention is not to belittle anyone or hurt any feelings (y'all know I am super sensitive to this), but hopefully to encourage, because I am convicted all the time. Where is my focus? It is a great area for the devil to grab an easy foothold, and we don't even notice, thinking, "Oh, it's normal for me to feel like this, or want this," when in fact... it's not. It's not what God put us here for. Not even close.

Matthew 6:19-21 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. ***For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.***

Fairly recently became one of my all time favorite verses. In our kitchen as a constant reminder. (You know I spend a lot of time in the kitchen ;)) "For where your treasure is..."

What are we teaching these people? And by our actions? Our words? Our attitudes? :) 

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Friday, June 15, 2012

New Look! (and a Giveaway Winner!)

We got a blog makeover!

Thank you, Jenn (from Munchkin Land Designs)!! She is so sweet and was so so patient with me! ;) When we started many many... many months ago ;), I had no idea that we would have to take big breaks in between finishing because we were working hard on all of our adoption paperwork and had lots of things going on. :) I just love this color combo :) I have been loving turquoise for quite some time now (get ready for our office soon!! ;)), it's such a sweet fun color, and some added light pink is so fitting for the addition of our baby girl, with happy yellow accents. :) Thank you, Jenn!!

And now... The Shabby Apple Giveaway Winner iiiiiiiiiiis.........

Random.org chose a low number this time! #3! Congratulations Kodi!!!! :) I'll be emailing you for all of your info, and then you can get shopping! :)

Thank you so much, Shabby Apple, for a fun giveaway!!

ETA: And if you missed our special day from last post - 9 Years Ago :-)

Friday, June 8, 2012

9 Years Ago Today

I said, "I do" to my best friend, for life. I could not be more thankful, more excited, more ecstatic that God brought us together, for life. I love that we get to live life together, raise our family together, and ultimately try to serve our incredible God together as a family.

We met in the spring of 1999 in college and officially starting dating/courting on  November 25, 1999. Our first date was Hubby teaching me how to play tennis. And we still love to play! I love how he always says we have lived so much of our life together already (in the same house after we were married ;)). We were and are pretty inseparable. :)

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{This is the pic from his wallet, so it's pretty banged up :) taken from his family's beach trip in 2000}

We got married on June 8, 2003 and had the most fun, meaningful, special, wedding. I would love to do it again!

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We loved the ceremony, the family and friends who were involved, we danced all night, and loved every minute of it - even though the dj forgot our first dance cd and our great friends went out and bought it ;), and beginning our life together as man and wife, striving to serve and honor Him. We have learned so much together every year, everyday, and are so thankful for everything that God is doing in our lives.

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He is the most amazing husband and the most incredible daddy. And I do not use those descriptives easily or lightly. He has the softest heart, always the first to want to serve anyone in need, yet is such a strong Godly man. He is intelligent, and funny, and my perfect balance. He brings out the best in me and always sweetly reminds me of God's love and desires when I worry about "silly" things. He chose to take a pay cut 6 years ago to take a job to work from home so he could spend the most time possible with our family. And I believe he and our family have been so blessed by that. He has never complained about changing diapers and is the most involved daddy, taking work breaks to wrestle, play dolls, cars, ball, outside, read, eat meals, and everything else I am forgetting right now. :) He tells me I am beautiful every single day. He is the man of my dreams.

Newlyweds Forever!!! Our mantra.

To God be the glory.

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{I know I look like a goofball in this pic (as most I do) but he still loves me anyway! ;)}

My Hubby does not like to be the center of attention and feels embarrassed when people overly praise him, but this is when I get to say, even extra, how much I respect and love him, because this is the only post I am not asking him to proof ;-).

Monday, June 4, 2012

We are going to...

...Homeschool!! BabyBoy will be starting Kindergarten! Our first baby!

This is something until just a couple years ago we did not think we would ever do. I won't even mention some of the phrases that we've all heard about homeschooling families or homeschooled childrens.

Yeeears ago, we maaay have agreed with some of those things. ;)

But things have changed, mindsets have changed, and we are so excited about it! And I say, we, because Hubby is 150% on board  and we made the decision together. (yes I said 150% bc that's how excited he is about it too :))

There are so many resources, there are so many groups, co-ops, and activities to be involved in. We are excited to jump in. Are there some concerns? Sure. Will we do everything we can to overcome them? Absolutely.

Here is the main question that we have gotten so far: "Why are you going to homeschool?" Very valid question. ;)

Let me say first, that some say, "Well, since they're with me all day long, they won't listen or learn from me as well as from a different person in a different place."

I will say, I thought that once too. I have always done a lot with our littles as far as academics (in a fun playtime environment) since they were teeny. But I thought, well once we get to real school age, maybe it won't work.

My opinion has completely changed on that too!

Reasons We Decided Homeschooling is Right For Our Family:

*Btdubs - We have nothing against families who public-school their little ones, this is just what we feel is right for our family. I was a high school (and middle school) teacher, I know how wonderful so many teachers out there are! And we may decide at some point that it is time for public school.*
  • We are excited about having our little ones home. We love them and love spending time with them and together as a family and cliche or not, life is so short and goes by so so fast.
  • We want to be the ones that have the most time per day to disciple our little ones. They are our most important disciples.
  • We can complete our curriculum in a few hours or less. With much less in-between time between each subject/activity. That means we will have the rest of the time to spend as a family.
  • We will be involved in at least one or two wonderful homeschool groups/co-ops, which will allow the littles to be in learning classroom settings, have parties, field trips, and events will other littles their ages. And they will have other opportunities for group activities through our county or local organizations/companies.
  • On a smaller note, we will not be bound by any specific schedule for traveling.
  • While we believe that our little ones should not be sheltered from "the world" their entire lives, because they need to learn how to deal with situations themselves, make their own decisions based on the morals and knowledge they have learned at home... 1. they are still little (especially at this age), and we are glad to have the opportunity to root these morals, Godly principles and character, philosophy, etc. for more time. 2. Discipline handled in the classroom might not be how we would prefer it to be handled for this age. 3. For now, we do not want to have to re-teach behavior/speaking/etc., or ask, "where did you learn that... who said that... we don't say things like that right... we don't act like that right." We already get this sometimes with the current activities they're in and because they are little people. :) And there will plenty of time for those questions. Re-teaching will have to happen at times. They also use their foundation and principles to know that even though others' say or do those things, we don't. But it doesn't hurt to have some extra years for Godly character and philosophy reinforcement. 
That was just simply put. We can expand on any of those points. But in it's simplest form, those are some of our thoughts.

I am going to our state's homeschooling convention very soon!! So here are some questions for you!

Do you homeschool?? What curriculum do you use or do you love? Do you have any homeschooling advice for a newbie? 

I know there are things that I need work on/keep in mind already! - I need to do a better job focusing on just daily things, Bible reading/scripture memory, buttoning buttons, tying shoes, and crafts and things. I have always been big on academics (learning through having fun/games from when they're teeny) and I need to make sure we work on the everyday things more often too.

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It's going to be me and these cute, silly, strong-willed, sweet little people! ;) And Hubby as much as he can. :)

It will be an adventure. And one that we are pretty excited about. I am so blessed to have my incredible Hubby. And of course, prayers are always welcome! ;-)

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