Thursday, June 30, 2011

Embrace the Camera-Thursday June 30th

It's the time to "Embrace the Camera!" We started some swimming lessons this week (well our older two). Our month spent at project had a crazy mix of weather. The first couple weeks the pool wasn't even open yet, then once it was open we seemed to have more rainy and 60s/70s type weather--so pleasant to be outside but not really warm enough to get in the pool. So the few times we did get to enjoy it (which seems so crazy that it's almost July & my kids have been swimming a few times!) this little girl LOVED it! We couldn't get to the side of the pool fast enough before she was jumping in over and over again. So with beautiful weather in our forecast today after our morning swim lessons we are off to enjoy the pool today here! Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What a giveaway!

So today I came across this giveaway on facebook! I just finished reading this book (as I mentioned in this post here) over our month at project. One of the other staff wives and I read it together and were able to finish it and discuss the sections weekly. It is truly one of the best books I have read on motherhood---so so so Gospel centered! I am so looking forward to reading many more of the Clarkson's books, so how fun it would be to win this one!

Monday, June 27, 2011

"Rooted" in the Gospel

So I know my blogging has been really sporadic the past month. Well, it's mostly because we just returned home this weekend from a long 5 weeks out of town! Since I know this blog is public and I realize there are probably some (though not sure how many, but I'm sure still some) out there reading this that I don't know I don't always say when we are in and out of town. So now that we are home I am now ready to share some about our start to the summer.
Mary Etta & Judah having some fun in the car out in the big backyard. They loved being outside and asked to out there all day long!

Most of you know we do college ministry, so we just returned from our first summer project in over 3 years! Crazy because the first 3 years of marriage that was just what we did every summer--go on summer project. But then in 2008 Emery-Claire was born---so obviously after having a baby May 20th it wasn't expected for us to go and then in 2009 Mary Etta was due in July (so again they wouldn't send us away for the month of June with me being almost 9 months pregnant). We thought 2010 would be the year we would go, but now our staff team has grown so much over the past few years all of our staff can't be there at once with the growing amount of students too. So again we were home. So now this was the year we finally returned--and with 3 children nonetheless! The last time we went on project (2007) we just had Reed and he was 8 months old. So it made for much unknown going with not just 1 or 2 but 3 children ranging from 4 1/2 to almost 2!

We did lots of this

and this!

I have to say it has been a really great month! It was good to be away from the everyday routine and busyness of our life. It truly was a sweet time to be in such an encouraging environment with the body, day in day out. We were with staff I knew well and have been on projects with before, but then those that were younger that it was sweet to spend time getting to know them better. And our children have truly been on cloud 9 with all the attention (they were the only children this year besides one other staff child who just turned 1 while we were there) from 115 college students practically 24/7!
Every chance Reed got he was outside recruiting different students to throw the ball to him, wanting someone to chase him, or play some sort of game with him. It was so sweet to see him soak in every moment and enjoy this environment as much as he did!

Most importantly I know it is such a privilege and a blessing that the Lord had us here, in this environment. For me especially, it was good to have many sweet dates with my husband, fun & unique outings with the children, encouraging fellowship with dear friends, and just to be faced and stretched in several areas I see the Lord growing me in. I know not many people get to have the opportunity to see up close and personal how the Lord is working to draw people to himself and to live day and day out in community with fellow believers.

Summer Project 2011 "Rooted"

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Thankful on Father's Day

Today is Father's Day. Another one of those days we get to reflect and be thankful for how the Lord has worked, how He has provided great blessings to us. Not that everyday we don't need to be thankful to Him for His many, many, many blessings--but honoring and celebrating this day for dad's everywhere and what they mean to their families. So ours did exactly that! Earlier this week I began telling our 3 little ones that this weekend we were going to be thankful for their daddy. We could be thoughtful in telling him and giving him special gifts as thank you. So we made a book about dad---which about 20 minutes after making it Reed had already told Casey we made him a book and drew some special pictures in it. Oh well, I guess at 4 you don't really quite get "waiting to surprise" quite yet. Then all week he preceded to want to draw Casey pictures, or color---this is his big thing lately. Coloring pictures from various coloring books--with pencils, but very serious as he colors them all and keeps the pencil "in the lines!" And of course he told Casey about the pictures too! Gotta love the giving hearts of children! At least I was able to sneak away and get a little something one evening that I never told the children about, so that was his one surprise!

So today we celebrated him! We got him a breakfast biscuit, let him "try and sleep" and gave him his gifts before church. Then had a family lunch after church. It was fun to celebrate and be thankful for who this man is! He is my husband and my best friend! I can't imagine doing all of "this" with anyone else. He loves and leads our family, and thinks for us so intentionally. He loves the Lord and desires to serve Him all the days of his life. He has such a big heart to make Jesus known to all those who don't know him--which is why he is so gifted at leading a campus ministry on a very large college campus. He has loved and lead many, many men in the past 10 years, and I am so truly proud of him, and so thankful for him. All those years of singleness when I thought and wondered if I'd ever be married, I never could have dreamed the Lord would brought me this man of such great character. Casey we love you so much. We thank you for serving and loving our family! Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Embrace The Camera-Thursday June 16

Today this sweet baby of mine turns 23 months old! I know, I know.....after about 18 months it seems rather silly to count their months in ages. But with the baby and #3, it sure is hard to just say a number. I hear Casey tell someone we have a almost 5 year old, 3 year old, and 2 year old---and I am always saying "she isn't 2 yet!!" But the reality is that 1 month from today she really will be 2 years old, and why is that so hard for me?! I guess for the past 4 years I've constantly had "a baby" really......though I wouldn't trade this sweet, almost 2-year-old for nothing! She is such a cuddle bunny, loves to hug and kiss us, sit in our laps, and is all 3rd child as she is constantly yelling "MOMMY!!" as loud as she possibly can to get my attention. She is so silly and yet so sweet all rolled up into one! Oh sweet Mary Etta how you bring such joy to our lives each and every day! As shocked as we were to find out the Lord had created you so closely behind your sister, I can't imagine our family without you! We love you sweet, sweet girl!

A taste of summer.......

with baby pool fun!

A couple of weeks ago we had played in the baby pool earlier in the day. So after naps when we came outside, of course it was still full of water. So what do you do when you see a pool full of water and you have clothes on (and you are 22---today she is 23 months old!!!! I'm so in denial next month my baby turns 2!!) you jump in, of course! And have a blast!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Embrace the Camera-Thursday June 9th

Here's a little glimpse from our "family dance party" night..........

She was having so much fun dancing & singing in the kitchen! Happy Thursday everyone!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Last day of school

So I just realized it's been several weeks ago that Reed had his last day of school, and I still have never posted these pictures from his end of the year program! This year's program was called "You make me laugh" the 3s, 4s, and 5s all were together to sing some fun songs and tell sweet little jokes---it was so cute! He loves this and gets so excited to stand upfront and "perform".

Walking into the sanctuary with his classmates

All of the classes performing in the sanctuary......I used an arrow to point out Reed, though not sure my colors stand out enough amongst all the colorful shirts!

Reed with his teachers this year....Mrs. Kadel and Mrs. Martin......he has loved being in their class and I know he had a great year with them!

It's funny how kids will find one friend to talk about......earlier this year it was a couple other boys, but this last half of the school year this little guy was all Reed talked about! We don't know their family well, but maybe these two will get paired up again next school year!

And lastly, a comparison of our boy from the first day of school to the last day of does he look so different?? I'm not sure I see a big difference in these pictures--but I know he has to look a little older from a 3 1/2 year old to 4 1/2 year old!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Embrace the Camera-Thursday June 2nd

Well it's finally--June! Yay for here is me, "superman", and Woody (of course)
Hope everyone is having a great summer kids are loving all their outside time these days! Happy Thursday everyone!