April 3, 2014

Poor, neglected blog...

Hi Everyone, Sorry this blog hasn't been updated in so long. Life just gets busy, priorities change.

Lots of news. I am weeks away from baby #4 making HER appearance. Annie Joy is 34 1/2 weeks along, and I am not ready to meet this precious baby! Her room isn't ready, I'm not quite ready to back to sleepless nights since James JUST started sleeping all night (literally only this past month), I'm a little nervous adding a third child to the wonderful mess of our lives... I could go on and on.

But beside all that, I am so amazingly thankful to the LORD for providing us with another baby. Wasn't sure we'd be able to get pregnant again after losing sweet baby #3, but we found out we were pregnant about 3 weeks before the 1-year anniversary of the miscarriage. I have struggled immensely with anxiety and fear, especially the first half of the pregnancy, but it has been the most uneventful pregnancy of all my children! Not too much morning sickness at the beginning, very little sciatica, no preeclampsia, no gestational diabetes (or threats of it), nothing. She's doing great, being uncomfortable is an easy price to pay for this sweet baby.

Here I am at 32 weeks (2 1/2 weeks ago).

May 13, 2013

Mother's Day - Maggie is Funny!

Mother's Day this year as so fun - Maggie made me a whole bunch of gifts.  

Beautiful butterfly. She was very proud of this one. 
A super-cute teapot and teabag project from school.

Here are some cute writing Mother's Day projects she did at school. You'll have to click on the picture to be able to read her answers. She is SOOO funny! And sweet. I love Maggie so much!

I have been teasing Maggie for months that I needed bookmarks. And as Mother's Day got closer I kept hinting that's what I wanted. Now, when you ask your kid for a bookmark, don't you think it is going to be some cute picture that they've colored or something covered in stickers? Not with Maggie. She took me literally. Tyler took her to an office supply store to have them laminated, too. Good thing - I'm saving these for posterity. I really had to exercise some self-control and not laugh myself into hysterics, they caught me just right. Maggie is so funny!

"Book Mark Made in April 23rd 2013" - this one is about 4x8.
"Fall into a good book. Made in April 23, 2013" Closer to appropriate bookmark size, but still large.
"I Love Reading Made in April 23, 2013" Again, 4x8.
And this one is enormous! "I like Reading. Made in April 23rd 2013" This one is about 6x6 or 7x7,  may have to trim down the lamination some or I won't be able to use it with many books.

So VERY thankful I get to be a mommy.

PS- I got a little sad, for just a moment, thinking about the little 3-month old that could've been in my arms, too, had things been different. But remembered that our little one is in much better hands and arms than mine, and that they are having the time of Eternity with the Lord already. And so, a couple tears fall, but not without hope, and trust, that God's ways are bigger and better than mine. I can't wait to see what He continues to do in my life.  

April 15, 2013

Maggie's Training Wheels are off!

Tyler finally got Maggie to learn to ride her bike while his parents were here to visit.
 Here Grampa is giving Maggie a pep talk. Even though she had already ridden several times a couple minutes prior, she was all pouty when Gramma and I came out to see her progress.
 Another pep talk, ready to go.
 A short video of her riding between Tyler and Grampa. After this she learned to turn while riding and using her brakes. And you will note that that towards the end of the video there's a little boy in bare feet zooming past. I found that highly entertaining.

March 2, 2013

Already Two. Sweet "Baby" James.

Saturday (March 2) we had James' birthday party (look here - I am updating the blog the same day!). My mom and decorated the downstairs after he went to bed. So first thing in the morning he got to check it all out. His birthday theme this year was Disney Cars (we watch the movie just about every day). He LOVES Frank the combine/bull. If anyone you know has a Frank TOY, I would love it. I didn't see any in the store, but on eBay they are pretty expensive. Don't tell anyone that if they want to give it to you to give to me. Free is better... Moving on. I should've had my mom video his reaction to seeing Frank on the wall and all the other decorations. He thought they were pretty fun.
James opening a couple presents right before the party. There were 2 things I bought right after he was born (on clearance at Target) that I KNEW would be awesome someday. They are Cars pop-up tents. I thought they would be fun for the kids to play in during the party.

See? Easy set sup.
They don't actually connect, but it was fun for the kids to move between the 2 tents and it left room for people to walk around the living room.

I whipped up this banner in Word. Now that I know how to do it, I have a hard time not doing them for every birthday (I did one for Maggie's owl-0themed party 2 years ago, too).
James looked real pleased to have that hat on. He snapped himself with the cord a minute later and that wasn't pleasant.

The Birthday Boy playing with some construction equipment. Gramma Sue got him a super-cool Lightning McQueen and Mater shirt and new Lightning light-up shoes. He was REALLY pleased.
Friend Jacob and James. I think they are about a month apart.
Peek a boo!

See? Playing with the Cars tents and the tubes.
Maggie got these tubes for her 2nd Christmas, I think. We still love them. So do Zayli and Zekers.
More playing. That slightly smaller boy is Henry, he's only a year old. James is a big 2-year old, Henry is a brute!

Lunch: taco and quesadilla bar. The guacamole  was particularly good, if I do say so myself. =)

The Cake. It's Lightning McQueen and Mater on a boulder in Radiator Springs, see the cactus and the rocks? I did the Cars Logo with James' name on it out of royal icing. I was terrified it was going to break before the party as the points were pretty fragile, but it made it through the party and the cake cutting even. Yay!
Getting ready to blow out the candles.
Another photo. Can't help myself.
Help from sister.
Cake and ice cream. MMM!
James and most of the kids.
Tyler and James.
Chillin' with his sister after everyone went home.

To top off the afternoon, after everyone went home he came up to me and said, "Pee Mommy up (please, mommy, up). A nigh-night." He was ready for his nap. I picked him up and he wrapped his little hand around my neck and held on tight, fingers in my hair. I carried him upstairs to put him down for a nap and he kept pointing to the full-size bed in his room instead of his crib. He wanted to sleep in his BIG BOY BED! (We haven't even taken the side rail off his crib yet)

So I propped pillows up so he wouldn't fall off the side or get pinned against the wall. Needless to say I left his bedroom with a little tear in my eye. And so far he's been asleep for an hour and a half. Time keeps marching on. So very glad he's my boy. I love watching him grow up. It's been a wonderful birthday weekend.

Melissa's 35th Birthday

Wow. I don't feel old. Tired, but not old.My mom and I spent most of the day finishing up some errands and party prep so instead of making dinner Tyler took us to Culver's for burgers. I realize it was not a gourmet meal, but since we decided not to do burgers for James' party I really had a craving for a good cheeseburger. Culver's is pretty darn good, especially since In-N-Out hasn't come here yet.

Maggie was insistent that she make my cake since she has her own Easy Bake Oven this year.

She did a great job baking it (with a little of Gramma Sue's help) and decorated it all on her own. She even wrote "Happy b-day" on it.

Me and my kiddos.
This is a super-cool bobbin holder. My spool box is to capacity and I hate all the flyaway threads. can't wait to load this hummer up.

Eating my Easy Bake Cake (mmm!), and since James' birthday party was the next day the kids just got cake scraps from making James' birthday cake. No need to have TWO cakes in this house. I like cake too much to let that happen.

February 22, 2013

What's in a date? God's love for me, that's what.

Today (Friday, February 22, 2013) was my due date with baby #3. It’s been 5 months and a week. I don’t know if I (or any other woman who miscarries) ever fully heals those wounds to the heart, though our lives go on, and I thought today would be really hard. But what I am finding is that hard days are a surprise, not a fixed calendar appointment. Some days I don’t grieve at all. And there are days like Sunday. Nothing particularly special about it, except that under other circumstances I would either have been big as a brick house, in the hospital, or at home cuddling with my newest child. Those thoughts, hope and dreams that are no more, still hurt.

We sang worship songs that morning that touched my soul, and I got to worship through my tears my Creator and Sustainer. They reminded me of how great and wonderful my God is, and how He loves me individually. He cares about my hurts, and I can bring them to him, “cast all your cares on Him, because He cares for you” (I Peter 5:7). It’s not that as a believer I don’t feel pain or suffer from the events of life- I have the sore eyes and a husband’s stained shoulder to prove it, but I have a heavenly perspective and know that this life is not all there is to offer. And my hope is not placed in people, no matter how special they are to me.

Studying this week, I ran across a passage I underlined many years ago in Arthur Pink’s The Attributes of God on God’s faithfulness. What providence.
There are seasons in the lives of all when it is not easy, no not even for Christians, to believe that God is faithful. Our faith is sorely tried, our eyes bedimmed with tears, and we can no longer trace the outworkings of His love. … Cherished plans have been thwarted… We are staggered. … and now a dark cloud hides Him from us. … Ah, faltering soul, severely tried fellow pilgrim, seek grace to heed Isaiah 50:10, “Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the voice of his servant? Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.” … Though you cannot now harmonize God’s mysterious dealings with the avowals of His love, wait on Him for more light. In His own good time He will make it plain to you. … God has neither forsaken nor deceived His child. “Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are those who will wait for him.” (Isaiah 30:18).

Pink goes on to quote 2 Timothy 1:12, “I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me” and says “When we trustfully resign ourselves, and all our affairs into God’s hands, fully persuaded of His love and faithfulness, the sooner shall we be satisfied with His providences and realize that “He does all things well.”

While I did not feel abandoned or unable to see God working in the midst of my miscarriage, I certainly did feel the hand of the Lord on my life like no other time, this passage was a really good reminder to rely and wait on God because He is faithful. His promises are all over the Bible, and He fulfills them all. The LORD is at work in my life to work all things for good, to make me more like Jesus Christ in my faith, character, and actions. I am thankful for His graciousness to me, and I am reminded once again how blessed I am.

Maggie's 7th Birthday

Maggie chose to have a roller skating party this year. It was a relief not to do it at home, and the skating rink kept the girls busy and everyone had a great time, even James! We had Maggie some of her gifts Saturday morning, even though her birthday was Sunday so she could have her skates and new elbow and knee pads for the party.
Tyler photo-bombing this picture.
She loved them so much she wore her skates for breakfast.
Modeling her new pads and birthday outfit. Yes, I made that shirt. I can't help myself.
Little Miss at the rink, ready to roll!
I made "VIP Passes" for Tyler and I and the girls for the party so I could keep track of them. The kids had free reign in the skating rink. James had to have a pass, too. Gotta be like Sissy.
We weren't sure what we were going to do with James for the party, but they let you take strollers on the rink. Tyler was skating FAST with James! And James sat in that stroller without fussing for nearly and hour going around and around. It was great!
My turn!
And here we all are.
Maggie's cake. She wanted a strawberry cake with "wedding frosting" like I did for Brian and Rachelle's wedding. I also decorated sugar cookies with royal icing for party favors and to incorporate the roller skate theme into the cake.
A bunch of little girlies! They scarfed down their pizza. Skating is hard work!
Other side of the table.

All the girls, Maggie especially, was excited about the drinks. The rink staff "host" the pizza and cake portion and didn't bother asking this mom what the girls could have to drink. They got COKE. Fully-caffeinated Coca-Cola. Maggie never gets anything but a single drink if Tyler has Coke, so this was a big treat for her. I am pretty sure she had 2 cups of it.
Posing with the cake.
More girls, and it's cake time!
Daddy and James eating cake!
Maggie won some tickets in the wind booth (sorry - no pictures) and she picked vampire teeth.
Opening gifts.
All the little girls in one picture.
Birthday balloons. Gotta have birthday balloons. Maggie had several of the girls come home with us after the party for a sleepover. They were all SO cute and everyone had a great time.
We opted for a roller skating birthday party this year.