Thursday, November 24, 2011

With Thanks Overflowing

We had a Thanksgiving service at church last night and we were asked to share what we were thankful for. I'm rarely a woman who is at a lack for words but last night I was. I couldn't think of one single thing to share because my heart was overflowing with gratitude and amazement over how much God has blessed my family and me. I could sit here for hours naming things, people, opportunities and circumstances that I'm thankful for... And I'm pretty sure the list would never end.

We had such a wonderful day today! The girls and I met my mom and sister at McDonald's for breakfast, which is a Thanksgiving morning ritual. After that, we came home and pigged out on some goodies while watching the parade. As we all sat on the couch together, I couldn't help but sit back and stare at my daughters and my husband in amazement that Lord has blessed me, of all people, with them as my family. It was such a perfect time that we shared and some precious memories were made today!

Our Thanksgiving feast went off without a hitch today. Not only did we have some delicious food and countless desserts, but the love and laughter shared around the table trumped all of that. And I'm pretty sure nobody left hungry:-)

I am mindful, today especially, that I cannot lift my head up off of the pillow in the morning with God. I cannot do anything in and of myself and I acknowledge that it is Him that has given me everything in my life that I hold dear. That is precisely the reason that I am thankful for way too many things to even list.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I hope your day was as perfect as mine:-)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Childlike Faith

My oldest daughter had something huge happen in her life today... She asked Jesus to come into her heart! We have family devotions each night and try to talk with our children about the things of God as much as possible. From that, she started asking John questions about salvation a few weeks back and today, he lead her in a sweet prayer. We truly believe that it was a sincere prayer and are very excited that our daughter has already made the most important decision of her life!

I, too, was very young when I was saved... I had just turned 5. I grew up in a pastor's home, hearing about the Bible and salvation my whole life, and sometimes I take the Bible for granted, I think. I've heard all of the stories countless times and sometimes it's easy to think of them as just that... "Stories" instead of remembering that they really did happen. I love how Brooke is amazed at each story, each scripture and each verse. She takes it all in complete faith. It's so refreshing to see her enthusiasm for the things of God and it's encouraging to me in my own spiritual walk!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Holiday Season is HERE!!

Ah, this time of year is so wonderful! I love how the stores have a separate area designated just for holiday baking. I love the Christmas commercials and the way garland and lights are already decorating our small town. I love the small Christmas tree that is lit in Brooke and Adrienne's room. It's the most amazing time of year and everything seems to come alive.

Right now I'm most excited for Thanksgiving. I host John's side of the family each year, which is about 20 people. It's funny to think that I ever thought that seemed like a huge undertaking because after doing it for 4 years I really do have it down to a science. I prep most of the stuff the day before and then, on Thanksgiving Day, all I really have to do is roast the turkey, make the veggies and peel the potatoes. No big deal at all! I really look forward to all the cooking but this year may be a bit more challenging with a VERY mobile baby. I long for the day when the girls are old enough to be my "sous chefs" in the kitchen. They love to "help" now but you know how that goes:-) Anyways, all of my shopping is done for our feast, as of today. Just a few more last minute things need to be purchased and we'll be all set!

I'm also excited because I have at least half of our Christmas shopping done and designated funds for items that have yet to be purchased. I'm so excited to be able to truly focus on Jesus' birthday this year and not have to be shackled with money/shopping worries. It's going to be the best Christmas ever!!

I love this time of year so very much that I'm already sad thinking about it being over. I hope it doesn't fly by so quickly.. But I'm guessing it will. I plan on savoring every last minute!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I'm Going to Miss This

As I've said before, we're not going to be having any more babies. This decision was prayerfully made and we feel at peace about the family God has given us. It's quite painful to think about never being pregnant again (so I try not to dwell on it) but other than that, I've been pretty eager to move out of these crazy baby years we've been in for so long. I absolutely hate the adjustment a newborn comes with and getting everyone on the same schedule and creating a "new normal" is just not something I enjoy. I've always told John that when Bailey is Brooke's age (she'll be 5 in February),  life will maybe, just maybe, be easy again. Lol.... Maybe just a little easier??!?!

Despite not liking new adjustments and adapting to yet another person, Bailey's life has been a wonderful adventure. She's so precious and right now, everything is an awakening to her. She stares at her hands in wonderment, is starting to cruise all over the house, successfully pushes a walker around the living room and is exploring all sorts of new territory. It's great fun to watch her and to see her playing with her big sisters that she adores so much.

I had a moment with my youngest baby yesterday that made me realize just how much I'll miss the fleeting baby years... She heard me running her bath and she came crawling in the bathroom as fast as she could, pulled up on the tub and starting breathing really fast with excitement. She absolutely loves her bath and to see her able to express that me was just priceless. It was just a small little moment but it melted my heart and reminded me of her innocence at this age.

I'm not going to be sad to ditch the infant car seat or the unpredictable napping schedule we deal with some days. It will also be nice when all of my children are able to feed themselves or use the bathroom without help... But for now, this is where we're at in life and I intend on enjoying it to the absolute fullest! I'm pretty sure that when Bailey' older I will miss these precious, crazy years.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Paranoid Mommy

Wednesday Brooke came home from school and there was a note in her folder about someone in her class having lice. It really freaked me out! I'm new at all of this school stuff, after all. Then, as Brooke and I got to talking about it, I learned that it was the kid that sits NEXT to her. I only know this because she said that he had to go home early. I've never sent my baby anywhere so I was a little unsettled! Suddenly, my head started to itch a little, too. Lol

After inspecting her hair REALLY well, we declared Brooke to be lice-free. However, the fear of it lurking in her classroom had me super freaked out. So... I decided to keep her home from school yesterday. Seeing as how there was no school today, keeping her home yesterday gave her a 4 day break from "Liceville."

Then, I was talking to different, more experienced moms at church and one of them said, "Jillian, if you keep her home every time someone gets lice she's going to be missing lots of school!" Lol. Point well taken... I can't keep my children in a bubble.

While I did end up keeping Brooke home for my own peace of mind.. I probably will be less paranoid next time around. I try so hard to shield my family from bugs (literally, in this case) and sicknesses but as Brooke goes into an environment where I have no control, it's getting harder and harder.

We're only a few months into the beginning of the school years but already I'm learning that there are many more challenges in this stage of life. I'm imagining that it will only get harder, too... I'm sure in a few years I'll  look back and laugh that I thought this was so challenging but for now, holy cow, it's a big deal!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

All In A Week's Time

What a busy week!! Here's all that's gone on...

  • Bailey has started pulling up! She loves to pull up on the bottom stair and then she falls. It seems like a never ending game that we play all. day. long. It's fun though! She has yet to pull up in her crib and I'm thankful for that. She's also getting faster and faster at crawling and she's pretty much into everything. Life is crazy!
  • Bailey has tried a variety of different foods lately and oddly enough, she's not in love with much of anything besides sweet potatoes and PEAS. Yuck! I HATE peas so it's shocking that she loves them so much. I thought she would love fruits but she really hasn't liked apples or peaches very much. She still has no teeth so we're pretty much just sticking with purees for now.
  • Halloween was a load of fun! I got to be a classroom helper for Brooke's class and I had a blast. I loved seeing inside her little world and meeting her teachers and friends. I was very surprised to find that my introverted little girl is actually quite popular and a social butterfly. She is growing by leaps and bounds!
  • For Halloween costumes we had Brookie as an ice cream cone (with sprinkles!), Adrienne as a cheeseburger (It was hilarious!) and Bailey as a lady bug. I have lots of pictures up on Facebook but have yet to have to energy to put them on here. These things take time, ya know! The big girls went out Trick-or-Treating with John and his family while I stayed here and passed out candy with my little lady bug. We had 162 kids and it was a fun night!
  • John and I had an ENTIRE afternoon to ourselves on Tuesday. It was therapeutic, let me tell ya! John's mom took all three girls and Bailey did great. She drank milk out of a cup and ate some other foods that I packed for her. It was only for a few hours but it was so nice to be able to have a break. We got lots of Christmas shopping done and went to a nice lunch. Oh yes... And we had an uninterrupted conversation. Imagine that!
  • John's going to the Bill's game on Sunday!! I would love to be able to go with him but I obviously can't... So I'm just SUPER excited that he gets to take a day and do something for HIM, which he never does. He deserves it!
  • Everyone has been feeling better (knock on wood!) and sleeping well at night! That is, perhaps, the most exciting update of them all!
I think that about does it! Phew, it feels good to be caught up!