Saturday, April 29, 2017

Snapshots From Our Week

Chugging along at 31 weeks this past Tuesday! How are we down to single digit weeks till we meet this sweet babe?! I'm so excited to meet him or her, but I'm also not quite ready to be done being pregnant. And we've done nothing in terms of setting up a nursery, or collecting the baby items we have scattered among our friends (aka bassinet, carseat adapter for the stroller, swing, bumbo, etc.) But we'll get around to all that eventually, right? :)

Jonah got a Thomas the Train book for his birthday that we already happen to own, so on Tuesday this past week, we headed to Barnes and Noble to exchange books. Noelle also decided that the money she found hidden in the Easter eggs at Nana's house needed to be spent, and so she brought a few of her dollar coins with her so she could pick something out. Jonah spent most of the time playing with the train table, and Noelle browsed through lots of books before settling on a Shimmer and Shine book. Jonah eventually picked a different Thomas book as we were getting ready to walk out of the store. Since it was a rainy day and we had no other plans, we headed over to the mall for lunch, the carousel, and the play area!

My parents were away in Colorado this past week visiting my brother and sister, so we got to have Holden Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday this week. It's always fun having him around, and since he's so go with the flow, it's easy to do most of what we would normally do. On Wednesday, Jonah had his 3 year well check, and did great! He even exclaimed as we were walking down the hallway to the exam room that he was so excited to be there (thank goodness there were not shots this visit!) On Thursday, Noelle had lunch bunch so we were able to join some friends for a picnic, and on Friday we had a donut date in the morning, and then went to the train play ground for lunch and some play time after we picked up Noelle .

On Wednesday evening we made our way down to University of Maryland College Park to see our friend's art show. I missed all the explanations of his pieces as I chased our children around, but Luke was able to fill me in later, and it was so cool hearing how Zac was inspired, and able to share his love of Jesus through his work.

Also, I'm not gonna lie, when I'm out with all three kids (or sometimes 4 if I have my neighbor, James), I love the comments about having my hands full, or being busy. These little people are so much fun (for the most part), and I love them to pieces!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Happy 3rd Birthday, Jonah!

Happy 3rd birthday (a few days late) to our favorite little boy!

Jonah, you are SO full of personality, and we love it. You talk up a storm to pretty much anyone, and you get so excited to tell people things. You've been telling everyone for the last few days that you are three!

The other week at one of my doctor's appointments, you and Ellie were squeezed next to each other on a chair while the doctor listened to the baby's heartbeat. You put your arm around Ellie and said "you're my best friend". My mommy heart melted right there! You really do love your sister so much, and I know you'll be sad when she's gone all day in kindergarten.

I love your smile, and your fierce love for your mama. You always want me, and even though it's totally a bedtime delay tactic, when you tell daddy you haven't given me a hug and a kiss yet, my heart just becomes a little puddle right there. In the last few weeks though, you've also been asserting your independence. You want to put your underwear on, you want to pull your boots on, you want to refill your own cup. You are becoming your own little self who can do things on your own!

You love rocks and sticks and mulch. Playing in water. Attempting to play Wii games with Daddy- even if you have no idea what you're doing. You follow your sister's lead and play pretend with your stuffed animals. Your favorite things to watch are Paw Patrol, Little Einsteins, Blue's Clues, and Dora. And a weekly donut date with mama is a must!

You know how to be a little goofball and make us laugh at your silly antics. We love you just the way you are, and we pray that you come to love Jesus most of all!

Love you always!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Easter Weekend 2017

Easter weekend was a whirlwind, but it was oh so good to remember and CELEBRATE the resurrection of Jesus! It is so easy for this "story" to just become a story a grew up hearing, but really, it's my everything- without Him and His mercy and grace, I would be a lost little sinner. We read the stories surrounding His death and resurrection from the Jesus storybook Bible, and I love these kid versions of the stories because they point to the simple truth: Jesus died on the cross because He loved us.

In the story when He's nailed to the cross, the people taunt Him, saying that if He really was the Son of God, He would be able to save Himself from death on the cross. And I love what Sally Lloyd Jones wrote: "And of course they were right. Jesus could have climbed down. Actually, he could have just said a word and made it all stop. Like when he healed that little girl. And stilled the storm. And fed 5,000 people.  But Jesus stayed. You see, they didn't understand. It wasn't the nails that kept Jesus there. It was love."

Oh the love of Jesus! I'm so thankful for it!

On Saturday we went to the church some old neighbors of ours used to pastor at, for an Easter egg hunt. We've been before, and as always, they did a wonderful job of sharing Jesus. They had a puppet show that pointed the kids (and adults!) to look at God's truth about ourselves, not what the world tells us. As in years past, I teared up, so thankful that my kids can continually hear the truth about who they are in Christ. And I prayed that my two, and all the kids in the room would come to believe it for themselves!

Then they dismissed for the Easter egg hunt, and with 10,000 eggs scattered on the church's property, Noelle and Jonah ended up with quite a bit of loot. We took our baskets inside to empty out all the eggs, and to collect prizes. It was quite the contrast to the day before, when I took them to a little egg hunt at a park in Sykesville, where there were not enough eggs, and we walked away with three total.

Saturday evening we got together with one of our small groups for an Easter dinner. Our friends hid a few eggs around their yard for the kids to find, and then we shared a meal as a group. Sunday morning, we woke up with enough time to send Noelle and Jonah on a scavenger hunt for their Easter baskets, and a little egg hunt around the house.

After church, we snapped a few pictures with Aunt Heather, Uncle Jason, and Holden, and then headed to my parents for a quick lunch, and yet another Easter egg hunt. The weather on Easter was beautiful, and it felt wonderful being outside without being cold! Then we swung by the house to pick up the food that Luke made for our Easter dinner with the Wiedemans, and we headed up to Westminster.

Grandma and Grandpa had an egg hunt set up for the two of them, and with all those hunts, we now have a giant ziplock bag full of candy. These two are clearly well loved! It was great spending time with family, eating delicious food, and resting in the truth that Jesus saved me from my sins!

This picture just cracks me up! They make my heart so full!

Monday, April 10, 2017

This Is Now

I look at the room my children are sharing and see what a mess (and by mess, I mean disaster) it is. But as I crawl around picking up various socks to throw in the laundry, I can't help but think this is it. This is my dream- raising babies into toddlers into children. Tiny clothes, tiny socks. Their sweet little voices.

Laughing at the funny things they say and do.

Feeling their little arms wrapped around my neck.

Sneaking out of their beds to come tell me they miss me, and asking how many hours until it's morning.

Hearing them ask each other the first three questions of the children's catechism, and giving each other the answers. (We only know the first three!)

The excitement for library time, and the hours we've spent cuddled on the couch reading books together.

Hearing their little conversations and watching their imaginations grow.

How much they need me, and only me!

And with Jonah turning three in less than two weeks, and Noelle turning five in just under three months, I know that this time is so short. People, especially moms with older kids, told me this over and over when Noelle was born. And I believed them. But now I'm living it- it goes WAY too fast.

Please just stay my babies forever!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Good Stuff, Bad Stuff

Let's play a little game of good stuff, bad stuff. Okay, none of it is really "bad", but just not as good!

Good stuff- This past Saturday, we had our first Easter egg hunt of the season! My MOPS group met at the church where we have our meetings and did some fun crafts, ate yummy food, and then the kids found eggs in a large, multi-purpose room the church has. The bad was that it was rainy out, but Noelle and Jonah were so excited to go find some eggs!

ready to hunt for eggs!

Once our casserole was out of the oven, we headed off to the church. As we were driving, Luke and I were talking about how this was my 6th day in a row going to this church (it's the same church where Ellie's school meets), and the Luke's second Saturday there in less than a month after he helped out with their food pantry a few weekends ago. Since our home church is 25ish minutes away, we started calling this one our church away from church. We've never been there on a Sunday morning, but between preschool stuff, MOPS meetings and events, and Luke now helping out with the food pantry, it's become a significant place in our immediate community.

his favorite find- chocwate!
Good stuff- We had some beautiful days in the 70s! It felt like spring, and we loved it!! We ate popsicles outside, went to a park, and drove around with the windows down. It's such a great feeling being able to leave the house without coats, and walk from the car to wherever without feeling cold. It really just makes life so much easier.

Bad stuff- Storms have been coming through, and it's been raining all day. So much rain. And it's making it colder again. But such is life in Maryland in April. This morning when I left the house to go drop Noelle off at school, I turned the wrong direction, and then missed the next turn I was supposed to make to get to her school. The rain was making my brain foggy!!

Good stuff- So far I've been able to celebrate my 32nd birthday with my favorite little loves, a MOPS meeting, a nap, reading some of my book (The Light Between Oceans), and Luke told me to not make anything for dinner tonight. And a friend at MOPS made me a beautiful quilt for the baby! Gray and white with little triangles, polka dots, and arrows. I love that this sweet baby is getting so much love!

Bad stuff- I took the kids to Chick Fil A for lunch to do something fun on my birthday (which of course was good), but while we were there I got a phone call that I failed my one hour glucose test on Tuesday. Boo! That's never happened before, so now I have to do the three hour fasting one next week. Not fun, and hopefully I'll pass!

28 weeks! (and a very dirty mirror)