Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Brennan is a Graduate!

Our little boy is certainly growing up.  This past Friday, he graduated from preschool.  I can't believe his preschool days are behind us now.  It's so surreal!

The kids did a cute presentation with songs and then each child was called by name to receive a medal.

Even though we got there on time, I had to deliver Brennan to his classroom and take him to the bathroom, and by the time I got to the sanctuary, all of the seats in the main part were taken.  We ended up so far back in a little annex that I couldn't get decent photos.  This one below is the best I could do when Brennan received his medal:

Seriously a bummer.  :-(  I wanted to cry.  I know I wasn't entitled to good seats just because I'm a mom, but I was sad anyway.  I so treasure good photos.

This is a picture of Cora clapping when the kids were receiving their medals.  Jim stood in the very back with Cora so she could get down and run around.

As the kids were exiting the auditorium, Brennan was the absolute last kid to leave.  (He was on the top row in the last class to leave.)  He didn't like all of the noise and chaos, but you can tell he isn't totally miserable.

I didn't get a picture of Brennan coming in at the beginning because it was too crowded, and I was too busy trying not to cry.  I didn't plan to cry at all, but the kids came in to "A, You're Adorable," which is a song that I sang to Brennan constantly when he was a baby.  I just couldn't believe they picked that song!

After the ceremony, I got a picture of Brennan with his teacher, Ms. Carla.  He is happy that he hasn't had to say good-bye yet.  She is going to be one of the teachers at his summer camp in a few weeks.

Congratulations to my little graduate!  Now it's time to get ready for the big leagues!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Strawberry Picking

Yesterday my mother-in-law and I took the kids to a farm about an hour northeast of here so we could go strawberry picking.  

There is nothing quite like finding perfect, red, ripe strawberries, ready for picking...

Oh, wait.  Yes, there is. 

These were the most delicious, warm, unbeLIEVable strawberries ever!

It was HOT and we couldn't stop Cora from eating every single strawberry she laid her hands on.  After picking a few buckets and sweating a few buckets, Brennan was over the heat.

But when we got home and he ate some cooled strawberries after dinner, he changed his tune.  I had to cut him off after he ate two whole bowls of them!

I'd love to freeze and enjoy them all year, but I know that will never happen.  We bought 15 pounds of strawberries, and even if I freeze a bunch, I'll bet they'll be gone by the end of June.  

Simple pleasures are the best.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mother's Day Wisdom

Sunday was a sweet Mother's Day.  I was served breakfast in bed (Brennan's idea and Daddy's effort), I was given a bunch of precious homemade treasures, and I got to go out to dinner with my two favorite little people and adoring husband.  I felt loved.

And I needed to feel loved.

I hurt my back last Thursday, and it has been terrible.  I haven't been myself at all.  I have had to feel all kinds of unpleasant things.  Besides feeling incredible pain, I feel helpless, worthless, and dependent.  Those things are just as uncomfortable for me as sleeping on the floor.

Being hurt makes me really look at myself honestly. Some of what I see is good, and some of it isn't.  Although my desire to serve my family and friends is a good thing, my stubbornness is not always my best trait.  And I'm discovering that my not wanting to ask for help is because I don't always feel secure enough in my relationships to believe that people really want to help me.  Of course, I've been on the other side of things, and I know that when I offer to help people, I mean it.  When I'm the one who needs help, I worry:  Am I asking too much?  Am I being needy?  Am I being selfish? 

Brennan is good at teaching me things.  He tells me when he needs a hug.  He tells me when I have hurt his feelings.  He trusts me to love him unconditionally.  When he asks for a hug, he can be pretty confident that he will get one and it will be given with love.  He doesn't have any baggage that tells him to do everything for himself. 

Kids are so good like that.  I learn a lot from my kids.

In fact, Brennan teaches me all kinds of things I didn't know about myself.  Like almost everything in this list below:

Actually, he got four questions right.  Any guesses on which ones?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

19 Months and 5 Years Old

I haven't really written any updates on my kiddos in a while, and since part of the reason I keep this blog is to keep a record of our family life, I want to do it before the moment has passed us by.


Brennan is growing like a weed.  I just bought him a whole new wardrobe for spring and summer, and this is the first time I have purchased separate play clothes and school / church clothes.  He is not an extreme rough and tumble boy, but he is still a boy who enjoys exploring outside, and I can't bear to see all of his clothes get ruined before we start kindergarten.

Brennan's reading skills have gotten even better, and it appears he is now reading independently on a second grade level.  He is also showing more and more interest in writing.  Every day he is making signs to label doors, walls, and even boxes.  He writes and illustrates books and occupies himself for hours at a time, just writing and illustrating.

Preschool graduation is coming up, and I am amazed that we are about to enter a new chapter for our "baby."  He is definitely ready.  Preschool has been a wonderful experience (after three programs, I finally found one that I really love), but Brennan has been bored and frustrated, asking why he has to keep learning things he already knows.  He is most definitely his daddy's son with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.

We recently read through the Jesus Storybook Bible (a must read for little kids and even adults!), and we have been talking more about God's plan for salvation.  We are looking for intentional opportunities to teach Brennan about our great God.  It's a daily process of living for Christ and modeling that to our kids, and it is a huge responsibility and honor.


Cora is so sweet and kind-hearted, giving hugs, kisses, and lots of affection.  When I lay her down in her bed at night or at nap time, she lays in her crib on her back with her little hand in the air, opening and closing her fist saying, "Bye-bye, Mommy.  Night-night.  Bye-bye.  Bye-bye, Mommy.  Luffyou.  Night-night."  Sometimes I just want to scoop her back up and never let go.

After we ruled out a milk allergy and got some fat into Cora several months ago, she went up to the 25th percentile in weight, which is where she is currently.  She is still very, very tall (over the 95th percentile in height), so she wears 18 month clothes which hang down on her waist and yet still fit because she is so long.  We just recently moved to size 4 diapers, which was a big achievement.  :-)

Cora has hit a stage where every word that comes out of her mouth strikes me as cute and funny.  Her favorite expressions right now are, "HereyougoMommy" as she hands me things, "DaddyHome?" every time she hears the garage door (or the air conditioning, which sounds like the garage door), and "Messy!" which is what she tells me every time she eats.  She loves to bounce while saying, "Dancin'! Dancin'!" Her speech is absolutely amazing, and Brennan often asks me after school if Cora learned any new words that day.  Last night she discovered a hairball on the play room floor, and we could hear her in there saying, "Look! Nasty! Nasty!" :-)

Cora's favorite thing to do is dress up.  She is always putting on someone's shoes, boots, hats, sunglasses, etc.  We have started a bin of accessories for her, and her motto is "more is better."

My children are such a tremendous gift.  It's true what they say: "The days are so long, but the years are so short."

These are such happy, blessed years.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Goals Update

Last Saturday I realized that 2011 is 1/3 of the way done.  (What?!? Where is this year going?!)  As I thought about the goals I had set for this year and how I am doing in achieving them, I decided I would share a little update.

In January I set two kinds of goals: personal goals and house goals (you can follow the links to read more in depth).  Here is an update on both sets:

Personal Goals for 2011:

1. Read every word of the Bible in a year.
Let me just say, if you have never read through the Bible, it is an awesome thing to do.  It does require some dedication, but the rewards are so great!  I am loving seeing God's plan for his people throughout history and better understanding the great God I worship.  So far I have read Genesis, Job, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I Samuel, and currently I am in a mishmash of 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, and Psalms.  (I will admit that I am currently struggling... These are not the most engaging books, though I completely understand why they need to be a part of the Bible.)

For those who have asked, Jim and I are following a chronological reading plan, so we are reading the events in the order in which they happened.  There are many, many chronological reading plans available, but we are currently using one available on YouVersion.  Each day I have about 10 - 15 minutes of reading (except when I get behind, which happens more often than I would like), and there is an app for my phone so I can read in car line, too!  :-) 

2. Write on my blog at least once a week.
You can check the progress of this one for yourself.  The archive list over there to the right doesn't lie.

3. Leave the Nashville area at least four times.
In February we returned to Dallas for a visit, a few weeks ago I went to The Smoky Mountains for a retreat, and in October we will be returning to Dallas for my friend Erin's wedding.  I just need to plan one other getaway in order to reach my goal, and squeezing that one in around our schedules and finances is going to be really tricky.  Time to think, plan, and get intentional...

House Goals for 2011:

Finish the coat closet hallway


1. Work on the family room

  • get a mirror or  artwork to go above the sofa

  • hang something below the ledge shelf in this picture above

  • fill in the vertical space(s) next to our feature photo wall

  • change the throw pillows... I'm hoping to add pops of aqua to the room.

  • Before:


    (I was trying to decide what size piece I need over the couch.  I still haven't found what I am looking for!)


    2. (Nearly) Finish the play room
    • paint the walls
    • make throw pillows for the couch
    • create a place for the kids to showcase their artwork
    • hang stuff on the walls
    • make new light fixtures
    • have Jim re-wire the lights



    3. Trim out the chalkboard wall



    This isn't officially done because we still need to fill in the nail holes and touch up the paint.  But it looks good, and I am thrilled that I decided to do it!

    I also made a few magnetic frames and some glass magnets:

    Buckets give me a place to keep chalk, chalk pens, and an eraser.

    • Work on the guest bathroom / kids' bathroom.
    • Give some TLC to my craft room.
    • Get curtains for our bedroom.  
    • Hang something on the empty wall in the dining room.
    • Add more lighting to the formal living room.

    Having a goals list for the house has been incredibly helpful.  When I have had a little extra money, I have been able to make good, intentional choices.  My eyes are always peeled for things that will help me accomplish my goals, and I can prioritize my time better.

    In a few weeks I am having a garage sale, and I am already trying to decide where to spend the money I make.  Having this goals list helps me to narrow down my choices considerably and keeps me focused.

    I will try to do another update in four more months.  Hopefully I will have 2/3 of the list done!
    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...