Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Thank Heavens for Grace...

I've seen this a couple times over the last few months, and I just love it. I love the music - I've been thinking alot about how to learn about Christ, to focus more on Christ, and become more like Him. I know we're usually our own worst critics, but I've been feeling particularly inadequate and unsuccessful lately. I keep remembering wise words from one of the wonderful women in my congregation at church -- to paraphrase, "If you feel like you aren't enough, like you can't do enough or be enough, it's okay, because it's true. That is why we have the Savior. It is only with Him that we are enough, that we can do enough, that we can be enough." I love the words, "Oh, to Grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be. Let Thy Goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee. Prone to wander - Lord, I feel it! Prone to leave the God I love.... Here's my heart -- oh take and seal it for thy courts above."

I love that the images in this slideshow are photographs -- so real. It reminds me that He really lived, and still lives today. It reminds me that His miracles are real, and were not just for the past, but are also for my present.

Now if I can just remember that the next time I break up a fight between my kids or the next time I have to tell them 5 (or 10 or 20) times before they obey or the next time I clean up the spilled juice/milk/vegetables/main dish off the floor after another unsuccessful attempt to get my three year old to EAT HIS DINNER. :)

Thank Heavens for GRACE!

Monday, October 27, 2008

So Sweet!

My wonderful Dad came all the way out from Utah for Baby A's blessing October 12. It was so sweet to have him here -- we had a great time visiting and enjoying each others' company. I'm so grateful for our fantastic family!! Thanks for coming, Dad -- you made it extra special. We love you!!
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Family Pictures....

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A trip to the Patch

A few weeks ago a bunch of momma-friends got together and we all took a trek out to a nearby pumpkin patch. It was so fun! A few proper Midwest downpours made it extra exciting. :) The kids loved the hay maze, the tractor ride, the little craft shop, the farm animals & the playground. I loved watching them play and visiting with fabulous ladies and taking pictures!

I sewed up a baby sling earlier that morning, and gave it a try (that makes it sound like I know what I'm doing -- don't be fooled -- I don't. They're just really easy to make!). Baby A loved it! And so did I!! How cute is my $7 fabric?! These things cost $50+ retail! Check out the pattern here if you'd like to make one (or buy one from Karma Baby). I take it everywhere -- when she was smaller she could even nurse in it, but she's getting a little too big for that now.
I'm so glad I get to do fun things with my kids and be a mom. I get ornery every now and then, but I'm really pretty darn lucky! Gotta count those blessings and keep things in perspective, right??
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

October Camp Out

The hot 'n' humid midwest doesn't make for much good camping during the summer months (I'm biased in the direction of mountain-range and on-the-beach camping). But if you time it just right, enjoyable family car camping is possible in the Fall or Spring. The first weekend in October was just such a time! We went with two other families, and had a great time. We lucked out with a site adjacent to the playground, and far enough from the lake to keep it from being a temptation to little would-be-swimmers. All three families had babies (a 10 month old, a 6 month old, and a 2 month old!), but the babies did really well overall, and the weather was great -- it rained just before we got there, so the kids got filthy and wet on the playground - a proper beginning to a campout. Then it was a little chilly and damp in the morning, but it made you appreciate the fire! We had fantastic food -- cobbler, tin foil dinners, s'mores, sausage/eggs/pancakes, & hot chocolate (Kim brought two giant cans of Stephens' - YUM). There was an old-school playground (merry-go-round, swings, tall metal slide) and a newer playground. Joel tied a glow stick to his son to keep track of him once it got dark -- it was funny to see the disembodied glow stick floating up and down about the playground. :) The kids fished for a little bit Saturday morning, but didn't get so much as a nibble. We missed the Saturday morning session of conference, but got 3 or 4 phone calls between us letting us know about the KC area temple announcement. How exciting!!
I think my favorite part was sitting around the camp fire in the morning, chatting with the grown-ups and watching while the kidlets played. And I loved that Joseph let the kids stay up as late as they wanted to, playing late into the night. Good times
Little Ms. A enjoyed the adventure from the comfort of Heidi's sling -- I'm LOVIN' the sling thing. I decided I shouldn't hoard Heidi's, so I made my own two days later. :)
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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Take me out to the Ball Game!

A few weeks ago we went to our first (and possibly last) Royals game. Joseph and I are trying to GET OUT and DO MORE STUFF that the local community has to offer -- the clock is ticking, and graduation is actually in sight. Of course, procrastinating is so ingrained in my character that it has to apply here, as well: less than a year left = time to squish in some memories!!

So when a friend offered us four tickets and a parking pass to the game, we took it gratefully. I borrowed my friends' baby sling for Baby A, and she slept peacefully for most of the game (the home runs were a little startling). Great seats (right by third base), expensive consessions ($12 for a bitty plate of nachos!), season ticket holders all around us (they make things exciting) and a solid win (including 3 home runs) made the night a blast.  It's so all-American - definitely something everyone should experience, baseball fan or not.
Excited much?
It might look like an embrace, but K was actually restraining J-boy -- that kid was ALL OVER!
Self photography at it's finest.
Baby A thought it was all exhausting.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Two months already?!

Weight: 9 lbs, 13 oz
Height: 22 inches tall

I can't believe how fast the time is flying. Baby A is 2 months old, sweet and full of smiles. Her favorite activity in the whole wide world is eating. But she also likes hanging out in her swing (I'm so grateful for baby gear!), 'playing' with her sister (her brother is just kind of dangerous as far as she's concerned), and having her diaper changed. :) We can't quite figure out our daytime schedule (I'm looking forward to the days of consistent napping -- I have faith they will come), but she sleeps for a solid 8 hours every night, wakes up to eat, then sleeps for another 2-3. I really really really like that about her.

It's been so nice to take things a little more slowly. I'm not teaching as much, and Joseph's schedule is a little less rigorous this year - his academic load is not as heavy. I was released from my calling in the Primary Presidency the day Baby A was born, and now I'm the ward organist, and I teach Relief Society once a month. Piece of cake! At first it felt strange to not have 60 children to corral every Sunday, but now I'm enjoying Sundays as a day of rest! Life in general is a little simpler, and I'm really enjoying motherhood. Don't get me wrong -- I enjoyed my other kids' babyhood. But with K, I was mourning the end of my college days, and we were in an uncomfortable transition from self-employment to graduate school when J was a baby. With A, it's almost like I'm coasting along - we definitely have our moments, but it's not so hard this time around. We're just more settled. And I like it!

I've been having fun taking pictures of my kids. One of these days I'll fork over the money and take a photography class, but in the meantime I'll just keep experimenting. These pictures were too funny -- when Joseph saw the one on the left, he said, "Is that our kid??" And so begins the "For Future Bribery" section of Baby A's scrapbook.