Monday, March 26, 2012

a top 10 memory

my family loves and they love hard.

everytime we get together we laugh, we eat, we talk, and we laugh some more. it is always a good time and i am so thankful for them. for my parents- who are excellent role models, for my awesome brother, and for the most amazing woman that anthony chose to be his wife and before long..... like in the middle of september they will welcome a sweet baby.

so if you have calculated correctly you know-

but this weekend was awesome and just one little snapshot of our 2 days together highlights one of my top 10 family memories.

So I present to you.... family kickball.....HILARIOUS!

this game sent our little red ball flying faster than it ever has through the air of our backyard.

this game caused some videoing to be used (for black mailing) if need be :)

this game caused my sweet, innocent brother to launch a line drive across the yard to get my mom out- where ouch, it nearly knocked her head off!

this game gave us some hope that ivy might have more athleticism and coordination than we have given her credit for.

this game was family bonding, family fun, and family memories on overload!

memories are a great thing.

you have to be intentional about creating some memories, like a first birthday, a trip to disney, a camping trip, or going canoeing together.

but other memories just happen and at times, those are the ones you go to bed thinking of and hope for more of when you wake up the next day.

i am thankful for a family where those kind of memories just happen... all the time.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Germie Days... the unexpected answered prayers

When it rains, it pours and this week it rained little germies all over my sweet girls!
It may seem unlucky after lucky Saint Patrick's Day however, I have prayed for it in a way. I prayed for energy to do it all, for balance in the busy-ness of these next few months, for moments to enjoy the little things and little people in my life and in a weird unexpected way God answered that prayer this week. I have missed two and half days of school to be with my little girls and as much as that can be stressful it also gives me time at home, time to care for my sick little ones and time that demands a break from the busy-ness of the season. So answered prayer it is.

Tula began her journey on Saturday evening with a low grade fever turned high by Sunday afternoon. And after a visit to the doctor on Monday we learned that the croup is upon us again. Thankfully, we didn't have the scary, can't catch your breath, croup cough this time. Just high fever and an 18 month old with no voice (SAD!).

Sick kids can sleep anywhere.... including a ball pit.... with two balls that Tula specifically chose, a blankie, a paci, and a baby doll. Tula thought the pit looked like loads of fun, until she got inside and realized it was the perfect spot for a snooze.

Ivy accompanied her baby sister to the doctor because our appointment was after school. I love how sweet she was to Tula in this situation. She got "checked out" too just to show Tula she didn't have to be scared. And the smile on Tula's face shows how comforting it is to be in the arms of her big sister! With a dose of meds, Tula was feeling better by Wednesday morning and back to the grind it was. Unfortunately, big sister caught a bug at the doctor's office (probably)....

So Wednesday, I picked Ivy up with tears in her eyes complaining her head and mouth were hurting. Blisters on the throat and fever led us back to the Doc but just another germie virus. But a germie virus that kept Ivy home on Thursday with Daddy and then again today with Mommy. Silly girl said sunglasses made her head feel better, and then I caught her wearing them like Nana's glasses to help you read better!!

This morning Ivy woke up ready to tell me her great idea- HOME SCHOOL! She said, "Home school is when you have a mommy for a teacher and a little kid for a student and you do school at home instead of school." She thinks this is solely her idea, and I am not going to let her know otherwise. If this little lady knew this was an option, the begging would begin! :) So I obliged and out came the letters, whiteboards, books, etc.

So thanks to unexpected prayers, I get to stay home another day but Ivy is keeping me from becoming a rusty teacher! Fingers crossed, I will be back on the job on Monday with two healthy little girls ready for enjoy the sunshine and their friends again.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sunshine, Sand, & Smiles

I love it when God changes the seasons on a whim.

It reminds me that He is in control and that feels good.

I especially love when the change of seasons involves sunshine, sand, and smiles.

Those things are a good pick me up....
a head clearing dose of happiness!

These are the days when we all are warding off bed time but are exhausted when it does finally come.

We play hard, love hard, and memory-make hard.

God is the giver of the sunshine, sand, and smiles.

And for those things, I am thankful.

Monday, March 12, 2012


Enjoying a moment in the hammock with my big girl. If I could feel her mood swings coming like I can feel the swinging of the hammock life would be much easier. I am thankful that many wise mama's have traveled and survived this road before me.

Today has been one of those days when I need Ivy's memory verse more than she does.

"Love is patient, Love is kind."
"Love is patient, Love is kind."
"Love is patient, Love is kind."

In parenting I need these simple words like I need air.
Someday are better than others.... I am hoping tomorrow will be better.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

18 months....and 10 days

Tula Belle @ 18 months
Height: 29 inches (4%)
Weight: 20lbs (3%)

It is hard to believe my "little" baby is already 18 months, 1 and a half, and half way to 3 (which is SO big)! It is amazing how fast they grow but this time I am hanging onto Tula being a baby and taking one day at a time. I am not in a hurry for the days or time to pass because I know I will blink my eyes and she will be going to kindergarten!

Tula is independent. She wants to freedom to do what Ivy does and she doesn't like my help. She tries to get dressed, gets her own shoes out of the basket, picks out her sippy cup, chooses the paci she wants to have, and likes to eat by herself. While in some ways she tries to be so big she also loves being the baby.... and when you ask her name she responds with a huge grin, "Baby!"

The baby Tula loves a few things.... her paci and blankie are definitely at the top of the list. She also loves a tiny baby doll that is easy for her to tote around feed, rock, and sing to. And while on the topic of singing, my baby girl loves music. She mimics songs and actually uses a singing voice. She busts out into a "La, la, la, laaaaaa" from time to time and always loves dancing to music.

Tula has no fear. She loves to climb, run, and be pushed on a tricycle. She has one speed- fast! She has had more bumps and bruises than Ivy has had in all 4 years. You can't turn your back or she will have climbed in the pantry (can you spot the little climber below?), climbed onto a big bed, or be standing on top of some toys that she has strategically placed into a stack! We pray we can protect her for a just a little bit longer because our girl is wild!

Tula is her own little person. She is full of smiles, giggles, and songs! She is a free spirit and being outside calms her down from any grouchy mood she is ever in. She loves to swing, slide, and roam.... however relaxing in a stroller is not really her thing. Every day that she grows I hang on to the little baby in her, but I also enjoy all the little facets of her personality that begin to shine!

Happy half birthday to our little wild mama!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Learning to Read....Melting my Heart

I love books.
Ivy loves books.
Tula loves books.
Daddy loves.... to be outside!
So I guess even though they get their looks from Daddy, they hopefully will get their reading genes from me!

Over the last few months Ivy has really expressed interest in reading books. She has been memorizing little books for a while now and wanting to "read" baby books to Tula daily, but this new push has been to read... like "read all of the little words"! So the fun begins!

I ordered these little beginning readers gently used and we are taking off! It has been so fun to blend my heart for teaching with my mommy heart. Ivy is excited and I am passionate about teaching specifically reading so the mix has been a perfect recipe to get started.

Ivy wanted a word wall and a pointer for Valentine's day (with the 4 words she could read!!) but we are quickly adding to those. We make word families with the vowel sound that go along with each new book. And then comes the picture walk to preview the story.... and WOW!

Ivy can't do a picture walk while looking at the book like normal but instead she plays "teacher" and shows me the pictures. She is animated and talks in a hilarious "teacher" voice. It makes me laugh!

Then she sprinkles some "magic reading dust" on her pointer finger and the fun begins!

Watch it here.... Ivy reading her very first book!