Thursday, April 29, 2010

Project 365, Week 17

This was a fun week as we prepared for and looked forward to our visit with Nana in Florida.  As I was going back over the week several days later than usual, I was thinking this is why I do this I can remember what we did farther back than two days ago.

April 18
The girls delighted in going through all their summer clothes.             

April 19
Despite what it may look like here, we are not rednecks.
April 20
Shaun took the girls with him to work in the morning and Aiden and I met them for a picnic lunch.
April 21
My ever-present helper :)
April 22
Once we got through security and to our gate, the girls got right to work.
April 23
A grand day spent at Disney World.
April 24
The beach!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

We're Ba-aack

We got back last night just before midnight after a great time away.  I have a couple posts to catch up on but first I am dealing with an empty frig, an intimidating number of unanswered work emails and a large pile of laundry and mail.  Oh yes...and there is the small matter of the 790 photos I came back with. :) Thankful for our time away, thankful to be home!

But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven's angels, not even the Son.
Only the Father.
So keep a sharp lookout, for you don't know the timetable.
It's like a man who takes a trip, leaving home and putting his servants in charge, each assigned a task, and commanding the gatekeeper to stand watch.
So, stay at your post, watching. You have no idea when the homeowner is returning, whether evening, midnight, cockcrow, or morning.
You don't want him showing up unannounced, with you asleep on the job.
I say it to you, and I'm saying it to all: Stay at your post. Keep watch."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Its The Little Things

Where do I start?  Well, this week has been spent packing, which regrettably includes my least favorite parenting job...changing out clothes for the new season.  I pull out all the summer clothes, figure out what fits and what is lacking.  Let me say, I am so, SO thankful for the blessing of hand-me-downs.  We have a few faithful donators and so far have had to spend very little on clothing for our kids.  Its one of Avery's great pleasures in life to go up to the third floor (aka clothes storage place) and go through bags of clothes from her cousin Madison and friend Payton.  Here's one of the "outfits" she came up with.

Anyway...all week I've been looking for a bag with flip flops that I bought at the end of season last year.  Could not find it and it was bugging me.  Finally, this morning I prayed simply, Lord, please help me find that blasted bag.  Approximately 90 seconds later I found it, where I'd already looked.  I told the girls and they thought it was so cool (not sure if it was the bag full of sandals or the answered prayer that they were impressed with).  Cute shoes, right?
Look what I paid for them!  Plus, I had a coupon!
Then, I ran out quick to hit a few errands and since I was returning a book to the library anyway, I thought I'd inquire at the desk if my netflixed items had come in even though I had not gotten the usual email letting me know.  Several of my requests were in, just in time for vacation!  I was so excited.  (I'll let you know if I recommend any of them)
Earlier this week I was cleaning out the stroller that I apparently hadn't used since last August during softball season.  I found a special blanket that I had wondered what in the world had happened to and I found a few tiny pieces of clothing.  His (July) hospital hat.  That was a fun discovery.

To top it all off, just as I was signing in to do this post, I spotted the {new!} spell-check feature blogger just added.  I've been a couple months without it since I updated to their latest version.  I'm sure all you readers (especially the nit-picky ones like me) will appreciate the use of spell check in my posts.

All these things are 'kisses from the King'.  That's what I've heard it referred to as and I like it.  Thanks God for the little things...reminders that you are not too big to care about my little things.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Matthew 6:26

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday's Walk ~ Florida

Tomorrow we leave for Florida, where we will be spending a couple days with our grandparents.  I say "our" but its actually Shaun's grandmother.  However, I've been in the family for longer than I care to admit I've been alive, so I claim his family as my own...most of the time *wink*. 

Though Nana was born and raised in Connecticut, about 35 years ago she got smart and headed down to a beautiful spot in Florida.  Though we wish she lived closer, it does make a very nice vacation destination.  In thinking about Wednesday's Walk down memory lane and our coming trip, I couldn't help but think of these pictures from our March 2007 trip.  We had two in diapers, but they both flew for free!  This was little Avery's first time at the ocean and she wasn't quite sure at first.
 These next couple were taken on the sun "porch" and are just so precious to me, particularly the last one.

You alone are the LORD.
You made the heavens, even the highest heavens,
and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it,
the seas and all that is in them.
You give life to everything,
and the multitudes of heaven worship you.
Nehemiah 9:6

Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy Birthday, Shaun

Shaun's birthday is April 15, which up until three years ago was fine.  Then he started doing tax preparation and started to be busy on April 15 and I had to learn the hard way to not plan anything big on his actual day.  During the day I went out with the kids to pick up his presents.  We couldn't do it before then because like any three and four year olds, they cannot keep a secret.  When we got home they made him a cake because to them, it is not a real birthday unless there is cake involved.

Enjoying the fruits of their labor.  Yeah, yeah, I raw egg, blah, blah, blah.

Aiden helped by snacking happily in his chair.
In their defense, the cake broke apart mainly because I only used the two eggs I had instead of the three the back of the box recipe called for.
We drank hot chocolate while patiently waiting for daddy to come home.
And then we had our 10 PM birthday bash.
The girls brought out the gifts that they had wrapped and hidden.  We did some brainstorming about what kinds of things daddy might like.  Avery had some good thoughts but finally settled on sunglasses.  She also spent quite a bit of time making his card.
Then it was Amanda's turn.  WISH I had this on video, but the series of photos will have to do.  She couldn't stand the suspense, so she busted through the layers of tape herself.
Dun, dun, dun, dun...eye drops!
I was planning on returning them in a few days without Amanda's knowledge, but not Shaun.  He immediately opened them up.  He doesn't wear contacts and has maybe never used eye drops in his 39 years, but it was clear Amanda was excited.
This picture makes me laugh out loud while at the same time my heart swells for this man who is such an incredible father.  Right then and there, he put drops in both eyes, exclaiming that he could see so much better, just as Amanda had explained to him.  He is truly one in a million.
The next day he had to go into the office for a couple hours in the morning and then was done!  I started a welcome-home-after-being-gone-for-three-and-a-half-months fight with him (I know...nice) but we quickly worked through that.  I surprised him with a trip to Providence.  We ate at an amazing restaurant in a quiet corner booth where we sat practically on top of each other and kissed and held hands and laughed and talked and ate really yummy food.  It was delightful getting reaquainted and spending time together.  Thanks to Pop and Kiki for taking the kids overnight.

This is the only (horrible) picture we have of the night, but I thought I may want it some day.  Shaun's new phone has a very bright flash.  I'm so thankful for the dear treasure God gave me in Shaun.  Happy birthday, Buddy!

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him
Matthew 12:35

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Project 365, Week 16

This was a week of celebrating at our house.  We kicked it off on Sunday with a cast party.  Then Friday morning marked the official end of tax season, which means we get Shaun back!  It was also his birthday. 

We got to see nearly all of our family at various times throughout the week and basically we just felt really blessed.  The sweet smell of spring lingers in the air and we're enjoying all the sun (and rain) we get.

April 11
We've driven by this row of beautiful trees often and we finally stopped so I could take a few pictures.
April 12
All dressed up for an outing to Avery's dance and the grocery store.  Amanda's got skillz in heels...actually, they both do.
April 13
My little guy turned 9 months!
April 14
Amanda was helping the ants build their house.
April 15
We stopped at the local golf course to get Shaun a gift certificate for his birthday.  Thanks to Amanda, we ended up getting lunch at the club house comped.  We invited the owner's charming 9 year-old to eat with us since she was on school vacation and her dad was golfing.  Here they are looking out across the course with binoculars. 
April 16
The girls' current favorite cereal is three or four kinds all mixed together.  I'll be honest and say its a little annoying to pull out four boxes every morning, but maybe they are getting better well-rounded nutrition that way?  Hey...anything for their happiness.  :)
April 17
My BIL Nathan, who owns the H & R Block franchise where Shaun works held an end-of-the-tax-year party at our house.  He's got a great crew working for him...these girls are super sweet and we enjoyed getting to know them a little better.

Hope you had a great week, too.  Thanks for hosting, Sara.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Aiden is Nine Months

The growing and changing and learning stops for no one!  It seems Aiden wakes up every day determined to conquer something new...go a little higher, get a little faster...

He's worked very hard this month on standing.  He does it with ease while holding on to something, usually with just one hand so the other is free to hold the object he is putting in his mouth.  Occasionally he lets both hands go for several seconds at a time.  He spent quite a bit of time practicing getting down from the standing position more gracefully, so we've had a lot less injuries this month.

He eats all manner of food, by himself.  I gave up on cereal when it kept getting spit back at me, so he's just on people food and nursing now.  Just like the girls, Aiden will sit in the highchair for as long as I am willing to throw food at him and he just shovels it in.  From sweet potatoes to avocados, strawberries to mangos, steak to chicken, we haven't yet come across anything he rejects.

Sleeping is not a problem...he sleeps about 9-9, with a feeding in the 4-7 AM range.  His 45 minute evening nap has been phased out, leaving just the two.  Usually he goes down without a fuss, and likes it when I sing to him.  At night, he dives right out of my arms into his bed and snuggles right in.

Clearly, he recognizes some words now.  He knows all our names and always gets a little excited when I say Avery or Amanda.  Truthfully, I'm not sure if the spinning in my arms is excitement or fear, but he does react.

Aiden is a little more attached to me than he probably should be.  I chalk it up to the fact that I have essentially been the only parent around for the last three months.  He really likes to be held and cries when I leave the room.  I feel bad because he is not into being held by his sisters and they like to.  Soon enough I know he will be following Daddy around everywhere so I'm not too worried about it.

The photoshoot for this month didn't go as I was hoping, ending before it even began.

This is his "mom, hold me" face.
Amanda tried to help corral him.
How can I deny that sweet face?  :)
This is how he is much happier...standing next to something with a tool in his hand or sitting in his highchair taking in massive amounts of food.
Here are some from the past month...
Proof that Daddy did hold him a couple times.
He's already willing to help his sister with her chores.
I swear he says "dog" whenever he sees Riley.
These next few I found on the camera Avery was using.  It was time for Aiden to wake up anyway so I let her go in and peek at him.  She just could not get over how cute he was sleeping.  She kept exclaiming it over and over.
And his very newest thing is that front bottom tooth.  Can you see it? 
I think his look has definitely changed this month.  He's looking less like a baby and more like a boy.  That is as it should be but still a little emotional.  This season in our lives is so amazing.  I love having baby toys scattered all over the house, I love that there is someone in our house who wears teeny tiny socks.  I love the pure laughter that rings in the air.  He's been such a blessing.