Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Speaking of trains- we were able to take James and Hayden up to the NC Transportation Museum to ride the train for St. Patrick's Day.  It was a bit of a rocky morning- car trouble = car in the shop all day & boys struggles = uncontrollable sobbing/throwing up.  yikes!  But really, the Lord was so gracious to us that day.  We were able to get everything with the car fixed for a good price & a good value.  We were able to step back from those blood boiling moments of toddler-tantrum-trauma & do some self evaluation.  What a blessing it is to go through the normal struggles of life & look for God's purpose and refining fire.  I'm thankful that all those moments that make me fray around the edges are not merely happenstance or mundane, but constructive- or rather deconstructive.  I know I'm seeking God in those moments now when I haven't before & letting go of my own way- my own vision of what I want my boys to do & be.

We are all in his plans- can't I be thankful for all in the midst of what seems like constant struggle?

I'm grateful- I have to stop and realize it, but I'm so grateful for what I've been given.  How full my life is- so many things that go unnoticed.  But, I am stopping, noticing, and saying thanks.

 Who cares that I smelled like vomit?? not Hayden.  A moment almost a direct product of embracing the hand we were dealt that day.  What do we do with what we've been given?  Our best- our honest response of gratitude.  Such joy comes from a thankful heart.

Such joy comes from a boy in undies & rainboots.  haha

 Such happiness comes from an iPad.  but more importantly, such love comes from a daddy- our boys are smitten.  Daddy lights up their world- even Hayden now gets such a big grin and giggles when Daddy comes home.  One day I hope they can be truly thankful for their dad- that is a gift in and of itself.

ok, ok.  This one has nothing to do with anything. haha.

And this- I've gotten to take some evening jogs since the time change & I love it.  My favorite time of day because of the light- our neighborhood the huge, old trees are so beautiful.  It is tough not to run and watch where I'm going. haha.  Trying to soak up those minutes.

What a heavenly blaze is behind some sunsets- just makes me think about the all consuming, blazing fire, the glory of God.  Kinda scares me on one hand, but somehow also makes me long to see heaven.  Made me run faster that night to see if I could get a better view before it was gone... blessing.

"Let me feel you shine Lord, let me feel you shine.  So beautiful and warm, so beautiful and bright.  Like the sun coming out, oh will radiate the sky...."

boy joy.

Days lately take us outside in the afternoons when we are done with our chores and there are no errands to do (or at least they can wait :-)  These boys are playing in the sandbox, going down the slide, racing trucks, playing ball, blowing bubbles, and getting dirty.

Oh did I mention sailing pirate ships?? haha

Wearing green to celebrate St. Patrick's day & their Uncle Josh's 30th birthday.  Uncle Josh you have no idea how often your name ends up on James' 'Thankful' list after his bedtime prayers.  He loves you (and Corrie, Madeline, & Darcy).

I don't know if anything can top James' love for his closest friends.  Anna Kate was all he could say for the whole morning leading up to our lunch play date- and all he could say the rest of the day.  I took some video of them running and holding hands together that day which he has watched dozens of times. Talk about  She is so special to him.


This face says it all.  LOVE him some Anna Kate.

ready, set, go!!



(narrated by James Prose)

train bliss.

James got a new train tonight.  such a 'treat' as he likes to call it - a trade to let mommy look for some shorts  for this boy at TJ Maxx and he gets to pick out a new train.  He picks Diesel 10- which is a bad guy in the Thomas the Train/Shining Time Station movie hybrid.  Didn't even know those two were connected- I think I watched Shining Time Station as a kid...

All we heard from this boy bliss was ... Diesel choo choo, diesel..... :-)

James is having to share his train table with Hayden these days.  This first encounter got off to a sweet start...

James doesn't always like to share.

But he loves his baby bro and he warmed up eventually.  I am loving watching them play together - what a whole new world we are just getting into...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

counting counting counting

Little James has learned to count.  We were reading his story for bed one night and he counted.  "one, two, one, two."  So we almost fell over, then we asked him if he knew what came next.  He counted all the way to six.  It was crazy.  He can count up to nine now.  huh- you never know what they know I guess until one day they just tell you & act like it's old news.

I've been 'counting my blessings' more and more.  1000 blessings has continued to inspire me.  Loved this section about Moses.

Hayden is counting up his months as well.  Happy 7 months little guy.  Almost 18 pounds these days and about 27 inches long.  His little personality is just sugar- pure sweetness.  He laughs so easily, and his eyes just light up.  He's still doing his baby-kiss-attack which is sometimes painful, but my boy wants to give me kisses.  What can beat that.

This almost looks like a raised eyebrow.  He definitely gets that from his mommy.

Love the city skyline.  Its amazing how beautiful it can be- I've never really considered buildings beautiful before, but the creativity in them is definitely something I would call God inspired.  Can't count how often I am struck my its beauty depending on the time of day.

Perspective.  What a relevant word from Martin Luther.  a radically different way to count.

Who can bring peace unless they hold their own peace??  What a needed reminder during a period of life where toddler tantrums can sometimes cause mommy-tantrums as well.  Thank you Lord for teaching me how to keep peace, choose peace.  What a blessing that is- even when I fail.  Counting each situation as a chance to grow.

These guys are why - love them so much.  pictured below: James climbed up in my lap and wanted to snuggle.  Little Hayden bouncing & dancing away.

mr. dimples.

oh my little baby Ike.  Just like his grammy. :-) I think I may be guilty of taking innumerable pictures of you. haha.

Oh, and he now is up to 3 teeth.  Yes, one & two bottom teeth.  And now #3 is top left side (not front tooth) haha.  We'll definitely keep counting teeth for sure.  and hopefully get a decent photo.


During our potty training, we all had the Cold (yes, capital C) of 2012.  James had to take two rounds of antibiotic to clear his ear infections and poor Hayden had two rounds of spiking fevers.  yuck.  But, we used our contagious time usefully in the end.  At least we hit two birds with one stone.  But I am so relieved to not be hermits anymore and get back to our normal routines: library, play dates, Bible study, church.  

And the weather helped.  My boys playing outside.  ahhh.  Yes, in undies.  such a big boy.  growing up too fast.

James decided to take his bro for ride.


sunshine.  yes please.  Hayden was in for a bumpy ride, but he is getting to really enjoy getting out in the yard in the wagon.  If I set him down on the grass, all he wants to do is crawl into the dirt.  haha, mommy wasn't quite ready for his hand-to-mouth crawler to be in the dirt.  This summer is gonna be tough for me!

James playing footsie with Hayden.  Sweet big brother likes to pull Hayden's high chair up to the table as close as he can to himself.  You know, so he can swipe puffs off Hayden's tray or set his drink up there.  haha, or to play footsie.  Or steal Hayden's paci.  But, he's a sweet brother.  Sweet feet playing together.

It's so nice that big brother will hold your hand when you're not feeling well.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Potty Training.

Where do I even start.  Little James had never gone as we say, "pee pee on the potty," until this past Sunday night.  We borrowed a potty seat for the big toilet from my parents, just to try out since he showed some interest in it during our last visit, and voila.  He goes.

We go all in.  We debated it- and decided it was worth a try.  Ride the wave of interest he was showing.  Capitalize on the excitement and pride he was feeling when he was successful.  We went all in.

It has been easier than I thought and harder in some ways.  I love seeing my little guy running around in his undies and get so happy when he does it all by himself.  Harder when I think of how it will change our routines and travel and errands. everything.

But, just because mommy wasn't quite ready for this big change (when am I really?), didn't mean that he wasn't.  So I embrace.  We go all in.

Isn't there a message about life in there somewhere?? haha.

pulling up

These days I look at my video monitor I see one sleeping...

and one standing.

Little Hayden isn't letting James have his iPad time alone anymore. haha

Thursday, March 8, 2012

home again, home again.

Welcome home.

beautiful sunrise.


The Queen City.

Picnic with the Proses.

We got to spend the day with Grandpa & Mimi as well as Aunt Natassja & baby Jack.  We went for a picnic lunch at the park in Port Richey right by the river and playground.  So much fun.

Soccer ball was the highlight of James' lunch.

James & Jack

Mimi & Hayden

'deer in the headlights'.  hilarious.

Grandpa & Hayden

sunshine is good for the soul.

Dancing with his cuz.  Love this.