Friday, February 27, 2015

I am thankful for coffee.

     I have been keeping my list of the 1000 gifts + more that the Lord gives all around me - all the time.  Recently, I noticed that I have named coffee, surprisingly often.

7. cup of coffee & a quiet moment
68. cup of coffee & baby nap
78. new mornings & cup of coffee
178. coffee, James, Bible, daily devo, Thomas (the train) & journal 
= Hayden's nap time
226. sugar falling into my coffee cup
264. Gift sipped: cup of hot coffee (had to be right??)
302. Gift half: half&half in my coffee
326. strong cup of coffee
390. coffee & movie play date with my boys - nap time & a dirty house ;-)
402. coffee brewing & new FRESH GRACE
420. hot coffee for cold hands
445. Wednesday morning coffee at Carrie's
477. coffee & baby playtime
478. baby napping, boys playing, hot coffee, good read, encouraging tunes, 
grateful heart. 
499. hot cup of coffee & rolling the scripture around in my mind
(I've stopped at 500, haha!)

OK, point made.  None of these were recent, within the last 3 years.  I enjoyed looking back to the beginning of my journal as I close it out.

So: am I really thankful for coffee?  Yes & no.  I am definitely thankful for coffee.  However, I am more thankful for the quietness, the break, the little boost to the brain, the turning of my attention and affections to the Lord.  I am thankful of the pause, the prayers, the comfort given by the Lord from the coffee & from his goodness.  

I feel silly for saying thanks so often for 'coffee'.  It is almost embarrassing that this high-repetition item on my thankfulness list is so relatively unimportant.  Of course there are many more important things in my life to be thankful for, but I am grateful for the slowing down of the body and the revving up of the mind & heart that occurs in my coffee break.

Thank you Lord for the coffee.  But thank you for YOU.  Thank you for drawing me to you, no matter how simple or ordinary the invitation may appear to some.  In truth, it is nothing less than a beautiful beckoning if I name the gift.  Amen.

Friday, February 6, 2015


Welcome 2015.  I know this blog post is a little belated, but nevertheless, Happy New Year!  January is always filled so full of joyful celebrations for us.  Our nephew turned 4, our son James turned 5, we celebrated the new year and enjoyed the post-holiday-return-to-normalcy.

One of our traditions is the mark the boys' height on the wall in our kitchen.  We just started last January, so I had been looking forward to this for a whole year!  It is amazing to see how much they have grown, tons!! Especially Calvin! wow, little guys just growing in leaps and bounds.

We took our boys to ride the carrousel in St. Augustine.  On those days when we just need to leave the house, we drive down, let the kids watch a movie and grab a coffee.  They play at the park, absolutely love the carrousel, and enjoy the fresh air.

You may not have guessed, but the boy who loves the carrousel ride the most: Calvin!  Yes, that boy ran back to ride again&again.  He of course also got mad and threw a fit when we had to leave.  Oh the early.terrible.twos.  Hayden had those!  I think it is big brother induced...

I never photographed the ornament I made for Christmas 2014.  It was a star.  I thought it was a simple project, but the shape turned out to be difficult to perfect.  haha, so much for the 'easy' way.  But I was glad to make something as a keepsake.

Calvin has been going 'swimming' in his bath lately because he's been going to bed early!  He dropped his morning nap, so now he barely makes it to bedtime.  He was so funny to watch as he enjoyed the tub all to himself!

The boys got training-wheel bikes for Christmas and are not going on rides around the block.  They are really amazing to watch and a little scary!  I am thankful daddy has taken 'bike rides' for the boys, because it makes mommy a little anxious!

Grammy&Papa surprised us with a set of new jammies!  The boys loved them, and the box they came it almost as much.  These are the sweetest.  Thank you!

We got to go down for the day to celebrate our nephew Jack's birthday, and spent some time playing with our new nephew Max as well!  The boys just adore 'baby Max'!

Jack got a new bike at his party!  So we packed our bikes and they all got to ride together.  I can't imagine they'll have too many opportunities to do that, so it was worth the effort!

Mimi helping the boys fly their airplanes.

Our January had lots of simple, sweet moments.  The ones worth photographing and remembering when our  boys are grown up.

The boys loved the s'mores and celebrating Zara's birthday!  It was pirates, fairies, and peter pan.  Of course these guys loved getting dressed up and had a blast.

Tinker Bell and Peter Pan were there!  They played following the leader, the leader, the leader.  Following the leader where ever he may go...

We rebuilt Batman city for the boys to play.  It has moved up to James room to play and now includes all the 'snack' city buildings I had bought for the party.  We have quite the bustling metropolis now!

Calvin had his 18 month check up at 21 months, because I forgot.  But he did great, was a trooper and ahead of the game in his stats.  He was 29 lbs and 35 inches approximately.  I looked it up, and both of his brothers were just about the same size.  It amazes me that they all grew so very similarly!

Stomp Rockest in the driveway while mommy cooked dinner.  Some evenings during those hours of chaos before bedtime, it all falls together for those few minutes (or 30 seconds) when no one is fighting or crying or injured or throwing a tantrum.  The view is so beautiful in those minutes.

I took my little guys on runs to the playground lately, and they have loved the time out.  They are so good when we go out in the stroller, and they get excited to go if we make the playground a stop on our running trail. ;-)

The boys have loved having little fire-pit-s'mores-nights in the cool weather.  You cannot get a whole lot better than marshmellows & chocolate & graham crackers.

These buddies enjoying our new window seat.  more everyday.

"paging Dr. Hayden".  He was so proud of his project from school.  He couldn't wait to show daddy!  His Dr. bag opened up and had all kinds of tools inside.  We all had check ups.  So fun!  Calvin has learned the drill of picture taking and waving good bye while sitting on the front porch; he now does it all by himself sometimes.  What else can I do but snap his picture? ;-)  Sweet little guy says 'Mickey' now, so we splurged with a Mickey balloon at the grocery store that day.

The two batmen at dinner.  These.two. are becoming really sweet. friends.  Two mornings a week just the two of them is forging a special bond.  'Ay-en' is just about the first words out of Calvin's mouth some mornings.  I love hearing him call his brothers' names!  Just precious sounds.

Super hero-Star wars extravaganza.  I love it when he becomes dedicated to his play sometimes.  This big.little of mine is an organizer.  I love to watch him work.

Run, run, run, as fast as you can.  The FL winter is so beautiful.

Playing with their pup in the window.

Reflecting over 2014 and the hope that is budding in 2015.

We ended the month with a trip to see a beautiful wooden boat, sail & masts & all.

My sweet guys on the deck of the ship.  So many memories of this January.  The daily

James is 5!!

My big guy, my James is 5.years.old.  I cannot believe he's moving through the preschool phase and will be on his way to Kindergarten in the Fall.  He is the best big brother, so creative and sweet.  He's funny and kind, and makes us so proud.  He's quick to say I'm sorry and is fast to offer his hugs&kisses.  He's a gentle spirit.  He gets his feelings hurt easily.  He's a precious gift; I'm so glad he's my son.

James made this crown to wear at school on his birthday.  It was such a cool treat & he was so proud of it!  He wanted me to make him a '5' shirt this year for his Batman Birthday party, and even wanted to wear it to school.  His excitement and joy was a wonderful gift to me.

His daddy is the best about 'birthday breakfast'.  What a treat for us all to celebrate!  James got to open one gift before school that I knew he would LOVE.  Star Wars figures and a new Batman zip jacket to wear with his shirt that day.

His Batman cupcakes that he shared with his classmates after lunch.  We ordered the same ones for his birthday party at home.

Grammy&Papa came up to have dinner with us for James' birthday, and brought him the game 'Go Fish' as part of his gift.  Here we all are playing!  At first, he did not like having to give his cards away, but did enjoy the idea of winning enough to come back and give it a try.  He warmed up!

James asked for Batman rice crispy treats for his party.  So I had fun trying to make shapes for the first time!  (I sprayed my wax paper and my spatula, and that made the process much less sticky.  I let them stand about 5 min after putting in a pan, then cut the shapes.  I could still remold the leftover pieces and make a few more at that point.)  

We decided to make a 'Bat Cave' for James' party this time, as we've never done streamers on the ceiling before!  It really turned out cool, but did make the room seem pretty different to me.  I'm not sure i'll be doing it again ;-)  He loved it!!

James' Batman cake!  Publix makes a 'batman' cake, but didn't come with any figures, so we kind of improvised by ordering one from amazon, and filling the space with candles.  In hindsight, we should have just ordered a small round to do the job of 'candle holder'.  We had enough cupcakes that we didn't need to cut it at all for the party! haha, oops.

Our favorite decoration, was really the cupcake sky scraper!!  The boys really enjoyed it!  (

Mimi&Grandpa were able to come up for the party, and Mimi made a Batman Gotham city as a fun decoration for some cute party favors she made.  They were a big hit!

I have loved seeing our boys grow up in this house, blowing out candles every year in this room.  This is James' 3rd party at our home, after having his 1st and 2nd at different homes each year.  What a blessing to have the stability and friendship in our little town.

Look out Batman is right behind you!!

Happy Birthday dear James, Happy Birthday to you!!

The fun decorations, the family, the friends.  We were so blessed to have a lovely time to celebrate our boy.  Not pictured: my attempt at a 'scavenger hunt' game.  haha!  It was supposed to be each child tried to find the images on their game card, but it turned into 'grab everything! caution to the wind! no rules! I win!'  Oh, my.  It was a bust, but really funny in hindsight.  I promise I tried to explain the directions.

After the party was over and all our guests went home, we were so glad that our neighbors stayed.  We ordered some pizza and played 'pin the emblem on Batman' with just the four boys.  It was so nice to have come company and a wind down from all the excitement of the day.

Thank you to all who came and helped celebrate James.  We are so grateful for the friendship, and we hope James knows how much he is loved.  As Matt always says about these big parties, we hope he makes really fond memories of his childhood and can see the focus not being the party details, but the love for him.

Thank you Lord for giving us this boy as our son.  We love him so much and are grateful to be his parents.