Thursday, September 14, 2017

J is for June

June, let me think about you for a few minutes... maybe if I think really specifically about Math, some equations will float over my head...

I couldn't resist!  June brought the beginning of our use of filters, and we have been laughing every time since.  I chose this one to save because of how much James&Hayden look alike with the 'glasses' on!?!  haha, I got such a kick out of the glimpse of them as young men; I enjoyed daydreaming about all that lies ahead of them.

June, you brought Father's Day, the end of school & the beginning of summer break!  And this year, June you brought us the Zobacs!  Gosh, what a lovely few weeks we had, so unexpectedly.  Just as we were finishing the school year, I heard from a childhood friend of mine from Illinois, Jessica Zobac!  It turned out that she&her husband Chris were coming to Jacksonville to adopt a baby boy, and they needed a place to stay- so we said come stay with us!

It may not seem honest, but I really loved having them at our house for just over two weeks.  I was so honored to be able to host them during an incredible time for their family: the welcoming of their son!  He came early, so it was almost like we invited them to come, and they were here the next day! haha, it may have been two days, but it was fast!  The boys were really excited to have them, but even more so, they could not wait to meet their baby boy!  James & Hayden made him sweet gifts, and they waited so patiently till he got to come over to our house to stay.

I was absolutely honored to get to visit him in the hospital & meet their precious boy!  I even got to hold him, and loved snapping a couple of pictures of his precious face.  He looks so much like Jessica&Chris; my heart was just overflowing.  Getting to be their only friend in town, gave me a front row seat to their journey, and I am so grateful that the Lord gave me that gift.  Not to mention I just adore Jessica, and reliving some of our childhood memories was priceless!!  A sweet, sweet reunion.

Oh precious, beautiful baby boy.  You are a priceless gift!

My Calvin with his second year of swimming lessons with Coach Sally!  She does an amazing job, and he has become a proficient swimmer this summer.  Go Calvin!

 Matt's Mom has told me stories about how he would make a 'fishy' face as a baby, and I always thought that sounded so funny!  None of the other boys did make a face like that, but here we are with proof that #4 can do it!  He must have gotten all the 'creature tricks' because he can raise one eyebrow like momma too!

I had to include a picture of an end-of-school YL hang out!  Some of our first OP YL kids.

We also got to do some baby play dates!  David has some super cute girl buddies, like Zoe! :-)

Last day of Kindergarten & 1st Grade!  Unbelievable.  They took their teachers some flowers to celebrate!

 Davy Baby loves playing guitar with Daddy, but honestly?  He has just started to get into everything, and the independence has just flooded his little mind with surprising activity.  Applesauce, dust pan, head phones, magazines, these are a few of his favorite things!

 One clear, hazy beach day where all the happy screams just fade away into the sound of the ocean's roar.  Beach: All of our happy place!

Summer time brings the thunderstorms & heat, and we spend more time than you would think indoors.  This was a glimpse of some rainy-day-chaos in David's room.

The day arrived!  The Zobacs were able to bring their buddy home to our house for a night, and my boys could have just eaten him up!  They adored him; we made welcome home signs & balloons to celebrate!

And of course, James wanted to hold him.  I told him the answer may not be yes, but he was welcome to ask.  His dream came true!  He LOVES babies & built a little pillow fort to hold him on the couch. The sweetest.

All loaded up, and ready to head home! It was so hard to say goodbye, but we were so happy for them to be able to finally take their baby home.  What a joyful, sad farewell.

James with the guitar & Hayden's muscles.  You never know what you're going to get around our house these days!

 We celebrated Father's Day for Matt with some local country flair, and I tried to get a picture of these boys smiling with their daddy.  What an incredible father you are Matt; our boys will never know how hard you worked for them.

 So to you we say, "Yoda best dad!"  Because you truly are-just the absolute best.

Summer hair cut day at our house got a little wild&crazy!  These boys all wanted 'cool' hair cuts, even though they never let me fix their hair like this for a normal day.  It was fun!

 Playdate with some sweet friends who have moved away but still visit!  Calvin was so happy to see y'all!

This little fella, those little legs.  His little red balloon.  I could just eat.him.up.

The boys had always wanted to stand inside the mouth since it was moved to the park!

A stormy, dark beach day where we saw gopher turtles & braved the cloud cover.

 Our salty beach bum babe.

I finished Jill Briscoe's book, "here am I Lord... send somebody else!" which was timely for me as we stepped out into Young Life as leaders.  She is just a lovely soul & the Lord speaks to me through her words.  I highly recommend.

Calvin recommends the Shooting Mag from Grammy&Papa's house! hahah!

We ended our June with a trip up to Atlanta to visit my parents & see our nieces & have a night away for our 11th Anniversary!  We only made it up once this summer, but we love getting to spend time all together.  The boys absolutely love the girls' company & they don't know what to do with themselves when they are at Grammy&Papa's without them!

Thank you Lord for a wonderful beginning to summer, for the surprise of the Zobacs being with us, for all the time we got to spend together.  Thank you or the ushering in to weeks removed from 'hurry' and for the constant chaos that pushes me to grow during these summer months.  Lord help me to become more like you because of the stretching.  Smooth out my sharp edges Lord in the rock tumbler of summer.  Allow me to breath deeply & enjoy the memories with my sons.  Forgive me for missing out on opportunities to teach my sons your grace when we crash into one another.  Refine me Lord so that I can be used to refine them.  Amen!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

M is for May

Oh lovely teachers, when May began, we got to celebrate you!  I'm thankful to be a part of a great team of women who work to support our little preschool & make our teachers feel loved.  Of course you've already guessed that I picked out the Rifle Paper Co gifts for our staff this year! Sometimes pretty just speaks to you, and what teacher doesn't love stationary!?  But seriously, I'm so grateful & thankful to have these women in my kids' lives.  

I had to bring a tag-along with me to set up that morning at preschool because somebody was running a fever & couldn't head back to school until he was 24hrs free.  I felt terribly bringing along a semi-sick kiddo, but I decided it would have been worse to bail on my partner & left it all on her plate.  He was a trooper, and helped me out by playing with David while I worked.  My two middles sitting on this pew bench together reading Hymnals just made my heart leap.  I love some of the traditional parts of church that our boys don't get to experience weekly, but sometimes, they get these little exposures.  I just love singing Hymns myself!

David.  All day everyday.  He's into everything, but at least he's cute doing it.

The view of this tree never gets old for me.

Our wild men: I love seeing them all standing on level ground because seeing their heights next to one another frozen in the frame is just my favorite.  They move so fast normally, that I never get to see their stair-step-heights, until they stop for a picture.

Young Life Hula Hustle!  The more we get involved in Young Life, the more I am amazed at all they do!  Thankful to be a part of an organization that is doing some on-the-ground kingdom work in my community.

ps. Young Life is a blast!

My patient fellas, outside a store waiting on daddy to finish checking out.  But, waiting is always better when you have a brother or 3 sitting by your side.

May flowers!!  I couldn't help myself when I was riding in the car with a lap full of beautiful blooms but to snap a picture.

David&Calvin had their first light saber duel!  David was into it most! He cracked me up.

Mother's Day is just the best.  I've been telling Matt that I don't know how any other age can beat the preschool years for Mother's Day gifts.  I mean seriously, these little surveys & drawings of me, and their sweet little faces??  I really don't think motherhood can feel better than mother's day gifts from kids age 3-7.  I seriously may be getting out my sweet mother's day stuff when my boys are older!

Calvin & James both had Mother's Day programs at school, and it was  They sang to me & I took video.  James read a passage from 'I love you forever' which I was able to not cry upon hearing.  Calvin kept pointing to me during all the parts that said 'you' or 'mom'.  It was just great.

Calvin, you have taken some abuse from your baby brother.  You try to be so sweet to him, and he just gives you a knock-down-hug!  Poor guy, he's gotta tuck himself in on the couch, cover his ears, and take a nap.  Bless him.

I think Calvin, you weren't feeing yourself, so your brother Hayden made you a special shield to scare away any germs that may try to get you.  Check out this sweet little gift Hayden made; it even says I love you.  Talk about make mom cry!

OK, I knew I would love reading the Chronicles of Narnia to my boys this year, but we got into the end of Prince Caspian, and this part just ate my lunch.  I'm trying to read it, and I'm crying.  The boys are asking me why, but it was hard to explain.  The feeling of waiting to meet the Lord face to face, after hoping your whole life for this day.  That wave of emotion, knowing it may be exactly how I feel myself, when I get to see my savior's face one day.  That maybe this will be my response- "I knew it was true. I've been waiting for this all my life."

Our boys' artwork was displayed at their Spring book fair!  What lovely fun to see what they made.

The boys also made me Mother's Day cakes!  They turned out so great, and the boys were very proud of themselves!  But they were even more excited to eat the cake, haha!

David really, really loves his giraffe that he got for Christmas.  I had to take a picture of him giving it a big hug like he does, almost daily.  James made this really cool lego creation, and I always enjoy snapping a picture of a completed project!  (I need to do better about the little lego sets they build-mental note to self!)

The book James made!! Just the sweetest.  And his portrait of me.  No, I don't have a nose piercing, as his teacher asked based on his drawing.  That is just a nose hole.  Yup!

It turned out that I was sick on Mother's day, so no picture of my boys with me!  I was sad that we didn't get an Easter or Mother's Day picture, but next time.  I'm sure we can't be sick for both again next year!  So I settled for taking a picture of each of the boys; they all all so handsome!  I love my boys.

My favorite flower: peonies!

We said goodbye to James&Hayden's sweet preschool teacher this May.  I'm sad Calvin doesn't get to have her, but he has a great new teacher.  This wild man & his green glasses!

A very happy mail day for me!  If Equip study, She Reads Truth study, Kids Read Truth study, and earrings from Noonday Collection.  I'm spoiled!

James & Hayden finished up their soccer season in May, and they both had great coaches!  It was a really good experience playing for Clay County this season, and we will be back!

We love soccer!

We took our little fella to the OPHS spring football game, and he got to hang out with another little YL baby girl!  They are so cute.

Our pastor Jeff with our little man.  I had to snap a picture.

Our goodbye's to our awesome preschool teachers!!  We love you Mrs. Tyree & Mrs. Goodwin!

OPHS club finally photos!  This group of kids was so encouraging to us & we are are excited to see who comes out this Fall!

Mimi&Grandpa came up to get Calvin for his birthday trip to Legoland!  He could not wait to go, and they had an absolute blast.

Mimi kept the little boys for me so I could go with James on a field trip to the MOSH here is Jax.  We had a great day, and I loved going!!

My boys & the pool & the lovely live oaks.

Calvin came back from his Legoland trip with a Lego Batman costume, and it was been a big hit for all the boys!  They absolutely love the mask-it cracks me up too!

The Kindergarten show for Hayden was a crazy night for us!  We drove through a tornado or something that knocked down a tree on Drs. Lake Dr & on Kingsley, and we drove through all back roads to make it to school.  We made it though, and Hayden did a great job  on the 'take me out to the ball game; song!  He was  haha!

David, you have hit the 'I want to do it myself' stage, and I welcome it.  Except all the messes; I'm trying to welcome those too.

Beach Day!  David loves the beach which makes it easy to take everybody for the evening & just let them run wild.  Happy screams at the beach at full volume don't even bother me.

Thank you Lord for May.  Thank you for the end of many activities & the finish line of school close.  Thank you for the break from the 'hurry' of needing to be lots of places, and thank you for the slowness of summer, despite the never-ending-chaos of many kids at home.  Thank you for all we were able to see & do; thank you for letting me watch my boys play sports, listen to the sing songs, see their pictures they drew, and watch them play.  I am so grateful for my life with these boys.  We are all imperfect, and we make so many mistakes.  Lord help us be quick to listen & slow to speak.  Give us wisdom & grace to forgive one another.  Lord, please help me be a great mom; I want to be one.  Help me shepherd these sweet boys in your ways- stretch me Father.  Amen.