Thursday, April 29, 2010

Miss Hailey...

This girl has once again taken several big steps in the direction of overall girlie-ness!!

Step 1: Her mommy-ing.
She recently got all packed up for a slumber party at Nana's house. We widdled her pile of items down to these two, but only after some fierce negotiation. She wanted to take her doll, dolly bathtub, dolly car seat, dolly pack n play, AND a huge diaper bag. Oh, and the pink, fluffy rolling bag for herself.
Step 2: Knowing the importance of Real Simple magazine.
She was reading Real Simple to "Big Lion" this morning. He learned some very important skills, like how to decorate the edges of a frosted cake with a clean hair comb and which top-rated mascaras can be picked up for under 10 bucks! Life lessons, I tell ya...Step 3: Her first Barbie doll!!!!!
This one is near and dear to my heart, mostly because during all of the years of my childhood there was never a day you wouldn't see Christy and my bedroom floor COVERED in Barbie stuff. Love it. Todd was pleasantly surprised to find that for modesty purposes this Princess Aurora Barbie came with a pair of undies permanently attached to her body. I mean, we don't want people to be uncomfortable at the sight of a totally naked Barbie, do we??

Now we just need to figure out a way to keep Princess Aurora's shoes out of the mouth of this guy -

Any suggestions?? :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It's NOT about me!!!

I've been doing ministry with high school kids for almost 7 years now. This has been a year of tremendous growth for me as God has decided to make it very clear that it's not about me. Imagine that, huh?? :)

I've always had a very easy time finding common ground with the girls that I work with...until this year. The girls God has been drawing through the doors on Mondays could not be more different than me...and they've got WALLS up! I've literally spent entire car rides with them in complete silence. I mean, how long can you ask them questions about themselves without sounding like some sort of investigator?? Several months ago I started asking God for help. That He would break down the walls, show me the common ground, and begin to develop relationships centered around Him, not me. These prayers have seemingly gone unanswered...until last night...

I went to the school yesterday at lunchtime and met a few new girls. I invited them to club for a big spaghetti dinner and they said they'd like to go. Normally, this means "I'm going to say yes right now, but only so you'll go away. I'm blocking your number as soon as I get to my 4th period class." I had plans to pick up 6 girls. I ended up with 5. PTL!

Two of these girls in particular seemed really talkative and open. I really enjoyed our conversations, and then when we got to club they could not stop loving on my kids! That always blesses me to pieces when my whole family gets to do ministry together. :)

After our big dinner it was time for the talk I'd been working on. This was literally one of those talks that I was unsure of until the moment I stood up and began to talk. The Lord calmed my nerves like I could not understand. I guess I shouldn't be surprised...if He can calm a deadly storm he can certainly calm my nerves... At the end of my talk, after explaining the importance of Jesus' raising from the dead, God put it on my heart to have the kids close their eyes and listen while I explained the gospel step by step.

Then came the moment of anyone in this room ready to accept Christ?? I sure hoped so. I invited anyone who was ready to say "yes" to Jesus to just open their eyes and look at me.

I saw 9 sets of eyes look up at me.

Praise the Lord! Thank you Jesus for teaching me that I am only to be a vessel for you to love kids THROUGH me! I can do none of this on my own.

AND, after passing out Bibles to all of these kids and a few others, 2 of the new girls sat with me asking questions about how to read their Bibles and how to understand Scripture for nearly 20 minutes while their friends played in the gym.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mr. Papa...

She gets cuter EVERY day...

And smarter...she drew and wrote this all by herself!! :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Big Boy Hair...

Before ~After ~
Getting this after picture was quite the chore...the only good way to take a picture of Owen these days is to take it while he's eating. ;)

Friday, April 9, 2010


Here is a picture of the Easter dress Hailey wore. Why isn't there a picture of her in it?? Your guess is as good as mine...
While the Easter dress is awfully cute, it's not the point of this post. The point, you ask?

My daughter has many imaginary friends these days...and when speaking of them as a group she refers to them as "everybody".

For instance, she says the other day that "everybody" was sitting at my mom's dining room table. Hmmm...

Their names, you ask? Well, first there is "Lola"...but you've already heard of her. Her boyfriend is "Joseph". And the rest of their friends are "Noogler", "Nooglock", "Noglog", "Noglock", and "Nooglook".

I realize that these names are all very similar, but trust me. She knows the difference between each of them.

I do appreciate them at times, however. When Hailey told me she was scared of the monsters in her room I asked her what made her think there were monsters in there. Her response was this, "Mommy, my baby dolls told me that my room was a monster room!!".

Cool. Thanks, dolls.

The next day, however, she informed me that "everybody" told her that her room was a sprinkle room and that Jesus would keep her safe.

Nice work, "everybody". :)

Playing together...

The age gap is closing in and my kids are really starting to have fun together. :)
It's real cute.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Buckle up, folks...he's mobile!?!

Well, here he is...our boy Owen.Ain't he cute?? ;)
He's movin', and movin' fast...
We discovered that part of his fussiness lately is that he was frustrated about not being able to chase his sister. That has changed. And I think I have some pretty major baby-proofing to still do since he seems interested in everything that Hailey never even was interested light sockets, cords, and the fireplace at my parent's house. Whew...this guy is gonna give us a run for our money, I tell ya...but look at those baby blues!?! Could you just die??


Oh, and we were also visited by the police recently. Some sort of complaint about our rowdy kids or something... ;) Just's just Papa coming for a visit while working a shift in Federal Way.
Hails loved the does Papa. ;)
...and by God's grace this is the only seat in a police car Hailey will ever sit in... ;)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Taming "Messy Jessie"...

As a young girl, I quickly earned the name "Messy Jessie"...largely because my room more often than not looked like my closet and dresser barfed their entire contents onto my floor and bed.

Seriously, people. I wish I were kidding.

As I entered into a life of wedded bliss, I quickly realized that my husband struggled with the same issues as I did!! (Which, if you've ever dropped in on my Mother-in Law, you'll know that he was NOT brought up that way...I'm talking EVERYTHING has a place, and EVERYTHING is labeled! No joke - drop by and look in their's a thing of beauty!)

For the last 7 years, we've both really struggled in our cluttered messy existence, but it reached epic proportions when we had children. Kids come with a LOT of stuff...

I've tried nearly everything, from assigning "days" to do each step of cleaning, having my master-organizer sister Alicia help me, to designating entire Saturdays for un-doing the week's worth of mess. Nothing works.

I finally realized that on my own strength, nothing can change, so I started by asking the Lord for forgiveness for not taking care of my household like He would want me to and asking that He would give me the desire to provide a clean and calming environment for my kids and husband. I think poor Todd would have gone completely crazy had he woken up to not a single clean white t-shirt one more time!!

Long story short, here is what's working for me -

1. God has given me the desire to serve my husband well and keep our house clean and organized. Who knew?? :)

2. TV stays off during the day. It's too easy for me to have it on "for background noise" and end up parked in front of an all day marathon of "Clean House". Ironic, no? :/

3. Based on my more recent posts, you all know about "Operation Organization", and that I've designated almost everything in my house a "spot". (My Mother-in-Law will be SOOO proud!! ;)

4. I make sure the sink is free of dishes EVERY night before I go to bed. I also run it while we sleep and make myself unload it first thing in the morning. (Un-loading the dishwasher is on my list of housekeeping HATES...along with putting away the laundry and taking out the garbage. Not sure why, but I just loathe these tasks with a passion.)

5. I putter...this means that all day long I try to pick up what I can. I've come to the conclusion that it's pointless to pick up toys until night time, which is another every night task that Hailey helps me with as part of the bedtime routine.

6. Meal planning. I'm working on this one, but I have my system in place, so that's a step in the right direction. As you can see, I have a whiteboard calendar on the wall in the kitchen where I write down the meals for the month. Then I have a shopping list and my envelope of coupons on the cork board to its right. I'm able to plan my meals and then make my shopping list right there so I can be one step ahead. I'll let you know how this turns out, because I've only been doing it for about a week.
7. Our family calendar. This is going to rock my world, people!! Three months at a time at a glance. Loving this... :)

Well, there you have it. These are the tips for organization that are currently working for me. I am still a work in progress, but headed in the right direction. :)