Sunday, June 28, 2009

Celebrate America

OK, first let me say that I have a Chinese brother. This is my brother Thomas with my kids.

My parents met Thomas in 2004 when they were in China with their church. My Mom was witnessing to him and he did not have an American name yet (the Chinese college students adopt English names) so she named him Thomas and share with him about Doubting Thomas and gave him a Bible to read about him. After my parents came back to the states, they kept in contact through email and phone calls. It wasn't long after that that he accepted the Lord as his Savior! They have kept in touch all these years. He calls Mom, "Mom" and Jeremy and I are his brother and sister. He's just part of our family. He has a job that brings him to Texas for months at a time and when he is in the States, he comes to see Mom and Dad. My kids love him and he loves them!

So Thomas is here this weekend and he got to experience a Celebrate America celebration in our town today. It was a lot of fun. It was on the town square and put on by a church that several of our friends go to. Times like this make me feel like I live in Mayberry and I LOVE it! Here are some shots of the evening.

Luke and Poppa (and Thomas in the background)

Mom and the big girls

Sara and me

Luke and me

Hope and Daddy

Emma waving her flag!

Hope sitting in Thomas' lap

My kids!
We finished the evening off watching fireworks put on by another church in the area where more of our friends attend with the Maier clan!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Say Y Y Y Y Yes to a V V VBS!!!!

Well the Boomerang Express has left the station! The kids had a blast! It's been a good week. Sara's and Hope's classes were able to attend the morning assembly everyday this year. I am so glad they did. They experienced the same VBS as Luke, so they felt big. They have been singing the VBS songs together all week. I am so glad that our kids are close in age. It's tough, but so worth it. They really enjoy each other and the same things.

Luke and Sara singing at Family Night

Hope dancing to the songs at Family Night

Luke on stage singing and LOVIN' it!

The girls on the inflatable. Man was it HOT!

The ladies keeping Emma loved on her all week. There are several babies in the nursery that are a little high maintenance, so they all love Emma. She is sooooo laid back! Heck, she has to be! She has no other choice with 3 older siblings! They told me today, when I picked her up, that she was a paci thief today! She has a paci on a clip attached to her at all times, but she would crawl over to the other kids, spit hers out, and reach for theirs to put it in her mouth! They laughed at her! When Luke was her age, he was a cheerio thief at church. He was already walking and no one else was. So he would stop swings and grab cheerios off the trays. Ha!

Monday, June 22, 2009

OK, so I was on my way to bed, but had to get pictures and post before I did!

Luke is a bedwetter, bless his heart. We have used pull-ups for years, and a few months ago bought a "Potty Pager." It's a device that looks just like a pager that attaches to his underwear and vibrates when it feels moisture. It worked like a miracle for a couple months, but then stopped because Luke is such a hard sleeper, he got used to the vibration and slept right through it. So, we're just doing what thousands of parents have done for generations. Changing wet sheets everyday, and waking him up to pee before we go to bed.

Now, here's why I'm posting this. NOT to embarrass him (because it's not a big deal in our house; he can't help it and we don't care!) But, we laugh all the time on what a hard sleeper he is. He's basically asleep when we "wake" him up to pee when we go to bed. Lance just took him and he was closing the lid and Luke walked out to go back to his room. I heard Lance laughing and he told me to come here. This is what I saw when I went into Luke's room...

I immediately ran and got my camera! He is OUT! He would have stayed there all night if we hadn't put him back in his bed! I LOVE that boy!

And since I took a pic of him sleeping, I thought I'd get a quick pic of all the girls! I love watching them sleep! They are precious angels!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

We had a great day and were able to spend it with both our dads! Mom and Dad went to church with us this morning and then we all met Leah and Jeremy for lunch. After lunch, we met Lance's parents and his sis and her family at the lake for an afternoon of swimming and boat riding. It was a GREAT day! This has been one of the best weekends. Something special everyday.

Since it's Father's Day, I want to say first how thankful I am for my Daddy. He has been such a constant force in my life. He is an example of a Godly man and has demonstrated unconditional love to me all of my life. I love him!

And now, to the Father of my children. I am so thankful that God blessed me with a husband who is a Godly man who loves his children. He is the best dad. He strives to be an example of Christ to our children which is the quality I love most about him. Our children are in love with him. And so am I!!!

So Happy Father's Day, Daddy and Lance. I love you both!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

So Thankful for Great Grandparents

We spent the day visiting with my Grandfather and his wife today. Mom told me last week they were planning on driving over to see them for Father's Day today. So Mom, Dad, Jeremy, Leah, me and the kids went. (Lance had a guilt free day on our land working. He always feels guilty being out there all day while the kids and I are home!)

It was a great visit. Hope went straight to Edna (Granddad's wife) and was stuck like glue to her the rest of the day! Luke was a Granddad's boy today. It was so much fun seeing them enjoy their great-grandparents. They didn't want to leave Granddad and Granny Edna's house! Granddad and Edna have been married for a year. She is the sweetest thing. She has the best sense of humor and is great with kids. She played dominoes with the kids today and they loved it. Granddad got a dog before my Grandmother got sick and eventually died. It is his son. Seriously, he sent out birth announcements when they got him! The kids loved Prince. They had fun petting him, playing tug-o-war with him, and playing fetch. And they have a new kitten outside that they loved holding and carrying around.

It was so special for my kids to make memories today with their Great-Grandparents!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fun Night With Friends

We had a great time tonight with some good friends of ours. I have know Wes and Lisa since I was in High School. My Mom and Dad were their Sunday School teachers with they were in the young married class. They have been good friends ever since. When we moved here, we knew that Wes was a pastor here and we went to their church and that church is now our family. So, now that Mom and Dad are here, we all went over for dinner and swimming tonight. It was so much fun! We had great fellowship and the kids had a blast!

I am so proud of Sara. Yesterday was our last day of swim lessons. She has been so leery of putting her face in the water, but yesterday, something clicked. She started swimming underwater! And she is good!

Tonight she swam all over the pool! She swam with me down to the deep end and swam around and swam back and forth all over the shallow end. She actually started getting a little too cocky and swam towards the deep end on her own a couple times! And one time, she was trying to carry Hope and "help" Hope go underwater! It was funny, but a little scary when I saw her doing it! That's something she knows not to try again!

I'm really looking forward to swimming all summer long. She's only going to get better, and Luke actually did his freestyle stroke tonight, and Hope is all over the pool with a noodle under her arms. And she is loving going under the water, too. Considering she wouldn't even get in the pool last year unless she was on my hip! We are making progress!

Monday, June 15, 2009

What a Great Weekend

We had the BEST time at the Buffalo this weekend. The cabin we stayed at was so kid friendly. It was the most relaxed we've ever been over there with the kids. Most cabins are beautiful, but there are so many stressors with trying to keep the kids out of things or off the stairs or out of the loft. This one was great! And it had a yard that we could let the kids go out and play in! They had a blast.

The kids made homemade biscuit donuts with GiGi for breakfast Saturday and had so much fun. I think they ate 3 donuts a piece! We hiked some on Saturday morning, then went back to the cabin for some lunch and got swimsuits on to go swimming in the river. We swam for 2 hours and I didn't want to quit! We had sooooo much fun. I was so proud of the kids. Luke swam across the river with Lance to a rock more times then I could count! Then Lance and Luke and Sara and me would float about 100 yards down the river on noodles and get out, hike back to our "beach" and do it again! Sara got up enough courage to swim across the river with me. And I was sooo proud of Hope. She would not get very deep in the river at all, but right before we were leaving, she decided that she did want to swim across the river with me! She did so good. She just kicked soooo hard on the way over and the way back. Swimming lessons are paying off!

Looking at the elk

Emma hiking!

Stopping on our hike

It rained Sunday, so we didn't do anything. Just hung out around the cabin and then headed back home. We stopped in Fayetteville for lunch. Lance's parents took us to a restaurant we've never been to. We loved it. Hope did the cutest thing while we were there. We had the best waitress! Lance has a peanut allergy, so he asked her if they used peanut oil to fry with. She came back and said they didn't and Hope kept saying, "Man, Man. (mam, mam!) :) When she got the waitress' attention she said, "it not good for my Daddy to eat peanut butter." It was so sweet. That girl is the cutest thing!

It was so much fun to get away with the kids and have a stress free weekend. I can't wait for many more this summer!

On the way home, we stopped by Mom and Dad's house to see them. While we were at the cabin, Emma took her first steps with me holding her hands. She was so proud of herself. Then we stopped at Mom and Dad's she pulled up for the first time. I wish I had had my camera with me! But today I got it when she woke up from her nap! My baby's growing up!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Where does the time go?

So I just looked at the blog and it's been 5 days since I blogged! How did this week get away from me?! We've been busy with swimming lessons. The kids are loving them. I am especially proud of Hope. Last year she would not get in the pool unless she was on my hip. If I wouldn't hold her, she would just sit on the edge and splash her feet. So far, she's hanging on the side and kicking her legs and walking all around the shallow end, and swimming in the deep end with noodles under he arms. Sara is doing the same things and having a blast. Luke is working on his strokes.
There's nothing I can say for this one! Typical Hope!

Do What?

Look Momma!

Luke went to Mad Science camp this week. It's just a day long camp, but he had a blast! It wasn't very expensive at all and he came home with some fun things. We might be having a Mad Science birthday next year!

Bob the Blob!

The kids are all in Luke's room tonight sleeping together. They love to do that. This afternoon, they made blanket forts and they wanted to sleep in them. It's hysterical. Luke is in his tunnel with blankets on either end, Sara is between his chair and toybox and Hope is beside the bed. It's 10 o'clock and I still hear them talking and laughing. I am sooooo blessed to have kids that love each other and love to play together. They love each other so much.

We're going to the Buffalo River to a cabin this weekend with Lance's parents. We are looking forward to it. Hiking, swimming in the river, exploring...we are going to have fun!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Luke!

OK, so I'm officially exhausted! I'm so glad this week is over! 3 birthdays + parents moving in + last week of school = really exhausted Momma!
I can't believe my on is 7 years old!!! That's crazy! I can remember every detail about the day he was born. I wonder when I'll start forgetting that? He had a good birthday party. The Spectacular Spiderman. NOT The Amazing Spiderman mind you. There is a difference! I was informed!
The birthday boy and his cake!

Opening presents

We had it at Jeremy and Leah's (bro and sil) clubhouse and pool. We had it there last year, but he wanted it there again this year which was fine by me. No one at our house means not having to pick up before and after the party! The only negative this year was it was cold! Bless his heart; Luke wanted to swim so badly, but he would get so cold and then sit out for a while.

He has been such a sweet boy the past few days. I'm really anticipating summer break. I am implementing some new behavior/reward programs and Luke seems excited about them. I feel like I really lost last summer since I was pregnant and not feeling good and didn't want to be outside in the heat. We're gonna have fun!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Part of the Blogging Community

My very first Blogging Award! Ha!

Thanks to my unknown blogging friend "Executive Momma" for giving me the award for an Attitude of Gratitude! I am really totally writing this to keep up with our day to day lives so I and my kids will remember these times. I'm not pursing the blogging world at all. The fact that people are reading what I am writing and even care is a humbling and surreal. I only follow a few people and they are mostly friends I know, but I am following hers and a couple others. And it has been fun to get to "know" these other moms trying to raise their kids in the way of the Lord.

So here's the deal, I want to nominate the following people for an Attitude of Gratitude!

Jamie Jo



Executive Momma





So there you go. The women that I admire and take time out of my crazy day to read about. Each has a special story and although I don't know them all personally. They have made an impact on me.

So what am I grateful for? Without a doubt, my family. God has blessed me with an amazing husband who loves me despite all my many faults. A Godly man who makes his family his priority. And four amazing children that I'm trying no to screw up too terribly! I mess up on a daily if not minute by minute basis, but my prayer is that the love of God will cover my sins and my children will seek His face on their own and it can be said of me, "her children arise and call he blessed."

And why do I have an Attitude of Gratitude? Because of what my Heavenly Father has done for me!

So here's what you do now...

1. put the logo on your blog

2. nominate 10 blogs that show an attitude of gratitude

3. link to your nominees within your post

4. comment on their blogs to let them know they've recieved the award

5. share the love and link to this post and the person who nominated you for the award

6. tell us how you've come to have an attitude of gratitude

Thursday, June 4, 2009

School's Out for Summer!!

Last day of school!!! Woo Hoo! I actually got a little emotional when Luke got home today. It took me by surprise. I can't believe he's a 2nd grader now! That's crazy. The girls and I went up to school today to take his teacher some flowers and the staff a cake to say thanks for the year. Just as we pulled into the parking lot I remembered that Luke told me 3 times yesterday that he wanted to give something to his bus driver. So after we dropped off the goodies at school, I went home and baked some cookies for the bus driver. After nap time, the girls and I headed to the bus stop to surprise Luke and give the bus driver the cookies. The fun thing was, I had a can of silly string and ambushed him as he got off the bus. I was yelling "Happy last day of school!" and the bus driver was laughing and started honking the horn. Luke was thrilled.

Then we went on a walk/bike ride. Luke and Sara rode their bikes and I pushed Hope and Emma in the jogger stroller. We were gone for an hour and probably covered 2 miles! They had so much fun. I was really proud of Sara for making it. And she never complained and had a blast! I'm getting a bike buggy from a friend sometime this week and I can't wait to go on long bike rides this summer. It will be so much fun!

On our walk/ride

After Lance got off work, we went out for dinner to Mad Pizza for an "end of school" celebration dinner.

So here we go with the beginning of summer! I'm excited! I know it will fly by, so I want to make the most of every day! Starting tomorrow. We're going to Chuck E. Cheese's for breakfast!!! Yea!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

So Stinkin' Cute!

This morning, Emma and Hope were both with me in bed. I was hoping that they would go back to sleep, but no such luck. I was exhausted from yesterday. I think Hope would have, but Emma was wide awake! She was rolling all over me and just jabbering and laughing. It was actually really cute, but I didn't really want to hear it right then! Hope started talking to her and making her laugh and giving her kisses. Then Hope looks at me and says, "Momma, I'm glad God got Emma out of your belly so we could talk to her." It cracks me up how kids' minds work!

All through the day today, Hope was playing with her Hello Kitty Build-a-Bear that we got her for her birthday. I had a voice recorder put in its' hand that has me saying, "Happy Birthday Hope, we love you!" on it. It's really cute. And all day she would repeatedly push it and every time say either, "Happy Birthday to you Momma!" or "I love you, too, Momma!" I wanted to hug and kiss her every time she did it!

My parents are officially moving into their house. It's been weird for them to be in town, but not be at our house. This is going to take some getting used to. We haven't lived by each other in 5 years. And I'm so used to them coming to visit and being around us 24/7 that for them to be here and us not see them is strange! Today, I took the girls over to their house to see the new carpet that they had installed. Sara was wearing a cute little outfit that I got her at Target. When we were leaving Mom and Dad's house to head home for lunch, she kept bugging me over and over again about going out to eat for lunch. I repeatedly told her no that we were going to go home and have a sandwich. After the umpteenth time of her asking I finally asked her why she wanted to go out. Her response: "so people can see how cute I look." HAHAHA!!! She is her mother's daughter! When I feel good about what I'm wearing and think I look good and the kids look good, I want to be out so everyone can see!!! I've never even verbalized that, but my daughter is the same! It's hysterical!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Lance and Hope!

Whew! Sitting down for the first time today! My feet and legs are aching!!! It was a fun, busy day. Lance and I went out for his birthday last night and tonight was Hope's party. We had about 20 kids and then the parents and siblings. We had it in our new backyard! Woo Hoo!

It's really special that Lance and Hope share a birthday. She defines the term "Daddy's girl"! After the party, she went with her Daddy to check on one of our baby horses. (Another one of our horses had her baby, too this week)

I have made all of the kids' cakes for their birthdays except twice. I didn't know how to for Luke's 1st and then his 4th was four days after Hope was born, so I bought that one, too. But, other than that, I've made them all. Hope's cake this year was my first foray into fondant icing. I couldn't have been anymore pleased with how it turned out. I was so proud of it! (it was hard to cut into it!! ha!)

My masterpiece!

The birthday Princess

Opening presents

Blowing out the candles

Birthday Daddy and Daughter

Monday, June 1, 2009

What an Actor!

Luke had a reader's theater program today at school and I couldn't be prouder of him!!! He did soooo good! He was the lead in a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk. He was the best one! He actually delivered his lines with emotion. And he didn't look at his script. He had the whole thing memorized. And he improvised several times. Once he made the audience laughed, that was all there was. He was in it for the laughs! We took pictures and videod the whole thing. But I'll have to post the pics tomorrow because I don't have the SD card right now. His teacher is using it to download some school pics that I've taken. But, I am seriously going to look into children's theater for him. He was really, really good!