Saturday, December 25, 2010

Our new playground! (Catch up #3)

Thank you Nonnie and Papa for our wonderful playground! What an incredible present!   It was a labor of love for my dad and mostly for Collin, but we finally got it put together.  

Friday, December 24, 2010

Tatu's Birthday (Catch up #2)

In October we got to headed to the Texas hill country in Austin to celebrate the birthday of Collin's mom.  It was a wonderful weekend to be with family and to celebrate the incredible woman that Marsha is.

Clydesdales and carriage rides

Ella and Aunt Nat (the birthday party planner extraordinaire!)

Our cousin Ellen who is a wonderful photographer (check out her blog here The Lubbock Life) was so incredible to take some family pictures for us.  Thank you Ellen!

My new favorite picture of Braden

My new favorite pic of Beckett

Major Catch Up! #1

Ok, I have been so behind in blogging!   I contemplated just passing over the last two months and just starting from today, but since one of the reasons I am writing this blog is to keep memories, I decided that I have to at least make an attempt to catalog some of the incredible things we have done this fall.   I will keep the words short and let the pictures do all the talking.   So here we go starting back in October.  Bear with me, it might take awhile to catch up to december!

Our sweet friend Nay-Nay joined us for pumpkin carving.  This was the first time we carved pumpkins with the kids.

Halloween - Ella was Ariel again this year.  I fought her on it thinking she couldn't repeat what she was last year and then thought, why am I doing this, if she is the same thing I don't have to get a new costume.  Braden was a pirate and Beckett was a monkey and a bumblebee.  

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Great Friends

Recently, we had the biggest blessing of getting to spend two weeks with some of our best friends that are really like family.  First we got to spend a week in Georgia at the Galloway's house. Then Katie, Rylie, and Jennifer came back to Branson with us for another week.   I can't even begin to put into words how great it was to get to spend that much time with them!   I treasure my friendship with Katie so much.  She makes me want to walk closer with the Lord as I see how strongly she clings to Him.  She is an incredible friend and mother.   Ella also had the time her life getting to play with Rylie.  I am praying that the Lord will keep their friendship strong for all of their lives!   

Tuck in time with the girls.  It was so fun to see them read books together and say prayers at night.  Katie how are you always so photogenic!

Playing on the tire swing after taking a Jeep ride over to Laura's house. 

The Galloways throw a great party.  We had a bonfire one night complete with great fellowship, smores and incredible food!

Uncle Cam came to the bonfire and met Beckett for the first time!

Ella and Braden were so excited to see Uncle Cam.  Don't worry we don't let Braden play with fire.

This is Ella and Rylie right after the looked for eggs in the Chicken coop.  How incredible to have farm fresh eggs each morning. 

One of the highlights of our week was getting to go for a ride on Cody the pony.   Jennifer was so sweet to get him out and the kids loved it.  Ella felt like a real cowgirl and her love for horses increased even more.  

Rylie is practically a real cowgirl!

Ok, this picture is a huge triumph for Braden.  When we first got to the house Braden was scared to death of their dog Tropper, and even more scared of the horses.  I think it may have had something to do with the pig that bit him (see earlier blog post).   Then when the pony came out and he realized he could ride it, Braden didn't hesitate for a moment to get on.   He loved it!  He went from not even wanting to get close to a horse to petting it and going for multiple rides.

This is Laura's son Grayson.  Laura is an accomplished rider and Grayson is following right along in her footsteps.  

This jeep can't go through the woods like Rylie's jeep at home, but the girls can drive this one themselves.  I think I will save this picture and send it to them when they are 16.  

Rylie and Ella had a sleep over one night at our house and we had to build a tent they could sleep in.  Because we were building the tent, they went to bed kind of late and were so tired the next day, but I hope it was a great memory.  There is something kind of magical about a few sheets draped overhead.  This tent is dedicated to my Aunt Kathy who built the greatest tents for me and my cousins when I was little.  I still have such fun memories of great tents and fresh baked chocolate chip cookies.  Thanks Aunt Kathy!

Callie, Dru, Melissa, Hadley, Holland, Cat, Mylee, Katie, Rylie, Jennifer, Ella and myself all got to have a girls tea party together. 

We went to Silver Dollar City (which Ella calls Silly Dollar City) our last day together.  It was a beautiful day and we had so much fun with Rylie, Holland Houston, the Gregstons and Martha.

Rylie in the one room school house. 

Ella went on her first Roller Coaster ride!   She was just barley tall enough.  She liked it the first time when she went with her dad and wanted to go again.  Then mom went with her and we rode backwards.  That might have been a bad idea.  After that ride she said she was done with roller coasters...we'll see.  

We packed a lot in to two weeks, and I only wish we had even more time together.  We are praying the Lord will bring us together again soon!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Starbucks Date

I had a great date this morning, hope Collin won't mind that I am dating other boys.   The dress was casual....truck pajamas were totally acceptable.  He made me feel comfortable because he had chocolate all over his face, so I wasn't worried if I spilled.   The conversation was interesting but just small talk.  Really it was small talk, all of his sentences were made up of just one or two words, yet he repeated them over and over to make sure I understood everything.   He had a hot chocolate, but keep insisting that he was drinking coffee just like me.   He laughed easily and really is into any kind of truck.   He is a little shorter than me, but I think we will keep seeing each other!  Ha!   Here is a picture of my handsome man!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

8 Weeks Old

Beckett is 8 weeks old today!  2 Months still seems so like so little time, and yet it also feels like he has always been a part of our family.  Here are some of my favorite things about this sweet little guy.
1.  Watching him fall asleep in my arms.
2.  His smiles! 
3.  His crazy hair!  Do you cut a newborn's hair?  Even just a trim?  Send me your thoughts.
4.  He is not the greatest sleeper at night, so to get him to sleep it often means having him fall asleep on my chest.   It keeps me from sleeping well, but it is so sweet to feel him burrow his head and snuggle in to me. 
5.  He loves looking in the mirror.  One of the places I change him has a mirror behind it and he could lay there all day.  
6.  He is just starting to recognize faces.  It is so fun to feel like he knows his momma and smiles at me when he sees me.  There is nothing better. 
7.  His blue eyes.  He has blue eyes now, but I am not sure he is going to keep them because they are pretty dark.  Braden has blue eyes just like his daddy, so I would love for Beckett to have them too.  Blue eyes or not, he will be perfect.
8.  He is patient.  I feel like Beckett is so sweet, slow to cry, easily settled down, and patient with me as I have to make him wait sometimes when I am tending to the other kiddos.
9.  Having him here has made Ella and Braden sweeter.  Both kids have tried to be so helpful when he is crying.  It cracks me up because they mimic what they have seen me do.  It is pretty cute to see Braden next to Beckett saying, "shhh, shhh, shhh, baby it ok, it ok".  They talk to him, sing to him, and love to try to snuggle with him (try being the key word, Braden lays his head on him and doesn't quite get how much bigger he is).  I think Braden would try to wrestle with him, if turned my back.
10.  He reminds me how blessed I am.  Thank you Lord for my family! 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

First smiles and sweet prayers!

Beckett is 6 weeks old and is smiling!  He has always kind of smiled since he was born when he is half awake and half asleep, but now he is really looking at you and smiling because he sees you.  It is the cutest thing ever.  His first and second smile were to my good friend Katie and her mom Jennifer.  I technically got his 3rd smile.
He has still been such a sweet baby.  One of the things that I have prayed for is that he will be joyful, so it is so fun to see the first signs of this.   It is hard to make him smile and take a photo so sorry these are not the greatest pictures.  

Tonight when we put Ella to bed she had the sweetest prayer.   Here is a condensed version of her prayer.  "Thank you for Mommy, Daddy, Braden and Beckett.  Help Beckett to not cry.  Thank you God for Jesus, and dying on the cross, so that we didn't have to.  I love you God, I love you God, I love you God, and God I wish that I could hear you. Thank you for our food.  Help me to have sweet dreams. Amen"

Sweet Ella, she always makes me smile.   It is prayers like this that remind me why God tell us to have child like faith.  So simple but so amazing.  Jesus thank you for dying for us and may we hear you!  I pray the Lord would continue to pull her heart to His.  

6 Week Check Up

Today I had my 6 week check up at the doctor.   Going to the doctor is always somewhat of an event, and today was no exception.   It starts with finding a babysitter for the other two kiddos.  (Thank you Denise!)  Then you have to leave about an hour before the appointment because I have to drive to Springfield.  Why doesn't Branson have more good doctors, can I get an Amen from my all my Branson sisters, ha!  I start heading my appointment, and I am most always late, so I am driving watching the clock the whole way.   I hurry all the way up there, only then to get to my appointment on time, but now have to wait for my doctor. It is a good thing I love my doctor so much, because the wait is ridiculous.   So because of the drive and expected wait at the doctor, and a 3 hour nursing window, Beckett got to come with me.   Today, once I finally got called back to the room to see the doctor, it had already been over an hour.  This is when the comedy began.   At my doctor's office they give you this paper drape to place over your lap, which always makes me laugh.  It is never big enough to wrap fully around yourself, especially when you are pregnant.  So all I can think about while I am waiting for the doctor to come in is that I feel like I will moon him when he walks in the door.  So here I am today, trying to hold the drape to stay covered, yet Beckett has just woken up in his car seat across the room.  (I'm sitting up on the table)  Going to him means, tip toeing across the room, while holding the drape and hoping that the doctor doesn't walk in at that moment.   Beckett's crying persists......still no doctor, so I had to go.   Picture me with one hand holding the paper drape, while the other hand tries to get a binkie in his mouth, and then rock the car seat with one foot, all while looking over my shoulder and hoping the doctor doesn't come in.  So I got Beckett calmed down, tip toed back to the table climbed up and.....he started crying again.  So we started the whole process over.  I debated do I go....listen for the signs he is coming....nervously tip toe back.....rock, rock, cry cry, hold binkie, look over shoulder....get back as soon as I can.   All the while I thought surely the doctor would come at any moment so I didn't think I could just hold Beckett.  Well....after about 30 mins of this I had to pick him up.  I got him calmed down, he fell asleep, I creeped back to his seat to put him down (one hand on baby , other holding drape.   I tried to put him down one handed, this is much harder to do than I thought.  Lost the drape, quickly rush back to the table, get covered up and.....Beckett wakes up.  Begin again.  So after about an hour of sitting uncomfortably on a table trying to be decent, my doctor comes in.  The appointment last for about 15 mins, and Beckett is quiet the whole time.  Hilarious.  Thankfully no pictures included with this blog entry.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Saturday at the Sparks

Our day yesterday started with Braden and Ella wanting to dress up like cowboys.  Thanks to our wonderful Tatu, they both have the cutest boots that they love to wear.  Ella is determined latley to ride a horse and asks me almost every day if she can.  So we got all dressed up and then Ella wanted to go look for horses.  I couldn't resist taking the first picture.  What is cuter than a cowboy in chaps and a diaper!  

Then in the afternoon our friends invited up to go to a pumpkin patch.  Sarah Hurst was in town for a visit, her sister Katie, Angela, and Kara, all were sweet to go and help me with the kids.  It was a beautiful fall day, just perfect for picking pumpkins.  The farm was so cute and had slides, hay bales to climb on, a sand box of corn, animals to pet, swings, hay rides, and a corn maze.   It was so cute and the kids loved it, all except for one hungry pig.  I'll let the pictures explain.   Here is the picture of all of us feeding two babies pigs.  Braden is my hesitant, scared of everything child.  So when I placed some corn in his hand, I never thought he would really feed the pig.  To my surprise, he did with out any hesitation at all.  Yeah, good job on.  

Then as Braden in being so brave, the pig bites his finger!  It was biting so hard I had to pull Braden's finger out of the its mouth.   Ahh!  So the next picture is my consoling a traumatized Braden.   He was ok, only a little blood.  Good job mom, so much for helping Braden to be brave with animals.  Ha!

Then after naps Aunt LaLa, Jen and Chris came over for a visit and brought us Pizza.  You can't tell from the picture, but Beckett is wearing a onezie that says My Auntie Loves Me, that Aunt LaLa gave him.  She and Jen are so incredible at loving my kids, and my kids love them.   Thanks guys for the great visit, so good to be with you!