Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

Friday, November 09, 2012


Yikes.  Guess I really didn't pay attention to how long it's been since I actually updated this.  I guess things have just been so absolutely nutty that I haven't had a blessed moment to sit down and update!  Insane.

Olivia's birthday party was absolutely perfect.  It was exactly what I wanted.  Our friends and family gathered together to celebrate a beautiful little princess.  It was such a wide variety attending, from all her grandparents, to aunts and uncles, to her first babysitter and family, to old patients of mine!  All together to watch the antics of this hilarious little girl.  She sat sweetly on the couch and opened presents, smashed cake into her face, and went without a nap without any fussing or crabbiness.  She is such a good girl!

September brought Jason and I's second anniversary and my birthday!  We combined our celebrating into a wonderful dinner with the boys out at a very fancy restaurant!  When Jason and I went to Hawaii on our honeymoon, we had the most amazing fish dish called "butterfish".  We swore that one day, we'd find it on the mainland and go eat it.  Well, we finally did!  There's a Hawaiian restaurant in Plano that we have had our eye on, and we decided that the boys were the perfect combination to go!  Olivia stayed with her Granny and Papaw and we went OUT!  It was so fancy, complete with waiters that place your napkins in laps and everything!  We had such a good time and the food was divine.  Butterfish was exactly what I remembered it.  DELISH.  We finished the night at home with homemade cookies and Bluebell.  What's not to love about that? :)

In October, we got to break out the fall decorations in our fabulous house.  It has been amazing to have so much space to decorate!  Half way through the month, we took the kids to a local pumpkin patch for frolicking and photos.  It was of course, mayhem, but after all, we were there for the fun and fun was had!  It was HOT (because the temperature is ALWAYS retarded in Texas....really?  90 degrees?), but we got some amazing pictures and had a great time!  The boys helped us carve our pumpkin, featuring a contest between Andrew, Jacob, and I for the most awesome design.  Jacob won!  On Halloween, these two amazingly sweet brothers came and WANTED to trick o' treat with their little sister, the precious pumpkin.  It proved to be the best night!  Apparently, our neighborhood goes NUTS for Halloween!  It was seriously like a block party!   Everyone was outside, giving away copious amounts of candy and even cupcakes!  Craziness!  Jason stayed home to give out candy and was out in 30 minutes!  We got SO much candy!  The boys each had a FULL Target bag to take home!  Even Olivia got a massive amount!

The month ended a bit odd.  I was told late on a Friday night that my job no longer had the hours for me.  I am very thankful for the time I had with that company, but was completely shell shocked.  I'm currently searching for a replacement job.

I am constantly reminded that Jesus protects my little family.  ALL THE TIME.  I may not understand all the reasons behind the things that happen, but I know HE is in control.

Thanskgiving and Christmas are fast approaching.  I am so excited to have the holidays with the boys as we haven't had the actual day with them in two years.

Right now, all of us are counting down to the fabulous family vacation we are taking in 24 days.   We are taking the boys on their (and Jason's!) first CRUISE!!! Olivia is going to camp Emerson for a week and we will be sailing out of Galveston to two ports in Mexico!  The boys are beyond excited!

Until the next post, may Jesus continue to protect your family and mine....

Saturday, August 25, 2012

One year later

One year ago, I lay awake in a hospital bed.  I could not go to sleep for anything.  My mind was racing, imagining the small face I was about to meet.  Wondering if I would be a good mommy to her.  Praying for her safe arrival.  Thinking of how her brothers would respond to a sister so much younger than both of them.  Being thankful that her daddy was asleep on the sofa chair next to me and not stuck on a train.  I could not turn my brain off for anything.   It turned out to be one of the longest and most memorable nights/days I have experienced.

She did not want to come in the manner discussed by the doctor and her parents.   That was too calm of an entrance.  Wrapping her tiny umbilical cord around her neck and causing her heart rate to drop dangerously low, low enough for an emergency c-section, this was the entrance our Olivia was destined for.

She has always been a gift from God.  I do not deserve to be the mommy of such a sweet spirit, but I have been truly blessed to be her mommy.  From the time I saw that tiny heart beating until I heard that ferocious screeching, I had prayed for her.  I continue to pray for her, about 10 times a day.

All of my worries and concerns for her quickly vanished.  Because we serve an awesome God, she was delivered safely into this world to share the blessings of God with us.  Two boys can't imagine life without her and continually make me smile with their treatment of her.  They carry her around non stop, stop their own games to play with her, and have the sweetest conversations with her.  Her daddy and I are blessed.

And so today, she turns one year old.  She grows smarter every day.  She is so close to walking, but will make the decision to do so in her own time,  like she has done everything else.  Her family and friends will come together today to to honor her and no doubt bestow upon her many singing toys that her brothers, daddy, and I will find ourselves singing at the most bizarre times.  (oh, I loathe that darn jungle toy!!!!)

I am thankful that one year later, we have a beautiful little girl to watch smash cake into her sweet face.  She is the most wonderful thing I have ever have been blessed to help make.  I love you, my amazing Olivia Kaylynne

Thursday, August 09, 2012


In a little over 2 weeks, my daughter will turn 1.   Yikes.

Where has the time gone?  Who has determined that my sweet little 5 lb 10 oz creation is allowed to grow up and be a big girl?  This person has NOT consulted me.

Tonight, I looked back at pictures from Jason and I's life together.  I watched Andrew and Jacob blossom before my eyes.  Same with Olivia.  It's scary.

I know that we bring children in this world to teach them about Jesus and then trust HIM that we are making the right decisions for their lives.  We raise them and release them into HIS care.

But that doesn't make it easier.  It doesn't help to look back and see Jacob as a sweet 12 year old that I have watched grow up before me.  Or Andrew grow from a sweet 2nd grader to a very "mature" 5th grader.  They make me smile every day.

And now, their sister has also made me smile.  Every day.  She now says mama and dada to the right people.  She says her bubbas names.  They love it.

Guess I'd better get back to planning her birthday party.  **GULP**  Guess it's coming whether I like it or not.

Friday, August 03, 2012


It is quiet, yet it is noisy. Does that make sense to you? I suppose not. Today is the first day in about five weeks that Olivia has not had her bubbas at her beckon call. And boy is she upset about it. She's been fussy and feisty. Crabby and cantankerous. Not our Olivia Kaylynne. She has crawled down to their room numerous times today and been frustrated that they are not there. Upon this realization, she squawks and fusses. She loves them. She lights up when she sees them. She laughs at everything they do. It's going to be a rough ride for our little Olivia. She has learned that her bubbas are right in her area and will entertain her at any time. Sadly, this is not the case. I am so glad that she has had the opportunity to have them close to her this summer. It has been so good for all of them. It was pinnacled by the fact that she learned to say their names while they were here.... AN DEW and JAKE. So sweet.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


I know, I know. It's WAY early for a blog. I'm a once a month blogger! When I look back at my past, in 2005, I was a once a DAY blogger. I remember being offended when I didn't get a chance to blog that day! What the HECK was wrong with me? Actually nothing...I just didn't have the life that God intended for me quite yet. Well, I have it now and BOY HAVE THINGS CHANGED! Tonight, I sit at home with my three precious kiddos while Daddy is at work. The oldest is playing his guitar and thinking up fabulous new songs for all the girls who may or may not want to be his girlfriend. Never mind that we've discussed so many times the vapidness of high school girls. This is one lesson best learned through experience. The middle is coughing quietly in his bed. He has the horrid "summer cold" which he got from a friend who spent the night. I love having a house where his friends can spend the night. The youngest is going back and forth between staring in awe at her guitar playing brother and trying to steal all the remote controls. Earlier today, the oldest two were caught up in some sort of laughing/giggle fest. I know it started during a game of Tiger Woods golf on the Wii, but I have NO idea how. Olivia started laughing AT them while she was sitting in her high chair, consuming more food than I thought she was capable of. She's already eaten a handful of cheerios, two pieces of turkey, a baby bell cheese, 1/2 an orange, and still grunts for food. We are in TROUBLE. Having the boys for the entire month has been SO MUCH FUN. They have been such a big help to me. I don't think I've had to empty the dishwasher in quite awhile. They keep their room picked up (mostly!) and will clean their bathroom when asked. Both help Jason with the yard work. They rush to their sister's side when she's hurt and will carry her happily around the store. **Just had to give the starving girl more food. She's now polished off a banana.** This week should be a fun one! My grandma and aunt are coming over on Monday night for dinner. On Thursday, we're going to Hawaiian Falls water park! I haven't been to an actual water park since I was 16. That's....a lot of years. Olivia starts at a new babysitter this week, too. We did NOT want to leave her old babysitter, but they had some family issues that made them unable to care for her anymore. Our new one has two little girls. She lives about 15 min from us, so hopefully that will cut down on my travel time on work days. We are loving our house. Love, love, love. So much room, so little being squished. Of course, there's more cleaning, more upkeep...but these are things we are gladly tackling. MUCH better than the old nasty apartment! I am so thankful for my family!

Friday, July 06, 2012

Space enough for all

I think I've started this particular blog post about four times. It's not that I don't have anything to say, I've actually got LOTS to say. I've chosen however to let things distract me. Good things. My family, our house, our life. It is always a good reminder of what is truly important to me. In 50 years, it won't matter that I didn't blog from May to July...not one little bit. What WILL matter is whether or not I spent time with my kids and husband. That kind of neglect is not okay in any way, shape, or form. But, lucky for all of you off in blog reading land, I actually do have a few spare minutes in which I am not busy. It's rare, so enjoy! The Russell family is loving LIFE! We are happily moved in to our house and be thankful for it every single day. We are not sitting on top of each other, yet we are still together. It took about a week for us to get to 97% unpacked. I say 97% because I still have boxes in my side of the closet and garage to dig through. I think this comes from spending so much of my life living in apartments, always having stuff in storage. I am a pack rat by nature, but not because I'm just gross. I'm not a hoarder. I'm a SAVER. I'm very sentimental about pretty much anything that is connected with a memory. I've got cards saved from birthdays long ago. I've got programs from plays. Pictures galore. All of these things just need to be collated and put in one or two boxes, but that takes a day to get done. At this point, I'd rather be spending my time playing with the kids than collating old memories. It will get done, especially because I'm not fond of the box pile in the closet and my husband really REALLY would like his garage space back! Besides unpacking, we've been doing the fun summer stuff! We've been to the movies twice (which Olivia decided to squawk through!), played at the pool, and hung out with family. My sister and her daughter were in Texas for a week or so at the beginning of June and they came and stayed with us for two days. We had about 10 people in the house for dinner one night and it wasn't even crowded! What a complete change! We also celebrated Jacob's 16th birthday in June! YAY! Jacob wanted to do a movie for his birthday (quite a change from his brother who wanted to go shoot guns!), so we went and had a fun 3D movie experience. It is always SO funny because they love the 3D movies and think they are just the newest thing EVER! Of course, we thought the same thing when we were little...and the technology is even older than I am! My best 3D memory is watching Captain EO at Disney World when I was about 9. I remember trying to touch all the things that flew out at the screen. I think it's hilarious that that Michael Jackson movie has now come BACK to Disney in Florida and is now, once again, a permanent attraction. I look back at Jacob since I'e known him. He's such a good kid, most of the time. :) He loves his brother and sister FIERCELY. The other day, Olivia took a flying leap into the coffee table and he rushed to her side and picked her up before I even had a chance to move to get her. He is very thoughtful and is such a help to me. He will probably start driving practice with Jason next week. YIKES! He is blessed to have a father who has taught people to drive and driven professionally all of his adult life, so Jacob will be very well prepared. Olivia is WAY too grown up. She's 10 months old now, and never ceases to amaze me with what she can do. She's coasting on furniture, talking up a storm, and basically just making our lives a joy. She went from rolling to crawling to cruising on furniture in a little less than a week. She cut 4 teeth (all in a row on the top!) in 10 days and eats like a horse. She'll scream at you if her food is not delivered to her in a quick enough fashion. Because of circumstances out of our control, we're having to find another babysitter for her. We have LOVED the one she has now, but life changes and God will ALWAYS protect us. Our current prayer is to find that person that will be the best fit for our family! I'm still in shock that her birthday is next month. Where has my year gone? My brother and his wife welcomed their first child last month! Joshua was 5 weeks early, but is a fighter! God's timing is always best! He is currently still in the NICU, so we haven't been able to meet him yet (NICU's always have really strict rules about kiddo visitors), but we do have lots of pictures! I'm SO excited to meet him! Right now, he's just continuing to learn how to eat well and get BIG! YAY! We're going to go meet him next week. I would LOVE if he was home by that time, but even if he isn't, we're still ready to meet that sweet boy! Please keep him in your prayers, as well as for Michael and Jen. It's hard to have to leave your child every night and not be able to take him home with you! The boys are staying with us for this month and it has been SO much fun! Olivia LOVES her bubbas and has started leaving her piles of toys and books in the attempt to find them so she can play next to them. They are both so good with her. Yesterday, Andrew sat by the baby monitor and listened for her to wake up while Jason and Jacob did yard work. He called me at work while he was doing it and said, "I keep waiting to go get her if she needs me!" Precious. This year, for July 4th, we asked the boys what they wanted to do. We could either go watch fireworks or go shoot them off. I'll give you 2 seconds to determine what the 10 and 16 year old boys chose! :) We bought fireworks and headed over to Jason's dad's house, who has the grill along with the back yard! We made steaks (delish!) and anxiously awaited the darkness! Jacob, Andrew, Jason's dad, and I climbed up 20 feet onto the roof of the shop so we could see the show that Jason was creating! Olivia did surprisingly well during the show and actually clapped and giggled! I think she would have been more freaked out, but she's recently learned to clap her hands when people clap with her, so that was a nice distraction! Thanks for keeping up with us. I do better on Facebook than I do on here, but sometimes a status update just isn't enough, you know? We are blessed.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

It's here!

I have lived in apartments for what seems like FOREVER. I moved to Dallas in 1999 to teach school, lived in a fabulously GHETTO apartment, and have basically just apartment hopped since then. Wow. That was THIRTEEN years ago. Insanity. This weekend, we will be moving out of this horrific moldy nastiness we currently reside in. God has blessed us with a house that is big enough for our whole family to be together, but not so big as to lose sight of our precious family time. Jacob and Andrew have graciously and without complaint sleeping on the couch and floor of the living room like refugees since I moved to Euless and they started coming over all the time. Saturday night, they'll sleep in their own room. Olivia has been sleeping in our room since she came home from the hospital. She wakes periodically during the night to ensure that mommy and daddy are still there, and cries until one of us gets her. Saturday night, she'll start learning what a full night of sleep should look like (with a no doubt awake mommy hovering over the baby monitor outside her bedroom door!). The weekend will be busy as it starts out with Andrew's annual field day and Jacob's end of the year Choir concert. We pick up our keys from the realtor and then the fun continues! Saturday morning, the boys will get up early and head to get the moving truck and things out of storage at Jason's dad's house. Olivia, Liberty, and I will head over to the house and unload the few things from our car and try to get some things done before the boys get there with the boxes. For now, we will deal with the chaos of trying to finalize all utility turn ons, packing of a bazillion boxes, and the things that ALWAYS come up last minute. We have faith that ALL things are working for the good of those who love God. They may not work out the way we would like or the way that we think is best, but in the end, God's plan is always better than ours!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Time does fly

I just looked at my blog and realized I haven't done anything since March! Good heavens! It's M Well, so much has happened since then but I'll attempt to discuss it in my own fabulous way! Easter was absolutely precious. We didn't get the boys because in their words, they wanted to take their mother to church on Easter. Precious. We did have an amazing egg hunt two days previous in which Andrew won and received $5 as a prize! Olivia was content to eat dirt while her brothers searched for eggs on my in law's 1.5 acre lot! I figure, her immune system will only be stronger with a bit of Texas dirt in it! A few weeks later, Andrew, Jason, and I (Jacob was in punishment for bad grades!) embarked on a fabulous Sand Bass fishing trip! We caught 75 fish (well, we were only allowed to keep 75....we caught WAY more than that!) and provided the family with a phenomenal fish fry that afternoon! Jacob and Olivia got to hang with Papaw and Granny for the day while we worked for their dinner. Needless to say, everyone (including Miss Olivia) enjoyed the fish fry and could NOT stop eating it! We left a bag of fish in the freezer at my inlaws and still have two bags in our freezer. It should be noted that until that day, Andrew had never EVER been on a boat and I had never caught a fish! Both have now been remedied! One of the more exciting pieces of news from the last month or so is that we are MOVING! We found a fabulous rent house in the Keller area and will be moving Memorial Day weekend! What an answer to prayer! We had always said that when we found a house, it would be all of the things we wanted...and this one absolutely is. It has a room for Jacob and Andrew to share that is big enough for them to not only sleep in, but have stuff at our house permanently. It has a room for Miss Olivia so she can learn that mommy and daddy do NOT sleep 2 feet away and it is NOT okay to wake up three times during the night! We feel truly blessed and are not really certain what we will do with that much space! Hooray! Thanks for continuing to follow my sweet family, even though I'm turning out to be not that great of a timely blogger. Just know that God is blessing us and we are eternally grateful!

Friday, March 23, 2012

How could I ask for more...

Many moons ago, Cindy Morgan penned a song that touched me. I was a teenager and had no idea of what life had in store for me. As I sit here tonight, looking at this beautiful life of mine, I ask the same question. My daughter is asleep in my arms. My two sons are sitting in God's beautiful creation bonding with their daddy. We are so blessed. This is the life God has promised me. How could I ask for more?

How could I ask for more!
By Cindy Morgan

There's nothing like the warmth of a summer afternoon
Walking to the sunlight, and being cradled my the moon
Catching fireflies at night
Building castles in the sand
Kissing Mam's face goodnight
And holding Daddy's hand
Thank you Lord, how could I ask for more

Running barefoot in the grass
A little hide and go seek
Being so in love, that you can hardly eat
Dancing in the dark, when there's no one else around
Being bundled 'neath the covers, watching snow
Fall to the ground
Thank you Lord, how could I ask for more

So many things I thought would bring me happiness
Some dreams that are realities today
Such an irony the things that mean the most to me
Are the memories that I've made along the way

So if there's anything I've learned
From this journey I am on
Simple truths will keep you going
Simple love will keep you strong
Cause there are questions without answers
Flames that never die
Heartaches we go through are often blessings in disguise
So thank you Lord, oh thank you Lord
How could I ask for more

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring has sprung!

After the most horrific summer, I was expecting to be completely blown out of the water with the nastiness of winter. I was prepared for snow days, ice, and endless amout of cold weather. I should not have put my expectations so high, after all, this IS Texas. After a grand total of maybe 3 days that snuck below freezing, spring is HERE. All the trees are putting out their green leaves (along with their horrid pollen) and the flowers are blooming. Guess no one told the weather that we'd like a bit longer before we start inching closer and closer to 100 degree weather. I can be thankful that I'm not pregnant this summer, maybe I'll enjoy it a little more! My sister in law, however, can NOT say this seeing as that she is 21 weeks pregnant with my fabulous nephew! There's really nothing that one can do to prepare for the discomfort of pregnancy and when coupled with a Texas summer, it's all about survival! Thankfully, at the end, you come out with a prize! :)

It's been fun and games as always around our house! The boys had spring break last week and were able to spend a few days with us towards the beginning. We played outside in the lovely weather, went to the shooting range, and the boys and I went on a mall adventure. Nope, I'd never taken 3 kids to the mall before...what an experience! The main reason we went was to get a birthday present for their dad! I found a great groupon to have the kids pictures taken, so we headed off to the mall to do that! Pictures with a 6 month old are always a gamble, but we did get some pictures that turned out great! Olivia smiles best for her bubbas, so it was hard to get her to focus on someone taking her picture with her bubbas next to her. At least she didn't cry! :) When gingers cry, we get blotchy red eyebrows and faces...not a pretty sight. The boys looked great and even picked out Olivia's outfit (Um, Stephanie, she needs to wear the pink one. She's girly.).

Jason had a class for his job last week, so Miss Olivia got to go to her new babysitter for the first time in an extended time away from mom and dad. She'd been watched by family and the church nursery, but this was the longest she'd been away from either of us. We are blessed to have such a happy baby, and she did amazing. Of course, God provided the most amazing woman to watch her. Olivia comes home well rested, well fed, with all her clothes washed and a hand written schedule (to the minute) of what she did during the day. Wow! This precious woman goes above and beyond when caring for our little girl and we are so very thankful.

This past weekend was Jason's birthday! The boys came over on Friday night for some birthday fabulousness. On Saturday, we all had "lazy day" and slept in! I even made green egg sandwiches in honor of St. Patrick's day! We ended up spending the day getting fishing gear so that Jason could take the boys fishing next weekend. After they picked out their rods and reels, we went over to Jason's dad's house to get it all set up. Once that was done, we headed home for family movie night. Sunday, (Jason's actual birthday), we had birthday donuts for breakfast and headed out to church. After church, we went back to Jason's dad's house for birthday burgers and hot dogs on the grill! Jason took the two boys to the lake around the corner to practice with their new poles. They'd both been fishing before but had never caught a fish. Olivia and I stayed behind to nap and have our latest teethign fit (poor girl!). The boys came home jubilant as BOTH of them had caught something! Jason didn't have the opportunity to catch anything, but the joy of hearing and seeing the boys catch their first fish was enough! It was the BEST birthday present!

Miss Olivia continues to be the world's cutest baby (in our humble opinion!). She's learning new things every day and continues to amaze me. She now will sit up to play, continues to roll literally ALL over the house, and squawk when she's not fed quickly enough. I'm starting to notice that she prefers her food to have some texture and is liking pureed things less and less. She's started in on the protein party and is NUTS about salmon and turkey. Her biggest issue right now is the fact that she's starting to have teething fits where she just becomes inconsolable at a moment's notice. She doesn't have any pearly buds yet, just lots of gum pain. Most of the day, she's absolutely fine.

Next weekend, Jason is taking the boys to the lake for a true fishing experience. I'm not sure what Olivia and I will be up to, but I'm thinking maybe spring cleaning? Wait, this is me after all...perhaps just spring straightening. I'm certain that my cleaning will be taking a back seat (even more than it normally does) when our daughter becomes more mobile than she already is. For now, I'll just clean around her rolling party and wait anxiously for the day when she's chasing the dog around! I'm sure it will not be that far away.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My cup runneth over.

Life in the Russell kingdom has been busy lately. I guess that's going to continue to be our story, but it is always fun to look back at past blogs from years ago and see the differences. I love that!

Little Miss Princess continues to bring smiles to whomever she meets. She is now 6 months old, eating like a horse, and growing longer each day. She's just now starting to grow out of her 3 month old clothes. I like to consider her "petite", but without her clothes, you'd never EVER know it. The child has more fat rolls than I know what to do with! We call them her "extras". She has an extra neck, extra wrists, extra thighs....you name it! She drools constantly, but no sign of white pearly teeth yet. She smiles for just about anyone and laughs at her bubbas and daddy. Her favorite new pastime is rolling around the floor, always making it interesting to find where she's ended up when one returns to the room. She is SO close to sitting on her own unassisted. She loves to squawk and scream. Her food list consists of pears, bananas, oatmeal, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, asparagus, green beans, mashed potatoes, and rice teething biscuits. She does NOT like applesauce as evidenced by the full body shudders that accompany almost each and every bite.

Up until now, we have been blessed to have Olivia home with Jason while I am at work. They have their own sweet routine, even being able to video chat with me while I am at work. We've known for some time that at some point, the job situation would change and she would need to be cared for by someone while we were at work. Thankfully, we have been able to keep her home this long. A few weeks ago, we got word that we would need to find someone to watch her....and the mommy and daddy stress began. Fervent prayers began. The child care search began. In looking back, I know we shouldn't have worried one little bit. God gave us this beautiful little girl for a reason and He alone knows the plan for her life. He found us the most amazing couple to watch her, one we could never have found on our own and who seems to be a perfect fit for our family. God continues to provide for us and protect our family.

Jacob and Andrew have been keeping us on our toes as well. We were blessed to have them for a few weekends in a row this month. The boys have taken up going to the gun range and they LOVE it. Andrew will even call us in the middle of the week and request a trip to the range. Last week, he told us that he'd be okay with us getting him a gun to use while he's there. Of course, he doesn't want to use any of his own money, but if we want to buy it and hold on to it for his use, that'd be okay with him. He's hilarious. He's starting telling Olivia "Never fear! Andrew is here!" when she gets hysterical in the car seat or at home. It's absolutely precious. I can see a small red curly haired girl chasing after him in a few years, never wanting him to be out of her sight. It's also fun to watch Jacob with her. Most 15 year old boys wouldn't have the time of day for a 6 month old, but Jacob is also enamored with his little sister. In fact, over the weekend, we went to the store and Jacob carried Olivia (his request!) throughout the store. In the same weekend, I was fixing breakfast before church when Olivia started getting irritated. I was watching out of the corner of my eye and Jacob raced across the room to come to the aid of his little sister. He had her in his arms and was quieting her before I even had a chance to step out of the kitchen.

Things are not going to be slowing down anytime soon. Seeing as we really didn't have a winter in Texas, our trees and plants have already decided that it's spring. The days are less and less cold and we have more sunshine than ever. I would covet your prayers in the next few weeks for our family. We have been so blessed and protected by the Lord.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Valentines

I am a very blessed woman to have been given not one, but four valentines.

Jason, you are the love of my life. You make me feel special every single day. You are an amazing husband and a phenomenal father. Your passion for truth and justice makes us all strive to be better people.

Jacob, you have such a sweet spirit. You fiercely protect your two younger siblings and are SO talented. I pray that as you grow older you continue to protect your very sensitive heart. And remember, if any female tries to hurt you, I think your little sister may hurt them. :)

Andrew, I love your zest for life. You seek truth and have the innate ability to get straight to the heart of the issue. You adore your sister and idolize your brother. You're my awesome kitchen assistant and sister distractor.

Olivia, you are growing into such a hilarious little personality. Your laugh and smile are infectious. You have your daddy and bubbas in the palm of your hand. You may be small, but I can already see your "ginger" genes coming out. Your daddy and I are in trouble!

What more could a girl want, I ask you? These four have my heart.

Friday, January 20, 2012

And the fun continues!

I just don't understand where the time goes. I mean, seriously. I find it very hard to believe that we have an almost 5 month old in our home. It really honestly seems like yesterday when we brought that little sprite home. A time where she stayed where you left her and slept 18+ hours of the day. When none of her clothes fit and I wanted to do nothing else than hold her all the time, whether she was sleeping or awake. Well, I still want to hold her all the time, but SO much has changed with our little beauty! At the doctor's office, she weighed 13lbs, 15oz and was 24 inches long. She's hanging out in the 25-50th percentile, but growing completely normal on her growth curve, so no one's worried! She's just a petite cutie! The girl loves to hear herself talk and enjoys rolling about the floor. She laughs and smiles all the time, making our household happy most of the day! She's eating homemade baby food and cereal at least 2 times a day and has tried sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, avocado, and bananas. This week, she's experienced her first case of the snot head and has developed an angry relationship with the bulb suction. She's on her way to growing out of her 3 month clothes, but still not quite big enough for 6 months ones...so that's a fun transition! Same goes for diapers...on her way out of 1 and trying to not have size 2 fall off! She went all the way through a church service last week without having to have me paged and even took a nap amidst all the nursery screamings! She is growing WAY too fast for this mommy.

Jacob and Andrew are coming over this weekend and I'm so excited! It's Andrew's 10th birthday today! Do you remember when you turned 10? I do. I remember waking up and being ecstatic that I now had a 2 digit age. We asked Andrew what he wanted to do for his birthday, and he enthusiastically declared that he wanted to go to the shooting range...so that's what we'll be doing on Saturday afternoon! He was pukey yesterday, so I didn't get a chance to ask him what kind of birthday cake he wanted. I love making cakes, even if I have zero decorating skills. Hey, they all taste the same going down, so my messy attempts will still be delicious! I'm very thankful that we're going to get to have him this weekend for our own family celebrations. Last year, we introduced him to trick candles...I guess we'll be kinder to him this year!

Work continues to go well. I am constantly reminded what an awesome company I work for, especially since Miss Olivia has arrived. My patients always are asking how she is and want to see her latest pictures. I work at 2 different clinics and have two amazing supervisors that are very flexible with my schedule. I will have been with this company for a year on Wednesday and couldn't have asked for a better experience! I will also have been a nurse for 7 years next week. WOWSERS. I remember the day that I took my nursing boards like it was yesterday. It was a Thursday morning. I drove to the testing facilty and got there earlier than I needed to. I sat in the car, prayed, and listened to Avalon's Testify to Love about 8 times in a row. I mustered up my courage and went in the test. The test is automatically generated as you take it so the more questions you answer correctly in a row, the harder the questions get. Once the test believes you have answered enough correctly, it shuts off. The minimum number of questions you'll have to answer is 75 and that's precisely the amount I had. When I hit the "next" key after answering the 75th question and my computer screen went black, I breathed a sigh of relief. Two days later, I decided to just "check" to see if my results were in. We had been told it would take 48 hours, but since my 48 hours fell on a Saturday, I didn't expect the results to be up. I paid my $9 to open the website and my eyes fell on that beautiful little word. PASS. I screamed, ran into the bathroom where my sister (who was living with me at the time), was showering and most likely scared her to death as I screamed I PASSED! I PASSED! Ah, it was a great day! Now, 7 years later, I have been blessed to work with many different kinds of patients and in different facilities. Nursing has been my niche and I'm very thankful I decided to take the leap of faith and change from teaching to nursing.

Thank you to all who prayed for Hannah's little brother, Knox. He did end up having surgery at 4 days old, but went home just a few days later! He's now spending his time getting big and fat, with a completely repaired heart. God is so amazing!

Thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Happy 2012!

Jason and I were just talking the other day about perspective. When I was probably a very early teenager, I couldn't quite imagine what life would be like in the year 2000 or even that we would get to that year. Now, it's 12 years past that and I remember that night that turned from 1999 to 2000 like it was yesterday. Wow. I feel old. 12 years ago, I had just graduated from LeTourneau and was in my first year of teaching junior high. Man, time does fly. Those sweet and gangly 7th graders are now in their early 20's and getting married and having babies. I'm old!

Jason and I rang in the new year quietly. We played a vicious game of Bible Trivia, a game he and I both have played for years and are fiercely competetive when playing. He beat me by the tiniest margin. Arg! We also played Scrabble which has become so much more hilarious since the creation of Words with Friends. My scores are now so much better! We didn't actually finish the game, but I was declared the winner. Family game night was how I grew up bringing in the new year. We would always start with this game that my parents got sometime in their college years, I believe. After that, the games varied, but usually consisted of Life and at least one other game. We'd eat queso, spinach dip, barbeque weenies, and a variety of other not so fancy, but oh so traditional Emerson New Years Eve foods. We'd watch the ball drop and scurry off to bed to await the next day and the Rose Parade (complete with my mother saying about every 10 minutes how much she despises the commercials and announcers). I was glad Jason and I decided to keep it low key this year. We went to bed sometime around 1 and spent our New Year's Day at church with the boys. It was wonderful!

Olivia Kaylynne is quite the character. Every day, I am amazed at what this child can do. She's decided that it's not necessary for her to consistantly roll over (even though we know she can), but she can get around the floor in her own way. It's always entertaining to see where she ends up. The child has absolutely found her voice and now likes to spend a great majority of her awake time screeching and squealing happily. She's been sleeping with her new fabulous "Baa Baa Lamb" sound machine (thank you Aunt Connie!), and I really think it helps her to block out some of the excess apartment noise and not wake up as easily in the middle of the night. We've started cereal and vegetables since the child is always acting hungry and it's been highly entertaining watching her devour them! So far, we've done oatmeal, sweet potatoes, bananas, and carrots. A few days ago, she had so many sweet potatoes up her nose that she sneezed them out for about a day. Hilarious! She's getting L O N G too! Our next doctor visit is the 13th and I just know she's probably grown another 2 inches. The majority of her 3 month clothes still fit, but she's starting to be too long for some of them. I still find it hard to believe how much she changes week by week. I was looking back at her newborn pictures the other day and was laughing because she was SO gangly and had little bird legs! Now, she's chubby, smiley, and getting so big! She loves her big bubbas and idolizes her daddy. Such a blessed little girl!

I would ask your prayers for a sweet little new friend of ours. Hannah's newest little brother, born 1/2/2012, was born with a narrowed aorta and a hole in the bottom 2 chambers of his heart. He's a big healthy boy otherwise! He will need to have surgery in the near future to correct this problem and should then have no issues. Please pray for Amanda and Jason as well as the rest of their family as they are taking care of this new little life. I can't imagine the stress of seeing another one of your children in the Cardiac ICU. This family is amazingly strong and has lifted up Knox to Jesus even before he was born!

2011 was an absolutely amazing year for my family. We were able to take the boys on their first airplane ride and vacation as a family. We welcomed Miss Olivia and have enjoyed watching her grow. I am constantly amazed at the blessings God has given me when I know I don't deserve them. What an amazing God I serve! My prayer for 2012 is that I show Jesus in all I do to the three little lives I have been gifted with.