Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thank You!!!

Thank you to everyone who celebrated Jake's birthday with us!!! It is always such a blessing to get together with our family & friends and celebrate Jake!!! We are so grateful to have each of you in our lives. And even those of you who couldn't be here with us today it is just as great to know you were thinking about Jake (us) yesterday on his 3rd Birthday!! I can't believe I can say that I have a 3 year old!!! It was such a joy to see Jake celebrate his special day. This is the 1st year that he really has seemed to get it is his birthday.

Jason & I are so blessed to be his parents and to have all of you in our lives again Thank You to all of you!!! We love you!!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Big Boy

Today my precious Jake turns 3!!!

When you turned 2 it seemed so official you were no longer a baby. Over this past year this has become more and more evident. You are officially a big boy.

We said goodbye to your paci and welcomed big boy underwear. Everything we do that refers to a baby had to be changed to 'big boy." At night when we rock I have always sang a made up song that you have called "the baby song." Over the last year you made me change the word baby to big boy and now just call the song "big boy." You won't let me hold you like a baby, but thankfully you still asked to be rocked for a few minutes every night before you get in your bed. Even if officially you are a big boy. 

And over the last few weeks your personality has really been changing. You talk to almost anyone. Just a few short weeks ago you would hardly talk to people we were around somewhat regularly. And now here you are talking to strangers. Even others we are around have noticed you coming out of your shell. You really are a big boy.

When we have conversations (you really are great at carrying on conversations) most things that you say begin with "when I get bigger," or "when I am older." Oh big boy how your mommy wishes you would just stay small. But you really want to be big and ride motorcycles, "with a helmet" you always add that part in. And you want to work like Daddy. And reach the pedals so you can drive a car. Or be bigger so you can work like the men doing construction and drink gatorade like they do on their breaks(no idea where you got the idea that all people who work outside drink gatorade). You want to be bigger so you can play soccer like Austin & Tyler, and play golf with real golf clubs. You are going to throw a big football like they do on tv. And you even want to be bigger so you can go to school. It is so fun to hear about all the things you wish to do when you get older.

Every year you change mine & daddy's lives a little more and we become more in love with our big boy. I kind of think that is the way God intended it to be. Because some times you don't want to listen and you really are very opinionated so God knew that we would need more love for you as you became more independent. Although, we can struggle with this it is something we love about you.

You still say "my" instead of "I." And it will be such a sad day when you stop. And even though it may take a few more minutes I really love to hear you say "my will do it." At 3 years old you want to do everything on your own. But you love for daddy & me to play with you too. And almost every morning you greet daddy when you comes down the stairs with "do you want to play in my play room."

My sweet big boy Jacob Ryan we love you forever and ever. And even though you are a big boy in your eyes every time I look at you I see my sweet precious baby boy.

Happy Birthday Big Boy!!

I wish and pray so many things for you. But most of all I pray you become a boy & man of God. Who strives to serve Him and do good for others according to His word. That you will love God first and love others too just as God has commanded us to do.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pumpkin Carving

I found this poem over at Women Living Well and it was the perfect thing to go with our pumpkin carving. Keep in mind some of our pictures were taken by an almost 3 year old who thinks he is in charge of the camera. 
Lord, open my mind so I can learn new things about you.
(Cut off top of pumpkin)

Remove the things in my life that don’t please you. Forgive the wrong things I do and help me to forgive others.
(Remove the guts)
 Open my eyes to see the beauty you’ve made in the world around me.
(Cut open eyes)
I’m sorry for the times I’ve turned my nose at the good food you provide.
(Cut out nose)
Let everything I say please You.
(Cut out mouth)

Lord, help me show your light to others through the things I do.
(Light the candle inside)

By: Liz Curtis Higgs

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

This past weekend we went to the pumpkin patch. The same one we have been going to for years. It is nothing fancy like some of the others, but the people who own it are very nice and the boys love running around all the pumpkins they have for sale. And then getting to pick out their very own little pumpkin to take home.  The pumpkin patch also has a big sunflower field and fruit & veggies. Caleb & Jake shared an apple. Those boys can be so sweet to each other...some of the time :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Family Time

 Making your home a Haven challenge with Women Living Well.

So we are lighting our candle and listening to music throughout the day and last week added in clean the clutter.

I am happy to report that the landing at the bottom of my stairs remained picked up all week. Not to say that every time I found something down stairs that belonged up stairs I was immediately taking it up there. But I would grab whatever was at the bottom each time I was heading up that way. It is so much more pleasant to look at the stairs and not see a pile of stuff that needs to go up stairs.

I was going to share a separate post about our disaster computer room. But instead I will post the before and after here. I will tell you first that the picture before was after I started going through things. So although the room was a huge wreck it looks worse in the picture because I had everything scattered around. The room is now clean and stayed clean all week. Each time I brought things into that room I would put them away instead of just piling them on a desk (what a concept ;)) . I want to get rid of a lot more stuff in the room. But the giant desk will have to be moved out at another time. Side note...see the snake cage? It has a red tail boa living in it. We would love to sell it. If you are interested let me know.  It has been so nice to work on the computer and not be surrounded by piles of junk and scattered mess.

So all in all the clear the clutter challenge was great for making our home more of a haven. Things have been staying cleaned up and it feels much more peaceful being in our home. Being able to see the flicker of our candle(need to get a new one only a few more days left in mine), hear the soft music in the background, and then this week not seeing piles of clutter around the home has made this hectic birthday month feel like a haven.

So now on to another weeks challenge.
Keep the candle going, the music playing, and add some tender moments with your family. Have a pillow party in the family room and get out every blanket and pillow in the house and be cozy with the kids or your hubby! Even if you live alone you can do this. Enjoy a cozy evening of hot cider and caramel corn. Give a 5 minute back rub to every single person in your house...and for a double challenge- try to give one every day to each family member! During your tender moment with the family, ask them how they feel about this challenge. Are they enjoying it? Is it helpful? Is there anything they would change. Give your family listening ears. I think you will be blessed by the positive feedback you will receive!

I am so excited to find ways to have tender moments with my family. Bed time with Jake is a favorite tender moment with him. But I am hoping to add more things in throughout the week and day not just at bed time. 

Did you take the clear the clutter challenge? Do you feel lighter? They really do say people with more clutter weigh more.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Daily Moments (10/17-10/23)

We have had such a fun week. It is great catching these daily moments of our life with The Mom Creative and Project Life Tuesday.

Sunday-October 17th- We took Jake to see Toy Story 3 on ice today. He loved it and was completely mesmerized by the show. He sat with his leg in the chair leaning over almost the whole time.

Monday-October 18th-My amazingly talented friend Vickie took our pictures again. I love these 2 of Jake. The railroad track one is probably one of my favorites. And the others are just too cute. Although, the one of the 3 of us is great. It is not my favorite. I have a ton of favorites, but we will be using them for Christmas cards so of course I couldn't show them to you now. :)

Tuesday-October 19th- My in-laws came over and stayed with Jake for a couple of hours this afternoon so I could get my hair done. Embarrassing it had been February since my last cut and color. I love my new short and sassy cut!

Wednesday-October 20th- Our letter for the week was F. Jake & I built a fort and played with flashlights. He loved this and we had to keep the fort up all week. Every time we turned around Jake was asking if we wanted to play in the fort. So much fun!!
Friday-October 22nd- My very best friends had a dinner party for me today! It was so much fun to spend the night eating delicious food (and cake) and just hanging out talking. I had the best time!! Thanks girls for celebrating my birthday with me!!

Saturday-October 23rd- We took the boys for our annual Trick or Treating at a near by park that host Trick or Treat Village every year. We have taken my oldest nephew since he was little. It is so much fun to walk around and see all the kids dressed up. Jake is Spider Man...and loves his costume. He has worn it every day since we bought it.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Today is my BIRTHDAY!!!

I love birthdays...even my own!!!  

If it was my husbands birthday or my sons birthday I would have a whole post to write about all the great things about them. And how wonderful their birthday is to me.

With today being my birthday I can't really write a whole post about what makes me great...could I?

                                                                         Beautiful & delicious cake made by Vickie (Spoonful of Frosting)
Instead I just wanted to say how blessed I am!!!  This year has been a wonderful year and I am so excited to see what is in store over the next year to come.

I had a fabulous weekend celebrating my birthday with my very best friends on Friday night and with my family throughout the weekend!!! Oh and with some delicious food too!!

And all I can think to reflect on this past year and today my birthday is....

I am truly deeply blessed!! And I love this life I have been given!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Quiet Time

 A few of my friends & I have a Good Morning Girls group. The idea started with Courtney at Women Living Well. This is our second season of doing it and I believe I speak for all of us involved when I say we LOVE it. The accountability for having a daily quiet time with God is wonderful and much needed. Each Wednesday Good Morning Girls host a Women in the Word Wednesday. So although this is Thursday I wanted to share a couple of things here.

Recently I had a falling out with a person I thought was a very good friend. It was a terrible public embarrassment. A couple of my other friends were also involved in the wrath of this friend. We have all been very hurt by the way she treated us and were in complete shock by the event. It ended with her saying "she no longer wished to be associated with us."

It is amazing how God will meet you where you are in life through his word. "God's word is living and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword." Hebrews 4:12
And through wise words of people around you.

I am currently doing Beth Moore's Esther study and love it. I have truly enjoyed going slowly through one book of the Bible and really being able to focus on the words and take it all in.  Through Beth I gained this piece of treasure that I have been thinking on in light of some recent things.

Beth Moore said "Disconnected people can never be whole. Vulnerable and painful though it may be, a community of people whose lives are tied together by the tender strings of the heart is life the way God menat it to be lived."

And then a sweet friend sent me this verse this morning " But I tell you who hear me, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, Pray for those who mistreat you." Luke 6:27-28

I will be camping on this verse for a few days. This is where I want to be and the type of person I want to be.

And Beth Moore's words prove that God wants us to be open and close with people around us. I hope I am this way to all those who know me.

Do you have a quiet time? It really does make a huge difference in my day if I spend a few minutes reading God's word. And believe me no matter what is going on in your life at the moment God will speak to you about it through his word.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Clear the Clutter

We are into week 3 of Women Living Well Making your home a haven challenge.

Last week we continued to have our candle lit and added in playing music throughout the day.

The candle has continued to be a wonderful reminder to pray.
1 Thessalonians 15:17 "pray continually;" 
It has been so nice to have the candle lit. As I see the flicker I simply say a silent sentence prayer. Love it!!

The music this week has been great backdrop noise to our day. It inspired impromptu dance parties in the living room with Jake. And moments of reflection for me as I cleaned and went about my day. It is definitely makes you think when you are getting frustrated before you speak when something like "Lead Me" or "Our God" is playing in the house.

Week 3's challenge is....
List a few of the spots in your home that make you visually stressed because of all the clutter. Now go buy something for that spot - like a basket to put it all in! Work on cleaning up clutter. Throw things away. While you're at it - clean up some clutter in your spiritual life. What gets in the way of your peace spiritually? 

An area in our home that definitely is a clutter collector is our stairs. Call it lazy, but when things are down stairs and they belong upstairs I just put them on the landing at the bottom. I should walk up stairs and put them where they go, but for whatever reason I just pile the stuff up. And to make matters even worse a lot of times I will walk up the stairs several times before I actually pick up the stuff and bring it with me. I will for sure be working on this during the week. Making it a point to take things up the stairs instead of piling them at the bottom. 

Our other area (well it is actually a whole room) of clutter is our computer room. It is up stairs so when guest come over they don't typically see this room. Therefore things that don't really have a place get moved there when I  clean.  I tackled this room over the weekend and it looks a million times better. Hopefully we will keep it this way. I will post the super embarrassing pictures of this room later this week. 

And the other part of the challenge is spiritual clutter. Because I typically have my quiet time first thing in the morning some days it is so hard to focus. I have a million things running through my mind of what needs to be done that day. Or watching the clock  because we have somewhere to be early that day. During this challenge I am making a point to clear my mind before I sit down to pray and read God's word. To start I will add a few minutes in the morning to make a list of things that need to get done that day. In hopes that this will help me to not think about them so much when I really want/need to be focused on much more important things. My day and tone of our home is totally different when I have a purposeful quiet time with God before the day begins. 

So are you in the challenge this week? Are you clearing clutter from your life both physically and spiritually?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Daily Moments (10/10-10/16)

Oh my goodness October is flying by. I really can't believe we are approaching the end already. Here is our week in review didn't get a picture on Sunday & Monday.

Tuesday-October 12th-Panera Bread just might be my favorite place to eat. I always get half a turkey artichoke and either 1/2 a classic salad or 1/2 a greek salad. Jake too loves my salads and always wants to share. I love him eating out of the giant Panera salad bowl.

Wednesday-October 13th- Another extremely cute picture of Jake from his Birthday photo shoot. Of course any picture with him in it is going to be super cute! Can't believe he will be 3 on the 30th.

Thursday-October 14th- Every time I look at Jake in my rear view mirror he is sitting with his leg crossed.  He totally thinks he is a grown man. Just so happened that Jason was driving today so I could get a picture of Jake riding along.

Friday-October 15th-This week was letter E. We did an Egg experiment. If you put an egg in plain water it sinks, but in salt water it will float.

Saturday-October 16th- Of course the most fun thing to play with at Nana & Pawpaw's today was the new tv box. Caleb & Jake were so imaginative with the box and played so well together.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

3rd Year

This year made the 3rd year that my best friend has taken Jake's birthday theme pictures. She does a great job. Part of it is because she has a great eye for pictures. The other part is because she loves Jake almost as much as she does her own kids.

For Jake's 1st birthday we sent out picture invitations. But last year we used the pictures for thank you gifts to all of Jake's birthday guest. This year we will be doing the same.

 Radio Flyer theme for 1st birthday & Bubbles for 2nd birthday!
(These weren't the ones we actually used just some super cute ones)

 I can't believe how little my almost 3 year old was...miss my baby, but love my big boy...who thinks he is grown!!

I love so many of the pictures from this years photo session. I am not sure which ones will be used for his thank you card. But I had to share how cute my boy is.  So here are a few of the pictures. This years birthday theme...BUGS!!!(the number 3 on his shirt has bugs on it too, but they are hard to see in the picture)

 We actually went to a bait shop & got night crawlers. The lady said she had never had anyone request worms for picture taking and not fishing!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Daily Moments (10/3-10/9)

There were a couple of days this week I didn't get pictures.  I did get several pictures so still better then not getting any pictures at all. And a couple of days I had taken several pictures of different things we did all in the same day. On those days it was kind of difficult to pick just one picture.  I am so glad I have this reminder to take pictures of our daily lives through The Mom Creative and Project Life Tuesday. I can't wait to get them all in an album to look back and see a glimpse of our lives through the daily moments.

 Sunday-October 3rd-The fair turns everyone into a big kid...Jason rode the bumper cars(along with a few other rides). It is hard to see in this picture, but next to him in another car is Pawpaw & Tyler.

Tuesday-October 5th-Every Tuesday Jake & I go to a mommy & me music class. Mrs. Jennifer does the best job leading all of us in dancing and singing. Jake loves it and I hear him all throughout the rest of the week singing the songs we sing at music. (sorry for the poor quality picture..I think my camera is on it's last leg)

Wednesday-October 6th- D is for donuts with daddy (oh and added bonus since Daddy is wearing his Dominos shirt). I have to say I have the cutest husband and little boy!!

Thursday-October 7th- We had a play date today at Red Top Mountain. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. We enjoyed a picnic with our friends and then some walking through the woods and next to the lake. (again sorry about the poor picture quality)

Saturday-October 9th-The past few Saturdays have been spent at the soccer field watching 2 of my nephews. Jake loves to go and spend the morning and most of the afternoon outside. He has fun watching some of the game, but really the playing and concession stand junk food is way more interesting. Love this picture of all 4 boys eating ring pops.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Music in our Home

I am truly loving this fall challenge "Make Your Home a Haven" with Courtney at Women Living Well.

Last weeks challenge was to light a candle in our home every day.

Jake really loved this and every morning when he would come down stairs he would remind me to light it.

Every time the flicker of the candle caught our attention we were to pray for our family and home. I loved having this little reminder throughout the day. The candle I have been burning is caramel pecan so not only did I have a reminder to pray when I saw the light flicker, but also each time I would smell the scent floating through our home.

I would pray different things for my family and home during the day. Mostly I have prayed that I would set the tone of my home, that I would be actively involved with Jake, and that God would fill our home in all we do.

It was great to have the candle as a reminder when I would get frustrated with Jake. Just seeing the candle would remind me to be gentle & loving. 

So I am so excited to take on Week 2's challenge!!

Play soft music everyday in your home. Choose worship, classical or another form of peaceful music that the family enjoys. Focus on using peaceful words and maintaining peaceful relationships. Remind your family to avoid seething anger, tattling, criticism or back talk. As the wife/mother, work on gentleness this week.

I used to be really good about turning the radio on in the morning. It was great to have in the background. Slowly over the summer tv has creeped in more and more and even when the tv isn't on I haven't been thinking to turn the radio on. I am really looking forward to getting back into this habit.

And because the challenges start the week I post. I will do a recap of how this weeks challenge goes with next weeks post.

Are you following along? How did your candle lighting go? Is fall the beginning of a hectic time of year for you?