Tuesday, February 28, 2012

John 14:15

I haven't carved out much time for blogging lately but I wanted to post this video. We've all been sick but I'm thankful for the extra snuggles from Harrison, because let's face it, the boy is not normally one to snuggle. I was up with him several times Saturday night due to a sore throat and cough. I hate that he's been sick but I love that he wants his momma for comfort. We didn't get much sleep but I thoroughly enjoyed our conversations, including but not limited to: tractors, firetrucks, puppies, astronauts, Buzz & Woody, friends at school, bicycles, and best of all, Jesus. We talked about some of the things he's learning about at school, like Jesus healing the blind man with mud (which has unfortunately caused many time-outs for Harrison because he now thinks spit is awesome), and also worked on one of their memory verses. I can't explain how special it was for me to hear scripture coming out of the mouth of my toddler for the first time.

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. John 14:15

And it couldn't have come at a better time for me. I've been feeling pretty discouraged and exhausted lately. Rick has been working a lot and if I'm being honest, our kids are kicking my butt.  I go to bed bone-tired and feeling defeated many nights because while it seems like I am constantly taking care of others and cooking and cleaning, it still somehow looks like an F5 tornado swept through the house. Other moms with babies really close in age like ours warned me that the first year would be really tough and they were RIGHT. It doesn't help that we've all been under the weather. Or that my zombie daughter doesn't think she needs sleep. Or that her doctor said no to going to the Y until flu season is over...which means any uninterrupted, quality time in my bible has been scarce...which means I am feeling like my emotional tank is on empty. Sometimes I can't help but feel like the days are aimless and like I'm stuck in domestic monotony with no end in sight.

I know. Poor me, right?

Hearing Harrison recite his first memory verse helps put things back in perspective. My mission field isn't just changing endless diapers and cleaning up endless messes and folding endless laundry. It is also helping to lay a foundation for my kids and minister to my family in a humbling yet incredibly powerful way. Most days are not glamorous but that doesn't mean I have any less purpose. And even while I'm scrubbing toilets or making a meal that won't get eaten or rocking a fussy baby, my identity is grounded in Christ and my eyes are fixed not on just this house, but His Kingdom.

Now I need to get on the ball with teaching Harrison what a commandment is and how he should try his best to obey them. Which just might prove to be a challenge considering any time I throw the ol' L&O phrase his way...you know, "listen and obey"...it is quickly countered with an enthusiastic "NOOObey!!" He's clever like that.

And while I'm at it I should probably take my own advice on being more obedient to God. I think I might have a little of that NOOObey in me as well. Ha!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

More V-day fun.

I am trying to do more holiday decorating at my house. We are on a budget so I kept it simple and decided to use staple items and just rotate out the contents. I filled my apothecary jars with stuff I already had on hand (pink tulle & red crinkly paper strips) and stuck a printable I found on Pinterest in the same frame I used for a Christmas countdown printable. Then I just slapped some 49 cent candles in my flea market find and I think it all turned out pretty cute. I'm not sure if I want to decorate for all the holidays so I need to find some good jar filler ideas that are non-seasonal. I'm thinking wine corks for one but I haven't decided on the other. Now I just need to get to drinking lots and lots of wine...after all, it's for the sake of home decor! ;)

I made these matching shirts (and bib for my reflux queen) for the kids to wear for all the Valentine's Day festivities. They were super easy and inexpensive. All three items cost under $5 to make and I didn't even bother to get out my sewing machine. I wanted a chunky, hand stitched look on the felt so I spent the car ride to Dallas chatting with my mom with a needle and thread in hand. I had intentions of also machine stitching the edges for better quality, but yeah, that never happened.

I was into crafting this Valentine's Day. I think it's all the Christmas projects I always want to do but then never get around to doing since December is so crazy. I think it's also because it's one of my favorite holidays. What's not to love about love and hearts and kindness and candy and red?

Here are Harrison's valentines that he passed out to his friends. I took a couple of different Pinterest ideas and adapted them to get what I wanted. Then I just made a collage in Picasa, uploaded the picture to Word, printed it on card stock, and cut, folded, and stapled it over a sandwich baggie. Easy peasy*.

{bear hugs & sweet kisses}

Our playgroup had a little Valentine's Day party a couple of weeks ago. We thought it would be fun to have the kids do some crafts. But more importantly, it provided a perfectly acceptable excuse to consume lots and lots of delicious calories!

I made this banner out of supplies I already had in the craft closet. My house is short on closet space and it is actually supposed to be a linen closet, but who needs towels and linens, anyway? (we do. I hate our lack of storage.)

Here 6 out of our 12 kids patiently waiting for lunch.

And two out of our six mamas:

Trina & Kerri

I didn't think to take any pictures until we had already dug into the food. When hungry kids are involved there is no waiting around for the camera. 

cheese tray.

pb&j hearts

white chocolate raspberry cheesecake & fruit kabobs

Sadly, I'm afraid I may have ended my intimate relationship with cheesecake. I indulged on a fairly generous piece and unfortunately it was the last thing I ate before coming down with a stomach virus later that afternoon. All night when I was up getting sick I couldn't get the haunting image of what used to be one of my favorite desserts out of my mind. Almost 2 weeks later and I still can't stand the thought of it. Don't you hate it when food gets ruined for you like that? And the fact that is was cheesecake? Come on. Totally not fair.

The kids made hand print hearts on big doilies and then glued them to construction paper to make into valentines. Or I guess I should say they made hand print hearts and then their type-a mamas took over the decorating. :)

Harrison's Pee Wee School class had a Valentine's Day party as well.

I put Harper in the seat next to him and they both loved that.

Something else Harper loved? The kids decorated cookies and before I could even hand Harrison's his, she went in for the steal. She swiped it right off his plate and took a giant bite. I seriously couldn't believe she did that...we jump through hoops to get her to eat baby food and here she is going to town on a cookie. Apparently we are supposed to just feed her sugar for dinner and skip the vegetables.

After school I got an unexpected surprise when I checked the mail. I love getting mail and getting my first letter from my child? Totally made my day! They are learning about mail at school and sent out letters with a picture to their parents snail mail style. What a great idea! (Have I mentioned that I love his teachers?? Oh, I have? :))

My sweet hubby volunteered to cook me dinner that night since going out to eat isn't really an option these days. I was a little apprehensive and was fully prepared to fake my enjoyment of the meal, especially when he told me was going to make lasagna. Rick doesn't cook very much, and bless his heart, the last time he made anything remotely italian was probably 8 years ago when he attempted spaghetti. I say attempted, because he only cooked the noodles for about 4 minutes and they were still bent when they made it to the plate. Ha ha! But I was SO impressed with his lasagna. He pulled out all the stops. He followed a recipe and even measured out all the ingredients into little bowls ahead of time like they do on the cooking shows. We put the kids to bed early (and they actually cooperated!!!!) and it was so nice to just sit back and enjoy each other's company while he cooked. How sexy is a man in the kitchen, right?! ;)

See? Not too shabby!!

A start to my cork collection

Hope everybody else had a great Valentine's Day, too!

*The project itself was easy peasy. Getting my toddler to a) sit still for pictures, and b) make a face at least somewhat resembling a kiss...yeah, not so much! We actually had to resort to bribing him with a cupcake. Here are some of the outtakes:

Thursday, February 16, 2012


I wanted to share a few (dozen) pictures of my sweet valentines. I realize that it's picture overload but I just can't resist.

Here's my little Hare-Bear right before we left for school (but apparently before I brushed his hair, ha!).

I tried to get some good shots but my camera couldn't keep up with him.

In true Harrison fashion, that boy wouldn't hold still for longer than 2 seconds tops. 

And here is my sweet Harpie-Harp.

She can't sit still these days, either.

What? Who, me? 

Yes. My little wiggle worm, rolly polly, always on the go Baby Love.

 She also won't keep hair bows on any more. Sadness, I tell you, sadness.

What? Who, me? (notice how she's on the go...)

Yes, you. Now if you'd just grow some hair I wouldn't have to use those pesky headbands!

 I had to settle on doing separate photo sessions. Because this is all I got when I tried to get pictures of the Dynamic Duo together:


Boy do I ever love these two kids. I've been doing a lot of thinking on the subject of love this week. Partly because of Valentine's Day, but also because this week my bible study led me to 1 Corinthians where love is perfectly defined.

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful or proud; love is not arrogant or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or resentful and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices in the truth. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.   (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

I've heard this passage countless times in the past but it has been very convicting lately. Loving people better is something I'm trying to work on. If I were to replace "love" and "it" with "Kelsey" in these verses it would be sadly comical. Kelsey is patient? Kelsey is not proud? Kelsey is not rude? Kelsey does not demand her own way? Kelsey is not irritable??? Ha. Just when I think I couldn't love my little family any more than I do, I read this and realize I fail them every day. Obviously I love them tremendously. But love is more than the feeling of a full heart. It is a verb. It is a choice. It is a discipline.

In the context of this passage this love is to extend to the entire body of Christ, not just those we are closest to. Like I said, pretty convicting. If I struggle to humble myself before my immediate family, then I definitely have some work to do before I get to the place where I'm loving people outside my home the way I need to be. It's a little daunting to realize that I need to improve just about every one of those points. I'm so thankful Jesus loved perfectly for me so I don't have to carry the burden of falling short and I'm inspired by his perfect love to try better.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Big 5-0 in the Big D

Mom, Harper, & I took a little girls' trip to Dallas a couple of weeks ago. It was my uncle's 50th birthday and we wanted to surprise him. My grandparents also drove in from Oklahoma and my other uncle and his wife and kids live nearby, so we were all able to get together to celebrate.

I did a terrible job taking pictures to document the trip (most of these were stolen off of my mom's fb) so I'm going to have to rely on my memory to get me through most of this post. Uh oh.

Mary came to pick up Harrison on Tuesday to keep him for me. Call me crazy, but I didn't think it was a good idea to try to take him with us to Dallas. Something about a 5 hour car trip, messing up nap schedules, and dining out at an upscale restaurant didn't really sound like his cup of tea. :) And judging by these pictures, I'm pretty sure he was very happy with the decision to go with his Mamaw. He couldn't wait to get his suitcase in the car and get on the road. He is getting SO. BIG.

Hurry and take the picture already, Mom! I'm ready to hit the road!

See ya!

We left Wednesday. I was a little nervous and almost considered backing out since Harper had been so sick. But her fever broke and we just brought the nebulizer with us so I could give her her scheduled breathing treatments. Rick even snagged us an adapter so we could use it in the car. It worked out perfectly because while she hates sleeping at home, she actually sleeps pretty well in the car and was able to catch up on some much needed rest. She did great on the road and the trip to Plano was smooth sailing. And of course the first place we stopped once we arrived was none other than Taco Bueno. I so miss that place.

yummy deliciousness

Steve didn't know we were coming and we wanted to keep it a surprise until his actual birthday the next morning. We spent the afternoon hanging out with the rest of the family and making last minute preparations for his birthday. Bright and early on Thursday we headed over to his house where he was greeted by us...and a few other "guests". My mom really wanted to pay him back for saran-wrapping her car on her 50th birthday. I think it worked considering in the 15 minutes we were there 3 people had already driven by and stopped to comment on his yard decor and one person even got out their camera to take pictures. Ha!


the yard

haha, he's old.

My grandparents, mom, and cousins & uncle

Steve had to work so we left him alone and went and played without him. We had breakfast at Chickfila and then took the kids to school. Or should I say Stephanie did...it is such a trip to see her behind the wheel of a car. How is she old enough to be driving? Insane!

I was a little scared, I'm not gonna lie...

But luckily I had this awesome dude to distract me.

We met up with my Aunt Rachelle and my Grandma for a little shopping and lunch.

girl time!

Then we headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. Harper was pooped out from our busy day.

I apparently need to invest in a baby sleeping mask

We had dinner reservations at Maggiano's and it was beyond delicious. I think this is the first time my mom's side of the family has all been out to eat together. It was a great time!

look at all that fire

Great Uncles + Zoe

Mom, Uncle Steve, & Uncle Eddie

Add in the grandparents

One half of the table

Addison & Hunter

(The necklace and the earrings didn't last long)

Harper with her great-grandparents

Zoe & Jet

Addi & Rachelle (say cheese, Steph)

Birthday boy plus 2

We headed back Friday morning. There was an accident near downtown Dallas and it took us over an hour and a half just to go 10 miles, yikes. I sure don't miss driving in that traffic every day. Harper did amazingly well and I don't think she fussed once the entire way back. It was a fun trip and felt good to get out of town for a few days to make some great memories with family!

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