December 2013 archive

See Ya Later, Alligator

Today is the last day of 2013 and I’m not all that excited to see it go.  It’s been a year of more mountain tops than valleys, so it’s not like I’m just dying to rush it out and ring something else in.

Time just keeps ticking and ticking and ticking on by – where did 2013 go?!  Days with my Wrexy seem shorter and my kids keep growing up without permission!  While it is such a joy to see the little adults they are becoming, I don’t want to miss a single day with any of them.  I want to take it slow and press it all into the wrinkles in my brain so I don’t forget these days.  My life with my little family is significantly more blessed than I ever could’ve imagine for myself.  Who am I that He would bestow such merciful blessings on me?

Highlights of 2013

We were blessed with a sweet baby boy (on tax day – he’s redeeming it!)…

Isn't the the cutest?!  He was about 5 hours old here...

Isn’t he the cutest?! He was about 5 hours old here…

Sawyer turned 3 and got to celebrate with a host of family and friends…

She requested a cat party so cat party we had!

She requested a cat party so cat party we had!

We got to go on a vacation to Denver and make lots of memories as a family…

At the Children's Museum - one of many fun stops!

At the Children’s Museum – one of many fun stops!

Sawyer got to show her first goat…

She's a natural!

She’s a natural!

We celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary by bowling as a family…

Wryder slept and the rest of us had fun!

Wryder slept and the rest of us had fun!

We traveled to Kansas to witness one of our best friends’ wedding…

Wrexy and Adam...

Wrexy and Adam…

I got to act out my obedience to the Lord and start this blog…

It's been SUCH a blessing!

It’s been SUCH a blessing!

Sawyer got to be in our neighbor’s wedding…

Dancing with the groom!

Dancing with the groom!

We got to spend time with the majority of the Phipps family at a cousin’s wedding…

Just missing a few!

Just missing a few!

Add all of that to everyday blessings plus visits from family and friends…

PicMonkey Collage

Love these people!

2013 was good!

Where did it go?  It went by in family dinners, road trips and snuggle sessions…in Cubbies meetings, sale barns and swimming pools…in weddings and pony rides and birthday parties and midnight feedings and suppers in the kitchen and jumps on the trampoline…those everyday moments that make up minutes and hours and days and weeks and months and years and LIFE.  I sit here sentimental, cherishing each one…

but I shall embrace 2014 just the same.

You are good and do only good; teach me your decrees.

The Lord has been so good to us…and we pray…

…let 2014 be more about You and less about us.

…let 2014 be more full of grace and love and mercy and kindness and self-discipline and joy and less of their oppositions.

…let 2014 be more about Your will and less about ours.

…let 2014 be about YOU.  And only YOU.

Happy new year to you and yours!

Nebraska Christmas in Pictures

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaack!  Blogging during family time is just not ok.  ;)  And I was really busy with two kids at my in-laws.  Traveling with small children seems to require a lot of stuff, doesn’t it?  I feel like we hauled half of the house to go three hours, yet RaRa has pack-n-plays, high chairs, etc.  What did I pack?!?!  Regardless, it was TOTALLY worth it!  The kids were awesome (they’re the easy part) and we had such a good time making memories with the Phipps family.  Here is the remainder of our Christmas celebration in pictures!

Grandkid breakfast on the bar - why not?!?

Grandkid breakfast on the bar – why not?!?

Sawyer on her new bouncing horse? donkey? something...

Sawyer on her new bouncing horse? donkey? something…

Giving sugars - how sweet are they?!

Giving sugars – how sweet are they?!

Reading stories with PaPa...

Reading stories with PaPa…

Wryder and Breckyn just hanging out...

Wryder and Breckyn just hanging out…

Sawyer decorating the tree in the sitting room...

Sawyer decorating the tree in the sitting room…

Can you tell she loves her Uncle Warner?!

Can you tell she loves her Uncle Warner?!

She got some McDonald's food with a drive thru headset - she was having a ball!

She got some McDonald’s food with a drive thru headset – she was having a ball!

I love these three so very much!  Waco is a WONDERFUL uncle!

I love these three so very much! Waco is a WONDERFUL uncle!

Breckyn sitting on her little seat I made for her...

Breckyn sitting on her little seat we made for her…

Uncle Waco and his beautiful nieces...

Uncle Waco and his beautiful nieces…

It was good to be with family, but oh so good to be home again.  We get Wrexy all to ourselves for six more days!  Can you say bliss?!!?  SO EXCITED!  I’m nursing a sore throat (and an overly tired body and mind) tonight but hope tomorrow brings full health – night night!

I am the Nativity

My “adopted mom” wrote this a couple of Christmases ago and it might just be my favorite thing she’s written…and I have a lot of favorites when it comes to her.

These words came pouring from her heart as a prayer one morning and it is goose-bump inducing beauty.  PLEASE (yes, I’m begging!) take a minute to slow down and soak in the pieces of the Christmas scene.  It will be well worth your time.   ***click on the green link below***

http://www.jeanierhoades.com/i-am-the-nativity/

Christmas Eve Eve

Since Christmas Eve will end up being a little busy for us with church and all, we decided to let the kids open a fun little present tonight, on Christmas Eve’s eve.  I put together a box with new pajamas, snuggly animals, popcorn, pop, cocoa and a little note saying that we were going to have pizza, pop and popcorn for supper while we watched a special Christmas movie!

IMG_3379IMG_3381IMG_3383Sawyer woke up with a fever this morning and hasn’t felt great today.  Poor girl.  I think the present made her feel a little better.

DSCF0815DSCF0825She was really excited about her new jammies and her teddy!  She has a soft place for all things cozy and cuddly.

DSCF0827Brother looked pretty cute in his santa jammies, too.  Who doesn’t love a little something on a baby’s tush!?

DSCF0838We had to take pictures in front of the tree, with our new animal friends, no less.

DSCF0833DSCF0834Daddy read one of Sawyer’s favorite Christmas books while I got the pizza ready and Wryder sort of paid attention.

DSCF0839DSCF0841One of Sawyer’s Boz movies had a preview for a movie called The Very First Noel.  We are BIG Boz fans and it’s produced by the same company so I assumed it would be good, but I couldn’t find it anywhere!  They aren’t producing them anymore and the only used ones I could find were $35.  YIKES.  Enter YouTube.  We found it online and I am sooooo glad we did!  If you have the chance to watch it, DO IT!  It’s the Christmas story told from a wiseman’s perspective and is incredibly well done.  Sawyer loved it, as did the rest of us.

I love having special time with my little family.  My parents always did a good job of making Christmas memorable for us and I hope Sawyer and Wryder say the same about us one day.

HE is worth making a fuss about…as are they.

Christmas Cards

I

LOVE

CHRISTMAS CARDS!

I love receiving them and seeing everyone’s cute families and hearing the lastest and greatest in their lives.  We have a lot of friends throughout the Midwest that we don’t get to see or talk to near enough, so when the cards start pouring in, it’s fun to reflect on where we’ve been with them and what they’re up to now.

I like to send Christmas cards, too!  Every year, we attempt to set a limit (those things aren’t cheap, especially once you add postage!) and every year we always order more!  I think next year, I’m just going to order 250 and be done with it!  Ha!

This year, we couldn’t decide on a favorite……so I printed five different versions.  Ahem.   You’ve seen all the pictures here and here, thanks to the lovely Stormie.  Below are the five cards we sent out – which one is your favorite?

I loved this one...

I loved this one…

This one is cute of the rest of the fam...

This one is cute of the rest of the fam…

This one was Wrexy's favorite...

This one was Wrexy’s favorite…

I ADORE this one!  I just wish you could see Wryder's face better...

I ADORE this one! I just wish you could see Wryder’s face better…

This is probably my favorite, though...

This is probably my favorite, though…

This one didn't make the cut, but it's funny!

This one didn’t make the cut, but it’s funny!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Light Lookin’

Tonight was such a good night, in my book.  Sawyer has been dying to go look at Christmas lights so when everyone woke up from nap, we got Wryder fed, threw some cookies in the oven and headed to town!

Someone was quite proud of her sprinkling...

Someone was quite proud of her sprinkling…

Mom wasn't paying attention on this one...

Mom wasn’t paying attention on this one…

I’m not sure what spurred it on, but little miss was insistent upon cookies and hot chocolate while we went light looking…and that was right up everyone’s alley!

Her first hot chocolate!

Her first hot chocolate!

Holyoke has quite a few houses with good lights so we paraded up and down the streets with our snacks, Sirius Christmas tunes and a light falling snow – could it get any better?!

We tried to go look at lights last year on Christmas night.  We had had such a wonderful day celebrating with just the three of us and we decided that if we wanted to see lights, we better go that night before people started taking them down.  So we loaded up and headed to town.  It had snowed off and on for days and as we were driving into town, we met up with a black cow.  Someone’s cattle had gotten out and were all over the road.  Wrex slammed on the brakes as soon as he saw it but with oncoming traffic, we ended up not being able to go anywhere except right into the side of the cow.

Yikes.

Yikes.

It was incredibly scary for me.  I don’t do well with surprises, especially unpleasant ones and hitting a cow is a pretty dangerous thing.  We smacked it hard enough that it went 50 feet or so, the air bags popped out, ambulances were dispatched (the county rule if airbags pop)…it was not a fun experience.  BUT…the Lord was so incredibly gracious and good to us.  None of us had a scratch on us or were even sore the next day.  Our neighbors (whom we love like family) left their family Christmas celebration and picked us up, drove Sawyer to the one house out here in the sticks that had lights and then took us to their house and fed us supper.  Jesus in the flesh, those people.

Wrex’s truck was smoked; the radiator was almost in the cab.  It was only a 2011 so it wasn’t totaled, but there was like $14,000 in damage.

Seriously, the Lord protected us well.

Seriously, the Lord protected us well.

Very thankful tonight turned out differently.  We made it home safely, ate some soup and then we all curled up to watch The Sound of Music.

These two...

These two…

We have MUCH to celebrate this Christmas.  We have a Father that sent His Son to earth over 2,000 years ago so that we may live with Him eternally.  We have a God that protects us and looks out for us and spares us.  We have a warm house and food in our pantry and gifts under our tree.  We have two healthy, compassionate children who love to spend time with us and whom we love to spend time with.  We have daddy all to ourselves for 14 out of the next 16 days – a daddy who has a job that he loves and that loves him back.

We are a blessed people, no doubt about it.  Praying your night has been as enjoyable as ours!

Jesse Tree

Sawyer is such an amazing little girl, if I do say so myself.  She has such an inquisitive nature and has always been really interested in learning.  On top of that, her memory is absolutely incredible.  She’s been memorizing scripture ever since she was about 18 months old and she has well over 50 verses committed to memory right now.  We are careful to foster these things in her and to fill her mind with things worth remembering – thus the Jesse Tree.

Our "tree" part isn't so pretty.  I'll work on that for next year - ha!  This was the we gotta get this ready to go by December version...

Our “tree” part isn’t so pretty. I’ll work on that for next year – ha! This was the we gotta get this ready to go by December version…

The Jesse Tree is our version of Christmas advent calendar.  I love this season as much as anyone and while I’m completely game for baking cookies and making ornaments and having fun experiences, I also want her to really get WHO we’re celebrating and WHY.  So, while we definitely do those things, we attempt make our main focus JESUS.

Each night, we take an ornament piece, a person in the lineage of Christ, and learn about them and how they are tied to, and point to, Jesus.

These are pretty easy to identify, yes?

These are pretty easy to identify, yes?

Jesus was promised by God to His people long before He was born.  In Isaiah, we read that Jesus would be a “shoot,” like a new sprout that grows on a bush or tree, from the family tree of Jesse.   Jesse was the father of David, a great king of Israel, and Jesus was born 1,000 years after Him.  The tree starts at creation and points to the coming of the Messiah with each story.

There's a rich history on this board...

There’s a rich history on this board…

I feel like she learned quite a bit last year, but this year she has just amazed me with how much she’s taking away from every scripture.  And?  It’s good for her mom and dad, too.  In a world that has watered down the true meaning of the mass of Christ, it’s so good to reset our focus on HIM.

You can find quite a few different versions online if you want to do this at your own house – which I highly encourage.  We got this pattern from a woman at our old church back in Denver and it has served us well so far.

I pray you keep your minds and eyes and ears and hearts attuned to One whom we celebrate this season..the shoot of Jesse, that bears new fruit…

Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—
    yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.
And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
    the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
    the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
He will delight in obeying the Lord.
    He will not judge by appearance
    nor make a decision based on hearsay.
He will give justice to the poor
    and make fair decisions for the exploited.
The earth will shake at the force of his word,
    and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked.
He will wear righteousness like a belt
    and truth like an undergarment.

In that day the heir to David’s throne
    will be a banner of salvation to all the world.
The nations will rally to him,
    and the land where he lives will be a glorious place.

Never in a Million Years

Yesterday, you got to revel in the complete preciousness of Sawyer and Wryder.  Today?  The whole family!  Stormie took soooo many – it was hard to choose just a few to showcase here but these are my faves – enjoy!

PhippsDec2013 (6)PhippsDec2013 (35)PhippsDec2013 (20)BESTEDITPhippsDec2013 (55)PhippsDec2013 (7)kissingeditedPhippsDec2013 (33)PhippsDec2013 (32)PhippsDec2013 (5)PhippsDec2013 (54)PhippsDec2013 (11)Honestly, that last one might be fave because it’s just sooooooo Wrex!  I chickened out using it for our Christmas card because I didn’t want to offend anyone.  ;)  If Wryder was looking at that camera, you might’ve had to shield your eyes opening your envelope.

I am so thankful for these photos.  They are the first official family photos we’ve had done with kiddos and I love that Stormie captured this season of our life.  Even more so, I’m thankful for my little family.  Never in a million years did I dream I’d be this blessed.  Never in a million years did I expect to have a husband as wonderful and kind and patient and forgiving and gracious and loving as Wrex.  Never in a million years did I think I’d have kids as sweet and kind and smart and cute and compassionate as these two little loves.  Never in a million years did I think I’d be this divinely happy to share my life and my time and my resources and my energy with such wonderful beings.  Never in a million years would I have really believed that this kind of love existed.  But I assure you – it does.  

I have delighted in Him and He has given me the desires of my heart.  I am forever grateful…forever singing His praises…forever turning my gift back to Him…forever…for a million years plus forever…

Cute Toots

Man, I’ve got cute kids!  I mean, I’m sure I’m a weeeeee bit biased, but these guys are just melt-your-heart preciousness!  These pics are from a family photo shoot that the lovely Stormie did for us at Thanksgiving.  I ADORE them….

PhippsDec2013 (45)PhippsDec2013 (46)PhippsDec2013 (53)PhippsDec2013 (47)PhippsDec2013 (22)PhippsDec2013 (27)PhippsDec2013 (63)PhippsDec2013 (29)PhippsDec2013 (25)PhippsDec2013 (26)PhippsDec2013 (9)So. In. LOVE…with the pictures…and with these kids.  I am a blessed momma.

Share with me which one is YOUR favorite or else I might print them all!

DIY: Christmas Snow Globe

What kid doesn’t love to shake a snow globe??  I remember my grandma having some at her house when I was younger and I was enamored by them!  We even got snow globe ornaments one year.  Mine is hanging on our tree right now, though the liquid has long been gone.

Today, I let Sawyer make her own snow globe!  It’s SUPER easy…

You’ll need:

  • a Christmasey trinket
  • silicon
  • mason jar with lid
  • water
  • glitter

We opted for a nutcracker and a pine tree…both of which were $0.75 at Joann’s during Thanksgiving.

LOVE the beard...

LOVE the beard…

1.) Adhere your trinkets to the lid of the mason jar.  We used silicone and let them dry about 24 hours.  I’m sure any type of tough glue would work, but this is what I had on hand.

He's stuck!

He’s stuck!

2.) Fill your jars with water and add glitter.  We filled our up to the neck of the jar and added WAY too much glitter.  I’m thinking a good tablespoon would’ve been more than fine, but hey – the more the merrier, right?!

Who doesn't love glitter?

Who doesn’t love glitter?

3.) Add your trinket and tighten the lid.

Gurgle gurgle

Gurgle gurgle

4.) Give it a good shake!

Adorbs, yes?

Adorbs, yes?

Sawyer had a ton of fun doing this!  She did want to take them to the toy room to which I did say no…but she’s welcome to come shake them in the kitchen anytime she’d like!

Preeeettttyyyyy...

Preeeettttyyyyy…

Happy shaking!

 

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