April 2016 archive

Random Rambles

The weather was SO nice last week so we tried to be outside as much as possible – always a good thing for small children with lots of energy.

This girl LOVED riding the little car...

This girl LOVED riding the little car…

Forgive the two-toned fence in the picture above.  We replaced the boards earlier this spring after Wrex left his pickup in reverse when I waved him back to the house.  Apparently, he thought there was a sincere emergency (I just had a a letter that I needed him to drop in the mail) and came running in without shifting into park.  Thankfully, there’s a small hill in the pasture behind it and it stopped it – on this flat farm ground, who knows how far it would’ve traveled!

We had a cheeseburger picnic one day last week after an impromptu trip to town.

Aren't they cute?!

Aren’t they cute?!

They played at the park, ran their hearts out and tried to sneak up on a little robin.

Quiet...

Quiet…

It flew off, but it was worth a shot.

****************

The impromptu trip to town was to get a little chicken house we found.  It. Is. ADORABLE.  We wanted it to put close to the house for some of our momma’s and babies.  So far, it’s just housed cats and dogs…

Peanut being patient

Peanut being patient

A new breed of chicken....

A new breed of chicken…

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We went to town on Friday to buy groceries and someone wasn’t too thrilled with his attire.

Doesn't he look handsome?

Doesn’t he look handsome?

He swore this was a girl’s shirt.  It’s not.  I made him wear it.

****************

Saturday we strayed from our red meat diet and had some roasted chicken.  This was Wryder’s first experience with a chicken leg and he was a HUGE fan!

Yum!

Yum!

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We also had some fun visitors last week!  Our sweet friend, Diane and our NEW sweet friend, Katherine stopped by!

Awwww!

Awwww!

The kids adored them and Wryder wanted them to stay to tuck him in bed.  They doted on the kids and took a tour of the Phipps farm and ate cookies and punch with us! They even brought the kids supplies to do a fun craft which Sawyer did this weekend.

Ms. Diana brought her a bunch of torn up tissue paper and some mod podge and Sawyer made a box for a baby shower gift for our neighbor.

Cute - both of them!

Cute – both of them!

It turned out so cute!

You ladies come back ANY time!

****************

Saturday was equally beautiful and we took the kids to walk around the little fishing pond in town.

Beautiful evening, beautiful kids

Beautiful evening, beautiful kids

We saw 1 goose, 4 ducks but no fish or turtles.  They had a ball exploring and running and checking out the water…and we had a ball being with them.

****************

This little dandy showed up on Facebook this morning:

5 years ago...Sawyer and Uncle Blake

5 years ago…Sawyer and Uncle Blake

Be still my heart.  Sweet girl has grown a little since then, yes?!  (Blake is just as dashingly handsome, just FYI.)  I love seeing all these clothes in Sayble’s closet now.  We put her in some of Sawyer’s old jammies yesterday and it just made her even cuddlier!

Sawyer/Sayble

Sawyer/Sayble

That Sayble…she is just pure joy, I tell ya!

Look at that face!

Look at that face!

She hams it up for the camera, that girl!

****************

Today, we got to shower our sweet neighbor who is expecting a sweet baby girl in about a month!  Sawyer got to see two of her favorite girls (and fellow flower girls from Gillian’s wedding) and they had a ball together!

Hugs!

Hugs!

2.5 years ago...

2.5 years ago…

They’ve grown a little…

***************

Gillian has some of the sweetest family members a girl could ask for.  Two of her aunts (and ladies I’m proud to call friends) were there today and were just so encouraging to me regarding motherhood.

One of them told me that if the Lord would give her any day to do again, she’d choose one when her kids were around the age of mine because they are just so fun.  And it’s true.  This right here:

Heaven on earth

Heaven on earth

This is the closest to heaven I’ll get on this earth.  I love them with every ounce of my being…

I love the way Sayble NEEDS me right now and needs me with ferocity!  I love to hear her little jabbers and her sweet smiles.  I love the way she pats me when I pick her up and the way she only wants to be where I am.

I love the way Wryder is all boy.  I love how he wants to mow and shoot guns and eat dirt and poop outside.  I love how he helps pick up after meals and how much he loves his sisters.  I love how he always hollers, “love you!” one more time as I close his door after tucking him in.

I love the way Sawyer has entered a self-sufficiency of sorts.  I love that she and I can go anywhere and she’s fine and I’m fine and we can go and do without a lot of planning (or extra bags)!  I love that she loves so many of the same things I like.  I love that she loves to talk to me and is, truly, one of my best friends.

Tomorrow is Monday and before I know it, Friday will be here again.  Another week done and gone.  It happens so fast…  Lean in and love it, momma…

Pressing In

I have a temper.

And I hate it.

I’m an opinionated, passionate, perfection-loving, anxious person and the unsanctified parts of those things tend to rear their heads through frustration and anger.

I try to be even keel – that helps when you have small children – but sometimes, it gets the best of me.  After the 300th time that I have to repeat the rules that have yet to change since the beginning of rules – no banging on the table, no back talking, no pushing your sister, no jumping off of the coffee table, not getting ON the coffee table, no pulling Sayble around by her legs, no dumping out the dog food, no putting food from our plate on the floor, no sneaking snacks without asking, no screaming while Sayble naps…you get my drift – my flesh takes over and I go into angry-lecturing parent mode.

It doesn’t happen all of the time or even the majority of the time, but one time is one too many and I find myself fighting with that urge more than I’d like.  The Lord gave us emotions and He gave us the ability to feel anger but He does not give us the ok to sin in our anger; when I raise my voice or roll my eyes or let an exasperated naughty word slip or lecture on and on and on hoping they get the point?  That doesn’t please Him.

Anger is one of those really difficult emotions because in the moment, you feel completely justified.  Whatever you feel like doing in rebuttal MUST be ok because of what the offender did or said.  BUT?  That’s just not the case.

The Word says repeatedly that the Lord is slow to anger and abounding in love.  While He’s flipped some tables for the sanctity of His holy place, we don’t see Him on this constant rampage with a furrowed brow and venomous lips.

Parenting is HARD.  HARD, I tell you!  In this stage, with three littles under the age of 6, it can be exhausting.  There is so much physicality to the job right now.  One day, it will switch to more of a mental exhaustion and we’ll be craving those dirty diapers and untied shoes again, won’t we? 

As a mom – especially one that has the luxury to be with her babies all day, every day, weekends-mean-nothing – we are constantly pouring ourselves out to tend to their needs and mend their hearts and navigate their emotions and guide them back to the trail to kindness and righteousness.  Add in the daily chores of laundry, dishes, meal prep, feedings, cleanings, prayers, school work, yard work, etc. and the weight of all of those duties can pile up and sends us teetering on the edge of a meltdown.

While I do want our home – our sacred place – to be a place of peace of righteousness, how I respond to the sins of my children will determine the tone of my household more than their choices do. 

They’re not perfect.  They’re gonna sin.  That’s what they do!  But how I handle that will either lead them TO Jesus or AWAY from Him.  Another big job to add to our list, yes?

This weekend, I felt like we had all been really busy this past week and because of that, our prayers had become choppy and repetitive and insincere.  We regrouped together as a family on Sunday night and we began praying things that aligned with the heart of the Lord.  When we take our desires to Him – things that HE desires for us as well – He is faithful to move on our behalf.

He doesn’t want me to be angry.  He doesn’t want me to sin in my anger.  He doesn’t want me to speak harshly.  His desire for me is to be slow to anger and abounding in love.  And that has been my prayer.

Prayer is not an argument with God to persuade him to move things our way, but an exercise by which we are enabled by his Spirit to move ourselves His way.

While I desire obedience for my children, let the sanctification and obedience start with ME.  I still pray they choose obedience but oh, I pray for me to be more like YOU.  I want to move myself your way…

Lord, we want to be more like You, simple as that.  Isn’t that the goal?  That with each day and week and year, the maturing Christian would look less like the world and more like Jesus?  Pressing in to get there…

PAW Patrol Party

Little Wryder Roo turned 3 last week – a monumental occasion for him!  He has been SO excited about his birthday (because birthdays are AWESOME) and has been asking for a Paw Patrol party since last year sometime.  We had a busy weekend (that got attacked by every child having the nasty cold/upper respiratory infection we’ve all been passing back and forth) so we didn’t plan him a big party, but we still pulled out all of the Paw Patrol garb I got on sale at Party City.

We set it all up on Thursday evening so that when he came downstairs on Friday, he’d have a good start to his day.  Sweet boy was so excited!

I'm THREE!

I’m THREE!

We made a quick trip to the clinic on Friday and then went to birthday lunch.  Originally, I had told him he could choose anywhere he wanted for lunch and, lo and behold, he chose McDonalds.  Now, I’m not one of those haters that just absolutely can’t stand the place because it’s non-ogranic or they serve GMOs or whatever…I just don’t like it because I don’t think it’s very good.  Except their fries.  Enough salt and grease makes ANYTHING good.

Thankfully, our sweet friend Traci got to talking about Mexican food and he decided he’d rather go there instead – hallelujah!

He made a good choice!

Free dessert!

Free dessert!

It was good.

It was good.

On the way to town, he opened the birthday card he got from GooGoo and inside was a ten dollar bill!  He was so excited and so we went shopping after lunch and he bought the one pup he was missing – Rocky!

Look at that face...

Look at that face…

He was so excited to pay for it and get his bag, all by himself!

Big boy!

Big boy!

He had a few dollars left and he used it to buy a root beer float!  Can you have too much sugar on your birthday?!  Nah.  Not when you’re three.  :)

Fridays are usually long days so we waited until Saturday to open presents.  He is SO much fun to buy things for 1) because he has certain things he just REALLY, REALLY like and 2) he’s so expressive, it’s just flat fun to see how excited he gets!

A school bus!

A school bus!

The pickup and trailer he's been wanting!

The pickup and trailer he’s been wanting!

He was a happy camper!

He was a happy camper!

He loved the Air Patroller too but he was blurry with excitement so the pictures wouldn’t mean much to anyone but his parents.  :)

PaPa and RaRa sent him one of his other favorite presents…

a wheelbarrow!

a wheelbarrow!

He used it all day today.  Pretty sure we’re gonna have dirt EVERYWHERE around this place…

Sayble was quite fond of the wrapping paper.

Isn't she cute?!

Isn’t she cute?!

Pretty sure her first birthday is gonna be a ball, too!

We had his “party” Saturday at lunch.  I always let the kids make their menus and he went back and forth between steak and hot dogs (quite the spectrum, I know) but finally settled on hot dogs, which worked well for the dog theme.  ;)

PAW Patrol on a roll - get it?!

PAW Patrol on a roll – get it?!

He also wanted french fries, fruit (very specific about what berries), punch and pumpkin bread.  I turned the pumpkin bread into dog chow, so it worked out.

He got his pumpkin bread!

He got his pumpkin bread!

Pupcakes

Pupcakes

The spread

The spread

Official Pawty water

Official Pawty water

Birthday boy!

Birthday boy!

Sweet sister, representing Skye!

Sweet sister, representing Skye!

We even had Paw Patrol tattoos!

We even had Paw Patrol tattoos!

and masks

and masks

He's three!

He’s three!

and decided to eat his pupcake like a dog...of course.

and decided to eat his pupcake like a dog…of course.

I think he had a really good couple of days.  As he was eating one last cupcake on Saturday night, he said, “Mom?  Thank you so much for my party!”  Melt my heart.  Anytime, kiddo.  You are why I do what I do….

Later that afternoon, our sweet neighbor got married.  Despite the icky colds, we couldn’t say no to watching such a Godly couple vow their forevers to each other.  It’s so nice to attend a wedding where the couple really gets it, ya know?

The rain was relentless that afternoon and Sawyer didn’t want to mess up her cute hair so we did this:

A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do...

A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do…

And yes, I need to do laundry.  ;)  I’m working on it, ok!?!

Wrexy had a pretty cute wedding date!

So sweet!

So sweet!

We came home and called it an early night.

I keep saying that I think three is his year!  Just today, he’s put on socks and pants by himself AND pooped somewhere other than his pants!  (It was outside on the sidewalk but it WASN’T in his pants!)  Seriously, I think it’s gonna be a good one…

Worth 1,000 Words: Easter Edition

I’m behind.  I know.  But we had a SPECTACULARLY MARVELOUS Easter!

We stuffed 100 eggs to take to the cousin egg hunt down in Oklahoma…

Yum yum!

Yum yum!

We took communion together and remembered all the Lord has done for us…

Sweet girl

Sweet girl

and boy

and boy

He spilled his juice LITERALLY as Wrex was saying, “This is my blood poured out…”  It was perfect timing…

We colored Easter eggs.  We tried the fake ones this year as the others never really get eaten.  Not a fan.  The real ones are better.

Serious business

Serious business

I made cookies for all the cousins (and the RaRa) for their Easter baskets I took down…

Yum yum for sure!

Yum yum for sure!

We gave the kids their little goodies before we left…

Lots of pink!

Lots of pink!

This cute girl…I just love her to pieces!

Hip to the max

Hip to the max

We headed south, loaded for bear!

Thank the Lord for the Suburban

Thank the Lord for the Suburban

Uncle Waco and Aunt Amber surprised us and came to Aunt Tootsie’s too!  We all had such a good weekend!  The kids went on a MASSIVE egg hunt!

All the grands in one place - love.

All the grands in one place – love.

There were eggs EVERYWHERE!

There were eggs EVERYWHERE!

The boys were quite competitive!

The boys were quite competitive!

The girls, too!

The girls, too!

She was so cute!

She was so cute!

The girls looking through their loot...

The girls looking through their loot…

Sunday morning was a typical Sunday morning.  I got one good picture!

Surely, WD will take this good of pics when he's 5, right?!

Surely, WD will take this good of pics when he’s 5, right?!

Most of his looked like this:

Sigh

Sigh

Sayble wasn’t much better…

This was the best one I got!

This was the best one I got!

She was good DURING church, though…

She loves GooGoo just like everyone else!

She loves GooGoo just like everyone else!

Sawyer snuck in a little snuggle time with Uncle Waco…

She adores him!

She adores him!

And we got to see GooGoo’s new house and try the picture thing one more time!

Np dice.

No dice.

This was the closest we got…

That'll work, yes?

That’ll work, yes?

We got to see Uncle Waco’s new house that they’re building!  Sayble took the tour with him…

Swoon

Swoon

and his little girl took the tour with Wrex…

Cuties

Cuties

It was so much fun, I’m not sure any of us were ready to come home…especially those of us who had to unpack and do the laundry.  ;)  I’d do it all again tomorrow if it meant we were all together though…

WD is Three!

Wryder Douglas is THREE today!

Swoon.

Swoon.

As I logged on, I was thinking that it took my sweet boy to get me back on the blog (we’ve had a litttttttttle bit going on lately)…but as I had that thought, it was exactly right.  THEY are why I do this.  They are my legacy and my reward and why I keep this written history of His goodness in our lives.  And Wry Wry?  He IS good.

You came bounding into the world a little past 5 in the morning – momma’s quickest labor by a landslide – and you’ve been running circles around the rest of us since!

Just minutes old!

Just minutes old!

You are still in love with dirt and rocks and sticks and tractors and cannot be outside without coming in absolutely filthy.  (Today, you got into spray paint and painted your face and hands!)  You are constantly showing mom and dad where our attempts at safety have fallen short.  ;)

You and Ernie!

WD and Ernie!

You love all things PAW Patrol and Marshall is your favorite!  Colors are no longer just green or blue…it’s Rocky green and Chase blue, etc.  You’ve been dreaming of an Air Patroller for weeks and I can’t wait to see your face tomorrow when you get your very own.

You have grown SO MUCH this winter!  You’re no longer a toddler, but a little boy – or so it seems.  I am constantly having to remind myself that you’re just 2…because sometimes you seem much older.

:)

Little man

You are still highly emotional – in good ways and bad.  ;)  Your face is so expressive and I love when you ask questions that you’ve really been thinking about or stretch your mouth into an O when you’re excited.  I never have to wonder what kind of mood you’re in because it’s written all over your face.

Mischief

Mischief

You have stretched me and tested me and pushed my buttons and made me cling to Jesus more than just about anything in my life.  I really thought I had this parenting thing figured out until you came and walloped me.  I feel like I’m still learning how to navigate our lives – please don’t give up on me!

One of his favorite places to play

One of his favorite places to play

More than anything this birthday, I want you to know that you are oh so loved.  Truly.  All of our lives are better because you are in them.  And?  Jesus loves you, kiddo.  Unconditionally.  No matter how many times you go to time out or how many times you have to be corrected or how many times you take your shoes and socks off outside, He still loves you.  Perfectly.  Better than we ever could.

You are a gift to us on your birthday (kind of backwards, isn’t it?!) and as much I don’t want you to grow up, I’m excited to see the man you become.  I’m proud of ya, kiddo.  I truly believe three just might be your best year yet…

Here’s to PAW Patrol cupcakes, wedding dancing and miles on your knees with your new birthday surprises!

DSCF3057

The Ones I Hold Dear

You know those friends you have in your life that are always, ALWAYS there when you need them?  I feel blessed to have quite a few of those and the past several weeks, there are few that have just captured my heart all over again…

One, is this girl.

Beauty to the nth degree

Beauty to the nth degree

Most days, I feel like I was a better mom when it was just her.  Parents of more than one, please don’t tell me I’m the only one that feels this way.  I just feel like so much of my day is spent picking up after people or taking care of Sayble who eats/sleeps/poops and needs something almost constantly or disciplining Wryder and it feels like my patience and tolerance run out quicker than I’d like…and that’s not fair to her.

I know we live in community and it’s part of being a family and it’s part of having siblings, I just want so badly to do it well…because she deserves that.

The more time goes on, the more I feel like she’s one of those once in a lifetime kind of kids; she’s mature beyond her years, she strives for obedience, she doesn’t push boundaries, she’s quick to forgive, she’s quick to do the right thing, she’s got the heart of a servant, administrator and worshiper, she’s a doer and a fixer and a creator, and one of my best friends on the planet.

Today, she talked to me about how we can choose things for ourselves, but we can’t choose things for others.  See what I mean? 

She constantly chooses to strive for obedience when Wryder doesn’t and she constantly chooses to love me even when I don’t feel lovable.  Lord, help me honor her by giving her more of my best…more of You and less of me.

I love you, sweet girl.  I know I’m not the perfect momma…but I wish I was.  Thank you for thinking I am and for encouraging me to try even harder.

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And this pretty, pregnant thing with a banging bedroom.

Isn't she a doll?

Isn’t she a doll?

She’s probably gonna kill me for this, but I *might* be able to (or at least attempt to) outrun her in her baby-will-be-here-in-3-days state.  ;)

She is one of the busiest, most efficient, creative people I know…but I have yet to call upon her for ANYTHING and she not answer, and answer quickly.  Scared about some weird health thing?  She talks me off a ledge.  And prays for me.  Confess some horrible parenting ordeal or poor choice?  She’s points me back to Jesus.  And makes me feel better with some story of her own.  Call her with a million website/design/Adobe/computer/color/Apple/blog questions?  She answers.  Every time.  And encourages me and compliments and fills in the gaps when I can’t.  And never makes me feel bad about it. 

She is one of those sisters of the heart that the Lord just plopped in my life…and another one of those, “Why in the world would He make us live so far apart??” kind of friends.

I love you, KJ!  You rock at life.  So glad I get to be a part of yours…

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And these people.

Sibs

Sibs

Marrying Wrex was one of the best decisions of my life and besides making a life WITH him, the next best thing I got out of the deal, were these wonderful siblings.  We all got to be together (sans Warner) over Easter and it was so. much. fun.  I rarely laugh more than what I do when I’m with them!

They are fun, funny, ambitious, family-oriented, life-giving, encouraging people and honestly, my life wouldn’t be near as fulfilling if they weren’t in it.  I truly consider them some of my best friends…

My sisters are the best –  I can tell them anything and they are never anything but encouraging!  My brothers are the best – they make me laugh like no other and I get a good dose of sarcasm, general immaturity, sports talk, cow talk, blue-collar talk, good-natured teasing and all-around fun when I’m in their midst.

And?  They all love my kids so. stinking. well.  As a parent, what’s better than that?!

Seriously, you guys…  My heart beats for family and these people make family worth fighting for.  You five have my heart.