Wednesday, December 30

ABC's of Christmas Vacation

A-Attempts to get a good Christmas photo of the kids.
B-Boogers. Why does Gwyn insist on handing me every treasure she finds in her nose?
C-Clean. Oh the joy of a clean house.
D-Deciding it's ok to rock my little girl to sleep for as long as she wants me to.
E-Earnest curiosity. Wilder was equally thrilled to observe and ask what everyone else received as they opened their presents.
F-Friends. I have witnessed the maturing of a life-long (I pray) friendship between Wilder and Gwyn.
G-Girl. Doc said the little one on the way is "probably" a girl. Until further notice...
H-Holding hands. Or refusing to do so.
I-Icy roads. Grateful for our four wheel drive that got us out of a ditch!
J-Jargon. Wilder is thinks it's hilarious to ramble on in made up words at his dad's pretend frustration. In the car mostly.
K-Kisses, sweet kisses.
L-Lack nothing. Psalm 33:10 says those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. I feel humbled as I realize there is not really any good thing I lack.
M-Mexican food. Vallarta's in Mannford was tasty! Enjoyed the company too!
N-Names. Blake and I have been thinking about names for our new probably baby girl. Not getting too far.
O-Oh Holy Night. My favorite Chrismas Song. I made myself memorize the first verse this year so I could sing it to Wilder and Gwyn. Stirs up wonder and praise in me.
P-Patience. Paying off credit card before getting that new TV, rug...(see L)
Q-Quiet Christmas. Enjoyed the slower pace the weather insisted on.
R-Refusing to swallow. Gwyn has decided to not swallow the last bite in her mouth at mealtime and just let it hang out for a while. Gross.
S-Spongebob Squarepants. Could somebody email me the lyrics to the theme song? My daughter asks me to sing it every night at bedtime. He is sort of adorable though isn't he?
T-Time. Lots of it. What a gift!
U-Under the chair, table, you name it, a place for Wilder and Gwyn to hide. So far we haven't grown tired of pretending to not see them.
V-Very far away! Missed my brother in Iraq.
W-White Christmas.
X-Xtra chocolate, extra weight gain.
Y-Yummy, that is my new fancy fossil purse.
Z-Z's. Lots of them.

Favorite Christmas Pictures/Moments

Saturday, November 28

The Story I Promised

It was day 43. My cycles ahd been pretty regular. Between 28-30 days. I didn't really think too much of it. I felt normal. We had not anything that would give me reason to suspect I was pregnant. (we were not careless) Maybe my period was late because the stress and busyness of my new job. It HAD been all consuming, that was surely it. That happens to women right? Day 43 was on a Thursday. The next day my mom and I had plans to take some of our things to my aunts neighbourhood garage sale, including some of our baby items. My thought was, well, I guess I should make sure I'm not pregnant before I get rid of my stroller right? So I stopped at Walgreens to buy a test. I called a friend out of amusement, she was convinced I was pregnant. I still didn't believe it could be true. I was home with the kids by myself that evening after school. Blake had a track meet. I barely thought about the test until after the kids went to bed. I took the test and immediately a very distinct plus sign showed up. My heart began to beat a little faster, I got a little sweaty. I frantically opened the directions to make sure I was reading this thing right. I think I read it 5 times to make sure I wasn't missing something. Really? REALLY? Instead of immediately praying I immediately started calling girlfriends until I reached one. Lots of laughter and crying followed. When Blake got home I was standing in the kitchen leaning on the bar. Their was no use in trying to postpone the news, it was all over my face. He immediately knew something was going on. Half laughing and crying (I can't think of any other time in my life that I've done this really) I got the words out. His reaction was hilarious, so nonchalant, like this happens to us all the time. He sat down across from me in the barstool and put his hands in his hands and said "well, guess I better start doing my homework on the internet so I can find us a bigger car and house." (It wasn't until we got the ultrasound did he stop teasing me about faking it.) It really was a special evening. After the shock went away and reality set in we were just overwhelmed with thankfulness and humbled that God would choose this for us. Such an overwhelming feeling when you realize that your life really isn't your own. We took a little time to pray together and to thank God for this gift of another addition to our family. We couldn't be more overwhelmed, surprised, or excited.

Monday, November 9

New Days

Last night at our devotional the question was asked, "What are you thankful for?" One thing that came to mind for me are new days. Thank God I get the chance to start over every day. New attitude, new plan. I am thankful His mercies are new every morning. I so need this gift right now. Blame it on the hormones, I don't know, but I am hanging on tight during this emotional roller coaster ride named "Get through your first year of teaching...pregnant." I've had days recently I've felt overwhelmed and defeated in regards to school and home. Last week I had a few days my stress caught up with me and I was weepy. My tirelessly stubborn two year old and suddenly highly emotionally needy three year old are draining. Then there's my house, oh my house. How you suffer from neglect because of my 8:30 bedtime.

I don't know why I still haven't figured out how to nurture myself so that I can prevent this build up of stress, maybe it's just one of my flaws. A good weekend usually does the trick of turning me into what I feel is a deflated balloon...ahh. Blake was not so busy so we had some good time this weekend. Church is always a good place for me to receive the gentle reminder that IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT ME. I felt a healthy perspective. Today I feel hopefull. I enjoyed my job today. I felt confident and a wee bit energetic. I had a good meeting with my vice principal who told me my class was not as awful as I thought it was the day he observed. I asked my mother-in-law today if I was crazy. How can I be so low one day and so high the next? She said it's just life. I suppose it is. And for that fact, tonight I felt motivated to encourage those of you who are having days that seem just too hard and tiring. There is a new day around the corner. Just keep moving. Pray for a new set of eyes. Eyes that can see past your sticky floor and piles of laundry. Your kids will survive one more night of a bath in an unscrubbed tub. Pray for more patience to stop and make wise decisions when all you want to do is snap at your babies when they will just not stop whatever it is.

Take a deep breath. Make time for yourself, curl up in your bed after the kids go to bed and read Eclipse until you just can't keep your eyes open. Then have sweet dreams until the new sun comes up.

It's on

I decided why not post a belly photo? This is my last pregnancy, I better make some memories right? So here I am at 13.5 weeks. Seems like just this past week I've gone from "is she eating too many donuts" to wow "I think there's a baby in there!" I have such sweet friends, Kaci & Holly, for letting me borrow much needed maternity clothes. I don't think I have to buy anything!

Halloween Aftermath

Yes, if you're wondering, year number 2 of our friend Elmo.

Gwyneth is two

Gwyneth the morning of her 2nd birthday. Need I say more?

Ok, ok, I love her new red retro kitchen probably a little more than she does!

Gwyneth insisited on eating her cupcake, icing only, with her new ladel from her kitchen.

Saturday, October 17

Embracing Fall

Fall IS sort of wonderful isn't it? I had my first visit to a pumpkin patch today. (mom,dad?) So fun!! I took the kids and we had the best time. We went to Pleasant Valley Farms, west of Discovery Land. It is a real farm (they have Christmas Trees too) with all the country charms. I loved the little store inside the barn, it had an open fire and hot chocolate and cider. The kids had a great time too. There was a petting zoo with baby goats - very cute. I wish I could play the video I have of Gwyn chasing them around the pumpkin patch...still not sure if they were supposed to be outside of their cage. We even took a hay ride!

It was quite a thrill for Wilder to be in control of our wagon. I had to secretly keep putting pumpkins back. He didn't understand why we couldn't ake them all home.Notice the tape on the glasses. Nice.You have no idea how many shots it took me to get this.After a while we had a rest with some cider, Gwyn decided to kick it farmer style.Because they're just so pretty.

Sunday, October 11

God has a sense of humor...

and He isn't always logical. At least not like we are. Logically Blake and I decided we were done having children. Two was a good round number, comfortable. It was enough for us to make things permanent with Blake's surgery. I wonder really just how many couples have found out they were pregnant before the man even had the surgery. Maybe that's just how God works. What is even more of a testament to God's working is the fact that Blake originally had his surgery scheduled a few weeks earlier, who knows if we would be EXPECTING OUR THIRD CHILD if that would have happened. And the timing! Our baby is due May 14th, right at the end of the school year! So we will have all summer!

We're happy. We're humbled. We're in shock! We need a bigger house and car. I'm only 9 weeks and already have a little belly.

Current craving: Warm banana pudding (with wafers and bananas).

More to come, maybe the story of the evening I realized I was pregnant...

Thursday, October 8

Rain, Rain

It's 8:09 on a school night and I am doing absolutely nothing. It's raining outside, I have my window open here by the computer so I can listen to the sound of the rain in the woods behind our house. It's chilly enough with the window open that I had to get my favorite grandma sweater (no offense grandmother's) out of my closet for the first time this fall. Get used to it people, you're going to be seeing alot of me in this sweater.

Tonight was the second evening of parent teacher conferences. Blake had them too, so I'm waiting for him to get home. Being so close to bedtime Wilder and Gwyn stayed with Jud and Lynda tonight, less driving, and they will get to sleep in in the morning.

Dirty dishes in the sink, PILES of laundry, clothes to be ironed, yeah, yeah, it's not going anywhere right? My brain just needs to not be on a task right now.

School is hard but I'm not giving up easily. Meeting parents makes it better. Gives me hope. It will just keep getting easier. I yelled at my 6th hour theater class to shut up yesterday, loudly. Got their attention. I surprised myself. Sent my first kid out in the hall because HE WOULD NOT STOP TALKING WHEN I WAS TALKING. However, I officially now have my first favorite student. Can't he just stay in 9th grade for a few years? Maybe I'll bribe all his teachers to flunk him.

Meanwhile our daughter is making a GRAND entrance into her terrible two's. I have never seen such stubborness. She would rather take the punishment than give in and say sorry, or do without rather than saying please. Wilder is so much more tender hearted. She hurts his feelings sometimes. He occasionally makes her cry too...healthy sibling relationship so far. Wilder is currently loving his train track, thomas the train, cars, yogurt (NOT STIRRED), anything he can do "by himself", making up words, it's like he speaks in tongues sometimes, singing, games, talking on the phone. I suppose it's worth mentioning that he is currently NOT LOVING POOPING OR PEEING IN THE POTTY. Gwyn currently likes books, SHOES (not just her own, she wore Wilder's out of the house this week), giving dirty looks, elmoabby (one word), & tinkerbell.

Now I'm going to stay up long enough for the one person on televisioin worthy of staying up for: Michael Scott. With Blake on the couch. Nice.

Sweet dreams blogosphere! I've missed you.

Sunday, August 30

An explanation

Thought it might be a good idea to elaborate on the whole "art is sexy" thing! The first day of class we had some extra time so we started a discussion on why "art/creativity are good things." After most obvious answers were stated, I was digging so I made the point about creativity being an attractive trait. In response, a girl said so you're saying "art is sexy?" Um, let me clarify...Yeah, pretty akward, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Typical new teacher, trying to apply everything she's learned on the first day. During orientation the guest speaker made the point about making curriculum apply to the students interests. For example, no boy likes a girl who has bad grammar, right? So that was sort of my direction. Geez!

Friday, August 28

School is Cool

I survived my first full week of school. Some lovely moments...some not so lovely. Here are some photos of my classroom. If only I would have taken a before photo! The new schedule has been pretty hard on the kiddos. They cried the mornings I took them to our new babysitter. I'm hoping next week will be better. Speaking of new babysitter, please pray for our new babysitter Phillis. She is an angel. (not my words, but someone else's, I have to agree) She told me this week she is probably going to have back surgery which means we will have to find a new babysitter. She wholeheartedly loves children and has given so much over the years, I'm praying that God will bless her as she has blessed so many families by healing her back. Not just for our benefit but hers of course!

So far I am enjoying teaching. The hardest thing has been planning curriculum since it's not clearly defined for art and theater. Next year will be SO much better.

New teacher [self-learned] survival tips:
1. Try to avoid the phrase "art is sexy" coming up in your first hour, first day of school.
2. Please remember to bring plastic utensils so you don't have to stir creamer into your much needed coffee with a toothpick.
3. Try to socialize even though you don't have time. Make yourself leave your classroom and talk to other teachers during lunch, you might learn something.
4. Don't make jokes before your students know your sense of humor. They won't laugh.
5. Try to have realistic expectations. My husband has been great about offering a dose of reality to my crazy ideas.
6. For every difficult student there are twice as many delightful ones. Enjoy them.
7. Don't be too quick to celebrate the worst student in your theater class getting his schedule changed...he might just show up in your art class.
8. The faster you can memorize names the better. Seating charts are awesome.
9. Wear comfortable shoes.
10. Planning is highly necessary but flexibility is paramount.
11. Students assume you know more than you really do, roll with it!
12. The Croc-Pot will be your best friend.

Thursday, August 20

A Conversation I had with my daughter tonight

preface: While trying to wash Gwyn in the bath tonight I asked her to stand up so I could wash her bottom. Sometimes she absolutely refuses and will play spaghetti body and go completely limp and WILL NOT STAND UP. So frustrating, considering that she is slick as snot and I can barely hold on to her. After asking her repeatedly I told her I was going to spank her bottom if she didn't stop.

While drying her off after the bath:

Mom, with a stinging hand: "Gwyn, did mommy spank you?"
Gwyn, with a red hand print on her butt: "Mommy spank"
Mom: "Do you care?"
Gwyn: "No"

Lord have mercy. Did not even phase her. Ok, so maybe this story isn't that remarkable in print but my little girl seems to be reveiling her stubborness more and more lately. Anyone have a copy of The Strong Willed Child?

In other news, my first day of school was AWESOME! A post soon to come...

Saturday, August 15

A good way to finish the summer

We celebrated Wilder's 3rd birthday today. I'm so proud of my boy. It was nice to take some time to pause right before school starts to celebrate him. I even spent some time with him in the dirt in the backyard today playing with his new mini bulldozers, dumptrucks, and backhoe loaders. Pretty relaxing, I must say. I might have enjoyed it more than he did. I'm not sure what he thought about his cake. Don't you love his confused expression. What the heck mom, really? And even though we forgot to sing him Happy Birthday before he blew his candles out we made sure to sing it later. Happy Birthday Wilder!

I think he felt pretty good about his new scooter. (Thank you grandma and grandpa). He's watched the older kids ride theirs in our neighborhood with much intrique. Today, he said "I have a scooter like every body else?" This is MY scooter? Yes, baby, it's all yours.
That is until your sister gets a hold of it. (Do they make a pink radio flyer?)

Monday, July 6

Seems this blog is currently on summer vacation!

Thought I would delay my online homework (I'm taking 6 hours online right now unfortunately the cause of my negleted blog) to share a request.

If anyone doesn't know, I got a teaching job starting in August. Please, friends, pray that we find the perfect childcare option for the fall! I am looking for the right care for Wilder and Gwyn Tuesday and Wednesay during the school year. We are looking at many options but haven't found anything yet. There are just so many pros and cons to everything! I am trusting that God knows the answer being that He was gractious enough to give me a job. In the meatime (patience Lord) personal experience and ideas are greatly welcomed!

Thursday, June 4

The Latest in Affordable Childcare

(If I had a little more wit I could think of the perfect punchline for this)

In other news:
There has been some development on the job front. Should know something soon! Details to come. Obviously, I did not get the SS job I was drooling over. It's OK too. Alright, it wasn't the first few days after I found out but I'm fine now. I know the right thing will come to be. Also, it's hard to be down when you live with two adorbable children, really, they are my joy.

Apparently Wilder thinks my name is Honey. We often go through listing everyone's names. He gets everyone's right but when we ask what mine is he says "honey." Rarely do Blake and I call each other by name, just honey, guess it has caught on!

Blake and I will celebrate our 6 year anniversary on Sunday! He's a keeper. Not sure if he feels the same about me sometimes but he's stuck with me! Anyway, one of the few reasons June is my favorite month of the year.

Looking forward to a mini family vacation with my parents, brother and sister-in-law next week to Beaver Lake (right outside of Eureka Springs). I'm excited about enjoying eachother's company, being out in a boat the first time in a long time, soaking up the sun, and of course waterskiing!!! Also will be Wilder (and maybe Gwyn's) first time in a boat...should be interesting!

I feel so blessed by all the love, support, and encouragement from all our friends and family. Simple but true. From homemade spaghetti sauce, new clothes, and sweet words and prayers - Thank you all, you know who you are, I love you!

Thursday, May 21

Brain Drain

I've been trying this coupon thing lately. I mean, trying to be really intentional about it. I've learned a lot, saved a lot. Have been printing coupons online. I don't know how healthy we're eating because I've been planning meals around what I can get on sale. We're getting fat from my couponing...but we have more cash than we usually have 3 days before I get paid. Probably not worth my kids being a little malnourished. How often can you eat mac and cheese and hot dogs before you feel totally disgusting? I appreciate the abundance of Kraft coupons lately but really, can you make a dinner around ranch dressing? I can't pass up a 50¢ box of Frosted Flakes but I'm afraid my husband will not be happy that it's the second box in under a month (I snuck it in the pantry last night thinking maybe he'd think it was the same one. Didn't work). This has to stop somewhere! I am hopeful, I am signed up to attend a FREE coupon class at Whole Foods next month so I can learn how to save money and eat organic/healthy at the same time...a bit more balance would be nice...and needed.

Wednesday I found out I did NOT get the Owasso job I've been working towards. It's ok, really. I'll spare the details here and move quickly to the next thought:

Within an hour of the news I found out there is a position for an elementary art teacher in SAND SPRINGS!!! At Central Fine ARTS Academy. (I shouldn't be advertising this) Be still my heart. I almost freaked. Ok, sort of am freaking and trying to be cool about this. Hoping. The Lord is funny sometimes.

About waiting. Some might be surprised but those that really know me I am an instant gratification kind of person. I think maybe I have my dad to thank for this. In Blake's words - calm down people.

"I don't want to" and "let me do it" are my least two favorite phrases right now. Not an exaggeration, I think Wilder said "I don't want to" about 100 times this morning as I was trying to take him to the babysitter. Fun morning. I finally joined him in his tears. Not a good way to start your day when you snag your arm on the door while you're carrying one child, three trucks, one bag, one blanket, and dragging one child. I said s**t. That's the reality people. Hopefully Wilder was too busy sobbing that he didn't hear.

I've made peace with the fact that the seeds and soil I got for Mother's Day are not going to magically turn into a fruitful garden by themselves. So I plan on returning them and using the money to get some nice, manageable, container plants. :) Luckily my dad has been generous to share veggies from his garden!

Speaking of container's...Tuesday I was able to rummage through the leftovers of a church garage sale and found LOTS of things I didn't know I needed. I think heaven will be one garage sale after another including all of the storage I need so I can have the biggest mismatched dish collection you've ever seen. Oh, I found a huge, yellow, ceramic, sea shell shaped pot that will be perfect with a little succulent plant. I also found costume jewelry, wooden toys, vintage children's books, holiday decorations, glasses, a purse...ALL FOR FREE.

Just a few more days until Blake will be done with school and we'll be on summer pace around here. Yay!! It's been sort of a roller coaster ride lately.

Thursday, May 7

Started a new book today

I love when I come across a good book on my own, which is hard to do. I found my beloved Barbara Kingsolver before Blake and I got on a plane for our honeymoon. We stopped in a book store to get books for our trip. I didn't intend to get anything really but found Kingsolver next to the Steven King books and thought The Bean Trees looked interesting. I've tried picking books at random since and have failed miserbly.

Anyway, I came across a compelling article this author wrote about her difficulty with prayer. When I looked her up she just happened to have one book in the library system - in Sand Springs! The book is Confessions of an Amateur Believer by Patty Kirk. I'm on page 22, very interesting so far. It's an autobiography of her journey from catholicism as a girl, to atheism, to evangelical Christianity. She is authentic, real, humorous, and a very creative writer.

I've been avoiding Twilight as I'm aware of it's ability to consume. Sigh. Someone help me get some good fiction in between all these serious books I'm reading lately!

Tuesday, May 5

No blue skies, but plenty of blue elsewhere!

Today was an excellent rainy day at home. I just took a shower a few minutes ago, awesome!

This is what I found today:This is what I let happen today:This is what I made a little boy do today: (actually, he really wanted to clean which helped)
Notice he managed to color his backPoor Gwyn, she will always fall victim.

Not sure if this qualifies me into the cool mom category or the foolish sucker category.

Update! We are officially DONE with the pacifier! I was anticipating the weaning to be much worse than it actually was. All we did was cut the tip off and Wilder really wanted nothing else to do with it. He's been without it for 3 nights now. He has been much more attached to me at bedtime which is understandable until he learns to soothe himself without it. Next hurdle potty training - bring it!

Ready for tacos (Happy Cinco) and Idol, doesn't get much better than that!

Monday, April 27

A Little Humor

I don't know what's funnier the outfit or the dirt-stuffed pocket.
Two purses, two bracelets, and a truck. I've never seen her carry this many things at one time. Something about it made her want to twirl while trying to manage all these things. Blake said it was a scary glimpse of how she might be as a teenager. All she needed was her cell phone. Also, she just turned 18 months!
So far I've started bribing Wilder with toys to give up his pacifier. First up, playdough. Lasted for 3 hours. I have a feeling we're just going to have to go cold turkey and pick a weekend of no sleep. (not funny). Wilder is getting close to 3! Wow!
I promise he begged.

Sunday, April 12

Our Weekend in Photos

Saturday morning 8:30am. I have not had enough coffee for this. Amazingly no spilled dye.
That's the spirit!
This is the first year I think I've ever had Easter decorations. I inherited a lot of old ceramic decorations from Blake's mom. They had a neighbor growing up that had a ceramic studio. She made this giant bunny for Blake when he was a little boy. My grandmother also gave me some fun things like the tree behind him.
What? Eggs? Where?
Playin in the sandbox with cousins.

Satuday evening we had a nice evening out as a family. For some reason I was craving Hideaway Pizza. After a yummy dinner we went to Woodward Park to enjoy the nice weather. The kids adored it. Wilder insisted on wearing this hat even though he didn't need it.
A sad attempt at a family photo. (Sunday lunch at grandmother Bernice's house)
Yes this is my new shiny red phone, don't even think about trying to borrow it.
Focused on new cars.
Bunny or book? Bunny or book?
Momma's girl!
Our sweet little dove warming her eggs! (I took the picture from the window).