Saturday, April 12, 2014

Growing up!

This "18th month" has been a HUGE month for our little ladybug!

Literally, every single day, she has blown me away by all of the new stuff she is doing!

Let's just say, language explosion!!!!!!!
I remember blogging around 15 months saying that she had a handful of words, the basic, "Momma, Dadda, hi, bye, and ball." 

Now, she is basically talking non-stop and surprising us everyday by the way she is putting words together.  She probably has around 50 words now and is starting starting to put 2 words together.

Just last week, when she started laughing about something (she is quite the comedian), she said, "Me funny!"  It made me stop in my tracks because I couldn't believe she just said that, surely I was making up what I heard.  But, then she said it again and again and again.  And always in the right context.

The best part, If "she" is being funny, she says, "Me funny!"  If something else is funny, she says, "that's funny."  Pretty smart little gal!
When she sees us in the morning, she has to tell everyone around, "My mommy, My Daddy, My Reese," while she points to us. 

When she finishes her meal, instead of signing done, she says, "all done."  She's very good about saying thank you for everything, but it sounds like, "tank too."    She loves to pray with us, and she always asks for more, "cak-ker and cheese," her favorite foods.  
Some of her new tricks include...
turning on and off all of the lights, she thinks it's hysterical :-)
singing songs, she has about 1/2 of the words in twinkle twinkle and is just starting to sing my little sunshine
pointing to ALL of her body parts as well as body parts on other people now
she now knows ALL of her animal sounds, at least all of the animals I can think of....
pointing to just about anything I ask her to point to in a book, we are loving "Good night Moon right now!"  
kissing everyone in sight as soon as I say, "It's bedtime."
giving a BIG cheesy smile when you tell her to smile
kicking a ball
holding hands when we go places, she went through a running away from us phase for a couple of weeks, but now we are doing good at holding hands, hoping this continues!
choosing books to read, she always says, "boom boom" for chicka chicka boom boom, so cute
swinging high, her favorite thing on earth...
Adalie is a huge burst of sunshine.  She's definitely the comedian in our family.  She ALWAYS wants to be laughing, dancing and having a great time.   She grabs your hands to do "ring around the rosie" just so you can fall down with her and laugh.  Let's just say, She is the life of the party.   And everyone around her adores her.
We are so very blessed by this sweet girl!!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

More time with the Grandparents!!

For the past few months, my parents have taken the older kids for a long weekend... Which is wonderful!

I get baby time and my parents (and usually brad's parents) get kid time!

Which looks like this.

When they are in Cleveland, their days are always packed with FUN!

Most text messages have pictures like this and captions that say, Braden and Reese are on the last cart of the roller coaster, they are having a blast!
Well, yes, I would say they are!  I would too if every moment was filled with wild crazy fun.

And here, Braden is actually "in" a dog show.    What!?  Hundreds of people are in the audience and my son got picked to help in the show.  Pretty wild!

And here she is, at the rainforest, of course.
I really can't even keep up with everything they do, but I always hope they want to come back, at some point! :-)  

But, while they are gone...I get some seriously fun QT with this babe!
Peek a Boo....All.Day.Long!

Oh, that belly! :-)
My sweet babe, I love you, I love you, I love you!

Thanks Mom and Dad for another fabulous weekend to catch up on life, relax and take care of just this one!
We love you!!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Happy Spring!

Since we just finished spring break, I needed to get a new spring pic. of my kiddos! 

After such a long snowy winter (don't get me wrong, I enjoyed every one of those snow days) it's time to say good-bye to the snow and hello to bare feet!

I can't wait to get some late spring/early summer family pictures as the flowers start to bloom, but I just thought I'd pop into my new favorite photo place (Flash Photography) at the Greene to do a 5 min. ($25) mini-session.

After all, we needed to get Adalei's 18 month picture.  They change SO much during these first couple years.

Here's my sweet baby at 6 months old right after she learned to sit up.  
 12 months old, learning to stand (still with support)
 And 18 months, bursting with smiles, giggles and lots and lots of words!
 Now we are heading towards the big #2, which just seems impossible really!

These days go so quickly and I am loving every minute of being home with my loves. 
I even jumped in for a picture to capture what my life looks like these days raising these little ones.

I told the photographer, "Don't worry if the pictures don't come out perfect, our days are certainly not perfect, and I don't care if someone isn't smiling, or if someone is crying, or is someone is running away....that's cool, it's just us!" 

He just took one shot, and I love it!
 Crooked smiles and all (middle child :-), it's us and I'm amazed we really pulled anything off in just 5 min!

So, thanks Adalei Rose for getting us into the studio for your 18 month pic!
You are bursting with cuteness, and your Mommy sure does adore you!!


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Two peas in a pod

I love the bond these two have...

Caught playing trouble and candy land at 6am!

Reading to each other 

And building forts 

Love that their partners in crime!

Heaven

In preparation for Easter, my dad has been sending me emails everyday that talk about heaven.

It is so important to live in light of eternity, because really... that's all that matters!
 
So, it's been so nice to meditate on some of this scripture during the season of Lent.

The psalmist says that in His presence "is fullness of joy;"  and at His "right hand are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11).  When we get to heaven, when we are in the presence of God, everything we do will bring about perfect satisfaction and reward.  We will never engage in anything that leaves us feeling even a tad bit empty.  Everything we do will bring us absolute and total fulfillment and joy, because that's the way God has created us.  In fact, Ecclesiastes chapter 3 says that God has actually put eternity in our hearts.  What this means is that God has built us, as believers, with a space within us that can't be satisfied with anything except heaven.  And that's the reason we aren't going to be bored in heaven--it's everything our hearts long for!  In Paradise, we will finally feel the completeness that we were created to enjoy.

 Dad, I'm looking forward to celebrating Easter with you soon!
xo

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014

My Delight

I recently read an article called "loving a wild one..."
Click here to read it!
And it immediately made me think of my Reese.  
The author wrote, "I have a nearly 3 -year-old little spit-fire, beautiful, crazy girl, who I love desperately, but who drives me mad sometimes."

Yes, I do too! 
I have never met a sweeter child, so kind, loving, thoughtful, compassionate...
She is a teacher, a nurturer, a Mommy's helper.  

But, she's also a wild one. 
She has this fiery temper that changes with the wind.  One minute she's the happiest thing and the next?
She's throwing anything she can get her hands on.  Oh, is she mad! 

And nothing I do seems to work.  I can't rationalize with her.  I can't discipline her.  I can't bribe her.  I can't empathize with her.  I can't encourage her. 

So, What do you do with these out of control children?
The article says, "You love them like mad."

I agree. 

When this one loses control, I scoop her up and squeeze her tight.  She melts into my arms because she desperately wants to be loved.

She wants my hugs, my kisses, the security of my arms.   She wants me and needs me, all the time.   

When she was a baby, she'd cry during the middle of the night about once a week.  I always wondered, why was she crying?  Was she sick? Cold? Hungry?  What is waking her up!!?

I remember thinking, I can't wait until she's older because then I'll know what she needs.  
3 years later, she still wakes up during the night every so often...

But, now it looks like this, little footsteps at 3am whispering, "Mommy, will you cuddle with me?" 
I don't think I'll ever know what is waking her up, but now I do know what she wants.
Just me.
 
To lay with her, cuddle her and hold her tight.

And sometimes it takes a deep breath and a little prayer for this very exhausted Momma to jump out of bed and make the way to her room, to lay with her until her eyelids shut once again.

But, one day I won't be able to hold her tight.  One day she won't be whispering these sweet words to me in the middle of the night, so instead of wishing it away, I choose to thank the Lord for my sweet gift.  

My little girl who is a delight. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Our most favorite stop!

Since I visit my parents in Cleveland just about every other weekend (just kidd'n...it just feels that way!)  we've gotten very used to the 3.5 hour drive!   

And the first 2.5 hours are easy breezy!  My kiddos eat some food (ie  crumbs everywhere), listen to some music (kids cd's on an old fashioned boom box b'c my van's cd player broke years ago), and then they all crash usually within minutes of each other.  I get a good 2 hours to experience some peace and quiet and catch up on some conversations with old friends.  It's wonderful.  

My kids are at a very easy stage to travel!  And I can say this because we've gone through some very hard stages over the past 5 years.  The hardest will always remain just driving home with Braden as a baby.  Imagine pure blood curdling screams non-stop (not even a stop for one min.) the entire drive and that's exactly what those days were like...  but, thank goodness we're past that and now we're seasoned travelers with lots of entertainment going on in the walls of my awesome (dented) mini van! 

So, we can make it 2.5 hours pretty harmoniously.  But, then something happens.   My kids wake up and they are hungry (again) and they want to know at least 100 times, "Are we there yet!?"  

And thankfully, we are just about at our perfect stopping location, Grandpa's Cheesebarn!  This place was created for us.   I sing praises as we pull into the parking lot, I'm not kidding!

Inside the walls of Grandpa's Chessebarn are about 100 samples of cheese, at least!  And my kids (all 3) sample all 100 pieces.  They like every single piece.  They don't miss one.  And then there's crackers and pretzels and dips galore!   It is sample heaven.   We are all in our glory.  And there is even a homemade chocolate shop right next door...with more samples inside there.    Let's just say that I would make the drive to Grandpa's just for the samples alone even without a trip to Cleveland, it's that good! 

So, after our bellies are full, we ride the rides...

And eat some ice cream...
Adalei turned 18 months old right after this pic was taken!
.
And then we are fully ready for that last one hour stretch in the car. 

We are happy and charged for the grandparents!! 

So thankful for little things like this stop that make such a big difference! 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Snow tonight!?

This has seriously been the craziest winter/spring that I can remember!

How is it possible to go from 70 degrees and sunny one day...

to 30 degrees and freezing cold the very next!!

We've been playing outside a lot lately and starting to take our evening walks again. 
 
We're still bundling up in snow suits most days, but waiting and hoping for April to bring us some more warm weather days.   We've loved the couple that we had!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Happy Birthday Nora!!

We were so excited to celebrate a very special birthday last weekend...

Our sweet adorable niece turned 1!!
Dear Nora,
 We loved being with you on your special day, to hear your laughter, to watch you dig into the frosting on your cupcake, to see the excitement in your eyes as you received new gifts.   We are so thankful that you live so close to us now, so that we can watch you grow and give you hugs and cuddles all of the time.  You are the sweetest niece (and cousin) that we could ever ask for and we all love you so very much!!
xo

And here's a few more pics that Mimi took at the party...