Saturday, July 31, 2010

Gavin is One!

One year. Has it really been a whole year since Gavin Jace was born? As much as it seems it can't be, it was in fact one year ago today that my youngest made his way into the world. {Click here for Gavin's first ever blog appearance.}
What a blessing it has been to have Gavin as a part of our family.

He was such a good baby from the start. And now, I guess I have to say he's a good toddler {cringe!} I hate to say goodbye to my baby, but as I look at Gavin now, I see a big boy. One who is on the verge of taking his first steps solo. One who says mama, dada, bye bye, hi. One who smiles non stop and attempts to sing Little Mermaid songs right along with his big sister. One who squeals with excitement as his brothers chase him on all fours through the house. One who fits into our family so seamlessly, as though he has always been here. And one who brings more joy into our lives than I could have ever imagined. One look at his ever-smiling face and my heart melts. My sweet Gavin is one today!

Happy birthday baby boy. You are so very loved!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cherish everyday

I've been so very busy. Too busy to blog, hence the absence of posts lately. Much busier than I care to be, but continually hoping things will slow down soon.

Between detassling with the youth group, t-ball games, wrestling camp, photo shoots, planning Gavin's one-year birthday party and our upcoming vacation to Washington D.C., vacation bible school and house renovations, it's been a nut house around here. Couple all of that with the fact that I'm flying solo this week while Jason is gone on the youth's annual mission trip, and it's a bit of an understatement to say that I haven't had time to stop and catch my breath.

Until tonight.

Gabe and Cooper are at Grandma & Grandpa's spending the night, while Chloe and Gavin are sleeping away. And the house is silent. Nothing but me and my thoughts. What a rarity. It's nice, but I find myself restless, longing to sit and relax but feeling guilty that I should be doing something. Do you know the feeling, or is it just me? Like if you stop for a moment, everything will pile up on you and you'll drown in to-do's. I hate that feeling. But I feel like I've forgotten how to not be doing something.

Nevertheless, as I recounted the day thinking of how busy it was yet again and recalling all those school supplies I just bought this afternoon, my mind started to rest on thoughts of school starting soon. This is something I really haven't given much thought to for no other reason than the lack of time to think about it. But tonight it all of a sudden became very real to me that this year marks another year of sending another child off to kindergarten.

It was tough with Gabe. I remember being teary and wishing he wasn't getting so big. But I thought it'd be easier as the kids grow, nothing compared to the first time. Not the case. And as I look at how grown up Cooper is getting, I pray once again that the Lord will help me cherish every single minute I have with these kids He has blessed us with. I pray that God will help me to find every little moment I can to put aside anything else going on and just be with the kids. Not to tell them, 'In a minute,' or 'After I finish what I'm working on.' But to just be with them, stop everything and show them that they are always more important than all the to-do's. For in the blink of an eye, they're going off to kindergarten.

Say it isn't so...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ruffled Feathers

I was recently able to have a very small part in helping a dear friend, Valerie, with her desire to sew beautiful clothing entirely for the purpose of helping others. This desire is lived out under the name, Ruffled Feathers. Read about it here on Valerie's blog.

This woman of God has such a BIG heart for God's people, especially His little children. It gives me great joy to sit and talk with Valerie about our shared passion for adoption and overall desire for His children to not be abandoned, but to all find the forever homes they long for. And it's so neat to have a little part in her venture to help see this desire become a reality, piece by piece, skirt by skirt and dress by dress, even if my part is only holding a camera and taking a few photos of her wonderful creations. {Believe me, you don't want me trying to sew a skirt or a dress! I can barely sew on a button!} I am blessed to be a part of it all.

Here are some photos of Chloe modeling Valerie's first-ever apron knot dress. Isn't it beautiful...

They way she chose to put together the patterns and fabrics is perfection.

And Chloe definitely felt like a princess wearing this creation. In her own words..."Oh my! It's my Chloe princess flag dress," as she proceeded to dance around the yard.

As you may recall if you are a regular follower of this blog, my husband is running for re-election this year and we are in full campaign mode. {Click here to read more about his campaign.} What's more perfect for Chloe to wear to all those parades than this beautiful, patriotic creation.

Thanks so much Valerie for allowing us to be a small piece of your precious plan to help others. We are blessed.

To order your own beautiful apron dress, or to see other creations Valerie is continuing to add to her inventory, visit Valerie's blog,

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Potty Princess

I have been hesitating writing this post, for fear I'd jinx it. But with almost 3 weeks of no accidents under our belts, I think it's safe to say that Chloe is officially potty trained! {Or if you ask her, she is officially 'The Potty Princess!'}

Whoever said girls are easier to train than boys didn't know Chloe. She had to decide on her own it was time, and nothing I did {or tried to bribe her with, ha!} was going to work. She just decided she wanted to 'be a big girl.'

And are we ever grateful for our big girl. Isn't she cute with her just-like-mommy sunglasses ;) Such a big girl!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bucket Bottle Calf

When a cow is unable to care for a newborn calf, a common practice is to raise the animal independently. These animals are nicknamed bucket calves because they are fed with a bucket or a bottle until they are weaned.

Didn't the previous paragraph sound like I know what I'm talking about. That is thanks to Google. Because when Jason suggested we get a couple of bucket bottle calves for the kids to take care of this summer, I really was clueless. But, since we're always up for an adventure around our house, I was all for it!

We received the girl {heifer} first. Her name is Lola Aleshia Sanders. Cooper came up with 'Lola,' Gabe added the middle name 'Aleshia,' and of course why wouldn't the new member of our clan share our last name.

A few days later the boy {bull} arrived. His name is MJ. He was originally named 'Yoda' by the kids, but dad overruled and called him MJ {he came to us with an ear tag numbered 23, Michael Jordan's number. Hence, MJ.}

The kids feed the calves from their bottles twice a day, which they love {the calves AND the kids.} It's been a joy to watch Gabe, Cooper and Chloe take on the responsibility of taking care of the calves. They really enjoy the whole process. And although I would never want to have a whole herd of cows, these two calves are quite an adorable addition to our clan. And their little Moo's are adorable too!

Here's some photos from our new adventure...


Cooper feeding Lola...

Gabe feeding Lola...

Chloe holding the calves' bottle...

Gavin wishing his bottle was as big as the calves...

Our cat, Walle, does not care for the calves. He sits in the tree above them with his back hunched, ready to attack...

Chloe with MJ, very reminiscent of little house on the prairie...