29 February 2016

Grandma goes home


Last Thursday, the Good Lord called our beloved mom home and she is now in the loving arms of her King and Savior. Her sudden loss has left us all a bit shaken and of course, heartbroken but knowing we will see her again in eternity has brought us tremendous comfort.

She leaves a lasting legacy of faith, hope, and love.

Her faith in God and His Word was the core of who she was. Her hope of having eternal life with Him, through faith in Christ and because of what He did for her on the cross was unwavering. Her love was something we always saw "in action." It was a beautiful example to us all.

She never missed an opportunity or an occasion to be with her beloved grandchildren. She spent her life serving others faithfully and humbly. She loved her God, her country, her church, her friends, her neighbors, and most of all, her family.

For me, she was not only my mother-in-law, she was my prayer partner, my go-to for anything, an incredible role model, and my friend. I could go on and on about this remarkable woman and all her wonderful qualities and attributes. 

So now, we cling, even more tightly to each other and to the faith, hope, and love that mom always held dear. We would appreciate your prayers for the entire family as we prepare the details of her memorial service and face the days and months ahead.

Rest in peace, Grandma. You are loved beyond words.
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." -1 Corinthians 13:13

23 February 2016

Paint Nite

"Our Bench"
This was our group painting for the night.


Working on my Caribbean blue sea.


  My sweet girlfriend, Melissa joined me.


 Nearly done.


Ta-dah!

Melissa and I have been trying to get together for a night of painting (and catching up) since last year. We were finally able to pull it off this week and I have to say, it was so much FUN!

Faith and Grace have a TENTH birthday coming up soon (CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??)

We decided on a paint/horse themed party so I've hired Melanie, a professional artist to come and teach a paint class to the kids. We are so looking forward to it! In the meantime, I decided why not go check out one of her classes for myself and meet her before the party?

Well, it was a win-win! Not only was it a fun way to hang out with my girlfriend, Melissa but Melanie was a delightful teacher and the kids will all enjoy her. 

This was my first ever paint class and I had a GREAT experience! I'm typically the person that no one wants as a partner for Pictionary. In other words, I can't draw to save my life! However, with each stroke of the brush, I started to feel a bit more free and confident. Less stressed out about making a mistake. Ha! :)

This might have been my first paint class but hopefully, not my last!

21 February 2016

Valentine's Gifts {with free printables!}

The girls gave their teachers these adorable Valentine's Day gifts in lieu of candy or chocolate.
I loved the fact that these were simple, affordable, fat free, and of course, very girlie. :)
These would make a cute teacher appreciation gift, any time of year.


Faith decided to give out these ring pops to all her classmates and friends. Super cute!


And Grace gave out these fluttering butterflies (so her!) but instead of a tootsie pop, she added blow pops.

When you have two sentimental sweethearts like Faith and Grace, Valentine's Day is truly a celebration of love, friendship. thankfulness, and joy!  

And for a busy mama, thank goodness for some help and inspiration from Pinterest!

15 February 2016

Valentine's Day Polo & Picnic

 Our three love bugs.


My funny little Valentine.


Church then polo!


 Tailgating with friends.


 Picnic on the lawn.


Let the games begin!




Lunch with friends.


We missed you, Janette!


The big kids.


The littles.


Stomping divets at the half.


Flying through the air with daddy.


My sweethearts.


My forever Valentine.


Time to clear the field.


Someone wants to stay and play.


Squirting each other with misting fans.




Trying to stay cool in 90 degrees!


The kids all exchanged valentines.


Then shared some more yummy treats.


Checking out their stash of goodies.

Typically, Valentine's Day is not one of my favorite holidays (mostly due to the commercialism of it all) but this year, I don't know... I'm feeling especially GRATEFUL for the amazing LOVE God has poured out on me. It's one thing to just know in my head that God loves me. "Jesus loves me this I know..." I sing it to Zach all the time. But it's an entirely different thing when we truly believe it, receive it, and then act upon His great love. I'm still a work in progress when it comes to the "acting on His love" part but thank heavens for His abundant grace in my life.  

The day started out with my husband creeping out of bed at the crack of dawn and heading downstairs. Weird, right? I'm the early riser in our family so this was out of character for him. Especially on a Sunday.

He came back quickly and I asked him if everything was OK. He said everything's fine and went back to bed.


My day started off with a dozen red roses, a hot cup of coffee, my one year bible, excited greetings from my littles, and then back in bed for a snuggle with my sleepy super sweet husband. :)

After almost 15 years of being married, He's still the one. Not because he always remembers flowers on Valentine's Day but because he continues to be the greatest example of Christ in my life.

Oh, and... he puts up with me. ;)

I love you, babe! Xoxo

The girls were giddy as they spent the morning sharing their gifts from one another as well as opening the small gifts we had for them.

I said, "Girls! Look at the pretty roses dad got for me!"
To which they nonchalantly replied, "We know. We saw them hidden in the garage last night." :)

Next was church and it was amazing. We love our church family!

Then we headed to the polo fields where we met up with our friends for a Valentine's Day picnic.

Such a fun way to celebrate this day of L-O-V-E!

May we all be rooted and established and filled up high in the depth and breadth of God's love!  

"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." -Ephesians 3:14-21


09 February 2016

All about Zachary

 






























I always thought if we ever had another daughter, we might name her Joy. Well, the Lord, in His great faithfulness and providence, gave us a SON and that son has brought us more JOY in his short little life than we could ever imagine.

Zachary is one happy kid.

In fact, he wakes up with a smile on his face!

He's a VERY active 19 month old toddler who's happiest when he's outside, kicking a ball, or running around at the park.

He unequivocally loves his mama and he adores his daddy. When daddy is home, he's pretty much his little shadow. He enjoys "fixing" things with dad, hanging out with him in the garage, or going on bike rides together.

His hair: Yes, he has a lot of it. It can get crazy and it has a personality of its own. Yes, we know it's long. And yes, we will cut it!

Eventually. :) 

He likes to sit in your lap and lets you read to him for about 10 seconds. :)

He loves it when his sisters make him a fort or tunnel and they all get inside and play hide and seek or peek a boo.

By God's grace, Zach has overcome many challenges already. He's eating MUCH better than he used to. He's CRAZY about peanut butter (just like his sisters) and his favorite snack right now is graham crackers and goldfish.

He's become much better at wearing his eye patch for 2 hours a day but he still hates to wear his glasses. He immediately flings them off. So far, his glasses have been stepped on, lost at the store, and ran over by a car. :(

He's a kid who doesn't require a lot of sleep. He takes one solid nap a day from about 1:00-2:30. Thank goodness, he's sleeping MUCH better at night, too (Hallelujah!). He goes to bed around 7:30 or 8:00 and wakes up between 7-7:30.

Zachary is also playful, adventurous, passionate, and even has a cute sense of humor.

He loves to laugh, giggle, be tickled, and chased.

This kid is ALL BOY.

He's very determined and likes to live on the edge.

He's constantly pushing limits and scaring his mama half out of her wits. He's bent toward dare devil type stuff and hasn't yet realized there could be serious consequences to "going for it." We've already experienced lots of blood (and a chipped tooth) but praise the Lord, no trips to the ER... yet!

Morgan thinks he'll be perfect for motorcross in the future. ;)

He really enjoys being around other children but he can happily play by himself, too.

He gives the greatest bear hugs and the sloppiest wet kisses.

He loves music, singing, and dogs!

Zach brings so much more love and joy to our family and everyday we feel forever blessed to call him ours.

He is a living testament to the FAITHFULNESS and GOODNESS of God.

A son. What a gift!

07 February 2016

Morning at the zoo

Daddy points out some birds.


Great Egrets.


 The girls looking at an owl.




 Cutie pie, Grace.


 Zachy eating his snacks and having too much fun.


 Our three little cubs.


 His second carousel ride ever.





 He wants to hold sissy's hand.


Big boy.


 He loves the cactus slide.



We spent the first part of our weekend at the Living Desert again. The weather has just been too SPECTACULAR not to be outside. This time, we got to see sections of the zoo that we didn't have time to see on our last visit. The zoo is the perfect place for kids of all ages. There's always something for everyone, even parents. :)

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