Thursday, February 25, 2010

Slow Down...

I walked to work today. It's less then a mile from my house, the sun was shining, and I wanted to leave my car for Anne so she could take the boys to preschool without having to switch car seats. It got me thinking about our culture. We are pretty lazy people. I sub at only local schools, and this was the 2nd time in two years that I've walked. Granted, this is Oregon, and there's rain...but aren't there also umbrellas? I think the real reason is we schedule ourselves down to the minute, and don't leave time for such things as walking places...

Guilty. I have always been a busy, busy person. In high school, I played sports, had a job, and tried to maintain a social calendar...oh, and do school of course. Same in college, and since having kids it's only gotten worse! Rushing here, going there, running late...what? Me, late. Never. I am always late. I think it takes me 10 minutes to get somewhere...which it does. But then you have to add loading/unloading kids, walking in, etc. That is one thing I want to improve on. 

However, things have slowed down for me in the past few months. I am not in school anymore (PRAISE the LORD!), I'm only working one day a week, and I'm loving it. It feels so nice not to always have to rush here, or there, but to slow down and just be. Don't get me wrong, we still have our busy days, and sometimes I do try and squeeze too much in. But overall, I am enjoying this slower pace and learning how "other people" live. Normal people. But really, what is normal? That's a whole other post...

For now, enjoy this sunny day with the ones you love the most! 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Walk...

We stopped by Happy Valley Park today for a picnic lunch and some feeding of the ducks after the boys had such a great time with Andrew yesterday. The breeze made it a bit cold, and Jakey was a little cranky so we didn't make it as long as we wanted to, but that's ok. There is a wetlands area with a nice long boardwalk, so we walked there to one of the ponds. We fed the ducks, who were well-fed I might add. Then we went back to the fields and Noah practiced with his new bat! He was actually really good and hit the ball almost every time, and it went pretty far! It will be fun to see the boys practice and get into different sports as they get older.

We want to always make sports fun for our kids. I see so many young children with so many pressures on them to succeed in school, sports, whatever. They just need time to play and have fun. Noah can learn so much more by playing with Andrew and I just having fun then standing around while a coach tries to watch all the kids, manage 12 crazy 4-5 year olds, and give everyone a I think for now, we'll keep away from organized sports, and instead enjoy them and not pressure our kids into starting activities so young. Developmentally, most kids are not ready...why push it? Besides, it really frees up our schedules and hopefully they won't be burnt out like so many kids I see in schools these days. Ok, off my soap box...


Here are some more pictures from last week. We went over to some friend's house one night for dinner and bike riding. The boys had a blast of course, and I got a night off of making dinner and cleaning up! Jessica and I were kind of spoiled by her husband who did it nice. We also played Monopoly Deal together....and I think I won?!? I can't really remember you Jess? ;-)

Here are the older boys riding bikes

Jakey doing what he does best...I think I have a million pictures of him like this over the year....

A beautiful lady driving around

Mama and cute:)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Playing Around...

Is it just me, or does it seem like the recent pictures I have of Andrew are all him playing on kid's toys? I love it though! We've enjoyed being outside so much and getting fresh air! Here are some more pictures:

My dear friend, Anne, who finds out in a week if they're having a boy or girl!

Our life group leaders...and they do such a great job! We really appreciate them getting everyone together, because we've built some great friendships, and are growing closer to the Lord together. Noah and his friend, Rommel, going down the slide together:)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sunny Days...

We enjoyed this nice sunny day, and are hoping for many more! I feel like summer is right around the corner...but I think I'm going to be disappointed that it's still months away! We have a neighborhood right next to us that never got developed, and it's pretty flat, so we took Noah out for a bike ride.

The boys crack me up when they do this face:
Here's my growing boy...hard to believe he'll be four in June! He LOVES throwing rocks into water, and has since he was little. And because he does...Jakey does too!
The boys loved how Andrew would pick up pieces of the wall and throw them into the pond...yes, Andrew, I'm pretty sure they don't want you to do that;)
This boy cracks me up! I could NOT get him to look at the camera...oh well! Have I mentioned that he has his own opinions about everything? Boy is he stubborn...

Me and my boy! I promise I do have other outfits...but I have worn this 3 out of the last 4 days...saving laundry, right? Actually, I washed it and didn't want to put it away, so I threw it on after work:)
I LOVE this picture of Andrew...we did have a fun day together!
What is it with boys and rocks? If there are rocks, my kids are on them.
I got this shot of Jakey looking...pretty cute!
I enjoyed our family time today and am thankful for these moments we get to spend all together as a family! Hope you got to enjoy this weather to with the ones you love!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Teen Mom...heaven stands

I must confess, I watched Teen Mom tonight, a show on MTV about teen moms. Boy, could I relate to them and their struggles. Maybe because I was months shy of being a teen mom, or maybe because they are normal struggles people deal with. Don't get me wrong, some of it was just dumb and immaturity, but it really made me appreciate how far Andrew and I have come over the seven years we've been together. Boy were we young when we started, just Juniors in high school!

I'm sure that most people know this, but Andrew and I got engaged when we were 19, during that summer. We got pregnant in the fall with Noah. We moved our wedding up 6 months (with so much help from my wonderful mom, thank you) and got married in December. We flew back down two days after getting married, and finished up with finals the next week, then packed up the Civic and drove up to Newberg. Oh, wedded bliss. We really were living on love, and not much else. We both finished up our Sophomore year at George Fox, and had Noah in June.

We struggled through our Junior year, balancing school, working, parenting, and having our own relationship. Looking back on it, it was a lot. But I guess I was raised to "do what you have to do," and didn't really think too much on how hard it was. We made ends meet, and we LOVED Noah, and couldn't imagine life without him. Although it still blows our minds that we didn't "plan" on having him, because he's such a joy now, we'd be so sad without him.

We decided Noah needed a sibling, so during my Senior year, I was pregnant with Jakey. A lot happened, but my teachers were so great at Fox, and so supportive and understanding during a DIFFICULT time in my life. We had so much help from my family, I couldn't have finished up school without all their love, wisdom, and support. I finished my full time student teaching early (because of a flexible cooperating teacher who let me start early), left for Hawaii that night, spent 9 days in Hawaii with all my family, came home, and had Jakey the next day. Did I mention I was 9 months pregnant? What a journey, but again, we made it through.

When Jakey was a few months old and I was graduated (I'm so proud of myself for doing this, I know I'm giving my kids a better future, even though it was a hard journey, I'm proud that they can say they have two college-educated parents...even if we were young:) we moved in with my parents for a year. We saved up, and payed off a LOT of student loans with their help.

Then we moved out into the place we are in now, and I love it. I feel as though we have made it. We don't have a fancy house, or fancy cars, but we both finished school, have good jobs (even if most of mine is staying home), have such loving and supportive family and friends who are surrounding our children, and God has provided and taken care of us in every situation. Without fail. He has been there, and really blessed our lives. While we don't know what life has in store for our family, we do know that we have a Mighty God who will guide our steps, even if we stray from His Will. I'm constantly amazed at His power, and how He has placed people in our lives to be such a blessing to us in different ways. I am so thankful for a husband and a great dad to walk this path with, I can't imagine doing this on my own, and am so happy my kids have such a great dad. So if you have played a part in our journey...thank you, and hopefully someday, we'll get the opportunity to bless others as so many people did in our life.

i have unanswered prayers
i have trouble i wish wasn't there
& i've asked a thousand ways,
you would take my pain away

im trying to understand
how to walk this weary land
make straight the paths the crooked light
oh lord before these feet of mine

when my world is shaking
heaven stands
when my heart is breaking
i never leave your hands

when you walked upon the earth
you yield the broken lost & hurt
i know you hate to see me cry
one day you will settle things right
yeah, one day you will settle things right

when my world is shaking
heaven stands
when my heart is breaking
i never leave your hands
your hands, your hands that shape the world
are holding me, they hold me still
your hands that shape the world
are holding me, they hold me still

when my world is shaking
heaven stands
when my heart is breaking
i never leave you

...when my world is shaking
heaven stands
when my heart is breaking
i never leave
i never leave your hands

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Beach

We've had a very relaxing time at the beach, minus our wake up call with the sneaker wave. My parents are always so helpful with the boys, and Andrew and I both enjoyed sleeping in today, and waking up with a hot breakfast. Spoiled:)

Here's my amazing parents who let us join them on their trip...isn't that an awesome shot?

Here's my little man, he's really starting to talk in sentences (that I'm sure just we can understand), and learning how to obey. Learning.

My mom and me, dry.
What a great Nana
Out for a little bike ride...he's kind of a stud:)
Running with my biker

Feeding the birds...have I mentioned how I HATE seagulls...

Playing with my baby...
My two boys...who I am SO thankful to be holding both of them.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Here's the ONLY love of my life! So happy to spend another Valentine's Day with my hubby! He is truly my best friend, and there's no one I would rather "do life" with. (That was just for you, Andrew:) lol.

A Life Changing Rescue...

We have been spending this weekend with my parents and sister at the beach in Seaside. We've had a great time, and Andrew and I have been spoiled with all the help, sleeping in, meals made for us...really nice:) Today, we had a life-changing rescue. We went out to the beach for a morning walk. We ran into some old neighbors and were talking while the boys ran around and played. Jacob was getting further and further away, but I said he was fine. He would run up by the seawall, then over by the water, all over. My mom got a little worried he was getting further away from us towards the water, so she went over by the boys. I had on some new shoes and was planning on going for my jog, so I stayed by the hard sand. I said they were fine, if anything they would just get a little wet, but they know not to run into the water. (This is not one of my proud motherhood moments, so please, no mean comments) A wave was coming in a little further then the others, so my mom picked up Jakey and started running, Noah behind her. Standing back watching, I thought they were playing chase with the waves. Andrew saw trouble, so he sprinted over to help get Noah. I was still thinking...oh, Noah will get upset if he gets wet and wasn't wanting to...but still, no big deal.

The water caught up with my mom, and she started to get wet. I actually thought it was funny because obviously, she's not the type to get wet in the winter at the Oregon Coast. But the water kept coming, and it was getting deeper on them. People started running. My mom fell over with Jakey in her arms, and she was tumbling in the water, but somehow holding his head up above the water. At this point, the water was reaching me. I turned to run, and then it finally hit me how serious this was. The water was up to her neck sitting down being pushed into shore, if Jakey went under, we wouldn't be able to find him in the water, it was too deep and you can't see anything. So I thought, "Screw the shoes, save the kids." Andrew who was still on his feet had reached my mom and was trying to hold on to Jakey and Noah, but my mom never let go and never let Jakey go under, they are my heroes. My dad, deep in the water trying to help them out now, holding his nice Nikon camera up above the water, and trying to help my mom. He fell in and said he was literally about to let go of his camera and grab on to both of them, now that's a hero's reaction, not thinking about saving your shoes, I'm embarrassed.

I saw my mom's hat that she loves floating away, so I ran and grabbed that, saw Nicole on her feet and hands, stuck too. A lady who was by my mom originally, was stuck under the water, so my dad ran over and helped her up too. Her camera and cell phone were ruined, but her son was safe, who was way out by the ocean originally.

By this time, the water had nearly reached the sea wall, and was starting it's way back out. Everyone was in shock, and making sure everyone was accounted for. It was a beautiful day, with lots of people out. No one was dry, at least up to people's knees were wet, many people had gone under. My mom made it up, and everyone was walking back, fighting the strong current going back to the ocean. Nicole, my mom, and Noah were all missing shoes as you can see from the picture. But our friend ran and found some of them, actually I think all buy one shoe. But really, who cares about shoes at this point, right?

We all were safe, praise the Lord. I really do believe His hand was working as my mom went over there by the boys. Even if Andrew had gotten to them in time, there would have been no way he could have gathered both before the current knocked one boys over and took them under, never to be seen again. I keep seeing it playing out like this, but am SO grateful for how it all worked out. I'm reading this book about another mom who lost her son, and seeing what she is going through would absolutely kill me--I cannot even imagine. We heard on the news someone died down the coast from a sneaker wave, it could have been one of my kids. Thank you Jesus for keeping all of us safe, and keeping us from tragedy.

**My mom would like to thank her boot camp teacher for giving her the stamina to hold Jakey up so high and keep him safe. My dad twisted his knee saving people, and so has been resting and icing his knee, and both of them are taking Advil for being so sore. I guess that's what happens when you risk your life to save people when you're getting older:) But Andrew and my parents are truly my heroes for springing into action, and saving my babies. And now we all have seen the power of the ocean that you always hear about, but now I will NEVER let my kids play by the ocean without watching them like a hawk! Thank you for keeping us safe, Lord.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Slumber Party with the Hollands!

Tonight the boys had a slumber party with the Hollands! It was #6 (Cade) and #7 (Bode) first sleepover, and we were so blessed to have them join us! Bode and Noah have been friends since they were 6 months old...hard to believe it's been that long! And Cade has always been such a good "older" and wisesr friend to Noah. He has such a sweet heart, and is already so responsible! The Hollands have always been a blessing in our lives, in many different ways over the years.

So tonight we had dinner that they all gobbled up, played, took baths (there's nothing like clean, naked boys running wild around the house), attempted to read books (we only made it through one), made brownies, and watched a movie. They are all tucked in bed now, although as you can see from the first picture, the Holland boys are laying nicely, and mine is making mean faces at the camera with lots of energy. Great.

Reading a story that didn't have much focus...
Heather, here are your babies all snuggled safe in bed.

At 9:30 tonight, I realized that I had not done Valentine's with Noah for his party tomorrow. Fortunately, we had bought them a few days ago, so we just needed to sign them. It only took him about 10 minutes to sign this cards, and I popped a sucker on them...done! I can get so into projects sometimes, and care less others. This was obviously a care less. He concentrated so hard, he's really been into coloring and writing, which is good, because he used to HATE to color!
Andrew was laughing at our boys tonight just watching how happy and excited they both were, but especially Jakey that they were having friends for the night. It's fun to see them creating those memories. And just as a side not, Jakey is CHUNKING up! We noticed tonight for the first time how chunky he's geting...he had better spring up soon! Although he is only a few inches and pounds smaller then Noah, and he's almost 2 years younger!

Current Happenings...

Here is Jakey with his latest injury. The boys were wrestling and Jakey fell into a chair at the end of our Superbowl party. We have a great nurse friend who helped us glue it back together, thanks Anne! It saved us a lot of money and time and a trip to the ER. Yay! He is doing great, and back was back to his old self within minutes. It has opened back up with some of the swelling, but we went to the doctor again yesterday and she said it was fine...maybe just a bigger scar. I think Andrew and I are going to be good at gluing our kids back together...

It seems like every day at some point around here, someone is drawing on their face with marker. Mostly washable, but not always! Something else that seems to be happening a lot is Jakey climbing. He's always been a jumper and a climber, but now he is reaching new heights. He is climbing up on our bar stools, and on counters left and right. I walked in on him the other day in my bathroom like this:

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Hot Tub....

We've been using our hot tub more, which has been fun. A little bit of a hassle, but fun. The other day I took just Noah up there. There was a lady who walked by with a scowl on her face. I smiled and Noah said, "Hi!" But still just a glare. After she had passed, I told Noah how sometimes people are sad, and sometimes they are happy. When people are sad, we need to try and make them happy. I asked him how he could make someone happy. He said he wanted to give oranges to Jesus, and take them to heaven for God and Jesus. But he was sad because he couldn't go to heaven to make them happy. Then we talked about other ways we could make Jesus happy. I don't think I'm describing the story very well, but it was one of those moments where he tugged on my heart and I want to remember. I love that he is getting old enough to really let me in to his mind and see his understanding of things. I love that one on one time with my boys.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Play Time...

We've been loving this nice weather! Yesterday, we headed over to the turf fields by our house that have a crystal clear view of Mt. Hood, so pretty. I love seeing our kids and how far they've come since last year developmentally. It's fun. I have some pretty awesome kids, and a pretty fantastic husband.

Today we went up to Mt. Hood and went sledding with some friends. We forgot our camera on the bed after charging it this morning, and so did they. So we only have those memories in our head, but it was fun. We went back to their house and had the best Zuppa de Scana (I know that spelling is wrong:) soup, just like Olive Garden. Yum. I have been so tired the past few days, and just out of it, so it was good to get away. Although now I'm exhausted and ready for bed...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Finally Getting Around...

Here's a little bit of what we've been up to...starting with Noah in a dress. Yes, this makes Andrew very proud...or shall I say uncomfortable:) He came out to me one day wearing a blanket and asking if I liked his beautiful dress? Of course I did;-) But it kept falling off, so we had to make our own with one of my tanks...and he loved it. He liked to spin and watch it was so cute. I may or may not have encouraged it...

Here he is just playing in his messy playroom, looking through his binoculars backwards...hmmm. And here's this little treat, Noah in action. I am so excited I'll have this for years to come!

And then I have this munchkin. He is so funny these days. He's been in to coloring on himself with markers, so tonight I was finishing making chicken soup in the kitchen and Andrew asked me, "Do you think Jakey is going to go through puberty early?" I thought it was such a random question until I looked over at Jakey...covered with facial hair. Nice.

These last few days have been busy, but I'm not really sure why, we haven't really been doing much besides school, the gym, and people's houses. I just feel like I need to get caught up with life (and my house) so I can relax and enjoy my time with these hilarious boys. We're looking forward to sledding Saturday with some friends, and then Superbowl Sunday!