Wednesday, December 31, 2008

She said that??

Avery: "ORANGE?? You painted my bedroom orange? You know I don't like orange. I only like pink, red, and yellow." this was said during the middle of the painting project

Avery: "My room is so cool. I love orange." this was said after the room was completed.

Avery: "I don't want oatmeal. I want peanut butter!!!!!" (Screamed while laying flat on the ground on her stomach as I was fixing everyone breakfast. She ate the oatmeal.)
Avery: "I don't want peanut butter. I want oatmeal!!!" (also screamed on the same day while laying flat on the ground on her stomach while I was fixing lunch. Again, she ate the peanut butter. Girls...already fickle at age 3 =) )

I'm in the process of training Elliana to come when I call.
Me: "Elliana, come here. And I need to hear 'coming'. "
Elliana: "Not coming" as she runs in the other direction.
Me: "Come or you will be in trouble"
Elliana: (making a U turn and running in my direction) "Coming!"

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Transition...Phase 3

The transition into the same bedrooms is complete...well, as soon as the girls learn to SLEEP in the same room and not just lay in bed and GIGGLE in the same room.

We started this morning with a bedroom that looked like this...

Phase 1: Totally forgot how long it takes to prep a room before painting. That is the worst part of the whole thing! After prepping the room, the first step of the morning was priming the green wall
Phase 2: Thinking to myself, "Did I really choose that color yesterday? I don't remember it being so orange!" Brent quickly reassured me that everything good is risky, only to say a few minutes later that we could always repaint if we don't like the finished product =) Phase 3: The brown wall. I have some pink paint that I am going to stencil with on the wall later. Too exhausted to attempt that today. Phase 4:The finished product!

What do you think??

Monday, December 29, 2008


We had such a fun Christmas week. Unfortunately, both girls were sick with pretty bad colds the whole week so you'll notice all the stuffy noses and teary eyes in all the pictures! They always get sick right when you have fun stuff planned =)

Our Christmas started with a fun time with my extended family in Dallas. My cousin Denise had everyone over for a great dinner and a fun time with the family. The girls had a blast with all their cousins.

Then my parents came for Christmas Eve day. We played the whole day with them and then opened presents. The girls were in heaven with all the new toys! My parents stayed into the evening and attended the Christmas Eve service with us as well. I was thankful they went to service with me! The girls were sick so I couldn't put them in the nursery and needed some extra hands to keep them attentive during the entire service! Some of my fondest memories growing up are with my family on Christmas Eve so it was blessing to be able to spend this Christmas Eve with my parents.

We woke up Christmas morning and opened all the gifts from Santa!

After Santa gifts were done, we jumped into the car and drove to Brent's family's home in Oklahoma.

We ate Christmas lunch with his mom's side of the family. The girls also got to open presents from Nana and Pappa (their third present opening! They were in heaven!)

After the girls woke up from naps, we drove over to Brent's dad's house to eat dinner and enjoy the evening with his dad's side of the family. Elliana decided she loved her cousin Aislin and was very "affectionate" towards her. Thanks Brent and Rachel for not caring when my kid kept knocking your over as she attempted to get hugs!

All day Friday was spent at his dad's(Gramps and Grammy's) house enjoying our new Wii's and letting the girls get to know their grandparents, aunts and uncles. It was a blast. By the end of the night, Avery was really sick though so I spent the evening rocking her in a chair trying to help the fluid drain from her ear.

Then we spent the day Saturday with Nana and Pappa relaxing. We drove home Saturday night with two exhausted but very happy sick little girls.

You can't beat a Christmas surrounded by family. Thanks for a great Christmas everyone!

Christmas Traditions

The older the girls get, the more intentional we are about starting traditions within our family. These are some of our traditions from the Christmas holidays.
We all worked together to set up the tree and decorate the house for Christmas.We did one character from the Christmas story every morning over breakfast. They girls didn't enjoy listening to the story nearly as much as they did trying to figure out who's turn it was to pull the character out and put it on the felt board!
I had Christmas books wrapped under the tree. During the month of December, every night before bed they took turns unwrapping one book and that was our bedtime story. This was probably their favorite thing we did this Christmas.I tried to get the girls involved in all the Christmas presents this year so they made all their own cards for the presents and helped cook Pappa and Gramps and Grammy's presents.
What Christmas would be complete without baking some homemade sugar cookiesAnd then making your own icing to frost them with!And we ended our pre Christmas traditions by dressing up and going to the Christmas Eve service at church. This may have been my favorite night with the girls. They were both fascinated with the reenactment of Christ's birth, but didn't quite understand why we couldn't go see baby Jesus on the stage. In fact, Avery got a little upset at daddy that daddy let baby Jesus go away before Avery got to see Him. They also didn't quite understand why they couldn't participate in communion. "But families share mommy. You're not being very nice" were the words I listened to while attempting to take communion =)

All in all, it was a great month leading up to the birth of our Savior and I hope it impacted the girls at least half as much as it impacted me.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Oops =)

So I said I would post this last Tuesday...oops. Christmas fun got in the way of remembering to do anything!

I had talked about wanting to start serving as a family outside of the church. I'm still searching for something permanent, but in the meantime, Brent and I decided to start doing small things together. Last week was our first attempt.We took the girls to a nursing home and sang carols for the residents as they were getting ready to play Bingo. The girls were really excited when we practiced at home, but a little overwhelmed once we got there! After a couple songs, Elliana warmed up though and started dancing for everyone. Avery just stood stone faced and sang very quietly. But, once we got back to the car, both girls were bouncing off the walls with excitement and couldn't stop singing. I think they really enjoyed it.

Now for the next opportunity...tune in to see what we come up with next =) Feel free to give me some ideas if you have any!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Spiritual Journey...

If you would like to read previous entries of My Spiritual Journey, click here
I'll make this one short and sweet...after all, it is the holidays. Who has time to read long entries =)

What I've been working on over the last week:
1)Praying with no solution in mind. Not that I always necessary have a plan that I want God to accomplish when I pray, but I think that somewhere in the back of my mind I have an idea of what life will eventually look like when He answers my prayer. So this week I have really focused on praying with no solution in mind which allows me to truly work on trusting God to hear and answer my prayers. Don't know if any of that makes sense, but trust me, its been eye opening for me!

2) Serving as a family. I've pursued an opportunity only to discover they wanted us to take over the organization...not really what we can sign up for at this point since we're having a baby in 13 weeks! So today we are going a different route and doing our first family service outing. You'll have to check back later today if you want to know what we did =)

I always struggle with consistency during the holidays so throughout the next week, my goal is to continue to learn and grow and pursue Christ daily even in the midst of a vacation.

And that's the short and sweet version of My Spiritual Journey! Have a great Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Typical Sundays

Sundays are always rather eventful around here. Those of you married to a pastor of some sort understand what I mean. But the picture below demonstrates the typical Sunday in our house.
Brent posted the picture on his blog as well, but I couldn't resist =) Sundays are crazy because Brent leaves so early to get to church and start rehearsals, both girls need baths, clothes need ironed, breakfast needs fixed, and all of this is perfectly manageable, except for one thing...I need to look presentable as well. Having the girls so close in age usually means that on a typical morning I get to spend 15 minute getting ready. Its just the way life is right now. However, on Sunday mornings I have that added pressure of trying to squeeze in at least 30 minutes of getting ready time so my hair can be completely dry and my clothes wrinkle free because I'm actually going to be seeing some adults on this day. Trying to squeeze that extra time for myself in usually results in this.

Good mom or bad mom? Who knows, but at least my hair is dry for church!

Then the girls and I load into the car, check into their classes, and begin our Sunday morning worship time. We usually get to the church by 9am and are there until 1:00pm or so. By the time we get home, the girls are overtired, hungry, and a little overstimulated. This results in very few Sunday afternoons where they can sleep and get refreshed. (Hence the picture at the top of the page!) We then load them into the car by 4:30pm and head back to the church for our small group Bible study.

Sundays are crazy and the girls are a bit cranky, but I wouldn't change it for the world. Granted, it would be a little less crazy if Brent were here to comb and dry one little girl's hair or hold onto one little girl's finger while we walked across the parking lot or could drive us to church so I could put make up on in the car, but the important part is we all get there and we have the opportunity to worship our King. That opportunity is what brings the joy to my heart despite the potential stress the day may hold.

I hear a lot of moms talk about wanting to serve but they can't right now because it conflicts with their child's schedule. I completely understand that because I was there once. I used to resent volunteering on Sunday mornings because it meant that the rest of my Sunday was going to be spent with tired kids, but then God convicted me of this selfishness. He doesn't call us to serve when its convenient or when it fits into our schedules. He calls us to serve, obey, and trust Him to take care of what happens in our lives. So Sundays have become my day to quit worshiping my schedule and my well rested kiddos and start worshiping our King who is more than able to meet all my needs as well as my families. Praise the Lord for that!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fun Times

Cold weather, a park,some cookies, hot chocolate, and a hayride all equal ...

a great family evening!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Family Fun Day

Friday was another Family Fun Day around here. This week we had a lazy family day. We had all had a busy week so we decided to just hang close to home and relax together. It was close to 75 here yesterday so we rode bikes, played hide and seek in the yard, and just had fun together.
Then after dinner, we took the girls on a walk to go see Christmas lights. They are fascinated with the lights this year!
Elliana spent the walk saying "wow, wow, wow" mixed with "more clause pease, more snowman pease" as she pointed to all the different lights. Avery just wanted to find all the lights that change colors and then touch them.
I love relaxing days at home with the family! We all needed a down day before the holiday week began!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Date Night

Every other Tuesday night Brent and I have a date night. This past Tuesday was our night to go out.

Talessa is our standing babysitter. She also watches the girls on Thursdays when I'm teaching. The girls love her to death! Every time I go to leave the house, they start jumping up and down shouting, "Talessa come, Talessa come!" She may be their favorite person in the world.(Avery took the picture below in case you were wondering about the weird angle!)
Even though our kids are in bed by 7pm and Brent and I have every evening together, there's just something special about actually going on a date with your husband. We decided not long after Avery was born that we were never going to be able to afford babysitters or dates, but that in the long run, we couldn't afford not to plan a date night for us. Tuesday night was a blast, and I look forward to our next date after Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Santa Disaster

Yesterday we attempted to go see Santa at the mall. Even though Avery has already asked the dreaded question, "Is Santa real or pretend?" and now knows that Santa is just pretend, I thought it would still be fun to get the girls' picture taken on Santa's lap. Boy was I wrong!

Here's the girls anxiously waiting in line to see Santa. Notice their hair is curled, and they have their Christmas dresses on. They are still excited at this point.
Then, no picture with Santa. We'll just say Santa was sweaty, grouchy, and really didn't possess much of the holiday cheer yesterday. I even got reprimanded by Santa! Maybe we'll try the Santa at Cabella's this weekend instead and see if he is a little more jolly =)
So to salvage the effort it took to go on this outing, we went and played in the playlandand ate chocolate chip and M&M cookies.
And ended the day with a picture in front of the tree. Just a side note: Today, Elliana doesn't want to read any books with Santa Clause on the front cover. She pushes it aside and says "no, no Clause". Maybe we need to end up skipping the whole sitting on Santa's lap for a picture experience this year!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Spiritual Journey...

To read the previous entries of My Spiritual Journey, click here

The Lord has been revealing so much to me this week that this post is actually hard to write. I sit here wondering, where do I begin??? I haven't fully processed everything God is teaching me yet, but here is what I'm processing at the moment.

1st: Our church has been going through a sermon series entitled The Cost. A lot of the focus has been on asking ourselves what it cost us to be a Christian. In the midst of this, we are raising close to a half a million dollars to go straight into our missions fund for our work around the world.

As I listened to The Cost, I was convicted about the amount of serving our family does outside of the church. My husband is a worship pastor so obviously we serve inside the church plenty. But over the last month of so, the Lord has really been laying on my heart the need to be serving the unchurched people in our area. I'm not yet sure what that is going to look like but I am pushing forward in obedience, pursuing a couple options, and excited to see where the Lord directs our family as we look for opportunities to serve as a family.

2nd: I have really loved reading the book Prayer. I have learned so much from the book and have been working on applying what I've been reading. Its been so eye opening that Brent and I just decided to read it again together so that we can sit down and talk about things as the Lord teaches us. We decided this was a much better option than me continually interrupting Brent to read him various passages out of the book as I was reading it =) If you are interested in ordering the book for yourself, click here to get to Amazon where you can get it pretty cheap.

3rd: My sister gave a Bible study to me over Thanksgiving, and it has been so helpful as I learn how to implement the spiritual disciplines in my life. I wish I could pass it on to all of you but it was written by Wheaton Bible church for their ladies Bible study and isn't something you can buy off a shelf!! Its called Keeping Company with Jesus. One of the things about the study that has been beneficial to me was this spiritual disciplines inventory the author adapted from the book Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun. It asks deep questions to help you determine where you are at in each of the disciplines and where God is working in your life. Its the kind of inventory that is beneficial and fun to take every 6 months of so to see where God is growing you on your journey.

See I told you it was a lot this past week =)

My goals for next week:
  • Order the book Prayer for Brent so he can read and I can reread it together
  • Continue to go through the Bible study Keeping Company with Jesus
  • Find an opportunity for my family to begin serving outside of the church

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Family Fun Day

Friday was another Family Fun Day! We took total advantage of the warm weather and the free Christmas activities out in Grapevine. It was a blast.

At the Polar Express Train station, there are plenty of free activities for those of us who didn't buy a train ticket to get on the Polar Express. There was a miniature train set, ton's of little elf, reindeer, and Santa Claus displays, free ornament making, and Santa Clause (we got there too early to get our picture taken on Santa's lap though!)

We then went down to the other end of main street and were treated to a Santa Clause on stilts (the girls were a little scared of how tall he was!),

Santa, his elf, and a snowman played games with the girls,

Good food

And a free carriage ride and free kettle corn!

Grapevine was a blast. If you live around here and haven't checked out the action on Grapevine mainstreet yet, you've got to go! You can't beat free and fun Christmas activities =)