Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The True Meaning of Christmas

Please excuse me while I climb up on my soapbox.  I feel like I need to make a PSA.  The Christmas season has just started and I'm already annoyed by "the true meaning of Christmas".  It seems that everywhere I turn I am being bombarded by "the true meaning of Christmas".  You know what I'm talking about, loving, giving, being nice, family togetherness, sunshine, and rainbows.  *rolling eyes*  That is NOT the true meaning of Christmas!!!  The true meaning of Christmas is that God loved us so much, that He sent His only Son to Earth to be our Savior.(John 3:16)  He was sent to be our pure and spotless lamb, to die for our sins, and three days later to rise again.  Christmas is about celebrating our Father's love.  Don't get me wrong, all of the other stuff is great.  I love that at least a couple of months out of the year, we aren't as selfish as normal and help those who are in need, to take the time to love others, and to give gifts to those that we love.  I wish that we did that more often.  There's nothing wrong with all of that.  It's good, and it's important for us as Christians to do those things.  But please, don't call that other stuff "the true meaning of Christmas".  *Quietly stepping down from my soapbox*

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sweater Dress for Hannah

I have 2 boys.  I LOVE them dearly!!!  I would have been completely satisfied and fulfilled if the Lord would have chosen to give me 3 boys.  But, He didn't.  =)  He decided to give me a little baby doll girl this time.  I have had so much fun dressing her up since she was born.  I have always wanted to make cutsie clothes for my kids, but the boys wouldn't appreciate that much.  So when Hannah was born, I was determined to make some cutsie clothes for her.  Well, I was online the other day and saw this tutorial at Naptime Crafters for upcycling an adult sweater and making a sweater dress for a baby.  Genius!  It says to use a cable-nit sweater, but i didn't have one.  But, I did have a ribbed cotton turtle neck in my closet that was never going to be worn again.  I'm not sure why I was holding on to it, but I'm glad I did!
My turtle neck before the project
Step 1.
Cut off the sleeves  and the bottom half of the shirt

Step 2.
Cut off the middle section of the shirt.  *Note* This is an important step.  This will define where the waistline is on the dress for you baby.  Be sure you are comparing with your child.
Step 3.
Trim down the sides of the top section to fit the width of your baby.  Turn the top wrong side out and sew up the sides to the arm holes.  *Note* The arm holes in this picture are too big.  I had to cut them down some more.
Step 4. 
Cut the top of the sleeves off to the correct length for your baby
Step 5.
Turn the bottom portion of the sleeves wrong side out and sew along the seam to make the sleeve skinnier, and trim off the excess.

Step 6.
Turn the sleeves right side out.  Leave the top portion wrong side out.  Slide the sleeves inside the top until  it is even with the hole.
Step 7.
Pin the sleeves to the arm hole and sew together.  Be careful not to sew the arm hole shut!

Step 8.
Take the bottom portion of the shirt and gather it to make pleats and baste.
Step 9.
Pin right sides of the bottom portion to the top portion and sew together.  Trim excess.
Step 10.
Turn dress right side out and cut down the side of the neck along the seam.  Re-enforce the  seam with a horizontal stitch on the collar so that the slit on the neck does not go down further with continued use.

Excuse the blurry picture...she was excited and couldn't be still. =)

Linked up at these fun parties:
handmade projects

Monday, November 8, 2010

30 years old!

When you're a kid, you feel like 30 is a lifetime away!  It sounded so old.  These days, 30 is sounding REALLY young to me. ;-)  Those of you that know me, know that I am, well...sneaky.  Not a whole lot in my house gets by without me knowing it.  Something pretty big got by without me ever even half way suspecting it.  My husband and our church family planned a surprise birthday party for me and pulled it off!  There was a church wide cookout scheduled for last night at our friend's house.  It was in the bulletin.  Our pastor sent out an email reminding everyone about it.  We got to the house, parked, and walked into the house.  I walked into the kitchen and noticed pink decorations all over and everyone started singing "Happy Birthday".  I think even then it hadn't started to sink in that the whole "church wide cookout" was really my party.  I was so surprised.  I felt so loved! Then I turned around to go get something for Hannah out of the other room and my parents walked in!  They drove 2 hours to come and celebrate with us.  I am so blessed!  I can't believe that James was able to keep it a secret!  He did so good.  He was so nonchalant about the "cookout".  Then I had another surprise!  Everyone pitched in and got me one of these bad boys:
Seriously?!  I have wanted one of these sooooo bad, and now I have one!  I'm still in so much shock, I don't even know what to make yet!  

I am so blessed to have such an amazing husband, wonderful family, and awesome friends.  I mean really, who could ask for more?  

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Hannah & Cereal

You know, once you muscle your way past the gag reflex, all kinds of possibilities open up. (Emile - Ratatouille)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I'm back!!!

Oh my!  I knew that it had been a while since I updated this blog...but 2 months?!  I had no idea it had been that long.  There have been so many things that have happened since I posted last!  My Nathan turned 4 in October. Wow!!!  I can't believe he is already so old.
My birthday boy! =)
He is such a fun part of my life.  I love how his whole body smiles when he is happy.  For those of you that don't personally know him, when he smiles, his whole body wiggles.  He can't even help it.  He radiates joy.

Today Hannah is 6 months old!  It has gone by so fast already!  I can't believe that in just 6 short months that she will be 1!!  If the next 6 months go by as quickly as the last, it will be too fast.  She is so fun and has such a sweet personality.  She is rolling all over the place.  When you lay her down in one place, you never know where you are going to find her when you check on her next.  
Hannah eating her first bite of cereal.  Can't you see how much she loved it?

Joseph is still enjoying the 1st grade.  He is so smart!  A little too smart for his own good if you ask me. =)  He loves being the biggest brother so much.  He's getting so tall and is growing up before my very eyes.  He is turning into such a sweet Godly young man and I can't wait to see what He has in store for Joseph's life.
Joseph holding Hannah

This photo captures my children PERFECTLY!!!

C.V. Pickett

  5 days after Nathan's birthday, my grandfather went to be with the Lord.  He was a wonderful man and will be missed greatly.  For my prayer warrior friends, please pray for peace and comfort for my grandmother as she learns to live life without her husband.

James is doing great!  He is working a lot, which is nothing new.  I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband that works so hard to take care of all of us.  He is my knight in shining armor. xoxo
James and me at Nathan's party
Anyway, that's us lately.  I'm gonna try a little harder to make sure I keep up with this thing in the future!  Blessings!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Random thoughts by Nathan

Nathan: When there is a fly in our house and it lands on our sandwich, it will poop on it.  Then we will eat it's poop.  Is that yucky?

Me: .......

Friday, August 27, 2010

What did you say?

My boys say the funniest things.  Here are a couple of recent comments to share:

Me: "Nathan, get your foot off the wall."
Nathan:  "I like to."
Me:  "Well I'm sorry you feel that way because you may not put your feet on the wall.  You will make black spots on the wall."
Nathan:  "Some people have black walls."

Dropping Joseph off at school:
Me: "I love you kiddo.  Have a good day at school."
Joseph: "I love you.  I'll miss you."
Me:  "I'll miss you too sweetie."
Joseph:  "I was talking to Hannah."

I love those little cuties!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Joseph is a 1st Grader

Before school

I can't even believe it.  My "baby" is in the 1st grade!!!  How did that happen?!  It seems that just yesterday he was learning to crawl.  *sigh*  He has had 3 days at school and so far seems to really like his new teacher.  She is a first year teacher.  At first I was kind of iffy about that, but then a friend of mine reminded me that as a first year teacher, she still likes her job and isn't cranky yet.  =)  I also reminded myself that all of the great teachers were first year teachers once.  I have noticed that he is growing up to by the "typical" man.  I have to spoon feed him to get any information.  Here's an example of how our conversations have been going after school:

Me: "How was your day?"
Joseph: "Good."
Me: "What did you do?"
Joseph: "Um. We played and ate lunch."
Me: "Did you learn anything?"
Joseph: "Learn?"
Me: "Yes. Did you learn anything when you weren't playing or eating?"
Joseph:  "Oh. Um.  We did some worksheets."
Me:  "What kind of worksheets?"
Joseph: "The kind you work on."

I give up.  I figure that if he has any news, he'll tell me.  =)

Even though Nathan isn't in school yet, he still needed his picture taken =)

In his classroom.  Such a big boy!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A time to celebrate

A Time for Everything
 1 For everything there is a season,
      a time for every activity under heaven.
 2 A time to be born and a time to die.
      A time to plant and a time to harvest.
 3 A time to kill and a time to heal.
      A time to tear down and a time to build up.
 4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
      A time to grieve and a time to dance.
 5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
      A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
 6 A time to search and a time to quit searching.
      A time to keep and a time to throw away.
 7 A time to tear and a time to mend.
      A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
 8 A time to love and a time to hate.
      A time for war and a time for peace.
 9 What do people really get for all their hard work? 10 I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. 11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. 12 So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. 13 And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-13 

What a great weekend of celebration!  Saturday, August, 21 was Faith Lynn's 8th birthday in heaven!  It's such a bittersweet day.  It is a reminder of her life, her death, and her eternal life with our Father.  The celebration started out on Friday when my grandparents came to town and stayed in a local hotel.  We went to visit, had fried catfish, swam, and just had a whole lot of fun!  The lighting was AWFUL at the pool, so I only have this one pitiful looking picture to share. =(

Of course I had to get one of Hannah enjoying the pool too...
Can't you see her excitement?

Saturday morning was a little difficult for me.  I was sitting there with Hannah, looked at the clock, then realized at that exact same time 8 years prior I was holding Faith.  Even though it was a tough moment, I'm so grateful for God's gift of memories.  We went back to the hotel and had a yummy waffle breakfast with my grandparents.  Hmmm...didn't think to take any pictures.

After breakfast, we caravaned to the cemetery where we met my brother and sister-in-law, their 2 girls, and my dad for Faith's birthday party.  For some people that might be weird...but it's a wonderful celebration of Faith's brief life here on Earth.

After we had our cupcakes, we headed over to our traditional restaurant and met my mom, sister, and niece for lunch.  Here's the whole crew:

Ava, Joseph, Emma, Jill, Claire, & Brian
James & PaPa

Mom, Dad, & Nathan

Grandmaw & Lindy

Me, Grandmaw, Lindy, & Mom

All in all, it was a great day remembering our sweet Faith.  
James & Faith

We love and miss you so much!!!  Eat some of heaven's special cake for us!  We can't wait until we get to see and hug you again.  Thank you for being our special baby girl.
Mommy, Daddy, Joseph, Nathan, & Hannah

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Summer's Coming To An End

This is the last week before Joseph goes to school and is an official 1st grader.  *wiping a small tear*  I can't believe how fast the summer has gone.  I know several moms that are doing the countdown to when school starts back.  They are ready for the kids to be back.  Maybe I'm weird.  I don't want him to go back.  I enjoy him being at home.  He and Nathan have had so much fun together.  Don't get me wrong, they have had their fair share of arguments; and I have had my fair share of being totally frustrated with them.  But in all, we've had a great time.  Tonight we go to meet Joseph's teacher.  I have been earnestly praying about who he will have for this school year.  I pray that he will have someone that will love him almost as much as I do, that he/she will be able to teach him well, and that he/she is someone that he will have fun with.  We'll see tonight!

Here are some pictures from a couple of weeks ago.  We had a whole Saturday at home to just be together as a family.  It was so nice!
Joseph being pushed down the slip-n-slide

Nathan being pushed down the slip-n-slide

Do you get the feeling that Dad is having more fun?
Me going down the slip-n-slide
Me trying to remember why I thought that was a good idea

Nathan making me feel better

Joseph and James having fun

Nathan getting ready to take a ride

What can I say?  They love their daddy.
God's artwork for us while we ate our dinner outside
And of course, Hannah after her nap

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Kids Say The Darndest Things

It happens to every parent at some point.  It happens to some parents multiple times.  You are out in public and your sweet little angel opens their mouth and says something inappropriate...very loud.  My sweet little angel, Nathan, did that very thing Tuesday.

I had to go get James' car registration taken care of because I was too lazy to put it in the mail before it was due. :-/  So I loaded up my brood in the grand ole' suburban and we went to the tax office.  We arrive and while we're still in the car I gave them my normal warning speech.  You know the, "Stay with me.  No screaming.  No running. No climbing on things. And for the love of Pete, PLEASE don't do anything to embarrass me." speech.  We made it in the building without any running, screaming, or climbing.  VICTORY!  We waited in the line with minimal discipline needed.  VICTORY!  I got James' new sticker without any problems.  VICTORY!  At this point I'm starting to feel just slightly cocky.  We start our walk down the hall, to the door.....we're almost there!  I can see the car through the glass.  A successful mission!  I'm good!  Three young children in tow and no issues!  Then it happened.  This very kind, much older gentleman opened the door for us.  My sweet little Nathan went through the door and started to laugh and said, "Look!  It's an old man!"  Ugh.  But that's not all.  No, if that was all it wouldn't be so bad.  He had to finish it off with, "Is he going to die soon and go to heaven to be with Jesus?"  *Shaking my head* I don't know if the man heard him or not because I was too busy rushing across the parking lot before he could ask any more fun questions.

When we got to the car, I tried to explain that those are things that you shouldn't say.  But he's 3.  He's not going to get that concept for a long time.  I just better brace myself for more.

Friday, July 23, 2010

11 Years

I am SO late on this entry. But better late than never! =)  On July 17, James and I celebrated our 11'th wedding anniversary.  That sounds like such a long time, but I can't decide on whether or not it feels like it.  Sometimes it feels like 11 years if I start thinking about different things we've been through and all of the memories we've shared.  Other times, it feels like we were just dating.  I can remember our wedding day like it was yesterday.  *Insert the memory chime here* I was 18 and he was just one month shy of being 21.  At the time I felt like I was so grown up.  Now I look back and think, "Oh my! I was such a kid!"  Even though I was so young, I don't feel like I got married too soon.  I knew that I was making a lifetime commitment and I knew that James was the man that the Lord had prepared for me.  That doesn't mean that our marriage has been without struggles.  Our 11 years together have been quite difficult at times.  Our marriage has survived the death of our firstborn, a miscarriage, cancer, and just everyday life.  But the Lord has been faithful to us.  He has also provided many wonderful times.  We now have 3 BEAUTIFUL children, loving families, and great friends.

I am so blessed that James was chosen for me.  I know I'm a little biased, but I truly believe that he is the best husband, father, and friend on the planet.  He is everything I could have ever wanted and more.  If I could go back to our first date and relive every moment, I would and wouldn't change a thing.  Even more, I can't wait to see what the Lord has planned for our family.

I love you James.  Thank you for 11 wonderful years!

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