Thursday, June 6, 2013

Big Steps

The big steps I'm going to talk about are not Brynlee's, but steps that our family is making together.  First, a little background story. We made the decision to leave Bethel almost 4 years ago.  We started "church shopping" and "small group shopping".  We knew that the small group atmosphere is really what the Lord wanted for us.  We found such a wonderful small group.  We knew the first week that was where the Lord wanted us.  We were with them for 2 years.  We started out attending Woodland because the group was through them, but when the group split off, it was time for us to go also.
Our first time going to Cornerstone was the last time the current pastor was going to be preaching.  We loved the church from the beginning.  It was the right size for us (big enough to have diversity and small enough that we could still feel like we were part of a church family).  It took us a little bit to say out loud that Cornerstone was our church, but it came eventually.  Just when we were ready to start really getting involved I got pregnant with Brynlee.  Then, everything except the necessities got put on hold.  We were really bad at attending church on a regular basis and therefore took a step back in getting involved in the church.
After Brynlee was born, we jumped back into things pretty quickly.  Over the course of that summer, we really felt that the Lord was telling us that we needed to focus on really becoming part of the church and not just attenders.  Our neighbors, the Hershbergers, had been so great to us while I was pregnant and they were interested in starting a new small group in the fall.  It turned out to be perfect!  The kids are at one house, the adults at the other, and we take turns watching the kids. It was hard for us to leave our old small group, but it has really helped us become more committed to the church. The group has really hit it off and become close quickly. I love them! 
Due to the timing of things and my pregnancy, we kept missing out on some of the steps to become members.  Recently, we finally got everything worked out and took the last steps to make it official.  Sunday, April 28, 2013 we officially became members of Cornerstone.  Our three girls were all baptized.

I want to explain what the baptisms meant to us (mostly because 4 years ago I would have been completely confused by it, so I'm sure I have someone out there wondering what in the world we are doing).  The baptisms do not signify that the girls have been "saved" or anything like that.  It is basically a baby dedication, but a little bit more meaningful and descriptive.  Due to the fact that Justin and I are members and believers, our children are being accepted into God's family.  That means that they will be raised in the church and we are committing to teach them about the Lord.  I'm really excited to see how the Lord will be using us at part of the Cornerstone family in the future.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Our Three Blessings

I'm sorry, but this post might not be very interesting.  I'm just going to try to write down what the girls are up to these days.

Kaylie:  These days, Kaylie has been such a great kid.  She is getting perfect scores in school and she's simply astounding us with her thirst for knowledge.  She loves to read and learn about animals.  She is totally in love with killer whales.  Kaylie actually came out of her room the other day, picked up Brynlee, and said "Brynlee come play with us!" and took her into their room.  It's so nice to see them enjoying each other.  Kaylie has really been enjoying playing soccer with Upward.  She scored a goal at the first game and has been doing very well.  Her after school enrichment class at Rowlett this semester is tap dance.  She seems to like it, but doesn't really practice at home.  Kaylie seems to have a lot of boyfriends and loves to make the boys giggle by blowing them kisses.  We could be in trouble in a couple years.  She loves to be the center of attention and is often times pretty entertaining.
Inflatable Killer Whale for Easter

Second season of Upward soccer
Kaylie 'hamming it up" at Eric's rehearsal dinner

Myla:  I'm wondering when the whining/crying will be over.  When I get ready to run to the store, Myla will ask to go with me and then say "I promise I won't whine and complain".  She's not very good at keeping her promise.  Myla is at the stage where she makes a lot of messes and then cries and complains about how hard it is to clean up.  However, she is very sweet and caring to others.  The other day she picked out a "boy movie" because she knew that Kaylie would like to watch it. She loves to make "gift cards" for others.  She has been practicing drawing hearts a lot.  I had been working on writing her name, but she had been fighting me, so I gave up.  Recently, she suddenly learned how to write her name and loves to write it on all of her artwork.  Myla is EXTREMELY shy! She will not talk to people if anyone else besides that person is listening.  After we see people she will be talking the whole way home about why she was "shy to them" and how she won't be shy next time.  The other day at the doctor she was very willing to open her mouth so the DR could look in her throat, but was too shy to say "Ahhhhhh". Myla loves everything girlie.  She wears a dress or skirt just about every day.  She often wears her high heels, even to play outside or go to the grocery store. Myla was the flower girl at Beth and Zach's wedding and at Alex and Eric's wedding.  She definitely loved it and seemed to come alive on the wedding days.  Maybe we have a future wedding planner? or wedding dress designer?
Myla loves her dolls

Myla's reaction to the wall of princess dolls at Downtown Disney's Princess Store

Flower girl at Beth's wedding

Brynlee: I can't believe Brynlee is one year old already.  This year has flown by!  She is such a great baby!  At bedtime, she doesn't need a bottle or rocking or anything.  We just put her in her pajamas, give her her blanket and pacifier and lay her down in her crib.  She usually doesn't even cry and just goes to sleep.  Most nights she will sleep from 8:00 to at least 6:30 (sometimes 7:00).  Nap times are a little bit harder, because if you want her to sleep for longer than 20 minutes you need to rock her to sleep and hold her.  Brynlee is very close to walking.  She probably could take a few steps, but she doesn't think that she can and won't even try. She cruises and crawls everywhere.  She is very curious and likes to get into everything.  She LOVES to play with her sisters.  She also loves to play in the toy room, but I don't trust her in there by herself for very long.  Brynlee is definitely a momma's girl.  She always wants me to hold her when there are other people around.  If I'm not around and some one else is holding her she's usually fine.  However, the second she sees me, she cries for me.  She is not talking at all, which hopefully just means that she will be very smart.  She is very expressive though and really lets us know what she wants and what she's thinking. 
Brynlee really seemed to enjoy playing at the beach

My sweet little one
Bryn Bryn!
Time sure flies and I can't believe how fast my little girls are growing up.  I love them each so very much and I cherish my time with them. God has truly blessed our family.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

DIY Lollipop Valentine's

 I was "researching" on Pinterest for Myla's Birthday and came across DIY Lollipop Valentines that were butterflies.  I found a link for the free printable here. I used colored card stock and tootsie pops (because they are peanut free).  Also, I added tissue paper around the lollipop and pipe cleaners to make antenna (antennae?). 
Download, print, cut....pretty simple!

Finished product
 As we were counting out the googly eyes (which I bought at the dollar store), we realized two things.  1) We didn't have enough googly eyes of the same size for all 30 valentines and 2) Boys don't like pink butterfles!  Then we were laughing at how one of the large googly eyes took up the entire lollipop and (insert sound of light bulb turning on over our heads).  We can make alien/monster valentines for the boys! So, I started working with it and created this: 

Of course, this wasn't quite enough.  I also realized that Kaylie would have nowhere to write "From Kaylie" on this.  Luckily, my friend(and my husbands cousin), Beth Jones, just so happens to be very talented in design and just about everything artistic. She also has a fantastic blog! Thankfully, I had spent a bit of time folding paper cranes for her beautiful wedding.  In a matter of minutes she had created legs/tentacles for the valentines: 

 In a matter of hours I had 30 valentines ready for delivery.  They did take a bit longer than I expected to make, but it was worth it! 

Let me know if you are interested in the free printable for the tentacles!

After all of this hard work, Kaylie woke up Valentine's Day with a fever.  She begged to go to school, but I had to keep her home.  We attempted to just hand deliver the valentines, but the school secretary wouldn't let us past the front desk since she was sick.  We were both disappointed, but I called the teacher and she told me that they were a big hit. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"Winter" in Florida ??

Let's be honest, there is not really winter in Florida.  I thought it was super cold this morning.  So, when we went to the park for lunch I grabbed jackets.  When we got there, I was regretting wearing long sleeves.  Oops.    However, it has been super nice weather this past week.  Perfect for playing outside.  Luckily, Kaylie had a 4 day weekend from school, so we had the perfect opportunity to get together with friends.  I grew up with the Johns family.  I was at their house often, they were at mine, our parents were good friends, etc.  Hanna has been my friend since we were very little and we call each other cousins.  So, this past Monday all of the "Johns" children joined us at the park.  We see each other pretty often, but not usually with allllll of the kids.  I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to get all of them in a picture together.  

This is what happened:

Left slide: My Girls, Kaylie, Myla, and Brynlee

Middle Slide: Morgan's Kolin is holding Hanna's Landon

Right Slide: Haley's Evan is holding Abigail, with Paityn in front

Despite all of the craziness of that picture taking attempt, the kids had a great time!
Brynlee and Landon are exactly one week apart.

He is just so cute and always happy!

Evan and Myla

Kaylie made it to the top!

I had to put the lunch box in there so that she didn't lean forward and choke herself on the swing.

Landon had his big beautiful belly to hold him in ;)

The innovative Johns girls came up with the perfect solution!

Yesterday, I told Myla we could run to the library.  On the way I realized it was closed (they have really weird hours), so we made a quick stop at Jigg's Landing.  This is the location of Kaylie's 6th Birthday Party and the family pictures that Ashlie took.  It's about one minute from our house.  It was so beautiful.  Also, it was nice because Brynlee could get down and roll around on the fake grass or go in the baby swing.  So, today we took our lunch there to eat a picnic and play for a bit.  It was beautiful!

She is still trying to figure out those puff things.

God's creation was our view!

She gave up on the puffs and went for Myla's lunch.
This girl LOVES the swing. Like seriously LOVES it!

I had to use my cell phone as the "carrot on a stick" to get her to crawl through the tunnel.
 I have really been enjoying taking the time to have fun with the girls and breathe in a little bit of God's creation this week.  I hope that Myla can look back and remember having fun with her mom and her sister.