Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving and early Christmas!!

Oh my heavens this blog post has stressed me out.  After 4 years of blogging, I reached the limit of photos I could add to my blog.  The only way to continue was to start paying (which I wasn't going to do).  So...I had to be creative and erase early blog posts of Clare's birth and save them in a word document so I could move on.  All the to say....I can finally blog about our trip and upcoming fun holiday season!!
There isn't much of a way to blog about 10 days in Michigan, a 11 hr car ride, seeing my newly married sis and bro in law after 8 months, and celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas with two families (sigh) without a lot of pictures. goes our adventure!!
This was a first for my dad, but all 3 of his daughters were at Dundee Baptist Church with him on a Sunday morning to be a part of his congregation.  It was a sweet memory for us all to be together.

And who would have thought, but Michigan weather was CRAZY warm while we were there.  We hit temps in the high 50s!!!

So we enjoyed lots of time outside!

We even went to the Toledo zoo to see the lights one night.  It was a fun experience and the girls loved seeing the animals at night.  The lights were great too.  But I have to say if it hadn't been 50 degrees I dont think we would have attempted the adventure.

While we were at Grammie and Papa's the girls really get to do anything they want.  Things that mommy won't let them do they totally get away eating breakfast and watching tv every morning, and drinking hot chocolate whenever they desire.  It's the simple things in life!

And my dad surprised Clare wih a sweet cross necklace (its hard to see in the pic) to help her remember her decision to ask Jesus in her heart!!!

We also did lots of baking...
And playing...

And decorating..

And more decorating!

Since we celebrated both Christmas and Thanksgiving we had a LOT of good treats, which didn't end up working out so well for this very preggo mama.

We really pretended like it was Christmas complete with new jammies from Grammie!
I was so lucky to meet up with these sweet ladies from high school and their kiddos!!

At LD's parents Clare got to go to preschool in style with her Aunt Lynnie.  I mean who would have thought this was Michigan mid November!

But I think all 4 of us can agree the highlight of our trip was just playing with cousins

And more cousins...

And more cousins...

And more cousins...

And more cousins....

We are SO blessed by two great families between LD and I.  I am so thankful the girls have cousins who love to play with them, both young and old.  It is SUCH a huge treat to be able to head home and spend time together with family!  To think the next time we head home we will be a family of FIVE - oh my!!!




Friday, November 16, 2012

Clare's first school concert

This post is dedicated to family and those sweet friends who are dedicated to our girls.  HA! 

I have been REALLY excited about Clare's little concert at preschool.  I have just felt like it was her first school function to show off all she has been doing.  And she has been singing these songs to us for weeks so I was looking forward to hearing her perform. 

She did great!!!  And she loved it.  She is not a shy girl and I have a feeling stage will be a familiar place to her throughout life.  I know that sounds so ridiculous to say about a child so young, but that girl puts on shows daily during her rest time.  Her new favorite thing to do is sing into a microphone in the bathroom mirror while standing on a stool.  I mean this girl loves to perform!!

So...enjoy the show ;)

Monday, November 12, 2012

And the angels rejoiced!

I always knew there would come a day when my children came to me and asked questions about Jesus being Lord of their life and I have so anticipated that day.  Never did I think it would be at the young age of 4, so I was a bit taken back when Clare consistently asked me how Jesus could get into her heart all week last week. 

I think at first I tried to almost avoid the question or explain it to her, but not give her an opportunity to make a decision because I thought she was too young to truly understand it.  I wanted her to be able to remember the decision to know Christ and remember inviting him into her life.

And then after talking to both LD and my mom I realized that God desires us to come with faith like a child.  Christ created us to feel unsettled until we have placed our lives and our trust in Him.  I have no doubt that even at Clare's very young age she was feeling unsettled about her unanswered questions.

A lot of Clare's questions about heaven and how to get there came about earlier than with most children because she lost her very sweet friend Joey last February to cancer.  Joey's absence in her life forced us to have conversations I would have never anticipated having that early.  Being so young, Clare asked blunt questions "Where is Joey?"  "How is he going to get back?"  "Why is he in heaven?"  "When can I see him?"  And those questions have not faded over time. 

Just last week Clare asked me at least 2 times per day without any prompting from me at the most random times, while I was cooking or picking up her room.  "How does Jesus get into my heart?"  The sweetest part was after I explained all you have to do was ask him to come in, she said "And then he'll just fly across the street and come in??!"

So last night before bed LD and I asked her if she wanted to pray to ask him into her heart.  We prayed the sweetest and shortest prayer ever and she repeated after us.  It went like this. "Dear Jesus, Please forgive me for the wrong things that I do.  Help me to make good decisions.  Please come live in my heart forever and ever because I love you.  Amen"

Clare smiled and said "And now he's there forever?  Do you have him in your heart too?"

I have no doubt we will answer a lot of questions for Clare in her lifetime about the decision she made and how hard it can be to follow him in this dark world.  But my prayer for her is Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it." 

She is forever a member of God's family because of her sweet little 4 year old decision and the angels in heaven rejoice knowing her life will be dedicated to serving Him!

And this mama's heart could not be fuller!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween 2012

We seriously had THE best Halloween!!  We celebrated all day long, which made for some sleepy kiddos last night.
I was asked to help at Clare's Fall Party at school and of course jumped at the opportunity.  Once this sweet boy arrives I know I won't be able to do as many fun things like this for a while.

A friend watched Elle, so I got to hang out with Clare for the day, and since they had a lot of parents I got to be a floater, so I was able to go to Clare's stations with her.

They had all the 3 year olds in one big room with 6 different stations for either making a craft or doing an activity.  Clare looked through dirt to find spider rings and got her hand painted (she is not a fan of face paint!)

Then we ate a pizza lunch together with her friends!

After naps Elle was ready for a party!!  The girls and I ate spider cookies and watched Barney's Halloween Party before our friends arrived.

Then the real party began!!!  Clare had her sweet friends Jayden and Lelia over for dinner and trick or treating and they got to eat in the play room.

Elle's little friend Mae also joined us and after a yummy dinner of chili, corn bread and apples...we were ready!

I found these random pink fuzzy coats in the girls closets and since it has been so chilly, it was the perfect princess coat :)

Mark stayed at home to be in charge of the candy while we were on our adventure.

The little girls started in the wagon, but quickly opted to run and keep up with the big kids...and be carried between houses.

Everyone did SO great.  Our houses are pretty far apart and the big kids were running the whole time.  We did about 3 cul de sac's before the little girls were ready to head home.  My favorite part of the night was when Clare asked if we needed to talk to all of her neighbors and ask their names.  I told her that would be polite if she wanted.  Not too long after I heard her say "trick or treat, um, whats your name?"  I think Halloween will always be a favorite holiday of Clare's because she gets to talk to all the neighbors. 

Rene cuddled up with the little girls who were wore out and enjoyed a lollipop while the big kids carried on!!

Elle was really proud of her stash...she did pretty good!

Clare and LD just kept on going and hit every house in our neighborhood which is about 75!!  I was impressed.  And now we have WAY more candy than necessary.  I'm hoping I can quickly learn self control!
Hope your Halloween was wonderful!!