Tuesday, March 31, 2015

03-31-15 Thankful

My mom is visiting us this week. Last night as we were all getting ready for bed, my mom got a call from my dad. He was calling to inform her that the next door neighbor's house was on fire. My parents' house is less than 20 feet from the neighbor's house. A fire had started in their garage. Soon someone in the neighborhood was pounding on my parents's door to tell them to evacuate. My sister nearly asleep upstairs. My dad ran upstairs and woke her up and they both got safely out of the house. Once outside they were greet by massive amounts of smoke and large billowing flames from the house next door. 

After a few moments of waiting, the fire department finally showed up. Eventually they were able to put the fire out, but not before much of the neighbor's house was destroyed. The heat from the flames did damage to my parents' house and several of the other nearby houses. 

Thankfully it seems no one was injured. While my parents' house was damaged, it did not catch fire (which considering how close together the houses are and how strong the wind was, they were very fortunate.) Firefighters went through the house to make sure it was safe. My mom went back today to survey the damages. My sister sent me some pictures. Fortunately the insurance will cover the damage. 

We pray that the rebuild process will go smoothly for everyone affected.

The side of my parents' house

The house across the alley... Everything melted!

The house that caught fire.

What a scary situation, but I'm so thankful that God kept my family safe. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

03-30-15 Weren't we JUST here?

Why yes, we were just at the doctor's office last week. (Twice... Once for C and once for Big E.)

But who wants to work a full week anyways?!? (I do, actually!) So... I took Big E in this evening for a nasty cough. Turns out it is just a virus so no meds, just a humidifier and honey if his throat hurts. While we waited for an hour to see the doctor we pretended to be super heros and vanquished all the monsters and dragons we could find. This little guy is so much fun! 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

03-29-15 The Crib

The crib is finally together!! Baby E got to hang out in it a little while tonight as the big kids got ready for bed. It will still probably be a few weeks/months before we can convince him to sleep in it, but it's a start. Tonight he is sleeping in his bouncy chair.

Friday, March 27, 2015

03-27-15 Just Practicing...

Here's a little fellow practicing sitting in a high chair, cause you know, eating solid foods is right around the corner! 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

03-26-15 Family Date Night

Remember the sleep charts?

I'm very proud to announce that C made it through! There were a few rough nights, but all in all she did great and we have been getting better sleep since we started! 

As her reward she got to choose a family date. She chose a trip to Rita's. (She is allergic to dairy, so this is the closest she gets to ice cream. This is a huge deal for her.)

She was so excited! We took advantage of the nice evening and ate outside. 

Afterwards they got to play with daddy. 

It really was a wonderful way to spend our evening. She worked hard for that reward and I'm glad she enjoyed it so much. Good job C!!!

03-26-15 Three Year Appointment

Everytime the kids go to the doctor I have the nurse write down their weight and height and I take a photo of them with it. That way I won't forget to write it down.

Today was Big E's three year appointment. He seemed so much older chatting with the doctor and getting his height and weight measured. I dug through last year's pics to find out how much he has grown. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

03-25-15 Drawing skills, or lack thereof....

I've been trying to send my kids videos and pictures throughout the day so they know how much I am thinking about them. Today I decided to draw a picture of them...

No... Seriously, stop laughing.... That's the best I could do. 

Baby E looks possessed. Just be glad I didn't draw in his teeth. When they saw it, Big E wondered where I was. So I sent him this...

Admittedly my self portrait turned out better than the previous creation. (Notice how I always draw people with their hands behind their backs... It's the only way I can avoid giving everyone monster hands.) 

It's a fun little activity, thinking up little ways to cheer up the kids through out the day. :) 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

03-24-15 The time I tried to take pictures of baby teeth...

Have you ever tried to photograph baby teeth? Seriously, this might be the hardest milestone to capture. First of all, babies never stop moving. Never. For every in focus picture I have of baby E, I have about 12 blurry ones. 

Second, once they have teeth, their hands rarely leave their mouths. And when they do, there is usually a nice dripping string of drool from mouth to hand... And hand to everything else. Teething babies drool like St. Bernards. And suddenly everything you own is slimy.

Knowing this about babies didn't dissuade me from trying to capture a shot of those brand new pearly whites this evening. So without further ado... here are not pictures of baby teeth. Don't worry, I weeded out the blurry ones... In other words, most of them. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

03-23-15 Long Day

Today was a long, rough day so I was happy to spend the evening with my two little fellows while Tim took C to the doctor to have her nasty cough looked at. Apparently she has allergies. Poor little bug. After promising her a brownie as a reward, we were able to coax her to swallow her first pill ever. By the time she went to bed the cough was starting to subside. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

03-22-15 Our Church Family

I was first introduced to Grace Brethren Church of Calvert County when I was a freshman in high school. I had just started homeschooling and a friend invited me. I was incredibly nervous, but jumped in with both feet and got involved immediately. I went to every youth group activity and class. I was mesmorized by the active and vibrant youth group. Here were teens that weren't afraid or ashamed of their faith and they welcomed me in. It didn't take long for me to find my footing and soon I felt at home. I developed deep and long lasting friendships. I even met my husband. (In fact, a great many marriages came out of that youth group.) 

My first year at youth conference was a life changing experience for me. I had never been around such enthusiasm for Christ and it really created a foundation for my faith. 

When I moved to NYC for college, I purposed to get involved with a group of believers. After a few weeks of searching, I landed at Tim Keller's church, Redeemer Presbytarian, and Sundays quickly became my favorite day. I also started attending Campus Crusade for Christ at NYU and became a small group leader. Finding those pockets of believers transformed New York from a vast sea of strangers to a close knit community. 

Had it not been for the faith that had been cultivated by GBC and encouraged at Redeemer, the events of September 11th and my proximity to them would have had even greater negative impacts in my life. The anxiety and PTSD that extended from that experience would have been even more crippling had I not known that I had a Savior that had already redeemed me and was working all things for good. 

When I returned to Maryland after college I once again became involved at GBC and have been there ever since. In 2006 (I think) I finally became a member. I was married in that church building, and have dedicated my children there. Some of the most pivotal moments of my life have happened within those walls and with the church (the people). 

Two years ago when our pastor announced he was ready to retire I wondered how the transition would go. This evening we got to vote for the pastoral candidate. In an amazing show of almost complete solidarity, the church membership voted 199 to 8 for Pastor Dario. It was such a wonderful experience to see the church body so involved and excited during a time that could have been rocky and precarious. It has confirmed to me again that we are involved with an amazing group of believers and that God is still very much at work in our lives individually and as a church. 

I am very excited to see where God leads us during this time and my prayers are for Pastor Dario and Susie, and Pastor Wagner and Diana as they make this transition. God Bless!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

03-21-15 Party Time

March is a busy month in the birthday department... Besides Big E, there are two cousins and two uncles that also have birthdays this month. Add on parties for friends and it seems like every weekend we are eating cake and playing party games. (trust me, I'm not complaining, I think birthday parties are fun!!)

Our beautiful niece Allie turned four and today was her party. Happy Birthday Allie! 

For the girls, it was the perfect excuse to parade around in princess dresses...

And of course, we must eat cake!

Lots of cake...

Hopefully they sleep like babies tonight!

Friday, March 20, 2015

03-20-15 Big Night Out... And Other Random Things

For his birthday, Grandma and Grandpa P took Big E and his cousin Gabe out for dinner and present shopping. C and her cousin Adie went a long too. They must have had a blast because they came home jabbering up a storm. Big E was thrilled with his new toy...

It lights up, moves on its own and makes lots of noises (and mercifully has a mute button.) What a happy kid! Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!!!

Today, at long last, I finally purchased the bedding for the nursery. I had been holding out until the huge Wee-Sale in Annapolis so I would not have to pay full price for it. Within minutes I found the perfect one!

It came with a lamp, too!

And some wall decorations!

Now if we can find the screws to the crib, we will really be in business!

C drew a picture of Baby E in the bear suit. 

This evening, after I put Big E in his new Superman PJ's he told me that real superheroes don't cuddle, but that he was a big boy now and he was wearing Superman pajamas and that meant that he was a superhero and that he was going to cuddle with me. Such a sweet little fellow. 

C just chilling with her baby.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

03-19-15 First Teeth

This little fellow had his two bottom front teeth break through today!!

Congrats buddy!

03-19-15 Happy Birthday, Elijah!

Dear Elijah, 

At exactly 6:52 PM three years ago today you, my sweet little boy, were born. It's been an amazing three years with you in my life. Your compassion, kind spirit and sweetness has been such a blessing. You are growing quickly and I know that before I can fathom it, you will be grown... After all, three years just flew by. I've told you the story of how the doctors told me you were a girl and then you weren't. How it was hard for me to imagine my life with a boy. How that first night, with you in my arms, I fell in love again. 

Now you are big. You insist on doing everything yourself. But you still cling tightly to my hand when you get scared. Certain things frighten you... The dark... The horse coat rack... Being upstairs alone.

But then you show me your muscles, made bigger by the chicken nuggets you just ate, and in that moment you are a super hero. 

I pray that your life is full... That you don't hold back... That God captivates your heart and draws you close. I pray that you are gentle, yet brave. That you never lose your empathy. That you smile a lot and laugh often because you have the best laugh I have ever heard. Don't be afraid to love people, to trust people and to think the best of them. There is enough sarcasm in the world. Be honest, just, fair. 

And always remember that my life is fuller, better and happier for having held you in my arms, stared at your intensely blue eyes and kissed your beautiful face. I love you, son. I love you. 

Love, Mommy

- You love trucks and trains and planes. 
- When you grow up you want to work with your toolbench.
- Your favorite food is chicken.
- Your favorite movie is Cars. 
- Your favorite color is black. 
- You just had your shortest haircut to date. You kept walking around saying you had Gabe's hair (your cousin).
- You finally told me you don't miss the farmhouse anymore.
- You love your baby brother. 
- If someone takes a toy from you it makes you angry, but if they ask for it you hand it right over. 
- Hair freaks you out. When there is a loose hair on your hand you have a fit. 
- You don't like your hands to be dirty and insist on wet paper towels throughout each meal to maintain your cleanliness. 
- You want to be Batman when you grow up. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

03-18-15 Tomorrow

Tomorrow my big boy turns three! 

This evening we had a little party with my parents and the kids. He was sad at first because he thought the presents should come before the cake, but he eventually got into the spirit of it. (Personally I think that cake should always come first because that keeps the sugar as far from bedtime as possible!)