Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Just wanted to stop in and wish everyone a happy and blessed 2011! Praying that God would be first in your life this year and that he would fill your homes with love, health, happiness and many blessings!

Much love,
Chrissy

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas 2010

WOW! Where in the world did the month of December go?! It seems like it was just Thanksgiving and now Christmas has come and gone and it's almost a new year. Crazy!

We had a great Christmas this year! Totally not how we planned it, but great nonetheless. We found out early last week that St. Louis was expecting snow on Christmas Eve and continuing into Christmas day. Our original plan was to leave for St. Louis some time on Christmas afternoon and be there in time for dinner with my family. Well, after some discussion, we decided that it would be best to leave before the bad weather started and get there on Thursday. It was good that we did because it started snowing first thing Friday morning and continued throughout the day and into Saturday. They got around 4" - nothing crazy, but enough to make driving a hassle and potentially dangerous.

It was a week full of laughter, games, food, gifts, shopping, and lots of fun. We only get to see my sister and her family about twice a year and Christmas is one of those times. I was really glad to have a couple extra days with them. I also had the chance to see several friends that I hadn't seen in a long time. It was so nice - awesome how we pick up right where we left off! I love that about "old" friends. Time just doesn't seem to disrupt the friendship at all!

I am looking forward to 2011! I'm excited to see what this year will bring! February is a special month - especially this year! Mike and I will celebrate our 10 year anniversary! So exciting! It's been an amazing and blessed 10 years - it's flown by and I can't wait to begin our next 10 years together. February also holds the birthday of a sweet little girl - Maddie will turn 5 years old! Then in March we get to celebrate another sweet girl's birthday - Macie will turn 8! Spring is always a fun time as it leads us into the end of the school year and then to summer. The end of summer 2011 will be so much fun! We look forward to Mabrie turning 1 in September - such a wonderful blessing she has been to our family! So many things to be excited about and thankful for looking ahead to the new year!

Very thankful for a blessed 2010 and a wonderful Christmas season! God has truly blessed us - so much more than we could have ever asked or deserve. All we have is because of Him!

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Just This and That

Just a few updates about our Thanksgiving Holiday weekend! Mike was off work last week from Tuesday - Friday and it was so great! We enjoyed some nice, relaxing family time and while we missed seeing our family for Thanksgiving, we had a great time just the 5 of us! We then spent Thanksgiving night with some friends that may as well be family. Isn't it nice to have people like that? When you don't live near family, it's so important to have friends that you love and that love you back and we feel blessed to have many friends here that we truly love! For that, we are so thankful!

My meal was overall a success. The turkey could have cooked a little less, but tasted good. Everything else was totally yummy. Well, not the gravy. The gravy was my nemesis. I have decided that I can only make good white gravy - that's it. And who wants white gravy over their turkey. GAG! Oh well, we had a good meal! My favorite part of the whole day was Mike reading to us George Washington's official statement about Thanksgiving and why it was going to be set aside as a National Holiday. Mike then asked each of us to say what we were thankful for and then we held hands and prayed - it was a sweet time.



On Friday (Black Friday, that is), we got a wild hair to load up the girls and go to the mall. Do not ask me why I thought this was a good plan, but for some reason, I did. We got to the mall and became annoyed within minutes of walking thru the doors. HA! Here we were with the 2 older girls walking and pushing Mabrie in the stroller, all of us single file, because there was no way we were fitting side-by-side through those JAM PACKED WITH JUNK aisles! And what is up with people deciding that it's a great plan to stand in those aisles and chit chat, all the while blocking the traffic flow?! We went into 2 stores, got the girls a pretzel and got right on out of there. Note to self: Black Friday is hideous. Shop another day. :)

Saturday we did our decorating for Christmas! I love putting up the tree - it's always a big job, but I love when it's done! I love sitting in the living room at night just by the lights of the tree. It is so pretty! The girls loved helping and were so excited about it! We turned on Christmas music, decorated, sang, danced, laughed. You can't get these years back. You gotta make the most of them!



On Sunday, we went to church and had a great day. I love our church. I look forward to Sunday each week. It starts our week off right. Thank you, Lord, for a wonderful church and the great friends that we have there!

I hope you all had a great holiday weekend as well. So much to be thankful for!

1 Chronicles 16:34
Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Macie's Science Fair Project

Macie really wanted to take part in her school's Science Fair this year. She had several good ideas, but finally decided that she wanted to do something on tornadoes. Mike told her that this was going to be HER project and while he would guide her through it, she had to do the work and research. He helped her find good websites and also taught her how to write a report. She did a great job. She wrote down some interesting facts about tornadoes and learned that Arkansas is in "tornado alley". She also learned about the different levels of tornadoes and the damage that they cause.

She is such a good student and we are so proud of her! We told her that even if she didn't win a ribbon, that she could be proud of herself knowing that she did her best work and also learned something in the process. BUT - we are thrilled to report that she did in fact win 3rd place! She was SO excited! There were a lot of entries and hers came in 3rd!

Congrats, Macie! Mommy and daddy are so proud of you! You are not only a sweet little girl, but you are a great student!

We love you!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nervous Nellie

That's me. Nervous Nellie. Why, you ask? Because this year, for the first time EVER, I am in charge of a Thanksgiving meal. THE WHOLE MEAL! Turkey, dressing, pumpkin pie - all of it. And to say that I am biting off my nails daily is an understatement. They are down to nubs. Nubs, I tell you.

Here's the deal. Every year we travel either to my mom and dad's house or to Mike's mom and dad's house and celebrate Thanksgiving as one big happy family. Since we travel from so far away, I am always responsible for things like plates, napkins, drinks, etc. I help out in the kitchen on Thanksgiving morning, but help out is a lot different than making the whole meal. I've made a turkey once - and if you know the story of me and the turkey - you know how well that went over. (It turned out fine, but the neck and giblets just about did me in - Mike, too - there was dry heaving - lots of it.)

Well, this year, we aren't traveling. Mike's sister, Mallory, got married last weekend and since we traveled for that, we decided not to load up and drive the 7-8 hours back just a week and a half later. So, Mike's family is coming here to spend Thanksgiving with us, so the meal is on this girl. Giblet girl. Nervous girl.

Thankfully, I will have Mike's mom here to help me. Do I know how to make turkey gravy from the drippings? NO! She gets that job for sure. Have I ever made homemade stuffing? Again - NO! And I refuse to make Stove Top for Thanksgiving. It has to be the real thing and if it tastes like dookie, well, then that's what we will eat. (Maybe I better have Stove Top as a back-up).

Mike gave me a vote of confidence last night and said, "It'll be fine, babe!" I hope he's right. I hope my turkey isn't raw on the inside and black on the outside. I hope my stuffing isn't a pan of bread slop. I hope my pumpkin pie doesn't gag the family. I've got the mashed potatoes in the bag - no worries there! Cindy is on gravy duty - so no worries there either. Corn, it'll rock the house. Everything else is up in the air. Wish me luck. I gotta go bite my nails some more.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkins

We have never been very creative with our pumpkins. They are usually the standard: triangle eyes, circle nose and a funky mouth. Until this year. Macie is really into Hello Kitty all of a sudden and was determined that her pumpkin look like the famous cat. I looked at Walmart to see if they had any sort of template and had no luck. I just assumed that we'd do our normal and somewhat boring pumpkins again. Well, Mike thought otherwise. He got online and looked at some pictures of Hello Kitty, grabbed a pen and free handed her face on the pumpkin. And after some sweet carving skills (and one power tool) he came up with this little cutie - and one happy little girl! Such a good daddy!



Then, not to be outdone, Maddie needed a cool pumpkin, too. She decided she would like Ho-Ho the monkey from Ni Hao Ki-Lan. So, back to the computer he went for a picture and grabbed his pen and went to town. His drawing skills amaze me. There's no telling what these would have turned out like had I been the one to draw and carve these!

Make that 2 happy little girls in our house tonight. :) Mabrie can pick her favorite character next year!

Friday, October 22, 2010

I Did NOT teach her this!

You know, there are some things your kids do that make you so proud - getting good grades in school, being kind to their friends and siblings, cleaning up their messes without being told, etc.

Then, there are days they get out of the bathtub and show you this and all you can do is laugh - and fear that they are for sure going to marry a redneck:

video

Oh Maddie - you sure make this house a lot of fun! :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sister Time



I had a great week last week. My sister, Debbie, was FINALLY able to come here for a long awaited visit! She bought a buddy pass last February to come visit us and got snowed in - IN ATLANTA of all places! Hasn't snowed there in years, and the very day she was supposed to fly out, downpour. Awesome. Then, she thought she'd just wait and come in September, right after Mabrie was born. And much thanks to some crazy parasite that about did both her and my brother-in-law in, that trip was canceled. She finally decided that she'd try and book the trip for mid-October and thankfully, everything worked out so that she could come.

We had a blast! We did all the normal sister stuff - shopped, talked, went out to lunch, cooked dinners together, laughed and just enjoyed our time so much. She had only seen Mabrie in pictures and on Skype, so she was thrilled to get to see her in person and hold her. I was so glad that she was able to see her while she was still "new" - you know - still a true newborn. It's amazing how fast they outgrow that sleepy newborn stage and I hated to think that she was going to miss that.

Our time flew by, but we enjoyed every minute. Looking forward to when we can do it again!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mabrie's Newborn Pictures

I am so excited to share these with all of you! One of our good friends from church, Drew Hill, does some photography on the side. His full-time job is the Youth Pastor at our church, First Baptist Lavaca. Over the past year or so, I've been looking at some of the pictures he's taken just of all different things - the construction of he and Emily's new home, his sister's family, vacations, etc. and just love his "eye" and his picture taking style. When I found out we were pregnant, I knew that I wanted to ask him to take newborn pictures for us. I was sure he'd capture exactly what I wanted and do it in a really cool, modern way. Well, let's just say he did just that and so much more!

Mabrie was his very first newborn shoot and I must say, she was a sweet little client! :) She slept the majority of the time and when she would wake up, she would just look around and see what was going on. (She soaked a few of their blankets in some of the "naked baby" pictures, but other than that, she was great! HAHA!)

Drew and Emily were both so patient with her and just took so much time getting those perfect shots! I can't thank them enough for doing this for us and giving us these priceless pictures that we will treasure for the rest of our lives!

Here's the link to his blog! To see all the pictures, click "Open Post" to the left of her picture. Enjoy!

www.drewhillphotography.com/blog

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fall

Am I the only one that can't wait for fall to get here?! Here are some of my favorite things about this time of year:

Cooler Weather
Leaves Changing
Fall-Scented Candles
Soup and Chili
Open Windows
Pumpkins
Mums
Fall Parties - complete with S'mores!
Caramel Apples
Taking walks and needing a light jacket

Those are just a few things that I'm looking forward to in the next few weeks. What are some of your favorite things about fall? I'd love to hear!

Monday, September 13, 2010

10 Days


It's already been 10 days since Mabrie joined our family! What a little blessing she is! She is such a good and easy baby. That was something I prayed for throughout the pregnancy. I had myself ready for anything, but was hoping for the best. I'm so thankful that my prayers were answered though. :)

Right off the bat, we started her on the Baby Wise schedule. I'm one of those people that just functions better on a schedule and it's proven to be successful with Macie and Maddie, so it was a must again with Mabrie. She eats every 3 hours during the day and then most days has a time of being awake and then moves into nap time for the last hour or so until it's time to eat again. She has worked herself into her own great schedule at night, and I am loving it. She gets up once a night, eats, and hits the sack again until about 6:30 a.m. She does great in her bed, although she had no choice in the matter, so I guess she has learned to like it or lump it. HAHA!

Macie and Maddie have transitioned really well to having a new baby in the house. They just adore her and love to hold her. It's funny though how quickly the newness wears off and how the two of them have become good buddies - even more so than they were before. They seem to understand that I am busy with her a lot and they will go off and play together more often now.

The first week and a half home have been really great. We are thankful for all our friends that have provided meals so that I can just rest and recoop. It's been a real blessing and very appreciated. I'm also thankful that last week my mom was able to come here and help me out. She cleaned, did laundry, took the girls to and from school, cooked some and helped with Mabrie so that I could nap as needed. Plus, we got to enjoy some time together, which is always great! She even kept all 3 girls on Friday night so that Mike and I could go out to dinner, just the 2 of us. We weren't gone long, but it's still nice to have a date and some grown up conversation.

Today was my first day to do it all by myself and it went surprisingly well. I got everyone up, dressed, fed, lunches made, etc., etc. and to school on time! YAY! All in all, it's been a great day. Now, I'm ready for Mike to get home from work and enjoy our evening together. Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Our Family is Complete!


We are so happy to announce that Mabrie Claire is HERE! She was born yesterday - Friday, September 3rd at 9:04 a.m. She weighed 6 lbs. 15 oz. and was 19" long. She is doing just great and so am I!

Praise the Lord for another healthy baby! What a blessing! She's been such a good baby this first day and a half. She doesn't make much noise at all and is getting used to being passed from person to person to person! Her big sisters are pretty thrilled with her! They both want to hold her and love on her all the time. It's so sweet to see their little "motherly" instincts already coming out! :) They are gentle with her and just think she's the best thing ever!

It's so awesome to know that our family is complete. We thought it was before, but we were wrong. As soon as she arrived - I just knew. I knew she was always meant to be part of our family. I knew God had created and planned her little life to be our daughter. I just knew. It was an incredible moment. And seeing our older girls walk in the room and meet their sister - man, that is a moment I will never forget.

We get to go home tomorrow and I am looking forward to that. I am ready to get out of the hospital and have us all under the same roof. Then - let the fun begin!

Here she is - our sweet Mabrie Claire!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's Almost Time!

I'm sitting here in my living room thinking that this time tomorrow night, I'll be gearing up to head to the hospital! I have to be there at midnight on Thursday and they will start the induction process at that time. I spent today cleaning my whole house, finishing up laundry, putting the infant base and carrier in the car, and packing the girls suitcases for their slumber party with their friends tomorrow night!

I think we can finally say that we are ready. Her room is in order, her clothes are washed, the girls are excited and Mike and I are just ready to meet our baby and introduce her to her sisters.

I appreciate all the sweet comments, emails, phone calls and texts I've received from friends and family the past day or two. So many wonderful people that are praying us through the next couple of days and it means so much to us.

I'm so thankful for my friends that are taking care of Macie and Maddie for us on Thursday night and Friday. I know I have nothing at all to worry about because they are in good hands, hands of people that love them like family. What a blessing!

Sometimes I can't believe that it's really time. As I'm typing, she's kicking and moving all over the place. In 2 short days, we'll be holding her in our arms. It's really time and I'm ready.

Jeremiah 1:5 - Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Picnic with the Girls

Mike and I wanted to make sure and do something special and fun with the girls this last weekend before Mabrie arrives. We've been enjoying some nice weather the past couple of days so we decided to pack up a picnic lunch and head to the Nature Center here in Fort Smith. It was my first time out there and I have to say, it's a nice little place. There were people out in canoes, kayaks and others fishing from the docks. It was a perfect way to spend our afternoon. After lunch under one of the pavilions, we took some bread and let the girls feed the ducks and then walked all throughout the center looking at the different wildlife that lives in and around our area. It was totally free and a lot of fun!

I'm glad we got to do something special with them. It didn't cost a thing, but they have talked about it all day. Sometimes it's the little things that mean the most, isn't it?





Friday, August 27, 2010

Labor Day Weekend - Literally

We are now just 1 week away from meeting our new family member! I'm hoping that by this time next Friday, I'll be holding little Mabrie and showing her off to our family and friends. I kind of laugh when I think about her being born on Labor Day weekend. It's taking on a whole new meaning to me! :) My prayer is that we have a safe, healthy and quick labor and delivery and that there are no complications. I have enjoyed a wonderful pregnancy and couldn't be more thankful. Actually, I've had 3 great pregnancies. No sickness, no bed rest, no real "issues" - that is such a huge blessing. I don't take it for granted either. I have many, many friends who have dealt with lots of sickness and other things during their pregnancies and I understand that I am probably not the "norm".

With just a week to go, I find myself trying to get as much done and ready as possible. I want to head to the hospital next week knowing that my house is in order so that I don't come home to a mess or a bunch of laundry. Thankfully, we have family coming to visit and I know that they will help me so much. My mom has already said she'll spend one day cleaning my blinds for me! HA! I mentioned to her a while back that I am so bad about cleaning blinds and she goes, "well, I'll just get those all clean when I get there in September!" I remember when I had Maddie, and she was here, I left the house for just a little bit to run to the store or something and when I got home, my whole house smelled like Pine Sol (and if you know me, you know that it ranks right up there as one of my favorite smells). I was like, "Mom, what were you doing while I was gone?" She goes, "Oh just cleaning your blinds and window sills." So, 4 1/2 years later, they are probably due for another good cleaning! :) Told you I was bad about cleaning those things.

My friend Sarah is already working on organizing meals for us after Mabrie gets here! How great to have friends like that! She's on the ball with the planning and I'm so grateful! Again, having meals provided those first couple of weeks is just so helpful. I know we'll all be exhausted and knowing that I don't have to cook is such a blessing. We have such a loving and giving Sunday School class and they are always so willing to jump in and help anyone who needs it. This time it's us on the receiving end and we hope they all know that it is so appreciated!

I'm looking forward to spending our last weekend as a family of 4 together and enjoying some special time with Macie and Maddie. We don't have anything big planned - but hopefully tomorrow we can get out and enjoy the pretty weather and maybe have a picnic or something. It's hard to believe that just next weekend we'll have 3 kids in the house! We are officially outnumbered - but I'm up for the challenge!

Have a great weekend, everyone! Check back soon for updates and pictures!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Happy Birthday to Mike

Today is Mike's 32nd birthday! We have now celebrated 15 years worth of birthdays as a couple - either as a dating, engaged or married couple! We started dating when he was just 17 years old! WOW - we were young and time has just flown by! 15 years ago, if you would have asked me where I saw myself when we were in our 30's, my answer would have been just about where we currently are now. I always saw myself as a stay at home mommy, with 3 or 4 kids. And while all of that has happened as I thought it would, our married life has taken us on one adventure after another. We've moved 3 times and through each of those moves, we have grown as a couple, as a family and, most importantly, in our relationship with the Lord. I'm so thankful for where God has led us these past 9 1/2 years. I would have never picked this path for our lives, but that's what is great about it - I wouldn't have picked it, but it's exactly what we needed and God knew that and had a plan all along. We love our life together. We love the children we've been blessed with. We love our home, church, friends and couldn't be more thankful.

Mike is an amazing husband and father. He loves me and our kids. But the best thing about him is that he loves someone else even more than he loves us - he loves the Lord. That is what makes him a great husband and father. He is a hard worker and has more ambition than anyone I know. He strives to be the best at everything he does. He is a wonderful provider for our family. He is funny - but he saves most of his humor for me! :) He is quiet and gentle but also is the leader of our home and the disciplinarian. Our kids listen to their daddy. They love and adore him. He is consistent and trustworthy.

I'm so glad that 15 years ago, I got over the fact that I was a BIG 19 year old who wondered if it would be weird to date a 17 year old guy. I'm so glad that when Mike was in 8th grade and one of his buddies asked him "who do you think you'll marry?" - his answer was "Chrissy" and they all laughed at him - but he knew that we were meant to be - even then. (I guess all the other 8th grade boys thought he was wishful thinking since I was a cool 10th grader then! HAHAH!) We've had so much fun the past 15 years. I can't wait to celebrate MANY, MANY more birthdays together!

I love you, Mike! Happy Birthday!

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Little Preschooler


Maddie started back to Preschool today and couldn't have been more excited! She started asking to leave the house about 45 minutes before time to actually go. This year, she is in class with one of her best little friends, Alyssa, and that made her even more excited to get there. When we got to school, the teacher came to the door to greet her and before I could snatch a quick hug or kiss goodbye, she was in the room playing and never looked back. What a difference this is from just a couple years ago. This is the little girl that just a couple years ago would have been clinging to my leg, crying and now she marches in to her class like she owns the place. I'm so happy. I really would rather her forget to tell me bye than having to stand there and peel her off my leg and shove her in the room. We've come a long way, baby girl!

I'm finding it hard to believe that this is her last year of Preschool. Next year, she goes to "real" school and I don't know that I'm ready for it. It seems like Macie was just walking into that kindergarten class and now it's almost Maddie's turn. Everyone says not to blink, because one minute they are babies and the next they are teenagers. I now know that to be true. Macie is closer to being a teenager than she is to being a toddler. And Maddie is no longer that little baby that she used to be. I'm so thankful that in just a week and a half, we will have another baby in our home. Yep, we're starting over. Yep, life will be different than it is now. Nope, we won't get as many date nights as we are used to. But, children are a blessing from the Lord and our lives are richer because of them. Because of them, our lives are full of love and joy that without them, we'd never know. They grow up fast and I'm looking so forward to treasuring the time with Mabrie that I have so enjoyed with Macie and Maddie. And, I'm loving the special time of having 2 kids that are a little older and aren't "babies" anymore. They are so much fun and I look forward to what the years ahead hold for them, too.

I love my girls. I can't wait to love on another!

Maddie with her Tinkerbell Gear

Thursday, August 19, 2010

First Day of School

Today was the day - back to school and the much loved routine! I woke Mace up around 6:50 and that was a shock to her little system! :) She looked at her clock and said "Mommy, why are you getting me up at 6!" I told her it was almost 7 and we had to get moving! We had plenty of time this morning and it wasn't rushed and hectic, which is just how I wanted it. I like for her to be able to get ready, eat and watch a show for a few minutes before racing out the door. I thought that by now (2nd grade) that I'd drop her off and drive away without any tears - I thought wrong. No tears for her, just tears for me! Goodness! It's not like this is my first time! But, I'm telling you, there's something about seeing your child hop out of the car, backpack strapped on, lunch box in hand and off to a new year that just pulls at the heartstrings! At least it pulls at mine anyway - I'm sure there are some momma's out there that are shoving their kids out the door, but that's just not me. She was and has been so excited for this school year to start and that does make it easier. I know she'll have a great first day and I can't wait to hear all about it!

With all her Hello Kitty Gear



Maddie giving her a hug good-bye for the day



My sweetheart!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

School Time

Well, just one more day before we start back to the school year routine! The girls and I are both ready. We went to Macie's "Back to School Picnic" tonight and said hi to her new teacher and saw all the kids that are in her class this year. We are so excited about her teacher - she actually had her last year for reading and spelling and absolutely loved her! She's been asking all summer if I thought she would get Mrs. Noetzol this year and I kept telling her that I didn't know, but not to be upset if she didn't. I think she will do really well in her class this year and have a great time.

Maddie starts back on Monday and couldn't be more ready! She LOVES her preschool and this year she has one of her very best friends in her class! They are going to have a ball together! Hard to believe that this time next year she will be in Kindergarten. The time goes so fast.

And just a little more than 2 weeks from now and we'll have our 3rd little bundle with us! :)

I'll make sure and post pictures on Thursday of Macie as she heads off to her first day of 2nd grade!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Saying Goodbye to Summer

WOW! Where did our summer go?! Seems like we were just packing up Macie's desk and telling her teacher goodbye in May and now it's time to start back up again! We have had a great summer break. We went to Destin, FL with my family in June, visited some family in early July and spent a lot of time with friends here at home. I love having a break in the day to day routine during the summer months. We get to sleep in a little, enjoy lazy mornings and play outside until nearly 9:00 in the evenings. The days are long and although it's been HOT (miserable, actually), we enjoy having Mike home from work around 5:00 and still having hours of sunlight to play outside as a family.

This summer has been especially exciting for all of us because as we get closer to the start of school, we also get closer to welcoming our new family member! Mabrie will arrive on Sept. 3rd and possibly sooner if she so chooses! I'm finding myself thinking about her more and more each day! What will she look like? What are the girls going to think of having a baby in the house? Will Baby Wise work on her like it did Macie and Maddie - I have a feeling it will! :) I am just so excited! I know that it will take some adjusting from what we are used to right now, but it's an adjustment that is more than worth it! I can't wait to see family pictures that include all 5 of us! How great will that be?! 3 weeks to go - YAY!

We started back to the "regular" bedtime of 8:00 with the girls tonight. They have been staying up until 9:00 or so all summer and I thought that we better give it a good week before school starts to get them back on their schedules and used to going to bed earlier and getting up a little earlier so that when next Thursday gets here, it's not such a shock!

I'm looking forward to getting back to the school year routine. I love summertime, but I also enjoy being on a schedule and I think it's time to get back to it! Macie starts 2nd grade next week and Maddie will be in Pre-K the following week! They are both so ready and very excited about a new school year - and so am I!

So long summer - it's been fun!






Friday, August 6, 2010

Debit Card Fraud, Flying Tree Limbs & Braxton Hicks Contractions

Yeah, I guess you could say that my day has been wild and totally random! Who knew so many things could happen over just a 2-3 hour time span?! I got up today and did a few things around the house and then decided to get ready and take the girls to the mall to play and eat a quick lunch. We were just getting ready to walk out the door and I had this weird feeling that I needed to check my bank account. Mike and I look at our accounts daily, but normally it's in the evening and rarely as I'm walking out the door. I know for a fact that the Lord prompted that thought and I'm so thankful I didn't ignore it. I grabbed my computer and logged on to my bank account only to find that the bank had transferred quite a bit of money from our savings to our checking. I was stumped! I knew that we hadn't made any big purchases but didn't think it could be fraud. As I got looking at the pending transactions, I realized quickly that something was wrong. The charges had all been done in Las Vegas, NV. I quickly grabbed the phone and called my bank to see what needed to be done. Long story short, someone had actually made a counterfeit debit card with my account number on it and had been going to town. The bank immediately closed my card out and put all the money back into my account. The lady told me that since I had caught the charges while they were still in the "pending" phase that it was much easier to cancel those transactions and return the money. I'm so thankful that I checked it and got it taken care quickly. If you don't check your accounts daily, I'd recommend starting - it will save you a lot of head aches if ever there is fraud on your account.

So, I got that taken care of and the girls and I headed out. We got to the mall play area and while I sat there watching the girls, I started feeling some serious Braxton Hicks. Nothing too concerning, but strong enough to know that something was happening. They came and went throughout the afternoon and I'm praying that maybe this means little Mabrie will decide to come on her own a couple weeks early! :) I'm not getting my hopes up, but I sure wouldn't mind if she decided to arrive near the end of this month!

After a couple hours at the mall, we loaded up to head home. As we are flying down the interstate, I see the cars in front of me slamming on their brakes and whipping over to the median. Thankfully, the guy in front of me got out of the way quick enough for me to see the tree limbs right in the middle of my lane. I slowed down as quickly as I could and got into the other lane to avoid barreling over the top of the limbs. Again, the Lord protected us and kept us from what could have been a bad accident. Sometimes we just don't even realize how God is watching over us and keeping us from harm. I'm so thankful for a God that protects his children. We were protected from what could have been a major financial disaster with our bank account and then protected from injury or harm from a car accident - all in the same day! God is good - All the time!!

I'm hoping that the rest of the day is less eventful - except for the Braxton Hicks - those can keep on coming! HAHA! Anything to speed along that process is a welcome event!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Going Stir Crazy

I don't know about you and your kids, but here at our house, we are going stir crazy! It's about a billion degrees outside and by the time it cools down enough for us to stand going out, it's almost bedtime. My girls are getting so bored and the boredom leads to fighting. So, yesterday I had had enough and called my friend Melissa and asked her if she wanted to meet up somewhere and let the kids get out for a while. We threw around a couple ideas (swimming, going to the movies, etc.) and then she mentioned bowling! That sounded perfect! We get out of the house, we stay cool and the kids get a little exercise in the process. I would have loved to have been able to bowl with them, but being 34 weeks pregnant, I thought I better just watch. They really did have a great time. We were gone about 2 1/2 hours or so and it was just enough to break up the monotony of the day. Plus, I got to sit and chat with my sweet friend, so it doesn't get much better than that!

What are some things you do to beat the heat and keep your kids entertained during the dog days of summer? I'm quickly running out of ideas! Too bad we don't have a nice in ground pool - now that would be perfect! :) Maybe someday!

Maddie and Baylor



Macie and Ireland



Snack Time



Enjoying the day out!



Friday, July 23, 2010

Maddie

Oh Maddie Cash! Just saying her name makes me smile and laugh. She's quite the little character. You know, when I was pregnant with her, I just assumed she'd be "just like Macie" - (read my previous post to see all about her!). Why I thought this, I have no clue. I mean, God creates us all in His image, but none of us are the same, so I should have known that she wouldn't be like her sister and really, how fun would that be anyway? We all need a little spice in our lives and that's just what Maddie is - a little SPICE!

Madison (Maddie) was born on February 20, 2006 and was 7 lb. and 20 3/4". She came into this world like a whirlwind and has been a little whirlwind ever since! HAHA! My doctor broke my water at 9:30 in the morning (I was dilated to a 4 at that point) and little miss was born at 10:23 a.m.! Yes, less than 1 hour and she was here. I'll never forget the look on my friend Sarah's face when she walked into the hospital room to see me (shortly after she was born) and I was sitting in the bed holding Maddie and Sarah looked at me almost as if she wanted to say "who's kid is that?"! (She had just called Mike when they broke my water to say that she was on her way to the hospital and was so sure she'd get there before Maddie's arrival!). It was pretty funny!

Maddie came home from the hospital and the first few days were just normal. She slept a lot, ate a lot and did all the other baby things! Then about a week in, she just cried all the time. ALL THE TIME! I wasn't sure what to think of this - because we all know that Macie didn't and I was sure that they'd be the same, remember!? I talked to a friend of mine and she said that I might want to talk to the pediatrician and have her check for acid reflux. I finally did ask about this when she was about a month old and after some simple tests, they did determine that she had reflux and put her on medicine. It took a couple weeks to really work, but once it took effect, she was much more content. Thank goodness.

She, like Macie, was a great sleeper. She slept through the night at 9 weeks old and would only wake up on occasion looking for her binky. Again, Baby Wise rocked it out for us in this area! Praise the Lord!

Around 8-9 months old the separation anxiety set in and I'm pretty sure that if you'd look it up in the dictionary that there'd be a little picture of Maddie right next to the definition! :) She cried EVERY Sunday. This went on for a short time - you know, about 2 years. It was fabulous. (Sense my sarcasm). We got to a point around 15 months old where she'd start crying as we got near the church and cried all the way inside to her classroom. Everyone knew that was "just Maddie" and was so good to deal with it. I was absolutely not one to sit and coddle her while she squalled - I was just like "Maddie, get in there and deal." Yes, very loving, I know. She always stopped crying shortly after we got out of sight, but there were MANY things that would set her off again - to name a few: Men and especially men with facial hair, clowns, change of any sort (a new teacher, a new classroom, etc.), those were just a few that came to mind. She even had a couple men at church that literally couldn't get within sight of her or she'd be a basket case. And it was always the nicest, most gentlest men, too. Poor guys, she probably gave them such a huge complex! HA! Thankfully around 2 1/2 that came to an end and she is great now. She loves her church, loves her little friends and has even made nice with the poor men that she tortured for those 2 years! :)

Maddie is just so funny. There are days I look at her and laugh cause she's as cute as a bug. She is a loving little girl. She will come up to me all throughout the day and say "mommy, I didn't get to kiss you much today!" I love it! She loves to sit by me and Mike and just hang out. She is so much like Mike in so many ways. She's hilarious - I mean so very funny, but most people never see that side of her. Out in public, she is shy and won't really act silly, but at home, she's constantly cracking us up - just like Mike! :) She has one of the cutest little laughs you've ever heard. Macie can crack her up and when she gets going, it makes all of us laugh. She has a little temper that flares up on occasion. I'll hear her giving Macie the business and will have to go back there and remind her that she is not the boss, regardless of what she thinks.

Here are some things she loves: Mommy, Daddy, Macie and Libby (her dog), eating - she's a great eater, popsicles, starbursts and suckers - but not the normal colors all other kids like - No, her favorites are the yellow, orange and green! Playing with her friends, going to preschool, playing on the computer, drawing, coloring, taping and cutting paper, wrapping things - I constantly have wrapping paper around the house that she's cut up and used to wrap someone a present, playing outside, talking on the phone to my sister or my mom and dad (you can't get her off the phone either), taking pictures with my camera.

She is a bundle of energy and about as sassy as they come. She brings so very much joy and laughter to our home. Maddie, we love you so, so much! You are such a blessing and we can't imagine what life would be like without you! We pray that one day you will accept Jesus as your savior and live the rest of your life for him. I'm so thankful that you are your own precious little self! When God created you and gave you to us was one of the best days of our lives! We love you so much!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Macie

I thought I'd do a post on each one of my kids. They are both so special and so drastically different. God has truly blessed us with these sweet little girls and my daily prayer is that they both grow in their faith and live their lives to serve Him! This post is all about Macie - our first born!

Macie was born on March 20, 2003. She weighed 6 lbs. 14 oz. and was 20" long. She looked like a Cash from day 1 and that hasn't changed. I've had people tell me that she's Mike with pigtails - HA! She was by far the easiest baby, toddler and young child ever. She slept through the night at 7 weeks old and we NEVER looked back. I kid you not - NEVER! The child slept through terrible ear infections, fevers, viruses - you name it, she slept right through it. I don't remember her waking up in the middle of the night until she was around 3 or so because of a bad dream or something and even then, I would just walk her back to bed, give her a hug, shut the door and that was it. She napped really well, too. Dropped that morning nap around 15 months and moved to just 1 nap a day, which usually lasted 2-3 hours. (I owe my sister a huge shout-out for telling me to read "Baby Wise" when I was pregnant with her - she basically told me to read it and do what it says and I'll never regret it. I never did regret it.).

She has always been a personable kid and deals with change so well. She would go to or with anyone that would hold her. Sometimes this actually scared me cause there was a little part of me that wanted her to be a little more afraid of random weirdos in Walmart, but nope, she wasn't - she just smiled, waved or talked to them - ALL of them! She never had separation anxiety. We moved to a new town both when she was 10 months old and then again when she was 2 and she just acted like she'd been there forever. We took her to church and Sunday School and she'd march right in the class and never look back. (Wait till I get to Maddie's post - it's drastically different :)).

She is sweet, loving, funny, smart and friendly. She has done so well since starting school. We couldn't be more proud of the student that she is and is becoming. She's eager to learn and loves doing her best and making us proud. She asked Jesus into her heart last October and really for us, that was the best moment of her little life. Knowing that she understands what Jesus did for her on the cross at such a young age and wanting to live for Him is just awesome for a parent! We couldn't ask for a greater blessing!

Here are some things she loves: Family, her friends, her church, going to school, pizza with ranch, chips and dip, just about anything sweet that I'll give her, American Girl Dolls, the computer, her DS, pajamas, talking to her cousin on Skype, playing outside on her scooter, shooting hoops or playing golf with her daddy, strawberries, music and singing, reading, playing school and so much more.

Macie, you are a treasure to us! We love you so much - way more than you'll ever know or understand. We pray that you will grow into a Godly woman who loves the Lord and serves Him with all your heart! We are blessed to have you as our daughter!

We love you, Macie!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ready to Run

As my 3rd pregnancy is drawing to an end (or at least the finish line finally seems within sight), I'm starting to get excited about several things. First and foremost, having another child in our home to love and raise - that, of course, is the most exciting thing! But, after that, I gotta say I am really looking forward to running again! I grew to love running about a year and a half ago when some friends decided that we'd all start training for our first 5k. When I first started, I thought it was possibly the worst thing ever. I could barely go a 1/2 mile without stopping to walk and the thought of having to run for 3.2 miles straight seemed nearly impossible. But, it didn't take long before I worked myself up to a mile, then a mile and a half, then 2 and so on. Before I knew it, I was running the full 3 miles every time I went out.

Our first 5k was the Root Rocket Run in Fayetteville and it was HARD! There were so many hills and none of us were used to so many inclines. I think I finished around the 30 minute mark or so. While it was a difficult run, all of us finished and I was so proud of our accomplishment! We rewarded ourselves afterwards with IHOP! HA! Bacon, eggs, biscuits and gravy - breakfast of champs, right?!

We all continued running and signed up for another 5k last September here in Fort Smith. My goal was to beat my previous time and I did! I came in a little over 28 minutes! Mike ran that one with me and he did awesome, too! It was fun to run together (well, not really - he blew past me at the start line and I didn't see him until the end, but still, it was something we did together and it was so fun!).

Now, I'm ready to go again! I have been walking all throughout this pregnancy, but there's something about getting outside and working up a good sweat while running that just makes you feel good! I look forward to when the doctor clears me to resume all my "normal" activity and I can get out and start training again. It will be early fall and the weather will be perfect! I really can't wait!

So, bring on Mabrie and then bring on my tennis shoes!


Friday, July 16, 2010

Sprinkled With Love


On Tuesday of this week, our Sunday School class threw a sprinkle for Mabrie. A sprinkle is just a smaller version of the big church shower that we do for 1st babies. We usually have them at someone's home or at a restaurant as a way to celebrate baby #2, #3, and so on. This way, each child is celebrated, but on a smaller scale since after the first baby you really only need the basics.

Let me just say that they went ALL OUT! Everything from the decorations, food, desserts, and gifts were just awesome! My friend Sarah had it at her house and just planned every detail out perfectly. She's one of those girls that God has given the gift of creativity to and she uses it to bless other people all the time! She throws the cutest parties and makes some of the most adorable things you've ever seen! Three of my other friends, Melissa, Ginny and Ashley helped with all the planning and decorating - really all of these girls are just amazing when it comes to their creative talent! Melissa and Sarah spent an evening putting together the cutest scrapbook for Mabrie - I can hardly wait to add all sorts of pictures to it!

The dinner they made was a mexican feast! It was all so good - tacos and all the toppings, cheese dip, chips, etc.! Then for dessert they bought some adorable petit fours, had chocolate covered strawberries and fruit salad. YUM-O! All of it!

Mike and I are so blessed to have such great friends! We love all of you and appreciate all the time, money and hard work you put in to making this night so special! Each girl that came and helped us celebrate Mabrie's arrival - Thank you! You have no idea how much it meant to have each one of you there!

Now for some pics!

Cute Decorations





Me and Sarah


Melissa and Ashley (Hostesses)


All of my awesome friends!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Just one more thing to keep up with


I LOVE reading blogs! I have a recipe blog (that I've been terrible at updating), but thought that it would be fun to do a family blog as well. Hopefully I'll do better at updating this one! There's a lot going on in our home - I am nearing the end of my 3rd pregnancy and realizing that life is about to change in a lot of ways for us very soon. We couldn't be more excited to welcome our 3rd little girl! It took a while to come to the decision to have a 3rd baby, but after months of praying about it, both Mike and I decided that we wanted another child. They are a precious gift from God and we couldn't be more thankful that He chose and is blessing us with another baby. While starting over will be an adjustment, we also know that we have years and years to be "just us" and the years with having kids in the house will pass all too quickly and we'll wonder where the time went.

We are working on the nursery and getting things ready to go. Our SS class threw us the sweetest shower this week and we now have everything we need to welcome Mabrie to our home! We have been so blessed with an awesome church and wonderful friends! I'll post some pictures of the shower and everything else later! Time now to go get a snocone! HA! It's the perfect summertime treat! :)