Saturday, June 25, 2011

Heaven is for Real!


I wanted to share a book with you all that I highly recommend! Now, you know how busy we are and the thought of actually sitting down to read a book...in the summer.... is sometimes a far off expectation. But, my mom read this book recently and shared with me bits and pieces that just made me want to experience the book also! Jeremy and I have been reading a few chapters each night together for the past couple of weeks. And....wow! It has been worth every minute of the time we carved out to experience it together! I don't want to spoil it for you so I'll just share a few little snip-its from the book. It's pretty much about a little 3 year old boy who goes through a terrible illness and has the privilege of experiencing "3-minutes" of heaven. Now, I've been a Christian since I was 5 years old and I've learned a lot about heaven, but the descriptions that this precious little boy shares over the course of a few years with his family brought tears to my eyes! Tears of joy, tears of peace, tears of anticipation! The father of the little boy also shares the trials that they have experienced together as a family........truly sharing his heart of wanting to give up and turn His back on God. But, instead of giving in to those fleshly desires he continued to diligently persevere.
I'll tell you that after reading this book I am so excited to meet my Jesus one day face to face! Oh, it will be such a glorious day! I am also looking forward to the precious day that I will be able to hold my two babies that I lost in my miscarriages nearly two years ago. I am confident that those sweet and beautiful little babies are with my Jesus! Such a wonderful peace knowing that 2 of my 3 babies are already experiencing the everlasting joy of heaven and that I will see them again! =)
So, all this to say.....go ahead and pick up this book on your next trip to Wal-mart....pour a glass of cold lemonade and read this wonderful book this summer! I promise you will be blessed!

VBS!


This week we had Vacation Bible School at our church. Our theme was "The Big Apple Adventure." I taught crafts to 3 fourth grade classes and we had a blast! It was such a fun change from babies and toddlers! =) We had several of our 4th graders who became Christians and were baptized Friday morning!
Isabella enjoyed a week's worth of morning naps in "dadda's" office! It worked out just perfectly......we laid her down around 9:30 and she slept until the Worship Celebration at 11:15.....sometimes even later!
It was a busy week and exhausting.....but worth every minute of it! It was hard saying good-bye to some of my 4th graders....I just wanted to take them home with me!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Father's Day!



Isabella has only just begun to realize how blessed she is to have Jer for her "dadda." Yes, Jer loves her so so so much and would do anything for his little princess and yes, I know he loves me a lot too......but the special part about Jer is that he loves his Jesus more than me or his little Isabella and that's what makes him the Godly man that he is and what makes him so unique in this crazy world. There are so many men who fall in love with their jobs, their hobbies, their friends.....wordly treasures and their families just fall in the shadows. I am blessed beyond words to have been blessed with a husband who puts the Lord first in all He does. He loves us with a love that only comes through the Lord. As cute as little Isabella is, she is far from perfect and Lord knows I don't even come close to having it "all together." It takes lots of patience, gentleness and tender love to care for Bella and me. =) I am so blessed that Jeremy makes family time a priority.......we have already made so many wonderful memories together as a family of three! I pray that Isabella will grow to understand the love of her Heavenly Father as she experiences the love of her earthly father.

Not only am I thankful for Jeremy on this Father's Day and for the love he shows to our little Bella, But, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for my daddy. =) The love and sacrifice He has shown me over the years has truly been a love that I know is only made perfect through the Lord. Through His dedication to the Lord and his commitment to my mom and our family, he has always given me a Godly standard of a husband and father. I know not everyone has been blessed with a father with whom they have upmost respect for and some of my friends have already seen their father's taken home to be with Jesus. So, on this Father's Day I count it one treasured blessing to have my father as such an influential figure in my life and my little Isabella's life.

Here's a pic that was taken around 1989........(roughly ages 8, 7, 3)
Father's Day has always been a special day for my sisters and I....we were all baptized by my daddy on Father's days.....not all together but on various years. =) Notice the little Bible that Brit is holding....I just love it!


I'm also so thankful for Bella's "grandaddy" also known as Jer's dad.....Pappa Chip! I'm thankful for the role-model he has been and continues to be of a wonderful husband and father. He has helped instill into Jer the model of a healthy home and family and for that I am truly blessed. I am so excited that Isabella has the privilege to be loved on by such wonderful grandparents. I pray she will continue to grow to love and admire them all her days! =)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Summer Days!

Well, the first official day of summer is June 21....but since we've had temperatures well over 100 degrees the past few weeks we feel like it is summer time already! This past week was one week full of summer time fun activities. Here's our week in a nutshell....

Monday.....Isabella enjoyed celebrating her friend, June's, third birthday at a fun little park - "Cowboy Park." It started to rain half-way through the festivities, but that didn't slow us down. We finished our partying underneath the pavillon!

Tuesday.....We enjoyed a nice grilled family dinner together. Bella and I enjoyed some fish and Jer enjoyed a big ole steak! After the sun went down, we ended our evening with a nice "short" walk around the neighborhood. "Short" due to the fact that little Bella would rather hold our hands and walk than ride in her stroller so we had to shorten our walk. One year olds take itty bitty steps and walking 1/8th of a mile is definitely long enough! =)

Wednesday.....We threw a Luau for our high school students! Tiki torches, leis, delicious fruit, fun games and good fellowship made for a very memorable night with everyone!
Here are a few of the 9th grade girls that I've enjoyed getting to know better this year while teaching Sunday school......


Thursday......Jeremy runs with a group of guys on Friday mornings followed by a Bible study. So, we gathered with all the families and had a grill out/pool party!

Isabella is getting more and more confident walking alone!!! Yay....go Bella-boo go!


Friday......Two of our graduating seniors came over and baked cupcakes for us! They insisted on baking in our kitchen so that the house would be filled with the delicious aroma of fresh baked cupcakes!


Saturday.......We are heading over to some friend's house for dinner! They brought us a delicious pasta dinner a few weeks ago when Bella was sick. I have been begging for the recipe because it was....oh my goodness.....soooo amazing! So, we are heading over for a "cooking lesson" and dinner together. She is going to show me how to make the pasta dish and then we will all enjoy it together! With the help of Isabella, I made a Lemon Meringue Pie this afternoon that we will enjoy tonight! I can't think of a more perfect way to end a hot summer week!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Senior Trip...


This past weekend we took a group of our seniors to Greyton Beach! It's always a bit of a challenge to pull the seniors away from all their business.....but we got a majority of them this year and had such a fun time together! We stayed in an awesome house near the beach.
Our annual senior trip is always such a relaxing and fun trip for us all.....no babysitting involved....cause we've usually trained them right and they are young adults by the time they graduate! =)
We grilled out Friday and enjoyed a delicious dinner together. Saturday, we spent the day out at the beach......kayaking, swimming, laying out! We all ventured out for dinner and then the girls squeezed in a couple hours of shopping at the Outlets while the guys planned their "shark attack." They were determined to catch a shark....needless to say they did not. My daring husband (being the experienced fisherman that he is) bravely fought the crashing waves at 10:00 PM to drop the Shark bait out past the sand bar!!! I'm so glad that I was not on the beach to see this take place because from what the students said they were all getting nervous since he was not in sight....dark sky and big waves! Well, anyways - he made it safely to shore and they were unable to catch their shark they had hoped for.
Everyone headed home Sunday afternoon.......so the seniors were back to the real world - looking for summer jobs and preparing for college!
These seniors will always hold a special place in our hearts. They were in 7th grade when we first started at Olive. I remember these little girlies when they were scrawny little middle schoolers in my Sunday school class......and now they've grown into beautiful young ladies! =)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Feeding herself!

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Such a big girl! When I was away last weekend, I guess Jer taught Bella how to feed herself! I just happened to stumble upon this video and thought you would enjoy! =)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Girls Weekend!

This past weekend, my three best girlfriends from college and I met up in Gulf Shores! Each year we plan a weekend get away.......girls only! Nursing babies are of course are allowed to join us too! =)

Here's little Helen....Margaret's little girl who is 2 months old =)

Courtney and I enjoying a delicious dinner in Orange Beach!

Julie and Margart...and baby Helen...

I am blessed beyond words to have been blessed with such Godly friends. We have had the privilege of sharing in the exciting and adventurous college years, the early adult years of working our first jobs while balancing married life and now we are each immersed in the years of young motherhood life! These friendships are like rare jewels in my life...so unique and so precious. We laughed about how we should write a book including our conversations from year to year......we really think that somehow it could be appreciated by some young girl out there in the world! =) Over the years our conversations have gone from sorority date parties, planning study groups, planning spring break trips, engagement surprises, wedding plans, stepping into the "working world", pregnancy, caring for an infant, baby schedules, nursing patterns, housekeeping, exercise plans, ideas for meal times.........and the list goes on!
As I shared with my mom this morning about our weekend, I told her, "Mamma, being with these friends is like having a taste of heaven......they truly edify me and they are the purest form of real friendship." I'm so thankful the Lord blessed me with these friends nearly 9 years ago. I know that we will continue to remain friends for life as our friendship and love for each other is rooted in Christ. I pray that my sweet Isabella will also be blessed with girlfriends with whom she can laugh and dance with in parking lots late at night..........cry on their shoulder when a life's challenges come along and share in joy the celebration of God's faithfulness as His plans are unwrapped for her life. I am thankful for such sweet blessings in my life.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

14 months!



Little Isabella is 14 months old today! Wow! =) She is turning into such a little toddler and it's so much fun! I miss holding her when she was a tiny infant, but these days are so exciting as we watch her totally enthralled by the world around her! It seems like she is learning something new every day and it is fascinating to watch how quickly she is changing.

Stats:
Weight: 21 lb. 5 oz. 30%
Height: 30 inches 55%
Head: 18.5 inches 90%

Her daily routine continues to be mostly the same, but she is so much more adventurous and she is totally into exploring her world! She will rarely cry when she wakes in the morning, but rather she will play with her animals, aquarium or her mobile! She continues to love, love, love eating! We still haven't found a food that she doesn't like.....and if it's on mommy and daddy's plate then it's even better! =) She continues to enjoy being outside. She loves to ride in the jogging stroller and she especially likes when we pass a dog...otherwise known as "ruf-ruf". We enjoy getting together with friends during the day for story times, park dates, play dates, pool dates, lunch dates and so on. Bella has shown SO much improvement in the church nursery this month! She may cry just for a second, but then she dries up her tears and begins playing with the fun toys and her friends. Yay!!! Our prayers have been answered! I've even dropped her off twice when she didn't even shed one tear! =)


Here are some of the fun new things she is doing.....

-blowing kisses all the time

-standing up from sitting position all by herself unsupported...


-sign language: "more" & "all done"
-whistling.....so precious!
-crawling super, super fast
-walking about 10-12 steps alone
-words: "mama", "dadda", "pappa", "bubba" (aunt brit), "ki-ki" (kitty-kitty), "cheez" (cheese), "anana" (banana), "bye", "hi", "tha" (that)
-when we ask her where kitty kitty is......she starts looking for her!
-loves to flip through books on her own (sometimes upside down) =)
-enjoys sorting (pulls objects out, then puts everything back in)
-turns the tv on and off
-holds the cell phone and says "hi!"
-likes picking bark off the trees
-totally fascinated by picking up little rocks and giving them to us outside
-coloring (scribbling)....she colored her first picture in Sunday school for us!
-waves bye-bye
-gives kisses on the mouth.......my favorite!
-unrolls the toilet paper
-takes all her bath toys out from under the cabinet and puts them one by one in the tub!
-loves to crawl behind the shower curtain when mommy or daddy is taking a shower to play peek-a-boo =)
-pointing to our belly button.....and hers! =)

video

-chasing "ki-ki"...

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Here's a sample schedule.......nothing much has changed for several months:

7:00 Wake/Breakfast (fruit, cereal, milk)
9:00 Story time/Nap
11:00 Wake/Snack
12:00 Lunch (fruit, veggies, meat, yogurt, cheese, milk etc)
2:00 Story time/Nap
4:00 Wake/Snack
6:00 Family Dinner (veggies, meat, cheese, milk etc)
7:30 Bath
8:00 Prayers & Bed

We did begin a little morning "school" routine this past month which she's enjoyed. We have a little chalkboard in our kitchen and I write a new letter on the board each week along with a corresponding Bible verse that goes with the letter. I also add a number/color each week. We mainly just talk about them during our mealtimes. She doesn't quite "get" them yet.....but enjoys looking at them and talking about them! =) I also put up 2 families to pray for each week. (We choose two Christmas cards/pics each week.) I thought this would eventually help her recognize her family/friends. Also, during her first story time of the day, we read one story out of her Baby Bible. Perfect way to start our day! :)


She is our little bundle of joy and we fall more and more in love with her every day! We are looking forward to a fun summer with family and friends as we make lots and lots of memories! We will do our best to update the blog throughout the summer.......so stay posted! =)

Memorial Day...

We enjoyed a relaxing day at home together on Memorial Day! We started our day with a jog and then spent the day being lazy together as a family! Later in the afternoon, we went over to our friends house, the Sherouse's for dinner. They have a little girl, Abigail, who is three months younger than Isabella. The girls always have a great time entertaining each other! =)

Mr. Wes sprayed the water on the back door and the girls thought it was the greatest thing in the whole world!