Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sometimes you just gotta stop and dance! =)

We just finished lunch and decided it was a perfect time to crank the music and practice our dance moves! =) Bella enjoyed lunch in her pj's, tu-tu and ballet slippers......so please excuse the cheese still on her face!


video

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Our tender-hearted little missionary =)

After returning from my morning run yesterday Jer shared this picture with me.....





Isabella saw this commercial come on TV about poor, hungry orphans.....and she immediately went over and started feeding them her cheerios while saying, "baby...baby!...baby?....baby."
Just a cute little picture to share with ya'll......though I was convicted when I saw it. How often do we offer the most precious possession that we so love and treasure to give to those in need? Let me tell you, cheerios are Bella's prized possession at this stage in her life. Her sweet, tender heart wanted more than anything to help feed that little sick baby. Just another sweet mommy moment that the Lord used to teach ME! =)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Photo Shoot with Ga-Ga and She-She!

Earlier this summer, Isabella had the privilege of spending the weekend with Jeremy's parents (ga-ga & she-she). We are very blessed to have a grandaddy who is so talented and a she-she who keeps us smiling! Just thought I'd share some of our favorites....... =)













Wednesday, August 24, 2011

7 Prayers a day....

One of my friends from college read my post from yesterday and shared with me this awesome idea she got from a Bible study a few years ago.....so I thought I would copy and paste that on my blog too! I don't know about you and your family, but we need all the prayer we can get! Satan is ready and trying to attack.....so we better have our armor on and actively combatting him and his evil schemes! I've found in my life that praying scripture and dwelling on God's Word is the #1 way to live in the Spirit!

For these prayers, we can insert our child/children's names in the blank, cut them into strips and post them around the house. =)

1. When she wakes up: "Let the morning bring ____ word of your unfailing love, for she has put her trust in You. Show ___ the way she should go for to you she lifts up her soul." (Adapted from Psalm 43:8)

2. When she is getting dressed: "Therefore, as God's chosen child, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Lord help her bear with others and forgive whatever grievances she has against others. Help her forgive as the Lord forgave her. And over all these virtues, help her put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." (Adapted from Colossians 3:12-14)

3. While she is eating: "Teach ____ the secret of being content in any and every situation whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Teach her that she can do everything through him who gives her strength." (Adapted from Philippians 4:12-13)

4. When she goes out of the house: "_______, do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is- His good, pleasing, and perfect will." (Adapted from Romans 12:2)

5. While she is taking a bath: "Lord give _______ clean hands and a pure heart, and let her not lift her soul to an idol or swear by what is false. Let her receive blessings from the Lord and vindication from God her Savior. Let her be a part of the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God." (Adapted from Psalm 24:4-6)

6. When she is going to bed: "The Lord Your God is with you; he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." (Adapted from Zephaniah 3:17)

7. While she is sleeping: "I pray that ______ will do everything without complaining or arguing, so that she may become blameless and pure, a child of God, without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which she shines like a star in the universe as she holds out the word of life-in Christ that she did not run or labor for nothing." (Adapted from Philippians 2:14-16)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Praying for Isabella....

Lately, I've been desiring to have a more structured prayer plan as I pray for Isabella each day. You know....we pray before meals and bedtime and I pray for her during my quiet times, but I've just been brainstorming ideas that would be practical yet effective for a busy mom! So, I came across this website: http://pastoralcareinc.com/Articles/31childrenprayer.php
I'm always inspired and learning creative "mom tips" by reading my friend's blogs so I thought I would share this practical tool I came up with the other night! =)
I pretty much copied and pasted this 31 days of prayer on the website to Word, but then I went back and changed the general "child" or "children" to "Isabella." I changed the font to make it pretty and printed it out on nice linen paper. I'm going to hang it on her door with ribbon......and now every time I lay her down to sleep or late at night when I tip-toe in to see her sweetly sleeping, I now have a specific prayers with scripture that I can pray over her! Each number corresponds with the day of the month. I figure I can do this for a while - then I can change up the prayers/scripture. So anyways, the Lord helped me create this tool as guidance to pray more specifically for my sweet baby girl and I just thought I would pass it along! =)

"The prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective!" James 5:15b

Monday, August 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Maddy!

This past weekend, we traveled up to Columbus, Mississippi to celebrate little Maddy's first birthday. (Maddy is Jeremy's brother's little girl.) We stayed in a cabin on a lake which was just about 1 mile from their house. It worked out just perfectly and we loved the beautiful lake and park!

"Grandaddy" aka "Ga-Ga" enjoyed having his two baby girls together.......

Jer and I had a nice 5 mile trail run together early Friday morning around the lake. While breakfast was cooking, the guys decided to try and catch a fish........

Bella wanted to help...


Maddy and Bella had so much fun playing together!

Maddy got a new baby grand for her birthday.......


The girls played a nice duet and then Bella played us a special song. =)


They splashed in the tub together.....


and then danced to the music (please excuse the baby booty....Bella enjoys being "free").


The party was a blast! Lots of fun new toys to try out.....



Cotton candy made by "Uncle Jer".......

Cupcakes too!

The cousins had so much fun together......

We look forward to the next time we are all together!




Cornstarch.....the new "air conditioned sandbox!"

Yesterday, after we all finished lunch, Jer and I were relaxing on the couch for a few minutes before nap time. Bella was quietly playing in her room.......or so we thought! Then, all of a sudden we heard a little noise in the kitchen......and this is what we found.......

Someone opened up the baking drawer and found the cornstarch! But, surely it couldn't be this little innocent face!??? We got a nice laugh.......took some pictures to capture the moment.....then cleaned up the mess! =) (notice my cell phone under the chair and yes, it still works just fine!)

Beach Worship


We ended our summer with a worship service on the beach with our students! It was such a neat time together as we worshiped our Savior and watched the sun set in the distance. (Of course Bella always seems to have a little friend to entertain her.....) We are excited for what the Lord has in store this fall! Our new connection groups started yesterday morning, Wed. worship services kick-off this week and our fall discipleship groups will begin next week! We pray that students will encounter Christ in a new way this year as they are discipled and grow in their faith while reaching and connecting with lost friends along the way!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Funnies....

Just wanted to mention a few of the "funnies" that Bella has done the past few days......

1. Yesterday we spent the day catching up on all the laundry! We did loads and loads....and she is such a good little helper. She'll stand beside me in the laundry room and help me put clothes in the dryer...one by one. Then, she'll stand by the basket full of clean clothes and hand me an item...one by one to fold. Then, we proceed to go to the closet to hang up the clean clothes and she hands them to me....one by one. =) Well, as she was handing me the clean clothes - there was a slight delay in the process. I looked to see what the hold up was and found little Bella standing in the bathroom next to the toilet with the lid down, three polos hanging out from under the lid and she was proudly patting the top of the toilet lid! (She had found the "washing machine" her size and was proudly "loading" them for washing!) HAHA! Such a funny moment....we enjoyed laughing together.....and breaking the news to dadda that we washed 3 shirts in the toilet! Ooops!

2. Today, Jer and I were chatting on the couch together and out came Bella from her bedroom with a wash cloth. She came right over to me.....lifted up my shirt and started "scrubbing" my belly button. Then, she did my legs and arms! It took me a minute to figure out what she was doing.....but I realized she was giving me a little bath! She then proceeded to do the same to dadda! =)

3. Since it has been a bit cooler, (88 degrees rather than 100) we have enjoyed going for an after dinner walk together as a family! Well, the past two nights Bella starts out in the stroller waving to neighbors, kicking her feet and so on. Then, after much persuasion from Bella, we let her get out of her stroller and walk holding our hands while dadda carries the stroller. The walk ends with Bella pushing her empty stroller down the street home. =)

Celebrations!

This weekend we had lots of fun celebrating with........

Our friends the Tyners who are expecting baby Braden in just a few weeks!
Susie, Amber and I threw a "boy" shower for Christi! We all had fun decorating with blue for a boy.......and showering her with lots of little boy goodies! =)


We also celebrated with our dear friends the Dubuois as their duaghter Haley got married!

It was so special being able to share in the evening with them. =)

Haley's dad serves on staff at Olive with Jeremy and they have become such special friends to us. Haley was a sophomore when we first started at Olive and now she is 22 and married! We actually were at camp with our students the summer that she and Josh met while they served together on staff at Student Life Camp. Summer Love! Sounds all too familiar to me! =)
Isabella LOVED all the music and dancing at the reception.....and the candy sticks! (This was a special, special treat because we really don't eat any sugar at home.)

When the music started.......she began clapping and squealing.....

Then she helped herself to the dance floor and danced the night away with the bridesmaids! =)

Such a fun weekend of celebrating with friends!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

August Sunshine!

We've been doing our best to enjoy the last bit of summer! We have to choose our time carefully outside because it has been getting terribly H-O-T down here in the Sunshine State! =) Most of our time is spent with lots of sunscreen and in nice cool water!

Isabella has discovered a new favorite.....finger painting! Last week we were missing "dadda" one afternoon so we decided to paint him a pretty picture! Isabella loved it...and so did dadda.

Artist at work....

Pausing to blow a kiss to mamma...

Making final touches...

All done.....ready for a bath!

We also enjoyed a fun water play date with friends too! It's so much fun splashing in the water with friends and running through the sprinkler.........

Jeremy's parents (ga-ga & she-she) came over to visit for the weekend. She-She took us to lunch and shopping on Saturday while Jeremy and his dad enjoyed a day of fishing in the Gulf! We had a delicious grilled fish dinner Saturday night......there's just nothing better than fresh fish from the Gulf! =) Isabella loved showing off all her favorite toys and books........and especially had fun with all the extra attention.

It's been so nice getting back into our little routine now that our summer with the high school students is slowly wrapping up. Isabella and I enjoyed relaxing in our baby pool yesterday and playing at the water table.
We love playing with the water hose.......spraying it on each other.....and drinking from it!

The water table is oh so much fun too!



And we have the privaledge of watching military helicopters fly over us........they always seem to amaze little Bella!

We are definitely looking forward to some nice, cool, crip fall weather - but for now we are savoring every last bit of the summer months!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

16 months & growing up way too fast!


Time is flying bye way, way too fast! Isabella is now officially a toddler......no more crawling or scooting - she is walking and starting to try and run! But, you know - as sad as it is when I miss her being my little baby - we have more and more fun together every day! We actually tried something new today.....finger painting! She absolutely loved it! It really turned into more "body painting".....but her little picture turned out so pretty for her "dadda." =)

She continues to have such a sweet and sensitive side to her but she has also learned the word, "no." Uh-oh! It's ok for her to respond to "no" from an adult....but it's not ok for her to say "no" back! So, we are working on that part. We've had to start implementing time-out for 1 minute in her crib for things such as repeatedly playing with plugs or being whiney at the dinner table. As much as it breaks my heart to have to put her in her crib for 1 minute and listen to her call for us, it actually works! So, hopefully this shall continue! Church nursery is getting much easier for her! Praise Jesus! =) She is now officially the "class talker." When we picked her up this past Sunday, her teacher said that she was sharing all her vocabulary with the class.......even "Bible" & "Jesus." She really is a talker.....it's hard to list all her words because honestly, she will repeat anything we tell her to "say." Now, xylophone may come out as, "i-o-neu" with a big nod.....but she tries! Her new favorite toy is her big, purple, "ball." Every time we would pass them in Wal-mart or Target she would point and say, "ball." So, I succumb and payed all of $2.50 for a big ball! She loves to try and carry it, roll on top of it and play games with us (rolling back and forth).

She also loves to sing, "The B-i-b-l-e!." She will clap while we sing it and then at the very end she raises her hands and says, "Bible!" She's also become quite the littler prayer warrior! We pray together and she holds her hands together......her favorite part is saying, "Memen!" (amen) at the end! We are just having so much fun as she loves exploring and discovering new things!

Her Stats:
Height: 30.5 inches 48%
Weight: 23 lbs. 48%
Head: 18.5 inches 75%

These are just with my measurements at home...so they may not be perfectly exact. =)
I just looked back at 15 months and she was supposedly 31.5 inches...well, either the doctor measured wrong or she has shrunk cause I'm pretty confident she is 30.5 today! =)

Schedule:
7 Wake/Breakfast
9 Nap
11:30 Wake/Lunch
2 Nap
4:30 Wake/Snack
6 Dinner
7:30 Bath
8 Prayers & Bed

(As you can see her naps are getting longer! I've debated whether or not to cut the morning nap and make her afternoon longer.....but she's sleepy in the morning and I like having a little break twice during the day!) =)


Summer Excursions!

Excursions....adventures.....we've been on the go the past few weeks!
We headed to Covenant College on top of Lookout Mountain for Student Life camp with all the high school and middle school students! It's definitely a new adventure taking a toddler to camp but we had a blast! Isabella was the princess of the week as all the students (especially the middle school students) spoiled her rotten!


Strolling around camp...
We were able to see my Grandma one day too! My mom drove over from Nashville, picked up Bella and me and took us down the mountain to spend a few hours with Grandma. My Grandma lives in a retirement home and they take such good care of her! =) She has been struggling with Alzheimer's for several years and that is always a little sad to see but really she is very healthy and seems to be happy for an 86 year old! We are always so thankful when we get to spend time with her just loving on her and visiting with her. She absolutely loved seeing Isabella. Isabella is named after her....Isabella Corrinne - my grandma is Corrinne.

We love our Grandma/Great-Grandma...

Grandma loved showing Isabella around her home.

She played "little piggy" with Isabella's toes.....

All four generations....

Bella enjoyed showing Mimi around camp when we returned.....we said our good-byes and back to camp life we went!
On Friday after we returned home from camp, we had the privalege of meeting our dear friends Brett & Tiffany's newly adopted son Phoenix! Brett served alongside Jeremy as the Middle School Minister a few years ago before being called to Pastor a church in Arkansas. We enjoyed pizza at the Tuscan Oven and loved hanging out with each other catching up on life! Phoenix had fun helping feed Isabella her food. It made for such a nice evening together!

Brett, Tiffani (next to me), Phoenix w/Bella & Joel and Tamara (Jeremy's previous assistant)

After returning from dinner, Jordan (Jer's brother), Ellen and Madelyn came to visit and spend the night! It was such a fun surprise to get to spend an evening/morning with them! They live in Mississippi so we don't get to see them very often.......but when we do get together it's always such a special time! As you can see, Isabella and Madelyn have a blast together....they are just 4 months apart. We are super excited about celebrating Madelyn's first birthday in a few weeks!

Maddy helping Bella wake up...

Kisses.....

Cousin Secrets...


Driving the car together...


We had a couple days to rest up and then we had our annual Water Ski day on Saturday! Once again Isabella enjoyed every minute! She loved splashing in the water, eating snacks on the shore and driving the boat! =)

Driving the boat with Mrs. Jaime...

Love my sweet girl...


Driving...

Splashing in the water with Mrs. Krista....


We've also been excited to see several new tomatoes and red peppers.......we are just trying out this whole gardening thing this year! We'll see how it goes and maybe add new veggies next year!

Yum...yum!


After a summer full of family visits, youth trips and fun adventures.......it's always nice to be home and get back into our little routine! =) We are settling back in and enjoying time together as a little family of three!