Monday, November 28, 2011

Random thougths.....

I need to blog a few random sayings and funny/cool things that the kids are doing right now so I don't forget!!

1. Braxton continues to be our little comedian. Last weekend, Reilly said something to him and without even skipping a beat, he looked right at her, repeated what she said, and then said, "you kidding me?!" She looked straight at me with the biggest eyes ever and we both just died laughing. It was so funny. So of course, Braxton uses every possible opportunity to say it again, hoping for the same eruption of laughter :)

2. Reilly has become such a good little pray-er. Almost every night at dinner for the past week or so, she has volunteered to pray. And that's not too out of the ordinary, but, the way she has been praying and what she has been praying has developed and changed and become so mature sounding! It's truly amazing. Shawn almost always says "amen" with tears in his eyes. There's just something so pure and so special about hearing your child talk to God with such an innocence and realness and such sincerity. It's also really fun to see how much she enjoys talking to God. I could listen to her pray all day.

3. After almost 12 full months of speech therapy, twice weekly, Braxton had his final session last week. I couldn't believe it. Thinking back to last year when I was 100% certain he was going to be diagnosed with Apraxia of Speech, which would mean years and years of therapy and lots and lots of work and still maybe never really having "normal" speech, and then seeing where he is now....I cry. Everytime I think about it. It's just amazing to me to see how God has brought us through this. From 12 weeks of Therapeutic Listening, twice daily for 30 minutes, to having to rearrange "my" schedule and plans so that we could be home twice a week for therapy sessions, we are blown away at his progress. And it's so funny to hear him talking like such a "big boy". He says the funniest things and some of the time, I still look at Shawn and say, "did you hear that?!" Tonight though, I had to laugh and thank to myself that this is what happens when you do speech therapy a little too long: Braxton was feeding the cat and accidentally dropped some food on the floor. He immediately looked down at the mess and said, "Dad-gum-it!!!" What?!!! Oops! Guess he's heard that too much...but thankful that's ALL he's heard :) And soooo thankful that he now has the ability to articulate himself so well :) Grateful!

Layton's Infant Dedication

We had such a special service to celebrate our littlest guy earlier this month! We had both Reilly and Braxton dedicated at church around 4 months and the service was very sweet, but very short and not much to it. Well, this year, Meck totally redid the Infant Dedication service and boy was it awesome! We were able to have all the grandparents present which was also really special. Meck has really made the service into something so meaningful and really really intimate. They are requiring that all parents having their babies dedicated attend a "First Steps" class, in which they have the chance to learn about and discuss how they will raise their child to walk with Christ, how they will support their marriage, recognizing it as one of the most significant relationships in their child's life, and how they will grow and strengthen their own walk with Christ as they raise this child. Since we are not first time parents, we didn't attend the class, but did complete some of the homework, which was really really good. The one thing we had to do to prepare for the Dedication service was to write our exactly "who" we wanted Layton to be when he is 18years old; what kind of character we hope to develop in him. And then during the service, we actually shared this very intimate piece with our parents. It was really special. They started out the service with a slideshow of all the babies being dedicated, made from pictures that parents sent in. It was so sweet!

We love how intentional parenting is supported and recognized by our church!

Each family had our own cake to enjoy, with our baby's name on it! How fun?!


Just one more post about Thanksgiving.....

Last year I found and purchased the coolest "Thankful Tree" from Pottery Barn. It's a tree that has 30 little pockets on it to fill with things we are thankful for. Starting on November 1st, we sit around the dinner table each night and go around and share what we are thankful for, either from that day specifically or just something in general. We write it on a card and then put the card in the correct pocket. And while it was fun hearing some of the things Reilly said she was thankful last year, it was way cool to hear the way her little mind and her heart has been shaped since then. Some of the things she said she was thankful for took Shawn and I by surprise. It's so fun to witness her develop this innocent faith. One of the things she mentioned one night was that she was thankful for "Daddy going to work every single day so that mommy can stay at home with us"...what? At 4 yrs. old, we were pretty blown away by that one! And to help B along, we would have him say, "Thank you, God, for....." Most of the time his thank-yous had to do with what one of us had already said or something concrete, which is to be expected at 2yrs. old! This is a fun tradition that we will definitely keep doing and the kids love it! We keep the cards in our yearly "box" so we can look back at them as the years go by.

Thanksgiving DAY

We had quite a busy day on Thanksgiving. We started over at my Aunt Freda's house, over in Denver, with all of Poppi's family. It's crazy to think how many people cram into such a small house, and even though it's only once a year, it's good to see my cousins!

And then we hurried home to prep and finish cooking for dinner at our house!! Although I really thought I'd have a dining room table this year for the Holidays, the 12' folding table with 10 metal folding chairs around it worked out just fine :) We had all the grandparents, plus Aunt Kelly and Shauny over and had another awesome meal! We are so grateful. We have SO much to Praise God for and we have enjoyed being able to see so much family around this time of year!

Thanksgiving at preschool...

Both Reilly and Braxton had Thanksgiving feasts in their classrooms, and lucky for me, they were on two different days. Being the overachiever that I am (I know, it's a sickness), I decided to sign up for deserts for both of the feasts since I had found some super cute recipes on Pinterest that I wanted to try!! (and since I have SO much "free time" these days...why not?!) I did have lots of fun making the creations and I think the kids enjoyed them both!!

First up, Turkey sugar cookies for Braxton's class feast (and why not go ahead and make another 16 for Reilly to take to snack in her class on the same day?!) :)

I was so bummed that the video camera died as soon as I turned it worries, only ONE child sang...and it wasn't B :)
Braxton with his apple turkey! He was so proud!

Next up, TeePee cupcakes. So, you are supposed to cook a cupcake inside a sugar cone...this part was kinda tricky!! And definitely made quite a mess in my oven:)

but they did turn out pretty cute in the end!! not sure they were the best tasting things, but hey, it's all about the cuteness, right?!
Such a different experience in the TK classroom...all the kids sing, loudly, and so enthusiastically :)

Sophie and Reilly

Asher and Reilly

Ms. Rowland...we LOVE you!

Thanksgiving in Greensboro...

We had a total of 5 Thanksgiving celebrations this year! The first of which was at mom and dad's house last weekend. Memama, Clarke, Carson, Cooper, Watts, Brandon and Angel and all of us were together for the afternoon. Mom made an AWESOME meal, as always, and then the kids couldn't wait to get the horses out and start riding. It's so funny to me that the horses just seem like some big dogs that the kids just want to get out and play with! They have no clue that most children may NEVER ride a horse in their entire life. What a treat it is to have time with family and get to do something so cool.

first, some time with Memama and Uncle Watts while the kids "patiently" waited for lunch :)

When Braxton was younger, he was so not into the horses! but in the last year, he has really developed a love for them and now wants to go to the barn with DeeDee everytime she's out there! Feeds, brushes, rides the horses like it's nobody's business!!
DeeDee and Poppi have a new Brayly (take 2 letters from each of their grandchildren's names...yes, mom is always creative like that). Reilly and Braxton are in love.

THUNDERROAD 1/2 marathon

If you look in the dictionary at the word "determination", you very well may see a picture of Shawn. The guy is just full of it...and "it", I mean determination :) From a body-cast and the prognosis that he may never walk again to a state championship Cross Country year in high school to a lifelong goal of working towards a marathon.....he is such a model for our children of beating the odds, pushing through the hardwork, and never giving up! And I couldn't be more proud. The kids and I LOVE cheering him on during the road races he's been doing this year and we couldn't WAIT to get downtown to cheer for him in his first ever 1/2 marathon on November 12th! He trained all summer long, through the good days and the very hard ones, and in the end, he BEAT his goal of finishing in 2 hours by 10 minutes...with a final time of 1:49:49!!!

The race is all through downtown Charlotte and we were supposed to just meet him at the finish line but I couldn't stand not being able to see him mid-race, so mom and I loaded up Reilly and Braxton and "raced" against the clock to try to catch him, in the sea of 7,000 runners, as he passed by the corner of Sharon Rd. and Providence. It was such a surprise to him to see us and I was SO nervous while we were combing the crowd! Then we "raced" uptown to find a parking space and get to the finishline. It was so awesome and so inspirational to see all the runners, and especially our runner :) We are so proud of you, BABE!

nothing like a cold beer and a chicken biscuit for your celebratory meal!?!?!

First FIRE!!

As tradition has it, we make a special night out of the "first fire" in the fireplace of the season! And back on November 2nd, we did just that! (and it just so happened to be on a Sunday, so the kids and Shawn are all decked out in their Panthers gear :)

the tradition includes hot chocolate and pop corn by the fire :)
Layton enjoyed staring at the flames the whole time :) We have NEVER regretted our wood burning fire place!

Monday, November 14, 2011

sleep tight!

Wow, I had quite a surprise last night when I went to check on Braxton before I went to bed!! This is what I saw when I looked into his crib:

I about fell on the floor laughing and had to run get Shawn. And then of course we had to take a picture. Braxton has developed quite a strong attachment to this froggy blanket, which has a hood on it, and apparently he spent some time playing with it in his bed before falling asleep! It was quite a funny site.