Saturday, August 9, 2014

The war between guilt and grace

So I read this passage the other day, and because God really used it to speak to my heart when my temper was getting the best of me, and I felt like I was failing as a mother, I thought I'd share.  This is from "The Gospel Project: Atonement Thread":

"It's a word the world uses to describe Christians, and we hear it all the time: Hypocrites!  Thing is, they're right.  God's people are hypocrites.  We strive to "be perfect, therefore, as our heavenly Father is perfect" (Matt. 5:48).  But like Paul, we often fail (Rom. 7).  If your life is anything like mine, you find that the more you try to be faithful to God, the more you become aware of your own unfaithfulness and need for restoration.

But Christianity is not about God making bad actions good.  Instead, it's about God making dead people come to life!  That's what society will never understand.  We are all hypocrites because we are still confined to live in our sinful nature.  But we are holy hypocrites because, in the midst of our sin, God gives us new natures.  Holy and hypocritical are not mutually exclusive adjectives.  In fact, they describe in perfect detail the struggle between our old desires and new ones - the war between guilt and grace."

*** There seem to be many days that I struggle with my selfishness and impatience.  But thank God, He is faithful, and His grace is sufficient even in my weakness!!!***
And some random thoughts...
Chase's favorite expression lately is "Let me tell you something," and then he'll go on to explain or point out something he thinks is important.  He can be very talkative at times, and he still enunciates words very distinctly (sticking his lips out for many words)! :)  And he's funny when he learns a new word in a book... Because every time you read the book to him, he's quick to point out his "new" vocabulary.

Cole made us laugh the other day when he asked if we could add a basement to our house.  He asked if it would "cost $100." :)  He's obviously got a lot to learn about how much things cost!

Callie has been a much later teether than our boys.  She's 14.5 months old and only has 6 teeth!

This mama is ready for fall, and all of our activities that go with it, to begin!  I like structure, and trying to fill our summer days with enough activities is exhausting!  In less than a month, we'll start AWANA, MOMS, MOPS, a sport (flag football and/or soccer clinics), and preschool.  Yes, we have decided that although Cole is technically old enough to start kindergarten (he makes the cut-off by a month), he's just not ready for it.  With kindergarten changing so much in the past 20 years, its days have become so long and regimented (with mostly sitting), and we think Cole will be more ready to handle it next year.  (He still takes a nap a couple of times a week, he's very energetic, and tantrums because he's tired still continue.)  So he's going to be doing Pre-K five mornings a week this year.  We have labored (ok, I have) and prayed over this decision for months and feel it's the right one for Cole. :)

1. Callie's toenails were painted for the first time... by her Aunt Steph, of course!

3. To say the boys like riding in the "car cart" at stores (Home Depot here) is an understatement!

4. So I still think that every outfit I put on Callie is so cute!  She could wear a paper bag, and we would find her adorable! :)

5. She loves to snuggle something when sleeping.  How precious is this?!

6. Book time...

8. Poppy, I'm sure you know that Callie has you wrapped around her adorable chubby finger! :)

10. Love that scrunched-up grin!!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cole is 5!

Over the past few days, we've celebrated Cole's 5th birthday a couple of times.  A few family members came over for a simple dinner (and cake and a few presents, of course) Saturday, and then yesterday, a few friends met us at the pool for some fun play time (and cupcakes, of course).  Then our family of five went out for a yummy dinner last night at Chick-Fil-A (with ice cream... because we hadn't given our kids enough sugar yet!) :)

Happy birthday to the sweetest, most handsome, most fun and full of energy 5-year-old I know!  COLE, WE LOVE YOU TO THE MOON AND STARS AND BACK!!!

Oh, and I have to add that we have been trying to make a big deal of staying dry at night.  Yes, both Cole and Chase have still been wearing diapers to bed.  Cole especially seems to be a heavy sleeper (and drinks more overall than Chase does) and would wake up wet often.  Anyway, we told the boys that as soon as we returned home from VA, they would be sleeping in underwear.  And they've both stayed dry for the past week!  WOOHOO!!!  Hmmm, now if we can just think of a way to move past the tantrums and whining.......

1. Yes, we sang to Cole, he blew out the candle... And then we had to let Chase have a turn also blowing out the candle. :)

3. Oh, how i love these boys!!!

5. Cupcakes at the pool are delicious!  Cole gobbled his down in no time!

6. We are so blessed to have great friends!  Thanks for joining us at the pool!

7. Thanks, Aunt Cara, for sending some cute pics of our VA visit!  Here's sweet Jo with Callie...

8. The kids loved playing on this giant spinning wheel.

9. Macy and Cole...

10. They pretended to be doggies, and Jo was giving "treats" (cereal) for doing dog tricks. :)

11. Our little bathing beauty...

13. The boys love their new shark towels.  Thanks, Mimi!

14. We took the kids to Toy R Us so Cole could pick out a gift for his birthday.  Yes, we are "those parents" that let their kids touch all the toys in the store!  Ha!  It's a circus keeping them all together!  (Don't worry, though, we don't do this often!) :)

16. Looking at a book with Aunt Steph...

17. At a park recently with friends, the kids decided the dirt was more fun than the playground!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Visiting WV and VA family

In the past week or so, we have done lots of packing and unpacking, visiting with family, and of course, a ton of playing with kids!  We traveled to WV to see Papa Ed and Nana Lois for a few days... We spent an evening in MD with some of my extended family... We spent most of Saturday at Jamie's family reunion... And the kids and I spent a few days with Marmee and Big Daddy.  Wow, was it busy and fun!!!  Thank you, ALL, for your generous hospitality!!!  We love you all and are so thankful for the wonderful time spent with family!!!  Now it's your turn to come visit us! :)

(Ok, so here's my disclaimer on the pictures... I forgot my memory disk for my camera, and my phone was too full of pics to take many more... Nope, i just don't have it all together. :)  So i'm waiting on family to email me some pics that they took of the fun...

1. Chillin' on the swing with Nana Lois and Papa Ed...

2. Thank you for the new books!  The boys love them!

3. Sweet girl at bedtime...

4. I can't tell you how much our boys enjoyed playing in the mulch and dirt with Isaac (my cousin Andy's little boy)!

5. Elizabeth following Callie and the ball around... :)

6. Uncle Jimmy, you look so much like my mom!

7. Check out that hair!

8. Callie was being silly at the mall play area in WV.

10. My sweet dad took the boys to a train museum (and on a train ride!) recently.  They had a blast!

12. STOP!

13. Precious, sleeping, sweaty, beautiful girl!

14. Goggle bath time! Ha ha!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Happy July 4th!

Lots of randomness.....
Cole had a well-visit with the pediatrician the first week of June.  So at 4 years 10 months, he weighed 44.4 lbs. (78%) and was 44.5 inches tall (85%).  This kid can eat!  He'll finish whatever food I've given him at a meal and often ask, "What else can I have?".  Crazy!

I try really hard to keep my eyes on Callie most of the time, but sometimes I assume she is with the boys when she's not.  Recently, as I was folding laundry, I thought Callie was in the office with Cole and Chase watching a video (She mostly plays with toys, but also watches a little.).  I heard a strange noise, and when I went to investigate..... She was splashing in the toilet water!  UGH!!!  (Just in case you're wondering, she also loves to unroll TP, and she's been known to eat a little too!) ;)  Toddlers are mischievous little critters!

Chase made me really laugh the other day.  I mentioned to him that Cole hadn't done a task "first thing" like I asked him to.  Chase asked, "Mommy, did he do it second thing?".  (I don't know why I found that so hilarious, but I did!) :)

Chase likes to antagonize Callie ALL the time!  He will follow her around, put toys in her face, poke her, etc.  He also loves to steal food off of her high chair tray!  And he still calls her "Cawwie."  But he's also sweet with her... He's usually the first to say he wants to give her a hug at bedtime.  Love these kids!!!

When Cole and Chase are playing nicely (with cars or blocks or something that they want "just right"), Cole will often ask Chase to "distract Callie" so she doesn't mess with their stuff!

I often try once or twice a week to do a little dusting with the kids (furniture, baseboards, etc.).  I usually give Callie and Bradey feather dusters (which they just play with); Chase gets a duster that can be washed (he starts out dusting furniture, but moves quickly to dusting walls and toys and then gets distracted and plays); and Cole and I really dust (ok, first Cole complains that he doesn't want to dust, I have to prod him, and he might dust for 2 minutes and then he also gets distracted and plays).  I obviously have no idea how to get my kids really involved in household chores... But I'm trying. :)

1. Happy 4th!!!

5. We finally got a new battery for the jeep... well, Poppy did. :)  Thanks, Poppy!  Lots of fun!

7. The kids had a blast a friend's July 4th party... Relays, riding toys, bracelet-making, and water balloons.  Woohoo!

8. Our Batman Spiderman Jake the Pirate???

9. "All aboard."

10. Yep, that's a sticker on Cole's nose. :)

11. Our sweet little Ladybug!

13. Chase was sick recently.  He fell asleep on the chair... Poor kid. :(

14. The boys enjoyed their first experience on a slip-n-slide at friend Lily's birthday party.  Yep, Chase thought it was good for the mower. :)  (And no, I didn't get a good pic of the birthday girl.)

15. Cupcakes, anyone?