Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lowes Build and Grow

I signed Martin and Aaron up for the Lowes Build and Grow clinic for this past Saturday. Lowes has these Build and Grow clinics twice a month throughout the summer. This past session was pirate ships.
Rich took them, and they had a blast. They were given workers aprons, a patch to go on their apron, goggles, and a certificate along with the very cool pirate ship that they built using real hammers and nails! What a fun day for them!

Jonathan loves pirate ships, so he was very sad that he didn't have this neat pirate ship to play with . . . I think we may have to include Jonathan for the next clinic.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Stony Hill VBS

This past week, we had Vacation Bible School at our church. Martin and Aaron had a wonderful time and couldn't wait to go back each night! I forgot to take my camera with me for the closing ceremony, but I got some pictures of them when we got home that night.

They learned songs, did crafts, and learned about Paul and the underground church at Rome. Aaron has come such a long way since last year's VBS. Last year, he was merely an observer. He wouldn't do everything the other boys and girls were doing. This year, he participated in everything. Awana really helped Aaron come out of his shell this last year.

We are very thankful for our church and all the wonderful people that worked so hard to put or VBS together. Next year, Jonathan will be old enough to participate!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Johnny Jump Up

A couple days ago, I put Rosalie in the Johnny Jump Up for the first time. She loved it! She is still not completely ready for it, but she's getting there. She loves to be on her feet, so she seemed to like the feeling of being able to stand.

However, she was worn out for no longer than she was in it!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Running Races

One of the favorite things to do while playing outside is running races. Well, obviously a fair race is just not possible. Martin is the biggest, most coordinated, and fastest one. He's going to win everytime. Well, Jonathan says he wins every single time regardless of who gets there first.

Aaron doesn't handle losing well at all. He gets very upset and even angry when he doesn't win. Martin is a peacemaker and doesn't want Aaron to be sad about it, so he took Aaron by the hand and told him not to worry, that he'd help him win the race. So, the next race Martin held his hand, helped him go faster, and let him win.
Aaron was all smiles. Then they started running races around the house. Once again, Aaron got very frustrated and started yelling, that he was just going to have to quit, because he could never, never win. So, once again, Martin tells him not to worry that he will let him win. So, Aaron happily went back to racing. They raced around the house. Martin went one direction and Aaron went the other direction. Once they got close to the finish line . . . Martin started to run like he was in slow motion . . . calling out and encouraging Aaron's every step. . . right up to the end. And when Aaron got their first, he ran up to him and hugged him and said, "You're my dude!!" And Aaron was giggling and smiling like he'd just won a marathon.

Three things come to my mind here:

1. Martin is such a WONDERFUL big brother. He's so nurturing to Aaron and genuinely cares for him. Aaron is so blessed to have a big brother like that.

2. Aaron is in for a rude awakening when it comes to real life! (unless Martin comes along and hold his hand every step of the way!)

3. Jonathan is planning to win no matter who wins.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Aaron's Patch

We took Aaron to the eye doctor last week for a follow up appointment. The doctor decided that the glasses were not enough for his lazy eye. So, Aaron is following in the footsteps of both his mommy and daddy and wearing a patch on his good eye 4-6 hours each day in hopes that it will make his weak eye stronger.

I wore a patch on my eye when I was 4, and Rich had to patch his eye when he was 8. So, amblyopia definitely runs in this family! Aaron has been wearing the patch for a week now, and he's doing beautifully with it. We put it on first thing each morning and take it off about an hour after lunch.

Rich and I both suspect that Jonathan has amblyopia too. Jonathan's left eye has a tendency to turn in, making us think that maybe his left eye is the weak one. With Aaron it's the right eye, but his eye does not turn in at all. The only way we knew that he had an issue was when we covered up his good eye, he couldn't see anything. I guess time will tell with Jonathan.

For those of you that don't know. . . here is an explanation of amblyopia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amblyopia

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Martin, my best helper!

Martin is such an amazing helper. He is always willing to help and almost always helps with a great attitude. With 4 little ones, I find myself depending on the older ones to help me alot. I have wondered many times what I'd do without Martin around to help me. He is always fetching things for me. He is very good at organizing and cleaning up. He makes his bed everyday, and then helps Aaron make his bed. I am so thankful that he has such a helpful spirit about him. The most wonderful thing about having my oldest help me so much - it is rubbing off on his younger brothers. I have found myself trying to delegate some of the things I would normally ask of Martin to Aaron. I need to be intentional about because helping doesn't come as naturally to Aaron as it does to Martin.
And holding his sister, Rosalie is one of his favorite things to do! :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rosalie's Bloomers

Strange name for a post . . .but I seriously had to post about this!! My sweet friend, Kristin had these bloomers embroidered for Rosalie. Kristin has 2 precious boys - Parker and Ryland - so you might imagine that she loves to shop for baby girls! Thank you, Kristin for these adorable embroidered bloomers for our baby girl, they are not only as cute as they can be . . . they are a treasured keepsake!!

Here she is sleeping away in her bed . . .

And here is a little peak at what is underneath her dress . . .

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Perfect Cup of Coffee. . .for an admitted coffee snob

It starts with a good coffee burr mill, a french press, and a pan full of water!
Heat the water.

Grind the beans and put them in the french press.

Take the water off the heat and measure the temperature of the water. Once it gets down to 195 degrees, then pour the water in the press.

Set the timer for 3 minutes.
Put the cream in the cups.
Pour the coffee into the cups.

Then savor every last drop!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!!

Happy Father's Day to all my friends and family!

I have so much for which to be thankful this father's day! I am thankful for my dad! My dad is precious to me. I treasure his warm and loving spirit. I am thankful that he is the man that raised me. Thank you dad, for loving me, supporting me, and raising me. I owe so much to both my mom and dad for all the sacrifice, love, and joy that they have given freely to me over the past 36 years.
I am thankful to my father in law for raising my husband. Thanks for raising my husband to be a man of integrity and to be fiercely loyal to his family.
I am thankful for my husband because he is the father of my children. I am thankful that my sons and daughter have an example of integrity, loyalty, and faith in their father.

Rich, his dad (Rich), and our oldest son:

My dad with our 2nd son Aaron:

Rich, Aaron, and me:

Many of you may remember that Jonathan's birth was a bit scary, so this is the best "first" picture I have with Rich and Jonathan:

Rich, helping Martin hold Rosalie for the first time:

Thank you Rich for being a father to our 4 beautiful children. There's no one on earth with whom I'd rather be on this journey of parenthood.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sarah's Visit

Earlier this week, we had Sarah over for a visit with us. Sarah is the daughter of my good friend, Rebekah. Sarah had fun playing with my boys, but let's be honest . . . they are boys. The only dress up clothes we have are capes and superheroes - not much fun for a girly girl like Sarah. While I was feeding Rosalie, Sarah walked into Rosalie's closet and brought out a pair of shoes. She wanted to put them on Rosalie. So, I told her there was a dress in her closet to match those shoes. So, she found the dress that matched, and brought it out with the shoes, and asked if she could dress Rosalie up. I guess she figured there was nothing for her to dress up in, but at least we could dress up the baby!
So, that's what we did. We dressed up Rosalie. What a trooper Rosalie was! LOL
Thanks for playing with us, Sarah!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A typical scene at our house. . .

Aaron loves his little sister! He especially loves how interactive she has become!! It is so much fun to watch him play with her and get her to cackle and talk back to him!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Unexpected Visitors!

(Aaron, Emily, and Lauren)

(Martin, Aaron, and Emily)

My sister and her family stopped by yesterday on their way back from vacationing in Florida!! Okay, I'll admit I called and begged a little to get them to come! :) I was so excited that they were able to swing a little out of their way to spend a few hours with us. The children had so much fun playing together! Juliann has 3 girls. (Emily(10), Lauren(8), and GraceAnn(2, born the same week that Jonathan was born)

Juliann and Wes

(GraceAnn, Aaron, and Emily)

Jonathan called to me, saying "mommy!", and GraceAnn promptly told him, "Jon-Jon, that's not mommy, that's Rissa!" Then she pointed to Juliann and said, "that's mommy!" These two are a riot when they are together. They are so sweet and love each other so much!

(GraceAnn and Jonathan)

(Lauren and Jonathan)

Rosalie was sleeping while I took all these pictures, and I didn't want to leave her out of my post!! So, here she is sleeping! :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Rosalie and her Pony

Before Rosalie was born it was a family project to find a "baby" for her. Everytime we went somewhere we looked for a special attachment "lovey" baby. We finally found this pony, and all five of us agreed that this was definitely "THE one"!! Now that she is so interactive we let her play with it all the time! She seems to really like it.

I took this picture of her with the pony to share!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Keen fashion sense . . .

Aaron came down wearing this the other day. That's my Aaron. He changes clothes multiple times each day. He is especially fond of superhero pajamas and "no sleeve" shirts. Most of the time he matches things up pretty well, but on this particular day . . .not so much.

I couldn't help but snap a picture of him . . . especially since the boots completed the outfit so very well! :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Jonathan Potty Update #4

Jonathan has decided that he prefers #2 to be in his underwear and not the potty. Hmmm . . . all new territory for me. It's difficult to be patient with him. He knows his body cues. He is not having accidents . . . it's more like. . . "on purposes".
I stuggle with this because for 2 1/2 years I trained him to poop and pee on himself. Then one day I changed the rules on him. So, I struggle with knowing how to handle these "on purposes". I don't know if fear is driving him to go in his pants. I have pretty much tomato staked him to me, so that I can catch him and get him on the potty to finish. But he is in a holding pattern right now. . . and it's hard to catch him when he only lets a little bit out at a time. He hasn't had a diaper on in a month. I am weary of this process, but I have no choice but to press on. In some ways, I wish that I would have just waited. On the other hand, I believe that Jonathan would have been difficult no matter how long I waited.
I am not certain how to proceed. He was pretty much done in about 4 days . . . and then he regressed. Someone needs to write a book called, "what to do once your child knows his body cues and trained in 4 days, but decided he didn't want to go #2 on the potty anymore".

I'd buy it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Upstairs

Here is a tour of our upstairs. This is the view as you first walk up the stairs. This room is a bonus area . . . not really a bedroom because there is no door or closet . . . it's just an area that you walk into as you come up the stairs. We use it as the play area and Martin's bedroom. The door across the way is the bathroom.
This is the view as you come around the corner from the stairs:

This is the view from the hallway right in front of Rosalie's room - looking toward Martin's bed and the stairs. (the stairs are behind the wall and shelf on the left side of the picture. Martin can look down the stairs from his bed)
This is the view from the entrance to Aaron and Jonathan's room:

This is the view from Aaron's bed - you can see the door to their room behind their chest of drawers. The door to the attic is also in the background toward the right . . . and Jonathan's bed is behind Aaron. (who thought he should be in every shot)

And this is Aaron's bed:

The upstairs bathroom is enormous! It took me three shots just to get it all, and it still doesn't really give a good idea of how large it is.

The view from the entrance looking toward the left . . . down a passageway toward the toilet:
Looking straight ahead as you walk into the bathroom: