Sunday, August 31, 2008

It's not about me!

Birthday Girl!

Well, it's official! I have been a mother for six years today. And I have not seriously injured or maimed any of my children. Don't I get some sort of reward for that?

Seriously though, this day is not at all about me, so I thought I would write a post on the top ten things our sweet girl has accomplished in a year's time (no, I am not bragging, just a proud momma-okay maybe I am bragging a little, but I know you will forgive me!). So here goes:

10. Madison is now reading at a 2nd-3rd grade level. She enjoys books of all sorts. She loves to read to Mommy and her little brothers-when they sit still long enough to listen. Her current favorite books are the Little House series of books. She even made her own homemade butter after being inspired by all the work that Laura and Mary had to do. It has actually been a great learning experience for all of us and we have come to appreciate much more all that we have been blessed with.

9. Madison learned how to write in cursive. This was one of her own personal goals for herself this year. Momma wasn't sure if she was ready, but as always she surprised me.

8. Madison lost five teeth this year, including her top two middle teeth. We can't wait for Chrithmuth!

7. Madison finished Kindergarten. And Mommy cried.

6. Madison became a big sister...again. In preparation for the new baby's arrival she took a sibling education class at the hospital which was great fun. And even though we were sure we were having a girl, and Madison said if it was a boy we should give him back to God and ask for a girl, she has been the best big sister to her sweet baby brother. She is quite the "little mommy".

5. Madison learned how to ride a two-wheeler.

4. Madison donated 14 inches of her hair to locks of love. More tears from Mommy, although I must admit it does make getting ready in the morning a breeze.

3. Madison moved up to Mrs. Kohne's Sunday School class. She loves Mrs. Kohne...and Mrs. Kohne's Starburst.

2. Madison experienced true heart-break this year as her best friend moved away to, as Madison calls it, "misery". Translation: Missouri. We miss you Kate!

1. Madison accepted Jesus into her heart this year. This was, of course, the highlight of our year by far. Being raised in the church, Madison had a foundation for faith but it wasn't until this year that we started talking more seriously about what having Christ as her Savior meant. She asked a lot of tough questions. We had Bible Study every morning, which opened up doors for some great conversations with her and once again, Momma was amazed at how much she really understood.

Huh! Who would have thought? Oh yeah, Jesus did, when He said this and this and this. Oh, ye of little faith! I explained to Madison about how to ask Jesus into her heart, about recognizing her sin and seeking forgiveness and repenting and also that it meant that we live for Jesus too. I asked her if she was ready and she said "no". We talked about it almost daily over the course of a couple of weeks. One night we were in the car and talking about it again, and she said, "But I already did that. I asked Jesus into my heart the other night after we talked about it when I was alone in my room." Can you say "awwww"?

Well, after hearing her say that and then telling us all about it and hearing her excitement, I have to admit, I got a little sad. I so had wanted for Rick and I to share that moment with her, to lead her in the prayer of salvation. But true to her character, she did it in her own way. Thankfully, swiftly, the Holy Spirit brought conviction to my heart and helped me to realize, IT'S NOT ABOUT ME!!!!!!!!!

I have a feeling it is a lesson I am going to have to learn many times through many birthdays. Happy Birthday, baby girl, we love you!

Little Colts Fan!

Daddy's Girl

Madison and Brady

Madison- 3 years old
Madison (2 years old) and Noah
Madison and Brady
Her Royal Highness
Sweet Baby (this is her famous touchdown pose)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Where has the time gone?

For those of you that know us you know that this is a big b-day weekend for my little princess. She turns six on Sunday. It seems like only a few weeks have gone by since she was born. She still loves to get and give hugs and kisses to both mom and dad, but I am sure that soon that will be over. I figure that a birthday is a good time to sit back and think about the last year and the strides that she has made. This summer as you know we took the training wheels off of her bike and while she is still not able to go out and ride without help yet that is a big deal around here. She has also lost her two front teeth (five total). She starts first grade this year (on Tuesday) and she has taught me a thing or two already when it comes to her school. She is and will always be daddy's little princess, but when I look at her I think where has the time gone?

A quick little story for some background for this quote (my favorite for at least this week) by Noah. The kids and I where joking around while setting the table for a meal (I think breakfast). Madison asked me how I knew the answer to some question that she made up and I said that, "I have some learning." So Noah always the one to be on his toes says, "I have some learning in my mouth!" Kids say the funniest things don't they?

Brady has been a crawling fool lately and he today stood with the help of a toy shopping cart and then let go of the shopping cart to grab a hold of Lisa. If I am not mistaken this was his first cruise with what I am sure will be more cruising to come. He has also for the second straight night crawled into his room to let us know it was time for him to go to bed - how grown up is that? So again I look at Brady and think where has the time gone?

Well Brady is in bed now and the other two are in heaven with their Winnie (Grandma) across the street at Wal-mart so I am going to go read a little and just think to myself, "Where has the time gone?"

Friday, August 22, 2008

Big girl!

And no, I am not referring to myself!

It's official. The training wheels are off! My baby is growing up!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Windy City

A couple of weekends ago we went to Chicago. Now, this in and of itself, may not come as shocking news. We live close and it is a great place to go, tons of stuff to do for the kids, great places to eat, good shopping (can anyone say IKEA?). Come to think of it I am not sure why we haven't gone sooner.
I have fond memories of Chicago as a kid. I remember the time my dad took me to a Cubs game, just me and him, and then out for some of that famous Chicago pizza afterwards. I remember going to the Museum of Science and Industry on a field trip and me and a friend of mine were able to fit inside one pant leg of William "the Refridgerator" Perry's pants. Fun times.
However, this trip was met with just a little trepidation. We went to meet 20 people we had never met before.
Let me tell you the story.
When I was pregnant with Brady I received weekly e-mail updates from a site called BabyCenter. They kept me up-to-date on everything that was going on with me and baby all throughout my pregnancy. It was so cool to see how my little guy was developing and to receive great advice on all of the fun things I was experiencing. (To read our birth story click here.) Anyway, I noticed one day that on the e-mail it said "Visit your birth board". I had no idea what that meant so I figured I would check it out.
Well, if you have ever been to a message board you know what I am talking about. For the rest of you I will try to explain. The message board was for moms-to-be who were due in November of 2007. I went there and got tons of advice from moms just like me. I had some great girls who went trough GD with me. I got great advice on baby carriers. I also got one thing I didn't expect: some of the best friends I have ever had.
You see, on this message Board was a thread called "Christian Mommies". Figuring I would identify with this group I started reading. I introduced myself (I didn't give too many specifics-you never can be too careful with all the loonies on the Internet these days). Over the next several months of our pregnancies these girls and I became very close. We shared much more than our ever-expanding waistlines. We shared life. We prayed for each other. We laughed and cried together.
When we had our babies we decided to take our board private so that we could share things that we might not want the whole world being able to see. Since then our relationships have only strengthened that much more. We have been there for each other through deaths of loved ones, infidelity, surgeries, illnesses, and more.
We decided about 6 months ago or so that we wanted to meet each other for real. That was the hardest part for us. Many of us are stay at home mothers who crave adult conversation during the day and we have found that in each other. We just knew we had to finally put faces and voices and hugs with the pictures and conversations we have shared.
It was a little trepidating and surreal. But it was also unbelievable to get to hug these women who have been rocks for me over the past year and then some. To pray and cry with them for real. To stay up late and eat junk food and have real conversations. That trepidation wore off after about two seconds. It was like we had all been friends forever, and we just picked up conversations where we left off.
The hardest part was saying good-bye. But we promised it wasn't really good-bye. It was just "see you later".
So, without further ado, I will introduce you to all of my new (old) girlfriends (and most of their husbands and kids who were just dears to come along).

Mommies and Babies (from left: me and Brady, Chana and Maisy, Liz and Jocelyn, Cheryl and Griffin, Kylie and Carson, Brooke and Lauren, Jenny and Evan, and Alyssa and Riley)

Some of the kids in downtown Chicago-Millenium Park

(from left: Graham, Griffin, Evan, Brady, Madison, and Noah)

Everybody at Lincoln Park Zoo

Holy babies, Bat Man!

We are already planning our trip for next year. The group picture with a bunch of wriggly toddlers should be loads of fun! But, I wouldn't miss it for the world!

All I Want for Christmas...


Monday, August 4, 2008

Comic Relief: A Good Reason to Have Kids

I was playing baseball with Noah earlier-yes, inside. He had his "mitt" (actually an oven mitt) on the right hand and the ball in his left. I told him to switch since he is right-handed and this is the conversation that ensued:

Noah: I'm right handed?

Me: uh-huh

Noah: Is sissy wrong handed?


(For the uninitiated ROFL=rolling on the floor laughing!)
Kids just say the darndest things!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Whole Nine Months

Today is Brady's nine month birthday. That is absolutely unbelievable. Today he has been out as long as he was in. When you are pregnant it is like time stands still. The waiting is unceasing. Then they are here and it goes so fast. Happy Birthday baby boy! We love you!