Monday, October 01, 2012

A Little Catching Up to Do

It has been so long since I have blogged, I don't even recognize Blogger so... we'll see how this turns out!  As much as I don't have time or motivation to blog, it makes me sad to lose this piece of our family history.  So, this will be a week of catching up before baby girl turns 2, which is still blowing my mind.  I'll start with Owen who turned five way back in April.  We discover new parts to this little man's personality all the time.  He was once the most laid back, happiest baby you ever met.  Now he is quite the perfectionist, always afraid he's missing out on something, working oh so hard to keep up with his precocious older brother, trying to find his place as the middle child, making very sure his voice is heard at home, and giving us quite a run for our money!  He loves to cuddle, have his back rubbed, and give and get hugs.  He loves adventure; he loves to do wild and crazy things that scare me half to death; he loves collecting things; and he is quite the scientist.  He can be found at any time putting his thermometer in all sorts of crazy places to see how high or low the temperature will go.  He puts it in the back of the freezer, in the bathtub, out on the hottest part of our back deck.  It is quite amusing.  He loves to time himself doing various activities and chart how far he can jump (down the stairs, off his swing in mid air, off the table, etc.)  If you were a fly on the wall in our home, you would never believe he was shy.  But if you took a look in his Sunday school class, you would see an introverted little boy trying hard not to make eye contact or get noticed.  His little mind is always churning, and he has been labeled "a thinker" by more than one person.  He tried playing baseball in the spring and has told me "no" to every attempt to get involved in something since.  Matt and I  don't want to push him-we definitely understand the desire to stay in the background.  He did not want to attend preschool last year.  His words were "why am I the only one who has to leave?"  It about broke my heart, and Matt and I decided to start home-schooling him along with Micah.  He did a fantastic job keeping up with work two grade levels ahead. He learned to read and is recently really getting the hang of writing.  Math is his favorite subject, handwriting his least.  He despises drawing, but gets really into reading stories.  He likes to swing, watch movies, play video games, and go hiking.  He is starting to have a real relationship with Margot, and it is fun to watch them interact.  She thinks he hung the moon!  He continues to be best friends with Micah-I think these boys will always have a special relationship.  He loves Jesus, and we love watching his faith grow.  Oh, how we love this boy- the good, the bad, the laughter, the tears.  We are so blessed to have him as a son.  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Beach Trip

Today Margot is with Matt's mom, the boys are enjoying this wonderful weather outside, and I am recovering from surgery. So, I figured I would post some pictures of a happier time a couple of weeks ago at the beach. Back when our whole family was together every day, back when I could move my face.

Quick note about the surgery: I had a tumor in my parotid gland. It's been there a while, albeit we didn't know what it was. It began growing earlier this year, so I had to have a partial parotidectomy last Thursday (no fun!) The good news is: the doctor says the surgery went well and that he preserved my facial nerve (although the extreme numbness and inability to move my face has me feeling less optimistic than he), and all the preliminary tests are showing it to be benign. He assures me that I will be able to move my face again and that the pain will subside, it just takes time-like months time. I might, however, never regain feeling back to my face and ear. I suppose that I will get used to that. Okay, enough boo hooing. Back to the beach:

We decided to take an early Spring Break with Matt's mom, dad, and sister to Gulf Shores. Despite the unseasonably warm winter, we had lots of clouds and chilly wind. Honestly, it wasn't too much of a bummer for us not to have to lather sunscreen on the kids every day. Most days were still very pleasant to be outside playing, walking along the beach, etc. The ocean on this particular trip was especially gorgeous. Because of the heavy cloud cover, it looked absolutely enormous because you couldn't tell where it ended and the sky began. The waves were huge-such a soothing sound. Matt and I commented on one of our walks that we felt so small. Such a tiny speck in this enormous world. Isn't it funny how we blow ourselves up to be the center of the universe sometimes? And yet, small as we are, the Lord of all creation loves us and cares about us? So humbling it was staring at that vast ocean.

The kids had a blast playing with so many attentive adults. They braved the chilly waters and jumped in the waves, swam in the indoor pool, played beach golf, built castles, went on a scavenger hunt, flew kites, played Pass the Pigs hundreds of times with Aunt Maggie, drove go karts, and ate adventurous foods (both the boys declared a love for oysters on the half shell!). Margot was enthralled by the ocean. She asked about the beach all the time. She loved putting her feet in and jumping when the waves crashed against the shore. If I would have let her, she would have jumped all the way in; she's a water baby-that girl. She became very skilled at "pat pat" patting the sand in the buckets to make a sand castle, and asked to get in her "back pack" for walks with the family down the shore. She now puts her dolls in her small play back pack and walks around the house-so cute.

We so enjoyed ourselves and all the quality time we were able to spend with family. Funny how you can live in the same city as someone, and yet it takes a getaway to really spend time together. We are so thankful we had the opportunity to take this trip and hope we can plan another one soon.

Margot and her Aunt Maggie

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hymns for a Kid's Heart

As part of our school day, the kids and I have been learning hymns, reading about their authors, and practicing reading music while a cd plays in the background. This has been such a fun activity for everyone including Margot who even dances and "sings" along. Whenever things are spiraling out of control, I push play and everyone piles in the big leather chair for a hymn! In fact, I think our favorite memories from this past Christmas were all centered around the Christmas hymns that we sang. The series of books we are using is called Hymns for a Kid's Heart. Our favorites right now are "A Mighty Fortress is our God" and "O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing." The boys especially loved learning that Charles Wesley was one of nineteen children and was homeschooled.

O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace!

My gracious Master and my God,
Assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad
The honors of Thy name.

Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
’Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
’Tis life, and health, and peace.

He breaks the power of canceled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.

He speaks, and, listening to His voice,
New life the dead receive,
The mournful, broken hearts rejoice,
The humble poor believe.

Hear Him, ye deaf; His praise, ye dumb,
Your loosened tongues employ;
Ye blind, behold your Savior come,
And leap, ye lame, for joy.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Margot 15 mos

Ahhh, blogging. So little time, so little brainpower, so little creativity, so little desire. However, I refuse to let time fly by at the speed of light and not take a minute to jot down a little about our growing girl.

As a side note, my mom took the boys for a few days before Christmas. I was blown away by all the free time. I wondered what on earth I did all the time when I just had Micah as a young toddler. I felt so lost. I lamented to Matt that I don't even feel like my own person anymore. Who am I? What do I like to do? It's easy to get down in the dumps when you buy into the world's mentality that we are all our own separate entities and that we need find "ourselves." I got a book for Christmas that was a really fun read, so practical, and so encouraging. If you get a chance, pick up a copy of Rachel Jankovic's Loving the Little Years. It's like she read my mind and wrote just what I needed to be reminded of right there in chapter 12. Here is an excerpt:
We are like characters in a story. Our essential self is not back in the intro, waiting to be rediscovered. Who you are is where you are. If you suddenly panic because it all happened so fast and now you don't recognize yourself, what you need is not time alone. What you need is your people. Look at the people who made you what you are- your husband and your children. Study them. They are you. If you want to know yourself, concentrate on them.
Those women who try to find themselves by stripping away the "others" will find that they are a very broken little thing. This will lead them to resent the people who they think made them that way. She may say "I used to be so energetic, but all these people take, take from me and now I have no time to just be me!" And the world gathers around and comforts her and says she needs some time to follow her dreams.
But the Christian woman needs to see, "I used to be so boring! Now my character has some depth, some people to love, some hardships to bear. Now I have some material to work with." People, people everywhere and no time for yourself. But remember, this is your calling. It belongs to you. They belong to you. If you want some quality "me time," make a date with your husband. Do something special with your children. These people are you. Your identity is supposed to be intertwined-that is the way God wrote the story, and it is the way He intends us to read it.

So encouraging and so true. Really, there is no person I'd rather be. Whoever I was before, she is gone. Now stands the tired, overextended mom to three young children and wife to one amazing man. And truth be told, I am loving it. I love these people I live with. I love that they are my story.

And the newest piece of my story is getting bigger every day. She is growing like a weed-31 3/4 in. (80%) and 22.5 lbs (50%). She is continuing to stay tall-it is so funny to hear that she is in the 80% when I'm used to hearing 25% for the boys. I'm thrilled for her that she may get some height from her daddy. She is not only walking now, but running. She wants to be a big so bad. Watching her brothers all day has taught her a lot- for better or worse! She talks so loudly despite all my efforts to get her to use a gentle lady-like voice. She wants to be heard. She makes many demands like her oldest brother did, although she is much more easily contented when things don't go her way. Even though she fights for her rights here at home, we see her introverted nature come out in public. She will get quiet or cry upon entering unfamiliar places. She does well with a babysitter at our home, but will scream until I have to pick her up if we try to leave her in the church nursery. This is a challenge because once she is back with us, she talks loudly and makes requests until one of us has to take her to the car. Alas, it is a season. We will one day all be in church together for the full hour and a half. She is so clearly a little girl with big brothers. She will often be running around playing football while wearing "so petty" necklaces, bracelets, and perfumed lotions. Or, she will be pushing her new baby in her stroller while wearing some of her big brothers shorts. She cracks us up every day. She loves to brush her teeth, dress up, read countless books, dance, eat, and sleep. She loves to tease her brothers, then ask them for multiple kisses before leaving the room. She loves her dada, and I'm pretty sure I rank pretty high on her list too. I think, since we are seasoned in this stage, we are much more apt to take it all in. We are truly enjoying watching her grow and studying her little personality. The Lord has blessed us beyond what we could have hoped in these children. We tell each other daily, even amid the struggles and exhaustion, "we love these kids!"

Here is a little video of the way she danced to this particular Christmas hymn. She even chimes in to the "gloria" refrain but it's hard to hear her.

Friday, December 02, 2011

This is How I Do It

My little elf. She can whip dinner up lickety split!


We traveled to Little Rock this year for Thanksgiving to visit my dad. He happens to live on multiple tree filled acres-a little boy's dream. We had a wonderful time hiking, climbing, building a campfire, riding the four wheeler, eating, visiting, watching games, and playing our own games.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

My One Year Old

These photos were taken by our dear friend, Taylor Brown, while we were visiting for Labor Day. She was only 11 months, but they capture her personality so well (she always has and has had that furrowed brow!)

At one year old, sweet Margot, you:

-Continue to be such a blessing to us. I love that, with your intense personality, you have so much to keep you busy. Two older brothers definitely help keep you entertained. Maybe that was the problem with Micah at your age: he was so bored!

-Are extremely precocious. You want to do more than your body is ready for. You have so much to say and you want to know about everything. You point to things constantly and ask what they are. You drag out book after book for me to read to you so that you can point to all the pictures and practice saying new words. You talk a lot for a 12 month old. We estimate that you have 50 or more words. You don't have the best pronunciation, but we can usually figure out what you are saying. One week, you went into your brothers' room and lined up all their stuffed animals. You were not content until you mastered all the animal names and sounds. Some nights I would carry you in tears to your room. You would just get so worked up, I felt I needed to rescue you from the undue stress you were putting on yourself. Ahhh, another overachiever. I wonder where you get that from? :) You succeeded, little girl, and now proudly tell everyone what lions, monkeys, elephants, bears, and porcupines say(Dada taught you a joke and you reply "uh oh" when asked "what does a porcupine say". You think this is really funny and we are pretty sure you understand that you are being silly).

-Took your first trip to the hospital. You had a little tumble off the slide one night while having fun with Owen. We didn't think anything of it as it was not a very scary fall. You cried most of the night and next morning. When you began standing like a flamingo, I decided to take you for an x-ray. Thankfully, there was no break, and you recovered pretty quickly.

-Love food! Anything we put on your plate, you eat. Your brothers were good eaters at this age too, but there was always a few things they would spit out or gag on. I have never seen you turn away anything. I love watching you eat plates full of colors and hope you continue to love them so much.

-Are still nursing. I really don't know how long we will keep this up. You have had milk in a cup and do great. Since nursing isn't really tying me down, and I really have nowhere else to be, I think we will continue for a little while longer. I'm just not quite ready to let you go.

-Take one good 2-3 hour nap a day. You also still sleep roughly 12 hours each night. Every once in a while you sleep extra late in the morning or take a really long nap. You had been waking up once in the middle of the night. This was my fault as I let you continue with this bad habit. We have been doing some sleeping boot camp and you are responding well. You seem your same chipper self in the morning despite the tears at 3 am. Thankfully, I think this habit is already almost broken after a few nights of dada coming in instead of me.

-Stand by yourself. You have taken a step or two, mostly when no one is looking, but you are too nervous to attempt any further distances. I am very ready for you to walk and think we are about to devote some serious time to teaching you how. Your left foot still turns way in after a few steps, so it might be a challenge to learn good balance. The doctor assures me this will straighten itself out in the next few months.

-Are 21 lbs. and 30 1/4 inches long. This puts you in the 50% for weight and 80% in height. You are slimming down but keeping you length. You definitely did not get your height from me, but I think you will enjoy being taller if you stay on this track.

We love you sweet girl and are so thankful for your first year of life. May the Lord grant us many more.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Golf Tournament

Oh, the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgements and His ways past finding out! --Romans 11:33

This past weekend, we enjoyed Micah's third golf tournament. On the way there, we were reflecting on the past year. One year ago to the day of the tournament we were driving to Micah's first golf tournament. I was 38 weeks pregnant. We got a new car that same afternoon. It was a big day for us, and we were feeling great-excited about what was in store. We had no idea. What a gift that God doesn't give us a window into the future. I loved being at that golf tournament thinking everything was right in the world. I'm glad I didn't know I would have such a rough post-partum after Margot was born. I'm glad I didn't know how sick my first born would become just three months later. I couldn't have walked so carefree that morning, loving life, had I known.

On February 25 I drove Micah to the doctor and then to the hospital. He had been sick for a month and was taking a turn for the worst. He wouldn't come home for a month. I watched him get sicker literally by the hour and felt my life spinning out of control. I remember the day we had a turnaround and were allowed to put Micah in a wheelchair. We got to stroll him around the hospital. We bought him ice cream. I remember Matt and I thinking and saying "if this is the best we get-we are okay with that." They were telling us to expect a long recovery. Micah's inflammation was some of the most severe they had seen. No one knew if our child would walk again, let alone play golf. We were just so happy he was alive. The Lord is so good to us in that He works our trials for good. I would not be the mom I am today without this past year. I soak up every minute I can-life is fragile. I remember to be joyful even when I am so tired. I remember that one day I won't have these little people wanting my attention, and I relish in reading them one last chapter. I remember that babies get big-fast, and I relish that one last snuggle from my baby. I remember that life is hard, but life is such a gift, and I try not to take the small things for granted. His ways are not my own. I would not have chosen to walk the path I did this past year. But, I also likely would still be sulking in my own self pity of not getting enough "me time." I would not have chosen for my son to endure what he did, but I wouldn't have been able to see his faith grow, the Lord working in his little heart, the wide-eyed wonder my boys have of their Creator who heals diseases.

This weekend was amazing. Again we were loving life, walking around the golf course watching our miracle boy make one fantastic shot after another. He had a goal: shoot a 25. He made his goal and was so proud. His face was priceless when they called his name to receive his first place trophy. We had a wonderful day watching our son accomplish his goal. And you know what? I'm glad I don't have a window into the next 12 months. Oh Lord, deal gently with us.

Right before a great chip on his first hole of the tournament. This was his second shot, the video is below.

Calling his name for first place!
so proud

Owen, look what I won for us! Micah wants to keep the trophy on the dresser so they can both see it from their beds.

from Ginny Morrison on Vimeo.


The above videos were his first two shots of the tournament. He went on to putt for par! It was a great way to start off the morning.