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Thursday, March 24, 2011

culture makers

...this is a shout out to all of the mothers of small children out there...
"...I also wanted mothers to realize that the basic unit of culture is the family, and what happens in those first five years shapes people for the rest of their lives. That's as much culture making as anything that happens in the White House or on Fifth Avenue." -Andy Crouch (in a WORLD magazine interview about his book, Culture Making)

I was enjoying my WORLD magazine and catching up on what is going on in this world (since I rarely watch the news or check news on-line), and this quote struck me. It is so easy for me, and I would guess most mothers, to get caught up in all of the repetitive tasks that go along with the job, and forget to see the big picture. We are shaping young lives...impacting our world on the most basic and fundamental level! Many moms "give up" careers to stay at home, and have a difficult time with the loss of affirmation and tangible results that the professional world can offer, but this quote reminded me that if mothers can just hold the bigger picture in their hearts and realize the importance of their "job", it would make all the difference and change the mundane and repetitive into a daily opportunity to guide and direct a young child who can already have a positive impact in this world, even at a very young age.

On a related note, I was watching the news at the gym (the only time I usually see the news!), and caught a video of a young man fighting back when a bully was terrorizing him. This young man was accosted by the bully and the bully struck him across the face and was obviously verbally assaulting him as well (since I was at the gym, there was no sound and no captions, so I am guessing at some of the details...). The young man ( a 15 yr old) had enough and picked up the bully and body slammed him. Now, this young man made national headlines and of course was invited to all kinds of interviews, and I was happy that he stood up for himself, but the thing that struck me the most was at the beginning of the video when two young girls stood by while the bully attacked and did nothing. They simply watched, almost amusedly, while the bully struck this boy, and then walked away. It saddened me to see their apathy and made me wonder if they (and/or their parents) felt ashamed watching their heartlessness displayed on national television for all to see. Now, I know this kind of stuff happens every day, and that is horrible enough for me to think of, but I hope these girls do feel ashamed and I hope their parents have a long conversation with them. It made me ponder how I can raise my children to stand up for themselves and not be a victim, but also take a stand for others and help those that are seen as weaker or that need a little extra help. If I saw a video of one of my children bullying or being a silent and approving witness to bullying, I would feel so ashamed....and angry at them. But, how to raise a little person up to want to defend the be confident and yet not cocky, to be gentle and yet not a wimp, to use words but yet actions when needed, to be discerning and wise and not rash and foolish. Wow. I so want my kiddos to make a positive impact on this world and love others for the glory of God, and I think part of the formula for that involves realizing that the little daily talks, habits, traditions, etc. are shaping my children to be positive culture makers, and I need to take that seriously.

I'd love to hear your thoughts....

Leia at the splash pad

Leia at the YMCA splash pad today on her 9 month old bday. :-) Isn't her ladybug suit just ADORABLE?!?! I'm having so much fun with the girl clothes and bows. Leia has about six different swimsuits that fit right now (all hand-me-downs) and of course I'm trying out them all. :-) Leia loves the Y splash pad and pool- see below for videos.

Landon swimming at Y

Landon had such a great time swimming at the Y today. He made some new friends (he is very social and skilled at making friends- a character trait I love about him) and just had a blast. He is doing very well with his swimming, so I thought I would post this video of him showing off...I think the double thumbs up is a picture perfect ending. :-)

Leia in fountain

I just love that Leia gets a kick out of everything these days and often expresses herself by clapping...makes me giggle. :-) Had to post this video of her in the fountain...makes me laugh.

Leia at Y splash pad

Leia is 9 months old today, and she enjoyed playing at the wonderful indoor water area at the Y...she splashed and all of the kiddos enjoyed swimming in the pool too. Gorgeous spring weather in Round Rock today- sun and 80's! We love it.

Leia at Y splash pad

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Landon and Leif

It is kind of hard to hear what the boys are saying, but I was trying to capture Landon and Leif as they were playing and "make-believing" out in the backyard at their last play date. I was just sitting inside chuckling at my bossy child and all of the fun and imaginative things they were saying and doing. Landon basically destroyed the little climber playhouse and the boys turned the pieces into boats for "batman" and "robin". Later, the climber became a step-stool for climbing over the back fence!

It's Baseball Season

Landon started T-ball this week, and Aaron took both boys to practice....Lincoln enjoys playing too, and here he is at home practicing on the "ESPN better batter" my parents got the boys last year for their birthdays.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Leia is crawling!

Leia is officially crawling....see the video below for more...
she is almost 9 months old....

Leia is crawling!

Leia is crawling! Lincoln came running in today from the backyard, yelling, "Mom, Leia is crawling!" So of course I ran out to see and was able to capture some of the crawling action on camera a few minutes later.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Play dates

Landon is addicted to play dates these days. Every day he will ask me if someone can come to his house or if he can go to a friend's house! Is that normal? :-) Thankfully, we have a nice selection of friends to petition for play. In the last week, he has played with the Ostendorfs, Bailiffs, Fergusons, DeFossets, Rivells, Wonderlys, Harners, Blantons, and Shocks!! And I'm probably leaving someone out! It's interesting for me to see him interact with the different children and watch how they all have their different preferences for play- Ryan and Kale will play video games for hours with Landon, while Leif, Madison, and Bailiff clan will play outside or more imaginative role playing adventures for hours. Leif is over right now and the boys are in the sand box while Lincoln and Leia nap....just invited me out to see the huge sand pile "castle" they had created. So fun! And I get time to blog- hooray! :-)

1st Dollhouse

My sweet and generous friend and wonderful neighbor, Kelly, gave Leia her 1st dollhouse yesterday...complete with all of the furniture, three grandmas, two little girls, one mommy and daddy and one baby! So fun! She loves it, and I think Lincoln is more excited than she is...he enjoys playing with her (except he tends to start beating the little people against the walls or throwing them out the "windows"...hmmm...hope that isn't because he saw Landon fall out our window!!!). Thanks, Kelly, for passing lots of fun girl stuff on to us. Leia is a lucky girl to benefit from all of the things Lily is done with. :-)

Designs by Amy

This morning I was able to capture the one and only, oh so talented Mrs. Amy Grunow at church with her adorable daughter, Reese....who is one of the best dressed little girls I they could pose for a picture in their matching outfits that Amy designed and created....did I mention she is talented? Leia is just darling, if I may say so, in her custom Easter dress with little apron and matching bow and shoes (also made by Amy). Thanks, Amy, for sharing your gift with us. I'm enjoying decking my baby girl out in some very girly get-ups. :-)

And here are a few adorable pics of Leia that I took before church this morning. I hesitated to dress her in the Easter outfit today because I plan to take professional pictures of her in it soon, but I want her to get a lot of use out of it and I figured it was worth the risk of stains to show it off and enjoy it. :-) Apparently Amy and I had the same thought, as it was Reese's first time to wear her Easter-themed outfit.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


It's "blinged"-out! :-) DONE.

Chuys RLG

Tonight we went to Chuys with a few of our friends from our Realife group (church small group). I had to post this picture of the receipt....there were 9 of us that ate dinner, and the total was just under $54!!! Granted, we all filled up on their free queso, chips, salsa, and jalepeno sauce...and we purchased our drinks from the bar while we waited for a table (that place is ALWAYS packed), but I thought that it was amazing that 9 people could eat for $54 (we have some very frugal friends!) and some of us even had dessert. :-) Sweet baby Willow joined us on the 8th day of her life for some delicious Chuy's, and we all gave Bret and Tomi a hard time because they requested a doggie bag for the left-over chips and tortillas to take home to their even more people got to eat off the $54!

St Patrick's day

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Thank you, Kelly, for inspiring me to get in the spirit of green fun and celebrate St. Patty's day with my kiddos. Kelly has a fun family tradition of a leprechaun visiting the house on the night before and messing it up a little...including putting some green pee in the toilet! Then, of course the leprechaun leaves a bunch of treats. So, Kelly picked up some green themed treats for me and the leprechaun visited our house too. I left a trail of gold rolos and green necklaces from the boys' room down the hall and stairs to the kitchen table, where there was a "pile of gold" and treats. We invited the Fergusons for breakfast before they left for their vacation, and the boys helped me make green eggs and pancakes.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

still enjoying decorating her nursery

here are a few of the latest additions to Leia's room....I made the window panel out of the crib sheet that came with her bedding set....and the custom bow holder complete with tiara is a fav of mine (over her changing table...probably will add some pics of her)...and I had fun using the Cricut that Aaron bought for me a few years back to experiment and cut vinyl lettering for her name over the closet (also put a little tiara over her light switch)....
lots of fun!

custom Easter basket

Today I'm excited about the custom Easter basket that I created for Leia. As I was picking up random supplies at Home Depot I came across this plain metal bucket that I thought would look cute with some fixin' up. It came together quite nicely this afternoon, but I'm considering adding more bling (I want it to be over-the-top girly!)....thinkin' some pink rinestone/jewel accents hot glued on all around her monogram....what do you think? ;-)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Leia is clapping and under the bed

new milestone...Leia is officially clapping...and oh so proud of herself :-)
and, she is so, so close to crawling.... she can sit up now when she is laying on the floor, and she gets her legs under her and starts to attempt to move, and then goes back into a sitting position...she rotates all around the room on her bottom and this morning she ended up under our was funny- the boys got a kick out of it :-)

FJ Cruiser

This was one of the first times Leia pulled herself up to stand. She was in the FJ cruiser- so proud of herself, and Lincoln decided to hop in and push the pedal and give her a ride. She is a trooper- she didn't seem to mind!

Our miracle

When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the one who holds his hand. Psalm 34:7 NASB

Landon fell out of our 2nd story window last night.

I'm happy to report that he is fine. Here we are trying to get Landon to tell us exactly where he fell.

I had all the windows wide open last night to vent some of the noxious fumes from the texture spray that I had applied yesterday afternoon (we are finishing off the server closet and prepping it for paint). We came home after a fun night where Landon attended Kamden's 6th birthday party, Aaron and Lincoln had special one on one time at Chuck E Cheese, and Leia and I had a Pei Wei date. :-) After bath, Landon requested his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume from a few Halloweens back...complete with turtle "shell" on the back. He was hiding from Lincoln on the side of the couch in front of the window, and, from what we can figure out, was attempting to hide behind the couch when he leaned back (assuming the window was closed as it always is), and popped the screen out and fell about 16 feet to the ground, where he landed in our shrubs. We still can't figure out whether I had stepped into the office with Aaron for a minute and that is when he fell, or if I was actually in the playroom and cleaning up (the fan was on so it might have covered the sound of the screen popping off). Landon did not make a sound. No screams, nothing. Lincoln kept repeating, "where's Landon, where's Landon", and I told him he was hiding (we aren't sure if Lincoln saw him disappear, or if he was just asking that when he couldn't find him).

The first indication that something was wrong was when I heard Landon crying outside. Of course there are no words to explain all of the thoughts and feelings that ran through my head....from, how did he get downstairs and what is he doing outside, to, I just checked and it looked like the screen was, "dear God- did he just fall out the window?!?"....I ran over and there was the dark, standing on the grass, crying, saying, "mom, I fell out the window." I screamed for Aaron in a complete panic, and he came running out of the office asking, "did he fall?" (later he told me that he was hoping Landon was hanging there...which would be my first thought too as he usually has great balance and reflexes and can hang for a long time)....and then when he heard Landon outside he went racing down the stairs. He carefully brought Landon in and although at first glance he appeared to be fine, he raced off to the ER. I made some calls for prayer, and sweet Granny Bobbie came over to stay with Lincoln and Leia while they slept so I could head over to the ER. Both Keith and Barie came up separately and I am so grateful for our dear friends. Their son, Kade, was very thoughtful and brought Landon his pillow pet to borrow, which Landon loved and held close the whole night (perhaps the first pillow pet to get a ct scan!) and told all of the hospital staff that his friend Kade let him borrow it (thanks, Kade!). Thankfully, the hospital is minutes away and they got Landon in immediately. They did several scans and xrays and they all came back normal. Three hours later, we were all home and sleeping!

As of this morning, Landon is not complaining of any pain at all, and we are praising God for a miracle. Our son just fell about 16 feet backwards out of a 2nd story window and he has no bruises, scrapes, or injuries- thank you, God!

Here is Landon showing off the shell. We are convinced that the padding and shell helped protect him from some of the impact of the fall. Landon tells us that he closed his eyes when he was falling, and when he landed it was "soft"! We are not sure if he blacked-out for a little while or not, but regardless, there were a hundred things that could have gone wrong and every little thing went right. I think that he has a pretty great guardian angel. :-)

And, it's true what Dr. Dobson writes in his book, Bringing Up Boys, half the battle of raising boys (especially active and daring ones like Landon) really is keeping them alive!

Thank you all for your prayers and for checking in with us throughout the drama. We love you and are thankful for our wonderful friends and family.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

another sweet friendship

Barie and I get a lot of joy out of watching these two together.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

sprinklers in February

Here is how the boys spent the last day of February enjoying the lovely weather.

more nursery

still working on it :-)