4.21.2016

backyard buds












That one tuft of original hair, that never fell out, stands wavy, uncertain of its intended color, and golly, do I love it. She's been soaking through shirts, teething, the past couple of days, and even though she has her sad moments, she's still incredibly sweet. She gurgles at us and blows raspberries in response to every greeting.

Our yard is coming to life, with green shoots springing up through the dirt, and trees and bushes changing their buds into flowers. I was so excited to see the blooms on our apple trees, and we're hoping Mr. Bee will help them eventually give us fruit!

Spring is such a wonderful season. Every year, when the trees are twiggy and the air is biting, I forget that the world is going to burst to life with leaves, colors, and smells. So, every year, it's a breath taking surprise all over again, just when the winter blues are starting to overwhelm my senses. I'm so thankful for change and growth, in all of its many forms.


4.12.2016

169.6





My roles of wife and mother are my two most important (though not only) roles, and I love finding portions in the Bible written to help me be a better wife and mother. Also, it helps me to read other women who have compiled their own testimony, mixed with the Bible verses God has used in their life. I'm in the process of reading a couple of books currently, and I want to do a post on some of the books I consider treasures, but since I don't have internet at home, it takes extra planning to get everything together and go somewhere with internet access, so I find my plans of staying on top of this blog tend to slide.

These verses have been helping my attitude lately, turning my focus toward being quieter, more still, and trusting God to meet my needs and accomplish big things in our family, even through my short comings.

1 Peter 3:3-4 "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on or apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."

Proverbs 31:30 "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised."


It's a reminder to me that a meek and quiet spirit is more important than being pretty or organized or anything of the other things that I put stock in for myself.

Weight update: Using Trim, Healthy Mamas way of eating I have lost thirty pounds in fourteen weeks. I still have forty-five pounds I'd be happy to lose, but I have every expectation that it will come off, and easily, even! My first weight loss goal was to make it to 170 pounds by May 11th (my brother Andrew's graduation from college), and I'm happy to say that I have already exceeded that goal! God is so good to us to give us food that tastes good and helps our bodies. His design of our world blows me away.

4.11.2016

Charlotte Pear: Four Months










The brightest, chubbiest, most beautiful part of every day, is this kid. She wakes up giving big smiles, accompanied by sweet gurgles, which continue on through the day, unless she's starving (which I'll admit occurs every two hours or so, when she's awake).You don't get all those rolls without loving mommy's milk!

She's sleeping through the night, has found her thumb (as much for chewing as for sucking), loves to be talked to, sings along to the best songs (Frozen's "Let it go", Les Miserables "I dreamed a dream", and Victorious Valley Girls "Last Blood"), and rolls around like a pro. She's wearing mostly 6 month clothes (some 3-6), and, as you can see, is making some of her 6 months into belly shirts these days.

Charlotte looks enough like her daddy that if we go out sans bow, everyone compliments me on my adorable boy (even in pink, sequins, ruffles, flowers, etc.) We think she's (mildly) allergic to tomatoes, because if I eat a meal that's heavy on tomatoes, she breaks out. I had the same allergy when I was a baby, though, so in that way, she's like me! Also, you can already see the muscle that will keep her two front teeth apart (gap city!!), which she gets from me.

I love being a mommy to this baby, and I love watching Matt be a daddy, but mostly, more than anything, I love having a baby that grows.

3.31.2016

placement order


Yesterday we got a four page letter from the court in Arizona with this sentence among many others, "It is ordered that the children shall remain in their current foster placement while awaiting final approval as an adoptive home for the children."

So, just like that, the decision is made, and the boys, who we've prayed the best for, are staying in Arizona. I can't say that I'm upset, since we truly just want them to be taken care of and loved, but I hope that whatever it was we were supposed to learn through this process, we've allowed God to accomplish in our lives. It's a strange mindset to have to switch out of. They've become a part of our vocabulary and decision making process, and now we proceed with Charlotte in a set role as our oldest (though not first-born) child. I am glad that a decision has been reached, and we'll continue to pray for their lives as they grow into young men.

Charlotte's first Easter was spent with family on both sides, mine at church, and Matt's for Easter dinner. She had an adorable bonnet, which she did not enjoy, and other than that, the day was distinguished only by her parents singing in the car at the top of their lungs, "But at the grave, something is happening, as Death screams, 'I've lost my hold!' Angels rise in anticipation, for the Son is coming home."Oh, how thankful we are for our Savior, who not only loved us enough to lay His innocent life down, but also had the power to rise up again from the grave! I hope you're trusting Christ with your life, not just your every day life, but your eternity as well.

3.23.2016

177.5









I want to remember these days. These crisp days when we left our house in all bravery, not knowing when someone would need to eat or sleep or cry, but trusting in love and grace to get us through whatever came.

Maura (the two year old I watch) has been such a doll to Charlotte. She says things like, "I sweet to your baby." and "She's my friend!", and it only makes me more fond of everyone in the world. We've gone to the beach a couple of times lately, the zoo again today, and the park more often as well. I feel so brave when I take them both somewhere, with all our stuff, so far from the safety of car and home, but really the bravery I'm feeling is an acknowledgment of the lingering fear that everything could go horribly wrong, which, thank God, it hasn't yet.

God has been good to my family. Even when I'm an emotional wreck (like, I took a pregnancy test today because I've been so up and down.) (No, mom. I'm not pregnant.) my husband chooses to love me, and my baby is always ready for a smile in exchange for some eye contact and high-pitched words. I'm blessed and thankful.

I don't know if you remember, but we went through the process of becoming Norfolk foster parents, because my Grammie's step-daughter died and left behind two boys (ages 3 and 1). There's a court date for them in Arizona tomorrow, and we're calling in to be virtually present. There's no guarantee any decision will be made tomorrow, but our home study expires at the end of April, so if the Lord is going to move the judge to send them here, it will happen soon. Just pray for us. For peace in wording as we speak to the judge and for all of God's beautiful plan to unfold in the lives of those boys.

Also, I've lost 23 pounds this year!! Still have miles to go, but happily chugging along.

3.16.2016

Charlotte Pear: Three Months






Charlotte at three months is bright. She smiles and gurgles, grasps things and brings them to her mouth, and watches you walk with her eyes. She sleeps six hours in a row every night, never goes to sleep before midnight, and occasionally she sleeps so long I have to look at pictures of her on my phone to satisfy my baby craving. She has rolled from both her back to her front and her front to her back, but doesn't do either often. Occasionally, she sleeps through the night.

We've been brave lately, carrying her around the zoo and out at the beach, and she's rewarded our bravery (carrying a baby while bringing the toddler I watch) by being an angel and not demanding food at inconvenient times. The outfit she's wearing is the same outfit she wore home from the hospital. Not the outfit I had planned for her to wear home from the hospital, of course, but she had made a mess on that one, and my friend Amelia had bought her this little, green dress and brought it to the hospital, so, in a pinch, we put her in a three month outfit for the ride home from the hospital, and here she is, filling it out properly. 

I love her chubby cheeks and her arm rolls, but mostly I love the way her lips twitch, her nose crinkles, and her eyes twinkle when she's watching us. I hope every month is as beautiful as the third one has been.

3.08.2016

181.8








Charlotte Mason, a woman who lived over one hundred years ago, has greatly influenced my education and child raising ideals. In one of her writings she said, "Children should have free afternoons and evening for generous leisure in and out of doors."

So, in an effort to spend more time outside with Charlotte before she can play outside herself, Matt and I have decided to start walking the little trails we find scattered around our city. Yesterday was the first day the weather has been agreeable in awhile, so we put Charlotte in her carrier and spent some time exploring.

Mostly, it was an opportunity to feel the sunshine on our faces and try Charlotte's carrier outside as we practice for our up coming anniversary trip to the West Coast, but it's also good practice for life, as we'd like to sneak these walks in whenever we can find the time.

I'm almost twenty pounds down! Hopefully I'll make it by the end of this week!