Faith, Family, Friends, Fellowship, Food, and Fun

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Happy Birthday, Spencer

 2 Years Old

 1st Birthday
      2 weeks old with my favorite doctor
A few minutes old

I really think Spencer has changed more than Lauren, Caleb, or Abby. His hair was so dark and now he is practically blonde. This sweet boy has brought so much joy into our lives. He loves to call Lauren, "Sissy" and if she doesn't answer, he just says it louder and louder. The same if you don't respond when he says ank you. I love to hear him say, 'ere it is!" When he is looking for something because he says it with such emphasis. He loves to see the school buses that stop across the street as well as planes and trains, he always waves and tells them bye-bye. Other words he says include: ball, swing, eye, ose, outh, head, ears, oon (spoon), ot (snot), ean up (clean up), irdie, ish (finished), up, ate (gate), ooey ooey (Umi Zumi), ucky hands, ead (read), drink, milk (sounds like oke), juice, ipper (Chipper), Daddy, Da-Da (me), Ickey Ouse, Oodles (Toodles), ight (light), side (outside), oli oli (ravioli), ash (trash), Aggie (whenever he sees the ATM), uzzle, shoe shoe, cheese, Abby, Ub (Caleb), uck (Stuck), ain (train and plane), tee-tee, cookies, uit bites, this, that, hello, elp (help), oos oos (Blue's Clues), baby, ocean (lotion), uh-huh, ubbles, eat, the end, Percy, ack (track), cake, E I (butterfly), shoo fly, see, bath, izza, oothush (toothbrush), aste (toothpaste), and more. When we are in the van and have to stop, he orders us to, "Go! Go!" I think his favorite thing to say is, "Daddy home!!"

At prayertime, he knows exactly when to get the prayer cube or prayer cards. If he gets a prayer card, he points to the card and mummbles as if he is reading. Then he puts it right back. After kisses, he runs into the girls' room and snuggles up in Abby's bed. He stays in there with Lauren until we insist that he come out and let her sleep.

He loves to play outside with his brother and sisters, and he loves to jump on the trampoline. He has just learned how to snap the Thomas train tracks together by himself. He likes to play dolls with Abby so I use it as an opportunity to prepare him for his baby brother or sister. He sings along with songs such as the ABCs, Barney, songs his Mickey doll sings, the intro to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Calliou, and the Pandamania CD in the van.

This sweet boy brings so much joy to my days. I am so blessed to be the mother of 4 precious children and can't wait to make it 5.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Here We Grow Again

That's right, I'm expecting. My due date is October 5, but we all know I haven't even made it to 37 weeks so September 18 is more realistic for me. It has been the roughest pregnancy by far (including the 3 miscarriages). I was a mess for almost 3 months experiencing much more than just morning sickness. I mean, I did have some pretty scary vomitting spells, sometimes throwing up 9 times in one session. I also had nausea and aversion to food in general, which was a vicious cycle. I had the most painful bloating at the beginning of the pregnancy. Twice I told Stephen to get the keys to take me to the ER because I had NEVER been in so much pain.

Once that problem was solved, I battled a little depression and a little anxiety. You don't know how debilitating this is unless you have experienced it yourself. Add in a lack of a good night's sleep, and you might as well go to a mental hospital. I was waking up every single hour to use the bathroom and then around 4:20 I couldn't go back to sleep until just before the alarm. I can't tell you how many hours I spent praying and singing church songs to help me pass the time. I don't believe in getting up because I have faith that I'll eventually go back to sleep. I am forever grateful to a friend who suggested I try Tylenol PM. I slept 5 hours straight that first night and woke up with no more anxiety or depression. Thank God for friends! And thank God my my amazing husband who had to prepare dinner for over 2 months. Seriously!

Thankfully that has all passed and I am back to myself. I am still exhausted, but who isn't? I am finally at a point where I am waiting in joyful anticipation of the precious life God has blessed us with. I always wanted a large family, I just never thought I'd be having it so late in life.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Lauren's 1st Communion

 Lauren and her banner.

 Lauren and her sweet friend, Emmeline

 1st Communion Cake

 Our growing family

Our family picture would not be complete without Aunt Joanie, Uncle Paul, and Ryan. We are so blessed to have them in our lives.

The special day finally came. After a whole year of preparing, including me attending 10 RE classes, 2 meetings, and a retreat, Lauren made her 1st Communion. It was a beautiful day and a bit emotional as I remembered that my mom was there in spirit. She would have been so very proud of Lauren. My aunt and I held back tears as she mentioned that to me the night before.

I just don't know what I would do without Aunt Joanie and Uncle Paul. I grew up with BIG family celebrations for all holidays and every one of my cousin's births, baptisms, 1st Communions, confirmations, and graduations. Those are truly the best memories of my childhood. I had always dreamed of having a big family and sharing all of life's accomplishments with lots of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, etc.... but that wasn't God's plan for my family. Somehow, my aunt, uncle, and cousins fill in the gaps. They come 4 hours to share their faith and love with my kids. They play anything the kids want to play and give them their undivided attention for hours and hours. Each and every one of my children feel so special when they are around and as you can imagine, Stephen and I can let our guard down and relax a little. We enjoy celebrating mass with them and I love how my children behave and participate in mass when they are with us. Every time they leave, Stephen and I wish we lived closer. I try to plan in my head some way we can close the gap between College Station and Gladewater. For now, we will have to wait until the 4th of July to see them again and make new memories. 

1st Communion Banner

You will need:
swivel head precision blade (scrapbooking)
felt rectangle
wooden dowel
gold rick rack
gold glitter felt "paper" found in felt section at Hobby Lobby
white glitter felt "paper"
gold "rope" ribbon
felt glue
hot glue gun
patterns for the chalice and host (search on internet)
last name printed on computer using Microsoft word
marker for tracing

1) Cut out patterns of chalice, host, and letters
2) Trace on the back of the paper. Place letters upside down on the back of the glitter paper so that when you cut it out, the marker will be on the bottom.
3) Measure rick rack across the felt, leaving a little extra on each end.
4) Cut 3 2" strands of rick rack for the loops
5) Position all pieces on the felt as you wish to glue them.
6) Glue rick rack onto felt with felt glue. Apply pressure or set heavy books on the rick rack to dry (a few minutes).
7) Repeat for chalice, host, and letters.
8) Fold rick rack loops over and glue ends together with hot glue gun (felt glue did not work).
9) Place loops on dowel and space apart.
10) Hot glue the left and right ends first, making sure the dowel will be level. Then hot glue the middle loop.
11) Measure, cut, and tie the gold rope on each end of the dowel to hang the banner.

 I saw some other beautiful banners at our mass. Some families used religious scrapbook kits found in the scrapbook section of any craft store. Others used sequins. Some families fastened family pictures to their banners. Each one was so unique, just as our kids are.