25 June 2014

Painting with Daddy.

I have to admit, I am not a fan of painting with my kids.  They LOVE it, and ask to paint frequently - all I can usually think about is that there will be 3 little kids with paintbrushes in hand, and that paint will be everywhere.  So, we don't paint very often.  It's definitely a special occasion thing.  Or now, a Daddy thing.

One evening, a few weeks ago, after dinner, he suggested we get the paints out.  The kids were thrilled and I was not, as usual.  But Max was so excited to do it with him, and I just told him he got to help clean up ;)
 Love how when Ezra concentrates, he sticks his tongue out!
 It was going well, until Ezra peed in his undies/pants.  They were having so much fun, so I just stripped him down, and let him keep painting.  It was hysterical seeing his naked behind under that smock.  And then Evie walked by, accidentally swinging her brush around, artistically leaving paint splotches on his bum.  It was cracking us up!  
She was so proud of herself.  They all had such a fun time painting - and Max kept exclaiming how he was having a blast - and I just kept telling him that was great, that HE could paint with them all he wanted!  We've now painted a few times in the last couple weeks, and have some very artistic pictures to prove it.

 And for good measure, a few faces of Evie - the girl cracks me up!

20 June 2014

Summer 2014 Reading

I told myself that I couldn't pick up turn-my-brain-off-get-lost-in-another-world books until I got through some of the books on my nonfiction book list.  You see, it's harder for me to read nonfiction - it takes more concentration for me, and somedays, at the end of the day, I just don't have energy to really absorb the good thoughts tucked in those books, so they sit on my shelf for days and weeks and months.  

I also told myself it was silly to finally get a library card when we had less than 3 months here.  But then two weekends ago, Eliana and I found ourselves at the Public Library, filling out for a card, and checking out a whole bag of books.  

The books that I checked out, I finished in a week.  I guess I was a little more than ready to turn-my-brain-off and get lost in another world.  I think I forgot how much I love to read.  To have a book in my hand, turning pages, getting to know characters, losing myself in a story.  This past week has been a great reminder to myself of my love for reading, for books, for stories.  And now, I can't wait to get to the library to pick up more.   

I am almost done with A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 (and highly recommend it!).

What have you been reading lately?  Anything recommended that I can add to my list?  

19 June 2014

Life "insta"-lately.

I used to pull out my DSLR camera daily, snapping pictures, memories, moments, here and there.  And then last year, I got an iPhone, and suddenly had an easier picture-taker available all the time.  It was usually with me, and in the quick of the moment, became my go-to memory-recorder.  

But I miss my camera.  The weight in my hands.  The photos taken.  The memories captured.  Typically in better, less grainy quality than when taken with my phone.  
ice cream treats // morning tea with Georgie // silly smile faces
Evie & Ezra putting Georgie to bed // 20 weeks with baby girl // colorful meals make me happy 
painting // evening walks // hands on her hips, showing off her dress and vacuum
first popsicles of summer // Georgie caught in the act of stealing napkins // coffee in hand

I am glad I have a readily available camera and am glad for the memories I have captured with my phone.  But I want to use my camera more.  I want to have picture upon picture stored on my computer, and I want to learn to use it better.  So I am plugging it in today, to recharge.  In hopes that it won't just sit on my shelf, wasting battery life.  But instead, that I'll grab it frequently during my days, to snap photos, to capture moments, to record precious moments of our days.  

17 June 2014

Overdue Update

Well hello there!  It's been awhile!  The last few weeks have seen a huge decrease in my motivation for blogging, so it's been a little quiet around the blog.  But I woke up this week with my fingers itching to type out some thoughts and updates on our life.  I miss recording our moments, the little things that make me happy/keep me sane, sharing our family adventures - I have blogged for years, and I love having words/stories written down to look back on.  Anyways, no guarantee that the blog will be hopping from now on, but I figured an overdue update was definitely in order!

Max has two months of class left here, which is slightly surreal.  I know he is at the point that he is just ready to be done, and move on to what's next, but it's crazy to think that we've been here over a year, and our time in Monterey is almost up!  We found out last week that we'll be stationed in Southern California next - at a Marine base that's about halfway between San Diego and LA - and we are so excited!  Once Max graduates here, he goes on to a few months of training in TX, and we won't be going with him.  The kids and I will be staying with my parents in AZ for those months, to have help and support while he's gone/I have baby #4.  When he is done with his training there, we'll head to our next duty station.  We were really hoping to be stationed there next, so are thrilled that is where we'll be going!

I am 20 weeks pregnant with baby #4.  We found out last week that it's a little girl!  She has a strong heartbeat, all her body parts, and is growing well.  I have been feeling her move for a few weeks now, and Max was able to feel a kick last week as well.  I think God knew we needed a little baby girl, so that Max and I wouldn't battle over boy names for months on end ;)  We have been talking about names, and I am pretty set on Emma or Elsa - both are pretty, start with an E (which I feel like has to happen after 3 E-named kiddos!), and have lovely meanings.  There is still halfway to go in this pregnancy, so we'll see how the name develops in time!  I have much more energy than I did in the first trimester, which has been so welcome.  I still feel sick at the thought of a cup of coffee, love caesar salad dressing, and have random cravings - last week and this week, it's been pickled beets...I can not get enough pickled beets!!  Oh, and the fruit?  I can't eat enough fruit right now...watermelon, berries, nectarines, oranges, plums...you name it!

The kiddos are doing well.  Eliana will go to VBS next week at church, and she can't wait!  We are looking into a Pre-K program for her to attend in AZ this fall.  She asks a lot when she can go to school, and would love to go a few days a week.  She would wear a dress every single day if it were up to her (and most days she does!), loves princesses, and sings a lot.  Ezra continually cracks us up with funny sayings, and crazy antics.  He has oh so much energy, and talks a LOT!  We are still in the midst of potty training - he pees on the potty like a champ, but we can't get him to poop on the potty...and tips would be greatly appreciated ;)  I can't believe Evie will be 2 in a few months!  We still call her baby Evie (which I suppose we should stop with a new babe coming soon!!), and I can't believe she is getting so old!  She is saying more and more words, loves to do animal noises, makes the funniest faces, and absolutely adores her Daddy - if he is here, she wants nothing to do with me.  It's super sweet how much she loves him.

Georgie is now the size of a small horse, we feel like.  He is pushing 60 lbs, and is not quite 6 months old!  He is a sweet boy, and is still learning his manners!  We'll finish up a second round of dog training classes this week - we've worked on a lot of basics, and he does pretty well.  He gets neutered in a few weeks, and has had a lot of firsts in the last month - first trip to the beach, first longer car ride, first trip to the dog park.  He goes crazy for a good bone, loves the kids (he lets Evie crawl and sit all over him), and will do pretty much anything for a hot dog.

I know it's summer, but it doesn't quite feel like it here!  The weather is so temperate, so there is really no change from the rest of the year!  Some days it's 60 and sunny, some days it's 50 and gray/foggy!  We are trying to soak up time outside, take trips to the beach, and gett in our last few adventures here before we move in a few months.  The kids and I stay busy playing outside, running errands, skyping with friends/family, having playdates, and playing games/doing crafts/coloring here at home.   I finally made it to the library and have cruised through a few books these last few weeks.  I'll share my reading list soon :)

It's time to finish some laundry, find a new project for the kids to work on, and get some other things crossed off my list this morning.  Hopefully it won't be almost two months until I post again!  Happy Tuesday, friends!

08 May 2014

Let's talk about Baby #4

I know that more than one of our babies have been an...ahem...unexpected surprise in our lives, but let me tell you, this wee babe was yet another very unexpected surprise.  I guess God knows we need to be kept on our toes!  While pregnant with Evie, and after having her, I was content with having 3 kids.  I felt like that would be my last pregnancy, and I was good with that.  I was happy with 3 kids, and felt like that was what we could handle for now.  We talked about how if we wanted more kids in the future, we would look into adoption - something that we've always talked about pursuing at some point.  I got rid of all my maternity clothes, gave away all of our baby toys and clothes, and had the mindset that Evie was the baby of the family.  

With all of that in mind, we made the decision for Max to get a vasectomy.  Like I said, we were done.  It ended up working out for him to get one while we were here in Monterey, so it was scheduled for this February.  The procedure came and went - everything went well, and we thought the pregnancy/birth control chapter of our lives was over.  

Two days after his vasectomy, I took a positive pregnancy test.  We had definitely not been trying to get pregnant, ha - in fact, we had been trying to NOT get pregnant!  But alas, God had different, and better plans for us.  In the last few possible weeks that it could happen, I got pregnant with baby #4.  
To say we were shocked and overwhelmed would be an understatement.  We were thrilled that God would bless us with another baby - a precious gift of life.  Yet I was overwhelmed by the idea of another pregnancy, another labor & delivery, another baby.  In my mind, we had been done, and all of a sudden, I had to make a huge mental shift back to baby mode! 

It took me a few weeks to take it in, to soak in the fact that God was growing another little one in my belly, that our family was going to expand by one yet again.  It took me some time to realize that this was good and beautiful - even though my plans had been different, realizing that God always has bigger and better plans for us than we can ever dream or imagine.  

Logistically, this makes things a little more complicated for us.  Max will be away at training for a few months this fall, while the baby is born.  We don't know where we'll living as of right now.  We don't have any baby clothes/supplies/etc.  But that's ok.  I am clinging to the fact that God doesn't make mistakes.  He makes beautiful things, and He has good plans for us, for our family, for this baby He is creating inside of me.  And I am excited to see what He has in store. 

I am a lot less overwhelmed now, and just more excited.  It was reassuring to see the little baby on the ultrasound at 10 weeks, and hear the heartbeat strong and consistent.  It was a thrill to tell our kids that they would have another sibling - and the questions and ideas that ensued were adorable and hysterical.  

I am due the beginning of November, around Ezra's birthday.  And this week marks 14 weeks pregnant.  This pregnancy has been kicking my behind, let me tell you.  It's probably mostly that I am chasing after 3 toddlers all day, and my body is growing a little one.  The last few weeks, I have finally been gaining more energy and don't feel like a total zombie all the time.  I went back and forth for a few weeks, being hungry all the time, and then being completely nauseous.  Now, I just want to eat everything in my sight - mostly comfort foods like chicken and dumplings, grilled cheese and tomato soup, and spaghetti - along with a few randoms, like pickles, sparkling water, caesar salad, and cheese crisps.  
To be honest, it's fun to be pregnant again.  I loved being pregnant with each of the other kiddos, and this is no different.  I was so certain that I would not be pregnant again, and it is a beautiful surprise to get to do this all over again.  Even though we were shocked when I saw that positive pregnancy test (and maybe even in denial, haha!), we are thrilled that God is entrusting another precious one to us - I guess He knew we needed an even-numbered family, and yet another unexpected surprise in our lives!