Saturday, October 29, 2011


We celebrated Peter's baptism this past weekend. I've been thinking about almost nothing else since. (Yes, even my sewing thoughts have been pushed aside a bit!)

We look great, don't we?

But the fact is that we're sinners - every single one of us. Even sweet Peter is a sinner. Every single one of us needs a Savior and renewing grace. Kevin and I claim Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and our children's Savior until the day comes when they can claim Him themselves. We made that commitment at each of our children's baptisms.

These men standing beside and behind us and the entire congregation promised to assist us in responsibly raising our children. I was texting a friend later that evening and I thanked her for consenting to help us raise these kids. "No problem," she answered. "We've got you covered." We are covered indeed. Not only by the prayers and support of our church and family, but also by God's blessings and righteousness and most of all His grace. Completely humbling.

It is a frightening thing to unreservedly dedicate my children to God. My sinful heart has lots of reservations and wants total control over everything - especially my children and their lives! What if they grow up and don't profess Jesus as their Lord? What if I don't teach them correctly? What if one of them dies? What if, what if, what if?

Yes, it's frightening. But there's a freedom in knowing that God is sovereign over all of my "what ifs". His wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth are infinite, eternal, and unchangeable. And everything has been foreordained by Him. That's comforting.

So I do the only thing I can do. I pray. I pray that our teachings will accomplish their purpose, that everything we do and say would point to God, that the days of our children's lives would be many, that each of them would grow to know Jesus as their savior, and that we would praise Him and glorify Him in all things.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pumpkin dresses

I love to sew. You'd be frightened by how many of my thoughts are about what I am sewing or what I'd like to sew. My sewing time is a bit limited these days. While making a red and green dress smocked with Santas would be fun, it's just not very practical. I try to make dresses that will last several seasons. That's not easy to do with baby clothes, since babies grow so quickly, but the girls are at an age where I can add extra length to the hem and they can wear the dresses for a year or more.

Last year I made green tattersall dresses that were finished just in time for Christmas. I sewed two buttons on the front of each dress and embroidered a Christmas tab that buttons on and off. Here's a picture of Caroline's.

I also had a friend machine embroider the girls' monograms on some bibs that I made. This is just a generic look for any season of the year.

So now it's time to debut the fall look for the green dresses. I embroidered pumpkins on the new tabs.

I'm very happy with the fall look. The Christmas tabs are ready to be buttoned on right after Thanksgiving!

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Someone thinks the baby swing isn't just for babies.

I said, "Helen, you are too big for the baby swing!" She replied, "I not too big, Mommy. I fit!" And then she showed me that she does indeed fit into the swing. And the bouncy seat.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Peter: 2 months

You are surprising. Nothing about your life thus far has been expected. We didn't expect to have a third baby. We certainly didn't expect to have a boy. I never expected that you wouldn't hurry into the world like your sisters did. I'm so very thankful that God's plans for us far exceed our expectations.
Your sisters adore you. And nothing entertains you longer than your sisters' antics and silliness. I can't wait for you to start laughing out loud at them.
Your little head is so round and perfect and fuzzy. You are a beautiful baby. We sit around and stare at you.
You are a snuggly baby. Daddy always wants to know how I get anything done around the house because you are so fun and easy to hold. The truth is, the housework gets left undone many days because I spend them holding you. It's an easy decision.

You love your Daddy. He knows just how to hold you that makes you feel safe and secure. His arms cradle you and you are instantly soothed.

You love your Mommy, too. Other mommies told me I would love having a boy. They were right. I'm very enamored with you.
You are my best eater, but my worst sleeper. That's not always a good combination. The first few weeks with you were hard. Really hard. Several of those early nights we saw you every hour and a half to two hours. It was exhausting. Things are moving in the right direction now. You are up once - usually around 2 - and then we can convince you to sleep until 6 or 6:30.
I was concerned in those early days that you would not be the easy-going, laid-back baby we needed. You don't cry nearly as much as you used to and we can almost always identify why you are fussy. You are becoming a very easy baby. We are always driving somewhere - school, church, errands. I'm so lucky that you are content in your carseat.

You love to be swaddled. You are strong, so we had to devise a "super swaddle" to keep you tucked in for longer periods of time. Daddy calls it "maximum security prison".
Your smile is easy and so very sweet. We get to see a lot of it these days. It melts my heart every single time.

You love being sung to. Your favorites are "You are My Sunshine" and "I Love You a Bushel and a Peck". Sometimes you sing your own little songs back to me. Then my heart melts again.
Your eyes are big and bright and inquisitive. You are absorbing all the activity around you.

At two months, you weighed 12 pounds and were 24 inches long. You are long and skinny according to the charts. Just like the girls were. You cried for 10 seconds when you got your vaccinations. You were perfectly fine once I picked you up. You are brave. 

We are so glad you are here, little Peter. We are so excited to learn about you and see who you are becoming. You are a perfect addition to our family and I already can't imagine what we did before you came into our lives. We love you very, very much.
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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Helen: 2

You are two. You have a joie de vivre that is completely infectious. Your life philosophy is summed up in one word: fun. Your main goal in life is to have as much fun as possible. No matter what. It makes disciplining you a challenge sometimes. Happiness is your default emotion.

You are cute. You always have been. You know how cute you are and try to use it to your advantage. Your cuteness often goes right along with mischievousness. It's part of that life philosophy you have.

You are a very physical child. You are strong and brave and boisterous. If I need to get your attention, I usually have to touch you in some way.

You love to tell stories. Last week in the car you told me that I needed to be careful so we wouldn't fall in the giant hole with the monsters and baby crocodiles. No clue where you came up with that one.

Your hair is beautiful. I don't do anything to it and I dread the day we will need to get it trimmed. I don't think your curls will stick around after that.

You are smart, but you don't always like to let us know how smart you are. You don't perform "on demand", but rather wait until the mood and setting suits you. You can sing your ABCs and I'm fairly sure you can count to 20. You know all your colors. You like to sing and know all the words to several songs. Your current favorites include "You are My Sunshine" and "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star". I get tickled because you say, "Pinkle, pinkle..." It makes me giggle every time.

If we tell you to ask for something nicely (milk, for instance), you say, "Nicely have more meelk, please?" It's adorable and I never want you to stop saying "nicely". Or "meelk".

You go to school (Mothers' Day Out) twice a week. I wrestled with the decision to send you two days a week. It's turned out to be a good decision. I think it makes you feel special. It's good for you to be around friends your age and I know you love it there. Now we're trying to make the decision to send you to preschool or leave you at MDO. You still seem too little to go to a big girls' school.

You love Caroline. You don't follow her around quite as much as you used to. I'm seeing you develop more of your own way to play without letting her lead all the time. You play so well together 99% of the time. You and Caroline share a room now. It's like a slumber party every night and you both couldn't be happier. I'm glad you have each other.

You became a big sister in July. You are so quick to help out with whatever Peter's needs are. You are excited to play with Peter. You are sometimes a little too bold when you play with him. I have enjoyed watching you grow into your big sister role. I know you can't wait until Peter is running around chasing you.
You are a true people person. You have never met a stranger. You have an empathy for others that is humbling. You love going to the grocery store with me and I love taking you. If it weren't for you, I would never have met all of the workers in the store. We know them all and love them because of your outgoing personality and lovely smile.

I am so thankful for you. You are so different from me and that makes our days together so interesting and fun. People often tell me, "Don't let your middle child get lost in the shuffle!" And I just smile. Because, sweet Helen, you will never be lost in the shuffle. You are my shuffle.
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Friday, October 14, 2011

Caroline: 5 and a half

When people ask you how old you are, you tell them, "I'm five. And a half." It's a very important thing, that half of a year.

You started Senior Kindergarten at Saint Mary's this fall. This is a big deal and you are so proud. You love school more than I ever imagined you would. If you have a few days off, you count the days until you can go back. And even though that makes me a little bit sad, I am so thankful that you love school and love to learn.

You love reading. I asked you what you wanted to do over your fall break. "Go to the library," you answered. No hesitation. So that's what we did. You still like children's picture books, but are branching out into chapter books and even some nonfiction. You've been bringing home nonfiction books from the school library about the planets. We've learned about Pluto ("It's not a real planet," you inform us.), Neptune, Uranus, and Saturn. We love that you love to read. I see myself in you - reading every chance you get. Sometimes I go in to wake you up in the mornings, and you are already awake, reading.

 You became a big sister again in July. As amazing as you were the first time around, you are even more amazing the second time around! You are so gentle and loving with Peter. It warms my heart to see how caring you are toward others. He adores you already.

Over the summer we found out that you love to swim and are really good at it! You passed two levels of swimming classes in record time. Your teacher says you are ready for a non-competitive swimming club next summer. I'm looking forward to that.

I've started teaching you piano lessons. You are also really good at that. You catch on very quickly. I need to do a better job of setting aside specific times to have your lessons. You love singing, too. Church choir and musical theater at school are two of your favorite activities.

You are definitely an introvert. You are sensitive sometimes, too. You are a beautiful little girl and we are enjoying watching you grow. It is easy to be your mommy and daddy. You are fun and funny and smart and talented and creative and sweet and just all around amazing. We love every bit of your five-and-a-half-year-old self! 
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"I've made a huge mistake." *

Well, that might be a little bit dramatic. Maybe a small mistake. I've been looking back through some of my posts here and have realized a few things:
  • A lot happens and changes in a year and a half.
  • These days are precious and very short.
  • Even mundane things like playing on the floor with the dog and laundry piles as tall as a small mountain become treasured memories when recorded in a meaningful way.
  • Posting pictures on Facebook doesn't take the place of writing down my thoughts. 
  • I'm sad that I haven't deliberately journaled the last year and a half of our lives with pictures and words.
It feels awkward to start this again after neglecting it for so long. I think I'll just skip trying to catch up. I'll start with three of my favorite things: the kids.

*Please tell me you love Arrested Development as much as we do?