Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mother's Day

Here is my sweet angel at her preschool "muffins for moms." The kids had painted flower pots and grown grass with flowers! They decorated their room and served us muffins and juice as we squeezed our legs into their pre-school sized chairs. It was a sweet time and I will treasure her excitement!
My sweet family allowed me to choose our dinner spot for Mother's Day.....Olive Garden it is!
Jacob patiently waiting...he he he.
Oh, how her eyes sparkle!
My beautiful roses plus the wildflowers from Sunday morning. I am blessed beyond words to have two happy, healthy children! They entertain and amaze me on a daily basis. Even though being a mom is at times a lot harder than I ever thought possible, it's also a lot better than I ever dreamed possible and I wouldn't change it for a moment!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Why we chose to become a Safe Family

Well, this post has no pictures, but for good reason. Several months ago we were challenged to open our hearts and home to love on children in our community through a program with Bethany Christian Services called "Safe Families." The purpose is to connect volunteer "safe families" with a family in the community going through some type of crisis. For a period of up to 6 months a family in crisis might place their children with a safe family while they focus on their current situation. Say a single mom needs to have surgery and has no family nearby to take care of her children; she could place them with a safe family who will love and care for them while she undergoes medical treatment and recovery. One of the major goals of this program is to keep children out of the foster care system.

Our hearts were burdened when we heard of the need right here in our community. So in mid-February we accepted our first placement and had a sweet child with us for about 6 weeks. For privacy reasons, we can't share many of the details of our specific situation, but would welcome any opportunity to share more about our experience. We welcomed this child into our home, rearranged a little furniture and entered a new world of life with 3 kids in tow, car rider lines and school fund raisers. It was interesting to see a different dynamic as our children shared and loved and squabbled as if they had always known each other.

Our family, friends and church family rallied with us and supported us and this sweet child. We were showered with love, food, clothes, babysitting and prayers! As soon as our time began it seemed that the sick bug moved in, which is strange to us because we are a relatively healthy bunch. Trying to keep your focus on giving of yourself, keeping up a killer daily commute to school, helping with homework, an extended bedtime was at times very tough I'll admit. But God was bigger and knew what we needed and we feel God blessed the time we had with this sweet child. We felt confident about the changes that were happening in their family life and pray that God will continue to bless them as they've been reunited. We also very much look forward to continuing our relationship with them.

So, this too has been a big part of why I'm behind on pictures, blogging, and keeping up with some things. Sometimes you just need to push all the extra "stuff" away and focus on what's important.

Birthday World!

Some friends of ours told us about a place nearby called Birthday World! We decided since it was Megan's actual birthday to go check it out. It was pretty affordable and the kids had a BLAST! Think kiddie carnival rides, bounce houses, arcade fun and glow in the dark putt putt.

Here's Megan heading into the birthday cake shaped bounce house.
Taking a ride on the dragon.

Heading into the toddler bounce area.

Jacob gives the carousel a thumbs up!
Going for a spin on the flying bananas! This was their favorite!
Megan's first attempt at whac-a-mole.
Jim helps Jacob make some baskets!
Skeet ball!
Jacob enjoying a cool treat. If you check out this place they do have a food court that was fairly reasonably priced.
All in all, it was a very fun day! Happy 5th Birthday sweet Megan!

Meg's first spring break

So Spring Break sort of snuck up on us. First of all it's Megan's first year in school plus we thought we would be packing to move in two weeks (long story for another day). Alas, we are not packing and Jim has taken a few days off so we were off in search of adventure for a staycation if you will.

After our day at Disney we met the family of our sweet friend to reunite them. It was still a bit rainy so we were searching for indoor activities and decided on a bounce house. Well, being the frugal folks we are I had a coupon and we set out to a place that is no longer there. So, we headed for ice cream at a new place (to us). Not sure how we've lived here this long and never eaten Bruster's, but now we can say we've had it. After our mid-afternoon snack we headed over to a favorite park and let the kids loose since the weather was perfect. Here are pics from our first day of spring break......
Jacob was king of the bridge and let everyone know who dared try to cross using his "pirate" voice! He's so funny! Love to see his imagination taking flight.

We found a ladybug that kept the kids entertained for quite a while. Finally I convinced them to set it free so they could continue to play!

A trip to Disney

We love Disney! From our house you can see and hear the fireworks each night! Okay, so you have to be upstairs standing on the bed looking out the small window, but alas we're that close. However, we don't get there terribly often and so going is a fun treat. While our sweet friend was staying with us it was mentioned that they had never been before and so with the help of two of our sweet friends we were able to go spend the day at Disney before our sweet friend went back home. Since it's also Megan's birthday week and the beginning of spring break it was a very special treat to get to go! We arrived at the park and our friend Rebecca secured a 1st visit button and Birthday button for the kiddos! They showed those buttons to everyone in the park who would notice : )

Here's Megan in the interactive space at Epcot after the Figment ride. When the light shines on a square you jump on it and it plays music. The kids got quite a workout! Forgive our appearance. It was pouring rain at this point so we were running from building to building finding all the things you could do inside! Thank you Disney!

Here's Jacob having a little fun on the light up squares too.
Jim and Jacob are settled into their clam for the Nemo ride. We rode twice and enjoyed all the fish at the end of the ride and Bruce's play area too.
Here's Megan having some dance fun while we wait for the monorail.
What a magical way to spend our last day together with our sweet friend.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tinker Bell Party!

In no particular order (because for some reason I can't rearrange the pictures on my computer today) here are a few pics from Megan's 5th birthday party!

Katey, Megan and Abby in their matching Tink outfits!
Victoria, Matti and Megan
Ansley and Megan
Avery and Megan
Megan and Abbey
the birthday girl blowing out her candles
yummy tinker bell cake.
loving the new costume that arrived from nana the day before her party : )
We love you sweet Megan and are so blessed to call you our daughter. We can't wait to see you as you grow. We love sharing the precious moments with you. You are about all things girly and we love that about you. God has truly blessed our lives! We prayed and waited for you and were so excited to meet you when you finally joined our family! (You were rather comfy in mommy's tummy) We love you precious girl!

Megan's school celebration!

Here's Meg as everyone gets ready to do the freeze dance for her birthday celebration.
Meg with two of her best friends at school. She chose her favorite snacks to share that day...popcorn and chocolate covered strawberries. I was really looking forward to baking and decorating cupcakes, but they ask for no sugar, so I lightly covered some strawberries and had some plain ones too : ) How can I deny the birthday girl's request?