Saturday, September 24, 2011

Asher lemon

This is Asher telling us how to eat a lemon!! He is telling us that the outside is "skin" and we should not eat it but the other side is "a little better." He is such a fun toddler- we are always entertained!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Stressful day conviction...

I choose this picture because Zoee's expression in this picture describes how I have felt much of today (even though it is not even noon!!) This is Zoee and her little friend Kinley in the double jogging stroller after the Mommys went for a run.

So today has just been one of those crazy days. The weather was so nice this morning that I thought I could go for my run early and have the kids eat breakfast in the double jogging stroller while I ran. The run went great but then I decided to take the kids to the park after the run and Zoee decided that she was upset. She cried from the park all the way home in the stroller (it was only for about 5 minutes but seemed like 30). Then Ash accidentally got mud on the carpet, Zoee spit up, I broke a glass cup while unloading the dishwasher... it was just one of those mornings where it seemed like everything was going to go wrong. I have really been trying to take every thought captive and think of the Lord all throughout the day but I often fail to do this when my circumstances don't go the way I'd planned.

I put Zoee down for a morning nap and put a movie on for Ash so I could read a little in the Word. I am in 2nd Samuel and today the story of Michal, David's wife came up (2 Samuel 6). She was originally in love with David and became his wife. Then her father took her from David and gave her to another man who she apparently fell in love with. Then David wanted her back and since he was king, he took her from her new husband to be one of his many wives. And I think my day is stressful!!! Anyways, I was a little confused at how God punished her for being a bitter wife. The Word says that she "despised David in her heart" and when he came home from worshipping the Lord, she nagged him about how he was worshipping. The chapter ends with saying that she died without having children (which was considered God's punishment in those days). So, we can conclude that the Lord did not want her to act this way- even though her life was tough and her circumstances were not how she planned, God was not okay with her having a bitter spirit. Her circumstances did not excuse her attitude in the Lord's eyes.

What a lesson for me today. I often excuse my attitude because I think my circumstances are hard. I can't do that. It is not okay. Even on tough days, I am told to rejoice in the Lord. I hope that today we can all rejoice, even if everything is not exactly as we planned.

"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!"
~Philippians 4:4

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Get-away pics- part 2

Yes, this is REALLY Galveston! The water was SO SO pretty. I did edit this pic but just a tiny bit!

We could not get over how pretty the beach was!

Relaxing by the pool. So. Nice.

Sonny wanted to get an "action" picture of us reading!! I was trying so hard not to smile!

Our books. It was so nice to get to read in the sun by the pool.

Please, please take our advice. When you get married, do not stop "dating" your spouse. Make time for just the 2 of you. Do fun things together. Laugh. Rest. It will help your marriage so much and it will help you be better parents.

Our little get-away!!

The view from our balcony...

the view of the AWESOME pool...

Willie G's- awesome food!!

here we are outside of Willie G's

Becoming parents changes everything. Period. Yes, it is SO wonderful to have children, but it is also the hardest thing we have ever done. Kids require your constant attention. You give and give and give some more. Our mentor, Paul Helbig, would periodically take his wife on little vacations with just the 2 of them. I never understood the importance of those little trips until we starting having our own little family. Marriages need constant work and sometimes life can get so busy with kids that people forget to work on their marriages. We have learned that we HAVE to take time for just the 2 of us to get away and regroup. Whether we just go on a long date or have a wonderful 2 night vacation- we need this time. Someone at our church graciously gave us a 2 night stay at the San Louis Resort in Galveston. It was wonderful! We slept really late, ate a bunch of really good food, relaxed by the pool, read, watched movies, walked on the beach, toured the city, went shopping- we did it all!! It's amazing how quickly you can get in and out of the car without 2 little ones!! Though we missed the kids, it was so wonderful to take this time to get refreshed. The ONLY bad part about the trip was that it made us want to move to California and live on the beach (I guess that could be a good or bad thing depending on your point of view!!) We are so incredibly thankful for getting to go on this vacation. I am so thankful for my wonderful Mom and Dad who were willing to watch the kids for us so we could do this. I know they were exhausted and I seriously cannot thank them enough. I had such an amazing time laughing and enjoying time with my best friend. Almost 8 years of marriage and I continue to fall more in love with him. The Lord is so kind.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

MVI 0711

Here is our little Ash playing catch with Daddy. I love his passion when he throws it back! Priceless!

Dear Zoee...

Dear Zoee,
Sweet little "spicy" Zoe-bear! Where do I begin? You have us going non-stop in this new season of life. You started walking on Labor Day (Sept 5th) which was just one day after you turned 10 months old! You LOVE being able to walk just like your big brother. You want to be doing everything he is doing- which is sometimes overwhelming to him but he is learning how to handle it). We are all just so thankful for you, Zoee. You are so joyful and you smile almost all of the time (unless you are teething). You brighten people's day and I pray that you always will be that kind of girl! Here are some things from your little 10 1/2 month old life...

1. You are WALKING (as previously stated) and thus getting more "owies" since you are not yet an expert. Sometimes you will just stand up and almost start RUNNING! Maybe you will like running like your Mommy when you get bigger? =)

2. You like puzzles and books a lot. Your favorite book lately has been "Moon Dance"~ it is a sparkle book with lots of shiny pages to look at (and you already are in love with BLING so it makes perfect sense that you would like this book).

3. You LOVE to dance just like your brother. For some crazy reason, you and Ash love dancing to Michael Jackson. Your favorite song seems to be "Smooth Criminal" by MJ which cracks us up. We play music almost all day in the house and you will randomly start moving your hips and bouncing up and down. So cute!!

4. You still LOVE to eat. Tonight was your first time to eat fajita meat (chicken) and you just gobbled it down. Who doesn't love Mexican food, right?

5. You do not sleep as much at nap time as your brother does which is MAKING me learn patience and that "every kid is different."

6. You are getting quite a "spicy" personality. Some call it strong-willed. Some call it stubborn. Some call it determined. I call it spicy! I actually got that term from my friend Krystal when she was describing her daughter, and I think that term fits you perfectly. I pray that this "spicy-ness" will be channeled in a good way and will make you a woman who is determined to follow Jesus with all of her strength!!

7. You love to climb! Even before you were walking, you were climbing. Daddy was definitely right when wanting to name you Zoee Scout! You are so full of life and adventure!!

I think that's all right now. Zoee, we cannot tell you enough how much of a blessing you are. Though times can be tough with two little ones, I would not change a thing! We love you baby girl!


Dear Asher...

Dear Asher,
What a great little man you are becoming. We still talk almost every day about how fun this season with you is. You really are such a kind, compassionate, joyful little man. You like to walk people to the door and you told me this morning when Zoee and I came to get you up from bed, "Zoee's pretty." You are so kind just like your Daddy! You are a little emotional at times which makes it hard for us to know how to encourage you. Sometimes the smallest thing can go wrong (like you not being able to find a certain car that you want) and it just seems to wreck you. We are learning though- how to strengthen and love on you so that you will hopefully grow to be a godly young man one day. When I think about who you remind me of in the bible, I think of King David (minus his trouble with women). He seems to have been a little emotional at times but he was also a strong leader who was brave and loved the Lord. I pray that you will be like that. I love the way God made you! Here are some things going on with you...

1. Your favorite bible story is Noah. In your kids bible you love to read about Noah and the rainbow.

2. You love to imitate your Daddy. Sometimes when he is at work, you will wear his hat around the house. I love when you do this. You and Daddy get doughnuts almost every Thursday morning and you enjoy this so much. You are just like him!

3. You love helping me with Zoee. I think you might think her real name is "Zo-bear!" That's what you normally call her. It is so sweet. When she gets fussy in the car, you will start talking to her to try and distract her. I love hearing you go "HI ZO-BEAR!!" You are a great big brother. Even though Zoee can sometimes annoy you, you are adjusting well to her and learning how to get your space when you need a break (you will go play quietly on your bed when you get frustrated with Zoee and then come back to play with her when you are ready)

4. You like playing sports. You seem to be good at soccer and like to play catch with us.

5. You love chocolate (just like Mommy) and all things that are sweet (just like Daddy!)

6. You have started to like a new movie called "Fireman Sam" that we watch on Netflix. Its funny that you like this because I think it is a British show with clay figures but you really like it and ask often to watch "Fireman."

7. You still seem to have a little of Mommy's OCD and "hypochondrian-ism" =). Everything always has to be in its rightful place for you to be at peace and the smallest "owie" always has to have medicine!! I love seeing my funny quirks show up in you!

8. You like to go in the attic with Daddy. We have no idea why you want to go up in that hot place but at least 3 times a week, you ask to "Go attic with Daddy." I guess that's your adventure side coming out!!

9. Going with your adventure side- you love to climb!! You love climbing up your rock wall in your room and saying "I DID IT!!" when you are done =)

Ash, you are such a joy. I love praying with you at night and reading your bible with you. I love cuddling with you. I love playing ball with you and building towers with you and watching Cars with you. We love being your parents little man! You bless us so much!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Prayer for Zoee and Asher...

Zoee and Asher...

Psalm 90:14
"Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy,
That we may rejoice and be glad all our

I read this Psalm this morning and it reminded me of our constant prayer for our kids. I know that when this verse says"early" it means "early in the morning" but our prayer for Ash and Zoee is that they would know the mercy of the Lord "early in life" and thus rejoice always in Him!

Dear Zoee...

Dear Zoee,
Oh my, you are growing so fast and getting quite a personality. You still smile almost all day. You still love to eat. It is a joy to be your mommy. I love going in to get you in the morning and see your joyful face! Here are some things going on in your almost-10 month old life...

1. You LOVE your brother and want to be exactly where he is at all times. Sometimes I think you know that you bother him but I am not sure! Even when he tackles you, you still want to be with him.

2. You still love to eat. Mainly breads and fruit at this point. You really like blueberries, bananas, peaches and waffles.

3. You like to clap and dance. When we put on music, you will dance your little heart out! We love it!

4. You love puzzles and books. You love when I read to you and you love to play with Asher's peg puzzles (especially the farm animals one).

5. Your favorite movie: Baby Einstein's Bethoven (it has a lot of music that you like to dance to)

6. Your favorite book: Baby Einstein's "Baby Noah World Animals" or Moon Dance (it has lots of Sparkles in it that you love to look at.

7. You love our little neighbor Kiylee. She will come over when we are in the garage (I run on the treadmill while you and Asher have snacks) and she will make you laugh so much.

8. You are joyful RIGHT when you get up. You never really need time to "get up." Right when I walk in to get you, you are smiling away =). It is so much fun to get you up. I usually come in singing "that's the way it should be" from the Grease soundtrack (even though I do not know all of the words and thus I make up most of them) because it makes you smile and dance.

Zo-bear, you are a little blessing to us. I look forward to taking you and Asher to more parks as it gets cooler. You are almost walking and that has been fun. You will only take about 2 steps now before you plunge into your destination but I know that you will be walking soon! My, how you have grown fast. We love you Zoee!


Dear Asher...

Dear Asher,
Where do I start? It has been a while since I have had time/energy to write. You and Zoee keep me going ALL day. Don't get me wrong, it is a blast with you two, but it IS tough and requires so much strength from the Lord. You are such a wonderful toddler. You are doing new things every day that make us crack up and sometimes melt our hearts. Yesterday you told me, "Go park with MY Daddy!" It was so cute to hear you call Daddy "MY Daddy." It is crazy how much information you absorb and can repeat back. Here are some things from your little life...

1. You love the movie CARS. You can quote almost the whole thing and we now have to make sure that you only watch it ONCE a day. "I'm happy" is probably your favorite quote from that movie (I think it is said by the Sheriff when they find our Lightening is gone).

2. You have a love/dislike relationship with your Sissy. She ALWAYS wants to be exactly where you are and playing with the exact same toy you are playing with. Sometimes you do not mind this and you will share with her but other times you just want your space. Your "Zoee-free/ safe-place" is your bed. I have told you that if you are frustrated with her and you want to be alone, you can go play with your cars on your bed and Zoee cannot get you. You go here at least once a day to have some "alone time."

3. On that note, you really enjoy alone time. Yes, you love being with people but you really value being alone. Sometimes when all of us are in the living room, I will find you alone in the playroom just playing contently with your cars. I love seeing you grow to be an independent kid.

4. You take about an hour to wake up. I know that once you get up you will need your hot chocolate and you will need to sit and rest (watching either Baby Einstein or Cars) before I let Zoee climb all over you. Otherwise you will get very upset and be quite grumpy.

5. You are daring! You climb on everything and love to show off how brave you are!

6. You love to imitate Daddy and do what he does. If he eats an oreo, you want one. If he climbs in the attic to get something, you want to come. It is so special to see the bond that you have.

7. Your favorite food: Barbra's Cereal Bars (fruit and yogurt) and CHOCOLATE!!

8. Your favorite book: Cars See and Find for Toddlers or Trucks

That's about all for now. We love you so much Asher Sullivan. You are a joy and we are so blessed by you.