Friday, September 23, 2011

Welcome, Cool Weather & Pappa & Grandmom!!

With the start to Autumn, we've enjoyed some nice cool weather! It's great to pull out the cool-weather wardrobe for all of us, and it's always fun to pull out another season of clothes for the boys. It's been all-too-easy to 'pass down' clothes from one boy to another...I appreciate it! Caleb's wearing all the shirts, jeans, socks and jackets that Rhys wore, and it's pretty neat that they both started walking within their 13th months of age!

The boys enjoy playing around our fire pit, and I think they'll really enjoy it this winter when they see what it does! Holds fire and makes s'mores! :)
Caleb LOVES to swing!
The boys enjoy their new car mat...we're working on the concept of sharing. :)
I was thankful when Rhys came home from school with this Scripture verse (it's condensed for the children's ease of comprehension): "Be generous and willing to share." I Timothy 6:18
I definitely remind the boys of this verse at least once a day, and it's great to know that Rhys' teachers are encouraging the same!
Just another cute pic :)
I walked into our den a few mornings ago, and Rhys was just sitting alone on this stool, eating his granola bar and looking out the window. It was such a sweet moment that I wanted to take a picture to remember his precious quiet moment. He is SO his sweet daddy in MANY MANY ways!!!
Pappa & Grandmom have visited with us the last two weekends, and Grandmom has stayed with us this last week. It's been such a nice help and time of companionship. Most days, I don't get much adult interaction, so it's been nice to have another wise and experienced woman, wife and mom here with me and the boys during our full days! Pappa offered his Camelbak water bottle to Caleb last weekend, and he is a pro at drinking out of it, now! Yay for no-leak bottles!
I found Grandmom sitting with the boys yesterday morning...another sweet, quiet moment, where they were just sitting there, looking out the window...and I wanted to capture the moment.
What are we to do when Grandmom is not here next week???? I know that we'll be fine, but it sure has been a nice treat! "Thank you, Pappa & Grandmom, for coming! Thank you, Grandmom, for all of your love!"

McWane & Friends

We got to meet some friends at McWane Science Center a couple of weeks ago...there's so much to do there, you can be entertained for DAYS!!! We did all we could in a few hours! Thank you, Jenn, for inviting us, and thank you, Sarah, for coming to visit {before heading to AFRICA for the next three years!!! Wow! That's still sinking in for me!}!!! We had a WONDERUL time playing, visiting and just having a BLAST with all the boys!
First stop, the bed of nails, which, of course, the boys couldn't wait to try...
Christian braved the first try...
See the nails beneath Rhys???? Yikes! Apparently, it doesn't hurt or feel too uncomfortable!
I thought this was neat...the water pressure holding the balls up...I guess until someone nudges the ball off the water...
This was great...a jumping pad that lights up underfoot! Rhys is up in the air in this pic (gotta love that little booty up in the air! :))...
Rhys & Hutson wild & crazy...
Caleb gettin' in on the action...

Then, we went upstairs to 'The House,' where the boys had fun with water! What boy doesn't like to play with water!!???!?!??

Then, Rhys put on a little outfit and started dancing to "Old McDonald had a Farm" for us! :)
Then, all the boys 'fell' into the foam blocks...

We had a FUN time and look forward to another playdate with GREAT friends!!!!

Potty Training "Lock In"

Just over two weeks ago, we had what I'll call a "potty training lock" in at home! Daddy left for drill on Friday am and was gone until Sunday pm. The boys and I did not leave the house from Thursday afternoon until the next week! It was a LONG weekend, but I knew that the Lord was leading us into that weekend to potty train Rhys, so we stocked up on candy, juice, underwear and pulled out the portable potty and were off!

Sweet Russell even set a stop watch to go off every 20 minutes as a reminder for me to TELL (not ask) Rhys to go to the potty. The intervals changed to every 30 minutes the next day...every 20 minutes felt like we were ONLY pottying all day long...seems like the process of getting his underwear off, sitting him on the potty, 'doing his business,' pulling up the undies, washing hands, rinsing the potty, getting candy, etc. lasted 20 minutes! Then, it was time to do it all over again! :) And all that with another toddler literally hanging on me just about the entire time!!! {Caleb is at a very clingy stage...of course, only clingy for MOMMY! :)} So, the extra 10 minutes was nice for Mommy!

Long story short - and not short of PRAISES TO OUR LORD!!! -Rhys is officially potty trained! He wears 'nap-time' and 'night-time underwear' during nap and night-time sleep, but it's only underwear during the day! Woohoo!!! This Mommy is SO thankful and truly in awe of what our bodies are so capable of being trained to do! With lots of prayer (for my patience!! :)), time, practice and rewards, potty training is totally do-able!

During our potty training time, we made the MOST of whatever we could find to do inside and outside of the house...

4-wheelin' in the wee hours of the mornin' into the dawn... (potty breaks in the grass! :))
A little rain didn't stop this determined little fella...
Playing with trucks inside... (donning the new undies, of course!!)

{I love to watch him try to figure things out. :)}
Caleb joined in all the fun...Here, he's fixated on a movie, while Rhys and Mommy are focused on the goal at hand! :)
Spent a LOT of time outside! Here, on the deck...
Caleb eating graham crackers, while keeping us company.
And Daddy's been a big helper since he's been home from drill and work trips.
Whew! I will say that I still pray when we go out to run errands and on school days, asking that the Lord would continue to help Rhys 'get' the concept of using ONLY the potty, not his underwear, when he needs to relieve himself. God has blessed the prayers, the consistent & constant trips to the potty and all the help from Rhys' teachers, Pappa & Grandmom while they've been visiting and other friends. It's been a good journey!

A Labor Day Full of Friends, Good Food & LOTS of JOKER

We got to spend Labor Day at some friends' parents' home on the lake...just had a WONDERFUL time!! If you remember our weather that weekend, it was RAINY. However, we didn't let that stop our plans! Yay!! We drove on...
We met up with this bunch and had a fun-filled night and day of JOKER (a super fun game!)!! It was too rainy to play outdoors, so we made the most of the indoors! The girls STOMPED the guys on Sunday night, but the guys came back with a vengeance the next morning, and we ended up TIED!!! Thus, the perfect excuse for a future game with great friends!!!
Their little man, Hudson, is a firecracker! So independent and full of energy...descriptive of just about every toddler, huh?!?! :)
Their precious Anne Stewart...Well, all I can say is that Rhys has eyes for her, even if she is a few years older than he. :) They were holding hands at the get-go! I LOVE it! :)
And sweet Caleb...he actually slept most of the time we were at the lake, but that's a praise for any child away from home! He had a great time, too!
If we weren't playing, we were eating, and if we weren't eating, we were playing! Maybe we ate and played too much, but it was fun, and we look forward to our next trip (to the mountains, we go, we go!) with Jeremy, Becky and their kiddos! Woohoo!!!

I think of this Scripture in particular as I think over our Labor Day weekend with friends:

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching
Hebrews 10:24-25

So, see! We have excuse after excuse to keep getting together!! :) Praise the Lord!

Caleb - 13 Months

Our big little man made 13 months almost two weeks ago. Life has just been fast and furious. So, this mommy is just now getting to post an update!

I PRAISE our Lord that Caleb is HEALTHY & WELL & CHOCK FULL OF SPUNK! He is ATTACHED TO HIS MOMMY these days!!! Whew!!! Hence, the lack of blogging! I'm catching a break during naps.

Caleb is WALKING!!! HOORAY! HOORAY! He took his first steps the day he made 13 months! He's still a bit unsteady on foot, but he's getting there!
He's full of smiles, giggles and laughs!
He eats great! Chugs down about 24 oz of milk per day (suggested amount for his age per our pediatrician).
He still naps twice a day...about an hour in the am, about 1.5 hours in the pm.
Enjoys the outdoors! Loves play time with Daddy & brother. Enjoys cuddle time with Mommy. :)
His personality is proving to be quite determined! Lord willing, that will be a strength!
This big boy's just a mess, and we LOVE LOVE LOVE him with all of our hearts!!!

Here are some fun pics of what Caleb's been up to...

Learning to ride the 4-wheeler...
Of course, big brother jumps in to show him how it's done!
Eating Saturday morning biscuits with Daddy...
Evidently excited to be outside and with apple juice in hand! :)
A beautiful smile that his mama LOVES!!
Playing with pine straw...and, of course, always trying to eat it!
Happy 13 months, our precious Caleb!!! You are SUCH a JOY! Your personality is developing, and we learn something new about you just about each day! It's fun, and we look forward to many more months, many more years and a lifetime with you!

Mommy & Daddy