Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Twenty-four weeks

You'd think it wouldn't be that hard to stop and say to someone, "Hey, can you take my picture?"  I keep meaning to do it... just because it's fun to look back and compare (and see how much bigger you were with your third than your first!), and remember.  But this is only my second picture of this pregnancy...late, late one night before bed!

I'm feeling more aches and pains, but I have to say, my energy is much better than even last month.  I can skip my afternoon 20 minute snooze and still make it through the evening.  There are some days, though, I just don't want to do anything. 

Still enjoying food, but not quite obsessed with it as I was the first weeks of pregnancy.  I'm enjoying beef, but couldn't stand the smell when pregnant with Levi.  I still want Reuben sandwiches but I'm not ordering them any chance I get like I did when pregnant with Kade.  Lately, though, I've been carrying around pistachios and finding them to be extremely yummy.  They're a treat anyway, but when a friend brought some over, I kept wanting them the following days until I actually bought some at Sam's Club.  Yeah, I used to laugh at all the pregnant stories about food, but now I believe they're true!

And if you're interested, I'm dreaming like crazy.  I have all sorts of people showing up in my dreams.  And I've been trying to plan our anniversary trip.  So one night, while dreaming all night long, or so it seemed, about my hair-brained idea to go camping for our trip this year, I actually woke Kent up and asked him if we could take an inflatable mattress with us if we did so choose to go tent-camping.  He assured me we could, and I promptly continued to sleep and dream about our plans.

So off I head to bed now to work out some more issues in my dreams and see what friend shows up!

Malia's 14th Birthday

Our Malia Joy celebrated her 14th birthday this month.  She started out the day requesting to sleep in.  I find it funny how they all get this desire to sleep more as they hit their teen years!  :)   Later that evening she had some friends over.  It was a fun, simple evening together.  They jumped on the trampoline, played Apples to Apples and had hamburgers on the grill, home fries, and corn for dinnner, eating it all out on the patio.  (Why, oh why, wasn't I taking pictures???  I think it has something to do with our busy little ones. :) 

Our main activity for the night was tye-dyeing.  I'm really not much of an expert, so they read the design ideas and went at it.  They turned out so pretty.  ( I don't have pictures of those either.)  They were pretty creative!

These pictures show how pretty the colors were.  Obviously, they turn out lighter after washing them.

Malia has to be one of the sweetest young ladies.  Can I brag on her?  God has blessed her with a tender heart and a desire to serve.  Inspite of the fact that she often has her mind cooking up some story she's writing, she manages to see ways to help so often.  I think moms find a special thrill to see their children doing work around the house without being asked.  This is Malia's specialty.  She frequently tells me I need to take a break or sit down.  Isn't that just amazing?   She also has become quite a nurturer to her little brothers.  She finds a unique joy in nature and has an amazing ability to create stories in a well-written style.  I am blessed to be a part of her life and am so glad she gave her life to Christ a couple years ago!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Our 18 month old Kade

I love overcast days outside.  It makes it so much easier to take a picture without the problems of sun glare.  These pictures of Kade do really represent a genuine aspect of his personality.  :)  He tends to be a bit serious, has some quirky expressions, and can frown like crazy. :)  His newest thing is to stick out his lips like a fish whenever he's a bit shy or uncomfortable.  And the sand...he really likes it.  I thought after a taste of two, he'd decide it wasn't worth it.  But no, he likes to go back for more.

Lately, we've had some grumpier days.  I'm not sure if he's teething more or what.  But when we get outside, it's as if the world is 10 times brighter from his persepective.  That does become challenging because he really can't go out there without me.  One day, though, he became engrossed in the sandbox in the back yard and I was able to get dinner ready and wash dishes while watching him from the window.  That was nice!

I had to throw this picture in because Kade has his silly moments.  He's learning to tease a bit, and he laughs the most with his two brothers.  They can be quite silly!

His vocabulary now:

ball, mommy, daddy, Malia, dropped, more, please, duck, doggy (everything with four legs is a doggy), bird, owie, swing, moon, balloon (oon), ice.  Can't think of any others right now, but he understands so much and I'm thinking that's nice for when this new baby arrives.

Moments from our trip to Branson

Love this picture.  Levi's favorite Bible story book came along with us.  He loves to recite the parts he has memorized.  And DJ likes to read the parts Levi can't remember.  I think Grandma Carol had a chance to read some!

Kade kept removing the rubber covers off the doorstops and carrying them around in his mouth.  I finally decided to collect them myself and return them to their proper place when we were ready to leave.

We had a lovely afternoon picnic by a lake.

We visited a local fish hatchery which was very interesting and fun...especially for the boys.  DJ was only very disappointed that he couldn't put his hands in the water and try to catch one.

This building was an amazing and beautiful place to see.  It was where we saw the show "Noah."  We had heard it was remarkable, and we weren't disappointed.  Live animals, amazing effects, and a very well-done show left us feeling glad we went!  Obviously, they had to add to the Bible story to make it a show, but they it was refreshing to hear them refer to the actual Genesis chapters and recommend that the viewer read it themselves.  The grand finale really tied everything up with a view toward Christ and His return.

This was just outside the entrance.  Of course, the boys would have liked to stop and play in this fountain!

The auditorium

Indoor architecture

The second half of the show began with the "stage" on three sides of the audience.  It was as if we were inside the ark, with animals surrounding us.  This is a miniature model of what the auditorium looks like at that point during the show.  The boys did really enjoy it although it got a bit long for their young ages (the younger two). 

Note: I can't take credit for these photographs of the Noah part. :)  My lovely daughter Kalai took these with an eye towards art, I do believe. :) 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Grandpa Stacy and Grandma Carol invited us to join them for vacation in Branson, Missouri last month.  What a fun-filled week we had!  It was somewhat challenging with the two younger boys, but we managed to fit in some naps and still see and do so much! 

On our last full day we went to Silver Dollar City, an amusement park with so much more than just amazing rides!  We saw a gospel music show, many craftworkers, had a train ride, had to bypass an amazing cavern tour, and smelled many delicious smells.  Levi enjoyed the little kids' section of rides so very much!  This was his first time to do anything of the sort.You might be able to catch a glimpse of  the three girls and Carol and DJ on this ship ride. Tana had fun riding with Levi.  This was the most "wild" ride I tried (as a 20 week pregnant gal).
With a sleeping Kade in the stroller, Kent and I stepped in this workshop and watched in amazement as this craftman blew a hunk of glass into a stunning masterpiece.  I wish I had a picture of the finished product.

During a rainy afternoon, we had to forego the rides.  Secretly, I was glad...because we saw some stuff we probably wouldn't have otherwise.  This was a fascinating demonstration!  DJ could have watched for hours.  The man had been making pottery since a highschooler.  All of their finished products are sold right there.

The spellbound audience (all except for Kade).

Some of the beautiful work!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Let's just say...

...I'm not blogging much right now, but I miss it.  It's a fun way to chronicle share some of it with others.  To put the past month briefly...

-we traveled to a winter retreat up north for a weekend

-my parents came for a visit

-we hosted 3 college girls for a week while they served with the urban ministry

-our daughter Alyssa came home for spring break

-a friend and I drove down to Rochester for another friend's baby shower

-our family took a vacation to Branson with Grandpa Stacy and Grandma Carol

-I got the stomach flu (and was reminded how much easier it is to be sick when you're not a mommy!)

-I went to my first prenatal visit today

-Kent and I have to decide "do we find out...or not" at our ultrasound tomorrow  (we're leaning towards leaving the secret for that amazing moment at birth)

I'm trying to get the boys outside every day.  They love it!  I'm trying to get caught up on my overflowing closet of stuff.  Hoping to dust someday again.  Learning lots about space with DJ.  Needing to take the girls thrift store shopping for some non-holey jeans, nice long ones, and some clothes fit for a wedding next month in Arkansas.  Trying to remember to stoop down and look long in my little one's faces and forget the cleaning up for a few moments.  Working with Kent to purposefully plan time with each of our girls.  Asking God to help me control my temper and be more patient.  Learning to love the life I am blessed with.