Thank you so much for taking the time to visit our family blog. This may be your first visit here, or you may be a friend from across the globe, or family that we have just seen. Who ever you may be, thanks for taking the time to read about our little family, and all we are learning on this adventure the Lord has called us to live! Here you will find, the random thoughts, funny stories, prayer requests, and the journey our family and Jack is on with his battle with Leukemia.

chubby wrists and knuckle dimples...

It is hard to believe that two and a half years have passed, since Tyler was born. The time has gone by so quickly, as so many moms warned me it would. The late night feedings are a faint memory, I hardly remember the teething and diaper rashes. It seems so long ago he sat up first the first time, finally started to crawl, and looked at me and said "momma." The newness of his sweet little personality has been long replaced by the loudness of his big boy ways.

Now he is running laps around my house, he screams "mommy" all day long, he tickles and loved to be tickled... he loves worms and dirt and anything wet, he is all boy! He is in the middle of the Two's- Training Two's- that is what we like to call them. Each emotional response he has, is another opportunity for him to be trained and me to be sanctified. Every time he calls my name, is another moment for me to remember the joy in serving him, training him, and loving him.

One of the final markers that make children still a "baby", that I have always loved, are chubby wrists and knuckle dimples.... they are the trademarks of baby fat that even skinny babies have and is so delicious. But these sweet markers of innocence and babyhood are almost gone. I was holding his sweet little perfect hand this morning, and noticed, for the first time, an almost smooth wrist, and almost smooth hand. These sweet squashy parts of him are almost just a memory... when did he become a little boy?

Somewhere in the middle of the chubby parts fading, he is becoming a boy. And then one day, he will be a man. He will no longer hold my hand as we walk down the stairs, he will no longer smother my face with sticky kisses, one day I will not be the only woman in his life... his little boy hands and feet will be very large man hands and feet... I cannot even imagine what this will be like, yet I know that the days will pass in a blink. How can I treasure these days I have with this precious gift? How can I see past the sinful outbursts and savor the the sweet times, even the tough times?

Even in the most trying situations of training this little boy, I can make a choice in my heart. Do I choose to long for this season to be over, or do I choose to be grateful for the lessons we are learning? Do I wish "he would just stop" or remember that one day, he will no longer be mine to hold and that the training is a privilege for me to be a part of? Do I allow my heart to give into the sinful desires of anger or do I cry out to God and fight for joy?

I choose to remember what a blessing, what a gift, and what an honor it is to raise a baby boy into a man for God's glory. I pray I remember this each moment and treasure these days in my heart.

Clarkland Farm Petting Zoo

We went to Clarkland Farm today with our friends the Hydro's! I wasn't sure what to expect, or how the kids would enjoy themselves, but it was so much more fun than I thought. They have a petting zoo/farm area, where the kids got to feed goats, sheep and see an emu. They got up close to a cow, and pigs, and a donkey. They squealed and quacked at the ducks and turkeys. The farm has a "fairy tale land" area where they have huge versions of thins like the lady in the shoe, and Humpty Dumpty, ect. We didn't even make it to that part of the farm... the zoo was so fun.

The boys all had a pony ride too, which was so cute. The farm also offers hay rides. I think we will definitely go back here. For the price, it is totally worth the trip (which only took 40 minutes from our house and cost $4.50 per person- which, comparatively, is very cheap indeed). Here are some pictures of the time! SO fun!

As soon as we got there, the boys found rocks....

There is a pen you can go into with some goats and feed them... there were two baby goats that were so cute.

Kel got some feed for the goats and they practically attacked her to get it... in a gentle kind of way!

Tyler's first pony ride!
He really liked the pony!

Little Mr. Sunshine sat so contently in the stroller for most of the time were there.

Tyler was just about halfway in the stall.... he wanted to climb on in! No fear.


The big Buddies...

Good times! I love getting to introduce all these new creatures and experiences to Tyler. What a blessing to be able to show them something new and a part of God's creation. The excitement and newness of it all, is just so wonderful to watch!

Big Boy Updates

I have been meaning to update on the how big my big baby boy has gotten! His 6 month mark came and went, without even a mention! And now, hard to believe is going to be 7 months old in a few days. Time is going by WAY too fast! So here were his measurements a few weeks ago:

Weight: 19lbs 15oz (90th percentile)
Height: 27 1/2 inches (90th percentile)
Head: 16 something (30th percentile)

And now, I think he weighs the full 20 lbs and I measured him, and I think he is just about 28 inches tall... which is HUGE!!! Tyler was not even 28 inches by 9 months! Jack is outgrowing his 9 month clothes too fast!

So, he has been rolling over, he sleeps on his tummy now, sits up with perfect posture on his own, and can get onto all fours occasionally. He babbles all the time, and I cannot wait for him to start putting sounds together. He is a big drooly mess, most of the time, and gives the best wet kisses around!

I love giving the boys baths together! And now, Tyler has realized he has a new bath toy to play with! Crazy times in the tub! We love our little linebacker-to-be!

~ the man I love ~

The man I love is a man worthy of honor. I try to make a point to say a thank you to him regularly for all he does for our family , but as it is Father's Day, this is an opportunity to publicly honor him so that others can rejoice in the grace of God so clearly evident in his life!

As a father, you have been giving your life away for our children everyday, when you go to work and labor in the burning heat/freezing cold to provide for our every need, and make a way for me to stay home with them. You are always so generous in your affections to them (and me). I know that they do not doubt your love for them in the slightest. I love the way their faces light up when you come home each day-- all of our favorite time of the day!

I see you demonstrate biblical love by discipling/disciplining our children with love, tenderness, humility, and grace. I have much to learn from you. I have never heard you raise your voice in anger, but only speak in measured tones and your speech is full of love and kindness. You seem to have a wellspring of patience for our kids (and me!!).

You are such an example of a humble servant. No diaper is too stinky to be changed, no trash can too full to be emptied, no boo-boo too small to be kissed, no hug too busy to skipped, no dishwasher too packed to be emptied and reloaded, and not one moment to be lost. You have made such a point to serve our children and me, every moment you are home. I cannot imagine doing this without you. I am so grateful that our sons have a father like you to learn from, that I have a man like you to follow. We are a blessed family indeed. Thank you for seeking to please and glorify the Lord as a father and man. We all love you so much.

Home away from home

We weren't home for long, it seems, before we had to pack it up again! This time, it has been due to a broken AC. It broke sometime Saturday and hopefully we will have it on again in the next day or two. The first two days it was broken, we toughed it out at the house... but we knew Sunday afternoon, when it was 90 degrees INSIDE, that the fans were NOT going to cut it! Sunday night we all camped out in the basement, which was a lovely 80 something degrees... all four of us... us on the pull out couch, Tyler on the cushions from the couch and Jack in the pack-n-play! Nice and cozy... and almost unbearable! Monday morning all of us were a little more grump than usual!

So we packed up again, and we are now staying at our friends, the Lucas' house. They happen to be at the beach for their family vacation for 2 weeks... so the timing couldn't have been better! The boys and I spent Monday at the Kauflin's house... soaking in the delicious AC. And we have been here at the Lucas house since Monday.... can't say that I am complaining about staying, here.... having a pool in the backyard has been quite the blessing and fun activity for us! We are so blessed to have friends and family that take care of us during this "trial!"

So, I have tons of pictures to post, and Jack's 6 month update, but am away from home, and cannot post them! Hopefully not too much longer now! So, in case you were wondering where we had gone... yes, we are still alive!