Saturday, August 29, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday, Cohen, Noah, Finn & Sophia!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!  Our little babies our 2 years old today!  I know we slept through the 1st year but what happened to the 2nd year? 

Here's a quick glance at their personalities right now...

Cohen aka "Coco" - sensitive little dude with a sweet, sweet heart (especially for his momma)

Noah aka "NoNo" - all boy, never stops moving, playing, banging things, squealing; he is quite polite, always saying "thank you" and "please"

Finn aka "Finnster" - Mr. social, always the first to say "Hi!" and "Bye!".  He is by far the most talkative and also the most strong-willed

Sophia aka "Sophia Mia Bella" or as the boys call her "Pepia" - she is all girl but can hang with the boys.  She loves to make you laugh and entertain you.  

Cohen, Noah, Sophia & Finn - thank you for the most terrific years of our life so far. We're looking forward to many, many more!  Happy 2nd Birthday!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday's Truth

You know those moments when you find out a bit of information that changes everything you thought was true?  Growing up, we had an old console television that you turned on and off with a pull or push of a button and to turn channels you had to get up and turn a dial to one of four different stations.  One of my girlfriend's lived in high style and viewed TV with a remote control and a lot more than four channels.  While visiting her one afternoon, she taught me how to use the remote.  In my first and only lesson, she firmly instructed me where the volume, channels and power buttons were.  She said that it was very important to know that I could push any of the buttons except the sleep button. When I questioned what would happen if I hit the sleep button she informed me that the TV would blow up. Gullible as I was, I put that bit of info in my mind for all future encounters with a remote control.  It wasn't until I had my very own 13 inch television with remote control that I learned the truth about that sleep button.  Whoa! What an eye opener! What else had I missed? How long would I have gone on believing this?  Was this a joke or did should I be informing her of this new information?

I had another one of those moments this year during a bible study. One of the discussions was on worshiping.   When I think of worship, I think of singing and praying, going to church or having a bible study but I was missing out on another kind of worship, one that is far more powerful for me.  Using God's Word to worship in truth. It means to worship in Jesus, using God's word and believing it over and over again in the same breath if that's what it takes.  When my spirit is exhausted and my heart is just not into worshiping, I can still worship because I always have the truths in my Bible that can give me the peace, energy, courage and joy my soul needs.  For me, it means taking God's word and believing it, using it to fight off doubts, depression or temptation. Using it to praise God when my heart just doesn't feel like it.  So in light of my new discovery, I'm going to attempt to start Thursday's Truth. I'll post a Bible verse that is on my heart for the week or maybe just one that goes with a fun picture for the day. My hope is that it will speak to at least one of you as much as it speaks to me. 

Sophia & Cohen

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Ephesians 4:31&32

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Austin Adventures

The kids and I headed to Austin a couple of weeks ago and invaded our friends Jenn & Ansley's house. We packed more outings into two days than we've done the entire time back from our Iowa trip!
Noah & Ansley Play Peek-A-Boo

After our little Texas Tornadoes blew through Ansley's toy room, we packed up and headed to Tuesday Kids Night at the Nutty Brown Cafe

If you haven't been there, it is an Austin gem!  The expansive patio is shaded by huge Live Oaks and surrounds a gigantic bird cage which houses a large talking Parrot named Cheeto.  On one side of the patio is a sandbox the size of our backyard for the kids to play in and on the other side there is a stage with live local musicians jamming out. Kids night (every Tuesday night) featurs silly children's songs and kids ate for 99 cents!  It was a blast! 

It Was A Good Thing We Got There Early -
We Cleared Out the High Chairs!
The late night of dancing and getting down and very dirty in that sandbox did not deter this bunch from waking up with the sun the next morning. So we ate some cereal al fresco and planned another fun day.

Jenn suggested checking out the fire department down the street from their house to see if they'd let the kids get a close look at the fire engines.  The fire fighters were so gracious and let us play in the garage for quite a while - everyone taking turns driving and riding in the back of the truck. 
Finn Mans The Wheel

Ansley, Cohen, Sophia & Noah Hang In the Back
Not So Fast, Finn!
(Caught Him Trying To Sneak In the Back on The Other Side)

Sophia & Cohen Take A Turn At the Wheel

Ansley In Awe

Suckers Work Wonders to Get 
Them to Pose for a Group Shot!

After the fire trucks, we went to play at the park. Then headed home for lunch & a nap. The pool was next on the list. Unfortunately there are no pictures at the pool - I haven't figured out how to relax enough while they are "swimming" to take photos around the water!  It was a fun trip and we can't wait to do it again. 

Jenn, thank you so very much for letting us crash your pad. I know we left you with a million messes and toys hidden in places you never thought of!  You and Ansley are such sweet friends and we miss you terribly!  Please come visit us soon!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Happy Birthday to you, sweetheart! Our best days are spent with you!  

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Staying Afloat

One of the many blessings that comes with having four babies entrusted to us at one time is that we have learned quickly that very little is in our control when it comes to raising these precious children.  We went from a high risk pregnancy to months in the neonatal intensive care unit in the hospital, endured three surgeries and then went home with heart monitors for all four babies. If there was anything to learn from all of that it was that God is in control and protects our family every step of the way. Still, there are numerous times I have to be reminded of that as I catch myself worrying daily. Worrying whether the kids are eating enough, or if they are going to be cranky all day, if their tantrums will ever end, or if I'm capable of keeping them safe from darting into the street while they ride their trikes & cars in the driveway.

Daddy and "Blonde Daddy"
All this Water and Still Dry?
Noah, Cohen, Mommy, Finn, Sophia

Yesterday was one of those worry-filled days and funny enough, I started my morning reading a chapter from The Bathtub is Overflowing but I Feel Drained by Lysa TerKeurst. It was entitled "A Mom's Greatest Fear" which talked about how God tells us not to fear (the phrase "fear not" or the equivalent is in the Bible 365 times!) but instead turn our worry over to God and trust in Him to provide and protect.  So when we took all of our little ones to a family reunion in Galveston, which was on the water and also around a pool, I was trying my best to give up all of the worries and just enjoy the day.  We hadn't been there more than 30 minutes when the kids found the pool and wanted to check out the water. I let them sit by the pool and put their feet in while Chris went to get their swimsuits.  Sophia was kicked back, striking the cutest little supermodel pose on the pool deck. I was laughing at her and then turn to check on Noah & Finn who had walked back behind me - sticking their hands in the hot tub. As soon as I turned back around I saw Cohen floating face down about 3 feet out into the water.  Of course I squealed and jumped in to grab him. He looked at me with confused and startled eyes like as if I had pushed him out there. I was shaking, he was shaking, we were both soaked!  Right here is where I should've been singing Hallelujahs and praising God.   Instead I was thinking I knew, I just knew it - this is dangerous, this is all my fault, there is no way we can ever get back into the pool nor around any other pool...ever!  Chris came back and interrupted my little worry-fest with swimsuits in hand.  He was hardly phased by my story, just said "well thank god you were right there" and then went on putting the bathing suits on the kids. There were no more incidents all day - Cohen got back in (with his swimsuit on this time) and was a happy little fish. 
Taking in the View
Daddy & Sophia
Holdin' on Tight
Noah, Daddy & Cohen

We came home with an exhausted group and put them to bed. I was trying to go to sleep but couldn't get that image out of my head. I just kept thinking - what if this or what if that had happened? So now I was worrying about the past also! Worrying about something that could've played out but didn't!  "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?" Matthew 6:27  That verse popped into my head and I thought, what am I doing drowning myself in fear? I started my way overdue hallelujahs and praised God instead; for protecting us, for comforting me with Jesus's words.   My mind quieted and I was able to join Chris in sawing a few logs before morning. 

Love Fest
Sophia, Mema, Noah, CJ, Pepa, Madeleine, Cohen & Finn
Mema's Candid Cookies
CJ, Finn, Cohen, Noah, Jordyn, Madeleine & Sophia
Blackened Feet are a True Sign of a Great Day