Chopsticks and A New Playscape

Keith came home from work tonight and loaded us all up for a family date night. He thought it would be fun to go to Firebowl Cafe and teach the boys how to use chopsticks. Here are pics of each of us using our chopsticks. Kade got the hang of it really fast. Kamden did pretty good too, but Kale opted for a straw instead. After Firebowl, we walked down to Maggie Moo's for some ice cream. Needless to say, we had a blast.

Oddly enough, I don't have any pictures of the boys enjoying their playscape this past week, but trust me, they have only come in to use the bathroom and sleep. So far, even mealtimes occur in the clubhouse. We are looking forward to starting a tradition of family meetings in the clubhouse soon also. Kade has even asked a couple of times if we could all take our sleeping bags up there to sleep at night. But I do have some pics of daddy (with a little help) putting the playscape together last week. He finished last Saturday evening, after approx. 18 hours throughout the week of hard work. Now that's what I call sacrificial love.

Kade and Kamden "helped" whenever they had the opportunity. I'm sure daddy really enjoyed having to search for all of the dropped screws, washers, and nails.
I am pretty sure the grandparents might freak out when they see that Kale was having fun climbing to the top of the 6 foot ladder to "help" daddy. He has no idea that he is only 18 mo. old and should not be climbing on everything he can get up.
Nick came over last Friday night and helped Keith put the roof on the clubhouse.
Jose, our neighbor, came over on Saturday and helped Keith attach the swing beam to the clubhouse.
Jocelyn and Maddie helped Kamden put the glider together.
And mom took pictures...does that count as helping?

I'll try to post pics of the finished playscape sometime next week.


Happy Valentine's Day!

We just finished a wonderful dinner of chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, fried okra, and rolls - Keith's favorite meal. I am so incredibly blessed to have Keith to celebrate Valentine's Day with every year. I am so undeserving of such an amazing, godly, man of integrity. He loves his family so well. But most importantly, he loves the Lord. He is intelligent and funny. He always can make me smile. We've almost been married for eight years and have dated since our junior year in high school - and during all that time, Keith has been my very best friend, the one that I would rather spend an evening with over anyone else.

And then there are my boys. They are all so different and so beautiful. They definitely make our life rich and full of fun. They are curious and always busy. And boy can they all eat. The way to Kade's heart is thru sweets of any kind. The way to Kamden's heart is thru time spent just cuddling. And the way to Kale's heart is thru food of any kind. He is not picky. They love to dogpile with their daddy. And they love to read books with their mommy. They love going to the pizza place and McDonald's. Kade loves being first. Kamden loves to help. And Kale loves to be able to do what his brothers can do. One has dark bluish gray eyes. One has brown eyes. And one has bright sky blue eyes. My oldest loves competition. My middle son loves to wear a cape. And my youngest loves to get his way and make people laugh. Together, they are an absolutely breathtaking sight to see. When they're together, they bring a smile to everyone's face. And I am so blessed to get to be their mommy.

And now there is our little girl, growing and getting ready to make her debut in this house full of boys. From her sonogram, we can gather that she is a modest little thing. It took her awhile to want to show us anything. I can't wait to have a daughter to enjoy this life with. Our birthdays are going to be really close together, so I'm already looking forward to celebrating life with her. I wonder if she'll have my eyes and Keith's smile or my smile and Keith's eyes. I wonder if she's destined to be a tomboy because of the family she's entering or if she will be the extreme opposite of her brothers and be a girly girl. I wonder if she'll be analytical like her daddy or a social butterfly like her mommy. Can you tell that I can't wait to meet our daughter?

I hope everyone has been reminded on this Valentine's Day how precious the gift of love is and that we all never take it for granted that we are loved.



This pic was taken yesterday at the doctor's office waiting to find out if we are having a girl or boy...Jada and I have had a couple of times where our pregnancies have overlapped, but we have never had the experience of having sonograms at the same doctor's office at the same time. It just added to the special day having Nick and Jada with us to celebrate with. We also let Kade come to see if he was going to have a brother or sister. He was right the whole time though - even in the sonogram room he was telling us that he knew the baby was a girl. After we left the dr.'s office, we went and picked up Darin and Kinsey and all went for ice cream to celebrate. And then, Keith and I had our date night last night. So yesterday was a very good day :)

A precious lady, Judy Hocher, watched Kamden and Kale for us while we were at the doctor. When we returned and told her it was a girl, she immediately went to her car and came back with our sweet girl's first outfits.
This next pic was taken Sunday night at the Wingate Hotel. Our church is putting on Life University - Marriage Edition for the last three Sunday's in February. We kicked it off with a romantic date night at the Wingate with a catered meal. It was so much fun and we were just overwhelmed by the number of couples who are attending - 62 couples in all! We are just praying that God will strengthen all of our marriage relationships during this time as that relationship is the most important one in all of our lives outside of our relationship with the Lord. This also shows you my "pregnant with my fourth child" belly at 20 weeks. I honestly don't know what my belly is going to do with me not getting pregnant anymore after this baby is born. It just knows that it is supposed to start expanding every year or so.
This is a pic of Paul and Anna Williamson and the boys taken on Sunday afternoon. Paul was the children's minister at FBO during our time there and just got married to Anna this past summer. They are such an amazingly sweet couple who just ooze the love of the Lord. They are at Wycliffe Bible Translator School right now preparing to go to one of the least reached parts of the world sometime in the summer of 2009.
We had a brief time of relaxation at the farm this past Friday and Saturday. I just loved this pic of Kade and Horace on the tractor. Kade thinks he is supposed to be right where Horace is the whole time we're at the farm. I wish everyone had a retreat place to go to like the farm with H&R. Outside of my home, that is definitely my favorite place to be. For anyone who is in need of a retreat place, they have one at the farm called Emmaus Walk Christian Retreat Center. It will accommodate up to 32, but if you're thinking about scrapbooking, only plan on 8 or 9 max. It's in the middle of a cow pasture and the most peaceful place you'll ever go.
We are still a little in shock that we are having a girl. That will definitely change our family dynamics :) But we are so excited and overwhelmed by God's amazing goodness to us. I say this a lot, but I will never understand why the Lord has blessed us like he has. We just pray that we are good stewards with all we have been given and that we always point people to Jesus.

We are still thinking on a name for our baby girl but are really leaning towards Brynlee Sage. I also like Landry, Grier, Kylie, Blakely, Bailey, Korley, Kampbell and Berkley, so as you can see, her name might change a couple of times before she gets here, but for now, it is Brynlee.


Our Big Announcement!!!

We're having a GIRL!!!!! We'll blog more later, but we are off to do a little girl shopping on our date night tonight :) She is healthy and modest. We are overjoyed by another gift of life that the Lord has chosen to bless us with.


Potty Seat Incident

I think this might top my list of crazy moments with my children. Somehow, Kale managed to get the potty seat over his head. I have no idea how he did it, because it took me 10 minutes to get it off and that was with him screaming. I thought that now that I can laugh about it, everyone else might want to have a little laugh with me.

My friend, Laura, had a Valentine's Party at her home this morning for all of the kids. I kept telling her she was crazy for having so many children in her home at once, but just like always, she was calm and smiling. She amazes me. Here are most of the children - I think we had 20 or 21 total and 5 in utero. I am so blessed to have so many friends to go thru life with here in Round Rock. We all have kids about the same age and are stay-at-home mommies. I think there were twelve mommies at this party and there are many more who were not able to come.
My favorite males...
I thought this was funny...I was trying to take a picture of them and they thought they would practice being photographers at the same time.


It's a wonderful life

It's Saturday afternoon. I have just spent a really relaxing day with my precious family - eating at Fuddruckers and playing at the park. Also finding out that we get some money back from the government instead of having to pay this year. Always nice. I started out this morning with some of our elders' wives and shepherds' wives at our first monthly meeting. 7:00 a.m. - I don't know if we were all awake when we arrived, but I have to say I enjoyed starting off my morning getting to spend time with these wonderful ladies. We were talking about what life-on-life discipleship relationships look like and putting out the challenge for us all to take on at least one person to mentor. The elders' wives are going to pour into the shepherds' wives and then they are going to pick some ladies out of their group to start meeting with on a regular basis also. God has already blessed our church with so many new people that we just want to be good stewards and help to grow all of them up in their faith. We are only a little over four months into the plant and I already feel so overwhelmed by the amount of people that I don't know. And those of you who know me well know that that drives me crazy to not know everyone. Keith came home last weekend after the Believe Lab, which is our membership lab, and went thru everyone who was at the lab. I was amazed that out of 17 people, I only knew 2 of them.
News on the home front - Kade is enjoying his "school," which is a two-day a week Mother's Day Out program. We have been enjoying a lot of routine lately during our weekdays, which is always good. Yesterday, I started reading the boys some of the easy word Spanish books from the library. They had fun trying to say all of their colors - anaranjado is a really fun word for the boys to try to say. Kale is climbing on EVERYTHING! Neither Kade or Kamden climbed like he does. It is normal to have to scold him on a daily basis for being on top of the kitchen table. We have so many friends to have fun playdates with during the morning times, so that is always special times. I think we're planning to go to the Austin Children's Museum this next week. And then our afternoons consist of wonderful quiet time. I have been having to take a nap when the boys do because I have been exhausted, which is weird for me in the second trimester. Usually, I have more energy than Keith would like for me to have during this time. And our nighttimes are always wonderful because daddy is home with us. Keith and I get to go on date nights every other Monday night while the boys enjoy time with their "best buddies," Henry and Eli. This past Monday, we had a romantic dinner at a local Italian restaurant, saw August Rush at the $1 movie and ended with grocery shopping - which is actually very enjoyable when I'm with Keith.
This week, I have really been meditating on Psalm 127. If we have another boy (which we'll find out next Monday, the 11th!), then we're definitely putting vs. 3-5 on his birth announcement. My only question is how many boys make up a quiver? :) But I've really been meditating on vs. 1-2. "Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stand guard in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat - for he grants sleep to those he loves." Wow. I could spend so much time worrying and striving for things to turn out just right for my family, but if it's not what the Lord wants for our family, then my striving is in vain. I so want to instead find rest in the Lord as I trust Him to work in their lives.

I'll end this long blog with a couple of our latest pics...

I thought the last two pictures of Kale were really good at showing you his personality. Lately, he has been into everything and the last picture shows him saying, "What?" to me after I called his name. He's definitely a spitfire. But oh how he makes us laugh.

I hope you are all having a restful weekend and enjoying sweet moments with your family.