Monday, October 1, 2012

Going Pink for October

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, but believe me, I don't need a special month to be aware.  My precious Mama is a survivor and once you've been through the experience (even if only from a daughter's perspective), you're always aware.  Although it has been years since her diagnosis and treatment, there are lingering reminders--including lymphedema in her arm which resulted from her cancer treatment.  I am so grateful to still have my Mama.  I know that my God is the Great Physician and our Healer!  Despite that knowledge, I still do my monthly self exam and have a yearly clinical breast exam performed by my doctor.  Ladies, please speak with your doctor and take the appropriate steps to screen for breast cancer.  It may save your life, just like it saved my Mama!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

From kid to teen...he's turning thirteen!

Oh, my gracious!!  Our oldest is turning thirteen on Sunday.  I simply cannot believe we'll have a teenager in our home!  We're just around the corner from a driver's license and looking at colleges.  DEAR HEAVENS, I'M NOT READY!! 

Our Jacob is an amazing kid!!  He excels at school and on the ball field.  There's no better big brother, and with four little siblings (two here and two at his mom's), he gets tons of practice.  He's respectful and mannerly and has an unparalleled heart for others.

We are so proud of the young man he's becoming!  I know God has great plans for this boy and I can't wait to watch it all unfold!

"Boys are beyond the range of anyone's sure understanding, at least when they are between the ages of 18 months and 90 years." ~James Thurber

"You don't raise heroes, you raise sons.  And if you treat them like sons, they'll turn out to be heroes, even if it's just in your own eyes." ~Walter M. Schirra, Sr.

"Don't wait to make your son a great man - make him a great boy."  ~Author Unknown

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."  ~Emerson

"Sons are the anchors of a (step)mother's life."  ~Sophocles

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." ~God

Monday, September 17, 2012

Baseball big brother

Baseball season is in full swing around here.  Not only is Eli playing, but Jacob's team kicked off their season, too!  He's in the "big leagues" now!  Playing in the 13-15 league means bigger fields, bigger bats, and bigger boys!  I think Jacob's adjusting nicely (and proved so by firing the ball from center field to throw out a runner trying to steal home)!  Here are some pictures! 

Check out those throwback uniforms--pretty awesome!

(photo credits: Jacob's mom

Monday, September 10, 2012

Baseball baby

Our middle boy started his first season of baseball recently.  After spending many, many seasons watching his big brother play, Eli has finally done his time as a spectator, and is a full-fledged baseball player.  

His team is the Bulls.  He's on the far right...the little teapot with his hands on his hips!  :)

This is his serious baseball face.

Teammates playing while waiting for team pictures.

Baseball ready!


Some of Eli's biggest fans (aka brothers)!

Monday, August 27, 2012


A few weeks ago, my dear friend, Amy, and her precious children came to visit my boys and me.  Jacob and Matt were on a "big boys' weekend" to see a Pirates game, so it was just two moms and five kids ages 6 and under.  Yes, that sounds...chaotic, but it was such a great time!

Amy and I have "known" each other for almost five years now.  The word "known" is in quotes, because Amy and I met through our family blogs.  We had a shared "blog friend" and through blog hopping, I found her blog and began reading (and commenting) regularly and she did the same. 

About three years ago, we met each other in person for the very first time.  We met at a restaurant near their home and where our family was vacationing.  It was a brief get-together, but we really enjoyed our time together.

Well, three years and two and a half kiddos later (Amy's expecting), we were able to get together again.

My friendship with Amy is such a blessing!!  Our children really enjoyed one another and Amy and I soaked up our time together.  There's nothing quite like a friend who's in the same season of life and has similar beliefs as you.  We talked and talked and it was such an encouragement to me!  

I am so grateful that despite the miles that separate us, our friendship remains!

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor;
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.  
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up."  Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Monday, August 20, 2012

Beach Bliss

A few weeks back, our family went on a beach trip!  Oh my goodness, I LOVE THE BEACH!!!  We had a wonderfully relaxing time and soaked up the family time.  It was such a blessing to be able to share this vacation with Mema and PaPa.  Here are a few pictures from our amazing vacation.

I am so grateful to be able to enjoy a gorgeous beach vacation with my fun, crazy, wild, wacky, loving family!  Now, I'm looking forward to the next getaway!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Brain Dump

I haven't posted in a while, so I thought I'd do a quick brain dump in bullet form.

*These two boys wear me out EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  Whew!  Raising boys is fun, but it is not for the faint of heart!

*We only have a few weeks left of summer, then it's back to school--

EIGHTH grade for this guy and I cannot believe it!

and back to preschool two half-days a week for this one

but never fear, this little one gets another year at home with his Mama!  

*Jacob turns 13 in two months.  We will officially be parenting a teenager and yes, we covet your prayers now!!!  :)

*Our family vacation is just around the corner and I cannot wait for some quality family time at the beach!  Woohoo!!

*Vacation bonus:  Richard Barlow Photography will be taking some family pictures for us while we are at the beach!  Yay, for super talented Uncle Rich!  I LOVE family photos.  Our home looks like a gallery for Richard Barlow Photography and I like it!

*Matt and I are facilitating a small group at our church this fall with a focus on blended/step-families.  I am so excited about this opportunity to minister to other families like us.  I'm praying God will move in a mighty way for all involved in this class and that He will get all the glory!!

*We've really enjoyed the pool this summer.  Jacob enjoys hanging out with his cousins and the little boys are having a blast jumping and sliding.  Abel is quite independent as long as he's wearing his "swimmies."  And, Eli is starting to swim without his "swimmies," which is super exciting for me, the former swimmer, to watch.   Here's a clip of Eli going down the slide!

*Baseball season will start up before long.  This will be our first season with two boys playing.  It'll be interesting juggling two schedules!!  Jacob is moving up to the "big leagues" and Eli will start tee-ball.  We even scored a pair of cleats and a pair of little baseball pants for Eli at the consignment sale.  We're ready!  

*Speaking of the consignment sale, Kids Exchange was last week and, oh my gracious, we outdid ourselves.  We bought 107 items, but got great deals and all three boys are clothed through the winter.

Needless to say, we're busy here!  And, with that said, I'm off to bake muffins with my little guys!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Family Visit

Matt's sister and her sweet family came to visit us recently.  It was so much fun to have everyone together.  Her boys are 4 years old and 19 months, so they make a good team with our little boys.  Despite the 100+ degree temperatures, we managed to have an amazing time together. 

 Abel and Xavier at Marbles

The guys playing hockey

Abel running the register at the Pizzeria

Callum proved to be an excellent chef

Yummy ice cream sundaes

"A cousin is a ready-made friend for life."