Friday, December 31

Happy Birthday, Dad!

It was my Dad's birthday, yesterday, and we helped him celebrate-
that's why I couldn't write this blog yesterday! :)

My Dad is a Dad that every girl would want! He loves his family and he loves his God and he encourages me to be better at both of those. I'm pretty sure that every girl thinks her Dad is the best Dad, but I really do know that I got one of the best ones around!
The picture on the left is a picture that whenever I look at I remember why I love my Daddy so much. That day, he called, just to see if he could come up and help me out. My Dad is such an "intune" guy and is so compassionate that he knew I really needed some help that was a HUGE blessing for me to have him there and it definitely was something that helped get me through one of the harder weeks of my life. In fact, I think the two times in my life that my Dad has meant the most to me was that day, when he just came, held both of my kids on his lap and snuggled them and hugged me as I cried and when he came to visit me in the hospital after Hailey was born. She's his first grandchild and he was pretty excited to see her, but instead of running to see her right away- he came in the room, gave me a hug and told me how proud he was of me and what a great job I did. I guess that's what I really love about my Dad- he's so compassionate and caring and he takes the time to let me know how important I am to him. I know that my Dad definitely is a great Dad and I am continually thankful that God blessed me so greatly by putting me in his family! I love you, Dad, and happy birthday.

Monday, December 27

It's a Wisconsin Christmas!

Korey and I often joke about how "wisconsin" we are and how "hick" our families are and never is it more obvious than when we have a family gathering where a lot of our extended families get together! So, here are just a few clues that you may have had a real wisconsin Christmas!
*you spend christmas morning crawling around on the garage floor installing a new bumper
*your brother snowblows the end of the driveway in his pajamas
*you pack snowshoes, a cheese tray and a shotgun all for the same christmas party
*you head over to an old farmhouse for christmas lunch, get your drinks out of a fridge in the breezeway, the car to pick up ratio is 2:6 (and the two cars have Minnesota liscense plates), the topic of conversation ranges from deer hunting to what year your truck is, and your uncle parades around his trophy rack of horns shot in the woods out back
*your daughter gets a round of applause for knowing the difference between a deer and a dog
*the dog gets a better welcome than your cousin who brought him
*your cousin brings his dog with him to Christmas
*everyone says, "if the weather's good, we'll be there"
*Christmas dinner is spent sitting around the tv, watching the football game
*your aunt and uncle have a full bar in their basement, but everyone is drinking beer out of a cooler, labeled "beer"
*the topics of politics and the Packers are off limits for dinner conversation
*you play a game called, "what irritates you", the only rules being you can't name names
*when deciding when to head home on Sunday, you take into consideration what time the Packers play
*you put the kids down for a nap, put on your snowshoes and go grouse hunting in your parent's backyard on Christmas afternoon
*the temperature on Christmas morning is 20 degrees, you think it's a beautiful day and consider taking your daughter's snowpants so she can play outside after you open presents
*your brother in law sits at the kitchen table tying flies for fly fishing!
I hope you had a great Christmas and I even hope that it was a little "wiscosiny"! :)

It's Chrstmas Time!

We had a three day Christmas this year and it was super fun! I remember thinking last year that this year would be even better, because Hailey would be older and more fun- little did I know that it would be more fun because we'd have 2 babies to enjoy it with instead of just one!! :) Hailey really was a blast this year and she LOVED Christmas!! (and all the food and presents and everyone there to play with her)

she really loved having everyone around...her favorite, like usual, was coloring and playing with the kitty- but everything else was icicing on the cake!! :)

Jackson enjoyed the new blankie that Nani made for him and all the extra hands to hold him!

with all the excitement Hailey had to have some downtime at Aunt Connie's house snuggling with the bear!

Aunt Kelly is Hailey's new best friend- she talked about her the whole time we were away from her and even called her on her cell phone toy and had a nice little conversation with her, this morning!! :)

my favorite little dress!

she just was such a little ham!!

and baby Jack just loved all the holding and snuggling!

I loved the fact that Korey had 3 days off and we got to hang out with each other the whole time!

This Christmas my "theme" for myself was JOY and I truly did have a ton of joy in my heart these three days of Christmas!! I have been feeling a little out of sorts these last few weeks, but I think that this Christmas was just what I needed to remind me of where my mind and my heart need to reside! I'm so thankful for my sweet kiddos and my wonderful husband! I can't thank God enough for them and I can't wait to see what this next year has in store for our family!!

Wednesday, December 22

is this the same girl??

It's the same dress and the same girl- just a year difference! And, what a difference the year makes, huh?! I can't believe how different Hailey looks in these two pictures. Her sleeves are rolled up in the picture on the right, so it looks smaller, but the dress pretty much still fits her! I like to put her in it with leggings, instead of tights this year! Isn't it crazy that a little girl can wear the same dress two years in a row??!! I guess that's the benefit to having a little tiny peanut- she doesn't really outgrow her clothes! :)

Sunday, December 19

how can I be sad??

with two beautiful kids??
I ask myself this question a few times a day, but for some reason I still find the ability to be...
I don't know what it is or why I feel like it, but there are times that I just can't seem to shake it. That's why I needed the sermon at church today! Pastor Engle is doing a sermon series for Christmas and today it was on Mary's Praise- and God's Involvement in our lives! I definitely needed the reminder that God is mindful, mighty, the mastermind, and merciful! What struck me the most is that God, in his omnipotence, can give me his undivided attention. There aren't many times that I get undivided attention from anyone and it is so comforting to know that God is paying attention to all of my fears, my cries and my insecurities! And, not only that, but He already knows all of that is in me! He's the mastermind behind who I am and if God is mighty enough for me to follow His will and His purpose, then He is mighty enough to see me through it! I often think, along with the Psalmist of Psalm 8, "what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?" But, I'm so thankful that He does!! And, I'm so thankful that He's my guide, my teacher and He's going to walk with me the whole way!
I feel like King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel when he says, "at the end of the days, I lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me" (Daniel 4:34a) I don't know if I'll struggle with feeling sad for the rest of my life, or if God will deliver me from it, but I do know that if I continue to lift my eyes toward heaven and keep my focus on the Lord Jesus, then my reason will be returned to me! I heard someone say once that fearing the Lord meant to put God where He belongs in your life and I need to remember that. I need to keep my focus on Jesus, where it belongs.
Amy Carmichael says,
"Bare heights of loneliness...a wilderness whose burning winds sweep over glowing sands, what are they to Him? Even there He can refresh us, even there He can renew us."
That is what this bone weary woman needed- a reminder that God can refresh my soul!

Thursday, December 16 favorite day of the week!

Today is Thursday and in honor of it being my favorite day of the week- here are some pics to make you smile!! :)

have you ever seen a cute little guy??

Happy Thursday!

Sunday, December 12

it takes a little imagination... keep yourself busy when the weather keeps you inside for a few days! :)

So, we got creative! We finally put some rice and some beans in a little tupperware tub and let her play! She had a great time- basically she dumped it on the floor and made a huge mess!!

Then we decided to make an frost some sugar cookies and that was a ton of fun, too- basically Hailey ate the cookie and licked the frosting off the spoon- but I did some frosting while she was busy licking and eating! :)
I'd have to say that I'm a huge fan of snow and I don't even mind days like yesterday and today- when we got over 10 inches of snow, but I'm thinking I may need some more creative ideas if Hailey and I are going to be stuck inside all winter long!!

Saturday, December 11

it's fun to be inside

We did have a great day today...Korey didn't have to work, the weather was bad, so we didn't go anywhere- we just stayed inside and played and giggled!
Hailey had a good time playing peek a boo from behind the curtains...
Allie wanted to get in on the action, too!
then, she wanted to sit with me on the couch, so she had to bring the bumbo seat up there...

our newest thing is for hailey to have to leave her nuk and blankie in her room, so she "stole" the plastic nuk from her dolly and carried that around today! :)

We had so much fun that we wish everyday could be a "snowed in" day!!

Oh the weather outside seems frightful, but the snow is truly delightful, so as long as I have you here, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!

With the "frightful" weather outside, today, we enjoyed some time just bundled up inside, as snug as a few bugs in a rug!!

Doesn't this little one look comfy?!
We did sneak out for a few minutes of playtime...but, we had to leave the baby inside, since it was too chilly for him!

It's amazing how long it takes to get myself and this little bug
all dressed and ready to go outside!

She truly enjoyed the snow, though, so it was totally worth it!
I think her favorite part was eating all the snow, it's a lot like ice, which is her favorite snack!! :)

I think she really had a hard time walking in the snow, 'cause she spent a lot of time crawling in it and tripping over her own feet!

I'm not sure who enjoyed the time in the snow more, Hailey, Allie, or Korey!

When we were finished outside, we left Daddy to do some snowblowing and Hailey and I came in for some hot chocolate with marshmallows!

Hailey definitely enjoyed her marshmallows!! :)

I just can't get over how much more fun this winter is with Hailey than last winter! :) And, last winter was so much more fun than the one before makes me excited for what else we have to look forward to with her!! And, super excited for next winter with Jackson- when he'll be a little bigger and we'll be able to bring him outside with us, too!!