Friday, April 20, 2012

My Three Kids

Life in our house these days is fun, choatic, busy, hard, confusing, dramatic, funny...

People always ask me if it's different having a boy.  At this point in time, the difference that I'm struggling with is not that I have a boy now (although, I know I'll notice those differences as he gets older), but rather that I have three. 

I've heard that going from 1 to 2 is the hardest, but for me - right now - going from 2 to 3 has been the hardest.  Sure, going from 1 to 2 was hard.  I remember some very difficult situations that I dealt with right after Cami was born.  But I don't know...can't quite put my finger on it, it just seems harder this time.  Some days I wonder why on earth I even chose to be a mom, because I feel like such a failure.  But then I read encouraging blogs of those who have gone through this, are going through this, and I realize that I'm not the only mom that struggles in raising their kids.  That this is normal, even.

The main thing that's hard is the 3:1 ratio.  And even when Grant is home, we're still outnumbered.  I don't have enough hands (or brain cells, it seems like) to do alot of things these days.  I'm pulled in different directions all day long.  Sometimes, I can hardly put a sentence together.  But I love my kids more than anything, and I just tell myself that it won't always be like this.  They won't always be this little.  And there are great moments.  Really precious moments.  And at the end of a hard day, I think about those moments.

For instance, Tucker.  He's a sweet baby.  A very, very sweet baby.  I'm not kidding, this kid will make you want a baby.  When he smiles at you, his whole face lights up, and it's just the sweetest thing.  I can be in a really bad mood, but one smile from him can totally change me.

We did a really good job when Kendall was born about buying mostly gender-neutral stuff.  But we still have one pink thing - the Bumbo.  Apparently, there are covers for them, but I doubt we'll get one.  He'll just have to suffer through sitting in a pink chair.

And Cami.  She's seriously one of the funniest kids I've ever known.  She just has this kind of comedic timing, at the ripe old age of 2.  She's funny, and she knows she is.  A lot of times, she amazes me with the things she comes up with.  She's a little quirky, too, which just adds to her personality.  One of her quirks, she loves to smell things.  Right now, she's holding up a bottle of peppermint oil to her nose and smelling it.  Over and over again.  Last night, Grant was shucking some corn, and while she was "helping" him, she smelled the corn.  Pretty much anything that has a smell, she takes the time to smell it.  She's following in Kendall's footsteps, and is learing to be a helper. 

Speaking of Kendall, I would say that's one of her best traits - she loves to help.  She'll make her bed, without me saying it (maybe I should, but I've never asked her to make her bed, unless someone is coming over), set the table for every meal, get diapers for Tucker, dress herself, and pick out Cami's clothes.  She really, really just loves it.  And she's so sweet and thoughtful.  She loves to draw pictures for me, and when she gives them to me, she'll say, "I just love you so much, so I wanted to draw you this picture."

If those earlier words about having three kids came across as harsh, I really do enjoy it.  I put together this little movie of the three of them.  I think I'll make myself watch it when I'm having a particularly bad day, because it just makes me happy.  The girls are very much in love with their brother, and amazingly, they're already asking when the next baby is coming (apparently, it's a girl).  I keep reminding them that we still have a baby, and if we have another baby, it will be a while.  I'm glad that they love having a baby in the house, though.  It makes me feel like I'm doing something right.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Tucker's Baptism (and Happy Easter!)

Four years ago on Easter, Kendall was baptised at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Vandalia, Ohio.  Today, Tucker was baptised at Grace Redeember Presbyterian Church in Crestview, Florida!  The best part about today, was that most of our family was close enough to celebrate with us.  My parents, Grant's parents, and my brother and his wife all came over from Pensacola to go to church with us and witness the baptism.  That alone would have been special, but the fact that it was Easter was even more so!  We haven't spent an Easter with any family in 9 years!

For those of you that might be unfamiliar with infant baptism, and wonder why we do it, I found this great explanation.  It's worth a read, and it's pretty short.  Basically, we realize that baptism does not bring salvation; however, we are making a covenant with God to raise up our children in a godly manner - hoping and praying for their recognition of God's grace in their lives as they get older.

In our church, we are asked three questions before the baptism.  They are:
Do you acknowledge your child's need of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, and the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit?
Do you claim God's covenant promises in his behalf, and do you look in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ for his salvation, as you do for your own? 
Do you now unreservedly give your child to God, and promise, in humble reliance upon devine grace, that you will endeavor to set before him a godly example, that you will pray with and for him that you will teach him the doctrines of our holy religion, and that you will strive, by all the mean's of God's appointment, to bring him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?
This is so different than how I was raised, so it took me a while to come around to it.  I even avoided the subject altogether for a while after we were married, because we didn't have kids.  But Grant was raised in a church that practiced infant baptism, so he encouraged me to kind of make up my mind about it before we had kids.  After reading about it alot and listening to a really thorough discussion for it by Greg Bahnsen (called "Biblical Baptism"), I realized that this is something we needed to do for our children.

Again, we were so happy to actually have family partake in this special occasion!

After church, the kids had a little Easter egg hunt, and then it was off to our house. 

While we were preparing food, we had another Easter egg hunt in our backyard.

And we finally got a family picture!  The first one of all of us since Tucker was born.

And I thought this was cute - all three kids in swings.

As far as the rest of our Easter...Grant recently read the book Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright.  Here's an excerpt of that:
Easter ought to be an eight-day festival, with champagne served after morning prayer or even before, with lots of alleluias and extra hymns and spectacular anthems. Is it any wonder people find it hard to believe in the resurrection of Jesus if we don’t throw our hats in the air? Is it any wonder we find it hard to live the resurrection if we don’t do it exube...rantly in our liturgies? Is it any wonder the world doesn’t take much notice if Easter is celebrated as simply the one-day happy ending tacked on to forty days of fasting and gloom? It’s long overdue that we took a hard look at how we keep Easter in church, at home, in our personal lives, right through the system. And if it means rethinking some cherished habits, well, maybe it’s time to wake up.
And that makes sense. If you think about it, the thing that gives us hope is that we serve a risen Savior - not one who's dead and in the ground. He's risen! And that's a pretty awesome thing! It's easy to kind of forget about the reason for Easter, and just go through the motions. But it does need to be more of a celebration. We even changed our tactic with the Easter candy this year, and told the girls that the reason we have candy is to celebrate the resurrection (we don't have candy a lot, so I think they actually understood that).

We had a pretty awesome celebration!  We had champagne, and food...lots and lots of food!  I should have gotten a picture of our FEAST, but I didn't.  Here's a picture of everyone around the table, though.

I hope everyone reading this had a great Easter celebration, too.  He is risen...He is risen indeed!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Very Pinteresting!

Pinterest.  If you haven't heard about it by now, get out from that rock you're living under!  I got an invitation for Pinterest probably about a year ago.  But I didn't want to sign up.  I spend too much time online as it is, I didn't need one more thing to distract me.  Then I got another invitation, so I joined, but I didn't really get into it for a couple more months.  When I finally did get into it, I didn't really "get it."  Then I got it, and fell in love!  It hasn't become too much of a time suck for me, either, although it easily could. 
For a while now, I've been wanting to post about all the pinteresty things that I've done...there have been a lot of recipes made, and some cool organizational things that I've done thanks to Pinterest.  Some of the things, I wasn't even looking for - I just came across them.  Like this one...

When I saw this idea I knew I needed to use it for my laundry room.  Our laundry room is T-I-N-Y.  There's only one shelf, and not really room for another one.  On that shelf is some storage things, and it's also where we keep extra light bulbs, batteries, etc.  That shelf was has plenty of things on it, leaving no room for any of the laundry/cleaning stuff.  So they were just piled up on top of the dryer.  This over-the-door shoe holder was the perfect solution for such a tiny space!  And I'm so happy with it!

There's also been a couple of ideas for keeping a air fresheners using essential oils.  I started out doing this one, making use of my old Bath and Body Wallflower containers.  But I found that the essential oil/water mixture evaporated too quickly.  So I needed another idea.  Again, not even looking for it, I saw this one which uses baking soda and essential oils in a jar, and I've been so much happier with it.

There's also been an all-natural body scrub (that I love), this great idea for having pre-scooped ice cream at parties, and don't even get me started on recipes!  I've made many in the recent months - that pretty much deserves it's own post.

The most recent "pinteresting" thing I've made is this Easter flower arrangement, using tulips, Peeps, and jelly beans.  I just had to make it!  So here's my version.

The other thing I've loved about Pinterest is not even the stuff you find on Pinterest, itself.  But pinning things you find on your own.  I've made a few boards for stuff I wanted to remember.  Like this Amy Butler bag that I want to make.  I wanted to remember the fabrics I liked and the blogs that have tips for making it.  So I made a board for it.  I also made a board for recipes I wanted to make for Easter dinner.  It's so nice to find a recipe or an idea, pin it, and not have to worry about finding it again!

I've made and done quite a few things found on Pinterest, but there's still so many I need to do!  So basically, what I'm saying...if you're not on it, you should be!