Friday, December 31, 2010

The Year in Review

The Year in Review...again.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?

ummm....i can't say "gave birth"...but I CAN say I gave birth to a girl!

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

i will write the same thing i wrote last year. i don't usually make resolutions. i don't think they are bad, but i don't think resolutions should be reserved for just the new year. i am more likely to keep a resolution if God has convicted me of something rather than doing a traditional resolution just because.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


4. Did anyone close to you die?


5. What countries did you visit?

none...wish I could! But Jeff went to Greece!

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?


7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

June 30 - Carley was born!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I picked up playing the piano again. I don't think I will EVER forget how to play the piano, but when you are not playing regularly you get "fumble fingers." I started playing for our services this year at church and I have enjoyed it and gotten rid of the "fumble fingers." haha.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I feel like the end of last school year (that 2nd semester...Jan-June) I was pretty lazy at work. I was getting more and more pregnant and my mind was everywhere but at work. Those kids did not deserve for me to not be a better teacher for them.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

just more IBS stuff! lol.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Jeff's new truck...we like it.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Jeff graduated and with lots of honors! I am so proud of how he persevered and SO glad it is over!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

i guess my some of my students. they are REALLY good kids that just have big needs and so they just act out. Their behavior doesnt appall me, but i do get frustrated and sad that no matter how hard I try I will never be able to fix their problems.

14.Where did most of your money go?

mortgage and childcare and paying off my car.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

having baby #2 and God's word!

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?

"Movements" by Rend Collective

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? happier
ii. thinner or fatter? thinner - only because I was prego last I'm not! haha
iii. richer or poorer? same

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

spent more one on one time with some youth from church

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

worrying about what others think.

20. Did you fall in love in 2010?

i always love Jeff and Colin more and more every day. And I got to fall in love with a sweet little girl. She has added a whole new dynamic to this family and I love her!

21. What was your favorite TV program?

I really don't watch much TV anymore...but I guess still The Office!

22.. What was the best book you read?

I finished "To Live is Christ" and now I am starting "Radical." Good Stuff!

23. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Rend Collective Experiment!!!

24. What did you want and get?

a sewing machine

25.What did you want and NOT get?

a shed for the backyard...I actually said this last year! haha.

26. What was your favorite film of this year?

I suddenly became interested in Harry Potter. I took Jeff to see the newest one over Thanksgiving break for a date (thinking I would honestly fall asleep) but then it got me interested. So over the past month we have been watching all the movies. I just got caught up yesterday! So now I am going to start reading it!

27. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 27. I don't think we really did anything. Probably just went out to eat.

28 What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

digging into the word. I have a new found love for scripture and memorizing it. It has been so rewarding as it keeps me connected with God. However, I didn't really start doing that hard core until about September. Wish I had started it earlier!

29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

ummm...I think I should go on "What Not to Wear." I just am not good at putting outfits together! Its not that I am not willing to wear certain fashionable clothes. I will wear just about anything! I just need someone to shop for me and tell me what to wear everyday! haha.

30. What kept you sane?

3 things.

1) the Bible

2) cleaning/organizing...for some reason, when my house is clean I just feel calmer.

3) spending time with Jeff and the kids.

31. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

ummm...I really don't know!

32. What political issue stirred you the most?

again...I don't know!

33. Who did you miss?

my sister

34.. Who was the best new person you met?

Carley Erin Stapleton! Such a sweet heart. I cant wait to see what kind of little girl she will grow up to be!

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010:

Live simply and give generously. We have again had to shift around our budget since we added a new baby to the picture. When we do that we really are forced to evaluate what is necessary and what is not. Also, we have given away more money and things than we ever have before this past year. Its humbling to do so. And at the same time, God has always proven himself faithful to provide!

36. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

I will not fight You
Take me past the line that my heart draws
I will not fight You
Take me beyond the laziness of my thoughts
I will not fight
Lead me further than I've gone before
I will not fight You
I'm abandoned to Your call

(another Rend Collective song)

37. The best thing you discovered this year?

Harry Potter

38. The best thing you lost?

I could cry just talking about it...but sometime during the packing/traveling between here and Arlington for Thanksgiving, I lost my Bible and journal. I know most of you are thinking "just get a new one!" and I have done that. But its just not the same. I had stuff written in that Bible and journal that was good stuff. I was quite attached to them! lol

39. What are you glad to leave behind from 2010?

although being pregnant is worth it and even fun, I am glad to leave it behind. There was so much that i missed out on at church (especially during the summer camps and mission trips) and that made me sad. So I will be glad this year to be able to participate in all of that stuff!

40. What are you looking forward to in 2011?

Jeff and I are going to Chicago in March for the Simply Youth Ministry conference. We are both SO excited to go and spend some time together with just us! And we are excited to learn.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Survey!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper and ribbons/bows

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial....and definitely pre-lit!

3. When do you put up the tree? As soon as we get back from Arlington for Thanksgiving.

4. When do you take the tree down? Jan 1st or 2nd

5. Do you like eggnog? havent had it before

6. Favorite gift received as a child? hmmm....a bike...that actually got stolen like 5 days later.

7. Hardest person to buy for? Jeff's dad

8. Easiest person to buy for? my mom and jeff's mom. Just give them some things with pics of the kids on it!

9. Do you have a nativity scene? yes. I have almost all of the Willow Tree nativity set and it is my FAVORITE part of decorating for Christmas!

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail!

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? ummm...I guess it was Christmasy corningwear. It was nice, but at that point in my life I wasn't married and never cooked.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Elf and The Polar Express

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? just whenever I get a chance.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I don't think so.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? this is random, but this is a staple in my family...Clam Dip!

16. Lights on the tree (colored or clear)? White!

17. Favorite Christmas song? I have 3. Silent Night, Welcome to Our World, and I Celebrate the Day

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Travel

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph

20. Angel, star or ribbon on top of tree? ribbon on our big tree. Star on the kids little tree.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Eve with my family, Day with Jeff's family. We will do presents with the kids a few days before before we go to Arlington.

22. Favorite children's Christmas song? Santa Claus is coming to town

23. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Traveling with small children

24. Favorite ornament theme or color? Red and gold. But I think I want to change next year to Red and Silver.

25. Turkey or ham on Christmas day? both!

26. What do you want for Christmas this year? To be with my family! And I'd love to not have to wash the dishes for one day. :)

27. Does anyone in your family dress up as Santa? No.

28. Age you discovered who Santa was? I don't really remember. It had to be pretty young, because I don't ever remember believing in him!

29. Eggnog, hot chocolate, or apple cider? apple cider

30. Traditional colors (red and green) or other colors? Traditional

31. Do you have any Christmas decorations on your roof? no

32. How does Santa get into your house? Chimney or magic key? key

33. Do you prefer gifts or gift cards? both are great!

34. Favorite children's Christmas Cartoon? not really a cartoon, but The Muppet Christmas Carol

Saturday, November 27, 2010


So I think I'm going to stop the 30 day writing prompts...some of the topics are great and I have the list saved for days that I don't know what to write about. But some of the topics are "write about someone who treated you like poop." Also, some of them are kind of repetitive. So, like I said...I'm moving on and will go back to the list if need be.

Also, I imagine my writing will slow down quite a bit since Im going back to work after vacation.

Im very excited about Christmas! Got the tree up, wreath up, lights on the house are in the process! My 2 projects now for this week are 1)make a little gingerbread themed tree for Colin and Carley's room. 2)Stockings! Making new ones since Carley is in the picture now. Pics to come!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 6

Day 6: Something I hope I never have to do.

Gonna keep this short and sweet and un-deep. :)

I hope I never have to move to a place that is always cold. I would be so angry because I HATE cold weather!

The End.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I am thankful for:

I am thankful for my home.

We were blessed with the opportunity to be homeowners. I LOVE my house. I love the peaceful and quiet neighborhood. I love that we back up to the woods and not other houses. I even love that we back up to the railroad track. I know most people would hate that, but I actually kind of like it! There is something comforting about hearing the train go by. I love the work and effort we (really Jeff) have put into the outside of our house. I love my red front door. I love having covered parking. I love our back deck.

But more than the physical characteristics of our house, I love the memories that are being made and the things that occur in this structure. This is our 4th place to live since we have been married. I look back at all the places we have lived and more than I think about the physical things that I liked I think about special memories that happened there. Like dancing with my husband in our jammies, bringing home puppies, decorating with a 4 foot Christmas tree and dollar tree decor, bringing home Colin, Colin walking and talking for the first time, etc.

We have lived in our new home now for about a year and a half. And I have already had some sweet memories! Like birthday parties, decorating with a 6 foot tree this time, and bringing home Carley. There have been some funny memories like multiple cars getting stuck in the ditch in front of our house, potty training accidents that we even have the stains to prove it, and lots of laughter with friends. There has even been some not so great memories like bringing my family over right after my sister passed away. But that is what home is all about, isn't it? Whether its the best day of your life or the worst day of your life, its still home...a place of comfort. A place where people love eachother and go through life together.

I am thankful for a sweet place to do life together with my family and friends.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I am thankful for my job.

I tend to complain about teaching alot because it is way more stressful than people realize. But when I really stop and think about it I am so thankful for it. The only way I know how to explain why I am thankful for it is to list it. So here I go!

1. I get to invest in children's lives.
2. I get lots of hugs.
3. I get to see academic growth and get to teach kids how to read! So exciting!
4. I get lots of holidays and my summers off. Which is awesome since I have 2 little ones at home.
5. I have awesome co-workers and an amazing boss that make me actually WANT to come to work.
6. Sometimes, I get to be the only love or the only Jesus that some children see. (Not that I always succeed at being loving and Christ-like...)
7. I know that in this time, many people are struggling to find/keep a job. Therefore I am thankful for my job and that I am able to support my family because of it. I can't imagine how people feel when they cannot do that for their families.

I am thankful for my job.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I am also thankful for...

I am SO thankful for Jeffrey Wayne.

Let me start by saying, "What a stud muffin!" He is by far the most handsome man on earth (to me.) I am so thankful that his good looks contributed to the cute factor of our offspring. :)

I am so thankful for his ingenious thinking and sense of humor. The definition of ingenious is "marked by inventive skill and imagination." That SO describes him. I have always said that he was an undiagnosed GT kid. Being married to someone who is this way has been so fun and I have learned so much from him.

I am thankful for the way he fathers his children. His children look at him with adoring eyes and cannot wait to see him! I must say that the Stapleton household is NEVER emotionally stable when Jeff is gone.

I am thankful that he is my best friend. We have fun together! We also make a great team. We accomplish big things together!

I am thankful for how he perfectly balances being patient and understanding with my womanly emotions yet at the same time challenges me to "put my big girl panties on" and to be Christlike in every situation. I am eternally grateful for his accountability.

I could go on and on about everything that I am thankful for in the man I his life partnership, his tender and emotional heart, his endless talents, his desire for excellence...but I will just end with...

I am thankful that Jeffrey Wayne is mine!

Friday, November 19, 2010

I am thankful for...

I am thankful for Carley Erin.

What a BEAUTIFUL addition to our family she has been. She came at a perfect time in our lives. And you would think adding another baby to the family would add more stress and chaos. But because of her personality she has added a sweet balance and calmness to our family. For example, when daddy is playing his guitar entirely too loud, and Colin is screaming because he didn't get what he wanted, and I am yelling (yes I am admitting I yell at him) at Colin for screaming....little Carley is just sitting by watching everyone and smiling. She is the peace in the midst of complete chaos! And I don't think its just a baby phase. I really think this is going to be her personality always!

She is ALWAYS (and I am not exaggerating!) joyfully happy! I love her toothless smile. And she doesnt just smile. She opens her mouth as wide as it can go and tilts her head to the side. She is friendly and social, but doesn't expect anything from you. She is very content and doesn't seem to mind if she is not held, she just wants to know you are there.

I am thankful for my peaceful, beautiful, happy Carley Erin!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

takin a break from the 30 days

I'm going to take a break from the 30 day writing prompts to talk about what I am thankful for. From now until Thanksgiving, I'm going to talk (in detail) about what/who I am thankful for.

I am thankful for Colin Wayne.

I am writing this as his long legged body lays across my lap. It is 6:30 in the morning and he is NOT a morning person. Its about a 30 minute process of getting him up. Ha!

I am thankful for his vibrant spirit! He LOVES to laugh. And I can already tell he will be a man of many talents. I love how smart he is and how he loves to learn new things.

Even though this is interpreted as disrespectfulness/bossiness now, I can tell he will be a man that challenges other people. If I do something out of routine, or incorrectly, or if I raise my voice or say something that's not nice....he instantly calls me out on it.

He is the sweetest brother I have ever seen. Always wanting to help me take care of Carley, and wanting to talk to her and hold her.

I am thankful for his good health and the chance to see him grow. I can't wait to see what God holds for Colin.

I am thankful for Colin Wayne.

Now I must wake this beast and fight him to put his clothes on. :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 4 and 5 combo!

Day 4: Something you have to forgive someone for.

I'm going to be honest. The reason why I havent blogged in awhile is because I have no idea what to say on this one! I've always been one to let things go very quickly. Doesn't mean I have forgotten when people have wronged me, but I have forgiven.

The thing that I love the most about forgiving someone is the freedom that it gives ME! My momma always told me, "Don't let other people have that kind of power over you!" So true. When I choose not to forgive someone, that person (as well as Satan) has taken over the reigns of my life.

Besides, I have been forgiven more than I deserve by others and by God!

Day 5: Something you hope to do in your life.

I hope to visit a 3rd world country. Ever since I was little, I have always loved when those missionaries would come to our church and show their slide shows and talk about these people's way of life! Our church is very active in supporting world missions. And I LOVE it!

But I want to do more than just support it. I want to GO there. I would love to spend a whole summer even in another country. I would love to even take my kids. What an awesome experience it would be for our kids (and us) to see what other people go without and then come home and weed out all of the junk we don't need that we waste our money on! What a lesson on materialism that would be.

And since I love to teach and love kids/families. I think it would be neat to go start a school and educate children as well as their parents! More than anything I would love to be a part of someone's salvation story. I want to further His kingdom. And I KNOW that can be done here where we are. But it can there too and I want to participate!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 3

Day 3: Something you have to forgive yourself for.

2 things.

1)When my grandmother and sister passed away, I felt a lot of guilt for not spending more time with them. But I know that is Satan at work. AND, I think even if I had seen alot more of them before they passed away, I would STILL feel guilty. I think thats a normal part of the grieving process.

2)Also, I'm going to say what I think most Christians would say. I am convicted and guilty of not spreading the gospel of Christ through my words. There have been countless times that I had the perfect opportunity to say something about Christ and I said nothing...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 2

Day 2: Something you love about yourself.

So I have just recently started memorizing about a verse/passage a week. I have always been good at memorizing stuff. Its very easy and natural for me to memorize. However, I have not ever used that ability for anything that might glorify the Lord. So I decided to start doing just that with the word of God! This was the first verse I memorized when I started.

"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world was crucified to me and I to the world." -Galatians 6:14

So since the topic is "Something you love about yourself" I will talk about the only thing I am allowed to boast about according to that scripture.

I LOVE that I am a child of God because of what he did for me on the cross. I love that everything that I hate about myself that I mentioned in the previous post does not even matter because of what he did for me on the cross. I love that the stuff that I DO happen to like about myself doesn't even matter either because of what he did for me on the cross. I love that my God is big and does big things!

Ok, ok, and I do love that I can grill a grilled cheese sandwich to perfection. ;)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

30 Days of Truth? Sure...I'm in!

I'm copying this from Taylor...who is copying from someone else. Apparently the big thing right now in "blogger world" is this 30 days of truth. Basically each day has a "writing prompt." Like my friend, Taylor, said, "I can't promise that I'll do this in 30 consecutive days." Life is crazy busy and some days I can't even get to the bathroom before 10:00 at night...much less sit down to write a blog post! I go!

Day 1: Something you hate about yourself.

Well, well, well. I want to start out by saying that Christ has changed my life. I can honestly say that alot of the things that used to taunt me about myself don't sting quite so bad now because of the love that Christ has shown me. That being said though, the devil still works and those things are still there. It just doesn't control me like it used too. I say all this not with a "look at me" motive but to give others hope that poor self-image can be overshadowed by the brightness of God's love for us.

But anyway, here are a few of those things. We shall start with the physical. I hate my long skinny nose and I hate the "inner-tube" of flab I have developed around my belly/hips because of prego-ness. One of those things I can attempt to of those I cannot.

Now we will shift to the personality. I am a combo of my mom and my dad. My mom is an extrovert and my dad is an introvert. I am both. But what I hate is that the times when I need or want to be introverted I end up hurting someone's feelings. For example, one of my VERY dear friends here is very much a person who needs quality time, and when I don't give that to her I hurt her. Same with a VERY best friend who is far from me. Wish I didn't need to be introverted sometimes.

Also, I hate that I am so defensive. If I feel like anyone is attacking me and my character, or my husbands, or my kids....then I do and say things I regret. I hate that about myself.

Now, a shift toward the spiritual. I hate that I try to base my spiritual disciplines and passion for Christ on my emotions. If life is going my way, I am disciplined and excited for Christ. But its much harder for me to be that way when things are hectic or tough.

Now, toward parenting. I hate that I am quite guilty alot of being a "doer" type of Mommy rather than a "quality timer" type of Mommy. Sometimes I forget that being a mom is more than washing bottles, fixing meals, bathing, and putting to bed. I wish it was more natural to me to let those tasks go and enjoy and invest in my children's lives.

One last area...marriage. I hate that I take all frustrations out on my husband. He loves me unconditionally. I take advantage of his gentleness and puke my emotions out on him at the end of the day. And its like that violent hurling type of puking. Not pretty. Then I have to go through the not so enjoyable task of "cleaning up the puke" (aka apologizing). For me to love him would be for me to be more intentional and purposeful with my words toward him. Thats a challenge for me.

Don't have a clever way to end the words of my husband, "WELP! See ya later!"

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Sunday, October 17, 2010...

Outside my window...perfectly cool and dark and quiet. :)

I am sweet sister alot this month. She passed away a year ago this month. She was such a sweet part of my life!

I am thankful for...the love of my church family, for the amazing teacher that my pastor is, and for the life changing word of God!

I am creating...home made costumes for halloween. Actually havent started yet, but its on my mind. Colin and Jeff will be mario and luigi. Carley will probably be a ladybug (already have a constume for it that someone gave me). My team at school will all be characters from Wizard of Oz and I'm going to be the Tin Man.

I am get in bed at 9:00 tonight. Jeff and I both have made it a goal to get more sleep this week and see what kind of difference it makes in our life. Excited!

I am reading...Ephesians. Good freakin stuff!

I am hoping...that the word of God continues to change and excite me (and not like a "I wish" hope, but like that "I expect" kind of hope)

On my do I reach 2 of my students that have severe issues? Feel like I can't do enough.

From the learning rooms...numbers 6-10, patterns, community helpers, studying bats in science, and of course letters/sounds, rhyming, etc. I'm sure you wanted to know all that!

Noticing that...carley might be ready for spoon feeding! she stares at us and kicks her feet in excitement when we eat. We will try real soon.

Pondering these words... "I pray also, that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe." -Ephesians 1:18-19

From the kitchen...we had lelftover steak and baked potatoes tonight. tomorrow will be tacos!

Around the house...I have 2 sweet kids in the recliner with me right now. Jeff is editing photography. And we are winding down to go to bed soon!

One of my favorite things... when my youth in sunday school give me an answer that I never thought of. Excites me to no end that they are thinking outside the box and actually listen and care. Love them.

From my picture journal... The 3 most important people in my life! Love each of them to pieces.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

How I long to live this kind of life...

I am part of the "Fellowship of the Unashamed."

The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line.

The decision has been made. I am a disciple of

Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow down,

back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present

makes sense, and my future is secure.

I am finished and done with low living, sight walking,

small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams,

chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position,

promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I now live by

presence, lean by faith, love by patience,

lift by prayer, and labor by power. My pace

is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my

road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few,

my Guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought,

compromised, deterred, lured away, turned back,

diluted, or delayed.

I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the

presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy,

ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander

in the maze of mediocrity.

I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I must go until

Heaven returns, give until I drop, preach until all know,

and work until He comes. And when He comes to get

His own, He will have no problem recognizing me.

My colors will be clear.

I am not ashamed of the gospel . . . Romans 1:16

Saturday, August 28, 2010

colin and carley


Age: 3 years and 1 month

Weight: 30 pounds. 3T clothes and size 10 shoe

Feedings: Eats us out of the house sometimes! I think he is an emotional eater....anytime he is bored I catch him opening the fridge and staring. I don't even think he is hungry....just needs something to do. haha. His favorites are 'bacroni and cheese,' cheese sandwhiches (grilled cheese), bananas, oats (oatmeal), and spaghetti or spaghettios,

Favorites: "mario kart" and "mario taxi" (mario galaxy) on wii, playing on the playground at mommy's school, going on walks, playing golf and baseball, playing drums and guitar, sonic, swimming with his floaties by himself, his new big boy class (3year old class)

Least Favorites: being told no and being told he has to go potty when he is having too much fun playing.

Issues: Colin has grown up so much. We don't have issues with fit throwing hardly ever. The main thing we have issues with now is him ignoring/not listening to what we tell him to do. In his new class they have a color change system and he got on the sad face/red the other day for not listening to his teacher. People have asked me if i think he has a hearing Because its amazing how you can yell at the top of your lungs for him to pick up his toys and he ignores...but if you whisper the word 'mario kart' in another room he will come running with the wiimotes!

Personality: Mini-Jeff. Very spastic, silly, fidgety, observant and inquisitive. Always noticing little details, loves to be around people, he is everyone's friend. He is also so caring of other people. He hates when someone is sad or has a boo-boo.

Areas to Work On: Saying ok and doing what mommy/daddy tell him to do, controlling his emotions when he gets upset. When he cries, it is very where people stare. :/

New Things: wearing undies all the time now! We don't have to tell him to go on his own very often. He will just jump up and say, "I gotta go potty!" and run to the bathroom. He goes all by himself, and it has been SO helpful that 1)we don't buy diapers for him anymore! 2)I don't have to help him go. Such a big boy!

Randomness: He LOVES his sister. He is very excited that starting on Monday, Carley gets to go to school with him and also starting sometime this week Carley will be sleeping in his room.


Age: almost 2 months!

Weight: approximately 9 pounds and wearing some 0-3 month clothes

Feedings: She eats about 4 ounces every 3 hours. Except for at night.

Favorites: her "friends" (the jungle animals on the swing mobile). She smiles at them and talks to them. Its too cute! She also loves her spot on the recliner. She lays on the recliner between me and the arm rest. I think she likes being wedged in and she nuzzles her nose toward the arm.

Least Favorites: getting her nose sucked out. She likes her bath, but does not like the transition from warm water to towel. She gets angry when she is cold....I really don't know who she got that from!

Issues: she pulls her own hair. Her arms start flailing and she grabs a chunk of her hair. Then she is just ticked off that someone is pulling her hair! haha.

Personality: She is SO laid back. I know she is just a baby and things can change as she grows, but there is already such a huge difference between her and colin. Just give her a blanket and a bottle every once in a while and she is happy!

Areas to Work On: I guess getting her to eat a little more and gain a little more weight...but at the same time, her weight and the amount she eats is not anything to be worried about.

New Things: She sleeps through the night! She recently started going about 6 hours without eating at night, and now she is sleeping about 7, sometimes 8 hours at night time! I am thrilled! And now I think its time for her to be roommates with colin and not her parents anymore.

Randomness: Trying to decide what i want her to be for halloween. Any suggestions? I always like the idea of the family dressing up as something together. And I like homemade stuff too, because I am cheap.

I love these kids! They wear me out, but bring such joy to our lives!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Childly updates

Update on each kid!

1)Carley is precious to me. She is such a good calm baby. She has started smiling and I will make myself look like a fool just to see that smile. She smiles with her eyes even! Hopefully we will catch it on camera or video soon and post it! I took her with me to my dr's appointment yesterday and she smiled at my doctor! It was sweet. I am LOVING putting hairbows on her. I don't have that many, so I'm ready to make a Canton trip soon to buy a whole bunch! She is getting bigger and is more and more alert every day. She makes lots of eye contact and I've caught her staring at Colin quite a few times too. Their carseats are right next to eachother in the car and she will just look over at him like she thinks he hung the moon! She may not think that in a few years when he starts picking on her.

2) Colin looks like a MAN! For a long time I could still see traces of baby in him (baby cheeks, short legs, still wanted to be held). Now all of that is gone and he is a full fledged boy now! Next thing I know he will have a cracking puberty voice and will be asking girls out on dates! Ahhhh!
His vocabulary grows every day. I LOVE the conversations I have with him. It is funny, however, when he gets a word wrong. He listens to a praise CD that has a song on it that he loves. But when he sings it he says, "Jesus came to save 'nonners' like 'q' and me!" He is in "manderwear" (as Jeff so beautifully named them) full time now! We did undies just at school and home for a long time and now we wear them in public too. He has done great! Its a lot of work on our part as parents to take him to the bathroom ALL the time, but its worth it to not go through the diapers!

Here are a few pics that Jeff took of the kids one Sunday!

Those hands of hers are constantly moving!

Carley and mommy

What a stud! See what I mean about no baby left?

Sportin the new chucks! If you know our family, you know we all have to have a pair of chucks. Even Carley has some pink ones! Thinkin this pic should be in an ad for Converse!

And now here are some pics from Colin's birthday party. Still cannot believe he is 3!

His "gootar" cake

His new Rangers hat and glove from Granny and Pops

We surprised him with "pupcakes" and cheetoes and a balloon at his school. He was very excited!

Thank you God for my children. I pray for the day of their salvation and that they will grow up to be the man and woman you want them to be. Give me and Jeff wisdom and help us to be Godly examples to point them in your direction!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Perfect love

Its amazing how God's word is so gray sometimes and then other times it is clearly black and white. This following scripture is an example of that "black and white."

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love." -1 John 4:18

A room cannot be dark and light at the same time. Darkness and light cannot coexist. In the same way, love and fear cannot coexist.

Ouch. That basically told me that I have not accepted God's love....that I doubt it. I have (as does everyone if they are honest with themselves) LOTS of fear and worry about things....about money, about my kids, about my husband and marriage, about what others think of me. But all that this fear signals to others is that I think I can do a better job controlling my life than God can. My pastor reminded me yesterday that people who live this way....who live in fear and worry and are trying to control their own lives....are practical atheists. Practical atheists live as if there is no God. Ouch again. That is devastating to me that I could be labeled as a practical atheist.

So what can I do about this? My first instinct is to make a list of things that I need to do a better job of (reading my bible, praying, etc.) While those things are good and helpful things to do, all that does is promote the idea again that I can control my own life...that I can be closer to God by stuff that I do.

What the above verse is saying is that I need to dwell in God's perfect love. One definition of the word "dwell" is "to fasten one's attention. Therefore, it would make no sense to "fasten my attention" to my list of "things to do to be better." And it makes no sense to "fasten my attention" to fear or worry. I need to "fasten my attention" to God's perfect love...which in return should one day make me perfected/complete.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Outside my window...are lots and I mean.....LOTS of dead carpenter ants. Orkin came and sprayed today (which I am SO glad they did), but the result is dead ants all over my carport. At least they are dead though, right?

I am remembering...when my sweet boy was born 3 years ago. We just had a great birthday party for him this past weekend. It was so cool to see that the little premature baby I used to be able to carry around like a football is the same big 3 year old that was interacting with his friends at his party and insisted, "Sing Happy Birfday to me agayun!" (yes....he said "again" like a true East Texan)

I am thankful for...Jenni and Tim! I was so sad when they left. I finally accepted the fact that they werent coming back...and now they are moving back to Longview! Woohoo! So excited to have my sister-in-law and friend back. Glad my kiddos aunt is back. And I'm even glad to have Tim back! .....can't believe I just said that. haha.

I am creating...a clean and organized classroom....agayun. I've been up to my classroom a few times and I LOVE this time of year when you start fresh and arrange your furniture. I love the clean waxed floors and fresh butcher paper on the bulletin boards!

I am Arlington this weekend and all next week. Our friends/neighbors, Sheryl and Kyle, are getting married in Abilene this weekend and I am SO excited to be a part of that! Then I'm hanging out with my parents and hoping to see a few friends over the next week.

I am reading...My Beth Moore study. I'm a little over 3/4 done with it. Also about to start reading The Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. I've read it before (a long time ago) but I want to read it again now that I am in a different phase of life and struggle with discipline in different areas than what I struggled with 5 years ago. Should be good!

I am hoping...that in a few weeks when we take a "middle of the night feeding" away, that little Carley will still sleep! I enjoy feeding her in the night because it is just us and the house is calm and quiet....but I also LONG for 4 or 5....dare I even say 6 straight hours of sleep. We will see how it goes!

On my mind... Do you really want to know? Ok this is how my brain works on a normal day...."How many ounces should she be taking now? When is the last time Colin tee-teed in the potty? Is that another darn ant I see? Why does my son feel the need to eat fruit snacks 8 times a day? I know someone has a dr's appointment tomorrow but I can't remember who. I'll check my calendar in my purse....Where in the crap is my purse?!? I sure wish Jeff would pick up his underwear off the floor! Its time for Carley to eat again. I'll make a bottle...welp...all the bottles are dirty....sure wish I had a dishwasher!"

My brain is on overload...I'm curious to see how it will be when school starts and I add that responsibility back in. You know, I feel crazy sometimes, but I absolutely LOVE the chaos....if that makes any sense.

From the learning rooms...see "I am creating."

Noticing that...its pointless to pick up toys in my house. Colin doesn't believe in toy boxes.

Pondering these words... "the people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me." Isaiah 29:13

From the kitchen...spaghetti last night, sweet and sour chicken the night before, Don't know about tonight. Wednesday night = church night = fend for yourself.

Around the house...I cleaned our bedroom for the first time in about 2 months. WOW! Found all sorts of crazy stuff. Don't judge me, but we NEVER make our bed...its just not a priority right now...Anyway I found a toy car, a cracker, a Walmart receipt, and the missing TV remote between the sheets.

One of my favorite things...laughing with friends at something that really truly is not even that funny. That happens often with our group of friends because we are all nerds and have a weird sense of humor.

From my picture journal

Sunday, July 18, 2010

the kiddos

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Our girl is here!

Carley Erin Stapleton was born on June 30 at 7:06pm. She weighed in at 6 lbs 8 ounces and 19 and 1/2 inches long.

Labor story: It was the morning of our weekly dr's appointment and I had gotten up to take a shower. I felt fine but noticed that I had had 3 contractions while in the shower. I told Jeff and he got his i-phone out to start timing them. They were about 5-7 minutes apart. But our appointment was at 9am so we just decided to go there and see what the doc said. When I got there I was not any more dilated than I had been the week before so he was thinking it was a no. But then they hooked me up to a contraction monitor and left me for 10 minutes. Jeff drove me CRAZY during that 10 minutes. Jumping up to look at the waves....saying "Did you feel that?" "Are you having another one yet?" hehe. The nurse came back to look at the results and said, "Shut....UP! These contractions are 2 to 3 minutes apart. You need to go to the hospital." So we went (already had bags in car....and carseat...just in case).

We got settled at the hospital around 10:15am. My dr came after lunch to break my water and then I got my epidural. Later that evening I told the nurses that I could feel my contractions (ouch!) and that it was time to push. They checked me and sure enough I was at 10cm. I pushed for 15 minutes and then she was here! She looked ALOT like Colin did when he was born. Head full of dark hair, same little face with the dimpled chin and sucked in bottom lip. She just has my nose.

Colin is SO good with her. The first day we came home from the "hostipal" (as Colin calls it) he was TERR-I-BLE. We were thinking, "oh no, he is jealous or having a hard time with this new baby thing." But he hadnt had a nap that day and that ended up being all that was wrong. Because every day since then he has been so good and so sweet and gentle to her. I think he just needed a little routine back in his life after the excitement of being around his grandparents. He loves them!

And now enjoy some pics...

Daddy holding Carley for the first time.

Colin meets Carley for the first time.

Colin plays with his "big brother present" that he got from mommy and daddy.

In her going home outfit.

Yay! We get to go home and see big brother!

Brother and sister

Colin holding Carley. You can see his battle scar from when he fell off the deck....and you can see spaghettios all over his mouth.

I just love my kids and husband so much. God is so good!

Monday, June 28, 2010

taking a break

Thought I'd take a break from cleaning for a bit and do this survey that I found at Kate's blog My Messy Nest

What color are your socks right now? no socks. don't wear socks right now unless I am going on a walk since I wear tennis shoes. Otherwise, I'm wearing flops! Can't even reach my feet very well right now.

What are you listening to right now? TV and my ceiling fan rattling...better get that looked at.

What was the last thing you ate? PB&J sandwich and some pretzels

Can you drive a stick? yes, one of our cars is a stick

Last person you spoke to on the phone? jeff

How old are you today? 27

What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? TX rangers baseball, but i really don't pay attention to it too much. I actually spend more time watching colin imitate the rangers.

What is your favorite drink? Diet DP. I have switched to diet since I have gestational diabetes and think that I might be actually sticking with it after the baby. I have aquired that taste and think regular is too sweet and syrupy.

Have you ever dyed your hair? yes, but I haven't done it in like 4 years. I was just telling jeff yesterday that I would like to dye it darker again.

Favorite food? hmmm.....probably mexican food, but I also really like zuchini and squash.

What is the last movie you watched? pssshhh....i have no idea! Oh I think it was Nemo. Me and Colin watched it on the portable DVD player on the way home from Arlington a few weeks ago.

Favorite day of the year? That first Monday after the last day of school. Its such a GREAT feeling!

How do you vent anger? I start cleaning the house and gripe about how its a never ending cycle cleaning up after these yucky basically I blame it on them even when its TOTALLY unrelated to why I am really angry. I know I shouldn't do that, but I guess I do it because its safe. When I do that they don't get mad at me. Colin doesn't even know, and Jeff just laughs at me or ignores me.

What was your favorite toy as a child? i always loved "building" those marble ramp things that you put together, i also remember liking the skip it and the spirograph

Favorite Season? I like them all except for winter. I love the cool weather of the fall, the "new life" in Spring, the freedom of summer, but I HATE HATE HATE winter.

Cherries or Blueberries? cherries

Living situation? um, I live in our house with my husband and kid.

When was the last time you cried? last week

What is on the floor of your closet right now? shoes

What are you most afraid of? rats and bees/wasps

Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers? spice please...cant handle it.

Favorite dog breed? beagles

Favorite day of the week? Saturday

How many states have you lived in? just Texas

Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds

What is your favorite flower? daisies

Did you get an H1N1 vaccine? no

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

picture uploads...without Jeff's help

Im kind of a ding dong when it comes to taking pictures and uploading them. Normally Jeff takes them AND puts them on the computer for me. Well, he is gone....and by gosh I can do this by myself, right? Well I took the pics of the kids room myself with Jeff's big fancy camera. Didn't really know what I was doing or how to focus, so they may not be as good of quality. Then I started pulling out all sorts of cables and cords from his camera bag and just started randomly plugging in things until pictures popped up on my laptop. Success! Anyway, here are some pictures of a few random things.

First, we had an 80's skate night/end of year party with our youth. It was pretty fun. This was also like 2 days after Jeff got back from Greece. So he was jetlagged and Colin was VERY clingy to him. So we took Colin too. Colin had so much fun "scaping" as he called it. He had to stay on the carpet because the rink was too dangerous for him. But he was pretty determined to go out there with daddy. At one point Jeff decided to carry Colin in his arms while he skated around the rink a few times. It was so sweet when I looked up and saw Colin with his arms wrapped around his daddy's neck and his head on Jeff's shoulder with the BIGGEST most content smile. He had just missed him so bad and was glad to be with him. I wish I did have a picture of that. Here are some of our youth and Colin.

A couple of weekends ago we were able to go to Arlington to visit our grandparents. We got to visit my grandpa who is now in a nursing home. He was too cute in his reebok and adidas "comfy clothes." Im used to seeing him in jeans and a button up collar shirt with too much crap in the front pocket of his shirt and his buttons all in the wrong holes making him crooked looking. haha! I just love my papa. At one point Colin leaned onto him to give him a hug and took him on a wheelchair ride across the room that I don't think Papa was prepared for. Papa's face was priceless. Here is my cute Papa. He is such a good and generous man and I have so much respect for him.

Then we got to see Jeff's grandparents. I always enjoy visiting with Jeff's grandparents. I could literally sit with them all day and talk. They have the sweetest and most welcoming attitude and they have no boundaries on who they love. I hope to be like that too! I know Jeff adores his grandparents and I hate that we don't get to see our families as much as we would like. Here are Jeff's precious grandparents.

Lastly, I've been a little overly crafty. I feel like my "wall hangings" I have created for the kids room have turned out good. But I might have gone a little overboard and made everything too "matchy-matchy." Oh well, I had fun doing it. And thats what happens when I get left alone and bored! Colin is very excited that Carley's bed will be in his room. I hope he still feels that way when she is actually in there! haha.

view of room from the door

i painted the canvases and traced bowls to make the circles. A 6$ project!

painted edge of embroidery hoops brown, bought 1/2 a yard of 3 different kinds of fabric, and hot glued brown bows to hide brass fastener. An 8$ project!

Already had the frame. Green scrapbook paper for background. Printed a blown up C off a clipart website and traced it on brown scrapbook and hotglued a green bow on top. A less than 2$ project!

I have no more walls to make a wall hanging for, so I guess I am at a stand still! Haha. So that is what has been going on in my world. Jeff is at youth camp this week, so keep them in your prayers. We have about 23 students and 6 adults there. Pray for salvation for some and growth for others! I am actually super jealous that I am not there. I am wishing I was with alot of "my girls" there during this special week. But at the same time, it is nice to rest and spend time with Colin...just me and him...before Carley comes to turn our world upside down!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday, June 14, 2010

Outside my window...low 90's (its the evening). Just a normal humid East Tx summer evening.

I am remembering...going into labor with Colin. I am almost 36 weeks. I have made it a whole week longer than I ever did with Colin. I am feeling SOME (very mild, very beginning, no big deal) signs of labor that I recognize this time, but did not recognize with Colin. Interesting to just compare this time to that time. Also, just wondering how long I will be like this. 1 more day? 3 more weeks? I definitely am not complaining. Nothing really just drives me crazy not knowing!

I am thankful for... bills. I know that sounds crazy. But in my mind I feel blessed to have a mortgage and electric bill to pay. Some people dont have that.

I am nothing here.

I am be incredibly lazy this week.

I am reading...To Live is Christ by Beth Moore. Starting to finish it up. I am REALLY enjoying it. The study goes through Paul's journeys. So it has been really cool since Jeff has gotten back from Greece for him to show me pics or tell me stories that I have just read/learned about in the study. Good stuff.

I am hoping...that my life will bear fruit.

On my mind...not a whole stinkin lot.

From the learning rooms...haven't thought about school too much. The only thing I have thought about is that I want to rearrange my classroom and Im trying to figure out how that will work.

Noticing that...Colin is really TALL. His legs are getting really long!

Pondering these words..."Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him." Psalm 34:8

From the kitchen...just had a completely unhealthy oven pizza. I am actually in the mood to cook, but Jeff is going to VBS every night this week where they are having a meal, so its hard to figure out what to make for just me and Colin.

Around the house...somewhat clean! Trying to slowly keep up with laundry so it wont pile up too much.

One of my favorite things... seeing a student make a new realization. you can see it in there eyes! there is nothing better than that!

From my picture journal... I adore this little guy!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

35 weeks today. (updated)

How far along: 35 weeks (today is the point that I went into labor with Colin!)
Total weight gain/loss: 20 lbs
Maternity clothes: all maternity...and now that I am not working...a whole lot of jeffs shirts and basketball shorts!
Stretch marks: not on my tummy. i still have some on my sides from colin. but I am carrying WAY differently with carley. With colin I carried all around. With Carley, I am all in front. So I'm kind of surprised that I don't have stretch marks on my belly yet.
Sleep: meh...not great, but not terrible either. just have to get up to pee alot.
Best moment this week: without prompting Colin came up to me, lifted my shirt and hugged it. He said, "I love you Baby 'Cawley' (as he pronounces it). I cant wait to see you." So sweet.
Movement: all the time. She is a roller, and a hiccuper.
Food cravings: fruit. but that is a normal summertime craving for me. I ALWAYS eat lots of fruit when it is hot outside.
Gender: Girl
Labor Signs: random contractions, she has dropped too.
Belly Button in or out: definitely out. kind of weird to me! You can see it through all my shirts.
What I miss: laying on my stomach
What I am looking forward to: seeing what she looks like! I can't wait to see if she has a ton of hair like colin did. To see if she looks exactly like her daddy the way colin does, or if she will have anything at all that resembles me. i don't even care either way. i'm not rooting for a certain hair or eye color or hoping she looks one way or another. i just can't wait to see!
Milestones: Thursday we go for a sono and pelvic exam. I'm anxious to see if she is still growing like she is supposed to. Haven't had a sono since 20 weeks and 2 weeks ago she was "measuring small." Probably not a big deal, but I just want to see that everything is okay.

A few snippets from my not so exciting life....

1. so i will be sitting around the house today, because i am waiting on the exterminator to come. we might have possible termite damage (yuck!). There is a little spot in our guest room/carport wall that keeps collecting what looks like sawdust. But we are hoping its just that one spot and that we are catching it early. When we bought the house a year ago the inspection said no termites. And this "sawdust" has just appeared over the past 2 months. So...hopefully nothing too serious.

*Update: So "the Orkin man" came and said it was NOT termites (thank goodness, cause he said that would have cost of thousands of dollars to fix). But it is carpenter ants. So we just have to set up a simple pest control thing where they come every other month....which we need to do anyway...especially living out here by the woods. There are bugs EVERYWHERE! Boo for ants but yeah for no termites!

2. I'm in a crafty mood and thinking about somehow making a hairbow holder. Possibly something simple like this... But instead of the flower, maybe finding a small wood cutout that I could put a "C" on.

3. I am totally enjoying Jeff being done with school. He told me last night that he feels like he is being a better daddy and husband because he has time to now. That made me feel bad for him. I NEVER thought he was being a bad daddy and husband, but we did have to make lots of sacrifices and be without him alot because of school. So its safe to say that we are ALL glad that he is done now.

4. I think that I'm weird and like change. For the past 5-6 years or so, there has always been some sort of BIG life change. Marriage, college graduation, new job, move to new city, have a kid, start youth ministry, buy a house, have another kid! I told Jeff last night...."after we have Carley, we will have to find something else to change in our life....its just the routine now! What are we going to change next?" I think its a good and a bad thing that I've gotten so used to it. Its good because I am literally open to anything now. I could totally pack up our stuff and move across the world and it wouldn't bother me. However, I absolutely know that God wants us here and now and for a while....and I need to be okay with that. And I am okay with that. Because I love it here. But I guess I will have to be creative in finding ways to feed my desire for change all the time. Jeff told me that every time I feel that way to go change a diaper. ;)

Monday, May 31, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday, May 31, 2010

Outside my window...a beautiful summer morning! Its about 70 degrees right now, but will get into the 90s later. I LOVE summer weather. Jeff hates it, but I think its great.

I am remembering...6 years ago when I married Jeff. It was the start of something awesome! So much has changed since we've gotten married. Many job changes, 2 college graduations, a big move, 4 different residences, buying a house, a new church and ministry, and 1 (almost 2!) kids has been quite the eventful 6 years. I love Jeff more than anything. My favorite things about him are: seeing him be a sweet daddy, his endless talent, and I love how he and I make a good team. We work well together. :)

I am thankful for...old friends and new friends. both are necessary.

I am creating...a way cute bedroom for my kids. Almost finished and I am SO pleased with it.

I am start packing my hospital/diaper bag today. :)

I am reading...To Live is Christ by Beth Moore

I am hoping...Jeff gets back on a Texas schedule soon! Poor thing is a wee bit jetlagged. Any time he sits still he falls asleep.

On my mind...getting this house cleaned, organized, and ready for a baby to dwell here.

From the learning rooms...4 more days....4 more days. I am, however, quite excited about next school year. I'm hoping I wont be too much of a zombie with a new baby, because there is lots to be done. We have some new ideas and curriculum changes to be put in place that I am excited about. We also got to actually order alot of "stuff" for our classrooms. That usually doesnt happen, so I am excited to get it and use it!

Noticing that...our youth summer plans are not very planned out. With graduation, greece trip, etc. that has kind of been on the back burner. Now all of a sudden, its summer and Jeff and I need to get organized and planned! Ahh!

Pondering these words..."When it comes to temptation, its not about will power. Its about whether or not you trust in God's promises over Satan's lies."

From the kitchen...we've done alot of eating out lately. :/ But I went to the grocery store so now I can cook. I think tonight I might make my dad's rice crispy chicken for Jeff. Delish!

Around the house...My To Do List(not necessarily to be finished today): wash Jeff's greece trip clothes, mop and vaccuum all floors, wash sheets on all beds, buy a shed for backyard, put crap from laundry room into previously mentioned shed, put all toys in laundry room in organized play room fashion.

One of my favorite things...Diet Strawberry Limemade from Sonic

From my picture studly husband in greece. wish i could have gone!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

another update

jeff is back from greece (finally!). That was the longest 11 days of my life! haha. My dad stayed with me while jeff was gone and he was awesome. He painted the kids room, put the crib together, put new patio furniture together for me, etc. He was super handy. The kids room looks SO stinkin cute (to me atleast). Its not quite done yet. I have a few more things I need to do (like stenciling a verse above Carley's crib), but when its complete I will post pics!

I am almost 34 weeks...which is a little crazy to me because I was 35 weeks when I went into labor with Colin! I'm wondering how close I am to labor. I'm trying hard not to read too much into every little pain or sign. Don't want to over-react. But I don't want to disregard anything as "just normal" like I did last time. Last time I had convinced myself I just had gas, when really I was 5 cm dilated!

Here are a few "signs" I am having. Random contractions (nothing consistent yet), swelling feet, and I definitely feel a little dilated with some random back pain. It all seems normal at this point, but again I just wonder if I will go early again. Who knows, I might go 42 weeks! Ahhhh! My next appointment is June 10. I'll get a sonogram and from that point forward I will go every week. Pretty exciting.

Colin is doing so great at school. His teacher always talks about how good and calm he is. He does great with potty training there....rarely has accidents. I'm a little less structured at home about it than his teacher is. I don't get mommy of the year award in that area. I'm tired and lazy and slap a diaper on him. But he still goes at home on the potty and keeps diapers dry alot. So i guess you could say he's "almost" potty trained. I think once Carley is born and school starts again where we are in a routine, we will do full time undies. He is starting to make the connection that this baby carley inside me will eventually be here to live with us. We put the crib up and with no prompting he asked, "Is that baby carley's bed?" I think he is excited that she will be in the same room as him (well...not at first, but eventually). I'm excited to see him be a "broseph." I think he will be really sweet with her.

well, i guess that is all i have to say. I will update again soon with pics of the kids room!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Update (with pictures)

Lots has been going on! I'm exhausted, but everything has been so so fun!

I'm going to majorly backtrack all the way back to Easter. MomMom and Pepaw came on that Saturday for the day and we had a little Easter egg hunt. Colin was too cute. He just kept saying, "There's another one! And there's another one!" over and over again (referring to the eggs of course). Then we got a surprise visit from Granny and Pops the next day! We were on our way home from church when Jeff got a call from Pops who said they were in Longview. So glad we got to see all of them that weekend.

Jeff graduated from college! I'm super proud of him. For the past 2 years he has been an excellent husband, father, and youth minister all while still being an excellent student! He received an award at ETBU for his service as a youth pastor and also for outstanding senior religion student. He also graduated magna cum laude! It was a fun day because Jenni (Jeff's sister) graduated as well! So we had lots of family in and it was a wonderful day!

I had 2 baby showers this past week. One at school and one at church! I got some way cute outfits and also got alot of diapers and wipes (which I am SO glad to be stocked up on!) Very excited to start getting stuff ready for Carley's arrival! I have all her clothes washed and hung/put in drawers. Next will be painting the room green (her and Colin will share a room for a few years), putting up the crib/bedding, moving all the toys out to the new "playroom" and then packing bags/preparing for hospital! Once Jeff gets back from Greece we will be getting all the way ready just in case I go into preterm labor again! Just as long as I don't while Jeff is in Greece! I'm sure I'll be fine though.....right? Anyway, here is a pic of the bedding and colors we will be using in the kid's room!

Next on our agenda....
-May 11: next dr.'s appointment
-May 16: Jeff leaves for Greece :(
-May 25: Jeff comes home! :)
-May 29: Our 6 year anniversary
-that same weekend, Uncle JonJon comes for a visit and we have our youth end of year "80s skate night!"
- June 4: last day of school! woo hoo!
- June 21-25 Youth Camp (I will NOT be going, Jeff might be...but he's also got back up leaders in case!)
-July 13: tentative due date for little Carley!
-July 31: Kyle and Sheryl's wedding! Can't wait. followed by a stay in Arlington!

Again, I just want to stress that God is good. In the past year some things have been taken away. I lost my sweet sister and sacrifices are being made in staying here in Marshall (financially, being apart from family, etc.). Yet at the same time, he gives. I am about to have a little girl who will carry on my sister's name. And he has provided for us in many different ways. He gives and he takes away, but he is always there. And for that I am eternally grateful! Thank you God for having plans for us that are good and for giving us hope.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"a little of this and a little of that"

When my great aunt was living and first diagnosed with alzheimers she said something that made me smile. At the beginning stages of this she was still cognitive enough to know that something wasn't right with her, so she would find clever ways to "hide" it. One day, someone asked her what she had eaten for lunch. She couldn't remember so she just responded with a simple, "Oh....a little of this and a little of that."

Don't really know why I shared that....thought it would be a good title for a blog that is about to be all over the place and it reminded me of her saying that.

I stayed home (again!) with Colin today. I have just about maxed out out the days I can take between colin and my doctor appointments. I cannot get this kid well. Diarrhea, BAD hiney rash, dehydrated, lethargic. I am so so ready for this to get better. I tried to take him to the doc, but nurse was saying it would really be a waste of time and money because there really isn't much you can do for diarrhea. we are cleaning up mess after mess, trying to get fluids down, and trying to heal a poor hiney.

Life is incredibly chaotic right now. Its not a bad thing necessarily....just makes me tense sometimes that it is one thing after another. But atleast most of it is stuff that I am really excited about and look forward to.

We have a JAM PACKED but exciting schedule ahead of us. Let me share my calendar with you...

April 14 - Plates of Praise at EF high school
April 15 - Jeff's senior dinner banquet (and the first "date" we've gone on in like 6 months! haha)
April 17 - Highway 80 garage sales (LOVE!)
April 21 and 22 - training for school (not love!)
April 23 - dr appointment and another glucose test (yuck!)
April 24 - youth group high school paint ball trip (I will prob not be attending that!)
April 26 - field trip to Gators and Friends
May 1 - JEFF FINALLY GRADUATES! graduation party to follow at our house. :)
May 4 - school baby shower
May 8 - church baby shower
May 16 - Jeff leaves for Greece
May 25 - Jeff comes home!
May 29 - 6 year anniversary!
June 4 - last day of school!
July 13th - Carley Erin's debut! (as of now)

Whew! May not have much time to post between now and then! Or after that for that matter.
I definitely feel blessed and excited about all that is going on in our life since we have been here in marshall. God is good! And even though I haven't had sleep or money in the past 3 years that we have been here, I wouldn't have it any other way. The joy of knowing God and seeing him at work outweighs all that.

On another quick note, please keep the Graff/Hopson family in your prayers. Heather (a former ETBU student and our old neighbors there) passed away last week from a massive brain aneurysm. She left behind her husband, Jacob, and a 4 month old baby girl, Ava.

She wasn't a real avid blogger, but when she did you could tell that she had a love for Christ. Some of the things that she wrote on her blog were read at her funeral. Her blog is

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Thursday, April 1 2010...

Outside my window...perfect weather! about 80 degrees, sunny, and bright! buy LOTS of pollen. yuck.

I am remembering... when we were putting an offer on this house about this same time last year! It was exciting.

I am thankful for... Jeff being almost done with school! He graduates exactly one month from TODAY! I am so proud of him and really just super glad that he will be done with late night studying/paper writing for a while!

I am creating... well I will change it to past tense. I created a clean and organized closet for Colin and Carley. My dad added another shelf/rod halfway down for Carleys clothes. Cleaned out a bunch of junk that was piling up in there and now it is ready!

I am have an easter egg hunt for Colin in our backyard. Its a GREAT backyard to hide eggs in!

I am reading...To Live is Christ by Beth Moore. I'm going really slow through it, but totally enjoying it and learning alot.

I am hoping... to find an additional source of income(s) for our family once little Carley gets here. I know God has provided and will again!

On my mind... summmmmerrrrrrr!

From the learning rooms... we are so mentally done. My kids are great and I love them and I just want to let them play!

Noticing that... Colin is getting taller.

Pondering these words... You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives. ~Clay P. Bedford

From the kitchen... had spaghetti tonight.

Around the house... watching the Mavericks game, and listening to Colin sing the days of the week song

One of my favorite things... Spring time!

From my picture journal... my team and I have WAY too much fun together at school. This is us when we dressed up as 100 year olds for the 100th day of school.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Thought I'd fill out this survey again for Colin. Soon I will be able to do this for Colin AND Carley! Since Colin is going to be a big brother, we have been calling him Broseph (from the Balloon Shop videos). Yes, we are strange. My Colin is a great kid and he is a blast to watch grow up.

Age: 2 years and 8 months

Weight: 29 pounds still. 2T clothes and size 9 shoe

Feedings: He likes to eat! Still a little picky, but eating alot better than he used to.

Favorites: "mario time" with daddy (wii), playing outside (especially at playgrounds), going on walks, playing golf, bubbles, playing drums and guitar.

Least Favorites: being told no, taking naps during the day, transition

Issues: Colin has REALLY gotten better about the fit throwing. He is communicating so much and can reason better than he used to. Now, he is just picking up things from other kids school that I'm not okay with (but I also expected to happen....its just part of letting your kid out into the world.) Things like hitting, telling me no, and the BIG one is him saying "MINE!" Oh well, he will get better.

Personality: same as last time. JUST like his dad with my sensitive feelings. He is very observant and inquisitive. Always noticing little details.

Areas to Work On: Potty Training. We are getting there. He goes in the potty about 95% of the time that we make him sit. But he won't ask to go on his own. If we don't make him sit he is perfectly content peeing on himself. So I guess we need to work on him saying/asking to go sit on the potty!

New Things: wearing undies, identifying numbers and colors, beat-boxing with his mouth, saying his own prayer at night (all it is, is "Thank you God for ______" over and over.)

Randomness: He insulted me for the first time yesterday. I told him he couldn't do something he really wanted to do and he clenched his teeth together and said, "Stinky Mommy!"