Monday, April 28, 2014

Weekend In Review: A Park, A Walk and Lots of Fun!

Friday evening we met up with some good friends for a picnic dinner out at Two Rivers park. Afterward we walked and talked and let the kids ride bikes. It's a perfect place to go because it's flat and they can ride on ahead but we can still keep an eye on them. It was a perfect evening, it was warm with a nice breeze blowing. We had such fun hanging out!
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The boys found a storm shelter that they wanted to go explore in…but us parents stopped the expedition before it really even started.
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Matt showed the kids his brother's bee hives and told them how they harvest the honey. It was pretty interesting.
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Saturday was a big day. We celebrated the money that was raised for heart health and awareness at the 2014 Heart Walk. We had lots of family and friends who were able to join us this year and supported this cause that has become near and dear to our hearts. We were able to raise over $1300 dollars which almost tripled our initial target amount that we set. We owe a big "Thank You" to those of you who helped us surpass our goal and have helped to fund heart research that will one day save even more lives, just like Ava Jane's! We had a great turn out, thanks to all of you who came out and enjoyed the beautiful day with us!

Here's some of our Ava Jane's Angels team.
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And our star of the Heart Walk...Miss Ava Jane Head!
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During the opening ceremony Adam was asked to say a few words, being that the event was sponsored in part by Arkansas Heart Hospital. He shared a little bit about how personal this issue of heart disease and illness is to us now that we have had a daughter with a Congenital Heart Defect.
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It was fun seeing friends and family rally around such a great cause!
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My Aunt Jane gets the award for "Furtherest Drive to the Walk". She and Katie Jo drove in from Alma that morning! Thanks for making the effort to be there with us!
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The walk was a 5K and took quite a while (I think it was about an hour and half from start to finish). At first it was really bottle necked but the crowd eventually spread out and we were able to pick up the pace a bit.
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It was a great walk and a fun time!
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There were bounce houses, policemen on horseback and music to dance to afterwards. The Heart Association did a great job putting on the event, I think it was a complete success! I don't know how close they got to their goal of $300,000 but I'll be curious to hear in the next few days! I sure love this sweet little miracle that God has given us! We are so grateful and are indebted to all the medical staff that took care of our sweet little girl and used their talents and skills to save her life. We are forever blessed and oh so thankful!
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We are still accepting donations so if you'd like to donate you can follow this link And if you'd like to see last years Heart Walk you can click here.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Good Times, Great Friends

I look forward to every Wednesday because I have a standing play date with some of my lifelong friends and their sweet kiddos! There is just something to be said for friendships that span decades and all kinds of seasons in life. There's a richness and a familiar "knowing" with friends whom you've known, some, since 2nd grade!

This past Wednesday we met at Pinnacle Mountain State Park and enjoyed the springtime sun and friendships young and old! It's really neat to watch our kiddos form relationships with one another.

Here's a few of our fun moments!

This is what 11 kids 8 and under look like. We have quite the crew, but I must say they are some really great kids! I love them all!
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They're "following the leader, the leader, the leader. They're following the leader wherever he may go"!
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It's always fun to throw rocks in the water and to dig in the dirt. Being outside is a dream for little boys and in this group we've got seven testosterone filled little guys and I love that they're such good friends!
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And here's us Momma's! I love these ladies. It's encouraging to have friends who I can be honest and transparent with, who encourage and challenge me in my walk with God. Thanks ladies for being "iron sharpening iron"…I am blessed to call you friends!
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Anytime there's a chance to watch a real live construction site, my boys are all about it. Lawson was mesmerized by all the big vehicles, but he wasn't the only one!
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We've had a great week and are looking forward to a fun weekend filled with friends and family gatherings (from dinners with friends to the Heart Walk, a fish fry and Psalms First Communion). It's gonna be a packed weekend but it's all fun things and I'm really looking forward to it! Hope you've all had a fabulous Friday!!
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Potty Woes

Well, I have a certain three year old who is in the throws of potty training. We've been trying to grasp the concept since December (with a Pull-Up). But as of last Thursday, I gave up on those horrible, super absorbent, glorified diapers! I decided that if he's in "big boy underwear" then I'm more aware of when and how often he goes potty so I think that alone has helped to keep me in check and to not be lazy myself. We've been in big boy underwear every day since last week and yesterday, for Mother's Day Out, he wore his big boy underwear to school. I was a little nervous to do it but thought we'd give it a try. I'm happy to report, when I arrived to pick him up he was still wearing the same underwear and pants! His teachers said he did great, which was a relief for me. I was praying for him all morning long and hoping there wouldn't be an accident. He's been almost completely successful with tee-teeing but has unfortunately failed 100% of the time (at least twice daily) with the other which is exhausting and frustrating and pretty much a mild form of torture!

This Mama is pretty much at her wits end when it comes to #2. You name it, I've tried it. Candy, toys, new movies, removal of toys, praying for him and praying with him--asking God to help him poop in the potty. I can't seem to find a combination that works for him yet, but I'm obviously not gonna give up! I am confident that he won't go to Kindergarten without being potty trained…but I do hope it happens quicker rather then later cause Kindergarten is three years away!

Though he's still not perfected it, he's doing really good and I want to give him every opportunity to succeed so I'm trying something I never did with Peyton or Lawson. Currently we are taking our "frog potty" with us everywhere we go. We've used it in parking lots and driveways all over Little Rock. Though he's quite vocal and very loud normally, he has still not regularly asked or even told me that he needs to go so I'm constantly asking and offering him the use of a potty, and any potty will do, especially his "frog potty" which he LOVES! So far, it's been working.

He's pretty cute don't you think? He'll probably kill me one day for posting this picture, but it's part of our daily routine right now, so I thought I'd be remiss not to document our woes and successes so that in three years, when we have other struggles, I can look back and realize that things do get better, they do eventually improve and as my wonderful Meema used to say "this too shall pass!"
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I've only been a parent for seven years, so I'm not an expert, but for me, potty training has most assuredly been the most difficult thing so far. It's challenging because I'm constantly having to evaluate if he really doesn't understand, or if he's just being lazy; if it's "just not clicked yet" or if he's simply not trying. And I have to keep a check on my own frustration level and attitude which seemingly can swing to the tip top side of irritated and verges on anger at times...just being honest.

So, if you think of me, would you join me in praying for continued success on the potty for this precious, most polite, kind hearted, energetic, full of life little boy who is trying really hard to be big?! I would be ever so appreciative!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Weekend: He is Risen!

Friday night, instead of attending our churches Good Friday service we did a traditional Jewish Seder Meal. I'd never done this before though I had heard of it. Basically a Seder Meal is something that Jewish people do at Passover and everything on the table, as well as what is eaten, is all symbolic of something biblical. It was really neat to sit and remember all that the Israelites had gone through and to experience it with all my senses as we went through the Seder Meal. Our two littlest kids played in the playroom and watched a couple of shows while we went through the meal, it took about an hour for the first part so they definitely couldn't have sat through that portion. Throughout the meal we took turns reading both scripture as well as statements that declared who God is and what He's done for us. We went around and washed our hands, ate bitter herbs dipped in salt water, broke the matzah (unleavened, pierced bread), drank several rounds of grape juice (since we had kiddos with us), ate horseradish and charocet (a sweet, apple compote type mixture) which all were/are pictures of something to do with the Israelites slavery and eventual freedom from the Egyptians and ultimately symbolizes how God has offered each us freedom from our own sins. If you ever get the chance to do a Seder Meal I highly recommend it!

Here is our Seder Plate, lamb shank bone and all!
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This is us going through the meal.
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And afterwards, Gigi and G-Dad with some of the grands!
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We enjoyed our Seder Meal together. It was good for the kids because, though it was deep with spiritual emphasis and biblical symbolism, they could touch, taste, feel, see and hear all that we've ever told them about the Israelites as when we read through the Jesus Storybook Bible with them.

Saturday we just laid low. We didn't have much on the agenda which was a nice reprieve. We dyed Easter eggs that afternoon, while Adam grilled chicken for fajitas, the boys had a fun time mixing the colors and making "their eggs".
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Sunday, after naps, we went back to my parents house for an Easter egg hunt and dinner. The kids were super excited to find all their candy goodness and even a few with real money in them!
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Here are the big cousins…Ava Jane and Emerson were a little harder to wrangle into the pictures.
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Gigi helped Ava Jane find some eggs.
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The big kids had no problem at all filling their baskets with plastic!
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"I found a-nudder one Mom!"
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Ava Jane was enthralled with her plastic eggs.
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It was a fun weekend hanging out with family…we were glad to get to do it!
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What a sweet girl I have!
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Oh how I love this man, he truly has my whole heart!
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Lakin' it with friends

We have gotten to know the Livers over the last two years and truly enjoy their friendship. Two years ago we were one of their boys Sunday ...