Saturday, May 28, 2011

Ella's dance recital

Or "cital" as she calls it. Whatever you call it, I have almost never seen anything as completely adorable as this preschool dance recital. I laughed, I almost cried, I smiled a lot. So sweet. Something I've waited a long time for, just for the sheer joy of it. {Like since the first time I saw tiny girls dance in a recital, like fifteen years ago. Yes, really.}

proud momma

proud daddy

sweet little friends

jazz dance to Route 66

ballet dance to What a Wonderful World

proud brothers {even though they dreaded the event all week}. the daisies were from them. roses from daddy.

daddy putting her necklace on

the dancer and her fans

And here is just a tiny little bit of sweetness - her ballet solo...

Didn't I warn you? Precious, yes?

Monday, May 23, 2011

a little doll



I made her, and she was only here for a short time. She was made with someone else in mind, a little someone in Tennessee. I think I'll soon be making more. Two {for here}, at least. I used this tutorial from 60 piggies, a favorite blog of mine. Maybe you should make one, too...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

she's been here 9 months...


and it strikes me like it has with each little before her, she's been outside of me now as long as she was growing on the inside. How does this keep happening? My babies keep growing up while I turn away for a moment, or blink. Faster and faster. It's true what they used to say, the older you get, the more quickly time passes by. The eight year-old me didn't believe it. Now I have an eight year-old. And I want to hit pause or slow motion, something, anything, to slow down, to soak up, to revel, to enjoy more.

I found this on a new {to me} blog a little while ago, and it both mad me a little sad and gave me comfort. What a wonderful gift this is, this mothering. This baby girl. Her big sister. Their big brothers. Gifts, each of them in their own way. A privilege, a present, to have them, hold them, teach them, grow them, pray them.

But this I do know. Motherhood grows from the inside out. Motherhood means we stretch with new life, whether or not we deliver a baby. We sustain. We ache. We carry. We care. We hold. We cherish. And we release.

Then we wear the marks of that gift for a lifetime. And it is beautiful.
                                                                             from The Gypsy Mama.
And we release. Over and over again, we release. All too soon, I'll release this {last} first year. Around the same time I'll re-release my first little love back to the school room, and release Miles into one as well. It's what we do, yes? This letting go. But through each release and in between, during the having, holding, teaching, growing, praying, we have strong Arms holding us as well. To remind us where our help comes from:

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
   where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
   the Maker of heaven and earth.  3 He will not let your foot slip—
   he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
   will neither slumber nor sleep.
 5 The LORD watches over you—
   the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
   nor the moon by night.
 7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
   he will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
   both now and forevermore.
{Psalm 121}






Milla Jean,

Nine months! Can it be? You are certainly bringing more and more love out of us- each one of us is fairly head-over-heels for you {which says a lot for your little big brother}! You are changing, my love, and even though it breaks my heart a little it also makes my spirit soar- just what does your Father hold for your future? Such a sweet little thing he created in you, I just can't wait to know your soul even more. The glimpses I have now have me just smitten, joyful.

You can stand on your own two feet when forced {thanks again to sweet Miss Ashley for helping you realize that standing is actually a thing}. You don't love it yet, but we are practicing a little each day. You pulled up on your knees in your crib just now, so we'll get there! You are really enjoying some finger foods now: puffs, cheerios, mum mums, a little chicken and beef here and there. I think we've finally {hopefully} seen the last of that overbearing gag reflex!

You are momma's girl, although Daddy comes in a very close second. You've done a bang up job of making him adore you. It's been so special to have him working from home during your littlest time, a blessing for both of you {and me!}.

Just the other day you had your nine month old check-up. You didn't mind the finger prick, although it annoyed you when she kept hold of that finger for too long of a bit. The shots, though? Well, they got all over you. And I have precious {though pitiful} proof:

"This crinkly paper is fun. This band-aid is annoying. Those shots were just mean."

You weighed 18 pounds, 13 ounces{45th %ile} and were 28 inches long{70th %ile}. Baby girl, you are way ahead of the game with head circumference at 18 inches{90th %ile}! My beautiful bobble head. ;)

I'm fairly certain you recently said the uh part of "uh-oh!" and you've just learned to clap, which you think is so very wonderful. So do I. You love to play on the floor, and are so good at entertaining yourself. You are just starting to attempt a little forward movement commando style. I am just so thoroughly enjoying your babyness, since I know it will continue to fly by. I'm not in a hurry for the next milestone. Now that I know for sure your lack of bearing weight skills isn't because you can't, but you just don't want to, I can really relax {while still encouraging new skills} and just see what happens when.


I love you my sweet girl. Forever and ever.

Monday, May 16, 2011



It's been hectic around here lately. It's been fun. It's been tiring. Milla just turned 9 months old {sniff sniff} and has been learning a few new tricks. The periodic cicadas are out and about and although I have yet to see {a whole} one, Ella has taken to finding their left behind wings.

The second grade is winding down for Elijah and me, as is this season of homeschooling in our family. Will there be another homeschooling season? Only God knows, and I trust that He will lead where we should follow. For the next school year he has led us to Cornerstone, and we look forward to all that He has for us there.

Miles' final days of preschool are upon us {sniff sniff again} as he will graduate on Friday. Jonathan took him on his last preschool field trip last week - I know Miles was happy to take his dad along since the five catfish they caught is much better than the one I caught last year. {I was also happy to miss out on the bloody cut-up fish they used as bait this go around.} Milla and I accompanied Ella on her class field trip to the zoo last week. Mil did great, took a nap, handled the heat. Ella had a bit of a harder time, but had fun anyway. Next up for her is her very first dance recital next week. I. Can't. Wait!

Miles also had his last t-ball game over the weekend. Why does everything end all at once? It's a bit much for this sappy momma. I had a blast watching him play and learn this season. He had a blast, too, especially playing in that red dirt!

Ella experienced a first last Saturday. She went to the wedding of a precious {young thang!} friend of mine. I sing with her at church, laugh with her at practice, share with her the loss of a parent {she lost her mom when she was only 18}, she taught Ella in the nursery. She made a beautiful bride and I know her momma was smiling over her especially on her wedding day. Ella was in awe of how "bee-you-ti-ful" Katelyn looked. I sat there trying to soak in that moment: my four year old, her first wedding, hoping they wouldn't kiss "cause that's yucky," and I wondered about the future of my girl. Does He have a groom in mind for her? And just how quickly will that day arrive? So, I just had to snap a picture of my baby girl with sweet Katelyn, to help me remember the day. Just Ella and me. Her first wedding.

Continuing the list of gifts:

  • {52} Miles staying in the van with Ella in the dark as I took Milla on inside. I came right back to get them, but Ella felt safe with her brother who was "guarding" her.
  • {53} A reminder that I desperately needed via a friend on facebook: "today is not just another little square on your calendar, but a God-breathed gift He has purposed for His glory. Tune in." Louie Giglio.
  • {54} The laughter of little girls.
  • {55} My very own bubble-in-the-sink beauty, dome covering the drain. {If you haven't read One Thousand Gifts, this means nothing to you. So read it!}
What are others receiving? You can find out...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Just one more game to go...

and I will miss

watching this little man,

these little men,

play ball.

Monday, May 9, 2011

melt my heart


So Friday Miles proudly gave me his preschool Mother's Day work of art, an adorable painted frog canvas {with Miles' sweet handprints making the frog's feet!} with a handwritten tag reading "hoppy Mother's Day." He had me at the hand prints. I'm a sucker for my babies' hand prints. But on the back is where he melted my heart:

My Mom
  • My mom is 34 years old {ok, in the interest of full disclosure it actually said 44 but he assures me that his teacher misunderstood him when he said "firty four." I believe him.}
  • My mom weighs 40 pounds.
  • My mom's favorite color is purple.
  • My mom's favorite food is chicken wraps.
  • My mom likes flowers.
  • My mom doesn't like bad words.
  • I like it when my mom cleans the dishes.
  • I like to help clean the house with my mom.
  • My mom is love.
Can you guess at what point my heart melted? "My mom is love." That boy owns me, even though it seems to be a novelty to him when I clean the dishes.

Now for Ella's turn:
  • My mom is 4 years old. {I'm pretty sure she wasn't paying attention to the task on this one.}
  • My mom weighs 5 pounds. {Um, no.}
  • My mom's favorite color is pink.
  • My mom's favorite food is rice and peas.
  • My mom likes singing.
  • My mom does not like cheese around the house. {This is true, and she's heard me say it many a time.}
  • I like it when my mom hugs me.
  • I like to lay down with my mom. {If only she'd fall asleep when we do.}
  • My mom is beautiful.
Yes, she further melted my heart. Sweet, funny girl.

So, just for fun I had Elijah do it as well:

  • My mom is 34 years old.
  • My mom weighs 100 pounds. {Um, does he remember me before I had him? I don't think so, but I'll go with it!}
  • My mom's favorite color is pink.
  • My mom's favorite food is chicken wraps.
  • My mom likes Dad. {So true.}
  • My mom does not like bad words.
  • I like it when my mom teaches me. {And with that finished my heart off.)
  • I like to go to EastChase with my mom.
  • My mom is named Kristin. {He's a very literal child.}
To wrap up: the me they see is super skinny, if not emaciated and sickly, and likes healthy food {I can't believe they didn't say cheeseburgers}. Apparently I really dislike bad words, but I like flowers, singing and my husband {good news, yes?}. And whatever you do, you should never, ever put cheese around my house. But what I seriously take from what they said is that they really love me, knowing that I really love them, no matter what. What more could I ask for?

Jonathan and the kids gave me flowers and a card that explained which child picked out which kind of flower:
Apparently, Ella chose pink because it's my favorite color. Miles chose yellow because I like yellow flowers. Elijah chose red because they are pretty like me.

It was a sweet beginning to a long week ahead: field trips and winding down school.

Oh, and Miles went to bed with a mild fever. {Happy Mother's Day to me, right?} My work is never done. But even though it is hard, endless work, I wouldn't miss these days, these children, for anything.


on with the list:

  • {44} Watching Him play ball, cheering him on.
  • {45} A Friday afternoon movie with Mom.
  • {46} "My mom is love" and the little man that said it.
  • {47} "My mom is beautiful" and the girl that thinks the sun sets and rises with me.
  • {48} "I like it when my mom teaches me" and the first born love. 
  • {49} The unconditional love they have for me, a very imperfect mother.
  • {50} My God, Who can take the imperfect love I have for my children, fill in all the gaps, and bring about beauty from ashes.
  • {51} Isaiah 40:11  He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.  

See what others have counted this week...

Monday, May 2, 2011

counting gifts

  • {36} Seeing His goodness in the wake of tragedy.

  • {37} Hearts going out to others, help given, prayers said.

  • {38} Growing love among the oldest of friends.

  • {39} Busy husband fixing my lunch.

  • {40} Singing.

  • {41} Sunday lunch, new place, not crowded, kids eat free.

  • sundaylunch

  • {42} Help for infected ears.

  • milsears
    • {43} A serious boy can sometimes be silly.


    See what others are listing this week at A Holy Experience: