We are so thankful...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Life zooms by, the day to day routine ticks on and its easy to forget to thank God for the most important things in your life.  You might thank him for a full night sleep (that happened last night, thank you Lord!), food on the table (at the nightly dinner prayer), a house over your heads, and 2 working vehicles (after you pay a big tab to the dealer)...

But I am reminded this time of year just how truly blessed I am to be a wife, a mom and have my salvation and eternal standing because Jesus paid my sin penalty on the cross (you might be saying there she goes again ;).  Those 3 things are what I am most thankful for...

Thank you LORD -- you are good!

If you want to know about why I am thankful for Christ, you can read here.

Life of Lucy Violet: Infant Dedication...

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

On November 8th, 2015 we stood up in front of our family and congregation pledging to raise and admonish Lucy in the ways of the Lord.  We pray we can teach her the way to a repentant heart and an understanding of our Father's great big love for her.  We pray someday (sooner than later :), that she comes to understand that Jesus died on the cross for her sins (even if she is a good little girl, we all fall short and our sinners) and that she accepts Him into her heart so that she can enjoy a lovely relationship with Him on this earth and ultimately have eternity with Him in heaven.  Our church prays and agrees to come alongside as parents as we raise our children, help us have wisdom and encourage us as we walk the path because it takes a village to raise a child!  We have a good one!
We were so thankful our Pastor Larry Yoeman (who led me to Christ during our premarital counseling) was able to dedicate her.  He holds a dear place in my heart!

Scott read the verse we chose for Lucy -- Children are a gift from the Lord.  We honestly do believe they are and we are ever so thankful He gave us our sweet Lucille Violet!  Larry concluded by praying for Lucy and for our family.  It was a lovely and simple service that we were able to share with both sets of Lucy's grandparents.

After church we came home and celebrated her with a lovely lunch and presents!  The great-grandparents all rode together over and enjoyed seeing Lucy as she had grown quite a bit since last they all saw her at about a month old!

Scott's grandma Olive is 95 years old...

Lunchtime conversations -- they always bring up fun family memories and stories, don't they?

My Grandma, she is so dear to my heart :)  Our kids are so blessed to have so many grands that love on them :) :) My heart might explode!

My dad, his dad (my grandpa), Scott and Solon

My helpful kitchen crew...My mom, Scott's mom and dad :)

My grandma and her 3 great grands!

The entire group :)

4 Port Generations

4 Wetherbee Generations

And Olive gave our 2 girls their quilts.  The tops are from the late 1800's and were made by Scott's great-great-grandmother and then quilted together BY HAND by his grandmother Olive.  What a special piece of history she bestowed on to our children.  Of course, Solon has loved on his and Vera was excited to have her own.  A sweet moment that Olive could see they truly loved her special gift!  We will treasure them always!

It was a beautiful day celebrating our miracle and precious blessing Lucille Violet.  Our greatest hope for her life is that she grows to the love the Lord and gives her life to him.   It's the best gift we can offer her, the Father's lavish love, a free and precious gift ready for her when she's ready to accept it.

For God SO loved the world that He sent his only son, so that we may have everlasting life in Him.
John 3:16

If you would like to know more about my faith story, you can read about it here.

A day in the life of us RIGHT NOW...

Monday, November 9, 2015
I follow a few blogs and they occasionally do a "day in the life of us" piece and I have ALWAYS wanted to do it but I either forget to document from sun-up to sundown, the day gets CrAzY and I decide its not a good one to document or I wait too long and forget what happened.  I think I will remember what our days look like but the years pass and the vividness of the day to day disappears into highlights.  SO I decided to set myself a reminder last Thursday and for better or for worse I was going to document (even if it wasn't part of a normal day because frankly EVERY day is different) and try to blog as quickly as I could to remember what exactly we did.  This might only be interesting to me but I hope to do it again so I can remember my life in the different seasons of mothering :).

Thursday, November 6th, 2015:

I woke up shortly after Scott rolled out of bed and begrudgingly got up at about 7:15 am (I am NOT a morning person especially after Lucy got up almost every hour after 2:30am -- some sleep training is now in order).  I headed down the hall to get Solon up and make sure he had clothes for the day and Vera greeted me (she is a morning person).  We headed downstairs to prep Scott and Solon's lunches for the day, brew some coffee and start on the morning chores of emptying the dishwasher and filling it back up from the items that didn't fit waiting in the sink!

While doing that Solon came down and grabbed some breakfast and watched Octonauts on TV (he is not a morning person either so a little TV is a good way to slowly acclimate him to the day).  Vera found some dishes and promptly started to play.  Lucy was still sleeping...

On days when I am a bit exhausted things like the above happen without me noticing and coffee grounds got caught and coffee splashed everywhere (sigh...).  A redo quickly while I started to get Solon ready to head out the door -- lunch in the backpack, shoes and coat on and then our morning routine of 7 kisses, 7 hugs and 7 hand squeezes (one for each hour he is gone) along with a touch-up of the "I love you" tattoo on his forearm (in case he misses me ;).  Then Scott and him drive off around 7:40 am to make the 7:45am first bell at school.  I take him on Wednesdays for late start otherwise daddy does, what a help to me :).

I quickly brew another cup of coffee for myself  and grab some muffins before hearing Lucy is awake so we go up to get her, change her diaper and nurse her.  She is also not always a morning person -- just depends ;)!

Today is preschool day so we spend several minutes in Vera's room negotiating what we can both agree that she wears (sigh...) and then take some time for both of us to get dressed and do her hair.  Today I will drop her off and go swimming so I gather up those supplies before its 8:30 and I reheat my coffee (since I didn't drink it), put it in a to go cup and head out the door for preschool drop off...

On the way to preschool we go!

I have a few minutes before my swim class starts so I take care of emails, read my devotion (since I hadn't had a chance yet), and make a few phone calls.  Today I had to re-order Vera's immunization forms for preschool.  Then off Lucy goes to the nursery while I head to the 45 minute swim class, following class I do a few extra laps to build up my strength again, shower VERY quickly, get dressed, pick up Lucy with wet hair and head home.  I nurse her again and spend some time just hanging with her before blowdrying my hair, applying minimal make-up and heading to pick up Vera and our friend Meah (they were moving that day so we offered to take her with us to Target).

They were excited for the adventure...at this point it was about 11:45 so we were all getting hungry!  I still hadn't finished my cup of coffee but now it was old so never mind...

Loaded up and headed on into get some pizza and breadsticks for these ladies and I got myself a soft pretzel (no milk for this mama!).  I also grabbed a pop -- the sleepless night is catching up to me and the taste of pop is just too good!  The girls and I check out the dollar spot, the Christmas section and toys before running into a friend and chatting and then finally grabbing the items on the list (nuts I forgot toothpaste...another day!).  It was Miles's birthday the next day so we grabbed a cake and had it personalized for him...and the girls got a kid cookie because they behaved so well :).

At this point it was about 1:15pm so we dropped Maleah and the cake off at her house and headed home.  Lucy needed to eat again and have a chance to stretch her legs after being in the carseat for a while (she is such a trooper).  We unloaded the bags and put the items away and then had a little bit of downtime before we had to go get Solon from school.

It was a beautiful day so we walked to get him, Lucy cashed out on the way.  We stopped and played at the school playground for a bit to enjoy the nice weather but empty tummies got the better of us so we headed home!

The kids had snacks and then piled into the car for Solon's tumbling class.  Wednesday and Thursday Solon has after school activities, the other days are quiet thankfully.  Solon really likes swimming and tumbling so he doesn't mind going...on this day I had to run to pick up that immunization form I ordered earlier in the day and family Christmas card photos from a friend so we dropped Solon off and ran to get those.  There was a crazy heavy downpour along the way and on our way back to get Solon.  While waiting for him, the sun came out and there was a lovely rainbow we enjoyed watching.  Vera and I sang the rainbow song and talked about all the colors of the rainbow while I fed Lucy again in the front seat of the car -- poor girl!

After Solon was finished, we dashed home.  Daddy had to work late so mom was on witching hour duty solo (you know that time when kids are hungry, baby is cranky and you need to get dinner on the table).  We had open face turkey sandwiches for dinner!  Lucy luckily took a catnap in her mommaroo while I cleaned up after dinner, did the dishes and did a quick pick-up and vacuum sweep before our small group families arrived for bible study at 6:30pm.  

We have bible study and are doing a word study at the moment.  Each week a different couple picks a word and we use the concordance to find relating scripture passages and then have a conversation about what the bible says about that word.  We started and chose "discipline".  The kids go to the basement with a hired babysitter (she is a saint).  Each family chips in money for her!  We wrap up with prayer around 8pm, luckily Scott only missed the first 15 minutes.

After everyone leaves the kids grab a quick dessert, go upstairs and get jammies on, pick out a book and have family prayer time and books before brushing teeth.  Then Scott and I alternate snuggling with the kids.  Scott normally takes Lucy with him and I go solo with each of the kids.  We normally talk about their day and special things to them -- I love this special time with each of them.   Before we know it, since we started bedtime routine late its nearly 9 and we get Lucy ready for bed.  She needs to start getting in a better night time routine so I feed her and put her to bed still awake so she can fall asleep on her own and learn how to put herself to sleep.

By this time its after 9pm and Scott and I are both exhausted from the day, we crawl into bed this night because of the sleepless nights the days before and chat about our days.  We fill each other in on the highlights, his work and my day.  Then we turn on netflix and watch Friends (we are currently on season 3, we started from the beginning).  I love it because its mindless and funny and a perfect way to end our day.  After 2 episodes its 10 so I turn the tv off and before I know it I am asleep and the day is done, my last thought is a prayer to God that Lucy will sleep through the night (we are still waiting on that answered prayer but working on it :). 

And that was our Thursday...when I relive our days I am reminded that I am so blessed to be home and take care of my kids and somedays I just don't have much extra time for blogging or laundry or anything extra but our life is full of laughs and little moments, I pray I remember to always choose thankfulness in every season I am in.

So there you have it -- a day in the life of us right now with a 6 and 4 year old and 4 month old baby.  

October in Pictures...

Friday, November 6, 2015
We had a blast in October, it might have been one of my very favorite months this year (besides Lucy's birth day of course).  Lucy is at a great age and we had lots of fun with family and friends and snuck in some fun times with just our own little family.  We found some fun fall things to do with our kids that just made October feel really special and filled with lots of memories! YAY October!  Here's to hoping November and December are just as fun, I am sure they will be (I have to be more fun than I was last year where I took a puke cup everywhere I went, I digress!).

In October we settled more into the school routine and we kind of started to find a groove, whatever that might be per week but it meant we got to meet up with friends for lunch (above) and have playdates with neighbors (below).  Vera is a blessed little girl to have such sweet gal pals to play with and they have awesome mommies for me to hang out with too!

Solon has fallen in love with writing.  He writes ALL the time, this is from the kid who REFUSED to write for me about 6 months ago.  He writes me love notes several times a week, writes notes to guests coming, and daddy too.  I have saved a few of the many because someday his love notes won't be to me, but I will take it.  I mean look rainbows and hearts popping out of our chests with the words  "Mom, i luv u".  Just looking back at this writing from the beginning of the month, I am amazed at how far he has come.  He also is sorting 3 digit numbers, adding numbers together at school (and has been at home for a while, he loves math) and writing his numbers well past 100.  Math is definitely his favorite, his teacher told us at his October conference, he asks for additional math worksheets and now the other boys in his class are asking.  I guess there are worse things he could be leading his friends to do ;)!  She also confirmed that he was sweet and kind (our highest priority) and his reading is coming along.  He IS reading books and using picture clues and sounding out and acting just like the kids I use to teach did ;).  He is so proud and we are too!  He seems to like school but still loves downtime after and needs a SERIOUS snack too.  The boy works hard while he is there!

We have loved the opportunity to walk and pick him up after school each day, a little exercise for mommy and fun on the playground too.  Meah loves to come over and go with us :).

We do still have our fair share of down time and loads and loads of laundry (mostly pint-size too!).  Monday is our laundry day around here but it seems I am always doing a load or 2 by Thursday.  The kids have taken over putting their own clothes away.  I occasionally have to re-straighten their drawers but its a good help to me!

This is Lucy's view A LOT...she just goes with the flow and occasionally cries when putting her in but is mostly all smiles especially with her white blanket by her side!

We snuck in dinner and a fire with Nana and Papa to watch the ISU Cyclones play on TV.  The company was better than the game and the smokes were delicious.

Harvest came in October, I sure do miss my corny neighbors!

...and Auntie Ellen and Uncle K stopped by for a visit.

Scott's parents officially moved to Ankeny this month so we went "home" one last time to enjoy and reminisce.  It is bittersweet, they have such a beautiful homestead situated in the woods and along the Cedar river but the maintenance was becoming more than they wanted/needed and the opportunity to live closer to AR for Scott's brother, closer to us and a straight shot to MN for Raquel was appealing plus they have no exterior maintenance at their new home and we can keep a watch on it while they winter in Florida!

Our small group also hosted two cars this year for trunk or treat.  We were supposed to be one trunk but we were all under the weather and by this date, I was sick too!  Thankful for friends who stepped up and helped this mama out...and they turned out so cute.  Nearly 6,000 people attended the outreach put on by our church along with 7 others.  Sharing the good news of the gospel one piece of candy at a time!

We also had our dental visits this month...

...and started making our Christmas wish lists. My kids are traditional toy kids -- baby dolls, dress-up, legos, basketball...and how many more of those items does one really need?  They would disagree.
Vera also suddenly had an interest in footie PJ's after she saw some at Target (she since has not warn them one time), luckily we found some in Solon's clothes bin when we were sorting clothes for our newest nephew who is coming home from China soon!

I also got advanced sale tickets to Night Eyes at our zoo.  We had heard mixed reviews that it was chaotic BUT we must have hit it just right. The weather was beautiful so all of the animals were out and about and it wasn't crazy busy.  We got to ride the train, jump in bounce houses without much of a wait and get just the right amount of candy and treats!  My little glo-worm was quite content...

My little kangaroo...

We also ventured out to the pumpkin patch just east of town.  It is much smaller scale than the orchard we visit but it is free except for $1 zip line rides SO it was a perfect stop after church to pick our own pumpkins and play for an hour!  Once again the weather this fall just made everything SO much more fun -- it has been beautiful!!!!
I am so enjoying feeling good post-pregnancy (tired ain't got nothing on me ;) and playing with my 2 big kids again :)

We even enjoyed our swing set and Lucy got her first go at swinging.  She didn't seem to mind it one way or the other and big brother was sure helpful pushing her :).
She informed me this is a dress if you put shorts on underneath...good to know!  She also pulls out her pony tails the minute we get home from any place we go...that girl gives me fits but she is cute!

The Sunday before halloween was BEAUTIFUL AGAIN so we could keep the mess outside and carve away.  As usual, Solon gagged pulling out the guts but drew out a lovely plan of what he wanted and was able to help cut with the kids knife!

Vera helped Daddy with Lucy's white ghost pumpkin...

...and she put me to work creating a Rapunzel pumpkin (pinterest pointers for the win).  I would say it turned out pretty good considering I had one pumpkin knife to use to create this...what we do for our sweet children :).
She loved it :)

Lucy was quite curious about her pumpkin...

...we also dove into some fall baking, pumpkin bars and chex mix screams fall and football to us!  We need to make another batch, this one didn't last long :).

Scott's company always hosts a halloween trick or treat for the kids and each work area decorates with a theme.  This year his was Milton Bradley games -- battleship, Guess Who, Clue, Monopoly and Trouble.  It was really cute.  I made this little game that had clues on the front flap of the folder and you had to guess who was underneath.  My favorite were the top 2 on the left -- :).

I also made him this little costume to accompany the game :)  I had to test it out of course!

My mom always comes for Halloween, she doesn't get any trick or treaters at the lake and loves to see our kids dress up, hand out candy and enjoy the evening.  This year she came early and we had a fun girls lunch and shopping before heading to pick up Solon and go to Daddy's work for trick or treating!

There is good sport daddy with his cuties!

And then it was time to trick or treat (we do it on the 30th here -- who knows why?).  We had an Elsa, Baby Sister Anna and a Cowboy Sheriff to keep us safe as we roamed.  The kids had fun trick or treating down our street and little Anna snuggled up and slept with Grandpa while we were away.  We came home to our 2nd annual Goblin dinner of blood and guts (lasagna), crunchy bones (garlic bread), Vampire's blood brew (cranberry apple juice) and dirt with worms for dessert!

After dinner Vera couldn't wait for trick or treaters to hand out candy too...mommy even ran out the back door and scared her, grandma and Solon :).

The next morning we hung out before heading up to ISU homecoming for tailgating, seeing old friends and cheering the Cyclones on to a victory :) :) :)!
Kendra, Kelly, Scott and I -- Kelly is Scott's closest friend from college :) Always good to catch up with them!
Meanwhile, Lucy was keeping busy with the grandparents!

And that wraps up the highlights of October.  Besides a good long bout with some sort of yucky cold junk we all shared, we had a BLAST in October making special memories and enjoying the beautiful (and I mean beautiful) fall weather!  I HEART FALL!  Especially with my 3 little pumpkins and cute eye candy of a husband! And that my friends with 42 pictures is a wrap -- on to November and it's already shaping up to be just as beautiful weather wise and memory filled as October...

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