Saturday, June 28, 2008

Family Night at the Library

Amy and I took Abby, Nate, Christian and McKenna to family night at the library this week (Emma's with her grandparents for 2 weeks so she can go to swimming lessons everyday). As you can tell from the above picture, Christian loved the puppet show.
The theme of the night was bugs. The kids had a blast making bug snacks and singing bug songs.
Christian loved this craft but he wouldn't eat it. Nate and Abby inhaled theirs.
Inside the fort at the library.
I love it that the library is such an exciting place to them right now. They loved seeing all the books and picking one out to read.
Our library has lots of great programs and story hours all summer long. Make sure you see what your local library has to offer this summer. Christian can't wait to go back to our library. Abby and Emma have both signed up for a great reading program.

Drum roll please.....

We can now add rolling over to the list of McKenna's tricks. She has reached such a fun age. I love it that she's starting to play and do things.
McKenna loves squash and bananas!

McKenna has her first boo boo right under her eye. She scratched herself because her mommy let her fingernails get too long. Oops!
Somebody does not like tummy time :(
Abby is thrilled that McKenna now owns a pair of Crocs. Abby is so into McKenna's clothes and accessories. She's always looking through McKenna's drawers and oohing and ahhing over everything. When McKenna wore these shoes Abby was showing them to everyone. What is Amy going to do when Abby's a teenager??

Thursday, June 26, 2008

HUGE Answer to Prayer!

I'm so glad that God cares about the little stuff of life! I'm sharing this because it's such a testimony to the grace of God in our lives. When the Marshall kids first moved here last August Christian and Nate did not get along. Really not at all! Christian had an extremely hard time giving up his status as an only child. He cried all the time, was in time out all the time. He didn't share, He hit, He pushed. He was way too aggressive towards Nate and Nate cried about it all the time too. Nate was scared of Christian which pretty much egged Christian on. It got to the point where Christian could point at Nate and Nate would cry. To put it bluntly - it was miserable. I was pregnant and dealing with three little extremely emotional people EVERYDAY. Abby and Nate had their own behavior issues, but I felt that their issues were understandable. They were going through a lot emotionally, but Christian was a different story. I really felt like I was failing as a mother because there was so much unhappiness in my home. I cried, and prayed and cried some more (remember I was pregnant). Everyone kept telling me that it was just a time of adjustment and that things would get better soon...two months later I wasn't buying it. I started reading all kinds of books: Bringing Up Boys, Dare to Discipline, Shepherding a Child's Heart and Don't Make Me Count to Three. All of those are great books by the way, but none of them had the answer to our issues. They all contained great ideas but what I really needed was wisdom. I prayed for wisdom from God. That's all I could do! I didn't go into great detail about our issues in my blog because I was trying to be positive, hoping our relationship issues would improve. I think I was also embarrassed by my son's behavior. He had never had behavior issues at any time before, so this was completely unexpected. Whenever we went to a friend's house he was fine. He was fine at playgroup and church too. He just felt very threatened by having other kids his age in his home, sitting in his mommy's lap, playing with his stuff.

It's been 10 months now. We've all been together for 10 very long months and my prayers have been answered. My home is at peace now! My boy is happy again and he has a new best friend. This whole experience has been a little like carrying a baby around for 9 months. You hope, you pray, it's uncomfortable, there's sleepless nights, you beg God for grace, there are tears, but the end result is the birth of something eternal and beautiful. Just take a look at this beautiful thing that has happened to my two boys (yes, Nate is my boy too! He fills my heart almost as much as my own son does and I know that Amy feels that way about my son too).

Christian rubbing Nate's back as he wakes up from a nap.
The boys choosing to play together at Mikie's.
Wrestling with no one getting hurt.
More wrestling and just for the record Nate is NOT crying.
Off exploring while the girls go strawberry picking.
Racing each other.
When ever these guys are together they always choose to be with each other. Last Sunday Christian cried when I dropped him off at his Sunday School class. He was upset that Nate wasn't there yet. He wanted Nate to go with him.
My heart is full.
Lord you are good!
Thank you God that your mercies are new every morning!

Happy Birthday Sarah!

My dear childhood friend, Sarah, had a birthday a few days ago. I finally had some time today to dig out some old photo albums and pick out some pictures of us from the 90s. Sarah lives in North Carolina now with her husband and three boys, but her blog makes me feel like she's my neighbor. I love seeing pictures of her everyday life and I love seeing her boys grow up. I'll never forget the privilege I had of going to her ultrasound with her when she was pregnant for the first time with her son Riley. Over the decades we have shared so many special and memorable moments. Our friendship has endured tragedies and triumphs, years and miles. I know that Sarah influence has helped to shape the person that I am today.
Sarah, when I think about our teenage years I always think of: California Pizza Kitchen, Car trip to Nashville, Place in the Son, St. Louis Arch, Four Heart Harmony, Prayer Calendars, Hanging out at the Millers, tons of concerts, Powerhouse, beach trips, countless retreats, singing and a million conversations about the real stuff of life! Us with our favorite singing group (at the time) Point of Grace. Mandy, Judy, Katie, Sarah
Oh my...I can't even believe I'm posting this. It's all in the honor of Sarah's birthday.

So Happy Birthday precious friend. Sorry it's taken me a little while to get around to this. Unfortunately I don't think anyone has gotten a birthday, Mother's Day or Father's Day card on time since McKenna was born. I'm just a little slow these days, but I was thinking about you on your birthday. And I love you and miss you always!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


It's been a busy week so far for McKenna. She started eating bananas and she LOVES them. She figured out how to scoot across the floor (I guess that makes up for the fact that she hasn't rolled over yet) and she found her feet. Yesterday she actually got her foot in her mouth and she was quite happy about it. Those little piggies have been keeping her very entertained.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Fireworks Season

Fireworks season is in full swing for Ryan right now, although things have been rather calm this year. Since Ryan gets home late most nights we decided to go see him at work tonight. Christian LOVES to go to daddy's work. We got McDonalds for dinner and headed to the TNT warehouse. Ryan's job is really a perfect fit for him. It's got the "blue collar" aspects the farm boy in him loves. And it's got many "white collar" aspects to it that the college grad. needs to stay challenged. Ryan manages the distribution center you'll see in these pictures and he also manages a sales team for their North East division.
Ryan continues to work while we're there, but managed to give Christian a ride in the "big wagon."
Can you see why Daddy's work is so much fun??

Christian's favorite thing to do is play hide and seek in the warehouse. I stay with him the entire time because he really could get lost in the 180,000 sq. foot warehouse and I'm always afraid the incredibly tall stacks of boxes could come tumbling down. So we hide and daddy seeks!
Hmmm.. looking for a good hiding spot.
He found one!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

This might just be the cutest thing you'll see all day:

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Happy 3rd Birthday Christian - Pictures

WARNING: You are about to witness an absolute overkill of birthday pictures! I'm posting a ton because I'm going to get my blog printed as a book and I want all these pictures in there, so I hope this doesn't completely bore you. I guess it must not if you keep checking in with us. I know that I'll never tire of looking at all of these sweet faces, but this might be a bit much for some of you. You've been warned!
My precious 3 year old.
Abigail Rose
Emma Ruth

Christian praying before our meal. He likes to pray at every meal. If someone else wants to pray that's okay with him so long as he gets to pray too. Abby prayed at dinner tonight too and she prayed especially for Christian since it was his birthday.

What a big girl she is! Binky Buddies!

For those of you who are worried...I promise neither of these children will be taking the binkies to Kindergarten. They'll be gone long before that. Sometimes you just need a snuggle moment with your favorite comfort item and Nate adores his little cousin McKenna.
McKenna loved Christian's sleeping bag because she could really wiggle around on it. She scooted off it several times. I guess the days of leaving her on the couch or my bed are over. We've got a mover on our hands.

A very exciting giant package from Aunt Angel arrived earlier this week!! Christian asked me several times if Angel was going to come to his party. We missed you Aunt Angel and Uncle Sam. Thanks for thinking of Christian!
Does Aunt Angel know her nephew well or what? A Thomas book and a Cars book.
Nate was delighted that there were 2 books.

Christian's big gift was this awesome little Tonka bike with training wheels. He has been talking about wanting a bike with a bell for weeks now. Much to my dismay he hardly gave it a glance. He was much more excited about the dinosaur sand diggers that Grandmom got him from the dollar store.
We tried to get him interested in his bike, but he quickly left the scene and headed to the backyard to play in his sandbox.
So Nate seized the moment and hopped on Christian's bike. He was a little bit too short, but he didn't seem to notice. He loved it.
Meanwhile, Christian was busy digging with his dinos in the backyard.
He finally took some interest later in the day. His favorite part was the water bottle that came with the bike. He took it to bed tonight.

This is the $5 workbench that I got at a yard sale this morning!! Our neighbor Nicholas has the same one and Christian spends lots of time in their garage playing with their stuff, so I thought for five bucks he should have his own.

A new Lightning McQueen sleeping bag from the Marshalls. He's sleeping in it right now.

Mimi (Aunt Amy) bought all the kids stuffed sting rays when she went to an Aquarium restaurant this week when she went to Nashville. She's so smart, the same thing for each kid. No fighting!! Emma is so dear...she was upset when she found out that Amy didn't buy one for McKenna , so Emma gave hers to McKenna. I love the kind heart that is growing in that girl.

Look at the glee on that face when he got a new Thomas train. ($1 at a yard sale! Can you believe someone would sell Thomas trains for a dollar? I bought them all!)