Monday, July 25


baby girl has been dying to eat some food. A {slightly older} lady in my church was just telling me that when her kids were little, her Dr. had them starting on cereal at 6 weeks. I can't even fathom that! 5.5 months seems to be a good point for us.
 Eden always wants to sit on my lap during meal times to partake in whatever scraps she can beg. =) A few days ago, she was going to town on a stick of green pepper. I know the real food challenges start when they start "real" food, so I definitely can't declare her a foodie. But my kids were both excited at the new venture of eating!

hmmm....what do we have here?
let me just check this out.

big smiles for G, as always. :)
the spoon is most fun of all.
look, mom, no hands.
the shirt didn't survive for little miss sunshine.
I don't think she cared.  
and then Graham decided it was snack time.
maybe this is why I feel a large portion of my day
is feeding one or the other. =)

first swing

Friday, July 15

I need this reminder.

Live the gospel in the things that no one sees. Sacrifice for your children in places that only they will know about. Put their value ahead of yours. Grow them up in the clean air of gospel living. Your testimony to the gospel in the little details of your life is more valuable to them than you can imagine. If you tell them the gospel, but live to yourself, they will never believe it. Give your life for theirs every day, joyfully. Lay down pettiness. Lay down fussiness. Lay down resentment about the dishes, about the laundry, about how no one knows how hard you work.

Read the rest of this great article by Rachel Jankovic here.

Thursday, July 14

teaching your kids about money

I have recently been reading this book and wanted to recommend it to all parents whose children are not yet grown and gone. Teaching our children how to be good stewards and managers of their money is probably one of the most important and practical life skills we will give them.  This family chose a rather "radical" way to do it. Beginning in 6th grade, they started giving their children a "salary". At the beginning of the month, their kids were given an agreed upon amount of money that they then needed to learn to manage through giving, saving, and budgeting for various expenses - clothes, gifts, entertainment, etc....  As they grew older, the list of their expenses would grow as would their salaries and by the time they graduated from high school, they were managing all of their expenses besides food, tuition, & shelter.
Andrew & I haven't discussed in too much detail how we will go about this exactly for our kids (thankfully we have a little time before 6th grade) :), but I do love this concept. How many kids graduate from high school (or even college!) and have never handled money, budgeted or made financial decisions before?
Seems a much better way than giving our kids $1 a week in which they have to choose between spending it on toys or candy. =)
Though small children have very little understanding of money, she does give some tips
to help start instilling healthy attitudes about money.
Let them observe mommy & daddy taking good care of their money.
Let them see you deposit money in the bank.
Use coins to help teach them how to count.
Give rewards of hugs or praise, not money.
Say, "we don't choose to spend our money that way" more often than you say "we can't afford it".
Teach them about finding the best value in the stores.

Argue about money in front of the kids.
Use money to bribe or manipulate.
Let your child see or hear you worry about money.
Allow kids to be only takers. Help them find ways to give to others.
Overindulge your child.

It was interesting how she said the teen years of her kids went so smoothly, in part because there were no fights over "I want these clothes or this thing or to go here"........ her kids had well-learned by high school how to save and budget for the things they needed or wanted.

Hope some of you will find this book helpful as well!

Monday, July 11

1, 2, 3, 4....five

yes, our little lady is 5 months old!
She is such a joy to our family. SO sweet.
She is very joyful and is so patient when she often gets plopped down for some emergency with her brother. :) Whoever thought babies were high-maintenance? I would suggest 2 year olds are much more demanding. =)
She has really started to giggle this month.
Baby laughs are just the best!
She randomly laughs out loud when Graham or daddy are around. I guess she finds them very amusing!
when daddy is on duty, all I can say is....I'm sorry. :)
 After many, many ups & downs, sickies, vacays, moving......
I think we are finally at the 12 hour sleep to stay! Praise God! I don't mind helping them get to the long nights, but when you have to do it over and over and over again....whew, that is wearying. I felt like it wasn't her fault at all, she tried to start the long stretches at 7 weeks. And then the craziness hit for the next months. Poor girl!
She sleeps 7-7:30 now, yay! She naps for 1.5-2 hours in the morning and usually 2-3 hours  in the afternoon. So thankful for a good napper so far!
She is staying well fed {can you tell}!
 I am so thankful that she is a great eater. She's not into bottles so much, but then she's only had about 4 of them in her life, so I guess that's expected. :) 
16 lbs, 25 inches at her 4.5 month appt. 90/95th percentiles. =)
Also at her well visit, the dr. thought he heard a hip click, so she had to have an ultrasound done. But very thankfully, all is well & normal with her hips!
She has started to be very interested in what I'm eating! I'm just so not ready to start the whole solid thing with her yet.
She can't be that grown up. :-/
She has had a few tiny bites of couscous, licked some smoothie off my finger, and sucked on a carrot, peach & a I guess we'll be there in not too long!
 Trying out her new suit.
She stuck her toes in the fountains at the spray park. :)

Graham has been really sweet with her lately. He likes to give her hugs and play with her. She loves to be entertained by watching him.
I still have to keep an eagle eye. Like when he calmly announces to me that he gave the baby a raisin.
oh mercy.
thankfully it was in the roof of her mouth!
She loves him.
a lot.
thankfully he thinks it's funny when she pulls his hair.
Probably also a good thing that she's staying pretty bald so far. :)
 did I mention she rolls over now? She's lately taking longer to fall asleep because she likes to roll, flip, and all kinds of fun things in her crib. =)
and she's getting closer to sitting! Still needs some pillow support, but it won't be too long!
These 2 kiddos keep me on my toes all day!
love 'em.

Friday, July 8

So in uploading a new header photo, this was the message I received.... We're sorry, but you have exceeded your photo upload quota. For more information, check out this Blogger help page.
Has this happened to anyone else and what do I do now?!

Thursday, July 7

boys nite out

We have a serious sports fanatic in our house!
I think most boys seem to really be drawn to playing with balls, but somehow I feel like Graham has a serious passion! Andrew & I obviously love sports and both played multiple sports through high school & college and then mostly did tennis & running once we were married. But since having kiddos, we have not played much of anything! Andrew enjoys watching sports on tv, but doesn't even have the chance to do that on a regular basis. However, all it takes is for Graham to see one game and he is hooked! He watched one of the World Cup soccer games (that was 6 months ago? more?). It was the only time he's ever seen a soccer game, but somehow knows exactly what to do with a soccer ball. He recently saw a tennis match, so that is a new love. He watched one round of golf and now has to wear a visor (his "golf" hat) every time he is "playing".
His typical morning involves asking me to play golf, baseball, soccer, tennis, bowling and maybe frisbee with him. Is this the case for other moms?!
The Steeler & Pirate Stadiums are along the river here in Pittsburgh and every time we get close to the river he begins talking about them! Since our move, we drive past both stadiums quite frequently and he loves it! I get asked non-stop if we can go to a game.
(where did he learn that?!)
Andrew & I took him to a game at the beginning of the season and he just loved it. So Andrew came home yesterday and announced it was game night for the boys!
Daddys have to wait so long for their kids to be able to go and do fun activities with them. I know it's a hard wait and that they love when it can finally happen!
Graham was very excited about his backpack. :)

calling for a ball. he calls guys "the manz".
He told me the manz were throwing the balls. :) 

 watching the "tv" as he calls it.
offering to share his snack with daddy
he did have to go to the bathroom 4 times.
 welcome to my world, honey. =)

Andrew said it was a perfect night!

Tuesday, July 5

fourth fun

So this is one holiday I don't have to decorate for.
Apparently the older gentleman who lived here before us, really liked red, white, & blue. And painted every rock, brick & stump in our yard in those colors. It is colorful! (not to mention patriotic.) =)

from the back, our house looks giant! (it actually has 2 basements so it's not as big as it appears.)
{For friends from the Beach, it reminds us a lot of our house there!}
 Andrew found this plastic dog in the yard. It looked so realistic that at first, he thought it was a dead dog. :-/
Apparently it's getting a bath.
 G loves it, since the poor child is deprived of a real animal. =)

 We were invited to friends for a cookout, but since it involved skipping naps we decided it could be very BAD for heading to the fireworks! So we grilled at home and had a great relaxing day.

 I am just realizing my laundry load is about to triple.

 We've eaten dinner on our deck every night since moving in.
We love the view!
Some of the flowers currently blooming in our yard.............
this is my kind of landscaping - no maintenance required. :)

do we look ready for fireworks or what?
 We joined some friends and watched from the West End overlook - 5 minutes from our house!
 Graham covered his ears & eyes most of the time.
Eden watched the entire show, enthralled.  

 *somebody* is quite wide awake for 10 pm!
(yes, I do mean me.)
a fun holiday, that 4th of July is!