Wednesday, June 29, 2011

He GIVES and takes away (June 29, 2011)

     Christianity claims that having a relationship with Jesus Christ will totally and completely fill the void that each of us longs to fill.  Most try to fill it with money, family, food, relationships, get the point.  I however, was (and am) a Christian and yet for the longest time I still felt like something was missing.  I listened to sermon after sermon and read book after book and they all said the same thing. Read the bible more. Pray more. Go to church.  I did all three.  I forced myself to read the bible as close to daily as possible, I tried to figure out what the heck it meant to "pray continually" and I went to church regularly.  Still, it seemed like others had something I didn't.  Every time I heard the salvation message, I told myself I already believe...I don't need to go forward.  Yet, there was this other part of me that doubted.  Was I really saved?  
     Recently, things changed.  I am in a new place.  I am experiencing true and full joy.  I am enjoying my children, my home, and to put it quite simply - daily life.  I still have bad days.  I still get frustrated with myself, my husband and my children.  I still make mistakes.  But, something is different.  I am happier, I bounce back quicker, and I don't beat myself up quite as much.  What made the difference?  Well, the easiest thing to say would be "giving thanks", but I had tried to do that too.  It wasn't until I read the book, "One Thousand Gifts" that I began to experience the fullness of the Christian life.  Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that Ann Voskamp's book is scripture (or anything close to it).  The bible is still "where its at".  God just used Ann's book to reveal a few truths that I had skimmed over in the Word.  What were they? God is good.  He pours out unending blessings on our lives - daily.  For the most part, we are blind to them.  We have allowed pain, sickness, broken relationships harden us.  Our hands are clenched.  We are not open to receive the gifts that God is giving.  We are too busy, too rushed, to distracted to even notice.  The gifts He gives are EVERY WHERE.  They are simple, they are complex, they are amazing.  When I began to open my eyes to all that God is giving, God (and His word) became much more attractive to me.  I no longer have to force myself to spend time in the word (most days) or in prayer - actually I long for more time to focus solely on Him.  Now, when I sing "Blessed be the Name of the Lord" it is not a struggle.  I used to sing it fearfully wondering what He was going to take away next.  Now, I am so amazed at all that he gives.  He GIVES and takes away.
     What gifts am I speaking of?  A quick glance around the room will reveal a few - the light reflecting off the pond in our back yard - the pretty plant on our table - my precious daughter asleep in her boppy - the cereal (and other provisions) in our pantry - running water - fruit baskets - artwork - flowers - birds chirping.  Ok, I am going to force myself to stop.  I could fill pages with all of the things that God gives us (actually I already do in my blog).  Then, there are all of the special moments that God so graciously gives.  A friend looking across the room and flashing a genuine smile, a pet curling up in our lap, a child giggling, a kiss, an evening walk, an opportunity to help - TIME.  For so long I was in a rush.  Getting the children ready, for example , was often quite stressful.  I'd go in their room, get them dressed as quickly as possible - often getting frustrated with them for poking around, and then we'd head to the breakfast table.  The morning looks soooo much different now.  I bring their clothes in, sit down on their rocking chair (another gift from God)  and sing a few songs.  The boys clap and dance and laugh and beg for more.  Which, on most days, I do.  We tidy up their room together, often stopping to read a book they come across or play with a toy they are going to put away.  Even on days that we have to be somewhere early, I am still much more relaxed.  I try to go in their room earlier than I need to so that we can still have that special morning time.  Then, all throughout the day I am on the lookout for special moments.  If/when I rush I miss SOOO many of them.  This type of mindset works whether you are at home, at work, in school, pretty much any where.  You just have to be on the lookout.  A co-worker gives you a compliment, you get a A on a test, lunch break conversations, friends joke around, your boss trusts you with something new.  Focus on these things.  Jot them down.  See them as gifts from God.  You will be AMAZED how many gifts God gives.  And, why does he give gifts - because He loves us.  He is love.

Friday, June 24, 2011

383 - 396 (June 24, 2011)

383. Cole wearing two different shoes to church (it was a style thing, it had nothing to do with NOT BEING ABLE TO FIND A SINGLE MATCHED PAIR OF SHOES!!!)
384. Avonlea's double chin
385. Slowing down and enjoying our mornings - I was always in a hurry and didn't even know it.  Now, that I'm on the lookout for special moments the mornings are relaxed and fun.
386. Cole's obsession with markers (mostly taking the tops on and off)
387. The book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It is changing my habits in an amazing way
389. A sweet friend volunteering (without us asking) to watch our kids so that Matt and I could go on a date
390. Blake (referring to an apple that I had pealed and sliced like chips) - "this apple wooks wike an octogon"
391. The many life changing pieces of advice (mostly related to parenting) that I've gotten from my sweet friend, Jess Baker - she's a pampered chef consultant if anyone needs anything :)
392. One of the specific things I've learned from her - "Put all your the toys away and let the kids play with one (or one group of them) at a time" - Thanks Jess!  The house looks so much better and the boys play with each individual toy with much more focused attention (plus, they think they get new toys all the time, because they forget about them)
393. One other thing I learned from her (that makes this blog possible) "You can set their wake time"  The boys now sing, talk and play in their beds until I get them - it is WONDERFUL!
394. All the time that Blake and Cole spend playing on the playmat that
grandaddy gave Blake for his birthday - thanks grandaddy (and ollie)
395. Cole smiling at me through his crib slats 
396. A fun day at the Belfast Park - and the dirty faces that come with it :) :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

369 - 382 (June 21, 2011)

369. Over easy eggs
370. Ugly beautiful - my baby belly (wouldn't still have it if it wasn't for Avonlea, my precious daughter!)
371. Matt bringing home Ben & Jerrys ice cream (hmm perhaps that has something to do with my "baby" belly?)
372. God's mercy & unfailing love (Psalm 51:1)
373. The sweet smell of oranges - and a little boy who notices
374. Ugly beautiful - The boys fighting (it was over who could have the last green bean)
375. Chats with my little sister
376. Matt sitting in our window seat petting Avi's head as she drifted to sleep
378. A dear friends brother surviving a horrible car accident
379. Getting almost everything on my to do list done
380. A yummy new oven fried fish recipe - that the whole family liked
381. Getting packages in the mail
382. Finding photographs on an old cell phone (posted below)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A heart for cleaning & 343 - 368

 A while back a friend told me that she loved cleaning.  She said, "nothing would make me happier than a whole day to myself - just to clean".  I looked at her cross eyed and hoped she couldn't tell that I thought she was totally and completely nuts.  I struggle with just keeping a clear path to my bed.  However, I decided to start praying that God would give me a heart for cleaning...that somehow, I could actually enjoy the process.  This is probably going to be hard to believe, but he answered my prayer!  A few months ago I realized that I actually enjoy the process of cleaning.  Perhaps it is because it is the one area of my life that I can make a visible difference?  Or maybe the homemaking accountability list I joined with friends? Whatever it is, I was shocked when I realized (while tidying up a pile of toys one more time) that I was doing it because I felt like doing it!  
     If it worked for cleaning, could it work for cooking?  Saying I struggle with cooking is putting it lightly. I loathe much so that I was scared to pray God would change my heart.  I didn't want my faith to waver when he let it go unanswered.  But last night, while cutting peppers, I thought to myself "these sure are pretty".  Maybe I'll pull an Ann Voscamp and take some pictures.  I spent the next 20 minutes taking pictures of peppers, tomatos, corn and even broccoli.  As you can see from the photos below, I have not been graced with Ann's talent in photography, but I totally and completely enjoyed the process.  I don't know if I will have a blast making dinner every night, but I do think that God is as at work in my heart.  Once I realized I was enjoying the beauty of the peppers I decided to see how many gifts one bowl of vegetables could bring to mind - So here goes:

343. The beauty of God's creation
344. The ability to use my hands
345. "Little trees" - how Cole refers to Broccolli
346. Blake saying (just last night) "Mama, may I have some more broccolli"
347. Tomatos - Cole's favorite
348. Peppers - Blake's favorite
349. My salad spinner
350. Our weekly bowl of veggies
351. Friends who have eaten out of it
352. Cole growing (I don't have to steam them any more)
353. Walmart (where I got my bowl)
353. My best friend (Matt) who helped me pick it out
354. The cross (maybe its a stretch...but I see a cross in the middle of the bowl)
355. The shine on the tomatos
356. The Lord teaching me how to "shine"
357. The song "this little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine" and how much the boys love it
358. God's provision 
359. God's grace (I don't deserve his provision...we have not made the wisest financial decisions)
360. Hope in the financial area (thanks Jamie and Heather for teaching the Dave Ramsey class)
361. New friends (that I've been getting to know more at the Dave Ramsey class)
362. That God is answering my prayers (enjoying cooking and cleaning more)
363. We can talk to GOD!
364. God loves me
365. God is changing me
366. The fact that I could probably come up with 10, 000 more gifts that all stem from one bowl of vegetables
367. The fact that I don't have time to do so because Cole and Blake are up and laughing in their room.
368. Looking forward to my day with them and my church family.

324 - 342 (June 19, 2011)

324. My orange Clemson hat 
325. Marking the boys heights 
326. Cute little boys in camo overalls and crooked baseball caps (and the friends who gave us both the overalls and the hat)
327. Trying to keep Cole awake in his carseat (singing, dancing, silly noises, food, tapping the breaks)
328. How much the boys love Avi
329. McDonald's sweet tea (hate to admit this one)
330. Joe & Kendra's maple syrup
331. Comforting Avonlea
332. New conversations with old friends
333. Grocery trips that change into a Shriner's parade
334. The Lord slowly but surely answering my request for a heart that actually enjoys cooking and cleaning
335. Moving furniture
336. Reading friends gratitude lists
337. My kindle (and my sweet sister who gave it to me out of the blue)
338. The boys enjoying playing together
339. Anticipating summer picnics
340. Ugly Beautiful - Pain in my hips (so thankful I survived falling off a cliff)
341. Our whole family sitting by the side of the road in bean bag chairs (for the shriner's parade)
342. Attention from parade clowns (yes Mindy, this is a praise ( : (: )

Thursday, June 16, 2011

310 - 323 (June 16, 2011)

310. Blake rolled up burrito style in his big yellow blanket
311. Cole laying down, grabbing both of his feet and wiggling them back and forth
312. Cole sticking his tongue way out anytime he tries to say a word that begins with M
313. Slowly perfecting the art of blueberry, buckwheat, mickey mouse pancakes
314. Snuggling in my bean bag with Blake, Cole and Avonlea
315. Breakfast for dinner
316. Ezekiel toast and Kate's butter
317. Blake - "Mama, I don't want Cole interwupt me"
318. A yard full of beautiful perennials that I didn't have to plant
319. Blake and Cole running to and screaming "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy" when he pulled in
320. Matt stopping by the store for me on his way home from work
321. Getting the boys summer clothes organized
322. Blake - "is it heaven yet?" "is it heaven yet?" "is it heaven yet?"... I got a little nervous until I realized he was saying "is it 7 yet?"
323. Matt's artwork and my 3 year old who wants to be just like his daddy

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

301 - 310 (June 15, 2011)

301. Peaceful mornings after rough evenings
302. Blake helping Cole make a lego tower
303. Ugly/Beautiful - Cereal between my toes (we have plenty of cereal)
304. A HUGE bald eagle in our back yard (for more than an hour!)
305. The boys wrestling with their daddy
306. Avonlea had a better night
307. 6 kids crowded around our kitchen table coloring
308. Taco Salad
309. Getting to bed on time
310. HE is the same yesterday, today and forever - despite my ups and downs

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

290 - 300 (June 14, 2011)

290. Ugly/Beautiful - Losing my temper (thankful it happens a lot less often these days)
291. Singing "this is the day that the Lord has made" to Blake and Cole first thing every morning...then, hearing them sing it throughout the day
292. Good sleepers
293. Good news from doctors
294. Morrill General store
295. Encouraging emails
296. I know I mention this often, but it is because I need so much of it - God's GRACE!
297. New ideas
298. Cole holding Vaughn's hand
299. Ugly/Beautiful - Rough nights with Avonlea
300. Finally capturing Avonlea's smile in a picture

Monday, June 13, 2011

279 - 289 (June 13, 2011)

279. Cole pulling out grass, throwing it, then watching it blow away in the wind
280. Ugly/Beautiful - Avonlea crying during the boys nap time (despite my frustration, she is still the daughter I have always wanted - thank You Lord for giving me the desire of my heart)
281. Blake - "watch this mama" "watch this mama" "watch this mama" "watch this mama""watch this mama" oh and did i mention
"watch this mama"
282. Random people in restaurants complimenting the boys behavior
283. Blake and Cole standing on little chairs so they can see the worship team through the nursery window
284. Linda Bucklin's post on multiple children
285. The "Love Languages" book and how it has helped me understand myself, matt and even the boys
286. People encouraging me with sweet words about my "gifts lists"
287. Blake singing "up above the wuld so high, like a diamond in the ki"
288. Avonlea's happy noises
289. Ugly/Beautiful - Laundry to fold (God has given us so much...we have always had plenty to keep us warm)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

262 - 278 (June 12, 2011)

262. Letting go of perfectionism
(switching the format of my new posts without changing my old posts)
263. Blake and J.D. interacting with a caterpillar
264. Blake - "Mommy, Avonlea's hair is growing bigger."
265. Remembering that "life is not an emergency"
266. Folding towels (a lot done in a little time)
267. Blake and Cole eating spinach (and liking it!)
268. Blake helping daddy put the "peppawonis" on his pizza
269. Ebay
270. Sandbox lakes, rivers & caves
271. Girls only outings (Avonlea & I)
272. Jake's graduation video
273. Friends doting over Avonlea
274. Cole sliding backwards down the Martin's cement floor (to get out of the barn)
275. Jake and Lauren's big, proud smiles.
276. Blake and Cole exploring the Martin's property
277. Brittany and Morgan playing with Cole (and his huge smiles)
278. The lyrics "Forever God is faithful, forever God is strong, forever God is with us"

Friday, June 10, 2011

247 - 261 (June 10, 2011)

261. Queen Avonlea (how she looks in her Ergo converter)
260. Dave Ramsey (Ugly beautiful)
259. The possibility of mom moving to Maine for 6 months
258. New friends with giving hearts
257. Branching out and cooking new things
256. Frozen strawberry lemonade
255. Books that encourage and help me be a good mom
254. Parks right next to Dr.'s offices
253. Having real conversations with my first born
252. Friends who will take a 2 hour drive with me to help with my boys for a half an hour
251. Lots of time to myself in the wee hours of the morning
250. Blake (referring to me wearing a tank top) "Momma, why are your arms naked?"
249. Eternity and how knowledge of spending it with Him helps us get through rough days
248. Instant access to biblical scholars (Matthew Henry Commentary)
247. Silly boys & beat boxing Daddys

Thursday, June 9, 2011

236 - 246 (June 9, 2011)

246. Putting away Cole's favorite "light up" shirt and my favorite (for him) bright orange pants - my boys are growing soooooo fast! (Ugly-Beautiful Gift - will explain on a later post)
245. Clean drinkable running water, fiber & fish oil - they all help my sensitive belly :)
244. Finally having something to blog about
243. Blake and Cole having a blast with a HUGE red ball & a little bitty scarecrow
242. Little boys with HUGE smiles in our hammock swing
241. Friends that protect us by noticing bad tires (thanks DEAN) and a husband who gets them fixed right away
240. Vehicles passing inspection (well this time it took a few hundred dollars, but oh well)
239. The most amazing and wonderful mechanic - Seth Raven
238. Freezing extra meals & more importantly using them at the end of a busy day
237. Safety during a storm
236. My three men

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My first blog & 1 - 235 (June 8, 2011)

I recently read a book that has completely changed my life. I wish I had all the time in the world to explain all the ways it has changed me. However, I have three kids three and under and a home business, Heavenly Bean Bags, - so, for now I'll start with sharing the book's website... Ann Voskamp, the author, challenged her readers to create a daily list of all the little blessings, gifts, precious moments in time we can think of. I gave it a shot. My life has never been the same.
This morning I decided that I would like to share my list daily (or as often as I am able) because I have found that not only does the list bring me incredible joy, it also sums up my life pretty well. There are so many people in my life that I love dearly and yet can't seem to find the time to communicate with as often as I would like. I thought that perhaps sharing my list would give them (which, if you are reading this, probably includes you), a glimpse into this amazingly blessed life I live.
Although Ann's book is called 1000 gifts, I have a feeling my list will exceed 1000 rather quickly (as hers did), so welcome to 10,000 gifts. Today I am going to post my entire list (it is a little over 200 gifts), but from here on out I will simply add new gifts as often as I can.
If you would like to read it in order, which I recommend, start at the bottom and work your way up. If reading this list seems a little overwhelming, don't worry, I won't be offended if you just read the blessings I add from here on out (or none of them, for that matter :).

235. Matt, Blake & Cole painting at the kitchen table
234. Bean bag orders
233. Matt remembering and specifically applying a principal we talked about in the marriage Sunday school class
232. Catching up on things I've been behind on (specifically laundry)
231. Blake making his own pbj sandwich
230. Blake - "UGH OH! That house is bwoken" referring to a burnt down house we passed while we were taking a walk
229. Binkys
228. Discovering new uses for old things (Infant ergo converter works in the stroller)
227. Teaching the boys "boom chicka boom"
226. Blake - "Mommy will you wub my head" after waking up from a nightmare screaming...then, both of us falling back asleep while I was doing so
225. Cole cracking up every time I put on his exema medicine
224. Blake & Cole discovering the Indian Sound
223. Being able to call my mom
221. Matt and I, Blake, Cole & Avonlea all snuggled up on Blake's bed
220. Evening walks after stressful days
219. That He draws us back to Him gently
218. That God is with us even when we are scared and not trusting in Him fully
217. The power of 15 minutes
216. Cole's spikes
215. Cole imitating me raising my eyebrows by scrunching up his face and squinting his eyes - SO CUT
214. Mornings when the boys sleep longer than I expected (so I get some quiet time (i mean that literally, not spiritually - though sometimes I choose more of that too :)
213.Anticipating a fun weekend (hopefully involving lots of time outdoors).
212.Knowing that even though I am sad that Avonlea is outgrowing her clothes already, it is because she is healthy and well.
211.Dinner plans changing when daddy wants pizza (and refrigerators and microwaves that keep the original plan from going to waste)
210.Dinner done by lunch for a whole week!
209.Crock pots and bread makers and the fact that I am actually using them
208.Being a visionary
207.The joy that a few cups of water and a big box of sand brings kids of all ages

206.Maddie and J.D. pushing Blake and Cole on the swings
205.Last minute park "dates" and the weather holding out when we thought it was going to rain
204.Blake's love for puzzles (and how long he'll sit and work on one or two or three)
203.Blake's enthusiasm over helping me use the electric can opener
202.Avonlea sleeping from 8 to 5 at 7 weeks old :) :)
201.Finding things I've lost - just in the nick of time
200.Enjoying cooking two days in a row (a miracle for me...I hate cooking but have been praying God would change my heart).
199.The three wonderful reasons that I don't have much time to spend working on my website
198.My new way of thinking (thanks to 1000 gifts and this Gratitude Community)- EXAMPLE:washed all my dishes, then found one i had forgot - started to get annoyed/upset - then i remembered to thank God that I have dishes, then I remembered that I had made potatoes in that dish and thanked Him for potatoes - then I remembered the movie "Faith like Potatoes" and I thanked God that each of my children are alive and well!
196.A lightning storm entertaining my boys for over a half an hour
195.A neighbors mailbox that says JOY
194.Sue likes my posts :)
193.Lots of new bean bag ideas - and enjoying pursuing them
192.Mardens and their fun, funky fabrics
191.A really fun Memorial day weekend despite most of our family being sick
190.Little boys covered in cookie dough
189.Finding a $200 train set for $5.00 at a yard sale
188.Alewives and little boys delighting in them
187.Free curbside finds
186.God leading us to the perfect SEO (search engine optimization) person and that he is letting us pay him in bean bags
185.Gods grace, Gods grace, Gods grace - oh, and did I mention God's grace?
184.Freedom in Christ
183.Freshly bathed babies, toddlers, and little boys
182.Creative opportunities
181.Children who ride well (in the car)
180.A deepening relationship with my sister
179.A husband who works hard, but also spends a lot of time with his family
178.A tiny hand clenched around my finger
177.Avonlea's eyes, and getting to see them a little bit more each day
176.A sick three year old snuggled between his mommy and daddy
175.The opportunity to use my "big girl brain" (anything that doesn't have to do with diapers, cleaning, or cooking)
174.Sick days reminding me how blessed I am that its only a virus
173.Exactly enough room in the dishwasher
5/25/11 (167-172)
172.Pizza, chips & friends to enjoy them with
171.Cole entertaining adult guests at a birthday party
170.Blake leading Cole across the street
169.An adventurous morning (bringing 3 kids with me while I had a mole removed)
168.Lost keys & a husbands grace (he left work and brought me his keys without me even asking)
167.A good attitude when everything was going wrong
5/24/11 (162-166)
166.A babysitter who is willing to come at the last minute, watch 3 kids (including a 1 month old) and who does an amazing job!
165.A husband who is strong enough to tell me to leave the baby at home even though I don't want to (cuz he knows its what i need)
164.A husband who notices I'm at my wits end and takes me on a date
163.Kids that are healthy enough to be a challenge
162.A really rough day bringing me back to my knees
5/23/11 (156-161)
161.Pink paper flowers on every nook and cranny, reminding me how much our family is loved
160.Apple blossom note cards
159.Gifts from the heart
158.Beautiful edible treats, a fresh bouquet of roses, apple blossoms (and the friends who put so much thought into Avonlea's shower)!
157.Friends coming from near and far
156. A blanket of blue flowers welcoming Avonlea's guests
155.Little boys staring in awe at those same little girls (quietly for 2 hours!)
154.Little girls shining as they twirl about in their beautiful ballet costumes
153.Waking up early to spend time with God - and actually wanting too!
152.Emailing Friends
151.Feeling Inspired
150.Fitting into my non maternity pants!
149.Cole "reading" books out loud.
148.Little kitchen helpers
147.Flowers growing out of rocks
146.Nights that I don't have to cook
145.Matt working on his artwork (after years of letting it slide)
144.God's HUGENESS! - I have been a Christian almost my whole life and yet there is SOOOO much more of God to get to know
143."All my longings lie open before you, Lord;
my sighing is not hidden from you" - AND YOU STILL LOVE ME!
142. Matt and I holding both of our boys in the middle of the night after Blake had a really bad dream.
141. My health and the "check in my spirit" I got regarding my moles. So thankful we caught a bad one on time.
140. Babies that smack their lips after eating
139. Dishwashers
138. The promise that LORD makes firm the steps
of the one who delights (and the fact that we can delight in Him) in him;
for the LORD upholds him with his hand.
137.Laughing till I cried in our marriage sunday school class
136.My ONE MONTH OLD daughter
135.Sitting in our church pew holding a sleeping toddler while rocking a sleeping infant
5/14/11 - (125 - 134)
134.Answered prayer
133.Three kids naps lining up
132.Country music
131.Avonlea's "lower lip droop" when she is COMPLETELY relaxed with my hand under her chin (for burping)
130.Family photo screen savers
129.Cole's first song (and big words) - "and I'm so happy, so very happy"...which he sings over and over and over :) :) :)
128.The amazing truths of God:
- He is our salvation
- He rescues us
- He delights in the well being of His servants
127.The documentary - "Babies"
126. Our pan rack made by my loving husband
125.Teddy bears on Avonlea's lap (lovingly placed their by her brothers)
124.Lecher baby hair
123.Rice cakes and Kashi bars
122.The fact that our God is: gracious, compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love
121.Big hugs from little boys (and one day a little girl)
120.Sacrificial friends
119.Self control - when I actually use it (or perhaps I should say God control...because I can't do anything apart from Him)
118.Praise & Worship with all of my children
117.Messy ice cream faces
116.Seaside Treasures
115.Little boys in suits
114.Boys skipping rocks (or trying too)
113.Fireman Boots
112.Video Cameras
111.Sand Boxes
110.Matt grilling
109.Wind Chimes
108.Cole's adventuresome spirit
107.Blake's love for flowers
106.Yard Sales
105.Taco Salad
104.A wonderful babysitter and friend
103.Blake's delight over a simple ride in a swing
102.Two person strollers that fit three
101.Productive mornings
4/8/11 - 5/5/11
100.Avonlea's appointment (5/5/11) - Jaundice numbers went down - Weight went up :)
99.Easter Sunday - Introducing Avonlea
97.A quick recovery
96.Baby girl dresses
95.Sweet gifts from so many caring friends
94.Boys transitioning wonderfully
93.My PRECIOUS daughter!
92.A healthy delivery
91.Avonlea's amazing timing
90.A wonderful time with my mom - Traci's diner, Bangor mall, Walking around downtown, Organizing the house etc...
89.My mom Bringing the boys to the party at "the perfect time"
88.The opportunity to celebrate Blake before Avonlea was born
87.Friends available at the last minute for an unplanned birthday party
86.An AMAZING Blue's Clues cake right from a friend's heart
85.Last minute paw prints (from Daddy) to make Blake's bday special
84.Blue's Clues balloons sent from Heaven
83.My precious THREE YEAR OLD, Blake
82.Mom coming early
81.Morning sun reflecting off trees
80.Blake's table dancing :)
79.Cole nodding his head & saying "nuh" meaning yes
78.Inexpensive flights
77.Friends who've helped me prepare for our new addition
76.Tea parties
75.Avonlea's room
74.Our new "clubhouse" (what Matt call's our new bedroom)
73.Daily visitors when I'm struggling alone
72.Calista carrying Cole all around the house in airplane mode - and his HUGE smile
70. Already owning furniture that fits perfectly in new spots
68.Add on restrooms
67.Mother in laws who I completely trust with my kids
66.Boys talking/singing to each other when they wake up each morning
65.A good nights sleep
64.Surprise subway suppers from compassionate friends
63.Boys that are "good eaters"
62.Pandora (thanks Denise Martin for introducing that to me)
60.Matt's creativity (DRINK ME written on my water bottle - after I was dehydrated)
59.Tall towers
58.Sacrificial husbands
57.Friends that care
56.Sweet nurses
55.Hot showers
54.Daddys who clean up after sick little boys
53.Washcloths on Cole's head
52.Men at church with teary compassionate eyes
51.Kaylene's muffins (and their perfect timing)
50.Matt caring about my heart - and helping me make Avonlea's room special (even though he would have rather kept it as our room)
49.Boys reading on Matt's lap
48.Friends who give/lend piles of baby clothes
47.Pillow Jump time
46.Boys spinning to "47 Beavers on the Big Blue Sea" song
45.Blake's creative chore chart Xs (or anything but Xs)
44.Boys that love fruit
43.Fruit baskets piled high
42.Girl's nights
41.Kittys meowing at the kitchen window
40.Blake and Grammy doing "school"
39.Blake - "When Cole not a baby anymore, I teach him wing awound the wosie & we will go wound and wound"
37. Blake watching Daddy cut wood (through the window)
36. Blanket time at Dr.'s offices
35.Cole being "strong" (flexing his muscles and groaning)
34.Cole mimicking complete conversations
33.Blake spinning in circles at Subway to make the other customers smile
32.Blake at his desk completely naked, drawing and singing Old McDonald
31.Magnetic darts lined up perfectly (by Cole) on our heating vent
30.The boys running, laughing and screaming from the vacuum cleaner
29.Cole getting inside baskets
28.Blake putting away the dishes
27.The boys cracking up every time I turn on the food processor
26.Matt tucking into my bean bag each night
25.Blake referring to everything past, present and future as "last night"
24.A husband who works incredibly hard so I can stay home
23.Bean Bags (and that I can actually sleep most of the night in one)
22.Blake's drawings
21.The homeschooling conference & reminder to fully depend on Christ
20.A husband who makes everything he puts his hand to incredibly well
19.A home that we enjoy and is just so "us"
17.Empty, shiny sinks
16.Good french toast recipes & a husband that notices
15.Blake delighting in learning new things
14.Blake & Cole giving baby Avi kisses (while she is still in my belly)
13.Cole lifting his shirt to show me the baby in his belly
12.The little girl in my belly
11.Security in my relationship with Matt
10.Cole's enthusiasm
9.Real Friendships
8.Feeling compassion
7.Snow melting - flowers blooming
6.The beauty of snow clinging to the trees
5.Enjoying warmth more (spring & summer) because of cold winters
3.Matt's support & encouragement of my "flying" adventure
2.Blake's songs
1.Blake & Cole's laughter