Big girl steps

I have been wanting to write an entry for a while now about Addy, my niece, that stays with us every day now.  I guess you could say we've been a little too busy enjoying her for me to get the chance to sit own and write some of my favorite things about getting to watch her grow and learn this year.  It's been life changing for us to have her in our home every day, she quickly went from a little baby girl who loves to be held and was kind of quiet and sweet as ever to a little bit bigger baby girl who will tell you when she wants a "nack" and point to her mouth for water.  Want to go "as-side" and play, or get "up" and boogie to some jams shes heard.  Shaking her head like crazy and now stomp hopping one foot and power fisting it in the air lol.  She holds one of Sadie's dinosaurs and hollers "oh noooo" and acts like its chasing us.  She loves Bubble Guppies with a passion (well, they all do!) and sings the song to her self. Sitting in her high chair she will talk jibber jabber to herself and everyone who will hear, very loudly, and with much feeling, lol.  She is getting so confident today we went to MCMall with a few mama friends for a play date and Addy was SO cute she would run to find me and then run and go play totally confident in her little self for a long time, the ruuun to find me, make sure i was still around and then run off to play.  We  road the carousel and she was pretty nervous about it at first but i kept comforting her telling her she was safe and she let go and enjoyed the rest of the ride lol.  Its been so fun to see her get her own little personality, she loves to make others laugh... she wants to be the jokester and she laughs at herself a lot.  Her scratchy voice saying "was-zat" has developed to "was-zat was-zat was-zat' over and over until you explain whatever shes wanting to know all about ;)  She'll see a truck anywhere we go and immediately say "daddy, where r u?"  so cute. She puts her passie to sleep in her bag and without any hesitation leaves it there til her nap time.  She will say please and sorry and thank you without being asked now and she will give love to Sadie and "sissy" as she calls Kehnley too. SO CUTE!  I miss her on days she is away and I love her toothy grin.  I've never been an aunt before, its not the same as your own...but its pretty stinkin close!  Kehnley said she needed to have a sleep over and addy stay all night some time, to me today lol...I am sure her mama and daddy would miss her but it was sweet of her to think that way. 

You always wonder as a parent if you make the right choices and when you look back if you will be glad you have done certain things.  I know that its been a transition and poor sadie still struggles to "chare" all her toys, but they really do love having her here and for Kehnley to ask that and Sadie to look for her in the mornings even on a Saturday tells me that it was a good choice. 

I have learned more dependence on the Lord, more creative ways to redirect, more need for less laundry and more loving, more compassion for the woman at walmart with a basket full of crying children, the reason God didn't give me twins when i asked for them for 5 years, the deep desire I have to parent and parent well comes from Him alone, and the grace that follows me every day.  I am so grateful for all these lessons and more, that having these girls by my side pulling on my legs  and running in between them everyday teaching me how to do it better.

One of our most precious times of the day is right at breakfast time before we watch a show while everyone is sitting in their seats starting to eat breakfast, we pray together for a certain godly character to develop in our hearts that day, sometimes kehnley prays but I always close praying for each of them where they are, and we read a bible verse about that character...hearing their "amen"s and seeing the smiles on their faces when we open the bible (and thanks to Sadie sing the B-I-B-L-E every time) makes anything else that we may face in the day pale in comparison.  They give me a deep desire to be closer to the Lord every day and pursue joy with true intention. 

Here are some of my fav. Addy shots from this year together so far... ;)

IMG_3707 IMG_2917 IMG_2924

IMG_2814 IMG_2749  IMG_2744
addy ks    IMG_2944   IMG_3547  IMG_3367 IMG_3357
IMG_3373    IMG_2648



Here is the Advent list I made for my family this year... (its very vague just helps me rem what fun things were doing each day)
December Advent Calendar 2011
Get Christmas tree & drink coco

Make Special thank u card for teachers

Decorate the tree and House for Jesus' Birthday

Santa's Wonderland at Bass Pro

Put our manger together and make a tent like it

Christmas Carols sing along with instruments

Make name tags for gifts out of Christmas symbols

Make a Gingerbread house at Fancy's

Gather toys for kids in need this Christmas

Watch Frosty & make snowman & Funfetti w Granny

Christmas Scavenger hunt with red & green picnic

Mail out & write Christmas cards (pray for families)

Drink hot Coco and cuddle on the couch get out old photos!

Wrap our presents for everyone

Ride the train at the mall

Shrinky-Dink Ornaments

Baking day!
Church concert

Christmas Santa's Wonderland in College Station
Start 7 day countdown "what to give Jesus for Christmas"
Put on Bethlehem Play-video
Ice skating and Lego land AM
Fill a stocking and leave it on a neighbors door
Decorate cookies for Santa , make reindeer food!
Christmas service, Letter to Jesus
Look for the crown in the tree and give it to Jesus 26

Put promises for 2012 in stockings for next year!

one thing that I am happy about is that i actually typed up a list and put it in a calendar and actually attempted to be fully ready for advent. (even if things like the Christmas performance at K's school left us scrambling today and we didnt get to do all we hoped-at least the first lesson is about forgiveness right?  lets try again tomorrow)

One thing that is really hard and heavy on my heart is a desire to do an Advent ornament and also do all the other family things that we look forward to..so the question is, how do I do both- i incorporate scripture and bible lessons with our advent but I wanted to do something different this year, how do I plan all l this in the midst of the crazy things that just HAPPEN to be falling in my lap this month as well?....

Let me interject that I KNOW there is no way its a coincidence that some of these pressing things have come up this week...the enemy is trying to steal my joy, make me feel like a failure, and keep me from doing what I know God has pressed on my heart.   never mind the fact that me and bry have been so exhausted and busy and getting sick we havent gone to sleep at the same time all week, I've been sad (for no apparent reason really) in the midst of a time that is usually my favorite, I feel so pressed by the end of the day my mind literally just aches-its just empty and hurts to try to recover anything, noise from anyone especially loud little girls who are making some version, different each time mind you, of the most annoying sounds ever made from Dumb and Dumber ( i swear they must have seen the clip or something how could they know how to make these noises so well) are piercing my already splitting head.

So WHAT in the world does this have to do with Advent you ask?  Well, I think it's just the simple fact that as much as I wanted to write how wonderful the week has started and how great everything is and how awesome I feel and how the girls are sitting politely waiting to hear about the spectacular reason for the season...that's not really how its actually looked.  Its looked more like a train wreck and I am just sort of coming out of the ashes here....

One thing I love so much about the Lord is that in a few minutes I will close my eyes, go to sleep and get a chance to do it better tomorrow, to start over tomorrow, to forgive myself and others, to seek His will for the day, and to make right whats trying to go all wrong. 

So even though today is Dec 1st....it's really all going to look like it should tomorrow.  (wow, i actually will sleep before 2 am, its looking better already!)

I've attached some of the fun things that we are doing for our advent calendar...tomorrow I will attach the evening lessons I am hoping to get from a friend.