Sunday, March 31, 2013

Rediscovering Easter

I love Easter! And I'm loving this celebration even more now that I'm a mom. I do enjoy the traditions of coloring and hunting eggs, spending time with family, and preparing a special basket for my little one. What I love the most, though, is that this holiday, similarly to Christmas, gets people thinking of Jesus. And whether folks realize it or not, one of the greatest joys of our faith, the joy of discovering our Savior and His love for us, is apparent in the most universally celebrated Easter activity- finding eggs!


Do you see it? Unbridled joy in finding the egg and discovering its contents! Finding our Savior, or rather being found in Him, chosen by Him, conjures unmatchable joy. Not just on the day of salvation... There is eternal potential to discover and be overjoyed by every facet of our God!

discovering Him through His creation... JOY! revelation from the very Word of God, perfectly relevant for your life... JOY! learning the deepness of His love for you, specifically you... JOY! seeing more of  your identity in Him and His reflection in you... JOY!

Never ending, eternal, daily discovery of the One who gave us life by giving His own life. If only we will seek. Wow. Now that should put an Easter egg in it's place.

Filling her basket with reminders of who we are celebrating. I usually add an Easter book or two to our collection, a Jesus-centered craft, and little things that remind us of new life. This year it was play-doh. What can I say. The old had passed away.

I did a few of the same crafts and activities as last year, adding more dramatic play, as this is what Grace Louise just loves right now. Learning about the Passover and Last Supper, we decided to follow the example of the Servant King and wash each other's feet. She loved this and wanted to wash my feet all week.

There you have it. Calvary and the three crosses, the upper room, city gates, and the Garden of Gethsemane. I do believe that's a disciple sleeping when he was supposed to be praying...

Saturday, March 23, 2013

I know... cutest face ever, right?!

I seriously thought I'd never forget, but in three short years, I can hardly see GL's baby face in my mind's eye! Yes, growing up is bittersweet for mamas, but I've recently taken pride in seeing my little girl growing in every way and gaining independence. She often reminds me, "I can handle it, mom." Trotting on the horse, cleaning up the table after breakfast, putting away her own dishes, babysitting Bubby in her room while mom works in the office. "I can handle it."

A few weeks ago, while nursing the baby in the wee hours of the morning, I noticed on the video monitor that GL wasn't in her bed. A second of panic struck before I saw matted cotton hair reappear as she sat on the edge of the bed, attempting to crawl back in her footie pj's. Instead of peeing in her pull-up, she had taken herself to the bathroom! And when getting dressed in the dark proved to be too much, she simply found new pajamas and solved her own problem! What a big girl! I had a moment- right there at 3 in the morning. A proud mama smile.

I am seeing the rewards of intentional parenting. I love the person my baby is becoming. She can still pitch a good fit, especially at nap time, but her heart is softening to the things of God. Genuine efforts toward obedience, a desire to serve, quick repentance, and a new found willingness to pray aloud.

Lord, in raising my children, remind me of the bigger, Kingdom picture, lest I sorrow over what is actually your remarkable plan for their lives.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

7 months, just that fast

I could not be more in love with the time I spent with my son tonight. (My God knew what I needed more than I did!) My mom was supposed to have both kids this afternoon so I could catch up on some household tasks, but Jamesy was not feeling his best. He has been teething (forever it seems- still no teeth) and has had clear, but runny nose for a few days. He's not nuts about eating 'food food' nor does he enjoy his poops nearly as much these days. He prefers to remain on my hip at all times, crying if you even think about putting him down. (How dare you!) On top of that, he is learning how to sleep on his own. Life is hard.

But thinking on the good things... the two of us spent much needed quality time together tonight, snuggling, playing, replacing batteries in his favorite toys, eating- joyfully believe it or not! A plate on the floor, eating pears and black beans at his own pace. A quiet and soothing bed time routine led to effortless slumber. Ahhhh...

If I might touch on milestones for this month, sleep training would take the cake. I'm really proud of this little guy and thankful to the Lord for providing peace and comfort in our home and encouragement through friends. We have by no means arrived, but Jamesy is easily putting himself to sleep for naps and night time, rarely crying for more than a few minutes. He is still up many times during the night, but I'm hopeful that the next week will bring more positive changes. 

Jamesy, Sissy, and Mommy (yes me too) have been taking baths together and enjoying Bubby's stability, now that he can sit up. As you can see, Grace Louise is a huge help, always looking out for her brother and helping wash!

I remember another cute baby who loved this very swing! Jimmy hung it in our backyard yesterday and it is already a huge hit!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Six month pics

Mom and I took this handsome stud muffin to have his six month nude picture taken in Orlando last weekend. A DeVane tradition that started with my generation, extends to all my DeVane cousins, and  has continued on with our own children. Years ago, when she was still living alone in her big house, my Aggie proudly displayed a gallery of large printed and framed naked baby pictures of her seven grandchildren. Now all the moms are grandmothers and have taken over this tradition for their own families. We love it! 

A few Sundays ago I played photographer in the backyard and snapped the rest of these pics for fun. 

Unfortunately, time is flying too fast and I will be working on a 7 month post in a matter of days. Boo...

Best buds

I've been hearing some precious music to my ears the past few days... Jamesy laughing hysterically at his Sissy. I mean deep belly cackling, shrieks of pure joy, and unstoppable giggles. They are a mess together! Grace Louise loves to tickle him, play peek a boo, or repeat something over and over (and over and over) if he thinks its funny! 

She's always looking out for her brother and is playing with him more everyday. I see two really great pals in the making!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

State Fair Take 3

We're getting ready to enjoy the Strawberry Festival this weekend so I figured I'd come off these pics of our recent trip to the State Fair. 

me and ma.

this big girl can even ride solo.

rope making in Cracker Country.

learning how to milk a cow.

meat lover.

making a radish seed necklace.

love making memories with this girl.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Chow Time

"More on that tomorrow"... is half a month away, apparently! When we're too busy to blog life, we're too busy doing life. That's where I've been- and that's okay! Hoping to slow it down a bit this week, but in the meantime, it's chow time over here!

Six months for my babies means one thing... FOOD! I'm convinced of the benefits of waiting until at least this age before introducing anything but breast milk. More of my thoughts on baby-led weaning here. (Also some really cute pics of my baby girl eating her first foods too!) Like most parents, we have a big hoopla about the first eating experience. Both Grace Louise and Jamesy had pear as their first food. I actually offered him broccoli and banana a few days before, and he surprisingly didn't even try to eat it. Only play- which is fun too! 

This week he has shown more interest, so far trying pear, banana, sweet potato (not a favorite), black eyed peas, green peas, black beans, butternut squash, mashed potatoes (couldn't keep 'em coming fast enough), and strawberries. I even let him gnaw on a corn cob. That was Grace Louise's favorite! It's amazing the kernels they can manage without any teeth!

He's mad. No more broccoli spears.

 *Note to self: buy this pretty boy a blue bib.

Haha... tricked ya! This last picture is Grace Louise! Looks like they both have the same pear-eating technique and even favor the left side. They look enough alike that when I go back through her baby pictures, I have to keep reminding myself that it is her and not Jamesy! So strange. She looks like her little girl self in my mind's eye. Without pictures, I'm not sure that I could even remember her baby face.  ... and we'll save all that sappiness for a later post.