Tagged: family

Feb 22

God claims you.


We recently baptized our one-year-old son, Graham. And I am still smiling about it. I adore this ritual. I absolutely love the oath that the parents take and all the love you can feel from the congregation. I loved seeing Lilah place her hand on his head as we prayed. And more than anything, I love the hymn, God Claims You, that is traditionally sang at our church after each baptism. I actually love it so much that I sing it to my kids almost every day.

So, it didn’t surprise me one bit that when the congregation started singing the first verse, Graham immediately calmed down from his anxious what-the-heck-is-going-on-and-why-is-my-hair-soaked state. He wasn’t so sure about being in unfamiliar arms. Or about everybody looking at him. And then getting water splashed all over his head. But, our pastor said that as soon as the singing began, she could feel his little body relax.

Here’s a sampling of the lyrics:
Graham, Graham God claims you
God helps you, protects you and loves you, too.

We this day do all agree
a child of God you’ll always be…

Brady and Kylie love you so
They vow to help your faith to grow…

What’s funny is that when I Google’d the song to find the official lyrics, the top link was my post about Lilah’s baptism!! So, obviously, I am a bit obsessed with this song :) I guess there are worse things in life, right?

Anyways, I am so thankful that we were blessed with our little guy and know that he truly is a child of God. Too bad God can’t clean his son’s diapers and pick up all the food he throws on the floors these days :)

Grahamsey, Grahamsey, God claims you.

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Feb 09

A new tradition.

I have a love affair with traditions. Anything that comes once a year, once a month, once a day. Once a whatever. There is just something about them that feels so good. Comfortable and warm.

Becuase our children our small and our little family fairly young, we are still in the process of making our traditions. And the best place to start is with holidays. I also have a love affair with Valentines Day. I love all the romance and sweets. This year, I’m holding my breath for some chocolate covered strawberries. Yum.

Last year, when Graham was just born a few days before Valentines, we were all home loving and holding and hugging him all day long. We celebrated Valentines with heart-shaped pancakes. This year, I got a little anxious, and broke the molds out early. Added a little red food coloring (inspired by this) to the batter and Lilah was in love (and me too)!

Get your own molds here.

And Happy Valentines! Lots of love!

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Jan 29

Only in Kansas.

… can you take these two pictures just days apart from each other. I love it!_snow1
_snow2

Hope you’re enjoying the weather!

Comments Off on Only in Kansas.
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Jan 08

Potty mouth.

brokenbowl1

Okay, a cute-kid story to share:

A few days ago, Lilah was in the living room watching her morning cartoon. I was in our bedroom and heard a crash sound – something breaking. So of course, I hurry out to find that she had knocked the candy dish from the counter onto the floor. Of course, it was shattered. She has her hand over her mouth and is clearly upset. I try to talk to her about it, about not climbing at the bar, and she whispers to me “I don’t say ‘damnit'”

Trying not to laugh, I tell her that is right.

After inspecting, I find that there are a handful of M&Ms still on the counter, the rest spread among the glass.

So, this is how I see it going down:

She decides to climb up to the raised bar and grab a few M&Ms from the candy dish (something she has never attempted to do, and we’ve had that candy dish for a long time!). She gets a handful and as she’s climbing down, accidentally knocks the bowl off (probably because she was trying to watch the cartoon at the same time). She exclaims “damnit!”, drops the M&Ms, climbs down and runs! Then, tells on herself for cursing! Cracked me up! What kid does that?

Wonder where she has heard that expression before… hmmm, maybe from K-State football season?? Definitely not from me :)

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Dec 15

Wichita Christmas Light Tour.

clarkgriswold
Tonight we took the kids on a Christmas lights tour across Wichita. It was so fun! I had done a little online research to hunt down some popular light displays. When Brady got home from work it was already dark and we headed out for some pizza and a drive. I loved seeing their little smiling faces glow from the lights shining on them. It made me remember just how cool I thought Christmas lights were when I was a kid.

I’ll share the list of houses/displays we visited in case anybody else wants to use it:

1. Lights on St. Paul – just north of Douglas, in between West St and Meridian. It was a drive-thru sponsored display – and the best of them all. If you had to pick only one place to go, this should be it. Donations accepted for a non-profit called The Arc. Bonus for the kids – candy canes at the end!

2. 1700 N. Park Place – A couple blocks west of 17th St and Broadway. This was a super-festive old home that was all kinds of lit up. A close second to the St. Paul display. And as a bonus, just one block east of it were two more very bright homes. In my opinion, this is a must-see to me, because I read online that this is the last year that the family is going to do the lights. And it must be true because there was a “for sale” sign in their yard.

3. College Hill – No specific address, we just drove around and saw lots of beautiful light displays. Nothing especially cool, but lots and lots of luminaries and pretty decor. If you had to skip one of the locations, this would be the one I’d skip. There was one street that was pretty cool – every home had 5-10 matching “light sticks” spread throughout the yard. Unfortunately, I don’t have the name of the street. Maybe I’ll get back to you on that.

4. 620 Stratford – Another must-see! This house had all their lights set to music that you could tune in on your radio. Very, very cool!!!

5. Lights on the Lake – East of Rock Rd. on 29th St. Another sponsored drive-thru display. Good, but shorter and slightly less impressive than the St. Paul one (no. 1). Donations accepted for Heartspring.

6. 1017 N. Azure Circle (aka Candy Cane Lane) – A suburban residential neighborhood cul-de-sac that was all done up. Very cool and will probably take the kids back there because it’s so close to home.Lilah loved this one even though it was our last stop and she was exhausted.

map

There were a couple that we ran out of time to hit. Are there any others you can suggest? You can click here to see a scan of the map and route that we followed. You’ll see the additional two that we skipped are marked on there as well. But I highlighted the ones we went to. Our route took us about an hour and 45 minutes.

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Christmas is in full swing around here. Lilah plays with her little nativity set constantly and we sing Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer about three dozen times a day. We’re counting the days with a new nativity advent calendar that I found at Perfect Peace. We’ve been shopping and baking and wrapping and decorating. I even managed to get some Christmas cards out. Lilah woke up from her nap today and exclaimed, “It’s Christmas Eve!” No idea where she got that.

And meanwhile, Graham has been growing and changing more than ever. Yesterday, he figured out how to pull himself to standing. And last week, he started holding his own bottle. Seems like a small accomplishment, but to me, it is huge!

I hope you are all having a good holiday season! Merry Christmas!

xmas7xmas8

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Nov 05

Grahambino.

I love nick names. And this kid has many.
grahambino9Graham-sey.
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Graham-bino.

grahambino2Graham-ser.

graham1Grahams.grahambino5
And Graham-y.

grahambino1It’s funny because one of my big stipulations when choosing a name has always been that I wanted a good nickname available too. (i.e. Elijah and Eli) But with both of our kids, we fell in love with names that really didn’t have that. Or so we thought. Apparently, Lilah is an endless dictionary of nicknames. She coined many of these herself and very rarely calls him by just “Graham”. He actually seems to have that many personalities, so it fits him. Not sure he’s gonna love it when he’s older, so I’ll enjoy it while I can.

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Oct 26

My sous chef.

cookiedough1

I love to bake cookies. And, as it turns out, so does Lilah. Since I quit my job, I’ve been able to do considerably more cooking and baking. Dinner, snacks, desserts, pies, whatever. And Lilah loves to help me. Especially when I let her lick the beaters. But who wouldn’t, really? My brother and I always had to share the beaters, so I think Lilah is pretty fortunate to have them all to herself. I keep warning her that someday she’s going to have to share with Graham and to enjoy it while she can.

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And yes, I am aware there is a chance she could get sick from eating the cookie dough. I’m a life-is-too-short-to-skip-the-cookie-dough-due-to-salmonella-fears kind of girl.

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And another thing we’ve have been enjoying are the fallen leaves. I know, this stuff is old news, but at our house, we just finally have a tree big enough to produce a decent pile of leaves! Bring on the rake!

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Any time the weather is warm enough, I take the kids out to play in them. Dang Kansas wind is slowly carrying them away though.

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I am loving the relationship that is developing between Lilah and Graham. She is more and more interested in him, and him in her. He generally is looking at her like she is nuts (because she is) and she generally is looking at him trying to get him to laugh.

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I get asked all the time what I think of being a stay-at-home mom. For the record: I love it. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to do it. These little ones are growing and changing so fast, and I am so happy to share it with them. Nobody can raise and shape your children as well as you can. And I know that I will never look back and regret the decision.

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Sep 30

Baby Chloe.

chloe1Welcome to the world, Baby Chloe!

Brady’s brother, Joey, and his wife, Casi, had their first child last Wednesday. Chloe Wren Rott. And with such a sweet name she’s bound to be adorable, right? Last weekend, we traveled to Clay Center to meet her and kiss her and hug her and love her. Totally worth the drive.

And with sweet little babies comes sweet little gifts:

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A little shirt hand-embroidered by Auntie Micah. She’s so talented. Remember these?

And I got to give her the quilt that I have been working on for her. This is my first quilt-as-a-gift project, and it felt really good. Chloe and I talked and she promised not to look too closely at the messy stitching :) Aunt Kylie is NOT a perfectionist.
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Look at these adorable collages that Chloe’s mama made for her. Each piece is cut separately from different papers. Unlike me, Casi IS a perfectionist. In a good way, of course.
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I really wish I had a few photos of the nursery that Casi prepared for her. So sweet. Maybe I’ll get my hands on some photos to share. Who doesn’t love a sweet baby room to oogle over?

So, with Chloe around, that brings the total cousins on that side of the family to EIGHT! That’s a lot of kids in one house for family get-togethers! All of Brady’s family was in Clay Center this weekend to see the new baby, celebrate, etc. Add in Brady’s grandparents, and that is a total of 21 people hanging out! Talk about a full house. The highlight of the weekend was a parade. This was a first for my kids. Lilah was super pumped about the sucker that was thrown to her (she is her mother’s daughter, after all.) She was pretty wide-eyed about all the floats, noise, etc and even covered her ears as the marching band went by. chloe6

Here’s the other vultures, I mean kids, waiting for more candy to be thrown.
chloe7 From left, that’s Carly, Jonas, Reece, Corinne and Silas. Silas is the oldest (7) and did pretty well with letting the little girls have a chance at the candy. Such a gentleman.

And this shot is of Brady’s parents and ALL the grandkids. Even baby Chloe. With all that chaos, she’s probably thinking, “put me back in there!!!”
chloe9 And yes, you can see up Lilah’s skirt. That’s my girl.

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Sep 12

How Romantical.

Brady and I celebrated our five-year wedding anniversary last week. FIVE YEARS! Holy crap, where did that time go?! To honor it, we passed the kids off on my in-laws (thank you!) and took a road trip. We went to Oklahoma City for one night and then got a cabin for three nights in Broken Bow, Oklahoma. I know, Oklahoma – not the first destination that comes to mind when you say romantic. However, it turns out that when you’re starved for some adult time, it doesn’t matter where you go! We had a blast together, totally reconnected and made some great new memories that don’t involve babies and toddlers. It was fabulous.

So, I have tons of pictures to share, but I’ll start with a short story. From OKC to Broken Bow, we decided to take the Talimena Scenic Drive, even though it was a little longer drive. The weather was awesome, the air felt and smelled so fresh and we cranked up the iPod and drove and drove. One of the first scenic overlooks we came to, we pulled off the road to check out the view.
Pretty, huh? Not sure if the picture does it justice. It was breathtaking. I think I said, “Are we still in Oklahoma?” So we sat and enjoyed it. And even thought it was incredibly beautiful, there was this one dead tree sticking up right in our view. Getting right in the way of perfection.
I mentioned it and before I knew it, Brady climbed down the hill and tore the tree down.



Ah, much better :) Now, that’s love.

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Sep 03

This is why I take so many freaking pictures.

I fill my camera. And then I fill my back-up memory card. And then I fill my hard drive. And now my back-up drive is full. Plus, I print the pictures and organize them into page after page of albums, then line them up on shelves. Officially, having pictures is a hobby of mine. Not just taking pictures, but looking through them, editing them, sharing them, reflecting, etc, etc. All the things you do with them after the shutter clicks. Take a lot of time and energy.

So, why do I do it? Good question. I ask myself the same thing. Don’t always come up with an answer, but this helps:
Luckily, Lilah (and Jak and Eva) love to look at photo albums. I let them each grab an album from the shelf and they get so excited as they turn the pages, recognizing people and themselves. As Lilah has gotten older, she actually seems to recall some of the memories – or at least I tell myself that. Before we go see friends or family that we haven’t seen lately, I always pull out a book and we talk about who they are.
Lilah really appreciates looking at all these photos we snap, and I hope that never fades. I know that I still enjoy sifting through albums of my childhood and talking over them with my parents. Every photo means something different for them than for me. Like, I remember my incredible 5th birthday and the awesome bike I got, while my mom remembers slaving away on my Rainbow Brite cake up to the last minute before the party.
Mmmmmm, cake…

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