"The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. "
Zephaniah 3:17

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Spring is on its way and Bounce House fun!

It has been beautiful in north Texas the past couple of days and we have been taking full advantage of the 'spring-like' weather. As most moms with little kids know, winter can be very long when you are cooped up in your house every day because you don't want to risk exposing your kiddos to the cold and windy weather. We have had a great winter, but I am done with the cold and more than ready for spring! I love how the Lord set up the seasons that way - just when we are ready for a change a new season is right around the corner for us to look forward to. It really is a lot like our spiritual lives - when we are facing trails or feeling distant from God, He is always right there giving us things to look forward to in our journey with Him. He is just so amazingly wonderful like that! :)

Anyways, so like I said before we are taking full advantage of the nice weather and thanks to our wonderful Grandma and Grandpa Werley we have a fun new 'toy' for our backyard! The Bounce House! My two oldest kiddos wake up every morning wanting to play on their bounce house. I love it because it is just their size and kind of like a toddler trampoline with endless amounts of fun. I would recommend every family with toddlers to get one! We are so thankful that we have this fun toy and that Austin especially has a new and fun way to expose of his all-the-time energy. :) We are actually on our way outside right now to play! Have a great day! Here are some fun pics of Austin and Audrey:

How cute is this pic!? They have spent many of their winter days on this Thomas. Check out Audrey's princess dress over her pj's. She loves to do the dress up thing complete with the high heels, purse, sunglasses and baby. I wonder who she is trying to look like?! :)

Austin absolutely loves HIS bounce house (as he calls it.)

Fun Times!

Audrey is a little bit more "cautious" as she plays while Austin is like a wild monkey bouncing all over the place!

Thank you Grandma and Grandpa Werley for this wonderful gift! We love you!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ainsley is 8 Months Old!

Our beautiful little girl is already 8 months old! With every month Ainsley gets sweeter and sweeter and she has brought so much joy to our lives. (I mean look at that smile!) A few weeks ago she was really sick and actually "caught" the RSV virus from some other kiddos at church. We had to give her breathing treatments every 4-6 hours for a full week and even though she was very sick, she was still the amazingly easy child she has always been. We were so thankful that she wasn't hospitalized and that she recovered quickly and is now back to her old self with lots of energy, laughs and squeals. We are still waiting for her 1st tooth, first time to sit up for a long time by herself, and the 1st crawl. We think all three are just around the corner. I can't imagine how different life will be once I have 3 movers! It is also amazing how each one of my kiddos has been different in the timing of what happens their 1st year of life. Like, Austin was crawling by 7 months and standing by 8 months. Audrey was content to sit forever and just watch her brother run circles around her. We thought she would never get moving! :) And Ainsley is hardly ever put on the ground for long periods of time because of the stampede of siblings that would happen. She is on my hip most of the day and I am okay with that. I am not in a hurry for her to be moving around, but I know the time is coming. I think I will always feel this way about our "baby" - not wanting her to grow up too fast. Sigh. It just flies by!
Some of Ainsley's favorite things these days are about the same as they have been - baths, bottles, and bedtime. It cracks me up how much this girl likes to be in her bed! Last week at a nap time I took her up to her room and laid her in her bed and she smiled at me as to say "THANK YOU, Mommy! Now I can rest in quiet!" Then she put her fingers in her mouth, grabbed her blanket and closed her eyes and went to sleep before I even left the room. As you can imagine, it is pretty loud in our house most of the time and I think all three kids appreciate their beds. We have never really struggled with nap times or bedtimes like I thought we would and I am so thankful for that! Life is just blowing and going these days. Both Andrew and I try to come up for air every now and then. :) We are having a lot of fun raising our 3 munchkins. They rally are a wonderful delight and like I have said many times before - I would trade this crazy life of parenting 3 children so close in age. I never would have dreamed that this was the incredible plan that the Lord had for my life...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday - We heart our Nana and Valentine's Day!

I hope everyone had a great Valentine's day! Our family did! We actually spent the whole week leading up to the day with all three of our sweeties being sick. Ainsley was diagnosed with RSV and Austin and Audrey had all of the sinus/coughing "stuff". So, we spent most of the week giving about 10 breathing treatments a day between the kiddos and laying around in the house a lot. (I was kinda glad that they were all sick at once so we wouldn't draw it out for weeks on end!) We were all very stir crazy by the end of the week, so on Friday we ran some errands with Daddy and then went to Chick Fil A for a special treat. :)

Andrew and I actually got to "get away" and go to Katy, TX for the weekend! This is where my Thankful Thursday comes in! :) Andrew's mom (our Nana) and cousin Peyton came up on Saturday to keep the kiddos so that Andrew and I could drive to Katy for the night. We love our Nana! She comes up once a month to give us a date night (which is usually much needed) and our kiddos adore her. She is one of the kindest and most giving people I know and she has been a wonderful mother-in-law to me over the years. We praise God for her life and the many ways she encourages us!

Andrew and I went on a great date here Saturday night and then he had the privilege to preach here Sunday morning. He preached on the book he wrote and as always did a fantastic job! We love Katy, but we definitely missed our church here and all the people. It felt good to come "home." :)

Here is our Nana holding Ainsley. We love you!

Here are some fun valentine weekend pics of our sweethearts:

Austin giving Audrey a kiss - so sweet!

Happy 1st Valentine's Day baby girl!

All three dressed in their Valentine "outfits".

Love this face from sweet Audrey!

This is what we did most of the week - lay around.:)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Happy (late) Birthday, Granddaddy!

My Granddaddy turned 87 a few weeks ago and this past weekend he was on the KLTV 7 news in a 'Freedom Fighters' segment about men who served in WWII. He was interviewed for Valentine's Day weekend because of the incredible love story of him and my Grandmother we lovingly called Jeannemommie. She began writing him letters while he was in Africa serving our country and through those correspondences they fell in love. Here is the full story:

Letters from Jeanne Stewart in Marshall to Walter Mauritzen in north Africa were to ignite a romance that would last a lifetime.
"We knew before we ever actually saw each other in person that we would spend our lives together," said Walter. "Here's the entrance of the diary right there when I got the letter," he motioned to the page.
It was a letter from Jeanne Alice Mauritzen in Marshall, Texas.
Walter Mauritzen's diary, which he so meticulously kept during WW II, records the very first letter from Jeanne Alice Stewart to be April 9,1943. It had crossed an ocean and heavy battle zones in north Africa to reach him.
"I just kidded her all through the years, 'would you have written again?' She said, 'probably not.'"
Walter answered Jeanne's letter the day he received it, and she did write again and again. Their first letters ended with "Yours Truly."
"Two or three or four months, I don't know how long it was, I signed my letters, 'Love Walter.' Her next letter back to me she signed, 'Love Jeanne.'"
Walter soon asked Jean to send him photos.
"The comment that I made [was], 'boy, she's good looking.'"
Walter fastened Jeanne's photos to his pistol handle, protecting them with plexiglass taken from an enemy plane. He wrote her that now he would always have her near, protecting him. And protection was something he did need as war raged around him.
"As a matter of fact, I was a machine gunner on the landing barge that went in," said Walter.
Although he was designated as an Army Air Corps Crew Chief, assigned to keep his planes in the air, ground fighting was constant. From D-day in north Africa through Pantelleria, Egypt, Capri, and Italy, Walter often missed death by inches.
"I don't know why I thought we could just walk in that fort. I don't know, but when the machine gun opened up and got the first two in front of me, I don't mind telling anybody I turned around and ran. The first thing I knew I was flat of my stomach. I looked down and I had tripped on a dead American captain. Just as I took a step, a bullet popped right where I had moved. He was pulling the trigger as I moved."
There was no place safe from bullets, bombs, grenades and straifing.
"We were bombed and straifed every day and I tell you, that's a wicked feeling to be straifed."
Early, in 1944, Walter and his crew were transferred to China and India by special agreement between President Roosevelt and Chang Kai Chek, but in between aiding China's Flying Tigers and guarding American B-24s, Walter still found time for romance.
"I found out that when the sun set at the foot on the Himalayas that the sun was rising in East Texas. I wrote to her and said now you watch the sun rise December 25th Christmas Day, I'll watch it as it sets where I am and we'd both be looking at the sun at the same time."
Walter and Jeanne were to see each other for the first time when he stepped off the train in Marshall in September of 1945.
"It's just as plain as it was the day long we stood and gazed into each others eyes. I can't tell you how long but I know we were just hypnotized gazing into each others eyes."
Jeanne and Walter were married four months later. His family thought it would never last. After all, she was a city girl from Marshall and he was a boy from Clayton where they didn't even have indoor plumbing. But their marriage did last through the birth of their three sons and nine grandchildren and through years of traveling throughout the U.S., collecting license plates, 23,000 in all.
"During our travels in the rural areas we spent holding hands, but when the traffic got heavy like in New York City and Boston, both hands went to the steering wheel."
After sixty years and seven months of marriage, Jean passed away on July 30th, 2006, leaving Walter with his memories of war and a wartime romance that lasted a lifetime.

Here is the video interview. My granddaddy did such a great job! I am so proud of him. I know that he misses his bride terribly every day and that he can't wait to be with her one day.

Isn't that story amazing and beautiful?! For many years I have looked up to my grandparents and their relationship and how they took care of each other. They had unconditional love and it was very evident to every one they came in contact with. I loved going to their house to visit and I loved just being around them - my Granddaddy and his stories (that he still loves to tell) and my sweet Jeannemommie who was always interested in things going on in my life. What an incredible couple and what an amazing legacy! I praise the Lord for the impact that both of these wonderful people have had in my life and I miss my Jeannemommie more and more as my babies get older. She would have loved all their energy and fullness of life.

Here are some pictures of my sweet grandparents meeting Austin (3 months old) for the 1st time. Jeannemommie was so excited to hold Austin and they made the long trip from East Texas just to meet their 1st great-grand baby. I am so sad that she doesn't get to meet my girls. She would have loved seeing how very different they are from their brother. :)

Happy 87th Birthday, Granddaddy! I love you!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Just Catching Up

I am so thankful for these 3 little blessings!

I was way behind on my blog posts, so I spent some time catching up to what has been going on in our little corner of the world. Please feel free to scroll down and see the 3 new posts. Thanks for reading! :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Waco Play Day/ Ice Day

I have come to the point where I am comfortable traveling and going places with my kiddos by myself and a couple of weeks ago all of us needed a Waco day, so I loaded them up and we drove to Waco for the day. It was a wonderful day filled with friends and Papa and Grandma - just what we (I) needed.:)

Here are Austin and Audrey with their 2 friends Sophie and Hudson. They have been buddies since birth and it is always great to play and visit with them and their mommies.
Sweet Avery with her mommy Kylie loving on Ainsley.

We met some friends at the zoo. This is the kiddos with their friend Kenzie looking at the giraffes.

Audrey and Kenzie. So cute!

We had an ice day a couple of weeks ago. We love it when Daddy gets to stay home and play for the day! They played with playdough for like 2 hours of the day! They had a lot of fun!

Audrey got this little kitchen for Christmas. She loves it and plays with it often!


Sweet Ainsley in Daddy's arms. The best place!

Austin's Birthday and Party

Austin had a great birthday and party this year. I can't believe that he is already 3!!
Happy 3rd Birthday my sweet boy!

Opening up his presents (more Thomas trains) from Daddy and Mommy.

Austin on his big boy bike for the 1st time! It is going to take a while to adjust from the big wheel, but we were so anxious/excited to get him his very 1st bike.

Audrey about to ride her new bike that she got for Christmas from Grandpa and Grandma Werley.

I love this pic!

Austin's party theme was Thomas the Train (of course! he has just a small facination with trains:)

Bounce house fun! It was a very cold and windy day, but that didn't stop the kiddos from playing outside in this thing.

The RED cupcake. What was I thinking! They were yummy though.

The bounce house in the back yard with Grandma Werley looking in on the fun.

Austin couldn't get enough of this! So fun!

Christmas 08

Our Christmas card

I know that it is February, but I just have to put some pictures of this year's Christmas festivites on my blog! It was such a fun Christmas and December! The kids stayed well for the most part all month long, Austin really started to "get" what Christmas was all about, decorating our new home was so much fun, all the baking and the buying/wrapping of presents, having all of our families come to our house to celebrate was wonderful for us and teaching the kiddos about the true meaning of Christmas and our Savior's birth brought so much warmth to our home in amazing ways. We just hope to have that kind of Spirit in and through our home all year long! Here are some pics of the holiday:
The kids posing with Mr. Santa.

This is my best attempt of getting a pic with all three kiddos in their Christmas pj's on Christmas Eve. Have you ever tried to take a picture of a 2 1/2 yr. old, a 1 1/2 year old and an infant?! Impossible!

Ms. Audrey sporting the santa hat. So cute! She loves hats.

Austin got a train table from "santa" this year and it was and is definitely a homerun. We were up until like 3 a.m. "building it". (Well, Andrew was putting it together and I was just assisting whenever he needed me too. :)

Look at those BIG beautiful eyes! Happy 1st Christmas, baby girl!

My fam on Christmas Day - me, daddy, mom, Aunt ZuZu and Uncle Cory. This was like our 1st family pic in a long time it seems like. :) Love you guys!

Nana with all of her grand kiddos - Austin, Ainsley, Sophia, Peyton and Audrey.

The next pics are of the Mauritzen Family Christmas held almost every year in Clayton, TX. This is Austin with my Uncle Chris and his buddy/cousin Hallie. She is the most adorable little girl and just a few months younger than Austin. They had a lot of fun together.

Granddaddy Mauritzen holding/meeting Ainsley for the 1st time.

All of the grand kids (minus my bro and sis) and great-grand kids. We do this shot every year. :) I love my family and wish we all lived closer!