"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

Friday, May 28, 2010

Ending to a Great Year

We ended Austin's 1st full year of pre-school this past week. It really has been a great year. Austin has learned a TON, he grew so much socially and physically, the girls had a lot of quality time while their brother was at school two days a week and it has flown by! We started the week with a Daddy/daughter/Mommy date. We have done this several times and it is always a special time for the girls with Daddy (though this last time was rough. Ainsley just doesn't want to sit right now. She wants to be up and moving. :)

Then Wednesday morning we did a little photo shoot...
...and here is where the "I can't believe how big they have all gotten!" part begins as we look at pictures from Austin's first day of preschool...

Such sweeties!

Best buds!

All 3 on the 1st day...

...and all 3 on the last day. What a difference 9 months makes!

My sweet little boy so excited to start "school".

On this day Austin was up at 4:30 a.m. because he was so excited about his pizza and movie-watching party to end the school year.

Cute pic of Audrey after we dropped her big bro off. Next fall both she and Ainsley will begin this same preschool at First McKinney. Yep, that's right! All 3 will be there on Tuesdays and Thursdays!! What am I going to do??!! I am sure I will figure it out real quick! ;)

After we picked Austin up from school we went to Ben and Jerry's to get ice cream and celebrate the year and SUMMER! I was ready for a change and for things to slow down. I love when we don't have many places we have to be at during the week.

Remember how I said Austin was up at 4:30 a.m. ready to start the day? Well, the ice cream part might have been a little too much. Austin was one tired boy by this time. I was so glad that Andrew could come with us. He was such a sweet husband and daddy to be there to celebrate with us. It's those moments when I know how amazing of a father he really is to our kiddos. Love ya, babe! You are the BEST!!

Our sweet lactose-intolerant girl got to eat a waffle cone, but she didn't complain one bit. :)

Audrey of course loved her strawberry ice cream cone. It was pink!!

We gave Austin a new game for his Leapster hand held video game that he loves. I love it because he is learning while playing!! :)
Austin, we are so proud of you for having a great year in pre-school! You have learned and grown so much this year and Mommy is looking forward to having you at home all summer! Yeah! We love you, son! ~Mommy and Daddy

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Getting so BIG!

LOOK at these kiddos! Such sweeties and getting so big! They truly bring me so much joy my heart can barely stand it! We are having a blast at our house these days! :)

Last weekend we changed some things at our house. Audrey's room is now officially converted to a "big girl's room" and she loves it! I of course was emotional all day as we took out the baby and inserted the little girl stuff. (Please tell me every stage of growing up is not going to feel like this!!) Here are some pics of the weekend:

We started by Daddy spray painting a bed that our Nana gave us from her house (which we found out was Aunt Alisha's bed growing up! So fun!) pink - of course!

Then we moved Audrey's crib into Ainsley's room...

...and Ains was very excited! :)

All three of our monkey's had to try it out and make sure it was in good shape. :)

Then we got to work on Audrey's room. (Her name was already above her crib and we left them up.)

Her is our big girl sitting in her new bed! Daddy did a great job painting it and the bedding is SO cute! Audrey will always be my pink and brown girl! ;)

This wall used to be the place where I changed diapers, but not anymore. Sniff, sniff.

We also added this adorable princess clock...

Time for bed! :) I made the mistake of taking a nap with Audrey when we first set her bed up and that night was a little rough because she wanted me and thought I was going to sleep with her all the time. We explained to her that Mommy and Daddy have our own bed to sleep in and she replied with, "Daddy will be fine in that bed all by himself, Mommy." Precious! So other than that first night Audrey has done great! AND she is also officially sleeping in panties and not pull ups! Whooo! Now we are down to one kiddo in diapers! (Sniff, sniff again!) We are so proud of our sweet little girl!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May Days

May is as busy as ever. We keep thinking that after each week "things will slow down", but every week seems to be filled with places to go, people to meet and many meetings. We still treasure our weekends where we try and do as little as possible on Family Fun Fridays and Saturdays. :) We love this time of year and most evenings you can find us outside playing or going for a bike ride. Here are some pics of the past several weeks at our house:

Our sweet Audrey can usually be found playing dress up or "mommy" with her dolls. Here she is having a tea party with Mickey, Minnie, Elmo and her Abby doll. What a great crew! ;)

Ainsley joined in the fun. :)

I just love it when the sun glasses come out! All 3 of my kiddos wear them often and they are just so cute in their shades!

This is pretty much what you can find A-town doing these days. He loves his bike and is quite the rider. We think those training wheels will be coming off soon. :) One day a few weeks ago we saw him crash into a curb and asked him if he was okay. He said he was just trying stop. Daddy reminded him that he could break if he pushed the pedals backwards. It was like he was told that for the 1st time! He had breaks! He now tells everyone: "My bike has breaks! I didn't know that 2 for (before:)." Priceless.

About to take a family bike ride. We heart these times!

We went to Nana's house Mother's Day weekend to help her fix up/organize a couple of things around her house as her mother's day present. Cousin Peyton was there and our kiddos were so excited to play with her.

These two were so fun to watch all day long! Such sweet cousins!

The boys with Uncle Graham doing some work.

I never get tired of looking at this face!;)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thankful Thursday - What's in a Name?

One of my sweet friends from high school named, Meg posted a blog recently about the meaning behind all three of her adorable kiddos names. I thought it was such a great idea for a post, so today I am reflecting on why we gave Austin, Audrey and Ainsley the names we did when they were born. Just another way I am so thankful for this life the Lord has so graciously given me. :)

Austin Joseph

Austin was the child that we so desperately prayed for about 3 1/2 years. 2 months before I got pregnant with Austin I had a miscarriage (lost one in my uterus and another egg was found growing in my fallopian tubes that we had to remove immediately.) It was a very difficult season/wilderness time for us. So hard to see the purpose behind all the many months of trying with no success. So hard to keep trusting and knowing that the Lord had a plan in it all. So, as the story goes - Andrew was out of town, I was took an ovulation test, saw that I was ovulating, called Andrew, and we decided to "meet" late that night in none other than AUSTIN, Texas at a hotel. Many funny "memories" from that experience including me having to call my boss the next morning b/c I was caught in traffic on I-35 and wasn't going to make it into school on time. Good times! (My wonderful principal and co-workers prayed for me before I left the day before, so there were lots of "jokes".;) We knew the minute that we found out that we were having a boy that his 1st name had to be Austin. The name means: worthy of dignity and honor. :) His middle name Joseph is Andrew's middle name and it was a no-brainer for us to give him the same name as his daddy's. :)
Audrey Suzanne

We were So sure that Audrey was a boy and we were going to call him Aiden Michael. I had some blood work come back irregular and we had to go to Ft. Worth to see a specialist right around my 18th week of pregnancy with her. It was a scary time for us because of the unknown of what could be wrong with our unborn baby. I will never forget the sonogram and how unnerving it was b/c the lady wasn't allowed to tell us anything she saw. (My 1st sonogram with Austin was so fun, but this was like 20-30 minutes of complete quiet torture!) Right before she walked out of the room she looked at me and asked, "Do you want to know what you are having?" I said please and she said it was a girl. She left the room and I bawled my eyes out. Not b/c I was so sad about having a girl, but b/c of the whole yucky day. All tests turned out great and as all of you know, Audrey is a beautiful girl with an amazing heart. We were surprised by Audrey's pregnancy and knew she was a gift like Austin from the Lord. We also thought that she might be our last child and didn't want her to be the only one in our little family without an 'A' name. :) I have always loved the name Audrey. (The classic beauty Audrey Hepburn was one of my favs.:) We went back and forth b/w Audrey and Aubrey for a while, but just felt like the name Audrey fit her best. Audrey is actually a variant of the name Andrew (which I had absolutely NO idea until I looked it up just now!! SO cool!) and also noble and strong. I always knew that I wanted to name my first girl after my sister, Suzanne. The name just fit perfectly! What I love is that I see a lot of my sister's personality in Audrey a lot these days. Those are some big shoes to fill! :)

Ainsley Kendall

Our sweet baby girl was another surprise gift for us from the Lord. My pregnancy with her was so much like my pregnancy with Austin that again, I thought she was a boy. We already had our boy name and thought we were ready to go. When we found out that she too was a girl, we decided not to tell family or friends what her name was going to be for the fun of it. (And b/c we were having a hard time deciding and didn't want the "pressure" that family can some times give when it comes to names.) We prayed and searched a lot for Ainsley's name. In the end it was between Ainsley and Addison. After we saw our last sonogram of her sweet face we both knew that Ainsley was the one. It was a name that was different enough, but not too out there. Ainsley means: from the awe inspiring one's meadow. LOVE that! Kendall is a name I have loved since childhood. I always thought I was going to have a set of boy/girl twins. (wonder where I dreamed that up ;) The boy would be called Caleb and the girl Kendall. So, when we were trying to come up with a middle name for Ainsley though we tried many, we kept coming back to Kendall. We think it totally fits her!

We love the names of our children and hope that they grow up liking them as well. Now we just wonder if we are ever going to get to have an Aiden or not??!! ;)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

One Fish, Two Fish...

We had an opportunity to go to our lake house (that Andrew's parents so graciously allow us to call our own) in Granbury a few weekends ago. This is very easily becoming a place that is dear to us and we hope to make many more trips as the kids get older. It is already a place where we go to "escape" and many memories are being made. Love it!

Andrew's parents recently added on to our little cottage at the lake and for the first time ever these 2 munchkins slept side-by-side all night long. VERY exciting for us b/c now there is enough room for everyone to spread out. Mommy and Daddy even get a room all by ourselves! (hasn't been that way since we had kids.;) Don't they look so big in this pic?? Both were estatic about the new sleeping arrangements. (And they did great! :)

Sweet Ains now has a room all to herself which is wonderful. She is our kiddo that needs it to be dark and very quiet with sound machine noises only. She did great all night as well. :)

We woke up bright and early the next morning to go fishing. Austin got a cool Spiderman fishing pole for his birthday this year and he has been talking about fishing ever since. (I know that ains doesn't have a life vest on in this pic, but no worries - she was only there for a sec so that I could take a quick pic. :) I was just praying that we caught something that morning b/c Austin is the kind of kiddo that if he has one first not-so-great experience with something he doesn't want to do it again. (Something that we are working on.) We just wanted to badly for him to catch some thing. :)

Daddy made the 1st catch of the day.

Audrey was the 2nd. :) Way to go, girlie!

She wasn't too excited (and not in the best mood which we discovered later was mainly hunger:) about the whole waiting on this fish part and didn't quite get it. BUT her sweet little princess fishing pole caught a catfish! :)

Austin was next! It was so fun watching them catch one after another!

He was a very proud and excited boy. :)

THEN Austin caught a pretty good size catfish! So fun! I LOVE that he will always have this memory with his Daddy and Grandpa!

Here is the catfish caught with none other than his Spiderman fishing pole! What fun days!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thankful Thursday - One Proud Mama!

Austin dressed up and ready to go for Western Day at his pre-school.

I really don't brag enough about my first born. ;) He really is an amazing kiddo. So smart, so loving, so intuitive and just a fun kid to be around. For some reason every year around Mother's Day I get kind of emotional about the incredible gift of Austin (and his two sisters.:) I know I have said this before, but Austin made me a mommy and I am forever thankful to the Lord for my precious boy. I will never forget when I first found out I was pregnant with him. It was May 2005 right after Mother's day. I remember begging the Lord yet again for a child on that Mother's Day (not knowing yet that there was a life already growing inside of me. :) And here we are about 5 years later and my how life has changed for the better! Praise to God the giver of LIFE!!
Austin goes to a pre-school program at a church in McKinney (about 10 minutes away) two days a week and he absolutely loves it. He has learned so much, made great friends and since he is our kid who likes to "go and do", he has something that is his very own - 'his school.' (He has to share a LOT around our house as the big bro :) In the past month or so, Austin has come home with 2 Super Student Awards that both me and his Daddy are very proud of! As a former teacher, I LOVE being now on the receiving side of these fun awards! :) Like I said, we are SO proud of our little man and all he has accomplished this year.

Austin got this special award for being the only kiddo able to answer all the questions asked in his chapel class after listening to a story from the Bible. As you can guess we celebrated this award in a big way at our house. We pray every night that he would love Jesus and be respectful of others. Yay to Austin for such a great award!

Austin with one of his wonderful pre-school teachers, Ms. Lisa. Thank you so much for a great year!

Austin came home with this award and I had NO IDEA he knew the pledge of allegiance AT ALL! (Way to go mom!) Both Andrew and I were pleasantly surprised and a little shocked that he could say the pledge so well. :) Way to go, buddy!

Audrey and Ainsley get to help drop off their big bro at least once a week. I can't believe that ALL 3 of my kiddos will be going to this pre-school next year! Yes, that means I am going to have about 12 hours a week with NO KIDS!! I don't know what I am going to do with myself! (I am sure I will fill up the time very quickly with errands and ministry. ;) Seriously, the only time I am in my house without kids is when the are all loaded up in the car and I have to run in to grab something. SO excited for this coming fall! :)

I had to also put a picture up (that I took with my new and awesome camera!! Yay!) of Austin's first (and probably not last) black eye. It was so pitiful to watch his eye get worse and not better for several days after he took a knee (or possibly a head) to it at Church one Sunday night. (Already beating up on the pastor's kid! ;) He is definitely all boy when it comes to the rough and tumble! We love this boy of ours!