Friday, November 30, 2012

thankful (30)

I am especially thankful for my mom since it is her
birthday today! I was able to go out to lunch with her and
my sister (without kids) and it was so nice. I am thankful
for her in so many ways and here are a few:

* she is a strong godly example for me to follow
* she is willing to listen and give advice when I need it
* she loves her grandkids beyond description
* she is a motivation for me to stay in shape
* she is so understanding of everything
* she is an example to me of motherhood
* she loves my dad first and invests in their marriage

I love living on the same side of the water as her now!
The girls love being able to go over there more often and
love having her stop by:)

Ever so thankful for my mom!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

thankful (29)

The dishwasher is a simple thing in life that I am 
very thankful for. In our previous house we didn't 
have one and I always dreaded washing the dishes.
Now I am able to hit the button on the dishwasher at
night and have clean dishes in the morning!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

thankful (28)

 This year we are talking more about the true meaning
of Christmas. The girls are beginning to grasp what 
Christmas is all about and it makes me and Nathan so
happy! We want them to know that Christmas is not
all about presents and how much you will get, but rather
it is about the birth of Jesus and God's gift to us.

Thankful for the true meaning of Christmas!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

thankful (27)

We have been in our current house now for a little
over 2 years and we couldn't have asked for better
neighbors. In our old house, where we lived for 5
years, we also had the best neighbors! We still
like to go and visit our old neighbors.
We have neighbors that we can count on and
know that we are safe with. They are there to help
with cutting our grass, fixing our cars, letting
us borrow things, watching our girls and letting
them play in their yard.

Very thankful for good neighbors!

Monday, November 26, 2012

thankful (26)

I am thankful for the sunshine! I was watching
a show about Alaska last night and how there are
only four hours of daylight. I don't think that I could
live there for that very reason. I love to wake
up and see the sun coming out for the day. 
I love to just sit on the porch and soak up
the sun rays on a fall or even a winter day.
I especially love the summer with all of the 
sunshine. After it has rained for a couple
days, I look forward to seeing the sun come through
the clouds the next day. 

Thank you God for the sunshine!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

thankful (25)

We just had a "date night" and the picture that 
we took turned out really blurry and too dark:( So, this 
picture will have to do. This is where we wish we had been 
able to go on a date night:) 

I love when we get the chance to go out on a date. 
We try to go out somewhere, anywhere, by ourselves,
twice a month. Recently it has been once a month and
was less then that around the times that we had a little baby.
Now our youngest is 14 months old so we are looking
forward to more date nights:)

When we went out last night, the girls were asking me
why I was all "dressed up" and where we were going. 
Then Natalee asked me how I met "daddy." I 
 told her a short version of our long story version of how we met.

 Then Lydia said, "how old do I have to
be until I get married?"
 Nathan overheard the conversation
and quickly said "36."
 Lydia said, "Well, mommy was only 19
when she got married." 
Nathan, "That was different. I guess you have to 
be at least 23 until you get married."

I love being able to tell the girls our story and how
God brought us together. Nathan and I both felt that
night the urgency to pray for their future spouses.
It seems so far away for that time to come but
yet we know it will come so fast. 

I love our date nights for...

*uninterrupted conversations
*peaceful dinners
*time to talk about "us"
*time to have fun and laugh
*walk through wal-mart without having 
to do my grocery shopping
*get in and out of the car without carseats
*check off some things sometimes on our "errand" list
*coming home to girls sleeping in their beds

It is a lot of work to set up a night for us to go out
and sometimes the girls are not all at the same place. 
Once we do leave them I have to focus on not 
worrying about them while we are gone, but I'm hoping
that will get better as they get should:) 

Extremely thankful for date nights!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

thankful (24)

I am extremely thankful for my siblings and Nathan's siblings. 
Our life would certainly not be the same without them.
I love being able to hang out with them and for the
girls to know them so well. I love that they
are willing to watch the girls for "free."
Each one of them are a blessing in our lives!

Right now we live close to almost all of them! 
 I have 4 sisters, 1 brother in-law and 2 sister-in-laws
 all within 10 minutes from us. Nathan's two brothers
 are within less then 30 minutes from us. My two brothers
 and 1sister-in-law are within 4 hours but we are fortunate
 that we get to see them often:) And last but not least, I
 have a sister and brother-in-law that currently live
 about 14 hours away (but it is temporary and we hope to
 see them more often soon:)

Our girls love each of them soooo much and me and Nathan do too!

Nathan's siblings...Andrew, TJ and Jenna

My siblings...Blake, Courtney, Kimberly, Luke, 
Elizabeth, Tori and Bekah

Blake and Andrea

Courtney and Landon (with one of their boys, Will)

Kimberly and Sergio

TJ and Luke

2 sister-in-laws- Natasha and Jenna





Friday, November 23, 2012

thankful (23)

The girls just had a swim meet and swam so well. I was so 
proud of them! It brings back many memories of
when I swam at their age. They love it and I'm thankful for 
their healthy bodies that allow them to be able to do sports, 
like swimming. It has built their confidence and keeps
them in shape for sure!

At this last swim meet, my mom and dad took 
the two little ones after the girls first event. It was so nice
cause Nathan was home sick and I was able to focus on the 
older two swimming their events. They each swam five events
and during the in between time I was able to sit and talk
 with them, buy a few things from them concession stand
 and be right there on the deck waiting for them to swim.
They enjoyed it and I did too! 

Lydia was focused and waiting for the whistle to 
get in the water for her backstroke event:)
She ended up placing 2nd and was so excited
about getting her best time yet!

Natalee swam a 25 fly in the 8 and under for the first time
 in a meet and did great! She had a beautiful stoke and was
so proud of herself for doing a good job and placing 2nd!

Thankful for their love for swimming and healthy bodies!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

thankful (22)

Sharing a meal with a lot of family on Thanksgiving is the best 
part for me on Thanksgiving and the meal is the second best! 
We should have a meal like this more then once a year.
I love the turkey with the fresh homemade stuffing,
the creamy mashed potatoes, the extra sweet sweet potatoes, 
the cranberry sauce, sweet potato rolls and then of course,
all of the desserts. My favorite thing on Thanksgiving
is the pumpkin pie with whipped cream. I love it and
now the girls love it too! 

Thankful for this time of year where we can look back and
be thankful for our heritage and spend time with family...
and eat a wonderful meal!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

thankful (21)

We are extremely thankful for the Mora family! Our kids have 
grown up together and we have been in a community group
together with them for the last five years. Their kids are so
precious and our girls love them to death! Grant and Rebekah
are amazing parents and friends and have been an example
for Nathan and I to look up to for all these years.
It it is so sad that we just had to say
good-bye to them:( 

They are moving to Arkansas to be closer to family which
we totally understand. They have not been around family
since they got married and yet have stayed so strong. 
We will truly miss them though. When we had to say good-bye
it was hard to look at them and their kids and know that it could
be awhile before we see them again. But,
this just gives us an excuse to travel and visit Arkansas one day!
We are so thankful for the memories that we have shared 
together and will be forever grateful for their family!

Natalee, Marissa and Corban at the county fair

Natalee (7) and Marissa (almost 7) at the county fair
These two were just babies when we met and it
is crazy now how big they are!

Lydia ( 5) and Annika (5) at the fair
Best of friends!

Julianna (3) and Ellia ( 2 turning 3 in Nov.)
These 2 together can be a handful:) They love each
other though:)

Miranda (13 months) and Alyssia (13 months) 
these two are only 4 days apart:)

Grant and Nathan at their going away party. All of these
years they have known him without a beard. And now in this
picture he has a full beard!....which will hopefully be gone in
a couple months:)

Christen and Rebekah at Olive Garden with all the ladies 
for one last time.This is like the one picture that I have
 of us by ourselves. Usually one or both of us was
 pregnant or holding a kid:) So, l like this picture!

We are eternally grateful for the Mora's and thankful
that they have lived here in Virginia for the past 9 years. 
We love you guys!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

thankful (20)

Lydia Noelle

It is amazing how each child can be so different. 
All four of our girls have different personalities and 
their own look too. Each one is different in their
own way and I wouldn't change anything about them.

Lydia is one special girl! ( they are all special but in their
own way:)) She is mostly like her daddy in these ways...

likes to dance
~ likes to be the center of attention
~ likes to talk 
~ she has his body shape ( even a little indention
on her chest like he has)
~ likes to hunt and dress in camo
~ likes me to make the same things over 
and over for dinner instead of trying new things
~ likes to make people laugh
~ likes adventure
~ is good at sports and playing games
~ they both have the same smile:)

When Lydia was born, she was only 5.2 tiny
but perfectly healthy. She was born at 36 weeks much
to our surprise!

Here is a short version of her birth story...
I was measuring small throughout my pregnancy with her.
At 36 weeks the doctor did an ultrasound and said,
"are you ready to have this baby tomorrow?"
My placenta was actually not working properly so
she would be better out of me then in me. The doctor 
gave me one day to prep then I went in the next morning
to be induced not knowing really what to expect. 
I was induced and started dilating more on my own and she
was born soon after lunch! Natalee was so proud of her!..and so were we:)

One thing about Lydia is that she loves to pose for pictures
and is so photogenic. She has never had a problem taking
pictures and actually loves it! I love this about her:)

Another thing about Lydia is that she absolutely loves
her birthday. She looks forward to it all year. She starts the
countdown to her birthday before Christmas. Her birthday
is February 22nd. She usually can't wait til Christmas cause
that means that her birthday is "2 months" after Christmas:)
She usually extends her birthday celebration to last
the whole week. She knows exactly how many
"parties" that she had last year (including school, family,
friends, sisters, etc.) She knows that in two days
it will be three months until her birthday:)
And I got all emotional thinking that she will be
turning 6. She is growing up way to fast.

Thankful for Lydia Noelle and her sweet personality!

Monday, November 19, 2012

thankful (19)

This week I have all the girls at home because of thanksgiving break.
It is nice not having to wake up and rush out the door and start our normal
school routine. It's even nicer when the girls use their imagination to play
with each other:) Today was a day where we didn't have plans to go anywhere...
so towards the end of the day all of the girls were running around the house 
trying to get all of their energy out. At times like this, Nathan feels a little
outnumbered with all of the emotion going on in our house:) They eventually
did settle down once they got to sleep. yes, one of those kinds of days.
But, I am still thankful for their imaginations..

Most of the day was spent playing "games," "house," "pets," "sisters"...
and each room being used as something different like a "doctor's office," a 
"park," a "school." I love seeing their little imaginations run wild. 
Next time, I will have to take pictures of all of this:)
It was a lot of clean up for them and me. 
But, I can say that I am very thankful for their imaginations!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

thankful (18)

I am not very good at singing but I still love to sing in church. 
I love being able to freely worship the Lord. Sometimes it is hard to 
focus in church with all the distractions and kids pulling on your shirt, but
I am thankful for the times that I do get to focus in on worship.
I'm thankful though that worship is not just done in church.
I can worship the Lord in the car, in the shower, during the day when
taking care of and playing with the girls...anywhere really! 

I know that God longs for us to worship Him and I want to long
to worship him back. He deserves all the praise and glory! Even on the
hard days when it is difficult to sing a worship song....let my heart sing. 
All of my complaints and worries grow smaller when I do choose
to worship.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

thankful (17)

The girls had a swim meet today and had their best meet yet. I was 
so proud of them and loved being able to cheer them on! 
They each had five different events to swim,
So, we were on the pool deck most of the afternoon watching them swim,
and by the end of the meet they were exhausted and so was I:)
After a warm shower and dinner, we enjoyed some hot chocolate. 
This made them so happy and me too. 
I love hot chocolate with marshmallows and its even better on a cold day.
They said that it was the "best day ever," as they were drinking their
hot chocolate. This is such a simple thing that brings them so 
much happiness. 
We have a lot of "best day evers" around here:) and I hope 
that we keep having many more:)

Thankful for the deliciousness of hot chocolate!

Friday, November 16, 2012

thankful (16)

I have many memories from the time that I lived in Argentina for a year.
I grew to be thankful for many things that I had in the United States 
when I was living in Argentina. One of the first things that I did when I arrived on 
campus was drink a glass of water. I was told right before I drank it
that I probably would not like the taste of it. I was so thirsty so I went ahead
and took a sip but then immediately spit it out. It did not even taste like water
to me. Drinking the water was one of the things that I could just not get used to
while living there. I was so thankful whenever someone came to visit
from the states and brought bottled water. 

When we moved to Smithfield the water tasted different to me and I 
have had to get used to it. I am used to it now but I still just love
the taste of the fresh spring water from a jug or a bottled water. I drink 
fresh water with every meal! 

Thankful for the opportunity to have fresh water here where we live!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

thankful (15)

The dinner table is something that I am especially thankful for this month.
Nathan just started his job at the shipyard last month after working his 
job at UPS for over 9 years. His schedule did not allow him to eat dinner
with us most nights. It was usually me and the girls sitting around the table at
dinner time. It got harder and harder as the girls got older to keep doing this 
without him. When we moved to Smithfield two years ago it made it a
little easier for him to stop by for dinner sometimes when he was in the 
area...and I was thankful for those times. But even then it was rushed and
it was hard for him to get back in his truck to drive all the way
back to the building and maybe make it back before bedtime. 

The last month and a half at dinner time the girls start out with
 a prayer saying how thankful they are that daddy gets home at 4:15 now.
It is sooooo nice! We have been thoroughly enjoying our dinner time!
I'm so grateful that we get to start making family dinners important
now while they are young!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

thankful (14)

I am thankful for the times, like earlier today, when Nathan says,
"honey, when the girls go down, I will massage your feet."
I love relaxing on the couch with a cup of coffee and getting
 a foot massage. As a mom I am on my feet a lot during the day.
Even during lunch it is rare that I get to sit down and actually eat
and enjoy my lunch. Most of the time it is eating standing
up at the cutting board.... the rest of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Thankful for a foot massage at the end of the day!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

thankful (13)

Right now this is the girls favorite outing with their dad....7 eleven slurpees!
They love going with him to get one and he loves it just as much. Natalee
usually gets pina coloda, Lydia gets coke and Julianna gets "purple."
This is their favorite reward for helping him clean up the garage or
behaving while we are out somewhere or doing well in a swim meet, etc. 

They absolutely L.O.V.E slurpee time!
So, I'm thankful for the simple joys of life, like slurpees!

Monday, November 12, 2012

thankful (12)

I have always loved going to the mountains and would live there if we could:) 
When I was in Argentina I hiked a mountain in the Andes and it was
amazing. Since then especially I love being able to hike a mountain.

For our first anniversary we stayed at a bed and breakfast in the mountains
and went on a hiking trip that we will never forget. We found a beautiful trail
and started hiking down(that was the first mistake...we should have started hiking up).
We saw several amazing waterfalls and kept going to the bottom of the mountain.
We had not started the hike until 1:00 in the afternoon (second mistake). Nathan ended
up literally pushing me up the mountain after we got about halfway up in order to make it
back before it got dark. It was a test of endurance to say the least. 
We definitely enjoyed the beautiful hike but learned also what not to do for the
next time. 

We have also been apple picking with the girls and just recently for our 9 year
anniversary went to the mountains. We did a challenging hike but it was so 
much fun to get to the top and enjoy the incredible view. We both love challenges....
and it's nice when there is a great reward! 

Thankful for the mountains that God created! 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

thankful (11)

Natalee Renee
Her name means full of joy and if you have met her, 
you know that she is happy by nature! She loves to have fun
and play. She is full of happiness and enjoys life:)

She is getting so big and it is hard to believe that it has already been 
7 years! 

Natalee loves....
*animals-since she was little she has loved pretty much any kind of animal
*her friends- she started making friends when she was 1 year old and still has
some of the same friends today. She is always thinking about her friends and
making cards for them. She loves her friendships! 
*to be creative- she likes to make up her own art projects 
*to play- She can play for hours with just two little stuffed animals and she 
loves to go outside!
These things are true about her
N- not a morning person. she loves her sleep and does not like to be woken up:)
A- active all the time. loves to play sports!
T- thankful for her family- loves to make cards for everyone all the time.
A- able to easily make friends..very social:)
L- leader and likable- she initiates things and is liked by her friends.
E- eager to discover new things...likes to know "why"
E- excellent swimmer and loves the water! 

She was so excited about her first day of "joy school"

9 months old at the zoo

11weeks old

So thankful for Natalee Renee!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

thankful (10)

I'm thankful for cards from my kids and husband! This is one of the many things
that Natalee has given me. Almost every day she makes me something artistic
that says "I love you mom." Today she gave me a leaf necklace with "I love you." 

Nathan came home the other day with this card "just because."
I absolutely loved it! I felt so special and appreciated....and he 
did it for no special occasion. It has given me motivation the past
few days to give 100% at doing my "job" of being a wife and mom!

Friday, November 9, 2012

thankful (9)

One of the things that we have a lot of in our house is "Laughter." 
Almost every night we have to tell the girls to stop laughing so much
so that they can go to sleep. Whenever Natalee and Lydia get in a giggly
mood, it is hard to get them out of it. It is a good thing except when we are
trying to put them to bed:) I am thankful for laughter!
 I have to remind myself to just laugh about things sometimes instead 
of stressing. Like, when we are on the way home 
from church and 3 out of 4 of the girls are crying, each having their own individual
reason as to why they are crying...and the one that is not crying is complaining 
about the noise. The last time this happened I just looked at Nathan
and started laughing. It helped!...I knew that there was nothing I could say
that was going to change the situation so we just laughed. It was good! 
thankful for laughter!