Thursday, June 25, 2009

Silly Boys and Salad

Tonight Justin and I cut some lettuce for dinner. The whole time Justin is telling me he doesn't want to eat salad because he doesn't like it! Hopefully someday he will enjoy his greens. :) I asked the boys to smile..."say cheese"...and this is what I get. J.R. is even acting silly like his big brother! It is a real joy to watch my baby grow into a little boy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mommy's Vacation

At least I feel like I am on vacation! This week Jared and Jesse are at their grandparents' house. They were so excited to be with Grandma and Papa and to attend their vacation sports camp. (I was excited for them because I have such fond childhood memories of spending a few weeks in the summer with my grandparents.) With those two gone, I only have the two younger ones in my care....and it seems so easy. BJ and I were talking about how ironic it is that when we only had two children, we thought it was so hard and overwhelming! It is funny to see how perspective changes and how much we have grown as parents to be able to handle all four. :)

Yesterday and today I helped with registration for CCCoG's VBS. Justin is in a class for the first time and J.R. is in the nursery. This means that after we check all the kiddos in, I have about two hours to myself!!! I hardly know what to do with my time! Today I stopped at safeway for a few groceries... and a treat for me....and then came home to finish the quilt top I have been working on for a long time. I think I started this project over three years ago! It felt like such an accomplishment to get the top done.

I thought I better take a picture because it could be another three years before I finish quilting it. :)

I do miss my older boys. I am also realizing what a big help they are to me as I unload the dishwasher and sort the laundry!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ten Years!

Friday was our ten year anniversary. I can hardly believe we are at ten years already. This anniversary wasn't celebrated the way we had hoped because of all the craziness in life right now, but we will plan to really celebrate next year...Lord willing!
When I think about the many things the Lord has taught us and the many ways He has blessed our marriage, I am filled with thanksgiving. I am so glad BJ asked me to be his wife. :)

Our little ring bearer...and other wedding shots

Jameson and Blaze are now husband and wife! BJ had the honor of marrying the couple and Justin was their ring bearer. The farm where the wedding was held was absolutely beautiful! And although it rained at the rehearsal, the wedding day weather was dry. Justin was pretty serious about his role as ring bearer. After the rehearsal he told me how excited he was to sleep on his new pillow! :) Audrey, our cousin, was the flower girl.

Our handsome Justin!We had so much time to kill before the wedding ceremony. Because of pictures we arrived 3 1/2 hours early...after a 2 1/2 hour drive. Needless to say, our boys were going crazy! The landscaping at this place was amazing, but trying to keep four boys off the rocks and out of the water was difficult. Let's just say that at one point we had four little socks drying on the windshield of our car!

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Bratcher!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Grandma and Papa's visit

Monday through Wednesday my mom and Ray were here to see us. The boys are always so excited to have grandparents visit them! On Tuesday, we went to Fort Lewis to shop at the commissary, then hit Cabela's on the way home. Talk about a boy's dream boys would love to shop if every store was like Cabela's! I didn't take too many pictures on this visit, but we did get a few on this day.
Their displays are amazing. Jared and Jesse wanted me to take a picture of every
"stuffed" animal! :)
That evening the weather was perfect for hanging out outdoors.

J.R.'s new thing is to wear daddy's hats.
Thank you so much for coming to see us Grandma and Papa!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Guess What?

We are very excited to announce that we will be having another boy!!! Our baby's due date is November 4th.

This ultrasound appointment was full of mixed emotions. When we chose to have another baby, it was because we really felt God wanted us to have another child...boy or girl. Of course there is a strong desire in my heart, and even BJ's, for a baby girl....but I will choose to trust that the Lord knows best and love this baby growing inside of me. The boys were really wanting another brother. When we shared the news with our boys, Jared said "YES, now I can stop worrying about it!" I figured they had enough playmates but I guess the more the merrier. :) Justin had told me earlier in the day that he wanted another brother "because I like boys, actually."
I can't believe I will be a mommy to FIVE boys! :)
p.s. I bought a really cute skirt for myself after the appointment. I told BJ that I deserve it...especially since we will be saving lots of money by having another boy!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Lewis County Fashion

It is funny how the right outfit can make a boy beg to do a job! We found these Carhartts for Jesse at a garage sale this past weekend. He was so excited to show daddy his find...and to look just like him!
Big boy job.

Little boy job. :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Steam Train

Today was a homeschool field trip on the steam train. We had a nice time eating our lunch and viewing the scenery on the one hour trip. To be honest, I was a little surprised that the boys didn't get bored, but they enjoyed it. :) I am really missing BJ on Mondays, but thankfully I had plenty of friends to visit with. It is so nice to be a part of this homeschool community.

I couldn't resist putting J.R. in Jared's old Halloween costume for this adventure! For most of the trip, J.R. just sat next to me, holding his crackers.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Skillet Spaghetti

This is a great recipe I got from an old Taste of Home magazine. My recipe shows that I tried it for the first time in July of 2002. We loved it so much, I even wrote "family meal" at the top thinking ahead to the days of feeding more children! Because you cook the spaghetti in the sauce, it cuts down on the number of dirty dishes and steps. The boys all look forward to this meal...and now even J.R. enjoys it!

Skillet Spaghetti

1 lb. ground beef
3 c. water
2 (11 1/2 oz.) cans tomato juice (2 3/4 c.)
1 (6oz.) can tomato paste
2 T. dried minced onion
1 to 2 T. chili powder
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 pkg. (7 oz.) spaghetti (I use the whole wheat kind)

In a skillet, cook gr. beef; drain. Add remaining ingredients, except the spaghetti, and bring to a boil. Add uncooked spaghetti. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the spaghetti is tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with parm cheese.


Holy Flips

I thought this was very humorous and sweet at the same time! Old Navy is having a "design a pair of flip flops" contest for children. My boys contemplated what they should draw for a long time. We talked about a zoo theme or farm theme. Jesse tried doing a swirly design but wasn't happy with it. Finally, on their own, they both decided on a more Biblical theme. It is a little hard to see, but Jesse's have the three crosses on a hill and say Holy Bible on the bottom. Jared's have a picture of the son of God and say John 3:16. This theme probably guarantees a no-win, but like I told the boys, maybe their flip designs will be a witness to one of the judges. (Of course, I don't even think I will be making it up to Olympia to turn them in by the deadline!) If I do get there, and you see these holy flips on the shelf, you will know who won! :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

God is Good

Today was kind of a rough day for me. There is so much on my heart right now. This morning a dear friend from our church lost her battle with cancer. She leaves behind a husband and three children (jr. higher, sr. higher, college age). BJ and I are grieving for this family, but are assured that she is in heaven. Her faith was something else...and we watched it grow in that family throughout the past year as she fought for her life. Please keep this family in your prayers.

I also don't know what to think of our future. It has been a little difficult adjusting to BJ's new routine now that he is working a construction job, taking a class, and starting his seal coating business. I kind of miss the days of unemployment.

I wish my mom didn't have cancer. I don't want her to have to go through this. Cancer is just so scary. Please pray for my mom.

While I was doing laundry, Jesse wrote this on the chalkboard. It really encouraged me. I don't understand a lot of things, but at least God knows and is in control...and He is good.

"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust." Psalms 91:1-2

Portland Weekend

We had a full, but fun weekend. My mom had to be in Portland for a few tests at OHSU, so we came up to spend some time with her and Ray. It was a HOT day for the zoo, but thankfully there were a lot of shaded areas. Although it was a short visit, I am glad we had this time together.

I love this picture. My boys are meeting one of their long lost relatives. Ha! (A little George humor!) As soon as this Orangutan spotted my boys and their crackers he headed over for a closer look.
A trio of eagles in their nest.

I think the giraffe was the favorite animal of the day. The boys were impressed with it's height.

Jamie and Blaze's shower

This past weekend we went to Portland to spend time with my mom and Ray and to attend a shower for Jamie and Blaze. Sheila and Kaelene did a great job with the game. Jamie and Blaze each modeled an apron chock full of domestic goodies. We were supposed to memorize every item for the quiz later on. Yikes! These questions were detailed....What color were three out of four straws on Blaze's apron? Anyway, the best part was watching BJ and Nathan try to answer the questions about Jamie's items. My detailed husband missed all ten!!! Our boys got a taste of this shower thing...and now understand why they are usually for women! :)

J.R. got reaquainted with his cousin.

We are anticipating the wedding in a couple more weeks. It is weird to think that when I married BJ, Jamie was around 12 years old! Jamie found a great girl...and it will be fun to watch them grow as a couple.