Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Colorful entertainment

In our living room, we have a huge window that looks out on the back yard.  From the eve above this window we have a collection of wind chimes, a bird seed feeder and a hummingbird feeder.  The kids like watching the birds come to eat and the hummingbirds are especially interesting to all of us.  We have female Anna's hummingbirds visit our feeder year round, but haven't noticed any others until this year.

One day we were watching a hummingbird feed when we noticed a flash of red.  I was able to sneak up slowly on the bird and see it has a patch of red feathers on it's chin before it flew away.  A few minutes later it came back to feed and I was able to get our camera and sneak up on it again.

Whenever it would bend down it's head to drink, the red shiny feathers would flash.  I was able to determine this is a male Rufous hummingbird.  We only ever see one at a time, so I wonder if it is one that has a nest nearby.  We have also seen it hover in front of the window when one of the kids was sitting near it like it was looking inside.  I just love watching these little birds...they are quite amazing!  I really think the Lord must have had lots of fun when he was creating all these animals! :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

4 years old!?

How did my baby get to be 4 years old already!? What a sweet girl Sapphira is!  When people get hurt or are sad, she is quick to offer a hug and her la-lee to cheer them up.  She's a tough little cookie...she rarely cries when she gets hurt and is quick to issue a matching offense if Brother is responsible of her discomfort.  While she is terrified of most dogs (especially medium and large dogs), she is getting to be a bit of a daredevil and will try most things once.  In this last year alone, she rode a horse, helped Papa clean some fish and learned to crack eggs with Grandma...all things she would not have done just a year ago.  Her legs are finally long enough to ride her trike and she loves being able to keep up with Malachi.  Daddy is also teaching her a little bit about soccer and she loves kicking the ball with Daddy.  She is also a girly girl who loves pink, purple and Rapunzel.  Dress up is a favorite activity.  Sapphira can write her name with spelling help, knows all her letters and can count to nearly 20.  She sings constantly and ballet class has added many new moves to her dancing repertoire.  Malachi and Sapphira fight like any pair of siblings, but play together well fair more often then they bicker.  She comes up with new "games" for them to play everyday, but they play her "mommy" game everyday (she is the mom and Malachi is the child of some sort) and alternate between being a human and cat family. She is nearly finished with her first year of Cubbies at church and loves to go to club to see Cubbie bear and his friends.  She doesn't like learning the verses from her Cubbies book, but listens intently when Malachi is memorizing his Sparkies verses and tries to learn them herself.  She knows about a quarter of the books of the New Testament by heart.  I think she is close to asking Jesus to come into her heart.  She knows about Jesus and all He did for us and often asks questions about this or the lesson she heard in Sunday School class.  She was so proud when we bought her a big girl Bible this year (it's pink of course!!!) and likes to carry it around and sleep with it if we let her.  She continues to be a Daddy's girl and always goes to him for loves or help over anyone else if he is around.  Her favorite day of the week is Saturday and Sunday because they are "family days" meaning Daddy is home from work and we get to be together all day long.

Every year, we let the birthday kid pick their dinner supper.  Sapphira had a Red Robin supper planned out for a very long time.  Sapphira woke up feeling very sick and feverish on her birthday, so we couldn't go out to eat, but Daddy picked up Red Robin take out for us on his way home from work.  After supper, Sapphira got to open a couple presents from Mommy and Daddy...she was so excited!

 A Rapunzel CD for her new...
CD player!!!  Her best friend has a CD/radio player in his room and when she goes to his house they are often found in his room with a worship CD playing, dancing and singing to the music.  I knew she'd be over the moon to have her own!!  Funny story...we listened to Sapphira' new CD a couple times before bed and after being in bed for a little while, Malachi gets out of bed to tell us "I was thinking about Sapphira's new song in my head and its too loud."  Samuel said "well just think about it quieter."  "Ok" and he went back to bed...goober.

I just can't imagine life without my girl.  Happy Birthday Sapphira!!!  We love you!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

He is Risen!!!

Happy Easter!!!  I am so thankful to be able to celebrate another Resurrection Sunday!  I will be forever grateful for Jesus' sacrifice for us.  Before Natalie died, I could never fully appreciate the sorrow God had to endure watching his Son die.  Also, I was never as thankful for his resurrection so that we can be with Natalie again.  Thank you Jesus!!!

This year, we decided to be less busy since Amira is still so little.  This make things more relaxing for me, thank goodness!  We attended church, ate a quick lunch by ourselves and then headed to my Dad's parents house about 30 minutes away.  We were able to spend a quiet afternoon just visiting with my grandparents, brother and soon to be sister-in-law, my parents and my aunt and uncle.  The kids provided good entertainment, too. :)  After a couple hours there, we drove back home with three tuckered out kids.  It was a good day. 

We had to wake Sapphira up to get her out of the van to take pictures so she wouldn't smile nice for a picture.  Blowing wish flowers was ok though. 
First Easter! 
Up close and personal
Oh Bubbo...
This was as good as it got!  Don't you love their matching dresses!?  I can't help myself!
Pretty girl

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Rubba Dub Dub...

...one baby in a sink!  Poor third child.  Amira didn't get her first full home bath until she was 21 days old.  Should I just have admitted that online?  Sigh.  In my defense she didn't stink, was getting cleaned with wipes nearly every day and those 21 days felt like 4. :) 

She seems to enjoy herself.
Her hair is curly straight out of the bath, but straightens out pretty quickly once it's dry and she lays on it.  It also stays straight until it gets wet again.  Malachi's was that way as a babe and as it grew it wasn't nearly as curly as Sapphira's is.  It will be very interesting to see how it turns out.

 I kinda love those two pictures...
My favorite smell is "baby fresh from the bath".  

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The many faces of Amira...

...and I love them all!!
17 days old

Sunday, March 17, 2013

We didn't get pinched!

We typically don't celebrate St. Patrick's Day in any way at our house.  We don't tend to do the smaller holidays much (we aren't against them at all!), but I will always remember leaving the hospital after Natalie died on St. Patty's Day because the nurse who helped us fill out the paperwork to transport her the mortuary was wearing a string of green shiny beads.  It reminded me that time had not stopped outside our hospital room walls and we now had to return to real life and learn to cope with the gaping hole in our hearts.  Sigh.

Anyway...now that Malachi is in school, he's learning about these things and was told that he had to wear green or be pinched.  Malachi picked out his greenest shirt for the day, but upon looking through the girl's clothes, there was no green to be found.  Then I remembered the green fabric on my shelf and got to work on some simple and soooo stinkin' easy circle skirts.  I used this tutorial for Sapphira's skirt and this pattern for Amira's.  In just over an hour, I had these two skirts whipped up.  Loooove it!

The night before: Sapphira's just waiting for the morning to measure her waist and put in the waistband.
Matching sisters.  Sapphira was so excited!
Such a good baby sitting through church.
Green nursing toes.
Talking with Papa at lunch.
Amira: 15 days old

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Natalie's Day

Since Samuel was working on Natalie's actual birthday, we decided to celebrate Natalie on her Heaven Day.  We took the kids to see Wreck It Ralph at the $2 movie theater and had popcorn and soda while we watched.  Malachi and Sapphira really enjoyed the show and Amira was such a good baby...so quiet and snuggly.  Then we got 7 lavender balloons from the grocery store and headed home to let the kids color pictures for their sister before we let them off.
Working hard for their sister.
Malachi's picture for Natalie.  Every year we let them draw whatever they'd like which is always so sweet, but Malachi's was sad this year, too.  On the left is a drawing of our dog Duke who died several years ago.  The circle around him is the hole he's buried in.  Next to Duke is Natalie in "her hole".  He said that they are in their holes because they died and they are in Heaven now with Jesus.  Very true, sweet and sad.  Love you, Bubbo.
 Here's Sapphira's picture.  She drew her sister and then asked how to write her name.  Such a sweet girl.
Our yearly picture on Natalie's Day.  I love having the family pictures but hate that they will always be missing one member.

Malachi let his off so quickly I didn't get a picture of him with them.  Off they go! 
 So excited to send her sister balloons for her Heaven birthday.

 Off they go!
 Malachi blowing kisses.
Watching them until we couldn't see them anymore.

I'm so thankful that I am able to teach my children about their sister and do fun things in her memory, but on the other hand it makes my heart ache.  I wish they could have met her, felt how soft her skin was and heard her little noises.  I wish the fact that babies die isn't abnormal to them.  I wish I didn't have to console them because they miss their sister when my heart is aching at the same time.  I wish it could be different, but since it can't I can be glad.  Glad that they recognize her in pictures immediately.  Glad that they always remember to include her when we are counting up the members of our family.  Glad that they are looking forward to meeting her when we get to Heaven.  Thank you Lord for Natalie and take good care of her until we can again some day.  

We love you, Natalie!