Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Egg Hunt

On Sunday after church, I hid our Easter eggs for the kids to find. I have to get more creative every year, because the kids keep getting smarter!

Matching up colors is a classic egg-hiding trick.
Green egg, hidden in a tree branch, also a classic choice.

I like to follow the kids around and take pictures of how stinkin' close they were to an egg without seeing it. I've circled the eggs in each of the following pictures:

I love this one! They each had a "special" egg with a prize inside. In this picture they are each standing right next to their own egg! I crack myself up.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday

Well, last night Selah had a fever of 104.8 ... so no church for the two of us today! She's doing fine otherwise, and I'll probably end up taking her to the doctor tomorrow. Her fever is down today, thankfully. When Daddy and the big kids got home from church this morning I dressed Selah up in her Easter dress and snapped a few pictures of my three babies.

Selah was crying so I told everyone else to cry, too.

Done modeling and ready for her nap!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Substitute Teacher

One day last week Kaity taught school. It's a natural fit for her, that's for sure! She did the whole day's worth of history, Bible, reading, handwriting, math, read-aloud, etc. with Joe, and did her own schoolwork, too. It was pretty impressive.

Kaity's expression here is hilarious! She's fussing at Joe for not sitting still.

Joe is giving his best salute and saying, "Yes, Ma'am!" here.

These pictures were all taken while Kaity was doing Joe's quiet time with him. She's reading a chapter in Proverbs ... I think this was Thursday so it would have been chapter 14.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Jehovah Jireh - Our Provider

More than usual lately, our budget has been tight. Last week, The Mortgage was due, meaning that we would have a very slim budget for gas and groceries. Add in rising gas prices and unavoidable back-and-forth driving to different places and that equals a nearly non-existent grocery budget! Even worse, Jeff told me that next week wouldn't be any better. I did my best, buying only essentials that would take us through the week, possibly two weeks, with minimal cost and maximum nutrition. (Praise the Lord we had some meat stocked in the freezer from a deer-hunting friend and past sales at Kroger.) So, armed with our little bit of groceries and a lot of prayer, we headed into this week prepared to (probably literally) tighten our belts.

Last night, we had our usual crowd of "college people" over to hang out after church. The first blessing we experienced was that one couple brought in a whole pizza plus a few more slices that were leftover from their dinner. I had been standing in the kitchen wondering what in the world Jeff and I would eat! (The kids were already eating.) Next, one of the young men entered carrying a black trash bag and I teased him about bringing his laundry over. He just smiled and put the bag down out of the way. A few minutes later, he handed Jeff an envelope with our names on it. Inside was a letter from him thanking us for the ministry that we have for the college and career group. It was very sweet and thoughtful and it made me tear up. Jeff and I hugged him and thanked him. Then he reached for the garbage bag and pulled out the most enormous ball of yarn I had ever seen. Seriously. This thing was huge! Turns out there were something like 21 different colors of yarn wrapped around our gift inside - from dark to light! I started unrolling, then the young man showed me how to go about it much more efficiently, and eventually I made it to the white yarn wrapped around the blessing in the center.  It was a gift card to Wal-Mart!

We never cease to be amazed by God's provision in our lives. He is Jehovah Jireh - our Provider - in so many ways to us. We had prayed that God would give us grace to get through these next couple of weeks, to give me wisdom in making the best of what we had, and to simply provide enough for our needs. We are inexpressibly thankful to Him for tender care over us.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Green-Eyed Monster

So Selah has developed the "Third Child Syndrome" - namely, that SHE'S the baby, and not you. And by "you" she means Kaity and Joe. Daddy and Mommy are not actually allowed to snuggle the big kids with suffering the consequences of Selah's squeals and complaints.

Here she's just verbally expressing her angst over Joe receiving the attention.

Now she has moved on to the physical stage of yanking on Joe's pantleg, attempting to dislodge him.

Sweet victory! Smiles abound.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Two Perspectives

I always find it interesting when random strangers come up to tell me things about myself or my family. Usually it's amusing or kind and makes for a fun story to tell later. Today in Chick-fil-A was one of those times. A little old man with a white pencil mustache (think Vincent Price) came up to me.

"Are all three of these children yours?"
"Yes, sir, they are."
"Well, you better stop then! I had five and I'm tellin' you what ..."

It is my experience that they don't usually "tell you what". We're all probably better off that way! But then at the end of our meal, an elderly lady stopped by when Selah caught her attention.

"Aren't you a beautiful baby?" she cooed at Selah. "I bet you just spread sunshine everywhere you go!" Looking around the table at Kaity and Joe, she continued, "I'm sure they all do! Aren't they a blessing from the Lord?"

Yes. Yes, they are.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Composition: Bored with a Camera

This is what I got to look at during the whole drive to North Carolina:
It was awesome.

Extreme close-up!
"Look, Jeff! Stop so I can take a picture!"

Green Apple flavored Tootsie Pop
No, Jeff doesn't know I'm posting these pictures. Why do you ask? Ooh, here's one of ME ...

We also listened to:

part of a Hercule Poirot mystery, read by Hugh Fraser
part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, read by the amazing, incomparable Jim Dale
ALL of the songs on Jeff's MP3 player
the sound of no one arguing, crying, complaining, or asking questions.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Atlantic Beach

Tuesday night we drove over to Atlantic Beach just to dip our toes in the Atlantic Ocean. It was COLD.

And back in our room by sunset. 

Thursday, April 07, 2011

13th Anniversary

About a year and a half ago, when I was still preggers with Selah, Jeff informed me that he was taking me away for our 13th anniversary so the baby had to be weaned by April 2011! We've missed our little getaways, and I'm so glad that we had one this year! We went to coastal North Carolina to stay in a bed and breakfast while the kiddos had a mini-vacation with Grammie and Bobba. We're incredibly thankful to have such wonderful parents who could care for our babies while we were away.

Jeff and I stayed at the Harborlight Guesthouse and it was a delight! Here's our room:

The view:
From our deck

Overlooking Bogue Sound

And, finally, us ...

It was a little windy. Ha!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Actual After-Dinner Conversation

Jeff: "What is she eating off the floor?"

Jeni: "If it's under her highchair it's probably fine."
Jeff: (laughing) "Nice. Way to go, Mom!"
Jeni: "Eh, she's my third."

Friday, April 01, 2011

April Fool's Day!

Today I continued what has become an April Fool's Day tradition - I made a "backwards dinner". I knew last year's dinner would be hard to top, but I was determined! I've actually had the "dinner" portion decided on since last year. I added the recipe to my virtual recipe box on Taste of Home's website and have been anxiously awaiting April 1!

This year's choice was Faux Chicken Nuggets. I served them with "honey-mustard sauce" - yogurt, which I combined with cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel sauce, and yellow food coloring. You should have seen the kids' faces! I had the nuggets ready on a cookie sheet and, holding it with an oven mitt, I placed them on their plates with a spatula. Immediately they turned up their noses - they don't like honey-mustard - and Joe noticed that they were cold. Jeff figured it out at that point and told them to try it anyway. Kaity barely dipped her first nugget and cautiously nibbled a corner. A grin spread across her face, then Joe tried his and they looked at each other and started laughing!

They were completely surprised!

"Dessert" was cupcakes - actually mini-calzones.