Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Happy 3rd Birthday Cruz!

Happy Birthday to my baby, Christian Cruz Padron! I don't know what happens to a mother's mind & memory, but I honestly don't know where 3 whole years have gone. I love how much you love me...and I love you back twice as much. Your baby snuggles are THE best. Your kisses are THE sweetest. And I melt when you tell people your name is "Mommy's Baby." I know you are growing up to be a big boy, but for now, I'm enjoying every last baby moment!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

God dearly prizes & loves you...

Just going back through some notes I took at church this week. So many poignant thoughts I want to remember.

You are a beloved child of God. He loves you with a sacrificial love that is pure & fruitful. We are to walk in love the way Christ loved us, but if we aren't understanding the height, depth, length & breadth of his love, we won't be able to mimic and share it with the world. It's a radical love that allows us to love the unlovable. It is intentionally cultivated and produces fruit that is good, right & true. It is agape love...a love that gives what is needed, but not always what is wanted.

I am so humbled when I think about the fact that God loves me just the way I am. I am so thankful to be forgiven. I am so grateful to be a part of a church that is teaching me how much God loves me.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Icemagedon 2013

Bless our sweet little southern hearts. We just don't know what to do when the weather is cold & icey! 

They are calling today "Icemagedon 2013." 

Government offices, schools and businesses are closed.
Power is out across the metroplex.
Trees that still had their Fall leaves have grown heavy, split and fallen down.

Yes, I am worried about us surviving...but only because the boys are bouncing off the walls with cabin fever and I am ready for the men in the white jackets to knock on my door to haul me off to the funny farm! 

Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree 2013

Since the great icemagedon of 2013 have us all cooped at home today, we decided to be productive and put up the Christmas tree. We usually have it done the weekend after Thanksgiving, but this year we were running a bit behind. 

I' glad I got this one smiling picture of Noah because he has been a major TOOT today. Bless his heart, he's been in time out, grounded to his room and spanked more times than I can count. I think the ice must have his ears clogged because he is not obeying and being downright defiant.

Luke has been so helpful! He's had a great time putting the ornaments on the tree and is learning to be a real peacemaker who comes up with solutions & ways for everyone to get along. 

This was the first year that Cruzie really got in to decorating. His favorite part was, I mean hanging... the candy canes on the tree!

The obligatory Christmas picture. It makes me giggle for so many reasons. Mainly because it truly does capture the moment of today!

Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar...

...not me...couldn't be! 

 Gumdrop stole the cookie from the cookie Jar! 

Silly Gumdrop must have heard Noah inquiring if he got hungry when flying home to the North Pole each night. Noah wasn't sure if he would have time to rest or eat when making his report to Santa. I guess now we know!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Gumdrop Returns 2013!

We had begun to wonder whether gumdrop would return this year or not. Last year he appeared the weekend after Thanksgiving. This year, he took just a bit longer to make his annual grand entrance. 

With a clever poem, he reminded the boys of the rules: 
#1 - He can't talk to them with his voice
#2 - They can't touch him or he will lose his magical abilities to fly back to the North Pole each night.

This year, Gumdrop wants the boys to focus on serving others & being generous. 
To help them get started, he left an empty box they are to fill with their old toys to donate to boys & girls who are less fortunate. 

The boys were so happy to see Gumdrop! All three belted out Santa Claus is coming to TOWN!!! 

New Tradition - Watkins Turkey Trot!

On Thanksgiving Day morning, Luke & I participated in Watkins Elementary's First Annual Turkey Trot!

Yes, you can call us crazy...for a number of reasons. Maybe because we were running in 30 degree weather...maybe because we did it on what is arguably a mother's busiest day of cooking the entire year...maybe because of the crochet turkey hats we wore! 

Luke met up with some of his buddies from school to run in the one mile fun run. 

I was so proud of Luke for coming in 7th over all! 

Next year, the turkey trot is sure to be even bigger and more fun. We both decided we want to go back...and maybe even get Daddy & the little boys involved. 

Thanksgiving Week Crafts

After the first day of sleeping in on Thanksgiving break, the boredom set in. I must have heard, "Mom.....I'm BORED!" about a thousand times. So, when I was at the craft store buying yarn and saw Thanksgiving crafts 40% off, I didn't hesitate to pick some up! 

We made turkeys, foxes & owl puppets with glitter peel & stick pieces. 

And, after chasing the boys away from my "nice" bead collection, I decided to get them their own set of beads. Yes, boys like to string beads too! 


We also continued our annual tradition of Thankful Hands. 

Each boy traced their hands on colored construction paper and wrote what they were thankful for. 

 When I take these hand prints down, I file them away in my box of special things as keepsakes. I love looking back at how much their hands  have grown & what their little hearts were thankful for that year. 

Cruz's First Music Program at LAP

2013 - Learning Academy Preschool
Music Program
2 Years Old

All dressed up and ready to perform a medley of 5 Little Ducks (went quack, quack, quack), Twinkle Twinkle Little "Me" and God Created Seven Days.  

The grand finale with all the school was Thank You Lord for Making Me (clap, clap, clap, stomp, stomp stomp).

These funny little faces make my heart smile!

Every moment is our family's "last" since Cruz is the baby. They are so bittersweet and we are treasuring every one! 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Nov 2013 - Thankful for...

my boys...

What would I be without them? Who would I be? Where would I be? 

I can't imagine. 

I am so humbled God entrusted me to raise these three amazing little boys. 

They are my heart. I am their mom. I would be lost without them. 

Grateful. Thankful. Blessed.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween 2013 Recap

Halloween 2013 didn't disappoint!

We started the afternoon by making witch's broom sticks with pretzels and string cheese!

For dinner we made mummy dogs. 

The boys could hardly wait to dress up and (despite Luke's expression in this photo) they all had a great time trick-or-treating in our neighborhood...and the HUGE bag of candy we now have proves it!

We ended the night on a high note with a glow stick bath! 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Cruz - Halloween Parade 2013 LAP

Today is one of those days... my last "first" Halloween parade at LAP. 

Yes, I'm sentimental and it's incredibly bittersweet. 

Cruz L-O-V-E-S Elmo, but he just wasn't sure about the costume being over his head. 

Such a precious little class. So blessed to have Ms. Teresa & Ms. Elaine love on my last little boy!

Noah - Kindergarten Field Trip 2013

I was so blessed to be able to take the day off work to go with Noah to his first ever school field trip! 

The entire kindergarten grade went to Owen's Spring Creek Farm's Great Orange Pumpkin Patch. This year is especially sweet because they are closing down the farm this year.  

Noah absolutely adores his teacher, Mrs. Shumaker...and so do I! She has been teacher kinder for over 25 years, has been named, "Teacher of the Year" (multiple times) and is definitely doing what she was created to do! 

This is truly a special class. 

Random Funny Cruz

I completely adore my baby...even though there's not much baby left. 

I love that he tells everyone he is, "Mommy's Baby!"

I love that when he takes a bath and wants soap he says, "Dot Dot Not A Lot!"

I find it hilarious that he thinks he can put anything in the dryer and it magically comes out clean! 

Halloween Duckies in the Tub!

Granny & Gramps sent Cruz a "Mommy Approved" Halloween treat - rubber duckies for the tub! 

 Both Cruz and Noah had fun counting, arranging & squirting them. 

By the time they were done, our bathroom floor was as wet as a Slip N Slide! On the bright side, after I cleaned it up I didn't need to mop this week! 

Friday, October 11, 2013

My beloved boys, 

You will never know how hard I try to be the godly mother you deserve. You will never understand the depths to which I strive for perfection. Being a parent is hard. I do not know everything, but I know the One who does. It is that I place my hope for you. My job is to carry out God's discipline in a way that captures your heart and draws you to him. With God's grace I will get a little better at that every day. I've got a long way to go, but Praise the Lord I'm not where I used to be. More than anything else in this world, Father God has used you to perfect me. 

Forever loving you, 

All the Way
Right Away
With a Happy Heart

Proverbs 19:20, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.”

Colossians 3:20, “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.”

Ephesians 6:1-3, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.

Parenting that Facilitates Healing from Sin

Psalm 103:8, “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.”

Proverbs 14:29, “Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.”

Proverbs 15:1, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

James 1:19-20, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”

Thursday, October 3, 2013

First Day of School 2013!

I've made it! This year all three boys are in school (or preschool!) As a mom it's such a strange dynamic. On one hand I can't stop crying. The separation and letting go is a physical ache in my chest. On the other hand I am jumping for joy at the small freedom this brings a mom who has been in the "baby trenches" for 8 years. 

These milestones in life are always bittersweet chance for me to pause & ponder where our family is in its evolution and reflect back at how far we've come. I always flash to the moment of each boys' birth. It is a moment in time that will forever be marked in my mind and heart. With Noah, I also think back on those moments I watched him stop breathing and have to be resuscitated after his pyloric stenosis surgery. I then flash to first Christmas', birthdays, preschool graduations...all precious moments that have defined my life. 

Today is one of those days I want to document. Each boy is growing and special in their own way. We are beginning to see spiritual gifts develop in Luke and are praying for revelation in to his Godly purpose in life. Noah is inherently sweet (although NOT a morning person), has completely departed from anything baby and has transitioned in to a real "boy" boy - outside, dirt, bugs, worms, sticky, messy. Cruz is my baby and I'm holding on to every last little bit of that I can. I know I'll have to loosen my hold, but right now I just can't bear the thought of my last baby boy growing up...and moving on. No one ever tells you how hard this paradox of motherhood is. 

Here are a few pics of each boy on their first day of school. I am bursting with pride, swallowing tears, reveling in the quiet and can't wait until they come home to my arms. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Happy 5th Birthday Noah!!

Happy Birthday to the bravest little fire fighter I know - Nathaniel Noah! If I had to guess what you would be when  you grow up, there is no doubt it would be a fireman. You love fire trucks and going to "work" ...which you insist is the fire station at the entrance to our neighborhood. Every time you pass by you ask me to drop you off there. When I don't, you get upset and tell me you are going to be late & get fired. You are so serious about it. It makes me smile every time.

Other things you like are being outside, digging in dirt, finding worms, lizards and caterpillars. You are ALL boy - loud, sweaty, sticky, dirty and completely sweet! Your dimples and big brown eyes melt my heart. Your hugs are the best - so big they hurt! I love everything about you and am so grateful God gave you to me here on this earth.

Friday, July 5, 2013

PineCove Base Camp - Luke Summer 2013

Luke had such an awesome week at PineCove Base Camp. I knew this was something I wanted him to experience and that God would have incredible things in store, but I really couldn't imagine how fantastic it would truly be. 

Luke faced his fear of heights, trusted God, was encouraged by his friends and (most of all) had fun! He LOVED the water slide and told me about all the different ways he slid down...head first, reclining, cannon-ball style and more!

The mammoth hunt was a favorite too. Camp counselors put socks on their hands & the boys had to try to wrestle them off. Big tarps were wet down with soap & water making them super slippery. I'm certain this is one of the reasons Luke came home exhausted every night!

At the big, group rally on the last day of camp, Prince presented Luke with an award for outstanding character qualities displayed during the week. 

"Luke is brave, allowing him to approach new situations. He is insightful and able to explain difficult concepts. Luke is authentic, expressing himself truthfully. 

It was a life-changing week for Luke. We are so blessed he had this opportunity!!