Ask the Audience: Bats, of the Louisville Slugger variety

Hello there, dear readers!

While I am recovering, chasing little kids, nursing, napping, driving to doctor’s appointments resting, I thought I would put you and your endless creativity to work. = )

Here’s my situation:

While our family was in Louisville this year, we took a tour of the Louisville Slugger Museum – which was very cool. At the end of the tour they give everyone, yes everyone, a miniature Louisville Slugger bat. Everyone including our two-year-old, but that’s beside the point.

The point is that we have six bats, no, not in our house; in our car. Why? Because while my girls are pretty good, I can’t take the chance of one of them taking a swing. And all the “the kids can’t get it here places” are already taken. (Actually we have more than six because of my husband’s other trip to the museum…)

So this is where you come in. I can’t just throw or give the bats away because it was such a great memory. What I want to do is *make something* (famous last words) with the bats that will be either decorative or useful in our house. Complicating this is the matter that all our children are girls, so it can’t be too boyish or baseball-y. I’ve seen adorable headboards made out of bats, but I can’t really see that in our house.

Here is the one thing I’ve found on Pinterest:

Isn’t that sweet? I really like this one, but am not quite sure if I could pull it off. There was also a cute cupcake stand, but it only used one bat so that rather defeats the point.

What do you think I should do? What are your ideas? Suggestions? Findings? I’d love to know!!

And hopefully in about four and a half years, we’ll see what I end up making. ; )

Thanks a million,

Christie

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Zoe

Our sweet little baby is here!

Zoe Lucille was born on July 8 at 12:01 AM. She weighed 7.6 lbs. and was 20 and 3/4 in. long.

And she’s a doll. Sweet, happy, and content. We are all quite smitten with her, and I think it’s fair to say she is receiving more than her daily quota of hugs, kisses, and snuggles.

We are so thankful for a healthy delivery and baby. What a joy to be a part of God bringing a new little life into the world.

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Due dates, birthdays, what-nots and so forths

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Hello dear readers, from a nine months pregnant, not currently sleeping birthday girl.

How are ya’ll doing?

The first thing on my mind right now is how much I love my husband. I will try to spare you ushy-gushy details that you really have no desire to hear and just say that, though he’s technically not a birthday gift, he is by far what I am most grateful for right now. His love and care, his laid back, easy-to-live-with style of doing things, the way he loves our girls, the way he tells me the details about his golf outings…that, and so much more have me loving him like crazy. (also included is the fact that he totally knows that times like this can be horribly hormone-induced and gone tomorrow, but he still puts up with my sentiments.) = )

Next is that, though I’m obviously excited to have this baby, I’m so thankful for these “extra days” with our girlies. My mom is here now, so I can play and cuddle more than I feed and direct so that is making these times so special. I know that once the baby comes, they will all look so much bigger; that I will hear them laughing and playing outside my room and want to go join them, but fall back asleep from exhaustion. In some ways, I think they sense it to; I’ve been on the receiving end of so many sweet hugs and kisses. We can hold out for a few more days if that keeps up.

As far as the baby goes, I still feel really good. She still moves consistently, so I don’t feel any need to worry. I guess when you’re the fifth you have to break new ground however you can. (all the others have been early, and I am now two days late)

I dread going through labor. It’s constantly on mind. I’m trying to exchange fear with prayers for strength, faith and mercy. We never take for granted the little life that lays inside; I pray for her to be safe, to be healthy and strong. I want to hold her so badly. I pray for God to help me trust in him and rejoice in him in whatever he chooses to give us. I pray that by his grace he would be glorified.

And at night, I ask my husband to get me a watermelon airhead. And a Milky Way, just in case.

Everything is all ready, though I’ve certainly lost my ready-to-go edge. I wonder how it all will go down.

As far as my birthday goes, my list of things to do might sound a little strange. No special foods or restaurants really sound appealing. I think it might be fun to go to Salvation Army, redo a lamp just for fun, drive to Anthropologie and walk around looking for inspiration (and breathing in the awesome smells), hold my girls, and sit next to Paul at night reading together. Oh and do a workout video with my mom. I really want her to see how cute the girls are when they do it. Honestly, having a baby on my birthday would not be tops on my list, but at this point we really can’t be too picky. = )

That’s about all I have to say for now. Maybe I can fall asleep soon??

So this is how I looked three months ago - you can imagine how big I am now. Aye-ay-yay!

So this is how I looked three months ago – you can imagine how big I am now. Aye-ay-yay!

The long overdue May goals review and “plan” for June

The past month has been a blessing. I have a lot to be thankful for. When I “should” have been writing this post in May, we were packing for our first family vacation ever. And oh my, it was wonderful.

Hopefully I'll be able to share more of these pictures soon!

Hopefully I’ll be able to share more of these pictures soon!

If you remember from my very brief review in May, there were two things that consumed that month.

Paul graduating from seminary. An amazing and profoundly sweet time for our family,

He did it! Woohoo!

He did it! Woohoo!

… and Hopey finishing kindergarten. These pictures make my heart hurt; she looks so much bigger and grown up!

First day of K-5, September 2014

First day of K-5, September 2013

Last day of K-5, May 2014

Last day of K-5, May 2014

We had a special pizza lunch celebration with Paul for her last day of school. She got a special gift for finishing, too! I was so happy with how we ended and am looking forward to doing it again this year. It is amazing how much more time we have during the days now that it is summer. Homeschooling technically didn’t consume that many hours, but it surely did change the whole look of our days. I am loving summer and the girls are having a blast playing together.

So, that’s basically May in review. = )

We were able to go on vacation the first week of June and since then it has been all things baby, and house, and car, and church. Thankfully, about the third week of June my nesting instinct kicked in hard. We ran around the house doing all sorts of stuff. (Remember all that spring cleaning that wasn’t getting done? Well, nesting took care of that.) = )

After about a week of that came days of extreme sleepiness, and now I’m in a strange mix of the two. It still feels like there is a lot to do before baby comes, but I think we’d be okay. = )

So to summarize, I’m not going to list specific things for June since it is almost over. Besides that it has basically been a wild dash to do as much as possible, whatever comes into my brain or whatever I’m motivated to do at the moment.

Lord-willing, I will do a normal end of the month the post for June and make plans for July. They will be complicated. (eat, sleep, nurse)

(Okay, I wrote this a few days ago and am just now editing it and getting ready to post… we will have to see about the July goals.) = )

How were May and June for you?

Until July! = ) or if the baby comes, September! *hopefully, just kidding*

For family and friends: Super Saturday

Hope you all enjoy these pics from another one of our favorite yearly events – Super Saturday! This year was extra special because Daddy at the last minute decided to forego his studies for the morning and come with us. Everything is more fun with him!

The girls all did great. Mckayla especially loved the horses.

Enjoy!

No hesitation this year

No hesitation this year

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Not quite ready for the big slide; content to stay with Daddy and Mommy.

Not quite ready for the big slide; content to stay with Daddy and Mommy.

Waiting for the beloved horsies.

Waiting for the beloved horsies.

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Sweet smile after her first horsey ride

Sweet smile after her first horsey ride

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Bounce house!

Bounce house!

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*Side note: it took Mckayla awhile to get that bouncing here was actually okay…encouraged! But after she “got it,” wow, was she happy!

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And my favorite for last….

My sweetie who is getting way too big, way too fast.

My sweetie who is getting way too big, way too fast.

If you want to see the pics from last year, click here.

Love to all!

Christie

 

 

What the fly on the wall heard

Surprisingly, these first two are from my husband. He totally cracks me up – I thought first to put these on facebook, but then thought they’d be better here, since it’s been awhile.

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We’d been driving for several minutes where Paul and I had been quietly talking to each other with the constant interruption of “Mommy! Daddy!”

“Children!” Paul began, in a very professorial tone, “I’m trying to talk to your mother. I chose her to be my wife. I loved her and wanted to be with her and talk to her. I did not choose you. I love you very much, but you were thrust upon me. You are here no matter what. But your mother I chose. I did not have to be with her, but I wanted to and so I married her because I wanted to talk to her.”

He went on and on restating himself until finally concluding, “So please, sit there and be quiet for just a few minutes so mother and I can talk.”

It was mostly quiet with a few giggles before Sophia piped up, “Daddy?”

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The little girls were finishing getting ready for bed, I was on the couch relaxing, and Hope and Paul were talking.

He handed her a book to read to him. She didn’t want that one.

“Here, this is Anne of Green Gables; do you know what that is?” Paul asked.

Hopey shook her head.

“It’s a book that a whole lot of people like,” he began, “And do you know how many of all those people are women?”

Hope shook her head again.

“All of them.”

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A few mornings ago, we were all in the kitchen and Gracie kept opening her mouth and making an “Ah!” noise trying to get our attention.

“Gracie, what are you trying to show us?” I asked.

With huge eyes and excited voice she replied, “Two of my taste buds are stuck together and they won’t come off!”

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My children are very interested in what meats come from what animals. We’ve been eating roast beef sandwiches for lunch lately and they’ve started this funny joke among themselves. One of the little girls will say, “Mommy, what animal is this from?”

“A cow.”

“Ohhhh!” They get excited and pick up there meat to hold flat in their hand. “Would you like to pet my cow?”

I politely decline.

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Mckayla said this a few months ago, but the girls loved it so much that it has become another one of their jokes.

She was being slow to finish her lunchmeat so I kindly reminded her that she needed to finish quickly if she wanted her cookie/treat/whatever-it-was-that-day.

“Okay.” She responded happily (love when that happens), “but I can’t eat too much or I’ll have to go to the hospital.”

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Hope you enjoyed the latest installment of all the silly, random, and ridiculous things said around here.

Until next time! = )

Thoughts for when you’re late to church on Sunday morning

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I trust that at some point in my life being late to church on Sunday morning will be a thing of the past.

But with multiple small children and a husband who usually has responsibilities at church before the girls even get up, being late on a Sunday morning is a semi-regular part of my life. I will say for those who may be brand new mommies and are about to be completely discouraged, I have a way better chance of being on time now with four small kids and another on the way than I did when there was just one or two. Life really does get easier.

Because being late is now semi-regular instead of constant, I’ve started to see how much being late can influence your mindset going into corporate worship.

(This is not about how to NOT be late, it is about how I try to think WHEN I am late.)

For those who follow Christ, Sunday corporate worship is essential. It’s something we look forward to all week long. On a completely temporal level for moms with little kiddos, it can be a chance to drop them off in the nursery or Sunday school and fix your mind on eternal truths while briefly leaving behind the immediacy of diapers, feedings, discipline and endless questions.

Bottom line, we have every reason to want to be on time or even early for church.

But… sometimes we wake up late. Sometimes we’re completely unprepared from Saturday night. Sometimes a toddler chooses an inopportune time to decide he doesn’t like eggs. Sometimes fixing four heads of hair takes longer than you planned on. Sometimes you have to take a different route because of a bike race. It seems like every force in the universe is plotting to thwart your plans to be on time.

It happens.

#1 – Being late happens.

The most discouraging mornings for me are the ones where I had everything completely prepared, where I got up ridiculously early, where nothing catastrophic happened… and still I was late. How many times I have complained in my mind, What’s the point of trying so hard if I’m still going to be late?

No, you’re not a failure. No, it will not be this way forever no matter what. No, it was not a waste to try hard. Easy to write on a Monday night, but very hard to tell yourself on a Sunday morning.

Which brings me to the next thought.

#2 – Every truth that you’re going to church to celebrate and rehearse is changed NOT AT ALL by the fact that you’re late.

Just recently I’ve learned to think about this as I get the girls ready and drive to church on a morning where I know we’ll be late. The glory of Christ’s work on the cross, the grace of God in forgiving and adopting His enemies, the comfort of the Spirit teaching us every day, the hope of an eternity with Jesus as King of Kings – all of these are steadfast truths that will never change. To imagine that somehow my little being-late escapade has any impact in eternal matters is laughable. I have to make a concentrated effort to think on things that are true and good.

To beat myself up over such a thing is really just an odd symptom of self-centeredness. Believe me, on many occasions through the singing or teaching at church, the Holy Spirit has gently shown me where I was wrong, or careless, or uninterested, which caused the circumstances around being late. But I have to let Him do that. Punishing myself over being late just clouds my mind from the One who can truly search my heart. And sometimes honestly, God just gives you a peace that it was just the way it was that day and it’s okay. See #1. = )

#3 – Being late is not an excuse to sin against your children.

To ask my three-year-old who is accustomed to thirty minutes for breakfast to hurry and eat in seven is just not wise. Ashamedly, I have been through so many Sunday morning breakfast’s where I have constantly been saying, “Girls, be quiet. We have to eat. Stop talking, we have to eat. Eat faster. We only have two minutes left!” (to finish three-quarters of a plate) Not going to happen.

Lately, the Lord has been teaching me to truly own when something is my fault and not to place the blame or the burden of hurrying in this case on my girls. I need to give them plenty of time to eat. Either that or have a really good back-up eat-in-the-car plan. (which usually doesn’t work anyway) Complete aside: Did you know my kids won’t even Pop-Tarts fast on a Sunday morning? Oh, the strategies I have tried to save time. Seriously! They didn’t even eat the Pop-Tarts. Like I’m giving you sugar you’re normally not allowed to have, but nope.

But I digress. When one of them comes to me crying and stomping because she can’t get her arm through her sleeve (and is not really even trying because of a bad attitude) I still have to respond with kindness and wisdom. Patience doesn’t get temporarily marked off the list from 7-10 on Sunday morning.

One of the biggest reasons I want to have everything ready for Sunday morning is so my girls can remember it as a time of joy, of looking forward to going to church together. I don’t want it to be a time of snapping and nagging, of empty stomachs and rumpled clothes all in the name of keeping up appearances for this weekly event.

When the mornings come where I know we’ll be late, I have to choose to still be like Christ. To still let the gospel adorn my speech and actions inside this house where only the little people see. I hope that His kindness and love is what they will remember.

#4 – Understand that others probably understand.

I have a particular problem with my pride where being late is concerned. I’m a pastor’s wife and I should be able to get there on time, right? I love to be early. I want to see people and talk to them and not have to slip in like a loser five minutes after everything has started. I don’t want people to think that I don’t care. But when I apologize all over myself or refuse to be consoled by people who assure me it was like that for them at this time of life, I’m really just revealing how concerned with my image I am.

Life will move on. Another chance to be on time will come in just seven more days. More than likely I’m a harder judge of myself than those around me. Get over it and keep going.

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One of the biggest benefits of controlling your mind when you’re tempted to bottom out because of being late is that it helps you to enter into the worship service sooner. This is what I mean: when I (89% of the time) am so upset over being late, I have to spend a lot of the Sunday school or worship hour getting over the usual mental clutter that comes with being late. Which means I am completely deaf to the truths being sung or taught. I’m oblivious to the help and comfort that is right around me. However, when I set my mind to rejoice anyways, or maybe to be late rather than getting upset at my kids… I can sit down in the service and begin soaking it in immediately.

This in the long run is much more beneficial than being punctual but frazzled or grumpy.

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Now, if you think I’m trying to just make excuses for being late, I’m not. There are so many reasons to be early, and I promise I try every single week to be early. In fact, it was one of my New Year’s Goals and there’s actually been a lot of improvement. Yay!

I could write an equally long post about what I do to try to be early; things that have worked and have not worked -like the Pop-Tarts. But one, there’s already posts out there like that, and two, I think it’s important to think through how we respond even when things don’t go according to our desires or plans.

This may seem like a tiny topic, but I have found it to have a huge impact on my Sunday’s, my family, and my week.

Thanks for reading my thoughts; I’d love to hear yours!