Friday, October 31, 2014

Larkyn 4 months

 *Photo Credit: Angela Ross Photography*

The time is seriously flying!  I haven't sat down to blog in over a week!!  I'll try and catch up at some point, but for now I will just write about my little Larkyn.  She is 4 months tomorrow!  Woah!  I am seriously soooo in love with this little girl. Her smile melts my heart.

Things I love about Larkyn:

Her dimple
Her eyes
Her crazy hair
Her strong neck
Her "always" smile
The way she sucks her thumb
Her cuddles for Daddy

Her cuddles for Mommy
The way she puts up with her silly siblings who like to do silly things to her
Her go-with-the-flow personality
The way she intently watches her siblings at swimming lessons...or anywhere else...
Her joy
and most of all - her smile!!!  *Photo Credit: Angela Ross Photography*
This month Larkyn is just on the brink of giggling as well as experimenting with her voice (just as of the last week).  Here is a little video of what I was able to catch -

She is doing great in tummy time, and will most often role over right away on her back (due to her heavy head!)  However when she does manage to stay on her tummy she is quite focused in watching her siblings play as in this video.

Larkyn is still a champ sleeper, sleeping a full stretch from 8pm to 7am or 8 am every night.  This month she started crib naps (transitioned from swing naps or bjorn naps) and is doing great.  She will fall asleep on her own in her crib once at 9am and sleep for 30-60 minutes, once at 1 or 2 pm and sleep most of the afternoon (sometimes waking to feed once in the middle), and then one more short crib nap around 6:30pm.  We are often out and about for some mid-morning activity/swimming lesson/BSF/playdate/errand/etc between 10am and 1pm so she usually does a mid-day short nap in the bjorn or carseat.  She eats around 8am, 11am, 1pm, 5pm, and 8pm.  She really never cries unless she is hungry or tired, and even then will stop crying almost immediately when picked up.  She is such an easy, sweet, smiley, cuddly, perfect-in-every-way baby that is growing up way too fast ;).   I love you so much Larkyn Emery!!! Each day you are more fun and I am SO thankful God chose to give YOU to US!  Happy 4 months, baby girl!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Happy 1st SPIRITUAL Birthday, Summer!

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again."  

The Bible teaches that all have sinned (Romans 3:23), and that the penalty of sin is death (Romans 6:23),  and that the only one who can save us from eternal separation from God is Jesus (John 3:16).  Anyone who believes that Jesus' death on the cross paid the penalty for their sin, is saved from their sin (Acts 16:31) through Christs' shed blood on the cross (1 Peter 2:24).

Last year, on October 19th, Summer made a decision all on her own that she was a sinner and that she believed Jesus could and wanted Jesus to take away all her sins.  (Read about it here!)

As I look back through blog post after blog post of how I would describe Summer before October 19th I find excerpts like:
  •  She is also a little girl, who, when she is first given a line/boundary not to cross, will put one toe over just to see what happens.
  • There are definitely days where I just don't know what to do next to encourage our little spark-plug to be the obedient and caring person I know God wants her to be 
  • Paul and I ran up against a wall this weekend, where defiance seemed to be rampant, and time after time Summer would disobey and enjoy seeing what negative consequences would ensue

 When I look back through blog posts after October 19th I find excerpts like:
  • Her whole heart attitude changed when she misbehaved from caring about the punishment, to caring that she did something wrong. 
  • In these last 6 months, Summer has truly grown from a challenging, spirited, little kid into an amazingly mature little preschooler.
  • You have grown up SO much this past year, from being a little girl who needed lots of timeouts and correction, to a little lady who makes right choices because the Holy Spirit lives inside you and guides your paths (WHAT an answer to prayer!).  Your heart truly feels sad when you do wrong and you only need your wrongdoing to be gently pointed out for you to genuinely repent (often with tears) and change your ways.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the Holy Spirit is now living inside of Summer and has COMPLETELY changed her heart.  I am so incredibly grateful to the Lord for answering our prayer, and that Summer is following God!  She truly was born again with a new heart on October 19th, 2013, and for that reason we CELEBRATE!

This is a video of a little interview with Summer where she describes her spiritual birthday:

Any of you who know Summer know that she is a VERY outgoing little girl who will chat your ear off :).  Well, God is already using her outgoing personality to share God's word with others.  Multiple times she has shared her faith including with the older neighbors on both sides of our house - running over to tell them the Good News when she sees them on a walk or working in the yard.  She has told her good friends as well as new friends at the park whom she just met about Jesus and invites them to church.  She has even talked to a lady in the grocery store parking lot to tell her about Jesus after the lady struck up a conversation with us about my kiddos!  I just watch to see what will happen :).  She has never met a person yet who has negatively responded to the message, and I love that she knows no anxiety or "political correctness"  like many of us adults have to work so hard to overcome when sharing our faith.  She makes it look easy :).

This weekend we celebrated Summer's first spiritual birthday - one year since she was "born again". Summer received a new Bible and she has already looked through the entire Bible and we have read quite a bit together too!

 Also in celebration she got to pick what we would have for dinner (cheese tortellini)...

and a special birthday dessert:

I am so proud of you Summer and continue to pray daily that you would grow closer to God and in obedience to his Word, sharing the Good News with those you meet!  I love your conscience that makes your "heart sad" when you do something cry even without us even punishing you.  I absolutely love how you go to God right away for forgiveness and help.  You have such a tender and teachable heart and God can use that so much!  We love you!

For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 1 Peter 1:23

Raking Leaves

This morning the kids and I tackled the first 5% of our yearly yard raking.  Probably 95% of the leaves are still on our three giant trees, but even so, the yard was covered!  While Paul used his awesome muscle power to help a friend from church move,

my three cuties and I had breakfast
made a pretty impressive block tower,

and then headed outside for some fun (and work!) in the leaves while Larkyn had her morning nap.

Summer was seriously an AWESOME helper and not only raked, but also helped me bag a lot of the leaves.

Colton enjoyed raking...though sometimes he raked the leaves OUT of the pile ;)

Once we got a big enough pile to jump in the kids lost interest in the raking and had much more fun sliding into the leaves,

burying each other,

and having leaf fights (seriously their giggling was contagious as this next video shows)

They also loved jumping in the piles...I lost count how many times they jumped in they had so much fun!


haha - love this action shot of Colton chasing Summer to throw leaves at her...

After Larkyn woke up and we filled her tummy, she was ready to come out too!
Larkyn sat in the carsseat and we moved her from leaf pile to leaf pile as Summer and I bagged up our piles.

Just for fun, here is a picture of Larkyn and Summer - both sitting in the same bumbo in a pile of leaves - both 3 months - both with their puppy Tucker :) ...

Larkyn - 3 months
Summer - 3 months