blog hopping...

i have a long list of blogs on my google reader that i follow - yes, by the way, i switched to google reader from bloglines - i like it so much better. anyway, sometimes if i have caught up on reading the blogs i regularly follow, i will check out other people's blogs and "blog hop". i even "blog shop" - meaning if i like what i read and see - or more likely if i feel like i can relate to the writer i will add them to my google reader. i probably have about 50 blogs that i follow right now. it is a little bit of an addiction. but it is fun!

when i am blog hopping i start with a person's blog and will choose another blog from their blog roll and then on that blog i will find another to hop to. i don't do this often, but when i do i feel like i hear from God while reading the blogs i hop to and from. often, i will find a blog which tells the story of a mom who has lost a baby or babies. these are the hardest for me to read, but i still will read. i am always in tears as i read about the pain and suffering they have endured. i am always amazed at the strength they have. i always say that i don't know how they are surviving with such tremendous loss. it is a loss i do not understand. i can not imagine what they are going through.

after reading their stories and shedding my tears, i am always so thankful that i haven't been through what they have been through. i always pray to God and just praise Him for the four babies he has given me. i feel so blessed to have had four healthy babies who are still here with us on earth.

i found a blog tonight that was the story of a mom who lost her little baby just minutes after he was born. it was predicted that he would be stillborn or only live a short time, they knew that while she carried him for nine months. i just can not imagine. this sweet baby was born a day after my sweet baby girl. again, i just praised my Heavenly Father for my sweet baby girl who will be five months old next week. i have been blessed to spend every day with her since she was born. i have been able to love on her, kiss her, nurse her, listen to her giggle, watch her grow and watch her look at her big brothers and sister in awe.

i have had a hard time with jaelyn getting bigger and knowing she is my last baby. but what a blessing to watch her grow and thrive. i am going to remind myself that there are moms out there who have not experienced what i am experiencing...for the fourth time.

i am so grateful to be able to read blogs while i blog hop that remind me to appreciate evey gift i have been given.


under construction (again)...

i am switching to a 3 column blog....so fun!!! please bear with me as i am in the midst of rearranging and redecorating some things on here!


home style...

i really do enjoy making our home look nice. i don't get to spend a lot of time or money doing it but i do get my fix by doing some simple things like rearranging furniture, adding a new (or reintroducing an old) decoration, finding a fun way to organize or just putting out a pretty vase of fresh cut flowers. currently i have one project in the works and i have a few ideas up my sleeve. i am working on creating a command center, which i will post about later. i have always wondered what my style is and then i read my friend stephanie's blog today about this fun website and i thought i would check it out. if you love decorating your home and want to figure out your style you should check it out too!

i took the quiz and it told me that my style is:

Your personal style is a mix of 3 specific styles:

i tend to agree with it!!! if you take the quiz, please share your results with me!!


blog giveaway...

i started reading this blog right after jaelyn was born. this blogger momma has a baby just a few weeks older than jaelyn, her name is ivy. my friend, marybeth told me about her blog!!! all that to say...over at adventures in babywearing, stephanie is having a blog giveaway!! you should go and check it out and enter it!!! she is trying to decide on a fabulous piece of jewelry for herself from lisa leonard designs. i checked out the goods and i love her stuff too! stephanie will be giving 2 gift certificates to lisa leonard designs to her 2 winners!! leave her a comment and you can enter too!! i gave her a suggestion on what she should get for herself. with mother's day coming up, i might have to drop a few hints to this idea for myself. what piece do you like for me? maybe something using my j crew or j's...hmmm i don't know.....

and what piece would you like for yourself? (just for fun on my blog...no, i am not giving anything away here...not yet!)


itzbeen how long???

with a busy and hectic schedule of managing four children, a husband and a home, i must admit that i was often asking myself (or my hubby!) these questions about caring for our sweet baby girl...
when was the last time she ate?
or which side did i nurse on last ?
or how long has she been asleep?
or awake?
or how long since she has had her diaper changed?
and even what time is it?

and then i found this awesome baby product which tells me how long "itzbeen"!

what is this little thing?? it is an itzbeen baby care timer. it answers all of my questions that i was often asking.

how it works??? you press the corresponding button and it will keep the time for you. it keeps track for you how long it has been since you fed, since she has been asleep or awake, since her diaper was changed. there is a button you could use for keeping track of medicine or whatever else you'd like. it also has a clock on it to tell you what time it is. there is also a little button that keeps track of which side you nursed on last. you can lock the timer so that little hands can't reset the buttons. you can also set it and use it as an alarm to remind you it is time to do whatever task you want to have scheduled (great for those babywise mommas!). the little gadget lights up so you can use it in the middle of the night too!

what a lifesaver!!! i love this baby product. it has been very helpful and helps me to be even more organized!!! bonus for me i paid nothing for it - i used a walmart gift card we had. i got it from walmart.com and had it delivered site to store. my sweet hubby even saved me from having to step foot into walmart (not a huge walmart fan) and picked it up for me.

if you have a baby and often ask how long itzbeen....you gotta have one of these!!!


change something, change nothing...

once a month i meet with an awesome group of friends. we gather for a night of fellowship, discussion, food, prayer and fun! i love this group of friends. i enjoy our time together so much. this past week when we met our lovely hostess opened up our discussion time using some "heart to heart" cards - great for icebreakers. we don't need to break the ice, we have no problems talking but they are so fun to do. each lady grabbed a card with a question on it, we went around and read the question and answered it. my question was..."if you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?" hmmmm....

i had such a hard time answering that question. in the past i could have given a list of things that i would have wanted to change about my life. bigger house, bigger vehicle, more money, less debt, more kids, less kids, longer hair, smaller body, etc. but this time i was speechless. i couldn't really answer this question. maybe i was taking it way too deep and making more out of it than i should have. maybe i should have come up with something. there are things that would be nice to have in my life. like a play room or more time for myself. but there is nothing i would want to change. i am truly content. i don't want any more.

i have come a long way. i used to feel so much discontentment. and want to change so many things about my life. now, i just want to focus on what i have and how can i do my best with what i have been blessed with. i wouldn't want to change anything, i just want to get better at balancing and enjoying what i have. i am content.


bloggy award...

today, i was visiting adventures of a minivan mom and my friend, susan was giving out this too cute award! wouldn't you know it...she gave my blog a bloggy award! wow - how fun! i must say i am a little bit "bloggy blind" when it comes to putting these buttons and doing all of that stuff on the sidebars, (like blog lists, followers, and other things i see on other people's blogs). but i might have to start doing a little of this and that. anyway, thanks to susan for the award! now it is my turn to nominate 1o bloggers. i follow a lot of blogs - it was hard to choose just 10. i chose 10 real life friends who blog!

So, here are the rules:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs (ok, i did 11) which show great Attitude and/or
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on
their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you
received your award.

I nominate:

1. because of love
2. dooley clan
3. what if
4. tennyson talk
5. teri sue's thoughts
6. w4torock
7. mourning into dancing
8. we are here!
9. patti's chat
10. hemphill hub
11. schleicher family

hold them even longer....

being a mom of four has taught me a lot. one thing i have learned is that children do not stay small for very long. oh, how the time flies by! one day they are newborn babies and the next day they are heading off to school. so i have adopted this belief about holding my babies. some people say if you hold your baby too long it will spoil them - i don't believe that at all. i feel that just when you are thinking you have held them too long, hold them even longer. because they are only small for such a short time, enjoy every minute holding them. and when they get bigger and want to hug on you, hug on them because before too long they won't want you to hug them or hold them at all. so my piece of advice for new moms is to hold your babies even longer than you think you should be. i don't think i have ever heard a mom say i wish i would have held my baby less. i have heard moms say the opposite. i don't want to look at them when they are grown and say i wish i would have held them more. go hold your baby or hug on your kids extra long today!!!


little lion...

our little bear (jordyn's nickname) was a little lion for her kindergarten class production of the circus. my pictures are not the greatest. my camera just doesn't do a great job when it comes to pictures of school events.

on february 6, we went to see the union academy kindergarten circus. it was really really cute. a few weeks before the big show, a paper came home from her teacher assigning each child a part in the circus. i must say jordyn was disappointed that she was not assigned to be an acrobat. that was what she wanted to be. what little girl doesn't want to wear her ballet outfit to school?? and jordyn being all girl and loving ballet, her heart's desire was to be an acrobat. but she was assigned to the role of an animal (lion, tiger, etc). being that we had a lion costume already we choose that! jordyn was such a good sport, she did not complain one time about not being an acrobat. i could tell she wanted to be dressed up like the girls who were playing that part. but shed didn't make a fuss. i was so proud of her. she is turning into such a sweet big girl!! our little bear is growing up! i can't believe she is in kindergarten already!


long holiday weekend recap...

we had a fun and busy three day multi holiday weekend! on friday, the big kids had a half day of school. i picked them up and we met the prevettes at the park! we grabbed some lunch and had a fun afternoon. the weather was beautiful!!

jesiah had fun even though it doesn't show!

josh took a pic of chelsea and me wearing the babies, jaelyn and ashton!

my boys!

on saturday we surprised our kids with a visit from our good friends, the wilkerson's! they live near atlanta and came into town for a weekend visit. we spent a few hours with them. the kids were so surprised to see their kids! here is a photo of joshua and elijah. the boys are three days apart and best of buddies. i wish we would have taken more pictures. the day went too fast. we were able to see them again the next day. the came to elevation with us and we grabbed some lunch afterwards. we had a great visit!!!

jordyn is the only big girl in the group -
she played dress up while they did their boy stuff!

saturday was also jaelyn's first valentine's day!! here she is wearing some cute heart outfits!!

my sister along with some help from my parents watched the kids for us so we could go out for dinner! what a great valentine celebration!! thank you julie, mom and dad!!! we had a wonderful dinner at maggianos and did a little window shopping at south park mall! here we are before we left!

on sunday we did our elevation thing!!! jamil served in the morning at providence and butler! i headed back up to mcglohon to help with the ekidz volunteers! it was so fun!! i love to serve at a church as awesome as ours!!! we were planning to head back to church to the 6 pm service that night but i was feeling yucky from the cold my kids so lovingly shared with me, and we decided to pass. i will have to catch the sermon online tonight!

on monday with a day off of school and off of work for jamil, we planned to take the kids roller skating until we found out they were closed. instead we had an errand to run in pineville and took the kids to a huge indoor play place! here is a quick photo i snapped before we left!

we had a great family weekend despite the kids getting over the colds and me getting one! now i will start the week off feeling under the weather - no fun. hopefully it will be a quick one!!!


things i love about jaelyn...

i love her disposition - so easy going - she is such an amazingly easy baby.

i love her little dimple!

i love her sweet chubby cheeks!

i love her little voice, she is learning to squeal and belly laugh!

i love what a good sleeper she is!

i love that she is a mommy's girl.

i love that she resembles me and my sister when we were babies.

i love how she watches her brothers and sisters. she looks up to them already.

i love her beautiful brown eyes.

i love how bright she is already at four months old!

things i love about jesiah...

i love how full of life jesiah is. he loves life and being alive.

i love how he loves to dress up. he is always dressing up as some superhero!

i love how he is so easy going and laid back! he is so carefree!

i love that he will wear his pajamas all day long!

i love when he is being really sweet to jealyn.

i love how he hates getting dirty but can make the biggest mess!

i love how sneaky he can be when he wants to drink my coke or eat some candy.

i love how he says the wildest things.

i love how he makes us all laugh.

i love that he is full of energy but more than happy to cuddle up with his mommy!

i love how he tells me what a good mommy i am.

i love that he looks up to his big brother and worships the ground he walks on.

i love when he wrestles with his daddy.


things i love about jordyn...

i love jordyn's beautiful curly hair.

i love how girly girl jordyn is. she loves to dress up and look pretty! she loves wearing dresses.

i love when she walks around the house in little plastic dress up shoes.

i love how compassionate she is for others. she has a heart for other people.

i love how she is really learning to read!

i love watching her leave for school with a backpack about as big as she is.

i love that she will stand up for herself when her brothers try to bother her.

i love watching her play and care for jaelyn.

i love that she is the easiest kid to put to bed. she knows when she is tired and doesn't hesitate to go to bed! always been like that even as a baby.

i love that she can tell us about everyone and everything in her class. she is a social butterfly.

i love that she just loves her mommy! she spends many afternoons writing me notes and coloring me pictures.

i love that she is beautiful inside and out!!!

i love that she is very smart and interested in learning.

things i love about joshua...

i love how much energy joshua has. he loves to be moving, running and karate chopping all of the time!

i love how intelligent he is. he is very bright. there are few things we can put past him.

i love how strong willed and determined he is. even though it can be hard to parent him we know he is going to make something of himself one day!

i love when he tries to do the right thing and uses his leadership skills.

i love watching him play guitar hero on his playstation.

i love how he spends a long time in the mirror fixing his hair. he is determined to have his hair long and straight. or spikey like pastor steven's.

i love when he plays speedhawks with his sister and brother. it is a little club they made up. too cute.

i love how he can be really laid back and careless. and at the same time he can have a type a personality.

i love when he is seeking God and doing what God would want him to do.

i love how cool he is! he is a really cool kid!!

i love his smile.


things i love about my husband...

i love how my husband is so selfless. he puts everyone else and their needs before himself.

i love my husband's sense of humor. he always makes me laugh and smile even on a real tough day or when i get angry at him.

i love how laid back my husband is. he is so easy going and very few things bother him.

i love how no matter how bad my meals (or lack there of) sometimes can be, he still eats whatever is on the table

i love his gift of encouragement. he encourages people effortlessly. it is purely a gift.

i love what a man of God he is. his character and who he strives to be is flawless! he is serious about his relationship with God.

i love how good he is with our kids. he is such a great daddy.

i love watching him hold our baby girl. she has him wrapped around her finger already!

i love how he plays his music really loud in his car. even when he takes the big kids to school.

i love that how much he helps me around the house and with the kids. he has no problems stepping right in and helping me out.

i love how he tries to surprise me with things, even though i don't really like surprises!

i love his servant's heart. he always wants to serve and bless others. and he does a great job at it.

what do you love about your husband?

(thanks to holly for a great idea for a valentine's week post! i am also going to use holly's idea and create posts on what i love about my kiddos....stay tuned throughout the weekend for those!)


one year later...

one year ago today i found out i was pregnant with this precious little baby girl!!! i prayed so hard for this baby. yesterday, i was reading in my journal from about a year ago. i wrote about how much i desired to be pregnant again. i was so uncertain of God's plan for my life, for our life. i was so fearful to add another baby when we were struggling financially. i specifically prayed for and asked God to bless our family in such a mighty way that only we would know it was Him. i prayed for so many things to fall in place and line up so that we could have another baby. oh my gosh, how He did that. He didn't just answer one prayer, He answered all of them. just weeks after this journal entry i praised Him for answering my prayers when i got a positive pregnancy test. i was still not sure at that time about the rest of the prayers. but a year later, He provided for all our needs and so much more. i feel so blessed and so thankful for how He works in my life.

today, she had her four month check up!!
hop on over to jaelyn's blog to read about it!!

tiny hands...

i love jaelyn's tiny hands, they are so sweet. when she was first born, i would hold her tiny hands when i would nurse her and i have continued to do that. now at four months old, when i nurse her, she knows the routine, she will reach out and look to hold my hand. it is so sweet.

jaelyn has been using her hands a lot more lately. she will reach out to touch toys and other things in her line of sight. she will also bring the toys to her mouth. and if she isn't holding a toy, she will bring her hand to her mouth and suck on her little fingers. so sweet.

i have always been bothered by people touching my babies when we are out in public. now, i am not bothered by friends or family touching my babies. but i can not stand it when complete strangers come up and touch on my babies. it is a total invasion of space. and of course the thought of germs freaks me out.

i have found two things to that help with limiting this.

1. wearing my baby in a sling. i am a babywearer and love my sling! when i wear my baby, strangers are less likely to invade my space to reach in and touch the baby in the sling! marvelous!!! i just realized i don't have a photo of me wearing jaelyn yet. but i do have a photo of my second favorite thing...

sign reads: please wash your hands
before touching mine

2. the little pink sign that hangs on jaelyn's infant seat. i LOVE this sign. i receive so many compliments on it. the lactation consultants and my pediatrician love it too!!! so many people have asked me where i got it. i received it as a gift from my dear friend, amy. amy received the sign when she brought her newborn twins home from the nicu. the hospital gives them out, but i think only when a baby is discharged from the nicu. she ordered mine from their website and gave it to me as a gift! you can go here to check it out! you can get them in pink, blue or red!! awesome!


locked out...

my youngest son, who will be four in a few weeks is a very laid back little boy! he is full of life and just loves having fun. jesiah is very careless and so messy! he is the type of kid that makes the biggest mess with his toys. he likes to get out all of his toys and play. there are toys strewn every where, his room, his sisters' room, down the hallway, into the bathroom, living room and kitchen. i am not exaggerating. i can not walk into a room and not see a trace of him.

as for me, i can not stand mess and disorganization. so jesiah's "style" and mine haven't been lining up. a few days ago, i was exhausted and stressed out from the mess, so we decided to lock his closet door. we keep all of the boys' toys in their closet. on monday, i spent the day cleaning their room - it was nasty! i moved furniture and found all kinds of small pieces of toys and trash. it was a mess. i organized the toys into the correct bins and put them all into the closet. there are no toys in the room. now when jesiah wants to play with his toys, he has to ask to have the closet unlocked and get out his toys. this means that before he can get out something new, he has to put away whatever he was playing with.

i know this sounds a little, ok a lot controlling. but it has helped keep my sanity! and jesiah is learning to clean up and put away much better. before he would complain about cleaning up because the mess was HUGE. now it is manageable.

the bonus is that by the time jaelyn is crawling around and putting things in her mouth, i can ensure that the house is safe for her. there are so many small pieces to the big kids' toys and they have to learn not to have those pieces near her.

this has saved my sanity this week!


love this....

pastor steven posted this video on his blog today. we saw it this weekend. i love it!! a great recap of the last year in the life of elevation!!!
click here to....
watch. this.video.


top 3....

ok, finally here they are my top three moments at elevation to celebrate the three year anniversary! since i am a little behind on posting this, i am going to put all three in this one post! our weekend was so full and so busy but so much fun!! here they are...

#1...one year ago from this weekend (feb. 2008)...joshua got baptized on our 2 year anniversary!!! to celebrate the second year, we had a volunteer push, a huge baptism and a fun praise and worship night where the band recorded their album, we are alive. it was a busy and fun day! there were several hundred people baptized. our friend, ken, was also baptized that day!! joshua and ken shared in this special day! i will never forget this day. i will never forget pastor steven baptizing our son. what a priceless moment!!! if you haven't read my complete story of josh's baptism, you can do it here.

#2... our first sunday @ elevation church (mother's day 2007)....we had just left our church of six years the weekend before and were visiting churches. elevation was the first church we visited and also the last. we never made it anywhere else! that sunday we walked into elevation, we were so sad and so full of disappointment from the experience and loss we just went through at our previous church. we didn't know what to expect and were very nervous to church shop. elevation was doing the deep series and baptized hundreds of people spontaneously that day. it rained on the stage when we sang "rain down". amazing!!! i wasn't sure if this was our church home yet, but i was so impressed with elevation. our kids loved being in ekidz that day. we decided to go back the following week and have been there ever since!!! praise God for such an easy transition during our church hunting! it was a breeze!

#3...dominate/leadership praise & worship night (fall 2008)... before the church body had a chance to give their dominate pledges under the big white tent in november 08, the leader's of the church came together for a praise & worship night. during this event, we brought our dominate commitment cards and we led the way!! i will never forget going down to the front and slamming our cards onto the stage. everyone went forth with such conviction. jamil and i had taken a huge leap of faith and pledged an amount that we weren't sure exactly where it would come from but we knew it would. it was such a faith driven bold moment for us and so many other leaders. loved that night!!

those were just three moments that stick out in my mind, there have been so many other moments that are priceless at elevation and have left such an impact on me. and the best is yet to come!!!! God is blowing our mind in 2009!

top 3...

if you are an elevator (or go to elevation!) you know that this is an exciting weekend in the life of our church! this weekend, elevation celebrates its THIRD birthday/anniversary. it is amazing to think about how God has blessed our church in just three years! wow! elevation has been and continues to be such a large part of our family's lives. we just love being a part of our church. we believe in the vision statement, "so that people far from God will be filled with life in Christ" and we take an active part and are committed in helping to fulfill this mission. so with that said i am going to reflect on my top three moments that stand out to me while being at elevation. pastor steven and his wife holly have put their top three on their blogs. and the staff of elevation spent the week posting their top three via twitter on pastor's blog. check them out here and here!

also, this weekend elevation is launching ekidz at the downtown campus (@ mcglohon theater!). after taking a maternity leave from serving in ekidz, i am going to go up there tomorrow and help my friend heather out with ekidz! i am so excited to serve there. so if you have kids and want to come and check out our downtown campus, come on!!!

so i am going to post my top three moments in three seperate posts...stay tuned.


so worth it....

after long tiring days of feeling unappreciated and taken advantage of,
after days that are never ending, mundane and so routine,
after saying the same things over and over and wondering who is listening,
after crying my eyes out because i am not doing it right or making a difference,

i look into the eyes of these four beautiful faces and know it is so worth it.
even though it is exhausting i am blessed to be a mommy!


rolling over...

the week before thanksgiving, jaelyn was not even two months old and she began to roll over from her tummy to her back. the first time she rolled over i believe it was a total accident. and then she did it again about a week later. from that point on, she realized what she could do. so she would roll over from time to time. by the time she was three months old (1/6/09) she was an expert roller! here are a few pictures that somewhat capture her rolling...

it is hard to believe that jaelyn will be four months old on friday - wow! i posted a few pictures on her blog today of the past few weeks, check them out here!


winter blahs...

i wrote this post last week, i was having a rough one! thankfully i am feeling so much better this week!! so don't worry i am not going to run away. but i wonder if anyone else was/is feeling this way?

non productive

this is a list of the feelings and emotions that are going on inside of me. they are not pretty. nor are they happy. and they certainly don't seem full of joy. i do have joy in my heart, it is just burried under all of this messy stuff. i want the joy to tackle to mess and come out on top. i want my list of feelings to be so much different than they are.


menu plan monday...

i am having a hard time coming up with meals for this week. i am feeling fresh out of ideas for new and exciting dinners (which are very easy to make!) so what i have may change if i can find something different to put on our plates!! until then, here is what we will be having for dinner this week.

monday: baked chicken breasts with stuffing, gravy and corn (or whatever other veggie is in the freezer)

tuesday: spaghetti & meatballs with a green salad (green b/c i only have romaine left in the veggie drawer)

wednesday: homemade chicken noodle soup, grilled cheese sandwiches and fruit

thursday: blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage and oj

friday: homemade sub sandwiches

saturday: chicken piccata with noodles (holly's recipe) and a salad

sunday: pigs in a blanket (fancy for hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls), stouffer's mac n cheese

feel free to send me any new and exciting recipes you have tried lately. i am always looking for good and easy ones. i am going to hop over to marybeth's blog and see what is on her menu this week!!


i heart...

a few of my friends did a post like this so i thought i would join in on the fun! a perfect post to get in the mood for valentine's day! can you believe it is already february!!! ok, here are some of the things i am loving these days....in no particular order!!

~ being a mommy of four beautiful children (atleast most days!)

~ my wonderful and funny husband who makes me smile

~ long, long phone conversations with amy

~ watching cable tv...what a treat!

~ my L7 friends

~ elevation church

~ cherry coke zero (can't live without it!)

~ lucky charms cereal with low fat milk

~ warm chocolate chip cookies

~ finding old friends on facebook

~ the smell of my sweet baby

~ having my sister living right behind me (atleast for now)

~ that some people ask if my younger sister is older than me -- hehe

~ warm weather and wearing flip flops

~ watching my kids grow and learn and enjoying life

~ thinking about the miracle of life (pregnancy, birth, delivery and babies)

~ reading in a hot bubble bath

~ coffee with lots of sugar and french vanilla cream

~ not having to make dinner

~ Jesus Christ

~ sleeping

what do you "heart"???? if you do a post like this on your blog, leave a comment and let me know!!!