Tuesday, October 22, 2013

She's 18 Months!

I don't even know HOW this is possible, but my baby girl has officially turned 18 months.  Gah, I don't like it one little bit, but with that being said, she's been a great joy at every phase and I look forward to watching her explore more of the world around her as we are fully in toddler mode at this house!  

Sabrina is now 22 lbs 6 ounces, which drops her down to the 19% for weight.  She has sprouted up to 32" which is the 57%. Even though she is pretty slim for her age, her doctor didn't seem to have any concerns about it.   She's a great eater so she may just take after her daddy, which we all know she does with appearance anyway!  She is super shy and has some serious stranger danger going on.  The poor nurse couldn't even talk to her without her bursting in to tears. Needless to say, that type of an attitude made for a long exam! 

She's doing great though!  Talking like crazy and using lots of sentences. Our favorite is when she says "Mal timeout!"  She also can count to 12 (accountant in training?!?)  which she picked up all on her own and sings along with me to either 10,000 Reasons or You are My Sunshine when I put her down at night.  Of course I think her singing is about the cutest thing ever!  She hates having a dirty diaper I think could probably start potty training if I was up to it, but we're going to save that for after the holiday's and Ethiopia!  She loves letting me do her hair, or dress her up in cute clothes!  She prefers doll houses and dolls to the numerous boy toys laying around here.  Although, she can also make some gun shooting sounds right up there with her brothers!  All that to say, she is a pure delight and blesses me incredibly.  I am so thankful that God gave us this sweet and happy little girl! 


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

3 1/2!

Hard to believe our handsome baby boy is now 3 1/2!  Quickly showing us that he is leaving toddlerhood behind and trying to grow his independence as a preschooler.  

I'm so proud of the little boy he is becoming.  New experiences are often times still scary for him, but he has grown so much bravery!  He loves going to church now which was a huge victory and even was brave enough to play soccer and attend Awana!  Watching him grow more secure in the world and learning to trust has made me so proud of him!  It has been a slow journey but he has grown so much this year!

3 has been a fun age with him.  He is becoming his own person and has his own wants and desires.  He loves Power Rangers and Fireman Sam and is often found either fighting pretend fires or punching and kicking bad guys.  He is intelligent beyond his years and continues to exceed my expectations for him.  His early love for letters is turning in to an early love for reading and writing skills!  We've learned he is an amazing Bible Verse Memorizer and puts his mom to shame.  One or two times through a verse and he has it down.  Awana is geared perfectly for him! He's stubborn, strong willed and loves to test boundaries and while that can be thoroughly exhausting I know it is such a healthy sign and I'm willing to (try and) accept that as a part of who he is right now and embrace the independent little boy he is quickly becoming!

He is still the most energetic child I have ever known!  Every hour of the day is spent running around, yelling and singing at the top of his lungs.  He lives life big and refuses to be constrained by cookie cutter boundaries.  He lives life his own way and  I love that about him!

He's a beautiful little boy inside and out!  I am continually thankful that I have been given this sweet boy!  And while he may be big and loud, he was still made into a thoughtful, tenderhearted, very loving little boy.  I know that God has big plans for this little boy's life!  

We usually do cupcakes for half birthday's but this independent 3 year old insisted that he wanted a cake with M&M's on it and how could I say no to him.  So a half a birthday cake is what we had!  

Happy 3 1/2 Day Malachi.  We love you so so sooo very much!  

Monday, October 14, 2013

Mission Trip Monday: Focus on Hope for the Hopeless

It's time for another:

In our last blog edition I discussed more in depth about Ordinary Hero.  For the most part, Ordinary Hero partners up with other organizations to meet the needs of the vulnerable in Ethiopia.  I think this is an awesome way for Ordinary Hero to run and really help make a difference in Ethiopia!

This time, I would like to share a little bit more about the Organization Hope for the Hopeless!

From the research I have done, it seems this is one of the main organizations that Ordinary Hero is partnered with and I look forward to learning so much more about this organization when we travel!

From Hope from the Hopeless' website I got this brief synopsis of their mission plan:

Hope for the Hopeless is a child development program begun to support the growth and development of street children and orphans in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The program is comprised of a rescue center for street children, a residential orphanage and long-term foster care homes where hundreds of children can
• Feel safe and secure
• Learn to trust again
• Learn the truth of Jesus Christ
• Receive food and clothing
• Receive education
• Receive basic medical care

First, Hope for the Hopeless RESCUES children from the lonely and dangerous streets of Addis Ababa. 
Then they REHABILITATE Providing food, clothing, shelter, education, and medical care! 
And then they RETURN the children when possible into loving homes with their relatives or in foster homes.
Or if those options are not possible they RETAIN these children in their boarding school. 

One thing you see a lot of in Addis Ababa is street children.  The need is so great and every child matters.  This is an important ministry serving these vulnerable children in Ethiopia.  

Here is a link to a video put together of some of the many ways the partnership of Ordinary Hero and Hope for the Hopeless has made a difference!   (email subscribers click HERE

We are sitting just a little bit over 3 months until our time of travel!  This part of the process and the waiting isn't much fun but I can't wait to get my feet back on Ethiopian soil and learn and experience more of Malachi's birth country! It is a beautiful place!  Because of an amazingly generous donation we don't have to stress anymore about the financial side of our trip but instead can start mentally and emotionally preparing for our time in Ethiopia.   I know it is going to be amazing!  Soon we will be brainstorming donation ideas to take with us and I will be sure to post those when we have them nailed down!  

Fall Fun!

As much as we hoped life would settle down in the fall, we are still going full steam ahead with no signs of slowing down!  Here's some of our fall fun happenings for your enjoyment!  

Daddy sent Bina upstairs with Mommy's apron on.  She was so cute and that was enough to make my day! 

We finished a small section of the yard and now we have some beautiful grass growing.  One dirt pile gone! 

Checking out baby chicks at the pumpkin patch!  

Looking at the bunny at the pumpkin patch! 

And horses 

Two of my cute men! 

Checking out the chickens.   The boy's had their own little paparazzi between mommy, grandpa, and great-grandma!  

Lots of fun on the slide at the pumpkin patch!  

Love these guys! 

The bounce house was also a huge hit until Malachi started kissing a little girl! 

Pumpkins galore! 

I can pick this one up! 

Sabrina was there too, but she just wanted to be napping. 

The final fun, unfortunately we ran out of tickets which made for some sad boys who could only do the big slide once. 

Lots of Soccer Saturday's.  Malachi's "official" first soccer picture! 

Lots of cheering for OSU!  

And a fun little trip to the children's museum with the boys!  Eli was in heaven in the dig room.

But the water room took the cake for Eli!  

And grocery shopping was the winner for Malachi! Wish he could do my shopping for me! 

Daddy liked the build room! 

And the train set!

It's been a busy season of life but a fun one!  No signs of slowing down with the holiday's on the horizon! 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Stitch Fix #4

As you will remember from my post about a month ago, I only ended up keeping 1 item in my last Stitch Fix and I wanted to grow my very small Fall wardrobe. So the only rationale thing to do was to schedule another one!  So here is my October Stitch Fix!  

Because I have had a few questions about how Stitch Fix works, I figure I would take a few minutes to lay back out the process of signing up and how Stitch Fix works.

So Step 1 is joining Stitch Fix
I believe they still have a small waitlist, but before long they will get you going and in the meantime you can fill out your style profile which is actually kind of fun.  This helps the stylist get to know your style a bit better. Which is important!

The next step after you get your invite to join is to schedule your first fix!  When you schedule your fix, you will pay a $20 styling fee.  The great thing about the styling fee is that it will be applied to the items in your fix. So as long as you love 1 item in that box, the styling fee doesn't go to waste.  It seems pretty typical that they are about 4 weeks out with scheduling, but you also have the option of signing up for a monthly fix if you want to go that route.

Then you try to patiently (or not so patiently) wait for the day that your Fix arrives in the mail!  When your fix arrives you have 3 days to try everything on and decide what you want to keep.  My favorite part besides getting to try things on in the comfort of your home, is that you can mix and match the pieces with things you already have in your closet and see how it looks!  

So what did I get?  What did I get?  When you schedule your fix you have the option of adding a personal note to let your stylist know if there are any special area's she should focus on.  In this fix I asked for affordable and casual fall wear!  And they delivered that in this box!  I definitely appreciated the price point of these items better than some of the other fixes I got! 

First out of the box was this pair of Kut From The Kloth Danny 5 Pocket Knit Pants:

I loved these pants!  They were comfortable and fit good and Peter really liked them. Only drawback is that if you remember back to my last Stitch Fix I bought a pair pretty similar to this.  If they were any other color than black I would have kept them but darn it, I couldn't justify keeping another pair of black pants at a high price point.  Verdict:  Sadly Returned 

                                        Next was this Tua Rowson Shoulder Button Striped Shirt

I liked this one right away.  I'm big in to the style trend of stripes right now.  For Peter it was just a meh response but the price was good and I myself liked it enough to put it in the keep pile.  Verdict: Keeper! 

                                Next up was this 41Hawthorn Abrianna Longsleeve Knit Cardigan

This is a nice addition to probably any wardrobe.  It looked nice and was comfortable.  A bit on the pricey side but I liked the length and how it made it a little bit unique from any cardigans that I own. Verdict: Keeper! 

                               Then there was this Tulle Toby Crew Neck Knit Sweater
 In the box I loved the color, but this was not for me.  Something about holey crocheted tops just isn't for me.  I tried to give it a fair shake and tried a few different styles of tops to wear under it, but it was just a funky top and not my style.  Verdict:  Returned!

                        And lastly was this Evolution by Cyrus Val Metallic Hi-Lo Knit Sweater

When I saw this one in the box, I thought it would for sure be a keeper. I guess that is why looks are so deceiving.  The price point on this one was great and super affordable but I just don't understand the whole High in the front, low in the back style trend.  To make it even worse, the crocheting on the back had like a giant arrow pointing to the rear and that is definitely not something I want to bring any extra attention to.  Verdict: Returned 

First appearances I really thought this was going to be a home run fix for me.  But that is why it is nice to be able to try everything on in the comfort of your home.  I did pick up a few fun pieces to add to my fall wardrobe but am still on the hunt for a few more.

If you are tempted to give Stitch Fix a try and want to help feed my obsession in the process, please use my referral link HERE. And definitely let me know what you think of yours too! 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

School in September

We are now in week 4 of "school" with the boys!  I went in to this year with very low expectations and wanted to just kind of take their lead on things and it has gone great so far!  It is all really simple and fun for the boys!  They ask to do more of it, which is a good sign!  

Our "lesson" time takes around 15 minutes each day.  Malachi loves it and sometimes Eli is in to it and sometimes he'd rather run around and play with toys.  That is okay for me. I don't want to push them at this point.  Our lesson time consists of going over the calendar and the weather.  Bible memory verse time, Bible story time, and prayer time.  Then we do a 5-10 minute lesson on the "theme" of the day.  That has ranged from different colors, to shapes, to words that start with A (like Apples and Ants) to words with B's (bears and butterfly).  Each lesson has a few options of activities and a few days a week a number project or a craft project.  We are using Abeka 2 and 3 year old program with all of this.  We are also doing a lot of storytime on the daily themes and also on the letter of the week! 

Malachi is also supplementing some reading/writing skills with Explode the Code which he loves and is really taking off with!  

Here are some pictures of school in September:

The boy's sitting down to get ready for "lesson" time! 

Working on handwriting and the letter F sound!

Snack time every day they all 3 run over to the couch and to sit down and wait for me to bring the storybooks over for reading time! 

Their "I know my shapes!" awards! 

Malachi was practicing his letter B's in salt when he randomly decided to draw this amazing piece of artwork.  Future artist on our hands?  

Painting with apples on Apple day! 

Painting with apples on Apple day! 

He made ants on a log for Ant day! 

And we made star (and some random football) cookies for astronaut day!

Eli working on art and Mal working on numbers for bear day! 

Eli's bear puppet on bear day! 

And last but not least, Bina gets in on a lot of the fun too.  Mal was pretending to be a caterpillar sleeping in his cocoon for Butterfly day!

All in all it has been a really fun and easy month of school. We all really enjoy school time!