My Grace Baby

Both of my boys are undeserved gifts from God. Both of my boys bring me joy and both of them teach me more of God’s grace. But, while Silas is my Joy Baby, Cooper is my Grace Baby.may4001

Cooper’s entrance into our family was admittedly rough for me. His birth was fast and complication free, but it was a huge adjustment for me to have two little ones just over two years apart. Cooper wasn’t a good sleeper, and his fussiness drove me to the end of my strength. And I’m thankful for that because it began teaching me dependence on God’s strength. I learned more of grace.

This past year and a half has been an education in grace for me. Because Cooper is so dependent on me, so mommy-oriented, he helps pull me out of my selfishness and reminds me of God’s overflowing grace to me. Thank you, God, for this Grace Baby.

Today Cooper turned 1 1/2. You can hear in this video most of the words he says.YouTube Preview Image

He seems to be jumping up to a new plateau in his understanding and learning. Just last week he added the word “Elmo” to his vocabulary. He can also point to his head, ear, eye, nose, belly, and feet. He gives lots of high-fives, signs the word “more,” and gets his shoes out when it’s time to go and puts them away when asked. Bath time is his favorite. When we say it’s bath time, he runs back to the tub so excited to get to pour the water in and out of buckets and cups.

We just love our little man, Cooper Andrew!may4002

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Happy Family Room

Our family room finally has something on the big blank wall above the couch! I love how it makes the room homier.may3002

I’ve been wanting to make my own version of this dandelion art for a while now, and finally got around to it in the last several months.

We bought some boards from Lowe’s and had them cut it to the right size for us. Then Stephen screwed the boards together to form square panels. He used cardboard between the boards as spacers, and I think the rustic look is a nice touch.may3001

Originally, I was thinking of staining the boards and keeping them a wood tone, but our family room has so much brown in it already, that I’m happy we went with the mustard color.may3004

After priming and painting, I free-handed the dandelion & seeds onto large squares of paper, using this art as my pattern. Then I shaded the backside of the paper with pencil, laid the paper on top of the wood panels, and traced the dandelion onto the wood.may3003

Using a black paint pen, I painted over my pencil lines, and finished it with a satin polyurethane coat. Stephen hung them above the couch last weekend, and they are a happy addition to our space!may3005

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A Mother’s Day Lullaby

may2011On this day when we celebrate motherhood, I thought I would share one of my favorite lullabies. In fact, it was the first lullaby I sang to Cooper after his birth.may2007

Not only is this lullaby special, but its author is very special—she’s my closest friend, Rebekah Pringle. Her selfless, thoughtful love for me and my family is something to celebrate on this Mother’s Day!may2003may2004

Like the sky receiving sunrise,
Like new blossoms in the spring,
Your little form against my heart
Was crafted by God’s perfect art,
Always good in everything.

Chorus:
Priceless gift, eternal soul,
I sing because I know
That Someone greater loves you
Whose arms you can’t outgrow.

When the clouds God sends surround you,
When fierce winds attack and shake,
I’ll be as close as I can be,
But God who cares more faithfully
Will never fail you or forsake.

As a brilliant light in darkness,
As a tree beside pure streams,
A life in Christ, your greatest need,
God grants to those who humbly plead—
May His Truth inspire your dreams!

Tag:
Because I love you, (baby),
I pray that you will know
The One true God Who loves you
And His peace you can’t outgrow.

©Rebekah M. Pringle
April 2011


As you rock your baby to sleep tonight or as you talk to your grown children on the phone today, remember that they can never get too big for God’s embrace.may2008

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Ride ‘em, Cowboy!

may1004The other weekend we took friends of ours, the Horkavys, to Rawhide—complete with gunfights in the streets, burro rides, and gold panning. may1007may1020

We visited the shops and attractions along the street. Stephen found a cowboy hat for himself, and Cooper looked adorable in his mini version. may1009may1006Too bad he didn’t want to wear it for very long, or I would’ve bought it for him.

The shooting gallery gave the guys a chance to show off their skills, may1010may1012and we watched some other visitors getting “locked up” in the local jail. may1008may1005At the blacksmith shop we bought some horseshoe coasters and had the letter “M” branded into the horse hide center.

Silas and Cooper played on the playground and visited the petting zoo. I even tried the climbing wall—fun stuff!may1019

We enjoyed the cowboy shows put on in the outdoor theater, may1015and chowed down on some serious meat at the Rawhide steakhouse. may1001may1021Cooper wasn’t interested in eating, so he and I went outside during sunset. Love this boy in the golden glow.may1022may1023may1002

Our visit was rounded out with a stagecoach ride and then a trip to the candy store. What a great day spent with friends we love!may1003

 

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My Joy Baby

A friend once told me that she calls her children her “joy babies.” Children are treasures, and gifts from God. When God gave us Silas, so much joy entered our lives.

What a thrill to find out we were pregnant, and announce it to Stephen. We were blessed to tell our parents and grandparents about the first grandbaby coming soon. Then, when the ultrasound revealed Silas was a boy, I teared up because I was so happy that God had given me my heart’s desire.april10001

Giving birth for the first time was an amazing experience. Even in the pain, there was joy. Walking the hospital hallways with Stephen as we waited for Silas’s arrival is one of my sweetest memories with my man. Stephen told me childhood tales and imprinted my heart with his love.

With Silas’s birth I seemed to be looking at life through rose-colored glasses. I was on cloud nine! What joy to have a tiny human who belonged to us.

That first year of Silas’s life was marked by happy milestone after happy milestone. He was such a charming baby and filled everyone with smiles. Our San Diego vacation when Silas was nine months old was one of the happiest trips of my life!april10002

We’re so blessed to watch our “force of nature” as he blossoms into who God made him to be. Silas loves making new friends, and loves to talk. He is currently in the stage of, “Hey, Mom! Watch this! Did you see that?” While Cooper plays with toys as they are meant to be played with (i.e. a block is a block), Silas plays with toys as props (i.e. blocks are guns). He is such an imaginative little guy. Superheroes are still his favorite, and he’s learning his letters and numbers. I’ve caught him reading to himself or singing to himself. So cute! He absorbs so much around him, and often surprises us with words he picks up. Just the other day he said “Worcestershire sauce”—impressive! Our best conversations are in his rocker at bedtime as we cuddle in the dark. It’s fun to see the world through a three year old’s perspective.

Silas, we love you. You are my joy baby. Happy 3 1/2 years old, little dude!april10003

Posted in baby, parenting, preschooler, silas, thoughts | 3 Comments

Easter Sunday

Though it’s nearly a week late, I wanted to post our Easter picture. We actually got a picture of all four of us!april8001Crossroad celebrated Christ’s resurrection with special music, Easter communion, and a dinner after the morning worship. The hope we have through Jesus Christ and His resurrection is worth celebrating every single day.

After the boys’ nap, we did a little egg hunt with Silas and Cooper. Silas was ecstatic! He did such a great job finding the eggs and helping find eggs for Cooper. He was buzzing around the house so quickly that it was hard to get a good picture of him. april8003

Meanwhile, Cooper discovered that the eggs had candy inside, so he was content to eat his jelly beans while Silas zoomed circles around him.april8004We pray that one day these two little cuties will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus by believing on Him for salvation.april8005april8006

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Grammy, Grampy, and Uncle Ben

Our family visits continued for a third week in a row when Mom and Dad Moody and Ben flew in from Indiana. We’ll take family any time we can get them!april7002

Spring is here, so the palo verde trees were in full bloom when we visited the Goodyear park.april7004 april7003Of course, we had to make an ice cream stop afterwards.april7005

The next day Stephen rented an SUV so we could all ride together up to Sedona. We stopped for lunch at the Rock Springs Cafe. april7007The boys even rode one of their antique kiddie rides before we climbed back in the car.april7008april7009

The red rocks of Sedona are gorgeous! april7010april7012 april7013We stopped to take in the view, drove through town and up to Slide Rock State Park—just north of Sedona.april7015april7016april7017 Though the water was freezing cold, the boys had a blast playing in the creek and finding rocks and sticks. My two little Tom Sawyers were adorable to watch!april7019april7018april7020april7021

I loved seeing Stephen’s dad interact with Silas and Cooper. Dad won Cooper over by giving him water and snacks.

april7006 april7023april7024Silas and Dad built a giant tower,april7027april7028 taller than Silas, and then they knocked it over—which was Silas’s favorite part. april7029We played Uno and Candyland; Silas is getting good at both games. april7030Silas loves his Uncle Ben, and it didn’t hurt that Uncle Ben had some cool superhero shirts too.april7025

Come back and see us soon!

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A Sister Spring Break

How special that my sister Charis wanted to spend her spring break with us! She came from snowy Massachusetts to sunny Arizona and was glad to escape the cold.april7024

The boys liked “helping” Aunt Charis play the piano. april7001Family time is precious and scarce, so I’m glad the boys could spend time with my sis. april7021april7020april7022She even bought them their first set of Lincoln Logs.april7018

While she was here, we had a gorgeous day for a visit to the Phoenix Zoo. april7003april7013The sun was warm, and the shade was cool with a breeze. Our visit began with the safari animals. The tiger even growled for us, and we managed to catch the lion before he laid down for a nap.april7005

The new monkey exhibit let us visit the little guys without any cage between us and them. april7008april7009april7010april7012We picnicked by the lake where the gibbons entertained us with their tightrope act, and later Silas and Cooper got some wiggles out at the farm playground.april7015april7016

The next day we shopped at the AZ Mills Mall in Tempe before meeting Stephen for lunch at Smashburger. Yum! Then we visited Charis’ former roomie from her year of teaching in Ketchikan, Alaska, and afterwards hit the mall again for a carousel ride.april7017

We love you, Charis! Thanks for taking an Arizona getaway for spring break.april7025

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Colorado Road Trip

How far is it from Phoenix to Fort Collins? Very, very far! But worth it.2014-03-25 20.20.37a

At the end of March we loaded Stephen’s Vibe, strapped the boys into their car seats, and began the long trek to visit David and Tammy in Wellington, Colorado.april2001april2002

Although it was tight, Stephen did a great job packing all of our gear into the Pontiac, and we were off for our first road trip through the night! The boys didn’t sleep as well as we had hoped, but Stephen is an amazing driver. His secrets are listening to audio files on his phone, lots of energy drinks and popping candy every few minutes. I also drove for several hours, but the longest, hardest hours saw Stephen at the wheel.april2003

We were glad to finally arrive at David and Tammy’s beautiful new home just north of Fort Collins.april2016 They warned us that they were competing for the title of favorite aunt and uncle, and man, did they deliver! They had bought some toys and books for the boys at a thrift shop april2011and had even built an adorable tee-pee out of PVC pipes and a tablecloth. I’d say that’s a gold medal performance!april3001

Silas loved his Uncle David’s superhero shirts and jumped up and down in ecstasy when he got to “skip” Uncle David in the game of Uno.april2012april2010

David and Tammy were thrilled to show us their new life in Colorado. What a beautiful and exciting place to live! Old Town Fort Collins was such a cool place with lots of little shops. april2017They took us to two of their favorites—a kitchen store and a spice shop.april2018april2019

At the Savory Spice Shop we tried some ghost salt (ghost pepper flavored salt), and it felt like having a hole burned in your tongue. We left the ghost salt in Fort Collins but did pick up a spice blend called “Pike’s Peak” for steaks and such.april2020

We drove by some beautiful historic homes on our way to the city park. The park was lovely with lots of trees and grass and a duck pond.april2021april2022april2023april6005april6006

The next day, we drove into the foothills of the Rockies to experience a little of the mountains.april2030 We didn’t have a lot of time, but Silas and Cooper loved finding sticks and rocks along the mountain creek. april2028april6011A family picture just isn’t complete without sticks!IMG_1478a

The mountains are incredibly gorgeous, and the farmlands in front of the Rockies are so very picturesque. I can see why David and Tammy love it! We had hoped to picnic at a park that day, but the wind was gusting so much that we decided to eat our picnic at home on the living room floor.

Friday afternoon Stephen and I took off for our overnight “date” at a missions conference in Denver. We stopped for some supper at Noodles & Company before attending the evening sessions of the Frontline Experience. april2032The conference was focused on spreading the gospel into restricted access countries.april4001

Our hearts were stirred by the DVDs, Dispatches from the Front (put out by Frontline Missions), and we’re interested in the idea of creative access for sharing the good news abroad. We were excited to attend the conference and were blessed to learn more about our brothers and sisters doing kingdom work in spite of deep personal sacrifice. It was an informative and edifying encounter. Highly recommended!

Meanwhile, Uncle David and Aunt Tammy graciously adopted the boys overnight, and they got a true-to-life parenting experience since Cooper kept waking up every hour until about 3am! In spite of a lack of sleep, the four of them had a grand adventure at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.april6017april6016april6012 They even rounded out their day with lunch at Chick-fil-a and an attempt at flying a kite. april6018That’s an awesome aunt and uncle for sure!IMG_1523aapril6021

David & Tammy moved out to Colorado a year ago to help with a church plant in Fort Collins. april2040Currently, this baby church is a home Bible study made up of young families, couples and singles. We were able to worship with them on Sunday evening. april2036april2037How exciting to see God’s church being built.

Family is a precious thing, and we were blessed to spend some time in a beautiful place with people we love.april2038april2039

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We Took a Bike Ride…

...on a sunny day near the river.

A few Saturdays ago, we rented some bikes and a kid trailer from the Bicycle Cellar in Tempe. I hadn’t been on a bike ride in years! It’s really true that you never forget how to ride a bike.april1002

Cooper, in his helmet, reminded me of a mushroom from the Mario Nintendo games. Silas was thrilled with his new Spider-Man helmet we had just picked up at Walmart that morning.april1001

We rode along Tempe Town Lake on the Salt River, and it was gorgeous! We even accidentally caught a bit of the 2014 Dragon Boat Festival. april1004Eventually we found a playground where the boys could stretch their legs and work out some energy.april1005april1006

For supper, we tried the Brazilian Bull, a Brazilian steakhouse with an all-you-can-eat meat selection served at your table. Of course, it was a hit with Stephen!

I’m thinking bicycles might need to be added to the top of our Christmas list.april1007

 

 

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