Silas Says…

Grandma’s a good sport. She got a lesson in “Grandma 101” (as my sister Charis put it) from Silas during her visit with us. Silas was just being his usual precocious self, but it was at Grandma’s expense!june12001

After helping Silas get cleaned up in the bathroom, Grandma put his dirty underwear in the “whites” laundry bag. When Silas went to check up on Grandma’s laundry-sorting abilities, he was appalled that she had not put his underwear in the “colors” bag. Aunt Charis heard him announcing, “Grandma put my underwear in the white section, not the color section. That’s the wrong section!”june8001june8002

While showing the movie Toy Story to the family, Silas sat next to Grandma on the couch. When the part with the naughty boy, Sid, came on the screen, Silas said, “Let’s be brave at this part!”june8004june8007

One day Aunt Ruth Anna was giving the boys a bath. She bathed Cooper and took him to his room to dress him. Meanwhile, Grandma thought she would help out by washing Silas’s hair. When Aunt Ruth Anna came back to the tub, she asked Silas if Grandma had washed his body yet. Silas explained that Grandma had washed only his hair. He told her, “Grandma’s not very good at this.”june8011june8012

Another bathroom incident occurred when Grandma thought Silas needed to wash his hands a little better, so she had him get a second pump of soap and re-wash his hands. That sent Silas into a tailspin since he’s been told to use only one pump of soap. He was so upset that “Grandma wasted water.” Clearly we need to work on Silas being a little more flexible!june8009

At least by the end of the week, Grandma did receive a compliment from Silas, but it was a long time in coming!

My mom—who claims to have no creativity—is the best at imaginative play with Silas. He adored playing make-believe with her. In this picture they are “watching” a movie they “checked out” from the library. june10001Cooper was even wanting to join the fun and loved being tickled and kissed with zerberts from Grandma.june8016

We celebrated an early birthday for my mom with a cookie cake, present, and artwork by the boys.june7006

One of the sweet Silas moments from my family’s visit was him singing Jesus Loves Me with Grandpa at church. I’m glad I caught this special duet on camera.YouTube Preview Image

There’s just nothing like the honesty of a little boy. He is who he is, and we love him for it!june11001

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West Virginians in the West Valley

Mom, Dad and my three sisters came to visit us for two weeks. june5008june5010During our first week together, we visited several attractions around the Valley—some that were new for me too.

One of the cool places we toured was the Musical Instrument Museum in Scottsdale. june5002june5001It was huge and had musical instruments from all over the world! The headphones allowed us to listen to the instruments as we looked at the exhibits. june5003june5005I liked how the signs told you not only the instrument’s name, but also what materials were used to make it. june5004After seeing the many, many kinds of instruments, we turned into musicians ourselves in the “Experience Gallery.” june5006june5007This museum was a hit with my musical family!

The AZ SeaLife Aquarium was fun too. Indoor attractions during an Arizona summer are always a good idea! june4008june4009june4004We saw beautiful jellyfish, a sea turtle, sting rays, seahorses, and we even had a picture taken with Captain Barnacles and Kwazzi from the kids’ cartoon show  The Octonauts.june4005june4003june4007

The mall that houses the aquarium was full of fun things to do. The boys rode the carousel with Grandma and the Aunts and rode the train with Charis and Ruth Anna. june4010june4011

Later that week we enjoyed a puppet show at the Great Arizona Puppet Theater downtown. We watched the puppet story called “The Monkey and the Pirate.”june4020 The story was told by only one puppeteer, but she did a fantastic job! The people puppets had heads made of paper mache, so their mouths didn’t move, but the puppeteer could still express a lot with them.june4019

My family left for about five days to minister with a missionary on the Tohono O’odham reservation, and then returned for another week of visits.

While we spent a lot of time at home, we did make it to Chandler’s Rawhide Western Town.june6001june4014june4018 The gunfight shows were fun, and we even took a hayride. IMG_20140626_210612091aSilas and Cooper looked adorable in their matching red cowboy hats. june4017These two cowpokes have lassooed our hearts!

Family time is so precious. Silas and Cooper had a blast with “the aunts and uncles” as Silas called my family. We’re glad they could come all the way from West Virginia to the West Valley.june5009

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My First VBS

Even though I’m just 3 1/2, I went to my first Vacation Bible School a few weeks ago. My church was having a free VBS for kids, and the theme was Arrow Island. I got to be in the four and five year old class with Miss Roseanne. Miss Roseanne is a missionary to Haiti, and she and her whole family helped out for the week.june3004june3001

Each day I got to bring my friend from MOMS club to VBS with me—that was fun! Cooper was too little to come, so he spent the days with Miss Connie. I missed my mommy, but she helped out with the VBS snacks, so I could give her hugs and wave to her.june3003

We listened to puppet stories, made crafts, played games, ate snacks, learned Bible stories and verses, and had a great time with friends! The most important thing we learned was the gospel—that since we all disobey God, the only way we can be rescued and go to heaven is by trusting in Jesus. Jesus died on the cross to take away our sins, but He didn’t stay dead. Jesus came back to life. My mommy and daddy are teaching me about trusting Jesus.

I had so much fun at Vacation Bible School! june3002

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Special Days, Special People

My family drove all the way from West Virginia again this summer to come visit us. It’s a loooooong drive across the country! Dad was with us for Father’s Day, so Silas and Cooper celebrated both Grandpa and Daddy. Love you, Dad. Thanks for being my daddy.IMG_20140615_211932087a

Silas was so excited to give Stephen the superhero card he had picked out weeks ago. The card was really more for Silas than it was for Stephen. I had stashed the card in a drawer for safe-keeping until Father’s Day. One day I caught Silas sitting on the floor in my room just beholding the superhero card. He wrote his own message to Stephen and then decorated the card. IMG_20140615_171502015aStephen is an incredible father to our two little dudes. Thanks for being our superhero, Honey!IMG_20140615_194821229a

Sunday was extra special because it was Mom and Dad’s 35th wedding anniversary. Thirty-five years of being faithful to each other—what a milestone! We celebrated on Saturday with a steak dinner and flowers for Grandma.IMG_20140615_211900685a

Thanks, Mom and Dad for building a stable, loving Christian home for me and my sisters. We love you.

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Summer’s Here!

It’s summer, and the triple digits won’t let us forget it. We had a mild May, and this heat has kind of taken me by surprise. We’re melting! At least it still cools down overnight, but that won’t last.

Silas began the summer with swimming lessons at the Goodyear pool.june1001 Last summer, he was too young for lessons at the city pool, so we opted for Aquatots. I’m happy that he seemed to remember some of what he learned last summer. The past two weeks he practiced jumping in the pool from the deck, bobbing his head underwater, floating on his back, and doggie paddling while wearing a life jacket.june1002IMG_20140604_110018037b

A friend from MOMS club and I put our boys in lessons at the same time so we could switch off babysitting. It was great to be able to watch the big boys swim instead of refereeing the little guys on the bleachers every lesson.june1004

Swim, Silas, swim.

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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.

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!

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