Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Your husband did what?!

I post about the kids all the time and about things that I'm doing, but I think it's high time for a little post about my husband.  He's pretty awesome.  I thought about titling the post "My Husband is Better Than Yours," but I didn't want to deal with the online cat-fight that it was sure to incite.  So, I didn't.

My husband, Kraig, and I met a little over 7 years ago.  We were both spending our summer representing our own Bible colleges at different church camps across the U.S., when we happened to meet at a week of camp in Indiana.  Nothing happened there, but you can say that we "noticed" each other.  He had a girlfriend at the time, but it was still nice to make a friend.

Fast forward to March of 2006, when we started dating.  He lived in Tennessee, and I was in Kentucky.  We survived the long-distance nature of our relationship and, in September of 2006, Kraig asked me to marry him.  Nine short months later, we were married.


In June, we celebrated 5 years of marriage, during which time we've moved four times, had two babies, lost loved ones and made lots of new friends.  There have been many highs and lows, but it's been great.  I think our beginning with a long-distance relationship only makes us appreciate and enjoy the time we have together more.  Anyhow, that's the basis of how we met, etc.  Now on to the good stuff...

Last Wednesday night, Kraig kept the kids while I went to practice at church for our praise band.  Sometime during practice, though, I got a text that said, "I think Jackson just tasted poop for the first time."  Eww.  Bad diaper changing experience.  That's always good.  Then I got another text: "It's all falling apart here.  The toilet overflowed and I didn't know it.  Kate tried to go potty and peed all over the floor.  Everything is wet. They're both screaming."  I felt bad, but couldn't help but laugh.  These are the things that usually happen when he's at work and I have to deal with them.  It's par for the course, so to speak.

I was prepared for the worst when I got home, but I was pleasantly surprised.  When I walked in the door, there weren't toys scattered all over the floor, the kids were in bed, the bathroom was cleaned up.  Then I walked into the kitchen.  He had done some work!  Everything was picked up, the kitchen was clean, the floor was swept, the floor was mopped and there were pork roasts in the crock pot filling the house with a delicious, eat-me-now kinda smell.  Talk about impressed!  I think my jaw hit the floor.  And this was after a whole day of work, while dealing with both kids.  Super impressed.

So there you have it.  He mopped and cooked and dealt with the mess.  I have the best husband.  You can all admit it now.  Sorry, ladies.  I've won.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Confessions of a Control Freak: Learning to Let Go

Confession:  I'm a bit of a control freak.  I'm sure this isn't coming as a surprise to some of you.  I like to know that nothing has been overlooked.  That things are getting done the best way possible (my way, of course).  That things are under control.

There are so many questions we want answers to in life.  Will I ever get married?  How many kids should we have?  Where will the money come from?  Are things really going to be okay?  Why are things the way they are?  My husband and I are currently dealing with a couple of these questions--particularly about money.  I've been able to stay-at-home with the kids and it has been a blessing.  We've never had a ton of money, but we've survived. The cost of living in Virginia is higher than we're used to, for sure, but the cost of living is rapidly increasing everywhere.  We're doing everything we can to keep living at our normal standard of living, but the money's not there.  And it drives me crazy.  And every time it feels like we're finally getting ahead or that our emergency fund is finally funded, we have an emergency that exceeds our emergency funds.  Every time.

When I step back and take a look at the big picture, though, I see that it's not really all that bad.  Our basic needs are met.  That's all that we really need right now.  There have been times in the past where we've gone through a rough financial patch, but God has always provided.  He hasn't always provided what we thought we needed when we thought we needed it, but His plan is always better than ours.  His timing is always better than ours.

Aren't two sparrows sold for only a penny? 
But your Father knows when any one of them falls to the ground. 
 Even the hairs on your head are counted. So don't be afraid!
 You are worth much more than many sparrows. 
Matthew 10:29-31 

God knows our needs, there's nothing to worry about.  When we trust Him and let Him take over as "control freak" in our lives, things are so much better.  

We're praying for God's guidance as I look for a way to supplement our income.  He's already clearly steered me away from two options, and I know that He knew exactly why those wouldn't be the right choice for our family.  Ultimately, He knows that I want to stay home to care for our kids, and I believe He is going to work that out.  

Regardless of what situation you're struggling with, God knows and God will provide the answer, if you'll just wait for Him.  Sometimes, we just have to sit around and wait for it, and for a control freak like me, the sitting around while I could be up "fixing" the problem is incredibly difficult and scary.  But the Lord has proven time and time again that He is with his people.  I can come up with plenty of examples in my own life that show that.  Reading through the Old Testament shows that. The Old Testament is almost like a resume of God's work as our Defender, Provider, Comforter, etc.  

I've commanded you to be strong and brave. 
Don't ever be afraid or discouraged! 
I am the Lord your God, and I will be there to help you wherever you go. 
Joshua 1:9

So, I'm a control freak.  But I'm learning to let go. This particularly testing time is just reminding me that it's not all about me.  God's got it under control.  

Happy Friday! (And thanks Mom for your inspiring scripture references on Facebook!)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Jack's Belated Birthday Post

Since we traveled over the course of Jack's birthday week, I never made it around to blogging about it. But here goes! Jackson turned 1 last Wednesday. I'm sure you're expecting the "I can't believe it" and "How time flies!" comments, but they're true! It has been an incredibly fast year. He's an awesome, sweet, cute kid, though. See how cute he is:
Boy loves him some sweet corn:)

He had a great birthday.  The celebrations spanned between the end of June and the beginning of August, so he feels VERY special.  He got lots of great gifts.  My personal favorites?  The new cloth diapers we got!  We got 7 total.  Three special prints (camouflage and 2 denim), three minkys (zebra, polka dots and cow print) and one red.  They're great.  They're also the first snap diapers we've owned.  I must say, I've whole-heartedly recommended velcro in the past, but I disagree now.  They're convenient and all, but the snaps fit so much better.  But, I digress...

Jack's list of 1st birthday milestones/loves, etc:

-He started walking over a month before his birthday.  Now he just runs.
-He still only has four teeth
-He's down to nursing only once a day, in the early morning hours.  It's really just a ploy to get to sleep in our           bed.
-He can now climb onto the couches
-He's learning how to go down the stairs the proper way
-He has a growing vocabulary.  First thing in the morning, when Kate wakes up he always says, "Sissssss."  
-He will often bring me a clean diaper when he's ready for a diaper change.  Hysterical.
-He still loves his cars and anything with wheels, though he does try to steal Kate's baby dolls...
-He's getting very good and aiming and throwing a ball.  It nearly ALWAYS manages to hit me.  
-He prefers cups with straws, especially if they're mine or from a fast food establishment.
-He's generally sleeping from 8:30-6:30, at which time he gets in bed with me and nurses back to sleep
-He takes two 1-2 hour naps in the day.  Generally, for a total of 3 hours.
-He loves to give hugs and kisses.
-The kid has rhythm.  Future drummer of the Bishop Family Band, no doubt.
-At doctor's appointment a few days before his birthday, he weighed 22lbs even.  No idea how long he is.  The official well-baby appointment is in a week or two.  Updates then!

And now, some pics for your general enjoyment:
Yes, I turned his car seat around.  I'm that mom.

The closest thing we got to a family picture on his birthday.  Looks a little different than the one last year:
Things have definitely changed!

He dug in mouth first:) Smart kid. Just did what the rest of us wanted to do.

And he's grown a little bit...

Happy birthday, sweet Jackson!

Monday, August 6, 2012

All you need is LOVE (do da do do do)

No, this isn't about the Beatles. Kraig was at camp all last week, so it was an interesting week at home. Having the kids by myself while Kate was hopped up on steroids was just a blast. Regardless, I had a little time to do a project while Kraig was gone. After living in this house for 16 months, our room is finally decorated. Now, I've decided I want new bedding and curtains, but they'll have to wait and go on my Christmas list. I still had a Hobby Lobby gift card from my birthday, though, so I was able to create some art to go over our bed. And here it is:

Excuse my photos.  We've had to do an overhaul on our computer and for some reason I've been left with no editing program.  Yay.

Anyhow, I'm loving the way it turned out (no pun intended).  For those who are interested, I thought I'd share a step-by-step tutorial so you can make your own.  It's super easy and completely customizable.  I made the word "LOVE," but you could do whatever fits your situation.  Even a single monogram letter would be a cute addition to a wall.  Here's the details:

So here's what you need:

Giant wood letters, 4-11x17 canvasses, 1 yard of fabric, spray adhesive and scissors.  That's it.  You could probably get away with 3/4 of a yard of fabric, but having the extra in case of mistakes and to help with the pattern continuation is nice.

Cut fabric to glue to canvas.  Leave about 1 1/2" on all sides for covering the sides.

Line the fabric up to where you want it and anchor half with something heavy to keep it from sliding.  I used my scissors and my cell phone.  Haha.  Fold half the fabric back, spray the canvas liberally with adhesive, then fold the fabric back and smooth it out.  Repeat with the opposite side.

Spray and adhere both long sides to the canvas, smoothing wrinkles out of the fabric.  You'll want them to be glued to the canvas sides, as well as the back of the canvas. 

Fold the corners in and glue the short edges up, like wrapping a package.  If you have too much fabric on the edges, this can create excess bulk, so you may want to trim out some of the extra fabric before affixing it to the canvas.

You should end up with smooth edges.

Liberally spray the back of the letter with glue, and attach to canvas.  Press firmly on the back of the canvas to make sure the entire surface of the letter is adhered to the fabric.


A few notes...

It may be helpful to put the fabric on all four canvasses and then figure out where the letters should be placed on them.  You'll want them to all have the same spacing between the letters and the edge of the canvas.

Spray adhesive is very, very strong, but if you don't get things placed where you want them the first time, you can pull them off and re-position, if you don't wait too long.

Heavier fabric will stand up to the moisture of the adhesive better than a thinner fabric.  Thinner fabrics may result in wrinkling.  I used a ticking material and it worked very well.

Anytime you shop at Hobby Lobby, don't forget to print off a coupon from their website.  It's usually a 30% off a regular-priced item.  If you have a smart phone, you can pull it up on your phone and they will honor it. Must be nice to have a smart phone:)