Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Babies Everywhere!

Saturday, we had all of our friends that live within 90 miles and have a child 1 or under over for a cookout and playdate. It was a lot of fun and so good to see everyone. There were nine adults and six children and it wasn't nearly as chaotic as I expected it to be.

Here are a few pictures from the day.

All of the babies except for Noah, who was sleeping.
Left to Right: D'Laney, Eli, Avery, Landon, Emma Claire

Everyone but Stefanie at dinner

Everyone but me, Eli, and Landon

We are so thankful to have such good friends and that Eli and Landon have so many good kids to grow up with!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Psalm 127:3

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. - Psalm 127:3

I have prayed for Eli & Landon from the time I learned of their being. When we learned of the potential problems we would encounter, I prayed harder. When I learned that they (according to medicine) had exactly the same chance of both living as they did of both dying, still I prayed harder. I had no lack of faith - I know that God's abilities have no limit. I knew that God could heal them and keep them safe. What I didn't know was God's will. I pray to God and He always answers my prayers, but it is not always with an answer of "yes". And I am completely at peace with that knowing that our omniscient and omnipotent Father truly knows what is best for us. At the time, I felt compelled to tell God that if trusted with these enormous blessings, I would not take the responsibility lightly. That I would look to His teachings on how to raise my children. That I would bring them up to know Him, to know right and wrong, to love, honor, and fear Him. It wasn't a bargain...it was a promise.

It's a promise that I daily strive to keep.

Of all the new things we have been able to do with Eli and Landon these past few weeks...my favorite thing is going to church as a family. Despite the fact that my ability to pay attention has hit an all time low and the fact that I feel like I've wrestled with a walrus when is it over, it is such a joy to be there.

I have a ton to learn about parenting. Dustin and I read books, we think back to our own raisings (we turned out pretty good I guess), and we watch and learn from other families who have obedient and respectful children. We just want to be the best we can for Eli and Landon.

Our ultimate goal for Eli and Landon and whatever other children we may have is for them to grow up and decide to become Christians, or even better, preachers or elders in the Lord's church like several of their grandpas and great-grandpas. Nothing would bring us more joy. And what we do today is setting the foundation for that. Now more than ever do children need to be taught the difference between right and wrong. The world's moral standard is so far removed from God's standard and it can be confusing for someone who is not firmly grounded in the truth...especially a child.

So for now, we will guard their innocent and pure hearts and teach them to do the same for themselves as they grow and mature.

Landon and Eli in Bible class last Sunday

A sweet couple from church got these shirts for the boys. The front says, "Working For Him"

The back says "I am God's workmanship, Created in Christ to do good works. Ephesians 2:30"
That's right, sweet babies, you sure are.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

We Love Daddy!

Here are Eli and Landon proudly proclaiming their love for Daddy.



And if it were socially acceptable, I might wear a similar shirt as well. Dustin is such a great Daddy. He spends every spare moment with Eli and Landon and he helps me tremendously. I know I couldn't do it without him. Eli and Landon just light up when he comes home from work. He is so patient and gentle and he makes us all feel at ease when he is around.
Four years ago tonight, Dustin asked me to marry him. It involved 5 sweet letters, lots of tulips, a few lies, candles, and a diamond ring. At the time...I thought he was perfect. If you asked me to name one flaw, I couldn't do it. Four years later...I still can't. I think he's perfect and he's definitely perfect for me!
He thinks I'm silly for keeping up with things like our "first date anniversary", "engagement anniversary" and other days that are seemingly insignificant, but it's just a reminder to me of where we started and how blessed I am. Who doesn't like to remember that every once in a while?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Time flies...

when you are finally out and about!

Here's what we've been up to...

We turned six months old! We are rolling all over the house, trying our hardest to crawl, sitting up with a little help and for a few seconds on our own, eating all sorts of good things like sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, mashed potatoes, bananas, applesauce, pears, and squash, and laughing and smiling a whole lot.
Here we are eating. Sometimes we are too busy playing with each other to eat. (sorry if the food hanging out of Landon's mouth grosses you out!)

My dad and Anita came to see us last Thursday through Saturday! It was so wonderful to have them here. They helped us around the house, with the babies, and they worked all day Friday helping us turn our yard into a sight no longer to be embarrassed about! It ranks up there on my running list of "Nicest Things Anyone Has Ever Done For Me."

Please don't look at me in this picture, but DO look at how Dustin dressed himself, Eli, and Landon. I laughed until I cried. He thinks he's so funny.

We have an exersaucer that the boys LOVE to jump in. Grandpa decided that one jumping machine was not enough for two boys who love to jump, so on his 157th trip to Wal-Mart, he came back with this beauty. We all love it except we can't touch the ground in it yet. At least our Strong's Concordance is getting good use.

Saturday afternoon, we left to spend Easter in Iraan. We got to Nana and Papa's house just in time for the big party and egg hunt. Here are a few pictures from the weekend:

Okay, this isn't from the weekend, but it's my sweet Eli.
Eli and Landon's Easter gift from Nana and Papa. They love their new cars! We'll have to get together with Heath and Hunter for one big game of bumper cars!

And here is Midland's most eligible bachelor:

Somehow, I didn't get one picture of the boys on Easter. Keva snapped a few pictures of us after church, so maybe one of those will turn out.

Well, that's all we've been up to. We are enjoying our freedom and the boys are eating up all of the attention they get when we're out. I have decided that I have to plan anything I take the boys along for to take 37 times more time than it would take if I was alone. They sure keep life interesting!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

We're Free!

It actually happened about a week ago. I woke up and decided that I had had enough. We were going to live our lives like normal human beings and join society again...as a family. I was so fed up with house arrest that I threatened to let the boys go play in the balls at McDonalds....then go visit the sick people in the hospital.....then go to Wal-Mart and lick the handles on all the carts.

But instead we went to church :)

It's nice. It's nice to go places as a family. It's nice to share my boys with the world. It's nice to not live in fear. It's nice to enter a restaurant instead of eating in the car.

It's funny...we got a lot of comments the past six months. Some who agreed with what we were doing, some who thought we were paranoid and overprotective, and some who thought we weren't careful enough. But it doesn't matter. We did the best we could for Eli and Landon and we were blessed with good health through the winter and for that I am so thankful.

Here are some pictures from the boys' first day in Bible class.

This is their best friend, Noah. He is just three months older than Eli and Landon and such a sweetie! I can only imagine the trouble these three will get into together!
And that's the puzzle that Eli and Landon just finished together...they are pretty advanced :)

This is how cooperative they were being today

Here are some feeding pictures. Don't they look excited to be eating peas?

These videos are of the boys right when they wake up from their nap. I just love going in there to get them!

Eli and Landon turn six months old tomorrow! It's their half-birthday - how unbelievable is that? But...I'll save it for another post tomorrow!
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