Thursday, July 28, 2011

John's 3rd Birthday

So today was the big day! John turned 3 years old! First of all, for those of you that might not know...I love birthdays. I mean I LOVE birthdays. I am the person that celebrates my birthday all month. Matt's family kind of makes fun of me because I announce my birthday month on August 1st. Birthdays were always a big deal at my house, so I am carrying on the tradition in my family. So today was Celebration #1!
John announced this morning...."It's my BIRTHDAY!!" (Oh yeah...he has caught the fever!)
The amazing thing was that his presents were sitting out in the living room. He asked what they were, I told him they were his presents. He didn't touch them until I gave him permission. Isn't he such a good little boy!
I hope you enjoy the pictures of John's special day.
Opening his presents from Mom, Dad, and Sophia
John was not crazy about this gift at first...but it was my favorite. I made him a reversible cape! It turned out so cute. I will have to put up a tutorial for everyone because it isn't hard at all! I got it from 123 SEW. By the end of the day...he was flying around, shouting "Super WHY!!" (This is a cartoon in case you haven't heard of it.) He loves it now and he sweetly told me "Thank you Mommy for making me this cape."
One side....
The other side.
This was John's favorite gift so far for his birthday. He flew Buzz Lightyear around all day. He even went on errands with us. Matt almost never got it out of the package.
Yes..I did make him a shirt to wear today! :) He also got dry erase crayons which he has been asking for for months! He was watching his new Curious George DVD at the time, saying ...."this is a great day!"
I was the mean mom that took my child to the dentist on his birthday. HOWEVER...he was a ROCKSTAR! He let them count and clean his teeth with no problem. He got a little scared on the X-rays, but was big and did it. They sang him Happy Birthday and gave him special treats. When Pops asked him what he got for his birthday, he said..." I got a toothbrush!" That was the only thing he told Pops he got. :)
We ended the evening at Starbucks with cupcakes from Smallcakes in Lees Summit with Nannee Barb and Papa Mark. They were yummy! As you will see below, Sophia loved them too!

Mom and Dad love you so much. We can't imagine our lives without your smiling face. These have been the best 3 years of our lives and we look forward to many more years of celebrating your birthday with you. You are a special little boy. Your smile is infectious. Your sense of humor is grand. You bring excitement into a room and make people smile. We know that God has great plans for you.
We love you John,
Mom and Dad

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

3 Years Ago Tonight

Three years ago tonight, I was playing cards with my parents and Matt. At 11:00 pm, my mom told me she thought I should be getting to bed because I was needing to get rest. You see the next morning, I would be going into Centerpointe Hospital to get induced. We had to be there at 6:00 a.m. Little did I know that...

1. I would be having a boy.

2. My life would be changed completely.

3. I could love someone so much.

4. Our son would be very talkative, a red head, and make us laugh everyday.

Tomorrow my little guy turns 3. When I tucked John in tonight, I couldn't help to get a little sentimental thinking this was the last night I would be tucking him in as a 2 year old. For some reason 3 sounds so much older!

Our little family will celebrate tomorrow and then the big parties (yes there is more than one) will be on Saturday. Of course, I have went over board trying to make his birthday so special. But that is what I do when it comes to birthdays...

Click here to see the blog that was done the day John was born. My sweet friend Sarah Beard was there that special day. She took pictures of the family meeting John for the first time and then blogged for me to let everyone know. Thank you Sarah for being such a sweet, special friend who captured these moments.

Be prepared for the next couple of days...there should be lots of celebration pictures!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Mommy/Son Date

Today John and I had a date. One of the challenges of having multiple children is spreading your attention to everyone. I know there are times that one or the other is overlooked and that is just life, but I like to think I really do try to make sure eacha child is loved individually. So John and I went on a play date with some friends, just him and I. Miss Sophia got to spend the morning with Mrs. Jessica and her girls.
John woke up at 5:45 this morning excited for our date. I love that he was excited, even though I told him to go back to sleep because it wasn't time. Later, we headed over to Summit Waves ($2 if you go during kid time 8:30-10:00), then to the park and ended at Jimmy Johns for lunch where we got a special treat because it was a date....a chocolate chip cookie!!
It was great. My little guy will turn 3 on Thursday and I am just amazed at how grown up he is. He just talks like crazy and says the funniest things. An example was Jenna hadn't shown up yet to the play date. He asked where she was and I said that she was just running a little late. His response was "Well, I should call her and tell her the plan so she can find us when she decides she wants to show up." As he was saying this he has his hands on his hips and shaking his finger. Wonder where he got that from??
Anyway, it was a great day. I do love having 2 kids, but when I get to spend some one on one time with them, it is so special.
I have decided to start having a date night with John once a month. Just him and I hanging out. When Little Miss gets a little older, we will start going girl places to have a girls night out. I can't wait!!

A new addition to Sophia's room

I showed my dad this really cool castle/bookcase idea from a magazine. Voila! He built it for Sophia! This was his first project since he retired from teaching. He built it and I painted it. (By the way...I have learned painting is not a strength for me. It almost stresses me out.) turned out wonderful! I love it and it looks great in her room. The castle on the top can come off and the door (it is dark pink) on the castle comes down, almost like a drawbridge. She is going to have so much fun with it as she grows up and plays dress up.
Thank you Pops!

Sophia loves it too!

Sophia and Toothbrushes

Sophia's new obsession is toothbrushes and toothpaste. She always wants them in her hands. She will search for all of them and won't rest until they are all accounted for.
Searching for the toothbrushes. Please ignore the unorganized drawer!
She has found them and they are all accounted for!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

We've done a lot of coloring during this crazy heat wave.
Stay cool everyone!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Today Jessica Sharky and I took the kids down to the Rainforest Exhibit at Crown Center. Much to our surprise it was really busy so after a little time spent at the exhibit, we headed to Fritz...the train cafe! You know...eating out with the kids always sounds like a lot of fun...until you are actually sitting down to eat! It is always a busy time at the table! The kids did a really good job and Jessica and I actually got to eat our entire meal.
After eating, we headed over to the spray park. It was busy but that did not stop Madeline and John. They were in the water, playing around. The little girls, mainly stayed in the shade playing in the stroller and walking around.
It is always a fun time to hang out with the Sharky girls. Thanks for a great day!
John looking cool by the fountains.

They are all looking at forward at the same time!!!

Fruit snack time! I love how Sophia and Makenna are looking at each other. John and Madeline are saying "Cheese!"
The little girls...looking cute in their pink bathing suits.
Yesterday, Matt took off work and we headed to the zoo. Yes it was hot but Matt hadn't been to the zoo with the kids this summer, so we decided to head there for a couple of hours. It was fun. The polar bear was showing off by jumping off the rocks into the water and putting his paws on the glass for the visitors. We also got to see the elephants get fed and do tricks. The last highlight of the day was riding the new African Sky Ride. It was really neat and we got to see some animals while we were up in the air. John and Sophia didn't get scared at all.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I am official

Well it is official! I am in administration and I have the badge to prove it!
Let the adventure begin!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Couple Recipes

So today I made three new recipes. 2 out of 3 turned out wonderful! Not bad! Here are some new recipes to try.
Peach and Mint Iced Tea
You need: 6 cups of water, 1 1/4 cups lightly packed fresh mint, 3 ripe peaches, and ice.

1. Boil 6 cups of water in a covered medium saucepan. Remove from heat and add 1 cup of fresh mint. (I used mine out of my garden.)
2. Cover and seep for 30 minutes to allow mint to infuse water.
3. Strain mint tea into a pitcher, discarding leaves, and refrigerate until cold.
4. Meanwhile, chop 2 peaches coarsely and place them in a blender. Puree until smooth and strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Chill puree.
5. Thinly slice remaining peach. In 4 tall glasses, layer crushed ice, thin slices of peach and remaining 1/4 cup mint leaves, filling glasses about halfway.
6. Divide chilled mint tea among 4 glasses. Then stir and serve immediately.

So this wasn't my favorite drink. The first drink Matt and I drank, we just looked at each other. We added some sugar and Matt liked it a lot better. It looks little pretty and I would love to serve it at a dinner party...but I don't know if I would drink it :)
I suggest you try it and see what you think.
A couple months ago I took a cooking class with Estella. She is a sweet lady from Anapra, Mexico, who helps dispense rice and beans to families we help support monthly. She is a precious woman. Anyway, she did a cooking class when she was visiting. She taught us to make rice, beans and salsa.
This salsa is SO easy and SO good.

You need: tomatoes, jalapenos, a clove of garlic
(I used 2 tomatoes, 2 jalapenos and 1 clove. This was a perfect amount for our family for dinner.)
1. Grill tomatoes and jalapenos until they are charred. (I did it on a griddle.)
2. Place vegetables in a Tupperware with a lid for a few minutes. (The steam helps the peeling come right off.)
3. Peel skin off vegetables and place in a bowl.
4. Chop a clove of garlic and add to the vegetables.
5. Take a glass and turn it upside down. With the rim of the glass, smash the ingredients together.
6. You decide how chunky you want your salsa.
7. Add salt as needed.
That is it!! So yummy!

The last recipe I made was almond butter. It turned out yummy too! I didn't measure anything, so I don't have measurements for the recipe. You just have to taste a long the way.
You need: roasted almonds, almond oil, honey (or some kind of sweetener), and salt.

1. Put almonds in a food processor and blend almonds until it is sticky.
2. Add almond oil and blend more until it is the consistency of peanut butter.
3. Add honey and salt as needed.
There you go. Easy as that. It is very yummy with bananas and in smoothies.

Give one or all of them a try. Enjoy!

First day to have pigtails!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sophia's Words

My sweet Sophia has become quite the talker!
One of the hard things about having a 2nd child is not to compare them to the other one. It is really hard! With the first one, you have nothing to compare to so you think everything is on time. So one of my constant prayers has been not to compare Sophia's timeline with John's timeline.
Sophia start walking around 14 months. She really had no need to walk before this because John gave her everything wanted. I talked with the PAT lady, Mrs. Penny, and she said it was totally normal. When Sophia wasn't talking much, I contacted Mrs. Penny again. She said, "Don't worry." It will come. She can really only work on one thing at a time. As you can see, worrying is a weakness of mine. I can find something to worry about at all times if I am not careful. I pray about this often.
Then BAM!!! Sophia started talking this week. You see, Sophia has always seem to understand what you were saying from a very young age. She just wouldn't verbalize anything. However, now she tells you. She tells you "Yup" or "NO" about things she wants or doesn't. She tells you "drink" and "up" and "down". She has added to "Mama" and "Daddy" by saying "Pops" and "Nana". She continues to say "Bubby" and she tells him "NO" often. She says "hi" and "bye bye". She plays and says "Peek A Boo" and finishes with "Thank you". This is all in one week. It was like she was just holding it in and let it out all at once. Oh one of my favorites is "Yee Haw" and the "YEAH!!" after she sings Itsy Bitsy Spider.
I need not worry. They are on their own schedule.

Simmons Childrens Camp

I had the pleasure of serving at Simmons Childrens Camp as the worship leader for the 2nd year in a row this past week. Simmons Baptist Camp played an important part of my life as I was growing up. It was the local church camp and I went there through Childrens Camp and Girls Camp. I also served as a counselor for 4 years (I think it was that long). I truly love this place.

Sure it is out in the wilderness so there are A LOT of creatures and bugs. There is no air conditioning, well I take that back...there is one room...the dining room. There are like 80 little rock stairs that you have to battle numerous times a day because the ampitheater and bunk houses are at the bottom and the dining hall and pool are at the top. There are only 3 showers for like 30 some girls and the bunk beds have been there for ever. But it is a sweet spirited place. You see...a lot of people start their walk with the Lord here. You can truly feel the Spirit of God in this place. Thousands of friendships have started and remained through this camp. I have so many memories of doing chants before each meal, hoping your groups' chant got picked so you could eat first. Late night swims and snacks with other counselors. Canoe rides and camp fires with marshmallows while campers are singing and laughing, meanwhile, the camp director is just hoping no one tries to jump in the fire. Best of all, the services in the worship area. You do have to sit on hard rock bleachers, but the sound of campers singing their hearts out and loving the Lord will never be forgotten.

You see, that is why I love being the music leader at this camp. For the past two years I have used songs from the Seeds Family Worship cds. The kids LOVE these songs. They sing at the top of their lungs and jump for joy as they sing bible verses. This year, these kids walked away learning 7 Bible verses and LOVING it. As my kids heard me say numerous times this year....IT IS AWESOME! The kids faces and voices touch my heart. 24 decisions were made this year of kids that want to follow the Lord. They made life changing decisions this week and I am so blessed that I got to be a part of it.

Another special part of camp this year is that John sang worship with me. I mean the whole worship service. He was on stage with a microphone in front of 60 some kids singing praises with them. He danced with the kids and it was GREAT. He told my dad, the camp director, " I think I will be a camper here some day." Both of our hearts swelled.

I never remembered to have someone tape John singing on stage. So after the last service, he put on a show for my mom and I. I got him singing one of the songs. So I hope you enjoy my sweet boy singing about Jesus.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


I have blogged about the wonderful company, SEEDS, before but I must say again that it is such a neat thing they do. Tonight we were listening to one of the CDs, which we haven't listened to in a long time, and John instantly picked it up. He had his guitar out, singing at the top of his lungs. It was GREAT!
For those of you that haven't heard of it, these are CDs that put Bible verses to music. They are super catchy and awesome. When you buy one, you get 2 of the CDs so you can give one to someone else (hints the name of the company SEEDS, because you are planting seeds by giving the Word to other people).
It just amazed me that a 2, almost 3 year old (which he reminds me of this), can pick up on the verses so quickly. He was jumping around singing "The Word of the Lord stands forever." How great that he is already saying that???? Well, I was excited and I hope you get as excited when you hear the songs too.
Have a great night!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Today we made homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream. The mint came out of our garden. I must say the process was very involved but SO WORTH it. The taste of this yummy stuff was really good and so different than any other mint ice cream I have had. Matt doesn't even like homemade ice cream but loved this recipe. It tastes just how mint smells in the garden. SO GOOD! I got the recipe here
Like I said before it is an involved recipe, but don't let that scare you. It is worth it.
As you can see below...the kids loved it too!

I am FINISHED and Civil Wars Concert

I am FINISHED! I can't believe it. For 2 years I have went to class with the same group of people (wonderful people by the way), completed mountains of homework, and complained about how I can't wait to get finished. And now I am FINISHED. Wait, I should say "we are finished" because this has been a "we" thing since the beginning. My sweet husband has been on the journey all the way. He has devoted his Wednesday nights for 2 years to feed, bath, watch, and put the kids to bed by himself. He also heard my countless complaints, hugged me through tears, and told me "You can do this." He made me relax and play with my kids when I just couldn't do homework anymore. He would tell me, especially during Research and Finance, you don't have to get an A...just pass it. I would give him a dirty look and tell him "I don't get anything but A's!" (Just to brag...and this is totally bragging...I did get a 4.0!)
When we started this program, we had one kid and Matt said "Go for it." Little did we know that in the middle of the program, baby #2 would be on its way. I am sure there were times Matt just wanted to say "Please quit. I am tired of this." But he never did and he supported me through the whole program. I love you Matty.
Working on my Masters and completing it was one of the hardest things I have done. I am super proud of myself! The program I did was amazing and I learned so much. The professors I had and the people that I got to have class with each week was great. I made such great friends and I feel lucky to have the network that I have now for my future.
There are many people I need to say thank you to and I am afraid I will forget people, so I will be vague in order to try to get everyone.
My family - Thank you for watching my kids when I needed to do homework or when Matt needed help. We couldn't have done it without you guys.
My girls - Thank you for the Starbucks dates and dinner dates hearing me complain about my homework load. You made me laugh and rant and kept me going.
My friends - there are a lot of you that sent me Facebook messages, commented on my blog and gave me words of encouragement.
The Cohort - I will miss you guys. For 2 years we spent each week together. We shared a lot of life together and I will miss seeing you guys.
SPE staff - so many of you gave me opportunities for my internship and I appreciate it so much! I was asked daily about how things were going and so much support was given to me on a daily basis. I will miss you all next year.
Administrators - Thank you to so many administrators that gave me different opportunities to help me grow and become an administrator. I was given a lot of advice and I appreciate it so much.
So I am DONE and so excited! I have a new job next year and I am excited for the new experience.
After I finished my last class, I went to the Civil Wars concert with friends. It was great! The Civil Wars are amazing and I would go see them again in the heartbeat. It was a great way to celebrate.
These guys look drunk...but they aren't. And it was Brandon's birthday too!
My sweet friend, Katie.
The amazing Civil Wars.