Sunday, December 12, 2010

Asher's Christmas Program

Asher performed in his Christmas program tonight at church. He and his little friends were pretty darn cute!!!
(Click on the collage to see the pictures better.)
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We Made It!

Our first week of December started off with my dad coming to pick up my mom, then we were on our own! My friends Ruth and Shannon both made visits. We made our first outing by ourselves as a family of five and survived. And Asher had his four year checkup with his doctor. He's now 3'5" and 35lbs. He's right on track for his age (50th percentile). Other than that, toys were played with, baths were taken, food was eaten, naps were taken, and all the other "normal" stuff that happens in a house with three little kids ages four and under. We're figuring it out. :)

Click on the little princess to see more from this week.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday, Asher!!!

We celebrated Asher's 4th birthday on November 30th! I can't believe he's FOUR! Our lives changed forever when he was born! We had no idea what it was like to love like that until he came along. The love a parent has for a child is indescribable, and he makes it EASY to love him! He may be a little rascal, but he's got a very tender heart and sweet spirit. He's hilarious, and he always makes us laugh! He's a smart little cookie too! He never ceases to amaze us! I cannot imagine our lives without our Asher Case Waters!!! We love him to pieces!!!

We had a really fun day on his birthday. His Gibbie (my mom) was still here, so that was special. We had birthday muffins in the morning - with a candle, of course. He opened a few different gifts throughout the day. We fixed special snowmen cookies as a surprise for his morning snack. He wanted to help me make his cake, so we did that before naptime, then he blew out more candles and we ate the cake after their naps. That evening, he got to choose where we ate dinner, and he chose "Old McDonald's", of course, where he and Ainsley also played. (That was our first outing as a family of five, but we had help - my mom. :)) And after that, Mom took Ainsley home to go to bed, and the rest of us went to see "Tangled", which was a great movie! On our way home, he said excitedly, "Thanks for my birthday movie! It was SO MUCH fun!" He's so sweet! We love our little four year old!

Happy Birthday to Asher!!!
(Click on the picture to see more!)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

We loved having many of our family members here for Thanksgiving! It works out really well that we live at a camp. There are plenty of places for people to sleep. Thanks for coming, everyone! You made Lexi's first Thanksgiving special! :)

My mom stayed for several days after everyone else left to help us out for a while. She was a great help in lots of ways, but the things that stick out the most were her keeping up with the laundry, dishes, and straightening. Let's just say, it's obvious that she's gone now. :( (We're trying though. Beau has been a great husband and daddy!) She also put up our tree, which was awesome. I love having the Christmas tree up, but it probably still wouldn't be up without her. You were a lifesaver, Mom. Thanks for being here!

Click on the picture to see more of those days.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Welcome Home Lexi

I am a person who actually likes being in the hospital and being taken care of, but by the time it's time to go home, I'm ready. Grammie, Grandad, and Uncle Coby all came by the hospital on their way out of town to say bye. Then it was great to get home where we were greeted by more of my side of the family. Everyone enjoyed getting to see Lexi again before they headed home to go back to work and take care of their own kiddos except for MiMi (my sister Amy). She stuck around for a couple of days to help take care of us and was a huge help with Asher and Ainsley especially while Lexi and I got lots of rest and worked on recovering. Lexi was a little angel who basically slept non-stop, except when I woke her up to feed her. So far she's been very peaceful overall. Lexi had her first doctor's appointment that Monday and was doing really well. She weighed 7lbs. 1oz. (about 5.5 lbs. down from her birthweight, which was fine), and her jaundice was not serious enough to warrant another test, so that was good news. She also did her first modeling job for her newborn photo shoot before MiMi left on Tuesday. (You may have seen those precious pictures a few posts ago.) Then, we spent our first night alone as a family of five before everyone started trickling in again the next day for Thanksgiving. (Those pictures coming up in the next post.)

Click on the picture above to see our documentation of those few days.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lexi Reese is HERE!

Well, I've already given the stats, but I finally got the pictures uploaded. Click on Lexi's FIRST photo to see more of our time in the hospital. And below is the story of when she decided to make her appearance.

The end of the pregnancy is always the hardest for me as far as the waiting goes. Even though I try not to, it's difficult not to wonder if every little thing might mean that it's almost "time". The week before she came, I remember feeling "different", but I was also trying to tell myself that it was probably nothing. Lucky for me, she really was getting ready to come out and meet us. It was a very productive week. The house was totally (well, that's a bit relative) in order, and my family and friend Shannon had gone in together to get our house cleaned. It was a HUGE blessing!!! Thank you again, family and Shannon!!! That was one of the best gifts ever...really!!!

At 11:30pm on Thursday, November 18th I started having contractions every 1-3 minutes. I timed them for about 30 minutes, then woke up Beau. Then I started getting ready to go but waited another 30 minutes to call the hospital. All I knew is that the contractions were very regular and somewhat uncomfortable but not intense. I was really torn about whether or not we should go to the hospital, but I have a history of handling a good part of labor very well and then it becoming unbearable all of a sudden. So, we opted to go. We called Hannah and Jesseka, the sisters who live less than five minutes away from us and keep the kids a lot. They got here at about 12:30, and we left about 1:00, I think. We needed just a few little things for the hospital, so we went to Walmart first before going to the hospital. Funny, I know! :) Afterall, what could a little walking hurt?

We got to the hospital around 2:30, just in time to WAIT MANY more hours to meet our little princess. I contracted every 1-3 minutes for about 14 hours and progressed a little but not much. I walked the halls several times and tried some different things to help things along, but to no avail. I was hoping to avoid pitocin, but that seemed to be the best option after so many hours. I was making some progress when my dr. had two surprise surgeries come up in the middle of the afternoon, so they turned off the pitocin for a couple of hours while he took care of those patients, to try to slow things down for me. It worked. I completely stalled during those two hours, which was a bit discouraging. They started it back up, then eventually broke my water. Things had already started intensifying quite a bit, but the difference after my water was broken was amazing and instant! The pain was steadily becoming more and more unbearable. I had also really wanted to not get an epidural this time because of my two previous negative experiences, but I was as "tough" as possible for as long as possible. I was practicing my breathing and remaining as "peaceful" as possible, but it wasn't working. :) I was hurting SO badly and even ended up throwing up from the pain, which I had never done before. It was brutal. The nurse anesthetist was wonderful! He was so kind and explained every little thing to me before it happened, and although I was in awful pain, he made the experience go as smoothly as possible. I really, really liked him! I was progressing really quickly at that point, so the medicine did not have time to take its full effect, but it was SO much better than it had been. All of a sudden, it was time to push. I pushed for about 30 minutes with Asher and 1 1/2 hours with Ainsley, so I was SHOCKED this time!!! Also, I was determined to push "well" from the very first push this time. I wanted this baby out! :) I pushed three times with the first contraction and after the second push on the second contraction the nurse told me to stop pushing and ran out the door. She had someone get Dr. Riddel IMMEDIATELY. I knew from the way I was feeling that Lexi was ABOUT to be born. I've felt it with my other babies, but it was so much more distinct this time. She was right there, and it BURNED like FIRE! Dr. Riddel got in there, and on my next push, there she 8:55pm. The pain right before she was born was crazy, but the indescribable relief and JOY I felt the INSTANT she was born was beyond amazing!!! It was definitely one of the BEST moments of my life!!! And through it all, Beau was so sweet, encouraging, supportive, and sympathetic. He was the PERFECT husband! I'm so thankful for him!!!

And the pictures can tell the rest of the story. We were overwhelmed with joy...and EXHAUSTION!!! I hadn't slept more than three hours in the 48 hours or so before she was born, so in addition to the regular exhaustion from labor and delivery, there were HOURS more added onto that. I could barely keep my eyes open from the time she was born through the next day or so. But she was WORTH it!!!

We've loved getting to know our newest little princess! She is peaceful and so precious. We are so blessed!!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Rest of November 2010 - Pre-Lexi

LOTS of "growing up" has been going on around here lately - even before Lexi made her appearance. Ainsley had gotten to where she was climbing out of her bed all the time, so even though we had planned on waiting until we move, we ended up switching her to her toddler bed two nights before Lexi was born. Crazy, I know! But she has done great! Asher is still perfecting his potty training. He has been pretty much potty trained for quite sometime, but he reverts every once in a while. And the last month has been one of those "once in a whiles". However, he's been doing much better the last few days. He is also in and out of his bed many times a night typically, but he's also getting much better at not coming to our room until 7:00 in the morning. We're a work in progress, that's for sure! :)

So here are a few pictures to wrap up the pre-Lexi era. One of my favorite things this last month was watching Asher write his letter to Santa. It's pretty cute! :) (Click on his picture to see all the pics.)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Lexi's Newborn Photo Shoot with MiMi - 3 1/2 days old

She's only been here a couple of weeks, and we already love her to pieces! She's a very peaceful, easy baby so far, which we are thankful for!

Lexi Reese Waters
Friday, November 19, 2010
7lbs. 6.7oz.

Click on the picture to see the first of hundreds that I'm hoping to post in the next few days. These are from Lexi's newborn photo shoot with her aunt, MiMi (my sister Amy). The pictures she takes of my kids are always so special and such a treasure to me! Thank you, Amy!!! I love them!!!

More to come soon on life with Lexi...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

November 2010 - Part 1

We've had a great November so far. Click the picture of Super Asher to see what we've been up to.
Soon, there will be one more little one in our pictures...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Waters Family: September/October

Click the picture of Asher climbing his first tree to see our family's photos and videos from the end of September through October. Who knows? This could be the last installment before Lexi arrives! Only three and a half weeks until her due date!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lots of Big Things in September 2010

September has been a big month for us. Ainsley turned two! My Mom's Group friends threw a baby shower to celebrate Lexi. We found out we're moving and went and saw the house we will be moving into. Plus everyday life. Click below to see pics/videos of all of this:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Last of August 2010 Pics/Videos

After summer camp was over, we had so much fun visiting Nacogdoches for Beau's Pawpaw's 80th birthday! Then we spent a couple of nights in Livingston, which was, as always, a blast.
Click to see the rest of our August pics/videos:

Friday, September 10, 2010

California Trip Pics and Videos

Still catching up on August...
Here are the pics and videos from our fun trip to see Aunt Lee and Uncle Chance in California. Thanks for having us Lee and Chance! It was so great to finally get to come see you!!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Big Brother

We put up Lexi's bed today, and both kids were so excited. Asher "helped", and they both had fun crawling under it. Ainsley's so cute when she says, "Lexi's bed?" However, I was just putting Asher down for his nap, and we had the following conversation:

A: But I wanted Lexi to sleep in my room.
M: I know, but there's just not enough room.
A: But I wanted a bed up there and one down here (bunkbeds).
M: That would be really cool, but we would have to get another mattress. And Lexi can't sleep on a bed like that yet, because she's going to be so little. She'll have to sleep in a baby bed.
A: Well, we could put a baby bed up there (on the top bunk).
M: That wouldn't be very safe. It could fall down.
A: But I would catch her.
M: Not if you were asleep.
A: Well, we could put logs around the baby bed, and if it started to fall, I would hear the logs start to rattle, and then I would catch her.
M: We can talk to Daddy about it after naptime.

That was good enough to hold him over for now. We're talking about putting a bunkbed up in his room anyway. He would love it.

And speaking of Asher. It's been really fun watching him learn these days. Well, it always is, but he's been amazing us in new ways just in the last week. He sounded out his first word the other night - pentaceratops. :) Just to clarify, he knew what the word was, because we were reading about the pentaceratops, and we've read that book a million times. But he pointed to each letter and sounded it out - something we haven't really worked with him on yet. It was so exciting! :)He's done that a little more with a few other words, and he's also started writing a couple more letters - D and K. He also has recently started writing his name - in order! And he even wrote the number 10 today. It's really fun watching him start to develop in this way. I love all of my kids so much - even Lexi! :)

P.S. Only 11 weeks and 6 days until her due date!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pics and Videos - American Idol Concert and Waco Visit

Click here to see pics and videos from our fun American Idol evening and our very short visit in Waco:

Pics - First Events of August

Click to see us saying bye to our summer staff and visiting grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Grammie's & Grandad's - August 2010

And here are the pictures from their 2nd trip... I love their hats, Grammie!

Grammie's & Grandad's - June 2010

The kids had a blast at their Grammie's and Grandad's this summer. Here are the pics from their trip in June. Thanks for sharing these pictures, Grammie. It's so much fun to get a peek into what they did while they were with you!

Let's try this again...

I just read over a few of my past posts and love being reminded of what my babies were doing "then". I've got to get back into the swing of things on here! I'm telling you, I fell apart again when I got pregnant. I wish I wasn't like that, but I'm not good at keeping it "together" when change comes my way - even if it's a great change!

Speaking of...Lexi Reese is due to arrive in about 14 weeks. It doesn't seem that long when I put it that way. I'm 26 weeks along, so I've almost made it to my third trimester. First I was EMOTIONAL (before I even knew I was expecting), then I was EXHAUSTED but excited. Then I had a few episodes of spotting, which was difficult. A few weeks into my 2nd trimester, I started feeling a lot better. No more problems, more energy, etc. We found out that she was a GIRL, then sifted through our list of a hundred names or more to come up with HER name. And about six or seven weeks after I started having more energy, I started feeling it decline again. :) But that's all just part of it. We're so excited to meet our new little "Princess Buttercup", as Asher has nicknamed her, pretty soon! I'm starting to feel "nesty". I've gotten all the newborn baby stuff out of storage, hung it in the closet and put it away in her drawers. I've got my "to-do" list going and am slowly marking things off. We've got a ways to go for everything to be in its ideal state, but so far it doesn't seem to be quite as big of a deal as it has in the past. There's only so much we have to/can do to squeeze her into our little home that God has blessed us with. :)

Ainsley Grace is one month away from her 2nd birthday and is turning into QUITE the funny little girl! She is cute, funny, spirited, passionate, and sweet. (Notice that a few of those adjectives can be good OR bad. :)) She can definitely make some mean girl faces and belt it out when she feels like it, but she's also super affectionate, and she cracks us up! (See the video below to see what I mean about the faces and the funniness. :)) She LOVES her daddy, mommy (She also calls me "Memaw" and "Memoo"), Ashie, Loki (dog), and Mary (cat) - and of course her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. Here's a funny story about her from this summer: When we drive by the prison here, Asher points and says, "Bad guys! Bad guys!" And when he started doing that, there happened to be big round hay bales in the field between us and the prison. Sooo...whenever we drive past big round hay bales, she points at them and says, "Bad guys! Bad guys!" She obviously doesn't "get it". :) Although, recently she has started saying both: "Bad guys" and "hay bales". Another thing about her is that she is a little copy cat. ANYTHING that Asher (or anybody else for that matter) says or does, she says or does too. It's pretty funny. She also LOVES to sing and dance. And she's talking more and more everyday. Four word sentences are becoming really common. She's becoming a good little communicator. I don't necessarily think she'll be fully potty trained by the time Lexi arrives, but she usually potties in the potty a few times a week, and she sits on it many more times than that. So she's on her way. :) Another big deal that has happened over the course of the last few months is that she mostly has her paci when she's in her bed now. There are exceptions, but we've been making a slow and steady transition, and it's gone pretty well. To give it up in her bed may be a different story, but we're not crossing that road yet! :)

Asher. Oh, Asher. Where do I begin? He's as great as ever - and as rascally as ever! He's a BOY, that's for sure!!! He still LOVES his "weapons" - swords, guns, staff, etc. And if he doesn't have one of his "real" weapons handy, anything else is sure to become one. He loves super heroes! Some of his favorites are the Hulk, Silver Surfer, Iron Man, Wolverine, Spiderman, and Captain America. He's got a few pair of underwear with superheroes on them, and he'll "throw" his bottom towards us to pretend to "get" us. Beau gave him that idea, and he loves it. :) Speaking of underwear...I would say that he's mostly potty-trained, but we still haven't conquered accidents completely - especially at mother's day out. He's about to start back up for the fall, and I HOPE that he does better than he did this summer there - otherwise, he won't be able to stay in his same "big boy" class (a little prayer request). He's a great big brother (most of the time)! He loves his Ains so much, and he already loves Lexi too. :) Ainsley and Asher are having more and more fun playing together all the time. I love that they have each other!

We had a good summer that went by super fast! It was full and busy as all summers are for us, but we made it! Beau worked long, hard days and is actually enjoying his first full week off right now since it's been over. We loved having our summer staff here. Asher and Ainsley loved them and so did Loki. Loki seems a little "sad" without them.

The kids got to go see their Grammie and Grandad twice by themselves this summer and had a BLAST!!! It was SAD for me to say goodbye on their first trip, but it was such a blessing to be able to relax a little and get a few things done while they were gone. They also got to stay with my parents one night, then they brought them home to us and spent the 4th of July weekend with us. We loved having them!

And when Beau was finally able to get away for a few days (the first time since February or March), the four (five) of us were able to take a trip to CA for a long weekend to see Beau's sister, Lee, and her husband, Chance. That was just this last weekend, and we loved getting to finally visit their home and seeing where they live. It was beautiful, and they were great hosts! The weather was perfect outside of San Jose, and we enjoyed relaxing there and eating a couple of Chance's homecooked meals. (He's a great cook!) We also took a trip to Monterey one day and went to a big aquarium there and drove the 17 Mile Drive on the way back to their house. Our last full day there, we went to THE most beautiful rose garden I've ever seen in San Jose, walked around dowtown Los Gatos, and ate at The Counter (an amazing burger restaurant) and Pink Berry (a delicious yogurt shop). It was a great visit - despite the fact that Ainsley and I were both sick. :(

I'm sure there is much more that I could share, but for today that is it. And hopefully I'll get better about posting again. This is such a great way for me to keep up with the memories we're making in our little family. And the memories are about to increase...again! :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ainsley's "Jesus Loves Me"

This child cracks me up! I laugh out loud every time I watch this! Thanks, Grammie! :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Updated Family Pics/Videos

I am still alive! Here's proof: Click on the link below to see what's been going on in our lives over the last few months. We've been having lots of fun. Summer has come and gone. Now we're starting to get ready for the arrival of Lexi Reese around Thanksgiving. Less than four months to go! :)


Monday, April 5, 2010

New Pics and Videos

Some of you may have seen most of the March pics, but I updated them a few days ago with the end of the month pictures. And I added the ones from Easter last night. on the link (, if you wish, and look for "March 2010" and "Easter 2010". Perhaps a new post will be coming soon, but we'll see...I can only do so much. :) Happy Easter!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

We need a new car!!!

We sent this picture to our parents and siblings the other day with the subject being, "It could work!" Well, it COULD...but it would be a TIGHT squeeze!!! :) So, we'll see what we can do about that before our new little turkey arrives around Thanksgiving. We're SO EXCITED (and admittedly crazy) about our THIRD BABY being on his/her way!!! Ainsley is clueless of course, but Asher has already been super cute about it! The other day he said, "We're going to have another buddy baby!...And another sister baby!" He's stuck on me having more than one, but at least that was less than the four that he first predicted: "Two more boy babies and two more girl babies." :) And he's offered to share his room with the baby. He thinks it would be great if the baby would sleep with him, so that he (Asher) wouldn't be afraid at night. :) The baby, of course, won't be sleeping with him, but who knows where he/she will end up landing. We'll figure it out! :)

She DID it!!!

AINSLEY TEE-TEED IN THE POTTY!!!!!! She's been INSISTING on sitting on the little potty the last few days by saying, "Sotty! Sotty! Sotty!" until we entertain her by letting her. And OF COURSE she hadn't actually done anything. She's just now 18 months after all. (Those were our thoughts.) But today, she DID...twice!!! YEA for Ainsley!!! We HOPE that she's going to go ahead and get potty-trained. That would be SO NICE! But we'll see...:) (Asher is another story. We're TRYING!!!)

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Asher and Ainsley had so much fun this morning opening packages that Grammie and Grandad sent in the mail for Valentine's Day! Thank you Grammie and Grandad! They loved it all!!! And Beau and I are excited about our gifts too. :) We'll put it ALL to good use! Thank you for thinking of all of us!!!

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Friday, February 5, 2010

The Kiddos

My kids!!! I love 'em!!! I haven't posted in so long. I've been trying to "get my life together", so this has fallen to the wayside. I hope I don't forget too much. They're such a joy! They're both SO FUNNY and FULL of LIFE - even when we wish they would cool it a little! :)

Ainsley Grace is almost 17 months old and is growing up more every day.
Some things she loves these days:
*Bringing Asher's cowboy boots or rainboots to us to put on her, and then she'll often take one off and just walk around with one on. I don't know why, but it's funny.
*Playing with Allie's old toy kitchen that we recently moved into her room
*Pointing at the coat rack and adamantly requesting (in her unique way/language) that I put her coat and her hat on her and then saying, "Ba-ba" (bye-bye)
*She loves to wear gloves and immediately starts clapping her hands together after I've put them on her, saying, "YA-AY!" (I like it how she can make a one syllable word into two. :))
*Climbing! - up on the couch, Asher's bed, chairs...
*She and Asher have been having fun lately by turning Beau's video rocker (little rocking chair thing that sits on the floor) over and using it as an indoor slide. And it's a good thing, since it's been so COLD outside lately!
*Playing with her bag of 100 balls in her room or in Asher's firetruck tent - kicking them, "swimming" in them
*And OF COURSE playing with Asher!!! They're becoming better and better buddies all the time!!!

Some of the things she's saying:
*Rubbing her hand on her chest ("please" in sign language), exclaiming, "Nya-nya...Nya-nya...Nya-nya!!!" This means that she wants her cup of milk. :)
*"Shsh" - shoes
*"Mommy"!!! - She has, of course, been saying "Mama" for months, but just this week (first from her bed), she started calling, "Mommy."
*"Dae-dee" - baby
*"Dah-dee" - Loki (our dog)
*"Da-da" and "Daddy" - Daddy (She's been saying that forever too.)
*"Ghi-ghi" (or something like that) - blanket
*"A(short "a" sound)-he" - Asher - It's so cute! It had been "Aya" (or something like that), but it's evolving.
*"Eye" - eye - And although she knows where the mouth, nose, ears, and hair are, she says, "Eye" for all of them. :) Just yesterday she started learning where her arms and legs are.
*And she says a ton of things that I understand by tone alone, like when I ask her what a turtle does, and she "says", "Walks very slowly!" There are no words, but we've been saying the same thing the same exact WAY since Asher was a baby, and she has picked up on it. It's hilarious!
*I'm sure there are more things that she's saying, but that's all I can think of for now.

And then there's Asher Case - 3 1/4 (almost) - I was holding him the other day, and it seemed as though I could literally FEEL him getting bigger in my arms! I hated it!!! Of course I want nothing more than for him to be healthy and grow into the man that God has created him to be, but to feel his "littleness" slipping away just KILLS me sometimes!!! HE says, "I'm still little...but I AM bigger." I love it that he's still "little" even though he's getting bigger! I love my little first born so much it makes me teary!!! He's absolutely WONDERFUL and LIGHTS up our lives (as Ainsley does!)!!!

*He is WORKING on potty training. He does GREAT sometimes...and sometimes our timing is all wrong! I have to believe that we'll get it ONE day! :)
*He LOVES guns, swords, and cowboy hats!!! He loves watching "The Three Mousketeers" (as he calls it) - sensored, of course - and "The Princess Bride". Much of everyday is spent wearing his blue cape that Uncle Tyler got him for Christmas BACKWARDS (on the front of him), his cowboy boots, and a cowboy hat (that he really wishes had a big feather on the side of it), holding a gun and a sword. He's definitely "Wild at Heart", like the book says. :) Ainsley even likes to pretend with him. It's hilarious! He'll get her, and she'll say, "Aaaah!" and fall on the ground.
*He's started getting a little more into full length movies like "Toy Story", "Toy Story 2", "Monsters, Inc." to name a few.
*He, as always, loves playing outside, and he's getting dirtier than ever, which is just fine by me! I love it!
*He's getting more into building towers with wooden blocks, Legos, and Lincoln Logs.
*He loves his remote control cars and trucks!
*He likes to "help" me cook and switch out laundry (when I'll let him - sometimes I just need some SPACE! :)).
*He LOVES his dog and is getting good at just ducking his head into himself when Loki jumps on him (which we're ALSO working on!). For some reason we haven't been successful at getting Asher to be forceful with Loki yet in saying "no" and popping her on her nose. Instead he just ducks his head. Hopefully we'll solve this problem eventually! :)
*He loves writing and drawing. He writes these letters: H, T, i, S (as of yesterday!), A, L, O. And we've started working through a workbook that helps him learn his letters. We're on "B" so far. :) He seems to be a smart little boy! We just pray for wisdom as we try to parent him in the best way.

Asher went to mother's day out last year and really liked it, but he seems to be in a stage this year where he just needs me, and that's ok with me. I don't completely understand what's going on with him all the time, but it's been interesting to just take life step-by-step with him and Ainsley and try to be sensitive to their individual needs and personalities. He is 100% OUTGOING at home and with those he feels really close to but tends to be on the shy-er side when in a group of people. We're always seeking to make the best choices for him - sometimes to push him a little, because obviously it's good for him to relate with others, but at the same time letting his little personality blossom the way that God intends it to. We started going to the library this past week for story time on Tuesdays and play time on Thursdays, and I am excited about this. It's an opportunity to be in a classroom setting (on Tuesdays) in a way and to have interaction with others but having me there at the same time. I think it's a good fit for him right now, and I'm thankful that God led us to find it. His favorite part about it so far has been the "bear hunt". I'm hoping that he can start tee-ball in the spring, but I still need to check and see what is offered here. He took a tumbling class in the fall and really enjoyed it, but I'd rather find him something that he can take part in with other little boys his age. Girls are fine, but he was the only boy in his class. :)

So that's the scoop on the kiddos. Hopefully I can get some pictures posted soon. Speaking of, I do have PART of our Christmas pics uploaded to Picasa, so if you're interested, go take a look. I hope to get the rest posted soon! Click here if you'd like to see the new ones so far:

A Little About ME... :)

...since we've been strangers to the bloggy world for a couple of months now. I'm just not good at keeping up. What can I say?

Before I got married and had kids I thought I "had it together" for the most part - as far as feeling somewhat in control of life, keeping a pretty and clean home, etc. Since I've gotten married and had kids, I've been progressively amazed and distraught about who I've "become" in that regard. Over the last year or so, I've been learning a lot about myself through books and Some things I already knew, but as I read more, I'm more convinced of different things. Like...that I am a perfectionist, and if I don't feel like I have the time, energy, or "know how" to do something the way it "should" be done, then I feel INCREDIBLY overwhelmed, sometimes a bit depressed, and the end result is that I become "crippled" and don't do anything. Then my house (and everything else) goes down hill until I can pull myself together again. (I will confess that even as I write about this, I feel a little "sheepish" :), because I think I'm "weird", but oh well, this is me...)

Well, I feel like I am rounding a corner and that God is faithfully changing me - little by little. My friend Autumn loaned me a book called Tender Mercy for a Mother's Soul, or something like that. It's been GREAT for me!!! I think every mother can relate to giving, giving, giving, and giving some more, then feeling completely drained, with NOTHING or LESS than nothing left!!! I LOVE my family FIERCELY. I would absolutely NEVER choose another life than the one God has given me!!! I am moved to tears when I think about how MUCH I love Beau, Asher, and Ainsley. I am BLESSED!!! And at the same time, my soul needs to be FILLED by God EVERY day, or I become an unpleasant mess, because no one can give the way a wife and mother are required to (and blessed to) and not feel depleted at the end of the day. Even as I type this, I feel rediculous, because it seems like complete common sense, but it's been the struggle of my life to set aside time every day to give God the place He deserves. Anyway...the book I've been reading deals with making it a priority to get your sould filled by God every day, and I've seen SUCH a difference since I've made that commitment AGAIN in my life. (This whole issue is so much more complex than anything I could ever describe in writing.)

So...I certainly don't have it all "together", which I know is actually a good thing, because it keeps me striving toward the goal of knowing God more every day, but lately my days have looked something like this: Beau takes care of the kids for a while when they wake up, and I stay in bed reading, journaling, and praying. Then sometimes I EVEN take a shower before he gets his turn. :) I am being silly, but this has actually been a really big deal for me to make a conscious effort to get dressed and ready for the day at the BEGINNING of the day like a "normal" person does. :) (I know it would be ideal for me to get up earlier, but I haven't conquered that part yet. :)) Then I go downstairs, feed the kids and myself breakfast (if they haven't eaten yet). Then I get to work. Breakfast dishes done, beds made, straighten anything that needs to be straightened, get the kids dressed, get laundry going, etc. By the time all of that is done, it's usually 10:00 or so, and we generally either go outside and play for a while or go into town for errands or something. And then the rest of the day consists of what you would think it does, fixing meals, playing, changing diapers, potty training (when I remember - we're working on it!), cleaning, dishes, straightening, laundry, naptime, bathtime, bedtime, etc., etc., etc. (You may be wondering why I'm writing a post like this. It may be a little BORING, but it's what's been going on with me, and this is my "journal". :))

So, thanks to God, Autumn for loaning me that book, the lady who wrote the book (I can't think of her name right now), and FlyLady. I am focusing on a few new daily habits that are really helping me a LOT: 1)concentrated (even if not super lengthy) time alone with God, 2)getting ready for the day (not staying in my pjs all day :)), 3)making our beds, 4)keeping the dishes (especially since we don't have a dishwasher) and laundry "done", 5)keeping things picked up, and 6)decluttering for 15 minutes a day. Again, these things seem SO BASIC, I KNOW, but to break it all down has really been helping me. And I also want to say that there are so many more to credit for teaching me these things and encouraging me in them over the course of my life. I've been inspired by countless people and resources throughout my life in these my MOM! :)

Even as mundane as these things sound, they (and my kids, hubby, and life in general) keep me on my toes! It's a full time job to "keep up", and I'm still trying to figure out the balance of it all, because although I'm happier these days from keeping up with the basics, I'm SO TIRED by mid-afternoon or so, and I haven't quite figured out yet how not to be. I usually try to rest during naptime, and that helps for the afternoon, but then I'm ready to "quit" by 7:00 in the evening. :) Luckily, Ainsley goes to sleep at 7:00, but Asher doesn't. I'll welcome any tips, but maybe being tired is just part of life. :)

Well, I planned to fill you in on the kids too, but I've got to go fix lunch. So...I'll leave you with this for now, and I'll make it a point to update you on them later this afternoon. They're changing every day, and we're loving every minute of it...ok, maybe not EVERY minute of it, but you know what I mean!!! :)