Thursday, September 29, 2011

Heart Check

Isaac had his 3rd checkup with his cardiologist this morning. Everything except the hole and murmur are gone. The murmur is barely there-the PA said she had to really concentrate to hear it (a 1 on a scale of 1-6). The hole is still there, but it's smaller than it was last time (6 months ago). So, he's still not "cleared" but Dr. Mo doesn't want to see him for a year! Dr. Mo said everything else about his heart looks great. And obviously, it's not effecting Isaac in any way! :) God is so good!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Isaac Jayden...growing too fast!

It's been so beautiful outside and I finally grabbed my camera to get some pictures of Isaac. He's changing so quickly and is becoming more little boy than baby! :( He's so very ornery and wants to be right in the middle of everything his big sister and big brother do...including the Wii!! He got so mad this morning that nobody would let him have a controller! He used to be happy with just chewing on the sleeve, but he's observed enough to know that one of those little controllers is the real deal!

He's in 12 month clothes now. I think he's had a growth spurt since his 9 month checkup. He basically went from 6-9 months clothes to 12 month clothes! Yes, that's a piece of pizza he's holding. He polished off 1.5 pieces of pizza at lunch today. He's taking after Jacob!! :)

The other day, I put Isaac on the tractor while I unplugged it for Jacob. He got so excited so I let him sit on it while I "drove" it out to the front yard. He loved it (as my previous post shows!). Now every time he sees the tractor, he starts bouncing and reaches for it. Look out world!

He's not usually so somber, but he was ready for a nap and very distracted watching Jacob drive the tractor! I cannot believe he's almost a year old already :( His sleep is off and on better. For almost a week he slept 9-12 hrs at night and took good 1+ hr naps morning and afternoon. The last couple days...not so much. I'm at a loss since my other two were such good sleepers. More of a schedule would help, but it's also hard to stick to a rigid schedule when you've got 3 little ones and a ton of things going on! This, too, shall pass. I just hope I'm sane by the time it does! ;)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

One Room Finished...Almost

I say "almost" because, as you'll see, there are still boxes to be emptied/moved out of the room. But everything that belongs in this room(the dining room and "front room") is put away and it's all decorated except for curtains (haven't decided what to do there yet). I spent all afternoon hanging things by myself...not an easy task with the big, bulky, HEAVY things I had to hang!! But Aaron has been so busy at work that he hasn't had time to do it and it was just driving me crazy not to have it done.
There are no before pictures, because we didn't change the paint or anything. I wasn't really crazy about the color-it's more yellow-toned than brown-toned but once I got the furniture in and everything hung up, I don't think it's too bad.

My Great Grandma's china cabinet that was in our house growing up. It's a little more "retro" than I like but I don't want to ruin its "antiqueness" with refinishing it. I might just replace the handles. I just love having something handed down through the generations.

Our awesome "new to us" couches that Mom found at a garage sale SO CHEAP! They're perfect for this room. (the spots you see are just in the picture) I love, love, love my big picture window!

The entryway and dining room to the left

The dining room. The chandelier and wall sconces were already here-I love them. The table used to be my great-great Aunt's. The mirror I got 50% off at Hobby Lobby!! See the vase in the corner with the twigs in it? I found them out front and thought-hey, perfect! I put it together and Anna said, "Mom, that's not very pretty to me." HA!

I finally have a place to hang this (right as you come in the front door)! I guess I did have it above Isaac's pack-n-play the last few months. But now it's in a spot where everyone will see it.

So, that's the front room and dining room! I'm almost finished with the master bedroom (but not the master bath-still have to paint that!). I did a Paris theme and I LOVE it!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

More pics from Ft Worth

I forgot my camera more than once, so I have some pictures on my phone from our trip.

Waiting for the cattle drive to start. I promise Jacob brushed his teeth that morning! He was drinking a blue Powerade. :)

Oh goodness. I'm pretty sure the name Stinemetz is on the black list for Fairfield Inn!! ha! We had some time between lunch and our next activity...well, let's be honest. It was a bunch of Stinemetzes trying make a decision! And a bunch of restless kids that either needed something to do or needed naps. So Uncle Alan gave them something to do!

No children were harmed in the making of this photograph. ;)

Teresa and Ike found a great train ride. It was $3/person and it was at least 30 minutes! The kids loved it!

Little Asher...what a CUTIE!

We went over 2 bridges, each way, and got to see a ton of turtles sunning on logs.

Of course Jacob, lover of all things Thomas/train, had an absolute blast on the train ride!

Asher loved Isaac and thought it was so hilarious to see him crawl! He wanted to hold Isaac, too...Isaac obliged, for just a moment!

In-N-Out Burger!!! This one hadn't been open very long and it was BUSY! There were no open tables when we got there, people standing everywhere. A booth opened up, but only enough room for the kiddos. So we decided to change our orders to go! I love In-N-Out Burger. It's so good. I told Aaron-it's not like amazing, over-the-top burgers (the fries are pretty good), but they're good and what makes it even better is that their ingredients are fresh, made in each store, AND it's a Christian chain. I wish there was one here!

Mr. Cheeseball! :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Teaching, Learning, and Adjusting

No pictures in this post :)
I just wanted to share about our decision to homeschool this year. It was probably one of the hardest decisions we've made. But when God calls you to do something, it's a good idea to follow Him! First and foremost, our decision to do this had absolutely nothing to do with the quality of education our school district offers. We have top-notch teachers, amazing administrators, and an awesome building with top-of-the-line technology. That's part of what made this such a hard decision. Plus, I worked there with all those wonderful people for a couple of years before we had kids! Good grief, I student-taught with the first grade teachers. I learned so much from them-they're incredible teachers! It actually makes me want to cry that Anna won't have them as her teacher.
Homeschooling was not something that Aaron & I even considered until the last 6-12 months. In fact, we were very adamant that we would NOT homeschool! One thing that slowly started changing my opinion was having Anna in school for kindergarten-the attitude she started having, the behaviors she was picking up from the other kids at school, and I'll be just broke my heart when she would come home and tell me about someone being mean to her. I've been praying for several years that God would show me how I can protect her tender heart. Now, to me personally, there is a very fine balance between protecting our children's innocence and putting them in a bubble. What a hard thing to balance! God calls us, as parents, to protect our children's hearts. Unfortunately, he doesn't lay out exactly how to do that! For some families, it doesn't mean homeschooling. For us, that's what it means. And I'll leave it at that :)
Another factor to our decision was having the flexibility to go where/when we need to go. It was very hard last year not to be able to go when we were needed (whether the stubborn man asked or not!) to Iowa and help. It may sound ridiculous, but it was such a struggle all year long to get Anna up so early for school. She had to be IN BED by 7pm school nights so she could get 12 hrs of sleep. If she didn't, she would get bad headaches, get sick, be a GROUCH. So that's another benefit. Hopefully eventually that part of life will get easier for her. Because, let's face it-she's going to have get up early at some point for something-a job, classes, KIDS! ;)
I was excited to get started and have an actual school room! I haven't missed teaching. At all. I have so enjoyed just being a mom. But let me tell you...when I got the tubs out where all my teaching stuff has been stored for 6+ years...I started getting really excited to teach again! It was so fun to decorate the room and set everything up. And then we started school. And it was a RUDE AWAKENING!! Teaching has always come fairly naturally to me. And it still does. What has never come naturally to me is organization. It has been much harder to teach Anna (and Jacob a bit) than I thought because of ISAAC!! That stinker. He doesn't sleep good. At all. (we're working on that) And when he's awake, he wants to be right there in the middle of everything. Not having a solid hour, at least, of time when he naps makes it really hard to get through much of anything without interruptions! So we're still trying figure out the timing of what will work best, but Anna and Jacob are loving it. I texted Aaron the other day "This homeschooling gig is tough!" A lack of sleep, not having the house completely unpacked (which means there are things missing, boxes here and there, things just not feeling "settled", messes!), a non-napping baby have made things a bit stressful but we'll figure it out. If I wasn't so sure that God has called us to this, I would have enrolled Anna in school 2 weeks ago! What's that saying...If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it? That is, without a doubt, the case here!
So, speaking of sleep deprivation, I should go to bed. I don't know if any of this will make sense, but I wanted to share our journey and how it started. Good night!

10 Months

I can't believe Isaac is 10 months already (seems like I say that every time I post one of these!). I'm not ready for my baby to be ONE yet!!
Isaac, you are sass and sweet all rolled into one. Your lack of sleeping is not agreeing with Mama and Daddy!! We need to get on the same page...rather, YOU need to get on OUR page! You just go, go, go and don't want to slow down, let alone sleep! I should probably be better about keeping you to more of a schedule...I don't like chaos!
Other than your awful sleeping habits, you are an absolute delight. You love to talk to anyone who will listen. You rarely say Mama even though I know you can! I think you already try to talk in whole sentences. You can say good and sometimes when I ask you a question, you just start rattling off your "answer"! You really like the remote (already!). You're starting to pretend things are a phone and hold them up to your (or my) ear and talk. You still prefer the "Army Crawl" but you'll crawl on a foot, knee, and hands sometimes. You like to eat grass and sticks and pretty much anything you can find outside. And if there is ONE TINY piece of paper on the floor in the entire house, you'll find it. You still love watching Anna and Jacob, but now you try more to get in the middle of what they're playing. They don't always like that! You are a Mama's Boy, big time, right now. You quit eating baby food a couple months ago. You LOVE to eat!! The other night I was sharing my grilled chicken sandwich with you and you ate that chicken up as fast as I could put it in front of you! You have 6 teeth (4 top, 2 bottom) but I think some more are starting to come in. With your bulk cloth diapers, most of your one-piece clothes are 12 months.
You've had a couple of ear infections, which hasn't helped with your bad sleeping habits. You seem to get them every time you get new teeth.
You are still on the go go go. Nothing is safe from your Go-Go-Gadget arms!
You LOVE baths. When we were in Texas, you would crawl into the bathroom, stand up at the tub and try to pull your clothes off. You would also try to get your leg up to climb in, all while jabbering away at me!
Everyone comments on what a beautiful, happy baby you are and well...I just can't help but agree!

I really hope I get all the way unpacked soon so I can take some good pictures of you. But for now, this is what I walked in to see the other day. You three are best buds!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Stockyards

If you ever visit Fort Worth, I highly suggest visiting the Stockyards! It is so neat and lots of fun for everyone!! They have twice daily cattle drives, so Saturday we made our way down there to catch it. Let's just say I don't like Sally anymore! (Sally is what Scott named our GPS. hehe) In her defense, I'm sure she needs an update. Anyway, for several reasons, we were late for the cattle drive. We did walk around and went to the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and Anna had her first field trip (impromptu as it was!). It was actually really interesting...even Aaron liked it. Jacob had a hard time keeping his hands off all the wagon/carriage wheels, though!
So before we left on Sunday, we tried again. We made it in plenty of time...I had the time 30 minutes early! So we took advantage of the extra time and relative emptiness to let the kids explore and have fun.

Daddy gave Anna her pick of anything in the cowgirl hat, new shirt, new hat, new hat...and what does she pick? ANOTHER little horse! :) I shoulda known!! This one she named Callie and she came in a super cute little purse. (Isaac scratched her on the nose...ouch!)

In what used to be the cattle yard at the railroad, there are now shops, restaurants, and kiddie rides! Only a quarter each! :)


Poor Isaac. He didn't get a whole lot of good sleep on this trip between being in the same room as all the rest of us and his few-and-far-between naps getting interrupted. But he was still usually in such a good mood. Such a good baby!

Before the cattle drive started, the cowboys were hanging around visiting with people. One of them we talked to (his horse's name was Charlie) said they only have one of the original steer from 1999 when they started doing the drive! There were about 15 steer in the drive that was about 1 city block long.

You could tell these dudes have done this a few times.

It was such a fun experience! This was our first real family vacation and it was a blast!! Laid back, not a lot of scheduled was fun.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Maverick's Supreme Extreme Makeover

Oh's a little crazy taking a vacation with so many little ones!! But it's been so much fun! We're still trying to catch up on sleep...we all took a several-hours' long nap today.
Maverick struggled to perform. He was nervLinkous and just kind of distracted by everything around him. He placed fairly low in both rounds yesterday and didn't do great on the cow horse round today. We won't find out for sure until morning what his score is for this round, but we're fairly certain he's not in the top 20, therefore won't be in the finals tomorrow night. Which is kind of a bummer because we wanted to see Scott's final show with the Top Gun theme!! :)
Anna has, not surprisingly, been having the time of her life. She thinks Maverick has done GREAT! "I'm so proud of Maverick!" she says. We're so proud of Maverick and Scott!!!

Watching Scott and Maverick practice.

Working Maverick between rounds.

Aaron made the comment that he was probably the only person in attendance wearing Birkenstocks. Amy pointed out that she was wearing sandals, too. :)

Checking out the vendors at the arena.

I finally retired Anna's green boots. They were SO HARD to get on! But, these are still CUTE with pink this time. :)

Jacob was wearing his jeans and boots, but after naps he said he was too hot with jeans on (it was all of 75*!).

This cutie pie has done really good. He loves the sling and I always chuckle to myself at the looks I get when he's in it.

She would have sat out there all day watching the horses.

Of course I couldn't get her to pose normally! Silly goose.

No one is surprised that this one wouldn't pose normally!!

Playing hide-n-seek with Uncle Alan.

Maverick and Anna already have a special bond (have since practically day one). He's never turned away from her and you can just tell that he really loves her already.

Cousins, cousins everywhere! It's been fun seeing all the little cousins (2nd cousins) play together. Lots of little ones!! This is sweet, sweet Addison.

Unbeknownst to Scott, Anna had a dream just a couple nights ago that she got to ride Maverick bare-back with no bridle!! Scott has definitely secured his top spot in Anna's heart!

Jacob now thinks he needs his own horse. He asked Scott, "Tan I have one of yuh howses??"

Oh goodness...Little Miss Priss! Leah showing off her birthday bling! :)

I think Addison decided it was either laugh or cry...she wasn't too sure about being up on Maverick!

It's been such a fun vacation so far! Can't wait for the rest of the adventures! Win or lose, we don't care...we've given God the glory and are having a great time with family, making memories!