Today we head to Kansas! I cannot wait to drive up Brian's parent's driveway and see the Christmas lights, walk in to a warm and cozy house smelling of baking cookies. Seeing Brian's sweet family and being overwhelmed with hugs and smiles! I love Christmas in Kansas! Brian's mom knows how to make that house twinkle with Christmas joy on the inside and out!
So I won't be blogging for awhile, but when I do it will be an overload of Christmas pictures!
Today is my favorite step-mom's birthday, Happy Birthday Janet!! Love you!
Here is our sweet baby's little face. Brian's first question was, does she have claws for arms? Well that is what it looks like, but her arms were up by her face, so the ultrasound kind of cut them off so we could see her face. It made me laugh. She reminds me of Cooper.
So, her name is Carson Ray. But as far as the spelling is concerned, we are not for sure. There are only a million ways to spell Carson.
The Ray comes from a family name, my great grandparent's last name was Ray. Also, Brian and I liked the way it sounds with Carson.
Anyway. She is doing good. Everything normal and healthy, praise God.
Kenndall and Clayton are excited about having a new sister. Cooper has said many times, he already has sisters and he wants a brother. Tough luck buster. God has other plans. :)
In other household news. Clayton got rid of her paci and is pretty much potty trained. All of this happened with a week's time. Crazy! One night Clayton lost her paci behind her bed, and I couldn't find it, so I just told her that it was lost and she hasn't asked for it since! Wow! I was totally dreading taking it away, but it has been really not that bad. The only bad thing has been bedtime and if she wakes up at night. She has been getting out of bed a lot! But, honestly she had started that before the paci went bye bye. So, who knows, Kenndall went through the same thing at that age. The whole potty training thing was pretty much a fluke. I had been keeping her in panties at home because she kept taking off her diaper. But, she wouldn't go potty in the potty for me, she would just go in her panties. Then all of the sudden one day she just got it, and has been doing great ever since. I don't even put her in a pullup at naptime. So I am super excited about that!! No more diapers till April!!!!! This is the first time in 4 1/2 years that I have not had a child in diapers, it is great! So I am pretty proud of my big 2 year old!
Kenndall has been super sweet lately. The only time she gets naughty is if she doesn't get a nap. She has been really great, so I am kind of wondering when this great stage will end and a naughty stage will begin. She has been learning tons of letters and likes spelling words she sees everywhere.
Cooper has been a royal toot lately. I think the boy has inherited an incredibly argumentative nature from the Joyner side of the family tree. Lately, obeying without arguing has been a daily, even hourly struggle. Sigh. So anyone who knows how to help cure this behavior, please let me know. Here is a typical conversation,
Me: Cooper take this toy to your room, please.
Cooper: But, I was having a battle (he is not playing with any toys, it is just him, in his undies in the living room).
Me: I understand, but you can take a break from your battle to take this toy to your room. Cooper: But, I was just having a battle.
Me: Cooper, if I have to ask you again you are going to get a swat on your hiney, take this toy to your room and stop arguing.
Cooper: But, I am not arguing.
Me (with a swat to his stubborn hind end): You must obey your mama. Do not argue or talk back, just do what I ask.
Cooper (always having to get the last word in): But, I am not arguing or talking back.
Me: Cooper, close your mouth until you can think of something happy to talk about.
Anyway. That happens at least 20 times per day. Needless to say, all of my patience is completely used up by about 9 AM because of this child. So I just say a prayer for guidance and patience and do the best I can. I would however, appreciate any advice that anyone could give.
My classes are over for the semester and I am really excited about Christmas in Kansas. We will head up there there on Christmas Eve. I am hoping it snows while we are there. Here is a picture of our beautiful Christmas lights, with a big thanks to my sweet husband and Heatwole technologies!! :)
Cooper carefully hanging an ornament. Clayton especially likes the jingle bells. Unfortunately this is the best picture of all three with the tree. They were not cooperating. A Sweet smile from Kenndall. A sweet smile from Clayton Clayton put two ornaments on the tree and was more interested in other things. Kenndall loved hanging up the ornaments. Dad handing out the ornaments to the helpers. The girls were playing ballerina this morning and just looked so cute dancing around in their tutus! Brian has been reading to Cooper out of his Ben 10 book every night. It is Cooper's favorite thing EVER!!
Here are some of Clayton's 2 year pictures. Of course our personal photographer, Matt Killough and his photo editor Wendy Killough rocked it, as usual. They did a fantastic job and I love my pictures of my big little 2 year old!!
Every night at bedtime this is the routine, every time we go to Superkids this is what we do, sometimes just for fun, this is his game. My sweet boy. This is for me to look at when he is 20 and cry my eyes out. :) Thank you God for Cooper!
Kenndall posing next to Daddy's pumpkin. Ben 10 (Cooper) helping his daddy. Clayton posing next to my pumpkin. My pumpkin. Brian's pumpkin.
Last night our little family carved pumpkins. It was fun. My pumpkin was very simple due to my lack of carving skills and artistic talent. However, Brian's pumpkin was totally scary and artistic. Anyway, the kids kind of were interested, but not to the point where they really enjoyed it, it just takes a little too long for their short attention span. LOL! It was fun anyway.
Halloween began for us today with a carnival at Superkids. The kids were so excited to wear their costume and get candy. I helped out with one of the games and all the kids had fun except for 1 or 2 little toots. (I know every child can have a bad day, but seriously, when my kids are naughty there are consequences that will prevent them from acting that way.) ANYWAY. Enough of the naughtiness!!! Okay, where was I......ahh Halloween.
Here are some of the festivities around our house.
So, my pictures are totally out of order, but I am not a computer genius and I don't know how to rearrange them.
Clayton in one of her halloween outfits, she is saying cheese. The girls, last Sunday when Brian was in Kansas, I just took a couple of pictures because they looked so cute and it was a beautiful day. Clayton picking the moss roses. Kenndall. Kenndall eating her Halloween cookie.
We made Halloween cookies (okay, actually pillsbury made them and we put them on the pan.) :)
Clayton and her ghost cookie. Cooper showing off his ghost cookie. Clayton today in her ladybug costume. Kenndall as a precious Dorothy Gail. Cooper is Ben 10! For those of you who do not know who Ben 10 is, he is a cartoon character (Cooper likes to call him an "ordinary kid"), who turns into 10 different aliens. The outfit Coop has on is exactly like the one the character wears in the cartoon. Sigh... I am ready for the Ben 10 fascination to be over.
We plan to carve pumpkins Friday night and then do Trunk or Treat on Sunday night. So lots of Halloween fun ahead.
I had to put this picture up here because I love it. Kenndall loves to dress up and right now this is her favorite outfit to dress up in. Sweet silly girl.
This semester I am taking a qualitative studies course at Tech. It has been my favorite course to date. This course has had such a great effect on my thinking skills as a researcher, teacher, and as a person. What is so fascinating about it, is that it brings out the beauty of your personal thoughts and observations. I think so many of us are trained from a young age to fit into a box, to write a certain way, to act a certain way, to speak a certain way, and we start to lose our own sense of individuality. God has given each of us a completely unique brain, thought process, and skill set. In His idea of a church, we bring all of those great individual personality traits to the table and see where we can serve best. However, unless we spend time in personal reflection and meditation, we may not even know what our God given abilities are, or we have been tricked into thinking we are good at something we are not. I am still discovering what talents God has given me, it's not like you know overnight, it comes with trying new things, failure, success, and just toughing things out. However, God did not create any of us without a skill or talent, each of us has been blessed in some great and unique way. The double edged side to this theory, is that with this great blessing, comes a responsibility to share it. So, if your talent is teaching, you teach, if your talent is cooking, you cook, if your talent is organizing, then get to organizing. There is always a place for each unique talent within the church. By doing what you were created to do, there is a huge satisfaction that you are serving God to the best of your ability. And on the reverse of that, if you are not doing what you are created to do, there will be an emptiness in your life that cannot be filled. I love how God speaks to Paul in his conversion story, Paul blinded and on his knees and God says to him, "Why do you insist on going against the grain?" God is talking about the natural instincts He creates within us, even Paul knew that what he was doing was not what God had created him for! But, he had no idea how to find what he was supposed to be doing or how to get out of what he was doing. So many of us are like that, everyday, we go against the grain of our natural tendencies. We don't know how to stop or how to find what we are supposed to be doing.
Before this qualitative methods class, I felt that, I knew that I was confused about my God given skills. I didn't know how to express that, and I didn't know why I felt a little bit empty. This class has helped me learn to reflect in a way that opens doors and helps me "stop going against the grain".
Clayton laying down in her chair watching TV. Clayton reading to her baby. This baby gets carried around all day everyday. It gets fed, bathed, and spanked. Her name is Corley. My girls! Clayton loves to get "piddy" pretty by putting on all kinds of accessories.
I have not been good about taking pictures of the kids lately. So, shame on me. Anyway, here are a few that have made me laugh.
We will be busy in the coming weeks. Here is what will be going on. This weekend, Brian is going on a fishing trip to Kansas, the next weekend is Halloween, the next weekend is Clayton's birthday, and that same week we find out if baby # 4 is a boy or girl. Yeah! Anyway, so there will be lots of pictures coming up!
I've been thinking it's about time To win the war that fights against all the lies invading my mind You have brought me to my senses Even though You built this world to shake You still love me in a personal way So I think it's time to leave my doubt behind There's so much more than meets the eye Or what's going on inside I believe in something way beyond myself Like the wind that moves the leaves Lord, You move me to my knees I believe in something way beyond myself Oh the way we build our empires hoping to impress our friends We've forgotten how to inspire those who fall to rise again Oh my God, You've built this world to shake You still love me in a personal way So I think it's time to leave my doubt behind Storms are gonna come my way, I know Some things are out of our control but there's a hope beyond myself It's You and You will never let me go Now I want my life to show You got me thinking beyond myself Way beyond myself There's so much more than meets the eye Or what's going on inside I believe in something way beyond myself Like the wind that moves the leaves Lord, You move me to my knees I believe in something way beyond myself
I love this song right now. So many times God is so abstract to us. We go through the motions, we say our prayers, go to church, teach our kids, but God doesn't seem real. Look outside at the wind moving through the trees, that is how God breathes His Spirit on us everyday. If you can feel that wind with your skin, you can feel the breath of God with your heart. Let God be real to you!
Cooper and Kenndall were sick this day, so we all laid in my bed and watched cartoons. Cooper went a little crazy with a stamp. Clayton eating a powder sugar donut. Those are my favorite thing to eat right now! :( Clayton was running around with a Cheerio stuck to her head, I laughed and laughed.
I love routine, I love having a schedule and a plan for everyday of the week. It gives me a sense of organization of life. Anyway, we have been settling in to our busy routine mainly consisting of school and bible class. It is nice. Yesterday I cooked Sunday lunch for the first time in 2 months! Brian said it was his first home cooked meal in awhile and unfortunately he is right. I have been so stinkin nauseous with this pregnancy for 2 months I could not hardly cook, clean or function like I should. Very frustrating! It is really hard to keep house and take care of 3 kids while feeling absolutely awful, and as far as cooking goes, I pretty much gave up for 2 months. Anyway, I am finally back to almost normal, still a little nauseous, but getting my energy back, so that is a big plus.
We are all doing good. The kids are getting so big and so smart, Cooper is learning to draw and write like a big kid. Kenndall is learning her letters. Clayton is just full of personality and sings and plays all day long. I love my sweet kids. Yes, they are a handful and everyone get's their share of spankings and time outs, but they are learning everyday how to do what is right. (Hopefully).
My school is going well. I have one great class and one not great class. So, it evens itself out. I am really enjoying my school this semester, since I am not working, I actually have time to do a good and thorough job on my school work. I need to start getting a dissertation proposal ready, but I want to make sure that I choose a topic that I will love researching. If I don't enjoy doing something, my motivation goes down hill, so I need something that I will love writing about. Anyway, the thoughts are slowly coming together in my head.
Brian and I are doing good, we are planning a camping trip for just us two in October. I am really excited about getting to spend time away from the kids and together. We always have so much fun camping, so I am super excited. We are going to fish, shoot, golf and maybe do a little motorcycle riding. Yeah!! Oh yeah, Brian got a motorcycle. I am excited for him, as soon as I have this baby, I am learning to ride it.
Well, that is really about all, boring, routine, busy, and wonderful. I have been thinking lately on being content. I think that true contentment comes from a realization that God will take care of your needs, no matter how great or how small. Thank you God for what I have been given!