Tuesday, March 26, 2013

In honor of a very good thing

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday, darling Stephan,
Happy birthday to you!

I have 'oft waxed eloquently about my deep love for one special man, and as today is his birthday, I feel it appropriate to do it again.

  I love this man very much.
I love his height and weight and color and size,
I love his sandy blonde hair and his shining blue eyes.
I love his crooked grin and his rough hands
I love his past and his present and his future plans.
 I love how he lives as though nothing in life
is more important to him than his God, kids, and wife.
 I love the type of father that he is for his sons
And the one he plans to be for his daughter (if we have one).
 When he is hard to love, I do love him still
because I know that to do so is God's will.
I love how he treats friends and strangers alike
and the relationship he has with my daddy, Mike. (*yeah* I rhymed that)
I love that he works hard to make his dreams come true
I love that he'll teach his sons to do that too.
 I'll love him forever, I love him through and through.
To end, here's more pictures and a haiku:

  Praise God, He is good.
In His plan, He made us one.
I thank Him so much.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

You Can Go Ahead and Pat me on the Back Now

Readers, have you ever had especially productive days? Days that make you a little bit impressed with your own effort and the results of that special effort?
 Today is one of those kind of days for me.
Witten is sickly, poor baby, so we are staying home today. While Noah has been in and out of the house all morning (it's so cool that Noah can take himself into the back yard and play all on his own now), Witten has either been sleeping or keeping mommy company as I have dedicated my day to cleaning out closets. And by cleaning, friends, I mean cleaning. I should have thought to take pictures before the boys went down for their naps, because the before and afters of their closets are stunning! Especially Witten's closet, which has always been a crazy mess hiding behind purposefully closed doors. I pulled out and organized everything before vacuuming the floor and replacing the clutter that was there with carefully arranged and weeded out toys. I'll just post a few pictures later, 'cause my words aren't doing the cleanliness justice.
    Noah's closet is a similar story, but his room is still pretty cluttered looking due to the over-sized chair that is temporarily sitting in his room, taking up about a good 2/8ths of his floor space. Stephan said he's move it out today, then I'll really get that room shining bright.
  And yes, mommy and daddy's closets are also impressively straightened and neat. Since our house is going back on the market this week, my goal has been to de-clutter and make all our cute little spaces look as big and roomy as possible. So far, so good. Also, Stephan started beautifying our master bathroom yesterday and got just about halfway done. It's impressive what motivation will do to a person, we're awesome!
  On a rather humorous side note, Stephan and I have recently realized that, with the completion of our hallway bathroom, every single room in our house is a different color. We have 10 different colors on our walls in here. I think it looks fine, but it is kinda the opposite of the "neutral" look that every realtor on the planet suggests if you're trying to sell your house.    
  As I said, pictures to come. And if anyone is interested in buying a super-wonderful house, give me a holla. 
Be blessed, readers!

- ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~Later that same day-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
Noah's amazing, technicolor dream room

Witten's peaceful ocean-blue room

After 4 years, our hallway is completely painted

My humble attempt at decorating our modest bedroom.

This is clearly the most neutral room in out house
Duh-dah! Our new bathroom! And Witten! I couldn't get a better image of the whole thing, but it's beautiful, trust me.

The newest remodel, our master bathroom.

I've been waiting for this remodel for years.
 Of course, I do not have before pictures. Because that would make sense, and I'm a senseless person when it comes to things like this. I will say this, though, once again, Stephan Du Toit has majorly impressed me with his craftsmanship. Those last two pictures: all done in one night.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Oh What a Beautiful Day!

After purchasing the CUTEST little Easter suits for the boys at Sam's Club (I know, right? The things you find at Sam's...), my mother, Bebe, desperately wanted professional pictures taken of my cutie booties for giving as Easter gifts. I am all for picture taking, so she made it happen. Therefore, today, we trekked out to Bebe and Papa's, the boys got dressed in their Easter best, and a lovely woman took such precious pictures of my sons that I had to squeal. No, I will not ruin the surprise and show you, mainly because I don't have any on me, but also because a lot of my family are getting a framed print of the best one for Easter.
  After the picture taking was over and I gave my boys their promised cookies if they behaved (I am not above bribery when it's needed), Bebe played with Noah and Witten while I set to work cleaning out and organizing one of the closets in one of the spare rooms. It didn't take long, save for the multiple breaks I had to take to help manage the kids, and I found so many neat things tucked away in that small room. I found a ton of high school memorabilia from my sister's GCHS days, and, at the end of it all, the very last thing I uncovered was an envelope containing just a few of my pictures from my crazy time in high school. I relived happy moments and embarrassing clothing choices and then bagged those pictures up to show my friends, because none of them believe me when I try to describe how I was in high school.
My friends; a glimpse of who I was-
I played softball and loved it. I'm the special one of the group. What was wrong with me?
I had the best friends in the world who totally got me and made my high school experience something I cherish.
I did many things that probably embarrassed my parents, but not for the purpose of embarrassing my parents. I loved my parents. I just enjoyed being a little stupid sometimes.
 As you may gather from these three pictures, I was a much different person. God was not near as important to me in my naive immaturity as He is now, and my life reflected my misplaced priorities. Yes, He was there, a fact that I knew and that kept me from doing truly crazy and stupid things, but my self-centered thinking was focused on what I could do to find happiness as opposed to what I could to to make God happy and get true joy from that. I enjoyed my 4 years in high school and I regret very little (except for the guys I dated and a few outfits I wore). If I could relive my high school days, I would do most of everything I did except with a totally different purpose.
  Also, I'm very glad Stephan never met high school me, because we were both such different people in high school than we were when we met, and we probably would have never even gone on one date. And then we would never have realized what true love is. And then we would have never made babies! And I'm so glad I found love and made babies. Just look at how precious they are, waving their hands in the air like they were riding a roller coaster as we drove with the windows down on this glorious day:  
Look at his wind-swept hair and overjoyed face! Presh!

I've forgotten what it's like to find complete happiness in a breeze blowing in your face. Ah, sweet innocence!
   So, dear readers, the moral of this post is, God is good and does great things if you're smart enough to always keep Him front and center in your life. And even when I don't give Him his due praise and honor, He still shows me immeasurable kindness, even when He lovingly corrects me. What a great God I have!
 Be blessed, readers!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Have I ever told you how I feel about my nose?

My brother and sister ended their self-imposed Ft. Worth isolation and came to visit the family this past weekend.
Let is be noted that my brother and my sister are fantastic at being an uncle and an aunt. I didn't get a picture of how much Noah loves Uncle Justin, but I did get one of Witten using Aunt Melissa as a comfy recliner.
Melissa was laughing because Witten was trying to put his fat little thumb in her mouth.
I love my sibs. And I love how my sons are growing in their love for each other. Here lately there has been a lot more snuggling and playing and brotherly bonding between the two. I love it!
love it!
Lord, may these boys and any other siblings you give to them always be close. May they always be friends. Thank You kindly, Lord, for making me their mommy. Amen.

Friday, March 8, 2013


I love my sons. But sometimes, they (mainly Noah, for now) do things that make me want to curl up on the couch and take a nap.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Why Not Me?

So, I borrowed a few movies from my dear friend Maria here recently. I cannot say that they are for my children, for they are Disney princess movies and I have two rugged, crazy boys who couldn't care less about the romantic adventures of beautifully dressed, gracefully singing, impossibly perfect damsels with glorious hair and happily-ever-afters. Nope, those movies are for yours truly. I have watched one a day for the past four days now. Thanks to these sappy, sweet movies from my early childhood, my love for all things girly, princess-y, and sing-y has been reawakened.      I    need    a    GIRL
  When God deems me worthy to bring forth a girl-child, I will be ready. Everything I need to know about being and raising a girl, I have gleaned from Disney princess movies. Well, from the Bible and Disney princess movies. Here, dear friends, are life lessons learned from watching Disney Princess movies:

1. God's not the only one who loves a gentle and quiet spirit.
 When you think of the classic Disney leading ladies, a few character qualities stand out that, quite frankly, are looked down upon by modern society. Sweet, soft-spoken, patient to a fault; these and many more are character traits that princesses like Cinderella possess by the boat load. They are qualities that are discouraged by modern, feminist ideals. Even my husband, after watching snippits of Cinderella with me, asked in a befuddled way, "Why does she put up with her stepmom's crap?" A modern woman would stand up for herself, promote her individuality, and refuse to be anyone's second-hand citizen. But there's sweet Cinderella, humming happily as she goes about doing her unfair workload. Why?
   1 Peter 3:3-4  "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight." 
Cinderella was not just lovely because she was lovely, her inner beauty was astonishing noticeable. Sure, the prince noticed her firstly because of her shimmering dress, petite silhouette, and strange, ambiguous hairstyle (seriously, what it that, a french twist?), but there were plenty of beauties attending his ball. What must have captivated him during their first sweet, romantic waltz was her inner beauty. Besides, no matter how gorgeous a gal is, everyone ages.
  Proverbs 31:30 "Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised"

2. Love, when it's true and pure, can be life-altering and transformative.
 Disney princesses fall in love fast and hard and unrepentantly. The average time frame of a princesses' romance, from first sight to admissions of undying love, ranges from about a week to one stinkin' dance. And when this true love hits home, it shakes stuff up. Peasants become royalty, mermaids gain legs, and hideous beasts are returned to their impossibly handsome, princely selves. Sure, that's all fairy tale transformations, but I have seen what true love can do in real life, and it's impressive.
  1 Corinthians 13:13 "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
3. Change can be good, but change can be bad.
This principle is pretty basic, friends. If there is fault in your life, if there are traits that clearly need changing, then change them.  Christian women and men should be continually striving to be more like Christ, who is, among other things, the perfect example of perfect love.
2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." 
 That being said, it is not okay to let others change you for the worse, in any way, ever. As I mentioned in the previous Disney Princess truth, love can and often does bring about change, but true love only encourages growth and maturity, never degradation and immorality. Name one princess who gradually, over the course of her movie, became less of a good person in any way for the sake of her love. None. See? It's bad. So don't let it happen.
  And, for the sake of time and because I'm getting tired of typing, on this stupidly sticky keyboard, I give you D.P.T. #4: I want to have their hair.
I often get compliments on my hair. I thank my mother for that. And yet, I'm still often not happy with my overall physical appearance, especially my hair. I can thank Disney for that. I know that I will never have the tiny, perfectly proportionate build that all Disney princesses have, but I can strive mightily for that kind of hair!  

  So, friends, as you can see, I am clearly ready to raise my own little princess. With Biblical and fairy tale truths such as these tucked away in my parenting philosophy, I can (hopefully) raise my little girl(s) right, so that someday their prince will come and romance them away on a magic carpet ride of true love! Also, I plan on teaching my sons to be some lucky girls' Prince Charmings. You're welcome, future spouses of my sons.

 Be blessed, fair readers!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

New life

Oh, to relish the newness of life!
Congratulations are in order for Aubrey and Kevin Skinner, their son is here! And boy howdy, is he absolutely perfect! He reminds me of my brand new babies.
He is a sleeper and a good eater, which are two qualities every mom wants in their newborn baby. I got to visit them in the hospital yesterday. I held him and loved on him and got to change him into his first tiny outfit. He didn't open his eyes once. He even made those precious, squeaky, little newborn noises of contentment that I absolutely love to hear! After talking to his proud-as-punch parents, I have concluded that my formerly unproven hypothesis on the bi-polar tendencies of the pregnancy and the temperament/character of the baby is, in fact, pretty spot on. As far as Aubrey goes, that is. My observations have proven that easy pregnancy equals high maintenance baby, and high maintenance pregnancy equals easy baby. But again, that's only proven to be the case for Aubrey. Either way, perfectly healthy babies were produces and the Skinners are now a family of four. 
See? So wonderful!
At the healthy weight of 6 lbs 9oz, Owen made the scene exactly a month early. He was due on April 1st and showed up on March 1st. (Imagine how big he might have been if he'd stayed in utero for the last month!) In saying that, I still couldn't believe how tiny he was! My thoughts were, "No. Neither of my sons were ever that small! that's so small!". I think I may have voiced those thoughts. And, I'm not sorry to say, seeing that precious new blessing from God zapped me with instant baby fever and I am eagerly awaiting the time when God sees it is good for Stephan and I to have another one. (Your will be done and all, Lord, but please let it be a girl next time!)

  In my child news, we have been mentally preparing for a trip to the beach this September! During that sadly brief warm weather snap last week, we practiced building sand castles and not eating sand. 
Almost as excited as I am.

They've got this "chillin" thing down.
    Not only will we be going to the beach this September, but in the same month I get to stand by my dear friend Sarah Ward's side as she marries her Mr. Right. Well look at that. God has provided me with definite motivation to get and stay healthy. Thanks, God.

I love my husband.

Be blessed, readers! Especially you, Skinners.