Simply beautiful...

Simply beautiful...

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

John 3:16 - Thank You Tebow!

This past year, I have made it a goal for Harper to start memorizing some important Bible verses.  We got a couple down... but then hit a period where she wanted nothing to do with sitting down with mommy and memorizing (I guess I'm not that much fun).  I tried not to get discouraged and sought out encouragement from other mom friends.  Kara and Annika shared their favorite memory verses with us via adorable songs called Seeds Family Worship... we love singing those in the car (I myself have found deep encouragement from such simple songs - Thank you girls)!  

Recently however, we watch the Denver Broncos game (I won't talk any more about that) and saw the commercial of John 3:16 that Focus on the Family broadcasted.  A few days later, I showed Harper the commercial via YouTube and she was immediately obsessed!  She loved watching the kids say this verse and with such expression...  Bentley loved it too!  I think they may have watched it at least twenty-five times.  It completely inspired her to memorize John 3:16 in a day.  I didn't ask her to say her verse to me for a few days, and today when I did... I was blown away at a three year olds memory. She recited the whole verse - Focus on the Family style, which means she said it exactly like the commercial they aired ;)  It has been a wonderful, creative way to encourage Harper to memorize a new verse!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sleepy, Teething Boy

Today, Bentley Boo, you were just off... I think it's because you are getting more of your lower teeth. You woke up at 5:30am and were ready for a nap by 9:30am (2.5 hours before a normal nap). By 4pm you wanted nothing but to be held, so in the Errgo carrier you went. Somehow, you falling asleep on my back and me trying to get my normal tasks done at the same time, reminded me of last winter/spring. Last year, you and Harper were so tiny and so sick all the time. It was a tough stretch. I was very accustom to having you on my back all the time. I remember struggling so badly during that period of time when I felt like all I did was care for sick kids. I guess it's true what they say... The hard moments tend to fade with time - thank goodness. Today, it was precious and sweet to have you fall asleep on my back... I cherished our time together my boy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Little Miss Harper Noelle Turned 3

My sweet baby girl,

I can not believe you are three now.  I think I say this every time you turn one year older.  This past year flew by in many regards, I just don't know when you turned into a little girl, no longer a toddler.  At the same time... your second birthday seems like an eternity ago.  An eternity ago probably because when you turned two, you still (in your parent's eyes) were very much a baby.  I mean this endearingly.  You couldn't speak in full sentences yet - we had to interpret for you most of the time; you were still in a crib, in diapers, in a high chair; always wanting to be held.  You needed us so much.
You still need us... just in slightly different ways.  Now at three you are a little girl... no longer a baby.  You want to do almost everything "by myself!", but you still often need the reassurance that your mommy and daddy are there to love and support you. Your vocabulary shocks us most of the time now... you tell your daddy and mommy you want to sit in the living room and "chat", and sometimes tell me it's time for coffee (I look forward to a lifetime of coffee dates with you my girl).  You say things like, "It's beautiful" or "isn't it wonderful?!?".  You are fully potty trained now (whoo hoo!), and tell me every time you go to the bathroom, "gotta give me my space mommy."  If we are in a public restroom together then you tell me to "stand over there and 'fall asleep' '' just so you can have your privacy.  When it comes to eating, you despise booster seats even though we make you sit in one at our table at home.  You are a pretty decent eater... picky like any 3 year old, but willing to take bites when we really push you to try something.  You would eat cake, candy and cookies all day long if your parents weren't around to monitor what went in your tummy.

There were so many huge changes to your physical abilities this year, Harper.  You learned how to pedal your bike, you do gymnastics without your mommy's help, you love stringing bead necklaces and painting with water colors, you love to run (running laps at home in your undies and running shoes is a favorite and quite a sight!), and like any kid at this age - jumping on anything is a huge favorite!
Your emotional development has been something that has been fun to watch.  You are sooooo empathetic my girl.  Anything and everyone who is feeling even an ounce of pain or sadness, gets oozing concern from you.  I'll never forget how much it affected you when your Mimi's mama (my Mormie) went home to be in heaven with Jesus this past summer.  It broke your little heart to hear or see Mimi (especially since you had never really seen her cry like this before) or your mommy cry.  Sometimes, we'll find you sitting somewhere in the house hanging your head... we'll ask what's wrong and it's very often that you feel sad for someone or miss someone.  This is clearly an area where Jesus has already put his light into your heart to care for others.  We adore this part of you.
Your daddy and I also see a tendency for you to be a "justice" girl.  You are very adamant about what is right or wrong and don't like any one being picked on.  I love how this plays out in different scenarios when I see you standing up for Bentley when he gets a little bit pushed around by older kids.  I think we may have over-emphasized the concept of sharing with you... because now if anyone does not share as freely as you do, you say with absolute conviction (and STILL sign the keys words when you're talking!), "they're not nice... they didn't share.  They're not my friend."  This is now an area we are working with you on... the concept of extending grace to others.

It's been a year full of joyous learning and independence all the while including battles of who's really in charge and pushing the lines.  Your parents just commented tonight on how it was a year full of cycles: huge highs - where you were kind, joyful, never (practically literally) in trouble, and obedient; then huge lows - where you were difficult, pouty, in trouble all the time, and pushed your parents in every area to see if we would budge.  Truly these cycles kept your parents humbled before and reliant on God, and thankful for the good times to stay encouraged to stick to our values and beliefs in parenting (even though we are learning on the fly all the time with you).  The Lord is gracious to teach us and grant us His wisdom all the time.

Harper, it is constantly our prayer for you, that you will grow to love Jesus more and more every day.  That you will have a heart for others and a heart to follow Jesus.  We pray that your character will be strong and rooted in what the Bible teaches.  And we pray that the sparkle Jesus has graced you with will never fade... that you grow up knowing that your beauty lies within your heart and the pure spirit God has given you.  We love you sweet baby girl!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

3 Years and Dazzling

Today was a great day celebrating Harper coming into our lives 3 years ago... And she just sparkled all day long!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Last Day of Being 2

It's officially begun... I've gotten sentimental about our little girl getting older. Today was the last day of Harper being 2 years old. It has been an amazing year with her... We cant wait to celebrate tomorrow! Until then, here are a few pics from today... Good-bye 2, hello 3!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Snuggle Bugs

There's just something too cute about little ones before bed...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year Swift Style

We rang in 2012 in "family style " this year... To be perfectly honest, we didn't make it to midnight. It's not very enticing to stay up that late when you have two little ones, who you know are going to wake you up before you desire anyways.

We decided new year's eve was the perfect day to take the kids to get an ice cream cone... At 4:30pm... Just before dinner... In 50 some odd degree weather. The kids adored it!

For dinner, we set up a little pizza bar and let Harper assemble our mini pizzas. We've had many friends share with us that this is a special way they've enjoyed spending time with their kids and getting them involved in the dinner process. We thought we'd give it a whirl and Harper did so much better than we expected. We should have known, since she is all about independence and art right now anyways. It made for some great family time... Even though she didn't care to eat the finished product.

Once the kids were in bed, Jeremy and I popped a bottle of champagne and added our very own twist, thanks to my sister, of adding St. Germain to it... if you haven't tried it, it's delectable. We cuddled up for a movie and then got some z's, knowing morning was coming soon. For us as a family, it was the perfect way to welcome the new year.
Family togetherness in the local Baskin Robbins.
Big smiles from our "little miss sweet tooth"... little bro sees his opportunity!
Our little chef
Girl picture time
Checking out the finished product... Yum!
Me and my love