Sunday, September 30, 2007

Our Newest Addition

At less than 5 weeks old, she won't be able to come home with us until after October the 10th, but she's ours and we're all very excited about her homecoming! She's a little black toy poodle - isn't she adorable?!? Morgann & I picked her out when she was just 10 days old, then prayed that her personality would be a good match for our family. After visiting with her today, I think she's going to be perfect for us :) She just laid in the kid's laps and licked (and chewed just a bit) on their fingers, then fell asleep in my hands while I was holding her. It must be a sign...our cat did the exact same thing to me when I first held her, and she's turned out to be a great pet for us. So, I'm praying that she will continue to be very easy-going and sweet. And, best of all, she will remain small - only 8 pounds or so when fully grown, possibly smaller, which I'm hoping for.

Anyone wanna help name her?

Better Late then Never!

We finally had Ian's 3rd birthday party yesterday, and, judging by these pictures, I think he had a good time :) His real birthday occurred while I was away at the MOPS Convention in Florida - yes I was away during my youngest son's birthday, having a blast without him - so we decided to hold a small party for him here at home a week later. Thank God for trampolines and friends with 'jumpy thingies' !!! And, a special thanks to God for a beautiful sunny day :)

In case you can't tell, the theme that Ian chose was dinosaurs...his new favorite!
The day before the party, and a last-minute afterthought on my part, I remembered that I hadn't yet ordered a cake or cupcakes - can you tell he's the 3rd kiddo? Thankfully the grocery store was able to accommodate a request for 18 cupcakes in dark colors. We purchased a small bag of miniature dinosaurs and completed the decor ourselves :)

Happy 3rd Birthday Baby Boy!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Segulja Look-Alike Meter

These were tons of fun to do, and the results are really surprising to me! Anyone that knows our family would say that Alex looks more like his daddy and Morgann is the spitting image of me and both of my sisters! Ian has always been a toss-up, but in recents months has started to look more like his daddy, so the last one wasn't as big of a surprise.

So, if you have nothing better to do with your time, and have some fun pictures to look through, click on the link above and try it out. You might find yourself shocked, just like me :)

*Addendum: I tried this again with 3 different pictures and the results were different - Alex & Ian looked more like daddy, while Morgann looked more like me. So, if you want to skew the results one way or another, try different pictures :)

Monday, September 24, 2007

To MOPS and back!

Hi All!

Just letting you know that I'm still alive and well, just a bit tired. I returned yesterday from a 4 day trip to the MOPS Convention in Orlando, where I managed to sneak in a few hours of sleep here & there :) I think we spent more time having fun, though, which was sort of the point, I guess. As a group, the MOPS Convention offers a great time for steering teams to bond and get to know one another, as well as allot of learning opportunities for everyone in attendance.

This year, participants were offered 3 separate workshop opportunities, so here is a brief synopsis of those that I chose to attend:

1) Fun & Exciting Family Time, with Kirk Weaver. This workshop offered some great ideas, meant to bring families together. One of the biggest points that really stuck out to me was the statement that "spiritual training was never meant to be provided by only the church, but that it should start within the home". This is something that I know very well, and I was surprised by the fact that it stood out me like it did, but the reality of my life is kiddos don't get enough of me & Michael. They get some of us, but not all of us! Teaching our children spiritual values should begin when they are very young, not when they are older and it's too late to train them. One example he gave to us was this: Give your 3 or 4 year old child a magazine (he suggested something like "People") and ask them to pick out 3 or 4 examples of 'modest' clothing, then 3 or 4 examples of 'immodest' clothing. Once they complete that task, then discuss their choices with them. He said that by discussing modesty to them at this age, the discussion about purity will be a natural step as they get older, then abstinence, etc. He said that waiting until the teen years to begin discussions of modesty will only become a tug-of-war and a battle-of-wills that no one will win. Good points!!! Check out their website at

2) Creating an Intimate Marriage, with Dr. Jim Burns: Really, I don't have allot to say about this one because the title speaks for itself, but I did manage to walk away with some good points from this workshop that had little to do with intimacy, and more to do with marriage and husbands :) First, he gave 3 really good points that I thought I should share: (1) Have a non-negotiable date night, even if it includes the kiddos! It doesn't have to cost money to be a date night, so child-care isn't always required. (2) Only be out of the house, away from the family, 3 nights a week - less is better! Don't let life, careers, commitments, etc., take you away from home. (3) Give your spouse VETO power. Let them say NO to something that you want to do and respect their decision. But, that VETO can should go both ways, so th
at you can say NO as well. He also spoke about the "Pain of Discipline" versus the "Pain of Regret". This, in a nutshell, means that you can either suffer through the good decisions that aren't always easy, or make the easy choices now and suffer through the consequences later. Pretty simple! He will have several books available soon that discussed these things in more detail, so visit his website at

3) Creating a Great Dad-Great Mom Partnership, with Dr. Robert Hamrin & Dr. Jack Elwood: Wow is about all I can say about this one. These 2 men have a ministry to dads and offer "Great Dad" workshops. Our MOPS group is going to see about setting one up for the men in our lives this year!!! I cannot imagine that any man in attendance wouldn't walk away with something positive. I took lots of notes on this one, but the biggest section is titled "The 3 Know NO's": (1) No comp
laining, (2) No Comparison, and (3) No Criticizing. Such good, basic principles, and so hard to follow. I know what I'll be working on...

So, there you have it. My MOPS Convention workshops in a nutshell. I cannot even begin to describe the blessing that MOPS has been to my life! The blessings just roll-over into my family, my marriage, and my friendships - which is the point! The women that God has placed in my life, at this moment in my life, are all heaven-sent and I love each & every one of them very much. Getting to go to convention with them? Well, that's just bonus!!!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Teaching & Learning

Ever wonder how exactly one might teach a 2 year old patience? Yeah, me to!

I've discovered that trying to teach Ian the words "Wait" or "Just a minute" is about as easy as bathing a cat. He just doesn't get it, and doesn't seem interested in getting it. He's relentless when it comes to repeating himself - one cannot say the same thing over & over again quite enough, apparently.

And, it seems that he's doing a bang-up job of teaching his brother & sister this same technique. I always figured that the older kids would teach the younger kids both good & bad habits, hoping against hope that the good would out-weigh the bad. But, it seems that while the younger kiddos seem to be oblivious to the good habits that he/she might learn from the older kiddos, the older kiddos have discovered that if you say something enough, and drive your mommy & daddy bonkers, you will either get what you want, or get punished. Most of the time, it's punished, but every now and then I find myself yelling "OK" just to get them to zip-it! Maybe not the best parenting move, but I like to tell myself that I could always do worse. Gotta pick your battles right?

And, you would think that the punishments would be enough to prevent them from repeating themselves, but not our kids! Nope, they have short-term memories and seem to completely forget that their constant badgering does nothing to help their cause. But, you have to give them credit...they are definitely persistent...and they get that particular characteristic from both mommy & daddy.

Isn't persistence a virtue?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Being Negligent!

I've been a really bad blogger this past month, haven't I? My life feels as if it's completely out of my control and in the hands of another person who joys in seeing me run from here to there and back again!!! I thought that once school started, life would slow down just a bit, but it seems that I was sadly mistaken. This past week found me running even more than the previous week, which meant that I managed to neglect my blog again. Here are a few 'Back to School' pics that Michael managed to snap as we shuffled the kids out the door this last week. Hooray - school is back in session :)

This is Alex on his first day of 2nd grade. His smile looks sort of weird and...well, gummy! I'm starting to wonder if his top front teeth are ever going to grow in??? I cannot believe my baby is a 2nd grader!!!

This is silly-girl Morgann on her first day of school. This was almost the only picture we got of her smiling. The rest of her pics are very pouty, as she found herself left behind while her best friends, Kate & Emma boarded the bus for Kindergarten. Her birthday falls in December, which means she is only in Pre-K this year, much to her dismay. But, at least we got 1 smiley picture. Her current infatuation is braids, thus the double-pigtail-braid look. Too bad I never learned to French braid - Cori :)

And finally, this is Ian getting ready to leave for his first day of preschool. He will be attending 2 days a week with Morgann, which means I have 2 blessed days all to myself! He did really well on the first day at drop-off. The 2nd day he cried for more than an hour. Talk about feeling a little guilty. He is my 'cautious, don't make changes to my routine & schedule' kid, but I keep telling myself, "This too will pass!" Hopefully I'm right, or this is going to be a long, hard school year for him.