Saturday, November 30, 2013


this year, as a way to practice being intentionally grateful for all we've been given, we had a "thankfulness pumpkin" that sat on our dining room table.  each night at dinner, we took turns naming things which we are thankful for and we watched the pumpkin fill up over the course of november.  i thought it would be fun to document what we noted here for posterity.

we are thankful for:

baby brother, parents, house, Bible, having 3 boys, good health, family, church, Jesus, food and water, electricity, books, friends, washing machine, dishwasher, clothes, grandparents, Mimi's backyard, pets, reliable cars, tv, researching on internet, restaurants, Christmas, mexican food, sports, money, plants, Charlie Brown, mid century furniture, good food like the sugar burger, heaters, trees, showers and baths, cousins, microwaves, golf clubs, coffee, football, stuffed animals, pumpkin everything, milk, tea, clean water to drink, wii, golf, soda, biscuits with cinnamon honey butter, cranberry sauce, thanksgiving, CCA, Christmas music, redbirds, leaves that change color, U2, david crowder, third day, toby mac, movies, candy, laughter, video games, classical music, teachers, pretty colors, the beach, medieval times, road trips, garage sales, thrifting, warm sunny days, veterans, learning different languages, birds like blue jays and peacocks, hot cocoa, singing, snow, jackets, mountains, ears to hear with, clothing, sunsets and sunrises, brownies, slow mornings, fun loom bracelets, muffins, cameras, castles, Christian parents, fossils, crafts, different personalities, bicycles, water birth, the joy of getting a good grade on a test, learning math, learning games at school, running, hearing salsa talk, reflection, medicines, doctors, furniture, walks, bike rides, parks, water bottles, cheese, bread, crock pots, pots and pans, Dad's job, salsa does not need surgery, diaper showers, roller coasters, potato soup on cold nights, cozy blankets, candles, birthday celebrations, winter and all the seasons, sleep, watching salsa play and learn, salsa sleeping at night, time together as a family, reading out loud, warm days, pictures, family fun days, salsa doesn't scream in the car anymore, dr. doss, Christmas trees...

and in truth, this idea was not originally mine...i think i saw it on pinterest somewhere.  it was fun to see all the way the Lord provides for us!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

advent ornaments

some of those interested in following along with our advent readings have expressed fear and trepidation when it comes to crafting the ornaments.  so i thought it would be helpful for me to include a post that shows what each ornament looks like.  i promise, they are very simple!  most are made from felt and yarn that we already had on hand.  others are ornaments we already had or some we've picked up over the years with the advent tree in mind.  i think the quainter they are, the cuter they are!  my favorite is the rainbow coat!


however, if crafting is not your thing, i also think it would be fun to have each child draw a picture of each bible story and then at the end staple it all together and you have a cute picture flip book from advent!

and don't feel like you have to have all 25 ornaments ready to go on december 1.  our first year doing this found me making the first half and then finishing out the last half as i had time. make it fun!

so happy to celebrate this time with my family and with you!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

3 months!

 baby salsa you are 3 months old today!  you are getting so big and learning so many new tricks! you are now sleeping in your room in your crib.  your first night there was friday, november 8.  your dad and i were thinking it would be a loooong night as you adjusted to your new surroundings but you did great!  you still wake up about an hour after we put you down but most of the time all it takes is for one of us to go in and hold you a bit and then you are down for the night. but in keeping with your name, you like to keep it a little spicy and sometimes you wake up several times and just want to be with us.  you are such a people person which is so cute and endearing until bedtime rolls around!

you are also napping so much better!  you nap in your swing in your room and you love to watch the little monkeys spin around above you until you swing into sweet slumber.  you usually take a long morning nap and then three smaller naps throughout the day.  i feel like we've finally settled into a breastfeeding groove which makes me so happy...i'm not always second-guessing things like before. you are crying less in the car and i'm not sure if it's because we don't get out very much or if it's because you have found your fists!  you love to stick your whole fist in your mouth and suck away!  you are still trying to get a finger or two in your mouth instead but you haven't quite figured that one out.  are you going to be a finger sucker???
note the tongue of concentration and the blurry arms and are a wild man!
you love your play gym and you are able to grab your lion, whale and turtle.  you will happily play here for 45 minutes in the morning which allows me to take a shower.  awesome!  we call them your morning friends!  you also like your bouncy seat more because you try to reach the toys on the bar now too.  your favorite is your little owl blanket.  you love to hold him in your carseat and if i hold him near your face, you will talk to him like you are the best of friends.
the play gym with big brothers
you are doing so good at tummy time!  when i put you on the boppy you will even talk happily.  you are less happy doing tummy time without it but this past week while doing this in the crib, you accidentally rolled over.  the look on your face made me were so surprised.

tummy time
i love how you always smile at me or dad or your brothers.  it is so sweet!  i love to see you smile when i come to get you out of the crib in the mornings.  i love how you snuggle up to me when i am holding you. when i look back at your monthly pictures i am amazed at how much you've changed and how big you are getting.  we are so happy to have you in our family!

Friday, November 22, 2013

preparing for advent...get your ornaments ready!

advent is just around the corner and the anticipation is building in our home. and we're super pumped to share this advent with baby salsa!

what is advent?  advent (from the Latin word adventus meaning "coming") is a season observed in many Western Christian churches, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. Christians believe that the season of Advent serves a reminder both of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of their Messiah as well as the waiting of Christians for Christ's return. (from Wikipedia)

we celebrate advent by doing an advent tree.  what is an advent tree? the idea of an advent tree comes from Isaiah 11:1-9, where God promises a discouraged nation that the glory they remember from david's time will come to them again. they will have another king from jesse's family, in whose reign the whole earth will know God. christians see that promise fulfilled in Jesus, and so we put up an advent tree and decorate it with reminders of how God prepared the world for that Kingdom. (taken from Darcy James' book Let's Make a Jesse Tree!)

each day, starting on december 1 and ending on december 25, i will share the scripture that we read as a family and the ornament that is hung on the tree with you in hopes that family and friends would join with us.

we crafted our advent reading plan to perfectly coincide with our favorite children's bible, the Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.
if you have young kids and don't have this bible, you must walk out of your house, get in your car, and drive to your nearest bookstore to buy it. right now. seriously. and no, i am not being paid to say this. this bible is the sweetest one i've read. each story points towards Christ and is so good!

so here is our reading plan for this advent, along with the coordinating ornament.  some of the ornaments are simple, crafted from felt, that noodle and i made together 6 years ago while burrito was at school.  others are hallmark ornaments or other ornaments that we've picked up over time.

so the reading plan is this:

dec 1 creation genesis 1-2 pgs 18-27 dove
dec 2 the fall genesis 3 pgs 28-37 fruit tree
dec 3 the flood genesis 6-9 pgs 38-47 rainbow
dec 4 tower of babel genesis 11 pgs 48-55 tower
dec 5 the promise to abraham genesis 12-21 pgs 56-61 stars in the sky
dec 6 abraham and isaac genesis 22 pgs 62-69 ram
dec 7 jacob, rachel and leah genesis 29-30 pgs 70-75 stalks of grain
dec 8 joseph genesis 37-46 pgs 76-83 a rainbow coat
dec 9 moses and the burning bush exodus 3-13 pgs 84-91 a burning bush
dec 10 moses and the red sea exodus 14-15 pgs 92-99 the split waters
dec 11 the law exodus 16 ff pgs 100-107 stone tablets
dec 12 joshua and jericho josh 3-6 pgs 108-115 trumpet
dec 13 david's anointing 1 sam 16 pgs 116-121 david the shepherd boy
dec 14 david and goliath 1 sam 17 pgs 122-129 slingshot
dec 15 david the shepherd psalm 23, 51 pgs 130-135 lyre
dec 16 naaman 2 kings 5 pgs 136-143 a heart
dec 17 isaiah isaiah 9 ff pgs 144-151 crown
dec 18 daniel in the lion's den daniel 6 pgs 152-159 daniel and a lion
dec 19 jonah jonah 1-4 pgs 160-169 fish
dec 20 the prophets neh 8-10 pgs 170-175 party hat
dec 21 john the baptist matt 3 pgs 200-203 a shell
dec 22 mary and the angel luke 1-2 pgs 176-179 an angel
dec 23 journey to bethlehem luke 1-2 pgs 180-181 a scroll
dec 24 the shepherds and wise men luke 2, matt 2 pgs 184-188 the three wise men
dec 25 jesus is born! luke 2 pgs 182, 190, 192-198 baby jesus

i would love for you to join us in doing this. this is our 6th year to do an advent tree and it makes this season so, so sweet!  it takes a commitment of time, which just means less opportunity to be assaulted by consumerism in the malls. it takes a little bit of effort in making or securing the ornaments. however, it is so worth it and so rewarding! the boys loved taking turns hanging the ornaments on the tree, and the excitement and expectation builds as more and more ornaments fill the tree, until christ is born and christmas is here!

happy advent!

Friday, November 8, 2013

11 weeks!

salsa you are 11 weeks old today! sometimes when i look at you, i can't believe that you are my baby and other times i can't remember what life was like without you!  you are changing so fast!  you are getting better and better at tummy time and you will even "talk" instead of just cry during it.  we tried out your bumbo for the first time and you seem to like it, as evidenced by the adorable picture of you in it above.  you're not really old enough for it just yet, but i like to keep my hand on you while you're in it and that seems to make you happy.  you are getting both of your fists to your mouth now and that seems to help you self soothe when you are upset.  we wonder if you will be a finger sucker?!?!  burrito liked the paci, noodle didn't like anything, so maybe we will have a finger sucker after all.  we are going through a tough sleeping period right now.  it seems you are having problems transitioning from light sleep to deep sleep so you are taking several cat naps a day but you still sleep pretty good at night.  in fact, you slept through the night (9ish-6ish) twice last week but lately you still like to have a midnight snack.  i don't mind too much though.  it is really sweet having that special time with you.  you still hate the carseat and i am wondering about switching you to a bigger convertible carseat to see if you like that better.  i'm always trying to figure you out! you love your big brothers and you have big smiles when you see them.  you enjoy your baby einstein play mat and will be happy there long enough for me to get a quick shower in the mornings.  you seem to enjoy the bouncy seat more and you act like you are trying really hard to reach out and swat the toys on the toy bar.  they are still just a little out of your reach though.  your new favorite toy is a tiny owl blanket. part of it is in the picture below.  it has an owl on one corner and you love for me to hold it while you "talk" at him. it is so fun to see you discover new things!  your voice is changing and you are hitting higher pitched noises and you have a million facial expressions.  it makes me and burrito and noodle laugh so hard!  you can even raise your left eyebrow independent of the right.  i can't even do that!  you get mad when you get the hiccups, and so do we because it is so hard to get rid of them.  you have the cutest little sneezes.  you are finally getting more hair!  you still like sleeping in your swing but we are going to start sleeping in your crib very soon!  salsa we love you so much!  you are the sweetest addition to our family!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

halloween 2013

it was so exciting to think about costumes this year with a new baby in our family.  the big boys have been football players in years past and it's always one of their top choices for costumes.  i'll admit that my idea for their costumes this year did not originate out of my very uncreative brain...i think i probably saw it on pinterest somewehere but knew that this would be perfect.  burrito was a tcu football player (his current favorite college team) and noodle was a texas a&m football player (his current favorite college team) and salsa was the FOOTBALL!!!

we were so excited to continue our halloween tradition of trick or treating with some of our favorite friends!  they chose to be anakin skywalker and an olympic gymnast!  we were quite the combination!

salsa was a little bit of a mess that night but the big kids had fun getting lots of candy and then coming back and passing out candy to others as well!
 we also managed to squeeze in our fun halloween traditions before the big day.  burrito and noodle had fun carving and cleaning out the pumpkins this year.  burrito took on the challenge of carving his own but noodle had john carve the face he had first sketched on a piece of paper.  i thought they turned out really cute!

 if you know me, you know my love for charlie brown, especially around the holidays!  i was so excited to share the tradition of watching "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!" with salsa this year.
and i really hoped to make it to a pumpkin patch this year but between school, soccer, rainy weather and having a baby, it just didn't happen.  this was the best picture we could get...outside market street and the pumpkins they had for sale.  salsa was asleep in the stroller but i couldn't take a picture without him!
this is my most favorite time of the year and i'm trying to soak it all in, do all the fun stuff and take care of a baby and keep up with life!

more noodle birthday celebrations

noodle also celebrated his birthday with his class at school.  i was able to take him a special lunch and he was able to eat with me and a special friend. 
he also requested a cookie cake to share with his class.  this is my child who does not like traditional birthday cake!  i seriously cannot relate! :)
i love being able to see my boys in the context of school and their school friends.  it is so interesting to see how they act, communicate, and socialize with their little friends.  a sweet peak into their little hearts!

noodle will you please stop growing???