Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Green Glider...

I'm sitting here in the green glider rocking my precious baby boy.  This same glider rocked Lucy to sleep every single night until she was at least two, it has rocked Gabriel to sleep every night for the last 19 months, and it will soon rock another precious one every evening as well.  I can remember the day I came home from the hospital with Lucy, sitting in this glider in her nursery trying to figure out the whole nursing thing while listening to her CD player play a personalized cd on repeat (because those first several weeks, nursing sessions took a good hour many times!) So this glider has helped me as I have fed my babies, soothed my babies, and just snuggled my babies.  But this glider played an even more important role before all of that...a few months before Lucy was born, my momma made a trip up to Illinois to help us transform the spare room into Lucy's nursery.
  Shortly after that, DH and I found this green glider, and in the nursery it went.  And from that day on, until Lucy was born, I would go sit in her room, in this glider, before heading to work, and I would pray for my baby.  Little did I know almost seven years ago that I would be blessed with the amazing privilege of rocking more than just one little baby in this very seat...little did I know the many late night cries I would get to soothe while rocking away in this seat...little did I know how many prayers I would pray from this seat.
  It may just look like a simple green glider, but in it I have sat with my hopes and dreams before they ever came to be...In it I have sung lullabies and hymns to my babies...In it I have experienced the joys and pains of motherhood--sweet snuggles and snotty noses; precious laughter and tearful cries; lazy afternoons and exhausted late nights--and in it I have also experienced the honored feeling of daughter-hood as I have talked to my heavenly Daddy through those joys and pains He's allowed me to experience.  
 So, as I sit in this glider another evening rocking my son, my heart is full of so much thankfulness.  Who knew how much life you can experience, how many lessons you can learn...all while rocking away in a green glider?


I couldn't help but think of this post tonight as I sit here rocking my precious baby mustard seed in this green glider. And it seemed this post was incomplete without a picture of sweet Annie Beth in this chair just as there are photos of gabriel and Lucy in it. Sweet dreams baby girl... 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Loose tooth...coming through?!

This past week has been all about teeth here in the T-household.  We've got teeth on their way out AND teeth on their way in!

Lucy has probably been asking for about a year now when she is going to get a loose, mind you, I think having a tooth that is LOOSE has been her goal; I don't think losing the tooth is nearly as exciting to her as just the process of it becoming loose:) At any rate, she comes bursting out of the bathroom on Sunday morning, enthusiastically exclaiming, "MOOOO-ooom!!  You'll never guess! I was brushing my teeth, and I have a LOOSE tooth!" After a quick inspection from Mommy, we did discover that her bottom right middle tooth is indeed doing the wiggle dance.  She literally was beaming, and Mommy was literally pushing back the tears!  It's just such a sign of my baby taking one more step towards being not so much of a baby anymore. During our family movie night this last weekend, the main character looked at his youngest daughter and said, "Don't ever grow up." I had to smile in agreement at the idea of that thought process. But, growing up is also exciting.  It's hard to let them go and grow, but it's also filled with a lot of beauty... 

 Well, why sissy anxiously awaits her turn at being a snaggle tooth, Gabriel is experiencing the exact opposite in that he's currently trying to get more of his baby teeth in.  And while sissy is very happy at what's going on in her mouth, poor mister man doesn't share the same enthusiasm for his.  It seems all four eye teeth are trying to come in at once, so we've spent this past week trying to explain to an 18 month old that it's not okay to bite.  The thing that's worked the best for us right now is clove oil and lots of redirecting with various teething toys.  (Although he mostly just wants to squeak Sophie the giraffe repeatedly rather than actually chew on her, which isn't annoying at all! LOL:) And, as is common with GP
and teething, mister man has a bad runny nose and isn't sleeping well:/ In spite of it all though, he keeps smiling his way through it--gues he wants to show off those pretty pearly whites!;-) 

I can't believe how much my babies are growing.  And while growing up isn't always easy, the blessing to see my babies growing closer to one another brings my mommy-heart the most incredible joy.  The love these two have for each other is so evident!  I love watching them interact with one another-the way Gabriel's face lights up when his sissy enters the room; the way Lucy takes such pride in her baby brother; the joy seen on their faves and heard in their laughter as they chase each other around the house...I am truly so very blessed that I get to be their momma. I have the great privilege of not only watching them grow up but also watching them grow closer together with each passing milestone.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

My one step program...

With the start of a new Year, people are always seeking ways to better themselves-to start anew and afresh.  So, it's little wonder that my FB feed has recently been overtaken by "the top 5 ways to..." Or "10 steps to..." Or "the 7 Things you need to..."  I admit-I have found many of these articles very enlightening.  There's some good advice out there (along with some not-so-good advice, of course!) and helpful hints.  But when I awoke early this morning and saw literally one self-help article after another, a funny feeling hit my gut.

We live in a self-help society.

We want a 5 step program to help us lose weight; 4 ways to better our marriage; 3 ideas to keep us from yelling at our kids; 2 tricks to keep a clean and organized home; etc.

We want a program to whip those difficulties in our lives into shape.  And in the large scheme of things, that's not so bad I suppose-we should want to be better and do better and love better and live better, right?

Well, yes, except no matter what we do, what steps we take, what signs we perceive, what ideas we incorporate--we will always fall short, because we are imperfect humans in an imperfect world.

So, to add to this growing list of itemized blogposts to flash into your FB feed, here is my contribution: 

"The one sure fire way to change your life..."

1) Stop trying to better yourself, and just start seeking Him.

When temptation knocks for the food you shouldn't be eating: stop and seek Him.

When you're so frustrated with where your marriage is at and want to give up: stop and seek Him

When you're to the breaking point and are about to lose it with your kids: stop and seek Him.

When you feel like you're drowning in a sea of laundry and dishes: stop and seek Him.

Jesus truly is the answer.  We can throw in all of the self-help we need, but the only thing that will ever truly solve any of our hang-ups, our insecurities, our struggles, our disappointments, our Jesus.  I'm not saying we can't gleam wonderful insight and ideas from many of the articles and posts that we find lately-you'll probably even see me sharing some of them on my feed.  I just want to make sure I don't ever lose sight of what the answer to my problems and my struggles really is, and that's found in my a heavenly Daddy, Jesus!

So on this Sunday morning, as I sip on my coffee and prepare for a morning of worship to Him, my prayer is that I will seek Him with all that I am and all that I have.  He is more than enough, and if He conquered his own death, He can conquer my own life, too! 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Not my gumdrop buttons!

Lucy has asked all Christmas season long to make a gingerbread house, but I honestly didn't want to fork over the $13 for the kit, especially since we had such a crazy schedule over the Christmas season and just wasn't sure when we would all be able to sit down and put one together.  However, at my weekly (or one of my weekly anyway!) wal-mart runs yesterday, I noticed these nice sets had gone WAY down in price, and when I saw that they were clearing them out for only $1.50, I knew that now was a great timw to give Lucy one of her Christmas wishes.  Plus, the Chistmas season isn't technically over yet since we are currently in the true 12 days of Christmas leading up to epiphony on January 6th.  So if you're wondering why we still have our tree up, know that we actually have good reason!  (Or at least a good excuse since we've honestly just not been home long enough to get it all down just yet!)

So, here is our family fun night creation of the Toller Quatro's Gingerbread House:) 

I have to say, DH always amazes me with his creativity of things.  He pretty much oversaw the project, and even came up with the idea of adding the dripping frosting off the roof to create "icicles."
 Gabriel didn't do a lot of decorating, but he certainly enjoyed watching and partaking in the "candy testing" department of the project.
 I have a feeling he will be much more hands on with next year's gingerbread house (which I hope to find again on clearance after the 25th:)

Christmas break is obviously coming to a close, but oddly enough it's been in these past few days after the actual holidays that our family has really been able to spend some good quality time with one another, past all of the hustle and bustle of the season.  It's been so very nice to be home for a few days and able to have family movie and activity nights and not have to worry about being up super early the next morning for a full day.  I'm treasuring these few days where we have been able to slow down and enjoy just being a family, yet still very much staying within the holiday season and what it's all about.  As we look towards the end of the 12 days of Christmas, we focus on the time that the wise men would receive news of where their newborn King was--epiphany symbolizes when they would visit their newborn King.  The word itself actually means “manifestation of God."  So during this time where our schedules have momentarily lightened up, I pray we will be seeking out how to find our King in the midst of this life--where would He have us to follow Him in this new year, to seek Him, and to worship Him afresh and anew.  And as a family in this unique day and age, we have the opportunity to do that in different ways--over discussion times after a Christmas movie (thank you for the veggie tales movie, Mema Joan!) or at the dinner table as we laugh together and talk about things while decorating a gingerbread house.  Our daily lives can truly be a segue into deeper conversations about our Jesus, and I pray our family will take advantage of those as we seek out our King in this New Year!

Thursday, January 2, 2014


I'm a week late on posting this, but my BABY boy is now 18 months in a year and a in 6 months from being TWO!  It seriously doesn't seem possible to me.
How does time slip away so quickly?  I often find myself just staring at both of my kids and wondering how they went from those tiny, helpless infants into these precious little people with their own unique personalities...

Like my sweet Lucy-bug--how on earth did she go from my roly poly baby girl to this amazing grown up little girl?  She's so smart, and boy, is she FUNNY! That girl has such a terrific wit about her, and I think she finds joy in making people laugh.  She's such a go-getter; she loves life and doesn't want to miss a moment of it.  My prayer for her this new year is that she would grasp more fully Who God is and make a decision to know Him and serve Him!  

And then my precious Gabriel...what a JOY he is!  He is my calm, laid back baby who is ever soaking in his surroundings. He has the sweetest little voice and the most precious, cheesy grin!He may be getting to be a big boy, but he still melts right into our arms and loves to snuggle.  He gives THE best hugs and the sweetest (most slobbery!) kisses!:)  He knows exactly what he wants and makes it very clear what that is--from the time he was an infant he would push his bottle away when he was full!--Oh how I pray that what He will come to want more than anything is a relationship with Jesus! 

I can't wait to see what new personality that baby mustard will bring to our growing family.  She will be here in less than 16 weeks, and while I can't yet stare directly at her as I do my other two children, I do often find myself staring at her sonogram picture and wondering all about her.  I'm cherishing all of her kicks (and punches!) and this time that I get to keep her so close to me, but I pray that one day she will desire to draw close to Jesus more than anyone or anything else.

I know sometimes we wish that we could just make time stand still, but it really is such a blessing to allow time to march on and watch our babies grow into who they are.  I feel so blessed to be the one to walk beside them with each new step that they take, and I pray that my steps would guide them in the ways of The Lord this new year.  So keep on growing my precious babies--what exciting things are in store for your precious lives!