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six things

1. I haven’t taken any pictures for over a week. I need to pull my camera out again. It is not very fun to write a post without pictures.

2. Speaking of pictures…I am still working on getting all of my photos off of my computer, organized and backed up. I have made it through half of 2012. I can’t wait until they are all organized and I can start making some photo books. Fun.

3. The winner of the Lauren Haddox Designs giveaway is:

Aimee: When my first born turned 4, we did a construction themed bday party, complete with hard hats and vests for all the kids! So fun!

Congratulations, Aimee! Check your inbox for an email from me. šŸ™‚ And don’t forget that Lauren is offering a 20% discount in her shop through the end of November. Enter MAC20 at checkout to receive 20% off your order. You can find Lauren on Etsy or at Lauren Haddox Designs.

4. Have you been following Julie’s blog? I have been blown away by how God’s hand has been involved in every little step of Katee’s adoption. Katee was placed in her mama’s arms forever on Monday, but they got to meet her even earlier than expected. So amazing! Adoption is so beautiful. And such a powerful picture of our adoption in Christ as Ian wrote about here. You have to go see Katee…she is precious…and I can’t wait to meet her next week!

5. The past few weeks I have felt a new sense of thankfulness that God’s mercies are new every morning. I grew to love these Truths in Lamentations after Cora died:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:22-24

There were many days and weeks after Cora died that were dark and consumed with grief. Yet the Lord was so faithful and every morning He was right there by my side giving me just what I needed to get through another day without my daughter. My days lately have felt consuming…but in a much different way. Parenting is hard work. My boys have not been getting along at all. It is hard to know how to discipline or who to discipline when they are both crying and both at fault…even the baby! Don’t get me wrong. Even the hard days of parenting are a privilege and a blessing. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But my boys know how to wear their mama out and lately I have just been so thankful that on these rough days…when I feel like we are getting no where and I am failing as a parent…that I can anticipate His new mercies in the morning.

6. And just because…here are a few pictures I found from this summer that I never posted. They are such a perfect picture of my determined, stubborn and dramatic baby boy.

These just make me laugh. He was so determined to get in that sandbox all by himself. And so proud when he finally made it over the edge face first…until he eventually realized his mouth was full of sand. Then came the delayed, dramatic meltdown. And these pictures remind me that they do love each other some of the time! šŸ™‚

  • Hayley - I hear you on the not getting along…I have an almost 4 year old daughter and a just turned 2 year old son. I get so frustrated with her because I feel like she is deliberately mean to him (not to mention the sassy smart mouth!)

    ~Like purposely stepping on his blanket as he is trying to walk away, thus making him mad because he can’t.
    ~Like throwing books at him for no reason.
    ~Like taking a toy away from him that he had been playing with, contently.

    Then I feel terrible because I feel like I am constantly on her case and she is going to feel like little brother can do no wrong (which he can…he is the best tantrum thrower ever, does not care where he is or what you need to get done!)

    Being a mama is hard work! You’re doing a great job! And praise God for new days!ReplyCancel

  • Amy - Wow – I can relate to both you and the lady who commented above. I have a just turned 4-year-old, a 2-year-old and an almost 2-month-old and life feels overwhelming and crazy a lot of the time. I have really struggled with how to parent all of them. The oldest 2 can play really well, but of course they fight too and often I miss what really happened and get 2 different stories. I struggle b/c one is obviously lying and I don’t always know which one, and I struggle with how to discipline. And I also feel like my daughter, the oldest, can get the brunt of my disciplining which I don’t like b/c her brother definitely does things to her too. This parenting this is hard and I want to raise children who love Jesus and love to do right, but how??? I need to work on my parenting attitude as well. You continually inspire me, Jess, and I think I needed this post today.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - I know how you feel with the boys. My boys are 6 and 4 and lately all they do is fight. It is so hard to know who discipline when both are crying and saying the other one did it. Last night I was so tired and so frustrated that I put them to bed at 6:30! They were both asleep by 7 so I think it was a good decision but they missed seeing their daddy because he came home later. I love my boys so much but they sure know how to wear their mommy out!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah - this is soo cute! love the pictures!ReplyCancel

  • Tiffany - My boys are the same age as yours (2 and 14 months) so I can totally relate. When they are sweet to each other, I’m a puddle in the floor. But 99% of the time, they are fighting, pushing, biting, etc. Who knew that started so early?! But like you, I’m so thankful HIS mercies are new each morning. And I know this is only a season! Happy Thanksgiving to your precious family!ReplyCancel

  • Carla - It’s so exhausting!! The only thing I found works is distraction!!ReplyCancel

  • molly - Adoption has been on my heart lately and I love to see Gotcha days. It warms my heart.

    Also, I have two boys, 4 and 2 1/2. I know how hard it can be. Some days it seems like they loathe each other and other days they love each other. Ahhh, boys. There are pros and cons šŸ˜‰ReplyCancel

  • Jody R. - I think your brother is pretty amazing, but I’m guessing you probably already know that. How lucky your friends are that not only just the fact that James was there, but that he took such great pictures of them meeting their daughter. God is amazing!

    Some of our 6th grade students are learning Mandarin Chinese through video conferencing with a grad student at Ohio State, who is native Chinese. Such a hard language to learn. But one day I not only heard it spoke in the hallway but it wafted up to my open window in the library while they were playing at recess. They are giving me the itch to learn in myself. Maybe a new project for myself once grad school is over in May?ReplyCancel

  • Kristy S. - Like the others, we are in the same “season” of parenting with our kiddos. You may have heard about Sally Clarkson, a Christian author. She has a wonderful book out, “The Ministry of Motherhood.” It really puts all,of this into perspective.

    Good Luck!ReplyCancel

  • Becky @ Farmgirl Paints - Oh those young years are so hard. It definitely gets better. I remember those tantrums about did me in.

    Love the verse you fall on. His mercies are new every.single.morning. Thank you Lord for that. It was so nice meeting you the other day. You have sweet eyes. I remember reading about Cora and the playground now. That’s why you looked familiar maybe.ReplyCancel

  • Kimberly - Love those verses! I need to put them up where I can see them daily! Parenting IS hard work, but you are relying on God to help you, and you’ll get through this rough patch! Those boys are blessed to have you!ReplyCancel

  • Stefanie - Those pictures you posted are adorable!ReplyCancel

  • Christina - My kids are a little older than yours, but I still never know what I’m getting on a given day: kids that get along, or kids that BICKER ALL DAY. A little mix is most likely. šŸ™‚ They sure can drive a person crazy, but then when they’re all sleeping, I think,”They are so awesome and beautiful and wonderful.” haha
    Your boys are darling. Parenting IS hard…we should remember that we are not failures. (I really struggle with this.) What a blessing that his mercies are new every morning. Thank you for the reminder. šŸ™‚ReplyCancel