Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bittersweet Weekend

This weekend was full of highs and lows ....

We played hard again all day Saturday. Sarah Baker and I went to a little girl clothes show at Jan Collins house for a line she was showing, "Matilda Jane." We got Avery some super cute stuff- kinda like Anthropologie for kids. Sarah Baker got Avery some shorts for her birthday that are the most precious things ever:


How stinkin' cute are they?

Aaron was out at the baseball fields so we went over to Aunt Mandy's (Aaron's Aunt Mandy) for a little while. Mandy has a little girl, Maci, who I post pics of all the time, but don't know if I've ever said who she was. A couple of weeks ago they went to Disney World for Maci's birthday and while they were there they got Avery a surprise. We had a grand ole' time and Avery was thrilled about her new princess dress! Avery and Maci had a great time "discussing" whether they should twirl in the yard or ride the little John Deere truck through the yard. After a tail-gate-spaghetti supper- picnic and bath time we ventured home to see "Da-da" for the first time all weekend :( Somehow I ended up still awake at 2 o'clock in the morning.
Here are some pics from our fun-filled Sat night.

Miss Maci ... she's so shy! ;)

Avery escaped before I could get her diaper on!


Bubba is thinking how silly these crazy girls are!

On Sunday we took the kids out to Hot Springs Village, where Aaron's parents live to play in the sun and sand on Lake Balboa. The kids just ate it up. It was really fun! However in my attempt to make sure they were covered in lots and lots of sunscreen, I managed to forget to put it on myself... I'm this color RED. Bad deal. Everytime Aaron tries to give me a hug or even sit anywhere close to me, I squeal because I am just burned to a CRISP! Here are some pics of us at the lake ... I am SOOOO excited summer is inching closer our way.

Please notice how I'm practically as white as my tank top here .... what was I thinking?!?!

He was loving his mandarin oranges and being outside ... so messy!!

Bubba loves kisses from Maw!

Working on his walking!!

My messy mohawked boy! He had lots of sunscreen in his hair!

I don't think they moved from this spot all day!

I have no words.

They both just LOVED the sand!!

They are both about to cash out. I think all three of us were asleep before we pulled out of the parking lot... Poor Aaron!

This weekend was bittersweet because Sunday afternoon I got a call that one of my best friends, Morgan, mom was dying. She had been in the hospital since April 1 for a routine valve replacement that she had had before with no problem. Mrs. Balwanz had had a tough time in surgery and several things went wrong over the last month in recovery. She really never woke up. I spent all of Sunday night at the hospital and was just brokenhearted for my friend and her family. Morgan and Derrick got married March 21 .... I posted pics of their wedding weekend. They got back from their honeymoon on a Sunday night and her mom's surgery was the following Wednesday morning. Derrick has been so awesome through the whole ordeal. I know Morgan is so glad to have him. I have just never felt more helpless. I know there is nothing to do or say ... I just want to be of some comfort to her. Morgan updated a blog site caringbridge.org/visit/carolbalwanz several times daily and in the last month almost 30,000 visits have been made to the site. Morgan's faith and trust in God's will for her family have been amazing and such a ministry to me. I just love Morgan so much. Please pray for their sweet family during this tough time.

The Balwanz Family on Morgan and Derrick's Wedding Day, March 21, 2009.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Weekend to Remember

This past weekend Aaron and I went to Family Life's "A Weekend to Remember." It was in Little Rock at the Peabody. Even though it wasn't really a "vacay," it was such a treat to get away together and have some "us" time. (I'm getting kinda crazy with the quotations ... sorry about that.)
Greg Speck was the main speaker and I really think he is one of the best speakers I have ever heard. He touched on so many things that I needed to hear and delivered it in a way that I was actually receptive to- Not always the easiest thing to do with me. I think one thing that was so great about going to this marriage conference, is that sometimes there are things I want to talk to Aaron about, but I don't want to be that nagging wife, so I just ignore it and wait for a better time. But at the conference whenever you leave a session, you leave with an application project and they always have questions about what you just heard to discuss with your spouse. Ahhh-mazing. It was just really good for us. My sister and brother-in-law went and a couple from our community group, the Friedmanns and we all really really liked it. I'm still on information overload. I was seriously worn out by the end. But it was all so good, I'm just still trying to process everything I heard.By Sunday we were all kinda getting antsy, but still thinking it was a great weekend.

Here are some of my favorite "nuggets" from the conference ...
~ "Difficulties do not mean something is wrong with your marriage. Your response to difficulties will either drive you apart or bind you together."
~ My favorite thing from the whole weekend was this. It was seriously revolutionary to me:
"Always respond to EMOTION with EMOTION and FACT with FACT." He gave an illustration like this ... "If your husband looks at you and tells you, "honey, we aren't going to be able to spend $5000.00 on new living room furniture right now." and you have an emotional breakdown, sobbing "you don't love me." That's responding with emotion to fact ...I seriously busted out laughing ... GUILTY of that on so many occasions. I thought that was such good advice.
~ "The point in an argument is not to agree, but to understand."
~2 Things I want to work on in communication is "focus on what is being said, not the way it is being said." and to "think before I speak."
~ "If we don't purposefully find time to connect, we will accidentally drift into isolation."
~ Other couples fight too ... there are lots of times I think we're the only ones.
~ The idea of "unconditional respect," I had always just thought about unconditional love ... this idea of unconditional respect is much harder, but obviously of equal significance.
~ We talked about the word "submit" in our woman to woman session. She talked about how the word submit is also a military term having to do with two officials of equal rank, equal experience, same gender ... equal in every way. But one will submit to the other for the sake of the mission. I thought that was really really good.

We really had a great time and I just really enjoyed getting out of the house for a couple days with Aaron. It made me realize that it needs to be more of a priority. Today I went to a talk that Bill and Ann Parkinson gave at our church. They were talking about raising their kiddos and such. They talked about how there are 2 kinds of couples: Ones that made their marriage the priority and ones that made the kids the priority. It is so easy to let your lives just focus on the kids ... but we really want to be better about that!

I would highly recommend the conference ... for more info check out familylife.com/weekend and the main speaker has a website too gregspeck.com.
I know Family Life has the conferences all over. I think it would be fun to go to one in a fun city where you go to the conference for the first couple days and then stay and do other fun things for a few days too! :)

That's my plug ...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What an Awesome God We Serve

Right now I am doing a bible study called "Discerning the Voice of God," by Priscilla Shirer. It is absolutely fantastic and I really feel like I am learning so much about God and how He speaks to us. Last night we were watching the video and she was speaking on how we are all looking for different things and she started talking about God and how throughout the Bible He reveals more and more about Himself and how He truly is EVERYTHING we need. As she started going through how every Book of the Bible revealed different amazing qualities of the Lord tears filled the eyes of all of us because it was so amazing to hear!! We all were in AWE of the power of God. My mom told me it was a song and so I searched it out on-line and found it. I sent it out to all my e-mail contacts, but loved it so much I thought I'd post it on here too... SO ENJOY!! It was so much better to actually HEAR the passion and strength that she recited this with... but reading it is pretty powerful too. I just thought it was AMAZING

In Genesis, He is the Breath of life.

In Exodus, our Passover Lamb.
In Leviticus, our Great High Priest.In Numbers, Fire by night.
In Deuteronomy He is Moses' voice.
In Joshua, Salvation's choice.
In Judges, He is the Law Giver.
In Ruth, our Kinsman Redeemer.
In 1 and 2 Samuel, He is the Trusted Prophet.
In 1 and 2 Kings and
1 and 2 Chronicles, the Sovereign One.
In Ezra, He is the True and Faithful Scribe.
In Nehemiah, the Rebuilder of broken walls and lives.
In Esther, He is our courage.
In Job, the Timeless Redeemer.
In Psalms, He is our Morning Song.
In Proverbs, Wisdom's Cry.
In Ecclesiastes, He is the Times and Seasons.
In Song of Solomon, the Lover's Dream.
In Isaiah, He is the Prince of Peace.
In Jeremiah, the Weeping Prophet.
In Lamentations, He is the Cry for Israel.
In Ezekiel, the Call from sin.
In Daniel, He is the Stranger in the Fire.
In Hosea, He is Forever Faithful.
In Joel, He is the Spirit's Power.
In Amos, He is the Arms that carry us.
In Obadiah, our Lord and Saviour.
In Jonah, He is the Great Missionary.
In Micah, the Promise of peace.
In Nahum, He is our Strength and Shield.
In Habbakuk and Zephaniah, He is pleading for revival.
In Haggai, He restores our lost heritage.
In Zechariah, He is the Fountain.
In Malachi, the Sun of Righteousness arising with healing in His wings.
And that's just the OLD TESTAMENT!!!!

In Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, He is God, Man and Messiah.
In Acts, He is the Fire from heaven.
In Romans, He is the Grace of God.
In Corinthians, the Power of Love.
In Galatians, He is Freedom from the curse of sin.
In Ephesians, He is our Glorious Treasure.
In Philippians, the Servant's Heart.
In Colossians, He is the Godhead Trinity.
In 1 and 2 Thessalonians, He is the Coming King.
In Timothy, Titus and Philemon, He is our Mediator and Faithful Pastor.
In Hebrews, the Everlasting Covenant.
In James, He is the One who heals the sick.
In Peter, He is the Shepherd.
In John and Jude, He is the Lover coming for His Bride.
In Revelation, He is King of Kings and Lord of lords.

He is the Prince of Peace, the Son of Man.The Lamb of God, the Great I Am.The Alpha and Omega, our God and Saviour.Jesus Christ the Lord.And when time is no more. . .He still is!

There are 66 books in the Bible;There are 1,189 chapters;There are 31,373 verses;There are 773,692 words;There are 3,580,483 letters?
Can read the Bible in one year by reading three chapters on weekdays and five chapters on Sundays?
In the stillness of the morning,Before a busy day of care how sweet to be alone with God,Through His Holy Word and prayer.
God speaks to those who take the time to listen.

I hope this gave you even a little bit of the encouragement it gave me- How exciting it is to know what an AWESOME GOD we serve!!! Someone told me this is a song as well ... check it out!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

10 Months Today!

Today Dalton turned 10 months old. For some reason this is the first time a birthday (with either child) has kinda hit me in my gut. But this one did. He is just starting to look a lot older and 10 months sounds really close to a year. I just get really upset thinking about how much I LOVE him at this age right now. I am his favorite person, he lights up whenever he sees me (but Avery is a very close second). He is seriously the happiest baby ever. He just smiles, plays contently by himself or with others. He sleeps all night, he is easy to please. He will pretty much eat anything he loves to give kisses and is just so full of life. It makes me realize that this is the only time he will be this age, then all I will be able to do is look at pictures to remember him as a baby. I could seriously break down right this minute. Is that the cheesiest thing ever?!?! Don't answer that....

Here are some sweet things about my perfect, precious baby boy right now.

  • He sleeps from about 8:30 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. every night.

  • He drinks a bottle when he wakes up followed by breakfast that usually consists of fruit and some kind of bread: muffin, biscuit, toaster strudel or pancakes. He then takes a nap, wakes up and eats some lunch. That usually consists of turkey, or chicken, cheese, crackers or goldfish and fruit. He plays for a couple hours and then takes his afternoon bottle and nap. He wakes up and plays and usually eats whatever we are having for dinner. He is such a good eater! Then he takes a bath and goes night-night by 8:30-9.

  • He loves any and all fruit.

  • Juice is his favorite beverage (overly-diluted White-Cran Peach and White-Cran Strawberry preferably) but he did just discover milk a few days ago and he is very excited about it.

  • He goes into his bed completely content when it is time for a nap. I just pat his head and he closes his eyes, usually smiling. However, when he wakes up he starts immediately screaming bloody murder until I come get him. As soon as I walk in he starts jumping up and down smiling again. Avery used to hang out contently in her crib forever. She still will lay in her bed for a long time when she wakes up until she is ready for me to come get her.

  • He LOVES being outside, I am so excited about getting to be outside now that it is warm out.

  • He gets diaper rash a LOT, his little skin is so sensitive. (Avery NEVER got diaper rash).

  • We just bumped both of them up to size 5 diapers ... (I think that's why I've been so upset about this month's b-day. There have been so many changes this month)

  • He babbles all day long- talking talking talking

  • He cruises around the couch and crawls very very fast.

  • He reaches for me now! Yahoo!!

  • I can tell he's going to be sensitive. Mom always says "Can't you tell it would be really easy to hurt his feelings." This makes me laugh.

  • He is a major GRUNTER. He grunts about everything, especially if you're taking too long to get his food!

  • He ways a little over 24 pounds ... Today when we went to the doctor to check out his ears again they asked me if he could stand on the scale ... I politely said "No, he's an infant, a really big infant."

  • Photobucket



    Another reason I don't want him to get older is because I know people will start asking me, "so when are y'all having another one." I'm sure I have said before that I want 5, but now I'm just taking it one at a time (or pretty much 2 at a time in my case). When they are both in some kind of 3-5 day a week pre-school or kindergarten, we'll talk about adding on. For now, we're good. :)

    Monday, April 13, 2009

    Doctor Days.

    This morning I called the doctor because Avery has been coughing and coughing the last couple nights. About 9 when I thought about getting us all ready for the 9:30 appointment I was looking at the downpour, the quiet babes, and thinking "Oh, maybe they're better today." I thought better of it and decided we should still go ahead and go. They were pretty much in their PJs and sweatpants (as was I), but of course Avery had a big bow in, so that helped. This was my second solo trip to the doctor with both of them in 10 months. It's a crazy experience. Today was a lot better, but still chaotic. How do people do it with 3? The getting out and getting in to the vehicle is the worst. It scares me to death. Even with help it's crazy, that's why I never have pics of us at the doctors office. I should just take a pic of the building before we go in. After we walk through those doors pictures are a distant memory- We're in survival mode. Avery is opening every drawer, cabinet, trying to escape the room, while trying to kiss snotty sick kids that probably have measles, mumps and rubella. It's a zoo.
    Dr. W checked both kids out and told me that Dalton had two ear infections, and Avery had one as well. Oh. My. Gosh. I felt terrible. Even if there's nothing I can do about it, I felt terrible. Poor little lambies. Dalton always goes right down for naps or bedtime, he usually will just smile at me while I'm patting his little head and go right to sleep. The last two days he has screamed bloody murder when I put him in his crib. Gee Whiz. I'm so glad I took them in. Avery fell asleep on the way home, I put her in my bed because she woke up and a few minutes later I went in there to take my shoes off and she was out- O-U-T!! She needed that nap. Dalton ate some lunch and he went down too after a big dose of Tylenol. I could tell that helped him pretty quickly.
    Hoping they feel better soon!!

    Sunday, April 12, 2009

    An Egg-cellent Easter Weekend

    I'm happy to announce that amidst rain and tornado scares this Easter was absolutely EGG-CELLENT!! :)

    Friday night Aaron was working late and my Dad and Emerson had gone to the lake to go fishing, so the kids and I made the journey to Little Rock to stay with my mom. Rach and her boyfriend, John Marc were in town for the weekend and we had a grand ole time making dinner, hanging out and watching movies. I actually hate the movie we watched (The Other Boelyn Girl), it's just way too dark for me. So I spent the entirety of the movie cyber-stalking and picking out my new blog background, which I really really like!

    We had a big egg hunt on Saturday at Mom and Dad's for Sarah's sister-in-law, Sarah and all her boys and Avery and Dalton. It was a beautiful day and we all had a great time. One of my best friend's, Caroline, even came in town and got to come over for a little while .... it was so great to see her face! She made me laugh at one point because we were sitting on the porch swing with Avery, who was trying to get in the front door. She was getting frustrated and started saying, "Mama, Mama, Mama." All of the sudden Cabs got a funny look on her face and said, "I just had a moment. She's not wanting to go into the house to see her mama, you're the mama." We laughed pretty hard at that one :) After the Egg Hunt Aaron took Avery home and Dalton took a nap, so I went with Sarah Baker to get manicures and pedicures because Mom got us manicures for Easter ... I guess you never grow out of Easter baskets, which is fine with me! :)
    The kids loved being outside... and the candy. Here are a few pics from the fun-filled day.





    Easter Sunday was absolutely wonderful as well. It was a horribly ugly day, but we made the best of it. I got the kids ready in their Easter best- the whole family was in green actually (Hehe). But when we got to church, both babies were asleep and had had massive allergy attacks for the previous 24 hours which meant no one was sleeping with it being so hard to breathe. It was POURING down rain, and the traffic at church was a nightmare. So after driving around in the parking lot for 15 minutes trying to plan our way inside the building we ended up going on to Mom and Dad's, they had gone to the earlier service. I know that's horrible, but that's what we did.
    We got to Mom and Dad's and helped with last minute food preparation and delighted in the babies cuteness ... it was at an all-time high today :)
    Then Aaron's parents, and all my grandparents came. We had such a great time. Mom is the best hostess. I love holidays at our house, everything is always so special. Everyone's plates had a little nest with an egg on it and a place card with your birthday. You found your birthday to find your seat ... how cute is that??
    After an Ahhh-mazing lunch with all the fixin's of Ham, Brisket, Cornbread Salad, Green Beans, Mac 'n Cheese, Potato Salad, Deviled Eggs and more we all camped out in front of the TV to watch the Masters while the babies napped and we indulged in Chocolate Pie and Fruit Tarts. It was such a wonderful day.













    Easter is a day that I could just be choked up about all day. It is such an amazing day for believers. Christ hung on a tree and died for our sins to rise from a tomb three days later. He fulfilled prophesy and bought us a ticket to eternity through His wounds. We sin over and over and over and over again and yet he loves us anyway and always sees the best in us, but through His suffering we have hope.

    I love the verse in Hebrews (my favorite book) that tells us that "faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrew 11:1
    Oh Sweet Savior thankyou for giving me hope for an eternity with You. Thankyou for loving me in spite of my tremendous downfalls. Thankyou for blessing me beyond measure. Thankyou for coming down here, leaving the side of the Father and enduring this painful world and taking on everything I have done wrong so that I can be washed clean and spend forever basking in the Glory of the Father. Glory be to God in the Highest! You are King of kings, and Lord of lords! Maker of Heaven and Earth, You speak the Sun into burning and the Moon into rising and yet You care about the little things that I care about. Thankyou with everything in me for putting a new song in my mouth and seeing me for what You want me to be. Thankyou for covering my sins with your blood and then rising again for my soul's fate. Oh Lord, You have risen- You have risen indeed ... and You reign today!!!!!!!!! Hallelujah!!!

    Friday, April 10, 2009


    Well well well ... I'm back. After a grueling 2-3 weeks without my computer, the Best Buy Geek Squad finally fixed it for me. If only I would have gone there first ... whoops. Well, now I know.
    I feel as though I haven't updated this in FO-EVA. The thought of trying to tell you all of the "Boone Family Happenings" of the last few weeks pretty much exhausts me ...
    So here are the highlights:
    - Moms 'n More has ended so we've started having weekly playdates ... love 'em. I love that it's controlled crazy. There are kids running all over moms trying to have conversations, nurse a baby, change a diaper, discreetly discipline, locate kids, love on babies. It's hilarious, and makes me realize other people's lives are as crazy as mine.
    - The whole fam's allergies are in full swing, what the HECK did people do before allegra???
    - One of my best friends, Morgan's, (One of my last posts was about her wedding weekend.) went in for a routine valve replacement surgery that she had had before on her heart went terribly wrong and it has been a long, hard 10 days praying and checking on her sweet family. She is SUCH a fighter. The doctors have told them over and over and over again what a miracle she is. To check on her updates go to caringbridge.com/visit/carolbalwanz The power of prayer is AHH-MAZING!! So please pray for their family.

    - My physical therapy is FINALLY over. My knee doctor told me I really didn't have to go that often anymore (I was going 3x a week and it was getting SO ridiculous.) However the last couple days I've been wearing my knee support things because my knees are bothering me so bad. UGH!!!
    - Today I was putting away groceries and I noticed there was only one carton of strawberries. I just KNEW I had bought two. I looked all over, checked the car for a missing bag and then I remembered Av saying she wanted some strawberries. I went in our bedroom and the container was empty on the floor. All the strawberries were in the corner of my rocking chair in there and I kid you not EVERY SINGLE one of the strawberries had a bite taking out of them. I didn't know whether to scream or laugh and that little munchkin. Ugh!!
    8. The last week Dalton has been standing on his own and is kind of thinking about taking a step. I just can't STAND it!! He will be 10 months old next week. Yesterday I went to get him some new Robeez shoes and when I got home I put them on him and realized the 6-12 months were too small. I had to go back and exchange them for 12-18 months. Even though all his clothes are 12-18 months it made me really really sad. I just want him to be a baby forever. He is seriously the sweetest baby EVA!! So upsetting.
    I guess that's really all for now ... I'll leave you with my new fabulous find. It is Paula Deen's recipe for a Southern Cornbread Salad. I made it the other night with an old fabulous find of the Crunchy Baked Chicken Tenders which are one of our favorite dishes ...
    and I guess I'll give you the recipe for that too. Happy Easter Peeps!!

    Crunchy Baked Chicken Tenders:
    One package of boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins
    One Sleeve of Ritz Crackers
    I C Mayo
    1/2 C Dijon Mustard
    Fresh Cracked Pepper

    In one shallow dish crunch up the Ritz crackers as fine as you can. Add in a stick of melted butter and combine. In a second shallow dish combine mayo, mustard and some fresh cracked pepper to taste. Dredge the chicken tender in the mayo mix, then roll it in the cracker mix. Bake on a baking sheet @ 375 for 25-30 minutes .... DIVINE!!

    Southern Cornbread Salad

    2 boxes of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
    2 Eggs
    2/3 cup of milk
    Blend ingredients and expect batter to be slightly lumpy. Pour batter into a greased 9X13 pan and bake 20-25 minutes. Let cool

    1 can niblet corn
    1 can kidney beans
    1/2 onion, diced
    1 green bell pepper, diced
    3 tomatoes, chopped
    1 cucumber, chopped
    1 large bag shredded cheddar cheese
    1 80z bottle of Ranch Dressing (so much better if you make the ranch with the hidden valley packet mix)
    Parsley to garnish

    Cube the cornbread and place at the bottom of a large glass bowl or trifle dish. Layer on the corn, beans, onion, pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, shredded cheese and then cover with ranch dressing and let chill for at least 2 hours. Garnish with Parsley if desired.

    I LOVE this recipe, I could eat it for days. I'm even bringing it for Easter. YUMMY!!

    Blog Design © Designs by Linds 2011