Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Miscellaneous

This is one of those "I have a bunch of random thoughts about nothing posts". Don't say I didn't warn you. :-)

Caleb and I were looking at our bed a few weeks ago and were admiring loathing it. We had the same duvet cover and sheets that we got when we were married 7 years ago and it was definitely time for a new set. One afternoon last week the new duvet set and pillows arrived and Ellie helped me set it up and surprise Caleb when he got home. We're loving the new look!

 

I realized after I put up these photos of the bed that I've done a very poor job of documenting the many, many, many home improvement projects we've done since moving into our house 4 years ago. There are so many I could show but I'm afraid I don't have pictures for all of them. My goal is to do a better job of taking before and after pictures from here on out.

 
The weather has been so beautiful around here. I just love being outside in the fall when it starts to cool down. Even just taking a walk to look at the gorgeous colors in the trees makes me happy. :)

Since the weather has been so great, the kids and I have taken many trips to the park in the afternoons. I'm enjoying these two so much lately my heart could burst. I love spending time with them and I mostly love watching the two of them interact. Sure they have little sibling spats every once in a while, but for the most part they are best of friends and truly enjoy each other.


 

I had a sudden realization the other day that I am WAY past the half way mark between Ellie's birth and starting school. I'm now less than two years away from her starting kindergarten. Along with that came the realization that once that time comes, my every day, all day time with Elliana is over. Be still my heart-I may have to go cry now.

 
It's hard to believe, but our sweet baby Ethan will be turning 18 months old this week. His vocabulary is really taking off right now. He tries to repeat every word we say. Although probably only 50% of his words come out crystal clear, we know he understands us and he definitely has improved in communicating with us. Here's just a small list of words he says all of the time; Ellie, Mama, Mommy, Dada, Daddy, Elmo, Bobo, Papa, Nana, Abby, Night-Night, Done, More, and Ball. He loves when we ask him about sounds that animals make and we love asking him to show us where his nose, mouth, eyes, ears, hands, feet and hair is. He's gotten really good at this game. I hope to get this on camera soon.

Both Ethan and Elliana have grown like weeds this year. I had Ellie try on some of her fall/winter clothes from last year and although everything fits the same around her waist, all of her pants are very short on her. I'll be curious to see how Ethan has grown at his 18 month check up this month.

Ebay and I have a love/hate relationship. Most of the items I buy for my kids on Ebay end up being exactly what I hoped for. Recently I tried buying some clothes on Ebay to save some money and with the exception of 1 shirt and the earrings that I bought, everything else turned out to be a big fat fail. Turns out that even if you know your exact size, it's not enough. I finally gave in to the fact that an adult's body is much harder to dress than a child's. From now on, I must try clothes on before I buy them. Seems obvious to me. Shoot.

 
My side of the family rarely NEVER goes on vacation. We are currently trying really hard to schedule a vacation for some time next year (2013). We have 10 adults and 6 kids in the family. 5 of those adults are opinionated, emotional women. It's already been an adventure trying to plan and schedule a vacation.  I'm holding on to the hope that a vacation will happen and we WILL all enjoy it. ;) It could happen... right?
 

I'm going on a women's retreat with the ladies from our new church this coming weekend. While I'm ecstatic to be spending another weekend in our beautiful Colorado mountains in the fall (I've been in the mountains 3 out of the last 4 weekends), I don't know anyone really well yet. I decided that if I was ever going to make new friends that this is as good a time as any.

 


I'm also singing on the worship team for the first time next weekend. There's nothing like jumping in with both feet. I'm nervous, but I'm SO excited to have the opportunity to sing again. It's been too long.

I hope you all have a wonderful week, ours is off to a good start. :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ellie's Growin' Up

When I look back at pictures of our beautiful little Elliana when I first started this blog, I almost can't believe she's the same person.

She still has a larger than life personality, a mousy voice, a strong will, a love for people and life and a smile that lights up any room. But in many ways she is not the same person, and she's definitely no longer a toddler. She is a little girl, through and through.

The closer to age 4 that Ellie gets, the easier she gets. Although she's like any other 3 year old that cries, whines and throws fits when they don't get their way, those moments are becoming less and less for us. Ellie is finally understanding the idea of discipline; why we discipline and what actions require discipline. She also now understands that she only gets rewards for good behavior.

Don't hear me wrong, I never wanted to change the person that God made Ellie to be. I love her for who she is-strong will and all. I just always prayed that God would use her strong will for good, and today that is still my prayer.

I'm loving the things I'm seeing in our Ellie. She is compassionate and she has a big heart for others. She has a way of bringing a smile to almost anyone. She loves Jesus and isn't afraid to talk about Jesus to anyone-Christian or not. I'm so proud of her and I'm excited to see how God will use her in the future.

Here's a few little day to day stories of what makes Ellie so fun and grown up lately.

When Elliana was a baby and toddler, she wasn't very good at entertaining herself or sitting still for anything. Now she loves to color, do puzzles, or watch a movie in her room all by herself. Or, she loves to play with Ethan, chase him around and mother him. :)

She LOVES to help out with any household chores Caleb or I need to do. She hangs out with Caleb while he mows the lawn, she tries to help me fold laundry, and she loves to help me cook or bake. Anytime I go to the kitchen to start whatever I'm making, she pulls up a chair and asks how she can help!
 

Elliana has her own sense of style now, and most mornings she wants to pick out her outfits by herself. To my surprise, I often times love what she's chosen to wear. That girl has better style than I do. ;)
 
 
I had been talking about organizing Ellie and Ethan's clothes. I wanted to box up the shoes and clothes that don't fit anymore, and go through some used clothing we'd been given and put the next size up in ther drawers and closets. I was busy cleaning the kitchen when Ellie asked me what shoes don't fit her anymore. I was preoccupied and didn't know why she was asking so I just casually listed a few pairs of shoes that don't fit her anymore. The next thing I knew, Ellie came into the kitchen and showed me that she had boxed up the every exact pair of shoes that I was going to box up. I was amazed!

Every so often, Ellie acts like she's older than she is. I wouldn't call this a good or a bad thing, but often it makes me laugh.

This past weekend I was driving with my kids and my niece Devyn to her family cabin. I had given both girls some grapes when we picked Devyn up. After a while Devyn asked for some more grapes. Then Ellie piped up with "Oh honey, I'm SO sorry but I ate all of them." Yep, Devyn is 4 years Ellie's senior and Ellie called her honey.

Later in the car, Devyn said she felt carsick and needed to vomit. I was so proud of Devyn as she waited until I was able to pull over (it took a few minutes) to hop out of the car and do her business. After we were back on our way Ellie kept asking Devyn if she was okay, if she needed anything, and to be sure and let us know if she needed to throw up again. :)

Elliana likes to "parent" Ethan too. She calls him "Dear" and "Sweetheart" and tries to care for him or get us when she can't help him. It's adorable and hilarious at the same time. She'll often say "Oh Ethan, what are we going to do with you?!" Ha ha.

These days Ellie likes to count and do simple crafts. She talks all the time about turning 5 and starting school some day. She likes to talk about the things she'll be able to do when she's 5, like getting her ears pierced and finally being free of a carseat.

I've had a few people talk to me about how ready Ellie is for preschool. Although I know this is true, and that she would love preschool, I'm just not ready to say goodbye to these toddler days yet. To have my Ellie gone for a good chunk of every day. As it is, she's already growing up too fast.
 

 
And don't think I'm neglecting this adorable face, I'll be doing a post on him soon. :)



Sunday, September 9, 2012

The End Of An Era

I've been feeling nostalgic lately. I'm sure a lot of that has to do with losing my Grandma Nancy. I've been thinking about all of the ways life is going to be different from here on out. Then it dawned on me. A LOT is going to be different this year, especially the holidays, and it doesn't all have to do with the fact that Grandma is missing from the picture.


This is the first year our family will be celebrating the holidays in separate churches.

 
Up until this past year, our whole family (my sisters, their husbands and families, my parents, my in-laws and Grandma Nancy) was still attending the church we fell in love with 13 years ago. It was the church where all four of us sisters met our now husbands, and it was the church that Caleb literally grew up in.

 
Over the past year, one by one, each sister and their families felt that God was leading them to find a new church. Caleb and I had been feeling that tug for much longer than just this past year and with excitement and fear, joy and sadness, we began the search for a new church this past spring.

Each family left for several reasons, some the same, some different. The biggest reason was distance. We all live all over Northern Colorado, and we all felt that God was leading us to find a church closer to where we each now live. Closer to our communities.

Let me be clear in saying that none of us left our other church in anger or frustration. We still love the church and the people we left dearly and we pray that it thrives.

That being said, the change has been good for all of us. We're all very much enjoying our new churches, and getting settled in.

But, the change for me is very bittersweet. People will no longer meet or know me as one of "the Sanchez sisters" and for Caleb and I we will know longer be known as Duncan and Laney's son and daughter-in-law. On the one hand, it's exciting for people to meet us as Caleb and Christine with our two littles, but on the other hand the truth stares me in the face. We're really grown up now. We're really our own family unit. Of course this is good and the way God intended it to be, but I had a good childhood and I am still proud to this day to be a Sanchez sister and a part of Caleb's family.



I already miss watching the cousins run around with each other, or watching Ellie run up to her grandparents when the service was over. I miss Grandma Nancy asking if we could do lunch after church every Sunday.

Now, as I look ahead to this fall and the Holiday season ahead of me, I know I'm going to miss so much more. I'm still feeling excitement and fear, and joy and sadness.

I will miss going to the Women's Retreat that my 4 sisters, my mom and I went to early in the fall. I will miss the annual Turkey Dinner that the church put on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. I will miss sitting with Grandma at the table. Most of all, I will miss being together, in the same church all dressed up on Christmas Eve.

I know we are all where God wants us to be, and that this change is good. Still, it's hard not to note that this is the end of a beloved era.




Thursday, September 6, 2012

Our 3 Day Weekend - A Perfect Beginning to Autumn

We had a wonderful 3 day weekend. We were finally able to get away at the family cabin in the mountains. I'm not sure what it is about being in the Colorado mountains, but being there always brings the peace, rest and relaxation that I need.

This was a big weekend for us and the cabin. Our family got to break in the "new" cabin. Confused? I'll explain.

When Caleb's parents built the cabin 3 short years ago, they never dreamed their family would grow as quickly as it did. In 5 years they gained 5 grandchildren and another daughter-in-law. Because of the size of their expanding family, it became nearly impossible for the entire family to all stay at the cabin at the same time. When they built the cabin, they built it with the hopes that the whole family would make memories there together, for long weekends and holidays.

So, they decided this past year that the cabin had to be expanded in order to accomadate everyone. That's 8 adults (4 couples) and 5 kids (all ages 5 and under) to be exact. So, over this past summer the cabin was under construction as it was expanded to 4 bedrooms (2 large bedrooms for the couples with kids) an extra bathroom, and a larger living room. Now we can all easily fit in the cabin and enjoy it for a lengthy stay - even in colder weather. :)

After arriving and oohing and aahing at the addition, we helped set up furniture and got a little settled in. In the evening we made a campfire at their firepit and enjoyed burgers, hot dogs and smores.

 

We slept wonderfully Satuday night. It may have been the best night of sleep I've had in months! Then Sunday the kids, Laney (my mother-in-law) and I spent the day hiking, walking, splashing at the nearby lake and playing in and around the cabin while Caleb helped his Dad finish staining the outside. After dinner we headed home. It was a wonderful time and just what we all needed.

 



We wanted to be home Monday because our small little town makes a big deal out of Labor Day weekend. They put on a Harvest Festival that includes many fun activities. We really wanted to see the Labor Day Parade and go to the fair where they have kids rides, face painting, a petting zoo, booths and food.

Of course I always have big dreams about what days like this will look like and most of the time reality falls a bit short. I forget how young my kids are and that they just don't have the ability to last as long at these things as I would hope. ;)

We only made it halfway through the hour and a half parade. Thankfully, the parade was very close to our house (within walking distance) and the 45 minutes that we were there, we all had a wonderful time. The kids loved it! I think their favorite part was jumping out of the crowd to catch candy that was being thrown out to the kids.

After we cut the parade short we headed back home to rest up a bit and cool off from the heat.

 

 
The calendar may say that Fall is coming, but unfortunately the weather doesn't agree. I'm so ready for Fall weather. We still had 90 degree days this past week.

Anywhoo, after a brief rest we headed to the fair. Ellie got to ride on the swing ride (too bad the rides cost a LOT more than I had remembered)
 
...and Ellie and Ethan had fun petting the pets in the petting zoo.

 
After only an hour at the fair the kids were hot and exhausted so we all headed home for some lunch and a little nap and rest time. We went back for an hour in the afternoon and Ellie got to ride just a few more rides.
 
 

Overall, it was a wonderful weekend. It was just the R&R that we needed and I got to spend some quality time with my adorable, beautiful babes and my handsome hubby.


Now bring on the cooler weather and some more Fall fun!



 

 

 

 

 

About Me

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I am a daughter of the King. Saved by grace. Follower of Christ. I love my God and I believe that he is faithful and true to his word! I'm still figuring out and trying to follow his plan for my life. I am a wife to my best friend Caleb, a mother to my miracle babies (they are my greatest joy and challenge), a sister and best friend to 3 passionate women, and a daughter to 2 amazing parents that continue to teach me what it is to be real and faithful to God and his word. I am lucky to get to be a stay at home Mom (thanks to God's provision). I love music, singing, coffee, cooking, baking, traveling, our beautiful state of Colorado, and mostly being with the family and friends that I love!

Husband, Caleb

Husband, Caleb
Caleb is an amazing husband and father. He is always so good to me. He is my best friend. He is the romantic one. We love to laugh and spend time together. We've been married for 7 years and I just love that I get to spend the rest of my life with him.

Our 1st Miracle

Our 1st Miracle
Elliana Faith... God blessed us with our first miracle little girl in December 2008. She is sweet, smart, spunky, funny, strong willed, precocious, extremely outgoing, vocal and so full of life! She brings us so much joy.

Our 2nd Miracle

Our 2nd Miracle
Ethan James,.. God blessed us with our little boy in March 2011. Ethan was a bit of a surprise and an even bigger miraclle. Ethan is ALL BOY! He is very active, into sports and running around. He is also sweet, introverted, affectionate, and laid back. These days he often has us laughing, he's starting to show a little bit of "clown" in him. He makes our hearts happy too. :)

Our 3rd Miracle

Our 3rd Miracle
Emsley Jeannette... Our surprise baby girl was born on June 11th, 2013 and came into the world 4 weeks early. Her first 2 weeks of life were spent in the NICU, but due to God's hands and the prayers of many people, she grew quickly and came home to join our family! She is an easy, sweet baby and we are enjoying getting to know her personality.

Sisters

Sisters
We fight one day and then the next day we're fine. We're always loud and crazy when we get together. We're very passionate. We've been through it all together, lots of ups and downs. We're eachother's biggest supporters.

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