Thursday, December 30, 2010


i just had a fun conversation with a friend about how planning makes things special.

isn't it true?

you could be driving by sonic with your man and decide to swing in and grab a drink for each of you... ok, nice... OR you could PLAN to pick him up from work and grab a drink together for a short date and it is something SPECIAL! I love that! i think it has to do with the anticipation of the act!

all that to say, having small kids and celebrating the new year don't always go hand in hand. i don't believe that lance and i have done anything outside of our house for the new year in five years. this year we happen to have friends offer to watch our kiddos so that we can go on a date. it won't be anything fancy... quiet meal, discussing the new year, netflix movie at home, and a bottle of sparkling grape juice, but it will be EXCITING because it was planned!

so whether you are hoping to have a BIG MOMENT or a SMALL GESTURE...
the point is PLAN it and make it a SWEET MEMORY!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

christmas in pictures PART II

Christmas Day we headed to Simonton to celebrate with my family. we were all together for the first time in three years! it was so exciting to see everyone!

riley was pretending to be sir topham hatt
smiling for marshmellows (or at least sitting still... i'll take it).

ummm... times have definately changed... can you say technology christmas?
in this photo... cell phones, i pads, mobigos, and kindles.

do you think lance can handle one more boy?

lazy mornings

allie LOVES her older cousins... in fact, i think she wishes she was five years older!

it isn't mimi and pawapaw's without tractor rides

riley has sat on the tractor, but never riden it b/c "it noisey!" he made it one circle around this time!

Monday, December 27, 2010

christmas in pictures PART I

christmas eve:
decorating cookies

play with "snow in seconds"... SO COOL and reusable!

it's been so interesting.... we have never pointed that particular card out to any of our kiddos, but riley has pointed continuously to the hay's christmas card... as if to say that he misses jeremiah too! so sweet!!

dinner out at olivetos after our new years eve service at church

opening gifts from extended family

kids in bed...prepare the tree... one unwrapped gift for each kid

Christmas morning:
finding gifts under the tree

(had to include this...hee,hee) yes, mommy puts shampoo in stockings! :)

pioneer woman cinnamon rolls in a christmas tree... we were out of powder sugar so i had to use cookie icing... oops!
part II coming soon!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

finding words...

we attended the celebration service for jeremiah today. i can't really put words together to say anything?? i think i see things in snap shots, especially events like this one where so much emotion is involved. the snapshots that i walked away with yesterday were
  • pulling up to the church and watching friends we haven't seen in years emerge from their cars and gather in the parking lot.
  • the tiniest casket i have ever layed eyes on
  • jeremiah's hand print that was framed next to his photographs
  • the first glimpse i got of our friends entering the sanctuary
  • knowing that sabrina chose the song blessed be the name of the Lord to sing at this service and then watching jeff left his hands in praise to our Father while singing it.
  • walking toward the burial site and realizing that they purchased three plots (so they can be buried along side their son) this week so unexpectedly
  • embracing our friends for the second time in four weeks... this time filled with an opposite emotion than the first.
  • sitting around a table at lunch with girls i've known for so long... not saying much... but feeling so much comfort in just being together.
oh, friends, God is good... yet so hard to understand. we all deserve death... any moment we get passed one is more than we should have because of sin. i know this truth, but it doesn't make this experience any easier. i know the days will get darker for this family before they get brighter, but they are strong and they are leaning HEAVY on the Lord. Continue to pray for them...

there were so many beautiful plants and flowers that sabrina let me take some home. they are beautiful reminder of a precious life!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

calling on our healer

i can't sleep. i told you last week was one of the most emotion filled weeks in a long time and now it all seems to dim in the light of news that we received yesterday. one of the three triplets that i introduced to you just after thanksgiving has slipped away to snuggle in the arms of his maker. i really can do nothing but cry for this family. the pain and sadness in my heart is so real and raw that i can not begin to fathom the heartache that they are experiencing. it was just four years ago this month that we walked down such a scary road with caleb, but we never had to see it to this step. it was our worst fear. i so badly want to take that away for my friends, jeff and sabrina.

Jeremiah Hay was the precious little life that i had the opportunity to hold, change, feed, burp, and all together get some special time with. i never knew what a tremendous blessing and special memory that would be until now. i haven't been able to peice much together in my head, but i did run to the book from which he got his name and found several verses...

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. THEN YOU WILL CALL UPON ME AND COME AND PRAY TO ME, AND I WILL LISTEN TO YOU. - jer 29:11-2

But i will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord. - jer 30:17

I have loved you with an everlasting love, i have drawn you with everlasting kindness. -jer 31:3

one of the hardest parts of tragedy during the holidays is that it is a time of year where things so evidently DO NOT stop for your pain. homes will still flaunt their twinkle lights, christmas morning will still come, the jolly music will still play on the radio and all while their whole lives come to a stand still. i remember those feelings vividly.... nothing is normal for you while everything seems so merry and bright for those around you. so i'm asking you a favor this christmas.... before you bake another batch of cookies, attend your christmas eve service, or venture out for a cup of hot chocolate will you say a prayer for the hays? will you ask the healer of hurts to flood their hearts with His goodness? with His peace? with His comfort? we can give them no better gift this christmas than the gift of prayer... strength when they just can't find it!

thank you friends... now go hug your loved ones just a little bit tighter!

Monday, December 20, 2010

christmas activities

we are not traveling the week before christmas as we typically are so i know it will be a little slow and the kids could get a little stir crazy. i'm trying to be proactive! here is the line up of things to do this week... we'll see how it goes:

candy cane craft

oreo balls

watching BOZ Christmas

loading up on hot chocolate (from home) and looking at christmas lights

hiding elf on the shelf

indoor christmas blizzard

and lastly...

the gift giving game-
we get old gift bags from last christmas and put things from around the house in them. the only rules are that upon opening they have to say thank you and ONE nice thing about the item recieved. begin with things that will be easy for them to be kind about (car, doll, ball, etc.) then put random things that may not draw as much excitemet (socks, toothpaste, a girl toy for a boy and vice versa). out kids like to do the gift giving too so we go back and forth. this is a GREAT reminder of manners and gratitude during this very commercial time of the year! (i'm pretty sure that this was in family fun mag... all credit to them).

gingerbread houses

we had two extra kiddos for a slumber party the other night.

after watching a christmas video

it was time to get rid of all that extra old halloween candy (thank goodness...yuck)! this turned out to be a great use of that stuff. next year i think i'll slowly stash it so it runs out faster, but we still have some for this activity!
I was impressed with the creativity and they were fairly clean about it! it just took some graham crackers, royal icing, and junk candy! perfect!!
caleb's house... he asked me to cut the tootsie roll up and then he put them in lines to make bricks and then he bent the other tootsie roll into a candy cane! it was all his idea and i was quite surprised by his precession!
allie's won the most candy award... check out that chimney! she also was the leader in everyone having pink and purple snow made out of nerds and pixie stixs!

here are the final houses... super cute! fun had by all!
i've got some thoughts to help this week go quickly... i'll post them tomorrow! FIVE days till christmas!!! where did this month go?????

Friday, December 17, 2010

caleb turns FOUR

caleb's birthday was on tuesday. we had his party weeks ago, but the actual day to celebrate was this week. unfortunately, his birthday can easily become lost in the craziness of this month (especially this year... this week has been the hardest most tear filled week in quite some time). however, we managed to make it special and do all our usual family traditions.

you should know that c was up at 6:40 wondering why no one woke him up with balloons! HA! lance told him to go back to bed or we wouldn't be able to surprise him!

then we were off to Einstein bagels (caleb's breakfast pick). on the way there dad was on the radio promoting pinecove's winter fest and was able to give away 4 spots to 4 kids in honor of caleb's 4th bday! pretty cool! (sorry no breakfast pics... it was a little crazy... not the most kid friendly joint)!

lunch brought pizza and christmas tree cakes (his pick again)!

the long awaited present opening!

his three gifts were: toy story figures, sweat pants, and a new lantern for camping. he LOVED them all!

caleb is becoming a big boy.... exciting and scary all at the same time! he is wanting daddy to wrestle with him or play soccer with him or watch him do some cool move.... doesn't matter as long as daddy is involved! :) i can think of no better role model!

happy bday buddy! we love you!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How we handle SANTA

many people have been asking me why we participate in halloween, but don't "do santa" in our home. i have just recently come to a place where i am able to verbalize what has been in my heart for a LONG time.

first of all, we all have different convictions. i believe that we DO NOT serve a cookie cutter God. i believe that He has made us all uniquely and wired us differently. i believe that He speaks to us and addresses our issues in different ways and in different times. that being said, the best way to evaluate if YOU or YOUR FAMILY should participate in an activity is to determine if that particular activity is drawing your heart AWAY from Christ.

For our family, dressing up in silly costumes and going door to door has (at least to this point) in no way drawn our hearts and focus off of Christ. with christmas, however, indulging our children's imagination with the fantasy of santa does draw their hearts away from christ and the purpose of this most precious season.

lance recently found an article that said SO BEAUTIFULLY how we intend to handle this "santa dilemma"... we don't want to wreck how other families choose to celebrate and we by no means judge them for it, but we have decided as a couple to "redeem santa" in our home rather than reject him or receive him. if you're interested in the last statement, read THIS article!

Monday, December 13, 2010

the life of a SICK mommy...

oh, sweet friends near and far... i wish, for those of you who are not yet moms, that i could adequately prepare you for the sick days as a mom. for those friends who have babes at home... you're smiling to yourself right now. you know what i'm talking about...nothing stops for you. pre kids, if you were sick you took a day off work, made yourself warm soup or at least grabbed some crackers from the pantry, sipped on sprite, and snuggled up under a blanket. you may or may not feel like watching something on tv as you doze in and out of sleep and recover from the awful feeling of a sore throat, or allergies, a migraine, diarrhea, or heaven forbid - vomiting.

post babies.... you can only yearn for those comforts. instead, you are trying to fix breakfast for those who have no concept that you would have anything better to do than fix them bowls of oatmeal, pour several glasses of milk, clean their faces, and be at their every beck and call. all the while you are darting back and forth from kitchen to bathroom hoping you make it in time and washing your hands for the hundredth time because, lord help us all, if you and multiple children are sick! ;)

i'm definitely feeling better this afternoon. after all, i'm blogging. HA! but as i have reflected on my night of no sleep, but continual vomiting and the morning that followed it - i was left with the sense of actually missing the days when i could be sick ALONE!

i wouldn't trade my kids for a thing in the world, my God has given me the strength to press on, and my husband has blessed me tremendously... i'm grateful.... but reminiscing. i know that with the cold weather comes the season of illness. i wasn't the first and i won't be the last... so when you are ill in the months to come know that others have traveled your road!

happy health to you and yours! ;) now i'm off to disinfect my bathroom and wash all the sheets in the house!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

deck the walls!

i have not done too much different on the decor side of things for christmas this year. here is last years tour of our home. But there have been a few changes, including the color scheme which has changed to blue, silver, and purple. you make think it strange, but I LOVE IT!! it makes me all warm and happy inside!

this is the space above the tv armoire... i had to change the wreath location because something else important is occupying the mantel!

a close up: "prince of peace" to help us keep the main thing the main thing! ;)

the mantel... you should know that this frame has been waiting for these pictures for almost two years.... TWO YEARS... goodness. i did this last month, but haven't posted it for the obvious reason that ONE pic is still missing. poor allie is missing her pic because SAMS messed up and, well, i ran out of time and energy... maybe i'll get it in there before the year is up??? but i have to say- I LOVE the faces of my family filling the space of our living room... props to my friend Beth for the fabulous photography!

and the tree with the new color scheme....
that's it.... nothing fancy, but makes us all cheery!

our blog

i've been telling my husband that the blog world is slow and boring lately. no one is really posting much and no one is commenting either. this morning he saw me posting some new pics for a post coming up and asked what i was doing. my response... "posting pics on a blog that no one is reading." he set out to prove me wrong and checked out the stats button on our blog.

have you ever done that?

wow, ok, 93 people looked at our blog yesterday.... and, yes, i do realize that that number could be hugely skewed by grammie who looks MANY times a day! :)

but seriously.... that is so many people... but no comments...

are you bored or busy? what are you looking for? more crafts? more christmas ideas? or the typical crazy sisco stories (of which, sadly, have been none existent lately! Thank goodness!) :) anyway, i want to keep sharing, but want it to be relevant so let me know what will inspire YOU!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

ballet comes to a close...

allie has been taking ballet since August. we haven't been allowed to watch any practices, but on the last day parents could come in for observation. She began as a bull in a china shop and has at least learned to point her toes and be more graceful.

we now realize that she knows very little terminology because her instructor uses very few terms. this is a pic of them "putting ingredients into the cookie dough."

this was "picking apples"

and this was apparently "being a tea cup"
however, check out the seriousness of this child!!

but let's keep it real too... she is EASILY distracted

allie with her friends, hannah and maggie

she was excited to have an audience and we are so proud of her! we also realized that our daughter is the student who does not let the teacher forget anything and is constantly telling her teacher what should happen next.... oh, dear!

Friday, December 3, 2010

counting down...

i took last years count down and tweaked it just a tad. it takes up less space, but still meets the purpose. i have had a few peeps ask about our what scriptures we read each day. i selected my own by combining ideas from several books. I like reading from the old testament so that my kiddos learn the prophesies of Jesus coming and i like starting with the scriptures in Genesis so that they see the story of Christ as THEIR story. some days are just scripture and some have a song too. we have also thrown in stars which symbolize a fun activity like looking at lights, baking cookies, wrapping gifts, etc.
here is the break down if you are interested:

1- Isaiah 9:2-6 (Away in a Manger)
2-Genesis 1:26-31
3-Genesis 3:1-24
4-Genesis 3:15 (Jesus Loves Me)
5-Deuteronomy 18:15-19
6-Isaiah 7:10-14
7-Isaiah 11:1-5
8-Matthew 1:18-25 (Oh Little Town of Bethlehem)
9-Isaiah 19: 19-25
10-Isaiah 40: 9-11
11-Isaiah 42: 1-4
12-Isaiah 53: 1-12
13-Isaiah 49: 1-7 (O Come, O Come, Emmanuel)
14-Isaiah 61: 1-3
15-Luke 2:8-20 (Silent Night, Holy Night)
16-Jeremiah 23: 5-6
17-Micah 5:2
18-Zechariah 9: 9-10
19-Malachi 3:1
20-Luke 1: 1-25
21-Luke 1: 26-38 (O Come All Ye Faithful)
22-Matthew 2: 1-12 (We Three Kings)
23-Luke 1: 39-56
24-Luke 2: 1-20 (The First Noel)
25-Read the Jesus Story Book Bible version of the Christmas Story

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Meet the Hay Boys

aren't they the most precious trio EVER??



and Jeremiah:

they keep their momma busy... change diapers, record info, feed, burp, swaddle...

oh, these little guys just made me grin. they are a reminder, as all children are, that our God is AMAZING... I mean, how can you look at a newborn and not see God's goodness!
needless to say... seeing these boys got me excited to see our little guy!

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