Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What's in a Name?

The moment is finally here for us to share our baby girl's name!
For those who aren't familiar,
I thought it would be fun to share
where the boys' names came from, too.
1. Michael Lynn Wiley
"Who is like God"
Casey's middle name.
In honor and memory of Casey's dad
whose middle name was Lynn.
2. Christopher Robyn Wiley
"Follower of Christ"
In honor of my Grandpa and greatest fishing buddy!
I'm sure you've heard of the popular book series
with a "Christopher Robin" in it...
I may or may not have been reading one of those books
when I jokingly mentioned how well Christopher went with Robyn.
Christopher has a strong religious meaning, too.
But rest assured, our Christopher Robyn
is named after someone far more special!
Yet he bears a striking resemblance
to the Winnie the Pooh Christopher Robyn, too.
and finally...........
3.  Elizabeth Annalise Wiley

"Pledged to God, or God's Promise"
A family name from Casey's mom's family
shared by Grandpa's sister and mother.
"Graced with God's bounty"
In honor and memory of Casey's mom
whose middle name was 'Anne'.
She would have been a wonderful and proud Nana!
As you can see, Elizabeth's name is very special.
She is named after some great women in our family!
And although we have never shortened the boys' names before,
we expect she'll be Lizzy or LizzyAnne from time-to-time.
Oh, and the boys are practicing her name, too!
We can't wait to welcome Elizabeth Annalise Wiley!
 <>< Stacy

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Daily Reminders of Gratitude

Casey and I spent 6 glorious days together for Thanksgiving!
We had a fantastic time visiting family and relaxing as a family in Florida.
Pics to come soon.....
And now that I'm home, I have the 'first day blues'. 
The first day back to 'reality' is always one of the hardest for me.
And not just because I am 'catching up'
while maintaining a 'normal' week of teaching,
a doctor appointment, extra rehearsals,
100% childcare, pet, and household duties,
(and a thousand other things this week),
...while 33 weeks pregnant...
but because I miss feeling 'complete' as a family.
Most days are fine.
Some days are good.
But sometimes it hits me hard and I become very, very sad.
Pregnancy hormones don't help.
But in general, these guys keep me very, very happy...
and Thankful for everything God has blessed me with.

and I am reminded to be thankful
through subtle moments everyday...
Earlier today, I was scolding Christopher for something he had done.
In his usual fashion, he just looked up and smiled innocently.
His shirt was falling to the side
and I noticed his tiny little scar near his left shoulder
from the PICC line he had forever in the hospital.
It made me stop in my tracks and thank God for him.
I hugged him
and enjoyed every moment with him the rest of the day.
I am so thankful he is here with us.
Later, we enjoyed a yummy meal together
in which Michael ate up every bite and told me it was yummy.
and aren't 4 year olds your worst critic? :)
I was very proud of it!
Ham steak, spiced pineapple sauce, corn casserole, and mixed veggies.

Since the oven was already on, I made Gingerbread cookies
(of the refrigerated dough - dip it in sugar - then cook it variety)
and we enjoyed them by our tiny Christmas tree
cuddling and watching How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
The boys were so warm, cuddly, and loving.  :)

Then at bedtime I told the boys I was sad...
and they immediately hugged me, kissed me,
and Michael promptly began prayer time
leading where Daddy or I would normally speak.
Christopher echoed each phrase.
Michael led,
"Dear Jesus, thank you for this day.
Please help Mommy to not be sad
that Daddy doesn't always live with us very much."
Then he finished with our usual prayers
"for the babies in Mommy's and Aunt Steph's tummies"
and "ZOODA - for someone to buy our house"
It just doesn't get any sweeter than that...
Except for the numerous hugs and kisses given afterward.
Michael jokingly kissed each one of Christopher's animals
then acted like he had nasty animal germs on his mouth
and wiped them crazily.
And Christopher laughed so hard
I couldn't help but smile and giggle myself
even though I knew this wasn't settling them down for bed.
But once again, God showed me that
I am so, so blessed.
These are the moments I will be recording in my new "Gratitude Journal".
Because Thankfulness isn't just for Thanksgiving...
God is Great...all the time.
<>< Stacy

Early November...

Still playing catch-up :)
Election day
Casey and I voted absentee this year since he lives out of town
and I wasn't feeling up to braving the lines with 2 little kids. 
Best decision ever! 
The boys and I wore some Red-White-and-Blue
in honor of the occasion
and because everyone knows
it's one of my favorite color combinations
so why not......?
Red White and Blue!

Can't get a good pic without Daddy around :)

Christopher speculating the results...
Since we were already outside recycling,
I had the boys get the mail with me.
It was Michael's lucky day!
He got his Lego magazine!
He was SO excited to find it in the mailbox!
Feel free to send Michael mail anytime...
He recognizes his name and gets VERY excited!  :)
'Reading' his mail

Christopher got one too
Bath Time!
Bubbly monsters!

Don't let these sweet smiles fool you!
Homecoming at USC
Since Casey doesn't cater these types of events anymore,
we actually got to ATTEND the
College of Education homecoming alumni event.
Michael wasn't too keen on the 'real' cocky,
so we took a pic by the blow-up one instead.
At least Mommy and Daddy look excited!

1st time eating Cotton Candy!  LOVED it!
Daddy went down the blow-up slide with Christopher :)
An overall fun night!
And Casey won a door prize too...
with his plentiful knowledge of USC history!
Thanks to him, we won a dinner date downtown...
as soon as we find some extra time and a sitter. Tehehe!
 Keeping things fun!
<>< Stacy

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A few fun moments

Here are a few fun moments we started November with.....
Visiting Daddy in Spartanburg!

Collecting leaves at Grandma's house
Having fun with the leaves!
SO excited!

Baby bump a few weeks ago :)

Michael "playing" words with friends on Grandma's iPad

Testing out a back massager --it tickles!
Michael's turn!

Sooooooo funny to watch!
Michael is quite the builder

Proud of his work!
*baby bump photo by Michael*
The many faces of Michael (with Mommy)

Silly Michael!

Baby bump a couple of weeks ago :)
Christopher totally photo bombed this pic!!

Always in costume :)
More posts to come, but I am dealing with blogger photo storage issues right now.
I probably should have researched blogging with photos
before I used up all my online storage space!
<>< Stacy


Friday, November 16, 2012

The Little Things

I've been trying to remind myself lately that
it's the little things
that bring happiness and make sweet memories.
Here are a few of "the little things" we've been up to with Daddy!
Throwing Pennies
in fountains, of course!
The boys love throwing pennies in "the water".

They get SO excited!  It makes them SO happy!

Creating special moments when Daddy is home :)
Michael brought his newest 'sleeping friend' - Little.
Bringing Little is one of the "little" things that means so much to him.
Which brings me to Little's next experience....

Singing a Moes Song
We used to eat Moes Mondays ($5 dinner night)
a lot when Casey lived here,
so we jumped at the chance to eat $4 burritos
in support of Epworth Children's Home!
It's kind of sad, but we sing a burrito song on our way to Moes.
We're goin' down to Moes,
We're goin' down to Moes,
Gonna eat some rice and beans
in our bur-ri-tos!
Oh, and Little had his first trip to Moes, too.
This picture makes me laugh because Michael took it...
and he was SO mad that Christopher didn't smile.
Haha, I know how he feels since they don't like to smile for me, either!!
Photo by: Michael
Little's trip to Moes
Wearing a Tie
Michael wore a tie to church for the first time!
My two handsome little boys :)

Having a fun/early morning before church
Dressing up!
I hit the target 90% clearance after Halloween
and these shirt/cape/mask sets were $1.
The boys were so excited!
They told us:
Green = SuperWhy
Gray = Batman
Michael's serious hero face (?)

Showing off their costumes!

More ominous superhero faces (?)
 I think this was $1 well spent!
Christopher likes to run and do a split....
I encourage you to keep in mind that
it's the little things
that bring happiness and make sweet memories.
<>< Stacy