Friday, October 29, 2010

Pumpkin night!

Here is Presley, my little pumpkin, at Lombardi Ranch, here in Valencia. We went there last weekend and each of the kids picked out a pumpkin. We also saw Kevin Richardson (not pictured) of the Backstreet Boys there. He caught my eye b/c he had a UK hat on. I came soooo close to stopping him to talk, but when we got closer to him, I realized who he was, then I got star-struck and chickened out. Anyhoo....

I love pumpkins! I love the way they smell, I love the way they grow from just a tiny nothing into something huge. I love the seeds. Everything. Tuesday night, we carved pumpkins. Well, most of us. Poor Caleb was confined to the swing for the evening.We read the Pumpkin Patch parable (which we do every pumpkin carving night-love, love, love that book!)
We cut open the pumpkins and got the seeds out. We cut out eyes, noses, and scary mouths. We finished the night by eating struesal pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream and grated nutmeg. I used this recipe for the pumpkin pie and tweaked it a little. I didn't add pecans and I cut the flour down to 1/4 c. on the streusal and added 1/4 c. oatmeal to the mixture. Gingerbread coffee and pumpkin creamer perfected the evening. It was such a great night.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Little Man

Caleb James is the other man in my life. I love him so much, words just can't describe. Kevin will always be my #1 love, but this boy comes close to stealing that spot.
He is 4 months old. He smiles all of the time. When he decides that he wants to talk, this boy can talk up a storm! Jibber jabber at the top of his lungs. His sisters are in love with him, too. Presley wants to hold him all of the time. She is such a mommy's helper, always getting his paci and diapers for him. He started sleeping in his crib in his own room last week. Very bittersweet, especially knowing he's the last baby for Osborn abode (did you hear that? the LAST one!) We moved the pack-n-play out of our room over the weekend. Sigh. He's still on a semi-strict 3 hour schedule and he's the perfect babywise baby, like all of my kids were. He loves his swing and bouncy seat, as well as just laying on the floor. I love seeing his face light up when his daddy comes home. People tell me almost everyday at school, how cute he is. I am so blessed to be his mama! Caleb's name means bold, courageous. He'll need that, growing up with his sisters.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lifegroup top 10

In our experience, lifegroup (or small group) is a group of people, usually from church, that meets once a week to do 3 things-1) study the bible 2) serve at church and 3) serve in the community. I would add a 4th, saying that social activities always find their way into the mix. I've never been a part of a lifegroup that didn't have parties together or meet for dinner occasionally.
Kevin and I have been in several lifegroups in the last 13 years of marriage. Our first one was a financial bible study, Crown, and the one we are in right now just finished up a financial study, ABC's of Personal finance. We've been a part of lots of other studies. I just find it interesting that the first group we were a part of and the one we're a part of now are both financial ones. hmmmm...If I had to pick a favorite study (not group-I loved them all!) it would be the DNA of Relationships by Gary Smalley. Great study. We've made some lifelong friends though our smallgroup experiences. Since moving to Valencia this summer, Kevin and I have looked forward to joining a Lifegroup (that's what our church calls them). We got plugged into one, and Kevin is leading it. He's such a great leader and facilitator. I love listening to him and gaining insights from him.

Anyhoo, here are my top 10 reasons to be in a lifegroup-
  1. You get to meet people in your church. You may not believe it, but Kevin and I are both introverts. We find ourselves very content with just a few friends. It's hard for us to just go up and meet people and develop friendships. Being in a Lifegroup connects us to others in our church and encourages us to build relationships.
  2. You have something to look forward to each week-Our group meets on Sunday afternoons. Our family knows that Sunday afternoon is taken. No playdates, no football, no TV, no errands. It's lifegroup time.
  3. You gain a different perspective on the bible and in life. As I get older, I'm finding that I really appreciate others with different thoughts than my own. I like hearing about what others gain or learn from scripture. I want to learn what others interpret from whatever book we're reading.
  4. Your kids meet new friends. I loved it when McKenna came home from school a few weeks ago and said, "Mom, guess what? I saw Jenna, you know, from Lifegroup, today. She goes to my school!" Our group has 8 adults and 12 kids. The adults meet in the family room while the kids play in another area of the house, or outside.
  5. I get to talk to other adults. I look forward to visiting with the other women in our group. They're moms and wives, just like me. Because I'm home with the kids during the day, there are days when I don't have any adult conversations until 2 in the afternoon, when I pick up the girls and talk with the other moms waiting on their kids. Lifegroup gives me a chance to visit with great ladies.
  6. There's always food! Like I said, there are 4 couples in our group and it works out perfectly. One couple hosts (opens their home to us), one brings drinks, one brings a salty snack, one brings a sweet snack. Perfection.
  7. Accountability-Kevin and I have talked about needing to work on our budget. We've talked about it for a long time. Now, were in a lifegroup doing a financial study. This week, our homework is to do a budget. Because we are part of a group and we made the commitment to do this study, we'll make it a priority to do our budget.
  8. Prayer-I'm not one to write prayer requests on the connect card on Sunday mornings. But, if there is something on my heart, I'll share it with my Lifegroup. I know they'll pray. I also know that they'll ask me about it the next week. I love praying for specific needs and hearing how God meets those needs during the week.
  9. We're setting a good example for our kids. I want our kids to know that worship and church on Sunday(or any day) is important. I also want our kids to know that Kevin and I love God and each other so much that we want to be a part of a Lifegroup. To grow deeper is our walk with the Lord and to build up our family.
  10. Life is better in a group. I've found that life is easier when you're sharing it with others. When you're in a Lifegroup, you always have someone who has your back. You always have a contact. You always have someone you can call on a moments notice and know they'll help if they can. You always have a group that's up for a party.
Our lifegroup rocks. I'm so thankful for such a great group of families. I'm excited about future studies. Maybe I'm just excited to be done with the money one ;-) I'm excited about going through life with these folks. I know God put us in this group for great things and I can't wait to see what He does in and through us.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Here I am!

Ok-it's been a crazy few months. No. Wait. It's been a crazy 12 months. I still find myself thinking in blog titles, thoughts, and posts, but, I am almost never around the computer long enough to type them out. My i-phone has replaced the computer in my life. Email, text, and facebook is pretty much all I need to get through the day.

Anyway, for the first time since Caleb was born (he's almost 4 months old!), both he and Presley are asleep at the same time during the day and I have an hour to myself!!! Can you hear the Hallelujah Chorus in the background? It's blaring-soooooo-on blogger I am.

Let's see, here's a quick recap..
  • We moved to Valencia in June
  • Caleb was born in June
  • Family, family, and more family came to visit in July
  • Avery and McKenna started school in August
  • I started teaching music once a week to some ultra-cool pre-k kids at my bff's preschool in August
  • Family came to visit in September
  • Presley turned 2 in September
  • Presley got very sick, very fast in September. Fever of 104 and a trip to urgent care. Steroids and Tylenol for a few days and she's back to her sweet self
  • The girls had Fall break in October-the beach, Hollywood, down time
  • We've already made some great friends and have had several play dates in the last few months
  • Kevin has worked hard at Fuller during all of these months
  • Life isn't slowing down. Not one bit...
When we are home during the day, I'm trying very hard to get Presley to consistently answer, "here I am" when I call to her. She has a habit of disappearing, usually going in a room she's not supposed to, or opening the front door to get out. Anyhoo, we're working on it. So, with that said, I wanted to tell you, "Here I am!" I'm still here. I still have lots to say.

What's going on now at Osborn Abode
  • My life is consumed by falling in love, over and over again, with Caleb James. He's the cutest little boy, ever. God knew exactly what He was doing when He created Caleb, even though I had not a clue. I am forever grateful to the One who gave me a son.
  • My life is also consumed with being a mom to my 3 girls-Avery is 7 and excelling like crazy in school. She is a great student and she loves her "new" room that she has all to herself. McKenna started Kindergarten this year and is doing so well. She loves school and loves her new friends. She's always up for a playdate and takes her homework very seriously. Presley just turned 2 and is starting to act like it. Gone are the days when I'd call her the perfect baby! She has a beautiful personality and such a sweet spirit. Now, we are working on boundaries and obedience. She loves to go to church and she's always up for playing games and riding her new bike.
  • Kevin and I are enjoying stay at home dates for the time being. Late night Chipotle after the kids are in bed is and may always be my favorite. We are currently looking for a babysitter who's willing to take on our brood.
  • Kevin and I are working (or need to be) on a (financial) budget now that we are settling into life in Valencia. There are (always) unexpected expenses and we need to tweek our ICT budget to include those. Also, now that we have 2 girls in school, we're realizing that going to school (public school at that) costs money. Sigh. In addition to that, we need to figure out a system of chores and allowance for Avery and McKenna.
  • Kevin wrote a great post on debt. In the last 3 years, we've been able to pay off all debt, except student loans and our mortgage. Being free from credit card and car debt is so freeing. We've also been able to save up 6 months of living expenses. I never realized how secure I'd feel knowing we had savings built up like that. Next on the list is to figure out a plan to tackle our student loans, and then, set up a plan/savings account to purchase a "new to us" van (or SUV) in the next couple of years. Talks about money are just like exercise and time spent with God. You don't always like or want to do it, but you always feel better after it's done ;-)
  • Speaking of exercise, I'm trying to lose these last 15 lbs of pregnancy, that I've had since Avery! I started the couch to 5K plan 7 weeks ago, and my life has changed. I've never been a runner. I always thought my knees couldn't take it. But, this plan has proved otherwise. I'm almost addicted to running! Almost. I'll finish the plan in 2 weeks and I'm going to run my first 5K in November. I can't believe it.
  • Our family is still loud. Our family is still chaotic at times. We all love Jesus. We all love each other, most of the time, that is. We are adjusting to life as a party of 6. We are still trying to perfect our daily routine.
Never a dull moment at Osborn abode...Here I am!