Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas kiddos

I figured I'd share a few more Christmas pictures before the kids and I head out of town tomorrow. Things will be rather chaotic when we get home next week but I'll have lots of pics ands stories to share once things quiet down after Christmas.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Snow Day

We didn't get much but it snowed today all over Texas. Around 1 pm, the kids headed outside to play in the flurries and enjoy only the second snow of their lives!

Aidan decided to make "snow angels"

My sweet Hanni

Aaron broke out his ski hat. I just love this picture!

my lovies!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Today we made snowflakes to decorate the dining room! Aaron cut them out (you can definitely tell a man was in charge of color selection) and the kids and I decorated them with markers, glitter and chalk. We made a huge mess but it was a fun project to do together as a family!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

The kids did an awesome job decorating the tree.

Reluctantly participating in picture time.

What's daddy doing?

Sassy girl!

Aaron's son!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Little Bitty Baby Blob

It's official! We will soon be a family of 5!
Isn't our little baby blob just precious?!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Foto Friday

Just thought I'd share a couple pictures of the kids in their Christmas pajamas. I snapped a some pics today and hopefully I can convince Aaron to get some Christmas decor up so we can take some nicer ones. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A birthday, some halloween pics and an announcement!

My loves!

My husband, the toilet!

Today was Aaron's birthday (Happy 31st, dear!!) and on Friday I surprised him with an early birthday July we'll be adding a new little Carter to the family!!! We're excited that God has chosen to bless us with another child to love and raise and can't wait to tell Hannah and Aidan!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

3x Thursday - Halloween edition

1. Do you go trick or treating door to door or to a fall festival, trunk or treat, etc?

2. Do your kids pick their own costumes?

3. What type of treats do you hand out at your house?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


This week's blog assignment at My Great Retreat is to create an acrostic using the letters of my first name to describe myself. I'm usually not so great with things like this but I'll give it a shot!

Seriously loves to clean!
A lover of the Lord!
Really interested in photography
A little bit OCD
Happy to serve my family

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


This week's blog assignment at My Great Retreat is to take this quiz. I was really hoping for apple cider (my fav) or something warm and fuzzy but my result was beer. REALLY? Because we watch a lot of football around here, I'm BEER?!?! These quizzes are always entertaining!

You Are Beer

You are a social organizer of sorts. Whether you're at Oktoberfest or watching the big game, you're always ready to crack open a beer with a few friends.

You wouldn't say that fall is your favorite season. You tend to love all the seasons equally.

You enjoy getting together with your friends for all sorts of occasions, and fall fun is no exception.

Whether you're at a wild Halloween party, picking pumpkins, or going for a hayride ... you know how to have a blast during this time of the year.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Want it Wednesday!

I see things all the time that I'd like to have but THIS is something I've GOT to have!

Rainbow vacuum good-2 Pictures, Images and Photos

A Rainbow cainster vacuum cleaner! I was told they cost thousands of dollars but I've already found a few online that run around $1300 which makes this baby a lot more feasible than I originally thought. I borrowed a neighbor's today and it did a kick-butt job of cleaning my carpet (which apparently had never been cleaned until we moved into this house *gag*). I cannot wait to own one!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

How the Carter's fight the sickies!

Since my kids were born prematurely, I've always felt I did a pretty good job of being careful during cold/flu season and about germs in general. Now that we've learned a simple cold mixed with some allergy triggers can result in a hospital stay for Aidan, I've vowed to be even more careful. Trying to find a balance between helicopter, germ freak mom and aware but not paranoid mom has been difficult, but ultimately I just want to keep my kids well. Germs and illnesses are unavoidable (unless a kid in a bubble is your idea of fun) so I've found it best to be dilligent about handwashing and have a plan for when the sickies surface. love it and it does some serious damage control when it comes to coughing. I'm not really into holistic treatments but I'm also not really into pumping any more medication that necessary into my children, especially when it usually doesn't work. When the kids had coughing/congestion as toddlers, our pedi would prescribe medication while telling me it probably wouldn't help them. Great huh?! Then one day I read somewhere that a spoonful of honey is a great treatment for coughs. I was skeptical, but it worked!! And since it's honey, the kids were more than happy to take a "dose" when their coughing would get out of hand.
**Never give honey to children under the age of 1.**

For stuffy noses and congestion, we do a Vick's vapor rub and saline routine. A few days of saline squirts in their noses and Vick's on their chests/backs and things start getting back to normal. Again, this tends to sit better with me than loading them up on cold meds. (In our house, congestion or cough also means albuterol breathing treatments for Aidan since things can go south rather quickly for him.)

I'm a firm believer that fever happens for a reason, to fight infection. That said, I'm not willing to let a fever go completely untreated. We do rub downs with lukewarm washcloths and the usual tylenol or motrin.

What about you? Have any home remedies or tips on how to fight the sickies? I'd love to hear 'em!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Home Management Binder

This is an excerpt from the Home Management Binder I made to help keep myself motivated and on track with getting things done around here. Each day, Monday thru Friday, is devoted to a specific area of the house on top of the things that need to be taken care of on a daily basis. After using it for awhile, some weeks I follow it to the letter, other weeks I just clean as I want to. Following this format has gotten me in a habit of doing some cleaning tasks I had never even thought to do before. Breaking the cleaning tasks into separate days helped me to feel less overwhelmed and I end each day with a sense of accomplishment knowing my home is CLEAN clean, not just wiped down.

Edited to add --->

Here's the rest of my week...

These need a little updating/tweaking since we moved but they still work pretty well.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Fall, Ya'll!!

The first day of fall brought rain which made for a perfect day of crafts and playtime indoors. I helped the kids make thumbprint fall trees to celebrate the season and each of them shared why they are excited about fall. Aidan also wanted to make sure everyone knows his tree is "manly". My sisters and I did these same type trees in preschool and my mom has them framed. It's so much fun recreating my own memories with my children.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for my husband, kids, family and faith everyday but today I'm especially thankful for having had Aaron home with us all week. Usually by this point, I'm ready for him to head back to work and get back to normal but I'm really going to miss having him here next week. We haven't done anything particularly special, just enjoyed being together as a family.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


On Sunday, Hannah & Aidan turned four!! We had a visit from Gamma, Pops, Gea & Grandaddy on Saturday and then Nana, Poppa & GG are coming down this weekend. Then we'll be getting together with some little friends on Sunday afternoon. I cannot believe FOUR years have past since they were born. I'm amazed at how healthy and BIG they are! God has truly blessed me and I'm so very thankful!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Hook 'Em


Horns fans since birth!!

Friday, September 4, 2009


"Be patient, bearing with one another in love." Ephesians 4:2

This week has been a learning experience for all of us. Patience is something everyone struggles with, especially me. I've gotten compliments and comments on my ability to be patient with my kids but it truly is exahausting for me. But it's worth it to me, to give my chidlren a fair chance at figuring out how things work and how life works on their own.

Every Monday I go through the week's character trait and give the kids examples or situations. So this Monday I gave them several scenarios and asked them to tell me which person in each example was being patient or impatient. They did well with it and I expected them to, the patience talk is something we've had before. What I didn't expect was for them to begin encouraging each other to be patient in some of the very scenarios we had talked about originally. They didn't go about it in a bossy way, they genuinely seemed to want to help one another.

I don't want to give my kids the idea that I'm perfect and that everything I tell them or expect from them is just because I'm a mean ole mama who wants everything her way. I want them to understand WHY I choose to parent them they way I do. When we say our Bible verse together each week, I remind them that the words we are saying are God's words, words that He wants us to learn and remember so that we can make good choices. I also tell them that Mommy & Daddy do the things we do because one day we will be held accountable to God for the way we raised them. I'm sure that may seem like way too much information for not-quite four year olds but they really seem to grasp what I'm saying and I hope that God's Word will stick with them and be a comfort and encouragement to them as they grow up. While we're on the topic, this week brought a very proud moment for me. Hannah memorized her Bible verse!! She was talking to Nana & Poppa and I asked her if she could tell them her Bible verse if I said it with her. Well, she just started saying it all on her own and I think "in love" was the only part I had to remind her of. It was so sweet to hear her speak those words.

God is really using teaching my children to minister to me. It's such a humbling reminder each week to be aware of my actions and behaviors. I know I've said it before, but I just didn't forsee myself learning right along with them like I have. It's an incredible blessing and I'm very thankful!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

1st practice

Tonight the kids had their first soccer practice. It went really well, all the kids played well together but leaving was another story. We had two (one of them was Aidan) who DID NOT want to go home. haha I think the kids are going to have a blast!

A little update....every night at bedtime, Aaron has been talking to the kids about soccer. He goes over the "rules", asks them questions, etc. Being the creatures of habit that they are, they asked him tonight to talk about soccer again so I asked them what their favorite part of practice was. Their answers were SO typical Hannah and Aidan. Aidan had TWO favorites, keeping the ball inside the white lines and keeping the balls inside the orange cones (a little drill we did with them). Ready for Hannah's? Hannah's favorite part was kicking the ball OUTSIDE of the white lines. hahaha That child is all for games without boundaries or rules but once you start adding rules into the mix, she's off picking daisies. :) I have a feeling she might contribute a few gray hairs to mama's head when she gets a bit older.

Here are a few pictures I snapped as we were walking out the door:

Monday, August 31, 2009

Make a List Monday

Five Things I Love About Being a Mom:

1. Watching my children learn new things each day.
2. Learning new things myself through teaching/watching them.
3. The unconditional love that only children can truly offer.
4. Hugs, kisses, snuggles and extra lovin' just when I need it.
5. Sharing the love of Jesus with my children and then seeing them share it with someone else.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

One of my current favorite songs

Beautiful, truthful, thought provoking, humbling words.....

Chris And Conrad - Lead Me To The Cross

Savior I come I quiet my soul
remember Redemptions hill
Where Your blood was spilled
For my ransom

Everything I once held dear
I count it all as lost Lead me to the cross
Where Your love poured out
Bring me to my knees Lord I lay me down
Rid me of myself I belong to You
Lead me, lead me to the cross

You were as I Tempted and trialed Human
The word became flesh
Bore my sin and death
Now you're risen
Everything I once held dear
I count it all as lost

Lead me to the cross
Where Your love poured out
Bring me to my knees Lord I lay me down
Rid me of myself I belong to You
Lead me, lead me to the cross
Lead me to your heart
Lead me to your heart

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sarah's Sunday Spill

Today we visited a church in Round Rock. It was so refreshing to actually TALK to people instead of being ignored. Whether or not this church is "the one", there was definitely a reason for us to be there today. As I mentioned Wednesday, I've really felt attacked this week as we began our first week of learning at home. That exact thing was a topic of discussion in Sunday School this morning (James 4:1-11). I found myself literally giggling (quietly) as the class leader began this particular part of the discussion and hearing other people share definitely made me feel a lot better. It seems so "churchy" to say "the devil is attacking me" but that's exactly what he has been doing. He is ALWAYS there looking for a way to separate us from God. His hope is that we'll focus so much on the world, that will take our eyes off the cross.

We begin our second week of "somewhat structured learning" tomorrow and character trait of the week is "obey". This should be a very interesting week!

Hanni lounging with Belle & sipping yogurt

Being silly before church (amazingly we had time to kill)

I thought it was funny that Barbie grabbed Aidan.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


I started "school" with the kids on Monday. Each week we have a plan for learning but it's all accomplished through everyday activities and a few worksheets. I want it to be a fun experience for the kids and my goal is that they don't even realize they are learning through the process. Each week we have a specific character trait and corresponding Bible verse and story to discuss. This week's character trait is respect (I'm sure you guessed that already) and the verse we're using with it is 1 Peter 2:17 - "Show proper respect to everyone."

What's amazing to me is how much I'm learning through this experience called parenting. For a long time, I had this idea that parenting involved a lot of just being right and kids molding to that. Sounds like a good idea right?! I say "no" they say "yes ma'am". "I'm the adult, you're the kid, you just need to LISTEN!" "I can scream at you but you better not even THINK of raising your voice to me." Just a few examples of how I thought parenting worked and I just couldn't figure out why I was ALWAYS so frustrated and angry and why my kids wouldn't listen. I've learned A LOT from my kids over the course of the last few years. Their NICU stay taught me that I am a lot stronger than I thought I was, juggling the needs of two tiny newborns taught me to multitask efficiently and attempting to teach my children how to be considerate human beings has taught me that it really is more about leading by example than I ever thought it was. If you don't believe me, try explaining to your 3-4 year old what "respect" means. You'll probably tell him/her that we show respect by saying yes ma'am, using kind words and not hitting or raising our voice. If your 3-4 is like my two, he/she will undoubtedly start asking questions. "Why?" is a favorite in our house. With my two, the questions were very humbling. They began to point out little things they notice I do and asked why it was ok for me to do that. Ouch! Some might say that because I'M the adult, I should have just told them that I'm their mother and they don't need to worry about me. But what does that teach them? What does that teach me?

I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father, that He has made such drastic changes in me over the course of the last year. God has really opened my eyes to what it takes to be the type of wife and mother He wants me to be. Hearing my children say their Bible verses is such an awesome experience. Making a pact with my daughter to work really hard at controlling our outbursts, is very humbling but it strengthening both of us. I can't imagine what I've done to deserve the blessings that God pours out each and every single day.

Through all these positive changes and growth, there has been some negative. Really though, negative isn't the right word. Satan has really tried to trip me up the last couple days. Yesterday I came really close to loosing my temper with the kids for the first time in a REALLY long time. I just couldnt' figure out why all of a sudden they were throwing tantrums and arguing with EVERYTHING I said. Then it occurred to me, I've been trying to live out and teach my children respect this week. The Bible says that Satan is always there trying to find a way to get his foot in the door and it's not a big secret that patience can be a huge weakness of mine. After a lot of prayer, a talk with Aaron and a little venting, I felt 100% better and I know that God will give me the strength I need to continue to teach my children and to learn from them.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Under Construction

I'm in the process of updating/redoing some things on the blog.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Out with the old, in with the new!

We got a brand new dining table today!! We've been wanting a bar height set for awhile now but a new table isn't exactly a necessity. Aaron came across a deal he couldn't pass up today and viola', new dining digs.

Our old hand-me-down "retro" table.

The new pretty one!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Make a List Monday

Things I admire about my husband:

1. His love for the Lord.
2. His work ethic.
3. His outgoing personality.
4. His dedication to his family.
5. His love for me even when I'm not so loveable.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Let the games begin!

Today Aaron and I signed the kiddos up for soccer. I'm having a really hard time grasping the fact that my babies are old enough to play organized sports but I'm also really excited for them. I'm not sure they really know what to expect but so far they seem to be looking forward to playing. I think Daddy is secretly the most excited out of all of us. This is exactly the type of thing he's been waiting to do with the kids. He's even talked about trying to arrange his schedule so he won't miss practices or games. The kids are so blessed to have such a loving Daddy.

We should find out in a couple weeks what team they'll be on and when their games are. Aaron thinks it'd be fun if they were on different teams and of course I'd rather them play together. I can just see it now, me running to practices at the same time in different places or games at the same time on different fields. Gosh, what am I going to do when they're teenagers running 100 mph in different directions?

Monday, August 3, 2009

"Not Me" Monday

My first "not me" Monday and it's going to be brief.

It is not me who has realized she has become completely obsessed with things going in their proper place. I would never get aggravated with guests (especially family) who obviously cannot read my mind and know where every little thing goes.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

We're Here!

Well we made it to Austin. We've had a few setbacks but overall the move went rather well. I didn't take any pictures of the actual move but I managed to take a few in our first week or so here. I'll use those to talk through our time here thus far.

Sherry and the girls came for one last Lufkin visit the day before we moved. The kids had a blast playing and Sherry was a huge help in packing up a few last things. Brooke had gone to town with Aaron during our little photo session & I didn't think to get one of the whole gang before they headed home.

The kids in their new rom with their new beds. Their beds ended up being a lot larger than we anticipated but they are enjoying their room nonetheless. Their room was also the first room to be decorated and I'll update with pics later on.

We had Bruce (Brusier), Kim and Ragan over for dinner our first Friday here and the kids quickly won them over. By the end of the night, they had convinced Ragan to read them a few books.

The kids' sleeping arrangements during our night without electricity (thanks again TXU). They were SO hot, SO tired and SO sweet!

The kids wrote their first words this week. Aidan's first word was actually "poop". He unintentionally wrote it while writing p's, o's and a's. A couple days later, he was writing "pa" on everything and I decided to see if he could write "poppa". Then of course Hannah wanted to try as well and did a great job too.

A couple days later, Aidan wowed me yet again. I was cleaning and he called me over to see that he had written "cat" all by himself on the chalkboard. Then he wanted to write "dog" as well. The kids LOVE a cartoon on PBS called Word World where all the animals and objects' bodies are made up of the letters that spell out what they are. When we were at Target a few days ago, we found these (see the dog on top of the easel) Word World animals on clearance. We bought the kids cat, cow, dog & pig and these toys are what prompted Aidan to write "dog" and "cat". He studied the letters on the toys for a bit and then walked over and wrote out the words on his easel. I was SO proud and really can't wait to start "school" at the end of August.

The kids also helped me with a little art/decor project. I had them paint little canvases which we then put their handprints and names on. I finished them off with a little black ribbon around the edges to hide the staples. I'll include finished pics when I do the house tour post.

We've had a busy couple of weeks between unpacking, shopping, decorating and getting settled and I am definitely looking forward to things slowing down a bit. The kids seem to love it here and have adjusted so well to the transtition. Our prayer now is that the Lord leads us to a good church home and that our family can be a light for Him in our new surroundings.