Another Reason Dad is the Coolest

 Brian came up with a great idea to turn the garage into a winter race track!

(Notice Berkley wearing her Wii shoes)

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We left them out there for a while to come down to this:

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Becks had drawn more roads. And stop signs.

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She is one weird kid!

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Leave him for a while longer, we got a whole city out there! It was fun to see what his little world was made of

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Here’s the playground:

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The grocery store (the circles are oranges)

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Church and a house

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The swimming pool:

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A “different church” and a see-saw with kids on it

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The Berkley convinced Becks to ride her bike and give her a ride!

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Fun with Mimi

My mom came to visit for a few days. We had a great time!

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Berkley got a new coat, and wore it for the rest of the night. Even inside. She dug it.

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We figured something out this week: For 2 years, when we take a picture of Berkley, we tell her to say “Cheese.” For the other two kids, this always gets a great smile. Not so much with Berkley. She does smile, but not when we would tell her to “Say Cheese.”

This week, I realized that we have never asked her to smile!!

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Last year, Brian’s brother gave the kids gift cards to Build-A-Bear. Beckham made a monkey named Dudley. While we totally encourage sharing everything, this Dudley became a favorite of Sadie’s. So we took her to make her own. She named him Dudley.

It wasn’t until this weel that Berkley realized, “I don’t have a Dudley!” It was sad.

So we headed to Build-A-Bear…again! All dressed up in princess clothes even

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Yay! Thanks for Dudley #3 Mimi! (Yay for smiles too!)

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That poor nose!

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Dudley, Dudley and Dudley

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Story time with Dudleys

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Cereal on Sundays

God created his Lord’s Day as a day set apart to rest and worship Him. In an effort to make Sundays feel as special as God created them to be, we instituted a few “rules.” We want the day to be set apart, one they look forward to and that’s different than all the rest.

1. Everyone picks whatever they want for breakfast. They haven’t tapped into all this could mean, but I think they will as they get older (Ice cream, anyone?!). Although Beckham did add a few Oreos on at the end of his breakfast this week!

2. We eat cereal for dinner. This is nice for me to get a break from cooking and a fun treat! They picked out Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Lucky Charms…no, they aren’t allowed to eat sugar cereal normally, so they look forward to this all week!

I laughed at all the cereal boxes on our table!

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Then Sadie Piper’s face made me giggle too!

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Baller”wii”na slippers

 Found these Wii controller covers and I was about to toss them when Berkley saw them.  She plops down, gets super excited, and put them on as shoes!!

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She wore them all day…

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We only have 3, so SP only got one!

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So now I have to throw away controller covers AND shoes!!

Woodlands Church: Oh That Christ Would Be Central.

Fellowship of Woodlands, seriously

A few years ago we visited Fellowship of the Woodlands (apparently they go by Woodlands Church now) when we were visiting Houston. They still send us advertisements and to be honest it is one of those things that breaks my heart. It’s clean, it’s safe, it’s entertaining, but it is not much of a church in the sense that Christ and the Gospel is central. I know that is judgmental, but I do believe it is a fair assessment.

So I’ll rejoice in the fact that even in this “church” God is saving people from their sin as the come to believe the Gospel. (“Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice.” Philippians 1:18).

What is highly disappointing is that this “church” which has been highly successful in terms of numbers rarely speaks of Jesus and that is what we saw in this Christmas advertisement below that we received today. Notice they do encourage you to make this Christmas meaningful. Also notice that nowhere in this advertisement is the name Jesus or Christ or Bible or Gospel or Son of God or Word of God mentioned.

You are encouraged to get on the bandwagon with 40,000 other people. There will be real snow and live animals and a Winter Wonderland and even Santa’s Workshop. There will be a Powerful and Creative Christmas Celebration, but what is the point of this? It’s Spiritual Consumerism and it’s just sad. I know Redeemer has it’s flaws as well, I don’t deny that, but I am certain that Jesus Christ is who we worship and the Gospel is proclaimed and the Word of God is preached. For that I am grateful. And I pray that God would transform churches like the Woodlands into places that make Christ the center of everything, just as I pray that God would always make Redeemer more about Christ and the Gospel lived out each passing year.

 

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Our week in pictures

These pretzels are our favorite food right still. We love them so much! Brian tried to make them one day. It hurt me to watch these poor pretzels. Can you tell which two I made after I just couldn’t take it anymore?

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Of course I made fun of Brian’s ugly pretzel making skills. Then he showed me up by braiding one! Nice come back!!

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Homies ready to head out to the HCA basketball games!

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One day soon we are going to be in shock that Berkley could fit her whole body on one step! Everyone had a “bed!”

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Beckham recently discovered Legos. And then Ninjago. Can’t remember why he scored a Ninjago Lego set, but he became a real boy: he learned how to read the Lego instructions to put it together!

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No, I don’t know why everyone was topless. And yes, we usually wear clothes around here. Usually.

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Funny Book

Becks: I’m a male
SP: I’m a female
Berkley: I’m an ani-mo (animal)

Becks: Can I bring my snack downstairs?

Brian: I don’t see why not.
Becks: Well, you are the ruler, so either I can or I can’t.
 —
 Brian somehow became the “crown maker”–he did a great job!

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We heard a thump one evening after kids were in bed. Berkley’s “thumps” aren’t that loud when she falls out of bed, SP has never in her life fallen out of bed, so Brian went to Beckham’s room. He finds him on the floor, sitting up.

Brian: Did you fall out of bed?

Becks: Nope!

Brian: What happened?

Becks: I just fell out of bed.

(Little Dude did not remember this at all in the morning!)

“Her lights off.” – Berkley referring to her baby doll’s eyes closing.

“Dad your thumb toe is bigger than our thumb toe.” -Sadie Piper

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Andria to Berkley: I love you
Berkley: I love you (this was HUGE cause she always responds with ” I love me!”
Brian to Berkley (hoping for this same sweet response): I love you
Berkley: Thank you

SP: Mom, I need to get a spanking spoon…Not to spank myself, but to get my pillow out. (from behind her bed)

I assume Berkley didn’t fall right asleep this night…

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Stopped by the liquor store on our way to the grocery store to get a picture of our Becks with this sign!

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Why do people say we shelter our kids too much??

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On our drive to Texas, we go past the prison in Huntsville.

We were showing Becks and telling him what the towers and barbed wire were for. He asks: “Dad, is that the prison you were in?”

(We didn’t know Beckham knew this story! This is a good one to ask Brian about, it involves an unpaid speeding ticket and a trip to the Houston jail. Which, for the record, we drove by later in our trip! We clarified that THIS is the jail dad was in! 🙂 )

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When we hear firetrucks or ambulances, we like to stop and pray for the people involved in whatever is happening (safety, peace, ultimately that this seemingly rough situation will be used to turn hearts to Christ). Sadie Piper is always the first to say, “we need to pray!!” when she hears a siren. Here was her prayer one day. We put it through Google translator to help you understand better.

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Yummy Shortbread Cookies!

These were great: very few ingredients, fast and way yummers!

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1 cup butter, softened

 

3/4 cup powdered sugar

 

2 tsp. vanilla extract

 

2 cups flour

 

1/4 tsp. baking powder

 

1/8 tsp. salt

 

red and green sprinkles

 

 

 

Cream together butter, sugar and vanilla.

 

Add in flour, baking powder and salt.

 

Mix together and divide into 3 equal portions.

 

Roll each of those 3 portions into about an 8” roll.

Cover and refrigerate.

After cool, (about an hour), slice each roll into 15-20 slices.

Take each sliced, unbaked and press into sprinkles.

On lightly greased cookie sheet, bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes.  (Get them out before they start to brown…they will look undone!)

 

 

 

 

And little people were great at dipping them in the sugar!

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The worst park ever with the best toy ever

We hit up a lot of parks. We are so blessed to have so many around us and it’s a great way to let the kids run their crazies out. We’ve also started rating them (Yes, if something during the day doesn’t turn into some type of game, the day was unsuccessful). Seriously though, if someone wanted to plan a park, we are a wealth of knowledge. From things like seating for parents, water fountains, safety/height of equipment, type of ground cover. We are convinced we could build the perfect park. We are nerds like that. It would maximize kid and parent enjoyment!

This latest park messed with our system a little. It was the worst park ever. I will explain.

See this cute play house? Great idea. See the pond 20 feet behind it?!?

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These wobbly poles are a great idea. But look how tall they are? (Berkley is there for perspective!)

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Such was also the case with the monkey bars!! I’m still a foot off the ground! That’s a looooong fall! DSCN1042But, regardless of that part of the park, we had a blast…because of this:

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What would you call this…device toy thing? It’s the coolest, weirdest thing ever. I’m a journalism major, but I know enough science to know that when you sit in it, it defies all laws of physics and spins you…indefinitely. That’s weird. And fun. And weird.

So here we are spinning Becks:

Berkley was up to:

Then Brian let go of Berkley a tad too soon after taking her off! You can hear my “mom” voice kick in at the end; he said she was smiling the whole time though!

We left sick from getting so dizzy, but couldn’t stop giggling either!