Friday, November 18, 2011

Operation Christmas Child

Every year, especially around the holidays, Matt and I try to find something special for Carter to do for the good of others. Whether it be donating items to the Freecycle event that our church hosts, adopting a family at Christmas, or donating food to the food banks, we just try to teach Carter to care first for those in need. This year, along with other things we are doing, Carter decided himself that he wanted to be involved in Operation Christmas Child. If you are not familiar with it, Samaritans Purse collects shoeboxes full of essentials and small gifts and then delivers them all around the world to underprivileged children and orphanages. And since it was his idea, we went with it and for an entire weekend that was his only thought and fill the boxes! We started with just him doing one, and then he told us that we needed to do one as well, and if we are doing three, why not do somewhere out there 4 little kids will be so happy to get a gift from us!....amongst the millions that are being donated across the country.

To get things started we selected our boxes....all large enough to hold lots of goodies. Except there was one box that was really small and I told Carter "well, buddy lets find another, that is just too small" and he insisted "mom, it is perfect, it will hold lots". I opened it up and nearly started to cry because this is what we found. A shoeprint printed in the bottom and the lid had this message....Carter was right, the box was perfect for our cause!

although the company was clearly talking about recycled products I could not stop thinking about it's new use and the message it could send to a child in need....that indeed a shoebox just might be able to change the world, but if not the world, at least perhaps the life of a child. To recieve a gift with such a message could be the inspiration needed to keep stepping forward in the pursuit of changing their destiny. so maybe not the box itself, but the message it sends could make a difference!

Carter wanted to draw a picture for the 10-14 year old girl we bought the journal for, along with other goodies!

He loved picking things out for the 5-9 year old boy as well...legos, puzzle, matchbox car, socks, and essentials. I think the little boy will be very pleased!

Posing with his 4 gifts before we take them to be donated.

Carter, your sense of compassion never ceases to amaze me. You are a kind boy with a big heart and God's love surely lives within you. May you continue to love the Lord and yourself. I promise as your mother to nurture your desire to follow Christ and become the person God has chosen you to be! With all my love, your momma

Halloween...a month ago!

Meet Capt Jack, who took every minute of Halloween very seriously and played the role well. From striking poses to gathering his loot, Carter really enjoyed being a pirate!

Here is Carter with Ceili as Taylor Swift, and Keaton as Justin Bieber and our little cupcake Kenley

all smiles for his bag full of loot!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Down on the Farms

On Friday, Matt took a much needed and well deserved day off work to spend time with me and Carter. We started the day off at Traders Point Creamery touring the farm, hiking, and of course taking tons of pictures. We finished up with lunch at The Loft and walked out enjoying off-the-farm yummy! We had clear blue skies, crisp autumn air and enough barns and farm animals to make my heart smile!

Later that afternoon Carter donned his Capt Jack costume and we met up with family at the Indianapolis Zoo Boo. The kids loved trick-or-treating in their costumes at the zoo and seeing the animals so active was an added bonus!

Aren't they all just the cutest little trick-or-treaters you have ever seen?!

And then on Sunday we took Carter to Stonycreek Farm to pick a pumpkin. All I can say is "LOVED IT!"

From the oh so pretty trees to the big barns and all the animals to the hayride and pumpkin patch, this place was so much fun! I believe my favorite part was that the pumpkin patch is in the midst of their Christmas Tree farm which for me is pure bliss, joining two of my most favorite things...fall and Christmas and then you through my hubby and my son into the mix and I was in pure heaven!!

So above, I am pretty sure that Betty is asking Bob, "so, umm, how exactly do you think we can get out of this cage". and I am pretty sure that I heard Carter answer that you have to crawl through the tractor tires, slide down the huge slide and laugh all the way home! Have I ever told you that I have a secret love for chickens.

and a pure crush on these heart skips a beat!

He is just too handsome for words!
and so is this old brick barn with red trim and rotten heart skips a beat again!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sept 6, 2011 Back to School

So here he is on our new front porch posing for his back to school pictures. He was all smiles and all poses for his big day! And when he got to school he was excited to know that one of his teachers Mrs Parker, was actually one of my preschool teachers 27 years ago....and she is just as excited to have him! And I of course was excited that he got her and Mrs Basch because she welcomes him everyday with a smile and a hug and sometimes even a kiss. I love the fact that while he is there he is being cared for by women who really love kids and really love teaching!

But i really don't like how stinkin' big he is looking! I wish I could just push pause!
Nothing says back to school like mums for the teachers and a big red school door!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Turkey Run~~ August 2011

Matt and I have always loved to take a day and go hiking in Turkey Run State Park and we were so excited that this year Carter was able to hike over 3 miles with us all on his own. It included 3miles of hiking and over 400 stairs and 2 ladders, and the little cutie just kept putting one foot in front of the other! He was even able to scale this big boulder all on his own and waited patiently while I mustard up the nerve to climb it myself! I swear I think I get more cautious and more nervous as I age. I hate to see me when I am sixty!

Here we all are acting silly while having so much fun! Carter and I crawled into a cave and acted like bears while he and daddy had a punching match at the punch bowl. Then it was off to skipping rocks...but don't skip that one it is shaped like a heart! A perfect rock for my two loves!

Carter and daddy tried their hand at fishing but the fish weren't having bites but lots of smiles!

And, while we were hiking we kept coming across the cutest little Amish family...umm so they were cute but they weren't little. They had to charter a bus there was so many of them! Anyways, I desperately wanted a picture of this one little boy with his blonde bowl cut hair, blue eyes, suspenders with his shoes off resting against a wooden fence. But out of respect I just passed by making a mental note of the cutest little thing! Then after we were fishing we climbed the hill to find this....their bikes and all their clothes and them running full force into the lake! So I settled for a picture of their bikes!

Friday, August 12, 2011

To love this place

It only took one night to love this place. We woke the very first morning feeling like we had lived here 100 years. With it's big front porch, wood floors, millions of windows, cozy fireplace, big backyard, it just feels like "us"! We have spent the summer watching little birds be hatched in our new lilac, clipping numerous roses from the beds, and planting and painting and grouting a little too! We have a few projects under our belt and a few more underway! But we are taking our time and trying to enjoy this place that is so easy for us to love!

We had our very first get together on the 4th of July for our 1st Annual Slip 'n Slide Party! I am telling you now, if you missed it you truly missed one heck of a time. From BBQ and sweet tea to rum runners and corn on the cob to a 100 foot slip n' slide there was a little something for everybody! And by all the smiles we saw I think everybody had a pretty good time!

I simply cannot wait until next summer for round II !

Thursday, May 12, 2011

To leave this place

It is so bittersweet to leave this place. This place that we have called home for almost 9 years. This place where we were engaged and the place where we brought home our sweet baby Carter. This place where Popsicle's on the porch marked the first day of summer and snowmen outback always noted the very first snowfall. Where little feet were heard running through the loft and a little voice always rejoiced when we returned home from work. Where Sundays were made with country music in the living room and little Monet's were painted on the patio. This place, home, is such a hard thing to leave. But as I packed and cried, and cried and packed, I realized that it is not necessarily the house that made it home. It was little feet hugging tight to tree limbs. It was sitting out back talking and laughing while watching our pond. It was decorating for holidays and being together. And then I realized, it was "us" that made it home and it is "us" that I am taking with me to the next house. Us and all of our stuff that sits so nicely on the shelf. Us and all the things that we love to do on Friday nights...movies, games, popcorn and ice cream. It is "us" that is home. And once all of "us" was packed neatly into nearly 100 boxes the house didn't seem so much like home anymore. It seemed like a place that I had known but didn't really recognize any longer. A place I had loved but knew wasn't mine any longer. So to leave this place was kind of bittersweet. Yes we were leaving walls and flowers and ponds behind. But with us we are taking 9 years of memories and love and laughter and the sound of little feet heard running through the loft. This was a place where love lived and I think I will take that with me!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Never Grow Up

Carter, I always hope that you keep the passion to play without worry, to run through your day only concerned about when you can have your next Popsicle, that your imagination continues to grow as big as my aspirations for you, that you continue to love whole heartedly, that your sense of style always remains uniquely your own, that you are never too big to want to "nuggle" with your momma and that you never grow up too fast!

I heard this song yesterday while you were in preschool and I must have listened to it 100 love love it almost, not really, as much as I love you!

Your little hand wrapped around my finger

and it is so quite in the world tonight

Your little eyelids flutter 'cause you're dreaming

so I tuck you in, turn on your favorite night light

To you, everythings funny

You got nothing to regret

I'd give all I have, honey

If you could stay like that

Oh, Darling, don't you ever grow up, don't you ever grow up

Just stay this little

Oh, Darling, don't you ever grow up, don't you ever grow up

It could stay this simple

~ Taylor Swift

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Magical 4th Birthday!

For Carters 4th Birthday we surprised him with a trip to Disney World! So many pictures, so much sun and smiles, and so much fun!

Disney's Electrical Parade is really something to be many lights and floats!

At the Animal Kingdom we enjoyed a nice little Safari drive!

Then we spent the day behind the scenes at Hollywood Studios. Carter was so excited to see the car stunt show which was pretty incredible to watch. And speaking of incredible...Carter got to meet them as well!

We spent a night watching the fireworks at Epcot!

and celebrated Carter's 4th birthday with dinner at the T-Rex Cafe in Downtown Disney!

Awe, to see trees in bloom was something wonderful...the promise that spring really is just around the corner, or at least 980 miles away!

Above, I was so excited that Carter and I were able to get this cute little picture together until I got home and realized that his eyes were completely glued on her (below)...his first Disney love Mary Poppins!

I have to admit, she is beautiful and I don't blame him one bit for wanting to stare at her and then get all bashful when it was his time to see her!
Above Carter and Woody had a little gun smoke exchange while Jessie signed his autograph book. We also were able to ride the Toy Story Mania ride which was like a big 3D arcade game...very cute and one of our faves!

Carter took a spin on the a few of the classics....the Tea Cups and Dumbo. You just cannot visit Disney riding both of these rides!

Our little man became quite the picture poser while we were there and I took complete advantage every single time!

By the smile on his face I think he liked it even if he did say, " that was completely gross" when Minnie kissed his cheek!

Then it was on to something a little more masculine....PIRATES! Carter was even made an honorary pirate by Capt Jack Sparrow!
Above are a few of Carter's favorite rides in Disney, Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan, Aladdin's Magic Carpets and Thunder Mountain!

and of course you just cannot visit Disney as a 4 year old and not get your picture with all the characters and get their autographs too! I tried my hardest to have him stand with a princess but he insisted, "I am not a girl" so I gave in and was just happy that at least he posed with Mary Poppins since she is his favorite anyway!

And at the end of the trip we were "all ears" as he spent the entire 15 hour drive home recapping every single ride and event...he must have loved it!

Good-bye..until next time!