Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sweet Boy

Now if this isn't a little Gerber baby I don't know who is...look at that face!

He's 3 1/2 months old now! He's catching up with Taylor on the weight! It's weird to think that he will outgrow her soon enough!

Beckett has such a sweet demeanor. I just have to share about his little up and coming personality.

Last night he woke up to eat around 4:30 a.m. and had peed on his jammies. So, Allen goes to get a new outfit, diaper, etc. while I feed him. As soon as we start changing him, he thinks its time to play. He's smiling and giggling and apparently in the best mood in the middle of the night! Because he absolutely melts my heart I wanted to stay up with him and just treasure his smile, but I knew that wasn't what a practical mom would do. Besides, he's ALWAYS got a smile on his face so I knew it would be there later for me to gaze upon.

What a precious little boy we have been blessed with! I can't help but think that the Lord is going to do amazing things with this boy and I get to be his mother!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Treasuring God in Our Traditions

I actually finished reading Treasuring God in Our Traditions by Noel Piper several months ago. Like, right before Beckett was born if I'm remembering correctly.

Well, Easter rolls around and I have to pull that baby back off the bookshelf. Or the shelf in the closet in our case (space is at a minimum in the Duty house and Beckett took over our study).


Noel does a great job explaining not only the "why" but the "how" of using traditions in our families. The "why" of having traditions, even as simple as every day teaching, is actually very convicting. A tradition can be as simple as daily teaching, instructing and storing up His Word in our hearts and helping our children to do the same.

"We can only give what we already have. If God's words are not in our hearts and souls, we can't teach them to anyone else."

Her point: The example we are to our children has profound implications and our parenting must point them back to Him . We must value the Word enough to store it up in our hearts so that we will know how to answer our children because it's a given that every question will eventually be asked, every struggle will arise and His every promise will be kept. Let's be quick to quote scripture instead of quick to give our opinion. Let's give our children a legacy that will continue, a heritage that's rooted in the Word for generations to come.

Easter, Christmas and other special occasions are addressed as she goes through weddings, funerals, "gotcha" (adoption) days, and so on. This year my family actually used her idea for an Easter Mountain. We baked playdoh, colored it (that was by far Taylor's favorite part), made the people and colored them, and then enacted the story with her throughout Easter week, letting an event happen each day so that she might understand it better. I think next year there will be more understanding as to what is happening, but it certainly contributed to our Easter, helping us to focus more on the resurrection and Jesus.

The great thing about all of her ideas is that they are just that...ideas. You can take them and run with them, doing what works for your family and the ages of your children. I recommend reading this book and making an effort to plan traditions for your family, whether everyday or for special occasions that will point your family to Christ.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I thought it was about time that the blog get a cute little makeover. Come on over and check it out if you use Google reader. It's really worth it, I think! It's fun and easy to make your blog cute! You might also see some more changes in the days to come...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Making Hairbows

I've had several people ask me to teach them how to make little girl's hairbows. I figured it easiest to do a step-by-step photo tutorial for anyone who wants to learn.

I hope you can follow. It's kinda like cooking in that most of the time I add just a little of this and a little of that and it seems hard (and silly) to try to explain everything, but here goes:

Here are the materials that you will need:

Floral wire
Hair clips
Hot glue gun

First, cut a long piece (see what I mean here?) of the desired ribbon that you want to make a bow out of. Seriously it's probably like 2 feet...ish...Or you can just cut it after you make the loops. That's actually what I do so I don't waste any ribbon.

Take the ribbon and make a loop like the picture below.

Bring up another loop on the opposite side so the ribbon makes almost an M shape.

Now, continue and make a loop back on the lower portion of the first side.

Finally, one more loop back up to the upper right side and bring the dangling end back down to the lower left.

It does feel ackward holding the ribbon at first, but you'll get the hang of it and it will start to feel more natural.

Take the floral wire and wrap it around the middle of the loops so that its as tight as you can get it. Now, you can adjust the loops so they are even and just how you like them. Take the floral wire and wrap it around a few more times when you are satisfied. Make sure it's wrapped smoothly. Clip the edges if you need to.

Now get your clip and you are ready to hot glue ribbon around the edges of it. Starting at the bottom (flat side) hot glue the edge of the ribbon to the edge of the clip.

Finish by hot gluing all across the top and into the clip on the top of the inside.

Doing this isn't totally necessary if the clip isn't going to show, but I just think it's cute and that's what all the Gymboree clips look like.

Take your hairclip and hot glue the flat side of it to the back of the bow so it doesn't show from the front at all.

Now, take a smaller piece of ribbon and use the hot glue to glue one side the back of the bow inside of the clip. After it's dry take the ribbon and wrap it around the bow so that it's snug and depending on the look you want you may want to wrap it a couple more times. Hot glue the end to the back of the bow (inside the clip), making sure no ragged ends are showing.

I know some people like the look of a little knot in the middle. Just tie a knot in your ribbon and wrap it around in the same way.

Voila! You made a sweet bow for your sweet little girl!

Another thing I like to do is to fire up the edges of the ribbon to make sure they don't fray. Just don't really start a fire! You don't have to get it that close to the ribbon or do it for that long! Let's be smart, people!

Let me know if you have any additional suggestions or ways to make different bows. I know this way has got to be the easiest way! I hope this helps!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Spring Break

We went to Dallas this week and stayed with Nanny, Papa, B and Angel for the week while Allen was gone to do spring break missions. Yep, he went to a border town and BUILT A HOUSE for a family there. Is he amazing or what!

Actually...he told me that the first day everyone was a little leery about building the house because the "regular" construction workers (like those who do this for a living) weren't on the trip this year and everyone was sort of looking to him to lead and he was usually just a "helper" to those guys.

Well, the second day he called and told me they got MORE done than they had ever done in the previous years. It's just a testimony to the Lord that he really doesn't call the equipped but rather equips those that he calls! Praise the Lord! A family there is completely blessed with a sturdy roof over their head now!

Our spring break started off with SNOW! Yep! Spring break...snow...should those two things even be in the same sentence???? I opened the blinds that morning and to my surprise snow was falling and HARD! Crazy! I snatched Taylor Joy out of bed, bundled her up and grabbed the camera. Look closely and you can see snow falling!

In Dallas we mostly just relaxed but did some stuff around town too. Like Tuesday, we went to the Dallas Arboretum where Dallas Blooms was this week and it just so happened that Tuesday was their Toddler Day. Yippee! We had a blast! First, Taylor was greeted by some Children's Hospital helpers who decked her out like a little nurse.

Then, we colored for awhile with markers while I pleaded with Taylor to go dance with the Kindermusik lady who was teaching a little dance to the kids. But, that was a no-go. Coloring was way more fun, apparently.

We headed out to their little petting zoo.

Taylor had a blast!

Can you tell she loved the petting zoo???

Oh, but she hated getting her hands dirty. She was asking for wipes in between petting the animals. What a girly girl. Gee, I wonder where she gets that from...

We had a little picnic lunch and then walked around enjoying the flowers.

This is the closest thing we could get to a family picture.

I like this picture because Beckett and I are making the same face. His is much cuter, of course!

More fun with flowers! This girl LOVES to be outside!

Two worn out kiddos...

What a wonderful week topped off by an AMAZINGLY QUIET car ride home. Beckett slept pretty much the whole time and Taylor Joy was entertained watching Charlotte's Web twice! I listened to a sermon by Carolyn Mahaney about being busy in the home. What a wonderful way to end the week. Hope yours was great too!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Twinkle Little Star Down in Heart

Here is Taylor Joy singing a variety of songs! Here is the translation:

She starts off singing "Down in heart, down in heart" from "I've got the joy joy joy" and then she goes to singing "Twinkle twinkle little star" while she proceeds to stuff cheerios into her mouth. It cracks me up because at first she's almost whispering a soft ballad and then all of the sudden it turns into a rock song! She gets distracted so easily and she goes to humming and dancing after that!

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