Our July

July treated us well. It started off with beautiful 4th weather that allowed us to enjoy parades, barbecues, swimming and boating. Then we saw a lot of rain. But it didn't ruin our parade. We built lots of tents, visited every library in the county, did some puddle stompin' and watched movies. Mostly Madagascar. Briggs has been on a Madagascar kick all month. We have watched all three movies on rotation. This is why we've included "Firework" and "I like to Move it" songs in our video this month-the kid is obsessed :)

Some of the funny and sweet things the kids are doing these days:

  • Briggs refers to Kerigan as "Baby" in the sweetest voice. "C'mon, baby" "Don't run, baby" "Dance, baby" Its seriously the cutest.
  • Kerigan's maternal instincts are kicking in. She really loves baby dolls. She gives them bottles, takes them on walks, rocks them, etc. Even if she can't find a baby doll, she turns something into her baby, such as Minnie Mouse or even a bottle of sunscreen.
  • Kerigan's really getting attached to Lola (our dog). She calls her "Whoa-wa" then hugs, pats and kisses her. Poor Lola is learning the skill of tolerance.
  • Kerigan gives the best hugs! We call them her flying squirrel hugs. She starts from way back and revs up as she's running to you. I think there's some video evidence in our July video.
  • Briggs is still obsessed with diving rings. He decorates them on trees, plays hide and seek with them, passes them out to friends and sleeps with them. Such a random toy to attach himself to.
  • Kerigan loves to sing. I'm not quite sure what she's singing half the time, but its beautiful. She carries her little plastic microphone around all the time.
  • Kerigan is on a cleaning kick. She finds baby wipes and helps me clean the whole house. She loves brooms and swiffer sweepers too. I think I remember Briggs going through a phase like that-I wish it stuck :) Here's hoping with Kerbear
  • Kerigan's facial expressions are becoming even more dramatic. She over exaggerates when she blows on her food and her sassy face now is priceless! I can't help but laugh when she should be getting in trouble.
  • We had our back patio redone towards the end of the month. Briggs is fascinated. He loves to see how things work! Engineer in the making.
We're not ready to see summer go yet! Thankfully the kids have another two weeks before they start preschool. We have been grateful for family and our late summer nights this July. Here's our video this month. Its a combination of photos and short clips with Briggy's favorite music this month. Enjoy and soak up the rest of the summer sunshine! 

Farms, Food & Ferris wheels

It's fair season! I love fairs. County, State, neighborhood....you name the fair & I'm there. When I was growing up, I used to pretend I too, was a farm girl when I would help my cousins (who actually are farm girls) prepare their 4-H pigs at the fair itself. I helped name them, feed them, brush them, etc. I loved everything about it-until I found out what happens to the 4-H piggies after their fair duties. But I also can't say that I stopped eating bacon after that, either. ;-) 

But now with kids, I love the  fair that much more. Briggs loves animals. I mean, he really loves them. He will choose animals over cars and trucks any day. So this is like his super bowl. On top of that, he was able to ride a ferris wheel for the first time. We waited in line for that stinkin' ferris wheel longer than we did in any line at Disney World...but we ended up leaving the good ole Hendricks Co. fair with the happiest (and sleepiest) boy in the world. 

This girl was a trooper for the whole six hours we were there. 

If anyone thinks taking a pic of three kids 3 and under is easy...you're lying to yourself.

Ready to go "up and up"!

Love the middle left double selfie on the carousel. :)

We're at the top! Two of the happiest boys I know.

And if you're looking for some extra entertainment today, watch the Briggy vs. Kerigan first ferris wheel ride.(The videos are loud, so may want to turn down you're volume for these)

The girl cracks me up. Juice anyone? 

Half birthday cupcakes

Did you all realize that we only have 18 birthdays to celebrate with our kids before they become an adult? My goal as a mom is to multiply those little celebrations...by two. I remember growing up, my mom always made a point to celebrate our half birthdays. It was nothing crazy. She would make us half of a cake or sometimes just a twinkie. She would stick a candle in it and the whole family would sing. One of my favorite memories about my childhood were those little celebrations. 

I am trying to carry on that tradition with our kids. For dinner, Briggs wanted pizza. Surprised? And after pizza, we celebrated with (yellow) cupcakes. He was ECSTATIC that it was his half birthday "party." He was jumping around, dancing and singing to himself. Pops, thankfully, was able to celebrate with us too. He usually eats dinner at our house once or twice a week- so glad he could come. Although, I'm not sure he could handle the dancing, wrestling and roaring that went on between the kids after all the sugar. ;-)

So proud of his cupcakes. He helped with the candles. 

Don't mind her...just taking a stroll

The Robinson boys

He got a minion water bottle, popcorn (his favorite) and a slinky. He and sis played with the slinky for the rest of the night. They were pretending it was a boat/train and he was the pilot. They went to Florida.

Treasuring this face.

Cake in the face. The best way to celebrate a half birthday. 

three and a half years

Three and a half years ago, God healed a broken heart. For years, I had been running and searching for joy in the wrong places. I filled my cup with things that were only temporary. Then all of a sudden, there was a baby boy. God's gift. My love language...motherhood.

This morning, my devotion started with a verse from 2 Corinthians:
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

The day Briggs was born was the day I began to comprehend more of God's love. Wow. It brings me to tears just thinking about it. My love for my son. His love for His son. His love for me.  I am weak, I am broken, but I am His. The redirection was painful, don't get me wrong. But on January 20th, the sun broke out. And I began to understand that redirection. Not a day goes by, where I don't thank God for the scars, the growing pains and the road to healing.  I once heard someone say, "Every fall, every struggle, every broken ounce is used by God to shape you into His beautiful warrior"

God used a 7 pound 15 ounce baby boy to open my eyes and make me realize I was His humbled warrior. What an amazing thing.

Briggs Beto Robinson, 
You are well aware that I love you. Someday you may even begin to comprehend the depth of that love. But for now, I want to tell you, you are wise beyond your years. You have a gentle spirit, who already picks up on others' emotions. You are sweet and kind. You may not have picked up a love for sports yet, but you love to run, jump and play. You are actually quite brilliant. Your complex thinking and love for learning amazes me on a daily basis. You love your family and are always so concerned about them. You pray for all your loved ones on a daily basis. And the list gets longer every day. We have high expectations for you. When you need some redirection, it may hurt your feelings initially, but you quickly take it to heart and learn from it. You rarely make the same mistake twice. I am so proud of you. You are confident in your world and don't sway from it. For example, since the day you could speak, your favorite color has been yellow and your favorite animal has been a rhino. It's never changed despite daddy trying to sway you just to see if he could. 

You love country music and all things animals...and Mickey! You love it when your sister hugs you or tells you she loves you...and you let her know how much it means to you. You are always surrounded by girls (sister, cousin, friends) but you are so thoughtful and sweet to them . For example, you always call Kerigan and Kinsie "my girls" or "my two babies." Even when outnumbered though, you still stand up for yourself in a kind way. God gave you an adventurous heart. So when its time for you and the boys to hang out (such as daddy or your grandpas) you always come back to me sweaty, scraped up and deliriously happy. You are shy around new faces but once they earn your trust, you're their buddy for life (and they get added to the prayer list). I pray that your love for people always remains and that your love for Jesus grows stronger every day. Thank you sweet boy, for making these last three and a half years the best years of your mommy and daddy's life.
With more love than you could ever know,

Happy half birthday, my sunshine!

Freedom Fest 2015 edition

We had a very busy but very fun 4th weekend. We are so thankful for the beautiful weather all weekend. It allowed for great outdoor time with family and friends in town. The festivities began for us Thursday night in Carmel. We met up with best friends for a free summer concert. There was a lot of dancing. Not all with rhythm, but joyful dancing, nonetheless. 

Saturday morning, we woke up early and met our family at our town's parade. It's the best town parade. It's perfect for the kids. So many animals, costumes, floats and candy. Kerigan started out strong with helping rake in the candy. She quickly figured out that Briggs and Kinsie were doing the same thing. So she decided to sit back and let them do all the work :)

After the parade, we went to visit Ryan's college best friend, Cory and his family. Cory lives in Minnesota now so we only get to see him, his wife and two precious boys about twice a year. Every year, Cory's parents host a frisbee golf tourney on the 4th. The kids loved it. Briggs was so concerned that everyone had a frisbee that was their favorite color.

After the frisbee visit, we headed to the lake house that we often visit with Kara's in-laws. We rode the "Bev-o boat" a lot. We played with poppers & sparklers, played corn hole, fished, played with our best friends, Kinsie, Kennedy & Emery. One of our favorite things was to watch fireworks from the boat. Except for Briggs. He's never been a fan of fireworks. He stayed back at the dock and enjoyed them much better from there. It didn't hurt that he got to have Yaya and Papa to himself there either. 

Loved this weekend and love this age with the kids. Experiencing holidays with them makes it that much sweeter. We again took so many pictures and videos...so many of the memories made are at the bottom of this post in the video. We love America and are happy to pass on our traditions and patriotism to our babes. 

The three best friends at the parade. 

Our crazy girl on the "Bev-o Boat"

Sweet kissies for sissy

It's a party int he USA

One of our happy places is here, at the lake. And these are our people. So thankful for our freedom and the families who sacrifice to keep it. We hope you and your family had a fantastic holiday weekend. God Bless America!

Fellowship Friday: Prayers with our Preschoolers

But Jesus called to him and said "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these" Luke 18:16

photo courtesy of TPCC: Spring 2014

Ryan and I have been very blessed to find brothers and sisters in Christ over the course of our marriage. My last year in teaching, I was lucky enough to get to know one of these brothers and his families. Adam and Casie are two of the most loving and gracious people. They walk the walk.

After Briggs was born, I remember Adam telling me how he and his wife prayed with and over their children every night. With an infant son, I hadn't thought to start praying with him so early. He wouldn't understand. We'll start once he can communicate with us. But Adam and Casie's story made a huge impact. I felt God's whispers telling me,"Start it now. Pray over your son. Pray with him. Let him know I'm here. There should never be a day where he doesn't know me." 

So we began to pray over our baby. We prayed of course for his well being. We prayed for our family. We prayed for his future friends. We even prayed for his future wife. We prayed for her parents. To help guid and protect their own hearts so that they may raise a beautiful God-fearing young lady. We pray that together, they can impact this world for Christ. These are still the prayers Ryan and I send to the Lord. So now the question is...

How do we pray with our babies?

My dad taught me at a very young age a format to help structure my prayers using the acronym, ACTS. It has been around for decades but it truly helps you focus in your prayer. (Especially when learning how to pray as a little.) This model is something we've carried on with our kids. With Kerigan, we lead. But with Briggs, we make it a question and answer guide so that he is "leading" the prayer.

How great is our God? How much does he love us? How big is God? How good is He?

We're sorry for ________ today. Please help us learn from our mistakes. Next time this comes up, help us handle it this way.

Thank you for....(family, friends, school,) whatever is on their little hearts to be thankful for that day. Sometimes its as simple as...popsicles.

Please help us...(have a great day tomorrow, find a yellow shirt to wear, take care of all the zoo animals) you, know the things a three-year-old thinks up :)

I'm so thankful we are getting into the habit now to get them comfortable with talking to God. It's so sweet because even Kerigan knows when to say "Amen" during prayer. We bring it down to a preschool level. The two main things that are our focus now are: 
1. God loves them 
2. He is our friend. 

As the kids get older, I would like to implement prayer sticks and/or journals. One of my girlfriends uses Christmas cards she receives from friends. After Christmas, she and her children cut them out and glue them on popsicle sticks. Then they put them in a jar and pray for the someone they draw out that day. Awesome idea! 

When it comes to our minds and hearts, what goes "in" comes "out." If we raise our kids with prayer, conviction and compassion for others, that's what we are going to see when they become adults. I'm so thankful for our church community and the loved ones who not only influence my children but help Ryan and I become better parents and stewards of Christ. Happy Praying!