Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Parties

I am Christmas partied out! I feel like I need to eat nothing for about a week. It's amazing how full you feel after eating things you normally don't eat. We have had a lot of fun though!

These next couple of pictures are at our Student Ministry Teacher Christmas Party at the Zwingle's house. They have a beautiful home that they custom built. They are a precious family with sweet kids. We enjoyed food, gag gifts, and fun! Nate thought putting a picture of himself in a snow globe would be fun. It was pretty funny. We ended up with the Shamwow sham. I think Nate was secretly excited.

Tim, Nate, and James

Gary and Pam Holmes sporting her pink boa she got!

Ken and Karla Thrasher

We had a surprise visit from the Deis family. Nancy was Nate's assistant in Kansas City. It was great to see them for a bit.

Our next party was a progressive dinner with students! Me and Jessie sporting our cute coats, right?

I like what someone said about this picture...."the brains behind the operation."
(Jessie, me, and Abi)

Liam and Landon before their Christmas party at church.

Liam wanted to stay with Landon.

Music time before the party!

Merry Christmas from Landon and Liam!

Monday, December 12, 2011

New Babies, Book Exchange, and Lunch Date

I had three of my friends here in Springfield have babies on Saturday. So wild! Two boys and one girl. Yesterday I made my rounds to two out of the three. One of the babies is in the NICU right now as they are running some tests. Hopefully all will be okay. Please pray for baby Elijah. As I was visiting these sweet, precious babies I got the newborn urge. I couldn't help but think back to Landon and Liam's delivery. Isn't it funny how us Mom's remember everything about that day? It's such a rush of emotions and I will never forget some of those moments. I feel like I remember more with Landon than I do Liam. Maybe because I was way more confident with Liam since I knew what I was doing. Anyways, the urge quickly faded. Thank goodness. :-)

On Saturday, Landon and Liam were invited to a book exchange/birthday party at the Copeland's house. Their oldest daughter Anabelle turned 3. We had to bring a book for the book exchange. Every child went home with a book and that made them happy. What a great idea! This is something I might steal in the future! You can never have too many kid books in your house! We had fun visiting and making Christmas tree ice cream cones and Christmas ball ornaments. After the party, we had a quiet family night at home. We had pizza, watched a movie, and played games. Life is good when we are all home and enjoying family time. The boys were happy Daddy was home this weekend and so was Mommy. :-)

Liam and I had a last minute lunch date today at a local place called Tasia. Liam was such a big boy in his booster seat. We talked about colors, our family, Santa, and Jesus. He is like a sponge right now and soaks everything up. He loves to say new words and I am amazed at his smartness. Am I bragging? Maybe I am, but that's okay. :-)

Me, Cami, Baby Aven, and Blake

The Jenkins Family

Anabelle and Landon crafting!

Nate and sweet Mya (do you think he wants a girl?) :-)

My lunch date.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tis the Season for Parties

Well, we are all home finally. Nate was at our student ministry Winter Retreat this past weekend. I held down the fort with some energetic boys who missed their Daddy and asked for him a million times. We had fun making forts, building blocks, watching movies, snuggling, rocking, playing cars, and doing races. I. am. pooped.

When Nate got home from Winter Retreat we turned right around and started on our journey to two Christmas parties. We went to the Boone's house for their annual Christmas shindig. I have never seen so much food in my life! I wish I would have gotten a picture of all the food. She did an amazing job in preparing for all 100 guests. We then proceeded to the Krenn's house for their annual Christmas shindig. Every year they host an amazing party complete with tons of food, talent, and prizes. This year the talent show was no disappointment. Nate was the talent show winner for the second year in a row. He sang "Red Hooded Sweatshirt" by Adam Sandler. Many people have said he looks like Adam Sandler and acts like Adam Sandler. I will let you judge for yourself below. See the video at the end of this post. It gets good about a minute into it.

April, me, and Kellie
Prom pose.
Abi and me

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Family Time

We have had a lot of family time this past week and I am not complaining. I love it! The boys have been wonderful and have had a lot of fun. This is what we have been up too.....
Getting last minute things at Walgreens with my little helper

Our old babysitter came through Springfield to see Landon! We miss Lauren! Landon was beside himself to see her. :-)

Umm....well....James is popping Nate's back. I couldn't resist posting.

Landon after a long day at school on Tuesday.

Our former students Jenny and Andrew came through Springfield on their way back to Memphis. We never have enough time to catch up with them. Landon is named after Andrew. (Landon Andrew)
Liam is obsessed with his matchbox cars and is always carrying one with him.

My boys getting ready to head to church. Liam is not feeling the best. He is getting more teeth in. :-\

I have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Derrick and Liam walking into the gym.

Anabelle and Nate at Jessie's Birthday Lunch

Staff Wives Bible Study

West Side Story at Nixa High School

Building Blocks with Liam

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Past Weekend Fun

This past weekend was a blast! It was filled with shopping, eating, laughing, and just some silliness. It started with an all day Christmas shopping day on Friday. Katie and I started our adventure at 9:30 on Friday morning. We had met earlier in the week to map out our destinations. Yes, we are both Type A personalities. We headed to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Marshall's and then the mall. We stuck to our agenda and got a lot of presents bought. We also had a few things on our list that we needed ourselves. On both of our lists were skinny jeans. We went into almost every store at that mall to try skinny jeans on. What an adventure that was! We both ended up getting a pair from Charlotte Russe of all stores. I wish I would have taken a picture of how silly we were looking at ourselves in the three way mirror. Needless to say, we both purchased the same pair of jeans. Success! After getting home around 7:00 on Friday evening, I was pooped. I hung out with the boys for about an hour and then we all went to bed.

On Saturday, Katie and I met up again around lunch time to go meet our friend Julianne who was back in town from Minnesota. She just moved a couple of months ago to start her doctorate work in speech/language at University of Minnesota. She is doing really well and is adjusting to life up north. We ate at Ebbets Field and enjoyed a lot of laughing. Time flew by in the midst of all of our conversations. I sure do miss that girl.

Saturday evening we went to one of our students birthday party. A big 16th birthday party for the lovely Emilee Garrison! We had a blast watching students and student pastors dance to Just Dance on the Wii. (at least I think it was on the Wii.) I am trying to upload a video but it isn't working currently. Very funny to say the least.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I Refuse

Are you putting actions with your prayers? This is taking it to the next level folks. I challenge you today to not refuse what we are called to do.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Favoritism. It's such an awful word in my definition. We fall into the problem of favoritism by a person's looks, their clothes, their profession, possessions, life style, education, money. We treat people different based upon those considerations.

To be honest, I have never struggled with this much. I am not trying to sound perfect, but it's the truth. I have always been the girl to love all types of people. After getting married that love for people grew because I saw it in my husband. Nate has always been the one to gravitate to the "odd" people. He has really taught me a lot about finding the greatness in a person. His heart has always been loving and kind to all types of people.

"True believers respond properly to one another without favoritism." The pattern of our lives as it's stated in Philippians 2:2 is to have the same love. That is to love everyone the same, with no regard for who they are in terms of worldly circumstances. Because we bear the Lord's name, because we are to exhibit His attributes, it is essential that we exist within the church in relationships with one another to have no favoritism, no partiality. We are to have a love which does not discriminate but it acts in mercy to anyone in need, no matter what their social status, no matter what may be those things which in the world's eyes might put them to a lower level than someone else. And that is a mark of saving faith.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Friends in Low or High Places

The people in our lives are important to us. We see the value of them in our lives and try to maintain a relationship in the midst of work schedules, family time, and personal time. I remember talking to a friend of mine right after I had Landon. I remember talking about how some of our relationships change after having kids. A lot of your time that you once had is gone to help maintain those relationships. This was one thing I struggled with after having a child. To be honest, my "friendship pool" slowly diminished and changed. It sounds really bad but I am being very honest and truthful. I didn't have the time to "keep up" with some of them and they slowly changed. Rather that is right or wrong, it happened.

I LOVE talking to friends. I LOVE knowing how they are doing, what they are doing, what they like to do, where they are from, latest recipes, tips on parenting, new ideas, etc! I want to be the encourager and prayer warrior for them. Thank goodness for my journal to write these things down! This verse says it all to me. Proverbs 27:9 says "The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense." I want to truly know what is going on in my friends lives. I want to truly pray for them and see the outcomes. I want to truly encourage them daily as we are called to do!

When is the last time you took time to ask your friends what is going on in their lives? Do you know if they are in high or low places in their lives? Do you know what they are struggling with? Take time and make time for them.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Halloween 2011

Obviously these pictures was taken last Monday on Halloween. Landon and Liam enjoyed trick 'r' treating this year. Landon was so excited to dress-up and get candy. Our first stop was the Garrison house. They were so surprised to see the boys. We didn't tell them we were coming so it was neat to see their reactions. The boys loved it. After their house we went Nathan and Heather Zoromski's haunted garage! It was so cool! The boys were a bit scared of it so they didn't go through. We headed back to our neighborhood and walked until the boys couldn't walk anymore. They were pooped out. Dean, Katie, and Derrick came over and saw the boys in their costumes. A good time was had by all and the candy was out of here in two days. I gave it to our wonderful babysitter!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

STL BFF Weekend

Growing up in St. Louis is very dear to my heart. I love the city life and enjoy the many opportunities it provides. We had the chance to go to STL last weekend kid free so we took the opportunity! It just happened that we were there during the final game of the World Series. It was so neat to be in the Cardinal world. We enjoyed dinner with my Mom and then headed over to Pete and Bonnie's house for the game. Bonnie and I have been best friends since 6th grade. I will never forget when she moved to STL from Connecticut. She was a pretty red haired girl with freckles. She always hated to be out in the sun and I loved it! We have many memories together as we were glued to the hip all the way through college. Our high school memories were unforgettable and probably my favorite. We went to different high schools but went to church together. My boyfriend in high school went to the same high school as she did so that meant I basically was at everything she was. Football games, Prom, Homecoming, etc. She was one of those friends that knew everything about me. It was probably the closest to what the Lord knows about me. Ha! We have good memories together and some memories that we both need to forget and won't mention. Bonnie is one of the Godliness, patient, caring, loving, sincere people I know. She puts others before herself and is trying to live for the Lord in everything she does. She has been there for me during a major high school break-up, stupid mistakes, junior high and high school drama, leaving for college, advice, marriage, infertility, the birth of my boys, and many other things. I know I can always be myself no matter what the situation is. She is one great girl and I am so thankful for our husbands that allow us to spend the time together. I might mention that our husbands enjoy each other too. Nate is always wanting to live right next door to them. Maybe in our retirement days.

The Schwartz family!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Successful Therapy

I have had several emails requesting I talk about Landon's therapy session over his behavior.

In the past couple of weeks, Landon has been displaying "screaming" when he wouldn't get his way, needed attention, or was trying to communicate but couldn't get the words out that he needed. As much as that makes me sad that he couldn't communicate, it irritated the heck out of us! Nate and I were at a loss. We knew we needed an intervention. I talked in detail to his private speech therapist, Katie about this. She came up with some things to put into place. Have I mentioned she is one of the best therapists ever?

Here are the steps to Positive Behavior Support:

1. Consider the function of the behavior. If it's attention, ignore it, etc.
2. Be proactive-BEFORE problem behavior occurs.
3. Preventative-Make changes to the environment.
4. Teach a more appropriate skill that meets the same or similar function. (Replacement behavior.)
5. Change behavior of both the child and adult.

Katie made a social story with pictures and detailed it to Landon about his screaming. It was perfect!! His wheels were turning in his head and it clicked! Since we have implemented this new support, he hasn't screamed one time. I can't believe it. It's like a totally different child.
The visuals will show you what we are doing. We are so thankful and finally feel like we are making strides in this area. Social stories are great for typically developing children too! Liam loved it!

Sometimes I hear people scream and sometimes I scream too.

My teachers are sad when I scream. It makes Mom and Dad sad too. Liam does not like it when I scream and neither do my friends. Screaming is a sad choice.

I am not allowed to scream.

When I choose no screaming, it makes my teachers happy. It makes Mom and Dad happy too and it makes Liam and my friends feel good.

When I choose no screaming, I get to go to places I like. (church, school, with friends, El Puente for chips and salsa, and parties.)

No screaming is a good choice.

When I choose no screaming I get to have things I like. (Ice cream, donuts, computer times, candy, and toys.)

No screaming is a good choice.

A little visual to take places with us.

Another visual to take with us.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


As I was driving this evening, I had a strong overwhelming feeling come over me. It was one of those breath in, breath out moments. I thought about a couple of things, and then God reminded me it could always be so much worse. In the midst of my overwhelming feeling, I felt my shoulders start to relax and a sense of peace came over me. It was amazing! No joke. The stresses of day to day things like finances, kids, jobs, family, etc. can be very overwhelming BUT God promises us joy and peace. I want to remember how blessed I am in everything. I want to live like I am blessed. I want to show others I am blessed. I AM BLESSED with a loving family, a healthy family, great friendships, a nice home, food in my fridge, clothes on my back, and a great church. Thank you Lord for the many blessings.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Wind

Have you ever had one of those days where you just need to step outside and take a long deep breath and feel the fresh air and wind on your face? It was one of those times this weekend. Don't get me wrong, we had a wonderful weekend but it has brought some challenges we are choosing to persevere through.

Landon has turned a different direction in his anxiety level. There are some things that are causing him more anxiety. Yesterday I just wanted to cry but I held it together. Nate was gone for some of the day and my parents were here. When Landon doesn't get his way or is made to do something he doesn't want to do, he reacts in ways that push our buttons. I know it sounds typical, but these are things that he was doing just fine with. We have put some things in place and are having a special therapy session on this coming up. All weekend in my head I kept thinking how hard all of this is for me. I didn't really realize it until I went to bed last night. I just prayed. The only thing I can do is give Landon the best I can in everything and pray that the Lord will help us through the difficult parenting patches. It's not easy.

On a different note, we got to celebrate Landon's friend Brooklynn on Saturday. She just turned 6 and had a fall party! Landon and Brooklynn were in preschool together. She mothered Landon and took care of him. She was part of the reverse mainstream program through the school district. Brooklynn's Mom Lynzey did a fabulous job with the party! They are a sweet, sweet family and dear friends to us.

After the 6 year old party, we headed to Nate's bosses house for his 40th birthday party! I failed to get pictures on my camera! We had fun giving him a hard time and we hope he wasn't offended with his funny card we gave him. Hee, hee.

Last night was just what I needed. I went to the Mark Schultz, 33 Miles, and Finding Favour concert at our church! It is part of the Letters From War tour. It was beyond wonderful. I didn't think I was a big fan of these groups but after last night I am now! It was such a blessing!

The cute table!

Me and the girls

Landon and Savanna

Brooklynn and Landon

33 Miles

Mark Schultz