Thursday, November 27, 2008

lots of thankfulness

(note from the blogger: "yes, I changed the title. I felt like calling our cousins a birth control method was unkind. They are a sweet bunch of kids and a joy to be around. We love the busy time together. It is loud, but it is a house of blessings! Lots to be thankful for...but I will stand firm that surviving Grandmommy's house on Thanksgiving is a good test of parenting skills. If you are pregnant and want practice, just give us a call.")

We love our cousins, but it sure is busy at Grandmommy's house!

There are eight of them....all under six years old!

Christmas pic?


Monday, November 24, 2008

mind of his own

I wish I had a photo to upload related to this post. It would be so cute!

We have given Danny lots of ways to show his independence lately. He likes to feel like he has some control and we can give it to him with in the safe perimeters of our home. One thing he enjoys doing is running in the buff from the bath to his room to pick out his pjs. Usually after a few minutes of waiting for him to come to the changing table, I have to go in and give a little guidance or else he is on the floor playing with his his birthday suit. But once he picks out a pair of pjs, I try to honor his request. Since it is quite chilly these days, the t-shirt and shorts he ALWAYS picks out aren't enough to keep him warm. So, mommy just grabs a pair of footy pjs to put underneath his choice. And it is one cute outfit when we are finished. Just imagine footy pjs with a too tight shirt and shorts...all with no unifying colors. And he is proud! I might even start letting him choose his outfits during the day. Of course, mommy will still get to decide church clothes and outfits for special occasions.

We went to the UVA/Clemson game this weekend and nearly froze our toes off. It was a blast though. Danny and Josh stayed warm under blankets and multiple layers, but I am guessing we won't get parents of the year for this trip. I felt a little guilty about taking them out in such cold weather, but then I remembered some childhood adventures that I had. When I was preschool age, my dad was a teacher at Cornell and we would go to the football games. In the cold. With snow falling around us. And I survived. My parents even used to take me to the hockey rink in the middle of the night in my footy pjs to watch my Dad's students play. For them, it was about quality time as a family. It was important for us to be together. And that is how we look at this past Saturday. I will post some photos soon!

Friday, November 14, 2008

What you would do for your babies...

....anything! I know other parents would agree that mommies and daddies would give their lives for their children. The love we feel for our children is unlike any other love we have ever experienced. I love my husband with all my heart and he comes first in my life, but even he would agree that our love for our children is different. We love them, we care for them, and we hope for the best for their lives. Everyday I pray for my boys and find my self having to turn over their care to God. Even with as much as I love them, my care and protection is never as good as what God provides. I pray that they would know Jesus and find fulfillment in Christ.
All this to say my heart was overwhelmed today by a couple of things. When we went on our trip to Walmart after the Children's Museum today, we passed by a tent set up outside with men sharing how a certain organization had changed them and brought them out of drug addiction. I think it was a Christian organization based on the God bless yous that I heard while walking by one man. They asked me if I wanted to stop and hear about their group and possibly give money. I said no thank you(kindly!) as I usually do....I have good excuses:tired babies, groceries to get home, it was raining, etc. As I passed one man said something to Danny. Our firstborn was being friendly as usual and smiling at all the people. I didn't hear the full sentence, but it was something to the effect of "don't turn out like me". I thought about it all the way back to the car. What if? Danny isn't always going to make good choices and I know he will grow from mistakes, but I guess I couldn't picture him doing drugs or getting involved in crime. But we are all with sin. My heart was breaking for that man's mother. I wonder if she was like me thirty years ago. No parent wants that for their child, but fortunately in this man's case, he was using it for good. He was able to use his experiences to impact others and share Christ's love. Isn't that like our Father? He wants so much more for us.
So, then I came home and put Danny down for a nap and settled on to the couch to snuggle Josh to sleep. I had tivoed ER from last night and thought this rainy afternoon was definitely a TV watching afternoon. Forty five minutes later, I was crying and sobbing. Why do I do that? Why do I watch shows that get me emotionally involved? One of the characters had lost her son a few years ago and she was reenacting the event. I can't imagine and don't even want to think about the possibility of losing one of my boys. But I do pray that if it happened I would be strong and know that God has a plan even through the horrible stuff. How did God feel as His son hung on the cross? I find hope in His death, because it paid the price of my sins and He rose again. But the pain was real. Our sin is ugly, just like death is horrible. What a sacrifice.

I think you need some cheering up after that post, so here is a cute Gaskill family photo! I think this picture fits us...outdoors, informal, smiling Josh, independent Danny. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Can he fix it?

We just got back from a trip to Maryland to see Nana and Max. It was nice to spend a couple of days checking out their new town. Danny loves his Nana and Max and fortunately climbed into their bed every morning! Yea...nice break for Mommy and Daddy. I have lots of fun stories to share and cute pictures to post, but I think we will start with every one's favorite builder. Yes, that's right. Bob the builder. Bob was a last minute addition to our trip. I think we will be seeing more of Bob in the future.

Bob and the Washington Monument. Bob feels small.

Bob and the Capitol. He is hoping for a future in politics.

Bob and the White House. He was hoping to catch a glimpse of President Bush and President-Elect Obama after they had their meeting that day.

Bob with Max, Danny, Nana, and their favorite coffee. Monday tradition!

I have more to share, so stay tuned.

Friday, November 7, 2008

God made you special

Our two boys are so different. I know that is to be expected, but I think since Danny was our first child, he is my standard of measurement. I assume that all children will be just like him. But isn't it wonderful that God makes us all different with unique personalities and characteristics.
For example, Danny is my sensitive, smart little boy. He worries about people and seems to have developed a tender heart. He is very inquisitive. In our home, we experience the ups and downs of a normal two year old, but I believe there is more to it. He has the ability to light up a room with his cheerfulness or completely bring us down when he is unhappy. He is social and I believe will have the ability to organize and unify people. He is full of life and personality.
Now Joshua is just a little baby, but I already see his personality coming out. He is so easy going. We get comments from everybody about what a happy and easy baby he seems to be. We are also learning that he doesn't like to sit still. While Danny used to be content as a baby snuggling in your lap, Josh will have none of that. He is persistent and doesn't like to give up trying new things.
I am sure some of the things they do have a lot to do with the stage of life they are each in, but I do believe babies reflect their future selves. Most moms that I ask say that the way their baby behaved as a child was a good indicator of the type of person they became. And isn't it great that God uses what we think as frustrating for good. While I may be challenged by Danny's reluctance to follow his mommy, it is that strong willed child that has the ability to be an adult who is firm in his convictions. It is my role as a parent to daily pray for those characteristics I see to be used for God's glory. His design is so amazing!
And another difference between my boys is their size....

Joshua's 6 month stats
weight: 19lb 4oz 80%
height: 28 inches 90%

Daniel's 6 month stats(actually it was closer to 7 months)
weight: 18lb 1oz 70-75%
height: 27 1/2 inches 85-90%

I know that may seem similar, but it really makes a difference. Especially with the clothing. Josh is already wearing stuff Danny wore at 1 year. He is a little chunk.
But they certainly favor each other in looks!

Here is a picture comparison. Same outfits and same smiles!

Can you guess the right name with the picture?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


No matter who wins today, at least half of the nation will probably feel like this.....a bad taste in their mouth.

Yummy green beans!

I hope people check today and take advantage of these free things....sorry to Nana and Max who voted absentee. Maybe you could go get a sticker and still participate?

If you have a "I voted" sticker...
Chick-fil-A will give you a free sandwich.
Krispie Kreme will give you a free doughnut.
Ben and Jerrys ice cream will give you a free cone.
Starbucks will give you a free coffee.

I know there are more, but some of them are regional or just in certain cities. (ex: Baltimore California Tortillas will give a free burrito and supposedly have a McCain and Obama burrito for the occasion)
We are headed out in a few minutes to join the nation in voting. Do you think if Danny and Josh start crying they will let me skip the line? I packed snacks, books, puzzles, and cars in anticipation of a long line.

If you are still undecided, here is a good article that might make you think.

Happy Voting!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Mis cosas favoritas...

I know that there are people reading my blog, because I have some of you letting me know in conversation and emails. thanks! But unfortunately, very few of you have joined the blogging world(it is sooo easy!) Ashley G tagged me to do a list of my favorite things and I think it sounds like a fun idea. But part of the assignment is to tag some people in my blog. I know a few of you who read this have done a favorites list before, but if haven't I would like to pass it on! If you are a blogger and decide to share your favorite things, jot me a note in the comments and I will head over to your blog and check it out. I can't wait to see your lists! And all you are welcome to comment too with your favorite things!
Now for my favorites!
1. Top of the list favorite thing is when I am listening to praise music in the car and I am moved to praying and crying at the same time. Might not be the safest driving experience, but it is a refresher to my soul. I love a long car trip when I am by myself or with my boys and I can let down my defenses and really just worship!
2. I love how my husband I balance each other. We are different in many ways and yet we agree on the important things. I love how we each have different ways of growing spiritually. Scott is led by his head more and I am led by my heart. That might be more to do with male vs. female, but it is definitely a good thing. We have taught each other so much over the years and have each grown in our faith because of the other person.
3. I love cold weather sleeping. I really like to have many, many blankets. Then I tuck them tight around my shoulders and just let my head peek out. Scott also likes blankets, so you will often find us with the fan on high and the heat off in the middle of winter, snuggling under blankets. But due to the fact that we have little babies, the heat is reluctantly turned on now.
4. Christmas lights. I may have mentioned this before, but I love twinkly lights. I love them on houses, in houses, in the winter, and in the summer. You will find lights up year round inside my house on our fake ficus trees.
5. My mom introduced me at an early age to the joy of consignment shopping. We used to volunteer together at our church thrift store and I loved finding little treasures. She taught me how to be patient as you dig through layers of junk, because you are bound to find something good. Now with two boys, I love getting nice expensive church outfits and unique clothes for a few dollars. It is like an exciting treasure hunt.
6. I love traveling by plane and getting delayed or the plans changing last minute. I love the anticipation and excitement before a trip to a distant location. Whenever we travel, I always hope to get delayed just so I can hang out in the airport. It is so fun to watch people. Scott would completely disagree with this one, because he has been delayed too many times trying to get home. But if I am with my family, I always feel like it is just part of the adventure. I guess I am usually a fairly patient traveler. I know that one is weird, but I guess I just enjoy a good adventure!
Hope you enjoyed my favorite things!