Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Merry Christmas, 2010!

Hello dear friends and family!

For those of you still laughing at my ghetto Christmas postcard....Hey! It seemed like a good idea at the time! It fit the budget and half the postage. How was I to know I was going to stamp and label over every square centimeter of that card? I guess I just have too much to say!

So here's the year in review. I haven't been blogging this year like I have in the past, so for many of you this is the first update on the Tomlinson family in quite some time.

Jason continues to work at PanAmerican Laboratories as the District Manger of Florida. In a time where so many around me are having to move to find or keep their job, I am a little more thankful for his job and a little slower to complain about all his travel.

I started a little business this year in February, Sew Thoughtful. I make and embroider baby gift items such as taggie blankets and bibs. I thoroughly enjoy sewing and even more so, providing the perfect gift for someone to give. I have learned a lot this year about the challenge of balancing a family and anything. This has never been a strong point of mine, so I'm not sure why it surprised me to find it so difficult. Although I had to slow it down a bit, I am still doing it fairly consistently. I'm trying hard to serve my family before I sew. You know, having clean laundry in the house and food in the refrigerator is always a plus!

Amelia, 6, loves first grade just as she seems to love every new life experience. She approaches everything with such joy and excitement. She is quite interested in loosing teeth. Once she discovered the glory of the tooth fairy, she has been pulling out her teeth long before they are ready to come out. One day last week, she came home with one out that was barely loose at all that morning. One night at the dinner table, she was insistent that she got to say the blessing. I guess she had an agenda because she asked God if this time the tooth fairy would give her five dollars!

Lane, 4, is in VPK this year. I have seen such a major change in him from last year as it relates to school. Last year he only went because he had to and never attached to anyone. This year he has figured out it is more fun at school. He has made several friends and seems to be well liked by the other kids. He has really come out of his shell. What a difference a year can make! A few months ago, Lane started changing his name for weeks at a time. Around Halloween, he started asking us to call him Yoshi, his soon to be costume. Next thing I know, he is coming home from school with Yoshi written on his papers. That stuck for several weeks and then a few others. Currently he is calling himself, Theodore (from Alvin and the Chipmunks). Tonight I picked him up from Awana and the teacher said, "Owen, Theodore, your mom's here." What a character!

Owen, 3, works hard to keep up with his brother and sister. He goes to school two mornings a week. He likes it just fine but really is indifferent about whether he goes to school or stays home with mom. His personality is closest to Amelia, joyful and full speed, ready to try anything. It is Lane, however, that he wants to imitate. He is right behind his big brother when it comes to interests or milestones.

We took the kids on a cruise this fall. We never thought we'd take our kids with us, but having them with us turned out to be the best of both worlds. We had great family time most of the day. Then they went to Camp Carnival and Jason and I were able to spend some time together alone. It was so nice to have a nice meal every night without any spilt drinks, dropped forks, or 10 trips up and down from the table.

Jason and I are so overwhelmed by our blessed life. It's not that it's perfect--it has the normal but very real challenges of raising children and upkeep on our marriage. But still, we are humbled by God's faithfulness to our family. I came across this verse today, which perfectly relays my thankfulness:

"Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done wonderful things,
things planned long ago."
Isaiah 25:1

On that note, I will leave you with one of my favorite songs. The lyrics are so simple but they inspire me. Below are the lyrics and you can listen to it here. I wouldn't say exactly that we are loving Him with our life.....but we are sure trying!

We wish you a wonderful Christmas. May the joy and purpose that comes from knowing Jesus, be yours this holiday season.

The Tomlinsons

"Getting Into You" by Relient K

When I made up my mind
And my heart along with that
To live not for myself
But yet for God somebody said
Do you know what you are getting yourself into

When I finally ironed out
All of my priorities
And asked God to remove the doubt
That makes me so unsure of these
Things I ask myself, I ask myself
Do you know what you are getting yourself into

I'm getting into you
Because you got to me, in a way words can't describe
I'm getting into you
Because I've got to be
You're essential to survive
I'm going to love you with my life

When he looked at me and said
I kind of view you as a son
And for a second our eyes met
And I met that with a question
Do you know what you are getting yourself int

I've been a liar and I'll never amount to
The kind of person you deserve to worship you
You say you will not dwell on what I did but rather what I do you say
I love you and that's what you are getting yourself into

He said, I love you and that's what you are getting yourself into.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Easter, Amelia turned 6, and Family Vacation 2010

I will not even offer the apologies on not blogging anymore because I don't really see the frequency changing any time soon. The spare time that I used to find to do it, is now filled with sewing. Most of you know, I started a little business, Sew Thoughtful, and it has really been keeping me busy.

For the grandparents sake, I'm going to post a few pictures all the way back to Easter (cuz they've been asking to see them) and up to our vacation we just returned from.

Easter 2010
Eating dinner and egg hunt at the Flammangs after church
Crazy pose from the crazy three
Easter morning before church with their Easter baskets.
Amelia turns 6!

One highlight of her birthday this year was a surprise visit from our friends the Pardues. Her friend Ella has been at every birthday since she was born. This past year they moved to Savannah but made the trip down for a special weekend.
This is Amelia blowing out her candles on the awesome birthday cake that her Aunt Gina decorated for her. You can't exactly tell, but the absolutely perfect cake did not make it home that way. It has a major crack through the middle where we put the candles and pretended it was an earthquake.
Major highlight of the presents this year was Jessie, from Toy Story. Aunt Gina & Uncle Raul also spoiled the boys and got them Woody & Buzz so Amelia would have the other characters to play along with.
This was first thing birthday morning where she got to open her present from Nana & Grandy. She got a very special baby doll- the American Girl Bitty Baby. This was the first time she ever had an interest in a baby doll so I was pretty excited about her getting it!
Birthday breakfast on the birthday plate

Family Vacation 2010: Singer Island

This year we vacationed at Singer Island, just off of West Palm Beach. The kids had a blast at the hotel and the two pools. They didn't care too much about the beach. I don't know if they're spoiled by living so close to the beach or if they get their indifference from their Daddy who doesn't care much for all the sand and sun.
Owen & Amelia were best buds at the pool because they both preferred to spend the entire time going down the slide. It was so cute to watch them hold hands going up the stairs. Amelia was an awesome big sister looking out for her little brother.

Lane outsmarted us at our star parenting techniques. Because Lane preferred to be at the shallow end of the pool, and because we couldn't be there and at the bottom of the slide watching the other kids at the same time, we bribed Lane that if he would go down the slide, we would buy him the Bullseye character from Toy Story. We said this on the first day at the hotel hoping to simplify the rest of the stay for us. For 5 days, Lane wouldn't budge. He stayed clinging to the side of the pool in the shallow area. On the morning we were to check out, he came up to me and said, "I want Bullseye but I'm afraid the slide will be fast". With realization that this was his last shot, he went down the slide, LOVED it, and the went down it about 20 more times until it was time for us to check out. Jason said next time we stooped to bribery, we were going to state that the offer only applied on the first day. Lane figured out how to stand his ground and still walk away with the toy!

Jason's childhood friend, "Uncle Ben" and his wife, "Aunt Karen" were able to join us for two days of our vacation. They live in Texas and we look forward to seeing them twice a year, even if only for a few hours. This year, we added their new daughter, Hallie, to the mix! Every time my kids see Ben, they are like metal to his magnet. They won't be more than 2 feet away from him.

July 4th
It was the rainiest weekend of the whole season, but we did make it out to watch fireworks in downtown Bradenton with friends and family. Other than that, we pretty much stayed dry inside and recuperated from our vacation!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Lane is 4!

Middle one has turned four! So hard to believe. With Owen just 18 months behind, I barely have babies anymore.

I adopted some birthday tradition ideas from my friend Ashley. We celebrated Lane's birthday for several days before the actual date. Each morning he would wake up and there would be a wrapped (dollar store) gift to start his day. I also made a sign that said, _ more days until Lane's birthday and each morning filled it in accordingly. This year all gifts were themed spiderman because that's what my little man is into these days. He actually has never seen the show or movie so knows very little about who he is. But somehow all boys innately know he is cool.

On his real birthday, we skipped school and went to Busch Gardens as a family. The next day at school his teacher said, "Lane you were playing hookie at Busch Gardens yesterday!" And Lane said very adamantly, "I didn't play hookie-they didn't have that game there."

And now I'm going to brag on my boy for a few moments. We had his 3rd quarter parent/teacher conference today. His teacher said he is ready to go to kindergarten! (He still has another year and a half until he's old enough though!) Academically, he has surprised me unbelievably. I guess because he had such serious speech issues, I never got to notice how smart he is! His speech teacher said he has met every speech goal and now the only sound that remains incorrect is "r" which is actually age appropriate and alone would not qualify for speech. His OT & PT teacher said he was the most stimulable child they have worked with because even though he rarely knows how to do the task at first, he immediately catches on once shown the correct way. He is writing his first and (long) last name and went from knowing 3 letters in the fall to all of them at this point.

Emotionally, Lane is still my most sensitive child. He is super sweet and always saying thank you for what ever he is appreciating at the moment. "Mommy thank you for taking me to Busch Gardens" or "Mommy thank you for taking me to Wyatts birthday party." He is also the most likely to have an emotional blow-up when he feels misunderstood or that something is unfair. He always thinks of his sister and brother when he is away from them and wants to bring them back one of whatever he is getting. He is finally at the age where he and Amelia can play peacefully for long periods of time. (Throw Owen into the mix and it is still constant fighting).

His sentimental spirit can be seen in his toy choices also. He still chooses stuffed animals over most other toys and he has them all named: Alex, Bud, Nana Bear, and Otis to name a few.

While on the skyride at Busch Garedens he turned to me and said in the sweetest most innocent voice, "Mommy, I feel like I could reach right up and touch heaven."

He is such a special boy and Jason and I are so blessed we have been entrusted with him!

Friday, February 26, 2010

New Endeavor

I am so excited I can barely type!

As many of you know, I have been making baby gifts for a while now. Nothing too impressive, mostly just little taggies, burp clothes, bibs, etc. What makes them adorable actually, has nothing to do with me. I take my creations to get monogrammed. Put the baby's name on it and it is automatically precious! Many people have told me I should try to sell them. The problem is, I pay just as much for the monogram as I have in to the blanket so I could never charge a reasonable amount to make it worth my while. Buying an embroidery machine for that purpose alone never made any business sense.

Then I started seeing a need for local embroidery. Long story short, yesterday I unboxed my dream machine. It is so amazing. I have always dreamed of owning one of these machines but never thought it would actually happen.

I have lots of ideas for strumming up business. Of course you know Jason had to have a serious business plan before he would go for this.

Problem is, I need a name for my little home business. I need to get business cards made, a facebook page started, etc. , etc.. Here is where you come in. I need ideas. None of my own ideas have been winners with my friends. So I would love to know what your ideas are.

I thought of Monogram Mommy. That got a big thumbs down from my sister.
I stole this idea from my girlfriend Julie: A Good Name Embroidery and Gifts-"A good name is better than riches"-Proverbs 22:1. Jason likes For Names Sake. What do you like?

Monday, January 11, 2010

To Be Fully Known

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27

To be fully known and understood and loved despite all that. I don't know if it's a girl thing or what, but that has always been a deep desire of mine. I guess that's why girlfriends are so important to me, because they come the closest to meeting that need.

Today, I was thinking about how God does that for me and for each one of us who let's him. He knows the depths of our hearts and minds, our intentions and motives. Our ugly. He not only gets what we need, but as our Creator, he fuels that need by placing certain desires in our heart.

I have always been amazed that God knows exactly who I am and still loves me. This wasn't a new realization for me. My Ah-Ha! moment came when I realized that it is absolutely unfair that I would expect any other human to be able to love me like that. And I have unconsciously expected people to, or at the very least, wanted them to and then have been disappointed when they can't. It is no small thing that God loves us in spite of who we are. That is exactly what makes him God.

Today I am overflowing with an appreciation for His unique love for me. I think this may help me love those around me with fewer expectations, more oversight, and with less of a reflection of how they love me.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Flighty Update

I know, I know. I never blog. True.

Life just keeps blurring past me. Loving every moment (well...almost) of watching the kids grow up before my eyes. But nothing seems significant enough to write about. I'll do my best for an update:
  • Amelia has lost two teeth. She is obsessed with getting money from the tooth fairy and has been ever since she witnessed her cousin Haley loose a tooth. The first tooth was ready to come out, hanging by a thread. I asked her if she wanted me to yank it out. Uh-uh. She wanted to do it herself. She just reached in there and yanked it out. A week or so later, the next tooth was loose. This time, she yanked that thing out in my opinion, about three days early. It was not THAT loose. She wanted that money bad!
  • Lane is the cutest thing ever right now. He is talking up a storm. The only noticeable speech problem he has left is his r's, which makes his talking so adorable to me. I love it! I keep saying I'm going to write down some of the way he says things so I can remember it but I never do.
  • All three kids are really into telling jokes. My current favorite is supposed to go like this: What do you call cheese that doesn't belong to you? Nacho cheese. But when Lane tells it, it sounds like this: What's cheese that doesn't long to you? Nacho cheese. Hey, at least they are starting to make sense!
  • Owen is 2. Enough said, right?
I myself, am up to my usual hobby hopping! I seem to be all out consumed with one thing for a period of time and then I shift to something else for a while. In 2009 it included sewing, Twilight, baking, photoshop & digital craftiness in general, along with constant projects for the kids school. Every single one of those remains an interest of mine, I just don't have time for more than one of them at any single time. At the moment I am back to reading, thanks to my sister, who hooked me on the Stephanie Plum novels. I am on book 5 of 14. This obsession may last a while. Hoping to get back to sewing soon after that. I really miss it.

I'm not even going there with New Year's Resolutions. I mean really. Just pull up my blog on that matter from last year and ditto that. Depressing!

I'm off to see what kind of blunder Stephanie will find herself in this time. Bible study starts back tomorrow at which time I will institute the Can't Read My Book Until I've Read My Bible routine. That usually works out well. Sometimes.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!