Covered from head to toe...

This happened a few weeks ago, the very first day I was on my own, after Alivia was born. All was going fairly well, but I was tired...I had just put Alivia down for a nap and went outside to gather up the rest of the troops for their nap. They had been outside for most of the morning, enjoying the beautiful fall weather, drawing with chalk and even having their lunch outside. I thought they were finishing up drawing some pictures with chalk. However, when I went outside, I was greeted by 2 little girls who were covered from head to toe (literally!) with chalk dust. Mckenna had taken a few large pieces of chalk and grated them down to fine dust, using some of her play kitchen tools. Then then they had taken the dust and coated their faces, clothes, hair, everything! They looked like ghosts. So much for a nap for me as a serious bath was in order for both of them. The pictures do not quite capture how they actually looked, but here is a glimpse...

Mckenna starting to melt-down...notice the tear tracks on her cheeks!


Help for a weary soul

That would be me lately. With not much sleep, a mushy brain, little time in the Word, a 4 year old prone to argue and complain, a 2 year old who spends much of her day screaming, needs and demands yelling out me all day long, and more things that I want to do than I can actually do... it spells our weary for me.

2 friends recently sent me some very timely and meaningful quotes that have helped me to regain perspective and fight for joy in this season. The first 2 have encouraged my soul with my lack of regular devotions and the last one has served me in checking my heart against self-sufficiency and pride that is often a motivator in why I do things...

"At this time in your life, you can't do what you're used to doing. You don't have time for all your heart desires to experience in your spiritual life. Nevertheless, do what you can do, even though it's precious little." Donald Whitney

"Like Jean with three in diapers, you may be in a situation that curtails many of your spiritual activities. You may be looking at months or even years of such limitations. Do what you can. God does not love us more when we do more, nor less when we do less. He accepts us, not because of what we do for Him, but because of what He's done for us in Christ. The Bible says, 'He made us accepted in the Beloved (that is Jesus)' Ephesians 1:6. And nothing 'shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord' Romans 8:39. Love God, and within the limitations he has sovereignly placed in your life at this time, do what you can."
Donald Whitney

“What men do by themselves they do for themselves. They eat their own fruit, devouring the praise of what they do. Only the Christian who does everything by Christ does it all for Him. He takes his nourishment from Him into whom he has been grafted; and this is what makes him fruitful. Therefore he reserves all the lovely fruit for the Husbandman.” (The Christian in Complete Armour, Volume 2, p. 49)


A milestone for Mckenna

Today, for the first time, Mckenna wrote her name all on her own. I was so proud of her...especially since she figured it out all by herself....well, almost all by herself. She came over to me, while I was feeding Alivia, and said, "Mom, I can't figure out what comes next." She had drawn this picture and on the top of the paper had an M and then a C. She was making the sound "K" and said "I just can't figure it out." I asked if she was trying to write her name and she said yes. I said a "K" comes next. She asked, "does it look like this?" and made the motions like she was writing one. I said yes! She ran back to the table and asked me what came next. I told her each additional letter. To my surprise I walked over later, when she was done, and saw this...

My little girl is growing up way too fast.


Life as I now know it

Life with 3 girlies...Sometimes I pinch myself because I can't believe I get to live out my dream of being a wife and mom, let alone a mom of 3 girls. It's great!! Alivia has been a wonderful addition to our family. I have loved getting to know her and her little personality.

This evening I got a taste of life alone (meaning without help ;o) with 3 kiddos. Dave took off all last week to help out and my mom was here this week from about 9-6 every day - what a blessing! The days flew by and I found myself asking, "what in the world did I do today?" Before I would know it, it would be late afternoon when it seemed like it should only be 11am! Friday (today) came way too fast. Today my mom had to leave a little early and Dave actually took off to split wood (we had about 6 trees taken town in the early summer and we have huge logs all over the yard that need to be split - it's quite a task!).

So, this evening Dave was outside and I was dishing up some great soup for the girls that was brought to us. I looked down and realized that Dave had come inside and walked all over the kitchen floor, dropping little pieces of wet mud from his shoes all and I had just cleaned the floors today ;o). I tried to quickly get it cleaned up when I realized Alivia is screaming upstairs, having woken up from a nap. Realizing that I didn't have the monitor on, I wondered how long she had been exercising those lungs of hers. I go get her and try to calm her down as I finish getting dinner for the girls. Meanwhile, Mckenna is asking for more juice and Selah is complaining that she "no like it" (doesn't like the soup). I come in to the living room to feed the baby and get half way through when I put the baby down to attend the girls who needed some attention! I get Mckenna some more juice and tell the girls that there are popsicles for whoever finishes their dinner and instruct Selah that she must eat. I come back to Alivia who is now screaming in protest that she is not done eating yet! I finished feeding her to the cries of "I'm done and can I have my popsicle" and "need help, mommy." Mckenna gets her treat and I help Selah down 5 more bites and give her a popsicle.

Somewhere in all that I actually managed to eat a bowl of soup and a piece of bread myself, but I honestly could not tell you exactly when that was. And also in the midst of that I remember sitting on the couch, feeding Alivia, and thinking how wonderfully crazy life is and how incredibly blessed I am to be living in this life as I now know it! I know there are challenges that lie ahead and much sanctification to be done in my heart through it all, but...

God has indeed been so kind to me!


1st Bath

I gave Alivia her first bath...

Obviously, it was not a hit....

but this part was...she loved getting all wrapped up, cozy and warm in her towel.



My nickname for her has nothing to do with her love for bugs of every phylum and genus. Just something that flowed when I was bursting with parental love. I think you would agree it fits if you were to be with her for a day.

She has a love for insects (actually a love for all creatures--anything self-propelled) but would probably put the lowly earthworm at the top of that heap. The spider was slandered enough that she has flagged in interest for the poor "Spyweeb." One time she had one between her finger and thumb and showed it to us at the dinner table, then promptly held it to her mouth for a taste! Probably safer that all shapes and sizes of spiders are lumped together as dangerous biting creatures. Ants were her favorite playthings for a while--poor things would get grabbed and re-grabbed and mock-released and...loved to death. No, today's flavor is definitely earthworm. When Heather is outside Selah expects her to be digging in the garden at some point, or at least ready to produce a "Wuhm" easily. We were walking outside for a moment the other day to soak up the outdoors and little Selah thought of the perfect way to enjoy it. "Wuhm, Mom!" This insect thing is probably a whole post in itself.

My little Bugs has been well taken care of by someone else the past couple days because her little passionate self, her sister and a newborn all together are a bit challenging to manage on a quarter tank of sleep. I have been missing her but have enjoyed remembering her and her little ways. I wanted to record her little "ism's" that are disappearing too quickly with her maturing command of English; I don't want to forget them!

"Machido" - Monster. This one is evolving of course. We've heard "monteydo" as well.

"Daaa-ee" - Daddy. I know, this one is simple but it was so cute...especially when
said in excited quick repetition when I came home: "Daa-ee! Daa-ee!"

"Has poopee" - I have poop.

"Kenna" - Mckenna. It was un-spellable at one point, then evolved to "Keh-uh"before the latest.

"Ah way'h up" - Can I wake up?

"Nuh-tch" - Lunch, breakfast, dinner.

"Snah"- Snack.

"Mooey" - Movie.

"Tao" - Cow.

"Wah-yuh" - Water.

"Spyweeb" - Spider. Lately it has turned into "Biyuh."

"I pay paydoh?" - Can I play with play dough? "I pay" variations: "I pay payroom?"

"Children, obey God!" - Eph 6:1, NSV, New Selah Version

There's more, but I'm toast. Officially I'm worthless to the world by 9:30p but we're talking low voltage content here. Heather and I will add to the list and refresh this post soon.


1 week old

Alivia Sandra Castro is one week old today. It's hard for me to believe. This past week has been a bit of a blur, but we are thoroughly enjoying our new bundle of joy. Alivia is a great baby! She eats and sleeps very well and is, so far, a very content baby...I could not be more grateful! I have not been getting much sleep this week...not because of Alivia (although she does wake up a few times at night), but just because I have had a bit of insomnia. Dave has been a huge help and has taken her after nighttime feedings so I can try to get some rest. Hoping this will pass soon and I'll once again be able to fall asleep fast and easily. For now, I'm grateful for Tylenol PM!

Alivia loves sleeping in this pink basket. I had it in her room with toys in it and Dave was looking for something that would be just her size for her to snuggle down into. He found this basket, tried it out, and it was a hit with her! Pretty soon she will grow out of it, but for now we are enjoying how cute she looks in it.


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