Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Proud vs. Humble

I was going through some blogs that were linked on blogs I check frequently and found a post on one about being humble as opposed to being proud. It was convicting. It talked about how there is no in between...if you are not humble, then you are proud.
This is something I need to work on.
Below are a few comparisons of one who is humble/proud.
  • Self conscious/Not concerned with self at all
  • Feel confident in how much they know/Humbled by how much they have yet to learn
  • Defensive when criticized/Receives criticism with an open, humble heart
  • Compare themselves with others & feel deserving of honor/Compare themselves to the Holiness of God and feel a desperate need for mercy
Think about often are you self conscious? Me? ALL THE TIME!
Do you ever feel good when someone comments on how knowledgeable you are in a certain area? I do!
And let's not even get started on getting defensive when criticized.
What about comparing yourself to you ever think, "how could they do that! I would NEVER do anything like that", or do you ever feel good about yourself for doing something good that you know many wouldn't have done? I know that there have been many times when I've compared myself to others instead of comparing myself to the Holiness of God. It is our goal to become more Christlike right? Not to compare ourselves against other people. And no matter how "good" we are in our own eyes or even the eyes of others, it is not those eyes we should be looking to...we should be looking up. We are all sinners and no matter how many good deeds we do, we are all desperately in need of mercy. I sure am!
I do have a lot to work on, but I am working and will continue to do so...certainly for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

he's sick

Tate woke up this morning at 5:30am.
I tried to put him in bed with me and see if he'd go back to such luck.
Tate spent the morning laying on the couch asking to watch shows. He ate hardly any of his breakfast either. Typically he plays and is active in the mornings. I just assumed it was because he was tired. He fell asleep on the couch around 10:45 and then woke up crying and saying he wanted me about an hour later. When he came over, I put him in my lap and he was BURNING UP! He hasn't gotten off of the couch since and has been falling in and out of sleep. He has some medicine in him now and his he feels a little less hot, but still obviously has a fever. Poor thing. :( He has no other symptoms so who knows what is wrong with him. I sure hope he didn't expose any of his cousins to anything these last 2 days he spent with them!

a weekend with family

Oh how I love weekends like we had this weekend.
Anytime I get a weekend around any of my nieces and nephews, I am happy!
Then, add my my brother and Brenda (who we don't get to see often since they moved to Florida), lots of laughing, chatting, good food and fun and it's bound to be a terrific weekend!

Brigg meeting Boone for the first time...

Tate hugging Brigg...

Sweet little Boone...

Silly Ayla...

Tate helping Brenda burp Boone...

Boone and Chris...

Cassie getting in some last minute Boone snuggles before they headed out.
And seriously, Boone is off the charts for length according to his pediatrician and this picture shows it! He's only 8 weeks!

A great weekend for sure!
It wasn't that difficult for me to say goodbye to Chris, Brenda, Bode and Boone because in a short 3 1/2 weeks, we'll be down to visit them in Florida! Can't wait!!!


Chris came up from a LONG night of sleep, lifted up his shirt and asked, "can you tell what I slept on last night?"
Ummmm, ya.

I seriously crack up laughing out loud every time I see this picture!


Since Boone has been born, we have talked about him to Tate and Tate would occasionally say things like, "I don't like Boone". I was concerned that when he met Boone he might really not like him! He didn't really have any reaction toward him much aside from rubbing his head a little, but then he was asked if he wanted to hold him. No hesitation there! He hopped up on the couch and held him and I think that he officially fell in love. :) Later in the weekend when we wanted to get group pictures of all the cousins, of course Tate said, "I don't want to!" and he stormed off. I then said, "do you want to hold Boone for the pictures?" and he turned around instantly and came running back saying, "okay, I want to hold Boone and get my picture taken!" Funny.

He DID NOT want to let him go, so when Nana took him away, Tate still had to have a hand on him. :)

He needs a sibling! :)
Uh oh, it's that Baby Fever kicking in again!!!

so sweet

This one might be my favorite image from the weekend...

Ayla is so maternal. She loved taking care of Boone and did a really good job!!!

a going away party

On Sunday, we attended the Lander's Family Sendoff Party.
It was amazing.
Jody and Andy have impacted SO MANY people including my family.
My dad went to Africa with Jody, she is my sister's best friend and I am personally inspired by her daily with her words she writes on her blog. She is an amazing person.
And the impact Andy has had on our family is immeasurable.

Their family is amazing and along with HUNDREDS of others on Sunday night, we wished them well on their journey as they move to Colorado.
It was so touching to be there to witness how loved they are in their community.

I didn't have a relationship with them like my sister and her family or my parents, but still they have shown me so much and taught me so much.
It's been an honor to know them in some small way and an honor to be able to be a part of their send off party.


It's so special when we get ALL of the cousins on my side together because it happens so rarely!
Especially now with Chris, Brenda, Bode and Boone all living in Florida.
And now with the new addition of Boone to our ever growing extended family, we had not a single picture of ALL of the cousins on the "Stewart Side".

The oldest cousins...Lani, Bode and Brigg.

These next 2 might be my favorites.
All of the older cousins...minus Boone.

All of the cousins on my side!
Ayla, Lani, Boone, Bode, Brigg and Tate.
This is about as good as it gets getting a picture of all of these kiddos!
MOST of them smiling and looking straight ahead...what more can you ask for?!! :)
I love them all so much!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Celebrating Bode's Birthday

Before my brother and his family left this evening, we celebrated Bode's birthday.
He turns 5 in about a week!
It is unbelievable how time flies!!!
We love him so much!

Need something to make you smile???

There you have it!

If he doesn't make you smile...nothing will!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Confession of the Week...

So I think I will make this a weekly thing!
Fun, right?!
I love reality TV. Love it. Anything from The Bachelor to Dog the Bounty Hunter to them all. I haven't watched some, which is probably good because I would get sucked in during the first minute of the show. I can't help it! And sometimes it's just so ridiculous and I am fully aware of it, but I cannot stop! I can't wait for the next episode to air, I even sometimes shed a tear or two while watching "The Final Rose Ceremony" and definitely at least every other episode of American Idol. And since I am confessing...I have been known to sob at the American Idol Finale. Yup...sob. I just get so happy for the winner and their families and watching their dreams come true!
So there you have confession of the week!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I've fallen in love...

With Photoshop.
Cute picture...edited on Picasa which is what I LOVE and always use...

Same picture edited with Photoshop...
Yup, I have fallen hard!
(click the pictures to enlarge them if you really want to appreciate the difference.)

Friday, June 25, 2010

butterflies in my stomach!

I feel like I am going on vacation or something!
Chris, Brenda, Bode and Boone arrive in Muscatine on Saturday!!!!
I am SO EXCITED to see all of them, to snuggle with Boone, celebrate Bode's birthday and have a super fun, family weekend!
Many pictures to come I am sure!

is this just a 3 year old thing?

Because this is a familiar scene from Tate and Ava...

But I am SNEAKY and use my stealthy ways to capture images like this...

It happens before they even know it!
OHHHH the satisfaction I feel when I snap pictures like this!

my blue eyed boy

This boy can melt my heart in one instant and then frustrate me beyond words in the next. Mostly he melts my heart, but he has had some obedience issues lately to say the least.
Oh how I love being his mommy, even when I'm frustrated!


We've had a lot of them lately.
Tate and I went to Muscatine the other day and a storm popped up just after we arrived.
There was rumor that a tornado had touched down in town and the sirens were sounding.
It looked eerie out...

So we headed to the "dark room" in the basement.
This room was literally my dark room in high school where I would develop my pictures.
Now it's a great tornado shelter!
Tate calls that room the basement...not the whole basement, just that room.
He had so much fun in there and I think was hoping the tornado warning wouldn't end.
Mom read him books, he had a blast.
Here they are acting like seals...

After we got out of our shelter, we looked outside my parents back window and saw this.
This would be my parents little trickling creek turned raging river from the storm...

About an hour later, it was back to a creek and the skies were blue.
Gotta love Iowa summers!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I told Tate that after supper, if he ate a good supper, we could bake muffins. Tate LOVES helping me do all things that involve baking/cooking food. Loves it!

So after he made them, he stayed like this for the entire time they were in the oven...

He kept saying, "WHOA, they're getting bigger, Mommy! Are they done?!"

I told him they would be done when the buzzer went off and so when it went off, I immediately heard high pitched screaming of delight. He couldn't wait to get them out of the oven!

After letting them cool, he ate one.
And as you can see, he gave me the most fake smile he could muster! :)

I'll take it. It's still cute to me!
(and Lora, notice the jammies...same ones as last night. Can you tell by the orange hand print? LOL! Yup, he wore those dirty jammies all day today!)

Toy Story 3

Sean and I took Tate and Ayla to Toy Story 3 on Sunday. The kids were PERFECT and loved the movie! Tate keeps talking about it and makes references to it constantly. He absolutely loved it! They also both ate about a pound of popcorn. It was a great time and I was glad Tate did so well...maybe we'll be able to take him to more movies now. We took him one other time about a year and half ago, but weren't sure if he'd do well because he had become quite the stinker since then so we avoided ever going to another one since. :) However, we just couldn't miss Toy Story 3 because of Tate's obsession with ALL things Toy Story! So glad we went! I would recommend it to's a great story.

Father's Day evening

We went to Muscatine and had dinner on Father's Day.
The guys watched the US Open much of the time and the girls chatted and made food.

It was a nice, relaxing evening and a good way to end the weekend!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

To all of the fathers we know...

I am blessed to know so many amazing fathers.
Dad, Pat, Sean, Brandon and all of the friends I have that are fathers...all of you are a blessing!
Happy Father's Day!
We love you all!

And because you are our fathers, a special shout out to Dad and Pat!
We are blessed to call you "Dad" and Tate is blessed to call each of you "Papa"!

More than we ever could have dreamed...

Father's Day cannot come and go without recognizing Brandon.
Brandon is Tate's birth father and he is unbelievable. We have been so blessed to have him become part of our family. He has been a part from the beginning...we met and fell in love with Brandon before we ever met Tate. To say he is amazing would be a huge understatement. He is truly incredible. This blessing we have with him in our lives is so rare. Not many adoptive families get an amazing relationship with the birth father like we do. It's so much more than we ever could have dreamed.

Brandon has loved Tate intensely and been very special in his and our lives from the beginning.
He has been at every birthday party and we have had a Christmas celebration with him every year since Tate became our son. He attended Tate's dedication, was there when we had the honor of meeting Maggie (Tate's birth mother) and anytime we contact him to get together for dinner or just for fun, he doesn't hesitate...not for even a second. He loves Tate with a father's love and Tate and he have a bond that cannot be described in words. It is a special, non threatening bond that we wouldn't change for anything. It's a blessing from God.

I have compiled a photo from every gathering (aside from a couple I didn't document photographically) we have had with Brandon.

Christmas 2006 (Tate was 10 weeks old)...

March 2007 (Tate was 5 months old)...

Tate's Dedication (Tate was 7 months old)...

August 2007 (Tate was 10 months old)...

Tate's 1st Birthday Party...

Christmas 2007 (Tate was 14 1/2 months old)...

May 2008 (Tate was 19 months old)...

Tate's 2nd Birthday Party...

Christmas 2008 (Tate was 26 1/2 months old)...

Tate's 3rd Birthday Party...

Christmas 2009...

The day we met Tate's Birth Mother (Tate was 3 1/2)...

I wish I could express properly how blessed we feel to have this amazing man not only be Tate's birth father, but part of our family. Words diminish the feelings that we have for him and all he's done for us and for Tate. Not in our wildest dreams did we ever imagine we would have this blessing in a birth father. We thank God all the time for Brandon and do our best to continue to show our gratitude to him.
This Father's Day and always, we hope he feels the love we all 3 have for him!
Happy Father's Day, Brandon!