Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Happy Day to St. Patrick & Reed

We had a big, full day of celebrating St. Patrick's Day and Reed's 5th Birthday.

We woke up overhearing Molly telling Reed Happy Birthday-- so sweet!

Reed asked first thing to be measured on our growth chart to see if he was any bigger! :) And then followed the shamrock path downstairs.

Reed had requested Dad's icing biscuits for breakfast. Actually, he requested pink icing biscuits like we had on Valentine's Day. I asked him if he was sure he didn't want green for St. Patrick's Day, and he told me that green ones sounded... sour. :) I assured him that they would only look different, but taste the same.

"Happy Birthday to Reed..."

We also had shamrock shaped honeydew, which got snubbed for the bubbles, headbands, and flashing necklaces.

Reed couldn't wait to open his gifts. This year Daddy and I got Reed a bozo bopper, real boxing gloves and inflatable bopping gloves, and some joke and riddle books. Molly got Reed Spinner, a Switch & Go Dino.

After we played with gifts and got ready, Grammy and Papa arrived and we set off for an early showing of The SpongeBob Movie... much to Reed's excitement! Grammy and Papa bought drinks, popcorn, and candy all around.

Tuesday was a beautiful spring day and we met Daddy on his lunch break for a picnic at the square. Reed chose Taqueria for lunch because of the fortune cookies. :) (Just so happens that kids eat free on tuesdays too!) ;)

We played on the train, played hide and go seek, and threw lots of pennies in the fountain.

Our plan was to get some Sweet Treats ice cream, but after the movie grub and then lunch we were all full. While Molly took a nap, Reed and mommy spent the afternoon playing games. Daddy picked up Reed for gym class, and they stopped for Reed's free St. Patty's cupcake after.

(Are you tired yet??) :)

Finally, it was a beautiful evening for soccer practice. Reed's enthusiasm for the start of the season has been off and on, so we were so glad when he had a great birthday practice. The green b-day sports drink we brought along helped pump him up a little. :)

St. Patrick's Day Molly!

Reed's coach brought St. Patty necklaces and gave Reed a birthday shout-out. :)

It was a full and festive day!

And Daddy squeezed one last birthday candle onto a post-soccer grilled cheese! :)

...that's a wrap!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Dear Reed (5!)

Dear Reed,

Today has been a whirlwind of a day! I love, and I mean loooove, celebrating you and planning how to make your birthday special. After a full morning of St Patrick's Birthday breakfast treats, opening gifts, playing, a movie in the theater with all the stops, a sunny picnic at the square, and an afternoon of basketball and boardgames, you just left with Daddy for gymnastics class, and a birthday treat. Whew! I passed the baton before the finish line and this (pregnant!) momma is wiped out for the day. But oh so full. This is the first time today I have sat down with my thoughts, and, man oh man, did it just it me like a ton of bricks that you are FIVE today. Five, Reed! You are such a big boy!

Not computing how all this happened, and so quickly...

In most birthday notes I like to write down things about you at that specific frame of time, things like... right now you are playing soccer with SSA, you're pretty great at all sports, getting big muscles in gymnastics... you can count to 100, are learning to read, starting kindergarten in the fall (WHAAAAT?!), and to top it off you're about to become a double big brother in just a few weeks...

This birthday feels a little different. A little deeper. As you officially enter the "big kid" years my thoughts quickly turn from what you are up to, and hover more than ever on who you are and who you are becoming. And as I think about you and reflect on today, I think about how your birthday gifts represent a lot about your heart and our wishes for you as you continue to grow. So here are five special things about you, Reed, at age five...

The first thing you woke up to today was a trail of shamrocks leading you downstairs to a St, Patrick's/Birthday breakfast and decor with lots of green and silly goodies. We ate green icing biscuits with rainbow sprinkles, donned light up shamrock necklaces, headbands, and green mustaches and played with bubbles and a balloon and candle. You love celebrations and seem to have a sentimental bent, as well as an amazing memory-- you love to recall and talk about your various birthdays and birthday parties, (among many other memories). You like to have fun, and you are excitable and participatory. I love that about you, and hope that you continue to delight in life. May you have eyes to recognize and a heart to engage the gifts and joys all around you!

You are always looking for something to karate chop, shoot with your bow and arrow, or attack with a weapon of some kind. To spare our home, Molly, and ourselves, and also to give you an emotional outlet, we got you "boxing gear" for your birthday. You are not only tender and perceptive as I mentioned above, but you are also spirited.  You think and feel deeply, can respond strongly, and you express many things out loud and physically. You don't always want to be left with a sitter, or share, or lose, or follow through with certain commitments, but as you experience these tensions and feel things like frustration and fear and disappointment, you are learning more and more how to express your emotions and how to be flexible and resilient. We are so proud of you. In just the couple of soccer practices so far this spring, I see a fierce competitive edge emerging. You are a fighter, a feeler, a defender, and a warrior. We pray that you would always fight for the right things--for godliness, for others, for His kingdom come. And pray that you would be brave in continuing to live and fight from your unique heart.

Molly got you a switch n go dino to add to your collection. I love both of your expressions in the picture above. You are creative and imaginative. It is fun to glimpse you playing alone as you enter your own world and create with legos or cars or dinosaurs. It also a joy to watch you play with Molly. You really are such a great big brother, Reed. Of course, you get frustrated with Molly at times or lack in the sharing department, but I see overwhelmingly how you care for Molly, cheer her on, and delight in her like a friend. You two are really great buddies in this season, and it fills my heart. I can't wait to watch you delight in our new baby in just a few weeks, and teach Molly how to be a big sister. What a gift you are and will always be to your siblings.

Your card this year was a joke book. Whenever I reflect on or am asked about your personality, one of the first characteristics to come to mind is your humor. You have always loved to make people laugh and smile. I remember one day when you were three you came and did some silly stunt move into my room. You immediately stood up and said, "hey! You didn't laugh this time." It was as if you had mentally noted that something was funny to me and set out to recreate the experience. Right now, we have to be verrrry careful when we laugh... there is lots of covering our mouths and leaving the room. (Of course, you usually know when you've gotten us anyway). Earlier this year you started liking and telling (trying to tell) jokes. You are so intelligent and insightful, Reed. Your exploration of and appreciation for humor and thought represent your perceptive heart and your ability to understand. We hope you always remember that laughter is a gift from God. May your joy be rooted in him, and may you never lose your desire to enjoy life and laugh out loud.

You got to go to the movies today! You love movies and you love treats, so you were on cloud nine to be at the big screen where Grammy and Papa busted out all the stops. Somehow in one of your friend groups you heard about the SpongeBob movie that is in theaters and you had been asking to see it. At first I said no way, but as I planned out your special day I looked up the movie on Focus' family website and was surprised that it got good reviews for its message and didn't have anything inappropriate in it. I decided that we would take you. It sounds sort of silly, but in a way it represented this small step of recognizing that you are entering the big kid years, and will eventually be making more and more choices on your own and developing your own tastes and interests. In your enjoyment of movies, you seem drawn to the idea of story. You have a unique grasp of your own emerging story already. We pray more than anything that you would recognize your story as part of the "Big God Story," that God would give you a heart to fully trust Him with your life and with your story.
(PS- Please stop singing Spongebob Squarepants.)

Reed Matthew Morgan, you are a beloved child of your Creator--the God of the universe! I can't even explain in words what a joy it is to be your mom, what a privilege your daddy and I have to nurture you as you grow and help you become the unique individual God fashioned you to be... To enjoy you and help you journey through life. He knows you even better than we do, Reed. And if you can imagine such a great love, He even loves you more than we do. That's a LOT. To my fun, brave, feeling, creative, big-brothering, joking, perceiving FIVE YEAR OLD-- Happy, Happy Birthday! YOU are my gift!

I love you,

Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year we celebrated an early Thanksgiving gathering with our Cagle family. We brought two little turkeys to Fayetteville...

We ate, played games, and built a fire outside.

Molly and Grammy enjoying the gorgeous fall day:

Reed and Cameron played "Tarzan" in the backyard for hours.

Thanks to a book we checked out from the library, Reed had been very into the idea of the wishbone. He snapped the bigger piece of the wishbone. He wished for a yo-yo, and I happened to have one on hand, so I slipped it under his pillow to find the next morning-- so fun! :)

This year for dessert we brought monster cookies (with fall M&Ms, of course), and tried a new Pinterest recipe called Pumpkin Lust Cake-- a layered dessert with pecan crust, cream cheese, cool whip, and pumpkin spice pudding.

(The pumpkin dessert was pinned from Sweet Treats & More, here).

On Thanksgiving Day, the kids got a kick out of seeing the Macy's Day Parade in the morning, and then we celebrated that afternoon with a Morgan family dinner.

We visited by the fire, read, ate, and played... and Reed had a big 'ol time drilling football with Jonathan, playing a real trumpet they found, and climbing and rolling around in a new, fun Mimi contraption made of stretchy fabric and tied over the doors in the upstairs hallway! Such adventures! :)

We brought appetizers-- "nailed it" wedge salads (ha), cranberry feta pinwheels, and (of course) fluff. ;)

Cranberry Feta Pinwheels

1 package dried, sweetened cranberries
1 container cream cheese spread
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onion
4 large tortillas (flour, wheat, or spinach)

1- Combine first 4 ingredients, mix well.
2- Divide and spread mixture evenly onto tortillas
3- Roll up tightly, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour
4- Cut into slices and serve

My favorite memories this Thanksgiving are Reed's love for all things wishbone, and that Molly keeps calling a turkey a "gobble chicken." :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall Fun List Update

Quick Fall Fun check in...  We've made some progress on our family list!

  hiking     GA football!     apple picking     saturday soup night     apple cider     pumpkin patch      Athens visit     
decorate pumpkins      s'mores in fire pit      pumpkin pancakes      leaf art      jump in leaves      make bird feeders      nature walk/ scavenger hunt       make a fall dessert       costumes!       family movie night       first fire    Zoo & Botanical Gardens      fall keepsake craft

Let's start with the obvious!  OF COURSE we've been cheering on the Dawgs!

We've kicked off Saturday soup night.

We took a break from BFiaR and had an "Autumn" week of activities, which included handprint leaves (our keepsake craft) and two leaf art "masterpieces." :)

We made our annual Athens visit, including a pumpkin patch stop.

This year we ate lunch with Uncle Zach and saw his awesome college house. We also stopped by our old campus ministry stomping ground and visited with our campus ministers Nathan and Franklin (<who married us!). We visited with Sanctuary Youth alum over afternoon froyo, a quick trip to the Athens zoo, and dinner at the weirdest Mexican restaurant I've ever encountered. :) Fun, full day!

Daddy made pumpkin pancakes. More of those in our near future, I'm sure!

We went on a beautiful fall hike at Kennesaw Mountain. Our super troopers made it about three miles... with some carrying thrown in there!

We wrapped up our first season of fall ball. (spoiler alert: to-die-for picture ahead)

Just this weekend, we visited a second pumpkin patch at a local family farm as a festive LifeGroup outing. It was a gorgeous day- we played on the hay barrel slides, zip line, and corn maze, and took a hay ride.

Our extra credit so far: Sanctuary's Hayes Fall Festival fun. We got to help celebrate fall and share Jesus' love with some family fun at a local elementary school. I think Reed and Molly "favorited" the petting zoo.

After a glorious burst of fall air to invite the start of autumn, we had some warmer temps return. :( Now that the cool fall fun is back it feels like we're just getting started! Bring it on! :)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

2 1/2

Happy 2 1/2 to Molly Bette!

Your sunday morning half birthday called for a cake pop stop on the way to church. :)

Here is a glimpse of Molly at 2 1/2... You love to "read" books to yourself. One of my favorite things to do is watch you quietly from the hallway as you narrate a pile of books in your sweet little way. Your current favorite is Fancy Nancy Tea for Two. You like to play "the baby game" with Reed where you say "goo ga ga" and he picks you up and carries you a few feet... at least that's all I can figure out about it. The two of you do lots of pretend play together. For some reason you think that putting your hands on your hips is a safe alternative to hand holding in the parking lot. It's so cute and we've spent so much time talking about it that I'm afraid we've encouraged it and your "hip walking" is now a signature move. You carry around my old pink ipod, and call it your "leappod."

And speaking of a "leappod," if ever your birthday is mentioned you quickly exclaim "my own leappad!" (Apparently Reed has promised to purchase you a leappad when you turn three). You pronounce many plural words with an extra syllable, like "wash clothses" and "ghostes." You are so, so cute and spirited. You make me smile even when you get angry. Last week Reed stole a piece of your snack out of your car seat cupholder. You crossed you arms, squinted your eyes, puckered your lips and yelled, "that was vewy wude, Weedy!! Oh my.

At your 30 month well check you were 35 inches and 24.2 pounds.

You are growing up so fast. I find myself constantly trying to keep up with you, and ever celebrating who you are becoming. It is the joy of my heart to laugh with you, steady you, comfort you, teach you, and point you to Jesus.

We love you, little love!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Go Orioles! (Reed's 1st Baseball Season)

Reed played his first season of baseball this fall! We signed up to play through Oregon Park with our buddy Keaton and Keaton's Dad, Coach Brian.

Reed was so excited about all of his baseball gear! We got to pick out baseball pants, baseball socks, cleats, a helmet, a glove, and a bat.

Baseball antics quickly ensued in the back yard.

It was so fun to watch Reed eagerly gather up his gear to head outside with daddy to practice. One day they were going to play for a few minutes and as Reed scrambled toward the backyard I heard him exclaim, "I cant wait to hear it [his metal bat] ding!" So cute!


Reed was a quick study! He has a good throwing arm, learned to trap grounders quickly, and is good at connecting bat to ball. Before we knew it, it was the first day of practice for the Orioles.

Reed and his team worked on "chomping" grounders, pointing and throwing, hitting off the tee, and some running. :)

Molly and Wynnie enjoyed hanging out in the bleachers... well, most of the time. They were troopers for the season of practices and games!

Reed was pumped to get his Orioles uniform. He was player #1, and has his name and number on the back of his hat too!

After spending some time at the baseball park Reed asked for a bat bag, and we couldn't help ourselves! So stinkin' cute!

Coach Daddy was a big help to the Orioles too!

Our first game was on September 7th. It was SO hot, but Reed loved the whole shebang! Here he is in the dugout:

You can see Audrey Grace in the dugout too... Reed had a fan section comprised of the Bowlers, Ms. Debbie, the Bebers, and of course Daddy, Mommy and Molly. And I'm not kidding when I say it was a hot, hot day, so these friends showed some real love to come cheer on the Reedster. :)

Reed was awesome! He hit off the pitch both at-bats, had some good throws to first base as pitcher, and ran like a champ to "score" two runs!

This is from a different game, but here is a video of Reed batting:


We played five regular season games. It was especially fun as the weather cooled into fall. Reed liked playing under the lights, and staying out late.

He also loved the game snacks, and getting to pass them out when it was our turn. :)

Mimi and Jonathan and Aunt Katie came to cheer at a game, and we made a night of it at Dairy Queen!

Papa & Grammy came to cheer at Reed's last season game.

Ms. Cyndi and Grayson came to root for the Orioles too, and it was a great fall-ish end to our season play!

Not many of the balls bounced our way during the tournament play, but the boys did a great job. I'm not sure Daddy will let Mommy live down pulling out the rule book during one of the games... :) Reed had some tears at our second loss because it meant the end of the season, but he enjoyed the pizza party and team celebration with his pals.

All in all, our first season was a great experience. We loved that Reed enjoyed being active, learning the game of baseball, and meeting some new friends.