Saturday, December 12, 2009

Watermark Family Christmas!

We had such a fun night on Friday at the Watermark Family Staff Party. Every other year we bring the kids to the party . Next year will just be adults. Our church can for sure throw a party and we are so blessed to be a part of such an awesome church. The church just opened a new part of the building area with a new lobby which has a fire place, couches, coffee bar, etc.. it for sure has a Texas look to it. We are so excited to be able to use this new space for meeting people, student ministry events, etc... we are running out of room which is a great thing! Mike and I often lay in bed talking about how thankful we are that God brought us here to serve Him and for our family to grow. We've been challenged so much with the truth that is taught every Sunday and how we are challenged to live it out daily.
Anyways, the party was so fun. They really want kids to grow up thinking their dad or mom works at the greatest place. We want our girls to grow up excited that their dad is a pastor at a church. They had bounce houses set up, skee ball, basketball, pony rides, a photo booth, and more. There is always a game that we all play each year with some fun prizes. There were all kinds of presents for kids set up under the tree. We played family bingo so each child received a present as they got a bingo. Anna got a princess memory game and Ellie got a fun remote control puppy. The big prize was given for the adult who could "black out" their bingo card first. Jarrod our new student worship leader won! We were so excited for he and Whitney!
It was such a fun night and the girls are still talking about the Watermark Party!


We got to take the girls to see The Nutcracker last weekend. Two of my high school small group girls were in it. Rebekah got to play Clara the lead part. She is an amazing ballerina and it was so fun to see her perform. It was performed by the Dallas Ballet Center and had dancers from the age of 4 to 18. The little girls were precious and Anna loved to watch them. I know she was dreaming of being on stage one day as she is always acting like she is a ballerina! We all really enjoyed it and I hope to take them in the future.


We had a family from church offer us their dog. Mike loves dogs and I am okay with them as long as I have little responsibility over them. Our last dog was a pretty bad/strange dog. He got dropped off at the pound before we made the big move from NC to TX! The girls love dogs and always are asking for a puppy. I would love to have a cute little Shitzu or Yorkie, but with the barking etc... I realized that might not be a good idea with 3 kids.
We did a 10 day trial with Shadow to see how she did with the kids and if we liked her. She is the best dog. She is really obedient, doesn't bark, sleeps in a crate, gentle, etc...Ellie and Anna LOVE her! Anna especially has bonded with Shadow. They love to walk her around the yard with a leash. Shadow has even gotten to go down the slide. Shadow has gotten stickers put on her and all kinds of other exciting things. Mike needed a dog with all the pink around here. We thought Shadow was a boy, but sure enough Mike now lives with 5 girls!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Video from Matt

Video from Matt

This was a video posted on Matt Chandler's church's website over the weekend. Incredible faith, greata encouragement for life. Enjoy.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Anna is obsessed with wearing a dress. My mom had to bribe me into wearing one and forget the tights. I was all about playing outside, shooting baskets, etc.. so this whole princess thing is all new to me! She is so sweet each morning begging me to wear one of many Christmas dresses we have in our closet. Some nights we just leave the dress on and sleep with the sparkly shoes as well. I try to not force her in jeans as I want her to enjoy what she wears, but I also don't let her play in the mud in a good dress. Lately, we've been wearing playclothes with the sparkly shoes which seems to be a good compromise. I have a feeling she is going to be quite the leader one day as she is very bold and sharp with her words. She is not afraid to tell me:
"mommy, I'm cute as she fluffs her hair" or "mommy, I will be a princess and Ellie will be a super hero and she cannot come into my castle or my party". We are working on kindness these days! Any tips for the wardrobe battle would be helpful. At least, they are not fighting over clothes yet as Ellie begs me not to wear tights or a dress. Blue Jeans are just fine with her.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Mike took this picture of Ellie and I think it is one I will always love. She gets excited about seeing any water fountain and is so proud cause she can do it by herself now.


When we were in Georgia over Thanksgiving we drove to a small mountain town. When we arrived there they were having all kinds of fun Christmas events going on. The girls spotted Santa and he was there with his sleigh. The pictures were free so they jumped on his lap! I was so excited cause every time we are at a mall they beg me to go sit on his lap and I really don't want to pay the $20 for a 5x7 that I won't know what to do with the picture.
Anna told Santa she would like a present. Ellie said she would like a super hero computer for her room! ha! They are funny girls that make me laugh daily. Mary was asleep at home during this trip.

We love this girl....

Mary is 6 months old tomorrow. I can't believe it and it has been such a great 6 months. I can really say that I have enjoyed her baby stage so much. I think because I know how quickly they grow and how the baby stage is so easy compared to her big sisters! She is so sweet and happy most the time. I love her sweet smile and her laugh. She loves her family and smiles so much when her sisters talk to her. Here's what Mary has been up to this month:

She sucks her two middle fingers to calm down or go to sleep.
She wears size 1/2 diapers.
She wears 3-6 month clothes.
She loves the exersaucer and just rolling around on the floor.
She finally is liking the car seat! I am so thankful cause there for awhile it was some pretty loud car rides.
She loves Ellie and Anna. They love her as well and are such good helpers. They never miss telling me when she spits up!
She loves her crib. When she is tired she really just wants to go to bed.
She started eating baby food this month to gain some weight. She has liked it all, but rice cereal. She spits it out.
She still loves to nurse and is anti-bottle. She has not taken a bottle in 6 months. It is crazy for me to think of how dependent she is upon me. It has gotten a lot easier since she is eating food and I can be gone a little bit longer than 3-4 hours. I'm thinking I will make it all 12 months unless she weans herself.
She loves her Daddy and when he talks to her each night.

She does not like getting new teeth. She's been somewhat fussy on the days that her little front tooth is hurting her.
She still spits up pretty often. It is not to fun now that it is orange. I am becoming quite acquainted with oxi clean.
She's starting to realize when I leave the room. She will cry sometimes when she can't see me.

We love her so much and are excited to see her grow each day. I saw this verse the other day and am once again so glad we named her Mary.

" But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart." Luke 2:19
I love that Mary treasured Jesus and remembered Him in her heart. It has been our prayer this Christmas season that we would treasure Jesus and think about Him during Christmas.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Watermark Conspiracy

With Holly out of town I figured I would post this video about a little campaign at our church...Enjoy this video and feel free to check out the website...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fall Happenings...

I wish I had pictures to show for October, but I never have Mike's computer which has all of our pictures on it! It was a really fun month full of lots of fun and long days...
In no particular order....
* Mary got put on prevacid for her spit up issues! I am so thankful and on some days I think it is working on other days my shirt is soaked and there is spit up all over our house.
* Mary's 5 month stats are 11lb. 5oz and 23 1/2 inches long. She's a petite one just like her big sisters.
* Ellie loves to sound out letters and ask me what all kind of words start with and then she will sound out the word!
* Anna is so into dress-up and playing princess Anna. She pretty much thinks she is the queen of the Shelton home. However, sometimes I have to remind her who is on the throne. There has been LOTS of discipline going on these days.
* Anna is loving preschool and loves that she only goes one day per week. She loves to stay home with mommy on Thursday and we go to playgroup with our friends. It is a special day just for her!
* Mike is telling the girls Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednigo (sp?) and they love it! He is a great story teller and a great daddy.
* We got to go on a fun date with our good friends from our community group.
* Watermark hosted a community group leaders conference. We got to stay at the Embassy Suites for a night and learn more about community. We love our church and how they value community groups.
* The High School ministry hosted its annual Country Western Party called The Draw. It was super fun and a great outreach to high school students. Every student had on boots. We've never lived in a state where any students had a pair of boots! Mike had quite the outfit on that I will have to try and find a picture of his cowboy gear.
* We've played outside a lot this month since the rain stopped. The girls still love the $75 swing set we got off of Craigs List. They come up with all kinds of games to play on it.
* Daylight Savings Time was pretty rough and I think we have a new schedule of getting up at 6:30 and going to bed at 7:00. I don't know if I like it, but it is starting to feel like normal.
*We are mentoring a little girl in West Dallas which is the 11th poorest neighborhood in the U.S.. Our church is supporting an elementary school there and many families are mentoring a child. Our little girl, Nekeiya is in 4th grade and is such a sweet girl. We've been to her school for lunch, ice cream, and are looking forward to many more opportunities to show her God's love!
*Ellie is in Gymnastics once a weekand Anna takes ballet once a week through our city's rec center. They both love it so much and it is neat to see them like different activities.

Hope you all are enjoying the fall! Christmas will be here before we know it!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Quotes from Anna

Anna is talking so much these days almost as much as her big sis. Ellie pretty much does not stop talking unless she is asleep. Anyways, Anna has a lot going on in her mind. Here are a few:
" One day mommy I will get a white car and I will drive it very fast"
" I want my own stage and I will sing and do ballet on it"
" Ellie you cannot come to my pink castle. I am the princess!"
" I want Angelina (ballerina) to come to my party and go to my dance class"
" I will not say sorry" (hear that one a little to often)
"Trick or Treat, Smell my feet"

She is for sure becoming more independent and although the days are long she melts my heart so often!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fall Fun!

We had a great time trick or treating with some neighborhood friends! We have a great street right by our house where the houses are amazing and the people just sit outside and pass out candy. Ellie and Anna both walked the whole time while Mary rode in the stroller. Anna was totally into getting the candy although she does not have a sweet tooth at all. I don't think she has eaten any of her candy. When we got home we had a few people knock on our door and Anna would hand them her candy. We went with a blue m&m with a cape that you cannot see. Ellie was "Super Ellie" and she loved it so much. Anna chose pink and wore a pink tutu. I planned on Mary being a cat like Ellie and Anna were so I could have all three in the same costume. I couldn't find the ears or tail so she was a cute pink bunny. It has been a really pretty fall here and we've loved the "cooler" temperatures. It was 65 deg. on Saturday and we saw people with winter coats, gloves, etc... waiting at the bus stop!

Sad Story...

We lived in Charlottesville, VA for about 1 year and worked at a church. It is an awesome town where the University of Virginia is located and is in the mountains. A little different than Dallas:)!
Anyways, I saw this story on the news the other day and have thought about this poor girl who was most likely abducted right outside the basketball arena. I'm sure it is really a big story in VA as not much happens in this small town. Anyways, go here to read more.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mary is 5 months old!

It is quiet at our house tonight as Mike is getting to be an usher at the David Crowder concert at Watermark (tough job)! I wish I had his computer cause it has all of our pictures on it, but I thought it would be a good idea to do an update on Mary! She will be 5 months old in a few days.
Here's what Mary likes and dislikes:
Playmat and Exersaucer
She loves people and someone to talk to her. She never cries when given to a new person. She loves her sisters to talk to her.
She loves to suck her two middle fingers to go to sleep or in the car. I've now had a paci girl, thumb girl, and a fingers girl!
She loves her crib and really does not sleep anywhere else besides the car. She sleeps on her stomach and moves really close to the crib rails. She's still sharing a room with Ellie. Ellie cannot sleep unless Mary is in the room with her. She sleeps through Ellie talking herself to sleep and with the lamp on cause of Ellie!
She loves her grandparents and got to spend some special time with them this month when I had surgery.
She loves to go on walks and we do this about once a day to get everyone out of the house!
She has a very strange schedule, but it is working well for us. She goes to bed between 7-7:30 and wakes up around 7 to eat. I then put her back to bed and normally wake her up around 9:30 to feed her and most days put her in the car for wherever we have to be that day. We then come home by 12:30-1 most days and she goes down for a LONG nap 3-4 hours most days. I think she's combining her morning and afternoon nap all in one! We will see how long this lasts, but I really like it right now cause it gives me time to get E and A ready in the morning while she is asleep.
She's still bottle free and it is one tough road that is for sure. She will not take one for anything, but at least she will go 3-4 hours between feedings so I can time how long I can be gone. I think maybe when we start baby food in a couple of months it might help. I'm so thankful for my milk, but there are times when it can be difficult to make it all work especially when I have to be gone.
She's starting to like the car seat more which is so nice. I think it might be cause she is spitting up a little less these days. I still get thrown up on a lot each day, but it is getting better.
She wear 3 month clothing and is pretty small like her sisters.

Mary we love you so much and your sweet smile makes my day. You are for sure the laid back baby that I needed during this stage of life and I am so excited to see what your personality will be like one day. We thank God for you every day!

Monday, October 26, 2009

A cute kitty and ballerina....

I was flipping through pictures tonight and found these two cute girls from two years ago. Wow they have sure changed! There is no way Ellie would dress up as a ballerina at 4 years old and Anna would still probably enjoy being a cat. However, this years costume choice has been quite dramatic! I'd borrowed a "Dorothy" costume that was super cute and had this great idea of Ellie being Dorothy, Anna the scarecrow, and Mary as Toto! Well, Ellie has been really wanting to be a super hero with her favorite color blue and Anna is super into pink and princesses. I really didn't want a super hero and a princess? What would Mary be? So I started to think what I could do that would involve blue and pink? I'm hoping the costumes turn out okay and the girls agree with them. Ellie is going to be a Blue M&M with a red cape. Anna is going to be a pink M&M (most likely with a tutu) and Mary will be some color of M&M probably whatever solid color onesie I can find! Anyways, this years costume choice is for sure not my choice. However, I want the girls to be able to be who they are even if the current stage is super heroes and princesses! Have you had any Halloween Drama?!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Picky Eater Tips?

Ellie and Anna are total opposites when it comes to food. Anna's not eating much these days and really doesn't seem hungry. I would say it is a phase, but it's been a long phase that is for sure! Any tips out there for the girl who does not like very much at all?!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

In Sickness and In Health...

Mike and I have learned a lot lately about caring for one another or our kids with the swine flu and then I was supposed to have a normal outpatient surgery last Thursday. I will try to not give you to much information and since I know I only have girl readers I really don't care to much!
I've had a fibroid (similar to a cyst) attached to my uterus for almost 2 years. However, I didn't know it until I was pregnant with Mary. It has caused much pain and drama over the past 2 years. It seemed to really act up when we traveled so I've ended up in the emergency room in Kansas and Colorado. Both times they thought I had a kidney stone or a kidney infection cause my lower back would be in horrible pain as in I vomited many times from the pain. In Colorado they thought I was vomiting from altitude ha!
The first trimester with Mary the pain came back on strong like the worst it ever was and I could now feel something on the outside of my stomach like a small ball. I ended up in the ER in Dallas. It always happens on the weekends when I can't get to my OB. They do a sono to make sure Mary is okay and she is fine. They move the wand to the spot where it hurt and there was a fibroid the size of a baseball. I was so relieved to know I was not crazy and that something was wrong with me. There is nothing they can do cause I am pregnant and it attached to the uterus. However, my dr. thought I was mostly in pain cause it was growing and it should stop once my hormones calm down near the end of the first trimester. The pain went away and I was fine the whole pregnancy.
I see my Dr. in September and he does a sono to see if the fibroid has shrunk which they tend to do after you deliver a baby. It is still large and he wants to removei as do I. We've also met our deductible this year so I really wanted him to remove it! He said it would most likely be "scope" outpatient surgery and I would be fine.
However, last Thursday he told me that things can change and that to be prepared for whatever. I was and totally trust my Dr. and am so thankful for his care. He is wonderful!
I wake up from surgery and am still a little groggy, but he tells me that everything is fine. However, the fibroid was actually a tumor and that it had moved to overtake my ovary. He ended up having to remove the tumor, ovar, and fallopian tube. I still have all the right side, but it was quite and ordeal. I stayed in the hospital for two nights and during this time my bladder would not cooperate do to the trauma of surgery. Let's just say that me and a catheter were very good friends for 5 days!
I've learned so much from this situation, but here are a few!
* I have the best husband ever as he remained calm for me during it all and has been a rock for our family.
* I forgot to mention the tumor was benign! I am so thankful and blessed to not have a malignant tumor.
* I always get regular checkups, but will continue to do so no matter what. I encourage you if you have any doubts about something go ahead and get it checked.
* You must trust, respect, and like your doctor. I moved here not knowing who to choose so I asked a few people from church and come to find out there are tons of Watermark women who go to the practice that I do. He is such a Godly man who uses his gifts to bless others not only in Dallas, but Guatemala as well.
* Family is so important and I am so grateful that Mike's parents were here to watch E and A. My mom flew in this week to help for a week or so.
* Friends are the best. I love my c.g. and playgroup friends so much for their care, prayer, and help! Remember, my sweet Mary has refused the bottle for four months. I thought it would be outpatient and I could feed her shortly after. Well, since it was not I had to wait 24 hours to feed her. My sweet friend watched her for the day cause she had compassion on me as her daughter did not take a bottler. I have another friend who is a lactation consultant at a hospital and she has a baby as well. She offered to "feed" Mary for me and I still can't believe Mary did it twice. She slept all night after as well.
* We haven't told to many people as in posted it on fbook mainly cause we did not want to explain all this to teenagers at church!

The Lord has truly been our strength as a family when things have been chaotic and scary at times. I am so grateful to be healthy and feeling so much better!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Student Ministry Swine Flu PSA

Stick with it to the end, my husband is a carrier monkey!

Friday, October 2, 2009

First Day of School....

Ellie and Anna both started preschool at the beginning of September. They are going to the school that I taught at last year. There is no way I could have taught this year especially since Miss Mary is anti-bottle. Anna is going one day a week and Ellie goes two days a week. They both love it and I love my little break. It has been such a blessing. We love our school, the teachers, and all the sweet families that go there. It is at a local church, but a lot of the students attend Watermark. Anna is in the older 2's class and Ellie is in the older 3's class rather than the 4/5 yr. old class. It has worked out well for Ellie cause she is only 1 month older than the majority of the kids in her class rather than being a full year younger than the other kids. I love my girls and am so glad they have a great preschool to attend.

Mike's Staff Picture...

Every year the student ministry team does a staff picture for the website or promotional items. I really like this years picture although Mike thinks he looks like he can't stop laughing during it. We are so thankful he is a part of such a great team. It really does make a difference that he does not have to do it all like he's had to in the past. They have a new part-time student ministry worship leader from Kentucky. He and his wife have been married for 3 months and moved here without really knowing anyone. It makes me think back to our early seminary days. I know they will end up loving it here and Jarrod is doing an awesome job!

Anna the ballerina....

Anna started "Baby Ballet" this fall at our local parks and rec. center. She was so excited and truly loves it. Her teacher is probably close to 70 years old and has taught there forever! Anna loves to pick out which ballet outfit she will wear every week. She is obsessed with the shoes and often time sleeps in them at nap time. She makes me laugh cause she is such a rule-follower (for other people) and follows every instruction the teacher makes while the other 2 yr. olds are running around! Ellie does not like ballet so much so we are switching her to gymnastics. We love our rec center cause it is close and cheap!

Anna and the potty!

I guess for Anna to go potty she has to pick her nose and hold her blankie! I started potty training Anna about a month ago. I went with the laid back approach. When we were home I let her wear undies and when we went out I put a diaper on her. It's worked really well and this week she's worn undies quite a bit when we go out. I think next week I will try sending her to school and church in undies. She's hilarious about the potty and here are a few of her funny quotes or things she does:
* She always says " I go on the potty train" when she needs to go.
* She insists on wearing underwear over her diaper.
* Her treat of choice was always a skittle.

It will be awhile before I train her at night or naps cause she drinks a ton during the day. However, it felt pretty good to buy our last box of 176 diapers at Sam's the other day in hopes that it would last us for a couple of months!

Ellie at music camp

Ellie attended a music camp at a local church in August. The theme was "Hermie the Caterpillar" and she has seen some of the movies so she was really excited. She loved every minute of it and they had a performance on Friday evening. Anna wants to go next year when she is three. We will sign up for it again next year!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Shelton Swine....

Well, it has been an eventful two weeks to say the least and I am so glad I think I am seeing a light at the end of this very long tunnel. It all started two weeks ago when I had chills, aches, and a high fever one day. I took care of the kids all day during it and just toughed it out. I went to bed really early with some tylenol p.m. and woke up with no fever and feeling much better. However, poor Mary had no milk from her mommy. Whenever, I am sick it tends to wipe out my milk supply. So I tried to feed her and it just wasn't enough. I tried so many different types of bottles, formula, etc.. I even had a friend try and give her a bottle with no success. She basically didn't eat for 7 hours. She knows what she wants that is for sure. I take her to the doctor to make sure nothing is wrong with her. The nurses try to give her a bottle with no luck. Mike just so happened to have a very busy day and leaders meeting so he could not help. We get home from the dr. and I send Ellie and Anna next door for an hour so I could try and feed her in peace. It works and I start a vitamin to help with the supply and it is all much better! It was such a scary day for me that I totally forgot about being sick. I am convinced I had a mild case of the swine flu that day and just couldn't really be sick so I just dealt with it. I go on a girls weekend that weekend and still feel kind of out of it, but had a great time. It is also intresting that none of those girls got the swine from me that weekend :)
I get home on Sunday and by Tuesday evening Mike comes home from community group and has chills, aches, fever etc... He is way worse off than I was and I tell him to go to the doctor to get a swine test. It was positive and they put him on tamiflu. He can now not go to work for 7 days and just feels awful. He was sick till Saturday and pretty much just stayed in his room.
On Friday, I see that Mary has watery eyes, red cheeks, and feels warm. Her temperature was 101.5 so off to the doctor we go. They do a test on her and it is positive. The dr. was very concerned because she is 3 months old. He tells me all the warning signs of when I would need to take her to the hospital. The main thing is that she needs to stay hydrated and avoid major congestion. It also was a little scary when I asked the doctor how old is youngest confirmed case was this year and he replied he'd seen one 11 month old, but Mary was the youngest so far.
She cannot be given tamiflu unless her fever continues for more than 3 days.
Saturday, she does not have a fever, but is incredibly fussy. She didn't want to eat or sleep which was a little scary. She was starting to resist nursing so I take her the ER on Saturday night along with tons of other flu patients. We get there and she is smiling wouldn't you know? We see a nurse in triage and I decide she is fine rather than waiting for countless hours.
Sunday, she is great and starting to see more like herself. Mike is also feeling better by this point. We decide to get out of the house and went to "Big Shucks" our favorite local catfish place. We sit on the patio for all the germaphobes out there! We are the only people on the patio at the time. Ellie and Anna are still abounding with energy and no symptoms. I am so glad that I've already had it cause if we we would have both been sick it would have been really rough.
Monday morning comes and Anna is sitting on the couch. She comes to me with vomit all over her. She is not warm, but I can tell she is a little congested. I had to take Mary back to the doctor for a follow-up visit. Also, her fever has returned along with the watery eyes etc... I'm beginning to get a little discouraged cause she was doing so much better. I figure I might as well get Anna tested as well. We get to the Dr. and we now have a "special" waiting area since they know we have the flu. Anna vomits in the waiting area and poor Mary is not feeling well. Dr. Morchower sees me and says "Oh Gosh". It was like he knew instantly what was about to occur.
He gives me a prescription for Mary of tamiflu and Anna tests positive. We head to the pharmacy with 3 prescriptions cause he goes ahead and puts Ellie on tamiflu as well as a preventative. You have to go to a compounding pharmacy to get liquid tamiflu cause they don't make it except for in pill form. We have a compounding pharmacy really close to our house so it worked out well during all of this ordeal. I give all three girls their meds and at this point Anna feels awful. Her fever is 102.7. She sleeps for 4 hours that afternoon.
I lay down with Ellie and she is a wreck. She is so upset that everyone is sick and that she can't do anything like Preschool, church, playgroup etc... I ask Ellie if she wants to do somehting fun with mommy that night and she says in this super sad voice "you take me to the pumpkin patch"? I took her to dinner that night and to do some errands. We saved the pumpkin patch for when Anna could go as well. They all take a long nap which was glorious!
Mike watches Anna and Mary that night. After, two doses of tamiflu Anna and Mary are doing great! It worked almost instantly. Anna no longer had a fever and was running around. Her swine flu ordeal lasted all of 5 hours. Mary is also doing great.
Ellie has still not gotten it and I think she is in the clear. She's been such a trooper during all of the boredom in spite of not knowing what was really going on. Here's a few things I've learned during this whole ordeal in no particular order.
* I am so glad that our pediatrician is 5 minutes away from our house and how important it is to really like and trust your doctor. He was amazing and told me to call with any questions over the weekend. He also really monitored Mary by seeing her 3 different times just to check her out.
* I've learned that for the most part the body is very resiliant and it is pretty difficult to catch the flu in most cases. Of course, it was easy when we all live together every day. However, no one at my girls weekend caught it and no one in our community group got it even though Mike and I both were contgious when we were around them.
* I am so glad that I am breastfeeding Mary. The Doctor kept reiterating how important it was for her immune system and it was the best thing I could do for her. So even though she's yet to take a bottle and it has been 4 long months of nursing her exclusively I know God had a plan for it.
* I've learned to not live in fear. There was only one point where Mike and I were pretty scared for Mary, but he told me we have to give her up and know that God has ordained her days.
* I learned that having sickness in a family for even 2 weeks is stressful. There was no one who could help us cause they would get it and it was pretty hard to not have any family in town.
* I will not stop my life. My kids will be back in the church nursery and at preschool. Of course, they are immune now except for Ellie, but she must have quite the immune system. I realized how much I missed community and friends. I cannot determine when or where they will get sickness from, but just have to trust that we can handle whatever comes our way.
* I learned that the swine flu was not that bad at all in our situation. I can see how it could get bad really fast especially if you had a cold prior to getting it to where it really went to your lungs.
*One thing that was really a bummer was that it was staggered in our situation. I kept Ellie and Anna home from preschool and church for almost 2 full preschool weeks even though they were not sick just to make sure they didn't carry any of the flu back to school. The Dr. kept telling me if they don't have a fever and are not positive for the test then send them. I just couldn't risk it for other people. Anna will get to go back next Tuesday and Ellie went back today. She was so excited and did great!
* I learned more about compassion. I had one friend who called every day during the whole time we were confined to the house. I knew no one could come see us, but just to have someone to talk to was so encouraging each day. We also had a sweet friend bring us dinner that was so yummy. I was capable of cooking, but just to have a little break and for someone to think of you was really sweet! I want to be more like that with others.

All in all I'm glad it is over and that normal life can resume on Sunday, but we did learn alot through it all. God was so faithful to us and answered many people's prayers to keep sweet Mary healthy. Thanks for all your prayers! Hoping for a healthy rest of the year!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I spoke to soon...

I should not have done my previous post on the swine. Mike got diagnosed with it today. Good times at our house let me tell you! Please, pray that sweet Mary does not get it. He feels really yucky. I feel so bad for him and there is not much I can do in fear of catching it. He got on Tamiflu and hopefully will feel better soon. I guess his busy season just got slowed down in a major way! Thank goodness for Blockbuster as I checked out 3 new movies for the girls!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Swine....

I was with some mom friends recently and we were talking about actually being a little nervous about the swine flu this year. I'm normally not a germaphobe and my kids are rarely sick. I wash their hands, but do not own hand sanitizer and Mary started in the nursery at 4 weeks. I've always taken them to childcare at the gym, preschool, play group, church, etc...with little to no worry. Well, this week I got a pretty high fever, chills, sore throat, etc.. and I googled swine flu symptoms cause I feared the worst. I do not have it and felt better by the next day. However, the spread in our area is pretty scary. I know when it gets to be "flu" season a lot of schools will have to close and a few small children have died in TX. My family never mentions it being talked about much in GA and I don't hear my out of state friends really mentioning it. Most of the children who haved died have been hispanic and TX is about 50% hispanic so I don't know if that has anything to do with it? Anyways, I'm wondering if all my dear friends from NC, CO, FL, etc...are worried about the swine or do you hear it talked about much in your state?

Friday, September 11, 2009

A mess filled morning....

I don't want to forget all my kids messy habits and one day I know I will wish I could clean up their mess when they are away at college and I miss them so much....
They say being a mom is a full-time job, but I think cleaning up all that occurs in our house on a daily basis is a full-time job not to mention all the other things we do during the day:)
Our morning started off okay and then it tends to get a little crazy when we all start getting ready for the day. Their are lots of clothes to put away, jammies, diapers, sippy cups, etc....
Anna can now reach the water dispenser on our fridge. She LOVES to find a plastic cup and fill it up with water. I catch her and she spills the water all over the couch. Ellie then shows me her plastic cup full of ice water and she takes a drink and it spills all over her shirt.
Mary wakes up and I feed her. We both get dressed into clean clothes and she spits up (more like vomits) all over her and all over my clean shirt. It happens all the time so now I just rub it into the carpet, clothing etc....!
I am in the bathroom to come out and both girls have gotten into the fridge to get a drink which is not allowed. They are sitting in a chair with two cans of diet coke opened and now spilling down their shirts and onto the chair. I take them away and put them in separate rooms in time out. I start a timer and they actually stay in their rooms for 10 minutes until the timer went off which was very impressive! We are almost out the door and Anna has an accident on the couch of pee so I clean that one up before we leave...
I call my friend Katrina cause we needed to get out of the house asap and our new meeting spot for lunch is Burger King. I know it is so yummy and exciting, but when you have 5 kids under 4 Chcik fil A is no longer fun. BK never has anyone in the play area and it is easy!
We get to BK and are everyone is doing good until Katrina's daughter Carsen spills almost a whole bottle of chocolate milk all over the floor. We wipe that one off and then discuss for awhile how hard being a SAHM really is right now. I am so thankful for sweet friends who are going through this stage with me. All the kids are asleep now for a nap and I think I need one as well!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Prayers from Anna....

Well, preschool started today and I am not working which is a very good thing since Mary wants nothing to do with the bottle. It is a different feeling on this side of the MDO program. I can now see why the mom's so looked forward to Tuesday's and Thursday's. Ellie is going 2 days a week and Anna is going 1 day a week. Last year, we got into the habit of praying in the car before school mostly cause I needed to calm down from the madness of getting everyone ready and myself to school by 9 A.M. and a calm heart to teach 2 yr. olds all day! The girls quickly remembered on the way to school that we needed to pray. We prayed for Mrs. Elaine and Mrs. Gigi along with every other staff member at our preschool. We then proceeded to pray for all our playgroup friends who are starting school today and their classmates. Anna then said "Mommy, We pray for Tinkerbelle and Cinderella"! We went ahead and prayed for them. She was very sincere and it brought joy to my heart! I had a wonderful morning of doing lots of errands with Mary and then came home to relax/clean a little bit. I think I will really like Tuesday's this year!

Friday, September 4, 2009

She's growing up....

My sweet little Mary is 3 months old today. I love this picture cause don't we all wish we could just hold them like this forever. Life is pretty simple with a little baby. I cannot imagine life without her in our family. In some ways I've kind of forgotten what it was like to just have two girls. She's such a blessing to us and such a reminder to me of how I want to treasure these early days. Here's what Mary is like at 3 months old.
* Most people immediately say she looks just like a Shelton girl. I'm thinking we will be hearing this a lot in the upcoming years.
* Weight 10 lb. 110z. (25%) Height 23 1/2 inches (50%) She may tower over her big sisters someday!
* Mary has a great smile that is really big and she smiles instantly when someone looks at her.
* She does not like the bottle and loves her mommy's milk.
* Mary does well in the church nursery and has been going since she was about 4 weeks old. They all love her and always comment on how petite she is... another comment we hear often!
* Ellie still adores Mary. It is really sweet when she is upset the girls will sing to her or try to comfort her. Ellie and Mary sleep in the same room and it is working really well. It actually helps Ellie to go to sleep knowing that Mary is right next to her.
* Mary loves her crib. She's a tummy sleeper and is pretty much done with the paci. I don't know if she will like her fingers or thumb more. I don't have to do anything to get her to go to sleep.
* Mary DOES NOT like the car seat which can make for some interesting car rides when all three girls are upset. She really does not even want to sit in when we are out somewhere. I have to use the baby bjorn or just hold her when we are out. However, how often am I out with all three girls unless we are with Mike or friends.
* Mary loves a routine and is pretty much a typical "Baby Wise" baby and has followed the routine part really well.
* Mary spits up a lot and Mike loves it when it is on a nice clean shirt:) I've gotten used to it and have gotten pretty good at just rubbing it in to whatever surface it lands on.
* Mary is sleeping 12-14 hours. Everyone should have a third baby to experience this joy! Ha!
* Mary loves to lay on the floor to look around or in her bouncy chair. She does not like the swing very much.
* Mary is quite the little baby doll for Ellie and Anna. They love to put dress up stuff on her like sunglasses, crowns, shoes, and necklaces. She also has been through a lot in her first 3 months and I've learned that she is pretty tough. Anna accidentally stepped on her head. She's always getting her arms pulled or her feet. They love to blow bubbles on her tummy. She does love it and I'm just enjoying the days where I don't have three girls fighting over the same toy!

We love our sweet little girl so much and are so blessed with three uniquely different little girls. I really cannot picture our house when they are older, but that it will be full of all kind of different personalities! What a gift our children are from God.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


We have quite the interesting conversations some day. Today, we were riding in the van which my friend Caren has nicknamed her van the FUV (Family Utility Vehicle). I think I could agree that it has many great things for our family! Here's the conversation:
Ellie: "Oh my gosh, that is the most ammmmaaaazzzing car" as a convertible drives by.
Ellie: That's what my daddy would say!

It is so true and reminded me that they really do pick up on everything we say which can be very scary sometimes.

I cut Anna's hair today cause she's yet to enjoy a trip to a kids salon. She pretty much would not allow it! I have to put her in the high chair with a lollipop and Barney on T.V. for it to really work. She sat pretty still and even let me dry it. It looks so much better and even though it is not totally even it will work.
She was very proud of her hair cut and the first thing she asked me was "I go show my hair to Mrs. Horn" . She is Anna's ballet teacher and her first class was yesterday. She's totally obsessed with ballet and has been since last spring when she would have to sit and watch during Ellie's class. She wears the outfit constantly and sleeps with her ballet shoes. I was a little nervous about signing her up cause almost everywhere I drop her off at lately she cries and gets scared. She told me " I be brave and happy at ballet class"
She was soooo happy yesterday. Mike took her cause I had something and he said she obeyed perfectly and came out with the biggest grin. She has continued to talk about it all day and apparently next week we will show Mrs. Horn her hair!
Anna also is very into a routine lately when it comes to bedtime. We now tell Jonah and David every nap/night time. She can repeat the story completely and it is so cute.
I love my girls so much and for the record sweet Mary slept almost 14 hours last night!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ellie's 4 yr. stats....

I took Ellie to the dreaded 4 yr. appointment last week and she endured her 4 shots. They were not to bad and she was really brave. She really enjoyed the sticker and band-aids she received.
Her weight was 28 lbs. (0-5%)
Height was 10-25%

She sure is a big girl.....I'm thinking she might hit 35 by Kindergarten (maybe)! It is a really good thing she will start when she is 6.

Life with two...

Ellie has been quite the traveler this summer. She went to my parents house for 2 weeks and this week she got to go to Mike's parents house for a week. She loves every minute of it and there is no homesickness from her. She loves the attention and all the fun things she has gotten to do. There is quite a bit more you can do with one 4 yr. old than a 4 yr. old, 2 1/2 yr. old, and 2 month old!
Anna has gotten to have a pretty fun week as well. I've loved this one on one time with her. I forget how sweet my girls can be when they are alone. They are sweet together sometimes, but we have lots of fights and arguments over sharing etc... during our day. I don't think I've had to really discipline Anna all week and it has been so nice. She sure does miss her sister so I know it will be nice for them to play together when Ellie returns tomorrow! Mimi has done so many fun things with Ellie like swimming at the indoor pool, museums, story time, cupcakes, ice cream man, book store, books, singing songs in the car, seeing relatives, and open gym at a gymnastics place. I am so thankful for our sweet grandparents and for the mini-break I've gotten this week! Yes, when you have 3 children when you only have 2 it is a significant change!

Anna and I have been working on P.T. . I've kind of approached it with a laid-back approach and she is doing great. When we are at home she is not in a diaper and when we go out I make her wear one. She's done it a couple of times unprompted and had just a few accidents. I'm so proud of her!
Today, we went with our playgroup to a children's museum. She had a really good time and enjoyed the "farm" area the most. It was kind of our end of the summer activity for the kids. Next week lots of activities start back. Anna's dream occurred this week when I registered her for ballet class at our city rec center. She pretty much requests to be in ballet attire all day long. I told her she had to be brave and not cry when she went to the class by herself. She told me "mommy, I be happy and not cry". We will see on Tuesday when her class starts.
Anyways, I'm excited to see my sweet Ellie tomorrow, but am so glad she's gotten to have so much fun!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Miss Mary.....

When we were in FL with my family we did the traditional family pictures on the beach. 296 pictures to be exact!! I am so glad we were able to capture Mary in her newborn phase. There are so many other good ones of the girls that we are not quite sure what we are going to do with all of them yet. We had to be at the beach by 6:30 A.M. that was sure fun, but the morning time ended up being great cause it wasn't to hot and there were no bugs!
Mary is now 10 weeks old and is precious. I was wondering how I would even have time to enjoy her, but I must say on the third baby I think you realize the baby time is so short. I have loved having a "baby" in the house and it just so happens that she is pretty easy!
It seems like each week she would add another hour to how long she sleeps at night. This past week we've had quite a few 10-11 hour stretches. She loves her crib and does not love her car seat so we seem to try and take most naps at home. Ellie is still very much in love with her. I thought maybe it was a phase, but she is still very into her. They are actually sharing a room at night since Anna crawled out of the crib and we only have one twin bed in Ellie's old room.

Mary weighed 9 lb. 11 0z. at her two month appointment so she is a little bigger than the other girls at that point. We will see if she starts to slow down like they did. Ellie goes to her 4 yr. apptmt. tomorrow. It will be interesting how that goes. I haven't told her anything about it cause I don't want her to get upset before we have to get there!!
Mike has been at "Lake Day" with the staff from Watermark. He said it was so fun. They go away for a day once a year to just play at the lake and go to someone's lake house. We stop each other often and remember how blessed we are to serve at Watermark. It is one incredible place to be for so many reasons!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ellie's FOUR!

Sweet Sisters

Ellie and her Backyardigans Cake

Mike got to hold Mary all night; a HUGE help!

Ava, Mary, and Milia; all 3 weeks apart!

Big Sisters and Little Sisters