Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Last swim lesson

Today was Lana's last swim lesson.  She did so well, and really enjoyed her time at lessons twice a week.  

She has mastered jumping in, and swimming with flotation all the way down the lane.

I had hoped she would be swimming independently by the end of this round of swimming lessons, and was a little disappointed at the slow pace her class moved at.  I think she was ready for more.  In any event, she loved getting in the water, and wasn't a bit afraid, so they were definitely successful!

Life with Lana today (3 years, 11 months)


This is the last Life with Lana that I'll write while my daughter is a 3 year old.  One month from now, she will turn 4 years old!  How can this have happened?  It seems like just yesterday that I was holding her in the hospital for the first time, feeding her in the wee hours of the morning, changing those itty bitty  diapers.  It has truly been one of the greatest pleasures of my life to watch my precious Allana Marie grow.  She is, without a doubt, my sidekick.

Here are some of my favorite things that my THREE year old is doing now:

Her favorite cartoon this month is Max and Ruby - I have mixed feelings about this, but watch this hilarious video of her doing the Hippity Hop dance that she learned from their cartoon. 



Every single day of this summer, she has dressed up in what she calls her "Mommy" outfit.  This always includes a tank top, shorts or a skirt, flip flops, earrings, necklace, rings, and a crown (aka headband).  



She is so incredible with her brother.  She feeds him, talks to him, plays with him, makes him laugh harder than anyone else can, looks out for him....every day is such a sweet adventure with these two.  Can you see the adoration in his face in this last picture?  Tucker thinks big sis hung the moon.


My girl is such a reader!  I love this more than I can say.  Her favorites right now are Froggy Learns to Swim, Mouse Paint, and SkippyJon Jones.


She loves the water, and is so proud of herself swimming underwater!  She is finishing up swim lessons at the Y, and doing well.  She still can't swim independently - I wish we could have kept up her swim lessons through the winter, for she would surely have been ready to swim by this summer.  She is confident, though - not afraid of the water, and willing to try whatever her instructor asks.  



She is just like her Daddy - must have sunglasses on when it's bright outside.



She is so creative!  Here she's filling up a bucket and putting minnows in it.  She made up an elaborate story about how the minnows became a family, and all their adventures.  Everything in life these days is something to be imagined and pretended - she'll often talk to herself while riding in the car, making up stories about things she sees out the window.  Oh, the teacher in me LOVES this!!  When she begins to read and write, this little girl will be a marvel of creativity.



Her favorite pretend game of all time is "Family." Dan was the daddy (duh), she was the Mommy (as usual), and I was the daughter.  Tucker was the baby, of course, and he was sleeping.  She orchestrates everything we do when we play this game: in this picture, we are in the car going to the grocery store - do you see her purse?  And I'm in the backseat because "kids always have to ride behind the Mommy and Daddy."  Playing family isn't always the most exciting game, but it really is cool to see how she perceives the interactions of our family.



We are joyfully watching the Lord give Lana good gifts....two very clear gifts she has are of hospitality and mercy.  This picture captures Lana at her happiest - surrounded by her friends from small group.  I'm telling you, this girl loves to have people in our home.  Every single day, no exception, she asks us to invite one family or another over for lunch, dinner, fishing, etc.  I have no idea what brings these people to mind for her, but we try more often than not to honor her requests.  She LOVES playing hostess, and is learning more every day how to care for her guests: considering their wants more important than her own, serving them first, making sure they are having a good time, etc.

And mercy - she has this in abundance, learned at her father's knee!  Dan has a strong gift of mercy - he is just compassionate beyond measure, and that fruit of the Spirit is manifesting itself in his daughter's life.  This weekend, we had some friends over, and one of the little girls fell and scraped her knee.  Lana immediately dashed inside, and returned a few minutes later with two of her favorite kinds of bandaids and some antibiotic ointment.  As the little girl sat in her mother's lap, Lana cleaned off her knees, and put on the ointment and band-aids.  She was so tender and concerned for her friend that it nearly brought this mama to tears.  I can only imagine how the Lord will use that gift in her life!

Speaking of the Lord working in her, Lana has been asking wonderful questions lately.  As we have been going through catechism with her, and she is learning the building blocks of our faith, we know that she's absorbing it, because she's asking questions like "I'm a sinner, so I need a Savior, don't I?" and "Am I saved?" and "How do I get to heaven so I can know God?" and so on.  It is a precious time of pouring Truth into her heart, and she is soaking it up.  

Lana, I am humbled at the privilege to be your mommy.  You are a joy to me in more ways than I can tell you.  Laughing with you as we do the "Dinosaur Boogie" together and making up nicknames for each other (Loodle!) and reading books together and cooking together and doing chores together....these things are the highlight of my days.  Thank you for the utter warmth and happiness you bring to our home - Team Davis would be incomplete with you.  

My prayer for you, as you head ever closer to turning 4, is that you may love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and soul and strength, and that you will love your neighbor as yourself - all to the glory of God.  

Numbers 6:24-26
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
And be gracious to you;
The Lord turn His face toward you,
And give you peace.




Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sweet summer nights














And for old times' sake, a picture of Lana enjoying watermelon when she was not too much older than Tucker is now:



Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday Meditations

Proverbs 18:21
"The tongue has the power of life and death."

Psalm 139:4 
"Before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely, o Lord."

Proverbs 10:19
"When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise."

Proverbs 12:18
"Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."

Proverbs 21:23
"He who guards his mouth, guards his life."

Proverbs 31:26
"[The wise woman] speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue."

James 1:26
"If anyone considers himself religious and does not keep a tight reign on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless."

James 3:6
"The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body.  It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell."

I Peter 3:10
"Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from lies and his lips from deceitful speech."


shared by my friend Beverly:
Lord, keep me from the fatal habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. 
Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs. 
Make me thoughtful but not moody, helpful but not bossy. 
Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.
Keep me reasonably sweet, 
for a sour person is one of the crowning works of the devil. 
Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people, and give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

"Clone of a Cinnabon" cinnamon rolls

Clone of a Cinnabon 
(adapted from www.allrecipes.com)


Ingredients:

Dough:
1 cup warm milk (110 degrees)
2 eggs, room temp
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
4.5 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2.5 tsp bread machine yeast

Filling:
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2.5 Tbs ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened

Frosting:
1 (3 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup butter, softly melted
1.5 cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt

Directions:
  1. If you are using a bread machine: Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer.  Select dough cycle; press Start.
  2. If you do not have a bread machine: Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a large bowl. Mix in the sugar, margarine, salt, and eggs. Add flour and mix well. Knead the dough into a large ball, using your hands dusted lightly with flour. Put in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Then pick up with rolling out the dough.
  3. When dough is ready, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.  Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.  In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
  4. Roll dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle.  Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with cinnamon/sugar mixture.  Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls.  (If you are making these the night before to bake in the morning, cover pan and put in fridge.  Tomorrow morning, you'll put the pan out on the counter and let it warm to room temperature, then bake as directed.)
  5. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan.  Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes.  
  7. While rolls are baking, beat together frosting ingredients.
  8. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.



Nap mat

In the course of the sleepover last night, Lana pulled out the nap mat that her Aunt Mackenzie and Nana made for her and wanted to sleep on it.


It is a mat with an attached pillow (that can be removed for washing) and blanket.  Lana loves it!  

Check out Mats by Mac on facebook if you think your little would like one of these!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

While the daddies were away...

the mommies and the kids played!!

Larry is one of the men that went camping with Dan.  Larry's wife Stephanie, and their two girls Anna Kate (5) and Abby (2) came and had a sleepover with us.  (Although calling it a sleepover is misleading.  There was very little sleeping.)  Lana was THRILLED - every day for a week, she asked if it was the camping day!

Can you imagine the fun we had?!  Two mama's who love each other to bits, 3 girls who are stairsteps in age, and one adorable little boy - it was a recipe for fun!
(Click on any picture to make it larger.)

There were makeovers all around:

swinging

watching fireflies

baths

and bed:
Yeah, right!!!  We laughed so much in the next two hours as these girls didn't sleep.  We tried every different configuration, and were unsuccessful in finally at 11:00 p.m. I moved Lana to my bed, Anna Kate moved down to Lana's bed, and they finally went to sleep!  What fun memories we all made!  

These pictures don't even show the homemade pizza we had for dinner, the popsicles the girls ate, the fun they had playing in the rock table and digging in the sand and dressing up - oh my, the dressing up!  Thanks, Stephanie, for bringing 3/4 of Team Lyon over to make our night so much fun!


Father's Day camping trip


(Josh, Benjamin, Rob, Larry, Dan, Hugh)


Last night, Dan went camping with 5 of his closest friends in NC!  For Father's Day, the six of us wives decided to send them on a one-night camping trip to Falls Lake.  We worked SO hard to keep this a surprise and do it RIGHT!!  We bought them fishing licenses, made arrangements for them to have a canoe and a bass boat, planned their meals, bought groceries, borrowed camping gear - the works!  We treated them to really good food....steaks fresh from the butcher for dinner with baked beans and potatoes, smores for dessert, bacon and eggs for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and scores of homemade treats from their wives!


Dan had the great idea to borrow a tube from our friends Matt & Kristen (they are so generous!), and it turned out to be the hit of the trip.  These videos of Dan and Larry are hilarious, and earned Dan the title of "SpiderMan."
Video 1
Video 2
Video 3  (This one is my personal favorite!)

I'm so glad that Dan was able to take a full 24 hours away from the responsibilities and pressures of home to just enjoy himself and time with his friends.

I sent the camera with him, and he did a great job of taking pictures!  Here are a few from their camp out.

(Click on any picture to enlarge it.)



Looking at these pictures, I am overwhelmed with gratitude that my husband is surrounded by such godly men.  I know, because I see the fruit of it, that each of these men sharpen Dan, that they cause him to want to be more like Christ.  Just so, so thankful.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Redneck pack and play

When I put the pictures from my camera onto my computer, I realized that I put my children in laundry baskets and hampers far too often.  These are just the pictures I've taken of them in the past week.  

It works, though.  I need Tucker contained for just a minute while I pull dinner out of the oven or put the clothes in the dryer or use the bathroom, for heavens' sake - the laundry basket is always right there, he thought it was fun, his sister even joined him sometimes.  Perfect.  Except kind of redneck.

I guess you can take the girl out of Alabama, but you can't take Alabama out of the girl.


I finally gave in and set up the real pack and play to contain him: