Welcome to our Blog! Here you'll read mostly about my kids and my adventures in motherhood, along with what the Lord is teaching me at the moment....Thanks for sharing this journey with us!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

We spent Thanksgiving this year with Justin's family out in Riverside.  It was your typical Thanksgiving...lots of family, football, and food.  The girls had fun playing all day and being doted on by the family.  We have so much to be thankful for this year.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Love, The Blythes

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Week Three Acts of Kindess

Day One:  I brought my friend and co worker a Starbucks coffee to work.  As teachers, we LOVE our coffee!

Day Two: A family from our adult fellowship group was going through a tough time.  The man of the house was about to undergo major surgery so I brought them a meal.

Day Three: We were approached by a homeless man in the Toys R Us parking lot, so I gave him the compassion bag I made that I was keeping in my car.  I also installed two of our three carseats for my husband.  Installing carseats is such a pain to him and he hates it, so I did it for him.

Day Four: My in laws came out for the day and helped me to begin packing up our house.   I didn't get to do an act of kindness, because they were showering me with their acts of kindness.

Day Five: I installed the final carseat in my husband's car and cleaned it out as well.

Day Six: Made two big pans of homemade stuffing for our adult fellowship group's Thanksgiving Feast.

Day Seven: Today I really got blessed by my best friend.  She was so kind to me, that instead of blessing someone else today, she showered me with blessings.  I'm really grateful...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Week Two Acts of Kindness

The second week of this challenge has proved to be another successful week!  I'm really loving it!

Day One: Today I took the time to write a sweet card to one of my dearest and treasured friends. She's the kind of friend that you count yourself blessed to have in your life. She has been there for me in everything and I just love her and wanted to take the time to tell her.

Day Two:  Addie and I went through all of her beloved dress ups (those of you who know her know how much she LOVES to dress up) and picked out three that she was willing to give away to someone that doesn't have a lot of dress ups.  We've got someone on mind, but I don't want to give it away till we give it to the little girl we picked.

Day Three:  This one is private...just not something I think should be shared out in the blog world.  :)

Day Four:  My hubby came home after working a 12 hour day and his feet were killing him.  So I offered him a foot rub.  I sat and rubbed his feet for a good 1/2 hour.  I KNOW he really enjoyed this particular act of kindness.  :)

Day Five:  I packed up a "Compassion Bag".  I got this idea off of pinterest.  It's a bag of stuff that a homeless person might want/need.  It's got stuff in it like water, food, soap, toothpaste, deodorant, anti bacterial gel, some cough drops, cookies, wipes, some pain reliever, etc.  It's in a big zip-lock bag and we're gonna keep it in our car and when we come across a homeless person asking for money, we're going to give it to him/her.  We wrote God Loves You on it.  I also brought the trash cans in for my hubby...for him that was a MAJOR act of kindness.  ;)

Day Six: I made dinner for my best friend and her husband.  Her husband is a former chef and makes us the most amazing food all the time.  So I wanted to repay the favor and make him a yummy meal that required no work on his part!

Day Seven: I brought my husband dinner at work.  We were going somewhere after he got off work, and he wouldn't have had time to eat, so I got to his work early with food so he'd get a chance to eat.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Week One of Acts of Kindness

Okay, so I started out of the gate....pretty slow... :(   I was all pumped to begin my 30 days of intentional acts of kindness and my first day I was only able to do one small thing.  So, after giving myself a stern talking to, I picked myself up and told myself to do better.  I think I have!  Here's my first week of "kindness"

Day 1: Made copies of students readers and had them assembled for my whole grade level team.

Day 2: Addie and I made a Thank You card for her Awana Cubbies leader, Miss Heather

Day 3: (Got a few in this day) Ran to Sonic and bought Justin and my mom each a Route 44 drink and brought it to both of them.  Also made dinner for my parents and my cousins Chris and Sara and dropped it off at their houses.

Day 4: Today was another day of helping my mom.  She pulled something in her back and has been struggling.  So I made dinner again for her and my dad, and went to her house and did her dishes and folded some laundry. 

Day 5: We went shopping to fill up two boxes that our church is passing out to give to needy families for Thanksgiving.  So we went and bought all the stuff on the list and we are going to be dropping off the boxes next time we're at church. 

Day 6: Today we baked chocolate chip cookies for Daddy, but also for our amazing neighbors Lauren and David.  We are so sad that we only met them a year ago!  We've lived a few houses down from them for years and have missed out on having this amazing couple in our lives, so we thought we'd show them some love by bringing them cookies.

Day 7: Justin and I are starting up another round of the grief group we run, Empty Arms.  Tonight was the first night.  We were meeting at our church, so I decided to run to Starbucks and bought a "traveler", which is a box of coffee (I got decaf since the meeting was at night) and also brought along a plate of the cookies I had made the day before.  Just wanted everyone to feel comfortable.  It's such a difficult thing to go through and difficult decision to make to join the group.

So...that's our first week!  I'm really loving this!  I'm loving that each day it's putting my mind on how I can serve others instead of worrying about myself.  Again, if anyone has any ideas for me for the next few weeks, I'd love to hear them!  Oh, and btw, I'm thankful for YOU!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bath Time

Justin and I are just elated that Brynn is old enough for the girls to get to take baths together.  No more splitting it up, one in the tub, the other in the sink.  We can get them both in and washed and ready for bed at the same time. Now when I say "we" I really mean "Justin".  What an amazing husband and daddy he is!  He takes on bath time EVERY SINGLE NIGHT!  Yep, it's not even a "Hon, can you bath the girls tonight, pleeeeeeese".  It's just a given....and this mama is thankful!  So thanks honey, you're the best and I love you!!

Oh, couldn't resist, here's a pic of the girls in the bath...don't you just love this kind of photo!

Addison's Halloween Dance

Addie is at a new dance school, The Hart Academy. She LOVES it! And so do I! I feel like she's learning so much more than she did at her last class. This is a cute little Halloween dance that her teacher taught them this day and then they performed it for the parents. Click HERE to see the video!

**The reason she makes a scary face at the end is that they had to make a monster face and that is what she came up with!)

Car Washing is FUN!

Justin decided that he wanted to give the car a real good wash. I was all for it and sent Addie outside to join him! The car got good and clean....

Then it went from washing the car, to pure joy and water play. Brynn got in on the action too! Addie was skipping around pretending to be the Water Princess and it was great to see the kids just outside, playing, and enjoying being kids. I guess there are advantages to Fall in So Cal!

I LOVE this shot!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

30 Days of Intentional Acts of Kindness


There is a blog that I follow called "I Can Teach My Child". I feel like this blog is a GREAT find! I could surf it for hours! Since I'm still sure about the idea of putting Addie and Brynn into preschool, since I'm sacrificing so much to be home with them part time, I feel like this is a great resource for me to do lots of teaching at home! Anyway, I'm spinning off topic.

The real reason for this post is that I"m inspired by something going on over at this blog. They are doing something for the month of November called "30 Days of Intentional Acts of Kindness". It's an activity that you can do with your kiddos in order to help instill of giving heart...a Christ-like heart.

We are supposed to make a list for the first seven days. Here is what I have so far:

1. Pay for the someone's Starbucks in the car behind me in the drive thru.

2. Bake cookies and leave them on some of our neighbors front porch.

3. Having a "King Daddy" night for daddy when he comes home. (We do this already from time to time, but I think this is the perfect month to be sure we get one in!)

4. Collect some toys that the kids don't play with anymore and go down and donate them to the local good will.

5. Send and "snail mail" a card to a friend...just because. It's so fun to get real mail now a days.

6. Make an extra portion of dinner one night and drop it off at my parent's house to give my mom the night off.

7. Cut some of our roses in the backyard and give them to someone.

Okay so that's all I have so far....I would LOVE if you have any suggestions...or I'd love it if you want to do this with us!  We are gonna try and put on a giving and selfless attitude during this month of Thanksgiving, all to honor our Lord!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Five Years Ago...

As I sit and look out the window on this gloomy October day, I'm glad that the weather outside reflects a bit of how my heart is feeling.  Today my son would be Five.  Wow!  I can hardly believe that as I write it.  We've missed so much these five years.  Five years worth of birthdays, giggles, skinned knees, "I love yous", prayers, Christmas', Halloween costumes, family dinners, and so much more.  It feels more real today because today is a day that I can't just go about my day and put it to the back of my mind.  Today is a day that the busyness of my life as a mom, wife, and teacher isn't more important.  Today is a day when I'm forced to face the reality of what happened these years ago.  How is it that it can feel so long ago and yet also feel like yesterday, all at the same time? 

It's not to say that I haven't learned and grown in these five years.  I truly have!  God has taken me on quite the journey.  When I held my precious baby in my arms, while I watched the heart monitor slowly drop down to zero and I knew that the life that I had carried for those 9 months was gone forever, I really thought I had died too.  I was sure that I would not survive this.  I was sure that no one was meant to survive something like this....and let's be real...it was a pretty dark year that followed.  A dark year full of deep unspeakable sadness, grief, anger, strained relationships, and disappointment.  I know Justin thought he has lost his wife forever...but then it's true what they say...it's darkest right before the dawn.  I worked through all those feelings that year.  I felt them all and let them wash over me.  I let God take on my anger and sadness and I learned about the strength that only He can give.  I learned that when your heart breaks the way mine did five years ago...it can be restored.  Our God is a God of healing and restoration.  He is a God who fulfills his promises.  He is a God of rainbows. 

As I reflect about that time, I am thankful for the people the Lord put in my life that walked along side us through it all.  The family that loved me entirely, even when my grief was hard to take.  My friends who made meals, came over to teach me how to crochet, who sat on the couch with me and just let the tears pour from my eyes, came and did laundry for us, friends and family who scanned stores and restaurants to be sure we didn't walk down the baby isles or sit next to a baby.  My parents who moved in with us while their house was being redone, partly to be sure I was taken care. A therapist who walked the journey with me, helping me to process all that we'd been through.   A grief group full of other hurting mommies and daddies that I was able to bond with and find peace with.  People who came to the cemetery with me, or bought us keepsakes with his name on them.  People who let me talk about Peyton and didn't act uncomfortable when I did.  All of these people were the hands and feet of Christ for us...and you all know who you are.  You helped me to heal so that I could  be the mommy I was meant to be to my two precious girls.  You gave them the gift of a "whole" mommy, not a broken, sad one.  What these people did for us is irreplaceable.  Something far greater than all the money in the world.  We were and are so blessed....

So even though today is sad and makes me miss Peyton, I am thankful that I had the two short hours with him.  I loved him a lifetime during those moments.  I praise God that I have the promise of eternity with him...that my goodbye was not forever...that someday I'll be Home, and I'll finally get to wrap my arms around him and tell him how much I love him....Until then, I'll just remember him and keep on loving his sisters and daddy and do my best to honor his precious life.

Peyton Cread Blythe October 20, 2006

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

Nothing says Pumpkin Patch and Fall like 95 degree weather! So...as you will see, on our family outing to the Irvine Park and Pumpkin Patch, we are all "glistening"...A LOT! Nevertheless, we had a really good time. We rode the train, went through the hay maze several times, jumped in the bounce house, had a picnic, and picked out a pumpkin. These are the stuff memories are made of!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Abigail Raja McCulloch

We have been waiting for what seems like FOREVER for this sweet precious baby to come into our family.  My cousin Chris and his wife Sara welcomed baby Abigail Raja McCulloch into the world on September 25, 2011.  She weighed 6 lbs. 12 oz. and was 18 in long.  I am so impressed with how my cousin labored!  She did it all without any drugs! (A better woman than I!).  Here are a few pictures from the hospital...

Auntie Bobbie (Me) with Abigail
Yawning...isn't that the best!
Her close up
Auntie Apryl (my mom) with Abby
Addie holding two day old Abby

To see Addie holding her cousin for the first time CLICK HERE!

Friday, September 16, 2011

We had our first day of Mommy and Me preschool! It was a bit hectic, not gonna lie, but we had a good time! Brynn came with us and was a trooper. She had to skip her nap for the event and for the most part didn't put up too much of a fight. It didn't help that BOTH girls woke up with runny noses today too. UGH! I was really impressed at how Addie (and her best bud Ava) did in class. She was able to do all the activities and recognized the letter they were working on, which was A, because we've been going over A at home. Her teacher, Miss Martha, is super nice. It's a bit crowded, and there were a few big time "criers", but Addie didn't seem to notice. She was too involved in all that "school" has to offer.

She traced an apple, we cut it out, and then painted it red.

Here she is cutting.  She was doing really well at trying to cut between the lines.  She had never really spent time cutting before today and picked it up like a champ.  In fact, it was her favorite station!

Here we're working on the letter A.  We traced it, and colored pictures and then cut them out and glued them.  I was teaching her my little saying I tell my students when working with glue..."A dot is A LOT"...otherwise they'll squeeze the whole bottle!

Here she's working with stringing buttons onto a shoe lace.  She's a master at this, thanks to Nana, who has beads for her to work with at her house.

This is circle time.  Here they sing and listen to a Read Aloud story.  Again, she was great!  She kept her legs Criss Cross Applesauce and paid attention!  To her left is her good friend Ava.  We're so excited to be in class with her!

Here Addie is working on her fine motor skills by putting keys onto a key ring.  She was also counting all her keys, so it was a good center for her.

All in all, it was a great day. Now this mommy is just hoping that after all that hard work at school...Addie will actually take a NAP! Here's hoping!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Baking with Nana

My mom has always been a baker.  She's a mighty fine one at that!  Growing up she would let me help bake the pies with her and now she's letting Addie do it.  Here is Addie putting the milk wash on the top layer of the crust.

Then the tradition when I was a kid was that my mom always had extra pie crust.  So she would bake it with cinnamon and sugar and it was my treat when we were done baking.  I LOVED THIS!  Now Addie got to do this with my mom...

 After helping with the pie, it was time to roll out the extra dough
 Next you butter it....
 Then comes the left over juices from your apples, cinnamon, and sugar...
 Then she "sprinkled" (more like poured) cinnamon and sugar...
 Roll it....
 Poke it....
 Then Bake it!  Now there should be a cool picture of the finished product, but I had to go nurse Brynn, and my mom and Addie jumped into it before I was done.
 Here she is with her delicous treat!  It was sooooo good!!!

School For Addison

So now that I'm teaching Kindergarten, Justin and I talked about it and we thought it'd be a good idea to bring some of what I do in my classroom home for Addie to start working on. Since she's not in Preschool, we thought this would be a good way to start teaching her some basic skills. She's doing well! Here is what she did with me a few days ago....

Sorry for the side pic....

Not bad for my three year old. Mommy did help a little but I'm impressed!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Papa and Ice Cream

So my dad, aka "Papa", LOVES ice cream. It's something he eats pretty much every night of his life. Therefore he likes to share this love of creamy goodness with his grandkids. He just loves taking Addie out for ice cream and her favorite flavor is "Cotton Candy" from Rite Aid. She calls it the Cotton Candy Store. My mom was out of town last week so we called Papa to see if he wanted to spend some time with his girls! He was more than happy to come and take us out for ice cream, and really excited to introduce Brynn to this tradition for the first time.
Here, he's pointing out the different flavors to his girls.

Big shock...Addie got Cotton Candy (which is bright purple and blue!  UGH!).
Brynn was contemplating which flavor she and Papa should share.
They decided on Bing Cherry.  Here is her first bite.
MMMM....enjoying it together!
Addie just copped a squat right outside and started to dig in!
Yep, it got everywhere...this is pretty mild still!  She got really messy!!!!!!
All in all it was a great way to end a summer evening and another wonderful "Papa" memory for my girls to bank in their hearts.  We love Papa!!