Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy 40th Birthday, Ken!

Blessed By You

You've dreaded this day for quite awhile
Though most see only a convincing smile

At forty years old, you look to find
A moment to which, you could rewind

Hiking, skiing, climbing, biking
All hobbies you found quite to your liking

An abundance of time and energy plenty
Days of play and a tank with no empty

Now here you are, no more days of glory
Those times a memory, simply a story

This is what you see when you look at you
But I want you to see it from my point of view

I see a man who has come so far
Though your journey is not without scars

Through battles lost and trials you've come
The ones that count, you've certainly won

When trials come, you consistently prove
Your character strong, your loyalty true

A servant's heart without any doubt
A willing spirit, there to help out

No hour to late, no cause too small
A best friend to me and good friend to all

On top of all this, with all that I have
My girls are blessed with the very best dad

Who always make time at the end of the day
For tea, princesses, and make-believe play

These little girls who today you carry
I can only pray one day will marry

A kind and honest and loving man
That can hold their hearts like Daddy can

Through hard times, we've recently come
I've learned many lessons, here is just one:

When times are tough and push come to shove
You do what you must for the ones that you love

I know you feel different on the inside
But I cannot help but be filled with pride

Witnessing to others, of the storm we've been through
I tell your story, of all that you do

Though you've been humbled and your faith has been tried
You have found a way to always provide

So I take this opportunity today
To tell you things I don't often say

I am a woman who is truly blessed
With a husband who loves me and does possess

Fruits of the spirit and a heart that is kind
Things in a man that are difficult to find

So as you look back over forty Decembers
These are some things I hope you remember

When life isn't what you want it to be
Please keep in mind, you're the man of my dreams

I love you, Ken. I am blessed to share my life with you. Love, Theresa

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall Fest

Last night was our Fall Fest at church. Ashlyn was dressed up as the princess from Princess and the Pauper and Kenley was a pirate. This was Ashlyn's first time to have her hair done and wear makeup. She was really excited to get all "girlied up". The girls were able to play games, do a cake walk (which they both won), jump in the bounce house, and go on a hayride. Kenley loved the hayride! Here are the pics of our sweet girls.

Pumpkin Patch

We had a break in the rain last week and decided to take the girls to a pumpkin patch that Shelly told us about. At the last minute, Ashlyn's friend decided that he would join us on our little trip. The ground was still super wet and yucky, but we still had a blast. Great free family fun!

Jake and Ashlyn in the pumpkin house

Kenley pulling the wagon
Playing on the haystack
Sweet Ashlyn
Witch Ashlyn
Witch Kenley
Scarecrow Daddy
Mommy and Kenley
Ashlyn with Ariel
Ashlyn in the hay maze
Not too excited about this picture

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Sweetest Thing

There are moments in the lives of my girls that I never want to forget. I wish I could bottle their voices and these moments and hold them with me forever. I had one of those moments today with Ashlyn. Here is the story:

Many of you know that I clip coupons. Every Saturday I get an early edition Sunday paper and clip coupons for grocery shopping on Sunday. There have been several times that Ashlyn wants to help me clip coupons so she gets her scissors and cuts up all of the ads that I am finished with. It is very cute to watch her "help" me. She has asked me before why I clip coupons, to which I answer, "It helps Mommy and Daddy save money on groceries because it makes the groceries cheaper." That is the first part of the story.

Many of you also know that Ashlyn LOVES to dance. The kid dances and sings to everything. She is constantly dressing up and pretending that she is a ballerina and shows everyone how she can dance on her tippy toes just like a real ballerina. That is the second part of the story.

Many of you know that Ken has been looking for a job for several months now. Times have been a little difficult around here lately and we have had to tighten up the budget quite a bit in order to get through this storm of being without income. I had wanted to put Ashlyn in a dance class this year, but because of our situation, we decided that we would wait. So she has held her own "dance class" upstairs almost every single night in her playroom. After her bath, she goes into the playroom and plays the "Music Box Dance" demo on her keyboard and twirls around the room. She regularly insists that she can't go to bed until she has her dance class. It is quite difficult to tell her no. That is the third part of the story.

Here is the last part of the story that melts my heart. Ashlyn came home from school today with her folder in her backpack just like every other day. And just like every other day, I took her folder out to see the things that she made and what she learned about at school. But today I found this tucked in her folder in between her other paperwork.

I asked her what it was and her reply was, "Oh! That is my coupon that I clipped today at school! I brought it home for you so that you could use it and I can take ballet class!" The excitement in her little voice was uncontainable. Apparently, while she was cutting things out of a magazine for another project, she spotted this and saw it as an opportunity to save our family money. She was clearly so proud that she had found and clipped this "coupon" by herself. I just wanted to melt when she told me about it.
Well, Daddy has another first interview with a company tomorrow afternoon. We are praying that God will provide him with something soon and that it will be obvious to us the direction that He wants us to go. So tonight, before Ashlyn's prayers, I told her that as soon as Daddy gets a job, we will sign her up for a ballet class. She showed me again how she can already dance on her tippy toes just like a real ballerina. Her innocence makes me smile. Her joy for life makes me want to be more joyful. Her sweet heart melts mine.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Ashlyn's Build-A-Bear Date

As most of you know, Ashlyn started using a Thumb Guard to quit sucking her thumb on July 15th. About a week after starting it, I told her that if she could make it through all 60 wristbands, that we would take her to Build-A-Bear and let her make a special bear for a reward. Ever since then she has talked about going to "Builder Bear" almost every day. She has not sucked her thumb since the day after we started using the Thumb Guard. So we told her that today was her special day to go on a date by herself with Mommy and Daddy. We gave her a choice of where to go eat lunch, she chose CiCi's Pizza because they had dessert. Fine with me, it was cheap. Then we were off to shop. I had told Ashlyn that she could go to the Princess Store (Disney) and pick something special out as well. I know, she got a lot of stuff today, but I am a proud Mama and I wanted to make this a big deal for her and let her know how proud of her I am. Here she is with her selection from the Princess Store, Beauty and The Beast dolls.
Ashlyn headed directly to Build-A-Bear after getting her dolls. She has never been to Build-A-Bear before so she was so excited and it was so neat to see her get to pick stuff out. I do have to say that she picked her bear out within seconds. Ken and I tried (I know we should just let her get whatever she wants) to talk her out of her first choice for more than 5 minutes. "Ashlyn, don't you want a brown or black bear, or a cute little bunny? And then we can just put a pink outfit on it. Won't that be cute?" we persuaded. But when you are Ashlyn Rushing, no brown or black stuffed animal will do. They are not girly enough. Nothing will do but the Tie-dyed pink and yellow bear. There was no convincing her. She wouldn't hear a word of our pleading. Oh well. Here she is with her bear before getting stuffed.

Daddy and Ashlyn are making sure that the bear is filled properly and making sure that she is huggable.
After the stuffing, Ashlyn got to pick out a heart to place inside of the bear. She gave the heart a kiss and made a wish. Then put it inside of bear's body.
Ashlyn named her bear Lucy. This is the name that she wanted to name our new baby, but it was vetoed. So she was able to name her new baby Lucy.
After getting a bath, we all went to pick an outfit for Lucy. Again, Mommy tried convince Ashlyn of the practicality of the outfit. "Ashlyn, a pink shirt is a great idea, but we should probably get some little blue jean shorts or skirt to go with it. And then you could get these cute little pink shoes to go with it." Nope. Wasn't happening. Lucy had to have the shiniest dress, with the most sequins on it. And Lucy couldn't wear that dress without patent leather silver shoes, right? And if she is going to have all that, she needs to have a tiara and a wand. There, now Lucy was perfect.
Mommy and Ashlyn then had to go decide if Lucy needed bows in her hair as well as a tiara. We decided against it.

Ashlyn and Mommy with Lucy after she was complete. She was sooo excited!
Then we had to go to the computers and make Lucy and birth certificate. So cute.
A sweet kiss from my sweet girl.
Ashlyn with Mommy after we finished. I cannot tell you how proud of this girl I am. I sucked my thumb until I was twelve, so I know how hard it is to quit. She never complained...not once. She truly wanted to quit. Ashlyn, you are our big girl and we love you so much! Congratulations on earning your "Builder Bear"!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Over It and Thinking Pink!

I wanted to post this blog as an update for all of the sweet people who have asked me how I have been doing since I found out that baby #3 is a girl. Thank you all so much for your sweet words during my moment of self-pity. I have had several people that have made comments (some of whom are having trouble even getting pregnant) on the God's Plan is Perfect blog and even more that have just read it and asked me if I am doing better. The answer to that question is a resounding "Yes!" I did take my day to be a little sad that (aside from a completely changed heart) that there would be no more babies, therefore no boys in our home. I have had dreams of cute little blue outfits and toys that aren't pink or purple and just a little stinky boy to mix things up in the Rushing house. But God saw fit for us to have three girls. So I said my goodbyes to those dreams. And now, less than a week out from finding out that this little one is a she, I can almost not imagine her being a boy. I can now envision our family with three little girls (probably none of whom will look like there mother) running around our house. I think it will be great. Lord willing, I will help three girls with their first makeup, help them through their first broken hearts and get three beautiful girls ready for prom and eventually ready for their wedding. How awesome is that! Anyway, thank you for all of your sweet comments and thank you for being patient with me. I want you all to know that I do feel that God has truly blessed me to have a hand (or tummy) in creating this beautiful new life. Any ideas on the names, send them my way!

Ashlyn's First Day of Pre-K

Ashlyn has been looking forward to starting Pre-K this year for quite some time. Partly because it brings her one year closer to going to kindergarten which she talks about a lot already. Partly because most of her friends start at least a week earlier than she does and she loses playmates for the end of her summer. So today was her big day. She was very excited that she had a clean dress to wear on her first day. Pretty much all she was concerned about this morning was that she got to wear her "seashell dress" and that she had a drinkable yogurt packed in her lunch. So after that was taken care of, we slapped on the forbidden after-labor-day white sandals and off we went. She was very helpful carrying in her own backpack and nap mat today. She couldn't wait to get into her classroom. Hugs and kisses to Mommy and Daddy and off she went. I picked her up today and she said she had a great day except for one little girl that was mean to her. I asked her what happened and this is what she said. "______ was mean to me at school today, Mommy. She told me to come sit down so I did. But then she looked at me and said, 'I didn't tell YOU to come sit down, I asked ________ to come sit down!' So I got up and then she turned to ________ and said, 'C'mon, ________, let's go play somewhere else. So I had to go find another friend to play with." My heart wanted to break when she told me this story. It is just one of many struggles and days of hurt feelings that she will face in school and in the real world, I know. But no one ever wants their child to suffer. It is so hard not to tell her to get _______ by herself and tie her shoelaces together. But I know that God wants her to treat others kindly. So I just told her that I was so sorry that she got treated that way and Daddy reminded her tonight that we are always kind to people, even when we don't know them. Our little bug is growing so big and I love every day with her. Here are the pictures of her before school by herself and one with a certain little sister that wanted her picture taken with "Ashyn".

PS. We are three days from finishing the wristbands with the Thumb-Guard. Stay tuned later this week for the special Build-A-Bear date with Ashlyn, Mommy and Daddy!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

God's Plan is Perfect

Today was the day of our big ultrasound for our little baby. It is a day that I have been looking forward to since the day that I have found out I was pregnant. I wanted to know so badly if this tiny person was a boy or a girl. I even went so far as to buy the Intelligender test to give me a little hint. Every single person close to me was convinced that this was a little boy and I have to say that with how differently I felt from day one, I was pretty sure myself. So, today when we were told that the ultrasound tech (who has been doing this for 20 years) is 95% sure that this is a little baby girl, it was a little difficult for me to take. I struggle with what to write because some of this sadness that I am having is just a frustration with myself for being even a little disappointed after looking at these sweet pictures. But it is a little sad to say goodbye to little boyish outfits, cars and trucks for toys, and maybe having a little football player in later years. It is difficult for me to process that my sweet husband who is such a perfect daddy to our girls will probably never have a little sidekick to go do boy things with. With all that being said, I know that God's plan is perfect for our lives. God gave us a third little girl because he knows what is best for our family. God knows that we are better suited to have three girls. And apparently He thinks we can afford three weddings :) So I will take today to be a little sad. Although I don't want to feel this way, I cannot help my feelings. I will start thinking of sweet names and picturing her sweet face and tomorrow will be better.
I will be having another ultrasound in four weeks because little one is measuring about 11 days small and the tech was having trouble getting several pictures of the heart and face that she needed to. I cannot wait to see my little girl in a few weeks and I will post more pictures. But for now, here are the pictures of our sweet baby girl. Thank you, God.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thumb Guard-One Week!

Last night completed Ashlyn's first week with the thumb guard. She still likes to put it on and enjoys picking out her color of the wristband each night. She also gets to cut the excess band off with her scissors which she thinks is very cool. She has moved from sleeping in our bed (she did that for three nights) to sleeping in her own bed. It still takes her 30 minutes to an hour to fall asleep, but she is doing great! She hasn't sucked her thumb in a week. Movie time (which is almost daily right now because mommy still needs naps) is done without a thumb guard and without thumb sucking! Woo hoo! I told Ashlyn that after she made it through all 60 wristbands that I would take her to Build-A-Bear and she could get a bear. She is very excited abut that. I think she will be over it before we get through all the wristbands, but it won't hurt to make sure. I am so proud of her. I have to say that from my experience the thumb guard is great product!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ashlyn's Purchase

Ashlyn and I went out to run some errands today and just have some time for me and her. While we were getting ready she asked me if she could buy something with her own money. She has never asked me this before. She has money in her piggy bank that she has been collecting over the years. So today she wanted to spend it. So we went up to the room and took $6 out and put it in her little purse. She was so excited. I am sure that all of you who are mothers can remember this experience. Ashlyn wanted to buy EVERYTHING she saw. I had to explain to her that some things were too expensive for what she had and some things she just couldn't have. Then she wanted to buy Kenley a new outfit. That was sweet. We finally made it to the Dollar Tree where she picked out a pack of headbands and two foam swords for her and Kenley to play with. She was so proud to take her purchase up to the counter. She even counted out her own money and gave it to the clerk. It was so neat to watch her doing this very grown up thing. After we left, she wanted to buy me lunch at Chic Fil A. Very sweet. I explained to her that it is not her job to pay for food yet. I have been meaning to sit down and make a chore list for her so that we can start teaching her how to give, save and spend her own money. I guess I will get on that today.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thumb Guard-Night One

Ashlyn has been getting worse about sucking her thumb again. I think most of the problem is that she is inside a lot and watching more movies this summer since mommy is so tired and when she watches the movies, she tends to suck her thumb. Well, I don't want it to get any worse, especially since the idea was to have her completely stop when she turned four. So we decided to buy her a thumb guard to help her quit. She really does want to quit. She has asked for medicine to put on her thumb and even wants to sleep with bandaids on so that she won't suck her thumb. But those haven't seemed to work, so we thought we would try this. Last night she got to sleep in mommy and daddy's bed for her first night with it. I thought that she would be waking up several times crying because she couldn't soothe herself back to sleep. But she actually did really well. She was very proud of herself for making it through her first night. I will try and keep posting blogs about how her progress is with it. I think it supposed to take 3 weeks or so. We will see how she does. I thought I would also post a sweet picture of Ashlyn the very first time she found her thumb. I remember being so sad that day and having a hard time with it. (For those of you that don't know, I sucked my thumb for a long time.) But now it is almost bittersweet for her to be stopping. Just one more step in her growing up. My sweet little girl.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Intelligender Results!

I have been waiting (im)patiently for several weeks to be able to take the Intelligender gender prediction test. This is a test that I have heard that other people have taken and it has been correct. So I thought it would be fun to see what it said for us. It is supposed to be 82% accurate at 10 weeks. It took everything in me, but I waited to take it until this morning (I am about 10 1/2 weeks). So anyway, if the test turns dark green, it is a boy result and a dark yellow/orange result is a girl. Here are the pictures of my results.

The color below the sticker should match the sticker. Clearly it does not match the orange girl sticker, but looks exactly like the green boy sticker! Woo hoo! We still have two months to find out if it is correct, but I have felt for awhile that this is a little boy because I feel quite different. So we aren't for sure, but it is exciting to think that we may have a little boy on the way!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Four Years and Eighteen Months (sort of)

I finally got around to getting pictures of the girls taken today. Ashlyn's four year pics and Kenley's 18 month pics even though she is well into the nineteenth month. You do what you can, right? I didn't get Ashlyn's one year pictures taken until she was 16 months old. Anyway, enough about that. Having portraits done is always quite an experience for me. I take the time to make the appointment (because that means that I will be seen when I get there) and I get all the clothes ironed the night before, get the girls to bed on time (because that means that they will be agreeable the next day), make extra time to fix their wispy blonde hair (some moms feel my pain there) and then off to the portrait studio (just a few minutes early to account for any unplanned traffic-always have to be on time). Accept that this morning inevitably, So-and-So didn't show up to work, so you will just have to wait a short while Mrs. Rushing while we get these other people in front of you. And oh by the way, we here at Superstar Portrait Studio book appointments every ten minutes even though they take well over an hour. Thanks for your patience Mrs. Rushing! So we finally get started. Let me just tell you about my two sweet girls that are my precious angels and gifts from God. They are awesome. Ashlyn thinks she is a movie star and feels the need to pose for every single picture. The word candid is lost on her. She is hilarious. I was frustrated at the time, but now that I am home looking at the pictures, her little posed shots are my favorite because that is just who she is. She wanted her pictures taken in her "red and white stripey dress" because that is what she wants to wear everyday (not kidding). Anyway, she is our sweet little bug. Kenley on the other hand hates to have her picture taken. It is like getting blood out of a turnip to get this baby to smile for someone other than family. When I put her on the background to get the pictures, one would have thought that I had left her on the nearest street corner to fend for herself and left. It is quite pathetic. In the end, we got some cute pictures of what both of their personalities are like at this point in their lives. I love these little girls.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Showing At 9 Weeks

I know that every pregnancy is different and with every pregnancy your abdominal muscles get weaker and weaker, but I have to say that I was not prepared for how early I would be showing this time around. I have already started to show and in the past two days, I have noticed that I am already starting to feel ligaments pulling...what is up with that?! That didn't happen until closer to 18 weeks with both girls. Oh well. Other than being totally exhausted (and now showing) I would never know that I am pregnant. I have not felt sick even once and I love that part of it. But I feel like I could sleep at any time...and for a long time. I can't wait to take the Intelligender test in a few weeks to see if it tells me this is a little boy or girl. I have been having the baby boy fever lately. It seems like I think about it constantly. I know I can't do anything about it, but I wanted to prepare my heart if this is a little girl. Shelly told me yesterday that she didn't realize I wanted a boy that bad. I said, "I didn't either!" I asked Ken last night if he would be disappointed if it was a girl. My sweet husbands reply was, "No. Not at all. I am not sure I want a boy. I know my girls. And I love them." I thought that was the sweetest thing and it really helped me to be okay with whatever God gives us. I was looking at the girls walking into church this morning and I thought to myself that we would be just fine with another girl. She would fit just perfectly. Either way, I will have a hint in a few weeks when I take this test that is supposed to be over 80% accurate. Can't wait!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

And Baby Makes Five!

We recently found out that we will be adding a fifth member to the Rushing family. I am almost 8 weeks pregnant so we are expecting baby Rushing to make his/her arrival around the end of January or beginning of February. I have been waiting anxiously to make sure that we had a heartbeat and to get pictures of the baby to post it on the blog and tell everyone. One would think that I would remember after the previous two babies that the first ultrasound pictures reveal nothing more than a small peanut-shaped object inside of a black hole. What I also forgot is that how much seeing that small peanut-shaped object and watching its tiny little heart beating would melt my heart. We are so excited to welcome the new baby to our family and hopefully I will be able to make the time to keep everyone posted about the happenings with baby.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

We Love You, Julia!

For those of you that don't know, Julia is a foreign exchange student from Germany that has been part of our family for the past nine months. She came to live with us last September and has been part of our lives ever since. Her family came to America a couple of weeks ago. They came to visit the United States and then return home with their daughter that they haven't seen in almost a year. I know that Julia was so happy to see her family. I was excited for her to get to see them, especially her mother. I cannot imagine being separated from my girls for that long.
Today Julia and her family are returning home to Germany. I am so glad that she is with her family again. But I have to be honest, it is quite different around here this evening. We feel like a member of our family is gone. She has been such a part of everything that we do and a part of our everyday lives, that it is difficult to imagine what it will be like now. Ken and I walked into her room tonight and both commented that the room will never be the same. It is Julia's room now.
Julia, by the time you read this, you will be back in your own home. You will be in your own room. And you will sleep in your own bed tonight. You are far away from us now, but you will forever be in our hearts. You will always be in our prayers. We will always remember your sweet spirit. Ashlyn thanked God for you tonight. We hope that we were able to make your dream of being a foreign exchange student something that is a great memory for you. You have a space in our hearts that will never go away. We love you and we will miss you. And this is not goodbye. It is only "see you later".

Thursday, April 2, 2009

30 Things I Love About My Life

I turned 30 last week. I think I was expecting something amazing to take place. It didn't. It was kind of just another day for me. I took the girls to school. Watched my brothers kids while they ran errands. Missed my husband because he was out of town on business. Picked the girls up from school. Listened to my toddler scream her lungs out during the entire dinner that my brother cooked for me. There was nothing spectacular about that day. What is spectacular is that God saw fit for me to see my 30th birthday. I was sad several months ago counting down to the day that I could no longer say I was in my twenties. Then one day I found out about a friend of a friend that died of cancer that was only in his early thirties. He had two small children. I started thinking to myself, "Why am I sad that I am getting older? How awesome is it that I get to grow older and watch these two precious girls grow each day!" I have started to see things differently. I noticed a couple of days ago that I have five lines on the inside of my left forearm that I don't have on my right arm. They are pretty obvious wrinkles. I have noticed other wrinkles coming up on my face that I haven't noticed before as well, but these are different. These are the wrinkles that I have from holding my two baby girls. I always hold my girls on my left hip. I hold Kenley there a lot...a LOT! Now I have these permanent reminders to me of all the times that I have gotten to hold my daughters. I have heard the phrase that the days are long, but the years are short. It is so true. My arms get so tired from carrying Kenley, but I know that too soon she won't want to be carried anymore and I will long for it. Okay, there's my sentimental thoughts for my 30th birthday. Here is a list of 30 things that I love about my life.

1. Being able to take Ashlyn to Disney On Ice
2. Family dinners at home almost every night.
3. Having Ashlyn come sleep in our bed on stormy nights.
4. Being able to show Julia places like Lake Tahoe

5. Hearing Ashlyn say her prayers and sing Jesus Loves Me.
6. Pacifiers and pink blankets. They have made my life easier for a long time.

7. My Toyota Sienna minivan (never thought I would be saying that!)
8. Having my daughters live close to their grandparents.

9. Knowing that no matter who the president is or what the economy is like that God will work everything for good.
10. Scrapbook retreats!

11. God providing me with the patience and sanity to take care of three kids this past year.
12. Friday night date nights with my husband...there's one coming up tomorrow, Bob!
13. Hearing Kenley say "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!" When she wants to be held.
14. Having a husband that is the best dad I have ever met.

15. Time to hang out with my husband at night and watch Survivor.
16. The Grocery Game. Wooohooo! Check it out at
17. Getting to stay at home with my kids every day.

18. Knowing that even though life is a vapor, I will get to be with God in the end.
19. Having good friends that are willing to listen, help and understand.
20. Going to the zoo and seeing my fearless daughter be afraid of a parakeet...Come on..are you serious, Ashlyn?
21. Having a healthy family
22. Being able to go to worship God every Sunday.
23. Having wrinkles knowing that my sweet kids gave them to me.
24. Knowing that my husband loves me, imperfections and all.
25. Being able to go to the orchard to get away from life.
26. Being able to come back home and sleep in my own bed.
27. Seeing my kids play together and love each other so much.

28. Hearing Ashlyn say that when she grows up she wants to be a mommy just like me.
29. Gymboree and Baby Gap.
30. God allowing me to see my 30th birthday and watch my babies grow.