Saturday, August 29, 2009

Where in the world is Sonya Balentine?

I know I have a practically fallen off the face of the earth, but things are sooooo incredibly busy right now. Disney is less than two weeks away. I have had two sick boys this week. I am currently participating in 3 children's clothing consignment sales and school is chugging along. I honestly haven't had time to sit much less get a little blogging in.

So, I just wanted to let you know that I am still here. Life is wonderful and busy. I have created some really cute things in my crafting circle that I hope to show you soon. I am not sure how much I will be able to blog in the next few weeks though, but as soon as we get back from Disney World you can expect some serious blogging catch up. Hope you all are well and happy. Peace and joy to all of you!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Just Like Chocolate Bunnies, Life is Sometimes Bittersweet

Perri has always been a picky eater. She has a hard time with certain textures and textiles, and therefore her diet has consisted of just a very few items that she will eat. Occasionally, we will playfully give her a hard time about her eating habits. One of these times was while Da Hubby was fixing dinner. He jokingly made the comment that she didn't like to eat ANYTHING. Perri made a very defiant objection to that comment to which my husband challenged her to name 5 favorite things she would eat. Her exact list:

1. Captain Crunch
2. "Peanut Jelly Samiches"
3. Tacos
4. McNuggets
5. Chocolate Bunnies

Two weeks ago my little picky eater started Kindergarten. Granted she is homeschooled so we didn't have to go through the drama of sending her to a school, but there is a still a bit of melancholy involved in thinking that the baby of our family is now considered school aged.

I have always enjoyed documenting all of my kids firsts (as well as the seconds, thirds, fourths, and everything in between) in photos. I remember taking this picture like it was yesterday. It was the first time I caught her smiling on camera. I remember I had been trying to snap a shot of this for two weeks but it never failed, as soon I as pulled the camera out she would put her smile away. She was almost 10 weeks before I finally caught that sweet little grin.

I caught the first time she lifted her head.

And when she started pulling up and "cruising the house."

We made sure we got her first expression of when she tasted solid food and veggies. As you can tell she didn't like them back then either.

We most certainly had to get a shot of her (and this is a big one) in her first smocked dress!

We covered the first time we took her to the zoo...

Her first swim. She loved and still loves the water!...

Her first birthday...

And when she began to walk.

School seem like such a long time away. We loved having her as the baby and she was so tiny and petite and so very, very loved. Still is!

We caught several others firsts as she continued to grow.

Her first fishing trip...

Here's her first jump off a diving board. She has always been such a brave little thing. I think having two older brothers has really helped her here!

Her first swim in the ocean...

Her first night in a "big girl" bed...

And her first haircut...

School still felt so far away and she still in many ways felt like a baby. Next thing I know, time sneaked up on us and it's her first day in kindergarten. Wow! Time has flown and she and my sweet boys are growing up so very and way too fast!

Pretty much my entire life I have been a milk chocolate kind of girl. I love the stuff. Could possibly eat it for breakfast, lunch & dinner everyday. Lately, however, a good piece of quality dark chocolate has been such a treat and change from the norm. It's sweet bitterness has such a full and substantial flavor. I am really coming to enjoy it!

I suppose now that my kids are getting bigger I am realizing that even though a wonderful part of my life is over, (the diapers, kids having a nap time, baby food jars, and Binky nursing babies part - the sweet, milk chocolate part of my life), a whole new wonderful part of my life is just beginning. Its certainly not what I am used to. I have had, after all, a baby/toddler in my home for the past decade. This new part of having all elementary aged kids is a bit unusual, but not in a bad way. It's just different.

Sometimes I long for those precious baby days. I guess that's why experiencing this new part of life is somewhat bitter. Do I mourn for those days? Honestly, I would say yes. Sometimes. But it is overwhelming laced with the sweetness of joy for the present and days to come. Just like dark chocolate.

So MY lists of 5 favorites over the years have changed.

My list ten years ago would have been:

1. Rocking babies in the middle of the night.
2. The tiny clothes, diapers, and itty-bitty shoes.
3. All the firsts of the first year.
4. Watching Da hubby read the Bible over sleeping babies.
5. Milk Chocolate Bunnies.

My 5 favorites list now:

1. Hearing my kids sing praises to their Maker without being prompted to do so.
2. Watching my kids conquer fears and putting their trust in their Savior.
3. Walking hand in hand with Da Hubby behind our kids who are walking hand in hand.
4. Having the privilege of being able to teach my kids at home.
5. Dark Chocolate Bunnies.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Summertime...Parting with Such Sweet Sorrow

Where did it go? Our summer just flew by this year. We kicked off our break with the great Disney World reveal, and I assumed the time would creep by in anticipation of the trip. But I was SOOOO wrong!

I made a poor judgement call last summer in thinking that summertime was the perfect time to clean up and "catch up" (whatever that is) on getting my house in order. Can I say that it was the most boring and miserable summer I have ever had?! I totally had my priorities all screwed up and decided that this summer the kids and I were just going to have fun. And we did!! So much in fun, in fact, that I have gotten WAY behind in my blogging.

In order to catch up, I am creating one great big, huge post and cram some of the highlights of our summer. So without much further ado? A due? Adou? Whatever. Here is the most random post in the history of Balentine Bliss. (Which, BTW, is celebrating it's one year anniversary this month! Yay, me!)

So, this summer we went to the dog park with the puppies and the parents,

Visited some of our relatives in NashVegas,

Had one storm that had hurricane force winds and another that dropped a twister a few miles away from our home,

Grew and ate bunches and bunches of this stuff,

Played for hours & hours in the backyard,

Rescued and watched these little guys grow up then subsequently learn to fly away,

Had a long and fun (and exhausting) week at VBS,

Went to the sprinkler park several times,

Had a fabulous 4th,

Picked, pealed, and froze about a million peaches,

Did some serious swimming,

And first handedly (yes, I know it's not a word) learned the definition of "belly-flopping,"

Got a not so extreme make-over,



Visited our downtown "Riverwalk,"

And rode the trollies,

Hung out at the bird exhibit at our fantastic zoo,

Had some family worship time,

And spent the whole summer just being together, loving each other, and having a wonderful time.

We started school yesterday and now have only 30 days until DISNEY!! If the time goes anything like this summer's did, it will be here in a jiffy!

Monday, August 10, 2009

I ♥ Faces - Funny, Silly Faces & Pets

I ♥ Faces contest this week is silly, funny faces. I was doing a shoot of my daughter, when my youngest son popped his head in to steal the spotlight.

Head over to I ♥ Faces to join in the fun!