Monday, April 30, 2012

Feeding the Ducks

After Church yesterday morning Steven and I took the kids out for a special lunch and some time to feed the ducks.  Preston loves counting all the ducks and their babies :)
Peyton was excited to feed the ducks
 Here are the proud momma, dadda and babies. 

John Burroughs or BUST

This past Saturday I woke up early (4:15am) and headed out to the Potpourri Garage Sale and John Burroughts High School.  As usual, the sale did not disapoint.  I only spent $8 and here are some of my finds. 
First, a super cute rain jacket for Peyton. 
I also found her a pair of froggy rain boots in her current size! 
I found Preston this super cute Soccer Jersey and matching pair of shorts.  Notice he did not want me to take his picture - oh well. 
 Yes, you know what this is. Its the phone from my/your childhood and Toy Story 3.  For 50 cents I couldn't pass it up. 
 I also found a cute doll for Peyton and a nice pie dish for me.  Again - $8 is all I spent.  It was worth the early morning.  

Preston and Water

Just wanted to post this picture to show you how much Preston loves playing outside in the water.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Rocket Park

I took the kids to the park, Rocket Park, yesterday morning.  It was beautiful.  Preston loved going down the slide and Peyton loved swinging.  I made this sweet picture collage with the pictures I took.  
I think we should make a trip to the park everyday :) 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Earth Day

Earth Day was yesterday.  The Dalbey Family celebrated by participating in an event coordinated by one of my co workers, Dee.  She is an Alderwoman in the area of Sunset Hills and we were happy to support her and her work to love our planet.  Activities included recycling an old TV that has been sitting in our basement for 5 + years, crafts for kids with recycled materials, free pizza (everyone likes that), and some booths that talk about gardening and composting.  Dee has inspired me to start a garden and I will be working on that in the months ahead so stay tuned for details.  Here are a few photos from our Saturday afternoon.  First we have Preston outside playing the drums and then inside working on some crafts.  

Here we have sweet Peyton eating her pizza.  She was a happy girl in her Earth Day Green.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Peyton - 13 months

Peyton turned 13 months old yesterday.  Wow!  I know I have said this before but I feel like I blink and a month passes by.  Sure, I try to enjoy each day with my little ones but they just go by so quickly.  Being a part time working mom also makes time go by quickly...I think.  In one day I spend the morning getting kids ready, packing lunches, getting myself ready and then off to work for 5 hours, pick up the kids, play, make dinner, play, bed time and then the next day arrives all too quickly all over again.  I try to soak in plenty of hugs and kisses.  Peyton is an especially cuddly little girl and I love it.  She loves to sit on my lap and read books, look at toys or just simply be held.  She has recently discovered her climbing skills. She can go up the stairs in no time and climbs up on to Preston's bed.  We also had to lower her crib down all the way because she climbed out/fell out on Saturday when I put her down for her nap.  Thankfully, all is well.  Finally, Peyton continues to be a sweet and happy baby.  Here are some pics from the past couple weeks.  
Here is Peyton working on those climbing skills.  Look at the last photo - she is so proud of herself.  
Peyton even took a turn giving Mr. Froggy a hug.  Preston quickly snatched him back :) 
 Here is Peyton outside for a walk with her 'da da' or doll.  
Just another close up of the little girl.  So sweet.  
 Just a random morning picture with Peyton still in her PJ's.  
 Daddy and Peyton playing while we were at the Botanical Garden a few weeks back.  
 Here is Peyton after her nap. Notice the crib mattress is low.  
 Outside on the swing.  She loves the swing.   
 Just a morning game of twister.  
Here is a big smile from yesterday afternoon.  
I love having a little girl :) 

Friday, April 13, 2012


 As many of you now know, Steven and I have come through a major transition in our life.  After 8 years of service in Middle School Ministry at a local church Steven is now working a part time job at St. Louis Smoothie and building his full time therapy practice at Crossroads Christian Counseling Center.  This has been an interesting transition to say the least.  I have been thinking about writing a post about our ‘transition’ for a while but didn't exactly know what to say.  Our transition has not been easy.  There were some painful moments that led to this transition and a great amount of loss.  I am beginning to tear up as I write this post.  While Steven enjoys his current work and we clearly see the Lord’s provision for our family, we our grieving the loss of what used to be and clinging tightly to the Lord for a new chapter in the Dalbey family. 

Here is a brief history: Steven and I were married in 2003.  Before our wedding day, the Senior Pastor of a Church and close family friend asked Steven if he would consider applying for the Middle School position.  After some discussion, thoughts and prayers we declined.  This was hard but we didn’t think we were ready to jump into ministry so soon after getting married.  A few months went by, we entered our married life together, and we saw this pastor/friend at a conference.  We inquired about the position and if they had found someone to fill the job.  We found out that they were having trouble finding the right person for the job.  Steven and I decided to talk and pray about him applying for the job.  About a week later Steven applied for the job, had an interview and was offered the job.  Wow!  Our life together in ministry began.  We had some wonderful years doing Middle School Ministry.  We loved our team, we loved the students, we loved the families and we loved the Church.  We were happy.  Sure, we had some bumps along the way and it was hard to connect with people from such a large Church, but we were happy.  Katrina’s relationship with girls deepened, Steven connected well with the guys and the youth ministry grew.  What started as 20 middle school students in a small room with no air conditioning in the basement of a school grew to about 75 or more students meeting in a bigger air conditioned room.  We also saw the high school ministry grow and many students grow to understand what it meant to believe and trust in Jesus.  

Here is one of the first group pictures taken in 2004.  We are in the small, no air conditioned room. 
Here we are 2 years later (2006) is a larger room.  
Just another random group picture I think from 2007
Here is our group in 2009 - one of my favorite trips 
Here is the last group picture with Steven and I.  It was taken last year (2011) 

Fast forward to 2010.  Some changes in the youth ministry started to take place.  Our dear friend, Andrea, who had worked in the youth ministry for many years moved to Michigan with her husband.  Our dear friend, Jay, who had been on staff with the senior high for 5 years moved to Illinois to take a new position at another Church.  Some difficult things took place and I resigned from my beloved job at the Church as the administrative assistant to the student ministry.  About that time it was clear that Steven was not doing well and the support that once existed for him was no longer present.  He was asked to ‘transition’ out of his job in the summer of 2011 and his last day was in December.  8 years.  8 years was now over. 

I think our whole family is adjusting to our ‘new’ way of life.  Steven now works 4 long 12 hour days.  He no longer will sit and read and prepare youth group and Sunday school talks.  He isn’t calling to make reservations for a trip, but is often checking his messages from clients who need his help.  A few weeks ago Preston asked if we could take him to the place daddy works so that he could play the drums.  He was talking about the youth room.  We can’t really go back to the youth room any more.  Preston is still trying to understand.  Oh yes, we helped paint that youth room.  We helped clean out the closet and our hand prints are on the wall.  I can’t tell you how many hours I spent in that room.  If I had to guess I would say about 2000 hours or about 83 days’ worth of time was spent in that room.  I have memories of talking with students in that room. Laughing, dancing, decorating, and even crying with students in that room.  Now, we can visit daddy at the smoothie shop. This is nice, but different. 

While Peyton doesn’t really know or understand what is going on, Preston is keenly aware of the transition.  I can tell that it has been really hard on him.  He keeps asking to see his ‘friends’.  This would include youth group kids like Nathan, Peter, Max, Kaylie, Rachel, Tom, Maggie, etc… We still see these kids, but not every week.  Some of these kids don’t attend the youth group anymore…sad.  So much has changed.  So much has changed.  Preston is also aware that he doesn’t see his friends from his ‘old’ Sunday school class and many of his friends from his weekly mom’s day out program are starting school and not around anymore.  While we look forward to Preston making new friends at our new Church and starting at his new school this fall, I can only imagine what this transition may be like for a young child who has spent his entire life to this point as a Youth Group baby.  Oh yes, he was the first male youth group baby in 15 years, or as far back as we are aware.  Preston is also aware that mommy and daddy have been sad.  He has seen us cry. He has seen us upset and confused.  Our little intuitive, sensitive and caring boy knows that something is different.  We have tried to explain things to him.  We have tried to tell him that daddy has a new job and that we are trying to love and forgive those who have hurt us, this must be a lot for a 3 year old.  Prayers for Preston are appreciated. 

I never expected this transition would hurt so much.  Our grief has been great.  I never imagined I could cry as much as I have.  An area we are especially sad about is that we have lost relationship with many people.  Not seeing people on a weekly basis means you don’t feel like you know people as well as you used to.  We lost knowing many names and seeing many familiar faces around church.  We lost connection with many who loved and cared for us for many years.  I remember when I was struggling to get pregnant and the elders from the Church came and laid hands on me and prayed for me.  After I conceived they gave me a big shower of love and gifts for our son, Preston.  This was a blessing and I miss those men and woman who cared for me.  Some have asked if Steven and I would return to that Church at some point.  Sadly, we don’t think this is possible.  After our difficult transition, some hurt, and a desire to volunteer with students, we don’t think we could go back.  It doesn’t seem ideal to volunteer in the ministry you used to lead when so much of what you created and worked hard to achieve has either been changed or no longer exists.  Oh, we also miss going on youth trips.  I miss teaching dance class at Spring Storm, driving a golf cart at the Zone or playing games on a charter bus for a mystery trip. I miss sleepovers at my house and summer camping trips.  Steven misses hanging out with guys at Starbucks and laser tag events.  I can’t speak for Steven, but I know that I feel like a part of my life is missing.  I am adjusting to a ‘new normal’.  I know this will take time, as grief always takes time, but it is still hard. 

Steven and I decided to start attending a new Church.  We joined a few weeks ago.  This is the church we used to attend.  We met at this Church 12 years ago and have sweet memories of friends and loved ones.  Preston is slowly adjusting and making friends.  I am learning new names and recognizing new faces.  Peyton is happy and we could not be more thankful for this.  Steven and I joined a small group and are thankful for their support and care.  We plan to get involved with the youth group starting this summer.  Sure, we look happy and we are doing relatively well (all things considered) but we know that we will continue to look on our experience with many feelings, emotions and reflections. 

Why am I writing this post?  I am writing this to share about our family, to share about how we are doing.  I think it’s easy to look at our blog and at the sweet pictures of our kids or hear about some fun activities and think that everything is great with the Dalbey family.  While we are doing well, there has been a lot going on.  We are thankful to those who have supported us and cared for us during this time of transition.  We are thankful to those who have reached out to us even though we don’t attend the same church.  This helps remind me that I haven’t been abandoned even though I have felt that way at times.  I think these experiences help you learn about who your real friends are, what is most important in life and how you may be growing and learning as a person.  Our family is going to continue moving forward.  

Easter Pictures

I meant to post these Easter pictures the other day but life happened and here it is Friday.  Oh well.  I am sure you can still enjoy these pictures :) Oh yes, I wanted to let our readers know that Peyton started 'running' and climbing this week.  She climbed herself up onto Preston's bed and was so proud.  She also has started moving pretty fast.  Watch out world because Peyton is here to explore.  She has also been showing off her cool dance moves.  As a dancer this fills my heart with joy.  I am now confident that she will be ready for dance class in a year or so.  Ballet shoes and tutu's here we come :)  I will try to post a video of the girl and her dance moves.  
Ok, back to Easter 2012.  We had a lovely day.  We went to worship, we saw loving friends, we celebrated that Jesus is Alive and then we had a nice family lunch and play time outside.  Here is Preston and Peyton with their cousin, Alice.  Alice was more interested in the flowers.  I don't blame her. They were beautiful.  
 Here is our little Easter bunny :) 
 Grandad and Peyton 
 The Dalbey family.  Note: Preston was not interested in taking pictures at this moment.  Oh well.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bye Bye Bye

We said goodbye to some pine trees in our yard today.  To be honest, I don't miss!  Why?  They were ugly, they dropped needles all the time and they made our soil acidic.  Now they are gone and I think it makes our yard look more open and brings in more sunshine. I love sunshine.  Here are a few pictures from the beginning to the end.  Here is one of the dead trees.  
 Here is Mr. Mark starting on tree #1
 Tree #1 is coming down.  
 Tree #2 is no match
 Finished work is now in our yard.  Steven and our neighbor, John, will finish the job this week.  

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Wonderful Saturday

It has been a wonderful Saturday around the Dalbey house...well, in the Dalbey family.  We didn't spend much time at home today as we took advantage of the beautiful weather and headed out to the Missouri Botanical Gardens.  Just take a look as it is beautiful.  
While at the Garden Peyton spotted a heard of sheep :) 
Part of going to the Garden on Saturday morning is that you can go to the Children's Garden for FREE.  Today they had a plant station where kids could plant and take home their own vegetable.  We brought home broccoli and lettuce.  They are now planted in our yard and this will be our first attempt at a garden.  If we have success we will move on to tomatoes, peppers and maybe some pumpkins :) I will keep you updated.  Here is Preston with his plants.  
Here is my other Garden plant - a beautiful Hydrangea.  They were on sale for $4 at Aldi the other day.  
 Oh yes, big news - we planted 2 trees in our back yard.  We took the kids to the Grand Opening of the Richmond Heights Community Center playground and outdoor classroom.  Along with some super fun new activities for kids they were giving away trees!!  I know, they are small but they are trees and they were free.  Here is a Red Oak.  
 Here is a Red Bud.  I hope we live in our house long enough to see this one bloom as it is one of my favorite trees.  I also love Magnolia Trees, Cherry Trees, Red Maple Trees and Tulip Trees.  
Here is Preston playing the Xylophone at the new outdoor classroom area.  
Preston decided to take a reading break after a long day of fun and play.  He sat here for about 30 minutes - so sweet.   
  Well, that is about it for today.  I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend and Happy Easter.  I'm sure I will post pictures from our Easter activities tomorrow.  

Friday, April 6, 2012

Home Updates

For those of you that know me well know that I love to organize.  I love making things look neat, tidy and easy to use.  This may include clothes, toiletries, kitchen items. etc... It also includes toys. I have been trying to make the kids toys more organized and give them more space to play.  My next/current project is the basement.  I have been working hard to clean, organize, and clear out the basement.  I took a huge step this weekend with my work.  I cleared out part of our basement and moved the train table that used to be in the play room upstairs and moved it down to the basement.  Here is the play room now.  
Here is the basement now.    
Now, this is only part of the basement. I still have a whole area filled with stuff that is ready to sell, donate or gift.  I am trying to make my life simple, clean and more enjoyable in every way.  I don't need 90% of the stuff in my basement.  I'll post more about that next week.  For now, we are all going to enjoy this new space :) 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Froggy goes for a swim

 Preston took Froggy for a swim yesterday. It was so sweet.  I am so glad that we found BOTH frogs.  
Here is froggy laying out :) 
Here is Preston taking froggy on the slide.  Again, so cute! 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring Break - Dalbey Style

Spring Break - Dalbey Style continued this weekend with a trip to the Botanical Garden.  What a beautiful day.  Here are a few pictures.  First, Preston next to some beautiful Azalia bushes.  The colors were stunning.  
Peyton in front of the tulips.  
 Peyton was exhausted by the time we got home :)