Saturday, December 21, 2013

He's FOUR!

We officially have a four year old in the house now!  Happy Birthday to my sweet baby boy!
We celebrated with a Star Wars Angry Birds birthday party, complete with a Piggy Death Star pinata lovingly made by Mama and Noah and exuberantly smashed to bits with a lightsaber.

Here are some fun things about our four year old:
-He weighs 31 1/2 pounds and is 40 inches tall.
-He is amazingly healthy overall.  He seems to be catching a lot of bugs this year, probably because we are actually doing more activities out in public for the first time...  But he always bounces back quickly and we continue to be so thankful and sometimes just amazed at his health and development when we think of where he started.
-He loves to talk.  His grammar is pretty much spot on and uses better vocabulary that many high school students I know.  Words that are heard on a regular basis include: perhaps, I believe, rather, prefer, actually, although.  I attribute this to reading so much, particularly classic Winnie-the-Pooh. :) Oh, and of course: why?  And one that is his own invention that I don't ever correct because it's just too stinkin' cute and actually makes perfect sense: amn't.  In sentences like "I amn't cold" "I amn't hungry" etc.  Can you tell what it means?  See, it makes sense.  He also says, "as a quarter of fact" instead of "as a matter of fact."
-He tells us that he loves us many times a day.
-His favorite stories are David and Goliath and Joshua and the battle of Jericho.  In the words of Noah himself, "I guess I just like stories about things that fall down!"  (This has also rubbed off on his little sister, who will fall to the ground whenever she hears the word "down.")
-His favorite thing is Star Wars Angry Birds and Star Wars characters, which he always calls "Star Wars Edition."  We have let him watch some clips from the movies and he picks up lots from the game and he loves it all.  He always calls Darth Vader "Dark Vader" and for some reason doesn't like to say C3PO, so calls him Cassiopeia (as in the constellation; he is very into outer space overall too), and his very favorite is Yoda.
-The things he notices, remembers, and puts together are crazy.
-Often quietly narrates what he is doing as he is playing.
-Loves to read.
-Loves to wrestle and roughhouse.
-Is definitely a firstborn and likes to know what is happening, have a plan, and be in charge if possible.
-Is a very good big brother overall.  Lydia gets into pretty much everything, and he does not like it when she gets to close to something he is working on, but is usually willing to share his things with her and is pretty patient with her.
-Is pretty emotional and puts on quite the dramatic responses for things...
-Says that he wants to be an artist and has reached the coloring stage, as in he will actually sit down and color or draw for a long period of time.  It is wonderful. :)
Four year old Noah in four words:  inquisitive, perceptive, sensitive, imaginative

I love my four year old!

Monday, October 14, 2013

She's ONE!

Sorry little blog and anyone who actually reads it.  The crazy time of year (school starting) been full swing and there are only so many hours in a day.  But even though it is late, I have to post some pictures and a little tribute to the fact that our baby girl ONE!  A whole year old!  She is our spunky, happy little lady and we are so thankful that she is a part of our family!  We had a fun farm theme birthday party to celebrate, complete with new sparkly pink cowgirl boots for our little shoe-lover.

At a whole year old Lydia...
Loves: Mama, Dada, Noah, grandmas and grandpas, shoes, chapstick, cows, cats, books, being outside
Doesn't like: sleeping (she still wakes up a couple times each night and usually takes 2 catnaps during the day...), getting her face washed off, slowing down for too long
Weighs 23 pounds, which is just about what her brother weighed at age 2
Crawls very quickly, cruises, and has started standing on her own a little bit, climbs, loves stairs, considers any furniture an obstacle to be overcome
Says quite a few words in her own adorable little way: Mama, Dada, more, all done, amen, trees, hat, the end, moo, meow, woof, neigh.  Let's be honest, quite a few of those sound very similar but I usually know what she means and she is definitely trying.  She also communicates very loudly is words that I don't understand...

Of course among all the birthday festivities I though back quite a bit to her birth.  And then back to Noah's.  And then kind of thinking, "why in the world did we even attempt the whole pregnancy thing again?!"  Because let's just be honest, the first time around it was really not good.  Like life-threatening and dramatic and awful.  But I am oh so glad that we did, and grateful beyond words that we were given this precious gift:

 I love my one year old!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Happy Family Birthday! (Our Anniversary)

This past Sunday we celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary!  Or as it shall be also known from now on: our Family Birthday!  I did not come up with this idea totally on my own; I had some help from this post from one of my favorite blogs.  But a party, birthday, and cake... that has me and Noah written all over it! :)  I think an anniversary is a perfect way to talk about marriage and family with kids and celebrate something totally worth celebrating!  (And this year I used it to talk about our last name and why it is special.  He always insists that his name is "JUST NOAH" whenever anyone asks his last name or I answer for him...)
I got out our wedding album to show him and try to explain what a wedding was and one of his very first comments was: "Oh Mama, you are special; you are the princess of our family."  Oh what a sweet boy.  Then he asked me if I was going to wear my wedding dress to church.

Cake is a necessity for this celebration.  Of course he asked he it was going to be as big as the cake in the picture and was a little disappointed that it wasn't.  We put what I could find of our wedding cake topper on.  And candles and sprinkles.  Those are also necessities at any party we throw.
(As you can probably tell from the picture, it really was a pathetic attempt at a cake.  Oh well, perfection is not a necessity for celebrating and having a wonderful time.  It was still good and I'm blaming it on summer heat.) 
We sang "happy birthday to our family!" and all blew out the candles.
And then I demonstrated what else happened with the cake at our wedding.
Noah was a big fan. :)

Oh, and we made a project.
I have a few finishing touches left, but this is also going to be a part of our family birthday celebration each year.  Mommy is the most excited about this one. :)

Six years later and we get to be living this: 

 Yes, this is good.  We were just talking about how our life really is not "normal."  Seriously, it isn't.  When compared to people around our age and our country, we are dealing with such different things and are on different "path."  I'm not saying it is any better or more important than something closer to "normal", just different.  And honestly sometimes it is lonely.  But right next to this man following what God has for us is exactly where I want to be, no matter where that takes us.  And after all, to quote my sometimes wise little brother, Corey and I are "the same kind of weird."  I don't remember what the context was, but sometime when we were engaged we were hanging out with my brother and thought something was funny or reacted the same way to something and he looked at us and said, "You guys are weird.  But you are the same kind of weird.  So I guess it's a good thing you're getting married."  Yup, it's a very good thing.  I love you, Corey.  I've loved these 6 and am looking forward to many more years together.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Star Wars Rule and The Coolest Dad Ever

Apparently it is an unwritten rule of the universe that all boys must love Star Wars immediately upon introduction.  Noah first got a taste of it with "Angry Birds, Star Wars Edition", which he loves.  Then we went to a birthday party and got these:

(Lydia also loves them.  In fact, she crawled all the way across the room for the very first time to get to them.  And as you can see, she is a crazy little Jedi.)

Then he started asking questions and picking up on more details from the game.  And is now slightly obsessed about all things Star Wars, especially Yoda.  (We think he is too young to actually watch a movie yet, but we showed him the clip of Yoda fighting Count Dooku.  I should have been recording his reaction...)

Then I came home from an appointment yesterday to this:

Corey got out his Star Wars Risk game (that every single boy of any age who comes into our house immediately notices; I'm telling you, there's a rule somewhere) and made up a version on the spot about axe-wielding piggies and having to defend the trees for the birds and a Yoda super power and I'm not sure what else. 

Guess what Noah wants to do all the time now?
Coolest. Dad. Ever.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

9 months old!

Here are some favorite pictures from our "9 month" photo shoot that I did with Lydia:

Some fun new things about 9 months old:
-Weighs 21 1/2 pounds.
-Popped through her first tooth
-Has learned the power of the "pick me up arms"
-Climbs up into my lap
-Still doesn't quite do the coordinated arm/leg crawling, but army crawls and scoots and rolls wherever she wants to go
-Can go from laying to sitting easily
-Has started to try and pull herself up
-For sure says "mama" now.  And says it a lot when she is teething...
-Loves being outside, swinging, and splashing in water
-Wants whatever her brother has or is doing
-Is still very loud and very happy!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

8 Month Old Lydia

At 8 months old Lydia:
-Weighs 20-ish pounds, probably closer to 21 by now.  At her last dr. appointment about a month and half ago she was 19 lb 15 oz.  Which is in the 93rd percentile.  Weird (as in different than the numbers I am used to seeing!).  No wonder my arms are tired.
-Is still not a fan of pureed baby food.  (Obviously this is not affecting her growth any so I am not too worried.  :)  She flat out will not eat anything from a jar (and really, who can blame her).  She has done okay with a few of the purees I have made her from scratch and I need to get a little more adventurous in the flavors and see how she does.  She loves sucking on apples and recently discovered almost finished watermelon.  She has also started with Cheerios and loves those.  She can even get them in her mouth on her own.

-Doesn't have any teeth yet.
-Can sit up just fine but you can't actually leave her unattended because she will throw herself full force backwards at any given moment.

-Is so, so close to crawling.
-Rolls and pivots all over the place.
-Loves playing with toys.  That may sound obvious, but I don't remember Noah loving to play with things the way she does, at least not as early.
-Thankfully she loves her bouncer
-Says "mama" and "dada" among other sounds and seems to do in on purpose sometimes.  Either way it is cute.
-Is excellent at blowing raspberries
-Loves her brother more than anything.  All he has to do is look at her and she giggles and screams with happiness.

-Is seriously the loudest baby I have ever seen.  She yells loudly, a lot.  They are happy noises, but still loud.

-Is such a happy baby!  This is what her typical smile looks like:

 -Is not the greatest sleeper, to put it mildly.  Just like Noah did at this age, she takes half hour to hour power naps and that is it.  (Unless of course she is being snuggled.)
-She is not exactly a dainty and delicate little lady.  She loves playing crazy and rough. She is always flinging herself around and the other day she cracked her head right against mine.  Did she start crying or be scared?  Nope, belly laughed and kept doing it over and over.  And did I mention that she is loud? :)
-Gets many of the same comments her brother did at this age--about her eyelashes, how she looks like us, and how alert and aware of things she is.  And one comment her brother didn't get so much--"Whoa, look at those rolls!" :)
-I love my 8 month old!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Starting solids AKA Sweet potato raspberries AKA We love breastfeeding

Since our little baby is already 6 whole months old (!), it's time to start the whole solid food thing.  The person most excited about this was actually Noah.  He often asks if she can eat what we are, and was very happy when we said she could start eating some baby food.  He did a great job helping to feed her her first taste of cereal:

Since then we have also tried pears and sweet potatoes, but I've got to say she isn't a huge fan.  (And she also has thrown up about an hour-ish later just about every time.  Any other mommies had this happen?  Is her tummy not quite ready yet?)

At this point Noah asked her, "Do you want to be excused GirlBaby?"

Then before the next time we tried sweet potatoes she learned a great new trick that helped her out:

I've still been trying to give her a little bit every couple days, but she just isn't as excited about it as Noah was when he started solids:

This has turned out to be one of those first baby vs. second baby things.  With the first baby you are so excited that they have reached a milestone and get to add this very exciting thing to your day.  With the second baby you think, "here is one more thing to add to my day and more dishes to clean, and I'm not sure I want them to be growing up that fast." :) 
A huge shout-out to breastfeeding: no prep, no mess, and everyone is happy.  Plus they don't call it "liquid gold" for nothing.  Yup, we love it! 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"I have a question for you. . ."

I hear those words many times every day.  (Of course I hear many other questions that are not prefaced by them either.)  And so here is a list of some of the questions I answered today:

"What does that song mean?"
"What does 'glory' mean?"
"Does Jesus have a throne?"
"What does the throne look like?"
"What does heaven look like?"
"If I make good choices and Jesus takes my sin, will I go to heaven someday?"
"Will you still be my mom in heaven?"
"What was Zaccheus' mom's name?"
"Why is Goliath a giant and Jupiter is a gas giant?"
"Is Goliath real?"
"Why did David fight Goliath?"
"Is Jesus a warrior?"
"Who does he fight?"
"What is that thing up by the ad. building?" (referring to an electrical pole and wires)
"Is electricity on the inside or outside of wires?"
"What does electricity do?"
"Do cars have electricity?"
"So if cars need electricity to go but they don't have wires, do they have big batteries?"
"Does Leo's house have electricity?"
"Does the whole town have electricity?"
"Why do Tiggers not like honey?"
"Is Lucy sick?" (because we all have colds)
"Can GirlBaby have some of my pancake?"
"Why did you give me this?" (referring to something he specifically just asked for)
"Why did he say/do that?" (referring to random things in books)
"Can we read Frog and Toad again?" (for the fifth time... that is his favorite book at the moment!)
"What did you say?"
"But why?"

That is just a sampling of the most memorable ones. I swear those were all straight from the mind and mouth of my 3 year old.  And those were all unprompted; I often set up activities or pick specific books to teach him something and of course that leads to many questions, but these all happen to be all Noah.  That boy is always thinking; sometimes you can practically see those little wheels turning.
So now I am going to sit for a while and not answer any more questions.  Until Noah wakes up.  Good night.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


So. . . Easter! It's my favorite.  It is one of my goals to make Easter the biggest deal of the year in our home, even more than Christmas.  Because, well, what it celebrates IS the biggest deal.  Which is tricky, because I love my Christmas too, and it is way easier to find fun Christmas-y things.  But we're getting there!  Noah was so excited for Easter Sunday!  He asked for weeks if it was here yet and the night before he didn't actually go to sleep until like an hour and a half after his usual bedtime...  When I would stick my head in to check on him and remind him to go to sleep he said, "Happy Easter!  Happy Easter!  Happy Jesus Easter!"
Now we don't celebrate just the day of or right before, oh no, we have about a month of Easter-y goodness.  Of course my obsession resource of Pinterest helped out a ton in finding ideas.  (You can check out my Easter board here.)  The main thing we spread throughout the month was work on our Easter tree.  Most days we added a new egg ornament with a different name of Jesus on it that we learned about.  Noah loved this and asked often to make a "Jesus egg." 
(I got this idea from a pin I saw of doing something similar with Christmas ornaments for Advent, and am pretty proud that I thought to adapt it for Easter. :)  Plastic eggs work great for this because they have two small holes in the top, so I just stuck some thread through and we were good to go.  Noah was thrilled that he got to use my Sharpies to decorate them.  Sometimes we did other activities that went with the name for that day, like decorating a candle for "light of the world" or making bread for "bread of life."  
 Almost all of them were actual biblical names of Jesus, but when Noah had another idea we would throw that it there too, like "super hero."  We did a super hero unit in Sunday School and he loves the song "Jesus Is My Superhero." :)

We loosely used some of these ideas for Holy Week.  The Jesus Storybook Bible has a great story about Jesus being the Servant King and washing the disciples feet.  We painted with our feet and then washed them for each other.  Noah loved the painting but we found out he is not a fan of touching other peoples feet... oh well. :)  Although a few days later he told me to put my feet in the tub while he was taking a bath and proceeded to wash them for me while quoting "I am doing this because I love you" and other parts of the Last Supper. 
We also worked on our Easter garden throughout the week.  We made a salt dough tomb like we did last year, but couldn't go outside to get dirt because we still have two feet of snow!  We used potting soil from a bag and actually tried to grow some grass.  We got a few random long blades of grass growing, but I don't think I have the greenest thumb.
There is an idea I have seen on a couple of my favorite blogs of putting rocks in an Easter basket and talking about how sin is like rocks in our hearts, and then replacing them with gifts and putting the rocks in a new basket with Jesus' name on it to talk about how he took our sins and gives us good things.  I didn't know if this would be over Noah's head or not but decided to try it and see what happened.  He didn't seem to be getting into it as we were getting the rocks ready, but as I was tucking him in that night he said, "I think Jesus is going to get that sin out of my basket.  I'll check in the morning."
So on Easter morning he woke up to our Easter garden looking like this (we had put Jesus in the tomb on Good Friday):
And his Easter basket with gifts and the "sin" rocks in another "Jesus" basket.  Then he had the idea to take the rocks and throw them outside, which is actually kind of an even better illustration!

And now this post is getting pretty long so I might have to do a Part 2...  Happy Jesus Easter!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Palm Sunday

We had a great Palm Sunday, how about you?
Of course it started out with kids waving palm branches. :)
There hasn't been young kids in this church in quite a while, so we tried to keep it a surprise from as much of the congregation as possible and then march them out while they were singing.  Fun stuff. 
Then Noah got help lead his favorite song, "Hosanna."  You can't hear it well, but he sang every word! (He really did pick this as his favorite song on his own, without persuasion from his Easter-loving mom. :)  Ever since he heard it last Palm Sunday he has loved it and asks to sing it every day.)

Remember all those kids that came last week?  Only 2 came this week, the 2 that have families that come every week, and one is Noah...  that is pretty typical for this ministry.  It is kind of hard not to be disappointed and makes it very hard to plan, but that is just how it is.  But we did have a couple of sweet boys visiting for the week.  And we always have a good time, no matter how many are there.
We talked about what "hosanna!" means--save us--and acted out Palm Sunday.

When it was Noah's turn to be Jesus his buddy said she wanted to be the donkey and Noah was happy to go along with that.

We talked about what "Holy Week" is and some of the other things that happened, including reading about Jesus washing the disciples feet out of one of our favorite books ever, the Jesus Story Book Bible.  Then to talk about Good Friday I read another of my favorite books, "The Tale of Three Trees."  If you have never read this book, you are missing out!  The tie-in to Good Friday is that one of the trees is made into the cross. . . "And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God."

We also made these really cool crosses where you fold a paper and then make 1 cut and unfold it to a cross shape.  (It's really not very hard either!)
The cross can become this giant symbol of sin and a way to talk about feeling bad for your bad and almost shaming people into following Christ.  Don't get me wrong, realizing the weight of our sin and that we need Jesus and what he did is absolutely necessary, and it scares me how that sometimes seems to be left out these days.  But if we leave it there and make that all the cross is about, I think we are kind of missing the point.  I am a big fan of the cross as a bridge analogy.  Because what was accomplished through that "paying for our sins" thing was the way for us to get back to God, for God to have what He wanted in the first place--to be with the children he created and loves.  I asked the kids to think about the idea that God really likes them, not just loves them.  I know the word "like" doesn't sound very Sunday School-y or theology-y, but it's true.  God wants to be with us; He made us to have a relationship with Him; He really likes us.