Thursday, December 17, 2009

Zoe's new donut

We finally bought Zoe a new dog-bed! This was a belated birthday present for her as her old one was beyond disgusting. Needless to say, Zoe is enjoying this donut-shaped one.

And just so you get the full effect of how much she truly enjoys her new bed....

Sprinkles Galore!

So my friend Val & I decided it would be fun for moms to get together with their kids and decorate some cookies. I mean our husbands get office parties, so why should stay-at-home moms miss out? Our party turned out to be a blast!! It was a little crazy but in a fun, kid-friendly, sprinkles everywhere sort of way!

Here are some pix.
Cristen showing the big kids how to use the sprinkles

Val helping the boys spread their icing

Simonne convincing Emory to let her eat one of her cookies

Alethia holding Cami

Brooke helping Lauren with the sprinkles

And the kiddos:
Cute Cami

Jackson judging how hard it will be to fit the whole cookie in his mouth

Chase chompin'

Emory eating one of mommy's cookies to settle the score!

Lauren lovin' the activity! She gets the prize for sitting the longest!

Titus tasting his creation

Kathryn covered in icing (Nice tiara!)

Silly Siah making faces

Loftin licking the cookie after it fell on the floor! (He's familiar with the 5 second rule!)

The kids loved it! And the moms were getting into decorating too. By the end we were all competing for the best Christmas tree cookie! haha! We enjoyed some snacks that each mom brought and the kids watched a Christmas veggie tale movie and played games.

At one point Cristen turns to all the women and exclaims "Wait a minute! I'm the only one here that isn't pregnant!!" We all got a laugh out of that! (Hopefully none of us have that glucose test coming up or we'll be in trouble!)

Thanks ladies for coming out. We missed some other dear friends who couldn't make it but I am truly thankful for how it worked out! Maybe this will be an annual endeavor :)

What did I expect?

So, Chase is a pretty picky eater which makes things a little tough during meals. My parents reminded me of how incredibly picky I was (pretty much until middle or high school) so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I'm getting a taste of my own medicine!

I find it hard not to laugh when I give Chase lucky charms and I look at his tray to find....

...only the oats left. He's no dummy! Why eat both when you can just eat the marshmallows?!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Welcome to our World

So recently as in the past 4-5 months, I feel like I re-discovered Chris Rice, the Christian musician. Back in college, I was pretty picky with my Christian music and I used to loathe the "what if cartoons got saved" song. I think that association with Chris Rice ruined me to even wanting to listen to anything that could possibly come from the same artist.

In the past several months, I have been left in tears by two singing performances that just tugged at my heart. One occurred at Brian's Aunt's church (Truro) when a gentlemen with a voice identical to Chris Rice's sang "Hallelujahs". The other was a couple Sundays ago at my own church. A guy who normally is more of an instrumentalist stepped up to the mic to do a solo and I don't think I had ever heard his voice. He sang Rice's "Welcome to Our World." The lyrics to this song just made me bawl. There is something about music that reaches deep deep down and hits me at the core level. I'm not a musician or even musically talented by any means. But I appreciate the profundity of these lyrics coupled with the emotional and spiritual experience of the singers delivery; God met me where I was as I listened to that song.

"Welcome to Our World"

Tears are falling, hearts are breaking
How we need to hear from God
You've been promised, we've been waiting

Welcome Holy Child
Welcome Holy Child

Hope that you don't mind our manger
How I wish we would have known
But long-awaited Holy Stranger
Make Yourself at home
Please make Yourself at home
Bring Your peace into our violence
Bid our hungry souls be filled
Word now breaking Heaven's silence

Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world

Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born
Unto us is born
So wrap our injured flesh around You
Breathe our air and walk our sod
Rob our sin and make us holy

Perfect Son of God
Perfect Son of God
Welcome to our world

Our pastor went on to explain how we so often get it wrong. We think that Christ was more human on the day he entered this world as a fragile baby or that He was more God on the day He resurrected. Or maybe we even diminish the significance of how Christ entered this world as a baby in a manger because we think, "oh! Well, He was God so He didn't really have a baby's mentality and probably didn't even mind the cold." In the words of my pastor, "Jesus wasn't simply physically man and mentally God; He didn't have days where He was superhuman and other days where he felt hunger."

The truth we believe is that Christ has the full humanity of man and yet is also fully God. My mind has trouble grasping this. But I am not alone. Historically there were many before us that had trouble reconciling that Christ really is MAN and really is GOD. One person with 2 natures. Not 50% man, 50% God. But fully both. The implications of this are huge! Only man can atone for man's sin. Only God can endure the wrath of God. Jesus is both God & man and is victorious in both. Atoning for man's sin by shedding His own blood rather than the blood of anyone or anything else while enduring man's punishment from a just God who must punish sin. This is a very different Christmas message than the one our culture gives us.

The Christmas songs we sing about that contain bells jingling, warm cups of cocoa by the fire, and all things cozy are far removed from the actual manger scene. It was not cozy, comfortable, or decorated. Jesus was born without medical help; a home-birth amidst animals; it was cold; He had no nursery set up for Him; His parents were young and new at parenting; they didn't know how to deliver a baby. They were as nervous as any parent would be knowing the risks that go into giving birth. They also knew that this little baby was sent by their Heavenly Father; He would atone for the sins of man and others would scoff at such an idea.

Friday, December 04, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

snowflakes in the window



Joseph, Mary & baby Jesus


Indian leaf-painting of nativity

mosaic candle holder

Indian elephant ornament and cranberry-filled vase

the kissing ball

dining centerpiece

Christmas tree

Angel tree topper

Our Christmas tradition- Books
(This was Brian's gift to me last year b/c I love family traditions! You Are Special, The Jesus Storybook Bible, The Tale of Three Trees (we read this on Christmas day), Dickens' A Christmas Carol, The Gift of the Magi, The Night Before Christmas, The Nightmare Before Christmas)

stockings (still need to find stocking holders for the mantle)

Even Chase has a Christmas tree in his room!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Family and Friends to be Thankful for

Over the course of the month, we got to meet up with lots of friends and family.

Steph & Josh at their wedding

Brandon & Lindsay Spurlock

Me & B at Steph's wedding

This one is Cristen and me at Steph's wedding (Cristen shot the photo. Good arm Cristen!)

Why the cute blonde kid? This one is at Madeline's 2nd bday party. I got to hold Oliver!

Papi, Chase, Grammy B, & Asher

Nu-Nu & her cutey patooty

Gobble! Gobble!

The whole fam: Brian, me, Chase, Renu, Bryan, Mom, Dad, & Asher

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Chase update- 20 months

So Chase is actually 20 months today. He's pretty entertaining these days. He's into all things BOY-cars, fire engines, mechanical things, lights, shadows, fans, knocking down towers, making lots of noise, constant movement. He is constantly oohing and awwing lights, or sirens or the revving of engines that we pass while we are driving. He loves to brush his teeth. He enjoys bath time and pouring water into his cups. He thinks bodily noises are hysterical. And I don't just mean passing gas. I'm in the phase where I'm often over a toilet (being that I have all-day sickness) and he thinks that those noises are so funny that he runs out of the bathroom imitating my heaving. Kinda twisted funny, I know. He has enjoyed hanging out with his cousin and loves batting at his feet through the mesh of the pack n' play as Asher is in the bassinet. He is obsessed with his Papi and cries whenever Papi has to put him down to go. He seems to do really well with other kids at the church nursery and at the gym. He often wants to eat what I'm eating like the smoothie (in the pix below) which ended up getting all over his face, nose, etc. We can tell he's understanding more. When we ask him to do certain things or bring us certain things, he can do it. He just doesn't verbalize it. He digs his little people animals that go in the ark. He likes sitting in my lap for story time and has done a great job "sharing" my lap so that Asher can sit there too. He's fitting into 18 month clothes but the only thing that seems to be growing beyond his age are his feet. Both B & I have big feet so I'm guessing Chase might too. His hair continues to get lighter and lighter and I seriously have to cut it every 2 weeks! It grows so fast!

This picture verifies what I said about him when he was really young (under 6 months): that if Chase was a body part, he'd be eyebrows. :)

He's definitely full of life and energy. And his expressiveness is unlimited.