Friday, December 17, 2010

Date Night!

After 5+ long months, B & I were able to get away for several hours on a date! Our church hosted a Christmas party that we dressed up for! Dinner was included. We had so much fun that we were the last ones to leave. Starved for time-away-from-the-kids, much? Yeah. I think so.

Cheers Hub! Thanks for a wonderful date!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pilgrims and Indians

So here are some photos from our Thanksgiving feast. If there were ever a holiday analogous to the family I was raised in, it would be Thanksgiving. It is where two cultures with completely different ways of life meet and share a meal. They shared friendship. They opened their minds to embrace someone different than themselves. They instructed one another on life lessons and they shared what was most valuable. They stepped out of their comfort zone at risk of losing some of their cultural identity but in they end they gained a richer cultural heritage. I'm proud to say our Thanksgiving feast included turkey AND samosas, Pilgrims and Indians. (The dot, not the feather, to be exact.) Actually, to be exact... we had 3 pilgrims, 2 half-Indians, 3 quarter-Indians, and 2 full Indians in attendance. Ha! Ha!

1 Pilgrim and 1 quarter-Indian posing as a Pilgrim

2 half-Indians posing as a Pilgrim & Indian
(read: "I give you Samosa for some red sauce that go nice on turkey!")

& two quarter-Indians as Pilgrims:

Doesn't Sophie make a good Pilgrim with her rosy cheeks?

It was a fun time giving thanks for each other (thanks mom & dad, Nu-Nu & Bry, and hubby!) and most of all for God who brought these two cultures together!

Sophie is 6 months!

I can hardly believe our little Sophia Elizabeth is 6 months old!! Here's an update on our little girl:

-She is long and lean
-She just recently started chunking up only a little bit in her thighs and face
-She loves giving wet slobbery kisses and sucking on faces
-She definitely loves people and isn't that interested in objects as much as faces
-She loves women's voices and lights up when she hears any woman talk to her (Gonna be a girly girl!)
-She started solids a little before 6 months and likes her rice cereal. So far she's only tried squash that daddy made.
-She loves her big brother and watches him run around
-She goes after big kid toys like balls and Chase's car ramp and doesn't have much interest in rattles and little baby toys (Her favorite is the spiky ball that looks like a dog toy!)
-She isn't as great a sleeper as her brother and can range anywhere from sleeping through the whole night to waking up 4 times!
-She loves sucking on her fingers
-She weight 14 lb 11 oz
-She's got her momma's feet and they are too slender to keep socks or shoes on
-She likes her baths
-She has been scooching to get toys (at 5 months and 2 wks) and has rolled since the end of 3 months (she is definitely a mover and shaker like her brother)
-She gets up on her knees and also does the push-up position
-She not a huge fan of nursing or the bottle (mostly due to reflux) but seems to pack on her weight in those monster cheeks of hers
-She's been sleeping on her tummy since 4 months and she settles herself to sleep
-She travels well and often falls asleep in her carseat
-She likes grabbing for faces, teeth, hair, glasses, necklaces or all the above (Note: ideal babysitter should be bald, toothless, have perfect vision or wear contacts and leave jewelry at home. Any takers?)
-She loves the exersaucer and grabs, eats, and smacks every toy on it!

She looks so elated! Like she's just happy to exist!

playing with daddy's glasses

Don't you love her double chin?

First time eating solids (rice cereal) at 5.5 months

As if those round cheeks needed any more help...

yum, yum, eat 'em up!

"I saw momma kissin' Sophie-girl underneath the Christmas tree last night"

I love this girl! And she loves ME! Okay... And my sparkly necklace.

Monday, December 13, 2010

If only Christmas shopping was this inspiring...

Brian and I were brought to tears as we watched this clip. I personally felt like I witnessed a small piece of heaven. You know how heaven is often (unbiblically) portrayed as floating spirits singing all the church hymns that you find boring and monotonous and the thought of anything for an eternity almost seems overwhelmingly awful!? I mean, let's be honest. Who gets excited about a cherub? You know how if we are honest with ourselves we have to admit that our hearts can't fathom how being in God's presence and seeing His glory could fill every crevice of our body with excitement?! Well, watch this and tell me that worship isn't absolutely glorious!! It's not because of their voices (however beautiful, if I do say so myself). It's because the object of their worship is God Himself and they are celebrating in unison God becoming flesh to dwell among us! They are celebrating amidst the crazy shopping, the commercialism, the secular "happy holidays" posters, and the scoffers who look in dismay that their eating experience in the mall food court has been interrupted. They aren't shouting at people or forcing people to believe. They are unashamedly and joyously worshiping and people cannot but stop and think - why? I hope this blesses you as much as it did me. If Christmas shopping was actually this inspiring, I'd be making my dwelling outside Old Navy, planning every meal at the food court, and asking the flash mob if there were any voice requirements to join in this wondrous worship!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

God's humor

So, God has been teaching me a lot through being a parent of a toddler. Lately, praying for patience has been my mantra as I find myself losing patience with Chase. It's at least several times an hour that I find that talking in a normal voice and giving eye contact and even showing affection all seem futile at times in teaching. We've gotten to the point that ANY instruction is rejected by my willful two year old and I'm having to sing the instructions just to maintain sanity and not show my frustration. I know in my heart of hearts they are not, but when my two year old looks at me and gives me his goofy look where he's not taking me seriously and proceeds to repeat everything I am telling him (not in a "I'm practicing obedience" way, but rather like the game of "shadow"), it's hard not to pull my hair out. I guess God gave me a lot of hair for that reason!

Our conversations usually go like this:
Me: "Chase, what did mommy ask you to do?"
Chase: "Mommy ask you do?"
Me: "Mommy asked you not to hit things."
Chase : "Hit things?"
Me: "No- DON'T hit things. You could hurt someone and we don't want to do that."
Chase: "do dat?"
Me: "go tell your sister you are sorry for throwing things that could hit her"
Chase: "sorry throw things?"
Me: "No. Tell Sophie, don't just repeat what I'm saying"
Chase: "Repeat sayin'?" (Looking at me cluelessly and waiting for the next set of words he gets to repeat.)
Me: Just GO and give your sister a hug please!!!!

I've found that the most deliberate things I am doing, it seems my two year old is ignoring. The whole "getting down on his level," direct eye contact, keeping explanations short and consequences immediate still seem futile much of the time. But......

I did find myself "caught" the other day. When Chase sees our dog escape through the gate, he starts screaming at her "NO ZOE!!! No no Zoe- no go through gate now!" (Gee,who do you think he got that frenzied response from?) And when the Veggie Tales DVD froze the other day, Chase definitely said "Come on!" I do recall saying that in front of him ONCE and not even to him but in front of him when our broken bunny ears were not getting a signal on the TV.

Why is it that all of my intentional gestures and training feel so stifled by those rolling of the eyes and goofy ("I'm not hearing a word your sayin' mama) grins? And yet look at what he is absorbing and mimicking? My frustration with the dog and my impatience with modern technology!!! (Ok, bunny ears aren't so modern but hey -they are cheaper than cable.) Sure makes the quote "preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words" resonate with you, doesn't it? Thanks Chase for being one more reminder that we must LIVE the gospel. Our indeliberate gestures speak as loudly (if not louder) than our deliberate ones. Loud and clear, God. LOUD and CLEAR. :) Little ears are watching. They may not be listening much, but they ARE watching mommy!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sophia's newest hobby

Facesucking. Yep. (And I don't mean what teens do while their 'rents aren't watching.) I mean yummy-gummy, baby-loving, uber-slobbery, hilarious, facesucking!! I've determined it's Sophie's love language. I haven't been able to catch it on video b/c it's my face that she's sucking (usually my chin!) But whenever she does it, I shriek with laughter b/c it's the funniest sweetest and yet quasi-grossest thing ever! She grabs me by the neck with both hands and tries to fit as much of my face in her mouth as possible. I must taste pretty good.

Here she goes!

Back 'atcha Sophilicious!

Two can play this game!

Friday, November 12, 2010

some fall pix

Some fall pix:

Our greeter, Zoe

Fall wreath

JMU-colored mums

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Miss Squeaky squeakerton

Sophie is at a really CUTE and LOUD age where she squeals loudly at well.....everything! We recently went to a missions conference and she was notably the loudest attendee in the audience. She is discovering her voice and you can tell she thinks she's cute stuff. I mean who wouldn't? Look at these photos- here she is at 4 months old:

Here's Miss Squeaky Squeakerton now...

Chase-isms: Lost in translation?

So Chase has exploded in his vocabulary. Some time b/t 2 and 2 and 1/2 years old, he has just taken off! He still says some things that are hard to discern, but that is what my technical translation minor is for. (At least I tell myself.) Some of the funny things he says are just mispronunciations for the real word. And they usually make us giggle.

Baby Sophie = Baby Bo-pee
Mingo = Flamingo
Baw-wewy- Strawberry
Ba-na- Banana
Tee-bo= tv (no we don't have TiVo)
He also sings the "pants on the ground" song and says "Sophilicious ALL THE WAY!" (those of you who have watched the youtube "Double Rainbow" song know what I'm talking about) Yes. He can say Sophilicious but refuses to say Sophie.

He is saying sentences like: "I want go in play room," "Where Zoe go?" "I want get down now," or "Daddy is working."

He currently enjoys: playing with cars on his little ramp, watching the Cars movie and Veggietales, going to the YMCA, bathtime, holding his baby sister while sitting in bed, playing with friends at the nursery, biblestory at night (he asks for it and gets really upset if we don't read one but then ignores Brian the whole time he reads!), watching Noah's ark youtube songs, and singing all sorts of songs (Twinkle, twinkle, Jesus Loves Me, My God is so Big, The Wheels on the Bus, etc, etc.) He loves crunching in the leaves, watering plants, finding sticks and using the broom. He is very good at putting his clothes in the hamper, picking out his shoes, washing/drying his hands, putting his toys away, brushing his teeth, and getting the mail. We are working on putting silverware away, sorting laundry (a.k.a. matching socks), helping mama in the kitchen (today we made cookies). Not much progress in the potty-training arena, but I'm sure by age 15 we'll get it down perfectly! :)

Chase has definitely discovered his will and his voice. I feel like I spend most of my day showing him the consequences for his disobedience rather than enjoying time together. We pray for wisdom in picking our battles. (You can pray for me in this if you are reading this!) This is especially hard for me because my mind always thinks things through to the long-term implications.
In my brain the translation for the following is:

Letting him leave his toys out each day = a grown-up who does not get the idea that he is responsible for his stuff. Letting him throw toys behind the couch and then come running to me saying "oh no! the car in the couch! Where 'da car go?" = me demonstrating that I exist to chase after his toys and that there is no consequence for misusing his own stuff. And screaming at us while we converse at dinner = encouraging him to think he is center of our universe! I know, I know. He' s only two and a half. So this is age appropriate. But if we don't train him now, he could end up being that guy living with his parents, expecting his mom to be his maid, and asking for a new ipod when he misplaces the one he has. Ha! Ha! Could someone show me an off switch to seeing implications so I could just focus on the present!?

We pray for patience daily to love him well and instruct and discipline him in a way that teaches him respect and love for God, parents, and others. We sure do love this little dude!

Trip to NoVa

We all got to spend some quality time with the Whited/Baker crew up in Northern Va.

Aunt Sharon, Susan (Mama Whited), Grandpa Al, Uncle Buddy, Aunt Donna, Aunt Alice

Here is Chase looking sharp in his little blazer.

We celebrated Brian's cousin's confirmation
Congrats Frankie!

and Sophie got to meet Aunty Jen, Cousin Colin, great Grandpa Baker, and other great aunts and uncles for the first time!

I think still my kids resemble Jen a lot! Prob the cute nose!

Sophie napping on Grandpa
(We actually have a picture of Chase just like this --napping on Grandpa's shoulder)

Chase enjoyed his cousin Colin (Jen's little guy).

Colin liked holding his hand as they walked. It was pretty cute.

Chase was ecstatic to see his Aunty Catherine

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Family Devos

Family Devo time with Daddy

sibling love

Listening to the Storybook Bible

Sophie squirming

tummy time

I'll have to post Chase's song later.