Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Happy 13th Birthday, Bailey


11 years ago today, I brought home a scrawny, sick chihuahua from the Brazos Valley Shelter.  I still can't believe how much Bailey has changed in 11 years.  He's 13 (or so) now, and his heart has grown even more in this last year as he's learned to adjust to a mobile baby in the house. 

Sweet boy, you're everything I dreamed of in a dog.  A cuddler, a defender, a shadow, spunky, and loyal.  Thank you for being my reason to get out of bed, even still, and countless snuggles in the evenings.  You love a good chew boy and a newly filled Kong.  Other than that, a cozy blanket is what you want most.  Thank you for running to Man Cub's room each morning and after each nap.  You make him feel so special, and he thinks you're just the greatest for it.  Tonight you'll have eggs and dog bakery cookies from Buddy Bites for a special birthday treat.  You're so spoiled a little extra won't hurt.  I love you so stinkin' much, little bug. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Man Cub: 19 Months



Sweet little Chimwemwe,

We love you, we love you, we love you!  Silly, silly boy!  Your joy and your love are contagious.  Your teachers at school and at church rave about you all the time.  You are making such sweet friendships, and we love watching them blossom.  You are infatuated with your horse Sandee.  Bailey is still your favorite dog, and you seem to constantly want to be surrounded by animals.  Just fall in love with Jesus first, baby.  That's our prayer for you each day.


Sleeping:
The little tree frog sleeper is still in love with his sleep!  Yay!  Keep it up, buddy.  This past week has been a little rough because you're cutting 4 teeth, but once you're asleep, you're asleep.  Yippee!
Eating:
Nothing here as changed.  Same old picky eater.  One of my dearest friends comforted me greatly when she said she's convinced we either get good eaters or we don't, and that at this particular age, there's not much to do about it.  


Tricks/Activities/Accomplishments:
You are now fearless around the horses!  Getting Sandee for you has been such a dream!  We still have a lot of horse safety to teach you, but you're getting it.  And Sandee and the others adore you.  It takes my breathe away to see 1200 pound beasts following you around so very, very sweetly.  You are learning farm chores like filling up feed buckets with hay from the hay bale and feeding the chickens. When you ride on the big tractor, you know right where the horn button is, and you know that if the RPMs rev down, you're about to stop.  That doesn't make you happy at all!  You have your Papa's (my dad) hair-thick waves that won't stay put for anything.  I guess that's an accomplishment?!  You can jump now, and you've turned everything into a trampoline. You are a puzzle master and you like to color with markers (ColorWonder). The majority of the time, you correctly identify blue, green, yellow, and red. The Mega Blok set you got for Christmas has become a great new toy.  You very much enjoy building towers and forts.  New words: pictures, owie, eyebrow, (his own name), train, choo choo, yucky, milk, mac, bucket, mitten, flower, cheese, read, outside, playground, lights, clean up, jump up, nurse, phone, basket, room, necklace, fox, keys, town, love you, TV, wet, piano, potty, one, two, three, grape, flag, cow, jacket, bow, buckle, doctor, catch, float, help, cookie, tickle, that way, dance, spoon, snap, veggies, heart, leaf, happy, stem, house, barn, Sandee, applesauce, blue, green, red, yellow, pink, chin, hair, dolphin, oatmeal, raisins, breakfast, stairs, diver, shark, grouper, kong, 'chuff' (what a tiger says), tiger, thumb, hands, beads, pot, much, chair, ladder, rub a dub dub, swoosh, dip dip, hoops, Mickey, fries, night night, sticker


Likes:
All the same things you've been liking along with puzzles, coloring, watching scuba diving videos, Mickey Mouse, blocks, and books, books, and more books!  You've also found an even deeper desire to bang away on the piano.  Play, baby, play!


 Dislikes:
Solid veggies, most meat, occasionally you don't like getting dressed, when Aggie Belle gets too close to your food.


19 Month Stats:
Weight: 25 pounds, 2 ounces
Length:  33 inches
Eating: nursing 7:00 AM, 4:45 PM, and 7:30 PM; breakfast around 7:15, lunch around 11:15, and dinner around 5:30.
Bedtime: between 7:30-7:45
Awake: sometime between 6:45-7:10
Naps: ~12:30-3:00
Diapers: Size 3
Clothes: size 12-18 months, and 18 months onesies; 12-18 months pants/shorts; 18 months rompers.  18 months pjs.
Shoes: Size 5


Year 1:

Year 2:
 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Fragement: A Story of Intrigue and Adventure



With The Fragment, Davis Bunn has yet again woven a story of intrigue and reconciliation.  Set against a backdrop of a collapsing Ottoman Empire and the end of the Great War, young Muriel is sent to France and later to Constantinople to use her talents as a photographer and antiquities researcher to identify a reliquary believed to hold a remnant of the cross of Christ.  Muriel, with the help of U.S. Senator Thomas Bryan and French diplomat Charles Fouchet, sets out to uncover mysteries held long secret due to the silence of time.  With governments changing hands and political tides ever changing in 1920s Europe and Southwest Asia, will Muriel and her new friends be able to piece together 2,000 years of history before new powers once again hide away the past?



This book served as a reminder to me that we can't force another's spiritual journey.  We can pray, and we can be examples, but ultimately, the choice to follow Jesus is in the hands of each person.

Whether or not the True Cross was actually split into reliquaries and divided among the early churches doesn't really matter. This is a work of fiction, after all.  Yet, the idea of the cross still existing is oddly comforting.  Relics don't save souls, but the idea of see what it is that brought about the blood of Savior is a unique perspective.  Salvation came to us on that cross, and all of God's promises since Adam and Eve were forced out of Eden for their disobedience came to fruition the day Jesus overcame the cross.  Hallelujah!

As always, Bunn creates believable, well-rounded characters who draw in the reader into an adventure of suspense and spiritual discovery.  The Fragment is a companion to The Pilgrim.  The book releases February 19th, and you can purchase it here

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Franciscan Media in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Aggie Belle is Five!


This gorgeous, cuddly, precocious girl is five today.  How?!!?  Wasn't it just last month Aggie Belle was the rolly-polley rescue puppy? 

Aggie Belle, you make us laugh each day.  You still think you're an 8 pound lap dog, which usually isn't a problem.  Little kids, bouncy balls, fluffy blankets, the beach, the park, , and all of your people are the things that make your world go round.  You great us enthusiastically and guard us fiercely.

We celebrated all weekend since your sweet little cousin Layla got to stay with us.  Girl sleepover with the two of you are a hoot.  You chase chew bones, wrestle, and then crash on the bed together.  We didn't get any pictures of the two of you, but I think that made for the best party for you!  The whole family went to Petco yesterday afternoon to get your free bag of cookies from their cookie bar for your birthday and to let you go shopping for one present.  You love to sniff the displays until you find what you want.  This year, it was a braided bully stick.  Tonight, you and Bailey had a dinner of scrambled eggs and then enjoyed your bully stick.  What a day!

We are so glad that God uses you to remind us of His unconditional love, sense of humor, and wonder in life.  We love you, sweet girl!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Man Cub: 18 Months


Our Precious Boy,

We've had your gorgeous blue eyes and bubbly personality for a year and a half now.  We fall more in love with you every day.  You are learning so quickly and so fast.  Your grandparents are convinced you're gifted, but Mommy and Daddy just know you are an answer to every prayer we pray for you.  Smarts don't matter-your heart for Jesus and loving others does!  You are enthralled with the world around you, and we're excited to help you learn.  Keep shining for Jesus, Big Boy.  We love you to the moon!



Sleeping:
You are still the same awesome sleeper we know and love.  Apparently you wake up crazy early if you spend the night with Mama and Papa, but who can blame you?  There is too much to do there to sleep!  I think it's absolutely precious that you still sleep like a little tree frog.  You have been our little froggy since you were born!


Eating:
I don't think we've gotten you to try any new foods this month, but at least you aren't refusing foods that you normally like.  You are a healthy eater, but we do wish you liked a wider variety of healthy things.  You definitely don't care for cake, but you do like cookies, as we've learned with all of the January birthday celebrations we've had lately.


 Tricks/Activities/Accomplishments:
You are still working on blowing bubbles and floating in the tub.  Come on, summer!  You mastered the new playground in our neighborhood, including the rock wall, in one visit.  You have gone on a few walks in the neighborhood without the stroller and done just fine.  You still feed the dogs for us.  You say thank you almost every time someone gives you something without being prompted.  You rode Brownie (a pony we know) for the first time alone, and you did great!!  No tears, and you balanced well with just a little help from me. I think this one is a little weird, but you like to go around putting trash in the trash can. New words: puddle, dump truck, bus, Jacob, Bonnie, show, Howie (a pig we know), Jack (another pig we know), horse, pizza, butter (for peanut butter), round and round, boat Gabe (a goat we know), touchdown, breakfast, beep beep, here ya go, all gone, all done, ostrich, what is this?, cup, orange, alligator, crocodile, NASA, arms, teacher, children, read, frog, bear, brown, oh no, stuck, water, stick it, stick, box, granola, sky, thirsty, twig, go, crackers, thank you.

Likes:
Being on the farm, horses (finally!!!!  No more being afraid!), Bailey, and all of the other things you've been liking.  You and Aggie Belle are buds, and you play, but Bailey is just your favorite.  It's so sweet seeing my boys together.  You cannot get enough of being outside, even if it's cold or rainy.  You had your first (and only) snow days this month, and you adore snow.  Daddy is already planning ski school for next winter.  Daddy won a little cork gun, and you love it!


Dislikes:
Getting dressed, being tired, being hungry 


18 Month Stats:
Weight: 25 pounds, 6 ounces
Length:  32.7 inches
Eating: nursing 7:00 AM, 4:45 PM, and 7:30 PM; breakfast around 7:15, lunch around 11:15, and dinner around 5:30.
Bedtime: between 7:30-7:45
Awake: sometime between 6:45-7:10
Naps: ~12:30-3:00
Diapers: Size 3 (I put you in size 4 this month, but they sagged something awful, so I bought more 3s instead)
Clothes: size 12-18 months, and 18 months onesies; 12-18 months pants/shorts; 18 months rompers.  18 months pjs.
Shoes: Size 5

Year 1

Year 2
 


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Man Cub: 17 Months


Sweet Little Boy,
We have loved watching you grow and learn this month.  Advent was extra fun this year as you took in all there is about our Savior's birth.  What a treat.  You fell in love with San Antonio during a quick visit.  People tell us how much they are drawn to you, and we just love that about your sweet personality.  We ask God each day to use you for His glory.

We love you!!!


Sleeping:
Not much has changed this month.  You still love sleep, and you like having a pillow.  You still sleep like a little tree frog, all tucked up on your belly.  You've been that way since you were born.  It's precious.
Eating:
We have prayed and prayed God would make you an adventurous eater and willing to try new foods.  He is certainly answering prayers.  You love homemade oatmeal with raisins, cereal with milk, you will once again eat turkey sandwiches, and you now like PBJ.  Fruits are still your favorites, along with mac 'n cheese.  We keep offering you new things, and I know you will eventually decide to at least taste them!  You also still nurse any chance you get, but definitely first thing in the morning, right after school, and before bed.  
Tricks/Activities/Accomplishments:
Best new word: Jesus!  Christmas helped you learn how to say Jesus, and hearing you say our Lord's name, or even Baby Jesus in your tiny little voice is the best thing ever.  You can also say angel, tree, star, Mary, Joseph, down, horse, chicken, Santa, Papa (my dad), Dede (my granddad), Nanny (my grandma), tractor, firetruck, Vince (his tractor buddy), Brownie (his pony buddy), bye bye, mouth, teeth, button (for belly button and actual buttons), mole, book, walk, bath, brush (for brush teeth), I do!, nana (banana), butterfly, squirrel, bunny, and truck. You oink like a pig, quack like a duck, make goat sounds (thanks, Gabe), talk like George from Curious George, and buzz like a bee.  All of that just this month, and I'm sure I'm forgetting something.  You love to put together shape puzzles, your new latch board, and identify colors on the Christmas tree.  If we ask you to put something away or throw away something, you think it's so cool to do it.  You also blow bubbles in the tub and float.  I think you miss the swimming pool!  You also still feed the dogs and give them their treats.


Likes:
Most of the same things you have been liking.  Doing things with the dogs tops your list. You loved opening your Advent book each day.  Books are serious business for you.  You 'read' to us, we read to you, everything in each picture has to be identified, and then the next book comes out.  It's awesome.  Your favorites are Down By The Farm (still) and the Veggie Tales Silent Night. You adore your new firetruck that you can ride in (Flintstone power), puzzles, George, feeding the chickens and egg hunting on the farm, driving tractors with either Daddy or Mr. Vince, and music.  You still love dancing.  Oh, and you love, love, love sitting on the piano bench and playing us your original songs.  It's the best!

Dislikes:
Sometimes you don't like getting dressed, you only wear hats when you want to, veggies that aren't in pouch form, most meat, if we try to feed you (you want to feed yourself), your high chair
17 Month Stats:
Weight: 24 pounds
Length:  31.5 inches (I think you were over measured last month...ha!)
Eating: nursing 7:00 AM, 4:45 PM, and 7:30 PM; breakfast around 7:15, lunch around 11:15, and dinner around 5:30.
Bedtime: between 7:30-7:45
Awake: sometime between 6:45-7:10
Naps: ~12:30-3:00
Diapers: Size 3
Clothes: size 12-18 months, and 18 months onesies; size 12 months and 12-18 months pants/shorts; 12-18 months, and 18 months rompers.  12-18 months and 18 months pjs.
Shoes: Size 4

Year One:
 
 Year Two:

Sunday, December 27, 2015

A very Merry Christmas

Our Christmas was perfect! 

We woke up, made cinnamon rolls, and then let Man Cub open his little presents.  He got a fire truck, fire man hat, an airplane, and a light up bouncy ball.  We don't go all out for Christmas, but he had a blast opening his presents!  I think next year will be even more fun when he understands why we give presents.



After breakfast, we Skyped with Isaac's family so we could open presents with them.  That was fun too, and it's nice to be able to have them in our living room without having to drive 20 hours. 

Man Cub took a good nap, and then we headed to my parents' house for the evening.  The adults played a new game, or at least a new to us game.  I had purchased several little treats and wrapped each one, one inside the other.  We had games, kitchen utensils, small gift cards, candy, DVDs, and the 'big' gift was an Amazon gift card.  Each layer had a gift and instruction with it, such as, 'Pass the present 3 to the right' or 'Pass the gift to the oldest player'.  It was a lot of fun, but next year it's been requested we have more layers and sillier instructions.  Will do!

On the 26th, we went back to my parents' house for Christmas breakfast and presents with my side of the family.  It was a laid back day of watching 3 dogs and a baby play and play and play.  Oh, and really good food!  I love days with my family because we always seem to be too busy to do this often.  What a treat.




Christmas Day always seems like a bit of a let down after 4 weeks of Advent.  Maybe that's why I like Advent so much.  It stretches on and on, focuses on Jesus and preparing us for Him, and then gently ends with Christmas Day.  I can't wait for January 1 when the SRT study on Genesis begins.  Who else is joining in on this story of beginnings?
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