Wednesday, December 24, 2008

10 months and Merry Christmas!


I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas week! Andrew turned 10 months old last week amid what I thought was a bad cold and turned out to be bronchiolitis and an ear infection. He is on medication and doing much better now, bless his heart, but please keep him in your prayers. Many blessings to you and yours this season! I'm thankful for each of you!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Our extra traveler: a pesky winter storm.

two inches of ice on the rearview mirrors......on the hood...and the sheet of ice that came off our roof!

We finally got home yesterday from a great trip to Arkansas. What was supposed to be a relatively short, uncomplicated trip became longer and a little tricky when a major winter storm decided to hang directly over our travel route! So instead of us going part of the way back on Monday night and the rest of the way Tuesday (putting us home Tuesday afternoon), we went part of the way Monday night, part of the way Tuesday, and the rest of the way Wednesday morning, putting us home Wednesday afternoon. We are very thankful to be home safely! Most of the way on Tuesday we had about two inches of ice covering our car (see pictures below). At one point on Tuesday night Bryan had to pull over and chip the ice off the headlights because we couldn't see! Bryan and I have a joke that every year we inevitably have one trip that is just awful (trust me, it's happened for like five years in a row), and this year we hadn't had it yet so we had to squeeze it in before 2009! HA! Anyway, like I said we are very glad to be home safe and sound. Thanks to those of you who prayed for safe travel for us!

We did have a great visit in Arkansas. Check out my slideshow below for a review!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Why we love Amelia--a select few reasons :-)

Amelia does "ta-da!" from her gymnastics class

Amelia never fails to entertain us. I often wonder to Bryan, "what did we laugh at before we had Amelia?" She always has something funny to say or an interesting perspective to share. Here are a few of her latest funnies, and a link to a great video.
1. At church we have a Children's Worship time during the sermon; it typically comes after the communion and offering. I usually give Amelia a dollar to put in the offering plate. Yesterday the plate went around faster than I realized and by the time it got to us, I hadn't given the dollar to Amelia yet, so I just put it in along with my check. Upset, she folded her arms and grumbled. Then came this exchange.
Amelia: "Now I can't go."
Me:"You can't go where?"
Amelia: "To Children's Worship."
Me: "Why not?"
Amelia: "Because I didn't put my dollars in."
Me: "Well Honey, you don't have to pay to go; you can still go."
Amelia: "Oh."

2. The other day I was on the computer, Bryan was working, and Andrew was down for a nap. Amelia really wanted someone to play with her. After telling her several times that I'd play with her as soon as I finished what I was doing, she said "but if no one plays with me, I won't be beautiful anymore." Not sure what that means, but at least she has self-confidence!
3. At school one day Amelia drew a picture of her family. As she was showing it to me I noticed there were only three people in it. She identified them as Mommy, Daddy and Amelia. I said, "where's Andrew and Fletcher?" To which she replied, "they're taking a nap." She certainly knows what goes on at our house!
4. Usually when I make dinner, Bryan does dishes. Last week, though, Bryan was putting up a new ceiling fan in our bedroom and wanted to get it done right away, so he went to work on it right after we ate. As I was about to start clearing the table and putting things away, Bryan called me into the room to help him. I'd been in there for several minutes when I heard Amelia humming to herself and heard water running. I peeked around the corner and saw that Amelia had gotten her stool out of the bathroom and, without being asked at all, had taken all our dishes to the sink, rinsed them off, and was putting them into the dishwasher. She'd also put away most of the food we had out (including the salt and pepper shakers, which were in the fridge--but hey, she was helping!!). I took this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXhY-_kiIko, most of it before she saw me. But it was so sweet that she wanted to help and did it all on her own, and we were so proud of her. She is such a great girl!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nine Months

Andrew turned nine months old yesterday. He's officially now been outside me as long as he was inside me! Weird! He is 28" tall and 21 pounds, 12 ounces, which despite what we'd think is only in the 50-75th percentile. I'm sure his chubby legs would break some records, though! I should take a picture of them sometime for those of you who haven't had the privelige to see them. :-) Anyway, here is his nine month picture.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Amelia's big weekend

Yesterday Amelia turned four years old! I can hardly believe time has gone by so fast. Amelia's birthday weekend was quite full, starting on Friday morning:
  • Amelia got to take a special snack to her class (chocolate chip muffins--it was morning, so I couldn't really do cupcakes or anything)
  • Ms. Vicky, her Pre-K teacher, gave her a new book about Clifford the Big Red Dog; Amelia got to wear a birthday crown, and she got to come home with "Ted E.," her class mascot (the kids take turns taking him home each weekend and journaling about his adventures)
  • We celebrated early with a bunch of friends at Red Robin. I forgot my camera, which is really too bad because while the staff was singing their "happy birthday" song to Amelia, she had this look on her face the whole time like, "you are so out of tune." It was quite hilarious. Everyone (well our friends that is) came back to our house for cake afterwards.
  • Saturday morning Amelia opened presents from family. She began the morning by opening our door at 8:00 a.m. and saying, "Mom, it's my birthday..."
  • Three of Amelia's friends came over for Amelia's party, which was Disney Princess-themed. The girls enjoyed the cake (thanks, Sam's Club!) and playing with the presents they brought Amelia (ha!). Then, we all bundled up, strapped everyone into the car (thanks Matt and Jess for the loaner!) and went to...
  • ...the Circus! Only one out of the four little girls had been to a circus before. All four had a great time.

It was a fun birthday weekend, and we were all pretty worn out when we got home last night. Amelia had a great time. Here are pictures from our weekend!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy 28th, Sister!

This is a birthday shout-out to my sister Abby, who's touring the country. Happy birthday! We love you!
video

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween

We had a great time last night taking the kids trick-or-treating. Andrew was pretty much just along for the ride, but he did great. The only annoying thing was that people kept saying, "Oh, I love his gnome costume!" Come on, people. He was riding around with Snow White. Really? A gnome? He was Dopey, just to clarify. Anyway, Amelia did great and enjoyed both getting and giving candy. Here are a few pictures from the evening.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Odds and Ends

Where has October gone? For that matter, where has September gone? I realized yesterday I hadn't posted Andrew's 8 month picture yet. Here it is:
Andrew is very busy these days and pulling up on everything, as you can see in the picture. He is quite a curious kid! I think he'll be walking before long. I'm trying to enjoy the last few days of limited mobility while I can. Time just seems to fly these days. We have had a very busy October between travel and other activities. When we were in Houston a couple weeks ago we visited a pumpkin patch, then visited our local orchard fair when we got back. Here are some favorite pictures:Sunday was our church's annual Trunk-or-Treat; Amelia dressed as Snow White and we dressed Andrew as Dopey, so I decided to go as the evil witch, complete with witch nose and
"poisoned" apple. I also had super-long red press-on fingernails, but by the time we actually go to the trunk-or-treating (there were games before) they'd all started breaking, so there's no nails in the picture. Oh well! Bryan considered doing a magic mirror costume, but we just didn't have the time to get it together. Here is a picture of us, and I'll post more of the kids after Halloween (I don't think my witch will be making a repeat appearance!).

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A kid-free post (well, almost)

I usually post things about the kids--how they're growing, changing, etc.--but I rarely post things about how or what Bryan and I are doing (we're fine, by the way :-) )! Well, I have experienced something fairly life-changing lately and I feel compelled to share!

I'm participating in a women's Bible study with a friend of mine (sponsored by her church). It's not just any study; it's a Beth Moore study. If you are a woman and have never done one of Beth's studies, YOU SHOULD. She is an incredibly gifted teacher and speaker and God always uses her material to speak to me in whatever season of life I'm in. This study (the sixth one I've done of Beth's) is called "A Woman's Heart: God's Dwelling Place;" it's a study of the tabernacle. Week two of the study focused on God's provision for the Israelites during their wandering in the wilderness, and here's what got me: God is a daily God. He wants us to come to Him every day for sustenance and a renewal of His mercies (Lamentations 3:22-23). Meeting with Him once a week for corporate worship, or a couple times a week in prayers before meals, won't cut it. The interesting thing is that several things in my life leading up to this week of study had been pointing to this very same idea, and when that happens I know God's trying to teach me something. What I'm learning this time is that in a lot of ways, I've been focusing on the future or a far-off goal instead of living for and paying attention to today. I'll give you some examples so you can see what I mean by "this is fairly life-changing."

1. For several years now I've wanted to lose a significant amount of weight (anywhere from 30-50 pounds, depending on what year it was!), but each time I've never been able to lose more than 10 or 15 pounds. I am working on losing weight again, and this time when I started the process, I started really thinking about why I'd never been able to accomplish my goal. What I realized was that I'd been focusing so much on the big number at the end, I'd not been able to be happy with my daily or weekly, smaller goals (met or unmet). Therefore, if I had a week where I didn't lose much or any weight, or if it was taking longer than I wanted, I got discouraged and just gave up. Now I realize that I didn't gain all that weight in a couple months, and it's going to take longer than that to lose it! Also, if I just focus on eating well today, each day, those daily choices will put me closer to my goal. By the way, I've been successful so far...to date I've lost 18.5 pounds! Woo hoo!

2. Amelia is getting to a point now where she occasionally throws tantrums and shows a nasty attitude. Hello, almost-4 year-old (I told you this was almost kid-free)! It is obviously a challenge to figure out the best way to handle these instances, as all kids are different and all punishments don't work across-the-board. My struggle with this phase has been my thinking, "if she's this bad now, what's it going to be like when she's a teenager?? She is going to hate me!" This may, of course, still turn out to be true, but in light of my new realization I've decided to pray every day that I'll make good parenting decisions for that day, and not focus on what might happen 10 years from now. It's also helped me to remember that the way I react to her is an example to her of how to act when she is upset or angry. If I yell at Amelia and stomp around when I'm upset with her, she's likely to react the same way when she's upset with me! Putting these into practice has helped me to be more loving and calm when dealing with her, and I can already tell that her reaction to me is changing.

3. I've been very involved in different ministries at our church for several years now, and I'm burned out. The details are complicated so I won't share all of them, but trust me when I tell you that at this point in time everything I'm doing, I have to keep doing. I've realized that I've been in a spiritual slump, so to speak, due to this burnout and some other factors, and I've gotten indifferent, negative, and bitter (though mostly not publicly). Unfortunately I can't say that these feelings are totally gone, but with my "Daily God" approach He's been teaching me to focus on the task at hand, and to focus on those I'm ministering to instead of myself. It's been much more joyful and I'm sure it's made me a whole lot more effective.

So how else am I responding to the "lightbulb moment" God's given me? Every day, in the morning (to start the day out right!) I'm praying that God will sustain me for that day, that I'll rely on Him only, and that He'll show Himself to me. I'm asking Him to help me be a good wife and mom...today. That He'll help me make good eating and exercise choices...today. That I'll be a good friend and example to others...today. That He'll forgive me when I sin...today. Like I said, this has really changed my perspective and, I think, changed my life. It's something I always knew, but just now took to heart. Maybe you'll consider doing it, too; live in today!
*check out these scriptures for reference: Matt. 6:11; Matt. 6:33-34; Lam. 3:22-23

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

NYC trip

Last week I took the kids to NYC to visit my parents. This was Andrew's first trip to the Big Apple and he was pretty indifferent to it all! Amelia was able to enjoy some aspects of NY for the first time, though, including the Statue of Liberty (seen from the Staten Island Ferry), the Central Park Carousel, and an off-Broadway show (the Gazillion Bubble Show...exactly what it sounds like). She also had fun playing on the playground outside Nana and Pops' apartment building, riding on the bus and subway, and visiting American Girl Place (an early birthday present). Andrew celebrated his 7-month birthday in NY! He is well on his way to crawling; it'll happen any day now. He can also sit himself up from laying down, so it's time to lower the crib mattress. He is a very curious boy and so much fun! Below are some pictures from our trip.

Amelia and Pops ride the carousel
Andrew's first subway ride

7 months old...with the Statue of Liberty in the background (very small, over Nana's shoulder)

We enjoyed a tea party on Nana and Pops' patio with tea and kolaches that Amelia helped make.

Amelia loved the tea party!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Back to School

Amelia's first day of Pre-KThis week Amelia moved up into the Pre-Kindergarten class at her school. I feel old. I can't believe she's already in Pre-K! She is very excited about her new class and teacher. She knows Ms. Vicky (she's seen her around school before) and almost all the kids in her class were also in her Preschool class at some point, so it's nice that there's not a ton of new stuff all at once. Anyway, the classroom activities are all much more school-prep-oriented than last year's, so it'll be fun to watch her learn. We are almost positive that we won't put her in kindergarten next year (she'll turn 5 on Nov. 15, 2009 and to enroll in kindergarten here, you have to be 5 by Dec. 1, so we could start her next year if we wanted), but it's still hard to believe the school years are already upon us. Those of you out there: what's your opinion on the age deadline? What do you see as the pros and cons of starting her in kindergarten next year or waiting a year? I've heard several people's opinions both ways, but I'm always interested to hear people's reasons. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Six months

Andrew had his half-birthday yesterday! He is growing up so fast and doing new things every day. He is now able to sit on his own and really wants to crawl, although thankfully he can't yet! He is also very adept at grabbing things, so we have to make sure and put everything out of his reach. I'm not sure exactly how much he weighs now (his 6-month checkup is next week) but I got on the scale with him last week and he was 19 pounds. Wow. Here is a funny series of his 6-month pictures.
Amelia continues to be quite the artist and have a flair for the dramatic. This week she decided that she didn't want Fletcher in her room, so she made a "no Fletchers allowed" sign for her door. Here it is:

Amelia was a little disappointed when I told her that Fletcher can't read, so it wouldn't be very effective, but oh well. At least she tried!! She cracks us up all the time. You might have noticed that she made her Fletcher anatomically correct by including a "bottom." I explained to her after she drew it that we probably shouldn't draw "bottoms" anymore! Ha! Gotta love an almost-4-year-old's mind!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

How quickly things change...

The last time I posted, I wrote that Andrew gets frustrated that he can't figure out how to get from his back to his tummy. Well, literally the next day he got it. Now the little guy is rolling all over the place! He's already gotten his head (almost) under the couch and his hand out the door (Amelia opened it). Let the trouble begin...and goodbye, freedom! :-(

Monday, July 21, 2008

Catch-up

The first week in July was spent visiting family and friends in Arkansas. It was a lot of fun and we enjoyed seeing everyone! Here are a few pictures from our visit. My Granddad with me and the kidsGrandma and Grandpa with A&AAndrew and (8 days older) cousin Brylee
All five Jobe Grandkids
Amelia was such a trouper in the car! She and her puppy headphones watched "The Incredibles" and "Cinderella" about a million times.

Lately Amelia has been really into playing with her dolls. Here are a couple of illustrations:
Andrew's latest update is that he is rolling over from his back to stomach regularly, but then can't figure out how to get back onto his back and gets really mad. His other new thing is that he's now eating solid food. He wasn't too sure about rice cereal but now that we've added applesauce, he's quite happy.
This year is flying by. I can't believe it's already practically halfway over!