Monday, June 30, 2008

Is it Friday yet?????

Black Monday, 1929. The start of the Great Depression.

Even in my flair for drama I won't pretend to compare the difficulties of my day with the trials and troubles of the Great Depression. So I'll just call today "Very, Very, Very Dark Gray Monday."

Not sure if it's teething issues or just plain ol' crankiness, but M is one big ball of emotions today. What a way to start the week! There were a couple of meltdowns before breakfast and quite of few while we were visiting the Marburys and an extremely long, continuous one while we drove home.

Ugh...

On a much lighter note, here is M doing his new favorite trick: walking backwards!

video

Sunday, June 29, 2008

179 days til Christmas...

...or so it says on greenwichmeantime.com.

That gives you just enough time to check THIS out!

weekend stuff

Here are some photos from this weekend. Insert repeated apology about blurry pictures here. When we are inside and I don't use a flash, the photos are pretty much horrible. But I don't have setting on my flash, so it totally washes everything out. You can see in one photo how S is clear, but M in all of his quickness is a blur!)

Anyway...the photos are of the following things:
1. Scott & Matthew at the piano...I asked M to smile for me, and he did...or at least he tried!
2. M in his cowboy hat (it's actually a sheriff's hat and S thinks it looks pink) riding the horse that Pa made for him. I love how his little toes dangle down. These photos also show that we have lived in this house over a year, and I still haven't hung up the mirror that is leaning against the wall. Slacker!!!!!!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

whatchutalkin'bout?

This post is to answer the questions of 1.) wouldn't my readers be better served if I blogged less about personal spiritual topics and more about adoption & motherhood issues and 2.) why I promote so many different charitable organizations.

1.) This answer has many facets: First, I'm a follower of Christ before I am a mama, so it's only natural to "talk" about the most important part of my life. To some it may sound horrible not to say that Matthew is the most important part of my life...but he is my son, not my Savior. While I pray for my relationship with M to be marked by deep love for each other, I'm also praying that he will grow to love God FAR MORE than he loves me.

Second, I want my readers who do not follow Christ to know that Christianity is not about religion, rules, and rituals...it is about a personal, loving relationship with the God who created you. And it's not about a once-a-week visit to a local church; it is daily life-permeating, heart-changing, eye-opening, and peace-bringing.

Third, I am encouraged (and sometimes convicted) when I read others' posts about what God is doing in their lives. I hope that will be the same for my readers.


2.) I try to promote various organizations because I never know which one might capture the heart of my readers. There are so many awesome organizations that I know there is one for everyone to support...and by support I don't always mean financially. Support could mean praying, promoting the organization to others, or simply writing notes of encouragement to those who serve in that ministry. Yes!...even writing a note of appreciation to someone who is fighting tirelessly to end poverty for a group of children is a great way to support! I do not give regularly to all of the organizations I write about but, if I post about them, I do try to send them some love.

---------------------------------------------------
On another topic, though related, I love how God's Word is SO RELEVANT for today. It's not just for those old dudes who wore tunics and sandals. It is for me...and for you...for every detail, decision, need, etc. of our daily lives.

For example, you may have read some of my latest posts about not hoarding the money & blessings that God places in your hands but instead giving overly-generously to those in need. Well, here is a great example of that idea found in the book of Job 31.
"If I have kept the poor from their desire,
Or caused the eyes of the widow to fail,
Or eaten my morsel by myself,
So that the fatherless could not eat of it...

...If I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing,
Or any poor man without covering;
If his heart has not blessed me,
And if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep;
If I have raised my hand against the fatherless,
When I saw I had help in the gate;

Then let my arm fall from my shoulder,
Let my arm be torn from the socket."


This passage causes me to reflect on my life and ask tough questions: In what ways have I been keeping the poor from their desire by spending on myself? In what ways have I been putting myself before those in need? What am I holding on to rather than using it to bless others?

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

First time mama question - the BIG stink

HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Some of you may remember we booted the Diaper Genie to the curb for being a slacker, so we currently put M's unmentionables in our main garbage can. We take out our garbage daily, and yet the stench is infiltrating mi casa!

Besides walking each diaper to the outside trash bin after every changing, does anyone have suggestions? I've tried some different air fresheners but haven't found one that is tough enough for my boy.

And while you are thinking of sweetly scented wisdom to pass on to me, please pray for those who REALLY live in unsanitary stench ALL the time. I lifted the photo below from Hannah's site (don't think she'll mind), and it is from her time in Cambodia. She described this scene as "the alley of nightmarish smells."

Can you imagine raising your baby here? Your toddler playing in the midst of this filth? If God so leads your heart to do MORE than pray for these mamas and their babies, I encourage you to contact Hannah to see how you can help (Hannah@hopechest.org)



edited2add: hey everyone, thanks for the suggestions! i actually have those little bags for when we are out&about, and i guess that's the way to go...buy them in bulk. i hadn't moved in that direction because of the sheer quantity we would go through (seriously, one day i would have needed 6 of them!), but it seems to be the best option.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

O Praise Him!

God's kindness to me is over the top. I cannot believe how absolutely gracious He continues to be to me, and I just pray that I don't hold onto His blessings but instead let them flow through my life to bless others. So here are some cool things to share:

UNO: In addition to other fantastic news from my mama today (you can say a "Thank You, God" right now), it looks like she will be coming to visit us in the near future!

DOS: Some of you have joined me on my prayer blog and know that I was praying about whether or not to continue the weekly posts. I just kind of felt like God was wrapping things up...but it left me wondering how I might serve Him next. Well, it seems as if God may already be opening doors for me to serve, love, and care for others. The way He works blows my mind...and He has been bringing things together in His "could-only-be-of-God" ways. I'll let you know more as He directs.

TRES: Scott and I had considered buying a used piano but, even at used prices, we weren't sure that we wanted to spend that kind of dough. Afterall, we don't even know if M will like the piano or if he will prefer the tuba. Well, yesterday we were totally blessed with an awesome little piano that had been used in the studio of a dude from our church!!!!

OH! FUNNY story! When S came home tonight, he sat down at the piano w/ M in his lap. I bellied up to the side and started belting out "you light up my life" in my best (or worst) karaoke voice. M flew into hysterics!!!! And then S started laughing thinking that M was crying at my singing!!! Turns out S had M's foot pinched between his leg and the piano! I felt bad for M, but it made me feel better to know that my singing is not THAT bad!

So here is M at the piano. The first video is the grandparents' version. Seriously, it is sloooooow movin'. The second video, which is shorter though not super action packed, is for everyone else!


video


video

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

some kind of wonderful

First, let me say how wonderful it is to start the day with an English muffin slathered with cream cheese and homemade strawberry jam! The jam was a gift from Kari&kids, and it is seriously the most freshest jam (yes, it deserves TWO superlatives) I've ever eaten. It's like you put it in your mouth and your tastebuds say "Well, hello there...where have you been all my life????"


We had a great time for M's 17-month birthday! We don't usually celebrate the months but I figured, "Why not?" In fact, why don't we all celebrate the months? It's a wonderful idea! So...my next month-birthday will be next week...lavish gifts can be sent to....

The day started with a b-day candle in his banana...a gig we had to repeat at least a thousand times:


The big blow:
We trekked to the mailbox for some key&lock free-for-all, which means M got to spend all the time he wanted putting our mail key in every lock he could reach. Pure bliss! Later we stopped by the store for some new kicks since he has already outgrown his summer shoes!!! Finally, we ducked into the hardware store for the big treat: a bolt w/ washers and nut...and paint samples!

Don't worry, the hardware is too big for swallowing...but fun for his little fingers! And the paint samples....well, he LOVES them. M will take paint cards and one by one hold them up on the wall while all the time jabbering away. I like them because it's a fun way to talk about colors.




SPAGHETTI SAUCE UPDATE: ok...we tried the sockarooni and, while the taste was good, it was a little (OK, a LOT) too chunkalicious for us. I pretty much cut the jar in half when I strained out all of the chunky whatnot. But next time we are trying the recommended Paul Newman's Marinara!!!

sweet heart

This morning I picked up a Bucker Orphan magazine and said to M, "I want to show you something." I turned to a photo of a baby...a little one obviously living in poverty...and told M that the baby did not have any food to eat.

I was actually surprised by how quickly M's demeanor changed...he looked very sad. I asked him if we should send the baby's mama some money to buy some food. Then I asked, "Do we have any money to send?" He immediately started pointing to the laundry room, so we walked in, and he pointed to the change bowl I keep on top of the dryer. I helped him climb on the stool and he selected coins out of the dish and placed them in my hand. He was mometarily distracted by the dryer buttons that were begging to be pushed, but he quickly got back on task!

We put the money in an envelope and will send it to Buckner later today!

Monday, June 23, 2008

17 MONTHS OLD!!!!

Again, sorry for the blurry photos.........ugh. Double ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

Here M is sporting his new man bag:

A joy of motherhood...fresh flowers hand-picked especially for you:
M writing a thank-you card to the Marbury family for the fun hat:


Matthew at 17 months:

- now when we are out&about and he sees letters on signs, he starts pointing and making his "alphabet sounds."

- he is doing well with using a spoon, following complex directions, and recognizing colors/letters/numbers/shapes. On his number puzzle, I can ask him questions like "Which number is on our mailbox?" and he points to the correct number.

- he understands general things, for example, to put on his sock, he can't just lay it on his foot, but he needs to put his fingers in the hole and stretch it out first.

- the other day he brought me a book with a page that talks about baking cookies....and he started pointing at them. I asked if he wanted a snack (dumb question) and, when we went into the kitchen, he led me directly to the muffins we had baked earlier in the week.

- in another book is a picture of a bear hugging some kids. M picked up a magnet that looks like a boy, opened the book to that page, and made the magnet hug the picture.

- while he hasn't exploded verbally, he does seem to say the word bed...and he says it as "gung" or "gung gung."

- he still eats quite a lot, but he is definitely becoming a pickier eater. I think that before now he was shoveling the food in so fast that he never actually tasted it. Now that the food is staying in his mouth a little longer, he is quick to let me know what he does not like.

- he loves to "dip!" Give him any kind of sauce and something to dip in it, and he goes to town.

- he continues to have a wonderful sharing heart, to help clean the house when asked (and sometimes on his own...as he finds little items on the floor, he takes them straight to the garbage can), and to be a sweet, sweet baby.

- his sleeping is improved...nights seem much less restless, and his naps are worthy of being called a nap rather than a blink.

- his atopic dermatitis flares and then subsides in cycles. It's pretty good right now, which may account for his improved sleep.


- no more teeth yet, but he is starting to stick his whole fist in his mouth again for chewing, so I suspect more are on the way.

And that's our big 17 month old boy!!!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

And it goes a little somethin' like this:

Just in case you were wondering how the water in the fountain squirts up out of the ground, Matthew describes it here:


video

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Follow-up Post (needs/indulgences)

Thanks for all of the great comments.emails.phone calls about my "5 for 50 post."

OK..so since I know you read it, here's my question: Have you decided on any items to move from your "needs" list to your "indulgences" list?

We can all answer easy ones like excessive dining out.entertainment.cherry bon bons...but what else? Is anyone giving your life a good hard look to see where you might cut back so that you can give more? How will you practically apply to your life what you know to be true in your heart?

One item that came to my mind right away for me was bottled water. My mouth thinks our tap water is DIS.GUST.ING. I mean it can thoroughly corrode a faucet in seconds flat so to think of what it does to your innards creeps me out! But I know that I have no clue what disgusting water really is. So I bought some sturdy reusable bottles to use in place of the case of water we buy each week. In total that could save $15-20/month...which would mean a month of meals for 3-4 orphans through Five for 50 or a donation to Living Water International.

A small start? Yes....very small. But I trust that God can take that small thing and multiply it for good.

In my post "in love", I mentioned that I love young adults who live passionately for God. Case in point...my new friend Hannah. She is utterly adorable...funny, fashionable, and on fire for God. Hannah took part in the World Race 2007 and currently works for Children's Hopechest. With her permission, I wanted to share some wise words from her last email. Oh, how I wish that I would have loved God...and had this perspective...when I was Hannah's age!

Like you, I am grateful and excited about the way God changes hearts and shifts perspectives for us in our time of selfish obliviousness. Every now and then, He gives me a wake-up-call that jolts me back into the meaningful, eternal realm of life as opposed to the shallow, petty one. I know that makes sense to you, since you have experienced that shift from sponge holders to suffering children. Smiles. It’s easier to focus on the foxy cream high-heels I spotted last week rather than the overwhelming specifics of human pain and injustice that extends to the four corners of the earth, ya know? : ) But, naturally, thoughts of high-heels and sponge-holders are empty and soul-less and dully disturbing at the end of the day; we’re not meant to be mesmerized by that nonsense. So that’s when God comes in just in time with something more difficult but ultimately more joyful to the core of our truest selves, the part that was created in His image, the sacrificial and compassionate and intensely loving part that reflects Him. God is genius!

OK, so here are my two requests:
1. If you know of any young adults who may be interested in joining the World Race, direct them to this web site: click HERE.
2. Leave a comment to this post sharing your plans to put true indulgences in their proper place. What have you discovered to be the indulgences on your needs list, and how will you give 'em the boot?

Like I've said before, I'm not suggesting that we can't go out to eat or buy a new skirt or rent a movie, I'm simply hoping that we will be mindful that the money God has placed in our hands is for greater purposes than our own comfort, enjoyment, ease...and indulgences!

P.S...my baby is getting too big for his crib:


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Got love?

This is a video of a pastor (Francis Chan) whose teaching rocks my world.

Chan sets my heart on fire as he talks about truly loving others...and how that looks in action. As an example, his church decided to forego building an expensive sanctuary and instead build an outdoor amphitheatre in which to hold service. While they know it means possibly attending church in the cold, the heat, the rain...the money they will save is dedicated to helping others.

I'm not going to kid you...it's long...normal service time. And I know the phrase "if you have a free minute" makes you double over in laughter. So maybe you can listen while you do dishes...or pay bills...or, like me, take a shower.



video

can you hear me now?

if you were trying to call me this morning and couldn't get through....it's because i was at the brink of insanity. there is no cell service there.

actually my toilet-dunked telephone is still experiencing post-traumatic symptoms and has taken a small time of respite and recovery.

my question for the day:
O sleep, sleep,
wherefore art thou sleep?


i've been meaning to post these photos because, well, they are a shining example of how uncool i am. i wanted to get some photobooth photos to redo my header. cute idea, right? well, M doesn't give a rip about cute headers. so both times i was sooooo busy trying to get him to smile/look at the camera/do anything cute that when it got to picture time, i freaked and could only think of kissing him or sticking my tongue out. real creative, huh? pressure...the pressure i'm tellin' you! not sure if you can see them, but here they are:


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

in love....

Today I am in love with many things...including my oh-so-gracious husband and the little dictator who runs our house, of course!

I'm in love with
- doctors who truly care about their patients

- young adults who are not caught up with worldly things but instead live passionately for God (more about this to come!)

- meeting new people face to face. M and I ate lunch in a super busy cafe and got to sit with 5 strangers as we shared a 6-top. I have loved making friends through blogging, but how awesome it was to have real-time conversation with new people. As a SAH mom, it is soooo easy to get sucked into your little world (just ask Scott!), so to hear about the lives of others was fantastic. And I didn't talk about diapers or sleep once...NOT ONCE!

- the fact that I have a camera and can document the adorable smiles of my boy. One day I'd like to take family photos for families those who cannot afford such a luxury.

That's not all, of course, but for the sake of blog real estate, it's all for now.

The following slideshows photos are of 1.) M cracking up because he accidentally dropped his quarter down his pants leg and 2.) our trip to the Botanical Gardens/Aquarium. Our aquarium fave: jellyfish! M's faves of the day: sitting by a little boy with his feet in the fountain, the butterfly pavilion, and strawberry dippin' dots.

The "made for the shade" shirt he has on was a gift from Rebecca & crew. It was totally appropriate for the day since we were dashing from shady spot to shady spot to endure the desert heat!


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Fun Photoshoot!

Recently Kari asked if I would take some photos of the M family as a Father's Day present. I was thrilled and honored that she asked! It was an absolute pleasure spending the afternoon with her and the kids taking a few (like 400 or so!) photos!

Kari brought her relative's Nikon D80, and it was my first time really using a digital SLR. It was difficult at first to get used to the viewfinder...and neither one of us knew how to change the settings on the camera...but we went with the flow and, hopefully, got some shots that put a smile on Daddy M's face!

The most amazing thing in looking at the photos afterwards was seeing each child's personality shine through so clearly! They are truly wonderful kids!

There were a few moments of chaos:


And meltdown:

And many moments of true beauty:








Sunday, June 15, 2008

Prayers for America

I believe this may be the final post on my prayer blog, so check it out HERE.

Happy Father's Day!

wearing daddy's hat
not sure why but as soon as scott opened his present, M climbed right into the box...he's the best present!
lunch date to celebrate father's day
M absolutely refusing to look at the camera...but at least scott did!

Happy Father's Day to our great daddy...and to all fathers and fathers-to-be soon!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Saturday stuff

Not sure what is up with my camera...maybe it's on strike...but my pics have been a little out of whack lately. Anyway, thought I'd share some.

Keeping with M's love of hats, he found this infant hat in a box of stuff and decided he needed to wear it. As soon as it was perched on his little head he let me know it was time to look in the mirror. Upon seeing himself in the hat, he was all smiles!

Here I asked M to show Elmo how to smile. This was the look he gave. This Elmo was a gift from the Social Security Office when we went to get him a SS#.
Today we went to Wendy's for their Rockin' Frosty Father's Day Weekend. For every Frosty purchased, they donate 50 cents to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. (at participating locations) My boys in orange hats.
Some UPdates:
- The shoes I bought M for summer are already getting too small!!!!!!!!!

- We think M has a southern drawl. When he says "help" (still his only word and he uses it for everything), he says it very drawn out and in two syllables.

- M seems to have an underbite. I mentioned it to his doc and she said that although boys' lower jaws grow at a faster rate than their upper, we'll keep an eye on it because it is probably here to stay!

- M had a circ this week, which I won't post about here, but if anyone is adopting a boy and has questions concerning this procedure...feel free to email me at 1sttimemama1@gmail.com

Five for 50

I stood at the kitchen sink and exclaimed to myself, "I need a new thing to hold my dish sponge." In my mind I pictured a shiny, sleek stainless steel holder that would hide the ugly look of worn sponges.

And then, as quickly as the first thought popped into my head, this conviction came, "No, I don't NEED a new holder. I don't even NEED an old holder." (I actually don't even have a holder, so this was a strange conversation to be having with myself!)

In America the line between necessity and luxury has been grossly blurred...and, if we are honest, we will agree that our list of "needs" actually includes a large number of indulgences.

Sometimes we deceive ourselves into thinking that we have to meet our own needs before giving money to others...and yet so many of those "needs" are not truly necessary. Sure they make life more convenient or fun, and I'm not saying there isn't room for that in our lives, BUT how is it that we can so easily live lives of convenience and fun while the world around us starves, aches, and dies?

Lately my heart has been so heavy about this...heavy like it has fallen from my chest and is lodged somewhere around my knee. If you are a follower of Christ, how can you justify this? (Believe me, I am not asking you anything I'm not asking myself).

We tend to hear stories of hurting people and pray "Oh, Lord, help them"...but perhaps His help to them is through us. And I don't just mean that 10% tithe (which actually is an OT command for the Jews) I mean giving sacrificially. Living with less so others can live with more. Living with much less so that others can simply live.

From what I see in the NT there are 12 COMMANDS about giving and 14 COMMANDS about money. If we were all honest, very few of us would be able to say that we are truly obedient to them all. But if we were...how different would the world look?

God does bless us with nice things sometimes as a gift...and sometimes He gives us the OK to make the purchase ourselves. But I would venture to say that most of us, myself included, have bought things just because we wanted them, out of impulse, from wrong motives, etc.

I pray that God will work in all of us to allow HIM to bless us rather than trying so hard to bless ourselves....that He will give us discernment between luxuries and necessities...and that He will put His giving nature in our hearts so that when we use the money (His money) that He has placed in our hands, it will be to bless others first and ourselves second.

If you are looking for someone with whom to share the resources God has placed in your hands, consider FIVE FOR 50. I was directed to this site by Jamie from tinyrockstar, and it is a Hopechest campaign where they share that for $5 they can feed an orphan for a month (100 meals). There is a precious video on the site.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

"E" is for Einstein

video

OK...I'm totally not trying to be that mom with bumper stickers all over my blog saying "My kid is on the honor roll..."

but I'm just seriously amazed at what M can do (when he is happy, fed, and well-rested, that is!).

On the morning of this video I had actually shown M the puzzle E because it was on the floor and asked him to find the magnet E. I honestly didn't think he would...I was just trying to keep him busy while I made breakfast. But he found it on the first try! So later in the afternoon I mixed up the letters and had him try it again...this time catching it on video!

BTW, one of my favorite things is that the bottom third of our refrigerator is all scratched and scarred from the magnet letters. For some reason it just makes my heart happy!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

tinyrockstar

Rebecca at La Dolce Vita has a big heart for giving to others and posted about a unique way to do so: tinyrockstar.com

Their mission: to end the phenomenon of orphans living in extreme poverty
Their first step: to fund a "Care Point" run by Children's Hopechest in Swaziland, Africa
Their plan: to sell the coolest, highest quality kids' t-shirts and onesies...for every shirt you buy, they donate enough to feed an orphan for a whole month


Here are some of their rockin' designs:





Perhaps you might buy a shirt or two...or how about paying for two shirts and only receiving one so that the money for the other shirt can go entirely to the Care Point children....

ROCK ON!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Bloggy

I've been reading a number of blog posts lately that seem to point to a common theme: blogging addiction.

The Good: What I've found to be true with blogging is that a sense of friendship and community can be formed almost instantaneously as you connect with like-minded, like-hearted people. I believe this to be especially true with the blogging adoption community due to the emotional ups&downs of the adoption process. Blogging, for me, has served many purposes including sharing Matthew's growth with friends and family, keeping updated on adoption news, maintaining my sanity as a SAH mom by providing fellowship with other moms, and forming friendships as I follow the lives of other bloggers.

The Bad: While initial intentions to blog are good, bloggers can find themselves sucked into blogging very quickly. I've read comments joking of blog "addictions" but, for some, it isn't a joke. When you blog, you make great friends...but, due to easy computer access, it's like these friends are at your house 24/7. So not only can your time become devoted to sitting in front of your computer, but also your mind can become blog-driven as your thoughts focus on checking blogs, writing posts, leaving comments, and uploading photos. And because of the huge blogging network, you can quickly gain so many friends that keeping up with each blog can become absolutely time consuming.


The Bloggy Advice: Be mindful of your initial intentions for blogging and then set parameters for using your time to best meet those goals. For example, if you blog to become connected with other adoptive mamas and find that your list of friends is growing rapidly, don't feel like you have to check each blog every day. Perhaps you set aside one day to check all blogs or you choose 3 blogs to read each day...or another scenario that works best for you. The time it takes to check blogs, especially if you leave comments, is deceptively greater than it may seem. Or, if you are blogging for family and friends, don't let a comment like "I check your blog every day" make you feel like you HAVE to post every day. You may find that mindset actually drives your daily activities!

I've read posts about blogging taking away people's time...and thoughts...from their family, their work, their responsibilities and most importantly from God. What an example of choosing what's good over what's best. In and of itself, blogging is good...but placed before God, it quickly becomes an idol. This happened to me and for awhile my first morning thought was how quickly I could get to my computer! Thankfully, my focus is back on God and my waking thought is how quickly I can get to God's Word.

So, all in all, my advice is this regarding your time, your mind, and your heart...

Don't give your employer leftovers.

Don't give your family leftovers.

And, above all, don't give God leftovers.

Take your "personal computer time" off the #1 spot on your priority list. Your blogging friends will understand!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Mama - 1, Baby - 0

Ok, so actually it is like Mama - 1, Baby - 538, but let's look on the positive side. For the time being, I have found a way to calm the raging storm that rears its ugly head whenever I change M's diaper.

The trick up my sleeve?

His digital clock!

I showed him how the numbers change and, lo and behold, now he will wait patiently to watch the big action...as I quickly change his diaper. If he starts to get a little impatient, I simply ask him questions like "which number is 7?" and he stays on task.

Isn't that terrific? It totally makes my day.

There is joy in the simple things.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

New Prayers for America

New intercessions listed HERE.

All work and no play...well, a little play

The boys were working hard today. Matthew was quite busy washing his car, and Scott was up to his ears in dirt installing a sprinkler system so we can begin landscaping. Once the car was clean, M decided to help S for a while, so they talked "parts."

And me? I blew bubbles. Beautiful bubbles that looked like little rainbows floating around in the breeze.

M refused again to smile for the camera. And Scott is pretty much the same way...so I sneakily used the zoom to snap one of him. I think it is the only frontal shot I been able to get of him in the past few years because he always turns his head!









Untitled

Beautiful post by Angie at Bring the Rain.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Freakishly amazed

Freakishly amazed.

That is how I described it to Scott. Last month I purchased the puzzle shown in the photo below and every once in awhile M and I would play with it...although the playing pretty much consisted of me saying the letters and putting them in their places while he tried to dump them all out. Pretty typical for a baby.

So the other day he got the puzzle out and dumped the letters on the floor. This time I would pick up a letter, ask him where it went, and he would point to the correct space. Most of the time. But after a handful of letters he lost interest in the whole thing and moved on.

This morning I tried repeating this activity just to see how many he could get...and he correctly placed all but 2 of the letters. I would say the letter; he would show me where it went. If he didn't get it right, I set the letter aside. Actually for 4 of the letters I had to give him a clue using the picture that is associated with that letter...but, even so, I couldn't believe he did it. The whole thing left me freakishly amazed!

Just to clarify...I'm not a flash-card using mama nor do I follow M around the house reading out of an encyclopedia...but I do think this has helped me to see the importance of playing with kids. What often feels mundane and repetitious to me...I mean, seriously, sometimes I think my brain is completely wasting away and I wonder if in a few weeks I will even remember how to spell my own name...is so helpful in building the skills that M needs to grow.

BTW, so sorry I'm slacking on photos of M...but with the way he reacts to the camera I am thinking that he is in the Witness Protection Program and is worried his identity might be revealed.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

another 1st time mama question

Anyone have an issue with the baby outgrowing the car seat before ready for a booster seat? M's head is moving quickly toward the top of his car seat.

Almost too much fun for one week!

Matthew's 1st trip to the pool - M seemed to like the pool. (I always have to say "seemed to like" because he is a serious little guy and often doesn't show emotion til we are home and talking about our adventures). His mission was to empty the entire contents of the wading pool using a measuring cup. It was serious business, and he was up to the challenge. He was working with such frenzy that, at one point, I repositioned myself between him and the lifeguard for fear of being thrown out of the pool for wasting water! There was a brief moment when M saw a boy kicking his legs that he laughed and tried to kick his legs, too...then it was back to work!


Matthew's 1st trip to the zoo - Even though we went at the hottest part of the day, this was one of the best zoo experiences I have had in regards to seeing active animals. We saw the elephant doing tricks, a baby chimp interacting with its mama, a fiesty polar bear playing with its toys, and sea lions dancing through the water. The part that Matthew liked best? Lunch.
I think M is a cross between Julie the Cruise Director from Love Boat and Napoleon (Bonaparte, not Dynamite) as he is one of small stature who thinks he is in charge of directing our excursions...and he does so with great authority. If he is not interested in the current activity or thinks it is taking too long, out shoots his little arm...finger pointed...telling you that NOW is the appropriate time to get moving!
M is adamantly opposed to getting his picture taken now, so photos ops are becoming less and less frequent. Look at how BIG he looks in the stroller photo below!
All of this fun may have taken its toll on him because he is back to very restless nights and waking up super early!