Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Grace's First Christmas

Grace has now experienced her first Christmas.  Here are just a few of the highlights of the day:
Stocking Time

Grandpa helping Grace open one of her presents.  Being the first grandchild, she sure got spoiled.

This is my mom and Grace with her new rocking horse.  She loves this thing and gets so excited whenever she gets to play with it. Hopefully soon I will post a video of her response.

Uncle Jonathan got her a camo outfit which he insisted she wear all day.  Pretty cute!

Christmas Photo Shoot

The hardest part was trying to get her not to eat the lights.  Joe was on light duty while I took the pictures.  It was his job to try and keep the things out of her mouth... something about not wanting our baby to put electrical wires in her mouth while plugged it.  We used the last one for our Christmas card.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Baking

My sister and I recently endeavored to make some cake balls. We got both the idea and the recipe from my good friend Lyndsey Brown. It's really pretty easy... Bake a cake, let it cool, dump it in a bowl, add a can of cream cheese frosting, mix together with hands, form into balls, freeze, dip, and cover in chocolate. After several hours and much tweaking of our technique, we were victorious. We found that adding just a little bit of shortening to the chocolate and making sure the cake balls were completely frozen produced the best result. Here are some pictures of the event:

Okay so the cookie cutters were for sugar cookies which we didn't get to, but I liked the picture.

Grace decided she wanted to help.

Here is our finished product and just some of the mess we made.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Our New Toy

This is actually Joe posting. Don't get used to it. I have a philosophical aversion to the whole idea of blogging... or maybe I'm just disinterested... or lazy.

Each Thanksgiving and Christmas, the parent organization at my school gives teachers a $25 gift card to Safeway. We're cheap... we shop at Winco.

Being the compulsive savers that we are, we figured that we would just hold onto them and put them together for something we really wanted. What I love about those things is that some stores let you buy gift cards to other stores with gift cards.

After two years, we had $75 in gift cards (haven't gotten the one for this Christmas yet). We used those to purchase Best Buy cards. We put those together with a similarly converted gift card from my parents (Fred Meyer) and a Best Buy card we had already been given by Ashley's aunt and uncle (last Christmas). That left us with $150 to Best Buy. Thanks to a sweet online Thanksgiving deal ($100 off), we bought a nice little Canon digital video camera for a grand total of $50 of our own money.

Here's a few little clips showing some of the fun we've been having with it.

Merry Christmas to us.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Six Months

Grace is now half a year old.  She is such a great baby and I am loving this stage so far.
At six months she:
  • Loves giving Mommy "kisses", and occasionally Daddy is lucky enough to get one too.
  • Sits up all by herself and has been for awhile now.
  • Is really close to crawling, often up on all fours, rocking back and forth.  If she keeps it up, we may have to do some re-arranging on the Christmas tree.
  • Is basically sleeping through the night.  Bed time: 7:30 pm, waking up to eat at 5:00 am for a feeding, then sleeping again till around 7:30 am
  • Has two bottom teeth.
  • Loves to eat!
We recently went to Grace's six month check up, where we were surprised to find, she has dropped from the 16th to the 8th percentile for weight.  She is a very happy, healthy baby, but apparently very small.  The doctor told us she is by definition "failing to thrive".  These are not pleasing words to a mothers ears.  So after a few tears, I determined to do everything in my power to help her "thrive."  Here is what she eats in a typical day:
5:00 am - Breast Feeding
8:00 am - Breast Feeding
8:30 am - Jar of fruit or Jar of mixed fruit and yogurt
Noon - Breast Feeding
12:30 pm - Bowl of rice cereal mixed with formula & Jar of fruit or vegetables
3:00 pm - Breast Feeding
6:00 pm - Jar of meat, Jar of fruit or vegetable & Rice cereal mixed with formula
7:30 pm - Breast Feeding
Now you tell me... is that the diet of a child who is "failing to thrive"?  I'm sure some day she'll enjoy that high metabolism. :)

Here is Grace up on all fours. 

This is the best shot we could get of her two teeth.  She has such a cute little smile.

The coloring is a little off in this picture, but it is so cute I had to include it with the rest.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Look at the Birds

We have a tree outside of our house with these little red berries.  I have no idea what kind of tree it is or what the little berries are called.  But regardless of their name, by the end of the summer our tree is full of them.  As fall comes and goes, all the leaves fall off, but the berries remain, turning from an orange to a deep red.  Then, sometime around the beginning of December, when the cold weather really hits, hundreds of robins flock to our yard to feast.  Last year it happened during Arctic Blast '08 (This is what the media coined our winter storm last December.  Stupid name if you ask me, but don't get me started on that.).  As Grace and I leaned against the window yesterday watching all the birds, I was reminded of Matthew 6:26, "Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow, nor reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?"  
The robins in my yard do not worry about where their food will come from, yet in the middle of December, when it feels like Alaska outside, God provides them a feast of little red berries.  Why can I not be like the birds? Being a mom has not helped with my anxiety.  Nope, in fact quite the opposite.  Now I have a beautiful daughter who I love more than life itself to worry about.  However, the Lord has really been working in my heart lately, gently telling me to let go of the worry.  "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" Matthew 6:28.  I know my life is in his hands and nothing is going to change that.  I also know He loves my daughter even more than I do; and if He cares about the birds of the air, who are not made in His image, how much more does he care about Grace and Joe and me?  I don't think I will ever truly stop worrying about my children (we still only have one, but want to add more in the future), but I will try my best not to worry about what tomorrow will bring.  I have an Abba who loves me so much He sent His son to die, so that I could be brought into His family as His daughter.  So I think I'll leave things to Him and enjoy the gifts He has so generously given me. 

*Just a little side note.  I love that the more I learn about my God the bigger and better He gets. :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Oh How I Love Family and Food

This year Grace is celebrating all her first holidays.  I don't think she cares much, but it sure is fun for us.  For Thanksgiving we went down to Eugene to celebrate with my moms side of the family.  One of my favorite parts, besides the food of course, is that after eating we always play a game of touch football in the yard.  This year it rained the whole time and everyone was soaked, but if anything, the rain made it more fun.  I wish I had a picture of the game to post, but I was playing and my mom, who usually takes all the pictures, was watching Grace. But here are a few other pictures from the day.

This last photo was taken by a phone so the quality isn't the best.

Friday night my grandparents paid for us all to attend the Blazers game.  They weren't just any seats either.  We got to watch from one of the suites.  There was food, drinks, our own private bathroom, binoculars under the seats... you get the picture.  Pretty sweet (pun intended).  It's too bad the Blazers stunk it up on the court. Oh well, it was still so much fun. Thanks grandpa and grandma.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Andrea

Yesterday we celebrated my sister's 24th birthday by playing some lazer tag and going to Red Robin.  Andrea has been talking about how fun it is but the $8 per person price seemed a little steep for me.  But I had a blast and was only charged the 12 and under price of $5.  I know I look young, but 12? Joe said it was because it was a guy charging me and he and Grace were off at another table.  Have to say if that was the case, I'm flattered.  Even after childbirth, my looks saved me three whole dollars.  Yes, I know this may sound silly, but ladies you know what I am talking about.  I figure its similar to being carded when you are 45; kind of nice once and awhile. So what if he charged Andrea and Brad the same price.  Let me have my moment of happiness.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Grace has...

... her first tooth. That's right, my baby has her first tooth.  Just noticed it yesterday. There isn't much to see right now as it just poked through, but it sure explains all the fussiness lately.  I think she may be working on another if today is any indicator.  Poor thing.  Any helpful hints from you experienced moms out there?  Also I was wondering if anyone had heard anything about amber/hazelwood necklaces that are supposed to help with teething.  Have to say I'm skeptical, but if it would help, I am willing to try.  I will absolutely be posting pictures as soon as you can actually see the tooth without a microscope.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Blessings Beyond Measure

Today was one of those days when I wish I could just crawl back into bed and pretend the world didn't exist for awhile.  But life doesn't work that way.  Instead of telling you all the reasons today was so hard, I've decided to make a list of all the wonderful blessings in my life.  They are a lot more fun to read about anyways.
  • My daughter lights up my world whenever she smiles at me.
  • My husband brought me home a Pepsi because he knew it would cheer me up.
  • Grace is starting to sit up on her own, so today when I took her shopping, I didn't need to use her carseat... she sat in the cart like a big girl.  This is such a breakthrough as I cannot see above her carseat when I put it on the cart and have a really hard time steering.  :)
  • Grace has been saying mama.  I don't think she has connected that I am mama, but it is cute none the less.
  • I have a savior who loves me and a God who gave his only son so that I might have new life; something that has taken on even greater significance now that I have a child of my own.
  • I have a beautiful baby and a husband who loves me.  How many years did I pray and long for this time in my life?  God has truly blessed me beyond measure. 

Monday, November 2, 2009

My Cute Little Giraffe

Grace's Halloween costume...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cranberry Harvest

This weekend we made the trek down to my parent's house to help with harvest.  My parents own a cranberry farm down in Bandon and October through mid-November is always harvest time.  It's sad that we could only make it for a few days, but October is always a busy month for a teacher and getting away for more than the weekend is almost impossible.  This was actually the first time Joe has been able to come down and see the process. People always ask me how cranberries grow and are harvested and if you are one of those interested in knowing a quick synopsis on how a cranberry farms works, scroll down below all the wonderful pictures.

Okay for those curious souls who want to know...
No cranberries are not grown in the water. The water is only for harvest. They grow in bogs which are, in our case, two acres of vines surrounded by dikes. If you are interested in what a bog looks like when it is not being harvested google it. It is a lot pretty during harvest and hence this is what always comes to mind when people think of cranberries. It definitely makes for better commercials.
There is actually two forms of harvest: wet and dry picking. Only the berries picked through the dry technique can be marketed as fresh berries. We use the wet method. To do this, you flood the bog with water when use what is called a beater to, what else, beat the berries. Then all the berries float to the top of the water and are corralled using boom boards which are two boards screwed together in a T. You string all the boom boards together and use these to move the floating berries where you want them to go. Our boom boards are yellow (thanks to a summers hard work by my sister and I who made all of them) as you can see in the above pictures. Once the berries are corralled you then push them up an elevator which moves them onto a truck. Of course this is just my take on the harvest. :) For a more detailed account, try Wikipedia, theirs isn't bad.

This is a great picture of the whole opperation

Here I am pushing the berries onto the elevator

And there is my dad making sure the berries go where he wants them to.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Pumpkin Patch

We had planned on visiting Baughman Farms this weekend, but Joe wasn't feeling well so we post-poned our trip to today. I have heard a lot about the Baughman Farms and was excited to check it out.  However, I wouldn't recomend going on a weekday (especially an hour from closing time).  Although there was barely anyone there and the light of the setting sun made for some great pictures, nothing was open and part of the fun is lot's of people.  I think next year, when Grace actually cares what we are doing, we will try a weekend trip.  It may be more expensive, but I think the price will be worth it.  Who knows, we may even try a different one next year; one with a corn maze :)

Actually they grow at the Mogford house.

That's one scary spider.

Grace's face in this one cracks me up!

Picking out a pumkin... I think I'll take the one that's smiling.