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. :)