Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Five Days and Counting...

....till Christmas of course.

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 19, 2011

Grace's Singing Debut

This last Sunday Grace sang "Away in a Manger" and "Praise Him, Praise Him, All You Little Children." She didn't actually sing, but she did all the motions. I was/am one proud mama.

And for your viewing pleasure:

Friday, December 16, 2011

7 & 8 Months

I'm a bit behind on the monthly updates; which, I figure, is totally fine since in blogging land, monthly updates about your kids are not as interesting as other topics.

Owen's 7 Month Picture (isn't he cute?) -

Not sure how much he weighs since it had been a month since his check-up, but I'll just say:
Really Heavy

  • Got his first tooth around November 3rd, and his second one came through on 11-11-11.
  • Got his first haircut
  • Is busy following his sister all over the house
  • Still working on sleeping through the night. He's a lot better then a month ago, but things like teething and colds keep things interesting.

8 Months -

Still not sure how much he weighs, but it's even more... I'm fairly certain he only has a few pounds to go to catch up with his sister.

  • His favorite toys are the broom and a styrofoam sword. We play "cut-cut" with the sword: A game where he cuts mommy or daddy and we pretend to die. He thinks it's hilarious and I'll do just about anything to hear his laugh.
  • He would not sit still for this picture, but he doesn't really sit still for anything. I gave him Christmas lights thinking that would help. It didn't. But I'm a pretty gifted photographer, so I snapped this bad-boy and called it good. ;)
  • He loves his blanky.
  • He chews with his hands. This one is hard to explain. You really can't get the full effect unless you see it. But in an attempt to explain: He squeezes his little fists, which actually look like the sign for milk, for those of you who know some sign language, as if doing this will make the food go down faster. Trust me on this, it's cute.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Jingle On My Knee

I caught Grace singing this beautiful song in the car the other day and I had to share: "Jingle bell, jingle bells, jingle on my knee..." Too cute.

She is also learning the motions to "Away in the Manger" at Sunday school. I might make her do it for me every day. Although, being two, she doesn't always comply.

And on a completely unrelated to Christmas note... Joe was shopping with Grace today when she informed him that all the milk was gone. Perplexed, he turned around and found her pointing to the jugs filled with distilled water. Yes, Grace it does appear that all the milk is gone. Love you girl!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas is Coming

I have such good memories of our advent calendar as a child. Our countdown was a green cloth calendar with pockets and a little mouse that helped you keep track of the days. My mom would fill each spot with a small candy or piece of gum (if I remember right, gum was Andrea's favorite). My sister and I would look forward to each new day and the candy that awaited us.
This year I decided, with a little help from Pintrest, to make an advent calendar for my family. It was quite the undertaking; mostly because I waited until November 29th to start the project. Needless to say, I stayed up way to late one night, sewing my little fingers off. The end product was well worth the effort.

Here I tried to capter myself slaving away at the sewing machine, but couldn't quite get the right angle. ;) So I took a picture of my sewing machine instead.
Here is one of the little bags after the sewing and ironing process was finished. I discovered he burlap is really hard to iron, but not impossible.
I decided to hand paint all the numbers to complete my rustic look.
Here is the finished product hanging in our dining room window.

Here is another one in the daylight. It was hard to get a good picture at night with all the glare.

... and a couple more close ups with all the goodies inside.

After filling my bags with goodies I also included a different activity for each day. There were some great ideas out there in interweb-land, but I had to pick and choose to make our activities two year old friendly. I imagine adding more and different activities each year as my kids get older. Here is a list of what I used:

Watch Its a Wonderful Life or Elf, make spiced cider.
Make Christmas Cookies for friends.
Send Christmas Cards to Costco
Read a new Christmas book
Make a Christmas craft
Make Thick Hot Chocolate and Marshmallows
Have a picnic in the living room eat ham sandwiches and watch a Christmas movie
Put up a ribbon sash for Christmas cards
Give neighbors a present
Put up a wreath
Make a Gingerbread house
Make a popcorn garland
Make hot chocolate and read a Christmas book
Sing (or listen) to favorite Christmas songs
Drive around to see neighborhood lights
Read Christmas story from the Bible
Make a family traditional dessert
Eat out at a festive restaurant
Build a fire and tell stories of childhood Christmas
Have a candlelit dinner by the Christmas tree
Make sugar cookies
Have a full traditional breakfast while listening to Christmas music
Find snow to play in
Go to the Festival of Lights Parade: Keizer 7:00 pm
Go to Target and pick out a new family ornament
Write a letter to Santa
Pick out our Christmas tree
Learn about holidays in another culture
Go see Santa

So far the countdown has been a hit. Every morning after breakfast we open another bag, enjoy the treat, and plan that day's activity. In fact, I think it's time to open another bag...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Handsome Little O' Man

First Haircut



Saturday, November 5, 2011

God's Provision

I alluded to a bittersweet blessing a couple posts back and by no means meant to be cryptic. It's not my style to be secretive, but the reason I didn't reveal what was going on was because Joe had not yet told his students what was happening.
Our blessing was a new job for Joe. It was bittersweet because it meant leaving a great school and great students, but it was also an answer to prayer. For the past three years we have been monthly dipping into our savings just to survive. It's humbling to know that every month's paycheck is still hundreds of dollars short of your absolute necessities. I cannot tell you about many times we were blessed beyond our expectations in how God provided for our needs. While I would never choose to be in the situation we were in, I learned so much through it. Above all, again and again, we were shown just how good God is, and that when He promises He will provide, He will. But all that to say, after much prayer, we knew we needed to start pursuing other job opportunities.

This pursuit might mean having to move out of state to find a teaching job or having to work somewhere outside of the field of education. I was willing to move, but I love our church and we have an amazing small group we attend, and I hated the thought of leaving. I prayed and told God I was willing to leave, but if possible, could we please stay in Salem? Then one Wednesday night, two months into the school year, Joe got a phone call from a friend from church who told us there was a job opening at an online school, but it closed in three hours. So Joe jumped on the computer and finished his application just in time. It was a shot in the dark, but what's one more job application? The next day, Thursday, he got a call and did an interview over the phone. He was then asked to come in for a face-to-face interview on Tuesday. The interview went great, but the new school would have to wait a minimum of two weeks before Joe could start, so that his current school could find a replacement for him. Because of this, we were unsure whether they would want to hire him. However, later that night he got a call: they wanted to hire Joe and were willing to wait the two weeks. Since it was an online school, he would be working from home, and there would be about a $10,000 a year "raise." Joe's current school was amazing and agreed that it was a God thing, and not only let Joe leave, but sent him off with many well wishes. We couldn't have asked for a better reaction.

It has been three weeks now and things are going great. Joe is still working at catching up with all the grading he inherited coming in halfway through the semester, but so far he loves his new job. I am loving that he gets to eat lunch with us, and most days is off work before 4:00. He is loving that he gets to sleep in later and has a much lighter workload.

And because what's a post without some pictures:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All Hallows Eve

This year I decided to let the kids wear their costumes all day. Grace loved it. Owen went through three costumes. Good thing I decided to go cheap this year and basically use what we had in the closet.

Costume #1 - Dr Who (my favorite)
    Reason for change - Major spit-up

Grace's 1st and only costume - Ballerina
Costume #2 for Owen - Giraffe (Grace's old costume that was too small anyways)
    Reason for change - Wet through diaper during nap time

Costume #3 - Football Player
   At this point I decided to stick a jersey on him and call it good. He of course kept this one relatively clean until bed.

We stayed home for the night and I grossly underestimated the amount of candy we would need. We were out by 7:30. Sorry neighborhood kids. We however didn't have any incidents akin to this one.  So sorry Lyndsey. Guess southerners are a bit more intense then the trick-or-treaters in the northwest.

Grace also tried her hand at Wii boxing for the first time. She's better than I am. :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Look Who's Crawling

6 Months

Now that Owen is only days away from being seven months old, I am finally uploading his six month picture.

17 lbs 7 oz (49th percentile)
27 in long (62nd percentile)
  • Loves playing with his sister
  • Working on sleeping at night - We've begun letting him "cry it out" which sounds so harsh, but was necessary. I am so tired of waking up 4+ times a night. Owen is a bit stubborn though. What took Grace three days to master is taking a bit longer with our dear son. *Since I am actually posting this almost a month late, I will let you know things are a ton better, but we are still working on it.
  • I think it's funny that I forgot to take his socks off in this picture.
  • Is still on the verge of crawling.
  • Loves baths - in an attempt at creating a schedule at night, Owen gets a bath before bedtime. He couldn't be happier, which makes the cranky time before bed a lot easier on mama.

Grace wanted in on the action when I was taking Owen's picture, so here ya go:

And finally... becuase when I saw this picture I couldn't stop laughing:

Monday, October 17, 2011

It's About Time

My blog posts have been somewhat lacking lately. There are two reasons for this:  this last month has been CRAZY busy, and my hard drive was almost completely full thanks to all my pictures. In order to add more pictures I had to clean off enough room to hold them. I'm still working on making room, but I can now start my computer up without it taking fifteen minutes and I managed to upload a few pictures.

A lot has happened in the last month.
Owen is now sitting up and army crawling all over the house.

Grace is almost potty trained although we are still working on staying dry at night and occasional accidents; well, sometimes more than occasional, but she's two.

Owen is eating solids now. It took awhile for him to catch on, but now he is following in his sisters footsteps and there are times I can't get the food in fast enough. We have a lot of fun during meal times, especially in the mornings when we sing songs while I feed Owen. Some of my favorite songs have been, "Jesus Loves Me Too Much," and "Don't Build Your House on the Sandy Land" where, after explaining that Jesus is the rock and we should build/give our lives to him, Grace told me, "I give Jesus my head." I told her that was a great place to start.

Sometimes my kids also let me do photoshoots with them and sometimes I have to bribe a certain two year old with chocolate chips in order to get the pictures I am hoping for. These were chocolate chip bribed pictures, and yes, Grace decided she would also find out what the lights tasted like:

Mom, this is the adorable coat I found for Grace. I am in love with this coat is. Thanks Grandma.

The weather has definitely changed and fall is here. That means it is coat season, and I found some adorable coats for Owen at garage sales this summer, one of them being this great little Elmo bomber jacket.

I also bought the a cute bear coat for him before he was born and wrongly assumed he would grow like his sister. Because of this, I bought it in a six month size thinking that's what he would be wearing during the fall. Nope, my six month old is wearing 9-12 month clothing, so I had to put the coat on him and take pictures before it didn't fit him at all anymore.

So that is the last month in a nutshell. I hope to soon put up Owen's six month picture, even though he is closing in on seven months, and let you all know about a huge answer to prayer that is both amazing and bitter-sweet.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Best Buds

Grace has a best little friend, Eloise Adams, whom she calls Elala. Whenever they see each other, they squeal with delight, and run and hug each other. So cute. Here are a couple shots of the two of them.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

5 Months

Normally Owen is dressed in a white onesie for his monthly photo shoot, but my little boy is a heater and it being the end of August, it was just too hot for clothes.

16 lbs 7 oz
  • Close to crawling
  • Does not like to go to sleep at night - we're talking 10:30 or 11 pm every night and fighting sleep with every ounce of his little body
  • Gone are the days of him sleeping 7 hours straight; now we wake up every four hours or so for a snack - Awesome
  • Still very happy go lucky
  • Has a smile that just melts my heart
  • Loves peek-a-boo
  • After several attempts at eating cereal, he's not very interested in it, so we'll try again next month.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Time for a Little Owey

So I've noticed lately my posts have been very heavy on the Grace pictures. Not a bad thing since she's so adorable and says really cute things. Just the other day Joe taught her to say Allons y (Let's go in French) which she repeated multiple times in her toddler voice. Speaking of Joe teaching her things, we've been working on potty training, and instead of hold it, he taught her to "clench it," so she tells us "I go potty, clench it."
But there I go again going on about Grace (I really can't help myself, she's at such a fun age for pictures and saying funny things.).
So Owen... Owen had his first bites of cereal this week. He's very involved in his eating and more cereal ended up on his body then in his mouth, but it was a first try, we'll keep working on it.

Keeping in line with firsts, Owen took his first swim earlier this month also. He seemed to like it. I think I may have two little water dogs on my hands.

He also fell asleep in our hiking backpack. I stuck him in there so I could get some stuff done around the house and have my hands free. Works great until my back starts hurting.

He is also a great laundry folder, or rather a cute distraction when I finally break down and fold the literal mountain of laundry I have sitting next to our dryer.

Lastly, I got a great picture of my grandpa and Owen. Love them both and love this picture.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Aquarium

Last spring I bought a couple of tickets to the Newport Aquarium at an auction put on by Joe's School. Last week we finally had the chance to go. I'd say it was worth every penny.