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Sunday, May 29, 2011

bday busyness

*Please excuse all the bad iphone pics.*
Birthday shirt and bib started. Check.
Lids spray painted for favors.  Check.
Cupcake holder created.  Check.
Favor tins done.  Check.
Getting ready for this guy's party.  Check.
Still have lots to do though.  And don't worry, I'll post more detailed posts on many of the above things.  Sorry to Baby Emerson whose blanket is still getting worked on, to Halle whose bows are on hold, and to Baby Mac whose gift may be a bit late as well.  As soon as this party is over, I'll be crafting quickly for all you ladies! :)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

we have a crawler

Although Owen's voice is still a bit raspy, he's finally on the mend. Whew, that sickness was rough. He took a few days off being mobile at all, but today was back on the move. Watch out mom, things are about to get crazy! Please excuse the unmade bed.  Wait, let's be real folks, I never make my bed (I can hear Anne cringing right now).

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

sickness & house!

Wow this whole watching your kid being sick thing is awful. But let me back up and go through the whole weekend. Friday night, Owen started getting a runny nose and sounding a little raspy. But I know we were going to have to make him tough it up Saturday morning as we had at least 10 houses to look at.

Saturday morning we met our realtor at our first choice house.  A little background.  William had spied this house awhile ago online and really liked it, particularly because it was listed way under what is sold for new in '07 (can you say built in equity?!).  He had called the person who had it listed and she informed us it had just sold.  Bummer.  But a couple days later, the lady called back to say the people's financing had fallen through.  So we got to see it Saturday morning right before it went back on the market that afternoon.  We saw a couple other places that we at the very top of our price range and just nothing compared to the first one with what we get for the price.  So before Owen lost it completely, we called off the search and went back to our place and wrote an offer!  Even though it was quick, I kept saying, well I guess I bought the first wedding dress I tried on. :)
William signing the papers - don't mind the craft mess in the background

Saturday afternoon and night, Owen kept sounding worse, but his temp was only 99.4 so I wasn't too worried. That night he wouldn't sleep more than 20 minutes on his own, so we just "slept" in the chair together.  Sunday and Monday were more of the same, coughing until he puked, runny nose, not wanting to eat any solid foods, not letting me put him down for a second etc.  We were doing the cool baths and switching between ibuprofen and Tylenol, but when his temp went up to 101.9 (I know, it's not THAT high) but I felt better seeing the doctor.  We got in within 1/2 hour of calling.  I was wrong about his weight, he's only at 21.9 pounds, which is probably down from not eating the last few days.  Diagnosis: ear infection in both ears.  He still didn't want to eat today but is asleep in his crib for the first time in a couple days!  So hopefully we're on the mend.  And in other good news: despite a bidding war, our offer was accepted on the house!  I know things could still fall through with inspection, but if everything goes as planned, we move at the end of June!  SO SO SO excited! I'll leave you with a few pictures of the sickly boy:

poor little guy

sleeping on momma

popsicles help everything

Friday, May 20, 2011

it was bound to happen

sickness that is.  Owen started sounding a little raspy last night, but today woke with a fever, runny nose, and wheezing cough.  The PediaCare and a cool bath helped bring down his temp, but the poor guy is pretty miserable. 

He did have fun today with Miss Pam and Mr. Kevin who watched him while I worked and then treated William and I to a fabulous meal.  Here's a picture Pam sent me on their walk.  She promises he was laughing up until the second the picture was taken.

But any way, back to being sick.  Any suggestions mommas out there?  Just lots of fluids and let it run its course?  This just makes me so thankful that this is the FIRST time he's been sick.  I know many kiddos that are sick all the time with ear infections and cold after cold.  I know we're so blessed to have such a healthy kid so far!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

lessons from Job

So I don't post a lot about what I'm learning in VLI because most of the time I'm simply overwhelmed at the amount of information I'm supposed to be cramming into my head about books of the Bible, how to do church, and the theology of the Vineyard. But this past quarter, in our study of the Writings (Job, Ecclesiastics, Psalms, Proverbs in these first 4 weeks) I've learned again why I like the book of Job and wanted to share a few of the things I just had write in an essay. I must give my instructors Don Williams and Steve Robbins the credit for good material.

If you don't know about the book of Job, here it is in a nutshell. Job is a blessed man who lives right with God. Satan challenges Job's integrity, saying that Job loves God because of all the good things he has and that God protects him. So God removes this protection and allows Satan to take his money, children, and his physical health. He wants to tempt him to curse God. Most of the book you read about the conversations Job has with his friends who are trying to get him to "confess his wrongs" so all this bad stuff will stop happening to him. Then God addresses them and opens with these words "Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me." Job doesn't really ever get the real answer he was looking for though. But at the end of the book Job is restored in his wealth and went on to have 7 sons and 3 daughters and lived to be 140.

Whew, long nutshell.

This book has hit all to close to home lately. I've questioned God a lot about the place we've been in lately. So here are some lessons we can all learn from this book:
  • We learn how to face suffering. We need to see suffering in the context of the battle between God and Satan and God’s reign usurped by the evil one.  We need to trust divine sovereignty and admit that evil is a mystery.
  • In the midst of suffering and loss, we often lose perspective and look for simple cause/effect answers.  The real answer is to simply trust God.  Before God we are all humbled and broken. Our being is only possible because of his BEING.
  • Even though we don't know all the God and Satan are doing, God can encounter us and turn things around by his presence.  Job doesn't get all his questions answer, but he does get a new, refined relationship with God. 
  • When we counsel people, we shouldn't give cheap, quick answers.  We should listen first and hear their pain.  Then pray for God's kingdom to come.
  • We should be slow to give theological explanations and even slower to defend God's goodness in view of the existence of evil. Instead we should point to the cross and the Savior who stands with us in our pain.  And we should always point to Jesus, who heals this pain.
  • "In the end Satan is silenced.  And the astute theologians, Job's friends are silenced.  And Job is silenced.  But God is not." (NIV intro to Job)

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Happy 11 Months!

    How are we so close to his first birthday?!  I am really having a hard time believing it.  This month has been so unblieveably packed with new things, I'm sure I'm going to leave something out.  I have no formal measurements as we don't go to the doctor for a few more weeks, but I'm guessing he's closing in on 23 or 24 pounds.
    Milestones and other fun tings
    Wow, where to begin.  One of the most fun things has been seeing how much he actually understands.  When I say we're going bye-bye, he waves and then looks at the door.  When I ask if he wants to jump in his jumperoo, he'll point at at.  He now does the sign for "more" consistently and without any prompting. He's also starting to sign "all done."  He talks all the time and says ma-ma and mom very clearly although I don't think it pertains to me yet.  When you ask him to point to your nose, he can do it!  He loves to point and wants you to say the name of everything he's pointing at.  He also gets a kick out of getting a chance to pick the book he wants to read.  I hold up 2 to choose from and he points to one he wants.  He's beginning to get the hang of crawling.  I don't think it will be long before he's moving fast:

    He also loves to walk with your hands:

    He loves loves loves to read books and would do so all day long if I didn't get bored with them.  Haha.  His new loves is sitting in one of books tubs and just looking at books/playing
    He loves Sophie Cat (as we call her) and she's been providing great motivation for him to crawl after her.  She lets him sit on her, pull her tail, and bang on her head.  What a great cat.  She stays pretty close to him as if keeping guard:
    We could name this month the teething month as it's taken up much of my time, thoughts, and sleep.  If you remember correctly, in our last month's summary, Owen had zero teeth.  Now he has 7.  Yep, that's seven.  That's how he rolls, doing everything at once.  It's been a month full of drooling, chewing on things, screaming in pain and yes, biting mom.  The first time he bit, it was in the middle of the night so I just pulled him off since I knew he was asleep.  But the next day he did it again.  So I softly thumped his cheek, took him off, and ended the feeding which he did not like at all.  But he hasn't done it since.  *fingers crossed*  Here's the order of how his teeth have come in so far:

    We haven't met too many foods this kid doesn't like.  Well, I take that back.  He doesn't love bananas or the Gerber Puffs.  I know, 2 foods I thought every kid liked.  But besides that, he'll try everything.  We're in that awkward time where he's not loving baby food very much but I'm not sure he's eating enough table food.  But I'm sure that's normal.  He still nurses about 5-6 times a day (although it seemed like a lot more this last month because he wanted to nurse ALL the time when he was getting his teeth).  I bought some Vitamin D milk to try it out this week!  Here are a few of his favorite foods: fruit of any kind (esp mandarin oranges), bits of Mommy's Eggo waffles, toast, Cheerios, Mac & Cheese, tomatoes, yogurt, slices of cheese, hamburger meat, and all time favorite: cottage cheese. 

    Nothing new to report.  It's about time to take some drastic measures (not sure what those are yet) because this mama is TIRED.
    Why are you tired Mom?
    This month really has been such a joy.  It's amazing watching this little guy turn into the person he'll become with a personality all his own.  I cannot wait to celebrate his first birthday.  I think it will be just as much a celebration of him as for us celebrating this first year of parenthood.  What a great year it has been.  I'll leave you with a few more pics:

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    random thoughts

    • Owen's 11 month post is dreadfully late. Must. Write. That.
    • Kimberly. . .I am alive.  I will email you and respond to ALL your questions.  I wish you lived next door.
    • My final VLI project is done.  But this is midterm week which means late late nights getting ready and taking tests.  4 more tests and I'm done. 
    • House hunting stinks when you have champagne taste on a beer budget. :)
    • I need a haircut.  Must call my sister.
    • Speaking of my sister, she watched Owen today for the first time today so I could make a quick Target run.  Thanks Jenna!
    • My hubby has a job and I'm done with mine (at least the current one) in 2 weeks  ::happydance::
    • I got the cutest baby announcement in the mail today from my friend Becky and while it made me so happy to see that sweet girl, Emerson, I cried because I haven't got to hold her yet and probably won't for awhile.
    That's all.  We now return to our normally scheduled programming (ie cramming studying).

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    the covenant prayer

    I am no longer my own, but yours.
    Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will;
    put me to doing, put me to suffering;
    let me be employed for you or laid aside for you,
    exalted for you or brought low for you;
    let me be full, let me be empty;
    let me have all things, let me have nothing;
    I freely and heartily yield all things to your pleasure and disposal.
    And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
    You are mine, and I am your.
    So be it.
    And the covenant which I have made on earth,
    let it be ratified in heaven.
    John Wesley

    Now is the time for me to step down from the throne of the Kingdom of Me and become part of the Kingdom of God, to become a voluntary servant of the God who made me and loves me.  His way is not always easy, but it leads to peace.
    Graham Cooke's response to the above prayer written in Dangerous Surrender

    an update

    Wanna peek at the discussions William and I have been having the last few months:

    "Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?  Peoria?  Austin?"

    And then Friday out of nowhere, he get's a job offer in. . . . . .Champaign.
    That's right folks. The one place we swore we were done with is looking like it will be home for awhile (I'm picturing Holly doing a happy dance right now). I'm sad we won't be in Peoria with my parents, but happy that we'll only be 1.5 hours away and am even more excited that William seems really happy and excited about this job!

    I have lots more thoughts running through my head right now, but it's been a crazy weekend and tomorrow is my final VLI project (the high school grad dinner at church) so it will be an even crazier Sunday. So I must close my eyes. More to come.

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    one of the favors

    I have been having a lot of fun planning things for Owen's party and getting a few things started. I of course won't show you the finished products until his big day, but here's one project that I was working on this weekend. These are going to be part of the kids favors at the party.

    I have fond memories of melting crayons when was young and then again in my classroom. Did you ever take crayon shavings and melt them between sheets of wax paper to make stained glass?  Fun times. Anywho, back to this project.  The end goal was crayons in the shape of O's (for Owen in case you couldn't figure that out).  Now as a teacher I have a special place in my heart for Crayola crayons. Nothing beats them color and durability wise. But I will warn you that those darn wrappers are hard to get off. Cheaper crayons definitely work faster and easier for this project.

    Supplies needed:
    Tons of crayons
    Molds of any kind
    Heat source (ie stove)
    Small pan
    Things to stir with that you don't mind throwing away.  (I used cheap wooden kabob sticks I had in a drawer)

    Since I'm on a super tight budget I went on the hunt for cheap crayons. I got 5 huge boxes of crayons at the I.D.E.A. Store for $1, total.  Then while I was at the Habitat Restore looking for jars for another project I came across a mold set for Tic Tac Toe.  It had x's and o's!  Just the o's please. :) $1 again.  So my cost for this project has been around $2.  Woohoo!
    1. Unwrap all the crayons.  My mom found a secret.  Find the place where the wrapper is glued together.  On the exact opposite side (usually right where the name of the crayon is), run a knife or razor blade down the wrapper and it should come right off. (again, you might have a little more trouble if they're Crayola crayons).
    2. Get your cans ready.  I used mandarin orange cans to begin with, but then changed to pop cans cut in half.  The pop cans didn't get nearly as hot, so I could hold them without an oven mit for better pouring.  And I could bend a little pouring spout into them.
    3. Sort your crayons into like colors to prepare for melting.  You can really mix colors here and it won't matter.  The darkest crayon or the crayon you have the most of will be the color it all melts down to.  So don't worry about mixing your different pinks/reds for example:
    4. Put about an inch or so of water into a small pan.  Put one or 2 cans filled with your crayons.  Stir occasionally until melted.  Be very careful not to let water get into the can!  This happened to me and I'll spare you the details, but now no one's getting brown crayons.
    5. Pour the melted wax into your molds.  Don't worry about overflows, the excess will chip right off.  And the nice thing about wax is that it's easy to clean up.  The trick is to let it harden on any surface you spill it on.  If you're having trouble getting your molds clean (which I really didn't) you can pop them in the freezer to harden the wax even better for easier cleaning.  Also, if you really mess up, you can always remelt them and try again!
    6. Let cool for about an hour.  Pop out of molds and color! 

    *ETA: here's the final product from the party.  To find out what I used for the coloring page, click here.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    first days of summer

    Well, I guess May is not really summer but it sure felt like it today!  So much so that when I got home from work, I asked William to set up the little pool Owen got for Christmas.  Despite quite a few buckets of warm water to help with the cold hose water, it was still pretty chilly.  But he really enjoyed it!  And I must say I loved being in the sun since I could use a little color so I'm no so see-through for my cousin's wedding coming up.  Here's a few pictures of the event.  Thanks mom for the pool!  We'll look forward to adding the attached slide and basketball hoop too when he's a bit bigger.

    cake pops

    Way back at the Halloween party we went to, my friend Aubrey introduced me to cake pops. Of course, now I've been seeing cake pops pop up (pun intended) all over the internet and blogs.  I wanted to test a few recipes to see if it was worth making them for Owen's party.  I'll save you the reading if you want and tell you the verdict is still out if they're worth the effort.  There are tons of better tutorials out there.  Click here to see a few of them.

    • 1 box of any flavored cake mix (and the ingredients you need to make the cake)
    • 1 container of any flavored frosting (I used the whipped cream cheese frosting and used about 3/4 of it)
    • 2 packages of candy melts - I used the white ones from Michaels.  That way I could dye the remaining chocolate a color for the decoration.  REMEMBER to only use gel food coloring to dye candy melts, as the liquid stuff will ruin your chocolate!
    • 1 bag of lollipop sticks (also from Michaels or Hobby Lobby or Walmart)
    • 2 tb of shortening
    • sheet of Styrofoam 
    Step 1 - make the cake as directed on the box and let it cool

    Step 2 - crumble the cake into a large bowl

    Step 3 - Add the can of frosting and mix until you can't see the frosting anymore. 
    I used about 3/4s of the can and ending up mixing with my hands to get it all mixed well.
    Step 4 - roll the batter into small balls.  I had to wash my hands about 4 times throughout this process. 
    This is where my pictures fell apart.  I lost my helper, so again, I refer you to other blogs (blogher or the pioneer woman) for the chocolate part in pictures and better directions.

    I didn't quite follow the directions and it probably would've helped.  You're supposed to melt the chocolate (including the shortening to help the chocolate thin for easier dipping and coating), dip the sticks in the melted chocolate, and insert into the cake ball.  Then put in the freezer.  I must have missed this step because my cake balls kept falling off the sticks when I tried to dip them in the chocolate.  And I also didn't have any styrofoam so I had to lay the balls flat which didn't make them quite as pretty all the way around.  I melted my chocolate in a double broiler, but you can also use the microwave.  I basically spooned the choocalte onto the cake ball and then twirled it to spread it evenly.

    Do NOT return them to the freezer.  It didn't take long for the chocolate to harden back up.  I colored the remaining white chocolate with orange gel food coloring.  I put the orange chocolate in a ziploc bag and cut off the corner.  Then I just squiggled some in lines and then wrote M4 on some since I was taking them to our M4 marriage small group.  They tasted fabulous and I'm sure it would go easier the 2nd time around.  But I'm not sure the time is worth how (not so great) mine looked in the end.  Cupcakes anyone?

    Mother's Day Recap

    I've been told by several people that me blogging has fallen a little behind lately. So here we go.

    This weekend was such a mixture of emotions. Saturday night, William and I got El Toro to go. During dinner, I got my Mother's Day gift from him and Owen. Let's just say he did a great job and I was really surprised! Sunday we had an open house, so we spent the morning cleaning and taking all the toys out of the house. We headed to Peoria.  We stopped in quickly to see my parents house.  It's weird that we'll be driving down and Anchor St. instead of Emerson Dr. from now on when we visit them.

    Then we went to my Grandma's house with the rest of the family for a great dinner celebrating all the mom's.  It was a beautiful day and Owen had a great time playing outside on the famous green tractor that's been at my Grandparents as long as I can remember.  All of us kids gave my mom a Kindle which she was really excited about!

    William and I spent the night at my grandparents.  Owen slept about ohh, 4 hours total.  Guess the pack and play didn't agree with my great sleeper.  ha.  Monday we headed over to my parents house to help them move everything in.  Wow, having movers is amazing!  They did all the heavy lifting while I helped mom set up all the bathrooms and unpack the kitchen.  It's real.  They live in Peoria.  So happy, sad, exciting, and scary all at the same time.

    These were our mother's day pictures taken, umm, today.  I realized we didn't take any together on Sunday, so we took a couple before we headed to Mom2Mom this morning.
    Ohh, I could just eat him up.

    Sunday, May 8, 2011

    Happy Mother's Day!

    I really just can't put into words how much this day means to me.  I got cards from some such sweet friends.  One said "I remember sitting in your parents cars in the driveway pretending to drive our baby dolls.  In 8th grade."  Haha true story.  It's been an ache in my soul to be a mom since I can even remember.  And today I'm finally celebrating my first Mother's Day.  The little hand that made that handprint  in the card brings me so much joy everyday. And thanks to my hubby for already making it a really great day! :)

    If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been. ~ Robert Brault
    My mom's #1!
    That quote is so true of my mom.  I don't know where I'd be right now without the prayers that have been prayed for me since the day I was born.  I'd get all gushy here, but then I'd start crying again and I just got done crying when I wrote her card.  So to the greatest mom ever (sorry world, I got the best one) Happy {Grand} Mother's Day!  I am so blessed to have a mom who is such a generous provider, loyal confidant, huge support, biggest cheerleader, wonderful example, and a dear friend.

    And a quick word to the ladies I know whose hearts will break a little today because they're not mom's yet, I'm praying.  I wish there was more that I could do or say than that.  But CE, ML, LK, AM, you WILL be amazing moms someday and those babies will be so lucky to have you!

    "He gives the childless woman a family, making her a happy mother.  Praise the LORD!" Psalm 113:9 (NLT)

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    jello recipe

    I was missing my mom yesterday (pathetic, I know) so I decided to make her famous jello. And by famous, I mean that she makes this for every family gathering and important event. It's kinda a staple we've all come to expect. She tried to deviate and make another kind of jello this Easter and it didn't go over so well. :)
    Tapioca Jello
    1 small box jello (any flavor to match your fruit, I used raspberry)
    2 boxes of tapioca (it's the Jell-O brand in a purple box)
    1 tub of cool whip
    1 can of fruit (or frozen box)
    3 cups of warm water

    Mix the 1 jello and 2 tapiocas in a medium saucepan. Stir together with a spoon. Add 3 cups of warm water. If using juice from the fruit, include it in the 3 cups. Cook over medium heat until bubbly, stirring occasionally. Cook a minute or two after it starts to bubble. Remove from heat and let it cool for 15-30 minutes, depending on how much time you have. Then pour cooled mixture in serving bowl, add softened cool whip and drained fruit. Mix, refrigerate, and enjoy!
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