Thursday, May 19, 2011

Family Update

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It’s been a while…. a long while I guess, since I’ve done any sort of a real family update.

IMG_0001 Life has been busy. We’re in the process of finishing up the last two weeks of school and because the weather is finally nice, every weekend seems to be full with some type of extended family activity. I’m appreciative of it all, but sadly it doesn’t leave as much time for blogging :)

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Audrey

Audrey is 14 months now. I just had her monthly weight check on Monday of this week and she is now 16 pounds 13 ounces. She put on 1 pound 3 ounces in a short month!! This is great news.

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She is continuing to stand more (along furniture) but doesn’t seem to want to even try to take a step on her own. The longest she has stood on her own is probably 5 seconds.

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She is a great waver and has started clapping her hands. She also recently started speaking gibberish (googey, googey, googey – is what it sounds like). However, she no longer says da da and though she had only said “Ma” a couple of times she no longer says that either. Those were her only two “real” words, so she isn’t really talking at all yet, which is fine, though I am slightly concerned about her losing words. IMG_0065    IMG_0061Audrey now has three teeth. One really big one on the top, two "(normal size ones) on the bottom - her smile is so awesome! It makes me smile no matter what, I mean how could you not? This gangly tooth hanging down…. someone said she looked like a red neck who had lost all her other teeth…. and she does!! :) IMG_0052We recently moved Audrey and Alexa into the same room, at the request of Treyton. It has been a little rocky the first couple of days for Audrey. She likes to just stand up in her crib and talk at Alexa, Alexa is good and stays quiet and in bed for about 2 minutes and then she starts talking back and ends up getting out of bed. The first night it took us over 45 minutes and SEVERAL trips into the room to get them finally asleep. Last night it took about 15 minutes and only 1 trip in. Hopefully it only gets better.       IMG_0136Audrey and Lexie have an AWESOME relationship. Alexa is very nurturing and sweet to Audrey. Whenever Audrey wakes up from one of her naps or in the morning Alexa goes “Gooood moorrrnning Baby Audrey!!! How you doing?”  It’s the cutest thing ever. Alexa talks to Audrey like she is a “real” person unlike most of the rest of us. Alexa will show Audrey things – like which pair of pants she’s thinking about wearing or, which barrette she chose to put in her hair that day, or her favorite book/toy and she’ll say “You like that Baby Audrey?"IMG_0138

Alexa goes out of her way to include baby Audrey in what she is doing (when she wants to, not all the time) and is very gentle when she handles her. It’s really no wonder that Audrey responds to Alexa with so much enthusiasm. I love the relationship that the two girls have, it’s awesome to see how close they are at even such young ages. Alexa is allowed to get away with MUCH MORE (by Audrey) than Treyton. Audrey is very temperamental towards Treyton, which I don’t really get, Treyton seems to me to be just as nurturing and loving. IMG_0113

Alexa

Alexa is growing so fast. She is HI-larious, and she is super smart. I LOVE our conversations with one another, probably because we are like minded and both female.

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Alexa is a quick thinker, opinionated, reasons well (whether it’s right or not), and she is articulate so she’s able to verbalize all these things, which makes for fun conversations between her and mommy.

Daddy and Treyton are more people-pleasing, so when it comes down to it they are both usually less concerned about what they want, than making any waves in the home. Alexa on the other hand is more particular about certain things and likes to be involved in making decisions, and will question and stand up against things she doesn’t like or understand. (Much like myself) It isn’t always a bad thing or even a cause of conflict in the home, it can come up during something as simple as learning something new or going some place.  It’s jus a more verbal and opinionated approach to life. IMG_0125

Treyton, however, takes more after Tim. If we’re talking about something, he usually needs time to process it – anytime there is a conversation that starts with “What do you think about…..?” You can bet that neither Tim or Treyton will have an immediate answer for me. Give ‘em 5-10 minutes and they will; they just like time to think through their options, deliberate and analyze. Lexie and I however are much more opinionated and zealous. You will probably barely get the question out of your mouth and we will both have our opinions on the matter.

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Alexa is a fun-free spirit. It’s fun to watch her as she develops and watch her find her place in the world.

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Alexa is also really nurturing and caring, which I’ll be honest, surprised me at first. If someone is crying or hurt, it is Alexa who runs to them and tries to make them feel better. One day, not too long ago, Treyton was crying and Lexie came over to him and said “Don’t cry Treyton, Jesus loves you, don’t cry, why would you cry? Jesus loves you.”

The following day Audrey was crying and Lexie came over and made similar sentiments “Don’t cry Audrey, your my favorite sister, you don’t need to cry about that, you’re my favorite sister.” IMG_0045

An ambulance came and stopped near our house yesterday and Lexie could NOT get over the fact that someone might be hurt or need help. She said “Oh no, someone is hurt!! What do we do? What happens?” She kept running to the window asking how or why they were hurt and what we needed to do.

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Treyton

Treyton is doing well. He just started his second little league season. Our area has two seasons a year, he joined in the fall last year, and now is in the spring league. IMG_0161

He LOVES baseball. He practices ALL the time and is floating on cloud nine whenever Dad or I offer to go out and practice with him. IMG_0159

Through a little bit of miscommunication (on Dad and Mom’s part), Treyton has been working toward a high-pay-off goal: he will get paid $50 if he hits a baseball from where he practices to our mound in the backyard by the end of the summer(I have no idea how far it is - but it’s the width of our backyard for those of you that’s been there.) He has already gotten within 10 feet of it or so. He’s a really good hitter. During his first game he hit a fly ball all the way to the next field over. IMG_0038

Treyton finished up his AWANA year at the beginning of May. They had a ceremony for all the kids where he was recognized for his achievements. It was so cute. He loves to talk about going on stage, but then when he gets up there he always acts a little shy. Lexie was sitting in the audience with Tim and I and when she saw Treyton go up on stage, she stood up on my lap and said “Treyton!! Treyton, can you see me? Can you see Lexie?!”

Then while the kids were singing the AWANA songs up on stage Lexie went out to the center aisle and started dancing almost up to the front row!!

While Treyton is a little more conservative, reserved and cautious Lexie just let’s it all go, she has no fear of people or groups. Some days I’m surprised that these two children have the same parents --- this was one of those days ;) IMG_0165 IMG_0166

Treyton is just about finished with Kindergarten, though he will actually be finishing up the first grade curriculum – and in the fall he will be moving on to the second grade curriculum, though we will call him first grade. Treyton tries really hard in school and does a great job, but he is best at learning through life experiences. He learns so much on his own, he is really creative in his play-time and implements much of what he learns during his play. 

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One example of this, is that the other day, I caught him building yet another project with wood (he’s a good builder). After he finished he said “What do you think it is mom?” I said “What did you build it to be?” and he said “I don’t know, maybe like for sacrifices like in the Bible?”

We had been talking about alters in one of our Bible stories, why alters were built, and how we don’t build them much anymore, but that we try to set up reminders in our home (life symbols if you will), for the same reasons as alters. He’s never seen a picture of an alter, but I think he did an amazing job at designing what he thought it would look like.

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A few days later, he asked me to find something that was moving fast. I told him there were cars on the road in the front of the house. He went outside and a few minutes later he came in with a picture on his digital camera of a car passing by. We recently studied Frans Lanting in school (a famous photographer) and looked at several pictures with fast motion in the pictures (waterfalls, a cheetah running, etc). That showed blurry lines and movement in a beautiful way. He went outside and tried his best to recreate that for his own art. He really is an amazing student.

IMG_0016 Like I mentioned before Treyton asked for his own room. A month or so ago I had tried to warn the kids that they weren’t always going to share with one another, that in another 6 months or so that Audrey and Lexie were going to probably share. Treyton seemed devastated. He said he wanted to share with Lexie that he didn’t want to be alone. Then last week Lexie woke him up several times in the night (again) because of her knees (she has really bad knee pain at night), he asked to sleep in the guest room. The next night he asked to sleep in the guest room again, we let him. When I asked him “Why?” He just said he was ready for his own room…. thus began the big change.

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I think that he already misses her some, but he also seems to enjoy a little of his own space. Treyton is the kind of kid that needs downtime (like his mama). After a busy weekend, going to the Brewer game, then having friends over and rearranging all the bedrooms on Sunday he tells me “I want tomorrow to be a nice and easy day, okay mom, no friends, nothing else, but maybe school.” On Monday we ended up running several errands and he told me “This was not the easy day I was looking for today, mom.” :) 

IMG_0024 In other news, (probably minor to most, but not to us) Treyton thinks he has a new favorite color, I say “think” because as his mother, teacher and person who knows him better than he knows himself most days, I don’t think he’s really changed his favorite color as much as he wants to change his favorite color. Up til now, his favorite color has been orange, he says his new favorite color is red. He likes red (he says) because it’s like orange, and because a lot of things are red. However, when given the choice between something orange or something red, his “instinct” is still to choose orange until he is reminded that his “new favorite” color is red. :) We shall see, which color makes it out on top, and just how determined Treyton is in changing his favorite color :) LOL!

 

Tim’s Finger Update

Tim’s finger is almost completely healed from the surgery, in that he’s no longer wearing a brace and the wounds have healed. The nerve has not repaired yet, but the doctor told him that once the nerve did start to grow back that it would only grow an inch a month (if we were lucky) so that it would probably take a while.

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We found out (after the surgery) that there is the chance that the nerve may not grow back even with the repair. Even though he hasn’t noticed any feeling on the outside of the pinky yet, doesn’t mean there won’t be any. It does take time.

His pinky is still crooked at the last knuckle (same as it was since the last accident). Dr. B talked about repairing it eventually but I don’t think it’s something Tim will ever have done. So at this point, we are back to where we started for before the accident, with slightly less feeling.

 

Amber’s Update

I’m doing okay.

I’m in the midst of trying to finish our school year strong and plan my sister and I’s upcoming New York City Trip (2 weeks, 2 days and counting!!)

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We also just finished putting in our Square Foot Gardens (6 of them). Tim built them (what a man, right?) and I have more than half of them planted, with mostly larger plants to put in (zucchini, cucumber, etc.) I am REALLY excited about our upcoming garden season.     IMG_0036Not much else to update really, except, oh yeah, I got a new hair cut that I really enjoy. Trying the swooping bangs and layered look. I’ve received a lot of compliments – people keep telling me I look like I’ve lost weight, so that’s a bonus ;)

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Hope all is going well with your families. IMG_0047

Happy Spring!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

(Review) Love Written in Stone

image Love Written in Stone: Finding God’s Grace in the Boundaries He Sets by Philip Carlson, MD

Book Description:

“Many Christians don't know what to think of the Bible's commands, as they often seem legalistic and burdensome. But medical doctor Philip Carlson reveals that God instructs us because he loves us as a father loves his children. Recent research in the health sciences demonstrates that following God's guidelines produces wellness and wholeness in our lives. Readers will be encouraged to learn that the sciences are catching up to what God has been saying all along about family relationships, nutrition, sexuality, rest, and more.”

Book Review:

I was really looking forward to reading this book when I first received it, and then somehow it ended up on the behind my side table. Thankfully I rediscovered it and after opening the book up for the first time, I realized how much this book had to offer for me.

Carlson breaks the book down into four main sections: Relationship with God, Relationship with Others, Healthier Self and Relationship with Creation. He covers issues from forgiveness, sex, sleep & rest, family, stewardship and more and the benefits that come following Biblical directives as well as some of the consequences of not.

With both a pastoral and medical perspective, Carlson has a unique position to discuss the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical benefits of obedience without over-simplifying or over-complicating the issues.

In a culture thriving on a false prosperity gospel, I was a little concerned about what position Carlson might take, but he did a great job revealing the blessings of obedience without diminishing the cost of obedience or the effects of sin in our life, world, relationships and heart.

Carlson begins his book reminding us “it is not necessarily the case that doing what God asks will always impact us positively. Discipleship is costly.” And to take it a step further he reminds us “We do not do what he asks because it benefits us. We do not forgive, for example because we might feel better about things. We forgive because we have been forgiven ourselves, because God demands it of us, and because we desire to be like Jesus, to do what He would do if he walked in our shoes. But we are not surprised, when all is said and done, to discover benefits.”

The purpose of this book is not to push rules or Biblical commands down the throat of the believer but to remind us that God’s commands exist because of grace. To quote Carlson again “Sometimes Christians get it backwards. We work hard at obedience to find the grace we need. But the Christian life is a response to grace not a way to earn grace. Grace leads to obedience.” This book was a refreshing reminder of God’s grace poured out on the pages of scripture. Wisdom for all who will listen and obey.

I highly recommend this book.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany Publishers for the purpose of my review, the opinions expressed are my own.

Brewer Game 5.14.11

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This past weekend we had the amazing privilege of going to a Brewer Game with Tim’s side of the family, in celebration of Maia’s (Toni’s Boyfriend’s daughter) 17th birthday.

Toni and Ken were able to get a luxury suite through Ken’s work and it was AMAZING!! I have never watched a game in such style. What a blessing. And as an added bonus the Brewers actually beat the Pirates 8 – 2 (I think), and there were several home runs, which are always exciting.

As always I took a kagillion pictures – here  are some of my favorites from the day.

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Here are Treyton and I, before the game started just enjoying batting practice and the amazing view!

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Treyton watching the game. He loves all things baseball right now, and I was surprised how much time he spent standing along the rail actually watching the game.

As if watching the game from a luxury suite weren’t enough, Bernie the Brewer also stopped by our suite to say hello and sign some balls for the kids. This was a highlight for Treyton and Lexie – they loved it!!

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Here is Lexie meeting Bernie the Brewer.

IMG_0105 Bernie signing Treyton’s ball (thank you Aunt Toni) IMG_0106Treyton has his ball in his special drawer. He loves that it bounces a little bit. IMG_0112

Bernie with the kids (and some adult supervision) :)

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    Our family picture in the suite.

IMG_0078 Mommer and Lexie, the best of friends.

IMG_0090 Mommer & Treyton, always goofing around…. try to get serious guys ;)

IMG_0091 That’s better.

IMG_0092 And now back to being goofy.

IMG_0098 Watching the game with an amazing view.   IMG_0126 

IMG_0129 Kisses for mama!! Aww….

 IMG_0137 Mommer and Papa with the middle set of grand babies (Sawyer, Ava, Lexie) and Treyton (of course).

IMG_0143 Daddy & Audrey, enjoying the game together.

IMG_0144 A truly amazing experience, I wish we could watch every game this way :)

Thank you to Toni and Ken for such an amazing opportunity and allowing us and our crazy kids to join you in celebrating Maia’s birthday!!