Saturday, December 19, 2009

Monday, December 07, 2009

Where Fun (and germs) Abound

We're on our third episode of sickness in as many weeks. This week it's my turn. (cough, cough)

It started out the day before Thanksgiving with Joshua and "Turkey Fever," as we named it. High fevers, 2 trips to the ER, lots of Tylenol and Motrin, and some Zithromax didn't stop us from having fun. (Though maybe it should have?) Last week Anna showed off her gracious bravery as we had to apply ointment to pink eyes twice a day.

We're praying we all get well, and that Daddy doesn't succumb as he clickety-clacks away at final papers and exams this and next week. We did manage a lot of fun, which included a weekend visit from Grammie, and our first snowfall, in between manifestations of viral yuckiness. We hope the germs soon flee and the fun is here to stay.

Chilling the Turkey Fever -- sort of the opposite of thawing the turkey

Burning off Thanksgiving dinner

Grammie and her tribe

Love our cousins

We walked out in the cold, bought a tree, carried it home, and now Daddy's putting it in the basement. I'm so new at this Christmas thing!

A shoeoops!

Grammie and Anna at National Cathedral

My sweet little prince

Friday, November 13, 2009

She said it!!

Mommy (after Daddy brought home flowers the other day): You have a kind and wonderful Daddy, Anna. Don't you want to marry a man just like Daddy when you get bigger?

Anna: No, because he probably won't do what I tell him to do, I bet.


Anna (pondering Joshua's recent baptism): Why does Pastor Colson know ALL about Jesus?


Anna (noticing the pre-election day, campaign signs along the road): What are all those blue signs for?

Mommy: Because soon people in Virginia are going to choose a new governor -- a new man to run Virginia.

Anna: Oh. Daddy?


Anna to Mommy: When you go to get your flu shot you have to be brave like Daddy and they pinch your arm just a little bit....but, they don't give lollipops!


Anna at dinner: When the farmers get the milk out of the mommy cow do they put it in a bucket for the baby cows to drink?

Mommy: No, they don't need a bucket. The baby cows just drink it from their mommies, like when... (WAIT, MARIE! Do NOT compare youself to a cow!) The cows have udders the baby cows drink it from.

Anna later that evening, playing with her farm and pointing to her anatomically correct plastic bull: Oh! Is that the mommy cow's unders?

So, there you go, folks! This is why my blog is always a far superior waste of your time than Facebook!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Set Apart for Him

Sunday was a very special day for our family. Joshua was baptized at our church and we spent the whole day with dear friends.

Some pics from the service:

Joshua is our little "Ebenezer" (a symbol of God's faithfulness) from when Daddy spent 15 months in Afghanistan in 2007-08. When he left I began praying Psalm 126, and rested on it for the duration of the deployment. How neat that the Psalm reading on Sunday was Psalm 126!

When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them."
The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad.

Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negeb!
Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!
He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

Our prayer for Joshua David is that he will grow into this faith we are passing on to him, that he will one day make it his own, and that he will proclaim "that the hand of the LORD is mighty" and that he would "fear the LORD his God forever." (Joshua 4:24) We also pray that he would become a man after God's own heart as he grows up in this covenant community.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Anna takes the camera

That's a plastic banana.

And I couldn't resist this one of them "trading places." I think Joshua's ready for his own place at the table.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Falling for Autumn

Our first fire of the season is lit in the fireplace as I write this post. Ahh...cozy. It's been a wet, chilly last few days here; feeling more like January than October in VA. It's hampered our leaf peeping and bike riding, but has kept the pumpkin on the deck wet, "so it can grow," according to Anna.

We're still having fun, though. Last weekend we visited our local fire station's open house and on Sunday our friend Sara came for brunch and then helped us in the adoption of this year's aforementioned pumpkin.

This is the way we drive a firetruck. I even asked a fireman how they blow that crazy loud horn I often hear in the middle of the night as they zoom down the 6-lane "street" by our bedroom window. He showed me the petals on the floor they push with their feet to control the sirens and horns. How fun would that be!

Anna earned her own fireman's hat for demonstrating her low-crawling and dropping and rolling -- skills we hope she never has to use!

Joshua will be 7 months old on Sunday and I think he gets cuter and sweeter every day.

He's pretty passionate about eating...

and he doesn't mind hanging out in the "baby stocks" tasting and patting all the toys that surround him.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Anna vs. Sesame Street - A Philosophical Debate

Yesterday I sat down with Anna on the sofa as some morning PBS Kids time was wrapping up. The concluding song of "Elmo's World," caused her to exclaim, "It's not Elmo's world, it's GOD'S world!"

I'm glad we've got that straight.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

A Cousin is Born

Anna and Joshua are so excited another cousin arrived on Friday afternoon. Isaac Michael Childress was born to Uncle Michael and Aunt Faith and we're so thankful everyone is doing well. As they say, everything is bigger in Texas. Isaac weighed in at 8 lbs., 6 oz., and is 21.75" long. We can't wait to meet him at Christmas when, if he's like his daddy, I'm sure he'll be an enthusiastic participant at Grammie's Christmas table -- even if only as a spectator this year.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

At 3 1/2 and 6 Months

Well, I blinked and our babies' half-birthdays came and went wherever summer and September went. We sure love these little people and are so thankful to see them grow, and proud of their accomplishments.
No one could've rightly prepared me for just how intense 3 can be, but it's been amazing to see all she's learning and figuring out:
  • We've noticed her sense of humor really developed over the summer. She comes up with some pretty funny jokes. For example, a couple months ago while driving to the beach, Joshua was letting us know he'd had enough of the stop and go traffic. Anna had had enough of being in the backseat with a noisy man-child and said, "Mommy, can we turn Joshua off?" Then burst into giggling.
  • She's getting really good at coloring in the lines.
  • She's learning to write some letters and her counting range gets higher all the time. I think she can reliably get through the 20s now.
  • We're so thankful and proud of how she's become a doting big sister. She adores her brother and he loves her, too. She really is a big help to me, and I thank the Lord for her servant's heart that is beginning to bud.
  • Anna is still our tiny tot, but she is a great eater, so I don't worry anymore about whether she's getting enough since I can now see how much is going in. Her favorites are noodles (just buttered, like Daddy), blueberries, strawberries, bell peppers, just about any bean, pizza, grapes, pears, carrots, rice, just about any soup and much more. She has Mommy's sweet tooth and will never turn down "chwakit" or ice cream.
  • I wouldn't say she has a wild imagination, but more of a practical one; it's there when she needs it. Last week she was wearing one of her pretty dresses and some really fun red shoes a friend recently passed down (thanks, Mandy!). She asked if we could go to church because I had told her they would be good church shoes, not playing outside or bike-riding shoes. Well, since it wasn't Sunday, I told her we couldn't go just then, but that she could wear the same dress and shoes the following Sunday. That waiting part just wasn't fun, so she said, "Well, we'll just have pretend church at our house then. " I actually got some really cute video of Anna and "pretend church," but we seem to have a sick video camera cable, so I can't get it to the computer. I'll consult with Daddy's expertise and maybe get it up soon.
The J-Man continues to grow like a little boy should, though still on the small side. At his recent check-up we were impressed at his height - 27.5" (75%), but not so much the weight - 14 lbs., 1 oz (2%). The doc suggested adding a little formula with the nursing. We're so thankful he's very healthy overall, and right on track developmentally; he's quick with a contagious smile, has "that twinkle in his eye" he gets from his Papa, and is just a sweet cuddle bug. Even as he recovers this week from his first cold, he's kept up his good napping habits and sweetness. If that good sleeping would just carry over into the nighttime hours, that would be great, but in due time, right? When he's not grabbing for anything in sight to explore with his mouth, he's probably enjoying his Exersaucer, swing, or practicing sitting up in front of my lap. We're almost there. We tried some rice cereal a couple weeks ago and I don't think it will be his favorite, but it goes down. Green beans, on the other hand, mostly end up on his bib as he scowls and looks at me pleadingly, as if to say, "must we continue with this?" Green beans probably weren't the kindest veggie to start with. Maybe some squash will be more appealing. Maybe it's pizza and noodles he wants. If he continues his trend of being long and skinny, we'll consider sending him to Kenya to start marathon training instead of kindergarten.

So thankful for my time with them. I confess to getting stuck in the illusion of permanence when the days just seem the same, so it helps me to ponder these milestones and the small, joyful, fleeting moments and remember I'll only pass through childhood with them once.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mini Reunions

One of our favorite things about the Army life is the people we meet along the way. God has blessed us with dear friends in each place we've lived. It's a privilege to be able to keep up with people through technology, but there's just nothing like being together. What is really fun now is to get our little ones together and see them interact. The last two weekends have been about just that! Nearly 2 weeks ago we were in Philadelphia to witness sweet Abigail's baptism. Last weekend, the Spahrs made the trek from Cincinnati to see the DC highlights. Our Annas had a BLAST. We also got to meet up with the Cooks for dinner one night. We love reunions and catching up with friends. Here's a reunion of some "minis" in Old Town. It's so neat how kids can just meet and instantly be friends.

The Annas toured the city like they owned the place. They loved the sights, but I think they mostly enjoyed the giggling. One would start and the other would follow, and as far as we could tell, it was usually about nothing. After a busy day on Saturday of the Smithsonians, the monuments, and a picnic lunch at the National Cathedral I asked them what their favorite thing was. They both agreed that the Color Wonder pages they colored that afternoon here at home were the best. I guess they just like being together.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

1800 Miles Later

We're back safe and sound and thankful for the great times we had and memories that were made.

Everyone is now catching up from all the visiting, playing with cousins, swimming in Grammie's pool, running in Nanny and Papa's big front yard, beaching at Tybee Island, shelling, boat-watching, more swimming, Anna's first throwing up experience (you can only be lucky for so long), seeing friends in NC and GA, watching a wedding in beautiful Savannah and dancing it up at the reception.

cuddling on the couch this morning

Olivia and Savannah loved seeing Joshua again

Did Daddy pick a giant mushroom? Nope, that's Joshua

It was fun to watch port-bound boats pass from our balcony. Anna said they looked like "moving cities," while Daddy would exclaim, "more trinkets from China!"

Getting back to normal life is a bit of a relief. Anna and I went out this morning for a haircut for her and some other errands. It felt good to be doing everyday things.

Daddy started back to classes today. Back to slaving (slacking?) away at Georgetown. It's another light schedule, but he will have lots of reading to do. Good thing he's such a quick study. Can't believe we've been here a year now.

Joshua is so very happy to be back in his own crib. He didn't sleep very well in the pack n play over the last 2 weeks. To celebrate his homecoming, he starting flipping onto his tummy yesterday. Now he gets stuck and mad if he flips in his sleep. He better figure out how to like sleeping on his tummy or just stay still. UPDATE: I wrote this last night, but during this morning's nap I realized little J-Man can flip both ways. We'll see which position he ends up liking to sleep in.

We all miss Grammie's cooking. Right, Uncle Will?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Endless Summer

Continuing my trend of breezing through the blog and not writing much, here's a little of what we've been doing.

Had a wonderful time with the Carlsons last weekend! Thanks for coming, guys!

With Daddy's continued time off, and our perpetual wanderlust, we escaped the oppressive DC heat for some cooler temps and bucolic scenery in another DC -- Deep Creek, Maryland, that is. After much searching, we landed our steal of of a deal that gave us days in the 70s and nights in the 60s...refreshing! A no mosquitoes, picnics, hikes, splashing in the lake and playing in the sand, leaving the windows open at night so you can hear the bugs kind of place; a little of Heaven on earth.

Joshua slept through his first hike

The water was deemed "too chillwy" for our wisp of a girl, so we buried feet.

And Joshua crashed in his beach tent.

A tree hatched an Anna

Travels continue tomorrow. Going home to see family this week, breezing through Fayetteville next weekend, then on to Savannah, GA for more beach time and concluding it all with a wedding Labor Day weekend. Do we not know when to stop or what?!

See y'all later!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

summer, summer, summer

Has it been that long already? We've been busy. Daddy's internship finished up about 2 weeks ago and his summer course ended last week. Right now we're on a long break until the fall semester starts up again the week after Labor Day. We're so very, very spoiled with having Daddy around. Day trips this week have included some shopping downtown at H&M, some swimming at Ft. Myer, a yummy Greek dinner with our neighbors in DuPont Circle, playing over at Camp Cookie, a birthday dinner for Mr. Huber, and other various outings in this steamy DC August.

We had some great-grandparent fun last week. I'm so thankful Anna and Joshua get to experience all 4 of my sweet grandparents. My Go Gran is a very proud Semper Fi Marine and so we took them to the Marine Corps Museum at Quantico. Anna enjoyed learning about how her Go Gran also had to go far away to keep away the bad guys, and did well as we took in the exhibits of the "Marine soldiers" as she called them.

Last Friday evening we enjoyed some tasty Indian food for dinner in the Eastern Market area, then walked down a few blocks to the Marine Barracks and happened upon their Sunset Parade. There was space available, so we grabbed a seat and were entertained by the President's Own Marine band. The drill team performed next, but as night settled in, Anna became a little bored of the bayonet bedecked rifle-tossing, and poor Joshua had had about all he could take.

To continue our branching out (get it?), we checked out the Navy Museum yesterday at Navy Yard and explored the battleship USS Brady. Anna loved this big boat and thought it was fun climbing the steep ladder-steps to check out the different rooms. It was a great opportunity to tell her about how her Great-Grandaddy had sailed on a similar ship her Go Gran was a Marine soldier.

More visitors coming today! Nate, Lynn, and Abigail will join us later for the long weekend. We'll see what adventures await!

To everyone else, come visit! There's so much to do around here.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

4 Months of the J-Man

Joshua doesn't get a lot of face time on the blog, so this one's for him. He's usually content to be in the background while Big Sister takes the limelight. All checked out fine at his 4-month appointment this past Tuesday. He's 12 lbs., 14 oz and 24.75 inches. Just like with Anna, we're not setting any records in the weight categories, but I don't think Anna weighed 12 lbs till she was like 9 months, no kidding! I guess they're waiting to set their records as Olympic track athletes.

We are really enjoying this little buddy. He's so very sweet and his favorite toys are his hands, toes, or a burp cloth. His newest trick is blowing raspberries. He takes great naps during the day, but still likes to get up once or twice at night to hang out with Mommy. It's getting more and more fun to see him interact with Anna. She's always up for trying to make him giggle or smile. This is starting to pay off for me as I try to cook dinner in the evenings.

I don't know that I can say whom he most closely resembles. What do you think? Nanny brought a photo of me as a baby when she came up and I saw a little of Joshua in that chubby face. However, while looking at a photo of Daddy as a baby Papa was convinced that was a little Joshua. I don't know. He certainly has my blue eyes and blonde hair. Either way, it's such a gift to watch them grow and develop into the little people God created them to be.

He joined us for breakfast the other day in his purple throne.