Monday, July 3, 2017

Andrew's 9-Month Update!

Dear Andrew,

You are nine months old!  Wow!!  What a month!  I can’t really believe it myself.  I have to start thinking about your birthday party, soon.  WHAT?!  This has been a fun month for you.  Your personality is really shining through and you are helmet-less!  Woo hoo!  Your helmet journey was short and sweet, blessedly.  Now you can grab your ear effortlessly when you get tired and suck your thumb at the same time.

You went to spend a week at DD Nana and T-Pa’s this month.  You did great, except you weren’t a terrific napper.  You did sleep through the night though, so we’re really not complaining.  You went to the lake where you were a trooper but you hated your life jacket.  You don’t care if the boat is moving or just anchored somehwere—you prefer to be crawling up and down the boat regardless.  You also really wanted to touch all of the buttons at the captain’s seat.  You liked playing on the lily pad at the lake and floating in the water.  You figured out how to make splashes with your hands and also in the bathtub by standing up and plopping your bottom back down.  You thought that was hilarious.

You are starting to figure out that we’re giving you baby food and it seems you want the real people food instead.  Except that you haven’t gotten past the gag reflex with the adult food.  If it’s super, super tiny you can get it down but you can’t pick it up if it’s super tiny.  And I’m not one to just stuff it in your mouth—so we’ll figure it out one day.  Some days you’re a great eater and other days you are not.  I think once you get past the gag reflex, it will be easier on us.  You really liked trying lasagna and baked beans on your vacation.  You’ve eaten some chicken and steak if it’s in miniscule pieces that happen to end up in your mouth.

I can’t leave you anywhere.  You’re turning mischievous!  You crawl constantly and always want to go where you shouldn’t.  The stairs are a real danger right now.  You’ll head towards them and look back with a big smile on your face because you know you aren’t supposed to be heading towards them.  Then you’ll turn around and continue to the first step.  Look back.  Smile.  Play a game of peak-a-boo with the banister.  Then I’ll head your way and you will laugh and race up the stairs.  Then I’ll pick you up and you’ll laugh all over again.  I can see you are going to get into lots of trouble around here.  If I can keep you in a room contained, you do better about playing independently and just observing what’s there.

You definitely use your mouth as a sensory tool.  Everything and I mean everything must go in your mouth.  This includes lake water.  If you’re interested in it, it’s going in your mouth.  You find everything on the floor and eat it.  I’ve fished so much out of your mouth its ridiculous.  Obviously I need to keep a cleaner house. Ha!

You are not walking and I’m still not sure you’re that interested in walking.  I don’t think you have figured out the coordination of your legs moving.  You are starting to balance yourself up on your knees, but you haven’t really started moving those legs once you’re standing up.  You LOVE, LOVE to climb and stand.  But, no walking.  I think it may be a couple more months before you walk.  You love that big brother though.  You just crawl for him and his toys all the time.  We’ve had lots of boo boo’s, too with you being mobile.  You’ve face planted a few times and then you also had to adjust to a helmet-free life.  That was a rough few days.

You have curly hair in the back just like mama.  You’re also super tan thanks to all of your lake trips in Arkansas.  I think you take after mom and my dad (and also Aunt Kirkie).  You drool like crazy and I can see your top two teeth coming in as well as a third one on the bottom.  Everything ends up wet that’s within your vicinity.

So, let’s see.. at 9 months you:

Are always on the go!  By way of crawling and exploring every nook and cranny you can find.  You also like climbing the stairs (to mom’s chagrin)
Eat 4 bottles a day at 6 ounces and food 3x a day.  You love yogurt!  That’s always a win for us.
Weigh just under 19lbs at 18 lbs and 9 oz.  Your 9-month well check is this week, so I’ll figure out how tall you are soon.
Wear 6-12 month clothing and size 3 diapers.
Suck your thumb and play with your ear all at the same time to soothe yourself.
Love puffs, but anything bigger or harder you have a hard time swallowing.
Have the sweetest laugh!  You are ticklish on your tummy/rib cage and daddy can really get you going when he tickles you.  You also laugh really hard when someone is chasing you.
Enjoy chewing on EVERYTHING.
Sleep from 8 to 8:30 on the weekends and we wake you up at 6:45 am during the work week.  Take two naps on the weekend but still need three naps at school.  We have to work on this during the school day to get you down to two naps because when you turn one you will only be able to have one nap a day!
Say GA GA and MA MA.  You aren’t saying “mama” asking for me, but just the sounds.
Are a mischievous little booger!  You know when you aren’t doing something right, but you do it anyway with this goofy grin on your face and twinkle in your eye.

You are just getting so big!!  We love you so much baby boy, always and forever.

Oh mom, I don't need to sit in the circle! 

We were blowing bubbles and this turned out pretty cool.

Camp DD Nana & T-Pa

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Parker's 3-Year Update!

Dear Parker,

How is that you are THREE YEARS OLD?!  I see you run up and down the hallways at school and think, where did my baby go?  Your legs are getting longer and your face is thinning out some—you look just like a little boy, now.  You are definitely tall for your age, most people think you are turning four rather than three.  You certainly act like you know it all, that’s for sure.  So, let’s see.. since your last update, what all has changed?!

Well, one thing would be that you sleep in a big boy bed!  We converted your crib to a full bed.  You helped me pick out your sheets you sleep right in the middle of your bed.  Big Elephant acts as your pillow and I’m not gonna lie.. Big E has a deodorant problem.  He stinks!  Which means your head stinks, too.  But, you must sleep with him, so the stink doesn’t bother you.  Mom has to Lysol spray and Febreze Big E every week!  You didn’t bat an eye at transitioning.  I bought you a book about moving to a big bed  and it had you convinced to have your own big boy bed within a week (thank you Elmo).  You stay in your bed and won’t get out until someone comes and gets you in the morning.

You love reading books at night and we rotate through a pretty large collection pretty regularly.  Some of your favorites are the “Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site,” “Mighty, Mighty Construction Site,” “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie,” a Thomas & Friend’s book, “Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom,” and the Bible.  You love reading about how God made the sun, moon and starts as well as Noah saving the elephants.  You can recite most of the books back to me, it seems.

You recently mastered making numbers with your hands from zero to five.  This was a big accomplishment to get your fingers to do what you want!  Now you are so proud to show me how you are TWO but you are going to be THREE.  Mom also makes the church, the steeple, the doors and all the people with her hands and that fascinates you, too.  You try to mimic what I’m doing with my hands.  You can count to 10 and say your ABCs (if you are in the right mood). You also like to sing B-I-N-G-O to yourself.  You can even put your shoes on and off your feet and like to do the Velcro strap yourself.  It’s pretty fun to watch you concentrate on this task.

Some of your most favorite things are still elephants.  You love little E, big E and even your gray elephant from Mary Beth which alternates with the name “Mommy Elephant” or “Daddy Elephant” depending on who is your favorite right now.  Mom got you a life-size baby elephant for your birthday and jumped up and down over and over when you saw him.  You also have a fascination with anything Thomas the Train or trains in general.  You refer to trains just as Thomas.  We have to cross railroad tracks to get to the highway from our house and one day while we were crossing the trains I could see one coming, so I pulled into the post office next to the tracks and we watched it go by.  You loved it.  And now you think I can summon a train every single time we cross the tracks.  So, I basically set you up for future disappointments.  Ha!  You also have an extreme fascination with garbage trucks—it would be your life’s mission to see the garbage truck pick up the trash every day.  We see the trucks pretty regularly on the way to school in the morning, so you get all jazzed up about it routinely.

We went to the beach in Port Aransas in late March with DD Nana and T-Pa and you had a great time.  You slept in a bed all by yourself with no problems and really enjoyed playing on the beach (just like you have in the past).  You did really well in the car (of which Andrew did NOT).  You also got your first real stomach bug that lasted for a whole week.  You were throwing up and having diarrhea regularly for a whole week and were miserable.  You also passed on your stomach bug to your mom and dad.  I think Andrew got away scotch free—lucky soul.  It was a miserable existence for those days.  You didn’t understand what was happening to you and you looked so sad.  In general, the month of April was not a good month for you.  You got the stomach bug and a random virus that made you run fever for 7 days, too.  Mom and dad had to miss a lot of work in April, but we all survived!!

You still enjoy splash pads and fixing things with dad.  Mom donated a TON of your toys to goodwill recently, but you haven’t seemed to notice.  You’re back to playing with some of your magnetic blocks and regular blocks.  You also love the train table you got for Christmas.  You do a lot of independent play at your train table.  Play-doh is also a win-win at our house.  You love to use your play-doh scissors to cut your play-doh.  We took you to your first Monster Jam and you had a blast!!  We did that in February and literally, at least once a week, when we get your underwear out for the morning you will hold up an extra pair and say, “I’m saving these for the monster truck show.”  Of course you are.  You also saved a brownie for the monster truck show (don’t worry—mom ate it when you went to bed).  So, monster trucks are big thing around here, too.  You did so great at the monster truck show—you didn’t mind the loud noise and really loved getting to eat popcorn. 

Let’s see.. you also went to an Astro’s game with your dad on a school night!  You had so much fun with him.  I would say these past few months you have really become a momma’s boy.  I think it stems from you being sick and mom taking care of you the most.  So, I know your dad was happy that you had a really good time with just you and him.  You also really like doing puzzles.  You can basically do a 12-15 piece puzzle all by yourself.  It amazes me.   Mom is no good at puzzles, so this is a skill I can appreciate!  You also love to play with legos, blocks, etc.  You like having to build things and when you’re done you always say, “Look, mom!  I builded you an elephant!”

So, I’ve talked a lot about what you love and things that bring joy to your face, but let’s talk about what you don’t like.  And that’s swimming.  I’ve put you in swim lessons and you hate it.  HATE IT.  You cry, you scream and are, in general, just miserable during the lessons.  The water really scares you.  You like splashing, but you do not like being submerged in water.  But, I’m not going to lie, last night, I stepped out of the bathroom to get your towel for 5 seconds and came back to you blowing bubbles in the water.  This is a HUGE step.  The most you would do at swim lessons was kiss the water.  And you didn’t like that.  So, I’m hoping you’ll come to like swimming in your own time.  We stopped taking gymnastics lessons for the summer so you could do swimming.  So, we’ll revisit in August what we should do about swim vs gymnastics.  We also got you started in Soccer Shots!  You do that at school at 8:30 AM on Wednesdays—and appear to be having a great time with it!

You also are not having the greatest time with your baby brother right now.  You try to play with him, but you generally take toys and say “CRUSH HIM” and then pounce on him like you’re a lion going in for his prey.  But, Parker, Andrew ADORES you.  He crawls after you and just wants to be doing what you’re doing.   I can see his admiration for you.  You are a bit jealous that he can pick up all of your toys and you get even more frustrated when he drools on them.  But, at the end of the day, you still give him a big hug and kiss at night.  I know you love him, it’s just another transition phase we’re going through now that Andrew is mobile.

You love with your whole heart.  You like to run into the house when you’ve been gone and say, “mom!  I’m home!” as though I’ve just been sitting there anxiously awaiting your arrival.  You give big hugs and sweet kisses.  I’ll laydown with you at night for a couple of minutes and you will just talk to me about your day.  You have many friends at school love showing off elephant (and recently turtle).  You’re favorite friends are Beckett, Ethan, Molly, Zee, Vince, Jace, Lily and a handful of others.  You just moved into the three year old class at school and left some of your good friends behind for a little bit.  You had a rough transition, but seem to be getting the hang of it, now. 

You are fully potty-trained during the day, but not at night.  Mom just needs to give you less to drink at night, but it’s hard since we’re so active.   We’ll figure it out one day.  You weight 31lbs, wear 3T shirts, but 2T shorts.  The 3T shorts just fall off your waist.  You wear size 9 shoes, but will probably be a size 10 by the time summer ends.  You still love yogurt—strawberry banana yogurt if we’re being specific.  You also like spaghetti, chicken, steak, quesadillas, chips, oranges, blackberries, raspberries, yellow bars, oatmeal bars, goldfish and a few other foods, too.  Some days you eat great and some days, not so much.

We had your third birthday party at Discover Gymnastics.  You had a ball and were great during you party.  You understood that people “sing first and then blow out the candles” as you kept reminding me throughout the day.  I had so much fun watching you enjoy your special day.  Mom and dad got you some Lego Duplo sets and digger underwear.  DD Nana got you this fun building set and Mimi & Papa Randy got you some balls to play with outside.  We haven’t opened all the rest of your presents, just yet.  I like to leave those for a rainy day.

You will always be our first-born… our baby who made us parents for the very first time.  Mom and dad love you baby boy, always and forever.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Andrew's 8-Month Update!

Dear Andrew,

You are eight months!  You are getting so big and so busy!  Gone are the times that you used to happily just sit and play with a toy.  Now, you are EVERYWHERE.  Literally.  You figured out how to crawl like a big boy (no more army-crawl for you unless you get lazy) and pull up on everything.  You have even started climbing onto things!  How can it be?!  I feel like it was just yesterday we brought you home from the hospital.

We haven’t done just a whole lot of things this month.  Mom just wrapped up her busiest time of the year at work a couple of weeks ago.  Daddy had to put in a little bit of extra effort in the evenings during that time--- we love our daddy!  Speaking of daddy, you absolutely love your daddy.  He makes you just cackle and appeases you in every way.  You guys are great together.  He’s even started chasing you and you think it’s hilarious.  You like looking into mirrors and bumping your head into them—also something you think is hilarious.  We've been to the zoo where you were a real trooper-- you like being in the baby carrier as well as riding in the "big boy" stroller.

You still love to watch big brother and crawl over to him when he’s playing.  He’s trying to figure you out now that you can move.  He’s not used to you taking “his” toys and "touching" him.  You want to be just like him already.  But, I apologize in advance, for him being a little rough with you right now.  We’re working on it.  He’s learning to ask you for toys and you just look up at him and smile when speaks to you.  You also love to give him hugs at night.

You still only have two teeth—those top ones are nowhere to be seen right now.  You’ve also stayed pretty healthy this month—only one trip to the doctor for bronchialitis.  Basically, you have a cough.  It seems to come and go.  Otherwise, you seem great.  The doc thought you could put on a few more pounds (you were roughly 18 lbs at your visit) and I think you have!  You’ve been eating solids like a champ, though you don’t care for anything green.  Go figure.  Neither does big brother.  Or mom! ;-)  I’m willing to bet you are about 20lbs right now. 

We’ve lowered your crib to the lowest it will go so you can’t climb out.  I think you’d do it if you were able.  I can already tell you are going to throw caution to the wind.  You also put EVERYTHING in your mouth.  You will find the most random objects and start chewing on them.  Then you smile when we catch you.  You know better.  Gosh, you are growing up!  You’ll be toddling around before we know it!  I give it another couple of months.  You still don’t really understand the idea of walking—but you definitely like the idea of climbing!

I’m hopeful your helmet will come off next week!  We have an appointment on Monday—it was supposed to be tomorrow, 5/31, but the doctor had to reschedule.  Poo.  You’re going to have a learning curve though once it comes off.. no more banging your head around.

So, let’s see.. at 8 months you:

  • Wear 9 month clothes and weigh around 20lbs.
  • Wear size 3 diapers and poop 1-2x a day.
  • Drink 4, 6 oz bottles with the last bottle sometimes being 8 ounces.
  • Eating solids pretty well—although some days I think you’d just prefer to drink your milk and that’s it.  You are getting the hang of puffs, though!
  • Sleep from 8 at night to 8:30 AM on weekends (I still have to wake you up) and we wake you up at 6:30ish on weekdays.
  • Take 2 naps a day, with the longest nap being in the afternoon that lasts around 2.5 to 3 hours.  During the weekday, you still need that evening catnap in the car to boost your spirits at home.
  • Love playing on your little gym mat at home.  We’ll fold it up for you so you can climb on it and that really piques your interest.
  • Like splashing in water and don’t seem to mind water just running in your face (your brother hates water in his face).
  • Still suck your thumb when you need to calm down for a moment or when you’re trying to fall asleep.
  • Are a crazy person on the changing table—like you go bezerk with not wanting to stay still.  It’s both humorous and very frustrating.  Gone are the days where you just were still it seems.  Always want to be “doing” now.
  • Really enjoy sitting in your bath seat in the bath tub.  You’ll lay back and relax some and other times you’ll kick your feet and slash with your hands.  Most times you’ll be chewing on some toy that floats past you.
  • Are just overall a really happy baby.  You never cry it seems—and if you do, it’s likely because you’ve tried to unsuccessfully climb onto some object you shouldn’t be climbing.
Mom and Dad love you baby boy, always and forever.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


I’ve been wanting to put pen to paper on this for a while now, but just never could find enough time to properly devote to this topic.  But, today, I have a sick kid at home napping and work is a little slow, so this seemed like the perfect time.  God keeps tugging at my heart to post this.  At church, we’ve been in a two-year long series on the book of John in the New Testament of the Bible.  On March 26, 2017, the small group pastor, Daniel Earnest knocked it out of the park.  It was one of those sermons where you want to stand up at the end and just give a standing ovation.  It moves you—you can feel the Holy Spirit working in you.  I’m not sure I had ever really studied Simon Peter in the bible and so I wanted to write it down.  If you were to google Simon Peter and the bible, you’d find many headlines about how Peter is one of the great stories about how people change.

It’s powerful, and, Parker and Andrew, I hope you can come back to this one day.  I have it written in my journal, too. 

So, just to start off, I’ll be writing on the last chapter of John so, Chapter 21, versus 1-24.  Basically, the book of John should have ended at chapter 20.  But, chapter 21 is the end to Peter’s story.  Before I put the verses in the text here, let’s give a recap.  Peter was one of the twelve called to be Jesus’ disciples.  His trade was a fishing.  Fishermen at that time were gruff, unkempt, vile, shabbily dressed, and often used vulgar language.  Peter was bold but often times in the wrong.  He rebuked the Lord and said that he was willing to die for Jesus even though at the arrest and trial of Jesus he denied Him three times (Matt. 16:21-22).  Daniel described Peter as being all heart and half mind. 

Jesus has been arrested, tried and crucified.  John chapter 20 illustrates Christ rising from the dead.  Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene and then to His disciples.  The disciples are in Galilee to wait on Jesus (Mark 16). 

Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples

21 After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Imagine you’re Peter—you have just come 100 miles from Jerusalem on a boat—you can’t fish and that’s your trade!  Peter is retreating to something comfortable; he’s consumed with shame and guilt.  Two images are also probably playing through Simon Peter’s head:

1.       His denials of Jesus
2.       Seeing Jesus on the shoreline two years ago when Peter first knew Jesus was extraordinary.  (Thinking, there’s no way Jesus would ever do that again!  I messed that up!)

Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 
Let’s go back to this.  JESUS. STOOD. ON. THE. SHORE.  Repeat.  Jesus stood on the shore.  <<-- I’ll never leave you Peter!  Jesus pursues Peter—“my love for you is so much bigger than your failure.”

Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish.

Jesus: “Hey guys, you haven’t caught anything have you?”  “Nope,” the disciples say.  They don’t know its Jesus, yet.  Peter is frustrated and throws it on the other side of the boat [maybe thinking, I’ll show this guy how it works—you can’t just will the fish to come] Simon Pepter tries to pull it up and he thinking to himself “I’ve only felt this one other time in my life”---> Jesus is going WAY OUT OF HIS WAY to call himself to Peter. 

That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea.  Peter jumps into the water in excitement, anticipation.

The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards[a] off.  Disciples just row right by Simon Peter [remember all heart, half brain]

My love for you is even bigger than your failure.  How does Jesus respond to your failure?  Does he sit on the shore and scream at you?  Does he ignore you?  Does he wait and point out everything you’ve ever done wrong?  NO!  He says, I’ll pursue you.  Nothing can get in my way.  He’s re-performing the first miracle with the fish.

When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. The words “charcoal fire” are only used twice in the bible and once is here and the other is where Peter was when he denied Jesus.

10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

So, what is Jesus doing?  How does he deal with our sin, our failure?  He doesn’t rope Peter over the coals with his sin.  He invites Peter in.  Repeat.  He invites Peter in.  Jesus is in the business of making failed, broken things new.  Forgiveness means your debt is paid for.  We can’t pretend the fire doesn’t exist, but I can restore you.  This fire represents the time I came after you.  The time I restored you.  Makes this place of pain for Peter a place of Life.

Jesus:  “Do you see that I love you?  That I’m not going anywhere?”  We still have to go back to this place—make this place of pain and place of Life.

Jesus and Peter
15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”

One might think that this is a chance for Peter to balance the scales.  To prove he loves Jesus.  But redemption was already made on the cross, i.e., there is nothing else to prove.  Jesus makes Peter say he loves Jesus three times--- Peter, we have to deal with this.  Yes, Jesus loves you.  Yes, Jesus accepts you.  But, Jesus wants you to deal with your sin.  I want you to be free so that you can chase other people.  He’s going to take you to your [sin—porn, self-image, pain, failure] so that you can move past it.

If you don’t accept this forgiveness, your will alone will never be able to deal with this.  Deal with your sin- He will keep taking you there so you can deal with it so you can help others.   I’m going to get free so you can feed the Lord’s sheep.  There are people out there that need saving.

Jesus and the Beloved Apostle
20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” 21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” 22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” 23 So the saying spread abroad among the brothers[b] that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”
24 This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.

Peter becomes the man Jesus intended him to be and from this moment on preaches about God boldly. The book of Acts tell us how astonished people are of Simon Peter boldly proclaiming the gospel of God.

I keep re-reading this post and I’m not doing it justice.  A wise woman once told me that it doesn’t matter what comes out of your throat (or fingers in this case), it’s what’s in your heart that matters.  I’ll just have to go with that I’ve tried my best to convey the purpose of this last chapter in the book of John.  But, I urge you to listen to the sermon—it’s up on our website.  It will be best 30 minutes of your week.  Seriously—click here to listen.

These words are my new favorite phrase.  JESUS. STOOD. THERE.  Peter has just denied Jesus three times!  But yet, JESUS. STOOD. THERE.  That’s the key takeaway.  Jesus is always there.  It doesn’t matter what we’ve done in the past.  Let him into your heart and He will always be there.  Life in His Name is not a “get out of jail free” card.  We experience our Lord in this dark world today so that God’s identity would shape our practice in this dark world.  So that we may have Life in His name.

Jesus wants to forgive you so that you can be a light in the dark world.  So you can feed his lambs.  Come and have breakfast.  Now go and feed my lambs.

Andrew and Parker—remember this long after I’m gone.  Deal with your sin.  Jesus is inviting you in so that you can be the Light in this dark world.  Jesus is always there.  Be the light.  I love you.

One last side note, recently my dad, to my boys, T-Pa, gave his condensed testimony to his church up in NWA.  I don’t exactly have his permission to post the link, but I think it’s worth posting.  You can watch it here.  Because, he would tell you that JESUS. STOOD. THERE.  Jesus might have had to give him a hard push (i.e., strike him down like dad likes to say), but JESUS. STOOD. THERE.  Despite his sin.  Jesus invited him in and now he boldly lives his life for Christ.  Dad had to deal with his sin—Jesus took him back to his place of pain.  And, now, dad’s feeding the sheep.  He’s being the light so that others, too, can deal with their sin and be the light.

So, before I sign-off--- let’s say this one more time.  JESUS. STOOD. THERE.  Come and have breakfast (he’s pursuing you).  Go, and feed the sheep (and create the Light).

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Andrew's 7-Month Update!

Dear Andrew!

Well, we're officially closer to one than we are zero.  I can't believe it.  You are doing great.  This month has been more of the same, but you're getting better at everything.  You did get your two bottom teeth and you are a drooling machine!

We also went to the beach in Port Aransas and stayed at Cinnamon Shores with DD Nana and T-Pa.  We rented a condo for two days and you were such a trooper!  You got to meet mom's uncle and aunt, Steve and Mary Beth and then also her cousin's Ann and Jane.  You also visited with both Mema & Pepa and Great Nana and Pop.  You made everyone laugh and were a true joy to be around.  You actually liked the sand but did not care for the water-- beach or pool.  Could be because it was quite cold.

But, let me just say, you were a terrible car rider.  Just terrible.. both ways.  You cried pretty much the whole way, each way.  It was miserable.  Nothing would appease you except for getting out of your car seat.  So, we stopped at a rest area and had a good hour long break, but then you proceeded to mostly cry the rest of the way home.  So, no long car trips for you for a while!

You are doing very well with your helmet.  The doctor said that you should be able to get it off after memorial day, so we have an appointment on May 31st!  It doesn't bother you at all, though.  You were scratching your head like crazy any time we took it off and your head was all red, but I've been putting my Rodan & Field's Soothe Regimen on your head each night and that cleared it right up!  Rodan &Field's is some good stuff, I'll tell ya.  Mom uses it on her face each night!

We also celebrated your first Easter.  You quite liked chewing on the eggs and were a sport when it came to watching big brother hunt his eggs.  We've also been to the zoo and you got to go on your first train ride around the park... which you promptly slept through the whole ride.  You like strolling in the stroller and also in the baby carrier, facing forwards.  Give you a chew toy and you're all set.

So, let's see... at 7 months, you:

  • You weigh about 17 lbs and are around 28 inches long.
  • Drink 6 ounces of milk every 3 to 4 hours.
  • Seem to spit up more like you used to a couple of months ago.  You've got daddy pretty good the last few days.
  • Wear size 3 diapers and poop 1-2x/day
  • Love eating any solids we put in front of you
  • Tried puffs, but you haven't quite figured out how to put them in your mouth.  Soon, baby boy!
  • Sleep 8-8:30 on the weekends and we wake you up at around 6:30 during the week.
  • Sit unassisted for long periods of time
  • Wear 6-12 month clothes-- like I said a few months ago-- I think your feet on really big because they never fit in the foot holes in your jammies and I have to put you in 12-24 month socks!
  • Trying really hard to pull up on things and go from your knees to sitting  (I think you'll be crawling soon-- I give it another month).
  • Generally are happy if you have your favorite toys in front of you.  Your most favorite toy is the rattle we "stole" from daycare-- aka, we left with it your hand on accident and you liked it so much that I never took it back.
  • Nap about 2 hours at a time in the morning and afternoon (with the afternoon sometimes going longer).  You're starting to drop that third nap on the weekends.  But, you still take 3 naps at daycare right now with some days you napping really well and other days you take these little 20-30 minute naps all day long.
  • Love, love, love watching your big brother play.  But big brother does not like it when you touch "his" toys.  I'm working on him, I promise.  You are just getting a lot more active and big brother is adjusting to you being more "involved."

Overall baby boy, you are just wonderful!  I love your big smiles with your big dimple.  You bring us so much joy.  Mom and dad love you baby boy, always and forever.

Happy Easter!

Parker loves you so much!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Andrew's 6-Month Update!

Dear Andrew,

I can't believe it!  You are six months old.  YOU.ARE.AWESOME.  That's all I really need to say.  You have really just done more of the same this month.  You are SO CLOSE to having two bottom teeth.  I can see them right there, but they haven't poked through yet.  I give you just another week and I think they will have grown in.  You seem to tolerate the pain pretty well; just lots of drool and things in your mouth.

You sit on your own moderately well.  You will tip over after about 3-5 minutes, but you are really getting the hang of it.  What is most impressive is how much you love playing on your tummy.  You'll just roll yourself right over and grab whatever toy you can find.  In fact, I've put you on the play mat only to walk away and find that you've rolled over, did a 180 and scooted yourself off the mat.  It's pretty impressive for a baby who can't crawl.  You're pretty cute when you try to move-- it's more a whale approach right now.  You'll get it though, soon!

When big brother puts his attention on you, you just laugh and laugh!  He makes you giggle like crazy.  It's great to listen to you.  This is the first month that I heard you just down right make big belly laughs.  And all because of big brother.

You still smile all the time and are generally happy.  You will sit and play, or jump and play for about two hours before you start to get fussy.  You bounce from activity to activity very well and don't mind do anything where you can watch big brother.  We go on walks with big brother to park and you like strolling and watching brother play on the park.  We also put you in the swing an you really liked it!  You had a way better demeanor than big brother did on his first swing!

You went to the rodeo where you were a model spectator.  You sat in DD Nana, T-Pa and Aunt KK's lap and were perfectly content to chew on some "chewelry" and watch the heifers walk around.  Again, you are awesome!

You've been sleeping like a champ with no wake-ups in the middle of the night.  You roll around really good in your crib and fall asleep with little to-do.  This in of itself makes you amazing.  Momma is so lucky and counts her blessings every night.  Thank you baby boy.

You gave the entire household a bad stomach bug.  It kept big brother home from school for four days and mom and dad home from work for four days, too.  It was terrible and you were patient zero.  I hope you don't do that again!

Oh wait, probably the biggest change this month is the addition of your helmet!  We just got it on March 25th.. so we've been adjusting your head to the helmet.  So far, you don't seem bothered by it at all and you are your same ol' happy self.  I know its going to work wonders and you'll be out of it soon enough!

So, let's see... at six months you:

  • Sleep from 8-6:30 on weekdays and 8-8 on weekends.
  • Take one really long nap (>2 hours) in the afternoon with two shorter naps beginning with the one in the AM (1 hour-ish) and a catnap in the evening, usually on the way home from school.
  • Love sleeping on your tummy-- heck, you like just being on your tummy in general.
  • Eat 5, 6 ounce bottles during the weekday and usually 4, 6 ounce bottles on the weekend.
  • Love eating foods!  You've just about figured out the whole "eating off a spoon" thing and love eating.  You get so excited and just start chomping.  We've tried oatmeal, carrots, sweet potatoes, avocado, bananas, apples, squash and pears.  So far, so good!  I'm going to get you some puffs this week and we'll start seeing how you like those!
  • Wear size 2 diapers, though my next shipment of diapers are size three!  Growing boy!  Poop 1-2x/day.
  • Like your jumper, but for the most part your favorite thing is to sit in someone's lap.
  • Don't seem all that interested in standing, yet.
  • Smile all the time and think big brother is hilarious
  • Like being tickled
  • Chew on anything-- we always keep teething toys around with you!
  • Suck your thumb and the pacifier has pretty much gone by the wayside.
  • Wear 6 month clothes
  • Have curly hair-- at least on top!  We'll see how curly it is once it starts growing in more.
  • Did not like taking your pictures in the bluebonnets-- maybe next year!
We love you baby boy, always and forever.

At the rodeo-- always smiling.

Best picture we got at the blue bonnets.

Your new helmet!  So cute!

You were not having your pictures.  This is the best one we had!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Andrew's 5-Month Update!

Dear Andrew,

You are five months, buddy!  How is that?!  I think things are starting to "normalize" around here.  We've figured out the weekly school routine and you're doing great.  Still always seem to be slightly sick with a cold of some sort.  I think you've about kicked the bronchitis, though.  It only took three weeks!  You haven't had any anti-biotics yet, which is good.  But, I'm curious to know if you're allergic to penicillin just like your dad and brother.  I wonder if they can test for that instead of going through the whole "hives" thing.

You are such a happy baby.  Like literally, you smile ALL.THE.TIME.  It's great!  I always know when your tired and/or cranky because you want to be held and start to cry when we set you on the ground.  But, if you're well-fed and well-rested you are SOO HAPPY with anything.  You love to bounce in your jumper, play with your feet and just in general, watch your big brother or anyone else do their thing.

You put everything into your mouth and don't seem to be all that interested in eating from a spoon.  What goes in, comes out.  We're working on it though, but you haven't quite figured out what to do with your tongue.  You get it moving, but it moves the food straight out of your mouth instead of down your throat.  It's kind of funny.  You'll get it!  We've tried you on oatmeal and that's it.  Trying to master the spoon before we go too crazy with new foods.

We're working on sitting and I think you're really close to rolling forwards and backwards consistently.  You've got tummy to back down and I think in the next week or two you will have back to tummy down consistently, too.  You tolerate sitting in your bumbo pretty well-- more so than Parker ever did.  We've moved Parker to a big kid chair at the kitchen table, so I'm hoping he'll tolerate you sitting in "his" highchair this month.  We've just kind of left it alone in the corner hoping he'll come around-- he might have freaked out when we first put you in there.

We also had our appointment at Texas Children's- Neuro.  Looks like you're getting a helmet, kiddo.  Mom's sorry about that, but you won't even notice it!  She'll decorate it pretty cool, too.  The ideal head shape is a .90 and the doctors tolerate anything from a .90 to a .94.  You came out at a .96.  So, you're very borderline, but I want to fix it if I can!  For comparison's sake, Parker was a 1.04-- severely flat.  You're just moderately flat.

So, let's see... At 5 months you:

  • Drink 5, 7oz bottles a day at daycare (about every 3 hours)
  • Drink 4, 7 oz bottles a day on the weekends (every 4 hours)
  • Sleep from 8-7:30 on the weekends and we wake you up at 6:30 on the weekdays.  You have mastered falling asleep on your own which means we don't get to rock very much anymore, you prefer we just set you down.  It's one of those parenting "wins" but mommy "loses."  
  • Started eating some oatmeal, but not very successfully
  • Love to play with your feet and look in the mirror at school
  • Spit ups are getting better; much less frequent.  Still need to burp during every bottle.
  • Have brownish-green eyes and I think your hair may have a little curl to it.. time will tell!
  • Have just started giggling.. you love kissy faces and sounds
  • Put everything in your mouth-- it's no wonder you are sick all the time!
  • Wear 6 month clothes and weigh around 15 lbs and 5 oz
  • Like to jump in your jumper and watch mom in the kitchen
  • Found out you are going to have a cousin from Aunt KK (Kate) whom is going to be a boy!
  • Are a thumb sucker.  You'll take a pacifier occasionally in the car or when your grumpy but fighting sleep, but as soon as we lay you down you rip it out and place your thumb in your mouth.  No matter how hard we pushed the paci, it looks like you prefer your thumb.  There's no convincing you.
You are such a trooper baby boy.  We love watching you smile and giggle.  I can't wait to see what this next month will bring!  Mom and dad love you baby boy, always and forever.

Valentine's Day with my favorite boys!