Friday, August 31, 2012


Whew!  This is my seventeenth day of publishing a daily blog post. I admit that I am getting a little burnt out.  I also celebrate that I am somewhat caught up with blogging!  Now if I could say the same thing about a balanced checkbook, Birthday thank you's, and house cleaning it would be a real reason to celebrate.

I realized that I couldn't end my big blogging spree without a post dedicated to where M is at.  My little man turned THREE friends.  I don't know how he could grow up on me, but he is... every single day!

As the title of this post is hinting, M has reached that lovely season when every single statement that Brandon and I (or anyone he is around anywhere) make is questioned with a "Why?"  Sure, there was a season some time ago when he did this from time to time, but this is consistent and intense.  We celebrate this season as we can see his little mind wrestling with so many different things and he is learning new concepts every day.  Watching him figure things out is so much fun.

M had his 3 year check up this week.  He did great and is now in the 3.88 percentile for height and almost the 6th for weight.  When he came home he was just hanging out at the bottom of the charts.  At age two he moved up the 2nd percentile so we are really celebrating the big jump to almost double that.  Because of his jumps there is still a lot of wonder as to what his adult height will be.

Besides height and weight M is right on track with his peers.  Our little man who was so far behind is now doing the same things that his friends are.  Amazing.  Thanks be to God!  He has a huge vocabulary, but the Dr. did say we need to work on articulation.  This isn't a huge surprise to us.  M could work on this area for sure.  To make matters worse, whenever he gets excited (like at a Dr's office) he talks really fast which makes him really hard to understand.  We have been working hard and are already seeing improvements.

The funny side of M's articulation issues is a whole lot of funny ways to say words.  For a long time he has said, "K-puz" for because.  Since we started working on it he has accidentally said "A-cuz" and "P-cuz" so we are quite sure he thinks that because has something to do with the letter "B." The living room is usually called the "woman room."

M continues to try new foods and has added several veggies (not blended YAY) to his diet.  He still really doesn't like beef, but he is more willing to try it than before.

Sleep seems to continue to be an issue in our family.  He treasures his nap and begs for his each day.  This is not an issue of course.  The issue is the 2-3 times he wakes up during his nap coupled with the 2-3 times he wakes up each night.  We know he has started to have bad dreams.  He has only told us about one of his dreams.  Apparently his pillow moved all by itself.  His dreams really shake him us and sometimes he is awake (with one of us) for over an hour after them.  Please if you think of it pray for sweet dreams for our little man.  

We have talked a lot with M about our trip to China.  He knows that he is going to stay here and that Brandon and I are going to go to China.  He talks about this a lot.  He tells strangers, "My baby sister at China.  Mommy and Daddy gone a long time, big airplane ride, bring my baby sister home.  I see her at the airport.  I hold her."  Overall he gets it.  He doesn't really like it.  We will of course be asking for lots of prayers for him as we get closer to travel.

He has obviously asked us why we have to go to China.  We told him that baby sister doesn't have a family there.  We are her family and we need to go there to bring her home.  This morning M asked Brandon "Why baby sister no have a family in China?"  There are some questions that are just hard to answer. 

Yesterday as I was comforting M during one of his nap wake ups I was overwhelmed with how much love I have for him.  It is amazing how time grows your love. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

What we have been reading

M and books are huge buddies!  I decided to make a post featuring some of our favorite books of the summer.  I looked for the pics of Brandon's books and then my books and then... I admit... I got lazy.  Please feel free to head to amazon and look up all of M's favorite books! 

His favorite authors include Kevin Henkes, Anna Dewdney, Karma Wilson, Jane Yolen, Janet Morgan Stoeke, and Jane Kurtz.  If reading these names means nothing to you, maybe I should mention a few of the titles,
Henkes: "Owen", "Lilly's Big Day", "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse", "Chester and Wilson" etc.
Dewdney: The Llama Llama books,
Wilson:  The Bear books like "Bear Wants More"
Yolen:  The Dinosaur books like "How Does a Dinosaur Get Well Soon"
Stoeke:  The Minerva Louise books (She is so funny!)
Kurtz: The Ethiopia/Ghana books!

M also loves his "Nicholas Choy" book.  It is a theology for kids book written by a dear seminary friend of ours.  

We are also reading many award winner books and other random books that talk about cars, trucks, being a big brother, making music, and sharing. 

Shelly's Picks:

This summer I read "Little Women" for the first time.  I made it through all 520 pages without skimming!  The first 150 were a bit painful, but the story took off as I had hoped and I can now tell my children that if Mommy read it they can too... if they want... maybe. 

I also learned of and fell in like with Beverly Lewis trilogies.  I read two sets this summer. 

The Heritage of Lancaster County series

  1. The Shunning, 1997
  2. The Confession, 1997
  3. The Reckoning, 1998

The Rose Trilogy

  1. The Thorn, September 2010
  2. The Judgment, April 2011
  3. The Mercy, September 2011
 The series were so good... actually they were too good!  I had a hard time putting them down.  I admit that nap time for M switched from "getting things done time" to reading time.  I know she has many other series and our local public library carries many of them, but I need to get a few things off my "to do" list before I tackle another all consuming series.  Although, it would get me off of Facebook and my obsession with finding out if our dossier is out of translation (Day 29 of the unknown wait... no news). 

 Brandon's Picks:

 Brandon is a reader.  He is always reading a new book.  I will not list all the books he has been reading lately.  Here are a few that he has really enjoyed. 

“Bonhoeffer” by Eric Metaxas

“Multiplying Missional Leaders” by Mike Breen

“The Explicit Gospel” by Matt Chandler

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Olympic Memories!

We are HUGE Olympic fans at our house!  From the parade of nations to the first time I hear the Olympic anthem I am hooked.  I relish all the feel good stories.  I tear up when I see the athletes families.  I cry buckets of tears when they cry during the National Anthem.  I rejoice with them and I cry with them.  My compassion nature kicks in when other teams are behind and I don't like to see anyone get hurt. 

This was M's first Olympics in our home and he really enjoyed it too.  He watched the opening ceremonies and 3 other nights of competition. The late night TV led to awful sleep, but it was temporary.  He enjoyed swimming, beach volleyball, track, and gymnastics.  Gymnastics was his favorite by far. 

Since watching the athletes he likes to pretend to be in the Olympics.  While going down the slide in our yard he tells Brandon and I to pretend to sit on the couch.  Then he directs us to chant U*S*A over and over again.  He slides down with a big smile and throws his hands up in the air at the end of his dismount.  He then bows and smiles as we laugh and cheer! 

While at Brandon's parents he was blowing some really big bubbles (like bigger than a small child) with huge wands.  He was so excited that he yelled, "I in the Olympics."  I think it is safe to say that he will be willing to watch the next games with us in a couple of years! 

This is what neighbors saw when they drove by our house during the Olympics!
This is the inside view.  It was pretty hard to see the flags from outside during the day, but when the lights were on at night it was pretty cool! 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Summer Festivals!

Our sweet little town is all about festivals.  We often describe it as "a town like the Gilmore Girls town" because it seems like there is always something going on.  The have 7 (I believe) fireworks shows a year and festivals to go with most of them.  This summer we began taking M and he really likes them.  We showed him the first show of the season from our bedroom window, but took him out to the next three.  The next one isn't until Christmas time, but we are already looking forward to it. 

M has also been to a couple of parades and has really enjoyed those as well.  He isn't too sure about the costumed people wandering about, but he enjoys the excitement of the day!
I a little firecracker!  (That is what his shirt said and he repeated it all day on the 4th)
Daddy put these on my ears!

Corey is one of my favorite big friends and I got to watch my first fireworks with him.  I had the proper ear gear too!
Ready for the parade to begin.

My friends gave me a bonnet to wear.  It is more manly with my earmuffs!

Bring on the loud firetrucks, I can take it.

The parade watching crew!  We all matched and didn't plan it!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Up North 2012

Ever since moving to our current home people have asked us if we have visited this location up north.  We finally took a mini vacation to see a few sights.  We were only gone 24 hours, but got to do some hiking and swim in a hotel pool.  We realize that we are so spoiled living where we live.  While it was very beautiful we felt like we get to see many of the same things ever day living on the Lake.  It was nice to make more memories as a family of three! 
I throw BIG rock and make a BIG splash!
Pretty Lake!

We found a fun park!

I reading in bed, just like mommy.  Can you see me?

Another photo of me reading in bed.

Why would I want to look at the camera when I can watch a boat?

See that lighthouse?  We went there. 

I am good at hiking!

Sometimes my mommy helps me.

Whoa, that is a steep rock.

All tired out after the long hike.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Family Fun Nights!

This summer we had fun nights of the family every Wednesday night.  M loves them and wishes we had them all year.  We all have really enjoyed them.  Some weeks we all meet at a local park and grill and play.  Other weeks we do fun activities at the church.  The photos are from a variety of events. 
How fast can we get the balloons off?
Egg Drop contest prep.

M and M on stroller duty!

M, L, and M watching the show!

Mentos explosions

Best buddies!

Brandon dropping the eggs for the contest.

Many didn't even break at this height.

Photo scavenger hunt (Titanic pose using the boat drawing etched on the glass).

Roadkill funeral

Our group won!  We made it back just in time.

The "misters" at our favorite park!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

40 years of marriage means a weekend of family fun!

Brandon's parents celebrated 40 years of marriage this month.  We were blessed to spend a long weekend with them celebrating.  They had a great party and dance that we all enjoyed.  We are blessed in a rare way to have two sets of parents that not only love us, but very obviously love each other!  It is such a gift to us.  These photos are terribly out of order. 

I building a cabin with daddy's cousin B and my cousins A&A
Aww, I love you Baby A

This is my great-grandma and all of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

T is so much fun!

Aww, there my E. I like her!

I like my smile. 

See that girl?  That's my mom (yes, he calls me mom sometime... already)

Dancing with my daddy!

More dancing!

Over 150 photos taken... one winner! 

Grandpa Tom likes reading me the train book.

I work well with others (on rare occasions).

We watching Curt's cows!

Just hugging A.

Mommy: Why God make Rick big? 

Helping grandma water the side of the hill.

I love my great-grandma R.

Grandpa Tom and Grandma Judy were the only ones dancing (since it was their first dance) so I decided to join them with moves of my own, like them?