Sunday, December 17, 2006
Friday, December 15, 2006
Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
O Christmas Tree
O Christmas Tree,
How artificial are your branches?!?
I guess we've changed our perspective since our first Christmas together 4 years ago. Four years ago, Scott and I bundled up for a drive to the local mountains with friends, where we searched all afternoon to find just the right tree. When we got it home, we spent the evening in front of our fireplace, sipping hot chocolate and stringing popcorn garland to hang on the tree. Classic.
This year, we settled on an artificial tree because after 4+ years of killing Scott's plants, I guess he finally realizes that I will forget to water the tree. Plus, there's no water for Jonah to play in and track all over the house. We get to keep it up for longer, and it's just as fresh the day we take it down and put back in the box as it was when we first unwrapped each delicate branch. It even came pre-lit with 850 lights...my mom would be proud of the glow it emits (part of my family tradition growing up was my dad trying to convince my mom that there were already enough lights on the tree and then my mom and me sneaking more strands on when dad was not looking. Christmas trees cannot have enough lights--unless you've been to our apartment and seen the tree on the hill that is so bright that we have to keep the shades drawn at night. But I digress).
Anyway, our Christmas tree is up and there are only 13 more shopping days left. What am I doing blogging? I should be at the mall...
Saturday, November 18, 2006
It would have been wise for him to stick a little closer to Adam...the girls enjoyed playing dress-up with him. Nothing like a good blackmail picture for future girlfriends, eh?
We fed the ducks at Balboa Park.
Packing up the Montrose apartment.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Well, today is Grandparents Day, and Jonah wanted to do something special for all of his grandparents. Since he couldn't be near any of them personally to give them lots and lots of kisses or hugs, he transferred all his love for them to this (now weathered) sign. It has been well slobbered on. He did the coloring himself and got so carried away that he didn't limit himself to staying on the paper. I think he's into the modern art movement and free expression because he colored on his face, too.
And now a message from Jonah:
[,,,,b .............vv c nnjh7m,scfczvsxxKJ G M M BI LH]
which in his language I'm sure translates, "I love you all and I want to play with you and love on you really soon! Happy Grandparents Day!!"
Sunday, August 27, 2006
I also have to admit--I didn't know what to do with myself. The only time that I have been away from home by myself since Jonah was born was to go to the grocery store. I think the endless possibilities of what I could do with a few hours on my own overwhelmed me to the point that I had no clue what I would do. In the end, as mentioned above, I wanted to do something that was both girly and refreshing. But before I explain what I did, let's rewind to the morning:
I woke up tired and grumpy. Jonah had been up a couple times the night before (he has a hard time when his schedule is off, and Scott and I had been on a date the night before so Jonah did not get to bed on time) and because he did not get a lot of sleep either, he was cranky too. I proceeded with his morning routine and then set him in his booster chair for some green beans. Jonah had never had them before. He did not like them. He frowned and shuddered at the first bite...and gagged and vomited with the second. So I promptly cleaned up the mess and drew him a bath. Within seconds of being in the bathwater, Jonah peed all over the place so I had to clean up that, too. All that and it wasn't even 8 a.m.! He did not go down well for his morning nap, but I was so overwhelmed at that point that I just left him crying in his crib and went into our bedroom and had a good cry of my own. I think the events of the morning just made me appreciate a day away all that much more.
So, after a pep talk from Scott (he's getting really good at those!) and a kiss goodbye, I headed out. My first stop was Target, where in addition to getting the boring practical stuff like batteries, I got two shades of the pinkest and sparkliest (sp?) nail polish a girl could want along with a pair of the softest socks ever! :) After a quick trip to the mall I came home for a lunch break (I had packed a lunch to eat at a park or something but left it at home in my hurriedness to get out). It was perfect timing for Jonah's lunch too so it was convenient that I was there. I went out again after lunch to the library for some quiet and uninterrupted time of reading and studying. I am going through the book of Joshua right now. It was great to have extended time in the Word as it is really hard to come by with a 6 month old.
After that I came home but my 'day off' was nowhere near over. While I was gone, Scott did a lot of cleaning, organizing, and even rearranging some furniture! Wow. And Jonah looked like he was grateful for some one on one time with his old man. I relaxed while Scott made me tasty dinner--and he even made enough so that I might not have to cook this week! Awww....how sweet! After dinner I put Jonah to bed and was able to take a bath and give myself a home pedi/mani (and slip into my new soft socks afterwards, of course!). I don't know how much more 'girly' I can take but I sure had fun! And the refreshment of my body and my soul was such a treat.
So, if you're reading this, Scott, Thank You so much. I could not ask for a sweeter and more loving and sacrificial husband than you. I am so thankful that you make it possible for me to be a stay-at-home Mom and look after our home, but I am also thankful that you recognize that it really is a lot of work and that I need a break now and again, too.
And, if you're reading this and you're not Scott, then I'd like to encourage you to think of a creative way to thank your spouse for what he/she does. And if you're not married, surely there is someone special in your life that deserves your thanks. It can be such a blessing and an encouragement to that person!
Saturday, August 26, 2006
The story that follows demonstrates that no matter how smart you get in class you can still be an idiot in the rest of life. Events like these help remind me to keep humble because as soon as I think I know something I'm reminded I don't know noth'n.
Amy and I bought a water filter for our faucet about a year ago because our tap water tastes nasty. We use this thing for about 3 months enjoy the clean taste of filtered water when it crosses my mind that the filter is probably good for 3 months. I started looking for replacement filters but couldn't locate any. At about the 8 month point I'm starting to think of replacing our filter with a whole new unit. Something needed to be done because the filtered water was tasting just the same as plain tap water.
Well Amy was looking through out cavernous pantry one night and found this little foil wrapped package with the name of our water filter on it! Hurray a new filter, I take it and begin to dismantle the faucet unit. After I have it all apart something in the back of my brain clicks-- you idiot there never was a filter in the unit! For nearly a year we've been drinking water out of a faucet filter with NO FILTER! Whats better is we were both convinced that when we first put the filter on that the water ACTUALLY TASTED BETTER! What a powerful force the power of suggstion is.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
I just endured one of the loooongest and looouuuudest bouts of screaming that Jonah has had in his whole life. Poor little guy couldn't sleep after I put him down for bed, and he was doing his cry that he does when he's in pain--the loud shriek followed by silence while his body continues to convulse and his face turns bright red...then repeat the process. Well, I went in once to make sure that no appendages were stuck in between the bars of the crib and to pat his tummy and remind him that everything is okay. I left and the cries intensified. I decided that he was in enough pain to merit some Tylenol and I held him, walked with him, rocked him, sang to him, bounced him, kissed him, cuddled him, etc. etc. etc. Didn't work. The cries only got more mournful. About an hour into screaming with no sign of comfort in sight, I called Scott at work for some comfort (not for Jonah but for myself! It can really get to me after awhile). Jonah, wanting to be on his best behavior for his Daddy, let his cries die down to a wimper while I was on the phone. After I hung up with Scott, Jonah let out a few more good cries, then...
he lay his head on my shoulder...
and said...clear as day...
I couldn't believe it and I thought for sure that the second I put him down in his crib again and started to leave his room that he would come unglued, but he smiled at me as I wound up Mr. Cuddles and I haven't heard a peep out of him since. That was a half an hour ago.
Maybe he just wasn't ready for bed?!?!? Crazy kid.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Thursday, August 03, 2006
A satisfied customer, for sure! Please check back every week or so to follow Jonah's discovery of new fruits and veggies!
Monday, July 31, 2006
Scott and Jonah enjoyed relaxing and reading on the deck at the cabin in Longbarn. Some friends graciously offered to let us use their cabin and they spent a couple of days up there with us. After a few days at the cabin, we went to Modesto so Jonah could visit his grandparents.
The next stop on our trip was Eureka, from where we went on a day trip to the National Redwood Forest. This tree is one in the Tall Trees Grove, accessible only by a 'leisurely stroll' (so said the pamphlet) of 1.3 miles. In hindsight, we assume that the stroll would indeed be leisurely if the temperature was less than 90 degrees and the humidity less than 80% and if one weren't carrying a hot sweaty baby so close. And did it mention that it was 1.3 miles to the trailhead, where the 'real' hike began? But it was a beautiful walk nonetheless, and we got this picture.
From Eureka we headed down the coast and stayed a night at Fort Bragg. This picture was taken at Glass Beach. We all look a little more refreshed in this picture mainly because we took a break from our camping adventures halfway through the week and stayed the previous night in a hotel. Jonah needed a full night's rest, and frankly, so did his parents! All in all, Jonah did great on the trip, other than having a hard time sleeping in the tent at night in so many new places.
We made our way down the coast to the San Francisco area, where we walked Jonah across the Golden Gate Bridge. He liked feeling the wind blowing in his hair!
Our last night on vacation was spent at Morro Bay. It was Jonah's very first time there, and I was so excited to show him one of my favorite spots. My first time there was when I was 6 weeks old. I spent every summer vacation there with my family and have lots of fun memories of that place. Morro Bay became even more special to me when Scott proposed to me there. It was neat to take our own child back to that place to create even more memories...this time with Jonah.
Friday, July 14, 2006
Monday, July 10, 2006
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Happy 4th of July!!!
Jonah tried to declare his own independence by spiking his mohawk.
Mom didn't like that idea.
After dinner with friends, Jonah experienced his first Dodgers game! They beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 11-3! Jonah liked doing the wave. He did really well at the game.
A rare family shot.
After the game ended, there was a fireworks show. This was Jonah's reaction for pretty much the whole time... he liked looking at the bright colors in the sky but was a little overwhelmed by the big booms.
Happy Birthday, America! (And our niece Megan!)
Saturday, June 24, 2006
I had a great time, too--the class consists of some mommies from church and their babies. After the lesson, we visit with each other and eat lunch together. Jonah and I are looking forward to going again next week.
We'll miss you, Millers!
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
It was a happy day for Jonah when he discovered his hand. Those tiny little fingers most often clenched in a fist capitvated his attention for hours, much like the lamp once did (see previous post). For two weeks, he was only aware of his right hand. Just last night he discovered his left hand and looked quite surprised that he had another. Confused, he slowly moved his eyes from one hand to the other and back to the first one again. Delighted with his new discovery, the confused look gave way to a wide grin. Perhaps he has finally figured out that it was indeed himself hitting him in the head all this time. Nah...I don't think so!
Monday, April 10, 2006
Come on boys, make your move. (p.s.- this is NOT an announcement)
And when the time comes and I don't like him...
"You know what I used to do?-- I used to pick up dead bodies for a living. If you ask her out I just assume you'd like to know a bit more about my occupation- hands on like."
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
This past summer, when I was in the first trimester of pregnancy, Scott and I had an opportunity to take a couple weeks off to visit the East Coast. We saw friends in Washington, D.C., and some more in Long Island, New York. It was a great time for us, especially considering it was our last big trip together before toting along carseats, strollers, and pack-and-plays.
We spent months beforehand plotting our itinerary, as we had many things that we wanted to do and see. In addition to D.C. and The Big Apple, we wanted to visit Scott’s mom’s old stomping grounds of Philadelphia, PA. We figured that, instead of flying from one destination to another, we’d drive and see more of the countryside—after all, we may never get to that part of the country again so we’d better take advantage of it. Scott was absolutely delighted to find that it was just a short side trip to drive through Gettysburg, PA.
When the time came for the big trip and we entered the countryside of Pennsylvania, I’ll admit that Scott was much more excited than I about visiting the historical battlefield site, though I kept myself content with the beauty of the scenery and the novelty of the horse-drawn Amish carriages that we shared the highway with. Upon arriving to our destination, I was met with a pleasant surprise: Gettysburg is not only the home of the decisive Civil War battle, but it is also the home of Boyd’s Bears, the self-proclaimed “World’s Most Humongous Teddy Bear Store.”
It took a little convincing that our souvenir from Gettysburg should be a teddy bear for our new baby and not an “authentic battlefield bullet,” but Scott was a real trooper about searching for “the perfect bear.” We were somewhat intimidated upon entering the 3 story barn filled with more teddy bears than you could imagine, but our intimidation was immediately turned to amusement when we saw the big sign up front saying, “Don’t feed the bears—they’re already stuffed!” We looked at armed forces bears, Christmas bears, barnyard bears, Red-Hatter bears, and even one that was holding a pillow that read, “I’m a Queen because my panty-hose told me so!” Our treasure was found on the second floor..in the nursery section, of course! It didn’t have the frills that many of the other bears had, but something about it kept catching my eye. It was a soft little bear wearing a bib that said “Nighty night.” The deal was sealed when I picked it up and discovered that it could wind up to play “Braham’s Lullaby.” It was perfect for our little ‘pinto bean’ at the time.
So, we could have come home with bullets and shells from the Civil War, but instead we have “Mr. Cuddles” for Jonah. Yup, even before he was born, Jonah had his daddy suckered. And from the looks of this picture, it looks like we made a good choice.
Now when people ask me what I do, I proudly say that I am a stay-at-home mommy to my Jonah. I do things now that I never thought I’d enjoy doing…like changing the 8th poopy diaper for the day and waking up at 2 am to fill his tummy. Jonah’s demanding schedule keeps me busy, day and night. Yet I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Sure, it means that we have to say no to things that we’d like to do, and it even means that we have to sacrifice things that we’ve had or enjoyed in the past. There are still the same monthly bills to pay, and the baby only adds to them. And the little things add up quickly. The cost of a pack of diapers: $13.49. A load of laundry (and there are many!!): $1.25.
The extra income I’d earn “if I were working” could pay some of the bills, sure. But in the final analysis of things, I’d miss out on so much more than the things that we are currently sacrificing. Some things are just too precious to put a value on. Things like Jonah’s cute smiles…or his little coos when I go into his room to get him up…or the sweet cuddles he gives me after a good meal.
So I think I’ve changed my mind about the whole pay thing. It’s not true that I don’t get paid—it’s just that the pay comes in a non-traditional form from my other jobs. Instead of dollars and cents, it’s smiles and laughs. It’s things that are too costly to give up. It’s things that are...in a word…priceless.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Is it a coincident that poverty and parenting both start with P's? Amy and I have been learning to tighten our belts but the process has been fun. For instance, Amy and I both love pizza, but ordering pizza, once a favoite Birdnest past time, has become a rarer and rarer event since Dad's had to start plunking down the big bucks for diapers. To compensate for this deprivation, we learned how to make our OWN pizza! That's right, from mixing flour to kneeding dough we have mastered the secret to tossing a good pizza- we have mastered the art making of crust. Making it at home means we get to put what we want on it- a holsteins utter worth of cheese? No problem! Plus we found that making a scruptious pizza costs next to nothing, with all the money we're saving I told Amy she could book the cruise! We had such fun learning and eating that we though we ought to invite others to participate in the fun, so we are going to host a "Make your own pizza" party at our home.
The point is that changes that upset our lives can be viewed as a difficulty to endure or as opportunities to thrive. In this case being poorer doesn't mean less pizza, it means better pizza, at home, with friends. Thanks for teaching me that lesson lit'le buddy.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Now that everyone has had a good opportunity to get to know Jonah through pictures, we thought you might enjoy an insight into his life and our world. 'A lamp! What has that got to do with Jonah?' The lamp pictured here is a basic black enameled lamp with brass fixtures.We got this lamp during our newlywed days, when functional dumpster gems were prized trophies of my penny pinching way. It plugs into the wall just like any other lamp and when you turn the knob- whoa, it lights up! Pretty neat, eh! Not that we really ever use it for light, the last time it was on was probably last year. In fact looking at it now I think the bulb is burned out. So really this lamp has served no purpose...until NOW!
This here lamp is so attractive that Jonah has become enamored with it. No, enamored is not strong enough-fanatic that's it-he's a fanatic friend of the lamp. If the lamp is in the room and he is in the room guess where he is looking? It's good to see Jonah can concentrate and has a good attention span, he can stare at this beautiful piece of illuminescent beauty for hours. In fact there are times when he prefers to stare at the lamp rather than pay any piece of mind to his two doting parents. What's he thinking about during these times? Amy guesses that he's working on world peace or eradicating global hunger. I'm a little more realistic, I think he just likes the contrast of a black lamp on a white wall. Which is a good sign since it means I probably won't have to be dropping $$$ on baby Einstein stuff. If he ever wears out of the lamp, I'll just head right back to the dumpster to find something else he'll like. Learn from this lesson all ye who will be new parents soon, you'll be told your child will never learn to cut straight or that he’ll fail preschool unless you buy this gizmo or play that Mozart CD. The truth is that all you need can be found next to your apartment dumpster!
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Jonah at 6 weeks old, almost. He'll be 6 weeks old on Monday. Proud, you bettcha! But humble? Sure we are. We ask Lord Jesus every day for strength and wisdom. Little Jonah is our stewardship from God and we want to do best we can because it's good for baby and glorifying to God. Pray for us that everyday we learn more about loving God, Jonah, each other and our friends and family.