Saturday, December 30, 2006

Visiting in Bartlesville Right Now

Hey, all you Bartlesville friends, we're in town this weekend. We're celebrating Christmas with Joel's family today, but we'll be here until Tuesday morning. Let me know if anyone has some free time to hang out, maybe we can catch up for a little bit. And those of you who go to church at Grace, hopefully we'll see you there Sunday morning!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Baby News

Yep, I'm pregnant!

Some of you will kill me for finding out this way, but I hope you'll understand the busyness of this week with my brother's family in town - I just don't have the time to call everyone personally, even though I'd love to, but I've been very anxious to share our news. We just had an ultrasound yesterday - if you can't tell what anything is in the picture, you're not alone. I am even having a hard time remembering where the head is on this picture. =)

I'm eight weeks pregnant, and the due date is August 5th. Jonah and his little sibling will be just over two years apart, and we're really excited about it. So far, this pregnancy has been completely different from my first....night and day different! I haven't been nearly as sick....just a little nauseous, but if I keep eating (and I am!) and keep my stomach from getting empty, then I am ok. Until this past week, it has been virtually symptomless, but I definitely feel tired and pregnant now. But still, I am sooo very thankful that this one has been so much easier. I just hope easy pregnancy doesn't mean a difficult child....because Jonah sure was trouble in the womb, but he is an easy child. Scary!

I recently found out my good friend from college Lizzy Hataway (or Lizzy Thornton, as some of you know her by) is also pregnant, with her first. Our due dates are five days apart, so that will be fun to journey through this with her. My dear friends Kelli and Holly are pregnant with their second babies too, due in the few months before I am. What a fun gift! I must say that I will definitely miss days at the pool with Courtney and Angela this time though!!!! I'm already sad about that. (Are you sure you don't want to move here, girls?!)

Well, I just got back home from my parents' to put Jonah down for a nap, so I need to get some work done. With family all here, I have done NO laundry this week, and if it weren't for Christmas gifts of clothes, my child would be naked today. So I better go get on that right now!
Oh, I have to say one more sweet husband has been getting up with Jonah in the mornings and been letting me sleep an extra hour almost every's so wonderful. I love him. =)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Jonah's second Christmas

I wish I could relive yesterday over and over again. Our little Christmas yesterday morning with the three of us was so perfect, and I hate that I can never have back the Christmas when Jonah was 18 months old. I hope I remember how sweet he was, how excited he was over the tiniest of presents, and how he'd sweetly say a long, drawn-out "yea!" after every gift he opened. At first, it was hard to get him to come over to the tree to see what Santa left him. He had an Elmo doll sticking out of his stocking, and he did not like that! He is still scared of that Elmo. We'll try to inconspicuously throw it in with toys he's playing with, and he just throws it away! It'll grow on him. He always liked "Elmo-mo," as he calls it. But something about that one creeps him out for sure. But he loved his big-boy table and chairs that Santa brought him, and he insists on sitting at it a lot.

We went over to my parents' house at lunchtime yesterday and celebrated with my parents, and Blake and Amy and Nathan and Maggie. It has been so much fun watching Jonah with his cousins. He wants to do everything Nathan is doing! If Nathan's playing cowboys, Jonah is wearing his cowboy hat. If Nathan's pretending to be a lion, Jonah is on the floor, growling right along with him. And he and Maggie are finally paying attention to each other....although they are always very suspicious that the other one is going to take away the toy they are playing with, so they remain guarded around each other. But Jonah was showing them and everybody lots of love all day long, hugging and kissing. I enjoyed it quite a bit! He usually doesn't take time out of his busy schedule of playing to be that affectionate. He must just be very grateful for his presents! =)

We had a Christmas Eve service on Sunday morning that we all went was "family-friendly", whatever that means. The three kids all went into the service with us, and Maggie and Jonah didn't last long at all. We were THAT family....the one with the crying kids that didn't want to sit still at all. We were on the second-to-last row, but the people on the row behind us were laughing at us the entire time. It was exhausting. Thankfully, grandparents eventually took them out and entertained them in the lobby. My aunt Joy asked us if we wanted to go with them to the "family friendly" service they were attending that night, and we quickly responded that we would not be attempting that again!

Friday, December 22, 2006

the Nativity

Joel and I saw the Nativity movie this week and loved it. I hadn't known what to expect, if it would be good, but I recommend it. I know I will have to watch it annually at the start of the Christmas season just to refresh my focus. I just realized how much I have always thought of the story of Christ's birth as a storybook kind of experience - all beautiful and easy. That's North American Christianity for ya! I hate that. This movie really portrayed the suffering and challenges of his birth, and especially the danger involved. It was good to be reminded of that and how Mary and Joseph were at the absolute center of God's will and still faced major difficulty. Just because something is from God doesn't mean that your circumstances always fall into place just how you want them. For example, no five-star luxury hotel when they needed one! Wow, that's humbling.

Today will be a very busy day. Unfortunately, I did not get near enough done this week, and the list for today is too long. We are going to Lufkin tomorrow to celebrate Christmas with my mom's side of the family at my aunt Jan's house, and on Sunday, I will be hosting my parents, brother's family, and my uncle Joe, aunt Joy, and cousin Lacey for Christmas Eve dinner. So I need to get as much done for that today as I can since we will be gone all day tomorrow. Cooking is NOT my spiritual gift, unlike many of the ladies in my family, so I'm really having to pray through this one! I am thrilled to be doing it....I just realized I haven't cooked dinner for this many people ever. But it will be fun!

Jonah has been so sweet. The tree is still intact. Only part of aunt Jeanifer's present has been unwrapped! =) Sorry, Jen....he was too quick on that one. He's still repeating everything I say all the time....he's learning new words by the day, and OBSESSED with colors!! He's constantly pointing out what things are green and yellow, and he's added orange to the mix too now. He knows his other colors, but he definitely has those three as his favorites. It's so funny to us. He really likes to play in his crib during the day...that's his new thing. He always wants us to put him in there, but he gets really sad if you leave the room. And he has a big basket full of stuffed animals that he insists on us putting in the crib with him. He's crazy. =)

Better get on that grocery list!

Monday, December 18, 2006

A sweet, small blessing

I was just thinking about something that God has done for us. Of course, losing Joel's dad last year was hard for this family, but I think one of the ways it was hard to lose a parent at such a young age is that not many people have. We really didn't have any close friends who had been there - guys his age that Joel could relate to or wives who could share with me wisdom on how to walk my husband through that. I just realized the other day, at our small group at church, that out of the 6 young couples that were there, 3 of the husbands had lost their fathers - two of them recently. It is such a tragedy, yet I was amazed at how sweet the Lord has been to bring us to other people who have experienced a similar thing. I know that is so encouraging for Joel to have some people with whom he can talk about that and learn from them. Our friends were amazing to us during that time, and we are grateful for all the support and sympathy, regardless of whether or not others had experienced the same thing.....we are so thankful for that! This is just a new little thing that is different in our lives now, and we are thankful for that too. It really is an encouragement.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


I was really disappointed in Barbara Walters' "Ten Most Fascinating People of 2006" special. All of the good parts of the interviews were on the highlights before the show! And of course, I found, #1 to be rather unimpressive. However, I will say this about Nancy Pelosi.... I think I was surprised to find that I agree with her on one thing. She told of how she had five kids (in six years - yikes!) and she was a stay-at-home mom with them. She didn't run for office until her youngest child was a senior in high school. She talked of how that was her most important job, and she waited to focus on her career until later in life since she had chosen to have kids earlier in life. I like that. Ok, other than that, she's pyscho!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Quick Trip to Dallas

I just got back from an overnight trip to Dallas, and I was all by myself....whoohoo!!! Jonah stayed in Tyler, and it was amazing to be in the car alone in the quiet for several hours. I missed him and Joel, but wow, that was like a vacation for me. I spent the night with my friend Megan, who lives in a guesthouse of this family in Highland Park....we drove around Highland Park looking at Christmas lights last night (one of our favorite Christmastime traditions), and they were unreal. So magnificent! We met my other sweet friend Kelli (and her daughter Carter) at La Madeleine for was so much fun hanging out with the girls. I miss living near both of them, but I love that we are not too far that we can't see each other like that every once in a while. My main objective for the trip was to get a table and chairs for Jonah at IKEA. Oh my goodness, if you have not been to IKEA, you must go. It's an experience. I could have looked around that store all day long. Seriously, it's overwhelmingly big, but so fun.

Tonight's task: trying to get a good photo of Jonah for our Christmas card. We have been unsuccessful in that endeavor so far. But I'm determined to get him to smile for the camera before we go to sleep tonight!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Parties Abound

I hosted a cookie exchange party last Thursday night, and it was a blast. I'd never even been to one before, so I was a little nervous about how it would go....especially because I had invited a bunch of random girls that didn't all know each other. But it went so great! Everyone mingled well and had a good time. I had been concerned about conversation because I had lost my voice the day before, and it hadn't returned by that night. So that was interesting trying to talk to my guests! But it worked. I was glad to get to know these girls better....they were all people I would like to be better friends with....a lot of them are new to Tyler as well and are looking for friends, so it was great to have some time away (without kids) to get to know each other and hang out.

It seems that Jonah and I will never fully get well. My cough seems to be hanging on forever, and now Jonah is cutting another molar. This one has brought fever and a whole lot of nighttime screaming. I'm sure our neighbors are loving us at 3am. He has been acting a lot better the last day or so. Last week was awful....I'm still claiming it was the antibiotics making my son be a crazy-person. Thankfully, we've seen some improvement. He still likes to tell me "no" (which is so ugly) but he seems to be a little calmer and not so hyper and rambunctious. He really loves Christmas decorations....he's been having fun looking at Christmas cards that we get, saying "Christmas tree" and "snowman" when he sees them on cards or anywhere. Probably the funniest thing he has said lately is the donkey sound, "hee haw," but he says it every time he sees a reindeer. He thinks reindeer say heehaw!! It's so cute! We just went into a store this morning that had some reindeer as decorations, and he wouldn't stop pointing and saying hee haw. Oh, that kid makes me laugh.

In store for us this week are several more Christmas parties. It gets busy, but it is one of my favorite things about the season.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

My husband is my hero

Joel deserves an award. He's put up with me and Jonah being sick for the last several days. Our weekend was a blur, and for 48 hours, I could not lift my head....I despise the flu. I tried to be as low maintenance as possible, so that Joel could help take care of Jonah....and that he did! Seriously, he's soooo my hero. He took care of Jonah's every need, especially his need to play with his dad every second. Seriously, it doesn't matter how bad Jonah feels or how high his temperature gets, he insists on trying to play! He could barely hold his head up, and he would be in his playroom making farm animal noises with his little people farm pieces. It's like he refuses to be slowed down, he tries to just fight off the sickness by playing harder. Poor Joel....he's finally getting a chance to get caught up on sleep. He's run errands, gotten up during the night with Jonah, fixed endless cups of juice, taken Jonah to the doctor, gotten medicine, EVERYTHING. I love him. =) Now I'm back to life though. And Jonah is acting fine health-wise, just taking antibiotics for a double ear infection that this cold left him. =(

As if sick kids aren't bad enough, the transition from sick to now-i'm-feeling-better-but-i-still-want-all-of-that-same-attention-as-when-i-was-sick has been horrible today! Jonah has picked up the word "no" unfortunately and has continually used it all day long. He wants nothing to do with obedience today. I knew that "no" would come eventually.....but I wasn't ready for it just yet! Just hoping that the monster will go away by tomorrow morning and the sweet boy will be back. If today's Jonah is here to stay, these posts are about to get a whole lot more interesting, I'm afraid!

Friday, December 1, 2006

December is here!

Wow, time is flying by. I can't believe we are already into the Christmas season full force. We have so many fun holiday things to look forward to in the next few weeks, and I love it. I just love a full calendar....when it's filled with stuff I love with people I love, of course. Last night, the staff wives met for dinner at our pastor's wife's was so encouraging to be with those ladies. I wish every single church had something specifically designed for fellowship among the pastors' makes such a difference in us being refreshed instead of feeling drained. I'm enjoying getting to know them....there are so many things to learn from all of them, and I appreciate the friendships.

The latest on Jonah....he is just talking like crazy. He's been sick today, but all week long, he's just been such a joy. He really enjoys focusing on tasks like building things and stacking blocks. He can stack them up so high before knocking them over, it's crazy! And yesterday I noticed that when he's really concentrating on doing something like that, he does this cute little face - he pushes his bottom lip out with his tongue. I think I may have seen his dad do the same thing! It's adorable. I love discovering little things like that about him. Last week, whenever we asked him what color something was, his answer was always "green." Green was definitely his favorite color. But starting today, everything is yellow to him, or shall I say "ye-wo." It's precious to hear him say these words. And he tends to say "yea" a lot when he's excited about something. Can't imagine where he might have picked that up from. =)

We had our first little playdate that was a disaster. A couple of girls I met here came over to play on Wednesday, and one of them has a two-and-a-half-year old boy that was extremely mean to Jonah. He was so aggressive, he would just run up to Jonah and throw him on the floor. Not good! And Jonah is always so mild-tempered and rarely cries when he's hurt, and he was screaming with tears streaming down his face when this boy would hurt him and was really scared to go near him. The problem was that his mom was really not doing anything about it. I can tell that discipline is not a part of their life at all, which was really sad. I'm sad, because I really want to befriend her, but if her son is going to be a bully to my son and she isn't going to do anything in response, I don't really know how it's going to work. It's bothered me a lot, and I'm not quite sure how to handle future playdates and invites. If any of you more experienced moms have dealt with this, feel free to pass on some wisdom! I didn't even mention how this child was running around my house trying to destroy things....opening and slamming all of my kitchen cabinets and slamming the sunroom door open and shut the entire time, overturning big toys in the playroom. It was extremely unpleasant, to say the least. I feel sorry for her, but I really want her to know that there are some things she can do. aaarrrrggghhhhh.

Also on my mind a lot this week has been MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). My experience in MOPS this fall has been mostly negative, and I have just planned on quitting and not doing it next semester. But all of a sudden this week, I have felt conviction that maybe God allowed me to experience what I did in order to help direct me to get involved in leadership of it and try to help make it better. I mean, I've been praying about what my ministry here in Tyler should be. And while I absolutely love women's ministry in the church, I haven't really seen a big need for someone in that area in our church. The women's ministry at Grace is very strong, with women of all ages involved. But if I stuck with MOPS, I would still be ministering to women, it would just be different than what I had envisioned. But I definitely think there is a need for leadership training, and I'm passionate about what it should be like there. So I'm trying to work through all of that and see what I am supposed to do. I just can't stop thinking about it though!