Saturday, November 29, 2008
(i did very little editing to these)
**I have been trying forever to get a picture of his adorable smile! they always turn out blurry since he tends to move when he laughs. This one is one of the best Ive been able to get. He has my dimples :) **
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
The outdoorsman/scientist/inquisitive/persistant/active one.....
The serious, cuddly, compassionate one.....
The fiesty, feminine, sensitive one
The best-smelling, chubbiest, LOUDEST one
it was basically an apology for following their pricing-error policy ;) im guessing the backlash from mad moms across the world has not been good because the email included a $25 credit to use on target.com It included this
"By redeeming this e-GiftCard, you acknowledge full satisfaction and release of any claims against Target relating to this pricing error."
do they sound scared? made me chuckle.
im thankful for the free $25 though! woohoo :) cant buy a carseat with it but its $25 I didnt have yesterday :)
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Here is baby Quinn, 3 weeks old. We were a little pressed for time (because of me), it was cloudy and almost sunset (low light) and sweet Quinn was very awake and wiggly :) but we made it work! He is a beautiful little boy with a beautiful family!!!! Thanks for letting me come visit!
Here are my favorites.....
Pretty please, let me know which ones you like best so I can choose which to put on my photography blog! thanks! :)
so we pull up to costco. abram was screaming (as usual. because he hates his carseat). I get him out to try and nurse him and calm him down before we brave the store which was bustling. I look up and see a woman loading up her nice, newer volvo with nice leather seats. A boy that looked about 5 got into the back. No carseat. So Im thinking about how most people dont know that a boy that age still needs to be in a booster seat and how sad that is, blah blah blah when I realize there is a VERY young girl in the backseat with him!!!!! I could barely see the top of her head over the passengar seat. She was 2 or 3 maybe.....and no carseat. Now THAT made me mad. My guess is that she is the grandmother and had the kids for the day since they were out of school for thanksgiving and the parents just figured a day without carseats would be fine. Frankly, that makes me $#%#^&*!#$. Is it really worth your child's life?!?! Take the extra time to switch them over!!!!
So why Im sitting there in disbelief...... (it gets better......or worse......)......a Lexus SUV pulls in. Very nice, new, etc. The mom is wearing what appears to be designer clothes and sunglasses. And in the backseat? THREE young children with NO CARSEATS. They were probably 2, 4 and 6 years old. If there was anything there was no-back boosters (the least safe kind) but they were sliding in like there was nothing (saw them when we left too). So this begs the question - WHAT THE HOCKEYSTICKS IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?!?!? Its not like carseats are a moral issue. It is ILLEGAL to drive your child around without them. ILLEGAL. And money was not an issue obviously - a safe carseat for her 2yr old probably cost less than her sunglasses (being judgemental, i know, i know). And money isnt really an issue anyways, since there are govt. programs to get anyone that needs one a carseat for their child.
so. Im still pondering what was going through these people's heads. If I wasnt so busy at the time having my ear drum blown by Abram I probably would have gotten lisence plate numbers and called the police. Ive dont it before and they WILL go find them and pull them over.
A lady my stepmom knows just got a new porche. My stepmom said "hmmm doesnt look like the carseats will fit in there" and she replied "oh, they dont. i just drive extra carefully". Someone help me get over this stupidity and blatant disregard for the precious gifts that children are. seriously. its troubling me deeply. :(
on a Costco note. Yes, an employee ran into Jayna with a big flatbed thing, knocking her down onto the ground :( She was halfway underneath it and he was about to go over her leg when I scooped her up yelling "you ran into my daughter!!!!!" Mama Bear came out. uh-oh. He came up and tried to touch her and ask if she was ok and I said "dont touch her. she doesnt like strangers". Very true. and its my job to protect her (and you know i was already in a mood after the carseat thing LOL!) . poor thing :( She was fine though. I talked with the manager, not giving a name and not wanting to get him in trouble but I told him his employees were all stressed and in a hurry and they needed to slow down. He didnt even ask if Jayna was ok!!! the manager! *sigh* thank the Lord that she was.
now on a happy Costco note :) An older "grandma" lady asked to hold Abram while I unloaded my cart and checked out. He had long given up being happy in his infantseat by that point no matter how many happy faces and silly noises I made ;) God bless her. Then while finishing up getting lunch (yes, I let my kids eat costco hot dogs!!!) another grandma-like lady came up and said "Can I help you?" So sweet. I seriously wasnt stressed just very, very busy with a baby in arms, 3 kids to keep close and a cart full of food. So i had her hold Abram while I finished up. She was sweet and her and her friend enjoyed him. what a blessing children are. God bless her too. One lady then tried to give us her table (we werent staying) and another lady offered to help me out. I must look horrible and tired! I seriously wasnt stressed, just taking it all very slowly and laughing when it got hard. But I made it out and got everyone buckled in, food unpacked, etc. Abram was screaming and Id had enough so I just got him out and held him while I drove home ...... everyone else is doing it..........hahahaha! kidding of course ;)
Of course I want a new carseat for Abram (in the hopes he'd be more comfortable) but *i* cant afford it.
just a trivial thing on the grand list of things not fair in life.
children are a blessing and a gift!!!!!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
by the way - I do not have photoshop. this was done in a free photoshop-like program called GIMP :)
I love learning new things :)
finally going to get to take pictures of baby Q tomorrow......hopefully it actually happens this time! cant wait! :) :) :) will post some of course!
today caleb was talking to Abram in a baby talk kind of way and said "you have the cutest eyes....and look at your big fat head!" LOL
ran over to Costco to get things for cell group tomorrow....alone with 4 kids....the Saturday before thanksiving.....brilliant Rachel, great thinking.......fun times.
we have heat! we've been bundling up at night because we couldnt get our pilot light to stay lit. when we did get it lit last night, the vents were still blowing ICE cold air. Our kind neighbor came and figure it out. There was a wire not connected (baking kind man cookies right now!) Waking up to a house that is 68 is much nicer than one that is 63!!!! brrrrr
highs are in the 50s today. I LOVE it. :)
please pray for Steve and a possible job change. we have that all-too-familiar feeling of God getting ready to change things up again. why not get one more major life change into our year - still plenty of time left! ;)
my little sister Kaitlyn (15) had to have surgery on her broken leg/injured ankle for the second time in two weeks :( it involves bones anda large metal pin and metal plates - (((shudder))) Praying she draws close to the Lord during this hard time!
our current homeschool verse: "A happy heart makes the face cheerful" Proverbs 15:13
Gas here is around $1.70. Practically free it feels like. But a block of cheese at Target costs $11.15. Yikes!!! My kids had rice and beans last night for dinner (at least it was organic!) They liked it though - with organic ketchup. I had salad and bread. Looking forward to my big costco trip next week!
going to work on actually planning things for homeschool instead of doing it on the fly all the time. next week will be easy - thankfulness and thanksgiving. yay! crafts! :)
going to work on planning in general - for my own kids, meals, etc. Im great at planning for a church event but then I wake up every day here with nothing more than a general schedule. Cant decide if thats ok or not.....I guess not if I have meat in the freezer that I forget to defrost and so my kids have to eat rice and beans for dinner!!! :) (which isnt bad really. its easy and not nutritionally evil. and cheap!) :)
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Unlike the carseat, this actually works. I just did it :)
Local restaurants, not huge chains
sometimes gratuity is added (18%)
For example. Local mexican place I chose.
$25 gift card. $35 min. 18% grat. added.
So min amount of bill will be $41.30
Then we'd only pay $16.40.
The gift card is $10 and 80% off - so $2!
That means we'd pay $18.40 for a $40 dinner.
Pretty nifty I think.
I chose that mex place and a little cafe near our house that has bagels, coffee, eggs, sandwhiches, etc. Not perfect allergy (or health) - wise but it will be a fun treat for us :)
can you tell im a sucker for a deal! if you know my mom that will make you laugh! :)
I know, I know, "cant get something for nothing" but I already had issues with Target's horrible customer service and this sealed the deal for me. We all had order confirmation emails and then they cancelled it. No discount on another one, nothing.
Their return policy is so annoying isnt it? I already didnt buy gifts there if I could help it because I know from experience what a pain it is to return something without a receipt. And who is going to have the credit card of the person who bought the gift? So stupid. I understand they have to protect themselves but will they really save money in the end if they lose business?
As I returned something the other day (Baby item. used a gift card, no receipt. blah!!!) I said something to the guy about it. He said they dont get complaints anymore because people are getting used to keeping their receipts....or maybe those people just dont shop there anymore!!!!
bah humbug ;)
my next newborn shoot has been postponed again. Im dying to get my camera on that new little one!!!! Hopefully Sunday...
P.S. Check out AMANDA'S BLOG and the picture I took of Jayna :) :) :)
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I fell asleep putting Abram to bed last night - at 7:30. After 12hrs of sleep all I felt was sore and more tired. Im achy and so exhausted (and grumpy!) and have a headache - and my 2yr old is jumping up and down with all her might on my very last nerve .
Steve works late tonight :( and i dont know whats for dinner. did i mention my headache? and my 2yr old who is yelling from her room when she should be napping because she is tired too (maybe from crying for me around 1am)? she'll surely wake up the baby AGAIN. waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
three failed naps. you know when you just finally slip into that happy sleepland and WHAM! back you come to reality. three times. its like mommy torture. (its quiet time they are supposed to be playing quietly or sleeping)
i know i have nothing to whine about. but im whining anyways. its my blog. so there.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
anyways I was kind of bummed. I was looking forward to the creative outlet and getting out alone. So Steve was sweet and encouraged me to go out anyways. i went to the park and just sat. No kids. No phone. it was WONDERFUL :)
I took some pictures there and also while driving. My challenge was to find a shot of an entire tree without any evidence of civilization in the background. Sadly, we are too far into the concrete jungle to accomplish that. Next time Ill go farther out. I ended my precious hour alone with a "peppermint twist" mocha from starbucks. YUM!!!! It has been months and months since I had starbucks - I hate spending that much on a single cup of coffee. But it was a fun and warm treat on a chilly fall day :)
Here are my shots. The colors were vibrant but I did jazz them up aftewards too.
on a street near our house. the light was coming through and only hitting the orange leaves. it was really cool. the neighbors were probably jotting down my liscence plate number in case im some kind of psycho stalker or something, pulling over to take pictures :)
Steve likes this one.....
I prefer this one....
this gorgeous church is next to the park....
This is a weird shot. The sun was coming through the trees so I tried to capture it. When I got home I saw that it came out like a cross. I brightened the colors but it was like this already! neato huh? :) Not great from a photography standpoint but just interesting....
coming back to add two more!
sun coming through the top of the trees....
Id love to hear which one YOU like best! That helps me learn! :) thanks!
great deal is over. it was a computer glich at target.com. The good news is if you got it in time, they will honor it. So I got a $250 carseat for $42! woohoo! :)
Second: Its getting chilly out! You may not know that children should NEVER be put into a carseat with a heavy coat on. Nothing thicker than fleece. In the event of an accident, the coat can compress and the child can be ejected :( Even people in snowy climates make it work by heating the car ahead of time or just putting a heavy blanket over the child.
Third: If you can pinch the strap over your child's shoulder, between two fingers its TOO LOOSE. I see this *all* the time (saw it today). Its a common mistake. Make sure to tighten them up! :)
also a reminder that carseats expire, 6yrs from man. date. Check yours! :)
Saturday, November 15, 2008
like the bigger pictures??? slightly more work but so worth it, I think.
this is how the conversation went
me: Noah God has given you a gift! He has given you a mind that is so good at math (said in exasperated, why-dont-you-like-math-its-so-wonderful voice)
Noah: He gave me a gift that I. DONT. LIKE. I dont need it. I dont want it!
me: (trying not to giggle) You DO need it. So many people wish they could do math well, so many people want that gift!
Noah: (whining) but I dont want it. I dont like it. I wish I could give it to someone else..... (blah blah blah blah blah)
math is so cool. its a relfection of God's truth! what is wrong with my child?!?!? What did I do to make him hate math. How could I have possibly caused that when I love it so much?!(with the exeption of some of the math I had to learn my senior year in college!) Its not like he heard someone say that at school.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
me: oh so you're getting married?!
caleb: yep! we dance, we kiss and we hug....so that means we are married!
me: really?! can i see you dance? show me!
they held hands and started to turn around in a circle and Caleb says:
ashes, ashes we all fall down!
and down they go, laughing, hands still clasped together......
too, too precious :) makes all the poop and dirt and tantrums worth it :)
Caleb likes to help Jayna pick out her own outfits. Today is was her sparkly red christmas dress with the white fur trim. The other day it was this (thats a shirt she is wearing as shorts!):
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
not to be cliche - but What Would Jesus Do? :)
one of my love-languages is gift-giving so I love to shop for people and find that perfect gift. but i dont love spending money I know I shouldnt be and I hate the consumerism that surounds Christmas. I steer WAY clear of the mall during the holidays - all I can think of when Im there with hundreds of other people is how much credit card debt is being mounted up and how far we are from the true meaning of Christmas. Just thinking of all the chaos at the mall makes me feel anxious and grumpy ;)
We want our family to be different. We want to keep the focus on Jesus. One of the best parts of having your own children is creating your own traditions. Here are a few things we do:
- when the kids wake up Christmas morning the house is decked out for Jesus' birthday.....balloons all over the floor, crepe paper decorations, etc. I want their first thought coming out of their rooms to be "wow, its Jesus' birthday, awesome!" and not "look at all my toys!!!"
- we keep the presents to a minimum. My friend Alli says "Jesus only got 3 gifts so thats good enough for you" :) We've never gone all-out with gifts for our kids, maybe a few small things in their stockings, or something they need - mostly because the grandparents always send things for them to open. We dont want to go overboard, there is no reason to buy more when they have something to open already and dont really NEED anything. I dont want them to EXPECT a lot (think older kids and christmas lists and "I want this" and "I want that" - yuck!) because its not about them!
- we got rid of our big christmas tree for two reasons. 1) all artificial trees contain lead (so do lights) and can even shed lead dust onto gifts below. not worth brain damage in my opinion and 2) we wanted to make the highlight of our Christmas decorations, Christ-centered. So we have this BIG banner of the nativity and we set it up, with a spotlight, in our front room. Its designed to be a "christmas card" decoration for the front yard so its pretty big. Its cool! :)
- we also do a birthday cake for Jesus. In the past we've invited friends for a whole birthday party for Jesus as well. Its really fun!
- this year Im doing family gifts for my family, to save money. Cant give details ;) but Im striving to keep it simple. Im making yummy treats to hand out to friends. This year Im doing chocolate covered pretzels but in the past my toffee has been a big hit!
Anda wrote another post about Hosptiality, Community and loving the poor. Heartbreaking and convicting. We are missing a HUGE part of the gospel as Christians in America. I want the Lord to show us how we can reach out to the poor - at christmas - and all year long. I am definitely at the beginning of this journey. All I know this that I have a lot to learn in this area, a lot of prejudices to let go of and ideas to surrender in order to love like Jesus did.
our church is invovled this year with blessing children and their families through Angel Tree. The idea started with a couple in our life group that are involved in prison ministry. we are throwing a huge party for the kids and giving them their gifts there. Im really excited! Like I said, I love to shop but it will be fun to do it for someone who really needs it and know Im bringing the love of Christ to them and to their parents :)
there are so many ways to glorify Christ this season - lets change things and bring Him glory!!!!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The facts about what we spend on christmas in America vs. what it would cost to completely solve the fresh drinking water crisis across the globe really hit home...its heart-breaking. How easily we could help the poor if we all worked together.
Watch to find out more......
i have more to say about christmas....for another day.
And while we are on the subject check out my dear friend Anda's post on "Hospitality and Community" (and loving the poor). Good stuff my friends.
Fun things about Abram:
- he is sleeping through the night most nights! usually 5-6hrs for the first stretch (thats technically considered sleeping through the night at this age) with 9 hrs being the record. He sleeps a total of 12-13hrs at night
- tragically, his bouncy chair stopped bouncing (thanks for the whole three months Fisher Price!). but thankfully he is still napping just fine, maybe even better, in it now. I usually let him fuss a few mins then go and put his paci in, rock and "shhhh" a minute or so and off he goes to sleepyland :)
- drooling and sucking on his hands all the time. doesnt always mean teething but we keep checking since Noah had several by this age!
- starting to laugh! its so sweet, he loves kisses, which is good because he gets them all day long :)
- weighs 17-18 lbs according to our home scale. big boy like his brothers!
- most of his hair fell out except at the very top/back of his head and around his neck. new hair is slowly growing back in
- his eyes are still blue!!!! i hate to admit it, but im really getting my hopes up that ill have a blue-eyed child :)
We are so thankful for these precious gifts He has entrusted us with!
it was a fun day!