Saturday, January 28, 2012

EZ's Time With Jesus

An important value in our home (and church and faith) is spending daily time with Jesus.  This can be a hard habit to implement, and we want to instill this value in our kids from the beginning.  But how???  We've tried some different things but not done a great job sticking with them.  This month, though, we've started something new and so far Elijah really likes it.

My friend Mandy gave me the idea for the prayer cards, and I found the ABC Bible verse printables here (for free!).

Basically, after Christmas when we took all the Christmas cards down, we kept all the pictures we'd received and put them in a little box.  I finally got around to wrapping/decorating said box so now I can post pictures!  :)

Each morning during breakfast, Elijah looks through and plays with allllllllll the cards (and throws them on the floor, and points out all the people he knows, and acknowledges any animals that were included in people's photos), but then eventually picks one (or a few) and we pray for them.  He understands prayer (as a one year old can) and often even says amen with me at the end, "Me-MEN!"

 Then we work on a memory verse.  This website has a little card for each letter of the alphabet, and in theory maybe you could do one a week or something, but, well, he's 19 months old and we'll just work on this one for a while, I think, before we move on!
Here's a precious video of how he's doing with it!  :)  My heart just melts!!!  :)
He loves our little routine.  He asks for it really at several times during the day and I think it's just perfect!!!  :)

Friday, January 27, 2012


While in Waco two weeks ago for our little vacation, I was SUPER excited about taking Elijah to the zoo!  We used to go when he was tiny, but now that he's old enough to recognize animals and do all the animal sounds, I just knew he was going to love it.  I was thrilled!  We actually ended up getting to go for FREE because God is just so kind to us-someone randomly offered us 2 free day passes to the zoo and it worked out perfectly!  Then, not only did we get to go, but our good friends the Balches met us there.  We hadn't made plans to see them because baby Balch #3 was due to arrive any day (now she's here!!!) but since she hadn't come yet, the whole family got to come with us!  We also ran into several other friends while we were there and it was such a treat!
Here are some snapshots of our trip. 

The otters were uber friendly-it was awesome!

It was so sweet to see him recognizing different animals and seeing them in real life!  What a great learning experience!

Hehe...he understands this concept now and thought it was great fun to stick his head in the right space.  We can't keep his hands out of the pictures...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Glider Recovering

 Before Elijah was born, we bought a glider.  I LOVE having a glider.  Ever since my first babysitting job, I have eagerly awaited the day where I would rock my own babies in a glider.  :)  We bought a neutral colored one, but my colorful side quickly took over and I wanted it to match Elijah's room
 This was before I had done much sewing and I was VERY intimidated at the thought of recovering the cushions, so I passed the job off.  My WONDERFUL Lita (grandma) and mother did an EXCELLENT job making very professional-looking covers for the cushions.  They payed attention to little details and really made covers that fit perfectly!  It's been SO fun to use them over the past year and a half, and it's such a fun personal touch that they match the curtains in Elijah's room.
Well, as I started sewing all the bedding for Roo's room, my mother-in-law, Sarah, encouraged me to make the glider match the bedding.  I was super intimidated at the idea and put it off for two months.  I had NO idea how to do this, but as I thought about it I realized there was no way the awesome multi-colored stripes from EZ's room were going to look nice against the lavender/floral/spots in Roo's room.  So, finally, last weekend I did it.  And lo and behold, it was way easier than I had anticipated!  I could never have done it had I not had the ones my mom and Lita made-I literally just copied everything they did and it doesn't look at all quite so professional from up close, but it works great!
A close up of the fabric-it's not just solid purple (booooring!):

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

For the Love of the Paci

 So...for months I've been afraid of what would happen whenever we decided to take Elijah's paci away.  He is a great nighttime sleeper but his naps have been less consistently easy, and he has love love LOVED his pacis.  I mean, when we go on trips we make sure we have spare pacis before we pack our own clothes...priorities, people!  So I've known that eventually we'd have to break this habit, but really it hasn't been on the top of the priority list.  We worked him down to using it only in the car and when he was sleeping, and felt like that wasn't unreasonable.  But then I started to get worried about how it would work after our new baby came, if he was still using a paci, I thought it wouldn't really be fair to wean him from it until it was time to wear HER from it and so I was picturing him being 2 1/1 or 3 which is like a year away...and suddenly I decided it had to be NOW!  I didn't want it to be too close to her birth because I sure don't want to create resentment in him that she got his paci or anything, but I think two months away is early enough that he won't connect them in his mind.

So...I consulted my facebook advisory panel (who I couldn't live without) and read up on some ideas on the internet, and decided that instead of going cold turkey, we were going for subtle manipulation.  :)  So, here I am, preparing to lessen the paci's appeal:
Disregard the water all over my shirt.  I had just finished washing dishes and you know how these baby bellies get in the way!  :)
Anyway, I cut off a little piece from the tip of each paci and then we proceeded to put him to bed like normal.  As he tried one, he'd get this concerned look on his face, we'd give him another to try, etc.  He said "uh-oh" as he tried them, but we just brushed it off and said, "Oh, well, they're broken, but you're a big boy and don't really need them anyway.  Good night!"  We heard him talking a tiny bit but then he went right to sleep!  That's pretty much been the theme for the last week.  He's been awake a little more before he falls asleep, but nothing loud or upset or anything (miraculous!!!!!).  The down side for us is just that he's waking up significantly earlier from all his sleep times.  This is a big bummer, but at least he is sleeping.   He's waking up about an hour early in the mornings and from his nap, but I'm hoping and praying for at least a partial return to normal!  :)
I'm so relieved, though.  I was super concerned about this process and he has done really really well.  I don't think I would have done anything differently.  I'm not sorry he's used a paci, it's been a lifesaver TONS of times, and I think this is a good time for him to be learning to go without it.  We'll see if little Roo even takes a paci!  I hope she will...  :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Growing and Growing

 I just realized I should put some pictures of my belly on here.  I haven't done it in forever!  These are the pictures I have, but James has more of the earlier weeks on his computer, I think.

 20 weeks.

 23 weeks.

 24 weeks.

 26 weeks.

27 Weeks.

28 Weeks.

  30 weeks.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Fit to be Tied

 Look at this!  Isn't he just toooooo adorable?  I made this tie for him to wear when he's the ringbearer in my brother's wedding this summer.  My future sister-in-law, Kristi, picked out the fabric to coordinate with all the different colors being pulled in (it's going to be a super fun wedding, y'all!), and I have to say, I originally though I'd do the stripes just horizontal, but James thought they should be diagonal and insisted I check with Kristi-good call, cuz that's what she wanted, too, and it turned out TOOOO cute!  Is it bad taste that I had him wear it to church yesterday when he hasn't worn it for the wedding yet?  I was just so proud of it...Sorry, Kristi, if I'm not supposed to do that!  :)
I used this tutorial and it worked great-very easy!

 Hmm...I wonder if I need to pull the knot just a little bit tighter, now that I'm seeing it in pictures?  It's tied on to another piece of fabric that velcroes in the back, so NO I did not have to attempt to tie a tie around his neck.  Mercy!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Family Portraits

 These photos were all taken by the lovely and talented Sarah Postma of Renewed Image Photography.  She did an amazing job and we LOVE the results!!!