Dec 27, 2009

A Wonderful Christmas

What a joy it was to experience Christmas with a One Year Old! We traveled North (In TWO separate vehicles because our one little station wagon will not hold 2 adults+luggage, 1 baby+luggage, Christmas presents and food, and a dog.) had Christmas with my side of the family Christmas Eve. It was lovely. We visited, ate, opened stockings, Ella opened presents, went to a great Church Service at Calvary Chapel (PS: their nursing mothers room is THE BOMB...every church NEEDS one!) came back with a sleeping babe, opened the grown up gifts, visited and headed on home. Christmas morning we drove to Jason's side of family. We ate, opened presents, skated on the lake whilst towing little Ella in her new sled, ate, visited, ate, went in the hot tub, ate, played cards, and ate. (Did I mention that there is never any shortage of delicious food there!?)
10 pounds heavier, we headed out the next morning to visit our friends Brian and Erika and I managed to drive my car into the ditch on their road....going approximately 5 miles an hour....because I was admiring their house and thinking about how pretty all their window candles must look at night. Yeah. That's one for the books! The boys had fun bonding over getting my car unstuck. Ella napped, we had a lovely visit and then timed our departure just right so as to catch J's family for a bite to eat at Ruby Tuesdays. And since we've been home, this has proven to be Ella's favorite new "toy". :)
And we are home. Safe and sound. Goodies unpacked, settled back in and so grateful for friends, family and a wonderful time celebrating the best gift of all. The Birth of Our Savior! Happy Birthday Jesus!

Dec 23, 2009

What's this? Forward progress!? Yippeee!!


Holy Hannah! The seller actually got back to us by the deadline we set! Not used to such a fast moving process after the month long wait on the first one! They countered our offer. We accepted!!! Now the bank just has to approve it because it's a short sale. Here's hopin'! And here's a little picture of the living room to give you a taste of where we just might live some day...or not. You never know!!!

Dec 21, 2009

I Take it Back!

I said I wasn't gonna give you the details of the house we just offered on. But I must! It's just TOO MUCH! And it's NOT boring anymore.

So we looked at this house 2 months ago. It's been on the market for FOREVER. Not an offer on it that I know of in that whole time. It's a GORGEOUS house and we can only dream of affording it because it's a short sale (we're talkin' 5 bedrooms, an office, separate kitchen and dining 2 1/2 baths, 9 ft. ceilings, wide pine floors, tiled kitchen, woodstove hearth) but it's on a slab which doesn't work for some people, the yard isn't fabulous...Oh, and it needs a new leach field.

After much prayer and consideration we decided to offer on it and are SUPER excited about it. As we headed out the door to make the offer this morning I told Jason that I had had a dream last night that Gesine (our realtor) had called and told us there was another offer coming in on the house. We both chuckled...as if that would happen. We wrote up the offer and left with a spring in our step and a prayer in our heart that it might all work out and this could be our "forever house".

About 15 minutes ago Gesine called to tell me that there is another offer coming in on the house.

You've GOT to be kidding me!!! Gotta love the Real Estate Roller Coaster! All I can do is laugh!

Dec 20, 2009

'Tis The Season...

...to be merry! I feel much better than when last I posted. Our offer on the house in Kennebunk was accepted! And then we turned it down! Yes, it was just too small...just not the right house. We had no peace about it and felt MUCH better when we decided not to go with it. We don't want to rush into anything (as my favorite teacher of all time used to say "Haste makes waste" ~Ms. Hutchins). The right one is out there. And I bet we made someone's Christmas when they were told their offer wasn't accepted on the house in Kennebunk and then we backed out and they were told they got it! Oh how fun it would have been to see their faces! See...God had a great suprise planned for someone all along!!!

We are making an offer on another house tomorrow. It is one that we looked at in the beginning and LOVED but it was out of our reach for a few different reasons. Well, things have changed and now it seems it might be within reach. I won't bore you with details. I'm just continuing to pray for God's will and am excited!

Christmas service at our church this Sunday was FABULOUS! Found out that our church alone sent out 700 christmas boxes for Samaritans Purse!!! And our angel tree (presents for needy families in our community) got picked clean 4 TIMES!!! I LOVE how our church puts Christianity into action, by loving others and meeting real needs! So this morning, like one gazillion children from ages 6 to 13 were baptized, sharing their testimonies of how they have accepted Jesus into their hearts and want everyone to know. Yup, cried tears of joy at every one! Beautiful music was sung and heard, a short but great and true message was shared and a candle lit song ended the time.

My schedule is completely clear this week. Free to reflect on the birth of my Savior...of the Savior available to all who believe! Free to cuddle with my loves, drink egg nog and tea, knit in a cozy house lit by twinkling white lights, smell the pine and balsam, listen to the Christmas music playing in the background! Oh how I love it!!!

I do so look forward to a game night gathering with fabulous friends and then Christmas Eve with my family and Christmas Day with Jason's. Can't wait to experience it afresh and anew with a child of our own! ...God gave his ONLY child... so that I could be forgiven...can't ever quite wrap my head around that. Having a little one of my own gives me a whole new persepctive on this...that kind of love I cannot fathom...that kind of love I am forever grateful for!

Have I mentioned I LOVE Christmas!? Oh I do! Wishing you a wonderful Christmas filled with the unfathomable love of God!

Dec 18, 2009

Freakin' Out!

We learned yesterday that we did not get the house we've been waiting on for a month now. We were the highest offer but the best we can determine, someone else had more cash, had not even the contingency of a home inspection, or was going to get their loan through the bank that was selling it. Oh well. I am bummed, but I prayed all along that God's will would be done and I am believing that it has been.

SOOooooo, another house came on the market Wed. It also, is bank owned. It is listed by the same realtor as the last one. And just like the last one, we looked at it the day after it was listed and made an offer. And just like the last one...so did several other people! AAAarrgg. This is getting frustrating.

Everything feels so rushed with these dirt cheap bank owned, multiple offer deals that I don't even know how I feel about the place!

It is in Kennebunk which is a really nice town. It is on a dead end in a nice neighborhood, but still rural. It is on one acre of land, wooded all around with a walking trail out the back. It was built in 1994. It needs NOTHING except to replace the carpet and paint. It has a beautifully landscaped rock wall planter along the whole front and a great big, flat yard that would be perfect for family fun. It's a very good price.

But it is small. It's a typical ranch and all the rooms are just pretty small. And the way it's laid out would make it very difficult to rearrange the floor plan. Jason says we'll finish half of the basement into family room and guest room. He says we'll build an addition down the road, but I'm sketched out about rooms in basements and I'm still not sure that would fix things and not make the floor plan feel funky. And I'm skeptical that we'd even build that addition.

It would be great for us right now, it would just fit all of our things. It's just. We talked about this being our last move. The house we'd be in until we retire. I don't see enough space for another baby, for growing kids, for birthday parties and Christmases, for get togethers with friends, for family reunions, for guests and family to come and stay.

I don't know. I just don't know. My head is reeling as I revert to my typical worrying, overanalyzing self. And that is why I'm Freakin' Out! Sorry, no pictures, no cuteness, no funny. The end.

Dec 17, 2009

I see in my furture....

I see in my future...a much messier house! It is becoming more and more of a challenge to keep up with my little one as each day passes. She grows in stability, agility and bravery by the second! She can now reach the top of the desk and table when she stretches and stands on her tip toes and has figured out that she can pull treasures down if they're close enough to the edge!
She's on a tear with the crawling and goes from one thing to the next...to the next...to the next. She found the presents under the tree pretty fast. She has now learned to leave them alone and obeys me 90% of the time!
She often crawls over to me and pulls herself up on my leg and stares up at me or reaches up for me. It absolutely melts me heart. This is the view I see 50% of the day. Best view in the world!
It is beyond awesome to see her develop! Here's a little video of her saying dada and roaring like a lion! Hey...it's a really good roar for a 1 year old!

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Dec 14, 2009

1 Year Check Up

Just had our one year check up. After going through two doctors since we've moved, I really like this third. I think I'll stick with her.

Ella is 29 inches and 18lb. 11oz. She is 60th percentile for height, 80th percentile for weight, 75th percentile for head circumfrance and negative 25th percentile for foot size. Okay, so they don't really mesure and rank foot size, but if they did, I'm quite sure she'd be in the negative 25th percentile.

Seriously, this child's feet are minescule. If they don't grow, she'll be teetering around on tiny little toothpicks pretty soon. In reality though, this does create one real problem. All the shoes that fit her are made for infants...infants who's favorite activity is NOT standing anywhere and everywhere, infants who have no use for any kind of tread. Thus all the shoes that fit her are lacking some serious grippiness...which leads to some seriously slipperiness for my little munchkin. Dude, she already hits her head enough and she already has to manage to keep her balance on ridiculously proportionally small tootsies, she doesn't need the added challenge of zero friction to keep her upright.

And this leads me to one my endevors today. I am trying two things. #1)Using puffy paint to put little tractions dots all over the soles of her shoes and #2)Using that grippy tread stuff made to put on the soles of slippery high-heels. I'll let you know which one works better!

Dec 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Jason!

Today is my wonderful hubby's birthday. Besides the fact that he had to snow blow 12 inches of soppy wet snow when he got home, I think it's been a pretty good birthday. The little lady of the house was bathed and asleep by the time he came in and we managed to have a fabulous dinner just the two of us!


I made him a delish dinner, bought him a gift for fly-tying and made him one sweet cake. Seriously, between the fondant lady bug cake for Ella and this here beauty, I think I've pretty much out done myself as far as cakes go this Birthday season. I don't know where the heck my motivation came from, but expect nothing but diappointment in years to come. I think it's all down hill from here!

Dec 3, 2009

One Year Old!

Today (Dec. 8th) our baby girl is officially ONE YEAR old! Before we had her, there were all sorts of unknowns about what life would be like with a baby and how we would handle those changes. Yes, there are major adjustments to be made all along the way, but we absolutely cannot imagine our life without her! There is a whole new level of joy that she brings to us, and whole new sense of purpose and fullness. It is indescribable.

She amazes us more every day. Here's what our little one year old is up to!
Signing: She now signs, "more, done (she says done too), sleepy, please" and from time to time will do "dog, and eat".

Mobility: She is crawling all over! Hallelujah! She's a happy camper and so are we. She also pulls herself up to standing on everything and anything!
Eating: Everything....and lots of it! The only thing she doesn't eat is milk, nuts and fish, which we'll start introducing soon. I weaned her to two nursings a day (morning and night). There are some feelings of sadness as we move further towards total weaning, but it also frees up a lot of possibilities for me now that she can go the whole day!

Sleeping: Always has been and still is a champion sleeper. Likes to be in bed by 6 or 6:30pm and sleeps until anywhere between 6:30 and 8:30am! Still taking two naps a day, but the second one is getting shorter.
Learning: She loves music, knows where it comes from (toys, cd players, computers) and lets you know when she wants to hear some! She constantly crawls to her books, takes them out and shoves them towards you with a questioning little grunt like, "Read to me?" When you ask her to point things out to you like, "Where is the kitty/doggie/froggie/birdie?" she does it correctly (even if it's slightly different looking in a different book)!
Super Cute Stuff: If you ask her where her belly or head is she points to them correctly. If you ask her where her tongue is, she sticks it out. When I say, "kisses" she leans in for a kiss from me. She still hugs everything in sight. If you ask her what an owl says she goes, "hoo, hoo". And if you say, "Go Patriots!" She throws her hands up in the air and makes noises!


Here's lots of fab video of all the fun stuff she's up to!
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Nov 30, 2009

House Update

To Recap:
The day it went on the market, we lookat at a bank owned, diamond in the rough, sitting high on a hill on one acre on a fan-flippin-tastic private country road.

Because this diamond is really in the rough, we offered well below asking price.

There were multiple offers. The bank told all parties to make there best and final offer.

We offered well above asking price.

Dude at the bank responsible for this house went on vacation for the entire week of Thanksgiving.

Today bank tells us WE OFFERED TOO MUCH MONEY and need to resubmit ANOTHER, LOWER offer if we are still intersted in it.

(Me SOOO confused! What do we offer? We obviously don't want to be too high, because the bank of CRAZY won't accept it, but we don't want to be too low, 'cause then one of the other people might get it!!)

We offered just a tad over asking price today.

What the flip!? Just take our money and give us the house!!!

Nov 28, 2009

An Interesting Thanksgiving Treat

I've heard of handing out Thanksgiving day cards, or perhaps passing along some homemade yumminess in the form of bread or cookies...but apparantly people in our town have a totally different tradition...

We were enjoying a fabulously relaxed evening on the couch watching Jay Leno's monologue when we heard a car stop outside our front door (so suprise, there's a stopsign outside our front door). But then someone loudly rand up our front steps. Jason was off the couch in split second, hand on door ready to open it...then we heard the mailbox (attatched to our house) clang and and aweful noise start coming from it. The person banged loudly on the door and you heard foot steps running away.

Visions of exploding shrapnel tearing into our flesh flashed before my eyes. "Don't you dare open that door Jason," I yelled! "Get the phone! Get away from the door!" He respected my wishes about the door but stayed to peer out the window and get a description of the truck as I high tailed it to the other side of the house while dialing 911. I gave all the info and was patched through to an officer I believe.

"It IS an explosive," the officer told me. "Have anyone in your house stay away from the mailbox. A truck matching the description has done this to two other houses tonight. We're sending an officer right over and maybe firetruck too."

Commence my screaming, "JASON! GET AWAY FROM THAT DOOR! IT'S AN EXPLOSIVE! THE POLICE SAID ITS AN EXPLOSIVE! GO GET ELLA! GET AWAY FROM THE DOOR!"

The police show up, spotlight our house and then walk up to our mailbox. (I'm thinking, "What are you doing!? You'r gonna get blown up! You're going to lose an eye, or an arm, or your face!!! Ahh! I don't want to see this!") The police bravely extracts the offendind item and it is.....a vibrator.

Yup, that's right. Apparantly in this quaint little town, people leave free sex toys in your mailbox as a Thanksgiving offering of cheer.

Did I mention that we haven't heard anything on the house yet and I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY hope we get it and move far away from this place!!!!!!!

Nov 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all. I'm headed north to celebrate with family. Jason went on ahead in order to do his hunting and gathering with a good friend that he rarely gets to see. Here's hoping he gets a deer or at least has a great time!

There is SOOOOO much to be thankful for! Family, faith, old friends and new, employment, provision, home and health. They may sound trite, but I don't ever want to take them for granted!

I am especially grateful this year to be eating an organic, locally raised turkeythat was given to my sister by one of her students. Just recieved that tidbit of info from my momma yesterday. Yummm!

Happy, Happy Thanksgiving! C'mon. Get in the spirit. Leave a comment about what you're grateful for!!!

Nov 24, 2009

Have You Ever Had One of THOSE Days?

Well, today was one of THOSE days for me. First off, I've been fighting some sickness for a while. Just keeping it at bay enoughs to still be able to steam roll through my days, but feeling like a steam roller just got finished with me by the time dinner's on the table.

This morning my kitty graced me with an unexpected trip to the vet, and a 1 Gazillion dollar bill for his pesky little UTI.

I needed to to laundry and pack our bags for a trip north for Thanksgiving, but I realized I had no laundry detergent or disposable diapers. A trip to Walmart ensued and I decided to use my birthday giftcard to shop for some clothes I really need while I was there.

First of all, they were out of just one certain size diaper...Ella's size of course! So I had to get the more expensive brand. (Please note: I HATE shopping. It's a necessary Evil.) I primarily needed long sleeve shirts. I must have tried on EVERY long sleeve shirt they had in the store. It took forever! Too big, too small, too thin, too low cut, too short, not my color. I ended up with ZERO long sleeve shirts. I picked up other things instead and headed to the checkout.

Nice cashier lady had rung up all my giftcard purchases and whatdaya know...I couldn't find my giftcard. I tore my purse apart there in the line and came up with nothin'! I asked if they could hold the items because I had spent all of that prescious time shopping and I WASN'T doing it again. She agreed. I bought my other things and silently fumed all the way out to my car. I looked all through the car and couldn't find it. As I pulled out of the store I realized my gas light was on. Had no idea how long it had been on. I drove all the way home and as I pulled in the drive I looked on the back seat and there was the gift card!!!! ARRRGGHHH. I figure either God was having a hearty chuckle at that point, or my whipping around corners had shaken that dang thing loose from somewhere.

So I filled the car up with gas, drove all the way back and made my purchases and got a grip and a little perspective. Although the events of my day were surely annoying, and would have made great material for an evening sitcom...they were surely nothing major. My bad day is probably someone else's best day comparatively. And then I had a good chuckle!

And besides that, who could stay in a bad mood when you come home to this little cutie! Here she is cruisin' with her crawling on ANY surface and hugging Mr. Quinn!
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Nov 22, 2009

Back On My Game

I have to admit, last year I didn't do so hot with the Christmas gifts. We only buy one for each person, and I try to put some thought and time into each one. Last year during my normal shopping time frame, I was a little preocupied with being homeless while we bought and developed land and planning for the birth of our first child, ya know, nothin' major. So, many gifts were hastily purchased online and even though they showed up looking totally different than what I expected, I didn't have the energy to return them and get something else! Also, I'd be the first to say that my typically beautiful wrapping job was definitely not up to par...it wasn't even in the same galaxy as par. I don't know....maybe that had something to do with the fact that I had a newborn and was struggling with things like fearing I would never again in my life be able to sit normally.

Well, I'm happy to report that this year...I'm back on my game. All of our Christmas presents are thoughtfully bought AND wrapped. Also, Ella's and Jason's birthday presents are wrapped, and all decorations for Ella's 1st birthday party are made. It feels so good!!! I can't wait to put up Christmas decorations! It's all I can do to contain my garland, lights and nativities until after Thanksgiving!!!

Now, I can spend time doing what this season was meant for...resting, reflecting on the birth of our Savior, and enjoying friends, family and life in general!

Nov 20, 2009

House Update

It seems Jason and I have a knack for finding REALLY good house deals. When we bought our house in Old Town, it had been undercontract and then fell through. The day it came back on the market, seven people looked at it and multiple offered. We got it.

Well, word has just come back on our potential abode. It went on the market 11/17, we offered 11/18...apparantly so did multiple other people. The bank has told everyone that it is a multiple offer situation...we all have one chance to make our best offer, then they'll decide. SUPER! There's something about a bank sitting back watching us all scramble around that doesn't sit so well with me!

So we're making our best offer tomorrow at 8:30am. I'm totally freaking out on a number of different fronts. Not one of those fronts includes stressing that we won't get it. I don't really care. If it is supposed to be, it will be. Wish us luck!

Nov 19, 2009

IT'S HAPPENING!!!

...no, we've not heard anything on the house. We're guessing they'll wait until the last minute just in case any other offers roll in. I mean, we did offer on it the day after it was listed and it didn't even have a for sale sign up yet!


Something FAR more exciting and momentus is happening! ELLA IS CRAWLING!!! Bless her little, almost one year old, heart. We knew she was close, getting up on all fours and rocking back and forth with ease, but we have no carpet and with these slippery floors her progress was at a stalemate. We figured 20 bucks for an area rug was a worthy investment in our child's gross motor skills development. Brought it home tonight and whadaya know!? Whamo bammo...we have a crawler!!! Feast your eyes on this talent!
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The Big News

Tuesday was my Birthday. A house came on the market on that day and we looked at it on that day(ps: we've been looking at houses for one week now). We made an offer on it yesterday. This could be the biggest birthday present I ever got!...aaaand the only Birthday present I've had to pay for for the next 30 years but whatev!

It is a 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath 2,200 sq. ft. home with atached 2 car garage situation high on a hill on a 1 acre lot on a REALLY nice road in a really nice town with good schools and it's close to Jason's work. These are the houses across the way and down the road that are listed at 350k.

"WOW!" you must be thinking, "Are you guys THAT loaded now that Jason's working at the shipyard!?" No. No we are not. It's just that if we must pay to have a roof over our head, we'd just really rather pay money toward a mortgage every month than throw it away on rent. Let me explain. Our potential little gem is a bank owned property listed at 130k...and we offered lower than that....and it bears no resemblence to those pictures up there.

Why didn't I post a picture of our potential abode? Well, primary reason numero uno is that I didn't want to be the cause of pure, unadulterated envy when you lay eyes on the neon teal paint that dons every inch of trim on this bad boy. I didn't want you to drool over the busted up cuppords, hanker for the cheap peel & stick tile or nasty @** carpet that covers every square inch of flooring in the main living space. And heaven forbid you lose complete self control over the thought of getting to wash the soot from the walls that we think is from a kerosene heater they used when they were being forclosed on. Seriously, my description is probably getting you excited enough. There's no need to put an actual visual along with that amazing word picture.

This is where vision, investment and a little bit of crazy comes in people. Please recall that we took our super dated 70's ranch in Old Town and revamped that thing inside and out in the span of 2 1/2 years. We created a beautiful home that sold for full asking price in 4 days flat (in one of the worst housing markets we've ever seen!) We can do this!

One big difference here is that a small ranch in Old Town was only ever going to be worth so much. Let me reiterate. This is a 2,200 sq. ft. house that sits high on a hill on a beautiful one acre lot in a very, very, very nice neighborhood. We plan on being there at least until we retire. That means we have plenty of time to save up and put in high quality stuff...do it exactly the way we want it. By the time we're finished with this thing, you won't recognize it! It is the chance of a lifetime to build equity. It is exacty what we've been looking for! And by the time we retire it will be worth so much and we'll owe so little (and by little I mean nothing if all goes as planned). It's such a great investment!

With all that said, we still haven't heard if our offer is accepted...they have 'till 5pm on Fri. And even if they do accept our offer, I fully expect the house to fail inspection in pretty much every area. But hey, if both of those things work out we'll have ourselves one (potentially) rockin' house!!!

Nov 17, 2009

Super Duper Cute Videos

I like to call this one "Daddy Gets Snubbed"
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And this one is "If You're Happy and You Know It." (one of her newest talents)
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Nov 16, 2009

Some Crafty Crafting

I've still been managing to squeeze some crafting into what seem like super busy days. My mom gave me some ADORABLE fabric that matches Ella's room colors perfectly. I set it aside, not knowing what to use it for for a while but alas it has become something! We rearranged downstairs which landed this little cubby hole bench upstairs. I designed the bench, Jason made it, then I apholstered it. It was created specifically for a spot in our house in Old Town, but look how perfectly it fits in this little indent under Ella's window!? It's like it was made for it. And that fanciful fabric mom gave me has recovered two pillows that top the bench and just beckon you to sit on this cute little window seat! Is God good or what? Even in the littlest of things! Also, my little babes 1st Birthday is coming up! It's going to be pink and green and lady bug themed! Here are the little invitations I made up! The wings open up to reveal the invite. But I'm not going to show you that because then our personal info would be all over the web! (If you didn't get one, don't be sad. She'll never remember it. It had to stay limited to close fam. and friends because our abode is so "cozy" and "quaint" If you got one, you can feel free to RSVP:)

Nov 12, 2009

Life Lessons

Picture it: A high pitched scream errupts. I turn around to see Ella on her belly, one of her hands shut in her book, the other hand placed firmly on top of that book pressing it closed with with all of her might because she was trying to push herself up and away from the book with the free hand. The continusous screaming was partly pain, but mostly frustration and anger. I went to help her and she resisted my help, screaming louder in frustration. I spoke soothingly to her, "You need to let mama help you honey." and luckily I'm bigger and stronger so she had no choice but to help me help her and I soon freed her from her predicament half chuckling, half thinking, "You poor thing."


Then I stopped to ponder. How often do I do this in my own life? How often to I cause my own pain by my own decisions or missteps and then try to get myself out of my mess all on my own...and only end up making matters worse? I am so sure that God is right there beside me all the while saying, "You need to let Papa help you honey." And I'm sure I just continue to struggle my own way...resisting His...screaming louder and louder! But the gentleman He is, He doesn't force His will upon me, making me choose Him and His way...he waits until I'm ready and come to Him. Oh how I long to come to Him quicker each time!

I swear I've never learned so much about God in my whole life as I have in the brief time that I've been a mother.


As I look through mother's eyes at our precious gift, I experience an intense love unlike any other (not more or less than any other kind of love, just different and unique)...great joy when I see her grow, learn and accomplish... almost real physical pain when she gets hurt... bright hope and anticipation for her to walk a right path in life that will lead to true happiness and fulfillment... a deep desire to appropriately teach, instruct and discipline her for her own good and and safety... and a ferocious mama bear drive to protect her from harm of any kind. And then I stop to think. This is how God looks at me. I understand Him, experience Him and bask in His love for me in a whole new way!

Nov 10, 2009

11 Months Old

While I stand behind what I think of the H.R. bill, it's consuming too much of my energy debating it. And while I think it's very important, I would much rather spend my time focusing on even more important things like my little lady Ella. She turned 11 months old this last Sunday. Time is flying! Her first birthday will be here before you know it! Here she is hugging her stuffed animals. And here she is dressed in a super adorable outfit last Sunday for church. Notice the pink velvet skirt, the shiny black mary janes and that pudgy little belly I just want to eat right up!It is beyond amazing to see her intelligence grow by leaps and bounds! Here are just a few examples.

~She understands when I say, "Use your words please." She stops yelling and signs more and points to what she wants.

~Last night I asked her if she was tired and she laid her head down on her hands on a pillow While I've been consistantly using this sign, I didn't know she had caught onto this one yet!

~She not only points to everything in her surroundings asking, "dat?" but she now points to specific things in the pictures of her books asking what they are.

~She follows simple instructions like, "Put the toy in the basket." When playing on her own you'll often find her taking things out of containers and putting them back in over and over.

~She's showing more and more preference. It's so neat to see her likes and dislikes emerge. She'll flip through a whole basket of books to find the one she likes and then hand it to you with and adorable look and and a question in her voice tone that clearly says, "Will you read it to me?" When you get done reading it, it starts all over. Her fave right now is wheels on the bus :)

Everyone loves the videos so here are two of them.
#1) Her new found sitting up talent in action
#2) Borrowing the fun ride on toy from the neighbor that she loved as well! The video might not capture it so well, but she does her little dancin' bounce when J pulls her around!

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Nov 9, 2009

TELL YOUR SENATOR TO SAY NO TO "HEALTH CARE REFORM"

Socialism is coming like a freight train people and the first musings of it are veiled in the H.R. 3962 bill. It's already been passed in the house. Don't just lay down in the tracks and get run over! Contact your senators and tell them to vote NO on it!!!
Here are my big 3. (There's not time in the day to list everything that's aweful about this!)

#1) I have a serious problem with government officials passing a bill that takes away my right to choose. If this bill is passed you will HAVE to have health care. If you don't already have it you will have to sign up for the government "option". If you don't sign up for the government "option" you will be charged a tax. Obama claims it's not a tax, it's just everyone sharing their responsibility. HMMMMM, being forced to pay for everyone else.....does that sound a little like socialism!!!???....or worse!!!???

#2) This bill imposes such strict mandates on private insurance that the inevitable outcome will be private insurance throwing the towel because they won't be able to stay in business. The only thing that will be left is the government "option" so that is the healthcare YOU will have. What's the problem there? Have you EVER seen the government run ANYTHING that is quality, efficient and cost effective? Ummmm. No. We're in for some HORRIFIC health care people. This should be VERY SCARY to you!!!

#3) Obama said he wouldn't sign any bill that wasn't deficit neutral. To that I have this to say..."Liar, liar pants on fire!" Sophisticated argument I know....but it says it all. How long are we going to let government go spending money willy nilly that we DON'T have!!!???

Don't get me wrong. We need health care reform. But this is not reform. This is a poorly veiled bulldozing of the private health care system as we know it in order to replace it with a single payer, POORLY run, mandated government plan.

In Maine:
Contact Senator Snowe by email HERE
Contact Senator Collins by email HERE
To find your senator in another state go HERE

(PS: I have no problem with opposing view points. But if you post a comment as "anonymous" I will remove it. I have no time for people who won't stand behind what they believe!)

Nov 5, 2009

Check the Finger.

"A lady slipped me her contact info today," Jason said with an impish grin as he walked through the door waving a napkin in the air containing some blue ballpoint scribblings.

The contact info turned out to be totally harmless, someone interested in the Lifelines Outdoor Ministry we used to do. But he then continued to recount how two different nurses had hit on him while he was giving blood at work. (He said the conversations both fizzled quickly when he made sure to clearly slip, "My wife and I" in. Good man. Good man!)

I thought...Well, can you blame them? My husband is fit, ruggedly handsom, sporting some very sexy stubble right now and he's an engineer. Here are a bunch of female nurses taking blood at a naval base which has a predominantly male workforce who all make pretty good money. If that's not a prime opportunity for a little man scoutin' then I don't know what is!

Then I thought about it a bit more and saddled up my high horse. Sure I don't fault them for cruisin' the scene, but don't they have a little decency to lay off the married ones? Ummmm, hello ladies... Check the finger.

And it was at that moment that I checked the finger....of my educated, fit, ruggedly handsome husband...and noticed that there seemed to be something missing.

"Where is your ring?" I asked him.

At this point I do believe something like this was going through Jason's head, Oh crap. Why did I open my big mouth in the first place. What have I done!?

With a lowered head and the most ridiculously cute puppy dog eyes, he responded, "I haven't had it since April. When I was teaching I got that rash on my hand and couldn't wear my ring. I put it in my drawer and I think a kid stole it. I haven't seen it since. I swear I told you."

WHAT!? You see, the fact that my husband had lost his wedding ring didn't suprise me at all. We were already on ring #2 because ring #1 got left in The Forks when he chucked it into a dry bag when he was guiding a white water rafting trip. The disturbing thing was that it had been gone since APRIL and I had not noticed! I'm losing my touch people. Losing my touch.

"That's it," I said, "We'll make a double date out of it. You and Joe Cousins are getting rings tattooed on your fingers."

Nov 2, 2009

Video's of Ella

It's high time for some more videos! Here's video of our little lady waving, signing "more", pointing and saying "daddy"!!!
video video

Organizing Fool

Those that know me will surely attest to the fact that it's safe to describe me as "type A" personality. I won't deny it. That's me to a tee!

Althought I've purged and organized and purged and organized, I still feel like the walls are closing in on me sometimes and I'm constantly mulling over ways to rearrange our remaining things so they are the neatest, most organized they can be. This has led me on a LONG search for a cheap but totally awesome computer desk. It's been a battle. Everytime I find something on craigslist, it's taken by the time I call or email. (I swear some people must sit in front of the computers 27/7 and just wait for things to pop up!) Alas I have been successful!!! This weekend we picked up this totally awesome, totally cheap desk and I've spent Ella's naps organizing and rearanging the house!


All office stuff is in this desk and filing cabinet...no more office stuff all hodge podge out and about driving me nuts!!! Oh man I'm feeling good. Here's a shot of the new "OFFICE" (really just one end of the long living room....but so it goes in a small...but adorable...apartment!) In addition, the window bench that used to be in front of that window has been separated and each one placed under each upstairs window creating the perfect little window seat and storage. And lastly, the bookshelves in the dining room are going to go upstairs. They are not kid friendly and it will look so much cleaner and more open with them out of that space. Seriously people...organizing gives me a high.

Oct 29, 2009

New Developments (Of the FUN variety)



While Ella's new developments may have caused some disruption to her normal nap routine, she certainly is exploding with newness and it is so fun to watch! I'm happy to say the battle for nap time today was MUCH less drawn out. It doesn't seem to take her long to realize mommy's not going to change. So that's good. Here are fun new things she's doing!

Waving. She does this consistently, with pretty much anyone. Sometimes initiates it on her own, usually you have to wave at her first. It's great.

Signing. So great that 6 months of consistently saying, signing and make her hands sign it is finally paying off! She understands when I sign no, more, all done, bath, sleep, and eat. She signs "more" with great consistency and fervor. She initiates it. She points to what she wants and then signs it. Yesterday she signed "please" copying me but that was a one time occurrence thus far.

Clapping. She was always enamored when I clapped and she just figured out how to do it herself. Adorable!!!

Answering the phone. She's loved toy phones for a long time. I've showed her how to hold it up to her ear and say hello enough times that it's rubbing off. I'll make her toy phone ring and say, "hello!" and she smiles and puts it up to her ear!

Talking. In addition to babbling up a storm and making all sorts of joyful squeels and such, she is starting to attempt words. She says "dada" with the most consistancy but nothing is super consistant yet. She's definitely trying to repeat words that we say all the time. We know when she's saying "dada" and "doggie" and "kitty". It amazes me.

Putting things down her toy slide.
She's figured out how to make her animals and balls go down her twisty toy slide and finds much pride in it. She also tries to put EVERY other object down it too...like her phone, yogurt container, teether, stuffed animals and so on. Hilarious!

Dancin'. She continues to bust out her moves to music when the mood strikes her. Today I had her in the cart at the dollar store and she was just a boppin' and wigglin' to the music playing in the store the whole time we shopped. Beyond cute!

Giving Hugs! I knew I forgot something! This one is the absolute best. She's never been super snugly and it's still a chore to get her to give us kisses but she'll consistently give us hugs now! In fact, when I say, "Give hugs?" she'll hug just about anything...the dog, a toy, a stuff animal, the couch...It's the best!

Oct 28, 2009

Where do I Even Begin!? Help!

This is a long one....but please read and advise!!!

Ella missed her morning nap because we were at women's Bible study. Usually she's so tired she falls asleep on the ride home. Not today. It was later, she was hungry, we ate and then I laid her down at about 1:30.

After quite a long time of a happy sounding, but still awake baby I trapsed upstairs to see what the deal was. When I entered Ella's room I saw her SITTING UP in her crib smiling the biggest, proudest smile I've ever seen her smile. My heart overflowed. Pride welled up inside of me. This was the first time she had ever gone from laying down to sitting up all on her own! What a milestone! And then as I stood there in the doorway, I watched my beaming daughter nose dive right into the side of her crib. Fabulous!

It was kind of a slow-mo nose dive and she half caught herself with her hands so after just a few seconds of soothing she was giggling in my arms. I told her it was nap time and laid her back down.

After another extended period of time litening to the joyful baby giggles coming through the monitor I went up to peek in again. This time I found her on all fours, rocking back and forth squeeling with delight. Again...joy, happiness, and pride ran through me watching my daughter's new development. But slowly...the cold hard truth that naptime would never again be the same began to seep in.

I resettled her again and went downstairs, heard the happy baby sounds again but then heard a THUD and crying. I rushed up to find her toppled over against the side of the crib. She was fine and much cuddling and soothing ensued.

I was at a loss. I am a big proponent of letting babies cry and sooth themselves and not running in every two seconds. And that has worked beautifully for us up to this point. But I cannot employ that method if my child's physical safety is at risk with her new found talent!

I decided to resettle her, and sit silently next to her crib, not making eye contact or interacting with her. Just monitor her safety and lay her back down if she was sitting up and in danger of falling forward or backward and hitting her head. (As I watched her I saw that she rolls to her stomach and then walks herself up to sitting using her hands in front of her. She very capably lays back down by hurling herself forward onto the mattress...I think the only problem occurs when she doesn't understand depth and hurling herself forward results in head hitting side of crib before hitting mattress.) Well people, tried that for a little over 1/2 hour. No dice. She just tried to interact with me the whole time. No sleep.

Seeing how ridiculously tired she was I thought if I resettled her and left the room per our normal routine she might just sleep this time. Not so much. Through the monitor I heard her playing, then getting fussy, then crying. But alas...finally....silence. And now...two hours from when I first put her down... it is 3:23 and dare I even utter the words for fear her little eyes will pop back open with the stroke of the keys....she's alseep.

WOW! Talk about battle of all battles. I found myself asking for the filling of the Holy Spirit throughout the whole ordeal...praying for patience, and wisdom in this uncharted territory. God was faithful. And I thank Him for giving me the ability to keep it together while not giving up on the nap. Consistency and boundaries are key. Sleep is too important and I know better than she when she needs sleep. But holy hannah, I'm used to a child that every time you lay her down, she's asleep within a matter of minutes. If this is the battle in store for me each nap time, I'm in for some tough times ahead!

Any advice and suggestions are greatly appreciated!!!!????



Oct 27, 2009

A Few Points Of Common Sense Baby Etiquette

Based on my experiences while running errands yesterday, I have a few things to say to the world.

#1) I know my child has no hair. BUT...if she is wearing a cream shirt with pink hearts, a pink and purple striped sweater, jeans with pink and purple flowers and hearts embroidered on them and pink robeez and you STILL say, "Aren't you a good little boy!?"....then you have issues! C'mon people....it's not like I'm making it hard to figure out with an ambiguous wardrobe!

#2) If my incredibly adorable she/he is displaying her/his magnificent, new found coordination and social skills by smiling from ear to ear and waving at you in line at the post office...you DARN well better wave back! Dude! Who doesn't wave back to the cutest she/he in the world!?

#3) Do not stare at me like I have two heads when I turn everyday activities into learning opportunities for my adorable she/he. Yup, I tell her the name of every purchase as I put it in the cart. Mmm Hmm, I count the bananas, repeat the word several times and tell her they're yellow. Sure, I give her a piece of paper and ask her what we need next on the grocery list. And yes, I've even been known to sing little ditty's, make the cart go a little faster for a second, or bounce up and down as we make our way through the store. Yup, I encourage social interaction while being bored waiting in a line. Yeah, I let my kid play with the stamps and attempt to put them on the letters. And of course I let her try to put each letter through the mail slot...don't worry I never hold up any lines. I'm molding what is already one sharp little mind. It's called GOOD PARENTING. LEARN HOW TO DO IT!!!

That is all...for now.

Oct 26, 2009

Bab Leg Warmer Tutorial

(A tutorial has been demanded and the ransom for said tutorial has been paid) Man alive this is a test of my technical writing skills! Here goes...

1) Begin with a knee high sock of your choice (Available for darn cheap at your friendly local Walmart)

2) Cut out the heel and the toe of the sock as shown below. Discard heel and toe sections.
3) Leave the leg part of the sock as is. Of the remaining foot part of the sock cut a 2" wide section as shown below.
3) Cut a 1/2" away from this 2" section as shown below. Discard the 1/2" section you cut off. The remaining piece we will call the cuff piece.

4) Turn right sides of cuff piece together and surge edge.

5) Now fold wrong sides together so that you have a tube cuff looking like this.

6) Place the cuff around the lower portion of the leg part of your sock so that the finished edge of the tube is pointed toward the top of the sock and your three raw edges line up at the bottom as shown below.
7) Now sew the three raw edges together. I recommend sewing around once with a straight stitch and then going around once more surging the edges.

8) Now flip the cuff down and there you have it! Finished baby leg warmer!!!