Saturday, May 31, 2008

Chatter Box

For the longest time, Madeline wasn't very into talking. "Eh, eh" was her favorite sound and to her it could mean anything from "Tell me what that thing is" to "I'm hungry" to "Let's go play outside". For months now she's been able to say the sounds of different animals and things (dog, cat, owl, cow, crow, train, siren) and she could say mama, dad (daaa-aaad), Nana, Papa, uh-oh, go, hi and bye. Now, just within the past two weeks, her vocabulary is exploding and she's trying to approximate almost every word we say! It's so much fun to hear!

Her most recent words are:
lulu (our dog Lucy)
Google (she knows the icon on the computer)
baby (she especially likes seeing them on labels, like the Gerber baby)
bow (for your hair)
yo-yo (yogurt)
wa-wa (water)
toe (she can identify almost all her body parts now)
two (she holds up her two pointer fingers)
pop-pop (popcorn, which we make for a snack pretty much every day!)
pool (totally obsessed with this...and swinging!)
fooh-fa (flower)
cheese (she loves string cheese, just like her mama)
peeeees (please...she's starting to realize how powerful this word is, especially when accompanied by a sweet smile)

For the past two weeks my dad has been in Lebanon, Iraq and Syria (not quite the destinations I'd pick!) on a trip with our pastor. My dad was able to meet with local pastors and businessmen and really see the love of God in action--now he's all fired up and inspired to go back and visit 1-2 times per year to work on ministry opportunities and business projects, like setting up grants for small business owners to get started on their own. Before he left, my parents came to our house to help us start landscaping the front yard. He does love landscaping and digging in the dirt, but of course the most fun part of the day is getting to play with his sweet grandaughter! :-) Love you, Dad!

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Honoring Mothers

Happy (belated) Mother's Day! I just wanted to take a moment to honor ALL mothers and remember what an amazing influence our own mothers made in our lives & to pray for strength and wisdom for mothers who are raising young children. We need all the grace we can get! :-)

It didn't hit me until yesterday when I was getting ready for church that exactly one year ago, on Mother's Day, I was blessed with the knowledge that I was pregnant with Nicholas. A bittersweet Mother's Day memory, but cherished nonetheless. So I'd like to honor and lift up all of you mothers who have lovingly carried and nurtured a child in your womb, a child who will now forever be held in the arms of Jesus instead of your own. You are a mother, too, and deserve to be celebrated. Love to you all!

Friday, May 9, 2008

A Room of Her Own

I have to say, it sure is fun to decorate a girl's room! Maddie's room is definitely my favorite room in the house...and the most decorated. Lots of personal handmade mom made all the bedding and curtains (fabulous seamstress that she is!), I painted the furniture and made the lampshade, letters of her name, bulletin board squares on her dresser, and scrapbook page on her side table. Maddie absolutely loves her room and she'd spend hours in there if we'd let her.

This is our happy girl when she wakes up from a nap. Usually she'll have been up there for a good 30 minutes or more, playing the music box in her crib or singing to herself or playing with stuffed animals. Her favorite thing of all, though, is to bounce off the crib walls and roll around like she's doing gymnastics. :-)

The view from her doorway.

Nana and Papa gave her that pink tent for Christmas and she loves to crawl in there with her toys and books...and even better when we scrunch ourselves in there with her!

Maddie's closet (yes, still stuffed with boxes).

Pic of Maddie on the day we brought her home from the hospital. :-)
Maddie reading The Snowman book to teddy. He looks like he's really into it! :-)

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Big 2-0

Drumroll, please... As of yesterday it's official. I've hit the Big 2-0! That is, twenty pounds lost!! Yahoo! :-)

Yes, I'm tooting my own horn, but that's okay because I've worked hard to earn that right. :-)
Eating healthy (at least most of the time) and working out 5 days a week has paid off over the last 4-5 months. It's a bit frustrating that I'm only losing 1 pound a week...slow going...but I have faith that this is a better way to keep it off for the long haul. I have 8 more pounds to lose until I hit my goal weight, which is what I weighed at my wedding four years ago.

On another note, we recently borrowed a stationery bike from my sister and Keith wants to drop some pounds too, so this week he started riding it for about 30 minutes at a time. I think he's done that 2 or 3 times now. And last night at dinner he fessed up that in the last week he's already lost 4 pounds! Now, I AM proud of him for losing weight, but COME ON PEOPLE!! How totally unfair is it when MEN want to lose weight! It would take me a *month* of working out and dieting to lose 4 pounds and he's like "oh yeah, I just worked out for an hour and cut back on my daily chips and chocolate." Ugh. Why couldn't God have leveled the playing field a bit here?! I know all of you women out there feel my pain. Keith actually confessed that he didn't want to tell me about his weight loss because he knows it's so much easier for least my hubby's considerate! :-)