Sunday, April 13, 2014

Happy 7 Months Luke!

Seven months . . . closer to one year old than being a brand new baby. You are such a funny baby: you complain and demand our attention, and when we look at you, you give us the biggest, cheesiest smile. You “talk” a lot, and you smile a lot too.

20140311-IMG_6032.jpgYou had three more teeth pop through this month – all on the top. Your teeth are so cute, and it is crazy how many you have already. You love to chew on toys and blankets – maybe because you have so many teeth coming in. You are pretty content in the car or stroller if you have a blanket to chew on while you are riding around.

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You started sleeping a lot better this month. Most nights you’ll sleep long enough that I’d consider you sleeping through the night. It is very nice to get some decent sleep again. : ) You have also started taking much longer and more consistent naps, which is also very nice for us. You still like to sleep on your belly. If you fuss for very long after I lay you down, I often find you flipped over on your back. You can roll from your back to your belly, but I think you are usually too sad to think about doing that in your crib. You also scoot around a lot in your crib. I don’t know *exactly* how you are moving around, just that you do because I find you in a different place than where I laid you down to start at night. In fact, you have a certain corner of the crib that I often find you in when I check on you before I go to bed. 20140401-IMG_6568.jpg

I feel like every day that passes you are more and more content. You are definitely a mama’s boy right now, but you have gotten to be more content when others have you when I’m not around. In fact, you are actually more content with others when I’m not there (probably because I’m not there to distract you!).  20140401-IMG_6583.jpg 

You have really started eating solids this month, and now that you have decided that eating solid food is OK, there hasn’t been anything you haven’t liked. You’ve loved all the different fruits and veggies you’ve tried, as well as yogurt and puffs. I think yogurt is probably your favorite food right now. You’ve gotten really good at eating puffs, and you entertain yourself for a long time while you eat them.20140327-IMG_6228.jpg

Your grabbing skills have gotten even more refined this month. As evidenced below, you didn’t like the sticker (or maybe that I was taking your pictures) and you did something about it!20140406-IMG_7342.jpg 20140406-IMG_7352.jpg

Although you weren’t happy in the photo below, you generally really like to be outside. You’ve started showing some hints that you may suck your thumb, but you aren’t a full-fledged “thumb-sucker” yet. You really love your siblings, and you are very tolerant of them, smiling and laughing with them. You also have become fond of our dog Reeses (even though you didn’t seem so interested in her at first).20140405-IMG_7232.jpg

Luke @ 6 months

Troy @ 7 months

(I didn’t start writing these monthly posts for Ella until she was 17 months old)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Happy 6 Months Luke!

Six months is one of those milestones that seems really big – halfway to no longer being a “baby.” Many days you remind me how much less you are like a newborn and how much more you are like a one year old. You don’t have to eat as often anymore. You grab and knock my phone out of my hand when I’m holding you. You smile when you see my face or hear my voice. You watch me as I walk away, and even cry sometimes too.

You started using your jumperoo this month. Generally, I think you like it, but you’d prefer if someone sat by it and talked to you while you are in it.

20140206-IMG_5145.jpgYour interactions with Ella and Troy also show how much you are changing. You love (most of the time!) when they talk and play with you. Ella, who has recently learned to read, loves reading books to you. Troy randomly kisses and hugs you many times a day. One day Troy told me, “I like Luke better than I like my big pillow.” And, he really likes his big pillow!

20140215-IMG_5419.jpgYou started going to Bible class at the end of last month, but I forgot to mention it in that post. You were pretty unsure at first, and I had to hold you quite a bit the first couple of classes, but you have gotten a lot better in just a month in sitting in your chair and being content a good part of the class time.UntitledI think you are going to be our first non-blue-eyed baby. Though your eyes have been blue, they’ve been darker than Ella’s or Troy’s from the beginning. Within the past month, the color near the center of your eye has started changing to brown. Maybe your eyes will be like mine – brown near the center and green on the outside. Only time will tell!20140222-IMG_5453.jpgYou started sleeping in your crib at night as well as during naptime this month. I was anxious about the transition, but once you figured out that your crib was OK for sleep, you’ve done pretty well. Your dad figured out that you prefer to sleep on your belly – crazy to me since you have not been a fan of tummy time (though you’ve started liking it more lately). You have gotten pretty good at holding yourself up during tummy time lately as well.20140223-IMG_5464.jpg20140303-IMG_5743.jpgI LOVE your smile – it is infectious to me. It reminds me SO much of Ella’s smile at the same age. I also love your laugh, and love that we can make you laugh easily. I got a good video of you laughing recently (at the end of the post). You started rolling over this month, but you aren’t a very “rolly” baby yet. 20140223-IMG_5484.jpg

You are getting pretty good at grasping toys (and hair!) as well as putting toys in your mouth to chew on which is a good thing since your front two bottom teeth popped through about a week before you turned 6 months. Your teeth are pretty cute. : ) We tried to give you food again a couple of times this past month. You didn’t hate it, but you also didn’t love it. We’ll keep trying though!20140306-IMG_5769.jpg

Luke @ 5 months

Troy @ 6 months

(I didn’t start writing these monthly posts for Ella until she was 17 months old)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Mission Field in My Home

During a recent ladies class, I was reminded and encouraged about the importance of the mission field in my home: my children. As I was meditating again on the importance of the mission field in my home, a thought about my mission work struck me in a way it hadn’t before.

I know that I am uniquely well-suited to teach the mission field in my home, well, because after all they are my children, and I should have the closest relationship with them. I’ve been with them from the beginning. I know their fears and joys. I know their weaknesses and struggles. I know their tender hearts and their lively spirits. I know their experiences, and how their experiences have molded them into the person they are.

But I’m also uniquely well-suited to teach the mission field in my home because I don’t just get to plant the seed of the Word in my children’s hearts, I get to prepare the soil where I will plant the seed. In the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20; Luke 8:4-15) Jesus describes the seed (the word) being sown on different soil types. Some seed is snatched up by the devil; some seed grows in rocky ground,  has no roots and withers away; some seed grows among the thorns and is choked out; and some seed grows in good soil and bears fruit. I need to prepare my children’s hearts so that their hearts are “noble and good” (Luke 8:15), ready to receive the word and produce fruit.

I must be careful to not allow the truth of God’s Word to be snatched away from my children. As a Christian mother, I am commanded to be a homemaker or a keeper of the home, literally meaning to guard the home (Titus 2:5). Do I guard my home from influences that would steal the seed from my children?

I must also be careful to not place rocks or thorns in my children’s soil. Do I place rocks in their soil by undermining their future faith in God’s Word by my actions? My life must exemplify faith in God inside and outside the home. My children will not be fooled; for example, they will know if I am submissive to my husband and if I speak kind words. If I am hypocritical, I am placing rocks in my children’s soil.

Do I place thorns in their soil by teaching them to love material things or to be worried with the things in this world? My children will see if my emphasis is on the material rather than the spiritual; if I am storing up treasures on earth rather than treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21).

Rather, I must nurture my children’s soil by teaching them to love God’s Word. I must nurture my children’s soil by teaching them the importance of respect and obedience. I must nurture my children’s soil by teaching them about self-sacrificing love.

Though all souls are precious, the souls in my home hold a particularly precious place in my heart. The mission field in my home is a constant work and blessing. Am I placing rocks or thorns in my children’s soil? Am I allowing the seed to be thrown to the wayside where it can be quickly snatched away? Or am I preparing my children’s soil as a farmer would before planting the seed so that their hearts are ready to receive the Word which is able to save their souls (James 1:21)?

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Happy 5 Months Luke!

Every day you become more expressive and more aware of the world around you. It is such a joy to watch you grow and learn.

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You still aren’t sleeping very well at night, and I really hoped that after being back in the routine you’d start sleeping well again, but that hasn’t happened. Soon we’ll be moving you to your crib at night (out of our room), and hopefully that will help. We haven’t moved you in there yet because we didn’t want to disturb Troy’s sleeping, but it is time. We’ll probably let Troy sleep in Ella’s room for a few nights while you adjust to your crib. Your naps still aren’t very regular either. Generally you take lots of little naps during the day rather than longer ones. Every now and then you’ll take a longer nap, but you haven’t fully transitioned out of the “catnapping” yet.

20140114-IMG_4319.jpgYou are extremely expressive, and your faces crack us up. Sometimes your expressions are serious and sometimes they are silly. I love the look you get on your face when you spot your hands or your feet. You’ve been chewing on your hands a lot lately, and sometimes you suck on your fingers. You’ve even sucked on your thumb a few times. You also love to grab your toes/feet and try to chew on them. Your flexibility is so cute!20140129-IMG_4437.jpgYou haven’t rolled over yet (on a flat surface anyway), but I really think that is more my fault than anything. You just don’t get the floor time you need to practice your rolling over. You do wiggle around a lot and can roll halfway (below) very easily.

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You really enjoy being outside, and are very content outside. You will sit in your bouncer for a long time while Ella and Troy trounce around outside. 20140131-IMG_4479.jpg

You tried sweet potatoes this month, but really didn’t want anything to do with them. You made an awful face, and tried to keep me from putting more in your mouth. I’m not in a big hurry to push food on you because you don’t *need* it yet, and also because of your soy allergy.20140205-IMG_5114.jpg

You love to kick, and you have really gotten good control of your legs in the past month. I inadvertently put your bouncer together wrong, resulting in your toys being at your feet instead of your hands. Turned out that you loved them being down there because you could kick them!

I love making you laugh (and we can get you to laugh pretty easily these days). Your dad got this video of you talking/laughing at him one day.

Luke @ 4 Months

Troy @ 5 Months

(I didn’t start writing these monthly posts for Ella until she was 17 months old)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Ella’s Fifth Birthday Interview

Wow, Ella is five! Here is her birthday interview.

  1. What is your favorite color? Pink and purple
  2. What is your favorite toy? My little new Elsa
  3. What is your favorite fruit? Apples
  4. What is your favorite TV show? Clifford
  5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Macaroni and Cheese
  6. What is your favorite outfit? What I’m wearing right now
  7. What is your favorite game? Chuck E Cheese 
  8. What is your favorite snack? Goldfish
  9. What is your favorite animal? Zebra
  10. What is your favorite song? Let It Go (from Frozen)
  11. What is your favorite book? Clifford
  12. Who is your best friend? Karsyn
  13. What is your favorite cereal? Fruit Loops
  14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play in the sandbox
  15. What is your favorite drink? water (We recently started letting her get water from the fridge in hew own cup, and she loves it)
  16. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
  17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Ana, Giraffe, and Monkey
  18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Pop Tarts
  19. What is your favorite thing for dinner? Macaroni and Cheese
  20. What do you want to be when you grow up? A Christian
  21. What is your favorite movie? Frozen
  22. Who is your favorite Disney princess? Elsa
  23. Where is your favorite place to go? Chuck E Cheese
  24. What is your favorite Bible story? Moses
  25. What is your favorite Old Testament story? Moses
  26. What is your favorite memory verse? Ephesians 6:1 
  27. What is your favorite letter? E
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Monday, January 27, 2014

Baby Gear I’m Loving Lately

I’ve written a couple posts in the past about my favorite baby gear, but since I’ve had Luke, I’ve gotten to try a few new items out.

  1. Rock n’ Play Sleeper. I love this thing! It is easy to move around the house and it is also easy to use while traveling (and takes up less packing room than a pack and play!). I also like the relined position, particularly since Luke has reflux. I like how easy it is to grab him out of this for the middle of the night feedings as well (I don’t have to get out of bed). I also liked that I could sleep/lay in bed and rock him back to sleep when he was smaller (now that he is bigger the rocking isn’t as effective).
  2. Boon Grass Drying Rack. This thing may look crazy, but it is great! Many different baby items from medicine droppers, pump parts, bottle parts, and pacifiers stick on this drying rack without being easily knocked over.
  3. My Baby Sound Spa On The Go. Luke loves white noise, and this conveniently hangs from his car seat. The only downside is that I didn’t get this until AFTER he was already used to the white noise on my phone which I can turn up louder than this. It also plays music and other sounds.
  4. Vera Bradley Diaper Bag. I’ve gone through a few different diaper bags, and this one has been my favorite so far. It is a good size (not too big, not too small). I actually found the pockets (particularly on the outside) to be functional for my use. Bonus: I got a great deal on it at a Vera Bradley outlet!