Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Pictures at the Beach


Josiah putting his feet in the sand


Bailey running on the sand


Bailey and Caleb playing


Josiah trying to figure out if he likes the feel of sand


Caleb, Bailey, and Daddy (who took most of the pictures)

Kerry got me the pictures from our outing to the beach today. Just looking at them makes me want to get in the car and go back again tomorrow. It's such an easy place to relax. From the pictures, you will see that I am in jeans and a fleece pullover. It was a cool day. Caleb, on the other hand was in shorts and a white t-shirt. According to Caleb, the water was very cold, but he still ran through the waves. I'm sure he would say it was well worth it.

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Dog Beach

I have to admit that this is one of those days that I enjoy living in California. After a busy weekend at church, Kerry takes Mondays off to unwind and spend time with family. This morning started out normal -- breakfast and then school. While eating lunch, Kerry mentioned that he was going to take Bailey, our golden retriever, out for a walk. Caleb, of course, wanted to go. I mentioned that if they wanted to try a dog park that Josiah and I would come along as well. After looking at several places online, we decided to try out a dog beach in Huntington Beach.

We loaded up Bailey and the boys and headed to the beach. It was great! Well behaved dogs are allowed to run around off leash. Since this was Bailey first experience at the beach, we kept his leash on him for most of the time. Occassionally, Kerry would take the leash off and let Bailey run around. Bailey loved it. He loved the water, meeting other dogs, and most of all chasing the seagulls. I knew he was a retriever but didn't realize how much it was in his blood until a bird caught his eye. He was off chasing this bird and tuned Kerry's voice completely out. I was afraid he was going to end up with the waves crashing down over him. But they didn't. Caleb had a blast as well and now I know to always bring a change of clothes for Caleb when we go to the beach. He always ends up getting wet, even though it was long sleeve weather. Josiah even seemed to enjoy it, he was being carried the entire time. I put Josiah's feet in the sand and he seemed to enjoy the feel of it between his toes. I think I could do this every week.

Over these past couple of days, I have started exploring the world of ebay and actually tried to bid on an outfit for Josiah. I love smocked clothing for baby boys and found this precious outfit online. Unfortunately, I did not win. However, I am determined to get the hang of it. Hopefully, I will get the hang of it in time to get an Easter outfit for Josiah. Caleb is in to picking out his own clothes, so this probably would not work for him unless he saw the pictures.

Caleb once again amazed me today by eating half of a hamburger. I have no idea what has come over him except that he must be developing some new taste buds. I will post some pictures of our day at the beach as soon as Kerry gets them to me.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Steak Fingers

For those of you who know Caleb well, you know that he is a very picky eater. I will also admit that he got that from me, his Mommy. Yesterday, he added one more food to his small list of things he eats, steak fingers. I randomly bought some at the store last night since we needed a quick cooking dinner. Caleb assumed they were chicken and we just didn't correct him on the matter. Had he asked, we would have told him they were not chicken. We also made sure not to call them chicken. Halfway through eating, Kerry had Caleb get out the box they came in and read what it said. He read that they were steak fingers and was fine with it. And it was not a fluke, he ate them again tonight after church!

Josiah turned six months on the twenty-sixth. He sat on his own today while I walked away for about a minute and did not fall over. He's still not completely stable, but he's getting there. He's growing up so fast!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

M&Ms, a Wonderful Incentive

Josiah is slowly but surely starting to feel better. His fever is still down and it is 8:00p.m. California time. He still has a pretty bad cough, but he is drooling constantly. His little personality is coming back too. His attempts at da-da are very clear now. I know Kerry is enjoying it.

Caleb has started working extremely hard at school this week. After a tough Monday, I really tried to think what would help a 5 year old do better work. And what did I find? I found that M&Ms are the best incentives at this time. Never has he had a more positive attitude or better work. One of these days I will try and post a sample of his cursive handwriting. It looks almost as good as mine, and he's only 5. A small bag of M&Ms will last for at least three days or longer. Little does he know, I am finding out what he is truly capable of and it's more than I even thought!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Updates

Brock is beginning to feel better. He still isn't back to normal, but he's getting there. He has started drinking more and eating some which is a very good thing.

Josiah started not feeling well a couple of days ago. At first it was just a cough mixed in with a lot of drool. I attributed it to the possibility of teething even though I'm not ready for him to have teeth yet. Yesterday, he would wake up every time I laid him down. Then, he started to get warm. When I checked his temperature it was 100.6 under the arm. He did not have a horrible night, but it wasn't great either. I plan to monitor him today and if his fever doesn't go away, I'll call the doctor tomorrow. I still think it's related to teething though.

On a happier note, Josiah is very close to saying da-da. Caleb said ma-ma first, so this is a little different for me. Caleb has chosen a new hairstyle these days. I will try and get a picture of it this week. He says he's letting his hair grow out like a rock star. It's just hair, so I told him to let me know when he was ready for a haircut. It will be interesting to see how long he goes before he's ready to cut it. That's all the news I have for now.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Our Nephew, Brock



I wanted to take a moment and ask for prayers for my nephew, Brock. My sister took him to the doctor today at 4:oop.m., and he was diagnosed with pneumonia and a double ear infection. He had already been to the doctor earlier this week and diagnosed with a severe ear infection. The doctor at that time told my sister to watch his breathing because it concerned him. Brock has been on breathing treatments for some time now and has had multiple ear infections. His fever is pretty high right now as well. He has to go back to the doctor on Sunday and again on Thursday. The doctor today said that if he had not come in today, he would have been in the hospital by Sunday. Please pray that he will get well quickly and that God would give his parents and helping family members the strength to care for him when they're tired. He is scheduled for a visit to an ENT doctor in February. I will keep you posted on his progress.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Gone Camping!




Kerry took Caleb camping last Friday for the very first time. Caleb had a blast! They only stayed one night, but Caleb thought it was the greatest! They went hiking, slept in their new tent, and enjoyed a campfire complete with smores. Caleb thinks Josiah and I would enjoy it too. I'm not quite sure. I have promised Kerry and Caleb that when the weather gets warmer, Josiah and I will try it at least once. It gets pretty cool here at night and even cooler on the mountain where they camped. They took a few pictures while camping and I will include a few.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

My Favorite Month

Several years ago, I realized that my favorite month of the year is January. It is like the calm after the storm. The Christmas season is always so busy. This year Kerry had 13 Christmas services to attend. A few years ago, I remember Kerry and I attending about 5 parties in one night. Traveling has never bothered me around the holidays. In fact I rather enjoy it. But when January comes, it's like breathing fresh air. Sure we are still busy, but there is more time for family. Sports haven't started back up as well as other things. So, I will savor this month of family time and calm before life gets extremely busy again.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Back to Normal

We have spent this week getting back into the routine of things. Homeschooling Caleb started back this week. Caleb spent the first two days getting used to the idea of school again. The last three days have gone extremely well. We have started a new incentive plan with Caleb during school. If he receives 30 stickers on his chart (one possible per day) then he gets to go to Chuck E. Cheese. I wish I had thought of it sooner. I was wanting him to enjoy learning just for the gratification of learning. But he's five and doing first grade work, so a little encouragement won't hurt. He is so excited about it, and I can tell he's working hard.

Josiah has been rolling everywhere this week. He got stuck under the swing one day and hit his head. He has also rolled onto the tile and gotten his legs stuck under the couch, chairs, and ottoman. He has also been seen on his hands and knees a few times this week. He'll be climbing the stairs before we know it. Aside from achievements, Josiah has been a little mellow/fussy this week. It's hard to tell if he's teething or having to get used to not being held all the time like he got used to while visiting in Texas. He does fine when we're running errands and he's being carried in the sling.

The Christmas decorations are finally down. I have spent some time going through old toys to make room for new toys. Caleb thinks we should keep everything for Josiah. I'm slowly but surely getting the house back in order.

Kerry has taken Caleb camping for the first time. They left right after lunch. I'm not sure which one was more excited. For this first trip, they are only staying one night. I told Kerry Josiah and I would go if he planned everything (food, etc.). I think he's waiting to take us in the spring when the weather is a little warmer at night. With the two big boys camping, Josiah and I plan to enjoy some time relaxing on the couch.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

A Visit to the Farm


Josiah and Abigail (we need Abigail in California
since Josiah loves her)

Abigail taking Josiah for a ride

Caleb is so proud to be riding!

Caleb and Elizabeth hanging out

Caleb with Joshua (Did I mention Caleb loves
four wheelers?)

Caleb, Joshua, Elizabeth, Abigail,
Morgan, and Josiah

I finally got the pictures of our day at the farm. Like I mentioned in a previous post, Caleb had a blast. He took to country life so well that Kerry and I started dreaming of owning land so that we could enjoy the peaceful surroundings of trees and less houses. It's a dream at this point in our lives. Maybe one of these days we can build our dream house on about 30 acres and let the grandkids come play. For now, we will be thankful that we have family that is willing to share a day with us at their farm every once in awhile.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Home Sweet Home


Aunt RyAnn and Josiah at the aiport

Josiah and Nana at the airport

Brock at the airport (he's walking everywhere)

RyAnn, Br0ck, Grandaddy, Josiah, Nana, Caleb, and
Me (Stephanie) (Kerry took the picture)

We made it back to California last night safe and sound. My parents, sister, and Brock took us to the airport. Flying on an airplane doesn't make Texas seem as far away as it could be. The boys did great on the airplane. They slept pretty much the entire way. This was Josiah's 5th flight in five months. Since they slept almost 3 hours, they were both ready to play when we got home. Caleb was super excited to see Bailey, our big golden retriever, and Josiah was ready to roll all over the floor. I tried to unpack a little but found I was just too tired.

Today has been spent buying groceries, unpacking, and attempting to take down Christmas decorations. My ideal plan would be to have everything done by tomorrow night, but I know that won't happen. I will settle to have it completed by the end of the week, complete with going through old toys and finding homes for the new toys. I know some people do not like traveling during the holidays, but I found it very relaxing. I didn't even get stressed when we came back with two more suitcases than we left with.

I have to include a story of Caleb from today. Tonight after reading books and saying prayers, he layed down pretty fast to go to sleep. Normally, he likes to talk for awhile. While laying there with him, Josiah began to fuss, and I went to get him. When I got back, Caleb rolled towards me with his eyes closed and said, "Mom, can I ask you something?" I said, "Sure, what is it?" His voice sounded completely normal and I thought he was still awake. Then he says, "Mom, settle down." And that was it. He never opened his eyes or said another word. I kept waiting to see a smile come across his face or for his eyes to open. I assume he was talking in his sleep. I know he will find it humorous when I tell him about it in the morning.

I'm waiting on the pictures of Caleb and Josiah riding horses and will post those when I get them. For now, I will post a few others from our trip.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Relaxing Days

I thought I would never get the previous post finished! On the first try, I was holding Josiah when Caleb wanted to be held as well (bedtime). On the second attempt, I was holding Josiah when Caleb woke up and was ready for breakfast. The third attempt frustration took over when I couldn't seem to upload pictures. I gave up on the fourth try and published without pictures. This morning I added pictures one by one. Not fun!

Yesterday was a pleasant day. We didn't have much scheduled. Caleb, Josiah, and I ran shopping and went to the park to run off some steam. Brock came over for a little while to play and then we met up with some friends. Caleb was so excited to see Ethan and Kylie again. They were all sad when we had to leave. These are the two I took care of for 4 years. They are growing up too fast!

Today is another relaxing day. Kerry and Caleb are still sleeping. Later today, RyAnn is taking me to a new store she says I will love. I plan to post more pictures later. There are some really good ones of Caleb and Josiah riding horses.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Holiday Happenings!







It's been awhile since I have had a chance to blog, but I finally have time to write for a few minutes. I will try to get caught up here. It has taken me about 5 different tries to finish this entry. For some reason I can't seem to upload pictures right now. I will add them when we get back to California.

Sunday, December 25th -- Kerry, Caleb, Josiah and I flew back to Texas. While on the airplane, I was able to catch up with one of my roommates from college, Amy, and meet her husband Paul. My parents, RyAnn, Nate, and Brock were there to meet us. It was so much fun seeing Caleb's face as he saw everyone. Brock was so excited to see Caleb. According to Brock, Caleb's name for the moment is, "KayKay" (That's how it sounds. Not sure how to spell it).

Monday, December 26th -- Monday morning, we celebrated Christmas with my parents, RyAnn, Nate, and Brock. I have to admit to having fun spending the night before we celebrated Christmas with my parents. I almost felt like a little girl again, going to bed with the realization that they would be preparing Christmas after we headed upstairs. After lunch, RyAnn, my Mom, Josiah and I shopped a little.

Tuesday, December 27th -- This was family picture day. We went to Shelton's and our entire family was in the picture. I was pleased with how smoothly it all went, even with two sleepy little ones. We never did get Josiah to smile his big smile, but he wasn't crying. After pictures, my Mom, Dad, Kerry, Caleb, Josiah, and I went bowling. There is a smoke free bowling alley nearby which is great. Caleb loved bowling for 2 hours straight. Then we enjoyed some Texas barbecue.

Wednesday, December 28th -- We enjoyed a relaxed morning of sleeping late. Nana and Caleb went to Six Flags while Kerry, Josiah and I ran a few errands. Caleb's favorite ride at Six Flags was the Shock Wave. What a brave Nana Caleb has to ride the Shock Wave with him.

Thursday, December 29th -- If Six Flags wasn't enough, Grandaddy took Caleb to the Fort Worth Zoo. Once again, Caleb had a great time! I know he enjoyed the one on one time with Nana and Grandaddy. We were able to see the proofs of our family pictures. It took us a long time to decide on which pictures to order since they all turned out so well. I was amazed at how well they turned out when we had 9 people in the picture, three being children.
We left for Granny's house in East Texas after dinner. Caleb was so exited to see Granny and Josiah seemed pleased to be fussed over as well.

Friday, December 30th -- We celebrated Christmas with Granny on Friday morning. Then we went out for lunch at one of my favorite restaurants in Longview and did a little shopping. Also, Josiah rolled over from his back to his stomach on this day. Kerry saw him roll over once sometime in December at our house, but I did not see it and it didn't happen again until now. Now he rolls all over the floor. He will no longer stay in one spot on a quilt. He is quickly off of it.

Saturday, December 31st -- On Saturday, we went to see Uncle Brian, Aunt Kim, Joshua, Abigail, Morgan, and Elizabeth at their farm. Caleb had a blast! Caleb and Josiah got to ride horses for the first time. I think Caleb would have ridden for hours. Joshua drove Caleb around on the four-wheeler. Caleb didn't want to stop. He was constantly on the go the entire day. I think he was asleep as soon as he sat down in the car. We arrived back at my parents close to 10:00pm and relaxed.

Sunday, January 1st -- We went back to our old church on Sunday. Everyone was excited to see Kerry and wanted to know how we were enjoying California. After our busy week, Caleb was pretty shy on Sunday. We all enjoyed taking Sunday afternoon naps. It rarely happens that both boys are asleep at the same time during the day.

Monday, January 2nd -- Monday was nice and slow paced. Josiah and I went over to RyAnn's house for the morning through lunch. Caleb and Kerry went to the airport to get a few things done. That evening, we left Josiah for the first time. Caleb and Josiah stayed with Nana and Grandaddy along with Brock. Kerry and I went to dinner at Texana, another of my favorites, and did a little window shopping. When we got back, we found that the boys had done well, but that Josiah refused the bottle. I had been pumping all week for the occassion, but Josiah wanted nothing to do with it. Fortunately, I had nursed Josiah several times close together during the day and right before we left, so he wasn't that hungry. But as soon as I came in he was ready to nurse.

Josiah is really starting to stare at food this past week. He has grabbed my cup several times. At six months we will start him on rice cereal and gradually introduce foods. We did give him a sippy cup the other day with water in it for him to explore. He managed a few sips and had this shocked look on his face of what he had just tasted. He preferred just chewing on it.

We still have a few more people to see before we leave on Friday. I know Kerry is ready to get back to California, but I've really enjoyed our visit. It's been nice and relaxing. Did I mention that we're getting spoiled as well?