Tuesday, June 27, 2006

11 Months Old

It's hard to believe that Josiah turned 11 months old yesterday. One more month until he turns 1. Where has the time gone? Josiah is turning into such a little character. He can take up to ten steps at a time now. He is determined to get this walking thing down and on his own. He has started waving hi. A couple of days ago we were outside and Kerry had the video camera on. Kerry said, "Wave to Daddy," and he did! It was so cute. He talks constantly although most of the words we do not know. But it's a good start. He is very strong willed. If you tell him to say a specific word he looks at you with a look of I don't think so. And they are words he knows how to say. He still does not like to be fed. He has to do it on his own. He's hasn't mastered the sippy cup yet and he thinks a bottle is a fun toy. He loves books and can be found reading his books on his own. He loves water -- bath time, swimming, playing in Bailey's water bowl. If anyone goes outside, he cries because he wants to be outside too. He gives me the greatest hugs. He has started taking better naps (yeah!). Nightime is a completely different story, but I wouldn't trade my snuggle time with him for extra sleep. This time goes by way too fast. I really enjoy this age. This is when vocabulary comes alive and understanding and discovery starts to take place. Caleb and Josiah have started playing together. It's so much fun to watch. I guess I need to start thinking about his first birthday. It will be here fast!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Girls Have Cooties!

We've had a pretty good weekend not including the mice incident. Saturday night we went to church. Caleb was so excited to promote to second grade in Bible Study. I know he felt really cool being a big second grader. Saturday nights at church are a real treat now that the grill is open after church. It's a nice way to end a Saturday, eating hamburgers while Caleb plays.

Sunday, we had beach baptisms. Caleb had a blast playing in the sand and water. He made a friend while he was there and played for about an hour with his new friend. I wasn't too sure how Josiah would do at the beach. I envisioned him crawling straight toward the water over and over again. However, he sat calmly on the sand playing with sand toys, frisbees, etc and did not eat the sand. He ate goldfish instead. And when he got tired, he snuggled up, nursed and fell asleep without a fuss. It can't get any better than that for me at the beach with two boys. When we got home, we had 40 minutes to get ready and be out the door again so I could teach the babies that evening at church. It was a fun, but busy day.

Today is the reason I named this entry, "Girls have cooties!" The small group of minister's wives that I am in got together for an outing at the lake. We rented a couple of boats and took them out on the lake. Several of us brought our little ones along. Caleb wondered why the boat went so slow and Josiah thought it was great being out on the water. Josiah didn't even complain about the life jacket he had to wear. Mrs. Lisa let Caleb drive the boat which he thought was way cool. He took the job very seriously. When we arrived back at the dock, one of the little girls wanted to walk next to Caleb. Caleb tried to keep his distance, but I assured him it was okay if she wanted to walk next to him. Then she wanted to hold his hand. She asked very politely, and Caleb politely told her, "No, thank you." Being that she is only 3, I told Caleb it would be okay if he held her hand. He looked at me and explained that he nicely said, "No, thank you." I had heard him and he was nice about it, just knew that he was not holding her hand. I guess I should be thankful that he's not interested in girls right now. He says he's not going to get married ever and that he will live with me forever. I don't know what I'll do when he realizes that girls don't have cooties.

The best thing that has happened so far today is that Josiah fell asleep while we were on the boat. He then slept the entire way home. He even stayed asleep when I carried him in the house and layed him down in his crib. The past two days must have caught with him. He's still sleeping!

Friday, June 23, 2006

MAKE THAT TWO DEAD MICE

So an hour later, Kerry looks out the window and notices another mouse attempting to enter our yard. He must have been looking for his friend. Mouse #2 was taken care of by my husband as well. Thank you Kerry!

ONE DEAD MOUSE!

It all started when we moved to California this past September. We had heard that rats/mice were plentiful out here, but I never saw any and had a hard time believing that that could be true. Our first encounter happened when we had to spend several hundred dollars repairing Kerry's brand new car to fix wires that the rats had chewed through. We assumed it must have occurred at church sometime and did not give it much thought since my car had not experienced the same destruction.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when we noticed mouse pellets around our backyard. No big deal at first except it continued to get worse. Then one night, Kerry discovered some mice eating Bailey's dog food. Ugh!!! It occurred another time before we took Bailey's food up after dark. It's just hard to keep dog food in the house because Josiah thinks it's a special treat. Kerry purchased some poison and placed it high enough that Bailey or the boys could not get ahold of it. Yes, if a rat or mouse chooses to invade my territory, he or she will likely be terminated. The mice appeared to really enjoy the present we left them. We thought they might have been enjoying our overgrown flowerbeds and vines. Those were all taken care of this afternoon when our landscaper removed their habitat. But it only gets worse.

Tonight is such a lovely night outside that the entire family was playing in the backyard. Josiah and Caleb were having a blast and Kerry and I were sitting there watching them play. All of a sudden, I spot a mouse scurrying across the bottom of the fence. I did not scream too loud, but quickly ran in the house leaving all of the boys outside. Caleb hands me Josiah and I take him upstairs for his second bath of the night. After I get Josiah out of the bath, Kerry hollers up the stairs saying that Caleb wants me to look outside the upstairs window. I was not expecting to see what I saw. There was my six year old holding a dead mouse by the tail! Daddy graciously ended the mouse's life so that I could sleep in peace tonight. Caleb thought it was pretty cool. I will not go into the details that Caleb gave me or post the lovely pictures that they took. I'll save it for Caleb's scrapbook. I think it's time to call the exterminator ASAP.

Swimming Fun!


Caleb and Josiah


Josiah is not too sure he wants to get back in the cool water


Caleb loves swimming


Josiah standing up (Mommy is very close to me)

I really enjoy having community pools instead of one in our backyard. Honestly, I woouldn't want to be in charge of cleaning it or spend the money to have someone else clean it. One of the pools is close enough we could walk to it if we really wanted to. Caleb remembers how to swim from last year. I might put him in swimming lessons next year to improve on his skills. I took the boys out to the pool today and Josiah had a blast this time around. It helped that he had just had a nap and been fed. I think Caleb would go to the pool everyday if I would take him. If I only had his energy!

Monday, June 19, 2006

What Makes My Dad Special?

I'm a day late, but I still wanted to wish my Dad a Happy Father's Day over the blog. Here is why he is so special to me.

1. I was born on his birthday, July 16th.
2. He was very patient as I was growing up.
3. He made time for my sister and I when we were young.
4. He modeled what I wanted in a future mate: patience, kindness, taking out the trash without being reminded, a believer in Christ, a hard worker.
5. He drove to Waco at 10:00 at night when I was in college and I called home in tears saying I needed him to come.
6. He was with me when I prayed to receive Christ.
7. He would take me golfing.
8. He never complains about all the girl stuff, especially when the bathroom had make up all over the counters.
9. He loves his 3 grandsons and spending time with them.
10. He loves my Mom.
11. He set boundaries while we were growing up.
12. He showed how to care for an aging parent (with help from Mom).
13. He loves me.
14. He does his best at everything he sets out to do.
15. He introduced me to my husband, Kerry.
16. He's the best Dad a girl could ask for.

I love you Dad!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day!

Dear Daddy,

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!

Love,
Stephanie, Caleb, and Josiah

The Age Difference

Tonight I just noticed something. When people meet my two boys, they often comment on the age gap. I have never really thought much about it since in Texas everyone seemed to know the story. Since moving to California, people have no idea what our life looked like in the years between having Caleb and Josiah. So, I thought I'd take a moment to share how God truly worked in our lives and took care of my desires.

Before Caleb was born, I thought we'd have between 2-4 kids and have a wonderful life as a family. I gave no thought to age spacing at the time. Things changed several months after Caleb was born. I was asked to take care of Pappy on a daily basis. Pappy, my grandfather, had dementia and osteoporosis. It filled my heart with joy to be able to take care of Pappy. When Caleb was a year old, I started thinking how wonderful it would be to have another baby but knew that I was in no way ready for Caleb to not be the baby. God answered my prayers in another way. Our neighbors asked me to take care of their brand new baby Ethan two days a week. Perfect! I got my baby fix and got to send him home at the end of the day. After that year, I would have taken him as my own if it were ever needed and still would in a heart beat. Now I was taking care of Caleb, Pappy, and Ethan. You would think I was content with all of that, but the boys were both getting past the small baby phase. Then along came Kylie, Ethan's sister. We bonded right away, and she was definitely pampered by myself and the boys. By this time, Pappy was needing a little more attention, and Kerry and I realized that we would not think of adding to our family until Pappy went to Heaven. Plus, Caleb was such a joy, we had a hard time imagining loving another one just as much.

So now I had Pappy (95), Caleb (4), Ethan (3), and Kylie (2). And guess what happened next? My sister got pregnant and needed to finish up the school year teaching and wanted me to take care of their baby Brock. I knew I could not handle everything along with homeschooling Caleb, but I also did not have a peace from God to tell any of them no. So, I waited. Definitely not an easy thing to do. RyAnn was not going to need me until January of 2005. I endured several months of praying and getting the answer to trust God and wait. Brock (my nephew) arrived on Thursday, November 11, 2004. Pappy passed away on Monday, November 15, 2004. My prayers were answered. I loved Pappy as a grandfather and as a son. It was hard, but I knew he was in a much better place. And now I would be able to care for Ethan, Kylie, and Brock. Then something really amazing happened. We found out we were expecting out second baby on Friday, November19, 2004. It was so amazing how God worked everything all out. We knew if our baby turned out to be a boy, his middle name would be Preston, after Pappy. I got to enjoy the beginning months of watching my nephew Brock grow. And I got to love on Ethan and Kylie just a little more.

Now God has us in California. I know it will be a journey, an exciting one to say the least. Only God knows what he has in store for us. I have to admit, I am a little curious, but will do my best to remain patient. So, that expains the age spacing of our two, but I would claim 6, children.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Nana's Visit

The boys and I just put my Mom on a plane headed back to Texas. We've had a great visit while she was here. Last Friday, Nana flew in to town so that I could accompany Kerry to the WOW Awards at church. She even brought Kerry's tux that was sitting in a box at her house. I ccouldn't believe it still fit. On a whim, we went shopping before the awards to see if we could find me something new. I was amazed that I found a dress and shoes for under $35 that looked decent. I will post pictures when I get them back. It's a rare occassion when Kerry and I dress up that fancy. The boys did well with Nana. I wasn't too sure how Josiah would do, but she said he only cried to get out of the high chair.

While Nana was in town, we went to San Diego to the zoo and to an amusement park (forgot the name) near the beach. I think Caleb's favorite part was riding rides at the amusement park. He was not afraid of anything and he didn't have to wait in any lines, a boy's paradise. Nana and I took turns riding with Caleb and holding Josiah. Caleb commented yesterday that maybe Nana could be his Mom. I'm glad to know that if anything ever happened to Kerry and I that he would be in capable hands.

Now it's back to normal. Next week is very relaxed. We have nothing really scheduled which should be a very nice change. Caleb and I are going to look at the calendar and try to plan one outing a day -- the park, swimming, driving range, library, etc. We're looking forward it.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I Have a Second Grader!

We finished up first grade today. I officially have a second grader which I can't believe. Caleb was so excited to now say that he was in second grade. We ended our first grade year with a trip to Chuck E. Cheese and then to pick up a video from the video store. Tonight, Caleb asked Daddy if he knew what we were doing tomorrow. He then went on to share that we had absolutely nothing that we had to do. It's definitely a great feeling.

This summer marks the first summer since Caleb was born that we have not had something going on. This is only our second summer without Pappy to care for. Last summer we were busy preparing for Josiah's arrival and our big move out to California. We were also trying to squeeze in a little school last summer because of all the changes. Caleb and I haven't quite decided what we will do, but we plan to enjoy a real summer. Caleb informed me that I could lay on the couch and sleep all day long if I wanted to. I told him we will get to enjoy trips to the beach, park, pool, bike riding, and just being lazy for a few days here and there. I may even get to scrapbook some (I'm way behind). I'm sure it will feel a little odd not having so much to do, but I don't think I will have any problems adjusting to the change.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

A Calm Week

This past week has been so uneventful that I didn't have much to write about. Baseball is over for the season, so there are no updates to be given. Caleb will finish up his last week of first grade this week. He is so excited! I didn't think that he would get the end of the year excitement being homeschooled, but it's there as much as if he were in a school setting. He is ready and proud to be called a second grader. I don't know if I'm ready to have a second grader though. I guess I better get ready.

Josiah has become our paper machine. Several times a day I end up finding some sort of paper in his mouth. It's easy to find since his big brother loves art work. He is so close to becoming an official walker which means I better start looking for him some shoes. He can take up to 4 or 5 steps without falling down. He never gets discouraged and tries and tries over and over again.

Friday night we had small group. Josiah crawled up the stairs (one of his favorite things to do) and played with Caleb and two older girls for almost an hour. For those of you who don't know Josiah well, that is a record. Saturday, I got to clean the entire house. Even though I was exhausted by the end of the day, it felt so nice to have the house all clean on one day.

Tonight found us at church. I served for the first time in the children't ministry here at church. It was wonderful to get back to one of my passions in life, working with infants. What made it even better was that Josiah was in my class. He did great by the way. I am looking forward to serving and getting to know all the precious little ones in my class as well as their parents. I even met some Baylor grads tonight. As an added bonus, Caleb seemed to have the most fun he's had in Bible Study tonight. That's good to know since this now will be our regular church time.