Sunday, October 09, 2011

An Overdue Update!

Well, hello, blog world!  It has been a long, long time since I have seen you!  I officially started my part time job as youth leader at our church at the beginning of September (although I actually started before that) and life has just been a little crazy.

We flew back to the Midwest for a family reunion over Labor Day weekend and were there for a week total!  It was a great time to relax and connect with friends and family.  I surprised Jesh with a quick birthday party at Ritter's Frozen Custard place! 

 Here's a pic from the reunion of all the little girl cousins!

Abby, Shayla, Aubrey, Cambria, Sophie & Ellie
Here's the crew from the birthday surprise!

 When we got back from the Midwest, the youth group had a big Back-to-School Bash which was quite a success!  For my first three Sunday nights we talked about Integrity using the life of Daniel as an example!  We're using the LIVE Curriculum and are really enjoying it!

Jesh's parents came up for a long weekend to visit Abby....and us!  ; )  We visited Mt St Helens, we girls went to IKEA with a church friend, we all went to the Compline service at St. Marks and generally hung out together!

Then our church decided to send us to the National Youth Workers Convention in San Diego!  It was wonderful!  We heard great speakers and bands, went to seminars, gained new ideas and fresh excitement and spirit, talked to a revered professor of mine and a church/college friend, went to the zoo, and discovered Pink Berry Frozen Yogurt!

Now for Abby updates!  She is almost 11 months old now!  She is working on tooth number 8 and trying to walk.  My favorite game with her is a form of hide-and-seek in which I crawl in circles around the chair in our living room and she chases after me or stops, turns and chases me!  : )  Abby has been babbling with "mama" and "dada" for some time now and occasionally uses those syllables to identify us as well.  She regularly waves at the 8x10 picture we have of my family!  Saturday she pointed and waved and said "Da da!"

My favorite moment from the weekend:  This morning, she had been babbling "da da da" and then looked at Jesh who was getting ready for the day and pointed at him and earnestly said "DA!"  This got his attention, of course, but apparently not the completely desired reaction.  She crawled over to him and reached for him.  He held her for a moment and then, finally having gotten his complete attention and a hug, she happily went back to Mama.

Jesh is back in school and the church music season is back in full swing now!  He has some type of choir retreat every weekend from this one through the beginning of November!

That pretty much sums up our crazy lives for the moment!  God is faithful no matter how crazy and busy it gets!

Let me close with 2 pics I took today!  Grandma Cindy Zook and Aunt Katie gave Abby this dress last Christmas thinking it would be this year's Christmas dress but she is getting too tall for it to fit in December!  So she wore it today!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The Mystery of the Unknown Christmas Card Senders...dun, dun, dun...

So at Christmas time, we opened the stack of cards from family and friends and came to this one....
A nice picture, right?  Perfect smiles, lovely snow and trees in the background....wait, Karl & Cindy, who?

~Uh..., I look on the envelope, the de Jongs or is that the de Longs?

~Do you know who they are?
~No, do you?
~No.  Are they from church?
~No, I don't think I recognize them.
~They're not family friends of yours...?
~Nope.  The address is Seattle.
~Huh, maybe one of them works in my school district.

And so, I put the picture in my stack of things to do and every once in awhile I looked at it and tried to rack my brain for who these people were that sent us a Christmas card.

Tonight I was determined to solve the mystery.  I put her name into Google, trying de Jong, dejong, delong, de Long.  Nothing.  I tried his name.  I tried their names together.  I tried adding the city.  I tried looking them up in my school district contact list in my school e-mail. Then I realized that I had put his name in as Kurt instead of Karl.  Bingo!  "Vote Karl de Jong for King County Democrats!"  I looked up his picture.  Yep, mystery solved.  A politician.  A politician sent us a Christmas card.  Well, it didn't really do him any good sending me well wishes for the holiday.  I didn't have any warm, Christmasy feelings towards him because I didn't know who he was!  He just caused me a lot of headache just trying to figure it out!

So, anyway, vote for Karl de Jong and have a Merry Christmas!

Friday, July 29, 2011

July in Pictures!

It's been awhile since I've had any time to write and I feel that a lot has happened!  
Therefore a walk through July 
with pictures and captions seems like a good idea.

 4th of July picnic with our nieces

 Abby is learning to eat and food is everywhere!!!

  Cherith and Abby

 Girls' day on the town!

The second week that our nieces were with us, we all volunteered at VBS at our church.
The theme was "Shake It Up Cafe."

Jeshua led music (& choreography)!

 The girls and I helped out with one of the preschool classes.
Boy, were we all tired!!

 On July 18th and 19th we drove the girls back to CA!  What a long trip that was!
This is Abby at Grandma and Grandpa's house with a cool toy and Grandpa's hat. 
The 20th was my mother-in-law's birthday so all the brothers and their families got together!

Grandma and Liz
Then we went up to the mountains for the weekend to be at Camp Peaceful Pines.
My mother-in-law was the cook and most of the family went up to help
and be together for the weekend!

 Abby enjoying watermelon!

Trying out Andrew's pack

 Jesh and I at Darnell's lookout point

Watching Daddy play volleyball

 Abby making friends

 Abby loves water!

 Baby Senior Pictures!


Up at Sunrise Rock

 Back down at the in-laws' house.  Look Daddy, I can pull myself up!

We were originally going to drive home over 2 days, Thursday and Friday, 
but anxious to be home with just the 3 of us we did the drive all night Tuesday! 
We stopped in Portland for breakfast with my Grandma and Aunt!

Well, now we're home!  Thanks for taking this tour of July with me!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
 I stole this idea from inanorchard's blog who got it from soule mama!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

My Not So Awesome Morning

Before I can tell you about my not so awesome morning I have to give you a bit of background information.  This summer we invited 2 of my husband's nieces, aged 12 and 14, to stay with us for a couple of weeks.  His parents drove them up in their Escape this past weekend.  The girls will be staying with us until the 18th when we'll drive them back down to CA and visit there for a week.  Because neither our Taurus and Honda are very big, we swapped cars with my in-laws.  Now we have the Escape, which we decided to name Nemo Esteban Franklin or NEF!  : )
Now on to my not so awesome morning.  Every Tuesday a group of new moms and babies walk around Green Lake in the city 45 minutes away.  This morning my husband Jeshua left for a church staff meeting and the rest of us packed up and headed out in NEF for our walk.  A few minutes down the road I got a text saying the mom I was meeting couldn't make it. I was extremely disappointed as I haven't seen my friend for 3 weeks.  We changed course and stopped at Walmart and then headed to Rodondo Beach instead.  It was clear and warm and we had a lovely view of Puget Sound and a nice walk up and down the boardwalk.  Then we got back in the car and I started it...oh, wait, no it's not starting.  It's sputtering.  I tried again.  More sputtering and oh, no!  Smoke!  I tried calling my husband but he didn't pick up since he was in the staff meeting.  Then I tried the church office.  Nope.  Finally I called our pastor who did answer and handed the phone to Jesh.  He drove down to Rodondo and checked out NEF which at this point was no longer smoking but definitely not starting.  After consulting his parents and trying a few things he called AAA and ordered a tow truck.  During this time, Abby has been a bit fussy, especially when I put sunscreen lotion on her.  Picture a 7 month old yelling.  While waiting for the tow truck, the girls and I head to Jack-in-the-Box to pick up some food since our original lunch plans have been foiled by NEF's sudden break-down.  At this point, I discover that the $40 plus cash that was in my pocket is now gone.  Oh, and Abby is screaming again in the backseat.  We got the food and met Jesh at the car place.  Abby calmed down on the way home but required me to play peek-a-boo pretty much for 10 minutes straight on the way home.  When we finally got home, I had a small tearful moment over the loss of the money, the thwarted friend meeting, and the car situation.   Jesh hugged me and told me all would be okay.
Then I found the money sitting on my dresser....
So, God has been faithful to me today.  I didn't actually lose the money and we got stranded 15 minutes from home instead of 45.  And hey, I got a good post out of it!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Ham and .... Pears?

For the first  6 months of my daughter's life we followed the general pediatricians' recommendations and she was breastfed!  During those last few weeks before her half-year birthday, she was sitting with support at the table with us, grabbing for our food and generally being interested in eating solid foods.  When that day came we got out the rice cereal and embarked!  What did Abby think?  Not so much.  She was not interested.  She soon figured out our little airplane tricks and would hold her little mouth firmly closed and move her head.  Banana was no better.  Avocado might be ok, but not really.  She seemed to like the flavor of carrots and pear sauce but was still not really eating.  This went on for several weeks.  We talked to our doctor who said we could let her experiment a little more.  So, we gave her a little piece of chicken.  She apparently thought that was better!  She gummed it for awhile and willingly took another piece.  Then we tried actual rice kernels.  That seemed to be good too!  THEN....we tried ham!  Ta-da! We found the magic food!  Abby LOVES ham!!  She gummed it and made little happy noises.  My husband could not keep up fast enough.  If he was taking too long in getting her another piece she would bang her hands and fuss!  So funny!  And so much for the traditional schedule of vegetable and fruit purees.  For the last 2 weeks now ham has been her favorite food, although she will eat rice, bread, chicken, and pear sauce.  Today we bought some Gerber pear yogurt blend.  She was quite the fan!  It even upstaged a piece of ham!  She ate most of the small container over 2 feedings today.  Tonight she was not interested in the noodles or the cantaloupe I offered her but when I brought out the yogurt, she happily ate it consistently enough that I had to wait to eat my meal till she was done!  Ha!  Ham and pears, who would have guessed!  I'm just glad that she is finally eating solid food and enjoying it!  By the way, why doesn't Yoplait have a pear yogurt?  It's pretty good!

Friday, July 01, 2011

In the beginning...

I have been thinking about starting a blog for awhile now.  I enjoy writing but sometimes when I start writing I find it hard to stop and then I procrastinate about writing a second time because the first took so long!  Argh!  Also, I am a perfectionist, which adds to the length of time it takes me to finish a writing project. : ) 
However, I've decided to battle these weaknesses and try my hand at blogging.  What pushed me over the edge, you ask?  Well, my sister is going to Spain for a month and then to the Dominican for a semester.  She started a blog and I thought if I started one too maybe it would be a good way for us to stay up to date in each others' lives.  I also have a friend who lives in Haiti who has a blog and I figure if I am logging on to read hers I can spend a little time writing too!

I am not sure that this blog will have a specific theme; I'm hoping maybe one will evolve.  For now, there will be a little bit of everything: my experiences as a new mom, recipes I've tried, music I like, etc.  You might even expect my blog title to change...I guess we'll see!