Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Celebrations

This year we sought to find ways to celebrate Christmas that would help us and our kids focus on Christ's birth, sacrifice, hope and love for the world. So I thought I'd briefly...I mean briefly share a few ideas we have discovered.
1. We will create a book list soon! We have found some amazing books I didn't know existed, but one that I love and it way too hard to get unless you can get it from your library is The 12 days of Christmas: the story behind the song. Did you know the 12 days...doesn't start until December 26th and extends to Jan 6th which was a holiday to celebrate when the 3 Kings brought gifts to Jesus. When Christians felt oppression in by the Church of England because of their religious regulations, parents would use the 12 days of Christmas song to teach their children about Jesus. Every day have a very profound meaning! "The 1st day of Christmas my True Love gave to me was a partridge and a pear tree"...My True Love is God because no one loves us more...and the partridge bird will protect her baby birds even if it means her life...Jesus and the pear tree represents the cross Christ came to bare. Seriously now, this song is amazing. My mom told me it was...but I'm a slow learner. Anyways...there is still time to celebrate the 12 days of can even use one branch from your Christmas tree, put it in a pot, and place little paper numbers on it each day when you read the story. The book it better, but here is a link to the story. This same author's actual book has some helpful questions so children can understand even better and great illustrations compared to this link, but still wonderful and easy to print out...12 days of Christmas.   I'm going to print it out in case we can't rent it from the library because its out of print and going for $150 resell on amazon!!! Yeah, crazy...yet the library has it...I wonder how much they'd sell it to me!?

2. Jesse Tree- I only found out about the Jesse tree a year ago...then my amazing sis, Kate Marshall, made me this insanely wonderful one. A Jesse tree is a unique advent calendar of sorts. Each ornament describes something about the genealogical of Jesus through the line of Jesse, while learning about the great story of God's love and all the messed up people he uses, really. It's pretty amazing. There are lots of ways to do the Jesse tree and you can sit down and read about all the ornaments at once or you can read one each day, you can find a place to print out little ornaments to color, or make your own, or buy some. Anyways, my sis' present to us it pretty amazing. Thanks, Kate!

3. Our church has also been doing this thing called Advent Conspiracy... Christmas can (still) change the world . I have a feeling our church will do something like it every year, as will we. They have been helping our church community focus on how we can actually share Christ's love with hungry orphans (or other's in need). Our church sought out to feed 1500 orphans in a year in an African region we support. It only costs $40 to feed an orphan their for a whole year!!!! CRAZY. It has been very convicting fo our entire church for sure. we can change a LIFE for $40. Ava even raised her own money, not $40 but a good portion of her allowance and went to donate it last week. Our church gives you a little gift box with a ribbon and tissue paper inside with a magnet you can put on your fridge to remind you that an orphan in Chikudzulire, Malawi, Africa is being fed today. The gift you put under your Christmas tree to open on Christmas to remember the gift you gave. It make me cry. It also puts everything back into perspective.

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Rain is on Ava's head

Ava titled this post herself.  What happens when it rains in finally get to play outside. Ava frequently says in her cute little voice that rain is her favorite weather.  A girl after my own heart. We took some pictures while playing outside under the overcast. I didn't have the card to my nicer camera or the pictures would be better quality, but still can't help but love em. I seemed to have posted all the pictures....
practicing her smile
I didn't take many pictures of Asa as he was moving too much or too fascinated by the 2 teenagers tossing a football in the park
Asa repeated, "ball, ball" as he watched the older boys play football

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

a few songs

a few songs have meant a lot to me, so I'd thought I'd share them.

You are with Me Still

Your Love Never Fails
How He Loves- one of the most impactful and favorite songs, David Crowder sings this song by this guys, but I really like his original version.

The Story behind the song

Sunday, July 25, 2010

poor little guy

Asa had a little trip to the hospital a few weeks ago. It turned out to be nothing at all, but we had a precautionary stay at the hospital from Monday to Thursday. Poor little guy didn't sleep so well with all the beeping and checking and IV hooked to him and all, but the nurses and staff were so nice. Fortunately he liked his crib and he even got a cute quilt and some handmade balls that he loves. Childlife provided toys for his room and a wagon to take rides in around the unit and to the activity room. Ava was a great big sister, helping Asa feel at home when she visited. She also loved the activity room...but she adored the "nourishment" room where they had supplied food and snacks, including those pre-made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches...she has told me she wants us to go to the hospital again whenever we are sick.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Seventh Generation Giveaway

I ususally only post all the kids cute stuff on my blog to that not only I can remember it, but its so much more fun when you can share it with your friends and family. Besides...I'd forget to tell you! and I'd for get myself! Sorry kids. See...I love you...I blog about it...sometimes.
  Anyways, I usually don't post giveaways, but today I read AnotherTeenMom 's blog review for envibum. She did a fabulous job, mentioning points that were very stated that she would use an envibum for a pillow she loved it so much. Her blog was complete with a video and pics.
  Anyways, again, I was looking around her blog and saw a giveaway for a seventh generation kit. Part of me though, oh, I shouldn't enter, I should let someone else win...uh, then I remembered that I haven't bought any cleaner since, uh, (pause) (crickets chirping). yeah, that's about right. I've been using vinegar, vodka (yep, that's right), essential oils, and a teeny tiny bit of rubbing alcohol. While avoiding buying consumable products (mostly meaning money, yes, environment too though) and avoiding chemicals, which really do bother me and aren't at all safe for the kids, I have missed the pleasure of products that really, really work well. I know seventh generation does indeed work well. I am envious. sigh. especially seeing how I was just cleaning and didn't make a dent...and yes, my counters and mirrors have streaks. so...back to cleaning...seriously.   you can check out the giveaway if you want!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

sweet things to buds

these are in no particular order...I just haven't wrote them down and don't want to forget, so you get to share them with me...please add if you have any you remember!
May 2010

-Ava frequently says, "I love you, Asa" in the most sweetest voice
-Asa use to give Ava huge licks for kisses.
-They both cuddle with each other and laugh so much.
-If one if crabby, or both are, I can just put them together and they start laughing and make each other happy.
-Ava has wanted to be a cowboy for, heck, I don't remember, around when she turned 2. I can't remember what inspired it...actually I think it was the cowgirl hat Aunt Rachel gave to Ava...which she paid a lot of money for initially...which was loved so much in was in smithereens. and I do mean smithereens.
March 2010 bedtime

-The first time I have EVER heard Ava say that she wanted to be anything else but a cowboy (she has been very, VERY adamant about that...even to say, no, mommy, remember I'm going to be a cowboy!) was 2 weeks ago...she said she wanted to be a balloon maker (balloon artist) when she grows up. 
-When filming some envibum clips, I asked Ava if she wanted to work for envibum and she said she was going to be a cowboy, but she could ride to mommies houses to deliver envibums. She frequently reminds me that she will do this..."I'll just ride my horse to a mommy when she has her baby and give her envibums".
-She also reminds me she already works for envibum, because she does special jobs for us.
-Upon meeting you, Asa may just want to give you a hug. I think Asa's favorite person has to be Papa (my dad). He gets thoroughly excited when he sees him and immediately wants to hug him and not leave his arms...which is a big thing considering he doesn't like to be held much...he'd rather explore.
March 2010 bedtime
-Asa broke my sister's child locks on her kitchen cabinet(s)...he really wanted to play with the pans. He LOVES getting into everything....I really didn't understand that phrase fully before Asa.
-He calls me mama and mommy and I love it He calls Ava "Aba"
-When Asa sucks him thumb and holds his ear, its the cutest thing ever!
-Asa loves to sing. His faves to sing, La, la, la, la,la...elmo song, E I E I O...old MacDonald part, and his fave to have sung to him is Jesus loves me. It's really funny how excited he gets.
-Ava and Asa's fave place must be there room.
-Asa takes his big stuff animal caterpillar that's I don't know how many feet long and wraps it around his neck and cuddles with it.
-Asa love peekaboo, but love hiding, especially if it involves putting something over his head (and body) like a bucket. He thinks its hysterical.
-Ava still loves Woody, her cowboy doll from Toy Story that her Uncle Matt gave her. He's really the only thing she's been attatched 2 though she had to minky baby blankets, one from Uncle Matt and one from Bridget, that she really loves too.
-Ava loves to learn new vocabulary words. If she were a super hero she would be Word Girl...then again, if she were an animal, she would be Martha from Martha Speaks...maybe we watch too much tv. Some of her fave words, exquisite, veracious (hungry), loquacious (talkative), temporary, permanent, etc. I don't know where she gets the energy to talk so much!
the superhero team

-Ava loves reading Bible stories out of her children's Bible. But her favorite Bible Story is "The Wedding Story"...just because she loves weddings and has been talking about them since her Aunt Rachel's wedding 2 years ago....what is the wedding story all about...Jesus turning water into wine and all the guests thought it was the best wine of the wedding...yeah, that's all. Her favorite story is about wine. We ready it at night at least 3 times a week.
-Ava, "I really love you mommy" Mommy's heart melts.
-When I tell Asa to shake something (toy in hand for example), he gets really excited and starts shaking it...I think he got it from when would shake his bottle.
-by far more than "mommy", I am Buzz, Woody, Jesse, Slink, or Rex according to Ava...It's pretty much CONSTANT that we are playing toy story no matter if we are eating breakfast, taking naps, sewing, reading books...its constant pretend play...almost exclusively toy story. Asa plays too. He is Buzz and Rex a lot...sometimes Ava says he is Bo Peep (Little Bo Peep), but I got his back....I tell her he wants to be a boy part. This has been happening for a very...very...very long time.
December 2009 Best Buds

-Ava refers to the last apartment we lived like this, "mommy, you know the tiny, tiny, tiney, tiny house we use to live in?"...I feel the same way about it. She actually had a hard time moving and try to convince me of the great stuff that was there so I started referring to it as the really small house and I guess I convinced her.
-I never expected Ava and Asa to love each other and play with each other so much at such a young age!
- On Halloween or Harvest Fest, or whatever you want to call it, we went to trader Joe's in the morning where they had a petting zoo (Ava had turned 3 the month prior) Ava dressed up like Jesse from Toy Story and Asa like Woody. Ava was petting a lama and asked the worker, "Can I ride him? I'm a cowboy?" in a very serious and hopeful voice. 
-Asa screeches like a pterodactyl, but we are working on that : )
-Asa's nicknames include, Ace, JAM JAM (we can use this to talk in code so he doesn't know we are talking to him...its his initials), there are more, but I guess I listed them in the last post.
May 2010
-Asa get's excited when he sees the toy story characters and he definitely recognizes the grocery store or the dolls at home, etc. Its quite cute. When he gets excited he smiles his big cute, bright smile and gasps and bounces up and down.
-Asa isn't much for toys when there is so much to explore..but he does love his alphabet train he got for his birthday from Uncle Jay, Aunt Rachel, and gang. He also loves the pool...his nana and papa got him a cool floaty thing so that it actually makes it possible for me to take the kiddos to the pool. He also likes a fire truck and ambulance we have that drive by themselves and big, squishy school bus he can push around...he is very much into the putting things in and taking thing out of something stage...this includes my kitchen cabinets and whatever else he can find. He love to play in the "house" section in our table and cradle with a baby and pretend kitchen things. He also loves anything electronic and buttons
-When we walk into a new building, Asa immediately looks up and is thoroughly it the lights, the structure of the building? I'm not sure but its really cute. He points and gets really excited as he inspects it.
-Asa gives and mostly blows kisses and its the most adorable thing...when I am laying him down he immediately starts blowing me kisses with the biggest smile on his face. tear.
-Yes, Asa is 1 and I need to post a blog about his birthday, updates, etc....because I haven't recorded it any other way...except some pictures
-Ava has been wanting to do school work and read for a long time. I finally sat down with her and taught her some word families and words from word families and constanent blends. I'm kind of guessing on what and how I'm suppose to be teaching her at the moment and remembering how my mom taught me, but she makes reading look like baby stuff.
there are more memories I want to...uh...remember...and more cute this is just the first installment...I wish I was better about scrap-booking or keeping records or something : ) Thank goodness for blogs. This was really for me... : )
Ava wanted to wear socks on her hands just like little Jordan Asa...she did that quite often

Monday, March 29, 2010

Asa's 10 month update

Not only do I not update the blog on a regular basis, I've been very bad about writing Asa's milestones down. So sad! I'm sorry second child!!! But what a lot he has accomplished thus far. I have decided to finally sit down and write out all the new and exciting things he has bear with me this is a little for my own memories and the fact that I have to fill in his baby book : )

Jordan Asa is just under 20 lbs, something like 28 inches, the proud owner of 8 teeth (more coming in!), mostly wears 12-18 month clothes

Asa is a bit picky, but he loves blueberries, blueberry pancakes, blueberry waffles, blueberry muffins...and pizza!

(Um, yeah, he sort of favors junk food, anything fatty and sweet over healthy stuff. When the baby is in utero, it is said that the baby and taste what the mom tastes, hence why babies in India do fine when there mothers eat curry and breast feed and then the babies at a young age eat curry themselves....guess what I ate! Yeah, with his pregnancy healthy food often made me nauseous. Terrible, I know. )

Motor skills:
Asa can pinch objects and shift them from one hand to the other and all of that, but his real love is to find everything he is not suppose to be playing with and examine it in great detail, especially if it has small parts and is electronic. He is a climber and will climb up the stairs if I let him. He has graduated from his one armed army crawl to a real crawl now. He pulls himself up on practically everything now, but also loves to crawl under things, which often leads to him getting stuck. He is getting much more coordinated now and it won't be much longer before he walks! He is trying to stand up from sitting position...he stands on his feet with his hands still touching the ground...a little scary, but so cute.

Verbal skills:
Asa has grown in leaps and bounds in his verbal skills in just the last couple weeks. His first word was ball (which was Ava's as well). He will push a ball across our tile and crawl after in, then repeat the process until he runs out of tile. He is SO PROUD of being able to say dog and he absolutely loves my sister's dog, Sophie, they were cuddling! The day after he first learned to say dog, he woke up in his crib that morning chanting, "dog, dog, dog...." (though the 'g' is a little hard to hear) and boy does he know what he is talking about. Poor kid has a mom whose allergic to dogs, so he is going to grow up with "his dog" living at his aunts house. He still doesn't say mama! but he is starting to say Ava, "A-ba" But he smiles and laughs every time I tell him to say 'mama', so that makes me happy. I am working on the signs for more, milk (he said 'milk' once), and all done. He kind of has 'all done', but mostly he just shrieks like a pterodactyl when he wants something. He seriously shrieks. But we call it 'squeaks'.
Anyways, he now can say (and associates it with the objects): ball, baba, dog, balloon (or his version of it), Ava, Papa (my dad)... I don't know if I'm forgetting any of them or not translating any of them correctly yet. He tries to say all done, but hasn't quite got it down yet. It's so cute and such an exciting stage! He is very good at practicing what he is trying to say and then becomes very proud of himself when he pronounces it well. wow. should I be scared?. Man, what are the chances of me ending up with 2 talkers!?! Just kidding. uh, I don't think he will talk as much as Ava. Am I jinksing myself? Actually I think he might.

Bed time: Asa loves when I lay him down in his crib for that brief moment when I lay him down and rub his head, he is smiling so big...until I leave. Then not such a fan for a minute or two. His favorite thing to have with him is a small board book, which he basically wrestles with his hands and feet and the looks at it. Strange I know. He will throw his little blankie or a stuffed animal out of the crib, though he absolutely loves Ava's Woody doll, I don't think she would share.

Ava & Asa
They are so adorable playing with each other. Asa LOVES his big sister. Ava usually LOVES her big brother, though she usually has a plan she wants to follow through with so hopefully Asa is on board in her eyes. Their favorite time of day has to be before bed when we play in there room. They are always so happy, while Asa tackles his sister with cuddles...or just to get the toy on the other side of her. While Asa usually tries to run when I start reading a book...he's not one to stay still...he literally crawls away fast, he does love cuddling or climbing his sister while I read.

Squeakers McSqueakington from Squeakersville
Asa Basa
Asa Bear
flying Ace
there are more, but I can't remember them right now

Random Asa things:
favorite places: in front of the window, in his room, hanging upside down!!!
favorite mischievous things to do: trying to sneak and eat the dirt and leaves off of our house plants, try to play the DVDs in the electronic cabinet thing, and play with my cell phone
favorite thing to do: snuggle for short periods of time, climb, play with Sophie the dog
there are more things I will add here later
his schedule: taking 2 naps a day, wakes up about 7:30, though has his moments of sleeping in! which is wonderful! well, especially when both kids to that!

Jordan Asa melts my heart. He just steals your heart with his smile as he reaches out to cuddle with you, cuddling his head against yours. It makes you so happy how happy he gets when he greets you. Its so amazing to watch him grow. I can't imagine that one day he will be towering over me. crazy. Uh, he is going to be a heart breaker. It's so sweet how much he loves his sister, and aunt Rachel, and nanny...I mean, cousin, Sarah, and to see him and his cousin, Isaiah, now playing and starting their great adventures.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

there's a snake in my boot!

I know its March...but while making an updated post for Asa, I found that I had this post in my drafts from October! here it is...

Going with Ava's obsession, the kiddos dressed up like characters from Toy Story for Halloween. The Toy Story obsession...Ok by me! I think its so cute...I like Toy Story 2 better (its great having kids, watching kids movies without being weird and all) Ava was Jesse- the cowgirl from Toy Story 2 and Asa was Woody...seem true to their personalities as well. This was quite nice because Ava has continue to pretend she is 'Cowboy Ava' on a daily basis, so we had some cowboy stuff...she is on her third or fourth cowboy hat now because she plays with them everyday!

We started off at a little festival at Trader Joe's in the morning. Ava adored the petting zoo and was equally fascinated with a little pony she got to have painted on her hand (the whole face painting thing was a bit to much for her taste it seems). She stayed in the petting zoo area until it was closed. There was a rather tall lama there...well, I guess they are all tall, but Ava asked the worker, "Hi, I'm a cowboy, so can I ride him!?" It was adorable! um...but she didn't get too.... Later, while Asa spent some time with his cousins, we went to Ava's 1st movie! Toy Story 2 3-D! Now let me tell you, if it is possible to take a child to a movie they already know and love for their first movie experience...its a must. What child doesn't love watching their fav movie over and over...let along on the big screen with super cool glasses! Hello...genius. We had a blast! even if it was the hundredth time we've watch that least its a good one.

That night Ava went trick or treating with her cousins, while the cousins collected cans for charity (but people still gave the kids candy too).

Her uncle Matt love Toy Story equally as much and now has pasted on his beloved Woody doll to her (which she has inscribed her name on the bottom of his to the other boot with Matt's name). I'm not sure how Uncle Matt is going to sleep with out Woody at night, but he is well loved in our house hold...Asa looks at Woody in amazement and loves to play with his as well. He already knows that his sister's stuff is cool and wants to join in the fun.

Update: Ava LOVES Woody and can't sleep without him. In fact if we are away from the house a lot during the day and she doesn't bring Woody, she says in such a forlorn voice, "I miss Woody" Is so sad and so cute! I have hunted for woody several times at night as she can't sleep without him!