Friday, June 21, 2013

On Jack's Second Birthday

My sweet Jack,

Today you turned two years old!

I really can't believe it.  My sweet little baby is already two years are so big!

This year has been so fun for all of us.  Every day I have gotten to see more and more of your little personality.

Jack, you are so funny.  This year you have shown us more and more of your goofy side.  You love to laugh and make little jokes.  You love being tickled.   You are a total goofball.

You are also so intense.  When you want to focus on something, you ignore everything else around you.  You can play with your trains for hours on end.  You remind me of your dad in that way.

Speaking of trains, you absolutely love Thomas the Train.  We have spent countless hours watching episodes of that show or playing with your train set.  Your daddy and I know the name to every train.  You also love Mickey Mouse and Goofy.  You have never cared for stuffed animals, but in the past couple of months, you have taken to carrying your Mickey and Goofy dolls around with you everywhere.  Lately you've also gotten into The Lorax (which you for some reason refer to as "Gogie") and Toy Story (you carry your Buzz figurine everywhere!).

You are pure boy.  You are constantly making a mess out of everything.  And you never stop making noise.  You run around and wrestle everything to the ground.  You jump and climb and splash in puddles.  You are my little "hot mess."

You can do so much on your own now!  A year ago you were just barely walking.  Now you love to climb up steps alone (with me right behind you!), feed yourself, brush your own teeth.  

But you still have so many baby-ish qualities too.  Amazingly, you are still sleeping in your crib.  You still bring your lovey everywhere, but we were able to drop your pacifier a few weeks ago.

And you are still a little cuddle bug.  You get in moods where you just want to snuggle with us, and I love it!  You also love to be carried around, running up to us and saying "Show me, Mommy" (Hold me).  

You talk SO much!  After your first birthday, you started saying more and more words.  But it wasn't until February or March that you started putting two words together.  Your first sentence was "Bye bye, bulldozer."

Now you make lots of sentences!  If we teach you a word, you learn it immediately.  Your favorite verb is "want" (Oh, boy, are we in trouble!).  You often put "Uh huh" at the beginning of a sentence: "Uh huh donies.  Uh huh eat donies."

You know all of your colors and usually get them all right.  You like to count to ten, but you usually skip a few numbers!  We're still working on that.

We've also been working on your catechism.  You know the first three answers!  I know that they are still just words for you, but I hope that those answers will become truths growing in your little heart.

You still love music so much!  Your favorite song is "Blessings" by Laura Story.  I have it on a burnt CD and you always ask for it in the car.  Lately we've been keeping you in church through the music, which you love.  You love any type of music and you love to sing and dance.  

You have started to become a somewhat picky eater.  Gone are the days when you ate any and everything!  Your favorite foods are pizza, spaghetti, ice cream, "donies," and anything sweet.  You also love Nana's homemade jelly.

You are obsessed with slides, which you call "Whee's."  A good day for you is trip to get ice cream or a "cone" (snow cone) and a visit to a "whee."  We call these treats, and you love ask for a treat.
We've travelled a bunch to family this year, and you've done great!  You really continue to be so adaptable.  We even flew to San Diego a couple of weeks ago and you were amazing on the plane.  I worry about you during and after the move to Pennsylvania, but I know that you will do wonderful as always.

But this year has been hard in many ways.  I can already tell that you are stubborn (your Dad and I are both stubborn, so I'm not surprised!).  We have already had a couple of mid Target tantrums.  At first I tried to rush you out of the store, but last week I just gave you a time out in the middle of the ladies underwear section.  

You have spent a good amount of time in time out lately.  As hard as that is, I love getting your hugs, kisses, and "Sowwy" when you leave.  I know that we are going to have lots more corrections in the future, but I pray that God is beginning to work in your heart to really make you repentant.

Jack, you delight us.  Each and every day that we get to spend with you is a gift.  You drive me crazy, you make me laugh, you melt my heart.  This past year with you has been absolutely wonderful.  You are my sweet little boy.  I know that my days of Baby Jack are done, but I cannot wait to see what toddler Jack is going to be like.

I want to end with what I said on your first birthday.

One of my favorite Andrew Peterson songs says, “Now we’re counting stars and counting sand, little feet and little hands; we’re counting joys.  We pray You’ll know them as you knew us when you wove us.  As you hold us, hold them, please hold them.”  That is my constant prayer for you.  I pray that you will know God, that you will love Him, that you will be a man after His own heart. 

And it is still my prayer, that you will know God and be a man after his heart.  

And as we wait for that day, we will continue to count all of the many joys that you have brought to our lives.

Happy Birthday, Toddler Jack!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Isn't summer supposed to be relaxing?

Just kidding, life late has been a lot more calm than the school year.

But we do have a lot on our plate right now.  Bech is working on having a pottery sale at the end of July here in Baton Rouge.  I am packing and planning our move.

Plus, I am job hunting.  Oh the job hunting.  There are NO Latin teaching job openings in or around State College, PA.  Actually there really aren't many towns around State College, so that makes the pickings very slim.  

And, according to Craigslist, unless I want to drive trucks, act in adult movies, or watch movies with a rich shy man, there really isn't much out there.

(Actual Craigslist ad)

That's not totally true.  There is the University, so I am literally applying for every possible job there.  I am praying that one of those will work out!  I know that I can't do what I really want to (teach Latin) so I am open to really any job within the University.  That way I will get great benefits, a good amount of vacation time, and can take an upper level Latin or Greek class (to keep my reading up) for a majorly discounted amount.

Jack and I have been spending a lot of time at home the past couple of weeks, while I pack and work on applications.  But we do get cabin fever.  Our complex has a pool, which has been great.  We've hit up the splash pad a couple of times.

But one of my new favorite "treats" is going to Burger King for a 50¢ cone.  There is one about 2 minutes from us with an inside play place.  Plus they have one of those new drink machines which lets me make cherry vanilla diet dr. pepper.  

(I have a major weakness for fountain drinks.  MAJOR.  It's why I love Sonic so much.)

Yup, we're big fans.

I'm also planning a small (mostly) family party for Jack on Saturday afternoon.  His two year old birthday is Friday (seriously?  How is this possible?), but we're going to celebrate with family the next day.

He wants a Mickey Party and I am happy to oblige.  I am keeping it simple: BBQ brisket, coleslaw, potato casserole, and Mickey Mouse cupcakes.  He will just be so happy to see all of his grandparents and aunts and uncles.

Here's my little (almost) two year old.  I was pulling things out of his closet and packing them, and he freaked out when I tried to pack his bumbo and laugh and learn table.  Nevermind that I put that table up at Christmas time and he's never noticed it's gone, or that he never liked his bumbo as a baby and probably sat in it 5 times.  I managed to eventually pack the activity table, but the chair is still sitting in his room.  

I better get back to work.  There are rich shy men out there just waiting for my resume!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

San Diego

Finally, my post on our trip to San Diego!

First of all, we went to San Diego to visit our friends, Josh and Emily Ketchum.  Emily and I actually met first via email.  They were going to be living and teaching at ABC in Malawi while we were there, so we got in touch.  And then, because of lack of housing on campus, both the Ketchums and we were bumped off campus to an apartment complex (which was a scary thought!).

But it ended up being the best thing.  We got so close to Josh and Emily.  We ate with them probably twice a week, even when we both were moved on campus half year.

Em and I did all of our shopping together.  We went on a safari with my sister.  We got a pedicure once a month.  

They were our best friends there and we have missed them!

We have been planning to take this trip for a while, but someone was always pregnant.  Then we were in grad school.  Finally, we got to be reunited!

We had an absolutely amazing time.  We ate and laughed and saw TONS of cool San Diego sites.

Here are some pictures:

Jack did amazing on the plane rides.  I was super nervous, but he either played with his toys, napped, or watched movies and played games on his Kindle Fire. This picture is actually from the way back, but all four plane rides were great!

Job and Jack in their matching pj's.  Jack LOVED "Jobey."  He still asks for him at least once a day.  

Emily and I at Yogurt Mill, an El Cajone spot.  We used to always go to Mamma Mia's and get gelatto (while we were out shopping), so this was our American version.

The boys with Josh.  Jack thought he was so big sitting on this "truck."

Bech and Josh.  I love this picture, because it shows how different they are.  Josh is a surfer, so Californian.  And here Bech has on his JCrew and Gap with his masters hat.  But they get along so well.

I think this was from Ocean Beach.

I only had two things I really wanted to do:  Old Town and In N' Out Burger.  Here we are getting some yummy burgers.  In N' Out totally lived up to the hype!

Typical picture with kids!  We took the ferry from Coronado to Seaport Village.  

Jack was so excited to be on a boat!

Job and Zoe...Um, I love them.  Seriously, these are two of the sweetest, funniest kids.  We had the best time getting to know them.

At the Mission.

Job was OBSESSED with his "tick."  He wanted to take it everywhere.

Jack chowing down on some chips in Old Town.  This restaurant was so yummy!

Josh and Emily gave Jack a Mexican poncho.  Here he is thanking Emily.

And Josh.  Jack absolutely loved Emily and Josh.  He thought Josh was so cool (which he is!).

We loved being with the Ketchums again and we loved getting so see where they lived.  Now it's time for a trip down South!!!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

We're back...!

Actually, we've been back from San Diego since Thursday night, but I feel like I'm finally getting back into a schedule.  

We had the BEST time.  We had so much fun with our friends and we saw (and ate!) a lot.  I have lots of pictures and will share them all soon!

But now we need to hit the ground running and pack everything up!  We are going to leave a LOT of stuff behind...all of my fine china, crystal, lots of kitchen items, beer brewing equipment...the list could go on and on.  Oh and books!  We have so many books, and we are only taking along the most important ones.  We want this move to be much easier than the past few moves.

We are also tackling another task..."Bye, Bye Paci."  Oh goodness, this is hard!  We got rid of the pacifier Thursday night when we got back from our trip.  

The first night was ROUGH.  Jack cried for two hours, then talked gibberish for another hour.  He finally fell asleep in our bed after 3 hours.  The next three nights have been a lot better (although tonight, the third night, took a little over an hour).  

It is tough, but we are also able to tell a huge difference in his talking.  He normally has his paci at bedtime and in the car.  In the car today on the way to church he would not shut up.  It was hilarious, and we are loving getting to hear all of his little thoughts.

I will share trip pictures soon!