Rich had a business trip to Mystic, Connecticut, and the kids and I were able to go along. The hotel was right across from the aquarium, so it was really convenient. The kids loved the animals. I think the belugas were our favorite. We got to watch them be trained and fed. We also got to watch a couple of sea lion shows, as well as pet some sting rays, and play with some crabs. Simeon now knows how to tell a male and female crab apart, as well as how to tell from the penguins beads whether they are male or female and what their "name" is. Bedtime was a nightmare, and so we decided to roll with the punches and party. We ordered UP from the hotel tv and shared chocolate cake in bed. It was a great time. You know, one of those times when its exactly how you thought motherhood would be.
We have continued to learn about the discovery of the Americas and the Native Americans. One of the books we are using is called More than Moccasins. It has a bunch of crafts and activities to suppliment the book learning we are doing. In these pictures, you see the wigwams we made, the southwestern Pueblo as well as some weaving mats. Did you know that the Native Americans in New England used Potato stams with berry ink to decorate/stamp their baskets...We're learning all kinds of neat things, and having fun in the process!
Simeon started soccer with the rec center on Saturdays. The first few weeks were practices, this week we had our first game. He LOVES to run. Poor thing scored in the wrong teams goal right off the bat, but now makes sure he knows which direction he should be scoring in. I'm hoping that we get his asthma under better control in the next little bit, so he can enjoy the running more. The asthma doesn't stop him, but I struggle with seeing him gasp for breath as he's running around the field!
I love going to get Naomi after a nap! She is just so sweet and talkative. On this day, she was dangling her legs through the bar, chattering away. I wish I had captured the smile of when I first walked in the room! I love my little princess!
In other news, we had her one year appointment at the dr's. Apart from the shots she needed, everything is going well. She has quadrupled her weight already, can you believe that? She is 25% for head circumference and weight, and has shot up to the 50th percentile for height.
As we were telling the dr. what Naomi is up to lately, she confirmed my "fears", I am in real trouble when it comes to this kid! Naomi is learning very quickly, and definitely reaching developmental milestones which are beyond her brief 12 months. She is advanced. She's a smart little cookie, who likes to climb, and communicate. She loves books and will go to them when you prompt her. She still loves sucking her fingers and snuggling her blanket.
Rich has been redoing out bathroom for the past week. The floor was rotting, so we gutted the bathroom completely, are now putting in a bath/shower combo, rather than our old stand shower and are making the room bigger. Needless to say, things have been chaotic around here, especially since we only have one bathroom. I needed to do something to keep my hands and mind busy. I took out some leftover yarn from baby blankets I had made for friends, and decided to make Naomi a hat. I'd never crocheted using two different colours, but really like how it turned out. I may have to get some colours I like more and make her a brighter hat for winter, I also want to try to make some mitts to match the hat I've already made! I think both the hat and the model are just precious, if I do say so myself!
Simeon has had the central incisors loose for quite some time. About two weeks ago he lost the first one, and two days ago he lost the other. I must say I think he's cute without his two top teeth! Wouldn't you agree?
Simeon is starting his third week of school today and has been doing really well. The first week he was really motivated, last week, not so much. The first three days were like pulling teeth, what he could normally do in the morning, he dragged until 2 in the afternoon. Friday was a great day full of motivation and we were done in no time flat. I'm hoping that he remembers that HE has the power to determine how long our school day is. We are doing a whole year based on the "cowboy and indian" era of American history. Last week we made a teepee out of cloth and some smaller ones out of paper. We also studied about the vikings and Leif Erikssons trip to North America. We've made some paper and carboard 3d maps and have been having fun overall.
I love my kids, but boy do they have character! The photos are just further proof! Simeon loves to dress up, and "act". Naomi, she's my little dare devil. Just turned one and already climbing...let the "fun" and adventures begin!
Saturday was Naomi's 1st birthday! I can't believe how quickly a year has gone by. It seems impossible for my baby to be one already. We had a great birthday party with family. It was really laid back, and the birthday girl enjoyed eating her cake and playing with her new toys. Thank you to all who spoiled her. She will be styling in all the new clothes she got.
Naomi at one is one little spunk ball. She definitely has personality.She makes her likes known with laughter and smiles, sometimes laughing and giggling so much that she is gulping for air, while when she is discontent, you can hear screeches and fussing. She has mastered "the stare", and if she doesn't know you, she lets you know that she is checking you out and trying to judge your character.
Some of her favorite things are Simeon, ( he can always get her to laugh) swinging in her new swing, (thanks Nana) and her blankie. That child LOVES her blankie.
She is now over 20 lbs and loving her New Britax Boulevard. She is still rear facing for now,but she loves to sit in it and just relax. I wish my seat in the car was so plush and comfy. She looks like she's sitting in a recliner. It's so funny to me to see how far she's come. She was discharged from the hospital, needing to use a car bed, because she was so small and wouldn't pass the carseat test, and yet, she has caught up to her peers and is in a big girl carseat now! AMAZING!
For the longest time Naomi only had her bottom central incisors. In the past week, her top two central incisors have cut through and the bottom lateral incisor on the left is getting ready to cut through. She has been a wee bit cranky, but has also spent more time sleeping, which is fine. She's going to be really cute with her new pearly whites!
Finally I'll end with a picture for comparison. At Becky's last year, we took a picture of Naomi with a Bitty baby so you all could see how small she was. Here is the original post with that picture! You'll see in the pictures above, just how much she's grown in a year! If you cut and paste this address into your browser, http://jessie-ordinarydays.blogspot.com/2008/09/what-doll.html , you will see the original picture of Naomi and the bitty baby doll.
Happy Birthday sweet girl! Mommy and Daddy love you and are so proud of you! God has blessed us with your presence! You are one of His good and perfect gifts!
It has been my pleasure to watch God move in our friends', Jon and Jolene, life. God orchestrated our meeting a year ago, and I've been able to help, encourage, pray, cheerlead them on their first adoption journey. Next Saturday, they will be flying to Ethiopia to meet and be united with their son! I am so stinking excited, you would think it was one of my adoptions.
Anyway, my friend Jen and I planned a "mini-shower" that was last night! It was great to see Jon and Jolene again, to bless them ( along with some of our other friends)with toys and clothes for Talo.
Jolene, if you read this, your family is just beautiful. I can't wait to see a picture of the three of you, not you and Jon holding a picture frame, but really your live sweet boy smiling beside you! God's ways are perfect!
This picture was after I asked Simeon to go brush his teeth before starting school. After getting Naomi dressed, I went to check on Simeon and the picture is what I found. His explanation: I need to shave before school. I don't think he would have gone so far as to use a real razor, ( since he has a plastic one)but I can't be sure and I'm glad that I walked in when I did!
Monday was the first day of our homeschool year. Simeon is in first grade. I was really a little nervous about it. Last year was a real struggle to get him to do the work some days, and all summer he talked about not liking school . I prayed about it and just got ready for a struggle, but much to my surprise there wasn't any. I was greeted by Simeon coming to my bedroom early Monday morning, telling me how excited he was to start! Yeah for having a good attitude!
This year we are studying the "Cowboy and Indian" era of American history. We have made a diorama, 3d map and played a Native American children's game. I think we are both enjoying the projects. We are also doing a science journal this year, following a formal art curriculum, and beginning our French curriculum. Our days are definitely full, though school only usually takes up about 1/2 a day. As for sports, Simeon is taking Saturday soccer, will be starting a boys dance class which includes tap, hip hop and jazz and will probably be doing gymnastics at the recreation center in town. Nothing like keeping busy!
Pictures are : Naomi sucking her toes on the back porch. Simeon before his beach themed dance class Naomi's birthday doll- from scratch! I only get to posting every month or so. Summer has been busy around here. The garden is not doing as well as I had hoped, then again, the weather has been wonky, we have been able to eat some fresh zucchini, parsley and potatoes. The tomatoes, both cherry and regular size are starting to ripen. Hopefully the end of the summer will make up for the lack of growth earlier this season.
Naomi is growing leaps and bounds. She is starting to stand more and more on her own and is walking while holding onto someones hand. I was just telling Rich the other day that she is going to be our dare devil. I have found her on more than one occasion trying to climb. I'm a little fearful of what walking ( or running) will do for our lives in the near future. It's hard to believe that in less than two weeks she will be one. Time sure does fly. We are so thankful for her presence in our lives. She brings lots of smiles and laughter.
Simeon is growing as well. We went to the ped's last week, and found that he has grown 3 inches in the past year. He is tall and lean. He took dance this summer and now is thinking of whether he wants to take formal dance ( boys class being tap, jazz and hip hop) or gymnastics. Either way, he has dance director and gymnastics coach asking for him. I think he'll excel at whatever he chooses. We will be starting school on Aug. 31st. Simeon isn't too keen on that, but I'm looking forward to a great school year. We will be doing American Story I by Winter Promise, which is a history based program on the Cowboy and Indian Era of American history. I'm looking forward to building teepees, Conestoga wagons and all kinds of other neat projects. We will also be tackling our first formal year of French and art.
Trisha is doing well. She has her driver's license now, which means she is constantly asking for the car. She is also single once again. School starts for her again next week, and I think she is dreading going back to earlier bed times and early mornings. Alas, such is life!
Rich and I are doing well, though tired and run down lately. We got away for a few days in July at a wonderful inn in the New Hampshire Mountains. We went on some long walks and enjoyed being kid free. It wasn't long enough though. It seems that we are pulled in so many directions that a couple of days is simply a drop in the bucket.
I've kept meaning to blog, and yet days slip by with no blogging. The past week has been kept busy. I have planted 3 of my planned 6 vegetable and herb gardens. So far I have bush beans, slicing cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, carrots, and broccoli planted. I also planted some chives around my rosebush.
I have also been baking. I've made some homemade pita bread, whole wheat crunchy chocolate chip cookies, whole wheat brownies and more cookies since they were so popular.
Last night, I had my girl's night out. I'm thinking this is going to become a monthly thing! It's so nice to get away and talk and just enjoy each other's company. As mentioned in my previous blog, I made a spa recipe from the book I bought. I changed around the recipe to match what I had, so I'll share it here.
Lemon Lime Rosemary Foot Scrub
1/4 C Epsom salts 1/2 C Sea Salt 2 Oz ( give or take) of extra light olive oil zest of 1/2-1 lemon Zest of 1 lime torn leaves of 1 sprig rosemary
If scrubbing your feet, during a pedicure, they recommend if you have time to wrap your feet in plastic wrap and then placing your feet in a folded towel. Your body heat then creates a mini oven effect, and helps allow your skin to soak in the oil. Finish off your foot scrub with a nice thick lotion to keep your feet nice and smooth and soft.
If you try the recipe and would like to comment, please do. I'd love to hear your reactions whether good or bad.
As for the kids, Simeon is turning 6 Next Weekend. I can't believe my baby is growing up so fast. He has really grabbed a hold of reading and is reading everything. It's fun to be in stores and hear/see him reading the signs.He is gaining such confidence. It's fun!
Naomi is on the move. She has decided that staying in one spot is not for her. Her crawl looks like a cross between an army crawl and an inch worm. She must be motivated however. Simeon's toys or a cat will motivate her to move. She is pretty quick at that. Time to go over the house with a fine tooth comb and see what needs to be moved to make this place more baby proof.
Trisha's taking driver's ed and is constantly wanting to drive. She is also working at a pizza place close to our house. She seems to like it for now. I think she's looking forward to school being out.
As for me, well, I'm reading a book called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. So far so good! Will post more as I find/make the time!
I just bought this book at TJ Maxx for $3. It looked like it had some great "Spa" ideas and recipes for skin and hair. I'm looking forward to trying them in the months to come. Last month, I had a girls night out. Everyone had fun, and so I'm organizing another one. I'm thinking of making these once a month nights special and treating me and the ladies to a little something to take the time to pamper ourselves in the weeks before the next get together. I'll let you know how it goes, and may share some of these "secrets".
What are you all doing to pamper yourselves, and get away from everyday stress?
I've been doing a 90 day Beth Moore devotional on the apostle John. It has been highly interesting and challenging. A few thoughts have been floating around in my head. Do I face poverty, whether it be spiritual, emotional, physical, face on, or do I try to skirt away from it? Jesus faced poverty head on. He didn't look, down, he didn't avoid it, he looked it straight in the face. Why do I have such a hard time doing that? Why, is it, that I have a hard time looking in the eyes of someone who doesn't believe, or live the same way I do?
So, as I've been thinking about this, I'm trying to live my life unashamedly. Jesus loves these people, I need to get past my discomfort and treat them with respect and friendship. It's not like I'm disrespecting these people, rather, I'm just sort of skirting around them, rather than including them in my life. For example, a couple of weeks ago a family was walking on the sidewalk in front of my home. I know them, they used to attend my church. I also know that they are on welfare, and are not "well seen" by the other people in the neighborhood. I know that they are no longer attending the church we used to mutually attend, and have decided to be Jehovah Witnesses. They stopped to talk to me as I was inspecting some flowers that somehow appeared in the middle of my lawn. I just couldn't wait for them to move. I had a hard time looking them in the eye. I was uncomfortable. I was so thankful for Rich coming home for lunch right then and needing to go in. Yet afterwards, I felt horrible. My discomfort came from not knowing what to say. I just needed to listen. By looking them in the eye, taking the time to listen and maybe even engaging a little, I could have given them a small glimpse of Jesus. Ugh...a good thing God is patient and is forgiving! I need another opportunity to look them in the eye.
Another such circumstance came at goodwill when I was waiting in line. A person was buying some clothing, and obviously had a lifestyle much different than my own. I was embarrassed for them. It was like a train wreck waiting to happen, I was watching and yet trying not to watch as I patiently waited to pay for my items. As a second register opened, and I moved up to pay, the person apologized for taking so long. I quickly, with my head down, said, "No problem." Why didn't I look at this person in the eye? Smile? Say, " Not a problem, have a nice day?" Isn't that what Jesus would have done?
All this to say, I'm being challenged to take the time to love on people. To treat them with the same care Jesus treats me! Not easy in this world. But I'm hoping to reach out, one smile, one word, one eye to eye look on. They are worthy, they are created by God, and though God may not agree with their lives, lifestyle He sure does love them...loves them enough to die for them. If He can do that, I should be able to look them face to face!
I hope...I've had a few post ideas float through my mind, but then I get busy and don't type them out. So, I'm going to try to put blogging on my todo list and see if that helps. It has helped me be so much more fruitful and productive during my days as of late.
What have I been up to? Gardening and baking. Spring has brought with it lots of fun in the garden. My bleeding hearts are blooming. I have the prettiest little blue flowers in my shady garden. My wild rose bush is finally looking healthy after being moved two years in a row. My neighbor gave me some hostas to plant, they were a BEAR to split, but are thriving in all 3 places I planted them. I also was given some daylilies that also took right to their new home. My delphiniums, lavendar and another perennial that I forget the name have survived the winter and are looking like they are coming back to life! I LOVE gardening. Today, I plan on getting some Jacob's ladder from another neighbor and maybe starting the new plot for our vegetable garden. It's amazing how much my gardens have grown in the past 2-3 years. I never thought I would enjoy gardening the way I do. I'm hoping to get some sweetpeas to grow for me this year.
As for baking. Well, in an attempt to regain my health and good habits, Rich bought me a whole wheat bread baking book. So far I have made 2 of the recipes and we have been pleased. I have a recipe for making my own sourdough starter, I just don't feel like I'm in the right frame of mind yet to try it. In the days to come. I have all the ingredients, I just need to decided THE DAY! You know, I've realized just what an art and science breadmaking is and I love that. While yes, it nourishes both my family and me, it allows me to use my brain in ways a little more advanced that kindergarten science and math. LOL
I've also been on a recent sewing kick! I've made both Simeon and I mei tai carriers. As well as a soft crib sheet for Naomi. I'm also planning on hopefully making her a couple of pillow case dresses, and Simeon a superhero cape and a couple of masks. When? I'm not sure with all the gardening and weeding I have to do, but hopefully in time for his 6th birthday at the end of the month.
I guess I'll end here. The sun is shining after a couple of days of rain, I want to get school and chores done ASAP so that I can go and play in the dirt!
to keep friends and husbands happy, and to finally break my silence, here I am. I knew it was bad when Rich called me a blogger yesterday. I replied that I hadn't posted in months, and he quipped back with yeah, since December 30th or something...Okay, gotta keep the fans happy.
Not much and yet everything is going on. Let's see if I can do a brief recap of the past little bit.
Trisha is doing well. She just got finished with her highschool musical endeavor. The show of Guys and Dolls was great, and she did a fabulous job being hit on the head with a sugar bottle. Her Cuban dancing was awesome. Looking forward to next year's production. She is finishing up her sophomore year. She now has a boyfriend, and they've been together for a few months. He seems like a nice guy, how can he not be, he's a Canadian citizen. Seriously, Caeman is a great kid, and they are VERY CUTE together. Apart from that, we celebrated Trisha's 16th birthday...where did time go? She is looking at getting a job and taking driver's ed this spring as well as participating in the school's 10 minute plays. Overall, she is doing great.
Simeon is keeping me busy. Homeschooling is going really well. Over the past month I have seen him take off with his desire to write. He often writes me apology and love notes. They are so cute, definitely make me giggle, but I must be strong and not let him sweet talk me out of anything. He continues to take gymnastics on Wednesdays and LOVES it. He is quite good, though he does lack in flexibility. His new passion is the wii fit. He loves that thing and since we are both so competitive, we keep trying to beat eachother's scores. Sim has quite the personality and is quite the instigator. He will say exactly the opposite of what I say to my sister to get a rise out of me or her. He knows how to "play" people and loves to make them laugh. Now I am in trouble with him....GIRLS! He loves the girls, has a gazillion girlfriends, and loves to get a rise out of me...So far, he says he's going to marry Grace, but he also must look good for girls such as Baylee and Shannon. Oie...1 sixteen year old is enough. We are fast approaching his Gotcha Day, he'll have been home 5 years mid April. It seems unbelievable to me! What happened to my little 10.5 month old baby? We are also getting ready to celebrate his 6th birthday at the end of May.
Naomi, well, she's a little doll. She LOVES to eat, and is no longer the teeny tiny peanut she was when she first came home. She enjoys Simeon tremendously, and when all else fails, a few silly faces or noises from Simeon can change her sorrow to laughter. She is definitely my social butterfly. While most babies will fuss and cry when being passed from arm to arm, she seems to thrive. If we are around other people, she refuses to nap, and has to be a part of the fun. It's not so bad, since she remains happy, she doesn't tend to get fussy at that point yet. On March 30th, she rolled over from front to back and back to front at the same time. She doesn't seem too keen on rolling over yet. There are many times when I look at her and think that she will be crawling before she is rolling around everywhere. We are working on sleeping through the night, and are getting very very close! Yeah, I think Rich and I are both looking forward to some solid sleep REAL SOON!
Rich, he continues to be my best friend and steadfast companion. I couldn't ask for a better partner on this journey. He's a great help with the kids, an awesome provider. We are part of a small group bible study and for the past few months we have been doing some FamilyLife couples studies. These have been great because they require a date everyweek. We were really bad about taking that time for ourselves. Now however, we really realize how much we need those times. So we have been having pretty much some weekly dates. It's so nice to get out together. Work continues to be busy for him.
Me...well...I'm just soaking it all in. I had been running since December, but after running 6 miles and taking a brief trip to Canada, I stopped. Rich and I do want to start running together outside, it just hasn't happened yet. I went out with some girlfriends last week and it was really fun. I want to try to do that more often. The best part was going out for supper alone first. It was so nice to sit down at a nice restaurant with a magazine and just read quietly! Yeah for Mommy time! I'm also wanting to do more for the country of Haiti. I've been in touch with an acquaintance who ships donations of various items to different missionaries in haiti, so I've started collecting some of those items to send to her. I am also looking to hosting a Haitian purse party. I will try to post more about my Haiti involvement in another blog post.
Right now, I had better go...I have Mom's group in an hour and have a bunch of stuff I need to do! Hopefully, my next post won't be so far away!