Monday, March 31, 2008

Big Girl Gracie

Gracie's been potty-trained for quite some time now, but up until a month ago, she was still wearing pull-ups to bed because we didn't want the hassle of waking up in the middle of the night in the event that she wet her bed. I know, how lazy of us! Anyway, when we ran out of pull-ups this last time, I finally asked her if she wanted me to go buy more, or if she thought she was ok without them. She decided that she was now a "big girl." The teacher-in-me came up with a sticker chart- every morning, if Gracie was dry, she got to add a sticker to her chart. When the chart was filled up, she'd get a special reward. She chose the reward to be a day at the zoo. Well, 30 nights passed and you guessed it- she did it, without any accidents! This past Saturday, we took the kids to the zoo. This also happened to be Jeremy's first visit to the zoo. He slept pretty much the entire time. For some strange reason, Gracie was very anxious to see the camel. She claimed that to be her favorite. After watching it do nothing for about a minute, she changed her mind. She later said that she enjoyed the frogs and snakes the most. Yikes! It's interesting that she liked those over feeding the giraffes (her first time). I must say that out of all the times I've been to the zoo, this was the first time I've ever seen a lizard being fed live mice babies for lunch. Hmmm, what a sight. Aside from that, all in all, it was a great day!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Happy Easter!

Happy Belated Easter! Our Easter actually started off with dinner at Adam and Jill's on Saturday night. After dinner, we watched Grace experience her first time dyeing eggs. Jason did most of the work, but she definitely helped, telling him what to do. Jason's looking forward to having egg salad sandwiches for lunch this week! After church on Sunday, we headed up to Coarsegold to Jason's mom's for lunch with his family. The kids were so excited about the Easter egg hunt. Grace did pretty well- next year, she probably won't get a head start! It was really nice, spending time with family, just being together. Pictures are in our Family Photo Album (link is on the right hand side of this blog). Sorry- Jeremy was asleep for a lot of the afternoon, so I didn't get too many of him. I'm also bummed that I didn't get a picture of Grace and Jeremy together! Sigh...

We hope you had a blessed Easter, a meaningful time of reflection and thanksgiving for everything that our Christ did for us.

I'm forgiven, because you were forsaken,
I'm accepted, you were condemned,
I'm alive and well, your Spirit is within me,
Because you died and rose again.

Amazing love, how can it be?
That you my King should die for me?
Amazing love, I know it's true
And it's my joy to honor you
In all I do, let me honor you
(taken from You Are My King: Amazing Love)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Just Funny

Grace has been at it again!
She is usually very picky about what she wears. For example, her socks have to match the color of her shirt. She does not like wearing plain white socks unless she is wearing a white shirt. It gets hard in the morning sometimes to get her ready for the day. Okay, having said that, check out what she picked to wear today- a striped shirt with polka dot fleece pants (Jason's wearing shorts today because it's so nice outside, and she chose fleece pants), and you can't see in the picture, but she also has on blue slippers. Talk about a "busy" picture, what with all the colors and patterns!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Firsts

For the last week or so, Jeremy has continued to wake up at least once through the night wanting to be fed. He drinks a full bottle, so we know he really is hungry. On Tuesday, we finally decided to give him a taste of his first solid- rice cereal. Maybe it was just a fluke, but he did sleep through the night! Here are a few pictures of his first experience with "food!" By the way, I had to take Jeremy in to see the doctor yesterday. It turns out that he still has a sinus infection, so he's back on antibiotics. He got weighed while we were there- 18 lbs. 4 oz. Big boy!
Before
During
After

This past week has been so beautiful outside. We dusted off Gracie's tricycle and let her ride around outside. She has 2 tricycles- we gave her one for her 2nd birthday and my parents gave her one last summer. She hasn't truly learned how to ride either one of them. She can pedal a little, but ends up using her feet to "walk" the tricycle. She's definitely getting better though! Here are 2 videos.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

San Jose Visit

Most people here in Fresno have just assumed over the years that I am not into sports. They assume that because I'm not into baseball or football, the two major sports that almost every American is into. Hey- I'm Canadian! I'm totally into hockey!!! I grew up in Canada- during the Oilers Dynasty, nonetheless. I grew up watching Gretzky, Messier, Kurri, Anderson, Coffey, Lowe, Fuhr... I used to have a scrapbook where I kept important newspaper articles about the Oilers... I used to know tons of useless trivia about them, too. I cried when Gretzky was traded! I haven't been able to be true hockey fan since moving to Fresno since we don't have cable or satellite, and I don't get the Fresno Bee (with their minimal coverage) so I am not able to really follow the Oilers' season. Anyway, I'm mentioning all of this because you can imagine my excitement when this past weekend, Jason and I were invited by our friend, Darren, to go see a San Jose Sharks game against the Oilers. We drove to San Jose on Sunday and went with Darren and his friend Josiah. Darren won tickets through his work. His wife, Julie, offered to watch all of our kids. Julie and Darren have a 6 month old named Claire, and a 3 year old named Jenny (she's practically 3). Thank goodness Julie invited one of her friends, Melissa, to come help her because I wouldn't have been able to go if it weren't for that.
I proudly wore my Oilers t-shirt-I was alone in a sea of Sharks! It was awesome, cheering them on. The Oilers ended up winning 2-1 (shootout) but I must honestly say that they didn't deserve it. The Sharks completely dominated the entire game. It was still so much fun! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Darren!
The next day, we took our families to Santa Cruz. We walked to the wharf and had lunch there, before spending the afternoon on the Boardwalk. The girls wanted to go on rides. How cute it was, the two of them riding together. Several times, I thought Grace was going to burst into tears, but she always insisted that she was having fun. I guess it's just me and my paranoia (I can not, will not go on rides! I'm chicken... and I get extremely nauseous). It was a fantastic visit with the Pozzis. Thank you guys, for such an awesome time! Make sure you check our photo album for pictures of our visit with the Pozzi family.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Brother and Sister

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Just a video of Gracie entertaining Jeremy!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

5 Months Old!


I'm late with this blog- Jeremy turned 5 months two days ago. He is growing like a weed! He's going through a growth spurt right now, and we know because he's been waking up twice in the middle of the night to feed at least 7 or 8 oz. of formula. Who knows- maybe he'll start on solids soon! Jason is taking him to the doctor tomorrow so we'll find out how heavy he is. Jeremy was supposed to get his vaccinations a few weeks ago, but since he was sick and had a fever, his appointment was rescheduled for tomorrow. This past month, Jeremy has become much more interactive. He almost always responds when we talk with him, mostly by smiling back or "babbling" to us. It was exciting to see him roll over twice this month- both times were from his belly to his back. He also started blowing raspberries. Drool is often coming out of his mouth and getting his collars wet! Is it possible that it's almost been half a year since he came into our lives?!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Princess Grace

I followed Grace around on Saturday morning, trying to record her doing the things she usually does. She started twirling, which made me bring out her "princess dress." She typically hasn't shown any interest in girly things, but on Saturday, she absolutely loved wearing her princess dress (thanks to Shannon, who gave Grace the dress for her birthday in Oct.). She even wore it to play in her sandbox outside!!!

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Gracie really enjoys coloring, drawing, and painting. Her pictures are pretty cute. Just so that we'd have something to look back on, I had her explain her picture to Jason and recorded it. I drew the blue cat; everything else is hers. I have to share: the spider was originally supposed to be a picture of me. She drew too many legs, so it became an "appletos" (octopus), and then she decided it was actually a spider. I was trying so hard not to laugh as she was explaining to me what happened to her picture of Mama!

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We've decided to enroll her in a preschool next year. In fact, we pre-registered today. I'm excited about the learning opportunities that she'll have at preschool. She's learning at her in-home daycare, but I know she'll really love doing the art/craft projects, learning songs, etc. at a preschool. When I stop to think about it, people are right about how fast time flies by. She'll have one year of preschool, and the year after that, she'll be going to Kindergarten! Amazing.

Baby Showers

Two of my closest friends are expecting babies in these next few months! Christa is expecting a baby boy in the next two weeks, and Jill is also expecting a baby boy in May. How cool is that-Jeremy's going to get to grow up with both of them! We threw Jill a baby shower at the beginning of March, and we had a small surprise baby shower for Christa this past weekend. I'm so excited for both of them! Can't wait to meet their little blessings.

Friday, March 7, 2008

2 New Entrepreneurs

Last year, Jason and I became lenders on a website called, "KIVA." If you have never heard of KIVA, make sure you check out their website (there's a link on the right side of our blog). KIVA enables people to lend money to entrepreneurs around the world who are in need of loans to improve their lives. Last year, we supported four people. The two women that I chose have fully repaid their loans. The two men that Jason chose are extremely close to repaying their loans. The first woman was Juana Patricia Flores Barro from Mexico, who requested a loan to purchase items to expand her home business of making food in order to sell it. The second person was Comfort Nortey from Ghana, who asked for a loan to buy fabrics to sew clothes to sell in her village. I have had the chance to reloan my funds for months- I have been so busy that I forgot all about it. Tonight, I finally had a chance to look through some loan requests on the KIVA website and I have selected two new entrepreneurs: Clara Villafan (Peru), who wants to build a stand at a market to sell chickens; and Ni Ketut Suwadri (Indonesia), who makes brown coconut sugar and is in need of new woks and production utensils. It is fascinating to me, how these women support their families. I am inspired and hope that they will receive the funds they asked for- it would so greatly improve their families' lives. (I have posted links on the right side of our blog if you are interested in learning more about these women).

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Already?!

Okay, isn't it too early for our son to already be wanting to feed himself!?!? It started last week- there have been several feedings where Jeremy has been really squirmy and has been rejecting the bottle. It would seem like he doesn't want to eat. We noticed that he kept putting his hands on his bottle, so we tried letting him hold the bottle on his own. To our surprise, he's been able to hold his own and has ended up feeding himself. I must say that it is really interesting to be a parent and to watch your child's personality develop, particularly at such a young age!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Back to "Normal"

After taking turns being sick, our family is finally back to good health. Jeremy still has the occasional cough, but he's usually in such a good mood, you wouldn't know that he's actually getting over a cold!

On another note, I just wanted to share how excited I am for the recent changes at my work! I volunteered to teach a 5th/6th grade combination class about a week before I went on maternity leave back in September. I went back to work right after Winter Break, and it's been non-stop craziness ever since. Jason has been absolutely amazing, stepping in, and helping out with with the kids and housework. I have been overworking, staying at work late and then staying up until 1 am most nights to do work after the kids (and Jason) went to bed. Especially with 2 grade levels, 37 homeroom kids, 28 deployment kids, and teaching all of 6th grade writing, there was always so much to prepare for. Up until last week, I felt like I was drowning and even though it was only 8 weeks since I returned, I was already burned out! I definitely contemplated resigning from my job- after all, I enjoy my job, but my family absolutely comes first. I didn't feel like I was doing a very good job balancing all of my responsibilities. The idea of staying home all of a sudden became very appealing. Anyway, within a week, things have completely changed... It seems like it was from out of nowhere, but my district finally decided to split my class. Basically, a new teacher was hired and all of my 6th graders became their own class. The two other 6th grade classes had 40 and 37 kids so a few students from those classes were moved to decrease those numbers. So imagine this- I had 37 kids in a combo class... and now I have 17 in 5th grade. I can't even begin to tell you what a difference that makes! This past week, my work load/stress load has decreased substantially. I am so thankful! Praise God!