Sunday, November 29, 2009

Seasonal Meatball Minutes

On Thanksgiving Eve, Jair and J.D. traced their hands on construction paper and cut them out to make turkeys. Jair wrote on his turkey, "I love Thanksgiving." J.D. asked me to write on his: "Why do people shoot me and eat me on Thanksgiving?"

Today I read a story about the wise men to the boys. "The wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and ... " I paused to see if they knew what came next, and Jair chimed in - "Murder!"

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ali and Jair's Book of Nursery Rhymes

The Nursery to the Rhymes - a book of poems created by my 6yo and 5yo, just for fun

A Cup and Lip - by Jair
Here's a cup
Take a drink
And then I'll take it
Back with me

The Moon - by Ali
Ho diddle
The cow and dog
The fiddle jumped over the moon
And the cat laughed

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Reactions to the New Baby



Ali: "Dear God, thank you so much for giving me a baby sister like I always wanted."
"Annalisa's face looks like she has so many questions, and she just can't ask them yet."


Jair: "She is sooo cute."
"She is sooo pretty."
"You are the most beautiful baby."


J.D.: "Hi, Annie-leee-seee." (in a high-pitched voice)
"No! You can't touch the baby unless you use hand sanitizer first!"


Jonah: "Isa, Isa, Isa. Hi, baby Isa."
"Waaaaaaa!" (whenever he is told he can't hold the baby, throw her his favorite ball, etc. )


More photos are here.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Our Baby Girl Is Here!

Annalisa Mary arrived at 8:35 am on Monday, October 19. She was 7 pounds, 14 ounces, 21 inches long. We came home Tuesday and are doing well. The birth story will follow ... someday.

Don't take my baby away!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Our Favorite Usborne Titles

In August, I signed up to be an Usborne Books Consultant. I didn't do it because I like to sell things (I don't.) or because I needed another activity to fill my days. (They are already full!) I just love the books and wanted to take advantage of the great discount I can get on purchases for my family.

To pass some of those savings on to my friends, I am running a little Christmas special. You can browse my website to find books and other educational products for the kids on your Christmas list, but I always love personal recommendations, so I thought a list of my own kids' favorites would be fun.


Jonah (21 months) loves Rog, better known as That's Not My Frog. It's one of a whole series of touchy-feely board books, including some fun seasonal titles (That's Not My Angel, Snowman, Reindeer, Penguin, etc.)

My 3 1/2 year old's favorite is Under the Sea, from the Beginner's Reading Series. J.D asks me to read the page about the puffer fish over and over. I can't believe that these high-quality, 32-page hardcover books with beautiful illustrations and photographs are only $4.99 each!

Ali (age 6 1/2) looks forward to finishing her school work each day so she can work in her Sticker Dolly Dressing Dolls book. The series has several other titles (Princesses, Fairies, Bridesmaids, and Ballerinas), but she has decided she would like Sticker Dolly Dressing on Vacation next. Again I am impressed by the high quality of this book. The pages are extra sturdy, and stickers are easy for six-year-old hands to manipulate; even the more delicate ones peel off without ripping.


Jair (age 5) and I share special times together with his Big Book of Things to Spot. He loves to find and count the items hidden in each two-page spread, and I love that he is sharpening his visual perception skills, learning about animal habitats and other times, cultures and places, and increasing his vocabulary all at once! The book combines four titles from the 1001 Things to Spot Series. The series has a new seasonal title, 1001 Things to Spot at Christmas.


One of the kids' favorite school books this year is Things People Do. We are using it for Social Studies to learn all about the different jobs people hold in a community. The kids love the humorous illustrations and the little yellow duck hiding on every page (a fun feature of several Usborne titles).

A highlight of our week is "Friday Art Day," when we choose a card from 50 Things to Draw and Paint. One side of the card shows a finished project, and the other side has step-by-step instructions for completing it. On a recent all-day trip, Ali and Jair stayed busy with another item from the Activity Cards Series, 100 Things for Little Children to Do on a Trip. That particular pack also comes with a dry erase marker and has come in handy for keeping little children quiet during church, too!



Some of the other Usborne titles featured in the Sonlight program we're using this year are Stories from Around the World, Why Do Tigers Have Stripes?, What's Under the Sea?, and First Thousand Words. (First Thousand Words comes in several languages; the Polish version will probably show up under our Christmas tree!)

Here are few Usborne books we have enjoyed for several years:
Ted & Friends has four easy-to-read stories with cute illustrations and a yellow duck to find on every page.
Flip-Flap Body Book combines three titles in one volume: What happens to your food?, How do your senses work?, and How are babies made? The text is age-appropriate and the fun illustrations and fold-out flaps have made the concepts easy for my kids to grasp and retain.
...

and a few titles I have tucked away for Christmas:
How High is the Sky?, part of an adorable series about a penguin who is always asking deep questions, and
Why?, a hilarious book full of questions like "Why do rhinos have horn on their noses?," with goofy and serious answers.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Time to Catch Up!

Lord willing, we'll post a birth announcement and photos of a new family member here soon! So ... it's about time we caught up on all our summer adventures.

Click here to see the rest of June & July Memories.

Click here to see the rest of August & September Journeys.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Thankfulness, Day 17

Today ...
Julie is thankful for a fun week including Jair's 5th birthday and children's literature camp for Ali, Jair, and J.D.
Alis is thankful we could have a water balloon fight today.
Jair is thankful he could play with the Volkswagen Beetle from Grandma and Grandpa's house.
J.D. is thankful we could get all these construction books from the library.
And Jonah is thankful for his dada.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Thankfulness, Day 16

Jeremy is thankful for the young deer who hung out with him for about 15 minutes while he worked in our garden.
Julie is thankful for a husband who loves and provides for his family.
Ali is thankful for going out to eat.
Jair is thankful for going to Arby's and having a sucker.
J.D. is thankful for that milkshake at Arby's.
And Jonah is thankful for his first-thing-in-the-morning banana and milk ritual.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Thankfulness, Day 15

Jeremy is thankful for a great visit with his mom and sister last week.
Julie is thankful for the ultrasound that gave us a peek at the adorable fingers and toes of the little girl who will join our family at the end of October.
Ali is thankful for swimming.
Jair is thankful he could look at The Little House (by Virginia Lee Burton) tonight.
J.D. is thankful for going swimming.
And Jonah is thankul for bears and blankets.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Thankfulness, Day 14

Yesterday ...
Jeremy was thankful for God providing solutions to problems.
Julie was thankful that her ultrasound is scheduled for Monday!
Ali was thankful for the slide that was like a water slide.
Jair was thankful for going on the water slide.
J.D. was thankful for going on the water.
And Jonah was thankful for the very sweet bulldog at Julie's cousin's house (where his brothers and sister had a blast on a slip-n-slide at the bottom of playground slide).

Today ...
Jeremy is thankful for his children helping him clean his car.
Julie is thankful that Ali enjoyed performing in the children's play at church this morning.
Ali is thankful that Father's Day could be today.
Jair is thankful our friends could go to our church today.
J.D. is thankful that he could play trains.
And Jonah is thankful his mommy lets him eat cheese puffs and ice cream.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Thankfulness, Day 13

Jeremy is thankful for a great weekend with his buddy Ted.
Julie is thankful that - even though we missed a few days - we can jump right back into our thankfulness journal.
Ali is thankful for spending the day at Grandma and Grandpa's house.
Jair is thankful that he could get his new Golden Book tonight.
J.D. is thankful that he could play with that cool car that's roof turned into a guy.
And Jonah is thankful for snacks.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Thankfulness, Days 11 & 12

Yesterday ...
Jeremy was thankful for the lady who kindly came to unlock the gym so his team could practice.
Julie was thankful she could sign her kids up for the same library summer reading program she loved as a child.
Ali was thankful for going to our friends' house and playing in Josiah's room.
Jair was thankful Josiah has cool toys.
J.D. was thankful Josiah has a blue Mater that shakes.
And Jonah was thankful that sometimes Mommy gets him out of the stroller.

Today ...
Jeremy is thankful for ministering with Joe.
Julie is thankful for her dad coming over to help us fix something before he even had a chance to eat his dinner.
Ali is thankful we could go swimming with our friends.
Jair is thankful for his house.
J.D. is thankful for going swimming.
And Jonah is thankful for Fazoli's fettuccine alfredo.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Thankfulness, Days 9 & 10

Yesterday ...
Julie was thankful for a husband who is gracious and forgiving when she accidentally leaves him stranded at home without van keys.
Ali was thankful for going to Emma's dance recital.
Jair was thankful for going on the trampoline.
J.D. was thankful for going in the sandbox.
And Jonah was thankful for basketballs.

Today ...
Julie is thankful for her parents.
Ali is thankful for going to Grandma & Grandpa's.
Jair is thankful God made our friends' new baby so cute.
J.D. is thankful he got to see that new baby.
And Jonah is thankful for graham crackers.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Thankfulness, Days 7 & 8

Yesterday ...
Jeremy was thankful for Joel and Shay coaching the summer league.
Julie was thankful for her "fellow mommy friends."
Ali was thankful for swimming lessons.
Jair was thankful for going to E.J.'s.
J.D. was thankful for Jesus dying on the cross and rising.
And Jonah was thankful for his lift-the-flap books.

Today ...
Jeremy is thankful for the Regional Brothers gathering.
Julie is thankful that Ali and Jair not only know how to read speed limit signs but also believe they are to be obeyed. (May it always be so!)
Ali is thankful we could go to the park this morning.
Jair is thankful for playing at the park.
J.D. is thankful for Jesus getting in the tomb and getting out.
And Jonah is thankful for swings.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Thankfulness, Day 6

Today ...
Jeremy is thankful for his children's laughter.
Julie is thankful for the firefighters who quickly and bravely extinguished the fire blazing in a condo near ours early this morning.
Ali is thankful we could go to the horse races tonight.
Jair is thankful horse #7 won the last race.
J.D. is thankful that Jesus died and rised.
And Jonah is thankful for chocolate.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Thankfulness, Days 4 & 5

Yesterday ...
Jeremy was thankful for his wife's wonderful ability to cook.
Julie was thankful for friends who share cute maternity shirts.
Ali was thankful we could go to the park with our neighbors.
Jair was thankful we could go to the park with our next-door neighbors.
J.D. was thankful we could go to the park with Xavier and Nathan.
And Jonah, Jair thought, was thankful for exploring.

Today ...
Jeremy is thankful 18 basketball players showed up (at 6 am!) for the first work-out of the summer.
Julie is thankful for finishing the last lesson of an amazing Bible study. (Now, to finish the lessons I missed in the middle!)
Ali is thankful we could go swimming with our neighbors.
Jair is thankful he could watch a movie about Daniel at Grandma and Grandpa's house tonight.
J.D. is thankful for blankies.
And Jonah is thankful he can run around the room with his brothers.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Thankfulness, Day 3

Today ...
Julie is thankful for e-mealz.
Ali is thankful she can be pen pals with her friend Kaitlyn, who is moving away.
Jair is thankful that his friend Josiah gave us some cars.
J.D. is thankful that Jesus died on the cross and rose.
And Jonah is thankful for sandboxes.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Thankfulness, Day 2

Today ...
Julie is thankful for the lilies blooming in our backyard.
Ali is thankful we could go to two graduation open houses last night.
Jair and J.D. are thankful that we are going to church to work today.
And Jonah is thankful for his morning nap!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving may be 180 days away, but every day is a good day to count our blessings! In the spirit of Psalm 145:2, the verse that has occupied our sidebar for the past few years, we're starting a little thankfulness journal on our blog.

Today ...
Julie is thankful that God hears our prayers.
Ali is thankful that Mommy is pregnant.
Jair is thankful that Jesus died for our sins.
J.D. is thankful for Jesus getting in the tomb and getting out.
And Jonah (according to Ali) is thankful for his brothers and sister.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sunday, May 3, 2009

February Celebrations


Click here to see the whole album on Facebook.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Mommy Quiz

The Ali Version ...

1. What is something mom always says to you?
Clean up. Did you ever notice you always say that?

2. What makes mom happy?
When we obey you.

3. What makes mom sad?
When we disobey.

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
By giving me a zerbert.

5. What was your mom like as a child?
You did a lot of dangerous things. Did you ever notice you did a lot of dangerous things?

6. How old is your mom?
27

7. How tall is your mom?
About as tall as Daddy's shoulder.

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Make us our meal.

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
I don't know.

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
For taking good care of your kids.

11. What is your mom really good at?
Picking out the best presents.

12. What is your mom not very good at?
Climbing up on the roof.

13. What does your mom do for a job?
Everything.

14.What is your mom's favorite food?
The salad with chicken at O'Charley's.

15.What makes you proud of your mom?
When she does something new.

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Daisy Duck.

17. What do you and your mom do together?
Go shopping.

18. How are you and your mom the same?
We're both girls and our middle name is Suzanne.

19. How are you and your mom different?
We're different because of our hair color and eye color.

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
When she hugs and kisses me.

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?
That he coaches the Wildcats and that she can cheer for him.

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
Church.

The Jair Version ...

1. What is something mom always says to you?
That I need to get in my bed.

2. What makes mom happy?
Obeying her.

3. What makes mom sad?
Disobeying her.

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
By saying funny things.

5. What was your mom like as a child?
I don't know.

6. How old is your mom?
27.

7. How tall is your mom?
I don't know.

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Play with us!

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
I don't know.

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
I don't know.

11. What is your mom really good at?
Playing ball!

12. What is your mom not very good at?
Flipping.

13. What does your mom do for a job?
Wash dishes!!

14.What is your mom's favorite food?
Biscuits with butter on the top.

15.What makes you proud of your mom?
For playing with us! I meant for bringing us to this hotel.

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Sally from Cars

17. What do you and your mom do together?
Hug each other and kiss each other and tickle each other and zerbert each other.

18. How are you and your mom the same?
We have brown hair and brown eyes.

19. How are you and your mom different?
Cause I'm a boy and you're a girl.

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
Cause I'm her kid.

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?
She cheers for the same team.

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
Swimming!

The J.D. Version ...

1. What is something mom always says to you?
I love my J.D.

2. What makes mom happy?
Daddy.

3. What makes mom sad?
Daddy leaving.

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
By putting my blanky on my head.

5. What was your mom like as a child?
You liked dough in your mouth.

6. How old is your mom?
5-6-7.

7. How tall is your mom?
Like this tall.

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Play trains.

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
You can't find me.

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
For me.

11. What is your mom really good at?
Playing with a dark red train.

12. What is your mom not very good at?
Flipping. Missing basketball shots in the goal.

13. What does your mom do for a job?
Clean her room.

14.What is your mom's favorite food?
Lettuce.

15.What makes you proud of your mom?
Checking on this computer.

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Lightning.

17. What do you and your mom do together?
Taking a picture on the camera.

18. How are you and your mom the same?
We put on our pajamas.

19. How are you and your mom different?
You're not good at flipping.

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
You just color a heart.

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?
Just be together.

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
The Wildcat game.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

1, 2, 3, 4

My amazing brother compiled another year-in-review slideshow for us. This is the best one yet.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Lotsa Pictures

Facebook is my new favorite place to post photos. It's so much faster than Blogger! Here are our latest albums, for those interested:

Ordination Sunday
First Photos from the New Camera
December Fun
January Adventures

More Cuter Than ...

Jair: (singing sweetly to the tune of More Precious than Silver) Jonah, you are more better than other babies. Jonah, you are more cuter than ... J.D.

Ali: (looking at a painting of a banana split in Dairy Queen) What is that?
Me: A banana split
Ali: Do all banana splits have three eyes and a yellow tongue?
Me: No, those are ice cream swirls and caramel sauce.

Jair: Ice Christ - that's what you call your ice cream if you love Jesus.

J.D.: (to his great-grandpa, who has a somewhat soft, high voice) Papaw, are you a grandpa or a grandma?
Papaw: A grandpa.
J.D.: Oh, cuz you talk like a grandma.

Me: (reading about canker sores to Ali, who was suffering from one): Although the sores are not contagious, they can run in families. That means if your parents or siblings get canker sores, the genes you share with them make it more likely that you'll develop the sores, too.
Ali: But I never share my jeans with ANYONE!

Ali: Mommy, can I sleep with my new cheerleader skirt?
Me: Yes, I guess so.
Ali: I don't mean I want to wear it. I want to hold it. I just love it so much.

Jair: Mommy, I already know who I'm going to marry ... Mandy.
Me: Jair, that's a very good choice. Mandy is very nice and very pretty, and she really loves Jesus, but she is a lot older than you. She might get married before you grow up.
Jair: Yeah, she might.
Later ...
Jair: Mommy, I don't think Mandy will get married till she's really old ... like 27.

Me: What should we buy Daddy for Christmas?
J.D.: A bulldozer wif MUD!!!
Ali: How about some penguin undies?
Jair: Remember that time we saw a motorcycle at the store? It was big enough for Daddy. We could get that for him - if we have enough money.

Look Who's Walking

Jonah took his first steps the week after Thanksgiving, and by Christmas he was a walking pro. It's hard to believe we hadn't even met him this time last year. Now he is an energetic little man, with opinions and a personality of his own.