Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Yesterday, I was holding my baby boy in my arms for the first time. Then, I blinked, and today he is running all over my house! I can't believe my little man is one! What a joy he is for our family! Here are some things about Ian:

Weight: 22 lb.s 4 oz. (25-50%)
Length: 31 inches (75-90%)
Head: Huge

Ian loves to play with anything that has wheels, and balls. "Ball" is probably his favorite word, followed closely by "Dada," or sometimes even "Daddy." He also says mama, bus, bath, duck, turtle, Bible, eat, all done, hi, bye-bye, up, this, that, and he often walks around saying "apple," but I don't think he knows what that means.

He still loves Praise Baby dvds, but also is showing a liking for Backyardigans, which Ansley likes to watch. He loves music and dancing, so that show is right up his alley! He still takes at least one good nap a day, sometimes two, and sleeps through the night. He loves to eat, and would snack all day if I let him. Peas are one of his favorite things! (Yuck!!!)

Ian loves to watch Kennedy get off the school bus each day, and loves to play with toys. I can set him in the living room (where a lot of his toys are) and he will play and entertain himself for a long time. He loves to try and dart up the stairs if we forget to put the gate up, and also had a little incident a few weeks ago where he fell down the stairs. Luckily, he was okay!

He is very mild-mannered and laid back, although just recently we are starting to see a side of him that we hadn't previously seen. He is walking, and very mobile, and has decided that when he wants down, he wants down! Trying to keep him still at the doctor's office today for his well-baby check-up was a lot of fun...4 shots was a lot of fun too. :( We've also learned recently that he does not like for things to be taken away from him, this makes him a very upset little boy. He'll learn.

He's mostly happy, doesn't know a stranger, (although he sometimes pretends to be bashful), and still has his father's disposition. He LOVES his sisters and can make them laugh quite easily--which he just eats right up! I think he may be a little comedian!

We love our baby boy and are so thankful that God blessed us with him!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Time is flying by!

Is it November? Really? That cannot be possible, right? Where does the time go? It seems like once October hits, things are busy, busy, busy, and it stays that way until Christmas is over. We've had a good, but busy fall so far, and are looking forward to Thanksgiving in Peoria, followed by Ian's first birthday. Again, how is this possible? I'll quit asking questions and leave you with a few Halloween pictures of Hannah Montana, Minnie Mouse, and Ian the Zebra.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

First Haircut

Although Ian doesn't have tons of hair, it was starting to grow over his ears and down his neck. Since Wednesdays happen to be "Kids Day" at the nearby salon, I took him in today for his first cut. He did a great job and sat there like a champ! It's not super noticeable that he got a cut, but it does look much cleaner.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Guest Post--Adami Tulu

No updates today on my kiddos, or what's going on around here, I'll do that soon, I promise. Instead, I have a guest post from a friend, that also happens to be a cousin-in-law!

Mary Beth and I met at Harding and were both in Zeta Rho together. We got to know each other even better when she started dating Jeremy's cousin Casey. In fact, her and Casey were engaged shortly after our wedding, and married the following December.

Casey and Mary Beth have three children too, two of which were adopted from Ethiopia. They are very passionate about adoption and Ethiopia. They are such a great example for us all of listening to God's calling. We haven't got to meet their two cuties from Ethiopia, but we love seeing pictures and look forward to meeting them sometime soon! Please take the time to read what Mary Beth has written (she's a great writer!) and consider making a donation and possibly winning a getaway to Aspen!

Thank you so much Jeremy and Laura for allowing me to post on your blog about a subject that is so important to me.

Over three years ago, my husband and I began our journey to adopt our son from Ethiopia. And since that time, God has been filling our hearts with an overwhelming love and passion for the people of Ethiopia. We returned a year after our first adoption to bring our daughter home. After arriving home with her, we knew we had to do more.

We have been so blessed to team up with other adoptive families around the U.S. and with Lifesong for Orphans. Lifesong is doing some amazing work through a small nursery school that they support in Adami Tulu, Ethioipa. You can read more about Adami Tulu here.

Last year, we, with five other families, raised over $40,000 to build a new building, restroom facility, and gate at the Adami Tulu school. In August, we got to return to Ethiopia to see the new building. We had an amazing trip, and have absolutely fallen in love with Adami Tulu. You can read more about our trip here and here. The school is changing the lives of so many vulnerable children in the area by offering them a wonderful education and two nutritious meals a day.

We've returned home with the knowledge that we have so much more to do in Adami Tulu. So we've agreed to continue our work with Lifesong by raising funds for another school building on the Adami Tulu campus. This will enable the school to expand to include 1st and 2nd grade. More details will be coming soon, but we're anxious to get a jump start on fundraising. We know that this project will cost at least $50,000. But, for these sweet faces, we'll do anything!

We are very excited to announce our first fundraiser for our next phase of the Adami Tulu project: another Aspen Giveaway!

Our Aunt and Uncle have, once again, generously donated toward our fundraising efforts. Only this time they've offered us not one but FIVE stays at the Hyatt Grand Aspen.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Exploring, Drawing, and Learning, Oh my!

Ian is on the go...all the time! I don't know if it's just a difference between girls and boys, or if my girls were just calm and laid back, but this little guy gets into everything! With the girls, I could set them in the middle of a room with some toys and for the most part they would sit and play. If I put Ian in the middle of the room with toys, he looks at the toys and then begins looking around the room and making his move to wherever he desires to explore for a while. We have to make sure our basement door is closed at all times, the toilet lids are shut, and all decorations within reach have been placed in areas that he cannot get to. It's exhausting! Poor Ansley doesn't understand (no matter how many times I tell her!) that he can't open doors, and she will often stand guard in front of the basement door, fridge, gate on the stairs, etc., saying "No, no, no Ian...Mom, Ian is trying to open the basement door!" or whatever he might be close to. At least she's looking out for the little guy! We also think he may be a lefty just like his oldest sister. He uses his left hand to eat, wave, sucks his left thumb, and even his Sunday school teacher has noticed that he favors his left hand. Apparently last Sunday he was holding something and she tried to give him something else, and he switched what he had over to his right hand so that he could reach and grab the item with his left. Jeremy's determined to make him a pitcher if he truly is a lefty! Here's a picture of our future Cardinals pitcher making his "silly face" as we like to call it! :)

Speaking of Ansley, I have tried to start doing some workbook activities with her. She amazes me with what she knows! She seems really smart to me (of course!) but I think it's probably more that I just think of her as being so young, and I forget sometimes she not that far away from being 4! Here is a picture of her doing some workbook activities. In the background you can see a painting she made, and some rocks that she painted.

Kennedy decided to give up dancing and try her hand at soccer instead. Jeremy is her coach and she plays the next six weeks on Saturday mornings. I think she likes the idea of playing soccer better than actually playing. She only touched the ball with her foot one time I think, and is completely willing to let everyone else have their turn trying to kick the ball. At halftime she asked me if it was time for lunch yet. Oh, well, at least she's cute!

At home, she has been busy drawing pictures and trying to decorate any place I will let her in our house. Our upstairs is filled with pictures of things she made. For example, here is Ian's bedroom door:

My closet door:

Jeremy's closet door:

Her and Ansley's bedroom door:

The wall by her bed:

I've given up trying to stop her from taping things everywhere, but I have limited it to her bedroom, or doors on our top floor only. She's a pretty good artist and I hate to hurt her feelings by telling her I don't want her artwork all over my house!

I have recently taken up a new hobby (thanks to my sis-in-law Heidi for teaching me!) and have been making shirts for the kids. Well, technically, I don't make the shirts, but I cut out patterns and iron on/stitch them onto shirts. Here are some I made for the girls. I made one for their cousin Sidney too. I've got a bunch of fabric ready to do some more, but I am making myself wait on buying shirts until I finish 2 library books that are due back soon! It's super fun and addicting.

Until next time...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

He Made a Liar Outta Me!

Pretty much as soon as I published my last post, Ian decided to make a liar out of me! How dare I publish on the world wide web that my 9-month old son does not know how to crawl???

Well he showed me! (Please excuse my annoying voice on the video, I was just so excited!)

We now have a crawler on our hands folks!

9 Months

My sweet thumb-sucking boy is 9 months old! We had his check-up today, which was not pleasant at all due to a missed nap (sorry Dr. John!) He was fussy and just not himself. In fact I was so flustered by his crying while trying to get us packed up to go home that I forgot to grab the paper that had his stats on it. I think I remember them though for the most part:
Weight: 19 lbs. 14 oz. (25-50th percentile)
Height: 29 inches (90th percentile)
Head: Greater than the 97th percentile

So as you can see, he is becoming a long, lean little boy! He may not be the little chunk we always thought he would be after all. In fact he's only a few ounces heavier than Ansley was at 9 months--and we all know she's a little pipsqueak! He is longer than both girls were at this age though.

He's a great baby, usually very happy, and sleeps wonderfully! He sleeps around 12 hours at night and then naps usually twice during the day for 2-3 hours each. In fact, he took a nap through his baby dedication at church on Sunday! :) He says "da-da," "ma-ma" on occasion, and tries to say "all done" while he signs the motion for it. He weaned himself last week, and has quickly learned the word "ba-ba" for bottle!

He can go from sitting to the crawling position and from the crawling position to the sitting position, but he still hasn't crawled yet. He scoots around on his belly and rolls everywhere else, getting him pretty much to wherever he wants to be! He pulls up to his knees, but not to his feet yet.

He LOVES his big sisters, eating (anything he can!), and playing peek-a-boo. Praise Baby videos can make him stop crying in a heartbeat. He still loves his jump-a-roo, but is growing less and less fond of his exersaucer now that he is becoming more mobile. Overall, he is a perfect third baby! We love him so much!

In other news, first grade is going well for Kennedy. She got to "hold" the class pet--Lucille the Gecko--which we later found out meant she actually just petted Lucille's tail, but she is hoping to become brave enough to hold her some day. Ansley is enjoying her time at home, and still claims she doesn't miss her big sister at all while she's away. Jeremy has just begun the process of moving from the Youth Minister at our church to the position of Children/Family Minister. We are very excited about his new job and the fact that we will see much more of him on weekends and especially in the summer! We will miss the relationships that we were able to form with the teenagers at our church but are excited about working together as a couple/family in the ministry. We are very thankful for this transition and think it will be great for our family. That's about all for now!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

First Day of First Grade!

How time flies! We now have a first grader on our hands...a very excited first grader to say the least! Kennedy woke up at 6:15 today as happy as could be! She had her first day of school outfit all picked out and ready to go (which she thought was super cool) and we quickly got ready and headed out the door to a special first day of school Steak 'n Shake. After her eggs and toast, we went up to school where she led the way to her classroom, found her seat, and we said our good-byes. That was it! She still gave us all hugs and kisses goodbye though--she's not too cool for that yet!

On our way to the car Ansley asked Jeremy if he was staying home today. When he replied, "no", Ansley's response was "Oh, I will miss you. But I won't miss KK (Kennedy)!" I think Ansley is ready to rule the house again! I'm looking forward to 3:30 to hear how Kennedy's first day was!

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Recently my girls have said some pretty funny things. The other night we had a conversation like this:
Jeremy: I'm ready for dinner.
Kennedy: Me too!
Ansley: Me three!

Friday night we went over to the home of one of Jeremy's coworker's. Kennedy needed to use the restroom so I took her. As she was finishing her business, she exclaimed "This is NOT toilet paper! It must be Angel Soft!". I said "Where have you heard of Angel Soft?" Her reply: "I saw a commercial on tv an it is even softer than regular toilet paper so this has got to be it!"

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My Pride and Joy

This little girl starts first grade next week. Where has the time gone? She is so excited and is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the special piece of mail that tells her who her teacher will be. The other day she said "Mom, I bet you'll be glad when I go back to school so you don't keep hearing me say 'I'm bored. What can we do?'" She's a pretty smart little girl. I do feel a little bad though, because between Ian's 2-3 naps a day, it has been hard to go do a lot of things. There have been days we've ventured out places and just hoped that Ian slept some along the way, but it probably hasn't been the most exciting summer for her. However, she did get to visit both sets of grandparents, attend VBS, go the the Magic House, go to the Science Center, go to the zoo, go to Six Flags, and swim...a lot. I'd say it wasn't too bad!

As for this little girl, I think she may be ready for her big sis to head back to school! We've had lots of fighting the past few weeks, and I think big sister cramps her style. Although she is certainly old enough for pre-school, we are going to wait and just send her for one year--next year--before Kindergarten. I do plan on doing some learning activities with her each day though. She loves to try to write her letters, but really doesn't know very many, so I think we'll start there! She's still obsessed with shoes, and just yesterday I went through some of Kennedy's old things and got out all the size 9 shoes we have. Ansley tried on each and every pair throughout the day and was so excited about them! Today she was telling me which shoes looked good with dresses and which ones didn't. She's hilarious.

This little man is growing like a weed! He's trying his hardest to figure out crawling, but still has not mastered that skill. He has 2 teeth on bottom and 4 teeth on top! Today he did his first sign language--for "all done"-- and he clapped for the first time! Big day for him! He is such a wonderful baby! He is so content and happy most of the time. For naps, I just put him in his crib, turn on his mobile, kiss his cheek, tell him good-night, and let him be, and he goes to sleep. He absolutely adores his sisters, and they get more giggles out of him than Jeremy and I can! Some of his favorite things are his jumper that we hang from the doorway, and Praise Baby videos. He also loves all types of baby food! I'm so thankful for all 3 of my kids!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer So Far

We've had a fun summer so far! Following Kennedy's birthday party, my mom and Dave came for her actually birthday. We had a fun time at Purina Dog Farms and the World Bird Sanctuary with them. They bought Kennedy a bike for her birthday and she has been having lots of fun with that. Her other favorite presents were a Barbie laptop, mp3 player, and new TwinkleToe tennis shoes from her Nana and Papa! Nana always comes through with cute shoes for the girls...if you know Jeremy's mom, you know why! :)

The following week was pretty uneventful, although the girls did help the youth group at a carwash to raise money for Joplin. Jeremy ended up taking a group down there to help with tornado cleanup. He said it was unbelievable all of the damage. While he was there, one of my very best friends in the whole world, Lindsay, came to visit for a few days. She has two daughters close in age to my girls. We had fun hanging out, swimming, slip-n-sliding, and going to the Magic House.

This week, Jeremy has been at church camp all week, so the kids and I made a spur of the moment trip to Peoria to stay with my mom and Dave for a few days. It ended up being perfect timing, as our old church was having a VBS that the girls attended. They had a great time in the "wild west" for a few evenings. Thanks Kristin and Aaron for doing such a great job!

While I was home, I got a very unexpected Facebook message from the mom of my boyfriend in high school. It just so happens that I may have given him my class ring in high school...against my parents wishes. It also turns out that he lost it when we were 16 or 17. He thought he lost it at church and we had dug through trash and vacuum cleaner bags looking for it. Well it turns out a few years ago they were laying sod in their yard and one of the workers found my ring! It's still in perfect condition too! So I met up with her and got it back, after having thought it was gone forever! So that was kind of crazy!

We have a pretty low key week coming up, followed by Jeremy leaving for a mission trip to Honduras on July 8. I really didn't want to stay home with the kids by myself that week, and was wanting to go visit my in-laws. However, I am too scared to drive all the way to Omaha by myself with 3 kids...especially with one that needs to eat every 3 hours. It also turns out one of the main roads I would need to take is flooded, meaning back roads are necessary. However, I have the most awesome mother-in-law in the world, and she is flying to St. Louis, hopping in the car with us, and helping me drive her back to Omaha! Then a week later, she is driving back to St. Louis with us, where the next day we will put her back on a plane to Omaha! She must really love us! :)

Here are a few pictures from our last few weeks.

Lindsay and me

Lindsay's oldest and my oldest!

Trying Crown Candy for the first time--it's a really old diner in the city

How I found Ian in his bed one day

Kennedy and her bike

My long lost class ring

Just a cute pic

Ian and his great-grandma

Pony rides at VBS