Monday, March 30, 2009

i {heart} faces


I was going to stay out of the contest this week, but today I stumbled upon the perfect picture for this weeks theme: pouting! Seriously, my kids are experts at pouting, but who wants a picture of their kid acting up? So, today, Jayce was outside playing, and I was snapping away, and voila! I couldn't help but enter...


When I saw that the i {heart} faces people decided to add a pets category this week, I immediately thought of this photo my husband snapped of our dog, Lexi, when we first got our new camera.


As always, click on over to i {heart} faces to check out the other entries this week. See you there!

Not Not Me! Monday

Prayers for Stellan

Hi all. There is a little change to the typical format this week. Normally, in this post, you would find me confessing some of my motherly faults, just like MckMama. However, as I'm sure you know, MckMama's little MckMuffin, Stellan, is gravely ill (click on MckMama's name above to get an update). Today, I'm going to spend the time that I would normally spend writing out my Not Me! Monday list in prayer, going to our God, lifting up little Stellan. I would encourage those who normally participate in MckMama's blog carnival (and those that don't) to do the same.

2 Chronicles 6:19 (NIV)
Yet give attention to your servant's prayer and his plea for mercy, O LORD my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence.

Psalm 61:1 (NIV)
Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.

Matthew 18:19-20 (NIV)
19Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.

Psalm 6:9 (NIV)
The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.

Thanks,
Melissa

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Are You LOST Yet??

Ok, as last night's episode was winding down, and there was about 7 minutes until 10pm, I looked to my husband and said, "I don't think that Sayid is going to kill little Ben, there isn't enough time left!" I stand corrected.
CRAZY!!! I still can't believe that Sayid shot little Ben. My question is, do you think he is dead? According to Daniel Faraday, you can't change history. And, of course, Ben is very much in the present (2007) storyline. But what if Daniel was wrong? Or what if he intentionally misled Sawyer when he told him that. Here's a thought: what if Ben's current unconscious state is not only because of Sun's swift hit to the side of his head, but because of what's happening in the past? Meaning, what if he's still unconscious not because of the hit, but because in the past he's either dead, or close to death. Naturally, his body wouldn't leave if something happened in the past, but his mind could have problems if something happened to him in the past. Does this all make sense? I'm not sure I'm saying this the right way.
I have never been more entertained by a "torture" scene before in my life. Naveen Andrews was hilarious in that scene! How nervous was Sawyer?? You could almost see his whole Dharma life crashing down around him in his eyes. I supposed he was saved by how crazy Sayid was acting.
Does anyone else feel for Juliet here? I just feel so sorry for her. It would seem like she thinks that either her relationship with Sawyer (LaFleur?? Does she call him that? Or Jim? Or does she still call him Sawyer? Just a rabbit trail for you...) is over or her life with the Dharma Initiative is over. Or both! I really want Sawyer and Juliet to work out. I really like them together. I think they make a great little couple. And personally (please Shelley, don't hate me!), I really like Jack and Kate together.
Ok, so I guess we now know how it was that Sayid got to be on that flight (and that he didn't want to be there!!!), now we just have to find out how Kate, Hurley, and maybe Frank got to be there. Although, I suppose that we probably know how Frank got on the plane. He was the pilot, after all. However, I'm looking forward to the back stories of Kate and Hurley, and for cryin' out loud: where the heck has Desmond been?? I sure hope we find out soon!
As always, check out these links for more super awesome recaps:
Watch With Kristin
EW Recap
I'll catch you in the comment section!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Please Consider Doing The Same

Prayers for Stellan

Days like today make me want to scoop up my baby boy and hold him close - and never let go. While we have been through our fair share of medical complications and concerns, our family has been so blessed. We haven't had to sit by the bedside of our child, trying to comprehend the "why's" and "how come's". We haven't been forced to wonder if our baby will make it through the day. I remember saying in a post not too long ago that I wanted to be as popular as CFHusband or MckMama. I regret those words. Because their following has come at a price. Right now, as I hold my baby close, MckMama is pleading for prayers for her little Stellan. Please, stop right now and pray for this precious baby who has captured the hearts of so many. Pray for his heart. Pray for his healing. Pray for his Mama and family. Pray that God's will be done. But please, pray.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lifeline

I never realized what lifeline to the outside world my computer is for me. Yesterday, I went to the library with Jayce while Jeremy and Grayson stayed home with Jeremy. When I got home, Jeremy told me about little Stellan's current heart problems. Naturally, I was very concerned and began praying for him constantly throughout my day. I also stayed online all afternoon, checking into MckMama's blog at least every 15 minutes or so to see if there were any updates. Then it happened... Jeremy informed me that his parents needed the computer and the tax program we'd purchased so they could do their taxes. Of course, I thought. No problem...
That's when I realized that I would have no access to my blog world. No access to my email, no ability to check facebook, eonline.com (a regular stop during my internet time), and most importantly, no updates on Stellan. I didn't realize that my computer held such an important place in my heart - and my lifeline to my sanity. It certainly was going to be a long day and a half. Naturally, I called my mom and instructed her to update me via phone calls if MckMama was to update on Stellan's condition.
I think I have a problem. I can't even go a day without being online. It's sad, really.

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Please, pray for baby Stellan. He's in big trouble with his heart. God can work miracles. His first 5 months have been proof positive of that. Please pray that God has another miracle in story for this sweet baby. Thanks blog friends. I missed you yesterday.

Monday, March 23, 2009

i {heart} faces


So, I'm trying this photography contest again. I've really been enjoying taking pictures with our new digital SLR, especially photos of my kids! Therefore, my entry into the i {heart} faces contest - kids: this week's theme is no flash! Naturally, I think a recent picture of Jayce playing outdoors is in order...


As always, your thoughts and critique and helpful hints (after all, I'm only a beginner!!) are welcomed and encouraged (i.e. leave me a comment!!!). After you talk to me, check out the other entries over at i {heart} faces. See you back here next week!

Not Me! Monday

Yes, blog friends, it is that time of the week again... it's time for Not Me! Monday, the day that I confess my ineptitude as a wife and mother, a la MckMama-style.

I did not cook dinner only two times in the past week. I always make a home-cooked meal for my family, each and every night, on the table at 6 pm for all to feast on. We did not go out to eat 3 times, have my parent's buy pizza one night, and have a "fend for yourself" night too. We did not find the best pizza place in West Michigan this week. I would not totally recommend them to anyone who asked. The night we got the pizza, I did not suggest getting two orders of bread sticks with dinner, and then eat most of one order of them on my own. I would never over-indulge myself on something so unhealthy... especially because I'm not still trying to lose the flubber around my midsection baby weight I still carry from my first pregnancy. Nope, not me!

I never could have been caught this week, participating in the following conversation:
Jayce: Mommy, read Bible (holding his Children's Bible)?
Me: What Jayce? You want to read a book? (said totally distracted, because I'm looking over my husband's shoulder as he is online)
Jayce: Mommy, read Bible?
Me: Not right now, kiddo. Mommy's trying to read online.
Jeremy: Did you just say that??
I never put my own selfish desires over my children's needs and wants. I never put things like the internet or blogging, or email ahead of my family, especially when my child wants to read the Bible... I am so ashamed. (I would like you to know that I after the recorded conversation above, I did drop what I was doing and read it to him...)

Finally, you would not have caught me at Chuck E. Cheese 2 TIMES this week. I did not allow my 2 year old to overindulge in mindless rides and games on two different occasions just because we had extra tokens and a birthday party to attend. I do not still have a ton of extra tokens, and I did not talk to my parents tonight about the possibility of going back again in two weeks when they are in town. I definitely have not acquired a strange tolerance to the cardboard pizza that is served there. Nope, not me!

Ok, blogger friends. It's your turn now. Happy Not Me-ing!! (I did not just make that into a word!!)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Jayce Update

Thanks for your prayers, blog friends. Jayce is a different kid this morning. He is running around and in great spirits. Thanks friends.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Please Pray!!! **UPDATED**

Hey Prayer Warriors. Seeing as I've personally witnessed everyone out there in blogworld rally around many, many causes and submit their requests unto God, I'm asking for your prayers now too! This morning, Jayce hurt his neck. I don't know how it happened, or to what extent (yet), but he's really hurting. He can only move his head in one direction without crying out in pain, and he hasn't let go of the spot that hurts yet. I called our pediatricians office, and they suggested Tylenol and a heating pad to the affected area. They also want to see him asap (the first available appointment was this afternoon, however) to make sure there isn't something worse than a pulled muscle. I'm asking for your prayers. I don't know what's wrong, and I can't figure out how to fix it. That's the worse feeling a mother can feel, I think. Right now, he's relaxing on the couch, trying not to move, and watching movies. Hopefully the next hour or so will go by quickly. Thanks people.

**UPDATED**
Just got back from the doctor's office. The doctor seems to think that it is a slightly pinched nerve. This is how he described it: Have you ever cranked your neck while drying off after a shower or just moved the wrong way and had problems moving your neck? That's what he thinks Jayce did. He checked him thoroughly (through the screams of a 2 year old boy - Sorry Dr. K!), and seems to think that's what happened. He says to give him ibuprofen and Tylenol as needed (to help control the pain) and to just take it easy for a couple of days and it will get better. The only thing we need to worry about is if it happens more times - then it could be indicative of some sort of physical problem. So, please pray that my baby BIGBOY gets feeling better and more like himself soon. Thanks friends!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Are You LOST Yet??

Yes, it's back. Or, I suppose, I'm back. So, what did you think of last night's episode, "Namaste"? My immediate thought: it sure seems like they are setting up the end of this season. Or, that's the feeling that I got from last night's episode. It seemed like they were getting everyone into their appropriate places to gear up for the monumental end of the season. Thoughts? I'm switching things up a little this week... I want to hear your wrap-up of LOST from this week. What did you think was the most significant part(s) of the show? What are the questions you were left with this week? What are you looking most forward to over the next couple of weeks? I'm officially opening up the comments section for your theories and analysis of the show. I'll be sure to respond to everyone who comments. To be quite honest, I really relish the commentary that goes back and forth the most, not just writing about what I think (which largely comes from my reading of others recaps and analysis). As always, I'd encourage you to check out these two recaps:

Watch With Kristin

EW: Jeff Jensen's Recap

Ok, comment, anyone?

Wordless Wednesday - A Few Hours Late

Ok, mostly Wordless Wednesday - A Few Hours Late: I bet you can't guess what we did today since we had lots of leftover coins and it was supposed to be bad weather...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sometimes I Forget...

Once upon a time, I studied to become a teacher. Sometimes I forget that. Once upon a time, I was trained to work with young children. Sometimes I forget that. Once upon a time, it was actually an assignment of mine to gather toys specifically for teaching children of a preschool age. I still have those toys in my attic storage area. Sometimes I forget that...
Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the day to day activities involved in being a mother. Get up, change diapers, get breakfast for kids, sneak a bite or two myself, change diapers, entertain by reading books, building with blocks, toys of all kinds, change diapers... ok, you see where I'm going here. Therefore, we tried something new the other day. I dug around in that attic storage space and pulled out some supplies from my Early Childhood Education days. We found my bin of beans the most entertaining...
It didn't take Jayce long to dig right in. I threw in some old Easter eggs that were sitting around and we make noise makers (or shaking eggs like they are called at Library Laptime). I also dug around in my outgoing recycling bin (after all, using those plastic containers would be considered recycling, right?) for a few things to add in. Jayce thought it was great just scooping up beans and pouring them into other containers.
This was super easy to do. Although, I had added bird seed to mine tub when I first put this stuff together... I wouldn't recommend that. There were some smaller parts that made quite a mess. Part of our fun was getting to sweep up all of the beans that made it out of the tub with a little hand held broom and dust pan.
Sometimes I forget what fun it can be to explore new, fun activities. This one is just wondering when he gets to join in now...

Editing - An Experiment

I downloaded Picasa 3 yesterday. If you are unaware, Picasa 3 is a free program for photo editing (etc.) by Google. Today I started experimenting... here's the original:
Here is the picture, after some tweaking. Mostly, I just bumped up the color a little. But I really like the way it turned out.
Jayce definitely got the photo editing love today. Here's another example of an original, as taken, photo that I played with.
Here's the result. I think I'm going to like this program...
** So, I'm realizing that with how small the pictures are, and with how slight some of the changes were, it's really hard to actually pick out the differences. Oh well. At least you know how fun I had playing with the new program! **

Monday, March 16, 2009

Arizona (and Vegas!) Fun

Finally, the long awaited post about our trip out to Arizona this past week. We had such a good time, and we took so many pictures that it took forever to get this post together. Not to mention that I am really not very good about weeding out pictures... Oh well.
This was Grayson's first airplane ride. He missed the take-off because he was sound asleep in his carseat. We were fortunate enough to have the row across the aisle from the 3 seats we purchased completely empty, so we took over those seats too! Which meant that we got to bring Grayson's carseat onto the plane for him to sit in. Or, for him to sit in for the 30 minutes he would sleep in it. Because that's about all he'd do.
Jayce enjoyed the DVD player we borrowed from Nana and Papa. He and Daddy got to watch Cars on dvd while we were on the plane. Note to self, never turn on a movie in hopes that Jayce will fall asleep while watching it... it doesn't happen.
Grayson helped to entertain the flight attendants on our flight. They all got a kick out of his chubby cheeks and sweet demeanor. Ironically enough, half of the flight crew on the return flight were from our first flight. They recognized us Grayson's chubby cheeks immediately when we boarded. I think that Grayson did enjoy his first flights.
I just love this shot of Grayson hanging out in the hotel in Vegas. I'm not sure what it is about this shot, but he's just so happy and cute...
Same with this shot of Jayce. I just love it. Not the pacifier that's hanging out of his mouth (we definitely have a paci problem...), but I just love the look in his eyes.
While we were in Vegas, we stayed at Circus Circus. While I will not be taking my young children back to Vegas again, if you do, may I recommend Circus Circus. They have the Midway that opens everyday at 11am, with free circus acts and carnival atmosphere and games. That's how we wasted money in Las Vegas...
Riding the kiddie rides that were 50 cents apiece...
and playing skeeball. In our defense, we were trying to win Jayce a red car that could pass for Lightning McQueen. However, I don't think it was worth all of the money we spent wasted on it. Seriously, when you walk up to a skeeball machine that says you only need a 230 to win, that seems attainable. Not necessarily... (but we did eventually win him that car!)
Here we are all packed up into our rental vehicle. We had four different cars when we were out there... The first 3 had something wrong with them. Lucky us!
Grayson rocked out in Mommy's sunglasses during part of the ride. We did try putting Jayce's sunglasses on him, but they were too small for him. Such a big head. Side note - that adorable taggie blanket sitting behind Grayson was blocking the sun for him. I rigged it up on the window and his carseat and promptly forgot that 2 times when opening the car door and ripped it. Now I've to find someone who can fix it for me... I'm not exactly good with a needle and thread.
Here we are at the train park in Scottsville, AR. This was a great playground, with signs designating the best age group for their various jungle gyms. There was also an awesome train that went around the park, but more on that later... Jayce would go down the slide and say, "That was fun!"
While we were in Arizona, some good friends from home were visiting family in Phoenix, and we were invited down to hang out for a night. Here's Jayce, my friend, and I playing on the basketball court in the back of our friend's grandparents' house. They had an amazing view!
The train park! In addition to the great playground equipment the train park had to offer, there was also a miniature train that we got to ride. It took us on a 5-10 minute ride around the entire park, and Jayce was just so entertained by the ride. We took a video, but it was quite boring because Jayce kept saying, "Train, train, train" the entire time.
Grayson and I got in on the picture action also. Grayson just sat back and enjoyed the sunshine and the breeze.
Here's the engine. And the boys.
Grayson had many "firsts" while we were in Arizona: first airplane ride, first time on a slide...
first time swinging, first time wearing this ridiculous hat...
First time watching Jayce and Daddy on a carousel ride. I took a picture of Jayce and Jeremy every time they went by us. The first time Jayce was all smiles, then it started to fade, eventually he had no smiles, and he was staring off into space... Hmm, maybe this kid gets a little motion sick.
Grayson also had his first ice cream while we were on vacation. Shame on me. This is the kid that won't eat solids very well, he's "overweight" according to the doctor's office (which, I was under the impression that as long as he was breastfed, he didn't have a weight problem...), and I gave him soft serve ice cream. He decided he liked it pretty fast.
Jayce enjoyed playing with the train table at the gift/ice cream shop at the park. Then again, he always enjoys playing with trains, planes, and automobiles...
On our drive back from Phoenix, we followed this horse trailer on a short boring stretch of the highway. This horse kept sticking his head out of the trailer just like a dog! It was hilarious!
Ahh, pictures of the colorful sunset we experienced on our drive. The colors over the mountains were so beautiful.
We frequented many parks while we were in Arizona. This is the park that Grayson had the explosion that I wrote about in my Not Me! Monday post.
Sunday, we got to spend some time with the entire Schreiber family. Mikey is Jeremy's cousin's son. Jayce and Mikey literally ran circles around Uncle Bill and Aunt Di's house for at least an hour. Jayce slept so well that night... Jayce is sitting on Megan's lap. We stayed with Mike and Megan.
This is Mike. Sunday night, we had a popcorn and movie night. Jayce saw the big bowl of popcorn, and sat right down on Mike's lap and dug in. They were too cute, sitting together, chowing down on popcorn and juice. Side note - We had an amazing time staying with Mike and Megan. They are so hospitable and generous with their time and home. Thanks Mike and Megan!
Our drive back into Vegas brought us across the Hover Dam. Right now, they are in the process of building a highway bypass so that semi-trucks and larger vehicles that are not allowed across the dam (post 9-11) can travel a quicker route and not have to detour so far around. Driving to Kingman, we saw them working on it and were amazed by the sheer size and height of the new roadway. Naturally, on the way back, we took lots of pictures so that we could show all of you! To get an actual idea of how big it is, look at the cars under the overpass.
Add ImageHere's the boys in front of the Hover Dam. That's the white construction in the bottom right corner. If you look at the mountains in the background, you can see the pillars standing up almost as tall as the mountains. Those are the main structure of the bridge that goes over the Colorado River just down stream from the Hoover Dam. See what I mean, HUGE!
Again, to really get an idea of how tall this bridge is, look at the car under it. The crazy part is, when you are driving from Vegas to Arizona, you litterally curve around the mountain and suddenly there is this gigantic structure! It's almost overwhelming and terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time. I know for a fact that I will never want to drive over it. Too scary.
This is the machinary that is building the archway that will eventually help support the decking that cars will drive on. If you look closely, you can see a person in orange (look just below the center of the photograph). That will give you a point of reference to just how HUGE this bridge is going to be one day.
We had to stop on our way back into Vegas so that I could feed Grayson, and Jeremy took some really cute pictures of Jayce "driving" the car. This was definitely one of my favorites.
Here's the men of the family waiting for another circus act to start at the Midway at Circus Circus. We stayed there one more night before we flew out to come back to Michigan.
We gave Jayce and Grayson a short tour of Las Vegas. We made it to the M&M store, which the boys thought was pretty cool. Jayce was excited to be able to pick out specific colors of M&M's. I was pretty excited to be able to eat them! We also saw the dancing fountains in front of the Bellagio.
All in all, we had such an amazing vacation. It was nice to be able to get away from our frigid temperatures for a week, but even better to be able to spend some time with family we don't get to see often enough.