Friday, September 30, 2011

Grandparent Day

For me, September 30th is a day to remember my grandparents, all of whom have gone on to heaven now.

September 30th was my Grandma's birthday, and it was also the day we laid her to rest six years ago. She died just a couple of months after her sister, my great-aunt "Dopey", who might as well have been a grandparent too. From time to time, these ladies come to my mind, and I think of all the questions I would like ask them now, in my somewhat more mature state. Whenever they wander into my mind, I imagine that they must be praying for me at that moment. :) I know they did their fair share of that on earth and I am always thankful for it. They gave me my first church experiences. My aunt visited my Sunday school teacher at work to pray in joy after I first believed. I think about how many hours they lovingly and selflessly cared for their silly, rambunctious bunch of grandkids. I immensely wish I would have spent more time as an adult getting to know them better. They loved us all equally and sacrificially. They loved us just as we were. I am forever grateful. My Grandpa on my dad's side passed when I was about two years old and unfortunately I have no memories of him.

This day is also the one year anniversary of my Pop's passing. He left us just a couple of months after my grandmother, his wife, Nanna passed. His mission was over. So this day ends up bringing all of them to mind. They all had their strengths, as well as weaknesses, and all had such an impact on my life. I eagerly look forward to seeing them again one day!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

This & That

This was Sunday's outfit. He actually wore his Ariat boots out in public for the first time. (We bought these at the end of May.) They are probably about to be too small :( Of course, when we picked him up from his class after church, he was the only barefoot child in the class. It seems he insisted on removing the boots and socks. He was definitely the only cowboy at church on Sunday and I loved it. :)

The following are pictures taken by Samantha. She always manages to catch him just right!

My sweet boy. He has been such a joy lately and I am trying to soak it up. He never minds giving a hug or kiss when asked, and sometimes when not asked. He adores his daddy and starts asking me around 5:00 everyday when Daddy will be home from work. He is always so excited to see Jeremy and is looking for different ways to engage and interact with him. He loves all that rough-housing and teasing that boys do. Two is so much fun these days! (If only you could just skip over that whole baby stage, I might be more inclined to have another! Ha!) Noah also loves being around other kids his age, usually running right up to them to say hi.

Fall is a busy time for families, and I am definitely feeling it for the first time this year. Between my random work schedule, Noah going to the sitter on Fridays (plus other days that I might work), Kindermusik, our MC group, occasional playdates, I am considering taking on some other activities as well. I have offered to help co-lead the Moms group I attend with other ladies from church and am praying about working with Young Lives, as a mentor, or some sort of assistance, ministering to teen moms and their kiddos in the area. And, I am trying to coordinate with another mom from church, a more "seasoned" lady :), to begin mentoring me. Sometimes I end up biting off more than I can chew, so we will see how God lays all of this out!

I am excited for October to arrive and usher in some cool breezes and see how the Lord will use us and direct our steps!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

All Aboard!

Today we took Noah to "A Day Out With Thomas" in Burnet, TX, about 45 minutes away from us. I think he really enjoyed himself!

This $4.99 Thomas whistle was the MVP of the evening.

Noah getting his first tat. What precious memories.

Waiting to board.

I thought they might just decorate one of their engines to look like Thomas, but this seems to be the real deal.

As luck would have it, we ended up on the only air-conditioned car. It made the the 25-minute ride to nowhere a bit more fun.

And we ended our adventure with dinner in Bertram at the Tin Star. Tasty!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Nose to the Grindstone

A group of people can't really love you until you've bled in front of them, right??

So last night, Noah and I head off to our new "missional community group", also known as "life groups" or "home groups" by other churches. Our church is really focused on living life together and living on mission. I guess the Lord brought a little of the blood and guts of living together to last night's gathering, so to speak.

Anyway, this was the second meeting we had attended (Jeremy was working late last night and not able to come). The leaders put on a cookout in their front yard. This was great, except for trying to keep Noah away from the street. Toward the end of the evening, Noah is chasing some other kids around the yard and I turn to look at someone for about 3 seconds. When I look back, he is standing at the street corner calmly observing the SUV turning the corner right in front of him. I yell his name in my very best panicked mama voice, rush over, and lead him by the hand back into the driveway, deciding that it is time to go home. Already apprehensive about going by myself to a front yard cookout, I fed Noah and myself in advance, knowing I would not be able to take my eyes off him to worry about food.

So I lean over to pick Noah up and he jumps up at the same time, ramming his head into my nose. I hear my nose "pop" and blood comes gushing out, the likes of which I have never seen from my own body. Noah starts to whine about bumping his head and I think, "Oh no, kid. You are not going to complain about this one when you just broke your mother's nose!" I drag him by the hand over to our group leader, say her name, and she says, "Oh!" when she sees me and leads me into the house. As I pass, people are saying "Oh my gosh." I drip blood everywhere, while trying to corral my two-year-old, who refuses to leave my side and go play with the teenage babysitters. And all the while, my husband is texting and calling me, trying to properly assess the situation and determine whether its logical for him to come pick up Noah or not. My text stating "Come get Noah now, I think he just broke my nose" was not evidence enough, mind you. Ha! I can laugh now. Christy was extremely gracious helping me mop up, filling me with ibuprofen, and insisting I take one of her holey dishrags home with me to bleed on, giving me a "mom" hug, and walking us to the car. Noah and I made it home safely and I managed to dry up the tears and bloodshed at about the same time. :)

I am thankful and relieved to report no swelling or bruising, and though my nose is still a bit sore, I do not think it was broken! Most of all, I am thankful for God's protection of Noah, besides my nose!

In other news, I think my Canon Powershot, right at 3 years old, is officially down and out. I think I have a few pictures and videos that I need to download from the memory card before I toss the camera. We never got a good case for it, and I think my tossing it in my purse with Noah's milk cup and whatever else that lives in that hole has been its downfall. Boo. While I do want a new camera, with a real zoom lens, I do not really want to pay what one of those costs right now. Any recommendations?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Beauty for Ashes

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
for the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed.
2 He has sent me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
3 To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for his own glory.

Isaiah 61:1-3

A friend posted on Facebook last night that she spent the day helping a neighbor shift through the ashes of her home, looking for treasured pieces of jewelry. Through this, she was reminded of this verse in Isaiah. In turn, this passage reminded me of the lives of so many in our area right now.

Lately I have been feeling like I live in Abilene again. I remember how I used to long for cloudy days, sick to death of the sun shining endlessly. (Alternately, in WV, I longed for the sunny days, particularly in wintertime, where we might only see the sun twice a week.) This weekend was gloriously cloudy. And humid. There were peals of thunder. And sprinkled. All the conditions were perfectly set up for thunderstorm after thunderstorm to roll through. And yet, we remained dry, for the most part. Other parts of Austin did have some significant amounts, thankfully. We'll take what we can get, especially to recharge the lakes, river, and aquifer.) It seemed clear to me that God is at work. He has chosen this time for record heat and drought. He will allow rain when he sees fit. And we will continue to pray earnestly for his blessing.

We had a pretty quiet weekend. We were all excited to head to The Stone on Sunday. Noah grinned and repeated, "I going to church!" Jeremy and I were looking forward to the second of the current 4-sermon series our pastor filmed while in Israel this summer. The cinematography is incredible. The messages simple, beautiful, and powerful. Last week, Matt read aloud, in its entirety, the Sermon on the Mount from the Sea of Galilee. Yesterday, he spoke about Jesus' grief from the Garden of Gethsemane. Please watch these if you get a chance, they are only about 20 minutes or so apiece.

Aside from that, our only eventful happening was at 4:00am on Sunday when Noah woke us up crying. I went in and asked what was wrong, and he was rubbing his nose frantically and told me he had a "googer." When I went to blow his nose, I noticed that the wipe had something dark on it so I turned on the light. He had blood everywhere! Jeremy had to come in and help me change his pajamas, bed sheet, and wash his face and hands. I still don't know if he banged his nose or if it was just a completely random nosebleed.

Hope you all have a fantastic week! I am trading childcare with another mom from my mom's group so I was able to work this morning while she watched Noah and I will have 4-month-old Emmylou two evenings for a couple of hours this week while her mom tutors. So far, so good!

Pictures that Samantha took on Friday of Noah and his sweet buddy, Adam.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!

I stepped outside to head to work this morning (Yes, I am working quite hard. No, really it's just dead around here.) and found the air to be cloudy and humid and full of potential for RAIN! It has not rained yet, but I am praying and hopeful. The weatherman says it has not rained in nearly 3 months here and we are desperate.

I dropped Noah off at Samantha's house this morning with his cool, new Thomas the Train backpack in tow! He was so excited about it. We went to Target yesterday and I held up the Thomas backpack side by side with an Elmo backpack and he immediately chose Thomas. It even has wheels, so he had fun pulling it around yesterday. We are taking Noah to Burnet next weekend to ride Thomas on the Austin Steam Train and I'm excited about that for him.

Here is Noah with his best bud Adam this morning. They are so cute. They always hug as soon as they see each other.

I am starting to purchase fall/winter clothes for Noah, collecting them in hopes that cooler temps will befall us soon! I am really missing WV right now. Shocking? I LOVED fall there. I loved having seasons, winter being the only exception. It is just so gorgeous there in fall.

That being said, it is a trade off. Sometimes you have to make concessions. And while we just lived through the hottest, driest summer on record in Austin, I still wouldn't trade it. I love it here. We love it here. We have a great church and are starting to get plugged in, finally. I am making some really neat friends. Jeremy loves his hospital, boss, and co-workers. Our friends from DFW, Ross & Kelly, and their newbie, Madison, are moving here soon so that Ross can work with Jeremy again. God is always good, but life is really good right now as well. I know the day will come when we are called to move on again, all in God's time, but for now, I am content, and pleading to stay put for a long time!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Summer 2011 in Review

Well, hello. You may remember me. My name is Amy and I'm a blog-slacker. I am also a picture-taking-slacker, because I just realized that I pretty much stopped taking pictures this summer, and all I have are some my mom took during a couple of visits over the summer. Well, I do have some snapshots taken with my phone and uploaded to Facebook, but really, that's about it. I'm not sure what happened.

We have been busy, but that's no excuse. I worked a good bit. We had some fun trips. Noah has learned and grown so much.
We spent a lot of time in the east-facing backyard this summer in the late afternoons, playing in the water, and eating sweet treats that are best consumed outdoors.

When the heat is this ridiculous, who cares if your clothes get a little wet.

It starts like this...
And goes to this...
And ends up here!
Lots of bubbles were blown. Noah has learned to blow them himself...and is sometimes successful about it.
There was some homemade ice cream, of course.

Swimming at the neighborhood pool.

Lots of jumping.
"Kick, kick, kick!" I am so proud of Noah. When he finally revisited a swimming pool at the end of March this year, he cried and wanted nothing to do with getting it. He now LOVES the water, and is quite a daring, if not proficient, little swimmer.

Mmmm...popsicles on the back porch. Though not pictured here, my mom sent us a Zoku Quick Pop Maker and I made yummy, yet nutritious, popsicles for Noah this summer. :)

And Mimi gave him a DumDum too. His first actual candy. Also known as "yumyums," these handy little dandies are now a regular distractor for Noah's haircuts. They are quite popular. ;)

Eventually, the water hose became far more entertaining than the actual wading pools.

And then there was all the watermelon. I will surely have a vine spring up next year along my fence where I have thrown out rind after rind this summer.

Noah's first snow cone, eaten at the park by our house. Of course, he dumped it all down his front. Oddly enough, he loves sweet things, just not when they are cold. Ice cream, etc. is not a huge deal to him, which is a very odd concept for me.

The first 2 weeks in August, we did swimming lessons through the city of Cedar Park. They were a bit of a joke. I mean, would you want to be still and patient, kicking at the floating toys and blowing bubbles when this wonderland was just behind you?

He climbed up by himself and went down the slide, over and over and...

Showing off his skills. He likes walking around the pool with water up to his chin and does NOT want any help...until he starts floating away and inhales a big gulp. :)

You can see this is one of those great zero-entry, or whatever you want to call it, pools that you are able to gradually wade into. Amazing invention for the little guys.

He likes to lay down in the water (wah-yay) on his belly and walk along on his hands, saying "I going swimming!"

So that is our record-busting, hot, hot, HOT summer in Leander, Texas, in a nutshell. Hopefully, I'll get back on the regular blogger train soon and take some new pictures. It's almost time for finding Halloween costumes and a photog to shoot us for the annual family portraits/Christmas card photos. Yikes!