Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Moving words

Everette and I just returned from a Memorial Service for the little baby I posted about earlier. The service was incredibly moving as one would imagine. But I was particularly struck by two things.
1. The letter that our pastor read written by the father. He actually posted it to his blog, which I appreciated because I am going to link it here and because I was so moved I wanted to read it again.
2. our pediatrician was there. I knew from talking to Justin and Kristen that they took Kara to Dr. Miller too, but I was so impressed by the fact that she came to this 2 1/2 mo old baby's funeral. She only could have seen her a handful of times but she came-not just for the viewing, but for the service. This only served to confirm why I love my son's Dr. If any of you live in Lafayette and are looking for a pediatrician, I highly recommend Dr. Johari Miller.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Grieving

Some friends of ours lost their three month old baby girl today. They knew this day was coming but it doesn't make the pain any less. Everette and I have been so touched and burdened by their situation and the way they have carried themselves with such honesty and grace. I know they would covet any prayers you would say for them.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bunches and bunches of stuff

Before we get too much further into the Christmas season, I thought I should catch you all up on Thanksgiving.
As usual we spent the holiday in Selma Alabama visiting Everette's two grandmothers and his aunt. I must say that this was one of the best trips ever. We have been blessed with one of the most easy going babies on the planet. The total trip is ten to ten and a half hours (that is if you don't stop for long periods of time) each way. The total number of minutes Jonathan spent crying were less than 20. He literally sat in his car seat and looked out the window for an hour. It was incredible. We are so thankful.
One of Everette's grandmothers is for all intensive purposes confined to a wheelchair and living in an assisted living facility. His other grandma can still travel somewhat and joins us every year for Christmas in Lafayette. So our trip to Selma is pretty focused on letting Grammy see Jonathan as much as possible. Of course he charmed everyone in the assisted living facility. We took a bunch of pictures and video.



Any of you who have spent any amount of time with Jonathan know he is absolutely fascinated with wheels. It did not take long (a few minutes) before he was trying to drive Grammy's GIANT-wheeled wheel chair.



One of the sweetest moments was on Friday when we took Jonathan over to see Grammy again. Like any grandmother she wants to hold Jonathan, and like and 14 month-old he does not like to sit still. Grammy has no shoulder movement and no arm strength (literally I think Jonathan is stronger than she is). This makes holding him difficult. However, Jonathan will sit still for a long time if you feed him Gerber puffs (a.k.a. Baby Crack). So we sat him next to Grammy and fed him puffs. What happened next was completely spontaneous on his part (well the first time anyway, we coaxed him to do it again for the camera).

In this clip it is neat to see how Jonathan "figures things out".



And finally, just because he is so darn cute, another video of Jonathan as he plays with his truck in Grammy's room. It is fun to hear all the noises he makes, more on those later.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Financial Accountability

The idea makes my stomach turn and my spirit rebel. I know that I am not alone here but I HATE budgets. I hate talking about money.
I heard a podcast from NPR on why other people recoil at the idea... it basically came down to the fact that they are afraid of math. They don't understand it so they think they can't do it so they just don't try.
That pretty much summed me up in a nutshell. I think on top of things, I am married to a money genius. Everette is incredibly bright on a lot of different levels, but he is particularly brilliant when it comes to money. Making, spending, and saving. He likes to talk about it, he likes to read about it, and he likes to think about it.
It would be one thing if I was in a marriage with someone equally or at least more equally ignorant about money. Then we could keep things simple and struggle our way through things together. We would both make big mistakes and we would both learn. Instead, our partnership is incredibly lopsided in this area. This makes me all the more aware of my ignorance and all the more fearful of being exposed. No one likes to look like an idiot in front of their spouse.
My strategy was to take the ostrich approach. Bury my head and pretend that no one could see me. Everette and I would talk about it and even make a budget for a while, but it would get hairy, I would get scared and overwhelmed and then we would have a fight and I would bury my head again.
Everette has two big things. First he is worried if something happens to him, I won't know what to do or how anything works and drown just trying to maintain the status quo (sp?). These fears are not unfounded as far as our investments and house goes. I have never dealt with these.
His other deal is, he believes that money is a tool. A tool to help you do other things... some very noble--to serve God, to love others, and others not so--clothes, gadgets and other commercial items. This view of money leads to a more cautious, but purposeful approach to how you spend your money.
I am a fritterer. Large purchases scare me, I tend to spend money on small frivolous things. I was focused just on "staying out of debt". But that was it. No goals or plan on what to do with the money, nothing to work toward.
About a month ago we had a "Come to Jesus Meeting" It was actually good. Everette made me look over our past expenses and see where our money was going. Then we sat down and had a calm, fruitful, productive, non-yelling discussion about it. We looked at where we could cut back. We made a plan. We assigned responsibilities. I told Everette some of my fears, and things that I felt were too hard for me to take responsibility for right now.
And here is what I discovered. As it turns out, I kind of like the accountability. I feel a great sense of accomplishment when I come in under budget. I like finding ways to save money. I feel in control and aware of our financial situation. I like having a goal to work toward. I was much more prepared to have dinner at home everynight. And I actually chose to eat at home other times we could have eaten out because I knew we could save the money for something else.
I should put a disclaimer-- it has only been a month (not even) and I am only responsible for the tiniest part of our finances, but my hope is that I can start small and build. Who would have thought.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Spread the love

It has happened three times now and the feeling is incredible. God has been using other people to encourage me. Before I begin I have to put a disclaimer, well two actually.
1. The following may sound like I think I am the greatest thing since sliced bread. This is not true. I am WELL aware of my faults. Sometimes too aware, I think.
2. I am not at ALL fishing for compliments. Please do not feel obligated to do so.
I am just happy and I want to spread the love, like peanut butter on white bread.
So it began a few weeks ago when I called my friend to tease her about her debateably hot ex-boyfriend starring (for five minutes, ok maybe 10) on CSI NY (he was the dead archeologist). After several rounds of good-natured ribbing (her husband is our pastor and she could have married a superstar-you can't let that stuff go unnoticed), she interrupted me and told me all sorts of nice things about me. I hung up feeling stunned, humbled, encouraged, and flattered as her sentiments were more than doubly reciprocated on my end.
A few weeks later, I was reading some blogs (as I most often do-really like 10-12 times a day), I came across a post that a friend of mine wrote on someone else's blog explaining his political views on this most recent presidential election. As you can imagine, hot debates ensued. While I agreed with a lot of the opposing view points I couldn't help but see the faults in both arguments. Knowing my friend as I do I could see how his comments were being serioulsy misconstrued. I also saw a few other people trying to make a few lighthearted comments being ripped to shreads by emotionally charged responses.
So I felt compelled to leave a comment. My comment was mainly shaped by the article I posted here on election day. I come to the conclusion that our multiparty system is a blessing from God. Either party if left unchecked to rule would quickly and enthusiastically drive us over a cliff. And a few other points. I certainly did not feel like I was doing anything noble. I was simply spouting my opinion. Something I generally like to do.. it runs in my family.
Later that day I received a voicemail from my friend. Thanking me for my comment. While he may have called everyone that posted, it sure made me feel pretty good.
And finally, this is the badge I wear with the most honor.
There is a guy at my church-who does EVERYTHING!!!!! I mean everything. If you want something or need something. He will get it for you.. or point you in the direction of someone who can. He is at every event. He sets up the chairs every sunday. He does everything. He is an incredibly hard worker. He spends much of his life outside of work at the church. He single handedly headed up the total building overhaul when we moved in. He installed light fixtures, laid flooring, built offices, sets up the tables for EVERY single church event-including women's bible study and is currently heading up the installation of our kitchen (all of this is at our church). The man is incredible, fearless and invincible.
He called me today to tell me that they needed to move the fridge downstairs so they could start working on the... something whatever, not important. He remembered that we were having a church dinner on Monday (that I am coordinating) and wanted to know if that would be a problem. I honestly didn't see how it was a problem. I knew people were dropping stuff off early, but I didn't see why they couldn't walk it downstairs and put it in the fridge down there. I hardly gave it a second thought. I mean, like I was going to tell THIS guy what to do with the fridge.

I called him later tonight about something else, and he said he needed to tell me something. (I was thinking a million things-and none of it was what came next).
He told me he was feeling really down, like ready-to-leave-the-church down, because he was tired of people complaining (it's too hot, too cold, too many chairs, not enough chairs etc.) and when he called me about the fridge he had his walls up and was ready to hear my complaints. He told me he was taken aback at my attitude and I quote "felt like I was walking on air, like Superman" I was completely shocked. You never know (and most often never will find out) where people have been when you come in contact with them. I told him to tell people that the complaint department has moved to Megan Mills and I would tell them where they could shove their complaints.
Honestly, there is so much ugliness in me that comes out at times, that it feels great when you do something great and kind and you don't even realize it. I think I will take this one to my grave. And I hope that I can remember how much a kind word makes a difference. I hope I can remember it when I am tired at the grocery store and the checkout lady is going incredibly slow. I hope I can remember it when it is early in the morning and Everette and I are grouching over who has to get up and get our crying kid.

I hope that I can be kind. Here's to spreading the love!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Finally! Oy!

Get ready for one long post-Lots of pictures I promise!!!
I can't believe it has been over a month since I have posted a real post. So much has happened. In early october Everette's brother Brad was visiting from New York. We had a great time. Plus Everette's mom made her famous fried chicken! Delicious. The following are our attempts to get some semblance of a family photo. The first one is the best one.

Max of course always wants to be where the action.


there are so few pictures of Everette smiling,and even fewer of him throwing his head back and laughing.





This little picture happened when Jonathan pushed his truck up to the rocking chair, and then proceeded to climb up the rocking chair all by himself. Sorry for not rotating it... I forgot to, and now I am too lazy.


Jonathan at one of our playgroup swimming days. Faith Baptist has a pretty fun indoor pool-if you think it is fun to stand in ankle deep water in your swimsuit while a bajillion people from the community center stare at you-we were there the day of the Hoosier Heartland Corridor Extravaganza--yes.. the governer was there along with a ton of photographers and vidoeographers and important-looking people running around in suits.

On Tuesday evening we go have dinner with Great-Gramma Betty. Jonathan has his own little drawer with lots of things that make loud noises!

And finally Halloween! We had our parents over for dinner while we passed out candy. We didn't have any plans to dress Jonathan up, but Everette's mom bought him a sweatsuit with teddy bear ears so we decided that would be perfect to wear. I must say he was quite adorable.

Uncle Grant even brought over a jack o lantern.





My other genius idea was to put the baby gate up on the OUTSIDE of the door-thus containing our overly excitable dog and our runaway rugrat. It also made for some cute pictures!


Stay tuned for more exciting updates-I promise!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

SO I personally try to stay away from posting anything political. Not that I am opposed to it, it just isn't my thing. However....Since today is election day I am making an acception. Everette and I have had many conversations about this election and every time we come up empty handed. We both had strong reasons NOT to vote for either presidential candidates. But being good American citizens we were plagued by a guilty conscience and kept trying to pick a side.
To us it was choosing the lesser of two evils. Yesterday we received an email from Derek Webb (no not a personal one), a singer/songwriter we both really love. I ignored it assuming it was advertising junk. Everette read it and made me sit down and read it before I went to vote. I wish I had read it weeks ago! I just returned from voting having fulfilled my civic duty without violating my conscience. If any of you read this before you vote, and are not sure who to vote for, I encourage you to check out this article. Or even if you have already voted read it to remember for the next election. I PROMISE it is not an article about which candidate is better or worse. It is the most liberating thing I have read in a long time! Plus if you read the article you can probably figure out how I voted.

And as for updates on Jonathan which is why I know you all read this blog. I promise they are coming. I have uuber cute pictures!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cookies!

I generally enjoy cooking, but in the past I have been pretty anti-baking. I think I know why.
When Everette and I were first married, and I was in charge of bringing snack to small group. Seemed simple enough. I thought I would make homemade from scratch chocolate chip cookies. I busted out my brand spanking new air-bake cookie sheets and my wicked awesome Kitchen-aid mixer. Ready to show the world (or more accurately the ladies in my small group) my housewife/baking prowess. There were several things about this endeavor that in hindsight weren't too smart. First I think this was probably the first time I made cookies unsupervised by a more experienced chef. Secondly, I decided that the prospect of arriving with warm cookies fresh from the oven trumped my inexperience so I waited until that afternoon to make them.
Needless to say disaster ensued. The cookies spread out flat on the pan and were basically a flat mushy chocolatey burned disaster. Of course it was too late to do anything about it so... we arrived with gross cookies. Both Everette and I were grumpy and mortified.
That pretty much ended my baking stint-as further solidified by the fact that our bread maker is sitting in the pantry untouched (except for one time I think). I parked the Kitchen-Aid in the garage (literally-we have one of those appliance garages in our kitchen :)) except for once a year mocha ball extravaganza. Another tragedy of this event was the fact that my sister-in-law bought me (for Christmas, I think) a giant (and I mean giant) book of cookie recipes. They had all sorts of gourmet cookies that I was so excited to try. I frequently take the book out and look through it hoping to find something delicious and simple. I never have. I was too intimidated and quickly put the book away. I never made one cookie from that book in the five years I have owned it, convinced I would have to live off the kindness of others (cookie making that is).
Until recently. Everette loves loves loves peanut butter cookies. And I have made them a few times over the years but they always turn out hard and crunchy (once again leading me to believe I was unable to make even the simplest cookies). Good flavor, bad texture.
So I set out on a cookie quest. I was searching for the perfect peanut butter cookie and chocolate chip cookie recipe and the technique to make those chewy (but not gooey nor crunchy) cookies.
I tried shortening vs butter, cutting the butter in with a fork verses the Kitchen aid.
Here is what I have learned...
1. Land O Lakes has THE best tasting chocolate chip cookie recipe ever!!! (it is inside the box-WARNING: it takes 3 sticks of butter)
2. Air bake pans super duper suck (the cookie book even says so)! The cheapy cheap pans from Wal-mart work just fine.
3. Do NOT (I repeat) DO NOT put more unbaked cookies on a warm pan. Wait until the pan cools. (this was one of the fatal errors in the Cookie Fiasco of 2003-another revelation from the cookie book)
4. Which won't be a problem because the MOST IMPORTANT secret in cookie making is................
LET THE COOKIES COOL ON THE PAN! That's right.. do not remove the cookies until the are cooled completely. Place the entire cookie sheet on your cooling rack (to speed up the cooling) but do not remove the cookies until they are cooled. This is the trick to chewy delicious cookies.

Now that I feel that I can successfully make cookies, I tried my hand at not one, but four recipes from the cookie book. I only slightly over-cooked one.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Pump it up!

So once again I find my blog void of recent posts. These past few weeks have been incredibly full not only of time consuming activities but emotionally consuming as well. This has left me with little to say and little desire to say it. It is late Sunday night (technically Monday morning), and I finally have a spare moment, breath and thought.
One of the things that is taking a great deal of time and energy, I am in the process of learning to use an insulin pump. For those of you who don't know I have JO Diabetes. In July when our new insurance (from Everette's new job)kicked in, we found out we may be able to get an insulin pump at little out of pocket cost. After many phone calls it turns out... I can actually get one at 100% coverage. They also cover the supplies that go with it completely as well. Trust me this took several "are you sure?" calls. We assumed like most health care issues that this would take several weeks if not months to get everything in place. Turns out it took a week (maybe two). So this week I have been learning how to use it. I am excited about it... and the potential for making my life easier. Currently it is pretty time consuming and difficult, as I have to record EVERYthing I eat (this I have decided is a great weight loss program-for two reasons... 1. It is just plain annoying to write down everything you put into your mouth. 2. It is also makes you think twice about what you eat... knowing that someone is going to read it) take my blood sugar multiple times (10-12) a day.. use the pump (for pretend.. it is filled with saline) and take my regular injections. Not to mention that most of the time I am eating with a 1-year-old. It also brings with it a plethora of psychological and emotional issues, not only for me but for Everette too. It is not natural to be hooked up to a machine all the time. Even if the machine is small and relatively non invasive.
On a much happier note.. My sister-in-law turns 30 on Tuesday. We had a big bash this Saturday at Happy Hollow park. It was a perfect fall day (assuming you wore long sleeves and long pants). There were gobs of people and some we hadn't seen in a while. Everette's brother Brad was also in town this weekend. He is doing some interviewing for the hotel he works at in NYC at Purdue. So far he does this about two times a year and they are usually at the beginning or end of the week so he comes for the weekend and spends some time with us. Everette went with Brad and his dad to the Purdue game. While the game itself wasn't any thing spectacular to see, they all had a good time, reminiscent of younger days. Everette is already talking about taking Jonathan to a game... I think he will wait at least a year... considering you have to purchase a ticket for him. Monday Everette is off to DC for meeting then he will spend the rest of the week in New Jersey at his main office, I will be in Cleveland spending some time with my aunt. Of course Jonathan will be with me too.
I think that is all I have for now. I am sure there will be more later.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Birthday Extravaganza!!!!!!!!!!

Here are the long awaited birthday highlights.
The party was awesome! It was a fantastic day weather wise and also in party festivities. Jonathan held up remarkably well. I was worried about two things...
1. He would scream when we all sang Happy Birthday
and
2. I have been to enough one year birthday parties, to know that the "too much party" meltdown.
We (he) successfully avoided both. Mommy held up quite well too.
Here are the highlights.
Thank you to all who were present and those who wished they were!!


We began the day going to breakfast--our first trip in the forward facing car seat.



Great Gramma Betty and Aunt Laura both had weddings that day-so they came to breakfast with us. Here is Jonathan spinning the wheels (his favorite thing) of his new car from Great gramma.
Jonathan and Cousin Emily had a great time crawling around together.



Ahh, our first bite of cupcake. We liked the frosting but could care less about that spongy cakey thing. (just like my great-aunt Marylain)More playing on the floor together.

The birthday cupcake-cake!


The birthday boy and his mama!
This picture is for gramma-so she can see that Jonathan doesn't always cry around her!


Here is a video Everette put together of the afternoon-especially present opening.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I am retarded

Seriously, I am. My brother's cd release party is SATURDAY (like it says on the flyer). I for some reason have it in my head it is Friday, but it is most definantly SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Come to this

If you live in Lafayette and you are looking for something this Friday. You should come here.....



It is my brother's band-super cool and totally awesome CD release party. You really really really should come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is their website!. With more information.

It is seriously going to be a good time!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ouch! That stings!

I promise very soon I will have birthday highlights, video and pictures. Today is just not the day. Apparently I was more exhausted than I thought on Sunday. I excused myself from lunch at my in-laws (which I was falling asleep in the middle of) to go take a "quick" three hour nap on their basement couch. Then I was careless about my caffeine intake and didn't fall asleep until 7 AM this morning (I have email correspondence to prove it). But more than that....
What do you do when someone who is your elder-who you look up to, wounds you seriously.
This is what I am dealing with. I want to be careful, but I have to speak. This person is someone who has kids my age-I have known her for a long time. I have been in ministry together with her, I look up to her as a mentor and sister in Christ. That being said--without going into details, she behaved (in my opinion) like an immature high school queen bee. She intentionally used sneaky tactics to manipulate a certain situation to get her way- and leave me on the outs.
Which has had me thinking all day.
1. Since middle school I have gone to great lengths to surround myself with low drama people. I never had any major roommate drama in college. I had/have good, solid, stable, loving friends. Quite frankly I don't have the stomach for 90210 drama. This instance really knocked me off my feet-it came out of nowhere, and from the least likely person. So what do I do? I'll tell you what I'd like to do. I have an earful swirling around in my head-waiting to get dumped.
2. It is way more hurtful coming from the source it did. If it was someone my age I think I could deal. I think I have continued to live in this generation gap. I am a grown-up yes, but those people my parents age are"more" grown-up than me. Or so I assumed. What do you do when your role model doesn't behave like a role model. Welcome to adult hood... the giant multi-generational cess pool. People stink. and sometimes church people really stink.

God has been reminding me that "all fall short of the glory of God." ALL of us, and all of us ALL the time. I know that in all honesty I have been guilty of far worse, and I cannot stand in judgement. But I would like to think that my juvenile manipulative, high school behavior was over in high school. Where I'd hoped others had left theirs too.
I am sure these wounds will heal and I hope I can forgive. But right now, I am really cheesed, and I little piece of whatever was left of my innocence has sadly fallen away.


On a much brigher note... Bethany, I hope that you read this. I was thinking of you in the grocery store today when I was sad and then I was a little happier ( I don't know if you are aware of this-but as far as I know it is impossible to think of you and be sad!)... Jonathan had his new outfit on today. I looked for yellow puma's at Meijer-no such luck.
However-the icing on the cake, as I was putting the pants on him, I noticed the washing instructions tag simply said "wash whenever this get's dirty"
This is not a joke :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hilarious video

As promised, here is the adorably hilarious video. Everette caught this on Wednesday while I was out at Bible Study. I had seen Jonathan with his hand stretched out while Max was licking it, and I had suspected such an activity. But never before was it so obvious and so obviously delightful. Everette told me to mention that his mouth at the time was full of peas. Just before this he was eating one then sharing one.
Also-- tomorrow is the big day-I have been pretty sad today. Hopefully I will be in a better mood tomorrow.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A break in my total self-absorption

So I realized that I should mention some rather serious things that are going on in other people's lives. Everette's uncle, Everette, was in a rather serious car accident involving another car and a school bus. He was the last car in the row, but he ended up with the most serious injuries. All the kiddies on the bus were fine-they barely felt it. The other driver was treated and released, but Everette's shoulder harness failed and he smashed into the steering wheel pretty hard (he has a big circle on his chest). They are keeping him at St E overnight. They have ruled out any internal injuries, but he has a large hematoma on his chest that they are concerned may cause blood clots. They seem pretty optimistic that he will be released tomorrow.
I also have a friend that is going through a pretty rough time right now-you know who you are. I love ya and I am praying for ya.
ok. that's enough caring... back to me :)
(this is a joke-just so we are clear)

A brand new day

So today, was a new day, a better day. Jonathan was nearly his old self again, which leads me to believe that it was either-teeth (another tooth broke through) or upset tummy(gigantic--I mean gigantic poop this morning--I mean chuck it all and take a bath poop). At anyrate, he seems back to normal. I had some precious mommy time-I so love those girls and that time. We are quickly approaching Jonathan's big one year b-day. Truthfully I am trying not to think about it. Currently it seems like this huge life-changing event, but I am guessing it will pass like almost any other birthday. The differences from one day to the next will probably be relatively minute. The growing up happens in between the birthdays. And that has already happened.
Oh FYI-I have an adorably hysterical video to post. It is currently on our video camera-which requires a few extra steps to upload (verses our digital camera) but it is so worth it. If you don't see it in a few days, start bugging me about it!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It takes a Village

This is a phrase frequently thrown around what has recently become known as Wild Wednesdays. My impromptu playgroup. We say it as we wipe random runny noses, change any diapers within arms reach and run after any kid about to jump into the deep water. It is so true. Today was a rough day at the Mills household. My sweet, good-natured, flexible, easy-going, adorable, happy little boy was kidnapped and replaced with a cranky, whiny, clingy, screaming, teething (I hope that's what it is), sleep deprived monster. It was only 10 AM and I knew I wasn't going to be able to make it all day and night. Everette had three different meetings this evening starting at 4:30 and ending at 9 PM so he wasn't going to be around in the evening, and on these days-he is usually in a crunch all day trying to get his regular work done. So, I called my mom. I knew this was her day off and I was hoping for some backup. I would have been happy just to have her come over and stay awhile so that someone else could pick up and hold Jonathan. You know.. to not have to be "on". My mom, bless her heart, offered to keep jonathan at her house for a few hours in the evening so that I could run some errands alone. Sweet aloneness. It was glorious.
The very best part is, she was only the first call, I had a list of several other people I knew I could call if things got bad. So thank you to all of you friends and family members who so willingly lend emotional and moral support-and even babysitting. My little village!

Sweet moments

Thankfully Jonathan was a pretty good sleeper in his early months. Believe me I am not complaining. However I feel that I was slighted in the late night rocking and lullaby singing department (I am sure there is still time). Admit it... every parent out there may complain about their kid not sleeping and all the crazy things they do to get them to drift off (and believe me when I say CRAZY!!!) but secretly they love the fact that they are needed. If you notice the time on this post-it is late. The rest of my family is asleep-including the dog. Jonathan woke up about 45 mins ago and I just got him back to sleep. He currently has a bit of a runny/stuffy nose, and he is cutting some serious teeth. Can't blame the little guy for having a rough time sleeping. I went in in the dark-felt around desperately for the pacifier-was unsuccessful-turned on the night light (something I was hoping to avoid) and found the pacifier where I am certain I had passed my hand over multiple times. I grabbed a blanket and brought Jonathan over to the rocking chair. We snuggled up and I began to sing. It was so magical-he was awake, but he was completely still as I rocked and sang. One of those moments you remember forever. I was singing a song written by Fernando Ortega. It is short and sweet and a great lullaby because it spends a lot of time resonating in the lower register-where your chest rattles and babies find it so soothing. I highly recommend it(please excuse the Narnia clips-it isn't from the movie). The other reason I love this song is that it was one of the inspirations for Jonathan's nursery. This verse is written on his walls.
I have a philosophy on lullabies. It isn't spiritual doctrine, but I just figure, if your kid is awake in the middle of the night-for whatever reason-fear, sickness, or just plain belligerence-you and your kid need some prayer and divine intervention. I don't see much point or comfort in singing about mockingbirds or breaking tree branches in these moments. So I try to remember the words to as many old hymns as I can. It is probably because I can still remember my mom on the rarest of occasions sitting down at the piano and playing these old songs. I could hear the music drifting up through the vents to my room and I always loved those moments. But why not speak/sing scripture over your sleepless child. It isn't a magic pill to make your kid go to sleep, but it definitely can't hurt. Plus it puts me in a better mood--and I really do believe that it can affect your kid. Anyway-that's just my two cents. It appears that Jonathan is really asleep so it is safe to lay down. (I am sure he will be up as soon as I do-he has some kind of radar)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A dilemna

I recently found myself in a quandary. I love meat just as much as the next girl (unless that girl is Dana and then I like it a whole lot more!), but I have not been able to bring myself to feed Jonathan that nasty ground up meat in a jar-nor have I been able to stomach making it myself. It is just gross.
He can eat cheese and little chunks of meat from my plate but they are difficult and exhausting to chew with only two lower teeth. So I found myself concerned about the protein intake of my son. Then it dawned on me! Beans!!! Black beans and red beans. Full of protein, full of fiber... easy and fast to mash-buy organic canned beans and have them ready in a flash. (Rhyming was completely unintended-simply a bonus). Problem solved.

***************Since we were speaking about teeth, I thought I should mention Jonathan has been working for several weeks now on four upper teeth. A few days ago two broke through and hopefully the rest will follow shortly.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Updates

So I thought I would give you a few updates on life as it happens. We are gearing up for Jonathan's first birthday--this is a mixed bag. Happy-that we have a healthy, happy, growing boy. Sad-that he is definitely no longer a baby and I am desperately trying to savor the last few remaining days. Anticipating-the big carseat "turn around".
Somehow I have gotten it in my mind that as soon as he turns one he will be grown up. I know this sounds silly, but I have just decided that he will be a little boy and on his way to kindergarten. I realize this is a stretch, but it will be the end of baby bottles, the end of formula (woohoo!) the beginning of talking, eating grown-up food, walking, and exploring. I feel the days of holding and rocking him are slipping through my fingers and I am on one hand urging them ahead while trying desperately to keep them from slipping through my fingers.

Ok enough of that... we are crawling all over the place. He can wave and his babbling is getting much more intentional.

Everette is currently out of town until tomorrow. Imagine my surprise when I came home this afternoon to a large beautiful bouquet of flowers sitting on my front porch. That's right my practical, pragmatic husband sent me flowers. They are gorgeous and I love them!!! and I love him!

Thanks honey!!! I miss you!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Happy Baby

Here is a fun video of Everette playing with Jonathan. The game was daddy sets the pacifier up on the edge of the crib and Jonathan knocks it down and squeals with delight while jumping up and down. He was REALLY into it but of course as soon as the camera turned on he toned it down, but you can still get the idea.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Mass Chaos

So recently some women in our church have started an impromptu unofficial playgroup. We all get together once a week and chaos ensues. I videoed a few seconds so you can see the hilariousness of the situation.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

My Mr. Fix-it

One thing I love about Everette is that he is absolutely not afraid of things. He is very smart and very cautious, thus making him a good risk assessor. He is also very stubborn and will not leave a problem until he can fix it or at the very least diagnose exactly what the problem is and research a solution.
Wednesday evening as Everette attempted to get a delicious meal from Taco Bell on his way to a Young Life meeting his window broke. Of course, if you remember, Wednesday marked the end of a LONG dry spell for most of Indiana (this is irony people). He managed-with my help and after it sat in the rain for several hours--to get the window back up.
After discussing it with my dad-our resident auto expert-we planned to take it to the dealers next week when Everette was out of town and our need for two cars would be unnecessary (dad said it wasn't worth ripping apart the door). However Friday evening we decided to stop at Sonic for a limeade, forgetting about our ghetto window. It made it halfway down and would not go up or down. Even once we got home and spent some time wiggling, and banging and finagling the window, it refused to budge. SO we put Jonathan to bed and here is how our evening progresses.
Everette, I don't think, ever intends to begin a project of massive undertaking. It always starts out small. Remember at this point we are just trying to get the window up.
He pops the plate off around the door handle, hoping to get a peek inside to see if there is something jamming the actual window; unable to see anything he begins to pull back around the window seal; noticing that the plastic covering for the door is snapped onto a track in the door he begins to slide it off the track at the top-simply to get a better view. Still unable to see the window he begins to wiggle the entire case off of the door. Progress is stop and go. Each pull reveals more wires or plates connecting the plastic to the metal door. After removing the handle, the lock, the inside door light, the power lock wires, the power window wires (not a big deal since they weren't working anyway), the power mirrors and two screw we successfully removed the door. At this point we were pretty much committed. The view of the window is still limited and he briefly considers trying to remove the inner metal frame. Thankfully he quickly abandoned this idea once he realized that it was welded to the outer metal frame. Using a flashlight and a dental mouth mirror he peers through the frame and discovers glass shards in the bottom of the door (explains the crackling glass sounds we hear when we were banging on the door earlier). Momentarily our breath gets caught as we consider the possibility that the window might be busted. After more flashlight searching we discover that it is still in one complete piece, leading us to realize that a Carfax report doesn't tell you everything. Everette then discovers two things. 1. the cable that moves the window carts up and down has frayed and jammed the track. (he also realizes that it will most likely mean replacing the entire track since the cable is threaded through both sides and a tube in the middle). and 2. the LCD on the camera makes for a laproscopic camera of sorts and this paired with a flashlight makes for a better view than the tiny mirror. He is quite proud of himself, and I am sure we will use this technique later--you know whenever we need to perform surgery.
We also take comfort in the fact that at this point even if we can't fix it ourselves-we have significantly reduced the cost of having the dealer fix it.
For now we are stuck. Everette heads up to the computer for the research phase of the project. He finds that the track is in stock at Auto Zone and Lafayette Auto Supply and cost $100. Not the cheapest part-but if he can fix we come out at least $3o0 ahead.
Cut to Saturday: Everette gets up at 7:15 and heads to the store. Returns by8:30with the part. Installs the track and reassembles the door by 9:30 and we sit down to a breakfast of bicuits and gravy.
I am impressed and quite proud, this was actually once of the shorter and more successful projects!


Smart and sensible Everette had me take pictures of the wires we were removing so that we could put them back-this is the power windows, locks, and mirrors panel.

Everette, was considerate enough to remove his brand new Lands End polo before he got in too deep. This is the inside of the truck door.

This is the only point we could see up inside the door where the window was.. here is a picture of the track.

This is the point that Everette realized he could use the digital camera as a video and screen. This is down inside the door and here you can see the busted/frayed wire that was jamming the whole thing up.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Off to the Races

Jonathan is definately moving. There is no more sitting still. Here is an adorable video (I think) of his track around our kitchen. This recent video is even out of date--he is much faster now. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Don't Judge a Facebook by its Cover

So I think of the best posts while I am mowing the lawn. Ear plugs and the roar of our ghetto mower (there is no cover for the engine) pretty much puts you exclusively inside your head.
Disclaimer*****This is not an antifacebook rant. I think it is a great tool for keeping in touch with old friends, and I am on us almost every day.

I recently came across an old, we'll say acquaintance's, as we were definitely not the best of friends, profile on facebook. I perused her flair, her bumper stickers and her pictures. It appeared, from her profile, that her life was great. She is beautiful, married, seems to have lots of friends (in the pictures... not just on facebook), a job she loved and a close family.
Let me first say that I found it interesting that looking at her profile pained me somewhat. She was not the nicest person when I knew her, and I was surprised that I was not jealous of her, nor was I secretly judging myself superior to her. My heart actually ached for her. I wasn't sure why. There was nothing on her facebook that would necessarily make me feel sorry for her. She "looked" happy. I did notice that she had a LOT of pictures of herself on her facebook page. But other than that mild form of self-obsession I couldn't explain this strange and unexpected sorrow.
A few days later I found myself in a conversation with a friend of mine who is good friends with her mom. I learned that this girl was actually miserable. Her mom told my friend "I wish she and (her husband) would move away and learn how to be married instead of being selfish babies." Those are harsh words from your own mom. But it seemed to confirm my suspicion that she was not infact as happy as her facebook portrayed.
This led me to ponder as I turned in endless circles across our hopelessly uneven lawn, how our growing up experiences shape us into who we are. And how, when it seems that God is not working in our best interest often times he is extending staggering acts of mercy. My middle school years are not years that I look back on fondly. I was most definitely an easy target. Just coming into an understanding of who God really was and what He had done for me, I certainly did not see him rescue me from my circumstances. I was frustrated and angry that I was constantly picked on. Yet, as I reconnect with people from my past, people who inflicted much of my pain, I realize how their hurtful acts have made me the person that I am and have made them the people that they are. And I can't help but think that I have come out ahead. I am surrounded now by amazing people-who love me, and who I love. It seems that the persecution (on whatever mild scale-and it was mild in retrospect) that I endured and the pain that I felt, shaped my character into one that other people seem to appreciate. I am not trying to brag about myself, but it does seem that I am able to bring others joy on some small level.
As I continued to mow I found my "mom" self trying explain to my "kid" self where God was in all of my experiences. Which made me realize that I should remember this perspective when my kids are experiencing persecution. It is easy to want to remove any trouble your kids experience, but where will God work if you do. What I have realized is that the troubles I faced as an awkward teenager pale to the troubles I could experience as an adult. And given the choice I would not trade them in.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

MMMMMMMMMM steak!

Recently I have been trying to get a little more protein into Jonathan, which is a little tricky, because he only has two teeth (although he has four coming in on the top). I boiled a chicken breast and have been giving him bits at meals. Mostly he puts them in his mouth and lets them sit there (for like 30 mins) he does not try to chew the chicken much.
However, the other day we were at Everette's parents house having steak, so I cut a little slice up and gave it to him. He proceeded to shove all of the chunks into his mouth and he began to make all kinds of happy noises. He was squirting the juices out of his mouth and squealing with delight. So of course we had to film him. It was hilarious... apparently he prefers red meat!
video

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

For those of you who live farther away... here is what Jonathan is up to nowadays, he can also pull himself up really well!! He's turning one so soon!!!




video

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Taste and See..

...that the Lord is good!!
This weekend was Trinity Mission's Taste and See festival. It is a pretty fun event put on for the downtown Lafayette Community.
Trinity invites local churches to come set up a table and pass out something fun and free. A lot of people pass out food and candy, ECC makes mini elephant ears (they are delicious). They have games and other fun activities. One church even had a blood pressure cuff and they were offering BP readings. There is a big tent with different bands playing all day. Our church for the second year in a row, rented a Big Bounce and gave away popcorn. It is so fun. One of the things that I love about this festival it to me it is a great picture of the Body of Christ. All of these churches come together to minister in a small way with no agenda. There are of course churches who set brochures out, but the main purpose is just to love the people who come.
Trinity Mission Outlet Store is pretty much in the heart of the poor community of Lafayette, kids and whole families came out in large numbers to "taste and see". Anyway, we were there for most of the afternoon. Needless to say, the big bounce in one of the main attractions. The crowd is small enough that most of the kids could jump over and over and over without having to wait in line too much. Everette was a popcorn making machine in the beginning and later transferred to Big Bounce Bodyguard. Here are some pictures...
Also, since it is like the fourth of fifth time we have used The Big Bounce Company I thought I would give it a plug. If anyone in the area is ever interested in a big bounce, I highly recommend them. It only costs $170.00 to rent, for 24 hours (yes you can have it overnight). no deposit no delivery fee. I am not saying you can have it for every birthday party, but it is pretty reasonable. Great for block parties.



So technically flips are not allowed, but this was not staged. We told him not to after I snapped the photo. But it turned out pretty cool so I posted it.

Everette (all smiles as usual) with our pastor, Dan Teefey and his baby girl Miriam, you can see the popcorn machine to the left.

Dana Teefey and Adelaide under the easy up (thanks Dad) with Jonathan and Colleen


These are two of my favorite pictures. Everette, who can often present a gruff and harsh exterior, inside I think he is really just a big kid. And he loves kids, he was chatting it up with the kids in line, shaking their hands, talking to them about school. The little girl in the pink just plopped right down in his lap. Didn't ask, just made herself at home. Just an FYI Everette was checking his watch to time the kids in the big bounce, not because he was bored or ready to go.

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Totally unrelated, a few days ago Jonathan was eating puffs in his high chair and I looked over and saw this. THe camera was handy so I just snapped a picture.

The Puff Beard

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Addict

So I thought that I should update the "Blogs I Read" to more accurately reflect the number of blogs I read.
It is pretty riduculous(ly sad).

However, most of them are pretty good.

Finally

For those of you in the Greene Family, the long awaited vacation photo shoot is finished, you can see them here. Unfortunately in an effort to be quick... I didn't get the lighting just perfect and those people in the back are a little dark. We'll have to try again next year. The perfect family photo eludes us once again. There are however some darn good ones of other family members.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It's a Christmas Miracle

...ok so not really.

Right after Jonathan was born we bought a new vacuum. I was so proud of myself because I did a little research and scouted for sales. I bought a bissel from Kohl's. The first few times I used it it worked great. However about the third or fourth time it seemed to have lost it's uumph. Disappointed but too proud to take it back I kept using it. It did a pretty good job on the hardwood downstairs so I figured it wasn't a total loss.
I also noticed that the brush didn't spin by on its own. It only turned when you pushed it across the carpet. Everette and I both stated out loud that this was a stupid design for a vacuum.
Cut to last week... I was vacuuming the stairs and decided to get really down and dirty and use the attachment for stairs and upholstery, this is when I noticed that this brush spun on its own. I am sure you all have figured out where this is going, but I will admit that my first thoughts went like this..."how idiotic is this, why would they make the upholstery brush spin but not the vacuum. This vacuum sucks....I HATE vacuuming the stairs."
Then it dawned on me that perhaps the vacuum brush is supposed to spin on its own.
So I sat down on the stairs, flipped over the vacuum and took the bottom off. To my great surprise and fabulous delight- I discovered that the belt was broken.
Before you accuse me of being a dumb blond, I would like to point out that the plate over the brush is clear plastic except for the very subtle one inch strip where the belt goes around the brush. Thus leading me to believe that there was in fact no belt to be had. I would also like to point out that my husband... didn't even think about the belt.
So cut me a little slack.
Needless to say once I bought a replacement belt my vacuum is back up to full sucking speed ( I realize that the word "suction" may have been a better fit, but I really wanted to say "sucking".
I am overjoyed.

Monday, August 11, 2008

We Interrupt this blog for a SPECIAL BULLETIN!!!!!!!!!

We (and by we- I mean Jonathan) are officially drinking out of a sippy cup. The bottle is still preferred, but we are no longer repulsed by the thought of a sippy cup. There are pictures and video to prove it.



video

Mitch Daniels and BLT's

... two unrelated topics.
First the important stuff.
When my tomato plants grew to enormous and mutant sizes, I began to think about what I could do with all of these tomatoes. One of my first thoughts... Bacon Lettuce and Tomato sandwiches (I am not sure why there is no M for mayo as this is an equally essential part of the BLT). As I waited for my tomatoes to ripen my craving for a BLT began to grow and I was tempted to buy a tomato to appease my craving. But I resisted. But I began to prepare. I bought some bacon-good bacon--thick cut. I made sure we had mayonnaise and I even splurged on good bread. And I waited. This was hard because as you know it takes a few days for large tomatoes to really ripen so they are sweet and juicy. I watched them out of my kitchen window in anticipation. I resisted the urge to pick the "almost ripe" ones. Finally this weekend they were ready. I picked them on Thursday and waited until Friday just to be sure. Friday evening we made BLT's, I toasted the bread, spread the mayo (on both sides) used lettuce from our garden too, and they were mouth-watering delicious!! I am so glad I waited. They were so unbelievably fabulous. I am so glad I only made enough bacon for two sandwiches, as I am sure I would have eaten BLT's until I was quite sick. Yumm!!!! I have more tomatoes if anybody wants some!

Now for the other stuff. This Saturday was the town of Battle Ground's 150th anniversary. So they of course had a celebration. There was pancakes and biscuits and gravy, and carriage rides, and garden tours and a parade and... the governor. Yeah.. We can't quite figure it out either. THere were maybe 300 people (and I am being generous) at the celebration but there was Our Man Mitch riding his motorcycle in the parade. See pictures below. We figured it was a great excuse for him to ride his bike on a glorious (and I do mean "glorious" day) up from Indy.
At any rate, I must admit it was pretty cool to see the Governor in the little town you grew up in. He was of course, totally celebrity style waving! which was funny because the crowd was so small that you could really make eye contact with him. Which I did.... awkward!

Brian, Elijah, Mary, and Me on the carriage ride.


Jonathan crawling around on the sidewalk...yeah, he does that now!

It's the Governor!!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Too good to be true and the advantages of a made bed

So I knew it probably would last...
My perfectly awesome amazingly wonderful sleeper has disappeared. My son, who slept almost whenever I laid him down, sleeps no longer. I am hoping/praying that this is only a short phase.
His naps are barely an hour sometimes only 20 mins. And for the past few smattering of nights he has woken up multiple times. Thankfully he never really gets "up" he just cries out until someone comes in and lays him back down and sticks his pacifier back in. I can't complain (even though I am), he has been such a good sleeper and even now it isn't too bad. The problem is when you get accustomed to a certain standard it is hard to adjust whatever it is.

Ok... the advantages of making your bed...
I have been trying to make our bed every morning for the past few weeks. Historically, it has not been my top priority and it gets made maybe before we get it in for the night or not at all.
I am making this list primarily to encourage myself to keep it up.

1. Your bed looks so inviting.
2. Your bedroom suddenly looks WAAAAAAAAAAAY cleaner.
3. you have a large surface area to fold and sort laundry on (another task I am trying to do daily).
4. Your bed looks SO inviting (inviting enough to take a nap on it later in the afternoon.
5. It makes a great place to play with your baby.
6. It only takes five seconds and everyone is a whole lot happier.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

See imaginary video clip

Everette and I went swimming with Jonathan yesterday. We had a fantastic time. Everette was swimming with Jonathan at one point and I had the goggles and was watching under water. This was amazing. The sun was slicing through the clear blue pool water, and it was completely silent below. I felt like I was in a completely different world, it was like watching an old silent home movie. I could see Jonathan's legs kicking under the water, and I could see his little face when Everette dunked him under water. There has never been another time in my life when I so longingly ached to have a camera (specifically an underwater video camera). The camera we have has an underwater case, but it is $80-$90. Not sure if it is really a wise choice. We'll see. But for now, you will just have to visualize this amazing scene.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Where did July go?!

I realize I have been slacking on my blog posting.. so I will try to catch up with a series of posts.
I will start with the most recent and work my way backward. We just got back from Branson Missouri. We took this trip to meet Everette's brother's (Brad) girlfriend's parents. (wow that is a lot of " 's". We had a fantastic time!
Here are a few highlights.
First of all We made the trip down in record time. Our first stop was 6 1/2 hours into an 8 hour trip and we only stopped because our gas tank was nearly empty. It wasn't neccessarily our goal to do this but Jonathan and our bladders held up remarkably and we just didn't have a reason to stop.

Sunday we went out on Table Rock Lake in a pontoon boat. It was a lot of fun and we got out to go swimming. The lake was quite warm actually.





Then Monday we went to Lambert's for dinner and gramps and grammy watched JOnathan while we went with Brad and Meghan to see "The Dark Night". Which was pretty good and my first official batman movie.


Tuesday we went bike riding at this place called Dogwood Canyon. It was beautiful trail with waterfalls and caves. That evening we joined Meghan's family at a delicious Mexican Restaurant.


Wednesday we went kayaking down a lake/river that runs behind Meghan's family's house. The temperature all week was in the upper 90's but the water in this lake was 45-50 degrees because it came through a dam from the bottom of table rock lake. This was also a lot of fun.

This is Meghan's younger brother Jared-he LOVED Jonathan and was really helpful!!
To see more pictures click here.
Our trip home was uneventful and pretty easy (well at least for me-Everette drove the whole way).
But even little babies get bored... see below.

video