Saturday, August 29, 2009

He Knows the Plans

Do you ever wonder what your kids are going to do when they grow up? Not necessarily what you want them to do or would like them to do, but what God has planned for them. When I see what Joseph is interested in and plays with everyday, it makes me think, 'Is he going to be a...?"

Joseph is at a really fun age to watch play and to play with. His imagination is starting to broaden and he is starting to imitate things he sees. Joseph loves animals, so sometimes I wonder if he is going to be a Zookeeper or Veterinarian. When I think of this, I just chuckle because for his first Halloween, he was a Zookeeper. Prophetic? We shall see. That was even before he was in love with animals. When he was about 15 months, his heart would swell if he was given any kind of animal as a toy. At this age, he would carry around a little horse that he got in a John Deere tractor set. I will forever cherish that toy. He carried it everywhere and would even sleep with it.

Just about every night he goes to sleep, he asks to take an animal or several animals to bed with him. He just loves animals! He adores the neighborhood cats and dogs, frogs, and any other animal life that he can touch, hold or kiss (this one grosses me out).

Sometimes I wonder if he is going to be a coach or preacher. I know some of you don't notice it because he is very shy around most people, be Joseph can talk! He loves to tell stories and loves to talk while he is playing by himself. I don't see him being a bad student, but I can foresee him not getting things done in class because he talks a lot (when he is comfortable). Take potty training for example. He gets in there to go, stands on the stool and will be there for a long time because he is talking to me, drumming on his belly, singing or dancing. Once he focuses, he is done. Same thing at the dinner table....he talks and talks and never gets around to eating. At age 2 1/2, I find myself still feeding him sometimes because I know he won't get anything in his mouth if I don't start it.

Joseph loves to read. I find him in his room, sitting down, book in lap telling a story from the pictures. So cute. Lately, I have found him with the Bible open, him hitting it, and saying, "You obey!" 'Mama, obey!" He continues down his list of names. I just sit and soak it up because it is very funny and when he is done, I applaud him, as if he just preached the best sermon ever.

He is also very compassionate and genuinely worried if I am hurt, have a scar or if someone is crying. A while back I had a bad reaction to a watch band and several times he would come up and twist my arm to look at the rash and touch it and say, "Aww, what happened?" I had a photo album out that held several pictures of me as a baby up to teenage years. There was one particular picture where I am in the bathroom with a cast on my foot. The look on his face when he saw the cast, I could tell he was very concerned. Several days in a row he would get the album, flip to that picture and want me to tell him again what had happened. Does this mean he might be a counselor or Doctor?

Maybe an engineer? From a very young age he would look over toys as if inspecting them and you could tell he was trying to figure out how it worked. He would lay on his belly, roll cars back and forth staring at the tires, seeing what made them work the way they did.

A musician? This kid loves to drum, air guitar and air play a violin. Two of his favorite videos are Animusic and Baby Beethoven. He enjoys watching Jeff and my dad play music and I must say, this kid can really carry a beat.

Lastly, maybe a gymnast? Because this past week I learned that he can hold his body weight pretty well. You will have to ask me sometime what I am referring to here, but the moral of the story is that he held onto the garage door alllllll the way up. Maybe this was the beginning of sport filled with tights wearing, bar hanging athleticism.

Christian, I am still watching him grow and become the person God is forming him to be. He seems more active and feisty than what Joseph was at this age. He doesn't cry much, but he does scream...I don't know which I prefer more. Just today I saw him inching along the floor after a toy. It was the ol' push with your feet, pull with your hands type of action. I must say, he got what he wanted.
Christian, maybe a model, because he loves to smile. This baby is always smiling!! He reminds me of me, from when I was in grade school. Several times throughout my life other kids would tell me that all I did was smile. I didn't talk much, but I always smiled. This is Christian. I also think he is going to smile his way out of things. Anytime he pinches or scratches me and I say, "OUCH!" He just smiles. Or when I tell him not to pinch, he just smiles. Smile, smile, smile...that is Christian.

Whatever God's plan is for them, I will be just fine with! One thing I do wish for them is for them to be educated, Godly men, father's and husbands. If Jeff and I can model what it means to raise your family, love your family, and make God the center of their lives, I will say that Jeff and I were successful as parents.
A man who puts God first, supports and works hard for his family, loves his wife and children, is a Hero in my book. I will be so delighted if my boys and future children grow up and do this in their lives. A decorated resume doesn't mean anything, and is only short term, but loving God, your wife and family has so many more rewards.

So, what do you think your sons or daughters will be? What do they show interest in? What drives them? What are their personalities like? I lift up each of your children right now and pray that when the time comes, they will seek His kingdom and become brothers and sisters in Christ.

"I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

VBS, 6 months, Family Reunion and Potty Training

This has been an amazing and very busy summer. VBS was a blast this year and a fun one because Joseph was able to go for the first time this year. Jeff, myself and some other volunteers helped teach the 2 and 3 year olds because Lindsay H. had to leave town for a funeral. I really enjoyed getting to assist/teach Joseph and his pals and hear in Joseph's own words what he learned that night.
This past weekend we went to Bastrop for a family reunion. It was a great time of fellowship, wonderful food, and much fun with the kiddos. I would have liked to have done more things outside, but man was it a toasty weekend. We managed to play at the park a few times and then go swimming on Saturday. Joseph, didn't seem to mind being indoors because he was able to run around and play with June and Jack the entire weekend. I also think he liked the endless snacking that he was able to do while in the main meeting hall.
This past Monday we started potty training Joseph. Monday was just flat out a long, frustrating day. After two very encouraging phone calls (Thanks Courtney and Lindsay), I was encouraged to stay positive and that it would get better. After dinner on Monday night, Joseph used the toilet for the fist time that entire day! Someone asked me today how the potty training had been going and I put it like this: Monday, Joseph went through 11 pairs of underwear, Tuesday, 6 and then Wednesday, 2. So, I guess you can say that we are making progress. If you are first time potty training mom, I think I have some helpful tips for you, and I would love to share. He is doing so good with it and I am starting recognize his pee pee dance, so as soon as I see it, we go. Then when he has to go number 2, he will usually tell me.
Christian turned 6 months two weeks ago and I can't believe how fast it is going. When we arrived back home from the reunion we decided to not set up his playpen, so I was forced to put him in his big boy crib. He has done great! This week, along with the potty training, Christian has decided to cut, not 2, but 3 top teeth. I had been telling people he was getting his one front tooth and the one next to it, but today I noticed he is getting both front teeth and the one next to it. Needless to say, he has been a little crabby during the day and doesn't like it when I put him down. A little hard when you are assisting a 2 year to the bathroom every hour or cleaning up puddles.
This summer has pretty much come to an end for us, which is sad. We will miss the swimming, Popsicles, cookouts, backyard pool, water parks, camp, vbs, and all the outdoor fun we have had this summer. I am really looking forward to next summer when Christian will be 15 months and getting around.
Okay, I guess it is still going to be hot for another 5 months around here, but school will be starting soon, so I just figure since their summer is almost over, so is ours. We are however heading to Schlitterbahn with the Church this weekend. I am looking forward to this because we will just be taking Joseph. This will be a great outing after being inside allllllll week. I am already talking to him about going and he has been asking everyday since I first told him about it on Monday.
I hope your summer was blessed with some wonderful memories.
Next Hanes model?

Joseph posing in his new undies.

Tilly's awesome bed head and playing with her belly button, which I think is cute because Joseph does the same thing.

At the reunion we stayed with the Harrell's. I think Joseph really enjoyed for him to get to see Jack and Tilly first thing in the morning and fun for Jeff and I to get to visit with Brad and Lindsay. Here, all the boys are enjoying some morning reading.

June was a real ham at VBS. She got up on stage every single night and danced like crazy.

This was a very busy class of 2 and 3 year olds. This night we had 12...that is a lot of toddlers!

John and Luis.

Joseph and the Name Tag. He did NOT want to wear it, but he didn't want me to take it from him either.

Christian at his 6 month check-up.
Stats: 16 lbs (24%)
26 1/2 inches (54%)
Christian's new ride.

Random picture I know, but one day I had a few grapes in my hand and went to get Christian from his swing. I dropped one, but couldn't find it. I looked under the swing, in the seat, under the dresser and then several minutes later I was kissing on Christian and noticed the grape inside his shirt collar.

Ways I find Christian throughout the day. This particular day I heard, *Laughter* "Mama look, Christian funny."
Another day, *Laughter* "Mama look, Christian is stuck. (His jungle gym thing had collapsed on him and he was right in the middle. This was of course caused by big brother.)

Went to the kitchen and came back and noticed Christian had this. Made me realize I need to start watching for small objects on the floor. This little guy can get around and find this cheetah. I took the picture and then had Joseph go get it from him....Christian was NOT happy.