Saturday, October 27, 2007

Out of the mouths of babes...

I know I already wrote today but Natalie said the funniest things this afternoon that I have to write them down before I forget.

I was sitting on the couch feeding Blake and she put on Brian's shoes and got a bag and started walking down the hall waving and saying, "Byebye, byebye" I asked her where she was going and she said, "Dondalds." She hasn't even been to McDonalds very many times but I guess enough to remember that she likes it. :)

She loves sweets and calls all candy "Daddy's tandies"--to get her to not ask me for it during the day I tell her that she has to ask Daddy when he gets home and that is good enough. We're sort of working on potty training (well, she was really into it for awhile and has now decided that she wants nothing to do with it-she tells us but then as soon as we go into the bathroom she yells "No...diaper!" and runs to her changing table. I guess she'll do it when she's ready.) We have a clear jar of skittles on the bathroom sink to use as rewards if she goes. Anyway, I was brushing her teeth tonight and she pointed to them saying "tandies." I said, "What does Natalie have to do to get candies?" Her answer, "ask" :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Let me teach you everything I know...

Natalie loves Blake and is always near him--usually being nice but sometimes a little too rough. She can say "Bake" and "Bee-bee" and "Bakey" which is usually used when he's crying and she says with all kinds of concern, "Oh Bakey Oh Bakey Oh Bakey" or else "Oh BeeBee Oh BeeBee." She will bring him toys or blankets or his pacifier or else she'll look at me matter-of-factly and nod and say, "Bah-bull" (bottle) since that must be why he's crying. :) (For those of you that didn't know... I wasn't able to nurse again this time. They're calling it a "lactation disorder" with no real explanation, just no milk! I'm so grateful that there is formula so he doesn't have to starve!)

Here's Natalie showing Blake what she thinks he needs to know to survive. Enjoy.

This is how you play on the floor with toys. Shake shake shake!

This is how you undo your car seat buckle so you can escape.

This is how you hide in a really small place (the bottom of Daddy's closet) and scream "Mommy Mommy Mommy" at the top of your lungs until she searches the house and finds you.

This is how you drink out of a sippy cup. (No, nothing came out) This is how you count...One...two...
Let me check inside your ears. All clean!
And your mouth...say ahhh!

This is how you wash the dishes. Try not to get too much water on the floor. Mommy doesn't really like that. This is how you clap your hands when you sing She was actually singing to him--"If you're happy and know it..."

Couple more of the kids.

He sleeps like this all the time-I think he's going to be rolling over soon!

Natalie and her pals Carter and Quinn. Carter is moving this weekend-we're sad but at least they'll be on the island so we can still play together.

Hope you enjoyed Natalie's lessons. She's very determined about the way certain things should be done and doesn't mind telling you about it... maybe she has some teacher in her?? :)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Our Happy Boy

Sorry it's been awhile since I posted anything...especially after writing so much during the competition. We've been busy but it's so good to have Brian home. He made it home then was sick all last weekend. He's better now though and has a 4-day weekend so we're really enjoying some family time together. Lots of football and baseball games, grilling and homemade pizza, sleeping in and lots of playing. We're so glad Daddy's home! :)

Here's some pictures of Blake. He's finding his voice and giggles/squeals all the time. So fun.

I had a baby shower for my friend, Jess, yesterday. Brian was going to take the kids out but ended up watching them plus Jess's 15 month old, Carter, in the back room. When we went to "release them" this is what we found: Amazing what 2 kids can do, huh? (the other two boys were at the shower.) He had it all cleaned up before we could get back there to help! Everyone was in awe...what a guy I have! :)

Natalie thought it was pretty cool that all the chairs were away from the table (for the shower) so she parked herself under it for awhile.
Go Penn State!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Amazing Grace & the Pumpkin Patch

Brian and I are doing the Bible study, "Seeking Him" right now with our church and God taught me something cool the other night so I thought I'd share it with you all.
This week, the topic was on grace and so we went through saving grace and sanctifying grace and the section on suffering grace really hit home. The author was sharing about when his wife died unexpectedly from cancer, leaving him with four kids. God says "my grace is sufficient for you" in 2 Cor 12:8-9. That night, I was feeling sorry for myself that life is rough with Brian being gone and the kids being sick this last week and then I realized I really don't have much to complain about at all... and whatever hardships I DO have, His grace is enough to get me through it for His "power is made perfect in weakness." I know that He's always with me but it was just a needed reminder of how much power and strength is available to me if I only admit that I need Him and ask for help. In 1 Peter 5:6-7 it says, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you." We all know that verse and have probably memorized it a time or two but I never really thought about it in depth. Our study asked us where God places his hands when we are humble... Above us to cover us and beneath us to carry us. Isn't that neat? When we can't handle it, that's exactly when God wants us to run to Him so He can hold us in His hands-above and beneath- to help us and grow us through it.

Maybe that's not a huge revelation for you but it was for me. The next day, Natalie was looking at/singing from her Bible song book and the picture for "He's got the whole world in His hands" is a world with two giant hands wrapped around it. We talked about how God is always holding us and taking care of us so throughout the day, she would cup her hands and say, "Jee-zus. Word (world). Hands." Isn't it awesome how God can use even a little 22 month old to remind you of his love? :)
Enough of the devotional... here's some pictures of our time at the "Puh-keen Pash"
I told her to lay on the pumpkins so I could get a cute picture. She didn't really cooperate and I never got a good pose all day. Oh well.

With Jess and Carter (why did I wear white pants to a pumpkin patch?!)
Some more of Blake since he slept through the whole thing.

She wanted him to have something to look at too. So thoughtful. :)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

And the Winner Is...

...not Brian. :( He just called and said that it was SSG Seifert and SPC Seeker who won the competition. He couldn't talk long but sounded really upbeat. I'm so proud that he made it through the whole thing... it's a great accomplishment. Thanks for going through this with us. We love you all. :)
I got to talk to him again and he's happy--they had a neat ceremony this morning with all the top Army leadership (Chief of Staff, Secy of the Army, etc etc...). He still won quite a few prizes and awards just for competing. They stood in a line and all the big-whigs walked down and gave out their coins. He got 24! Which if you know Brian, you know is a big deal! :) He's proud of how well he did and feels like the people who won deserved to win. And now he can relax and let the pressure that's been over us for the last 2 years slowly melt away. As exciting as it's been, it's nice that it's finally over. He does a great job of balancing everything but I know it's been hard for him to be pulled in so many directions. Hopefully he can rest a little... before the next big challenge comes along! :)

Here's some pics off the website in case you didn't get a chance to see them.

Final check before the Board Appearance
SSG Sims--Bri's sponsor who also went with him to the USARPAC competition

Getting ready to take the PT test (two mile run, and timed sit-ups and push-ups) Bri is right in the middle of the front row.

Reflexive fire--you jump up from behind barricades and shoot at targets

The M4 Range

Night fire

Urban orienteering--they had a time limit to plot and find specific points. Bri's really good at this... we never get lost. :)

They try to make it as realistic as possible as to how it would be in Iraq. This guy gave Brian the coordinates for his next point.

Putting together a broken down weapon

Hand to hand combatitives

I know that he did a lot more than these pics capture but it gives you an idea. I'm so proud of him. It's huge to have been able to participate in this! Way to go, babe! :)

Friday, October 5, 2007

Tummy Time and Playdough

Talked with Brian today. They have been so busy but they have nightfire tonight and then they only have the mystery event tomorrow so it's almost over already. I think he's extremelu exhausted and very sore but it seems like he's been having fun. He said he has no idea how he's actually been scoring but he feels like he's doing pretty well. They announce the winner on Monday. (Yeah, they make them wait the whole weekend!) But even if he doesn't win, he's one of 13 people out of the WHOLE Army to make it this far so I think he can be proud of that acheivement. Thanks again for all your comments and prayer support. We appreciate it!

He called again this morning. They're done!! They got to do a lot of fun things for the mystery events including getting out of a flipped humvee, clearing rooms, giving IVs, and hand to hand combatatives. They actually wrestle each other and "choke out." Yikes...but he says it's safe. Now it's all over and they can relax. :) We'll let you know the results on Monday!!

Here's some pictures of the kids the past couple days.

I've been holding my head up for awhile but now I'm getting tired.

Natalie is more interesting to look at than that person in the mirror.

Mixing up the playdough

She got bored waiting for it to cool so she pulled out every utensil.

Trying out the playdough with her best bud and neighbor, Carter.

I love that Adam is born now... we can gang up on the girls at Christmas together! :)