Thursday, October 20, 2011

Our Girl

This pretty much sums up Avery's feelings about the cute bows I try to put on her head! 

Sweet blue-eyed girl, at 10 months. 
Well, Avery has not gotten nearly the face time on my blog that her brother did. BUT...there are so many more things to keep up with when you have two children instead of one.

Miss Ave will be 11 months old in a few days and I cannot begin to describe how quickly this first year of her life has flown. She is such a joy and has THE best smile you have ever seen! She has an adventurous little spirit and lately, loves to explore everything that she is not supposed to get into...favorite spots being: bathroom drawers and the laundry room closet where all the shoes are. She also wants to be everywhere her big brother is. She follows him around to see just what he is doing. She still crawls everywhere, but we think it won't be long before she is running. Yes, running. There's a good possibility that Avery will just skip walking all together. She's just like that! She walks along the furniture and will take a couple steps toward us if we bribe her. She will be hard to slow down once she figures out she can walk on her own!

Avery is a great sleeper. She takes a nap in the morning, an hour and a half on a good day, and a nap in the afternoon. She sleeps all night unless she's having tooth pain (like last night). I think she might be getting a mouth full. There are two teeth on top that are just poking through, and another one that looks like its pretty close.

We've discovered that she is not a girly girl. She does not want to leave bows on her head or cute shoes on her feet; she'd rather chew on them. And she loves to dig in the dirt; she chews on that too! Sometimes she forgets that she is just a little thing and makes her way right in with the big kids when we play with friends or go to the county preschool program with Luke.

Avery loves getting attention and playing with her family. She knows just where to find Mommy, however, when she gets tired or hungry. She's quite opinionated when it comes to what she wants:) Our family dinners are filled with squeals, sometimes shrieks, when she's not getting food in her mouth fast enough. Luke just sits there and covers his ears! She loves her thumb when she gets sleepy. It's the sweetest thing to watch her pop it in her mouth and crook her pointer finger over her nose. Her head goes limp too, the instant she starts sucking!

We thank God every day for the blessing of our little girl. I can't wait to see all the personality and passion that continues to blossom in her sweet body! We love you Avery Renae!

Fall Kiddos

Sweet Avery Renae is standing all the time. Surprisingly, she just stands still. The second this girl starts stepping, there will be no keeping up! 

Our loving Luke Michael just can't get enough of being outside! He is getting quite good at his baseball skills and at digging holes in the front landscaping beds. 

Rainy Fall Day...

I woke up feeling pretty sleepy this morning and not incredibly motivated to get anything done. However, I was given a good reminder at our Mom's Connect group at Hillside Community Church this morning. Even though I am in the midst of stinky diapers, potty accidents, piled laundry, dirty dishes, and rainy weather, I can glorify God today. I can choose to do all of those things to His glory and praise Him the whole time! So I'm trying:)

We are a few days behind on the preschool front because of a busy schedule this week. But I found an awesome blog where this wonderful mom has taken time to compile packets full of themed ideas for preschool at home! I have LOVED looking through it and already have used some of the ideas this week with Luke. We collected leaves outside, before it started raining for days, and brought them inside to sort and match and rub. Do you remember doing that? You put the leaf under a piece of paper and rub over it with the side of a crayon. We used fall crayon colors and made beautiful leaf prints! As soon as I get some googly eyes from the craft store, we are going to make some leaf puppet on popsicle sticks too!

This is Luke's paper apple with his wonderfully traced letter  A! 
We did some fun apple things a couple weeks ago. I saw this great idea for an apple sandwich snack that we haven't tried yet, but plan to! I'm convinced that I'm having just as much fun with all our little projects as Luke is!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Preschool, Home Style

So Luke turned 3 in May, and of course, we think he's a genius! He needed to start preschool. We decided not to send him to school yet for several reasons: he's still pretty young, it costs money, and I am slightly qualified to do some teaching of my own:)
I've been so excited about all the stuff we are doing, and I'm going to try to blog about it regularly. We are doing a simple alphabet theme the next well....26 weeks! More to come.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Is It Really July Already?

Summer has been a long time coming, or so it feels, up here in Michigan! Every time we have a couple warm days, they have been followed by days with temps in the 60's. But, lo and behold, it is July 1st and summer is definitely here! We have been packing in lots of fun already and have a busy couple months ahead. (Oops, I got the order backwards.)

Mike's Father's day present was tickets to a Whitecaps baseball game for him and Luke and their buddies, Rick and Evan. They had a fun night!
Luke had his first sleepover at his cousins' house, and we've gotten to see them several times in the last couple months. It's fun to watch all 4 of the grandkids have fun with each other!

We've also spent several days at my grandparents' lake house. We are trying to convince Luke to go tubing this summer, but so far, this is as close as we've gotten:) I love the perched little princess in the picture too!
My cousin Monica got married in May and this is a picture of her and the rest of my beautiful cousins (and sisters). Lots of girls!!
May 15 was Luke's 3rd birthday and we celebrated having Avery baptized that same morning. It was a joyful day!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Weekend

"God sent His son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal, and forgive.
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know He holds the future. And life is worth the living just because he lives."

We spent an incredibly blessed Easter weekend with family. Saturday we were able to celebrate with my dad's family, most of whom live in Illinois and we don't see often. It was so nice to be able to catch up and spend the day talking with each other. Sunday we went to my parents' church and then over to my grandpa and grandma's house for another family lunch. Luke and Avery are the center of attention everywhere we go. They are so loved by our families and it gives Mike and I such joy to watch them be loved on!

I am finishing up a Beth Moore bible study on the tabernacle and have been in awe of how much our God loves us and wants to dwell with us; I was especially struck by this during the week before Easter. God has used this study to teach me a lot about the history of the tabernacle and to remind me of how perfectly he has planned EVERYTHING. God designed the Old Testament tabernacle to be built so that He would have a way to be with his people. His glory filled the tabernacle, but it didn't stay there because the people were disobedient. Later, Jesus walked among the people and His presence was literally with them, but He couldn't stay either. He became the final sacrifice to forgive our sins. Now, God has sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. We get to be the tabernacle. We are inhabited by God's presence and His glory. We are called to daily sacrifice of ourselves in order to allow God to reveal himself to others through us! God has chosen us to show his glory here on this earth. How incredible!
Did you know that if you divide the Old Testament tabernacle directly in half (according to the specific measurements God gave), there are two perfect squares? At the center of each square is the ark of the covenant (on one side) and the altar of sacrifice (on the other side). The ark represents God's presence. The altar represents the sacrifice that must be made in order to come into God's presence. A perfect plan, made so long ago. Praise God for providing the sacrifice so that we can be always in his presence!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Stuff to Do

I realize I should have posted this a couple months ago, in the dead of winter, but better late than never! We've done some fun stuff while being stuck inside; I love hearing new ideas of things to do with Luke. (Share if you have any!) He is so creative and loves to try new 'projects'. I've gotten these ideas online, in magazines, and from the Bright Beginnings preschool we go to during the month.

* No-mess finger painting! Squeeze a good amount of finger paint, different colors if you like, into a large ziploc bag. Seal tightly, getting air out. Duct tape top and bottom of bag to a square piece of cardboard. You now have a flat surface to 'paint' with your fingers, moving the paint around through the bag.
* Bird Feeders We have had so much fun watching the birds come to our deck to eat the bird seed off the feeders Luke made. There are two beautiful cardinals that come each day, a male and a female. We didn't have pine cones, but spread peanut butter on sticks instead. Then we rolled the sticks in the bird seed. Luke even loved just running his hands through the big bowl of seed!
* Fruit Loop Necklaces For our snack one day, we strung a piece of yarn with fruit loops. Luke thought it was the best thing ever to bite the cereal right off the string:) I had bought some fun noodle shapes to use too, but I still can't decide if that is too girly of a craft!
* Sponge Stamps Cut fun shapes out of small kitchen sponges and use them, with washable paint, as stamps. We needed bigger paper for this one!
* Paper Chains These are a great way to count down to a special occasion. We did decorate and make some paper chains this winter, but never as a countdown. Maybe we'll do one for Luke's upcoming 3rd birthday??
* Cooking We have done lots of cooking/baking together. Luke is a great little sous chef! I let him get the measuring utensils and add the ingredients to my recipes, and he usually has his own bowl to measure in whatever he wants. He loves to mix flour and brown sugar and baking soda and cinnamon or WHATEVER! And he always wants to try his creation:)
* Homemade Playdough We have yet to try this because I'm waiting until our real stuff dries out. I have heard this is a good recipe since the kool-aid makes it smell good!