Monday, January 29, 2007

My little sicky

Titus finally seems to be feeling better so far today. He's definately getting his appetite back, and appears to have a little more energy. The pictures below might be the only pictures you will ever see of Titus and I snuggling. I did my best to take advantage of his always wanting to be cuddled and held. I felt so bad seeing him sick, but I did appreciate the chance to hang out with my little man a lot!

He let me cut his finger nails and toenails without any fight, that's how little energy he's had. I layed him down on the floor to change his diaper and after he was all done, he just laid there, and didn't move. There have also been times that he's been sitting up or crawling around and he would just suddenly fall to the floor like he's lost the will to keep doing what he was doing. It's so pathetic!
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Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

At the beginning of last week I put Leeann's hair in little braids. I took them out Thursday morning hoping she'd have cute little curls for preschool. Instead it turned into a bad 80's hair day, so we dressed it up, threw in a side crimped pony tail and went with it!
She walked around all day saying "I like Cindy Loper!" It made people laugh!
My little girl, just being silly :0)
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Afternoon at the Park

Titus wanted to carry his empty sippy cup around, and he refused to walk on the grass.
Logan and Uncle Rob... just messin around!
Leeann loves to swing, it's her favorite park-time activity.

This is Rob with his sister, Suzy-smiling pretty for the camera!
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Friday, January 26, 2007

Movin on Up

Oh, and for curious minds who want to know, we've officially put away all of Titus's 3-6 month clothes, and moved him on up to 6-12 months. He still looks like he's swimming in some of them, but that's okay! (He's almost 14 months old for those not keeping track at home)

The doctor wanted him to be 16.5 lbs by his 12 month check-up and he was actually 17 lbs 4 oz much to my surprise. So, that was good. When we went to Urgent Care last night he was 16 lbs 6 oz fully dressed though. I'm assuming it's the whole being sick thing?

Anyway, I thought I'd update curious friends in that area.

A Trip to Urgent Care

Last night ended in a trip to urgent care for Rob and Titus and me. Though he had stopped throwing up at 5:30 yesterday morning, he started back up at 5:30 last night. His tongue also appeared to be bleeding, which is what prompted us to go to Urgent Care. 3 hours later they ruled out strep throat, and the Doctor hadn't seen the blood that we were seeing, but he did say the back of his throat was really red and swollen. He also had a little bit of a fever. Essentially, he told us it's just a virus and to keep doing what we were doing, but to give him some tyleonal and motrin too.

In the meantime, it's been a day and a half and Titus more or less hasn't even asked to get down and play. He just sleeps, or snuggles in someones arms. He keeps signing "more" but we're trying to just stick with water and pedialyte right now. He doesn't cry much because his energy is more or less zapped. I have enjoyed all of the snuggles, but it's so hard to see my little man in pain. Even with Leeann it was a little bit better because she can tell me where it hurts or what she precieves will make it better.

So, that's what's going on in our neck of the woods these days. We're just hanging out, doing little hoping the other kids don't get sick too.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

My Little Man is Sick

Rob called me at work last night asking me to come home because Titus had been throwing up. It continued through the night, though I don't think he has since 5:30ish this morning, so hopefully it's on the down side. I feel so badly for him because he's obviously miserable. It's hard as a mommy to watch your baby go through pain. This morning he was signing "more" to me to tell me that he was hungry, but I knew feeding him would only make it worse. He obviously doesn't know that though.

There are two upsides to him being sick though (well, kinda). 1.) It's good for me as a mommy to know that he needs me to care for him. There's something neat about seeing how easily a mommy can calm a sick and sad baby. 2.) I get snuggles! Titus isn't a snuggler, but he snuggled with me lots before bed, and the three or four times he woke up in the night. Rob put him in bed with me this morning too where he snuggled for a few minutes. Most of you might think this is silly to be so excited over, but he just doesn't snuggle. And I like snuggles. So, if you are prone to thinking about the good things in midst of the bad... there ya go!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I admit... this is not my favorite stage!

I love my son. I adore my son. I don't care for this stage in his development however. He opens every drawer and every cupboard he can get his hands on. If the dishwasher is open he's immediately drawn to the silverware bucket. His food ends up all over the floor at any and every meal. He likes to put things in body's of water, including the toilet and the bathtub. I caught the remotes just as they headed into Leeann's bath the other day. He's getting opinionated, but he's not yet convinced that he needs to mind. He's past the point of being comforted by his binky and blanky... they are now a necessary part of his being. Watch out if you forget either of them! I love him. He's a handsome and sweet little boy... he just takes up all of my energy these days!

I admit... this is not my favorite stage!

I love my son. I adore my son. I don't care for this stage in his development however. He opens every drawer and every cupboard he can get his hands on. If the dishwasher is open he's immediately drawn to the silverware bucket. His food ends up all over the floor at any and every meal. He likes to put things in body's of water, including the toilet and the bathtub. I caught the remotes just as they headed into Leeann's bath the other day. He's getting opinionated, but he's not yet convinced that he needs to mind. He's past the point of being comforted by his binky and blanky... they are now a necessary part of his being. Watch out if you forget either of them! I love him. He's a handsome and sweet little boy... he just takes up all of my energy these days!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Shocked... Surprised... Excited...

Overwhelmed... Incredibly Thankful... Inspired... Emotional... Humbled... Ecstatic... Awestruck... Encouraged... Thrilled... Grateful... Appreciative...

These are just a few of the words that come to mind that describe my emotions last night. I was making dinner and Rob called me into the bedroom. He called me with the "Uh, Robyn, we need to talk" voice. I thought I was in trouble!

He had just gotten the mail and first he handed me a check. Some very special people called me this week to let me know that they wanted to help me with my trip to California, and we got the check in the mail yesterday. It's such a huge blessing! God seems to provide for us at the perfect times, in perfect ways, through the perfect people. He's so faithful!

As if that wasn't enough Rob handed me another card (now that I think of it they were both opened, which means he was opening my mail... I don't know how I feel about that... isn't that a criminal offense?) Along with a very sweet note was some cash, also for our trip.

I bawled like a baby. I'm truly overwhelmed by God's provision through special people. At several points today I've been thinking about how to pay them back, or how to "pay God back". I think my ah-ha moment was when I realized it's not my job to pay it back, but to pay it forward! I am amazed that people would sacrifice and give such generous gifts for me to have this opportunity. I would almost say... I feel like a princess!

Yesterday morning I wasn't quite sure how we were going to pay for our trip just two short weeks away. Somehow I haven't been too worried though. Now I know why. The sum total of the mail man's deliveries was $400! That's pretty much the perfect amount to get us down and back if my calculations are remotely accurate. I was thinking we might be able to do it with $3oo if we ate Taco Bell the whole way. I'm grateful that it doesn't appear as if that's all we'll have to eat on our trip now :0)

*Note to special people: You may never truly know how much this means to me, because words can't get anywhere close to describing how thankful I am! I promise to pay it forward someday, and hopefully your generosity will keep on giving and giving and giving for years to come!

House Guests!

A couple of weeks ago Rob's sister, Suzy and her two boys moved in with us. Her husband is in rehab for six months so they are staying with us for a while. It's nice to have them here. Leeann LOVES having built in playmates at all hours of the day, and I enjoy having Suzy around to spend time with too. Up until recently I haven't gotten much of a chance to get to know her very well, so I'm grateful to get that opportunity now. It's really nice to get to know the boys more too. Rob's enjoying getting to spend time with them too... getting to do "boy things"... which he's not yet able to do with Titus.

I came home from work one day last week (and I got to leave my kids here!) to an empty sink and a clean kitchen. I'm beginning to wonder if polygamy wasn't such a bad thing! Okay, don't take me too seriously there, but honestly, having another woman here has it's perks!

I'm extremely grateful that God provided for us when we bought this house. It's not huge, but it's certainly big enough to share. All four of us can fit all of our clothes in the master bedroom closet and with 2.5 bathrooms and with fairly big bedrooms each family can have their own 'space'.

I'm sorry that I haven't written in a while, but we've been settling into a new routine having 7 of us around here. My computer is in my bedroom also, so nap-time can no longer be blog time since the kids are sleeping in our room. Even now, Titus is sleeping, but Rob brought his lap-top home for me so I'm blogging in the living room. So, you'll have to be patient as my ability to update my blog isn't as easy as it once was. I have another post to write, so I'm going to try to get to that before Titus wakes up!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

An Exciting Opportunity!

I'll try to make a long story short... but we all know how good I am at that!

In October I went to a Children's Ministry Conference in Eugene, where Craig Jutila (the Saddleback Community Church's Children's Pastor) was the speaker.

He and his staff have been such a huge inspiration to me. They do a fantastic job in Children's Ministry, and they make so much of what they do available to others, that their material has provided most of my training for my job. I've read several books and articles, and listened to multiple CD's that they have put out, spent hours on their website and heard him speak in person twice. Everytime I interact with their training and material I am more and more inspired to do my job well... and to reach kids for Christ and grow them spiritually.

Anyway, after the first night of the conference I felt convinced that God was asking me to encourage him and tell Craig how much his ministry has meant to me and my ministry. So when I got home that night I started to write him a letter that I would find a way to give to him after the conference. After about the first paragraph I got really sleepy and decided that maybe I'd just get up early and finish it in the morning. Then the power went out and that confirmed my decision. I ended up waking up far later than I'd hoped (only 2 minutes before my friend came to pick me up!) So much for that! I still felt like I really needed to encourage him however, so I mustered up the guts to tell him how he's impacted my ministry just after the conference. I specifically commented that his encouragement to create a mission statement that will guide your ministry, was the first piece of advice that I took, and the first thing that I did once I started my job. It was a priceless piece of advice, and I'm so thankful that he encouraged it so strongly.

Anyway, he asked me to send him my mission statement and told me about a thing called Vortex. Basically, as many as 20 paid Children's Ministry Leaders from around the country get the chance to spend 3 days with Craig and his 5 senior staff memebers. It's not a conference, but more like a glorified job shadow if you will. They choose these 20 people based on their mission statement.

So, I left that conversation just knowing (or hopefully wishing) that somehow... I'd get to be one of the 20. So when I got home I emailed off my mission statement.

I think a month went by before I heard anything. I'd all but forgotten about the opportunity, but still hoped that somehow I'd get to go. I think it was mid-November that I got an email inviting me to come! My excitement was soon put on hold however, as I read in the information that this was for paid full-time Children's Ministry Leaders. I'm paid, but only part-time. Bummer! I emailed them back, asking if I could still go. The people who had the authority to make that decision were out of town for what seemed like forever. I finally got an email telling me that at this point the had like 200-300 people inquiring about this opportunity so they have to draw the line somewhere. I was told I couldn't go.

I was bummed to say the least, I was SOOO looking forward to this opportunity... and I really thought, from the moment I heard about it, that I would get to go. I totally understood their reasoning, and even agreed with it... but seriously... it's me here! I'd really benefit from this, and I want this opportunity more than anything!

I think the worst (or best?) part about it is that everytime I turned onto the street into my neighborhood I pass a car lot that has 5 R.V's lined up with their backsides facing the street. They all have one word on the back "Vortex". At first I felt like I was being taunted, but then I decided to use it as an opportunity to remind me to pray that somehow, I might get to go. Rob would tease me whenever we'd pass them because I'd comment about it. He was more-or-less gently trying to tell me to let go of hoping (and rightfully so, what were the chances?).

Anyway, I knew the money for Vortex was due by the end of December. So a couple days after the New Year I sent an email to the lady I'd been interacting with, a really sweet lady named Tanis. I wrote a letter introducing myself and explaining that while I'm paid part-time, their investment into me would not be wasted. I described my ministry and specifically why I thought this opportunity would be perfect for me at this stage. I apologized for resembling the persistent widow (though in the Bible, she did end up getting what she wanted!), and I commented that I'd be remiss if I didn't ask one last time, hoping that just maybe there would be one spot still open waiting for "just the right person".

I got an email from Tanis the next day telling me that she'd ask one more time. That afternoon I got a phone call from her (though I missed the call!) telling me that I could come! I seriously screeched out loud like a five year-old who was just told they get to go to Disneyland :0) Leeann didn't know why I was excited, but she immediately became nearly as excited as me. I told Leeann "I get to go to Vortex!" She looked at me with a great big smile and said, "I get to go to Vortex too mama!" It was too sweet!

So, there you have it. In just 3 short weeks, Rob and I will drive to Southern California while I get the exciting opportunity of doing life with the Children's Pastor and his senior staff members for 3 days. Needless to say, I'm so excited!

I had saved $100 from my graduation (in May of 2004... I know, it's weird), I had some Christmas money, and I had some money left-over from when I was supposed to go to Mexico in 2004 on a mission trip. The trip ended up getting cancelled, and I never felt good about using that money for anything not mission/ministry related since that's what I worked for the money for. So, it was the perfect amount to pay for the conference. We're trying to 'raise' money for the trip down however, hence my first Craigslisting! No takers yet though. Anyone want to buy a guitar? :0)

So there's the story that was a long story that I was trying to make short but ended up making long anyway. I thought I'd give you something long to read since it's been a while! This might have to hold you over for a while because my ability to blog is getting more and more limited these days. It's probably better that way! Until the next time...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

My First Craigs Listing

I branched out today. I listed an item for sale on (it's like a local community where you can sell stuff and do other things). So, if any of you happen to be in the market for a guitar... check out my link.

All proceeds go to a good cause! (I'll try to post about the good cause tomorrow...)

Our Family Christmas

The four of us celebrated Christmas together on December 30th this year. Since we typically spend Christmas with Rob's family, we don't get the joy of waking up on Christmas morning and watching the kids run downstairs in their jammies to see what's under the Christmas tree. In the past, it hasn't been a big deal because neither of the kids were old enough to know the difference, but with Leeann getting older we decided that we would compromise and have Christmas at our house on another day. So we did! It was also nice that we didn't have to pack our family presents up there and back. Anyway, thanks to some Christmas money sent from Rob's Grandparents... we were able to splurge a little and get Leeann an extra-special over-budget gift this year! It was so exciting to see her joy on Christmas morning!

This is Leeann taking a picture of mommy with her new 'camera' that she found in her stocking on 'Christmas Morning'.

And the highlight of Christmas is Leeann's new doll house! She was so excited to recieve it, and we were very excited to give it! It was far harder to wait to give this gift to her than it was to wait to get my own gifts. It's funny how you get to re-live the magic of Christmas once your own children get old enough to enjoy it!

Titus also really liked Leeann's doll house. He tried to play nicely, and she tried to share... but he just kept making a mess and it would frustrate Leeann. So eventually we told him he couldn't play with it anymore and this is what he thought of that...

I got a beautiful ring... it was perfect! Rob did an incredible job of picking out such a perfect gift!

All-in-all, Christmas was wonderfull! We put a candle in our cinnamon rolls for breakfast and sang happy birthday to Jesus, and read Leeann the Christmas story out of her new Bible. I'd say... it was my best Christmas ever!
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Happy Birthday!!!

My nephew's Weston and Logan celebrated their Birthday at our house on Friday. Rob's older sister, Shelly and her family were coming down for the day so we decided to celebrate his younger sisters boys' Birthdays. The night before the 'party' I was looking on-line trying to find some cake ideas and Weston kept coming back to "the Thomas cake". The only problem is that I didn't have a pan and because it was the next day I couldn't exactly order one on-line. So, I printed out a coloring picture of Thomas and essentially traced around it and improvised to get the Thomas cake seen pictured below. It was priceless to see the boys so excited about the cake, it makes all of the effort so very worth it! And it tastes good too!

And of course, it was great to see family, as always! Weston (the older one) was born just a month after our wedding, it's hard to believe that he's already 5! (Okay, he's 5 tomorrow...) It seems like just yesterday Logan was born too. I know I've said it before, but they grow up way too fast!

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Friday, January 05, 2007

Christmas Day

Alright, I'm catching up with my blogging one post at a time. We spent Christmas day at Rob's mom and step-dad's house as we typically do. This year was a little different though because there were a lot of people missing from our typical celebration for various reasons, but it was still lot's of fun!

Rob's mom didn't have a Christmas tree up so she cut one out of felt and let the kids decorate it with sticky foam shapes. Leeann loves to play with these at Mee Maw's house! It was fun, and here's a picture of Leeann and her counsin's Amanda and Ashly showing off their Christmas Creation!

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