Christmas: Correction

Sunday, November 30, 2008

There was some mis-communication going on between Matt and I (that *never* happens) and heard "no Christmas" when it was really "possibly no Christmas". My bad. We discussed it further and decided that we'll probably be able to do $10 giftcards - I know it's not much, but it's what we can afford at the moment. I'm really sorry for the confusion. Things are a bit hectic and up-in-the-air right now. Still, we ask for no toys for Robby (yes, Sara - you can get him the bear if you really must :P), but practical items like diapers, baby food, or clothes are more than welcome. Of course, Robby comes first, but we really love giftcards, too.

I'm really starting to dislike this time of year. So much goes on for us all at once and by the time New Years comes, we're bald and twitching. The three main things are the pressure and stress of gift planning and buying on a very tight budget, the slow-down on Matt's route, which means less money flowing in, and re-certification for our apartment, which is always a huge pain to prepare and deal with. It's really NOT a good time of year for us, but we always manage to come bobbing back to the surface when January 1st rolls around. It's just scary and stressful until then! So, please be patient with us - there's a LOT on our plate at the moment, so if you see us and there's an eye twitching or some bald spots here and there, you'll know why.


Friday, November 28, 2008

This is just a notice for family and friends (if you got this as an email, also, I apologize for the redundancy - just making sure everyone knows) - there's a very good possibility that we will not be able to afford gifts this year. Therefore, we ask, out of fairness, that you do NOT buy us gifts - even Robby. If you insist on getting him something, we can always use diapers (size 2) or baby food (single flavors, no mixed, no meat), but no toys, please.

We appreciate if you would please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you.

Blessed by Strangers

Monday, November 24, 2008

I was buzzing around the house as usual, tonight, making dinner and taking care of the baby when I heard a knock at the door. I immediately looked at the clock, "Who would be coming at 7 o'clock?" I asked Matt.

He shrugged his shoulders, "I have no idea." I went to the door and opened it to find a couple from our church standing there with a big, yellow tote and wide smiles on their faces. I invited them in.

"Um, hi. How are you guys?" I asked, completely confused as to why they had suddenly dropped in and what could possibly be in the tote. "I'm sorry my house is kind of messy." (Baby things were EVERYWHERE.)

"Oh, that's fine! Ours looks like this all the time!" they joked. "Well, the church wanted to welcome you guys and help you out a little," the man said, opening the tote. The contents almost brought me to tears and both of our jaws dropped. In the tote contained a Thanksgiving meal, including a turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, an apple pie, and other assorted canned foods and fresh fruit. Also, there was a card containing two $25 giftcards for more groceries.

"Oh you so much!" we managed to sputter out, still frozen in amazement at this generous offering. We stood around and talked for a little while longer as the woman held Robby, playing with him and talking to him (of course he hammed it up for her as he always does), then they prayed with us and left. After I shut the door behind them, I turned to Matt, who still had a shocked look on his face, "Wow. Can you believe this?"

"No. Not at all, but I think we've found our church," he replied, smiling.

I've never experienced this before. Never have I known what genuine, unconditional friendship and generosity feels like. We've only known this group of people for a month or so, but they have shown us more kindness and care than anyone I've ever known in my whole life. After leaving our old church, we prayed and prayed for God to lead us to a church that would be good for us and our growing family and I think we've finally found where we were meant to be. Unfortunately, this kind of throws a wrench into our hope and "plan" to move to Denver, but Matt and I both agreed that this church alone was worth staying for and it must not be in God's plan for us to move just yet.

So, for those from the Magic Valley Bible Church that do read my blog, thank you. Thank you for accepting us and caring about us. You really have no idea what it means and how you've profoundly changed our lives and thoughts just by your love. Thank God for you all and we look forward to growing with you. learn how to cook a turkey. *tremble*

Panda: The Next Generation

Yesterday evening, I was in Robby's room, trying to get him to settle down for a much-needed nap when Matt suddenly appeared in the doorway.

He had a huge smile on his face as he said, "Look what I found." While rummaging through our bedroom, he happened across an old friend - his beloved, little panda bear he got when he was a tyke.

"Oh, your bear. Cool," I said, still frazzled from wrestling with Robby.

"I want to give it to him," he said.

"Are you sure?" I asked, "I know it's special and Robby's pretty rough on stuffed animals."

He smiled and said, "Yeah. I really do." He handed it over to me and I put it in front of the squealing tot's face so he could inspect it. Immediately, he stopped crying. His eyes got huge and his little jaw dropped as if this was the most wonderful thing his little eyes had ever seen. He grabbed the bear from my hand, and held it close, looked up at me, and then smiled as if he understood just how special the little bear was.

Matt had gone back into our bedroom to continue gathering laundry. I told him what had just happened. "Really?" he asked, smiling wide. I followed him as he walked to Robby's room to witness this for himself. Sure enough, Robby was laying in his crib, babbling to the little bear. I stood back to give them space. "Do you like him? Do you like the panda bear? This was mine when I was little. He's very special," he said, beaming.

There's something very traditional about a parent passing down something that was once special to them as a child. It almost as if you're passing down a little piece of yourself along with it; a glimpse of what was and what used to be. It also humbles you to think of yourself of ever being that small, looking in wonder upon something as simple as a stuffed animal. But, of course, it's not the bear itself that sparks such awe. It's the meaning behind it. The bear was so special to Matt that he kept it with him even when he left home for college and made sure to take it with him when he moved to Idaho. Some things just never lose their value and worth. I would love to someday see my grandchildren running around my home, giggling and playing with the same little bear that brought my husband and son such great joy so many years before.

The Parent's Prayer

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I know I have this in my links, but I felt it deserved it's own post. It's called the Parent's Prayer and I think it's a wonderful guideline for every parent - new and seasoned.

Oh, God, my Father in Heaven, please make me a better parent. Help me to understand my children, to listen patiently to what they have to say, and to respond to their questions kindly. Help me to look not only to my interests, but also to theirs. Help me to see in them the gifts that you have placed, to nurture those gifts and add to them skills and experience. Keep me from interrupting them, talking back to them, and contradicting them. Let their words be precious to my ears. Make me as courteous to them as I would have them be to me. Prevent me from uttering words that are careless and do not lift them up. Fill my mouth with sound instruction and encouragement.

May I grant them all of their wishes that are reasonable and have the courage and strength to always withhold a privilege or gift which I know will do them harm - no matter what anyone else thinks. Let me test all things against the laws of Your Word. Let me give light to your Word in every circumstance, talking about it all the day long so that their entire world-view is wrapped up in your promises and truth. Let me base my decisions in love and be consistent in my parenting according to your precepts. Let them see me give you first place in my life and let them see me faithfully devote myself to the study of your Word and prayer.

Reduce, I pray, the meanness in me. May I cease to nag; and when I am out of sorts, help me, O Lord, to hold my tongue. Blind me to the little errors of my children and help me to see the good things they do. Give me a ready word for honest praise. Let me fall in love with them every day all over again. Help me appreciate the giggles and wiggles that you have placed in them instead of seeing them as an annoyance. Oh, that I could find joy in their laughter and not be so serious and distracted by the anxieties of life that I miss the short time I have to play with them and pick them up. Let me hold and kiss them each day.

Help me to treat my children as those of their own age. Let me not expect from them the restraint and judgment of an adult. Allow me not to rob them of the opportunity to wait upon themselves, to think for themselves, to discover for themselves, and to make their own decisions whenever possible. Help me to foster an environment of learning and a full knowledge of your Word. Lead me on straight paths in choosing what I teach to my children and help me be a thorough educator, never forsaking the building of their relationship with you or the character you desire in them for academics only.

Forgive my children any sins they commit - bring them to the surface so they may be dealt with early on. Forbid that I should ever punish them for my selfish satisfaction or out of anger. Give me the courage to confess my sins against my children and ask them for forgiveness when I know I have done wrong. May I not vainly hurt the feelings of my children. Forbid that I should laugh at their mistakes, or resort to shame and ridicule as punishment. Let me not tempt my children to lie or steal. Guide me hour by hour that I may demonstrate by all I say and do that honesty produces happiness. Let me be used by You to guide them into Your arms by my life.

Make me so fair and just, so considerate, companionable, and gentle - that they will have a genuine esteem for me. Fit me to be loved and imitated by my children as a Proverbs 31 woman. Let your Son shine in my heart as a beacon for them. Bless them and the future mates they will marry, protect them from physical harm and the spiritual wickedness that seeks to devour them in this world. Keep their minds, souls, hearts and bodies pure before you. Give them a heart that seeks to obey and please You. Let them desire to know You. Let their earthly father and I be the example of love and loyalty that they need to feel secure and know what to seek out in a relationship when they are grown. Oh, Father, give me the calm, poise, grace, wisdom and self-control that I need to ensure that they see You in my life.

Help me to display order, good stewardship, responsibility and patience in such a way that it will become part of who they are as well. May I bless you in honor for your trust in me to raise them. Let them grow to be oaks of righteousness - plantings of the Lord for the display of your splendor. Let goodness and mercy follow them through their whole lives. May they be bound to You forever, Amen.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Before Robby made his grand appearance into our lives, we adopted our dog, Kirby, to serve as a "surrogate son" to fill the void of a child. We had pretty much given up any hope of having children, so we decided to try and adopt a dog from the local humane society. We had to jump through many hoops in order to have Kirby since our apartment complex didn't allow animals, but Dr. Dan was nice enough to write a note for us so we could. I can't believe that was two years ago. It feels like we've had him forever! He made the heartbreak of infertility issues much more bearable and just having another warm body in the house with me made me feel a lot less lonely.

Much to our surprise, we ended up pregnant and poor Kirby has to give up a lot of his "Mama/Daddy time" because of Robby. I don't have the time or energy to give him the exercise his high-maintenance self requires, I don't have time or energy to play with Robby and him, and it's getting harder and harder to keep up on taking care of Robby and him. So, we'd decided to do what's best for both "parties". It was an extremely hard decision, but we decided to give him to my grandparents, who live on an 80 acre farm in Buhl. He absolutely LOVES it there and will have other dogs to play with and people who can give him the attention he needs and deserves. Plus, my grandparents recently had to put down one of their dogs due to old age and were thinking of getting a new dog, anyway. I feel so bad for Kirby. He's so miserable here. We've left him with my grandparents before while we were on vacation and he always has a blast there, but when he gets home, he's so depressed that he won't eat for a couple days. Just lays around and mopes. I can't do that to him. He deserves so much better! So, out of love, I won't torture the poor little guy and I'll send him to live where he can run and play until his paws fall off. And we can go see him whenever we want! I couldn't of found a better fit. God planned it out perfectly!

I love my dog very much and that is why I can't stand watching him being tortured anymore. He's a wonderful companion and he was there for me when I really needed someone to love and take care of, but things have changed and I have to switch my attention to raising my son. If Kirby stays here any longer, we'll both go crazy. So, come Thanksgiving, we'll be packing up his "belongings" and moving him to the country. We'll miss him very much, but at least I know he's going to a good, loving home.

Sweet Potatoes a la Robby

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Well, today's the day Robby's been hungering for (pun intended) for a long time. Solid foods - including vegetables and fruit! I went to my WIC appointment today and they gave me the go ahead. We celebrated by trying sweet potatoes. You would have thought those potatoes were spiked with something. As soon as he got a taste of that wonderfully orange veggie, his eyes shot open, he lunged forward as far as his Bumbo seat tray would allow, and opened his mouth wide like a little baby bird! Everytime I came close to him with a spoon full of potato, he would grab it and shove it in his mouth. I about fell out of my chair laughing! I've never seen anyone get so excited over sweet potatoes before!

Of course, I had to snap a couple photos of the hilarity. The looks I was getting were a riot!

Four Months Old

Okay, so where did four months go??? Wow. I can't believe he's four months old, today! Crazy! Well, let's see...he likes to roll around, he desperately wants to sit up and crawl (yes, crawl), and he drools like a St. Bernard because he's teething. That about sums up four month old Robby. He's really fun, though! He just wants to play, play, play! We can definitely see his little personality start to show.

A Family Who Blogs Together...

Monday, November 17, 2008

I thought I'd be a good wife and dedicate a post to Matt and his new blog. I am very proud of him! He has grown and learned so much in the past year, especially in his faith, that I am quite eager to read his thoughts. Go check it out for yourself!

New Family Photo

November 17th, 2007

On November 17th, 2007, our lives changed forever. This time last year, I had just given my life to Christ and was attending church regularly for the first time in years, Matt and I had finally gotten on the same page in our marriage and were growing in our faith together, and I was on my way to my weight loss goals and was doing well in our Biggest Loser Competition. I was finally truly happy for once in my life, but something was still missing. After almost five years of trying, still no baby.

After many, many months of hope and then heartbreak, I knew this month would be no different. I'd hope for the best, have my heart broken when I found out I wasn't pregnant, and pray that next month would be "our time". But this time was different. I was five days late - something that never happened. "Just a fluke," I told myself, "It's just from exercising too much. It'll come." It was the night of day five that I decided to take a pregnancy test just to get it out of my mind. I knew it would be negative - they always were. Why would this time be any different?

Matt was sitting down to a late dinner as I snuck into the bathroom to test. "Please, Lord...please let this happen, finally...please..." I begged. Time seemed to slow. "I hate this part," I thought. "All this worry for nothing." I took the test accordingly and watched the "sample" sweep across the tiny window on the test. The first purple line showed up almost instantly - the control that shows the test is working properly. I stared intently at the second test line, looking for any hint of purple. What happened next made me drop to my knees.

There was that second line, as bright as can be! I remember trying to compose myself and control my excitement to think rationally. "Is I...seriously?" I frantically kept looking at the test and then to the directions, back and forth, desperately trying to figure out if I misunderstood the directions or if my eyes were playing tricks on me...but it was neither. The result was true. We were pregnant! Before I really realized it, I was flying out the bathroom and into the living room, feet barely touching the floor. I couldn't hold it in anymore and at the top of my lungs I screamed "WE'RE PREGNANT!!!" Choking on his Lean Pocket and Baked Lays (yes, I remember), Matt jumps out the chair, "What?!" With a huge smile and tears rolling down my face (much like now, as I write this) I say again, "We're pregnant! We're going to have a baby!" "Oh my...God! (excuse the blasphemy - just quoting!) Are you...sure?" He asks, trying hard to contain himself. "I think so! I mean, I'm pretty sure! Look!" I say as I hand him the test and the directions. "Well, it looks like it! Jenn...we're pregnant! We're going to have a baby!" He says letting lose the biggest smile ever. We held each other close, crying and thanking God for giving us what we most ached for for so long.

So many nights, I imagined what that moment would be like and prayed with everything I had for it to happen, but I never completely believed it would. Finally, as a last resort of sorts, I handed it over to God and trusted that someday it would eventually happen. A month after doing so, we found out we were pregnant. God was giving us a child - the most precious of gifts. I am so thankful that I finally got to experience pregnancy, childbirth, and the best of all, being a mother to our beautiful baby boy, Robert. Sometimes, even today, I look at him and tears start welling up in my eyes because I am so grateful for what was given to us through our faith in Him. I will never doubt again.

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward." - Psalm 127:3

Poker Night

Saturday, November 15, 2008

For the past couple Fridays, we have been getting together with our friends, the Batemans, for what we've deemed "poker night". What fun! Last night, I decided to take my camera along and managed to snap a few photos of the festivities.

The players around the table.

Rex and his "poker face".

Ben and a crabby Robby.

Mama and Robby are ready for bed!

Happy Birthday Grams!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

To one of my blog's biggest fans...
Happy Birthday Grams!!!

Robby & Ben

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Robby and Ben got a chance to hang out together, again. This time they noticed each other. Unfortunately, as soon as Robby spotted Ben, he screamed like a little girl, in a pitch that only dogs could hear! I'm thinking it's because he hasn't seen another baby before, but it was slightly embarrassing. Poor Ben just sat there looking at him like, "Dude, what's your problem??" Then Robby kept trying to roll all over Ben and put Ben's hand in his mouth. We'll work on Robby's social skills.

Wellness Checkup

Monday, November 10, 2008

Robby went in for another wellness checkup and as usual did great and got a clean bill of health. As Dr. Dan put it, "He's perfect. I have nothin' else to tell ya." He's officially 14lbs., 11oz. and 26 1/2in. long - the 50th percentile for head size and weight and 75th percentile for length for those of you who keep track of those things. Dr. Dan also gave me the go-ahead for fruit at 5 months. I'm sure Robby would jump for joy if he knew such news as he is VERY eager to extend his limited menu.

Speaking of Robby eating, here's a photo I snapped last night of Daddy feeding him:


Friday, November 7, 2008

I bought a Bumbo on eBay for Robby last week and it finally got here, today. He really likes that he can sit up "by himself". So far, it's been worth every penny! Here's him chewing on his duck and watching TV:

Also, Robby's getting REALLY good at rolling around and holding his head up while on his tummy...

...well, when he wants to, that is.

Photo Shoot

Thursday, November 6, 2008

He's such a good sport.

Weekend Wrap-Up

Monday, November 3, 2008

Talk about a busy weekend! Friday was Halloween, so we got together with Rex and Sara and stayed up way too late as usual, but had a great time watching a movie and playing Uno. Saturday, my dad and step mom came to visit us, again. We just hung out and talked, then played a couple rounds of Texas hold'em poker (teaching my step mom, Kathy, was very entertaining). Sunday, my folks were nice enough to give us the morning to ourselves, so we just sat around and relaxed. Then, that afternoon we went to dinner at Gertie's Brick Oven Cookery, which our guests really enjoyed due to it's uniquness. When we got back, we played a couple rounds of Man Bites Dog and Imaginiff, talked a little, and then they left. They should be on the road home at the moment.

Things with my dad have always been a bit...awkward. As a lot of you know, I met him when I was nine, but it has always been really hard for me to get close to him. I didn't know him and of the "dads" that I had in the past, the whole dad image was completely ruined for me. But what we lacked in our relationship he made up for in responsibility and I will always respect him and love him for that (plus, anyone that could survive my mother deserves much respect). As soon as he found out about me, he stepped up and wanted to pay child support. Most "fathers" these days wouldn't even consider doing that much. He hides much behind his gruff exterior and twisted humor, but I'm starting to learn to read between the lines. For a long time, mainly in my selfish, "pre-saved days", I didn't think he cared about me, but now that Robby's here, I see things differently. I see the way he looks at Robby, with such love and adoration in his eyes, and I know that he truly cares for us. Oh, and my step mom, Kathy - she's just wonderful all around and makes a perfect grandma! She adores Robby and vice versa. His little face lights up everytime she's here and she's always a huge help to me when it comes to feedings and diaper changes.

I am proud to have given them a grandson and I'm glad that Robby will know this part of his family. They are genuinely kind, generous, and loving people; a rarity in this world. We are so blessed to have them in our lives.

Okay, enough of the mushy stuff. Here's some more photos taken this weekend:

Robby feeding himself & Kirby "babysitting".