Sunday, December 31, 2006

Pregnancy Cravings

So far this pregnancy I have had a major craving for beans. I think I have eaten about 10ish cans of beans in 2 weeks. Be thankful you don't live with me! I don't know why in the world I have craved beans so bad--but black beans and refried beans have been like a little slice of heaven for me.

We usually have breakfast for dinner once a week (it is cheap and easy--not to mention delicious). The other night I ate scrambled eggs topped with saurkraut and tobasco sauce. Sounds terribly disgusting, right? It hit the spot. I have never eaten that together before so I definitely give credit to the pregnancy for that one.

Spicy foods have also been at the top of the list. If I didn't have little mouths to feed I think most of our dinner choices would have some spicy kick to them. I add some to my own plate when I think about it.

Monday, December 25, 2006


That is the back of Isaac's head. He is announcing that he will now be a big brother. He will now be the middle child. Part of his personality will now be affected by the fact that he will no longer be the baby. He will still be one of my precious babies but he won't be "THE" baby.

His new sibling is slated to arrive late August. The new baby will be 4 years younger than Ewan and almost 3 years younger than Isaac. Wow. That will be soooo different than having a toddler who is 14 months old in addition to a newborn! We are having faith that the new baby will not be a preemie like his brother and I will be doing some extra things during this pregnancy to hopefully prevent pre-term labor (I will probably write more about that later)--although I will gladly welcome another painless natural labor like I had with Isaac! Bring it on!

It took us longer to get pregnant this time than it did with the boys (not that we were purposely trying to be fruitful with Isaac :)) but we trusted God's timing for another baby. There are a lot of details out there that we don't have answers to right now--like how will all the insurance work since we will be leaving InterVarsity sometime this summer and hopefully/probably getting on Pennsylvania's state insurance (how does THAT work!), which practice will I join for a birth team when we arrive to Pittsburgh, how in the world will I finagle 3 kids while Jon goes plunging into his first full semester in seminary? How will I do this without the support of our family who lives nearby now? Yes, if I think about all those things together it does get a little overwhelming but I know that God will help our family adjust to the new baby and all the circumstances that come along with it. He will provide friends that will become like family. He will work out our finances and provide all that our family needs. You can start praying now for all those details!

We told my mom and stepdad and Jon's parents with the t-shirt today. We were planning on telling my dad, stepmom and all the rest of their family yesterday after church but we ran into a hiccup. I didn't remember EXACTLY how to get to my stepbrother's house but I had the address and knew the general area. We planned on stopping by for a bit after church to see everyone but we couldn't find the house. Jon suggested I call them and ask for better directions. Okay, but where was my purse? Zoinks! It was under the pew at church. That is the ONLY time I have ever left my purse under the pew. We had to turn around and go get my purse and then we didn't have time to go back to my stepbrother's house because 2 boys needed their beauty sleep. It would have been the first time since all the grandkids for that family would have been together so we really wanted to be there.

So Dad, when you read this, we planned on telling you guys in the same way and we wanted you to see what you would have gotten. The plan was for someone to take off Isaac's jacket and then someone would notice what his shirt said. Ta-da!

So far the tiredness has been my biggest symptom of pregnancy. I have had to take a nap pretty regularly during the day while the boys are sleeping. I seem to yawn all the time. I am hoping that no morning sickness rears its ugly head this pregnancy although I realize the chances of that are pretty slim since I had it bad with the boys. There is always a first!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What Kids Remember...

This morning Ewan found a breastpump shield in the drawer that has all the sippie cup lids, straws, kiddie spoons etc. "Mommy did you use this when you fed Isaac from your tummy?", he asked so sweetly. At first I didn't understand him and he had to repeat it a few times...
Mommy: What was that Ewan?
Ewan: Did you use this to get milk from your tummy for Isaac?
Mommy: Ooooohhhhh (me realizing what he was asking), yes I did, honey.
Ewan: Okay, thanks!

I didn't bother to correct him. I figure he has plenty of time to figure out that milk doesn't come from mommy's tummy. Giggle, Giggle.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Shout Out

I want to give a shout out to my awesome husband who finished his marathon today. He has worked hard for about 4 months to prepare for the White Rock Marathon. He finished in about 4 hours 25 minutes. The time might need to be adjusted a little bit--if it is I will let you know.

I arrived at the finish line about 30 minutes before he ran across. I stood in the bleachers scanning every runner's face searching for my precious husband. I finally saw him and shouted, "JON PARKER! JON PARKER! YOU DID IT!" and my eyes filled with tears--so did his. I bounced off the bleachers so I could go find him after he got his medal and finisher's shirt. I am so proud of him. He did a great job! Go husband!

***Jon's official time was 4:19*** Pretty good for a first time marathoner!!!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Beevis and Butthead Moment with "The Baby Jesus"

*** I recommend watching this until 3 minutes since the rest has some PG-13 content in it and doesn't apply to this post.

I was listening to Karyn Ward share about 10 ways to share Jesus with others this Christmas (see post below)and she opened by mentioning that we often hear and talk about the baby Jesus during this time of the year. I immediately flashed to this scene from Talledaga Nights. I know totally immature, right? Come on, you know you have Beevis and Butthead moments at immature stuff too!

I do think this scene could be used for a sermon though--in many different ways! What sermon topic would you use this clip in?


Advent is my favorite time of the year. I love Christmas--not because of all the gifts I get--but because it is such a great reminder of the arrival of our Savior. I love all the hymns we sing and I love being part of an Anglican church during this time of year.

This past Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is a time similar to Lent where you can reflect about what is coming-the arrival of Jesus. It is full of anticipation expecation and I love it. If you want to know more about advent read this.

At church on Sunday, a woman shared her testimony of how God answered her prayer for her brother who was addicted to meth. At the end of her testimony she spoke with astounding poignancy that we at our best are limited. We are limited in our resources, our ability to love, our ability to forgive, our ability to help--BUT God is UNlimited in HIS resources, his ability to love, forgive, help, heal, restore. I have been reflecting on that this week during Advent. The birth of Christ brought hope and fulfillment of God's promises to his people. So, are you needing healing, hope, joy, forgiveness, need to forgive someone, love, need help loving someone? Remember that God is UNlimited in his resources and can provide all you need.

At my mom's group today our speaker, Karyn Ward, shared 10 ways we can share Jesus with others this Christmas getting in touch with the real meaning of Christmas (it won't $$cost$$ near as much):
1. The gift of Truth (John 8:32)

2. The gift of Time
She pointed out something that struck me. As women, we often pat ourselves on the back for being better multi-taskers than men. Sometimes the result can be wonderful because we can accomplish thing faster. Sometimes the cost can be that we don't allow anyone to get ALL of us. I was immediately convicted about multi-tasking while I parent. Trying to take care of laundry while I play dinosaurs with Ewan. True, I am doing 2 things at the same time but my son is only getting part of me. He is probably more aware of that than I think. So, I am committing to check myself for making better use of my time and not giving my husband and children only PART of ME.

3. The gift of Compassion
Got a family member you are about to spend time with that needs some compassion? Yes, it can cost you some emotional energy but it is a great way to share Jesus with your family members--or sales representatives while you shop!

4. The gift of Prayer (James 5:17, Matthew 7:7)

5. The gift of Honor (1Timothy 5:17)
Make a point of honoring your parents, grandparents, elders, in-laws this Christmas. It can be harder than it sounds if you have rocky in-law relationships. I am thankful that I don't have that issue! My in-laws are wonderful and I love them so much! My mother-in-law has taught me a lot about being a mom to boys and I want to be a mother-in-law just like her. She should write a book about it!

6. The gift of Hospitality
Open your home and welcome others--it doesn't matter if you don't have a perfectly decorated house or not.

7. The gift of Encouragement (Ephesians 4:29)
Our words can be an encouragement to others. Take that time and make that phone call, or answer that phone call. Take someone out to coffee who is struggling and be an encourager to them.

8. The gift of Charity (Matthew 25:34-40)

9. The gift of Forgiveness
Restore relationships. Forgive others as you have been forgiven.

10. The gift of Love

Considering a Hospital Childbirth Class?

I love reading blogs. Midwife, doula, labor and delivery nurses, you name it. I have learned a ton from them. I just happened upon this blog, The Life and Times of a Labor Nurse, who made a post about why hospital childbirth classes are actually not very helpful teaching women about "normal" childbirth. The hospital birth teachers are under pressure to teach what and how the doctors prefer when it comed to managed labors--which most of the times includes numerous interventions that interfere with a peaceful, hands off labor experience (continuous fetal monitoring, for example). Here is the link to her post. I recommend you read it. She said it better than I could myself and since she IS a L&D nurse and teaches hospital birth classes she is qualified to speak with authority.

If you are having a hospital birth then it can be helpful to take the class as a supplement to your childbirth education so you can know what to expect when you show up at the hospital. I recommend to anyone to take a private childbirth class from an independent teacher who won't just teach you about hospital policies, but will teach you about normal birth and will focus a majority of the time on educating you about your choices, informed consent, and coping strategies for birth. There are so many different birth classes to choose from so I suggest looking into a couple and pick one that suits your needs. The Bradley Method®, BabyBodyBirth, Birthing from Within, Hypnobabies, Waterbirth are just a couple that are worth looking into--of course my favorite is The Bradley Method® (big smiles).

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Arctic Blast

We got a little arctic storm here yesterday. The sky threw out some snow and a lot of sleet but it made the houses look pretty and the boys got a taste of what cold weather is like. We walked home from "coffee talk" (the weekly get together/play date with 4 other moms in the neighborhood) in the snow/sleet. At first Ewan and Isaac were very excited about it but once they started feeling the sleet hitting their face they were pretty turned off to the idea and started crying.

This morning I made a mini snowman and the boys had a blast throwing snowballs at the neighbors next door. I think they would have stayed outside longer but I was worried about their precious mittenless hands. Isaac kept giggling anytime someone threw snow or clapped a snowball kersplat with their hands. I love that sound! (of Isaac laughing, of course)

Here are some picture highlights:

Made with dead daisy buds and fresh rosemary

Coming home from "Coffee Talk"

Throwing snowballs at mommy

In case you are wondering, the Honda Element is a rental car. The Hybrid is in the shop because Jon got in a fender bender the day before Thanksgiving. It is a fun little car to drive too! If you know anyone who is really tall, like 6'5" looking for a new car this car might work for them. It has lots of head room and is very roomy on the inside.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My First Post On Birth Stuff

I haven't written much about birth on my blog yet. I have been unsure about where to start but I know that I want to include it in my blog. I love reading other blogs on birth and I have learned quite a bit from other midwives and doulas. I also know that many of my friends have had such different experiences in birth and have chosen things differently than I would have and I don't ever want my friends to think I am judging them or cause any tension in my friendships. So with that said, I do want to speak freely about my thoughts and opinions AND I want to honor and protect my friendships with you all. If something comes up I promise to leave out names and specifics so no one else will know who I am referring to (unless you are good friends with other readers of this blog in which case that can't be helped).

I was just telling a friend yesterday that I don't think I will ever go back to the Obstetric/medical model form of prenatal care. The OB that caught Ewan was a fabulous doctor who preferred low intervention birth, didn't try scare tactics to get me to do what HE wanted, and trusted that birth was a normal event and not a disaster waiting to happen. OB's like this are hard to find--but when the word gets out on the street about them women who value the same things come running. For my pregnancy with Isaac I really wanted to try midwifery prenatal care. The midwives I went to were absolutely FABULOUS and I liked all of them. Not all midwives practice the midwifery model of care--some are "med-wives" and are very interventionist oriented as well. In fact there is a midwife in the Dallas area that frequently uses cytotec/misoprostol to induce labor. I would never go to her practice because of that. Cytotec is an off-label use of a drug that has caused uterine rupture, maternal and fetal death.

I am currently getting my well-woman care from the Allen Birthing Center midwives. I was hoping to have our next baby there but since we aren't pregnant yet and will be moving to Pittsburgh this summer it isn't possible.

The first OB I had with Ewan fit the typical model of medical care I have come to expect from most OBs. As Jon and I began to learn about birth and what options we had during labor we started asking our OB questions. We didn't like the answers. Conversations went something like this:

Me: I would prefer not to have an IV during labor so I can move around freely.
Dr. Castellanos: That is not an option.
Me: Is it okay if I eat and drink during labor?
Dr. Castellanos: No.
Me: Why?
Dr. Castellanos: Because you will just throw it all up.
Me internally: That is not an answer and isn't it a sign of transition when women throw up anyway? That just means the baby will be here soon.
Me: What about episiotomies? How often do you perform them?
Dr. Castellanos: It is better to have an episiotomy than a tear---wouldn't you rather have a straight cut than a jagged tear? Women with episiotomies don't have bladder problems later in life.
Me: Mmhmm. (Internally-has this guy read ANY research?)
Jon and I on the way home: He's fired!

That was just the tip of the iceberg--after several conversations with him we realized that he was not going to provide an environment where we could be left alone to labor and do what we wanted. I was beginning to feel anxious about going into labor with him as my doctor and I knew that that could effect my labor so I wanted out. We switched to Dr. Kuhl and never looked back. Sure, I worried that Dr. C. would be offended and I felt guilty about leaving. Looking back I think it was silly for me to feel guilty about leaving. I hired him to work for ME--and he wasn't meeting my standard of care. I don't think he ever blinked an eye about it. I didn't want to go into my labor kicking and screaming about how I wanted to do things.

As a Bradley teacher, I want my students to have doctors who are supportive of their needs and values during labor. I want my friends to experience the same thing too!

I was talking to a friend from church a few weeks ago who shared she was expecting her 3rd baby. Several of us were sitting at a table and I asked her who her OB was. I like to ask around so I know good referrals for students. She proceded to tell our table that her OB was a long drive away--she started going to him pregnant with #1 and working next door to his office. She mentioned that he had made her cry about her weight gain, was kind of mean, and didn't even remember her when she came in pregnant with #2 (I think less than 2 years later). I looked at her shocked and said, "So why don't you switch?". Well, he is nice most of the time and now he does remember me. I asked her how far she lives from the hospital in Allen. "5 minutes", she said. "I know of a great doctor group at Allen Prespy--why don't you try them out? The convenience of being close to home will surely make you think about it--you don't want to have to drive 40 minutes to every appointment, do you?", I said. Okay, I was forthcoming in my opinion about her switching--but it makes sense, right? Being close to home will be great for her other kiddos to come see the new baby, her husband to go back and forth if he needs to and also, she would be getting great care from people who actually like and remember their patients! I don't know if she will make the switch or not but I hope she does. Her hesitancy was that she would feel bad about leaving him. You know what I said--actually a few other women said the same thing at the table--"What?! He works for you honey--if you don't like his care then move on!"

So, my hope is that women don't settle for second best when they can have the kind of prenatal care they desire. Whether or not that is from an OB or a midwife is up to each individual person. I think that women should not have to bargain or beg their doctors for how they want to give birth. This is their birth--your birth--and it will be remembered by each mommy and daddy forever. The doctor/midwife will only remember it for a short time. Women should be able to labor and birth their babies how they want to and receive care from providers who are there to support them through their pregnancy, labor, and birth.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Let's Talk About Accents

I never knew my Dad had an accent until I was in college. I don't know why I never noticed it before then--and I don't really know why I started noticing it when I was in college. Perhaps it was the general eye opening experience that college is.

Anyway, Jon and I have an ongoing joke about how thick my dad's East Texas accent really is. Jon thinks it is as thick as thick can be--imagine the most hillbilly accent you can and that is what Jon thinks my dad sounds like. I hold the opinion that it IS thick but not THAT thick.

We spent Thanksgiving with my dad this year which was wonderful. My dad is rehashing this story from something that happened to him recently and he was saying that ANGIE HAR-MONE was flirting and doing "boy crazy" stuff. He couldn't remember the girl's name he was talking about so he kept saying THAT ANGIE HAR-MONE. I thought he was saying that HAR-MONE was her last name but no, he was actually saying HORMONE. He was calling her Angie Hormone making fun of her hormones! When in the world did his accent get so thick I can't even understand what he is saying?

They did move back to East Texas a few years ago so I think being around all those other southern folk has made him revert back to that thick twang. Now, don't get me wrong--I am NOT saying that Jon is right about the thickness of the accent. I can never concede to that debate--and even if he WAS right (which he isn't) I would never admit it.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Knock, Knock

Ewan: Knock, Knock
Daddy: Who's There?
Ewan: Taco.
Daddy: Taco Who?
Ewan: TACO OLIVE!!!!!

Mommy and Daddy: Hahahahaha, giggle, giggle, giggle. And it was genuine laughter.

Ewan made it up, can you tell?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Anyone Can Comment

I changed the features on my blog so that you don't have to be a registered user to leave a comment. So, Dad, Grandma, Mimi, Mom--and anyone other family members that don't have an account--you can leave a comment now. Enjoy!

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Next Several Posts...

So, the next several posts are throughout one day to show you what a typical day in our lives look like. I hope you enjoy them.

After a Long Morning of Playing....

I am trying to figure out the best way to pick up during the morning. Attention spans don't last long and I an really bad at reminding them to pick up something before they move on to the next thing. I need to start doing that! Any advice?

My Contortionist

Ewan is learning how to be a contortionist. I think I will try to get him an audition for Cirque du Soleil. Sometimes playing with pots and pans are so much more exciting than playing with toys.

Look At That Sunset!

So here we are outside playing in the "fort". A super great find at a garage sale for only $10. Daddy is grilling pork chops and we are all playing in between pork chop flipping. We get some really incredible sunsets at our house. Behind our backyard is a cornfield so we don't have anything to obstruct our view of the horizon. It is really incredible some nights. I have done nothing to alter the pictures and of cours they do absolutly no justice to how beautiful the sunset really is across the sky.

Dinner Time

So here we are at dinner time. Grilled pork chops, cous cous, and okra. Both boys asked for 3rds or 4ths on okra. Isaac threw a fit because he wanted a big boy cup like Ewan. He ate a few pieces of pork chop and a little cous cous--but the big hit of the night was the okra. Ewan who also loves okra--ate only okra for dinner. No pork chop and no cous cous. He got in trouble for trying to eat his milk with his hand. He was dipping his hand in his cup and then slurping the milk off of his hand. We really are teaching them manners. Sometimes a majority of dinner is spent correcting them and teaching them how to stop acting like neanderthals. It is nearly impossible for Jon and I to have a decent conversation at dinner. We are trying to teach them they aren't always the center of the world one day at a time.

Naked Baby on the Loose!

The final part of our day is playing "Naked Baby on the Loose" paired with "Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum". It works like this: Two boys get out of the bath while the person bathing them (usually Jon) yells, "Naked baby on the loose!". The two naked boys run directly to the couch and cover themselves with their blankies to hide from daddy who will soon come out saying "Fee, Fi, Fo Fum, I smell the tummies of some little ones" (or something similar). They squeal with delight for daddy to find them--even though they hide in the same places on the couch every single night. They wait in anticipation for daddy to tear off the blankies to give big tickles and zerberts (we call em' bloochers). Then it is jammy time and books and off to sleep. It is one of my favorite sounds of the day--to hear the squeals of delight and laughter. You can tell from Isaac's face that he is super excited about this whole game. We started playing naked baby on the loose before Ewan started walking. It is a long held tradition in our house.

Oh, Be Careful....

Oh, be careful little eyes what you see
Oh, be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
So be careful little eyes what you see.

Oh, be careful little ears what you hear
Oh, be careful little eyes what you hear
For the Father up above is looking down in love
So be careful little ears what you hear

Oh, be careful little hands what you do
Oh, be careful little hands what you do
For the Father up above is looking down in love
So be careful little hands what you do

Oh, be careful little tongue what you say
Oh, be careful little tongue what you say
For the Father up above is looking down in love
So be careful little tongue what you say

Oh, be careful little feet where you go
Oh, be careful little feet where you go
For the Father up above is looking down in love
So be careful little feet where you go

Oh, be careful little heart whom you trust
Oh, be careful little heart whom you trust
For the Father up above is looking down in love
So be careful little feet where you go

I don't know if you know the tune to this song. I think it is a pretty common Sunday school song--but I didn't grow up in church so I am not sure. I like singing this song to my kids. It was particularly fun when they were learning body parts. Everytime I sing this song, it helps me evaluate how I am parenting my kids--am I letting them see too much TV? Are they listening to inappropriate music (that I am listening to)? Am I helping them learn how to speak kindly to me and each other? You get the point. I also find myself evaluating what my own tongue is saying (ouch), what am I watching, am I spending too much time watching blogs on the computer (ouch), am I being loving with my hands as I touch my children? Something to think about anyway. I am thinking about it today.

Monday, November 06, 2006

A Book Meme

Your blog could use some culture, admit it!
Here are the rules:
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next four sentences on your blog, along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest!

Here's mine: "If you get near it, you feel drawn into it. So most people catch generosity from a family member or a friend. (They catch uptight, upright, calculating conservatism in the same way.) Family Culture is the most natural way to encourage generosity--and maybe the only way. Do you want to raise generous kids? You have to become generous yourself, in such a way that the hwole family shares in that spirit."

This is from Nevermind the Jonses. It is a book to help you identify and develop your own Biblical family culture and values. It is actually a pretty fun read--although I have been reading it for months now (as it sits on my nightstand). Since Jon and I have been married for 6.5 years we have already developed some of our own family values and it was kind of fun to see some new ideas too or some things we haven't thought about. The premise of the book is that every family has a culture and shares values--and describes 13 family values. I definitely recommend it--especially if you have kids and want to do some proactive thinking about your own family life and how you want to show the love of Christ through your family as your family grows (up).

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Yeah! Isaac turned 2! We had his birthday party at the park and it was great. It was a little chilly with the wind factor but it was sunny without a cloud in the sky. Isaac loved his cake--he calls it his "Cars Cake". Isaac's Aunt Jay is on the right--in case you were wondering.

Mmmmmm....cake and Cheetos--what a treat! I have never bought Cheetos--it isn't something that is normally in our pantry. I think one of the grandparents brought them and what a gift that was. Everyday it was, "mommy, can I have some Cheetos?" So we ate the bag (yummy for all) and I still will never buy Cheetos. I think we would eat WAAAAYYYY too many of them.

Here is Isaac opening some of his presents. You are looking at the Larrymobile from Veggie Tales. Isaac got some awesome presents and has been enjoying all of them. Our friend Will is to the right of Isaac and Warren is on the left. I am so proud of my little 2 year old! He is so lovable and sweet--especially when he isn't throwing a fit (smiles).

He is in the 100th percentile for his height--I thought he was taller than Ewan when Ewan was two and I was right. He is only about 2.5 inches shorter than Ewan right now. I think I need to start telling Ewan to be careful about picking on Isaac because he will be bigger than him one day.

So, I have finally done all of the updates I have wanted to do to catch everyone up--hope you enjoy the last several updates.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

More Cute Pictures

I love how the lighting turned out on this picture. I am no photographer or anything but I think the clarity on it is amazing. Isaac was enjoying splashing the stick in the water.
Isn't this a GREAT picture of grandpa and Isaac? I tried getting Ewan in the picture too but there were too many sticks to collect.
Here is our family picture--We were hoping for a little closer up on the faces but I think if we crop it, it will look better.

Uncle Darren's Wedding

Here is a picture of me and Isaac at the wedding.

Uncle Darren's Wedding

More pictures to come--but this was a beautiful wedding site and Ewan found one of his favorite things....sticks. I have more picture I am going to upload but blogger was being problematic all day. I decided that I want a weeping willow tree. They are very warm and friendly trees--it made me feel welcome under its canopy.
Thats My King

This is a supercool video. I saw it in church and had to share it!

The Pumpkin Patch

We went to the pumpkin patch a few weeks ago and had a great time. There were some really cute pictures so I thought I'd share a few with you. We went with our neighborhood friends, The Demarees. Warren and Ewan are both 3 and are great pals. They play together really well and LOVE to dress up like cops and firemen and go after trouble. Warren is there in the background in this picture. They got to go on a hayride, feed sheep, goats, and cows, and climb on hay. It was pretty fun. Isaac really enjoyed feeding all the animals. Ewan had a special affection for a baby cow and wanted to ONLY feed the baby--not the big cows.
Here is Ewan, unsure of the sheep but sharing a grin of utter delight.

Here is Isaac trying to feed a chicken a rock. He thought that chicken, rooster actually, really wanted to eat a rock.

Here are Ewan and Warren together sitting in the midst of some pumpkins.

I am so thankful for our new friends in the neighborhood. Several of us moms get together every Thursday morning for a play date. All of us mommies drink coffee and chat while the kiddos play. 5 mommies and 9 kiddos. The amazing thing is that they all play together really well. It is one of the highlights of our week.

Friday, October 27, 2006

I've Been Tagged!

Book Tag
1.One book that changed my life: So You Want To Be A Stay At Home Mom by Cheryl Gochnauer

2.One book I have read more than once: The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy

3. One book I would want on a desert island: Celebration of Disipline by Richard Foster

4. One book that I tried to read but never finished for one reason or another: Nelson Mandella Biography--still got it on the shelf though and would love to finish it one day

5. One book that made me cry: Yada Yada Prayer Books (all of them) by Neta Jackson

6. One book I wish I had written: Harry Potter (sounds totally selfish and shallow but I'd be a millionaire!) by J.K. Rowling

7. One book I wish had never been written:
Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth: An Analysis of More Than 100 Dispute Questions by
Wayne Grudem (Grudem's narrow view of women makes me want to scream)

8. A classic that I love: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin

9. Longest book I've ever read: The Lord of the Rings trilogy by Tolkien

10. Booktag five other people: Grace, Kelsey, Jon (only got 3)

11. One book I would like to see made into a movie: Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin (it is a non-fiction book but it would be really cool to see a movie documentary about The Farm (her midwifery clinic) and all those cool natural births!

12. My current favorite: So That's What They're For! by Janet Tamaro

13. One young adult book I always recommend: Queen Bees and Wannabees by Rosalind Wiseman

14. Genre I tend to ignore: Romance

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Song Lyrics

So we have been having some fun singing around here. I thought I would share a few cute things. Isaac has learned how to sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Row, Row, Row your boat. The latter sounds like this:

Woah, Woah, Woah your boat
Gently down the street
Mer-a-wy, mer-a-wy, mer-a-wy
Life is but a drink.

Ewan made up a song at his Mimi's house the other day on the piano--it is called Dinosaur Story. I am trusting that none of you will send it off to music producers to try to make a buck or two. It sounds like this:

Dinosaur Story, yeah, yeah!
Dinosaur Story, yeah, yeah!

T. Rex Story, yeah, yeah!
T. Rex Story, yeah, yeah!

Pteradactyl Story, yeah, yeah!
Pteradactyl Story, yeah, yeah!

Ewan has become quite the story teller too. He LOVES to tell stories. Apparently he doesn't just do it at home either. His Sunday school teacher told me that he likes to tell stories during their circle time during class too.

Last night he told Jon all about how we caught frogs (in Canada at the cottage) and put them in the bucket and then one jumped out and landed on his face and then hopped away. He LOVES to tell stories about the time we went to the Ft. Worth Zoo. They have a real looking dinosaur exhibit and Ewan thought they were pretty cool. The T. Rex scared him and he likes to talk about that. Our friends Kelsey and Levi came over on Thursday and Ewan told Kelsey about how we saw dinosaurs at the zoo and how they were REAL. I think he still has a hard time believing they were pretend because they moved, made noises, and looked real.

These kiddos are too cute!

Monday, October 16, 2006

I DID IT!!!! (With God's help)

I am now a fully affiliated Bradley® Instructor! I can officially sign my name.....

Amelia Parker, AAHCC

I got an email from a friend who went through the training workshop with me saying she saw my name on the affiliated instructor list on the website. I haven't heard from the academy yet about what my "grade" was on my final. It was kind of weird to hear from a friend first and not from the academy but I'll take what I can get! Woooooooo-hoooooooo!

It feels really good that I did all that hard work and completed something. I think it means a lot because the normal mundane life of a stay-at-home-mom is just never-ending. Always wiping counters, floors, faces, hineys, sinks, boogies, cooking meal after meal, did I mention cleaning? There isn't ever a sense of completeness or accomplishment of the day--except perhaps, when the babies are sleeping. Does that make sense?

I felt a similar sense of accomplishment when I got accepted into grad school and started taking courses. I felt like I was doing something "big".

It took almost one year from start to finish to get affiliated. Big thanks to the Lord for helping me slug through the work and giving me passion for birthing!

If you want to see my name on the website you can go to this and look up the directory and see my name on the webite.

By the way, on a side note...I have had terrible allergies for the past month. It has been miserable and I have been driving Jon crazy with my sniffling and sneezing. The poor guy had to go hang out in the other room when he came to bed the other night because I was already asleep and SNORING. I haven't been able to breathe normally out of my nose at night for weeks now and have woken up with a totally parched mouth and chapped lips from breathing thorugh my mouth. I went to Whole Foods yesterday and got a homeopathic remedy for allergies that does EVERYTHING Benedryl does without all the side effects. I started it yesterday and am a new woman!!!!!!!! Praise the LORD for that!!!! Last night was the first night I didn't wake up sneezing, parched, chapped, or my nose randomly leaking like a faucet. What a breath of fresh air...hahaha....

Saturday, October 14, 2006

My Handsome Son

Ewan did his first wedding performance as a ring bearer this morning. It started off rocky but he did a great job. For whatever reason he had an aversion to the tuxedo and DID NOT want to put it on. This was about 30 minutes before the wedding started. We were a bit worried that he wouldn't have a change in his attitude. We wrestled the little gator and got the suit on and then all was well. Go figure. He walked down the aisle just like he was supposed to and sat (mostly) still and was quiet during the ceremony. We were very proud. He even went to bed late and still managed to do everything with smiles (minus the putting the suit on tactic). The wedding was at Northwest Bible Church and the reception was at the Dallas Museum of Art. David and Linh were in a happy bliss to be finally tying the knot. It was a very nice service. Congratulations to David and Linh (who are heading off to Paris--very romantic!)!

As Ewan walked down the aisle I got the biggest tears in my eyes because all I could think about was how one day this little boy would be walking down an aisle to get married so some beautiful girl. Sigh.

This was taken at the reception and Jon and Ewan were doing "Cheers". Ewan looked so cultured standing there in his tuxedo, drinking his special cranberry lemonade, and eating hors' d'ouvres. It was a special moment!

It isn't the best picture of Ewan from the day but Jon and I look pretty good! Thanks Kim for letting me borrow the shirt.

We had a lot of fun today--Mimi watched Isaac because we quickly figured out at the rehearsal dinner that having Isaac at the wedding was NOT going to be easy and was going to be very stressful. Thank you Mimi!

We got to catch up with our friend Tony who recently moved back to Texas. We were really hoping Tony and his girlfriend, Judy, would move back to Dallas but landed jobs in Houston. They are both doctors and two of the sweetest and kindest people we know. It was nice to see him again. Sadly, Judy was on call but hopefully we will see them again soon.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I finally got some pictures to upload onto this without using flickr! Hooray! I thought I would try this picture of my handsome men. This was last Saturday on big game day. Jon went to UT so everyone has shirts to wear on game days. I finally joined the shirt wearing. UNT doesn't have much school spirit nor much to root for-it's not like I can proudly wear my alumni Eagles football shirt, ya know? Both the boys know to say "Go Texas!". Ewan tries to do the hook 'em hand gesture but hasn't got it down yet. I predict it won't be too long though and Isaac won't be far behind.

New Birth

I had a cool dream a couple of nights ago. I dreamt that I was in labor and loving it. The labor was calm but I was working through the contractions. At one point I knew I needed to stand up and do the "7th grade dance" (waddling back and forth holding on to Jon) and that the baby would come. Shortly after dancing the baby was descending down the birth canal and was crowning. I squatted down to push the rest of the baby out and catch it in my hands. I was holding a gorgeous baby girl with thick, curly, brown hair and full of chub. She was beautiful! The dream felt so real to me and I was sad when I woke up because I felt like I was missing out on such a warm feeling.

Most of you who read this know that we would like to be pregnant again and are doing our part to make that happen. I would love to have that little baby girl I dreamt about! I think it would seal the fate on having 3 kids. If we had another boy it would be hard not to have a 4th and see if we got a little girl.

I keep chewing on that dream and am wondering if there is another meaning to it. (I am open to suggestions if any of you have the gift of dream interpretation!) I wonder if God is showing me that he is going to birth something new in me. That thought keeps coming back to me....In my heart of hearts I am hoping that it was a promise that we will have a little girl but I don't think that is what God is saying in that dream. Maybe God is showing me that Jon and I need to work together for this "new thing". Trying to figure out seminary and our next phase of life would definitely fit that description. I know He will make it clear but for now I am enjoying catching that baby girl in my arms and thinking about her face. (Dreamy look on my face now)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Some thoughts I've been having

Have you ever wondered whether or not you have been forgiven (by a person, not God) for something--a huge mistake you have made?

I have been thinking about that for a few months now. I had a falling out with a friend several years ago. It was over about some pretty serious stuff. My friend knew that my boyfriend had cheated on me and didn't tell me about it. We got in a huge fight about my response to his cheating. I was taking a few weeks to figure out if I wanted to stay with my boyfriend and didn't do much talking to her. As the fight escalated she accused me of being a part-time friend. It came out during the argument that she was really hurting because I was not there for her during a very hard time in her life a few months before. I think that is where the part-time friend accusation came from. She had decided to terminate a pregnancy and I went out of town with another friend the same weekend. I came back the day or the day after it happened and went to see her. I had no idea that going away and not being there with her had hurt her so badly. She never said anything about it until the day of the big fight.

Looking back on it now, I so wish that I had gone with her. It is hard to admit that I played a part in influencing her decision to terminate the pregnancy. I have beat myself up about that for years now. What kind of a friend was I to not be with my best friend (for years we had been friends) during probably the most difficult decision she ever made?

Hurt upon hurt was spoken between us the day of the fight. I can still remember it so clearly--where I was sitting in my bedroom, yelling into the phone, crying loudly. I think the I think we both said and did some terrible things to each other. Our friendship had gone through some rocky times before but nothing like this. Our friendship pretty much ended after that fight.

I became a Christian about a year after that happened. Somehow knowing that God loved me despite my past sin and mistakes (and there was a lot!) gave me hope that I was not forever going to be labeled as a terrible friend. (I did learn something about friendship from that whole experience though.) I know that God has forgiven me for all of that but I still long to know that true reconciliation can happen between my friend and I. We have recently been in touch again-it has been over 10 years since "the incident" but we have not yet spoken about the past.

Moving back to Dallas has been difficult for me because it has brought many of the realities of my past in my face. It has been interesting to reflect on who I am as a new creation in Christ and yet being surrounded by all the memories of my past. I am such a different person than I was 10 years ago--since I have become a Christian. I feel as though my whole adult life is disconnected from my childhood and adolescence through high school. Even listening to certain music takes me back to my BC days and honestly, there are a lot of things I would rather forget. How do I reconcile these two areas of my life?

My friend and I have been talking via email for a couple of months--nothing very deep. She is a new mom and is staying at home with her baby. I have seen pictures of her baby and she is adorable. Even though I have a hard time connecting with the past I really want to reconnect with my friend. I would like to get together with her to see where things go. I have suggested getting together but it is hard to know what she is really thinking. I realize that she might be hesitant and feeling reserved about reconnecting with me. I understand that I hurt her in the past but I want for both of us to be free from our past and to move forward with our lives. Perhaps after spending time together we will be able to define what our friendship looks like. Maybe we will realize that we will only be friends who check in every now and then. Maybe after spending time together we will want to invest in a deeper friendship. I really don't know where it will go but I have been anxious about it for a few weeks. I feel like God is speaking to me about it and it has been nice to do some reflection about my past.

Going back to forgiveness.....Is it selfish of me to want to know where she stands or how she feels about my mistakes from our friendship? I am too scared to ask her. There isn't enough trust in the bank yet. I would rather do that in person anyway, and we haven't gotten together yet. What DOES she think about when she thinks about our chumming around days? What would she have done different, if anything? Are there things she would like to say to me now about our friendship or the past? I guess forgiveness won't feel complete to me until we revisit that painful issue again. I fear bringing it up and I can only imagine that it is painful for her to think about again. I don't want to remind her of that. I feel love for her --no bitterness or anger at all. Why is it so hard to just rest in the forgiveness of God? I don't need to pay penance for my past sin--it has been forgiven. But, I do want to be sensitive to my friend and her process too. Maybe the hesitation I feel from her about getting together is not there at all and I am just imagining it. My intuition tells me otherwise.

Forgiveness--or the lack of it-- is very powerful, isn't it?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ewan in front of squash plant

A little baby gourd

Pretty, yellow gourd

The Accidental Gardener

The best gardening I have ever done has been by accident. The first time I tried to grow basil and some other herbs I made a garden in a little corner on the side of the apartment building I lived in. I lived with 3 other girls in an two-plex--I would call it a duplex but it was upstairs/downstairs not side by side. We had a little strip of grass on the side of the house and I made a cute little garden surrounded by rocks. I planted thyme, oregano, majoram, and basil. The basil I purposely planted never bloomed. The thyme and oregano didn't make it for very long. The majoram took off and grew like crazy. I had some leftover basil seeds that I threw in the little garden and lo and behold--THAT basil grew like crazy! It grew a couple feet tall and I made loads of pesto from those basil plants. Remember that Brie? The good old days.....That was my first accidental gardening incedent.
My second is more recent. We had a garage sale a couple of months ago and my mom brought some items for the sale. One of the items was a basket with dried gourds of all shapes and sizes. Not a huge surprise that no one wanted the gourds. My mom said they were about 10 years old. The kids found them in the leftover pile in the garage and thought they were fun to roll on the ground and throw like balls. They REALLY thought it was fun when Ewan stepped on one and saw all the seeds inside. I was working in our flower beds and the boys brought out several of the gourds to play with. Ewan decided they all needed to get squished on the sidewalk. Ugh, what a mess that was. I decided to use the water hose to spray all the crunchy shells and seeds onto the edge of the grass thinking that those seeds were sooooo old that the likelihood of them growing was minimal. Well, much to my surprise we came back from our vacation in Canada and we had plants growing. Being the scientist that I am (and fun mommy of course) I convinced Jon to leave the plants alone to see what would happen. Thank you, honey! We have been enjoying our accidental squash garden very much. Ewan and Isaac like the pretty orange flowers and watching the gourds grow. Some days it seems like they double in size! I took some pictures of it today so you could enjoy my accidental garden too!

Daily Quiet Times

I have been feeling convicted about the alone time I spend with God. At church on Sunday the word for me was to take the next week and spend at least 10 minutes a day with God. But when? The hurry-scurry of the day starts when I wake up in the morning and stops when the kids are in bed, the dishes are done, and all the toys are picked up. The best time for me to have some listening and talking time with God are when the boys go down for their nap. The problem is that a list of other things to do beckons me. Answer emails, make some uninterrupted phone calls, clean up lunch dishes, pick up a little, watch my soap opera (I can't help myself!), catch up on blog reading, pick up some more, write my grocery list, prepare for my classes--those are the things that crowd my mind if I sit still. Since the arrival of my children I have not been able to consistently have any alone time with God. If I am honest, I like having the naptime to do fun stuff--catching up with friends on the phone, reading, maybe taking a little nap myself (although those days are rare!). I want "my time" to be all about me. Sure, I pray throughout the day, but I miss God speaking to me through Scripture and Bible study and taking that time to hear Him speak to me. I need to re-balance my life a little bit. If I am not connected to Jesus then I am not doing anyone a favor! I feel different and act different when I am connected to God. So, I have committed to spend at least the first 10 minutes of naptime in Scripture and praying. My friend Jenny and I are holding each other accountable to do it for the next week. And now you know--so feel free to ask me how it is going!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Here is the update...

We have been pretty busy these last several weeks. I have posted several pictures and comments to give you a glimpse of what we have been up to. I had to use flickr to upload pictures because blogger was not letting me upload any pics. Hope you enjoy the pictures below.

On a more somber note, my uncle Billy (aka uncle booty) passed away last week. When I was little I guess I couldn't say "billy" and it came out as "booty". It stuck. He was a gentle, generous man who loved kids. He had a tender heart too. He had a heart transplant 5 years ago and had been having a really hard time with his health for the past year or two. I am glad that he is no longer physically suffering on this earth. My hope is that his heart was right with Jesus and I will see him on the other side of heaven. I can rest assured in God's comfort that He is full of mercy and is the perfect judge. He knew Billy's heart better than anyone else in the world and I hope I get to see him again.
Next time I go fishing I will think of my uncle Booty with a smile on my face. I hope that when my hair turns gray it looks like his did. He had the prettiest silver-gray hair I have ever seen.

I'll miss you Billy.

Isaac copying silly face

Silly Face

Ewan learned how to make this timeless face that all kids seem to make at some point in their lives. Where did he learn this? Oh, from another kid at church. Thankfully he just thinks it is funny and doesn't make it to be malicious. Isaac like to try to make the silly face too!

Yummy home baking!

Fresh cherries were on sale so our skin turned red trying to eat the pounds and pounds of cherries we had. I made this rustic cherry tart recipe from Martha Stewart's cookbook. It was quite yummy!

Play day with Melody

Ewan and Melody playing in "the house".

Play day with Melody

Isn't Isaac getting so big? He can climb up the ladder to the "fort" and climb up the slide! I decided that it is much easier to let the kids go around in diapers and underwear than wash a bunch of clothes (in case you are wondering).

The train Museum

Among our list of activities we did take a trip to Fair Park and see the Train Museum. It was mildly entertaining to the kids. Jon and I were more interested in the details of the kind of train it was. The boys liked the rocks and climbing up all the stairs to go into the trains. It was fun and worth it even though we finished the tour in about 30 or 45 minutes.

What we have been up to...

Well, I have been trying to upload pictures for 2 days now and have been having problems. I am going to keep trying so keep checking in.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Steve Irwin

Is anyone else totally sad that Steve Irwin died? I was reading some news about it and I got that familiar lump in my throat. He was a great entertainer and educator. It is hard to imagine another conservationist with more charisma and enthusiasm than Steve Irwin. I love Animal Planet and The Crododile Hunter. I would only get to watch it at my mom's house since we don't have cable. The first channel I usually check is Animal Planet.
I think my sadness comes from my "mother's heart". I can't NOT think about Terri and her two little babes that have lost their daddy. She has lost her soul mate--her companion, friend, and lover. I wish I could do more than pray for God's comfort and an understanding of why it happened. My prayers are with you Terri, Bindi, and Robert.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I finished!

I finished my *@!* final! I answered the last question around 10pm tonight. I did a brief proofreading. I am so sick of looking at that beast that part of me doesn't care one single bit if there are any typos or mistakes. Perhaps a night of sleep will help me look at it with fresh eyes tomorrow to check for any errors. I can't mail it until late in the afternoon anyway.
The point is I finished. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Now I feel like I can get on with my life. I can do the reading I am behind on, catch up on our budget, emails, phone calls. There is no way I could have finished it if I didn't have an extension. It took me 2 months to complete 72 essay questions and 88 vocabulary words. I don't think it would have taken quite as long if Jon hadn't been traveling so much during the summer and our vacation of course put the final on hold (sort of). I carried a mini-cassette recorder around so I could talk into the recorder and answer questions that way. If I had to guess at how many hours it took to work on that final--thinking and typing included I would guess 150ish.
Now I have to wait until they grade it and tell me whether or not I passed it. Unfortunately it can take up to 2 months or sometimes longer. Of course I am hoping it takes about 6 weeks. It ended up being 30 pages long. Longer than my InterVarsity staff application was!
Thank you Lord for giving me the perseverance to finish that final! Hallelujah!

Friday, August 18, 2006


Why does 100+ degree weather bring out the worst in me? Me and the kids were getting home just as Jon was heading out the door to spend the evening at Baylor (which is almost 2 hours away). He was trying to talk to me about some plans for him to meet with students at their planning retreat to have a super cool New Student Outreach. I was concerned about getting the groceries and our new fish out of the blazing car and hurrying fast because the kids were whining in the car the last 10 minutes about being hungry and wanting a snack NOW. Well, try to calmly explain to a 3 year and 2 year old (basically 2--acts like a 2 year old, anyway) that we have to wait a few more minutes and we can get a snack. The 3 year old can wait but the 22 month old just doesn't completely understand the concept quite yet.
I felt grumpy that Jon was trying to get me to decide something I didn't have time to think about (and knowing he couldn't dilly dally getting out the door to make it to his meeting on time)while taking care of the aforementioned scenario. I snapped at him and gave him a lousy kiss as he was leaving. Sigh.
Then of course I get freaked out because (here is my morbid mind) what if he got in a freak car accident and died on his way to this meeting? I would be widowed and left feeling horrible that I didn't cherish those last few moments together because I was flustered over something totally dumb. Who cares about a $1.50 fish that might get overheated if your husband is killed in a car crash? Hungry children can get a snack in a few minutes and they will be happy.
I remembered to pray and ask forgiveness for my crummy attitude and pray that Jon gets to and from his meeting safely.
He did call for directions and even though I didn't get a chance to say I was sorry for my crummy attitude, I helped him get his directions with a great attitude and told him I love him.
Back to the hot seems like it sucks the life and grace out of me. I think we have about 6 more weeks of this oppressive heat. ---Of course I know that the sin in my heart is what makes me respond that way--not the heat--but the heat helps bring it out.
Ready for the cool weather to come......

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Diaper Ammo!

Look closely at this picture. It's diaper ammo!

Corn should not be allowed to ANY child under the age of 10 in my opinion. Obviously, Isaac thought this corn was soooo good it was worthy of sucking on the cob to get every morsel off of it. Well let me tell what happened later.....that's right, you guessed it...what goes in MUST come out. Oh, it came out all right---

in 7 movements!

Never again people, never again. At least until he is 10--or out of diapers at least.

An update on my Final

Well, I am definitely making progress on my final. I still have 2 sections left to go and I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Some of these questions are so maddening and make me want to pull my hair out! So far it is about 20 pages long and I think by the time I am finished it will be between 25 and 30 pages. Then I have to wait about 2 months so get the results. I was trying to finish in early August so I would have 6 weeks between turning in the final before my next class starts. I have to keep doing evaluations after my classes until I get my final back saying that I am affiliated (which frankly, I just can't stand doing). I will get a chance to work on it today because Jon is taking the kids to get their haircut after work and that will leave me a few hours to work on it. I think if I had a good 4-5 hours to work on it I would finish it. I think I can....I think I can....I think I can....

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Ewan turns 3!

Ewan turned 3 while we were in Canada. We didn't do anything very formal to celebrate his birthday there. We had some leftover cake from Papa's 90th birthday party so we sang happy birthday and he got some presents from his great-grandparents. We had a formal birthday party for him when we got home. I'll post pictures of that when I get them--we forgot our cameras (drat!) so I have to get them from Mimi.

Here is Mimi (a grandma), Riley, and Halley (cousins) eating cake at our mini-celebration.

Isaac is getting so good at eating with utensils! He loves cake too!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Boat Riding

Here we are getting ready to go in the boat. Isaac didn't mind wearing the life jacket at all (thank goodness!). He liked being able to walk around in the boat while we were coasting. It made my mommy nervous-o-meter go a little haywire but he did pretty good sitting in my lap and holding onto the sides when he did want to get around. One day he was so tired from taking a very short nap that he crawled in my arms, laid his head on my chest and fell asleep for about 45 minutes. I guess the fresh air of the boat ride made him relax.

Ewan LOVED the boat. He got excited about going on the boat every time we did. Some days he would say, "I have a good idea--let's go on the boat!" He didn't mind wearing his life jacket either and followed directions very well in the boat. Again, my mommy nervous-o-meter went off and I felt like I needed to be at an arms reach of both the boys while Jon drove the boat. Ewan liked point out all the ducks, water planes, and other boats on the lake. We got to watch the water skiers and wake boarders too. One day we got about 30 feet away from some Loons and that was really neat. We were so close to them and got to watch them dive under water to look for fish.

Here are both the boys in their life jackets--and Ewan's sword that went almost everywhere with him while we were there. I realized not too long ago that I only have a few pictures of both boys together. Of course I tried while we were up there to get some more for my collection but getting them both to cooperate at the same time is like herding cats.

Check out my cool sling!

I absolutely LOVE this sling. We used it almost daily on our trip. We went into town and showed the kids the Bala Falls and just walked around. This is a picture of us looking at the Moon River. Isn't it beautiful? If you like the sling I have a friend that makes them--here is her website They are great!

Picking Berries

I hope this posts well, I am still figuring out how to best post pictures. We went blueberry picking a few times and the kids had a great time. They could pick all the blueberries they wanted and eat them fresh off the vine.
Here is Ewan eating blueberries. He is surrounded by the blueberry patch.

Isaac liked to follow me or Jon around and try to swipe them out of our baskets. We had to keep feeding him blueberries to keep him out of the take home basket. He also like climbing on the rocks. The blueberry patch is a part of a star viewing park and hiking trails. The best part about it is that it is FREE!

Here is Isaac doing the sign for more blueberries. More blueberries, please! He only does a few signs now but more is one of the lingering ones. He says the word and does the sign at the same time.