My family, my home, and my heart is far from perfect. I am clinging to the promise that “He who created a good work in me is faithful to complete it.” We have days marked by tiredness, impatience, fits, and frustrations. BUT, we also have days marked with love and simple joys.
Yesterday was one of those good days and I hope they remember days like that when then look back over their childhood. I hope days like this are the identity of our family.
Yesterday no one rushed out of their PJs. We made a big breakfast complete with the oh so yummy smell of bacon. We ate with the “fire place” app on the TV, making it feel more cozy. Andy and I sat on the back deck with warm coffee having our own version of “couch time.” (Couch time is an awesome principle we learned from Growing Kids God’s Way that encourages you to make your marriage a priority by protecting a small chunk of time where you two talk uninterrupted while your kids are around. This has huge implications for letting them know that Mommy & Daddy are solid and they in turn are more secure.) About mid morning Cora and I got to work on her homeschool assignments for the day while Andy and Jack headed to the office so Andy could get a few things done for work. Even Dean cooperated with our relaxed morning by taking a great, long, morning nap. After lunch we decided to reenact the the first Thanksgiving as this has been part of what Cora’s been learning about. Andy and the kids dressed as Indians while I and Dean were pilgrims. We played the whole thing out in the backyard where the weather was perfect. Andy and I made plenty of inside jokes to keep the reenactment interesting while “Prancing Deer” and “Bear Claw” showed us pilgrims how to catch and make food in this new world we had found. We ended with a great feast of leaves and sticks and a prayer of the Thanks. We continued in the spirit of Thanksgiving by having Cora and Jack make their lists for the little boy and girl they were making shoe boxes for through Operation Christmas Child. (www.samaritanspurse.org) We took our lists to the store and filled our shopping cart with things that would hopefully make a child feel a small glimpse of God’s amazing love.
Dean has changed a lot over this past month. He is loosing some of his baby tendencies and starting to interactmore like a toddler. He loves playing peek-a-boo, making us laugh with his zerbert kisses and face smashes. He has grown (per apt tom more) His favorite game at the moment is playing fetch with a ball. He throws it a few feet and then chases it down only to turn and throw it back again. It’s adorable. He also gets excited and does a spin move from his knees to his but that super silly. He has started gaining some interest in books and has a bit more of an attention span so we have been reading after he nurses. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite things to do with him. Every page is full of adventure and his little eyes light up with each new word. We are are working on some simple baby signs like, all done, eat and book.
His third tooth ( top right) broke free just yesterday (1/4) and his left one is in it’s way. It’s funny to think that at 10 months he’s working on his fourth tooth while Cora at this age still didn’t have any teeth or much hair either.
Dean playing catch with his best friend.
Freedom from the stroller at Busch Gardens over Christmas break.
Our little Dean is on the move and getting into all kinds of fun with his big sister and brother. He is full of smiles and adventure. He can usually be found with 2 things in tote, one for each hand. He prefers two of a kind, two toy cars, two markers, two link’n logs. And once he’s found his 2 things, he will keep them until they are pried out of his hands.
Dean’s first thanksgiving was eventful. Andy and I left for a WHOLE weekend to relax and enjoy a thanksgiving with our Life group while the kids stayed home with Molly and Cami. This was Dean’s first full weekend without us and I was sad to say good bye. But ready for a Mommy break. He did pretty well but ended up needing a few middle of the night snuggles since he seemed to be missing mommy. We even had a special visit from my long list college friend, Kim! We also headed down to Port Charlotte for Thanksgiving day at Dave’s house with the Wells family. Then we headed to the cabin the day after, to spend time with my family and enjoy the cabin. The kids all enjoyed uncle Ryan’s four wheelers, grandma’s new bow and arrow, and fireside Smore’s.
I don’t often write direct posts about our amazing life group. But they are the behind-the-scenes support, encouragement, and help behind all the posts I do write about. Our Life Group has had the privilege of meeting together every Tuesday night for the past eight or nine years. Some couples have come and gone and new ones have join us but regardless of how God changes it with time it has always been a group characterized by couples earnestly seeking the Lord in their daily lives and an unusual commitment to each other that is hard to find anywhere else in this world.
This past weekend we made a life group retreat a priority. It came at a sacrifice for our budgets and our calendars, but it was totally worth it. We enjoyed sitting up playing games at night. Relaxing and hanging out together. Cooking a fabulous Thanksgiving feast, and most importantly worshiping and praying together. I am reminded that with the privilege of being part of a faith family like this we also have a responsibility to use it as a foundation to do some crazy things for His kingdom.
November 10, 2014
by The Wells Family Comments Off
October has come and gone with lighting speed and Dean is growing and changing with the minute.
Dean’s milestones over the past month include clapping (which is adorable), trying new foods and being very obvious about what he does and doesn’t like, pulling up on furniture and STANDING (sigh,) and we discovered HIS FRIST TOOTH at the end of October!! I had a feeling a tooth was on the horizon about mid October when he suddenly stopped taking a pacifier and was extremely irritable. He has a little sharp stub of a tooth sticking up on his bottom right side and the left tooth is making its way out as well. He has also graduated to bath time with his siblings, which means lots of giggles, and to sitting in the seat of the shopping card which he thinks is great as he now has a better view. I have especially loved how he has started hooking his foot into my back when I’m holding him and when we say “cuddle” he tucks his sweet little head down on our chest and cuddles us. This boy is so sweet and ridiculously easy going!
Jack and Dean are becoming fast buddy’s. Dean thinks that Jack is halarious and Jack is soaking up the attention and the unending applause of Dean as he claps and laughs at every thing Jack does. I can’t help but smile thinking about the days ahead for these two little sweet boys and their adventures. Dean has also been enjoying Cora, but he prefers her at a distance. She has a way of mothering him, grabbing him, holding him and restricting him that he isn’t a fan of. Now that he’s on the move he doesn’t want to be slowed down. Even if he is strapped into something his feet are constantly doing circles and moving rapidly. It cracks us up as we pretend he is a baby arobic instructor whipping baby cankles into shapes!
October was marked with Dean’s first trip to the cabin, camping, enjoying a visit from Adam and Tenielle , pumpkin carving, and few visits to the beach!
Andy turned 34 on September 29th and celebrated him with a trip to Busch Gardens, time with family, and a great night out with some great friends without any kiddos. This past year has been crazy and I it will be a year marked with incredible effort and work from Andy. From moving us twice, rehabbing our joke of a rental, rocking youth ministry, fixing up our new house, welcoming our new son, and all the while maintaining a straight A GPA at The Baptist College of Florida. This man will work endlessly to get a job done and get it done right. You continue to impress me Andy! Happy Birthday!
Dean is growing and changing with every passing minute. He is still remarkably easy going and pliable. He has continued to babble more and more and loves when we mimic his sounds. He is making his way around a little more each day by rocking on his knees, though it’s not a tradition crawl just yet. I know my days of him being in the same general area that I put him are dwindling. He has been eating solid food now for a month and has done really well. He is still just eating after his afternoon feeding, which I should probably increase, but for now it’s sufficient. He LOVES bananas and he hated avocado, at first. His first introduction to avocado was a blend of scrunched up faces and him swinging his head back and forth as if to say “no!” But apparently, when avocados are missed with bananas they are delicious! Towards the end of the month our friends lent us their baby bouncer and he just loves bouncing in it and squealing with giggles. Since he’s been bouncing he’s discovered the power of his legs and has made some attempts to to pull up and has been getting up to his knees using the side of his crib. We also introduced him to a sippy cup to entertain him while we really I’m skate the front of the house. He sat most of the weekend in his walker figuring out how to use the sippy cup.
September 5, 2014
by The Wells Family Comments Off
Six months sure came quick! Dean has spent the past month learning to rock back and forth on his knees, practicing sitting up, and shaking his head back and forth to make us all laugh. He has continued to adore his “big butter” and big sister as they can make him giggle with their crazy games. Andy can also get him giggling pretty hard with his infamous tickling skills. Dean loves having our full attention and grins ear-to-ear at the sight of his Mama or the sound of my voice. Sigh. He has also discovered his ability to reach for things, which means anything within a foot & a half of him is bounded to end up either in his mouth or on the floor. He’s continued to surprise us with his laid-back personality and his ability to go with the flow. The poor little guy has more interrupted naps then the other two kids ever did combined. He’s really losing naptime now that cora and Jack are in school a few days a week and we are on pick up duty in the afternoons. But, as always, he just quietly complies and goes along for the ride. One of my favorite things is hearing his little “ahhh-ahhh” sounds on our car rides around town. I’m so grateful for his sweet, relaxed, happy personality. I am however getting nervous about venturing into the next few months as I have a feeling that all of this rocking on his knees business is going to result in a baby on the move. I’ve never had to baby proof a house before that was lurking with tiny legos and barbie shoes.
In light of reflecting on how much he is changing, I have big plans to sneak into his room later tonight and sweep him up into my arms for a good sleepy snuggle session- something I wouldn’t have dreamed of as a new mom.
Too Cute Dean-a-saur being silly
Dean’s first taste of food today! He’s not so sure, and as usual, he has an audience.
We have had a fun filled summer with plenty of sunshine and smiles. Now that the summer is winding down and the heat seems to be turned up we are looking forward to the fall. Each season we make a bucket list filled with things we want to do during those few months. This summer our bucket list included things like, a trip to Goldstar donuts, have a sleepover, go boating, stay at uncle Ryan’s, visit push gardens, and fireworks. Here are some pictures that we snapped as we checked things off of our list.
Busch Gardens: Check
Beach Nights: Check (Dean’s first time touching the water!)
Word of Life Summer Youth Camp: Check
(much needed naps
Zooming down the twisty slide: Check
Obstacle course in the hallway during Dean’s nap
Cuttest thing ever, Jack is doing the Trust Fall with our youth students