Valentines day has turned into a special date night with our kiddos. Following tradition, and he came home from work early with flowers and chocolates in pan and politely knocked on the door where Cora had been anxiously waiting for her date. She was decked out with heart patterned clothes and a backpack filled with goodies she impact nearly 2 weeks before. The backpack included a card for her daddy, pictures of her for daddy, a skirt to put on once they got’s to dinner and a few little toys to keep them entertained. And he surprised Cora by taking her to see her very first movie in an actual movie theater. He spoiled her with buttery popcorn and soda and they watch the movie Paddington bear. Cora reported that The movie was a bit sad but the popcorn was really buttery! They ended their night with a fancy feast at Coors favorite restaurant Moes. And apparently Cora talked daddy into a frosty to tide them over. Meanwhile I and the boys headed to D’ Americo’s to have our own date. We enjoyed a large hot pizza in true Teenage Mutant ninja turtle style! After dinner jack and I attempted to make a giant heart shaped chocolate chip cookie and watched a few clips from the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. We both really liked the part where the turtle start dancing while Vanilla Ice sang “go ninja go ninja go!”
This little guy continues to be a riot and full of personality. He regularly makes me laugh out loud with his peek-a-boo games and hide-and-seek attempts. But, he also has a sweet snuggly side that melts my heart every time he puts his head down on my chest. He is so sweet and we are constantly getting compliments on how laid back he is and easy to keep happy from friends and Church nursery workers.
This month Dean’s 4th tooth broke free, Grandam had a full day with just him while I did my parent partner day at Providence, and has learned to wave bye-bye. Dean has also had a lot of interrelations with animals this month and isn’t too sure of them. He’s decided he wants to touch them, but he wants to be the initiator. He does not like animals coming up to him uninvited. He especially didn’t like the Stack families friend feline and would whimper every time it came near. Dean is figuring out the pour of sign language and using his hands. He signed “eat” for the first time and thinks he’s so cool when he waves bye-bye. Tuesday and Thursday morning have been our special time and after the older two head to school we make sure we have lots of Mommy and Dean play time, sigh! I am trying desperately hard to enjoy every minute with this guy as it just goes too fast.
Me: ” Cora you have until the count of 10 to get that toy and be back in your room.”
Jack (following Cora) “you can do it Cora, come on, hurry, you can do it!!”
Cora accomplished her task
Cora: ” thank you for encouraging me Jack’
Jack: ” do you know why I encouraged you? Because I want you to see Gods love in my heart!”
A few weeks ago Jack had the largest, ugliest meltdown I had ever seen, IN THE MIDDLE OF TARGET!!! We left the store immediately and I decided to pick Cora up 15 minutes early so we could get home and deal with Jack’s consequence. In the process of getting Cora, I walked into Providence and the school aide was running an ice pack to Cora who had hit her eye on the bathroom door lock and was really upset. In the height of all of this, a sweet friend of mine put her arm over my shoulder and asked how I was doing? (bad question) My poor friend had no idea what she was about to get. So, after seeing something pure evil come out of my otherwise sweet and adorable 3 year old boy and learning that my daughter was hurt I burst out with tears. About an hour later I asked Cora to help me understand how she got hurt. She explained that she tries not to use the bathroom at school for anything other than “#1″ and that as hard as she tried she was going to have to do “#2″ at school (a dreaded idea to my sweet 5 year old.) So, in pure panic she went to the bathroom expecting the worst!! ”BUT” she paused, “Praise God (pointing up with her index finger), only one wipe!” And in an instant my not so great day turned around. Cora paused in the middle of her story to give God credit for a small miracle in her little world. I WAS THRILLED and decided that while I felt defeated, God was teaching my kids to see Him, to see Him even in the small “one wipe” kind of moments!
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 ton over this past month. He is loosing some of his baby tendencies and starting to interact more like a toddler. He loves playing peek-a-boo, making us laugh with his Zerbert kisses and face smashes. He has grown to 19.8 lbs (25%) and 29.5 in tall (75%) His favorite game at the moment is playing fetch with a ball. He throws it a few feet and then chasing 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 exciting in his little eyes. We are are working on some simple baby signs like, all done, eat and book.
His third tooth ( top right) broke free just yesterday (1/4/15) 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.
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.
November 23, 2014
by The Wells Family Comments Off
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!