Friday, January 20, 2012

Brynlee 13 months... a little late

It is kind of weird now that Brynlee is one. I want to keep doing updates and everything but without the regular monthly update, I am not sure where to go on this! So here a basic update on our chick-pea. 

These days, Brynlee is learning new words everyday! It is so crazy and somewhat of a challenge to discover what she is actually saying! Oh and she has two small sentences she says! Pretty exciting stuff. So here are the words and "sounds" she is saying now...

"What's that?"
"What's this?"
"Dog" {I think... she says this when pointing at our puppy so yea.}

She also does this hissing sound with her tongue and teeth. Although this isn't a word, it is still kind of fun. I guess that covers most of it. She still doesn't say "mama" or "daddy" even though we know she can!

Miss chicky is having some serious teeth issues too! We have 3-5 coming in right now... that is to add to her six. Almost a mouth full!
The other thing I have to mention is her dancing. This child LOVES music and loves to dance! She shakes her head, stomps her feet and claps her hands. I am positive that we dance every single day to any kind of music. Whether it's something we put on intentionally or music that comes on with a commercial. She will stop dead in her tracks and dance! We love it!


I just want to say a little bit about Christmas presents.

Never before have I understood why parents would go SO overboard with presents for their kids. That is until I had a kid. I now understand the desire to have all of the fun, exciting toys that are available these days. This only happened after roaming through Toys R' Us a couple of months ago.

Fortunately for our bank account we prescribe to the thought that less is more! Inadvertently we ended up with one big, fun present {the kitchen set}, something she needed {a new blanket}, and a smaller toy {balls for a ball pit}.

Basically, we already have SOOOO many toys and "things" to play with. That coupled with the amount of gifts she gets from other family members, makes for a plenty big Christmas. Not to mention her birthday being two weeks before Christmas!
$1 beads were a HUGE hit
I really want to work hard at keeping this mentality for years to come. I don't want to make it all about the presents on our part or Brynlee's. On the same note, I was listing all these things I wanted to do and make as our Christmas traditions. I had all kinds of things like an Advent Calendar of activities, looking at lights, Elf on the Shelf and reading a different Christmas book every day. While these are all fun and good things I was already starting to get overwhelmed and lost in all the "stuff." Growing up, Christmas was never about the stuff or activities. While I know it may be difficult to keep Christmas simple, I truly believe it is the best way to celebrate and teach the true meaning of Christmas to Brynlee!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Christmas 2011

Okay- so I know I am super late on these posts... but I want to have a record of these things, so I don't care!

We had made plans to have "Christmas" with James' sister and her family Friday night, unfortunately my body had other plans. I woke up feeling fine but by about lunchtime was not doing great and had a rising fever. So, I slept the afternoon and evening away while James and Brynlee went to celebrate. Luckily, I was able to keep my fever down over the next couple of days with medicine! 
Christmas was wonderful this year. It was a little different with it being on a Sunday but still great! Since Christmas was on Sunday, our church did identical services on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. So we went to the service Saturday night {actually myself and Brynlee ended up at the service again in the morning, just because!}.

Since my dad and James would be "working" Sunday morning we decided to have Christmas with my family on Saturday. We went over to my parents' that morning. James made omelets for everyone. Then we did presents and lunch and hung out until it was nap time for everyone! One sad note about Christmas Eve- my poor bother-in-law was super sick. So he was somewhat quarantined on the couch  away from all children. 

I just have to say that Christmas Eve service is always one of my favorite parts of the season! I loved that this year it was a little less reflective and more of a celebration- it was pretty wonderful! And of course we tried getting pictures of everyone {which is impossible with three small children}. SO we had a couple of Brynlee and Gracie!

Christmas day we went to church again and then to lunch with James' extended family! His entire family from his mom's side always gets together for lunch! We love going to see them. They are so much fun! We topped off the night by going to see lights at Rhema Bible College with my parents and the Smith's!
It was a wonderful weekend full of family, fun and of course the most important thing: Jesus!

Friday, January 13, 2012


So I am sitting here watching Extreme Home Makeover which is rebuilding 7 homes in Joplin, MO. There are so many feelings that have come through watching this for the past couple of hours. It brings back all of the feelings that we experienced when the tornado happened {living 100 miles away and having lived in Joplin for 2 years in college}.

When it happened we were at small groups and completely oblivious to what was going on. My friend got a text from her mom {who lived in Joplin} simply saying not to worry because they were okay. Which of course completely freaked us out and sent me into a panic trying to figure out if my sister and brother-in-law were also okay. We are so thankful that they lived on the opposite side of town and suffered no physical effects from the tornado.

So many people that we knew lost everything. Some close family friends lost their entire house and everything in it. They have a daughter Brynlee's age. Luckily, they made the decision to go to a neighbors house to stay in their basement. All I could think about was the inability to provide for your baby. They literally had to rely on someone else for everything for quite some time. I can't even imagine being there, seeing the destruction immediately following the tornado and even being an active part of the clean-up.

I have also sat here reading my sister's blog posts that she wrote shortly after the tornado. She had graduated from college the previous day and wrote a post about graduation. Since she was done with school their lives would be changing. They were looking for jobs, planning to move and waiting on the next step in their lives. They really had no idea where God would be leading them next but didn't want to miss out on the opportunities they would have to serve while remaining in Joplin.

She says: 
"Until then we will love where we are and love the people here. We have a lesser role in the youth group now... but we have new opportunity to spend time with couples our age and I have a new opportunity for a Bible study. We will definitely be taking advantage of where we are and the great church that surrounds us. We know God is keeping us here right now for a reason, so we will use that."

She had no idea of the events that would occur later on that same day but she knew that wherever you are and in whatever circumstance, God is still there. And when you are living out God's will in your life you can find joy, peace and comfort through any trial.

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NLT) 

As hard as it is to watch and relive the devastation, it is even better to watch Joplin rebuild and restore hope to each resident of Joplin, MO. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Blogging Obligation

So I keep reading everyone's posts about Christmas and New Year's and Resolutions. While I would love to sit and write about all of those things in length, it may not happen for weeks to come! I want to write so I don't forget all the things we have done {mostly for Brynlee}. As of right now, our internet is kind of messed up {really this just means it isn't wireless anymore so it's impossible to get on while Brynlee is awake}. Oh well, I may just have to live with the fact that these posts will be happening over the next few weeks. Oh, and James has been home most of the last week so pretty much I have been hanging out with him! I definitely don't want to waste the extra time we have together!

So that's that! Now I feel better and somewhat free of this obligation to blog about everything "right" now!