"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Review: Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning: An Approach to Distinctly Christian Education

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

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Bear with me… this is going to be a long one.

This book is an answer to a prayer that I never prayed, but I should have prayed if I had really been turning over all of my concerns to Christ.  This is a subject that I have spent considerable mental energy on, turned over in my mind and never had an answer to on my own, and God is so gracious that he helped even though I did not ask him for help!  My dear friend Lacey sent me this book after Isla was born, and it has taken me months to finish it (its not a tough read… its just hard with a baby!), but now that it is done, I am reminded that my Heavenly Fathers knows my needs and always provides.  How I love Him and how generous He is!

Long before Isla was even conceived and around the time I began to “own” my faith in Christ, I became very preoccupied with the concept of education, specifically, mentally reviewing my education in relation to my Christian walk.  I am the product of two very different kinds of high schools, one kind was academically rigorous, but intensely secular bordering on hostile to Christianity.  The differences between what my Bible said and what the curriculum said were very confusing to my young mind, and as an adult I realize that my faith barely escaped with the skin of its teeth.  The unlearning process from my time there has been incredibly painful.  The second high school was a Christian high school, but I found it very unchallenging after my previous high school.  It did not contribute to my ability to think critically, although I was grateful for the shelter of a school that encouraged my values and my faith.

And I began to wonder… how will I educate my children? 

What I want for my children, is for them be to able to love the Lord their God with all of their minds, which means using their minds in a way that honors God.  It also means using their minds to their fullest capacity for His glory.  I want my children to be given the tools to think, to debate, to challenge, and ultimately to defend His ways, but most importantly, I do not want an education for them that contradicts his Word or teaches them that God’s Word is untrustworthy or untrue. 

I felt like I only had two options, should I send my children to a tough, but secular school and try to constantly un-teach them the secularism that they were being indoctrinated with or should I send them to a Christ centered school where I was afraid that they might easily get straight As, but not be taught to really think!?! 

I don’t want to get into a debate, but public school has never been an option for me.  There are many reason why I won’t, but here is one (taken from the book and I completely agree): I know that some Christian parents feel that they should send their children to public school to be “salt and light”, but be honest with yourself… how many Christian kids are actually being “salt and light” in the public school system?  I can tell you that when I attended a secular school, I was a new believer, and I was not very strong or mature in my faith, and I found myself continually reverting back to my old heathenish ways to fit in, make friends, and be cool.  I am sure that I sent a very confusing message to people who were curious about Christianity, and I now pray frequently that I did not hinder anyone from coming to Christ.  Also, that seems like a lot to expect from a child who isn’t fully mature in his or her faith… especially when you consider how poor Christian parents are at being salt and light in their jobs!

Before reading this book, I had pretty much decided that home school was the only way for me to go if either A) we could not afford a private school or B) we were unable to locate a Christian school that met my standard of academic rigor.

Then I found out what God had to say on the subject of educating your children: “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9).  What a responsibility!  It is quite daunting to me, clearly God wants me to use every waking opportunity to teach my children about Him and His Word!  If He created the earth and everything in it… how could an education that fails to acknowledge Him in any subject really be called complete?  He is the master and creator of ALL subjects.  So a private, secular school was also taken off the drawing board.

As to homeschooling, although I have no desire to homeschool, I find it very frustrating that some people think that only away from their parents can children really learn to think freely and independently.  Young children by nature do not know how to think for themselves, they do not know their “right hands from their left”, and the Bible tells us that “foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child” (Proverbs 22:15).  Children regurgitate what they see and are taught, which is why it is so important to be careful of what you put into their precious little minds.  God has charged parents, and only parents, with the education and raising of their (His) children; it is sacred, which makes it all the more grievous when parents betray the charge that God has given them.  Why would I send my children to a place where they will spend countless hours under the influence of someone who does not have the same purpose and intent for their education that God does?  The answer: I WON’T!

For those who are reading this and thinking “Whoa, Stori has gone off the deep end, and she’s somewhere in a realm bordering on fundamentalism!” Trust me, that could not be farther from the truth!  As I mentioned, I want my children to be able to truly think, which means making sure that they understand the world that we live in and all of the doctrines of this world.  They will have exposure to many things that are not of God.  They will always hear both sides of any argument, which is the opposite of indoctrination!  That is more than you can say for most schools where God is not even allowed to be mentioned in the curriculum.

Review

So let me get around to finally tell you what this book is about and what it is answering in that giant window into my tiny brain!  If you followed all that above, then you already have some inkling of the book’s subject matter.

About twenty years ago, Doug Wilson set out with the same questions that I had.  How to create Christians who loved the Lord, their God, who loved knowledge and learning, who could think critically, and debate and explain God and his word with eloquence and passion?  In other words, how do we create a bunch of little C.S. Lewises? Smile

Wilson first goes into what he calls the “failure of modern secular education”, and discusses the many reform movements, both secular and Christian.  In the second part of the book, Wilson describes what a “Christian education” should look like using the scripture as his only guide.  I am grateful for the fact that he never fails to hit home the point that education is not the answer for the ills of society, CHRIST is always the solution.  We live in a fallen, broken world and it is only in Christ that we can find true freedom from sin and depravity.  That point cannot be emphasized enough.

Finally, Wilson provides his own solution to Christian education crisis.  The answer is to return to the old ways of learning, also knows as a “classical” education but with a Christian worldview.  You can read more about what a classical education is here.  Coincidentally, or not, it is also the way that the ancient (and maybe modern) Rabbinic schools operated in Israel back in Jesus’s day!  The model – from knowledge flows understanding, and from understanding – wisdom; it gives children the ability to know how to learn and think, not just regurgitate facts. 

After reviewing all of the possible learning environments for educating children - the ideal learning environment (in Wilson’s opinion) is at a private Christian school where parents are actively involved in their children’s education, although he does concede that had he not been able to locate that school then he and his wife would have home schooled their children.

Wilson felt so strongly about educating his children right that he started his own school, Logos School in Moscow, Idaho, which in turn has spurred an entire Christian movement in the return to a Classical Christian education.

Recommendation

YES, read it please!  I have been literally jumping for joy since I found this book, and I have found so many materials to accompany this, and I am very hopeful that I will be able to educate my girl the way I want. 

There is now an accreditation process for Christian schools to be considered “Classical” via the Association of Classical and Christian Schools.  There have not been many schools that have received this accreditation with Logos School being the first, but I was excited to find one located in Spring, TX!

Even if Nick and I were unable to afford private school, home school is a definite possibility, the best one I’ve found being Classical Conversations.  I have absolutely ZERO desire on my own to homeschool for many reasons that I won’t get into, but I do feel that if I had to, then I would.  I like Classical Conversations because, in addition to following the classical model, from what I can tell, it is sort of an educational coop, where children gather with other homeschooled children either one or three days a week so it isn’t 100% exclusively just me and my kids.  I know several people who have had experiences with Classical Conversations and loved it.

Anyway, obviously I still have a lot of time before any decisions need to be made, but I am so thankful that there are solutions out there… I am not sure why I always think that I need to fight these battles on my ownSmile

I really do not care if Isla is a scholar or not, she is who she is, but I do want to make sure that I do everything I can while I have this precious girl to help her find Jesus at an early age and only grow to love him more as she grows… everything after that is just gravy!

Monday, December 27, 2010

My First Christmas by Isla Frances

So, I know my mom said that I would not be doing any blog posting… but… celebrating your first Christmas is just too momentous not to get to share all of the details!

This has been a long Christmas.  Technically it started on the 22nd, when I got to visit with Grandpa, Boo and my cousin Barrett, but we didn’t get any pictures… Mommy is not happy about that!  Let me tell you, every baby should be lucky enough to have a Boo, she buys the best toys!  After we opened presents, we went to visit Hallie, my new cousin, who was probably the best present of all this Christmas!

Finally that day, I got to go with my Cookie and Pawpaw to their church, Fellowship of the Woodlands, along with Uncle Jerry, Aunt Jean, Nana, Uncle Ty, Sherri, Terry, Alli, Uncle Cory, Aunt Shawna, and my cousin AIden.

Here I am all dolled-up in the coat and hat my Cookie bought me!  Daddy says that I look like a little old lady, ready for my tea.

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They had all kinds of fun things to see there… although Cookie mostly seemed to only want to look at me!  Isn’t my cousin Aiden cute??? I love to play with his hair!

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Mommy really wanted me to come into the service with her and Daddy, even though I usually go to the church nursery.  She gets a little emotional over things like this and can be a touch sentimental.  She said she just wanted to spend our first Christmas service together as a family.  Sure enough, she teared up as soon as the music started playing!  She just loves us a lot.  Even though I tried my best to be good, I couldn’t help but occasionally let out little crows of joy over hearing about the birth of Jesus, so Mommy, Daddy and I went and listened to the service from the overflow room.  I was so good, and sat on Mommy or Daddy’s lap and played with my toy the whole time!

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Afterwards the whole family went and ate dinner Buca Di Beppo (except Pawpaw, who is a giant party pooper)… they are sooooo LOUD.  Even if I had decided to cry, they probably would not have heard me over all of their shouting talking.  Mommy is so thankful for them though and loves her loud, crazy family and so do I!

The next day, the 23rd, we went to eat lunch with my Mom’s Papaw and his wife June.  It was fun getting to see him!

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Then we drove to Temple, TX to visit my Dad’s Papaw and Memaw for the next three days.

On Christmas Eve, Mommy woke up Daddy and told him that she was not taking one more picture of her first child (who she prayed for and waited for for 2, really 4 years, endured stressful fertility treatments for, and finally got!)’s Christmas on her iPhone, and it was time go and get the Nikon D90 that he had talked about buying for so long.  You can tell that Mommy is gifted in the art of emotional blackmail, although she swears that she only uses her power for good!

So Mommy and Daddy went to Best Buy and bought a Nikon D90, along with a spare lens (80-200mm) just to take pictures of me on my first Christmas!  Daddy is already trying to figure it out, and he and Mommy are going to have to take a class because they have no idea how to use it!

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We got our new family camera just in time for Mom, Dad, Memaw, and Papaw and me to go for a visit to Santa Claus!  I thought that I was really going to like it.  I mean Mom kept talking him up like nobody’s business, but I still wasn’t too sure about this bearded feller…

A Isla and Mommy at Mall

And even though I did NOT agree, Mommy put me on his LAP!  I was NOT happy.  And Mom and Dad thought it was soooo funny… I won’t forget this!

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(Note from Mom: After reviewing these pictures I am beginning to feel just a leetle bit guilty for being so cavalier with my daughter’s very real, albeit hilarious, aversion to Santa.)

After visiting the scary Santa, we all went to Memaw and Papaw’s church for another Christmas Eve service, and I just loved it.  I got to sit the whole way through in the big church, and Daddy kept me entertained with puffs the whole time!  Mommy was so excited to get to sing all of the traditional Christmas hymns, and I have to admit, they were so pretty.  Sadly, nobody got any pictures, but Mom did get the church bulletin as a momento… there’s that sentimentality again!

After church came the best part, we got to open presents!  Let me tell you, I cleaned up!  Daddy worked with me to teach me how to open presents, and he made a fun game of grabbing the wrapping paper before I could eat it.  I was sad to miss out on all of the colorful fiber, but it was so much fun ripping the paper off and having Daddy tackle it!

Isla and Daddy open presents

Unwrap presents

I went to bed a tired, but very happy baby!

The next morning was Christmas… and do you know what?  The scary, mean man must have felt bad for making me cry, because he dropped of even MORE presents for me!  Maybe he’s not so bad after all…  Mommy made sure to dress me cute and take pictures of me next to my presents from Santa.  I indulged her and kept in my reindeer bow long enough for Daddy to snap some pictures of me all decked out.  Santa mostly brought me books, but there were a couple of neat toys.

Christmas OutfitSanta Presents

Christmas Day was spent mostly playing with my Memaw and Papaw.  They are so much fun and they made me laugh and laugh!  They kept telling me how much they loved me, and let me tell you… I sure love them too!

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Sunday we drove to College Station to meet up with Boo and Grandpa Wann!  I was sooo happy to see them and I got to wear a super cute outfit that Boo got for me.  We ate at Fuddruckers, and then hung out at the mall and Sam’s.  It was so nice to spend time with them because they let me get away with anything Smile.  Do you think Mommy would let me play with her glasses?  No sir.

Isla and Boo

Grandpas Glasses

We went back and spent the night in Temple, and I slept 13 hours for the second night in a row!  These long Christmases sure make me tired.

This morning it was time to head to Magnolia, TX to spend Christmas with Mommy’s family.  There were not as many toys, but it was nice to see everyone, and especially my cousins, Kendall and Aiden!

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I’m so good at unwrapping presents now that Daddy let me help him open his big present, luggage that we can use for our trip to Russia!

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After everyone ate turkey (well, I ate pears), Christmas was officially over!  I am sad that my first Christmas is over, but I do know that I am one blessed little girl, which makes me very happy.  And most importantly… my Mom and Dad love me with all of their hearts! Smile

Friday, December 24, 2010

Introducing Hallie Irene Moffett

She’s here!  Little Hallie made her debut on the morning of December 21st, which happened to coincide with a Lunar Eclipse in addition to being the Winter Solstice.  She was also brought home on Christmas Eve, all of which makes for very interesting beginnings in my opinion.  I think she is going to be a very special little girl. Smile

Here are Isla and Nick in the hospital waiting for the elevator to go and visit Hallie.  By the by, this is one of my favorite bow/outfit combinations in a long time… and I managed to keep the bow on Isla for 15 whole minutes!

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Here she is, and she is just beautiful!  We are in love with Isla’s new little cousin.  I hope that they are the best of friends.

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Hallie’s birth announcement.  Her name comes from the word “Halleluiah”, which means to praise God.  We are all so thankful for her, and we do praise God for her birth.

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Interim Review: The Micralite Toro

So I am continuing to use my Cortina while I am still in the states, other than when I am traveling… however upon having a major baby bottom blow out that necessitated the removal and washing of the Cortina cover, I decided to take my newly arrived Micralite Toro out for a Christmas shopping expedition last week.

While out shopping, I proceeded to have a minor panic attack.   My beloved large Chic-Fil-A styrofoam cup with Dr. Pepper (standard shopping sustenance) had no place to rest its weary head; my Cortina has not ONE but TWO cup holders in the handy dandy parent tray.  The Toro does not have any.  My adorable Ann Taylor Loft sale purchases might have fit into the tiny Toro basket but for the strap that stretches tightly across the basket area to prevent the stroller from buckling outward meaning that I had to actually hold my shopping bags whereas before I had been able to shove everything but the kitchen sink into my huge Cortina basket.  Finally, there was Miss Fussybritches who cried the entire time!  Now this was partly due to her teething, but also she has never been a huge fan of riding in a stroller and I started to think… maybe I should have decided having a seat that is reversible is a priority over stroller weight and fold???  Maybe if she could see me then she would enjoy riding a stroller more!  All that I could think was that I had just spent more money on a stroller than I had ever dreamed I would in my up to now suburban life and for that I am stuck with a screaming child and a megatron diaper bag that I am afraid to hang off the handles of my Toro because the stroller might tip over backwards!

Then I calmed myself down, and I reminded myself that I am not going to be a suburban mom soon, I am going to be a city dweller living in a tiny apartment who travels (hopefully) a lot, and I would go crazy if I had to use the Cortina in those circumstances.  Not to mention, there is no such thing as the perfect solution… EVER.  That is the first and most important lesson that I learned as an Engineer, there is always a trade off to any manufactured solution.

The Fold

I really got to put the Toro to the test on my quick little trip to California.  This was also my first trip using a stroller in an airport ever, and I need to say that I am not going back to the Bjorn.  Having a place to set Isla down in made traveling (and especially bathroom trips) so much easier!  Let me begin by demonstrating the one handed fold for you. 

PS. I meant to say “Ole” at the end of this video, but I forgot. :)

Its more like a one-handed fold plus foot kick to get it to finally lock into place, but the bottom line is that I can fold it and lock it, all while holding Isla.  Thus I was able to get through the (RIDICULOUS) airport security fairly easily by first lifting Isla, closing the stroller one-handed and lifting my lightweight stroller, again one-handed (huge deal for me!), up onto the X-Ray belt.  I had some trouble the first time because I was frazzled, but if not for that it can be done fairly quickly, or at least fast enough that the person behind you won’t give you a nasty, impatient look (the joys of traveling during the Holiday season!).  Best of all, the Toro fits perfectly through the X-Ray machine with an inch or so to spare, thanks to the 12 inch back tires.

Accessories

The Toro does come with a travel bag (at additional cost), which I originally intended to use on my trip, but I’ve decided from here on out that I will only use it on select trips, probably when Nick is with me.  It involves removing the wheels, and even though I practiced at home so that I could get it stowed away quickly for a gate check, in the end, dealing with the travel bag in the Toro basket on top of other carry-ons and Isla was a little much for one person.  Thankfully my Toro came through almost unscathed; the bumper bar was dislodged on the first flight from New Orleans to Houston, but I quickly snapped it back into place.

The Toro comes with a foot muff (included in price) and a winter fleece (at additional cost).  I am not sure what possessed me to get it in a Zebra print (I consider my hatred of animal prints to be one of my defining fashion characteristics), but I think it had to do with reading somewhere that Russians think that black and white is very elegant.  I’m glad that I went out on limb because I actually really love it more than the other options even the pink one!

Does this little girl look ready to take on Russian winters???

 photo (12) It also comes with a rain cover (included) and a sun and bug shield (at additional cost), which I have, but have not used yet.  There are other accessories, but these are all that I plan on buying for now.

The Ride

It handles so smooth on all terrains.  If it is a really rough terrain, all you have to do is lift the front tires slightly, which is easy to do since the stroller is so light, and go anywhere you want with the weight resting on the back wheels.  Here is Nick demonstrating on some rocks in our neighborhood pool parking lot.  You can buy 12 inch front tires to replace the front swivel tires if you are going to go off-road occasionally, but just lifting it up should work great for anything we plan on facing in a city.

It also maneuvers great thanks to the front swivel wheels and I can definitely push easily one handed.  Again, great for airports when pushing a stroller in one hand and wheeling your luggage in another!

Comfort

Isla seems to enjoy it better than her Cortina because it sits very upright!  It also has a full recline (so did the Cortina), which I took full advantage of.  Here she is sleeping in her Toro, fully reclined, during our 3 hour Las Vegas layover.

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Size/Weight

As you can guess by the name Micralite, the company that manufactures the Toro is especially preoccupied with making a stroller with a small footprint!  Everything about this stroller is small (except the wheels :)).  It folds small. It expands small.  Thanks to the combination of minimal bulk combined with low weight, I can pick it up one handed when closed, which is awesome!  Even if a stroller doesn’t weight much, it can be difficult to pick up depending on the weight distribution in the fold.

The front wheels are actually quite wide at 23”, much, much wider than the back wheels.  I didn’t find this to be much of a problem when maneuvering through crowded stores.  All I had to do usually when encountering smaller pass-through spaces was lift the front wheels since usually the obstruction was lower to the ground.  I did move my couch close to my bookcase and practice semi-closing the Toro for when I was just in a narrow aisle, and it was a little tricky and not something that I want to make a habit out of doing.

Here it is compared to my Cortina.  They are not in the same stroller class, but it is nice to have another standing stroller to compare it to.  That is the most compact that the Cortina handles fold.

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Bonus

It is so stylish looking!  I even felt stylish when walking around beautiful, swanky Los Gatos, California, a place that is normally sure to make a frumpy engineering Mama, feel even frumpier.  I love it… maybe I am not destined to be a dork forever? :)

Cons

So as I mentioned before, the basket is small, and then it is rendered almost unusable for anything but the smallest of items because of the strap that covers the basket.

No cupholder.

It has a two-handed unfold and recline.  This is not hard, it is super easy to do!  Its just so easy to fold up to get through the X-Ray at Security, it was harder when we actually got through Security because I had to set Isla down (or pass her off onto a stranger!) in order to be able to open it to set her back into it.  This is not much of a con, but it is worth mentioning.  My Cortina had a one handed recline, and depending on how hard you tried, a one handed unfold.

The seat cannot be reversed.  Again, not much of a con, but this is one of the few strollers in its class that does not have this option.

Summary

All in all, I think that this is THE stroller for us, although I am withholding judgment until we actually arrive in Russia! I absolutely love it in spite of my original little freak out episode.  I do know that I have found the PERFECT travel stroller for traveling to countries with older/less modern infrastructure and a lot of mass transit.  What I am waiting to see is how much walking I do while in Novo for daily errands… a lot I hope, and hopefully I won’t miss having a big basket and cup holder while doing so!  We will have to wait and see. :)

Stage Cookie: Behind the Scenes

While in Houston over Thanksgiving, I decided to capture the Maestra at work!

This is serious business for her! She really puts a lot of effort into getting everything set up with props, and even a ladder to capture the kids from different angles. She is also very good at telling your which way to position your face to get the best picture!

But the end result is magic! I just love all three of these kiddos faces in this picture.

Stage Cookie Take 2 I’m so glad that I have a mom with such a talent for photography!

PS. After rereading and rewatching this post, I want to say that I LOVE my husband! He is a such a good sport and fits in so well with my crazy family.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Isla Frances is 8 Months Old!

Happy Birthday little cupcake!

photo (10) I know I say this every month… but I wish she would just slowwww down with this growing stuff!  I can’t believe how fast things are going, and I want to enjoy my little baby for just a teeny bit longer.

Sleeping/Eating Habits

There’s not a lot to report as far as 8 months.  She is still sleeping through the night unless there is something wrong, like when she was teething.  She LOVES to eat!  I have heard that this can change as babies get a bit older, but as for right now, she loves to eat.  She has started eating puffs, and she loves them!  I need to get a video.  Her finger manipulation is still not very good, so she just picks up a bunch in her fist and shoves them into her mouth.  Most of them end up sticking to her or falling on the floor where Frodo promptly gobbles them up.

Activities

- Clicks her tongue.  She will click back and forth at you!

- Pulls up onto everything!  She has turned into quite the pro in just a few weeks as the first time she did it was Monday November 22nd.  Here is a video from earlier on when she was just starting to pull up.

-Started rocking to a beat!  This is my most favorite thing.  She just started doing it in the airport last Friday, and it was so cute!  Yes, those are the wheels to our Toro!

- Can climb onto things.  Last Sunday she climbed onto a suitcase.  As a result, we have now moved her crib down to its lowest setting… she has officially hit all of her crib milestones :(, boo.  I love how she looks at me and smiles right before she actually climbs up in this video!  Ugh, please excuse my voice over!  I am so annoying on video.

- Experienced her first Thistle Patch campfire!

- Had her first trip to California and celebrated her first Thanksgiving… sick :(.

- She has figured out how to pull off her headbands and always give me a huge grin of triumph after she does is.  Little stinker!  Its a pity because she has so many cute little Christmas bows.  Here she is in her Christmas tree bow at the Doctor’s office.

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Personality

Isla had some separation anxiety this month, but it hasn’t been too bad.  She has also started doing it with Nick too, which is hilarious.  She will start to fuss when he walks away and she wants to play!  She has definitely figured out that Daddy’s is the fun one, and Mommy is the food/comfort supply.

She is so sweet and we love her with all of our hearts.  She makes everything in our lives a little bit better!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Our House: The Study

In the next few weeks I plan to take pictures of and blog about every room in my house.  This is mostly for me because I want to remember this house.  It is our first house and the place where Isla was born, and we have loved living here.

This might take a little while because, ummm, I only plan to take pictures of clean rooms, and I can’t promise that that will happen that often in the next few weeks/months before we move!

Please excuse the picture quality as they were all taken from iPhone.  Our Olympus seems to have died (one week after our warranty no less), and we haven’t fixed it… we’ll get around to it at some point.

Our study functions as a guest room too.  This bed belonged to Nick’s grandmother’s father so it goes way back.  I bought the bedding from Target a few years ago.  I love the painting… one day I will tell you why!  It was just from Kirkland’s but I love it.study 1

I love the painting on our file cabinet.  Its the only piece of art that has ever moved me!

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This is our bill board.  The original intent was to post pictures and cards from missionaries we support and pray over them every day, but I have to admit that we kind of never really followed through with that. :)  That is something that I need to remedy.  Its not that I don’t pray over them ever, its just not a regular part of our day or even week.

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I love the floating shelves and most especially the poetry book by Elizabeth Barrett Browning resting on the middle one.  She has such a beautiful, romantic story, and I love her poetry.  Nick built the little white bookcase on the left.

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The room is painted Silver Peony from Sherwin-Williams… I went with purple originally because I wanted something to downplay the redness of the desk because it was originally mahogany.  We decided that we just couldn’t take the mahogany, and it was ALOT of work to restain it so we did it the easy way and just repainted the desk a dark brown.  I love it!  I probably would not have painted the room purplish if I had known we were going to paint the desk anyway… but I do love this room, purple and all. 

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Nick installed the hardwood floors; he is sooo handy and his handiwork will become apparent throughout the tour.  That was the best decision we ever made about the house.  I am so glad that we installed the floors, I love them and they are beautiful!

study 6A panoramic video!

My Week With a Teether

Little Bit got her first two teeth!  They popped up in quick succession, the first one came in in the week hours of the morning on Wednesday December 1st and the second in the wee hours of the morning on Friday December 10th… she woke BOTH Nick and I up on that second one!  I am trying to capture a good picture, but they are definitely up.

Before and during all of that, we had a whole lotta this going on…

I admit, I found her crying and then raced to find my camera!  I was so proud that she stood up in her pack n’ play because there isn’t really anything she can pull up on.  Please excuse her messy room… my house has been crazy these past few weeks.

Here’s another one…

She is not a fan of shopping on a good day!  I have been on the hunt for winter clothes for the entire family, and I wanted to try this jacket on at the Gap… she is just so cute I have to share this one with you.

Uh oh… we ended up having to buy this jacket!

IMG_0224Even though she was so fussy and clingy, she is still my sweet little baby, and its moments like this that make me so thankful I am her mom :).  She has the most beautiful, joy filled smile!

IMG_0209In the meantime, not only have we had Isla’s teething and earache we have been working away at all of the things that we need to get taken care of for the move, plus Christmas shopping, plus a quick trip this past weekend to California that I will blog about in a little bit!

My house is crazy right now!

IMG_0195

Friday, December 3, 2010

Auntie Me

Since I just saw that my sweet sis posted the news on Facebook, I guess its safe for me to announce that I am officially going to be an Aunt for the FIFTH time (if you count Hallie Irene, who will be coming any day now, and will get a post of her own!)

My sister Shawna is pregnant, and I can’t wait to meet the sweetest new addition to our family, and I hope that he or she and Isla are the best of friends!

the Little Bean

Here is the beautiful family that he or she will be joining!  Ahhhh, I am so excited :).  This baby will be LOVED for sure!The Klumbs

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