Monday, June 30, 2008

my entry's a shoe in!

hey there! would you please take a minute and vote for jenn & tony's feet in this fave footwear competition. i think they're a shoe in! ha! (p.s. the site allows you to vote once a day)

dino toots

dave sent me this video because poopies and toots make me laugh...

sometimes i'm such an 8 year old boy...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

tragedy and prayer requests

my prayers go out to the family and friends of michael argall tonight. on saturday afternoon, june 28th, michael was struck by a car and killed while cycling. i didn't know michael personally, but he was a member of my church and so i grieve for those who did know him.

did recognize michael's name when they announced it on sunday because i had signed up for a 5k training program through gateway (our church) for the keep austin weird 5k, which took place on saturday. michael helped coordinate and coach the group, which i'm learning was one of his passions. i wasn't able to participate in the program because of scheduling conflicts, but i got michael's emails weekly encouraging the group. his last email from friday around noon ended with "Best wishes! I look forward to hearing about your experience. -Michael"

the news of michael's passing was such sad news to me. it was such a sudden tragedy. it breaks my heart thinking of michael's girlfriend losing him and especially his three children losing their dad. and i suppose selfishly it's hard on me because it brings to the forefront my fear of losing my dear loved ones. i think the news of death does that for a lot of us. but especially since the experience of having my daughter faith born into heaven the reality of life and death has become much more vivid for me.

Lord, i don't know why this has happened, but i do know that we live in a fallen world. sadly death is a reality. i know that you don't choose suffering for your children, and in these times i know that you weep with us in the midst of our loss. God, when we are in those moments when we don't have any strength of our own, help us to realize that you are enough and that you have promised to be our strength when we are weak.


*update* *email from my friend kristen*
Gateway Family,

Please keep praying for Michael's loved ones. In addition to the ride being organized by Rogue (7/20, there will a ride from Gateway in honor and memory of Michael on Saturday, July 12. We are asking everyone to arrive by 8:30 AM so Pastor Nate Echelberger can start the pre-ride gathering at 8:45 AM. The ride will begin around 9 AM from Gateway (7104 McNeil Drive, 78729) and will be a casual 10 mile out and back route on Parmer to Avery Ranch (<12 mph). After the ride, people can head over to Rudy's to continue the fellowship. I would appreciate your help in forwarding the ride information to others whose lives have been touched by Michael. This is not a ride for "cyclists" (however, we want everyone to wear a helmet), but for anyone who is grieving or wants to support those who are grieving. If you feel led, Rogue is collecting donations to set up a scholarship fund for Michael's three children or donations can be made to Helping Hand Home for Children or Mission Possible Austin's Camp Nikos Program.

Grace and peace be yours,
i also am praying for my dear friend kate. she just had a pacemaker put in and it doesn't seem to be "taking". God, you are the great physician. please heal kate. give wisdom to the doctors and help this next and hopefully last surgery fix all of the problems with the pacemaker. please help it to do what it is designed to do. also give peace to kate's husband edward and daughter clare. amen.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

a 7 minute and 11 second video...

...that only a grandmother would love.

seriously. this is a looong home video that i took before jonah was getting ready for bed the other night. it's probably pretty boring to most people, but i thought it might be fun for grandma and grandpa and our other relatives and friends back in illinois who don't get to see jonah too often to see him just hanging out and talking and being his normal goofy little boy self. (and i'm very excited about figuring out how to put my home videos online too.)

jonah's 1st tattoo!

jonah and daddy and i went out to the lakeline mall today to get daddy some new sandals. his broke a while back so it was time for some dreaded shopping.

we swung it through jc penney's where they were having a door buster sale and found some cool and comfortable brown sandals for dave for 22 dollars! woo hoo! then we headed to the food court for some lunch to feed the famished troops.

after our favorite orange chicken at panda we poked our noses around the corner and found this cute new little cupcake shop... be my cupcake.

they were having a grand opening cupcake for a dollar thing going on aaaaand... there's was a clown doing balloon animals and face painting! when we asked jonah if he'd like to get winnie on his arm he shouted "wee-mee!" with so much glee you woulda thought he was gonna burst with excitement. he was so good and waited patiently in line (while nibbling on a cupcake with mommy) to see kiwi the clown. (it's a good thing mommy has a camera phone!)

then it was jonah's turn! we plunked him in the seat and he just giggled and giggled and watched in awe as cookie kiwi gave him his first ever tattoo.

hee hee hee! this is so much fun! it's tickley!

ok, are you done yet cookie?

nice! check out that ink, dude!

this new tattoo has given me a boost of testosterone. what can i do that's extra manly? ooh! how 'bout some bull riding!?

...and a quick spin around the mall on the train.

yay! i just figured out how to put our videos on smugmug! so now you can hear that cute little voice of his telling you who's on his arm...

oh, and be sure to catch the part where he puts the lego up to his arm. he uses it like a camera, so if you listen closely you'll be able to hear him say "say cheese". gosh jonah, does someone in your life take a lot of pictures or something?

the end

Friday, June 27, 2008

howard: "dong, where is my automobile?"

long duk dong: [laughs] "Oto-mo-biiile?"

ah ha ha ha! i love sixteen candles! whoo... good times.

anyway... ok, as some of you know dave got a new job a few months ago and about a month ago he finally got his company car. very exciting. it's a great perk that we are soooo grateful for! well we've been trying to figure out what to do with dave's car since we don't particularly need three cars now. the problem was we had more left on his loan than the car was worth. a lot more actually since he put so many miles on it driving it for his last job.

so we prayed about it, we did a ton of research, we prayed some more and we finally landed on a solution. we decided to trade in both of our cars for one new (used) one for me. then the question became which oto-mo-biiile to choose. originally i was thinking with the price of gas that i'd like to try to get something that was more fuel efficient. well apparently i'm not the only one who's had that idea lately, so the market for more fuel efficient cars is making them more expensive because everyone wants them. now the flip side, we learned, is that less fuel efficient cars are going for a steal because everyone's trying to get rid of theirs. so we did some math and learned that we could save some money on the price of a mid-size suv up front and just end up paying more for gas over time. not ideal, but i think it's gonna work for us, especially since i don't really do that much driving.

the other down size about more fuel efficient vehicles is that you make a trade off for space. i test drove both an '07 and a used '08 ford escape and i liked them, but i wasn't sure they would be big enough for our family for a good 5 to 7 years. plus as i look to expand my photography business i wanted to make sure i'd have room to haul equipment if i needed to (backdrops, lighting, etc can get kinda bulky). plus who knows, in a couple years we might need to fit a double stroller back there (no, i'm not hinting at anything!) so we thought it would be wise to find a vehicle that we wouldn't outgrow in three years and then have to lose money on the deal again by having to be upside-down on a loan again.

so after doing some more research (and praying some more) and really trying to look for a vehicle that i'd feel comfortable in and would last us for a good long while, we landed on the ford explorer. we'd been working with an awesome lady named dee at covert ford in austin and she got us a great deal on this smokey '06.

i'm really happy with it and because of how the deal went down (we prayed for open or closed doors and got open doors, we had a specific budget in mind that we stuck with and the dealer ended up giving us more for our trade-ins than we thought we could get for them... $2,500 more than carmax offered us actually) i feel really good about this vehicle. dave and i both feel like God was in this decision with us and we both have peace about it.

so i share my news of my new used car not to brag about it, but really for two reasons. one) to thank God for his guidance. we prayed that God would help us make a wise decision with our money and we believe He has. and two) we've had a few friends and family back in illinois ask us to send pictures, so here you go... they're actually the pics from the online listing.

tan interior

and i can fit lots of junk in my trunk! woot!

a quick voicemail message from my best friend

hi lala! good morning! it's friday. it's 8:50 and i'm on my way to work. i didn't want to call too early. i didn't want to wake you or jonah up. um so maybe you're still sleeping. maybe you're having a little breakfast. banana. nana has a banana. uh anyway! i uh had the baseball game, then we ran into target, then jake, zack and i had dinner at panera and guess what!? there's a big sign at the cash register (i hope you have panera in texas) and it says "it's back!" um, mozzarella & tomato salad! i know that was your favorite. so and hopefully the tomatoes are edible because if you got that salad and it didn't have the tomatoes then you'd just been eating some cheese which, i like to eat mozzarella cheese, but then you could just get some string cheese so i don't know. anyway i was very excited about that so yeah then we had some dinner, then we got home, then we all had to take showers, and bed, it was 10 o'clock at night and i was passing out asleep and i uh i even got a cup of coffee at panera so i don't know why i was so tired but i think i need to like get up and jog in the mornings or something. i need to get more energy somehow. anyway so i thought i'd try you this morning so whenever you get a chance if uh you have a moment give me a call back. i uh will probably be at work in about 10 minutes or so. it gets a little crazy right in the morning so if uh maybe a little bit early afternoon or afternoon or late afternoon. jake's got a game today at 6pm then so we'll be going home for pizza night friday night pizza night awesome. ok girlfriend if i don't talk to you have a wonderful day and an awesome weekend and we'll talk to you soon. tell jonah i said hi. thanks. bye.

this message from rachael just totally cracked me up. we always leave each other messages that are way longer than they should be with tons of extraneous information. it's so fun. it's those silly little things that is like the glue of our relationship. it might seem like silly unimportant rambling to the untrained ear, but the fact that rachael told me about my favorite salad being back at panera just proves her thoughtfulness because that means not only did she see that my favorite salad was back, but more importantly she knew that it's my favorite. and it's great knowing the little things about her day. we used to work together at my uncle's office for like 3 1/2 years, that's how we met and became best girlfriends. besides the actual work that was my favorite job ever because i got to spend 32 hours a week sitting next to rachael.

so that's my lesson for the day. even if it seems mundane, share the "silly" details of your life with your friends. the everyday stuff happens every day and that's the majority of who we are and what our lives are made up of. so if you want to stay tight with someone don't just call them when you've got a big life event, call them when you've got nothin' going on.

preach it baby!

jonah, it seems, has become attached to a little bible that he found in nana and papa's office. but not just any bible. it's a spanish version. out of 4 giant bookshelves filled with books, half of them children's book, this is the one he always walks away with. and today i watched him pick it up, open it, say "amem" and close it. he did it a few times.

i was caught between wanting to laugh and having this almost holy moment. like he knows. he's only 21 months and he gets it. because i'm not really sure where he got that... looking at this bible and saying "amem". the only thing i can figure is he has a little "my first bible" and we read it sometimes and it says amen in it. maybe he drew the connection between his "my first bible" and this bible. or maybe (as i'd like to think) it was inspired from above. =)

not only is it in spanish, he's also reading upside-down. impressive, eh?

jonah, what do you want to be when you grow up?

"a missionary in south america"

we'll see... =)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

for you miss s...

a sneak peek at a session i did last weekend of the cutest little trio you ever did see...

jonah's 2nd haircut

i took jonah over to KAOS (kids are our specialty) in austin yesterday for his 2nd haircut. daddy's out of town so we're surprising him. think he needs a trim much?

jonah got to pick what animal or vehicle he wanted to sit on for his haircut and he chose the brown horsey! and he got to watch the jungle book during his trim. can you tell how much he's concentrating on the movie?

good job holding still, little buddy!

i think he's making a horsey noise here...

very concerned about mowgli

very concerned about the buzzing trimmer. it took him about 2 whole minutes to trust grace to put it on his head. he had to look at it and inspect it carefully. finally grace gave the horsey a buzz so then jonah let her buzz him too. very smart grace! i can tell you've done this before. ;-)

and voila! he's a boy again! grace, you did an awesome job! thanks! and thanks brenda for the recommendation!

wfmw tip: praying for our kids

ok, first i'm gonna tell you how i found this list. and then i'm gonna explain it and how excited i am about it.

a bunch of my friends, including my hubby, follow this guy loswhit on twitter. he seems like an interesting character, so i decided to start following him too. a couple of hours ago he twittered: "creative chaos is live". interesting. what's that? so i clicked on the link. while i was reading the rules about how to participate he explained that he got his idea from this chick who writes the blog rocks in my dryer. he explained that "shannon uses her blog to get lots of mom bloggers together and they trade mom type secrets that are working for them on her blog every wednesday" in a project called works for me wednesdays.

the first link that caught my eye under this week's wfmw was by everyday becky and it was titled praying for our kids. after reading becky's post (and then the original article about this) i totally fell in love with this idea of having a specific thing to pray about for jonah every day. i just love that kid so much and want so much for him, but it's hard to know where to start praying for him specifically so this list is incredibly helpful and inspiring.

so here's the list. becky said she printed it out and keeps it on her nightstand. i'm totally doing that.

1 salvation "Lord, let salvation spring up within my children, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory" (Isaiah 45:8, 2 Timothy 2:10).

2 growth in grace "I pray that they may 'grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ'" (2 Peter 3:18).

3 love "Grant, Lord, that my children may learn to 'live a life of love,' through the Spirit who dwells in them" (Ephesians 5:2, Galatians 5:22).

4 honesty and integrity "May integrity and honesty be their virtue and their protection" (Psalm 25:21, NLT).

5 self-control "Father, help my children not to be like many others around them, but let them be 'alert and self-controlled' in all they do" (1 Thessalonians 5:6)

6 a love for God's Word "May my children grow to find your Word 'more precious than gold, than much pure gold; [and] sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb'" (Psalm 19:10).

7 justice "God, help my children to love justice as you do and to 'act justly' in all they do" (Psalm 11:7, Micah 6:8).

8 mercy "May my children always 'be merciful, as [their] Father is merciful'" (Luke 6:36).

9 respect (for self, others, authority) "Father, grant that my children may 'show proper respect to everyone,' as your Word commands" (1 Peter 2:17a).

10 strong, Biblical self-esteem "Help my children develop a strong self-esteem that is rooted in the realization that they are 'God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus'" (Ephesians 2:10).

11 faithfulness "'Let love and faithfulness never leave [my children],' but bind these twin virtues around their necks and write them on the tablet of their hearts" (Proverbs 3:3).

12 courage "May my children always 'Be strong and courageous' in their character and in their actions" (Deuteronomy 31:6).

13 purity "'Create in [them] a pure heart, O God,' and let their purity of heart be shown in their actions" (Psalm 51:10).

14 kindness "Lord, may my children 'always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else'" (1 Thessalonians 5:15).

15 generosity "Grant that my children may 'be generous and willing to share [and so] lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age'" (1 Timothy 6:18-19).

16 peace, peaceability "Father, let my children 'make every effort to do what leads to peace'" (Romans 14:19).

17 joy "May my children be filled 'with the joy given by the Holy Spirit'" (1 Thessalonians 1:6).

18 perseverance "Lord, teach my children perseverance in all they do, and help them especially to 'run with perseverance the race marked out for [them]'" (Hebrews 12:1).

19 humility "God, please cultivate in my children the ability to 'show true humility toward all'" (Titus 3:2).

20 compassion "Lord, please clothe my children with the virtue of compassion" (Colossians 3:12).

21 responsibility "Grant that my children may learn responsibility, 'for each one should carry his own load'" (Galatians 6:5).

22 contentment "Father, teach my children 'the secret of being content in any and every situation. . . . through him who gives [them] strength'" (Philippians 4:12-13).

23 faith "I pray that faith will find root and grow in my children's hearts, that by faith they may gain what has been promised to them" (Luke 17:5-6, Hebrews 11:1-40).

24 a servant heart "God, please help my children develop servant hearts, that they may serve wholeheartedly, 'as to the Lord, and not to men'" (Ephesians 6:7, KJV).

25 hope "May the God of hope grant that my children may overflow with hope and hopefulness by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Romans 15:13).

26 the willingness and ability to work hard "Teach my children, Lord, to value work and to work hard at everything they do, 'as working for the Lord, not for men'" (Colossians 3:23).

27 a passion for God "Lord, please instill in my children a soul that "followeth hard after thee," a heart that clings passionately to you (Psalm 63:8, KJV).

28 self-discipline "Father, I pray that my children may develop self-discipline, that they may acquire 'a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair'" (Proverbs 1:3).

29 prayerfulness "Grant, Lord, that my children's lives may be marked by prayerfulness, that they may learn to 'pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests" (Ephesians 6:18).

30 gratitude "Help my children to live lives that are always 'overflowing with thankfulness,' 'always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ'" (Colossians 2:7, Ephesians 5:20).

31 a heart for missions "Lord, please help my children to develop a heart for missions, a desire to see your glory declared among the nations, your marvelous deeds among all peoples" (Psalm 96:3).

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

how do you pronouce that?

a friend of mine asked me the other day how many words jonah knows and i thought... hmmm, that's a great question! i really don't think i could count at this point. it seems like lately he pretty much tries to pronounce almost every word he hears... some more successfully than others, but still, i gotta give it to him for trying.

but i thought i'd list of few of our favorites, along with my best attempt at spelling them the way that he pronounces them. i should really try to get some of them on video. but that's a whole 'nother project...

this picture just totally cracks me up... the little boy loungin' with his "wah-wer"

here you can see his two favorite can't-sleep-without-'em blue "bips" (blankies). under his right leg is his maroon "nee-no" (dino). under his left leg is "puppy" with a strong high-pitched emphasis on the last syllable. not pictured: "wee-mee" (winnie).


translation: let me hold the camera! sometimes he calls the camera "cheese" and sometimes he says "amra".

look jonah! something shiny!

a big ol' pile of "boops" that are currently residing on jonah's "cheeeear" in his room. seven of them are library "boops". and he's got a "beenk" in his mouth.

more favorites...

  • "a-mem" - after we pray
  • "cooo-kie!" - usually said with much enthusiasm and multiple repetitions
  • "chee-yo" - interchangeable for cheerios and cereal
  • "whopple" - waffle
  • "jduits" - juice
  • "mook" - milk
  • "staaaaar" and "moon" - the pitch goes up at the end of star; he loves spotting stars!
  • for most animals he doesn't say their names except for "daw-dee" which can easily be mistaken for daddy. he usually just signs them or makes their noise. tonight he said "mun-tee" for the first time. usually he just goes "ooh ooh ee ee".
  • "ay-yo" - tomato. this is also what he calls bob from veggie tales as well as red bell peppers.
  • "app-oh" - apple
  • "peeear" and "beeear" sound very similar and are often confused
  • "nana" - banana
  • "moo-er" - more usually with the sign
  • "jacksey" - jonah's best friend jackson
  • "dar-der"/"car-der" - cousin carter
  • "dip do" - thank you
  • "cwock" - clock
  • "hello" - phone
  • "rawk" - frog
  • "be bah! be bah! be bah!" - clean up! clean up! clean up!
  • "gol kerr" - golf club or golf cart. the second word is usually pretty garbled, so it helps when he says this that he picks up whatever he holding and pulls it up over his shoulder and twists back in starting golfer stance.
  • "ree-moh" - remote
  • "go go" - daddy's video games (because the guy in the army game goes "go go go!")
  • "deenst" - dance
  • "pooh. pooh." - just like it sounds but said in this sweet little voice that makes you not mind as much having to handle it
  • stuff he pronounces intelligibly/correctly: uh oh, mommy, mama, dada, nana, papa, holly, CAR (his favorite movie), ball, cracker, cheese, uh uh (no), no
i'm sure i'll think of more later. i'll just have to keep coming back and adding to the list as i think of them.

jonah's first movie theater movie!

jonah saw his first movie in a theater today. we found out that the regal theaters have a free family film festival all summer long. so i figured this would be a great (and cheap) way to find out how jonah would do going to a movie.

i wish i would have had my camera to capture his wide-eyed wonder as we walked into the theater. they were playing some cartoons before the show started as we were walking in. it was all i could do to get him to follow me to our seats. he just stood there staring at the huge screen.

we saw the rugrats movie. i didn't care for it, but overall the whole theater going experience was a lot of fun. jonah watched pretty much the whole movie either from his very own big boy booster seat or from my lap. he decided he needed to do a little exploring for a few minutes, but he stayed right by me when i asked him to. a good kid that one is. (thanks God!)

i didn't have my mammah-jamma camera with me for this monumental occasion, but luckily my handy dandy new phone has a camera (with picture mail included) so here we are... practically in the dark. the pre-movie house lights were on, but it was still pretty dark, especially for a camera phone.

when we got home jonah had another first...

his first whole banana in the peel! just like a real monkey!

lucas miller at the cedar park library

we went to a kids program at the cedar park library to see lucas miller, the singing zoologist. yes, you heard me right. a singing zoologist. i don't actually know his credentials. he didn't show us his diploma or anything, but he sings and he knows a lot about animals, so there you go.

the show was really great! lucas was the perfect entertainer for small kids. he was wacky and crazy and made the kids do silly hand motions, so pretty much a huge hit in my circle. yeah, that's how we roll.

here he is singing a variation of the wheels on the bus... "the cow on the bus" reggae style.

here he is showing the kids how to be a turtle...

and when you get scared, you hide in your shell!

hide in your shell, jonah!

now be a snake. don't forget to stick out your tongue because you smell with it.

we love you, miss jane! (miss jane does the regular story time during the week. she's the most awesome librarian we know!)

i think our favorite song was called "send them back to brazil (the fire ant song)". did you know that fire ants came over here to texas on a boat from brazil in the 1930's? anyway, the song was fun because we got to pretend the ants were crawling up our pants and biting us... eye chee wah-wah!

lucas has an educational website called and if you sign up for his email list you get a free download of his song stinkle, stinkle, little skunky. it's super cute!

...tell me why you smell so funky?