Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Jane: 4 years old

Jane Alexa,

How is it that in 7 minutes it will be your 4th birthday?!  I have so enjoyed watching you grow this year.  It's been a big year for you.  You got a brother for about 8 months.  You shared your room and your toys and your life with him.  Just the other day, 2 months after he left our home, you were talking about Ian and referred to him as your brother.

We also moved to Texas this year.  I have never been more proud of you than when we moved and you didn't cry one time when going into your new class at church.  You were a great example and a great big sister to Cora.  You're learning to respond to people when they talk to you and to look them in the eye.  When we first got here though you wouldn't talk to them but you would smile so big and sweetly at them and then up at me like you knew you were doing good and wanted me to be proud.  And I was.  I am.  It makes me proud that you were desiring and trying to be brave even when you were a little scared.  That is courage.  And I will always be proud when you try your best, especially when what you're doing takes courage.

This year I've really seen you fall into the big sister role.  I love seeing how God is working this out in you because it is nothing we have done.  You ask Cora if she's ok when she gets hurt, you share your night-night in the car when she's screaming because she's bored or sad or she's gotten in trouble.  You tell ME often that it's going to be ok when I'm freaking out over a broken necklace or snake worms inside my house and you warn me when there are tree bugs on the deck.

You are so silly too.  You've started laughing (a forced, fake laugh :) to be silly and make us laugh.  You love to play Candyland (which I LOVE) and you have the biggest sweet tooth, just like your momma. ;)  In fact, I've allowed leftover cupcakes for breakfast for the past 2 days just so I could have one too. :)  You are a Daddy's girl through and through.  I don't think you realize yet that Daddy is here every night to put you to bed now because you ask him to every single night.  You have fun little games just between the two of you... you get to choose how he carries you to bed, upside down, riding on his foot or on his back.  You also smooch, smooch, SMOOCH your daddy.  I love seeing you two interact.  You have such a special relationship.  I pray you always look up to him and are able to talk to him and have fun with him.

In the letter I wrote to you last year I prayed that you would begin to understand that you're a sinner in need of a savior and that he is Jesus Christ.  It's happening.  The Holy Spirit is working in you.  Since we've lived in Texas you've been including Jesus in your prayers, thanking Him for dying on the cross for our sins.  You also make up songs about Him while you're playing.  Just a few days ago I overheard you singing, "Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.  Sin hath left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow."

This year I will continue to pray for that.  That you would understand that Jesus is real and alive and the sacrifice He made for you because He loves you.  I also pray that you will be a leader this year among your friends and with Cora.  That you would hate what is evil and cling to what is good, learning to not only please man but God.

I love you, sweet girl.  I am so glad that God allowed me to be your mom.  I have treasured every minute of it and I am looking forward to growing with you this next year.  I love watching you learn and grow.  You are my smart, beautiful, big, baby girl.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Video Update

They've started playing together and it is so, so fun to watch.

Jane "reading" The Foot Book.  I love to hear her read.

Cora "reading" Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  As you can see, she's destroyed the book.  She's destroyed lots of our books and it made me sad but I've decided I'll just have to replace them when she gets a little older.  She really loves to read and this is her absolute favorite.  I tried to read the shorter, board book version earlier today and she got up and got this one.  For now I'm just going to be grateful she likes to read. :)  Also, notice the "Nnnno!" near the beginning.  She likes to incorporate that into lots of her reading. ;)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Long, Hard Day

This morning we all woke up to be at the gym at 8am.  I do childcare and Rob works out from 8-9am.  I felt so bad waking up Cora.  I walked in her room, picked out her clothes, turned off her sound machine and rubbed her back to wake her up gently.  She didn't move.  She was SO sleepy.  Rob picked her up and put her in the car.

On the way to the gym we made a list of everything that was happening today.  Literally 7 things we had to do/be at today.  Lately our whole lives have felt like this but today I actually felt anxious, nervous, clammy hands, the works.  I just wasn't sure we could get it all done.

After Rob's class around 9:15 this morning we were standing around chatting at the gym when I heard Cora smack down hard, face first on the tile.  She looked right up at me and started screaming.  The second scream took as while as it was the hold your breath for 10 seconds, wait for it, type of scream.  I knew she had hit hard but she's also really dramatic.  But then came the blood.  There was lots of it.  And I don't do blood.  We drove straight to the pediatrician and I'm trying my hardest not to be sick.

They decide to see her instead of sending her to the ER and I start crying like a baby in the waiting area.  We had childcare lined up this morning because we had a showing at 10am and needed to get the house ready and have the kids out of the house.  I call my sister April in a panic and still sobbing to log into facebook for me to message the babysitter and let her know we wouldn't be there.  I didn't have her number and I have a dumb phone.

Pediatrician says he doesn't think Cora's teeth are affected but we could see a pediatric dentist if we thought we needed to.  I didn't look much but I did look enough to see blood pooling in her gums behind one of her two front teeth so a visit to the dentist should happen.

We came home.  The showing happened with all 3 kids.  I call the dentist and have to leave a message. They call me back a bit later as I'm running another errand and ask if I can come at 2pm.

Rob was helping a friend load his moving truck so I go alone with 3 kids to the dentist.  They take x-rays of her teeth and dentist comes in.  They don't see anything on the x-rays but the two front teeth are "mobile."  I have to ask if this means loose and he says yes but not bad.

There are 3 possibilities now: 1. That the teeth heal and are just fine.  2. That nerve damage occurs and they turn grey.  3. An abscess occurs and the tooth/teeth have to be pulled.  And so we wait.
One of the worst parts is that Cora can't have her paci anymore.  Every time she sucks it moves those teeth and the tissue around them and causes it to bleed again. :(

Bedtime went better than I expected it to.  I think it helped that she didn't get a nap today.  I think God was sovereign in this and am thankful that He works my schedule for good even when I think it's very bad.  Just another example of His ways being higher than ours and another opportunity to trust Him.  She cried twice.  Once we let her cry for 10 minutes then I went in and rocked her.  She was asleep in just a few minutes.  It was so sweet to get to rock my big baby to sleep.  She has gotten up once just now at 11pm.  We gave her tylenol, I sang her a song and she's back to bed with no crying.  I've prayed for months for a smooth, easy transition for Cora from the paci when the time comes.  I'm so thankful for this answered prayer so far.

I've had several big cries today about this situation today.  I'm just so sad for Cora that she's gone to bed with a paci and had it to soothe her every single day of her almost 19 months and now she doesn't.  I'm also sad that she won't have it for the transition to Texas.  I have been reminding myself that God is bigger than Cora's paci obsession and that He cares for Cora.  This is a big deal to her so it's a big deal to Him.  It's good to be reminded in the midst of hard, crazy times that we have a God who isn't far off and who loves us and cares for us.

*I was going to post a few pictures of Cora with her paci but looking through our photos it's hard to find one where she DOESN'T have her paci.  It was clipped to her always.  So I've posted a few of my favs that haven't been posted yet. Cora and her Gigi, my Grannie.  :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cora: 18 Months

Profile of an 18 Month Old Cora- 27lbs (90%) , 33 in. tall (95%), head- 40%

  • Interests: accessories of all kinds, 
  • Enjoys: getting in things she shouldn't be... the pantry, on top of the table, etc., her paci
  • Turn offs- being told no, not giving her what she wants when she wants it
  • Vices- tantrums, crying/whining
  • Strengths- smart, cuddly, cute

Favorites of an 18 month old Cora

  • Foods- anything
  • Songs- This Little Light of Mine (Shine), Pattycake Praise
  • Shows- She doesn't care one bit about the tv
  • Books- brown bear brown bear, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
  • Toys- baby doll,
  • Activities- reading books, 

She has lots of words but some of our new favorites are...

June Apple
tissue (for toilet paper)
Mommy/Daddy when she wakes up or is crying in the backseat of the car

How 18 month old Cora is like her...

mama- likes it when people are over to our house
daddy- thirsty all the time/drinks all day long

Treasuring 18 month old Cora bits & details

Cora will repeat anything we ask her to say.

I literally pray for Cora's safety every night before bed.  Once this past month she came into my room carrying a bag of marbles with 4 in her mouth!  Now I'm quick to put things away and always think about if Cora can get things or not.

Tonight I asked our little boy to get me a diaper and wipes so that I could change him.  He came back a few minutes later telling me he couldn't reach the diapers.  Cora came following after him carrying the package of diapers. ;)  That girl can get what she wants.

She is SO super sweet.  One thing I've noticed about Cora is that when she's reprimanded, spanked or just talked sternly to, she'll often reach up for us to hold her or come snuggle us if we're sitting on the ground.

Cora screams, cries and whines alot.  She always has.  Now though I can see why she's whining (ie. can't reach her cup) and have her repeat after me saying, "Cup, please!"  And she will!  Now if she could only ask without all the screaming... hopefully soon!

Her first paper from Sunday school.

 This past month I took Cora to a chiropractor after she was diagnosed with her 6th ear infection in 1 year.  The pediatrician mentioned putting tubes in her ears so I wanted to try the chiropractor route before we did that.  I happened to find a practice that adjusts kids' actual ears by pulling down and back on the ear lobe really fast, opening the eustachian tube and allowing the fluid to drain from her ears.  After Cora's first adjustment her nose immediately began to pour snot, she developed a fever that night and even had drainage from her eyes for several days!  It was all of the fluid leaving her body.  I wasn't sure if I believed it at first but after just that first visit there was no fluid in her ears!  I was shocked.  She was adjusted a couple times that first week.  We went today after not going for a week and there's still no infection and no fluid at all!  The doctor also felt Cora's spine today and told me that her t5 vertebrae was out.  T5 is the vertebrae in the very middle of the back that is linked to the stomach.  He said often kids who's t5 is out have reflux issues.  Well.  If anyone knows Cora you know she spit up for her entire first year!  We changed Cora's clothes and our own several times a day and she was given the nickname Mt. St. Helen from my cousin Amber. ;)  If only we had found it sooner!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Keeping Austin Weird

We have some big news and it's that we're moving to Austin, Texas!  Rob is going to be the student pastor at First Baptist Church of Oak Hill.  This wasn't our plan at all but it's so cool to see how God works things out when we give it completely to Him.

We have spent the last year going through a Church Planting Residency that Rob helped our Leadership Pastor develop.  Our church is planting two local churches that we were planning to be a part of.  When it came down to it, we didn't feel like they were a great fit for us and we didn't have a peace from God about it.  So... we went back to square one and started really seeking the Lord and what he would have for us.  We prayed specifically that God would make our next steps very clear and that we wouldn't move without knowing that.

Rob wasn't really open to student ministry at first.  He gifting and passions are with discipleship ministry.  After we began praying God really opened our eyes to student ministry and confirmed it in Rob's life through other Godly men that he really respects.  We have "couch dates" on Tuesday nights where we catch up about big things in our life... parenting issues, small group, finances, etc. and we used our Tuesday nights to talk and pray about what God would have next for us.  So one particular Tuesday night we talked and both felt like student ministry is where God was leading and we again prayed that God would make His path clear for us.  Three days later on Friday morning, Rob met our Leadership Pastor Jeff Doyle at a coffee shop where they meet every Friday.  He told Jeff that he felt God leading us towards student ministry and Jeff told him that he knew of a position Rob might be interested in.

Our church Northwake is a mission minded church, more than any we've ever been a part of before.  Northwake has over 30 "far flung friends" or missionary units across the globe.  Every Sunday we pray for a different far flung family.  So for the past 5 years that we've been at this church we've been praying often for Rob and Kristie Satterfield and their children, Shiloh and Judah.  They were missionaries to Turkey for 10 years and unbeknownst to us moved to Austin, Texas a year and a half ago for Rob to pastor FBC Oak Hill.  It was basically a church revitalization.  When the Satterfields got there there was about 40-50 people attending and now there's around 120!  Rob Satterfield had contacted Jeff the day before asking him if he could recommend anyone for student ministry.  The church had grown and he needed help!

So from the beginning of this adventure we have seen God's hand and heard his answer to our prayer to make things clear for us.  We are so thankful for that!  That was last October.  Rob sent his resume', we skyped with Rob and Kristie and in January Rob, myself and Cora flew to Austin to meet the congregation.  Jane stayed back with our friends Scott and Laura, who also happen to be the coaches at our gym.  We were a little nervous about leaving Jane, not because we didn't trust Scott and Laura, we just weren't sure if Jane would be sad or not.  One day about a week before we left I was really struggling with what to do.  When I put Jane to bed she asked to pray and she prayed for Scott and Laura and thanked God she was going to stay with them.  She also prayed for Mommy, Daddy and Cora to have fun on their trip on the airplane and to see the church.  We didn't even know she knew that much about what we were doing.  It was SUCH a sweet confirmation from the Lord that she was going to be just fine.  And she was!  She had SO much fun and we are so thankful to Scott and Laura for taking care of her.

This is proof my children are so different.  Jane would never have been this close to strangers playing.

Airport Nap

Rob, Cora and I had such a great time in Texas too getting to know Rob, Kristie and the people at FBC Oak Hill.  They are such sweet people who really love their youth and see the importance of ministering to them.  They were really some of the most welcoming people too giving up cars, homes, time, and money and watching Cora for us (once overnight!) so that Rob and I would feel comfortable and have a good time.

 This is the only picture I took in TX.  It's in Rob Satterfield's parents front yard.  We counted 16 deer!

 So, this past week the church voted and offered Rob the position and we have accepted!  We are hoping to leave the first week of April but need to sell or rent out our house before then.  We are praying about that too and would love for you to join us if you think about it.  We are planning to rent in TX so it's not the end of the world if we don't sell but would rather not have a house in NC to think about if we didn't have to.  We are however trusting God for that too.  His ways as we've seen aren't always the same as ours but they're always best.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Mardi Gras

Our little town had a Mardi Gras festival downtown.  We didn't stay long because it was freezing cold but we did snap a few pictures before we left.  I love how close we live to downtown and all of the fun things that are planned there.  We are sure going to miss that.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

14 Days of Love

Rob and I decided to do Valentine's Day a little different this year.  We celebrated 14 Days of Love by switching off every other day to do something nice for the other, starting February 1st.  We had fun doing little things for each other over the two weeks.



On the 12th Rob's mom flew in for the week and kept the kids for us so that we could go away for a night by ourselves!  It's a little sad to admit but we haven't had one night away since we had Jane 3.5 years ago!  So we got a hotel in Durham, a fun town about 40 minutes from here.  Durham is where Duke University is.  It's a college town with a fun, hippie vibe and cool shops and restaurants.

We leisurely shopped at The Streets at Southpointe, a mall in Durham that has shops that we aren't close to... Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, Apple Store, etc.  I had a giftcard to use at Forever 21 so we went there and then took our time walking around shopping.  We checked in at the hotel and changed to go to dinner at Watt's Grocery.  The food was excellent but what was cool about it is that it's all food form local farms.

We surprisingly didn't sleep in too late the next morning but it was nice knowing that we didn't HAVE to get up if we didn't want to.  We also got to read our Bibles and talk and pray.  We left the hotel and went to lunch at a place called Dames Chicken and Waffles.  It sounds so weird to serve fried chicken and waffles together but they were amazing.  They're apparently known for their shmears, basically flavored butter.  I had a blueberry waffle with a peach/apricot shmear.  It was seriously good.

There was lots we wanted to see in Durham... Duke Chapel and Gardens and several shops, but the weather was not great and it was COLD.  So Rob recommended we go to Barnes & Noble to read like we used to before babies.  It was such a great ending to our day away.