Thursday, October 30, 2008

Charlie Brown or Karate Kid?

A couple of weeks ago I posted how we had been discussing Halloween in our house. I appreciate the comments you gave me, here's what we decided.

We were talking about it again and then Marvin shed some great light on the topic. This is what he said, "Maybe we are looking at it from the wrong perspective, this whole time we have been talking about the reasons why it would be okay or not, maybe we should look at it like this: Does it glorify God." What great insight. So our church will host an even called light up the night tomorrow night at a family's house and we are going to go and hopefully be able to share our faith while we are there. It really is a cool event that gets people who are already out who might not normally go to church or take their kids to a church function there will be a lot of games and a story time where the truth will be presented. We are meeting people where they are at, how cool is that.

So we might dress Calvin up as Charlie Brown but I still have to find a yellow shirt somewhere. I haven't had any successes so far. I am going to try Old Navy today, we'll see if we are successful. If this fails I have a karate uniform I got in a lot of clothes I bought off of craigslist, I know it's really random, but it will work. Check our blog tomorrow to see what Calvin is wearing.

Vote for....not him

Yesterday Calvin and I picked Marvin up from work and as we pulled in we noticed a sign in our yard to vote for a guy running for county commission. They put it next to the telephone pole, so my guess is that it is city property. This really frustrated us to no end because the sign was in our yard and nobody asked us, and there is no way we would ever support this candidate. He has had problems managing his personal life and business. Sorry Mr. Gabel we don't want to vote for you and stop putting signs in our yard.

Here is what I found on the Wichita Eagle's website about this guy:
Republican Craig Gabel has a long history of legal and financial problems, including 15 complaints by women, two arrests on suspicion of driving under the influence, more than 80 citations for rental property violations, a bankruptcy filing and nearly $30,000 owed in back property taxes and fees. In addition, some of Gabel's campaign proposals are just plain goofy.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Do I have to?

It is no fun being sick and taking care of someone at the same time. Yuck. I did manage to get dressed today, yesterday I spent the day on the couch watching Calvin destroy the living room. He was very sweet and brought me books every two minutes. We seriously have a giant mess of a house right now and laundry needs to be done, but I could care less. At least I got some sleep last night, thanks to some night time meds, but I felt so much more rested this morning.

I asked Marvin to pick up some day time medicine for me last night on his way home from class. I completely forgot why I never buy the liquid stuff until this morning when I tried to take 2 T of that stuff. I think I got 1 T. down, but after gagging numerous times I ended that little endeavor. I guess I'll stick to the tablets. Seriously who would voluntarily drink that stuff?

I desperately need to go to the grocery store today but have zero motivation. It's days like this when I all I think is, do I have to? I guess we will get by on survival mode until this cold is gone, may it take it's course and exit our home quickly.

Fun in Man-Happiness

So we headed to Manhattan this past weekend to see a fun group of people who spent the summer with us in 2007. It was fun catching up with them and enjoying each of their personalities. It was great seeing you guys and glad we were able to make this little reunion happen.

After our little get together we decided to take Calvin to K-State gardens to expel some energy before we headed back home. K-State Gardens is where Marvin worked while he was in college. Calvin loved exploring everything and tried to "prune" every shrub and plant he saw, so eventually we put him on our shoulders. He loves the view from on top of your shoulders, it's nice that he can hold his balance now and doesn't try to pull your hair the entire time he is up there. It was a nice little trip, even if K-State got stomped.

Marvin painted this flower while he worked at the gardens and it was fun to see it was still there. Calvin was trying to fish a stick out of the hole in this picture.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pumpkin Slime

I bought a pumpkin the other day and wanted to cook it up to make all sorts of pumpkin treats that I have been dreaming about: soup, muffins, waffles, bread. I let Calvin play in the slime and he had a blast. He sat there for at least 20 minutes squishing away, and pounding the spoon I gave him into the pumpkin and table. This has to be a new record for him; he seems to go from one thing to the next. After it was cooked I pureed a batch and then I tasted it, surprise, it didn’t taste like anything. Bummer, apparently I bought a jack-o-lantern pumpkin and those aren’t for eating. Who knew? So I guess enjoying a variety of pumpkin treats will start next week, I am glad it wasn’t too pricey.

I guess it wasn’t my day for being in the kitchen as I also broke my square Pyrex dish (I was so bummed because I use it a lot). I was thankful Calvin was napping at the time, so I didn’t have to worry about him while I cleaned it up. Let’s hope today isn’t filled with as many problems.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

One Year and Lovin' It

Calvin had his one year check up on Thursday and seems to be a healthy little boy. PTL for that, I am glad we've only had a few minor health issues this first year. He weighed in at 20.5 lbs. and 29 inches long. He is in the 10-15% for his age, poor boy isn't going to be tall like his daddy. I am convinced the reason why he doesn't weigh very much is because he doesn't stop moving until he falls asleep. I find it pretty interesting that most people we meet say he looks like a big baby, my theory is that he is short and has chubby cheeks.

Calvin can eat so much, but recently has turned his nose at previous favorites like sweet potatoes, peas and carrots. Yesterday he just moved all his diced sweet potatoes to the side of his tray, last week he ate them like they were going out of style. At least he didn't throw them off like he does his carrots, which doesn't make this mama very happy. Let the discipline begin!

I chatted with the doctor about his problems with whole milk and he put my mind to ease that I wasn't under nourishing my child by giving him soy milk. So we will continue to spend an outrageous amount of money every week on soy milk for our sweet little guy. Can't wait till his digestive system can handle milk. But good news I noticed that Wal-mart carries their own brand of soy milk which is a bit cheaper than the kind I have been buying. Now does this mean I actually have to go to Wal-mart? We will see if we actually buy it there or decide it is worth the extra 27 cents to buy it at Dillons. I have no idea what we will do when we go back to CA, I haven't seen it in the city we lived in, but let's cross that bridge a little later.

Here's a video of my favorite sounds in the whole world right now.

Marvin's Favorite Meal

It's a given that every year for Marvin's birthday he will request the same meal, TACOS. Now these aren't your average tacos these are made the way I always had them growing up. In fact I didn't understand why the school called that hard crunchy tacos tacos, because they obviously didn't taste anything like a taco. With this said here is how you make a real taco:

1. Start off by making the filling. If you are making around 12 tacos brown 1.5 lb. hamburger, boil one potato in it's own skin till it is the consistency of using for potato salad. Remove the skin from the potato and dice. Cook around 1-2 c. peas, use more or less depending on your love for peas. Mix the ground beef, potatoes, and peas together in medium bowl.

2. Fill the tortilla with about 2-3 Tablespoons of meat. Don't over stuff because they will pop open.
3. Pin the tacos using toothpicks. Use 3 toothpicks and pin just as you would fabric.

4. Fill a skillet with oil about 1/2 inch high and allow time for the oil to heat up. Place the tacos in the pan carefully and allow to fry.

5. Flip the tacos when they are golden brown and finish frying the opposite side.

6. Place the tacos on a paper towel to absorb some excess oil then serve with cheese, lettuce, salsa, and your favorite hot sauce. We also like to eat these with corn and black bean salsa. Yum!

*Disclaimer: These are so tasty but so bad for you so don't expect a healthy treat when you eat these bad boys. I'm convinced the reason why Marvin loves these so much is I usually one make them once or twice a year. Yea for special meals that make my Marvin a happy husband.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Confessions of a Non-Conformist

Well recently I have really been struggling with some cultural issues, and yes we still are in America. It has been an interesting adjustment while we have been back. Some days it is hard to be back and other days I am so thankful to be back. Sundays are the hardest, it has been a challenge to enter into worship here in the States. I miss sitting in a living room and knowing the hearts of those surrounding me, generally I miss the intimacy of worship. We have been thankful to get involved with a great group here but my heart has found this is so hard. I know it's a heart attitude and I really haven't been seeking the Lord to help come to his throne on Sundays. It's been hard for me to get past all of my excuses, I don't like the style of music, I don't know this song, etc. So that's a big cultural issue that really is heart issue that I seem to be facing now.

While we were overseas we were seen as the wealthy ones, even though we had less than we do now here in America. It was simply because we were Americans that we were seen as having money. Coming back to America we are now in the poor category. Now we are totally fine with this, and honestly I love staying at home with Calvin and if we have to sacrifice a thing or two it's totally worth it. But it's interesting how those little coveting thoughts easily pop into your mind. I was trying to find something to wear this morning and honestly I don't have a lot of choose from and suddenly I was ashamed. Why is this? Why wasn't I thankful for the things the Lord had provided, instead my heart wanted some new clothes. Yuck.

This struggle is tied with something I have wrestled with lately, how to be separate from the world yet in the world. Romans 12:2 says "Do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." Is it wrong to like the things the world likes as long as they don't grip you?

What about holidays, this has been a biggie in our house lately. Halloween? Marvin and I both don't like the darkness of Halloween. Maybe it has always been this way, but I only remember cute pumpkins, glow sticks and getting Halloween candy as a child. Since the Halloween season is here it seems so dark, maybe it always has and I've just missed it. It seems like there are so many scary things out there, and we aren't sure we want Calvin to be a part of this celebration. I know there are several occasions when Jesus participated in holidays and ceremonies. He even made water into wine at one of them, so I know that the Lord is okay with celebrating and having these cultural celebrations. So is Halloween a part of our culture or is it on the evil side? How do we still engage in the world through something we don't feel real comfortable with? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Seasons of Life

This season of life that we are in is so much fun. There are some days when I just want to capture all of Calvin's sounds so I can remember the little patter of his feet and all of his babbling. Another fun part of this season is that our friends are starting families too. Last week we were able to have one of Marvin's high school friends and his family over for dinner. We were able to meet their sweet little guy. It's fun to think that Calvin will have some fun playmates to grow up with. What a blessing!
Our little Calvin is now a toddler in my eyes, since he is toddling everywhere. I have been able to nurse him for his first year of life and over the past month and a half we have been cutting feedings and now he is down to his bedtime feeding. After this weekend his nursing days are finished. I will miss that sweet time with him but I am ready for the freedom it will bring. I am thankful that I was able to give him the nourishment and love through nursing him his first year of life.
Other changes in our house include the life without a pacifier, YIKES! Yep Calvin turned a year and I decided before we even gave him a pacifier that around a year we would take it away. Honestly I am not looking forward to it, I love how I can just put him down with his pacifier and he'll fall asleep on his own, or how it makes road trips much more pleasant for a little boy who hates the car seat. It really is beautiful, and I am thankful for the comfort this little piece of plastic has given him. I know we'll have a couple of rough days but it needs to be done, since he's not a baby anymore. So "my friends" (borrowing John McCain's line) does anyone have any ideas on how to do it? Right now we are torn between the cold turkey method or cutting a little bit back at a time. This little change will most likely take place in the next couple of weeks so we need your help. We'll keep you guys posted on how it's going.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Birthday Fun

It's hard to believe our little guy is already ONE! This year flew by, but we are so thankful for the time the Lord has given us with Calvin. Some days it is hard to imagine our life without him. He really has opened our eyes to how much our heavenly Father loves us. So Happy Birthday sweet boy. We love you more than you'll ever know!

Here are some pictures of how we celebrated his big day!

Calvin is wearing his invitation to his birthday party. I found these at a garage sale and they were perfect for a zoo themed 1st birthday party!

Fridays we usually go to the library for nursery rhyme time, but he was so tired. I had him all ready to go when I spotted some eye rubbing action and decided since it was his birthday I wouldn't make him wait for his nap. It's a good thing I did since he slept 3 hours! I guess he was resting up for his party. He loves to hold one pacifier while he naps.

Friday night we had our good friends over for Marvin's birthday dinner and also to celebrate on Calvin's birthday. We had him open our presents and his basketball goal was a big hit. It's the first thing he goes to find in the mornings.

Since we had a busy Wednesday, we decided to have Marvin's cake on Calvin's birthday. We ended Calvin's busy birthday singing happy birthday then getting pjs on on into bed. He was out in a hurry.

Saturday we made our way to my parents for his party. We had a fun time seeing everyone and Calvin loved eating outside.
The wrapping paper and tissue paper were a big hit, and he figured out how to help open his presents. He was loved so much by some great toys and books. Thank you to everyone for making his day so special.

Here are his birthday cakes. This is my first attempt at cake decorating and it went better than I thought, but I didn't try anything too complicated.

Cake! He didn't really know what to do with it at first until we showed him he could eat it.

First bite!

I think he liked it!
It was a great day and he had a good nap after all the partying was over.
Here are some special 4 generation pictures we took after his party.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A busy birthday week

We are still trying to catch up from this weekend. It was a lot of fun, but this next weekend we're traveling again, so it makes this week feel like it is so short! It's hump day now which means I should be transitioning to get ready for next weekend and I've still have a pile of laundry which needs to be washed.

Today is Marvin's birthday as well as my grandpa's 80th birthday. We celebrated grandpa's birthday this weekend at the farm. Calvin had so much fun, he loves being outside so it was his dream day. He followed the dogs around, which is pretty hard because they move a lot faster than he does. His cousin had so much fun being motherly around him. He was in love with the tractor, he loves anything with wheels. We went on a short hay rack ride and even tapped on a pinata with a stick. He was exhausted at the end of that day. Then the next day we turned around and headed south to Oklahoma for a little reunion with a volunteer team who spent a summer with us while we were overseas. We had a blast catching up with them, but all that driving is tough on a little boy who hates his car seat.

We are bringing Marvin lunch today at work and we made him a nice birthday breakfast. I have AWANAs tonight so I wanted to be sure we did something special today. Friday we'll have a special dinner for him and semi-celebrate Calvin's birthday. His big party is on Saturday, which makes this one busy week. I am a bit nervous about his cake, but I think it will turn out okay. I bought some tips yesterday, I am not sure how to go about doing it. I am thankful for a great hubby who knows how to help me create those kind of things.

I've got to say Marvin is an amazing husband and father and I am so thankful for the opportunity to walk through life with him. We've had so many things happen to us this last year and I am thankful for his support and love through it all. Seeing him play with Calvin just melts my heart. It has been fun to see them wrestle now, which is just Marvin coming over and falling on top of Marvin. Calvin loves his daddy and knows exactly what games he plays with him. Last night Marvin was chasing him around the house while Calvin just giggled up a storm. I love it. It's moments like these that I just want to bottle up and never forget. So happy birthday honey, we love you so much!

He's a natural

Inspecting the tractor

1st hay rack ride

He has started to recognize his grandparents now and will go right to them.

We also visited the cemetery where my grandpa's family is buried. It is pretty neat to see the generations there. Grandpa's brothers and sister shared so many neat storied, I love listening to them talk about the past, every time I wish someone would record what they are saying. Calvin is helping us put flowers on grandpa's brother's grave who died in WWII.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Any suggestions?

I'm a bit tired of cleaning up exploding diapers. Today is day 5 of this little issue! I am thanking the Lord for the great deal I got on Febreeze plugins this week at Walgreens. It has certainly helped lessen the sickening smell of his diapers. I feel so bad for the poor guy. Every morning he wakes up to a nasty mess and instead of being held like he wants, instead he is whisked away to the bathtub or straight to his changing table staring straight up at a bright light! He has been extra snugly this week and I have soaked this up since this is out of character for him.

I just spoke to his doctor and they aren't too concerned, they think he's either cutting some molars or it's a virus, both things they can't do anything about. So we are limiting his dairy (only yogurt with active cultures) and no fruit for the next couple of days. I don't know what he'll eat since lately he won't eat anything but bananas and bread. I tried to sneak in some chicken in his lunch yesterday, but he immediately stuck his tongue out and reached in and took it out. Anyone have any ideas for things he will eat? So far I have tried chicken and noodles, scrambled eggs, and mashed potatoes and he refused all of it! Even favorite veggies like carrots, sweet potato, and peas he refuses to eat! Really if you have any ideas please pass them along, our great eater suddenly has become selective.

So we have been stuck at home since Monday, because I don't want to handle that mess in public and I don't know if he is contagious. I am very thankful it has been nice outside, at least we have played in the back yard, but even with this outdoor contact this mama's going a little stir crazy. We have a date night trade off with some good friends of ours, one week they'll have a date the next week is our turn, and this is our week for a date night, it would be nice to have the chance to get out of the house tonight, but I'm still unsure what to do. I had a great idea all planned for tonight, but it might be postponed, which will be the second time we've had to postpone this idea (the first time was due to rain). I don't want their little guy to get sick if this is a virus, it's a tough call.

I think we'll try to get out for a walk after lunch today. There are a couple of garage sales in our neighborhood that I'd love to check out. Last night at about 9:30 we heard this metal pounding sound and didn't know what was going on, we were relieved to know it was a lady pounding a garage sale sign in our yard and not a major plumbing problem. You have love living on the corner, it's nice just to look outside and see if there are any sales in our neighborhood, saves on the gas money. For the most part people are good at taking them down. I've only had to remove one!

I thought I'd add something that makes me smile. Last week Calvin's buddy came over to play and they helped Marvin water the grass he planted. They loved it!

One other positive thing about this week: we went to a Shane and Shane concert on Sunday and it was AWESOME, they are amazing musicians! It started at 8:00 p.m. and we thought Calvin would fall asleep, not a chance. He didn't fall asleep until the last song, this was about 10:15 p.m. I guess he wanted to see them in person too. He did really well and just sat in our laps the whole time. We were glad to have the chance to see them in person and can't wait for their Christmas Album to come out. We also got to see some friends from college at the concert. It was a fun laid back evening.