Sunday, October 31, 2010

A sneak peek at Halloween

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Vivi's (almost) 18 month dr's visit

Today we had Vivi's 18 month appointment at the doctor's office. She's not a big fan of the doctor's office...everything from the temperature wand that sits on her temple for 2 seconds to the measuring tape that goes around her head is very traumatic. We have a WONDERFUL doctor and nurse who do everything they can to make it as easy for the little ones as possible-they let me cuddle her while they do the exam and I can rock her and give her a bottle during her shots, rather than trying to make her stay on the exam table. It's a lot less traumatic for both of us that way :)

Her official 18 month stats are:
32 inches tall-68%
22 pounds-20%

That's the highest percentile she's ever been for weight, she's really catching up to the other kids her age, which we have definitely noticed at playgroups. She got one shot, for polio, and I'm pretty sure she cried more at having the measuring tape around her head.

After her appointment, she got to pick out and eat a sucker (blue of course) and then we drove home to lounge on the couch and watch Sesame Street. Not a bad day, overall!

I'll end this post with a cute picture of my princess!

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Eric's preaching again

I'll be preaching at our church ( on Sunday October 31st, we'd love to see you there!

Service starts at 11:00am, and there's always hot coffee and snacks before and after service in the library if you're interested.



Thursday, October 14, 2010

Worthy of the calling - Eph 4:1-6

In case you missed out last Sunday, here is the recording from the sermon I gave at church. Somehow I managed to talk for almost 38 minutes, it goes by quickly when your standing in the pulpit.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vivi's ABCs

You may need to turn the volume up to hear her better :)

my latest hair inspiration

I mentioned in the South Carolina trip post about Kapri's cousin's daughter Gianna being close in age to Vivi, but her mom is much better at hair than I am and both times we have seen her she has inspired me to try something new in Vivi's hair. This past time, she had a bunch of tiny zig-zagging cornrows all over her head with beads at the ends, and in the back were 2 rows of beads. I thought it looked simple enough and would give me something else to do with the hair in the back that is getting much longer but isn't quite caught up to the rest of the hair yet.

A lot of people have been asking lately how difficult it is to do her hair or how I did it, so I'm going to start explaining in a little more detail what I do with her hair. If it doesn't interest you, feel free to skip past it ;)

I combed and parted the back of her hair away from the top (which this time I did in twists), and divided it into a top layer and a bottom layer. Then took a small strand and twisted it all the way to the end, then used a tool called a beader to slide the beads on, and repeated through the rest of them. I had no idea that her hair in back was THAT long since it is usually so tightly curled...I started with 5 beads on the beader and quickly discovered that I needed more! Each strand has between 7 and 10 beads, with a clip at the end to hold the hair. There are 20 strands.

It didn't take too long to do since there isn't any fancy finger work involved. She likes the way it clicks when she shakes her head, and I like that I can hear her wherever she goes! I started with the pink, purple, and white beads and left them in for about 5 days. Then I took each strand of beads out individually, untwisted it, sprayed it with a detangling spray, combed through it, rubbed in a leave in conditioner called hair milk, and then put in a new set of colored beads, going for a more Halloween look.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Apple Orchard

We went to the apple orchard with my parents a couple of weeks ago. It was a chilly day but we had fun and picked lots of apples. Jenavieve had trouble pulling them from the tree, but once they were off she knew just what to do with them. We probably brought home a dozen apples with tiny little bites taken out of them. After buying the apples, we went across the street to the cider mill. Jenavieve loved the conveyor belt that brought the apples in to carried them to the press. There was a looong line for cider and donuts, and they were having a hard time keeping up with the crowd. They were literally taking donuts as soon as they came out of the machine and putting them in bags. They were too hot to touch! It was Jenavieve's first donut and she loved it and ate the whole thing! There were too many cute pictures to put on this page, so I made an album, you can find it at the end of the post :)

Besides eating lots and lots of apples, we have also made and canned applesauce and carmel apple jam (with mom's help of course!). I think an apple crisp may be on the menu for tonight, although we don't have any vanilla ice cream...we may need a quick trip to the store!

And now, for your reminiscing pleasure, the this year's 'how tall this fall' picture and last year's. What a difference a year makes at her age!

Apple Orchard 2010
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

South Carolina 2010-part 2

If you haven't read part 1 yet, scroll down!

After letting Jenavieve nap, we went to Reyna's birthday party. The party was at Grandma Marquetta's house, so Vivi was already familiar with where she was and with some of the people that were there, so she wasn't too shy. Ka'Praisha met us at the car of course, and once we got inside Reyna stuck by our side too. She was Eric's little buddy since dinner the night before, she always wanted him to hold her. More guests started showing up, we got to see a lot of the family members and a few people from church that we met last year, and got to meet a lot of new family members. There were a lot of kids running around giggling. Auntie Quanda bought matching shirts for the girl cousins that were there-Ka'Praisha, Reyna, and Jenavieve. They have Princess Tiana on them, and then each girl's shirt says Princess and then her name. We changed Vivi into hers and of course everyone wanted pictures of the 3 princesses!

When the house was full of family and friends, Marquetta turned on some upbeat music. Jenavieve started dancing and quickly became the center of attention. When Michael Jackson came on, the other kids started dancing too. Those kids have moves! Ka'Praisha knows all the moves to Thriller, and an older boy, Tayon moved just like Michael Jackson. We pulled out the camera and the video camera to document the fun, and after the song was over, the bigger kids wanted to use the cameras. Tayon used the video camera and played documentary filmmaker, and his sister Zakira and Ka'Praisha used the regular camera and took pictures of family members, the birthday cake, the stove...but they got some really good candid shots of the family members too. Zakira was posing different people together and telling them what faces to make. She posed Ka'Praisha next to me on the couch for a picture, which turned into a game of 'saloner' where the sat on either side of me and did my hair. While they played, they talked, and it sounded just like a beauty shop, except they talked about school and toys and other kids. It was very cute.

Meanwhile, Jenavieve, Reyna, and Gianna, who are all close in age, played in the back room and danced. Gianna was the baby last year who slept while her mom did her hair. It inspired me to start experimenting with Vivi's hair, and copy what I saw her do, so I was excited to see her again. This year, I was inspired again, although not nearly as intricate. Pictures of that to come later...

Then dinner was served-yummy southern food! All I really remember is the Cajun rice with shrimp, but there was a ton of food! Vivi got to show off her cake eating/smashing skills to her southern family. She did some cuddling with Auntie Kapri and showed off for the family members.

I was able to have nice conversations with various family and church members, and got to spend a lot of time with Marquetta, which I was glad for. I was afraid with the party setting I wouldn't have a chance, and I had some questions for her about the family history, etc. We both wound up sitting in the back room watching the toddlers play, so we had a good talk. She shared with me that her grandmother was full Cherokee, which is a fun piece of information to have. One of my best friends, Alex, is 1/8 Cherokee, so she'll have to teach Vivi about their heritage when she's older.

Then she got out some gifts she had gotten for Jenavieve-an alphabet book that is personalized with her name in it and a message that says 'love, your family in Charleston, SC', a really soft stuffed lamb, and an adorable little wooden chair that says Jena on it (that's their nickname for her down there, I like it!). It was just the perfect gift, I've been wanting to get her a personalized chair, and she loves books and is really into pointing at letters for us to to say out loud. I love the lamb too, that she has something from Grandma Marquetta to cuddle with.

It seemed like we had just arrived when it was time to get going. We went around and said goodbye to everyone, and Marquetta and Ka'Praisha walked us out.

Outside, Marquetta shared with us how appreciative she was for the letter I sent her on Mother's Day. It basically thanked her for welcoming us into the family and for sharing with us her side of the story and how difficult it all was for her. It really meant a lot to me to hear all of that, and she could not have been more welcoming when we first met. She hugged us and said "I don't just think of you like family, you are my family". It was a very touching moment. We all hugged again, then she kissed Jenavieve and prayed over her in her carseat. Ka'Praisha climbed up to kiss her and drew a cross on her forhead with her thumb, like they do at their church when they anoint and pray over someone. After more hugs and promises to keep in touch and visit each other's states again soon, we left.

We were so wired from the fun day we'd had, we were able to drive late into the night before stopping at a hotel-we didn't bother trying to drive straight through. We enjoyed another complimentary breakfast, then got on the road again. Vivi was, again, quite well behaved. We drove to Dayton to visit Eric's sister and her family for a few hours before we headed home. Anya and Asia had church that evening, so for a lot of the evening it was just the babies. Jenavieve and Aera were so cute running around together!

When Vivi got cranky, we headed out for the easy 3 1/2 hour drive home...until we hit a fatal accident investigation that closed the whole highway. The worst part of our vacation was 40 minutes from home, although it took an hour and a half to move a mile and get off on the next ramp. Vivi was sleepy and tired of being strapped in her car seat, the m&ms I brought as a just in case snack only lasted 10 minutes and then she was mad that they were gone. Luckily, her favorite Sesame Street dvd saved the day. We watched it twice, and were on our way home!

She was asleep when we parked, but woke up when I carried her in. I was hoping she would transfer easily to the bed, but she was so excited to be home and see her toys that she ran around, picking up a toy, bringing it to show us, and then dropped it and ran for a new toy. Eventually she ran out of steam, and we all collapsed into bed after a really great vacation!

Here are the pictures, most of them have captions to describe the picture
South Carolina 2010

South Carolina 2010-part 1

I guess it's about time I write about our trip to visit Jenavieve's birth family in South Carolina! We left early in the evening on Thursday. Our plan was to drive through the night, stopping to nap at a truck stop if we needed to. We would save money by not staying at a hotel and wouldn't have to have an awake toddler in the car all day. Unfortunately, Jenavieve wasn't able to sleep well in her carseat so we ended up stopping in Virginia at a hotel to sleep. They had free hot breakfast, so we ate and then hit the road.

Vivi was actually very well behaved in the car. She ate a lot of snacks, read a lot of books, and we sang A LOT of songs. She made up a new game where she makes motions with her hands, and we have to guess what song she wants us to sing, and as soon as we start singing a song she quickly says "no, no" and moves her hands again. She thinks she's so funny :)

We made good time and got to the hotel around 3:30. Eric and Jenavieve unloaded our bags while I shaved my legs (I was going to wear jeans to dinner that night but it was HOT!) and then we headed over to Grandma Marquetta's house. We met Kapri's sister Quanda and her daughter Reyna, Kapri's dad, and Ka'Praisha and Quez's dad, then we took Kapri, her kids, and Reyna (so her mom could finish getting ready for her birthday party) to Golden Corral, our traditional dinner place. Having 3 kids under 3 and a 5 year old who did a lot of 'helping' made for an interesting dinner, I think the waitress was relieved to see us go, but we had a lot of fun! Ka'Praisha is such a little mama, she wanted to sit next to Jenavieve and cut all her food for her, and got her a big bowl of ice cream because "my sister likes chocolate ice cream". Despite having such a busy dinner, we did manage to do a lot of catching up with Kapri, and she's doing very well.

We dropped everyone off and headed back to the hotel. Jenavieve was exhausted from running around with her siblings and cousin, and got a good sleep. The next morning we got up and had breakfast, then went to get Kapri and her kids to go to Portrait Innovations. My mom made matching outfits for the kids, and Kapri had a coordinating outfit. For her birthday present, we got pictures of each kid individually, all 3 kids together, and Kapri with all 3 kids. We kept a sheet from each pose and gave the rest to Kapri to share with the family. Jenavieve did not want to sit and look at the camera, she was all smiles watching the other kids get their pictures taken, but when it was her turn to sit with them, all she wanted to do was run around. We managed to get really cute pictures anyway.

We took them back to help set up for the party and went for lunch and drove around so Jenavieve could get a nap in. We stopped and bought a sweet grass basket from one of the roadside stands as a souvenier, and got a booklet with it that told about the history of the sweet grass baskets. Our first trip to South Carolina, we thought it was very odd that all of the roadside stands on the high way sold baskets and nothing else. Turns out it is a traditional art form that was brought over from Africa with the slaves, who continued making and using baskets for their work. It is a practice that was passed down through the generations. As big stores started moving into the area, basket makers moved to road side stands. Sorry for the history lesson, you can read more about the history here. We bought our basket from Lizzie's because we saw her actually weaving a basket while sitting there and we wanted to see. She told us that her grandmother used to make and sell the baskets, and she taught Lizzie. We didn't realize how pricey they were, or that they took hours to make a small basket, but I'm a sucker for history, especially since it is a part of Jenavieve's history, so we had to get one. We were able to haggle a price on a small basket, perfect for Vivi to carry around, and were on our way.

Check back soon for part 2 of our trip, and a link to all the pictures!