Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas!

IMG_0625
Christmas Eve

We had a great Christmas this year with Judah. Both sets of grandparents spoiled him rotten with lots of toys and books. He of course was more mesmerized by the boxes and wrapping. I didn't get as many photos as I'd have liked but that's ok.

IMG_0643
Christmas Outfit

IMG_0638
Opening Presents with Papaw

IMG_0644
Cousins Rachel and Dana, Aunt Phyllis and Mamaw Houser
Judah had a handful of Grandma's wig!

IMG_0646
Thomas's Parents, Uncle Jimmy, Valerie and Morris

The snow sure was pretty here in Cherryville. Hard to believe we got 6 inches!

IMG_0666
My Parents' House

IMG_0667
Pine Trees

Great Grandparents' House
Great Grandparents' House

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Judah Laughing

We've worked so hard many times to try and get Judah to laugh and when it finally happens he stops the minute we turn on the camera...until now! Finally got a good one. It's a Christmas miracle!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The History of Redemption



This is the coolest website I have seen in ages (maybe ever?). With all of the influence I can muster, I encourage you to go to this website. Watch the "sermon" (it's not really a sermon...it's way cooler, I almost cried 3 different times) and check out the book.

The History of Redemption

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Judah with Santa

Judah with Santa

Here's Judah's Christmas pic with Santa. Renee and I braved the crowds yesterday at the Triangle Town Center Mall in North Raleigh to get this memory captured. Bummer Santa's kind of creepy looking. At least Judah's looking at the camera!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Photo Effects

As you know I store all my online photos on Flickr. I love how you can organize them by sets and collections and that it's a fun online community to be a part of. It's always interesting to see which photos get commented on and added as favorites by people I don't even know. Usually I do all my photo editing in iPhoto or for heavy duty work, Photoshop. I usually don't spend a lot of time on them as they're mainly just to showcase our daily lives and aren't really an artful expression. I wish I were as talented a photographer as my friend Kristel! But alas, I am not. Anyways, I recently discovered Flickr's online photo editing software Picnik. It is so much fun! And easy to get sucked into. Check out a few random creations.

Judah and Christian
Judah and Lucy
Grandparents Christmasy!

The beauty of it is, it only takes a minute and there are tons of effects you can accomplish that would take you multiple steps in Photoshop.

On a different note...
One of my favorite "mom" blogs is Dear Baby. She has an 11 month old little girl and just announced that she's expecting number 2. This is a post from a few days ago with an awesome quote. I wish I could write like that.
You know what is the beautiful thing about becoming a mother? You get to always be one. It’s not like being a child or a teenager or a twenty something - those are all phases. They are all moments in life that come and go. But to be a mother. To become that woman who holds a tiny newborn in her arms and who watches that newborn grow into a unique individual. To become that woman who knows the feeling of loving another being with every cell in her body - the beautiful thing about that is that it never ends. No matter what happens in life. Becoming a mother is a journey that always will continue.

Monday, December 13, 2010

This weekend

IMG_0485
Judah with Meemaw and Peepaw Crane

For the first time in over 10 years I attended the Cherryville Christmas parade this weekend. It was neat to see it with Judah in tow and was such a nice surprise to see my friend Whitney, her mom and her daughter Emery there!

IMG_0489
Whitney, Emery, Judah and Me

Later we went by Mamere's house to visit and got some cute pics of Judah with his grandmas.

IMG_0493
My mom, Mary Etta and Renee

Later that day, my mom and I went to visit my aunt Phyllis. Matching hats!

IMG_0508
Judah with aunt Phyllis

He's been getting better and better at it, but check out the big boy sitting up all by himself! He finally mastered it well enough for me to get some good pics. He looks more like a little boy and less like a baby every day.

IMG_0527
Judah Sitting Up!

IMG_0526
Judah and his Gran

IMG_0559
Papaw

IMG_0554
Merry Christmas!

The Christmas Story from the Jesus Storybook Bible

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Techno Savvy Babies

It's no secret that we're big fans of Skype. With us being in Korea for a year and Thomas's parents living overseas, our whole family is quite adept at using this amazing software.

The weekend before Thanksgiving we went to Williamston, NC to visit with some great friends since David was to speak at their church on Sunday morning. Eleyse (our gracious hostess) got this great pic of us talking to our nephew Christian in Kenya. Is this the future or what? Now where's my flying car?

Skyping with Christian

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Baby Gear

We're in that stage of life where we have lots of friends that are pregnant, having babies or adopting so I thought I'd do a post on some of my favorite baby gear thus far. I always like reading "baby blogs" to see what other people like to get ideas so figured I could put my own two cents in.

Boppy Lounger

IMG_9227

This was given to me by a good friend who had one of these when her son was a baby. She said it came in so handy that she was giving it to all her friends at their showers. It was definitely the most used item in our arsenal for the first 3 months or more of Judah's life. It was so convenient to put him in the lounger because it propped him up a little so he could see what was going on and to give us a little break from holding him so we could get something done around the house.

Fisher Price Take Along Swing

Thomas's Dad calls it the "magic swing" because of it's ability to calm Judah down. He's since outgrown it but this thing was a lifesaver for a long time. We have a different version but this one is basically the same thing, just the newer version. I will say that I've learned that consignment shops are the WAY to go for baby gear. Not for important safety stuff like car seats necessarily, but for extras like this, for sure.

Moby Wrap

Judah in the Moby Wrap

I used this more when Judah was a smaller baby. Now he's too heavy for it, but as a tiny baby it was nice. The only drawback I'd say is that it was kind of a pain to get on because it's a super long piece of fabric that took a bit of effort to get wrapped around you. And if you have a summer baby, it can be HOT. Other than that, it was super comfy because the material is jersey and Judah seemed to like it a lot.

Diaper Champ
I'd read about the Diaper Genie but then a friend that's a mom told me about the Diaper Champ so I went with it instead. The great thing about it is that you don't have to buy special bags like you do with the Genie and you can use regular trash bags. No sense in getting something where you have to buy their brand of bags when you can use your own bags for a lot cheaper.

OXO Candela Tooli Rechargable Night Lights
Ok, these things are kind of unique looking but if you know me, you know I kind of like some weird stuff sometimes. These things have been great, literally my favorite thing for the nursery and nighttime with Judah. For one thing, they have a super long charge life. I hardly ever have to charge them and we've been using them for 6 months! They have a very soft glow so if you need to check on baby in the middle of the night or reinsert a paci, no problem with waking them up with a bright light shining in their eyes. It's also a great nightlight for those first few weeks where you're taking turns getting up multiple times throughout the night and you don't want to wake up the other person who's lucky enough to still be sleeping at that moment!

Graco SnugRider Infant Car Seat Stroller Frame

When I was pregnant I went to this huge baby consignment sale in Raleigh at the fairgrounds. For someone without a baby yet to say it was overwhelming would be an understatement. I do remember however seeing all these ladies getting these stroller bases and thinking, what ARE those things? I Googled a bunch of terms to try and figure it out and came up with this thing. At first I'd registered for a one of those expensive stroller/car seat combo sets but after finding this decided against it. I went with the Graco SnugRide 35 Infant Carseat and just got this as my stroller for it. It's been really great because it folds up so easy and takes up minimal space, which with all the other baby gear you tote around is a definitely plus.

Bob Revolution Stroller (aka the Cadillac)
Ok, if you click on the link for this thing you'll see that we never could or would have gotten this item on our own, but were amazingly blessed with it as a gift from Judah's Granny Willie :) hahahaha She LOVES that name btw. Love you mom! Anyways, this thing is beyond awesome. It's great for going off road, has shocks so it's super smooth, has a front tire that revolves making weave in and out of things a breeze. It's great to take to the park or a walk around town over rough pavement. We even borrowed the infant attachment from a friend so we could snap in his infant car seat. As you can see, Judah loves it! Especially when he goes for walks around Wake Forest with his Peepaw Crane.

IMG_0126

So there you are. A taste of some of the gear that's been a big part of our daily lives over the past 6 months. Maybe you'll find something you can use too. Happy shopping/registering mamas!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

6 months

Half a year old...already! This year has literally flown by. I'm still in shock that it actually snowed today too. Here are Judah's monthly monkey pics.

6 months old
6 months old
6 months old
6 months old
6 months old

Now that he's getting more mobile it's definitely more difficult to get a good one! I imagine it's only going to get worse.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Cool Video



Check out this video for Shine by my favorite Christian group, the David Crowder Band.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Eating for the first time

IMG_0456

Judah has been breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months. Today he had his first bite of food, rice cereal. My mom came up to help watch him for a few days so she was able to feed him his first bite. I can't believe he's half a year old! Sock monkey pics coming soon :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

So proud!

IMG_0388
Judah and Thomas with his 7 pointer

Friday, November 19, 2010

Childhood Toys

With the holidays approaching it's really started making me think of toys I had as a kid. While pregnant and since Judah was born I've been feeling really nostalgic about my favorite toys. Here are some that I remember having. Blast from the past 80s style!
Favorite Childhood Toys
My mom always made Christmas so much fun as a kid. I guess it was partly because she was an only child so my grandparents really went all out for her Christmases.

I'm really looking forward to going home for Thanksgiving and seeing our families and of course showing off Judah. Latest news – he's got a tooth starting to poke through!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tony Merida on Adoption

I've been at SEBTS for almost three years now. During these three years I have attended the majority of the chapel services. Without a doubt my life has been heavily impacted by many of those messages. Recently, Tony Merida, teaching pastor at Temple Baptist Church in Mississippi came and gave the below message. It is one of the finest I have heard. I'm not sure if it's because God laid adoption on my heart years ago or if it's just because this sermon is that good...but either way this is one of the better chapel messages given in the last three years.

Tony Merida - From Slavery To Sonship - Galatians 4:4-7 from Southeastern Seminary on Vimeo.



If you are reading this in Facebook and can not see the video please click HERE.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

5 months

IMG_0265
IMG_0268
IMG_0276

Little man can now roll over, he's on the verge of a belly laugh, he can pass objects from hand to hand, still teething like crazy but no teeth, tipping the scale at 15 lbs or more, can sit up assisted, loves getting strolled outside in the BOB with his Peepaw Crane, loves riding horsey with Meemaw, smiles all the time, loves to cuddle, sweet, laid back personality. Love him SO much.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Judah Update and State Fair

Judah's Growth
It's been so much fun keeping up with Judah's monthly pics. Granted, the 4 month one doesn't have the sticker because it didn't match his outfit and he was getting fussy by the time I decided to put on a white onesie. Maybe I'll get one before he turns 5 months which is only a couple weeks! I love how you can really tell how much he's grown and changed in just 3 months time.

This past weekend my good pal Natalie came to visit from Charlotte and since the State Fair is going on we decided to go. Since it was Saturday afternoon on the first weekend, it was super crowded as you might imagine. Here's a crowd shot:

State Fair Crowd
State Fair Crowd


Every year the Fair boasts a weird food item. Usually it's something unusual that's deep fried. Last year I think it was deep fried butter and a fried cheese burger. This year, in true Southern style, it was a cheeseburger between two Krispy Kreme donuts. Of course, Thomas being the thrill seeker he is, decided to have a go at it. He said it was pretty good!

Krispy Kreme Burger
Thomas eating Krispy Kreme Burger
Krispy Kreme Burger
Yes he went with some bacon too! Good Lord!

IMG_0096
Look at that cute kid with Natalie!

It was a fun weekend. As always it went by way too fast. I had a great time hanging out with Natalie, Judah and Thomas!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

On turning 30

I'm not really big on the whole birthday thing...but I guess 30 is somewhat of a milestone. Well for me that milestone was this past Saturday (for those of you who forgot and feel bad about it...my amazon wish list is on the right hand side of this blog :)

A few people were nice to me. I am especially grateful to my wife for a very nice kindle; Mamere and Jack as well as Mom and Dad were also very gracious. Simon and Eleyse Griffin hosted Dad and I in Williamston for the weekend. Simon took us hunting all day Saturday and it was really nice to get out in the woods for a little solitude. Simon also told some stories that were so funny I nearly fell off the couch. Eleyse made me a really tasty cake.

However, as nice as Simon and Eleyse are...they have produced a daughter, her name is Susan. Here are some pictures of Susan, just so you know who I'm dealing with:





Susan seems to be under the impression that 30 is old, and felt the need to express that opinion to me in a series of gifts leading up to Saturday. October 4th-8th Susan and I took a fall break class together. At the end of each day Susan gave me a gift. By the end of the week I had a rather nice collection:


From left to right: Fixodent denture cleanser, Affirm underwear for men, reading glasses, Centrum Silver, Bengay.

The picture laying on the desk is actually a card. It's from my "friend" Mindy, she is about as nice as Susan. On the inside the card reads, "Do I smell old people?"

For those of you who kindly helped me usher in this new decade of life, I thank you. For those who were...not so kind...I do appreciate your creativity. But don't think it will be forgotten when your 30th rolls around :)