Monday, June 18, 2012

Doctor Stats for James and Leona

I just can't believe my little guy is already 3 months old!  He is such a great baby! He is so happy! He loves to eat! He loves to play with his big sister on his play mat! AND he is already watching some TV...gotta love Signing Time!

Leona had her 3 year old dr. appt and James had his almost 2 month old appt. on June 4, 2012.
Here are the stats:

Leona is 34 3/4" long and weighs 25lbs. 4oz. She is 5% in weight and 8% in height. She is still at the bottom of the chart, but at least she is on it. The dr. wants to check her again in 3 months and see where she is at in height. Last time she was like 40%, so she might check her thyroid again if she is still low again. Otherwise, she is happy with her progress.

James is 24 1/4" long and weighs 12 lbs. 9 oz. (gained 1lb. in 2 weeks). He is 97% in weight and 80% in height. Quite the difference from his sister. He is thriving with nursing and everything looked great with him. She was definitely encouraged to see his progress and so excited for us that we can just enjoy our little guy. We don't have to go back until 6 mos!!!!! So weird to not visit her frequently! HAHA!

Leona also started music class. It's called Musikgarten. She loves it! Here are some pictures from her class:

James 2 month pictures

James started at 9lbs. 12 oz. on May 3
and was 11lbs. 9 oz. on May 24!!
He is growing SOOOO fast!

Here are some pictures from 2 months:

Leona loves laying with James on his play mat :)

James has been adopted by Mrs. Yoder's class as their little monkey :)

I think he looks like Daddy!

Playing with his big sister :)

At 11 weeks Leona and I found him scooted off of his mat!

What Mom?!?!?!

Sweet kisses

Leona was showing James her first try with hair curlers!

Loving my changing table...thanks Mom for getting me cleaned up :)

He tries so hard to laugh, but it just won't come out!

Love this look :) So inquisitive!

He just melts our heart!

Yep...still missing all of my hair :)
BUT...I have more than Daddy!!

James 1 month pictures

James went from 7 lbs. 8 oz. and 21" on April 3
to 8 lbs. 5 oz. and 21 3/4" on April 12. WOW!
Finally he was back to his birth weight of 8 lbs. 5oz.
So great to let him sleep through the night as long
as he wants :) YAY!

Here are some pictures of James at 1 month old.

My friend and mentor, Ann, with James at exactly 1 month old.

Love his eyes! He is finally starting to focus on who is talking to him.

"God's Little Masterpiece"
We are so thankful that we have little James in our lives.
We feel so blessed to have a healthy baby boy!

At 5 wks...starting to smile :)

James sporting the onesie Mommy made for him.

Getting SO BIG!!!

I Got to Say Farewell

Grandma Thomas with me and Leona Joy (2009)
The morning of the funeral, I talked with my Mom and she asked if I would like to speak at the funeral. If you know me at all...I despise funerals. When I was a young teenager my great aunt and great uncle passed away and I really struggled with the whole funeral thing. Knowing that this time would be with my grandma, a strong figure in my life, I should have never been ok to speak, but the Lord had other plans. I was able to share so much about how much my grandma influenced me. She was basically my second mom for many years. As I pondered who she was I realized that I got sooo many things from her: her tenacity and strong will, love for singing, love of teaching...especially relating to children and God's word...and certainly her good choice in men. (I always wanted a marriage like hers and I searched until I found a good guy like my grandpa.)

All 4 generations: Grandma Thomas, my Mom Linda, me, & Leona Joy (2009)
I was also able to share her favorite verse, Isaiah 40:31, starting with verse 28,
"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

I was able to emphasize that God doesn't just promise to drop his strength in our laps, but that we must seek God to find this strength. I shared my life verses, Psalm 63:1-8 that talks about God being the emphasis of all that we are. I was also able to share that we are able to have that personal relationship with Him because He sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins. He was raised from the dead and ascended into Heaven to conquer our sins so that sin would no longer separate us from God.

Of course after I finished, I thought of so many more things to say, but I was just grateful to share my heart with so many people and to say goodbye to not only the woman who was my grandma, but my second mom and one of the people who inspired my religious journey to know the Lord as my Savior.

Saying farewell can be so hard sometimes. We can hope that one day we will be able to see them again... where sickness and death no longer have reign over our bodies.

I am just so glad I got to say farewell. I love you Grams!

Our LONG Trip

We traveled about 4,000 miles in May (between two LONG trips). Our first trip had some unexpected twists and turns. I'd like to share all that we experienced during the whirlwind. After two weeks being away from home with a toddler and a newborn, we were ready to be home. However, I look back to our whole journey and know that this was God's plan.

A couple weeks prior to leaving, we were able to get a new van--well new to us. It is a 2005 Honda Odyssey. It is so amazing how much space we have! What a provision straight from God! God also provided in a special way. Three days prior to leaving, James decided to sleep until 6AM! That was 10:30-6:00!!! I started to feel like a human being! I couldn't believe my 5 week old was sleeping that well. He did go a little shorter over our trip, but what a great feeling!

Our first stop was Clarks Summit, PA, after a "layover" at my in-law's home in Ohio. Being graduates of Baptist Bible College, it was our priviledge to watch Ben's younger brother, Ethan, and his girlfriend walk across the stage to earn their diplomas! It was great to see our former professors, dorm parents, and even some classmates. We are so proud of their accomplishment and can't wait to see how God will use what they have learned in ministry. Ethan and Samantha will remain at BBC; both working for the college. We will miss them with such a long distance between us.

One of the best parts of traveling 10 hours (+ several hours of stops) was staying with some of our closest college friends, Josh and Michelle! Their son, Jude, loved Leona. The love was definitely mutual!!! They played really well with each other. Michelle was an inspiration to me as a mom. With the two of us being teachers at heart, it was great to see how much the two of our children have learned from our teaching. Both Jude and Leona know so many things beyond their age level! It just goes to show that when you make learning a part of everyday life, children will just eat it up. Jude's love for books was such a reflection of the great job Michelle is doing. I had been missing those quiet times with Leona for MONTHS and her example really spoke to my heart to get back on track with one-on-one learning time with Leona. It was great to see the men bonding too! Of course they got out some kind of potatoe gun (or something like that) and shot it in the back yard!! It was also great to hear their testimony of God's provision and hand upon their lives in SOOOOO many ways! What a blessing it was to be with them. It felt like our friendships had never skipped a beat!
Leona and Jude (2012)
The 2 families

Jude and Josh

On our way back to Ohio, our air conditioning stopped working in our new van. It made for a very stuffy ride, but luckily it was later in the evening and cooled down with an hour or so. By the time we got to Ohio, we were totally wiped out....especially this Momma of a newborn!

I was especially grateful for the help of Ben's family. They are such a help and encouragement to me and my family. They really helped make our trip more doable.

The night we got back, we got word from my mom that my grandma was taking a turn for the worse and hospice had more of a role in her care. We decided to take another day off from traveling to kind of feel out what was happening with her before we headed home. Basically my grandma had started the downhill process that would lead to passing away... it was just predicting when the time would come. My grandma had struggled many years with hip/back pain, alzheimer's and heart problems. Honestly, though I was losing my grandma, I was relieved for her to be done with the pain her body had caused. God answered my prayer that I would be able to go to the funeral as we couldn't just stay for a long period of time waiting. I knew my body couldn't take traveling 8 hrs. again with a newborn.

God also knew that staying around Ohio meant I had help with my kids as I recovered from the traveling. Staying in one place was a HUGE blessing. Not to mention, Leona got to attend Norton Baptist Church's Mother-Daughter banquet with my mother-in-love, Cindy. They had a great time.

God definitely took care of every detail. We are so grateful!