Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas in Stockton

Today we (the kids and I) celebrated Christmas in Stockton with my extended family. It was a last minute trip and Nathan had to stay behind to tie up some loose ends at home. We will get to see him again in San Diego-probably on Christmas.

We flew up here especially to see my great-grandpa who was just placed on hospice care. He is 94 years old and is a great man. Time with him and all my family has been precious. I am trying to savor the moments.

We enjoyed a very good meal featuring pork tenderloin:

Rebekah enjoyed her spatula (she really hasn't taken to solid food yet):Oh and Rebekah sits up really well now! She can sit nice and tall and play for a long time.

Here is a picture of my sister Kelsey and her husband Erik. Aren't they cute?

Here is a picture of the boys. I forgot my camera for the one of the girls :(

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dressing up for St. Nicholas Day

The kids and I went to church yesterday for St. Nicholas Day. Rebekah wore her pretty red dress:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sitting Up

Here she is:

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Last year, my Advent efforts mainly consisted of making an Advent wreath (late) and packing a few boxes for Operation Christmas drop. This year Luke is much more aware of what is going on, so I really tried to get my act together.

Orthodox Advent begins 40 days before Christmas, so we have been at it since the 15th. It kind of snuck up on me again, but not entirely.

I wanted to make a traditional advent wreath that included activities that Luke could understand and enjoy, and that could be transported. This year, like we have done for all our Texas years, are traveling to see family at Christmas. Moving right into Christmas is one of the problems that we usually run into when we travel. Who can resist with all the family around?
I took the boy and the girl (I call them by those names in an affectionate sort of way) to Hobby Lobby to see what we could find. I got the information for the wreath from my friend's blog and found all the supplies that I needed. I decided to make a felt wreath (so it could be folded up and taken on the plane with us to CA), and decorate it with pictures that helped us prepare for Christ's birth. We had all of the nativity characters, pictures of fasting foods, money (for almsgiving), and pictures that related to St. Nicholas. Here are a couple of pictures:

Felt wreath with the little girl next to it. She is happy if she can see me while I work.

Here are our candles and pictures. On the backs of the pictures I wrote a short explanation. Everyday, the plan is to let Luke pick out a picture and talk about what is represents. On Sundays we talk about the candles and what each one of them signifies. Luke has really enjoyed this! He asks me to sit with him, pick out a picture and "Glorify Him."

Friday, November 18, 2011

Yet Another Sibling Video

I just love watching these two play. Here is another video of siblings at play:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Christmas Preview

I've been busy with my Christmas projects, advent projects, etc...

Here's a peek:
It is not easy to get both of your children to smile at the same time- especially when one is 4months old, and the other is rather obstinate :)

Oh, and aren't these adorable shoes? $1, yes just $1. If anyone needs a personal shopper, I'll send you my portfolio :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011


So sweet. I love watching my kids play together!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I will be posting some videos from the past month. This was taken two weeks ago when Grammy and Papa were in town:

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bran Muffins

Here is my tried and true bran muffin recipe. I usually double it and make 6 jumbo muffins and 12 regular sized ones.

  • 1 1/2 cups wheat bran
  • 1 cup milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice ( or soymilk, to make them dairy-free)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil ( can replace most with applesauce to make them lower fat- needs at least 1T of oil)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup honey or combo of honey and molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Combine wheat bran and milk/lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside
2. Combine oil/applesauce, honey, egg and vanilla in a large bowl.
3. Add in soaked bran mixture and stir until combined.
4. Add flour, soda, powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and stir until combined.
5. Bake at 350 for 10-15 min for regular sized 15-20 minutes for large. Makes one dozen regular.

*Note- these are supposed to be moist. If you over bake them, they will be dry and not very good. I usually just smell and check them to see if they are done (not sure how to say that more precisely in a recipe)

**Since the advent fast is coming, I'll mention that you can substitute an egg replacer or 1T ground flax seed mixed with 1T water for the egg.

Hope you all enjoy!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hoppy Ball

For Luke's birthday, some of my family sent him some birthday money. I was looking for something to wear him out inside the house when the weather was bad. Here is what I found:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Baptismal Sewing Projects

Rebekah's baptism is this Saturday at 10am and I have been working on her dress for a while now. Finally, today, the last item was finished. (It feels so good to be sewing again!) Meanwhile, Grammy made a bonnet and Godmother Melissa gave us beautiful shoes to complete the outfit. Here are some pictures:

1. The dress front:
2. The dress back:

The buttons and double fold bias tape were improvisations due to the fact that Rebekah has grown so fast since I started sewing it.

3. The Bonnet:
4. The baby in full baptismal attire:
Isn't she cute?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pictures that make me happy

Luke smiling after eating a big bowl of oatmeal:Baby Rebekah smiling in her bouncy seat. Could there be a happier baby? Honestly, I think not. :) (Thanks to our friends, the Neacsu's for letting us borrow the seat!)A flower cake. Do you see the big yellow center and the pink petals around? This week was my dear friend Miss Clare's birthday. She turned 83 and we had to celebrate! Sorry the picture is sideways?

Finally a video. Do you see how active this little one is? She kicked around for an hour last night and another hour this morning :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Rebekah Grows!

Rebekah is growing so fast! A couple of days ago I noticed that she was getting too big for her 6 month onesies! Also, her legs are so long that her feet now stick out of the infant car seat. I had hoped to keep her in it longer than I think I will be able to. Next Monday is her next Dr. appointment. We will see how big she has grown over the past month.

Here are some recent pictures:

In her little watermelon outfit:
A nice close-up:
Sleeping on Daddy (she likes sleeping on someone's shoulder best of all)
On Grandpa:Oh, and we can't forget Luke!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

How Poo Saves the Day

The scene: It is just before 7am and Rebekah wakes up for the day. I am groggy after 2 night feedings and Luke up 3 times screaming- first a nightmare, next his covers are not just so, third time- he runs into the bedroom holding up a finer and says, "Daddy, I have a boogie." (Nathan handled the Luke wakings, I handled Rebekah and heard Luke's screams from afar.)

Back to Rebekah- I see her smiling at me as I go to pick her up out of the crib. I picker her up and notice that my hand is wet.... Oh no, a leaky diaper. I set Rebekah down to change her.... Oh no, worse than a leak- its a poo. A big poo that is in her hands, up her back, soaking through the blanket, in the crib. Now I have poo on me too.

I realize that if I wash her up in the bathroom, it will probably wake Nathan up. Nathan has already had his share of waking ups (bless him) during the night, so plan B is the kitchen sink.

I quickly wash out the sink with the hand that has no poo on it, and hold dirty Rebekah with the other. Then I wash Rebekah up and hear Luke screaming in the background. That is how he wakes up these days. So I rush to finish with Rebekah and Luke comes flying into the living room. He is emotional and so I decide to cheer him up by telling him about Rebekah's colossal poo.

L: sobbing
M: It was all over the place!
M:She had it all over her back and hands and everywhere!
L: Giggle, Giggle.
M: (to Rebekah)- Oh you little stinky winky! :)
L: Laughing and now in a good mood.

Luke thinks Baby Rebekah is the funniest little girl ever.

I am in a good mood because Rebekah is clean once again and Luke is happy.

That is how poo can save the day.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Talking in the Bunbo

Here is Rebekah saying a few words while sitting in the bumbo:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

3 Years Old!

My big baby turned three last week. I really can't believe that he is three already! We had a pretty big group over to the house on Sunday to celebrate. Since it was 100+ degrees outside, we just set up lots of water toys and and it was lots of fun. Here's the proof:A special thanks to Aunt Bethany for ALL her help corralling the kiddos.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011


We have been visiting in CA for the last week (and escaping the horrible, horrible heat!). Luke has gotten very tan and enjoyed many hours of outdoor time with Grammy. We have had visits from good friends, and my dad even drove down from Stockton to see us.

Here are some pictures:

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Smiling and Cooing

I love this! Rebekah is an amazingly happy baby.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Waking Up

A little video from this morning. I love watching Rebekah wake up. Luke did pretty much the same thing when he was a baby.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rebekah Tummy Time

Rebekah lifting up her head:

Thursday, July 28, 2011


I took some pictures today as Rebekah was waking up from a nap. She was making quite interesting faces. You might notice the chubbiness of her face too- she was 10lbs 6oz. and 22 inches long at the Dr. today. Her head also grew almost an entire inch to 15 inches.

And here is Grammy, Luke and Rebekah:

I took some pictures today as Rebekah was waking up from a nap. She was making quite interesting faces:

Saturday, July 23, 2011

2 weeks

Sleeping in her "nest."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Here is Rebekah's first bath in the baby bath tub. She lost her umbilical cord two days ago and was smelling a little like sour milk. :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

More of Luke and Rebekah

Here is a cute video from this morning. I am amazed that my wild boy can be so sweet with his little sister:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day 5

A full body picture:Long legs:
I had another video of Rebekah and Luke both watching the mobile go around (and watching each other), but it won't load. I hope I can get it up soon.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Luke and Rebekah

My sister-in-law, Bethany said once that when you have your first baby, the biggest adjustment is the adjustment in your marriage- from a couple to a little family. When you have your second, the biggest change takes place in the relationship between you and your first child.

This has definitely been true for me. The afternoon when I was in labor, Luke woke up cranky and bewildered from his nap and could not stop crying. I really wanted to comfort him, but I had something else taking up my time and energy. I began to cry and decided that I needed to hold him anyways. We sat and cried together and I really felt the weight of the coming change.

In the hospital, I was away from Luke for two nights. I have never been away from him over night. That was hard too, even though I knew that he was in very capable hands at home- thanks Grammy and Papa! So, I really welcomed his visit the day after Rebekah was born. We took a little snipet of their first encounter which you can see below. In the video he is saying something like "we ate mommy's shirt and she popped out." I still don't know how all of that fits together, but it was so cute to see them together- Luke made a giggly sort of noise upon seeing his "chubby baby," and has been calling her, "baby Gobekah." It is so cute that I'll admit i've called her baby Gobekah once or twice now.

Today we had a first Dr. appt. too. Rebekah is 8lbs 11oz and 21 and 1/4 inches long. They must not have measured her very well in the hospital because the Dr's office took great care to make sure that they had accurate measurements. That puts her in the 92% for height and 75% for weight.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rebekah Ruth Jones

Rebekah Ruth was born at 11:04pm on Saturday 7/9/11. She weighed 8lbs 12oz and was 20 inches long.

Rebekah Ruth was born at 11:04pm on Saturday 7/9/11. She weighed 8lbs 12oz and was 20 inches long.

The birth story:

I began to have contractions on the Tuesday morning before she arrived, but they stopped. Then Friday morning, I began very slight contractions that got stronger around 9pm. They were about 10-15 minutes apart and I was able to sleep through them for a little while. The long slow process continued throughout Saturday until 4pm. I was about to give up hope and expected them to go away, so I went to take a nap. I woke up from the nap with a much stronger contraction. For about two hours I had strong, regular contractions about every 4 minutes. Nathan and my doula (Kristi) helped me through each one and got us prepared to go to the hospital in between. At 7:15pm we left for the hospital.

Houston's roads are terrible and I was not very nice to Nathan on the car ride over. The contractions and the roller coaster like ride were not fun, but we eventually got there. At the hospital I labored in water and with the birthing ball until about 10pm. The contractions were so close together, strong and long, that I was sure I was in transition. However, the midwife checked me and said I was only 6-7cm dilated. At that point, my panic set in and I looked at Nathan and told him that I wanted to get an epidural. Our original plan was a natural birth, but this really had been a long ordeal and I needed some help. **

Epidural in, I relaxed for the first time in a long while. It was only 45 minutes later that I was ready to push. She came out (all nearly 9lbs of he little self) in about 5-10 minutes. I hardly tore and was able to push efficiently since I could still feel a bit. It was so wonderful to have her. They put her on me, Nathan cut the cord, and she began to nurse for the next 45 minutes. She also lifted up her head right away just as Luke had done.

She is a beautiful, healthy little girl and we just want to look at her all day long. Luke has had a very positive reaction to his little sister and likes to say that she is "my chubby baby." He also says, "We ate the shirt and the baby popped out!" That one is confusing.

**Note: Not that this is a debate, but I wanted to explain why I did what I did. This time I was ready to take an epidural if I ran into a similar situation to Luke's birth. Since I had so much postpartum anxiety troubles from the traumatic birth experience with him, I decided that it was the right thing for me to do. I have to take care of Luke and Rebekah this time and I felt it more important for me to do all that was possible to be the most functional mother that I can be. I don't regret the decision.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Last Pregnancy Pictures

Before I *try* to go to bed tonight, I am going to post some last minute pictures of our little girl in utero. Here she is at 41 weeks:

Hiding from the front:

Side view- wow, there she is:
Contractions are getting heavier and more regular, so I think tonight is the real deal. The next post will be pictures of our new little girl- stay tuned. :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

No Baby News, But Here is a Cute Luke Video

I went to the yard sales this morning. (Why not? No contractions yet :) )

One sale had all the things that Luke would love. We got an easel with a chalkboard for $3, a HUGE set of tinker toys for $3 and this lovely tent/house for $2.

When you live through Texas in the summer time, you begin to realize how important it is for kids to have indoor play items. And after rearranging the playroom, everything fit again too.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day and Dr. Appt.

Yesterday, we really had a lovely day. We went to church in the morning and stopped by Subway on our way home. One of Nathan's favorite things is to stop by Subway and get the 2/$10 footlong subs on Sunday after church. Then we go home and read the Sunday paper. It has become sort of a special routine for us, so being that it was Father's day, we made sure that it was on the agenda.

Later, I made eye round steaks. I found a recipe from Cooks Illustrated that turns out fabulous, so we have made it for a few special occasions. Luke even devoured his portions.

After dinner, we all went outside. Luke and I went in the pool (which was glorious!), while Nathan sat on the patio and just enjoyed the outside. We have had great evening weather lately and still no mosquitoes to speak of (due to the really bad Texas drought).

Today, I had an appointment with the midwives. They are pretty sure that there will be no baby this week, but I have dilated 1-2cm and am beginning to efface. The baby still has not dropped too low and was at about a -2 station (for those who speak baby positioning language). That is good news for us- on one hand, she will probably wait for Nathan's mom to get here (June 28th), and on the other, I am actually progressing.

Friday, June 17, 2011

What we have been doing

Here is a list of some things that we have been busy with lately:

1. Today marks 38 weeks of pregnancy. We have been busy getting the final things in order before our little girl comes. Diapers, wipes and other little things are all here. The room is all set up, the baby's bag is packed. I have appointments every week and the midwives have continued to say that everything looks good.

2. I have been working with Luke on a new routine since he has decided that he no longer needs a nap. Now he has a rest time at about 1:30 for about an hour. He stays in his room and listens to Winnie-the-Pooh, Peter Rabbit, or Dr. Seuss. His favorite is Pooh and it has been fun to hear his new vocabulary.

I wish that he would have waited a little longer before dropping the nap since it does make him cranky, but Nathan and I are enjoying the earlier bedtime. Also, if I get really desperate to get him to rest, I can usually take him for a short ride in the car and he will sleep for a little bit.

3. Nathan has been working away on all of his work projects and took a trip to Ohio last week. That was the last trip before the baby comes, and hopefully for a while after that. We have been discussing baby names and still have reached no conclusions. I think that we will just take a list to the hospital and decide when we see her.

4. My dad visited last week and spent countless hours playing with Luke. They went outside and they played with Luke's Thomas the Tank Engine Lego set that I found at yard sale (score!).

We also celebrated Father's Day early with a trip to a BBQ place. It was definitely a Texan way to celebrate. :)

5. Most of my free time has been taken up with selling things on Amazon, Ebay, and Craigslist. We continue to find things that are just taking up space around here and it feels good to see them gone.

Also, selling off stuff is part of our larger plan to pay off debt. We have recently been turned on to Dave Ramsey and his getting out of debt plans. We don't have a whole lot to get rid of, but it would be really nice to finish up paying off Nathan's student loan and a couple of other things. At first, I thought that Dave Ramsey was kind of a used car salesman, but after listening to the testimony of others that I knew and reading The Total Money Makeover, we decided to try it out. It is really motivating to have someone encourage you not to spend money when everything else tells you to buy, buy!

That is about all for now. I'll try to be posting more often and will definitely post when the big event occurs.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Swim Class

Here are some pictures and a video of Luke's last swim class:

1. Floating on his back with Ms. Brittany

2. Standing on the tower in the middle of the pool, getting ready to jump. Jumping off the tower was one smart way that the instructors got the kids to get comfortable going completely underwater.
3. Into the water with a big splash!
4. Having fun at the end of class on the mat:
And a video: