Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Playing "balls" with Papa...

Solon discovered a new toy at nana and papa's house...he loved "tossing" the balls and watching them roll into the holes!  He called the game "balls" all weekend...Papa was so good to play with him for hours...
Love that look of wonderment - I can't get enough of Solon at this stage (I say that of every stage I know)- he is so funny, always has something to say, so sweet and loves to surprise me with a kiss and hug (love it :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bathtime with Nana...

Solon and Vera took a dip in the same place their daddy once did when he was a little boy.  Vera enjoyed her bath and gave Nana lots of smiles.  Solon was a little leary at first bathing in a sink but then he enjoyed playing with the cup we gave him...

What fun to continue the family tradition...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving 2011...


We headed up to Cedar Falls for the holiday.  Scott especially loves this holiday because he gets 2 PTO days...it has been the 1st time since he has taken a day since our little lady arrived.  He was ready for some relaxation.  AND that is just what we did.  We had a lovely meal on Thursday which his mom mostly made (we contributed 4 pies we made as a family :).  We watched LOTS of football, played board and card games, played "balls" (aka the balls on the pool table), snuggled and relaxed at home.  We also celebrated Scott's 29th birthday a week early with some very very yummy "Scratch Bakery" cupckaes (I highly recommend them - yum!).
 Vera's 1st Thanksgiving - we certainly are giving thanks for her!
Great Grandma got to meet Vera for the 1st time (Great Grandma is 91 - doesn't she look fantastic???)
4 Generations - Scott, his grandma, his dad, Solon and Vera
The beautiful table
Solon enjoying some coffee like the rest of us - it made me laugh
Scott's Parents aka Nana and Papa and the hosts of the feast
The buffet - so many yummies - everyone brought something and I only took a little bit of each and my plate was overflowing
And all that socializing and eating wears a girl out...

We have so much to be thankful for - our Savior, our family, our friends, our health, and our freedom!
Happy Thanksgiving 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sweet on a Sunday...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

It's Looking a lot like Christmas...

This year Solon realy helped with the tree decorating, daddy put up the lights and decor outside and I got the inside ready...
 
Little lady enjoyed watching - love that lip...
putting on the 1st ornament...his new ornament this year - a basketball...
trying another family tradition egg nog (non-alcholic) and he drank mine since Vera can't have dairy.  I did have 1 sip...

Vera enjoyed the lights...

Love this time of year!

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Friday, November 25, 2011

A little art project on an Australian bound package...


What brings more cheer than a little "doodling" from an adorable 2 year old.  Solon made the finishing touches to the Malin Christmas box and then we sent it off to Australia.  Hoping it arrives before December 25th.  We love you Malin Family :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving...

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; his love endures forever!
Psalm 107:1

May God bless and keep you this Thanksgiving.  We are so thankful for His love, our family and friends.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What I am most thankful for...

As we approach this holiday season, I am filled with thanksgiving for so many things in my life.  God has richly blessed Scott and I with so much.  We have 2 beautiful children and God has placed Scott and I together to work as a team, love and respect one another, and to lead our family to follow Him.  Scott is a devoted spouse, someone who loves me unconditionally and always has our family's best inerests at heart.  We have loving families, great friends, a warm comfy house, food on the table, a paycheck, 2 working cars and place to call home.  What more could we ask for?  Well there is something we are MOST thankful for and it cannot be bought, it is a free gift that we both have received and we pray our children and our children's children will also receive...

As we enter the holiday season filled with gifts, Christmas carols, candles and lights, have you ever thought why we truly celebrate this season.  It is because of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.  Have you ever pondered the lyrics to "Silent Night" or wondered why Jesus is referred to as a "savior"...have you ever wondered why he came to this Earth sentenced with death before he even was born...it was for you and for me.  We are born sinners and all fall short (it all started in the garden of Eden when Eve was tempted and bit the apple).  No matter how much good we do, how clean our lives look, we all fall short and there is a whole in heart we try to fill with everything but Jesus.  But just like the final piece of the puzzle, Jesus is the only thing that will fit.  Luckily for us, we can all claim him as our savior and this holiday season I thought it was just about time for you all to hear my testimony or how I came to know Jesus...


For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that we may not perish but have everlasting life in Him.

John 3:16

Realizing God was my personal savior has been a lifelong journey for me. A journey I didn’t know I was on until after I discovered Christ as my savior. I thought I was a believer my whole life, but thought I had to earn my place in Heaven. I grew up going to church and Sunday school.  I have a loving and adoring set of my parents who have built me into the woman I am today and thank them for my upbringing, I was blessed!
Like anyone else, my life was full of ups and downs.  I had a lot of insecurity and self-hate.  In high school, like many young girls, I was unsure of myself and was very insecure.  I hated myself for many years and didn’t believe I was worthy of anyone’s love, let alone God’s. Some of you may know that in high school I developed anorexia/bulimia.

I hated myself for many years and didn’t believe I was worthy of anyone’s love, let alone God’s, but to be honest he was the furthest thing from my radar. As I look back now, though, I see so many seed planters in my life. What is a seed planter? One of those people that lived their life for God or shared God with me. Their life was different from mine in an unspeakable way and they left a lasting impression.


My 1st semester of college was probably one of the most trying periods of my life. Not only was I going through the throws of growing up, living on my own, being responsible, etc. September 11th happened and for many of us here in Iowa it was a devastating day but it was especially devastating considering the fact that just the the weekend before my family had moved from NYC back to Iowa. They had spent time visiting the sights of downtown NYC and now they were forever changed. How sobering is the fact that my family had been saved from the devestation while millions of others had such loss. Shortly after 9/11 my Aunt Susan, a mother to 1 and 3 year old was diagnosed with terminal leukemia (she found out while donating blood for 9/11) and was gone just 6 weeks later. Every insecurity and anxiety I had about life and death was at the top of my thoughts. I could not get out of my head the thought of dying and why was there so much senseless death going on all around me.


I believe God’s first step in finding him was leading me to Scott.  Scott chose to give me his love of his own free will, I believed until I became a parent myself that my parents just had to love me (well duh as a parent you can't help but loving your children so strongly sometimes it hurts). As our love grew, we began to discuss important topics, one of them being our faith. We both agreed we wanted to make it a more serious part of our life, but college took over, and there was nothing pulling us in at any of the churches we attended. I believe now, my heart was not ready to accept Christ. However we continually watched Scott's sister and brother-in-law and how they lived their lives and there was just "something" about them and the way they lived differently for the Lord.

When I received my job in Ankeny, Scott and I decided to begin looking for a church. It was an act of God that we found our church home. I was looking in the paper and “something” in my heart told me to give it a try, now I know the Holy Spirit was working in my life even then. After my Aunt died at a young age, I always wondered how my life would end.  Death scared me and many nights I would lie awake worrying that my life would end and I didn’t know where I would end up.  I wanted the assurance of Heaven but didn’t know how to make that happen.

I remember one of the first services we attended was on continuous prayer. Pastor John answered so many of the questions that were on my heart, I know God had placed him in my life. I went home that day and began my journey of accepting Christ as my personal savior. Each week continued to be as eye-opening, a continuous answer to my prayers and questions, I would leave each week, being amazed that in our pastor's message God provided the answers I needed to know, as big as He is, he took the time to care for me and my concerns. My heart began to be filled, I allowed God to forgive me of my sins against  hating myself and along with that forgiveness, came self-forgiveness.
Scott and I were beginning to prepare for our marriage and really wanted to make it Christian-centered, and so we began meeting with one of our pastors. On that first Saturday, Larry asked us a question, "Do we without a doubt know we will be in heaven when we die?" A knot ensued in my throat, I couldn't be sure of that answer, and as I tried to choke the tears away, Larry said next, he could ensure us that yes we would be in heaven with God after our earthly life because God sent his only Son to this world and He died on that cross to save us from that sin. His words calmed my spirit, again God used him to answer my one over-arching doubt.  I knew in my heart I had to accept Christ into my life and claim Him as my personal savior!  Althought I could never do enough to win God's favor and earn entrance into heaven, I didn't need to, God had already sent that gift 2000 years prior so that I could accept him and repent of my sinful nature (my biggest sin in hating myself).

I have been saved for nearly 6 years today as I sit here typing and my life has not been perfect nor is any other person's.  I still have my moments of fear and anxiety but I have God now to help me through those moments.  He continues to be in my heart and this time of year is always difficult and there are days I really struggle with the loss of my Aunt. It still bugs me that she died too young. Now that I am a mother and have 2 small children just as she did, I can’t imagine leaving them and I begin to develop a lot of anxiety again.  But then I get into God's word, look up my favorite verses and pray to God. He helps me gain victory over the worry and the pain. 
I am going to leave you with one last thought…

Sometimes I think my life circumstances don't make sense. There are no connections, there is a lot of pain and hurt. But think about your life as a tapestry. We can only see the backside here on Earth, it is messy with knots and strings going every which way but someday in Heaven we will see the beautiful life’s tapestry God has made of our life.

For Sin pays his wage- but God’s free gift is eternal life in life with Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23





For some of you this may be weird or counter-cultural.  I have prayed long and hard over this post and I hope you know it is from my heart.  Just take it as a seed and may it linger on your heart.  Happy Thanksgiving, I have so much to be thankful for!  Much love and God Bless!

~Erin




Monday, November 21, 2011

2 Month Comparison: Siblings...

Solon (Left) and Vera (Right)

Solon weighed 12 lbs. 9 oz at 2 months and Vera 10 lbs. 13 oz...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Our Little Cyclone...

video
We like to teach them young around here and boy does he have enthusiasm for his future alma mater!!!
What a great weekend to be a CYCLONE and cheer them on to a surprising victory in overtime to Oklahoma State - we are bowl bound (well not us but the team and we will happily watch on TV)!

**Note the burp at the end of the video :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Looks of Little Lady at 9 weeks...

Sleepy...
A "tad" angry...
Peaceful....
Talking...
Curious...
...and all that tuckers a girl out!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Vera's 2 Months Old...

Our precious little lady is 2 months old now and she is growing and changing everyday.  We just love her SO much...words cannot express.  She fits perfectly into our family and it is already hard to remember the day she wasn't part of our gang.  We almost have a routine going.  She is a great nighttime sleeper but has come back into our room in the bassinet.  The crib was just too big for our peanut and she would wake up several times in the night.  In her bassinet she will sleep from 11pm-5am, do a quick feeding and then back to bed she goes until about 8-8:30AM.  Daddy and Solon do their morning breakfast as "man" time so that means mommy can sleep until about 7:30 and then have time to get ready for the day before daddy leaves at 8...
She is more and more alert everyday.  She loves to stare at her brother and watch what he is doing, loves to sit looking at you and talk to you or be sung to and she wants to be a part of dinner, reading books, and socializing.  This is where the routine kind of hits a snag, Vera does not like to nap and will hold out until she is overly tired and then want to be held for her nap (as I am typing she is in the Bjorn snoozing away :)....So the doctor said to start putting her down following a schedule of some wake time and then after an hour lay her in her swing or bassinet for a snooze and then if she wakes up after 20 minutes to let her cry for a bit and see if she goes down (tried that but she was stubborn and worked herself into a tizzy hence the Bjorn) SO we will continue to work on sleeping during the day (but I would rather work on that than the night time sleep so I am thankful!)
Vera now likes tummy time most of the time and will turn her head from side to side and her neck is getting SO strong too.  She can really hold it up when you are holding her or when she pulls it up while on her tummy.  She also smiles ALL the time.  She eats about every 3 hours and we go through about 6-8 diapers a day.  She is still in size 1 diapers and 0-3 month clothes but her legs are long and her pants are already getting short but she doesn't have a big enough tum-tum to hold the bigger pants up :)!  She currently has not pooped in 48 hours (Sorry TMI) but the Doctor said that is very common for breastfed babies at this age....so we will wait it out :)!  She still has not had a bottle but we are going to work on that ASAP as Scott's Christmas party is coming up :)!
She is such a sweetheart and melts our hearts so much.  She is all I ever desired in a daughter and making bows is all I hoped it would be (Wink!).  She wears lots of pink and I am currently working on her next size up wardrobe...oh the choices and the expense :)...good thing I am good at sales, coupons, and Christmas is right around the corner!!!!  Right honey??? 

We are so thankful to God for our precious daughter, we snuggle her close, give lots and lots and lots of kisses, praise God over every cute little detail from her sweet blue eyes to her teeny but long fingers and her oh so cute toes.  She is a true gift and we could not be more thankful!!!!

Here are her 2 month Stats:
10 lbs. 13 oz. (45th percentile)
**Have to laugh as I was 10 lbs. 7 oz when I was born :)
22.5 inches (41st percentile)

Everyone says her and Solon look so much alike...what do you think?  We think they are both perfect in God's image :) 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Vera's Nursery...

When little Lady was born we swung into quick action changing the "boy" nursery into all things "girly"...I like the way it turned out and if need be it can always be turned back into the manly space it once was (wink :)...

Okay so I was a TAD stressed about posting the room photos because I have 1 project left that requires Scott's assistance however he has a large honey-do list and so the oval frame is just hanging where it will once the project is complete.  A fresh coat of bright white paint and some polka dot fabric with a chocolate brown "V" (just envision for now!)  The accessories on her little shelfs all have some sentimental value.  The ballerina statue was mine, the puppy painting my mom painted, a sweet picture of Solon and her, a swet little silver keepsake tin from good family friends, a "Port" mason jar from her great-grandma filled with cotton puffs...

I re-did the valance and added the bow ribbon accents...I used polka dot fabric as the accent in addition to the little birdie bed sheet and pillow from Pottery Barn (you know me I like to make 1 splurge in the room and that was it :)
Doesn't the white wood work look so much better with her decor - love it!!!!
...and a sweet little lady enjoying her bed (kind of - she still sleeps in her bassinet for now)...thought you would like to see her oh so cute tights and the crib sheet.  No bumper for now, once she is a little older we put it in :)

Happy Girly-girl nursery!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What it looks like while mama makes lunch...

We love that daddy comes home almost everyday for lunch.  Generally, Solon goes running for the door yelling "DADDY!" and then I hand little lady to him too and they either read stories while I make lunch...We are blessed!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Craft Time...

Lately Solon and I have been trying to have a little date each day where he gets my undivided attention...He is really into running around pretending we are trains, playing "tackle", wrestling and other contact sports but he also LOVES to play with play-doh and do crafty things....


We made a ghost lantern out of an applesauce jar, tissue paper and flour paste (aka paper mache)...we then drew on a face after it dried in the sun with a sharpie - he loved lighting it and watching it glow on Halloween night!
...and we have a little abstract artist...he follows after his mama though and gets a wee-bit stressed when his hands get dirty but once I showed him how to finger paint, he was all over it!  We have been rotating out the art on the refrigerator but I have a little DIY/Honey-do project for Scott in our basement to make a floor-ceiling chalkboard wall (with magnet paint) so we can post all of his materpieces in his special kid space in addition to the fridge!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Chillin...





She finally found a zoo friend on her swing and was talking to it...so sweet!

Little lady is very laid-back and a calm baby and just loves to soak up her brother's antics and will carry on a smiley conversation with you too!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

For the love of the park...

I am amazed at how coordinated and agile Solon became over the summer...what a difference in development a couple of months make.  Solon really has very little fear and as long as Scott and I show him or do something with him once, he will do it again and again independently...
He learned how to go up the little rock wall...
...So so proud of himself at the top...this child soaks up words of encouragement, his face just lights up...
...and down the slide...

Solon will ask daily to go to the park.  He has his favorites the "red" and "green" park.  The "green" park is our neighborhood park and we can walk there in about 10 minutes.  He likes to get "exercise" and walk there - wonder where he got that from (we spend just a little time together **wink)  I will say a nice little walk to the park and playtime = a great nap time!  This little one has some energy to burn...what will I do this winter - let's just say with boys there are different rules than I thought I would have as a parent (jumping on the bed is a good form of exercise in our house - we just have parental supervision)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Happy Halloween - Trick or Treating...

It was a zoo around here....with a little giraffe running around and a baby monkey too!
Our little "zoo" - after several failed attempts at a "group" shot we decided this was the best we were going to get because what you can't see is Little Lady's increasingly mad face and when she gets mad Solon proceeds to freak out...which happened about 5 seconds after this shot and the photo session was then concluded...
We then (as awesome parents) bribed our child with an m&m to wear his giraffe hood for a photo (once it was on he wore it all around - well worth an m&m)
Had to get the tush - it was "stuffed" to give extra padding and make the tail stick out..
...note the smile...he got the hang of trick-or-treating rather quickly and even though Little Lady and I went home because of the cool temps, Solon kept telling daddy "nother house" pointing and then walking that way...I say we have a well-versed trick-or-treater on our hands...
Our little monkey - love the sweet pink bow on her left ear...much happier during her solo photo session in between handing out candy to over 100 kiddos (we ran out of candy - we have never had more than 30 - guess the kiddos are getting old enough to trick-or-treat)
...sorting his candy, he was very happy to share with Scott and I and he had 3 pieces before putting the rest in the bowl.  He has not asked for any since...and he didn't get too much because they just did people we know.  He did get a box of crayons which I thought was a cute "treat"...
...and Littly Lady thought the halloween stuff was very tiring...

I am sure glad Solon decided to wear his costume, it was touch and go until the very last moment.  We had several talks all week about Halloween and wearing a costume...everytime the conversation would go something like this -
Me: Solon you are going to be a giraffe for halloween, you walk around and wear your costume...
Solon: NO!
Me: Solon you are going to be a giraffe and wear your costume...
Solon: NO!

Maybe next year he will be even more excited to wear his costume but Scott thinks he inherited Scott's lack of enthusiasm for dressing up...we shall see!

Happy Halloween 2011
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