Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tutu Cute!

My mom made Moriah this tutu and it is so adorable! Moriah loves shaking her bootie in it, and she also likes it on her head.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Diet Coke Surprise!

We went shopping at Target this morning to look for a stocking for Levi for next year. My mom got a diet coke and set it on the cart by Moriah. Boy was Mo surprised when she took a sip! We placed it next to her again so I could take pictures of my little cute coke stealer. She has never had it before and didn't even like it. She spit it all out down her dress. I think mom and I about peed ourselves we were laughing so hard. Maybe next time she will leave our drinks alone (mom carried her drink the rest of the time).

(Sorry the pictures are sideways, I am on my parents computer and couldn't get them turned the right way.)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

So This is Christmas...

Luke 2

1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.
4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

I pray your are enjoying this day and celebrating the Savior's birth. What a wonderful day!!!

Praying for Uncle Mike

My Uncle Mike got suddenly ill on Christmas Eve and is currently in the hospital.  They suspect that he has a viral infection that is damaging his heart.  Please keep him and his family in your prayers as they try and get through Christmas with this horrible news.  The doctors have air lifted him to a hospital in SC where they can better evaluate him and preform a heart transplant if needed.  They are trying medicine to see if they can fight off the infection and have his heart heal on it's own.  He has a rare blood type and could be hard to find a donor match.  His condition has come as a shock to our whole family and my heart just breaks for his wife and kids.  Thank you for joining me in prayer.      

Friday, December 19, 2008

28 Weeks and He Has a Name!

Well, I am 28 weeks today! Woo Hoo! My belly sure is getting huge but that is ok with me.  I had my first visit to the Birthing Center yesterday and everything is right on track. I am measuring right where I should be, his heart beat is strong and boy is he an active little one! The midwife was laughing at his antics when she was trying to get his heart rate. He just didn't want to be still. I think I might have my hands full with this little guy. I can't wait to meet him!! He is still in the breech position but he has some time to turn himself, so we are praying that he does.  I was VERY impressed with the midwife and I look forward to meeting the other three at my next appointments. She was very informative and answered all my questions as well as educating me on things I didn't even know about yet. I am even more excited about giving birth there now.

My mom has booked her flight for Levi's arrival. Hard to believe he should be coming in less than three months. I am really glad my mom will be here to help with Moriah while I am in labor and afterwards while we get settled into being a family of four. It is such a blessing to have her! She was a huge help when Moriah came. Zack just found out at work that he will get 10 days off when Levi comes. We are thrilled! He didn't get that much time with Moriah (5 days, I think). It will really help us to bond and get into a family rhythm before I am at home alone with two little ones.

Incase you haven't caught on yet, we are naming our little guy Levi Dickenson. We don't have a middle name yet but we are sure he is a Levi. I love that it means united, joined or attached. I am so thrilled that I get to have the privledge to be Levi's mom. I know God has great things instore for him and I get a front row seat! Only 12 weeks to go before we get to see his sweet face.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Moriah has recently been impressing me with her ability to associate.  I just wanted to share with you some of the funny things she said today.  We were in the kitchen and I threw away a can.  She pointed to the garbage and said, "Yucky."  SO CUTE and true!  We were then reading a story where there is a picture of shoes and she said, "Bye, bye" when I pointed at them (we don't wear shoes in our house so she knows she only gets them when we are leaving).  When I was changing her she got her hands on her nasal aspirator and held it to her face (trying to get it in her nose) and said, "Nose."  When she sees a phone she says, "Hi, Nana!" because she talks to her Nana at least once a day.  When she sees a soft blanket she tells us, "Night night."  Tonight she was in the tub and I asked Zack if she was ready to get out.  She replied "Out."  So Zack asked her if she wanted out and she said, "Out, please."  She has never even said out before!  Those are just a few of the things she did today, I am sure if I dwelled on it I could think of more.  It is just blowing me away what she knows.  I am so glad I get to be around her all day to pick up on all her changes.  I love my little associator!  

Friday, December 12, 2008

'Tis the Season to be Busy

We are so busy the next couple weeks and then we are off to TN and FL for a Christmas road trip so I just wanted to take a moment to update.  

Moriah is successfully off the leaking sippy cup!  She now is attached to another kind and prefers not to drink from any other (especially milk) but at least it doesn't leak so she can have her new special cups.

She has been sleeping very well the last couple nights.  No more vomiting and very little coughing, yay!  Thank you Jesus!

We have picked a name for our son...well a first name at least.  I will post on it after Christmas but I am SO excited about our choice.  I have my glucose test and my first appointment at the birthing center next week.  I will try and blog about it before we leave for our trip but no promises.  He is a very active little boy and enjoys moving around in the night.  I am praying this isn't a sign that he will have his nights and days confused.  We are doing MAJOR rearranging in our home to make room for him.  After we get back from the holidays we will be doing the final preparations for his arrival and transitioning Moriah into a toddler bed.  YIKES!  Hard to believe he will grace us with his presence in just 3 months.  

Well, that sums it up for now.  We have a busy weekend full of holiday parties.  3 that we are going to (5 that were scheduled!).  We have had to gracefully decline some parties just for the fact that we are bogged down with things right now.  I don't want this holiday season being any more stressful than it has to be.  We are, after all, celebrating the birth of our Saviour, not trying to see how many white elephant games we can play at how many different parties, right?  We are trying as a family to keep perspective of what this time of year is REALLY about.  Jesus.  I will try and blog next week about my favorite holiday traditions, both old ones from childhood and new ones we started with Moriah.  I love Christmas!!!

I'm off to do some more cooking for our small group bible study party tonight.  Hope all of you have a great weekend!  

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lessons Learned in the Night

Well, I hate to admit it, but the last couple days I have been a mess.  I have been very stressed and frazzled.  My to do list before we head out on our Christmas road trip is just overwhelming.  To top everything off I have had a very defiant, cranky toddler.  Moriah is getting four molars at once and seems to have entered the "testing twos" early.  On Monday she was literally laughing at me when I would tell her no.  Zack said it seems like someone switched on the naughty switch.  Don't get me wrong I am still madly in love with her and she is still SO sweet and adorable but wow, she has been pushing my buttons.  

Needless to say that all my stress and frustration culminated yesterday when my baby girl woke up from her nap after just 30 minutes and vomited from coughing.  I literally cried.  I felt bad for her for getting sick (I was seeing flashbacks to three weeks ago when she was so sick and miserable), then I felt bad for myself for having to smell it and clean it up, and I was so sad that she wouldn't go back to sleep after the whole ordeal.  So instead of having her nap time to finally tackle somethings on my list, I had a baby who was into everything but didn't want me out of her sight or she would cry.  By the time Zack got home I just need help and we worked on the list till about 9 PM.  I am SO THANKFUL for such a great hubby who encourages me and supports me.  I couldn't have done it yesterday without him.  

So, this brings me to my lessons learned in the night.  Last night Moriah continued to cough and choke and vomit.  I think she woke up every two hours and then she took a good 30 minutes to be comforted back into dreamland.  I did manage to get 5 hours of sleep in.  During all that time awake God reminded me of things I should have already been doing.  I was so stressed and frazzled not because my list was long, or my daughter was driving me nuts and then got sick.  Rather I was stressed and frazzled because I was not leaning on Him, I was not seeking what He would desire me to do, I only saw my list.  He showed me in the night while I held my baby girl, all congested but so sweet snuggled up against me that:

He will sustain me and my sick girl.  
Psalm 54:4 Surely God is my help, He is the one who sustains me.

He will heal her.  She will not be sick forever.
Matthew 12:16 ...Many followed Him, and He healed all their sick.
He will give me the strength I need to face the challenges of motherhood and this season.
Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.  My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song.

I just have to ask and let Him.  What a gracious loving God we serve!!  I am praying Moriah sleeps better tonight but if not maybe I will learn something new, or be reminded of what I should already know, again.

I hope your day is going well, mine is sure going better than the past couple days.    

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sippy Cup Trouble

I’m in trouble. My little girl has become attached to her special sippy cups. She is refusing to drink from any of her other cups. This normally would be fine except that these cups tend to leak. They are GREAT transitional cups from bottle to sippy but now that Moriah has the hang of drinking from them, she needs to move on to the more traditional cups. She likes to spike these cups too and the lid has been known to come completely off, sending the cups contents everywhere. Ahh, I have created another parenting challenge for myself...I think it is going to be a rough couple days getting her off these cups.

My New Nephews

It was so great to get down to FL for Thanksgiving and be with family.  I got to meet my two new nephews.  My brother and sister-in-law are in the process of adopting a 9 year old and a 13 year old.  I am so excited for them and what this means for their family.  Unfortunately the process has been a rocky one and they could use some prayer for the system to actually process the adoption and all the paperwork so they can have the boys start living with them.  Right now they can just have them for weekend visits (which is such a blessing, considering two weeks ago they were told no).  The boys were SO SWEET and the older one really loved on Moriah.  She adored him too.  They both seem to really look out for Hannah and treat her as a little sister already.  You can click here for more pictures of our Thanksgiving trip.

Monday, November 24, 2008

So Thankful!

This year is a rare treat for us.  We are going home to FL for Thanksgiving AND Christmas.  I am beside myself with joy!  We have not spent both holidays with family since before we were married and moving all over the place.  Since we don't know what next year holds (we may be overseas) this could be our last chance for a few years to be home for both holidays.  I have to admit that I am looking forward to shopping with my mom on Black Friday almost as much as the yummy food we will eat Thursday!  Zack has been a great sport and has gone with me the last few years (including when we were in Korea and there was only one store to go to, but we were still there waiting in line at 6 AM and received $100 in gift cards because of it!) and last year my sister-in-law ventured out with me too, but it will be so fun to go with my mom like we did all growing up.  I can't wait!!!  

Needless to say, the last two days have been filled with craziness.  I am so thankful for Zack because he has helped me get our fall decor put away, Christmas put up and the house clean.  I hate leaving a dirty house when we go on a trip because that means I come home to a dirty house.  It has been hard to get ready for this trip and get everything done because I have been suffering from the same cough that my little girl had last week.  I am functionally sick but I just feel like all my energy is gone.  Thankfully all I have left is some packing and we are set to fly out tomorrow!  I will update my blog with pictures after we get back.  I hope each of you enjoy your Thanksgiving and time with family.  I will leave you with the top five things I am thankful for...I had to limit it or my blog would be never ending, God is so good!

1. Salvation- not a day goes by that I am not reminded of how blessed I am to be saved by grace.  Thank you Jesus!

2. Family- I have a hubby who really loves me completely and continues to demonstrate his love for me everyday.  Sigh, I am such a blessed wife.  We have a beautiful daughter who just lights up our life and can't wait to meet our little boy in March.  I am also blessed with amazing parents who taught me about God and his grace since I was a little one.  They are an amazing example to me of how to have a Godly marriage and raise your children to serve the Lord.  I have a sweetheart as a Granny who is an awesome prayer warrior and two grandparents who keep me laughing and playing cards.  Not to mention my brothers, sister-in-law, niece, soon-to-be nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins who are just so wonderful!!!  I could go on and on about each of them.

3. Friends who are like family.  I know I have blogged about this before but we are so blessed with amazing friends who treat us like family.  Being moved and far away from family and support is so hard.  Everywhere we have lived though God is faithful in providing us with friends we can count on.

4. Laundry soap and dryer sheets.  So after my three typical, but sincere, things I am thankful for I decided to think about what has helped me through today.  And let me tell you, I am SO thankful for laundry soap and dryer sheets.  Without these two things my home would stink and be a mess.  Whoever invented them, mad props!

5. My cell phone.  Mine looks the same as Zack's and this morning he took mine instead of his.  Never knew how thankful I was for a cell phone, with all my needed numbers, as when I didn't have it.  Thankfully I did have his phone to use when I was out and we met for lunch and switched.  Thanks AT&T for your services!

Happy Thanksgiving!      

Friday, November 21, 2008

24 Weeks and Going Natural

It is hard to believe that I am almost 6 months along.  I am not sure if it is because this pregnancy seems to be going smoother than Moriah's did or because I am chasing a toddler around, but time has flown!  This past week we have made some big decisions about where and how to have this little guy.  

If you would have told me last year after having Moriah that I would have a goal to give birth to my next child without medication I would have told you that you were NUTS!  We had a great birth experience with Moriah.  We were in a hospital (the President's hospital, so you know it was a good one!) and I had an epidural.  There were no complications and she was a happy healthy little sweetie.  So, why change when things went so well?  God has truly brought me on a journey the past couple of months.

To start with, the hospital where I had Moriah is a 45 minute drive with no traffic, and 2 hours if there is traffic.  The thought of having to spend an entire day in the car and at the doctor's office with a toddler for every appointment did not sound appealing.  The only other option I knew of was to switch to have OB care closer to my home and have the baby in the county hospital.  I did my research and talked to other moms-to-be who were seeing the OB I was thinking about going to.  They all had great things to say about him.  My next step was to talk with moms I knew who had delivered at the county hospital.  They all had great things to say about their experience so we made the switch.  I have to say I was not totally thrilled about my OB, only for the typical doctor's office reasons.  I have had two cancelled and rescheduled appointments, waited for an hour past my appointment to see him and felt rushed out of my appointment and unable to really communicate to him what my desires for birth are.  Not too horrible, I have time and many more appointments to try and discuss these matters.

Then a friend of mine had her baby at the county hospital.  Since I did my mom survey they have changed their hospital policies.  They actually removed her nursing, hour old infant, from her breast for tests.  She didn't get her infant back for several hours and in the mean time her infant received formula from the nurses instead of being nursed.  WHAT?!  As I looked at her baby through the glass, I was shocked to hear a tour guide say to a group of expectant moms that this was STANDARD!  Are you kidding me?  That is my friend's baby and she is fully capable to feed her and the nurses are fully able to preform their tests on the baby in her room.  It was also sad for me to see a little baby behind the glass whose diaper had come undone.  I stood there for 5 minutes and no one even noticed.  How sad.  He was in there all exposed for anyone to see.  These tiny gifts had mommies and daddies who were aching to snuggle them and get to know them and they were being left alone, seemingly neglected.  It broke my heart and I decided then and there that my baby would not be born in that hospital.
Thus I began my search for an alternative hospital with better policies and who were fully supportive of me breastfeeding and keeping my baby in the room with me.  (For those of you who don't know, I had MAJOR issues with Moriah and nursing and she ended up on formula.  She is happy and healthy and I am just so thankful that there are good formulas out there for those who can't or choose not to breastfeed.  That being said it is VERY important to me to have a good beginning for breastfeeding and hopefully have better success this time.)  At this point I was still trying to figure out if I wanted an epidural again and was interested in finding out more about natural childbirth and a birthing center I heard about.  Long story short, I did more research (it's a big decision, so I wanted to be educated in all my options) and began to think that having this baby naturally was the best option for me and him.

We toured a birthing center this week and I LOVED it!  The hospital is right down the street from the center so if anything happens we are just a five minute ride away.  It is not the same county hospital either, so if I did for some reason have to go there my midwife would come with me and my little boy would not be taken from me after delivery.  I am very nervous about the whole no drugs thing but I know this is what God has called me to do for this birth so I know I can do it.  

I highly encourage all of you who are expecting to be educated in all your options.  Looking back on Moriah's birth, I was not educated in my options and what the risks were.  As I said, we ended up having a great experience but I know now that it wasn't the best one we could have had.  Some of the things I have become more educated about are delayed chord cutting, risks of medication to me and the baby, how to lower my chances for a c-section, relaxation techniques for managing pain during labor, and alternative pushing positions.  
Anyway, we are looking forward to our little guy arriving and what his birth will turn out to be.  God knows exactly how it will go and I am trusting in Him to give me the strength to bring our baby boy into this world.  I can't wait!!!  

Also, we still have not agreed on a name.  My vote is for Levi but we aren't unified in that yet.  Anyone have any great baby boy names you want to share?  We are open for suggestions, as long as you don't feel offended if we don't pick yours. =)  Names are very important to us and we pray long and hard about which one is right and what the meaning is behind the name, so it takes us more time to decide.  I will keep you posted!        

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Moriah's new favorite word is "elpa." What she is trying to say is help and it is adorable. She also tries to do the sign for help and comes close but not quite. All morning today she has been asking for "elpa." I love that we are beginning to be able to communicate successfully. If she wants the door open, she says "elpa." If she wants on her little car she says "elpa." The only tricky part comes when I don't know what she wants help with. Then we both get frustrated, but more words will come in time. I can't wait to see what she is saying when she speaks to me in gibberish. She says the same phrase over and over and even uses her hands to talk when she says it. It is hilarious, but we have no idea what in the world she is saying. She seems to think it is quite important, though, and gets pretty emphatic. Maybe one of these days I will figure out exactly what she means.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Praise the Lord, Moriah made it through the night with out vomiting!!  My aunts, mom, and friends gave us some awesome advice.  Last night Moriah slept with the humidifier right at her head, a vapor plug in, vick's on her feet, head propped up, and a dose hyland's homeopathic cough syrup.  She still woke every so often to cough and get a drink but there was no body wrenching coughs or vomiting.  She sounds worse today as far as congestion but I am assured by the best pediatric nurse practitioner I know (my aunt, who's awesome) that this is a good thing.  It just means her congestion is breaking up, yay!!!  Now we are just praying that she continues to get better so we can travel home for Thanksgiving with a happy, healthy baby.  

Monday, November 17, 2008


Well, this week has just crawled by really.  Moriah is sick, thus making everyone in our house so tired.  She does ok during the day but as soon as she goes down for the night the body wrenching coughs start.  My poor baby wakes up about 3 times in the night just coughing and coughing until she vomits.  Then we begin the clean up process and putting her back down.  I think the past 5 or 6 nights the most sleep I have gotten in one night is 6 hours, of course not consecutively.  Between the midnight showers to get vomit out of my hair and the soothing a sick baby, there isn't much solid sleep going on at our house.  

The doctor seems to think it is just allergies since she isn't showing any signs of infection.  Her lungs are clear and she hasn't had a fever at all.  So, benadryl was recommended.  We tried it and it scared me so badly!  Moriah zonked out so hard from the meds that she slept through coughing, vomiting, being cleaned and changed and her bedding being changed.  I totally couldn't sleep the rest of the night for fear of her throwing up again in her sleep and choking on it.  People die from aspirating!  She wont be having benadryl again any time in the near future.

Nothing seems to help.  We have tried cutting down her milk intake, humidifier, vick's baby chest rub, honey and lemon (which she promptly rejected and gaged), propping her head up, etc...  We are at a loss of how to help or little girl feel better and get over this whole coughing thing.  Anyone have any ideas?  They would be well received!  For now I am going to get started folding the mound of laundry that has accumulated from all the night time (and a few daytime) sickness and pray for some relief for my little Mo tonight, right now preferably.  

Monday, November 10, 2008

Best Weekend Ever, and still going...

The past few days have been so much fun. Just a quick run down...
Saturday we had a wonderful family breakfast at Chick-fil-a. We then dropped Moriah off at a friends and Zack and I had a much needed adult date day. It was WONDERFUL! Major thanks to Jen for keeping our baby while we had some time together. We saw a movie (Eagle Eye, very good) and strolled the mall. Two totally peaceful activites that were so relaxing. We then proceeded to dinner at Houlihan's. Just the thought of eating without rushing and stopping to feed a toddler or entertain her was so appealing.  When the food came I decided I had a new favorite restaurant, it was DELICIOUS!!!
Sunday was a surprise girls day. Zack watched Moriah and I got to spend some girl time chatting over lunch, shopping and getting Starbucks. Another totally relaxing day that concluded with seeing my dad. He came up for business and stopped in for dessert and a quick hi.
Today I started the day off with a nice, but cold walk. Then I spent some precious time with my friend Kaylyn and her baby Aven. It was so good to see them and see Aven and Moriah interact. They didn't really play together but I had fun chatting with Kay. It is always good to get another mom's perspective on things and trade info and ideas. Kay lives down south so we only get to chat in person a couple times a year. I cherish the time!

Tomorrow is Veteran's Day so Zack isn't working.  We have a family day planned but we aren't sure what we will be doing yet.  I can't wait to spend the whole day just the three of us hanging out and being a family.  No time schedule, no chores tomorrow, just being together.  SO EXCITING!  I will post on Wednesday what we ended up doing.

I hope your weekend was as fabulous as mine was, and really continues to be...

Friday, November 7, 2008

How Does She Know?

Today I am in my room finishing blow drying my hair, something I rarely get to each day.  Moriah is happy playing in my room and her room and seems to be going back and forth freely, which is totally fine with me, I just needed a couple more minutes to be finished.  All the sudden I hear...nothing.  So my mom radar goes off.  I know she isn't sleeping so if I hear nothing I am positive it is one of two things going on.  She has either stopped breathing or is doing something she knows she isn't supposed to do.  I turn the corner to discover her in her closet with a box of tissues.  She is taking them all out and tearing them up.  First, I must stop myself from laughing and telling her how cute she is, because she totally is!  I must focus on the fact that she knows she isn't supposed to be playing with tissues and she has chosen to disobey.  I then have a heart to heart with my one year old about obedience.  She seems unflustered by the whole event and goes about her playing.  

I am so glad I only had to clean up tissues today, well, I have to clean up tissues today (they are still on the floor in her room where she is currently sleeping, I'll get to them later).  Anyway, she could have easily been into the flour or something much messier or dangerous.  What I want to know is how does she know, at one year old, that she needs to be quiet when disobeying?  Who taught her that?  This is a topic I have been thinking on for the past week after discussing it with my cousin.  I can only come to one conclusion: My baby is a little sinner.  It is in her DNA to disobey.  I didn't have to teach her to be quiet, sneak and get into things.  I have to teach her to obey and not touch things that aren't for her.  

It is sometimes frustrating trying to mold her and get her to obey, even in the little things like tissues.  It would be far easier to just let her go to town and rip the tissues up, after all what is it hurting, right?  But it would be hurting her.  I would be failing to teach her boundaries and to obey.  I have already told her not to touch the tissues so if I just let it slide, how would that benefit her?  In the long run it would make things so much harder for me to get her to obey.  Anyone else have any thoughts?  Anyone willing to answer differently?  How does she know to be quiet when she disobeys?  Where does she learn that behavior?

Meanwhile enjoy some adorable pictures of my little tissue lover.

 Fleeing the scene of the crime...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Walking and Chick-fil-a

We went for our morning walk in the mall today because it was FREEZING outside.  We had snow in our forecast but it never actually fell.  The mall is such a great walking alternative for me for this winter.  It is a circle and each lap is about a mile.  I am a visual kind of person.  I get so bored on a treadmill but walking around the mall seems better somehow.  The only downfall is that I need to be careful not to spend money on my walks.  
This morning after our walk we went to Chick-fil-a with our walking buddies.  Lunch probably negated all our walking efforts but it sure was fun!  Moriah usually doesn't like play grounds.  She gets scared on them.  I am not sure why, but I think it might have something to do with being able to see the ground under her but not being on the ground.  She hates mulch because she hates being dirty, so that only leaves the swings for her to play on.  She LOVES the swings.  Today I found out that she loves indoor play places.  I am thrilled!  She has never played on one before, and contrary from the outdoor playgrounds, she actually left my side and went exploring.  I was so proud at how brave she was.  I think visiting play places will be a frequent thing for us this winter.

In the tree house above and just being happy to play below.

Monday, October 27, 2008

We are having a boy!

We found out today at our ultrasound that we are having a boy!  We couldn't be more excited.  Zack thought it was a boy and he was right, making it two for two.  Everything looked great.  We have a happy healthy baby nestled in my tummy.  He weighed about 13 oz and was measuring within 2 days of my due date.  We were even able to see his face in 3-D  which was so cool.  Zack thinks he has my facial structure but I couldn't really tell.  I can't wait to meet him!  I have to admit that I am a bit nervous about having a boy.  I know girls, but I am looking forward to getting to know this little guy too.  We are still talking about names, I will keep you posted when we decide on one.   Praise the Lord for such an amazing blessing and the ability to see our baby boy today.   
Really cool 3-D facial shot.  

His profile.
Proof of his manhood.

Jay Came

Jay got to come for the weekend and it was so good to spend time with him.  It was a relaxing weekend of just hanging out and doing whatever.  He was a wonderful guest!
Moriah loved cuddling with her uncle and played the up down game with him.  Jay was a good sport though and picked her up almost every time she asked.  
Ooo, Jay has teeth!

Friday, October 24, 2008

20 down, 20 to go...

Me and my two babes.  I was trying to get a picture of my baby belly but Moriah wanted "up pull" (up please) so we took one together.  She is doing well with her baby she got for her birthday.  She is sweet with it and gives her kisses but really isn't that interested.  I don't think she gets it yet that she will be a big sister, even though we tell her all the time.  When we talk about the baby in my tummy she just does the sign for baby and looks at me as if to say, "What are you talking about, Momma?  Let's sing the baby bumble bee song!" 
Here's my big belly.  Half way to the baby's birthday and already obviously very pregnant.  I am feeling really well though overall.  I have been walking about 3 miles a day with some of my friends and that has totally helped me stay feeling good.  With Moriah's pregnancy I was working full time and was SO tired all the time.  I am tired more than usual but it just doesn't seem as bad.  The walking has also helped to keep my weight gain low.  Only 5 lbs so far, pretty good I think.  
I love this stage.  I am "showing" but not uncomfortably huge yet and I am feeling the baby move more everyday.  I have been feeling the flutters for about a month now but Zack is even able to feel some of the movements with his hand at this point.  I love that!!  We have an ultrasound on Monday and we will hopefully find out if it is a baby brother or sister for Moriah.  Things have gone very smoothly so far, we are praying that I continue to have a healthy pregnancy and that the baby is healthy and stays put till mid-March.  

Thursday, October 23, 2008


So thus far I have considered myself very blessed.  I have an adorable dainty one year old who really doesn't like to be dirty and usually keeps herself pretty clean.  I hear all these moms talk about horror stories of hands going everywhere during diapering, spaghetti all over the place, and just general nasty baby things.  I am not naive, I know it is perfectly normal for babies and toddlers to exhibit these gross behaviors, I just thought I was lucky that my baby was different.  Well, she was different, until today.
I was doing a routine poopy diaper change and she turned on me!  She grabbed one of the used wipes and proceeded to smear poop all over the wall.  Then after I took it from her she had poop on her hand.  YUCK!!!  It didn't seem to phase her though, she just looked at me like I was crazy as I franticly wiped her hand, finished the bottom cleaning and closed her up.  I then cleaned off the wall and whisked her to the bathroom for a thorough hand scrubbing.  Thank goodness there were no traces of poop on her or her clothes or we would have had a whole body scrub down.
So I guess my little cutie isn't as different as I believed.  Props to all the moms out there who have to deal with this on a regular basis.  I am sure I have more of these "laughable" mom moments in my future.  Good thing we have lots of soap and sanitizer on hand.  

Bows and Cold Noses

This morning Moriah got into her bag of bows.  She kept trying to put them in her hair herself and then would hand them to me to put in her hair.  It was pretty cute!
Searching for the perfect bow.

So pretty!  Once they were in she of course took them all out.

My sweetie ready to have them put back in again.  I love times like this when she is just so stinkin' cute and fun.

We went for a walk after our bow playtime and it was SO COLD!!  The weather said it was 32 degrees before we left but I think it was in the 40's by the time we got back.  The fresh air was nice but I think we might have to resort to walking around the mall pretty soon.  Is it just me or was fall really short this year??  Isn't the 30's more like winter weather?!?
Hope you are enjoying your weather where ever you are.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Mommy and Mo Time

Unfortunately Zack has been really swamped this month with school and homework. Even though it was a Saturday, his day off, we just spent it the two of us so he could study and work on work. It was a gorgeous day so Moriah and I went for a nice walk and played at the park. It was wonderful!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pumpkin Picking

Moriah and I went with some moms from our church to a great farm near by. We took a hay ride and picked our own pumpkins right off the vine. Afterwards we had a picnic lunch and hung out. It was a surprisingly hot day but we had a blast!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Much Needed Girls Day

I am so blessed. Yesterday I was able to spend the day with girlfriends. We got pedicures, chatted over lunch (I ate the whole meal while it was still hot!), and strolled the mall. It was so refreshing. I am so thankful to Zack for being such a wonderful dad and taking care of Moriah. Ahh, it was a great day!
Today Moriah and I are busy cleaning the temporary house, finishing cleaning our house and grocery shopping. Man, I am tired! Hope you are enjoying your Monday.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Fall Cleaning!

Yay! So last night we received an e-mail of the air quality test results and the mold is out of the air in our home! Praise the Lord!! Today, with the help of some amazing friends, we got a good bit of the mold cleaning done. Basically, the mold spores that have settled on our furniture and belongings needed to be cleaned. This just means we had to do a deep clean of everything. Move furniture, vacuum EVERYTHING, clorox what we could and wash the rest. It has been an exhausting day. We even managed to steam clean the carpets. Tonight, I am happy to report that we are sleeping in our own beds. Poor Moriah was scared when we put her down for her nap. She didn't remember that this was her home.
We are still praying about moving off base. We found a great condo last night and are praying about if God would have us move there. It is bigger and in a good location, we just aren't sure if spending the money to move would be worth it, as much as we want to get out of this place. At least e are officially toxic mold free! Thank you for your prayers.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Decision 2008

Hehe, no this is not about politics, but about our family's future. After much prayer and counsel (thanks Dad) we have made the decision to stay in the military for at least four more years. Wow, it was so touch to write that and admit it. My dream is to one day return to FL and be settled for good but God has other plans for me right now. It is hard for me to come to terms with that but I know that great things are in store for my little growing family and I am excited about our future. Sadly, I think this means a return move to Korea is forth coming. We will know more in the coming year as to if that will happen. Thanks for everyone's prayers, we are confident that this is what God has for us right now, even if it isn't exactly the plan either of us wanted.

Next, we are still homeless. Quick update: I did my research on the type of mold growing in our home, spoke three doctors, an allergist, a John Hopkins Researcher of Mold, and a CDC mold specialist. Through all of my phone conversations I have become very knowledgeable in the mold field. So much so that I have been educating the safety inspector here on base. He is the one taking the air samples and told us it was safe to move in. Since speaking with all these pros in the field, no one can tell us for certain if it is safe to move back in. The toxic mold that was in our ceiling and is in the air sample is still in the research stages. It has been known to cause major health problems but only when a certain strain of the type of mold is present and it is virtually impossible to tell if we have that strain in our home. They took another air sample to see if the air quality has improved since they did the repairs. We are still waiting for the results. So where does that leave us? We are still trying to get approved to move into another home on base but the powers at be are really digging in an saying no. So, we are beginning to look off base for housing. Now that we have more time here, we can sign a lease. More updates to come.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Moriah is One!

My Sweet Baby Girl,
It seems like just the other day we took the drive home from the hospital with you, and now you are a year old. From the start you were a joy. You loved to just sleep and cuddle with Daddy and I. We savored every moment of your tinyness, and fell in love with you the moment we laid eyes on you. What a privilege to watch you learn about the world. Your wide eyes just take in everything around you. You were so nosey from the time you were born. You never want to miss a thing. If you hear a noise or see something new you are fixated on it until you figure out what was going on. May you always take in everything with such wonderment!
You have been petite all your life. Always low in the percentages given to us by the doctors, but we think you are so perfectly formed. You may be little but you have a huge personality. From a very young age you could communicate what you wanted. If you had a toy or were somewhere you didn’t want to be you would let me know. I learned early to listen to your cues and change according to what you were telling me. I pray that you always know the desires of your heart and that those desires would be to first and foremost please your Savior.
Daddy and I have taught you about Jesus since the day you were born. You were prayed over in the hospital just moments after you were born, that you would grow up strong not just physically but strong in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Your bedtime routine is to read the Bible, pray and get tucked in. You love looking at the pictures of bible stories. Daddy and I treasure this time of teaching with you and look forward to the day you choose to give your life to Christ. We pray for you daily and we also pray for ourselves that we are being good examples of how to serve Christ.
You are a fast learner and a chatterbox! You have loved the sound of your voice since you realized that you could produce sound. What started out as cooing and gargling has turned into words. You are willing to try and say anything we ask of you and you can remember how to use it correctly. You continue to make us laugh with your communication skills. It is adorable how you whisper a word quietly when you are unsure if you are saying it correctly but as soon as we tell you, “Good girl!” you clap for yourself proudly. What a pleasure it is to see you accomplish things. You have mastered rolling over, crawling, standing and now walking. The happiness you display as you clap for yourself just makes me smile.
One of the best parts of having you for my daughter is seeing you with your daddy. He loves you so deeply! You return the feeling. When Daddy comes home from work you get so excited. You stop what you are doing (even if it is playing with your favorite toy) go to him and wait for him to pick you up for a cuddle. When your daddy plays music, oh how your face lights up! How attentive he is to you and he even allows you to help him play his music. You help him strum on the guitar and dance like crazy to his loud music. Even when you were too little to even move around, daddy could get you to calm down by playing you songs. What a privilege it is to see such love between you and your precious daddy. I pray that it is always this way. That your face always lights up for your daddy and that you always see the love and devotion he has for you. What an amazing Daddy he is.
This first year of your life has been such and adventure. We have been able to travel with you to Florida, Amish Country, go on a cruise to the Bahamas, take you to Williamsburg and Busch Gardens and to Tennessee. You have been a trooper on all your travels, so content and easy to please. One of our favorite things to do as a family is hike. You enjoy the outdoors and Daddy loves having you ride on is back in the backpack. Every time we are out at a store, in the doctor’s office, at a restaurant, or anywhere, you are given complements on what a beautiful baby you are. You are so friendly with everyone. When strangers talk to you and tell you how gorgeous you are you simply smile and wave, sometimes even talk to them. They just think you are the greatest, and I agree! Your Grandma, Grandpa, Nana, Papa, Aunts and Uncles all are just enthralled with you and the love you share with your cousin Hannah is just precious. She loves seeing you and talking to you on the phone. You sure are such a sweetheart.
God has given us an amazing gift in you, my little Moriah. I cannot thank Him enough for the blessing you are. I can’t imagine you not being part of our family. I love staying home with you each day, spending that quality time, just the two of us. You love to cuddle close to me and give me kisses and I love it that you find security in my arms. You have grown and changed this year from a tiny infant to a bubbly baby who is just tons of fun. I love you my little baby girl. I am so excited to see what God has planned for you this coming year because this past year has been so fabulous.
Happy First Birthday Sweetie!

Monday, September 22, 2008


That is the name of the mold in our house. The health inspector assured us that we can move back in. We do however need to watch and see if we have any adverse reactions to this type of mold and get tested for any allergies. As I stated in my last post we have no internet right now so as he was telling me this over the phone I couldn’t just look up that specific type of mold. After Zack got off work we went over to a friends house to use their internet and found out that this type of mold is linked to causing lupis, cancer, and scoliosis. Yikes! So we are still praying about what to do. I talked to Moriah’s docotor this morning at her one year check up and she gave us a referral for allergy testing to see if Moriah is predisposed to having a severe reaction to the mold. My OB recommended that I not be tested since I am pregnant. Zack needs to get in touch with his doctor to set up testing. The question comes if we should move back in the house till we find out if we are allergic, move off base, or still try and fight it out for a new home on base. I have to be honest and say that I am over it all. They have cleaned out all the mold and we can clean all our belongings and just have a home again. Being a drifter is getting old. Thanks again for your prayers!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Temp Home

As of this past Thursday we have moved into a temporary home. It is exactly like our old home just across the street. The base has filled it with furniture and all the kitchen goodies we need. It feels like we are staying in a huge hotel room/house. It is really a blessing because Zack’s mom and my parents are coming this week to visit for Moriah’s first birthday (crazy that she is a year!) and we were stressed about where to put them. Well, we now have room. The three bedrooms have beds and dressers so they can just stay with us in the temp home. We are hoping to hear something any day now about what kind of mold is in our home. They have already torn open the ceiling, cleaned the mold with bleach, put mold retardant on, sealed the ceiling back up and painted. An air sample and a mold sample were sent off to a lab for testing. Once the tests get back we can see exactly what was growing and if it is safe to live in our home. If the mold was toxic we have to seek a new home, since toxic mold can cause severe health problems and permeates the home. All the carpets have to be replaced and the entire home has to be bleached. If it was just regular mold the worst that would happen is we have allergy and respiratory problems while living there. It will not cause permanent damage and my OB assures me that it is safe for the little baby inside me. So if it is just regular mold we get to move back home and just give everything a good scrub down to try and get rid of as much of the mold spores as possible. Thank you all again for your prayers, sorry updates have been slow in coming. We don’t know anything yet and the temp house doesn’t have Internet. God has truly provided for us during this time of displacement and we are trusting He will continue to do so as we find out exactly what is going on with the mold.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fish and PB & J

Three kids, correction, three crabby kids, cooped up in a house can make anyone crazy. Now, imagine three crabby kids cooped up in a house where two daddies worked the night shift and are trying to sleep, so the mommies are trying desperately to keep the kiddos quiet. An impossible feat even for a seasoned mom! Between the screaming because of not sharing, and the crying because of hunger, it was enough to send us to the Aquarium. So we packed up all our kids, packed a lunch and headed out. It was such a relief to have them be free and do something new. Moriah enjoyed her first peanut butter and jelly sandwich. She ate half a sandwich! I think she liked it. The boys and Moriah were enthralled with the sea life and even had some run time where Moriah said, “Let’s Go!” for the first time. She is learning all sorts of new words just from being around the boys.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


What a blessing it is to have great friends. Since being abruptly sent out from our home, we had a place to stay almost instantly. We were able to stay for a week with some friends who also live on base. They are blessed with a four-bedroom home so there was plenty of room for all of us. Moriah adores their two boys and loved playing with them. They got into plenty of trouble too. Here are some pictures of her living it up with the boys, including playing, chili dinner time, Ben dubbing her King of the Muffins by placing a puffin cup on her head, and some chip time with Adler (they found a bag, busted it open all over the floor and went to town eating them). It was fun to live with them for a week. We are still waiting for mold results, more updates on that later.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Black Mold

First, I want to apologize.  Seems like all this blog has been about lately is our roof problems.  I want to give this update though because we desperately need your prayers.

On Wednesday they replaced our roof.  The job went smoothly and the workers couldn't have been nicer.  To our surprise, they even finished the job in one day.

Yesterday, they came to repair the damage done to our ceiling and opened a can of worms, well mold really.  Moriah and I were not at home, we didn't want the dust in our lungs.  So that left Zack to oversee the replacement of our ceiling.  The workers cut into the drywall and low and behold, black mold.  The health inspector was called and we were literally kicked out of our home.  The mold was sent for testing, which could take up to two weeks.  So until we find out if it is safe to live in our home we are kicked out.  I am so thankful to our friends who did not hesitate in offering their home to us.  We have none of our belongings, just a change of clothes for each of us.  Zack is returning to the house today for some more testing of the mold.  The workers cleaned everything in our ceiling and around where the leak was with bleach and are also returning today to put mold retardant and close the ceiling back up.  

Surprisingly, or really not surprisingly, military housing is still refusing to give us a new home!  We are really struggling with the housing office here and are taking proactive steps to ensure that we are not going to be living in an unsafe home, especially with me pregnant.  Our prayer is that they grant us a new home and the test show the mold is not toxic.  If the results come back toxic, we have to have all our belongings cleaned and how the throw away all our food, ect...  Until we find out we have to treat it like toxic mold, which means we can only take things out of our home that can be cleaned with bleach.  Zack is going to bring us some more clothes today, which all need to be washed again before we wear them.  

I can't put into words the stress this is putting on us.  Right now we just feel so overwhelmed with everything.  We literally had no notice, just all the sudden it wasn't safe for us to be in our own home.  We really aren't sure where to go from here.  We are just waiting to hear back from the inspector and the housing office.  Thank you all for your  prayers, they are GREATLY appreciated! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

Well, the military housing here made the decision that we can not move into a different home on base.  They will be replacing our roof and our ceiling over the next week.  Moriah and I will be staying at a friends house the day they rip off the ceiling.  There is a possibility of mold and we also don't want her (and the baby in me) exposed to all the sheet rock dust that accompanies a ceiling replacement.  Zack is going to be here to monitor the workers and check out the interior damage, to make sure we are living in a structurally sound home.  I have come to terms with this, although I must say I was really praying for them to grant us a move into a new home.  Even though they(the military housing powers at be) think they made the decision, God is in control and He knows why we are not allowed to move, even if I do not understand it.

What this means for us is that we need to make a decision.  If we are staying in the military we are going to begin to look for off base housing.  Anyone know of anyone renting a home?  But, if we are going to get out of the military we are just going to tough this home out till the spring when we move to FL.  Please keep Zack in your prayers as he feels the weight of the decision much more than I do.  Thanks for everyone who has been praying and asking how things are going.  I will continue to keep you posted =)

Monday, September 8, 2008

She Wants to Be Like Me

The other day we were eating lunch and I was using a spoon to eat yogurt.  Moriah kept reaching for my spoon and signing please.  It was so cute.  So we got her a spoon to "eat" with.  She didn't have much success but she is learning.  This simple lunch interaction got my wheels spinning.

I have been thinking recently about how much she wants to be like me.  If I am on the computer, she crawls over to me and pulls herself up, looks at me and says, "Up" and signs please.  She thinks she needs to be on the computer too.  If I am eating anything, she makes her way to me smacking her lips reaches for it and signs please.  If I am on the phone she melts down until I let her say hi to whoever I am talking to (or give her a toy phone, which is rapidly loosing its appeal to her).  I know this is her way of learning, copying what we do and say but I can't help but ponder, what am I showing her to be like?  Am I showing her kindness, patience, love, and acceptance?  Or does she see my frustration with her sometimes, my anger at the dog for being a silly dog, or my stress with our problems with our home?  Am I showing her how to be like Christ?

I can't help but think of Paul, who said to be like him as he is striving to be like Christ.  That is what I want for my precious daughter who just wants to be like me.  I want to be like Christ, so she will see Him in me and want that for herself.  

1 Corinthians 11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The More I Seek You

By Zach Neese

The more I seek you, the more I find you
The more I find you, the more I love you
I want to sit at your feet
Drink from the cup in your hand
Lay back against you and breathe
Feel your heartbeat
This love is so deep 
It's more than I can stand
I melt in your peace
It's overwhelming

Psalm 27:4 One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Someone Who Cares?

Wow, Zack and I just had about a 45 minute long talk with the head maintenance dude where we live and he seemed to genuinely care about our roof plight.  He talked to some other "higher-ups" and we are having two people, the Deputy and the Director (I am not sure exactly who they are but their names sound important) come and look at our home on Monday.  We are praying they say we can move ASAP, but we know it is in the Lords hands.  We are just excited that we talked to someone and something was done the same day, amazing!  Praise the Lord!!  

I hope your Thursday has been great, I for one am turning in early.  Having a little one and growing a little one sure is tiring!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fun At the Park

It was a gorgeous, but kind of hot, day today.  The weather here has been so nice.  Cool in the morning and evening but still some heat in the middle of the day.  We are totally looking forward to fall.   After a morning at the Dr., and an afternoon of napping (for all of us), we  we decided to take Moriah to the park across the street.  I think all three of us needed the fresh air.  As we approached she began squealing and kicking her legs.  She was trying to call out to the kids who were already there playing.  It was so fun to watch her on the swing and slide.  She thought she could climb up the slide, only to keep sliding down.  I sure do love this girl!