Friday, November 27, 2009

Just another family pic…and some vacation thoughts…

 

Portrait Family (4)

Mostly I just wanted to try posting through Windows Live Writer instead of directly on blogger… but I thought it would be a good opportunity to share another photo!  (Don’t worry, there will probably be more to come.)

And to mention a thing or two about our vacation… It is so, so, so nice to live without alarm clocks and just relax and BE.  Sebastian’s routine is a little off, but all in all, he’s doing quite well considering the circumstances.  He’s sleeping in a different environment, eating new foods, surrounded by lots of people (12 others in our house and 11 in the house down the street), and taking it all in pretty gracefully.  We’ve had two nights of struggling sleeping patterns (fortunately not consecutively), but we’re thankful for a relatively chill and easily adaptable baby. 

Just to emphasize the flexible nature of our baby, here’s a snapshot of bath-time last night… The kitchen sink was occupied, so we used our bathroom sink.  Sebastian seemed to enjoy it just the same!  :)

IMG_4174

Our time is quickly coming to an end.  Sigh… My “list of things to do” while on vacation still has lots of items on it!  I realize that vacation is a time to relax, but at the same time, the fullness of our everyday lives prevents us from crossing off some of the things on our list in a timely fashion.  So, off we go to be a little productive while relaxing! 

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Beach photo shoot

While at the Outer Banks, we planned a photo shoot with all of Tim's family, which was great fun - not to mention an adventure - to get all 18 of us looking at the camera and smiling with every hair in place at the right time!  Ha!  Thank goodness for digital cameras with super fast shutter speeds!  We took advantage of the opportunity to get some shots of our own little threesome.  There were multiple photographers helping out, which made for a ton of fantastic shots, but lots of work sorting through all the photos!  Many thanks to all who snapped some pictures.  There were soooo many to choose from, and I'm sure I'll be at it for months... But, to pique your interest , here's a glimpse of some of our favorites!



Tuesday, November 24, 2009

making memories...


First experience with sand dunes...

First time beach lounging with Grandpa Martin...

First kiss of ocean breeze on the back of his neck...

First touch of sand on his little toesies...

First caress of salt water on his soft skin...

First trip to an aquarium and first sight of real, live turtles...

First picture of the family in front of fish sculptures...!

Sebastian was fascinated by the crashing waves, the howling wind and the sea life behind glass walls at the aquarium.  It's so much fun to watch him experience all of the wonders of this incredible world for the first time!  Oh, to have the awe and curiosity of a child seeing, feeling, touching and hearing God's creation!

One half




Our baby is six months old today!  We continue to be in awe of God's goodness and grace as we watch our baby grow and develop.  We are so blessed to be his parents, and he is such a JOY to parent.  Of course we believe he's the cutest baby around...and some may say that's our parental obligation, but we know it's also just plain true! 

Check him out sporting his 1/2 onesie!  This was a fabulous hand-me-down from my cousin-in-law, Crystal, who sews up a storm, making all sorts of fantastic things for babies, children, and the home.  She's very creative, and has a true gift of craftiness... she works as a stay-at-home-mom.  Check out her Etsy shop here for other neat creations!  She's made a quilt and pillows for Sebastian's nursery, which we're thrilled about!  We'll be sure to share photos of the finished product when it's in our possession.  
Sebastian is rolling all over the place, scooting around and trying to crawl.  We now realize that he can't be left alone... as we have found him several feet away from where we originally left him on several occasions.  He loves to smile and laugh, and he loves to be around other people.  We have a very social son!  He makes friends very easily, and we continue to believe that he will be used by God in special ways because of his personality. 

His taste buds are blossoming...as he's now had a taste of rice cereal, sweet potatoes and pears.  He seemed to really gobble down the sweet potatoes we tried that were from a jar, and then I decided to make my own sweet potatoes as a special treat for his half birthday.  Ha!  They say a picture tells a thousand words - you'll get the idea of his reaction to my rendition of sweet potatoes today by these photos!  I'm sure they'll grow on him over time...

I can't believe how time has flown... it seems like just yesterday we were coming home from the hospital with a tiny little bundle. What an amazing journey we're on! Happy half year, baby boy!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Smelling the ocean


Sebastian and mommy are visiting the Outer Banks for the first time (Tim was here when his brother Jeff married Lori 5 years ago), and that means Sebastian gets to experience the sand, wind and waves for the first time!  We were up early to catch the final glimpses of the sunrise, and Seb seemed engaged and enamored.  He's always loved  nature, and now he's sold on the ocean!  Unfortunately the storm (Ida) that occurred last week has left behind a lot of debris and gritty sand AND the water is way too cold to even remotely consider going in for a dip.  But it's beautiful and peaceful, and we're glad to have a break from the regular routine of life and spend time with family. :)


Aren't my two boys just the most handsome ever?!?! 

Monday, November 16, 2009

For the first time

Sebastian got a taste of something other than good ol' mother's milk. His smart daddy thought to grab my BlackBerry to capture this moment on video. He's still not entirely convinced, but we're getting there, poco a poco.  Mostly, he just wants to chew on his spoon or grab it like a big boy.  We're already convinced that he's going to want to feed himself sooner rather than later.

video
I was anxious to try some rice cereal with him, because he seemed to be very interested in watching Tim & me while we're eating these days. He doesn't want to miss a beat, and he's been grabbing for everything in sight. But, at the same time I felt a little bit guilty, because he's two weeks shy of the six month mark...which is the new-ish recommended time to wait for any type of solids.
My doctor mommy guilt was kicking in..., til the next day when I saw an 8 week old for a well child check, whose mother told me she started rice cereal a couple of weeks ago (insert YIKES here) and her son just LOVES it...and she did it because her mom told her to... you know, he'd sleep better! And that was right before she told me that she always puts him on his belly to sleep, because he LOVES to sleep on his belly and sleeps so well that way! Ugh... sigh... wiped away any feeling of guilt I was having pretty darn quick. And guess what - my word over her mom's? Not a stinkin' chance. Sigh... (again).
And yes, I did tell her that she was giving me chest pain.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

a double take...!

That's what everyone keeps telling me they're doing when they see me - they have to do a double take, cuz they don't recognize me.  Why?!?  Well, four days ago, I went to get a haircut (something I hadn't done since June!!!), and came home with about a foot less of hair and what felt like 10 pounds less weight on my body!  I did it!  I chopped my hair!  I still have a hard time believing it.  I haven't had hair this short in probably about 18 years!  But I like it. And it feels good. 

I took some photos with my phone to document the big ordeal. 

Here it is... all braided and ready to be shipped off to Locks of Love


A view from the back.


And a view from the front.  My hair is still kinda damp in this picture. 


Another shot, the day after, when I washed my hair myself (still working on the appropriate amount of shampoo and conditioner) and actually let it dry before taking the picture.



And the side view...!

People ask me why I did it.  I don't have a great reason, except that I felt like it, I was tired of losing so much hair, a little bit of mommyhood kicked in, it was a bit of an impulse decision, and I felt good about donating my hair for a good cause. 
 
I have to admit, I was a little worried about the reaction from my two boys.  Tim was the ever-perfect husband, who greeted me when I walked in the door by pausing the meeting he was leading, standing up, kissing and hugging me and telling me how great it looked.  And Sebastian slobbered all over me, just like usual - his way of showing his love, and never seemed to be phased.  My fears that he wouldn't recognize his mama were completely unwarranted.  Silly me. 

Once people figure out who the mystery woman is, they are generally very complementary - cute, smart, sharp, sexy, academic, fun, love it, etc!  I threw them for an even bigger loop by wearing my glasses all week, because I think I have a corneal abrasion that I'm trying to let heal.  Short hair and glasses! 

Anyways, If you're thinking about a change in your "look," go ahead and do it.  Chop it off for Locks of Love!  It might take a little getting used to, but it's worth it, and you'll be glad you did.  Just like me.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Baking for Jesus

I had to chuckle at myself a little bit, because as I was making these scrumptious scones below, I told Sebastian that we were baking for Jesus... which in reality, we were.  He was helping out, playing in his bouncer, and giggling at his silly mama, when I did the zester dance (a little jig while using my zester to gather rind from clementines). 
Anyways, the reason we were baking for Jesus is because these yummies will be for sale at an indoor missions yard sale tomorrow... to support Ralph & Deb Muenstermann - this is the couple whose MST (Missionary Support Team) we serve on - and they are preparing to leave in January for Youth With A Mission's Discipleship Training School in Kona, Hawaii, followed by ministry in Germany. 
So, take a peak, and try the recipe yourself, cuz they are delicious!  And, if you're in town, get on over to ACTS Covenant Fellowship tomorrow morning to buy yourself some.  I'm sure they'll go fast!  He he!


Here's the recipe, in case you're tempted! 
From Cookies, Irresistable Biscuits, Brownies and Bars by Hilaire Walden

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
1/3 c sugar
pinch of salt
5 Tbsp butter, chopped
grated rind of 1 large orange (I used 3 clementines, cuz I didn't have an orange)
1/3 c raisins (I used craisins, cuz I thought it just sounded better...and I'm pretty sure it is)
1/2 c buttermilk
milk for glazing


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Grease and flour a large baking sheet.
2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add the butter and rub in until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3. Add the orange rind (or other citrus) and raisins (or craisins). Gradually stir in the buttermilk to form a soft dough.
4. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 3/4 inch thick. Stamp out circles with a floured cookie cutter.
5. Place on the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with milk.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden. Serve hot or warm, with butter or whipped cream, and jam.  (I ate mine all by itself and it was scrumptious!)


Cook's tip: For light, delicate scones, handle the dough as little as possible. My friend, Peter, came by in the middle of the process and confirmed this tip.  He said he made scones last week, and the butter should be cold.  He said, "there's something to that!" when I told him the tip said to handle as little as possible. 

YUMMY!

Here are the details of the indoor yard sale, if you feel compelled!

Missions Indoor Yard Sale and Pancake Breakfast

ACTS Covenant Fellowship in the fellowship hall
Saturday, November 14, 8 am- 12 noon.
Ralph and Deb are having a moving sale and have invited friends to also sell their things with all proceeds going to missions. Come join us for shopping or for a pancake breakfast (8:00-10:30 AM). Some items available include: toys, baby gear and clothing, plants, kitchen and decorative household items, some furniture, men and women clothing, unique handcrafted jewelry, and baked goods. If questions, call 717-664-4036.
Directions from Lancaster City: 1927 Wheatland Ave. (take Columbia Ave, turn right on Eisenhower Blvd. at DQ, go 3 blocks).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Vote for the cutest lil' pumpkin!

So, I don't consider myself the type of mom that would enter my kid in all sorts of contests, but this photo makes me super happy, and I can't resist giving Sebastian a chance to be the cutest kid around!  Besides, this is not a contest that involves being the next Gap baby or on the front cover of a magazine... it's just plain being cute...and I might win something like a nasal aspirator (woo hoo!!!) or a car seat from Safety 1st.  See - good, wholesome stuff for a cute, cute baby. 


From now until November 19, you can vote daily for my entry in the Safety 1st "Too Cute to Spook!" Halloween Photo Contest. If one of my photos earns the most votes in its category, I win a grand-prize package!


Click here to view my submissions and vote for my photo.  Unless the layout changes, Sebastian should be the first picture in the second row.  Vote, vote, vote!  If you bookmark the page, you can easily find it to vote everyday til the 19th. 

Please spread the word by forwarding this information to family and friends so they can vote, too! Thanks so much.
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