Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Springtime visit from Mimi and Papa

A Blog post from Luke's perspective:

Last weekend, my Mimi and Papa visited.  We had lots of fun together.  On Friday, we visited one of my favorite bouncy houses.  I had lots of fun running from inflatable to inflatable.  Mommy and Papa tried to keep up with me, while Mimi watched Abbey in the stroller.

On Friday night we grilled yummy burgers on our back patio.  After dinner, Mommy and Daddy and I went on a walk to enjoy the beautiful weather while Papa and Mimi stayed back at the house with Abbey.  When we returned home, they had a surprise for me!

When I got back home from our walk, I noticed an Easter basket filled with goodies.

They also hid some Easter eggs around the house, which I soon discovered were filled with chocolates.

And they were yummy!

I also got some new friends--Max & Ruby and Tuck (from Wonder Pets)

On Saturday, we went to my favorite park.  Mimi rode this fun swing with me.

Mommy says this is the longest I have ever stayed on a swing.  I am usually a slide kind of guy.

Later that day, Abbey and I were thinking about how much fun we were having with Mimi and Papa.

I showed Mimi and Papa how I can swing by myself now.

Papa and I pretended the rocks in our backyard were different ice cream flavors.  Papa taught me some new flavors like Pistachio.  I like to say "Pistachio" with my funny voice while I make a funny face.  Like in this video:

So, when we visited my favorite Italian market on Sunday after church and I could pick any kind of Gelato (that came with my kids meal), guess what I chose?  Pistachio!!!!

Abbey and I took a picture with Mimi and Papa on Sunday right before they left to go back to their home.  Abbey had her serious face on.

Papa and Abbey

Monday, April 16, 2012

Our 2 1/2 Year Old!

Time has been flying by so quickly since Abbey's birth, that Luke's half birthday just slipped on by.  Luke is now a 2 1/2 year old.  Drew and I were just talking yesterday about how I need to write a blog post about what our little buddy is up to so that we do not forget.  After all, our blog serves as our baby book of sorts for both of our children.  I refer back to it pretty regularly to remind myself of what Luke was doing at certain ages, and even compare him and Abbey.  We are so thankful that we have documented the happenings of our family these past few years.

So, about our little Luke.  He is hilarious.  He makes us laugh each day with something new he is doing or saying.  Lately, he has been putting one hand in his pocket.  He tells us his phone is in his pocket.  Of course, he doesn't have a phone in his pocket, but he wants to be like his daddy, who carries his phone in his pocket.

I love that when I tell him something like, "You are a funny little dude", he will reply, "I'm not dude, I'm Luke."

I think he is pretty smart, but I know I am biased.  :-)  He surprises me with what knowledge he just picks up.  The other day, we were counting to twenty for some reason, and he just kept going....twenty one, twenty two, twenty three and so on.  He sings his ABCs very well and knows how to spell his name.  He also always asks me how to spell "mommy", "daddy" and "Abbey", so I am pretty sure he is trying to memorize that as well.  He draws and recognizes various shapes.  His favorite shapes are circles and squares.

Drew made a comment recently that sometimes Luke's grammar seems better than ours.  He knows how to use words in their proper tense.  For example, last night I asked him if he was finished with his milk.  He responded, "Yes, I drank it."  He uses "I", "me" and "my" properly as well.

He sings lots of songs.  Drew and I noticed that when he hears a new song, he will ask you to sing or play it over and over (so he can memorize it).  Then, it becomes part of his repertoire of songs he performs.  We have been trying very hard to capture him singing some of these songs on video, because he has such a precious voice.  But every time he sees we are recording him, he stops singing.  Perhaps he has performance anxiety.  His current favorite songs to sing are "B-I-N-G-O", "Jesus Loves Me", "I Love You", "The Itsy Bitsy Spider", "Zaccheus", "Old MacDonald" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."  I love to hear him sing.  Here are a couple of videos I captured with my phone when he didn't know it.  Because he is also playing with a Dora house, he is multi-tasking and is not fully into it, but at least I caught something on tape. 

Physically:  Luke is about 29.5 lbs and is almost 36 inches tall.  He loves to play soccer and basketball.  He actually dribbles the soccer ball very well and is extremely accurate when he aims for the goal.  He has become pretty accurate at his basketball shots as well.  Lately, nearly every time I pick him up from his school, he is shooting the basketball at their little basketball goal by himself.  He likes to work hard at mastering things and is very persistent.  From what we have seen, he doesn't like to perform until he is really good at something.  So, in basketball for example, he will try over and over in private at making baskets.  But, if he misses on the first shot in front of others, he tends to not want to continue to shoot. 

Luke is very strong-willed.  When he wants something--he will continue to persist until he gets it.  And, when he does not get it, it usually doesn't go well.  We are working through this right now.  :-)  Patience is another thing we are working on.  When he wants something...he wants it now...not in 5 minutes, not in two minutes. 

He is very passionate.  I would say he is pretty much opposite of "laid back."  We have often said that we got our "drama" in our first born--who happens to be a boy. 

He likes to run fast.  Lately, when we are about to go outside and we are putting on our shoes, Luke will ask, "daddy/mommy are you putting on your fast shoes?"  He knows that some shoes (like flip flops) slow us down. 

His favorite things to play include anything that requires creativity.  He loves to color pictures, create art projects, paint, play with play-doh, or build objects with legos.  He also absolutely loves to pretend.  He will pretend play with anything!  Of course, these are his favorite indoor things to do.  His absolute favorite thing to do is to be outside, playing with a ball, playing sports/games, playing at a park or on a playset.  He is a daredevil and enjoys to play on the "big kid" playsets.  This kid absolutely has no fear!

He loves pretty much any fruits, vegetables, milk products and grains.  He is a little more picky with his meats, but he will eat them.  His favorite foods include any fruit and pizza.

Although Luke is so energetic, I know that I get my cuddle time with him each morning after he wakes up and at night before he goes to sleep.  He absolutely loves to cuddle with us and is such a loving little guy.  These are my favorite times of the day. 

He loves his Abbey.  Lately, when we go somewhere and someone comes over to Abbey's carrier to look at her, he proudly says, "That's my Abbey.  She's my sister."  He is already very protective of her. 

We love our Luke so much.  I am sure there is so much more I could include about him, but for now, those are some of the things I want to remember about him at two and a half years old.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Fun to Make and Eat!

This afternoon I ran out of ideas to entertain seemed he was hungry all day long.  We played with play-doh.  We played outside.  We played with cars.  We created some pictures with stamps and stickers.  We colored pictures of Mickey Mouse.  We watched TV.  He ate lots of snacks.  Since I didn't want him to eat anymore crackers or watch any more TV (we really try to limit TV watching in our house to less than two hours a day), I decided it would be fun to cook something together.  This would serve two purposes: food and entertainment.  Then, I remembered that I bought an Auntie Anne's pretzel kit on the clearance end cap at HEB a couple of months ago.  So, we made pretzels.

Luke liked mixing the yeast into the hot water.

He enjoyed kneading the dough.

He REALLY liked kneading the dough.

He liked kneading it so much, that he threw a bit of a tantrum when I had to put the dough up to rise for 30 minutes.  So, we got our play-doh out and he kneaded that while the real dough was rising.
Next, it was time to roll out the dough.

Then, we made our pretzel shape, dipped it in our baking soda solution, salted it and put it on the baking tray.

Daddy got home just in time to eat a hot one straight out of the oven.

Luke said the pretzels he made were yummy in his tummy.

right out of the oven.

The cinnamon sugar pretzels were Luke's favorite.

If you give a toddler some Play-Doh...

If you give a toddler some play-doh, he will want to make some fruit with it...

Then he will decide to make some veggies to go along with it...

After he makes the veggies, then he will want to create a game of matching fruits.  After he plays the game, then he will want to count how many matches he has...

After he counts the fruit matches, he will realize that the fruits look like circles....

Then, he will look in one of his books, Goodnight moon, for circle shapes and make objects that are in the book out of play-doh...

After he makes circle-shaped objects out of the book, Goodnight Moon, he will remember that we read the Bible story of David and Goliath three times last night.  So, he will want to get the Bible story book out.  After he sees a picture of a sun in one of the stories, he will want to make that out of play-doh, because it looks like a circle shape.  Then, he will need to make David out of Play-doh...

 After he makes David, he will need to make a giant to go along with him.

 and when he's all done....he will need to make some fruit because he realizes it is snack time.   

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Abbey is already 3 months old!

I can't believe our little baby girl is already three months old!  She has changed so much since she was born.

Here she is when she was just a couple of days old:

Born 1/3/2012.  Weighed 7 lbs, 6 oz and was 21 inches long.

And here she is now:

Here is what she's been up to lately:

  • She smiles practically non-stop when she is awake.  She melts my heart every time she looks at me and smiles. 
  • She makes the most precious sounds as she "talks" to you.  
  • She rolls over from tummy to back and back to tummy.
  • She sleeps through the night (on most nights).  Last night, she slept from 8pm to 6am.  Mommy loves this!
  • She loves to watch her brother.  I can tell she is already enamored with Luke.  
  • She spits up quite a bit, but it really doesn't seem to bother her most of the time.  So, we think she is growing out of the acid reflux situation she had earlier on.
  • She enjoys sitting up.
  • She lost most of her hair, but it is growing back in.
  • Her eyes are a beautiful brown color.  At times, they almost look green to me.  I am sure they are still in the process of changing.  
  • She has doubled her birth weight. She now weighs almost 15 lbs and is 25.25 inches long!
The other day when Abbey was rolling around, I took a short video with my phone.  The mat she is on is not ideal for rolling around, because it doesn't give her much space.  Our poor little girl ran into the plastic side and then hit her face with a rattle she was holding.  :-( But, at least you can see her roll.  I really do not take nearly enough video, and need to be more intentional about taking videos with our actual camera instead of my phone.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What We Missed...

Our church home's Easter Sunday worship service.

We had a blast being in Oklahoma and visiting family over Easter weekend.  Drew and I only missed one thing about not being at our own home for Easter:  worship service at our church home, The Austin Stone Community Church.  Our church has three campuses in the Austin area and 4 service times at each.  It is very rare that the entire church comes together at one time.  Well, for the second year in a row, our church has done just that.  On Easter Sunday, the entire church met at one service time at the Frank Erwin Center (where UT plays basketball).  

It looks like it was an amazing service!  I have already watched it on youtube.  There were over 13,000 people worshiping God at one time.  I imagine it felt like a small glimpse of what heaven might be like.  The worship was spectacular and Pastor Matt Carter's message was an awesome reminder of the difference between Christianity and other religions.  The topic of his sermon was "Religion vs. The Gospel" and it truly is a must-listen for any Christian.  I have embedded the video to this blog post for your convenience so you can be a part of the message as well.  :-)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Weekend

This past weekend, we visited Tulsa for an Easter extravaganza.  It was a fun-packed weekend with the family.  On Friday, we visited the Zoo and then grilled steaks outside while playing croquet.

Cousins at the Zoo (Abbey was sleeping)
On Saturday, the guys played golf, while the girls did some shopping.  Later, we had a Mexican feast back at Grandma and Grandpa's house and colored Easter Eggs.  After coloring eggs, we roasted marshmallows in the firepit and made delicious smores.

Coloring eggs with daddy

There was a lot of Easter egg coloring action going on in this room.

Roasting Marshmallows

Easter Sunday Family Photo

Of course, Sunday was the most important day, as we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We started the day in our Sunday best and went to Church.  Later, we had an Easter feast with immediate and extended family.  It was a beautiful day, so we spent most of it outside.  The kids hunted eggs, and then of course, the adults participated in the 3rd annual guys vs. girls adult Egg hunt.  We had so much fun this weekend with family!  Here is a slideshow with captions showing some of the fun we had:


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cracking Down On Our Energy Use

I received this email a couple of days ago:

That is a weekly email I have been receiving for the past few months from the utility company that provides our electricity.  I guess the rising temperatures have caused our air conditioner to stay on longer.  Also, I think we have been running the washing machine and dishwasher more than usual.  I think it was easier to handle before I began receiving emails like this.  I would just receive the monthly bill in the mail, and yes, at times, it was shocking.  But now, I think I may have the tendency to obsess over our energy usage (remember my thriftiness post a few days ago?), anxious to see whether changes we make will affect the weekly numbers.  Dishes will be handwashed, clothes will be worn more than once before washing, TV will be on less, and the thermastat will be set at a greater temperature, while ceiling fans will be turned on.  :-)