Sunday, August 11, 2013

Rylie is 4 years old!

Rylie turned 4 about...oh...3 months ago!  I got around to blogging Bo's birthday three months late, too,  so it looks like I'm on schedule here!  Jordan's birthday is coming up, so maybe I'll have her update by Thanksgiving;)

Anyway, I most definitely want to share about my sweet girl being four years old, even if it is so late! 

Rylie got this hand-me-down dress from friends of ours with 2 little girls.  I saved it for a few months so she could have a special birthday dress.  She was delighted with it!  Isn't it adorable???

Telling you that Rylie loves summer dresses would be an understatement!  She loves them so much that we got into more than one battle about wearing them EVERY SINGLE DAY this past winter.  I finally learned to pick my battles, and this was not one I wanted to pick!  When you go to battle with Rylie, you go to BATTLE!  I actually love this about her.  I'm praying that as she matures into a woman of God, He will use this quality of hers for His Glory, and that she won't back down when her faith is tested and tried.

This is the meaning of Rylie's name, and the verse we've prayed over her since before she was born.

Ever since Rylie was a baby, total strangers would comment that she must be the "ornery one".  Her orneriness makes her a complete joy to be around, but I'm quite sure it's the source of most of my gray hairs!

You get a new bike when you turn four at our house!
Rylie seems to live at the extremes of life.  If she's happy, she's extremely happy.  If she's angry, she's extremely angry.  If she's being silly, she's extremely silly.   It's like she puts everything she has into whatever she's doing.  I'm praying that God will use this quality about her as well, that she will live whole-heartedly for the Kingdom of God...that she would not be a luke-warm Christian, but put everything she has into living for Christ.

Ice Cream cake from College Hill Dairy Queen!
 Rylie is learning to draw people, and they look just like Jordan's first drawings of people.  A circle for the head, and two arms and two legs coming out of the head.  Rylie loves to do things with her hands, which makes me think she'll be a kinesthetic learner.  She's always been good at problem solving, which makes her very good at puzzles.

I'm going to do some preschool with Rylie this year, so one of the academic goals we have for her is that she'll learn the letters of the alphabet and the sounds they make.  She recognizes just a handful of letters right now.
Birthday set-up.
I would have never predicted this when she was a baby, but Rylie tends to be pretty shy.  Even though she's so fun and spunky, it really only comes out when she's in a place she feels comfortable.  This also makes it hard for her to participate in group activities unless she's gotten used to the group and the teachers/leaders.

One thing that Rylie got from me is that she doesn't like change.  It was the hardest on her when we moved into our new house.  She wanted to go back to the old house for months!  It made it even harder when we also started going to a new church at the same time.  She finds comfort in two things, though: her blanket and sucking her fingers.  However, the rule is that her blanket has to stay in her room.

Rylie plays very well with other kids, but she also plays very well on her own, too.  She could sit in her room forever playing with the doll house toys and pretending conversations among the family members.

Another thing I love about Rylie is that she likes to explore with me.  We have a great neighborhood for exploring where we get to discover all kinds of little creatures.

Rylie loves to sing and dance.  She makes up songs, and appears to have a natural talent for dancing (which she must have gotten from Justin!)


I love my sweet, funny, spunky, and silly Rylie-Bylie (that's what I like to call her:)).  I can't wait to see what God has in store for (I pray) many more birthdays to come!

Opening presents was punctuated with...

...climbing on Uncle Brock:)

Justin brought out the big bubble wand.  Duncan is in mid-air trying to pop the giant bubble.

Capturing a bubble mid-pop!  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Update on Boaz

Bo's 1st birthday was over 3 months ago...I said I'd post an update on him, but I never did.  Don't think I can even remember Bo at 12 months!  While I try to jog my memory, you can look at a few pictures of his birthday celebration.  My family was in town the same weekend to celebrate Christmas, so it worked out good to have everyone here.  We are extremely blessed to have the best extended family-on both sides!  On a side note, this is the first winter birthday we've celebrated with one of our kids.  We've always had bright, warm, sunshiny birthdays, so this was a little too dark for me.  We may have to celebrate his half birthday in the summer:)

This was my "1" candle from when I turned one.  Pretty cool!

Didn't really like the cupcake.

Opening presents.

Peek-a-boo bear...the cutest thing ever!

Daddy got him a lego dump truck.  He loves it!
Okay, so my memory is fried.  How about I fill you in on some of what I do remember over the past 3 months?  It's going to be a book, sorry!

Bo got his first tooth at 14 months (on the bottom).  One month earlier than both girls!  He now has the top two teeth, along with a couple more coming in on bottom.  He's ahead of schedule compared with the girls who didn't get their second tooth till they were 18 months.

However, he is still not walking.  He is simply not brave enough.  He can stand all by himself, but he will not let go to take a step by himself.

He also has decided to be scared of animals.  He gets just as frightened as Jordan did/does when a cat or dog gets within sight.  

The boy LOVES cars and balls.  There is such a distinction in how he plays compared with how the girls play.  It's like it's in his DNA to instinctively drive anything with wheels all over the house, or pick out the ball from a pile of toys and play catch over and over and over.  He also would live outside if he could.  Nothing gets him more excited than the anticipation of going to play outside...

...well, nothing except for bath time.  Baths are still the greatest things on earth!  He has no aversion to water (the girls could not stand water on their faces).  Bo, however, intentionally puts his face into the running water, or submerges his face under the water--over and over and over.  I know that this is normal for many children, just not mine.  It took Jordan 3 years to not be scared of the water, so I find it fascinating that one of my children LOVES it so much!

Bo is still the sweetest, biggest cuddle bug.  He smiles all the time, with his cute little dimples.  He is a social bug...waves and squeals and says "Hi" to others, especially other kids.  The thought of playing with other kids lights up his face!  

Speaking of saying "hi", Boaz has a growing vocabulary.  His "sign" language includes waving hi and bye, shaking head yes or no, "all done" when he's finished eating, "more", and "please".  He can say daddy, momma, thank you (first word), and night-night.  He is also able to throw great big fits and scream loudly when he does not get what he wants!

On a more serious note, the past month has been the most challenging for me as a parent so far.  Boaz was not ever having normal bowel movements, and even had several bouts of bad diarrhea that caused nasty diaper rashes.  His last bout of diarrhea caused me so much concern that I took him to the doctor twice because he was not improving.  He was referred to a gastroenterologist, and she was clearly concerned about his weight loss.  At 12 months he weighed 20 lbs, but at 15 months, he was down to 18 lbs 11 oz., only 5 oz heavier than he weighed at 9 months.  He never had any energy and was literally skin and bones.  In addition to the diarrhea, Bo also began throwing up every night.  He would throw up food at 9:00 that he had eaten at 12:00 for lunch, looking just like it did on his tray--no beginnings of digestion at all.  Needless to say, we were very concerned.

The gastroenterologist was so comforting (I may have broken down crying a couple of times during the appointment), saying she was going to figure out what was wrong.  She ran tests on his blood and stool.  She gave me samples of pedialite to try and get calories into him, but I told her he would not be able to drink it because he was allergic to milk.  I tried it anyway, and he broke out from just the few drops I put on his lips (he would not drink it).  When I told her this, she was determined to get Bo into the allergist to see if he was allergic to something else besides milk and eggs, which could be what was causing the malabsorption.  

Do you know how long of a wait it is to get into the allergist?  They scheduled Bo for the 20th of June.  The gastroenterologist was not okay with that, so she personally called the allergist to tell them to get him in as soon as possible.  So, he was put at the top of the waiting list.  If someone had to cancel, we were the first ones called.  He got in two days later!  

Let me pause and say that all the doctors and nurses we dealt with were so amazing, both places.  Friendly, compassionate, understanding, and most of all were concerned with finding out what was wrong with Bo as quickly as they could.  

The allergist tested Bo for a multitude of foods.  The positive results for milk and egg were not surprising:  allergic to all milk proteins, and both yolk and white of the eggs.  He also showed a very strong reaction to ALL nuts:  peanuts and tree nuts (like cashews, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, etc.).  I was even expecting his positive reaction to wheat, as that was my suspicion of what might have caused the malabsorption.  However, I was quite surprised to find out that he was also allergic to navy beans and squash.  Navy beans?  I asked if that meant I could still feed him pinto beans, since he ate a TON of canned beans.  She said, no, he cannot have any beans.  

Guess what?  For the last week of not eating any of the above mentioned foods, Bo has become a new boy!  He has normal bowel movements, has not thrown up, he's gaining weight (at least his fingers and legs are getting more chubby), and his energy has sky-rocketed!  You know how he was always so cuddly?  He didn't have the energy for anything else! 

I am beyond thankful for figuring out what was wrong, or at least what appears to have been the issue.  When your baby is wasting away, worry and fear consumes you; at least it did me.  I was in a constant state of prayer, day and night, praying for God to help us figure out what was wrong.  I could hardly function...I was utterly dependent on God.  I pray that even as the night has turned into morning, I would recognize that I am still utterly dependent on God.  I still want to be in a state of constant prayer and thankfulness, knowing that the only way I can function in life is to be like a branch to the vine, alive only through utter dependence on Christ, my Rock and my Redeemer.    

And I pray the same for my sweet boy, and my girls as well.  That they would recognize their dependence on Jesus Christ and live their lives wholly devoted to Him, the source of true life.  I also pray that God would use these allergies to help Boaz develop self-discipline and self-control as he grows into the man God created him to be.     

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chaplain Moody

My husband is pretty know...really, really awesome.  Sometimes I wonder how someone like him would pursue and marry someone like me.  I still have crush-like feelings for him; you know, the ones you got when you saw a glimpse of your crush in the cafeteria, or when they walked by you in the hallway:)  For example, Justin is the assistant principal at Jordan's school, and I'm always on the lookout, watching for him around the buses when I go to pick Jordan up from school once a week.  When I see him, I get so excited and cross my fingers that he'll glance along the street and see me waving at him from the minivan I *hope* that he'll recognize.  And when he just makes my day!  Kind of silly, I know, but it's true!

Anyway, I just wanted to share with you how proud I am of my crush:)  He has worked so hard and long (with an often not-so-supportive wife) to get his seminary degree in order to become a Chaplain in the Air National Guard.  He already obtained his Master's in Administration several years ago, which is 37 credit hours (I think).  His Masters of Divinity degree was 72 credit hours--nearly double his first one!  And he did it working full-time and being nearly a full-time student!  He busted out that degree in 3 years, just in time to sign in as a Chaplain before the age cut-off.  I'll let you guess what that age is!

So last Thursday, Justin became the newest Chaplain in the 184th Intelligence Wing of the Kansas Air National Guard.  Here are some pictures from his commissioning ceremony. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Boaz is 1 year old!


Happy 1st Birthday to my sweet, sweet boy!  Boaz turned one on Sunday, January 6th.  I'm only a week and a half late in posting it!  That's not too bad, right?

I took some "official" one year pictures today.  I thought it would be fun to get him in the same tie, and use the bucket that he was in, for his six month pictures.

Have you ever heard of a smash cake session for a one year old's photos?  Well, I tried it on a small, low budget, no prop scale.  He was not that into it:(  He kept trying to get away from the blue frosting that was all over:)  

I also saw a cute idea for taking pictures of the one year old "cleaning up" after a smash cake session.  I KNEW Boaz would love that idea, so we did that too!  I just used the stuff from the kids' bathroom and a plastic orange tub we've had for awhile.  The bath pictures are my favorite:)

I'll post a one-year update later with pictures of his little party.  Love this little guy!

Saturday, December 22, 2012