Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Joy of Christmas!

This past Friday, our life group organized a night of Christmas Caroling and parties. I was in charge of most of the caroling details since not many people had ever gone before. It was such a joy to hear people say, "Thank you! No one has ever done that for us." The first few stops I could hardly sing because I was getting slightly emotional. It felt so good to do something for the "Super Saints" of our church. We were only able to stop at 5 houses but that in itself was enough. We had a group of 10 adults and 13 kids. It was a big group to take around. It was a lot of fun!!

After we were done we had our parties (kid's at one house and adults at another house).
Some pics of our party:

After we stopped at the first house, we put Amaya back in the car seat and she basically screamed all the way to the next house (about 10 min away). Neither Chad or I had the patience and kept telling her no which made her cry more. Ahhh the lessons of parenting. We then had one of the older kids ride with us. The ride was much more enjoyable after that.

Tonight, I got Amaya's Christmas gift from my family. I bought Amaya this cute playset with a stroller, pack'n'play, play gym, bouncy seat, diaper bag....all the things that you would get for a "real" baby. I know she will enjoy it b/c she points to our pack and play (I use it when I baby-sit) and says, " sleeping." I can't wait for her to open it. =) I had quite the ordeal trying to find it. I've seen different sets at Target, Wal-mart and Sam's club but I saw this one online at Toys R Us and I immediately liked it. Well, last week when I went to purchase it, it was out of stock. I had them email me when it was back in stock. By the time I got the email it was out of stock again. I did that three times and each time, it was out of stock by the time I got the email. One time, I saw the email 10 minutes after they sent it and it was already out of stock again. (Popular gift - I think). Finally I checked to see if there was any at the Toys R Us in South Bend and there was so I check closer to me (in Greenwood) and it said it was in stock. I called this afternoon and they had ONE left. They held it for me until I was able to get it later this evening. Whew.....that was close. =) I'm sure she would have liked another one just as well but Mommy really liked it. (hee hee)
I was walking around the store and I came to the kitchen section....I sent a text to Chad and said, I want to be a kid again...they have little stainless pots and cute! Ok so I really don't want to be a kid again but they have come cool toys.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

No more bandaids

So last night we took off the bandaid (hopefully for good). It's such a small hole right now. It's amazing what happens to the body as it goes through the healing process. God is a good God!!
Right now we are just keeping some antibiotic salve on it so it doesn't completely dry out and scab but otherwise it looks really good! It's been just over a month since Amaya had her surgery and to think that it's almost completely healed is such a relief. Thank you for all your prayers for us and for her during this time. I know I've said it over and over but it's truly from the bottom of my heart!

Laughter is good medicine......
Tonight we had our leaders meeting at Pastors Kim and Renee's house. It was so fun to laugh about days gone by and I got to thinking, doesn't it feel good to laugh. This has been a hard week for me. I've had a lot going on and being pregnant, it just seemed to totally stress me out. I've had to make decisions that I'm not ready to make and so breaking down in tears was quite easy. I am also planning a party for my life group which I should have shared the responsibility more...anyway, it all seemed to break down at one point and it was just stressful. So tonight hearing funny stories was quite a treat. One of the other pastors was doing an impersonation of a guest minister we had a few years ago and it made everyone laugh and laugh. I felt like a load of stress had been lifted off. Have you ever felt like that? I think that's a little bit of what the joy of the Lord feels like. That's why the Bible says "REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS AND AGAIN I SAY REJOICE." There is a reason and a purpose for all in life. I felt refreshed after laughing. I told Chad, there is a reason we have memories - so we can laugh and have fun with them.

Here is Amaya on one of her last days with a bandaid - I love this picture b/c she's just having a good time.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

"Do it Again"

Amaya has been saying, "again" for a while now when we do something that she wants us to do again. Today I was playing with her and she looks at me and says, "Do it again."

I can't believe she is saying small sentences already. I know she knows a lot but I didn't realize how much she knows for her age. I'm thankful to be home with her to teach her. I know Daddy teaches her a lot too and during this time that he is looking for a job, he watches her too. It's fun to see how much she is learning just from our talking.

Last night we she got another "boo boo." She was trying to get off the treadmill and to go see Daddy when she fell off and hit the edge of the coffee table (which is covered in a nice thick blanket). The blanket helped but it didn't keep her from splitting her lip a little bit. She cried for a while but it wasn't too bad. A little bloody but nothing major...looked better already this morning. She has a little bit of a swollen lip. (We have to document these happenings b/c otherwise we'd forget about them.) =)

Here she is sporting her Colts outfit and my pink Colts hat. =) I don't think you can even see that her lip is bruised. (Maybe a little bit - it's on the right side if you are looking straight at her.)

Amaya loves her "Chismas Chee." She likes to go over to it and run her hands up and down along the branches.

Here is a recent pic of me. I'm 29 weeks on this day. This was taken a couple weeks ago. (I'm 31 1/2 weeks now) He's coming soon......

The other night Amaya was all quiet and I went to look for her and here is what I found:
This was her a little bit later.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Amaya Updates

Seems like I've been updating a lot on Amaya but that's good because the news is getting better and better each time.

Here are some pictures of the recent progression.

This is from Friday November 19....kinda blurry but the best we could do. This is one where you can still see the hole in the middle.

The next two are from Wednesday, Nov 26. My mom took those while we are in Shipshe.
If you look closely at the following one, you can see where the tape has caused her to have really red skin around the wound. We're hoping that will start to go away now that we are just using band-aids.

This picture was taken tonight after the band-aid from our Riley check-up had started to come off. It's pretty gross because it has the silver nitrate on it.
Our Doctor Appointment Today:
The doctor said everything looked good but it had "overzealous healing". So basically there is too much tissue there right now so we have to burn it off. It's not a literal burning but we use these sticks with the silver nitrate on them to kill the cells. It turns the area a gray/black/brown color. The good thing is we only have to do it every other day. He said that I should just have to use 2 more of those sticks. (So basically we would be done with this process on Friday) The sticks are just the applicators. She doesn't like them too much because it does sting but they gave us some numbing gel to put on before we use them. After we put that on, all we have to put on is a band-aid....that is great news. It's nice to see her with just a small band-aid and not a huge bandage. We've come a long way!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

God is always our shield and defense in time of trouble! Cast your cares on Him for He cares for you. He is our leaning post. He is our Everlasting Father. He is Lord of Lords. In Him there is no shadow of turning. He is the same yesterday, today and forever! He is and always will be!! Thank you Jesus for dying for me and creating in me a new life! Thank you Jesus for taking care of me, even when I don't deserve it. Thank you for loving me in spite of me! Thank you for cleansing my heart and for making me clean. Thank you for life and Life Abundantly.


This week has been FULL of food, fun, family and laughter. These are just to name a few of the great things about this week. We started the food with our life group at Tony & Nicki's house. It was a lot of fun to visit with the families from our life group and to eat great food. Brad made an awesome cheesecake....we had ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole and so much was yummy. The kids all had fun too. =)
Our next stop was on Tuesday night at Chad's mom's house. More great food and fun. We ate till we couldn't eat anymore and then the rest of the family played their favorite game (Quarters). It had another name but this name is definitely more friendly. =) I was soooooo tired that night. I had finally cleaned our bedroom the previous Sat. and had gotten all the piles of laundry sorted out and had done 6 loads earlier on Tuesday before we went to his mom's house. I was also baby-sitting plus being a mom to beautiful Amaya. Needless to say I was totally worn out! I don't think I had been that tired since the first trimester of the pregnancy.
On Wednesday we left for Shipshewana (which is where we still are). We arrived around 7:30 and I had to go see Alice. She had a baby two weeks ago and I had not seen him. He's such a beautiful baby!! Even though he was over 9 lbs, he still seems so tiny.
Tristan Jace Keiser - 11/11/08
He's cuddling in the blanket I made him. =)
Kinda blurry but so very cute.

On Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving with my family. It was a lot of fun to see everyone again. My dad had everyone go around and say what we were thankful for. Along with this everyone shared some favorite childhood memory of family. Some were quite hilarious. Everyone was thankful for family. It's a beautiful thing when a family can still all come together under one roof even when there is a total of 34 (plus two more on the way). (18 adults - 16 grandkids) Plus we had my grandma Mary and Aunt Wilma here with us too. We had lots of good food again!! I think I'm all fooded out....Ok so that's not really a word but hey it seems like it could be one. =)

Today, I took some pics of Tristan and Amaya....they are pretty cute.
Amaya has learned how to smile "on cue." It's quite hilarious...Tristan is wondering what is going on.

Amaya kissing baby "Chistan" (her version of Baby Tristan)

Update on Amaya's Boo Boo....
Tonight it looked the best it has so far. It's a nice fleshy pink color and there was very little that I had to stuff inside. I basically just laid it on top of the hole in the skin. Praise God for this. I'm looking forward to the day when it's down to just a small band-aid. I have some pics that my mom took on Wednesday evening when we changed it and I will post when we get back to Bloomington. We forgot our USB cable to upload pics.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Family

Note to Amaya
To my sweetheart, every day you are getting bigger and bigger. You are no longer my little baby but I still call you my "baby." You are saying small sentences now. I can't believe that you are already that big. Yesterday you played a game with me. It was so cute. (The night before you dropped something and I said, "Mommy get it.") You got up on the chair and left your water on the floor. You looked at me and said, "Mommy get it." I thought it was cute that you remember and then you got back down from the chair and put the water on the floor again. You then got back on the chair and again said, "Mommy get it." You're such a smart little girl. Not only did you know how to use it, you played a game with it.
You're fighting both Daddy and I a lot more because you want to do everything by yourself. I pray that we raise you up in the way that we should go. You're just a toddler learning the ropes. I am so proud of you. The words you say are so clear. You remember things that Mommy and Daddy teach you.
You can be a "lil stinker" at times but what is a toddler without that. You like to play and "get Mommy" by pushing her over. It's getting harder for mommy to get down on the floor since "Baby Sky" is giving Mommy a bigger belly. I love playing with you and I will continue as long as I can. I love you!

You've done a great job with the bandage changes and the hole in your neck is getting smaller and smaller. I have glory to God for a quick healing like we prayed for.

Note to Chad - My wonderful
I just want to thank you for always being faithful! You are a rock in our marriage and I am so blessed that I have you. You lead and guide our family. Most importantly you lead and guide me into knowing the Lord better. You've helped me when I haven't been very positive. You've given me perspective when I needed it. You've spoken scripture when I needed it. You've given me hugs when I've had a bad day. You speak words of truth! When I look at you I see a changed man. One that the Lord has taken and molded in His image. Thank you for giving me you. Thank you for being you! I love you!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Our Riley Appointment

Everything went well!! We are down to 1 bandage change a day. That was exciting news. They gave us some new bandage stuff to put in the hole. One thing that I haven't been doing correctly was to stuff it in a little harder into a small hole in the back. Doctor Engum didn't seem too concerned about it and just showed me how to do it. It sounds bad though because I have to use the stick end of the q-tip they gave us and just poke the "stuffing" in there.

The wound dressing is much smaller so hopefully Amaya's soreness from having tape on her neck in the same area for a week can heal now.

Other good news....she can now take a bath. She loves splashing around in the water so I know she will enjoy that again. I'll post a picture when she gets up from her nap. We had to wake her at 7 this morning so we could get to Riley on time.

They still don't know what caused the infection unfortunately. It was definitely not MRSA. He (doctor) again mentioned that he would have to wait and see what it looks like at the next appointment - in two weeks.

Thanks again for all your prayers and support during this time!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More Updates

Amaya's wound is looking better and better every day!! Praise God!
We are so thankful that it's healing up correctly and it's getting smaller. I timed the process of changing her wound and it took 7 minutes from start to finish (taking the tape off and putting the new tape on). I'm definitely getting better at it. =)

We are down to 4 more bandage changes until our Doctor appointment on Thursday!!!!! Yay!

Yesterday - Chad's attempt to take a picture of the wound

We had Aunt Erin (Chad's Sister) take a video today of the wound changing process but I decided it was not appropriate to post on here (it doesn't look too good). There is a lot of crying but we do have a picture of the hole. One from yesterday and one from just a few hours ago. It's still a big hole but it's definitely not like it was before.

Today during the afternoon wound change.

Amaya also knows now what it means to change her "boo boo". She sees Mommy with her green gloves on and knows it's about time. This morning she was clinging to Daddy b/c she didn't want to be bundled up. It's like swaddling a newborn. Daddy does a good job of wrapping her tightly. We don't want her hands to get free and touch the wound.
A tightly swaddled Amaya just after a wound change

Sometimes her hair gets caught in the tape and she gives me a "look" when I try to take it out. She screams if it's during the wound changing process.

How we know she's back to her normal self:
Just a few minutes ago she was what we call "torturing" Reggie our little dog. She had him locked in his bed (i.e. cage) and was pushing him across our floor. Then she decided she wanted to climb in his cage with him. We were too late to get a video but it was quite humorous. She doesn't ever hurt him but he gets very nervous when she's in there with him. She loves playing with him. He doesn't always see it as playing but he's never bitten her. He acts like he will and then ends up licking her. They are quite the playmates. Here's a picture of her in the act - with Reggie safely in the background somewhere. (He gets out as soon as he can get an opening.)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday Updates

This morning we had a bit of a scare when we changed the wound dressing. Inside the hole it looked a lot different than before. It had more white pus drainage and it concerned us. We called Riley and talked to Dr. West and she assured us that it was normal as long as Amaya didn't have a fever or lack of appetite (which she has neither). We were advised to start changing the wound dressing 3x a day now. =( Chad has been counting down the number of times we have to change it and now we have to add several more changes.

Since I am not a doctor or a nurse (neither is Chad), I do not like to see any sort of changes that are seemingly negative. (They told us to contact them if we were concerned.) Changes might mean we have to go back to Riley and they have to do something more with the wound.

We are daily praying and believing for a speedy recovery!! Please agree with us in prayer. One thing that has been a challenge is to continually trust in HIM even when it seems like it's a negative situation. My heart knows to trust and believe but my head is trying to tell me otherwise. (I take my thoughts captive in Jesus Name!!) Jesus knows all and is in control of this situation and every one that we will ever face - Thank you Lord for your faithfulness!!

One of my favorite verses:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge HIM and HE shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Our Recent Journey

Sometime more than two months ago, I noticed a small bump on Amaya's neck. It had a pimple like head to it but no redness. I decided I would watch it and at her next appointment I would have the doctor look at it. I wasn't too concerned about it. I even forgot to mention it to Chad. He found it a few days later and we decided again to watch it and have it checked out later.

About two weeks ago, I asked Chad to help me remember to call the doctors office and we would have it checked out just to make sure. We never made that call...I got busy and so did he and we forgot to remind each other.

Thursday, October 3oth
On Thursday night of last week, we noticed that the bump had gotten noticeably bigger. It was right before bedtime so we decided to call the next morning. (Thursday morning had started with me waking up to find that Amaya had thrown up all over the bed - raisins grapes and icky stuff that stains.) We still don't know if there was a connection. She didn't eat very well on Wed. night so I thought maybe something had upset her stomach.

Friday, October 31st
We continued to watch the bump throughout the day. We made a doctor appointment for Monday. All was seemingly good until about 5:30, Chad felt the bump and thought that it had gotten much harder and bigger. We had a bonfire planned that night but were willing to do to the doc office if they suggested it. They had an appointment early Sat. morning with our pediatrician but none Friday night so we took that one.
Amaya was a little more fussy than normal but no fever just a large bump on the side of her neck.

Saturday, Nov 1st.
Our doctor appointment was early and Chad had to park cars for the IU game so I went alone. The dr. wasn't too concerned since there was no redness on the bump at all. She prescribed some antibiotics for us and said we could give her tylenol or ibuprofen for the pain if she had any. She said she would refer us to a general pediatric surgeon at Riley for a check-up the following week.

Sunday, Nov 2nd
We went to church as normal and I gave her ibuprofen for the first time for the bump b/c she woke up and was a lot more winey than normal. Usually when I drop her off at the Children's ministry area she is ok but she didn't want me to leave and had to be pried from my arms. (Not normal for her).
In the evening I started to see some signs of redness around the bottom of the bump but the doctor mentioned that was just signs of infection and I assumed since she was on antibiotics it was working and doing it's job.
Sunday Evening

Monday, Nov 3rd
I got the call from the doctor's office that our appointment at Riley was for Thurs. @ 8:45. They said it was the earliest they could get her in. She had an appointment with Dr. West. She seemed ok but not truly herself. The bump got a little more red as the day passed.
Monday Around 3pm

Tuesday, Nov 4th
She woke up and the bump was even more red (more signs of infection which I thought the antibiotics was taking care of). Around evening sometime I sent this picture to my brother to see what his suggestion was. I talked to him the next morning. At that point it was red and shiny and I knew the shiny part was more infection.
11:30 on Tuesday

Wednesday, Nov 5th
Amaya had a very fitful night of sleep. Tossing and turning and crying but never waking up. When she finally did wake up, it had gotten much worse with a scab a the bottom of the bump and little white puss filled areas. I called the doctor and the earliest appointment they had was at 11:45 with one of the other pediatricians at our doc. office. I took it and then was trying to decide if I should just send Chad. I had a meeting I was supposed to be a part of at 11:30. I was thinking that Chad could take care of it since they would just check it out and tell us what to do next. I talked to my mom and she said I should go b/c what if they send you straight to the hospital. (I laughed and said yeah I should go but I never thought it would actually be that way.)
We were at the doctor's office forever!! Her appointment was right over her nap time so she was fussy and she hadn't eaten much except for snacks since breakfast so she was fussy about that too. While we were waiting in the outer waiting room, one of her puss sacks burst and ran out - it was just a small one but gross anyway. =)
We were taken back to a room but had to wait back there for what seemed like an hour (probably only half hour at most) but we gave her some crackers, water and fruit snacks to tide her over until we went home. We saw the other doctor and he said 'What does your afternoon look like?" We said - "Open." He didn't say much else except that he was going to call Riley to see if they wanted them to give her a shot of antibiotics or have her sent up right away. Then he left. He came back and said they wanted her to come and then he saw her with a fruit snack and said she has to stop eating right away b/c they wanted to do surgery. Dr. Franklin our reg. pediatrician came in and looked at it for a few minutes and said, "Wow, it didn't look like that on Saturday." That was pretty much it since the decision had been made to go to Riley already. We stopped at Target to get her a pacifier since she still sometimes took it on trips for when she was tired and then stopped at Taco Bell for food and we were on our way, just like my mom had said. =) (The pacifier did not work....she is over that now)

Amaya's neck on the way to Riley

We get to Riley and they pretty much get her in right away but we had to wait for the doctor on-call (Dr. Rouse) and he was on his way back to Riley from another hospital. He came in and looked at it and barely touched it and she we would be scheduled for surgery sometime between 8-10 that night. It was only about 3:30 at this time. Long time to wait.
At this point we were still unsure if we would have to stay the night. Dr. Rouse said his partner Dr. Engum would make that decision at surgery time so basically we wouldn't know until after the surgery. I was a little concerned b/c I had only a couple diapers with me at the time. Marty and LoraLee so kindly brought us dinner and some diapers that night and helped us pass the time. Chad's Mom also came along with Ron. Amaya's little bump was very infected now and you could see it getting worse and worse. We finally got the call to come upstairs around 9 that night. We talked to the surgeon for a few minutes and he explained what he was going to do and that she would most likely spend the night just for observation. We got her all ready and they gave her a relaxer (don't remember what it was called - starts with a V). She was sitting on my lap and all of a sudden the bump burst and it was pretty gross. They told us not to mess with it so it wouldn't make a bigger mess then it had.
We then gave her kisses and said good - bye and she just kind of looked at us - she was so tired and obviously the medicine was working b/c she was relaxed. =) The surgery itself didn't take long. It was about 1/2 before the doctor came back out and told us what had happened. The skin on the bottom was dead and therefore fell off. It left a hole about the size of nickle in her neck. The infection had spread into her neck leaving a hole inside the neck too. It was about the size of a small grape. We were able to go to the recovery room around 10:30 and see her - she was asleep which we figured.
They took her to a room and I waited until she was settled in and sleeping for the night and then about 11:45, I left and went to Marty & LL's house while Chad stayed behind in the little reclining chair. She slept that night until about 4 when Chad said he had to hold her but she did fall asleep again.

Thursday Nov 6th
I got back to Riley around 9 (a little later than I anticipated due to traffic - I'm definitely not "Indy Smart"). When I got there, Chad informed me that we will have to stay another night. They wanted to make sure we were prepared to change the wound dressing when we got home. That was another bubble burst for a short time. It just seemed like one thing on top of another. That morning around 11 they (nurses) changed the wound dressing for the first time and we just watched. It's heartbreaking to see your little baby screaming as they take out a piece of gauze from a hole in her neck. It took everything I had not to burst out in tears. The hole was "huge" even though we had been told it was.
We got through that and then I held Amaya until she fell asleep. She was still getting IV fluids at that time. She was also getting a dose of antibiotics through the IV. She slept for 2 1/2 hours while I held her. (Enough for me to watch two episodes of one of my favorite shows - "TLC's What not to Wear". ) Chad decided to drive back to Bloomington and get some fresh clothes and shower and take a small nap. During that time, the nurse said Amaya doesn't have to be attached to the IV anymore except for her doses of antibiotics. We were then able to walk around and distract her for a while when Chad came back. Marty and Jack visited again and so did Chad's mom. Again it was great distraction for us and her. =) She fell asleep earlier until they had to get her vitals and flush her IV after antibiotics again. Chad then took her and she fell asleep and I went to Marty & LL's house again around midnight to sleep there.

Friday, Nov. 7th
Early in the morning she was sound asleep and the doctor decided he needed to see the wound. =( He pulled back the tape obviously waking Amaya and after that she didn't fall asleep so soundly.
I got back to the hospital right around 8 and Amaya had forgotten the tape nightmare =) and was having fun playing that morning. Chad and I had to change her wound dressing for the second time. We basically realized that it would be easier for me to do that while Chad held her down. It was just something I had to do. I couldn't think about what I was doing. Anyway, we passed this test and we got to go home today. We left the hospital about noonish sometime and it was wonderful to be driving HOME!! It felt like more than two days. On the way home Amaya slept the whole time - something that she hasn't done since she was a baby. She does not like the carseat to sleep in. When we got back here, Chad's grandfather was here and so he played with her for a little bit. Chad then left to go do some things at the church and I decided to lay down with Amaya. She wasn't sleeping with me so I put her in her bed and she slept from around 2 until 6:30. Home must have felt good for her too. Her dressing change went well and she fell asleep again about 9:30 and slept until 8:30 this morning.

Amaya is completely back to toddler normalcy now. She only protests during the wound changes...otherwise she is fine. We don't have to give her pain medication except for right before the dressing changes.

Her wound dressing after this morning.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Things I love about Fall...

There are so many things I love about fall.

1. The colder fresh air.
2. Crunching leaves.
3. Apple Cider.
4. Persimmons
5. Fresh Warm Applesauce
6. Bonfires
7. S'mores
8. Leaves that are changing but haven't fallen yet
9. Hot drinks
10. Going to bed with cold sheets.

Amaya is almost 18 months or ONE AND HALF YEARS OLD!! It's crazy to think that she is that old already. She knows so many words now it's too many to count. She has also started mimicking everything we say. It's fun to hear her repeat what we've just said in her little voice.
One particularly cute thing she is saying right now. When Davin's (the little boy I baby-sit) mom comes to pick him up, she always says, "Hey Lady" to Amaya. So every time Amaya sees Sumer now, she says, "Hey Lady." We were watching TV one day and she kept saying, Hey Lady. I couldn't figure out why and then I realized she was watching the TV and she saw someone that looked like Sumer.
Last night we had our leaders meeting and we always have someone watch the kids while we are in that meeting. Sumer went to pick up Davin and she said as she was leaving, Amaya said tearfully, "Bye Lady."

Amaya not staying still long enough to pose for me in a cute little outfit.

Another cute story:
I've been singing to Amaya for a while now before she goes to bed. The most popular songs are "Jesus Loves me" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."
Anyway, I've also started using the movements with "Jesus Loves Me." The other day I was singing to her and doing the movements and she did them with me. It's basically the sign language of the song. Children can just melt your heart.

Amaya has all her teeth for now (I think). I don't think there are anymore that will fit in her mouth. She has all her "fang" teeth as I call them. It was a little rough last week. She had fever on and off for two days and was very cranky. It was quite unlike her and caused a little bit if frustration for Mommy and Daddy. =) This week has been much better with less temper tantrums. She has started to act out more but if we keep her busy and occupied, she is less likely to act out. She's into colors (crayons) and doing things with her hands. Lots of little fine motor skills she is learning.

Another of Amaya's favorite activities is emptying the bottom drawer and sitting in it. She throws out all the towels and climbs in. This was taken at the end of Aug.

Friday, October 3, 2008

My Man

(This wasn't the picture that I had originally wanted to post but it's a fun one anyway.)
Just wanted to dedicate this post to "My Man." He's been looking for a job for a while now and I've been very blessed to have him at home around the house while I take care of Amaya while I do some more work.
Here are just some of the things he has done:
1. Finished the deck...there are no more holes that Amaya or anyone else could fall into. Since I started this post, he has also painted the deck.
2. Made me a clothesline....I love the smell of towels and sheets that have been hanging outside.
3. Cleaned up the brush and leaves around the house.
4. Gave me a good birthday present: DVD of our wedding day. (That footage had been on tapes since the wedding - it wasn't something that we could watch without a video camera)
Thank you Chad for doing all that you do. Thank you for the advice you give me, even when it's hard to hear. Thank you for being you!! I am so thankful that God gave me you. You are my Wonderful!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

More Cute Sayings...

I thought of a few more that I had to add...

Amaya has been saying "I love you" and last night was the cutest one I've heard. We were putting her in the crib and getting ready to leave so we told her "I love You" and she said while rubbing her eyes, "I Lub U"....oh so cute!!

She has also been saying please and thank you in sign language for a little while now but she has also started saying "thank you" verbally just the last few days.
This morning I was holding her and feeding her some of my cereal and my hand was over the area she uses to say please in sign language so she moved my hand said "mo please" and then replaced it. It was quite cute. Later she wanted more milk so I gave her some and then right after she had her drink, she said "tank u" works. Parenting really does work. (I've always believed that but it's nice to be re-affirmed by your child.)

There are so many more that I'm sure I'm missing but I'll blog about them later. =)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Amaya's Cute Sayings

Today I was watching Notre Dame crush Michigan (woohoo!!!) and Amaya was just sitting beside me and watching "boot ball" which almost sounds like "butball" LOL....quite funny...she was entertained for almost 10 min. A true Mama's girl. =)

Amaya loves to say "AMEN" while we are saying our prayers so we taught her to say Amen when we say "Jesus" so at the end of the prayer she is just waiting for "In Jesus Name.....AMEN".
The other day we were listening to the radio and she heard Jesus so she said "AMEN." It took us a while to figure out why she kept saying it but we finally realized the person on the radio said it several times. cute. We are trying to teach her where Jesus is (in her heart) and she's gotten that He's somewhere in the vicinity of her ribs I guess that's close enough for right now - since our bodies are the temple of the holy ghost. =)

I found a cute Elmo book at Target today and since Amaya knows who that is, courtesy of Pampers Diapers, I thought it would be a good gift (in the $1 section). Anyway, she has been carrying that book around non-stop. I think that means she likes it. She even cried hard when we took it away to feed her supper. (Yikes)
Today she had a dirty diaper and I asked her what was in her diaper. She said, "Elmo."

I must say, we have truly been blessed with a sweet girl. I love how everything is so interesting to her and how curious she is. God is a good God!! Thank you for answering our prayers!

On another note: We'll find out what Baby #2 is on my birthday (Sept 18th). I am very excited to find out who "Baby Sky" is. He/She is kicking me as I am typing this. I am so amazed at how quickly I started feeling this one move around. I absolutely love it. The other night, I told Chad I wanted a little movement before I fell asleep and he said, "no, we are praying that he/she sleeps when we sleep." But Baby Sky gave me just a little kick (for mama) as I was falling asleep.

I am doing very good with this pregnancy. The only thing that I don't like is the veins in my legs really hurt so I have to wear compression hose all the time. It's not fun but it's worth it to grow our family. =) It's amazing the difference it makes when I don't wear them and when I do. I can instantly feel the blood moving down my legs. Kinda weird. I'll have to post some pregnancy pics soon. I'm still wearing my jeans and shirt b/c maternity just looks funny on me. Even my smallest shirts look like a tent right now. I guess this one is on track to be kind of like Amaya was in me. She wasn't a small baby, she was just wrapped around in there (I guess).

That's it for now. Maybe next time I will have some pics of David and Lara's wedding here in Bloomington, next time. I don't have them uploaded yet. I keep forgetting.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Trying Again

Our Nantucket Vacation

So I'm trying to blog again and be more "faithful" to my blog. I just got a little tired of updating it for a while. I was so busy with the garden and other things in life that this was the last thing that I wanted to do.

Since my last blog so much has happened but the best part was our "blessing" trip to Nantucket. We had an opportunity to vacation on the island for a week. A friend of ours blessed us with this time away and I can truly say it was a blessing. I've said it three times you think I mean it?

I looked forward to our time away all summer. We first had to go to Shipshe to meet up with mom and dad and Alice and Jason. They took this wonderful trip with us. We used the store's mini-van since it had bucket seats and a DVD player (the latter was the most important). It wasn't too bad. Amaya is a great traveler. I on the other had do not like the back left seat in the mini-van. There is this hard plastic thing that kept digging into my bum...not fun when you are driving 4 hours at a time without stopping (at least we tried for those time intervals). With two pregnant ladies it wasn't so easy to go that long. =)

Here are some pictures from our "picturesque" time.Amaya's first trip to the beach

View of Sunset from our roof-top patio

Chad and I on the patio

Amaya after she learned to climb on the chairs with her favorite toy (Harlee).

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Enjoying the fruits....

....of my labor. I am sitting here eating cucumbers...from my garden...yum. I might just have to slice some of those tomatoes I got from Nanny (Chad's grandmother) today. They are from an Amish family in Mitchell. They have to be good right?

A lot has happened since I posted last.
1. Amaya became an official walker - not going back to crawling. =) She can squat and get back up and walk away. It's been fun to watch her waddling away.
2. I started baby-sitting Davin (Pastor David and Sumer's little boy). Amaya loves to "play" with him and "share" her toys. She's so cute. (I baby-sit on Mondays and Tuesdays)
3. Amaya started saying "One" courtesy of Shipee Mommy teaching her. Whenever she hears someone say One, she repeats it and raises her finger.
4. I've weeded and weeded the garden...gone are the days of no weeds. The first year we had a garden, I was blessed- we had absolutely no weeds....last year we had a few and this year, they decided to come all at once.
5. We visited Shipshe again and saw our "new baby" for the first time. Quite a little wiggler and dancer for us when we saw the ultra sound. I am 10 1/2 weeks's been a pretty easy pregnancy. This week, the tiredness started to hit me. Yesterday I was pretty cranky all day. We had a guest speaker at church and we always eat dinner with them - after the service. Needless to say the service ended at 10pm so we headed over to the Hospitality Suite at the hotel and did not leave until 11:45...way too late for this pregnant mama. We were thankful that Poppy (Chad's Grandpa) could come and stay with Amaya so I brought her home around 8:30 put her to bed and headed back to church.

6. Chad did not get the job he applied for - but we are believing for a better opportunity and a better open door. I believe that God opens and shuts doors as He sees fit!!

Testimony about my teaching job (in 2005): When I graduated, it was in Dec. so I didn't look for a job right away b/c a lot was happening. I was a nanny for Jack and Andrew (twin nephews) and I was getting married 5 months later. I just believed God that He would open that door. As Chad and I gave tithes and offerings I constantly believed that He would provide open windows from Heaven as Malachi 3:10 states. Well our wedding came and went and the summer continued to pass away and it was the end of July and I still didn't have a job. At Chad's urging I talked with some guidance counselors at a local school and they told me of some schools that I had never heard of. They told me to mention their name b/c the principal or some other person at the school knew them. That Monday I started searching the schools they talked about and there was the "perfect job." I didn't even know Cloverdale existed till Sunday. Well on Monday and Tuesday I worked on updated my resume and sent it off on Wednesday afternoon about 3:30. At 10 on Thursday morning I received a call from Susan, the principal and she wanted to set up an interview the next week. Chad and I were leaving for Canada on Friday evening so we set up the interview for Friday morning (the next day) was quite a whirlwind time. Anyway, I got the call while we were still in Canada but I couldn't check my voicemail until I was back in the states. I got that Wednesday of the following week (a week and a half before school started). God truly does open doors when none seem to be open. And what was funny - that principal didn't even know those guidance was only God!!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

My Cutie Pie

She talks and she walks....
Today Amaya was walking between our couch and loveseat - she would go from one to the other and then back again getting more and more excited as she neared what she was headed to. So cute!! She is walking almost all the time now. She's been walking on and off since her first birthday but last night she started walking all over the place without someone helping her.
She was also learning new names last night.
D-D is for Pastor David
Baby is for Davin
Mumer is for Sumer
Seth is for Seth
Ayla is for Gayla
Eggie is for Reggie
Arlee is for Harlee
Bas is for bath
ousi is for Outside
audwey is for Audrey

I'm sure I'm missing some but this is such a fun time...she almost always repeats what you want her to say. She's also started pointing.
When my nephew Aaron was here, we would ask her, "Where is Aaron?" She would get a huge smile on her face and point to him but she never did say his name...

Have a blessed weekend!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

This Week

Father's Day was Sunday and I made Daddy something special. I gave him a book from Amaya and then I "fixed up" a picture for him. The book from Amaya made me cry when I read's called, Daddy Will You Dance with Me?
Here is the picture I made for him:

Here are some fun pics from our time with Shipshe Mommy and Dawdy...I spent a few days in Shipshewana with my family because I had a Pampered Chef show in the area. She was trying on Dawdy's "Russian" hat.

It's all fun and games until......someone gets hurt.

Amaya was walking in - between Gramma Cheryl and I and she hit her nose on the's was a sad moment =)

Here is the moment right after when she was walking toward cute. She is walking a lot more and will actually start walking toward something if she doesn't think too much about it. She still crawls when she wants to get somewhere fast.
On a final note, I got my hair cut yesterday and I happen to love it....=)
Check it out. It's not the greatest pic but it'll do for now.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Just a Test

.....of who all reads my blogs...I'm beginning to think that I am the only one enjoying these funny moments of my life....maybe...maybe not???

Let me know, I'd love to hear from you if you read my blog....=) For pete's sake leave a comment (no really for my sake) tee hee.
It's late and I can't blog much so this is what'cha get tonight...

Over and out

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Back to Normal

Chad is back yippeeee................He got back about 2 am early Thursday morning. I was super tired from having stayed up with Teresa and so he had to call me a couple times to wake me up to unlock the door. It is so nice to have him back. I know he had a wonderful time but I am definitely glad he is back. We've been able to just relax and have a good time together. It's amazing how much you can miss someone.
Tomorrow is father's day. I have something special planned for him...hopefully I can get it done. =)

I still do not have the camera so no recent pictures but I can post a funny hair picture that I think is so cute. I had her in pig tails and she has decided that it is much better with nothing in her hair. So funny.
Here's another picture of her chewing on a ball. She likes to put as much in her mouth as she can and then walk around. =) She likes to show off.

This Tuesday I hosted a creative memories was so much fun. LoraLee came down from Indy. Not very many people showed up but I am glad I did it b/c I learned a lot. I am definitely going to be scrapping more. I've just started my first album a picfolio album of Amaya's first year. It only has two pages done but it's a start. I had so much fun doing that. I've always like to make my own cards so now I can do cards and my scrapbook. I also began planning our honeymoon scrapbook. We have a great wedding album. I'm glad I don't have to think about that. Anyway, I think it will take me a couple years to get everything I want but at least I have a goal and a plan. =)

Teresa's gone.... ....already
It seems so surreal that she was even here. It was for such a short time. It was fun to have her here and to spend time with her but I can't believe it will be a year or more before I see her again. I know we can chat on the phone or Skype but it's different. It was definitely fun to hear her stories and to just spend time with her like "old days." I don't have any pics of her b/c she took them on her camera. Mine was in Czech Republic. I'll have to ask her to send me some. For those of you who don't know she is a missionary in Siberia - that's right...that really cold place - although she does say that it is summer right now so some days it gets close to 90 degrees...
God is using her to reach people who need Jesus!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

It's Early Sat. Morning...

And Teresa and I are both sitting in the living room with our computers. It's crazy that she's actually here. I'm excited that we have a week with her. I wanted to blog about my latest endeavor.

The Blanket
Last week was Pastor Amanda's baby shower. Her baby boy is not due until October but she is moving to California and so we had to shower her before she left.
I wanted to try something new and so I started crocheting. I was so excited my blanket turned out even and pretty cute. I had never finished something so big before. Check it out:

Here's another picture of the turned out to be pretty big. I used a pound of love - the yarn is literally called that. FYI
I'm sitting through thunderstorm number 5 since Chad left. This one is a very minor one. When I was little I used to be so scared of storms but I've been surprised b/c these haven't phased me too much and we've had some pretty amazing ones.

Lord Give me Compassion
On another note, last night I was praying for something that really frustrated me recently and I was just checking out scriptures on compassion. I need and want more compassion for people. It's hard to realize sometimes that other people are going through things or they may just want a phone call. I think out of our struggles comes great victory. I realized in this week that with Chad being gone, I really don't talk to too many people. I would like for people to "check up on me." Chad's mom has been doing a great job of that. It was in the midst of my frustration that I realized that I need compassion now more than ever. When have I taken the time to call someone just because their spouse was gone? Have I taken the time to be compassionate today? I want to ask myself that each day and answer with a resounding YES!! Jesus showed so much compassion on people - help me to have even an ounce of that compassion....I love you Lord!!

Czech Republic 2008
I love reading Jessica's stories for the Czech Republic...(and I like those moments when Chad is in the pics.) Here is the blog she is posting.
If you get a chance, also check out the "Story Collection" on the right side. It's fun little stories and testimonies. There are some videos too with testimonies. It's a little hard to understand with the quality of the camera but you can tell they've been touched by the Lord.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

When Chad's not Here Part 2

So today we went to the doctor and Amaya has some puss and fluid buildup on her left ear...Dr. Franklin prescribed antibiotics - the pink bubble gum stuff....I'm praying that it goes away quickly. I don't like seeing her sick.
I went to fill the prescription and the lady said 70.60...(ok that's what I thought she said). I had no idea how much it was going to be b/c our insurance is not that great and we have this huge deductible and I don't know what they cover for meds. Anyway, she had a little bit of an was 7.60...quite a difference huh. LOL

So today I put Amaya down for her nap and ate lunch and then I went to mow the lawn. I figured hopefully she would sleep better after I gave her the medicine. Well, she's still asleep and here I am blogging....b/c the mower went kaput...the belt that turns the blades came off...UGH...
I couldn't believe it. It seems like stuff falls apart when Chad's not here. That's why there always needs to be a "man of the house." I got half of the backyard of the rental done and I went around a tree and there it went. So there goes my hopes of getting a tan and getting the whole yard done in a leisurely way. Hopefully Ron can fix it for me. I would hate to see the yard in a few days after all the rain we's high now.

I am praying the rest of the time goes by smoothly. If ya think about it you can pray for Amaya and I as we work through these last several days before he gets home. =)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

When Chad is not Here

Wow, this week has been different. I am missing Chad very much. I realize I don't like to be away from him for that long. I know it's not much longer and he will be back. I don't know how spouses do it who are married to soldiers in Iraq. I guess you can do anything if that's what you have to do.
I am also realizing that I am blogging a lot more since I have more time.

We have had 4 huge thunderstorms since he's been gone. Our driveway has an area that is washed out about a foot deep. I can't believe how much rain we had today. It looks like my garden has survived. Hopefully all the seeds did too. In downtown Bloomington today there was so much rain that water was up to the windows of cars. I didn't actually go out and see it. I was listening to the local talk show and people were calling in with the reports of what roads were closed due to the water. I was able to get past Lake Griffy. It was about halfway across the road and in parts was running to the other side of the Lake when I drove past it tonight. It was quite a drive to church for life group. I wouldn't have had to go but I wanted to stop by CVS to pick up some more Motrin for Amaya. There was also some manholes that had busted out and were spraying water. We had quite a scene in Bloomington today. I think it's gone for tomorrow and hopefully, I can mow the grass. I've never mowed it completely by myself so we'll see how it goes. I've always just finished what Chad has started.
Even though we have the world's biggest carpenter bees all over the shed, I still go in there to get the mower. (YIKES) I was so afraid of them the first time I saw them but Chad says they don't sting...hopefully he's right. =) He says all they do is burrow into the wood - sounds great for the shed huh. The funniest thing is watching Goober (our outside dog) catch them and eat them. bzzzzzzz.....bzzzzzzzz.....bzzzzzzzzzz.....CHOMP!!

I'm trying to decide if I should take Amaya to the doctor tomorrow. It seems like she has an earache in her left ear. =( She sleeps fine but when she wakes up she cries and cries. It's in those cries that she says Dad-dee....Dad-dee...(she misses him). I'm so thankful for my Praise Baby video (gift from Aliyah for Christmas). When she watches that she is fine. She sits through it and stops crying and even smiles and talks to it. I've used it a lot this week.

Well, over and out for now...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Amaya's Taking More Steps

Amaya is definitely using her own pace to walk. She's taken steps for about a month now - since her first birthday but she hasn't "taken off" yet. I am not hurrying her at all. She's a fast crawler and she's still enjoying that more. I know that there will be more things she can get into when she starts to fun.

The other day we found her like this. She likes to climb if she can and since we don't have stairs for her to practice on, she uses what she can. I was busy crocheting and Chad was playing a game or doing something on the computer and I looked over and saw her like this, it was pretty cute. She was getting all my pens out and putting them in her hand. She didn't want anything else, just the pens.

She's such a cutie, I do fall more and more in love with her everyday. =)

She keeps asking for Daddy...he's in the Czech Republic right now until the 11th...don't know how I'll do it by myself for that long. Amaya woke up with a slight fever again this morning but I think it's gone now. It seems like every time he goes away for something she's sick. =( It's just teething but it's no fun for her. She's getting those molars. There are huge bumps in her mouth....OUCH...hopefully they'll poke through soon.

Other than that life is pretty uneventful. I finished planting my garden yesterday. I made all the rows and then it rained on me so hopefully the dirt is still soft and I can put it over the rows b/c I'm not doing that again. I am so sore. I am not used to all that "garden labor." Those muscles haven't been used in about 2 years b/c mom and Chad planted the garden last year. =) I'm making up for it this year since I have to do it myself with Chad being gone. It's a good feeling with it being done. Today it rained A LOT and some of my plants look like they are leaning. I hope they can survive what happened.

I'm already tasting the cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, onions, corn, beets.........YUM!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Ar-leeee and Baby-oll

These are two of Amaya's favorite toys and cutest words.

Here is a cute video...sorry it is sideways but I couldn't change it.


Monday, April 28, 2008

Happy Birthday and So much more

So..........we're ONE now!!

And YES...we've taken steps and NO we are not walking yet. =)

Amaya is growing by leaps and bounds. She says so many words now.
Even today she started to say "buh bye" and wave. SO CUTE!! We've been trying to make this consistent for weeks now and finally it is.

So her vocab is: Reggie, Mama, Dada (or Dadoo), Hello, Buh Bye, Yellow (same as hello), Alice (same as hello) Moo, Love U (sound kind of like hello but a little different), patty (something that sounds like it)
There might be more but that's all I can think of right now.

Amaya's second cake turned out much was kind of pretty but it took forever to frost and I used soooooooo much frosting. We had a lot of fun with Chad's family. We tried a new "Haystack" recipe with his family - they all loved it. Which is good. =)

Thank you all for making her first birthday so special. Thanks for all the gifts and love!!