Saturday, December 05, 2009

Micah's Birthday Party

Micah's 3rd birthday party was train-themed.
Train whistles from the pinata.

There were plenty of train tracks to set up and destroy!


The train birthday cake


This cake was the easiest thing to make! I bought a kit that has silicone cupcake shapes and it tells you how to piece it together so you can make a train (or a rocket ship or a dump truck) and after you assemble and bake it, you decorate and voila! It's a train cake!


Micah with all his friends

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Books I've recently read - short reviews

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
This book was helpful in understanding what went on in the south during the 1960s, when black women were maids for white women. The maids did all the cleaning, cooking, and raising children. It's hard to imagine what any of the white women did, aside from being selfish and getting their hair done and doing things for the league they were involved with. The story focuses on a white women who has a desire to write about the things the maids deal with as black women in that time - how they are treated and how they live.

Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross
Pope Joan may or may not be an actual historical figure. There is some evidence to proove she existed and fooled everyone into believing she was a man who became pope. The Catholic Church has covered up and deny any evidence about it because it is shameful and embarassing. It was a very interesting novel. Joan's character was strong and very intelligent. I loved reading about her theological discoveries, her challenges and the debates she courageously spoke and thought about. Since the novel takes place during the 800s, there is some mention of the Viking attacks and brutality toward women, but I believe the author really took it easy on the readers.

Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore
Amazing book on how two totally separate lives come together through the power of God and how God can take those two lives and change them for Him. All through the obedience of one humble woman.

In His Steps by Charles M. Sheldon
This is my second time reading this book. It has been at least 5 years since I last read it. The story is of a pastor's proposition to his church for any member that is willing to live for a full year basing every decision on following Christ's example and always asking "What would Jesus do?" when faced with a decision. Among the members of the church that agreed to take on the pledge were some of the most prominent men and women in their town. They had to sacrifice many things, jobs, families, securities, but it brought the people of the church closer together and saved many men and women from the slums. It's amazing to think how easily we live our Christian lives, without ever taking up our cross and following His example. This is a very practical book for thinking about what it really means to be a Christian.

Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
Lots of good information in here about living as a "locavore". Barbara, the author, decided to leave the fast pace of Tuscon where food and even water is shipped in, to rural Virginia where they could grow or raise everything they ate for an entire year. Anything they didn't have growing on their small farm, they bought locally at farmer's markets. It's an amazing journal of the year they lived and makes it very compelling to start thinking more seriously about buying and eating things grown and raised locally.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Extremely thought provoking. The author talks about reasons why some people are more successful than others, either because of birth month, because of genius, because of 10,000 hours of study, etc. He talks about why Korean airplanes crashed more frequently than other airlines based on societal differences. It's very interesting in terms of raising kids and how to help them be successful.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday!


It has been a joy watching you become a little 3 year old boy. I love hearing your cute little sing-song voice and listening to you stumble over sentences as you try to explain what's going on in that little brain of yours. I predict you to be either a sports commentator or a singer. It's fun to hear you give a play-by-play of what you're doing or what I'm doing, and I love that you always ask me what I'm doing. I'm waiting for the constant "why's" but in the meantime, I can deal with "what are you doing that for?" instead.

Your singing is awesome. I love how you get favorite songs that you ask to listen to over and over again. If I don't sing them quite right while practicing guitar you ask to have it on the ipod instead or you stop me and make sure I sing the melody correctly. I love hearing you sing to yourself in your bed or at the park or wherever the song pops into your head.

I am so thankful you are through with potty training. That was not a fun stage, but it didn't take you long until you got it. You were out of diapers by the end of the summer! Fantastic!

I love hearing you laugh. Love reading with you. Love seeing you learning and playing on the computer. I love that you can throw a Frisbee better than me. I love kicking a soccer ball around with you. Love teaching you to hit a tennis ball and I'm excited to play tennis with you one day! I love that you're not really interested in movies or TV and that you'd much rather pull up a chair to help me in the kitchen. I love that you help me with laundry and that I can check my email while you move the load from the washer to the dryer. You're a big helper with the vacuum and even with cleaning the bathrooms. Keep that up!

I love seeing you with your friends and with your friend's little baby sisters. One day you'll be a great big brother. You are loving and gentle with babies. If only you could learn that with the cat! It's fun seeing you talk and play with the cat like he's your sibling. I just hope the cat's limp is nothing serious. :)

I love you little man. I am so thankful for you.

Hope you had a great 3rd birthday!

Love,
Mom

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Downhere's Christmas Album

Downhere is a rock group that formed at my college, Briercrest Bible College in Saskatchewan, Canada and I'm excited that their Christmas album is released today. It sounds pretty cool. I love Christmas music and I'm excited for their new songs and for the old classic songs that they have updated to make fresh. They always have awesome harmonies and theologically sound lyrics. Check it out!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Visit from Greg and Amanda

We were so glad to have my brother and his wife here for a visit in late June. One of the days while they were here they took Micah to the zoo while Dave and I could get out to celebrate our 7th anniversary.



Micah especially loved the "green ones" - the jelly fish in the aquarium.


They went out for ice cream after the zoo.

Micah feeding ice cream to Aunt Amanda.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Chelan, here we come

Unfortunately I'm having problems getting pictures to upload, and we're leaving today for our family vacation in Chelan. We have had a great summer so far: a trip to the zoo, some fun in the sprinklers, a visit for Micah from Uncle Greg and Aunt Amanda, swimming lessons and ice cream! I will get more pictures up soon, but it will be another week at least.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Spring 2009

I realize I am way behind in my updates and photos for my out of town family, so I'll do a couple of posts with just photos to let my family know what we've been up to these last couple of months.



Micah watering the flowers he and Dave planted for my birthday while I was out.




We had a couple weeks of really nice spring weather - warm and sunny. Micah got a taste of what summer would be like playing outside all day every day. Dave taught him to hit a t-ball.




He is very proud of his new Sounders hat. Go Sounders!




Dave probably won't be too happy about this picture! Micah found my lip gloss and tried to apply it himself while I was on the phone. :)


Monday, May 11, 2009

My Uncontrollable Obsession

After reading Audrey's post on Prost Amerika about her obsession with the Seattle Sounders, I decided to write a piece of my own. Ladies out there, if you feel you have something to say about your love for soccer, write about it and email steve@prostamerika.com. They want to hear the women's voice and perspective on this beautiful game!

Allow me to indulge you for a moment into my out-of-control addiction: Soccer! I have always loved soccer, playing since I was very young. I remember being on co-ed teams and driving by high school girls fields and thinking "I can't wait to play like that!" I played in high school and helped lead soccer clinics in our town with Portuguese guys. I played soccer all four years of college, even captain of the team for three of those four years. I was named MVP of the league one year and our team was undefeated in every tournament. I even went to Ireland for a summer to play against other women's teams and to lead soccer clinics for young kids in Ireland. These days I would play every day of the week if it were possible, but for now I play only about 4 days (since I should spend time with my family).

You could say I've always had a soccer addiction. But the thing that is now getting out of control for me is my obsession with the MLS and the Seattle Sounders. Seattle is in the middle of their inaugural season in Major League Soccer. Apart from the World Cup and the Olympics, I have never watched much soccer because there was nothing on TV and no close team to cheer for. I'm excited that Toronto also has an MLS team, and I hope they win every game they play, except against Seattle. Aside from the Sounders being exciting, fast-paced soccer and having the best goalkeeper in the league, we have the largest and loudest crowds in the MLS, which helps to draw you into an unnatural obsession.

My passion for this team gives Dave easy ideas for gifts. My birthday a couple weeks ago was spent at the Xbox Pitch in Seattle watching the Sounders win 2-0. Yesterday was Mother's Day and again we got to spend it at the Sounders game. Dave's brother got season tickets three rows back from the field near where the players come out of the locker room. The crowd is electric and is making the rest of the league envious of our sold-out stadium with 30,000 in attendance. I'm so excited for this team. The players are super fit and they play exciting football!

Audrey's article about her love for the Sounders made me feel somewhat normal. When I am sad that they only play once per week and I'm counting down the minutes in between matches, watching the games that I've saved on DVR more than once after watching them live, and reading every blog and news article out there on the Sounders, I think I am a little too into this team! I had no idea I would get so passionate about this, and I think it has surprised Dave too. I have always loved soccer, but didn't realize a Seattle MLS team was missing from my life!





Friday, April 24, 2009

Easter

I know I'm really late with this post, but I still wanted to post it for my family back in Ontario. Micah had a fun Easter. There is a video at the end of Micah opening his Easter present from his Grandma and Grandpa that had come in the mail.

Easter Egg Hunt at Nana and Papa's:


Checking near Uncle Dane



Found one in the shoe!




Micah got a new alarm clock that projects the time up on the ceiling with the hopes of keeping him in bed until at least the 7th hour!



Micah with his cousins Joe and Jack


video

Thank you to Grandma and Grandpa! Happy Easter!



Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Spirtual Child

Dave has been making use of his electric guitar a lot lately in our worship services on Sundays. I'm really proud of him because he's doing an amazing job learning the songs and making them sound really good and also doing it in a worshipful way. With him practicing so much at home and listening to the songs in the car when we drive, Micah has learned all the songs as well. It's adorable how he loves to sing all these worship songs. He has his own name for each of them . His favorites are: "Then Sings My Soul" (How Great Thou Art by Paul Baloche), "Hojanna" (Hosanna by Hillsong), "Halleluia" (Holy is our God by Starfield), "Oh Praise the One Who" (Jesus Paid it All by Kristian Stanfill), and "At the Cross" (Sweetly Broken by Jeremy Riddle).

I've also been listening to a CD in my car with hymns that have been redone and Micah loves some of the songs. It took me little while to figure out which ones he was meaning. He especially loves "Hoorise" (Arise my soul arise). The other one that I just figured out yesterday was "That thumb my got chew" which is .... can you guess? No? And Can It Be! Of course! You know the line that says "That Thou my God shoulds't die for me"? He took the first 5 words of that line and that's what he calls the song.

He loves to read his Toddler Bible at night and always asks to read the "Light" (In the beginning), the story of the Rainbow (Noah and the Flood) and then the "Owwies" which is Moses and the Plagues. Also, his prayers at night are SO cute. Dave is usually the one to put Micah to bed and he's been telling me everything Micah is thankful for, but I've gotten to experience it first hand lately because Dave's been out a couple nights in a row. Micah is still always first and foremost thankful for his 2 best buddies Ty Ty and Brady, but then he goes into being thankful for Mario kitty cat, grandma and grandpa, mommy and daddy, Daddy's computer, Mommy's computer, the TV Remote and the TV, the headboard for his bed, etc, etc. I wish I could remember everything, but at least there's a few.

The Grocery Game

One of my friends talked me into trying out "The Grocery Game". I was a little reluctant at first because 1. You have to clip coupons; 2. You have to pay attention to prices; and 3. To have it work the best for me I'd probably have to switch grocery stores. I hate switching stores. I have 2 stores that I most often buy my groceries from and I am used to them, I know where to find things, and I mostly like the selections they have. Albertsons is the store I should switch to because they have the best coupon policy - they accept coupons from every other store as well as their own. It's right next to the other store I normally shop at, so it's not out of my way, but I don't like the store as well.

Anyway, the idea behind The Grocery Game is that it combines sales/club member prices at your local grocery store with manufacturers coupons that you get in the Sunday paper in order to get the best use of the coupon and the biggest amount of savings. It works best if you can spend a lot at first to stock up on everything. I haven't completely stock-piled everything, but for the first three weeks of using the grocery game I have saved a ton of money!

The first time I went grocery shopping I saved $33 on my $101 bill - So I only spent $68! Another bill came to $140 before all the sales and coupons, and I ended up saving about $65. Just yesterday when I went shopping I saved $88 on about $200, so I spent $114. I think I'll keep using it. I just don't want to get sucked in to using coupons or buying things I wouldn't normally buy because it's such a good deal.

There's a $1 trial for 4 weeks - and even my Canadians friends can punch in your postal code to see which stores are available in your area. After the 4 week trial, it's $10 for every 8 weeks. You get a list with all the sales items and where to find the coupons you could use. I've never clipped coupons before, but I'm getting a system going and I am enjoying it so far because we can spend a lot on groceries each month and to cut down on the cost in any way helps! It's also helped me to figure out meals and make a plan based on what is on sale. If you are interested in trying it out you can refer to me (cheri at mplx dot com) when it asks for the email of the person who referred you.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Ontario Visit

Here are some pictures of our fun visit to my parent's house in Ontario. We had a great time playing in the snow and hanging out with friends and family. Micah loved seeing Grandma and Grandpa. He ran right up to his Grandpa at the airport and gave him a big hug. He helped Grandma in the kitchen and with the laundry. He only wanted them to help with washing his hands - Dave felt a little put out since he was the last one Micah wanted. :)





Micah with his Great-Grandpa and Great-Granny





I know this will be fun for Micah for many years to come - sending laundry down the laundry chute.




Of course, helping in the kitchen means eating more than actually "helping"but he did pour and stir and wash veggies for Grandma.


We went on a weekend retreat when we were there with some close family friends. The guys had made an extra tall snowman, so the girls had to come up with something better. We couldn't make anything taller but we could definitely make something more fancy! So we made a Snow Sphinx.



While we were working on our Sphinx, the guys made a pretty cool shark and stuck a poor unsuspecting child in the jaws!




It was a lot of fun with the snow piled higher than Micah. We made a clearing in the backyard so he could walk around a little since it was way too deep for him.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Sleeping like a baby

If he gets tired enough, he will fall asleep anywhere.

Within the last couple of weeks, Micah moved into a toddler bed, but he now understands he has some freedom to get up and move about. He knows enough not to come out of his room. There really aren't any toys except for a few books in his room for him to play with, but he will find something to do until he collapses. Nap time has been a bit of a challenge, trying to teach him to stay in bed and fall asleep, but sometimes it takes a good two hours for him to get tired enough to fall asleep. Sometimes I stress the issue of falling asleep and other times I just let him play quietly until he is REALLY quiet, at which time I go to check on him.

Here's what I find:


On the floor right behind his door, thankfully not close enough to be hit by the door opening.


Rocked himself to sleep.



Another episode of rocking himself to sleep, this time on the ottoman. I had been wondering if this would happen - he often lays like that, rocking back and forth but I didn't think he would actually fall asleep like that...


Wow, he actually made it to the bed (barely)!