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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

11 Months Old!!!

I can't believe Eliana is 11 months old.  It simply amazes me that she is nearly a year old.  My, my, my how time truly flies.  What a blessing she is to us, our family, our friends, and the many strangers who smile when they see her.

Eliana has dark eyes, and I've been working on capturing them for awhile.  I read a blog with amazing photography and interesting stories of a family with 14 kids.  The youngest is a day younger than Eliana.  Renee occasionally posts photography tips.  I just play around with my camera.  I really don't know much in regards to technical terms.  The picture of her son Tucker amazed me, and I've been working to capture Eliana's eyes since then.  http://bakersdozen.typepad.com/a_bakerss_dozen_daily_lif/2010/12/aperture-and-why-it-matters.html

Last week I read a blog by Misty and found a tip that made a difference.  It wasn't in super techy words, so I got the gist of what she was saying.  Plus, her blog is full of great photography, fun, and conviction of a follower of Jesus.  http://garrison-serendipity.blogspot.com/2011/05/proof-and-few-tips.html
Eliana likes to help me take my pictures:)  Lately she enjoys grabbing the cap and strap that are attached to the camera.  She is so fast these days that it can be hard to capture her quick movements as she crawls and explores. 

Eliana is a day old in this picture.  She was at the hospital getting her oxygenation levels tested while in her car seat.  Kyle went with her, and I'm pretty sure I thought about her the entire time she was gone.
Look at how big she has gotten!!!   Go back and compare where Tigger is in each picture.  Eliana was smiling at her daddy through the car window.  Eliana gets so excited when Kyle comes home.  Sometimes we are up before him.  She loves to wake up her sleeping daddy by crawling across the mountains of blankets to pat his face or grab his nose.  Kyle can be hard to rise in the morning, but he often wakes up quickly when his daughter is ready to play with him.
Family came to visit when Eliana was dedicated at church this past Sunday.  I'm so glad that Eliana is loved by her Aunt Trisha and Aunt Taylor! 
 I LOVE this picture of Eliana with her Aunt Tara.  I was impressed that Tara let her play with her necklace.  Not only did she play with it, she also chewed on it with those two new teeth that are breaking through on the top.  Eliana has a good grip.  She hasn't broken anyone's necklace yet, but she has the potential to!  We always know when Eliana has been with Aunt Tara because she comes back with glitter on her head from Tara's many kisses:)
Eliana's Grandpa Mark and Grandma Bonnie got a bear for Eliana back at Christmas time.  It had been hiding under the Christmas tree and was discovered after we had already left. HA!  Eliana didn't mind the wait.  At six months old, she didn't know how to open presents.  
Eliana loved the tissue paper!  She was elated by all of the exciting noises that tearing, crunching, and squeezing the tissue made.
Eliana has recently discovered that boxes are loads of fun!  Who needs presents?  Boxes can be just as entertaining:)    
Our home isn't the best well lit.  It cracks me up how many times I take pictures or go outside and realize that Eliana's face has sweet potato, green beans, or other food on it.  She is now in the phase were she prefers to feed herself.  She enjoys picking up French cut green beans, cooked carrots (which she wouldn't touch if they were pureed), banana (also something she didn't care too much for pureed), and bread (Oh how she LOVES bread of all kinds... wheat, sour dough, tortilla, and French bread just to name a few). 

Eliana was almost three months old in these pictures.  My goodness she was small.  I guess I was just used to her being that size since I didn't really have anyone to compare her to.
Now she actually finds this toy fun! It plays music as she either pushes it around or bangs on the tops. She likes to hit the tops as its lights flash. Ruli is going to make a drummer out of her yet.
 A profile of my sweet baby.
Eliana is on the go as soon as she wakes up!  Her memory is developing to where she notices anything new in the living room.  One day last week we picked up a light weight stroller for travel and a new puzzle.  She went from the puzzle, to the stroller, and ended with the box the stroller came in.

She gave me an amazing gift the last two days by sleeping through the night.  I don't know if it will last, or if it was sound sleep due to her adventures out of town.  Either way, I didn't mind in the slightest:)

There are pros and cons to each stage of her growth.  I appreciate the increase in sleep, how busy she keeps me during the day, and the many smiles she brings to so many people.  I am thankful that she still loves being in her stroller, the sweet smile she gets while enjoying the breeze in the park swing, and that she rarely screams in the car anymore.  Teaching her that no, she can't do everything she wants, isn't easy; but I'm glad she can't tell me no back yet.  Well, I guess she does in her own way, but she isn't using the word no back;)  I miss when she used to fall asleep on my chest.  I miss rocking her to sleep.  Although at 6+ months old I didn't know how much longer I could take it.  Now we just lay her down in her crib, give her a small soft blanket, and often she goes into sleepy land all by herself.  I'm so thankful that she doesn't cry as much as she used to.  Eliana doesn't go by a strict schedule, but she does have a pattern.  Once she is up for the day somewhere between 5am and 8am, she takes her morning nap about two hours later.  Her morning nap is around two glorious hours in which I try to get all of the things done that I used to be able to do when she was awake.  She'd rather play with me than watch me read my Bible up at the table, shower, or watch me do chores.  Now she wants to help me read, figure out how she can get me out of the shower faster, and see what it would be like to get into the dishwasher.  After being awake, she is normally up for two to three hours and then down for a nap that lasts some where between an hour to two hours.  Then she is up for the rest of the afternoon until between 6:30pm and 8pm depending upon when she got up for the day.  

I love this precious gift from God, our daughter.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Eliana Videos

Tasha discovered that Eliana not only liked to stand and hold the handle on this toy, but she could also walk with it by herself!

Rachel and Eliana had some play time with the rubber ducky.  Rachel was laughing so much at Eliana's laughs that you can hear Rachel trying to catch her breath.

Go ahead and watch it again.  You aren't the only one that can't resist.

Proud uncle moment

I went to Herb Bauers a few weeks ago and picked up a few items.  My carabiner broke a few days before this, so I purchased a neat looking S-Biner to hold my keys.

Jump ahead to my brother Nick's wedding.  My super cute niece was the flower girl for the wedding.  She is a year and half old and very smart.  As we're enjoying the reception, Kallie points to my keys and says, "S!"  Now that my friends is one smart cookie!!!

Oh the Things you do as Parents

 Eliana will only fit in this small sink for a little while longer!  I can't remember why Kyle bathed her in the sink.  We have a baby bath tub that we use at the kitchen sink, but maybe I was doing dishes when he decided to bathe her.  Either way, it accounted for some fun photo time!  Plus, we got lots of laughs.  Eliana only drained the water once.  I don't think she connected her action with the lack of water, but it was funny to us!
Yes, I am clipping her finger nails.  Yes, I have her locked in my legs.  Sometimes she turns into such a wiggle worm when it comes time to clip her nails.  They grow so fast that we have to do it every week!

This was the first time I trimmed Eliana's nails.  She was 12 days old!!!  It took me half an hour to file them.  She stayed asleep the whole time.  Look at how small she used to be!!!  She still curled up her legs at that time.  Wow, that was a long time ago.  It was nearly a year ago!  Time sure does fly.

Creation Story Circles

While reading Genesis 1, I had students stop and think about what colors could represent each day.  For example, black and white might represent darkness and light in day one.  We then traced seven circles to represent each day.  Then I had students trace their circles and map out which day would be where and what colors they thought of.  The colors within the circle represent things created in the day.  The above picture is my sample created with marker.  I had the students make their paintings with tempera on canvas.  Below is a diagram of what each color represents. 

I liked my work, but I found it hard to tell the circles apart.  I did another example in which I picked a color to represent each day and then I used various values of that color so that the circle would be eye catching.
I showed the students both examples and let them decide how they wanted their art pieces to look.

When I first taught this lesson, I walked away thinking the lesson was rather bland.  I liked the art piece, but I had changed up how the lesson was taught and there wasn't a lot of dialogue about the verses.  I retaught the same Scripture the next week and loved having conversations about how God created everything.  I also emphasized that not everyone believes that, and in fact their science books don't.  I explained that some scientist believe God created everything, but many of them believe in evolution.  When I told them that some people believe we came from monkeys, they laughed.  In high school and college I argued with teachers about this.  My students wanted to know if I got in trouble.  I explained that I was respectful in disagreeing with their perspective.
The Bible and Art Club Spring Exhibit is tonight during Open House!  I'm so excited for my students' work to be displayed!!!  I'm hoping that the students will have an opportunity to talk with others about their work and the Bible!  Yesterday's mini lesson was on Matthew 28:18-20 in which Jesus tells us to teach others about Him.  I told my students that they might get a chance to do that since their art work is being displayed.  Initially many of them looked a little scared about that.  I asked them if they could why there were seven circles on their paintings. "Yes, God made the earth in seven days."  What about the colors, could they explain them? "Yes, the represent what was made in each day!"  Oh the sigh of relief when they knew they'd have something to share.  I asked if they remembered learning some things about Daniel a few weeks ago.  It took a moment for them to go that far back into their memory banks, but yes they had something to share about Daniel too!!!  Wahoo!

Friday, May 13, 2011


Meet our friend Ethan!

I found it to be such a blessing when people shared meals with us after Eliana was born.  I've realized was that making a meal for a family is something I can do that honors God and gets us out of the house!!!  Plus, I get to see new little lives that remind me just how much Eliana has grown.

Rachel to the Rescue!

Eliana can pull herself up on things like chairs, the couch, walls, people, and other objects that are taller than her.  She hasn't stood up by herself yet.  If you let go of her hands, she can stand for a few moments.  While holding someone's hands, she can walk places.   
Eliana loves Rachel!!!  It was rather humorous trying to take these pictures.  I was the photographer, and Rachel was Eliana's rescuer.
I personally am not a huge fan of pink, but I've found that pink on Eliana is quite cute.  I would never wear a tutu and ballet slippers, but on her they are adorable!  Actually, that isn't all true.  I wore ballet slippers during my wedding reception.  I'm not a huge fan of high heels either:)  I think they can be pretty, but I'd rather be comfy.
Do you see why Eliana needs a rescuer?  She doesn't even keep her eyes open as she goes plummeting toward the ground.  It is probably a reflex of some kind to protect her eyes:)

Rachel, Eliana, and I went on a stroll and found these beauties!

Outdoor Adventures

Does anyone else think of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Fin when they see this picture?

Does anyone know what kind of bird this is?

 Kyle has a nack for spotting these four legged friends.

Related to Mother's Day

Here is a close up of the corsage Kyle got for me.  It made me feel so special to wear this!!!

Kyle loves buying little special things for Eliana.  He was so excited to bring home these bubbles for Eliana.  He even buys little things for the neighbor kids.  Last week they got a nozzle that has two spouts so that they can both fill water balloons (which he also purchased) at the same time!

Eliana loves her daddy and her daddy loves her!!!

Eliana lent me a hand in making these cards for her grandmas for Mother's Day.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

This has been a very special Mother's Day for me!  Kyle got me a super thoughtful card, a gift card to get a pedicure and manicure (something I'd never purchase on my own), a beautiful corsage, and Panda Express for lunch!!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Friend Filled Friday

Eliana and I had a great play day outside this morning!!!
Tristan gave his mom tons of smiles when we first got there.  After  that, he was content to chew on his hands or his pacifier.  Katherine had fun watching Eliana and looking to see what her son will be doing in a few months.
As Katherine watched Eliana, I watched Paige who is about a year older than her.  Paige LOVES to play and explore.  Kari and I both remembered when our girls were younger.  It cracks me up how being around other babies and kids makes you reflect on past experiences and look forward to new adventures to come.
Eliana really wanted to get into Tristan's diaper bag.  Normally I don't let her explore her own, but it kept her focused and on the blanket today.  She found her pacifier (which she is now only using for naps and bed time... although I had brought it since we had a 30 minute drive home), puffs (which she was able to open the bag and spill half of), paper (which I put into the trash bag out of site), diapers (which I distracted her with toys and moved), and all sorts of other things.  I reorganized the bag when I got home:)