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Monday, July 30, 2012

Locks of Love Donation

 This is the last photo taken of my long hair.  Eliana was "helping" me do the dishes.  This is at least my third time donating to Locks of Love.  My hair was getting pretty long after Eliana was born, but I had Kyle chop it off soon after she was born because I just couldn't handle all of the weight of all that extra hair.  It wasn't quite long enough to donate, but I was tired of the headaches.  This time around Trisha cut it.  She didn't know she'd be a hair dresser when she came to visit, but I was thrilled to have her do my hair!!!

 Eliana's vocabulary now includes, "Careful, baby." as she is gentle around her growing baby sister.

 We've hit 30 weeks already!  My how the times flies.  If this little one is early like her big sister, then we have less than 7 weeks to go.  I guess it is time to pick a name or at least narrow down the options to a handful.

 I am so very grateful for our growing family.  I'm getting less sleep now, but I know it is all God's way of preparing me for the new little one to come.

I recently was in a conversation with man who I realized had no compassion for his wife when she woke up in the middle of the night in severe pain with a charlie horse.  I am so very blessed to have such a gracious and loving husband who willingly, and gently, rubs out those knots.

Updates on Eliana:
*She is 25 months old.
*Sometimes she goes days with out an accident, and I PRAISE the Lord for that!!!  She can sleep through the night and wake up dry.  She went to the toilet two times at church with child care workers yesterday.  That is a first.  Normally she just goes through the motions with them a handful of times.  She has done well over the past few days about going to the restroom while we were out and about for a couple of hours at a time.
*A little over a week ago Eliana found me crying.  Her little, tender heart stirred and she went and got me her blanket.  She told me to lay down.  She covered me up.  I was resting my arm holding my head up.  Nope, that wasn't good for her.  She wanted me completely resting on the floor covered in her favorite blanket made by Aunt Marcie.  I was so touched by her compassion.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sunflower Farm

On Thursday, a coworker and I went to visit a client’s facility. On the way back he noticed rows of sunflowers on the side of the road in a half maintained garden. He commented, “Nice. Someone has a little sunflower farm.” I asked why he automatically went to that conclusion. I continued, “That is a great example of evolutionary progress. The soil, seeds, insects, and water all wanted to be more organized. The soil did its part by raising itself up and dropping itself down in long runs. The seeds did their part by dropping into the raised soil every so often. Making sure to stay on the raised run of soil the full length that the soil provided it. The good insects made sure to remove the bad insects from the area. They worked to removed the weeds without disturbing the sunflower sprouts…” By this time he wanted to know why I was being crazy. I stopped my fanciful tale and said, “Because where there is order, there is a designer.”

Colossians 1:15-17
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Our Growing Girl

I don't remember the last time I took Eliana outside just to take pictures.  Although this trip outdoors also including getting the mail, I hoped I'd get a few nice shots.  I think there was such a long season of Eliana being a blur in initial photo shoots that I took a break.  Trying to get her to smile for a photo isn't happening much, but she did stand mostly still while I took a few photos.
 Thanks Elaine for the special necklace from New Zealand!  I'm hopeful that it will help her as she has her 2 year molars coming in any time now.

 These photos above and below were actually from June, but the outdoor look matched this post.  Plus I really don't know how much longer Eliana will nap, so it made sense to me to put them all together.  Eliana loves to be outside.  Drawing with chalk is a current favorite hobby.  She enjoys "helping" me with whatever I am drawing.  So there is often an animal with lovely stripes or spots on it from her handy work.

I'm amazed at how much she has grown from her 1st to her 2nd birthday.  In that year she learned to walk, run, and is currently working on jumping (which is hilarious to watch).  She feeds herself pretty well when she is interested in the food set before her.  Just last night I noticed that she is taller than the kitchen table.  I remember the season of her hitting her head on the underside of the table.  She loves to help do the dishes, switch the loads of laundry, sweep the floor, and just about anything else we do.  This morning she wanted moose in her hair since I was putting some in mine.  I tried to explain that she needs to wait until she has long curly hair, but she persistently asked for moose.  Needless to say she wasn't thrilled when I said no and put it away.  She figured out how the baby locks work on the few cabinets we keep them on.  She hasn't unloaded a cabinet for us, and she doesn't get in them unless we are talking about something she knows is in them.  For example, I mentioned needing to her some medicine, and she went and unlocked the cabinet for me.  We moved the medicine up to a top cupboard that she can't reach.  We'll continue to train her not to go in certain cabinets, but I wasn't willing to risk having the medicine in the same location.  This morning Iheard her saying parts of nursery rhymes,"Baa Baa Sheep.  Have any more?  Yes sir, Yes sir."  and "Twinkle, twinkle... twinkle, twinkle... wonder and then repeated"  which she says for all the words but in different sing-song voices.  Our little girl is growing, and we love her dearly.

July 4th, a Zoo day!

We were super blessed to get a zoo membership for Eliana's birthday!  We went as a family on July 4th!

 Eliana enjoyed the dino dig area where she and Kyle worked to uncover a t-rex before the amazing bird show.

 I love Eliana's facial expression here!

 I really enjoy taking pictures of macaws.  They are show such a brilliantly bright array of God's creativity.

We spent the evening with Rachel, Ruli, Sarah, and church family.  It was great to enjoy the fellowship and talk with other moms about pregnancy.  We're 28 weeks along!!!  The baby is growing and should weigh around 2 pounds now.  She is getting stronger and we can visibly see her stretch out and move across my belly.  


 We had a pleasant visit from Grandpa Franklin and Grahams at the end of June.  Eliana loved swimming with Rachel, Ruli, Sarah, and Grahams.  For the next week, every time we said we were going swimming Eliana said, "Grahams?" expecting her to join us.

 I was SO glad that Ruli, Rachel, and Kyle were up to playing with Eliana this warm summer day.  I had taken my 1 hour glucous test that morning and wasn't feeling fabulous.  I praise the Lord for helpful family!

Next to Kyle and I are Lynda and Drew.  Rachel is holding Dawson, Drew and Lynda's son.  A few months back while sharing dinner with Rachel, Ruli, Drew, Lynda, and Dawson, Kyle made some comment about Rachel in regards to Grandpa Franklins last name.  It turns out that this is the same last name of Lynda's mom.  A little bit of research on Aunt Marcie's part found that we are distant cousins.  What a small world!  So the above picture really is a family photo!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Eliana is 2 years old!!!!!

Aimee and Aunt Marcie worked together to make this delicious cake!  Since the food theme was Mexican, they decided a fiesta cake with Dora would be appropriate.
Sophia, Jj, and their families joined us.  It was nice to have Eliana's neighborhood pals join us for the celebration of Kyle and Eliana's June birthdays.

                            Donald, Kelly, Taylor, Tanya              Ashlee and Dad

                            Tara and Trisha                                   Kyle, Uncle Michael, Ruli

 Nav, Jj, and Dj up front with April, Dominic, and Sophia in the back

 Mom, Aunt Dacra, Sarah, Aunt Marcie, Rachel, and Frank
                  Aimee, Troy, and Kallie                                Eliana's favorite spot for the party was this swing:)

 Eliana and Kyle received nice presents.  My favorite part was spending time with family and friends.  I loved how everyone was a part of the meal as we enjoyed three kinds of salsa, sweet fruit, burritos, chips, two tasty rice options, guacamole and more.  I couldn't decide what kind of salsa to try, so I had a little of all three on my burrito.  They were all fabulous!

 It is kind of hard to see the girls since they are in the shade of the tree, but it looks like Kallie wanted the cake as much as her cousin!!!
 Eliana has enjoyed using her desk, playing with the memory game I made, and playing in the sand at the volleyball court in our complex.

Thank you to everyone who made Kyle and Eliana's birthday celebration a fabulous day!

Things Eliana has been up to lately:
*Her vocabulary is exploding!  When I told Kyle to that recently, Eliana repeated, "Exploded!"  Last week after getting the mail she sat on the step near our home, patted the spot next to her, and said, "Sit awhile."  I was so surprised that she'd used awhile in context that I gladly obliged and enjoyed some of the morning outside.  I asked Kyle if he taught Eliana "awhile" and he said he hadn't.  My curiosity was solved at church on Sunday when Ruli remembered that is what he told Eliana when he and Rachel were watching her for a few days while we were at the mission expo.  It is so nice to have a Eliana talking with me.

*Eliana has been in the process of toilet training for a few weeks now.  We had some bumps in the road with us being gone for a few days and Vacation Bible School the week after we came back.  However, I will gladly share that last Friday she didn't have any accidents!!!  Her nap times are dry most of the time.  Soon, we'll start working on night time.  This past week I tried to stay home most of the time and really focus on toilet training.  We only went outside after she went to the bathroom, and those were for some what short periods of time.  She is bare bottomed at home so that she won't have to take the extra time fussing with a diaper, pull up, or panties.  We are still using a diaper at night and pull ups when we go to church or think we'll be gone a long time.  Although she did go to the bathroom at one of my baby appointments, she hasn't gone outside of the home since then that I can recall.

*Kyle and I are listening to To Train Up a Child by Michael and Debi Pearl.  We HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who interacts with kids.  Former Sunday school teachers gave it to us when Eliana was first born.  I listened to a cd and a half and thought it would be best for Kyle and I to listen to it together.  So, two years later we are.  We've already worked on being more consistent with Eliana and making sure she understands expectations and consequences.  I think it is part of what helped the toilet training this past week.  I've seen improvements with less whining and screaming.  Praise the Lord for improvements!!!

*Eliana's eating habits continue to vary.  Most days she enjoys breakfast and lunch.  Most days dinner is a struggle.  She loves fruit and she can correctly name many of them.  I think her current favorites are grapes and plumbs.  She also enjoys bananas, peaches, watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, apples, blueberries, and a few others that aren't coming to mind.  In order to help her eat more of her dinner, we often keep the fruit on our plate and explain what she needs to eat in order to get more of the fruit.
The last few days her tummy has been upset, so we wonder if part of the lack of eating, combine with a clear running nose, and finger chewing means she is getting her two year molars.  So far we haven't had a fever, so that is a blessing.

*Eliana's current favorite book is Mitchell's License.  She and I bought it for Kyle's birthday last year.  I thought it would be a nice book for her and her daddy to read together.  Little did I know that it would be her favorite story to be read while she sits on the toilet.  We've read it so much that she knows some of the words for several of the pages.