Music Play

***Note to anyone who comes by here to listen to the music ...You will now have to scroll down to the player on the right side and press play yourself. This is to accommodate those who only come to read and are distracted by the music;}

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Van clarification (for Nea)

My dear eldest sister drives a Ford Windstar (her husband won't get anything but a Ford) and not a Dodge Caravan(as I said in my previous post)...I knew it was one of the ones that have been around forever, since my sister has been driving a mini-van a looonnngg time...(haha...nobody would come close to guessing your age look amazing!)

JJ's piggy toes and my bangs...

So, one of JJ's favorite things to do with me is to "wash hands". He sits on the sink ledge and puts his 'lil piggy toes in the sink and we wash hands. He tries to "catch" the water and has just started turning up the water himself! Usually the hot, so we are working on a BIG "NOOO touch" with that.
This is just one of those adorable little things that I will tuck into my heart priceless. I don't know if it's women, but I am such a goner for those piggy toes too...I just want to gobble them up! Are/were any of you the same way? I know my twin is!

So I struck another dramatic pose, since the hair I guess could be called sheik and trendy. So I guess the bangs would be side bangs or swoop ones. What do you think? Actually for this picture, I just blow-dried my hair upside down (with JJ watching) and put in some hair wax for texture and voila! I just laugh when I look at this face...soooo not me.
Now that's more like it! Big, toothy smile! Just so you don't all think I've gotten serious, melancholy and withdrawn...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Date night in Downtown Orlando

I had gone to this lake (Lake Eola) in downtown Orlando with my friend Vonda and then Jared and I decided to go there for our date night. It is really pretty and it was a nice night and we had each gotten (separately) $10 gift cards at Panera (which happens to be right across from one part of the lake--and it's a really cool one in an older building)! Has anyone else gotten those? It's for their 10 year anniversary--acts of it was a beautiful and cheap date (even with paying a babysitter)

Awwww...don't they look happy??!!

It's encouraging for me to find places like this because they show me some of the "character" of Orlando beyond it's planned sub-communities and flatness and dare I say World tourist centers (although extremely playful for children)??!! It reminded us a little of being by the lake in Keszthely, Hungary or for me of the Boston Common...I thought, "well I might just make it living down here in this strangely different place, if I can easily get to somewhere as nice as here!"

JJ's happiest moments in the day...

They are when Daddy gives him his bath...they are so cute with their little routines in the tub like the little plastic watering can that Jared uses to wash the soap off of JJ's hair...

And then when he takes him out and he has his hoody towel on, he is so happy and I always make Jared bring JJ to me, because he is just ADORABLE...

Team Hang Out...

Once a month we hang out as a team and on Saturday we were at Scott and Kaye's for some burgers...Above is Gracie hiding under her push toy, because she didn't want her picture taken...

JJ loves the riding toy we have at our house (from my sister) and so he was going after Gracie's, but Jared said he wouldn't look at the camera because it is PURPLE AND PINK...I just think he wasn't in a mood to smile:-)

Here's JJ playing on the floor with his little (girl)friend Gloria (Sophia in MA is one too!). I wanted to get them when they were both reading the book that's on the was really cute!

Our New Van!

2005 Nissan Quest
Here she is...oh yes, this reminds me that we need a name for her...any suggestions...I'm thinking "snowflake" since it's white and we're in Florida where there's not a chance of any other snowflakes...let me know any others you might think of...seriously, it is so great and such a blessing...a total gift. We keep reminding each other that it's the Lord's.

I just realized that all of my sisters and myself now have mini-vans! We each have a different type too! Windstar (sorry for saying caravan, Nea!) Odyssey (my sis Kristen) Town & Country (my twin Sara)...and now me a Nissan Quest!

My Haircut...

This is the front. I like how it "moves" a lot. There are bangs, but I have them clipped back...I like them on me, but I haven't gotten them to lay right...any suggestions?? Maybe I just don't have the patience for them to be in my face...

Dramatic side pose...

Back: when I see this, it actually looks like the cut I got when I was in Hungary. We joked that it was like a "female mullet", but this doesn't seem like that to me...
Please tell me what you think, since you are far away and can't see it in person...

JJ's First Haircut...

...I cried the whole time (not really, but when I looked at the hair I'd cut off, I was this normal??)
Above--The start of the process--we needed the help of the Baby Einstein which he is staring intently at.

Below--When JJ caught onto what I was doing, he didn't want to have anything to do with it.
Everything was mostly straight, but when he was trying to move away from the scissors, I missed a couple of spots I tried to fix later...Jared had to hold his head and he screamed (or fussed, thankfully JJ doesn't scream)
Here's a picture with the new haircut...I'll try to get the back where the most difference is...I thought I did the front too short and it looked like when a little kid tries to cut his hair, but Jared said it looked good.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Remaining Anchored in Love

Loved this Henri Nouwen meditation...seems like many of my anxieties as far as taking the risk in initiating/loving others/taking a stand are what he is speaking about...I hope it speaks to your heart too...

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

Remaining Anchored in Love

When we are anxious we are inclined to overprepare. We wonder what to say when we are attacked, how to respond when we are being interrogated, and what defence to put up when we are accused. It is precisely this turmoil that makes us lose our self-confidence and creates in us a debilitating self-consciousness.

Jesus tells us not to prepare at all and to trust that he will give us the words and wisdom we need. What is important is not that we have a little speech ready but that we remain deeply anchored in the love of Jesus, secure about who we are in this world and why we are here. With our hearts connected to the heart of Jesus, we will always know what to say when the time to speak comes.


HEY YO, YO!! Got my 'lil homeboy showin' you how he HANGS in our SWEET CRIB...(Ok, I'm going crazy, 11pm, watching the EAGLES in a tight game with those DANG Cowboyz!)

JJ brushing his teeth with Daddy..

He could have stayed there ALL NIGHT! He kept his toothbrush for a while and just LOVED chewing on it! My dentist would be PROUD.
Playing on Mommy & Daddy's Bed--Hands Down the most fun we all have in a day!
"Hey Ma, that 'lil guy in there sure is CUTE!"
"Can I invite him over to play...he's just my size!"
Oh my baby boy...I am in love...

"Oh boy, oh boy, it sure is a FUNNY world upside-down!"

Sorry it's been a week since I blogged...I promise to TRY to keep you up-to-date better. I have to have Jared take a picture of my haircut. I like it, but I've had my moments. You can let me know what you think!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Team Retreat in South Carolina

BEAUTIFUL PICTURE...I need to get it framed

As you can see, we were on the lake, quite a was a beautiful, relaxing time. I took us 12 hours both ways to get there, but it was worth it!!

We went on a pontoon boat and JJ tried to crawl on it, but he had his "sea knees" and couldn't move, it was the funniest thing!

This is Kaye and her daughter Gracie, they are on our team and I am so excited to have another mom to hang out with, pray with, and just journey with through all of this!

This is me with Jeannine and Shannon who are also on our team...funny, if you look behind Jared and Jeremy are on a raft waiting to get picked up! It looks like they're floating out to sea never to be seen again!

Here I am with Annette on the WaveRunner. She is from Germany (thanks Jules) and is STINTing here in Orlando to learn about Student Venture as she senses the Lord leading her to launch Student Venture in her country. Please pray for her. Mostly, that the Lord will show her the way and bring those with like hearts to help begin this very needed ministry to teenagers in Germany.
JJ and I on the pontoon boat...notice the Boston Red Sox hat--sorry Sara

Jeremy, our city director, with JJ...he was teaching him to stick out his tongue...JJ was fascinated and trying to imitate...THANKS JEREMY!
JJ was definitely chillin' on the boat...he fell asleep the first time that he rode in the boat.

Cutie pie in his swim outfit!

Here's JJ in the lake water...he's definitely enjoying the water more now than when we first introduced him to it (pools too!) and we are happy about that since we are in Florida! (I have to keep telling myself that so that it sinks in)

The 5 team girls went on what I thought would be a gentle (LAZY RIVER) tube ride, it ended up being more like white water rafting! I had bruises for a week! But it was a great ride and we had a lot of fun! One time was enough for me though!

We decided to do the same thing with the guys, only there were more of them and they weigh more! They ended up breaking the pull on the boat! Yikes! So sorry Mr. & Mrs. A.!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Snapshots from our new place in Orlando

Here is a picture of the BEAUTIFUL roses Jared came home with for me from the store where he had stopped to pick up some things for me...Can I just say, my hubby ROCKS!
These roses were soooo beautiful!

Here's JJ helping me with the laundry, even though it's not as fun as with Mum Mum...and he's a little scared because he shut the door on his leg TWICE, poor guy.

Here's JJ with the "Bal...bal...bal" I got him when I was out shopping. He loves to pick up things with his legs, and we couldn't believe he could get this big ball too!

Here's JJ in his new room...more detailed pictures will follow later

This was the birthday cake I made for him when his actual b-day came around (August 21st). I used chocolate chips to write "Happy Birthday" and it was difficult to make out up close, but when I took the picture, it was very clear!

Here's JJ on the little ride toy from Auntie Kristen...He loves to just chill and be pushed around in it...

Chillin' with Daddy...He makes that face whenever he's "playing" with you and being funny!

Here we are at our friends Scott and Kaye's celebrating JJ's b-day. Their daughter Grace is in the high chair and Gloria is their other daughter I am holding. They are great friends and fellow team members to have down here!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Moving Day(s)

It was a fun day for JJ as he got to play lots with Mum Mum and eat fun snacks! Here he is eating these Gerber crunchies (essentially a healthier version of a cheese doodle/puff). He and his buddy Carson ate the whole can!
While we were waiting for Jared to come with the truck, our friends, Mike and Trish's, kids were throwing football with Jared's brother Jason.

My father-in-law did an AMAZING job packing the truck. We used just about every bit of that 14 ft. truck! We were all nervous and not sure if we could fit what we wanted to in the truck, but we did and in Jared's brother, Jason's, zeal to clear out my in-law's basement, we even got a box or two in there that DIDN'T belong to us...OOPS!

Here's JJ loving his baby food, but his buddy, Carson isn't so sure...

Here we are eating Cosco pizza (a great deal and great pizza!) and if you look at JJ in the stroller, you can see how he slid out of it as my mother-in-law forgot to strap him in...Jared was able to catch him. Love you Mom:-)! Thanks for all the help on that crazy moving day!

J.J. LOVES watermelon and had 4 pieces that evening! I think it feels really good on his teeth that are coming in...

"Happy-as-can-be My Watermelon and Me!"

We waited to put our bed/mattress on the truck until the end, the next morning, so Jared and I had something to sleep on that night! It was really snug and great for keeping everything secure during the big trip from PA to Florida. We only had a couple of casualties (so far, there's a little bit still to unpack)--a mirror and the handle of a mug (which could have happened at any point during the 3 YEARS it was stored!)

Here's the truck and hitching our car to tow in the back. Praise the Lord that it arrived in Orlando with no damage...

And Praise the Lord for the safe journey to Orlando. Thank you for all of your prayers!
God is so Good--All the Time and All the Time--God is Good!!!