Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Try try again...to get a good picture


Cody trying to position Abby's head for the shot. It looks more like a wrestling hold.
















Abby checking out her leg warmers instead of looking at the camera. I bought these from babylegs...they are really cute!

















Very serious looks from both of them...come on kids, smile for the camera!















I learned two things today:

1. Trying to get these two to hold still for a quick picture is nearly impossible.

2. Capturing one good shot is worth all of the ones that aren't quite right.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Happy 1/2 Birthday - 6 months today!

Happy 1/2 Birthday Abby!
Six whole months has past us by and it seems like just yesterday we brought you home from the Baby Store (sounds better than saying hospital).... and at the same time we can't remember life before you. Cody thinks you are pretty cool and mommy & daddy can't get enough of your cute smiles. You are truly a "happy baby" and hope you plan on staying that way.

Your 6 month milestones (things you have accomplished as of today):

  • you can eat baby food
  • you can almost sit up without falling over
  • you can roll over (forward & back)
  • you can grab things and put it in your mouth
  • you can sleep through the night (yeah Abby!!!!)

So, Happy 1/2 Birthday...I know 6 more months will roll on by before we know it. Like they say, "they grow up before your eyes"....its so true!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Interesting fact about myself (that I didn't know)

43%

This was very interesting (and unusual) information that I discovered today about myself. This isn't your ordinary "Cosmo Quiz" - this was on one of my favorite websites Neatorama. I dare you to click on the link and take the quiz yourself. Publish your total in the comments. I would like to see how safe I am around my friends. : )

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Stage Project Update

Clay has been working so hard on this project and it is taking shape very quickly. Here are a few pictures of it being assembled in the garage.

I can't believe how talented he is with all of the construction of the different parts: lots of walls, two sets of steps, hanging doors, a moveable bookshelf...sort of like a secret passage way. So cool!


The walls are all primed and ready for color. So now we need to come up with some totally cool and funky paint schemes, transport it all to the church and do some final touch-ups. Then we need to figure out all of the props and materials we might need after it is secure on stage. Still looking for help with this project...anyone, anyone?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

NewSpring Church Review

We went to visit NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC today.....

It was AWESOME! I'll have to write more about some of the details later, but here are some highlights from the trip:


The first thing we saw was a sign that said "First Time Visitors, Please Turn On Flashers" ...so I did.
And boy was everyone happy to see us! (This was one of my most favorite things about NewSpring.) We had about a dozen folks waving at us and guiding us into our front row parking spot. And on a cold, icy morning like today, that was a HUGE treat! We have to try this at Seacoast....I think it is a great idea.

As we approached the front door, even more greeters came over to welcome us....it was obvious that they were genuinely gald to have us there, but the best thing was that they were like that to everyone, not just us!


They made first time visitors feel VERY welcome - it was evident everywhere. They even had a special "First Time Visitor Check-In for the Children's Minsitry". I loved how they had manned stations and everyone was checked in and kids were assigned small groups. They had people making sure that all of the small groups were equally balanced. (how nice would that be?) There were greeters at every door....literally, every door.



The classrooms were fantastic! Clean, colorful, fun, and ready for the kids (people and supplies were all ready to go!) They even had their stage folks rehearsing their lines BEFORE service started. Small group leaders were there BEFORE the kids!
















Small groups were dived with these easy to make room barriers. They just printed the images on their plotter and hung them on the dividers. They had awesome room furniture...not sure where it was from, but notice the wheels for easy moving. Nice.

I loved the way they had themed their rooms and hallways (especially the nursery & preschool area)....here is just a sample of how cute everything was....very creative!


The 2 Year Olds were quietly seated and listening to the lady reading the Bible Story. Love this idea: The church provides sippycups for all the kids to use while they are there....cool!

They had a cart that they would push around during and between services with snacks for the volunteers. (very smart!)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Week in Review

The kids are doing great. Cody is using the potty at school...not so much here at home, but we're working on it. He loves walking around showing off his "spider"...which are his big boy pants with Spiderman on the front of them. Here is a picture he insisted that I take of his "spider" while I was trying to take Abby's picture.

He can count to ten....it usually goes something like this: "un, tree, shore, shive, shore, tree, sev, eight, nine, ten, mommy!"

At night, we practice the alphabet by looking at the letter with a picture of something that starts with that letter. He doesn't have the patience to get through the whole alphabet song yet, but he will say: "apple, bee, (c)kitty, dog, fish...sock, y, z." How cute!


Abby is eating well and learning how to grab things. She is getting cuter by the minute. I am starting to get obsessed with always having a hair bow in her hair. If you know of any good (but cheap) hair bow companies, let me know!

At the church, we are trying to build some cool stage designs. Here is a picture of what it should sort of look like when we are done. We have another cool idea for our preschool area too. I have been obsessed with getting this done....and its finally going to happen!











If anyone reading this wants to help, here is what we need:

  • lowes gift cards for materials
  • manpower to help build it
  • painters to pull it all together

Clay is starting the building in our garage...I'll have to post a picture of his workshop later. I'm so excited about this!!!! (If you can't tell)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Preach It!

Have you ever read somebody's blog and thought...wow, someone actually feels the same way I do? It doesn't happen alot, but this time...man, as I read this post, I felt like those ladies in the AME church that whoop and holler while the preacher is on a roll. I am going with some other folks from Seacoast to visit this church this weekend...and I can't wait! You have got to read this post from Perry Noble at NewSpring Church:

What About Me?
Someone asked me a really great question the other day. They said, “Perry, whenever you cast vision you always speak specifically about the children and then teenagers; however, you don’t really say a lot regarding the adults, why is that?”
Here was my answer…I love adults, especially the senior citizens. One of the most fun trips I have ever taken was at my last church–the pastor asked me to take the senior adults to Myrtle Beach for a conference–and it was more wild than any youth trip I had ever been on! I actually had to tell them we were NOT going to Hooters!
The senior adults…and the not so senior adults…should not be ignored and/or neglected; however, I do not believe they need to be the focus of the church, which, unfortunately has happened in many churches in our country.
Come on now, don’t tell me it doesn’t happen. If the youth and children want to do something, go on a mission trip or summer camp then what does the church do? Stick them out in the sun and make them wash cars and sell doughnuts. BUT…in that same church…if the senior adults want to go pick apples then the church completely pays for the trip.
Maybe it’s just me…but I see something SERIOUS that is wrong with that.
I know, I know–I’ve heard it all before. “Perry, the adults give all the money!” So…because they give money the church should finance their recreational activities? My question is “WHY” do they give the money? Is it so the church can do what they want to be done…or because they love Jesus?
Adults in the church DO have rights…and it is NOT wrong for us to have personal preferences; however, I think a part of being a mature adult is getting past yourself enough to understand that everyone does not like things “my way,” and in order to really impact the next generation then I need to be willing to give up my desires.
For example…I am about to be a dad. What if I took this approach, “My child is going to have to adjust to ME when she gets here. I will not inconvenience myself in any way for her. If she pees herself and I don’t feel like changing her…she will just have to get over it. If we only have a certain amount of money and I have to decide whether or not to buy her some food or me a nice steak dinner…I guess she’ll know what its like to be hungry.”
If the above were how I operated as a parent then there is only one word to describe me–SORRY!
How is the above attitude different from most churches today? If we want to SERIOUSLY impact the world we live in–I believe it MUST be done through dynamic youth and children’s ministry…and in order to do that we MUST spend money on them…and if we are spending money of them then that means that some of the things we would love to see as adults in the church…well…we go without them! We inconvenience ourselves. We go without! All in an effort to reach a generation that needs Jesus more than any generation that has ever existed.
Why do I say that? Because church attendance among teenagers and twenty something’s is the lowest of any generation in existence. Statistics show that 1 out of 8 churched kids DROP OUT of church before the age of 25. The church needs to wake up and smell the flippin’ coffee!!!!
The ONLY way to seriously impact the world that teenagers and children live in is to spend money. Disney spends money! MTV spends money! The cartoon network spends money! The church has GOT to spend money.As an adult I understand that there are times I must prove my maturity and give up any “rights” and “privileges” that I think are somehow owed to me (as if God owes us anything but hell) in order for the greater good.
At NewSpring we want to see people come to Christ! Young and old–BUT we also understand that 85% of the decisions that people make to follow Christ are done so before the age of 18.
If you are an adult in this church…OR a senior adult…let me be the first to say thank you for all that you do! The way you pray, serve and give mean so much to God’s kingdom. However, if we want to see this church last past our lifetime–we have GOT to invest heavily in the next generation. I believe one of the reasons so many kids have dropped out of church, or haven’t gone at all, is because the church has been giving them leftovers and telling them they ought to appreciate it…while the world has been spending BILLIONS of dollars telling them, “We’ll take you–come over here!”
So what about us adults? What are we willing to give up? (If you are a parent you should understand this!) Our activities? Our music style? (It amazes me the number of parents and grandparents that say they would give their own life to save their child or grandchild, yet that same parent or grandparent won’t give up their personal preference when it comes to music in church to reach that same child/grandchild!)
I believe in our children! I believe in our youth group! I believe in strong families! I want to see our community changed because moms and dads and kids are all falling in love with Jesus. AND adults–we can do this a lot easier than they can, at least we SHOULD be able to…that is why it is God’s call on our life to continue to do all we can to allow the generation after us stand on our shoulders!
I will be sharing more about the specifics of this vision in the days to come. Our youth and kids are going to be a MAJOR focus of our next campaign…as well as local and foreign missions AND starting new satellite campuses. I won’t say much more than that right now…but I do know this–God is REALLY stretching me right now…and great things are about to happen!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Good Things

I haven't watched the Martha Stewart Show in ages, but I remember that she would use the phrase "it's a good thing" all the time. I was reminded of that saying when I was getting ready to report on a few good things that have happened over the past few days:
  • Cody peepee'ed in the potty (last Friday - on his birthday)
  • Abby slept through the night (last night - I'm hoping for a repeat performance tonight)
  • Clay cleaned the house and made dinner for me tonight
  • I got a free Starbucks coffee cup today at work - free to fill it with anything I want (cool, huh?)

I think that constitutes as being a few "good things" in my book and I'm looking forward to many more good things to come!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Cody's 2nd Birthday Party

We had a bunch of our friends and family over and everybody wore RED in honor of Elmo. When Cody came home and saw everybody at his party, he was in shock for a few minutes - this look is priceless!












Yes, the cupcakes ended up looking like "Smokin' Elmo" once I put the candles in - we all got a kick out of it. Here is a picture of Cody blowing out his big "2" candle.











After the cake, Tradd insisted that we do the "great balloon drop" like we did last year... so of course we did it. Clay is brainstorming ideas for a balloon shoot for the next party (to shoot the balloons back upstairs without having to come down and collect them manually). The kids love it when all the balloons bouce into the ceiling fans. Abby even got into it! Grandad ended up hiding in the big cardboard box.
FYI: A big, empty cardboard box is a must at any kid-friendly party! It was just a big box that we cut windows and a door in it. At one time, there were about 5 kids in there having a good ol' time.








Later, we played "Pin the Nose on Elmo"

the kids got carried away with it and noses were stuck everywhere!







Then, Cody opened his presents and was so excited by everything. Cars seemed to be the most popular gift. Aunt Tracy gave him a track to put them on. Here is a picture of Clay & Chad reading the instructions.


Here is a family photo...I think that's the only time we were all together in one spot all evening. This last picture is of Cody finishing off his cake for breakfast this morning....who says birthdays have to be in one day...make a whole weekend out of it! : )

Friday, January 11, 2008

Birthday Time!

I couldn't sleep last night. I was so excited for Cody's 2nd Birthday!

I offereded to bring cupcakes to school today for Cody's class so I started baking last night and came up with these lovely Elmo head cupcakes! They still need a nose though, so I am going to buy some M&Ms and put the orange ones on for noses. (I'll just have to eat the other colors of course!)

Several months ago, I read an article that says you take the age the child is turning and you add one to get the number of guests you should invite....so that would be three. It sounded like a good idea at the time. I started thinking about other kids his age and so I thought: Mackenzie, Emma, and of course Cody has to have Hannah over even though she is almost 12 (she is his favorite person). Well, that's three....but now there aren't any boys! So I wanted to invite Christopher, Cooper, Tradd...(and Coleman is invited of course even though she's only 1)...and I should have DJ to play with Coleman. Well, as you can figure the list grew a little bigger than three.


So, my brain kicked on last night and I came up with more Elmo games and decoration ideas to do. I don't know if I'll actually do it all or not, but it is fun thinking about it. I'll post more pictures later after his party and see how well I do with it all.

By the way, Happy Birthday to our friend Madyson!

Mady and Cody share the same birthday even though she is a few years older...how special! I remember when she was just a little girl. Look how cute she is. We love you Mady!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

All I can say is...WoW

I found this comic strip that just hits it on the nail with the whole "WoW widow" feelings. For those of you who don't know what World of Worldcraft is...be thankful, very thankful!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Turning "Peace"


This Friday, Cody will be turning two!

So for the past week or so, I have been trying to get him to respond "two" (while holding up two fingers) when asked how old he will be on his birthday.
Instead of saying "two" on cue like I want him to, he says "peace!" Peace? Is he a hippy?
I was curous how he got "peace" out of "two" so I asked his teachers at school. They said that Morgan 's mom (Morgan is a little girl in his class) always says "peace" when she drops off Morgan. So it sort of makes sense now....when I have him hold up two fingers, he thinks of Morgan's mommy saying "Peace!" It's cute....as long as he doesn't end up like the guy in the picture....dude.

Attention Morgan's mommy (if you are reading this) Cody seems to listen to you much more than me. So can you teach him that bed time is at 7:30pm, the cat isn't a toy, and that mommy wants to watch something other than Mickey Mouse on TV? Thanks. : )

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Abby eats carrots

Abby has ventured into eating solid foods! She has had applesauce, bananas, peas and carrots so far. She looked so cute sitting in the high chair eating her carrots - I just had to get the camera out and try to catch it on video. Trying to feed a baby and take a picture at the same time isn't as easy as I thought it would be. This is as good as I could get:


video