Thursday, December 13, 2007

Samuel's 18 month photos by Amy

Fun way to send cards, etc... to friends and family

Mandi sent me an e-card last Easter from Smilebox. It was the cutest card with pictures and music too! I was so impressed that I signed up for it and downloaded the program onto my computer. Since then, I haven't used it as much as I should have... Well, this Christmas seemed like a great time to use it again. My dad is actually the one that encouraged me to send an e-card when I told him that I just couldn't send cards this year, so thanks for the idea, Dad!

I created a Christmas card during Samuel's nap today and am going to get Jeremy's approval before I send it. The downside is that a few of our relatives don't have e-mail, but I will just put a card in the mail to them. When you're trying to save money, it is always nice to have the internet at your disposal! Thanks, Smilebox and Dad!

Try it out! You won't be disappointed!


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

12 week appointment and other news

I went to my 12 week appointment today. It went well. I'm definitely gaining weight faster this time, but I expected that after talking to friends about their experiences with 2nd babies. I didn't think to ask the heart rate, but my doctor and I heard it going strong. We also heard several kicks. It's amazing to think that a 3 inch baby is kicking away... My doctor says we can expect this little one on June 24 or 25. If we're still living here, I'm going to consider induction in order to have the same doctor that delivered Samuel deliver this baby. Last time I was basically induced (minus the Cervidil), so I don't have a fear of induction. I do like the new doctor in the practice, but I am already used to Dr. Werner and have a good relationship with him. He says he's not sure he wants our house to sell... What a sweetie!

I am looking forward to finding out the sex around Feb. 5th. :) If it's a boy, I will be excited about Samuel having a little brother to play with. If it's a girl, I will start my search for cute bedding and clothes! Also, we will probably move Samuel to a single or double bed around his birthday, which is 2 months before my due date. That way he will have a chance to get used to being in a bed before the baby gets here, and we won't have to buy another crib.

Please continue to pray that our house sells in the next 12-13 weeks. I am not comfortable switching doctors any later than that.

We lowered our price by $12,000 today, so we are praying for more traffic. Oh, the couple from Charlotte was hoping for a price reduction. They love the house, but the husband wasn't sure that he wanted to spend what we were asking. According to my agent, she thinks it was at the top of their price range. Maybe the $12,000 will make the difference. Their agent has been informed of the price reduction, so we shall see... If not, someone else will come along!

Have a blessed day!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Back from a trip to Atlanta

Samuel and I decided to tag along with Daddy last week. We spent the week in Atlanta with Michael, Amy, and Bryce. We also had the chance to see other friends that we hadn't seen since July. We spent some time with Marty, Tressa, and Will. I had the chance to attend a baby shower for Suzanna, which was a lot of fun! All of the cute gifts made me want to have a girl this time around... (Not that I wouldn't be thrilled with a boy!) Then, we also had a chance to go to Lillie and Bennett's birthday party, which we enjoyed!

Samuel enjoyed himself. It was so fun hearing him say names, but I was beginning to wonder if he loved Amy more than me. (Ha Ha) He said her name non-stop. He also said, "Byce" without the "r" and "Mamal" for Michael. While we over at Marty and Tressa's house, he said, "Will". It wasn't until a few months ago that he started using names. It is amazing how much more he is saying these days. His vocabulary is definitely increasing, and Jeremy and I can't wait until he says a complete sentence. The most we've gotten so far is, "Bye bye, ___________ (insert name)."

We're happy to be home, but we would sure like to sell this house! If it doesn't sell in the next couple of months, we might have to just wait and move once the baby is born because I can't imagine changing doctors during my last trimester. I guess we could rent the house back from the buyer if we sell it after Feb.. Let's pray it sells during my second trimester. That means we have 3 months to sell it. If you want to pray specifically for that, we would appreciate it!

I don't have pictures to post yet, but I will soon.

Have a blessed day!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Sugar cookie recipe and icing recipe

I found a good sugar cookie recipe in a Parenting magazine this week. I thought I would share it with you. Here it is. I have to admit that I tried to roll and cut my cookies before the dough was hard enough, so I gave up and formed little circles. I need to practice that. I've never used cookie cutters before... I bought a ton of cookie cutters because I planned on making this a tradition with our children, so I need to figure it out!

In addition, Monica shared an icing recipe on her blog awhile back, so I dug that up and used it. I can't believe how easy it was to make homemade icing. Why didn't I think of this sooner???
Here is her icing recipe (I couldn't link to the icing post alone):

3 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. shortening
1 tsp. vanilla
Small drops of milk gradually added

Food coloring as desired

Mix all ingredients to the desired consistency with a hand mixer. This amount will frost one batch of sugar cookies or cupcakes or will fill and frost a two-layer 9 inch round cake (thin layer).

I just found an overnight coffee cake recipe and am going to try it out tonight to take to a breakfast tomorrow. We're going to Bluffton to a friend's church for breakfast and then to a parade. It should be fun! I will share the recipe if it is any good!

Don't forget to read the post below this one!

Update on Jaden

I read today's update on Jaden's website and had some tears. I have never met this baby, but my heart aches for him and his parents. They have decided not to do the stem cell transplant after speaking to doctors. Please read the blog update and pray for this baby and his parents. This is a fatal disease, but I know that our God is capable of healing Jaden. Thanks for praying! Here is Jaden's website.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thanksgiving photos

Uncle Doug and Samuel

Doug, his girlfriend of 5 years named Lauren, and Samuel

family photo

Papa, Grammy, and Samuel

Uncle Nick and Samuel

I'm posting a lot today, so make sure you scroll down for 2 more posts.

Jeremy, Samuel, and I spent Thanksgiving in Birmingham with Jeremy's mom, step-dad, brothers, and their girlfriends. We had a great time and wish we could have stayed longer! We had a yummy dinner that Jackie and Donna fixed. We also spent some time and money at a local thrift store, which is the nicest one I've ever seen! Lastly, Samuel celebrated Christmas early, which was so much fun for him! He loves his toys!!! I almost forgot to add that Jeremy and I had a chance to eat some yummy pupusas at a local restaurant. We haven't had one since we lived in Honduras. I also satisfied a craving by eating Little Caesar's pizza. :) Must be those pregnancy hormones... It's too bad we don't have one here. We'll have to move to Atlanta for me to live near one.

Samuel loves Grand-Dad!!!

Samuel loves his Grand-Dad! I took these photos before Thanksgiving.

You can help a little baby boy!

My heart was saddened when I heard about the grandson of a lady from church. His name is Jaden, and he is 5 months old. He was recently diagnosed with a fatal disease called Krabbes. Jaden and his parents are currently at Duke University seeing doctors. The only thing that could save his life is a stem cell transplant, which will cost $850,000. Not only is this a lot of money, but it also has to be paid upfront. I'm not writing to ask you for money, but I am asking you to pray and to consider giving blood to his account. Here is Jaden's website. God bless you for praying!

Monday, November 26, 2007

the pregnancy journey, big news, and prayer requests

I'm 10 weeks pregnant, which means that I'm a 1/4 of the way to delivering our baby. I don't know how I'm going to wait 30 more weeks to meet the baby, but I guess I really don't have a say in the matter... It is very exciting to think about that day!

My morning sickness is basically late morning, afternoon, and evening sickness. I am hoping that I will be better by 14 weeks. The fatigue is also hard when you're chasing a toddler around. I try to go to bed early if I don't get a nap. These days I have a hard time falling asleep in the middle of the day.

BIG NEWS---Over the holidays, we agreed on baby names. Since the middle names aren't set in stone, I won't include them. Vance is our boy name, and Kylee is our girl name. Vance is Jeremy's middle name, which I've always loved. Kylee is a name I came across and liked. Our middle names will be family names, and we will share once we know the sex, which should be in the middle of February.

Prayer requests:

1. Please pray for Samuel, me, and the baby. Jeremy no longer has work in town, so we are spending most of our time apart. Thankfully I have my parents in town, but no one can replace my husband... Those pregnancy hormones are definitely making me sad. I miss Jeremy so much when he's gone.

2. We SO need to sell our house. We have no offers or offers in the works. Please pray for the perfect buyer to come our way. Jeremy and I don't want to have to rent the house, but we will end up doing that if we don't have a buyer in the next few months. Our latest 3 month contract is up on February 23. That will mark 9 months on the market, so we feel like we would need to take it off at that point. Please pray that it doesn't come to that. As we tell our realtor, we are willing to negociate, but it's hard to do that when you don't get any offers... Just pray that God will send someone with an offer or show us what to do with this house.

3. Please pray for Vance or Kylee as he or she grows in the womb.

4. Jeremy and Spencer are looking for more work. Please pray for the Lord to lead them to the right people.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

In case you were wondering...

Some of you may have been wondering why I took such a long break from blogging. I have been sick for weeks, and since I don't expect that to change until the middle or end of December, I thought I would explain. I am so happy to show you the following:

God answered our prayers! To some of you, this sonogram picture and heartbeat mean nothing, but to our family they mean so much! This baby may be small now, but on June 25, this precious gift from God will join our family! I can't express how happy I am to be carrying another baby in my womb! He has filled our hearts with wonder! What a miracle that could only come from God!

On Tuesday, my doctor said that the baby is doing well and had a heartbeat of 171 bpm. We both enjoyed seeing our baby and hearing his or her heartbeat. Jeremy and I can't wait to hold this baby in our arms, and Samuel says "boy" every time you ask him if he wants a boy or a girl. We can't wait for him to be a big brother. He did so well being gentle with Bryce, so that was encouraging. In fact, Amy offered to come help me last week because I was so sick and was having a hard time since Jeremy is traveling now. She was such a blessing! She cooked and watched Samuel to give me a break. What a true friend!

Please keep baby #2 in your prayers! I have another appointment on Dec. 11, and I will let you know how that goes. We might have another ultrasound then since the tech was out sick and the doctor isn't as experienced in these things. That would be fun to have another peek before we have the big ultrasound in February. Oh, what fun to follow! I can't wait to find out the sex!

Have a blessed day!

Amy and Bryce's visit last week

Last week we had a visit from Amy and Bryce. Thanks for making the 5 hour drive to see us! It was so nice to be able to spend some time with them! Bryce is almost 5 months old now, and we hadn't seen him since he was a few weeks old. It's been awhile... He has grown so much since then. Samuel called Bryce by name and called Amy by "Mamy". It is so cute how Samuel is now learning to say names. I love it!

Bryce is such a cutie! Here are some pictures I took while they were in town.

Aunt Jo

Samuel hadn't seen his aunt Jo in a year, and he was so happy to see her! He took to her better than he's taken to anyone. She was just so good with him that he couldn't help but love her! She played with him on the floor and interacted with him so well! It was great to hear him call her, "Jo". He is missing her! We passed a woman in the church parking lot on Sunday, and he called her Jo. He must really want to see Jo again! Please come back soon, Aunt Jo!!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Everlasting God By Chris Tomlin

This is one of my favorite songs, and I found a video of it that someone posted on YouTube. I loved seeing all of God's creation as I listened to the song! Enjoy!

Got too much milk?

I felt like I should share this with you after a friend's one-year-old son was diagnosed with an iron deficiency. His deficiency isn't because of this, but recently I read somewhere (I can't remember where) that too much milk can prevent iron absorption. It said not to give a toddler more than 16 oz. of whole milk a day. This made me think twice about the amount of whole milk I'm giving my son. Samuel LOVES whole milk now, which is great since I weaned him, but it can cause problems. Today I looked into it more and found that more than 16-24 oz. isn't good for them. I'm not sure what number of oz. to follow. I will stick with 16 oz. for Samuel since he tends to get constipated (and has since he was little).

Here are some interesting links for you:

Signs of an Iron Deficiency in Children
Risks of Drinking Too Much Milk
Iron Rich Foods
Iron during PostPartum (I didn't realize that oysters were one of the best sources of iron...)

I always wondered if Samuel had an iron deficiency since he was breastfed. His blood test was negative though. After reading the above articles, I realized that I could pay more attention to giving Samuel iron rich foods. I would do better getting more iron myself!

Samuel's new rocking chair

Samuel's great uncle and aunt gave him a rocking chair. The rocking chair belonged to my uncle's stepson. When his stepson passed away with cancer as a teenager, Jack and Faye saved the rocker to give to our first child. Since Samuel's crib and end table in his room are red, they painted it red. How sweet of them! Samuel was so excited when he saw the chair. He immediately knew it was for him. Thanks, Uncle Jack & Aunt Faye!

Thanks for the rocker!

Samuel and Aunt Faye (Uncle Jack didn't come to Beaufort with her.)

A short video:

Graco ComfortSport Safety Notice

Another car seat problem... If you own a Graco ComfortSport, read this.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Britax Marathon Car Seat Recall

If you own a Britax Marathon, you need to read this article. Samuel's car seat is not part of this recall, but your seat might be. Check it out!

The stats are in...

Samuel had his 18-month appointment today. Here are his stats:

-Weight- 25 lbs. (a little under 50th percentile)
-Height-34 3/4 in. (over 95th percentile)
-Head- I quit listening for that one a long time ago when they said that he had a big head. :)
-Shoe size- Ok. The doctor doesn't keep up with this, but Samuel's feet are growing at the speed of light- He wears a 7 or 7 1/2. He outgrows shoes faster than he can get them on his feet. Maybe we will have another boy one day to wear the shoes that Samuel hasn't even worn.

The doctor was pleased with how well Samuel is growing, learning, and talking. We are enjoying watching him pick up new words everyday. This is a fun age!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Poor baby

We have had a rough time since Wednesday. Samuel had a low-grade fever all day on Wednesday and then spiked a high fever that night. I was alone with Samuel since Jeremy didn't come home until Wednesday night at 1:30 AM. There are 2 things that make me extremely nervous- high fevers and vomiting. Since my mom and dad were at church, I immediately called Jeremy who was with the husband of a friend down the street. He told me to call his wife for advice. She was sweet. I was glad I called her because I was about to give him Tylenol, and she said that Motrin does a much better job bringing a fever down. She also told me to put him in a tepid bath. After following her advice, his fever came down enough that I was comfortable putting him to bed. The fever was still high though, so I checked on him in the night and gave him more Motrin in the night. Wednesday night through Friday night I lost a lot of sleep. Jeremy took him to the doctor on Thursday to find out that it's just a cold. Thankfully the fever has been gone since Friday afternoon, but Samuel is teething, which is why I was up with him on Friday night (and so was Jeremy). Three of those molars still haven't come through yet. I would love for them to come through soon because I know he is in pain!

On a positive note, Samuel turned 18 months old today. I can't believe my baby is a year and a half. That seems impossible! I wish I could say that we celebrated today, but I was miserable due to lack of sleep and Samuel is still congested. It was a long day!!! I'm praying for a good night's sleep tonight!

Here's a recent picture of Samuel. He didn't want to have his picture taken...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I don't know about you, but I don't like for my son to cry. It breaks my heart when he's crying. Right now he is upstairs crying. He has been doing this at bedtime for 4 nights. I am assuming that it's related to me weaning him. The good news is that he is crying less and less each night.
I am praying that this too will pass. I have comforted him, rocked him, and sang to him. He just can't be consoled. I wish his daddy were here!

Nice visit

My grandmother was in town for 13 days. I am so happy that Samuel had a chance to spend time with his great grandmother because this isn't something I had the opportunity to do as a child. I enjoy seeing her interact with Samuel. She definitely enjoyed her visits with him. They had lots of fun playing together, and she also read to him. I will treasure these pictures of dinner last night and then her feeding Samuel. We are so glad that she came and hope she comes back again next year.

Thank the Lord!

After a long 2 weeks, Jeremy, Samuel, and I are going to be together again. Jeremy has been in Charlotte working since I left him 2 weeks ago. I have missed him and so has Samuel! We can't wait to see him! He will get home tonight and will be in town for a few days before heading to another job. Thank the Lord for giving us the chance to spend a few days together!

I am so thankful for Jeremy's determination! He has been a trooper over the last three weeks; in addition to doing a lot of manual labor himself, Jeremy was the on-site supervisor in Charlotte, and he had to deal with so many issues that came up. The job was quite a challenge, and I am sure he's glad to have it behind him (other than the punch list). I am so proud of him!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Parenting with Kingdom Purpose

As I was driving home from my parents' house tonight, I caught the beginning of the Family Life Today program with Dennis Rainey. It was Part 2 of a series on Parenting with Kingdom Purpose. (This is right along the lines of the book I recommended called Revolutionary Parenting by George Barna.) I can't wait to get the 2 part series downloaded onto my iPod. If you don't have an iPod, there are other ways to listen or read it.

My prayer is to be a kingdom parent. Maybe you too desire to be more concerned about your child's spiritual life than how well he or she played baseball or danced. So many times we lose sight of the reason that the Lord has us on this earth. I want Samuel to grow up in a home that is focused on the Lord and His kingdom. The Lord gave us children to share a godly heritage. I ask myself if I am doing that... I need to take the steps to make that happen because that is what I desire.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


It's official! Samuel is now weaned! After close to 18 months of nursing Samuel, I weaned him. I feel so blessed to have been able to nurse him for so long. I know I will miss that bond with Samuel. Please pray for Samuel as he adjusts to this change, and you can pray for me too, as I'm sure I'll have some tears. This is a big adjustment. This has been a gradual process; sometimes Samuel cries, but then other times, he seems ok. I feel like I made the right decision though.

It's funny because when I was pregnant I set a goal to nurse him 6 months. The Lord had other plans for me and Samuel!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Dangers of Online Blogs

I know it must seem strange for me to post a link to this article on my blog, but while I was looking for the filter information on the Focus on the Family website, I found this. Read the whole thing because there is some excellent information near the end. After reading it, I'm a little nervous. I'm probably going to change some things on my blog, re-think the way I blog, and think more before I post. I am glad I found this article! What do you think now that you've read it?

One last thing- If you subscribe to my blog, I am no longer offering that since you can't control who subscribes, so please just check in when you can. Thanks!

internet filters

Today our pastor was preaching out of Genesis 39, and he titled it "The Lost Virtus of Moral Purity". This afternoon I was talking to my mom about how I wish our pastor had mentioned internet filters in the sermon. He did say that "...some of you might need someone looking over your shoulder while you're on the internet..." I feel like it goes further than that. There is so much garbage on the internet that is easily accessible. There is also a lot of innocent stuff that could consume us if we let it or if it's something we struggle with. Lastly, there is the temptation to stay up late on the internet or be on the internet too much. For all of the above reasons and more, I recommend that every family have an internet filter. For several years, Jeremy and I have had an internet filter called Safe Eyes. For $50 a year, you can protect your family with this filter. It can be installed on 3 computers and works from home or wherever you are. They have been developing it and adding wonderful features to it. Safe Eyes automatically blocks anything po*nographic or anything with nu*ity. (I use the * to avoid someone finding this on an internet search of those things.) Now, here are some cool features:

*Website blocking
*Search engine key word blocking
*Time limits on internet usage- time of day and amount of time
*Usage logging
*Usage alerts via e-mail, text message, or phone call when inappropriate content is viewed- websites that aren't blocked by the administrator but are logged.
*Block certain categories like gambling or shopping.
*E-mail and social networking features.

You choose one person in the family to be the administrator. That person has a separate password that no one should know and sets up the above parameters for each individual user. Each individual user chooses a name and password and shouldn't share it with the other family members. This is used to log in each time you go onto the internet. If you were to share it, you could end up looking guilty of something you didn't do.

Here is how the Safe Eyes website describes the filter:

Safe Eyes Is Effective
You can count on Safe Eyes to provide you with the most effective technology available for Internet filtering. Partnering with Secure Computing, Safe Eyes is the name to trust. In independent testing by the Department of Justice and the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Secure Computing technology utilized by Safe Eyes proved to be the most effective at blocking unwanted content.

And top-rated filtering is only the beginning! Safe Eyes also allows you to:
  • Control how much time is spent on the Internet (and what hours it is available)
  • Record and list all websites that each user visits from the computer
  • Send an alert when someone attempts to access objectionable content
  • Control the types of programs your computer can access from the Internet
  • Record (and limit) Instant Messenger chat sessions
  • Block pop-up windows

Once you've installed Safe Eyes on your computer, only you can remove it using your administrator password and uninstall code. Since no one else can remove the filter and there is no way to bypass it, you can trust that your family is protected whenever they use the Internet.

I found Safe Eyes through James Dobson's website. Here is the page. I believe it is worth the $50 investment each year to keep my family safe. They're even offering a discount through this website. You can protect up to 3 computers for that $50 price.

Feel free to ask me any questions you have. I know I am happy having a filter. I will never have to worry about our children stumbling across garbage! That makes this mom happy!

If you don't prefer Safe Eyes as your filter, choose one that's right for you. Just remember that you will be protecting your family!

Soft Pumpkin Cookies

I have searched my history to try to figure out where I got this recipe, but I officially give up. If I got this recipe from your blog, you will have to forgive me. Thanks for the wonderful recipe. I made these cookies tonight at my parents' house, and they were a hit. Samuel enjoyed them as much as we did. They are delicious!!! I only cooked them for 13 minutes. I recommend looking at them by that point because mine were done. You don't want to overcook them!

Soft Pumpkin Cookies:

1/2 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup solid pack pumpkin
2 1/2 cups flour, sifted
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat over to 375 degrees. Cream butter, egg, and sugar together. Add vanilla and beat until fluffy.
Sift flour, soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together. Add flour mixture and pumpkin alternately to butter and sugar mixture. Drop by rounded Tablespoon fulls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven. Makes 3 dozen.

Friday, October 12, 2007

coupons on Tylenol website

I don't know about you, but I will still use Tylenol products that haven't been recalled. I went to the Tylenol website to read more about the recall, and they offer a coupon. After installing a coupon printer, which allows you to print coupons with bar codes, it printed a $5.00 off coupon. Not just for children's products either and not just Tylenol products. The catch is that you have to use it in the next month. In addition, you can also print other coupons.

Sale on Halo sleep sacks

Life is so funny. I was just upstairs putting Samuel to bed in his pjs and Halo sleep sack. I was thinking about how I should do a post on sleep sacks. When I got downstairs, my phone rang. It was Tressa calling me from Babies "R" Us, which is my favorite store for baby things. She said that it was getting cold in Atlanta, so she was calling to get my advice on sleep sacks. She knows that I'm a huge fan. I couldn't help but laugh when I hung up. I guess it's time I put in a plug for sleep sacks. Samuel has been wearing a sleep sack since he was old enough to get out from under a blanket. I think that happened around 4 months old, but I'm not positive. I had sleep sacks before then, but I didn't use them much because even the size small swallowed him! The first time I put him in one he was 7 lbs., and he was just too tiny for one. Next time I have a baby I'm going to get the Halo Newborn Cotton Swaddle sacks or a Preemie sleep sack. I don't know if they had those when Samuel was tiny. When he was about 4 months old, I became a sleep sack addict. Yes, my name is Marianna Holloman, and I am addicted to putting my baby in Halo sleep sacks. It's not a joke in my family. He doesn't sleep without one. I always buy 2 to have an extra one if I'm doing laundry or somehow one is dirtied. I simply love the fact that I don't have to worry about him throwing a blanket off and getting cold. I use them all year long since I don't use a blanket in his crib, and I know that I like some sort of sheet or blanket on me when I'm sleeping regardless of the temperature. I use Halo cotton sleep sacks in the spring/summer/fall and then Halo fleece sleep sacks in the winter. The fleece sacks are lined in cotton knit for more comfort. As I was telling Tressa, you could actually use cotton all year long if you wanted to. You just put them in thicker pjs (fleece) in the winter under the cotton sleep sack. Maybe some of you think that's going overboard in "covers", but when it's 67 degrees in my house, I am in long pjs and under my down comforter. Think about your baby. He has no covers.

Here's a product description:

Eliminate loose blankets from baby's crib by zipping them into the Halo SleepSack, the original wearable blanket. Endorsed by First Candle/SIDS Alliance, the sleeveless design prevents overheating. Reversible zipper for easy diaper changes. Baby stays covered all night long, safely and comfortably in 100% cotton interlock.

Check out the Halo website. It's interesting to learn why this sack was designed and see more information.

Here is a link to the Babies "R" Us page of all Halo products. You will see the sale price. Check them out. If you miss the sale or want to comparison shop, check out Baby Center and Amazon. Oh, I almost forgot that I bought 2 on eBay last Spring. Yes, they were new. It turns out that Baby Center is also having a sale and free shipping if you spend $29 (Code FREESHIP29). Their sale ends on Monday. Even if you don't want a sleep sack, you might find a sale for you.

For all you crafty moms, here is a sleep sack pattern. I ran across this recently. Maybe one day I will try to learn how to sew and make some myself.

Oh, and guess what? Halo makes sleep sacks for toddlers. In a 2-3T size and 4-5T, they make a big kid sack. Check it out. Since I don't think Samuel will understand a blanket at 2 years old, I will be using one. Some moms say it's a way to keep them from crawling out of their cribs, and I say the same is true about the cotton and fleece regular sleep sacks.

Let me know if you have any questions about sleep sacks!

Bible for families of the deployed

A month ago I heard an advertisement for a cool new Bible for families of deployed military. I was super excited because we live in a military town. Immediately one neighbor came to mind. I decided to order 5 Bibles, and I'm going to pray for God to lay 4 more families on my heart. If you know any military, consider this small $ investment in their lives. For $3.99 plus shipping, you can have an eternal impact on a family. Go to the International Bible Society page for more information. While you're there, you can also search the Bible online. This is something I had never seen before. They have all kinds of things to offer you for free!

Monkey Joe's

While we were in Charlotte, Jeremy and Joel worked twelve or thirteen hour days, but they did take off Sunday. We would have gone to church, but Samuel had a runny nose through Saturday (that I now attribute to teething). He didn't have a runny nose on Sunday morning. I thought he might be ok, but I didn't want to risk it since he had been fussy and clingy for about a week. Since we weren't going to church, I wanted Jeremy to have the chance to play with Samuel at Monkey Joe's. I've taken Samuel twice, but Jeremy has never been with us. We spent about an hour there and then took Samuel home for a nap. Both Jeremy and Samuel had a blast! I also went down the slide a few times with Samuel, which was a lot of fun! It's pretty reasonable ($5) for a child under the age of 3, so I look for chances to take him. Once he turns 3 we will only be going on special occasions since it goes up to $8.50 or $9.50 (depending on the day of the week). Samuel just loves this place.

Samuel's new best friend

Samuel has a new best friend. His name is Joel. He's not even close to Samuel's age. He's actually 30 years old. Joel is Jeremy's employee. Joel has been around Samuel since his birth, but recently they have seen each other more on Pawleys Island and in Charlotte. It is cute to see how fond he is of Joel!! While we were in Charlotte, Samuel started calling Joel by name. (He says his name without the "l" on the end.) He asked for Joel all day and night. He also knocked on Joel's door to get Joel to come out and play. Several times Joel wasn't at home when Samuel did this, and I explained that he and Daddy had gone bye-bye. Would you believe that he's still asking for Joel now that we're home?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Going down memory lane

While I was in Charlotte I took a trip down memory lane. First, I drove to my old house. It was only 5 miles from the condo we stayed in, which was funny to me. The neighborhood is still nice and well-maintained. Here are 2 pictures:

I also had the chance to visit a college friend. Lora and I sang together in the Furman Singers all 4 years of college. In the ten years since we graduated, I had only seen her once at my baby shower, so this was a lot of fun! Lora has always encouraged me in my faith! She is married with 3 adorable children under the age of 5, and I enjoyed my time with her and the two little ones that were at home when I visited. Samuel played well with Leo, 2 years old. Ruth is almost 2 months old, and Samuel kept wanting to be near her while she slept. He said, "Baby". (I guess it's a good thing that he likes babies since we want another baby.)

Scary news article for parents with children under the age of 2

I just read a scary article. Scary for me because I just gave Samuel one of these products last week. Read if you have a child under the age of 2! I will be going upstairs to clear out my medicine drawer as soon as I finish this post.

-Infant cold medicines pulled for overdose risk

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Encouraging song

While I was in Charlotte, I listened to music in my car, and then I listened to that same station on the internet at the condo. I heard a song by Casting Crowns called Praise You in This Storm. It brought tears to my eyes every time I heard it because I describes how I am feeling and what I am going through. It encourages me in my faith through the storm we're dealing with. Everybody's storm is different. Some are worse than others. I'm not claiming that some of you don't have bigger problems than I do. I'm sure some of you do. I just know that all of us go through storms in our lives. It's so important to praise the Lord through the storm, knowing that He is the one in charge of all things including our storms. I didn't actually know it was a Casting Crowns song until tonight when I found a video of this song on a blog I follow. I don't know how I originally found this blog, but I love it. Where the Heart Is... is the blog of a Christian mom living in Japan. I know the Lord led me to her blog tonight because of this video. I wanted to put it here for you to be encouraged! My heart is definitely encouraged. Thank you, Lord, for always finding a way to do just that!

God's protection

I had a rough morning. Since 7 more people were going to arriving at the Charlotte job today, I had to pack up and leave this morning. No big deal when you don't have a baby. I was trying to figure out how I was going to make sure that Samuel didn't "get into trouble" while I packed the car. I decided to leave him in the master bedroom since that was the place I used all week when I wanted to shower or needed to keep him "out of trouble". I was finished packing my very full car, and I came back into the condo to hear Samuel crying like something was wrong. Sure enough it was. When I got into the bedroom, I saw the t.v. lying on the floor with one of Samuel's tennis shoes halfway up under it. Samuel was hysterical. I immediately picked him up, trying to console him. Poor thing had a big scare. He had 2 few places on his head where the skin was pulled off, but I couldn't see anything else to make me worry. It took awhile to calm him down, but then he was ready to play. He was walking fine and talking, so I figured that he was fine. I just wanted to say that God is protecting us and our families when we don't even know there is danger. I had no idea that he would end up pushing the tv over. He hadn't touched it all week. Thank the Lord that He took care of Samuel. Samuel could have really been hurt.

I finally got out of the condo. A few minutes down the road Samuel started choking on something. This went on for about 30 seconds, which is how long it took me to pull over 3 lanes to stop. Before I could stop, it was obvious that he had just swallowed funny. He had been chewing on a toy, so maybe it was related to that. I told him to drink some milk, which he did. He was fine after that. Another thing that made my heart skip a beat. Once again, God took care of Samuel. How has God been taking care of you and your family this week?

Now I'm home and thinking about resting while Samuel is napping. I was so thankful that he went down so easily for his nap since it was late- 2:30. I pray he sleeps a long time. He needs the rest since he got up so early everyday in Charlotte.

What are you looking forward to this week? I am looking forward to my Bible study tomorrow and the arrival of my grandmother on Thursday.

What are you thankful for this week? I'm thankful for my wonderful husband and son! I'm also thankful for the Lord working in our midst. As my friend Danielle explained it to me the other day, our lives are like needlepoint. The problem is that we only see the messy side even though God is doing a beautiful work in our lives. I thought that was a great illustration, and I told her that I would share it with others. I pray that I am able to trust Him more each day with my life, so that I don't get caught up in the little details and problems since He has a wonderful plan for my life. After all, He is on His throne! (I heard a song
by Steven Curtis Chapman on the radio this morning about the fact that God is still on His throne. I think the song is called King of the Jungle. Charlotte had 2 awesome Christian radio stations. I was excited to hear Chip Ingram one morning while I was driving, and I loved the music!)

If you would, please pray for us. We REALLY need to sell our house.

Have a blessed day and leave a comment to answer my questions!

Monday, October 8, 2007

99 balloons video

This is a very touching video. You may shed some tears. I did. I also can't wait to love on Samuel when he wakes up. Do WE celebrate our children like this family did? Do we also lean on God and see His hand through our trials and tribulations? God was (and is) glorified through this family. I hope it will inspire you like it inspired me!

Make that 4 molars and the agony involved

Well, after 2 hours of dealing with Samuel not wanting to go down for a nap, I took another feel in his mouth and found out that he's got a total of 4 molars coming in (2 on top and 2 on bottom). He still hasn't cut any of them. I know they are killing him because I don't remember the last time it took him 2 hours to settle down for a nap. It normally takes him 5 minutes or less to settle down. I let him cry, but then I did all I could to help him: Motrin, 2 diaper changes, Hylands teething tablets, singing to him, and rocking him in my arms. Poor thing was exhausted and couldn't get to sleep. I put him down for the 4th time around 3PM, and he cried a few minutes before falling asleep. Thank the Lord for answering my prayer! Those horrible molars! Now I just have to decide how late to let him sleep... I normally wake him up at 4PM if he's not already awake, but that would be a short nap for a worn out boy. I better end this and decide what I'm going to do.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

No wonder...

Samuel hasn't been himself for over a week. He has had a runny nose, which I attributed to a cold. He has been fussy and clingy. He has woken up in the night a few nights, but thankfully he has gone back to sleep on his own. He also has been waking up for the day during the 6 o'clock hour most days, which isn't normal for him and also waking up crying from his nap. Well, I'd cry too if I were about to cut 2 huge molars! It makes me sad to think that I have been giving him tylenol products for the cold I thought he had when I should have been giving him Motrin for the teething since an anti-inflammatory is what he needs. Our poor baby has been in pain. Yesterday he woke up crying from his nap before he was ready to get up, and I went to get him since he kept crying. The Lord must have been prompting me because I normally don't stick my fingers in his mouth, but I decided to do just that. I couldn't believe the size of his gums. My poor baby!!! I pray that he cuts them soon! When he does, he will be up to 10 teeth. Way to go, Samuel!!!

Friday, October 5, 2007

God working on me

God definitely had a plan for me when he made it possible for me to come with Jeremy to the Fort Mill job. We had 2 long days on Wed. and Thurs... It took forever for me to get everything ready to go. I spent a lot of time cleaning the whole house, doing laundry, ironing, packing, and just doing last minute stuff that you do when your house is on the market and you're leaving town. I have faith that the Lord is going to bring a showing our way after a month of no showings. I left everything just like I wanted to. As perfect as I could get it.

Anyway, we didn't leave until after 11AM. If you know me well, you know that I am strict about naps and bedtime. You may not know that I travel in the morning in order to get Samuel to the destination in time for a nap. Until yesterday, I had never traveled more than 3 hours with Samuel without Jeremy in the car. Samuel doesn't sleep much in the car nor does he like being confined. These days we can go 3 hours with him sleeping 5 minutes or 45 minutes. No more than 45 minutes. No big deal except that yesterday we were traveling when he would normally be napping for 2-3 hours. Needless to say, we had a fussy baby on our hands. It didn't help that he's not feeling well. I'm getting off track.

We finally got to the condo around 6:00 PM because we stopped at the job site for over an hour. We passed many nice homes on the way here. We're actually in Charlotte. When we opened the front door, I was in shock. The place on Pawleys Island was 10 times nicer than this place. I'm thinking, "Where is the nearest hotel?" The place is old and very dirty from the carpet to the walls to the bathrooms to the kitchen. Did I mention that it's dirty? I do NOT like dirty places.

the shower

the patio with a b*er left from electricians

broken dining room chairs

my blanket on the couch

I am also spoiled in my "new" house. I don't like to admit that I'm spoiled, but I'm putting it out there now. So, I am thinking that the Lord is trying to get me to lower my standards because
Jeremy and I will soon (hopefully) move out of our 2 yr. old home. We will probably end up buying an older home in Atlanta. We are committed to buy a home with a very comfortable mortgage, which means an old home in a city like Atlanta. I am thinking that I will have to get used to old. It's good for me to learn how to work with old. I will make sure that I clean everything, but it will be different though because it will be my furniture, my sheets, and my towels. You can see from the picture that I have covered the couch with a throw that I brought from home. Maybe I let the cleanliness thing go a little too far, but I bring my own throw to these rentals to use when I get cold. This time I'm using it because I don't want to sit on the couch... As far as sheets go, I washed them when we got here since the electricians had been sleeping on them and hadn't washed. The towels were a no go from the time I saw them, so after Samuel went to bed, Jeremy and I left Joel in charge while we went to Target. We got 2 cheap towels for $4.50 each. I cleaned the kitchen and bathrooms when we got back from Target. It meant going to bed very late, but it was survival for me. Samuel was going to need a bath, right? Samuel didn't get his daily bath, but I couldn't think of putting him in that tub until I cleaned it. No cleaning could get the mold out of that tub though.

Today is a better day. I'm thanking the Lord that he is humbling me! It's not a fun experience, but I know it is for the best. After all, my God wants me to focus on living for him and not on the things I have or the place I live. Why in America have we (I) gotten so focused on material things? Why do we (I) expect to have the best? Why do we (I) "have to have" a big house? God is working on my heart. I want to learn how to be content with less and old. I don't mean I want to live in a dirty place though. I think the Lord expects some cleanliness out of us if we are to be good stewards of what he's given us. After all, if we don't maintain a house, it could cost us money (really God's money) in the long run when we try to sell or have to replace things. Not to mention illness from the mold, etc...

Ok. I got very long-winded. Sorry about that. If you didn't lose me, I thank you for reading what's on my heart...

Have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

going to Ft. Mill for a few days or a week

I've decided to spend the next few days (or week) in Fort Mill with Jeremy. Since Jeremy has to go there to work and my parents will be out of town too, I am going to pack up and clean and leave in the morning. Please pray for us to have a safe trip and to enjoy our time there. Samuel and I might explore a little. Fort Mill is very close to Charlotte. My family and I lived in Charlotte when we left Chattonooga in 1977. I haven't been back since. I would love to see our old house. I also hope to catch up with 2 college friends. One of them lives in Fort Mill, and the other one lives in Charlotte.

I have no idea if I will have internet access, so you may or may not hear from me. Most condo buildings are so full of wireless internet that you are able to pick up some sort of signal. We shall see...

One last thing- Please pray for Samuel to get well and for neither or us to catch his cold. Thanks!


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Not much going on around here

I don't have much to report on this week. Samuel has been congested since Friday afternoon, so we missed church and missed story time at the library. We've been hanging out around the house and taking our usual strolls around the neighborhood. I am praying that he gets better soon. At least Jeremy is in town to help me while Samuel is clingy. I couldn't believe how much Samuel wanted to be held today from the time he woke up from his nap until the time he went to bed. You know Samuel is SICK when puts his arms around your legs, "asking" you to pick him up. It was sweet though. It would be nice if our next baby wanted to be held "just because". I like those moments of closeness! Jeremy does too. Jeremy wishes that Samuel could sleep with us and would be all about it if Samuel could possible handle it. Unlucky for Jeremy, Samuel thinks it's time to play when you bring him to bed with you (when he's sick or having a bad night for some unknown reason). You won't catch Samuel snoozing with Mommy and Daddy anytime soon...

I'm now giving myself a mandatory bedtime since I've been having problems sleeping, so I should end this blog and hit the hay. I'm ready for the day when I am able to take Lunesta again. For now, I'll just go to bed early and pray that I fall asleep in time to get my 8 hours before Samuel starts calling... I've lost so much sleep since Samuel was born that I don't know what it means to feel rested. Welcome to motherhood, right? (sleeping with one ear open listening for a crying baby) Or welcome to the life of a sleep walker and talker. I deal with both.

Good night!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Some photos from the weekend

Here are a few photos from our weekend.

9/28/07 My new favorite toy. Thanks, Uncle Nick!

Swim lesson 9/28/07

Swim lesson 9/28/07 -Getting ready to swim to side of pool

Swim lesson 9/28/07

After swim lesson 9/28/07

I'm trying to have a private conversation, Mommy and Daddy! 9/30/07

No church for us today because Samuel has a runny nose.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Update on Samuel

---One of my favorite photos of Samuel. He got into that tiny beach wagon that Grammy bought him. He was so proud of himself. He had on his new tennis shoes (his 1st Nike's), which took up most of the tiny wagon since he has huge feet (Size 7). I just love his smile!

Our baby Samuel turned 17 months old yesterday. We are so happy to be his parents and are enjoying him so much! Samuel is growing and changing, and sometimes I wish I could stop him from growing up so quickly. Other times I look forward to the older Samuel because I can't wait to see what God has in store for his life.

If you don't have time to read more, stop now because this is a long one...

I want to tell you what our 17-month old is up to:

-Samuel is very much an outdoor boy. He loves the beach, the pool, his wagon, playing in the yard, and exploring. He is full of energy, which keeps me on my toes.

-He is getting into everything, which can be a problem sometimes... Jeremy and I can't seem to keep him away from the desk in the office. He is so interested in anything he can get off of that desk. Oh, and being tall for his age means that he can take things off of the countertops now. Yesterday he brought me a muffin I had on the counter in a ziploc, and he said, "Bite." So cute! Other times he is pulling down things that I don't want him to touch. I'm learning to move things to the middle of the counters.

-Samuel loves to play! He is always busy! He never stops, and sometimes it makes him unhappy to stop to eat because he's having so much fun. He is getting to the point where he can pretend and interact more with toys, which I love! He loves to pull his tiny beach wagon around the house or ride his "bike". We are using more puzzles with him, and that is fun!

-Samuel can't live without books. "Book" is his favorite word and one that we hear constantly. He always wants to be read to. This starts when he wakes up and doesn't end until he is asleep. He even "reads" in the car. Our little bookworm... We love it when he says "The End". He says that at the end of a book or when he's just had enough of a particular book he will close the book and say it.

-Samuel's new favorite toy is his Noah's Ark, which his Uncle Nick gave him. For Samuel's 1st birthday, he got so many toys, that I put some of them up in a closet. I took the Noah's Ark down this week, and he is having a blast playing with it. He wakes up in the morning and after his nap saying, "Ar(k)". Yesterday my mom was teaching him how to feed the animals and play with them. He enjoyed that and today was doing exactly what she told him without help from me. His only frustration is that he can't open the Ark without help. He'll get that eventually. I took a video of Samuel and the Ark today and will post it as well as pictures of him with it.

-He is talking more each day. I'm amazed by how he picks up words and repeats so many things we say. I love to hear him talk. I especially love it when he says, "Mama" when he wants me or when I leave the room. Recently (after my prompting), he started saying, "Bye Bye, Dada". So sweet!
He loves the word, "No." I sure wish he would learn to say, "Yes." I wonder when that will happen. It cracks me up when I ask him a question knowing that the answer is yes, but he says, "No." Oh well.

-We taught him how to knock on the door, and now he knocks on the door when we get home whether I'm holding him or not. It's cute!

-He loves for us to give him rides on our backs or on our stomachs. He laughs and laughs. He says, "Ride" when he's in the mood for a ride.

-He loves bathtime. He recently started putting his face into the water when he's in the bathtub. I guess he's just experimenting. Funny... He has been washing himself some in the tub. Jeremy started this by asking Samuel to wash his feet. He was quick to do it, so now Jeremy has him wash most of his own body. Naturally, he doesn't quite understand how to do it, so we have to go behind him and wash some more once he finishes.

-Samuel doesn't like to cuddle, but he loves to give us hugs and kisses. He is all about being fair though. If he gives Jeremy a kiss, he immediately leans over and kisses me. What a sweet boy! He also hugs other people. My mom and dad love Samuel's hugs! One "disturbing" thing though- He will blow a kiss to a stranger. This is ok for now, but we will have to have a talk about strangers at some point... :)

-Samuel fell in the parking lot of my grandma's assisted living home, and I was teaching him the words "Boo Boo". Now he touches it and says, "Boo Boo."

-Samuel is getting some color to his skin. He is definitely going to have skin more like his Daddy. (Something I prayed for because I know the cons of having fair skin.)

-Samuel is doing much better with beverages now and even asks for "Milk" or "Juice".
It's a good thing he doesn't realize that Mommy gives him 50% juice and 50% water. I had wanted to wait until 2 yrs. old before I gave him juice, but I started with it 2 1/2 weeks ago when Samuel needed some regularity if you know what I mean.

-Samuel is sleeping through the night (Praise the Lord!) and taking a 2-3 hour nap every afternoon.

-Samuel is such a blessing! Some of you might not know that Jeremy and I chose the name Samuel from the Bible because we prayed for Samuel for over a year before he was conceived. "I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him." -I Sam. 1:27

Ok, now for his 17 month birthday photos!

Ready to go for a walk

Our sweet son

Grand-Mom and Samuel on his 17 Month B-Day

Enjoying the pumpkin that Grammy sent-
He loves to say, "Whoa" when it moves around.