Saturday, December 22, 2007

Beckett Slideshow

Here's a slideshow of pics from Beckett's first week of life.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Our New Arrival

Our precious Beckett Cole has arrived! He graced us with his presence this weekend and we are now home and all doing wonderfully. Here are his stats:

Beckett Cole Duty
December 15, 2007
8 lbs, 15 oz.
21 inches
12:08 p.m.




When he came out I was not only shocked to see how big he was, but also that he has dark brown hair! Crazy! You'd think I would be used to being surprised in the delivery room by now!

He is just perfect. He is such a wonderful, laid-back baby and Taylor Joy absolutely adores him. She loves to share her things with him, put his paci in and give him kisses. She loves her baby "Bett-it".

Please pray for me especially this week that I can make Taylor feel special and let her know how loved she is despite the decrease in attention she'll be receiving from me. Pray for her that she will feel just as loved and that she will delight in being my little helper.

The Lord has blessed us immensely in increasing our "quiver" and growing our family. Thanks to everyone who has called and stopped by to congratulate us. What an amazing church family we have.

Coming soon: More pictures and the birth story...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Is this the week?


Baby Beckett, only you and the Lord know...is this the week you will join our family?

What do you think???

I hope so! I don't think I could get any larger!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Beckett's Room



As requested by many, here are the pictures of Beckett's room. We went with a farm animals theme and my mom bought him the cute curtains, wall hangings, lamp, etc. and I made the bumper and dust ruffle to match.



I also stenciled the walls, it seems ages ago.



The full size bed that's in here is probably going to go after he starts sleeping in here and we'll move in the changing table and rocking chair (provided Taylor Joy will give them up!)

Feminine Appeal



That's right, folks! It's book review time!

I recently finished Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney, which came highly recommended from both Ashley Kinnard and Kelli Williams. I really enjoyed it! I actually blew right through it. After reading Heaven it seemed like such a short read. As a matter of fact, I've already finished another book by Noel Piper, Treasuring God in Your Traditions, which will be the next book review (hopefully in the next 12 days or else it could be Jan!).

Back to the task at hand. Feminine Appeal focuses on Titus 2, which says:

"Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God."

Here's a quote from Elisabeth Elliot regarding mentoring:

"It is doubtful that the Apostle Paul had in mind Bible classes or seminars or books when he spoke of teaching younger women. He meant the simple things, the everyday example, the willingness to take time from one's own concerns to pray with the anxious mother, to walk with her the way of the cross - with it's tremendous demands of patience, selflessness and lovingkindness - and to show her, in the ordinariness of Monday through Saturday, how to keep a quiet heart.

These lessons will come perhaps most convincingly through rocking a baby, doing some mending, cooking a supper or cleaning a refrigerator. Through such an example, one young woman - single or married, Christian or not - may glimpse the mystery of charity and the glory of womanhood."

I've had the privilege of mentoring several college and married girls and I feel like I have grown and been blessed all the more for it! I treasure those girls and have had the honor of seeing them grow into biblical womanhood and what it means to be a wife and mother, possibly way before they will ever be a wife or mom. They LOVE playing with Taylor Joy, bathing her, and putting her to bed and it blesses me to watch how much she loves them. They step in for me at HOPE group and take care of her so I don't have to. They are getting it. They are going to be much more prepared for motherhood than I ever was because they are learning about sacrifice and selflessness NOW.

They are also learning about training children. Allen and I are far from pros, but we admit that and attempt to teach, train and correct in a way that is biblical. These girls witness it firsthand and are able to see the full picture of motherhood if we allow them into our lives.

Here's a quote from Charles Bridges:

"Far better that children should cry under healthful correction, than that parents should afterward cry under the bitter fruit to themselves and children, of neglected discipline."

"He who spares the rod hates his son,
but he who loves him is careful to discipline him." Prov. 13:24

"Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe." Prov. 29:25
(fearing our children, by giving into them)

Our thoughts should be always for our children. In other words, in every schedule, plan, activity, we should ask, "how will this affect their souls?" and let that guide us. After all, salvation is the end goal we have for our children.

"I seldom feel like and adventurer - standing in this kitchen, pouring cereal into bowls, refilling them, handing out paper towels when the inevitable cry comes: "Uh oh. I spilled." But sometimes at night the thought will strike me: There are three small people here, breathing sweetly in their beds, whose lives are for the moment in our hands. I might as well be at the controls of a moon shoot, the mission is so grave and vast."

Sometimes I feel the same way. I wonder how doing dishes (the same dishes) everyday could possibly be God's plan for me. But then I look down and see that little face watching me, asking to "hep" and I hand her a spoon to put away, thank her and see her beautiful smiling face looking back at me. I feel so blessed to train her, to spend everyday with her.

The book goes into much more detail on Titus 2, like planning, husbands, self-control, submission, purity, kindness, etc., but I haven't the time or energy to go into it. Just buy the book and read it! It's wonderful. I can fully recommend this book from beginning to end. Oh, and there's a study guide in the back if you wanted to make a small group study of it, which I may do in the future if anyone is interested.

Happy reading everyone! Let me know if you read it, have read it, what you think of it!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Giving Thanks

It's past that time, but oh well. I want to give thanks for the amazing couple of days we spent with our families. I had special permission from my doctor to travel with the understanding that I would "relax and let everyone else take care of me." Sure, I think I can handle that...that was the amazing part. Our families are always taking care of us, 9 months pregnant or not!





I'm thankful for our Taylor Joy, who blessed so many people just by being there. She certainly brings so much joy to our families. She actually initiated the prayer on Thanksgiving and the holding of hands. It blesses my heart to see that she understands and enjoys all the things that our taught in our home.



"You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." Deut. 11:18-19


This verse from Deuteronomy sticks out in my head about a million times a day when I feel frustrated that Taylor Joy isn't getting it and need some encouragement. But then in the moments when she does, it is a sweet blessing indeed. I see that the Lord is working in ways that are beyond my vision.

I'm thankful that the Lord has blessed my womb once again and is knitting together a precious baby boy in there as I type. I know He loves that baby way more than I possibly could and I know that His plans for Beckett are perfect. For that I am thankful.

I'm amazingly blessed to have the husband I have. He has always led me, protected me and cared for me, but seeing him as a father has made my love for him grow deeper than imaginable. He spends time with me and Taylor that he doesn't have. He will drop studying the second Taylor comes over and asks him to read. He will drop practically anything to help me get things done around the house. He is especially thoughtful now that I need all the rest I can get, watching Taylor while I lay down for a nap. I don't know the "ways" of other husbands, but I am pretty sure Allen surpasses them. It's guaranteed that Allen will lead our family in "Family Worship" everyday. It's my favorite time of the day. He's investing in the spiritual growth of his family. For that and for him, I am truly thankful.



I'm thankful to the Lord, of course, who has blessed me with all these things. But most importantly, and thinking about the songs we sang at church this weekend, I'm thankful that...

"into His marvelous light I'm running
out of darkness
out of shame
by the cross
you are the truth

you are the life

you are the way"



Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Check this out!

My friend Misti just sent this to me with her family in it and I just had to do it for ours. This is HILARIOUS! Please, do it for your family and then send it to me, or post it in the comments. The first time I saw it I nearly peed my pants! Taylor Joy's head just bobs around on that big body! SO FUNNY!


Elf Yourself

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Happy Half Birthday, Taylor Joy!


Here's wishing our little pumpkin a Happy Half Birthday! One and a half years old!

In a sense it seems like it's been longer than that and I can't remember life without her, but in another sense it has all flashed before my eyes and I feel like I gave birth to that little redhead just months ago.

I am cherishing every moment, realizing in the of an blink of an eye she will be talking in full sentences, reading books, ready for kindergarten, into her teenage years and then walking down the aisle.

I want every moment to last.

I want every day to count.

I love this precious girl more than words could say. It is a joy and honor to be her mother.

Happy 1 1/2 years, Taylor Joy! You are so incredibly loved!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bible Says So



During our "Family Worship" times we have been singing a hymn and also "Jesus Loves Me" as Taylor Joy's hymn. Although she used to just sing, "Jesus Jesus Jesus" lately she has been singing, "Bible says so" although I have no idea where she got "says" since we always sing "Bible tells me so." Anyway, here is a random moment with her singing her "hymn." Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Heaven


I have *finally* finished the book Heaven by Randy Alcorn. I was really pumped about reading it in the beginning, but about halfway through I felt like I was reading just to check it off the list. It is extremely comprehensive (500 pages comprehensive...) and touches on things like:

"What will our bodies be like?"

"Will we eat and drink on the New Earth?"

"What will our daily lives be like?"

"How will we relate to each other?"

"Will Heaven ever be boring?"

and on and on and on...

I must admit it was definitely on the long-winded side.

Nonetheless, I appreciate his desire to educate on the subject of Heaven. Almost no other books are out there on the subject and he did much research and study of the scriptures to come to his conclusions.

The first thing he MUST address is "Can you know if you're going to Heaven?" Of course this is essential. If we believe the things that Jesus did, confess and repent of our sins, the Bible says "he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). It's not about anything that we DO, it cannot be attained, it's all about Christ's sacrifice (Ephesians 2:8-9).

He also talks about the difference between heaven now and the New Earth. For instance, the person who dies today goes to what Alcorn refers to as the "intermediate heaven" and after Christ returns He will restore the New Earth, which is the place where all of His people will reside eternally. I knew that Revelation talked about the new heavens and the new earth and us residing on it, but I had never really put two and two together that those with Christ now are at "temporary" heaven, awaiting the day when Jesus will return to Earth and restore it with His own people.

It helped me to read what he had to say about restoration in general and in the context of the New Earth. God made Adam, Eve and this entire world and said that it was "very good." What makes us think the the New Earth (Heaven) will be a place of floating around on clouds and playing harps? That is the silliest imagery and yet it is what many people continue to picture in their heads when they think of Heaven. If He talks about creating a NEW earth (see above scripture), why would it be all that different than what He created from the get go when there was no sin in this world? A quote from Albert Wolters sums it up well:

"Redemption means restoration - that is, the return to goodness of an originally unscathed creation and not merely the addition of something supracreational...The restoration affects the whole of creational life and not merely some limited area within it."

After laying the foundation, he goes on to the second part of the book, which to me was the most interesting... "Questions and Answers about Heaven."

This is the section that went in into fairly detailed accounts of what heaven (the New Earth) may be like. Since there aren't too many scriptures about heaven, he used other scriptures to basically draw conclusions from. I understand why he had to do that, but I am also having to take what he said (especially in this section) with a grain of salt since they are just conclusions made by a human being (and he makes this statement too). Some things I found interesting:

- Will we all appear the same age? Since the prime age is our 20's we should all be 20 somethings in heaven, right? Will there be no children? He uses Isaiah 11:6-9 (which is likely referring to the New Earth) to say children may well grow up on the New Earth into their prime age. He also suggests that in heaven we'll be ageless. So, we'll see people as we remember them. I'll see my parents as older and they will see me as younger, etc.

- Will we drink coffee in heaven? Alcorn writes, "God made coffee. Coffee grows on Earth, which God made for mankind, put under our management and filled with resources for our use...realizing that caffeine addiction or anything else unhealthy simply won't exist on the New Earth - why wouldn't it be part of the resurrected Earth?" He also uses 1 Tim. 6:17 and 1 Tim. 4:4-5 to base his assumption on. This is great news, although I'm not so sure we will actually need it or remember it there.

- Will we know everything? "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known" (1 Cor. 13:12). That's not to say we will know everything and be omniscient as only God is, but that we will understand without error or misconception and know in a deeper way than we did before.

The third section just summed up (a bit repetitively I must say) the book and how we should live in light of what we know.

I feel like I now have a better grasp on what to expect in Heaven and certainly more to look forward to! I am excited to see all the things we will experience and know that our limited imagination can't possibly contain all the Lord has for us for eternity! How exciting!

Lord, help me to live in light of eternity. Constantly focus my heart and mind on eternal things and help me to spur others to do the same.

Here's my recommendation: don't read the whole thing. Look over the 46 chapter titles and pick and choose the topics that you need help understanding and/or think are interesting. You will certainly overcommit yourself if you decide to read the whole thing.

Here are some questions readers asked after reading the book and his answers.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Tummy Time!



Well, here's the newest tummy pic. As I mentioned in the last post, I have really "blossomed" lately, as you can tell! Even though I haven't gained as much and my tummy isn't as big as with Taylor Joy, I really feel HUGE! This baby is heavy and he's really a mover and shaker. Plus, I have Taylor Joy, who bless her heart, wants to be crawling on top of me and "up" as she says with me holding her 24/7. She's going to have to learn how to share mommy *very* soon!

At the last appointment as they were checking Beckett's fluids she casually mentioned seeing a "scrotum". OKAY! Thanks! That's very good to know. All last week Allen and I were trying to come up with a girl name just in case.

He was about 5 1/2 lbs. last week, so if you do the math, this baby could end up being a 10 pounder! Oh my!

On another note, Beckett's amniotic fluid is very low, like on the minimum of what is acceptable, so please pray for that to increase. Otherwise, they may have to induce before the due date, which we really don't care to do. I would just like him to come in his natural timing rather than force him out!

We saw his sweet face and his mouth was opening and closing, probably swallowing all the fluids! He is really precious, I can just tell!

I can't wait to meet you my sweet baby boy!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Celebration of 40,000 Visitors!

After blogging for about a year now, we have hit 40,000! Wow! That seems really incredible to me! With the exception of my husband, who doesn't read the blog, the rest of the Duty's are glad to have served you with (hopefully) interesting writings, updates, pictures, videos and the like to make you want to come back and visit!

I would like to hear which things you like best...and then I can cater to our audience better. Not that I will actually have time in about 6 weeks (Beckett), but I will certainly try.

A Beckett update will be coming shortly. I want to take a picture of my ridiculously growing belly so you can see it as well. I feel like I have really "blossomed" lately!

Anyhow, just wanted to thank everyone who is dedicated to the Duty Chronicles and let you know we love to share our family and life with the rest of the blogging world. Keep on reading!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Trunk or Treat



Last night was Trunk or Treat and our little Raggedy Ann ran us ragged! She had so much fun running around from booth to booth and she kept a running inventory on her "goodies," constantly looking in her bag. She played the bean bag toss, football toss, duck pond, cake walk, you name it! Allen and I were a last minute 70's guy and doctor!

Taylor Joy refused to wear her hat, which was really cute, but she didn't really need it so much because of her red hair. She looked precious anyway!



Our wonderful youth were working the booths and helping Taylor Joy to win their games. She and Daddy played many games together, too!



"Chelle" and "Jayee" helped Taylor Joy around and Michelle, of course, fed the girl cupcakes. No wonder she loves her so much!



Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Fun Week to Come!



The Bri-den-stines are com-ming to town!!! (imagine that I'm singing that to the tune of a famous Christmas song)

The excitement is mounting. The guest bedroom (er...Beckett's room) is ready to go. The schedule is all planned out in an Excel spreadsheet (Allen). And the fridge is full.

Yes, that means the Bridenstine's will be here very soon!

We've been counting down the days and now we are down to four. Yippee!

We can't wait for your arrival, Will and Janette!

There will be lots of fun to be had, fellowship unlike any since last Christmas, much card playing (fatties get ready!), and many more memories to made, I'm sure.

We LOVE you!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Baby Beckett...or will it be Baby Becca???



Well, come December we may be fully surprised at what pops out of me! I'm totally fine with that.

Today at the doctor visit we did an ultrasound and that baby gave us no clear indication that he was a boy and he (or she I suppose) was completely uncooperative. This would be all fine and good if he had given us absolute proof at any of the other ultrasounds, but that's just not the case. We had thought we saw boy "parts" twice and then they disappeared suddenly and we were never able to even get a picture. At the beginning of this pregnancy I said I would like to know the gender "if the baby cooperates." I guess he or she wants to be a surprise!

My gut instinct still says boy, but I can't say I would be all that surprised if a sweet little girl popped out!

We have yet to think of any girl names we both like so that would definitely be a challenge. I have stenciled "Beckett" in block letters on his wall, so we were kidding saying we could just paint over half of it and name her Becca, if it's a girl.

I'll be going back in 2 weeks because the doctor was a little concerned about low fluid levels and says I need to rest more. That is SO easy for someone else to say! Please come hang out with my one year old for a day and see that it's near impossible! But I am definitely going to try...

Can you believe this kiddo is 3 1/2 to 4 lbs! Crazy! Since there weren't any good sonogram pics I was forced to find this picture of a 31 week old fetus. His head is also down which is a good sign. The doctor says he couldn't probably flip that much before birth to be breech. That makes me happy.

Well, that's all I know. I will update more as I find out myself!

Monday, October 15, 2007

I'm Sorry!


Just wanted to say sorry for not updating our blog very often lately. I haven't necessarily been "busy", but just spending my time in other ways. I know some of you check it everyday, hoping for an update or new picture of Taylor Joy (mom!), so I just wanted to let you know that it's coming! SOON!

I've been working on Beckett's room and it's turning out very cute, but I've been making bumpers, dust ruffles, cute things for the walls, etc. I'm thisclose to being through and I will post a picture of that too.

We're going to the doctor tomorrow and will get another peek at Beckett, so I will update if anything is new. I'm almost in the single digits, 9 weeks to go! It's crazy how fast it's gone, but I am definitely starting to feel big, out of breath and like I'm hauling around a bowling ball in my tummy...a very wiggly bowling ball.

Anyhow, just wanted to say don't give up on the Duty Chronicles. We're here to serve you with Duty updates very soon!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Duty Funnies


I didn't really think much of it until I started describing it to someone at church last night. And I laughed out loud picturing it in my head just now.

This past week has been poop-filled. Yes, Taylor Joy has had a bad case of the runs. Poor thing.

One morning in particular I hadn't heard her at all and then finally decided to go get her. She was laying there, happy as can be in a pool of poop. She just looked up and smiled at me. I almost fainted from the stench.

I told Taylor to stay right there and then literally RAN to get Allen. He was, of course, covered in shaving cream. It seems he's always covered in shaving cream when something frantic happens.

He came to the rescue while I got the shower going, etc. Praise Jesus for husbands who take care of that kind of thing. I literally was about to pass out. I couldn't take it.

Our friends from Dallas came in town and pulled into our driveway just in time to see the whole spectacle.

Allen opening the garage door, carrying all the poop filled sheets, blankets, nighties, with his face covered in shave cream, one mission in mind:

Spray the poo soiled items down with the hose while breathing in as little as possible, with no regard for anything or anyone around him.

There were neighbors outside, probably kids playing, cars driving by...that didn't distract Allen from his task.

It just makes me realize how funny life is with a baby. Things change drastically. Life is no longer life as you knew it. It funnier, messier, sweeter, harder, crazier, more hectic and frustrating, more precious and beautiful and certainly more worthwhile.

I hope this doesn't deter any young couples from starting a family. I really can't describe to you the blessing that this child is in our life. She's the sweetest thing. Just hearing her say, "wub u mommy" makes everything else fade away and my heart melts in a way it never could before children. I love those moments. And they happen much more often than the blowouts.

Taylor Joy is much better and has had the best time with her friend "Ry-ree" (Ryleigh) here this weekend. I'll have to post some pictures of them later...

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Get your praise on...



Wednesday was a GREAT day! I MUST share! I didn't have time to get my thoughts together then, but I need to give credit where credit is due. I have to tell you about the way the Lord provided for our family this past week. We're praisin' God in the Duty home because he brought us through a trial these past few weeks and truly answered our prayers. Let me explain.

Two weeks ago I took a glucose test (which is required during pregnancy) so they could check my blood sugar and see if was at normal levels. They tend to increase when you are pregnant so everyone is required to do this. It takes about an hour, you have to drink some nasty orange soda (which is pure sugar) and then they take your blood. No big deal.

Well last week I got a call from the nurse. She said something to the effect of she was calling to tell me the results of my test. I fully expected to hear that I passed with flying colors, yada yada yada. I've never once failed those sorts of tests. I have great health, never had problems. As a matter of fact, I'm not sure I've EVER failed a test period! So, when she said that my blood sugar was "elevated" I was beyond surprised. I needed to come in and take a 3 1/2 hour glucose test.

I went in the next day at 8 am, drank an even nastier drink (WAY more concentrated), thought I was going to throw up, got stuck about 8 times in my arms over the period of 3 1/2 hours and read, listened to my ipod, etc. while waiting this whole time. It was pretty brutal...Nothing to eat since 7 pm the night before, nasty orange syrup stuck in my throat and then having the smallest veins ever doesn't help when they have to stick you multiple times to even hit them. Not fun. Oh and need I mention I had massive bruises on my arms this whole week? Very attractive.

But I had to remind myself that this was for my health, the health of my baby and that I really have NO REASON WHATSOEVER to complain considering what other pregnant women go through that I have never experienced. Through both of my pregnancies I have thrown up ONCE. One time. No complaints here.

Gestational (pregnancy) diabetes is very common, yet I (initially) sort of freaked myself out and failed to turn to the Lord first. I wanted to research it on my own and see if it was something I could handle. I was very nervous for the baby. Some websites I read said that it could cause heart defects in babies and abnormalities. I was grieved, sad, upset. I was blaming myself.

After worrying my stomach into knots, Allen and I talked, prayed and just asked the Lord what He was trying to teach us through this and specifically asked that this test come back with no signs of high blood sugar AT ALL. After that and just entrusting the whole situation to the Lord, as I should have done from the beginning, I felt much more at peace. Whether or not I had it my way, I was at peace with whatever the Lord's plan was.

We asked our HOPE group to pray for good test results and had some other people praying for us too.

Last Saturday I was sitting on our front porch swing, just thinking, praying, meditating and I felt like the Lord spoke a solid word to me that the test would come back clear. That I had nothing to worry about. Suddenly I felt completely sure that the phone call I would receive from my doctor would give me that exact verdict.

On Wednesday we found out that out of the 6 tests taken the week before ALL SIX were under where they needed to be.

My blood sugar was LOW! I passed! PRAISE GOD!

I am so thankful that He heard our prayers and answered! PRAISE HIM and thank you for all who prayed. I hope you are as blessed by this as we are!

I may not have initially reacted as I should have to the trial I faced, but the Lord certainly used it to show me how I should respond in the future and deepened my faith and trust in Him through all this.

He was gracious to show me Himself despite myself.

As I am going through the Experiencing God study at church right now I started thinking about the many ways I experienced Him this week. Here goes:

My Hope: "guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long." Psalm 25:5

My Confidence: "For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD,
my confidence since my youth." Psalm 71:5

Him who is able to do more than all we ask or imagine: "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us" Ephesians 3:20

The Author and Perfecter of my faith: "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2

I just had to share because I want this to be a place of transparency and above all I want to give God the glory for this and for everything He does in our lives.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

16 Month Update


Yes, Taylor Joy is past her 16 months and I haven't really done a big update in awhile so here goes.

Taylor Joy is SO full of FUN and ACTIVITY...She's just got to be the most active little girl there ever was.

Her favorite things are going outside to play (especially with Annie "Innie" our neighbor), crackers (which she lets me know every few minutes when she's hungry), stickers "stisters" and, randomly, the vacuum "apu". She thinks it's the greatest. Go figure. These are words that get said most often in our house. And when she wants them, they get said OVER and OVER and OVER again.



She is working on 3 new teeth right now, which will make 11 total. She's a real trooper when it comes to teething.





She has transitioned to her big girl bed (which is actually about 6 inches off the ground...) and she LOVES it! Anytime she sees it she runs and jumps on it and just laughs and bounces around. She thinks its the greatest. She has actually transitioned really well and we are down to ONE nap! Doesn't leave much time for my "alone time", which is often a nap because she and her brother are wearing me out, but it helps me to schedule our day better. Plus, I am learning that no time is my time. I don't even look forward to it anymore because as soon as I do, something comes up. I'd just rather not be disappointed.

Taylor Joy has a personality ALL her own...well, that's not really accurate, I think MUCH of her comedy is a result of Allen. This is her famous scrunchie face. I honestly have no idea where it originated...it just started happening one day and now we ask her to do because its so funny!



Here are some other funny things she has been doing:

-at HOPE group when the group starts laughing, it's like she pauses a minute to watch everyone laugh and then when its dying down she lets out this big fake, "HA HA HA!" It's pretty hilarious.

-she has been loving kisses lately and wants to kiss EVERYTHING. She wakes up in the morning and as soon as she notices the fan she says, "FAN!" to which I reply, "Yes, there's the fan." She then proceeds to say, "Hi, fan!" and make pucker noises like she wants to kiss it. I go ahead and take that opportunity to help myself to some. Today we watched a Baby Einstein video and every couple of minutes (in between dancing) she would run up to the TV and try to give it a kiss. And the cutest thing is when we are driving in the car I will just hear these random smoochy noises and look back. That little pumpkin is back there blowing me kisses! Ahhh... my heart just melts.

-putting Taylor Joy to bed is hands down my favorite part of the day. Bathtime is always a great time of splashing in the tub and then we allow some time for air drying, which is basically Taylor running around the room naked and getting some energy out. After getting jammies on we read a bible story and can I just tell you that this child LOVES her Bible! She is always asking for it. I just love that. We lay her in her bed, tuck her in and pray, which she usually initiates by saying "pay" and holding out her hand. We hold hands while we pray and most often she either kisses my hand or attempts to kiss my mouth DURING the prayer. Now, this is very distracting, but oh-so-cute. She then says sweet things like, "nigh, nigh" and "wub u" and I leave the room almost crying because it's so precious and I don't want to leave her.

I'm always thinking that this stage in her life is better than the last and I definitely think that now. I *want* to say that this is the cutest stage ever, but I realize that she still has a lot of stages to go!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Recipe Time!

Anytime I try something new that Allen RAVES over I just have to post it here. That usually means that all wives should be making this for their husbands and getting raves too.

The recipe came from Lynsey Kramer but I found some other versions online too. I adapted it just a touch and decided to use less butter.

Famous Ritz Chicken

3 eggs, beaten
2 cups of crushed Ritz crackers
1 lb. or so of chicken tenders
1/4 cup of stick butter
garlic salt
pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat eggs together in a shallow bowl. Use another shallow bowl for the crushed crackers. Add a generous amount of garlic salt and pepper to the crumbs (1/2 tsp. or so...I just eyed it). Dip tenders first in eggs, then in crackers, fully coating each tender. Place them in a greased baking pan side by side. Cut up the butter and place pieces of it around the chicken. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until they are golden.

I made a bunch so we ate them for leftovers and they were just as good reheated!

Enjoy!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Confirmation

Just quickly wanted to let everyone know that it's for sure that we're having a BOY!

Little Beckett seems to be doing great. My belly measures just right and the doctor says he's a "good size" boy. I take that to mean he could be pretty big. :O

I spent 2 1/2 hours at the doctor taking glucose tests, checkup, sonogram and flu shot...yuck! Not my idea of fun (except the sonogram). I loved seeing that little babe!

Anyhow, here's a picture of the belly. 26 weeks down, less than 14 to go.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Step Back in Time

I was looking at some old footage of Taylor Joy and just had to reminisce with all of you. This was taken a year ago! She was 4 months old. What a cutie! Make sure and check out the eyebrow action she had going on. That's the funniest part!


Photo Sharing - Upload Video - Video Sharing

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Our Weekend in Pictures

Me, Allen, Ryan and Cate at the Rehearsal Dinner


The four of us saying hi to Baby Beckett


Taylor Joy's hair in curlers, getting ready for her big flower girl debut


Could anyone else look this cute in curlers???


A family pic...


Taylor Joy munching on animal crackers and offering me a rose petal



I don't remember, but I'm sure she's saying, "Tay" upon seeing herself in the reflection


The four of us...can't believe Ryan is actually married!


On Labor Day we took Taylor Joy to the zoo


She absolutely loved giving the animals "bites". She kept saying, "bite, bite" to give them more bites...



She had no fears when it came to feeding them. At some points we would see nothing but her wrist and the rest of her hand in its mouth...



You can see my belly in this picture!


Sorry there's SO many pictures, but I really did narrow it down. We had a wonderful weekend celebrating with friends and definitely wouldn't have been able to do it without Aunt B, who nannied Taylor the whole time. What a blessing you are, sister! I love you and Taylor Joy ADORES you!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I'd like to introduce you to...

Let the guessing cease...

I'm afraid no one fully guessed our little boy's name, but I must say you all DID come up with great names!

Congrats go to the Birkenfeld's who successfully guessed his middle name. You are most welcome to come hold our little one when he arrives.

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for...dum da dum...



Introducing...




As you can see, that baby boy will be called Beckett Cole.

He will be introduced into this world in 16 weeks.

Is it possible that I'm already in my 3rd trimester?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What's in a Name?

B C D


Our little fetus has a name now. He has a name that both Allen and I wholeheartedly agree on, which is a miracle in itself. Now, don't get me wrong, Allen and I agree on most things, but when it comes to naming our babies there are definitely moments when we have to agree to disagree and move on. I've told Allen this to his face (and since he doesn't read the blog it doesn't matter anyway), but he is so difficult to talk to about names. Something ALWAYS comes up about 2 minutes into our conversation...which, by the way was started because I brought it up for the umpteenth time. All that to say, we have a wonderful name for the precious baby boy in my tummy. I just hope it's really a boy now! I've definitely been working on the nursery!

Okay, now for some fun.

The initials are: (dum da dum....drumroll)

BCD

Would anyone like to take a guess as to the name we chose? And don't guess if you already know!

The winner gets to decide if he/she likes the name or if we should change it.

Just kidding.

The winner gets his/her choice of homemade yummy snickerdoodles, fresh baked bread or the pinning of a rose on your nose. ;)

Now...

Get to guessing!!!

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