Saturday, July 23, 2011

Serving God By Being Me

I wrote this encouragement/testimony post on the Muddy Mamas blog today, and I think it's such a great story!  So please click over and read it!  Serving God By Being Me

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Playing with Esther

Justin has a colleague at work who moved here from China and actually began work at SBU the same semester Justin did.  He and his wife are wonderful people, and they have the most adorable little girl, who is exactly a year younger than Elias.  At the beginning of the summer, they had us over for a cookout, and it was neat to see Esther and Elias playing together.  They speak Chinese at home, so Esther doesn't know much English, but she is the most charming girl, and we all played just fine together!  So here are a few pictures they sent me - I forgot my camera!
Baochuan pulling Esther and Elias in a wagon he made himself!
If you click to enlarge this one, you'll see Esther's beautiful smile!  She is such a doll!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Adventures with Daddy

Justin is quite possibly the best daddy on earth.  He and Elias have such great times together, and Justin is so creative coming up with fun things to do!  Elias' daily motto has now become "Let's go on an adventure!" because he's so used to doing fun things with Justin!  Sometimes our adventures are just simple things like going out to eat, going to the park, or going out to do some shopping.  But other times, we do more special things.

In June there was a Pie Festival held in Bolivar's town square, and Justin took Elias to sample some pie and hear the music.  Elias didn't care for the pie, and the bluegrass band had stopped playing by the time they got there, but Elias still had fun!  He loves just being out and seeing people, and they still had some music playing over the loudspeakers that apparently Elias just thought was too good not to dance!

The way Justin tells it, people just thought Elias was hilarious out there grooving in the middle of the street by himself.  I think he's pretty funny too.

Then the next weekend our county had its county fair, so Justin took Elias out to that too.  They had fun food, and inflatables, which Elias of course loved.

Then it wouldn't be Southwest Missouri if they didn't also have a pig show! 

According to Justin, Elias was too afraid to pet the pigs, but he enjoyed the show, and he really liked it when there was a pig named Bash, which is the name of one of the trains on Thomas & Friends.  Ah well, whatever works.

But I'm so very thankful that my son has such a fun dad that comes up with such fun things to do with him!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Neighborly Fun

Our neighbors across the street are friends from church who have a son about a year younger than Elias.  One day we had a couple other friends over from church, and our neighbors were out riding on their golf cart.  So when they saw our group playing outside, they came over and offered to take the boys on a ride...  And even their yellow lab went running along behind them!  Elias loved it, and he loves watching the video below.  Fun memories with friends and neighbors!

Elias and his friend Cougar petting Riley-doggie while Mr. T Jay and Bo observe.

Big Boy Swing!

You may have noticed that Elias is a rather large child.  ;)  So for a very long time, we've been trying to convince him to swing in the big boy swings instead of the baby swings.  It's difficult to get him in and out of those baby swings!  But he's been very resistant to the idea... until we were at the park with some friends a couple weeks ago.  He saw his friend Abby swinging on the big swings, and he just up and decided he wanted to swing with her!  So he just jumped on and hasn't looked back!

I'm proud of my big boy, but I'm a little nervous about how he was so easily swayed by a pretty girlfriend!  ;)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Evening at the Park

One evening in June before it got TOO hot, we spent an evening at the park.  We took some old bread to feed the ducks and geese.  Elias wasn't too sure about that, but it was interesting and educational nonetheless.
We saw a huge family of geese with about 15 goslings!
 Then we played on the swings, and Elias always loves it when Daddy pushes him!
Silly boys!
This was an interesting trip to the park because we ran into a couple there who had apparently brought their 3 pet parrots with them.  One of them was a blue macaw that looked just like a parrot that's in one of Elias' favorite Thomas movies.  (See image at right.) So we went over to say hi, and the people actually let their cockatoo sit on our shoulders!  This terrified Elias, but he still talks about it to this day "The cockatoo said 'Pretty bird!'"  I didn't get any pictures because I either had a bird on my shoulder or a terrified toddler in my arms the whole time.  But it was still an experience we'll remember!

First Georgetown Visit

At the beginning of June, Justin spent a week in Ankara, Turkey to scope out job possibilities for us to potentially move there.  You can read his write-up of his trip here.  While he was gone, Elias and I spent that time in Kentucky with my parents.  They had just moved back to Kentucky from Cincinnati, so this was the first time we had been to their new house!  We had such a great time with them, and I was so thankful for their help caring for Elias since I was still recovering from mono at the time.  Here are a few pictures:
We made this trip right after Elias' birthday party, and this was a Thomas book he got from his Aunt Jessica and family.  It has buttons to push and then a sound plays and a little picture shows up on a digital screen.  He spent HOURS with this in the car!
Grandma & Grandpa's new house is on a lake, so we enjoyed the peaceful and beautiful setting!
Grandma, in her desire to be the World's Coolest Grandma, had saved this huge box from moving for her grandkids to play in, and Elias did in fact love it!  He still talks about the Ginormous Huge Monster Box!
One day we all went to the car wash together and gave Grandma's car a bath.
I was skeptical that Elias would actually be interested in washing the car - I expected him to be running out in the street.  I was wrong, though!  He loved helping!
Fun, new experiences with Grandma & Grandpa!
It was such a blessing for Elias to be able to spend that time getting to know his Grandma and Grandpa, and them to know him!  Grandma and Grandpa were so generous with us - they even made an extra trip to drive us all the way home again so I wouldn't have to do all that driving myself.  SO THANKFUL for my family!  Love you guys!