Friday, November 27, 2009

9 months!

My baby girl is NOT turning one in three months, I'm in denial. She was so active during her 9 month photo shoot that it was hard to get photos of her!
Crawling around her room
Lookin out the window
Playing with her block
Noah woke up and came into her room...she lights up whenever he's near. She's pulling up on all the windowsills now to get a better view outside.
At 9 months Autumn can say "Dadda, Momma" and sign for "more." She laughs mainly at Noah, and our dog Spurgeon. She loves books with babies in them, finger foods especially cooked broccoli (go figure). Her nicknames are "Nuh-nuh" (what Noah calls her) so thats turned into "Nuh-ni-sima" "Auty" and "happy bappy girl." She won't drink from a bottle or sippy cup at all, but she loves the straw. She can understand "don't touch" and usually obeys quite happily (unlike Noah at this age). She's our happy bappy girl and we love her to bits!

It's finally coming...

It feels like Christmas should already be here. For one, Clint has spent the last month preaching through Luke 2. I've actually loved hearing the story of Christ's birth removed from all the hype and materialism that clouds it all every year. I've been really struck with the fact that Christ entered a world that wouldn't make room for Him (ie there was no room in the inn). And now that I have children of my own, the prophecy that Simeon makes about baby Jesus hit me as well...(Simeon to Mary)... "Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." Just think as the mother of Jesus what pain she must have gone through to see her son ridiculed, beaten and mocked and killed.

And for two, Noah has been asking to hear "Away in a Manger" every night, and asking to read the story about Jesus' birth. It's so sweet. He'll often talk about the "special star" that was over the place where he was born and He knows all the words to the song (I love the way South Africans sing it, its a different tune to the American one).

And Clint quoted the words to my absolute favorite Christmas hymn in a recent sermon...I've only heard it on one CD I have....but the words are just amazing. I've included it here if you wanna read :) Once again, having children of my own now, this song often makes me cry.

1. Sing lullaby!
Lullaby baby, now reclining,
Sing lullaby!
Hush, do not wake the Infant King.
Angels are watching, stars are shining
Over the place where he is lying.
Sing lullaby!

2. Sing lullaby!
Lullaby baby, now a-sleeping,
Sing lullaby!
Hush, do not wake the Infant King.
Soon will come sorrow with the morning,
Soon will come bitter grief and weeping:
Sing lullaby!

3. Sing lullaby!
Lullaby baby, now a-dozing,
Sing lullaby!
Hush, do not wake the Infant King.
Soon comes the cross, the nails, the piercing,
Then in the grave at last reposing:
Sing lullaby!

4. Sing lullaby!
Lullaby! is the babe a-waking?
Sing lullaby!
Hush, do not stir the Infant King.
Dreaming of Easter, gladsome morning,
Conquering Death, its bondage breaking:
Sing lullaby!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving thanks

So this is the first year of my life I didn't eat turkey on Thanksgiving. Other years here in SA we'd go to other American missionaries for Thanksgiving, but this year Clint had a teaching opportunity that couldn't be passed up at a local school on Thanksgiving night, so we didn't celebrate it with a meal. Instead I did some crafts with the kids, and talked about thankfulness with Noah. We memorized "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good" Psalm 106:1 (well, he could repeat it after me anyway!)
We did a turkey craft where Noah put all the parts of the turkey together, and he'd say "gobble gobble!"

Showing of his little turkey
That morning we made an Indian headband, he loved this! Sorry I didn't get photos of him making it, but he loved putting the triangles on and the "fedders"
He made Autumn a little baby one too.
Little papoose
He'd run around going "woo wooo wooo"
This year I am very thankful for our little family and for all the Lord's goodness to us!
"Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!"
Psalm 107:15

Friday, November 20, 2009

Noah and Kristy

Noah's friend Kristy moved away to Polokwane a couple of weeks ago, and before they left we had them over for one last playdate/dinner. Noah and Kristy are just 2 months apart and he LOVES Kristy, and he plays with her every week at church. Throughout the week he'll always tell me something Kristy did during their playtime at church "Kriky went down the slide" or "Kriky wearing a pink top" or whatever. So it was quite sad to have his little friend move away.
They played outside with Spurgeon and wrote on the ground with sidewalk chalk together. Noah kept looking at me like "isn't this the best mom?"
Before she came I asked Noah to get out some toys that she could play with and he brought out the BEST toys for her, and was so excited that she could play with them. I was quite shocked by his "giving" heart cause he normally would keep his favorites in his room. This showed his great love for Kristy :) At one point she road his rocking horse backwards, and he still refers to that now and he'll ride it backwards "like Kriky"
The evening included many hugs, and a few kisses.

We are going to miss the Geerdts' quite alot! Edwart and Janine looked after Noah almost every Sunday (Noah plays outside during church and I'm in the cryroom with Autumn). They have such a soft heart and are always seeking ways to apply what they learn in the Bible.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kids Praise

During Noah's room time I usually pop my head in without him seeing just out of curiosity and to make sure he's ok. The other day this is what I found....I just thought it was so cute that he had his feet up reading a book :) This Jonah "one word" book is his favorite. It has one word per page. He asks me to read it to him every night before he goes to sleep. I love how 12 words can sum up the book of Jonah "God, Jonah, Go, No!, Ship, Storm, Splash, Gulp!, Dark, Burp, Go, Yes!"

During Noah's room time I put on some music, and these have fast become favorites in our house. When you step into my house you'll probably hear kiddies worship on. Every day Noah says "Sicka (music) on mommys special silber (silver) compuder, pees?"

"51 Must Have Kids Worship Songs" is my favorite cause the songs are, well, just great. They aren't cheesy, and they are done well and the words are easy to understand for a toddler. Alot of them are pure Scripture, or great praise worship done by kids. Noah has alot of these memorized already. He'll tell you which one is coming next :)
This one "Bible Promises" is a book that comes with a CD. Noah loves this one cause it has the "B-I-B-L-E" on it, his favorite.
100 Bible Songs for Kids. This one is great too, but has a few songs that are taken WAY out of context. But Noah likes the classic ones like "He's got the whole world in His hands"
This one "Hide em in your heart" is well, I must admit, pretty cheesy. But the words are great! It's pure scripture. I don't like that it has talking at the beginning of every song, but Noah loves it and has memorized quite a few verses from it, so I usually play this one during room time if I'm taking a shower or something. His favorite is "Let the little children come."
I like listening to these during the day too cause its actually helped me memorize quite alot of verses I didn't know before, and their references. It really helps set the tone for my day, and helps me to worship in the million "little things" that moms do during the day for their kids!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Autumn's tree

I always wanted to paint a tree on my daughters nursery wall ever since I saw it done on Pottery Barn Kids on the picture below. It's just so beautiful, and how can you have a daughter named Autumn without a tree?

So I drew it free hand with chalk, and started to paint the branches. I debated brown or white for a while, but then thought white looked more appropriate for a nursery.
And then I cut leaves and birds from scrapbook paper, and pasted them on!

I think she loves her little tree :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rough n Tumble

Noah looks like he's about ready to pulverize his sister right?

But out of Autumn comes shrieks of laughter :)
Having a boy and a girl I've had to train Noah quite alot on how girls like to be treated. Noah is quite rough in his affection, and usually makes Autumn cry, but for some reason she loves "rough and tumble" with him after their bath. It has to be closely monitored, but its so cute! It's the time where they really bond cause Noah can use his way of "affection" in full force.

I've been closely reading through "Don't Let Me Count To Three" by Ginger Plowman for our church's moms and tots group, and I've really soaked up quite alot of great things from that book. One of the greatest things implemented in our home is the "sharing" rule that you can't just take a toy or even ask to take a toy that someone is playing with but you have to wait till they are obviously done playing. The conversation usually goes something like this:

Noah takes a toy from Autumn
Me: "Did you take that toy from Autumn?"
Noah: "Uh huh" (usually with a smile)
Me: "Do you think that makes her happy or sad?"
Noah: "Uh, sad?"
Me: "Can you give the toy back to her? You have to wait till she's done with it"
(he usually gives it back, but with a frown)

It's just been this last week or so that I'll overhear Noah say "Oh, Nuh nuh' (Autumn is) all done dat toy, Tank you Nuh nuh!" It's such a joyous thing to hear rather than "No, No toy, Noah's toy!" (Not that he always gets it perfect, but its a vast improvement!) I'm so grateful for moms that have gone before me and write this stuff down!

Reformation Day Party

We host the young adults group in our home every week, and this year was our 4th annual Reformation Day party. This year for the first time we did a "dress up" one, and we had 2 priests, 2 doors (where Luther nailed the 95 thesis) a nun, an angel and several "peasants." I love having this tradition every year because it makes me so grateful for the Bible that we can read in our own language, and for the grace of God in my own life!

Clint teaching about the Reformation
Eating all the yummy food! I made hot apple cider which is quite a novelty here.
Carving pumpkins
The Reformation quiz, of course
This year we did games as well, it was so fun!
Kerry the "door" Cait the "angel" and Noah as a bear. I was a dork and just wore my Luther shirt from an old Crossroads retreat.
My priest hubby :)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Trick or Treat?

So trick-or-treating isn't really done in South Africa. But we figured our kids are American too, so they should totally do American traditions as well. We have 6 neighbors in our complex, so we went to all of them first and gave them candy, and told them we'd be coming around 7pm trick or treating. They were all excited and were totally accommodating of our crazy American kids :) Noah was SO excited that he was a little bear, and that he got to go "knock knock" and say "trick-or-treat".
Noah going to his first door. We discovered his little bag was too little for all the candy!
We loved it too cause we got to talk to our neighbors who usually otherwise keep pretty much to themselves.

Dalene our next door neighbor is Scottish, and she said on Halloween they used to hang muffins and cakes from strings and the kids had to eat them :)
We had SO much fun with the kids. It was really special for us cause we knew our neighbors were so kind to play along!
They all wanted to hold our little pumpkin
One of our neighbors dressed up and Noah thought she was a "king" cause she was wearing a "crown." He thanked God in his prayer that night for the king. So funny.
We came back with lots of candy!
Back home with our carved pumpkins
These are for the grandparents. I dressed em up and took a few photos in our yard.

Our little crawling ladybug