Sunday, December 28, 2014

Good Tidings We Bring

 Happy Belated Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas from the Dellinger Clan. The last month has flown by and we've made many wonderful memories. We celebrated Thanksgiving with good friends and good food. The day after Thanksgiving, I was pretty pumped to go ahead and decorate for Christmas. I feel like Christmas is such a short season, I want to enjoy it as much as we can. I came to quickly regret my decision and realized that having a decorated tree with a mischievous 1 year old, it's not as much fun. I'm pretty sure I had to add an extra 50 "No thank you's!" to my dialogue per day.
 I spiced up my burlap wreath with "the perfect bow". Thank you Pinterest. Justin, the kids and I really did enjoy decorating this year. We utilized Sadie's morning nap time so we could really enjoy it with just Jude. It's always fun to go through the ornaments Justin's Mom and my Mom collected over the years to hand down to us.
 The day after we decorated, we had Sadie's baby dedication at our church. (Ok, I despise how my outfit turned out. I went with ankle booties and definitely should have gone with taller boots, or nude leggings. Terrible fashion error folks.) Any who, onto things that really matter, I can not say enough how incredibly thankful I am for our church family. God's faithfulness in providing a church family wherever we've landed never ceases to amaze me.

As I mentioned before, December truly did come in a whirlwind, as I'm sure it does for most families. Jude and I enjoyed doing a story book with daily devotionals for the Advent during our school Bible time. We enjoyed fun holiday crafts and lots of learning about J is for Jesus, a 3 wise men puzzle, and helping the shepherds find baby Jesus scavenger hunt.

Justin and I also enjoyed a couple's only Christmas party which was definitely a  treat. I forget sometimes what it's like to socialize without children.

Here comes the real part. Christmas was hard this year. Even though we didn't travel home last year either, this year was harder. Last year, Sadie was only 5 weeks old, so we had very good reason not to fly and I was still in survival mode. This year, it just made sense financially for us to wait a few weeks and save a good chunk of change. I know we made the right decision, but it was very hard to not be with family. I also think a piece of this was that there wasn't much difference for me. In the past, while teaching, we counted down to a break and my schedule was different. This year, Justin worked on Christmas Eve, so without plans, it truly was like any other day. This is just something I'm not used to. Both mine and Justin's families have big family traditions on Christmas Eve, so it was really strange not to be a part of it.

Everyone but me was also sick on Christmas Day. Lots of runny noses and even a low grade fever by mid afternoon. :( A sweet friend and her family had invited us over for Christmas dinner, so the plans we did have, we had to cancel as to not infect any one else. This isn't a big deal, but I guess it was the first year ever that I really didn't get to be/do something special and I threw myself a big ole pity party. When the kids went down for a nap (and Justin too), I did a quiet time and man did I get hammered. The Lord reminded me that He is my source of JOY, not my circumstances. And man, do I have so many things to be thankful for. Thankful for His truth to bring me back to where I need to be.

With that said, onto cute pictures of my sweet babies to end this long "catch up" post.
 When Jude went to sleep on Christmas Eve, I reminded him that Saint Nicholas would bring him gifts, as soon as he falls asleep. Without hesitation he said, "Mommy, you might should leave now." (This is funny coming from the kid who is always asking for "1 more minute" of Mommy time.)
 And this princess is such a ham. She is beginning to talk up a storm. In just the last few weeks she's added many words to her vocabulary including words for bath, Jude, hat, and off. Her new favorite things to do is bark like a dog, have you thump your chest like a gorilla, and stomp. She loves to stomp. She cracks herself up. She's also become very attached to her baby, which is pretty adorable.
 Sibling love...they really do get along quite well.
 Christmas Eve!
 Jude's Christmas list was comprised of animals, that was it. He got almost all the ones he asked for, which included things like a tapir, an okapi, a toucan, and an elk. You can certainly tell he is the son of a wildlife biologist. He also enjoyed his surprises that weren't on his list. :)
Sadie loved her new kitchen, play food, and baby doll stroller. Her new bear slippers are also among the favorites, to help with her slight obsession with shoes.

Justin did well and got me a very nice pair of snow boots, which with the snow we got over the last few days, it was perfect timing.

Again, I still can't quite believe Christmas 2014 has come and gone, but I am so thankful for family, friends, our health and the many other blessings God has given to us. He is truly the reason for the season, the source of our hope and joy.

Until 2015...Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Miss Priss Turns 1!

 Our beautiful baby are 1 year old! Your brother is insistent that you're 12, since 12 comes after 11 (since you were 11 months), but we're trying to teach him that 12 months equals 1 year.

You have brought such immense joy to our home. You are our curious one; our visual learner and little observer. You get into everything, think it's hysterical to be naughty, and can not get enough of your brother. You are comical and sassy.
 You are walking up a storm and love to play chase. You love it when someone says "I'm gonna get you!" You also love playing peekaboo and being tickled.
 Everything goes into your mouth. You are becoming more picky about eating. You don't want any  help eating and are weird about textures. Since you only have 6 teeth (a 7th one almost popping through), you can't eat the crunchy food you want. You still nurse 4 or 5 times a day and love snuggle with your puppy lovey when you're going to bed.

You nap every day from around 10:30 to 12 and then again from 3:30 to 5. Bed time is around 8:30 pm and you sleep until 7 the next morning. You can be flexible if need be, especially on Sundays when you catch a cat nap on the way home around 12:30 to 1 since you won't nap in the nursery.
 Here are some of your favorites:

Food: cheese and strawberries
Color: red
Activities: reading books, playing peekaboo and chase
Toys: Picnic basket toy and baby doll
Book: Zoo Flip Book and Animal Babies of the Southwest

You also enjoy erasing on the chalk board but I can't give you chalk, since you eat it.

 And, you can also be "Miss Sassy Pants" as Jude calls you. You are very opinionated. You are beginning to be demanding and not want to share. It tears you up to give up your blue cup in the bath tub and there is a serious melt down every time.

You are doing great trying to communicate. Though your only consistent sign is "More", you will, on occasion sign "all done". You can say Dada, Mama, Nene (wanting to nurse), Ju (Jude), bluh (block), ball, s (sock), buh (book), bye bye, and night night. You point to what you want and often attempt to say things.

You love playing in your shoe basket and attempting to put on your socks and shoes. You are a snuggle bug at bed time and can identify Mommy's nose.
Our Sweet Sadie Girl, 

I thank God every day for giving you to us.Your first year has come and gone so quickly. The days of you running all over and soaking up every thing has just begun. Please know, more than anything, I pray that you will come to know Jesus as your Savior. I pray you will be known for your gentle and quiet spirit, but also be bold in your stance for Him, in a loving and gracious way. May God use you in mighty ways, sweet one. May your days be filled with joy and your heart full of love.

I love your contagious smile and your wild spirit. I cherish the moments of you and me, in the dark, snuggling while you nurse: your eyes following mine and the time that is just between me and you. Remind me to slow down sweet girl. Remind me to enjoy, as you already are so full of fun and I am more serious. You are such a gift and I look forward to the many wonderful memories ahead.

Happy Birthday Sadie Caroline! I love you so very much!

Mommy and Daddy

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Visit From The North Carolinians

 Y'all, we had such a wonderful visit with my sister and nephew! The week went by entirely too fast, filled with fun activities and making wonderful memories. Jude and Sadie both were pumped to have them here!
 It's hard to believe that Eli and Sadie are only 10 months apart. All 3 children played so well together. I was very proud of how well they shared and got along.

The week they were here was busy. They flew in on Wednesday afternoon. By the time we got back to our home from the airport, the kids definitely needed some running around time, so we played outside until they couldn't take it any longer and put them all down for a nap.

Thursday, we went to my Mom's Bible study at church and my sister got to meet several of my church friends.
 While we were there, the children were playing together with lots of other children. One friend of Jude's told Eli he couldn't play with them because he was a baby. Jude, very sternly I might add, said, "This is my cousin and he CAN play with us!" I was so proud of him for standing up for Eli.

Eli's vocabulary has soared since we visited in June. He is talking up a storm! He loved playing with the "moonboons" aka balloons, that were for Sadie's party.

On Friday, we took a long walk with the kiddos and went to a neighbor's house to pick apples and visit the horses. That was fun and each child was double fisting it with the apples.
 This little bruiser kept right up with the big boys. When they would play chase, she would cackle and waddle right after them.
 On Saturday, we did an early birthday party for Sadie so Jillian and Eli could be a part of the celebration. I am so thankful they were able to be here. I'm also glad we did it since last Saturday the high was 55 and today it's 31. :)
 This is my pitiful attempt at making a birthday cake. Jude has been very lucky that Uncle Zach's girlfriend Brittany usually is able to make his. :/
 Sadie was one happy girl to dig into her cake. We had to pry it away so she wouldn't eat too much.
 Sadie was showered with fun gifts from close friends (and family via the mail). My heart simply overflows with joy as I think of how God provides for us so far from home.
 On Sunday, we enjoyed going to church and a lazy afternoon of the adults talking and catching up while the kids napped.

Monday was a fun day into "town" to Ace Hardware (where they have toys!) and the thrift store. We are again, so blessed to have a nice thrift store and another consignment store so close by to find good deals. I got new boots, Justin a pair of camo pants, Sadie some tights, and Jude 2 new shirts for less than $15.00. The pants alone would have been double that brand new.
 On Tuesday,  Justin had the day off for Veteran's Day. We got a drift of snow as a cold front came through down where we live and the ski hill got about 4 inches. I had the grand idea of taking the kids sledding and it did not meet my expectations.
 Being the first snow, it was very powdery, so as we sledded, snow sprayed into our faces, making it even more cold. After about 30 minutes, all 3 kids were crying hysterically and we adults agreed we should call it a day.
Our last day was a good, simple one, just playing around the house. It was good to just be still and enjoy watching the kids enjoy one another. I'm so thankful that Jude has a cousin so close to his age, I only wish they could get more time together.

I had such a wonderful time with my sister. I do not say it lightly when I say she is my best friend. We have always been very close and though many miles separate us physically now as adults, our hearts are still so close. We are able to share honestly with each other and hold one another accountable. This truly was the best visit we've ever had. I am grateful that Jillian took the time and money to come and experience our life way out here. I can't say she had much of a vacation, as poor Eli didn't adjust to our time zone until the very last day, and she was busy helping me with my kids, but it was such a great time to just be together. I think we could get into trouble if we lived too close to each other. :)

In a few days, we will have Sadie's first birthday, which is so hard to believe. My heart is so full for the wonderful gifts from above.

Monday, November 3, 2014

October Fun

 We have enjoyed a wonderful and fast October. The kids enjoyed carving our pumpkin. Sadie loved getting the pulp out and Jude's new favorite are roasted pumpkin seeds. Justin was not super happy about the new healthy approach to my pumpkin bread that did not include sugar. He was sorely disappointed.
 It's been pretty rainy, which makes me feel like we're back on the west side of the state, but we've endured. We've had some spotty sunny days this month and they've been nice.
 Jude was pretty excited to be a raccoon for Halloween this year. He gets a subscription to Highlights Jr. and the character of Ricky Raccoon inspired his idea.
 Sadie had a hand me down owl costume from my cousin's little girl, so they made quite a cute "forest friends" pair. We enjoyed Halloween by going trick or treating with friends down Main Street in our town. We got plenty of candy and I am super proud of how independent Jude was. He even went through the scary porch to get a king size candy bar. :)
We will be celebrating Sadie's first birthday soon and are looking forward to my sister and nephew visiting in just a few days. We are so incredibly blessed and thankful to enjoy more family traditions and memories.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

11 Months

 This sweet angel turned 11 months old yesterday. It really does feel like yesterday I was 9 months pregnant with her at the pumpkin patch last year, enjoying our final weeks as a family of 3. Her 11th month has been a big one. She had surgery on September 30th to remove a dermoid cyst from her eyebrow. The surgery took about an hour and a half and did include having to be put completely under. The entire process went smoothly, including her recovery, and we could not have been more pleased with the surgeon, nurses, and everyone involved.

Miss Priss also took her first independent steps this past week. We knew it would be soon and it has happened. She is also "talking" up a storm. She clearly says Dada, Mama, bye bye, night night, and ball. She attempts to say many words like "O" for open and "Ja" for jacket. She is imitating us left and right. Justin had to use a head lamp the other night and when he took it off, she requested it and then placed it on her own head, just sitting it on top of course. She has also "combed" her hair and is beginning to push buttons, literally, on things she has observed us do, like on our phones.

She continues to be our messy one, but is learning to "put in". She of course likes to put the wrong things in the wrong places, like her brother's neat car basket dumped into the toy chest, which drives Jude absolutely nuts because it's "not wight!" but we're working on his flexibility too. :)

She is wearing mostly 12 month shirts and dresses and some 18 month pants. She loves her baby doll and the helicopter toy. She also is doing better with sitting and reading books.
 This is usually what her room looks like, since taking everything out and throwing it across the room is truly her favorite activity. Her favorites books are the touch and feel Pony book and the 100 Words for Baby.

Her favorite foods are whole wheat toast and just about any fruit. She also loves carrots. She is a good and messy eater. She sleeps between 10.5-11 hours every night and continues to take 2 naps a day, morning and late afternoon.
 Sorry this isn't great quality, but I just love the dress. Another great accomplishment this month is her behavior at church. Every week, I dreaded the drop off and the assured visit from the nursery worker, telling us they could not calm her down. However, this past month, she's been doing great! I am so thankful for the consistent and sweet ladies and families that serve our church so I can enjoy the worship and preaching services.
 Ummm....this looks like my sister so incredibly much! Sadie definitely resembles my sister as an infant, but this is just crazy.
 Jude and Sadie are doing much better interacting with one another. This past week, Jude and Justin were reading on the floor and Sadie crawled over to them. She hugged Jude and patted his head. Of course, yesterday in the grocery store, Sadie also pulled his hair and as he screamed, she cackled hysterically.  Jude also is really great at trying to be gentle. I think my favorites moments of them together are on our daily walks. I have the stroller positioned to where they are facing one another and they make each other laugh and "talk" to each other...Jude doing most of the talking of course.
 We are really enjoying the fall season. We got pumpkins yesterday and plan for our annual carving tomorrow! I truly can not believe that this time next month my baby will be 1. I am so thankful for these beautiful gifts. I am blessed to by their Mommy!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

They're Growing

This sweet girl turned 10 months old this past week. It's hard to believe she's the same age now as Eli was when she was born. He seemed so much bigger at the time. She is an absolute mess! Her favorite things are getting into everything, making a mess, and aggravating her big brother. She could not be more different than Jude, but we are enjoying learning about the differences in our sweet babes. Jude would sit for hours and let us read the same books over and over, even at 10 months old. She is on the go, getting into everything. She wants to take things out of everything; drawers, the toy baskets, name it, she'll destroy it. But, she's oh so cute while doing it. :)
Now that she's getting older, Jude and Sadie are "playing" more together. It's quite cute and Jude is already protective of her, especially when she has to be disciplined. No biggie that she wants to play in the toilets, pull out the bath tub plug, eat dandelions and the like.

At 10 months, she can sign "more" and "all done" but not consistently. She will wave "hi" and "bye" and shakes her head no. She is very efficient at pointing and grunting for what she wants, usually food or a toothbrush, her absolute favorite thing to chew on. She calls me "Nee Nee" and has said "Da Da' and "brudda" for brother. Her favorite toys are her teddy bear top, shaking the marraccas, and emptying the lego bucket. She enjoys "dancing" to music too. She gets a kick out of watching Mason and still LOVES the sand box. She enjoys our daily walks.

She is a big girl and is all legs. She can still wear her 9 month onesies but 12 month pants fit perfectly. She is in a size 3.5 shoe. She's about the same size now as Jude was on his first birthday. She is crawling. pulling up, standing up, and doing squats like no one's business and will take steps while holding onto only 1 hand.

I do believe Jude will be our reserved, academic and Sadie will be our socialite. I may be wrong and it really doesn't matter, but it's fun to see their personalities already bursting through and both bringing so much fun to the mix of things.
This past week, Jude turned 3 1/2. He is a "threenager" through and through, struggling with his emotions, sharing, showing honor and respect and all the fun things we're trying to instill in him. But, he's a sweet, sensitive boy. He loves his animals still. We go no where without one. He is enjoying doing "school" at home and is making big strides in trying new things. He is silly and loves to "tell jokes". He enjoys being outside, playing chase and lions and antelopes. He also loves riding his tricycle and is ready for a big boy bike. He still enjoys Cars and Planes, but in the past few weeks, really clung onto animals and dinosaurs.

Jude continues to love to read and music. He amazes me at the details he notices and is becoming more of a "Daddy's buddy" and not being so attached to Mommy. It makes me a little sad, but I knew it was inevitable and will be so important as he grows.

Jude is also tall for his age. He's in the 90% for height and 85% for weight. He still wants to snuggle and thinks it's funny to "leave me hanging" when I come in for a kiss.
Our sweet babes are growing indeed. We are so blessed to have healthy and happy children. Oh, how I pray they will come to know Jesus and to love Him. Time won't slow down for us, so I'll try to cherish these moments, each special one.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Visit From the Grandparents and Montana

 We were so blessed to have Justin's grandparents (Papaw Mick and Mamaw Ann) visit us last week. Mamaw brought me some new domestic things and I practiced making home made biscuits and pie crust almost every night. Yes, we had 2 peach pies and 1 strawberry rhubarb, no big deal. Jude thoroughly enjoyed making a mess with us. By the end, we  usually ended up with flour in our hair, on our faces, and all over the floor.

We also visited Justin at work one day and enjoyed the ferry ride. We took an evening trip to Colville to show the grandparents where we go to church and to experience the logging company and Big R. The big sights around here. :)
 The kids really enjoyed having them visit. They played outside most days and enjoyed the cooler, fall weather. Sadie LOVED hanging out with Papaw and was a Papaw's girl.
While here, we took a trip across Idaho to Montana to visit Glacier National Park. It was amazing. It truly was one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. On the first day, we did a few short hikes, one being to McDonald Lake where we enjoyed skipping rocks and seeing deer.
Jude was a trooper the whole weekend. He hiked like a champ and loved seeing all the wildlife. I had no idea until we got back that he had a bad ear infection the whole time. He kept complaining his ear hurt, but we all thought it was due to it popping and the higher elevation. He didn't run a fever...poor guy.
Sadie was also a champ. We couldn't believe how great she did making due to sleep wherever during the day.
One of the most beautiful places!
To make for more room, we rented a van and we really enjoyed the extra space. We had a fun road trip for sure.
The best hike was a 3 mile hike from Logan's Pass to see Hidden Lake. It was truly breath taking. Jude hiked the whole way and we got to see mountain goats literally only feet away. At one point, Jude had to tinkle, so Justin took him off the trail to do his business. Within 30 seconds, a goat had come to lick it up, as they are salt deprived. Jude got a kick out of it drinking his pee pee.
This picture does not do the scene justice, but it's the best one I've got. The water was the most amazing color of sapphire blue.
This is the view from our place we stayed on the last night. You put our son near a body of water with rocks, and you have one happy boy.
On the way back home, we made a detour to see the National Bison Range. Sadie enjoyed "driving with Daddy" for about 10 minutes before she conked out and slept on me for the next 2 hours while we enjoyed seeing the animals.
We got to see bison, bighorn sheep, elk, mule and white tail deer, and Jude's favorite, antelope. He did not want to admit they were antelope, as he thinks they only live in Africa, but we agreed to disagree.

We were very sad to see the grandparents go, but we had a wonderful time. I am so thankful that my children get to know their great grandparents (and even 2 great great grandmas). I am really looking forward to more family time when my sister and nephew visit in November.