Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas in Shelby

Me and my sweet man on Christmas Eve.
Jude really enjoyed playing with some of Daddy's and Uncle Cody's old toys, including this dump truck. With the unseasonably, but really nice weather, we played outside and we had forgotten that Jude isn't used to crawling around in grass, haha.
Another toy Jude enjoyed was his Daddy's old red rocking chair. He was such a ham and enjoyed the many photo shoots that came along with Nana and his first Christmas.
Poor Uncle Cody had a pretty invasive jaw surgery while we were home and though he was in pain and had to eat from a siringe, he did his best to spend as much time with Jude as possible.
It's hard to believe that another Christmas season has come and gone. We have had the opportunity to spend my entire Christmas break at home, beginning with a week in Shelby and now ending our time with a week in Asheboro. (Our Asheboro visit will come later.)
We got into Greenville, SC around midnight and Jude did awesome. He never woke up from the last leg of the flight, walking through the airport, driving the our to Justin's parents' home, then he slept until 8:45 the next morning (6:45 am our time). We were able to spend some time just hanging out with Justin's family, sleeping in, and relaxing. Things that we definitely take for granted now that we have a little one. :)
We enjoyed Christmas Eve festitivities with Justin's extended family, especially the annual Sock Exchange Shin Dig at the Cloningers. On Christmas morning, we got up and enjoyed opening presents. Jude really didn't know what to think, which is what we expected, but it was great to be with family and experience the precious memories of Jude's first Christmas. He has been spoiled rotten and gotten more goodies than he can ever imagine! So many things will be passed onto our other children (Lord willing) I don't know what they will receive as gifts!
On Christmas Day, we went to Justin's home church for the Christmas service and were able to see several of our good friends and their children that have been born this year as well. What a blessing! We also went to 3 different grandparents and great-grandparents homes. Considering the craziness of the schedule and all the new people, Jude did absolutely amazing! Everyone complimented on what a friendly baby he is.
The days go be far too fast, but we enjoyed our visit with the Dellingers. We met my family half way in Concord and have enjoyed our visit tremendously. We are amazingly blessed with wonderful family and friends.

Monday, December 19, 2011

3/4 of a Year!

I apologize for the quality of the pictures. They're taken with my cell phone and I don't have a high tech one...

This sweet little man turned 9 months old on December 15. I know it's cliche and every parent says "I can't believe how fast time flies." but it's so true. I can't get enough of him. As much as my heart longs to stay at home, I think working right now has really made me cherish the time I do spend with him, so I'm very thankful for that!

Onto what this guy is doing...we had our 9 month well visit on Friday and he's doing great!!! Stats are: Weight: 20 lbs (50%), Length: 28.5 in. (50%), Head: 17 1/4 (55%) so needless to say, we have a very "average" size guy.

At nine months, Jude has 2 front bottom and 2 front top teeth. He is crawling all over the place, pulling up, and sleeping great through the night (he has been for some time, but even little episodes with his paci last 2 seconds, he finds it, and he's fine.) He can say "Dada" but he uses it for both Justin and Mason (dog). He can say "chee" for cheese, but not consistently. He gives high 5's and is working on kisses and clapping when we say "yay". He still loves to be sung to and likes looking at books.

Things he LOVES: playing ball with Daddy and Mason, riding in his "Beep Beep" from Gran Deb, playing with his Music Table (Daddy insists that Uncle Zach buys him the most annoying toys :)), brushing his teeth, scrambled eggs, cheese, Berry Berry Kix, snuggling with Mommy, his lovey "Lamby", bath time, and riding in the stroller on walks.

Things he does not prefer, aka HATES: green beans, having his clothes/diaper changed, having his nose wiped, and being put into the car seat (he's ready to ride in a sit up/face the front kind)

This little guy has stolen our hearts and we are so thankful to have been chosen to be his parents.

On another note, we're ready to be home for Christmas and the New Year. Please say a prayer as we travel and for Mason...he's going to be taken care of by our neighbors while we're gone and we've never been gone this long from him...

Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I Have to Brag on HIM!

Our move across the country has taught us a lot about trusting the Lord with our finances. I took almost a $700/month pay cut in my job and though Justin makes more monthly, he finally received his first pay check since JULY this past week. Needless to say, we've had to really be careful with where our money has gone, which has been really hard, since I think we've ALWAYS had to do that. Any who, last Sunday, Justin and I realized that we had not tithed since the end of September, meaning, we've been scrimping out on the Lord for October and November. Justin looked at me in church and said, "If we write a check, it will bounce." We both knew we had to move some money over to savings and stop being disobedient. So, we wrote the check, placed it in the offering plate, asked the Lord to forgive us for not trusting him and obeying, and asked that he bless out tithes, though they be late.

This week, Justin and I set a goal of $4,000 to set back for some student loans that we will be inheriting next year. I usually don't drop numbers, but this is just how good God is y', we prayed, surrendered that number to the Lord and moved on.

Yesterday, my principal called me on the phone and told me to call him Santa Clause. I was like, "Ok Santa, what's up." Apparently, there was a mix up in our HR department and I never received my signing bonus (something I was NEVER told about.) I asked how much it was and he said, $4000. Tell me my God is not faithful!

In 1 week, Justin and I finally gave God what was His in the first place...we surrendered our account to Him and asked that He provide, and provide He did. Thank you and Praise you Lord...I just had to share!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Joy Comes From Thanksgiving

I would be lying if I said, "I love Arizona and could live here forever!" The Lord has been really been teaching me about the art of being content in all situations (which Paul teaches us), as well as remaining thankful, for out of thankfulness, pours joy. So, with that said, I wanted to make a list of all the things I am thankful for in AZ (in no particular order):

-Justin: On 7/19/08, I promised Justin, "Wherever you go, I will go." I have kept this promise and the Lord has been faithful to bless our marriage.
-Jude: Our sweet son is growing and changing every day. He truly is the joy of our lives and brings so much happiness into our home. He is strong, healthy, and happy!
-A job...though my job does not compare to the wonderful administration and faculty I had at AHS, I have a job, it pays, and it provides good insurance. Many people do not have this.
-A church...again, we can not begin to compare our new church, Maranatha Baptist to FBCO, but we shouldn't. The pastor preaches the Word, the congregation is SO welcoming. They have a great nursery for Jude and we're beginning a new Bible study on raising children in January.
-Circle K coffee: Circle K is a gas station originated in AZ...y'all, their coffee is GOOD, not cheapo gas station coffee. I can get a 20 oz for 79 cents and there is one right down the road from our hosue on the way to work
-Great Mexican food: Los Robertos Roast Chicken Burrito is all I can say...YUM!
-The views: I am a beach girl at heart, through and through, no changing that, but the mountains, canyons, rockscape, etc here is beautiful and wake up to the Pinal Mts. right outside our kitchen window with snow on the top is great!
-Friends: Though they are few and far between (compared to NC and AL) the Lord has provided specific friends who have been such a blessing since we've moved here
-Internet: Because of this amazing tool, I feel that I have been able to stay in touch more than I ever could have 10 years, facebook, blogs, webcams...Thank You Lord!

Just typing this list, my heart feels better. The Lord is so gracious and worthy to be praised! Thank you Lord for your many blessings!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ho Ho Ho

This little guy is LOVING this time of year like his Mommy. He officially has his 2 front teeth for Christmas. He loves playing with the tree skirt and the ornaments toward the bottom. I put ornaments without hooks on the bottom so if he pulls them off, it's ok. He's also pulling up on everything and is really enjoying some early Christmas presents, like his push around car from Gran Deb and Poppa Rogie, as well as his music play table from Uncle Zach.

We went to visit Santa last weekend after church. Surprisingly, he didn't cry. Santa's suit was the same fabric as Jude's Lamby lovey, so he just kept rugging the fur on Santa's coat.

Jude also enjoys looking at our nativity scene. He will climb onto the couch to look at it. Justin and I tell him the story of Christmas and show him each character as we tell it...he giggles and especially enjoys "chewing" on the camel.

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior, I pray that every person enjoys every special moment with their loved ones and takes time to remember the real reason for the season.

"For us to a child is born...He will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." -Isaiah 9:6-