Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015: The Year of _______

Hi, hello, and welcome again, dear readers, to another fantastic edition of Daniel's writing. I know you have been waiting patiently for a new blog from yours truly. And, really, who could blame you?


Annnnnyway, after a busy but fulfilling Christmas week, we turn our attention to the new year. With that, people will surely be posting resolutions for the new year. Lose a few pounds. Lose a few inches. Save a few dollars. Visit relatives. You know, stuff that people abandon on January 4... ok, January 2 The stuff that people think they accomplish... until they give up. Maybe I'm being too hard on people, but we all know or have been that person.

Instead of resolutions, what I did last year was pick a word to be a "theme" word for the year. That word was "Enjoy," and I think I did a pretty good job of enjoying the year.

My word for 2015 sort of came about by accident. I wasn't even necessarily thinking of a word for 2014. But I happened to be reading through Psalm 119 this fall, and one thing stuck to me about the author of this longest psalm. The author kept writing about being devoted to God's Word. About hiding God's Word in his heart. About it being a light to his path. And as I thought about that, my word for 2015 came to light....


Focus in 2015. When I thought about focus, I broke that out into different areas: Physical, mental, spiritual, marital, parental, financial, and professional. What do I need to focus on in those areas? What does it look like for me to be focused in 2015? I won't bore you with all of the bullet points for each one, but I will share a few things.

Physical - Exercise at least 3 times a week for >20 minutes.
Mental - Read at least 1 book a month; work a jigsaw puzzle once a quarter (I'm a sucker for puzzles)
Marital - Date night at least once every 2 months with Ginny
Parental - Date night with each girl once every 2 months

Rather than setting some resolutions, I challenge you to think of your theme for 2015. What's your word? What will you 2015 the "year of?"

Happy New Year!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The List of Our Games

A friend of Ginny's on Facebook made the comment that we play a lot of "unique games," and wanted to see a list of all of them. With that said, here is the list of games we have with some quick comments about each of them. I am also working on a post detailing how we can use many of these games in teaching. Without any further delay, here is our list in no particular order.
  1. The Settlers of Catan - The game that brought the strategy games into the mainstream of America. A classic and one that everyone should play at some point. Player interaction through trading and an easily -described victory condition make this a great game to introduce to people.
  2. The Seafarers of Catan - Technically an expansion of Settlers. I really enjoy it as well, as it adds some new dimensions and scenarios to play.
  3. Ticket to Ride - One of the best "gateway games," or a game to introduce to new gamers. It takes the rummy element of set collecting and incorporates it into a cross-country game of building railroad routes between cities. Simply put: This one is fun.
  4. Carcassonne - Another game that we've enjoyed for a while. A tile-laying game all about building up the French landscape. The game board changes with every play as you place different tiles together. Definitely one to play with newbie gamers.
  5. Zooloretto - I would definitely consider this a gateway game, too. It will be on the first ones that I will teach the girls to play the correct way. A game all about putting animals in your zoo. Another set collecting game that is easy to grasp.
  6. Airlines Europe - A step above Ticket to Ride (the same designer for both games) in terms of depth and complexity, but another game that will be accessible to many. A game that each time I play I enjoy more and more. It involves the route building of Ticket to Ride with the stock element of Acquire (see below).
  7. Agricola - This one is probably my favorite game, and one that I have not reviewed yet. It's a game about farming. Yes, farming. Don't let the theme fool you though. This game has a lot of depth and complexity, so it is not one you would want to start out playing with new players. There are a lot different paths to explore and ways to win - which adds to the depth of it. Ginny and I really enjoy our 2-player battles.
  8. Puerto Rico - Another game that is a few notches above Ticket to Ride on the challenge scale, but another fun that I enjoy. Definitely not a game for everyone, though. Some may find it dry and boring. There is some player interaction as you select different roles on your turn and build up your island of Puerto Rico.
  9. Acquire - One of my favorite games, as it was one of the first "real" board games my dad and uncles taught me. Simple, elegant design with excellent gameplay. One that currently is readily available for purchase. You lay tiles to create hotel chains, invest in those hotels, and try to accumulate the most wealth through stock mergers and stock appreciation.
  10. Stocks and Bonds - An easy-to-explain game about the stock market. Invest in stocks, buy low, sell high, and hope to strike it richer than your opponents. Like I said in my review, it's not a great game, but it is good to play every once in a while.
  11. Power Grid - Of all the games I have and play regularly, this one might be the most complex, but it is right there at the top of the list as one of my favorites. Auctions, resource management, and network building all come together in this game of being the best power supply company. Again, do not start out with this right away, and when you do play it, take your time reading the rules. This game also has many expansions, of which sadly I own most.
  12. Railways of the World - Network building and pick-up-and-deliver mechanisms meet in this game all about earning the most money and victory points through building your railroad network and deliver different colored cubes to cities of the respective cube color. I like this one a lot, too. The only downside (and what I didn't necessarily know at the time I requested it as a gift) is that it really is a better game with 4-6 players. Also, the board is ginormous.
  13. Castles of Burgundy - A game that does play well with 2 players is Castles of Burgundy. A game about developing the countryside in medieval France, this game is about rolling dice and using those dice to collect tiles and add tiles to your board. It sounds like a lot of luck involved given dice rolls, but there are special tiles and tokens to manipulate the dice rolls. Again, a solid game that plays well with 2 players. And one you can play for free online at Boite a Jeux.
  14. Macao - Another game that plays well with 2, Macao is another game with interesting mechanisms around dice rolling and resource collecting, with the goal of earning the most victory points as you deliver goods, build city spaces, and activate cards through cubes you earn through the dice rolls. Not a game everyone will enjoy, and not a game to start newbies on, but a good game Ginny and I enjoy. Her ability to plan better than me makes her the winner most games.
  15. Alhambra - I realize I keep repeating myself, but this is another good 2-player game. In Alhambra, you are looking to build up your Alhambra in the Spanish Middle Ages. You buy buildings from the board and add them to your Alhambra with the goal of having the most buildings of each type when the scoring cards come. The money comes in 4 different colors (currencies), giving you choices to make when buying buildings and taking money from the bank. An award-winning game, and rightly so.
  16. Pandemic - A cooperative game where you try to save the world and cure 4 diseases before they outbreak and doom the world. A topical game, too, given the events of the world right now. Ginny and I like this one a lot, even if we have a losing record at it.
  17. Formula D - This was one of those games I bought somewhat on a whim, mostly because we have not actually played this one yet. Technically, I guess the girls and I have gotten out the cars and rolled the dice, but we haven't played according to the rules. As they get older, I can see this one being played often. 
  18. History of the World - A 3+ hour game about world civilizations rising to power and being taken over by others. This is a popular game with my mom's family, and it has elicited many laughs and good times over the years. This game is NOT for everyone though, because, well, it's at least a 3-hour affair.
  19. 1856/18TN - At minimum, another 3-hour-long game about investing in railway companies, growing their reach across the map, and trying to manipulate your way to the highest net worth. It's sort of like History of the World, but with trains and not civilizations.
  20. Scotland Yard - You are either a detective hot on the trail of Mr. X, or you are Mr. X, seeking to elude the world's best detectives. This is a 1 vs. all game as Mr. X tries to move about London with being captured by the detectives. The big thing? Mr. X is hidden on the board and writes his moves down in secret; you only know what mode of transportation he took. I can't wait to try this one with the girls.
  21. 7 Wonders - A card-drafting, set collecting game in which you take the role of the leader of a certain civilization and try to earn the most points and complete your wonder of the world. I've only played this twice - once as a play through by myself and once with 2 other players. It looks like a fun game that the girls can play fairly quickly.
  22. Dixit - This one falls into the party game genre, but it's really quite clever. You have a hand of 6 cards with a picture on each one. Your job as the storyteller is to pick a card and describe it in one sentence. The other players then select one card from their hand that they think matches your story. Then everyone but the storyteller votes on which card they think you the storyteller played, and points are awarded based on the selections. 
  23. Reef Encounter - Reef Encounter is the deep-sea adventure of combating corals. Yes, you read that right. The game is about growing your coral reef and having your fish eat the reef when it is dominant to score the most points. It's fairly abstract but a lot of fun. It's not a beginners' game, however. The rule book is not well written, and the game is fairly complex. It's still a good game once you graduate up to it.
  24. Memoir '44 - There are a lot of war games out there that I find interesting but would have absolutely no time or reason to buy. For one, they take a long time to play. Second, I don't think Ginny would be interested. Memoir '44 is known here as Daddy's army men game, because the game comes with plastic army men. M44 recreates World War II battles but in a much simpler fashion. To date, I've only played solo games, but it is light and fun and a game I hope the girls will be interested in when we study WW2 in our homeschool life.
  25. Qwirkle - A review will be coming soon on this one. This one is Scrabble with shapes and colors. It's easy to teach and easy to play. In fact, Nyla has actually been playing it with us with only some help from us. She understands what she is supposed to do. You play either a row of different shapes of the same color or different colors of the same shape. A fun game that the whole family will enjoy.
  26. Small World - My latest game purchase. 
  27. Party Games - I'm going to lump all of these together, because they fill that party game genre. We have Apples to Apples, Taboo, Scattergories, and Balderdash. I will point out that Say Anything is an excellent party game from the same people who designed Wits & Wagers. All of these fill that niche of just wanting to be silly and have a good time.
  28. "Traditional Games" - Monopoly, Scrabble, Yachtzee, and Rummy Cube all fall in here. We rarely play Monopoly these days, although I'm sure we will once the girls get older. Same for the others as well. 
And with that, I believe that covers our entire list of games... at least until I get some birthday/Christmas money to spend. ;-)


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Parents, It's Ok...

Greetings, my fellow Americans, and welcome to another installment of this blog. As you can imagine, we have been busy around here getting used to another little girl in the house. We are doing fairly well now getting restful nights of sleep after several, well, not so good nights. In any event, I'm back with a bit of an advice column I'd like to call, "Parents, It's Ok," in which I share some things that it's ok for parents to do with a new baby in the house. Without further ado, let's get to this list...
  1. It's ok to send them to the nursery in the hospital. It was 11:00pm that first night with Natalie. Ginny and I were tired. Natalie would sleep in her little box for short stretches, but she wouldn't settle enough for us to sleep a long stretch. So Ginny nursed her one more time, made sure her diaper was changed, and then pressed the nurse button on her bed. To be totally honest, it made me sad that we sent her to the nursery, because it felt like I was giving up on her trying to sleep with us. After a wonderful 2.5-hour sleep, though, I felt better. We sent her back to the nursery again around 4am and got another 2 hours or so of sleep. The lesson? Send her to the nursery and grab some sleep; because when you get home, there's no nurse button. 
  2. It's ok to say no. Not to the baby of course, but to people coming over to visit, whether at the hospital or at home. You're the ones adjusting to a new life. Ginny told people bringing meals to not come or call between 1 and 4 in the afternoon. Why? So everyone could rest. It's ok to tell people to come at a certain time. If they don't get it, they clearly don't understand what being a parent of a baby is all about.
  3. It's ok to feel helpless at times. Trust me, whether it's your 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or heck even your 10th kid, there will be times when you have no idea what to do. And that's ok. You're not going to know what to do. But you will figure it out. 
  4. It's ok to put a screaming baby in the crib. Again, trust me on this one. Ginny and I have had this discussion before. We go through our checklist. Is the baby fed? Is she changed? Is she burped? And we put her in the crib, crying and being loud, while we take 10-15 minutes to regroup, shower, eat, or close the door and sit in our bedroom. This does not make you a bad parent. Instead, it gives you a chance to breathe and gather yourself. I can't tell you the number of times Ginny or I have put a screaming baby in the crib, taken a shower, and come out feeling ready to go. 
  5. It's ok to ask for help. Ask. Ask often. Ask someone you trust. 
  6. It's ok to cry. I've cried more in the last 4+ years of being a father than I had in the last 14 years before that. Being a new parent (or an old parent for that matter) is an emotional experience. It's ok to cry. And cry while holding a crying kid. 
  7. It's ok to wonder if it ever gets better. "The days are long but the years are short." It does get better, and it gets more fun, too.
Hopefully this should put your sleep-deprived, new parent mind at ease.

What would you add to this list?


Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Newest Member of the Family

Hello, dear readers, and welcome back to the blog. Your pal Daniel is a little sleep-deprived as I type this, though admittedly it could be much, much worse. The reason for my sleep deprivation is that we welcomed a new addition into this world.

We arrived at Baptist Women's Hospital at 5:30am Thursday morning eager to meet our new baby girl.

Side note: Ginny had reached her pregnancy limit before this of course, so she was ready - so much so that she was trying to encourage Natalie to come early. I was not in favor of this. I wanted her to wait until the scheduled date, for whatever reason I did not immediately know. Until Labor Day. When I was sick from about 4:00pm through 8:00am. And when I mean sick, we're talking stomach bug sick, as in the worst thing that someone 3 days away from having a newborn could have. By the grace of God, and I do not use that term flippantly, no one else in the house got sick. I quarantined myself and used more disinfectant spray than most hospitals.

In any event, we arrived in the hospital, and soon enough Ginny was getting prepped for surgery. By now, we were used to the routine, and I had no trouble waiting around to see her... until of course they actually wheeled her away for surgery, at which point the nerves ratcheted up. Still, the time passed quickly, and I was next to Ginny in the operating room, awaiting the arrival our sweet Natalie.

The anesthetist not long after motioned and practically dragged me to peer up and watch Natalie be pulled out. The fact that I did not pass out is amazing. Everyone of course exclaimed that was a big baby (as if we would have a small one!), and soon she was fully in this world and letting everyone know how unhappy that made her. The nurses cleaned her up and placed her on the scale, where she weighed 5,240 grams, which made no sense to me because my metric to American conversions are a bit fuzzy these days. I'm sure yours are, too. Fortunately, I've taken a picture of "our" measurements...

Yeah, 11 pounds, 9 ounces. My baby could and probably did eat your baby for breakfast. As is the case with big babies, her blood sugar was low. Fortunately, the nurse attending to her was far better and nicer than when this happened with Naomi. Poor Naomi only saw us for a few minutes before being whisked away to the nursery for a bottle. This time, the nurse actually let me hold her and show her to Ginny. That made parting with her a lot easier. I followed the nurse to the nursery, where Natalie would get all of the love and good stuff she needed.(By the time I checked on her an hour later, her blood sugar had come up, and it stabilized at a good level the rest of the time.)

Meanwhile, back in the surgery room, Ginny was being sewn up and off to recovery. With Naomi, her recovery was difficult. Without grossing you out too much, with Naomi, she had a lot of bleeding that did not stop for a long time. Thankfully, this time there was no issue, and the three of us were all united in a room before lunch! We are so thankful that we were in a room quickly to snuggle with and love on our baby girl.

Here is our beautiful new girl, just hours old, resting in Mommy's arms.

Natalie, we love you and are so thankful you came into our lives!


Monday, August 25, 2014

10 Days and Counting

We aren't counting down or anything around here! 10 days (or less) until the newest member of our family makes her debut. And we are all very excited! Mommy is getting VERY uncomfortable, especially at night and the 105 heat index days aren't helping.

We have been soaking up the last few weeks as a family of 4. It's a bittersweet time, really. We started preschool homeschool back in June and went strong for about 4 weeks but have taken an extended break. We try to get out of the house, have play dates, swing and slide at our locals parks, swim and just soak up time together. And that's exactly what's been happening and I wouldn't have it any other way! I know that once Natalie comes we'll still be able to play outside but leaving the house for a few weeks just won't happen. And that's okay. I know we'll get back to that within a month or so of a good routine. I'm praying for an easier recovery than I had with Naomi since I have two busy girls to keep up with this go around.

My big girls are excited to welcome Natalie Grace but at the same time I think they have expectations that she's going to be a ball of fun like they are. We have quite a few friends with baby girls who are about a year old and 1 year olds are totally different than newborns! We keep explaining to them that all Natalie will do for awhile is sleep, cry, eat and lay around. They'll understand once she comes. But right now that seems so foreign to them. 

Below are a few pictures of what's been going on in our home lately. July and August have proven to be busy months. I'm glad we aren't doing formal "school" right now. It would just get in the way of our fun! We are continuing to keep the TV OFF and reading tons of books together each day, as well as crafting and honing their fine motor skills. They seem to be enjoying our days together. I know I am!

We went to Chick-fil-a last week for breakfast. This picture is a great description of their two VERY different personalities!

Watercolor fun!
It's been hot hot hot here. We enjoy the mornings outside but have to come back in and find other things to do.

We all got haircuts Wednesday and we desperately needed them!

We have recently started Milly-Molly-Mandy, a chapter book, and both girls love it! It's a great little book, written in the 20's. While the language is a bit different and I have to explain what some words and phrases mean, they seem to like it. Each chapter is separate from the next and they are about 6 pages long. I'm trying to get Nyla to dialogue with me so I'll stop every couple paragraphs and ask her questions. Sometimes she gets them, sometimes not, but it's good practice for her.
In the picture above, she's looking at a picture (there are very few) and making up her own little stories or somewhat retelling what I've read. She's obviously getting something out of the book. 

Naomi loves pushing her old stroller around and wearing her sunglass. She's "cool dude."

Daddy and Nyla have visited Putt-Putt a few times this summer. We think one of Nyla's love languages is quality time so she's really enjoyed going and playing with him. She's getting pretty good, too!

We took Naomi a couple weeks ago (before it was scorching hot) and she wasn't interested at first but soon wanted to play. She is funny to watch. She's learning some Putt-Putt etiquette as well. :)

For Nyla's 4th birthday I took her to a local nail salon and we got matching pedicures. Back in the Spring, my mom, sister and I went to this salon and they and a little pink chair just for little girls, complete with butterfly wings. I had never seen that before and told Nyla about it. She immediately wanted to go! I told her for her birthday we'd go and do that. We don't do physical gifts for birthdays, we do gifts of experience. She loved it! We had a great time sitting next to one another and I loved watching her face has her feet soaked and they scrubbed her feet, massaged her legs and painted her toes. And since she's a quality time person, this was right up her alley. We completed our birthday celebration by going and eating taco's together. Another favorite activity of hers!

We love our popsicles on hot days!

Sweet Naomi praying
Nyla enjoyed VBS at my parents church again this summer. Naomi isn't quite old enough to be in a class but each night we dropped Sissy off we HAD to stay for the opening program. They had great music, dancing, puppets, devotion and prayer. She loved it! She can't wait to go next year!!!

Biker buds

My dad likes a picture now and then of his grand girls. I told Nyla, "Sir wants a picture of you. Can you smile for me?"
She said, " yes" and then said, "Sir wants a picture of me being 4." (she had just turned 4 that week... so sweet!)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Plethora of Pictures

As you can imagine, we have been busy around here getting things ready for Natalie's arrival in just 23 days. But we have still had lots of fun!

Post-swimming play time at Gigi's

Another fun afternoon at Putt Putt for Nyla and me. She got 3 holes-in-one!

Face-painting at church block party! A crown for the princess!

And a smiley face for the mostly happy blonde spark plug!

Naomi rode a horse at the block party!

Poor, pitiful, tired Naomi

A Sunday selfie!

Fun at Cookie's church's playground

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Ny's Birth Story - Daddy's Perspective

This is a special "From the Vault" post. I wrote this on Novmeber 1, 2010. Being that today our precious Ny turns four. I thought it very appropriate to post this recollection of the day our lives changed forever. Enjoy...

File this post away as "the one that got away" - or that I have been meaning to write for a long time but never got around to it. I would normally blame procrastination but actually have a much better reason.

Fatherhood is one of those things that, at least for me, you can prepare for but in the back of your mind know that you're not even remotely ready for. We found out a year ago that we were going to be parents. We found out 8 months ago that we were having a girl. Then in the middle of July, our little girl entered the world.

So how did that day go? I'm glad you asked, because you're about to get an inside look at what was going through this guy's mind.

The best place to start would be back in June, when G and I made two "trial runs" to the hospital because she had intense back pain which we thought could be back labor. I'll direct you here to get all the details. That experience helped us better prepare for the real thing - what to pack, where to go, layout of the hospital, and, for me, how much wi-fi there would be. A word of advice for fathers-to-be: take a comfortable pillow and blanket, because the hospital sofa is anything but.

Fast forward a few weeks later to a Sunday night/Monday morning. I was having some trouble sleeping, got up, and checked out the weather (shocker), which showed a line of thunderstorms approaching our area. After I finally fell back asleep, I awoke at 6 to get ready for work. There was one hiccup though. G was already awake and told me, "Babe, I'm having contractions." "Um.. what?!?" "I've been having them since 3:45 this morning." At that point, plans to go to work were abandoned (which turned out to be a good thing, because it rained ridiculously hard that morning), and I opted to work from home in the event of, well, you know. The day went on; the contractions continued every 15-30 minutes; and both of us went about our day as best as possible. Needing to get out of the house, both of us decided to head out to Sam's - just to walk around and enjoy what could very well be our last night with only two of us. We got back, ate dinner, and were going to play Mario Party 8 on the Wii... when we decided to go to Target. Again, another nice time for both of us to (slowly) meander around one of our favorite places.

By the time we got home, it was getting late. We were getting ready for bed when G expressed concern that her water may have been leaking. Not wanting to take any chances, we got our things together - calmly I might add - and made the 15-minute drive to the hospital. Another bit of advice for fathers-to-be: they're going to take your wife back for 5 hours 20 minutes to ask her some questions and make sure she feels safe with you; just be prepared to wait and be nervous. When they let me back to see her, she had progressed nicely, but the water had not broken, and our little girl was still not ready to arrive. After an hour, the nurse told us that, while we would have a baby in the next 24 hours, it was ok to go home, as nothing was really happening. We made the drive home, left all of our things packed, and climbed back into bed.

2:00 AM. I had been asleep for about an hour. My wife wakes me. "Babe, my water broke." Ok, time to go again. Now before I go any further, let me say that break does not even begin to describe it. It was a flood that soaked the sheets on her side of the bed. So again, we climb in the car (bags still in the trunk) and arrive back at the hospital. One of the nurses that saw us earlier happened to be walking by as we were checking in again. G was showing me more water that was leaking. Said nurse saw said water running down G's pants and uttered, "Oh yeah, her pants are soaked. Admit her now." More waiting on my part. Phone call to both of our moms. Update facebook status to "Water break does not even begin to describe what just happened." Come back to room to see my wife.

The morning went on. The contractions got stronger. G was in more pain. The epidural was given. G was not in pain anymore. Our moms both arrived within 30 minutes of each other, claiming they couldn't sleep. That was ok with us. Their being there helped pass the time quicker. They also rocked the cafeteria and scored me some bacon and chocolate milk. Yes, I am 11 years old. Around 9:00, the nurse checked G and said it was time to start pushing. The moms left. And I tried my best to avoid passing out for 30 minutes while G started pushing. More advice to dads-to-be: be ready to use a cold washcloth for your wife... and yourself. Of course, you probably do hospitals better than me.

The pushing passed the one-hour mark. At that point, G's doctor came in to assist. G continued to push, but that little girl just would not move past one tight spot. The doctor laid out our options: keep pushing for an hour and hope she moves OR have a C-section. Neither one of us wanted option 2. But at this point, with little progress made in 2 hours, we both agreed that the C-section was best. I notified our moms of the situation, got dressed up in some scrubs, hat, and mask, and walked with my wife to the surgery room...

Or not. It turns out I had to wait out in a hallway before being let in to see her. Longest. 15. Minutes. Ever. The thoughts are running through my head a mile a minute. Is everything ok? Is Ginny ok? Is our baby ok? Why am I waiting out here? I took a deep breath, said a prayer, and looked up to see one of the doctors coming to get me. Once in there, I sat by Ginny as they had the sheet up, working to get Ny out. One of the doctors told me to get the camera ready. I stood up, watched as they struggled to yank Ny out, and then smiled as we heard the most beautiful cry ever. She was finally here!

I walked over to the nurse's station while they cleaned Ny up, gave her a vitamin K shot, and cleaned up the poo that Ny took all over the equipment. That's my girl! She was still upset, as one would expect when being yanked into a cold room. I started talking to her, and, in an effort to secure an early pony promise, she immediately stopped crying and actually turned her head toward me. (There's a picture a nurse took of me with my hands in a position that shows how much I wanted to hold her.) Oh, man. She had me from that point on. They checked her length - 21 inches. They checked her weight - 9 pounds, 8 ounces! Then they swaddled her up tight and gave her to me. Let me tell you this - nothing will EVER prepare you for the moment you hold a new life that you created for the first time. I think I spent the next 10 minutes just staring at her. I brought her over to a now-sobbing G, who was getting sewn up. Little Ny just laid there in my arms and looked up. Once G was patched up, off we went to recovery.

That was the first time G got to hold Ny, who was still alert and looking up at us. I took pictures with the camera and cell phone, preparing for the exclusive facebook photos. We both sat there, exhausted from a long night but in awe that our baby girl was finally here. This little life that grew in G's tummy finally entered the world in all of her beauty and innocence. Even today, I am still blown away by holding her or rocking her or feeding her or just staring at her. From one single cell to a now 15-week old, healthy girl. What a blessing she is.

Daddy loves you, Ny.


Monday, June 9, 2014

At Our Home: May

May proved to be a busy month in our homes. I guess all months are like that when you have kids! Here's what our month looked like.

Muffins with Mom for Mother's Day at our church

Naomi decided to open up the bean bag chair and play with the beans. Not fun!

We read lots of books... as usual!

These girls love each other. So blessed!

We went strawberry picking and the girls had a blast. They insisted on carrying
and filling their own buckets.

Our haul!

I baked a lot with our strawberries and froze all of it. I've been able to take our baked
goods to different functions without having to do anything.

We played with our puzzles

Nyla loves these puzzles

We are always dressing up!

I got an Amazon gift card for Mother's Day and bought a cookbook. Shocker! :)

We said, "goodbye" to our teachers and friends at KDO.

Nyla finished AWANA at a local church. She got a book award for finishing her book and learning
all her verses. We are so proud of her! 

Nyla's little imagination has taken off in the last few months. This is Mr. Glenn, her puppy. :)

We got a new kiddie pool to enjoy!

Daddy fond a bunch of worms over by our compost and he and the girls talked about
them and dug them up and put them in our vegetable garden.

The girls are definitely little mommy's. They are going to be great big sisters to Natalie in a few months!

We enjoyed ice cream one night

Naomi, as usual, had us cracking up with her silly faces!

We treated Naomi for a fairly serious staph infection on her booty. We had to bathe her 2-3 times a day with an antibacterial soap, put a cream on her booty after that, spray everything with bleach, wash all her clothes and sheets in hot water, she was on a strong antibiotic and we had to watch for bad breakouts that come along with staph. It was a long 10 days with all that. I'm glad she's better. We have no idea how she got it but I'm glad we got it treated when we did. They swabbed and ran tests on it and called about 4 days later. MRSA staph is what it's called and can be deadly if not treated. Eek! Thankful for our Pediatrician! 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Fun at Putt Putt

Nyla and Daddy had a great date night Monday. She really enjoyed our time together.