Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Five things you should know about Ben...




1. He loves this orange vest.  Gets real particular about how far it's zipped and carries it around the house until someone will help him put it on.  Ben be like...my orange vest looks goooood.
2. He calls me, "Ma."  It's precious.  Of course, he also calls Cathy and Chris this too.  But I hope he never stops calling me, "Ma."  
3. Loves his Easter eggs.  Loves to open them.  Cries when he can't put them back together...and repeat, repeat, repeat.  Hours of entertainment.
4. He calls balloons, "Boons"  which I think is better than fully pronouncing the word and vow to never correct him.
5. He knows no greater thrill than holding his cup to the water dispenser and filling his cup.  It is RIVETING.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Rocking

This never happens. Never. But I'm not complaining today. Ben, you are becoming such a big boy. I will cling to all the baby you have left in you.  

The Lou

Last weekend we packed up the family and visited our good friends in St. Louis.  Matt and Carly and John and Kayla share a backyard and much of their lives.  It's how my heart wants to live in community with friends.  It was so good to be with these dear friends, to love their kids - whom I have loved from a distance- and to watch Lakin and Ben create ties to these families that have such a special place in their parents' hearts.

A couple of photos from our cookie making venture.  A note: Carly is the source of the best chocolate chip cookie EVA.  She taught Chris all he knows.  We owe her our lives.  Literally.






















Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Year and a Half: Bennett Brand





Little dude is a year and a half.  We have loved seeing more of personality surface as he's grown.  A few things we've noticed about our once laid back little baby boy....

Ben is nothing short of persistent.  I have come thisclose to removing all the dining room chairs, stools, baskets, tupperware, you name it, from the house.  He moves all these things around the house to climb on whatever he pleases.  He laughs in the face of danger, scaling the dining room table, climbing the countertops, and sometimes even attempting to climb the walls.  He always has a new battle wound from his fearlessness; it adds to his charm. I say a silent prayer every morning when I get him out of his crib that the Lord would keep us away from the ER.  Ben's favorite danger move is stacking toys in front of the hutch so that his face can be inches from the TV screen.  This always results in a fall.  Which always results in tears.  But minutes later, he can be found stacking the same set of toys and attempting to climb them.

He communicates in a sophisticated system of grunts and pointing.  He knows a few words and will use them in extreme moments of desperation.  But I've learned many of his preferences and even can differentiate his grunts.  Baby sign language?  Unnecessary.  Your baby will make up their own form of communication.  Ben just learned how to say please.  He needs to reminded to use it, but we're making baby steps toward conversation.

When he's not grunting he's speaking in his own language of gibberish.  When he finally does get his words, this boy's going to have a lot to say.  ALWAYS. MAKING.NOISE.  My favorite is the jibberish songs he sings.  He sings at the dinner table, in his car seat and before bedtime.  It's precious.

Ben loves to play with his cars, line them up and drive them all around the house.  He has also given new use to the Lego table I made Lakin two Christmases ago.  I now find Duplos all over the house and cars under every piece of furniture.  He's finally into books.  If the mood catches him right, he'll retreat to his room and look at books for a long time.  It's usually cause for concern when I haven't heard him crashing around in a while but when I seek him out, he's quietly and contently looking at his books.  We then accidentally make eye contact and the books are abandoned and he is reminded of his desperate need to be held by his mother.  It is for this reason, I need a video baby monitor.  That and the crazy antics his sister is up to during her daily "rest" time.  So make that a double video baby monitor.

He makes me laugh.  All the time.  We love this little guy and all the energy and humor he brings to our lives.


Monday, March 10, 2014

"Hey Brawder" Translation: "Hey Brother"



By total accident I was attempting to upload some photos and found these gems!  Chris and David.  Such little buddies.  I can only pray that Lakin and Ben will have a friendship like these two.  I know it wasn't all roses and kittens growing up.  They had their fair share of sibling stuff.  But David is now Chris' best friend.  These two text incessantly; inside jokes from their childhood, teen and adult years.  They toasted one another at their weddings.  It's the kind of love a parent prays earnestly to see her children know for one another.

I can only hope God has something this sweet for our kids.

Dear Jesus, may Bennett be the one Lakin texts every.single.time she indulges in a shamrock shake.  And may Lakin receive a photo text of the man with the bottomless chaps when Ben happens to walk past him on a European street.  -Amen

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Party Time: a Recap from the Noonday Trunk Show

Guys, I love my Rochester people.  I do.  They show up.  They rock.  They are straight up amazing.

Last Friday a dozen women drove from their warm homes, on snow packed roads, to come hear about Noonday Collection and an opportunity to lift artisans out of a life of poverty.

The evening was so fun, the jewelry was beautiful and the spirit of generosity and love was abundant.

Bethany did an amazing job casting the Noonday vision and friends drank wine, ate goodies and played dress up.  Host a trunk show.  You won't regret inviting friends into your home to hear about Noonday and their artisans.  Such a great evening.

Here are some photos from the party.

















 After most of the guests had left, I realized I forgot to capture any photos of my friends enjoying themselves.  Sara and Carli were willing to stage a few photos for the sake of the dear blog readers.



 Bethany doing the accounting from the party.  We laughed that this was the only time in the evening when she was not wearing jewelry.

 So we quickly fixed that...

 ... and took a photo to commemorate this awesome evening!

 and maybe a few more...

 ... for good measure.

If you saw something you love, you can purchase Noonday online.

This is step one in my journey to becoming a more informed and responsible consumer.