Happy Easter!

What an awesome weekend! We feel more than blessed every day from God above, and this weekend it was wonderful to have some focus on what God has done for us.

We had a great time this weekend spending time with close friends. On Easter day, after a really special church service we headed over to the Clark’s house for the afternoon. We cherish their friendships and are so glad that God brought them in our lives. We met in the foster care training class, MAPP, several years ago and it has been a relationship that continues to grown and bless us.

We also were invited to our friend’s daughter’s 1st birthday at Chuck-E-Cheese. In addition, we were invited to an Easter Egg Hunt at the Governor’s Mansion. Petra was very interested in this event and even asked to go meet the Governor. I’m not sure if she was expecting a man.

This week baby Aiden was born! It was awesome to be present for his birth. And while we miss our oldest girl (now that she has gone back home with her parents) it is great to continue to be in her life. We wish both her and her son the best. Please keep them in your prayers.

Here are some pictures. I hope you enjoy.

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Baby Gift

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I made a baby shower present for a friend at church this weekend. I love to make baby blankets and burp cloths. Honestly, I wish I had the chance to make them more often. This is the first time I embroidered the baby’s name on the quilt. I was very happy with how it all turned out.

If you want to make this at home, it is very simple.

For the burp cloths you just cover store bought cloth diapers with pretty cotton fabric. I cut the fabric about 19” long and 6.5” inches wide. And then you just iron down the sides, pin it down, and sew it on.

The blanket is a layer of printed cotton fabric, flannel fabric, and a soft cuddly fabric on the back. You simply sew them rights sides together, leaving a small opening. Them flip them right sides out, iron down flat and sew a top stitch around the edge.

Jasper’s 2.5 year update

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Keeping with my plan of posting about the children every 6 months – on their birthdays and then at half years’ – this post is due. Jasper is now 2.5 years old, about 34.25 inches and 27 lbs! And growing stronger, smarter, and sweeter every day.

He’s always been very sharing and kind. He would do practically anything for his big sister and for us. Although he continues to have a very strong personality – especially when he doesn’t get his way. This occasionally leads to what I would refer to as two year old screaming fits over very silly things – like his banana broke in half or we can’t go to a museum at 9pm at night. And he has a very high pitched, loud scream that he uses has his weapon of choice.  But luckily these are not daily, and most of the time he is very happy and very fun to be around.

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SPIRITUAL – We get just an absolute kick over how much he enjoys things in life. At night he has started praying and thanking God for things in his life. This is usually how it goes: “Thank you for race cars, thank you for my monster truck, and for that truck, and that one, and thank you for big bugs, and thank you for Petra, and Mommy, and Daddy, and thank you for houses, and thank you for my blanket…” It love hearing each night what comes to the top of the list. The items I just listed usually get a nightly mention. The big bugs are currently at the Mary Brogan Science Museum in town. These bugs are really cool – they are about 60-600 times the normal size and motorized. He asks to see them nearly everyday.

I’m not even sure where to start with his milestones. I’ll start with his motor skills because they are most advanced.

MOTOR SKILLS – With physical development he continues to be way ahead of what would be considered average. He is daring and courageous. All boy, and there is no stopping him. He is a pro on his strider bike and has perfect balance with riding and turning it. He has learned to pedal on his tricycle – this is his new favorite as he can finally reach the pedals. And I have no doubt he could ride a regular bike without training wheels if only we could find one that was small enough for him. He is still to small to reach the pedals. He can jump simultaneously about 20 times in a row off the ground with both feet, he can do quick handstands, he can run and kick a ball, he can stand and balance on one leg, he can walk across a balance beam, he can flip on a bar by himself. And to top it all off, every night, when he is shirtless he does 10 pushups before going to bed. I have no idea where this came from. But he thinks he needs to do pushups without a shirt – and so when I change him at night he leaps to the floor to get in his nightly workout. I’m thinking this is probably not a bad habit to continue.

His fine motor skills seem to be on target or ahead. He can string beads and do all sorts of small tasks. We recently took him to Learning Express and got him these Automoblox cars. These cars are so cool because you take them apart and put them together. From the moment they were first taken out of the box he could put them together by himself …we didn’t help one bit, not even with directions. He still has problems with holding a pencil correctly and writing, he can draw lines and circles – but he hasn’t really figured out if he is right or left handed. But he’s only 2.5 so I have no worries about this.

IMG_1471IMG_1243INTELLECT – According to what I read on the internet, his intellectual and communication skills are also advanced. He is talking in complete sentences! Which is a long way from where he was 6 months ago. I remember him not speaking much at all when he turned 2. But now, he properly puts together 7-8 word sentences without a problem. He commonly remembers to say “May I” and he also is very good with his “please and thank you’s.” He sometimes leaves words out of his sentences, but rarely. And he is still confusing pronouns – using “me” instead of “I”, but this is also improving daily. He initiated a full conversation with me this week about his pajamas – wanting to know where one pair was, I told him they were dirty, he wanted to know how they were dirty, and then explained the difference between the pair he had on and the pair that was dirty. When the nanny arrived, he had to explain it all to her.

He is matching objects, he can count objects, knows all of his capital letters, knows about half of his little letters, knows about all his letter sounds, can point to all the colors when asked, and can also name many of the colors.  He also loves to sit at the computer and tells us he is working. He loves books, and often sits down and looks at them by himself. And he loves puzzles – they are his absolute favorite tot activity. We also see his intellect coming out in other ways – for instance he can identify the capitol (where I work) from several directions and will mention it when we go past or even near it, he knows when we are near the museums or other familiar places, and he can name off several options for going out to eat. He told Thomas today that he loves Five Guys.

TAKING CARE OF HIMSELF – He can take off his clothes by himself. And he is even going potty some (without being asked) – I often find him in the bathroom trying to pull down his diaper to go potty. (when session ends in about 3 weeks we will probably officially work on potty training) Luckily he understands that going potty keeps his bottom from getting dirty.

He continues to eat really well. He doesn’t eat all that much, because he is two, but his food choices are great. He often leaves cookies and doesn’t eat them at all. Instead he eats fruits, vegetables and meat – which makes sense because that is largely what we feed him. He can scarf down some dried fruit – especially dates – and also loves carrots. One night last month he ate baby carrots during the day, then Thomas cooked carrots for dinner. He ate all on his plate, all left in the bowl, and then drank the watery carrot juice left in the bowl. And I know I’ve shared this photo of him helping me juice carrots in the morning. He is a big help with this and loves to do it.

IMG_1024PLAY – He is very independent with his play and very quiet. Where Petra will gab all day about nothing, Jasper only talks when necessary. He loves his batman costumes and pajamas! He loves balls. In fact he loves cars, batman, spiderman, and balls so much that he won’t really wear a shirt unless it has one of these things on it. He also loves to pretend cook – he often makes soup, including red pepper soup. And he is really into monsters and talks about them a lot – these are not scary monsters. He also uses the word “monster” frequently as an adjective – for instance he likes to take monster sized bites at dinner. He almost always has a car in his hand or nearby. He likes to take his toys and put them in boxes or in the back compartment of his tricycle. And he insists on sleeping with his toys. The more the better. He doesn’t actually play with them in bed, he just likes to have them with him.