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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Settling the Wilderness of PTC

I like chasing things.

Miles and I were outside a few days ago, and he spotted a squirrel, and we both turned into those dogs from Up.  I mean, seriously, he pointed and said, "Momma, look a squoiyull!" and I said, "Do you want to go get it?" And the chase was on!!  The squirrel was game, too because right after we crossed the parking lot, it ran from the yard, but then kind of stopped at a tree and waited for us, before it took off across the lawn into the woods.

I'm glad that living in the super-developed suburbs of Peachtree City hasn't curbed our desire to go after small game.  It reminded me of the end of In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson.  It's refreshing to know that when given the opportunity, Miles will chase stuff with me.  In fact, I can say with confidence that James and Jasper would be down, too.  Jasper LOVES running around and chasing things.  Well, at least, he loves being carried or strolled around, chasing after someone/something.  And just today, James was crawling after Jas through the Chick-Fil-A play area because that kid can climb up the slide!  It's ridiculous!  I was smiling to myself when I heard James, Jasper, and Miles playing in there today.  It was great hearing how much fun they were having.

I guess the 'settling' part of this post has more to do with our apartment.  It really is feeling more like home now.  The boys are quite comfortable here, and doing really well sharing a room.  I think the fact that all FOUR of us Browns shared a room at our previous residence prepared them; they are swimming in space here.  :)  It has been a work in progress, getting moved, adjusting, unpacking, sorting through items that were in storage for over a year, and now deciding if we should unpack or even keep them...


Okay, I'm done writing about that for now.  It's raising my anxiety already.

Still, life is good.  It isn't easy, but I am reminding myself that I can savor God's observable presence daily.  For example:  The boys have gone to bed at about the same time - and earlier than usual - the last two nights!  And last night, JB and I had a date night in - an Alfred Hitchcock movie neither of us had seen before, The Man Who Knew Too Much.  Not to mention that today, after worrying about finances for a while this morning, getting word that dear friends have pledged support for our ministry.  God is constantly reminding me that I don't need to worry.

*  *  *  *  *

I drafted this post over a week ago.  We have since finished the movie on our date night this past Friday, and seen God's hand moving even more!  I received some savings bonds that Uncle Sal bought me in 1989 and 1990 for Christmas, and they had compounded a bit - so that was a fun surprise to receive from my Mom in the mail!  I can't wait to move forward with some ideas I have (supporting indigenous missions is one super-exciting venture I am praying into, the rest are little DIY projects here at home).

Until these ideas are more concrete, here are some pictures from the last few weeks:

Jubs practicing with a fork
macaroni and CHEESE!

Miles playing "Fox Mario"

"Momma, I don't wanna
leave the McDonalds play place!
Let me climb up the slide!!"

Yee haw!
"Mom, you do your arm like this,
like a cowboy."
*lassoing motion*

He just needs some boots.

spoon practice, too

Mellow Mushroom Pizza's 40th Anniversary
$2.50 for a small cheese pizza!

Morning paperwork
(my job entails spectrum organizing the Crayolas)

dig, dig, dig

The latest:

Miles Yossarian loves
  • Peter Pan all over again!  
    • He will sing the theme, "Dun dun duuuuun!" and shout, "I can fly!" while jumping off of his bed... over and over
  • chocolate milk (always!)
  • I Heart Katamari - which he pronounces differently every time
  • laughing - and his sense of humor is so awesome!
  • physical proximity to me at all times - !
  • telling stories about a tiny baby, crawling somewhere, then bonking its head (?)

Jasper U loves
  • food, especially fruit
    • seriously, hide the grapes or oranges unless you want him to yell at you for the rest of the meal!
  • standing up on his own (not pulling up)
  • laughing
  • climbing up the slide
  • swings
  • taking things out
  • putting things back
  • oh, and dancing:

JasperU is One!

Oh my how time has flown by!

It seems just yesterday that he was born right in our bedroom in Hampton, at Pop-Pop's house!  And now he is a standin', dancin', talkin' toddler.  We celebrated this sweet boy in a really simple way, as opposed to Miles' big party we threw in 2012.  I'm sure Jasper would have enjoyed it either way, but I discovered this year that I am not really the party-throwing type.  This sort of surprised me, but it turns out, I love attending large events, but not hosting them.

So here is how we honored our one-year-old:

Thursday, August 7, 2014

We woke up at the normal time, around 7:30, and hung out in our jammies.  I had the ingredients for Jasper's favorite breakfast:  pancakes!  Oh, and blueberries!  I thought I would make a cute smiley face blueberry pancake for Jas (see my failed attempt below)... and it turned out okay, the second time.

Miles mixed the batter

... very carefully!

This scary fella went into the trash.

"Momma, why are you taking pictures?
I want to eat that!"

After cleaning up, we got ready and took a walk to Mellow Mushroom pizza for lunch.  It was so tasty!  We shared pretzels and pizza.  Delicious!!

Playing in the boys' room
(Miles is so intense!)

After James got off of work, he got changed, and we went to dinner at O'Charley's.  It was low key, and just right!  Jas got a complimentary scoop of ice cream from our animated server, and he tried to eat it himself.  Whenever I tried to help him, he hollered at me because he didn't want to give his spoon away.  Seriously, don't get between this boy and his dessert!

"Okay, I've got this..."

"... no really, Momma, it's good."

"I'm a big boy, you know."

"Oh, I like ice cream."

"Quit taking pictures and let me eat this."
(Miles' hand is the skilled one in the foreground)

Jasper got lots of cards from lovely peeps all week, starting with Nona, then from Grandpa, and Tita Michelle!
 "Oh, it's postmarked 'San Bernardino'!"

Birthday cards on display

That Weekend
we took it easy, playing at home, and running a few errands...

Miles on his trike at home

Steering through the Home Depot

Miles found repose in the carpet display
... seriously, he did not want to leave.

Chick-fil-a play

Sunday, August 10

... we celebrated with everyone in Newnan, after church.  They had just gotten back from their vacation in Florida, and had a couple of days to decompress before having us over!  It was the perfect celebration!!
Handsome gentleman baby,
ready for CrossPointe Kids!

Beautiful cake from G'pa Dave & Ammy
- we love Elmo & Abby! -

Jas' "smash cake" 

"Wait, I'm allowed to just eat this?"

smashed it.

Happy birthday, Jasper Ulysses!  We love you, one-year-old!!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Vacation Bible School

Okay, I did not grow up going to, or even knowing about Vacation Bible School.  I actually had never heard of it until the first summer I was involved at Renewal Christian Fellowship, years ago.  We did Crocodile Dock, and I loved it.  It was so cool to see children, from preschool to 6th grade, learning about Jesus, and His love for them.  I saw children praying with hands folded, or on their knees, I saw kids worshiping God Almighty, and dancing with praise and joy!

Miles attended his very first VBS, or as he would pronounce it, "Fee B S" at the end of July.  It was at Four Corners Church in Newnan, and he loved it.  The only day he shed a few tears was the day that I was there, but helping in the nursery.  He wanted me to be with his class.  But other than that, he would hop in the car with Miss Amy and all of his buddies, and head off to his VBS class!

Here's Miss Amy's car for the week!

Bubbas didn't even end up being in any of their classes, but he had a blast.  He came home singing "God of Wonders" and "God Made Everything" from day one!  He even taught us all of the hand motions that go with them.  Oh, and he made sure to tell us all about the robot!

Praising God with so many kids!

I like the robots sandals...

"Hallelujah to the Lord of Heaven and Earth!"


I feel so blessed that Four Corners worked so hard to teach Miles and dozens of other kiddos all about the Creator of the universe.  I know how much Bubbas loved it because he asked me every day the next week if we were going to VBS.  It actually made me a little sad to have to explain to him again and again that it was only for those five days.  But I am so grateful that Miles was so well cared for that week, and that he had so much fun!  Seriously, he napped so well that week!

I wonder if the space travel theme had anything to do with Miles wanting to watch Wall-E over and over again lately...  At any rate, it was a blast!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Non-Party Planning

I am super excited.

So many exciting things!!

Gosh, I don't even know where to start?

Seriously, there are, like, at least 3 things I'm thrilled about!

*  *  *  *  *

Item One:
Both of the boys are napping right now.  It's a rare and splendid animal to behold when our busy, busy boys are asleep during the day, at the same time!  That is probably why I am able to be on here right now!

Item Two:
We are moving into our new apartment tomorrow!  We picked up the keys on Wednesday, and that was a test of faith, to be sure.  It felt like the entire process was postponed over, and over, and OVER again.  And when the same piece of paper was sent back a second time last Monday, James and I had reached our breaking point.  When I read him the email, he and I actually ended up having a huge fight because we were both so frustrated, but it just so happened that we had each other on the line.

But God is so good.  We were praying hard for everything to go through despite the paperwork, and the fact that the manager only works in the office part time.  Salli and I were declaring truth over the situation, just praying that it would go through, and believing for God's best!  Then that night, I received an email from the manager, that she submitted the corrected form herself, and that we should come into the office as scheduled!  So it all worked out!

Further blessings have been pouring in, in the form of brand new beds for JB & I, and for Miles.  We also got new sheets, and comforters as well.  We have been receiving calls, texts, and emails from folks asking what we need, how they can help, and that people are praying for us!  Glory to Jesus for the generosity of so many people.

Item Three:
Jasper's birthday is next week!  He will be one year old already.  I feel like he's not a baby anymore - he's a toddler now!  James and I made the decision not to have a big party.  James, Miles, and I will celebrate him at our new place on his actual birthday, then party with the rest of the fam on the weekend.  I love that I'm not stressed out, trying to create the perfect or best birthday party for a little one who, let's be honest, won't remember this day at all.  I want to remember it as being stress-free, fun, and full of things that Jasper loves.

I also really felt encouraged when a college pal of mine posted a similar sentiment here.  She and her hubby decided not to throw their kiddo a second birthday party this year.  And everyone was happy with the decision.  Honestly, there have been a lot of parenting choices James and I have made that are breaking the current trends that many people seem to be adhering to.  (Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with any of their choices!)  I am just finding that trying to be like any other parents isn't working for us.  We are happiest being the parents God created us to be.  If you are a fam that thrives with huge gatherings every year to celebrate your super awesome kid, you know I will be there if I get the invite!  I love celebrating people.  I am just finding that I don't do well hosting ginormous parties.  I suppose I was never really in charge of them back home.  My Mom and Sis are super hostesses!

Besides, with Jas taking two naps still, I know that if we had a ton of people over, he would end up asleep or cranky at some point during the party.  So here's to a simple time of celebration.

PB&J might be on the menu!

As long as I get to party
with this dude, I'll be happy

Tough guys