Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Most Precious Gift

I just received an amazing gift.  A package arrived from my sister today that included my birthday present.  She had a hardcover book made from my blog, from the day of Caleb’s second birthday (9/19/2007) to November 1 of this year.  I cannot tell you how special this book is since I don’t scrapbook anymore and hardly have time or energy to journal.  My blog is the story of our lives and the record of all our adventures.

Thank you, Kimberly and Kurt.  You have no idea what this means to me.  I love you both.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas, Christmas Everywhere!

When Santa visited the boys' school

Caleb getting his present from Santa at school (not a great picture, but Levi would not detach himself from my hip so I could get a better one...not a fan of Santa)



The boys opening gifts from my Nana (Dad's mom)



One of Levi's gifts from Nana was a pair of pajamas with sock monkeys on them...he's showing you that they match his real sock monkey!



My friend, Sue, who lives in our apartment complex invited the boys over to decorate a gingerbread house. Much candy was eaten and fun was had by all!


What? Your kids don't dress like this at Christmastime? This is seasonal attire in Singapore. ;-)
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Songs

I love Christmas music. One of my favorites this Christmas is "Mary, Did You Know?" Probably since we've been focusing every day on celebrating the birth of Jesus with our Jesse Tree.

(I like Kimberley Locke's version, but many artists have recorded the song.)

Savor the words:

Mary Did You Know
written by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene

Mary, did you know

that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know

that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know,

that your baby boy has come to make you new?

This child that you've delivered,
will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know

that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know

your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know,

that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?

When you kiss your little baby,

you've kissed the face of God.

The blind will see

The deaf will hear

The dead will live again.

The lame will leap

The dumb will speak

The praises of The Lamb.

Mary, did you know

that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know

that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know,

that your baby boy is heaven's perfect lamb?

This sleeping child you're holding, is the great I AM.


Merry CHRISTmas!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Kelly and Sara's Visit

We were so excited that Kelly and Sara Davidson were in Singapore and able to stay the night with us! We were honored to have them here with us since we think the world of this couple. Theirs is one of the marriages on our list of "inspirational marriages," so we love to spend time with them. Justin and I met on a mission trip to SE Asia with Kelly and Sara in 2000 (which included Singapore!), and Kelly was the one who married us. We've got a lot of memories with these two! We met for dinner on Friday night with Camille, Blake, and Pierce at Villa Bali (where this photo was taken).

Saturday morning Kelly went into full "grandpa" mode! His grandkids are just about the same ages as our two, and our kids miss their grandparents a lot, so it was fun for all. Caleb was really sad to see Kelly and Sara leave. He kept asking why they had to live in Texas. :-( Kelly said it was weird for them to be overseas staying with us after we'd traveled in Asia with them, especially since they are the ones who were missionaries in Thailand for almost 20 years!

Here they are trying to see who can spin the football the most times!


Thanks, Kelly and Sara, for staying with us; we love your family so much! It was so fun to catch up with you; we've learned so much from the two of you over the years. Our guest room is always open (that goes for any of our friends who find themselves in Singapore!!)
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Sunday, December 06, 2009

Attitude

Levi is definitely two years old, and the attitude is starting to show. :-) I tried to capture it on camera, but didn't get it just right. He learned this folding his arms when he's not happy thing from his older brother. And in the bottom picture you can see he's not happy with me. He looks cute doing it, but it gets old fast.



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Advent Celebration

Starting on December 1, we are celebrating Advent! Each day we read a Bible story and pull out the ornament for that day's story. The book we're using, The Advent Jesse Tree, takes us all the way back to the beginning and goes through God's story of creation and redemption, culminating on December 25 when we get to open the Nativity ornament. Each day's story points to Jesus and God's plan for His people. Caleb is really excited to open each day's ornament and put it on on our tree. (Levi is not in these pictures because he cannot sit still long enough!)


These are a few of the special ornaments we brought from home (not part of the Jesse Tree)

Daddy reading the story of the day, and Caleb waiting patiently to open the ornament!

Caleb showing off the ornament for Day 4, Abram's tent
Day 5, the lamb that was slain in place of Isaac (made by my Dad and me)
Day 6, Jacob's ladder

All the ornaments were made by friends at our church in Houston. We each were assigned a day and made 25 (one to keep and 24 to give away) of the same ornament, then exchanged. What a GREAT project!



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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Asking God

Caleb: Mom, Can you ask God if they have Transformers umbrellas.

Me: Okay, Caleb.

Caleb: Right now.

Me: Oh, you want me to pray right now and ask God?

Caleb: Yes.

Me: Ok. Dear God, please let us know if there are Transformers umbrellas so we can get one for Caleb. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Caleb: Did He say yes?

*smile*

Six Months

On June 2 we left Texas for Singapore. That was six months ago today. I can't believe it...the time has passed so quickly (although our families might not say the same thing). We have adjusted quite well and quickly to life here. We still miss our home and our families and our dear friends, but this is where God has us for now and we are content. We have a great group of friends (or as one of the guys in our Supper Club said on Thanksgiving..."I'm thankful that my wife has made friends because I now have friends, too. We're happy to serve our husbands by being friends with each other!), and we are enjoying our temporary life here.

God is good. All the time.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pumpkin Pie and A Broken Arm

Justin and I were having a delightful Thanksgiving dinner with friends when we got a call from the babysitter saying Caleb had been jumping on the couch and had hurt his elbow. Caleb was screaming in the background, so we quickly left the party to go home and find out what was going on. His elbow was swollen when we arrived and he wouldn't move it or let anyone touch it.

We took him to the ER, and after looking at the xray the doctor said he thought it was cracked but that we'd need to see an orthopedic surgeon to confirm. They put a temporary cast on him (is was hard on the bottom to prevent his elbow from moving, and open on the top, then wrapped in an ace bandage) and told us to see the surgeon on Saturday morning. Thankfully lots of doctors, including orthopedic surgeons, in Singapore have Saturday office hours.

The surgeon didn't have to look at the xray long to see that his elbow is fractured. He said it had to be a direct hit on his elbow and that they normally do not see this injury in children, usually adults. He thinks it will heal nicely in about 3 weeks. They put a full cast on Caleb's arm but did give us the kind that can get wet. He can go swimming or bathe with it as long as we dry it with a fan or blow dryer afterward. The temporary cast itched a lot, but this one seems to be fine. Caleb's dealing with it pretty well.

And now we can say, "that's why you don't jump on the couch..."

At the hospital just after getting the temporary cast (it hurt, can you tell?)


Caleb with his temporary cast...about 12:30am after the accident.

Playing with Daddy before going to the surgeon.

Silly Caleb with the new cast

This is the couch he fell off...according to Caleb he was crouching on the arm when he fell off backward. How many times have we said, "DON'T jump/stand/walk/run on the couch!!?"
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Singing and Discipline

Here's a video of Levi singing his version of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" at the dinner table. You can also see him acting every bit of his two years and being disciplined. We're using "1-2-3 Magic for Christian Parents" for disciplining them...we just didn't pull it out quite soon enough this time. You can see, though, that as soon as I said, "That's one," he sat down. Three means time-out. Levi does not like time-out, which is good for us!

Enjoy!

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star from Jennifer ReflectingHim on Vimeo.



You can also view the video here.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Laughing

I dare you to look at this and not smile. :-)
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My My, How Can I Resist You?

On the way home from school the other day, Caleb started singing,

"Mamma Mia, here I go again..."

And then I looked at him like he had grown a third eye. And then he collapsed into giggles in the backseat of the taxi.

I asked him if they had been singing that song at school, and he said it was on the radio. (I'm guessing the teachers were playing the CD during music time at school.) Not exactly what I expected to hear him singing since he usually comes home singing Jingle Bells as they are currently practicing for the Christmas concert.

When we got home, I dowloaded "Mamma Mia" from iTunes, and while I was there I downloaded "Dancing Queen" by ABBA as well. I mean, if we can sing and dance around the house to something other than the Mickey Mouse "Hot Dog" song, I'm a happy girl.

So I start singing, which inevitably prompts both of my children to shout in unison, "NO SINGING," but I cannot be swayed so easily, so I continue...

"You are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen..."

And Caleb looks at me like I've grown a third eye and says, emphatically,

"Mom, queens.don't.dance."

Ok, then. That settles it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Weather Report

Wanna see the weather report for Singapore this week? (oh, and for the American readers...33 C=91.4 F, 25 C=77 C)


Updated: 2:00 AM SGT on November 12, 2009
Thursday
Chance of a Thunderstorm. Scattered Clouds. High: 33 °C . Wind light. Chance of precipitation 40% (water equivalent of 7.28 mm). Heat Index: 37 °C .

Thursday Night
Chance of a Thunderstorm. Partly Cloudy. Low: 25 °C . Wind light. Chance of precipitation 30% (water equivalent of 3.49 mm). Heat Index: 35 °C .

Friday
Chance of a Thunderstorm. Partly Cloudy. High: 32 °C . Wind NNE 10 km/h . Chance of precipitation 40% (water equivalent of 6.65 mm). Heat Index: 42 °C .

Friday Night
Thunderstorm. Low: 25 °C . Wind NNE 7 km/h . Chance of precipitation 100% (water equivalent of 77.13 mm). Heat Index: 31 °C .

Saturday
Thunderstorm. High: 30 °C . Wind WNW 10 km/h . Chance of precipitation 80% (water equivalent of 21.72 mm). Heat Index: 35 °C .

Saturday Night
Chance of Rain. Partly Cloudy. Low: 24 °C . Wind West 10 km/h . Chance of precipitation 40% (water equivalent of 12.75 mm).

Sunday
Chance of Rain. Partly Cloudy. High: 28 °C . Wind West 14 km/h . Chance of precipitation 40% (water equivalent of 10.38 mm).

Sunday Night
Chance of a Thunderstorm. Partly Cloudy. Low: 24 °C . Wind West 14 km/h . Chance of precipitation 30% (water equivalent of 5.44 mm). Heat Index: 31 °C .

Monday
Chance of a Thunderstorm. Partly Cloudy. High: 30 °C . Wind WNW 14 km/h . Chance of precipitation 30% (water equivalent of 3.22 mm). Heat Index: 36 °C .

Monday Night
Chance of Rain. Overcast. Low: 24 °C . Wind West 7 km/h . Chance of precipitation 20% (water equivalent of 0.58 mm).

Tuesday
Chance of a Thunderstorm. Partly Cloudy. High: 29 °C . Wind light. Chance of precipitation 20% (water equivalent of 0.33 mm). Heat Index: 34 °C .

Tuesday Night
Chance of a Thunderstorm. Partly Cloudy. Low: 25 °C . Wind light. Chance of precipitation 20% (water equivalent of 1.90 mm). Heat Index: 33 °C .

Wednesday
Chance of a Thunderstorm. Partly Cloudy. High: 32 °C . Wind NW 10 km/h . Chance of precipitation 30% (water equivalent of 3.90 mm). Heat Index: 34 °C .

Wednesday Night
Chance of a Thunderstorm. Partly Cloudy. Low: 25 °C . Wind NNE 10 km/h . Chance of precipitation 20% (water equivalent of 1.43 mm). Heat Index: 31 °C .


Why, yes, we've entered the monsoon season. Thanks for asking.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Theological Discussions with a Four-Year-Old

Caleb has been asking a lot of deep questions lately. They seem easy enough on the surface, until you try to answer them. Especially in a way that a four-year-old can understand.

Here are some things Caleb's been asking/saying this weekend:

1. Where does God live?

2. We sang "Jesus died for all the children" at church today. Why did he do that?

3. Is He still died? (Caleb's words)

4. I love God sooo much! (So do we, sweetie, so do we!)

5. As I was praying with Caleb tonight, I asked him if he wanted to say it by himself. He did, so he started thanking God for his bunk bed, his reward chart, his stuffed moose. He said, "Thank you for..." and paused, so I filled in with, "...always being with me." Caleb replied with, "No, it's just furniture tonight, Mom. And soft things." :-) I was unaware it was "thank God for your furniture" night. I stand corrected.

Caleb has such a sweet heart, and it is a joy to watch him grow in his knowledge of our Savior. This time surely cannot be wasted.

"How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands." ~Psalm 119: 9-10

Thursday, October 29, 2009

What's YOUR Favorite Food?

I took the boys for their yearly check-ups yesterday. I love our doctor in Houston, and no one will ever compare to the care we received there; our doctor was really special. But our pediatrician here is a good one. He checked Caleb first. He asked Caleb to write his name, which he did pretty well. The letters weren't very close to each other, but they were in the right order! When the doctor said, "Can you write the final letter?", Caleb said, "No, the B is hard." Good enough. He said Caleb is very coordinated, which we knew. ;-)

He also asked Caleb lots of questions about various things in his life. The one that made me cringe and want to crawl in a hole was, "What's your favorite food?" Caleb's answer?

Candy.

I glared at him and made some comment about him eating other foods, but Caleb looked at me and said, "I like candy." Yes, I'm aware. We'll just blame it on the fact that Halloween is just around the corner, right?

Levi also had a good check-up. The doctor asked him how old he was and he told him. He asked me if he was starting to feed himself with a spoon, and I told him he's been doing that for a long time now. I can't remember the last time we actually fed Levi anything ourselves; he's been a self-feeder for over a year now with the exception of yogurt. But even that he's been feeding himself for a while. I cringe every time he eats it because he gets it everywhere.

I kept having to translate for Levi, though. Our doctor here was trained in Australia and his accent is pretty thick sometimes (kind of an Asian meets Australian accent), so Levi had a hard time understanding which body parts the doctor was asking him to point to. :-)

The thing Levi had a problem with was colors. The doctor held up several different objects of different colors. Levi said everything was green. I know this is pretty normal, but I'm always paranoid about it because color-blindness runs in the family. I quizzed Caleb on his colors a lot until he finally learned all the right ones and I knew he wasn't color-blind. I just like to be prepared. :-)

Caleb weighed 15.9kg (35.1 lbs) and was 103cm tall (42.1 inches).
Levi weighed 12.9kg (28.4 lbs) and was 90cm tall (35.4 inches).

They are both around the 50%, so the doctor was pleased with their progress.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The USS Nimitz (and I Miss My Dad)

Andrea and I were invited to tour the USS Nimitz when it was in port last month, and we both jumped at the opportunity. It was amazing. One of our tour guides was the pilot of one of the radar scrambler planes. We had a great time learning about what it's like to live and work on an aircraft carrier and the risk involved in being on the flight deck. If we had been able to see the ship when it was docked in the States, the airplanes would not have been on board because they are part of a separate unit and get dispersed around the country for maintenance. We were really grateful for the unique opportunity!

The ship from ground level. It was huge, and I only got about half of it in this picture:


One of our guides and the pilot of a radar scrambler plane:


The flight deck from above. All the colors of the stripes mean different things.

A memorial to a helicopter crew the USS Nimitz lost on their last deployment:


One of the planes inside the ship, on the hanger deck. They move the planes from here to the flight deck via HUGE elevators.

One of the 4 elevators (those people are walking across it). It also serves as the sailors exit/entrance when in port:
This is how they steer ships now. :-)

A submarine was docked across from the Nimitz. The sailors said the sub comes and goes and only a handful of people ever know where it is. They all like it that way.



The tour made me really miss my dad. He would have loved touring the ship!


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