Sunday, March 29, 2009

Volleyball Night

Our church had its annual youth/adult volleyball tournament tonight. About 35 people signed up to play. Jacob was perfectly content to be in the gym, soaking in all the sights and sounds. Jonathan, on the other hand, had a mild meltdown the minute we started to walk in. John and I decided we would alternate between staying indoors with Jacob to keep him out of the wind and keeping an eye on Jonathan while he ran wild outside with some of the other kids. He genuinely seemed to have a good time. There was still a little snow left on the ground, and some of the bigger kids decided to chunk small snowballs at each other. This seemed like a good idea to Jonathan, too. He hurled some snow at his friend Joie, a girl who is a year older than he, then laughed so hard he lost his balance and landed on his rear end in a big puddle of mush! (Poor kid looked like he had an accident in his pants!) She got even with him by slamming a little snow back at his forehead. He wasn't sure at first whether he should laugh or cry about that one, but in the end he decided it didn't hurt so bad after all. He took a couple of pretty good knocks to his head when he tripped going across the sidewalk as well. He was soaking wet by the time we left, and so were several other kids. (And Joie had such a pretty little dress on, too!) Next year, both of our boys will probably be running around in all the chaos. Time is flying. Way too fast.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Snowed In


Knee-deep in a snow drift

It's a snow-beast! No, wait...Oh, it's just Auggie!

"Hmmm, I wonder what this tastes like..."

It's beginning to look a lot like...Springtime?!?

Here we are, all snowed in with no place to go! A "blizzard" flew in during the wee morning hours today. In the end, it's supposed to leave us with 6"-10" of snow, and drifts even higher because of 40-50 mph winds. Needless to say, John did not go in to work today. He thought about it, but after talking to one of his managers decided it would be best to just stay in. He'll go in tomorrow after lunch to work on a project and get in a little overtime. Jonathan got to spend the day with his daddy, and he loved every minute of it. John took him and Auggie out to romp in the snow late this afternoon. It was Jonathan's very first time to actually play in the snow! Because of Jacob's recent bout with bronchitus, I thought it best to keep the little guy in the house--though I hated to make him miss out on all the fun. It's hard to believe we're having a blizzard in the springtime! I guess it's a good thing I didn't put away all the boys' warm clothes just yet! :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Special Treat

It's nice and quiet around here. The boys are both down for a nap, and I've finally got a little time to myself. It feels good to sit and relax after spending the whole morning on Jacob's room. I've been trying to tackle that mess of a job for eight months now! It's such a relief to finally have the room back in shape. Now if I could just get the master bedroom under control...

We had a nice treat today. John had to be out at a client's office this morning and, since the client's office was so close to home, he came home and took us all out to lunch! We were going to go to McDonald's so Jonathan could hang out in the PlayLand, but I had to give Jacob a bottle before we left so he wouldn't be cranky the whole way there. By the time we got to McDonald's, it was already insane because of the high school lunch rush. Since John only had an hour for lunch, we went across the street to Burger King instead. It was a lot of fun, though (in spite of the fact that they left all the mayo off my chicken sandwich!). Jonathan wanted to try his hand at a hamburger for once, instead of his usual chicken nuggets (and he did quite well with the burger), and Jacob was determined to get at either my chicken sandwich or my fries. And of course, we left with yet another new hat for Jonathan--a king's crown! But the highlight of the day was that Jonathan got to spend a little quality time with his daddy. After all, that was the whole point of the lunch. :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Cleaning

John and I got to have a date for the first time in I don't know how long last night! It was awesome! We got to get away for a few hours and catch a movie, then after the boys went to bed John got us some dinner and we got to have a nice, quiet evening to ourselves. Unfortunately, when I woke up this morning I came face to face with a big load of housework just waiting to be done.

I've got to brag on Jonathan, though. I ran the vacuum cleaner and he didn't have a total meltdown. He followed me around the house for a few minutes, screaming at me as I covered the floor with carpet freshner; and he screamed when I pulled the vacuum cleaner out of the closet. Once I turned it on and told him that was as loud as it was going to get, he actually calmed down. He moved anytime I came near him, pretty much going out of his way to avoid the monster. When I asked if he wanted to help me push it, he said no and backed away, but he let me finish the job and didn't scream and holler through the whole thing. And I'm happy because I feel like my house is a little bit cleaner. (I also didn't have to stop three times to empty the canister this time!) I got a lot done this morning, too. I got every room picked up a little bit (including Jacob's) except for our room, and there's still some laundry piled up that I need to take care of. All in all, not too bad for an hour and a half's worth of work.

Jonathan seems to be over his fever now. (Looks like it was just a 24-hr. thing.) My dad got back from his trip on Saturday. He brought back a Superman cape for Jonathan! He won it at Six Flags, playing one of those games where people try to guess your age. It's a little long on Jonathan, but he likes to put it on and run around in it anyway. Jacob still seems to be doing okay. So far no relapse, thank goodness. We switched him to a new formula (Similac) to see if that would help with his acid reflux. He spit up a little for two or three days, but since then he hasn't spit up in over a week. Looks like maybe that was exactly what he needed. For those of you who have been curious, John is still waiting on his test grade. We'll be sure to let everyone know when he gets it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Random Shananigans

Our weekend has been off to a crazy start. Jonathan came down with a fever last night. He got real fussy right around dinnertime, and we couldn't quite figure out why. Every little thing seemed to be freaking him out. The poor little guy even put himself to bed last night. He woke up around 11:00 PM and I checked his temperature. Sure enough, he had a fever. He's still been running a bit of one today, but he seems to be doing a little better. He's not really having any other symptoms, though last night he said his tummy was hurting a little.

We may have to change the theme of his birthday party now, though. When I mentioned earlier that every thing seemed to freak Jonathan out--the Cars movie, which he watched 7 times over the course of the past week, now seems to creep him out a little. It's not just that, though. Even his morning cartoons have been spooking him! He's still asking to watch the movie, but I've made him stick to VeggieTales today. (Nothing too terribly scary in most of the ones we have.) I'll give him a couple of days before I decide whether or not to change our plan of having a Cars birthday party.

Jacob has six teeth now! (Four on top, two on bottom.) He's also sitting up by himself. I can't believe how fast he and Jonathan are growing!!! We've started to let Jacob have little samples of table food here and there, since he has so many teeth now. He still tries to inhale pretty much anything that goes into his mouth, so I'm taking it a little slow with him. He's not real wild about mashed potatoes, but he loves banana pudding! Maybe in another month or two he'll have a couple more teeth--maybe some more on the bottom this time.

And the highlight of the weekend--we caught a mouse last night! (In a trap, of course.) When I was younger my family lived in a small town that out in the middle of nowhere. We had a mouse or two come through our house, but that was to be expected because of where we were. I sure didn't expect to have mouse trouble living in the city. Not long after Jonathan was born, we caught three mice (two alive, one dead) within a couple of weeks! Then we found a dead one in the trap behind our fridge when I was pregnant with Jacob. Then we caught this one last night. Looks like we're going to have to keep the traps out a while. After all, there's a field not too far from our house...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Good Friends, Good Fun

Last night was a lot of fun for our family. A friend from Kansas was in town, and we got together with her and her daughter, and our good friends the Hanna family. We all met for dinner and had a chance to just hang out and get caught up on each other's lives. We'll all be getting together again--with even more friends--this summer for a friend reunion. There are going to be five couples, plus all of our children. We all have at least two kids, which means there are probably going to be more children than adults at this gathering! And, we realized last night, there are going to be five one-year-olds present!!! (We're having a big group picture made, too!) It may get a little bit crazy, but I think we're going to have a lot of fun.

Something interesting happened at our house yesterday. Actually, it happened once before as well, but I was pregnant with Jacob then. A bird got stuck in our window!!! One of our living room windows facing the backyard is designed in a way that the outside glass doesn't reach all the way to the top. The screen has been removed, and then there's the inside glass that does go all the way up. (That probably doesn't make any sense, but it's the best description I can give you.) So basically, the little birdie flew in through the top, couldn't get enough height to get back out the same way he came in, and got trapped between two pieces of glass. When this happened while I was still pregnant, I freaked out. I was so scared the poor little bird (and I was sure it was a baby bird, too) was going to die in there. I called John crying because I didn't know what to do. Bemused, he came home, examined the situation, asked for a pillow case, opened the inside window (after wrestling with it awhile--that thing is hard to open), gently grabbed the little bird, and took it outside to let it go. I didn't cry when it happened this time, but I did call John to ask if he thought the bird would be okay until he got home from work. John did exactly what he did last time--he made a special trip home to rescue the birdie for me! :) (Awww!!!)

Anyway, here we are, watching the Cars movie for the sixth time this week. (I'm going to have it memorized before long!) It's the first day of Spring (my favorite time of year--except for the severe weather part of it)! The only problem is that it's foggy right now (though the sun is trying to peak through the clouds), so it feels kind of gloomy (to me, anyway), and it's supposed to rain as we move into the weekend. So naturally, we've had to postpone this garage sale we've been wanting to have. I think we're going to try and have it sometime in the next couple of weeks instead.

My dad (along with the rest of our church staff and our youth group) comes home from the Port Arthur mission trip tomorrow!!! They got to spend the day at Six Flags yesterday. (They didn't tell the youth they were doing that until like Thursday night, though.) We're praying they have a safe return home. Jonathan is looking forward to seeing his Paw-Paw Davis again! (It's been a whole week, after all!)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

March Madness

Down time on Mommy & Daddy's bed

"Cheese, Mommy!"

"Nap Time" on Mommy & Daddy's bed

What a hectic month it's been for our family! John has had to work 12-14 hour days just this week alone! I've had clothes and junk scattered over my house for I don't know how long. Jonathan has become addicted to the Cars movie. (We've watched it every single day for almost a week now!) And Jacob has finally just about finished his breathing treatments. (I decided to continue them just once a day for the rest of the week because he's seemed to have a little difficulty catching his breath a couple of times earlier in the week.)
I'm ready for my house to be clean again. I'm ready for Jacob to be completely healthy again. I'm ready for Jonathan to be able to work the DVD player by himself. And I am definitely ready for tax season to be over! (We have to do it all over again in the Fall, but at least there's three months of "down time" in there.)
I did manage to get a few cute shots of the boys, though! They're growing up so fast. The next pictures I post will probably be of Jonathan's 3rd birthday. I can't believe it's less than a month away! It is really starting to sneak up on me. At least we've decided on a theme for this year. Since he's so into the Cars movie, he's going to have a Cars party! Now if we could just make up our minds on the party location...
Maybe next month won't be quite so crazy around here. (Yeah, right!)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Blessings From Heaven

A guy in our Sunday School class this last Sunday said that all too often we focus on what we want God to do for us. We don't stop and reflect enough on what He has already done for us. I think that is so true. And that's the purpose of this post. These are some of the things that I consider blessings from the Lord, and every time I see this it will remind me to stop and thank God for all the wonderful things I have in my life.

  • My salvation, and the hope I have in my Lord Jesus Christ.
  • A loving husband who works hard to provide for his family, and who has the courage to do what he feels God wants him to do--even if it scares him a little.
  • Two incredible little boys and an awesome responsibility to bring them up to be the kind of men God wants them to be.
  • Godly parents who brought me up in a Christian home.
  • An amazing network of family and friends who love me, care about me, and pray for me.
  • The smell of rain that lingers after a thunderstorm.
  • My husband's laugh.
  • My boys' smiles.
  • The feel of sunshine on my face.
  • An awesome view to look at no matter where I turn.
  • Freedom.
  • A roof over my head.
  • Enough money to pay the bills.
  • Food on the table.
  • Clothes on my back.
  • My boys have everything they need (and a lot that they don't!).

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Off On a Tangent

When I first started this blog, I was thinking I would mostly just post our family updates on here. But now I've decided to use the blog as a tool to keep me writing every day (or almost every day, anyway)--a sort of motivator to get me psyched up about trying to get published again. So bear with me if I get carried away and rant and rave once in a while. :0)

This past weekend was a good one. It was the first Saturday in a long time that John didn't have to work the whole day. (He only went in for about an hour.) We decided to spend a good chunk of the day shopping for something we have desperately needed around here for a long time--a new vacuum cleaner.

And we got one!!! (If you ever saw or heard our old one--which John had before we got married--you would know why this is so exciting for me!)

We got a Dyson bagless vacuum. The thing's about as heavy as Jacob is, but it's ten times easier to push around than the old one was. John put it together when we got it home, and I used it that very afternoon. And after seeing all the crud that bad boy picked up, I'm seriously starting to wonder if our floors have ever been clean. (Maybe now the boys won't have quite so many allergy flare ups.) Jonathan reacted the way he always reacts to the vacuum--he screamed bloody murder. We found out just this morning that he doesn't like the iron, either. He freaks out when it hisses as it releases steam when you stand it up. I don't know why things like that freak him out so much. I think this next weekend, I'm going to attempt to get him to help me vacuum. (He likes to help me sweep, so I figure it's worth a shot.) Maybe then he won't be so scared of it. I don't know what to do about the iron, though...

Not only did we get a new vacuum, we also got a new coffee maker and a broom. I have a Swiffer that I use in my kitchen and entry way, but I figure we can use this new broom for things like sweeping off the front porch when Jonathan gets into the flower pot.

I think we're also going to attempt to have a garage sale this next weekend. We've got so much junk around here. We might as well clear some of it out and make more room for the four of us! Jonathan surprised his Sunday School teacher today by saying something along the lines of "Debbie, more." One, I don't think she even knew he could say her name; and two, I'm pretty sure she's never heard him put that many words together in one sentence before! His vocabulary gets more amazing with every day that passes. As do the little things that seem to amuse him nowadays. (He's discovered that he can pee-pee in the bathtub, and apparently that is hilarious.) Jacob has two more teeth coming down. I hate that he cuts so many at one time; the poor guy is miserable. We're finally just about done with the breathing treatments, though! (Yeah!!! No more getting up in the middle of the night--at least not to do a breathing treatment!) I'm giving him one more in the morning, and then, unless his symptoms start showing back up, I'm not giving him any more. He's been doing great, and right now the treatments are spaced to every 12 hours. But I really do not want to keep going with the whole "add an hour a day to the time between treatments" routine. I'd go nuts trying to keep the hours straight. Plus, I don't really think he needs the treatments if he's not symptomatic. Anyway...

I think I've ranted and raved long enough for one night. The dryer is dinging to let me know the clothes are just about dry, and I should probably go and drag the laundry in. I really don't want to, though... :0)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The End of the Line

John and I were talking the other night, and we came to the realization that we are most likely at the end of the line when it comes to having more children. John would still very much like to have a little girl, but deep down we both know that we would most likely end up with a third boy. (Boys are rampant on both sides of the family!) John's schedule is not going to get any lighter. If anything, it is only going to get more hectic. He told me (and I really appreciated this) that he didn't think it was fair to leave me home alone with three small children while he's gone so much of the time. There are many days I feel like a single parent now! I can't imagine handling three pretty much on my own; sometimes I feel like I can barely handle two! I don't know that we've closed the door entirely on having more kids, but right now we're both pretty happy with just the two. We've got two very special little guys, and we wouldn't trade them for anything in the world!

Both of the little bugars decided they needed to take on growth spurts--at the same time! Both of our couches have been buried in clothes for the last two or three days now. (I've lost count of exactly how many days ago I dragged the clothes out.) Cleaning out Jacob's dresser and closet has been the hardest part for me. With the stuff Jonathan has outgrown, I can just put it away until Jacob is big enough to fit into it. But with the stuff Jacob has outgrown...
It's just kinda sad to think that I might be putting it away for the last time. There's something very final about it that I just wasn't expecting.

Anyway, that was pretty much our week at the Merriss house. John has been on a cross-county road trip all week (a new audit in a new county every day for the last three or four days--talk about crazy!). A couple of days this week he didn't come home until 7:00 PM or later. It's supposed to snow here tomorrow. Can you belive it?! Spring-like temperatures for the last week or two, and now winter again! I wish the weather would make up its mind. Oh well, that's what we get for living in the panhandle, I guess. Maybe I can get the boys out for a little fresh air--for a few minutes anyway. Maybe there'll be just enough snow that Jonathan can build his first snowman!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ordination Night

Tonight was a big night for our family. My hubby, John, was ordained as a deacon in our church! I'll try to get some pictures posted as soon as I can. I just have to say that I am so proud of him. He came to the realization when we were just beginning to date that he needed Christ in his life. Since that time it has been my joy to watch him grow in his Christian walk. He now serves as a deacon as well as a Sunday School teacher, and has before him the extremely difficult task of trying to balance the demands of work, family, and studying to pass his CPA exam with his church responsibilities. And I do not often make that task very easy for him! He tries so hard, though. He is a fantastic husband and father. I thank God every day for the privilege of knowing him and the honor of being his wife and the mother of his children. Congratulations, Baby! I love you!!! :0)