Monday, September 28, 2009

"Deep Thoughts"...

It's been a long couple of weeks at our house. John just got back from a five day trip to Denver (training conference for work). So happy to have him home! :) It's strange, but it seems the shorter trips always go by slower. The two weeks he was gone to Israel about this time last year went by so much faster than the few days he was just recently gone. Wonder why it works out that way...? John also started his online study course last week. The first week wasn't too bad--even with having to study while being out of town. The second week may not be so easy; he has to squeeze in 40 hours of study time per week from here on out--on top of juggling a 40-hr work week with family responsibilites. It's not gonna be pretty.

Jonathan earned his first award of the year in AWANA last week! He got his Jumper Patch!!! He looks so handsome in his little Cubbies vest--now w/his patch sewed on. He's growing up so stinking fast. His vocabulary continues to grow and improve as well. We're still working on a few things, though--like enunciation. Jacob is slowly getting there when it comes to walking, but he is improving (at least, I think he is). He now seems more comfortable taking steps, and he leads rather than follows. Now if we could just convince him to let go...
The boys got a little wild yesterday afternoon. We had lunch at my Nana's after church, like we always do. She has a bird bath out in her backyard, and also a milk jug of water that at one time had a little Miracle Grow in it. With a little help from Paw-Paw, Jonathan figured out how to empty the water in the milk jug into the bird bath! He kept filling it til it would overflow, and every once in awhile, Paw-Paw would empty the bird bath so he could start it all over again. He did this all afternoon! He had a blast "giving the birds a bath!" Jacob wanted to be out where the action was, so Paw-Paw took him out and let him dip his feet in the bird bath. Apparently, Jonathan also figured out how the water hose works. At one point, he took the hose and sprayed his brother! A laughing Paw-Paw brought them both in the house soaking wet. They sure had a good time, though.

I had my annual physical on Friday. Everything seems to be perfectly normal with me. Good news, because nothing seems to be perfectly normal with our appliances. Our fridge is leaking something out the bottom. We had a thermometer in there; the temp would fluctuate between "food zone" and "spoilage." I started getting paranoid so I took it out and threw it away. So far, the fridge is still running. The food is still cold, and nothing seems to be thawing out. My parents are doing some remodeling at their house. The ice dispenser went out on their fridge. My dad has been telling us we can have their fridge if we want it--once they replace the ice dispenser. So we're either going to take theirs (if they get it fixed this week) or we're going to break down and buy a new one when John gets paid on Friday. Next month is one of two months out of the year that John gets 3 paychecks, so we can use the spare one to buy a new fridge. Now if our fridge will just hold out until my parents fix theirs or until John gets paid--whichever comes first...
I got a feeling that after the fridge, the dishwasher's gonna go next. It's leaking, too. There are some days I really miss apartment living. We have fixed/replaced one thing after another every year for almost three years now. And we've been in our house almost four years. Good times!

Anyway, that's about all that's going on in the world of Merriss right now. We're thankful for all the wonderful blessings God has given us, and we're trusting Him to bring us through the trials that come our way. After all, we have hope in a God who loves us. We're called to live lives of faith, not lives of fear. That's the lesson God's been teaching me the last couple of days--just thought I'd share. And this has been "Deep Thoughts" by Jennifer Merriss...
OK, I'm done now, I promise! I'll get a pic of Jonathan all decked out in his Cubbies uniform up soon. Hope everyone's week is off to a great start! Until next time...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Random Snapshots

Jonathan's 1st professional haircut.

Playing football w/Uncle Aaron.

Uncle Aaron & Jacob.

Jonathan & Uncle Aaron.

Jonathan on the front porch w/Papa Merriss & the neighbors' cat.

He smeared ketchup all in his hair!


Labor Day Weekend Pics

Jonathan & Rascal at Grandmama & Granddaddy's

Rascal, Jonathan, Chloe, Travis & Benjamin

Paw-Paw Davis & Jacob

Abby, Rory & Jonathan--all pooped out.

Jumping on the couch.

All four of the kiddos eating pizza around our coffee table.

Rory, Jonathan & Abby hanging out in Jonathan's room.

Rory & Jacob.

Jonathan & Abby.

My little man.

"I make these look good." ~Abby

Uncle John & Abby.

"What?" ~Rory

Labor Day

Labor Day weekend was busy but a lot of fun this year. Saturday night, we had the Hanna twins over so Michael and Taira could have a date night. The four kids get along great, and they all had a blast together. We ordered a pizza for dinner and all four of them stood around our coffee table to eat. I've got some great pics, and I'll try to get them up soon. Sunday, we had lunch at my Nana's, as usual; then in the evening went over to my mom's parents' house. My mom's brother and sister and their families were in town, and we had a big dinner to celebrate my Granddaddy's birthday a week early. My cousin's little girl, Chloe, who is about 6 months older than Jake, was also there so we got a chance to see her as well. My grandparents' new dogs, Rascal and Shadow, had quite a time with all the kids running around the house. Jake would get Rascal to bark at him and then laugh! Monday night, the Hannas came over and we spent another wonderful evening surrounded by great friends. Once again, I promise to have pictures up soon.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Another Week Winding Down...

As I feared, the opening assembly did not go well at AWANA last week. Jonathan heard Tony's (Mr. T's) voice even before we walked into the room. I said, "Look, here's your class. Let's stand with them until it's time to go to your room." Jonathan screamed, "No! I don't want to!" His voice got even louder than Mr. T's! Needless to say, his Grammy and I stood outside the door with him until it was time for everyone to march out. Seeing that reaction, I was nervous about how game time would go. One of Jonathan's teachers (Miss Joni) came and got me while my class was having handbook time and told me to come peek my head out. He was in the fellowship hall with Mr. T and the rest of his class, running and playing ball and giving Mr. T a fist bump every now and then. When I picked him up after class, he showed me his fruit snacks and a bracelet they'd made. I asked if he had a good time and if he wanted to come back next week, and he said yes to both! :) Yesterday we started working on a very simple verse that he has to memorize for next week. When John came home for lunch, he asked Jonathan what his memory verse was and Jonathan answered, "Fhurst John" (as in, "First John"). John looked at me and I said I thought that was the reference, but I didn't teach that part to him. Sure enough, the reference is 1 John 4:8! I think he may have heard the verse in Sunday School or something; that's the only explanation I can come up with. It's amazing though to hear his little voice say his memory verse. He said it back to me last night before he went to bed, and again to John this morning. It's so much fun to watch him learning! We think he's going to do great in AWANA this year! :)

If you haven't heard already, John did not pass the last section of his exam that he took. (I think this was sometime in July or August. The dates are starting to run together on me.) He did some research on some study material that is supposed to be really good. A lot of his coworkers have either used this material in the past or are using it now and have been having pretty good success with it. He decided to give it a shot himself. He ordered textbooks for all the sections and also registered to take online study courses. We're hoping the combination of the textbooks and classes will help him get those couple of extra points he needs to pass. John's first study course starts on Sept. 21, and I think he's going to try and sit for another section of the exam sometime in October. He's trying to get in as much as he can before tax season starts up again. I think he'll still have one more section to take sometime during tax season, though. He has until next November to get the other three sections passed before he starts losing credit again. Please keep him in your prayers. I'll post updates on his exam as they come in.

Jacob is cutting teeth yet again. His molars finally all came through, and now it looks like he's cutting the ones in front of those. (I hate teething. I'm afraid I've got about another year of it to go, though.) I've been concerned about him over this last week because he's been vomiting when he has a bowel movement. He's been spitting up with his bms for a while now, and I mentioned it to his pediatrician. She said it happens sometimes, but as long as he's not spitting up excessively it's nothing to worry about. This weekend, however, he threw up a couple of times--just while straining during a bm--enough to get on both him and me. That seemed a little excessive to me, so I called the doctor's office and talked to his nurse. She told me to try and get his stools softer to begin with. I think maybe I haven't been giving him enough juice. I took her advice and he had a bm yesterday without vomiting! Between him and Jonathan (eating habits), it has been one stressful week!

I've started doing Jazzercise with my friend, Taira. I decided I needed something to boost my energy levels a bit. I find it hard to keep up with some of the moves--just when I get one down the instructor moves to something else--but it is a lot of fun, and what a workout!

We're looking forward to a great Labor Day weekend! Saturday night, John and I are going to find out what it's like to have four kids. We and our very good friends the Hannas came up with an arrangement: each month we take turns keeping each others' kids to ensure that we get at least one date night a month. This Saturday the Hanna twins are coming to our house! Our boys just love the Hanna girls, and all four of them get along really well. We're looking forward to having them for a little while! I also have family coming up this weekend. My mom's brother and sister and their families will be in town. It's gonna be a good weekend! :)