Saturday, February 27, 2010

Oh, That's Why!

Oh, that's why I'm feeling so nostalgic tonight.

Everyone's asleep right now, and I just finished posting pictures from Drew's t-ball game.

Before logging off, though, I have been spending some time looking through my old posts. I went back one year ago today to see what I was up to in February of 2009. It was nice to catch up with the old "me". The one with only one kid and one kid's worth of worries.

And then I decided to look back even farther into my blogging history. And do you know what I discovered?

Today is Mom2Drew's 2nd birthday!

I published my first post on February 27, 2008. As I read that entry, I was reminded of the purpose and reason behind my blog. It was a great re-focus. Especially as I look back on what God has been up to in our lives lately.

Speaking of 2nd birthdays, I'd love for you to go read my dad's latest entry HERE about his own birthday celebration-of-sorts.

So, cake and ice cream all around! We need a few good excuses for a party these days!

Gimme an "A"!

It sure is nice to have a fan (or twelve).
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And victory tastes pretty sweet with a post-game milkshake toast!
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T-ball videos to come next week!!!


Thursday, February 25, 2010

3 pairs of booties

More than a year ago, I was shopping at a little boutique.
And on the clearance table, there sat a package of Christmas booties. Three pairs of brightly striped infant socks, trimmed in ribbons and bows.

I purchased the gift and wrapped it up for my brother and sister-in-law with the following little note:

"I'm praying that by next Christmas, these booties will be filled with baby feet."

You see, my brother and his wife had decided that the time had come to start a family. And we got no small amount of joy in joking that, when the time came, our money was on triplets!!!

I never imagined in my wildest dreams that by the time Christmas rolled around again, all three pairs of booties would indeed be filled by precious baby feet. Just not the way I had planned... (I guess I should have been more specific in my prayers)

The package was opened, and the contents split up.. between my brother's wife, my husband's sister and myself.

Miss M, born October 22 was followed 6 days later by Little "A". And not quite 6 wks passed before our third little girl, Sweet "E" was born.

And, in addition to so many heartfelt prayers lifted before our father for these families, I marveled at God's answer to my little prayer, too.

So, as we celebrated the birth of Jesus... we praised God for filling three sets of Christmas booties, too!

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(from L to R: Little "A" and her mommy, Miss M & Me, and Sweet "E" and her mommy)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

4 X 4

And now for a quick review...

Miss M at 3 months old:

And one month later at 4 months (yesterday):

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It dawned on me today that I currently have a 4-month old and a 4-year old. Which made me subsequently decide that four is my new favorite number.

She sleeps and eats well (yeah, yeah... insert big baby joke here). She smiles and laughs out loud. She can't move around, so she is always in the last place I left her. She doesn't talk back and she can't say the word "no" yet.

And this guy?

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He sleeps well and finally is willing to eat something besides chicken nuggets. He smiles and laughs all the time, and tells funny jokes so that we'll laugh, too. He moves around so fast that I can't remember the last place I left him, but he's old enough to be responsible outside of my supervision for a good five minutes at a time. He talks back more and more, but at least I'm getting practice on the discipline front. He certainly knows how to say "no", but he also knows a thousand other words, and I enjoy our conversations immensely.

So, this month, I celebrate the balance that the 4's have brought to my life!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Drew at the Bat

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville Nine that day;
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play,
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.
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A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, if only Casey could get but a whack at that -
We'd put up even money, now, with Casey at the bat.
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But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much despis-ed, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,
There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.
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Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.
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There was ease in Casey's manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Casey's bearing and a smile on Casey's face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Casey at the bat.
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Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance gleamed in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped-
"That ain't my style," said Casey. "Strike one," the umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
"Kill him! Kill the umpire!" shouted someone on the stand;
And it's likely they'd a-killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey's visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;
But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, "Strike two."
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"Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn't let that ball go by again.
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The sneer is gone from Casey's lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow.
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Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;

And we're sure glad in t-ball... that NO ONE can strike out!!!
February 2010 123

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Total Trust

When his daddy walked in the door from work this evening, he managed to lift his little head from the soft pillow on the couch.

"I'm sick, Daddy." He whispered.

"I've throwed up. At least two times!"

To prevent any undue concern, however, he uttered this reassurance, "But don't worry. She's going to make me all better."

While that weak little pointer finger lingered in my direction, I exchanged a sheepish grin with daddy.

That's quite some trust, isn't it?

You know... my dad's really sick right now. And while his faith has so far been a tremendous encouragement to us, I just realized what a comfort that level of TRUST must be to him.

"I'm sick. But don't worry. He's going to make me all better." And his finger points heavenward.

That's quite some trust, isn't it?

Now.. unfortunately in this circumstance, my medical savvy is limited to pushing popsicles and spraying lysol. Basically, there's not a whole lot I can do for him.

But our God... our Healer... our Provider. Basically, there's NOTHING he can't do for us.

He is so very worthy to be trusted.

Isaiah 26:4 (Message) "Depend on God and keep at it because in the Lord God you have a sure thing."

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I should have known.

I should have known when I bought the 30-Day Shred by Jillian Michaels one night and woke up sore the very next morning.

...Before I even opened the DVD.

I wish I could explain how sore I feel after 3 days of actually completing (and by completing, I mean "attempting to complete") the workouts.

I'm really enjoying it, though (and by enjoying, I mean "Why, oh why, do I have to subject my poor body to this incredible amount of torture???!!!").

Drew's even been working out with me (and by working out with me, I mean "standing in front of the screen, moving my free weights into another room right before I need them, and sitting on my exercise mat eating a popsicle while I do my crunches on the cold tile floor").

But if I want to get back into shape (and by back into shape, I mean "I'd like to trade my entire physique in for, oh... let's say... Heidi Klum's??), I am going to give it my all!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


For parents of newborns, it's all about those little milestones.

The first time they smile, the first time they track you across the room, the first time they laugh, roll, reach, sit, eat from a spoon.

There are so many firsts packed into the first year that I find myself eagerly anticipating what each new day might bring!

Miss M has done many of the three-month old "firsts", but just this morning, as I watched her "talk" to her dangly carseat toys, I wondered when she would start to reach for these familiar objects. Right now, the only connection she's made with her own hands is that they taste pretty good. So, she spends her days gnawing and drooling on two tiny clenched fists.

But so far, she has been cognitively unaware that those hands can touch the shiny happy dangly objects dancing in her face.

Until this morning. Right in the middle of my Bible study. I had her laying on a chair next to me, and while I attempt to watch the video, she cooed and played beside me.

And then she did it! She reached up with the skill of a marksman and grabbed onto the shiny, crinkly, bright red....

wrapper of my Ghiradelli dark chocolate square.

Oh darling! You have good coordination AND good taste.

Mommy is SO proud!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Lesson He Can Take to the Bank...

Hopefully the bank will start paying interest on lessons learned. Because I don't think he'll have much money sitting in there any time soon.

I'm trying to teach Drew about money. We have 3 jars (Give. Save. Spend). We've had them for a while now, but I'm the most inconsistent parent on the planet. SO... some weeks he gets an allowance, some weeks he doesn't. Sometimes birthday and Christmas money make it into the jars, and sometimes they don't.

But now that I'm doing the Financial Peace University (Dave Ramsey's stuff), I have a new resolve to start my child early on financial responsibility.

(By the way, who WOULDN'T have a new resolve when shown one of those compound interest charts. You know.. the ones that tell you that if you'd just put a dollar a year away when you were five years old, you'd be able to retire on $70 million?!?!?! Yeah, my math might be off a bit, but that compound interest makes you want to stop every toddler on the street and beg them to start SAVING!!!).

So, Drew. Money. Lessons.

I gave him a dollar the other day for doing his chores the previous week. Added to some money he already had, my son stuffed his $3 in a wallet and begged to come help me do my weekly grocery run. On the way to the store, I reminded him that one of those dollars needed to be split between his "Give" and "Save" jars. The other $2 could be spent however he saw fit.

Well, he saw "fit" as soon as the automatic doors slid open. Because, just inside the doors of the superstore, THE CLAW beckoned my son. You know the one. That arcade game with the claw-like arm. You feed it quarters in the ill-fated attempt to win a ten cent plastic dinosaur that is way too heavy for the claw to ever pick up. And even if it DOES happen to grip one of the cheap toys below, you know that your prize is just going to fall from it's grasp somewhere along the mile-long journey it must make to the exit chute.

So, Drew stopped frozen in his tracks and announced, "This is what I'm spending my money on!"

"No!" I pleaded. "You don't want to spend all your money on this game, buddy. No one EVER wins this game. You're going to spend a dollar and walk away with nothing. Let's go look inside the store for a little toy. Maybe some candy! How about some gum?"

But his mind was made up, and it was his money, after all. So I handed over 4 quarters and took one of his dollars from him.

The first two quarters met their inevitable fate.

I tried again, "See buddy! Nobody wins at this game. Let's save your other quarters. With the dollar you still have, you could get something really nice inside!"

"I'm trying again, mom! One more time!"


He loaded up the machine and it sprang back to life. The claw plunged down toward the pit of plastic trash. And it reemerged with a plastic dinosaur firmly in it's grip.

Drew's eyes bulged out of his head as we looked at each other in disbelief. We watched as that little green dinosaur safely made the journey to the drop-off. And he squealed with delight as he reached his little hand into the machine and pulled out his treasure.

"Woohoo!" he shouted as I ushered him into the store, still a little bewildered. "I'm going to play that game EVERY TIME I come here now!"

As I contemplated where my lesson had gone wrong, and how I could redeem the teachable moment, we moved on. He began plotting exactly how he wanted to spend his second dollar.

We visited the toy aisle, and I was pleased with his decision making skills. Nothing in his price range peaked his interest, so we decided to do our grocery shopping and see if a piece of candy might fit his budget and appetite.

The Valentine's aisle held oodles of promise, and it was no time before he found a giant orange heart-shaped lollipop for... ONE DOLLAR!

As he reached for his selection, I offered to put the candy into our shopping cart with the warning, "You should let me hold that. If you drop your lollipop on the hard floor, it'll shatter into a million pieces."

"No thanks, I'll hold it really tigh..... oops...."

There it was, on the floor. Shattered into a million pieces (ok, maybe ten).

My first lesson had backfired at the arcade game, but I could taste redemption. This was an "I told you so" and "You break it you buy it" all rolled into one.

I began my lecture as we moved on (with Drew and his broken lollipop now safely seated in my shopping cart). He quietly listened as I maneuvered through the aisles. After a few minutes of thoughtful silence, he spoke up.

"You know what, mommy?! I am SO glad that my lollipop broke into so many pieces. Now, when I unwrap it, I'll have one for tomorrow, one for the next day, and every day ALL WEEK!"

So, what here's what I learned on our trip to the store.

Two dollars will buy a four-year old boy a ten-cent plastic dinosaur and a broken lollipop and the BEST TIME EVER at the grocery store.

It will concurrently prove to a mother of a four-year-old that while some money lessons might be lost on the kid, the example of positive thinking and exuberant joy should NOT be lost on the grown-up.

And that's a lesson you can take to the bank!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Girl Talk

Sometimes, we just need some good conversation with another woman.

With that in mind... and my new free Vimeo membership up and running...
I bring you "Girl Talk".

Just so you can periodically be a part of my stunningly deep conversations with my daughter.

Girl Talk from Jennifer Dunlap on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Update on Baby Liam

Several months ago, I introduced you to baby Liam. He was a little boy in China. Tens of thousands of miles and dollars separated him from the family who would bring him "home".

There was a garage sale fundraiser... a carwash... blue bracelets... all to raise awareness and funds to help bring this little orphan to his forever family.

And I just wanted to share this video with those of you who invested your prayers, your thoughts, your time, and your dollars to help bring Liam home.

This is, by no means, the end of the story... but it certainly is a good way to begin his "Happily Ever After."

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Telling Jokes

"Hey there, Big Brother! Can you tell me a joke?"

"ooh... I love Knock Knock jokes. Who's there?"

"I think I see where you're going with this one..."

"HA! HA! Oh, Big Brother... you never disappoint!"

Monday, February 1, 2010

And the Winner Is...

And the Winner of the cookie bouquet from Kookie Krums is...

True Random Number Generator

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Congratulations, Kristen! I'm so happy that you won, and I'll get in touch with you to find out where to send your cookie bouquet!