Friday, December 31, 2010

More of what we've been up to...

Tonight Owen and I were letting the kids play etc. and Clara found the baby boppy and said to Owen as soon as she saw it, "Oh, I feed my baby milk from boobies." and she proceeded to hop up on the couch, lift her shirt and "feed her baby" like an old pro. Seriously people, she hasn't seen me do this since Judah was 8 weeks old...and hasn't seen the boppy for just as long. talk about a mommy in training.
We moved onto a more "child appropriate" activity pretty quickly after that! Clara in her new apron from Noni getting ready to bake Chocolate Chip & Coconut cookies with Daddy.
What a mess! Batter flying everywhere and flour all over everything! I lost my urge to bake before the project started, but the kids & Owen really wanted cookies. I said they'd have to make them all by themselves and they did.
Everything turned out good! The kids enjoyed testing all along the way.
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What we've been up to

Owen has had the week off after Christmas...our first time as a family in a LONG time. We've spent a lot of time outdoors enjoying the beautiful weather...until yesterday and today of course. It's freezing! We broke out the finger paints for the first time from Clara's birthday party. She's so excited!
Judah wasn't so sure about the whole thing.
I was surprised that they weren't as into getting their hands dirty--I guess that will come. The paint brushes, not pictured, were more of a hit. LOVE the art smocks...easy to clean oil cloth from Etsy. Thank you NONI!
Today the kids came back tou our place after a night with the grandparents and delivered this beauty...an outdoor kitchen/BBQ set! It was a Christmas gift from Grandma and Papa Maurer, who proudly found it at goodwill for just $6.50! What a steel. It's in great condition and I know will provide HOURS of fun for the kids. Clara was already bringing me coffee and icecream. Love that girl.
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The "BIG" gifts

Judah is obsessed with pushing things...anything. Owen bought him a new TONKA truck to push outside which has been his constant companion outside since Christmas.
GB & Grandma Lynn bought Clara this super cute Radio Flyer scooter...Clara calls it her "onderone bike-Scooter". She's already getting pretty good at steering and wizzing by her brother...who really likes to push the scooter.
Judah is thrilled about his new tough bike...but he definitely has a little growing to do before he's masters this bike. He looks so proud...that is a nasty goose egg on his forehead. He was just walking out back and took a fall on the brick. He cried for just a short minute and then continued playing. Owen looked at him a couple minutes later and could see an enormous goose egg forming and brought him in for ice. It was HUGE and shiney. Amazingly, he smiles right through it!
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Christmas Pics

All dressed up for church the Sunday before Christmas....it was so warm, they hardly needed their coats!
I am so in love with that kid!
No more photos mom!
This is what they were waiting for...presents. Thank you so much to our family who absolutely over did themselves with all of the wonderful gifts! The kids are set for life...well at least for this year of life!
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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Clara!

Clara Joy and Great Grandpa Ervin Maurer. They are special together since they share a birthday!
Me & Clara...just proof that I was at the party.
Clara's birthday morning, blackberry pancakes, a candle, syrup and pink sprinkles.
Happy Birthday to you, Happy birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Clara, Happy Birthday to you!

This year for Clara's third birthday I did an "arts and crafts" themed party. I haven't really introduced arts to Clara and now that she's a little older and able to have more self-directed play, I thought it was time to get all geared up!

We had tons and tons of fun! We celebrated with friends and family and are so grateful for all of the wonderful art supplies. Everything from an art smock, to paints, paper, playdoh, crayons, magnadoodle, water colors and much more. We also had the blessing of a borrowed jump house for the kids--definitely a hit! Clara's request for her party food was hotdogs, pop and cake. That's what we had, with salad, fruit and chips. The majority of the party was outside in our new backyard. So nice!
My special project for the party was the cake. I didn't want to pay for a cake, but I wanted to make something that kept the theme so I made cake pops. They're chocolate cake balls dipped in white chocolate--that was dyed to look like "art paint". The big cake, in honor of Clara's Great Grandpa Maurer was a Wikki Wikki cake--lets just say a lot of whipped cream, coconut milk & flakes. YUMMY! The cake pops were a huge hit for the kids.
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Letter 2010


Dear Family and Friends,

Please don't be too disappointed! This is the official Owen Maurer Family Christmas letter. Sorry that there's not something to put in your hot little hands. Too many irons in the fire...or children under 3 and a husband that sleep walks.way.too.much.

Speaking of Owen, thankfully the Lord has continued to supply the small company he works for, Custom Controls of Arizona with bountiful work. Owen has worked more at CC this year than any other, not to mention all the side jobs/ creative ways at making money). He continues to be an energizer bunny of sorts and always has time for me, the kiddos and projects around the house. We celebrated his 30th birthday this year and he reminds me daily that he's getting so old! (Insert rolling eyes here) This year has also brought a wonderful leadership role for Owen through our small group. Owen co-leads a group of 7 couples who meet bi-weekly. This has been a wonderful growing experience for both of us. We have just completed a study written by Tim Keller and we're excited to discover more about our Savior and the body of believers He's placed us in the coming year.
Additionally, Owen also completed a backyard make over for all of us! We have a very sturdy block wall, grass and new trees. We've already spent so much time outside. This has been such a blessing to have expanded "living space".

I have been busy at home with Clara and Judah. The Lord continues to teach me through my daily happenings with the children that I can only rely on Him for my joy, peace and strength. He is so faithful! I still walk with the kids most mornings and am very anxious to get back to running once we welcome our 3rd baby, a boy, in February.
I am very involved with a playgroup that meets bi-weekly. It's amazing how God can use even a play group to grow and challenge me as a mother, wife and friend. I have learned so much from the other women in our group.
I am also leading a Bible study for 4 other women through a very challenging book called Lies Women Believe and the Truth that sets Them Free. We meet weekly and discuss the Truth of the WORD and pray for our marriages and children.

Clara turns 3 December 17. She is spunky, full of energy, afraid of almost nothing and talks.a.lot. She has blossomed into her role as big sister quite well, although for a while I was not sure Judah would make it to his first birthday! These days however, Clara wakes up and gives Judah a morning hug and says that she "woves her broder". Her favorite things to do are go to "Voila's and Corey's house" (her cousins) and play as well as go to the "Muzoom" (museum). She has a very special relationship with Owen and can often be found doing projects around the house with him...she is VERY handy with power tools and is always eager to learn about how they work and what they can accomplish. You should see her with a power sander! I look forward to the coming year and am entertaining the idea of starting home pre-school lessons for her this summer.

Judah is our crazy busy-bodied 19 month old. He is quick to offer a smile, a laugh and loves a good game of peek-a-boo. He is very energetic and keeps me on my toes with his antics. He has a true knack for misbehaving and then offering that killer smile that makes me not want to discipline. He can be found following Clara EVERYWHERE and is always ready to play with her.
Since Judah was 6 months old he has struggled to eat and gain weight. Finally after many doctor appointments we discovered that Judah was aspirating all of the liquids he was drinking causing failure to thrive. We were relieved to get this diagnosis since it was treatable with thickened liquids--and they were THICK! Through this process we also had our first ER trip which ended in a 3 day hospitalization for a bowel infection. During the hospital stay we opted to "drop" a Nasogastric-tube--a feeding tube that went from his nose to his tummy to help him regain weight and get him back on track. Thankfully we only had to use the tube for about 8 weeks total. Miraculously, Judah started eating solid foods on his own completely out of the blue. This is a HUGE accomplishment and stress reliever for me. Although he's still on small amounts of thickener and receives 100% of his caloric needs through pediasure, he is gaining weight and it looks as though he'll be eating & drinking like a normal toddler very soon! This season with Judah has been the most challenging for me as a parent, but also a great learning time for Owen and I. Our children are such a gift and blessing from the Lord!

Our family is waiting anxiously for the birth of Wesley Thomas. We are praying for a quick and "on time" delivery mid-February. I had a great time tackling the challenge of creating an appropriate space for 3 kids in one bedroom.

We are so grateful to God, giver of all good things, for the challenges, joys, successes and failures this past year. Thank you for your love, support and most importantly prayer, for our family.

May the LOVE of Christ fill your hearts this Christmas season,

Owen, Emily, Clara and Judah

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Judah Update

I realize that I've not updated on Judah for a while, well, in our land, no news is good news! Judah has been amazing me every day with his eating. Its like a completely different kid--like there never was a problem. At his 18 month check up he weighed 22 lbs and 8 oz. That's up 15 whole ounces in just 4 weeks! He was only about 8 oz away from his "target" weight and so the ped & GI docs were absolutely thrilled. He's still on the thickner but just a small amount, as well as still getting complete nutrition from Pediasure, however, what's different is that he's eating at every meal. Although there are times when it's not a full serving of food, it's a huge improvement from where we were even just 3 weeks ago. Additionally, he's even happier (if thats possible) all day long. What a relief. We also were able to send back the NG-Tube supplies to the home health company. That felt like a major milestone to me. The docs expect that he'll be completely off Pediasure by February! All Glory to God. There's really no other explanation to why he decided to start eating on his own and certainly no explanation why he's not been sicker from this condition. I really believe it's a miracle in our lives--albeit seemingly small, it will not be lost on us!
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Yes, Our house is small


But not that small! Clara was cracking me up the other day as I was cleaning out the refridgerator. She was playing *perfectly* occasionally coming to help me with my project and also enjoying time by herself with her dolls. I knew she had been making a bed for her babies out of some of our storage bins for toys...what I didnt realize was that she too was in their bed!
This box is no bigger than 12x12. She had herself, a blanket and 2 dolls in there...and she was pretending to sleep in the middle of the kitchen floor. Oh she makes me laugh. Maybe she was giving me & her dad a hint...the 252 square feet that each person has in this house is starting to cramp her style. It's a good thing that Mr. Wesley wont have to sleep in that box (at least not intentionally).
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Hard Work!

She's such a girl! Actually, while this photo cracks me up and captures the best of both sides of Clara, she really was working hard! Owen was building his work bench out in the back yard and Clara, fresh up from her nap, really wanted to help. Although the photo doesn't really show it, she was REALLY into using the drill and actually did a good job handling it and drilling holes with daddy. Of course she has to look fantastic while she's workin' so the 'so sof heart jamas' as she calls them and pink & grey shoes that match were the only thing that would do during this work project!
Judah also took his turn with the drill, although not yet as confident as his sis. He too, was fresh up from a nap and in his jamies. I have a feeling that these early projects with dad are going to be a foundation for some really creative, crafty and build-happy kids. I just hope that they can apply what they learn when we decide to remodle!
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Fun with Daddy

Saturday I had a few errands to run and things to do so Owen had the kids...they have so much more fun with their daddy than they do with their mommy! Owen built and obsticle course in the back yard and had the kids running & jumping and flying all over the place
It's so awesome to know that when I leave the kids with their dad, not only are they safe (in a calculated sort of risk way), they are well cared for, loved and having the time of their lives!
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