Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What are you saying to me?

Sometimes when we talk to Lana, if she's not really listening, she'll wait until we're done and say, "What are you saying to me, Mommy?" 

Or if she doesn't understand, she'll say, "Daddy, what are you trying to tell me?"  It cracks us up!

Monday, September 29, 2008

What you doing with you eyes?

Today has been one of "THOSE" days in our house.  I've spanked Lana at least 5 times, each time for being disobedient.  She has done everything from tell me "NO!" when I asked her to come, to pulling a cord out of a light socket (a big no-no that she hasn't tried in a year!).  It's been one long, trying day.  Now keep in mind that each spanking takes up to 5 minutes...we have to find a quiet place, talk about why she's getting the spanking, give the spanking, love, pray, reconcile, the whole deal.  As the minutes (and spankings) have ticked by, I have been consciously thankful that I took the time to read Ginger Plowman and Tedd Tripp - I was able to stay calm, and discipline my little girl lovingly, rooted in the Word, knowing that I am being obedient to God's way.  

So in the midst of all of the seriousness, all of the prayer and spankings and tears, my child made me laugh so hard that I cried - I was so grateful for the giggles that we shared in the midst of this day that I just had to write it down!

Right after bathtime (and another spanking), I had Lana in my lap, wrapped up in her towel, just snuggling.  I was giving her a very stern "talking to," not scolding, I was just explaining to her that I would spank her every single time she disobeyed me, because I had to obey God, and I wanted to teach her to obey God, too.  

Now, my friends, if you've known me for long at all, you know that I talk with my eyes. I use them to express myself in lots of different ways, and they are an integral part of my serious "mommy face," and "teacher face."  I must have had them open quite wide, because in the middle of this deep theological discussion I'm having with my two year old, she interrupts and says, "Mommy, what you doing with you eyes?" in the most serious voice you can imagine.

All I could do was laugh - I thought she was listening so intently, and instead she was trying to figure out why my eyes were bugging out of my head!!!  So then it became a game - I would open my eyes as wide as I could, and she would laugh hysterically....

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Uncle Dustin and Aunt April to the rescue!

Starting on Friday afternoon, I came down with a terrible case of the "yuckies."  No fever, but I just felt horrible.  My throat hurt, my eyes itched, my chest felt heavy, and all I could do was lay around.  Dan was so sweet to take care of everything on Friday night so I could rest.  

By Saturday morning, I thought I felt a little better, so I toughed it out, heading to Dan's intramural game and a friend's birthday party, but by the time we got back home for lunch, I was done.  I felt like I had been steamrolled.  Dan had to go to work in just a couple of hours, and I didn't know what I was going to do.  At that moment, I would have given anything to have grandparents nearby to take her for the weekend.

Our sweet friends Dustin & April came to the rescue!  They are truly like family to us.  They came to get Lana as soon as she woke up from her nap.  They spent the afternoon playing with her, they fed her dinner, bathed her, and brought her home to go to bed.

Sunday morning, Dan woke up feeling bad, and so they swooped in again.  They picked Lana up on their way to church, and she spent the whole morning with them while we rested.  She went to church and out to eat with them, returning home just in time for naptime.  

Dan and I both feel so much better - what would we have done without the time of rest their friendship and love for our daughter allowed us?  

The best part is the sweetness with which they took care of our daughter - as if WE were doing something for THEM.  They brought her home with funny stories about what she said and the things she did, from not liking fried okra to telling about the Bible story she learned about...."That man was not listening!"  (turned out to be the story of Jesus making a man hear.)

Thank you, our friends.  We owe you bigtime, and are so grateful for the way you love our family, fleshing out the love of God in the way you care for us.

Don't hurt my feelings!

This afternoon, I was making up the bed in our room, and Lana was "helping" me.  I turned around from putting on the pillows, and she was on the other side of the bed pushing buttons on the alarm clock. 

"Lana, don't push those buttons!" I told her.  She stopped immediately, and then turned around and kind of whimpered.  "What's wrong?" I asked her, thinking maybe she got her finger stuck or something.  

"Mommy, don't hurt my feelings!" she said.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Master Negotiator

Dan & I have realized the last few days that Lana is very good at talking herself into and out of things - we call her the Master Negotiator!  Here are a few examples:
  • Dan often lets Lana have a popsicle when she wakes up from her nap - not a habit I would have voluntarily started, but they both have a huge sweet tooth, and it's a fun thing that they do together, so how can I complain?  Anyway, most afternoons the first thing she'll say after naptime is "I take a sleep!  I get to have a popsicle now!"  A few days ago, she woke up around 8 a.m. and said, "I take a sleep!  I get a popsicle now?"  Um, no.  We are NOT starting a popsicle breakfast habit, too.  When we told her no, that popsicles were only for after naptime, she said, "But I take a good sleep, Mommy!"
  • I had a bottle of green tea on the dresser in our bedroom as I was getting ready one morning.  If you know Lana well, you know she LOVES green tea.  I satisfy that craving for her by saving her a sip or two of mine every once in a while.  Well, this bottle was full, so when she asked if she could have some "teef," as she calls it, I told her no.  "But just one sip, Mommy?"  "No, Lana, no sips right now."  "It's OK, Mommy, to just have one sip!" she assured me.
  • Lately she has shown more "potty awareness," asking us to change her diaper immediately after she pees or poops.  She woke up from nap today with a mostly dry diaper, so I asked her if she wanted to sit on the potty.  She did, so I put her on the potty and sat down on the edge of the tub.  Dan brought her some juice in her M&M cup, and as she was pointing to the M&M's on the cup, I told her that if she pee-peed, she could have an M&M - potty candy!  (Another habit that's not so much my idea; something she picked up somewhere else, but whatever....)  She smiled really big and told Dan, "If I pee pee, I get potty candy!  And chips, too, Mommy!"  What?  Who said anything about chips?  Dan laughed and said, "Potty candy AND chips?  Wow!"  Then she looked at me and said, "Mommy, I get potty candy and chips and grapes, okay?"  (In the end, there was no pee pee, and no candy.)
Wonder what she'll try to talk us into next?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Aunt Kenzie says...

Mackenzie reminded me today of this hilarious moment with Lana when we were home during the summer that I had completely forgotten!  Too funny not to journal....

Lana was in the stage where she was telling us what everything said.  "A cow says moo," "Noah says ya ya ya," 
"A fire truck says wee ooh, wee, ooh," etc.  

Well, one day Lana and I were riding with Mackenzie and Noah in her car, and Mackenzie was telling me a story.  At some point in the conversation, she said, "bleepity bleep."  Not really cuss words; she was bleeping them out for the kids.  We thought nothing of it until a few minutes later when she said, "Mommy, Aunt Kenzie says bleepity bleep!"  

She said it for days, and every time, we would roll with laughter.  Just like a sheep says baa, Aunt Kenzie says bleepity bleep!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I could not ask for more.

Today is Wednesday, and this semester it's our family day, when no one has to be at work or school, and we get to spend the whole day together.  It's our Saturday, and we enjoy it immensely because we didn't have it last semester.  
It was  an ordinary day filled with ordinary activities, yet in this moment I'm reminded that our life together is extraordinary.  These are the snapshots from today when God was gracious to remind me of how very full my life is:
  • This morning, the three of us went to chapel to listen to Dr. Akin's presidential forum.  We weren't sure if Lana could make it for the whole hour, but she was an angel, very quiet and obedient.  And as I sat in the beautiful chapel of this amazing seminary, listening to the president affirm God's Word as he spoke about issues going on in our seminary and world today, with my precious, godly husband's arm around me, and my daughter playing quietly in the pew next to me, I was astounded at how full and complete my life is.
  • After chapel, we splurged and had lunch at Olive Garden...I was dying for some salad!  The three of us just enjoyed each other's company so thoroughly - there was no rush, we just ate salad and olives and bread and Lana made us laugh our heads off when she dipped her bread in the side of salad dressing and said "It's spicy!  That is so spicy!"  It was a nice treat for us to not have to cook or clean up or eat sandwiches, and we just reveled in the time together with no obligations.  We probably couldn't afford to go out to eat, but afterwards, I was sure that we couldn't afford not to. 
  •  On the way home, we were all singing together, and Lana kept requesting an old camp song that I've taught her called "He's a peach of a Savior."  It's got silly hand motions, and we were all doing them.  Dan & I were being silly and bumping each other with our elbows, just flirting, and it cracked Lana up!  Over and over, she asked for the song and waited for us to be silly together, and she would laugh hysterically again.  It was such a joy to see her delight in our affection for each other.  As we all laughed and teased each other, I was filled with the greatest contentment.
  • When we arrived home, there was a package for Lana waiting on our doorstep from her Nana.  It was the neatest magnetic dress-up doll thing, and Lana just loved it!  She was so excited, and she really understood that it was from her Nana.  Watching her play with this surprise gift, I just couldn't get over how blessed we are to have such a loving family.  We are so fortunate to have come so far in our relationship with each other, and they are so good to make a huge effort to stay connected with us.  From sending us surprises in the mail to helping us pay for books to renting a cabin for a family vacation in the fall to making trips to visit, I was overwhelmed by the magnitude of their love as I watched Lana play with her new toy.
  • After naptime, we went outside for a little while and hung out with our friends Kelly and Bradley and Julianna.  Julianna has a double ear infection, and we told Lana that she didn't feel good.  She quickly went up to Julianna and hugged her, and when Julianna wrapped those little arms around her, too, my heart melted.  We love this family so much, and it's so precious to see our daughters love each other.  This is such an amazing community that we live in.  Although it is so hard here emotionally and financially, the Lord is good to surround us with families whom we love deeply, and who love us, too.  It feels a lot like a family, and I was reminded that this feeling is one of God's greatest blessings to us during this time in our life.
  • Dan was so sweet to cook dinner tonight....could anyone ask for a better man?  He works, he studies, he goes to school, he sets aside a whole day to love on his family, and then he cooks dinner for us so I can have some time to play with Lana.  At one point, Lana and I were dancing and singing together in the kitchen while Dan cooked and laughed at us being silly, and she looked up at me with her eyes just shining, and I wanted to freeze time, to dance and laugh with her always.
  • After dinner (which was delish, by the way), we had to take a quick shopping trip.  We returned some of Lana's clothes to Target, and we needed to pick her up some long sleeve stuff to wear this winter.  As I looked for her clothes, Lana wandered around looking at all the clothes, and she kept pulling things out saying, "I like this one!  This is cute.  This one is for babies to wear.  Do you like the green one?"  (And she even put them back when she was done looking!)  I'm not a big shopper, but in that moment, I could imagine some fun shopping trips with my little girl.  It hit me that she's my daughter FOREVER...she'll always be a part of my life, a part of my shopping trips.  Wow.  What a gift God has given me in Allana Marie Davis.
  • When we were leaving Target, Dan & Lana ran together through the parking lot, and as I listened to them delight in each other, my heart was turned again to the favor that God has bestowed on our family.  I did not have a good relationship with my father, and watching my daughter bask in the adoration of her daddy heals my heart.  
The lyrics to an old Edwin McCain song keep running through my head....
I could not ask for more than this time together,  
I could not ask for more than this time with you,
every prayer has been answered,
every dream that I've had's come true,
These are the moments that I thank God that I'm alive,
And these are the moments I'll remember all my life
I've got all that I've waited for,
and I could not ask for more.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Magnet people (from my guest blog on Prayer of Hannah)

My name is Rachael Davis, and my dear friend Hollie asked me to guest author about the set of magnet people that I just made for my two year old daughter, Lana.  I'm so excited to get to share this with you - it has been such a huge hit in our home!  This will be an especially fun project for those of you who, like us, do not live near your extended family.  

About 2 years ago, we moved 12 hours away from our entire family for my husband to attend seminary.  One of the greatest concerns we heard from the grandparents was that La
na would not remember who they were, so we have pulled out all the stops in making sure we stay connected to them.  If you are looking for ideas in this area or have ideas to share, leave a comment and let us know!  I'm sure there are lots of great ideas out there, and
 we're always looking for something fresh and new to try.  

I wanted a fun way to help Lana connect with our family, and I also wanted to focus on praying for specific members of our family daily.  Enter our magnet people:
Lana LOVES them!  She has so much fun moving them around and talking to them.  She'll arrange them by family, size, etc.  My sister is in town visiting this week, and the day before she arrived, Lana carried her Aunt Kacie magnet around the house all day, talking about her.  We also use them to pray for specific members of our family - as she plays with them, I'll start praying for the person she's holding - just short, simple prayers, ones that she can model.  Sometimes it's even as simple as saying "Thank you, God, for Uncle Bro.  He is so fun to play with, God.  Thank You for sharing him with us."  I'm beginning to hear her imitate these prayers...what a joy to my heart.  

Enough about why we love these: let's talk about how you can make them yourself.

Take full-length pictures of everyone that you want to include in this project - don't forget about family pets!  Make sure you get head to toe shots - they look funny when they end at the knee.  Crop them as close as you can to save ink when you're printing them out - you don't need any of the background.  

Print the photos out on magnetic paper.  Staples and Office Depot usually don't carry it in stock, but they'll special order it for you.  I ordered it online, and used www.magnetvalley.com.  They had the best prices that I could find, and they shipped the same day.  This paper is thinner than you might think, and ran through my inkjet printer very easily.  Don't use it with a laser printer - it won't work.

Cut the photos out carefully.  Lay them on a flat, protected surface and give them a couple coats of Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Spraypaint.  (Wal-mart carries this in their paint section.)  I sprayed it outside so the fumes wouldn't bother us, and it dried very quickly in the heat.  This clear coat is important - without it, the first time water splashes on your magnets, they're done.

Stick the magnets on the fridge and enjoy!


Thursday, September 4, 2008

1st day of 2 year old preschool

Today was Lana's first day of 2 year old preschool, and what a wonderful day it was!  Thank you so much for your prayers for her adjustment and separation anxiety - she went into her classroom today without one tear!  I know that was because of the power of your prayers, and I am so grateful.  

She was so excited about all the new toys to play with in her new classroom.  Although she was hesitant at first, after a quick prayer and hug, my precious little girl went right in and blew me a kiss goodbye.  Everytime I peeked in at her throughout the day, she was happily playing or dancing or eating...it made my heart so warm.  

Her name was drawn to be the leader of the class today, and when I came to get her, the first thing she did was pull me to the sign that had her name written on it as leader.  She was so proud!  She kept telling me that she got to ring the bell for clean-up time - that was her favorite part!  She also bubbled over about a game Mrs. Laurie played with them called "What is Missing?"  I'm not quite sure of the rules, but I do know that Lana got to find the lion!!  

Our wonderful assistant director, Susan, did me a huge favor and crept in her classroom to snap a few pictures for me, and I caught a video of her telling her Daddy about her day.  You can't understand all of it, and the light is dim, but it is so precious to me because she is literally jumping up and down from excitement as she recaps her day for him.  

Even as I'm writing this, tears pour down my face, and I don't know if they're happy or sad tears.  I know I am rejoicing over God's goodness to us through her amazing teachers, and I am so thankful that she had a wonderful, fun-filled day.  I also know that I am so sad that she's getting so big - I can feel the time slip through my fingers like sand, and just like sand, the harder I try to hold on, the faster it slips through.  I am so thankful to be Lana's mommy!