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Archive for January, 2009

Most of my hours right now feel like they are spent being a broken record of “mommy words”.  “Say please”, “thank you”, “say,  yes, mommy”,”sorry daddy”. After we came back from our trip to the US, Jackson had mastered hollering out for what he wanted and had gotten quite a demanding attitude. He wasn’t being nasty it was just the most effective way to get attention in a talking crowd and have 4 people run for a cracker!  Our first week back we worked on “please” which he learned quickly and now uses all of the time. “Thank you” he has known for quite some time. “Sorry” is just too abstract at the moment although it would serve him well! He has gotten into hitting over the past  few weeks and although he falls into the depths of despair when he is scolded he hasn’t figured out using “sorry”! The other thing we can’t wait for Jackson to say is “I love you”. That would erase a multitude of sins! We will have to post for sure when we hear that one!

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Jackson…18 months old, wearing a big t-shirt (while mommy hunted for pants) and bear slippers. Running around the house with his special push toy from Nana!

Jackson is amazing us with his ability to learn and transfer his knowledge. 18 months is such a crazy age of learning and exploration. He has been on a constant incline with increasing skills but 18 months and the weeks leading up to it recently have been like an explosion for him.  His little brain does not slow down! This morning I was talking to my mom and he wanted to talk, he immediately started asking for the dog. It amazes me that he remembers to associate my mom with also getting to see the dog on skype. The other day Jackson was fussing for lunch and I was bustling around getting everyone’s food. Seth said, “let’s just eat” (implying let’s not try to pray over this 18 month olds fussing), Jackson chimed in with “no, pray!!!” and reached for our hands to pray. He is learning his ABC’s and 123’s and he is at the point where we can say where is the whatever and he will point or go out on a hunt for the item. He is trying to sing along with songs on Elmo.  Another fun thing is that Jackson is truely becoming bilingual! Seth will ask him where things are in Spanish that we know he says the word for in English and he will point to it. He is switching between languages really quickly which is amazing to watch. He now says “vamanos” for “let’s go”!  I have been using the phrase “not yet” pretty frequently because he has now figured out that when mommy says we are going to do something it might not mean right away. He is by the door and ready to go once he hears the word! This weekend I said “are you ready for your nap?, he replied “YET!” in a harsh voice.  He didn’t get the “not” part but I knew exactly what he meant. He is no genius but he impresses us!

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Just smiling!

Anyhow, teaching the “please” and “thank you’s” is a hard job! Congrats to those of you that survived the toddler years and successfully raised thankful, pleasant kids!   I have to say my friend’s Annie and Sean did a wonderful job with this! I would spend time with Evan, Maddie and Gilly any day!

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A very happy birthday!

Thank you all for your birthday wishes! I had a great birthday! Seth took me out to dinner on Sat night at a swanky restaurant here in Bogota. And then we went for dessert at a little bakery that we love. We had one of their amazing cookies and hot chocolate. The hot chocolate is literally that..melted chocolate! It was so rich that we asked for a little thing of steamed milk to be able to drink it! Yesterday Seth and Jackson had a little birthday cake and sang to me. They had made me a birthday card which was so sweet! The best part of the day was that Seth got up with Jackson and let me sleep in! It was such a treat!

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Dinner at Criterion

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If you ever come to Bogota we will take you to Rauch! They make the best cookies we have ever had!!

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Making a wish!

Anyhow, thanks for the birthday wishes! I am feeling old but also feeling blessed by so many wonderful friends and family!

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Happy Birthday!

Today is Kristen’s 27th birthday.  In general, not all that significant of one.  But very significant for me.

Since we got married over 3 years ago, we have not celebrated one of her birthdays together on her actual birth day.  For our first one together, she was in Houston.  For the second, we were in DC and I had to go away for a few days of training.  For hers last year, she was in Houston again.

But this year, we’re celebrating it together.  And Jackson and I are thankful.

Kristen is an amazing wife and mother and deserves a lot more showering of fancy food and gifts than she actually gets.

I think of Proverbs 31.  Here are a only a few verses that exemplify Kristen:

-She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family

-She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy

-She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come

-She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness

Jack and I are blessed to have such a wonderful woman in our lives.  She truly is worth “far more than rubies” (or “emeralds” here in Colombia).

Kristen's 27th Birthday

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Happenings

Saturday we had some new friends over for a “potluck brunch”. Whenever new people arrive in Seth’s section we try to have a get together so we can meet new friends. In particular friends with kiddos.

Here are a few pictures…

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Doesn’t it make it look like Seth was watching all of the kids!!

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Jackson and Ella enjoying the ball popper…they were taking turns having the air blow up in their faces

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Katie and Ronan. We are so happy that Katie is here safe and sound. Her mom had to med-evac a few months ago with pre-eclampsia! Katie made her debut early but is doing beautifully!

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more friends

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again, Seth being super daddy, holding not one but two 18 month olds!

Other happenings,

Our side view mirror got stolen off the car yesterday in broad daylight while I was with Jackson in his jardin. How annoying! We got the name of a guy that sells rear view mirrors, we are going to buy ours back from him!

Jackson turns 18 months old on Friday! Time flies!! I can NOT believe that he is more of a toddler than he is a baby.

Seth is pumped about LOST starting tonight and I am excited that my wii fitness coach dvd arrived today! Jackson is excited because his Christmas gift box arrived. All of his Christmas gifts were in a box we mailed from the states. It appeared it had gotten lost. Much to our delight it was found yesterday!

Those are the happenings! Nothing too exciting!

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Photo Tag

I am finally getting around to doing the tag from Sarah Maney…like you Holly! I guess life is just now starting to slow down.

The tag was to go to our pictures, the 4th folder, 4th picture and write about it.

Here is our picture…..

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It isn’t a great photo but it is fun that it happens to be of Paul and Jonas since Sarah is the one that tagged us! This picture was taken when Paul, Sarah and Jonas drove ALL THE WAY from Lubbock for a visit when we were in Ft Worth! We had brunch with some of Seth’s college buddies so that we could catch up and meet each others new additions. Jonas and Paul are playing with Jonas’s plane that Jackson brought for him from Colombia!

I tag Leigh, Claire, Meredith and Margo!

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I am thankful we are in Colombia because there are a zillion holidays here. Seth was home yesterday so that we could observe Ascension or something like that. It was so nice for him to be around because Jackson has been really sick since Wed. None of us have slept for days! Jackson had a fever of 103+ and had to be monitored all of the time. We were giving him a luke warm bath at 2:30 AM one night.  Although Jackson still isn’t 100% we are slowly catching up on rest. We are at least past the vomiting we hope! Anyhow, after a very long few days it was great for Seth to be home on Monday!

After being on vacation together and then having some sick days I have been begging Seth teasingly to stay home from work to be with us.  Seth and I were laying in bed yesterday while Jackson napped and we started talking about how amazing it would be if our society flip-flopped the traditional retirement schedule. Why not be home while your kids are growing up and then head to the work force when your kids go off to college and you are bored.  Obviously, we work when our kids are young to have the money to support a family but since the social security system isn’t working anyways why not do a “reverse retirement”??  Seth’s influence on Jackson is so different than my own. He just loves his daddy so much and learns so much from him. When Mondays roll around Jackson is looking around calling for daddy all day. Wouldn’t it be cool to invest hours in our kids when they are young! And then when we need something new and challenging we can do something new at retirement age! I like the sound of it!

On with the random thoughts, I love spring cleaning!! Seth and I got busy this weekend working on cleaning out our closets. We filled half of our guest bed with clothes to send with our maid to people in her church.  It was so much fun to feel like we made great progress in getting organized. Since we move alot their really isn’t time to let things accumulate. For this post we had lots of “maybe we will use them in Bogota even though we haven’t worn them in a yr”. We got rid of so much! I tried to go through a cabinet with boxes of old pictures today. What do you do with all of your old pictures from prom, youth group, trips, Christmas’s. I don’t want to throw them all away but honestly, my photography skills just were not worthy of using film back then. I printed way to many doubles! Sorting pictures will have to wait for another day.  We made it through our medicine cabinets and brought ourselves to throw away all of that old expired stuff….you know the tons of boxes and bottles that you are sure the doctor will prescribe tomorrow. So, even though it feels nothing like Spring here and will never feel like spring here we had some successful Spring cleaning!

some random pics from the week…

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We had no idea that babies sometimes sit down and sit for longer than 5 mins until Jackson was so sick! He just couldn’t keep up!

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Thomas the Train bubbles make any boy smile!

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img_2881This random picture is in here specifically for Bonnie, Leigh and Stephanie. I found this cute dalmation shirt for Jackson…one of you needs to have a boy so they can inherit it!!! I was trying to get him to show off his shirt..this is the best I could do!

I’m wrapping up this random blog posting!

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Looking ahead in to 2009

Coming off a tough 2008, I am evaluating our year to come. We are aware we will tread through some tough times as we did in 2008 but we are hopeful that 2009 will bring refreshment and newness.

What’s in store for 2009…

Seth began a new rotation this week in the Fraud Dept. He will be stepping away from the visa line to work more intently on uncovering fraud for the next while. This opportunity came up about a month ago and it seemed like yet another great opportunity.  I think I mentioned before that he is managing the organization of the big 4th of July bash here at post so he is already in to meetings for that. I am continuing to see patients and have added 3 new ones in the new year.  I am able to work two days a week and help financially while still being with Jackson so this has been a huge blessing. Jackson is beginning a new endeavor in the new year, he is going to be attending a “Mother’s Day Out”-type program for 3 hours two mornings a week. This will help to relieve his misery on one of the mornings I am working and give him some much needed run around time with other kids as now he is stuck in our apt. I am apprehensive about sending him but we visited the little school (with only 10 kids at a time) and he loved it! It is more like a little house with only kids his age, a garden with a bunny, special music times, etc.  Jackson is 17 months old and never stops surprising us. I really don’t know what life would be like without his joy and fresh excitement about new things.

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Seth and I have started “Love Dare” that his sister and brother-in-law gave us for Christmas.  We are enjoying it thoroughly although I must admit it is already challenging us. It is providing a time each day for us to sit down together and focus on our relationship. It is a great catalyst for discussions about tough things and a great reminder to appreciate one another. I highly recommend it to every married couple.

In 2009, (Septemberish) we are wrapping up our time in Bogota and we are heading back to the DC area to start the adventure of learning German. Our first move to DC was tough because we didn’t know the area, didn’t have a church, and didn’t have any family of friends. DC oddly now seems like another home to us. While in DC we were embraced by our small group, made great friends, found a church and got plugged in. In addition to our previous connections we are thrilled that my brother and sister-in-law and my two nieces moved to DC this past summer. We have my aunt and her family in Maryland which was a treat but we need to see them more next time around! We can’t wait for Jackson to have regular play dates with his cousins and for us to get to have family dinners! We are looking at DC as a time to refresh and recharge before the next big adventure…Bern.  We desperately need spiritual growth and fellowship that we have lacked here. We took that for granted before being overseas and we are praying even now that Bern will provide a healthier church environment.

As we look to the next 9 months before leaving Bogota we are working to stay plugged in and build friendships. It is hard to do when we are so excited to be going back “home” for a bit. We are looking for places to live in DC, sorting out the old, preparing for the new and trying to keep ourselves grounded all the while.

My prayer for this year for our family is that we can truly have a year of health and peace. That God would strengthen us and “keep us grounded” as we prepare, transition and re-plant. This is the life He cut out for us for this time, we trust that he will provide all that we need to live it well.

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