Friday, March 31, 2017

Dear Judah

Oh sweet baby boy, I cannot wait to welcome you into this world!  A boy!  What do we do with one of those??  It's been so long!  You, sweet boy, will be adored and put on a pedestal in the eyes of your older sister and girl cousins.  I am certain that you will do no wrong in their eyes.  I hope you get them dirty and put bugs on them and wipe fish guts from your hands onto their little smocked outfits, making them squeal with "Ewww... Yuck! Judah!"  I just can't wait for you to toddle after them and break up their little girl-talk circles.  Rest assured, they will all think that you are theirs and I feel so sorry for your future girlfriend and wife.  Bless.  She will have to meet a very high standard I'm afraid. ;-)

Judah, you have the best parents ever.  If you are anything like them, you will be able to do whatever you want to do in life, because they are driven, resourceful, determined, and super talented.  If nothing else, you'll be able to provide food and shelter from scratch!  I seriously don't know how they manage to do it all - they have pigs, chickens, bees, like 4 jobs, kids... and they are building a house and want to get cows and goats.   I mean holy smokes.  I think they are super heroes... which is way cool, because hello??  Who doesn't want to have super heroes for parents?!?!  Not only that, but super heroes with a farm?  #EveryLittleBoysDream

And your sister... oh my gosh.  She's super fun!  You are going to adore her.  She is sweet and loving, just like her momma!  She is super smart, and I am quite certain y'all will have some sort of secret signing code that none of us can interpret.  Haha!  I love that my girls, you, and Ella Paityn are so close in age and I hope that you will all be the closest of friends.  You also have the best babysitter ever in cousin Abi!  She is beautiful and dotes on her little cousins... and they look up to her so much. But don't worry, you won't be surrounded by all girls... You have seriously the best boy cousin to look up to in Cody... he is smart, polite, athletic, outdoorsy, funny, and everything anyone could want in a son!  If you turn out to be like him Judah, then I will no doubt have the best nephews in the entire world.  There'll be no competition.

Baby Cousin, we have prayed for you and wished for you!  You were a complete surprise, but trust me.... We prayed you would come and we have prayed for you to have a wonderful, exciting, healthy life.  We love you so much!  You are in for something great in the Morgan clan!

As I told EP before she was born, get your last minute tummy snuggles in, because soon, you will be born into this crazy world... and we are so ready to welcome you! :)

Aunt Laura, Uncle Parker, Ava Kate, & Eve

laura ann

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Eve's Seven Months Old!

Weight & Height: Close to 17 lbs

Clothes & Diapers: Eve is wearing size 2 diapers and a very few 3-6 month outfits, mostly 6 months... and even some 9 month if it's warm.

Eating & Sleeping:   Still working on baby food... she's a great taster, not a great eater lol.  She hasn't really hated anything yet except squash.  She's had bananas, carrots, sweet potatoes, cereal, green beans (pureed and mashed), peas, spaghetti noodles, squash, apple sauce... I think that's about all.  She eats 6 oz 4 times a day (7, 11, 4, 9) and goes down for the night and sleeps all night.  Sometimes she wakes up about 6:30, but just lays in her crib "talking" to herself... or if we go give her the paci and a blanket to snuggle, she'll fall back asleep.

Mood:  Still so sweet and relatively quiet. :)  Of course her big sis doesn't giver her a chance to talk, so there's that... lol.  She has rounds of fussiness, but so mild in the scheme of things.  She is also a wiggly worm and very curious.

Likes: Bottles, a rainbow hedgehog Santa brought her, her Turtle Turtle (also from Santa), her sister, her Mommy & Daddy, snuggling, baths... and she giggles just a little when she's tickled but she loves being tickled.  She likes jumping in her jumperoo and napping in her swing and rolling around on the floor when her sister's not tackling her. Haha!

Dislikes: Still weary of "strangers" and by strangers, I mean anyone that's not mommy/daddy/Ava Kate.  She does fine if I'm not around (like in the church nursery), but if she can see me and someone else is holding her... she tends to protest.  Still totally normal.  She also does not like squash.  Can't say I blame her ;-)

Milestones: Eating baby food, 2 teeth, starting to sit up better, first trip to Myrtle Beach w/ Mommy & Daddy at the FCA conference, first time with her toes in the sand.

I can see a bit of similarities between sisters at this age in those precious little smiles and blue eyes. :)

Big sis wants to be a photographer ;-)

See?  I can sit up!

Photo Cred: Ava Kate :)

laura ann

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Eve's Six Months Old!

Weight: ALMOST 16 lbs.  It was a slower growth month, but she's still gaining!

Clothes & Diapers: Eve is wearing size 2 diapers still and some 3-6 month clothes and some 6 month clothes... just depends on the weather.  If it's cold, she wears AKs 6 month hand-me-downs, if it's warm (which it has been), she wears 3-6 month hand-me-downs.  Poor girl won't have very many of her "own" clothes at this age when her sister's bday month is just 1 month off.  I have officially packed up the newborn clothes though lol.  It was time. :(

Eating & Sleeping: Eve is still a great sleeper, praise the Lord!  She had one rough night this month, but the next morning she had a tooth that had broken through.  I was shocked that she had a tooth already!  She is now eating 6 oz at 7 am, 11 am, 4 pm, and 9 pm, and we introduced solids.  Still at the "food is for fun" phase, so nothing real consistent.  She's had bananas and sweet potatoes.

Mood:  Still a sweet baby girl!

Likes: Eve likes to roll around in the floor and jump in her jumperoo thing.  She likes being talked to and singing songs.  She likes reading books with Mommy & Ava Kate and adores her sister.

Dislikes: She's starting to not love people she's not around a lot... she gets anxious and wants mommy back.  Totally normal, I know.

Milestones: first teeth! (I was shocked that they broke through already!)

Sentimental Things Mommy Wants to Remember: Everything!  Snuggles, kisses, giggles, precious outfits, smiles, shrills, and coos.

Practical Things Mommy Wants to Remember: I'm still pumping all day except the morning feed... I get just enough for the next bottle, no extra. :(

Y'ALL.  Those LEGS! #ThunderThighs #PearShaped loool

Not seeing a lot of similarities this month between sisters

laura ann

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Eve's Five Months Old!

Weight & Height: 15 lbs 8 oz...about what Ava Kate was at this age!  Hooray!  Not sure for height.

Clothes & Diapers:  We've transitioned to size 2 diapers and she's in 3-6 month clothes mostly.

Eating & Sleeping: Eve is still on the 5 oz bottles every 4 hours and eats at 7, 11, 3, 7, and 10 and continues to sleep through the night.  I'm still only nursing for the first feeding and pumping/bottle feeding the rest.  We will be moving to 4 feedings a day soon!  I think she's ready... it'll be so much nicer hopefully because I won't have to pump as often.

Mood: Sweet.  Eve is very flexible with our scheduling and tags along for everything.  She's very sweet and rarely get's fussy.  She's usually quiet, just taking in her surroundings, but if she does get upset... boy she is loud!

Likes: Getting tickled, having anyone talk to her, playing in the floor, baths, chewing on things

Dislikes: Hmm... can't think of anything.   She is finally starting to enjoy bath time!  Hooray!

Milestones:  First Christmas, first "big" snow/ice storm (Jan 7)

Sentimental Things Mommy Wants to Remember: aww... All of it.  I just want to soak it all up.

Look at those chunky legs!! Haha! :) 

Ava Kate vs. Eve at 5 months... AK's head is rounder, but otherwise, they look about the same size.

laura ann

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Game Changing Yard Sale?

We’re having a yard sale.  It’s a life changing decision for us.  Ok, well the yard sale itself isn’t so much the game-changer… it’s the journey we’re on that is.

It all started with the Possessions chapter in The Seven Experiment by Jen Hatmaker.  I’m just going to go ahead and tell you a lot of this blog post is taken from her because she sums it up far better than I can.  

Side note: Jen, (is it okay if I call you by your first name?  I hope so!), don’t sue me for copyright infringement please.  We’re working for the kingdom here.  And people will want your book after this.  Amma right?  I’m right.  Ok.  Let’s keep going.

Let me go ahead and burst your bubble (ours were bursted at the beginning of this journey).

I wish I could make that image flicker. I mean, NEWS FLASH: I’ve never had to skip a meal because there wasn’t enough money.  I live in a house with a sturdy roof and heat.  I’ve never gone a day without health insurance.  I’ve thrown away food I didn’t eat, clothes I’ve hardly worn, trash that will never disintegrate…  Have you?  If your household makes $35,000 a year, you’re in the top 4% of the world.  $50,000?  Top 1%.

We are the richest people in the world, praying to get richer.  We are blaming “those at the top” for our problems.  Making excuses for not being generous, because “I don’t make THAT much money.”  What does it communicate to the rest of the world, when half the world's population lives on $2 a day, and we can’t manage to live fulfilling lives on $25,000 a year? (taken from p. 13 with some add-ins from yours truly)

Read Matthew 19:23:
“It is easier for a CAMEL to get through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Well dang.

Pause.  Hmm.  Ok.  Well… Wow.  Let’s see here…  Hmm.  ::Scratches head::  ::Fidgets in seat::

Let me be clear that Jesus is not saying that being rich is evil.  If you read the rest of the chapter (and other parts of the Bible), you’ll understand that Jesus is saying that riches are a distraction from what matters.  Riches cause us to change what we cherish...  What we should cherish.  Therefore, it is not easy for someone who is distracted by excess and who cherishes the wrong things to get into heaven.

Alright…  so maybe I’m being a little too spiritual for you… and that’s okay.  Or maybe you’re like me and we’ve just read that so many times that we’re almost immune from its persuasion.  Then how about this?  

Hatmaker just lays it out for us on p. 80-81:
“Do we hate the gross abuses money inspires over mankind?  Do we hate the whispers of greed and entitlement we see in our children, mirror images of our own affections?  Do we hate the comparison game money feeds off of?  Do we hate the inequity that gives our kids rooms jammed with possessions while 16,000 other parents will bury their starved children today?” [::jaw drop::]

“Do we hate these questions?  Would we rather spin this or twist this or shove it off on other people?  [Are you coming up with reasons right now about how this doesn’t apply to us?]  Do we hate being challenged to care for the poor, since they didn’t earn this money we worked for?  Do we hate the idea of parting with things?  Do we hate being called ‘rich people?’”

Let’s make a chart (actually, Jen made it for us, and she stole it from Jesus, haha!):
So our small group asked ourselves, how can we intentionally make choices daily to fall on the right side of this spectrum?  We can sell our stuff and give to the poor.  Choose to be generous when choosing what to give.  Live below our means… I mean, we don’t need errrr-ything.  We can give.  Intentionally choose not to buy something on the premise of “I’ve worked hard, I deserve this.”  Be simple.  Share, so others can do the same.  Always err on the side of giving more if we’re not sure how much to give.  This is what we want to do… so we started purging our stuff.  For seven days we got rid of seven items a day (which is a challenge in the book)... and then we had to figure out what to do with it all.  Some of it we just threw away (i.e. expired medicine, food, make up), some of it we donated to people we knew that needed it, and the rest… we need to sell.  Enter our yard sale. :)

Disclaimer time: Are we selling our houses and downsizing so we can be more generous?  Well, no, not at this time.  Do we still buy stuff?  Yes.  Guilty!  Are we becoming extra-crunchy granola people?  Maybe, maybe not. :) :)  This is a big elephant.  We know that.  The only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

So, sweet friends, dear readers, our tribes, our villages… don’t you want to join us?  Purge your excess?  Sell your stuff and give to the poor?  Or maybe you just want to go shopping at our yard sale!  Maybe you’ve been looking for a new coffee table?  Consider shopping at our yard sale and then give the money you saved by buying our super cheap stuff to someone in need.  Or maybe give someone in need $30 to come shop?  I don’t know.  We’re just over here taking bites of our elephants… will you join us?

Get rid of 7 things each day this week (or 49 things in one day - whatever!)  It’s a lot easier than you think.  Then, donate your gently used stuff to our yard sale.  See our flyer for more details:

Matthew 6:19-21 says,
“Do not store up for yourselves treasure on earth, where moths and vermin destroy… [i.e. the attic].  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven [...]  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  The eye is the lamp of the body.  If your eyes are healthy [read: generous], then your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eyes are unhealthy [read: stingy] then your whole body will be full of darkness.  [...] No one can serve two masters.  Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despite the other.  You cannot serve both God and money.”
laura ann

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