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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

November/December Life and 37 Weeks

As we are on an unknown length of time sort of sabbatical, my husband John and I are learning about ways to wisely spend and fill our time rather than waste these days/weeks/months off.  Certainly we have had our share of days where we spend a lot of time playing with Jonah, and just doing general house work, which doesn't seem like much, but still finds us exhausted at the end of the day.  However, we haven't had internet until just a few weeks ago, so that cut out one way we both used to waste time at home.

We took a 3 week trip over to the Eastern side of the U.S. to sight see and visit with some great friends during September, which I am still trying to finish a post about.  That occupied much of the month of September. In October, November, and December, this is what we've been up to:

I've spent time hanging out and catching up with a few local friends.  I have helped John's sister in her second grade classroom a few days (which makes me reminisce and miss teaching a little).  I have been trying to set up this bachelor's pad to be more family-friendly and eye-appealing.  We're still a LONG way away from anything pinterest-worthy, but at least it's starting to feel more like home.  I have been doing typical mom jobs that way over-rated and always under-paid, like cooking, cleaning, laundry, and changing diapers.  I have been helping John job-hunt online for pastor positions and family ministry positions.  I have been playing with, reading to, feeding, and rocking our little Jonah as we realize his time as the only child is quickly drawing to a close.  I have joined a small group at our church and we are doing the Priscilla Shirer Bible study "Jonah: Navigating the Life Interrupted," which is spot on perfect for my life right now!  Not only am I absolutely convicted and learning in every single lesson, I am also getting to know some wonderful other ladies to whom I can talk with about life.  I have also finished re-reading through the "Narnia" series by C.S. Lewis that I hadn't read since I was in 5th grade, and had forgotten much.  It is such a great easy read for an adult, with such great content! Now I'm going back and skimming some of my labor and delivery books.

John has been spending time looking for jobs and learning a whole new trade.  Meet my husband, the carpenter!  He built these wooden shelves from wood his dad had laying around in a shed.  Together we painted them a darker blue than the picture shows, then I distressed and stained them with a brown glaze to give them the antique look.

After the grueling task of having no space to work in besides the driveway and the kitchen floor, John then decided it was time to transform his dad's garage into a carpentry studio.  He took it from looking like something off of the TV show "Hoarders" and has turned it into a rather lovely work-space!  He built one work bench and after a few days day decided it was way too small, and so about two days later he built a huge one with a big peg board back.

He built this book shelf for his mom for Christmas:

He built two of these garden planter benches:

He has been selling his Daniel Moore Alabama framed art in order to purchase a little menagerie of wood-working tools. He now has a table saw, a planer, a joiner, a Kreig jig, a skill saw, a miter saw, a jaw horse, a dust-collector (yeah - that's a tool), and several clamps.   He now has no more football art. This makes me sad. NOT! (I always hated trying to figure out the least-seen room in the house for him to hang those big things!) This actually makes me very happy for and proud of him.  My husband has never been crazy into video games, but his football watching and interest has bordered on addictive levels.  He has really pulled back from the sport this year, and finally sold his memorabilia.  This is a great step in maturity from my point of view.  I like the carpentry tools far more.  Plus, they are actually USEFUL and can accomplish things (instead of hanging on a wall commemorating some college kid finally catching a ball).  This carpentry hobby is actually pretty sexy. ;) Although, every time I hear one of those high powered machines in the garage, I earnestly pray for his calloused fingers that I love, and his brown eyes the color of perfect coffee. Please God, he needs those fingers and hands to change diapers, and we really do not need an emergency room bill right now.  His vision is so much better than mine, please let it stay that way!

John has also been working on doing discipleship and then baseball coaching with some of the high school baseball players as well. He has also joined a men's small group, and although he has to be at Dunkin' Donuts at 5:15 a.m., he is really enjoying that as well.  We have been going to The Church of the Valley, which meets in the Hollywood 18 movie theater, and we are really enjoying it.  John actually was blessed to be given the opportunity to preach a few days ago!  It went really well, and was appropriately about New Year's Resolutions (or the futility of making any), and true revival.

Jonah has been learning new words and language skills like crazy! In the last month he has really blossomed into a little chatterbox!  He can identify many of his favorite characters by name, so all of the "Thomas the Tank engine" cast are no longer simply "Choo choo" but now he knows Gordon "Gowdin," Percy "Peu See," and attempts Thomas "Ahma."  He also has a new preference for combines "Umbine" over tractors "Tah-tew."  He loves most of the Sesame Street characters as well, Elmo "Uhmo," Cookie Monster "Kee-Ko," Bert "Butt," and Ernie "Eenie,"  and even Grover "Govuh." My favorite words that he can now say are Jesus "Cheese-UH" and I love you "I Wuhw You."  Jonah's favorite word is "No." Here's a little snippet of both.  He thinks when he sees my phone he can say and sign "Again" to see a picture/video, so that is what he keeps saying and using his baby sign language for, while I am trying to convince him to say "I love you."

I love that little boy so much.  I am apprehensive about his big brother skills though. He is rough and tumble, 100% boy who loves noise, outside, and wrestling.  I am hoping and praying that having a little sister will help him to learn some things about being gentle.

Then we were blessed to be able to meet with Mrs. Ashlea Chance at Southern Made Photography again to take some maternity pictures at almost 37 weeks, and these are her sneak peeks:

I had a doctor's appointment a few days later and we learned that baby Karis is head down, weighed about 7 pounds, has sweet chubby cheeks and a head full of hair!  I am very happy about all of that.  Thank you God for answered prayers!  I am just measuring large because I am on the "Upper End of Normal" range for amniotic fluid, which is apparently nothing to worry about.  The Ultra-sound Tech said that "Normal" range is up to 21 or 22, and I am at 20, so when my water breaks, there will be no doubt! Haha!  These are her squished beauty shots:

In the realms of the job world, John actually has a pretty good looking lead right now.  A church near Anniston, AL sent him a super long questionnaire to fill out right before Christmas because he had made it to their "Top Ten" list for a "Youth and Families" position.  We are praying that if God wants us there He would make it crystal clear for the search committee and for us.  We are trusting that a ministry position will open up exactly when and where God wants us to serve.   Until then, we are building.  We are building our family and building wooden projects.

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