Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Four Year Old

We are praising God for our raisin-eating, tractor-loving, train-obsessed, tool-wielding, orange-picking, loud-talking, guitar-playing, active, happy, passionate boy that God has given us!

I've been thinking back to his actual birth-day today, and the months leading up to it--how I was praying for him and felt like God was telling me that he would be someone with deep joy. That was part of the reason we named him Isaac. Well, I smile now when I think of that, because it is so true! He is such an intense little person! He wears some people out, I imagine, but I love his energy for life.

I've also been thinking about his heart...the surgery-requiring defect he was diagnosed with before he was born, the NICU staff whisking my firstborn away from me right after his birth, Vance following Isaac, me being left alone to wait and wonder, talking on the phone with Dad and seeing Vance walk in the room beaming, hearing him say, "his heart's perfect. Perfect." and crying with joy, but also feeling totally unsuprised because of the faith I had that God would heal him. Most of the time we forget about his heart now, but that's because of the healing he experienced before his birth.

I am so excited to see what God is going to do in Isaac's fifth year. His brain is exploding with questions and interesting thoughts these days, and he is learning obedience and respectfulness and helpfulness and patience. It is such a privelige (even when it is an exhausting one) to be the one to explain God and the world to him. The best job ever, and I can't say enough grateful words to express how much I love my sweet boy.
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Saturday, January 23, 2010


Today we had one of our first experiences with a genuine Tampa tradition: Gasparilla! It's a city holiday that celebrates Jose Gaspar, one of the last pirates to terrorize the west Florida coast. Of course, legend has it that he buried untold treasure somewhere around her (maybe our backyard?). He is Tampa's excuse to have a bang-up pirate extravaganza. The "adult" celebration is next weekend, but the kids' festivities were today.

We started out with flybys of old WWII bombers, a very cool parachute landing from the U.S. Special Ops.

The kids got pretty bored waiting for the floats and the bead throwers (pretty much the main event of the parade is the dozens of beaded necklaces--pirate booty?-- thrown from the floats). They blew through my healthy almonds and raisins in about 30 seconds...so Daddy came to the rescue with a 3 gallon bag of kettle corn. What's a momma to do besides let them ruin their dinner?
The obligatory "act like you love each other" photo. Although they weren't that excited about the picture-taking, Isaac LOOOOVED the parade. He was screaming and jumping and waving and begging for necklaces and having the time of his life. Claire was not so gregarious, but she did wave to the floats, and received her fair share of necklaces as well.
They have built the only modern, fully-rigged pirateship around (so I was told). They dock it in the Bay year round for your viewing pleasure, and then it fires cannonballs at the crowd for Gasparilla. I shudder to think how much that pirate ship cost, but it was pretty cool! The pirates have now defeated the city, and next week the mayor will hand over the keys to the city, and more pirate festivities will ensue.

We ate dinner at a friend-of-a-friends's house (who lives right on the bay!), and walked back along the shore while the "Piratetechnics" exploded overhead. What a night!
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Reupholstering for Dummies

There are so many projects to get done around here, and so little motivation! A lot of that has to do with the projects that I don't really know how to do...the intimidation factor has a way of slowing you down. Fortunately, this reupholstery project was as easy as I had heard! I hope that gives me motivations for the 1520 other projects left on my to do list.

I got the chair from Goodwill for about $10. The heavy-duty fabric was much pricier, but I got it for 60% off at Calico Corners, and I'll (hopefully) use the rest of the bolt end to make a lumbar pillow or a throw pillow. It only took a screwdriver, a staple gun, and about an hour of my time.

I can't believe I forgot to take a before picture, but it was a dusty-rose brocade, which is why no one else had snatched it up, I think. I didn't even rip the old brocade off...I just put the foam and new fabric right on top.

I don't know about you, but I'm all about makeover projects that take less than a naptime to complete :)
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Saturday, January 02, 2010

Happy Birthday, Claire!

Look who is 2!!! Just like last year, Claire celebrated her birthday with family, pasta, and hamming it up. She loooved being the center of attention, and flirted with anyone who made eye contact with her all dinner long. But the real party started once she saw the candles and realized that everyone was singing just for her.
Talk about delight! She even made an excellent attempt at blowing out her candles.
She has been changing so much in the last couple of months. Up until just a month ago, she wanted very little to do with books. Whereas Isaac had been into books since he was about 9 months old, Claire just had too much to do to sit still. But just in the last month, that has started to change. She's really getting into reading, and that makes her mama very happy!

She's also breaking out the full sentences, and more complicated syntax. Although she's quieter than Isaac on first contact, she has quite a bit to say after she warms up to you. Some of her favorite words right now (and mine) are "Sis-mas wites" (Christmas lights), "Taw-babies" (strawberries), and "Baby Soup" (bathing suit). She loves her daddy's new profession, and would eat strawberries all day every day if she could. She loves food, and is very adept with her fork and spoon. She loves to sing (quite loudly), and I'm starting to wonder if she's going to be the next family vocalist. She provides BGVs for a lot of the songs we play in the car, and she regales us with "ABC's" and "Baa Baa, Black Sheep" all day long. She still loves to be held, and wants to be in the center of it all as long as she can be close to someone she trusts. Although she has earned the nickname, "Clairedevil" for her reckless attempts to break a bone or try something outside of her age level, she is also very cautious around almost any kind of animal, and some people.

Claire is no shrinking violet...she has to keep up with Isaac and does so without any problems whatsoever. We're working on not grabbing, patience, and obeying the first time.

Claire has definitely taken the place of cutest Whitaker in the household, and she is a joy to live with. We love you, sweet girl, and can't wait to see what is in store for you this next year!
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Christmas with the Fam

We had a lovely Christmas with my family last week! Dad, Deonni, Allie, and Persephone (Allie's cat) came to celebrate with us. We had moved in just 6 days before, so there was still (is still!) a large stack of boxes in the garage, but no one seemed to mind. Christmas Eve was spent cooking (me), working (Vance), shopping (D&D), exercising & resting (Allie), and playing (guess who :).

Christmas morning was a twist on the old classic...we had our traditional breakfast outside on the patio, since it was warm enough! We had a good time of fellowship reflecting on the Incarnation, and then we read the Christmas story together out of one of our children's Bibles.

Isaac and Claire really got into the presents this year, and they had fun delivering packages to all the recipients. They also enjoyed the unwrapping and playing :).
Claire enjoyed her dress ups, but her clear favorite was Baby (who has been named Navia by Isaac).
Isaac loves his new pirate ship from Uncle AJ, that floats in the pool and shoots little cannonballs!

Isaac was very excited all day about the "party for Jesus". In my mind, that's what all the eating and unwrapping and sharing and reading and singing really is--celebrating in every way we can the greatest event the world has ever known. God became man, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory. It's worthy of a little partying in my book!
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