Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Little Mimick

I can honestly say that I love the toddler years, even if they are very busy and I'm very tired at the end of the day. Thomas is constantly discovering how to do new things and say new words. It is wonderful to be home with him and to teach him words and to watch him "get it." One of his newest feats is mimicking whatever we do. If we put our hands above our head, he does it; if we jump, he (tries) to jump; and whatever activity we are doing, he (tries) to help.

Usually, I vacuum once a week and Thomas has always loved the vacuum. He has never been scared of it and I never have to wonder where he is because he is right under my feet! Sometimes he even turns it off in the middle of vacuuming. I didn't understand just how much he enjoyed the vacuum until I walked into the room the other week and discovered this:

Don't worry - it was unplugged! Now I have to be careful if I leave the vacuum out for just a few minutes, because Thomas will be hard at work. I just hope this eagerness to vacuum continues until he is old enough to really help!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve has arrived and I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! I love this time of year because not only do we take time to spend with family, but most of all to remember and meditate on the truth of the gospel: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth" John 1:14. What a magnificent and beautiful picture of Christmas that Jesus took on flesh and dwelt among us so that we could see the glory of the Father and receive grace and truth! There is no greater reason to celebrate Christmas than Jesus leaving the glory of heaven to live with us and in 33 short years, to die for his people - amazing love!

Our family has the privilege of staying at home this Christmas. We are going to Josh's parents this evening, but they live just across town. My parents are coming here for Christmas day and we are so glad! Since Thomas is a little older now we don't want to travel and we want to begin to make special traditions for our family. We are having Santa as part of our Christmas, and I know many Christians don't, but we both "believed" in Santa as children and enjoyed the experience. However, the emphasis is not on Santa, but on Jesus. Tomorrow morning when Thomas wakes up, we are going to read the Christmas story as a family before we ever open presents. As Thomas gets older, we plan to do the Advent calendar and to place the emphasis on giving to others. Josh and I believe in supporting the Lottie Moon Christmas offering sacrificially and we want to teach our children to give as well.

Something Josh said in a sermon a couple of weeks has resonated with me this year, "Don't have a Charles Dickens Christmas, but have a Christ-centered Christmas." While family, food, and gifts are a wonderful part of Christmas they are not the main thing and my prayer for our family is for our Christmas to focus on our God who came to dwell among sinful people.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Update on Baby

A few people have asked recently how I'm feeling and about the baby. I'm actually feeling great now! Thankfully, the second trimester is upon me, and if it is anything like pregnancy with Thomas, it is the best trimester. The morning sickness lasted the exact weeks and length as with Thomas - 8 to 14 weeks. As you can see on the side ticker, I'm 15 weeks now. I'm reminded once again what a blessing it is to get right out of bed in the morning and spend time with the Lord, and throughout the day feeling energized and not nauseous and tired.

Baby is doing great! Yesterday, we were able to hear baby's heartbeat again and the doctor could also tell that baby is moving around a lot. I expressed to him that I was a little concerned I hadn't felt any movements yet, but he reassured that baby is moving and I should begin to feel those little movements soon - I can't wait! No weight gain these four weeks, but any weight gain I had was probably lost with the stomach virus! Thus far I have gained 1.7 lbs (from last time) and that means I'm still in my regular clothes. However, I could tell yesterday that my jeans weren't quite as comfortable as before. With Thomas I didn't wear maternity clothes until 21 weeks, but I doubt I'll make it that long with this baby.

I'll try to post a progress picture at some point. Confession - I usually forget to take those pictures until the end and there have been no pictures of me taken yet!

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the most exciting news: January 15th is the ultrasound!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Disney World

Yes, this took two weeks to post instead of two days. I said in my previous post that I would begin blogging regularly again, but I should have made that a new year's resolution! We have been extremely busy. The first week of December, I was busy planning and preparing a meal for our deacons and their wives for Saturday night, the 6th. We had a wonderful time and I'm so glad we were able to show them our appreciation for all of their hard work in our church. Last week, I was planning on doing a couple of blogs on Tuesday, but the stomach virus had another plan. All three of us came down with it in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. Needless to say, we were completely wiped out and I'm so thankful for my mother-in-law taking care of Thomas. Unfortunately, she and my father-in-law got it after being exposed to it here! Doesn't family share everything?! Thank you Roger and Vivian for compromising your health to help us - we couldn't have done it without you!

And finally, Josh graduated from Southern Seminary with his Master of Divinity on Friday! We left on Wednesday afternoon to travel to Louisville (and no we didn't feel the best) for the festivities on Thursday and Friday. We had a wonderful time and I'm so proud of my husband. He started seminary single with no responsibilities and left married with one child and another one on the way, and not to mention the pastor of a church! I will do my best, Lord willing, to post pictures of graduation later this week, but I will warn you - this week is very busy too!

Without further ado, here are some pictures from Disney!

Cinderella's Castle at Night!
Me showing Thomas the fish at Animal Kingdom.
He fell asleep on the safari ride!
Josh, Thomas, Grandma, & Poppy at the bird show.
Thomas trying to take off his Mickey ears - isn't he cute?!
Thomas mesmerized by the parade!
Thomas & Josh in a parade at our character breakfast.
Thomas meeting Winnie the Pooh for the first time!
He touched Pooh's nose!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My Long Absence

I usually try to post a couple of times a week, but that hasn't happened since September. Morning sickness is the main reason for not posting and we have just been very busy. I'm hoping the morning sickness will subside soon. Thankfully, I'm not "sick" just very nauseous and it doesn't end until sometime after lunch. When I was pregnant with Thomas I began to feel much better around 14 weeks. As you can see on the sidebar, I'm 13 weeks and 1 day now, so I'm hoping next week will be much better. Plus, we are going on another short trip next week and I would really like to feel normal!

Just a little update -

  • We heard the baby's heartbeat on Friday, the 21st. I loved hearing the whoosh-whoosh and remembering why I'm sick and that it is completely worth it! Thomas went with us and he started bobbing his head when he heard the sound. He loves to dance and he thought it was music!
  • Last Sunday, the 23rd, we left for a week at Disney World! While it was a fun and exciting trip, it was also very exhausting. Thomas was such a trooper with all the changes and lack of sleep. Poor baby didn't get to bed before 9pm anytime we were there and he only had one nap most days. I thought he might be ready to drop his morning nap, but he definitely isn't. By 11am, in the middle of fun rides, he was yawning. I'll post some pictures in the next few days of Sleepy - I mean Thomas!

Hopefully, my posting will become more regular in the next few weeks, even with the Christmas rush. We already have our tree and decorations up. Thomas loves the tree, but I think he is a little mystified by a tree being inside. Pictures of Disney World coming soon - I promise!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Some Pictures

It has been a long while since I've posted any recent pictures of Thomas. I've picked out a few from Halloween and Election Day because they were too cute not to share. Hopefully, I'll have the energy to update my Facebook account sometime this week with more cute pictures. Enjoy!

Our little pumpkin on Halloween!
He waved a lot, but didn't smile much while wearing the top.
I love my little pumpkin!
Josh being silly - by the way, he thinks this is SO funny. Maybe some of his guy friends would agree - John, Chris, or Jason??

Thomas "voting" for Saxby Chambliss - even though we don't live in GA!

Can you read his shirt? Thank you Chris & Amy!

Yep, here is your future president. Let's just say that Josh and I think Thomas would make a much better president in the future than our current president-elect. Of course, we already have the ticket ready for 2052: President - Joshua Thomas Culbertson, Vice-President - Wyatt Henry Burke. Don't those names sound presidential?

Monday, November 10, 2008

We're Expecting!

That's right - Thomas is going to be a big brother in June! We are thrilled and so excited to welcome another blessing into our family. We believe whole heartily that "children are a reward from the Lord" (Psalm 27:3).

Thankfully, my morning sickness has been much better this time around. The nurse suggested I take vitamin B6 in addition to my prenatal vitamin and it has made all the difference. I'm trying to drink lots of water and eat plenty of protein as well. So besides being really tired, I'm doing great!

We praise the Lord for our new blessing!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Our sweet Thomas finally started walking about three weeks ago. We were so thrilled because we had begun to think he would never walk. Not to mention it was the one question everyone at church kept asking, "Isn't he walking yet?" I was starting to get a complex because he wasn't walking, but as many moms have reminded me: every baby is different.

Thomas thinks that walking is the greatest thing ever. Usually he is walking around the house squealing with delight! It just makes my heart melt to see how excited and happy he is. In recent days, he has begun walking around with his stuffed puppy. The puppy has been in his bed for many months, but now he is becoming especially attached to puppy.

I'm learning that toddler hood is busy, but it is also so much fun! I love watching him grow and explore everything. While his transition from baby to toddler is a little sad for me, I'm very thankful for the little boy he is becoming.

I actually wrote this blog a week ago with intentions to post some pictures, but the computer crashed as soon as I plugged in the camera. It is a long story, but since we have continued to have problems with our desktop, I'm using the laptop until we can get it fixed. Pictures will come in the next day or two of Thomas walking and our little pumpkin on Halloween!

Monday, October 13, 2008

True Woman Conference '08

This past weekend, 18 ladies from my church (including me) had the privilege of attending the True Woman conference in Chicago. We left to drive to Atlanta at 5am on Thursday morning where we flew to Chicago. The conference began that evening and all the traveling, lack of sleep and food, was completely worth it. Keith & Kristin Getty led in worship as 6,200 women lifted their voices to the Lord! Pastor John Piper and Nancy Lee DeMoss spoke on Thursday night and both had powerful messages about what biblical womanhood looks like. Piper especially gave us a vision for biblical womanhood in light of God's eternal plan for Jesus to redeem His church.

Friday was a full day as we heard from Mary Kassian, Fern Nichols, and Karen Loritts all before lunch! All the ladies encouraged and challenged me, but I was especially moved by Fern Nichols call for us to pray for our children. She read Revelation 5:8 and encouraged us to fill up bowls of prayers for our children. Then groups of two or three women gathered to pray for our children. I was moved to tears as I cried out to the Lord for Thomas' salvation. I do pray for him everyday, but I was convicted that I need to be more fervent in my prayers for him and remember that the Lord hears! What is more powerful than leaving a legacy of prayer for my child?

There were many breakout sessions after lunch and there is so much to say about those, that I'll have to blog about those later. After dinner, we had the privilege of hearing from Janet Parshall about the high calling of motherhood. Joni Eareckson Tada spoke to us via video about suffering and trials - such a powerful testimony from a woman who has faithfully endured while being in a wheelchair for over 40 years.

Finally, on Saturday we were encouraged by a panel of speakers to live out biblical womanhood in our marriages, homes, and churches. It was wonderful to hear from older ladies who have walked the path that I'm now walking. We had to leave early to catch our flight back so I was unable to hear Nancy Lee DeMoss's final message on Esther (Now Is The Time). However, I have downloaded it and plan to listen to it, as all the messages from the conference are available for free on www.truewoman.com.

The climax of the True Woman Conference was signing the True Woman manifesto. You can go to the above website and read it and sign it online. The goal of the True Woman Conference is to live counter-cultural lives as women and as we reject the world's standards and live by God's standards.

I'm sure many of you are wondering how did I do away from Thomas? It was hard, but manageable because I was so busy. I missed my family so much and holding my sweet boy! Thanks again to Josh's parents who graciously helped to care for my family while I was gone - they would have been hungry without y'all!

The only disappointment when I got home was that Thomas was sick. He had an upset stomach for about a week and on Saturday he had a fever and broke out in a rash! My husband deserves much credit because he had already given him Motrin and called the pediatrician before I got home. The ped thinks the rash is a result of a virus that had caused the upset stomach. It got worse yesterday, but after much prayer, more Motrin and some benadryl, he is all better today!

By the way, if you do sign the manifesto (ladies only of course), please let me know.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

He is just so cute!

I, like all mothers, think that my baby is the cutest and sweetest child ever - and I even tell him that. There is even a little song I sing to him -

Who's the sweetest baby in the world?
Who's the sweetest baby in the world?
Who's the sweetest baby in the wooorld?
He's Thomas, Thomas Culbertson!

For those of you who aren't moms, I'm sure you think I have gone crazy (and my husband even thinks so occasionally). Two things he has done recently have been especially enduring.

On Sunday evening, Josh was watching the Grand Ole Opry (he likes those things) and Thomas was playing in the living room. Thomas scooted over to the television and then laid down in front of it resting on his arms - he really wanted to watch it! After I while, he sat up and started swaying back and forth. It happened so quickly that I didn't have time to grab the dvd recorder, but it was so precious!

Another thing he has been doing for some time is sucking with his mouth closed when he is really concentrating. Last night we were at my in-laws and they had given him some addition and subtraction cards to play with and he was really concentrating to get them back in the box one-by-one and you could just see his little cheeks moving! Sometimes I'll see him doing it when he is "reading" a book, but most of the time it is when something has his complete attention.

I'm just so thankful for my little boy and enjoy all the little things he does. What a great reminder that being a mom is the best job in the world!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Learning to Sew

For some time now, I have been wanting to learn how to sew. I've realized that with a family sewing is a good skill to have because there are always buttons that pop off or seams that rip or pants that need to be hemmed. I began searching for a class to take to learn how to sew (yes, I did take Home Economics in 8th grade for six weeks, but I don't remember anything and I didn't care then). Internet searches were in vain and I couldn't find anything local, until Josh needed a seam repaired in a pair of suit pants. An older lady in our church volunteered to repair his pants and I saw it as my opportunity to learn how to sew.

Thankfully, Mrs. Vynelle agreed to teach me and we began lessons in June. We went to Wal-Mart and picked out a pattern of a jumper for Thomas. She instructed me about how to read the pattern and buy all the supplies needed. I learned how to cut out a pattern, cut the cloth, how to sew a stitch line and then a seam line, and I watched as Mrs. Vynelle did the hard work of putting facing in the sleeves and neck, as well as the awful job of putting in the snap tape. Until this project, I have never realized how much work is involved in making a simple outfit!

My goal isn't to make Thomas' clothes, because it is easier and cheaper to buy from consignment sales. However, I am glad that I was able to make him something and at least I have went through the process. This morning, Mrs. Vynelle came over and showed me how to hem a pair of my pants. That was much easier than sewing clothes and will be very useful in the future. Now Josh wants me to learn how to put on buttons instead of using a safety pin!

Here are pictures of the outfit I made for Thomas (he has a white onesie on underneath). I didn't get a great picture of the whole outfit because he didn't want to sit still.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Our Special Day

At this time two years ago I was a nervous wreck, because I was about to walk down the aisle in front of a bunch of people! I wasn't nervous because I was getting married, but of a slight fear that I would trip and fall! Thankfully, everything went smoothly and Josh & I were married in a beautiful ceremony at 2pm on Saturday, September 30, 2006. We have had many adventures in our short married life, with the most obvious being our sweet son Thomas.

Josh is the man that my grandmother and I had asked the Lord to give me for many years. It took me a long time (a year and a half) to figure out that all I had been asking for was standing right in front of me! Josh truly is my best friend and sweetheart and I'm so thankful the Lord sent him to me!

And as the song goes, "I love you more today than yesterday..."

Saturday, September 27, 2008

First Haircut

After much delay, we finally took Thomas to have his first haircut yesterday. He has needed a haircut for at least a month now, but part of me wasn't ready to do it, and we just haven't had the time. We decided to take him after lunch yesterday to see Jim Williams, who has been Josh's barber since he was a little boy and still cuts Josh's hair. Mr. Williams is around 80, but he still does a great job and Josh insisted that Thomas have his first haircut with him.

Surprisingly, Thomas wasn't scared at all and Mr. Williams was so friendly and sweet to him. He had toys for him to play with and he let him hold a comb too. Thomas just laughed and played and didn't seem to notice that his mama was just a little sad. He definitely looks more like a little boy and less of a baby - that is what makes me sad. Mr. Williams cut some of his little curls and put them in an envelope for me, not that Thomas will care about it, but it is special to me.

Here are the pictures of our day -
On our way to the barber.
Cutting hair for mama
Sitting still (one of the few times)
What are they doing to me?
A side view
The time where he didn't want to sit still!All the toys to entertain himAlmost finished!Look at our big boy!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Humor & Quiet Times

Yesterday morning as I groggily walked into the living room with my cup of coffee for my personal devotion time this is what greeted me:

The note reads:

Dear Lord,

Dianna has never appreciated me as she should. She left me in Georgia and now she's given me away. Help me endure her persecution. Matt 10:21-22


Now let me explain the reason for "Rudy's" prayer. A couple of years ago for Christmas, my dad gave me this bear. I decided not to take the bear back with me when we left to go home, and my dad seemed very disappointed. Josh, for those of you who know him, continually picked on me for leaving this bear that my dad had given me and made me feel awful for hurting his feelings! When we went back to visit a couple of months later, I made sure to take Rudy home, if for no other reason than to assuage my guilty conscience (or Josh's continual reminders). When Thomas was born, I just stuck Rudy in with all his other stuffed animals, and now as "Rudy" reminded me, he is once again neglected.

Waking up to this sight yesterday morning made me laugh and love my husband even more. Those things do seem to go hand-in-hand in our home - laughter and love - and I was reminded that I am very blessed! Who says 5:30am can't be a fun time in the morning?!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Picnic Fun

On Saturday, the weather was beautiful and Josh decided we should go on a picnic. We love to be outside in the fall and it was a perfect day (even though fall really begins today). Josh fixed the p&b sandwiches, chips, boiled peanuts, and fruit while I got Thomas ready for his first picnic. The wagon Thomas received for his birthday has been useful for so many things, and since I couldn't find my basket on Saturday, we used it to transport the food, blanket, and Thomas.

After we ate our lunch, we took Thomas out of the wagon and let him sit on the blanket with us. We left him in the wagon to feed him and so he wouldn't wander off while we ate. Our idea of him wandering off the blanket was wrong - he wasn't too sure what to think of the grass!

This was Thomas' first time touching grass and you can see he was a little hesitant! He did pick some up and give it to us. Thomas liked touching new things, but the kitty still has his undivided attention, although, he didn't like it when kitty jumped into the wagon.

Don't worry, the kitty didn't hurt him; they both were being playful.
Saturday was so nice because not only did we enjoy being outside, but we just enjoyed being together as a family. It is so easy to become consumed with everything that "has" to be done (or so we tell ourselves) that we often neglect enjoying time together. I hope that our picnic won't be the only one of this fall season! Below are a few more pictures we took.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


About 3 weeks ago, we started an outreach program at our church called G.R.O.W. We have had many visitors to our church, and Josh wanted a way to reach out to them, as well as to inactive members and the community at large. When I lived in Louisville and attended 9th & O Baptist Church, I was a part of G.R.O.W. for a short while. The basic concept of G.R.O.W. is to involve as many people in your church as possible, because their commitment is only once a month, and there are a variety of ways to serve - visiting, letter writing, phone calling, and praying. Those who don't feel comfortable visiting people, can write letters or call. Josh added prayer as a component of G.R.O.W. because our work is futile, unless the Lord blesses it.

I have been very convicted in the past few weeks about my lack of evangelism (not counting Thomas), but I really don't have the opportunity to meet new people other than at church. We don't live in a neighborhood and I don't work outside the home, so my options are limited. G.R.O.W. is helping to give me more opportunities for evangelism. Last night, Josh and I went to visit a couple who stopped coming to church (they had been very faithful before) a few months ago. When we arrived at the home, we could tell by the state of the yard that things were not good inside. The husband and wife are separated, although the wife is there most of the time, and their son's girlfriend is pregnant and living with them. We met the girlfriend (the son was at work) and my heart went out to her. She is 6 months pregnant and a junior in high school. Her parents don't want her and tried to get her to have an abortion. Children are a blessing, and they are hard work. I was 24, married, college educated, with a large network of support when I had Thomas, and still it was overwhelming - I can't begin to imagine what she is thinking and feeling.

Since last night, I have been trying to think of ways that I can get to know her. I plan to send her a note with my email address and phone number and hope she will contact me. If she were a neighbor it would be much easier, but she lives about 20 mins away. My hope is she will contact me and I can reach out to her. If anyone has specific ideas about how best to reach her, please me know.

The Lord reminded me again of how much I have to be thankful for - a loving husband, a healthy baby, a giving family, and most of all salvation in His son, Jesus. My prayer today is that I will live in light of His salvation, and make my life about kingdom purposes, and not worldly distractions.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Titus 2

When it comes to ministry, I have two huge passions. The first is missions. When I read Scripture, it is clear to me that the whole world needs to hear the gospel. How can they believe if they haven't heard (Romans 10:14)? I have had the privilege to go to a closed country to share the gospel with those who have never heard, as well as serving in San Antonio, TX, for a summer in college. At this time in my life, I'm not able to go, but I am able to give and mobilize others to give. Our church has sent care packages to missionaries recently and I have had the privilege of sharing with our ladies the work that missionaries are doing all over the world. It is a joy for women at our church to grasp the importance of missions and to see their willingness to give.

This leads me to my second passion in ministry: women's ministry and specifically biblical womanhood. I long to see women love God's Word and obey the Word. Our church has not had a biblical women's ministry in a long time, and I'm excited that we are moving in that direction. Josh & I met with a group of ladies this summer to examine God's plan for women's ministry as we read Women's Ministry in The Local Church by J. Ligon Duncan & Susan Hunt. The outcome of those meetings was a desire for our women's ministry to follow the model for women's ministry given to us in Scripture - Titus 2:3-5.

We know that the only way women will embrace a change from the traditional SBC model of women's ministry to the biblical model is by teaching the Word. Therefore, I have been given the task of teaching the ladies in our church about biblical womanhood and specifically what a Titus 2 ministry looks like. Right now I'm looking through books and praying about how to begin this task. Lord willing, this teaching will begin in January.

There are 18 ladies, including myself, who are going to the True Woman conference in Chicago next month. For many ladies, this will be the first time they have heard teaching on biblical womanhood. I'm so excited for how the Lord will use this conference in these ladies' lives and for the impact it will have on our church. Please be in prayer for us as we go and hear God's Word taught and for the next few months as I prepare to teach.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Oh, the places things can go...

Thomas is such a little explorer these days and I have to constantly see what he is discovering. Yesterday, as I was getting a pan to bake the biscuits on, I found something that isn't normally in the bottom of the oven with the other pans.

Yes, that is a milk jug. When we finish a gallon of milk, the jug normally goes next the trash can, until the trash is full enough to take everything out. Thomas has played with the milk jug before, but I guess he found a new place to hide it! He is such a big helper and he knows how his mama likes a clean house - everything has it's place!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

12 Month Visit

Today, we took Thomas for his 12 month well check visit. His appointment was at 11am in Simpsonville, which is about 30 minutes from our house. We were running about 5 mins late because I had to wake Thomas up from his morning nap. I hate being late, especially to doctor's appointments, because it seems like you have to wait longer when you are late. About 5 minutes after I signed Thomas in, the receptionist called me over and told me his appointment was in Greenville. I told her that wasn't correct since I had called the Simponsville office to make the appointment, and he has only been to that office. After much discussion, they figured out that a new girl had made the appointment for the wrong office. I could either make another appointment or go to Greenville. Even though it meant more driving, I wanted to go ahead and see the doctor today and not wait.

Once we arrived at the Greenville office, about 11:35am, we had to wait another 30 mins before they called us. By the time we saw the doctor, had his two shots, and paid our co-pay it was 12:50pm! What a long, exhausting doctor's visit! However, we did treat ourselves to Chick-fil-a, so in Josh's opinion, it was worth it.

Here are Thomas' stats:

Weight - 20lb 8 oz - 18 %
Height - 31.5" - 92% (we have no clue why he is tall for his age - we are average ppl)
HC - 18" - 31%

Dr. Earle, the peditrician, said Thomas' is long and lean, and he looks great. Thankfully, the only time we have went to the doctor over the past 12 months is for well visits. He has had a couple of colds and the croup, but nothing severe enough to put him on antibiotics. Praise the Lord for how He has taken care of Thomas!

One last bit of info: we learned that Thomas is definitely like his daddy - he loves Chick-fil-a nuggets! He had them for the first time today and he wanted those even more than the fruit!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Pulling Up & Pointing

Two of Thomas' newest discoveries are pulling up on anything that is stable (and some things that aren't) and pointing at everything. My sweet boy wakes up pointing at something - the fan, the lamp, shoes - and I try to use those times to name what the "thing" is. He is so curious about everything and so delighted by all the new things he can do. Thomas pulls up on all the furniture and now "cruises" around until there is an open space and he is back to crawling.

This newfound freedom also leads to more discipline as he wants to grab the phone, remote, coasters, pictures, etc. laying around. People have told me, "You just need to put everything up until he is about three." While that would be much easier than disciplining him, it isn't best for him or for me. It fosters an undisciplined spirit in Thomas and laziness in me! Thankfully, he normally listens when I say, "No Thomas, you may not touch that," and if he doesn't, it only takes a little pop on his leg to get his attention.

It looks like it will be a few more weeks before he is walking. The other day he let go of the ottoman and tried to walk to his toy and fell face forward! I tried not to react with fear in my voice, and amazingly he didn't cry but just started crawling to the toy! Below are some recent pictures of him pulling up and pointing.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First Birthday Party

On Saturday afternoon we celebrated Thomas' 1st birthday. All the grandparents (3 sets) were there, along with uncles, aunts, cousins, & close friends. We grilled out hamburgers & hotdogs & had all the sides. The weather was very nice except for the wind. Everytime we have a party outside, it is super windy and we have to tape everything down. You can see how windy it is in the pictures below (we couldn't even light the candle on the cake).

Thomas loved his cake. At first he wasn't too sure what to do with it, but after I helped him along, he figured it out. By the time he was finished with it, he had cake all over his face, ears, and hair! I think he is going to be just like his daddy - loves the sweet stuff!

Thomas received so MANY gifts! He needed some bath toys and now he has more than he can play with at one time. He got an animal farm that makes noises, a helicopter, train, books, and even a wagon! All of Thomas' friends enjoyed the wagon and it will serve our family well for years to come.

We had such a good day celebrating Thomas' first year of life. What a blessing he is to his mama and daddy!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Happy First Birthday Thomas!!

Today is my sweet boy's 1st birthday! This time last year, I was holding my precious baby in my arms for the first time. Thomas weighed 7lbs and 15 oz and was 20 and 3/4" long and had a head full of dark hair - he looks much different now! Since the first day, he has been such a sweet and even tempered baby and continues to be even as he approaches toddlerhood. Thomas was a big surprise for Josh and I - he was born 6 weeks before our first anniversary - but the Lord was so gracious to us to give us a child before we knew we were ready!

Birthdays are very special to me and we want to make Thomas' birthday special too. This morning, Josh and I went into Thomas' room to wake him up and sang "Happy Birthday" to him. We must have done a great job because he applauded at the end! On Saturday, we are having a big first birthday party with family and friends. We are having his party at noon, so it won't interfere with nap time. I'll make sure and post pictures of the celebration next week.

As I spent time with the Lord this morning, I not only thanked Him for the gift of Thomas, but also prayed that the Lord would one day give him new birth. I pray that one day Thomas will not only be celebrating the gift of life on earth, but the gift of eternal life that the Spirit has given to him.

Happy Birthday Day Sweet Baby Boy! Daddy & Mama love you so much!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Remembering Papa

My dear grandfather, Papa, passed away on Saturday afternoon after a decade of cancer and recent heart and lung problems. His death was not a surprise to any of us, but death is still hard whether you are expecting it or not. My dad told me that he was very peaceful at the end and there was no struggling; he took two deep breaths and that was it. Thankfully, he is now with Jesus and reunited with my grandmother, which were the two things he wanted most.

What makes his death so hard for me is that with his passing, I no longer have grandparents. My grandmother died on August 14, 2007, exactly one week before Thomas was born, and my grandfather died on August 16, 2008. Their deaths leave a sadness in my soul because two people that have been around my whole life are no longer here. No longer can I call their house and talk to my Papa for five minutes about the weather, Josh, or Thomas and then he give the phone to Grandy and I talk an hour to her about everything - marriage, pregnancy, church, my relationship with God, etc. Oh, how I miss them!

Thankfully, I have sweet and precious memories of them and will one day be reunited with them. I wish more than anything that Thomas could have grown up to know them as I did, but the Lord's ways are better than mine. While I know that death is a part of life, I also know it is not the way it is supposed to be. We weren't created to die, but sin brought death into the world. So, death reminds me of the ugliness of sin, but also that Jesus has defeated sin and death! And I eagerly await when Jesus returns and there is no more sin and no more death!
"O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?"
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:55-57

Papa and Thomas (8 days old)