December Happenings

Ahh yes. A few minutes to write without little greasy fingers clawing at my keyboard. Here is a quick overview of what has been going on with the Googers.

1) Lots of birthday-ness. Casper’s, mine, and Jesus’ all within 12 days. We had hot-pot at my parents’ and it was ohhhhh so good. Seriously, sometimes, I feel so bad for people that aren’t Asian and don’t get to fully experience the wonderfulness of Asian food.

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Stealing the show

Hot pot, by the way, is NOT very toddler friendly. Think: people slowly cooking their food while they eat, raw meat on the table, and a big pot of boiling broth. Oh but we tried…and when you don’t have another booster seat on hand…just grab a pillow and a belt…

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…though I can’t guarantee this will last longer than 2 minutes.

2) Dawnette has been introduced to this revolutionary, magical drug:

3) Dale and I perpetually try to read together. We have quite a stack of books we have started together but just can’t get through (Note: G.K. Chesterton does not make great read-aloud books), but alas, we have finally made it through one! It was, of course, The Hunger Games. We finished it on New Years Eve because Dawnette was sick so we had nothing else to do. I guess we will have to read Catching Fire next, since the ad for it at the end of the book claims that “SPARKS WILL FLY.”

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4) I have been able to see a lot of my family lately, as Timothy has been back from seminary in Illinois (girlfriend in tow), and my aunt, uncle, and cousin have come in to see my grandma, who is in hospice care at my parent’s home right now. In case you have never met my grandma, she has suffered multiple strokes in her lifetime and has declined gradually over the years.  So this isn’t a shock to any of us, but it is still hard to believe her time will come soon.

As a result of her strokes, she hasn’t been able to communicate well with us for a long time, almost as long as I have known her. However, my family has recently been able to catch glimpses of her personality and spunk in random spurts. She was very fashionable before her strokes, and a few weeks ago, she suddenly asked my mom, “What am I wearing?”

Here’s also a fun moment we got to capture of her playing with Casper, who absolutely adores her:

That’s all for now. I hope God shows you great and mighty truths about Himself this year, and rocks your world with His grace.  Happy 2014!

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Happy birthday, Casper! Why we gave you a funny name.

Well, Casper turned 2 last Saturday. Part of me thinks, JUST two??? I feel like I’ve known him my whole life, and I can’t imagine life without him. He is also a very big 2 year old, so that might do it too. The other part of me thinks, WHAT? TWO?? Already??? Where did my chunky baby Casper go?

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We love this boy. We love that while he still tries to carry as many toys in his arms as he can, he will still drop his toys in front of Dawnette for her to play with them. We love that he barely has a morsel of artisan in him, but loves order. Instead of coloring, he just grabs the green crayons first, then busily lines up the crayons in a neat line. He also loves to take his shoes out of his shoe drawer and make “trains,” and during bath time, lines his ducks up in a row and yells, “DUCK TRAIN!”

He has this super sweet smile when he thinks Dawnette is being cute, and sometimes, he yells for her from his crib, “Mei-mei!!!” He’ll also crawl around with Dawnette and babble like her, and she has a special laugh just for when he cracks her up.

Casper loves to chew on his blankets and hum as he is falling asleep and as he wakes up. He loves to read, and loves to take his time pointing at every little thing on the page, asking, “Buh-dah!?” (What’s that?)

During dinner time, he loves to put food/utensils/cups on his head and yell, “HAT!!!” and dinner time is never complete without him asking Dale and I to do “woh-bot” (robot) impressions, whereas Dale and I often pretend to be robots short circuiting because of our newfound feelings of love for one another. He also loves to eat Dawnette’s leftover baby food for dessert, which is gross to me, but it’s healthy and the food doesn’t go to waste, so I won’t complain.

Sometimes people ask us why we named him “Casper.” Sometimes people don’t, because they are afraid we named him after the friendly ghost, and they would rather not offend us. Casper is named after a Dutch man, Casper Ten Boom, who hid Jews in his house during the Holocaust with his daughters, one of which is the popular Corrie Ten Boom, who wrote The Hiding Place. He raised his daughters to love the Lord and to love people with all their hearts, even if it meant losing everything.

Our prayer is that God develops our Casper to be passionate for the Lord, to defend, protect, and speak for those who can not speak for themselves, and to be a father who teaches generations after him to do the same.

Happy birthday, sweet Casper!

The Googers cook de pues.

We spent an incredible weekend at Lake Whitney at Steven’s lake house with the DePue’s and the Cook’s. The only thing that could make it better was if Steven was able to make it, which sadly he couldn’t. Here are some pics from it.

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Notice the vultures in the corner…there were so many, we were pretty sure something died in that house.

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The boys on their own little “adventure.”

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“Buh-dah!?”

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On a “knit hat” date with Josiah. Dale did a good job scaring Josiah with his pre-date threats.

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Looks like someone tried to carve something and then got frustrated and left. Well, let’s hope it wasn’t Steven…and if so, let’s hope he doesn’t read this blog.

Halloween Things

Last night, we brought Casper trick-or-treating for the first time. This was also my first time doing it too. This is how it went.

Well, we first dressed Casper as a rebel-without-a-cause. He fit the character quite nicely by having a tantrum-without-a-cause as we were trying to leave the house.

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Off to a good start...

“HUMILIATING, MOTHER.”

We made it out the door, popped Dawnette in her stroller, and started. Once Casper realized that we were ringing doorbells and people were giving him fistfuls of candy, he perked up quite nicely. He didn’t quite understand that we weren’t going in the homes though, so we had to restrain him from just running into houses.

Being creepy...

Being creepy…

Sadly, our neighborhood was pretty dark and bare, and only about 1 out of every 15 houses was handing out candy.  We weren’t surprised though, since last year we only had about 4-5 groups of kids ring our door bell. I think everyone goes to “nicer” neighborhoods now. It’s sad, since this is the one time a year it isn’t too weird to ring a doorbell and meet a neighbor. And ask for candy.

So naturally, we had to walk a good bit to get to the lighted houses, and Casper was so worn out he just started prostrating himself on the sidewalk. We missed getting a good picture of it…but this is him looking like he is drunk and puking on the sidewalk instead. The tacky horse on the back of his vest and diaper hanging out sort of kills the rebel look.

Casper just stated prostrating himself on the floor he was so tired.

His drunken face fits the costume.

Drunk rebel back at home.

So Dale carried the little guy the rest of the way home…where he finally got to see what those little crinkly things everyone was handing out contained…

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I think I like this Halloween thing.

“Why don’t we do this everyday?”

Even Dawnette got her fair share.

Snickers are wonderful first foods for infants.

Snickers are wonderful first foods for infants.

The end. Our good friends Matt and Rachel were throwing a Halloween party tonight, and we were all dressed up ready to go when Casper puked (for real this time) all over himself in the car. So we turned around and just went home. What were Dale and I dressed up as, you ask?

Undercover cops. In hopes of winning the COP-out prize that they hand out. We basically looked a little slicker than normal, and had wires running down our backs with badges to show. Dale also had a small nerf gun in his pants. Too bad.

Two modern day habits for contentment

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When I was about 6, I went with my mom to the movie rental section of Kroger (Remember that?!). Of course, they also sold all sorts of candy for the gluttonous consumer, and they put some out on the lowest shelf, less than 4 inches off the ground. Now, my mom rarely bought candy for us growing up, and if she did, it was because she probably had a coupon. So, fully aware that my mom would never buy it for me, and I had no coupon to show for it, I grabbed as much as my little hands could hold. I soon realized that I was in a bit of a predicament, as I was wearing tights, which meant I had zero pockets. So, I did what any other kleptomaniac wearing tights, besides Robin Hood, would do…I stuffed them down my pants.

Just then, my mom came cruising casually down the aisle, as did the cashier right behind her. I felt pretty smug in my lumpy tights and took a step forward. Well, now would be a good time to mention that another nice thing about my mom is she was always kind enough to buy us clothes significantly larger than our size so that we could grow into them. She did an excellent good job, considering I still probably wouldn’t be able to fit in some of them to this day, even after having 2 kids. So, as I stepped forward, candy slid down my legs, out of the pant holes, and plopped right onto the floor. Before I could even think of an escape plan, my mom was already giving the look that sentenced me to years of torment. The rest is history.

I was fiercely covetous as a child, probably because, well, I was a child, and also because my parents were wise enough to never spend money on things that were simply unnecessary. Thankfully, as time passed, I naturally became more aware of the pettiness of material things, and became more satisfied with my life.

However, in recent years, the influx of social media, namely Facebook and Pinterest, I am bombarded and flooded daily by images of what my life should look like, and what I HAVE to have to be happy. The coveter in me has reared its nasty head back up and I feel as wanting as I did when I was 6, though now I covet refined things like Anthropology-type homes, fancy vacations, hipster toddler clothes, etc. Once a coveter, always a coveter.

And then I just find myself discontent. What is the problem in discontentment? Well, two things:

1) God hates it, because it shows that I am not fully satisfied with Him and what He has ordained for my life, and I don’t trust Him and His love for me.

2) It leads me to be cynical of the people who do have what I want.

There was one major realization though, that allowed me to exercise contentment:

The more I saw, the more I coveted.

So, there are two habits I practice to safeguard myself when I am tempted to covet.

1) I remind myself when I see something that makes me covet that what I see online is mostly an illusion. Sadly, people are not as happy as they look online, and naturally, we only pick and choose what everyone else sees. It’s not wrong…it’s just the fact that no one wants to see me mopping the floor or washing dishes in my PJ’s, and I’d prefer not to show anyone either. I saw a couple at a restaurant take pictures of their meals with their respective smart phones. The rest of the time, they were both just sitting there on their phones ignorant of the other partner. I’ve also seen moms take pictures of their kids at the park, and then just sit back down and play with their phones the rest of the time. What we see on our screens is a filter of a bigger, more complicated life.

2) I also realized that I DO have control over what is set before me. There is a button on Pinterest I’ve learned to love, and her name is “Unfollow Board.” Never seen her before? Well, you can recognize her because she looks like this:

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Because I don’t need to wish my son’s birthday party will be better than your kids’, and I don’t need to think I need to be more fashionable, and I don’t need to be making Chocolate Chip Lava Cookies. (Mmmm…) There are people on Facebook that it wouldn’t kill me to unfriend.

Because the less I see, the less I covet.

I want to be satisfied with the life God has given me, with its perfect imperfections…and to be more satisfied with Christ Himself…because true contentment isn’t having what I want, but holding Christ as my highest treasure even if I have not.

A New Law

A New Law

by Derek Webb

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Don’t teach me about politics and government
Just tell me who to vote for
And don’t teach me about truth and beauty
No, just label my music
And don’t teach me how to live like a free man
No, just give me a new law

I don’t wanna know if the answers aren’t easy
So just bring it down from the mountain to me

I want a new law
I want a new law
Just give me that new law

And don’t teach me about moderation and liberty
I prefer a shot of grape juice
And don’t teach me about loving my enemies
And don’t teach me how to listen to the Spirit
No, just give me a new law

I don’t wanna know if the answers aren’t easy
So just bring it down from the mountain to me

I want a new law
I want a new law
Just give me that new law

‘Cause what’s the use in trading a law you can never keep
For one you can that cannot get you anything
So do not be afraid

Do not be afraid…

Melt my Heart

Watching Casper and Dawnette become buddies is the sweetest thing to watch. Here are some pictures I caught…(excuse me for the mediocre “camera-phone” shots).

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Avert your eyes if you are a neat-freak…because I let my kids play with a box of small plastic cups and bowls when I am cooking. It’s worth it, I tell you. Moms get it. (One negative side effect is it melts baby girls’ hands.)

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…aaaand this is what usually happens about 5 seconds later…and Papa cleans it up when he comes home…

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Sometimes, they just destroy.

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This is one of the best parts of having 2 small ones. But fact: Casper is not having as much fun as Dawnette.

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This is how Casper “kisses” his little sister. I like to think he’s just germ-conscious.

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The kiss worked.

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A 6 month old girl’s attention span = 22 month old boy’s attention span.

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Just giving her a hand to speed things up.

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Casper got jealous that Dawnette got a ponytail and he didn’t, so I did what any good mother would do… I mean, look how happy he is.

Here’s just a video of Dawnette when she was learning with crawl. Poor Cat has to deal with yet another fanatic baby.