Saturday, August 9, 2014

Dear Amy: 12 Months!

Dear Amy,
You are now a year old!  On the morning of your first birthday, you woke up early and wanted to cuddle.  While I didn't need the 6:30 wake up call, I loved that I could sit in your room and rock you as tucked your head in the round of my neck.  It soon became a game, and you would pop your head up and laugh at me, playing a game of cuddle-peek-a-boo.  A little later in the morning, you and I sat in a chair while you echoed my "oew" sound and laughed from your head to your toes.  It was bliss.

You are such a happy baby.  And by happy, I mean ornery.  You are now crawling all the time - still on your belly, but sometimes on your knees as well.  However, you prefer to stand and cruise around furniture and tall toys.  Today, I found you cruising along the wall as we were heading out the door.  You are desperate to walk.  I know I will regret it, but I am excited for you to walk as well.  I know that you will love to keep up with your sister and play outside with her.  You are standing on your own for about two seconds consecutively before you remember how fun it is to fall on the ground.  You love activity; I saw you diving onto our beanbag and then scooting back down so you could do it again, laughing after each fall.  You clearly understand "no" and start to cry when you want to do something, but know you aren't allowed to.  Then sometimes, you still do it when you think I'm not looking.

You pick up things so quickly, and I am already wondering where you learned them.  I thought you were dancing the other day, but realized you were doing the sign for bath and saying "bah bah" over and over.  Later, you crawled to the door of the bathroom and did it again ... subtlety is not your strong suit.  When you want more food and we miss you signing for more, you just scream - it gets the point across, but maybe you could work on a different tactic soon.  You say "mommy" (ADORABLE!!), "dada", "d-dd-" (for dog) swiftly followed by "fffhh" for 'woof' (which you taught yourself, child genius).  You love Tressel, but he isn't too impressed by you yet.  Sometimes when you are frustrated, you have started to crinkle your nose and blow air out of it.

This week, you have tamed your love for bananas and don't request them daily.  I often run out of ideas for feeding you because you clear your plate all the time.  You still do the sign for "milk" when you want to nurse, but also do it when you want milk from a sippy cup, which you enjoy but refuse to hold on your own.  You have started to want specific foods, as evidenced by all the blueberries you tossed on the floor in pursuit of watermelon and all the cheerios you scattered around Starbucks while reaching for puffs instead.

You are a joy!  Your facial expressions are starting to really show what is going on in your mind, and I love seeing how you are developing as a unique and beautiful little girl.  It is so much fun to be your mom, and I love all of your little one-year-old self!

Monday, June 23, 2014


E: Mommy, I wanna call you on the phone.
Kathy: Okay, Emmalyn.
E: I call you on the phone, but first, I call Aisy.
Kathy: Jacey?
E: No, Aisy.
Kathy: Desi?
E: No.  Daisy. Daisy Duck.  I wanna call Daisy.

Mommy, I have pockets!  Does Tressel have pockets?  Hmmm.  (as she begins to examine his fur and look for them)

Kathy: Here, put your underwear on.
Em: Jesus give it to me?  Jesus give me underwear?
Kathy: Well, Daddy and I gave it to you.  But Jesus gives us everything, so I guess he gave you that underwear.
Em: Thank you Mommy!

Princerella (Cinderella)
Pony nails (finger nails and pony tails confused)

Dear Amy: Ten Months

Dear Amy,

You are ten months old!  You are such a happy and bubbly baby; we love spending time with you.  You love to EAT - nursing, table food, sips of water ... you love it all.  Except formula.  For the past two months, you have refused it like a little milk snob.  Gratefully, you make up for it in watermelon consumption.  That evens out, right?  You love bananas, yogurt, cheerios, beans, peas ... really, everything! You eat almost everything with your hands, but sometimes we spoon feed you since your excitement causes you to rush through shoving food in your mouth at times.  You do have a funny reaction to cold food as it surprises you with every bite.

You love to babble.  I am pretty sure that you have said "mama", "dada", "bana" (for banana - every morning!), "mo" (for more), "hi", "bye", and "uh-eh" (for uh-oh; Emmalyn taught you this whenever you drop something).  You can sign for milk, more, and all done (which you rarely use). You love to wave hello and goodbye, and do so at all the right times.  (You never cry when we drop you off at Linda's, but one day, you waved goodbye to her when I dropped you off - implying you wanted to come with me.  It melted my heart!).  You definitely know what "no" means, which is usually what I have to tell you when your curiosity takes you too far.

You still take two naps during the day, but your afternoon nap is becoming longer.  You love to cuddle for a minute, but then fall asleep awake in your crib.

You have spent a long time rolling to get to your intended destination, but last week you started to crawl(ish).  You don't lift your legs off the ground, but you army crawl like your life depends on it.  I came home from work, and you quickly trudged across the room to me.  You are so delighted with yourself!  You also love bath time now that you get to sit up with your sister in the tub.

We love you!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tell Me If I'm Bossy

If you were going to pick five words to describe me, at different points in my life, I would not be shocked if you used "bossy" as one of those five words.  A few years ago, a student thought he was sending his friend a text about me.  Instead, he sent me that text, and it read "she's so bossy." I remember a boy who picked on me regularly in elementary school and told me I was bossy.  I wasn't surprised in either case.  Because they were right. But over the past few years, God has been working on my heart and showing me what a not-good thing this is.  I was never taught that it was good, but I guess I'm a slower learner and am just getting it now.

Because of a new campaign that lots of people have been promoting, I have been thinking about this more often.  If you go to, you'll learn that people think girls are called bossy more often than boys (which may be true, and is unfair), and this causes them to shirk back from their leadership abilities and allow boys to take their places.  I get it.  I have been called bossy more than once, I have felt like boys interrupted me when I was trying to speak, I have been around people who didn't think I should be in leadership because I'm a woman.  But here's the thing.  Just because other people have offended me, it doesn't make bossiness okay.  Leadership and bossiness are two different things; we should celebrate leadership, but not bossiness.

In me, bossiness is sin.  Bossiness is about getting my way, making my voice heard, getting others to do what I want.  It tramples over others and paves a way for me. There is nothing about a bossy temperament that echoes the life God has called me to.  These words from Ephesians 4:2 have been imprinted on my mind for two years now:

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love."

Humility.  Gentleness.  Love.  These are the words that speak to me about who I am to be. Over and over, Scripture points us to others instead of ourselves.  "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit; in humility consider others more highly than yourself." (Phil 2:3)  The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.  I am trying to teach and live these concepts (teaching is so much easier than living them!) as the primary descriptors of a Christ-centered life.

I understand that we need to lift girls up for leadership, and not stifle them.  I also notice regularly that we need to lift up boys in leadership too.  We have many more girls who lead in our youth group than boys.  And if any of them - boy or girl - are bossy, I'm not going to ignore it.  I don't want to ban bossy; I want to ban bossiness.  From my heart, most of all.  We are given power, but not the power to domineer over others (as the definition of "bossy" states).  Paul reminds Timothy how to use the gifts he has been given. "For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline" (2 Timothy 1:6-7).  Power, love, and self-discipline together enable us with what we need to step into the gifts God has given to us. 

So if I am bossy, please let me know (or accidentally send me a text about it).  I don't want my daughters to be bossy; I want them to be humble and kind.  I don't believe we need more bossy people; we need more humble ones.  We need to bear with one another in love, consider others, and allow God to form us who he has already called us to be. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

High 5 for Friday

1. This weather. For real. I was convinced that it was going to stay cold every single day until April or May. For this reason, I was not so excited for February to make his appearance. But, the shortest month of the year is not short in surprises this year. The sun is shining and the weather is warmish!  I know it will get cold again, but it's nice to have a little break to catch our breath and get ready to plan the next week of layering clothes. 

2. I had lunch with some awesome girls this last week - we had delicious bagel sandwiches and then we ate huge cupcakes. I'm all for days off of school that end up being sunny and 45 degrees so we can enjoy them and eat too much food. 

3.  We are working through the book of Philippians at high school Bible study, and I am really enjoying it. My favorite part is that our students care and are taking the time to ask good questions and really dig in. Three of them even memorized Philippians 2:5-11, which is a great piece of scripture for us all to know.   Plus, these kids love our girls (and dog, apparently) and that delights me. 

4.  I deleted the Facebook app on my phone two weeks ago. While I still lean too heavily into twitter and Instagram during the day, I feel a burden lifted that was specifically brewing because of Facebook. Something was going wrong with me in my Facebook viewing and I needed to not have my nose in it all day. I am still checking it on computer but find myself having better, thoughtful conversations than I did a few weeks ago. (I am guessing I will redownload it for youth ministry postings at some point)

5.  Emmalyn is making me laugh so hard every day. We can now carry on conversation and I am amazed and puzzled by her little mind. Today, I told her it was time to go upstairs and get dressed and she started into a monologue "Amy get dressed too? Can I get her dressed? Can I rub her back? Can Amy come in my room? can I play with Amy's hair?"  These are questions that I am confident my brothers never asked about me, and it just makes me excited to continue what it is like to have a house of little girls!  

Have a great weekend!