Monthly Archives: March 2016

Ushering in the Year of the Monkey

As most of you know, our baby Jedidiah was “made in China” while we were there on a two year stint (teaching at an International school).  We used this tag line in announcing our pregnancy (read about that here:  Anyways, my husband and I picked up on many Chinese traditions while we were there and we wanted to keep some of them going once we got back to the States.  Celebrating Chinese New Year was one of them.

Our son Jedidiah was born in the year of the sheep/ram, just like his daddy.  According to a website I found, this means that he is:

“…tender, polite, filial, clever, and kind-hearted. They have special sensitivity to art and beauty and a special fondness for quiet living. They are wise, gentle and compassionate and can cope with business cautiously and circumspectly. In their daily life, they try to be economical. They are willing to take good care of others, but they should avoid pessimism and hesitation.”  (

  • Strengths
    gentle, softhearted, considerate, attractive, hardworking, persistent, thrift
  • Weaknesses
    indecisive, timid, vain, pessimistic, moody, weak-willed

Not that I put much stock in what these things say, but if he’s anything like his daddy, I’ll be one happy and proud momma!

Anyways, when he was born we tried to get photos of him with a stuffed goat/sheep/ram we’d been given in China over the previous New Year.  These photos didn’t turn out very well at all (see below).

So, we decided to do a second take over this 2016 Lunar New Year celebration which took place on February 7-8 (the 7th was Chinese New Year’s Eve and the 8th was actually the beginning of the new Year of the Monkey).  We were given several special gifts for baby Jedi before we left and so our little Jedi donned a special Chinese outfit for this photo session. Look at the details of this adorable traditional outfit below.

I absolutely love the photos we got of him.  We’ve always been keen on monkeys and we call Jedidiah our “little monkey” so it only seemed appropriate to bridge the transition from goat to monkey with some adorable shots.  Here they are… prepare yourselves for cuteness!!!

We’ll start with his sign- the sheep/goat/ram.



Then we decided to do a few with both the sheep AND the monkey…

We had so much fun, I just couldn’t stop!  Our ayi (our housekeeper) while we were in China had gifted us some baby shoes and so I decided to throw those in the mix as well.

And finally, our “Little Monkey” with just the monkey, ushering in this new lunar year.


There were a few more shots that I just HAVE to share… he looks like a little Samurai warrior in these!  Ready to fight!

There were countless others… I went a little bit crazy with all the photos, but I just LOVED his little outfit and, well, let’s face it, my kid is adorable!!!  Happy Year of the Monkey!

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Posted by on March 25, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Striving toward what is ahead: check-in

DSC01261So, in order to make my goals this year, I want to do bi-monthly check-in’s for accountability!  If you want to see my original goals for the year, check out my blog post Straining toward what is ahead (

I’m going to try to follow the same format from the original post, so, here it goes:

Physical goals:  I was really good about running in January and I got myself up to two miles (or a little bit more) pretty easily.  I found plenty of time to run since I wasn’t going to zumba or the Y (yet) due to financial constraints.  However, in February after we joined the YMCA, I hardly ran at all.  I did however start doing zumba, body flow and body combat pretty regularly at the Y, so although I haven’t been running so much, I’ve still been active and working out.

Juicing… I haven’t done very well.  I don’t know what it is but it always seems like such a daunting task… prepping the fruits and veggies I want to juice, running them through and this is the real kicker, washing all the parts.  It’s just hard to do with the little man around.  I’m going to try to still keep up, but I definitely haven’t been hitting the twice a week goal.

I AM back in my pre-pregnancy clothes again and I’m actually a pound or two less that where I started my pregnancy just over a year ago, so count that as a major win!

Financial goals:  Well, we haven’t really gotten ahead… there seems to be something nearly every month that sets us right back where we started.  This month it was my windshield getting smashed in.  Last month it was the kitty.  However, that being said, I did get myself a part time gig giving private Spanish lessons on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  This helps me to contribute to our family’s needs and slowly but surely we are re-gaining our grounding financially.

Relational goals: Date nights… check!

date nightFor our January date night we went out to eat at Texas Roadhouse while Trent’s best friend’s wife’s parents watched Jedi.  They had sent us a lovely Christmas card with a Texas Roadhouse gift card as well as an offer to babysit.  Since our budget has been pretty tight, we decided to use this money for our January date!  This was only our second real time leaving Jedidiah (and Nana was a bit jealous that it wasn’t with her), but it was an enjoyable evening out (not to mention delicious food… their bread is Ah-maz-ing!).  We did think about our little bubba a lot though and were happy to get back to him!

February date- we went to see a movie- Risen.  This time Nana got to babysit while Trent and I checked out this movie about Jesus’ resurrection from the centurion and Pilate’s point of view.  It was an interesting angle that I hadn’t seen explored before and we quite enjoyed the movie.  The only disappointment was that at one of the most crucial climaxes of the movie, the sound went out… so for a good minute or two we missed all of what they had to say.  😦

We also wanted to have people over to our house for parties or get-togethers at least 4 times this year.  I am happy to say that we’ve already had one- a couples party to celebrate Chinese New Year!  I will blog about this in a separate post sometime soon.

Spiritual:  I am still on track to read through the Bible in a year!  My Bible Study gals and I are doing it together, which gives me more accountability.  Praying… I still need to do this more often!  Verses memorized… half check!

I memorized the Shema (inspired by Andy Gray’s book) in January:

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

February I totally forgot to CHOOSE a verse (or group of verses) to memorize.  There are just so many good ones to choose from that I wasn’t intentional enough about getting it done.  So, to make up for my lack of discipline in February, I will memorize two passages in March.

Intellectual:  I HAVE been using my Spanish much more often, reading books to Jedidiah and giving private lessons.

My goal was also to read at least one book a month- I got this one down.

the butcherIn the two months I finished three books.  The first was “The Butcher.”  My mother-in-law gave me this book and said that it was very good- full of twists and turns until the very last page.  While I do agree with her there, I can’t say I loved the book.  There was a lot of vulgar language, the plot was pretty twisted and I didn’t really like the main characters… they were kind of jerks.  That being said, it definitely kept me on my toes!

karma shema drama

I also read a book by a pastor from London who visited our church and gave a few different sermons.  His name is Andy Gray and his book is called “The Karma Shema Drama.”  It is a short book all about the Shema: the call to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and strength.  He invites us to be a part of the Shema unfolding (aka, what he calls the drama), being lived out in tangible ways.  While I liked the book, I recommend watching his sermon (you’ll basically get the same info, more or less).  The link to watch it is here:

fly awayThe third book I read was called “Fly away,” which is a sequel to the book “Firefly Lane” which, although it’s been on my list of books to read since it came out (a long time ago), I’ve never gotten around to reading.  It didn’t matter, as the background was explained enough to not miss much.  This book I loved.  It connected to me emotionally and was about grace and overcoming.  It was more of a “feel-good” book that left me in tears more than once.  I definitely recommend this one!


Personal:  My goal here was to spend a day doing one thing I love each month.  For January, I did a lot of blogging.  This IS something I love doing.  I also made birth announcements for Jedidiah (only free ones from Shutterfly, so sorry if you didn’t get one).  I actually made two rounds of them because Shutterfly was offering different deals and I have so many pictures of him that I love!


Unfortunately, I didn’t proofread this one closely enough and mistakenly put that he was born at 8:03 pm instead of 8:03 am…


In February, I got a photo book made of Jedidiah’s first Minnesota Christmas.  I am still working on his birth story book- this will likely be my March project.

photo book

Well, that’s it until April, when I will do another check-in!  How are you doing on your new year’s resolutions???

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Posted by on March 25, 2016 in Uncategorized


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The Jedidiah-ries (diaries): Month 3

I know this post is over a month late and I know I say this with each month’s passing, but I can’t believe 3 months have come and gone with our little man.  That being said, I also can’t imagine or remember a time when he wasn’t such an important part of our lives.  He’s changed things so much, but we absolutely love it!

Weight: 14.3 lbs.

Height: 25 inches (by my measurement… so who knows how accurate that is!)

General observations: This little monkey is a mover and a shaker!  He is always go, go, going!  He loves to be upright and look at everything.  He is still drooling like crazy (bibs are a MUST these days) and he makes so many bubbles that we’ve taken  to calling him just that… Mr. Bubbles.  Jedidiah talks so much and babbles on and on.  I LOVE it when we “talk” to each other.  He has gotten much better about the use of his hands.  He can grab some things now, and I love it when he’s nursing, he’ll gently grab my hair or my necklace and just hold on to it.  It’s sweet now (although I know it may change soon), and I treasure these precious moments.  Jedi also likes to take his hand and make a rainbow arch across my chest when he’s feeding.  He just feels my skin, moving his open hand back and forth- it is so cute!  He has now learned the art of pushing out his pacifier and pushing it back in.  He can’t quite grab it yet (since it isn’t one with a handle) but he uses the back of his hand or wrist or arm to push it back close enough to his mouth to suck it back in.  Jedidiah made quite a game of it one night and thought it was the greatest thing ever!  It was hilarious to watch!  He is trying very hard to sit up and can sit with only a little assistance.  Even when he’s in his car seat or lying down, he tries to do sit-ups and lifts his head and upper body for a few seconds at a time before resting and then doing it again.  If he keeps it up, I think my baby will have stronger abs than me!  Another thing he likes to do is look at himself (or mommy and daddy) and smile in the mirror.  He can also recognizes himself if I turn my phone’s camera around.  Geesh, I’m already setting him up for selfie madness!


So many bubbles!


He loves to be upright and sitting!

Little man’s selfie game is ON!

Health:  Thankfully, he has been in great health and everyone comments on how great he looks.  His complexion has cleared up of all his baby acne and he has beautiful skin- it’s tan too… he definitely doesn’t get that from me… must be from daddy.  He eats well and has been gaining weight appropriately.  We won’t go back to his pediatrician until his four month check-up so there will be more to post then!

Eating:  We are still exclusively breastfeeding and this boy is an eater (like his daddy).  He’s going for longer stretches between feedings in the day (2-3 hours) and I usually get one 3 1/2-5 hour stretch during the nights.  Feeding him has become much less of a chore and now is just our special bonding time.  I can honestly say (now) that I love breastfeeding!

Sleeping:  So Jedidiah has been sleeping well at night for the most part.  We usually start getting him ready for bed around 9:30 or 10 (about when the two of us get ready for bed) and then he sleeps until 10 or 11 in the morning.  Our routine has changed a bit these past few weeks since we joined the YMCA- mommy tries to go to some earlier work-out classes.  This means we have to be up and nursing by 8:45 or 9 (tear).  It’s been more of an adjustment for mommy I think, than baby, as I am the one having to adjust to less sleep.  What this does mean is that he usually gives me at least one or two afternoon naps (but I don’t sleep then, I do housework or try to get things done).

Diapers:  We are still using the cloth diapers when we’re at home, but we still use disposable diapers when we’re going to be out for a long time and for bedtime.  It is much easier this way!  He’s been in size 1 diapers for the whole month, but I think this coming month he’ll be graduating to size 2.

Clothes:  He is wearing 3 month clothing right now!  I can’t believe how fast he seems to be growing!  But it is kind of fun to have a wardrobe change every few months, and I love finding new cute outfits that people have given us to put him in!

Social:  As always, he gets out and about quite a bit!  He helps us greet at our church (#revyourlife) and is well known there!  This month we finished up our “Forces that form your Future” series (using the Star Wars forces theme), so Jedidiah wore all his Star Wars themed gear.  My sister Christie sewed him a cute little Angry Birds Star Wars onesie with his name monogrammed on the front and pants to match.  The “Barf Vader” shirt came from Nana, and unfortunately, it seems that I didn’t take any pics of him in his “Daddy’s Little Jedi” shirt.

PicMonkey Collage

We had the chance to drive to Austin to meet up with “Auntie” Heather and “Uncle” Zach at Arturo’s Cafe one Saturday morning.  We enjoyed a delicious breakfast and some great conversation before heading out.  We had planned on walking around the downtown area afterwards but it was cold and rainy out so we opted instead to meet up at a coffee shop.  After driving around quite a bit, we decided to simply to go to Starbucks because all the other places were SO busy!  There was no place to park!  We really enjoyed seeing these dear friends from China!

We celebrated Trent’s Aunt Mary Lee’s birthday at Abel’s Diner here in Schertz.  It was a lot of fun and Jedi got to meet some new family members.  He was definitely doted on!

Uncle Nathan’s birthday was also during this last month, so we got the family together, including the two babes to celebrate.  Jedidiah’s cousin Cohen sure loves him!

We got out for a family hike along with some good friends to celebrate the birthday of my friend Abby’s oldest, Jack.  He was born shortly before our wedding, so celebrating his 5 years of life has us excited to soon celebrate 5 years of marriage!

We have also started going to “Baby and Me” time at the Schertz Public Library.  This has been a fun time to learn new songs and rhymes (including some bilingual ones) to use with Jedidiah as well as a chance to meet and network with other moms.  We’ve really enjoyed going so far!

We celebrated Chinese New Year this month and had a chance to usher in the Year of the Monkey with our little monkey!  We donned him in his Chinese outfit from Ms. Kelly Du at QISS for a little photo shoot and I absolutely LOVE some of the shots we got!  More to come later!

PicMonkey Collage

We also celebrated at home with a little couples party for Chinese New Year.  We made dumplings and egg rolls along with some fried rice.  I’ll post more about this later in a separate post.

Lastly, we had a chance to celebrate the Year of the Monkey with our friends Van and Kathy and their little monkey, Declan (who is about 2 months older than Jedi).  We went to the Asian Festival in downtown San Antonio and hung out with them while enjoying many cultural booths, dances, foods and performances.  It was way busier than I anticipated and we ended up parking miles away, but we really had a great time!

Likes: Jedidiah likes to read books and look at the pictures.  He also likes to be outside for walks or to swing on the swing.  There is so much to see and hear outside!  Jedidiah also likes to be in his little walker that Nana gave him.  He still can’t really sit up by himself but if we stuff blankets around him, he loves to be in it!  He isn’t quite sure how he feels about the cat yet, but he does like to feel his fur.  I think the cat feels the same… they’re not sure about each other.

2016-02-01 18.01.42

Reading books with mommy

Outside time with mommy and daddy

He loves his walker!

Petting the kitty (supervised, of course!)

Dislikes: Tummy time… he’s not a fan!  Also, lately he hasn’t liked getting into his car seat and is hit or miss with car rides.

Memorable moments and firsts:

  • Our little man rolled over for the first time from his back to his front at 10 1/2 weeks.  He’s done it a few sporadic times since then.
  • He’s also learned how to click back at us when we click and make noises for him.
  • He laughed for the first time, in his sleep, and for a moment there wasn’t anything in the world better!
  • First time in the nursery at the YMCA.  Every time we go, I sing to him… “We’re going to go to the YMCA…da,da,da,da,da,da YMCA..A.”
  • He finally got to meet his great grandmother Marilyn.  Trent’s mom brought him by to see her and she loved it!

What about mom?  Well, we left our little man for a date night.  Some family friends sent us a Texas Roadhouse gift card for Christmas along with the promise of free babysitting, so we took them up on it and had a date night for the first time since we had Jedidiah.  It was a nice evening but we love having our little man with us.  It was strange to be without him and we were happy to get back to him!

Our family joined the YMCA this January (they waived the joining fee as a New Year’s special and Trent gets a discount through his school) and so mommy has been working out a lot- it makes me feel more energized and it’s helped me drop the majority of the baby weight- I only have three more pounds to go!  I am also excited to announce that I am officially back in my pre-pregnancy clothes again!  Yay for a variety of clothes and jeans that fit!

Daddy time:  Here are some of my favorite shots of daddy and Jedi this month.


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Posted by on March 17, 2016 in Uncategorized


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I’m back!

Many of you may not have missed me, but I took a month off from blogging.  You might be wondering, why the hiatus?  Well, it turns out I had run out of space to upload photos on my free blog and it was time for an upgrade (because who wants to write posts about life, travel, and babies without using pictures?!?).  However, my husband and I are still on a very tight budget recovering from some financial blows this summer in addition to having a baby and now being reliant on only one income.  So, in all honesty, we had to make room for it in the budget.  So now I’m back and I’ll probably be coming at you full-speed, making up for lost time!  You’ll also notice that the web address has changed.  Now I am at instead of  Remember that when you come looking for me!  Thanks for following our adventures!

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Posted by on March 17, 2016 in Uncategorized