Sunday, August 31, 2008

Today Joelie biked the babes to church and so he was the one to drop them off at the nursery. He said that Amelia immediately marched through the door into the nursery while Sam stayed close to him outside the door. She got about half way across the room and then looked behind her and started to whimper. The thing is is that she wasn't looking at Joel when she whimpered.
She was looking at her brother Sam. She walked back towards them, Sam walked in, and she was fine again.

To hear that melted my heart completely.

The picture is of them at the Farmers Market yesterday trying to figure out how to give each other kisses while wearing bike helmets:)

Here's to sibling love, Jen

Friday, August 29, 2008

Montessori Mamas...

This one is for you. I know some of you are reading books and are interested in Montessori philosophy and work for our little ones. The first activity I did with the babes to work on concentration and self-control is working with beans. The babes had to first learn not to eat them, and then not to fling them. Now, they are getting down to the business of transferring them from bowl to bowl. In the video you'll see Amelia working on transferring beans with her hands. After she worked with her hands for a while, I introduced a measuring cup and she worked on filling it up and pouring it into the empty bowl. Next we will work with a spoon. I love to see them concentrate and I really look forward to more activities as they get older.

I read a great book recently by a Christian mom of 12 who is also a trained Montessori teacher. She wrote this book to give mom's ideas on activities to do with their preschoolers to help build their sense or order, independence, self-control, service, and more! I highly recommend it. It's an easy read and gives detailed instructions on the activities given. Most of them are geared towards ages 2-5. I'm going to start getting my materials ready now so that it isn't so overwhelming when the time comes. It's called "Mommy teach me!" by Barbara Curtis.

On the subject of book reviews, I hope to have a link to my Amazon "store" up soon. Basically, it's a place where you can see books, toys, etc. that I recommend and if you purchase them through my link than I get a little bit of the revenue. I seriously doubt I'll make much money, but I love sharing resources and thought this was a good way to do it!

Anyway, without further ado, here is Amelia hard at work. I hope it goes without saying that this is an activity that needs constant supervision so that beans don't go up the nose or in the mouth!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A little update for you on our Toddler number two:)

He has been a little inhibited these past couple of days by not feeling very well (more mighty molars?!?!). Here's a little video of him on Tuesday though, happy as a lark after just taking a long nap. You'll see him toddle and then look at his book about trucks. He has a truck radar like no other. We'll be sitting inside playing and all of the sudden he'll blurt out "UCK!!!" which could mean duck or truck. I look around and see no ducks and so I tune into the sounds outside and sure enough, a big garbage truck or something will be coming down the road! We rush to open the door so he can watch, but often times I just don't catch on quickly enough. I'm trying Sam, I really am! (Amelia is the same way with hearing birds or airplanes. It seriously amazes me.) Anyway, you'll also get to see his infectious giggle. It is music to my ears. I just want to eat him up when he giggles. Then he throws a ball and smiles his proud smile. Another thing that just makes me want to kiss his little cheeks a million times. So, there ya go. A little update on Sambo. Love to you, Jen
Okay I was tagged by my friend, Courtney, to blog 6 random things about myself. Thanks, Court!

Here are the tagging rules:

1. Post the rules on your blog
2. Write 6 random things about yourself
3. Tag 6 people at the end of your post
4. If you are tagged, DO IT and pass it along

So, here are my Random Facts:

1. When I eat pizza I take off all of the toppings, including the cheese, before I eat it. Joel and I are the perfect pizza eating duo b/c I give him my toppings and he gives me his crust. Awww. Precious.

2. I usually don't enjoy watching a movie more than once, but in junior high/high school I watched Newsies no less than 100 times. I bet I could still recite every word. I think I'll rent it and see. I know Joel will LOVE that!

3. Speaking of musicals, when I was younger I loved to mow our lawn on the riding lawn mower and belt out Annie songs as loud as I wanted while I rode along. I was very passionate about Annie. My dad or brother usually had to re-mow the whole thing due to my inattention to detail:) Sorry guys. I was in the moment.

4. When I walk into stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond I immediately get a headache. Same goes for the infant/toddler section of most big box stores. I must be easily over stimulated but all of the colors/noises/clutteredness just makes me crazy. That must be one reason why our babes have only two toys that use batteries--one is a puzzle and the other stays outside!

5. Almost without fail, if someone from Texas comes to visit I get sick. It is almost as if my body says, "Oh, help is here!" and then promptly shuts down. Often it is this super weird hyper thirsty, nauseated feeling. I'm weird, I know.

6. I really like affirmative signs in shopping places. Like, "We appreciate our customers!" Or little stickers on your groceries that say, "Thank you!" So, when Joel informed me that those bright orange thank you stickers at HEB were so they knew you paid for something, I was greatly disappointed.

The end. I tag.... (if you don't want to do it that's okay. But you get to talk about yourself, and really, who doesn't want to do that?!"

1. Anne
2. Tara
3. Jennifer
4. Kristi
5. Naomi
6. Robin

Monday, August 25, 2008

Our favorite kind of "play date".

Anne, Ben and Vera took us on one of their favorite hikes yesterday.It was gorgeous. Steep, yes. But worth it.

The girlies.

Soaking it in...

On the trail...

Probably the babes favorite part of the afternoon: playing in the parking lot:)

Here's to good friends, Jen

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Breaking news!

Right when I started thinking he may decide to forego walking altogether, Sam decided to show us a thing or two! I just happened to be videoing him playing with his magnets and...well, you'll see. By the end of the day he was literally walking all over the place! Praise the Lord for His continued grace to these babes who started out so early and so vulnerable. We truly praise Him for every single milestone.

P.S. Sorry about the shakiness of the actual walking part! I don't know why our digital video camera does that sometimes when I download the videos....any techies out there know?

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I interrupt the nature fest to bring you a video of Joel and I being the complete dorks that we often are. Joel's mom and dad asked us to say hi to their Ukrainian friends who we are making a video for. Just hi. Sounds pretty simple, doesn't it?


Just keepin it real,

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"I played around our yard and talked to the fence posts, sung songs, and made the weeds sing..." Woody Guthrie

I'm reading the book "Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder". The babes and I have always gone outside a lot. It has been such a calming influence on all of us pretty much from the day they came home. Sometimes, though, I can be hesitant to do the "big" outings. The trips into the mountains. It takes a bit more planning/car time/missed naps, etc. Once I am in the midst of those majestic trees and clear streams, it is always worth it. Even on days like today when Sam had a complete meltdown after wanting to stick his feet in the water but realizing it was too cold to keep them in there. He didn't recover until he was back home in his bed with a bottle of warm milk and his blankie. We were off of their routine and it doesn't happen often. Sometimes they sail right through it. Other times, like today, it is a major toddler crisis. Still, it's worth the risk every now and then.

I don't think it is necessary to have amazing mountains at your fingertips in order to give children the outside time they desperately need. My outdoor experiences as a child much more resembled the memories that Woody Guthrie was speaking of. But we do have the mountains and I must take advantage of that. Lately, I have been inspired by the weather as well. The breezes of fall are making their way into our days and it is no time at all until the winter chill will make our sunny hikes say good-bye for while. Anyway, if my pictures are a bit nature heavy for a while, these are some of the reasons why:)

Love to you this breezy summer evening, Jen

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"Then followed that beautiful season...

... Summer....
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood."

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Soaking up these days of warmth and sunshine,

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Time out.

It's a beautiful thing. Jen
"How often is the soul of man, especially that of the child, deprived because one does not put him in contact with nature.
There is no description, no image in any book, that is capable of replacing the sight of real trees, and all the life to be found around them, in a real forest. Something emanates from those trees which speaks to the soul, something no book, no museum is capable of giving...."
Maria Montessori

Friday, August 15, 2008

For all those who couldn't be there but wanted to be...

Joel's graduation speech. It was great one. Full of heart and humor--which is pretty much him in a nutshell:) Jen

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I wasn't yet asleep tonight when I heard Amelia crying. This isn't the norm these days and so I waited to see if she would drift back to sleep on her own. It was about 10:30 pm. In the moments that I was waiting I wondered if she would want to breast feed. The babes have nursed only once in the past three days. I wondered how I would get her back to sleep without nursing her. I dreaded trying but am really trying to let them wean if they're ready. Realizing that she wasn't stopping, I quietly slipped in to their room and pulled her into my arms. She quickly hugged her body to me and buried her head into my neck. Tears sprang to my eyes as I walked to the rocking chair and sat down. No trying to pull down my nursing tank, no signing "milk". So I just held her there, rocking and kissing her head. I prayed for her a bit. Specifically, prayed for wisdom in teaching her how to share.
My mind kept coming back to how big she felt in my arms. Like a child. I held her a little bit tighter and then walked her back to her bed. She didn't make a peep as I put her down. "We are all growing together, " I thought as I left the room.

I hate to end this sentimental post by quoting Brad Pitt, but I'm going to anyway. About his ever expanding family he said, "We are raising each other." It's really true. As the babes grow and become more independent, I realize I am growing as well. Moving on in this motherhood journey, learning how to let go of things I held so dear (co-sleeping/breast feeding etc) and embrace the new. Change has always been hard for me. This little time with Amelia tonight comforted me as I was reminded the many, many ways there are to connect. A sleepy snuggle can in fact melt my heart as much as a breast feeding session.

Here's to late night lessons,

Saturday, August 09, 2008

16 months.

This was a happy month. The easiest, breeziest month we've had thus far I think. How thankful I am for that!

You had a break from your teething woes--finally!
Diaper changes ceased to be an all out war--thank the Lord.
You learned the signs for eat, bird, and milk and use them consistantly.
You say duck all the time, cat, dada, truck (sounds like duck), and meow.
You zoom all over the place crawling and climbing and pulling up.
You love to play and dig in the dirt.
You still adore hide and seek and chase.
You give kisses, especially to Amelia and smile really big afterwards.
You go to sleep with a bottle of whole milk now instead of nursing. This has been really bittersweet for your mama. After you finish your bottle you usually stand up and throw it out of your crib and then try to keep Amelia awake by jabbering, screeching, laughing, etc. It doesn't work (amazingly) and you resign yourself to sleeping as well:)
You sleep all night now. You did it on your own sweet "Sleep training" needed...a pretty seamless transition from co-sleeping, to nursing a couple of times a night, to sleeping through the night. Do you know what a gift that was to me? Granted, I did wait 15 months for this gift--but I would much rather do that then go through the horrors of hearing you cry, cry,cry.
You are a pretty sensitive fellow.
You love all of your wooden cars now and zoom them all over the house with you--I love to see that!
You can point to your belly, nose, eyes, and hair.
I love you my sweet Sam, more than words can say, and am so thankful that God gave me another month to be your mama.

You became a walking machine this month! What a joy it was to watch you learn to walk.
You learned the signs for eat, milk, bird,more, and banana.
You say duck, dada (and dadu), truck, water, ruff, ruff, and meow.
You love flowers. You love to hold them, pick them, sniff them, put your mouth on them. Today you stood in front of our neighbors flower bed and held on to two of her sunfowers for over ten minutes. What can I say? You get very attached to things. See next item on the list.
You fell in love with clothes hangers this month. Well, clothes hangers with clothes on them. You carry them around with you every where. You have to have one when we are in any clothing store or you lose it. Hmmm.
You give kisses, especially to brother.
You become more expressive every day it seems, and crack us up with all of your wide eyed expressions:)
You love to sit in my lap and in the "fire place" play area.
You do not enjoy sharing.
You can point to your belly, nose, eyes, and hair.
You also are sleeping through the night most nights. Unlike brother, this was not an easy transition for you. I jumped through hoops for months and months and finally let you cry. It was not fun for any us and I pray that it is over. That's all I'll say about that.
You go to sleep with a bottle of whole milk now. Surprisingly you have weaned yourself from breast feeding! I thought you would want to nurse until you were at least 2! Alas, you are just too busy of a bee. Today was your second full day of not asking to nurse. Sniff, sniff.
You are pure joy Amelia and I love you with all of my heart.

Here's to lots more smiles in our days, Jen

My "Sentimental Project" ...

Joelie's mom wanted to put together a slide show of his life journey up to this point. So, she painstakingly scanned picture after picture and sent them to me on a CD so that I could add my own and make them into a slideshow to give him at his graduation celebration. Well, when he saw me at the computer even more than usual I had to explain to him that I was working on a "Sentimental Project." It became a kind of joke between us, this "Sentimental project", but it really was fun to work on and I think he really enjoyed the (almost) finished product. I say almost because there are some pictures I still want on there and also the music was the last thing I did and I just couldn't find what I wanted. So, I used the same song five times. I love the song, but five times is a bit much. So, we are working on getting some Johnny Cash on there, but who knows when, and so I am going to go ahead and put it here for you to see. Just get ready to have "Forever Young" stuck in your head for,oh, the next few weeks. Settle in folks, the show is a good 15 minutes! Jen
View this montage created at One True Media
Forever Young

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Good times...

Joel passed his last test today and is officially done.
Shanyn and Tim are here celebrating their first anniversary and Joel's graduation.
Robin was here on a short layover today and got to spend a couple of hours with us. We love "Aunt Birdie!"
Joelie's mom and dad get in late tonight and will be here for a couple of weeks.
Amelia's toddling is so cute I can hardly stand it.
Sammy has had such a happy few weeks now that teething has ceased for a bit.

Good times indeed.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Our boy is back in town...

I know, I know. He has been back from Ghana for weeks now. That doesn't really count, though, because after a few days off he was back in the saddle at a new rotation and at one point worked 13 hour shifts 8 days in a row. We were both in need of a break, to say the least.

Cue the music. "HALLELUJAH, HALLELUJAH, halleeeyluujah..."

Joel James Hunt has essentially finished Physician Assistant school and graduates on Friday!!! He still has boards to study for and job interviews to go on, etc. etc. but oh my gosh my golly are we thrilled to be at this point. Much more to come about how my heart is almost aching with pride for all he has done to get here. For now, though, I'll just say that we are so happy to have him with us during our days. The babes are beside themselves with all of the lovin' they are getting from their papa and my heart simply pitter patters to see it. It is really a joy to have these weeks to live life side by side again and enjoy simple things like walking to the store together or freaking out together when an e-mail response comes about a possible job. Making dinner together, laughing at the babes...little things that add up to a big hole when they have been missing. After 9 years of marriage, there still is no one I'd rather spend my days with. Life is good in the Hunt house right now. How I hope yours is too, Jen

Friday, August 01, 2008

Little Mama...

P.S. Little outfits from Ghana:)
P.S.S. Still, it continues...

And, yes, we do have ourselves an official toddler. Crawling is only used if she needs to get somewhere speedy!