Monday, March 23, 2009

Favorite Easter Books for Kids

I've recently come across two kids' Easter books that I really like.
One is called The Light of the World: The Life of Jesus for Children, by Katherine Paterson. It starts with Jesus' birth and goes through his death and resurrection. It has beautiful illustrations by Francois Roca and is written in very simple terms. It's a longer book, but Abby sat and listened to the whole thing.
The second is J is for Jesus: An Easter Alphabet and Activity Book by Debbie Trafton O'Neal. Abby is really into alphabet books, so she loved this one.

I also love Crystal Bowman's series of Christian-themed books for all the holidays. We have the Thanksgiving, Easter, and Valentine ones. They are large board books and they rhyme. Abby enjoys them.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Animals All Around Us

Tonight we were sitting at the table eating dinner and there was a squirrel right outside the window. Rick told Abby to look at it, and Abby informed Rick that it wasn't a squirrel, it was an animal. And "animals are all around us, Daddy". So I asked her what other animals were around us and she said "cheetahs". Rick asked if she'd seen any cheetahs in the backyard lately and for some reason that cracked us up, so we were both laughing. But Abby just went on listing animals....fish, buffalo, elephants....you never know what animals are "all around us!"

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Dinner and a Book!

I lead a once a month Christian fiction book club at my church called "Dinner and a Book". (We have a potluck dinner and discuss a book at each meeting). Susan sent me this picture we took at our last meeting...we are going to send it to the author of the book we read (Mindy Starns Clark) in the hopes of winning some free books! I absolutely love my book club friends!

Back row...Anne, Ann, Theresa, Barbara, Rena, Wendy, Lori
Front row...Susan, Steph, Karen

Friday, March 13, 2009

10 months!

It is so hard to believe, but Andrew is 10 months old. He is on the move, that's for sure. He is starting to "let go" for a few seconds and stand on his own. He is also taking a few steps while holding on. He can crawl at the speed of light and seems to sense when a door is open to a forbidden room. He particulary loves to sneak into the dining room. He loves to eat his baby food and cheerios and is starting to cut back on the bottle. He babbles and squeals constantly. He loves to play with a ball but by far his favorite toy is the "cow truck" he got for Christmas.
The big boy!

Some shots of Andrew playing with his truck:











Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Testimony of a Bookworm

Several months ago I was asked to write an article about Christian fiction for our church's monthly magazine. It never made the "cut" but since I worked hard on it, I thought I would share it here!

Testimony of a Bookworm
By Stephanie Whittington

I have always loved to read. I remember getting “in trouble” when I was younger for bringing a book to the table and trying to read while eating dinner. My parents were great about always making sure I had good books to read. When I hit my early teen years, though, it was tough to find books that I enjoyed that were not too graphic for my age. At that time, my Sunday School teacher introduced me to Janette Oke. I devoured her whole Love Comes Softly series! This was my first experience with Christian fiction, and it was a good one. However, I didn’t have the benefit of a large church library and did not realize how much good Christian fiction was out there. I kept reading secular books, but I was always bothered by some of the things I read.

A few years ago, I was excited to see that FLO was offering a Christian fiction book club. I loved all the books we read in the first few months and would read more by those authors. I couldn’t believe all the wonderful and interesting Christian fiction that was out there—contemporary and historical, humorous and profound, thriller and romance. As time went on, I became the leader of that group. I really enjoy researching books for us to read and finding new authors. I continue to be amazed at the fantastic stories and characters, and how great it is to read books where God is recognized and praised! I still read some secular titles, but much more Christian fiction. They lift my heart and spirit while engaging my mind!

Our church library has many great Christian fiction selections. My all time favorites are Candle in the Darkness by Lynn Austin, Magdalene by Angela Hunt, Last Light by Terri Blackstock, Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, and Front Porch Princess by Kathryn Springer. I would encourage all those who love to read to consider looking for these books in our church library. I also hope you will consider joining us for our “Dinner and a Book” book club, which meets once a month for potluck dinner and book discussion. We have a wonderful time enjoying fellowship and talking about the books. The list of titles and dates can be found at www.fbcrichmond.org/flo.

Circus Day

Friday was Circus Day at preschool. The kids could dress up. Abby wanted to wear this outfit and be a "circus dancer". So we also made her hair crazy and gave her some cheeks! She looked so cute!




We want to wish Grammy a Happy Happy Birthday!

Monday, March 9, 2009

2 years later......

On March 1, 2007, we officially bought our house in Hanover. On March 2nd, the movers came. It was very very hot that day. Exactly 2 years later, this is what our house looked like! You never know what the weather will be like here in Virginia!



I thought it might be fun to post some pictures of what everything looks like now....we've made quite a few changes since we moved in!

Our dining room. The curtains and flower arrangement are "new".
We had the furniture in the old house.

Another view of the dining room. Of course, the picture of Abby is new. It was taken the summer after we moved here.



The kitchen. Haven't changed anything in here. I love my countertops and floors, but I could do without the grape border. One day we will get it down and paint. It's not at the top of the list, though.

Breafast area. The big difference here is the high chair---Abby was already 2 1/2 when we moved here, and Andrew wasn't even a thought! We really hope to get a new light fixture soon. It might be a little challenging since the ceilings are vaulted.


The new recliner.


The living room. Pretty much the same as when we moved in, just with baby toys.


Notice Hippy and Polly are hanging out on the sofa.


Our room. When we moved in it was bright blue with hideous wallpaper border and very old shades at the windows. I like it much better now!



The foyer. Our wedding sampler and our two babies in their dedication outfits.


Rick's office/man room. If he just had a fridge he could live up there! I use one corner for my scrapbooking. When we moved in this room was lavender.
The sofabed in Rick's office, which makes it a guest room too!
Abby's room. Originally this was our guest room and was painted bright orange-yellow with a dolphin border. Now it's a room fit for a little princess! She has my bed from when I was younger and all her other furniture was made by my grandfather.




Andrew's room. When we moved in this was Abby's room. It was what a I lovingly call "California Raisin" purple. It took multiple coats to cover that color!

The chair was in my dad's nursery when he was a baby.
My grandfather made the bookcase and the shelf.


The dresser that Rick stained.


So that's our humble abode! We still have a lot of "projects" we want to do, including updating all three bathrooms and replacing carpet. But I'm pretty pleased with what we've done so far. We love the location and the layout of the house so much!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Book Review: Whispers of the Bayou

Our book club selection for this month was Whispers of the Bayou by Mindy Starns Clark. This was our first time reading her. I picked this book because of the great reviews it got on faithfulreader.com and amazon.com. It did not disappoint! From the first page I connected with the character. It is mainly set in Louisiana, after Katrina. Woven into the suspenseful plot is a quite a bit of Cajun history, which I found very interesting. There were many twists and turns throughout the story and I really enjoyed it. The other ladies did, too! I am looking forward to reading some of her other books.

Friday, March 6, 2009

More Snow Pictures

A big snow ball
Sledding


Snow Angel


Mom looks like a black beast in all her clothes








Abby-isms

Today when I picked Abby up from preschool she told me, "Don't forget to go me to Poria later."
(That means she wants to go to Emporia).

Here are some other "Abby-isms" and funny things she says....

"Dad, after you take me to preschool, don't forget to go to work"
"Mom, keep an eye on Andrew. He gets into stuff"
"I want to wear my Tinklebell pajamas"
"Give me love!"
"I sitted on my bottom like a Big Gore!" (girl)
"I want squirrel ice cream" (swirl)

Monday, March 2, 2009

We finally got SNOW!

It took until March, but the Richmond area finally got enough snow for Abby to play in--10+ inches here in Hanover! Abby and Rick had a blast!

Abby and Daddy all ready to go out!


Look how deep!
10+ inches!




Andrew watches longingly.


We bundled him up and took him out for about a minute.


I may have more pictures to post as it is still snowing and I'm sure they will go out to play again!