Monday, August 25, 2008

A busy - FUN week

So, we have had several really nice days here in El Paso. The weather has been great - not too hot and just perfect! Also, Stephen hasn't started his fall semester of classes (they begin tonight) and the music ministry classes aren't starting until September so...he's had nights free. It's been SO NICE to have time together in the evenings and a pretty regular schedule for a few weks! Here are a few pictures of us hanging out in the backyard. I previously told mom and dad that it was as green as MN in our yard! Well, that was probably a BIT of an overexaggeration but, considering that our backyard used to just be pure DIRT - it's pretty darn green!!!

Here is Jaden playing with Daddy and Jack!

He's getting more and more used the grass and actually kinda likes it!

He didn't even freak out when he tipped over and laid down in it!
Jaden has also been working on walking!

Jaden has also been "playing" the piano with Daddy lately. This was at Grandma & Grandpa H's house but he plays along at home too!

Another non-Jaden related item in my posting is that I made a Pineapple Upside Down Cake for a friend. I had never made one before but it sounded interesting. I had no idea you could bake a cake in a cast iron skillet!!! Here it is before getting tipped out onto the plate...

And here is the finished product! It was YUMMY!!!!!!

Here are a few pictures of Jaden yesterday in his cool new 6-9 month outfit! He even wore little white tennis shoes most of the day! He's saying - Hey momma, don't I look cool!?

And cute! tell me......

Who do you think Jaden looks like NOW!!??!?!?!

He appears to have his daddy's (the baby on the left) cheeks, eyes, AND hairline!

A little playtime....

"Talking" and WORKING on crawling...

There really is nothing like a baby's giggles!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Marathon Post - reader beware!

Time flies way too fast! I can't believe it has been so long since I have posted! Maybe now that life is slowing down a bit (maybe!) I'll get you all updated!

Since I last wrote...

- Mom, Dad, and Jaden went on a little hike up the hill on Concordia's campus and looked out over the Southern CA valley. Jaden got to ride in the carrier with Daddy lugging him up the hill!

- We came back from CA

- Jaden attended his first baseball game. It was Lutheran Night at the Diablos game so the Mariachi was asked to play before the game. We went and Jaden got his first taste of baseball!

- We were home for one whole week WOW! That was barely enough time to get the laundry done and repacked!

- Jaden and I flew to Austin where we met the mariachi group who was driving for their summer tour

- We went with the mariachi for their 12 performances on tour

The first stop was Gidding, TX where the church had a well stocked nursery. That was good since we had a bunch of time to hang out before our Saturday afternoon concert! Jaden had a fun time playing in the exersaucer...

and laying on a blanket outside while the guys played flag football. Notice he's chewing on his fingers...more on that in a sec...

See that tongue action - he was working on some teeth

The group performed outside on a flatbed trailer for a community concert. This church invited the Mariachi to be a part of their 125th Anniversary both to celebrate all the ministry that has been done in the past and the celebrate the future. Their community is becoming more and more Hispanic and they are working to reach out to them. Having the mariachi come was a big step for them in welcoming the Spanish speaking community into their church.

After all of his playing in the exersaucer and on the blanket, Jaden pooped out before the concert was over. Of course, he wore his "I Love Mariachi San Pablo" uniform for the event!

The next day the group played at the church in Giddings for worship and then went to Austin where they played for another church service, the first ever Spanish worship service at Redeemer Lutheran. It was truly a blessing to lead them in worship.

Before continuing with the rest of the performances of the tour the group had a little bit of free time (in addition to a lot of miles to cover). We spent the night in Dallas but first got to go to the Dallas World Aquarium. Here Stephen and Jaden are standing in the "shark tunnel." See the shark behind Jaden? They were swimming all around us. Jaden was looking everywhere and talking to them as best he could!

And, we went out to dinner at Champs. We have been to a Champs when we go to lunch with Krysia's dad while he's working in MN. That place is always good but this was PHENOMENAL food!

- Jaden visited Oklahoma and Arkansas for the first time (of course the only thing we did in OK was look out the window and stop at gas stations or fast food restaurants!

After LOTS of hours in the car he is STILL happy!!!

We stayed at Ivan and Millie's house. They were happy to see Jaden since they had been here when he was born but hadn't seen him since.

After quite a few miles on the road, Jaden thought that this driving thing didn't look too hard so he tried to convice Daddy that he could do it! (don't worry crazies - we were parked in a parking lot!)

We visited a beautiful chapel in Bella Vista, AR designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

At most of the mariachi's 12 performances Jaden and Mommy hung out in the back, in the narthex of the church, or off to the side somewhere. At this concert in Springdale, AR we were in a gymnasium so we just hung out off to the side by the YLM display table. Jaden had a good time playing and dancing to the mariachi music. He even tried to sing along when Miguel sang "Hermoso Carino".

When the mariachi goes on tour our primary purpose is to share the message of God's love and the hope that we have only through Him. We do this in whatever places will allow us to play. This tour we were blessed to also get to play at a Boys and Girls club in Bella Vista, AR. There were a TON of kids and they were impressed to see the younger members playing so well all dressed up in their trajes (suits). The kids asked a lot of questions and had a good time dancing as well!

We also try to play at least once each tour at a nursing home or facility for the elderly. This tour we were able to play at an adult daycare center in Bella Vista, AR and at a nursing home in Waco, TX. This woman was excited to try out the guitarron (bass). Nursing home performances are always some of the favorites for the group because they can see how much the residents appreciate being visited and hearing some well loved hymns. After these performances we often hear stories of how the music has touched someone and really brightened their day.

- When we got up the first Sunday morning of the tour Mommy noticed that Jaden had two little teeth sticking out (bottom front - they are still growing but they are sticking through). Remember those pictures of him on the blanket....he was working on them!

- Jaden also sat in his first high chair at Wendy's! Now that he sits up well enough to be on his own that is a HUGE relief because that means mom and dad get to eat (at least a few bites of their food) without trying to keep Jaden's hands out of it or everything on the table!

This is mommy, in one of her most common positions - holding Jaden while he eats. Lately (like for the last month) he has really had fun playing with her nose and putting his hand in her mouth while he eats. (see the little hand reaching up?) pretty silly guy!

After all of our concerts in Arkansas (5 performances for over 1000 people)the group had a long drive back towards TX. We spent the night in a hotel and, even after the long drive, Jaden was having fun playing!

We also got to stop in Waco, TX where the group played at a nursing home and got to visit the Dr. Pepper Museum. Jaden got to spend a little bit of time visiting Luz who was VERY happy to see him and lavished him with gifts!

- Finally, after several more performances, Jaden and Mommy got to fly home from Austin at the end of tour while the rest of the group drove back.

- Shortly after getting home Jaden had his 6 month checkup. He is a whopping 18lbs 8 (almost 9) ounces and, if I remember right, 28 1/4 inches long! He got another round of vaccines and did well, not even crying TOO much.

- Jaden also started eating solids (Jaden had eaten a bit if rice cereal but didn't really like it. Now he loves it and just tried carrots for the first time! He's also had green beans but wasn't too sure about those the first time and sweet potatoes which he seems to LOVE!)

We actually just bought him a little high chair for the house yesterday! Mom and Dad have had to trade off eating with holding Jaden since he likes to grab EVERYTHING in sight and USUALLY he doesn't like to be on the floor in the bouncy seat at dinner time - he wants to be right in the middle of the action!

YUM!!! Sweet Potatoes!

Now that we're home....

- Jaden wore his first shoes! Sandals from Grandma K. Of course, they only stayed on for about 2 minutes - he wasn't a big fan!

- Spent time hanging out with Grandpa H at the office. Jaden and Camilla had fun playing but BOTH wanted attention at the same time!

Since Jaden LOVES to stand he's enjoying his bouncer gym a LOT more! And, when mommy perches it so that he can see her in the kitchen she can almost make dinner or do the dishes before he's ready to get out!

Also, we had to say goodbye to the summer volunteers who Jaden had fun playing with :-( Jessica



And Joshua - who we forgot to take a picture with before he left today. OOPS!

Lastly for is a picture of Daddy with Jaden in his new outfit from Grandma H. His first 6-9 month clothes! Doesn't he look happy! ;-) What a cutie!!!