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School, Speech & Signing

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Seems my updates are not as often, but we’re on the move over here! I just look at Joel sometimes and say, “It’s these kids!!!!”

One sweet girl!

Ella girl started preschool this week. It was totally not a big deal for her–she’s a total sanguine and doesn’t seem to be bothered by new situations or new people. She met lots of new little friends, though we can only remember about 3 of their names, but I’m sure that will all change by the end of the month. We got to decorate a little paper doll to look like her that the teacher stuck up on the bulletin board. We also colored her “take home” bag (I’m new to all of this….) with paint pens. It’s a beautiful work of art for a 3-year-old! She got to take her beloved Banjo (a stuffed koala bear brought from our friends when they lived down under) for show and tell the first day. So far, all I’ve gotten from her is that she gets her arm stamped whenever she’s been a good singer in music class and that they walk to and from their classroom “like one big snake instead of a bunch of little worms runnin’ all over!” She’s having fun and learning things with a great curriculum- I’ve got great expectations for the Christmas program!!!

Enjoy the smile, excuse the crumbs

Seffy boy is changing so much, so quickly, as all babies do. He waves and says “HI!” to most everyone we pass at church, the grocery store, the parking lot….you name it. He loves to smile and say cheese whenever a camera is pointed in his face! This little guy is a social bug too, I guess. He’s really working on talking and we’ve now added a speech therapist to jump start the talking. I’m sure you’re thinking, “A speech therapist? What do they do with babies?” Well, I’ve got a pantry full of sticky james, jellies and marshmallow cremes to slather on his lips and inside his cheeks to encourage the tongue to “move independently of his jaw.” And I bought an electric toothbrush, a $40 whistle kit from a specialty Web site, stuff to make Seth’s own personal “look book,” and installed a full-length mirror in the playroom to encourage us to sit in front of it and make faces, sing, laugh, etc. Speech therapy has proven to be very involved, but very fun indeed! We’re taking pictures of all of Seth’s favorite objects, places, toys and foods to compile into a book where we’ll label each thing and start working on building his vocabulary. I’ve heard that if it takes a child like Ella 10 times to learn something new, it will take Seth 100 times to learn the same thing. Repetition is key, as are pictures of literal objects, rather than sketches or cartoons. SO! Off we go…..you can do it, Seffy! He’s signing a lot to Joel and I, which is so great to give him some way to tell us what he wants. What a smart cookie, that little one. We’re proud of them both.

Special news for our family: Joel is being ordained as a deacon this weekend in our church. It’s an honor for him to be selected as a “servant leader” within the body and he is humbled to serve God and the body of Christ in this way. I’m so proud of him and can think of no one who better fits the description of a gentle leader. He is bold in his faith, ready to defend the Truth, yet tender-hearted in the way he loves others and cares for their walk with the Lord. Joel is a man of integrity who does the right thing. He is not hasty in making decisions that may affect our family or even the lives of others. I’ve known him to be very deliberate and prayerful in his response toward others. He is sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s callings on his heart and moves forward in boldness with complete peace in the Lord’s will. I am so proud of him and blessed to serve under his leadership in our home. Ella and Seth wanted to chime in that he’s the best daddy ever…..His dad and brother will be praying over him during the service Sunday morning- and that means more to him than words can describe. As the Lord brings us to mind, pray for Joel that the Lord will guide and direct his steps as he serves in this way.
We’ve started back into a new year with the worship ministry. I’m directing our contemporary choir again this year and loving every moment that we get to come together to worship. The Lord is drawing new people to the ministry, which is so exciting and so welcomed. I still can’t believe sometimes that I’m part of something so big for God- so unique. I was just talking to my dad about it this weekend and said that if you’d asked me even 5 years ago if I’d ever be directing a choir, I would have QUICKLY said, “No way! I’m not qualified to do that!” I still feel inadequate in so many ways, but “His strength is made perfect in my weaknesses.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) People keep coming back, and I still feel called to it, so I know the Lord has plans in how He’s using us week-by-week in worship. Again, I must say how much worship has changed for me now that I’m a mother, but particularly since Seth’s arrival. I see the Lord’s plans as I continue to walk the path He’s laid ahead of me. People that I don’t know have mentioned that they know my testimonyour story with Seth- and they are blessed to see that I can joyfully serve, love, honor the Lord in my worship. My response to that is and always will be: His is my only hope. Apart from Him, I am nothing, I have nothing. I cannot place my hope in Joel, my children, my family, my community, my job, my ministry. None of those things will ever satisfy and every one of them may fail me yet. But my hope is in the Lord….I have a lot of reasons to praise Him.
“Rejoice in the Lord always! I will say it again, rejoice!’ Philippians 4:4

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We’re a Team!

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Around lunch time today, I said to the kids, “Who’s ready for something good to eat for lunch?” Seth honed in on the word eat and immediately started signing. Ella, on the other hand, commented that she was absolutely NOT hungry and we should play a little while longer. A minute or so passed and I asked again, “Is anyone hungry or what? Let’s go make some lunch!” To which she then replied:
“MOM! I told you that I’m not hungry yet. We’re a TEAM! We either do things together or we don’t do them at all!”
Then I explained to her the function of the Team Captain….

She's all for teams as long as she's in charge

Emily

 

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Seth loves Poppa

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We celebrated our nephew’s first birthday in Tyler.  We enjoyed seeing Great Granny, who was able to visit from Arlington.  The first one is of my dad and Seth.  The next is of my dad’s mom and Seth.

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Seth getting some love from Poppa

Granny can't get enough of Seth!

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Video: Ella’s whistle

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This is how our daughter whistles.  We think it’s pretty funny.

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One is better than none!

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We just found out for sure today that Seth can't hear out of his left ear.
 It is most likely something that he was born with.  Apparently, the newborn
screen for hearing doesn’t always catch hearing loss in one ear.  He had passed
that screen, but recently he had been failing hearing tests.  We thought it may
have been related to the ear infections he struggled with recently, but the ENT believes
the high degree of hearing loss was not consistent with the hearing loss that would result from a bad ear infection.  Thankfully, we know he has very good
hearing in his right ear, according to a more accurate and rigorous test.  

So,
now our job is to protect his right ear from any future damage and carefully
choose his seat when he goes anywhere. 🙂  Please p
ray that God would
restore Seth’s hearing in his left hear, if that be His will.  Whether He
chooses to do that or not, pray that Seth’s hearing results in an understanding
and love of the gospel and a life that brings Jesus
glory!

Romans 10:17 (English Standard Version)

17So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Joel

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Video: Seth and Ella have a sweet moment

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We love these moments.  It’s not like this all the time.  Ask Emily!

Joel

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Video: Seth is happy in the morning

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Still 1

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Video: Seth’s walking progress

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This is a little sample of what Seth is doing to get closer to walking. He's had longer stretches, but this is the best I have on video.

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Video: Ella and Seth celebrate Mom and Dad’s Anniversary

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Ella and Emily made the “marry” cake.  I’ve noticed every celebration at our house effectively becomes a party for Ella.  That’s ok because she makes them more exciting.

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Video: Seth and Ella demonstrate their differences

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