Blessed Christmas 3 and 4...

We finally made it to the frozen tundra that is Minnesota this weekend to spend the Christmas weekend with Nick's family.

We miss them everyday, but you never realize how much until you are there...and as always, it went by way too fast.
Adelyn I think is making peace with the dog population :) She warmed up to Auggie (Sara and Kyle's dog) after a bit. She was pretty hesitant at first, but he's pretty mild tempered and didn't knock her over, so she eventually decided he was okay :)
We were able to spend time with Nana........as well as Grandpa and Ellen.
Sara and Kyle (and little Baby Roberts) were with us everyday too (thank you, you guys, for fitting us into your busy life!)
It was a fun time and we were super sad to leave...thankfully we will see most of them for Addy's ONE YEAR birthday next weekend, so that helps with the separation...a little... :)
We love you, Flies family. Thank you for everything. We miss you and can't wait to see you SOON.
On a side note...Adelyn started taking steps sans help a week or so ago....while we were in MN, however, she became a PRO. She no longer crawls, except to get to a solid standing object to pull herself up. She discovered her balance and walks everywhere now...she doesn't fall as much, but when she does, she crawls over to the closest object, stands, and off she goes again...clapping and talking along the way :) I still can't believe it...



Merry Christmas #2

Merry Christmas everyone! I'm wondering if the weather changed your plans like it did ours? We were planning on spending Christmas Eve with my family and then heading up to MN to be with Nick's family....long story short--the Lord taught us about communication and trust....and we stayed in IA (we are going up to MN tomorrow morning, though...yay!)
Last night we went to church with my mom, step-dad, brothers and 2 of my step-brothers.
Adelyn was so sweet in the dress my mom had got last year on sale (I'm stoked that it fit!).... why is her tongue ALWAYS haning out? I have NO idea...

Adelyn was more interested in the bows than the gifts....but it was still fun to watch her try and get into everyone's bags and boxes :)

We turned one of the air mattresses into a "trampoline"...that was fun :)

This morning Adelyn enjoyed cuddling her new blanket (thank you, G-Grandma J.!) and reading her new books (thank you, Grandpa&Grandma and G-Grandma Doris!) and toys (thank you, Grandpa&Grandma!). We went back to Mom and Rob's for lunch...

...and after all that fun....

Merry Christmas!!

p.s....more pictures on our picasa site :) AND my mom got most of the family pictures with my brothers on her camera...I'll share when I can get them :)



Merry Christmas

We had Christmas at my dad and step-mom's this weekend. All 3 of my brothers were there and then Josh's little boy, Noah. It was fun to just be with family.
Adelyn handled her nap-free afternoon pretty well (we tried, but she wouldn't sleep...), she wanted to "help" open the gifts (by ripping off and chewing on the bows)...with the sweet face, though, who could say no? ;)
Yes, her mini-skirt is up under her arm pits.... (thank you, Auntie Steph, Uncle Alan and Cousin Nora for the leg warmers!)
It was a great afternoon...it's always good, though, to get together...holidays or not! :)
Merry Christmas! (1 down...3 to go!) :)

picture captions going clockwise:
top left: Adelyn grinning at Grandpa after starting to open his gifts. The family (Caleb, Dad, Jacob, Pam, Josh with Noah, Nick, Adelyn and I). Adelyn on her new rocking horse (thank you, Grandpa and Grandma Pam). Dad with his new guitar strap. Noah's wiped (for two seconds) and Adelyn just wanted to play!



can you believe it?!...

...we've been married for 4 years today! Well....TECHNICALLY a full 4 years around 6:30pm tonight....if you want to be thorough... :)
It's been amazing, fun, interesting, frustrating, wonderful, irritating, weird, happy, not so happy, good, bad and not so pretty...and simply fantastic! :)
I'm beginning to understand how people can say they love someone more now than the day they got married.
Babe, I love you. I have been so blessed by you. Thank you for your love and patience :)
Thank you for your desire to glorify God with this marriage. Thank you for challenging me to look to the Lord and not to you always. Thank you for your kind heart. Thank you for the example you are setting for Adelyn in loving the Lord and serving Him.
You are an amazing husband and I can't wait to see what the following years bring us :)
I love you.




...baby crossing...

I know I posted already today, but this weekend Addy started taking steps on her own while she was staying with my mom and stepdad....tonight she's been going crazy! She likes to hang around the ottoman and play with her books/toys up there...but now without warning she will just walk off without needing to be coaxed...it's crazy! We had to coax her for this video b/c I really wanted to catch it...and she's walked further since I took this! It's crazy...I can't believe my baby is WALKING! Lord help me....


we love...

I love to read...and I think Addy is getting that from me :) I think we read through our supply of books every two days!
Her favorites are the Building Christian Character books (Nick is reading her one here), Curious George, and anything else! ;)



O Christmas tree.....I know...2 posts in 2 days...

...well what else do we do?! Snowed in and it's still coming down (by the way, 3 more people--including the mail man--have gotten stuck outside our house today...Nick's been getting his excercise helping shovel and push them out!). I love love love it--the snow I mean, not people getting stuck (did I mention that?). It's so pretty...but we can't go anywhere and I'm not in the mood to read and Addy is sleeping and Nick is doing some work...

I LOVE Christmas decorations. I don't go too crazy, but my favorite thing is the tree. We have Nick's mom's old tree (it's 10 years old, but hey, it works and it's huge!). I bought red and silver decorations 3 years ago when we had our first tree to decorate (we didn't have one the first year we were married since we were on our honeymoon the week before Christmas)...this year I added the fake holly berry sticks that I had left over from our wedding reception...usually I stick them in this huge vase I had, but I thought I'd shake it up a little bit ;)
Every year for as long as I can remember, my mom has given my brothers and I an ornament for Christmas thinking that when we moved out we could take them and have our tree decorations started...well, she couldn't bear to part with them so when Nick and I got married we bought the decorations and then Mom still gives both of us ornaments so we are working our way there again (can you guess whose ornaments are in the pictures?) :) I think as we accumulate more, the pretty sparkly stuff may take backseat...but I really like them, so we'll see :)
Anyway...I love Christmas trees and the ambience of the twinkling lights. I love sitting with Nick and night and we sometimes just stare at the tree and talk...
On a side note...last year I was just curious about the history behind Christmas trees and why we decorate them, I found this interesting website that briefly shares the history behind the trees and decorating them....anyway...enjoy if you'd like :)




let it snow let it snow let it snow!

It is snowing like crazy today! I love love love it. Apparently we are getting the same storm system that went through Scottsdale yesterday...I'm not complaining in the least, but I really wish we had a fire place...in lieu of that crackling, cozy warmth I have a few candles lit and the blinds slightly shut to mute the white light glare :) Adelyn has had some fun just watching out the window (I think it helps that the plow people have been working right outside most of the morning...). I did open the door for a bit to see what she would do...she crawled almost right out the door, got a feel of the snow and immediately came back and looked at me as the cold registered on her hands...she definitely didn't like it so much. I did hold her hands up to the heater for a bit and once they warmed back up she was fine :)
Anyway...I'm making some hot tea while baby sleeps....Christmas music is playing ("Elf" soundtrack to be exact), book is waiting, slippers are ready for my feet.



Meet the Bonnstetter/Thompson/Kapoor/Flies cousins :)

I feel we were so blessed when my mom married my step-dad, Rob, in 2001. One of the ways is he has the nicest family. He has 4 kids (a daughter and 3 sons) and now a daughter in law and son in law and grandkids! I love it when they are all able to come into town...Thanksgiving was sort of one of those times (my stepbrother, Jesup, is in Brazil teaching and wasn't able to come). All 3 of my brothers and then Rob's kids were in town along with all the kids! :)

From the left:
Naveen (newest addition), Adelyn, Evelyn, Noah (my brother's son), and Lily (Evelyn's big sis).
My step sister in law (is that even how it goes?) is pregnant with their 3rd and cousin #6...she's due in January...we can't wait to meet the little one!



DIY: stepstool

I get 99.5% of my projects from someone else's idea...this is one of them :)
My sister-in-law, Steph, is super creative and comes up with so many fun things...she did these modge podge letters for Nora's room this summer....I did them for Adelyn's room a few months ago and they are SUPER CUTE. I had some left over scrapbook paper and was itching for a project today and decided to decorate this white stool I got at Target yesterday. I LOVE it and wanted to share :) I free-handed the letters, but I did see that Michael's has a great selection of stencils...or you can print off a Word document and make your own stencil.
Anyway...just cut what you want and Modge Podge it to the stool :)



happy news!

...I just realized this could sound like WE are pregnant...we are not. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law are having a baby girl in March. :) Yay!



ugh....take two....

I've always had an issue with sometimes thinking too much--beyond considering others thoughts and feelings when making decisions that may involve them --about what other people are thinking. I worry what they'll say when I make a decision..."what would they have done?" "what are they thinking?" "are they upset with me?" Usually it involves something little like the color I painted my living room, or how short I cut my hair...or other times it's something a little bigger like how we are raising our daughter [Santa or no Santa? ;) Spanking or no spanking? Sign language or no sign language? Sugar or no sugar? etc....but that's all another topic that I will probably never blog about again b/c I tend to get myself into too much trouble ;) haha]
...anyway...always worrying about what everyone else is thinking...it's exhausting sometimes!
My decision to go on my fruits and veggies fast was no different...I worried what people were thinking about it and I KNOW I made it into a bigger deal in my head that it probably was...
Denying my body other foods is something I need to do....to force myself to rely on the Lord to give me the self control and teach me the discipline that I need. I know some people may think what I'm doing is ridiculous or over the top...and I am tired of worrying about it! Don't get me wrong, I am NOT blaming others for my failure. I'm blaming myself for letting what I think others are thinking effect me to the point where I would rather not do this and let it go. I can't please everyone.....although it would be FANTASTIC if I could! ;) But I can't.....so I need the Lord and this is something I need to do whether or not you think I'm crazy (which I very well could be).
Well, here's the thing...I have failed MISERABLY.
The first week was okay...I ate alot of carrots and pears and bananas and corn and peas and green beans :)
Then the weekend came and I was CRAVING some sort of sugar or carbohydrate. I began to reason with myself, "maybe if I just take one day a week to indulge my craving to keep me from losing it a few more days in"....then the week followed and I threw the whole thing out the window...I ate what I craved. I would think twice, eat what I wanted, then feel guilty.
The realization finally hit me.....NO! No compromise. No "fun day". No No No No No....that's not the point of this. I need to be the extreme...for me. I need to be broken down in front of Him because I cannot do this on my own...
The last few days have been more of a reflection of what a weak person I am...and how much more I need the Lord.
The point of a fast is to use the time to really put yourself at the Lord's feet in prayer and time with Him. I didn't. The point of a fast is to rely on the Lord to help me when it gets NOT EASY. I didn't. Tears are welling in my eyes b/c I know that I have failed Him and broken my promise--this covenant--I made with Him that I would do this.
In case you didn't know...a covenant is a big deal. (read Our Covenant God by Kay Arthur...it will completely change your perspective about making "promises" especially with the Lord)....
This has been a jumble of my thoughts. I wanted to share b/c I want people to know how weak I am on my own...how much I need the Lord...and I want Him to be glorified in this. My prayer is that others will see how His mercy and His grace are going to pull me through this...I mean come on, He's GOD...I'm only human...I'd be crazy--INSANE--to think that I could do this without Him...I mean HELLO...I only barely made in ONE WEEK! I'm starting over again....the next 4 weeks I'm leaning on God because I NEED HIM.
So here I am again...on my knees...saying "Lord, I know this is ridiculous to alot of people, but it's something my heart needs. This is something I need to do for myself. I need You more than anything and I'm realizing it more everyday. Thank you for chipping at my heart. Thank you for your grace. Let me do this right this time".



10 months and 2 days....what's new?

Adelyn is 10 months and 2 days today! I can't believe it's almost been a year!
LOVES to feed herself and WILL NOT EAT BABYFOOD ANYMORE (I just made huge batches of turkey, garbanzo bean sweet potatoes, and apples with cinnamon....what a waste!)
LOVES baths (HATES when you drain the water and take her out...it's like the end of the world)
has 3 teeth (#4 is looking like it might push through soon?)
says "dada" (still working on "mama")
says "uh-oh" (usually after she intentionally chucks her sippy cup on the floor or drops a toy, or does something she knows she isn't supposed to and then looks at you and says "uh-oh")
crawls like nobodies business
stands on her own for a few seconds, pulls up onto EVERYTHING
LOVES her walker
likes to read books
loves peek-a-boo, patty cake and "chase"
has a major attitude sometimes (especially if you try to feed her) and has discovered the art of temper tantrums (we are so stoked...)
LOVES to Skype (seriously, she and Nora are going to be calling each other without us when they are 2)
daddy's girl in the morning and evening...has no choice but to be mama's girl during the day :)
avoided stranger anxiety....she's never had a problem with new people (should we be glad or worried?)
the joy of our life
There's more, but I think I've gone on enough....I'm just so amazed at how much she changes EVERYDAY and I like to share......I'm sure this stuff is more exciting to Nick and I...but still :)



I really love my...

Skype. Adelyn LOVES to Skype. Whenever she sees one of us sitting down at the computer, or hear's the ring of someone calling us she starts flipping out and beelines it to where we are.
This video is of the other night, Alan and Steph were on their way home from a date and were going to Skype with us....we logged on before they were and we were kind of waiting around for them to get on....Adelyn was on Nick's lap and she just was flipping out waiting for someone in the computer to start talking to her.
I got this video at the end....but she'd been going for almost 10 minutes before I thought to catch it....anyway..it's pretty funny...enjoy :)



homemade teething biscuits...super easy

I cannot take credit for this one...Shaylyn gave me this idea and I LOVE it....no pictures, though, sorry :)
I've been using "Earth's Best" whole wheat teething biscuits since Addy was about 5 months old...she likes them, but they crumble when they get too soggy, then I get worried about her choking on pieces b/c they are actually kinda hard and don't just melt in her mouth the way puffs do.
Since I've been making her baby food (and saving LOADS of cash doing it!)...I was hoping to find a easy way to make the teething biscuits.
Shay gave me this idea at church yesterday and I tried it this AM and I'm sold.
Take a piece of bread (I have stone ground 7 grain bread that I bought fresh made at the bakery), roll it up tight and squeeze it into a stick type...microwave it for a few seconds (I did for 12) and let it cool....the outside hardens, but the inside stays pretty soft and is easier for baby to gum and swallow....
Addy loved it.....my camera was out of battery when she was gnawing on it, or I'd share the joy on her messy little face ;)



cranberry, steak, walnut salad

I love this salad. It's so yummy. My step sister-in-law made something similar for my step-sister's baby shower and I did some research online (instead of doing the easy thing and just asking her for the recipe!) and found one like it. I did some tweaking and this is what I came up with. I really like it and it's pretty quick and super easy.

My task now is to find out how to make it healthier (all that sugar!) since we are going on a sugar hiatus and changing our diet a bit :) Hm...this will be interesting...

Salad ingredients (I don't really have measurements for some of these...just add to your liking):
1 head romaine lettuce chopped
dried cranberries
bleu cheese (I actually like feta cheese here too instead)
cherry tomatoes halved
1-2 grilled steaks (I use the cheap round steak...but New York strip is super good on this one)
basil (fresh or dried)
lemon juice

Dressing ingredients:
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsalmic vinegar
lemon juice to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Season steak with basil and grill. Season with lemon juice when steak is finished. Cut into strips.
Mix together romaine, tomatoes, walnuts, cranberries, cheese, and strip in bowl.
Toss with dressing.

p.s. if you want to make the salad last longer for left overs or something, don't mix it with the dressing...it'll keep for a few days ...



quittin cold turkey

I've been debating for a while now whether or not to "publicly" share this, Matthew 5:16-18 talks about when you are fasting, not to make it known to the world...but because this isn't pulling a "woe to me, I'm starving", it's okay.
A few weeks ago I decided to do a fresh fruit/veggie and one natural protein source a day "fast". Originally I was just want to cleanse my body of all the gunk I've been eating and start over (Nick and I are transitioning to a more organic/whole foods diet...but modifying it to our budget/lifestyle). I mentioned it to Nick and he offered to do it with me. We decided to start November 1 (today!).
Well, the last few weeks I've been really trying to pull out of a slump...some of you know I battle depression and it really kicks you in the gut sometimes. I haven't read my bible in...well...a REALLY long time. As desperate as my spirit feels to be quenched, I've been doing a lot of "Christian motions" lately. I go to church and bible study, and every time I'm praying in vain for my heart to melt and my soul to be satisfied....
I realized that I need to stop trying to work my way back to the Lord with the motions....I really need to lean on Him and find my relationship with Him again. I can't tell you how thirsty my heart and my soul feel right now. I want so badly to be back at that place where He is all I need and my heart can rest in Him.
This month's fast has turned into a spiritual fast for me. Rather than turning to food for my comfort (which I unfortunately have gotten quite good at), the Lord will be my sustenance.
I'm telling you this more for my benefit b/c I know that I will have more of an accountability that if I was just going this alone.
Nick has been so patient with me and he deserves better than how I've just ho-hummed about my spiritual life. I know he's going to walk through this with me b/c I have a feeling we are going to have some break throughs this month. :) I'm quite nervous, actually, b/c getting personal is something I haven't done in a long time....but it's what my soul needs.
I don't even know how many people read this and really, I blog for my own entertainment, but to those who take time from your day to read this...please pray that God will chip away at me this month....as hard as He needs to get through to me.
I'm not planning on following this fast on my blog, but I will definitely share what He does in me as the weeks go by...



i really love my...

Okay, so Adelyn may not care either way about them, but I LOVE them. I've gone through a few pairs of boots for her, but her legs are too chubby for the zip up or velcro ones ;)
These Robeze are fantastic! They are elastic and slip on, but stay on....so even when she's crawling don't slip off.
Plus they are super cute :)

p.s. I've seen a knock of version of these at Target and they are pretty cute too....




We have noticed lately that Addy really picks up on mimicking what we say and do. Lately she's been clapping her hands together and making a sound like "yay!" when we say "yay!"...I was able to catch her saying baby version of "yay!", but she was too occupied to bother to stop and clap her hands too :)



we wondered when she'd figure it out...

So Adelyn started crawling yesterday. It's so fun to watch her learn that she has control over where she goes and to watch her make decisions....I haven't been in much of a rush for her to become mobile and the loss of "freedom"...gone are the days of cooking, cleaning and reading a book while she hangs out on the floor with her toys :) Don't get me wrong, I love that she's growing and developing and learning...it is nice to be able to "get stuff done" and not have to watch her like a hawk (like how the babygate is NOT over the stairs, but instead leaning against the wall?).
Oh well....welcome to Mommyhood :)

crawling from nick and abby flies on Vimeo.




These are Addy's favorite snack...next to cooked apples and cinnamon :) She mows them...no joke...anyway...she likes the banana...I haven't tried the "green puffs" yet, but I'm not sure how I feel about the sound of those anyway :)

I bought the organic type b/c my mind has this issue with putting sugar, preservatives, etc. into her sweet little untainted body (we are working on getting that mindset to ourselves as well...except for the "sweet little untainted" part...)
I haven't figured out how to make these yet, but I want to try b/c it has been so fun making her baby food and trying new combinations :) my little guinea pig....I'll let you know how it goes if I figure it out... :)
Anyway...she likes them...apparently they are yummy...I don't happen to think so, but that's not what matters :)
Just wanted to share...



catch with daddy

Nick taught Adelyn to toss the ball a few weeks ago...I've been meaning to catch it on video, but haven't had the chance. Tonight they started playing across our coffee table/ottoman and kept it up for a while so I got a good bit recorded :) I love watching her learn new things...it's so fun!
Anyway...enjoy :)



so much stuff...not enough space...

So Adelyn has a ton of clothes...and she's growing through them so fast! We don't have alot of space to store everything and those plastic bins take up too much room....
After a few trial runs of different options, we decided we really like the space storage bags.
They lay somewhat flat once you take the air out and I can label them as well as see what all is in there....Wal Mart has them for fairly inexpensive and they are reusable...you don't throw them away unless one rips or something, but I don't think that can happen too easily.
Anyway...just wanted to share in case you're having storage issues like we are :)



Happy Birthday, Grandpa J.

Grandpa Lee would have been 75 years old today (actually, it would be Oct. 1, but since we are just an hour and a half away I figured I could fudge it a bit :) ). Not a day goes by I don't think about him. Some times I miss him so much it hurts as much as it did 11 years ago. I know that one day I will get to see him again...and I'm rather jealous at times that he's with the Lord away from this world.... :) I'm so thankful for the time I did get with him, though, and for the legacy he left.
Happy birthday, Grandpa. I love you. I miss you.



amazing books and a prayer request

If you are looking for an amazing series to read, this is it. It's a romance, tear jerker, historical, fiction all in one. It also is challenging and convicting in terms of realizing how easy we have it as Christians in present day America! I first read the series in high school 9 years ago and I read it just about every year. I picked it up again last week and am as enthralled now as I was the first day I started.
The first two books follow three main characters: Hadassah, a Christian who is captured in Jerusalem by Roman soldiers who assume her to be a Jew. She is sold into slavery and it follows her new life in servitude, how she grows in her faith, loves her owners and shares the love of God and eventually the message of Christ while risking the threat of the arena (at the time, Christians were the lowliest of low and were thrown into the arena during gladiator matches as entertainment so people could watch them torn apart by lions)...its so convicting to read about her faith and trust in the Lord...I come away so challenged every time.
The second character is a wealthy Roman named Marcus, he is the son of Hadassah's owners. the book follows his journey as he grows into a man, falls in love with Hadassha, learns about Jesus, and...well...you have to read it to find out :)
The third character is Atretes, a German soldier and tribal chief's son, who is captured in a battle with the Romans. He is eventually sold to be trained as a gladiator. The third book focuses solely in on him and how he learns about Jesus...the first 2 follows his amazing and anger-filled journey as he rises to be the most loved gladiator in in Rome.
I know I don't do these books justiced, but SERIOUSLY...consider reading them. I PROMISE you will not be disappointed.
Please pray for Tommy, Amber and Miles. They are back in Des Moines now, but Miles is still in the hospital. They are really starting to feel the strain of Miles' hospitalization and I don't think that things are going the best for them right now (he's doing okay, but I think they've had some not-good news lately)....please please pray that the Lord will give them strength to continue and trust in Him.



blueberry mess

We got Addy these mesh bags (from Target) that are specifically for babies who don't chew and swallow food yet...but they can still experience different foods, textures and practice chewing without getting bits of food or seeds...they just get juice :)

I like to get frozen fruits (blueberries here, but I also do strawberries, melons, bananas) and she'll just chomp it until whatever is in there is mush :) I think it feels good on her sore gums too. :)



here we go...

Adelyn cut her first two teeth yesterday morning. She's got her bottom central incisors coming in! I laid her down after feeding her at 5am and she woke up a little bit later just freaking out like something was wrong. I went in to check on her and everything seemed okay, so I rocked her a bit and laid her back down. A few minutes later she woke up again crying, so I just brought her into bed with Nick and I and she fell back a sleep until she woke up for the day at 6:45am.

I was home sleeping that day b/c I'm on overnights at the hospital this week. My mom called me later in the afternoon and was like "she has her two bottom teeth coming in!" I was like "what?! well that explains why she was so upset this morning...her teeth were cutting through".
I was thinking later how much I love her gummy grin! I love that she's getting her teeth, but I'm mourning the loss of her gummy kisses when she gnaws on my jaw with her gums :) It hurts a bit now if she gets those two teeth just right.
My baby is growing up :) I'm happy and sad all at the same time.....so here we go....what else is next? crawling maybe? I'm not ready for that yet, but we'll see..... :)



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