Thursday, September 29, 2011

Clara's Lingo

Clara has a vocabulary that's a bit different than most girls her age.

It makes me laugh a little.

There's my sweetheart...

It's no secret that she is probably not saying the "average" number of words a toddler her age should be but she's slowly adding new words each day and that's encouraging. A friend of mine gave me a number of a communication specialist here in johnson county that could do a free evaluation but to be honest I'm a bit afraid of what they will say and for now am just going to assume she's perfectly fine and enjoy this time as she explores new words. (We've checked the biggies, like hearing etc and she's 100% fine. Phew.) :)

So, for example...

She goes for the easiest word of the sentence and uses that to communicate right now. So, instead of a toddler's typical phrase " Mine!" She will calmly say

"Back."

Like, "May I have that back Clara Grace" (as I say to her) And, she's learned it's easiest for her right now to say "Back." So, like this morning when she wanted a toy that she was sharing from her friend Elli, she's just say "back."

There she is again...:)
Or, her other favorite is

"Self."

(I'd like to take a quick moment to interrupt my mildly boring post to let you know this post really is more for me so I remember this in the future, but I do think you will enjoy the last couple paragraphs..okay continue....) :)

"Clara would you like to try this by yourself?"  is what I commonly ask and most children I know would say "Me try," or "I try" but she just smiles and says "Self." It makes us laugh. It's really cute.

And, let's see...what else does she say? Oh...

"Bob."

That means she wants to watch "Veggie tales." Bob is the tomato and she is literally just mezmerized by him (and larry) his cucumber counterpart.

It's also cute, because little does she know that was my dad's name...so I bet her grandpa in heaven enjoys that fact that he is in her "top 5" words right now! :)

I will remember this forever..me and Dave were eating supper a couple weeks ago and we were having some sort of pasta dish with cut up vegetables. She very non-chalantly picked up part of a diced tomato, looked at me and Dave and said "Bob" and then proceeded to eat him.

We seriously still laugh about that...I had no idea she had put that together...a real tomato vs. a cartoon talking tomato.

This is "Bob" and Larry, for all of you who have no idea who or what I'm talking about.



Cuties aren't they?

However, sometimes her speech is causing me to panic a little. She has started liking frogs. I'm not sure why or what caused it but frogs are now her favorite...

however, it sounds a little like she's saying...

um...

how do you say...

Well, take out the "r" sound and make an "uh" sound, and replace the "g" with a "ck".

Got it?? Eeeeek!!!

So yesterday, when my friend Christina stopped by, Clara was holding one of her frogs and walking around the room saying....er... "frog!frog!"...or her version of it over and over and over excitedly and quite loudly because she wanted Christina to see her frog. We were both dying laughing but it really does have me panicked when we go places where we may see one! What will people think I'm teaching my sweet baby girl!?!?!

Oh my, this is one I hope we can clear up soon lol!!!! :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Poor Mr. Red

Mr. Red = Mr. Blue's replacement

Meet Mr. Red

We are quite creative with pet names aren't we? :)

Okay, so we're really just trying to teach Clara colors through her fish. Genius's we are.

See, this is why they say you can't replace a pet...I'm not sure they were specifically referring to Beta Fish but I am.

Mr. Red is a non-smart fish (I don't want to call him the other option) :)

Sorry Mr. Red, but I think we both know it had to be said.

He isn't at all like Mr. Blue.

Mr. Blue gracefully swam around his tank, made bubble nests (or whatever those are called that Beta Fish make) and waited for me each morning by his little feeding hole for his breakfast.

He was such a sweet fishy.

Mr. Red...will let me tell you about Mr. Red. After the passing of Mr. Blue I decided to upgrade our tank for the new little guy so me and Clara picked out some beautiful plants and in that first picture you can see that we got him a special "Beta resting leaf" where I guess most Beta's love to "lounge." Well, instead of lounging he tries to bite it, he spends many hours of the day "fighting" with the bubbles made by his air filter and gets stuck in his plants.

Sorry buddy

 But I'm telling you guys...not smart! :)

I don't think Dave believed me until he saw him first hand attacking his bubbles at dinner last night and started laughing. :) And...it really is quite comical when he gets stuck in his plants; he just wiggles his little fishy bottom back and forth really fast and I feel like its now our unspoken "sign" that he wants me to come rescue him.

Sigh...

This may be the first post ever about Mr. Red, but I have a feeling it won't be the last. :) (As long as Dave doesn't change his water lol)


Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Problem With Accolades

I can't be too specific about the reasons for writing this post, but they have been on my heart lately for several reasons and I just thought it time to share this story with you all.


When I was 12, I was given the award of Ms.Congeniality at the Nebraska Future Miss Pageant. 1,500 applicants applied, 100 were accepted to compete, and I won.
I received letters from family, friends and there were actually several newspapers running an article just about me.
I even received a letter from our Senator, or Governor, or something like that...It was big time people. :)
I literally felt so loved, so accepted and felt like "life just couldn't get much better!"

But, then...

we moved.

We moved from my safe haven of Lincoln,from my precious school with amazing friends to a small town where no one knew me.

In less than 24 months I went from a feeling of pure bliss to absolute hopelessness.

No one in my class talked to me in my new school, no one was proud of me, and some of my own family even decided I probably wasn't worth much anymore if an entire class decided not to be my friend. I even had a teacher who specifically bullied me...it wasn't student to student bullying...it was teacher to student (all of my friends from high school will know exactly what I'm talking about...Mrs.Brown anyone?)

The problem was that I was the same girl. The same girl who captured the hearts of judges, competed her heart out and won the vote for most personable, loving, or whatever congeniality even means P.S. (I know now they saw Jesus in me because I know what I'm like when I try to live without Him and it looks like a big ole' trainwreck people lol)..the same girl who'd played all the sports in Lincoln growing up, volleyball in fall, basketball during winter, track in the spring and softball in the summer. I also played the piano in all our school concerts and sang the lead when it required a girl's voice. I was as well rounded as they come.They should have loved me right?!?! What more could I have done before moving that could have helped me "improve" the current situation I was facing???

The answer I realize now was nothing.

The thing was that I was exactly the same girl but just in a different situation.

I'd completely based all my self worth on what others thought of me and what I'd accomplished, so when suddenly all of that was taken away I didn't know who I was? It was SUCH a confusing feeling. The confident, self-assured girl was suddenly completely broken, alone and defeated...with complete honesty I was definitely suicidal those first few months after the move. It was just so so awful.

But now, with the past behind me, I can see much more clearly. I've maybe gotten a glimpse of why he asked me to walk that journey with Him... God was working to show me that no amount of accolades or friendships or any of that holds value to Him. All He really wants each of us to understand is the depth of his love. To understand that there is nothing good we can do that will make Him love us more and nothing bad we can do to make Him love us less.

It is completely unconditional.
Dave ironically commented a few weeks ago..."Amber, of everything that shaped the woman you are, it was the first year after you moved to that small town that impacted you the most."
And, I'd have to agree.

This lesson however I can apply to almost every situation I'm in now...it's given me the freedom to know I don't have to impress anyone but Him. The freedom to understand I can completely be myself and love others how He loves me. The freedom to truly try and walk with Him without worrying about judgement or condemnation or any of that...just complete, blissful, unabandoned FREEDOM. Okay, so can you tell I love it!!! 

I'm telling you guys, it takes ALOT of the pressure off!! :) 

It doesn't matter what a person accomplishes, who they are friends with, what they do...you should love them simply because God made them.

Period.
The world will let you down {alot} but I have come to understand God never will.
When something happens that crumbles my pride or hurts my ego, I'm now thankful. I simply want to rest in the fact that I am loved based not on one single accomplishment but because of who God made me to be...because I've failed...lots...but He just picks me up, helps me brush the dust off and gently says, "now let's get back to walking."
He gives all of us special gifts, and talents and I believe we should always strive to use these gifts to the best of our ability but that is all. Nothing more. Nothing less.

We are ALL his masterpieces and he loved us the same the moment we were born as he will the moment we leave this earth.

Ephesians 2:10 ~ "For we are God's masterpiece..."
Have you ever felt like you were a masterpiece? Beautifully and wonderfully made? Or, do you feel your worth is based on your accomplishments...the accolades?

I can genuinely say now with everything I walked through as a child I am no more impressed by Beth Moore, then the girls that were in her study with me. I am trying to treasure the person who sacks my groceries as much as I treasure my Clara Grace. It feels awkward sometimes and a little incorrect by worldly standards but that truly is what God calls us to do. That is the only way we will ever understand how He loves each of us equally...no favoritism. Just pure, genuine, unconditional love.
So today..

I challenge you today to rest.
I challenge you to remember.
I challenge you to remind yourself that you absolutely cannot be more loved than you are by the God who made you.
People will let you down.
Situations will discourage you.
Life will be difficult.
But you are loved. Unconditionally. Forever.

And, I love each and every one of you who read this long, long, super long post. Maybe God was trying to remind you of His love for you through this today. :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

An Update (To Ms. Matchmaker)

They're in LOVE!!!!!!

Okay, not quite yet.

But I'm convinced they will be!! :)

It went AMAZINGLY.

They had a great time. Dinner led to movie. Movie led to another conversation of a date.

And so, the second date's coming up soon!!

Can you believe it?? I. CAN. :) I'm telling you...I've just got a knack for these things lol! :)

However, I did hear there was quite a bit of "You're probably too old to understand," OR "You were only a baby when this happened" jokes, but I'll take it...they still had a great time and despite the age difference said they really found eachother attractive...inside and out. :) Nice. YAY!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And, onto some REALLY really sad news.

Mr. Blue is dead. 


I mean this picture is from when he is alive, but now he's dead.

I cried this morning.

I really did.

We've been through so much together. Me and Clara have nursed him back from swim disease, ick, a bladder infection and ammonia poisoning. We've bought every fish medicine there was but he finally ended up kicking the bucket (or however you say that).

And, here's the really sad thing.

Dave killed him. :(

I was SUPER mad a little upset.

Dave felt SOOOO bad.

But, he cleaned the tank last night (because I mentioned that since bringing home this little man home he'd only cleaned the tank once so it would be nice if he would clean it from time to time. Ha!).

But, he forgot a very important element.

The water conditioner!!!

So, this morning, I headed into the kitchen to feed our precious, ridiculously expensive costing,beta  fishy, only to find him resting peacefully at the bottom of the tank.

His fins weren't moving. His gills were still. He'd gone to fishy heaven forever. :(

So. I think me and Clara are going to head to fish haven this afternoon. I just can't imagine what I'm going to tell her when she wakes up because first thing every morning I hear from her is...

"buee buee fooo"

"No, honey, not this morning...we won't be feeding Mr. Blue this morning sweetheart."

:(

Friday, September 16, 2011

I'm Mrs. Matchmaker...

...but I'm nervously awaiting a couple I set up tonight!! lol!

Okay, so I have set up like four couples, and THREE of those couples ended up getting married.

I really feel it's a gift. :)

I mean that's CRAZY good odds, right?!?!

However, I might have made a terrible mistake with my latest matchmaking attempt. Oopsies!

Let me explain...

I LOVE my neighbors. Like I stalk them, and call them, and invite them over and hang out with them wayyy more than most people probably hang out with their neighbors. But, I totally love them all.

So, my good friend next door is adorable and never kissed a boy and the whole shabang. She is sweet and I have just been waiting to find the right man for her because sometimes for whatever reason I think people won't be able to find the person they should marry without involving me. Moving on...:)

Then, the other day, I was playing with the band I'm part of on Sunday's and realized the guitarist is single and about her age and quite a handsome, sweet fellow.

KABOOM!!

(Enter Amber's matchmaking genuis) :)

I decide they need to meet, fall in love, and get married.


SOOOO.... :)

I tell him about her. I tell her about him.

They agree they would like to meet.

He calls her.

BUT THEN...THIS IS WHEN MY PLAN STARTED GOING SOUTH...

She calls me freaking, I mean freaking out!!

She leaves this on a message.

"Amber, GIRL, you better call me the moment you get this. He called and I have something to tell you right now!!"

So, while mildly panicking I call her back the moment I finish listneing to her message.

APPARENTLY...

She is not quite as old as I thought. lol!!

Um, I thought she was my age, making her (we'll round up for number's sake) about 30. He is about 40, which I knew would be a stretch, but he looks incredibly younger than he is so I thought it may be just perfect!!

However!!!

She is not (about 30).

She is not (about 28).

She is not (about 25).

She is 22.

SO...let me do the math for this.

He is 41 and she is 22!!!!! They are 19 years apart!!!

Oh my gosh.Oh my gosh.

I nearly poo'd in my pants!!

I felt so bad on both sides, because how awkward for both of them!

HOWEVER, here's where it gets good.

He, being the nice gentleman he is, agrees to take her out, and she being as polite as she is says yes.

SOOO, tonight they came over before they left, and guys...I have to tell you.

They were ADORABLE together!!

Like seriously adorable, her looking (about 10 years older) and him looking (about 10 years younger) made them look exactly the same age AND like the cutest. couple. ever.

Me and Dave rushed inside after they left and were literally like high fiving because I think this actually still might work. So, my record may just have grown yet again!!! :)

However, I will keep you posted!

And, side note, my neighbor added that her parents are 13 years apart and her grandparents were actually 20 years apart so laugh all you will, I think God may have orchestrated this after all!!!
Tomorrow = follow up  blog time!!!
 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Some Picturebears

I'm working on writing a post about accolades...I've had these thoughts on my heart for a while and decided it was time to share them with everyone. But, while that post is still in the works, I thought you may enjoy some pictures of our labor day weekend.

For your viewing entertainment! :)


We had some fun at Deanna Rose Farmstead....

 ...and you know "Ewi" was there!! :)
The girls really enjoyed visitng the indian village this time, they hadn't played there before.


A certain couple celebrated 5 years with a nice lunch and day of shopping! (Grandpa & Gandma kindly offered to watch Clara Bear and we love knowing she's in great hands!)

A surprise shower was in order for a sister of mine! (She insisted she didn't need a shower and we all felt otherwise!) :)


It was a "Honeymoon" shower so everyone gave gifts and cash for her and Natey-Nate's fun excursion to Me-hi-co (as the natives say) ha :)


Two sisters...I mean we almost look identical...lol!

Then her friends planned an evening out for the soon to be bride!


The glowing bride-to-be!


She got some fun gifts and as my mom always says, "Nothing is off limits as long as it's in the marriage bed!" Ahhh...awkward comments from my mom..gotta love them. :) (I do agree though it's just not something you want to hear your mom say...Dave and me still laugh about that one mom! Love you!)

Clara meanwhile was having fun with grandma and gigi...

It was a jamme day for sure!



She's growing up so fast!!



So, there you have it...a picture update of what went down this weekend for the "G's". Now you may all resume your other activities! :)



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