Friday, December 31, 2010

The only good thing about winter is...

I used to think that there was nothing good about it, but last year Travis an I took up snowboarding so that we would have even ONE thing to like about winter.  Yesterday my awesome mom took work off and watched Savannah for us all day and night so that Travis, Jasey and I could go snowboarding in Eastern Iowa.  I have to mention that Jasey's mom is pretty awesome too since she paid for our lift tickets!  We are pretty lucky people.  
 It was really fun.  Travis, Jasey and I all picked up new things and had turn around days in our snowboarding skills.  I'm still pretty terrible at it but I'll learn.  There's something awesome about feeling super tired and sore at the end of the day - like I used every single muscle in my body.
I just like this picture because I look crazy and the back ground looks a little fake.  It was really foggy and windy there all day.  

This one is for all you Savannah fans out there. This was her right after waking up yesterday at 7:30am.   She just wakes up ready to go!  

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Many Photo Christmas Post!

It's safe to say that so far the Pierces have been having a very Merry Christmas.  Here are a few high lights. 
We hosted a little party with our high school small groups. We did a white Elephant gift exchange and the best gift was this live fish - that Nathan actually really wanted.  Go figure. 

 Here's Charissa and Travis and Graeme all snuggled up on the couch at the party.  Most of the guys and girls don't know each other very well so the randomly paired newly wed game went well :)

We went down to Oklahoma for a few days.  Here's Savannah with Travis' aunt Opal. In the 30 minutes we were there, Opal gave Savannah a candy cane, a GIANT candy cane, cookies, a peppermint candy, and two suckers.

Here's Travis with his Uncle Mortin, his Dad Frank, and his cousin Clifford. They're a good size family.

This is what Christmas is about.  Cousins, playing, eating, loving.  Lani, Savannah and Maggie wont get to have Christmas together again until Savannah's 4.  They are moving to India this summer.  We had some family pictures taken at walmart on Christmas Eve.  I can't wait to post them! SUPER funny.

 Christmas Eve we went and walked around a park and looked at the lights.  It was FREEZING.  But it was good to get out.  Travis lost our camera going down a slide and had to go back out to find it.  Then when he did find it, it was broken.  Christmas disaster!  Until....
 I fixed it.  Here he is before he knew I had fixed it - taking a time out in the garage.   He was kinda upset about it, but nothing a good camo coat and pipe in the garage couldn't fix. :)
Christmas morning Savannah was the first of the kids to come out of her room. Aunt Missy let her open a gift right away.  We had told Savannah that she had to "wait and wait until Christmas comes" for her presents so this was a pretty big deal!

Christmas night we finally got around to Poppy reading the Christmas story.  It was really chaotic.  I was trying to feed Savannah, Maggie (not pictured) was crying, and Lani was getting upset with both of them for not listening.  So we staged this picture afterward so that THIS is what we'll remember it being like.

Here's Sav with Travis' sister Malisa.  We don't get to see her enough so it's good to have a good picture of her with Savannah.

I don't know who that 4th girl in the back is.  
 We went to Travis' parent's church Sunday morning.  They are a part of a new church that started in their town.  They meet in a school since they don't have their own building yet.  It's a great church, but it did make me appreciate having a building.  Cornerstone met in a school auditorium when I started going there - I've pretty much forgotten what that was like!
The ride home was a little crazy, but thanks to Travis being awesome at driving and getting us home fast and Burger King and Micky Ds we made it!  Also thanks to the portable DVD player. Can't forget that one!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Back it up

Quick photo update of our last week: 

We played with Sav's friends Maddy and Max.  Savannah loves playing with... well, anyone.  I was going to say with the Dewhursts (which is true) but she just likes people.  
 Laura, Maddy and Max's mom, made the kids awesome crowns out of felt and who knows what else.  Savannah's is extra special because it has owls on it.  I wonder how long she'll stay on this owl kick.  It's been over a year!!
 We finally got some snow on Saturday.  Savannah could not wait to go out and play in it.  Then when we got her all bundled up and ready to go out she lasted about 3 minutes.  Then she came in and complained about how cold the snow is.  She's going to be like both her parents in that aspect.  So we all hate the cold - I'm fine with that.  I feel like I've typed this already.... did I already post this?

 Here's a shot a took right after she came in.  You can see how much she hated it :)  Someone's going to have to take her sledding and show her how to enjoy the snow..... Grandpa!

Ames High got out early today so I had some girls over for a game of Scrabble during Savannah's nap.  It was super fun.  I'm actually pretty awesome at Scrabble - which is weird because if you've ever gotten a text from me or anything else that I can't use spell check on, you know I'm the worst speller.  

Morgan Ferry won the game.  She said this may be the best day of her life.  We love Morgan.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Holy Celebration

I've been reading a blog lately called A Holy Experience.  A friend of mine turned me on to it one day when I was feeling a little desperate about life.  I'm not really a fan of this kind of writing or of reading blogs written by people I don't directly know, but something about this blog quiets my soul when it's time for me to sit down and listen to God.  I usually start my quiet time by reading the blog, listening to the soft piano music, and meditating on the goodness of God and the joy it is that we can know him!

One of her recent posts was about What to do Christmas morning when all the gifts are for Him.  She and her family don't give Christmas gifts anymore.  They haven't for years.  Instead they count down the days until Christmas by giving gifts to the needy in the world.  They give gifts to Jesus who says "When you give to the lowest, you give to me".  It's an awesome challenge and it has inspired me to look a little differently at Christmas this year.  Even last night as I drove around looking at the Christmas lights it was like I saw them for the first time as lights to celebrate the birth of Christ (rather than just the festive holiday decor that most people are expressing when they hang them).  Why is it after 12 years of walking with Jesus, I am just now feeling like I finally GET his Birthday?

His Pride and Joy

My brother in-law, Greg, told us this story over Thanksgiving weekend:

There was a famous pastor who came out and said he was gay. During an interview with his parents the reporter said "How does it feel that your son is an abomination?" 
 His mother said "He may be an abomination but he is still our pride and joy."

The words of the mother have been ringing in my heart ever since I heard that.  Those are the words of an earthly, sinful parent.  How much more would those be the words of the Heavenly Father, who is able to and promises to forgive our sins.  To look beyond our unrighteousness, and see US, an abomination, as HIS pride and joy.  

Lord, "Keep me as the apple of your eye.  Hide me in the shadow of your wings" - Psalm 17:8

A little Savannah in your life

I realized it's been a while since I had a good Savannah picture post, so here's my best shot at it for today.  We've been kind of busy with potty training and crawling out of our crib and some of the usual "holiday" type things people do - like baking - so I haven't been taking too many pictures.  But here ya go.  Keep reading below if you're REALLY interested in what's been going on with Savannah.  Otherwise, enjoy the pictures!

We made our own pizzas for lunch today on left over buns with Turkey pepperoni.  

These pictures are from Tumble Bugs - the "gymnastics" class we've been going to on Wednesdays.  She does stretches, then some log rolling, then some balance beam, and if we're lucky, she hangs on a bar. Advanced stuff. 

It's kind of freezing out now.  We don't really go outside ever - mostly because I hate it.  Savannah's not thrilled with cold either.  Almost every time her butt hits the car seat she squeals "mommy!  I cold!"  But some neighbors of ours have some Santa decorations in their yard and she just learned to recognize santa.  She has no idea still who he is, but she knows how to point him out in a crowd. 

In other exciting news: Yes!  We've begun potty training. It's going okay.  She's a super star when we're at home or at Grandma's house.  She wears underwear almost all the time except during naps and night time.  During those times she wears a diaper or pull up.  And if I know we're going to be out for a while, or at church she wears a pull up.  Today she wore underwear to Tumble bugs and the play gym and she peed her pants 3 times.  Luckily I had brought extra clothes and a plastic bag, but I guess we're not ready for THAT much time away from home in underwear.  She gets disney princess stickers to put on this white piece of paper we taped to the bath room wall every time she sits on the potty.  Then if she goes pee pee she gets two candies (yogurt covered raisins).  If she were to ever go poo poo, she'd get a bowl of ice cream - but we're not there yet either.

As I mentioned in my blog yesterday, little miss has learned to crawl out of her crib as well.  Usually in the morning I lay in bed and read and pray until I hear her calling me "MOMMY!!!!!" and then I go get her. Today the first thing I heard was the sound of her door opening, followed by creaking on the stairs.  When I got up I could see her shadow from around the corner on the stairs.  I said her name 3 times and she just stood there silent and still.  Then I went down to her and she whispered to me "Shhhh.  I'm going down stairs."  So, today I lowered the bottom of her crib as low as it will go and gave her a lecture about what happens if she gets out on her own (Spank!).

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I'm outta here! And a xmas wish.

Today I heard Savannah wake up from her afternoon nap and finished up what I was doing before I went up to her room to get her out of her crib.  I went upstairs and did not find her in her crib, but rather, in MY room.  She looked at me stunned and I looked at her stunned.  Then she said "ummm.... Yah Yah got out of crib. "  I asked her what she'd been doing since she got up and she said "playing".  So we talked about how she needs to wait for mommy to help her out, but that talking to will only last so long.  Once she's learned how to do it, there's no going back.  We're working on potty training now, so this is probably some what timely.  If it was up to me I'd keep her in the crib till she was 5.
In light of that new accomplishment, Savannah is asking for a special night light for Christmas this year.  I don't usually put things that I want up on my blog like this, but I am asking, please, someone get Savannah this night light for Christmas!

You set a timer on it so that it shows the sun during the day and the moon at night.  Then you tell your kiddo that they can't get out of bed until the sun comes out.  Savannah's pretty smart so I think this will work with her.  We might have to work on what happens if you get out of bed before the sun comes out a few times, but she'll get it :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Eye on the Ball

Gracias Dia

How do we like to celebrate Thanksgiving?  
Start Wednesday with a Thanksgiving meal for 15, including 5 new international friends that joined us.  
 We have hosted Thanksgiving dinners for international students for the last few years, but this was the biggest and most fun yet.  We invited some of our other friends over to to join in the fun so it ended up being a pretty big task.  Jasey and I cooked most of the afternoon - made my first whole Turkey.  But even with 15 people, we still ended up with TONS of left overs.  My favorite parts were when one of the guys said something about his home country (North Korea) he's thankful for was "Korean Girls" and also when a few of the guys took turns performing songs for us.  

 I dont have any pictures of actual Thanksgiving day because well, it wasn't all that picture worthy - which made it awesome!  We hung around our house all morning, then went and laid around my parents house and played Wii, then went to my uncles house and stuffed ourselves, then came home and watched TV.  Love it. 
Friday we did some family pictures of us with my parents for my mom's Birthday gift.  She wanted something nice to send out in a Christmas Card so we asked our friend Chris (who has an awesome camera) to meet us at Rieman Gardens for a few pics.  It was actually a pretty fun time. However, would not be worth paying the $8 per person admission to get in - luckily my mom had some free passes she won somewhere.  
 Friday night we went down to Kansas City to meet up with Greg and his family. They had a wedding down there on Saturday so we thought it would be a good half way place for us all to meet and spend the weekend together at a Hotel.  It was good for the girls to play and for the bros to get some qt together before they move to India in the spring. 
 Savannah didn't do so hot in the Hotel.  She cried almost all of Friday night until we finally took her to the car to drive around and sleep at 4am. Welcome back to having an infant!  Geez.  The three of us slept in the car from 4am - 8am.  Then we had a pretty fun day just hanging out.  Saturday night when I went to put her to bed and she screamed, jumped, shook and banged the wall for 45 minutes we decided to cut our losses and head home.  Travis came back a little early from watching the OU/OSU football game and we left KC at 10pm.  It only took us about 3 hours to get home and Sav slept most of the way.  It sure did feel good to wake up in my own bed vs waking up in the car!
I told Travis last night, she may not have done great sleeping at the Hotel, but she sleeps sooo awesome at home that I'd trade it any day.  We slept in today until 9am, and Savannah is in the middle of what I'm hoping is a 4 hour nap.  Chances are good that she'll sleep tonight from 8:30pm - 7am tomrrow. I'll take it. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cold weather blues....

I noticed it's been a while since I put up any pictures of Savannah, and we all know that's what you want. 
Savannah has gotten really good at playing the blues lately.  It's really nice [and by nice, i mean annoying] to listen to all the time!  But she looks cute doin it!

 She is seriously getting to be sooo much fun.  Today we went to Travis' school for Thanksgiving lunch and before we left she walked around and told all Travis' co-workers that she'd met "I go home now.  I go in car, then go to bed.  Bye bye."

This picture cracks me up because Brisco looks like a giant dog.  Trick photography at it's finest!

And yeah, she's still using a pacifier.  Mostly at naps and bed time.  But also when she's been playing really hard and just needs to wind down and watch a movie for a while.  We should probably give it up soon.  Just like we should potty train soon.  And move to a big girl bed.  And start eating breakfast and lunch at the table. Eh.  I'm ok with it. For now. 

Overcome with Fear

The Book of Luke.  Chapter 8. Verses 26 thru 39. 
Jesus and his disciples have just finished teaching and performing miracles to countless crowds when Jesus decides to head across the lake to an area where he was not known.  Upon reaching the shore, he encounters a man who is full of demons.  The man has been possessed by all kinds of evil for probably all of his life.  He is a danger to himself and to the community and is therefore kept in chains (around his hands and his feet) and under the watch of guards.  Who knows what kind of harm he could do to the women and children of the community.  He is naked most of the time.  When the demons can no longer handle being bound up, they give him strength to break free.  Once free, the man runs into the dessert where he then finds himself alone, scared, and unclothed.  His life is literally held captive by man, and by spirits.  Jesus speaks to the demons in him, finds out he is called "Legion" because there are so many of them inside him.  Although they plead with him to save themselves from the torture of hell, Jesus casts the demons into some pigs (who drown themselves)  and deals with the man. He is healed.  His life is new!  No more chains.  No more danger.  No more nakedness.  Freedom, peace, and purpose are now in his future! [I know this is a long one from me, but keep reading.]

The people from the community come out to see what Jesus has done.  He's healed the crazy man!  The man is sitting as Jesus' feet.  "Clothed and in his right mind" and the towns people were

So much fear, that they pleaded with Jesus to leave.  They didn't want what he had to offer. They'd seen his work in the healing of the man that they knew how to deal with and they couldn't take it.  They knew  how to manage, hide, bind, and protect the evil that was inside the man.  Now there was something about this change that they couldn't take!  Although it was seemingly better, it was change, and they didn't like it.  The change caused them to be OVERCOME WITH FEAR.  

As I read this story a few weeks ago, I though it was odd that the people were so afraid.  I mean, Jesus had made things better, right?  Who wants a crazy guy running around naked hurting people?  But what the people were afraid of was change, and power.  They knew that if Jesus stuck around, things would never be the same because he had GREAT POWER!  That is often how I deal with Jesus too.  I say I want him to change things [soften my heart for instance] but then when he does [like when I start to tear up in church or care deeply about someone's pain] I get scared.  I pull back.  I wipe my face off, suck it in, and try my hardest to remain the same.  Because I know, just as the people in the village did, that Jesus comes with GREAT POWER and if you let him in, even a little bit, life will never be the same again.  Please Jesus, give my heart courage to change. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I'm on to you.

I just set up a sitemeter at the bottom of my page.  Yea. That's right.
I just thought it would be interesting to know how many people look into our little lives every week.  Don't worry, it doesn't tell me WHO exactly is looking.  Just how many.  So if you've been secretly stalking my blog, you may continue.  Just know, you'll be counted.

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