Friday, July 29, 2011

"Magic" Markers

Have you tried Crayola's Color Wonder markers and activity books yet? They're great! Not to sound like or be an advertisement, but here's the quote from their website:

"Crayola Color Wonder products offer mess-free coloring fun. That's because Color Wonder products feature colorless inks and paints that show up like magic on special Color Wonder paper. So color stays on the paper - not on your child!"

Xander hasn't been too fond of coloring until now. I bought him a "Cars" Color Wonder coloring book and allow him to color on the living room floor. With regular markers and crayons I only allow him to color on the kitchen table. Now that he can color wherever he wants he's much more excited about it and I'm happy he's honing his fine motor skills!

Encouragement for Friday

When You Need to be Strong

I look at the days ahead and wonder what they hold.
Don't we all?
And then these words make their way to my heart:

"Go in the strength you I not sending you?"
Judges 6:14

We don't have to...
wait to overcome our weaknesses,
complete the ten point improvement plan,
figure everything out.
The strength we already have is all the strength we need.
Because we have a limitless God within us who loves us.
As is.
And He promises to stick by us.
All the way.

-Holley Gerth

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Spontaneous Combustion?

The definition of spontaneous combustion:

the ignition of a substance or body as a result of internal oxidation processes, without the application of an external source of heat, occurring in finely powdered ores, coal, straw, etc.

In this case etc. means bird. It's so hot outside that apparently birds are spontaneously combusting in my front yard.


Xander can be so animated sometimes - here's a video that makes me smile. :)

And this one makes me laugh!
Hope David isn't too mad that I posted it - he's just being a good dad. :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Beach 2011 - Part 1

I'm so behind! We've taken two beach trips this summer and I'm just now getting around to posting a few pictures from our adventures. My apologies and more to come. :)

Daddy, Xander & Grandpa at the Aquarium

Mommy, Daddy & Xander at the Aquarium

Slightly blurry...

Aunt B

Grandpa & Xander

It's a long video, but worth it. In my opinion. :)

The Avetts

Here's an awesome article about the Avett Brothers and their newest song. They're on CMT unplugged!

I have such fond memories of the Avett Brothers concerts. I've definitely been to more Avett concerts than any other band - I've probably seen them live close to a dozen times. Mine and David's first date was at one of their concerts, we danced to one of their songs as our first dance at our wedding reception, we drove to Raleigh and back in one evening for a concert (I felt really old after that one), spent two New Year's Eves at their concerts (one while I was very pregnant with Xander), they're from Concord (about 10 minutes from our house), and they're just way cool! :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011


So, Xander has some new favorite toys. A few weeks ago Mimi bought Xander a little Lightning McQueen and Mater for Xander to play with. He fell in love! He hasn't fallen so hard for a toy since Scout. This is big, y'all. Well, David has been so excited that Xander loves these cars. As David said to me, "I just want to go out and buy them all because he loves them so much and it's so fun to buy things for him!" This is really the first time that Xander has enjoyed something we can actually go out and get him. So, let me tell you, David has. When we were at the beach (the first time) David came back from a solo shopping trip with 2 cars for Xander - a complete surprise and Xander was thrilled. At the end of that week we went back to the Disney store and let Xander pick out 2 more by himself (and David bought Mac to go along with them). Here are some pics of Xander playing with his cars.

Xander and his cars.

The line-up

 We went back to the beach last week. Xander had his first theater experience - we went to see Cars 2. It was so fun! He did such a great job! He was quiet, attentive, and ate his weight in goldfish. I tried popcorn with him, but he wasn't a fan, so I was glad I'd brought a back-up of goldfish. He absolutely loved seeing the movie. Grandma went with us and Xander alternated between my lap, grandma's lap and his own seat. He wasn't fussy, wasn't loud and didn't embarrass me (I was really expecting that last one -ha!). We prepped him by watching the following trailer on youtube a gazillion times. :) Xander couldn't get enough of it!

So of course, after seeing the movie, David had to buy Xander a Francesco. It happened to come in a 2-pack with Shu Todoroki. And he really wanted to get Luigi and Guido (Xander calls him "Pit Stop" - that's funny if you've seen either the first or second movie). Luigi and Guido happened to come in a 4-pack with Uncle Topolino and Lightning McQueen. Whew! What am I going to do with these boys? Oh, right, I'm having a little girl soon to tone down the testosterone. :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Family Ministries

I am so privileged and proud to be a part of Ridge Church. I serve in Waumba Land - the ministry for children ages 0-5. Last night we had a training that I was happy to be a part of. My friend, Patrick, is the Director of Family Ministries and he spoke to us about the value of what we do. His talk was fantastic! It was encouraging, inspiring, motivating and valuable. He spoke of the importance of our time with the children each Sunday, but more importantly, the partnerships we make with the parents who have exponentially more time with their children than we do. Here is the verse he referred to:

Hear O, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hand and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9

I am a teacher in Waumba, but more importantly I am a parent now. I want this truth to be on my heart and I want to impress it on my children. I pray that everything I do - my interactions with them, with David, with family, friends and strangers, my actions, words and works, my work ethic and service - will show my children this truth. I also pray that we will talk about loving God, pray together, serve together, etc. I ask God to give me the desire and willingness to share my heart with them, my heart that loves the Lord sincerely. I'm not perfect and I don't claim to be - I'm a work in progress. Through Christ I can do anything and I pray that I will impress this commandment on their hearts in such a way that they will live it out, be in relationship with Jesus Christ and glorify God with their love.

I'm excited to partner with parents and love on kids so that they know God. I love seeing my son come home from church and sing the songs we sang together in Large Group. It's the sweetest thing! I love praying with him before bed, saying "Amen," and a few second later he'll say, "Let's pray again." I'll ask him what he wants to pray for and he'll name someone he loves (usually Grandma, Grandpa, Mimi, Papa, Aunt B or Daddy) and we'll pray for them together (even if we prayed for them already that same night :)). I love that my child is learning about Jesus at such a young age. I'm so thankful to be a part of Ridge Church and so glad that the people there care about my son and his relationship with Jesus, too.

Thanks, Ridge!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

What's in a name?

I love names. I enjoy knowing the meanings of names and whether people are named after a family member, friend, celebrity, etc. I like the story behind a name.

My name is Emily Grace. I was going to be Sarah Grace. I'm Emily because my dad decided he didn't want Sarah at the very last minute. My mom, in near-panic, told him to pick a new one because we'd be leaving the hospital soon. He liked Emily, so he chose it. My middle name comes from my grandmother, my dad's mom. Her middle name was also Grace.
Emily means "Industrious, to strive or excel."
Grace means "grace of God."
I like my name.

David's name is David Goulding. He was named after his grandfather whose name was also David. For many generations the names Harry and David were alternated - David's great-grandfather was Harry, his grandfather was David, his father is Harry, and he is David. His dad actually asked us not to name our son Harry, for which I was thankful. I can't imagine having a son named Harry. David's middle name, Goulding, is his mother's maiden name.
David means "beloved."
Goulding, well, the only thing I could find on Goulding seeing as it's a surname is that it means "Gold" or "slope where marigolds grow."

Xander's name is Alexander David. He was named after his daddy, the best person I could think of to name our son after. I hope he grows up to be just like him. Handsome, smart, kind, generous, sweet, loving...
But I digress. David and I agreed wholeheartedly on Alexander, as long as he would be called Xander. David's not real fond of Alex. We both liked the name Alexander, so we chose it. I really like what it means.
Alexander means "defender of mankind."
David means "beloved."
Our son is the "beloved defender of mankind." Awesome.

Baby girl's name is....

Amelia Jayne

That's the one.
We've chosen it.
And we love it.

Our daughter is named after two of the most loving and amazing grandmothers ever. David's mom is Amelia and my mom is Jayne. It's perfect. We couldn't think of anyone better to name our daughter after. These women who have been such integral, amazing influences in our lives. The women who've been there for us, cared for us, given us love, support and comfort. Plus, they're best friends. How awesome is that? And amazingly enough, the name Amelia is a variation of Emily. That's pretty darn cool.
Amelia means "Industrious, to strive or excel."
Jayne means "God is gracious."
I LOVE this name.

God is so, so gracious.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Oh my gymnast!

I love this baby I'm carrying inside of me. In my eyes she's already perfect. I can just imagine her little fingers and toes, her beautiful little mouth, the little coos she'll make that will melt my heart. I love being a part of her forming - she needs a vessel to grow in and I'm the privileged carrier! How amazingly wonderful! Her little love taps and hiccups and larger love pushes have already won me over...

But sometimes I wonder - what is she doing in there?!? I really wish I could show you how it feels. I've been sitting at my desk (at work) for about the last 5 hours. With the exception of an occasional trip to the bathroom, water cooler, or quick errand around the library, I've been sitting the majority of the time. She has been going non-stop for the whole five hours! She's doing flips, kicking her legs and flailing her arms. I often think she's really practicing gymnastics. Or maybe she'll be a wrestler. Who knows. But she's certainly working on something in there.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Waumba Land

Xander at church - lounging. :)

Busy, busy!!

It's such a busy season, but a fun one, too!

In the past 6 weeks we've:
celebrated with friends the births of two precious little babies,
gone on a beach trip with the Little fam for a week,
gone to the lake three times,
celebrated three birthdays,
had two doctor appointments and two ultrasounds,
had two baby showers (for other friends)
and loved living life! Whew!

In the next six weeks we will:
go on another week-long beach trip this time with the Walkers (my fam),
go to the lake a couple more times,
celebrate three more babies being born,
paint Xander's new room and get it ready,
have two more doctor appointments including the gestational diabetes test,
do some things around the house to get ready for baby girl,
and RELAX! All while loving life. :)

Amidst all the fun and chaotic moments we forget about that last part, the relaxing bit. I've been running around so much that I certainly feel the need for it! In fact, I think I'm going to treat myself to a prenatal massage during the next six weeks!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Encouragement for Friday

Today is in God's hands and so are you.

His hands are strong and will uphold you;
His hands are great and will enfold you;
His hands are gentle and will embrace you;
His hands are protective and will cover you;
His hands are reassuring and will quiet you;
His hands are powerful and will defend you;
His hands are parental and will train you;
His hands are masterful and will conform you;
His hands are compassionate and will care for you;
His hands are healing and will renew you;
His hands are calming and will comfort you;
His hands are giving and will bless you.
The hands that hold you will never let you down.

-Roy Lessin, DaySpring co-founder and writer

I like to clap!

These are kind of blurry - I was stopped at a stop light and quickly snapped these shots. Anyway, Xander has a favorite song that he sings at church called "I Like To." It goes like this:

I like to clap every day
I like to clap every day
I like to clap every day
because I know He loves me.
Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

The song also mentions liking to jump and dance. Clapping is easiest in the car. :)

Boat experience

I am so behind! These are pics we took at the end of May/beginning of June. We've been to the lake house, swum in the lake and ridden on the boat several times since then, but here I am finally getting them posted!
Aunt B and Xander driving the boat. 

 Mommy and Xander driving the boat.

Love doing fun things with my little boy! 

I think the boat makes him sleepy - he kept looking like he would fall asleep! 

We are so blessed that David's parents allow us to use their lake house and amenities (boat, jet skis, floats, kayaks, canoe, games, etc.) pretty much whenever we'd like. We have so much fun there! Xander absolutely loves the water so this is one of his favorite places!