Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Leesi's first snowman

So yesterday it snowed here in Columbia City! It was a total surprise and caught everyone off guard. I don't think it was predicted at all. I took a nap yesterday while Jonathan and Elisa were napping, and when I awoke it was snowing!

Last night we went out and had a little snowball fight (it's perfect packing snow). And this morning Leesi and I made a snowman. After we were finished with our snowman Leesi said, "Again." So we made a snow-woman. Leesi loves it. Jonathan has stayed inside where it is cozy and warm. I might take him out in it before it all melts though. After all, it is his first snow.

Monday, December 14, 2009


The annual J. Alvin Christmas party took place this last Thursday, and once again the guys went all out decorating. The theme was Narnia, and students entered through a "wardrobe" to make their way into the party. The atrium looked really cool... there was even a working street light in the middle of the atrium. Each year the suites compete in a decorating contest. This year there were some really cool looking Suites: Holiday Saloon (with a boar's head mounted on the wall), An Upside Down Christmas (looked like a cozy sitting room with a christmas tree, presents, and a fire - all upside down), An old-fashioned malt shop, and even a Santa picture station (with elf helpers and photographers).

So Jonathan had his first picture with Santa... I just found it on Facebook with the caption "I can't believe they trusted him with the Brock baby" :-)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Could this have been two years ago? It seems like just yesterday... and yet it seems as if you've been with us forever.

Look how you've grown! Happy Birthday to my sweetest little girl. I love you so much! You've changed my life forever. I can't thank God enough for the gift He's given me in you.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Stockings

Christmas stockings at our house don't match. They were all bought at different places, different years. They look okay together... but this year, as I was thinking about what kind of stocking I should buy for Jonathan, I realized that maybe I should just make some Christmas stockings. If we have more children, I can then easily make additional stockings to match. Then I found these stockings in a picture on the Angry Chicken blog. What do you think, aren't they cute? I love that each one is different than the rest, and yet they match. I also love the little initial on each stocking. So, I've decided that I want to try to make some that are similar to these. Hopefully they'll be done in time for next year's Christmas! I'm writing it here so that I actually do it!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Jonathan at two months

Here's a video of Jonathan that I took last night. He's two months old now and he is such a sweet baby. I can just tell he's going to be an easygoing sweetheart. He loves to be held and snuggled, and he loves when we sing to him. He had his two month appointment yesterday and he weighed 14 lbs. 14oz. So he's still a big boy!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here at our house we are thankful for pie... Check out Greg's blog and you'll see why.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Elisa Pictures

These pictures were taken back in September by a student for a photography project. He just dropped off the picture CD today, and we were so pleased with how they turned out. Check them out!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Life with Elisa

Some of the things I found around the house yesterday:
One of Jonathan's diapers, neatly stacked with the placemats.
A sippy cup put back away in the box where it goes, still full of water.
The little lamp off of the top of the TALL dresser placed carefully on top of the shelf headboard of the bed.

Lest you think that my little girl is always careful and organized, in the last couple of days she also:
Turned on the blender without the lid on while "helping" me make smoothies.
Dumped the pancake batter out of the bowl while "helping" me make pancakes.
Knocked the glass cup measure to the floor where it bounced three times before shattering into a thousand tiny pieces.

I can't really blame her, she's still just a one-year-old (almost a two-year-old!) Sometimes she drives me crazy... but mostly I'm amazed by her. It's so fun to watch her learn and grow.

She is starting to talk in little sentences. So much fun! Some of her most often used sentences lately: "Mommy hold you, Leesi." and "Leesi do it."

Potty Time

So Elisa has been showing a little bit of interest in going to the bathroom lately. Last weekend we bought her her own potty. She was really excited about it, and carries it around the house in order to sit on it in different locations. But both Greg and I realized after buying the potty, that neither one of us has any idea how to go about potty training. Anyway, this morning Elisa grabbed her diaper and said, "poop." I asked her if she wanted to go poop on the potty and she said yes. So we took off her pants and diaper and she sat on her potty. She kept on getting up to go get books for me to read to her. Finally after quite some time, she peed in her potty. I was so surprised. And I think she may have been a little surprised too.

Anyway, I'm not sure that we're going to start serious potty training yet. But I do want to make a plan and start getting ready to potty train. I'd welcome advice and recommendations for good books and websites etc.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Jonathan's Dedication

Jonathan was dedicated this past Sunday. It was a somewhat unimpressive event: 8 families lined up and the elders and pastors went down the line praying for each kid. We were the last family. Elisa has been in some kind of funk the last few days, so I was totally preoccupied with trying to keep her somewhat quiet and happy. She kept on climbing up the stairs to the stage as far as she could go while still holding my hand, then jumping back down the stairs. It was a really fun game. So, when the pastor got to us, and I picked her up, she started screaming (of course). But Jonathan was good as gold the whole time.

Even though the event itself was not very exciting or impressive, I'm trying to keep the meaning behind the dedication in mind. We are presenting Jonathan back to God and saying that we will do our best (with the help of our church, friends, and family) to raise him to love and serve Jesus.

Here's a picture of our family after church on dedication day. (Check out Jonathan's very cute sweater - he looked so grown up)

Friday, November 6, 2009

An Unfortunate Incident

So, I know that the grandparents want to see more pictures... especially of the little guy. I haven't posted any in awhile, but there is a good reason. It has to do with an unfortunate incident that occurred on Halloween. Our camera fell off the stroller and will no longer take pictures. However, it will take videos. So, you may start seeing a lot more videos and a lot less pictures on my blog. Here are a couple of pictures I took recently on a camera we borrowed:
Doesn't he look so surprised!

Just relaxin'

Here is a video of his first bath

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Buying Beauty

Recently I read a book called Feed Me!: Writers Dish about Food, Eating, Weight, and Body Image. It was a collection of essays by various writers... and it was fascinating. It was funny, sad, and always thought provoking. Anyway, I looked up the editor's blog and on it I found this video. Just had to post it. Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

3 weeks

Okay, so Jonathan is officially 3 weeks old today. I took him in for his weight check... and guess what! He's 11 lbs. 10 oz.! Can you believe it? He's huge! In 3 weeks he has gained about 2 1/2 lbs. He's 22 1/2 inches long. What a big boy.

Halloween costumes...

So we have two options this year for Leesi's Halloween costume. Both of them are super cute, and Leesi really likes wearing both of them. We might just wear both, one for outside (the Siloam stores "downtown" have a trick or treating event one afternoon) and one for inside (going door to door in the dorms).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Elisa and the Baby Habit

So lately Elisa has started saying longer words and putting two words together. It's really funny to watch her practice. She repeats new words and combinations over and over again. Some of her favorites today were: Baby Boy, Quesadilla, and Tiger Piano.

One of her first two word combos was "Baby Habit" which is the name of a little store in town. I sew burp cloths for them and so Leesi often goes with me when I drop off orders. She likes going there and playing with their fun wooden toys. Anyway, the other day in the car my mom took this video of Elisa practicing "Baby Habit." Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

A walk in the park...

...Natural Falls State Park that is. After a week of overcast days, we had beautiful sunny weather today. It was a perfect fall day: sunny, but cool enough for a jacket. The leaves are just starting to change. It's beautiful. So we went to a State Park that's only a few miles away for a short hike. We had a great time.

Jonathan in his car seat getting ready for the big outing.

Leesi and Gramma having fun together

First family picture outside of the hospital

Things are going better for me. I've been getting a little more sleep... and trying to take opportunities to nap. I haven't had any more crying spells (A little sleep makes all the difference). My mom leaves tomorrow and Greg goes back to a full work schedule on Wednesday... so we will see how it goes when I lose all my help... and when Leesi loses her constant playmates. I'm so thankful for all the help that my mom and Greg's mom have been to us during this time. I know the next couple of months are going to be more about surviving than thriving... but right now I feel encouraged. Thanks for all of your prayers and comments!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

This is harder than I remember...

So, Jonathan will be a week old tomorrow. He is a pretty mellow guy most of the time. He HATES getting his diaper and clothes changed, but other than that he's pretty content.

One problem is that he seems to have his days and nights mixed up. He sleeps great during the day, but at night he wants to be awake and be held and fed constantly. I've had a few tearful nights... around 3am I just break down and cry and beg God to help Jonathan go to sleep. I have mostly been sleeping in one hour increments, and getting about 3 (or 4 if I'm lucky) hours of sleep a night. Last night was a little better, he actually slept from 3:30 until 6:45... so I got a 3 hour stretch of sleep... it felt great! I would really appreciate your prayers - that I will be able to sleep and that I won't get the baby blues too badly (or even better, not at all). I feel somewhat emotionally fragile right now.

Anyway, Elisa seems to really like the baby so far... but I can tell that the newness is starting to wear off. I think she's realizing that this little guy takes a lot of Mom's attention... and she's not too thrilled with that. The other day I went outside to play with her and left the baby with my mom. Then Greg came out and played with us and Elisa was just ecstatic. She loved having all of mom's and dad's attention. It's sad; I miss her. Jonathan takes a long time to nurse... so quite a bit of my time is taken up with him. I miss just being able to sit on the floor and play with Leesi. But I just have to keep reminding myself that this is just a phase. It won't always be like this.

So now, what you've all been waiting for... pictures...

Elisa and Grandma playing with bubbles
A proud Grandma holding Jonathan

"Elisa smile for the camera"

Sometimes I just can't get over how cute she is.

The first official walk with the double stroller... Greg's comment on switching from the Bob jogging stroller to our double stroller: "it's like we traded in the Subaru for a mini-van"

Sleeping burrito babies are just the cutest

On dad's shoulder

Look at that little face

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Jonathan Gregory

Jonathan Gregory Brock was born on October 7 at 2:59pm. He weighed 9lbs 4oz and was 20 inches long. Labor and delivery went very smoothly. I feel very well... though I could use some sleep. We are back home from the hospital. Big sister Elisa is very interested in the baby. More news to follow. For now, here are some pictures.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bruschetta and other culinary endeavors

So last week I posted a picture of the beautiful produce I bought at the Farmer's Market. I just had to show off what we ended up doing with it...
I steamed the green beans, toasted some almonds and tossed them together with a little butter. We used the tomatoes and basil to make bruschetta - so delicious! And served them both with some chicken.

Another cooking endeavor this last week was homemade yogurt. Greg and I have been on a plain yogurt kick lately. They started selling some really yummy plain yogurt at Walmart. We've been adding frozen blueberries, vanilla, and a little sugar to it... oh man, I can just eat and eat it. But it's pretty expensive. I found a recipe online to make your own yogurt in your slow-cooker. So I decided to try it. Greg was VERY skeptical! I told him I wouldn't make him eat it. But I just had to try and see if it would work - and it did! It's slightly runnier than the store version (I noticed they put pectin in the brand that we buy to make it thicker)... but other than that you can't even tell a difference. Even Greg agrees. If you love plain yogurt and are feeling brave enough to try it, I found the recipe on this post from A Year of Slow Cooking.

Any day now...

My official due date is... tomorrow! I can't believe it's here. Of course, we don't know when the little guy will actually be born. But it really could (and will) happen any time now. Still no name... Yikes!

I know I haven't posted many prego pictures... So here I am today...
Also, check out Greg's blog for pics of Elisa from this week.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Free Museum Day

Just a little plug for Free Museum Day. Greg and I have taken advantage of this in year's past... but we won't be able to go this year. Hopefully some of you will.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Reasons to be thankful

This week I find myself being thankful for so many things.

Last week Greg and I realized just how tight our money is (and is going to be for the next few months) as we pay for the birth of baby #2. At first I was a little bit in shock, then I started to think, "it's impossible... we can't live on that", then I started to feel hopeful. Like, maybe God wants us to be ultra dependent on Him. Maybe He wants to show us, once again, how He always provides for us.

I remember when Greg was just finishing grad school. We had a few months left to pay for His school. Even though we were living very frugally we found that our money just wasn't stretching far enough. My work was extremely slow... and they had started cutting back on my hours. We had drained our savings... we had no reserves. I look back on that and think, God helped us through that and provided for us through that... and He's going to do it again!

And He has amazed me again and again with the way He provides. We've had people loan us so many things for Baby Boy - a changing table, a bumbo seat, tons of clothes, cloth diapers... it's been such a blessing. And then this last week a friend loaned me a bunch of winter clothes for Elisa. She was starting to need some new clothes, and these came just in time. We've received money from unexpected places. And even though the library cut my hours back, I feel so thankful for the fact that I've been able to make some money other ways (sewing, babysitting, and consigning old Elisa items). I just have felt really encouraged and thankful to God for each little thing He gives us.

Today Elisa and I had to do a little grocery shopping/errand running. As we were getting ready to leave (you know, filling water bottles, getting snacks, putting on shoes and socks) she saw me stuffing her diapers and wipes into my purse... she ran up and started stuffing Itty and a stuffed dog into my purse with a very serious expression... like "hey mom, we're going to need these too." Then she ran and got my little alarm clock, the dental floss, a jellyfish toy, and a rattle for one of her dolls and put those in the purse too. She was very intent on bringing everything. She can be such a little hoarder sometimes. I hate to see how big her purse is when she grows up.

Anyway, just had to share with you some of my purchases from when we were out... I find myself being even more thankful for the food that God gives us money to buy. And who can help but be thankful when it's this good!

Fresh tomatoes, basil and green beans from the Farmer's Market

And... I was SO excited when I saw this in the grocery store today... it's here! Candy Cane Lane Tea. I think I can safely say that it's my favorite tea ever. We always buy a ton at Christmas time so that we can drink it throughout the year. But due to poor planning last year, we ran out shortly after Christmas. When I showed Greg that I found it, he did a little happy jumping dance around the house and then gave me a big hug! I think I'll go make a cup now...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bubble Pictures

Elisa has been obsessed with bubbles lately. In the morning after she eats breakfast the first thing she wants to do is go outside and blow bubbles. And many other times throughout the day she demands: "BUBBLES! BUBBLES!" Here are some pictures from today...

She's quite a cutie! She actually smiled for this picture!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Learning to Draw

Okay, first off - a disclaimer: I feel a little weird about this post. But, I did tell a couple people that I would put some of my artwork from class on my blog, and here it is... (and it's only taken me 5 months now to do it.)

So this last Spring I took my second drawing class... this time it was Figure Drawing. (The year before I took Drawing I). I am always intimidated and insecure to be taking these classes... especially since I'm taking them with almost all art majors. But it has been so good for me.

The thing I've learned most of all is that drawing is a lot of work! I really am starting to believe that anyone can learn to draw. It's just that most of us get frustrated and stop trying somewhere around middle school. Some people have a more natural talent for "seeing" how to convert a 3-D object onto a flat piece of paper... but that does not mean that the rest of us can't draw, it just means we have to work a little harder to be able to "see" too. The book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain talks about this and has wonderful exercises to do to teach yourself how to draw.

Back to Figure Drawing though... Each class night we had a model. We would start out with the model posing for only 2-5 minutes and we had to capture the pose within that time. They called this "gesture drawing." Then we would work up to longer poses... sometimes having up to 15 minutes per pose. I definitely improved a lot over the course of the semester... I didn't upload any of my worst earliest drawings... I should have. Sorry, I've put them all away now (convenient, huh?). But here are some of my better drawings from the class periods:

We also had outside assignments that we had to do for the class. Here they are:

Anyway, I guess the big lesson that I've learned from taking these classes is that I need to press on and just do it... even when I feel afraid, intimidated, and uncomfortable. If I had let my fear of what other people would think of my poor drawing skills stop me from taking these classes, then I never would have improved. I feel like so often I let my fear stop me from doing the things I need to or want to do.