Catching Up… Karis Joy’s Birthday

Liam starts preschool today!! It’s at an Early Learning Center for typical kids and kids with special needs so I am thrilled for him to have this opportunity! He is really ready for it as I just can’t seem to teach him enough at home. They do a different activity every 15 mins. which will be SO good for him. He will be there for 3 hours 2 days/week which means I get some down time and some one on one time with my little girl! It’s a win win for everyone. 😉

Jeremy is watching Karis for me this morning so I get some much needed ME time and catching up on some blogging. Hopefully this means you will hear more from me this summer! One of the blogs I’ve been meaning to post is about Karis’ FIRST birthday and since she is 15 months old now I think it’s about time! So here are some pictures and a little bit about her party. Love my big little girl!

I love an excuse to get creative and decorate cakes, so I really enjoyed doing this cupcake for my little cupcake!

I made her a tutu to wear at her party and at first she wasn’t too sure about it but then she just decided to ignore it, which I’m glad because it looks SO adorable on her cute body!

Can’t get enough of her pretty smile!!

She LOVED her balloons! I took her to Publix to get the cupcake balloon the day before her party and she freaked out pointing at it and saying “OOOO” as loud as possible. It was pretty funny! Now everytime she sees a balloon it’s kind of a big deal. 😉

Opening gifts while her buddy Truitt looks on. Karis was the only little girl at her party! Most of her friends are Liam’s friends too.

The Spread!

The finished product!

Before she destroys her cupcake!

She wasn’t too sure at first but when she got a good taste of it… she ate some and the rest she just played in. It was nice change from Liam dry heaving on his first cake. 🙂

Liam enjoying his ice cream but a little overwhelmed at all the people at his house once he got up from his nap.

Karis enjoying her new swing and slide castle from Grandma and Grandpa!

On Karis’ birthday weekend the church also had a dedication ceremony for children and families. They made it a very special time and talked about each child and shared the life verse the parents picked out as a prayer over their child. It was neat time to be a part of the body of Christ as we choose to raise our children in the ways of the Lord. I’m so thankful for this church family and their commitment to help my family know the Lord more.

So the truth about this moment… Karis and Liam were tired because their naps were cut short. Karis was the loudest kid there! She wasn’t crying she just liked hearing her loud voice. I put her paci in her mouth and she got louder… how does that happen!!?


12 Months of Karis Joy!!

One year ago yesterday I gave birth to my precious little baby girl! I can hardly believe she is already ONE! If I had to describe Karis in five words they would be… beautiful, joyful, dramatic, content yet determined! She is all over the place and on the verge of walking. She is pushing the laundry basket and a little push toy all over the house now in effort to keep up with her brother! She loves to play chase with mommy. Most days she is a pretty good little eater and her favorite food right now is pasta with spaghetti sauce… I’m not even sure she takes time to chew it! She is really into books right now and will sit and read them over and over even by herself. She is quite the expressive little girl and can say bye-bye, hi, (both of those sound like ba-ba and ha almost like she has a little southern accent) uh-oh (her favorite word), da-da, a-dun (for all done) boo for moo like a cow, and of course she can growl like a tiger like her brother. Her sign language has really picked up and she has learned a lot from Liam. She can sign dad/mom, eat, drink, more, all done, please, bath, ball, milk, help, shoes, strong, music, toothbrush, elephant, sleep, book, hat, dog, baby, moon, horse and flower. I’m very thankful that she is pretty content to play with toys by herself, but when there is something she wants she certainly lets me know! I am discipling her already for several reasons one being that she does not like laying down to get her diaper changed and she kicks and fusses. When I discipline her she acts like that was the worst moment of her life (which for her it probably is), so I’m constantly praying for patience! I know when Karis gets tired because she either becomes cranky or very slap happy… love those slap happy moments! Here is an example of one of those moments – <a href=”“>. She has the greatest belly laugh and I can’t get enough of it! As far as sleep, she gets about 11 hours at night and 2 during the day, so not completely ideal but it seems to be enough for her. She still gets up and cries for a few minutes every other night or so, but usually goes back to sleep unless she’s teething and then it’s usually at least an hour!! Regardless of her night sleep she seems to wake up happy about life. Whenever I pick her up from the nursery at church they always say how good Karis is and how content she is to just play! We are getting her dedicated at our church on Sunday and have chosen this verse for her:

“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17

Thank you Lord for the unexpected and completely precious gift in Karis Joy!!

Enjoy these pictures of Karis from this past year of her life!

The night before she was born!

1 day old

1 month old

2 months old

3 months old

4 months old

5 months old

6 months old

7 months old

8 months old

9 months old

10 months old


11 months old

12 months old

Family Day at the Zoo!

It was a beautiful day in TN on Thursday last week and Jeremy took the morning off so that we could take the kids to the zoo for the first time! I’m pretty sure it was more fun for Jeremy and I but the kids had fun too.;) It’s just so exciting to be able to see it through their eyes. Liam was given a Baby Animals DVD from my grandparents a couple years ago and it features animals from the San Diego Zoo and Liam has watched it least 50 times! On the DVD there is a song that describes each animal, so as we saw the different animals of course I had to sing all the songs and I’m pretty sure he loved it! Liam also received a tiger shirt for Christmas last year (he loves tigers mostly because he can growl like one whenever he sees one) so he wore it and I couldn’t take enough pictures of him.

The bamboo was just so neat that I couldn’t resist putting them in the thick of it for a photo. 😉

A sweet lady came along and saw me taking that photo of the kids and offered to take a family picture. How nice!

Liam loves meerkats and I think it’s because I sing the song about them from the DVD all the time. 😉 He also has a book with meerkats in it so he enjoyed smiling and pointing at them as they ran by us.

Here is a good picture of Jeremy sporting his Chuck Norris look. 😉  I think he wears the beard well!

Liam is growling like a tiger in this picture and little does he know there are 2 tigers over his right shoulder in the background. Unfortunately they were too far away for him to really care.

Admiring the new flamingo exhibit.

As soon as he saw the elephants he did the sign for ‘elephant’… melted my heart!

Just a cute shot of Liam enjoying the elephants.

The zoo has the greatest play area for kids! Unfortunately it was nap time before we got to play but we will be back to take advantage of it at some point!

One more shot of Liam in his tiger shirt!

I took this as we were leaving the zoo… spring is here!!

My Little Joy!!

Here are some precious recent pictures of Karis. I call her “my little joy” because her middle name is Joy and she bring so much of it into my life… along with her dramatic streak of course. She is quite the expressive little girl… shocking, I know!;) I will post more about her when she turns ONE in a couple weeks but for now enjoy these little moments of joy!

Karis signing “please” and wearing pigtails for the first time!

Karis can be a good eater… I’ll let you be the judge if she was at this meal.

Skyping with Nana and Papa Thiessen. She LOVES attention even from the computer screen!

As soon as the front door opens Karis tries to escape. She loves being outside!

Karis is so expressive… especially when she watches Elmo!


My Little Conductor!

Every night after bath-time Liam and Karis enjoy listening to music while getting ready for bed. It’s actually become a necessary part of our routine. When it’s time to get ready for bed they both head straight for the CD player and do the sign for music. We’ve had the same CD playing for a while now so they are able to anticipate each song and dance along. Liam is starting to pick out the words he knows the sign language to and sign along. It’s pretty cute. And Karis likes to dance along too! Liam also enjoys conducting some of the songs. Here is one of his favorites!

Daddy’s (Been) Home!

My strong man!

My husband Jeremy travels with a band called downhere as their drummer and road manager. This past year he was gone for roughly 150 days! Yes, you can have some pity on me. Last year was the hardest year of my life just trying to be a mom to two babies who didn’t walk at the time and help Liam reach some key milestones while nursing a new baby who doesn’t sleep well. Motherhood is the hardest and most rewarding job and I’m blessed to be able to be a stay-at-home mom, but to have to do it with only part-time help is draining. Don’t get me wrong… I truly believe in my husband and his line of work! He gets to play music for a living while ministering to people all over the world… and he is good at it if I do say so myself! I believe God has called us to this right now and that is why we are making these sacrifices.

He has been in town for the past month and has been a HUGE help for me! Thank you, Jeremy!! I need to brag on him because he really is such an amazing Daddy to these babies and is very helpful around the house. He has made sure I have some away time from the kids, so I don’t go crazy which nearly happened several times last year. We’ve had a couple date nights… I always treasure those! We’ve been able to reconnect with some friends and actually attend church together! We even took the kids out to dinner with us one night which we have never done before just as a family, and we actually had a conversation… a rare moment even during dinner at home! It was a pleasant experience but not one I would recommend doing regularly for several reasons. We also took a trip to Peek-a-Boo Playtown for special needs night where they give discounts to people who have extra special kids, sweet deal! 😉

Even though he has been in town this past month he still had to do some work for downhere since he advances the shows and is their merchandise manager, so he’s been able to stay working from time to time. He has also picked up a second job a couple days of the week to help supplement income. Thank you again, Jeremy!

This past week downhere started recording their next album, so he was busy in the studio and we really missed him since we were spoiled having him around so much the previous weeks. I took the kids and joined some good friends of ours and we went to the studio one night and got to hear Jeremy lay down some drum tracks for a song. Liam loved it, of course! I took some pictures so you’ll see them below!

I love you, Jeremy! Thank you for all your help! You are an amazing husband and father to our babies!

Liam watching daddy record drum tracks.

The other side of the glass.

Where the producer sits. Nice place, huh!?

Daddy getting ready to send Liam down the slide at Peek-a-Boo Playtown.

Karis and Daddy at Peek-a-Boo Playtown.

Fun with Black and White

I am still exploring all the options my camera has to offer. Here is an example of what the monochrome setting looks like. Liam and Karis like playing in one or the others crib together, but only for a few minutes at a time and usually after their naps. Then they decide it’s time to explore and need to get out. I was able to capture those fun few moments yesterday.


On the Move

It’s official, BOTH my kids are making their way around the house and discovering the many places that have yet to be baby-proofed. It sure brings joy to my heart to see Liam walking around so proudly and Karis crawling from room to room. As of 2 weeks ago Liam’s physical therapist said that he no longer needs his walker! That was great news!! Along with all that movement comes more work for mommy. Just when I think it can’t get any harder juggling life with them sometimes… it does! And yet I love it! They sure love opening the drawers and cabinets in our kitchen. Liam doesn’t care so much about what is in the drawer as he does the sounds the drawer makes when he opens and closes it. That’s my little drummer boy for you! Jeremy has begun to put latches inside the cabinet doors. He has had one cabinet left to latch for a few days now and Liam knows it, and grabs the knob and opens and closes it over and over…. ahhhh! Anyway here is proof of their curiosity…

And here is video of Karis crawling a bit to get a ball. She stops and does the sign for “ball” (you touch your finger tips together like you’re holding a ball) which right now is her clapping her hands. Then she does the signal that she needs help by raising her hand, which she learned from Liam. She is really picking up signs quickly and probably because we do them all day long with Liam.

Karis – 10 Months

Here is a cute video of my little 10 month old baby girl eating her lunch. She is never quiet when she eats. It’s pretty funny! As long as she is hungry she is a pretty good eater. Otherwise she becomes very picky and won’t let me come close to her mouth. That’s a good thing I guess considering she is a good size. 😉 And it’s amazing that she just naturally brings food to her mouth and I didn’t have to got through hours of training to make her do that. Crazy! I love her!

Photos From Karis’ 2nd Day of Life

We had the privilege of having our good friend Sara Harper come over to the hospital tonight and photograph Liam’s introduction to his baby sister. Click on the image below to see a slideshow of the very first family pictures we have (Erin’s parents were also in the room with us so we have some beautiful shots of Karis with her grandparents too). The slideshow will open in a new window. Enjoy – and thank-you Sara!