Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cosette's 5th birthday!

Five years ago, on December 28th, my due date, I felt another contraction. I didn't think much of it. I'd been having contractions for two days and nothing had yet come of it. But by 1:00 a.m. that night, it was obvious that this was the 'real thing'. The contractions were less than five minutes apart and coming fairly strong. Our hospital was 45 minutes away, so I told Joel we better go. We arrived at the hospital around 2:00 a.m., and I was dismayed to find that my contractions had twittered away to almost nothing. I wailed to my mid-wife "But they were really strong on the way here!" She laughed and assured me that that happens sometimes. "You're definitely in active labor, sweety, get up and walk around some. It may be awhile." HAHA!! A while! Little did she know. That same day at 4:30p.m., I was still progressing SLOWLY, and was beyond my point of sanity. "This baby is NEVER going to come!!" I cried, as I smacked the bed in frustration with my fist. That's when I agreed to let them break my water. Ahh!!! That did the trick! At 5:16 p.m., after 22 hours of 'natural' labor, the most beautiful human being that I had ever seen was placed in my arms, and suddenly, all the work and pain was worth it---no, it was instantly forgotten. This beautiful creature, this baby girl, was MY daughter.

We named her---Cosette Elise Curtis. She was 7 lbs, 3 oz, baby blue eyes (which she's kept), and just a little bit of blond hair. She was perfect--she had soft, baby pink skin. She was gorgeous!! Grandparents, Great-Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and even one little baby cousin crowded into the room to see my beautiful new child. (They'd been there waiting all day, after all!!) I didn't even care that my hair was a mess and I looked terrible. I had in my arms the most beautiful baby I'd ever seen, and I was more than willing to show her off!






Now look what a beautiful
little girl she's grown into!
Smart, clever, helpful, pretty,
and most importantly, she loves Jesus with
all her heart. She is the joy of our lives!

Happy 5th Birthday, My Sweet Girl!! Mommy and Daddy love you!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Theories:

Theory number one:

One could say that my sore throat, Kermit the Frog voice and cough were brought on by too much sugar, lack of sleep, and lack of exercise over Christmas. But, I think the more likely theory is a little boy who wipes his snotty nose all over my face every time he gives me a kiss. Yep, I think idea number two won out.


Theory number two:

One could say that lots of hot tea with lemon and honey, cold juice, and cough drops might help. I prefer to think that cold ice-cream does the trick. Yep, once again, idea number two won out.


Theory number three:


One might say that sick days are made better when there is homemade bread on the counter and pre-made homemade vegetable beef soup waiting in the fridge for dinner. Well, I think that's just an obvious one....

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Gift Ideas

Our Christmas was great! I woke up on Christmas Eve at 6:15 to a little shadowy figure standing beside my bed, breathing quietly. As soon as I struggled to open up one eye, the figure (Eli), whispered "Merry Christmas, Mommy!" You can't beat that for a sweet wake-up call, even if it was a little earlier than I would have liked :)

Cosette received from Mommy and Daddy a set of puppets and a puppet stage. Well, a homemade puppet stage. We took a big box from Joel's ware-house and cut a stage and door into it, and then my mom and sister 'helped' (okay, they did all the work) me to decorate it :) I'm looking forward to lots of puppet shows on cold winter nights.

Eli received a big container of Lincoln Logs. He was having fun right away trying to build the tower that was pictured on the container.

And Noah was having fun with his wooden train---a colorful, pull-apart train that has all kinds of different stacking and matching games on it for little people. He also got a cool boat with little animals in it for playing with in the bath-tub----a toy that is perfect for him, because he loves to take a bath!

I haven't forgotten that I promised to show you the different gifts that we made for our other relatives. Here are some links:

We made spice jars---simply a mason canning jar filled with yummy smelly things that can be used as a type of potpourri. See sample pictures and where I found our original idea here.


We also made cinnamon swirl bread---oh my, so great toasted with butter and cream cheese! See the recipe here

Included in almost all of our gift bags were some of these scones----Gingerbread here and Cranberry here

I also let the kids make their own Christmas Tree Ornaments and paint them---kind of like
un-edible sugar cookies! We also made a hand-print of Noah's hand and labled it with his name and date. I adapted the directions for doing this from here

Something small but fun that I tossed in each bag were a few of these Rolo pretzel turtles. Yum! Note: We made ours even better by drizzling melted white chocolate on top :)

Of course we also included in our bags one of our family pictures and a picture of just the kids--always a big hit with Grandparents ;)

And last but not least, one of my favorite gifts was a plaque that I made for my Grandma. It simply had a picture of the kids on it and I decorated it, and then I told her (in my neatest hand-writing, of course! ;) how much I appreciated her and all the things that made her so special.

Not exactly the same as giving fancy jewelry and electronics for Christmas, but our gifts were given with just as much 'heart', so I think the receivers appreciated the effort :)


Many of these gifts would be appropriate to give through-out the year, so keep these ideas in mind for a fun, 'from the heart' type of gift.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Happenings

Today would have been my Grandma's 68th birthday. I miss her, alot. And I missed telling her Happy Birthday today. Christmas was always her favorite time of the year. It is a little harder to celebrate this year, missing my Grandma and now Joel's 'Nonnie'. But, there are still SSOOOO many things that we have to be thankful for!! Of course, the biggest one that comes to mind is our children, whom are our delight and joy this Christmas. Take a look at some of the fun they've been having so far:



We started off our festivities Friday night with our church's Christmas play. Cosette had a couple of verses to quote, and Eli got to help sing some songs :) Their part was only a few minutes long, but I thought they were pretty cute anyway!





Doesn't he look sooo into the song motions here?



Then today, we had our annual cookie baking day with Joel's family. This included Joel's mom, her sister's (those who live near-by), Joel's sisters, and me :)

Here are some of the cousins decorating their Gingerbread cookies.



Tell me, have you ever seen such...um........DECORATED cookies?? ;)





And here is a sample of all of the hard work from the adults. Now, tell me the truth here, have you EVER seen a more delicious looking cookie platter?? I think not ;)
















Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Week, 2009

Taking lots of time this week to enjoy my little ones at Christmas. We're going to be opening the last of our Advent Treats from our Advent calendar (tootsie rolls, stickers, etc), baking lots of cookies, making our Christmas gifts, (yes, I totally avoided the madness this year and went completely homemade, except for what the kids are getting-we'll share our gift ideas AFTER Christmas when all our family have opened them :), and enjoying lots of time with our extended family. I want to savor each moment while my children are 1, 3, and 4. Why? Because next year, they'll be 2, 4, and almost 6! And, there will be four of them next year !

Plus, take a quick look back in time and see how quickly they grow!-----



Cosette, two years old


Eli, around a year. (I know, I could have
told you this was Noah and you would have
believed me, right? Trust me, it's Eli :) )





And finally, Noah, around six weeks.



Time flies---I don't intend to waste it :)
Have a very Blessed Christmas Week, everybody!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Our Christmas Card

(This is our 'official' Christmas Card of the season :) We will not be mailing 'snail mail' cards this year. Please don't think us cheap--I had to prioritize my time with all my little ones and my growing tummy :) Also, more people around the globe read my blog than I would be able to send cards to anyway, so this seemed like the most logical choice )












Christmas greetings from this branch of the Curtis Clan! We pray that the end of 2009 finds all of our friends and family well and enjoying remembering the birth of our Savior.



2009 was a good year for our family. We had our 'ups and downs', but God proved Himself faithful through-out the year, as He always does.




We (Joel and Jaime) have found ourselves busy taking care of our growing family. Joel has had a busy fall season at work, and we are thankful for his good job. He has also been teaching Sunday School at our church and preaching occasionally. Jaime enjoys helping out with Eli's Sunday School class at church and playing whenever I can on the worship team. I have also been suffering from a mild case of tinnatus---which is a constant buzzing/humming/ringing sound in the ears. From what I've read, my case is very mild compared to many other people's, but it is enough to be annoying! We have found an herbal supplement called 'Quietus' that seems very promising in it's ability to stop the symptoms of tinnatus. Unfortunately, it can't be taken while pregnant, so I will be waiting until after this coming June. Please pray in the meantime that God would find it in His will to just cure me of this...



Our kids are doing well and growing so quickly!! Cosette will be five at the end of this month. She is working her way very faithfully through first grade, and doing so well. She is reading and working on the normal 'first grade' math concepts, such as adding, counting by 5's and 10's, learning to measure things, etc. She is such a big help to me around the house, and often takes innitiative in cleaning up things and helping with Noah.



Eli continues to be my 'free-spirit', and is always curious and learning! He almost has all of his letters down pat now, and is starting to learn the sounds that each make. Whenever Cosette does school, he'll come to me and say "Mama, I want to do school too!" One thing that we are working on with Eli is to try to help him to 'think' before he does things. I will often find him in the middle of a huge mess that he has made, and he is almost always immediately sorry. It really is like his curiosity just gets the better of him and he doesn't stop to 'think' before he does something (like spreading baby powder all over his room!) I know that this will someday, somehow, turn into a positive character trait for him, I'm just trying to figure out how to guide it in that direction :)



We have been pleased with both of our children's Bible Memory work lately. It is amazing how much little minds can absorb whenever they are just worked with regularly and encouraged to stick with it!



Noah is my sweet-heart, my special little cuddle-bug. He has always been a little bit of 'Mama's boy', and I wouldn't have it any other way. He has been walking now since he was about 10 months--definitely my earliest walker yet! His vocabulary is still verrrry limited. However, I'm told that this is normal for little guys his age with big siblings to do all the talking for them! So far, his only words have been 'Kristin' (my sister's name!), and 'Mammam', which is how he refers to me. We are tickled with his head of very wavy/curly hair, which probably takes after his name-sake (my dad!)



One of the toughest things our family had to deal with this year was the loss of two more grandparents. My grandmother passed away this past April, and Joel's Grandmother passed away just a couple of weeks ago on December 2nd. They will both be severely missed this Christmas, and our hearts will seem just a tad bit 'less full' as we celebrate the season.



One piece of joyful news for us is that we are expecting our 4th baby at the end of May/beginning of June. You may remember that my pregnancy with Noah was not easy, with placenta previa issues and alot of bed-rest. This pregnancy so far has been going great with no complications, and we are SO thankful! We plan to have an ultrasound sometime in January to check on everything and hopefully find out if we are having a boy or a girl!!

God's Blessings to each and every one of you in the Advent and Christmas Season! Please remember to take time to 'slow down' and reflect on the beauty and awe of the birth of Jesus this Christmas!

Joel, Jaime, Cosette, Eli, Noah, and Baby :)
P.S. Grandparents will be happy to know that a copy of our family photo will be coming to each of you this holiday season :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

She rises also while it is still night And gives food to her household....

If I had to sum up the three main aspects of my life from eight years ago, I would say--"Classes, Practicing, and Tests"

If I were to sum up the three main aspects of my life NOW, I would say: "My husband, my children, and FOOD". Not necessarily eating food, although that does play into it :) No, I'm talking about preparing food, buying food, putting food away, cleaning up food, making menu plans.......my whole life is about fixing food for my family :)

Okay, not really, but that's how it feels sometimes. Although I admit that I probably have it alot easier than the 'Proverbs 31' lady mentioned in my title who probably had to rise during the night to go slaughter her own chicken......yeah, you gotta love the modern grocery store! Anyway, I'm not really complaining---I do enjoy fixing food for my family. There's somehow a sense of satisfaction when five hungry people sit down to a yummy healthy dinner that YOU prepared :) So, on the theme of 'food', here is our menu plan for the week:


Mon: EATING OUT!! (Isn't that a great way to start the week??) Joel and I went to AppleBee's for our anniversary. By the way, AppleBee's '2 for $20' deal is really...well, a great deal :)

Tues: Turkey Stroganoff over egg noodles, Greek Feta cheese salad

Wed: Zucchini Bake (kind of like a cross between a zucchini egg bake and zucchini lasagna), Italian Bread, Applesauce

Thursday: Potato Enchiladas, Steamed Green Beans

Fri: Roast Beef Gyros, Tomato Soup

Sat: Easy Baked Manicotti, Corn, Italian Bread

Sun: Either Thai Mango Chicken over brown rice with Fresh steamed broccoli, or an attempt at a copycat recipe of AppleBee's Fiesta Lime Chicken---depends on if I can get to the store to get the extra weird ingredients :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Six Years


Six years ago today, the Saturday morning dawned cold and crisp
You think I would have been worried about a potential snow-storm
After all, it was my wedding day!
But no, the possibility of snow didn't bother me
The fear of tripping down the aisle didn't cross my mind
Worry over the cake getting there in time
Or my hair-dresser showing up was not a consideration
All I could think about was that, one way or the other,
snow-storm or no snow-storm,
I was marrying Joel Curtis tonight at 5:00,
And I had never been happier


We got through the wedding, ( I didn't trip!)
And we walked down the aisle hand in hand
It was the first time our hands had ever touched
And as we stood in the back waiting for our guests to be dismissed,
I found myself wrapped in my new husband's arms,
And suddenly, the world had never felt so 'right'
I felt a peace about this marriage that only God can give.


We went on to enjoy what will be
one of the happiest weeks in my memory forever.
What my heart had been wanting for months--
to spend every waking minute with Joel,
Was finally here, and my head was almost giddy with excitement!
I remember the feeling of his arm around me as we walked down the DC streets
I remember his eyes looking into mine as we sat
at the fancy restaurant eating our meal
I remember the thrill as he checked us into the motel as 'Mr. and Mrs Curtis',
And introduced me proudly to people as 'his wife, Jaime'--
not just his 'good friend' anymore,
or even his 'girl-friend', or his 'fiance'. No, I was his wife.


Six years have passed. This same feeling of awe has met me
Each time we have welcomed one of our little ones into the world.
I look into their little eyes, their sweet faces,
And I'm reminded that they are a beautiful, physical reminder
Of the love that Joel and I share. And now, we wait for yet another
At the end of Spring---another gift from a wonderful Heavenly Father,
Who has blessed our marriage beyond measure.


Joel, you have made me happier over the past six years
Than even I ever thought was possible
You have proven yourself to be every bit the man,
husband and father that I always knew you would be.
May I always strive to be the kind of wife that you deserve!
I love you more than words can say, Joel,
Happy Anniversary!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Things to smile about....

A post full of pictures, just for the fun of it :)


Yes, this is my sister in the cupboard :)
I think my daughter is a bad influence on her....
See what I mean? ;)

There is a 'first time' for everything...first
steps, first words, first.....
Shower! :)



Oh, and don't forget first dentist visits :)








Thursday, December 10, 2009

Funny....

  • Noah tried to EAT a cinnamon Christmas tree ornament this morning! You should have seen the look on his face when he realized that it wasn't a cookie after all!

  • I had a note written up on our dry erase board in my sloppy hand-writing. Joel looked at in in confusion and said "Jaime, what is a 'B16' box? I laughed, because what I had actually written on the board was "Joel, do you have a BIG box at the office?", not a 'B-16' box :)

  • I put a tube of ground turkey into the fridge yesterday morning to thaw for dinner. At dinner time, I went over to the freezer, absent-mindedly pulled out another tube of turkey, and began to cut it open. "Wow, this turkey is still completely frozen! I thought it would have thawed at least some being in the fridge all day" Good grief! I got all the way through de-frosting the turkey in the microwave and turning it into meatballs before I realized that the turkey that I had meant to use was still in the fridge!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

You just might be a stay at home mom IF....

  • You take a shower at 10:30 in the evening, but don't get around to fixing your hair until right before your husband comes home from work the next day....and it's almost time to shower again!

  • You look under your thumb-nail and think: "Hmm.....that's either red onion dye or chocolate"

  • Your latest 'intellectual reading list' consists of "5,000 Great Baby Names', and "The Proper care and feeding of Husbands"

  • You have now listened to Julie Andrews rendition of 'Joy to the World' about a thousand times, and it's not even Christmas yet

  • You are hoping that somebody will buy a new waffle iron for you for Christmas. Oh, and also a new serving bowl, because you dropped yours and shattered it on the floor today.

  • You were totally stumped when you daughter's school book instructed you to 'make a clay map of the Holy Land, complete with mountains, hills, and rivers', so you decided to skip it :)

  • Oh, and if you have three precious little people running around your house, giving you big hugs and calling you 'Mama', that's another great indication that these children are probably yours.... :)

Monday, December 07, 2009

Explanation

I would like to explain a new change on my blog before it is confusing to anybody. If you go to leave a comment now, you will notice that there is a little box asking you to 'type the letters you see in the box above'. That's all you have to do---simple. After you write your comment, simply type in the letters that you see displayed in the box.

I have avoided adding this feature to my blog for several years now. Part of the reason is because my Grandma used to love to comment on my posts, and I was afraid that an additional step like this would confuse her. Also, I have never had any problems with comments in the past, so it wasn't a big deal.

However, just in the past couple of weeks, I've opened up my comments and found 'junk mail', comments from other 'blogs' that didn't make sense, and mass 'advertisements' for.....well.....things I don't want advertised on the comment section of my blog! I thought maybe it would just happen once, but it has happened several times, and it's starting to annoy me....

So, there is the reason for the new 'extra step'. This should help to prevent me getting any 'spam' mail in my comments. Essentially what this does is makes sure that the person leaving the comment is actually a real live person, and not a computer out there somewhere!

Please don't let this stop you from leaving a comment for me! I love the things you all have to say in the comments and look forward to reading them----those of you who are real people that is, and not some computer trying to hack into my comment section :)

So, if you're a real person out there, give it a try and leave me a comment right now :)

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Our Sunday

So I call Eli at my Mom's house to say goodnight after having not seen him all day, and you know what he says?? "Can I talk to Cosette?" LOL! I'm glad to know they're good buddies :)

Oh, and my son, my baby boy, my own flesh and blood, said my SISTER'S name again. TWICE. I told them to teach him how to say 'Mommy' ;)

In all seriousness, we are missing our boys, but glad that Cosette can be here as the family finds comfort in being together. She was a very good girl today, and we were proud of her during the viewing.

One more cute thing before I sign off, because life is filled with things to smile about, even during sad times like this.

We were at Joel's Grandfather's house after the viewing so that we could all eat a meal together. As we were getting ready to go, I asked Cosette to get her jacket. She said "I can't Mom, 'cuz some man put it somewhere!''

LOL! I thought she knew who everybody was, but apparently Joel's cousin Wes was 'Some man' to her. I made a point on the way back to the motel to make sure she was better versed in all of her relatives :)

Saturday, December 05, 2009

To prepare

So, we're traveling down tomorrow to the funeral and we'll be staying over-night. The boys are not going with us, since we felt like the drive and the viewing/funeral would all be just a little too much for them. Cosette, however, is going with us. As sad as she is about everything, she's also a little excited to be staying in a hotel room. Here are a few strange items that are packed in our bags that those of you without a family or small children might have never thought of:

  • Maalox, Tums, Tylenol and Cough Drops---For my nasty pregnancy heart-burn, Joel's head-cold, and just in case all of the flowers in the funeral home give me a head-ache, which they have the past five times one of our grandparents has passed away. I'm learning!

  • A big box of wipes---I find that even an almost five year old has need of these all the time--sticky hands, spilled her drink, whatever.

  • A big water jug----because we can't be stopping for water every time this pregnant mama or our five year old decide they are thirsty

  • Coloring books, crayons, library books, baby dolls, pen and paper, and little hand-size animals---because a 2 1/2 hour car ride can seem like an eternity when you're four!

  • My tempurpedic pillow---because I'm so spoiled with this thing that I can't imagine trying to sleep on anything else now!

  • My favorite fuzzy green blanket---because you get to hotel rooms and pull up the 'comforter' and think "What, THIS thing is supposed to keep me warm all night?"

  • My hair straightener---because there are times when you just don't want your hair to look like a big mushroom---this is one of them!

  • A bag full of crackers, apples, oranges, bananas, brownies---because I'm sure that Cosette and I will need some some snacks!

  • Joel's cell-phone and charger---mostly because I will definitely need to call and check on my two little guys before bed tomorrow night!

So add into all of that mess that I had to pack the boys stuff to go with my mom and dad to church and then to their house, plus all of the 'normal' stuff for Cosette and I like clothes and dress clothes, tooth-brushes and shampoo and dress shoes and deoderant and little girls hair clips and bows, and.....well, I'm sure I forget something! And this is just a short 48 hour trip :) I can't wait until some certain little people are big enough to pack their own things :) Thank God that Joel can pack his own huge list of stuff--suit coat, tie, razor, toothbrush, deoderant. Men are so lucky :)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Mourning

We are grieving yet once again the loss of another beloved Grandparent. Joel's Grandma passed away last night. She had been in the hospital, but the last news we had received was that things were looking better and she should be headed home before too long. Well, things took a sudden turn for the worse, and she passed away rather suddenly last night. She will be greatly, greatly missed.

You may remember my post from a few years ago when Joel's grandpa passed away. Then, his grandma (on his mom's side) also died a few months after that. My great-grandmother passed away early summer of last year. Then of course, my mom's mom died this past April, and her mom (my great grandmother) followed her later that summer. And now Nonnie has passed away.

When we had Cosette, we realized that she had 14 living grandparents, great grandparents, and great-great grandparents. That's a lot for a little child! She was so blessed! We knew that eventually time would run it's course and she would lose some of her grandparents, but we never expected her to lose six in this short amount of time.

Please pray for our family and for Joel's family. It was difficult to tell the kids this morning when they woke up. It is difficult to know that Nonnie will not receive the beautiful get-well card and picture that Cosette drew for her and put in the mail just yesterday. It is difficult....

Life stinks sometimes. This life on earth is hard, it is not always as it was meant to be. We are looking forward to Heaven someday.....in the meantime, missing those who are already there.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Made my day...

So I was out the other day at the store buying milk. It seems I am always out at the store buying milk. With three kiddos under five, we go through a lot of milk. Add in that Joel and I also drink our fair share, and I'm guess-timating that we probably consume anywhere from four to seven gallons a week. Good grief. Do you all with large families buy that much milk?? Fortunately, there is a little store right down the road from my house, so I don't have to go far when I look in the fridge and realize that we're almost out again!

Anyway, I digress. The point of this post is not the large quantity of milk we consume. No, it's to brag on a certain man that I adore. You see, when I got home from my little milk-buying excursion the other day, there was a message blinking on my machine. I started running through my mind any number of possible people that it might be. I pushed the play button, and heard my husband's voice. His message was basically just along the lines of letting me know he was thinking about me, and everything I do to keep our family and house-hold 'running', and that he appreciates those things and loves me.

This made my day! No, more than my day, because it's been two days so far, and I'm still thinking about that sweet little message. Guys, do you want to make your wive's smile a little bigger, walk a little lighter, and mood a little more cheerful? Give her a surprise call and tell her how much you love her. You'll be amazed at the results :)

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