Wednesday, January 14, 2009

JJ is walking...straight to the hoop!!!

A week ago, on January 7th, JJ took off walking for the very first time on his own! And to make it even better for daddy, his first walk was with basketball in hand, straight for the hoop for a dunk! :) Our little boy loves balls, and is now loving his new basketball hoop. He gets a huge smile on his face when he gets a ball in his hands and he immediately looks to the hoop and works to get there. He is such a sweet little boy and such a joy to us! We know that now the chasing begins!

Hace una semana, el 7 de Enero, JJ camino por primera vez solito! Y para darle aun mas gozo especialmente a daddy, su primera caminada fue con pelota de basket en mano, directo al aro! :) A nuestro chiquito le encantan las pelotas, y ahora le encanta su arito de basket. Cada vez que agarra una pelota, sonrie de oreja a oreja e imediatamente mira al aro y se dirije a el. JJ es un ninio tan dulce y nos llena de tanto gozo! Sabemos que ahora comienzan las correteadas, siguiendole por todos lados!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

JJ is ONE!!!

"Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy...

The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad." Psalm 126:2,3

We are overwhelmed with humility and so much gratitude toward our good God for this special, special little boy He has entrusted to us. What a blessing it has been to enjoy a whole year laughing, crying, hugging, kissing, playing, talking, singing, praying, and loving on our little JJ. By the grace of God, he has hit the big 1-year mark, and we praise God for it. He has indeed done great things for us, as we look back on this journey from pregnancy to birth to now being one...and we are most definitely glad. We couldn't help but put together a little party with special friends and family (we did miss most of our family in North Carolina and New York) to praise God for what He has done in our family and in JJ by giving him life and health and growth. All praise be to God!

Just a couple, old-fashioned family pictures with the birthday boy. We didn't get as many smiles as usual out of JJ, probably because he was busy taking in all the commotion. :)

JJ's birthday cake, which I ventured to make on my own with the wonderful coaching of our sweet friend, Kristy! JJ had his own personal little turtle cake (below).

"Happy birthday to you...happy birthday to you...happy birthday, sweet JJ...

happy birthday to you!"

We had a special prayer for our son, who we pray God will raise into a man of God, who will treasure Christ above all and give of himself completely to Him and the expansion of His Kingdom here on earth. Join us in praying for our little JJ that God would keep him and save him soon.

JJ, introduced to his cake and loving the candle above all! :)

He touched and made a little bit of a mess...but had more fun digging into it with his spoon

He sure did like the icing, though! We had been pretty good at keeping him from sweets up until this special moment...

"Ok, where are my Cheerios, now!" :)

Just about done with the cake, and ready to move on to the presents...

What a blessing to have so much love and generosity lavished on our little one from such special people...our family away from 'home.' We thank you all for the gifts for our little one, several of which were bilingual and great to be used in our bilingual home! He doesn't look too happy, but he really did love his Red Sox hat from uncle Woody...he wears it all the time now!

As JJ loves to cruise, he was sooo happy to get this little walker that helped him move on his own around his party! Thank you Stivers girls!
Limbo for the other kids, and JJ, with friend Russell, getting a taste of future parties :)

We could not have a party for our little boy without a pinata! Cousin Patrick was a strong hitter and that poor turtle went through a lot...

JJ and friends: cousin Patrick and baby Aiden, who will be turning one this month, too!

Protesting having to have his little birthday hat on...nothing to do with fun friend Cat. :)

JJ with sweet little Lainey. He can't wait to be playing with her, too!

Another buddy, Russell, who will also be turning one this same month.

Partying with Josh Wamble and daddy

Playing with our great friend and babysitter, Kristy.

JJ with uncle Woody

JJ and friend John...enjoying the view from up high

The sweet and oh so helpful Dobson family. You are truly a blessing from God in our little JJ's life.

Little Hannah Kate... "I don't think she wants to leave my party!" :)

Oh so happy to have Uncle Vinnie and Aunt Ginger celebrating with me!

God is good and we pray that He would be gracious to give our little JJ many more years of life and birthdays, according to His good plan. Our little baby is growing! Please keep him and his parents in your prayers.

Visit from Uncle Vinnie, Aunt Ginger and Cousins Patrick and Lilly

JJ and his cousins, Patrick and Lilly. He had so much fun playing with them, and he misses them already!
Sweet kiss to baby Lilly...getting practice at having a baby around! :)

Uncle Vinnie, Aunt Ginger and cousins Patrick and Lilly were with us to celebrate JJ's actual birthday on Friday, January 2nd. We decided to take the kids to celebrate at Chuck E Cheese...and we all ended up having a fun, competitive night! :) Here is the sweet birthday boy with his birthday balloon.

JJ and Lilly...soon they will be having so much fun together!

JJ's favorite food at Chuck E Cheese- cucumbers!

Fun with mama on the slide
Getting ready for blast-off...

Mama showing JJ how to "whac"!
Loving and holding on with Bob the Builder
Our little cowboy...such intense focus! :)

We were all so busy having fun, we didn't take many pictures...especially together...but the memories remain! Thanks for the visit uncle Vinnie, aunt Ginger and cousins Patrick and Lilly!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Feliz Navidad!!!

Que alegria tuvimos celebrando la primera Navidad de nuestro chiquito JJ! Nuestra oracion es que pronto el llegue a comprender la verdadera razon de la Navidad- JesuCristo, quien vino a salvar a un mundo pecador. Disfrutamos tanto, especialmente con la graaan bendicion de tenerles a los abuelitos y tios celebrando con nosotros en Kentucky.

What joy we had celebrating our little JJ's first Christmas! It is our prayer that soon he will come to understand fully the true reason of Christmas- Jesus Christ, who came to save a sinful world. We had a wonderful time with the great blessing of having JJ's grandparents and aunt and uncle Valenzuela celebrate with us in Kentucky.

Comenzamos algunas tradiciones nuevas y que deseamos seguir en anios venideros con nuestra familia. Una de esas tradiciones es la del Adviento. Josh comenzo a construir un calendario (la casita de madera arriba), el cual seguiremos mejorando, que usamos cada noche en todo el mes de diciembre. Cada noche, nos reunimos con JJ y leimos la Biblia, enfocandonos en el Rey venidero y la historia de la Navidad, cantamos un himno, oramos como familia y al final le dimos a JJ la oportunidad de ir al calendario y levantar la "puertita" correspondiente. Cada noche encontraba una sorpresa- Cheerios que podia comerse (cuando crezca un poquito mas, pondremos chocolates, pero por ahora, le encantan los Cheerios). Fue tan lindo ver como se iba emocionando y apenas deciamos "Amen," miraba al calendario con una gran sonrisa, sabiendo lo que seguia. Para nosotros fue, y esperamos que siga siendo en los proximos anios, una pequenia manera de enfocarnos mas y mas en Cristo durante una epoca tan ocupada y llena de cosas...y esto esperamos instruir en el corazon de nuestro chiquito.

We began some new traditions, which we hope to continue with our family in the coming years. One of those was the Advent. Josh began building an Advent calendar (the wooden house above), which we will continue working on and which we used every night in the whole month of December. Every night, we would sit together with JJ, read the Bible, focusing on the coming King and the Christmas story, sing a hymn, pray, and then we gave JJ the opportunity to go to the calendar and lift the corresponding little flap. Every night, he would find a surprise there- Cheerios, his favorite snack right now (when he get older we will replace them with chocolates, but for now, he loves his Cheerios). It was great to see how JJ would get excited, and as soon as we said "Amen," he would look straight to the calendar with a huge smile on his face, knowing what was next. For us, it was and we hope it to continue to be in the coming years, a way to focus more and more on Christ during such a busy season filled with so much stuff...and it is that focus on Christ during Christmastime that we hope to instill in our little son.
Abuelito leyendole a JJ acerca del nacimiento del bebe Jesus.

Abuelito reading to JJ the story of baby Jesus being born.
JJ se desperto el dia de Navidad con una gran sorpresa de la tia Natalia bajo el arbol- un caballito de madera--que lindo regalo!!!
JJ woke up on Christmas day with a wonderful surprise from tia Natalia under the tree- a rocking horse-- what a great present!!!
Todavia aprendiendo a sostenerse bien! :) ... Still learning to hold on well! :)
JJ es un bebe tan feliz.... JJ is such a happy baby!
Claro que el papel fue una de las diversiones mas grandes de JJ al abrir regalos!
Of course, the paper was what JJ enjoyed the most in the whole present-opening time!

Abriendo el regalo de los abuelitos ausentes (Grams y Grandpa Greene). Les extraniamos!
Opening a present from Grams and Grandpa, who were unfortunately not with us. We definitely missed them!
Disfrutando del regalo de los papis con el abuelito.
Enjoying his present from daddy and mama with abuelito.
Cepillandose los dientes con la abuelita...y queriendo hacerlo solito. :)
Brushing his teeth with abuelita...and wanting to do it by himself. :)
Gozando con el tio Andres.... Having fun with tio Andres.
Abuelito disfrutando con JJ de lo que el considera uno de los momentos mas importantes del dia- el desayuno.
Abuelito enjoying with JJ, what he considers one of the most important moments of the day- breakfast time.
" Que feliz me hacen mis abuelitos y tios! Les quiero tanto!!"
"Abuelitos and tios make me sooo happy! I love them!!"
Haciendo musica ecuatoriana con el tio... Making ecuadorian music with tio.

JJ siempre tiene una sonrisa especial para su tia...regresa pronto, tia!
JJ always has a special smile every time he sees his tia...come back soon, tia!
La diversion continua con el tio.... More and more fun with tio.
Tuvimos la oportunidad de hacer un pequenio viaje con los abuelitos y tios al Museo de la Creacion cerca de Cincinnati. Fue linda la experiencia, al ver lo grandioso que es nuestro Dios en cada detalle de la creacion. Creo que todos, desde los abuelitos hasta JJ, disfrutamos del museo.
We had the opportunity to take a short trip with abuelitos and tios to the Creation Museum close to Cincinnati. It was a wonderful experience to see how great our God is in every little detail of creation. I think all of us, including JJ, enjoyed the museum.
JJ, siendo presentado a su primer dinosaurio... JJ being introduced to his first dinosaur.

Abuelita compartiendo su smoothie con JJ...le encanto!
Abuelita sharing her smoothie with JJ...he loved it!
Abuelito llevandole a JJ en el camino a Belen. El museo tenia una linda caminata decorada con luces, y gente actuando como soldados romanos recogiendo impuestos, y los pastores hablando del gran acontecimiento del nacimiento del Rey. Al final, tenian un pesebre con gente y animales verdaderos. Fue bien lindo y entretenido.
Abuelito carrying JJ on the Road to Bethlehem. The museum had a pretty walk, decorated with lights and live Roman soldiers taking up taxes, and the shepherds talking about how the King had been born. At the end of the walk there was a live nativity. It was a lot of fun.

Sabiendo que la proxima semana, JJ cumpliria su primer cumpleanios, los abuelitos y tios no podian despedirse sin antes verle apagar su velita y probar su primer pastel.
Knowing that the following week, JJ would celebrate his first birthday, abuelitos and tios could not say goodbye without seeing him blow out his candle and try his first birthday cake.
Necesita mas practica soplando :) ..... He needs a little more practice learning how to blow :)

"Que se hace con esto!?" .... "What do I do with this!?"
La tia y yo disfrutamos creando este pastelito en forma de cangrejito (uno de los juguetes favoritos de JJ). No nos quedo mal por ser nuestro primer cake tan elaborado.
Tia and I enjoyed making this cake in the shape of a crab (one of JJ's favorite toys from the very beginning). Not bad for being our first kid's birthday cake.
Cuanto le queremos a nuestro chiquito de ya un anio!!! Gracias abuelitos y tios por una linda visita y celebracion del nacimiento de Jesus!
Oh, how much we love our little one-year-old!!! Thank you abuelitos and tios for a great visit and celebration of the birth of Jesus!