Over the past couple of weeks, Emily will disappear for a few minutes and we don't hear her at all. This is what we find upon entering her room... Em intently "reading" by herself. It is hilarious because she sits on her little lamb rug and gets comfy. Then she pulls out a book, reads it for a minute or two and then pulls out another. Occassionally I hear her actually "talking" to herself as she flips the pages. We caught these pictures as we were spying on her because it seems inevitable that whatever cute thing she does, she immediately stops when she is being photographed or video. I just keep hoping that this means she will be a lover of books and even more so of the Word of God. What a blessing it will be if she finds such solace and comfort in time with the Lord someday. For now, we'll keep encouraging her to read and and be intrigued by all the things books can teach us. Catching her spending time in this way has been teaching me that it is not only okay to take time out each day, to be still and quiet and enjoy God's presence, but that He desires that I do this every day. Since Mother's Day, I have read 2 books and am on my 3rd and I am halfway through the Book of John. I say this not to boast, but to encourage anyone reading that God designed us to need this kind of time. It refreshes us and fuels us.
I am amazed at how a child of only 16 months can teach me so much...makes me understand why Christ loved children so dearly: "Then children were brought to Him that He might lay His hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people; but Jesus said, 'Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.' And He laid His hands on them and went away." (Matthew 19:13-15)
Emily's new fun thing is to "help" out around the house. She loves to help me put the clothes in the dryer. It is really funny how proud she is of herself when she completes a task. Of course our insane clapping routine makes it much more exciting for her! It definitely makes me think that more children could be an asset...haha!
Speaking of hair (see blog below), she may look like her daddy, but Judy is sooo right, that is her mommy's hair. Yessss!!!!! She is my child! I was begining to think that whole pregnancy and labor & delivery thing was a figment of my imagination, or that I was actually on the island with Sun, Kate, and Juliette and something weird was going on that noone could figure out with my baby...sorry non-LOST watchers, you're missing out! All is well at the Kramer's! Emily is an independant little comedy routine that wanders around our house.
New Video and Pics are up and running...peace out!!
This past Tuesday night I washed my bajillion inches of hair and stuck the "Chewbacca-like" remnants that I combed through on the shower wall for the last time (at least until I grow it out again)!! As much as I had been loving my neck always being at least 15 degrees hotter than the rest of my body, the headaches from ponytails, and the 3o minute showers due to daily cleansing, conditioning, comb-throughs...oh yeah and the 4 bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and "activator" (as Derek calls it) that I purchased monthly, the time had come for the hair to come off, and off it came...all 14 inches of it!! For those of you that have known me for awhile, this has been my pattern for the last few years, grow it, donate, grow it, donate. So this past Wednesday, I did it again. Hooray for Locks of Love!
In times past, I always would get at least a little nervous before the big cut, but not this time. It wasn't nearly as scary as I remember. Obviously, my hair is straightened in these pics, but I will wear it curly most of the time. You can check out our photo album to see pics of the actual cutting off process. Melissa is the girl cutting my hair...she is AMAZING!! I always go to her for the big cuts (I would go more often if I could afford her) but she is worth every stinkin' penny. How many stylists do you know that spend almost a full 2 hours making sure they have done a great job and that you are happy? The 2 of us have a big joke that if you aren't careful, she'll follow to your car with her scissors b/c she is such a perfectionist!!! So, big-time shout out to Melissa!!! I love you...you are awesome!
I am loving having my hair short! Emily did react a little when I arrived home. She smiled, which was reassuring, but she could tell a difference. The morning after "the cut" I took a shower and just smiled as it took me all of 1 minute to fully wash and condition my hair! Most of all, I love having something new, a change. And after all, it's just hair and I'm sure I will began the grow-it out stage at the end of Summer again. But for now, I am happy with the newness of this cut!
I am sending my hair to Locks of Love this week and would encourage anyone reading that ever decides on a major chop to always donate your hair if you have 10 inches to spare. They are non-profit, working totally off of donations, and their hairpiece recipients never pay a dime!! How incredible! I can't imagine being in middle school and not having hair, like those years weren't tough enough!! So, if you ever get time, check out their website at www.locksoflove.org . I am going to try to send my pics in, maybe they will make it to their website. For now...I am going to wash my hair and enjoy the ease!!
"But God doesn't call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we would be in trouble if He doesn't come through." Francis Chan
Saving Ivan (a different Ivan:)!
This sweet boy has turned 2 and in 2 very short years he will be transeferred to an adult mental institution unless his family comes for him! He has Apert Syndrome (click his pic to learn more) and is such a smart boy. Please consider giving to increase his grant through RR. Maybe the Lord is calling you to be his forever family! You could change this child's life!
Smolensk Russia Time
Great times, tough times, joyful moments and sad moments...we are a team and sticking together!
The love of my life! He keeps me grounded and is the most incredible man that the Lord could have ever blessed me with.
TONS of personality, always ready for an adventure and she couldn't be any sweeter!
Full of charm and smiles galore...our tender hearted little guy!
Sweet beyond words...with a little stinker mixed in!