Friday, November 25, 2011

a kingdom of memories.

so, thanks to aunt Mingo, we were able to take Jax to his 1st ever theme park this past week: animal kingdom. initially, he was not so sure about ALL of those people in one place..but soon warmed up to the fun & excitement. we took a train ride to some Rafiki island place, that had a petting zoo and animals to look at and such...on the way there, he was a bit hesitant still (after all, he IS his father's son). cue hesitant face picture.....

on the way back, he was loving it, so we moved onto the safari ride, & he had a blast spotting all of the animals + bouncing around on the bumpy trek.

 our last stop was Dino-land. aka: mega jungle gym for kiddos. we spent awhile running through caves, up cargo nets, bridges, and down slides. This was the FIRST time Jax went down a BIG slide on his own...he did amazing. I (thankfully) captured a shot of his sheer joy as he went down on his own. it makes us smile every time we glance at it. hopefully it'll do the same for you.

we caught a disney photographer on the way out, exhausted and all, and had her snap a quick shot with our camera of us to capture the fun. 
can't imagine what it'll be like this time next year, when Jax is a big brother.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

long time, no blog.

The busyness of life has captured us within these past several months, but-we are coming up on Thanksgiving break and Christmas break, which will allot some time to catch up on updating our blog. Apologies for those near and far who keep up with us through this...we love you. look for an update or two in the next few weeks!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

milestone months.

So, its been a month or two since we last updated. Things have been nonstop go, go, go lately. I used to hear stories from my middle schoolers about how their parents were 'too busy' to come to important games or milestone events in their lives, and think 'I will NEVER be that parent'. But-here we are, parents now, and I can completely understand how you could reach that point by the time your babies become teenagers. If you let those quality times, important talks, family dinners, or cherished & prayer filled moments, slip, or get replaced, even for a week, or two, things start to deteriorate pretty quickly.

We're learning how important it is to put our family first, which almost always means sacrificing other things. Jax is in love with sleep. He's been sleeping 12-13 hours a night now for several months. But, he goes to bed from 6-7pm. So, anything going on, or that we've been invited to, anytime after that, either gets put off, or, we have to get a sitter to go.
I cannot imagine what it would be like to try and lead a family, without both parents being on board, in all aspects. We agree on almost everything when it comes to our family, or find a common midway point, always. There are so many decisions you need to make as a team, for your team. Like, diets/nutrition, eating in or out, bedtimes, routines, just the way you do everything, comes under the microscope when you're a family. And, I couldnt be more thankful to have such an amazing teammate to take it on with.

We've realized what our standpoint is on a lot of things, as they've come up. Lately, our newest decisions have been around food. Jax is eating level 2/3 baby food still, but, with 8 teeth (yes EIGHT), we knew he was ready for more than mush. So, we decided to move forward with introducing him to 'real' food. As most of you know, we try to eat entirely organic, and mostly vegan. Our hope for our children is that they eat the same as they get older and can make their own decisions about what to put in their bodies. But, for now, we've spearheaded those decisions for them and will no doubt educate them on why we eat the way we do.

Brandon's Mom, Vickie, always joked with us, that our kids would be like the one she had at her in-home daycare growing up, who, while the other kids delighted in cheetos and hotdogs for lunch, was packed a boiled egg and some carrots. Ha. Makes me laugh and cry all at the same time. Oh how I wish she was here to see all of the wonderful, colorful foods we're letting him explore.

Jax's first REAL food (aka: not baby food) was Grandma Lahde's pea soup. He went into it a little reluctant, but, for the 2nd bite, opened his little mouth wider than we'd ever seen done. The kid was in love. Some other foods he's tried are: sweet potato, rice, wheat bread, carrots, bananas, and many more. We love dicing stuff up and watching him picking up each piece to feed himself like the big boy he's becoming.
On top of the food, he's now a CONFIDENT crawler. So he's into everything, everywhere. We're learning very quickly what the word 'baby-proofing' means. I say 'CONFIDENT' because, the kid has been able to crawl for about a month now, but, would only do so when tempted enough to put forth the effort. An iphone across the room usually did the trick. But, otherwise, he didnt want anything to do with it. We figured out it was because he didnt think he could get to things, aka: wasnt confident in his mobile abilities. But, then, on February 17th, to be exact, he just, took off. Its like God told him overnight "you can do this", (although we'd been saying it over & over for about a month). So, its been super fun to see him progress in that way. He's also pulling himself up to stand at everything, so we're pretty sure walking isnt too far away either.

Anyway-a bit of a family update, would be:
Brandon got 'Teacher of the Year', and is in process for possibly becoming an 'Apple Distinguished Educator' as well. Unbelievable. Really. You should see the amazing stuff he's doing at school with his kids. I will try to get a copy of his ADE application video and post it on here for you all to see just HOW amazing the things hes doing are.
I chopped all of my hair off, aka: its only inches now most everywhere. (Brandon and I had an agreement that if he shaved his beard, I'd chop my hair, so, a deals a deal-he's handsome and beardless again, and I have a new pixie cut.)
Brandon is also working like a crazy person-he's teaching 4 different classes at school, without a planning period, then working in the after school program (+2 hours after school) twice a week-on top of this, he got an opportunity to do signs for developing neighborhoods from a friend (to earn some extra cash), and so now on Fridays, comes home to put Jax to bed with me, then leaves at 6 to put the signs out, which takes about 6 hours. Then Sunday, goes to pick them all up around the same time. Craziness. Its good because we re-Dave Ramsey'd our finances, and got focused on paying off any debt and saving. So this extra job is helping a lot in those areas.

On top of this, I started running regularly again, so did Brandon. We're putting in about 3-4 days a week each, and it feels great. Adding a kid to the lives of two active parents, makes it a bit more challenging to find the time to workout and train like we used to. So, now we tag team it most nights. I'll go right after school, while he goes to get Jax from his sitter, then, will end my run at home, and take over Jax duty, while he goes for his run. We both did the 'Warrior Dash' a week or two ago, which was a ton of fun. To go and do a race together was something we've both missed a lot.
Thankfully, my mom kept Jax for us to make this possible. Which, is how she rolls these days. My mom has been this unbelievable help to us. She comes over at least once a week after work to hang with us and Jax. We all eat dinner together first, and she usually gives Jax his bath after (of which she adores), and lets us have a night off. Normally, its spent playing kickball on our City of Winter Garden league team "The Kickstas", bc Thursdays are our game nights. So, it works out great. My mom is a saint-seriously. I can only HOPE to be as amazing as she is someday.

So, that pretty much updates you. I'll follow this with a bunch of pictures over the past month or two, so you can see for yourself all of the great things happening with our little Kari fam.
We love you all.

our blue eyed boy

a bit hesitant with his 1st bite of Great-Grandmas pea soup

2nd bite...enough said.

quite the talker.


dinnertime with Gamma. home sick, but still a little adorable chunker.

@ warrior dash, after the event.

smiley boy in his highchair.

standing tall.

Brandons 'Teacher of the Year' slide @ the presentation.

B @ the awards ceremony.

an older picture-Daddy & Jax (he was 7 months old)

hair chop.

Friday, December 31, 2010

A Day in the Park..

What an amazing day we had in the park today with great friends. It is awesome to see Jax having a ball going down the slide, swinging in the swing, and just playing. Again we are reminded of how fast he is growing and wish we could slow time down but it must go on and we will just take days like this as they come and do our best to cherish them.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Jaxer's first Christmas. We couldn't ask for anything else this christmas because we have the best gift of all.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas from the Kari Fam!

God has blessed our family so much this year, we hope he's done the same for you! Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas presents for our followers!

Now we know it may not be as exciting for you as it is for us to have Jax on your desktop background, but, since it's the season for giving we figured we could share some of our desktop backgrounds that we have of Jax and our family. Just click on the picture, then right click to save the image to your computer. Have a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Realizing Jax is getting older :(

So above are some pictures capturing some of Jaxon's latest discoveries. Sitting on his own, (he's been doing this for awhile, but we finally took the camera out), trying to crawl (or more descriptive, 'humping the air' currently), playing with his pacifier (it's more of a chew toy than a paci these days), and just being himself. Everyone always says they grow up faster than you can imagine, but you never really understand that until you're a parent. I already miss the days of howling, cuddling, and size 3 diapers. We are learning as parents that you start to develop new fears of losing each other, or losing Jax. I find myself spending time in his room, watching him sleep, and it takes all I have to not tear up because of how fast he is growing and how much I love my family. Lauren and Jax are truly a blessing from God and I thank him everyday for the opportunity to watch over and take care of them.