Friday, April 26, 2013

Accidental Memories

It's nearly been two years since we left all we knew behind, moved to Texas, and signed a lease on an apartment.  We never thought we would live in an apartment while Jay finished seminary, but that was what happened.  And we stayed there for two lease extensions.  Never would I have thought that would happen.  An apartment is not practical for two children and a dog.  It's not conducive to having guests over.  And it's just not where I thought we would be after owning a home and starting a family.  But it was.

While I did not daily keep an attitude of contentment and grace about living in the "1000 square feet of fun," it really was not so bad.  We had very quiet neighbors.  Jay never had to do yardwork (a huge bonus during a very busy season of life).  We had the privilege of swimming in two very nice pools.  And we happened to live in a very nice part of Fort Worth conveniently located to so many frequented places for our family.  God was good, and we made friends in our apartment complex, very good friends.  Even more, this is were we created memories.  Whether I liked it or not, the boys spent a chunk of their childhood in the apartment.

As I reflect now on our last night here, I think about all the ways the boys have grown and changed while we were apartment dwellers.  Athan was a baby when we moved here.  I still nursed him and he did not yet sleep through the night.  He was walking, but more like just steps at a time.  He even crawled for awhile while living here.  He went through his spike-y hair stage, he had a time of calling everyone Da-da, his personality blossomed and we learned so much about him.  Hudson has equally transformed.  We brought an energetic three year old with us to Texas and now he's an energetic five year old that can do so much more.  He learned to swim in the apartment pool and to ride a bike in the parking complex.  He took on a love of numbers and animals and has amazed us at what he can understand and knows about these things.  As a five year old, he suddenly became brave and seemed to love life even more.  Jay and I have both turned 30.  He has finished seminary.  I learned how to balance working and mothering.

One aspect of the apartment I have enjoyed is how we have shared our space so well with each other.  Our boys have no real concept of "my toys."  They may fight if one has a toy, and the other tries to take it.  But because we have never separated their things, they don't really know who was given what.  I love that.  That has been true of our space as well.  The boys are absolutely welcome in our room.  In fact, Hudson slept in there much more when we first moved.  We would lay a sleeping bag beside our bed for when Athan would wake up with cries in the night.  He knew to come there to find a quiet place.  He would nap in my room.  He then would just go to my room for quiet time with toys as he got older.  I always loved going to bed at night and finding a plastic bug under my pillow that he overlooked when cleaning up.  I liked that he had been there, and it reminded my at the end of my tiring day what a joy it is for me to mother these boys.

So while I am not sad to leave the apartment, I do look back with fond memories of hanging Christmas lights inside the house, or letting the boys play football/baseball/soccer inside the house.  We made memories and made this our home because we were together.  I look forward to how God will use our next home as a place to make memories, grow together, and love on others.



Thursday, July 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Athan!

We celebrated Athan's second birthday with the Lane side of the family the weekend before his birthday.  It was a huge treat to have all of my family here.  It was the first time everyone was in Texas with us at the same time.  We rode a train, swam, and had lots of play time, of course!  My favorite part of the weekend may have been as Athan was opening his presents.  I asked him to tell the gift giver thank you and he took it a step further by offering a kiss to each person.  So sweet!

We just adore our Athan.  He is such a gift to us with his own unique personality.  He is our brave, cuddly, funny, truck loving little guy.  

I was thrilled that just a few days before his birthday he started to say his own name- and Hudson's.  I think that he knew it was time to do something big.  He also started screaming more.  He knew he was supposed to start something terrible. :)  


At the train station

Happy Birthday with the cousins!




Maybe the hi-light of his birthday

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A little of this, a little of that

In this stage of life with my little ones, I often find myself thinking, oh- I need to write that down, or get that little bit on video.  I try to end the day thinking of the wonderful, funny, sweet things my little guys are doing instead of some of the other stuff that can weigh me down.  While I realize this stage can't and probably shouldn't last forever, I just don't want to forget it.

Now that I am working a second part time job, things like blogging just have to go.  I've tried to make mental notes of things that I'm loving about my boys right now, so here's what I've got.

Athan, aka, Stink and Spike.  Oh, my this little guy just keeps us on our toes!  He has earned the nickname Spike because that is what his hair just does.  Jay was certain that A's hair would grow better if he had a trim, so he took him for that.  Not sure that really worked.  So we've embraced the spike and it just seems to fit his mischievous little personality.  He is such a tough little guy who is hardly slowed down by much...even my attempts at telling him "no." :)  

Athan's actions still speak louder than his words, mostly because he's not talking much.  He regularly says Dada and Mama, but not much for Hudson yet.  He calls him something like Dada.  He also calls himself that (I think that's a result of a game he and Jay played).  He says please, thank you, down, cup or up (that's his favorite phrase currently).  And this week he told me, "ma ba," which clearly meant "my ball!"  He manages to communicate so much with just a few words and lots of gestures.  At Christmas, my dad joked that he was like Lassie coming to get you, then showing you what he needed.  

Just like Hudson did, Athan has fallen passionately in love with work trucks.  I've taught him motions for the different kinds of trucks.  He'll cry when we pass by a truck because he wants to stay longer.  I took the boys to a gas station this week where we sat for 45 minutes watching excavators and dump trucks.  He was beyond excited, trying so hard to climb for a better look.  He loves to be outside and to wrestle.  He enjoys bath time much more and will sing along to our little song (nah-nah-bath time!).  His fine motor skills impress us as he has done so well feeding himself with a spoon.

Athan is doing so well at school.  He loves his teachers and is usually just so happy to run in the door and explore what new toys are out for the day.  It's been fun to see what new things he is learning there.  Among many other things, he's learned to sign please,  say cheese when having his picture taken, sleep on a nap mat (personally, I think that's impressive), and walk in a line.  He'll make an attempt to repeat his teachers names to us, and smiles when I ask name some of the other children in his Ducks class.

Unfortunately, Athan has had a sick spell and the poor guy has needed some form of medicine almost daily for the past 6 weeks.  He absolutely hates it!  I was surprised as Hudson always enjoyed medicine.  We had to resort to pinning him down and forcing him to take it.  Along with that, he's not too excited about brushing his teeth.

Hudson, our sweet little cheese ball!  We love his desire to please and love on his family.  He says so much, which often makes for some funny things.

Hudson's transportation love has shifted to real cars.  Around the first of the year I pointed out to him what a Mustang looks like.  There are 3 that park near our apartment.  He got it and quickly learned them all.  He's like this little preschool car genius (Oh, that's a Kia!  There's a Lexus!).  When we get in the car, we all have to choose a car to pretend to drive and then follow that up with driving noises, even Athan.

It has been a privilege to be next door to his preschool class.  I get to spy on him throughout the day.  I'm so glad to see that he's making friends and enjoying his class.  I also get to see his obedient heart in action.  At church this month his Sunday school teacher told me what a joy he has been.  She also prophesied that he would be a pastor one day.  :)  It was sweet how she described Hudson's eagerness to learn and share what he knows with others.

Hudson loves numbers and has enjoyed talking about time and the calendar.  He's continued to learn new letters at school and can identify most capitals.  It's so fun to see him figure out the sounds of letters in words.  He doesn't always want to sit down and practice writing, so we've tried to be creative in finding ways to get him to write.  Tic-tac-toe has been a good way.  

Another favorite of late- Hudson naps/rests in our room every day and usually leaves something in there.  I go in afterwards to straighten the bed and put up the books, but every few days something gets left behind.  I'll go to lay down at night and find a small dinosaur under my pillow or a car on my nightstand.  I love it!  Hudson will have been asleep for awhile by then, and it's just such a fun reminder of our day together.

                                                                      A Thursday morning with Daddy
                                                                  Athan loves talking on the phone now
                              Compassionate Hudson wanted to help take care of Athan on one of his sick days
I love these little guys!  LOVE them!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Blocks of Remembrance...2011

A quick recap of a BIG year.

For the second year now we had a family New Year's party with our crew of four where we played lots of games and let the boys eat all the snacks/goodies they wanted for one night.  Before they boys went to bed for the night, we sat down together and wrote the things we were most thankful for on their wooden blocks.  These blocks have taken on the role of more than just an item of play for Huson and Athan.  They serve as a visual reminder of what great things our God has done for us.

So here they are...our blocks of 2011

1. Our house sold, easily.  We knew it was not a great time to put a house on the market.  Ours sold quickly and without much trouble.  This was a huge confirmation for us that our step of faith in packing up and moving to Dallas was the right move.

2.  In fact, the house sold so quickly that we weren't ready to move yet.  So we got to spend a few weeks living with a dear family, the Herrmanns.  It was a huge blessing, a time of refreshment and a lot of fun.  They are a sweet family, who inspired us with many creative ideas of how to live for Christ as a family.  The boys LOVED being there, having lots of playmates, a multitude of fun toys, and a backyard that was like an amusement park!

3.  It took 12 months, but baby A finally slept through the night!  Woohoo!  To his credit we didn't push him to give up our nighttime assistance until we had settled after a long time of transition and moving.  Please don't think less of me, but I found I enjoyed him much more after getting a full night's sleep. :)  In celebrating his first birthday, we also were able to look back and thank God for Athan's good health.

4.  The boys had a great summer in Texas!  We made our move to Fort Worth at the end of May, and the boys didn't even seem phased by this major change.  Sweet Hudson really expressed excitement about the new adventure and living in an apartment.  He especially LOVED the pool.  What a huge blessing during the hottest summer known to man!  We also made some great friends, the Atkins family.  We had many fun play dates with Katy, Addy and Owen at the park, Chikfila, and the pool, of course.

5.  It was a daunting task to select a place to live in this huge area while living out of state, and yet we found a great apartment.  It's a good location, feels safe, and we've made friends with some neighbors.  And, of course, the pool was fabulous!

6.  This spring Jay spent hours on job boards, looking on church's websites, and making contacts with people in this area searching for the right job to have while in school.  We're so thankful that through all that the Lord led us to Mckinney Church in Fort Worth, TX.  Among many other things, we love their ministry focus, diversity and heart for outreach.  Jay also bonded quickly with the adult team that he is part of.

7. Mckinney ELC-- I also spent a great deal of time contemplating what type of job I would have and where the boys would attend childcare.  I was reluctant to also work at the church and wasn't sure an opening would even be available.  When I went to meet the director, she just happened to ask where I would be working.  I replied that I was beginning the search.  She told me they had openings, and there we go!  It's a perfect fit for our family and a fabulous program.  They are super supportive and understanding of teachers as moms first.  And, Athan, especially has loved his class and teachers.

8.  Hudson has made many friends this year.  He will express some reluctancy to attend preschool/church, but once he's there he seems to have such a great time.  He made some good little buddies in Stillwater before we moved, and has now connected with some little guys here in Fort Worth, too.  It's so much fun to see those first friendships.  He has also especially loved his cousins and started really playing with them all on his own- for hours at a time!

9.  And throughout the year, over and over, God has shown His abundant provision.  He has met our needs in many ways.  People have shared with us and given so generously to help in the move and time of part time work and full time school.  We are humbled through the gifts of others and amazed at the way our Father meets our needs.

Thankful,
The Felkers in 2012


Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy Birthday, Hudson!










We celebrated Hudson's birthday in Fort Worth style this year with a cowboy themed party. It was fun picking out decor and, thanks to Susu, stylin' some great cowboy clothes. Unfortunately though, for the second year in a row, Hudson was sick on his birthday. We couldn't have friends over, but family did brave the stomach bug and come on anyway (maybe not a good decision as they ALL caught it!). I'm so thankful they would as it made for a sweet time of celebrating. Hudson wasn't up to eating much and we waiting on cake until the next day, but he was excited about his party. Birthday hi-lights were waking up to the cowboy decoration and toys, a morning park trip with Susu, and dinner and presents with the Oklahoma crew. On Saturday Hudson got to ride his new bike and take our guests out to the Stockyards. It really was perfect. Well, except for all the sickness that passed around. :) We are so thankful for our family who would come make Hudson's birthday special- thank you Susu, Pa & Gigi, Aunt Kandace & Jackson!

As we celebrate H turning 4, it's fun to think back on how he has grown in a year.

In the ways that Hudson spends his free time, I've seen a big chance from simply toys to imaginative play. He loves to play pretend and is often coming up with something to act out. It often involves his long time favorite things- work trucks, cars, or animals, but now he wants to act them out. He usually wants someone to take a role with him, but he is okay at times to act out the dialogue on his own. He continues to ask tons of questions, though usually just resorting to the "why" when he is really tired (it took me awhile to figure that out). Other Hudson favorites this year were all kinds of sports- football, soccer, hockey & baseball, Curious George books & TV, Go Diego Go, puzzles (usually before bed), cars & trucks, animal figures, books, playing at the park, and riding his tricycle. He also has a strange desire to squeeze his brother's feet. We haven't quite figured that one out yet. :)

He is more independent. He is opinionated about his clothes. In the winter he was in love with his footed PJs and really all through the year he has wanted his Miss State football jersey and Lighting McQueen light up shoes. Not anything wrong with either of those things, just not my first choice for some outings! He looks older- taller & thinner. I don't really see chubby cheeks anymore. Oh, and he sings! This has been a complete change this year. He loves to sing and even dance. He used to tell me not to sing. Hudson is friendly & silly, eager to please others. We love him so and are thankful for his sweet, teachable spirit.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Word Lists

Athan has entered the talking season of life- I just LOVE this phase! Many word lists will follow.

Here is what Athan has been saying of late...

1. Dada- first official word

2. Jet- we hear them often living near an air force base; he even pretends to fly a plane with his hand and makes a motor sound

3. Uh oh- simply precious!

And then I have to include Athan's rain dance. We were all so excited about the rain, especially A. He hardly seemed to notice he was getting soaked. We were glad to have Mary V and Stephen over to enjoy the rain with us.
video

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sum-Sum-Summertime!

Move in weeked at our apartment...love you Thompsons!
Check out that new tooth!!!
Loved our visit from these Cside Alum
Loving us some popsicles
Learning more about God
Playing at Papa & Susu's house
Playing trash man

With the start of our new school year approaching, I thought it was time to reflect on our wonderful summer together.

Athan finally got teeth- lots of them. He grew sillier, more determined, bold & dangerous. On the silly side, he found such delight in sticking his hands in my mouth & laughing as I rocked him before bed. He start to sleep like a champ! He babbled all the time, and he could carry on conversations without words. At church, he has done fabulous in the nursery. He started reaching over the door for his classroom after his week long stay during VBS. I'm not sure I've ever seen a child do that. He is ready to go, and, of course, when we come, he is excited to see us. He fell in love with his belly button and walks around all the time with his hand up his shirt. Oh, and did I mention that his climbs all over everything?!?

Hudson couldn't be more outgoing. The move has not slowed him down. He talks to strangers as though they are his best friends. Sometimes it makes my heart hurt when I feel like people don't reciprocate his enthusiasm in a conversation, but it doesn't seem to bother him. He loves to play pretend. He plays fireman, zoo keeper, grocery store, and librarian. He offers such sweet prayers and has started asking amazing questions about God. One night lying in bed, he admitted he was afraid to go to Heaven because he feared he might fall out of the clouds. Other great lines Hudson has said: when looking at the weather doppler hearing about a hurricane, he said, "is the storm in a fight with the sun?" I told him that God loves us no matter what and he wants us to love others the same way. His reponse- "wow that's a lot of loving!"

We have been so thankful for our swimming pool in this extreme heat. We have enjoyed many trips to the pool, playing with our new friends Addie & Owen, exploring the stockyards, and many visitors coming to see us. We're thankful for all who've made the treck this way. We enjoyed trips back to Oklahoma, one to Mississippi and an extra special one to Sea World.

Thankful for summer 2011!

Oh, and Jay finished 2 more Greek classes. 1 to go!