Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Christmas Day started with SNOW! A bunch of Snow! How exciting for Little's first Christmas to be a white one! By the time we woke up at 7 AM, we already had several inches of snow. It was beautiful! We bundled up Little and took her out to touch the snow, but she didn't seem to be very interested. She prefers to stay warm and toasty.
On Christmas morning, Frank's parents headed back home, and we went over to my parents house, which is only a few miles away from us. There, we celebrated the birth of Jesus with both of my brothers and their families. It's always a great time when we get together, especially since we have so many children in the family. They definitely keep everything fun. You can see in the pictures that Little loves her cousin, Carlie.
As soon as everyone arrived, we had a huge lunch with the main course being my mom's brisket. And let me tell you, you've never had brisket if you haven't had hers. She knows how to make it the right way. We also sang Happy Birthday to Jesus, one of my family's long time traditions. My two oldest nieces made the birthday cake this year, and it was delicious! Next, we read the Christmas story and then handed out presents. It's so much fun to watch all of the kids open their presents, and Little had a great time opening hers. Among her gifts was a sock monkey, handmade by my mom with Little's name stitched on it's back. It is so special, and Little already loves it. My mom has made one for each of her grandchildren, 9 in all, and both of my brothers have one. Now, just my sisters-n-law and I need one!The festivities continued with a snowman creation and a pinata smashing (And before you ask, yes, there were injuries).Have I ever told you how much I love my family? They were the perfect people with which to celebrate such a joyous occasion. I only wish we could've spent more time together.

Love to all...

A Cohee Christmas

This year, Frank's parents so graciously drove up to Athens to spend Christmas with us so we wouldn't have to travel with Little. It was great because we were able to spend a lot of time together, and Little had a very restful Christmas Eve. They drove up on the night of the 23rd and arrived with a big tub of my favorite BBQ, Full Moon BBQ. Yum! You can't beat the BBQ, chow-chow and baked beans. If you've had it, you know what I'm talking about. After Frank and I scarfed down some BBQ, we all (minus Little who was already in bed) watched A Christmas Story and realized that Frank's mom had never seen it before. What a classic! I just love the narration!

The next day was Christmas Eve and full of festivities. The day started with Frank cooking breakfast. What a sweet husband I have! He made eggs, bacon and orange sweet rolls (one of mine and his dad's favorites). Then, we Skyped Daniel so we could spend time with him. He opened his presents as we watched on the computer, and then Little woke up from her nap and Daniel watched us open our presents.

Little had a great time opening presents again, but this time she was more interested in eating the paper. Big Daddy and Nannie (Frank's parents) gave her some cute clothes, a lot of great books, and a Noah's ark set with finger puppet animals. Of course, they got us some wonderful gifts, too. Daniel sent us some very special gifts from Taiwan, too. I was so excited to get my purse and beautiful placemats with napkins and chopsticks. Come to my house for a dinner party and you can try them out yourself! Thank you, Daniel!

For lunch, I made a baked ziti and we watched more movies. We watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and then spent the rest of the afternoon playing with Little. Well, the guys had a little snooze.

Dinner was the best part. Frank made a delicious brown sugar glazed ham, and I made all the sides to go with it (corn casserole, mashed sweet potatoes, pea salad, rolls and a cherry-topped lemon cheesecake-yum!) I wish I had taken a picture of the food. I will definitely have to get better about photos ops now that I'm keeping a blog. After dinner, we watched yet another classic Christmas movie, White Christmas. If you started singing "Sisters" just now, I'm right along with you. It was a great day but our holiday wasn't over just yet. Stay tuned for more Christmas posts.Love to all...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Our family Christmas

This year was very special for us as this was our first Christmas with Little. Because we had such a busy holiday planned with lots of family, we did our family Christmas (Frank, Little, Mollie the dog and me) on December 23. We started the festivities with the true meaning of Christmas, the story of Jesus' birth. We all sat in front of the tree while Frank read the Christmas story to us. Little sat still and listened carefully the entire time.Next, we opened presents! Little was very excited to touch the presents and pull the bows. The wrapping paper was also very tasty and much easier to open with Mollie's help.
This year she got a little baby-sized kitchen. She really liked it, but I think I had even more fun than she did playing with it. It has 4 different settings and makes noises just like the real appliances. It also teaches Spanish, which is definitely a plus.She also got some tennis shoes, or as Frank calls then "sneakers." For those of you who know Frank, you know any child of his must own sneakers (his favorite thing to wear).
Below is a picture of Little playing with her kitchen later in the day. She really loves the plastic carrots. Interesting since she loves real carrots, too, huh?It was definitely a very special day. Since it was just the three of us, I didn't get a family picture until later when Frank's parents arrived. I'll post more later about that and the other festivities.

Until then,
Love to all...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bring on the Squash...

Our Little Pea turned 6 months old yesterday. I can't believe she's already been with us for half of a year! To celebrate, we decided to let her try some "real" food, as real as baby food can be. You might be wondering why we chose squash to start with. I had read that yellow vegetables, as opposed to green ones, are easier on babies' stomachs and are probably better to try first. Also, we didn't want to start with something sweet and then have her reject foods later that aren't sweet. And lastly, I craved squash in a big way when I was pregnant with Little. So, why wouldn't she like it now since she obviously wanted it then?

Day 1: The experience was definitely fun, at least for Frank and me. At first, she really liked the squash. She was trying to take the spoon from Frank to put in her mouth. Then we started giving her some oatmeal cereal (which she has had before). When we started alternating back to squash, the real fun began. She would take it at first, but then would get this twitch, almost like she was taken back from the aftertaste. It was hilarious! I tried to upload a video, but it didn't work. I might try again another day.

Day 2: Today was a slam dunk. Little ate all of her squash and rice cereal and never even made a funny face. I hope she keeps this up as we try new things.

So, I guess we will continue the squash for a couple of more days, just to make sure she has no allergies to it, and then we'll venture on to another. Maybe we'll try carrots next. I can't wait.

Love to all...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Playroom Progress

I've made a lot of progress on Little's playroom, which is actually going to double as a sewing room for me. I wish I had remembered to take before pictures, but you can just imagine. Before the room had a couch, a wine cabinet, and an end table. That's it. Now, the room is full of life! There will still be a few changes, here and there, but here are some pictures of the room so far:
The huge chair will eventually be taken out of the room and will be replaced with a little table and chairs that my Granddad made for me when I was Amara's age.
Here is a bit of homemade wall art. The round pieces are made with embroidery hoops. Before you start thinking I'm so creative, it was not my idea. I'll give credit where credit is due. I definitely stole this idea from the good ole Internet. hehe. I did put my own twist on it, though, by adding the ribbon and hanging it from the line as shown above. The bears were just unfinished wood ornaments that I bought at Michael's and painted.
This desk was mine growing up and will now be used as my sewing station. I can't wait to start making Amara some cute dresses. My mom is a very talented seamstress and made a lot of my clothes all the way up to 5th grade. I am definitely counting on her to teach me how to sew. She has already made several dresses for Amara and has done some amazing smock work.
These are the storage shelves that I put together (yes, that is correct, "I" put them together), and they are filled with lots of special things already. The birdhouse at the top was made for me by one of the Senior Adults at my church growing up. The canvas at the top was painted by a special friend, Jenny, and was given to me for being a hostess at her baby shower. The doll in the middle is Little's very first doll and was brought all the way from Peru by my dad. The books are also very special for several reasons. I really love to read to Little. It's such a special time as she sits so still in my lap and turns the pages for me. Sometimes she'll even start to read the book to me, in her own language of course. We probably read about 6 books per day, usually a couple before each naptime. Today, we received a most wonderful surprise in the mail. Daniel, who is Frank's brother and Amara's uncle (and also lives in Taiwan), sent her some books in the mail for Christmas. We were so excited to get them, especially since we've been reading the same ones over and over again. We'll get started on the new ones tomorrow!

Love to all...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Small Group Christmas Party

I absolutely love our small group. What is a small group, you may ask? We are a group of friends who go to church together and share our lives together. We meet about 3 or 4 times each month to talk about how God is working in our lives and how we can pray for each other. We have a lot of fun, to put it lightly. Our small group is not just any ordinary small group. We are AWESOME! We have definitely taken it to the next level by including trips as part of our get-togethers. We have been to Gatlinburg and to the beach as a group. The girls have been to Nashville, too, but we left the guys out of that one. hehe

So, on to the party. This year, we hosted the Christmas party at our house. It was a lot of fun. There was lots of great food. (It helps that everyone in our group is a good cook.) And of course, there was some Dirty Santa to be played, as I'm sure most of you played or will play if you went or are going to a party this year. We decided to do a media theme. The gift was supposed to be a favorite movie, CD or book. Frank and I really racked up. We ended up with two movies: Date Night and Flight of the Conchords. That's some funny stuff, people. We also played Rock Band, which seems to be a much requested activity when people are at our house. It's always a lot of fun and very surprising at the talent that just might show up. Let me tell you...if you've never heard Malcolm Davenport sing, you are missing out. He is amazing.

And even though the party was kid-free, Amara was given a free pass. I sure was glad to have her there. She did so good, too. She took a nap while we ate dinner and then just played and hung out while we adults played. What a sweet pea!

My apologies

Wow! I didn't even realize that I had comments that were awaiting approval. See...I really am new to this whole blogging thing. But how exciting to have a bunch of comments waiting for me. So I guess you really ARE reading the blog! Yay! I will eventually learn how to do this.

On another note, we started to transform the sitting room into the playroom, and I forgot to take "before" pictures. The "after" result is really starting to look great, and a lot of you have been to my house so you'll know what to compare it to. I still have a few more accessories to finish making, but hopefully I'll have pics of the finished product soon.

Love to all...

Friday, December 10, 2010

To Blog or Not To Blog...

That really is the question.
So, I've decided that blogging is tough for me for a couple of reasons. First of all, I don't know if anybody is reading and second and even more importantly, if they care about what they are reading. There just isn't enough feedback with blogging. And I must admit that I do like feedback. Let me know what you think if you have time. What would you like to hear about? I have an opinion about almost everything. Just ask away. I do plan to post a couple of new blogs in the near future. We are having a Christmas party at our house tomorrow for our small group, so expect one about that. Also, I am about to turn a room in our house into a Playroom/Sewing room. I have some great ideas about what I want to do and love to do house projects, so hopefully this one will be interesting. I'll try to remember to take "before" pictures to compare with the "after" result.

That is all for now.

Love to all...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Little Loves Church

Little loves to go to Church. One of the main reasons, I think, is that she loves people so much. She loves to meet people and to see her friends. In particular, she really loves her "older" friends. Last quarter, Frank taught Sunday School in the Bereans class (which has an average age of 75, I think, or maybe even higher). When he started teaching the class, Little was only 2 1/2 months old, so you can imagine how much she has grown right in front of them week after week in the last 3 months. They absolutely adore her and loved having her in the class, but even more, Little loved being with them. I don't know what it is about her "older" friends, but she just can't get enough. I have never seen her act around anyone like she does around some of these ladies. And what's amazing is that she knows them now. She actually recognizes them if they come see her when we're not even in their classroom. It's truly amazing. One of her favorite friends is Mrs. Gayla. Today, I took Little in the Bereans class to show off her new Christmas dress that my Mom made for her. As soon as she saw Gayla, I might as well have left the room. She lunged toward Gayla and just wanted to hug on her. Literally, she kept bear hugging Gayla and rubbing her head all over Gayla's face. I have never seen her act like this with anyone else. I tried to get a couple of shots of the action with my handy little camera that I keep in my purse. Take a look at this sweetness:

When I was little, I was the same way around the Senior Adults at our church. I just loved spending time with them and even went on field trips with them. I even had one friend named Kate who I would have spend the night parties with. She was probably around 70 or so. I even chose a career where I was able to work with Seniors every single day of the week. It was truly my dream job. Maybe Little just takes after her Momma's love for Seniors.

Even though Little misses two naps on Sundays because we're at church, she's just so happy the whole time we're there. Of course, by the time we got home, she was definitely ready for some relaxation. So we changed into our comfy clothes and took a nice long 3-hour nap. I think these sweatpants were mine when I was a baby. (They were either mine or belonged to one of my dolls. haha) What a great day!

Until next time,

Love to all...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Parties on hold...

People always say that everything changes when you have a kid, but you never really understand that until you experience it. The interesting thing is, though, that you don't mind the changes. One of the biggest changes for me has been having to adjust our schedule, mainly our "going out" schedule. For instance, because Little goes to bed so early, we can't really go anywhere at night. I know this will all change when she gets a little older and can spend the night with her grandparents, but for now, she needs Momma and Daddy (and most importantly Momma's milk). Because she is so much fun and I love her so much, I really don't mind staying home with her. Although I do look forward to going on "night" dates with Frank sometime again in the near future. What brought this all up is the fact that we missed our first party last night. I am a party animal and try to never miss an opportunity to socialize, so I really missed hanging out with all of our friends. But I did get to stay home with this Sweet Pea, and who could argue with that?It does help that Amara is so much fun right now. Her personality is really showing, so we do a lot of laughing at our house. She has been talking a lot and when she sees that she has our attention, she'll just laugh and laugh. She also laughs at me when I break into song, which is a few times every hour of the day (this is not an exaggeration...ask Frank), and usually the songs are ones that I've either made up or taken the tune of another song and written my own lyrics on the fly. Usually the songs that I write are about Amara. She also loves to dance with me. And we love company, so let me know if you'd like to come spend the day with us to see what I'm talking about.

That's all for now.

Love to all...

Friday, December 3, 2010

NOT another New Year's Resolution

That's correct. This post is NOT about a New Year's Resolution. I cannot stand New Year's Resolutions. If I knew this post was about that, I would stop reading now (and I wrote this!). I don't even know why people make them. It seems like they are just made to be broken. Can't anybody just decide they want to do something and do it? Well, that's what I'm going to attempt to do. And I'm starting early so it won't be confused with New Year's.

My grandfather was an exceptional man. I miss him so much but have many great memories of him until I get to see him again. He was a talented carpenter, a funny man, loved his family, but most of all, he loves our Father (I'll use present tense since he is actually in heaven doing this very thing now). One way I know he loves the Father is that he loved the word of God. He would read his Bible so much that we would have to buy him a new one every few years because he would literally wear them out from so much use. Can you even imagine? The last leather-bound Bible he had was one that was shown at his funeral. He had written in the inside each year which he read through the Bible (at least since he'd had that Bible). There were 18 entries, I believe. He didn't miss a year. 18 years in a row! The only year he didn't finish was the last year of his life, and like the honest man he is, he didn't write that year down. What a great example of a godly father who loves our heavenly Father! And what an inspiration for our family to follow.

Frank teaches a Sunday School class about worship, and one of the things that he teaches is that unless we know the Father, we don't know how to worship him. How can we possibly know how to praise him if we don't know what his attributes are? And how can we know those things unless we read his very word? It sounds like common sense, but how many of us truly do this?

I have learned a lot about the love of our heavenly Father just by having a daughter of my own. I cannot imagine how much He must love me if he gave his only son to die for me, someone who is so undeserving. The love I have for Amara is indescribable, and to know that God loves me so much that he gave Jesus for me, well, it's unthinkable. And with that in mind, why would I not want to know Him and worship Him and spend time with Him? He is the creator and sustainer of our Universe and yet has every second of my life in his hands and wants to know me. Wow!

So, I've decided that I want to read through my Bible in the next year. Frank has a copy of the One-Year Bible in chronological order (pretty cool, huh), which I have taken. Thanks in advance, Frank. I am very excited to get started and have a couple of reasons for letting you know about this. First of all, who is with me? And if you say you are, I want you to really mean it and really do it. That leads into the second reason, which is accountability. Please feel free to ask me how my reading is going. For anyone that wants to do this too, we can keep each other in check. So let me know if you want to do this with me. I'm excited to learn new things and refresh myself on old Bible stories that I will soon teach to Amara. I want to instill in her a love for our Father, and how better to start than right here right now.

Love to all...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Movies, Movies, Movies...

I am truly a homebody, so I LOVE to rent movies and watch them in the comfort of my own home. There is just no place like home. At home unlike the theater, I don't have to deal with anyone trying to talk through the movie that I just paid an insane amount to see. And don't get me started on people kicking my chair or shaking their leg for the whole row to feel. Also, I am one of those patrons that feels like you should support the theater by purchasing "their" food and drinks (not bringing it in your purse). And since I don't agree with how much my Dr. Pepper and box of Junior Mints cost, I don't have to worry about this inner conflict when I'm at home. I have my choice of a whole kitchen full of food and drinks and even a sweet Cocker Spaniel to cuddle with.

What makes a movie awesome? Well, there are certain films that initially you MUST see on the Big Screen (and then rent for subsequent showings). Comedies don't generally fall into this category. Usually these movies are thrillers, big action films, and sometimes other types. This classification is more for movies like Inception, Harry Potter, Ironman, Batman, you get the idea....seriously AWESOME movies. But those aren't movies that you can watch over and over again. Once you know how it ends, you have to wait a certain amount of time before the desire to watch comes back. You might continue to talk about how awesome the movie is and tell everybody you know to see it, but it still doesn't change the fact that you know the ending and need some space.

Actually, there are very few movies that I could watch over and over again. These are generally those movies that I love to quote or that just make me smile to even think about. Off the top of my head, without even thinking about it, I can confidently list these:
So I Married an Axe Murderer
Dirty Dancing
Pretty Woman
Steel Magnolias
Office Space
Christmas Vacation
A Christmas Story
Love Actually

Here is Frank's list:
Last of the Mohicans
Empire Strikes Back
Spider Man 2
Love Actually
(Wow, we are very different. At least we had 2 in common.)

Keep in mind that this list isn't all inclusive of what we think are the best movies of all time. These are just those that we could watch every single day if they were on and not get tired of them.

Oh, and I must say that I am not a big fan of chick flicks (with the exception of the 3 listed above). There are very few that I would consider to be good movies. Most chick flicks fall into the "okay" rating and should be saved for renting.

Frank would like me to add this disclaimer to my post: I fall asleep during most movies that we watch at home. And my response to that is: If the movie is good, my interest will keep me awake to the very end. However, if the movie isn't worth losing sleep over, I'm happy to take a nice nap while he watches. What's wrong with that?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Let me introduce you to the sweetest baby in the world

Yes, that's right. I have the sweetest baby in the world. Her name is Little (aka Amara) and if you've met her, you know what I'm talking about. Now I do realize that a few of you that read this have or have had babies and may feel differently, but I must say that I'd be willing to bet on this. (I may be a little biased, right?) This post will hopefully help you to know her better.

First, you should know this about me, her momma. I am not a baby person. At least, I wasn't before she came along. I was never one to want to hold other people's babies. I wasn't a babysitter when I was younger. It just never was a desire of mine to spend time with babies. Little, however, has totally changed my world. I LOVE spending time with her and her little baby friends (Julip, Isaac, etc). I am completely smitten with her. I even miss her when she's taking naps because she is just so much fun and really is so sweet!

With that said, let's move on to more about her.

We call her Little because she was so tiny when she was born. She really looked like a little doll. She was 6 lbs and only 17 1/2 inches long. She has definitely caught up since then though. She grew almost 5 inches during her first 2 months and even more since then. She weighs over 14 lbs now. But to us, she will always be Little. It's amazing, though, to watch her grow. I literally think she grows sometimes during her naps. She'll wake up and I'll just have to ask if she has grown. And I realize that she will more than likely be taller than me (I'm only 5'1"), but she will always be Little to me.

Now back to her sweetness. She is such a happy baby. People at church constantly ask us, "Is she always this happy?" And we proudly say "Yes!" She loves people and will let anyone hold her. But beware if you hold her and get too close, she just might hug your face and even suck on your cheek. She rarely cries. The only times she really cries is if she is really tired or if she is in pain. We know that if she is crying then something is really wrong. She doesn't even cry in a lot of situations where it might be expected, like when she falls over or gets shots at the doctor. Last time we went for shots (this is not an exaggeration), she cried for about 5 seconds with the first shot and then she smiled at the nurse when she got the second shot. No joke! Frank is pretty sure she is a superhero, and I'm beginning to think so myself.

Is that not the sweetest face you've ever seen? Here are a few tidbits about her to help you get to know her better:

-She loves to talk. She will carry on a conversation and keep going as long as you will talk to her. Of course, it's not in English, but she loves the conversation.

-She loves Mollie "Pancake," the dog. Actually, they love each other. It's been great having them together because Little isn't afraid of dogs now. When we go for walks in our neighborhood, if she hears a big dog bark, she doesn't even flinch. That's my girl!

-She has the sweetest laugh, and her daddy is best at getting her to laugh. Have I mentioned yet how much she loves her daddy? It's really fun to see. In the mornings when he gets ready for work, we sit on the bed and she just makes goo-goo eyes and smiles at him the whole time. To say he is wrapped around her finger might be a bit of an understatement.

-She is the best baby. I mean really, she is so "good" that it almost makes me afraid to have another child. Seriously, what are the odds that we would have another one that is as good as her. I mean, aside from the fact that she rarely cries, she has been sleeping through the night since very early on. For the past couple of months, she generally goes to bed around 6:30 or 7:00 and then wakes up around 6:30 or 7:00.

-For the past month, we have added cereal to her diet. She is doing great with it and even tried to feed herself. To our surprise, she has liked the rice cereal and the oatmeal cereal since she first tried it. I'm interested to see how she'll do when we move on to other foods.

-She's also been sitting up by herself for the past month or so. She's doing great at this, but she isn't really interested in crawling. We think she may walk before she crawls ( that possible?) because she really likes to stand up and even jump, with help of course.

-She loves to play in her jungle gym, which she usually does a few times each day. She is very careful as she touches and discovers each new animal. She is so gentle to touch the different fabrics and really observe everything.

-She is a very busy baby. She doesn't like to just lounge around. She always wants to be doing something, whether it's playing in the jungle gym, tummy time, flying (with momma's help), dancing, or just having a conversation.

Okay, I realize this is a long post, but we have family that will appreciate the updates. And the last thing you may be thinking is, how did she get to be so sweet in the first place? Well, I think she gets it from her momma.

Love to all...

We are very very thankful...

It has been suggested that I should start my blog with a post about Thanksgiving. So, here goes:

For our family, Thanksgiving has evolved throughout the years. We have a very large extended family, and we all love to get together as much as possible. All of the women in the family are really great cooks and everybody is just a lot of fun to be around. You know how most families have a few people who are just crazy and have no social skills? Well, that is NOT my family. However, now that all of the cousins are in their 20s and 30s and starting their own families and have to visit their in-laws, it makes it tough to get the whole crew together. So for the past few years, instead of getting together on holidays, we pick a couple of other "normal" days during the year to get together.

And now, our Thanksgiving has become something that just my immediate family, plus a few others, participate in. (which is still a big crowd). My mom and dad host Thanksgiving at their house in Athens, and then quite a few others attend. Attendees this year included my brother Andrew, his wife Cristy and their six kids (Emma, Ivey, Noah, Levi, Judah and Miriam); my brother Matthew, his wife Jennifer and their two kids (Campbell and Carlie); Frank's parents; us; and this year, our good friends Malcolm, Lauren and their daughter Allie. We were so glad to have them! So, you can tell that there were lots of kids running around...10 to be exact. And that's just from my immediate family, so you can probably understand why all of the extended family can't get together on holidays.

We always have tons of food, no matter what the purpose for the gathering. Ask anyone that's ever come to my house for a get-together and you'll know. Thanksgiving was fun this year because we had the three newest additions to the family. Miriam (9 months old), Carlie (8 months old) and Little (what we call Amara--5 months old). It was so much fun seeing them interact.

Let me just say, Carlie doesn't usually cry like this. It looks like Little is trying to make her feel better. How sweet! I can't wait until next year when we see all of these little girls running around together.

Normally, I take lots of pictures, but I failed to do so at Thanksgiving. Forgive me, and I will do better. I even have a camera that fits in my pocket and is with me at all times.

We missed my sweet brother-in-law Daniel this year, who is back in Taiwan spreading the love of Christ. Please keep him in your prayers. He is missed greatly but we are able to talk to him on video chat by way of Skype. Do any of you use that? It's a great way to talk to your loved ones and be able to see them, no matter where in the world they are. And best of's free!

I'll end this post with a picture of our new family. Love to all...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Learning Something New

I have no clue how to blog, but I'm going to give it a shot. A lot of my friends have these fun blogs that I love to read and get updates about their families, so I guess maybe it's time to start one of my own. My family is growing, after all. And I do love to write. So, why not? I welcome any tips or suggestions. Please! Send them on!