Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best Friends

Watching my two beautiful kids grow up together is probably the most wonderful, satisfying, enjoyable thing that I have ever experienced!  Jonas is nearing 2 1/2 in the next few months, and it is hard to believe that Joelle will be 1 in just 10 days! 

I knew that raising two babies at the same time would be tough, and believe me, I had lots of people make sure that I knew just how hard it would be to have two kids only 17 months apart in age, but what I didn't expect is how wonderful it would be to have my kids grow up together! 

Jonas has quickly changed into a wonderful big brother; always willing to get Joelle's paci for her or tickle her till she giggles.  And even though he sometimes doesn't enjoy sharing his toys will little hands, I know that deep down inside, he wouldn't change anything about his sister. 

As Joelle nears her first birthday, she is also changing much too quickly.  She knows her brother and loves to get right up in his face and giggle!  And the way that she looks at him melts my heart every time! 

Jonas and Joelle, as we begin the new year tomorrow, I pray that you will become even closer and love each other more and more each day.  Jonas, continue to be a wonderful big brother and Joelle, keep smiling and loving your big brother!  I love you both so much!




Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Time Flies!

Yikes!  It's been a month since I have written a post!  I can't believe how fast time passes when you are busy!   Well, our past month has been very eventful! 

Let's start out with the best news of all!  We sold our House at the end of September! Praise the Lord!  The closing went really smooth, and the only bump in the road was when we blew a tire on the way up to Michigan!  Ha!  But, we can't complain, because our car was due for new tires anyways.  God kept us safe, and we were able to make it over half of the trip on the little spare tire - and yes, we know that isn't recommended, but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do! We said our final goodbyes to the house after cleaning out for the last time.  It was a bitter sweet moment for me since we had a lot of 'firsts' in that home:  It was our first home together, we brought both of our babies home from the hospital there, and we raised our first puppy there too!  We have lots of great memories of our first home in Grand Rapids, but we are very grateful for God providing a buyer, and the relief of having that extra expense off of our shoulders is incredible! 

Joelle is now 9 months old!  She is crawling all around and getting into everything.  She loves to follow big Brother Jonas around, and her favorite toys lately are whatever can fit in her mouth!  Joelle loves to squeal and scream and make lots of baby noises.  She is saying 'mamma' and 'babba', which I think is how she is trying to say dada.  She is a very happy little girl and she is very curious about everything.  She likes to copy what big brother does - last week I saw her trying to play cars with him by pushing one around his little car track!  She always has a smile for mommy and daddy, and is not as nervous around friends anymore.  Her newest favorite game is the "I'm gonna get you" game.  She crawls with all she has and squeals as daddy chases her around! 

Jonas has changed so much in the past few months, that I can hardly keep up with it!  He likes to call me "mom" now, but still calls me momma or mommy too.  His favorite toys lately are cars and trains and trucks, well, pretty much anything that goes VROOM!  He is counting to 20 and singing his ABC's and learning lots of new words and phrases.  His newest phrase is "Be Right Back, Mom, Right Back...".  I think I could listen to his little voice all day long, and just smile! His gentle, yet playful spirit warms my heart.  Jonas loves to give hugs and kisses, and lately since baby sister gives kisses with her mouth wide open, he likes to chase me around with his mouth open trying to give me kisses!  Like any other boy, he enjoys running, jumping, and basically anything else active! 

I have been enjoying learning about photography, just by trial and error.  I always chuckle when I try to sit the kids down to get a few pictures of them because usually I end up taking close to 300 pictures and maybe 10 or so of them are good photos!  Now that Joelle is on the move, my pictures of her aren't as good!  She is too quick and doesn't want to sit still!  I am pretty happy with this next picture, though!  I love it when I can get a nice picture of the two of them together! 

Jonas and Joelle are really starting to look a lot alike!  The biggest difference that I can see in them right now is that Jonas has my eye shape and Joelle has Steve's.  I love that they both have blue eyes, but we aren't completely sure who's eye color they have since Steve's eyes are hazel and change between blue and green, and mine are most definitely dark brown.  I know that my grandpa and I think my grandma both have blue eyes, and Steve thought that somewhere on his mom's side of the family there were blue-eyed grandparents as well, so we are guessing that they get their blue eyes from their great-grandparents!

Well, I think that is all for now!  Thanks for checking in with us!  God bless you all! 




Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Busy Life

Hi Friends and Family!  It has been a wonderfully busy few weeks!  We have had three back-to-back weekends spending time with family, and we have all LOVED every minute of it! 

It started with Papa and Grandma Yousef meeting us halfway between our home and theirs in Fort Wayne, Indiana to go to the zoo!  Jonas loves zoos.  That seriously is an understatement!  We went to the zoo with my family back in June, and he still talks about the animals, and now that we went again to the zoo, it is definitely a daily topic to be heard about!  I think his favorite animals were the sea lions this time.  We sat right up against the glass and watched the sea lions swim back and forth for a good 20 minutes.  And every time they went by, Jonas squealed with Joy!  And it made me smile every time he did!  Joelle was still a bit young to know what was going on, but she enjoyed being carried around by Papa or Grandma, and then when she noticed that I wasn't holding her, she screamed for me to hold her! 

We are definitely going through that crazy phase of separation anxiety with Joelle.  If I set her down to play on the floor during the day, I intentionally face her away from where I will be working, because when she sees me, then she wants to be held.  Usually I just put her in the baby carrier and get my housework done that way, but she is getting so curious, and those little hands sometimes won't stay put that it is becoming more and more difficult to do housework that way.  I am thinking we need to switch to a back carrier! 

The following weekend, the whole Yousef family, minus our Alaska resident, Simone, came down to have a late celebration of Jonas's birthday.  He went absolutely nuts with all of the family around!  So, just for fun, in Jonas's perspective we have:  Bapa (Papa), Mahda (Grandma), Unco Weeoh (Uncle Leo), Aht Meeshall (Aunt Michelle), Unco Deen (Uncle Dan), and Aht Dohtee (Aunt Dorothy).  I just love how excited he gets when family comes over! 

And last weekend, my two sisters in Michigan - Alyssa and Sam - road tripped down to spend a few days.  we played an giggled and just let Jonas explode with energy, and he is sufficiently tired :)  Thank you aunties for wearing out my boy!  He has slept better in the past two nights than he has in the past month!  And to continue the trend, Jonas had lots of fun with Sissa (Alyssa) and Seemy (Sammy).  And we really missed Mimi (my mom) and Deyda (Kayla) my other sister who live in Arizona now.  For some reason, he won't keep the "Aunt" attached to their names.  I tried several times this weekend, and it just wasn't sticking!  Oh well, he will eventually get it.

I love when life is busy, but I also love days like today where we just chill out at home and build block towers all day while baby sister chews on the two that big brother lets her have.  Those are the best days and I thoroughly enjoy them! 

Here are some pictures from the past few weeks!  Enjoy!   

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Jonas's Favorite Things

My little Jonas Malachi is growing up into a sweet little boy!  In honor of his Birthday, this post will be all about him!  Here are some of Jonas's favorite things over the past 2 years. 

Jonas Malachi was born on August 21st, 2011 at 7:17pm.  He weighed 7lb 8oz and was 20.5in long. 

Newborn to 6 months:
Jonas enjoyed snuggling momma, sleeping in his crib, playing with dada, and chewing on any sort of toy that he could get his little hands on.  He loved to spin around in his exer-saucer toy as fast as he could go, and he would jump for hours in his Jonny-Jump-Up toy.  He learned to roll over at 3 1/2 months and had nearly mastered sitting up on his own by 6 months old.  His favorite foods were sweet potatoes and bananas, but he also enjoyed squash, mangos, apples, and carrots.  His first word was 'mama' at 6 months old. 

6 months to 1 year:
Jonas enjoyed playing with toys, babbling about lots of things that we couldn't yet understand, and mimicking mommy and daddy's every move.  He learned to crawl at 7 1/2 months, pulled himself to a standing position at 9 months and took his first steps at 11 months.  His favorite foods were bananas, French fries, and hotdogs.  He learned to say 'dada' around 8 months old. 

1 year to 1 1/2 years:
Jonas enjoyed running as fast as his little feet could take him, tickling any bit of skin in sight, and singing "Twinkle, twinkle little star" nearly every moment of his waking days.  He began running shortly after he mastered walking, tried jumping off the ground all the time, and wanted to snuggle as often as he could.  His favorite foods were French fries, hotdogs, grilled cheese, cheese slices, and apples.  Jonas became a big brother at 17 months old when his baby sister was born! 

1 1/2 years to 2 years: 
Jonas enjoyed talking and talking and talking, some of which was becoming more understandable.  His first sentence was  "Baby sister, diaper change, go outside." around 19 months old.  I had told him that we could go play outside after baby sister got a diaper change!  His favorite songs were "Twinkle, twinkle little star" "The A,B,C 's" "Old McDonald's Farm", "The Wheels on the Bus", and "10,000 Reasons - Matt Redman".  His favorite foods were chicken nuggets, French fries (can't live without them!), carrots, crackers, and Lucky Charms cereal. 

Jonas is a non-stop ball of energy, but we wouldn't have him any other way.  He has brought so much joy into our lives and we are incredibly blessed to be his parents!  My prayer for him, today, on his 2nd birthday, is that he will grow to be a sweet boy who Loves the Lord with all of his Heart and lives his life to serve Him. 

1 Month
2 Months

3 Months

4 Months
5 Months

6 Months

7 Months
8 Months

9 Months

10 Months
11 Months

1 Year
13 Months
14 Months
15 Months

16 Months
17 Months
18 Months

19 Months
20 Months

21 Months

22 Months

23 Months

2 years

September 2011

May 2012

February 2013

July 2013