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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Alexa’s 1st Easter Egg Hunt

Today, Alexa experienced her first Easter egg hunt. Some friends of mine from BSF and their families hold a big Easter egg hunt every year and we were thrilled to be a part of this special event. Many families attended where the Gospel was shared, a blessing was given to thank Jesus for His sacrifice on the cross for our sins and His resurrection from the dead, and an Easter bunny was available to take photos with the kiddos. Lots of fun and quite an experience for lil’ Alexa. I don’t know if she enjoyed finding the eggs, shaking them, watching the other kids, or petting the neighbor’s dogs the most. Here’s a few pics of Alexa in action.
IMG_1208Hooray . . . her first egg – a beautiful golden egg!

IMG_1210Stretching out for an orange egg.

IMG_1211I love her little squat. It was so sweet. Alexa actually gave this pink egg to a little boy who walked by. The daddy tried to convince his son to give the egg back to Alexa but with no luck. Alexa didn’t seem to mind.

IMG_1215Alexa was very perplexed by the “goodies” inside. She enjoyed shaking them but she didn’t realize you could open the eggs and find a surprise. Too bad we’ll have to eat most of the candy for her this year.

IMG_1217Checking out “the spoils” with Daddy. Not a bad day for her 1st try at hunting eggs.

IMG_1218Alexa didn’t know what to do about the Easter bunny (a mascot) who was there to take photos with the kids. She just stared and stared at him.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Good Morning my little thirteen-month-old!

After a fever kept my little girl lethargic and quite sad yesterday, she woke up this morning much more perky with an impressive display of bedhead. (Seriously, what am I supposed to do with that?!) Her hair and that grin are most definitely indications she was feeling better and her fever had broken. Thank you, Lord, for your watch care over sweet Alexa!
On Wednesday, April 13th, Alexa Hope celebrated her thirteenth month birthday. It was a special day because on April 12, 2009 we lost our first baby to a miscarriage. I’m so grateful the Lord allowed Alexa to be born on the 13th, so whenever I see that date and remember the miscarriage, the following day is a reminder of “Our Hope Fulfilled.” What a gracious gift the Father gave us and we didn’t even know it at the time. And although it was not fun to watch Alexa struggling with a fever and not feeling herself yesterday, I counted it the greatest privilege to hold her most of the day, sing to her, pray over her, and rock her to sleep as she drifted in and out of naps. There is nothing more precious than watching a baby sleep – especially when that little one is someone you’ve prayed and waited a long time for. It seemed fitting the Lord would give me the opportunity to simply hold our precious daughter and reflect on His undeserved goodness and continued faithfulness in our lives. As I was singing to her, an occasional tear would fall from my eye and Alexa would look at me wondering what was going on. I just told her Mommy has tears of joy but she’s also very sad you aren’t feeling well. She’d normally just fall right back asleep.

Here’s the lyrics to one of the songs I sing to Alexa (Wonderful, Merciful Savior).
It gets me every time . . .

Wonderful, Merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and F
Who would have thought that a lamb could
Rescue the souls of men, Oh You rescue the souls of men.

Almighty, Infinite Father
Faithfully loving Your own.
Here in our weakness You find us,
Falling before Your throne, Oh we're falling before Your throne.

You are the One that we praise.
You are the One we adore.
You give the healing and grace our
Hearts always hunger for, Oh our hearts always hunger for.

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper
Spirit we long to embrace.
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost the way, Oh we hopelessly lost the way.

Indeed, the Holy Spirit was our Counselor, Comforter & Keeper the day we lost our first child. The good news is that He didn’t leave us there in that place of loss, “He DID offer us hope when our hearts had hopelessly lost the way.” For that, my heart sings a song of in expressible gratitude for thirteen privileged and joy-filled months with Alexa Hope.

IMG_1171I want to sing too Mommy!

I don’t think much has happened developmentally since my 12 1/2 month update. However, Alexa is . . .
- Walking around like crazy. She “toddle-jogs” now. A recipe for lots of bonking.
- Drinking whole milk from a sippy cup – not much & not often – but it’s a start.
- Enjoying cottage cheese, graham crackers and macaroni & cheese (that’s my girl)!!
- Teething again. I spotted a top tooth peeking through on April 18th.
- Quacking like a duck. It’s her newest novelty.
- Enjoying the outdoors. If I don’t think she’ll get blown over, we’re outside.

It wouldn’t be an update without some pics. Here you go!
IMG_1154Alexa was having a blast on her cousin, Rylen’s, shoulders. They are definitely fast friends when Rylen comes to play. Alexa was not only enjoying the view but she was also enjoying pulling Rylen’s hair. Only a 13-mos-old can get away with such inacceptable social behavior.

IMG_1158I will probably get in trouble for posting this but you needed to see how painful the hair-pulling incident was. Alexa is such a silly goose. I hope Rylen’s hair has grown back.

IMG_1032I love this pic of Alexa watching Pop throw a ball off the side of the house in Dallas.

IMG_1062Such a sweet pic of “playing buddies” – Pop & Alexa Hope.

IMG_1166Reading Eric Carle’s “1, 2, 3” book. She likes looking at books upside down, should I be worried?

IMG_1173Playing with her pink monster from Ama & Opa. When you shake it, it lights up and the little pokey things stretch out. Daddy is stretching it out in this picture.

IMG_1182”Oh Mama! That flash is way too bright this early in the morning!”

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tickled Pink to be in Dallas

About three weeks ago, Alexa and I traveled to Dallas, TX, to visit Mimi and Pop while Daddy was in New Orleans for a conference. I realize it’s late but I just couldn’t resist sharing some of the cute photos from our time with them.

IMG_1015One thing we discovered on this trip is Alexa LOVES dirt. She loves to dig, and much to her Mommy’s chagrin, she doesn’t care very much about getting dirty. Here she is trying to climb into the flower bed.

IMG_1023She enjoyed taking out the mulch and placing it on the pavers.

IMG_1044She enjoyed removing the dirt from the flower pots. My parents are probably upset I’m sharing pics of dead flowers. They did plant new flowers after we left! You have to remember, it was mid-March when we visited.

Here she is removing more dirt. Maybe she’ll be our lil’ gardener.

IMG_1064The other ironic thing about this visit was that Alexa DID NOT want to take a bath. She would literally cry in fear and cling to me as we got close to the bathtub. We think she might have been afraid of the inflatable duck bathtub. No matter, on the third day of our visit, we HAD to bathe our little girl who smelled of wilderness and had dirt under her fingernails to prove it. She was quite the happy baby once she got all clean.

IMG_1065Working her tongue with Mimi.

IMG_1066Mimi’s getting into it. Alexa loves it!

IMG_1068Such an adorable pic.

IMG_1052Alexa’s taking a closer look at her Pop.

IMG_1056Eating Cheerios and looking at the birds outside.

IMG_1059Pop had to save the day when our ball fell into a drainage hole. Thank you Pop!

IMG_1036Alexa loved walking everywhere with her walker but when she knew it was time to go inside, she made a getaway the fastest way she knew how – crawling.

IMG_1070Enjoying a warm spring day with her walker.

IMG_1072Alexa and Pop taking a stroll in the neighborhood.

Thanks again, Mimi & Pop, for letting us barge into your lives for a few days. We had a great time and hope to visit again very soon.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spring has sprung!

IMG_1149A close-up of the violet dianthus blooms in our front flower bed. They smell glorious!

The redbuds are blooming. The temperatures are rising. The days are getting longer, and the wind is howling. It doesn’t take a meteorologist to tell us spring has arrived in Oklahoma. Despite being windblown and removing occasional dirt particles from our teeth, the Kennedy family (particularly Alexa) eagerly embraces the commencement of warmer weather. Springtime around here simply means more time outside and Daddy has to water the lawn . . . thank you Daddy!

Here’s what we’ve been up to the last couple of days . . .

IMG_1128Watch out! We busted out the jogger stroller given to us by one of my mom’s coworkers. It rides like a dream! We went on our first walk/jog today. Mommy is so out of shape, but Alexa loved it. Daddy joined in the fun although the pace was pretty slow for him.

IMG_1118Alexa waving and walking to Mommy at the FBC playground. I think this is the first photo I’ve captured of Alexa actually walking. She’s definitely on the move these days.

IMG_1123Alexa playing in the shade with Caleb King (the son of life-long friend, Leigh Ann King, who drove over from Cyril, OK, and joined us for a playdate).

IMG_1125Caleigh King, Alexa & Caleb King posing outside the park. No they aren’t in prison. Don’t know why I tried to get a pic of the three of them actually looking at camera!

IMG_1133The budding leaves on our lil’ maple tree out front.

IMG_1136It’s really fun to see how the leaves bud. Alexa and I look at them everyday.

IMG_1141The beautiful dianthus - we hope to plant more flowers & another tree today.
We hope you too are enjoying the newness of life this spring. Don’t get blown away!

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Very Special Day

“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved . . . ‘For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”
Romans 10:9-10, 13
IMG_1117Alexa Hope with her cousins, Rylen & Layton.
Yesterday (April 3rd) was a very special day. My nephew, Layton, was baptized by my Dad (his Pop) at First Baptist Church in Edmond, OK. Layton accepted Christ as his personal Lord and Savior at the beginning of this year. He has been anticipating the day he would be able to make his commitment to the Lord public by being baptized. We realize there is no saving power in baptism; however, it is a testimony to the world of what has happened on the inside of a believer – buried in our sinful ways and raised to walk with Jesus in a newness of life!

Baptism is such a beautiful picture of what our lives look like before and after knowing the Lord. As part of the big celebration, Layton got to pick where we ate for lunch, On The Border. (He LOVES the queso!!) Ah yes, that’s my boy! I am so excited to show off my newest brother in Christ, Layton Cole. His sis, Rylen, accepted Christ at a young age as well – so she’s my sister too. Rylen’s our little missionary – always ready to share the Gospel. They both love the Lord and desire to follow Him. What an example to their aunt! We have already begun praying our little Alexa Hope will also make this life-changing decision at a young age and follow Him with all of her heart with an eagerness to share the hope she has in Him.

God is so good and we are so thankful He’s given us the opportunity to know Him and the Father through His sacrifice on the cross for our sins, His resurrection from the dead, and His glorification at the right hand of the Father. If you don’t know Him, I’d love to tell you how you can! He loves you so much and desires for you to walk with Him and experience life and life abundant – John 10:10. Indeed, Jesus is the ONLY way! I am praying, even now, you would seek His forgiveness, call out to Him as your Lord & Savior, and taste and see the Lord is good – Psalm 34:8.

”But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

”Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the Truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” John 14:6

Friday, April 1, 2011

12 1/2 months & still smiling . . .

Oddly enough, we didn’t have a one-year-old check up for Alexa rather a one year, fifteen days doc’s appt. That’s why this update is later than I would have preferred but I don’t schedule her appointments. So, I wanted to fill you in on the latest antics and adventures in our little girl’s life. First of all – she’s still little. Here are her stats . . .
Weight – 18lbs 1oz (8%)
Length – 29.5” (65%)
Head Circumference – 16.75” (2%)
I’ve been told she takes after her Mommy & Daddy – long and lean. I was a little sad when they weighed her as I was hoping she’d reach the 20 lb. mark and we could purchase a forward facing car seat. If you know Alexa, she’s been alert since she entered this world, so facing backward in a reclined position isn’t her idea of fun (not fun for Mommy either). I guess we’ll start sneaking supplements into her milk & we’ll be at 20 lbs. in no time – just kidding!! Seriously though, we’re so thankful for a healthy report from our little bundle of sunshine. Indeed, her smile can light up a room. 

IMG_0677I just love this little argyle dress. I had to capture her in it before it’s too warm.

IMG_0713Sitting in my niece, Rylen’s, chair. She wasn’t so sure about the princess papasan.

UPDATES IN THE WORLD O’ ALEXA So what has happened in the last month and a half, you ask? A lot!!

--Alexa turned one on Sunday, March 13th.
--Alexa has a total of two teeth! Her first tooth made its appearance on her bottom gum Feb. 20th.
--Alexa calls almost all foods “nana” for banana and almost every person “Dada” – even animals, so I don’t take it too personally. She can say “Mama” if she wants.
--She makes a very cute spinning action with her hands to simulate the ceiling fan.
--She started walking five days after her 1st birthday – March 18th. She’s greatly improved on her balancing & stepping skills. She’s more courageous every day.
--She’s getting quite adept at feeding herself – her fave foods at the time include bananas, skinned grapes (I know, I’m a paranoid new mom), oranges, string cheese, whole wheat toast, muffins, bagels & yogurt bites. She’s not a fan of real yogurt or any veggie. We’ll keep trying!
--She’s also getting the hang of her sippy cup. We’ve introduced her to whole milk and she seems to enjoy it. The key – my sister’s family got her a sippy cup with her name on it. We sing a song I made up spelling her name to the tune of “B-I-N-G-O.” It keeps her fascinated with the cup as she points to each letter in her name as we sing. She says “A . . . A . . . A” until we sing the song.
--She can sign “please” & “more” – although she prefers the more demanding approach of pointing and saying “ahhhh.”
--She LOVES the outside so much. She loves crawling on any surface be it stiff, dead grass or concrete. It doesn’t matter. Dirt fascinates her and she doesn’t mind 30 mph winds. Mommy’s going to be in for lots of “wilderness” smell in the days to come.
--When we go for our “routine” walk, she loves to stop at these little twig trees to touch the twine that keeps them staked into the ground. It’s an obsession of hers.
--She loves to see animals on our walks – especially dogs. And no, we aren’t going to get one!
--I continue to be amazed at her grasp of vocabulary. She truly gets so much of what we’re saying. I love watching her “get it.” What a thrill to observe her learning.
--Alexa enjoyed some extended time with her Ama & Opa who visited from CA for her 1st birthday. We also drove to Dallas to spend some time with Mimi & Pop while Daddy was in New Orleans for a conference.

IMG_0749I was putting away several of Alexa’s clothes for storage and Alexa wanted in the storage tub. She could’ve stayed inside there for hours. She was absolutely delighted.

IMG_0756Growling like a lion.

IMG_0747This is so much fun – where’s this tub been hiding?

IMG_0758Now it’s peek-a-boo time!

IMG_0760A perspective shot of just how big the tub was.

IMG_0761Can I stay in here just a little bit longer . . . pleeeaaase!!

IMG_0740She loves removing her bow. Look at that face of satisfaction. I got it Mommy!

IMG_0772Posing with our sweet friend, Esta, a Ph.D. student from Baghdad, Iraq.

IMG_0104Alexa’s not so convinced she needs all the layers for a walk with Ama.

IMG_0131She didn’t care a bit that the grass was scratchy. Her hands & arms were all red from this day outside. She was not thrilled about going back inside.

IMG_0843I’m stretching to reach the branches.

IMG_0189I made up a song for the book, “Snuggle Puppy” by Sandra Boynton. Here Alexa is following along with my mad melody. . . “Ooohhhh Snuggle Puppy of Mine. Everything about you is especially fine.”

IMG_0786Checking out the twine & twig at the park. Never knew twine could be so fascinating.

IMG_1075 One special thing about having family living far away is Alexa gets to open lots of packages. Here she is opening a box of birthday gifts from her Aunt Kelly & Uncle John who live near Washington D.C. These were her first crayons.

IMG_1079She’s not for sure what to do with those colorful crayons so she tastes the pink crayon – just to make sure it’s alright.

IMG_1080Now she’s getting the hang of it. Hope she loves to draw like Mommy.

IMG_1084Perhaps her favorite gift was the tiger snack cups. They haven’t been used much for snacks as Alexa enjoys putting items in them & taking the lids off and on. Thanks for the all the spoiling Aunt Kelly & Uncle John!

IMG_1100Alexa thinks it’s fun to ride her scooter backwards (borrowed from the Greens). She also enjoys walking with it backwards. She’s such a silly girl.
Well, thanks for allowing me to gush over our little sweet pea. We think she’s pretty great! I have more pics from our time in Dallas but I’ll save those for another blog. And I do hope to update more frequently this coming month.