Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lost Cheerios

That Steven Curtis Chapman song, "Everything You Do," has been on my mind a lot lately. Whether you are picking up Cheerios off the floor (or letting the dog eat them) or the CEO of a company or a missionary, you are in the right place if you are doing everything for God's glory. I love it.

I was having a hard time with Andy this afternoon. He was being very 2. On the way out of church from Bible Study, he threw himself on the ground several times, and we had a few talks about obedience. We finally made it home.

At home, he refused to come inside. Finally inside, he splashed water EVERYWHERE when we washed his hands - all over me, himself, the bathroom. I didn't know so little water could go so far. Then, he refused to eat his snack. I decided to just put him down for a nap after a struggle with changing his diaper. Looking down the barrel of going straight to bed made Andy realize that maybe he was hungry after all, so we headed back to the kitchen for some cheerios and juice.

Needing just a minute to calm down, I was checking my email. When I turned around again, Andy had stuck a cheerio to his forehead and was "winking" at me (with both eyes at the same time). He was so cute that all the frustration just melted away. Of course, I stuck a cheerio to my forehead, too, and we had a good laugh together.

It's funny how being a parent can be so frustrating, but then you turn around, and it can be so worth it.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Heartline Ministries Haiti

I only have one blog (other than my precious friends) that I stalk. She is an Aggie missionary to Haiti. One day, in heaven or on earth, I will meet her and tell her what a blessing she has been in my life. She will reply, "Thanks! Who are you?" But that's ok because Jesus is using her in mighty ways to bring hope to pregnant women and young moms in Haiti. She is also teaching me how to live for Christ in my world and still affect the rest of the world.

The reason for this post is that the ministry she and her husband work for, Heartline Ministries, is VERY close to winning a $50,000 grant. That money could go a long way for them. The only thing is that they need votes, and I have already voted myself away. Would you please vote for them?

Heather's blog about the grant is here.

You can vote in the contest for Heartline Ministries here.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Family Christmas Photos

 Alison graciously took our family photos at the Railroad Museum in Rosenberg last week. We wanted something for a Christmas card and to capture Andy at 2. Well, we got our wish on one! Family pics weren't so great - I think the one above is one of the best Andrew and I have EVER taken in 8 years of marriage. But the look on Andy's face is horrid! It's like, "Lady, I see that lens all too often, and I am NOT impressed." As Alison often says, it's our job to capture their personality at the time. She did just that!

Andy had a blast with all the trains, but he didn't want to have anything to do with the camera. I really don't know how Alison captured anything at all. Most of the pics are of Andy in the process of crawling up steps, sliding down where we sat him, or trying to break into the train. Some are actually pretty cute!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Halloween is my least-favorite holiday, but I do like the fact that we get to hang out with our neighbors and see all the cute kids come by for candy. Ok, and I admit that I enjoy the excuse to sneak a few (or more than a few) pieces of cholocate.

I have been learning more about the child labor crisis in Africa, and especially about the fact that most of our chocolate comes from Ghana and the Ivory Coast, both countries that use children and slaves to produce cocoa. Here is a short summary of the problem.

In an effort to find out more, I have been trying to do some internet research to find companies that produce fair trade chocolate, and I haven't found much luck. I went to Whole Foods twice, asking about fair trade Halloween candy. The first time, they showed me some organic suckers. But let's be real . . . what kid wants a boring old sucker for Halloween? As a kid, I can remember sorting through my bag of candy on the night of October 31 and being excited about the M&M's that Mom never let me have -  NOT the Smartees. The second time I tried Whole Foods, I just went to the chocolate section to see if they had some version of minatures. No luck.

I did some internet searches for fair trade minature chocolates, but all I could find were these truffle things or chocolate "coins" that no kid would want to sort into their "keep" pile. They would definitely go out with the Smartees.

So, I headed to Target. I had heard that Hershey's has a horrible rating for fair trade, so I checked every bag and finally settled on Nestle Butterfinger and Twix. Yum. Even my precious York Peppermint patties are Hershey's! I went home with my big bags of chocolate (one for the church festival and one for actual Halloween night). Let's hope I don't open them before October 31; at least it's not as tempting without the Yorks. I didn't meet my goal of buying free trade, but at least I didn't buy the worst of the worst - right?

Wrong. When I got home this afternoon, I started to do a little more research. Come to find out, Nestle and Mars are JUST AS BAD AS Hershey's. Nestle offers a fair trade kit kat in the U.K., which amounts to .1% of the cocoa they buy. Boo. Hiss.

However, there is hope. I found a couple of websites that offer fair trade minature chocolates at a reasonable price: - that's where the pic above comes from. - pic below: also seems to have some good information on the subject, especially the article found here. The information is from 2009, but it's hard to find up-to-date information. Trying to find information about fair trade cocoa on the actual websites of Hershey's, Mars, and Nestle is a joke.

I'm not sure if I have wasted 3 of Andy's naptimes on too much research on a subject that I can't do much to change, but I can change my buying practices. I also made a product request at Whole Foods for the minatures. The sales girl said that they have been experiencing a lot of problems with their chocolate melting because it's been SO STINKING HOT, but she said that she would let management know. Who knows - maybe they will add it!

If you have any other information on fair trade chocolate, I would love to hear it. I really do want to be a responsible consumer and make the most use of the buying power God has given to me. We no longer have slavery in the U.S., but if our consumption of cheap chocolate is causing others to live in slavery, then isn't that the same thing as enslaving them ourselves? If we have an alternative to children being forced to work long hours in the cocoa fields, and that alternative involves giving their parents a living wage through a cocoa cooperative, then I would rather eat a little less chocoate and pay a little more for the chocolate I do enjoy. I can say that in a blog, but it's putting that desire into practice that is the hard part. Maybe these few hours of internet research will come to a little something after all.

Friday, September 30, 2011


Andy could care less about counting. His teacher told me today that he knew what a circle is - that was news to me! But the kid LOVES to read. He knows all of the letters of the alphabet by name and/or sound already (except for Q - he calls it O - but who really needs Q anyway?). My son is far from perfect, but I am totally impressed by his not-quite-two-year-old reading skills.

I think part of the reason for his love of reading and letters is that he is surrounded by books and the alphabet everywhere in our house. He has a stash of books in his room, our room, the living room, and his play room.

Andy has this poster hanging above the changing table (where he spends more time that one might think). He knows all of the animals (again, except the Quahog, and what is a Quahog, anyway?) and all of the letters that go with them. I just thought I was buying a cute poster, but I guess since Andy sees it like 18 times a day, he couldn't help but memorize every detail.

I saw a Today Show segment about bath toys, and it disgusted me. If a bath toy has a hole in it, water gets in and creates mold inside, but you can't see it. Andy does have some bath toys with holes, which I am slowing throwing out because it's just disgusting, but he does have these. Andrew is in charge of bath time, and Andy has learned many of his letters during bathtime. Andrew is also putting letters together, like D-O-G, to start teaching Andy to sound words out. Amazing.

Another great tool for teaching letters to Andy has been a train set that my mother-in-law made for him. They are magnetic and spell each letter of his name on a different part of the train, something like this:

She got them from Michael's, and by the time I had an ephiphany and went to buy the rest of the alphabet, they were on clearance with only the unpopular letters left (sorry, V and U). But I bought what they had, and Andy has had a great time playing with his train and learning the letters, too.

So, most of Andy's alphabet learning experience has been by pure fluke, but it's been pretty fun and a good learning for me, too.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I am in Love

As I drove home from the hospital this evening after meeting my new baby niece, Jenna Marie, I broke down in tears. Losing my dad was one of the most difficult things that has ever happened to me. His birthday and anniversary of his death are always difficult. But my Heavenly Father is amazingly gracious. He knows how much I miss my dad, especially on days like today. But He gave my family an incredible gift. August 30 no longer has to be a day to struggle through, but a day to celebrate!

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
Psalm 30:11-12

How true this is! The Lord takes what is tough and difficult and hurtful and transforms it into something beautiful. I remember my brother William on his knees beside my dad's hospital bed, looking up with tears streaming down his face, and saying, "God is still in control. He knows what He is doing." Today, I got to see William stand by a hospital bed and hold his new daughter. We don't have our dad, but we now have a beautiful little girl to love and celebrate every August 30.

Thank you, Lord, for your blessings, "to grant those who mourn . . a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning." (Isaiah 61:3) I am in love with this precious gift You have given us today.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Rainbows and Trains

Again, no picture because I didn't think about it in time, but last night, as Andy and I were on our way home, we saw a rainbow. I was just thinking the other day about how I haven't seen a rainbow in forever (maybe because it hasn't rained in forever). It was beautiful and perfect. I don't know how anyone can look at a rainbow and not believe in God for that one proof.

Then, in front of the rainbow, was a train. Andy is obsessed with trains, and he was really excited about this one (as he is about all of them).

I just thought about God's gifts . . . He gave the rainbow to me to remind me that His promises never fail. He gave the train to Andy because He loves Andy so much and wants to give good gifts to His children. It was a pretty neat reminder of His love.

Baked Fish and Chips with Veggies

Friends and I have been discussing how to make easy, healthy, inexpensive meals for our families. Beth and Stephanie have given me some great ideas and new staples, as well as the Haiti missionary chick whose blog I stalk, but I found this one in an old Real Simple magazine and modified it to fit our family tastes. It turned out great, so I thought I would share. I made a rookie recipe-sharing mistake and didn't take pictures, but I will next time.

I am not a professional recipe-writer, so this isn't exact or how it's supposed to be written, but I think you get the point. I just used what we had around the house. I had bought a big bag of tilapia fillets when they were on sale and used 3 of those.

a mix of potatoes, onions and carrots, or whatever you have
3 Tablespoons plus 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
salt to taste
pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
as many fish fillets as you need servings
lemon zest or lemon juice

Cut potatoes into 1-inch chunks, peel and slice carrots into 2 inch chunks, roughly chop onion. Toss all into roasting pan or casserole dish. Add 3 Tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir. Roast for 20 minutes.
Pull dish out of oven, stir again, and roast for another 10 minutes.
Pull dish out of oven, stir again, and place fish fillets on top. Add rest of olive oil, some salt, pepper, and garlic powder to fish. Roast again for another 10 minutes.
Can top fish with lemon.

I ate this with ketchup to make it baked fish and chips.

This was a great meal, very very easy, and I just used what we had. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Don't Try This at Home

Making banana bread is a long-standing tradition in my family. In fact, I blame my terrible mix-ups between baking powder and baking soda on our banana bread recipe because the recipe only calls for baking soda, and I always forgot that baking powder even existed.

I decided to make good use of our over-ripe bananas this afternoon and bake some banana bread. Andy is a bit restless over not being able to go outside when it's so hot, so I decided to let him "help" me. That was an . . . . "interesting" idea, let's just say.

He stood up on the stool and helped me put the butter in the bowl. That was fine. I put in the applesauce and let him try a bite of the leftovers in the little cup. Bad idea. He went to town on the applesauce and forgot about everything else except how to stuff his little face with applesauce with a tablespoon he was holding. Applesauce got everywhere.

Then, he went for the eggs - thank goodness I caught that before disaster decended. He helped pour the sugar in; no problems there. In between trying to keep Andy from breaking his leg or digging his little hands into the bowl or spreading applesauce all over the rest of his body (his shirt was already covered), I pour another cup of what was supposed to be flour. I realized at the last moment that it wasn't flour but yet another cup of sugar. We got that corrected and mixed it all up in the bowl.

I was about to pour the batter into the pans when I realized that I had fogotten the bananas! So, back to the mixer, and Andy helped me put in the bananas. Of course, he took a bite out of one, so we had to take that part off and just let him have it. We mixed everything up again and poured the batter into the pans. Just as I put them in the oven, I realized that I had fogotten the pecans. Oh, well.

I have made this recipe about a million times since I was 3 years old. I was probably making this recipe on my own by age 5. This goes down as the craziest banana bread making experience yet! But at least we had a really good time.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Family Pics

My boss, Alison, did a great job of updating us on our family photos. I must give the credit to her at

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dessert Theater

In addition to having the opportunity to actually go on a mission trip with Living Water International, Andrew and I were also able to help the youth of our church with a fundraiser for the wells they plan to sponsor this year.

Our youth organized a Dessert Theater where donated desserts were auctioned off and the youth performed Broadway musical songs. It was SO much fun, and we raised over $8300 that night.

Desserts are right up Andrew and my alley, so we had a family contest to see who could raise the most money. Andrew's mom also hand-crafted the cake stands on which they came. I must admit that his Tres Leches was amazing. The man who bought it told Andrew, "You have to try this cake! It is seriously the best cake I have ever eaten!" Andrew replied, "Well, thank you!" The man responded, "You mean, you made this cake?!?!" What a compliment!

However, I am proud to say that my tuxedo cake went for more money. It looks more glamorous, I guess. Don't get me wrong, the tuxedo cake is wonderful, but I must agree with the Tres Leches buyer that it is about the best cake I've ever eaten.

All in all, it was an incredible night with very generous donors and delicious desserts with talented entertainment. It doesn't get any better than that!

El Salvador

Andrew and I had the privilege of traveling with an amazing group of people on a mission trip to El Salvador with Living Water International, including my brother, William. Our awesome parents took turns with Andy so that we could go, and we certainly appreciate their help.

We went on this trip so that we could drill a well for a neighborhood and build relationships with the people so that we could share Jesus with them. Living Water's theme is to "give a cup of clean water in Jesus' name."

We arrived in the crazy San Salvador airport, and tracked down our El Salvadorian sponsors. I knew in the back of my mind that we would just have to go with the flow in this Latin American culture, but that knowledge was put into use much faster than I had imagined. Their English was not perfect, and our Spanish was extremely limited, so miscommunication was frequent and actually not really a problem. Carlos, our leader, told us the plan, and every single American understood something different from his words. But we all just piled in the van and took off. Halfway to the LWI El Salvador headquarters, we stopped at a Subway, of all places. We piled out, had lunch, and waiting forever until the El Salvadorians decided it was time to move on. When we arrived at our destination, oh wow:
Apparently, LWI El Salvador bought a forclosure on the beach. Man, this missionary stuff can get tough! :) We pulled mangoes and coconuts directly off the tree to stuff in our faces. We took walks on the beach. We got up early in the morning and read our Bibles with El Salvadorian coffee in our hands and the sound of the ocean in our ears.

Our group's church (Riverpointe) had purchased the well that we were supposed to dig. However, the group before us hadn't finished their well, so we had to work on that one as well. They split the guys up in 2 groups, and the girls went to hang out with the women and play with the kids. It was a blast. Each day, we did hygiene education with the kids, and it ended up being like a mini Vacation Bible School with health lessions.

The drilling leader, Estuardo, warned us that teams don't always walk away successful. For example, the team before us didn't get to finish. The team before that didn't even hit water - they drilled 2 very deep holes and never found a drop. They had received special permission to try a third hold, and still, no water. In fact, the El Salvadorian team was pretty discouraged that they had told those villiagers that they were bringing water in Jesus' name, and they had not been able to do so.

On the second or third morning, a man came to the headquarters. He had hitchhiked from the village without water to tell Estuardo that the villiagers had all gathered around the third well to try to figure out what to do. All of the sudden, the tarp came shooting off with a splash of water! So, some of the El Salvadorians headed to that well to start casing it.

In the end, we finished our original well pretty quickly. We also finished the other well, and we were able to be a part of the dry well bringing water. Three wells in one week, and the teams before us were not able to finish just one. It reminded me that just because we don't see the fruits of our labor doesn't mean that God isn't working behind the scenes. Someone else may reap the harvest, but they can't reap if we don't sow. God is the Lord of the Harvest and knows who needs to sow and who needs to reap, but we must obey His command.

 My favorite picture from the trip. All the kids with clean water flowing through their precious little hands.
 This was cleaning out the second well. It was a pretty messy business.
 Andrew and I in front of the first well. We brought toys and balls for the kids, and we had a blast together.
William got pretty dirty working on the wells!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Washing Feet (And Socks)

I clean my kitchen every day. Somehow, it doesn't stay clean, but I constantly clean the kitchen. The bathrooms . . . well, I wait until they are really disgusting or company is coming over. Laundry, on the other hand, is a dreaded task that must be done weekly. Ugh. I'm trying to be better about this so that Andrew doesn't ask me at 4:30 in the morning, while he's getting ready for work, if there are any clean underware in the house (TMI, sorry).

I was reading this morning about how Jesus washed the disciples' feet. I was thinking, "Yeah, I get it. We are supposed to serve each other. It's not like we are supposed to actually wash other people's feet - that's just not what we do now." Then, I started a load of laundry. For the 6,537th time, Andrew left all of his nasty socks inside out or crumpled up. I. HATE. THIS. I rarely gripe at him about it because I try really hard not to gripe at Andrew about too many things, or he will just get overwhelmed and give up. But I really hate nasty, inside out, crumpled socks. Gross.

In the past, I have just washed them all crumpled up, but they come out of the wash even worse - still wet (since they couldn't dry properly) and usually still dirty and getting all my clean clothes dirty as well. So, as I am uncrumpling and turning Andrew's socks right-side out, I realized that this is what Jesus was talking about. I love my husband in a variety of ways, but I have a choice with these socks. I can gripe and wish I could call Andrew and chew him out about the socks, or I can remember that the King of Kings, on the night he was betrayed, set aside His glory and washed nasty feet.

Thank You, Lord, for Your never-ending patience with me and giving me visible reminders of what You have done for me. May I love You enough to love others in the same, nasty, crumpled way.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Good Gifts

"True religion is this: taking care of orphans and widows in their distress. . . " James 1:27

Not that they are distressed, but Andy and I have a couple of friends at a local nursing home whom we visit from time to time. My dad was passionate about visiting elderly people, and he ingrained that into his children. I want to do the same for my son.

Andy met Ms. Joann (Granny to him) when he was about 6 months old. She wanted to hold him so badly that I couldn't say no. She was actually just about up for the task (surprisingly because even at 6 months, Andy was a handful), and a friendship was born.

Today, we found Ms. Joann and a couple of her friends playing dominoes. She introduced us to Ms. Freddy and Ms. Ruby. Andy completely interrupted their game, but they didn't care one bit. In just a few moments, Andy had them all wrapped around his little finger. He was smiling and laughing and dancing, and the entire room of old ladies was fascinated with him. Andy truly has a gift for bringing joy to people.

Those ladies abandoned their game and played matchbox cars with Andy for an hour. You should have seen them making all kinds of car noises and commenting on which was the school bus or the moving truck or whatever. Their eyes were so lit up with joy, and Andy was having a blast. He takes after his dad in being a ham, and he was doing anything he could to be the center of attention. It was hilarious.

Our matchbox car party was interrupted by lunchtime. Do NOT get between those ladies and their lunch! But as we walked through the dining room, every head turned and everyone waved. I think Andy thought he was a celebrity. I was so blessed this morning to watch my son love being with older people (even if what he really loved was all the attention).

As I was thinking about how much I love Andy, it really hit me that God really does love us as His children. I would do anything for Andy, and I love to give him good gifts. But I also love him so much that I do what is best for him, even if he doesn't like it at the time. That's how God loves us. He WANTS to give us good gifts, and He does so constantly. But He loves us enough to also discipline us and to sacrifice whatever it takes (including His Son) for our eternal good. Being a parent really makes the comparison sink into my heart.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring is in the air

After much nagging from our Homeowner's Association, we finally made time to plant some shrubs in our front yard. We weren't able to plant everything during Andy's nap, but we discovered that he was really good "helping" us . . . and by helping, I mean he played in the dirt.

Those are my two manly men!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Eating Like a Big Boy

At 16 months of age, Andy is trying to learn how to eat with a bowl and spoon. It's amazing to watch him try out his coordination. Today, I gave him a bowl with some chickpeas and a spoon and helped him spoon the chickpeas into his mouth. Half the time, they all spilled out, but he's getting the general idea. He was having so much fun with the bowl and spoon that he didn't want to eat anything else for lunch but chickpeas! I even tried to get him to eat his usually beloved oranges from the bowl, but he only wanted chickpeas, and only wanted them from his bowl. I guess he's just a little OCD like his mom. :)

Eating with utensils and from bowls/plates is going to be a long learning experience for both of us. Oh Lord, give me patience!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Days Like These

Yesterday way my mother-in-law's birthday. She invited Andy and me to go to Galveston with her and Pop to enjoy the day with them. Andrew made a last minute decision to take a half-day off of work to join us. Every so often, you get a day to enjoy perfect weather, great food, and the people you love.

We parked at the beach, and Andy ran up and down. He would run up to the water and then run away as the waves came creeping up to him. He laughed as Mommy and Daddy took turns doing cartwheels in the sand. We brought some plastic scoops and bowls, and we all played in the sand. And by play in the sand, I mean the grown-ups started building sand castles, and Andy destroyed them. All good fun!

Then, we headed to Shrimp and Stuff for the best seafood on the island, and quite possibly in the entire Houston area. We sat out on the patio and enjoyed gumbo and friend shrimp. It just doesn't get any better than that!

I must say that I am incredibly proud of my husband because as soon as we got back home that afternnon, he jumped in his truck to head to class for three hours. It's so hard to go to school after a mini-vacation, but he did! Continuing on this bunny trail, he also made an 86 on his last test in Hebrew. That is amazing, considering everything that he has going on and the fact that Hebrew is a totally bizarre language that I don't know how anyone learns even how to pronounce the words, much less translate them!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I Hate Vegas

I forgot how much I hate Las Vegas. For one thing, it looks like 29 Palms, which looks like Mars. For another, it's really smokey and really loud. And really expensive.

Don't get me wrong. I love the photography conference that my awesome boss is sending me to. And I love the fact that I got 3 hours of uninterrupted time on the flight to read a fun book. But I miss my husband and my son.

On top of that, you wouldn't believe how many people drag their kids here. And I mean little ones like babies and toddlers. They drag these kids everywhere in the casinos at all hours of the night. The poor things go around yawning or looking like zombies because they are so stinking tired. On the way back up to my room, I had to do a double take... Some young mother who is still determined to have a "good time" in Vegas had her son strapped on her back while waiting to get a table at a restaurant. The baby was about 7 months old and completely exhausted. His head was hanging over the side like his neck was broken. He had this blank stare. I wanted to yank him away from that idiot girl.

I try to avoid judgmental things on this blog, but I have to say that you shouldn't drag your baby to Vegas and keep them up all night. The smoke alone is terrible for their developing lungs. Plus, babies need to sleep! I know we aren't supposed to judge other moms, but that really borders on child abuse. I promise my next post will be more upbeat, but I just had to get that off my chest.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

New Job

 I haven't blogged in forever, but I wanted to catch up. I started a new job a few weeks ago. I am the new Staff Portrait Photographer for Carlino's Photography. I love it! My new boss is amazing, and she is so patient to teach me so much. She is even sending me to Vegas for a photography conference in a couple of weeks. I am so excited to learn as much as I can from Alison. We did a practive shoot with Andy last week, so I wanted to share a couple of the photos.

First Words

I really have no idea what Andy's first words were. He says "Aziza" a lot, which is actually the name of my Tunisian friend. I believe it means "beautiful flower" or something like that. He's going to be a poet!

Andy's first sentence was in response to Andrew walking around the corner down the hallway in our house. Andy said, "Dee dee go?" with his little arms raised up in question. Translation: Where did he go? It was so cute.

Andy talking makes me realize all the things I say a lot and don't realize it. Andy says, "Yeah" so flippantly, but I realize that he says it just like I do. Andy also does EVERYTHING with gusto. He rarely just places his sippy cup down when he's finished. He has to THROW it. He can't just shut a door. He has to SLAM it. The louder noise he makes, the happier he is.

He has started saying "no" to everything. This morning, it was:

Mommy: Andy, do you want more apples?

Andy: No! (As he reaches for another one.)

Mommy: Andy, are you all done?

Andy: No! (As he is pushing his tray away from him.)

Mommy: Andy, do you want ice cream and brownies for lunch?

Andy: No! (Well, ok, then. You can't say I didn't offer.)

We did have our first real conversation today. Andy loves to read books. He probably reads at least 20 books a day. Now, sometimes, it's the same book 15 of those 20 times, but still, it makes me happy. It's also the only time he's not in constant motion during waking hours. So, I was walking down the hallway to his room. He runs up to me and plops down with a farm animal book. He starts flipping through the pages:

Mommy: Andy, what's that?

Andy: Cow!

Mommy: That's right! Good job, Andy! What does a cow say?

Andy: Mmmmmm (His version of moo)

Mommy: That's right! Yeah for Andy! What does the horse say?

Andy: Mmmmmm (Well, at least he got the first two answers right. Maybe Mr. Ed said Mmmm.)

Last bragging of the day, but Andy also said "banana" this morning. Well, at least he said bana, but I knew for sure what he was talking about. I thought the toddler age was going to be really tough, but actually, it's been my favorite so far because he can actually interact with us.