Sunday, August 31, 2008

Clean Water...what can you do?

Click HERE to view their auction site
Georganne (my ma-in-law) is involved with Women of Vision in their area and they have come up with an online auction to raise money for their project in Zambia to bring clean water to the people there. By registering to bid and joining in the FUN, you are choosing to help Women of Vision of Kittitas County raise the needed funds to drill 3 boreholes in an area of Southern Zambia known as Sinazongwe. People in this region suffer from extreme poverty, drought, famine, with an average annual income of $500. There are high rates of diarrhea and other waterborne illnesses because there are not enough sources of clean water. In addition, Women of Vision serves their local community by supporting FISH, a food bank helping those in need. All donations are TAX-DEDUCTIBLE.
A lot of the items are specific to the Northwest but others could be nationwide. Please help us out by passing this website on to anyone you know who might be interested! The auction takes place September 15th -20th and will resemble an ebay auction. You can go on now to view some of the items and register! Please visit their auction site to see how you can help by bidding on a number of wonderful items including vacations, sporting events and more!
Women of Vision is a volunteer ministry committed to demonstrating tangible evidence of God's love to oppressed and impoverished women throughout the world.
Women of Vision is a program of World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. For more information, visit their website:

What Kai's Little Body Is Up To

Okay, this is the last post of my updates--about how darn huge my baby is growing! I honestly can't believe how big and grown up he looks...and acts. We are at Gramma and Pa's this weekend who happen to have a scale (we don't, thank you very much). So, I stripped him down and weighed him, then Auntie T and I had him lay out on the table and measure him, quite a morning for the poor kid. So, he is now weighing somewhere around 24 lbs and is about 33 1/2 inches tall. If our measurements are correct, it means that since his first bday (5 months ago) he has gained only 3 pounds but has grown 3 inches taller! I get comments from people all the time asking his age and then commenting on "what a big boy" he is. I always think that is funny because he has never really been big at all but now that I see other toddlers his age or older I am realizing his is tall and lean. Now, I know why all his pants from last spring are high waters on him. I finally broke down and got him two pairs of pants for the fall that are 18-24mos, a little big but apparently he will grow into them soon enough.
Kai also has a mouth full of teeth. I am sorry to say I have been pretty bad about recording when they have all come in on the page in his baby book after the 7th or 8th one. He now has all 8 in front, 4 molars in back and a little k9 took coming in on the top left. He loves to brush his teeth which is good but he loves to do it which is also bad. He doesn't want help and I am pretty sure he is just sucking off the toothpaste so I try to get a few actually brushes in there too.
What else....his hair is beginning to grow in a little thicker now but sticks straight up most of the time, he bites his fingernails (weird!) and his toenails grow really funky. He a little kid, like when you walk into that elementary classroom in the spring after recess and it smells like little kid sweat--that is the sweat he is sweating. Gross. What happened to the sweet baby smells? Even when he smelled like sour milk, at least it was still a baby smell! Oh well, another sign that my baby is no longer a baby...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bellingham (the greatest place on earth)

After leaving the boat we headed up to Bellingham to visit friends. Tyson went to college there and it is our desire to one day return. We used to be in a small group with one of our pastors who also used to live in Bellingham. Whenever he and his wife and Tys would talk about Bham everyone else in the group would make jokes about how after whenever you say Bellingham it has to be followed with (the greatest place on earth) because all three of them would talk about it that way. I realized for me this was the most time I had spent in Bellingham since Tys and I first dated and I was happy to remember that I did enjoy it quite a bit! It is a beautiful area and a great town.
But, the best part about Bellingham for us is the friends! We stayed with our friends Trevor, Kristen and Annabelle and were able to see other friends up there as well. Belle is about six months older than Kai and that had a blast together! It was so fun to see them play and interact. The differences between boys and girls were obvious watching them which was entertaining. We hung out in Boulevard Park (the best park ever according to Tyson), went to dinner, went to church, had a wonderful feast which included a meat salad (yummy, yummy) and had a great time hanging out and fellowshipping.

Throwing rocks...again.

Giving high fives on the boardwalk
Little Buddies
Big Buddies

Kristen and I are buddies too but moms rarely get out from behind the camera:)

Thanks friends for such a great couple days!

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Some of God's Beauty...

A Few Favs

Here are a few of my favorites of Kai from the trip...

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Sea Life!

We saw lots of amazing sea life out on the boat. There were of course the crabs...Kai had fun with those and I thought they were yummy!

We saw a really big jelly fish (at least I thought it was big)

We were told that there were no whales to see, but as we headed out our first afternoon we saw some in the distance which was very exciting. We could see them in three different directions...
Then a few got closer and we could see them even better! Aren't they just beautiful!Then we saw a few coming right at the boat. They came up then went under the water about 100 yards from our boat. Then all of the sudden the came up right next to our boat...three of them, including a baby. I snapped the pictures really fast and didn't even have time to look through the camera but here is what I got.

It was very exciting and we were blessed to see these gorgeous creatures up close!


Last week we headed up to the San Juan Islands and went boating with Gramma & Pa. We took the ferry from Anacordes to Friday Harbor and met them there on the boat. We went to a couple different islands and anchored in little bays. It was a wonderful time and Kai had a ball! He did so great considering he had a life jacket on most of the two days and we were in a small space on the boat with a lot of things that were off limits. Again, he amazed me and went with the flow and was a joy! He even slept (for the first time ever in his life!) with Tyson and I at night on the boat...right in the middle...boy that kid is an active sleeper! We didn't get much sleep but it was fun to experience and know we can handle it when we go camping:) We had a great time playing and hiking on the islands, crabbing, seeing lots of sea life and hanging out together. Kai learned lots of new words his favorite being "boat" and also "water". We were so excited he had a chance to experience this. Thanks Gramma and Pa for a fun few days!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What Kai's Little Mind Is Up To

So many things...this boy seems like his mind is going a mile a minute all the time! First off he is talking two languages! His first language is his own and he has been doing this for quite a while. He will look at us and jibber jabber on and on, sometimes very serious, and then other times he will break into a laugh in the middle of it all. He is so funny and it cracks me up. He looks at me like I should know just what he is saying...I love it! He is also saying real words now to...he says dada, mama, baby, belly, ball (a favorite), more and a personal favorite...oh wow! He can say many more if you say it and ask him to repeat it and sometimes he just repeats words you say that you don't mean for him to repeat but he does. He also sometimes tries to say a word but doesn't get very close and laughs to himself. He really is a hoot! He pronounces things slow and steady and I love the sound of his little voice. I feel like I am missing other words he says but it is late and my brain is not all there. I will have to remember them. Kai has been signing for a while now and can sign please, more, cracker, cheese, and thank you (always with a blown kiss). Signing has got us through many months of communication before he can verbally tell us.
Reading...Kai LOVES to read. He will bring us books to read with him or sit down and look through them himself. He is especially fond of his animal books and loves to point to all the animals. He has also become a big fan of the Baby Einstein DVDs...mostly the animal ones and will go get them and sign please and sit down like his is ready to watch. Funny boy. We don't let him watch them all the time but it sure is fun to see how excited he gets when he does watch them!
Favorite Toys...He still loves playing with balls. He also loves his cars and especially his fire truck. He loves blocks or anything he can put in something and then take out and then put back in...he is entertained for a long time with a bag and some blocks. He has just recently gotten attached to his blanket. This was never an issue until about a month ago and he started wanting other than in his bed. It is not horrible like I can't take it away to wash it...he will help me put it in the wash...but as soon as he sees it he runs for it.
We work a lot on obedience with Kai as I'm sure most parents of toddlers to. We are constantly trying to teach him what is okay and what is not but still allowing him to be a little boy and be curious...quite a balance. He is a curious boy and for that I am truly thankful. When Kai does something he shouldn't we get down at eye level and let him know what he should or should not be doing. Tyson and I talked about asking Kai to respond "Yes, Mama" or "Yes, Daddy" after we talk to him...for now just a nod is fine. Tyson had done this a couple times with him taking his head and gently helping him nod so he knew what we were asking. A few days later they had gone on a boys outing to the coffee shop and Kai had touched something he shouldn't. Tyson bent down and explained that it was off limits and asked him to say "Yes, Daddy". Kai took his hands and put them up to his own head and made his head nod. When Tyson came home and told me that I cracked up...I had not even started trying that yet and Tyson had only done it a couple times but Kai had caught on...he nodded with his head in his hands for a week but now he just nods when we ask him:)
Kai has such a great sense of humor. I mentioned before how he will just laugh at himself as he is jibber jabbering. But, he also works hard to keep us laughing. The other day he was climbing on the laundry basket and fell off and I (being the kind mom I am) laughed at him. He proceeded to get back up and pretend to fall off again over and over...the kid catches on quick!
Oh, I forgot my favorite word he has learned: God. It sounds more like other people don't really understand what he is saying but I know that is what he says when I ask him to say God. So a couple weeks ago I started asking him "Kai, who made you?" and then I would ask him to say God. Now, when I ask him who made him he knows the answer is God. It is very sweet and such a joy to verbally have him repeat something I am teaching him about the Lord! I look forward to many more conversations with my little man in the future!
Sorry this post was so long but really, his little brain has been very busy...and there is so very much I am leaving out:)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Kai vs Ogie: Round 1

Speaking of Kai's activeness...he loves to wrestle. I don't know where he learns these things...again, all boy. I mean, Tyson does wrestle with him but Kai goes way beyond and comes up with his own stuff. The other day our friends were watching him and asked us if we taught him to wrestle his bear. He will throw the bear then sit on its body and grab its head. No, we don't teach him this. I do have to add...he will also run up the bear and grab it up and hug it too...he is also a sweet boy. Anyway, a couple months ago (I just finally got the video off the camera) we were in Kai's room and he was playing with Ogie as Tyson and I were watching. We had never seen him do this so I grabbed the video camera and started taping. I guess we now know what those sounds are coming from his room as he is trying to fall asleep at night and why Ogie is always across the room in the morning...Kai won this round. Where does he learn these things???

What Kai's Feet Are Up To...

Kai is an active boy...emphasize the words active & boy! He is constantly running, climbing, falling and running again. He has no fear...which is scary for mom. I think he is learning about being careful because if we are not near him he is a little more cautious but if we are nearby he must just trust that we will save him because he goes all out. I guess I am thinking of the stairs. If I hold his hand he literally jumps down the stairs throwing caution to the wind. So, now I leave him at the top and make him come down by himself...I know that doesn't sound safe to some, but he can come down on his own by sliding on his bottom if he has to and does fine. Even then if I get too close and he will sometimes look at me with a little twinkle in his eye and I know he is about to barrel down the stairs hoping I will catch him. I remind him to go slow and back away and he does fine:)
He loves balls still and has quite an arm on him. He will walk right up to me and huck the ball...he has not quite learned the whole "back up" or "throw it softly" part but that is okay. He isn't doing to to be mean he just wants to play ball. We did have to take away the golf balls a couple months ago though...he really has an arm and luckily no faces or windows were broken.
He also loves the water. We have had the chance to swim quite a few times this summer and he loves it! He will splash and kick in his little floaty thing. He tries to put his face in the water at least he isn't scared of it...but he also needs to learn to not try to drink the water. He does pretty good at blowing bubbles though. I think I will do swimming lessons in the fall but for the summer I can't bring myself to go to the indoor pool when it is so nice outside.
Jumping...he is not quite able to get his feet off the ground yet. I think that is a developmental thing. He tries to jump a lot but they don't come off the ground...except for the other day. We were in the bathroom and he was showing off like he does and trying to jump. All the sudden his feet do come off the ground and he lands on his butt. It was so funny I started cracking up. I think it startled him but he saw that it was funny so he stood up to try it again. It was a fluke because he hasn't done it again but it was quite entertaining.
As active as my little boy is, he has become more of a cuddler these last few months. While it used to be that is was almost impossible to rock him (he was way to curious about all that was around him) we now rock and cuddle a lot before bedtimes. There have even been a few of times he has rocked to sleep which is not normal. I think he just hit an awareness that he liked it and can now make himself sit still and cuddle up. He also gives lots of kisses (open mouth with lots of slobber) and my favorite, big hugs. I, of course, love it. My baby is growing up too fast and every hug ends too soon...I'll take all I can get.


I have not been great about updates on all that Kai is up to...this is not really for all of you out there reading (although I do appreciate those of you that read:) is really more for me, and eventually for Kai. I have not been great about keeping his baby book and have used this blog to record things. I did a monthly update every month his first year but haven't done one since he turned a year...that was 4 1/2 months ago. I thought of this a month ago but it was overwhelming to think of all that I should write about because he is up to SO much right now so I kept putting it off. So, I have decided that this next week I will try to do a little update on one area each day to catch up so there may be an overwhelming about of info about Kai this next week:)

The 29th Olympiad...

I'm a big fan...huge! I love the Olympics...the competition, the drama, the stories. I love it all...especially when the ones I am cheering for win. We have been staying up late every night watching the least as much as I can. I went to bed early the night our US men won the 4x100 Freestyle relay in that amazing race and I vowed I would not miss another moment like that! Thursday night I really wanted to watch the Women's Gymnastics All-around so Tyson suggested we sleep in the living that is just what we did. We pulled our mattress into the living room and I made an espresso milkshake at 11pm and I stayed up to watch our women take gold and silver until 1:30am. Tyson slept through most of it but would wake up and let me tell him what was going on here and there...such a good sport!

I think my favorite part of the Olympics is the stories. I know, I'm one of those people, but it is so cool to hear about where they come from and that they are really just normal people. And the other part I love it to see moms in the stands cheering for their kids and crying tears of joy at their victories. I am way too old to dream of being one of the Olympic athletes...but I can somewhat relate to their parents and the joy they must feel. I mean, Kai has not won any gold medals (yet:) but he is pretty amazing and every time he does a new trick or says a new word I am amazed that he is my son. I'm sure that is how the parents feel a little bit times a million:)
My least favorite part of the Olympics is the announcers. Not all of them...and not all the time. Just those few times that they sound ridiculous. For instance, the gymnastics announcer who at least 3 times during the men's team competition said: "Gymnastics 101: (insert dumb thing here)"...the only one I can remember is "Gymnastics 101: Grab the bar"...or when there is a slight mistake and he says "this is a disaster". DISASTER?? Really?? I also feel bad for all the other US swimmers with the whole Michael Phelps thing. Don't get me wrong, I think Michael Phelps is doing a fabulous job and he seems like a good guy. But, the announcers keep bringing everything back to when they were interviewing the 4 guys that won the gold in the 4x100 Freestyle and asked one of them how it felt to help Michael Phelps break the medal record. Are you kidding me? I'm sure they are happy for him but I think that was the last thing on their minds. get the idea.
Next up...Track & Field...more of my favorites! Hope you enjoy the last week of this, the twenty ninth Olympiad!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tyson and I both realized I needed a little "me" time on Sunday. He stayed home with Kai while I headed out to the countryside and put my camera to use. It the first time I have really been able to "focus" and try to be artsy with my new camera...I am way out of practice but it was still fun:)

Afternoon Date

Today Kai and I went on a date. I know this is probably funny considering I spend practically every minute with him but this was different. I have been feeling so divided lately and like he is not getting my full attention...not that he always needs that but anyway, I just wanted to do something "special" with him. We went to the library and picked out a couple new books. He loves reading and so it is fun to have new books around for him. My guess is he doesn't really care, he always asks for the one with all the animal pictures anyway, but it is a good habit to get into...variety. I picked a few books while he played on the pillows and then we got a couple kids CDs too because I realized a few weeks ago we don't ever listen to kids music (much to my delight) but that perhaps he might like it. Then we headed downtown and continued our date at the coffee shop. I decided that I would let Kai have a special treat and so he had his first chocolate milk (sugar free). We sat at the coffee shop and read one of the "special" new books while he drank his chocolate milk. It was a sweet time...we need to do this more often.

Visitors from Denmark

We had a pleasant surprise when we got a call from a friend who was coming through. Christina joined Tyson's family as an exchange student from Denmark when Taryn was a senior in high school. This was the first year that Tyson and I were dating so we haven't seen her since we have been married and we were excited for her to meet Kai. She and another friend are in the States for a couple months traveling around. We had a fun evening of visiting, hearing all about their adventures so far and about Denmark. Thanks Christina and Sophia for stopping by!!!
Sopia, Kai and Christina on our way to breakfast--Kai loved the girls (although his face doesn't show it).

Sunday, August 3, 2008

See Ya Later Golf Tournament

Yesterday Tyson and I participated in a golf tournament. Let me clarify. Tyson golfed the tournament--and I volunteered. I actually sat at a hole with Caitlin and Melissa all afternoon. Another clarification. The three of us rotated between two of us volunteering and the other one watching Kai at home---I have such great friends! They really are so generous with watching Kai for us...thanks girls! We sat the afternoon away at hole #18---the Tiger Woods hole. Golfers could pay $10 to skip their first shot and take their second from a Tiger sign so far out I couldn't see it...much closer to the hole. Due to the nature of our hole and the advantage we presented to golfers we were often skipped right by with the golfers choosing Tiger over us. This led to lots of free time on our hands ending in what We were thoroughly entertained!

Tyson and I before the start of the tournament

Ashley, Jonathan, Daniel and victories to speak of but they had a great time!

Time fillers:)

Yes, laying in the grass with our feet in the air...senior picture pose anyone:)
Melissa entertained us by pretending to enjoy a cigar she found...yes found, in the grass:)

On a serious note this is the See Ya Later Golf Tournament in memory of Scott Banke, a 12 year old boy from our church who passed away of cancer over 8 years ago. They have done this tournament every year since and began to raise money for an indoor play structure that is now know as Scotty's Playhouse...see here for pics. What started as a way to build a play structure for kids in the community has grow much bigger. The See Ya Later Foundation now does sports camps and fishing derbies a few times a year that are totally FREE to the kids who otherwise would not have the chance to participate. They have also started doing scholarships for high school seniors. This year they began Seeds of Hope, a branch of the foundation reaching out to families undergoing cancer treatment (children or parents) by inviting them to a special play time at Scotty’s Playhouse. They serve them dinner and provide them with gift certificates for gas, restaurants, mortgage help, or whatever they may need. They also leave gifts, groceries and other special items at their home so they are surprised when they get home. At the dinner after the tournament we were able to hear about all that the foundation is doing as well as from families who they have touched.
This is an awesome organization and I would encourage you to check them out, pray for them, and support them. If you know of someone going through cancer and you think they could be encouraged by the See Ya Later group get in touch with them! This is a no strings attached ministry that just wants to love those who are going through a difficult time.
I can't imagine going through what the Banke's have but it is amazing how they have turned it around to glorify the Lord and love those going through what they have. I was blessed to be a part of the day!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

We were so excited to have a visit from my sister and family this week. It was so wonderful to spend a couple days catching up with everyone. Perhaps in another post I will go into how totally blessed I was by their visit and the sweetness they show to eachother and others but for now...Thank you guys for coming...we love you and hope to see you again soon!

Ball Games

We have spent much of our summer out at the softball field watching Daddy play...every Monday and Tuesday evening to be exact. This week was our last week and we were happy the season ended in victory. The Scotty's Playhouse team won it all but more importantly they had a great season of fellowship, encouragement and great attitudes:) Kai always loved being out at the games, finding new friends to play with and hanging with Dad in the dug out. We are happy to have some of our evenings back but will miss being out there.