Wednesday, April 26, 2017

One Month Old

Here is our sweet Adley Grace at her one month milestone.

And here are the big brothers who were behind the camera on the above shot, helping to keep Adley content.

Some stats for our little girl at one month:

  • 11 lbs 8 oz
  • fits comfortably in 3-month size clothing
  • likes to nurse every 2- 2 1/2 hours during the day
  • a very unpredictable sleeper (can range from 20 min. catnaps to 5 hour stretches!)
  • most wakeful in the late evening and the wee hours of morning
  • favorite sleeping position is up against Mommy or Daddy's chest
  • LOVES to be held
  • calms down best when swaddled
  • enjoys watching her big brothers play and be silly
  • dislikes car rides and diaper changes
  • just recently started to accept a pacifier but will always spit it out before falling asleep

We've enjoyed our first month of getting to know our new daughter!
We love you, Adley Grace!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Time with Grandma & Grandpa

On the Tuesday following Adley's baptism, Grandpa and Grandma came to stay at our home for a two week visit. They were helpful in a number of ways. We were especially excited for them to get to know our sweet little girl even better and to have some time just to love on her. Because Adley is most content when she is being held, Grandpa and Grandma certainly had a lot of opportunities to snuggle with their first granddaughter. Adley was quite comfortable in their arms!

Grandma spent many hours in the kitchen during her stay. She planned, shopped for, and cooked several delicious meals for our entire family. She and Grandpa even cleaned up the kitchen after nearly every meal too! What a gift this was for us with Amy still recovering from surgery and with all of us getting used to the needs of three children. We appreciated your time and efforts so much, Grandma! 

 Most of Grandma's meals included an extra creative component-- like this special veggie face we had for lunch one day. 

Aunt Kim, Nathan, and Ryan were our guests for lunch that day too. Jaden and Cody always love their cousin playtime!

Another gift from Grandpa and Grandma that we appreciated was the time that they spent with Jaden and Cody. Mommy and Daddy's attention has been understandably divided (and most often completed diverted) lately, so the boys were thrilled to have some playmates that were a bit more attentive. :) Grandpa and Grandma gifted Jaden and Cody with a Thomas matching game-- an activity that these four did several times together.

Grandpa and Grandma also took Cody and Jaden to our neighborhood playground, played hide and go seek, read many stories, and treated us to a Bouncin' Bears visit. They were busy grandparents!

At Adley's baptism dinner, Grandma presented us with this baby quilt-- a beautiful labor of love. It quickly has become one of Adley's favorite places to kick around and to stretch out. This quilt is sure to be a special keepsake for our little girl.

On Saturday Grandma and Grandpa attended one of Jaden and Cody's soccer games.

Nathan, Ryan, Ian, and Uncle Matt attended as well and were quite the encouraging fans! Aren't they all so cute with their signs!?

Jaden and Cody's team, the Pirates, pulled out another win, keeping their cute little 4 and 5 year old team undefeated. Jaden made some important defensive blocks during the game, and Cody scored a goal.

Our little soccer guys loved having a big group of supportive fans!
(I'm not sure what's up with Cody's recent favorite hand-on-the-hip pose, though...)

One final thing that we didn't capture in pictures but that must be mentioned is all the countless hours that Grandpa put into beautifying our yard-- pulling weeds, trimming bushes, removing wasp nests. These tasks had been pushed to the back burner for quite some time lately, so our yard absolutely loved the TLC. Thanks so much, Grandpa, for all of your labors outside!

We are thankful to God for the gift of loving and helpful grandparents. We enjoyed our time with you and love you both, Grandpa and Grandma!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Baptism Dinner

After Adley's baptism service, we gathered with family for a celebratory dinner. Grammy and Papa had graciously offered to host this dinner at their home-- meaning that they did ALL of the house cleaning, food shopping, decorating, and food preparation. What a HUGE gift this was for us! Our only task was to plan the dinner menu. On the day of the party, we could just attend and enjoy everyone's company. It was so relaxing! Thanks again, Mom and Dad, for your generosity in hosting this meal!

We ordered a cookie cake from a nearby Nestle Toll House store. It looked beautiful and tasted quite delicious too.

Sarah assembled a variety of floral centerpieces for the tables. It really dressed up Mom and Dad's home.

Mom had found these baptismal paper products for the meal. What a nice, festive touch!

Family members were spread across four different tables in Mom and Dad's home. They have such a perfect setup for hosting an event like this. We all enjoyed the yummy meal of pulled pork sandwiches, potato casserole, chips, fruit, and veggies.

After everyone had eaten, Jason thanked our family and friends for celebrating with us.

Then, Jason announced the winners of what he had called the Sweet Adley's Sweet 16 Competition. Prior to this gathering, our friends and family had to pick 3 NCAA basketball teams that they thought would make it to the Sweet 16 round of tournament play. Jason added up points based on how each team was seeded and named as winners....

Ian and Chelsea!
These two were awarded Sweetheart candies plus a package of caramel cookie waffles. Yum!

Finally, Jason announced that he had written a baptismal song for Adley, just as he had for Jaden and Cody. His song was entitled, "Oh, Sweet Girl."

Part of Jason's chorus involved a line in which everyone sang together, "Your whole family is so proud of you." It was really touching to hear everyone's voices around us. Have I mentioned how blessed we felt by the presence of so many family and friends this weekend? :)

Jason's first verse talked about Adley's baptismal day, and then the consecutive verses walked through different times in her life, ending with Adley's wedding day. Mommy was shedding quite a few tears by this point! In fact, even Jason was caught up in the emotions of the day and was unable to finish the wedding verse. It was definitely a touching song written by a loving daddy!

As Jason's song mentioned, we are so thankful that "God's amazing love is true" both for our little baptized girl and for our entire group of family and friends.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Adley's Baptism

On March 19, we welcomed Adley Grace into the family of God through the waters of baptism. Here is our family of five prior to the worship service.

Adley's baptismal dress was so beautiful! We had registered for the dress and were honored to receive it from one of Jason's co-workers at a baby shower. The bonnet that Adley wore is a special keepsake that can be taken apart and used as a hankie for Adley's wedding someday. I had one just like it for my baptismal bonnet that I later wrapped around my bridal bouquet at my wedding. I love the symbolism that this bonnet shows of God's presence with our little girl throughout her entire life.

The actual baptism was fairly early in the service. As we were getting set in our positions near the baptismal font, the church showed a brief slideshow of pictures of Adley and our family.

Pastor Dommer officiated the baptism while Adley's sponsors-- Tyler, Jennifer and Jonathan (with Aliya)-- stood close by. What a blessing it was to have these dear friends with us on this day!

Our church allows the baby's father to perform the actual baptism, if he so desires. We were so pleased that Jason had the opportunity to baptize Adley, especially since Jason is now officially on his way to becoming a pastor. What a special memory this was!

Adley didn't cry at all! After the rite of baptism, Pastor Dommer marked our little sweetie with the sign of the cross on her forehead and on her heart "to mark her as one redeemed by Christ the crucified."

I know this looks like just one more picture of the same thing, but I had to capture the moment so that we'd remember it... Do you notice everyone smiling as if we're laughing in this picture? Well, right when Pastor Dommer began the prayer for Adley, our little girl decided to let loose with all kinds of loud gaseous noises. Perfect timing, little one! :)

Later in the service, we had a special prayer time for Adley. Our church has the practice of inviting those in need of prayer up to the rail and allowing friends and family to lay hands on them and surround them with love and prayer. It's not a very typical Lutheran practice, but we have come to really appreciate this way of showing Christian care and support. Adley was certainly surrounded by many loved ones that morning! Unfortunately, Adley responded to all the prayers with loud screams. Perhaps this was her special way of thanking everyone for their presence that day. :) 

Following the service, we took all the obligatory combinations of family photos. Jason and I got a kick out of this first shot of our family. Cody's random hand-on-his-hip pose and Jaden's upset, pouty expression are both quite typical in our household these days!

Still not the best shot of our family but slightly better than the first one! :)

Our family... 
with Adley's sponsors:

with both sets of Adley's grandparents:

The Schleicher side

The Walquist side

And finally, the whole crew:
How awesome is it that ALL members from both sides of our family, plus a few other relatives and friends, were able to join us for this special occasion? We were so humbled by everyone's presence that day!

We thank God for His amazing gift of baptism and for the forgiveness and life eternal that we as His children receive through Jesus. We know that God loves our dear Adley much more than we ever could!

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"  I John 3:1