Lydia’s Top Twelve

A few years ago, my Grandpa sent out an email to his grandchildren including his version of the 12 most important verses in the Bible. Of course, all verses are important, but based on the ones that have influenced him the most, he made this list. Since Lydia has been working through memorizing Bible verses over the past couple of years, I decided to work out way through my Grandpa’s “top twelve”. As of last week, she has memorized them all. I share this post and encourage you to watch the videos for three reasons.

1. To celebrate Lydia’s Bible memory accomplishments.

2. To be encouraged by the verses themselves and inspired to read and memorize Scripture on your own.

3. Abby makes an appearance in several of these videos. It’s cute.

(Some of these verses actually include more than just one verse to maintain the context of the passage. The Bible didn’t even have verses or chapters when it was written, so don’t let this bother you).

John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Matthew 6:33

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Romans 12:1-2

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Matthew 28:19-20

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

Ephesians 2:8-9

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

John 1:1-2

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

2 Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness

Romans 8:28-29

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

Peek-a-boo: Abby Update

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Tomorrow Abby turns 17 months old. No, she’s not walking yet. The race is still on to see whether she’ll beat her big sister at that. But this month Abby started crawling around on all fours. She’s gotten efficient enough that she will crawl on all fours more often now than army-crawling.

And the favorite activity of the month is…peek-a-boo. Abby is the perfect age to play peek-a-boo and it keeps her (and everyone else) giggling. Sometimes she gets her hands over her face, sometimes she misses. It’s adorable either way.

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She’s a little mischief-maker, crawling all over the house when she knows I can’t really chase her. Abby will keep herself entertained for hours. Her latest favorite toy is a small metal pot and a small ladle. She’ll stir that pot for the longest time without getting bored. She also knows some things that are off-limits, and if she ever catches a plastic grocery bag on the floor or the bathroom door open, she’ll scurry over to it faster than you can believe.

But for all her adorable mischief, Abby is still very sweet. When I snuggle up on the couch to read to Lydia, Abby crawls right over, pulls herself up to a stand, and starts yelling at me to pick her up too. She has no interest in using real words or sign language, her different grunts and yells all have their meaning and do well enough at getting her what she wants.

Is Abby ready to be a big sister yet? Well, I’d love it if she was walking first, but I think she’s going to be very excited about the new baby whenever s/he comes. It’s hard to believe that once all this snow melts we’ll all be able to go for walks to the park with Baby wrapped up in my Moby, and Lydia and Abby walking alongside. We can hardly wait.

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Lydyisms

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Our Munchkin is, as we often say in our household, quite the character. She’s always coming up with funny things to do or say, usually unintentional, that keep us laughing. Her best moments we have dubbed, “Lydyisms”, and for the sake of never forgetting these cute memories, I wanted to share a few.

One afternoon we were driving home from church in some bad winter weather. Lydia wanted Dan to tell her a “Billy story”, stories that he makes up on the spot about a little boy named Billy…
Lydia (knowing Dan didn’t really want to tell a story right then): Daddy, can you tell me a really short Billy story?
Dan: Once upon a time it was snowing really hard and Billy went outside to play in the snow. The end.
Lydia: No! You didn’t read all the words!

After yet another battle trying to get Lydia to “go potty” cheerfully…
Lydia: I don’t like having to go potty every day!

While trying to get Lydia to do something she desperately didn’t want to do (like going potty cheerfully and by herself)…
Justine (quietly over Lydia’s crying): It’s the end of the world…
Lydia: I DON’T WANT IT TO BE THE END OF THE WORLD! (and breaks down crying harder)

Often while Lydia lies in bed waiting to fall asleep at night…
Lydia: MOM! Can I rest-with-my-eyes-open-and-suck-my-thumb-and-hold-my-hair-for-a-little-while-but-not-too-long? Is that ok?

While laying with me in bed one morning as I read my Bible Lydia noticed a fly and hid under the covers. A few minutes later I was getting ready for the day and Dan walked into the room and looked around…
Dan: Where’s Lydia?
Lydia (from under the covers): THERE’S A BEE!

Our One Year Old

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Last Thursday, we celebrated Abby’s very first birthday. Dan brought her home some miniature roses which she was thrilled with (mostly because she wanted to eat them). She’s at that age when everything goes into her mouth.

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After dinner…presents! For someone who has never had a birthday before, she seemed pretty excited. Lydia must have given her a heads up.

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In the end, Dan had to help her out a little.

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The jumbo knob puzzles may or may not have been a hit. Mostly, she just wanted to put the puzzle pieces in her mouth. Lydia, on the other hand, was happy to play with the puzzles.

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In lieu of a birthday cake for our not-really-one-year-old-yet preemies, we’ve made a family tradition of giving the birthday girls watermelon instead. Abby loved her birthday watermelon and successfully at her whole piece minus the last bite, which fell on the floor.

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So what’s the little one-year-old up to these days?

Well, she’s officially a big kid. Sometime in the past weeks we caved and started buying jarred baby food. It was just too much work to make our own while we’re living in transition. Since then, Abby eats like a pro, averaging two jars per meal or snack. She’ll eat anything, but has lately shown a little less favor toward the spinach potato combination.

Abby chatters away during the day and at meal times and is (still) always smiling. While we were visiting Rob and Crystal a couple of weeks ago, she figured out how to “crawl”. It’s an interesting version of crawling, but it gets her where she wants to go. She keeps up with her big sister pretty well now, and keeps us busier than ever.

Munchkin Update: 3 Years, 2 Months

Lydia is in to collecting things. She collects rocks, leaves, and flowers from outside. Sometime she keeps them in her pocket and sometimes she pretends one of the rocks is her cell phone. She also tends to collect purses. And tutus. Right now the tutu count is up to four.

A few days ago Lydia pulled the blanket off of her bed and rigged a “swim suit” out of a couple of tutus. One of her favorite games now is to put on that “swimsuit” and go “swimming” in her bedroom. If anyone is friendly enough to join her she really likes to get in and out of the “water” and dry off with a blanket each time before jumping back in.

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She is all go, all the time. And if you ask her, she will tell you that she is never tired. For the past few months now she has been in a “why” phase. Her response to almost everything is “why”. Often she genuinely wants to know, sometimes she does it to be silly, and sometimes it’s just out of habit. This morning I was folding laundry and Lydia asked me if I would go “swimming” with her. I told her I could after I finished folding laundry and washing dishes.

“Why?”

“So we have clean clothes to wear and clean dishes to eat off of.”

Her answer was insightful: “So they will get dirty again?”

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Lately Lydia has memorized the books of the New Testament and a large portion of scripture put to song for our Church’s Vacation Bible School. Dan and I also realized that we were emphasizing a lot of numbers and shapes with her, so I decided to start teaching her the alphabet.

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Every morning I pull out some magnet letters and we play with them. Big A and Little A are on our fridge right now along with Big B and Little B. They tell Lydia what sounds they make and sing the ABC song. It’s sort of like a little puppet show every day and she loves it.

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Lydia is always my big helper. If I let her help me make dinner or wash dishes, she’s thrilled. She’s happy go get a clean diaper for Abby or throw away anything we say can go in the trash. She’s also as sweet as can be and frequently asks us to hold her or sing with her. Sometimes she spontaneously comes up and says, “I love you Mom”. We love her spunk and her energy and her silliness, but more than that we love the sweet hearted helper that she is and her precious sensitive heart.

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Abby Update: 10 1/2 Months Old

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I know this update is late. It’s been busy around here and mostly I just haven’t gotten a chance to take pictures of our adorable Abigail. And I know you all really read these updates mostly for the pictures. 🙂

Last month I told you all that Abby was very smiley. Now I want to make it known that Abby is the happiest baby on the planet. It certainly wasn’t our doing or I would give everyone our method, because I think everyone should share the pleasure of having such a happy baby. Abby smiles almost all the time. The only times she isn’t really smiling are:

1. When she is asleep.

2. When she wakes up hungry. Or anytime she is hungry.

3. When she is being denied food at the dinner table, or if anyone takes something away while she is playing with it.

It’s true, Abby has a bit of a temper. She doesn’t really like to stay on her back during diaper changes and she will yell at you if you take away her toys. But it’s not hard to get a smile out of her even after snatching away a toy, shoe, or whatever other odd item she picks up during her wanderings.

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Abby is becoming more and more mobile. She’s still not quite sitting up, but she can rotate and roll to get anywhere she wants. Despite her active wandering, Abby has kept her chubby cheeks. She’s not as heavy as those cheeks make her look, but it makes us so happy to see her plump and healthy after such a rough start.

Abby and Lydia are best friends. One day I asked Lydia, “Who is your best friend?”, thinking she would mention one of the friends she had just seen that morning at church. She answered me very matter-of-factly: “Abigail”, and went on playing.

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When I go running, the girls hold hands. When I change Abby’s diaper, Lydia lies down next to her and makes her laugh. When Abby is hungry and crying because I can’t get to her right away, Lydia talks to Abby while she waits and Abby loves it. It’s enough to melt your heart.

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I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, and it’s not obvious in the pictures, but Abby has red hair. She doesn’t have a lot, and we’re not sure if it’ll stay or change, but right now we love her red locks. She still has brilliantly clear blue eyes, making her the smiliest, chubbiest, blue-eyed redhead in this household.

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Abby Update: Eight Months Old

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Weight: 13 Pounds, 7 ounces

Abby is a lot like me. First of all, she looks very much like my baby pictures. The only real differences are that my eyes were not so blue and my hair was not so red. Although, Abby’s hair seems to be a little less red these days. It’s hard to tell because there’s just not too much of it.

My mom always told me that I was very adaptable. I don’t know about that now, but with all of our packing and unpacking and moving, Abby has displayed some adaptability of her own. She just eats when she’s hungry, sits in her bouncy seat, and smiles at anyone who will take a moment to give her a grin. She is very content and really, a very “easy baby”. The only exception is that she still usually gets up once a night. Again. But sometimes she’ll sleep nice and long and she still takes regular naps, so we’re doing ok.

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Abby has officially found her thumb. And, like me, and Lydia, Abby sucks her left thumb. It brings me great happiness to hear the sound of thumb-sucking echo through our basement home as the girls nap.

Abby is also ticklish, and, like me, she doesn’t like being tickled. It’s so cute to watch her try to fight it as you tickle her tummy. She lets out little resistant grunty giggles, but she’s so ticklish that she really can’t resist very long.

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But no one can make Abby’s face light up like Dan. When he gives her his attention she gives him the biggest, cutest smile you’ve ever seen. There was a period of a couple of weeks when Abby liked to stick out her tongue all the time. It was a little weird, I thought. But one time Dan just reached out and gently grabbed it. She thought that was the best thing in the world and continued to stick out her tongue in a way that made it look like she was fishing for Dan to grab it again (and he did).

As I wrap up this post, Abby is sitting in her bouncy seat chattering away: “Ehhha, ah, wah, huhhh, ayahhh, huhh, huhh, aieeyabubu”. She is more adorable than words can possibly describe.

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Abby Update: 7 Months Old

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Weight: 12 pounds, 11 ounces

This month, Abby learned how to roll from her tummy to her back! Although she can now roll anywhere she wants, she remains pretty content on her back or tummy most of the time. When she does want to move, she rotates in a circle and can make it more than halfway around.

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Abby has also learned how to hold on to things and grab. She likes to hold on to blankets, toys, and her sister’s clothing. She, like her sister, loves to hold my hair.

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Abby has the most squishable chubby cheeks and amazing blue eyes. I don’t remember Lydia’s eyes ever being so brilliantly blue and I am secretly hoping the blue eyes and reddish hair are here to stay. But we’ll see.

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Can you believe she used to be the same size as that doll?

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Abby has no teeth yet and we are really enjoying her happy toothless grin. I’ve mentioned, occasionally, that I don’t want the toothless grin to ever go away, but Dan assures me it would eventually cease to be so cute. I guess he’s right. She is often very smiley, but occasionally gets in moods where nothing anyone can do will get her to smile.

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Abby is a conundrum when it comes to sleeping at night. Some weeks she’ll sleep until 7 AM every single day. Other weeks she gets up once or twice. She almost always will go right back to sleep, so I’m still a happy mommy. And, even though we can’t get her on a consistent schedule during the day, she always lets me get a nap so I am, again, a happy mommy.

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It is hard to believe that Abigail is now over half a year old. The first months were slow and long and hard, but since she has been home the time has flown and she just keeps growing bigger and happier and more and more loved.

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