Friday, December 31, 2010


In the excitement of Christmas, with all the gift giving and receiving, new toys, shopping, baking, traveling, eating, and celebrating, it's so easy to forget the true meaning of Christmas.  God sent his only son, Jesus, to live on this earth, struggle through life like we do, and then willingly give up his life so that we can have forgiveness and eternal life.

Luke 2: 11-14
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,  "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

I confess that I've been a little too caught-up this year with the commercial Christmas and not REAL Christmas.  God has blessed our lives with so many wonderful things: His love and forgiveness, our marriage, our son, Steven's career, a home, friends and family who love and care for us, living in this blessed country....the list goes on and on.  Instead, I've been focusing on whether or not we're going to sell our house, if Steven's going to make SF, if/where/when we'll be moving, traveling, cleaning, organizing, and the rest of the commerical Christmas drama. 

This year, 2011, I'm going to make a change.  I'm going to spend time each day with my Savior.  Not just twice a week at church and bible study, but time every day reading his Word and in prayer.  Focusing on Him will not only help me be a better wife and mother, but give me some peace about all the changes hopefully coming our way!   Please hold me accountable!!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Fun

Christmas was very fun this year.  James had a blast opening his presents and playing with all of his new toys.  Steven, James and I did our little Christmas at home before heading to Ft. Wayne. 

 James' first Christmas present - a huge dump truck filled with Mega Blocks.

 We found this awesome 3-way tricycle thing...switches from a tricycle ,to a rider that we push, to a rocker.  super cool! 
 I got Steven a drill press, storage shelves, Dremmel, and a few other things for the garage, he was pretty pumped!  He totally surprised me with a Nook Color, Keurig, and other wonderful stuff.  Fun Christmas!
 James didn't want to go to bed...  :(
 This was Christmas Morning up at my parent's house.  Greg & Sarah and Anna & Scott were there too.  We did our gift exchange in the morning, then grandparents and Aunt Jan joined us in the afternoon for Christmas Dinner.  We had such a nice time and feel so blessed that so much of our family was together. 

 This fun toy has a little track the balls roll down then a fan that pops them up out of the top.  James loves this, in fact, he's played with this and the blocks non stop since we've been back home.  we wish there was a volume control on that may be going back to Grandma's house!  :)  just kidding.

 Four Generations.  Great Grandpa Clarence Dowling, Grandpa James Dowling, Mom Jenae 'Dowling' Fundingsland, Son Steven James Fundingsland.

Aunt Jan joined us this year, too!  So great to see her!

Dec 26th we celebrated Quance Christmas (my mom's side) at my parent's house.  The Ugliest Sweater and Most Festive Contests were in full effect.  Steven won the Ugliest Sweater and I won the Most Festive prize with cousin Daniel coming in at a super close 2nd place.  This is the dress and hat I made for the contest, I'm glad all that hard work paid off!   There were some amazing outfits! 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy First Birthday, James!

Happy Birthday to our awesome son, this has been the most amazing year and we love you so much!  You've changed our lives for the better and bring us so much laughter and joy! 

Steven James
25.5 lbs, 33.5 in
Says Mama & Dad once in a while, not often. 
Babbles constantly and is loud! 
Holds up his pointer finger when you ask how old he is.  "I'm ONE"
Puts both hands up to show he's "So Big"
Super speedy walker and is getting better every day.  Does not like to have his hand held while walking.
Loves his trucks and train, vocalizes the "vroom-vroom"
Plays with his wooden blocks and mega blocks, we make towers and he knocks them over then claps for himself!
Throws the ball back and fourth
Loves Lacy and she tolerates him.
Plays with Daddy's Chem Lights (glow sticks)
Likes to ride and push his tricycle.
Snuggles his Teddy bear and big green foam pillow in bed.
Loves to read books
Sits on the couch and eats goldfish with Daddy.
Runs to the tub when you say "It's Bath time" and loves every minute in there!
Likes to run around naked after bath time and do the "no pants dance"
Plays Peek-A-Boo and Pat-A-Cake
Runs away when we chase him and will chase us in return.
Can clap and cough on demand
Does not like being told NO and throws fits :(
Does not like to sit still, he has places to go and people to see.
Has 6 teeth (4 top, 2 bottom) and gives a big toothy grin when you ask to see them.
Favorite Foods: bananas, eggs, pasta, meat, milk, peas, broccoli, cheese...almost anything you put in front of him!
Size 24 months or 2T clothes, size 5 shoes.
Still not much hair, but it's growing!
Having a little separation anxiety, but we're working through it.
Learning to manipulate and whines for what he wants.  We're putting a stop to it, but he's persistent! 


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Finally...I know!!

Okay, so i know it's been F-O-R-E-V-E-R since i blogged, and I'm so sorry.  The holidays have kept us all so busy, plus we're in the process of getting our house ready to put on the market, and James is walking (which totally changed our life!), so needless to say taking pictures, let alone blogging, has not been a priority.   Anyway, here are a few from last month - James 11 months.
 he loves to snuggle in bed.  he has this big puppy dog that he totes with him everywhere.  we find him cuddled up to either this, his teddy bear, or his pillow in bed when we check on him.  wish he'd snuggle with us like this during the day!
 he loves to drive the car while dad is in the store.  he even makes the "vroom vroom" sounds!

 these were taken a few weeks ago when he was just beginning to walk.  his winter coat must really mess with his balance, because he instantly topples over when we put it on him.  he doesn't seem to mind too much!

 Lacy is starting to tolerate James and will actually join the family in the living room again....she usually quarantines herself to the kitchen corner.  her ears are still back, but at least she's not running away!  they'll be best buds soon, we hope.

November 22nd Steven graduated from the Maneuver Captain's Career Course at Ft. Knox.  Congratulations!  Now he's qualified to take a Company Command if that opportunity comes his way.  We're hoping instead for a spot in the Special Forces Qualification Course (Q-Course).  He tries out for the Special Forces Jan 8-28, and if he makes it we'll be moving to Ft. Bragg, NC and he'll start the 15 month Q Course.  Please keep him in your prayers, we're hoping that's what will happen! 
Steven getting his diploma/certificate.  I'm bummed about the lack of pictures, James was being a little difficult...I know it's hard to believe! ;-)
all smiles here pushing his stroller.  he loves to run the show!

This is up at my parent's house at Thanksgiving.  James found this humidifier and was pushing it around all weekend, this was just before he really took off walking.  It must have been just the tool he needed to get those muscles ready, because as soon as we returned home that Sunday night he was off and walking!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

First Steps

James has been thinking about walking for the last month or so, and just in the last two days he's ventured out on his own wobbly two feet.  These two videos were captured this morning, what a happy day!  Thank goodness Erin and Mary were over here for 'Craft Thursday' to help us capture him on video!

James and I took a little road trip up to meet Steven for dinner in Bowling Green - the halfway point for both of us, and he got to see James' videos and get in on the walking action too.  :-) 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

So Thankful...

I mentioned in a previous post that my girlfriend, Kelly, took pictures of our family a couple weekends ago.  She has her own business, Kelly Gray Photography, and besides being a great picture-taker, she makes you feel so comfortable and at ease while snapping pictures.  I love her artsy style, too!  Thank you, Kelly, for these awesome photos and all the time and energy you put into them.  xoxoxo.

 Look at that face...he knows he's cute...

 My Guys....