Sunday, December 14, 2008

Quick update

We're finally back home. Kristy is fine, just low level pain at this point (easy for me to say).

Friday, December 12, 2008

No wisdom teeth in this family

Kristy had her wisdom teeth out this morning. All went well. She's mostly been sleeping since then (thankfully). The pain comes and goes, but the medicine has helped (though made her a bit nauseous). She's up to applesauce, so we seem to be on the road to recovery.

No fun, but we're getting there.

We're in Greenville through Saturday - always good for the kids. Stephen is trying to wait for Aunt Sarah to get here to have some real fun. Lydia has slept most of the afternoon so far. I'm not so bad myself!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Deaconing Thoughts

The PCA Book of Church Order discusses some details of the office of Deacon (see chapter 9). It certainly emphasizes the ministry to those in distress within and without the local congregation. In addition, it notes that the deacons are responsible for the upkeep of the local church's property and various other duties (encouraging the congregation to give, etc.). Thus far, our little diaconate has mostly experienced the latter issues of caring for the property.

Change comes, however.

There's only three of us, and our chairman has recently accepted a job near Chicago. It's a great job for him and much closer to his family, so we certainly wish him well. My duties have been somewhat light, I suppose partly because I lead music during worship and currently teach Sunday School (Intro to Covenant Theology - I'm learning lots). At any rate, as of last Sunday I'm the new chairman of the deacons (all both of us).

Also, the tough economic times have brought needs to the diaconate that I will not discuss - but it is new to me to be on the front line and into the details of such events in the lives of others.

I think of John 13:34-35 where we find that Christians show their "bona fides" by loving each other. Not just feeling good about each other, but bearing each other's burdens. While taking care of the church's property is important, how much more important is the primary calling of the deacon? We're leading our local body to show that we are truly part of the Church Universal by our love for each other.

Through all this, I realize I must take my prayer life much more seriously. God has called me to this, and I must certainly seek His help as I am inadequate to the task.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Stephen funnies

Two Stephen stories:

1. Stephen's good sense of direction: Two weeks ago, Lee was sick, so the kids and I went to church on our own. To save a little time, I went the back way (it's really curvy so we only go when we're unusually late - see Oct. 12 post). I had never driven this way to church, but it's pretty straightforward, but I have NO sense of direction - ask anyone who's ridden with me.

I came to a T-intersection and had to choose right or left. Beforehand, I felt I should be going left, but was unsure.
Me: Stephen, do you know which way is the way to church?
Stephen: Daddy goes that way (pointing to the right), when we come this way to church.
I turned right and sure enough, he was right. Thankfully, he has taken after Lee in that regard.

2. It has probably been time for us to start transitioning Stephen out of night-time pull-ups for a little while. I suppose we're trying to avoid the extra middle-of-the-night work that may produce. Anyway, tonight, we're trying no pull-up. Lee bathed Stephen tonight, and I heard Lee explaining to Stephen what we're doing. Afterward, Stephen ran downstairs and said, "Mommy, guess what I'm wearing!" He wiggled around a bit & said, "It's not crunchy..."
Perhaps he'll be excited enough to make it work.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Here's the kids halloween outfits. We went downtown to the harvest festival put on by a church down there. It was crowded but fun.

Stephen is Bob the Builder...with a sword!

Lydia is a Clemson Fan...with a tool handle!

They enjoyed their costumes

And this was random but funny.

Stephen's Birthday

We had a good time on Stephen's birthday party. Of course he's had several - one for each side of the family, one for his class at school, and one for friends. Kristy found a cake mold (well, small cake/large cupcake size) in the shape of Clemson tiger paws. She made chocolate cake batter (which turned out more like brownie, which is fine with me) and made some paws and cupcakes. Result:

Here we are "cutting the cake."

Stephen and Gavin - one of his friends. Stephen is an expert present opener.

We ordered a Clemson Picnic package to go with our Clemson Tiger theme. We got some temporary tattoos - this is just the first that Stephen used.

On the actual day of his birthday, Stephen got all of daddy's old Legos. I think he was a bit overwhelmed and didn't know where to start.

One more thing - the week before his friends party the high temperatures were in the low 80's. That Saturday of course the high was around 62. Oh well.

Poor neglected blog

Ah, the poor neglected blog. At least I kept Facebook somewhat up to date. We'll try to catch up with a couple posts here. But I just have to mention that I need to rake leaves in our yard. The big chestnut beside our house finally dropped - practically all in one day. However, it is dark by the time I get home from work in the evening so I've been waiting for a Saturday. I just noticed here at about 8:00 am that it's 12 degrees out. Maybe this afternoon will be warmer. Or at least above freezing.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dad is home and fine

Greetings all - my dad is back from the hospital and doing well. Surgery was Thursday and the doctor said it went as planned. He was in lots of pain Friday and was loopy from the morphine. He's stubborn enough to continue to push to get better and he came home around 11:00 am today.

We certainly praise God for all this.

He's still healing but is off the super pain drugs and just on regular prescription pain drugs. The family has been great, as have our friends here in Greenville. I plan to return home tomorrow; I just want to make sure all is well this night and help mom if needed.

Kristy took the kids to her parents' house for the weekend. I understand that Stephen is coming back with a light saber and a guitar. Oh boy. At least it's not cymbals. Since he turned 4 he will now get to have all my old legoes, and that will be fun to build with him AND see what he builds on his own.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mountain Folk

Heard this quote the other day in person and thought I would share:

"You have to understand mountain folk. We'll get up at 4 o'clock in the morning to either help you or shoot you, whichever is necessary."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Long-Distance Church & Throw Ups

There's a number of disadvantages to going to a church that's 40 minutes from our house. I can think of several but one was quite apparent yesterday. On the drive to church Stephen said his tummy hurt. Ok, I thought, maybe he's a little carsick since I took the curvy road (saves about 5 minutes). When I get to a good spot, we stopped and got him resituated in his seat. He said he felt better, so we went on to church. We got there and as soon as I walked in the door with him, he threw up all over. We ran to the bathroom and did some more. (Need to find a good dry cleaner BTW, since he got my blazer) Since he got his clothes pretty good, we got back in the car and went home.

Stephen is fine by the way - we think he just ate too much in Greenville this weekend and got too wild playing Saturday night. He was his normal self all Sunday afternoon.

Anyway, that 40 minute drive (while VERY pretty this time of year with the fall colors) was mighty long with a sick boy. Also, that means none of us get to go to church, since we can't get home and send a smaller contingent back in time for worship.

Yet, I have strong convictions about where we hold our membership. Our family is reformed, calvinist, and presbyterian. We have been members of the PCA since we were married and I love the denomination (for all our faults). I also love RUF and want to see it firmly established at WCU. I would certainly consider a church in NAPARC. And, I would NOT want to join a non-denominational church - Scripture indicates the connectional nature of the Church and I would not want to give that up, nor the oversight of higher levels. But then, it's one thing to live in Greenville, SC where you can find multiple churches of nearly any presbyterian flavor you want, and another to live in Cullowhee, NC where all the scots-irish seem to have switched to baptist and methodist long ago. I realize such constraints leave me with little choice right now, but we will go with that rather than move on those constraints.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

In Memorium - Shannon Dodd

Shannon Dodd passed away on September 30, 2008. She is survived by her husband Tom (a former Clemson roommate of mine) and 2 adopted boys.

More info here.

If I had to attempt to sum up Shannon (which is not possible) I would have to say two things: hilarious and determined. The service in Westminster was beautiful - I believe she would have really liked it. For our mutual friends, please keep Tom, the boys, and the families in prayer. Our hearts are sad, but God is still sovereign, good, and sufficient.

Update on Dad - UPDATED

A quick update on my dad - he possibly does NOT have ALS. Apparently there is a type of cancer that produces ALS symptoms - he has now been diagnosed with that. The great thing is, doctors can do something about cancer. Also, once the cancer is removed, the ALS symptoms tend to fade over a few months. He's going for surgery on the cancer later this month, and we pray that this will take care of the issues.

Praise God for his unusual and amazing blessings.

(updated on 10/8 to correct a few details)

Monday, October 06, 2008

Chestnut Weevils

This year, we've discovered that there is a Chinese chestnut tree in our yard. I was glad to find it was something "useful" as the tree has been dropping the nuts for quite a while. This is the bur in which the nuts grow and drop.

They look fuzzy - but I grabbed one to move it off my car, and ouch - they're really sharp! So we have these sharp things all over part of our yard for now.
Stephen and I went out one day to harvest the nuts. Stephen really got into it. Long after I felt 'done' (we had more than enough for a batch), he kept picking; he was determined to fill the bucket, which he did. I combined parts of different recipes to prepare one batch and we ate a few.
Several days later I discover white larvae in my kitchen trash. I proceeded to clean the kitchen and look for any other evidence of life in my kitchen. I remembered having thrown away some chestnuts that looked 'invaded'. I checked the bucket of nuts and there were lots and lots of them! Glad I hadn't gotten around to giving the nuts away, I got rid of them - my faith in my housekeeping ability restored.
After a little research, I found that they were chestnut weevils.

The eggs are laid inside the nut before they fall from the tree. The larvae then eat the chestnut, eat their way out of the nut and go underground for 1-2 years. With a 2-3 year life cycle, it will take a while to get rid of these. This was a rental house until our purchase, so the infestation is probably complete.

The good news is that a major control method, called sanitation, involves keeping the nuts off the ground and in something like a plastic bucket. Stephen has shown his aptitude for picking up chestnuts, so I will definitely enlist his help. This year is pretty much shot since there are nuts that have been on the ground long enough to yield more grubs - but I like to think our one harvest made a little dent.

Maybe by the time the pests are gone, I will know what I'm doing....

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Big Dig

This morning, my dad, Stephen, and I went to this.

Stephen did this (he dug a little bit):

Then this (he got to sit there for a bit):

And this (look for the yellow helmet just around the driver's chest):

Stephen also rode on a backhoe, but I don't have pictures since I was busy on the excavator next to him. I think he dug more dirt than I did, but he was much more experienced by then. We both had a really great time. Now THAT was a great fundraiser.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Lydia Feeds Herself

We've hit another milestone - Lydia can now feed herself baby puffs (cheerio-like food). I'm sure most parents know what a wonderful milestone it is when the kids can start feeding themselves.

Here's a video of her second self-serve bite.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Half-way childless

Kristy went to Greenville with the kids yesterday to go to a big consignment sale there (she did well - maybe she'll post on her finds). She and Lydia came back today and Stephen is staying the weekend with my parents. I'm sure they're having a grand time. It certainly is quiet around the house now.

Kristy and I are just quiet people. Where did Stephen come from? The other day I was thinking about this during supper. Stephen would hum a bit, then say some nonsense, then ask a question, then tell me Something Important, then hum some more, then more nonsense, etc., etc. It was actually a bit exhausting to listen to and made me wonder how he's able to eat with all that going on.

But then, last night when everyone besides me was gone, it actually got too quiet. I suppose I'm used to it all by now.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Pot, Kettle...Kettle, Pot

This is so contradictory I have a hard time not laughing at something so serious:

Anti-war protest at GOP Convention Turns Violent

Monday, September 01, 2008

One more update

I do have one more update. My dad was recently diagnosed with ALS. Obviously not something anyone wants to hear about themselves or a family member. Apparently, you never know how much time you have or exactly how it will progress. Also, there's a drug that was recently approved by the FDA that slows its progress in many cases.

God is still good, yet we appreciate your prayers - particularly for my mom & dad.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Update on Us

Greetings all - our apologies for being so silent. For the handful (or less) that still actually check this blog, here's a Nickles Family update.

  1. The Holden Beach & Helen, GA trips were good - and seemingly too long ago. The kids had a great time
  2. Lydia said "ma-ma" about a week and a half ago. "Da-da" soon followed (after some intense coaching). She scoots but doesn't crawl yet. She knows how to work her daddy. When I get home she starts flailing her arms and making noise - how can I help picking her up? There's a few more weeks until our friends can keep her while Kristy goes to work, so Lydia is going to work with her in the sling - and doing very well.
  3. Stephen started pre-school again. We didn't get in back at Cullowhee Kids where he was last year (limited space), but a local private school (Heritage Christian Academy) started a PreK class this fall and we got in there three days a week. He loves it and the teacher is the lady that kept him some days last year.
  4. My job goes well. The university's priorities are changing and I never seem to have time to get to everything, but we always need tech support. I still enjoy it, and definitely can't complain.
  5. We got DSL not long ago and are seriously enjoying this. Hopefully we'll get over the novelty of watching House episodes whenever we want sometime soon. Stephen has discovered Scooby Doo. We also recently got the "Old School" Sesame Street DVD's from Netflix. Stephen kind of liked Sesame Street the few times he's seen it, but he watched two episodes of the old early 70's shows and talks about letters and numbers all the time now. Go figure. Maybe they're not so bad for "today's kids" after all.
  6. My roommates (apartment-mates?) from my senior year at Clemson all got together recently. We had a blast (or at least I did) and I'm sorry we haven't done this more often. It's been a while since I've had that kind of geeky fellowship.
We'll try to get better at updates...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Local Trips

Our family took two short but fun trips this weekend. On Saturday we went to Ghost Town in the Sky in Maggie Valley. Growing up in Kingsport, I remember seeing TV ads for it, but we never went. It's basically a small western themed amusement park. "Small" anyway compared to Six Flags and such. Even though it's a busy season for the park, the crowds were barely crowds. About half the time we didn't have to wait to get on a ride, and the other half we waited at most for two cycles of the ride to get on - MAYBE 10 minutes. On the kids' rides, Stephen could just stay on and ride again if the line was small enough (which it usually was). And, every hour on the hour is a gunfight in the "town" (a.k.a., concessions & gift stores area). They really got their money's worth out of us from the concessions ($2.29 for one order of fries!). But we all had a great time. The ski lift ride up was very pleasant. I haven't ridden on a "Scrambler" in a long time, and remember now why it is one of my favorite carnival rides. Also, the park is up on top of a mountain and the view is really incredible. The only real souvenir we brought back was a sunburn (Kristy and me anyway - Stephen and Lydia were thoroughly doused in sunscreen).

This afternoon we went for a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I love the views, both the myriad of living things you can see up close from the road (some rhododendron were blooming) and the amazing views of the mountains. We went toward Asheville from the Balsam exit (mile 444, I think) and stopped to "hike" part of the Richard Balsam Trail (mile 430 or so?). We discovered that Stephen absolutely loves to hike. He had a great time and would have gone much faster if us old parents would have let him. I have no idea where all that energy comes from, but I wish I did! I carried Lydia in the Snuggli and she wiggled and squealed many times on the way, tried to grab every branch in reach, and seemed to thoroughly enjoy herself. There were some posts along the trail and I called the first one a "marker." Stephen then called all the ones after that "crayons." The mind of a 3 year old is a mysterious but amusing thing. So, our kids enjoyed the hike and I hope we make time to do more.

One last thought: we were out there on the trail starting around 4:30 and the temperature according to our van's display was 64 degrees F. In the middle of July. I love living in the mountains.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

LEGO Memories

For all those who ever played with LEGO, take a look at these:

The Secret Lego vault with every set ever made

I'll admit that I teared up a bit when I saw the original "Galaxy Explorer" box, remembering all the fun times with that one. Space sets were the best.

The best Lego sets in history
Whether these are the best or not is debatable, but they're fun for the memories.

Stephen still reminds me that once he turns 4 years old, I'll let him play with all my old ones. I can't wait to see what he makes out of them.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Two more pictures

Ok, two more pictures for this evening and then I'm done.

One of my super cute daughter making a cute face for the camera. I love the bow, and so did everyone else.

I went up to Stephen's room one morning to wake him up and found him like this. No covers (typical) and completely perpendicular to his bed (not typical, but not unheard of). He's hilarious. I hope we cure him of this before he gets married.

Greenville Trip Pictures

Here's some pictures from our trip to Greenville last weekend.

Three generations, two birthday "boys," and one candle blower (he's the one in the middle).

We had plenty of fun in my parent's pool. Here's Stephen playing with my sister (a.k.a. "Aunt Fun").

The boys went to the model train show in Greenville that Saturday. We all had a good time. This is a line inspection car owned by one of the guys there. He bought it and restored it. (I can think of less expensive hobbies - but this one is pretty cool.) Stephen got to ring the bell.

Stephen had a great time looking at the huge model train layout. They had buttons set up so you push a small button and some model on the layout animates or makes noise. And yes, we had to push all 4,506 of them.

This is from the massive Nickles Family Gathering™. Stephen eats at the end of the table with Victoria, his second cousin. He actually ate something besides potato chips before declaring "all done" to go play.

Family Pictures

Some recent family pictures from various things.

Kristy caught this one of me and Lydia napping. I'm not sure if I rocked her to sleep or if she rocked me to sleep.

Here's Lydia in one of her very cute outfits.

There's a state park with a lake and some trails about 30 minutes from our house, so we went one Sunday afternoon.

I have too many funny captions for this one in my head to pick one. I have no idea what Stephen was really thinking.

A fun one of Stephen

I got this one of Lydia soon before she woke up one morning. I see the resemblance to Stephen more at this age.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Birthday/Father's Day Weekend

It's been a fun birthday/father's day weekend here in the Nickles household. We went to Greenville to see my side of the family. We swam in the pool and Lydia took to the water very quickly - much faster than Stephen. She's been in a patting/slapping various surfaces and objects kind of mode lately, so that was just right for some small splashing in the water. My dad, Stephen, and I went Saturday morning to see a model train show. A good time was had by all there.

Saturday afternoon Kristy and I went to see Prince Caspian. I HIGHLY recommend it. Although I tend toward being a "purist" when converting books to movies (I'm still miffed about Faramir' character & the Galadrim showing up at Helm's Deep) the changes were good. Fleshing out Peter's character & growth made for a more interesting thread to the story. The four Pevensie children were much more skilled actors than last time (and I thought they were good then). Anyway, do go see it, but expect a movie "based on" the book (not an exact interpretation, but not just "inspired by" either).

Then the usual Nickles Family Gathering for summer birthdays. It was fun and we all stuffed ourselves.

Today was good too. Kristy made breakfast (my usual job so that was a nice break). We had good fellowship at church and then had lunch on the porch. This afternoon we realized how tired we all were after the weekend, and three of us had naps. Stephen did not and indeed we had some meltdowns. He finally went to bed (amongst many tears) but hope a long sleep tonight will help him feel better tomorrow.

While I was writing the above, we heard a loud thump from upstairs. Stephen apparently fell out of bed WHILE ASLEEP. He stayed asleep while I put him back in bed. Poor kid!

Pictures will follow soon.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Ever since Stephen saw the movie Ratatouille several weeks ago, he occasionally asked me to make the dish ratatouille.
I found a recipe in a general cookbook and adapted it so that it would look like the movie version - except I kept the tomatoes called for in my recipe and left out the yellow squash. Stephen did help a little, and we even got to work on patterns as we layered the veggies in the baking dish.
My version is not nearly as pretty as the one in the film of course - especially since I only had fairly large eggplants from which to choose.

Lee and I enjoyed it, but Stephen tried a few bites and didn't like it. Oh well.

In looking for pretty pictures of Ratatouille for contrast, I found that better cooks than I have also been inspired to make their visions of the film's version of ratatouille. This recipe does look much better than mine.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Mystery Man in Green Eggs and Ham

Ok, so maybe I've read Green Eggs and Ham a few times too many lately. But, have you ever noticed the "mystery man?" He shows up in the coach car of the train - the first time you see the train. You then don't see him for most of the rest of the book - you only see the woman and child in the train (or in the water, etc.). But, you see little glimpses of someone else that hasn't been previously introduced. A hand here, a hat there (mostly while they're in the water). I'm going on the assumption that the man in the train is indeed still along for the ride throughout the book, he's just ignored. It's as if he's having a cameo appearance and is then treated like an extra.

It's a bit odd to have read a book so often that I can almost read it from memory; leaving my mind free to wander and think about such things. Perhaps we need to go to the library more often.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Family Update

Greetings all! We apologize for the long length between blog posts. Here’s the quick update:
  1. Kristy and Lee had a nasty diarrhea bug. We started within hours of each other a few Saturdays ago. The kids didn’t get it, but we couldn’t keep up with both of them. So, my parents took Stephen for most of the week (thankfully). I recovered slower than Kristy (I missed church and 4 days of work), but we’re both much better. Apparently it’s been going around.
  2. The semester is over at WCU, so Lee gets to work on longer-term goals. For the nerds out there, I’m learning ASP.NET (in VB) and how to interface with a database through that.
  3. WCU hires a carnival near the end of the semester and we took the family to that. Stephen (and the rest of us) had a good time. I rode the Ferris wheel with him and though I was afraid I would have to put the “daddy death grip” on him, he was very good. The funnel cake was pretty good too.
  4. We took Stephen and Lydia to their first baseball game. Clemson came to play WCU, so we wore our orange. It was a good game and Clemson won. We also met some Clemson folks, including a fraternity brother of mine (he was after my time).
  5. Kristy’s boss has asked us to consider having her come in three mornings a week instead of the current two. We’re trying to figure out the childcare for that to see if we can make it happen.
  6. The search for a dean for our college failed – the provost didn’t pick any of the candidates invited for final interviews. So, I don’t know who I’m going to report to as of July 1. We don’t even have an interim dean picked. AND our associate dean is stepping down. Whatever happens, there will be a significant change in leadership.
  7. For our Texas friends – in spite of the gas prices, we’re still trying to figure out a trip out there to visit. We’ll be in touch.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Lydia's Baptism

Lydia was baptized this Sunday. Rev. Tim McQuitty, our new pastor, did the honors.

I really love the vows we have in the PCA for parents at this time - promising to raise our children to learn about, love, and fear God. Also, it is very encouraging to see the congregation promise to help us in this! We are one body, one family, and we should see that as a blessing. We were also glad my mom, dad, and sister could come join us. My dad, being a ruling elder, prayed for us.

Picture... (Stephen was upset that he wasn't going home with grandmother and granddaddy)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Upgrading to XP from Vista

The hard drive on the family laptop died in December, so we bought a new desktop. We got an HP Pavilion Slimline – small but still a desktop. I thought it would be nice to go back to having a desktop to get the better display and regular size keyboard. And, NC state employees get a nice discount with HP.

Well, we got it and like it. We had a small problem with the monitor (a bright yellow, one pixel wide vertical line on all the time) which they replaced quickly. The hardware is a nice jump from our 4 year old laptop, and we didn’t know how much we missed having a number pad on the keyboard.

However, it also came with Vista. It is pretty and has decent navigation. It didn’t take long to get used to it. But, the problems soon started. About every 1-2 weeks we got the blue screen of death (BSOD) and had to restart several times before Vista would start again. Explorer also froze whenever we copied, moved, or even renamed files. Updates didn’t help, and sometimes had a BSOD while installing them!

So, we finally got sick of it. One of the advantages of working at WCU is that faculty and staff get a discount on lots of software. I got a copy of XP for $10 and installed it. I have to give it to HP: even though their policy is to only support the pre-installed operating system, they pointed me to all the drivers I needed (except for the modem – which I found myself). It only took about 1.5 hours to go from Vista to fully running with XP AND all our necessary software.

Updating XP through dial-up took longer, but at least it doesn’t crash regularly. Now if we can just get DSL...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Stephen on Loving Jesus

Stephen and I were reading books last night before bed, and as usual we read a Bible story. This one was about the woman that washed Jesus' feet with her hair. Stephen asked for another story about Jesus, the one "about the cross." His picture Bible has several pages about the crucifixion, so we looked through those and I summarized each page. At the end, where Jesus is resurrected and talking to the women outside the tomb, Stephen pointed out Jesus' scars "from the cross." We talked about how Jesus died to forgive sins (and what sin is, etc.). Stephen thought for a few seconds and said "I love Jesus!"

Now THAT warmed this dad's heart!

Again, it isn't just this one reading that brought this response - it's the constant attempts to teach Stephen that lead to a point like that.

The "rest of the story" is that I was tired last night and wasn't sure I felt up to doing the "put Stephen to bed" routine. In fact, I wasn't sure I wanted to read one more story, but I'm glad I did.

4-month-old Lydia

Lydia just turned 4 months old - she weighs 14 lbs 7 oz and is 26 inches long - growing girl! I haven't been as diligent with tummy time as I was with Stephen, so she hasn't rolled over yet or propped up much on her forearms. She is quite "talkative" and starting to show a little stranger anxiety, but not too much. Lydia is also showing lots of interest in foods and sitting with us as we eat. I forgot how quickly babies go from one stage to the next!

We were in Greenville this past weekend and had Lydia's first professional pictures taken. Stephen did as well - he really got into it!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Stephen On Faith

One of those great conversations with Stephen happened last night. Our Bible story was about how Jesus walked on water and how Peter walked out to him but didn’t trust him the whole time. We talked a little about faith and I told Stephen that the Bible says that if we even have a little bit of faith we can make a mountain move. Stephen thought about this for a little and then said:

“Can I have a little bit of faith?”

I tried hard not to laugh – I’m pretty sure Stephen thinks being able to move a mountain would be a great thing to be able to do. We then talked about what faith is and what that verse about moving mountains means (trusting God and being aligned with His will).

I wonder how much of this stuck with him in some way – I just have to remember that teaching him truth is continuous, not discrete (yup, I’m an engineer). That is, it is the whole life of teaching, not one single event, that will make a difference.

We did pray for more faith last night.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Still Alive

Yes we are still around. An update on us:
  • Lydia is growing! She smiles, coos, squeals, and easily holds her head up.
  • Stephen is still having a great time at pre-school. Potty training is...progressing
  • Kristy is well and glad to be back at work
  • I'm good - I have a new administrative assistant who is VERY technically competent, so she's taken quite a bit of everyday work off me so I can work on the bigger picture things
  • I went to New Orleans for a conference a few days after Mardi Gras. The conference was good - I'm not sure I can recommend the city unless you like to drink. A lot. I like spiritous beverages, but not that much. Still, the food REALLY wow. (Biggest disappointment - not having enough time in the Houston airport to stop and get a Shipley's doughnut)
  • Stephen started Kindermusic. He goes once a week and has very much enjoyed it. I'm continually surprised at how good his pitch is (for a 3 year old) when we sing. I hope he got the best of our musical genes
  • Our search committee found a pastor and he's accepted the call. Yay! I get my Sunday afternoons back!! The committee worked well and I look forward to having our new pastor minister with and to us.
Oh, and Lydia knows how to work her daddy. A few days ago Kristy was holding her in the kitchen and I walked up to her to look at Lydia. I held my hands out to her as if to take her and Lydia started jerking in my direction. Ahhh - she warmed this dad's heart! Of course she was indicating that she wanted to come to me.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A (not so) typical evening at the Nickles' house

10:00 pm - Lee goes to bed while Kristy stays up with Lydia for a while

12:15 am - The power goes out, just as Kristy was about to give Lydia her medication (no, Kristy had not been to bed yet). Kristy decides to try to wake up Lee rather than feel her way around in the dark holding an infant.

12:17 am - She succeeds.

12:20 am - Lee finds the flashlight.

12:25 am - Stephen wakes up

12:50 am - Everyone is in bed somewhere in the house

1:30 am - The power (and a number of lights and electrical devices) come back on - only mommy and daddy notice

4:00 am (or so) - Stephen comes in mommy and daddy's room and needs a "visit"

4:15 am (or so) - Lee gets back to bed from Stephen's room

6:50 am - Lydia announces to the household that she is ready for breakfast

I just have to say it: I love my family dearly. I'm thankful to be able to laugh at all this now - I was too sleepy to do so last night!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Recent Stephen funnies

Here are some funny things Stephen has said over the past couple of weeks:

  • We did that miles and miles ago...
  • While pretending to make cookies - "We need 2 cups of salt and 1 cup of cinnamon."
  • Either Lee or me: "Stephen, why did you do X?"
    • Stephen: "Because I did X."