Sunday, June 26, 2011

PEF Reunions and Graduation

Just to wrap up the PEF-related year-end posts...  One more photo-dump for tonight!

The last weekend of the school year is one of the busiest for the PEF staff.  Friday and Saturday are filled with Reunions craziness -- thousands of alumni and their families descend on campus, and a couple hundred of them are PEF alumni who come to our events.  SO much fun to catch up and engage in the orange-and-black craziness, but so busy...

And then the Monday following is a big dinner for the senior class and their families, with graduation on Tuesday morning.  This dinner is always such a bittersweet time -- a beautiful celebration of four years with the graduating class, wishing them well as they go off into a new season of life...

Congratulations, again, class of 2011!  Godspeed, and God bless you all!

PEF Senior Testimonies 2011

The last two Friday Night Fellowships of the year were devoted to testimonies from the graduating seniors.  Unfortunately, Joshua and I weren't able to attend -- though the testimonies were recorded, and I hope to listen to them sometime this summer.  (All photos below taken by David, who did a wonderful job!)

Class of 2011, we miss you already!  May the Lord bless you and keep you as you move on beyond Princeton!

PEF year-end events!

Finally, finally, I'm getting around to blogging about all the busyness of the last couple months!  First off, a post about two of the PEF year-end events -- the Olympics, and the spring picnic!

It's still so funny to me how athletic and hip PEF is these days...  What happened to the "last desperate alliance of geeks and Asians"??  :)  We love the Olympics, though -- it's a fun way to spend a Saturday during reading period.  And it's full of awesome photo ops!

Another reading period event was our annual spring picnic, right before one of the last Friday Night Fellowships of the year.  I posted a bunch of Joshua photos from that night in the last potpourri update post -- he had so much fun running around and making friends that night!  And I think the students all had a pretty good time, too.

I especially love this first photo, of Isedua and Joy.  I took a fun photo of them their freshman year, and two years later almost to the day, they decided to try to recreate it!

So okay, I couldn't resist including just a teeny bit of Joshua in this post as well.  :)

Stay tuned, more catch-up posts to come!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

No way out but through...

It's been kind of a downward spiral, my relationship with this blog of late... I want to blog.  I have so many random little notes scribbled to remind myself of little things I want to share here for posterity's sake.  But it's been SO long, and I have SO many stories to share, that I start to get overwhelmed at the backlog... So I wait a little longer, until I have a bigger stretch of free time.  And then the backlog grows... But!  There's no way out of this backlog but through (because trust me, we're not giving up on this blog!), so here goes nothing... I'm breaking the dry spell with another bullet-pointed potpourri of an update!  This time with random, mostly unrelated, but all super-cute photos!
  • Joshua has become quite the host.  :)  We have two grad student small groups, one of which is held at our house every Wednesday night, the other of which is hosted at different homes on Sunday afternoons, but sometimes ours.  And we live in an apartment building where people have to buzz at the front door to be let in.  These days, whenever Joshua hears the buzzer, he'll jump up from whatever he was doing, run to the intercom, and point as hard as he can to the switch until someone pushes the button to open the door.  Then he'll run to our front door and stare at it until his friend walks in.  So cute!
  • He clearly believes that people come over to our place for the sole purpose of playing with him.  Which is almost true... On Wednesday nights, he'll play with everyone there until his bedtime, which usually means that we get a fairly late start on the actual Bible study.  :)  A few weeks ago, David tried to get the discussion started, and jokingly told Joshua to go off and play by himself.  Joshua obediently toddled off, and David situated himself to start reading the scripture passage.  Just as he started, though, Joshua came toddling back, with a determined gleam in his eye -- and maracas in his hands.  So much for quiet playing on his own!
  • One more quick small group Joshua story... He's learning to share!  The other week, he was stooping by our coffee table, pulling DVDs off the shelf, while people were coming in and chatting.  Joshua picked up one of the DVDs, walked over to Richard, and handed it to him with a huge smile on his face.  He then made a game of giving Richard a DVD, walking off a few steps, then running back and asking for it back.  After a few passes of this, Joshua ran off to his bedroom -- and came back with his beloved "Dear Zoo" book, which he then shared with Richard.  So heart-meltingly sweet!
  • Joshua looooooves pushing buttons -- on his toys, on our electronics, on his shirts, on his belly...  :)  My parents got him this great ride-on school bus for Christmas, which he's played with since then, but he's recently really gotten into it.  There are buttons you can push to make honking noises and to play a song, and he figured out how to push them all by himself!  Of course, that led to him trying out his new button-pushing skills on things like our printer, our CPU tower, and our remote controls... We've had some luck teaching him not to touch the computer table, but it's clearly still a huge source of temptation for the little guy.  Putting him in his playpen still works as a good discipline/diversionary tactic, so that's what we're sticking with for now, but we're going to have to branch out and actually read some toddler discipline books soon, I think, so any recommendations would be appreciated!
  • In an effort to help Joshua move past frustrated whining/tantruming into communication, I started asking him a few weeks ago to say "up" whenever he came to me whining and wanting to be held.  To be fair, he was communicating, and loudly -- but we'd still prefer that he learn to use words rather than whining/crying!  And "up" is a word he'd used with some frequency in the past.  So I figured I would try to see if I could get him to say "up" whenever he wanted to be held.  And wow, did that go like gangbusters... It took a couple days of calmly saying "up" to him while he was whining, and only picking him up when he verbalized the word, but he caught on much faster than I expected!  Because we wanted to cement the meaning of that word in his mind, we would cheer and pick him up every time he said "up."  Which may have backfired a bit... Now, he expects to be picked up every.single.time he says "up."  And he knows we know what he means!  So next on our list of things to teach Joshua is the meaning of "not right now"...
  • Speaking of "up," though -- Joshua has recently learned how to climb up onto the couch by himself!  He first figured out how to shimmy backwards down off of the couch and our bed, which was a huge safety milestone -- we no longer fear that he'll fall off and hurt himself.  And then he gradually reverse-engineered that move.  :)  He'd shimmy halfway down off the couch, then struggle to figure out how to get himself back up on top.  And then he figured out how to use his beanbag as a boost to get up onto the couch.  And now, he can climb up all by himself -- he starts out on his tiptoes, throws his head and torso onto the couch, streeeeetches out his right leg until his knee is on the couch, and then pulls/climbs/rolls the rest of the way up.  So determined and cute!
  • Joshua knows so many body parts now!  He'll point to his head, ear, nose, belly, and knee fairly reliably, and he'll point to my eye, nose, cheek, ear and chin.  Of course, he has to be in just the right mood to comply with our requests, the stubborn wee boy... But it's clear that he knows these words!
  • We took him in for his 15-month checkup (yikes, over a month ago now, so these stats are old...) -- he weighed 23 lbs., 5 oz., was 32 inches tall, and had a head circumference of 19 inches.  And Dr. N was very pleased with his growth, and babbling, and gross/fine motor skills.  It's such a blessing to have such fast and easy well-baby visits -- we're so thankful for how healthy our little boy is!
  • Joshua has four molars fully in now!  For a while, we thought he might be working on some more teeth, since he kept chewing on his hands and drooling more than usual, but I think it was actually the back/inner half of the molars.  These four molars have fully broken through now, and he seems to be back to a manageable level of drooling.  :)  Teething hasn't seemed to really bother Joshua at all of late -- I'm hoping this continues, and that we'll have an easy go of the rest of his teeth!
  • An old friend of ours, John Paul, came over for dinner the other night -- he and his wife are out in Chicago now, but he just got a tenure-track position at Rutgers, so they'll be moving back into the area this fall!  Woohoo!  One thing I didn't know about John Paul until this dinner visit -- he's totally a baby whisperer.  Joshua is generally iffy about new people, and usually squirms and runs away when other people try to hold him.  But John Paul gave him his space, and Joshua was fascinated by him... By the end of the evening, Joshua was climbing up onto the couch to be right next to John Paul, and cuddling up to him, and sitting peacefully in his lap while we all talked.  David thinks this is because JP is half-Asian...  ;)  I'm hoping this is signalling the end of stranger anxiety -- especially since Joshua has been more and more okay with new people over the last month.  (Like at the PEF graduation dinner, where he was happily held by Dr. Chen for over ten minutes, giving me and David a chance to actually eat!)
  • Joshua still loves having identical toys, one in each hand.  And though I joked a while back that he seemed to have a preference for truly identical toys, that actually seems to be coming true now -- he'll sort through his blocks until he has not just two random blocks in his hands, but two green, identically-shaped blocks.  Sorry, kiddo, looks like you got your parents' OCD tendencies...
  • And he's learning to help us clean up!  He's known what the word "inside" means for a while now, and has been able to put toys inside random bins and drawers.  But lately, he's followed along after me to pick up his blocks and put them in the right bag.  And just this week, after he goes on a bender and throws all our DVDs out on the floor, he's begun stooping down to pick them up and put them back on the shelf!  Of course, he generally follows up by throwing them back down on the floor... But still, progress!
And that's all I've got for right now, for random Joshua update tidbits... Stay tuned for posts on all the various events we've been to since the beginning of May!