Tag Archives: Jared

Meier Wire #54: Meier Family Deliveries of 2013

Date: Monday, June 10, 2013
Location: Lake Jackson, Texas

Once again, I find myself scrambling to catch up after many months of silence.  My writing endeavors have been limited to reminder notes for the daily basic things of life and random posts I’ve managed to put on Facebook.  I have to admit that only about 50% of the witty and charming ideas I have thought of putting on Facebook actually make it there. Usually, my thoughts hit on something especially “Facebook” worthy at a moment when I cannot access my computer.  By the time I’ve actually sat down and logged in, I can’t remember what I had wanted to post several hours (or days) earlier.

So, when I think about writing for my blog or attempting to work on re-writing the first few chapters of my dissertation, it usually becomes a fleeting thought that never quite materializes in during the busy, awake time of my day.

The last time that I attempted to update my blog, I was still pregnant with my fourth child.  We were expecting another boy.  We had decided that his name would be Seth Adrian Meier and we were hoping that we wouldn’t have any major complications in giving birth.  We were also praying for God’s provision since our health insurance doesn’t cover maternity costs. We made our final road trip to Florida over Thanksgiving break and returned to Lake Jackson, Texas to enjoy Christmas and New Year’s and to await the birth of our son.

FamilyPic FamilyPic_cousins

(Cristina’s side of the family took pictures in Gainesville, Florida)
White – Philip’s family / Red – Cristina’s family / Black – Anita’s family / Black with design – Tim’s family

Christmas_MKMeier1 Christmas_MKMeier2

(Christmas / Maternity Photos – December 2012)

Now, we are nearly half way through 2013, and our fourth child is nearly five months old. The months in between have brought many adventures our way.  If I were to summarize the highlights in a series of Facebook posts, it would probably look something like this:

*New Year….Baby on the Way.  We can’t wait.

(39 weeks pregnant)

*Luke had a blast at his firefighter birthday party. I can’t believe he’s four already.  I’m glad I didn’t go into labor today.

birthdaycake birthdayboy

*Uh-oh.  I found out that I do have placenta accretta and will not be allowed to go into labor naturally.  They are going to schedule a c-section for January 17.

*Praise the Lord! Seth Adrian Meier was born with no complications.  My placenta came out without any problems.  I am looking forward to going home in a few days. I am grateful for my mother being at home with my other three kids.

Seth_waves Seth_unhappy

Seth_mommy

*Jared enjoyed celebrating his “half” birthday at school today. He’s five and a half today (January 25).

Kids_withbaby

*My mom went home after her three week stay.  I miss her already.

Mommy_baby

*Grace keeps getting ear infections.  She might need to get tubes in her ears.

Grace_sick

*Valentine’s Day is so busy! I’ve spent so much time making valentines for all the kids in Jared’s kindergarten class and in Luke’s Cubbies group that I hardly have time to make anything special for my family.

Valentine's Day1 Valentine's Day2

*We’ve been discovering the true meaning of St. Patrick’s Day. Let’s celebrate missionaries worldwide.  I might even try to make some Irish soda bread.

StPattysDayFamily IrishSodaBread

*Grace is the first in our family to start seeing a chiropractor. I never would have guessed that these adjustments would work so well to help clear the fluid in her ears.  The ear specialist agreed that she doesn’t need ear tubes and that her hearing is perfect.

SweetGrace

*We enjoyed Easter with the kids this year.  No one was sick this time around.

EasterFamily EasterTrio EasterBoys EasterEggHunt

*Grace turned two years old!  She loved being dressed up as a lady bug for her lady bug birthday party.

Grace_birthday

*Seth is 100 days old today (April 27)! It’s the only time I dress up in my Korean hanbok to celebrate the occasion.

Seth_100Days

*BCS had a successful auction and was able to raise a lot of money for the school.  Several scholarships were donated so that more students will be able to attend in future years.

BCS Auction

*We celebrated Stephen’s birthday at school today (May 1).  Jared’s kindergarten class came to his office to sing “Happy Birthday” to him.  Jared made a birthday cake for him all by himself.

Stephen_birthday

*Another school year is quickly coming to an end.  Jared graduated from kindergarten on May 21. We are so proud of our eldest son.

Jared_graduationpic

*The weather is finally staying warm enough to bring out the pools.  The kids are excited about this summer.  Jared is already planning on what he wants to do for his sixth birthday.

Summer_banner

So, there you have it.  That is a rundown of the most important events that have happened this year so far.  I look forward to adding more posts in the future.  I hope all the writing ideas that formulate as I’m driving or folding clothes or making dinner actually get typed at some point in the near future.

Meier Wire #53: Harvesting Joy in 2012

Meier Wire #53
Harvesting Joy in 2012
Date: Saturday, November 24, 2012
Location: Lake Jackson, Texas

(Note: Although I wrote this in late November of 2012, I did not post it for another eight months. Please pardon my delay!)

I recently went nearly 10 months without posting a single post on our family blog.  Then, I posted 16 different posts to try to make up for the lack of communication.  Two weeks later, I began planning my next batch of blog posts.  After all, there are only two months left in the calendar year and my brain is already flowing with a number of ideas for posts.  Of course, the ideas come easily when there is so much going on at this time of the year.  Harvest activities, festivals and “hallow’s eve” kick off the beginning of the holiday season.  Just as soon as I’ve sorted through the Halloween candy, it’s already time to think about Thanksgiving plans and Christmas.  Throw in a national election and a pregnancy that is coming into the final 10 week countdown and I become a very busy momma.

So, feel free to read about our fall activities and updates. October and November have been fun months of busy activities and celebrations that I am looking forward to sharing with you.

Recent topics:

1) Grandparent’s Day Relived (Family News)
Although Grandparent’s Day was officially listed on U.S. calendars in the month of September, Brazosport Christian School (BCS) has traditionally prepared a special celebration in their honor during the month of October.

2) ACSI accreditation (Ministry)
Under the supervision of Stephen Meier, BCS recently accomplished something that no other Christian school in the United States has yet to achieve.

3) Hallelujah on Halloween (TCK Views)
A lot of churches around here have taken to celebrating “Hallelujah” night in the place of Halloween.

4) Monster Dash into the wind (Family News)
This was the second year that the Meier family participated in this Halloween-themed 5k race with special races for kids, a costume contest and a sudden dip in temperature.

5) Weather or not in Lake Jackson (TCK Views)
I grew up without any seasonal changes, so I’m not a person to be disappointed by snowless winters and a lack of a real spring blossoming or fall foliage.

6) A Homecoming Update & Prize Winners (Ministry)
At Brazosport Christian School (BCS), their annual homecoming event was supercharged this year by a fund-raising event set to deliver prizes to a few lucky participants who took the time to donate money to the school.

We hope you are doing well as the year draws to an end and the holiday season begins.  Feel free to e-mail, call, Skpye or post us.  May God grant each of you peace of mind regardless of how you feel about the national election results this year.  God is in control of everything; even the United States electoral process.

Sincerely,

Cristina (for the rest of the MK Meier family)

Stephen, Cristina, Jared, Luke, Grace and Seth-in-the-womb

Grandparent’s Day re-lived

November 2012

Although Grandparent’s Day was officially listed on U.S. calendars in the month of September, Brazosport Christian School (BCS) has traditionally prepared a special celebration in their honor during the month of October.  Last year, I didn’t really pay much attention to the activities.  However, things have changed since Jared became a BCS student.  I knew his teacher was busy preparing fun activities and decorations in honor of the grandparents of each of her 18 students.

So, I decided that I needed to attend the event.  After all, Jared does not have the good fortune of having his grandparents close by.  One set of grandparents live in northern Oregon.  We have not been able to visit with them since Luke was six months old (and this was before Grace was born).  The other set of grandparents just recently left Guatemala and moved to the central Florida area.  Although they are much closer to us than they once were, the trip was not within their means, either.

grandparent tree

That left me to be the “eye” of Jared’s grandparents as I recorded the special moments of that day. After dropping Jared off at the usual time, I had enough time to go home and feed Grace her breakfast while Luke worked on his pre-school workbooks.  Then we returned to school to attend a special chapel session / breakfast for the grandparents. Each class got an opportunity to sing songs or perform skits to impress their special guests.  Luke and Grace sat in a stroller at the edge of the crowd and watched the activities with much enthusiasm while their mommy moved around the gym to record the scenes.

For the final song, grades K-3 through 6th came up on the stage together to sing the BCS theme song of the year, Chris Tomlin’s “Our God is Greater.” As the students filed out of the gym, grandparents were invited to visit the classrooms of their grandchildren.  The visits were broken down into two segments so that grandparents could visit multiple classrooms if needed.  Stephen took Luke and Grace out to the school playground so that I could go to Jared’s classroom and record the activities taking place there.

Although Jared was one of the few students who didn’t have grandparents present, he seemed quite happy to perform his parts in front of the camera.  Both sets of grandparents had mailed in special card to be delivered to Jared on this day.  Jared was quite proud of his cards.  He had made thank you cards for his grandparents, as well.

Jared_cards

They didn’t receive the cards and video until after Thanksgiving, as it took me that long to get the video recordings organized.  So, they will be able to enjoy the events of Grandparent’s Day for the rest of the calendar year.

Hallelujah on Halloween

November 2012

A lot of churches around here have taken to celebrating “Hallelujah” night in the place of Halloween. Last year, we visited a variety of different locations.  One church in town celebrates an annual “Trunk or Treat.” Other churches open up their facilities to carnival attractions for kids.  Blow up slides and bounce houses are spread out across their lawns.  Beside the row of bounce houses, there are often little activity stands with different varieties of bean bag tossing or hammer throwing or face painting.  Some churches boast of small petting zoos with the appropriate number of hungry lambs, baby goats, bunnies and chickens to entice a good number of young participants willing to feed them. Last year, we even went to the mall.  The kids got free tokens at Chuckie Cheese for being dressed up in their costumes and some of the other stories were giving out candy as well.

However, this year, Halloween fell on a Wednesday.  Jared and Luke are members of a local Awana club that meets on Wednesday nights at a Baptist church in Clute.  This particular Awana gathering was designated “Hallelujah Night” and the special event of the night was the costume contest to take place after ‘group and verse time.’ Each club member had a chance to dress up as a person, character or animal from the Bible and would need to explain who they were and why they were important in the Bible.  So, we didn’t have a lot of time to try to visit many other church events before our scheduled weekly trip to Awana at 7pm.  We did make it to one “Hallelujah fest” at the Baptist church close to the school.  We stayed for about thirty minutes before we pried our kids away from the festivities to get to Awana on time.

(Jared, Luke and Grace pose with a couple friends)

Last year, Jared was the only one in our family attending Awana.  He had dressed up as Sampson and had won second place in his Cubbies group.  This year, I had purchased a little Abraham outfit for Jared and put together a costume for Luke to play the role of “the little boy who shared his lunch with Jesus.”  For weeks we practiced going over the story of how Jesus needed to feed 5,000 people and a little boy shared his lunch of five loaves of bread and two fish so that everyone could eat.  Then Jesus turned his lunch into a “miracle meal” and there were 12 baskets of left overs when they were done.

I kept Jared busy memorizing six main points about who Abraham was in the Bible.  One main point was a Bible verse that he had memorized, which was Romans 4:3 and states, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. (NIV)”

When it came time to stand before the judges, the boys were able to recite all the information they had learned about their Bible characters.  Luke got a second place prize for his Cubbies group, which included two free movie tickets and “Awana bucks” to be spent at the Awana store in the near future.  Jared got first place in his Sparks group, which I consider even more impressive because it includes kids in kindergarten, first and second grades. He also won free movie tickets and “Awana bucks.”  Both boys were proud of their accomplishments and I was proud of them.  I can’t think of any other way I would rather spend Halloween night.

Oh, and Happy Reformation Day to those who celebrate this alternative on October 31st.  I think Martin Luther would have been proud of my boys, too.

Monster Dash into the wind

November 2012

This was the second year that the Meier family participated in this Halloween-themed 5k race with special races for kids, a costume contest and a sudden dip in temperature. I’m not sure it the sudden weather change is an annual thing, but it certainly has been the trend for the past two years.  It’s as if Lake Jackson can’t figure out whether or not it wants to participate in fall temperatures until the weekend before Halloween.  Then, suddenly the weather decides to jump into fall with temperatures resembling the north pole.

Well, it might not be that drastic, but there is a drop of about twenty degrees that strives toward freezing temperatures. Last year, the temperature was in the low 40’s when we started our run.  This year, the temperature was in the mid 50’s, but included a wind chill that cut right through the cotton running outfit you thought was surely going to keep you warm enough.

(At the end of the kids’ “fun run” we were all still feeling the sting of the cold air.)

Unfortunately, I wasn’t really physically ready to run a 5km this year.  Last year, I had jogged the 5km while pushing my darling little Grace in a running stroller.  Stephen had the double stroller with Jared and Luke bundled up inside.  The boys didn’t mind too much being in the stroller.  They had participated in a 100 meter race before the 5km.  Half of the participants had dressed up in Halloween costumes for the race so that they could compete in a costume contest at the end of the race.

This year, I had not been running on a regular basis.  I hadn’t even been walking on a regular basis.  The most exercise I had been getting was in the process of cleaning the house.  Sweeping, mopping, dusting and scrubbing on a weekly basis had been the extent of my muscle use.  My poor little tread mill had seen the vacuum cleaner and duster more often than it saw my running shoes in the past six months.

Therefore, I became the spectator and Grace became the participant in the kiddie race.  It was her first race ever.  She can’t really run yet, but she did a great job speed walking.  She came in dead last, but she finished the race as the youngest participant.  Jared and Luke were actually near the front.  Jared came in fourth place even after falling on the gravel path twice during the race.

When the time came for Stephen to run the 5k race, he decided to leave the running stroller at home so the kids could watch the race with me.  We sat in the car to stay out of the wind until we saw Stephen coming around the bend for the final 400 meters of the race.  The boys ran out to the race course yelling, “Go Daddy!  Kick it, Daddy!  You can do it!”

(Jared and Luke cheer on their daddy as he approaches the finish line.)

Although Stephen wasn’t really impressed with his own time, he was able to get second place in his age group and received a special Monster Dash glass.

The people wearing costumes also were also given points for their outfits as they ran the 5k.  In the end, there was a prize given to the best adult costume, the best kids’ outfit and the best group outfit.  There were a group of runners who were dressed up as different condiments (ketchup, mustard, etc.) and one person as a hotdog.  There were a group of elves and a group of Star Wars characters.

It was a fun race to be a part of, in spite of the cold weather.  It was also good to get back home after the race and warming up again with a mid-morning snack.

Traveling East in 2012

September 2012 – After moving to Texas, I had assumed that we might take some time to travel around the state and get to know it better.  What ended up happening is that we’ve spent more time heading east than we have going any further west of Houston.  Our biggest attraction to heading east of Texas happens to come in the form of family location.

Stephen’s sister and her family live near Mobile, Alabama.  My three siblings and their spouses and families live in Gainesville, Florida.  A few days before our week-long spring break in March, we made a last minute decision to travel east to visit them during our vacation.  So, we packed up and traveled east.  We spent one evening in Mobile with Stephen’s sister’s family.  They have four children.  Their second and third children are close to Jared and Luke’s ages.  Their fourth child is about six months older than Grace.  So, our kids always have a blast visiting with them.

Our second day of traveling brought us down to Gainesville where my sister had been able to secure a guest apartment at their apartment complex for us to stay during most of our visit in Florida.  It was a great time to meet three new members of the family.  First of all, my sister, Anita gave birth to her second child, Eliana in mid-November of 2011. My youngest brother, Tim, had recently married the love of his life, Briana, right before Christmas of 2011.  I had never met her outside of Facebook contact.  Around that same time, my brother Philip and his wife, Chrissy, had finalized the adoption process of a precious little girl from China.  So, it was the first time that I got to meet little Li Rose.  Jared and Luke also enjoy playing with their cousins, Noah and Josh.  It was also the first time for Grace and Eliana to meet each other.

During our visit in Florida, I also had the opportunity to travel down to Ocala and visit with my grandfather, Bill Lassiter and his wife.  It was a short visit and the Meier kiddos basically napped the whole time we were there, but it was fun to sit and chat with him the way I used to when I was in college.

At the end of our one week vacation, we stopped in Mobile again on our way back to Texas and spent one more night with the Blanton family.  It is always so hard to leave their home, because our visits tend to be so brief.

We’ve already decided that we will make another one-week trip east before the end of the year.  I will be too far along in my pregnancy to travel anywhere for Christmas.  However, my doctor has authorized my travel plans for the week of Thanksgiving break.  We are excited that BCS allows for an entire week of vacation for Thanksgiving.  Besides seeing the family that we visited in the spring, we have an additional couple of family members we haven’t visited with in a long time.  Just this past July, my parents (Steve and Helen Cobb) moved to Gainesville, Florida after leaving their missionary home of 16 years in Guatemala. My father has not spent time with my kids since before Grace was born.  Jared had just turned three and Luke was a year and a half when they last visited with their “Papi.”  They last visited with their “Mimi” when she came to Ecuador for a few weeks after Grace was born. 

Here are the general plans for the trip:

November 16  (Friday) – Thanksgiving vacation begins at the end of the school day

November 17 (Saturday)  – Leave Lake Jackson, Texas and arrive in Mobile, Alabama

November 19 (Monday) – Leave Mobile and arrive in Gainesville, Florida

November 23 (Friday) … yeah, we’re traveling on Black Friday – Leave Gainesville and return to Mobile, Alabama

November 24 (Saturday) – Leave Mobile, Alabama and return to Lake Jackson, Texas

November 26 (Monday) – School is back in session until Christmas break

Jared: A Big Kindergarten Student

August 2012 – It has been too long since I’ve updated our friends and family on the progress of our three children.  This is sad, because they are all growing so fast that there is way too much to summarize in short, little posts such as this one.  So, please forgive me as I might rattle on a bit more in these next few posts about some of my favorite little people in the world.

Our first born son has grown and developed so much since the end of January when I told him quite proudly that he was now four and half years old.  He finally became an independent dresser.  He only asks for help every now and then with a button or a stubborn pair of socks.  Jared also finally got control of his bladder during the night time hours and no longer wets his bed.  I am very happy that we no longer have to buy night time “pull ups” for him. He has also enjoyed playing the role of big brother to Luke and Grace.  He enjoys “teaching” them how to do things that he has learned how to do.  Sometimes this leads to a certain level of frustration for all of them as Luke and Grace can’t quite keep up with his “lessons.”

I have also been impressed with his enthusiasm in learning new things.  I had been working on basic phonics, spelling and math with him. Through the spring months, the thought of Jared starting kindergarten in the fall was always on my mind.

Brazosport Christian School (BCS) has two options for incoming pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students.  There is a half day program that begins at 8am and ends at noon, right before their lunch break.  There is a full day program that includes lunch and fifteen minute segment of “rest” before the kindergarten class moves into more hands-on activities in the afternoon.  The pre-kindergarten students actually take a nap for most of the afternoon in the full day program. That program ends at 3pm.  There are also two segments of pre-kindergarten classes; the class for the three year old and the class for the four year olds.

So, one option facing us was sending both Jared and Luke to school for the full day.  Stephen thought that this would be the best option, because I could get both boys out of the house and I would only have Grace at home. He didn’t think it would be a good idea for Jared to attend the half day program because most of the students in kindergarten are in the full day program and Jared might feel uncomfortable if he ended up being the only student pulled out of class at lunch time.

Once again, I struggled with the idea of sending my kids off to school all day.  There were pros and cons to each side.  Sending both boys off to school would mean fewer bodies in the house to care for during those hours.  However, Grace becomes more clingy and emotional when she is the only child at home.  So, I end up accomplishing less because I have to focus more attention on her. We finally decided against sending Luke to pre-k.  (This decision is explained in another post.)

I knew that Jared was ready to start kindergarten.  I just wasn’t sure he was ready to stop taking afternoon naps and attend school all day at the age of five.   Maybe I’m still too attached to the routine of having all three of my kids take a nap after lunch, which allows me to relax for an hour or two and try to tackle some projects that cannot be done during their waking hours.  If Jared attended the full day program, I would also have to disrupt the naps of Luke and Grace to pick Jared up at 3pm.  Currently, their afternoon naps conclude somewhere between 3:30 to 4pm.

I met with the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten teachers and the admissions director to talk about the options and to express my concerns with Jared starting kindergarten.  After our meeting, I was affirmed in my concern about having Jared in the full day program.  They recommended that I send Jared to the half day program.

Jared turned five this summer.  His feet had grown a shoe size and he is hovering between the largest toddler size (5T) and the smallest boy size (4/5) in clothing. His bed was converted into a bunk bed (with him at the top), and he learned how to make the bed on his own.  He has learned how to use scissors very well.  He was ready for school to begin by the time the summer was over. His coloring has developed from “scribble scrabble” on the page to intentionally coloring in the spaces of objects while trying to stay in the lines.

School began on August 15, and I have not regretted for a moment the decision to keep Jared in the half day program. He is one of two kindergarten students out of 18 that go home at noon, but about six pre-kindergarten students are also leave at noon, so it doesn’t seem to bother him very much.  Every once in a while, he’ll ask me why he can’t eat lunch at school with his classmates.  I simply explain to him that he gets to eat at home with his brother and sister who miss him very much while he’s at school in the morning.  That seems to satisfy Jared.

Droppig Jared off on the first day of school

It took us several weeks for the kids to adjust to waking up at six in the morning and staying on task through breakfast and morning preparations.  Before the summer ended, the kids were sleeping as late as 8am and often didn’t finish breakfast until nearly 10am.  Now, there are still many mornings that Luke can’t get his breakfast finished before 7:30 am. Little Grace can only get through her bottle before I pile all the kids in the car to drop Jared off at school. So, they are usually still in their pajamas when we leave the house. BCS doesn’t offer school bus pick up or drop off, and Stephen always leaves for work by 7am.  Therefore, I have to take Jared to school myself.  After I drop off Jared, I come back home to finish feeding Grace and Luke. That’s usually when I’m finally able to eat my own breakfast.

I can see how God worked through our decision to put Jared into the half-day program, because Jared has had a very rough time physically at the beginning of this school year.  He got sick with a bad cold and chest congestion a few days before the first day of school.  He continued to struggle with this cough for the first few weeks of school.  Those afternoon naps became essential to helping him recover.

I am also so grateful to see Jared’s positive attitude about school.  He loves going to school.  Even on the mornings when he had a hard time waking up and couldn’t seem to stop coughing, he would insist that he didn’t want to miss school.  So far, he’s only had to stay home one day because of a temporary stomach flu that had him throwing up in the middle of the night.

His kindergarten teacher tells me that Jared is one of her most enthusiastic students and that he always is eager to participate in all the activities she has prepared for them.  He has gotten excellent behavior reports for every day he’s been in school so far. His gym teacher has told me that Jared has displayed some real leadership qualities.  She reflected on the day that he stepped out of line at the end of class.  She asked him why he wasn’t in line.  He explained that his classmates were not in the correct order and proceeded to rearrange the line until it was to his satisfaction.  Only then would he step back into the line.

He always comes home bubbling over with stories of the things he has done in class and with his new friends at school.  He seems to really enjoy math, music and physical education.

He is also growing spiritually.  This past spring, Jared made the decision to ask Jesus into his heart and he loves memorizing verses and learning Bible stories.  He goes to a special chapel for pre-k and K-5 students and can often recall what was discussed when I pick him up at noon.

I am so grateful that we have the opportunity to place him in a Christian school that is reinforcing these truths into his heart and mind. Our prayer for him is that he will continue to develop in his relationship with Jesus and that He will continue to mold our son as a little leader and as a role model for his classmates.