Tag Archives: Luke

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

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

Luke: from potty training to preschool

August 2012 – This year I’ve watched my energetic and self-determined toddler develop into a full-blown preschooler.  Our first challenge after he reached his third birthday on January 5 was to begin the process of potty training in earnest.  He had been watching Jared use the toilet for quite some time.  He would use it very inconsistently.  I had completely switched him out of normal diapers and started using the Huggies “pull up” diapers to encourage him to learn how to pull down his clothing on his own.  But I didn’t really focus on potty training in earnest until mid-January.

The process took a little longer than I had originally expected.  It didn’t help that Luke caught a stomach flu that gave him diarrhea during the second week of being potty trained.  But I was determined that we were not going back to pull ups again and that I was not purchasing another diaper to put on that child’s behind.  I think it took a full three weeks for Luke to be officially potty trained.

Our biggest challenge with Jared was getting him potty trained at night.  After the first week of potty training at the age of three, Jared has had only a handful of day-time accidents.  However, he would continue to wet his bed for another year and a half.  The interesting difference with Luke was that he seemed to gain night time bladder control almost immediately.  Luke will still have accidents during the day, because he gets so engrossed in whatever activity he is doing and will “hold it” until it’s too late to get to the bathroom.  But he rarely wets his bed.

It was actually, this process of potty training that began planting doubts into my mind of Luke’s readiness to start any kind of school program in the fall. It has always been harder for me to capture the attention of Luke than Jared. He seemed to manage pretty well in a nursery setting, but I just wasn’t sure he was ready for a classroom setting. I couldn’t help but transport myself mentally to the time that I taught English at a little Korean language school in South Korea in 2002. I had the youngest class which included three and four year olds.  I had scoffed at the parents who sent their little three year old “babies” to school who were just barely potty trained.  I remember telling myself then that I would never send my child to school that young. Now, here I was contemplating doing just that.

I also felt that Luke had been in Jared’s shadow in his learning development.  As I worked through preschool activities with Jared, Luke would do his best to keep up, even though he wasn’t quite able to comprehend everything that I was teaching Jared.  Up to this point, Luke had never been separated from Jared for more than an hour or two at a time. I thought it might be good to keep Luke at home so that I could focus on him without being under the shadow of his big brother.

Stephen made fun of me at first, saying that I was having a hard time letting go of my kids.  However, once school got started, he began to agree with me.  It became especially clear that we had made the right decision when we watched Luke being unable to get ready in the mornings as quickly as his big brother. Luke still cannot really make his bed and needs help dressing himself.  He also has a hard time staying on task unless someone is standing right beside him.

I don’t worry about any of this now, because it just makes it clear to me that Luke hasn’t reached that stage of independence.  Slowly, he is making progress.  He is learning how to communicate himself more clearly.  Earlier in the year, he was having trouble completing his sentences and would begin stuttering and then rushing his words together in a blast of phonic sound while appearing as if his entire face was going to explode.  (Seriously, it was quite an interesting thing to watch.) Now, he’s able to make himself understood most of the time and enjoys joining in conversations with the family.

As with our decision to keep Jared in the half-day kindergarten program, I have not regretted for a moment keeping Luke out of school altogether.  I am really enjoying the pre-school activities I’ve been doing with Luke.  He’s been working on his alphabet, basic phonics, writing letters and writing numbers, and learning how to count different items.  I’ve also been using different flash card games to help him build his vocabulary. Another activity that has become part of his morning exercises is going over a section out of his Awana Cubbies book.  Luke has been so excited that he is old enough now to participate in the Awana program with Jared.  Luke also enjoys learning Bible verses and doing the activities and projects that the book recommends.

Luke has been enjoying this time that I spend with him in the mornings.  You may wonder what Grace is doing at this time.  I usually am feeding her the rest of her breakfast and letting her look at little books and play with small toys until Luke is finished with his exercises.  I don’t spend more than an hour and a half in the morning on these activities.  Then, Luke and Grace play on their own unless we have an outing planned or a list of errands that Mommy wants to take care of before picking up Jared at school.

Luke is really beginning to understand what it means to be big brother now that he is the one that Mommy turns to for help while Jared is at school.  He is also starting to look to Grace more for companionship now that Jared isn’t here as much to fill that void. In the past six months, Luke has grown three inches, gone up one shoe size and is wearing 4T in most of his clothing.  He is still about six inches shorter than Jared, but has slowly caught up to him in weight so that he now is only two to three pounds lighter than Jared.

Luke loves music and impresses his Sunday school teachers by being one of the few enthusiastic “worshipers” during their praise and worship time.  They tell me that Luke always makes his way to the front of the room so that he can dance and do the motions to all the songs they sing.

Bleach and Ice cream

June 2012 – On this particular day, I found myself driving to Wal-Mart to buy two specific items.  I was on a mission to purchase bleach and ice cream. As I was on my way, I wondered what someone might think of that combination.  I wondered if it would look funny for me to purchase just bleach and ice cream.  The two items don’t really seem to go together.

However, they were the two items that I could not wait until the weekend to purchase.  First of all, we needed bleach because we had finally decided to pull out our swimming pool and get it filled up again.  The weather was rising into the 80’s on a regular basis and we were even hovering at around 90 degrees on certain days.

When I pulled the 8 foot by 2 foot round swimming pool out of storage, I noticed large brown spots of mold all over the blue tarp.  The humidity of the garage must have caused a reaction inside the swimming pool.  We used up the rest of the bleach that we had in our home, but it didn’t quite get out all the stains.  I volunteered to go out and buy some more bleach to finish the job.  As we were scrubbing down the “big” pool, Jared, Luke and Grace were playing with the toys in a small, round, plastic kiddy pool that we had recently purchased in order to give Grace a safe area to splash in without worrying about her drowning.

The afternoon weather was really beginning to heat up by the time I realized that we needed more bleach.  So, Stephen mentioned that I should buy some ice cream while I was getting the bleach.  So, there I was in the checkout line with nothing but my ice cream and bleach.

Now that we are in October, I reflect back on those two ingredients that kick started us into the summer.  I remember wondering how much money we might be spending on pool supplies this year since we put the pools up at the beginning of the summer season.  Last year, we didn’t put the pool up until after Jared’s fourth birthday on July 25.  The weather dropped below freezing on the weekend before October that year, and we packed the pool away in our garage after only three months of use.

This year, we’ve had two pools out and maintained since May.  The weather is finally starting to cool down again and we are in the first week of October.   Surprisingly, we’ve been able to continue using all the pool supplies we purchased last year and only ran out of the chemical used to prevent algae from growing in the pool.  We make weekly trips to a nearby pool store and they test a sample of our pool water to see if we need to do any treatment to the water that week.  We haven’t had the drought conditions or extreme heat that we had last summer, and our maintenance on the pool has been low.

During the hot summer months of June, July and August, our kids were out in the pool at least once a day.  This summer, Jared and Luke taught themselves how to swim.  Luke is our daring underwater swimmer.  Even though our pool is only an eight-foot, round pool, Luke would spend a lot of time swimming circles underwater in our pool.  Jared still feels the need to hold his nose when he jumps into the pool and swims around.  Neither of them requires water wings to be in the water anymore.  It has been a fun experience watching them develop into confident swimmers.

The kids enjoy the pool together