Dean Family Blog

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Our Snowy Adventure
About 11pm last night Grace started trying to let us know we had a problem. Around 2am we finally figured out what she was saying...we had no heat. January in Iowa, during a snow storm with a temperature of -12 is not the time to lose your heat! We piled the blankets on Josiah and brought Grace under the electric blanket with us as our house got to 52 degrees. Philip got on the phone as early as he could to find someone to come fix the heater. In the meantime we had a breakfast picnic in the bathroom in front of the tiny space heater and bundled up. The kids and I spent the rest of the morning at a neighbor's house while Philip worked at home and waited for the repairmen. When they finally made it over here they quickly realized we had a snow drift on the roof that was so high it had covered the air in-take for the system. We turned the heat back on and cheered as we watched the thermostat gain each degree!

Philip stayed home today to get the heater working and because...well...he probably couldn't have made it over all the snow drifts anyway. He's been busy getting the new dishwasher installed (Yeah!) and setting up his new stereo. He decided to sell his old one and replace it with something smaller. We're currently listening to Matt Kearney and it sounds great.

On a totally unrelated but funny note, Philip found an article that PETA has decided they want to rename fish because the word 'fish' doesn't have the correct connotation and people don't feel much for them because of their name. They are now renamed 'sea kittens.' Seriously. I laughed and told Josiah we had sea kittens in our living room and he's still looking for them.


Share Your Toys, Not Your Boogies!
Josiah has had a little trouble learning to share his toys with Grace, but he apparently has no trouble sharing his toddler cooties. He wasn't sick until he was over a year old and poor Grace has already had multiple colds and a couple viruses...all brought home by a certain 2 year old we all know and love. She is currently sporting a snotty nose, just like her brother. Thanks, dude.

We've spent the last few weeks making trips to the doctor's office to weigh Grace because she's been losing weight. We had another yesterday and the kiddo had lost more despite all my efforts to feed her constantly. She's a picky eater and just doesn't seem very interested, but we knew she had to eat more so our house had turned into a constant buffet of nursings, sweet potatoes, pears and apple sauce. We now get to supplement with formula, which thankfully she likes. We go back in Friday to re-weigh and see if it's doing any good. The doctor didn't seem concerned because he thought this would probably do the trick. I'm not super excited about it, but at least we can relax a little and stop trying to force feed her...she only has 2 teeth, but they are very effective at keeping spoons out of her mouth!

PS What do you do when it's -35 (with wind chill) outside and there's snow everywhere? Take a paint/snow bath, of course!


He's Growing Up
Josiah keeps catching us off guard by how grown up he is...and how grown up he THINKS he is. We're having more success with the potty, his second set of molars has come in (he's very proud of these), he can drink out of a real cup, he can put a puzzle together by himself, he asks 'Why?' about a million times a day and 'I can do it by myself!' is a frequent phrase around our house. However, it is often followed by '...but I may need some help.'

Unfortunately, growing up also means the ability to be intentionally deceptive. He told his first real lie today and I wanted to cry but knew I had to deal with it and use the teachable moment. He's told lies before, but this one seemed more thought out and when I gave him the chance to come clean he clung desperately to his story. He was actually very convincing, but when there are only 3 people in the house and one of them isn't even crawling it's pretty easy to figure out what happened. He got spanked for lying to me and finally agreed to tell the truth. Up to this point I've been so grateful that he couldn't seem to tell a reasonable lie (he usually ends up laughing at whatever weird thing he's just said), but I think we've just entered a new phase and I just pray to God for wisdom as these 'teachable moments' become more challenging. I was grateful Philip and I had read the book Don't Make Me Count to 3 that gives practical advice for how to discipline a child biblically. We read it on the recommendation of some friends and we definitely will recommend it to any of you with kiddos around. We still have a lot to learn, but we're working at it together and we're getting better (Philip is doing great) and seeing progress in Josiah already. Now the trick is to be consistent.


Here Comes The Monkey
Chunky Monkey won the popular vote and, more importantly, the Dean vote. We ordered our couch today!!! The kids and I met Philip over in CR today to pick everything out. Other than stuff for the kids' room we've never had any new furniture so this was something special. Due to some unexpected Christmas money we've also ordered a new that actually cleans the dishes! I know what you're thinking, we're getting pretty uppity around here. But rest assured, there will still be Cheerios on the floor of the van and play-do in the cracks of the table.


Opinions Needed!
Okay everyone. Here is something everyone can take part in. Kim and I are getting a new couch. Our current one is a hand-me-down of a hand-me-down. We have been very grateful for our living room set, but it is time to replace it. So, we have narrowed our choice of fabric down to two. Yes, the two in the image to the right. The top is nicknamed, Chunky Monkey. The bottom is nicknamed, Mud. Post a comment and let us know which you like best.

Thanks for the help!!


I need help... um NOW
So, Dad here. I am up waiting for the oven to finish a self-cleaning cycle. I realize that will prompt the question why in most of your heads so I provided a picture. :-)

I was working on the computer in the office when I hear a slightly desperate, "Philip, I need some help... Uh Oh, I really need you now... Philip, help please RIGHT NOW!" I started getting out of my chair with the first request. The other two came before I could round the corner. Anyway... As I walked into the kitchen I saw flames coming out of the oven and getting within a few feet of the ceiling (okay they were only 2 - 3 feet tall, but that is pretty good). It was pretty amazing. Kim had a panicked look on her face and Grace in her arms. Needless to say, I ran over and closed the oven. I then ran and got the fire extinguisher and came back to put out the blaze. At least we know the extinguisher works now. I have always wanted a good reason to use one of those things.

Well, as luck would have it, we didn't have any toasted chips on our Mexican salad last night. But we did get to test out our new smoke detectors. Yep, they worked!! For quite a while they worked!!

On a more serious note, make sure you have an extinguisher in the house. They really do come in handy. Also, the wired detectors in our house never did go off. Only the new Ion and particle detectors did. The smoke was thick enough that you could hardly see the front door 30ish feet away. So, it might be worth a check to see what you have in your house.


Happy New Calendar Day
When you're 2 years old the concept of a new year apparently doesn't mean much, so we celebrated having a new calendar last night. Josiah didn't think that sounded too fun until we told him we each got to make our own personal pizzas and have a pizza/ice cream party with a Veggie Tales movie. That got his attention! He insisted on eating all of his pizza toppings instead of making a pizza so he really wasn't hungry by the time we sat down to eat, but he had fun. Happy New Calendar Day!

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