Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Random stories, quotes, and updates on Zane...

Zane has been really up and down lately - either super happy and so fun to be around, or super unhappy and not fun to be around. He has whining and fussing down to an art, but can snap out of it when something goes his way again. Taking no for an answer isn't his strong point right now. Most the time though, he's full of joy, laughter, and energy.

He calls the sleep in his eyes "eye wax."

We read him some Bible stories and now he likes to play them, so he pretends like he's Daniel and has to go in the lion's den (he usually makes Emmy the lion). Or we pretend he's David and I'm Goliath and he throws a "stone" to knock me down. We play Noah's Ark a lot where he has to build his ark and put on his animals on it. Jonah is a good one too. It's funny because he makes all of it up.

One day when the sun came out he said, "It stopped raining. The clouds must be off duty."

I asked him how his day at school was and he said he learned about dinosaurs and then said in a sad voice, "But I wanted my sister to see the dinosaurs too."

He says little phrases like, "Can I ask you a question really really quick?" "I couldn't believe my eyes.""Can we please do that again sometime?" "This can't be happening." "What's up with that?" "I have something to tell you."

He's figuring out numbers better. He knows which number comes next or if I give him easy word problems he can figure them out. (ex. 2 frogs plus 1 frog came. How many...)

We had an extra DVD that I asked Zane who he thought would like it and who we should give it to. He said we should give it to our neighbors since a song he knows says, "Love your neighbors."

Now that he's potty trained, it's like all of a sudden he gets potty humor and thinks it's funny. He watched a video clip online that said, "I think I need a pooper scooper" and cracked up FOREVER and still laughs about it all the time.

When we're in a public bathroom, he makes me get out or turn around when he's going potty and always wants to go by himself at home.

He keeps telling us that he's always wanted a puppy. He says, "I'll take good care of him, feed him, take him on walks, let him play, etc.

He pretends that his big boy underwear has pockets and stores toys in them.

My grandparents came to visit and we all went on a walk. When Zane got tired of riding his scooter, he turned to Grandma Shirley as asked her to "Please carry my scooter, Ham." He was assigning roles from Toy Story and he made her Ham the pig. :)

One day he started laughing and said, "That ant was freaking out because he thought I was going to step on him, but I was just saying hi."

We've been encouraging him to eat new foods and the other day he said, "I don't like this pasta. I only like yummy things."

Last week, Zane and Emmy were playing together in the other room. Or so we thought. When we went to check on them, Zane had "changed" Emmy's dirty diaper. She was pantless and diaperless smiling. He had even tried to wipe her and she was wiping herself. Let's just say, we washed a lot of hands and said thanks for trying to help, but do not try it by himself again.

What Emerson's been up to

She asks for things using their sounds a lot. Like, when we're looking for her fish, she makes the fish sound with her mouth. When she sees a dog, she usually points at it and barks and hops instead of saying dog.

She gets desperate right before bed, asking for everything. She asks for milk, food, Zane, downstairs, stuffed animals, whatever she can think of.

She always wants to know where Zane is and asks for him by name. When we pull up to his school to pick him up, she says "Hi, Zane" and waves. She also says his name when she finds his clothes or things.

Her and Zane like to have "concerts" upstairs. They turn off the lights with only a night light spot light and sing and dance really loud. She goes crazy spinning, singing super loud and dancing.

She gives us her feet, arms, hands, stuffed animals, etc to kiss all the time and tells us to kiss them by making the sound.

When she likes something or gets excited, she breathes in and out fast and loud and says, "oooh."

She wants to read all the time and points to every single thing on every page for us to say what it is and she says the things she knows.

She knows how to play "Hide and Seek" with Zane. She covers her eyes and counts an then goes and finds him. She likes to hide too.

Like always, she literally almost never stops running, climbing, and exploring. She keeps us so busy.

Music and Silly Faces

Zane has been addicted to listening to music on his head phones. He basically knows how to work my ipod now, just from using it a few times. He always has specific requests of songs or singers that he wants and knows just what volume he likes, etc. We even let him listen to it while we walked through the mall the other day. The funniest thing is that he can't remember if it's called ipod or opad. He knows ipad, but gets it all mixed up. I especially loves when he sings along or talks in a really loud voice. He was doing that, and when I started video taping him, he got quiet but it's still cute.

Emerson is pretty entertaining. She knows how to make us laugh. In this video, she's making her silly face and then pointing to people. She points at everything and either says the word or name or asks what it is.

ipod and Silly Face from Josie Weingartner on Vimeo.


Emmy has officially learned how to use the word no, instead of just shaking her head. :)

No from Josie Weingartner on Vimeo.

Monday, August 23, 2010


We had really good family time at the zoo the other day. Both kids were super happy the whole time, which made Zack and I very happy too.

Zane Recently

Zane is super caring and loving and adorable right now!
Some recent pics of our sweet guy...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Emerson Recently

Emerson is as wild, fun, silly, and energetic as ever. Here are some cute pictures and videos our our sweet little monkey.

I've been trying to catch this expression for a while and this video sort of gets it when she obviously doesn't like the tofu. :) She looks really surprised and opens her mouth really wide. It's usually when she's surprised, or when she feels something hot or cold, etc.

Silly Face from Josie Weingartner on Vimeo.

When I say "strawberries," she says, "bananas" because our friend Reggie taught her that on our trip to New Orleans. I also like this video because it shows her personality pretty good too.

Trying New Words from Josie Weingartner on Vimeo.


We love to sing around our place. I can't believe how many songs Zane knows now and how much Emmy is already singing.

Here's Zane singing a Veggie Tales song...
"God is bigger than the boogie man. He's bigger than Godzilla or the monsters on TV. Oh, God is bigger than the boogie man. He's watching out for you and me...
When I'm lying in my bed and the furniture starts creeping, I just laugh and say - Hey! Cut that out! and get back to my sleep because I know that God's the biggest and he's watching all the while, so when I get scared I think of him and close my eyes and smile."
He knows all the other parts too, but he usually sings the whole thing when he's by himself in his room or while we're driving when I can't catch it on video.

God is Bigger Than the Boogie Man from Josie Weingartner on Vimeo.

Emerson hums "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" pretty close to the right tune. Here she is trying to sing it.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star from Josie Weingartner on Vimeo.

First Day of School

Zane started preschool two days a week from 9:30 - 1:00 a couple of week ago and loves it so much. His teacher's name is Ms. Becca and he has 5 other friends in his class. I think he'll learn a lot, academically and especially socially. He has funny stories everyday on his way home of interactions he has with kids and things they did. I love it.

This is a picture from the very first day when I went with him to meet everyone and to check out his classroom.
These are from his first day all by himself.

More Soccer Pictures

Here's some more soccer pics - the next post has videos and more details. :)

I guess when you're 3, you need a water break every 5 minutes or so...
And you need a rest every now and then...
Zane's Grandpa came to his practice to kick the ball around and help whip him into shape...
Snack time was a hit...
There's Zane rolling around on the field during his first game...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Soccer and Playground

Soccer for 3-year-olds is pretty hilarious. We signed Zane up for a soccer league that plays 3 vs. 3 games, and for his first game, he only had one little teammate with him, so we said one player from the other team would come play with them, but it didn't matter a bit because nobody really had any clue what to do or what was going on. Zane likes it and looks forward to it though.

Zane seriously spent most of his time pretend falling, sitting or laying on the field or in the goal, running after Emerson outside of the field, getting sad when he finally got the ball and someone came and kicked it away from him, saying he was hungry, thirsty, and tired. He didn't spend much time trying to actually get the soccer ball. He had only had one practice before this though, so what can we expect??

He's the taller of the two blondies in red shirts. I love the point where he's laying flat on his back in the middle of the field.

First Soccer Game - Part 1 from Josie Weingartner on Vimeo.

A little dancing action...

First Soccer Game - Part 2 from Josie Weingartner on Vimeo.

So, after a while, after kids were getting sad that they couldn't get the ball, we decided to let them all have their own ball. This is Zane playing after that. Also, I think the reason he kept folding his hand together is because he was trying to remember to not use his hands.

When he did have the ball, he basically started doing everything in slow motion - so funny.

First Soccer Game - Part 3 from Josie Weingartner on Vimeo.

After all the hard work, we let them play at the park nearby. Both kids loved these spinning seats.

Spinnin Around from Josie Weingartner on Vimeo.

Here's Emerson after spinning - so dizzy!

Untitled from Josie Weingartner on Vimeo.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Why can't I be better about recording funny stories and sayings from Zane and Emmy? I feel like I forget them so fast and don't ever want to forget. I guess it's just an ongoing goal to keep track of them better. One thing I've been noticing so much lately is just how incredibly different Zane and Emerson are from each other. Maybe that will make them better friends some day. :)


Emmy is 15 months old now and is growing and changing by the second. We call her our "wild animal" because she is just all over the place all the time. She literally NEVER STOPS MOVING AND RUNNING!! My mom calls her a tank because she doesn't walk around things in her way, she just plows right on through, which means lot's of falls, bruises, and cuts. She doesn't usually cry when she falls anymore...it's like she's just gotten used to it. She can climb on everything now, the couch, our bed, chairs, basically anything (yikes!!). She's tough and seriously so strong. She could take Zane in any battle and does most of the time. She tackles him and thinks it's funny. She's also very loud and let's us know without a doubt when she likes or doesn't like something. She can throw one mean temper tantrum.

She loves to play "Duck, Duck, Goose," "Ring Around the Rosies," "Patty Cake," etc. She walks around several times throughout the day and just pats everyone's head, including her own, and says "duck." She knows how to do the motions for lot's of songs too, like "Wheels on the Bus," "If You're Happy and you Know it," etc. She brings us books to read to her and adds sound effects to toys she's playing with. She loves the playground and climbs up the stairs and goes down the slides all by herself. She loves swinging too. She also likes babies now and pretends they are crying, pushes them in the stroller, and pretends they are dancing, etc.

She's talking a lot more now and is getting more words, even though most are still probably hard for other people to understand. She says, "more" and "down" a lot for a lot of different meanings, but certainly gets her point across." :) She has a lot of animal names and sounds, foods, and body parts. She can say "Zane" "Woody" and "Buzz" too along with some other really random words. She also understands us and follows directions super well. She likes to help me put trash in the garbage can, put clothes in the laundry basket, bring me things, find things, etc.

She's starting to get picky about eating a little bit which is such a bummer because until recently, she ate anything. Her favorite thing to eat is probably yogurt - she begs for it day and night. She's been sleeping great. She sleeps from about 8 - 7 most nights and takes a solid afternoon nap. Hallelujah. Finally.


Zane is such a big boy now. For one, he is totally potty trained - during the day. Now we just have to work on night time. Yipee! He starts pre-school tomorrow. He'll go two days a week from 9:30 - 1:00 and he's very excited. I'm looking forward to him being engaged and learning while I get to spend some one on one time with little E.

He's doing really good on knowing what letter makes beginning sounds of words. I can give him a word and he'll say the sound and give me the beginning letter. He also knows what sound the letters make if we ask him that way. He knows how to rhyme and does it all the time. He's starting to recognize some words when we're reading too. He can count to 20, but thinks the number "eleventeen" comes after 15 and also after 17.

His memory is just outstanding. He loves reading National Geographic Explorers - magazines that I used in my 2nd grade classroom. I'll read through one once, we'll talk about the pictures, I'll teach him what the vocabulary means, etc. and then a few days later he can repeat almost all of the information back to me or will "teach" or "read" it to someone else. He also memorizes books. He knows the title of almost every book we own and can read parts (or more) of most of them. He knows a ton of songs, ours and his, and sings all day.

He imagines, makes up stories, and plays with (and talks for) his people and stuffed animals most of his days. He tells remarkable stories now, and adds in sayings like, "I couldn't believe my eyes!" and "They were so upset, they just didn't know what to do." He likes coloring, playing outside, and play-doh, etc. but stories and imagination always trump everything.

Two of his favorite games are "The Giant" where he runs and hides from Giant. Sometimes the giant is nice and other times he's mean...it just depends. His other game is "Zurg" where he pretends he's Buzz Lightyear and Zurg (Dad) is chasing him.

He's going through a phase of really bullying Emerson, and only Emmy. He's so sweet and gentle with any other baby or younger kid, but he's been downright mean to Emmy. We started a star chart today to try to reward him when he does something nice for her or treats her well. 5 stars equal a "prize." It worked pretty well, but still not that well. Right when we started it, right after I explained it to him, he just kept giving Emerson hugs and looking at me for approval. We were cracking up. Later when I saw him resist grabbing a toy back from Emmy, I told him good job and that he could pick a sticker, but he told me, "Actually, I tried to take it out of her hands, but I just couldn't get it." I wish that innocent honesty would last forever.

He was helping me take care of our little cousin the other day and when Kalen started crying, Zane asked him, "Why are you crying, Little Mister? What do you need? Food? A nap? Your Mommy?" What a helper.

His pretend phone calls and text messages have really expanded. Now he tells me he has a lot of work to do and needs to make some calls, so he sits by himself and very seriously calls or texts people. Yesterday he told someone, "Just turn right on I-25, then left, then you'll be there."

He likes to tell me now, when I ask him to stop something or tell him no, "That makes my feelings hurt, Mommy. You need to say sorry."

He's starting to have nicknames for people (just like Zack). In New Orleans, he had one kid Brad, who every time he saw him he said, "There's my guy!" He also had another guy who he asked, "Where's my buddy?" He asks about people by name a lot - just randomly wants to know where they are and what they're up to.

He's been afraid of the dark, so we've let him go to bed holding a flash light and he learned how to read books with his flashlight before bed. Them he just tucks himself in and goes to sleep. So cute.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

New Orleans 2010

Zack's passion for New Orleans started back in 1999, way before Hurricane Katrina when he went on a missions trip there and loved the people and the community. Then, he knew he had to take his new youth group back in 2006, a year after the hurricane to help with recovery and his passion spread like fire. Including that trip in 2006, he's been back to New Orleans 12 times, I've been there 5 times, Zane has been there 3 times, and Emerson once. Each trip has had anywhere from 25 to 110 people, sometimes just college students and other times a mix of high school, college, and adults. Even the people at the hotel know us and remember us. I always talk to John, who works at the bar ever year and he asks about what we're doing.

During our first couple of years, we spent most of our time and efforts gutting houses, some that hadn't even been touched years after being flooded in Katrina. As time moved on, our projects have also grown and changed. We have done so many things: hung out with kids who have lost so much, helped homeless people, served at food shelters, rebuilt houses, worked in yards and inside houses, helped in rehabilitation centers, met people and made friends and connections etc.

This year was especially amazing for me because I got to help a family paint their entire house - a family who has been working to get back into their house for 5 years and will finally get back in within a month or two. The lady who owned the house, Barbara, told us her story of how she evacuated her house with a few possessions at 2:00 in the morning and then ended up being away with family for 8 months because she couldn't even get near her house since everything was flooded and broken, dead and gone. She said she felt like losing all hope many times, but God would give her peace and give her hope in small ways (like seeing a tiny patch of green grass in front of her house when there was no other signs of life). She said that now she can't believe that because of people like us and others helping, she gets to live in her own house again after her life was devastated. I have a picture of our team with her and her son Landry, and need to find it to post, but here's me painting.

There is still SOOO much work left to get peoples' lives back to "normal." So many people are still living with the flood lines on their walls, no furniture, no carpet, etc. (or no home at all) and are just settled with that being the way they live because they have no means to fix it. We all love New Orleans so much and I hope that we get to spend many more weeks there helping and serving.

This was a wonderful trip and I'm so proud of my husband, who planned and executed the whole thing! There were seriously a million details and I have no idea how he figured them all out but somehow he did. He basically didn't eat, sleep, or relax for a couple weeks, but he thinks it was worth it to change so many lives of people on the trip and the people in New Orleans. Thank you, Zack for all that you did!!!

Here are some videos and pictures from our trip:

Each time we've been to NOLA, we've visited Cafe Beignet, a place that has live Jazz music and food. It's always a good time for everyone to hang out and to dance.

Dancing with Dad from Josie Weingartner on Vimeo.

Each night of our trip, we had a group meeting, with all 110 of us! It was sooooo much fun for Zane and Emerson to get to hang out with that many teenagers and college kids. They loved the attention and just had so many choices for who to play with. Before each meeting, we just hung out, played music, and were silly.

Dancing with the Crowd from Josie Weingartner on Vimeo.

Most people drove, but the rest of us flew together. Here are a few pictures from the plane and airport on the way there...

Emmy was on the scale - and didn't want to move off.
All four of us in our NOLA shirts, ready to go. My mom came with us to help me with the kids and boy was I glad she was there!!! She was an unbelievable help and I couldn't have pulled it off without her.

Here's our shuttle on the way to the hotel - and how we looked most the time while driving in our vans around town.
We got to visit a church that we've gone to each year we've been there. They are so hospitable and welcoming and love having our big group there. This year, Zane and Emmy got to play with all the kids - good thing since the service lasts almost 2 hours!!! The people helping were happy to see them, because they aren't used to having blonde visitors. :)

We got to tour a Bayou. Zane had a little lizard crawl right across his foot. We also saw frogs, spiders, huge crickets and grasshoppers, but unfortunately no alligators.

It was burning hot! Most of our trip was over 100 degrees, plus super high humidity. Zane and Emerson didn't do too well, so we tried to keep them cool most the time.
Emerson kept wanting to look over the edge but I had to hold on to her every second. The layer of moss and leaves was crazy and looked like a real ground even though it was water.
Finding entertainment in the hotel room.
My mom took the kids to the River Front one day to help with the BBQ they were doing for homeless people there.

We spent lot's of time just hanging out in the lobby. Here's Emmy with her friend Mack.
Zane zonked out on my lap...
We let the kids eat in the lobby a bunch since it was easier. Zane's wearing his helmet because we brought his scooter and let him scoot around the hotel and outside.

Falling asleep while eating.
We were reading in our hotel room before bed.
Here's our meeting room and group with Zack up front in his jersey and red hat.
Just playing in the meeting room.
There were a lot of interesting people along the streets - this guy acted like a statue and then came to life. Zane really liked him and talked to him.
Eating at "Mother's."
We got to eat beignets... The kids mostly liked the powdered sugar.

We got to take groups down to see the lower 9th ward, the place that got hit the hardest by the hurricane. While there, we met this man who lost his house during Katrina and now lives in a new house built by an organization created by Brad Pitt. He told us his story of how he and his family were in their house when the levies broke so they climbed up onto their roof as fast as they could because it flooded so fast. They were all on top of the roof when the house unhooked from the ground and started floating down the street. This man was holding his 3 year old grand-daughter in his arms and they hit a light post and it jolted so hard that the water pulled her out of his arms and she died in the flood. Later that day, his mother also died on their roof because she was so sick and couldn't get any help. This was so heart breaking hearing this man tell his life story and I just can't imagine going through what he did. I just kept trying to fathom how many more people went through similar things and it's horrible.
My mom and I took the kids on a trolley ride and then stopped to play at a little park we found.

The popsicles seriously melted in about 3 minutes.

Climber from Josie Weingartner on Vimeo.

These are pictures are Cafe Beignet, the jazz place that the video at the top was from...

Emerson and Zane held hands with these two kids one night on our walk back from the French Quarter.
We got to take the kids to the Children's Museum one day because it was within walking distance of our hotel.

Playing football and spending time together at the River Front.

Here's Zane with his buddy Aidan.

On Saturday, our flight was scheduled for late afternoon, but got delayed until 10:30 that night! I tried to get Emerson to sleep before we loaded, but she's such a light sleeper that she kept waking up. There was too much going on so her and Zane didn't sleep until they were on the plane at 11:30. Then, of course woke up when we landed and didn't go to bed that night until after 2:00 am. At least they slept in the next day.

The middle-of-the-night plane ride...