Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Jonah- As Told by Stuffed Animals

Eriek had to come up with a big final project for his class this semester.  He decided to get creative this time and make a children's book of Jonah using our stuffed animals as the main cast.  He wrote a script out and then started envisioning what pictures he needed.

We live in The Woodlands, TX and there's this area called the Waterway that just fit the bill for this little endeavor.  He wanted the Pavilion (where all the concerts are held) to be the big city of Nineveh, and there's plenty of water, boats and trees around it to capture the rest of the story.  All-in-all, it was the perfect setting. 

What I liked most about this project was that I was able to be of some help and spend time with Eriek while he worked on the project, instead of him being stuck on the computer writing for days and days on his own while I barely get to see him.  Basically, I was the Puppet Master, arranging the characters as he described what he wanted for that part of the story.

Here I am setting up the Ninevites outside of their city as Eriek gets the framing for the shot set up.

As you can see though, these guys were tricky as they didn't want to stand on their own.  We propped twigs under their feet and that helped until the wind kept blowing them over!  Eriek finally got a great shot in between gusts...

Nice evil Ninevites, huh?  They are happy little Beijing mascots plus a little Kuwait bear :)  Then we moved on to the boat scenes.  Jonah is the bird because his name means dove (foolish bird).  The Athens mascots are the mariners.  The people at the boat house were nice enough to let us use a kayak for our photo shoot!

Jonah being thrown overboard is one of my favorite pics!  We used a wire hanger and I was dangling him over the water and we photoshopped it out :)

And, of course, the whale spitting up Jonah on the shore near Nineveh.  (The whale was the mascot from the Montreal World Championships.)

And one of the last pictures was Jonah writing his story in the Bible.

There were many more pics, but I don't want to steal Eriek's work of art!  It was just so much fun to do, and I think it would be a great project to do with your kids!  Not only is it a lot of fun to take your silly stuffed animals and make them act out scenes in the Bible, but you get to know the story you're acting out much better and deeper.

Even if you don't have kids, be your own kid!  I encourage you to try it with a friend- you'll laugh so hard while doing it, then you'll have pictures to look back on and smile at.  And you'll probably get to know God a little more in the process.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Daddy's Pregnant?!

So last night was our first "Prepared Childbirth" class at the hospital.  One of the highlights was Eriek getting chosen to wear the "empathy" vest.  The instructor first put a thick strap around his chest after he let his air out so he couldn't breathe very well.  Then she had him place a weighted patch right above his belt so when he put the vest on it would put pressure on his bladder.  Then she put the vest on which contained a 5 lbs. weighted pendulum that moved plus two 7 lbs. lead balls that also moved around (like a baby does).  There was also quite a bit of fluid in the vest.

 I think it gave him a good idea for a few brief minutes of what it's like being pregnant.  He did after all perform the classic pregnant lady sit into a chair.  I was very impressed.

See, it's almost like the real thing...  but for about 5 minutes instead of 9 months, and no actual pushing the baby out.

Friday, April 8, 2011

New Favorite Toy

So my belly has become a funny little fascination in the past few months.  With Arella growing everyday in there, I have more and more to jiggle around and play with- and she plays with me sometimes!  Eriek just laughs when I dance around bouncing my baby belly all over the place, but it has been quite the source for entertainment.

Although I now have a tendency that around the house I'll hike my shirt up letting my belly hang all out because darn it, it's just more comfortable that way.

However, I've noticed that in doing so, I'm resembling old Chinese men...

Hmmm....  not so cool...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Austin Fun

Sorry this is long overdue!  A couple of weekends ago, women's swimming and diving NCAA's were in Austin, so Eriek and I decided that would be a perfect final get-a-way for us before baby Arella comes.  So for our final weekend as a couple, all we could talk about, of course, was the baby :)  A fun surprise was the restaurant right by our hotel is called Baby A's and then right across the street we found a Zoe's Kitchen.  (Zoe is what we've named our baby we're adopting from China, still a few years away).  So we felt like both of our baby girls were represented that weekend!
We stayed at Embassy Suites and they not only have the most amazing hot breakfast, but they have this really cool pond with swans and giant koi fish!  This definitely made us feel like we were on vacation!
One of the things I really wanted to do while we were there was try and get some good maternity pics.  Austin is so scenic and beautiful, I was just hoping to find the right spot and get one or two good shots.  Eriek did an amazing job as photographer giving me about 30 shots I just love!  Here are some of my favs:

Of course taking pictures around Lake Travis works up an appetite, so we just had to stop for lunch at the infamous Oasis!  They have built this place up so much since my last visit that it's becoming a big tourist attraction, but it still has that magical view...
And I found the lovely diving statue, which always makes this place feel a little more like home.

And one final picture to leave you with.  Austin, although more liberal than the rest of Texas, is located in Texas, and you know we like to cling to our guns here in this great state.
So this is why you "Don't Mess With Texas."