The Carter Family

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord

Carter Family Update

Published by Gabe, Amber, Jada and Micah Carter under on 9:27 PM
Oh my. It's been 3 months since my last blog update... sorry about that.

Our family is doing fantastic; the past 3 months have been incredibly busy, but it's been awesome. God is SO good and has provided incredible opportunities for us. Due to the upcoming arrival of baby Micah (only 12-13 weeks from now!), I'm changing my business structure a bit to allow myself to work fewer hours, play more of an administrative role, & (hopefully) produce more of a passive income. God has given me a handful of fun, new bookkeeping clients over the past couple of months and two independent contractors that will become a part of my team within the next couple of weeks. I'm also working on e-publishing a guide for moms who want to produce a steady income from home without sacrificing time with their family; it's been a super fun project for me & I'm hoping to launch it as of 1/1/11.

Gabe has been crazy busy with work over the past 6 weeks; November marks the beginning of Open Enrollment in the insurance industry, so he's been traveling a lot. Now that December is here, he's able to settle back into a (somewhat) normal schedule and be at home at nights again (whoo hoo!).

Jada will be 2 years old in only 12 days; where has the time gone? She is such a huge blessing in our lives. She's a joyful bundle of energy; she loves to physically tackle everything, sing her ABCs (minus the "L,M,N, O" section... that's always pretty tough), count to 10 (except 8... we're working on that!), spin in circles, color, jump, and play with friends. She tries to do everything that Mommy and Daddy do; it's pretty sweet. Tonight, we were watching church on UStream and we let her stay up for the worship portion. We were singing, "How Great is Our God" & she echoed "OUR GOD!!!" in a happy, beaming tone. I just love her.

Micah is an active little guy, which I absolutely love. He's happy (okay, I'm assuming that one), healthy, and we are SO incredibly excited to meet him. His room is slowly but surely coming together. Once we move the hide-a-bed ("we" as in Gabe and another strong guy), we can start clearing out the rest of the room and begin painting. Oh yeah, another amazing blessing from God... I won free paint from a friend's blog last month, so Micah's paint for his room is absolutely FREE! Amazing.

Here are some fun pictures of our past few months:

Jada's First Bike!

Published by Gabe, Amber, Jada and Micah Carter under on 7:55 PM
Gabe & I have been looking at Strider bikes for the past few months now, but tonight we finally purchased one. If you haven't heard of them, you should really check them out ( Not only can children as young as 18 months old ride them, but they teach kids the balance & coordination that's needed to ride a bike - most Strider riders can transition right into a big-kid bike without ever using training wheels! These bikes don't have pedals; instead, kids can walk/run/stride to propel the bike forward & can pick up their feet to just glide along.

Brianne already had an appointment with the owner of Portland Strider Bikes this afternoon & she invited us to come along. Jada & Rowen tried out the bikes together and both totally fell in love. They were naturals. Rowen chose the blue bike & Jada chose the green bike.

What big kids. I'm so proud of my Jada Bear. This will be extra motivation to get outside for some exercise as the rain and cold weather is quickly approaching. Good for Jada and Mommy. :-)

Jada Update!

Published by Gabe, Amber, Jada and Micah Carter under on 8:11 PM

Wow, it has been quite a while since I've updated our blog! Miss Jada is already 20 months old and is as busy as ever.
She loves talking and is developing her sentence building abilities every day. I thought I'd document some of the cute phrases she currently says because I'm sure they'll be changing before we know it.

Current Jada isms:

"Hoh-dit" (translation: "Hold it" or "May I hold it, Mom?")

"Upeez" (translation: "Up Please" or "Please pick me up")

"Elmo Deece" (translation: "Elmo Dance" or "I'd like to watch a YouTube video of Sesame Street")

"Mommy Deece" (translation: "Mommy Dance" or "Mommy, will you dance with me?" This is commonly said in a public setting or while eating.)

"Do It" (translation: "I'd like to do this on my own; I don't need any help.")

"Eat It" (translation: "I think I'd like to eat this". This is usually said as she places something non-edible into her mouth.)

"See Yee Daddy" (translation: "Silly Daddy". This is always said with a huge, proud grin)

"Uh-Oh [insert subject here]!" (translation: "My toy/food/shoe/whatever just fell down. Will you please pick it up for me?")

On the educational front, she can officially count to 2 and understands the concept of counting! She was dividing up dog food pieces between Aunt Annie's two dogs (also utilizing her "Eat It" skills - see above) and with every piece that she divided, she counted out "One...Two...One...Two...One...Two...". I'm so proud.

She can identify the letters P, R, Q, B, I, T, A, D, K, O & Y. She can sound out P "P says puh, puh, Papa" and R "R says rrr, rrr, Rowen". Yesterday, as we were driving down the road, there was a Parr Lumber advertisement on a bus stop. She saw the PARR and said "R! R!". I was so proud.

When we sing our ABCs, she sings along a little. When we stop, she'll sometimes take off from where we left off. For example, tonight I sang "a b c d e f g" then she said "h i j kaaay..... P!". On her own, she just gets to e, then smiles and says, "Mommy ABCs" which means she wants me to sing it instead. Tonight, we broke out the ABC flash cards & she had a blast. I would show her the "A" card & she said "A... apple!" (there was a picture of an apple). Then she would say "More! More!". She's so hungry to learn right now.

Her imagination is incredible. When we're reading a book, she'll pretend to pick up the items in the pictures and give them to us. For example, if there's a picture of corn, she'll pretend to pick it up, then will hand it to me and say, "Mommy, eat it. Corn". She also loves "feeding" her babies and stuffed animals.

She can verbally identify various body parts, most recently including the pinky & thumb. Her favorite toys are stickers (SOOO cool, although she recently discovered that they stick on any service, not just the plain piece of paper that I give her) and a funky yellow chair that we bought at a garage sale for $2.

Here's a cute video of her playing in the fountains at Magnolia Park yesterday. She was a little cautious at first, but after she was soaked, she just wanted "More! More!". :-)

She is such a delight and we are so blessed to have sweet Jada in our lives.

Baby Carter 2.0

Published by Gabe, Amber, Jada and Micah Carter under on 9:44 PM
We're having another BABY! We are so blessed and so excited to meet our new little one. Our due date is March 10th, which means that I'm at 10 weeks along today. We saw our sweet baby for the first time earlier this afternoon. "Baby Tummy" (Jada's name for baby) was very active - moving everywhere and waving hands all around. We scheduled our anatomical ultrasound too - October 15th is the big day! Can't wait to find out if Miss Jada is having a little brother or a little sister!

Here's our sweet baby -

Dance! Jada, Dance!

Published by Gabe, Amber, Jada and Micah Carter under on 9:12 PM

Carter Family Reunion

Published by Gabe, Amber, Jada and Micah Carter under on 8:17 PM
Gabe, Jada & I enjoyed a fun roadtrip down to Bend this past 4th of July weekend for the Carter Family Reunion. We had an awesome time hanging out with aunts, uncles, and cousins. I absolutely loved getting to know Gabe's family better & Jada had a blast playing with everyone... especially her second cousin, Daniela. :-) Here are some pictures of our weekend.

Jada was found sporting the "sunscreen layered with dirt, then layered with popsicle juices, followed by more sunscreen" look most of the weekend.
This would be the "layered with dirt" part...
She was very determined to blow bubbles off of the deck like the older girls...
YAY! She did it!
Papa gave Jada some pretty awesome wheelbarrow rides AND taught her how to fish... how cute is that?

Here she is waving and saying "Hi fish" to a dead fish... (she didn't realize it was dead, of course).
Daniela & Jada had a fabulous time playing, chasing, and laughing with each other.

Hooray for Sunshine!

Published by Gabe, Amber, Jada and Micah Carter under on 8:19 PM
What a fun week we've had!

My dear friend, Brianne, and her husband Matt welcomed their sweet baby girl into the world last Monday. Jada & I were honored to be able to visit baby Charlotte on Wednesday morning then take her big brother home with us for the day for a super fun playdate. Jada & Rowen chased each other up and down the hall, played with puzzles together, rode on Jada's Dora car together (& when I say together, I mean both sitting on the seat at the same time - ha ha!), and even took naps at the same time for me! Whoo hoo! Here are pictures of them hanging out.

Gabe & I decided that we want to get back into riding our bikes this summer, so we picked up a bike trailer for Jada this past week. She absolutely loves riding in it. She chooses a new little friend to sit next to her each time (Monkey is pictured here, but Elmo and Baby Sarah have also taken a ride). She's even in love with her "bike hat" (helmet), which she personally picked out at the store. :-)

These past few days have been so gorgeous and sunny; we are soaking up every ounce! Yesterday, we went for a long walk around the neighborhood; Jada wanted to hold Kaya's leash, so I tied it around the bar first, then let Jada hold the handle. She thought she was pretty cool.

Today, we headed over the the park where Jada proceeded to pretty much run from one dog to the next. I'm pretty sure I asked "Can we pet your dog?" about 10 times this afternoon. ha ha. She loves meeting puppies. :-)

Here she is throwing rocks into the creek (also a favorite activity):

Finally, I just wanted to share this sweet video of Jada saying "thank you for the water". She's really starting to put words together and it is so amazing to watch her and see what she comes up with.


Published by Gabe, Amber, Jada and Micah Carter under on 8:53 PM
Jada is completely in love with Elmo. It's pretty funny because she doesn't watch Sesame Street; in fact, she doesn't even watch TV. She just fell in love with this Elmo doll that we walked past at Target a couple weeks ago. When she saw it she asked, "What's that?" (which sounds like a single word - "Wussat?"). We answered, "Elmo". She held him in the shopping cart & hasn't let go since. From then on, this bright red, furry baby doll-thing was her precious Elmo.

As you can imagine, when we saw that our favorite coffee shop/indoor playground, Munchkin Playland, was hosting a "Meet & Greet with Elmo" party, we simply couldn't pass it up. We signed up right away and counted down the days until Miss Jada would meet the real Elmo in person.

At first, she was a little concerned with this large Elmo fellow. For the first 20 min, she wanted to look at him and blow him kisses, but didn't want to leave our arms. After a while, she warmed up to him & sat on his lap. She wanted to share her little Elmo doll with him on various occasions (we're pretty sure that her love language is giving gifts - she's always sharing her food, toys, and water with her dolls - that's our thoughtful little girl!).

Here are a few pictures from this fun little Elmo party:

Jada's New Favorite Toy - the Salad Spinner

Published by Gabe, Amber, Jada and Micah Carter under on 11:22 AM
Why spin lettuce when you could spin the letter V?

After spinning her letter V, she, of course, wanted to sit inside of the salad spinner. :-)


Published by Gabe, Amber, Jada and Micah Carter under on 1:54 PM

Oooh Boy!

Published by Gabe, Amber, Jada and Micah Carter under on 11:58 AM
This is my absolute favorite phrase that Jada says. "Oh boy!". Here's a cute video of her practicing her new little phrase.

She also loves animals. Here she is practicing the names of animals & their sounds.

Jada Reads to Mommy

Published by Gabe, Amber, Jada and Micah Carter under on 4:01 PM
Jada loves to read us stories. Yesterday, she wanted to read right after she woke up.
Please excuse her crazy hair and lack of a shirt - we hadn't quite gotten there yet. :-)

VaStay 2010

Published by Gabe, Amber, Jada and Micah Carter under on 9:04 PM
What's a VaStay, you ask? It's a hybrid of a vacation and a stay-cation and it is amazing. Gabe took this entire last week off of work; we headed over to the coast for a few days (the vacation portion of our week), then relaxed at home for the rest of the week (the stay-cation portion). I would highly recommend this combination. Sometimes, after traveling, it's difficult to return to the usual schedule of life. It's such a treat to return from traveling with the knowledge that a few more days of nothingness lay ahead.

From Monday through Wednesday, we stayed at at the WorldMark resort in Seaside, OR (thank you Nana & Papa for giving us some of your points for Christmas so that we could do this for a very affordable amount!). Jada fell in love with the swings on the beach. We fell in love with the sight of our happy girl and the beautiful ocean.

"How old are you, Jada?"




Snacks & Playtime with Daddy...


Time to go swimming! (Although it was a pretty quick swim; even a 97 degree pool seems pretty cold outdoors in April at the Oregon coast).

On Thursday, we enjoyed a fun morning at the Children's Museum. Jada's favorite activity was probably splashing in the Water Works exhibit; she is quite a fan of the splashing.

Now, we're just relaxing at home for the rest of the weekend. A few errands here and there, but the majority of the time is being spent playing at our neighborhood park, enjoying a casual dinner with friends, playing cards and Settlers, and just spending time together.

What an incredible week.