family Justus

14 Months {Justus}

August 5, 2013


It’s hard to believe all that has happened in recent weeks, and that when I wrote Justus’s 13-month update, I was including a good number of photos from Ecuador, too!

The slower pace of life that I so appreciated while in Ecuador has all but become a distant memory, and this is definitely the fullest life has been since Justus was born. Among other things, we are downsizing and selling our current house (:() and now are under contract to buy a small house about 30 minutes away. In the mix, Justus has turned 14 months, but no amount of busyness or slowness can stop him or my girls from growing.


We’ve loved this stage of watching his effusive personality bubble out into our lives. He is one funny, active kid! I’d forgotten how much I absolutely love this stage of little ones, but also just how much energy is required for a mama to meet the needs of such an active little guy!

There are moments I want to capture and remember forever: watching him discover life–so many things that are common place to us, but for a new baby it is all awe and wonder. And often, I need to constantly remind myself just to step back and let him take it in, rather than intervening at every step. A couple of weeks ago I watched him wonder with curiosity as the sunlight shown on Eden’s bed. I just watched and waited to see what he would do, and soon he was trying to grab the rays of sunlight that were streaming in from the window. So precious!

He’s learning new words, too, including “ot!” for “hot.” Not that he seems to mind anything that is hot, just that he’d like to tell us he’s observed such a fact. 😉 With the hotter days, we’ve been spending time at our community pool (will miss that, for sure!), and the cement surrounding the pools is quite hot most days. We’d noticed poor Justus had burned (just red) the bottom of his feet from walking on it…most of the time he doesn’t even whimper. But after walking for quite a while (he likes to walk back and forth between the kiddie pool and the big pool), he started saying, “ot! ot! ot!”

He is a master imitator, and Daniel and I are often both surprised at what he will attempt to do that his sisters are doing. He can pick up on things quite quickly, including the surrounding social skills, which means he’ll often fake-laugh if everyone else is laughing. (I took the girls to the children’s museum about a week ago, and they wanted to do some art at a table. Justus was not one for being left out, and climbed up and did everything he saw them doing.)


Justus is still and avid fan of dogs, and is usually quick to spot any nearby. He loves to say, “oof! oof!” to them, too.

I put this on Facebook, but I’ll post it here for my memory’s sake, too:

Justus’s scale for expressing displeasure:

Falling underwater/getting his head wet: -2
Walking on hot asphalt: .5
Minor injury: 1
Stepping on a lego: 1
Seeing food he wants, but isn’t able to obtain: 4
Major injury: 4.5
A dog he wants to chase runs away: 5
Wants Mommy, but Daddy is holding him: 6
Feels he is being excluded by his sisters: 9
His sisters have something he has, but isn’t able to obtain: 9.5

This boy has an extremely high pain tolerance, at least most of the time. This will be in next month’s update, technically, but this weekend he skinned his knee. We didn’t even notice until driving home in the van, and I looked and saw it bleeding! He didn’t even whimper when he fell, so we didn’t notice it then.


Books are also something he is enjoying again. I’m amazed at how long he’ll sit through and let me read. He loves this Dr. Seuss book, especially the part about the wump, gump, and other -ump rhyming parts. 🙂

He’s also got crazy rhythm. Anytime we turn on music, he tries to dance, and he moves his hip in a way that is hilarious!

Here’s my sample of his dancing that I posted on Instagram:

We are so thankful for this little boy and the joy and light he brings to our family, and we are enjoying watching this transformation from little baby to active toddler occur! We pray God might give him many years with our family, and that he might be used to show glimpses of justice, shalom, and truth to those he comes into contact with.



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  • Stephanie August 7, 2013 at 1:27 am

    Hello Keren! I just read your post over at Money Saving Mom about how you spent 5 weeks in Ecuador with your three young children. Inspiring! We’d like to do something similar in 2014 and I have SO many questions for you..

    (1) How did you decide on Ecuador?
    (2) What websites did you use to research your trip?
    (3) Where did you stay once you arrived?
    (4) Do you speak Spanish?
    (5) How old were your kids at the time of trip? How were the plane flights? 😉
    (6) What vaccines did you and your family choose to get prior to the trip?

    We have three young children too – ages 6, 4, and 1.

    • Keren August 9, 2013 at 12:58 am

      Hi, Stephanie! Thanks for commenting. I think I might do a blog post on this and some other questions I’ve gotten on e-mail! Stay tuned, though feel free to shoot me an e-mail! 🙂 (Contact button on the bottom of my site.)