Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
This past weekend, we de-Christmas-ed the house...only 361 days until Christmas 2009!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Watching Curious George...
Making Christmas cookies...
Snuggling in our PJ's...
How'd you spend your snow day?
Here are a couple more shots from the night. Matt and Dylan after snowmobiling at Uncle Brian and Aunt Janet's. That was Dylan's first time and pretty brave of him to try it too - I'm sure riding with Daddy helped with that :)Uncle Chad, Ella & Tiger.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Anyway, a show that makes us act this crazy must be good. Here's the secret to what makes this show great: Matt says to me the other night, "I don't know why you like this show so much...it's about football." And I said "This show isn't about football...it's about relationships." Brilliant. Something for everyone.
We have watched 14 of the 22 episodes in the first season. 15 episodes in Season 2. We are trying to completely catch up before Season 3 starts on NBC on January 16. I know...we really should look into getting a life. We'll get on that as soon as we are done watching Friday Night Lights.
So then last year Curt thought it would be hilarious to bring an alligator head (again, just a sawed off animal part) and rig it up so I got to open the dead animal thing. Anyway, I knew this year that I needed to find some sort of animal part to bring (it's getting pretty strange, isn't it?) I was talking about this with my parents one night and my dad said "Hey, I have two dried piranhas" (you know...because you can't just have one, you've got to have two). He very generously gave one to me and I had the pleasure of watching Charissa (the girl who brought you the deer lamp) open it last night and then her husband ended up with it at the end of the night. Finally...justice (or maybe that's revenge??)There were many other strange, strange things that showed up last night. It reminds me of how very weird these people are but also how much I love them all. They have become like family to us and I can't imagine going through life without them.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
My grandparents were born in Shanghai, China in the 1920's. They left China in 1949 so my Grandpa could attend seminary in the US and soon after the communists took over China and they were unable to return to their homeland until the late 1970's. My Grandma had four kids in five years while in the States and then left for Taiwan where my grandparents were missionaries with the Christian Reformed Church. In 1974, my Grandpa began broadcasting the Gospel (via radio) into mainland China. They eventually returned to the States, and my Grandpa pastored a Chinese speaking church in Chicago until he passed in 1988.
My Grandma's legacy is not only the lives she touched with my Grandpa as missionaries, but it's also all of us. In addition to her four children and spouses, she also has 11 grandchildren (7 of us are married), and 10 great-grandchildren (with 3 more on the way!)
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Blogger Buddy Mindy - also known as Photographer Mindy - mentioned this bed before (or one similar - I can't remember if this is the exact same one Lucy has?) and it's from Wal-Mart and only $57 plus it has really great reviews. I just ordered it on-line and they are going to ship it to the store, so in 7-10 days Ella will have a new bed. I'll probably set it up in her room but leave the crib up so she can make the switch gradually if she wants.
I also got the letter today from church saying Ella will be moving up to the two year old room on Sunday's. This also means that she will be moving out of Baby Bay (where I have brought a baby to each week for the past four years!) and into the bigger kid rooms across the main hall. Oh my...I think my babies are growing up!
Monday, November 17, 2008
The person I made the connection through is friends with the couple from college and along with a couple of other friends, they are working to raise money to help the McNeil family with the purchase of a house, necessary home modifications, and out-of-pocket medical expenses. They have named this cause A Hundred for a Home and they are trying to get 4,000 people to give $100 to meet their $100,000 goal (the family lives in an area where the cost of living is high).
I wanted to pass along the info in case you are touched and want to give and so that you can keep this family in your prayers.
Sanfilippo Syndrome is a recessive autosomal genetic disease. Children with Sanfilippo Syndrome are missing an essential enzyme needed to breakdown and dispose of long sugar chains in the body called mucopolysaccharides. also known as GAGs. Because these sugar chains cannot be broken down and disposed of they accumulate in the cells causing progressive damage. Babies and young children with Sanfilippo Syndrome appear normal, but symptoms begin to appear with age as more and GAGs build up in the cells of the body. There are 3 stages to the disease. Stage 1 the child begins to lag behind peers and begins to display difficult behaviors. Stage 2 the child losing his/her language, becomes hyperactive, chews on everything, and has sleeping difficulties. Stage 3 the child slows down, becomes dependant for all mobility and loses the ability to chew/swallow. There is no treatment or cure for Sanfilippo. Life expectancy varies.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
We knew to expect a baby boy when we had Dylan, but he is our first child so that entire part of becoming new parents was completely new to us. He was a pretty big guy - 8 lbs, 8 oz - and I remember Matt peering over him while Dylan got his first bath and Dylan greeting him by shooting a stream of pee on Matt's face :) Dylan was such a good baby, so easy going and such a good sleeper!
Our little man turns four today and I think I might have to stop calling him my baby one of these days. He's growing up in so many ways, and while a mother always misses those baby and toddler days in some sense, I'm very much enjoying the person he's becoming and the conversations we can have. He's starting to ask a lot of the "deep" questions - questions about God and about life and about how everything fits together.
There are days where we butt heads, and I've told Matt and my mom before that sometimes I swear that I'm his least favorite person in the world because he acts up for me in ways that he doesn't for anyone else. My mom also reminds me that he loves me more than anyone else. I guess the mother/son relationship has its own set of complications!
Dylan is our Dilly, our Little Man and we love his sometimes quiet, observant way of looking at the world. He doesn't rush into things, and he's more cautious than his crazy sister. He loves to be surrounded by the people he loves, and he likes certainty and the security that comes with it.
Happy 4th Birthday, Buddy! We love you!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I remember being in the hospital and processing that we had a little girl, a daughter. To me, it's a humbling experience because the mother/daughter relationship can be so complex but also so wonderful. Matt came back to the hospital on the second day (I let him go home to sleep after we have babies...he would stay if I asked him to but I've never asked because if I were him I would much prefer our nice cozy bed to the hospital chair that pulls out into a "bed" ;) ) and he looked kind of stunned. I asked him what was going on, and all he could get out was: "I'll have to give her away someday." I think he's still processing that...
We sure do love our little Ella around here. Somehow the nickname "Mooka" has stuck for her, and we are all equally parts fascinated/terrified of her (just kidding...but I wouldn't recommend getting in her way).
Happy Birthday, Ella!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Observations: #1 - my kids' tongues hang out of their mouths A LOT. #2 - my stubborn 3 year old is turning into a fairly cooperative 4 year old; my little baby is turning into a sometimes terrible 2 year old (Dylan did better than I thought he would, and Ella wasn't as into it as I would have liked. All in all, I declare it a success.)
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Here's the priceless result:
Happy birthday, Daddy! I love you ‘cause you play cars with me and you lay with me and you go for walks with me. Thank you for doing trick or treat with me and for going to the ‘Hamas. I love you so, so much. Thank you for loving me and for loving my baby sister and for loving everybody. And thank you for loving God and Jesus.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
1. When they wake up: "Let the morning bring (child's name) word of your unfailing love, for she has put her trust in You. Show (her/him) the way (she/he) should go, for to you (he/she) lifts up her soul." (Adapted from Psalm 143:8)
2. When they are getting dressed: "Therefore, as God's chosen child, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Lord, help (him/her) bear with others and forgive whatever grievances (he/she) has against others. Help (him/her) forgive as the Lord forgave (him/her). And over all these virtues, help (him/her) put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." (Adapted from Colossians 3:12-14)
3. While they are eating: "Teach (child's name) the secret of being content in any and every situation whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Teach (him/her) that (he/she) can do everything through him who gives (him/her) strength." (Adapted from Philippians 4:12-13)
4. When they go out of the house: "(Name of child), do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will." (Adapted from Romans 12:2)
5. While they are taking a bath: Lord, give (name of child) clean hands and a pure heart, and let (him/her) not lift (his/her) soul to an idol or swear by what is false. Let (him/her) receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God (his/her) Savior. Let (him/her) be part of the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob. (Adapted from Psalm 24:4-6)
6. When they are going to bed: "The Lord Your God is with you; he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, be will rejoice over you with singing." (Zephaniah 3:17)
7. While they are sleeping: "I pray that (name of child) will do everything without complaining or arguing, so that he/she may become blameless and pure, a child of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which he/she shines like a star in the universe as he/she holds out the word of life-in order that he/she may boast on the day of Christ that he/she did not run or labor for nothing." (Adapted from Ephesians 2:14-16)
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
More vacation pictures coming soon...
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Dylan dressed up as a lion and Ella was a frog, however, these aren't their "official" Halloween costumes (Dylan wore the lion costume last year and the frog was a random clearance item that my mom had lying around). We will be in Florida this year so I wanted costumes for them that they could wear in warm weather - Dylan is going to be a soccer player and Ella will be a cheerleader - but I was glad we had some warmer alternatives to wear today.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Today, October 15, is the National Day of Remembrance for pregnancy and infant loss. Angie encouraged readers to post if they had lost a baby so that she could pray for them and we could all remember. I checked back tonight and there are over 1500 posts. As I read through some of them, I was overwhelmed by the pain and sorrow of these women. I have not lost a child myself, but I have friends who have experienced this loss.
When I delivered Ella almost two years ago, we found out soon after she was born that there were problems with the placenta that could have caused serious complications for both her and me. I remember my doctor saying to us, "You have no idea how happy I was to see a pink, healthy baby. Many times those babies are born still." It took me a while to process how close we might have come to losing to her.
I know many of you who read this are mothers yourselves. Please keep all of these women in your prayers.
*And yes, I have more than one very dear friend named Katie. This Katie and I go back to junior high when both "liked" the same guy. We quickly got over the guy and agreed to swap Michael W. Smith tapes for the weekend. The rest is history. True story.