Wednesday, December 17, 2008

First Snow of 2008

Since then we've had a few more inches fall - this is pure heaven to my little boys' hearts!

I know, I know, I know....

I feel so bad. I really do. Ideally, I would not have left you hanging like that, I promise! Teasing you with my fun, new info. One of you even called this morning, just to make sure everything was okay. What a sweet reminder of the care and concern of our many dear friends. We are so blessed to share our lives with you!

It honestly wasn't my intent to wait until this afternoon to post my news. I've just been running like crazy. I got my mom and my sister called on the way home from the sonogram, but then kids were crying, the new snowfall was calling, the answering machine was full of messages that needed to be returned, and dinner needed to be started since we were having guests over. You know how it goes. Some of my very dearest friends didn't even get called before my sweet husband (love you!) posted the news on facebook. Haha! It was not intentional - I promise! (He took it down, after I called him, in case you're looking :).

We were up late Christmas shopping online - good grief, we are a little behind! And then we hit the ground running early this morning again, with the church to decorate for our MOPS Christmas party tomorrow. Then it was sledding fun in the front yard again (which means, mom runs around up and down the hills, pulling the sled behind her. Uh, huh, that's right. I am a FUN mom!), followed by hot chocolate, lunch, and - finally! - nap time.

So here I am - 1:45 pm - with my lunch and my laptop, ready to tell you my news. But you probably already know by now!

I am such a loser. But this is life, right?

Anyway, without further ado....

It looks like pink is in my future, after all!!!!! I am still in shock - was so not expecting that!

We are beyond excited - and amazed at the tiny 13 oz girl we watched kicking around inside of me yesterday. I still can't get over it. I am going to have a daughter, people! She was laying there, all stretched out, with her legs extended, one arm behind her head...very cool, this one. It made me laugh. And yes, cry. But I am NOT more emotional this time around - I swear, I am not! :)

Thanks for hanging in there, and for all the love and prayers. 20 more weeks, and you can meet her!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Today's the day!!!

Refer to the poll on the left. :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Visiting Bethlehem

2 Sunday evenings ago, we surprised the boys with a trip to the Mast family farm for a live nativity experience. All around the pond on the property, it was set up like the city of Bethlehem, during the year the Lord was born. And numerous actors told the story in a way that made it seem so real to them. Everything was so well done - we just loved it, and hopefully we'll make this a tradition we keep every year.

We didn't tell the kids what we were doing until we parked and got on the bus to ride to Bethlehem. They were so excited!

I forgot to get my camera out again for awhile, so I don't have pictures of all of it. But when we arrived, a Roman soldier met us and took a group of us to "register" in the census. It was there that our guide Benjamin met us, and took us on our journey through Bethlehem.

We stopped to hear the rabbis read from the Torah the prophecies concerning the birth of the Messiah - that He would be born in Bethlehem! How incredible to think that God recorded so many prophecies about the coming Lord Jesus, and that there were ones who looked expectantly for His coming. What an amazing night that must have been, when He finally arrived!

Along our way, outside the city, we came across a group of shepherds, warming themselves by the fire. As we spoke with them, all of a sudden, angels appeared out of nowhere, proclaiming good news of the coming Babe!

We hurried on to Bethlehem. The city was a bustling marketplace.

The boys got to make dreidels - they loved this!

Finally we saw the star, above a stable. It was Mary, Joseph and Jesus! (But really, it was Chris, Candace and Conner!).

The wisemen - still looking for Him.

At the end of the journey, we passed 3 crosses and then an empty tomb. Joseph of Arimethea told us the story of how the Baby had come to die and to save His people from their sins. And he encouraged us to put our trust in Him if we hadn't already.

What a beautiful story! Thank you, Lord, that it is true!

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:14

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Oh, Christmas tree, Oh, Christmas tree...

We decorated the tree tonight. The boys have been impatient with anticipation, but we wanted to wait for an evening when we could all do it together. And it ended up being really special, so I'm glad we did. The boys are just in awe of everything Christmas - from their toy nativity set to the stockings hung with care - and it is so fun to see their wonder at the beauty of a Christmas tree.

We bought a real one this year, a fraser fir. I have to admit, it smells like Christmas now. But I think I have vacuumed every day since we got it. Ugh...give and take, I guess.

This little one inside is moving a lot these days - I am almost 18 weeks now. I saw my doctor this afternoon for a general visit, and he said I am measuring right on. So probably no twins, for those of you who have asked. :) I am just fat. Although technically the 5 pounds that the scale says I have gained shouldn't make me look so fat, but it is what it is, right? I guess we'll see if this pregnancy workout video delivers like it promises.


No puking today. I feel absolutely glorious, and at least a little hopeful that this is a good sign of things to come. My doctor just chuckled at me, and said that in his opinion, morning sickness itself is a good sign and it makes him very optimistic. Thanks, doc. Just what I wanted to hear. :)

My sono date is set for a week from Tuesday. I can hardly wait to take another peek at this little one!

Monday, November 24, 2008

In the Quiet Moments

The house is finally quiet. The boys have been asleep for an hour, and Dave is playing basketball. Here on the couch, underneath a warm blanket, I have almost forgotten how discouraged I felt several hours ago. My mind wants to be done with the bothersome parts of pregnancy, and
Dave and I at the MOPS hoedown this fall

to be able to just fully enjoy the coming of this little one. But apparently I have a different path to walk this time.

I usually don't feel like writing anything about this (I like to blog on the good days), but I was realizing today that by saying nothing, I am leaving out a big part of my life right now. And this blog is supposed to be my journal. I forget the purpose sometimes - in sharing only the "good", I am leaving out many of the moments where the Lord is actively teaching me something. Whether it's pretty or not, I really do want a way to remember the path the Lord is taking me down, whether it is the way I would have chosen or not. :)

Today I had to intentionally remind myself of this as I was bent over a grocery cart, contracting (probably just from dehydration) and trying to be a patient momma to my boys. The Lord has chosen this for me - morning sickness, contractions, boys who need lots of reining in, and all. Whether or not I would have chosen this kind of pregnancy, He is here. He is so very near to me. And He is working in my life. I am clinging to that today.

We've been studying the names of God in our Bible study, and today, Jehovah-jireh has been on my mind. God revealed Himself to Abraham in a unique way on Mount Moriah. Without questioning, without hesitation, Abraham willingly obeyed God at great cost to himself. He would be giving up his son, his hope for God's fulfilled promise. But despite the circumstances, he simply obeyed and looked ahead for the provision of God.

And He met Jehovah-jireh there. The God Who Will Provide, or literally, the God Who Will See to It.

Making Home, a blog I really appreciate, shared a portion of this My Utmost for His Highest devotion by Oswald Chambers on the life of Abraham yesterday:

God’s command is, "Take
now," not later. It is incredible how we debate! We know something is right, but we try to find excuses for not doing it immediately. If we are to climb to the height God reveals, it can never be done later— it must be done now...

"So Abraham rose early in the morning . . . and went to the place of which God had told him" ( Genesis 22:3 ). Oh, the wonderful simplicity of Abraham! When God spoke, he did not "confer with flesh and blood" ( Galatians 1:16 ). Beware when you want to "confer with flesh and blood" or even your own thoughts, insights, or understandings— anything that is not based on your personal relationship with God. These are all things that compete with and hinder obedience to God.

Abraham did not choose what the sacrifice would be. Always guard against self-chosen service for God. Self-sacrifice may be a disease that impairs your service. If God has made your cup sweet, drink it with grace; or even if He has made it bitter, drink it in communion with Him. If the providential will of God means a hard and difficult time for you, go through it. But never decide the place of your own martyrdom, as if to say, "I will only go to there, but no farther." God chose the test for Abraham, and Abraham neither delayed nor protested, but steadily obeyed.

I have been tempted to say, many times this past week, "I don't know if I can keep doing this. I don't know if I can survive this." Haha! Not that I have the choice or anything, but obviously, I like to complain. :) Seriously, if I were to choose my own "sacrifice for God" I
Jere and Reagan went with us - you can see my pregnancy belly at about 12 weeks here

know it
wouldn't include puking, exhaustion, and feeling generally useless! No, I'd rather serve Him with energy and passion - I can think of a million things I'd rather do "for Him." It's probably a good thing it's not my choice! :) But instead I can view these months as my path of obedience - not just in order to hold another sweet little one in my arms, but also because this is what He's asked of me. And because His way is always best - no matter what it looks like. And because I am getting to know my God in a more intimate way as we walk this path together. I am so thankful to be learning His names - I feel so safe with Him, knowing that He is watching and sees my every need.

"The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe." Proverbs 18:10

Friday, November 21, 2008

Crafty stuff

My creative sister sent me a package a little while ago. Can you spot what might have been in it?

It's a Nester Ragamuffin garland! Now, I know many of you will know just what I'm talking about, but Dave was clueless.

Now, why did she send you a string of rags, again?????

He just doesn't understand, but I love it! Does it look so cute?! I am enjoying it in my kitchen window. Thanks, Ruth!

Speaking of crafts, we did such a fun one yesterday at MOPS. One that I actually came home and wanted to use in my home - and that is saying something. :) I got the idea from my sister (isn't she amazing?!). It's just a painted wooden letter, and we used scrapbooking rub-ons to decorate them.

I came home and immediately hung mine in the bathroom. I love it!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Been raking?

We started raking leaves today. This is what happens when you buy a house with 50 million trees - you spend all fall cleaning up the mess. It was gorgeous weather today though, so we didn't really mind that much.

The boys couldn't believe their luck...

Every time I try to take a picture of Si, he is covered in grime. We don't call him Slimy for nothin'.

The neighbor girls couldn't resist either.

I know this one is blurry, but I love Ethan's expression. Pure joy!

Then Dave had to try!

Finally, I captured some good shots...

I think Dave collected 17 bags of leaves, and we only did the front yard. There's more to come though - the trees aren't bare yet, so I'm sure we'll be doing the same thing next weekend. :)

But the sunset was gorgeous tonight!

Monday, November 10, 2008


My superheros - Mr. Incredible (yes, he looks more like Dash!) and Batman. Oh, we searched and searched for these costumes - they are quite sure that being a superhero is a real job. They are always running through the house, saving the world.

I just can't believe how big they look recently!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Reading together

Overheard on my bed this morning:

"Simon, I am going to read you a story from my Bible. It's the one about God and the man that pushed each other. It's a good one...."

"...oh, and here's the one about the Lord Jesus. Don't laugh at Him. He is God."

Lest you think they are too spiritually minded, the reading quickly turned into a wrestling match. Gotta go!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

2 (and a half)

You are 2 and a half now, as you tell everyone you meet, and you are really growing up. Every day you make us laugh - just by your seriousness about everything. When we ask you why you are doing something, your favorite reply is, "Just because." I think you must have heard that somewhere a time or two.

You are still obsessed with all things Cars Movie and related. You sit for long periods of time and line up cars in a row, most of which are different versions of Lightning McQueen that your push-over mom is guilty of buying you. But oh the delight on your face! I can't resist it. Will you be an engineer someday like your daddy, with all this methodical play? I wonder as I watch you.

You are also a copy cat. Yes, you want to do everything Ethan does, and right behind him. You two are rarely apart. What will you do next year when he goes to kindergarten? I am thinking you won't know what to do with yourself - good thing another little playmate is coming.

You came in a little while ago and asked for a wink (even though you know how to say "drink," you always still call it that).

I love you, sweet boy.


So how far along does my baby ticker say that I am? It reads correctly for me (and my sister) - 11 weeks, 3 days - but not for everyone! So I'm curious. Is it an isolated event with her computer, or do I need to redo the code? Let me know!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Simon says

After a scuffle in the living room, Ethan approached me, crying. Simon, it seems, hit him on the head in frustration over a toy they both wanted. I disciplined Simon and told him to use his words next time he was frustrated - or to ask me for help.

A minute later, Simon walks in again and lays his head on my arm, "Mom, can you help me hit Ethan on the head?"

Good try, little boy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mundane moments

Things have been looking up. My doctor prescribed an antihistamine and B6 combo for me that has really helped curb the evening sickies - so thankful for that. I honestly feel like relief is just around the corner anyway (I'm 11ish weeks), but I sure didn't feel that way this weekend. So I am giving pharmaceuticals a try. My hubby is glad - very glad. :)

With all this time in bed (or on the couch) I've made lots of headway on the stack of books in my bedside table. At least enough that I feel sufficiently guilty for everything I'm not doing right now. I feel like I'm mostly just surviving the days - not making best use of every teachable moment with these kiddos. Can't wait for this first trimester to be over! :)

One book in particular has been so encouraging though. The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson. It is about following Christ's example in reaching the hearts of our children. There is so much to process in that book - I know I'll have to reread it - and much of it applies to older children than I currently have. But a particular chapter really spoke to my heart yesterday. Sally was telling a story about one of her older children who was having trouble with impatience and outbursts at younger siblings on a certain day. In private she gently counseled the child,

"I have been so encouraged by your growth in the Lord. It is so exciting to see your passion for Him and the way you long for Him to use you. I know He will do something special in and through you in His own time. But it is so easy to get excited about the big things and then allow yourself to blow it in all the mundane moments of life. If you give yourself license to get angry and frustrated every time you feel you can justify it, then you risk sacrificing your testimony as you grow older..."

That is so good, isn't it???

The child humbly agreed that it was wrong to be so impatient, and admitted how much he desired to control himself. But he couldn't figure out how. And so she took him to Galatians 5:16, the secret really, to the Christian life.

"Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh."

That's the secret then - to learn to yield my life and my emotions and my actions moment by moment to Him. Because it really is my human tendancy to let things irritate me, to grow impatient, whether its with my children, or just the frustrations of life in general (accompanied by constant nausea! not an excuse - I'm just saying!).

I have good intentions with this whole mothering thing. I want to do an excellent job with what God has for me here on earth, but I have a wee little tendancy towards blowing it on the mundane moments. Lord, I need Your Spirit to give me strength to reflect Your supernatural responses to life's crazy demands! What a good reminder that was today.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Thanks for all the prayers - I have had some really good days (by new standards, anyway) but there have been some not so good ones mixed in there too. Currently I'm on the couch, trying to hold down my dinner. Aren't you glad you know that?

Here's what's been going on in our world:
  • Friday I had my first experience watching someone else clean my house for me. It was surprisingly easy to handle, and I did not feel the least bit of guilt as I sat and watched my boys play outside while she scrubbed the floors. Reveals a little of how I'm feeling these days, that's for sure. It was the most wonderful thing to have a totally clean house - all at one time. It's been awhile. I'm not sure who enjoyed it more - Dave or me - he's been pretty shocked at the state of things around here.

  • Friday evening my parents came into town for the weekend. Ethan played his last soccer game on Saturday morning, and they wanted to be here for that. After the game, Aunt Kim took the kids to a parade, and we had a late breakfast out with Mom and Dad. Then we watched OU lose - there were a few sad people around here....

  • We spent the afternoon watching Dad pitch to the boys in the backyard and talking about the economy. Then we headed back to the church where soccer is held for the awards ceremony and dinner. And then comes the fun part....

  • Let me back up. About a week ago, I was sitting out in the garage watching the boys ride their bikes in the driveway. I happened to lift up a box in the corner of the garage (it just looked odd, the way it was positioned...believe me, I wasn't snooping around!) and I stumbled upon a bag of party supplies...with a "Look who's 30!!" banner among other things, streamers, plates, cups, etc... I immediately hid it again, but the damage was done. I wasn't anticipating a party before that, but I decided to keep it a secret, and let Dave have his fun. :)

  • So when we got home from the awards ceremony, I walked into my basement filled with over 50 of my dear friends and family. Sorry to disappoint you all that I wasn't more surprised. :) Great job on everything - it was a wonderful time, regardless!

  • And Dad made a video of my life so far. It was so sweet - I have definitely lived a blessed life.

  • Monday I had my first OB appointment. I had forgotten how long those go, or I never would have attempted to bring the boys along. Two words - pap smear. Okay, now you know what an idiot I am! :) And then no one could find the baby's heartbeat by Doppler, after 10 minutes of trying...and my kids are asking, "Why can't they hear it, Mommy?" over, and over, and over again. Good times. Finally the nurse practitioner snagged another doctor in the office to do a quick sono, to make sure everything's okay. At this point, I am unsure how I will explain to my children why there isn't a heartbeat. Why, oh why, did I bring them again???? Ethan is waaaay too aware of what is going on.

  • Anyway, the sono showed our darling little one, moving all over, bringing its fist to its mouth. Heart rate was 150. It's a boy again - I just know it!

I felt the Lord's presence with me in that sono room - so unsure of what I was going to see on that screen. But the boys' Sunday School verse came to mind,

"Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You."
Psalm 56:3

I know with a certainty that this little one is held in our Heavenly Father's hands. He is Elohim, the Creator of our child. He is El Elyon, the Most High God. Nothing touches this child without His consent. And He is El Roi, the God who sees every detail of its life, even the things to come. The name of the Lord truly is a strong tower that we can run to and be safe! Safe from the burden of worrying about the unknown. Safe from the "what-if's" that surround us. Safe from the need to know the future. It is all in His hands. I think I will choose to trust in the name of my God!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


The season is changing around here. Leaves cover our entire backyard, and it is only the beginning of October. Today it was in the mid 60's - just perfect for playing at the park with friends after a trip to the library. I love this time of year!

We are especially enjoying it this week, because it seems like we missed the whole month of September somehow. Maybe you can tell that from my blog. :( I spent a lot of the month lying down, just trying to keep my food down.

Yep! We are expecting!

The boys have done so well - and have not seemed to mind too much that they have a sick momma. They let me sleep in most days, they play together in their rooms without much supervision, they don't seem to mind how much tv they've had to consume. :) It just makes me so glad they have each other. Ethan told me the other day that he was so glad God gave him Simon as his brother, because he would be so bored without him. And I know it's true. They wake up delighted to see each other, and even when they fight, they never stay mad for very long. I am loving how close they are.

We didn't get out too much in September, so October feels fresh, new and many places to go, so many things to see. And I'm hoping this new-found energy I have will stick around. Because it's only been a couple days now that I've been feeling better.... and I'm not yet out of my first trimester. So you never can tell. But still, I am thankful for these last few days where I've felt semi-normal again. Cooking, attempting to clean, showering... :). Ah yes, as you can imagine, Dave is pretty excited too!

But Dave and I are just so thankful for this new life inside of me! What a blessing to already have such wonderful children, and to be entrusted with another precious one. Through the last year or so, the Lord has taught us so much of what it means to trust Him with our children - those we have, and those we don't - and I'm sure there are many more lessons to come in the years ahead. But through all of it, what stands out the most to us is how much more the Lord cares for our children than we even do. He is orchestrating their lives in such a way to lead them to Himself, from conception's first moment until they breathe their last breath. He has planned their days, and by His grace, He has chosen us to be the ones to lead them along!

"Your eyes saw my unformed substance,
in Your book were written,
every one of them, the days that were formed for me
when as yet there was none of them."
Psalm 139:16

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Saturday update

I love, love, love this. Having kids old enough for sports. This is worth getting up early on Saturday mornings! Ethan is enjoying soccer so much this year...and really improving too! He scored 2 goals today!

Poor Simon is dying to play too, and honestly, he is almost as good as Ethan (maybe better). I don't think they have 2 year old leagues, but he wishes....

Dave let him sit on the bench for part of the game today. :)

I haven't posted much since our trip, but things are good. We're trying to do school a few times a week (I'm trying, Ethan is begging :), and so far, so good. Ethan is reading the first level Bob Books pretty well. There are a few books with 6 and 7 word sentences, and he always worries that they are too long for him to read...but he can sound them out every time. I am just LOVING that he is learning to read and is so excited about it!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

San Diego - Day 7

Friday morning we breakfasted at The Cottage (thanks, Joanna! you were not kidding!) a fun breakfast place in La Jolla. I had the special, Mediterranean scrambled eggs with goat cheese, sun dried tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, and fresh basil, cottage potatoes, and an english muffin with jam. Oh, and fresh-squeezed orange juice. Oh. my. goodness. I would KILL for another plate right now! It was sooooo good.

The zoo was next.

The animals at the San Diego Zoo have quite the hook-up! Lots of beautiful scenery.

Bears have the life!

Time for a snack.

Stare-down with a zebra.

The Panda was shy - and very sensitive to noise.


Polar bear behind glass.

Sweaty mess, ornery as all get out... but those eyes! I cannot resist them.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

What a difference a season makes...

Dave and Chris are coaching Ethan's soccer team this fall. It was fun to see how much he's improved over the summer.