Monday, December 10, 2007

Welcome Home, Justin!

Just over a week ago we had the pleasure of welcoming home a good friend that had been deployed in Afghanistan for the last 6 months. We were all very excited about your return, J, and we give thanks to God for preserving you through this time. It's good to have you back!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Eliana's First Ballet

Eliana and I attended a performance of The Nutcracker ballet last weekend. It was Eliana's first time attending any such kind of performance. I was rather nervous as to how she would behave and if she would even enjoy it, especially since she scares easily. I was fearful that the Rat King's entrance in the first act would mark the end for us, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Leading up to the performance Eliana was very excited, and I did my best to prepare her. She watched the beginning of the ballet with wonder and excitment. I said another prayer when the Rat King entered, but Eliana just watched with amazement. We whispered a little back and forth about the events taking place on stage, and I could tell that she was really caught up with it.

During intermission, she insisted several times that we return to our seats, so as not to miss a second of the ballet. When the second act began, Eliana started to look for the Nutcracker and the Rat King. Though the Nutcracker was sitting, I explained to her that the Rat King was gone and would not return, but this was obviously a great disappointment to her! She would say, "Well...he will come out in a minute." This happened many times throughout the second act. Thankfully, she seemed to enjoy many of the other dances, even though they failed to include a giant, terrorizing rat being put in his place.

I am so ecstatic to have been able to successfully share this with my young daughter. A week later, the Rat King still seems to have had the biggest lasting impact. I'm just so glad it was a positive one! Events like this remind me of similar outings with my mother. I love getting to pass this on and make new special memories with my daughter.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Our Elf Family

I know lots of these have been flying around lately, but here's our family's elfamorphosis:

I had way too much fun using unbecoming pictures of Chris (and even one of Evangeline crying). "Angry Elf" really took the cake though, and is featured in the above clip, so enjoy!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Blogger Superlatives

For a "regular" blog poster, I realize that I am pretty irregular. While I have managed at least one post per calendar month since my blogging debut, that's about the only thing you can truly count on from me (though I do aim for more). Will I post again tomorrow or a month from now? You just never know! I realize this may irritate what few readers I have, but I am a tired and busy pregnant mama. I make no apologies. Instead, I'm going to give myself an award!

Most Sporadic Blog Postings

So, which award should you or your blog receive? Don't be shy!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Driving Lessons

We have a new driver in our family--a backseat driver. While Eliana has long desired the freedom to actually drive our vehicles, she now seems to believe that she is ready to take the written driving test.

She figured out that red lights mean "stop" and green lights mean "go" all by herself. Approaching a yellow light one time, I began to slow down and stop. Eliana then announced that yellow means "stop" too. Far be it for me to ever run a yellow light again.

I am scolded every time for legally turning right on red. I am told to "go" as soon as a light turns green, even if there are cars still sitting in front of me. Eliana is currently learning about turn arrows, but I still frequently get a, "Go, Mom!" when a light is green (without an arrow) and there are three lanes of congested traffic to cross. I try to use such instances as opportunities to show that we still have to give others a turn and that it is more important to be safe and courteous than to exercise every right.

Wherever we drive now, she is constantly on the lookout for opportunities to make us better drivers. In reality, she is learning a lot about traffic rules, and I have found that to be a great platform for teaching her other important lessons. It also serves to keep me on my toes, such as the times when I am asked, "Mommy, are you going fast?"

"That's relative," I tell her.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Reformation Day!

Today marks the 490th anniversary of the day Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg, thus starting the Protestant Reformation. Today we celebrate the preservation of these truths:

Sola Scriptura! Scripture alone is the inspired, infallible, authoritative Word of God.
Solus Christus! By Christ's work alone are we saved.
Sola Gratia! Salvation is by grace alone.
Sola Fide! Justification is by faith alone.
Soli Deo Gloria! To God alone be the glory.

Monday, October 22, 2007

IT'S A...


We recently learned that we are blessed to again be expecting another little girl. Chris, Eliana and I all expected it, but it's still weird to actually know. Now we're really going to be put under pressure to decide on a name! Eliana's been asking for weeks, "What is her name?" and we would tell her that we couldn't name the baby until we knew whether it was a boy or a girl. She would always respond, "Mom, it's a girl!" When we told Eliana that she was right she looked at us like, "What? You guys didn't know?" Honestly though, she has a good track record for these things. I really should start charging for her services.

So...three girls. Wow. God has not only hand-picked her for our family, He has handmade her. I had ultrasounds with my other two girls, but it never ceases to amaze me to see a unique individual with fingers and toes moving inside me. I can hardly believe that the Lord has so graciously blessed our family with this new, precious daughter. Please join us in praying for her (and for us!).

Sunday, October 07, 2007

In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.

Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2001 Kingsway Thankyou Music

Saturday, October 06, 2007

A Must-Have for Minivans

Just wanted to let any fellow minivan drivers out there know about this SafeView Back-Up Lens I got from One Step Ahead. It makes me feel so much safer backing up in my big, long vehicle since it gives me such a wider view of my rear blind spot. I have ordered quite a few neat baby products from this site and have been very pleased.

That's all for now. Just wanted to share!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

We Have a Heartbeat!

I had my first prenatal visit with my new midwife on Tuesday. We had a good visit, and I'm pleased with our decision to hire her. We all went as a family, so together we got to hear the heartbeat for the first time. We didn't get to hear very much, though, because the baby kept moving. And I was really hoping this kid would be mellow... :)

Monday, September 24, 2007

More Big News

A few of you may understand the significance of the above pictures. For those of you who don't, allow me to joyfully explain:

I was beginning to think I may not live to see this day. This is Eliana's first time experiencing dippin' dots ice cream. Why is this such a big deal? Because it has been a promised reward for the past many months of successfully using the potty. That's right. My 3-year-4-month-old finally potty-trained a week and a half ago. PRAISE THE LORD!

For those of you who don't have children, have only a very small child, or have had ridiculously-easy trainees you may not understand what a HUGE deal it is to expereince the pure elation of putting away the diapers after nearly two years of repeated completely unsuccessful attempts. Let me just say, it is beautiful--so beautiful, in fact, that I feel as excited as my 3-year-old to tell the whole world about it.

We're still working on the modesty aspect, so it's probably best not to mention her new panties to her. You're likely to get more than you bargained for. Perhaps we should contact Fruit of the Loom and tell them we have a new model for them.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

God is Good

We are now 12 weeks into our wait for the new bundle of joy God has so graciously given us. We had been hoping and praying that God would bless us with another child in His timing and in His way. Due to my low progesterone levels we thought it would probably be a while longer, but we were pleasantly surprised to get this back in July:

We were supposed to send in our application for a New Mexico adoption on the day we found out God had other plans for us (for now anyway).

Surprisingly, April 2 doesn't really seem that far away. There is so much happening between now and then and with two other littles growing up quickly that I really believe the time is going to fly by on this one.

We are so thankful for this new life and for God's grace and mercy in sustaining this pregnancy to this point. My progesterone is being supplemented and seems to be just fine. Thanks to everyone who has given us hearty congratulations. Please keep us in your prayers.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A New Family Portrait

Memory card: $20
Digital camera: $400
Knowing there are actually five people in this picture: PRICELESS

Friday, September 14, 2007

Lessons From Sunday School

The other day, Eliana and I were discussing what she had learned in Sunday School this week. I could see from her take-home handout that she had learned about Peter's denial of Christ. She was eager to tell me the story herself, though. Here's how it went:

"Peter heard a rooster crow and that made him very, very sad. The rooster said he did not know Jesus."

I then attempted to correct this by saying that it was Peter who denied Jesus. She quickly picked up again:

"Yeah. And the rooster said, '"I forgive you, Peter.'"

Again I downplayed the rooster's role by telling her that it was Jesus who forgave Peter.

"Mom, let me tell you a cock crow story!"

At first I thought she had said, "a cockroach story," but then I realized that she was actually saying, "a cock grow story." To further illustrate her point, she motioned the rooster's growth with arms stretching far apart and then went back to her story:

"And the rooster growed REAL BIG and then he made a noise and that made Peter very, very sad and he cried."

I then asked her why that had made Peter so sad. After confirming that she had no clue other than that the noise itself was quite disturbing to Peter I went on to explain that the crowing was a reminder to Peter of what Jesus had said and of how Peter had sinned. I tried talking to her about how Peter loved Jesus and that's why the sin upset him so much. But she wasn't about to let me take over the story:

"So then Jesus said, 'Follow me, and I will show you something cool!'"

I just laughed and gave her a hug. While her comprehension of the story leaves something to be desired, it warms my heart to see the eagerness with which she longs to tell it and to hear the excitement and drama pouring out of every word. And, after all, she did manage to retain some grasp of Peter's sin and repentence, someone's forgiveness, the rewards of following Jesus, and, don't forget, a very large and disturbing rooster.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Like Sister, Like Sister

We have a new shark lover in the family. Here are some pictures from our most recent trip to the aquarium (nearly two months ago--better late than never, right?).


Too cute.

Remember this picture?...

Still loves sharks.

Just like big sister.

Evangeline's shark face.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What Timing!

God's timing can be really mysterious and perplexing. Sometimes His timing of a certain event leads us to praise Him and marvel at His goodness. Other times we are left wondering, "Why, oh, why now?" It can seem especially difficult to see what God is up to when it hurts. Even behind the things I look at and say, "C'mon! I mean, really?! Now?!" I can trust that He is sovereign and has amazing purpose, but that doesn't mean that coping with those difficulties is smooth sailing. Still, what a comfort it is to rest in the knowledge of His goodness...and in His perfect timing.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Vaca Pics Recovered!

I big thank you goes out to TJ's Photo Center, who successfully recovered ALL of our vacation pictures off of our reformatted memory card! I am so happy to have the memories of our wonderful trip preserved so well now. I know it's been quite a few weeks since our San Diego adventure, but I'd still like to share with you what a suberb time we had. I hope you enjoy!

Visiting Joey
You can tell he doesn't quite know what to think of our spirited girls! Eliana kept wanting to "baby" him, and Evangeline kept playing with all of his toys.

Eliana signing "whale" just outside the "Dine with Shamu" venue.

Evangeline really loved watching the whales. She was determined to let her presence be known amongst them.

Eliana's up-close and personal encounter with a killer whale.

Having a blast at Shamu's show

We all loved petting and feeding the dolphins!

A dream come true: Eliana gets to hold a real starfish.

Of course we had to see the sharks, too!

Chris runs a marathon
This man just ran 26.2 miles. He's my hero. :)

The girls were very proud of Daddy as well.

The Beach
The girls and I were all seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time.

Evangeline was a big fan of the ocean. She was sure to let it know she was there.

San Diego Zoo
Eliana was eager, as always, to see the elephants.

As promised (Justin!), Chris made his camel face for the camera.

I'm not sure which made a bigger hit, this statue or the real hippopotamus.

Me, feeling like an elephant carrying two tired little girls