Archive for 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Addie's at 10pds

Thanks, everyone, for your comments, emails, and phone calls. I feel like I have some more ideas to try to with the little lady now thanks to your help. Thank you for caring!!!!

We took Addie to the dr. today. She still has thrush and I'm curious if that could potentially be leading to her sleeplessness. I know that the Nystatin has sugar in it and I suppose it's possible that it could be hyping her up. I'm sure she's at least uncomfortable which could be leading to the fussiness. Anyway, I'm hoping that after this next round of antibiotics and probiotics we'll be done with the thrush. Also, she is now over 10 pounds! It's so good to know that she's growing.

Last week Tali had a fever. Owen started his fever on Saturday night and is still fighting it (102). I had him checked this morning and his ears are clear so far. Hoping that our kids are better by Christmas!

There's the update for ya. It's Family Day around here so I'm off...

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Someone Please Read this and Help

If you have ANY thoughts or suggestions for how I can help my daughter sleep, please comment or email me. I'm desperate.

Here's what she does...this is just one day for an example:

8am: nursed

8:40: swaddled, sang to her, lights off, fan on, put in bassinet

8:40-10: occasionally cried for no more than 5 minutes at a time and then stopped, each time I checked on her she was laying in her bed looking around...never slept

10am: Started screaming hysterically...I decided to just get her up since it had been over an hour. She was rooting around so I nursed her.

10:40am: swaddled, sang to her, lights off, fan on, put in bassinet...she started crying immediately

11:15am: had been crying off and on, eventually I went to get her because she was STILL awake

11:15-12: tried to rock her & other tactics...she would fall asleep for maybe 3 minutes at a time then wake up for a long period

12: nursed her again since she was wide awake and started screaming for food

1: she's still awake

Seriously, people. This isn't normal. Is there something I'm missing? She won't fall asleep. Oh, and I'm pretty sure that she's not in pain. She doesn't cry herself to sleep, won't be rocked to sleep, and isn't even really unhappy just WIDE awake/overtired. She's a fairly calm baby at this point aside from the fact that she won't fall asleep. Thank the Lord, she will sleep for a stretch at night (about 3-4 hours) before wanting to eat again every 2-2.5 hours. If you have any ideas for me, please email me or comment. I really am at a loss as to what to do here. Thanks.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Addie's First 3 Weeks in Photos

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Update on Life

I can't post pictures because the camera cord is no where to be found at the moment. Sorry.

In case you're out there wondering how things are going around here, I would like to post this morning update:

Addie was awake today from 7:30am until 11:15am. Some of that time she spent crying. Twice in that span, she ate. This is pretty typical for a day around here except that she generally screams much more than she did this morning. She doesn't sleep much regardless of my efforts. Letting her cry, trying the swing, holding her, singing, whatever for however long really doesn't matter. She is just hyperstimulated overtired and can't seem to get to sleep. It is frustrating because I have 2 other kids to be with and can't spend 4 hours trying to get her to sleep.

From lessons I learned w/the older 2, I am confident that things will eventually get better. Tali & Owen were never awesome sleepers during the day either. My mom says it's because our kids are too smart and they lay around thinking so much that they can't sleep. I suppose that's supposed to be encouraging. But seriously, it is tempting not to get exhausted by attempting to help a newborn sleep.

Tali's got a fever today- 101. It's not her crazy weird fevers. The Lord's healed her from those. I'm not sure what this one's about but so far it's not been bad.

Owen is stuttering up a storm. He's been thrown off a bit by all the transition and it's really coming out in his speech. We're praying for him to adjust quickly and that his speech will go back to normal soon.

That's the update around here. I'd love prayers that God would give me wisdom for how to help Addie sleep. Also, that I would joyfully and patiently care for my other kids amidst all the screaming from the baby and the exhaustion from little sleep. I know it's possible to be in this season with JOY because joy is found in Christ alone and not in circumstances. Still, I'd love prayer that I would rejoice. Thanks.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Life with a Newborn

Our photographer friend, Brandon, took some awesome shots of Addie when she was 3 days old (the photo above is just one example). He did an incredible job and we are so grateful! You can check out the photos at:
(It might take a little while to load.)

So our little girlie isn't quite 2 weeks old yet and still it seems that time is flying by. Maybe it's the fog of interrupted sleep or the lack of routine or the increased pace all day and night. I don't know. Time takes on a weird dimension when you're caring for a newborn.

Some highlights:

  • The other night I was taking care of Addie Beth and heard Tali exclaim from her bedroom, "God ansuhd my pray-er!" Then there was silence. Pretty soon I heard her shout again, "LuLu stopped crying!!!!!"
  • Whenever someone comes over that hasn't met our newest family member, Owen will point to her and tell the guest, "That's my sistuh."
  • Addie's currently going through a little growth spurt and is eating about every 1.5-2 hours. It is wearing me out. She's also really picked up the crying and it seems that food it about the only thing that will chill her out at this point. Again, it's wearing me out. Josh just reminded me tonight, "We only get to do this so many times. Because of the one who's doing the crying, even the crying can be something to thank God for." Good thoughts. She won't be a screaming infant forever.
  • We have had so much help from my mom. I'm really not sure how anyone does this without help.
  • So we're doing well, though tired and praying that her excessive crying calms down soon. She is still far from out-crying her brother at this age, and for that we're grateful!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Grateful for Adelaide Elizabeth

Thank you, everyone, for your prayers! We are so grateful for friends and family who love us and our new little girl.

Addie is doing well and it's hard to believe that she is actually here and the nine months of waiting are over. She is a beautiful and calm baby and snuggly sweet. Unlike our other two, she actually sleeps after she eats and so we're feeling a bit more rested than we probably were w/Tali or Owen. And still the exhaustion has set in like a heavy fog. Wow. It can be oppressive! I'm so grateful for my loving husband who is serving so whole-heartedly and for my parents who are helping in so many ways. Can't imagine attempting it alone.

Addie looks a ton like Tali did at her age. It really takes me back and also reminds me how fleeting this season is. Before we know it, she'll be our big three year old instead of our little 3 day old. Lord, help us to savor the season.

Tali and Owen are loving having a new sibling. They are both so excited about touching her, talking to her, asking about her, singing about her, etc. Tonight Owen came upstairs where I was with Addie and said, "I tink I wan my liddle sistuh to come downtairs wit me." Very sweet. I also heard him singing a little song he made up at dinner, "Addie Beff, Addie Beff, Addie Beff!" We are so blessed.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Introducing Our Little Girl

Meet Adelaide Elizabeth, a.k.a. Addie Beth, Addie Lulu, or just Addie.

Who do you think she looks like?

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Introducing Adelaide Elizabeth, aka Addie Beth, Addie lulu, or just Addie.

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No name yet. Give us a little more time...

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8lbs 12oz. Baby girl and Mommy are doing well. Praising God for this amazing gift. Pictures on blog soon!

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Babygirl was just born healthy. More info to come.

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Epidural's in. I'm a little over half way w/irregular contractions so they might start Pitocin. This has been an awesome labor so far!

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Labor is stalled, and a busy day at the hosp., but an evening delivery still looks likely for us.

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And We're in Labor!!!!!!!!!

Castor oil did the trick! We're at the hospital and labor's started...4cm. Still waiting for the nurse to start my IV and antibiotics for Group B Strep. After that happens, then my midwife will break my water. Can't wait to meet Baby Girl!

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Still waiting...

...but I'll let you know right here as soon as there is any news!

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Due Date Schmoodate

And so here I am on the day of Baby #3's due date, waiting, waiting, waiting. Due dates are a tough thing, especially when you're a person who goes past them. Because then there's that nasty word-OVERDUE that comes into play and non-stress tests and inductions and pitocin and blah, blah, blah. But it's so good to know that God is never late in His plans and He never makes a mistake. His plan is always perfect and always good. So we're clinging to that truth and looking forward to seeing Him bring about His perfect plans for this baby's birth.

"This God-His way is perfect..." Psalm 18:30

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

No, I Haven't Had the Baby Yet

I am quite inspired by the happy rumor circulating that I've had the baby. Considering that both of our babies have been "late" so far, I find it especially encouraging that anyone would think it possible for me to go over a week early. Thank you, friends! I'm grateful for the moral support. We'll try and post an update as soon as we can when I actually have had the baby.

Onto other news, here's a short clip of our current baby singing one of his favorite tunes and a little info from him about what all the ladybugs around here are up to. (Are we the only house that's been swarmed with those nasty asian beetles?)

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Happy Birthday, Tali!

Today our sweet girl turned THREE! How the time has flown by...

Here's a run-down of the day so that I can remember it for the future (and this probably won't be that facinating for most of ya so feel free to skip this post):

Around 7:15am this morning we heard Tali in her room singing repeatedly, "I'm three years old today!" Josh and I got Owey up and went in her room all together singing, "Happy Birthday." We gave Tali a balloon and a gift to start her day (a new book). She was all smiles.

Her birthday breakfast consisted of a smoothie made from Daddy and an english muffin w/peanut butter.

Then, our friend Karen came over and opened gifts with us. (Karen serves our family by coming over once a week to help me out however is, cleaning, watching the kids, folding clothes, etc. Such a blessing!) Tali opened some sweet gifts from Karen and then opened the special presents that Pops & Grammy & GG had sent from California. They were a huge hit!

She spent the morning enjoying her gifts and trying hard to share them with Owen. :)

Birthday lunch was Mac N Cheese (per her request). At the end of lunch she got a phone call from Aunt Amy and talked her ear off, especially about decorating the house with purple balloons.

Both kids were super wound up and couldn't fall asleep for naps. Eventually Owen did but Tali just sat in her bed singing songs at the top of her lungs. My favorite part was when she belted out a verse from the "To Be Like Jesus" cd. ("Presents and birthdays-Jesus is better! Forever and always-Jesus is better! Better than anything you could imagine. Jesus is better than all!") Super sweet that she was singing that today of all days.

More birthday phone calls from Pops, Grammy, and GG kept her happily entertained for the afternoon.

Papa & Grandma came and helped decorate some more and brought birthday gifts. She loved playing with them and was especially glad that Papa made it back from work in time for her party.

Our dear friends, the Kruegers, came over to party and the kids played and played. We had a little #3 treasure hunt and they did some interesting 3 year-old attempts at "hide and seek." Pasta for dinner and cupcakes & ice cream for dessert. Tali definitely loved having her friends there to celebrate.

Before bed, Tali opened her final gift: a dollhouse. She said, "Oh, I've always wanted a dollhouse! I have been wanting one for a long, long, time and now I have one on my birthday!" I think she was beside herself with joy. "Owey, you've got to be very very careful. This is my very special birthday dollhouse and I don't want it to break because I love it, Owey."

Happy birthday to our sweet 3 year old. She is such a gift of joy to our lives each and every day.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Praise God for a New Lens

I love how God works all things together for good even when we don't see it at the time. Our camera lens broke recently-not cool at all. I kept telling Josh, "I CANNOT go into labor until our camera is fixed!" :) We've been wanting a better lens for low-light settings anyway and this seemed like the perfect time to look into it. Thank you, Lord, for providing us with this awesome new lens! (Bring on the labor & delivery!) I can't wait to take pictures of our new girlie with it. These are some samples of pics taken with our new lens.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Being a Mom Means Sacrifice

God has been so kind to show me lately that I haven't really surrendered with joy to this call that's He's placed on my life as a mom. I want to stay at home with my kids, instruct and train them for His glory, love them and enjoy them, but without the "hard stuff." I want it to be easy and all fun and not such a death to my own perceived "rights." When it's hard, I look for some way to make it easier. I can fight within my heart saying, "This is NOT how it's supposed to be! Being a mom is not supposed to require so much sacrifice from me. Shouldn't it be less tiring than this?" In other words, I haven't quite surrendered to God's plan of conforming me more to the image of Christ who came not to serve but to be served and to give his life as a ransom for many.

I'm praying that the Lord will help me to seize the joy of honoring Him by living for His glory, not for my own momentary ease. And I'm especially praying that He'll give me grace to do that when it's just plain hard. A couple of quotes from Carolyn Mahaney's "Feminine Appeal" have been helping me this week as I seek to lay down my own life for God's plan for me as a mom:

"In the career of motherhood there are no weekends off, no paid vacations, no bonuses or yearly raises, and no quitting time. It is just day0in and day-out giving. There are times when we feel we do not have another ounce of energy left to offer. What we wouldn't do to curl up on the sofa with a good book, enjoy a long, leisurely bubble bath, or simply take a nap. Yet multiple needs still require our attention.

I am convinced that no profession requires harder work or greater sacrifice than motherhood.

Because mothering requires constant sacrifice, the temptations to resentment, complaining, and self-pity are always close at hand. But such selfishness will quickly sap the strength of our love for our children."

It's not easy to die to myself but it's worth it to please God in my parenting.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Is There Really A Point to This Hard Stuff?

If you know me much, you already know that I really bow down to that favorite idol of mine, "love of ease." Of all the idols to have, this one is just flat out stupid given that I have two little children who need quite a bit of attention. The "easy life" isn't one that parents who are actively seeking to care for their kids are going to have. Still, I want it and my battle each day is to submit to God's plan to conform me more into the image of His Son through little deaths to self. I read the following in Milton Vincent's "A Gospel Primer for Christians" today and felt like God was personally speaking to me. Maybe it will be an encouragement to you as well:

"God is committed to my dying every day, and He calls me to that same commitment. (Luke 9:23) He insists that every hour be my dying hour, and He wants my death on the cross to be as central to my own life story as Christ's death to the gospel story.

Crucifixion hurts. In fact, its heart-wrenching brutality can numb the senses. It is a gasping and bloody affair, and there is nothing nice, pretty, or easy about it. It is not merely death, but excruciating death.

I should expect every day to encounter circumstantial evidence of God's commitment to my dying; and I must seize upon every God-given opportunity to be conformed more fully to Christ's death, no matter the pain involved."

Lord, help me seize upon every moment You give me today to be more conformed to Your own life, saying, 'Not my will, but Yours be done.'

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fall Fun

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Friday, October 9, 2009

34 Weeks

Today I am officially 34 weeks along...and even though that is a lot farther than back when I was 5 weeks or 12 weeks or 20 weeks, it still seems like it's going to be forever before little girlie is born.

Here's what I know about 34 weeks:

1) It is a gift to have made it this far with a healthy, living, active little baby inside.

2) It is still fun to feel her move, especially when Tali puts her hand on my (large) belly and feels the kick too.

3) Enjoying my two two-and-unders isn't easy when getting up and down takes so much effort.

4) Each moment with the "big kids" is more precious because I know that soon my time will be divided between 3.

5) Sleeping is sort of a thing of the past for a least sleeping in long intervals! I'm up constantly to go to the bathroom, or up just because my body aches too much to lay down.

6) The being pregnant part of having a baby isn't so fun at this point and I am praying for grace not to complain but to be grateful.

7) Deciding on a name isn't so easy. Deciding on the spelling is apparently even harder.

8) 34 weeks is a good place to be because it's the place that God has sovereignly and lovingly placed me, despite all of the physical pains and the exhaustion.

9) It might be a long, long time until I'm 34 weeks again...or maybe even never; only God knows. I want to enjoy this very temporary season.

10) Each day closer to 35 weeks brings me closer to 36 weeks which brings me closer and closer and closer to seeing our sweet little girl face to face. Can't wait!

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Early Morning Thoughts From Owey

This morning I heard Owen calling from his room, "I wanna seep on Mommy's pih-low. I wanna seep on Mommy's pih-low." Knowing that we'll have a newborn soon makes me want to savor the moments with my little "almost 2 year old" baby all the more. So I brought him in.

He quietly sucked his thumb for a while, then glanced over to Josh sleeping beside him and whispered, "Can I look at him?"

"Sure, buddy, you can look at him," I laughed.

Owen began softly touching Josh's beard and quietly whispered, "Oh! Daddy ih bue-duh-ful. Daddy so bue-duh-ful!"

I couldn't agree more.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Wiping Their Faces and Helping them Share

Lately I have been quick to complain, quick to become irritated at my kids, and quick to crave rest instead of joyfully caring for Tali & Owen. Wiping their faces and helping them share, coaching them to put away toys, making meals, training them, instructing them, disciplining hasn't seemed very appealing to me lately. My body is physically tired, my brain feels a bit fried, and I don't necessarily feel like "engaging" with my kids all day. I'm not sure what I'd rather be doing (except maybe sleeping!) but I'm certainly not bursting with joy about my day. I don't want this to be the case and I know that God doesn't either.

During my devotional time I was asking the Lord to help me be grateful for the blessing of parenting. God reminded me of this helpful truth: this is my mission field. These kids that He has placed in my care for a very short time desperately need to know that they are sinners and that Jesus alone can save them. My day does matter. It matters because I can be an instrument in God's hands, speaking the truth in love to my kids that they might someday see the glorious Gospel that has rescued me. What greater purpose could I possibly have today than this?

And you know what? When I asked God to give me the grace to enjoy them, to give me the strength to seize this day as a Gospel-opportunity, He answered! We had such an enjoyable afternoon; it wasn't without challenges but I was more focused on the eternal perspective of what I'm doing. I was able to laugh at their funny words and to play with them despite fatigue.

Anyway, if you are struggling today to joyfully love your kids and to see the importance of what you're doing, can I encourage you to cry out to God and ask Him for help? He is so faithful to answer. Let's be faithful missionaries for His glory today!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Encouragement for Parenting

A couple quotes from Tedd Tripp's "Shepherding a Child's Heart" were particularly helpful for me today regarding the importance of devoting myself to parenting:

"The cost is great. It requires being available and fully engaged in parenting.

You must regard parenting as one of your most important tasks while you have children at home. This is your calling. You must raise your children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. You cannot do so without investing yourself in a life of sensitive communication in which you help them understand life and God's world. There is nothing more important. You have only a brief season of life to invest yourself in this task. You have only one opportunity to do it. You cannot go back and do it over." pg. 97

"Teaching your children to live for the glory of God must be your overarching objective. You must teach your children that for them, as for all of mankind, life is found in knowing and serving the true and living God. The only worthy goal for life is to glorify God and enjoy him forever." pg. 56

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Favorite 2 Year Old

Tali is one of the most enjoyable people to be around that I've ever met. She really is just so cheerful, funny, sweet, kind, thoughtful, etc. (Don't get me wrong, she has her moments like we all do, but I'm talking the overall picture here!) Here's just a small snap-shot into what it's like to live with her...

This morning the kids were playing with the Strawberry Shortcakes in Tali's room. I was sitting in the chair relaxing a bit and just enjoying their conversation with each other. Here's a bit of it:

Owen: Can I pay Stah-bayree Soe-cakes?
Tali: Oh shuh, Owen. Owen, can I play too?
Owen: No.
Mommy: Yes, Owen, you need to share with Tali.
Tali: Owen, can I please have some of the Strawberry Shortcakes?
Owen: He-uh (handing over a couple of them).
Tali: Oh Owen! Thanks so much for giving me a couple of them. That was so kind of you, Owen! Did you know that? That was kind! Thank you!

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Door County Memories, pt. 1

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

And We're Up!

As of this weekend, we are back upstairs again. We're freshly grateful for the blessing of our home and thanking God for our friends, the Maxims, all that God has taught us through this season.

I remember back in April when our friends moved in, having a conversation with my grandma who seemed a bit puzzled at what we were doing. "Hmm...that's interesting," she said.

So why did we do it? Let me assure you that it's not because we're super-human or the most Godly and hospitable people on the planet (we're not). It was challenging in some ways to share our home (mostly because of my sinful heart) but I'm grateful for what God's taught me through it. Why did we do this?

1. We want to live for Christ and not ourselves.
"And He died for all that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sakes died and was raised." 2 Corinthians 5:15

"All things were created through Him and for Him..." Colossians 1:16

Our lives and our home aren't really ours anymore now that we have been "bought with a price." We want to view everything that we have as God's property to be used for His glory. In large part, this is why we chose this specific home over many others; we felt that it would position us best for the opportunity of having others live with us.

2. God loves us so lavishly, we want to reflect that same heart of love to others.
"In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." 1 John 4:10,11

Many times I have heard Josh tell people, "In light of all that God has done for us in Christ, sharing our home is a small thing." Jesus gave His life for us. Loving others by sharing our home is a way of reflecting that amazing love.

3. Our lives have been transformed through our own experiences of living with different families.

I could do a whole post on what we learned when I lived with the Muziks and then the Pronovosts, or about whenJosh lived with the Trainors, as well as a host of posts about what we learned when we lived with the Marescos. Suffice it to say that God radically used those times in our lives to teach us a lot about Himself. We saw first-hand from these families what it can look like practically to live life for Christ and not ourselves, to prioritize church and fellowship, to cultivate Godly marriages, to disciple and train children, to build relationships with unbelievers, how to manage a home, and so much more. Our lives are much different because of what God taught us through those we've lived with. Honestly, I wish that everyone had the opportunity to live with another family at some point in their lives. We want to keep learning from others and love the idea of being able to bless others in the ways that we have been blessed.

A bit on what I've learned coming soon...

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Some Owey Quotes

Our little sweet boy is full of words these days. He's just recently started speaking in sentences more than just small phrases. Here are a couple of my faves:

Oh Mommy! So cite-een! So cite-een! See gah-bidg man!

Whenever we ask him if he wants a snack or some food, he'll say with great excitement in his voice, "Oh yahs!"

Josh taught him what jazz music is and now Owen wants to listen to "Jas music." The first time Josh played a Duke Ellington cd for him, he listened for a bit and then shouted, "I LOVE it!" A couple minutes after Josh had turned it off, Owey sadly asked, "Pee-ah-no go? Dums?"

This one kind of shocks me but he's also started coming up to me at appropriate times and saying, "I poopy, Mommy. Change me."

I was chopping up some tomatoes for dinner tonight and Owey looked up and said, "What you cook-een, Mommy?" And then during dinner to Josh he broke out a question that I will often pose to my husband while we dine, "What you tink-een (thinking) bout?"

Every time I give him something to eat, whether it's one more strawberry or a plate-full of food, he always says, "Tank you, Mommy."

He's also started talking with Tali a lot more. If he sees her playing with something interesting, he'll often plop down on the floor beside her and say sweetly, "Can I pay, Tah-ee?"

And the phrases he says most often are:
No, peas (please), Mommy.
Have it!
Daddy, ware ah you, Daddy?
May pie (I) peas?
Go ow-side!
Have snack!
Go new van!

We head to Door County on Sunday. I can't wait to see what he has to say during our time there. And we can't help but think of Tali's famous phrases that emerged during our vacation there last year:
"What a bess-een!" and "I NEED finch-fyes!"

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Monday, July 27, 2009

We're Still Here

I can't believe the last time I posted was in May. Then again, this has been a busy summer and my computer isn't in a location that's easily accessible (think very near Owen's crib).

Just wanted to let everyone know that we're still here and still grateful to God for each other and all of you wonderful friends and family!

Tali and Owen are growing like weeds and getting more funny each day. They play together a lot now, and are going through the hard lesson of learning to share. Often I hear, "Mommy! He's trying to take that from me!" And then a loud shriek from Owen, "Have it! Have it! Have it!" Despite the little sharing squabbles, they love each other a lot and are best buds.

We found out that we're having a baby girl, Lord willing, around November 20. We are so excited and have been throwing around lots of names. We have high hopes of naming this little one before she's born rather than the day of like Tali & Owen. Tali's so excited about having a sister and often comes over and pats my belly or talks to her sissy. Owen's oblivious. He and Tali have started referring to the baby as "LuLu." That's not really one of the names on our list!

We've been enjoying the summer with our friends, the Maxims, and are continuing to pray for their house search (I know they'd love prayers too!). I'm hoping to post some thoughts sometime about just exactly why we're doing this whole "shared living quarters" thing. We'll see if it ever happens!

God has been so good to us and we're grateful for His continued mercies. I've been especially struck lately at just how vast the love of God is, such that He loves us with a steadfast, unchanging love. It's just amazing to think about a love like that! It's so contrary to the way that I can tend to love.

Enjoy your Monday! Oh, and if you have some time, I cannot recommend my husband's message from Sunday highly enough. (It rocks.) If you've ever had a hard time hearing someones advice or input, thought you really don't need the help of others, didn't respond well to someone's advice or their help, or have wanted to just do this whole faith thing on your own (and isn't that all of us at times?) I can't recommend this message highly enough. I benefited so much from it. You can listen to it here.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Book Time

Tali is growing and changing so much. Her little mind is constantly going and she continues to crack us up with her humor and cheerfulness.

Yesterday I took the kids to the library and when we got home Tali had "Book Time." (While Owen takes his morning nap, Tali looks at books in her crib.) I came downstairs and saw that one of her books had been tossed out of the crib so I asked her about it.

"They wuh haveen bad add-ih-tudes, Mommy. I didn't like it! A man was angry and evweeone kept taking away the guls toys! It was not good and I did not like that book."

Immediately I knew which book she was talking about and started cracking up. "Rummage Sale" is the title. It's a book about various people who come to a little girl's rummage sale and buy her toys. It's kind of a cute book and has some good elements that make kids think. Anyway, I just loved that from looking at the pictures she had thought that it would be absolutely horrible (or "tara-bull" as she would say) to have people come and take your toys away. No wonder she didn't like it!

p.s.- I'm having trouble posting pictures. I'll try to add one later.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

12 Weeks and Thanking God

As of Saturday, I am now 12 weeks along.  And guess what? When the 12 week mark hit, the awful nausea left.  Praise the Lord!  I feel like a new person and so grateful to be able to eat without dread again.  I am so grateful to be feeling better and grateful for all of your prayers along the way.

Life has been very full lately (and really, when isn't it?). We've had the Maxims with us for about a month now and are still transitioning a bit into how to do life with 10 people in the house.  It's been a joy to see all of our kids enjoying one another, a blessing to have another lady around to talk with during the day, and a nice break to share meal prep & housework.  I've especially enjoyed simply being around friends who have sacrificed so much for the sake of the Gospel.  Their joy in serving the Savior is contagious and we're learning a lot just from seeing their lives more up-close and personal.

I know that some of you have asked how you can be praying for us during this season. Thank you so much for wanting to be our friends in that way!  A couple requests come to mind:

~ Wisdom for Josh and me as we seek to prioritize time together to talk even with me going to sleep early and having lots of other people around.

~ Grace for me to joyfully serve my kids, not complain, especially related to how inconsistent their sleep is right now. They've not adapted well to sleeping in the basement; Owen's getting up 2-5 times a night, Tali's waking up sometimes during the night, Owen's waking up for the day a couple hours earlier than he was upstairs.  We're tired but in light of eternity this isn't as big of a deal as I can make it be.

~ For me to find joy in the Gospel, first and foremost, not looking for it in my circumstances.  Routine, good sleep, feeling well, an organized room, peace and quiet, etc. can be tempting places for me to seek joy and then get angry when those things don't happen.  I so want to look for my joy in the only place where it will last-Christ!

Thanks, friends.  Enjoy your week!

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Owen at 16 Months

Tomorrow I turn 28 (I know, I'm a youngster!). On Friday, Owey will turn 16 (months old). Where did the time go? My baby is getting to be such a toddler and I can hardly believe it. So that I don't forget, here's a bit about what's going on with Owen right now.

New Words/Phrases or just my favorite things that he says: Have it, Daddy ah you (Daddy, where are you?), Mummy (Mommy), too (whenever he wants to do something too), shur (share), rob-bee (robin), skul (squirrel), Pay (pray), may-men (amen), owie hut (owie hurt), beece (please), wuhvul (shovel).

Favorite Foods: lunch meat, green beans, crackers, popcicles

Favorite Book: "I Love Trucks" by Philemon Sturges (His constant refrain around the house for this book is, "I Luh! I Luh! Beece!")

Favorite Toy: He loves playing with our flashlight (wite-wite), anything that's in the mayt-ment (basement), and anything that Tali is playing with.
Favorite Song: Ring Around the Rosy (he just started turning in circles on his own singing "Rin Ro"). Oh and for basically any music that he hears, he raises his hands high in the air to "worship." :) It could be "Jesus Loves Me" or "Bob the Builder" or even "The Wheels on the Bus," it doesn't matter to Owen. He will immediately put his hands in the air. I think we've got a charismatic on our hands. :)

Favorite People: Daddy, La-La (Tali), Mummy, Grandma, Papa, May-me (he talks about Aunt Amy a lot), Teak (Mr. Teak's been doing some awesome work for us and he is a hero with our kids), De-dub (Caleb).

Disposition: He is really sweet and a big snuggler. Often he'll just start sucking his thumb and walk over to me with hands held high. He'll sit on my lap with his head on my shoulder, sucking his thumb and rocking with me. He also has very little self-control right now and gets angry quickly when he doesn't get what he wants (pray for the Lord to help him here!). Overall though, he's a happy little guy.

Health: His reflux is GONE!!!!!!!! Praise the LORD! He's intolerant to dairy so if he eats something with dairy in it, he will spit up a ton. Otherwise, it looks like he is healed of that nasty stuff. What a relief for him and for us!

We love Owen so much and thank God for his life!

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Fenska News

Hi All.

Wanted to update you on some news around here. I had hopes of posting a cute video of Tali telling everyone but I'm too busy right now to be creative like that.

1)  Lord willing, we will be having baby #3 this November! We are grateful to God for this undeserved gift.  We'd love your prayers for a healthy baby and for grace as I've been feeling pretty sick this pregnancy.  I'll have an ultrasound in a couple weeks so I'll relay our actual due date and info like that when we find that out.

2)  Next Monday we will go from being a home of 4 to a home of 10!  Our dear friends, the Maxims, will be moving in with us until they find a home in our area.  Josh and I spent a year with Jamie & Angie when we were at the Pastor's College in Maryland.  In God's kindness, our church is bringing Jamie on staff to serve as a pastor with Tab & Josh!  We could not be more excited for all that the Lord has in store for our family and our church as we get to benefit from these humble, faithful servants of the Lord.  Please pray for their transition and for ours as we prepare for them to move in.  

Thank you!

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It's Rough Being a Little Brother

Owey's face pretty much says it all. His sister is constantly trying to brush his hair, give him hugs, have him eat her pretend meals, hold his hand, put clothes on him, have conversations with him, etc. This poor little guy is such a good sport, even when he doesn't always enjoy her attention.

Despite all that, Owen and Tali really are good buddies. I absolutely love it when they make each other laugh or when they play ring-around-the-rosy, or when they dance together. Tali's been trying to talk to Owen a lot lately, too. "Hi Owey! How's ya day ta-day, Owey? What chew do ta-day, Owey?" It's so sweet when she does this but I feel bad for her because she doesn't get why he's not responding to her. "Mama, he's not an-suh-een me! Why's he not talkin ta me?"

Also, Tali loves to "hold" Owen's hand in the car. Except her idea of "holding" his hand is really like squeezing the life out of his poor fingers. The other day we were in the car and I heard Owen say, "Han, han! Oh-wee!!! Oh-wee!" (Hand, Hand, Owie, Owie)

These kids are just so cute.

Oh, and today Tali colored all over the wood floor and I was explaining to her not to ever do it again. She said, "Yes, Mama. Mama? Will you fuh-give me?" She's too sweet for words...

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Thanking God for Cindy

This week a dear friend who we had the joy of being with at the Pastor's College went to be face to face with Jesus, her Savior. She had been battling cancer heroically, trusting in the Lord and joyfully putting all her faith and hope in Him despite much pain. Though most of you have probably never met Cindy, I wanted to give you the opportunity to benefit from her life like I have. God was glorified in her life and He is being glorified through her death. (And if you don't have time to read this long post, just skim to the end and read Cindy's own words. You'll be challenged and encouraged by the way the Gospel had affected her!)

There is much I can say about Cindy, but what I am most thanking God for tonight is the example she gave me of tenderly loving and cherishing her husband, faithfully caring for her kids on a spiritual level, and her deep love for the Gospel that enabled her to joyfully endure suffering with faith in God.

Cindy loved her husband so much. I never once heard her speak ill of him and always saw her close by him, smiling at him, enjoying him. It was so clear that she loved being with him and that they shared a deep and personal friendship. Even after being married for many years, she was still seeking to grow as a wife and wanting to keep blessing her husband. I am so thankful to God for her example.

Cindy loved her kids so much as well. Though her kids were grown and out of the house, Cindy still carried them on her heart and was faithfully investing in their lives while we were in Maryland. I remember one evening when she and her husband were asking Josh and me all about courtship, seeking to gain input on how to care for one of their children in that similar season. What struck me about that was that she was still very actively caring for her children spiritually, even though they were grown. But even more than that, I was struck by her humility. Josh and I had only been married for seven months when we met Paul and Cindy, yet they were asking us for input on a parenting matter! That shows great Christ-like humility.

While I learned much from Cindy from that year together, I have learned even more by watching from afar as she and her husband clung to the goodness of God shown in the cross, even as they faced her death. It was so clear that she loved Jesus Christ above this earthly life

I hope that her words in an email to the PC ladies back in October stirs your heart to behold the power of the cross even more deeply tonight:

"I'm doing well. My body seems fragile, but not my soul. I know that God is the only One wise enough to know what is best. I know He can speak a word and command cancer cells to begin to die, but I also rest completely in the fact that He has taken ownership of this situation and this cancer is now His servant to serve His good purposes. I know this affliction is momentary and light and I believe that every word of God is faithful and true...that it is far better to depart and be with Christ. I'm so thankful for the good news of the Gospel! The greatness of Jesus and His work on the cross in taking the wrath of God fully upon Himself becomes more and more precious to me. Being clothed in Jesus perfect righteousness is amazing! I'm not feeling so great these days, but I can still say I am receiving more than what is being taken away. There are tears, of course. I wish I could be at my children's weddings, or share in the joy of grandchildren being born. But here's where it's good to remember that I have been bought with a price and I do not belong to myself. How good to have an infinitely wise and loving Master and a forever future with Him!"

Lord, please comfort Cindy's family and please continue to use her life for Your glory. Father, mold my heart to trust in You and love You the way that Cindy did.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It Always Happens When Daddy Is Gone

Now seriously-when else would a little boy who always falls directly asleep wind up taking an hour of calming to finally hit the hay? When else would a little girl who has been doing an awesome job going to sleep happily suddenly scream and scream and scream for water? (Of course at the same time that her brother is screaming for his mama.) Only, and I repeat-ONLY when Daddy is gone and I am doing the bedtime thing by myself. It never fails. This sort of thing literally happens every single time that Josh has a meeting or something and can't help with putting them to bed. Am I the only one that has this issue? Do the children conspire together behind my back before I start attempting to put them to bed. I can just imagine...

Tali: Hey, Owey! I have an idea that's willy fun. Let's kye and kye and kye for mama. Maybe she'll give us a paw-sicle or somethin. Wuh-chew think?

Owey: La-la! Yah-s! (yes)

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Couple CA Photos

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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Recent Quotes

I've been storing up quotes from Tali and finally have a couple seconds to post them. These might only be funny to me, but I want to put them up so I'll have a way of remembering her two year old conversations. And yes, I am that dorky mom that quickly grabs a pin and jots down my child's sentences before I forget them.

Setting: Tali was running around the house, acting like a crazy woman. For no reason at all.
Dust uh-skooze me. I'm willy uh-sited!

Setting: I had just gotten some Play-Doh out for Tali. Owen was crying a bit because he wanted picked up or something like that.
You wanna pay wit Pay-doh, Owey? It's willy fun. You dohn hafta kye for it, Owey. It's fun!

Setting: The kids were eating their favorite snack: Edy's All-Fruit Popsicles
Can Owey have his beer (that's Owen's word for 'bear')?
Me: No hon, he's eating a popsicle.
His beer would eat his pawsicle?
Me: Yep. That's exactly what would happen.
An Owen would be like, "Beer, what ah you DO-EEN?!"

Setting: I stuck Owen in the pack-n-play so he'd be safe while I got Tali dressed for bed. He wasn't pleased with the whole idea of being confined and started to fuss.
Oh Owey, dohn you wuh-ree. I'll be in dare in a couple uh whiles.

Setting: I gave Tali some chocolate chips for fun.
Choc-la-lit chips ah good! Kine-uh like n-uhn-m's!

Setting: Tali was having some trouble going #2.
Daddy, dats why Mommy said I hafta eat poons!

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Little Chef

Owey's really into pretending that he's cooking. He and Tali spend much of the day standing at her play kitchen, stirring and loudly banging pots and pans. Today I noticed that Owen was vigorously stirring in this little bowl, occasionally saying, "Yum-Yum!"

Me: Owey, that looks good. What are you cooking?
O: Eggs.
Me: Eggs? I didn't even know that you could say eggs!
O: (With a big grin, holding the spoon out to me) Bye? (bite)

Seriously. I have a chef on my hands.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Winter Continues

Ever had those moments where it seems like your family is never going to all feel healthy again at the same time? Today is one of those days around here. I'm still not 100% since California. Owey is still coughing and cranky. Tali just started coughing yesterday and now has a fever. Josh has been congested for days. Winter in Illinois...

I am just longing for those warm spring days when we can play outside, go for long walks, run at the park, and enjoy fewer colds. Are you with me? All this and we're expecting a big snow storm tonight.

It's just another reminder to me that my joy can't be found in my circumstances, it's got to be found in Christ. These illnesses may linger for weeks and we all ready know that warm weather is still a distant hope. But, Jesus Christ remains the same yesterday, today, and forever and He is reason enough for me to rejoice today!

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Marriage Retreat

Over the weekend, Josh and I were able to attend the "When Sinners Say I Do" marriage conference in Minnesota. The time was so rich with biblical truth, passionate worship, long car rides that provided ample time for conversation, and just the blessing of being with my hubby. I'm so glad that we were able to go.

There's much that I could share but one thing that really stands out to me as I consider the messages that we heard: sin and weakness in marriage are an opportunity for ministry. They are an opportunity to reflect the Gospel, especially the mercy of God that is seen best at the cross. Dave Harvey talked a lot about the fact that we, as sinners, are not receiving the wrath of God that we deserve. Because of our sin, we deserve to be separated from God forever in hell but because God is rich in mercy, even when we were dead in our sins, He chose to send Jesus to pay our penalty. What mercy! In light of all the mercy that we've been given by God, how could we not respond in mercy to our spouse or to our children or to our friends or even to our enemies?

I've just been reflecting on this truth tonight and wanted to pass it on. I'm so grateful for the mercy that God has shown me! Lord, help me be merciful to Josh in light of all the mercy that You've shown me.

Oh, and if you're married or about to be married and you've never read, "When Sinners Say I Do" by Dave Harvey, buy it! By God's grace, your marriage will be different as you seek to apply what you read. There's no other book on marriage that Josh or I would more highly recommend and no other book on marriage that has helped me more than this one.

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Feeling Sick and Heading Home

The Lord definitely answered all of your prayers on our trip out here.  Would you be so kind as to pray again?

1)  For healing for me as well as strength for the flight-I've not been feeling well today and spent most of the day asleep.  I need all of the energy I can get to creatively care for 2 tired kids on a 4 hour flight.

2)  Grace for the kids; they are tired and cranky.  They desperately need the Lord's help to make it through the flight without fits of crying.

3)  Wisdom for Josh: he's doing more of the work since I'm feeling so yucky.

4)  A quick transition back to our own time zone.

Thank you so much!  Grateful that the Lord is more eager to bless us than we are to ask Him...

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Grateful for the Prayers!

Let me be honest; I cannot even imagine our flight experience being any better than it was.  I'm not kidding!  The Lord blew us away with His kindness in making the travel go so smoothly. Thank you for your prayers!  We were so aware that God was personally caring for us. A couple highlights:

1)  When we got to the airport, we found a parking spot right by the bus shuttle.  Thank you, Lord!  To make things even better, the bus pulled up before we even got out of our car and the driver said that he'd wait for us. We didn't have to wait in the cold at all.

2) The bus ride to the airport was hilarious.  Tali was sitting next to me a bit scared. Owen was on my lap taking it all in. Tali kept touching his arm saying, "It's ok Owey.  God is wit you. Don't be cared, Owey.  I'm wite here.  God is wit us, Owen.  We're almost dare, Owey."  It was the sweetest thing ever.

3) We walked in and right up to the front of the line to check in. The airport was practically empty.  No waiting!  Also, Josh's parents kindly bought some car seats so that we wouldn't need to bring ours. This made traveling about a million times easier.

4)  The flight was great.  Both kids took naps and Owen was completely calm and didn't make any indications that he wanted to get down. He just snuggled on my lap.  SHOCKING!

5) When we landed, the weather was gorgeous.  Tali said, "Tali likes sunshine!  We don't even have ta wear our totes (coats)!"  

6)  We've been having a wonderful time with family.  The kids are adjusting to the time difference...sort of.  Really, it's just been a great trip and we're so grateful to God for His kindness. I feel so in awe of God's grace because taking two kids on a four hour flight, bringing them to a different time zone and away from their normal routines can be a bit challenging. But it hasn't been at all! The Lord is so kind.

So, thank you so much for your prayers. We are grateful!

p.s.-Why do any of us live in Illinois when it is 70 degrees out here pretty much all of the time?! Just kidding. :)

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Prayer Requests

We're on our way out the door, heading for the airport to fly to CA for a week!  We'll be enjoying time with Josh's family and enjoying the beautiful weather that is a far cry from this frozen tundra that we live in. (Don't be too jealous!)

If you think of us, please do pray:

1) For our flight: pray for God's grace to be upon the kids, especially Owey. He is so not into sitting still and this could be a challenge for him.

2)  For good health: both kids are fighting a bit of a cold

3)  For joyful memories with one another and with Josh's family

4) That I would seek to live for Christ and not myself, seeking to serve others and not just craving MY way! (especially regarding less rest and kids off of their normal routine)

5)  That Josh would be refreshed from a week of vacation

Thank you so much!  Grateful for the prayers.

p.s.-  Hanna, I can't wait to meet your baby when we return!

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Monday, February 2, 2009

Favorite Quotes of the Day

While we were in the car waiting for Josh:
"O-wen! Ware is ya fah-duh at?"

And tonight at dinner:
"Mommy, I willy enjoy dis dinner dat you made me."

And one for Owey, too. He is currently obsessed with his beloved bear that he sleeps with. It's very concerning to him when he can't locate it. This morning I heard him calling out, very loudly:
"Beer? Beer? Go? Go?"

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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Me Time

I came across a blog a while back talking about the "Me-time myth." It came to my mind again today and I wanted to share it.

Often my day swirls on and I've barely sat down until 2:30 when both kids are finally in their beds for naps. Nap time can be prime time for my selfishness to reign. Here's how it works: I start thinking, "I've worked hard all day long. At least I deserve a little break-some time to sit and relax for a while. I will feel so much more refreshed if I can just have some peace and quiet/time to myself." Sure, there are countless other tasks that I could be doing, but a nice cup of tea and some chocolate while I read the latest Everyday Food Magazine sure sounds like a lot more fun that diligently serving my family.

Hear me out, it's not wrong for me to sit down or read a magazine or have a snack. Rest is a gift from the Lord. Those things aren't wrong but when I'm seeking my refuge and refreshment in them, craving them and longing for them and believing that my joy is found in them, there is a big problem: "me" time will never satisfy my soul!

Refreshment for our souls won't come from "me-time" or "time to ourselves to do what we want." Really, when we take that time to just do whatever we want without giving thought to the Lord and what He would have us do, we aren't going to be refreshed. Jesus alone can satisfy our souls. I've found it very true that when I seek to give myself some "me" time, I'm usually just left longing for more. The kids wake up from their naps earlier than I hoped and I think, "That wasn't enough! If only I had a bit more time to myself!" Five minutes, a half an doesn't matter if it's a small snipit of time or large, I still am left wanting more. Why? Because that time will not refresh my soul and satisfy my heart.

As God's started helping me to see this truth, I have found that there's much more time in a day than I thought! If I use my little bits of time to find satisfaction in Him instead of just doing what I want at the moment, I am more at peace, joyful, and diligent. I can spend a couple minutes doing something to help me look to the Lord, and then get busy serving Him instead of indulging in rest. My family is blessed and I am being more productive for God's glory.

I still check my email, look at blogs, drink tea, etc. but I'm trying not to indulge in those things and spend excessive time on them. Living for Christ brings me true peace and joy. Living for "my time" and "my interests" do not. It's a daily battle...

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Friday, January 30, 2009

That Dreadful Iron

It's been a long time since I ironed any clothes. My poor husband has been sticking his shirts on hangers and hanging them in the bathroom while he showers in an attempt to get the wrinkles out (it only sort of works). Well, today I finally decided to put his interests above my own and break out the good ole' iron.

Owey was sitting in his pack-n-play watching while I put the ironing board up and plugged in the iron. Immediately, he started shaking and crying. The poor child was afraid of the ironing board. Does that not tell you something? Um, the sweet boy had never even seen the thing before. I think that he thought it was some kind of vicious creature or something.

Yep. I need not grow proud in my homemaking skills; it appears that I've still got room to grow.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Favorites of the Day

Just another ordinary day over here. I don't want to forget the little things though. Too much sweetness to take it for granted.

Today I said, "Tali, I'm going to go vacuum. Do you want to come with me to the living room?"
Her response: "Oh shuh, Mommy. I'd love to!" (this is a very typical answer that she gives)

After "resting" in her room for a couple hours and never falling asleep, I went up to get her. When I walked in she said, "Oh Mommy! I'm phew-wee! Tan you change me?"

And then there's Owen. He thinks everything that Tali does is just hilarious. Their new thing is to make a spitting sound together and then crack up. It is funny except when they are doing it at the dinner table and food goes flying everywhere. Oh, and he also thinks it's really funny to put his hand over his mouth and fake laugh. It's great.

We had dear friends staying with us this past weekend and before they left my friend, Angie, said, "I've never met anyone like Tali before." Amen. I think that same thought about every single day. I have a feeling that Owen is following in her footsteps though...

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Speaking his Mind

Owey with his Papa ("Bapa" as he affectionately shouts!)

Owey has just been overflowing with cuteness lately and I don't want to forget some of the particulars. Here's a couple of my faves:

* We went to a friend's house the other morning and Owen was in their highchair eating. Tali ran into the room and then quickly ran out again. Owen looked at me with wrinkled brow, lifted up his hands and said, "Goh? Goh? Ssssss?" (Sssss=Sissy)

* Today before his nap, he walked over to the pantry and started banging on it. Then looked at me and said, "Nah! Nah!" I was a little taken aback so I said, "O, do you want a snack?" He got a huge grin and said, "Beee." (please).

* Despite his earlier "incident" with the stairs, this boy always darts for them whenever the gate is down. He was making his way to the danger zone when I scooped him up and put up the gate. He started screaming in anger. Attempting to distract him, I said, "Do you want to go read a book instead...or no?" He started violently shaking his head saying, "No. No. No." Needless to say, we didn't read.

I am spoiled by having super verbal kids. It is so much fun to know what they are thinking so early on.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

These Children Are His

I have struggled for many years to trust in the Lord rather than giving way to the sin of fear & anxiety. Now that I have children, the temptations can be great. There are many fears and anxieties, too many to list. At the top is the fear that their life will somehow cease. God has helped me to fight this fear, and many others, by meditating on His Word and the truth that He is always good and always sovereign. Still, the temptations are there and I need daily reminders.

So, it might seem odd that I am finding such help from this blog, where this "worst fear" actually has happened in the Castro family. I don't think I've ever met them, though we attended their church when we lived in Maryland. Still, their lives are daily helping me to set my mind on things above.

If you struggle in any way with fear or anxiety or trusting the Lord, reading Heather's fight for faith will certainly leave you more in love with the Savior and wanting more to rest in Him. Each day as I read her blog, I am reminded of the gift that my children are, a gift-not a right that I'm guaranteed. But more importantly, I am reminded that even if what I deemed the worst thing ever actually happened, Jesus would still be worth it. Jesus is more satisfying than my husband or my kids or my health or my house or anything. Only He is satisfying Heather's soul and only He can satisfy mine. Reading this blog reminds me that I need to fight to use each moment with my children wisely for His glory. And reading her blog reminds me that the Gospel is powerful to change; only a God that is real and active and alive could sustain someone like Heather is being sustained.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Two Year Old

I neglected to post back in November when my big girl turned two. I thought it only appropriate to do it a bit late, given that I finally got around to posting about Owen's one year mark!

Talitha Lauren Fenska. I have never in my life met anyone like Tali. I sincerely think that there is no one like her in all the world. This girl is simply one of a kind! From her continual chatter to her requests to pray for people to her sense of humor to her inconsistent sleep patterns to her huge vocab, this girl is just a delight. (Ok, so the inconsistent sleep patterns aren't exactly fun.)

Some stats on my girl:

Weight: can't remember...I think it's 31 but maybe I'm off here.

Clothes: 3T

Favorite Foods: Blueberries, yogurt, strawberries, popcicles, m&ms, eggs, Propel

Sleep: 1 nap (usually from 2:00pm until who knows when! Generally 'till 3:45pm), bedtime at 7:00pm but doesn't fall asleep until around 8pm or after. Lately she's been waking up a couple of times during the night and then very early in the morning. Before that, she slept until 7:15am.

Favorite Books: Anything about potty training (though it hasn't caught on yet), construction books, books with pictures of kids. And she always asks, "Wuhs da ah-thuh's name?" :) She still LOVES to read and has a "book time" in her crib each day for about 45 minutes where she listens to music and looks at books. (Like I said, she's one of a kind!)

Favorite Activities: Tali loves to pretend. She basically pretends all day long. Her favorite things to pretend are that she's a mommy and her baby is crying on the "mom-a-dur," that she's Caleb and I'm Mrs. Angie, that she's going to the doctor (sometimes it's "Doc-tuh Owen"), that she's at church (she likes to sing and pretend she's "Missuz Poe-nuh-voe"), that she's cooking or that she's at the library (Daddy is often "Miss Luanne" our favorite librarian). She also likes playing with blocks and building towers as well as playing with Little People.

Favorite Places: Church is pretty high up there for this girl. She LOVES seeing friends and especially getting to run around with Caleb and share his "fishy crackers." During the week she often talks about "Daddy peechin da Wuhd." (preaching the Word) She also loves going to the Village Grind or Starbucks with Mommy or Daddy.

Personality: Tali's sweet and thoughtful. She loves to ask Daddy each day, "How wuz ya day, Daddy? Whud jew do ta-day, Daddy?" Or, "Oh, Mama. I like ya hair tut. It's piddy." (I got my hair cut months ago and she's still complimenting me on it!) Or, "Hi, Damma. How is Papa do-een ta-day?"

I love so many things about Tali. I especially love how she keeps me company all day with long conversations. ("Let's have a ton-ver-say-son, Mommy!" or "Tell me a story, Mommy!") She has taught me many things by her joy, sense of humor, and sweetness. I'm most struck by her love for prayer. She loves praying for people and always asks to pray. She remembers when I tell her that someone is sick and we need to pray for them & she will often ask me to pray for that person later in the day. Josh and I are so encouraged by her very teachable spirit and her interest in reading the Bible and praying. Obviously that's not something to be weighed too much at age 2 but we pray that God will do a mighty work in her even at a young age and save her soul for His glory!

I love you, Tali-lally-lou. Thank you for being my favorite little lady.

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I want to confess to y'all that in writing about Owen's reflux, my heart was not right. I was proudly thinking, "No one else knows about reflux and how nasty it really is!" In my comments, I wasn't being compassionate about the challenges of having a "happy spitter" or any other spit-up. Instead, I was just thinking that I know best on this subject. Would you forgive me for my pride? I know that's a sin that Christ had to die for and I don't want to continue in it. I am genuinely sorry. And if I tempted you or hurt you by that in any way, I am very sorry for that as well! So glad that even for this, Jesus died, and stands to declare me righteous before God because I'm clothed in His righteousness, never any of my own.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

My One Year Old

An entire year of looking at this sweet boy's's hard to believe that it's all ready been a year. My little Owey-O had a rough start. The first four months were not easy ones for him, or for us. But by God's grace, a year later this little buddy is one seriously happy dude. Definitely God's kindness. We are grateful for the way that you've stood by us and prayed for this guy.

Owen has such a fun personality. He loves to hide behind things and then say, "BOO!" He cracks up at random things that he thinks are hillarious-usually sounds like "whoo-whoo" or other noises Tali will make. Every morning when I get him out of bed he says, "Sss! Ssss!" because he wants his "Sissy." He loves Tali a ton and wants to do absolutely whatever she is doing. He also loves to suck his thumb and to snuggle. He's so much fun.

So, some stats so that I don't forget (and for the family members who like the numbers!):

Weight: 21 pounds (he's bumped up to the 25th percentile which is a huge leap from the 10th.) Now that he's about 13 months old, he's finally started wearing 12 month clothes a bit. Up until now, he's been in 9 months or 6-12. Little guy.

Height: Oops, I don't remember but he's really short. I think he was at 10th percentile for height.

Mobility: Walking!!!!! He is unsteady, but he can take 5-10 steps now. He is sooo determined and never cries when he falls, just shoves himself back up to try again.

Foods: Loves pretty much everything he gets, especially Chex and crackers. He's still on a bit of a restricted diet. We're working with an allerigist to try and figure out what was going on with his little digestive system earlier in life. So far, all the foods that we've tried have worked well except tomatoes (bothered his reflux). Maybe we'll get to try dairy soon! Sure hope it works because he doesn't want to drink soy and I'm not excited about nursing him for an endless amount of time!

Reflux: It's still there but so much better. About a month ago we noticed a significant change. He still has "bad days" where lots of liquid will come up but it's nothing like the large puddles that he was leaving everywhere. Those of you who think your child spits up a lot don't know what spit up really is until you've had PUDDLES of it all over everywhere. I'm talking at least a cup, often MORE out all over clothes, floor, etc. A little drip, a couple blobs...those are nothing, folks. Count your blessings.

Words: Yep, it's true. My kids just like to talk. It's sort of inevitable, I mean...look at their parents! Owey's not quite up there with where Tali was at a year, but he's close:

La-la (Tali)
Ssssss (Sissy)
Bah (Ball)
Bayyh (Bear)
By (Bite)
Byee (Bye)
Ny-ny (good night)
Zee-uh (see ya)
Rah-ry (all right)
Noooo (no)
Eh-mo (Elmo)
Be-Beanz (Green Beans)
Da-doe (cereal)
Wah-wah (water)
Peee (please)
Jew (shoe)
zah (sock)
bih-boyuh (big boy)
dee (tree)
no (snow)
muh (milk)
ly (light)
rah (rock)
bugh (book)
nana (banana)
ah-ah ah-ah (all done)
hah (hat)
oh (coat)
a-uh (pants)

all done

And for the record, his favorite person is his Papa Red. He loves his parents but to be honest, no one compares with Papa. He talks about the guy ALL THE TIME!

We love you so much, Owey. You are a blessing to our family!

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