Monday, December 31, 2012

December in Pictures

We had no snow on our drive back yesterday much to my parents' delight. Mountains and snow and South Georgia flat-landers don't mix so well. So, for their sakes, we enjoyed the cold drizzle as we drove away from the crowds and back home. 

Here are a few pictures from this month and our time away at the cabin. Look carefully, there's a hint of something we'll get to explain this evening, finally! :) For now, enjoy what we can share...


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Our Merry Christmas Apartments tree

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Levi's first Santa photo from the Faculty Christmas Drop-In. We're not big Santa advocates...but enjoyed some fun and a present that night.

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The Residence Life Staff's Tacky Sweater Christmas Party

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A Christmas photo for a very special someone...

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Levi's new crib. Instead of transitioning to a toddler bed, we decided to make the most of his tiny bedroom with a loft bed. But when I couldn't sleep for fear he'd fall, Jason added an extension to double the height and we were all, finally, happy sleepers. We laugh often at how absurd it looks. ;) 

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Training in not being a fair-weather runner.

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The Gilberts who stayed with us the few days before Christmas.

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Of all the gifts Levi's special one was a new Henry train to replace the one we lost. We was so excited!

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Brunch at the cabin

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Learning to play poo, as Levi calls it, with Papa and the easier-to-aim end of the pool stick.

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Legos with MiMi

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Waiting on pancakes with Nana, Papa and the uncles.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Currently

Christmas morning Levi did find the baby in the manger. He ran excited to tell us and obviously relieved that his whole manger scene was finally complete. For all of December he was troubled that there was no Jesus. 



The days before and after that morning have been full. First with four little ones four and under, then with last minute gifts, and now, with family. It is our third time in six years celebrating a new tradition of giving the gift of time to our families. A day or so after Christmas we all ride up to the mountains and spend a few days in a cabin together. This year we all split the costs and found a great getaway for two nights. Tomorrow we return and hopefully find a little snow has fallen during the night to add to the scenery on our drive home. But snow or no, we won't leave without our traditional trip to the best pancake house in the world (in my very humble, limited pancake-house-sampling opinion). 




I've been taking lots of pictures to share in the coming days and I'll make sure to include a few of any snow we might manage to find tomorrow. :) Everyone is asleep now, some snoring, so I'm heading to join them. Thanks for stopping by. More pictures and words to come soon. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

They've Arrived

All has been silent for a long time. Mary and Joseph finally arrived a few days ago after making the trek through our home being kicked accidentally across the floor by giants in the night, munching on Ritz crackers to give energy, scaling our kitchen cabinets to find a much-needed watering hole, rappelling down the cabinets and finally arriving to less than grand accommodations. 



Tomorrow morning we'll get up to see if Jesus is finally here...and then we'll celebrate! Blessings to you all in your celebrations with family and friends! 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Wise Words and Fraser Firs

Last weekend a tree was cut by each Tegen family. For the first time we had a chance to drive to the mountains to cut our very own fir tree. Every other year we drive ten minutes down the road and examine pre-cut firs or cut a pine. This year's tree is barely taller than Levi...but it fills the house with that fresh fir  smell and looks great with colored lights, a star that has seen better days and some Jesse tree ornaments



An hour and a half after getting home Jason and Levi were taking well-deserved naps, and I headed with Team India to Charleston. After finding on Facebook that the lady we worked with in India was in the states, I asked if she'd be in our area. The girls and I considered four hours to be "in our area" and booked a hotel with flyer miles to see her speak at a Sunday morning service. We got there Saturday evening and had the whole evening to hang out together. While in India on an uneventful evening we'd tried to play a game of hotel sardines and failed miserably getting caught by hotel staff and making us and them laugh hysterically. But the hotel in Charleston was a lot bigger...and we seized the opportunity. Our brilliant hiding places were-- behind the coke machine, under a table in a conference room, and, my favorite, the trash can. We're totally crazy, I know. :)


The amazing thing about Sh*mpa speaking in Charleston was that the church was fifteen minutes from the beach. We initially planned to see the sunrise but didn't quite make it so we just spent some time in the cold water before heading to the church. 


And after driving four hours, getting little sleep, visiting the ocean and waiting to hear Sh*mpa, Teapot as she calls herself, we were anything but disappointed. As a woman who has endured trials and witnessed miracle after miracle, we soaked up every one of her wise words. I marveled at how our May trip to India, that God so directed, is still bearing fruit. 

So many of the things she shared had me wondering how I could soak all of it up and share adequately with others so the lessons wouldn't stop with meThis little bulleted list is my best attempt to paraphrase some of the goodness though I know without context it's a far cry from the original.

From December 2, 2012 with Sh*mpa:

- Too many of us focus on always doing. Just be with the Lord instead of trying to do. Your being will spill over to your doing

- Instead of criticism, pray blessing over those in leadership.

- Instead of always asking God to touch you, reach out and touch him.


- God is the same miracle-working God as in the Bible...we will see miracles and maybe more-so because Jesus has gone back to the Father's right hand.

- Anyone can prophesy...the main difference is if the prophecy is coming from God and His love. 

- Too many people seek God for his gifts when they should seek the giver. The gifts will follow. 


She spoke with both head and heart knowledge and with real honesty. Every time I hear her I am refreshed by her perspective. She shares about the incredible work she gets to take part in and she always reminds us-- we are little people called to be little people filled with radical love. Jesus was so good to remind us of that call to humility and teach us so much from this little Teapot in Charleston! 



Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Cartoon Series: Introducing


I asked Jason if I could share this...because it was too embarrassing at the time not to be redeemed with a retelling when it actually could be funny. For as often as he says I'm a cartoon character, he has his own animated way of being funny.

From two weeks ago:

We both were interested in hearing some Indie Folk musicians coming to our campus a few weeks ago so we planned to go and stand at the back for a few minutes with Levi. But when Jason's parents stopped by and offered to keep Levi for a bit, we jumped at the chance for a thirty minute, free date. Walking over Jason talked about his intense craving for a Bojangles chicken biscuit (random, since it's something he's rarely ever had) or for anything that might be the perfect mix of protein and carbs. He was hungry. We agreed he could go find food after our thirty minute getaway. 

On our way to the concert we spotted a propped door to a room located just beside where the band was playing. Going through the open door meant we wouldn't have to walk up a hill to the building's front doors and down the stairs to the concert. It was a welcomed shortcut. 

Slowly we walked through the door we assumed full of extra musical paraphernalia but instead of finding cords and amps and lights, the room was lined on one side with silver serving dishes full of food that the band had either just finished or that they would be enjoying after the concert. I eyed Jason with a hurry-up-so-you-won't-be-tempted look. Rushing through to the hallway I turned back to see Jason lifting a silver lid. He'd glanced too long. Like Edmund and his turkish delight from the White witch, the food got him. Jason quickly scooped up a roll and began filling it with a thick slice of ham with two bites already missing when he made it to me. Walking into the hallway I heard a familiar voice and recognized it as the head chef. Turning around in a panicked whisper I said, hide the biscuit...  But, it was too late. Jason's stuffed cheek would've given him away anyway. The chef looked at us and said, hello, when Jason whipped the ham-filled biscuit from his back and smiled. He and Jason exchanged laughs while I booked it out of the awkwardness.

After finishing the last of his snack, we slipped in the back row. By the first song's end Jason was already deciding the music of the evening wasn't much to his liking but agreed to stay through two more songs with me. The good news is that his stomach was satisfied which meant no need to go buy food :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

National Adoption Month and An Update

This month has been set apart by our nation as National Adoption Month. In the words of President Obama:
As a Nation that believes all children deserve the chance to reach their full potential, we have a fundamental responsibility to ensure each of them grows up knowing the love and protection of a permanent family. During National Adoption Month, we give voice to children who are still waiting for that opportunity, celebrate the bond that unites adoptive parents with their sons and daughters, and recommit to providing every child with the care and security that will nurture their development and well-being.
We've been pretty silent about adoption this month. Not because it hasn't been on our minds. It is all the time. We ache for our daughter to be here...safe and connecting with us. Us learning her, her learning us and all of us learning that unconditional, selfless love is not bound by blood or culture.

There are many things going on with India and adoptions. Some things we can share here and some we can't, yet. The system that is supposed to make adoption easier and quicker as my Hindustan Times article boasted is in need of some tweaking. And while we have our dossier at our orphanage in India, no new applications will be accepted for a few months while some easier and quicker snafus are un-snafued.

But we are still in-process and are officially on an adventure in the land of waiting. With almost four years in this journey to our little girl of promise, we are learning to be thankful in the present because we're for sure one day closer. Also, we're grateful that our paperwork is on the other side of the ocean matched with our orphanage. This allows us to continue forward in the process. For many families and even more children, adoption is on hold again. Thankfully in February a meeting will be held in India with many international adoption agencies present to discuss the system and some proposed changes. If changes mean speed and more streamlined procedures, let the meetings begin. 

In our waiting we have filled out some paperwork for our agency and researched to find a few Indians studying at a local university willing to teach us some of the culture and language of our daughter's home state. We have found those we've connected with to be SO gracious and hospitable. Maybe it's because I'm in love with all things Indian or maybe it's just that I've seen a level of hospitality in our new Indian friends and other foreigners that warms my heart and makes me feel truly welcomed. I am taking notes for sure...gifts when you visit someone's home, follow-up thank you's and genuine offers to help learn culture and language. Wow...they are all so helpful and kind.

Hello = Namaskara
The language we are just stepping into is as you would expect...foreign. The beautiful, thick Indian accents and cups of coffee with a Karnataka native make us realize again that all this paperwork, money gathering and waiting might be the easy part. We are entering into a God-sized calling meshing two cultures under one roof. Then, we'll finally have our daughter and the aching will shift from aching for her to aching with her for the family and culture she has lost. We're trying to prepare for that coming ache- how to immerse her in American culture while offering her comforts of her first home, how to communicate, and recognizing and handling trauma in children...to name a few. 

One thing, though, I think I can finally check off the preparations list as of today: hot, Indian chai. I've tried to replicate it since getting back from Kolkata and thanks to a helpful lady at a local Indian grocery, I think I got it. I've been jittery all day from drinking too much of the amazing stuff. 

Add water, milk, sugar and fresh ginger in just the right way and you have a heavenly concoction!

Also, word on the street is that the lady we met and worked with in India, Shampa, is visiting the states and will be speaking close by in the coming days. Plans are underway. And pictures will follow...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanks Giving

Been thinking about something all day that is such a perspective changer and wanted to share. From Ann Voskamp's post on October 22, 2012:


Anything I have, I don’t deserve.

Everything I have isn’t a given — it’s given.

Nothing is a given — everything’s a gift.

Who am I to complain in losses when what I lost wasn’t mine to begin with?



Happy Thanksgiving! Let the thanks giving continue all year long!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Levi's Latest

While we don't catch a lot on video, every once in a while we pull out the phone and hold it down so he doesn't get distracted by it....and we get videos like these. Hope you enjoy a few clips of our great little entertainer.



No, he's not reading. Just enjoying repeating some of his favorite lines from If You Give a Moose a Muffin.... and the word he can't pronounce...jam. Because if you give a moose a muffin, he'll probably ask for jam. I could read the book with my eyes closed by now. :)



Last week in honor of the book If You Take a Mouse to School, Levi made a little mouse house for his newest pet (a.k.a. a pecan). And for H week, we took a hike in the woods to find lots of great Fall leaves to display at home. 


But all of those fun things couldn't compare to Levi's favorite, favorite thing to do the past few weeks....jumping in leaf piles. And even better when with his good friends Lukas and Everett.



I am so thankful to be a stay-at-homer spending my days with a little boy. I thought I wouldn't know what to do with a rambunctious toddling boy but I'm finding it to mean my days are filled with lots of running and laughing. These are days well spent...precious days for sure!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mutiny and Maturing

We've been on a semi-intentional mutiny against social media lately. Sometimes we hate how attached we've become to our phones and how social media has taken higher priority over simply talking, eyeball to eyeball, and paying full attention to the people and child in need of our attention. Two weeks ago we saw four girls sit at the same lunch table only to keep their faces buried in their phones not saying one word to the flesh and blood people sitting in front of them. Add to that a close friend who shared something big on her Facebook page but didn't say a word when we sat talking for two hours. Thus the mutiny against this life-sucking phenomena that's been trying to suck us in too. We're still trying to find a good balance. If you've found one, do share!

With that said, we do have a good bit to share in the next few days. Levi's been his usual fun self with a little defiance mixed in. We're entering a time of thinking through discipline methods that help us attach to his heart while teaching him consequences for actions. Even with discipline challenges, he's still the best little monkey(s) in the world (his new favorite book). How to savor every moment with our very funny blondie since we can't pause time? We've caught a few videos that we're working into a video montage of our little entertainer. We'll share tomorrow evening. 

I just got back in tonight from a weekend celebrating the big 3-0 for my cousin. When did thirty become a year of doom and gloom? Lots of comments came about it being all down hill from here. Really? My thirties have been the best yet (glasses and all)...and I challenged her that hers can be too. It's all in the perspective!

Yeah, she only looks 18.


During the many driving hours I discovered that even at my sleepiest, sunflower seeds are magic seeds for staying awake. If the mental process of moving unopened seeds across the palate doesn't keep you alert, the supercharge of make-your-tongue-numb salt will. Along the way I also discovered another incredible benefit of the seeds but that story will have to come with the next Cartoon series post later this week. :) You'll never believe it!

If you do give yourself some time on social media tomorrow, make sure to check out the latest of Levi. His dancing skills and storytelling won't disappoint!

Happy sleeping

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Cartoon Series: Buying a Book

I'm telling on myself tonight. 

A few weeks ago I was in need of a book for a group I meet with and had twice turned down the opportunity to buy it for $11 because I knew my cousin had it and wanted to give it to me for free. I called after my first group meeting to ask her to mail it but, as it usually goes for me, she was away from home for a few days and couldn't mail it until the following week. I wouldn't have it until after Wednesday. That wouldn't work. 

I convinced myself I'd seen the book at Walmart and planned to stop by Monday to pick it up to read the chapters before Wednesday's meeting. By Monday though, a miscommunication I had with Jason found us scheduled to have an apartment group over Wednesday night during my meeting time. I was discouraged to miss but also relieved because...I could call my cousin to get the book for free after all. 

Wednesday afternoon supper preparations were well under way. A big batch of chili was simmering in the crock pot and all the sides were ready to be poured into bowls. I had ten minutes before I had to get Levi up from nap and leave to pick up two little boys at elementary school. We'd hang out with them until supper time and then come home to welcome our guests. 

Five minutes before leaving, one of the dinner guests stopped by to say that unexpected company showed up and they couldn't come to supper after all. Never mind the chili, potatoes and chocolate fondue that we'd bought and fixed...I zeroed in on the two-fold reality-- Hurray, I get to go to group and oh shoot, the book!  

I scooped Levi up and ran with a groggy baby through Walmart sure I'd find the needed book. But, when does that kind of good fortune come in response to my procrastination? Nope, never. Finally, we pulled up to the car line and I thought I had the perfect solution. Whipping out my phone in the No Phone Zone I inched forward and called two local book shops. Neither had even heard of the book. This meant I would have to drive to the next town twenty minutes away to pay way more than $11 to have the book in my possession for the evening's meeting. And it meant I had to talk two tired, hungry boys into a frantic "adventure" to get the book. I wasn't even worried about the required reading at this point, it was merely about saving face and having a book. In my mind, no book meant no group. 

I scraped up a plan and presented the idea of a road trip adventure to the boys. The idea of having to look for some fun landmarks along the way swayed them, and we were off to pay too much for the book I needed. When we arrived, the three boys found their way to a toy section and told me with puppy dog eyes that they couldn't go on living happily if they didn't get the bright, plastic recorders hanging from the toy rack. Really, they were being such troopers and I envisioned happy musicians on the ride home so we added two recorders and one harmonica to the receipt total. They were doing me a favor, after all. Soon, the $11 dollar book deal I turned down turned into a $23 scramble. Bahh...procrastination will get you every time. Have I not learned? 

There was one positive to the $23 price tag though-- a happy, loud, not-so-melodious crew on the way home. Everyone played and did homework and tried unsuccessfully to perfect Mary Had a Little Lamb. When Levi and I left for home with harmonica in tow, we arrived just in time to have our chili supper with a different apartment group. And with the new group arriving early, there were five minutes to spare for walking to my meeting. 

Leaving Levi and guys and chocolate and piles of dishes behind, I walked over figuring I could read a few pages on the way. But how much can you really read when you're crossing streets, dodging cars and waving at people? 

One and a half. That was my half mile record.

I sat down with the large group so proud to have my book and folder and so thankful to see lots of other people to fill in talking about the awesome chapter "we'd" just read. With a whole page and a half to comment on, I kept my commenting to a minimum and enjoyed the discussion smiling to myself...no one knew the ordeal I'd been through getting that book or how little I'd been able to read...

at least not until now. :)

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Hope this encourages someone today. I certainly don't have everything together...and saw a good opportunity to be honest and encouraging that it's sometimes okay and even amusing to live a little scattered.  

Sunday, October 28, 2012

In the Meantime..

It's Saturday now, almost Sunday. What an insane week! Thank you to those who have whispered up prayers for us. There have been many moments this past week when we were beside ourselves with wonder at the things unfolding. While we are so, so anxious to share here, it will have to be a while longer before it can be shared on such an accessible public domain. Rats! But email, now that's a different story...and we've been blowing it up!

On Thursday Jason turned 29 and we celebrated in many ways with one being a  surprise party thrown by family. It marked a memorable day that we'll look forward to sharing in the month to come. We do want to take the opportunity to say that God is good and detailed in his gifts to his children. His generosity in providing our every, unspoken need has astounded us this week and we feel that he has taught us yet again that he is completely trustworthy. Sometimes in the silence or times of tragedy we wonder if we can ever trust him. We have witnessed his faithful hand and are standing as heralds of loud praise admonishing you to trust through the dark, silent times.


To give some specific updates from life lately, last weekend we fell into bed after a full day of selling that netted a $700 profit from lots of $1, $2 and $0.50 items. Then, this weekend came in with a blur as it's Homecoming here. Presidential inauguration events were completed Friday and this morning started with a 5k race that Jason beasted and I completed. Not training will do that to ya. But, hooray anyway! All feeling has returned to my limbs and I survived. 


The day was completed with a victory by our men's soccer team and dear friends dropping by our place carrying a Folgers coffee can. Inside was a collection of money they made selling canned drinks during the evening's events. They stood for hours the whole night all to give us money for our  adoption. We are blown away. What do you say to a gift like that? The words still haven't come to us. 

Tonight we crawl in bed with full, thankful hearts. 

There is more to come this week- a funny story from our Cartoon Series and maybe a few more specifics in ways to pray. Stay tuned... 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Oh, For Grace to Trust Him More

Tonight these words from Louisa M. R. Stead sum up everything. We had a weekend full of hard work and today exciting, undeserved goodness from the Lord. We're clinging to the truth of these words this week:  

  1. ’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just to take Him at His Word;
    Just to rest upon His promise,
    And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”
    • Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
      How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
      Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
      Oh, for grace to trust Him more!
  2. Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just to trust His cleansing blood;
    And in simple faith to plunge me
    ’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!
  3. Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just from sin and self to cease;
    Just from Jesus simply taking
    Life and rest, and joy and peace.
  4. I’m so glad I learned to trust [you],
    Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
    And I know that [you are] with me,
    [Will] be with me to the end.


By week's end we hope to have some good things to share with you. Be praying...that we trust...and that He walks closely beside us. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Milestones: 2 1/2 Years

Levi's back home in all his two-and-a-half-year-old glory. Twelve days ago he hit the official marker and has been doing new things almost weekly. 

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There are definite changes in our little toddler. Some so cute and some not so. 

As of today, Tuesday, here are a few of his accomplishments and favorites. By next week some of these things will be outdated.

Clothes size: 2T

Shoe size: 8 super, duper wide

Favorite thing to do: Playing with trains, jumping on the bed (holding our hands while we sing a jumping song) or watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Favorite toy: Any train. Currently, Toby.

Favorite phrase: No way! Sometimes accompanied by hitting. :( 
He's learned how to use the phrase and that is offering us our first opportunity at real discipline decisions. This is accompanied by prayers for wisdom to teach his heart to care about others and to understand that we act out of love and for his safety. Too bad he can't fully comprehend all of this yet.  

Favorite show: Toss up between Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Thomas and Friends.

New this month: Scrunchy faces and silly, rhyming words.
He's making up the craziest names and stories. Ah teak-ah maleak-ah do.

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Silly moments:
The stray cat that showed up in my parents' yard needed a name. They tried to convince Levi that it was his Nana and Papa's cat Hobbs. But Levi was smarter. "No," he said. "Pee-pee-poo-poo." And that sealed it. Good things he's a stray that won't be staying around.

While trying to take some 2 1/2 year pictures and doing everything in my power to try to get him to smile, he insisted on silly faces. Over and over again. It's his favorite this week. 

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Our house is full of chuckles and lots of smooshed up faces. For both us and Levi. With his new 6 a.m. wakings, Jason and I are also making faces. Just not in any cute sort of way and definitely without chuckling. I'm taking it as lessons in dying to myself and lessons in going to bed earlier. Some days I embrace the lesson a whole lot better than others. 

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Sweet, silly two-and-a-half-year-old boy!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Top Ten

 We're back from our little cabin in the woods at the end of a great getaway with our crew of five. Since so many pictures and things have happened in the last few weeks, I thought I'd scale back to the top ten stories with pictures.  

10. We, Jason and I, had a deal. Levi was my baby until age two. After that Jason could start the roughing up and treating him like a boy. The roughing up has begun and oh, my heart!

Courtesy of Alicia Tegen Photography


9. Glasses, ugh! They came in yesterday and I'm adjusting to life stuck behind a few inches of glass. Sorry I can't be more positive about it. It's a real adjustment to this new, sad reality. After about 100 pairs and four different eye stores, this was as good as it was getting. 


8. This picture makes me laugh. While six of us spent some time doing an ab workout during retreat, Jason read Time magazine and fell fast asleep. I love that he's unscathed by peer pressure. 



7. This was life last week with another little one on the side. In this picture we were watching Norah at ballet. This lasted about three minutes before they were wiggling for freedom.



6. Last week our backyard was completed with a fire pit envisioned by Jason. Using a few supplies from Lowe's and the rest from the woods, he constructed a place we hope will be used a lot this Fall and Spring.



5. This boy has character. And what an awesome job our cousin did of capturing it when we were on a hike with family a few weekends ago.

Photo courtesy of Alicia Tegen Photography

4. We loved getting to break in the fire pit with some forty apartment residents.



3. New life is inspirational and miraculous. I was honored to be so close to a family bonding and couldn't help think about the bonding that is to come with our little girl. We are prayerful she is safe and has made it to the orphanage as we wait for word of a match.



2. The highlight of RA retreat was stories. Each person shared their own story of family and faith and school. It was powerfully bonding and encouraging. How honored Jason and I are to be living among these five.



1. How could this not be my favorite picture from the last few weeks? This face is a sweet intermingling of my lips and ears with Jason's hair and blue eyes. How fitting that his name means attached. He is a treasure given to us to steward together. Many thanks to Alicia for taking and sharing it.

Photo courtesy of Alicia Tegen Photography

Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him. Psalm 127:3 NLT

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Few Minutes...

We haven't disappeared. There hasn't been any time to squeeze in time for sharing pictures. Just now we're leaving for our Apartments' Retreat. Most students have headed home for a week's break and only a skunk, a black cat and a few students are left hanging out in the apartments. So, when we return minus Levi, who'll be with Mimi and Papa, a few minutes should appear to share a bit. Until then, enjoy two fun pictures from the week. :)

She's a natural!
Morning devotions! :)

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Welcoming Moses

Levi and I are away from home this week with some exciting responsibilities. Long ago when Jason and I were in college we became friends with Travis and Amanda separately. Amanda was on a ministry team with me and later on a team with Jason. The first time Jason ever rode with me, before we declared our love, was to take some food to Amanda when she was sick.

The four of us have been in each other's weddings, visited each other when we were living overseas and made many trips to see each other now that we're all back stateside. And now, Levi and I, minus Jason :(, get to celebrate another milestone with them. Monday they welcomed their third baby, Moses Brandon, into the world.


Levi and I have the high honor this week of hanging out with their other two littles during Moses' birth and hospital stay. That means three kids, three and under in my care. Thankfully every night, with the help of their Nana, all three have gone to bed clean and well fed with eyes and appendages all in tact. Things are going well! :)

I was making a goofy sad face at them hoping they'd smile. Noah mimicked, Norah prepared and Levi wondered what in the world I was doing.

Thankfully, everything at the hospital is going well too and tomorrow they head home. We've look forward, every day, to our hospital trips to see them. And, since we've made it through survival mode, today we ventured out to the hospital then to the mall for ballet class followed by a picnic. :)

More pictures to come tomorrow. Now sleep is calling. I think I earned a good slumber tonight between the three sweet, energetic monkeys, a double, uncooperative BOB stroller and lots of meals and diaper changes.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Opple Archard and A Fuh-size

All day long I've been getting my words all tangled. This morning I was trying to explain how I was related to someone and I said, "my husband is married to his brother." What?!?! I corrected it but the tongue-twisting has continued. Tonight I was talking again and said, "Yes, like Moah and Noses." Everyone laughed. I tell that because this blog post isn't looking much better. I've had to rewrite this paragraph twice. So bare with me and I'll mainly stick to pictures.

We had a great time with Mom and Dad with the highlight being a first-time trip apple picking. It has to become an annual tradition because it was so good. We found a treasure apple orchard and Dad treated us to oodles of apples, fresh apple cider and apple cider donuts. I'm not a donut fan but these came highly recommended and were amazing!

There are finally pictures to share after friends enjoyed a mountain trip today and picked up our camera from the restaurant where I left it last week. Twisting words and forgetting stuff. I've been on a roll lately.

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This is a favorite. I tried to crop myself in but you could totally tell...

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Jason modeled fun for his boy

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There were loads of apples. Our new favorite are jonigolds. Kind of like fujis in crispness and galas in sweetness. 

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Golden delicious. We picked a bushel full of these!

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This place had a petting zoo...

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...and bamboo forest to walk through!

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And, just to prove I was there.

To top off the whole trip, on the way down the mountain a black bear ran across the road in front of us. I missed it but everyone else, including Levi, saw it. He still talks about it a lot alternating only between the bear story and stories of the moose his nana must be seeing as she and his papa are out visiting Montana. While Mimi and Papa sadly had to leave us Friday, rumor has it that when Nana and Papa return tomorrow a tiny, stuffed moose will be making its way to our house. Levi only knows another surprise is coming. He's been saying, "Fuh-size! Nana bing a fuh-size." The boy speaks my language. 

After today, I totally get fuh-sizes.