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. 


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.


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. 


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. 


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.