Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Adventures in a Mini Van

We've done a lot of driving during the past 5 months.  It truly has been a sweet time between Marvin and me.  It's given us lots of opportunities to just talk as we've driven a lot while the boys have been sleeping.  

We've also soaked in much of the Kansas landscape that we miss.  I know so many people who go on and on about how boring our home state is, but it holds a special place in our hearts and nothing can beat a Kansas Sunset and we've seen plenty of them.  We love that Big Sky.

On our way back from the respite retreat.  We stopped in Metropolis and found the biggest Superman statue I've ever seen.

We also had a little fun.  We knew the boys would have loved it.

We stopped in to see the St. Louis arch.  It was my first time seeing it.

We've made some good memories through the miles we've driven this year.

oh my sweetness

So thankful for this sweet gift this Christmas season.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Continuing to Heal

I’ve wanted to write a little about what the Lord has been doing in healing my heart recently, but I’ve struggled to put to words with what has been taking place.  

I remember last fall about this time of year.  I was walking home after taking Calvin to preschool.  It was a very foggy morning.  (Where we live in Central Asia fall is pretty foggy, cold and often dreary the closer to winter you get.).

I remember thinking that maybe this grief thing was a lot like the weather that was currently surrounding me.  That there are seasons in life where the fog is so thick you can barely see in front of you, but it always lifts.  

As my mind went deeper into this analogy, I thought of the beautiful hoar frost that comes with the fog and what a stunning sight it is to see once the fog has lifted and the sun comes out and all those branches and plants glisten.  I am always amazed at how of something so dreary comes something so beautiful, much like grief.  That day I was hopeful that the fog would lift and the dark and dreary days of winter would pass one day.  I had hope for spring time and summer it was a little comfort to my heart to know that things wouldn’t stay that hard forever. 

It’s crazy how another little life can bring healing and also stir up grief simultaneously.  There is something so sweet about new life and we’ve been drinking it up.  The fussy moments, late nights are not as bad, losing a child sort of puts things into perspective.

Yet sometimes when I’m experiencing such joy, tears well up in my eyes as I grieve never being able to drink in these type of moments with Seth.  They catch me off guard most times.  Mid diaper change, in the rocking chair, observing a squinting face that was just blasted with winter wind.  It reminds me of what we never experienced with Seth, yet at the same time I’m inexplictbly thankful that I am able to experience them with Judah.

I’m sure that over the years there will be more of these moments and I’ll continue to grieve the lost moments, yet I’m looking forward to eternity, it will far out shadow these momentary afflictions.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Trunk or Treat

Last minute (like the day before) I volunteered us to decorate our van for trunk or treat.  Marvin was less than thrilled.  (He thinks Halloween is completely weird.  And after we saw a grown man walking around with a napkin taped on his face with eye holes cut out, I can see his point.)

Anyway, our boys love dressing up.  Their current obession is Power Rangers, and I scored some power ranger costumes at a garage sale this fall that they have been living in, so the choice was a no brainer for them of what they wanted to dress up as this year.  Calvin’s the blue power ranger and Micah’s the green power ranger anytime they play.  This has translated into anything that is blue must be Calvin's and anything that is green is Micah’s, so green toys=Micah’s……blue toys=Calvin’s.

So in an effort to “dress up” our van we went with a camping theme.  We made ourselves a little fake fire and roasted some marshmallows while the trick-or-treater came by to get their candy out of our cooler.  It was truly the easiest and simplest set up and no dressing up involved, which thrilled Marvin.

The boys had a blast.  My parents came up and took them around and helped them play all the games, while we handed out candy.  Fun times for all, even Marvin enjoyed himself mainly because he had the opportunity to snuggle with the world's cutest bear all evening.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Brotherly Love

We were pleasantly surprised how interested Micah was in Judah after he was born.  He was quite smitten with his brother and took on the big brother role with seriousness.

He suddenly became his brother’s body guard.  Any time any child came close to him, he would quickly tell them that it was HIS baby brother.

Calvin’s so sweet to him and sings him all sorts of songs he makes up.  He’s pretty proud of him.

One unexpected things were the comments Calvin made after we brought him home.  One of the first things he said was, “I can’t believe it!  God let us keep him, that he didn’t make him die.”  Or while praying, “Thank you God for not letting this baby die.”  He was trying to make since of why Judah lived and Seth did not.  One day we said, “Oh Mom now I understand why Judah didn’t die, it’s because he didn’t have any of those things (pointed at the tubes in Seth’s picture) in him.”

Sometimes I hate that happy moments like a birth of a new baby, seem to get overshadowed with heavy topics, but I’m thankful that Calvin’s open and willing to talk about them freely.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Being Three {Micah}

Well Micah man turned three a while ago and I’m finally getting around to letting my fingers capture him with words.

He’s such a hoot.  Completely squeezable, and loves any sort of wrestling and bear hugs.  I figured out early last year that if we just had our morning wrestling time before we headed out the door our day went a thousand times better.

Micah finally started talking more once we landed in the states.  He’s working with a speech pathologist on his articulation, and she’s been such a gift and Micah loves his time with Miss. Kara.

He’s a pro at all things active. No boulder stops him and if he’s determined enough he’ll find a way to get it.  The last time we were at Marvin’s parents’ house his mom was looking for the step stool everywhere.  Finally I peeked into the living room and it was laying on the floor.  Apparently Micah drug to the living room to reach some toys on a shelf that he was wanting.

His curiosity often runs the best of him and he’s not shy at getting what he wants before he asks.  There have been many mornings when he’s helped himself to lots of sweets, which is why we either keep them out of the house or out of sight and reach.

We’re working on letters and numbers with him, but so far he just jumbles them all up but he's not shy to spell things for you.  He’s got his colors and shapes down for the most part.  His favorite is green and the boy loves triangles.

He’s still has the best pout in the world and makes it clear when he’s happy about something and when he is not.

He’s really been loving animals while we’ve been back and loves, loves, loves cats and dogs.  I’m slightly afraid of his newfound passion once we return to Central Asia.

Favorite shows: Jake and the Neverland Pirates or Rescue Bots.

Favorite foods:  Cheese, peanut butter, raisin bran, noodles, mac and cheese, fruit, and tortillas

Favorite thing to play:  Power rangers

Favorite Color:  Green

Favorite book:  any Richard Scary book and Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb!

Favorite animal:  According to him a goose, but monkeys are also dear to his heart.

What he wants to be when he grows up:  Firefighter (like Heatwave, on Rescue Bots)

I can't wait to see what this next year of his life will entail.  We're praying that the Lord continues to mold him into a leader who seeks God's heart.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

EMAW {teaching them early}

My brother treated Marvin and Calvin to a K-State game this fall.

It was something that we had been talking about since we were overseas and Calvin was excited.  Honestly he was most excited about the purple popcorn, but we were happy that he’d get to experience a real football game in a stadium we love.

The highlight of the day was meeting Willy the Wildcat and getting his autograph and of course the purple popcorn made the day extra special.

Thank you Aaron for the fun memories and thank you Judah for delaying your birth so these boys could build these memories.

Monday, December 09, 2013

the Pumpkin Patch

Every year I see all these fun fall pictures on facebook and blogs, and I’ll be honest I’m a little sad that I can’t take my kids to the pumpkin patch and do all those fun things with them.  So this year was the year.  There is a little pumpkin patch near my parents’ house, so my parents and I took the boys. It was perfect amount of entertainment for our boys ages and they had so much fun.

These bales were a big hit.  

I didn’t think we would ever lure them off of them.  

Especially since Calvin made a couple of friends.  But hungry tummies needed snacks, so we seized our opportunity, bought some pumpkin bread and took a hay rack ride.

We shot some pumpkins.

Then we picked out our pumpkin in a real field.  

I’m so glad we had the opportunity to go to the Pumpkin patch this year.