Saturday, January 28, 2012

For you are our glory and joy. ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:20

Last Sunday we had the privilege, as parents, to stand before our family and church family and dedicate Haven to Jesus. One day, it will be her choice if she wants to follow Him.
She was the only baby dedicated which was a first for our church that is always full of babies. It was extra special for Haven to be the only one. Our pastor read this verse "To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." from Colossians. He emphasized to us that we have Christ in us and as her parents, we can pass on that hope to Haven.
Then he prayed for us while the rest of the church extended their hands out to us in agreement.
Afterwards, everyone came to our house for lunch. Brad's 97 year old grandma was in town and loved being with all the little ones.
I shared with my family something I felt the Lord had revealed to me during a bible study I did the week leading up to the dedication. In 2 Thessalonians Chapter 2, Paul expresses his loving care for the Thessalonians. When I read verse 2 which says "we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children", I pictured sweet Haven nursing on me and started to relate what Paul was saying to being a parent. Later in verse 11 he says " we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children" and I thought of how Brad will both encourage and at times redirect the girls out of his love for them. At the end of the chapter he says "for who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?" and I pictured my little Haven standing before Jesus and I got tears in my eyes. As her mama, that is my hope for her. She is our glory and joy!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

8 Months!

Yes, those are tears in her eyes. She did not want anything to do with another photo shoot, but good thing it is easy for me to get her to smile. Most of the time. Sorry kid, we've done 7 months of these and we have to get through all 12!

She sprouted hair this month and I've started to transition from a headband to a clip.
She also sprouted her top two teeth and seems to be in a constant state of teething. She is biting everything and often won't let go of the spoon when I am feeding her.
Her favorite toy combination is Missy (Anna's beloved, favorite, must have all the time, will not share with ANYONE doll) and Missy's crib. This has created great drama within our home at times. She is so fast and mobile these days, it is hard to catch her in time.

These two really are sweet together much (wouldn't quite say most :) of the time. I know having these cribs so close together will become an issue one of these days, but for now it is fun for them. Almost every night when we put Anna in her crib, she starts jumping. Haven hangs on to her crib and tries to jump too. She'll even try to jump when we tell her to!
Reading together before bedtime. I love that they share a room so we do the bedtime routine of reading a book then the Bible and then praying together as a family.
I love a baby in just a diaper. She is happiest when she is standing. She pulls up on everything and I love when she crawls over to me and pulls up on my legs. It is one of my favorite phases.
The little stinker also loves to stand in the bath. She gets a big grin on her face when I tell her "no, no, no". I can't take my eyes off her for a second.
Another thing I love about this phase, is having a little one in the front of the cart to talk to. It makes grocery shopping less of a chore. I love when people stop to talk to Haven and ask me about her. I used to think that some people acted like they never get to see babies and then I realized that they probably don't. I'm in a special stage of life right now where I am surrounded by own, my sibling's, my friends, my neighbors, etc. These babies are going to grow up and it won't always be like this. If people want to get their baby fix with mine, I welcome it! Babies are good for the soul.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Two Lil' Monkies

A couple weekends ago, I was honored to help host a baby shower for one of my best friends, Jean. This shower was especially meaningful because we have been praying for Jean to be able to get pregnant for awhile now. We were finally able to celebrate not one, but two identical baby boys! The babies surprised Brian and Jean and decided to come at 28 weeks, and it all happened so fast that she had them naturally. That's right...she delivered twins without drugs!!! They are getting stronger and bigger everyday but will still be in the NICU for several more weeks, so we are continuing to pray for them. You can follow their beautiful journey here.

We did a sock monkey theme so the decorating possibilities were endless. Here is some of what we came up with.

Jean and her sweet mom who was so appreciative, it humbled me.
I took a picture of this bag because Jean is in residency for child psychiatry and it was given to her by a girl she works with. We all joked about Jean talking to her babies asking "how do you feel right now? happy? sleepy? quiet?".
Everyone was so curious about what was in the Tiffany blue box.
Brian's dad is a financial planner and gave the boys each a piggy bank for their first investment. How cute!
Jean with her hostesses, Mellissa, Mary and I. We made a great team. :)
Holly and Kirsten. Love these girls so much!Brad and I got to meet Oliver and Sawyer for just a couple minutes on our way out of town. What tiny miracles they are!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Keystone, Colorado Part III - Family Time

Spending time as a family away from the busyness of everyday life was the whole point of the trip. I think we accomplished that! Here are a few pics of our little family all bundled up:
My mom grew up in Colorado and her brother and sister still live there. We got to spend some time with my Uncle Harry, Aunt Ann and cousin Shea. Of course, since Shea is a big girl Anna was drawn to her.
My Aunt Monica spent the week with us and brought her dog, Eddie. Anna referred to her as Eddie's mom.
Something fun that all of us did together was take a wagon ride out to an original homestead site where we had an awesome 3 course meal with steak dinner. A guy played the guitar and took requests so we asked him to play She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain since all the kids new it from this semester of music class. It turned into a sing-a-long and everyone got into it.
Free peppermint Goldschlager shots for everyone!
Love this pic of Anna with a genuine smile, as opposed to her "say cheese" smile. She was loving the hot cocoa.
Unfortunately towards the end of the trip, these two got sick. I've never seen Marcus so still and quiet because he is all boy. On the 17 hour ride back, 3 of the 4 kids were sick and Haven was barking like a little seal because she had croup. We were all ready to be back home!

Keystone, Colorado Part II - Skiing and Tubing Fun

Everyone in the group had been skiing before but not in several years (except for Aunt Monica, the native). It didn't take long before Brad and Giam were going down the blues. I was thankful that the blacks were closed due to lack of snow so that Brad couldn't try anything too crazy. He did get a helmet on his third day of skiing because he wanted to try the jumps. He just went off some small ones and even told me that thinking about how he was the sole provider of the family kept him from trying something he shouldn't. :)

This is the bottom of a blue and I think Brad is on the far right.
I opted not to ski this time since I didn't want to have to mess with nursing Haven or pumping in between runs. I did go tubing one day and had a blast! The ski resort employees tried to make it fun and made us try all these different ways of going down the chute. I told Brad that I realized I actually hadn't thought about the girls for a couple of hours. It was kind of funny because some of the skiers were making fun of us tubers on their way up the lift. One guy even bawked at us like a chicken. We didn't care because we were having fun!

Karri, Me, Brad, Giam and Lucas making a tube train.
Lucas and Giam