December 23, 2009

Snow & Eye-Fi

During Sunday's snowstorm, we celebrated our immediate family Christmas. (One set of grandparents arrives tomorrow afternoon with gifts from both sets; we don't want the kids to be completely overwhelmed on Christmas morning! And we want Elizabeth to register who gave her each thing. Do you even care?! Should I keep going with this parenthetical???) My gift from my very loving and very techie husband was an Eye-Fi card, an SDHC memory card with built in WiFi! So far it seems like it will be pretty sweet. When I want to write a blog post, the pictures and video will already be available; I won't have to fumble around with the card and wait for things to upload.

Here are some photos (from the old card) of time we spent in the snow. You'll note that Colin is absent for the revelry because the man is writing his thesis!!!!


Brian is getting used to a world with snow:

At first he preferred the cleared paths,

and learned how difficult it is to drive in the snow.


Elizabeth's extra height and years of experience give her an edge on enjoying the snow:

eat it,

make snow angels,

jump in it,

and slide really fast in your snowpants.

But most of all, just have fun!

December 22, 2009

Come, NOW is the Time to Worship!

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. -Matthew 1:21

How are we to think of the incarnation: The New Testament does not encourage us to puzzle over the physical and psychologial problems that it raises, but to Worship God for the love that was shown in it. -J.I. Packer

Our pastor preached on the above verse in Matthew sometime last year and it has stuck with me. Jesus primary purpose in coming down, humbly, beginning as a baby, was to rescue us from our sin! His whole life and ministry must be understood through that lens.

For God so loved the world, that he sent his one and only Son ... (John 3:16a). My prayer for myself and for you is that this Christmas would be a time of wonder and worship at God's great expression of love. Today, whether you find yourself downtrodden or high on the delights of the season, God's love for you and desire to rescue you from sin are the same; both shepherds and wise men knelt to worship the baby King of kings.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

December 20, 2009

Party Update

God proved Himself faithful!

The Christmas Story Party was quite a success. We all had a wonderful time! Over all we had just shy of 30 kids attend and 17 Bibles were given away, one to each family.

I don't have too many pictures and our computer is dead at the moment, so I can't upload what I do have. But thank you if you prayed and/or attended!

Merry Christmas! May the Light of the World illumine your holiday in a new way this year, for unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given!

December 19, 2009

Christmas Story Party

I haven't posted in a while because I've been spending my free-ish time getting ready for this morning's Christmas Story Party that our church is sponsoring here where we live.

Around Thanksgiving, the Lord placed on my heart the desire to share the real Christmas story with my neighbors. I had entertained the idea of an Advent Bible study, of sorts, but when one of the pastors mentioned the excellent story telling in the Jesus Storybook Bible, it occurred to me that we could do a kids event! (Thanks, Bradley!) My dear friend and Children's Ministry director, Lydia, jumped right in with me to get it planned. (Thanks, Lydia!)

So this morning from 10-11:30am, we will be making crafts, sharing the Christmas story, singing some carols, and icing cookies with at least 20 kids and their parents. I'm very excited! A handful of MIT connected church members will also be there to help. (Thanks, Andy, Sam, Jenny, & Chris!) Two neighbor friends of mine helped to get all of the crafts cut and ready. (Thanks, Katie and Liz!) And every family will go home with a Jesus Storybook Bible. (Thanks, John!)

The Spirit has really guided this whole endeavor from the very beginning and has used my community to mold and shape it with great ideas. (Thanks, Lord!) Here's to God's Word going out and not returning to Him void. Please pray for this event with us!

December 15, 2009

The Tooth!

The big gap!

The tiny tooth!

The lovely package!

The return note!

The great reward!
(For the curious, it's a $1 coin.)

December 13, 2009

Something New

I have many friends who take advantage of The Cutest Blog on the Block to make their blogs prettier. I've never tried, wanting to stick to some dorky principles of keeping it simple or something. I know, what kind of a fool am I? Their blogs are so cute!!!!

So this morning I gave it a shot. I really like the winter, so this one appealed to me. What do you think?

December 12, 2009

Little Miss Chatterbox

Elizabeth and Colin are playing Mario Kart. Elizabeth is talking and talking, while driving her kart.

Colin: Elizabeth, do you ever stop taking?
Elizabeth: Uh, yea, when I'm sleeping.

And she still hasn't stopped talking.

December 10, 2009

There Once Was a Boy Named Brian...

When Elizabeth was small, people used to say things like, Wait until you get a real kid. She was very calm, sweet, obedient, and cautious.

Then her long-awaited brother arrived. This is his latest favorite activity, or actually, two of them: admiring candles and climbing onto the kitchen table. Just prior to taking this video he was saying, "Happy, happy" and blowing at the unlit candles.

video

There once was a boy named Brian.
He behaved exactly as a boy of his age should.
But his mama was not really ready for it!

December 9, 2009

December!

We re-numbered the calendar last week. It's December!

Elizabeth did the second row of numbers and drew the tree on Christmas day.
I think the star is really fun!


In December, most playdates are indoors.

In December, there are lots of parties and lots of eating!

Westgate holiday party

In December, we often see the first of the season's snow.

In December, we create new and repeat old holiday traditions with family and friends.

snowflake cutting

cookie decorating

In December, we observe advent, four weeks of anticipation and waiting for the celebration of Jesus' birth. This is the real reason for the season, as they say; and we're looking forward to it!

Providence

The providence of God is like Hebrew words - it can be read only backwards.
-John Flavel
Puritan writer

At such times, [times in life that don't seem to make any sense] Flavel's words have often comforted me and helped me to readjust my myopic spiritual perspective. They have reminded me to fix my mind and heart on God's wise, gracious, and sovereign rule, and on the assurance that He works everything together for His children's good, so that I do not inquire too proudly into why I cannot understand His sovereign purposes.
-Sinclair Furgeson
In Christ Alone
(I highly recommend this book.)

Furgeson offers this reflection at the beginning of a chapter entitled God's Mysterious Will. I found it both encouraging and convicting. How precious and dear is the thought, based on the truth of God's word, that our Lord is wise, gracious, and sovereign! Do not fear, Christian. Trust and obey, whatever the circumstance. God is in control. This gives us hope and encouragement in the journey.

And I am also convicted, being reminded of how I proudly try to imagine I can understand the mind of God. In a later paragraph Ferguson says this about how we'd act if we knew God's will: So perverse are we that we would use our knowledge of God's will to substitute for actual daily personal trust in the Lord Himself. You got me there, Furgeson! I'd never thought about it this way, but it's true. I want to know God's will (the plan He has laid out for my life) so I can be my own god and get set on pursuing that path...rather than pursue God Himself.

Yesterday as I prepared for Bible study, I was delighting in studying Scripture and all of the fun there is in making connections, asking good questions, thinking deep thoughts. And then it hit me that I'd much rather be studying and thinking, than getting myself dirty in the business of loving the Lord with all my heart, mind, and soul, and loving my neighbor has myself (Matt. 22:37-38), trusting God and not leaning on my own understanding (Prov 3:5-6), and repenting and believing the good news.

Yet it is there that God calls us to be.

To trust Him.

To obey Him.

To love Him.

I don't know where you find yourself today. But I do know the God who made you, loves you, and wants to transform you. He's more than reliable; He's the solid rock. How desperately we need to be reminded. How much we need to be encouraged to trust and obey, for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey!

December 7, 2009

Brian - 18 months

Today Brian is 18months old!


He is funny, active, tactile, inquisitive, squishy, busy, curious, and (if a mom may say so) cute!

video

He weighs about 30 pounds (has for a while), but is getting taller. He's lost some of that protruding belly.

He goes to bed at 7 and gets up between 5:15 and 6am most days. He's taking one nap in the middle of the day, around 11am, sometimes for 3 hours! And sometimes he doesn't quite make it:


He has a hilarious way of running, says a handful of words (daddy, mama, hi, bye, ball, car, naa-naa (hermana, sister in Spanish), and he still calls milk nah-nah), likes cars, trucks, buses, trains, airplanes, and Dora, eats pretty much anything you give him (but is particularly fond of fruits and desserts), adores his big sister, will sit sometimes a look at books for a long while, likes peek-a-boo and being chased, loves to sing and dance, and brings us so much joy, sometimes it can bring tears to my eyes.


Rock and Roll,
or at least bounce...
video

Peek-a-boo!


Say, "Cheese!"


Warning: We're grooming him for a future in professional wrestling.
video

HAPPY HALF BIRTHDAY, BUBBY!

December 4, 2009

December 4, 2009

Today I
  • pondered a discussion we had at Bible study on Tuesday and looked up some related passages,
  • took my kids to have their Christmas pictures taken,
  • ran some errands,
  • found my mother-in-law's annual snowman themed Christmas gift,
  • showed E all the different places things get weighed at the grocery store,
  • listened to her finish reading the book Ten Apples up on Top to me,
  • took a run
  • outside
  • in December,
  • washed dishes,
  • spent time on the playground with the kids and many neighbors,
  • thought about how much I was enjoying today,
  • ate dinner out with my family because the power went out,
  • baked crazy awesome brownies,
  • prepared the dinner I would have made tonight,
  • washed more dishes, and
  • soon I will watch the series finale of Monk.
  • With my feet up.
  • And maybe even a glass of wine.

December 3, 2009

Elizabeth at 5.5 Years

Elizabeth's been in rare form lately! She talks non-stop, especially when she's excited about something. And she repeats herself a lot, again, especially when she's excited. A couple of recent funny occurrences.

1. Elizabeth's coloring in a picture of pregnant Mary in an advent coloring book that I put together for her a couple of years ago. She's coloring with brown; I'm washing the dishes and not paying much attention. Elizabeth matter of factly says, "I'm making Mary African."

(Ironcially, she's probably closer to Mary's true skin tone than most of our images here in the states!)

2. Yesterday she was talking about how one of her top teeth was loose and that she could wiggle it with her bottom tooth. I felt the teeth, and they were firm in their positions. At dinnertime, she realized that it was her bottom tooth that's loose. People, you should have seen the excitement on her face. She was elated and almost started crying, she was that overcome with joy! I don't even remember what she said, but it was a very precious moment.

Throughout the rest of the evening she kept saying, in a very adult manner, "I'm really excited about my loose tooth, but...I'm kind of nervous too, because it's my first time to have a loose tooth."

If you see us frequently, brace yourself for lots of talk about the loose tooth.


Our little girl just passed 5-1/2 years old. She's delightful, curious, funny, creative, sensitive, and enthusiastic. We weren't trying to grow our family when I found out I was pregnant, but the Lord knows what we need. What would our lives be like without our Elizabeth?!

December 2, 2009

Our Christmas Wish

Friends! This Christmas our family wish list includes finding a sponsor for this sweet little girl!


Her name is Beth. She's seven years old. She's from Kenya. And she's awaiting sponsorship with Compassion International. Through Compassion she would receive much needed physical, educational, and spiritual support and guidance. Personally, I've supported a child through Compassion since high school and can highly recommend the organization and the experience of sponsoring a child. Beyond monthly contributions, you build a relationship with your child through letter writing and other news you receive directly from Compassion.

We are praying specifically for Beth throughout the month of December, as we search for a sponsor for her. Could you be the one to give her new hope this Christmas season?! Please consider. If you'd like more information about her, I have a small information packet Compassion provided that I'd love to snail mail to you!

November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend 2009

Thanksgiving began with lying around, a brief walk (the weather was beautiful!), and breakfast with our neighbors, Edwin, Julie, and Alistair. We had the TV on from 9am-2pm, watching the parade and the dog show. Elizabeth enjoyed both quite a bit. In the afternoon we prepared a couple of sides and went to Hordur, Gyda, and Bjarney's for dinner. The meal included turkey, two types of potatoes, sweet potato souffle casserole, stuffing, cranberry sauce, quinoa salad, green bean casserole, and delicious Chilean wines. We migrated to our apartment for dessert later in the evening. The girls ended the day with a rousing game of Elefun, please enjoy the video below!

We have not yet sold the toddler bed.
It's a new place to play and snuggle in the livingroom.

I didn't get a shot of all of us eating;
these little guys really enjoyed the meal, though!

We talked a little with family.

I got the table ready for dessert.
My mom got me this tablecloth in France;
it's BEAUTIFUL!


This is the window decoration E and I made.
You can find the pattern here.


Hordur made the turkey;
it was delicious, as expected. :)

The dinner party (starting L around the table):
Hordur, Gyda, Elizabeth, Bjarney, Martina, Macarena, Gonzolo, Colin, and Brian


video


Friday was also spent in a pretty relaxed fashion. I went out briefly with Gyda in the morning so she could pick something up at Ann Taylor. I got a gift for Elizabeth at Sears - her very own bright pink towel set - don't tell! Later, while Brian napped, we got the Christmas decorations out and went to work!

Brian began the day at the little table the girls had used for dessert the night before.

He's become a bit of a wrestler lately,
mercilessly attacking his sister without warning!
(And he loves wearing his rain boots.)


Setting up the tree!

Because he's cute!
video


Elizabeth finished the day with some video games.
She likes MarioKart the most!