Saturday, May 26, 2007

a special visit

Nick has been staying with us this past week, and had to go home today. We were sad that he had to leave, but we had a great visit. We got to do lots of fun things like play with special friends, have tickle fights, make Kathryn laugh lots at Nick (we have a video we'll try to post when we figure out how to do that...), play at the park, learning our five senses, practicing counting to "twenty-ten" (aka thirty), and spend time with Johnny's family. Kathryn especially enjoye having her uncle here with her. He was a great entertainment for her...she loved watching him, smiling at all the silly things he'd do, and playing with him. We're so glad he could visit!!
We wore him out!!!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Kathryn's Dedication

This past Sunday, Kathryn got dedicated at church. It was a neat time to publicly declare what we do every day, give her over to the Lord. She is not our child, she is God's child, His gift to us for a time. We were so blessed to have our families there to celebrate with us and commit to help us, along with our church body, to raise Kathryn in a godly home, teaching her the ways of the Lord. Below is the commitment that was printed for us. You can check out Randy and Lindsay's blog for a few more pictures of the day.

A Commitment of Parents to their Children
As parents of children who belong to the Lord, we will make every effort to train our sons and daughters in the ways of the Lord, teaching them to know the Scriptures and to walk according to the principles and precepts of God's Word. By our own example and instruction, we will guide our children to follow the commands of God and to hold to the hope of His promies.

We promise to teach them to love the Lord our God with all their heart and with all their soul and with all their strength, and to lvoe others as themselves.

We will pray for our children daily and do all within our domain to lead them at the proper time to know and receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and to dedicate their lives to serving Him faithfully.

A Commitment of the Congregation to the Parents and Children
As witnesses of the dedication of these parents and children to the Lord, we commit ourselves to live responsible lives before them. Recognizing the influence that we have on others, we will support their commitment by the example of our own lives--demonstrating love, virtue, and faithfulness to the Lord.

"We're Going to Heaven!"

The following is an email that I received a few days ago from my dear friend, Brooke. I wanted to share it with you because it's an incredible story of the Lord working in a family. We pray that God would work in our family too, just as he's working in theirs. Please take the time to read this precious story, and rejoice with them!

I hope you've been doing fine! I miss talking to you and being close enough to have hang-out time with eachother and our families!
Guess what! I have some very exciting news to share! It happened just last night!

CALEB ACCEPTED JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT WAS A PRICELESS MOMENT!!!!! We were telling stories at the dinner table of when they were little and Alisia wanted to share her best story. She said it was when she accepted Jesus in her heart, but she didn't really remember the details. So I told them to her. I said "once upon a time...." And told her about how she wanted to accept Jesus in her heart because she wanted to go to Heaven. The whole time I was telling the story Caleb's eyes were huge. They were so big, I thought he was just tired and trying not to close them to go to sleep. But after I finished the story, he looked like he was going to cry and said, " YOU? are YOU going to die? I don't want you to die." I didn't want him to be scared so we talked about it for about 15 minutes then we read a story about how Jesus died on the cross for our sins and if he is in our hearts, we can go to heaven when we die to live forever with Him. I told him that Alisia was going to be there, and me and Angel, and he put both hands on his chest and said "me too! I want to go to heaven!" I said "you want to have Jesus in your heart too?" He said "yes." with so much enthusiasm. I said well, you have to pray. He said ok and grabbed my hand and bowed his head. It was such a simple sincere prayer. He said "Jesus thank you for this day, I hope we don't die, and I hope you can be in my heart," then he looked at me and didn't know what else to say, so I helped him finish. After he was finished praying, he had such a big grin on his face and he said "We're going to Heaven! with Jesus--we won!" In his best big boy voice! While I had his 100% attention, we talked a little about how when you're nice to others, you can share Jesus' love with other children. And how not fighting and hitting or pushing, or doing other mean things, can help someone see that you love Jesus.
Then he called Grammy (my mom) to tell her the exciting news! He was so excited to tell her the whole story and I could tell that he was encouraged as she rejoiced with him.
It is such a humbling experience, one that I can never prepare for and I know it is the Holy Spirit moving in his little heart! I never imagined Caleb ever being ready for this as early as ALisia did (at age 4 1/2), but the Lord sure did! I realized at age 3 1/2 the Lord touched his heart and gave him understanding and the perfect words to say! Today was such an exhausting day for me and I know that I was not "ready" or "prepared" at that moment to go through that. But I knew that God's time is perfect and I didn't want to put it off until I was ready or more prepared. I don't know why God chooses to use us as unworthy parents to do such a high-calling job! I think about our role as parents when Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (19:14).
I see how they tie of family --which doesn't even exist in heaven -- is so important on earth, because they are the people you yearn the most and pray for to know the everlasting love of our Father. I used to share the gospel with friends and strangers and yearn for them to understand and accept Christ, but when it comes to your own child, it far passes any yearning I've ever known.
Now Caleb keeps asking me about his cousin, and a close friend, who are also his age, if they will be in heaven. I can see his excitment for the Lord to GO and tell others, a little missionary. He wants to be sure they know Jesus and will be in heaven too!
Now for the hard part, to be faithful parents raising two children in the Lord who have called on Him as their own Savior of their life. I feel like my role as a parent has somehow changed, even though it's the exact same as it was yesterday. I know that they will be looking to me more now as an example of what it means to live for the Lord. Please pray for Angel and I as we face the daily struggle of knowing our children will pick up our mistakes, and that we may use that as an opportunity to point them to the cross. Pray that we will teach them more of what that means, and how special that is, and point out to them how God is working in their life as well as helping them recognize gifts they have that can be used for His glory! Pray that the fire Caleb had tonight for Jesus to be in his heart, will only grow stronger as he gets older. And the excitement Alisia had to share that story with her brother will only grown into an excitement for her to continue sharing how God called her as His child.
I am excited to share this story with you as a mother and know that I AM praying for you and your family, and an children you may have in the future.
Rejoicing In his love,

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!!

Happy Mother's Day! As my "first" Mother's Day (I'll explain more later), I have a newfound appreciation for mothers. Thanks, mom, for being such a wonderful mom to me and David, Ali, and Nick. We all love you so much!

This picture is of mom and I when I was pregnant.And this is Kathryn and I on Easter. She was trying to eat her hands, of course.
It was Mother's Day last year that we found out we were pregnant with Kathryn. What a neat day to find out! We had the privilege this year to dedicate her to the Lord at church this morning. Mother's Day therefore has a special place in my heart, now, as a mom, both in finding out about becoming a mom last year on this day, and in dedicating her to the Lord this year. The dedication is a neat way of publicly proclaiming what we do every day with our daughter, giving her over to the Lord, commiting to raise her to know and love Him, to the best of our abilities. We'll post more about the dedication later when we get pictures to accompany.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Kathryn and Noa

Here are some cute pictures of Kathryn and her good friend Noa Noll from the weekend. We stayed at the Nolls, and the two girls had lots of fun "playing" together!

Dr. France

Chris France officially became Dr. France when he graduated this past Saturday from JMU with his doctorate in audiology. We had a party at the Lookabills to celebrate (thanks for opening up your home at the last minute due to rain, Josh and Tabitha!). Chris, we are soooo proud of you!

(Yes, ladies, he's single...inquire within if you're interested, and we'll set something up. I'm serious...)

(And no, that's not his real ear...)J-rob, we know it doesn't look half as good as it would have if you'd have been there, but did we do a good job?
Great job on the cake, Tabitha!
Naomi working hard to get the food out!

Monday, May 07, 2007

4 months old!

Kathryn was 4 months old this past Saturday! I didn't get around to taking her picture by herself till later in the evening, so in this first picture she looks quite sleepy. This was at the Noll's house...we stayed with them this weekend while we were in Harrisonburg celebrating Chris France's graduation (a post on that will come later!). Kathryn enjoyed playing with Noa (pics to come)...this is a picture of her enjoying some new toys...thanks for sharing, Noa!

We had Kathryn's 4 month checkup today at the doctor. She now weighs 14lbs 12oz (75%tile) and is 24 inches long (50%tile). Her head is in the 75%tile too. She's still quite a big girl! She got 4 shots again, and an oral vaccination. She cried harder than I've ever seen her cry with her shots, but only for about 1 minute. By the time we got to the car, she was smiling again. I think it wore her out, though, because she's been sleeping ever since we left.

Well, that's the baby update. More posts about the weekend will come!

Mocha Brownie Dessert

Here's the recipe for the Mocha Brownie Dessert mentioned a few posts back. It's from Pampered Chef, but it may not be the exact Pampered Chef recipe, because I wrote it down from what I remembered. Let me know how it turns out if you try it!

Prepare a boxed brownie mix (in 9x13 pan).
Cut cooled brownies into 1-inch squares.
Mix 4 tb. instant coffee with a few tbs of hot water (just enough water to dissolve coffee).
Add 1/4 c. milk.
Add 2 pkgs. instant pudding (either white chocolate or cheesecake).
Fold in 2 c. Cool Whip.
Chop 3 Skor bars (or Heath Bars) and set aside.
Layer brownies, whipped mixture, and Skor (or Heath) topping twice.
Top with Cool Whip dollops.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Ali's horse show

Ali was in a horse show the other weekend. She is riding Malibu Barby (the horse's name), and won a Reserve Champion!
This is our cousin Willow, who was also in the show.

oh baby!

I was at my parents and found some cute pictures that I don't have, so I thought I'd post them!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

new sleeping habits

A couple of days ago, I let Kathryn sleep on her tummy for naptime (because she just wouldn't sleep any other way!). After getting a taste of how nice that was, she now flips herself over like this, not quite on her tummy but kind of on her side. I found her like this at naptime yesterday, and couldn't help but sneak in her room and snap some pictures. Notice she also found her thumb, and now sucks on it when she sleeps cute!

Also, because she sleeps better in this position, I think we're one step even closer to sleeping through the night. Last night I put her down at 9:30, went in to feed her one last time at 11:00 (which she just ate while she slept...quite a skill!), and then didn't wake up until 5:30 to eat again! Yay! I actually woke up by myself at 4:30 and had to get up and go check on her just to make sure she was ok. I can't wait to sleep a whole's coming soon!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

so big!

Thought this was a cute picture of Kathryn from a few days ago. She's getting so big!!