Monday, September 30, 2013

Birthday Fun!

Thought I would post some pictures from our fun day celebrating Evie's birthday!
 Opening her presents (with her sissy's help of course)
 Yummy apples at the farm!
 This little cutie loved her apple!

"What is this mess on my hands?"

It was a fun day to celebrate our sweet girl.  We had a blast at the apple farm.  It was a simple, fun day. We took a cake out to the farm where we picked apples and had a picnic with friends and sang happy birthday.  Evie wasn't a fan of the icing on her hands, so she never really ate any of her cake that night (plus she was tired by this point too, so that didn't help).  The next night I gave her some more and fed it to her while she sat in my lap and she liked that much better.

I can't believe our baby is 1.  Look at how much she has changed!!!


And let's see what SK looked like when she turned 1:

Similar?  Different?  SK def. has Evie beat in the hair department.  Alright, off to get the day rolling.  

Friday, September 27, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday, Evie Joy!!!!!

I can hardly believe my baby is 1 today.  Dude.  Has it already been a year???

My heart is so full of joy as we celebrate her life today.  What a gift she is to our family.  She is just so cute and happy.

SO what all is she up these days?

*She has started taking steps.  She isn't "walking" I would say just yet, but she can take 3-4 steps now and getting closer to going further distances.

*She is sleeping better.  Not 100% of the time through the night still, but last night she slept through the night :)  I would say 5/7 nights a week she sleeps without waking any.

*She is ticklish.  The girl has the best belly laugh, just like her sister.  She loves to get tickled.

*She says "uh-oh" now.   So cute.

*She is def. a momma's girl when momma is around.  She loves her daddy, but if mommy is in the room, she screams for me.

*She gives the best open mouth kisses.  Grabs your face and lay a big ole wet kiss.

*She loves to eat.  We are progressing to more table foods it seems.   She loves crackers now too.

*She takes 2 naps a day still.  For the most part, she goes down pretty easily.  We can rock her for a couple minutes then lay her down and tell her "night-night" and she watches us leave the room, then lays on down and goes to sleep.

* She has 2 teeth, but 1 more that I believe finally cut through on the top yesterday.  Poor things has been teething all week it seems.

*We introduced her to whole milk this week, and she likes it.  She is still nursing, so we shall see how weaning goes as she gets more whole milk.

Today we plan to spend the morning together doing errands, then this afternoon we are headed out to go apple picking and do a picnic with friends.  We are taking a cake and plan to sing "Happy Birthday" out there and let her have cake :)  So no big party, but a simple fun family day.  Daddy doesn't have class today, since there are all kinds of festivities going on for the President Inauguration this weekend (Covenant--Michael's school--has a new President).  We went last night to a worship celebration in honor of this and it was incredible.

Well, off to get the day going and celebrate our baby girl!!!  More pics to come next time :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Pirates and Balloons!

We had a fun filled weekend!

Let's start with Thursday night.  At about 5:00 I saw on facebook people talking about getting free donuts for dressing/talking like a pirate, so I quickly decided we must participate in that :)

SK was willing to dress up for us and we watched a youtube video teaching how to talk like a pirate after eating a quick dinner.

We got a dozen free!  Yumm :)

The next night we headed to Forest Park to check out the Hot Air balloons, that happen every year.  We went last year as well, but I was about 38 weeks pregnant :)  SK thought they were all cool and fun till we got close.  She wasn't a fan this year of the flames and all...
 It was a gorgeous night--check out that sky!

 This is the face I get most of the time when I try to take her picture...
 So cool to see all the balloons light up at all the same time!

This is where SK stayed when we got close to the balloons...I promise she wasn't as scared as she looks in this picture...and we headed away from the balloons as soon as she said she was done :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Meet Katie...

We would like to introduce you to our newest member, Katie :)
(This is after she escaped and right before she went into her cocoon)

Katie the caterpillar joined us a couple weeks ago.  She was a tiny thing then.  SK walked in the door with her new friend so excited and very anxious for her to become a butterfly.  So being the good mommy that I am...ahem...we made her a little home and researched (and asked another mom on campus that is a bit more experienced with how to care for them...).

Well, we made her a little home with the only thing we could find...a yogurt container with holes poked in the lid.  We put dill in there every other day, then decided it would be more fun to have her in a glass container so we could see her better each day.

Well, I had a mason jar, but no you know where this is going???!!!

I thought that she wouldn't try to climb out or couldn't, so it would be fine to not have a lid on it.  I was wrong.  Completely wrong.

She stayed for a couple days fine, but then it happened.  We were headed out the door this weekend to have a fun night and get Chick fil A.  We gathered up everything and I thought, ooh, I will check on Katie before we leave and see if she looking closer to getting ready to do the cocoon thing (I don't know the actually terms to say that...just work with me...)

And, where was Katie?  You got it...she wasn't in the jar.  She had ventured out to explore I guess.  Well the next 30 minutes involved Michael and I taking everything off of the bookshelves and pulling the shelves away from the wall and searching like crazy for our friend.  We couldn't find her.   We decided to head on out and resume the search when we got back.

After returning from dinner, we continued.  Finally, Michael found our little friend all comfy on the back of our couch just hanging out.  

Katie was returned to her glass jar, now with a lid.  The next day she knit (or however you say that...) her cocoon and is still in there...

We are hoping to have a butterfly in the next week or so :)  SK has had a blast with it and it really has been so incredible to watch how cool the process is.

God is pretty creative and amazing.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

School in full swing...

So the last 2 weeks has really been insane I feel like, but we are starting to get used to the craziness...kinda.

We got back from our trip to AL and FL Sunday 2 weeks ago and classes started the next day at the seminary.  Michael doesn't have too heavy of a load this semester, but there is still much on his plate.

This week was my first week of school with SK.  We have decided that I will homeschool her until we get to England, then put her in the school there.  Many reasons for doing this, but mostly because I didn't want to put her in 3 different schools in 3 years time.

SO homeschooling week one....

How did it go?  Well, good overall.  It would have been better had I not had a headache for the last 5 days...but it went well really.  Each day SK would ask for more after I had worked through everything planned for the day.  She isn't a huge fan of some things we are doing (like handwriting is her least favorite...) but overall she loves what we are doing.

I chose to use a book called Five in a Row and am loving it.  We are also going through Happy Phonics and just winging some math work.  So far I feel like each of these were good choices given SK's learning style.  Some days I feel like I am in over my head, but for the most part I am trying to relax and enjoy this time with her.

I am also auditing 2 classes at the seminary this semester as well.  One night a week I am taking a class called Unholy Matrimony by Jerram Barrs then one afternoon a week I am taking Marriage and Family Counseling with Diane Powell.  Both are really good so far and I am so glad we were able to work out me getting to sit in on them.

It is hard to believe this is our last fall here in St. Louis, but we are excited to enjoy this year and soak up this time here.

This weekend we checked out an art fair in Clayton (15 minutes from where we live).  It was a  blast.  They had about 8 or so blocks of streets set up with artists from all over the states displaying their work (and selling...).  Then there was a whole block with food :)  Good food too :)  It was a fun family outing that was much needed after the last 2 weeks of being so busy and getting our feet underneath us for the semester.  Then yesterday we got to hang with friends all day including getting in some swimming (it is crazy that it is mid-Sept. and we can still go swimming!).

Now I am up before everyone else this morning and gonna soak in these few moments before the rest of the house wakes :)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

SO why did we choose England...

How did we come about choosing to go to England???

Fun question.  With multiple answers really.  I will start with a simple answer...The Lord drew our hearts there.  Does it make sense to go the England?  Why can't we just stay in Alabama and minister to the people there and be about disciple making there, where family is closer and where we are more familiar with everything?

It doesn't make sense on paper, but we know that the Lord has called us to go.  We can look back over the last 3 years and say, it didn't make sense to come here to St. Louis.  BUT the Lord had us come and paved the way for us to be here.  And now having been here almost 3 years, we can see more of his reasons for doing this.  We can see how he wanted us to come here to prepare us for a move overseas.  It didn't make sense to sell our home and leave everything we knew, but the Lord asked us to trust him and we did.  And He has been so faithful to us.

We have learned that if we feel called to go, he will provide and open doors.  We are to trust him and seek his will and put aside ourselves.  I won't lie and say some days I have to put myself aside, but do it kicking and screaming like a little girl.  But the Lord is working on my heart and molding me.

So, how did the Lord draw our hearts to England?  Well...let's start with last summer.  Michael was given the opportunity to go to South Africa with a group from a church here in St. Louis.  They were going to encourage and help out with a campus ministry at the University of Cape Town.  There, they were involved with some evangelism on the campus and some Bible studies and also got to check out the Bible college as well.  I knew when talking with Michael while he was there that he was in love with being in another culture and soaking up building relationships with people there and being about the ministry there.  We had decided, that since his flight coming back home had a layover in London, it would be an awesome chance to get to stop off and see some friends of ours, Trace and Ginger.  They had been in England for almost 2 years (they are friends from our home church back in Alabama).  So Michael booked a train and made his way to Culcheth to see them and spend 2 days with them before heading back to St. Louis.

During his time there, Michael fell in love with England and he saw the true need for the gospel there.  Soon after leaving the airport in London, he met a young man in the train station while waiting for his train.  In talking with this guy, it became apparent to him that this guy was a clear example of what the state of England is in.  He told Michael that he was baptized in the Anglican church, but "didn't really believe it anymore".  Then he told Michael "that's good for you" about Michael stating his faith, but he just didn't see a need for it in his life.

We have come to learn that this conversation he had with the guy in the train station greatly represents where much of the population is: Post Christian.  In looking at some statistics, we found that only about 5% of the population actually attend church on a regular basis.  Compare that to the states, where about 43% attend weekly here.  That is why we feel the need to go.  Our hearts ache for the next generation there, where it is estimated that 96% of children will grow up with no gospel influence at all.

Michael and I (and Evie) were able to spend time with the church there in Culcheth.  We love the people in the church.  We saw that they had a heart for their village and their country.  Our desire once we get there is to come alongside this church and support them and serve, and ultimately we hope to plant another church in the neighboring village of Leigh.

We are open to what and how the Lord will work there.  We have our ideas of what we could do there, but ultimately we are waiting on the Lord to show us, one step at a time.

And ultimately, we hope to be about loving the people there well.  We know that we are called to go and make disciples.  It is going to be a fun and crazy ride :)

So what other questions are there?  Any???  No question is too silly...I would love to hear them.  Like what our timeline for getting to England, will we continue to homeschool or put our girls in school, or any other questions...

I need to blog too about SK starting kindergarden this week... So far so good with this whole homeschooling thing.  She is loving it and ask for more everyday.  I should take the typical "first day of  kindergarden" picture, or maybe the first week seeing as I have missed the first day...oops.