Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Welcome Baby Ezra!

Ezra James was born at 12:57 pm on December 27th. He weighs 9 lbs 6 oz and is 21" long. We're both doing great and plan to head home this morning. We praise God for His great gifts to us!

I am very thankful to have had an unmedicated labor with zero complications. I feel great!

I'm so thankful for Luke & his love, encouragement, and support. I'm also thankful that Ellie & Clar could spend the last few days with their Grammy & Grandpa. Ellie & Clar love their little brother and we're looking forward to all being home together this morning. But enough words!Here are some pictures!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Baby Ezra at 36 Weeks

Here are some pictures from my ultrasound yesterday. It's amazing how much detail we can see!

He looks healthy and not small. We're looking forward to meeting him in a month or so!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Nesting for Non-Cleaners

I've always heard that mommas get this overwhelming urge to clean in the weeks before their babies are born. I have yet to experience that. I have an overwhelming urge to have my house be clean, but I don't think that's the same thing. I do have a strong urge to make stuff, which is how I spent naptime/rest time/kids watch a movie time yesterday. (And for the record, I went to Joann fabrics and walked out with only $3.13 worth of elastic to finish these projects. No new fabric!)

Here's the car seat cover for New England winters:

Baby mittens from the car seat cover scraps:

And a baby hat I crocheted last week for a friend's shower. It was probably the only thing I've ever started and finished during a single naptime:

It's not exactly scrubbing the baseboards or cleaning the light fixtures, but...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Clar's Longest Sentence

One of the best things about our recent move is that we live less than an hour from my parents. We see Grammy & Bopba about once a week, sometimes we see Grammy a little more.

Last Saturday, I took the kids to Grammy & Bopba's house while Luke studied. We "helped" fill, I don't know, 15 bags of leaves. Clar loves to help, especially when helping includes jumping into a leaf pile to make sure it's big enough.

The other day, Grammy was here at our apartment. When it came time for her to leave, Clar was really sad and started to cry. I explained that she had to go home to help Bopba, and all of the sudden Clar calmed down and said "Bye bye!"

We met my mom for lunch yesterday, and when it came time to go home, Clar crawled on her lap and said, "Grammy home help Bopba!" I don't know if he pictures Bopba constantly surrounded by leaves and bags, or what. I'd love to know what Clar's really thinking. The more he talks, though, the more insight I have!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Craft Diet 2011

I think some of the overwhelmed feeling I've had the last 8 weeks comes from the state of our apartment. We're mostly moved in now. Pictures are hung. Boxes are unpacked. The storage space in the attic turned out to really help. There's one section of the apartment left, where I've been stashing everything that doesn't really have a home yet, and it's the space in my room between the bed and the wall. Our rocking chair is there, and I'd love for that to be a cozy space to rock our new little baby when he comes. But right now, it's still a disaster area.

I took some inventory of the stuff that's left there, and here's the sad truth: it's almost entirely my stuff, and it's mostly craft supplies. Stuff for sewing, crocheting, knitting, and scrapbooking. I thought I'd gotten rid of a lot before the move, but it obviously wasn't enough. SO I'm committing to a craft-supplies diet for the next year. Nov 1, 2010 to Nov 1, 2011. No new craft supplies. I'm willing to make small exceptions to buy supplies in order to finish projects that I've begun with the (ample) supplies I already have (matching thread, for example). But other than that, no new yarn, no new fabric, no new papers or stickers or anything like that. Because I have enough and more than enough, and it will be fun and exciting to use what I have. And maybe I'll even take pictures when I make stuff and post it here. Maybe.

Fall Update

We're still here!

Luke is keeping very busy with school. The kids and I are keeping really busy with school, meeting new friends, and finding creative ways to get out of the apartment as the days get cooler and shorter.

Clar has almost gotten used to the leaves falling off the trees, and no longer tries to stick the leaves back up. He's still impressed by the winding roads and says "whoa!" when I drive. He's also picked up the impatience of the Boston driver and yells "go!" when he feels I've hesitated too long before a left turn.

Ellie and I are still having fun with school. We joined up with the homeschool group on campus, most of whom are families with very young children. (There are three Ellies who all have little brothers!) We enjoyed apple picking with them in October and are looking forward to our next field trip later this month. Ellie and I do school together four days a week. We take Wednesday off, because that's the day she goes to BSF with my mom. They leave very early in order to beat traffic, and come home after lunch. Then, on Wednesday nights, the church we're attending has Bible studies for adults and kids' programs. Ellie says, "Wednesdays are the best days ever!"

Baby-in-the-belly Ezra is also doing well. After hours on the phone, my medical records were successfully transferred and I had my first appointment here last week. We're both doing great, and it's hard to believe we'll get to meet him in about two months.

Here are some pictures from our move and our fall in New England:

We rode the 1880 train in Hill City, SD:

We also checked out the dinosaur museum in Hill City. It wins the award for most dino-bones per cubic foot. Ellie took her digging responsibilities very, very seriously, and instructed several other patrons on proper digging technique.

Apple picking:

And apple sampling:

First day of school:
Snow White and the Football Player getting ready for the "Harvest Party"

We also took them trick-or-treating. Clar, who calls all candies "pops" caught on very quickly and thinks that trick-or-treating is about the greatest invention ever.

Monday, September 20, 2010

School Days

Luke started school last Monday. He's really enjoying his classes and his professors. He keeps very busy, and stays "up on the hill" during his work hours, then studies a little more after the kids are in bed. We're working out the schedule, but so far it seems to be working for everyone.

The kids and I started school last Monday, too. We're working through the "Five in a Row" curriculum, and we really like it! We read the same story every day for a week, and then do some of the activities related to the stories in different subject areas. Ellie's also been working on some basic math and reading skills. Last week, we read Marjorie Flack's The Story About Ping. Even Clar sat for the story, and Ellie was able to tell my mom the story by lunchtime on Wednesday. It's exactly the way I'd want to design a preschool curriculum, except I don't have to design the preschool curriculum!

We've met two other little girls who are also homeschooled, and look forward to getting together for monthly field trips with other homeschoolers here on campus. It sounds like the homeschool group has lots of younger-elementary aged kids, and plenty of toddlers, so we'll fit right in.

The fall weather has definitely set in around here. We like to say that we live in a park in the middle of a forest. It's beautiful. I'd show pictures, but if I waited to post until I had pictures, it'd be winter before I got around to it. Speaking of getting around to it, there are some chocolate chips begging me to turn them into cookies. And flattened boxes begging me to take them out. So I'd better go. This is the best my brain can do for coherent blog posts these days.

Friday, July 23, 2010

My Excuse

I haven't blogged since the beginning of May. Our "Momma school" bulletin board is stuck with the date on May 10. What's my excuse?

We're having a baby!

Our baby is due January 1, 2011. Given my history, I'm not expecting any Christmas surprises. We're thrilled to welcome another baby to our family.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


I'm always a little late on my news, since I listen to podcasts in the week after they post. Last Friday was the 20th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope.

I remember seeing the pictures of the nebula, where stars are born, and of the deep field images, and feeling totally overwhelmed at the enormity of creation beyond Earth. I remember laying on my back and staring at the stars and trying to zoom in, with my imagination, on the stars and the galaxies behind them in the dark. People talk about the space race inspiring a generation of engineers. I hope there are images like these, and more, to inspire my children to study science, to write poetry, to investigate the mysteries of the universe, and to wonder at the love of God when they consider the heavens.

"When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
What is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor."
Psalm 8:3-5

Saturday, April 17, 2010

When the Saints

I caught this song on the radio tonight. I cried like a baby. I've had the impression that "social justice" is a dirty word for some of us, as though it implies a watered-down gospel. But caring for widows and orphans, and surely fighting for the freedom of the least of these, is true religion.

When the Saints
by Sara Groves

Lord, I have a heavy burden of all I've seen and know
It's more than I can handle
But your word is burning like a fire shut up in my bones
And I can’t let it go

And when I'm weary and overwrought
With so many battles left unfought

I think of Paul and Silas in the prison yard
I hear their song of freedom rising to the stars

And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them

Lord it's all that I can't carry and cannot leave behind
It all can overwhelm me
But when I think of all who've gone before and lived a faithful life
Their courage compels me

And when I'm weary and overwrought
With so many battles left unfought

I think of Paul and Silas in the prison yard
I hear their song of freedom rising to the stars
I see the shepherd Moses in the pharaohs court
I hear his call for freedom for the people of the Lord

I see the long quiet walk along the underground railroad
I see the slave awakening to the value of her soul
I see the young missionary and the angry spear
I see his family returning with no trace of fear
I see the long hard shadows of Calcutta nights
I see the sister standing by the dying man’s side
I see the young girl huddled on the brothel floor
I see the man with a passion come kicking down that door

I see the man of sorrow and his long troubled road
I see the world on his shoulders and my easy load

And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them

For more information about how to combat human trafficking and slavery, please visit

Not For Sale Campaign

International Justice Mission

Sunday, January 31, 2010

With Boots On

Luke and Ellie finished reading The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe Friday night. About a week ago, Ellie found our DVD of the recent film adaptation, recognized the lettering on the cover, and begged to watch it. We told her that when she was finished with the book, we would watch it together and fast forward through any scary parts.
Saturday, while Clar was napping, we sat down with Ellie to watch the movie. We muted the television during some really intense scenes, (spoiler alert, I guess, in case anyone doesn't know what happens... but really, you should stop reading this and go read the book right now), including the wolf chase scene and the killing of Aslan. She loved the movie, and was excited to start listening to Luke read Prince Caspian during her bath Saturday night.
After her bath, she out on her robe over her pajamas, pretending it was her coat, and insisted on wearing her boots to bed. She said she was Lucy, and I know she was getting ready to go to Narnia. I remember hoping, in every big house and in every unexplored yard, to find another door to Narnia. And I know she was getting ready, just in case she found herself suddenly in Narnia during the night.
My favorite scene in the movie is not explicitly from the book, but it captures so well for me the feeling I have after reading the books, the desire to go to Narnia. Part of the way through the credits, Lucy goes back to the wardrobe and realizes that the Professor is already there in the room. He tells her that she won't find the wardrobe open to Narnia again, and that he knows, because he's tried. The look on his face is so sad, and it reminds me of my own desire to go to Narnia.
And since Narnia, like all that is truly beautiful, points to the one Truth, I recognize that I should desire heaven with the same intensity. That, in fact, when I want to go to Narnia, what I really want is to be with my Lord. All these things are saying, "It is not I. I am only a reminder. Look! Look! What do I remind you of?" And I must, like my daughter, prepare myself for a sudden adventure, go to bed with my boots on each night, and say with the same passion, "Come, Lord Jesus!"

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Happy New Year

This feels like week 2 of back-to-normal. Luke came home from deployment, and then it was the Christmas season, and now we're finally settled in at home with things pretty much the same from week to week. Except that there's no "back" to normal! It's a new normal all the time! Clar isn't walking yet, but he easily pulls himself up to coffee tables and shelves and chairs, so there's a whole new level of the world accessible to him. Ellie has been asking about school, so we're trying some very first wobbly steps into the world of homeschooling. I should know this already, but it turns out that with small children, there is always a new normal.

I know I didn't post anything about Christmas. We celebrated Christmas, at least twice, but I was so busy celebrating that I didn't take many pictures. The highlight of our trip was sledding in the Colorado snow. Ellie received a sled from her grandparents and responded with all the excitement a parent or grandparent could ask for. She boldly sledded down the hill by herself on the first try, went straight for a tree, leaned back, and slid right underneath the branches. As she says when she tells the story, (which she will do with very little prompting), "Good thing Daddy wasn't in the sled!"

Clar also tried sledding and loved it, although he prefers to go with Daddy rather than Mommy, who is not the world's best sled driver. Usually, when we come to the end of the year, Luke and I find ourselves looking back and marveling at all of the unexpected changes the year brought. And this year is no exception. Luke's entire deployment, from finding out he was going to coming home, was all part of 2009. Additionally, this year, we look forward to lots of changes that we know will come in 2010. We're planning a big career change and a big move. And those are just the changes we're planning! It is good to know that God is never surprised and that He is in control of all things. We look forward to 2010 with joy and excitement as we wait to see what God will do.