Wednesday, June 27, 2012

not alone feeling crazy

Dear Mom Friends,

Once again my dear Ann Voskamp has written a post that I can't help but post about....  I am So Grateful to hear this from her.  I'm not alone!  I have my days where I feel more than just a touch crazy and I sooooo want to handle it with all the wisdom Ann exhorts us to here....   take a look, dear Mama friends, for your emergency rescue plan for the hard days.

When Mothering's Making You A Touch Crazy.

with much love to you dear friends,
your fellow crazy,

Friday, June 15, 2012

behind the still shots

These two videos give a great glimpse of Vivi's personality.  It makes me so grateful to think of how much a girl can be known from just a few cute shots of her smiling.... and yet it makes me sad that she so much of her zaniness is left unknown, since she's never met (except for Skype) most all of her family and her whole, loud, silly personality just doesn't show through in every pic.  And so...some video!

Introducing the 15 month old littlest K.... who will be touching down on American soil for the first time in her life in less than three more months:  the very silly, very fun, immensely loved Vivi Hope.

A little more info...  bummer that I can't figure out why the top video loaded at such a poor quality, but the bath one is clearer  I think :)  And the stroller isn't ours (I think that's what made it especially fun to push!) and Vivi didn't tip over.... though she did get too close two times!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Vivi's defender

John often likes to boast to his mama of his triumphs at battle.  In just one week recently, he killed a dragon, a shark, and a lion that were all trying to kill "our baby."  John would not let them at her.  
Or... like he said of a big, mean dog....  "it tried to kill us, but I cut off his head and he did not like that and he was sad."

John darling, I wish that the zoo outing we gifted you for your birthday turned out to be a much nicer day!  It was a beautiful weather, a beautiful area, but the zoo was a really sad place for the most part...  run down scattered facilities and poor, poor animals.   But I did bring the birthday party in a bag- jelly bellies!- sent from Grandma and Grandpa so that part was upper fun, and seeing a few (albeit sad) animals was almost nice.    Overall it was just great to be altogether and be with you, birthday boy....  You are such a joy, Son!

It was a great treat to rent a car for our day outing to the zoo...

May this next year be a great year of growth in the joy and knowledge and love and courage of our Savior, Jesus Christ!  Your mama and daddy love you oh! so! much!


the many faces...

 In the middle of a sweaty play day, this is what I get for interrupting her imaginary adventures to get some pics of her all decked out in her minority princess dress...

And for you far away family that asked what color Marian's eyes are?  These are the clearest, most accurate telling...  just like the first and last faces are probably the most accurate telling of her goofy- ridiculous-wonderful (& stubborn- though you can't see it) personality.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Vivi's crew... the pink blanket from Yeye and Nainai (received as a Christmas gift and by mid Jan she wouldn't suck her thumb (ie. wouldn't sleep) without it.... so so sweet!  And the adorable violet sleep toy from Auntie Amy and Uncle Andrew and polkadot doll from G&G too!  May and I have agreed we're going to take a special girls outing when we go to America to look for a nice soft animal toy to buy for Vivi for Christmas this year.  Fun!

The little big guy switches loyalties pretty quick these days... but these are the most faithfully loved friends on his bed most days.  Moses Bear, Sven (the rat from Norway- (IKEA)) James the Owl and John's Special Blanket.  

These didn't start off as all Marian's... but it would seem she thinks they're all her private belongings now. She calls them her kids and they almost all have names (Kylie, Kitty, Brown Bear, Flower Bear....)

And one more shot to remember the bed fans that the big two are die-hard addicted to and the basket (for Isaiah it's a lego box) of junk they love to keep on their beds with them.... argh!

"Sleep Toy" and Pup are the most vital, but the yellow blanket is a close third... and while Remy and Reepacheep aren't as crucial for bedtime usually, they're fierce warriors and are well-loved for their heroism on the (playtime) battle-front.

just for the record :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

the birthday splash bash

here he is... the silly fun, sweetheart, dragon slayer THREE year old boy
 Our sweet John boy is three.... well, he will be tomorrow.  But yesterday we had the biggest splash bash in the history of Joyful Preschool, I'm quite sure.  It was a super simple party and super silly fun.  As always, Grandma and Grandpa spoiled this boy (especially him, but all the siblings too) with gifts.  Tomorrow the six of us are off to the zoo...  our gift to our boy.
Thanks Yeye and Nainai for all the cute clothes and for John's cool Leap Frog toy! 
John was a little put off with the big boys in the pool
but he loved playing with the gentle girl crew in that water even when the water balloon battle started up with the bigger kids....  bummer he didn't get into that one more!

this precious girl is one of John's leading options for an arranged marriage one day.... we all love her!

the man trip

Matt and Isaiah arrived home this past Monday evening to a very eager wife and mama... and some zany siblings who were missing them painfully terribly too.  Here's a few pics from their trip...

the newlyweds


 I feel ridiculously spoiled to have gotten a new camera this past week!  Normally, we'd never buy a new camera until our old one was officially Done....  but this time we had a mix of our old point and shoot (which we used for video) failing on us, and a friend wanting to buy our first DSLR and some guys coming this way that could bring in a new camera from the states (where it's much cheaper)... And now, I've ended up with a new camera that I finally, really love to use.  I feel like it is much better than I am worth as a photographer.   I'm amazed and grateful and so excited  to grow into new skills in photography....

So here's a few shots from our first few photo shoots...

I love that I could get her clear enough even in our dim bathroom!  yippee!
She's summiting her big brother's bed by herself now
(though it's not at all as fun to do when he's not sleeping and she can wake him up with a little tackle)

...just playing...
All four of our kids have So Much fun with these bedtime flashlights.  If only they'd learn to make things durable enough for our kids!  The wind-up deal beats a battery a thousand times, but the twister part has broken for two kids now!  

she loves her daddy's tickly love

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Peacemaking Authority... continued

I mentioned a little while ago that I've been thinking and writing too much about parenting stuff lately.  It's gotten a little out of control and I'm really eager to wrap this baby up and put it to rest.... but oh!  may I also see it more lived out in this broken mama....

It's long, and I've tried to edit it down, but I guess all this is pretty important to me.  If you're interested, I'd be super happy to dialogue with any of you about this kind of stuff in parenting.  At the end of the post linked to just below, is a looong list of related articles and books that have nailed or encouraged me in one way or another on this topic.  I'd love to hear from you about this topic, dear friends!!

So, here it is:   Peacemaking Authority:  Thoughts on Kind Parenting from a Recovering Obedience Addict.   I'm posting it back a month so as not to push out all the cute pics of our kids and my handsome man in his Bonhoeffer spectacles!

his tribute

Matt and I have been reading more from Dietrich Bonhoeffer since reading Eric Metaxas' fantastic biography of his life.  Life Together:  revolutionary.  Cost of Discipleship: already quoted here, but I can't gush enough.  Psalms- The Prayerbook of the Bible: oh so good.  From this little beauty, I'll just share one gem...

"When our will wholeheartedly enters into the prayer of Christ, then we pray correctly.  Only in Jesus Christ are we able to pray, and with him we also know that we shall be heard.

"And so we must learn to pray.  The child learns to speak because his father speaks to him.  He learns the speech of his father.  So we learn to speak to God because God has spoken to us and speaks to us.  By means of the speech of the Father in heaven his children learn to speak with him....

God's speech in Jesus Christ meets us in the Holy Scriptures.  If we wish to pray with confidence and gladness, then the words of Holy Scripture will have to be the solid basis of our prayer.  For here we know that Jesus Christ, the Word of God, teaches us to pray.  The words which come from God become, then, the steps on which we find our way to God." (p11-12)

How grateful we are for his example (running underground seminaries in Nazi Germany- among a myriad of other bold moves he made with his too-short life) and for his words.

And since we don't know anything about what's trendy in the states these days, and we probably care too little about it anyways,  Matt decided to pitch all notions of us being at least somewhat fashionable to the wind.   So... here's my man's clearer vision tribute to this man that we love.


(goofy that I can't get the book cover bigger... sorry!)

Oh I love my husband!!!  Can't wait til he's back with us tomorrow night!  He's been travelling with Isaiah since last Tues. and it's been painful missing these two.  Even though the Lord has given us great grace on the homefront (praise be!),  we are all so terribly eager to see them both tomorrow night!!!