Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Peace: At Big Sky

Hello there. We are living the slow and easy life out at Big Sky Ranch. Quite nice. All five of us took a nap today! Also got a good friend along for a good time. Took a nice brisk walk with our feet crunching in the snow. 

Peace be with you.



Saturday, March 23, 2013

Palm Sunday: A Ride On a Donkey

Dear Children,

Good day. It's Palm Sunday tomorrow.  A wonderful woman with our children's ministry at church made the coolest Easter Story Characters (paper dolls that stand, small symbols, a chronological scene foldout, etc, etc,  wowza) It's pretty great how they encourage us (and equip) us as parents to help you (kids) be involved in the stories of the bible and play them out. Tonight we shared in the narrative starting with Jesus trip on the donkey to Jerusalem. 

We are excited to go to church in the morning and get actual palm branches to wave. (If we can get to church...we're kinda getting snowed in.) Telling the stories of Jesus, reading them, and acting them out....hope to continue to do all of this as a family...and do it more. It is always neat to learn something from you hear you, Tegegne, spout out fine details that you picked up from Miss Mimi's story time. Thankful for the wonderful people that share the life of Jesus with our children. 

I also added a few Easter egg ideas I liked. Nothing beats the intricate scenes that Grandma Ileen paints on eggs. I'll try to get some photos, since we're headed home over spring break. Her's are beautiful.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fields Benjamin: 6 Months

Dear Baby Fields,

I just can't get enough. I just can't get enough. (Do you know that song?) Fields, as Hensley would say, Stop It! You are just so cute. You are way into being face to face with people, especially yours truly. I can't quite capture your personality on camera, so I took a little video. You get so excited and start flapping and talking. It's the best. Thanks for being such a good baby. 

Tegegne feeds you most of the time. It's been great bonding for you two. Tegegne also hangs out with you a lot, holds you, shows you a toy. He's pretty great. You have eaten everything I've made. Good boy. You can sit up, but fall over quickly. You sleep on your stomach, but only half of the time. You are happy a lot, and just glad to be along for the ride.

We love you, bunches.

Mama, Daddy, and the Gang

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Strong Tree: And You and Me

Good day, Saturday. Family, most of you are resting soundly. Naps are rarely overlooked in our house, even for Tegegne. Prior to nap time, we watched The Little Rascals, one of the originals (1929) that we checked out from the library. I grew up watching a series of 4 VHS tapes and I loved them. That and a Shirley Temple set were well watched in my early years. 

Not sure where your pops is. That's what happens sometimes in a 3500 sf house! People go missing! I'm thinking he snuck in one of your rooms and is napping with you, but I'll dare not open the door to see! Or he's outside building a sculpture garden in the backyard.  

The past few days have woken up our city. That being the 70+ degrees! Seriously, it's like the whole city was breathing deeply, sighing and taking in the breeze as we reconnected with the great outdoors. Our backyard was hoppin'. Michael roared up the fire pit, we ate dinner 2 nights in a row on the back deck, and had some friends join us. He set up our outdoor sound system (which is not so fancy!). Life's been like a small teeny version of the resurrection. New life. Spring is near. 

I mean, really. Isn't it interesting how circumstances affect our being? A sunny day versus sleeting rain, a hug from a friend versus an angered driver that we just pulled in front of (oops!), a flat tire versus a new pair of socks. I read the words from Henri Nouwen below and was the midst of life's ups and downs, it's good to be flexible while being deeply rooted...

Trees look strong compared with the wild reeds in the field.  But when the storm comes the trees are uprooted, whereas the wild reeds, while moved back and forth by the wind, remain rooted and are standing up again when the storm has calmed down.

Flexibility is a great virtue.  When we cling to our own positions and are not willing to let our hearts be moved back and forth a little by the ideas or actions of others, we may easily be broken.   Being like wild reeds does not mean being wishy-washy.  It means moving a little with the winds of the time while remaining solidly anchored in the ground.   A humorless, intense, opinionated rigidity about current issues might cause these issues to break our spirits and make us bitter people.  Let's be flexible while being deeply rooted.

The Virtue of Flexibility, by Henri Nouwen

Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy Birthday: To You (and me)

Born on the same day, you and me. Thirty years of life, ten together. Our life together is better and sometimes harder and often more wonderful than I ever could have imagined.  Life together, under God's provision, is rich and full. I love you.

(As I type Hensley has me putting on a birthday hat and is singing "Happy Birthday To You!" Tegegne said he is going to make me a card that says, "I will listen to you."
And Fields woke me before dawn to say Happy Birthday!

Here's a sweet pic of you and your pop thirty some years ago...

Can't wait for our special night out on the town! Thanks to our free babysitters Micah and Taryn and Eric and Erica! Tag team. The kids are going to have a fun night too!

P.S. I'm reading this book and am soooo loving it. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cheers To: Something Beautiful

Cheers to something original...

And something practical...

To something cool...

To something edgy...

And basic...

 And simply beautiful.

(all sourced here.)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Fields: First Food


You represented at Sister's Party...

Then you became the after party with your first introduction to solid food! (which I've been really excited about!)

Creamy avocado banana goodness...

Yum, yum.

Sister came along with good intention...

But it didn't play out so well.

 You are a good sport.

Hazel was checking out Hensley's bath baby. She loves babies too!

Now that I introduced you to food, I've gotta put on my chefs hat, make more and freeze it! What sounds good? Ground hotdog? Didn't think so. Those ground meats are ick. It'll be good, I promise. I'll use Weelicious for ideas.



Monday, March 4, 2013

Your Parents: Telling Our Story

Dear Children,

Remember us saying that "We love because He first loved us?" (Meaning God loved us, and now we are able to love one another.) Well, it's kinda the same concept with your dad and I. We love you, but we loved each other first. When we fell in love, we didn't even know that you were in store. Our love for you is rooted and grounded in the fact that we love each other. We have come to realize that in our family, when we love each other well, it rubs off on you guys. Our marriage is the core of our family. Your dad and I must remember to not only show you how we are in love (give a smooch when you're looking, hold hands, etc), but to also tell you our love story. The more you know, the more confident you will feel...

So let me begin the journey of telling...
Your dad and I started dating in 2002. We fell in love after we got to know each other on San Diego Summer Project with Campus Crusade for Christ. We were sophomores in college. Your dad was the goofiest guy I had ever met. He made me laugh like no other. During that time he loved many things (mountain biking, pottery, glass blowing, French...) and the best thing was the he loved God. Having that in common was good news to me, because I loved God too. That was the most important thing. Then I got lucky when he picked me to be in his category of what to love.

We dated, he proposed (got down on his knee and asked me to be his wife (meaning his love just turned from temporary to forever, big gulp)), and we got married. We had many special friends who were a part of our journey, and several of them stood by us on our wedding day.

There will be more telling of our story, more details down the road. But for now I want to tell you that we fell in love, we were in love, we are now in love, and we will be in all our days to come.

Your dad and I were laughing the other day about how different our love looks now. We have lots of responsibilities as grownups and parents, which can be hard sometimes. It's good though, because we are learning what love looks like when things are hard, when it's been a long day, and when we are plum worn out. We have come a long way. We know each other much better than when we dated. That makes our love deeper.

So, what type of person do you want to fall in love with? We don't want to hear any of your responses until you are 18 please. Tegegne Dena...

Stay tuned for more exciting talk on mom and dad's love story...

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Happy Birthday: You're Two

Well Hensley, you really enjoyed your 2nd birthday party. We had pulled pork sliders with crinkle chips, pickled beets, strawberry spinach salad and iced tea. Daddy made you a strawberry baby bunny cake, since Bunny is your go-to comfort lovey. Besides us, your guests were Nana & Grandpa Jones, Grandpa Ben and Grandma Debby, Taryn, Micah and Hazel, and our neighbor friends Jon, Hilary, Jaylen and Livia. 

You got the coolest Fisher Price A-Frame house from Uncle Eric and Aunt Erica (3rd to last photo). Plus a bath time baby, new Zara outfit and coat, coloring book, and a memory game. 

Tegegne and Dad went to a 3D movie last night, since today was all about you. Sweet, thoughtful Daddy. 



Friday, March 1, 2013

I Am: Your Mother

Tegegne Dena,

I am your mother.
From the center of my heart,
I am your mother.
I love your whole being. Every single part.

I am your mother.
I'll be here through it all.
If you stay short or grow really tall.
If you are mad at me or are in the big game and drop the ball.
I'll be here for you.
I am your mother.

We were born on different continents.
Our blood lines are not the same.
Yet your heritage I'll share with you.
Your story, your life, your name.

I'm getting better at cutting your hair.
Your dark handsome skin needs a thicker lotion than mine.
Besides that, our lives are the same.
Cheese, you'll take it or leave it.
You savor a treat,  and even decide to save the last bite for the ride home.
You are smart. Intuitive. And generous.
I am proud of you, my son.

I am blessed to be your mother.

(Photos are oldies but some of my favs. You were such a little guy.)
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