Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Today Makes 6 Years!


Today, June 30th, marks our 6 year anniversary of our arrival to Mexico City. It has been an experience and a half! In that span of time we have had lots and lots of joys, lots and lots of learning, lots of moving to different houses, and even some hard times. There are obviously too many memories to record here, but here are some of the highlights!

One of the greatest of those joys has been without a doubt: Growing our family by welcoming and raising these handsome guys:


We also count it a valuable thing to have experienced:

Adjusting to a new culture/language/way of life and learning way more than we had anticipated with a great team of people - the Miller family, Molina family, McClue family, and Henderson family.

Posted by Picasa

Creating a wider network of co-workers and friends in other parts of this City and other cities in Mexico - who know, understand and walk alongside us in the ups and downs of foreign missions and ministry.

Posted by Picasa

Knowing and walking with Jesus alongside these brothers and sisters (among many others):




Having so many opportunities to learn and grow as individuals.

Being witnesses to God at work in us and around us as He transforms lives.

We also have had difficult family experiences...such as the sudden death of my Dad, the adjustments and responsibilities of raising children, the loss of our two babies, and many more.

Overall, we look back on these six years with gratitude and praise to our Good Father who has not left us in any moment, who has been patient with our failings and shortcomings, who has strengthened us in our weakness and encouraged us in our discouragement. He has rejoiced with us in our victories and has always and continually desired to use us and grow us. Thank You God for all of Your good and perfect gifts - even those that we don't always recognize at first glance.

And, of course, a sincere thank you to our friends and family at the Westport Road Church of Christ in Louisville, Kentucky who have supported and partnered us in this mission since 2002! You have been a blessing from the Lord. We look forward to reconnecting with you in just a few short weeks!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Life Lessons

Life teaches, doesn't it? Sometimes its lessons are amazing, sometimes very difficult - but likely always with some sort of blessing - even if you have to look hard for it. I came across this list below of life lessons and as I read through it I smiled, I sighed, I nodded my head in agreement or understanding. Take a look at it and let her inspire you to live your life this week with a new or renewed perspective....

(Truth be told, I stole this off of someone else's blog - but so did she :) Credit is given to the author below. Even though I do not know who she is - I think she would be a neat 90 year old woman to meet and know - and learn from)

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer- Cleveland, OH

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.
It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolled
over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we’d grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Baby & Me

So I am in my 19th week of this pregnancy. The time is passing quickly and life with three busy boys has kept me from tracking each stage of tummy growth like I did with the previous ones - especially Reece. But thanks to some prodding from family and friends....Reece used his photography skills to snap a few pics....here is how I look!



I got my first comment from a stranger on the street the other day, so now I can truly know I look pregnant (ha - that was intended to be sarcastic) - I am learning that the more experiences you have with pregnancy, the less resistent ones body is to proclaim that new life is being formed within! But I am very thankful to be feeling well - have regained some of my energy back - and am beginning to recognize that old familiar feeling of feeling my baby move inside me. I think it is the most amazing and beautiful blessing of pregnancy! I am typically a little later on this than what "they" say you should expect - and although the movements are infrequent and subtle - I love it! I look forward to the upcoming weeks when they become a little more recognizable and strong enough for the boys to feel and see their little brother in action. The boys continue to be happy and excited about another baby...and I have no doubt that this little one will be a star to them!

Now, I would be lying if I refused to admit that I have experienced some feelings of overwhelm that before we know it we will have a new baby in our family.....with the sweet craziness of 4 boys at that! But I am so very thankful for God's graciousness to allow us to be at this point in our family. This little one is prayed for, thanked for, and celebrated.

We believe we have settled on a good, strong and meaningful name for our newest son...and we are not holding back from sharing it with people in conversation...in fact we call him it all the time now. I am just not sure if we have "officially" decided on it so will wait to make an announcement a little longer.

Anyway - there is the latest update on my pregnancy! We hope to have an ultrasound this week so we can get another sneak peek at his little face!!! Thanks for your love and prayers!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 26, 2009

Celebrating One Of Our Favorite Things: Daddy!

We enjoyed our Father's Day - giving thanks to the good man that God has placed in my life and in the lives of my boys.

For the longest time, Benjy has made a big deal to the boys about their pictures/paintings/drawings/crafts that they make...and he always asks them if he can put them in his office. The scene has become habitual in our house that the boys show off their work, Benjy claims it for his office, and I enter making a big commotion about how it isn't fair that he gets it - the kids laugh and feel great about their work. This year, more than ever, the boys went to work on preparing drawings (and I mean lot of them!) for their special Daddy....weeks before Father's Day...tacking it on the wall of his office. These are fun times because Reece's stuff usually now includes written messages in his preschool form of writing (very cute and at times very curious - you have to train your brain to read very phonetically and very confidently!) and Chase is growing more interested himself in drawing. Piersen draws the best little circles you have ever seen!

We decided to celebrate this Father's Day with the theme of" A Few of Our Favorite Things". The boys worked hard alongside me to each formulate a list of what are their 'favorites" these days...and then all worked together to form a list of their "favorite" things to do with Daddy. Very much on the sentimental side of capturing the life of a Daddy at this stage and where his boys are at. It turned out very cute...and was obviously made...just for his office :)

And: I am proud to say that Chase wrote the title and Reece the lists - in their own handwriting! (if you click on the pic it should enlarge enough for you to read the lists)

Posted by Picasa

Then we gifted him with a few of his favorite things...and some of his favorite food...

And then - although several days late - I put together this very special collage of special pictures of Daddy and his boys. They make me smile and they remind me how blessed I am to have a man that sincerely wants to spend quality and quantity time with his boys. They say that a child's early years are so very formative - and I am proud to say that my husband has done marvellously at being very present to form them. And that is why my boys are so so so good. The slide show is kinda long, but there were lots of pictures representing lots of time well spent!

Happy Father's Day babe - thank you. These pictures are sure to say a thousand words of thanks from your sons :)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cause for Concern?

At the boys' school, Fridays are always special days because they are allowed to bring one toy from home to play with during recess. Truth be told, really what this idea does is cause more chaos for me that morning because it apparently is a very difficult decision. :)

On Friday, Reece chose to take a magnifying glass. He loves bugs and things like that so I thought it was a good idea. However, we learned from Reece's honest lips that he got it taken away from him at recess....why? In his mind he was simply burning dry leaves with the hot sun. "Daddy, it works like really fast and before you know it, smoke is coming up. Paolo got scared and went and told the teacher so she took it away" :)

Scientist turned pyro-maniac?!?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Kate & Carson

This post is long overdue but I finally got my pictures downloaded so I am getting to it! Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with my niece and nephew - Betsy and Jared's little ones. Kate is 16 mo. old and Carson is 4 months....and they are adorable. I spent the afternoon with these sweet babies - without having my own kids around - which enabled me to have much more focused attention in the role of "auntie" - I loved it! We just hung out and played together - and then my stubborn own self subtly transitioned them into a "photo shoot" in hopes of capturing some good pics of these two together. I think I snapped some good ones - but I won't mention how crazy I had to act behind the camera to win their approval! Thanks for a great afternoon Kate & Carson - love you so much!




Posted by Picasa

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 06, 2009


Due to the request of my husband, Chase has been without a haircut for sometime (other than the little trim I finally gave him myself) - Benjy is returning to his sentimental old days of the bowl cut!

Here is the exchange between Benjy and Chase yesterday:

Benjy: hey Chaser, you should be called Moe.

Chase: who is Moe?

Benjy: Moe. He is a guy from this old show called The Three Stooges.

Chase: oh, let me check in the mirror (jumping down from the chair and heading to the bathroom).

Chase (returning): yup, you're right Daddy. I look like Moe.

Me, being a lot like Chase in that I wasn't too sure of who Moe was or what he looked like, decided to look it up on the web. I got a good laugh about it when I saw the pictures. But, we have learned this easy-going Saturday morning that Chase is not very fond of the nic-name! So this will be the beginning and end of it all (unless his older brother catches on to it and grabs a hold of a good teasing opportunity!)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Boys Will Be Boys & Back to The Basics!

You don't have to look very far around here to see evidence of a boy-filled household. There are lots of little reminders going on from us as parents these days about proper behavior and remembering manners and so on. We have had a few years now to get used to having two boys and a baby. But Pierce is not a baby anymore and he is now right in the mix of things in lots of ways. Life feels a lot more boyish these days....and I find myself having to return to the basics. Frequently.

We remind the boys over and over during mealtimes about what we want our table scene to look like - which manners we are to practice in this scene...that we are now expected to remain seated......napkins are much more efficient than our own t-shirt, or even our hair for that matter....I do have hope that it will eventually register :) Ya see, now that we have another actual boy and not a baby in Pierce - there is another whole dynamic of interaction going on. And the truth is - believe it or not - I don't handle noise all that well....especially at the table. We are slowly making positive strides. We talk about voice volumes and banging plates and spoons and staying in our chairs and all that good stuff. The basics...right??

I guess you could say that we - Benjy and I - are committed to not just living under the excuse that "well, they are boys". Oh ya - they definitely are...and there is a time and a place for them to be the boys that that statement implies...but there is conext in life too. It doesn't mean they have to be wild and out of control. This standard will for sure be a life project for us...but I think well worth the effort (now there is a statement of faith!!)

But I say all that above to get to the real point here. Loud noise, lots of jumping and wrestling, digging for cool bugs and tracking footprints through the house - as of late - I can handle all of those. Even 3 of them in full fledged boyishness - and a growing belly as proof that more boy is on the way - I am not shaken. But you wanna know what is really really rattling me lately and what I am not very good at bridling my reactions about?!?!? Bad aim at the toilet and the continual amnesia about how to flush a toilet.. I mean really guys? Pierce is still in diapers so holds no blame in this department....yet! My husband has enough years of experience that I am not gonna look to him as the guilty party. It is these other two male species...who technically have been through and are successful graduates of the "potty training school for boys" - diploma and all - for a number of years now. Is it really actually that difficult to aim? I do not know from personal experience but... come on. They aren't even that far off the ground yet! And to flush? Please. Isn't this basic??????

During the weekend I had had enough! Apparently the verbal teaching techniques have not registered as of late. So....I decided to take very simple, practical steps in an attempt to provide a more visual and practical means of remembering simple bathroom responsibilities. I asked Reece and Chase to take a seat on the floor and to state back to me the colors of the 2 papers I held out in front of them. They correctly replied, "yellow"; the other, "white". Simple enough. I then shared with them my deepest desire to see "white" in the bathroom at all times....and it is now our new code language. My other practical teaching tool.....showing each of them that bad aim is not the forbidden act but failing to use a wet wipe to clean the mess up - completely up - most certainly is. We will see how they "take" to these "back to the basics" principles.

It won't actually be too long before we are in the stage of beginning another potty training course for little Piersen. If things don't improve with his two older brothers, they may be required to register again and start the learning (and the aiming) all over again!

You may be thinking, ya, but boys will be boys...and my rebuttle is...sure - boys will be boys but my boys are gonna aim and then flush!