Friday, January 20, 2012

time for a new blog title

When we first moved to Texas, our blog was simply titled "Rodney and Katie," mostly because I created the blog when I was very pregnant. The creative juices were definitely not flowing. And then I decided, once we had determined we were going to be in Texas longer than initially planned, that we needed an appropriate blog title. At the time, I felt very much "in limbo". We'd been through two difficult church situations, my husband's job was all consuming requiring him to be gone much of the time, and all of my apartment friends had moved on. Even though our life in Texas would be temporary, I wanted to make the most of it. I wanted to "bloom where I was planted," which really means:

Blessed is the man

who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,

nor stands in the way of sinners,

nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

but his delight is in the law of the Lord,

and on his law he meditates day

and night.

He is like a tree

planted by streams of water

that yields its fruit in its season,

and its leaf does not whither.

In all that he does, he prospers.

Psalm 1: 1-3

I have sunk my roots deep into God's Word during the last 4.5 years. I've studied the Pentateuch, John, Acts, Isaiah, Hebrews, Proverbs and read through most of the Bible. The Lord has blessed me with wise counselors as friends. I have a girlfriend here who is a friend who sticks closer than a sister. We have certainly wept and laughed together through our many trials and joys these last several years. I am not looking forward to this earthly goodbye.

Yes, I'm sure you have guessed it by now. We are moving back to Illinois in March. I am mostly excited. We will be closer to our family and have many friendship seeds that have have sat dormant and are waiting for water and sun.

But change is change. It is exhilarating. It is hard. But most of all, I am thankful that this earth is not my eternal home. One day the Lord WILL return. The dead will rise first, and those who are alive will be caught up to meet Him in the air. "And so we will always be with the Lord." (can you tell I have I Thessalonians on the brain -- we studied it this week in BSF!).

My parting thought is also from I Thessalonians 5: 16-18

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances;

for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

more content

While we were up North, Hannah was waking up every 1.5-3 hours at night and either skipping her naps or taking very short naps during the day. She demanded to be nursed or rocked/walked to sleep, which was becoming increasingly more difficult with each passing month. So in late December, I resolved to work on some of Hannah's sleep issues starting in the New Year.

Sleep Training is miserable for baby and parents, but it is well worth it. After a week of some controlled crying and self-discipline and routine, she is now regularly taking two longer naps during the day and waking up every 4 or 5 hours at night. Now I usually only get up with her once or twice at night. Praise God! Now I have more one on one time with Abigail in the morning, our evenings are less stressful and Hannah is a much happier baby.

helping me in the kitchen...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Christmas Part Five - Whew!!!

We made one more trip up to Milwaukee to spend more time with my family and meet my brother Daniel's girlfriend, Helen, who had flown over to the United States from Africa. She has grown up all over the world and has duel French/British citizenship. She got a large dose of American culture and cuisine, and I enjoyed listening and learning about some of her formative life events:)

Even though we only spent a short 2.5 days together, it was a delight to see that my brother is himself with Helen. They seem to bring out the best in eachother. Each year, Daniel has grown more comfortable with who God has designed him to be. He has matured (is maturing) into a compassionate, thoughtful and responsible man. I am a proud big sister! I sure do love you little brother!

It was also good to spend the extra couple of days with Dave, who also will be moving onto different and better life opportunities here in the next couple of months. It might have been one of the last times to see both of my brothers for a very long while.

In typical fashion, we enjoyed games, games and more games! But I think one of my highlights of our time in Milwaukee was getting to look at pictures of my brother's time spent in England and the many African countries he has been able to visit with Helen.

the boys sporting some new apparel :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Christmas Part Four - Grandma Angie

Grandma Angie takes such good care of her grandbabies (and me too!). I am so blessed to have such a thoughtful, loving, and gracious mother in-law. Grandpa Morry is fabulous too! But I realized that I didn't have as many pictures of Angie when her whole family descended upon her home. Why you may ask? Because she works so hard to take care of us.

So here are a few pictures of her sitting and enjoying two of her grandkids. Hannah and Abigail, you are well-loved little ladies.

Friday, January 13, 2012

the joy of having a cousin

So, are you tired of pictures yet? Probably.

The grandparents and greatgrands are not, so here goes Christmas Part 3b and counting :)

Christmas Part Three

We drove back to Rockford to catch my niece, nephew and their parents too :) The girls got to spend two non-stop days together. I've said it before. And I'll go ahead and write it again: "I am so thankful the cousins are the same age." I hope they have years of fun ahead of them.

We were even able to enjoy a night of fondue toddler free, so it made for an enjoyable family tradition. We were blessed to be together for TWO holidays this year, which takes work and effort since we live all over the country. I am praising God for the blessing of family.

Grandpa and B
love his long lashes...

a Christmas frenzy with 4 kids under the age of 3!!!

taking a quiet breather after lots of running and hard playing...

"Look at my big tower, daddy!!!"

My handsome hubby and sweet baby girl.

Abigail enjoying playing some "Memory" with Grandpa...

Grandpa was kind to let the girls help him make breakfast.

taking turns requires lots of supervision :)

Now if only I had taken a picture of their artwork. E draws big sweeping strokes and uses the whole paper. Abigail is meticulous and detailed, using lots of colors and a small amount of paper.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Christmas Part Two

My Grandma Barbara and Grandpa Dean joined us for a day in Milwaukee. We enjoyed a quiet day after Christmas. The boys watched a soccer match. The ladies chatted. I was tired after the previous day's festivities (and night up a bunch with Hannah), so I desperately needed a day to sip tea and chat.

Abigail of course enjoyed getting to see even more people and open more presents. Our girl is a well-loved little lady (spoiled too!).

I didn't take as many pictures because I did lots of chatting and sipping tea. My soul needs and craves quality, quiet time. It was a good day.

Christmas Part One

We had quite the Christmas extravaganza this year on our travels North. We spent a night in Dallas with friends, 2 nights in Rockford, 3 nights in Milwaukee, back to Rockford for 3 nights, on to Milwaukee for 3 more nights, back to Rockford for another night, and on to Peoria for one last evening spent with friends before the long drive back to Texas. Our extravaganza allowed us to see Evalina, Charlie and the kiddos as well as meet my brother's girlfriend, Helen, who flew in from Africa after Christmas. I did say to Rodney on one leg of our drive up from Dallas to Rockford, "Let's just return all of the gifts and wrap ourselves up for Christmas." Needless to say, we did not return the gifts. And we have no holiday regrets.

I took a TON of pictures; regrettably, very few were family shots. I blame Hannah and mommy brain. Maybe next year I will be less scatterbrained :)

Below are pictures spent with my family.

Grandma supervising the big helper puting together a large recipe of Chex Mix!

We all loved having Uncle Dan home from his adventures overseas. Having him home was truly a gift.

My in-laws joined us to celebrate Christmas and enjoy our evening meal. I am SO blessed to have two wonderful moms.

Uncle Dave "hiding"...but all in all he was a good good to be with both my brothers...

Camus and his little friend :)

simple joys...who needs presents anyways???

Abigail "helping" wrap presents

Camus - eyeing Hannah's lovey

Uncle Dave Cooperates...Abigail does not...Such is Life :)
Love you, Dad! Your Granddaughter loves her Papa!

Monday, January 9, 2012

some of my favorites

My sweet husband bought me a camera for Christmas, and I have over 400 pictures to sort through to catch up on my blogging!

Here are some of my favorites.