Tuesday, November 29, 2011

a thoughtful gift

as a person getting ready to move to another country
and as a mom who is trying to prepare her children for the changes
and aide in not forgetting their own cultural roots,
i've given a lot of thought to genesis 16:8.

"where have you come from and where are you going?"

i've made a decision in my own mind to compile a book of memories, souvenirs, and photographs...maybe even short letters from loved ones.
without many of our dear ones knowing it,
we've been collecting pictures from facebook to add to this book.
i'm slightly overwhelmed by the idea of it,
but am also determined to have a GREAT book to bring with us!

anyways, tonight we received a perfect little book as a belated birthday gift for little aiden.
i could not have written it more perfect myself!
it is called "good night philadelphia"
and is by adam gamble and cooper kelly.
here are some snapshots of what's inside:


boat house row


art museum


philadelphia zoo


reading terminal/cheesesteaks/pretzels


liberty bell


mr penn statue


the love statue


there are also other shots not pictured here!
these are some of the things we will also include in our scrapbook!

thank you for the perfect and thoughtful gift friends!!!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

"it gets easier"

if i'm quite honest with myself,
there are times or even days and weeks
that i'm not sure i'm "going to make it"...

the kids have been super hard lately with behavioral stuff.
soph is waking 2, sometimes 3 times a night to eat.
i'm tired.
i'm frustrated.
i'm selfish.
i'm tired.
i'm trying to get things done.
i'm easily annoyed.
and, have i mentioned i'm tired?!?

today i stumbled across a blog that i used to read often.
it seems like the blogger is at a stage where blogging isn't done often anymore,
but she still has some good posts to read through!
today i read, "it gets easier".

when you're going through something,
it always stands out like neon lights.
you read it or hear it or even watch a show about it...
(you get my drift!)
that's how it felt when i saw the title of this blog!
i KNEW she MUST have written it for me.

she is a good writer, so i'll leave you to read her post instead of mine,
but wanted to quick write the most important part:

Isaiah 40:11

" He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young."



Friday, November 25, 2011

5 random things about black friday 2011

1. i NEVER go shopping with kids -> i take full advantage of hubs working at home during nap for some sanity to shop alone
2. i NEVER go shopping on black friday -> there is no "stuff" important enough to stand in lines with all the crazies for, i don't care what's free or how much it's "discounted"!!!
3. i broke BOTH those rules today (ok, so grocery shopping doesn't really count, but still.....)
4. gonna do something else strange today -> decorate for christmas! with a crawling backwards 6 mos old, a mischevious 3 yr old, a 4 yr old "pharisee", and a puppy, i must be a glutton for punishment!
5. i'm currently listening to the sound of an ice cream truck

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

well visits - sophia


sophia is 6 mos old already.

she is 2 feet 1.5 in tall & weighs in at 16 lbs. 6 oz.

she...
*is mostly sitting unsupported
*rolling over
*crawling (backwards)
*eating all baby foods
*blowing razzberries
*has stranger danger
*has stopped sleeping through the night -we're working on this!!!!!
*loves to interact

well visits -aiden




aiden is 3. i'm sorry...aiden is 3!!!!!
where has the time gone?
he just had his 3 year well visit.
he is 3 feet 3.5 in and weighs in at about 38 lbs.
both of which seem to be about 95% for children his age...who didn't know that he was a giant?



getting in QUITE the christmas mood

so, i'm not sure whether it's the shopping i've already started....

the pictures in magazines and ads of holiday feasts....
the stuff for sale and music playing in the stores....
the thought of christmas cookies....

the sewing of gifts we've been working on....



or the photoshoot we attempted (don't worry, these shots will NOT be on our christmas cards)....

but, i'm getting in QUITE the christmas mood!!!!

ghetto fabulous punk rock

it's amazing what you can google!

here is what i'm calling a
gHeTtO fAbUlOuS pUnK rOcK wrap job!
the entire thing is done with duct tape!

a rose:
which i made into his/her duct tape pens:
the bow:

a sad day


if you know me at all, you know how much i LOVE to take pictures. i upload a couple hundred each month to snapfish easily! well, it's been harder to blog lately, as my camera is finally dying. sad day! we bought it used several years ago and it has served us very well. it's been frustrating to take pix lately b/c of it. here is a shot of a camera i've asked for for christmas!
for a little while, my photos will be pretty bad. bear with me, please!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

could you hurry a little?

----------------------------------------------
i have been feeling god ask us to be patient a lot lately!
last week at womens bible study,
this poem was shared.
i believe it's an excerpt from the book called,
"could you hurry a little?"
by ruth harms calkin

while i pray i would wait patiently,
so god can develop endurance in me
and strengthen my faith,
i also pray that he would hurry!

waiting patiently is hard!!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

cakes past

thought it would be fun to keep in the memory box of my blog
some cakes i've made for the kiddos in the past.

here is aiden's 1st b-day
(a very hungry caterpiller):

he got to eat the giant butterfly cupcake:

aiden's 2nd b-day was a monster bash.
here is a preview of that "cake":(this post shows how those were made.)

here is aiden's baptism cake
(made to look like stained glass):

here is owen's 2nd birthday "cake" (elmo):

the elmo detail:
wonder what cakes will look like in rwanda....

a curious cake


here is the curious george cake i made for aiden's birthday. upon seeing it, he grinned from ear to ear and said,
"thank you! you're my best friend!!"
i don't know where these kids come up with some of the things they say, but i'll take tonight's cute saying!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

little van gogh 11/11/11


slightly hard to see, but this is the
FIRST TIME EVER
that o asked how to spell something.
he wrote it with chalk on the back patio,
and said,
"it's love b/c i love you, mom!"

Thursday, November 10, 2011

thankful thursdays11/10/11


i'm thankful for another chance to get to spread awareness about rwanda through another vending opp of the baskets and beads.
though i will be busy all weekend, i've had some friends graciously offer to sit at the sale in my place -what great friends!!!
please come check out "the goods"!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

wordless wednesdays - 11/9/11

running the race

this is a sight i see daily, if not more. the building in the bottom right corner of this photo (thank you street view maps), the one with green awnings, is a funeral home that is just around the corner from my house here in philadelphia. it is a funeral home that is ALWAYS used. that might be an understatement. if you think about it, it makes a lot of sense -i live in one of the roughest neighborhoods and have seen death often here.
the point of this post isn't to talk about death, per say, or the popularity of this specific funeral parlor...it's to talk about life and joy.
one thing i've notice about the people who attend services here is that they are rarely sad. hundreds of people stand around the streets wearing their spray painted shirts "in memory of...", and they laugh and chat and almost celebrate the circumstance of coming together.
i don't believe ALL of these people have reason to celebrate, but it makes me think about when i die. i hope there is a similar atmosphere in the people who choose to gather. a joy or celebration in the life that i lived. i hope they think of the fullness god gave me and can speak of the endurance i had in "the race".
"6 My life is being given as an offering for God. The time has come for me to leave this life here. 7 I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have served the Lord faithfully. 8 Now, a prize is waiting for me—the crown that will show I am right with God. The Lord, the judge who judges rightly, will give it to me on that Day. Yes, he will give it to me and to everyone else who is eagerly looking forward to his coming." 2 Timothy 4:6-8

ephesians 3:7

7 "By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News."


joe has been ramping up our monthly newsletters (if you've missed them see this post) and i must say, i think he's doing a phenomonal job!!! we are using a new sender called monkey chimp and this thing is stalker heaven!!! we can see who has opened our letter, what's been clicked on by whom & how many times, an average of how many letters "should" be opened according to our field, etc etc etc. i am often shocked to check reports after a newsletter has been sent and see the results! i also find it encouraging that people from all over the world are reading these!! anyway, just thought i'd share a little of this with you!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

little van gogh 11/8/11


owens family portrait.
judging by his view of his mohawk, it's time for a cut!!
i <3 that he put a <3 on me "because he loves me"!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

my growing sophers

soph is just about a week shy of being 6 mos old. she is so close to sitting and has even begun the "rocking" motion [when on her belly] as if she's going to be crawling soon...
i have no idea what trouble is until i'm chasing 3 babies around in different directions!!!

she LOVES to eat [still] and is pretty much allowed to have anything mashed! i make some foods for her and others i buy out of ease.

at her 2 month check up she was about 16 lbs and at a sick appt last week, she was still about the same. if it weren't for her eating ALL THE TIME, i might be concerned about this!!! :)
we have her well visit next week, so i'll try to post more stats from that!

remembering & celebrating aiden

about this time of day, 3 years ago, i was sitting in a hospital bed listening to the doc change her mind every few min whether she thought we should go ahead and deliver baby aiden [5 wks early] or try to wait. for now, i remember MANY of the details of his birth, but i'm not sure i always will, so i thought i'd write some down.
lets rewind a bit: earlier in the week, i had started getting very itchy ALL OVER. i tried to pass it off as dried skin with winter approaching, but even regularly lotion-ing didn't help. i remember talking to my mom on the phone one evening (i'm sure she was "checking in"), and when i hung up i looked at my arm to find i had itched it to the point of bleeding. i remember thinking maybe it was something more than just dry skin.
the next day i was doing some target shopping and ran into my neighbor. we sat for a snack in the snack shop, and talked. this was not rare -well, the target part was, but we often talked. she urged me to just put a phone call in with my doctors office.
i came home and did the normal thing: googled my symptoms! isn't that what everyone does?!? well, google knocked some fear into me with words like still birth and death, so i put a phone call in. they scheduled me for the next morning.
off i went on my hike to abington to see the doc. of course i got my least fav in the whole practice, but beggars can't be choosers! she mostly brushed off my thoughts. i pushed the issue and asked her to test me even just to ease my fears. she did VERY RELUCTANTLY! that was a wed.
i called the office fri for results and waited most of the day for her to call back. i remember when she did. there was a sense of urgency in her voice when she stated, "you need to come in to triage, please!" this pregnancy was different. i had already been to the er for a few visits. i pretty much didn't want to go, but i did. at least she informed me a different doc was on call! my mom and i made the hike (i was in jersey that day) from mo*town up to abington during rush hour -what fun times! it seemed to take forever!!!
upon arrival, they started to explain to me, or, at least told me some info on this "confusing case" for them. apparently my liver function levels are supposed to be 21 the highest (normal being about 14)....when last checked, mine were in the 600's. remember that was 2 days prior to the current day. to say they were baffled would be an understatement! they re-checked and the #'s climbed and were now in the 900's.
they couldn't believe i was alive and functioning, let alone with being itchy as my biggest complaint. the doctor said she had never heard of the #'s being like this and was concerned. if left unnoticed, eventually my organs would have shut down one by one leaving me in ac coma or worse.
one minute, she wanted to deliver -not chance my life. the next minute she weighed the health of the baby and what it would look like to birth him 5 wks early.
she was torn!
clearly, in the end we decided to go ahead and "deliver" aiden that night.miraculously, he was born a whooping 6lbs 5 oz.
the only "problem" he had was being slightly jaundiced (as seen by the bilirubin lights above)
he spent a mere 7 days in NICU, then was able to return home with us!!
shortly after delivering, my liver function levels also returned to normal.

here he is about 1 week old:

today, aiden is a SUPER HAPPY little man!
and by little, i mean GIANT!!!
he just kicked his brother out of 4t clothing, because he needed them himself.
this past summer aiden really blossomed in personality. he became chatty and we are enjoying watching his imagination come to life!!! he LOVES to love and is always giving big wet slobbery kisses, but we take 'em just the same! he likes to read, and collects stickers. he is just plain curious about everything. if he finds a paper, he is convinced it's "his paper for his work"!
today we celebrated with lunch out (he picked chinese chicken),
and cupcakes for dessert.
he loved dancing around all day and receiving well wishes from family and friends.
we <3 aiden!!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

send the marlins -nov update


lord willing, 10 mos and 3 weeks before we head out.
click here for the latest update (in case you don't receive them).

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

crafting

another quilt finished...this one took long enough for me to actually sit down and do! this was a gift for friends. they were having a baby, and we weren't sure boy or girl, so i went with a gender neutral shade of colors. the front is quilted, and the back has a ball so it's a "reversable" quilt! i sure hope they like it!!!