Wednesday, January 25, 2012

the chase

"We pursue God because, and only because, He has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit."- A.W. Tozer

I came across this quote, and it is exactly why we gave Chase his name! We know that it is God who initiates the pursuit and we pray that Chase chases after God with all his heart.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

2011 collage

2011 for us was a momentous year. Our kids grew from 2 yrs to 3 yrs and 7 months to 1.5 years! Chase and Sophie enjoyed many friendships (including each other's) and had to say goodbye to some dear friends that moved. Sophie went from crawling to walking to dancing! Sophie was baptized with two of her friends and Chase began attending Sunday school and learning his catechism, of which he is quite knowledgeable. Chase grew more affectionate with his sister and enjoys playing with her (as long as she doesn't grab his trains!) Their favorite playtime is bathtime!! Chase had a Lightning McQueen themed bday party and Sophie's first birthday was adorned with owls! After all, she is our Sophie-owl. Chase enjoys bedtime stories (especially The Runaway Bunny, Un Bolsillo Para Corduroy (yep in Spanish), any Dr. Suess book, The Hungry Caterpillar, the Foolish Tortoise, and The Storybook Bible). Sophie loves her books but doesn't always sit through the entire reading. She plops herself in your lap whether you are ready or not!

As a family we enjoyed a beach trip to Delaware (while getting new windows for our house!), hiking trips, a trip to the pumpkin patch, and the kids' first Halloween in which they dressed up as an Indian prince and princess. Mommy and daddy ventured to SE Asia (for their first vision trip, not to mention first trip ever without kids!). The kids spent much quality time with Grandma and Grandpa and Aunty Cat.

Brian and Krisha both celebrated their 30th bdays- B with a zip-line canopy tour and K with her friends on a "girls night out." Brian coached the church softball team (with a trophy!) and completed the Blue Ridge marathon (despite the monsoon!) and the Tough Mudder (despite having to run through voltage and swim in an ice pit!). Krisha started as a Zumba instructor at the Y, happily choreographing 11+ songs of her own! Krisha enjoyed many a good book this year including: Marriage Matters, Study of Acts, Study of Deuteronomy, Brave, Heaven (by Alcorn), Radical (by Platt), The Pilgrim's Regress (C.S. Lewis), Creative Counterpart, The Mystery of Marriage (by Mason) , Bringing Up Boys, The Mystery of Children, and a Bio of Wycliffe: Herald of the Reformation.

Christmas this year was extra special with Chase understanding more of what it means and even helping countdown on the Christmas calendar. Sophie could identify baby Jeeshush, the donkey and the cow. Those (minus the camel) are the important ones, right? Still working on the others. :) Zoe, now 6, had a rough year with an infection but we are grateful she is alive! Sophie loves her and calls her "wee-wee."Chase is almost done with potty training and can identify his numbers and letters. Still working on the writing part. His favorite toys are his matchbox cars, his Thomas videos, and his new kid camera! He got his first professional haircut (at 3.5 yrs!) so his wavy hair is gone and he is looking more and more like a big boy, not a toddler. Thankfully the bright blue eyes and dimples are here to stay. Sophie grows in her ability to talk, sing, dance, and express herself! She has a huge love for babies as can be noted in the photo of her meeting her cousin Brooks for the first time. She even got her first baby doll and purse. Her hair has gotten curlier and curlier and cheeks bigger and bigger though she is still a petite little thing. We are enjoying this stage of cuteness and compliance!

All in all, 2011 has been a good year. Even though the pictures reflect almost all victories, I cannot say it enough that our lives are not perfect. We have been blessed greatly by the Lord, challenged immensely in parenting, marriage and personal sanctification, and pressed to cling to Him more. I'd be remiss if I acted like the collage represented every facet of our lives. This psych major knows full well that blogs are deceiving. We choose what we put out there. And as sinners, we prefer to think the best of ourselves, not always the reality. So, let me be honest. There has been heartache and soul-ache moments for sure. We have struggled through some battles as well as walked with dear friends through their battles. Both sin and glory have been experienced on a more profound level this year, and yet we know that He is unchanging and God is in the business of redemption. We await more glimpses of His redemption in 2012.

Thanks for staying tuned. Looking forward to blogging more of those personal insights soon.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

weddings, anniversaries, and some inspiring words

Brian and I got to go to Bonker's wedding as well as celebrate our own anniversary in San Diego. It was a treat not to have the kiddos and to be able to do something on our anniversary besides Presbytery!! We enjoyed seeing our JMU buddies and making some new friends like Bonker's wife and her bridesmaids!

Groomsmen with the groom!

Sara-Beth posing with the colorful birds at Balboa

Beautiful architecture at Balboa in San Diego

The top of one of the museums at Balboa... reminds me of the gateway of India

Rehearsal dinner night

Brian sneaking up on Eric and Sara for the photo

Brian, Eric, Josh, and Matt
These guys are great friends of ours from JMU. We actually got to live in community as newlyweds before we all went our separate ways for seminary, work, and missions. Unfortunately only Eric's wife could make it. Sara and I missed Tab and Carly!

Mrs and Mrs. Bonker

Sara-Beth, me, Dawn (sister of the groom and also my Bible Study leader from college)

Brian and I posed for a wedding day photo

After all of the wedding madness, Brian and I enjoyed a day to ourselves where we celebrated our anniversary by walking around Balboa Park, looking at all of the artists' work, walking on a local beach and taking in the sights.

One of them was an enormous bulldog that trotted around the beach with the other dogs. This bully had at least 20 lbs on Zoe!
We ate at a quaint sandwich shop, found a sushi place for dinner (sooo good compared to East Coast sushi!) and even treated ourselves to frogurt for dessert. They still had peppermint from the holiday season so I was ecstatic!

As we celebrated our friend's marriage, reunited with friends who are married, and contemplated our own marriage, I always enjoy reading over some of these truths from Mike Mason's book The Mystery of Marriage. They ring true every year for me.

“Love is the only true power, because it is the only thing that does not want power, just as love is the only true wealth because it is the only thing that can afford to give itself away.”

“A vow is, per se, a confession of inadequacy and an automatic calling upon the only adequacy there is, which is the mercy and power of God.”

“In purely human terms the marriage vows are impossible: impossible to keep, and impossible to walk away from…The saying of them requires about thirty seconds. But the keeping them is the work of a lifetime.”

“To keep a vow, therefore, means not to keep from breaking it, but rather to devote the rest of one’s life to discovering what the vow means, and to be willing to change and to grow accordingly. It might almost be said that the sign of a vow being kept is the realization of how far one is from keeping it. In a very real way, the vow keeps the man rather than vice versa. “

Christmas in the noke

The Advent calendar was a hit b/c Chase was excited every day to put a magnet on and we worked on number and re-emphasizing the reason that we celebrate Christmas in the first place. The last magnet is baby Jesus whom he clearly recognized and when we got to the 25th... it was Jesus' Birthday!

Daddy finishing his work before the Christmas weekend begins! Sophie is helping him count down by showing him her fisher price Nativity. She actually knows which one is baby Jesus ("bay-be Jeeshus") and the donkey ("eeh-aww") and the cow ("moo") but we are working on the camel.

Brian showing Sophie her new owl slippers that mommy was probably the most excited about! Clearance at Old Navy and they just happened to be owls for my little Sophie owl!

the curlies

I love that Chase now laughs in photos and Sophie has like a triple chin and adorable hair

mommy and Chase buddy

Sophie with her Aunty Nu-Nu
(I think Nu-nu was officially the first extended relative whose name she learned...
ok maybe Papi. But Nu-nu was a close second)

Chase with his toy camera that actually takes pix! He loved it!! Doesn't he look like a boy and no longer a toddler?... sniffle.
I love the look on Chase's face. I think he will be a cool dude in school. I put him in a blazer for church that Christmas morning. I think he looks mighty handsome.
cousin Asher

Future rockstars!!!!!!!!
LOVE the look on Asher's face! He's rocking out on his new drumset!
Sophie and Chase want in on the action!

Not pictured: Grammy B (who unfortunately was sick on Christmas), Papi (who was in India though we did facetime him), and Uncle B who was there and I just didn't catch him in a photo! Sorry Bry!

Photo dump!

There is too much to catch up on from December to January to be able to thoughtfully type in blog updates.... so here's a photo dump of random pix. Some involve the kids playing together, some involve Zoe, some involve Brian and Chase with the "tough mudder" headband and other Christmas photos.

Sophie making herself comfy on Chase's lap. I love this about her
and hope this uninhibited trait of assuming others love
her affection stays with her as she grows!

(Notice Chase's legs coming out from the blanket.
He asks her "Sophie will you please jump on me?")

Sophie making herself right at home with Zoe.

Sophie giving Chase a "squeeze-squeeze"

my little crazy man who runs around with
daddy's "tough mudder" headband