Thursday, December 27, 2012

Jesus was that, too.

 This precious boy is here with us this Christmas, and what a joy it is.

As he gains more independence, it has made this mama rather reminiscent of days gone by, when his cry was a faint quiver, and his skin was too big and rolled like folds of velvet over his perfect arms and legs.

And then I think:

Jesus was like that, too.

I nurse my little one, kiss his scratches, bathe, clothe, and care for him every day. He is needy, and during this Christmas season the thought has been inescapable:

Jesus was like this, too.

At the time of his greatest humiliation, his greatest glory was shown. Completely vulnerable, yet heaven cried Victory! 

This Christmas, as I hold my own sweet boy close to me, I've treasured up in my heart that that victory is sure. Because nothing like the weighty responsibility of caring for your own child makes you feel so desperately needy.

"And you shall give him the name Jesus, for he shall save the people from their sins." Matthew 1:21

The world groans in pain, tears fall in bucketfuls. Hearts ache. Minds hurt. Bodies don't work like they should. Men steal and cheat. They murder. Men, women, and children die - some ripe with old age, and season with a good life. Others, too soon - some, much too soon - and thousands, daily, before they even had a chance to take a breath. Always, it hurts.

We need a rescuer. A healer. A comforter. A friend. Someone to cry with us, and to hold us. Someone to fight for the wrong, to make all things right. A defender and protector. A conqueror. 

Then Christmastime comes, and amidst the bustle, we can look to that child in the manger and know:

Jesus is all that, too.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

We're all grown up and havin' babies...

...and boy, o, boy, is it FUN!

I wish I could write captions for each of these. Feel free to write your own in the comments! Taking a picture with 4 babies is hard enough - doing it with your camera on self-timer? Yeah.

Sebastian: Whoa, this camera is the funniest thing I've ever seen!
Katharina: I guess I'll just sit here. I wonder when they'll realize I'm not even in the picture?
Ralphie and Mama: Let's blink at the same time so we look like idiots together.
Angela: O, I'm just so happy to be a mother!

Ashlee and Angela: Let's smile and act crazy for the camera, even though the kids aren't even looking at us!
Philippa: Boy, I've never seen Auntie open her mouth so big...

Ralphie: These stupid amber beads are choking me again...
Katharina: Uhm, this is getting kind of scary guys...

Ralphie: Who do you think has a better deer in the headlights stare - me? Or Auntie?
Ashlee: Let's all shout like we're on The Wiggles!

Katharina: Really, guys, I don't like this one bit.
Ralphie: I solemnly swear I did not take one sip of Uncle's scotch.
Sebastian: I could just do this all day!
Auntie: Can you smile THIS big, children?

Ralphie: I may, perhaps, have inhaled some of that cigar, though.
Philippa: I just love my mama soooo much.

:-D :-D

Really, the fun never ends.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Ralphie is 10 months old!

Double digits, man o, man.

My sweet boy,

Here we go! Your first year of life is just about completed.

What a joy you are. Your giggles and smiles are contagious. 

You have learned a lot this past month. Probably because you spent most of your 9th month trying to keep up with your cousins, Sebastian and Katharina. They taught you all sorts of fun things, like how to get up on your knees, pull yourself up on furniture, and bounce up and down when you are excited.

You are still army crawling like a champ, but will take time every once and awhile to get on your knees and rock. You just haven't figured out the coordination, but I know you will soon! You climb up on everything these days, and one of your new favorite activities is pulling Daddy's books off of the shelves. You don't understand gravity yet, though, and have no fears. Let's just say you have no choice but to be a tough little dude.

While you are starting to look a little more like me than you used to, your personality and expressions still remind us of your daddy. You are friendly and noisy. You make the strangest faces. And, you are every bit as stubborn as your daddy.

You like sticks and dirt and anything with wheels.

You are pretty little thing, despite your 100% boy-ness. Five times this month you have been called a girl!

We love you, handsome boy. Inside and out, upside and down, to the moon and back, and even more than last month.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Mini Vacation

Before Ralphie and I left for Scotland, we spent three days as a family in Myrtle Beach.

All year long Daniel has been attending lectures on Church Planting through an organization called The Cypress Project. They pampered their couples by treating them all to a 3 day, 2-night get away in a beach side hotel. They pampered us with a 14th floor ocean-view room, with a king size bed and jacuzzi tub. We were greeted by a small gift basket with treats and $100 to spend on a "date night." To say this was a refreshing trip would be an understatement. We were so blessed by the seminars on marriage and parenting, and by the time spent together, away from distractions and work. It was the perfect way to spend our time before being separated for nearly 3 weeks.

Put him in the rocking chair and he spied his daddy sitting next to him. <3

Wednesday morning I got up just before sunset and sat out on our balcony to watch the sun rise over the Atlantic. The next afternoon we flew across it. 

We skipped out on half the lecture Wednesday morning (shh! Don't tell!) and went to the aquarium instead. Fun, fun!

And then it was on the road home again. 
So thankful for these memories and this time we got to spend together.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Meal Time in Scotland

One of the busiest times during our three weeks in Scotland was meal time. Three times a day we cooked up enough gluten-free vegan fare to feed a small army. At least you would have thought we were feeding an army, and not these three small children. 

I generally grimace at any picture of a child with food on his or her face. These just make me smile. 

After three days of self feeding we decided to spoon feed more. It helped with some of the mess, but certainly not all.

When all was said and done, it was worth a laugh and a chuckle to know our children were eating well and had very full bellies.

We also decided that mothers of triplets deserve some sort of shrine.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Ralphie is 9 Months Old!

(A little late! Though I did take the picture in time, albeit rather hurriedly)

Seriously, Ralphie, nine months is so very big.

And you are living up to every minute of it.

You are sweet as sweet can be, most of the time. Everyone comments on what a happy baby you are.

And you really are. You smile at nearly everyone. You giggle so easily, and during your play time you can be heard singing long strings of syllables.

This last month has been busy for you. You have mastered the army crawl and think you are awesome. You are using your knees more, and have pulled yourself up on objects several times. But, you still seem pretty happy just army crawling!

You talk lots. You talk to yourself and to your toys. It's pretty adorable. You don't babble syllables though, you babble strings of vowels, like you are singing. I love it so much it often makes me stop whatever I am doing and just listen to you, and smile. Your happiness delights me.

And your sadness hurts me. This past month was the first time you have been sick. It wasn't any childhood illness or common cold, just a high fever for almost three days. Your body was fighting something, and fighting hard, because you never had any other symptoms. You were a little fussy, but mostly just silent and sleepy eyed. We nursed a lot. Breast milk is the best medicine. You were so sad looking. Daddy and I snuggled you almost all day for nearly three days. When the fever finally broke and you got back to your happy self it was a relief to us all!

Of course you have ups and downs. You are a little sinner in diapers and the older you get the more evident that becomes. We continue to teach you self control, joy, and patience, and it is teaching Daddy and I to be better people, too.

The older you get the more your personality explodes, as well, and it has been fun to see. You like attention, and flirt with people to get it. You remind me in so many ways of your daddy, and that is just one. You certainly have his people-pleasing abilities!

You are friendly - always have a smile for everyone. You are affectionate - ready for snuggles any time of day. You are a mama's boy.

You learned to wave this month, but don't do it all the time quite yet. Your daddy was the first person you waved to. He came home from work and you smiled at him and waved your little hand. It was precious.

You are a eighteen + pounds, long and lean, and your feet are B-I-G. But they have been big sine Day 1. You are in 6-9 or 9 months clothes, but have started just this week eating almost twice as much solid food, so I suspect you are going to start outgrowing out of them very soon.

As far as that food goes, you mostly just like to do it yourself. You like fruits best. Who doesn't? We finally got you a high chair this past month and you look so cute and grown up sitting there having your dinner with Daddy and me like a little person.

You are a little person. You are precious.

We love seeing who you are, and learning more about you every day. We love you so very much, and even more an last month.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Baby, it's cold outside!

"He's adorable, what's his name?"


"Ralphie! Like from the Christmas story?"

Well, actually, not really.

Even better is the most recent:

"What's this little guy's name?"

"This is Ralphie."

"You'll shoot your eye out! You'll shoot your eye out!"

Yes, we knew this nickname would strike a chord with A Christmas Story lovers all over the world.

But during our time in Scotland our Ralphie was looking a lot more like Randy. 

You know. The kid brother who gets tipped over in the snow, and can't get back up because his mother has put so much clothing on him?

Here, maybe this will help you remember:

Actually, we were having a good time outside, somebody just got grumpy because he couldn't crawl around like his cousins.

He looks pretty cute though, huh? :)

p.s. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!