Tuesday, June 23, 2009

See a resemblence?



If you can believe it - these 2 photos are not of the same children. The top picture is of Elijah that I took last week. The bottom picture is of Gabriel that I took in 2003! Isn't is amazing how similar they look?!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day


Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. Thank you for the example that you are and continue to be to our children. I am so grateful to have a father, a husband and a father in law that are an example of Christ to their kids. We love you all! Have a wonderful Sunday!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Big Boy!




Our boy is growing! This outfit is a little big for him but it is a 6-9 mo outfit!! Today Isaac, Elijah and I are going to Sioux Falls to run errands and maybe stop for a visit at my work. Gabriel is excited to go to daycare for awhile and play with his friends. Have a great Friday!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Auntie Karlena



Karlena came to visit us a couple of weeks ago and she and her mom Linda brought us an amazing lunch and we got a few pictures too. It was so much fun seeing Karlena - it isn't often enough! :) Gabriel enjoyed seeing her too and today he found a picture of Karlena and I together in my bedroom and said "Mom, look its Karlena! I love her." So cute. I know that Elijah will also love his "adopted" auntie Karlena too. I mean look at how content he was in her arms!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mr. Serious and Mr. Smiles the many faces of Elijah

I think Elijah might be a little bit annoyed with me at this point. He is trying to figure out why I have put him on the floor and why I keep taking his picture!


Ok I know this photo is a bit blurry - but this was Elijah smiling for me. It is so hard to catch it on film so this is the best I could do!

Monday, June 15, 2009

1 Month Birthday!



I can't really believe it but Elijah is 1 month old today!! The past 4 weeks have flown by and it makes me a little sad to know that my leave off with him is quickly fading away! This is Elijah in his swing this morning after his shower. Yep you heard me right. He, just like our other boys loves the shower. He hates taking a bath but when he gets in the shower he just closes his eyes and looks so peaceful and comfortable. Last night when he was really fussy Dominic took another shower and it calmed him right down.

He is definetly a growing boy and still eats all the time. I am excited to see in another month how much he weighs. I tried weighing myself and then myself while holding him and I read that he is approx. 11lbs. But you never quite know with the scale. He has grown though and is close to being too big for the 0-3 month clothes we have for him.

He is starting to respond a little more to us, smiling (I don't believe for a second it is gas!!), and just watching us. Yesterday I had left the room and came back awhile later and was talking to Gabriel and Elijah moved his head to the side in my direction when he heard me. Makes mom smile!!

He is not sleeping well at nights still and goes through some very unhappy time at night. I don't know if he has colic or tummy problems - but it is hard to see him so unhappy. Hopefully we will get past this phase before I am scheduled to go back to work!

Today Beth and Isabel are coming down to visit us for the day to hang out - so we are looking forward to that. Dominic had to go back to work today - his first full day back in a month. He was pretty depressed about it this morning! It is fun being off together as a family. Now if we could just win the lottery!! :) Tomorrow he has to travel to Pierre for work for 2 days so I will be on my own. I know it will be fine, but I am not looking forward to him being gone.

Happy 1 month birthday my son. I thank God for you, you are a blessing in so many ways!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I Do Not Belong

I do not belong...and for the first time in my life I am happy about it.

Let me explain..

From way back before I can probably remember I always felt like I didn't belong. Despite the fact that I grew up in a 2 parent home with parents who loved us and did the family "thing" with us, I never felt like I truly belonged.

Maybe it was that I grew up on a block with 2 sets of twins who were the same age as I was. Oh how I envied them...they always had someone that they could play with, be friends with and share secrets with. I wished for years that I had been a twin because I saw the special bond those sisters shared..even when fighting! In fact as an adult I have said that I would love to have twin girls. Not because I think I can manage 2 infants at the same time but because I would in a way get to have for my daughters what I couldn't have myself. Silly I know.

Maybe it was because I just was never the pretty girl, or the popular girl or the athletic girl. I was despite my best efforts - average. Gasp I know! But seriously at the time those feelings shaped me, caused me to feel "less than" even if no one in the world told me I was "less than".

It was that "hole" inside of me that was not able to be filled of things of this world. But boy how I tried to fill it myself. I practiced and practiced and prayed and prayed that I would make it onto the cheerleading squad. It didn't happen and I was devastated. So I tried out for the dance team instead. And although I made the squad, in my mind it was not where I really belonged.

I wanted to be something/someone important after college so I decided in my Junior year of high school that I wanted to be a physical therapist. It was a profession that would make me feel important - or so I thought. After my first year at Augustana it was clear to me that PT was not a road I could be going down anymore. So I switched schools and majors and after 4 years graduated with a BS in Psychology. And my first job out of college?? Working at a retail clothing store...not exactly the dream job I had hoped for.

I got married really young and we had Isaac and in the beginning married life just wasn't like I thought it should be. It was hard and I wasn't prepared for that. And once again I felt like I just didn't "belong".

Today my life looks a lot different. My relationships with my husband, my kids, my family are so fulfilling and rewarding today. Today I can say that I have true friends. People that care about me and how I am doing. People that pray with me and for me, people that are willing to share life with transparency. I no longer have the burden of feeling like I need to prove myself or be someone that I am not. I guess you could say that I have found that sense of belonging.

Until I was reminded of an even greater truth yesterday on my way up to Sioux Falls. I was listening to the radio and was struck by the lyrics of a song titled 'I Do Not Belong" by Kutless. I wanted to share them here...

I look around and I feel like, thing's changed and I don't know why
And everyday that passes by I feel so far away
I can see in the distance, You have the rest of me
I put my trust in you, as I look beyond today
It's all becoming clear.

I do not belong in a world of broken pieces
I was meant to be in the arms of Your redemption
I am moving on to the place of Your perfection
Cause I do not belong

When the world is behind me on the day that I breathe my last
In the face of eternity there's hope cause' I believe
When I look to the heavens and the future that you hold
It makes it easier to see beyond today
Now I'm looking to the sky

I do not belong in a world of broken pieces
I was meant to be in the arms of Your redemption
I am moving on to the place of Your perfection
Cause I do not belong

This world is not my home
I'm a stranger in this land
But I am not alone
When I do not belong:

I do not belong in a world of broken pieces
I was meant to be in the arms of Your redemption
I am moving on to the place of Your perfection
Cause I do not belong
No, I do not belong
I do not belong


You see I really don't belong here. This life, this time it is not my true home. My home, the place where I belong, where I will no longer be a stranger is the home with My Father in Heaven. And I think that it is good if I don't feel like I belong here on earth. Because the minute that I begin to get too comfortable here is the moment that I start taking control back of my life and less willing to give Him control.

Dominic and I have been on a journey the past couple of years to seek out what God's will is for our lives. We don't do this perfectly or even well at times but we are trying. It is something that takes effort and willingness. Willingness to follow through with what He might ask of us. That is where the hard work comes in. Are we ready to follow where He leads - even if it hurts?

I would like to believe yes, and honestly I am grateful that we haven't been tested with anything too difficult. But I know that if we are that there is only one place that I will look for guidance. Because I belong, we all belong in the arms of His redemption. And that redemption is found in the blood of a Savior that chose to die for me and for you so that some day we would have a place to belong.

So today I rejoince in the fact that I don't belong here and there is freedom in that!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

God's Kiss

A few nights ago I was driving home and listening to Chuck Swindall on my local radio station. I honestly can't remember the message he was giving but one thing he shared stuck out. He talked of his time in seminary with another man who had a birthmark on his face. He was amazed that this birthmark didn't seem to bother this man and one day he asked him about it. The man shared that when he was young his father told him that right before he was to be born God kissed him on his face and the resulting birthmark was proof that he was loved by God for all the world to see.

Chuck said that this fathers story helped shape the way the boy saw himself and thus he never saw himself as ugly or damaged but special because he was kissed by God. I loved that story.

When Elijah was born we noticed that he had a small birthmark on his right knee. I honestly don't understand what "causes" birthmarks but my mom commented that maybe that birthmark was a reminder of what Elijah had to go through to get here - with my surgery and all.

A few days ago Isaac reminded us that Gabriel too had a birthmark. What is so interesting about this is that Gabriel's birthmark is a similar size and found on the back of his leg right behind his right knee. And if you compare pictures of Gabriel and Elijah they are almost difficult to tell apart. Isaac is very similar also - but Elijah resembles Gabriel to a tee.

So I showed Gabriel the birthmark on his leg and then the one on Elijahs'. Gabriel was a little freaked out by the birthmark and kept trying to rub it off. Then I remembered the story that I heard on the radio...about God's kisses.

So I told Gabriel that it was a kiss from God - that before he was born God kissed him and it left a mark. This apparently worked for Gabriel also. He has asked several times in the past couple of days where his "God kiss" was. He likes to look at it - although difficult to see because of its location on the back of his leg. But he knows it is there and he knows that it makes him special to God.

Isn't that awesome?! Who doesn't want to know that they are loved by God, kissed by the Father right before they are born?! Each one of our boys are amazing gifts, given to us, entrusted to us by One who loves them all. Today I am so grateful for each of our sons!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pictures



This picture is titled "What happens at Grandmas stays at Grandmas". You probably can't see it from the photo - but that is written on their onesies! Aren't Elijah and Isabel just the cutiest cousins ever?! I am sure they will be quite the pair!



This picture is titled "Finally Sleeping". After a long day of on and off fussiness - Elijah fell asleep in his car seat outside with me on the deck. I don't think it lasted long but he was so cute I couldn't resist taking a picture!



I call this one "Goofy Gabriel". I was trying to get a nice photo of big brother Gabriel - but he just felt like being goofy!



This picture is called "Can you believe this is my first baby Isaac?" Because Eiljah was born on May 18th and Isaac on November 18th, in a few short months we will have a teenager and a 6 month old! Freaks me out just a little!!


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