Introducing…

Rachel SusannahRachel Susannah - March 23, 2015

born March 23, 2015
2:17 p.m.
8 lbs 7 oz, 20 1/2 inches

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Filed under Mommyhood, Rachel Susannah

Titus’ Truck Birthday Party

Titus 3rd Birthday

For Titus’ 3rd birthday, we partied pretty much all day long!

He woke up to presents from the family at breakfast…

The Birthday Boy!

And then it was time to get ready for his Truck Party!

Friends - yes, all girls!

Grammy and Grampy, and friends from church came over to help us celebrate! (Yes. It was a truck birthday party, for a 3-year-old boy, and all of the guests at the party were little girls!)

Lunch!

Lunch was, at the birthday boy’s request: Hot Dogs, oranges, strawberries, blueberries, celery, carrots, cucumbers, and Fritos. All of his favorites.

The Truck Cake

For the cake, he wanted “yemon” (lemon), with chocolate frosting. He actually loves lemon. But, lemon and chocolate? I wasn’t too sure about that flavor combination…we ended up going with yellow cake, and that seemed to be exactly what he was asking for.  My cake decorating abilities are decidedly limited. But, with the help of pinterest (and obviously, that was only for ideas…I was not going for an exact replica!), a few stolen uh, I mean borrowed construction trucks, and a creative big sister, we managed to pull off a cake that pleased our new 3-year-old…and that’s really all that matters.

Present Time!

It was a fun day, celebrating our boy.

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Filed under Birthdays, Mommyhood, Titus Ryle, Traditions & Celebrations

Happy 3rd Birthday, Titus!

Happy Birthday to my sweet, energetic, silly, loud, stubborn, compassionate, shy, truck-loving little boy!!

I constantly say that you are “all boy.” And you are. You love to play with your cars and trucks…and it never ceases to amaze me how you just know what noises to make. You can name the construction equipment that we pass on the roads…and you get so disappointed when they aren’t moving. You could run and dig in the back yard for hours! And, if I don’t (or can’t) let you go outside to play, you run around the living room, and climb on the furniture.

I’m convinced that you would be happy if I would let you live on peanut butter sandwiches, oatmeal, and strawberries. You know what you like. Of course, it does make your mommy’s life easier!

You are in a unique position in our family. You are the only boy…a little brother and big brother! And, you manage to fill both roles so well. You love to play Legos with your big sister…although your version is decidedly a bit more destructive than hers. But, you love any chance to be with her.

You have grown into a wonderful big brother. I loved seeing your excitement when Rebekah was born, and I love seeing how it has continued to grow over the last year. I know she takes your cars, and messes up your games (just like you do to Hannah). But, I love seeing you learning how to share, and how to be kind, and to be patient. Even so, it is so obvious that you adore her. You take care of her, and protect her. And you always try to comfort her when she cries, or gets hurt. (Even when you were the one who hurt her.) And, I am looking forward to watching you love your new little sister when she comes. I love watching you get so excited to feel her move, and it just melts my heart when you already want to give her hugs.

You definitely have your mommy’s stubborn personality (sorry, bud!). And, at the same time, you can be so sweet, and sensitive, and compassionate. You definitely have your mommy wrapped around that little finger. I love how you ask to hold my hand, and to tuck you in to bed at night. I love your sweet hugs and kisses as we say goodnight, and how you ask in the morning if they are still on. And, how you often pause in your playing just to say “Mommy, you’re my best.”

Yes, you may be a bit of a mama’s boy right now…and I’m enjoying it while it lasts. But, you love your daddy so much! You get so excited when he gets home from work…or when we get to go visit him at church (as long as there aren’t too many people there). You want to dress like him, and pretend to “workout” like him. (Keep watching your daddy. I can’t think of anyone better for you to imitate as you grow up!)

You are an amazing answer to so many years of prayers! 
Happy 3rd Birthday, Titus!!! We love you!

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Filed under Birthdays, Life, Mommyhood, Titus Ryle, Traditions & Celebrations

Year in Review ~ 2014

“The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance….You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” ~Psalm 16:5-6, 11 (ESV)

Dear Family and Friends,
This year seems to have passed in a blur of happy surprises, simple everyday moments, and unexpected trials. But, as I think back over all that has happened, I am both humbled and amazed at all that the Lord has done – in our home, our family, and our church.

Our children are a constant joy, and tangible reminders of God’s sovereignty, grace, and timing. They humble us, stretch us, and show us our need to be completely dependent on the Lord each day as we seek to faithfully parent, train, and disciple them.

Hannah turned 9 in April, and is in the fourth grade! She enjoys our school time, and science continues to be her favorite subject. This year, my little animal-lover is thrilled to be studying Zoology! She actually jumped up and down after I purchased the books at the homeschool convention this summer. But, she is still my creative little artist. She designed and built a moving Lego merry-go-round! She loves to write and tell long, elaborate stories, often keeping her brother entertained by transforming the living room into a forest wonderland, a train station, or some far-away kingdom! She definitely inherited her daddy’s artistic talent, and I think she has checked out every “how to draw” book in our local library, as she attempts to illustrate the many books and stories she is writing! She is a sweet and eager helper, and willingly jumps in to help with whatever I need…washing dishes, picking up toys, making lunch. She is a wonderful big sister! And, despite their age differences, she adores and genuinely enjoys her brother and sister!

Titus turned 2 in February! He is all boy! Full of energy, from the moment he wakes up! He runs. Everywhere. If he could, he would spend all day outside, playing at the park, or digging up the back yard. He is currently obsessed with fire trucks, police cars, and construction equipment…especially bulldozers, front end loaders, and dump trucks. He is so curious about everything, and most days, he has more questions than I have answers for! (Thankfully, he still buys “Because.” as a valid answer!) We started “Titus-school” (or, what most people would call pre-school) this year, and he is so excited to be sitting at the school table with his big sister, learning his colors, numbers, letters, and days of the week. He is a great big brother, and loves his “baby Bekah” (and, he is the only one that gets away with calling her that!). He checks on her when she cries, gives her kisses and hugs when she gets hurt, and occasionally offers to share his special monkey. They are both learning how to share their toys, and how to be kind. But most of the time, they get along great!

Rebekah turned 1 on October 10th! It has been so fun to watch her grow and change this past year! She talks a lot, but mostly in her own little language. She does say “bye” to Daddy, with waves and kisses, as he leaves each morning. And, she has learned some sign language. “More” seems to be her favorite sign…probably because it gets the most immediate results. But, my favorite is the way she signs “thank you” by blowing a kiss to whomever she is thanking! So sweet. She folds her hands to pray with us before meals, at bedtime, and in church…always offering her enthusiastic “Mmmen!” at the end. She officially started walking just after her first birthday, and is getting faster every day! She is full of personality, and has added so much joy to our home with her sweet smiles, contagious giggles, and silly faces. She loves her big brother and sister, and enjoys following them around, watching them, copying them, and just generally doing (or trying to do) whatever they are doing…including being a big sister!!

Ultrasound 11-3-14 001edYes! We are thrilled to be expecting a baby girl to join our family on, or around March 20, 2015!! We are so thankful for a relatively easy pregnancy this time, and are anxious to meet her.

As you might imagine, my days (and nights) are filled with caring for our children and our home. Some days, the laundry is never-ending (and we’re about to add more!)…I often resemble a ping pong ball as I try to simultaneously homeschool a fourth grader and a pre-schooler, while supervising toddler playtime…Sleep is in short supply…And, I seem to spend an extraordinary amount of time wiping things – little noses, little cheeks, little fingerprints, and little bottoms. But, each day, all of these things (and more!) remind me that being a mommy is one of the greatest privileges, responsibilities, and ministries I will ever have!

Although it can often seem that way, our children are not the only thing keeping us busy…

This summer, Jason became the senior/teaching pastor of Grace Community Bible Church. We have been blessed to be part of this church for 4 years, but this has been a big change (for us, and for our church). He is continuing to counsel, disciple, and oversee a variety of ministries, and has added preaching regularly to his responsibilities! He is enjoying studying and preaching through the book of Acts on Sunday mornings, and (finally!) finishing up a series on the book of Proverbs on Wednesday nights. We have been so encouraged by our friends during this transition, and are even more grateful for the wonderful church family that the Lord has given us to serve alongside of here! And, we are looking forward to how the Lord will continue to grow us and use our little church in the future.

This year has challenged and stretched us in unexpected ways. But, it has also been a year of immense joy as we have once again seen our Lord’s faithfulness to convict, encourage, strengthen, and sustain us each day!

This Christmas, we remember back to that moment, long ago, when God Himself took on flesh, and became man. We celebrate His birth, yes. But, more than that, we celebrate His sinless life, His perfect sacrifice for our sin, in His death on the cross, and His victory over death and sin in His resurrection.

And, it is only by His grace that we live, not just one day, but each day, in that hope…In the Light that was shined into the deepest darkness of our sin.

And, it is our prayer that you also may know the hope and joy that only comes from knowing our Savior…this Christmas and in the year to come.

By His Grace,
Jason, Veronica, Hannah, Titus, Rebekah, & Baby

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It’s A…

Okay. I’ll admit it. I’m a “peeker.” I like that I can find out baby’s gender before he or she is born. I like using pronouns other than “it” to describe my child. Plus, I like to plan.

I know that “gender reveal” parties are quite popular right now. But, just like waiting until baby is born to find out if we have a boy or a girl would make me crazy, I don’t think I could stand not knowing my baby’s gender – even for a short time – while other people know.

At the same time, I do kind of get the appeal. It has been fun to come up with creative ways to announce what baby is to the big siblings. So, we do our own version of a gender reveal party.

When we found out Titus was a boy, we went to Target and bought some blue onesies for Hannah to open up. I guess we made it a tradition by buying some pink jammies after Rebekah’s ultrasound.

So…

Today was our “big” ultrasound! Of course, our first priority was to make sure that baby was healthy and developing normally.

All Snuggled Up

All Snuggled Up

After the appointment, we headed home to tell the big brother and big sisters the news!

IMG_1514wm

We got a neutral bag so we wouldn’t give anything away.

It was so fun to watch the news sink in after they opened the bag!

Big Brother

Big Brother Titus holding the PINK Burp Cloths

It's a...

Pink???

It's a girl?!?!

It’s a girl?!?!

IMG_1518wm

Oh brother… (No. Despite how it looks, he really was excited. He has been saying that baby is a girl all along!)

Daddy & Big Sister Rebekah are Excited!

Daddy & Big Sister Rebekah are Excited!

The Happy (and Surprised!) Big Sister

The Happy (and Surprised!) Big Sister

Yes, it looks like Titus is still outnumbered. It’s a GIRL!!!

Our Baby Girl

Our Baby Girl

*********

Our little girl is growing, and developing right on track. But, during the ultrasound, it was discovered that I have a slight placenta previa. I am not overly concerned, as I had a “low lying” placenta with Titus, and placenta previa with Rebekah. In both cases, the placenta moved as baby grew, and my doctor seems confident that is what will happen this time as well. But, I would appreciate your prayers to that end. If things don’t change, we will be looking at a C-section, which, Lord-willing, I would prefer to avoid.

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Filed under Baby, Life, Mommyhood, Secondary Infertility, Traditions & Celebrations