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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Filed under Year In Reveiw

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!

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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?!?!

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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

This One is ALL Boy

I can now say that I have spent time in Urgent Care wondering if something was broken. I guess that makes me an official boy mom.

Titus and Hannah were playing, and Titus fell…and landed on his nose.

Owie!

Owie!

I’ve discovered that it is a fine line with boys. On the one hand, I don’t want to unnecessarily freak out over every little bump, scrape, and bruise. But, at the same time, I don’t want to ignore something that could be…well, something.

His nose started to turn purple almost immediately. So, I called his pediatrician, and he suggested getting it checked out…just in case. So, off we went to the local Urgent Care office. (Thankfully, one had just opened up down the street!)

Titus, what happened? I hurt my nose.

Titus, what happened?
I hurt my nose.

The doctor at the Urgent Care clinic checked him out. He pushed and pinched, and felt around his nose and eye sockets, until he was convinced that it probably wasn’t broken. (He said he didn’t like to do x-rays on kids so young if it wasn’t absolutely necessary. And, thankfully, in this case, it wasn’t.) The doctor sent us home with an ice pack, which stayed on his nose for maybe all of 30 seconds, and instructions to give him something for pain, if he needed it.

He didn’t.

The doctor was quite impressed with Titus’ high pain tolerance. He said he was pushing on his face pretty hard, and at one point, asked “Does this hurt?”
Titus just looked at him and said, “Yes.”

Oh, well, okay then.

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I love this smile.

He will probably have a bruise on his nose for a little while. And likely his first black eye(s). But, he’s still smiling.

This one is all boy.

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Filed under Life, Mommyhood, Titus Ryle

Rebekah’s 1st Birthday Party!

Invitation

We celebrated Rebekah’s 1st Birthday with a little party and few friends from church.

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Jessie & Alejandra

Johanna & Sophia

Johanna & Sophia

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Micah & Hannah

Grammy & Grampy came too!

Grammy & Grampy

Grammy & Grampy

Seeing as how it was October, a fallish-Pumpkin theme just seemed to fit.

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Dinner

Cupcakes!

Cupcakes!

Bethany & Hannah

Bethany & Hannah

Titus

Titus

Brookie

Brookie

Rebekah received some sweet gifts from her friends…although she was a bit overwhelmed by the unwrapping.

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Opening a Gift…with help from Hannah & TItus

Then it was time for cupcakes!

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Hannah lit the candle

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In keeping with our theme, I decorated the cupcakes with little candy pumpkins…and that is the extent of my cake-decorating ability.

Rebekah’s first taste of sugar…

What is this?

What is this?

She was a little hesitant at first…

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Licking the frosting off her fingers.

Just poked at the frosting…

Really? I'm allowed to eat this?

Really? I’m allowed to eat this?

But, then she got brave.

First Bite

First Bite

Yeah. I think she liked it.

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Happy Little Frosting Face…She even had it in her eyelashes!

Happy 1st Birthday, Rebekah!! We love you!

With my Birthday Girl

With my Birthday Girl

 

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Filed under Birthdays, Hospitality, Life, Mommyhood, Rebekah Ann, Traditions & Celebrations

Happy 1st Birthday, Rebekah!

Rebekah Ann ~ October 10, 2013

Rebekah Ann ~ October 10, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday, Rebekah!

1 Year Old

1 Year Old

My sweet baby girl. I can’t believe it has been a year since you were born! You have been our “sweet Rebekah” from day one. It just seemed to fit you. It still does. Over this past year, you have grown from a sweet little baby into such a sweet little girl.

Everyone has told me that the transition from 2 children to 3 is the most difficult. But, you have made it so easy!

Of course, you also have a mind of your own. Oddly, you may just be the most stubborn child we’ve had yet. But, that iron will only seems to exert itself at bedtime. Yes, in keeping with family tradition, you do not like to sleep…in your bed. But, you curl up and relax so easily when Mommy or Daddy is holding you…and you know what? I love it.

I have loved watching your little personality grow and develop this year. You have the best facial expressions! And, you smile and giggle so easily…especially at your big brother!

You still don’t say much in the way of “real” words, but you are very passionate and chatter on endlessly in your own little language. You have picked up some sign language. “More” seems to be your favorite…maybe because it seems to have the most immediate results.

You are growing so quickly. Like your brother and sister, you are long and skinny. You weigh 17 pounds, and measure 28 inches long (tall?). You are mostly wearing size 12-18 month clothes…which, on the one hand, is hard for me to believe as I have been packing away those tiny, little newborn sizes you were wearing not so long ago. But, then, most of what you are wearing these days used to belong to your big sister…and, I know you’ll be as big as she is before I know it!

I am so thankful that the Lord surprised us with another little girl! People told us that the transition from 2 children to 3 was the hardest. But, you have made it so easy. I can’t imagine our family without you (and, no, I don’t want to!). You are an incredible gift, and reminder of God’s undeserved goodness and kindness, and it is a privilege to be your mommy.

I love you so much! Happy Birthday, my sweet Rebekah Ann!

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Filed under Birthdays, Mommyhood, Rebekah Ann, Traditions & Celebrations