Sunday, March 31, 2013

I've Let It Go

Yes, I've let the blog go.  I used to have one or two friends that didn't have Facebook, that always encouraged me to post new things here, but even they have gotten on the Facebook train, and updating the blog regularly seems a little pointless...

That is until you have a ton of pictures to upload that all have a story.  Hence, the update tonight...I'd say that we have a story or two to share since October15, when I last posted!

Dirt Pies
Being Cute
Noteworthy for November:  For thanksgiving, we went to Florence to visit Jonathan's family.  It is always so much fun, but the boys especially had a blast this year.  I tried to be intentional about taking some pictures of the boys playing (we taught them about throwing leaves in the air and dirt pies...GOOD TIMES).
Throwing Leaves

Details from December:  For my birthday, Jonathan hit a home-run with an awesome surprise dinner, and then took me to the was phenomenal...I really enjoyed it!  We also hit the tree farm this year to cut down our Christmas tree - and by we, I mean Jonathan.  We normally get really tall, really full trees.  This year, we opted for a shorter, more slender tree, and I really think it might be one of my favorites EVER!  For Christmas, Jonathan took a week off, and we spent a day and a half at Great Wolf Lodge, just the four of us.  I absolutely LOVE all of our family, but wanted to spend some time with just the four of us so we could really focus on the boys before Ellis got here.  Emrick had the best time (he asked just this week to go to the swimming pool after his nap).  Becker took a while to warm up to the whole idea, but he still got some one on one time.
Deciding it wasn't so bad

Having a blast
Riding in the cart at the tree farm
Our Tree 

Just a tad from January:  For Christmas, I gave Jonathan two tickets to the UNC/Maryland basketball game, and made him take a "man's day" and go to the game just to get away.  They weren't super expensive tickets, so I figured they'd be in the nosebleed section, and I worried they wouldn't really be able to enjoy the game.  Well..I was wrong!  I think they would've enjoyed the game either way, but sitting court-side for most of the game certainly didn't hurt!  It's a story Jonathan and Donald would have to tell you, but basically, a really nice stranger doing a good deed made these boys' day!  Below is the contrast of where the started and ended their day at the Dean Dome!

Fast February:  February just kinda flew by me...and because of that, there isn't a ton to note about it.  Oh, we did go to Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC for the leaders' retreat for our was a great and much needed baby moon before Ellis got here!
The view from here
Much ado about March:  Well, we finished the boys' room re-do, and we had a know, no big deal! ;)

Ellis Arrives - Typically, my deliveries take a while to get to the pushing point, but then pushing is over relatively quickly.  Ellis was different!  It still took a while to get to pushing, but then pushing took longer than I thought it would, too.  I got really tired, and my fright shot up too, when the doctor noticed Ellis was beginning to get a little stressed.  But, alas, he arrived!  None of the photos below are flattering of me AT ALL, but they definitely capture the moment!

I love this picture of Jonathan checking out the
contractions on the monitor!
At one of the moments I thought I could give up,
my rock encouraging me!  Love this moment!
They had turned me on my side to try to get
Ellis to turn to get out, but the  interesting
thing in this picture is the shadows on the wall!
What in the world?

Us with my doctor!  I love the practice I see!

Room Re-do - We also were able to get the boys' room set-up to fit all three of them (although, Ellis spends most of his nights in the living room right now, it won't be long before we are putting all three to bed at the same time in the same room, so we needed a space for that).  However, this project could not have been done without Jonathan's parents and my Aunt Jeanne!  The room is awesome!  I love that every detail was done in love!

Grammie Sue painting
(We went from tans and creams to shades of gray)

Installing Em's bed!  Hand built by Poppy

Before - This is the way we set up the room while we awaited Becker's arrival.  (Minus the dresser in the foreground).

Note:  Emrick's quilt in this picture was made by Aunt Jeanne
as well, and it is one of my absolute favorites!

Look at tiny Em!

After- There are lots of things that need to be pointed out in the after photos:  1.  The boys quilts that Aunt Jeanne made for them.  You can't see all of the details in these pictures, but they are perfect.  2.  The boys' pillowcases-Aunt Jeanne made these, they match the quilts and have the boys' names on them, and could be one of my favorite pieces in the room.  3.  The book slings - I knew I wanted to get rid of some of the shelving, so we decided we needed a new place to put books.  There are four total.  Three are the same, two on the wall, on above Becker's bed, and one on Becker's side railing. We tied the side on better and took some books out, so it hangs better now!  One of the boys' favorite activities is to read on Becker's bed so it made sense to put some books in there! We realized as soon as we hung these up that we should've put the "B" above Becker's bed, so we might end up moving it.  4. In the picture from the opposite angle, Aunt Jeanne also made the curtains, which might be my favorite part especially when they make the room cozy and dark at nap time! What you can't see is that the crib fits really well under Em's big bed too!

Monday, October 15, 2012


So, again, I fail!  I still don't have pictures to post of our trip (I'll have to get Jonathan to help me find them).  We didn't take a camera, except for Jonathan's phone, but all of our friends from our trip did share with us, I'm just not sure how/where they are saved)!  I also haven't done personal thank you notes to all those that helped support us!  That is on my to-do list!

Anyway, Emrick is getting so old so fast.  We were working on a memory verse from church when he started quoting another that I think he learned at school.  It was so neat to hear him saying verses he had learned from school.  Sometimes I struggle with the fact that I'm a working mom, and that the boys spend so much time at daycare, but today it was refreshing and comforting to know that he is receiving some biblical teaching at school, too!  And honestly, probably more than I would do/did when I am home with them in the summers.  Anyway, I digress.  It was so cute, that when we got home, I made him say them for the camera to share with all of you!  Here is the documentation of our first three memory verses!
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."  John 3:16 
(I love the way he says perish; and this is the verse I didn't even realize he knew until today)
"Don't be afraid!  Stand firm, and you will see how the Lord will save you today." Exodus 14:13

"In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth." Genesis 1:1

Becker is getting just as big, just as fast.  He is SO ROUGH.  He is constantly bumping his head...not soft bumps either...just since Friday, he has jumped/fallen out of the cart at Wal-mart and banged his head on the floor, busted his lip at daycare, and fallen backward off the ottoman into the fireplace on his head.  Please don't call DSS on us...he is just so stinkin fast and fearless.  He always cries for a sec, but then goes right back to where he left off!  The boy has NO fear, and evidently a really high pain tolerance.  He is going to give me a heart attack; I'm sure of it!  In the last month or so, he has popped at least three teeth through, and I'm pretty sure working on more.  He is working on words, but doesn't have that many yet.  He can say his name, and is learning "MORE" very quickly.  He's also developing quite the personality.  I always say, "He is so cute when he's happy!"  Because, he knows what he wants, and he is only happy when he has what he wants...oh, boy!  Some of my favorite, most recent pictures of this bad boy:
This was a TERRIBLE day for the two of us.  We butted heads on many, many occasions this day, but at least there was one cute picture to account for the evilness!  ;)

And here he is sporting one of his bumps and bruises on his head!  Cuteness!

Baby 3 seems to be growing fine!  The heart rate on Oct 8 was 145-150.  Both boys were in the same range throughout their pregnancies.  We've said from the beginning we think it is another boy.  We will see!  And SOON!  We go Friday to do the full baby scan and will hopefully be able to see if our prediction of boy is correct.  Please fill free to pray that the full body scan goes well, and that baby 3 is healthy!  I'll try to get back here then and share with our 2 faithful followers the results!
For good measure, here is baby 3!  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


So, I didn't fulfill my commitment...surprise, surprise!  BUT, I am finally going to update before I start forgetting.

About two weeks before we left to go to Nicaragua, we were asked if we would like to do "home-stays".  These home-stays are one night with a Nicaraguan family.  We would leave the site that afternoon, and then spend the night, having dinner and breakfast prepared by the family, and return to the site the next morning.  While in Nicaragua, it is stressed that no one ever do anything or go anywhere alone, just for safety.  So, when this idea presented itself, I was interested, and it seemed adventurous and fun, so I convinced as many girls as I could to sign up with me, so I'd be sure to stay with someone.  **We'll come back to this idea later**

We left on Saturday, and although I did shed a tear or two about leaving the boys, I think I handled it well, and was able to move past that pretty quickly.

Getting to Nica seemed easy and I felt as though we transitioned well.  We spent the first night (Saturday) at the Christ for the City Guest House, and had orientation (basically culture instruction) on Sunday.  We then packed up the bus, rode (or if you are me, Dramamine-induced napped) through the country side of Nica for 3 hours, and went to the church that we would partner with this week.  I was part of the pharmacy, and we quickly got to work setting up our work place.  We then meet the members of the church.  Next, was an interesting exchange:  they were going to introduce the host families to the team members that would be staying at their home.  They called out Julio and Marta, and then called out Jonathan and I...we were really confused because normally they pair up by gender, but this year they paired us by marriage...which was awesome, but we didn't understand and caused quite the ruckus because Julio and Marta couldn't tell what was going on (they thought we weren't married, or that we might not want to stay with them, which made me sad that we gave that impression).  Anyway, we had a translator come over and help, and all was well.

We stayed at a nice hotel, and Jolidia (spelling?) the CFCI cook, made every meal for us.  So we were very well cared for throughout the week.

Monday we started our clinic.  Clinic went really well.  Probably the biggest blessing was our pharmacy team.  I had heard how hard that team could, small, stressful quarters.  But, our team was amazing, and had an amazing leader, that in the mist of our only time of real chaos, she had the freedom, the insight, the wisdom to stop, and pray.  And, would you know, things just smoothed out immediately.  God was so good, and so gracious, and I might be biased, but we really had the best pharmacy team.  Girls, if you read this, I know that I wouldn't have gotten as much out of this trip without the amazing team we had...thank you!

As Monday ended well, I was super pumped up about how well it went, but it didn't take long for nervousness to begin to well up in me about home stays the next night.  I was the one that had convinced so many to do it, but I was starting to fear the unknown about what the house would be like, what the food would be like, would they use our distilled water, would they have a shower (at least what I thought a shower looked like), would we get sick?  But that night, Aracelyes (CFCI worker) shared with us what it meant for us to come to their homes.  She pleaded that we watch our responses, and that we reflect gratefulness as these people opened up their best for us.  It really spoke to me, and I tried to allow God to use me, and calm my fears.

So, Tuesday afternoon, Jonathan and Marta walked in with a young lady named Karen.  As Karen started speaking ENGLISH...she shared that she was from New Jersey, was in the Peace Corps, and knew Marta from the health clinic where she and Marta worked.  She told us that she was coming to the house to help us communicate!  Sounds like we weren't the only ones nervous! ;)  That afternoon, we walked to Marta and Julio's from the church.  We talked and rocked and I received a pedicure and manicure (more on that in a minute), and then shared one awesome dinner.  We then played soccer in the street for a while.  We walked to Marta's sister's and visited for a minute, and then headed in for showers and bed.  We had a fun breakfast including toast in a bag (like a loaf of bread, but toasted), and headed back to work at the church.  It was such a fun, but also seemingly normal night.  It felt right, and like we had been a part of the family forever.

Wednesday night was a hard night...I was missing my babies, but I also was wanting to relish in the moments like Tuesday night as long as I could, and tears just flowed...I couldn't even express how I felt (which, if you know me is a feat in and of itself).  Then, to make my conflicted feelings worse, Aracelyes shared with the team how the host families felt about us being much better it had been then they could have imagined.  She shared that the daughters of Marta and Julio had learned and practiced painting nails just for me.  And she shared that one of the girls stated that they imagined that's how Jesus might have looked as He had his feet washed (while she painted my nails there were easily 6-8 girls from the neighborhood, gathered and watching us intently)...can you say HUMBLED???  I was just a puddle by the end of Wednesday night.  Which made our last day together, Thursday really tough.  It was hard to wrap up, and leave our new friends, especially Julio and Marta and their daughters.

Our week with the church ended with the exchange of gifts between us and the church members, and then with a celebration service Thursday night.  It was a special, special week!

Friday and Saturday we did some debriefing and fun stuff (like zip lining on volcanic islands and shopping in the market).  And, finally on Sunday we returned to the boys.

It was truly a great week, and we learned a lot about serving others, about loving others, allowing others to serve us, and about ourselves.  One of my biggest "take-away's" will have to come after my next announcement.

The night that we got home, we took a pregnancy test (I knew there was a chance I might be, but didn't really believe it).  Well, the test was positive.  We were a little stunned, but excited none the less!  Now, in order to understand my lesson from our trip you have to understand our home.  I love it...I do, but it is small.  It is a two bedroom, two bathroom home.  This will be our third baby.  After Becker, I told Jonathan adamantly, that I WOULD NOT have another baby in this house.  And, I was serious!  However, after our week in Nicaragua I learned something:  Although we were in an affluent area by Nicaragua standards, and most homes had flooring, and some even had internet, they still managed to live 7-12 people per home.  Most homes had one bathroom and fewer bedrooms than people.  And that was their norm, it wasn't changing, and they were happy, and willing to host others.  It really spoke to me.  I know that this house isn't forever, and likely, we will only be a family of five in this house for a max of two years.  I know we can be creative and patient.  Even if we are in this house forever, we are blessed with this home, and with each other.  It is a true testament of God changing my heart.  So many people ask if we are moving quickly after they find out we are expecting (and I don't blame them, because I made it quite clear we would come baby #3), but it is fun to share how God is changing me and my heart about the issue!

So, since this is the longest post EVER, I'll "commit" to post some pictures soon!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sooo Behind

Gosh...Has it really been one month tomorrow that we got home from Nicaragua?  I have so many people that I owe thank you's to, and so many people that have asked about our trip.  And, I have sat down so many times to write this stinkin' post, but just can't seem to get the words down.  It's funny because a close friend, and much better blog writer, wrote on her blog of the same experience.  *Side note, she wrote about her experience already, and you should go read it on her blog, Life of Splendor; especially if you like design and DIYs!*
Anyway, since it is already 11, I still can't expect to write it tonight, but I am going to make a commitment that this post WILL BE written by Labor Day!  And, you'll want to read it, because there is so much to update you with, and show you!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Birthday Boys

I figured I better do a post about the boys birthday parties since I asked Poppy for pictures (and he promptly sent them as soon as he could, regardless of the time).  Since the boys are only 6 days apart, I figured joint birthday parties are in our future for the next couple of years (at least until one boy complains).  However, this year, I wanted to have a FIRST birthday party for Becker.  So I did something insane.  I invited our friends to two different parties in two days.  The parties fell about ten days after I was on an almost three week vacation.  So, needless to say, I was a little overwhelmed with what I should do to pull off these two parties.  Well....between myself and Poppy (he's probably one of the only people that read this anyway) I think we managed two pretty cute afternoons.  I, at least know that they were fun.  Thank you to Poppy for all of the ideas, and work that you put forth.  Could not have done it without you.  Also, thanks to everyone that came...we had a blast, and the boys felt so loved.  We are truly blessed.  Let the picture overload begin!

July 7th...Becker's 1st Birthday Splash by the TRUCKload:
Cute Birthday Banner by Poppy

Festive Food Table - Trucks and Cones on a Road

Eating a Yummy Pimento and Cheese

Cute Sweet Landon

Birthday Cake Time - Big Brother Helping Blow Out Candle

"Poppy, that's one yummy cake"

A truck in a truck wearing a truck
July 8th...Emrick's Freight Sized Fun, Mickey on a Train Party
Super Cute Cake by Poppy

Our Shelter "Mickey-ed Out"

Pretending to Blow Out the Candle (we forgot a lighter)

"But, I want to open it now!"

We decided to do basically the same food for both parties.  We had a cupcake bar with plain cupcakes, various icing, and many different toppings.  We also had a couple of sandwiches, and a salsa bar.  We really had the best time.  I know Becker won't remember (and Jonathan actually gives me a hard time about that), but I hope they can both look back at pictures and cherish the memories we tried to build with them.  I, for one will remember celebrating these two boys!...So blessed!

Monday, July 9, 2012

There's Still Time...

In most cases, this phrase is true.  I have to remember to not let life just pass me by, leaving me filled with regret about something I "intended" to do.  As is the case we present to you today; if you have been wondering if we still needed support or supplies, the answer is:  YES, we are still in need of a couple of things for our upcoming Nicaragua Trip.  Please prayerfully consider joining our team, and partnering with us on this journey:

1.  Prayer - Will you commit to praying for us, our team, the Nicaraguans, our boys and Grammie Sue and Poppy?  (Truth be known, I am still very concerned about leaving two "momma loving" boys...I know it is good for them, not really worried about them, but Grammie Sue and Poppy)

2.  Patient Gifts - I am in charge of patient gifts, and we could use more: finger nail clippers, combs, toothbrushes, travel size shampoo, travel size soap, travel size toothpaste, etc  (If you are willing to get some this week while you are out and about, I will come get them from you)

3.  Financial Partners - We have reached about 63% of our support team.  This leaves us about $1325 short of what we need for our trip.  If you would be willing to partner with us in this way, it would be a great blessing to us.  Please choose one of the following options for all contributions:
1. Send us your support: 10 South Creek Dr, Travelers Rest, SC, 29690
or (more preferred option)
2. Send our church support for this trip in our name: Grace Church - 2801 Pelham Rd, Greenville, SC, 29615 (Please put Edmonds-NICA in the memo line)

A HUGE thank you goes to EVERYONE that has already joined our team (from financial support to patient gifts, and even the encouragement letters we have gotten for each day, which I am SO excited about).  There is NO WAY, we could do this without the body of Christ united with us.  We have a tremendous support system that is already helping us carry this weight.  Will you be the next to join?  We have complete faith that God will provide!  To Him be all the glory!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

How can you support us?

This question isn't rhetorical.  We have a real need, and a real desire, and we are really asking, "How can you support us?"  At the end of this post, I would love to hear the ways!  By now you are probably asking yourself..."What are they talking about?"  Well, here's the deal:

Jonathan and I both have a real passion for missions.  We love being able to work alongside other believers while meeting needs of other people.  Honestly, though, we love missions because of what we gain from it (yep, we're selfish).  Every time that we have been involved in serving others, we grow closer to the Lord.  We spent our first anniversary in Nicaragua in 2008.  Since then, Jonathan has been on a missions trip almost every year.  I, on the other hand, have found my place at home, taking care of babies (which I LOVE).  But, this year, I began feeling God calling me to trust Him.  To let go of the boys for a week, and serve Him.  I knew that this meant, whether just I went with the team from our church, or whether Jonathan and I both were able to go.  I knew I needed to depend on Him, and just apply.  So, I did.  A couple of weeks later, Jonathan (after getting permission from his boss), applied as well.  Turns out, we've both been accepted onto the team going to Rivas, Nicaragua (July21-29).  We are really excited, and we are just beginning to do some team building (however, 6 of the 19 team members are in our community group, so we already feel like a team).  As we begin preparing, these are the areas where we could use some help:

-Prayer:  Please, please pray for us!  I already get anxious about leaving the boys for that long if I sit and think about it.  I'm sure Jonathan will have work stress that he is thinking about...and I KNOW that Satan will use these two things and others to distract us, and wage war on us.  Please pray that God will remain the focus of our hearts.  That we would be dependent on Him as we prepare, and while we are gone.  Pray knowing that God will be glorified in the work that we will help do.  Pray for the hearts of the people in Nicaragua, that their hearts will be soft, and that they will see evidence of a living, powerful, loving, righteous Savior.  We are taking medical personnel (doctors, nurses, etc).  Pray for wisdom and endurance as they see/treat as many patients as they can.  We are also taking teachers that will teach the Nicaraguan pastors, pray that they have adequate time to prepare and that they are clear in what the Lord wants them to present.  In addition, there will be language barriers, stomach issues, and many, many more issues, so just prayer in general is a great need, and most important need.  And, don't forget to pray for our boys...they won't be used to being away from us for this long either.  I hope that one day they will see it as their sacrifice so that the ends of the world will know our God.

-Encouragement:  We will be away from HOME, for over week.  That may not seem like a big deal, or a long time, but for seems like a LONG time to be away from the boys that I spend everyday with.  If we aren't working, we are normally all together.  Not to mention, it will be hot, sticky, and possibly rainy.  There will be a great opportunity for frustration to set in if we allow it!  If you have any creative ways to shower us with encouragement, I know there will be times during our week that I WILL need it.  I would love to collect scripture, notes, prayers, etc before our trip to read and reflect on while we are gone.  If you know of anything that could help, please send it our way!

-Financially:  Unfortunately, our trip will cost!  While we know and understand that not everyone can help in this way, we know that some can, and are willing.  For our airfare, food, and lodging, we are being asked to raise/pay $1800 each.  If this is something that you feel led to help us with, you can chose one of two ways to do so:
         1.  Send us your support: 10 South Creek Dr, Travelers Rest, SC, 29690
or (more preferred option)
         2.  Send our church support for this trip in our name:  Grace Church - 2801 Pelham Rd, Greenville,   SC, 29615 (Please put Edmonds-NICA in the memo line)

We will be once again working with Christ for the City International.  And, we are so excited to work with the local church to meet practical needs.  We find great peace that once we leave, the local church will be a little more prepared to meet the needs of their community.  So, will you join us?  I know that there is someway you can help!  We thank you in advance for being willing to serve us, the people of Nicaragua, and the Lord!

**Be on the lookout for more information!**