Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Must document Halloween

Sam stinks at carving pumpkins!

But he makes a cute cow!

Ooh, what a handsome Batman! And creepy spider!

Add Princess Frankie and Spidergirl Molly, and with that Sam is done.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Funny what we can learn about ourselves by listening to our kids...

Claudia and Jake's new game is "Mommy, Daddy, and Baby." And it even includes Sam! Yes, Sam takes his role very seriously as "Baby." Last time they played, Sam really gave them a run for their money because he kept running away. He was eventually given a time-out for the rest of his life.

Claudia also takes her role very seriously as Mommy. Today she was very concerned (eyes brimming with tears) because "Daddy" was supposed to be watching the baby but he wanted to do so from the couch. She absolutely could not leave the baby with him unless he watched Baby the way she wanted him to. What a control freak.

Meanwhile, Jake was insisting he could watch the baby from the couch on his phone because his phone can show everything.

Where do these kids get this stuff?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Look who's getting bigger!

And I'm sorry, but could he BE any cuter?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

An Extreme 4-Year Old

Jake turned 4 a few short weeks ago and celebrated in a number of extreme ways, from go-karting at Craig's Cruisers to water-skiing at Pickeral Lake. Like his Daddy, he is usually successful at whatever he chooses to try -- as I stand by watching with both pride and terror. (Yes, I did jump out of the moving speed boat when he dropped off from his first water-skiing experience, and I'm not ashamed of it.) We are proud of our little boy for so many reasons. Jake can be incredibly sweet and kind, usually willing to share his last piece of candy, let Claudia have her way, and lend his beloved Nemo to a friend (as long as she doesn't put it in her mouth). He gives us many good laughs and gives us a run for our money - especially when he's tired and can't control his naughty impulses any longer. He is a Mommy's boy, and I love a good cuddle with him, even if it does mean that his thumb still goes immediately to his mouth. He's a sucker for pop, candy, and soft fabrics, and he plans to be a dirt biker when he grows up. He's our middle child and I hope we parent him in such a way that he realizes the strenths God has given him and chooses to use them for His purposes.

Looking cool with Daddy at Craig's Cruisers

Go-Karting - "That made me really, really tired."

Water-skiing - Jake got up on his first try and skied like a champ!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Trey Turns 1!

Now this is how you eat cake! My nephew, Trey, turned 1 a few weeks ago. He actually needed some coaxing to get started, but then he grabbed, smashed, smeared, and, oh yeah, ate it like a champ. I came across this picture today and had to share...Happy Birthday, Trey!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Good Influence

That Frankie Kendziera. She is a dear little friend of ours and just about the sweetest 4-year-old you're ever going to meet. In fact, Saskia (Frankie's mom) just posted on her blog about Frankie's kindness and I was just thinking how I need to pray for this quality in my children because it doesn't seem to come naturally. To any of us, really, I don't mean to beat up on my kids. But after spending the day with Frankie and the Kendzieras today, literally a minute after they left, here's Claudia and Jake's conversation...

Jake: Claude, want to play with me?
Claudia: Sure! What do you want to play?
[as you're replaying this in your head, be sure to give my kids the highest, most polite voices you can imagine]

Jake: I don't care! We can play mermaids! Or whatev! [YES! He said WHATEV.]

Claudia: Mom, what do YOU want us to play with?

Me: I don't care, guys. How about these building sets?

Claudia: Oh yes!

Jake: Ooh yeah! These are the best toys EVER!

Maybe that doesn't seem over-the-top wonderful to you, but believe me, after the bickering we've had the past few...weeks...this conversation made me stop in my tracks (is that the saying?) and immediately get on the computer to document it. Bless you, Frankie, for rubbing off on my children today.

Plus, I just went upstairs to look in on them. I got this whole post out and they're STILL building nicely alongside each other. Hallelujah! And on that good note, send them to bed!

Quick, post something!

Quick, the kids are watching their morning cartoons! Here are a few pics to document, in some small way, our past few months!!!

The first swim of the year at Nana and Papa's. I had to double check the date of this swim, but just as I suspected, it was the earliest ever -- April 5!!!...which is why the kids are in their undies...I did not expect the kids to be swimming over the Easter weekend!

One of my favorite pictures from Florida this year - Sam with his great
grandparents. What a blessing to see my grandma, age 89, holding my son! And
just outside the picture, other adults getting ready to catch him JUST in case. :)

Florida was a much-needed break for Ed, and it showed. Here, he's
leading the kids on a lizard hunt while singing AUDIBLY (a rarity for him).

And this is what Ed spent most of his time doing. Meghan said it best,
"Ed's been holding on to that baby like somebody's going to take him away."

The whole family, still on speaking terms, after a week together in Florida.

We spent Mother's Day with Ed's parents this year. And we got a pretty good
picture! Quite a feat! It's just Sam who's not looking at the camera. And who
can blame him? He can't be expected to lift those cheeks up!

Claudia chose to have her friend, Haley, spend the night for her "birthday party" this year.
They also went to a carnival with Ed and came home with these beautiful princess faces.

Sam is 100 days old! It's a Korean tradition to celebrate this milestone in a
baby's life. Look at that face! Ooh! I just want to kiss it! And kiss it! And nibble it!
Thank you, God, for this beautiful 100-day-old child! How could I
NOT want another one? And another? And another? Somebody stop me!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Guess I Won't Update My Blog Today...

I had high hopes of quickly updating my blog and getting some pictures of 4-MONTH-OLD Sam on here. Claudia and Jacob are playing superheroes, shooting arrows around the house while dressed as Batman and Robin. I thought this would entertain them for a while, but Claudia just asked if I wanted to play too. I said no, I wanted to get this done a minute. She responded that I could just be the Mom who's busy all the time. Oops. Better go play...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Flash (or a Twinkle) from the Past

I came across this video of Claudia singing "Twinkle, Twinkle" at 2 years old. It's hard to remember her at this age...I'm encouraged to take more videos! Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

One Month Old!

Sam is a month old already, and what a great baby he is. I know life will probably get more difficult as he becomes less of a sleepyhead and then, eventually, mobile (yikes). But for now, the transition to 3 has been great. Thank the Lord Sam is a good baby! Here are some pics from our photo session...

And here's a look at our other kids at 1-2 months old for the sake of comparison...

Most people comment that Sam looks just like Jake, but I definitely see some resemblance to Claudia too. We love our newest addition!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Just had to document this...

Jake loves to dress himself in the morning, and he loves to pick out his clothes the night before. Normally, he just sets them in a pile all ready to go, so that at 6:30am, he can jump out of bed and jump right into his chosen dirt biking or superhero shirt... The other night, however, when I went in to check on him before going to bed myself, I found he had taken some extra care in setting out his clothes for the next day...notice that even his socks are hanging under the window. I cracked up. And then gave him an extra kiss. And then went to get the camera.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Jake the Jokester

Jake and Claudia enjoy making up "jokes" sometimes - I use the term loosely. Here's Jake's best attempt at a knock-knock joke just a few days after Sam was born.

Jake: Knock Knock
Me: Who's there?
Jake: Glad
Me: Glad who?
Jake: Aren't you glad you're not pregnant anymore?

Guess I mentioned my feelings on this subject a few times!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Samuel Stephen JooHo is Here!

Our beautiful baby boy was born Wednesday morning (4am), Feb. 17. He arrived with a vengeance - just a little over an hour after we arrived at the hospital. Everything went great. I am happier than ever to have him here. Praise God for our newest blessing!

The "big" kids were thrilled to meet their new baby brother. They were also, however, thrilled with their new wallets from Aunt Meghan and said several times, "Can you believe we have our own wallets?" Does that make them easy or hard to impress?

Proud Nana

Proud Papa

Proud Grandpa and Grandma

Saturday, February 13, 2010

She Won!

You have to look VERY closely, but Claudia has lost her first tooth! The adult tooth was already halfway in behind it before she'd let that baby tooth fall out, but she finally did it. And she won! We had a little contest going - which would be first...the baby or the tooth?

Friday, February 12, 2010


My due date. February 12. I honestly cannot believe I am still pregnant. I really thought that with this third child, my body would know what to do, be in tune with MY desires, and be early. Seriously, if you would have told me a month ago that on Feb 12, I'd still be pregnant, I'm not sure I would have survived the news. I do not know why, but this pregnancy has just been rough for me emotionally. I am trying to enjoy these last few days, but instead just find myself questioning why God is having me wait. And wait. And wait. I am doing a terrible job of trusting in His timing.

Plus, my sister left for a week in Hawaii this morning. Why couldn't I have delivered her new niece/nephew while she was here this past week? Why, why, why? Last week, I felt like at the end of each day, I could recognize a gift God had given me that He wanted me to have before the baby came. This week...I don't know...I feel like everything is done. I don't need anything more than to deliver this baby. But I had the thought that maybe God is waiting on ME to do something. Last week at BSF (Bible Study Fellowship), we were asked if there was a Biblical truth we have "learned" this year but have not yet put into practice. I looked through my notes from the past year, and found one: I have a testimony. Am I willing to share it? Well, here's a bit of it...

This past Christmas, Ed surprised me with the most wonderful gift a wife could ever ask for. If you know our story, you know that Ed has never been a believer. When we got engaged, of course we discussed the differences in our beliefs. Ed promised to always accompany me to church and to raise our children in the faith should anything ever happen to me. Rather naively, I thought this was good enough. I figured that...I don't know...through osmosis or something, being around Christians in my family, friends, and church, would naturally lead him to believe as well. Well, 10 years of marriage later, 12 years of being together, and that had not happened. I was always grateful for his support in my faith, but this fundamental difference between us was difficult, to say the least.

So after opening presents with our family of 4, we were sitting around eating pizza. Ed told me he had one more gift for me, but wasn't sure how to give it to me, so he was just going to tell me about it. Oh no - what did Ed, the big spender, do this year? "I've decided to become a Christian," he said. Tears, thanksgiving, shock, questions from the kids... It was amazing, and continues to be as we enter into new conversations and an intimacy we have never shared. And because of God's perfect timing, a few weeks later, as I was questioning why God waited 12 years to claim Ed, I learned at BSF that God's delays are not denials. They are for His glory. I was never quick to tell others that Ed was not a Christian, and allowed most people to assume he was since he was always at church with me. Truth be told, I was a little ashamed for not obeying God's instructions to believers to marry other believers. But through the years, through Ed's honesty (always), and with my sharing it occasionally, more and more people prayed for Ed. Maybe once. Maybe many times. One friend shared that not a month before I told her of Ed's decision, and after knowing herself for 5+ years, she had decided to share Ed's story with her daughter and had committed to praying with her for Ed's salvation. And a few weeks later, I was sharing with her that Ed had become a Christian. I should have told more people. But I am grateful that whoever was involved in praying for Ed received this answer to prayer. I know that my faith and that of many others' was strengthened in receiving this answer to prayer. So would I have chosen for Ed to become a believer 12 years ago? Yes. But I know that in having us wait, God was glorified and the blessing was greater than if the years of waiting and sharing had not happened. After all, I'm now sharing this "testimony" on my blog, right?

So why am I again having to wait for something I want so badly? I don't know. Maybe God wanted our family to have one more week together with just the 4 of us; maybe He wanted Ed and I to enjoy one more date night (which we did); maybe the baby needs more time to develop; maybe God just wanted me to think about Him a little more this week and to share something of my relationship with Him here on my blog. I may never know the reason, but I trust that this "delay" (in my mind, it was a delay though I know I'm hardly overdue) will also be for His glory.

"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Monday, February 8, 2010

The (Rare) Joys of Shopping with Kids

Another funny quote from Jake...

The kids and I were at Target the other day. Looking for some nursing "gear," we went down an aisle of bras. Jake scrunched up his face, pointed at them, and said, "What are those? Booby traps?"

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Gender Issue

As my due date rapidly (actually, painfully slowly) approaches, we often ask the kids if they think the baby will be a boy or a girl.

Claudia has remained very diplomatic and never wants to commit. "I don't mind either way," is often her response.

Jake has gone back and forth between a boy and a "ghoul." However, his latest response was the best. "I think it's a 'ghoul' because I don't feel a penis in there."

Time will tell!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Batman and Robin

Gotta love it! They actually play quite nicely together when running around the house shooting bad guys!