Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Goodbyes :(.

We were so sad to say goodbye to many dear friends in Indiana. I wish I had taken more pictures of our last days there, but I am thankful I did snap some pictures with the Harts. I am not sure how to accurately describe our friendship besides to just say the Harts are absolute God-sends to us. From our weekly (sometimes more than that) playdates, to our babysitting swaps, to our shared passion for Taylor U (they are grads as well, even though we didn't know them until post-graduation :)), they have shared life with us in so many special ways. The Harts are true friends and have been such an example to us of constant faith in good times and bad. We miss you all so much.

Hunter is Elijah's first "best bud". He still talks about him often and I am confident they will stay buds through skype and hopefully annual mini-vacations that Bethany and I are scheming :).
Love this girl!
How sweet are these 3 buds? Come spring, we will each have another baby to add to the mix too!
The kiddos and the moms.
Kirk's sister Kelly also came down for our last weekend in Indiana. She is in Chicagoland and we have so enjoyed having her within drivable distance. Our kids (and us) love her visits and will miss that proximity for sure! Kelly, you were such a huge help to us in our moving craziness, and we are very, very thankful! We love you!
I had the chance to make the trip up to Upland during our last week in Indiana to see my dear friends, Kelly and Jess. Kelly has 2 little ones, very close in age to Elijah and Leah and we always have a great time when we get together. I will surely miss our playdates, and Elijah and Leah will too. We did our best to get a shot of the 4 kiddos together on the couch.

Max did a great job trying to direct everyone's eyes to the camera.
Elijah thought it was time to lay down and Molly thought it was time to play with Leah's hair.
Max senses everyone is losing focus. "Stay on the couch, people! Look at the camera!".
I just love these 4 cuties.
Thanks for letting us spend such a special day with you, Kelly, Max, and Molly! We miss you already and look forward to our next reunion :).

I sadly took no pictures of Jess and me, but that is probably for the best since we were both blubbering messes :(. Jess, I miss you so much and am so thankful for our evening together! Thanks for putting up with the Duncans and all of our craziness. You are greately missed by all of us!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Things Change. God doesn't.

You know when people ask, "what's new?" and you feel awkward because you really have nothing new to report? I've been in that situation numerous times and I always try desperately to find something to share that may have carry a small amount of interest. Well, these days, I find myself in an entirely different circumstance. When people ask "What's new?", I truly don't know where to begin. So much has been going on in our lives. So many unexpected surprises and blessings, so many decisions, and so many chances to embrace God's perfect work in our lives...even when it seems so confusing. So, I think it is time to update the blogging world. I want to say that I am sorry I could not have this conversation in person with each of my friends, and if any of you feel shocked to find this information on my blog, I do apologize. A lot of the decisions have been made quickly and it is a difficult and emotional conversation to have. So, before I freak anyone out to much, let's just get to the point.

First of all, there's this surprise:
That's right! This little guy (or girl) will be arriving in our family sometime around the beginning of May. Because I know everyone's question is whether or not we planned this, I will just say that we know by now that we don't make the plans. God does. We are thankful for this little life and happy to report that he or she seems to be developing well and on track at 14 weeks! Our thankfulness, though, does not come without questions and concerns. Because we are unexpectedly expecting this little one, we have had to make some adjustments and admendments to our previous plans. As many of you know, we have been under a lot of financial pressure lately. We know that, especially with a third child on the way, we can not continue down the path we are on and have had to make some difficult decisions about our future. Because of that, we have made the extremely difficult decision to move to Pennsylvania and stay with my parents for a little while. They have graciously extended an offer to us and we are humbled to accept. We are taking a step of faith and trusting that the Great Provider will take care of our needs. Please pray with us: that our transition would go smoothly, that God would open up the right doors for Kirk to find a good job that can support us, and that in all things, Christ would be exalted.

This is a hard transition for us. Kirk and I have lived in Indiana for 9 years! This is home now. We are established and have some great friendships and memories here. We will be so incredibly sad when we leave here. Obviously, the idea of being closer to family is exciting and we will be so thankful to have them close, but we will undoubtedly miss the midwest and our incredible friends. We are moving next week. It is a quick move, but was a financial decision. Since we had already planned to make a trip out there at Thanksgiving, we figured moving there at that time would put the smallest burden on us financially.

So, how is that for an update? I want to say thank you for your prayers for us this past year as we have had so many transitions and decisions to make. We are so humbled by the outpouring of love and support from our friends and family...and even people we hardly know. We are also so thankful for the consistency of our God. He never changes, even when things seem to change at the drop of a hat everywhere else. We have seen God's faithfulness proved again and again and are more aware of his love for us now than we ever have been before. He is a great God.

And a few pictures of today to send you off:

Sweet Leah, who loves hamming it up for the camera these days.
Elijah doesn't love the camera, but is still cute :).
Love this one! They are crazy about each other!
And some family cuddle time on the bed. I just love my family!

"For the LORD is good and his faithfulness endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." -Psalm 100:5

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Long Overdue!

I just saw Kirk had these photos on his iPod and realized I needed to get them on the blog. 2 weeks ago, we headed down to North Carolina for Kirk's cousins wedding. It was a great time with family. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera (I've been known to do that often), but Kirk pulled through with some pictures on his iPod. The quality is not great, but the memories are still there!
Grandma and Grandpa took us to a pumpkin patch (pretty much a field of a church with pumpkins, but the kids had a blast). Elijah and Leah were running around that place like they owned it!
Kind of sad Leah didn't look at the camera :(.
Uncle Kyle came to the rehearsal on his motorcycle. Elijah wasted no time forcing Kyle to take him to it and let him sit on it. Don't worry, that's as far as it went :).
I just love this picture. Elijah thinks Uncle Kyle is so cool!
I also wish this weren't so blurry, but here is Leah with her Great Grandpa Dunkelberger. So thankful my kids are getting some time with their greats!

The wedding was a beautiful bed and breakfast set back in the woods and it could not have been a more perfect day, weather-wise! I really wish I had my camera to photograph more of the details. But you can check Alexa's blog for pictures (on my sidebar). She undoubtedly will have some fantastic shots!
A blurry shot of the couple!
So happy for you both, John and Amanda!
Kirk and I very much a date night while one of Konni's friends watched the kiddos. We love a good dance party!

Kitchen Cuties

One of our kids favorite place to hang out (especially Leah) is the little space between the fridge and the wall. The other day, we caught them both in there. The reason we found this out was because Elijah yelled "Mommy, Daddy! I need help with something!" We ran over to find Leah sitting on Elijah's toes and he couldn't get out. We got a kick out of it and ran for the camera, but by the time I came back, Leah had moved. I still managed to snap some cute pics of my adorable kids though :).

He looks so grown up to me these days.
This little thing is just a bundle of energy.
...and she happens to love the spotlight.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Trick or Treat!

We had a really fun halloween! I think there are few things more fun than dressing up my kids and they were both quite cooperative this year with their costumes, which made it even more enjoyable! My mom is here visiting us for the week so it was nice to have her here for the festivities. Also, she and my dad gave me a new camera for my birthday! Woohoo! Here are a few pics of the evening.

A cupcake and a very unhappy BJ (not sure what the problem was at this point).
Still not happy, but don't worry. The attitude turned around after a few houses with candy :).
Probably my favorite picture of the night.
Trick or treat!
Elmo stopped by for a little bit (our best buddy Hunter).
Back home and happy to have our candy!
Leah wasn't fully understanding that this was HER candy.
Elijah, however, knew exactly what was happening here!
Leah dug right into her lollipop.
Elijah didn't waste any time either!

I wanted to get a close up of the BJ's head. It was pretty funny.
These next few are the day after halloween. This is my very cool baseball player!
I tried to get Leah to pose with the pumpkin. She was quite distracted.
I just think she is so pretty!