Thursday, May 16, 2013

Mother's Day

We had a very nice, relaxing Mother's Day on Sunday.   Since Kirk had been gone for 3 days for the wedding, it was especially nice to all be together again. I am so thankful to be a mom.  Motherhood did not come when I expected it to, nor has it looked much like I thought it would, but it has been, without a doubt, a great challenge and a great blessing.  

Perkasie has a really old carousel that only open about 7-10 times a year. Mother's Day is one and we were pleased to find out moms ride free! Unfortunately, we had to pay for Elijah and Leah at a whopping 35 cents a piece :).  
 My cute crew.
 I'm so mad about this picture. I believe it is the ONLY picture we have of all 3 kids smiling and I am squinting! Ugh! 
 The Duncans.  Thanks, Kirk, for journeying with me! I love all 4 of you more than words can say! 

Holliday Wedding

This past weekend, we had so much fun at the wedding of one of our best friends, Paul, and his new bride Rachel.  It was such a blast to see old TU friends and celebrate this new marriage! Kirk was honored to be a groomsman (and wore his first ever bow-tie!).  Paul and Rachel, we love you both and couldn't be more excited for this new phase of your relationship! 

Once again, I forgot my camera, so the iphone had to suffice.  

The ceremony was beautiful and they both seemed so happy the entire time. 
 My handsome date and me at the reception.  
 A bunch of TU boys and Rachel :).  
 Hollidays and Duncans. 

Spring Things

Now that May is here, it feels like we are having a lot of "last day" experiences.  Elijah will be wrapping up preschool next week, Bible study is done for the summer, Awana is done for the summer and the weather is changing! I just can't believe it is summer time. It seems like the winter and spring went by fast even though I felt like it was dragging a lot of days! I apologize for the blurry photos. I ALWAYS forget to grab my camera, so these are all iphone pics.

This was Elijah's "Spring Celebration" at preschool.  He is standing in front of a flower that marks his height at the end of the year! And yes, he was 2nd tallest in his class even with about half the class being a year older than him!
 We've been hitting up a lot of parks. Emily is so happy in a swing! And I'm happy to have her there because she is the easiest to contain in a swing :). 
 Emily is definitely a very adventurous little girl and she wants to be wherever Elijah and Leah are.  Elijah was happy to give her a ride on the fire truck. 
 I know I've said this before, but these 2 are literally best friends.  It makes my heart so happy that they enjoy each other as much as they do.
 And they're pretty cute too! 
 This was Elijah's closing ceremony at Awana.  I'm so thankful for this program. Elijah now has over 20 Scripture verses hidden in his heart!
 He was given the "Great Imagination" award. No surprise there! 
 Again, the swing. 
 Emily is really, really into climbing these days.  It's a full time job keeping track of her.  This is what happened yesterday when I looked away for a minute. 
 Happy about it. 
 ...and getting herself a cracker off the counter. 
 After a particularly long winter, I am so thankful for the nice days to burn off some pent up energy! 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Emily's Non-Party

Well, this has been quite the week for the Duncans.  Last Wednesday, April 17, Leah was really sick.  She went to bed that night with a high fever and woke up around 10pm just miserable.  I took her temp and it was 103.9.  I called the dr and he said it would probably be ok if we waited until the next morning to take her in.  Around 10:45 she woke up again claiming she was thirsty. I took her into the bathroom to get a glass of water and her eyes just looked extremely glassy.  She was staring into nowhere and seemed a little wobbly. I said to her, "Leah, are you ok?" and right as I said that, she colapsed...just passed out right into my arms.  It was terrifying.  I was alone as Kirk was still at work.  I called the dr again and he said we should definitely take her to ER.  I am so thankful my mom lives close and was able to come over quickly so I could take her.  Kirk met us at the hospital.  After a chest xray and an ekg, they diagnosed Leah with pneumonia.  I was so proud of Leah. She was a total champ.  The recovery has been tough since her coughing keeps her awake much of the night.  I fell ill myself on Monday of this week and had about 3 long days of fever/sore throat/general misery.  

Here she is at the ER, miserably sick but still looking adorable somehow.

SO, all that to say, Emily's birthday happened somehwhere in the midst of all that :).  She turned the big ONE on Sunday of last week (April 21)! I can not believe my baby is a year.  It has been such a great year watching her grow and learn. She is a light to us.  She is a fantastic reminder to us that God is good and faithful.  She is seriously such a sweet baby...she will smile at anyone and she loves to giggle and explore.  She's obsessed with her brother and sister and wants to be doing whatever they are doing, however age appropriate it may or may not be :).  I just love her.  I am so thankful.  

We had planned to have a "pretty in pink" party in our back yard today (the 27th) but because of all the sickness, I decided it was in everyone's best interest to cancel. We wanted her to feel celebrated though, so we still went ahead with the cake that we had already ordered anyway.  Friends of our make cakes/cupcakes, etc. and sell them in an effort to raise funds for their international adoption that they are working on.  It is such a great cause and they make beautiful cakes to boot! 

They made this beautiful pretty in pink rosette cake. 

So pretty it was actually a little hard to cut into it :).

We cut Emily a nice big slice and gave it to her.  She took one bite...

...and was over it.

Crawling away. See ya, folks!

Leah and Elijah smelled an opportunity and jumped on it! ps. doesn't Leah look SO old here?

My mom suggested that we bring her high chair out so that she wouldn't be so distracted. She started with just one finger in the cake and didn't seem thrilled.

But she quickly came around.

Ahhh...this is the good life.

Thoroughly intrigued.

She will never miss an opportunity to make a good mess!

Nice work, Em.

Naturally, this is where we went next.

She was quite thrilled to have the bath all to herself...I'm actually not sure that has ever happened before! 

Happy birthday, sweet girl! We love you so very much.  We promise to have a bigger party next year :). 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

It happened.

"In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." -Luke 15:10

Today is a day I will never forget.  Since becoming a mom, I have loved the passage that talks about Mary treasuring memories of Jesus in her heart.  Today, I have received the greatest treasure. I had the sobering, humbling, and incredible experience of praying with my son to ask Jesus to come and reign in his life. I am tearing up even as I write this.  My heart is overwhelmed.

Just recently, Elijah seemed to become very aware of the idea of sin and has been able to recognize it in himself.  We have talked a lot about what it means to follow Jesus and turn from your sin.  He follows the conversation, seems to understand and believe in God, but whenever I would say, "Is following Jesus something you want to do? Do you feel ready to ask Jesus to come live in your heart?", he would very politely, but very definitively, decline.  I knew that this was part of God's work in his life, softening his heart towards the truth of His word.

Well, today, when I least expected it, Elijah initiated the conversation that ultimately redirected the entire course of his life.  We had MOPS this morning at church and we were on our way.  As the Lord ordained, Leah wasn't there because she was spending the morning with her BFF Peyton (Thanks, Steph!).  Emily was quietly resting in her seat.  Elijah and I talked a bit here and there but it was a mostly quiet ride.  When were about 5 minutes from church he said to me, "Mom, I really want to go to heaven."  I said, "I want you there too, bud. Do you know what you need to do?".  He said, "I need to ask Jesus in my heart."I said, "That's right, buddy. And what does that mean?", to which he responded, "I need to ask Jesus to forgive my sins and follow Him".  What a joy to hear my son so accurately, and yet so simply, describe the process for experiencing redemption from sin! I was overwhelmed.  I talked with him a bit more about what kind of commitment this was and if he was sure he was ready.  He said yes.  I told him to wait until we got to church so I could park the car and go back to the back of the van and pray with him.

Praying with him was one of the most joyful, humbling, and proud moments I have ever experienced.  I couldn't keep the tears from flowing down my cheeks.  I told him how happy I was for him and how thankful I am that he wanted to talk about that with me and pray with me.  I told him as much as I love him, I could never love him as fully and perfectly as Jesus does.  I told him no matter what happens to me or anyone else, Jesus would care for him.  I told him how many people have prayed for that very moment since before they even knew his name.

I know he will experience pain in his life.  I am certain he will experience seasons of doubt.  I know the road will not be easy. But what a joy to know that he does not walk it alone! Thank you, Lord, for saving me. Thank you, Lord, for saving my son.

And thank YOU, to all of you who have prayed with us. I have been struck today but what a great cloud of witnesses we have around us! Elijah wanted to call each one of his grandparents individually today and share the news.  Each one of them were overjoyed, as well as so many others that heard.  We are so blessed! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Happy Easter!

  I think I say this every year, but I will say it again.  Easter is one of my very favorite days of the year.  I can't help but be filled with joy as I think about the victory Jesus has given me over death.  I can't help but raise my hands in praise as we sing about his great love for us.  God is so good.  This year, Elijah has been very inquisitive about Jesus and what he did on the cross.  I know the Lord is softening his heart toward the truth of the Gospel, and I pray that he will one day soon choose to invite Jesus into his life.  Of course, I pray the same for the girls too, but Elijah has seemed particularly interested, for which I am humbled and thankful!

Easter was a good day for us. They had changed the Easter service times around, so we didn't have to be at church until 11:30. It was nice to have a slow, relaxed morning with the kids.  We started out the day with an Easter egg hunt and then gave the kids their little Easter baskets (which ended up being bowls, because I didn't shop until the day before...oops! The kids didn't seem to mind.) 

Here is Elijah checking out his loot.
 Leah seems excited about her Peeps :). 

Emily was looking a little ragged with her crazy hair and mismatched outfit, but she sure was loving her plastic eggs! 
I took Elijah and Leah outside on the porch for a few pictures while Emily had her morning nap.  I SO wish Emily had been with them now, because they are just too cute !
 This is Leah trying not to smile while Daddy acted like a crazy person behind me :).
 Still trying...
 And she can't hold it in anymore! This is one of my absolute favorite pictures!
 Daddy hopped in for a picture! I love, love, love when Kirk wears a suit :).
 After church we got Emily in there. Elijah is trying to hold Emily back from crawling off the edge of the porch.
 Still keeping his grip.
 I just love these 3.
 Oh well, hey there drools :).
 Sunday night we went up the country club for their Easter dinner with the whole family.  It is a crazy bunch, but we sure do love each other! Here is Grandma with half of the grandkids :).
 Trying to get a decent picture of all 6 is like trying to wrangle a greased pig.  It's better not to try.
 This is the best we've got of all 5 of us.
 Some of the kids playing Ring around the Rosie with Aunt Rach and Grandma.
Happy Easter! He is risen!