3 Years.

 

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Twilight Sparkle Dress for her My Little “Pony party” 

3 Years old. Its bittersweet saying goodbye to diapers, bye to naptimes, bye to the crib and bye to the last things that makes you a baby. Truth be told you haven’t been a baby for some time now, but now mommy cannot live in denial. You will start Pre-school this year, you use the washroom on your own and can get dressed by yourself, you have your own opinions and ideas about everything from what your wearing to what we should do today, and no hesitation to make sure that I am well aware of them!

You are a thinker, you tend to observe before you act, which usually serves you quite well. You are very strong willed, and my prayer is that it lasts far past when my influence weans, that you will be secure in who you are and not tossed to and fro by others, but for the time being, do you think you could maybe just maybe be agreeable once in a while.

You have an amazing imagination. You are always pretending something, the cup and spoon often have conversations and your favorite plaything are the things that allow you to create your own storyline. Pony’s being the top of that list right now.

You are social. You have many little friends, you often vocalize that Maddy is your “very best friend forever all day”. You love church and getting to play with the kids there. You ask if its playgroup day most days of the week as you are excited to see your friends.

You love beautiful things, dresses – the bigger the better, pretty hairdos, mirrors, princesses, castles, are what you are drawn to. You are also not afraid to get dirty and love to play outside (once your convinced to go out).

I love watching you grow into a little human, but you will always be my baby.
Happy Birthday to my little Princess

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Christmas 2016

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Dear Friends and Family,

This year has been one full of growing and learning, at times terrific and at times challenging. So I best begin with the updates.

Raine: Raine is smack dab in the middle of terrible twos, I know what you are all thinking… Raine, the sweet quiet one? terrible? You have it easy…  yeah that one. She has discovered that she can do things to get her way. And that she has the ability to not only “fight back” but to instigate the toddler fights with her brother and friend group. We are definitely seeing her stubborn streak showing up full force (which I am told I am to blame according to my mother)  She loves church and playgroup, anytime she can be around other kids  is exciting. She LOVES to dance and we are hoping to find somewhere that she can try it out in a group setting in the new year.

Darcy: The year started with assessments and challenges, but with the information we have now to help us be the parents he needs and knowing what resources to look for he is really coming into his own. We are so proud of the growth he has shown in the past year. He is very excited that he learned to ride his bike this summer without training wheels, and now wants to ride it everywhere and anywhere! Kindergarten started this fall, it started out a bit rocky but with a great resource team he is doing much better and LOVING school. He is very social and making friends with all the older boys, and tells us he has married one of the girls in his class who lives near us. In October we became permanent parental guardians… in his words “Mom, now I’m a son!”

Paul is still at the same cabinet installation job, and enjoys his work, which has been very busy this year, making us at home miss seeing him as much. His next adventure is to “reclaim” the basement that has been rented out up until now but is much needed space as our kids are getting older.

I am involved in various activities, running the church playgroup and volunteering in the nursery, I am still involved with the cloth diaper lending library – although have pulled back since the summer to take care of my own health and other ventures. This spring I signed up as a Wellness Advocate with dōTERRA essential oils, I love how these precious gifts, straight from God’s creation, have potential to empower not only myself but my family, and those around me to live life fully with more choice and healthier options for physical and emotional well being. And of course ever busy with the kids especially as Darcy has been adjusting to school these last few months.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful Christmas and time with friends and family!

– Katie, Paul, D and R.

Together We Make a Family

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God sets the lonely in families. – Psalm 68:5a 

My every prayer for the last two years have been leading up to this day. My every fear was that this day would never come. Or that it would come, but it would be the wrong timing, or things handled the wrong way, or it would get put off again and again. But today the judge called it heartwarming, and approved the plan that makes us a family. The family that the Ultimate Judge in heaven has created us to be since we first heard of this little person, long before we knew he would ever come to live with us.

There have been struggles along the way, and I sure this is not the end of struggle as to struggle is to grow and live, but it is end of an season, of a chapter, in the story that I am glad to move forward from and on to the next; but for now, I will praise God for his goodness and impeccable timing, and celebrate that this child is home to stay.

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Boo is turning Two!

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Dear Daughter,

It feels like yesterday we were bringing you home in your infant carrier, propped up with blankets because you seemed so small in the seat, that you had your first smiles, foods, laughs…as we have have transitioned through first steps and first words, at some point you have also crossed the line between baby and toddler.

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There is no doubt you are a toddler now. You have definite preferences; You LOVE Owls and call them Hoo’s, Dora and Boots, Daniel Tiger and Baby Jake, and reading your “Bibow” Bible. You love to colour and I am always impressed at how you no longer randomly scribble but you choose what to colour, although sometimes that is still the walls. You love to be outside, whether it be walks, going to the part or building and playing in the backyard.  but you also are developing distinct dislikes as well,  you do NOT like to be woken up, or to wear certain shoes, or going to bed – well maybe that one isn’t new or surprising – but now you have the words to make sure we know just how much you dislike it.  “No” is a very prevalent word in your dictionary these days. You might still look more like Daddy, but you are definitely mommy’s girl when it comes to personality, you know what you want and how to to get it every time.

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You are so social! Everything I have heard about your father and myself as small children, I wasn’t expecting you to be our little social butterfly! You may not have hundreds of words but you have many friends, but you are always wanting to be around others. You know exactly where your friends live and never want to go past without waving or saying hi, you love to share and to make others happy, to smile at babies, and to give hugs to everyone you meet. I hope that this side of you never dulls and you are always as caring and friendly as you grow up.

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I love this stage that we are entering, of constant curiosity and learning. You seem to just absorb knowledge these days! You know several words in Spanish (Leche, Cuna, Agua, Gato, Perro, beso, cabeza, pelo, ojo, mano, nariz, boca to name a few) , you can pick out several letters on a page (the important ones….O for owl, R for Raine, A, and I) and most of your body parts. You identify most of the animals by the sound they make. You have surprised us by learning how to get your clothes off, and your favorite day of the week is the day you go to My Gym, where you have really found a new confidence in both your physical abilities and in helping you to really “come out of your shell” and develop your personality.  Of course we were not expecting that would mean you would use the whole house as a gym!

My birthday wish and prayer for you is that you would know how loved you are, that you would never stop learning and growing, that your love for the Bible and Church would become the foundation for a love for God. That this coming year would full of even more exploring and joy.  Mommy and Daddy (Papa as you call him these days) love you so much.

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Mister D turns 5

The day this kid has been waiting for…. Since he was three he has been talking about it…the ultimate age for a preschooler to hit….signifying the start of a new era….

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F-I-V-E! Thats right… 5. the Big one, the one that signifies that hes not little boy any more, but a big kid, who is going to “big kid school” this coming September.

This year was a hard one for us all, but it has been extraordinary to see the changes it has brought. There were times that I honestly was at my wits end with what to do to calm the storm and if we were strong enough to be the parents he needs. With help from some professionals, and lots of studying and connecting to others, we have come to accept that he may likely always have some extra struggles, but he is so much more then his struggles or labels and he is proving it every day, we are so thankful to those who have given us encouragement and tools, and continue to do so, to help support him as he grows.

. He has learned to let us help him through the hard things, that food isn’t all that bad (and he’s grown to prove it!), to count to 10 (most of the time), to write his name, and  That it’s ok do things on his own, and its ok to be need parents sometimes too.

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The kids had a blast decorating his cake!

 

This year has been full of dinosaurs, playing outside – the muddier the better, lego, drawing, playing with Little (sis), summer at the lake (s), finding snakes, and all those other sorts of little boy things (that hopefully will stick around for this BIG KID).

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These kids love each other so much! 

So to finish up, Mister D, We love you to the moon and back, and to the lakehouse and back and even Mexico and back! I can’t believe your 5!

1 Timothy 6:20

I have often found that the letters to Timothy have a way of feeling like they are written right to me. This passage is no exception. 

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My New years goals this year are to do less…to de clutter.  Not only my space but my mind…to compare less and to focus on what’s important for me and my family…even if it means letting go of my own ideals of what I want family life to be…even if it means saying no to things…even if other people don’t get it.

http://bible.com/111/1ti.6.20.NIV

Home For Christmas 2015

2015 12 24_4022‘Twas the day before Christmas and all through the house we were celebrating Christmas in the calm before the storm. We decided early in the morning (when we happened to wake up a couple hours before the kids) that it might just make things go smoother and less overwhelming for the kids to have Christmas  a day early in order to space it out from seeing the relatives and travel. It was definitely far more relaxed then Christmas other years or even this whole week leading up to Christmas to spend the morning with just the 4 of us, and to have a less overwhelming pile of presents to choose from!

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Of course there were still plenty of presents, and Santa came through with full stockings and the Dinosaur SuperD asked him for last week!

Baby R had to try out all her presents as she opened them

Mom and Dad guessed right when picking out presents this year and R was enthralled with her new doll stuff!

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And How CUTE is this! Our neighbor and dear friend MADE this doll carrier that we gave R!!! Its perfect and now she can carry her babies, just like mommy!

D got some pretty great things too! A LeapPad and a REAL (kids) Camera were among his faves, and of course he never tires of new books!

2015 12 24_4104 Then it was time to clean up…and R was delighted to help with her new brooms (one from each grandma!)

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All finished off with a yummy breakfast! All in all it was fantastic to be able to take breaks as the kids needed, avoiding sensory overload meltdowns and having less new stuff all at once made this Christmas “day” a lot less crazy then I had anticipated, we have already played with toys and calming down back into routine…We are still looking forward to having a big Christmas with all the relatives later this week, but I think we may be onto something having a small family Christmas and then visiting with the rest of the relatives on another day! A Very Merry Christmas to all of our Friends and Family!

Merry Christmas from us to you

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For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”  – Ephesians 3:14-21 NIV.

As we approach the holidays it is time to write a bit of an update. This year has been very full. Full of joy and full of stress, full of family, full of learning, full of new friends and new directions, and full of God stretching us in every area possible! These verses represent both what we have seen in the past year and what we pray for the coming year. So with no further ado, a glimpse at 2015!

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4.5 Years

Super D: This kid keeps us on our toes! He still loves SuperHeros, especially Batman this year! Batman costumes, Batman Lego, Batman pictures is the name of the game! Recently his interest has also turned to Lego, building and destroying is an activity he enjoys to do and it seems to be almost calming for him. He also likes to be creative with coloring and crafts and proudly shows his latest artwork to hang up in the kitchen! He is very curious and interested in “why” lately…why are things the way they are? how are things made? Why did they make them that way? Why do we have separate garbage cans for the organic garbage and recycles and trash? We are definitely in a why stage these days!

He also loves hanging out with the kids on our street, there is a boy a few houses up who he has really connected with a few months older who he likes to play with on a regular basis, they ride bikes and like to color together and of course make up superhero or hide and seek games. He is never shy to try and make a new friend.  He is turning into a great big brother! He adores his little sister and always has to stick up for her if he feels she isn’t being cared for to his standards. Of course not without the expected “sibling revelry” that also comes with the territory!
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Batman and a neighborhood buddy

We have had some fairly significant challenges with him this year that have required extra work and a lot of prayer and energy to try and help him feel secure in our family, and that is going to be an ongoing challenge for some time, however we have seen encouraging signs over the last six months  that gives us hope. We do not yet know what life looks like long term regarding some of these behaviors and diagnoses, but we do believe that God is and will continue to work in his life and in our family.
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1.5 years

Baby R: R has changed so much in the last year! Of course going from a 9 month old baby last January to a 20 month old toddler is crazy amount of changing and growing in just a year! She is a little person now! With opinions and a stubborn streak!
She still is not very 2015 12 11_3966_edited-1verbal and only has a handful of words that she uses regularly, but communicates very well. (Apparently I stole this line right out of my own babybook…). She points and nods and shakes her head, knows some signs and learns the important words like what an owl says “Hoo hoo” and what you need to go outside…”boots”. She loves to go outside, to go see her friends at church, coloring (not always on the paper), LOVES OWLS and points them out on everything she can find. Has a new favorite food every day, but don’t you dare give her leftovers! Those will go on the floor, even if they were her favorite the day before!
She is quite sensitive and is the one you often find crying BEFORE the other kid touched her or BEFORE brother took a toy away,  but also with that she LOVES hugs and cuddles and on a bad day the Lenny Lamb (baby carrier) is still the easiest way to help her calm down.
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First Birthday Cake Smash

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Mom and Dad (Alternately known as Paul and Katie)
As stated above, we have been stretched a lot this year, I (Katie) have had health issues show up that have had a big impact on the way I live and how much I am able to take on. It is further compounded by stress, which has been difficult to avoid this year. On top of being new parents (to 2 kids!) and also new to being parents to a child with some extra needs; We have lost an income as I gave up my position at work and stayed on as causal after my maternity leave ended.It was a hard decision to make but my health was suffering and I really felt that one of us needed to be home with the kids due to their individual needs right now. Luckily Paul’s work has been more steady this year then any years previously, and it is a job that he continues to enjoy.
But as God stretches he also provides. Paul volunteered to take the Santa Pictures for our church’s breakfast with Santa event last Christmas (By the way, awesome event….if you didn’t get tickets this year, ask me about it for next year!) and from Saturday to Sunday we went from feeling like we didn’t really know anyone to having people knowing us by name the next day! We were invited to join a homegroup shortly after and found real encouragement and love and learning and real community in this group. It has helped that it is full of couples with children close to our children’s age as well as some with teenagers and grown children – to give us a glimpse of whats ahead!
Paul is also on the setup team and I am back in the nursery loving the babies. Another mom and I also started up a play group at the new church community Hub, that I am looking forward to see how God continues to use that to bless us and the community.
 Prayers for a peace filled holiday and 2016 for your family and ours. We couldn’t have made it without our family and friends support!
  – Katie and Paul.
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Essential Oils and the Bible

I started using essential oils this past year because my daughter was getting yeast rashes that medications both prescribed and over the counter were not helping at all. Shortly after starting to really  look into them my 4 year old started to get strep…..every couple weeks, was determined that he is more “likely to get it” then other kids, and react badly to it with scarlet fever symptoms. It scared me to have that much continuous antibiotics in his little body…so I looked into not just what could aid (I wasn’t going to take chances or skip the antibiotics) but more what could help prevent.

At the same time I have been convicted over the last number of months about my lack of prayer. I have no doubt God can provide for our needs, no doubt that he loves me and my family, so why was prayer not commonplace in my life. I had a million excuses – not getting enough sleep, 2 small children, too busy….all excuses. I have since set aside the first half hour of my daughters nap time to prayer and bible. It’s not a lot of time, and I think that in itself was part of my excuses – that I didn’t have a lot of time to set aside, but making ANY time allows God to work and he has been giving me more of a hunger for that time, and for further prayer and reading and fellowship. 30 minutes isn’t taking “too much time”, but its the beginning of renewing my commitment to what I believe is important, and acknowledging that my relationship with God needs to be given some room.

Since incorporating oils AND prayer regularly into my life and parenting, I became more and more curious about how my faith and perspectives on medication and science and oils and “natural remedies” interact. Because I don’t have a ton of time, rather then type out all my findings, I am going to point you to an article that I found really insightful. It make sense that a God that loves us and wants to heal us, has already created things that will interact with our genetic makeup as humans in a helpful way. And after 3 rounds of antibiotics basically back to back, the preschooler has not tested positive for strep even with symptoms present since despite spending time with friends who tested positive within days of seeing us! And the baby, well I can’t remember the last time she had a bad yeast rash! I can’t say its 100% the oils, but I can say that paired with prayer and trusting God to strengthen my children, both my children have benefitted significantly since we started to look into ways to live a more natural and God centered life!
http://simplelifeabundantlife.com/2013/09/26/biblical-look-use-essential-oils-can-apply-lives/

Look Hoo’s One!

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Happy First Birthday Baby Girl!

Another time I might try and share some thoughts and reflections on the year, but today its your Birthday, and we are too busy celebrating! You had a hoot of a time with your friends and your grandpas and grandmas and aunties came too! Mommy made all sorts of decorations to celebrate your first year of life and you even had your first cupcake! Everyone gave you such wonderful presents,  you are going to have a great summer playing with them all!

Birth 2015 04 11_2758 2015 04 11_2760_edited-1 2015 04 11_2763 2015 04 11_2765 2015 04 11_2766 2015 04 11_2767 2015 04 11_2768 2015 04 11_2773 2015 04 11_2796 2015 04 11_2794 2015 04 11_2810_edited-1 2015 04 11_2816Happy Birthday little one! We all hope you had a fantastic day!

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