Sunday, September 28, 2008

Michigan vs. Wisconsin

Our divided family. Brinn is actually wearing a Cal shirt, but the colors are close to maze and blue.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Her father's daughter

I was making oatmeal early in morning and Mali was growing impatient. As I opened the fridge for the milk, she spied a container of leftover chicken nuggets. So what did she do? Plops down on the floor and eats two of them. COLD! 6:45 AM! They don't call her "Jonathan Junior" for nothing.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Grand Rapids Bridge 5K Run

Jonathan: 25:47
Kaethe: 26:57

Friday, September 19, 2008

Five on Friday

1) We celebrated Brinn's actual birthday last week at Chuck E. Cheese with JR, Amanda, & Maddy Yingst. We were pleasantly surprised how non-chaotic and toddler-friendly the joint was. The girls had a blast.

2) The family birthday was also a hit this past Sunday and both girls received many generous presents. How fun to be able to enjoy new toys and books this week.

3)Sisterhood was also a theme for the party, as seen below:

4) We decided to capitalize on Mali's willingness to help lately and we gave her official "jobs". She is now responsible for writing Daddy a note in the morning, putting the newspapers in the recycling bag, and supplying toys at tub time. She is SO proud of herself.

5)I recently joined a local MOPS group and my "creative activity" for last night's meeting was knitting. Soon to become my new favorite past time. Watch out, those of you who receive Christmas present from me!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy MILESTONE Birthday Grandma Sandy

We could easily come up with 60 reasons that we love you! For the sake of space, we'll just say thanks for taking such good care of each one of us and for always being so generous with your time. How fun to have an excuse for a visit to the Ford museum, a grown-ups dinner out, and chocolate cake. We love you!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dear Birthday Girl Brinnly,

What a day we had with you today! As always, you and your sister kept us on our toes. From the day we brought you home from the hospital, she has always been your number one fan and vice versa. Now you play together more and more.

You have grown into such a fun toddler. Even this week you have grown by leaps and bounds. Now you sleep through the night (finally!), eat like a champ, and babble non-stop. Sometimes it is hard to remember you as a tiny baby.

Starting on day one, we loved how much you cuddled us and even though you are shy at times to others, we could always see your sweetness. Somehow you became the loudest member of the family--not an easy task--and you do a dead-on lion impression. You hate your carseat, high chair, being fed by anyone else, being woken up from a sleep, and those crazy safety gates. But you love talking, dancing, climbing, and hugs.

So much has changed in the past year, but we'll always love you, Dee-Dee Bug. Thanks for putting up with us as your parents.


Daddy and Mommy

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

One year ago yesterday...

I woke up feeling great. That was surprising as I was 40+ weeks pregnant, four days overdue to be precise. I had a feeling that this pregnancy was going to turn into a similar scenario as Mali's--that is, overdue, then non-stress tests at the hospital, and then eventual labor induction. I did not necessarily want that repeat. BUT, I was feeling really well; well enough to envision giving birth.Most importantly, Grandma Deni was already there and having a blast with Mali. So at our scheduled Midwife Center appointment we decided to hurry things up and elect to be induced.(Anyone that's ever had pitocin knows that's' crazy)

Oh, that hospital stay! Jonathan was trying his best to cope with a bad cold, we were both really anxious, and although the epidural took away any pain, time passed so slowly. The night passed. Morning came. Morning turned into afternoon. My mom arrived. The afternoon passed. Evening came. Finally, into our third shift of midwives and over 25 hours later, we had our reward.

Even her arrival was difficult, as she was born with the cord around her neck and not able to breath. Our midwives and nurses quickly tended to her and it was only a matter of minutes before we heard her newborn sounds. Jonathan had seen her across the room and let the news slip that she was a girl, but we were too caught up in the urgency of the moment to even process that. Finally, finally, finally, we were able to hold our 7 pound, 1 ounce little wonder. She was perfect for the name we had envisioned: Brinnly Ruth.

We cuddled and cuddled her as she grew stronger. Eventually we were able to believe (with much reassurance from our midwife) that she was just fine. She nursed well and soon found one of her all-time favorite resting spots: Daddy's chest. We began to settle in for our first night together. It was official--we were a family of four.

Friday, September 05, 2008

A quick five on Friday

1) BRINNLY-BUG: finally sleeping through the night

2) MAL-DOLL: big girl panties

3) LABOR DAY FESTIVITIES: Shunkwiler picnic, Sandy Pines, AND a visit from "Aunt" Hannah.

4) LAST WEEK'S VACATION: Great Wolf Resort in Traverse City.

5) THIS WEEK'S OBSESSION: Politics, particularly Sarah Palin. And you thought Barack had charisma.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Speaking of blessings and our home...

Look what's now on our mantle:

These sketches were a gift from our friend Kellie Ryan. Don't they completely capture each girl's expression? Check out more of her work here.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A house blessed

We have a new church home, Our Savior Lutheran Church. Our new pastor and his family came over last week for a home blessing; a rite that we became familiar with when we lived in Pittsburgh. We gathered in each room, read a scripture passage, and then prayed an appropriate prayer. The following is the hymn we sang at the conclusion:

Oh, blest the house, whate'er befall,
Where Jesus Christ is all in all!
Yea, if He were not dwelling there,
How dark and poor and void it were!

oh, blest that house where faith ye find
And all within have set their mind
To trust their God and serve Him still
And do in all His holy will!

Oh, blest the parents who give heed
Unto their children's foremost need
And weary not of care or cost!
May none to them and heaven be lost!

Blest such a house, it prospers well,
In peace and joy the parents dwell,
And in their children's lot is shown
How richly God can bless His own.

Then here will I and mine today
A solemn covenant make and say:
Though all the world forsake Thy Word,
I and my house will serve the Lord!

And, as promised, here are more pictures of the newly blessed abode: