Next Sunday is graduation Sunday at church - happens a few times a year when the preschool and younger kids who have had birthdays move to their next Sunday school class. This was Lydia's last Sunday in "twos and threes", next week she moves to "fours and fives" while Nora stays in twos and threes. This will be the first time that Nora doesn't have her mother hen with her in Sunday school.
It could go so many different ways for both of the girls ... praying that it's a smooth transition. Another milestone for Nora (and Lydia) as they gain independence.
My parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on Friday ...
And yes, by admitting that I am also admitting that I am quickly approaching a "milestone" birthday.
The kids were excited to celebrate Grandma and Grandpa today (and, by excited, I mean a bit wired).
We also got my annual Valentine photo of the kids today ... sadly, they have outgrown being able to squish together on the chair as they have done in years past (here and here) and needed to pose by the fireplace.
Thankful for the privilege of doing life with my parents nearby!
Ah, good 'ole Pinterest ... never fails to suck precious moments from my day IF I let myself get absorbed, but in great Pinterest fashion it did not fail to deliver on some fun Valentine ideas for the kids' exchanges.
We did the same for both Samuel and Lydia's class (Samuel's exchange is tomorrow, and Lydia's was today). Samuel wrote his name on his, and Jack graciously wrote out the all of Samuel's classmates' names (I think that Jack is secretly missing the days when he got to do classroom parties).
Lydia just learned to write her name and did some of hers. And, Nora helped sort ... and stack ... and sort ... and order the Starburst.
It was fun to see what Lydia brought home from her exchange today ... and so obvious that there are a few other children in her class that may have Pinterest obsessed Moms.
I love that some of my friends are pinning WARM destination vacation ideas and cute summer outfits ... makes me want to do the same. I have a feeling that we are all going to be celebrating even when it consistently gets in the 20's here or when it's above zero in the morning!
For now though, we can imagine twirling in the sand ...
Today begins the Chinese New Year. As I wrote last year, it is important to us that we preserve Nora's culture. Today was also the six year mark of Owen's diagnosis, I typically journal a few words here about this date but reflecting back it seems that the feelings year over year on this date are often the same, and it's easy to slip back into that unforgettable moment and hearing the words that our baby had a condition "incompatible with life."
So, this year, no dedicated blog post to January 31st. Instead, a dedicated blog post to our Chinese Firecracker and preserving her culture.
(Side note - if you look closely you can see that Lydia has a bit of a shiner ... an encouter with Jack's sweatshirt ... while said sweatshirt was being swung around Lydia fell victim to the zipper ...)
To celebrate, we went out for Chinese with sweet friends.
We also did a little decorating using last year's lanterns we made and some new foil paper stars.
We again dipped fortune cookies (and, admittedly, we know that fortune cookies are totally an American thing, but they do look pretty in red glitter). The kids got their red envelopes with money (chocolate coins).
We set off a lantern and let the arctic breeze take it away (a balmy 4 degrees earlier this evening ...).
And, we even celebrated at work in honor of our colleagues in China.
Such a rich holiday ... may we always preserve the beauty of her culture!
Jason's Grandma turned 89 this month, and his grandparents celebrated their 72 wedding anniversary. Wow.
Doesn't she look fantastic?
I met Jason's Grandma when Jason and I met nearly 22 years ago ... we were just babies :) Ha! Anyhow, she has been a picture of grace always ... she extends grace always ... it is so obvious that Jesus is her light ... her eyes sparkle ... she exudes a selflessness like no other and every once in a while we see a little spunk. Another reason we admire her so is the unconditional love she shows EVERY.ONE. Unconditional. It's what we are called to do, but it's a challenge for sure ... years of wisdom this pretty lady has!
I love being a mom to boys, and I love being a mom to girls .... the best of both worlds! Over the past few months, I've had the blessing of being able to do some girls' dates (a few lunches and even Lydia and my overnight getaway at Robyn's).
Today, the boys had a boys' day ice fishing with friends ... while it was a "mild" day with a bit of sunshine and temps in the 20's, no thanks ... more and more I'm getting "annoyed" with winter, and I'm ready for it to be done! Unfortunately, we likely have a few months of winter still ahead.
Anyhow, the girls' and I took a little drive to meet Elizabeth for lunch. You may remember Elizabeth, a college roommate, who did her 10th consecutive Breast Cancer 3Day (60 mile) walk this past summer. AMAZING. And, she is the friend that coordinated the Stella & Dot fundraising show for me when we were praying Nora home. Love. this. girl!
Elizabeth brought her sister Emily, who I also adore. And, I love the sister relationship these two share. I pray that Lydia and Nora share a similar relationship as they do life together.
Thankful for the blessings of friendships and girls' dates to catch up! And, I know, aren't we cute in our unplanned matchy-ness?!?!
Longing to serve with joy and desiring to lead, with my amazing husband, our precious children to have hearts that beat for our Lord. Rejoicing in the love and grace of our Father and the endless blessings He has given us.