Saturday, December 26, 2009


We had a truly lovely Christmas yesterday. Don's mom and his oldest brother, Dan, are both here. And my cousin Lauren and her husband Baxter drove up from Rolla, MO to spend most of the back half of the day with us. We hadn't seen Lauren since Thanksgiving 2004 and had never met Baxter. It was really nice to see her and meet him. We had quite the full house! The girls are loving playing with the many new art supplies they received. They each got hand-made rag dolls (named Alley and Sweet-Pea) which they now carry everywhere. Bethie also got a hand-made cedar cradle for her doll from Grammies. She loves it!
Don got me a copy of Martha Stewart's new book, Martha Stewart's Cooking School. Say what you will about Martha Stewart as a person, but I've always said that I wish I knew how to do all the things she knows how to do. I'm looking forward to this book teaching me some of those things!

Our munchkins need some lunch, baths, and naps before church tonight. More later!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas, according to Hannah

Hannah's kindergarten class made little books about various December celebrations (she is at a public school). I'll do my best to type her 7-page book exactly as she wrote it.

"I selbrat krismis it is my favrit holda. Because we decrat the krismis. I mak cokes with my mom.

We have lights on are tree. We see lights on the haosis. And we like are tree.

I put ornmins on my tree. We like are tree. I put on the anjol.

I like to eat cookies at holdas. They're are yummy. They are gud.

I wear special clothes like Borbey dresis. And sparties Borbey shooseys. (sparkly Barbie shoes - that's my favorite part)

I sing lots uv song at holdas. Like Jingle bells. We like to sing.

I go to my grandma's house. I eat good food. We like food. We git presins."

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Some new photos

So I haven't written any stories about the October photo album I posted most least the photos have captions! Here are a few new photos of the kids - just click on the album below.

November 2009

30-second update: Don is done with classes for the winter quarter and just has to finish one take-home final. Noah is eating baby cereal and will soon start on vegetables. He can roll all the way across the living room and working on sitting up on his own. Hannah is ready to lose her second tooth. Bethie is mostly potty-trained. I'm busy taking care of everyone and really looking forward to Don's two-week break. His mom and oldest brother are coming up for Thanksgiving week and I know we will all enjoy our time together. The girls are quite excited to see Grammies and Uncle Dan.

God's blessings,
--Stacye & the family

Sunday, November 1, 2009

October Pictures

Check out some recent pictures. Stories to come!

October 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mind The Gap

Our big girl lost a tooth!

She is totally excited and proud of herself. Apparently sometime after lunch she went to wiggle her (very) loose tooth with her tongue and realized it wasn't there! They had pizza for lunch and Hannah said that some cheese got caught on her tooth and she guesses that's when it came out. But since she doesn't know where her tooth actually is, we assume that she swallowed it (yuck!). I'm a little grossed out by this (and a little disappointed that we won't have her first tooth), but she doesn't seem to be bothered by it in the least. Additionally, Hannah is doing great in kindergarten and loving school. She says that music class is her favorite. She also loves art and P.E. It's been awesome seeing her reading and math skills improving rapidly. She's sounding out many words on her own, using phonetic spelling. For example, she did a journal entry on a summer activity. She drew a herself with a boat on a river, commerating our weekend spent in Hannibal, MO and Quincy, IL where we took an afternoon trip down the Mississipi with our friends. She wrote, "I went to teh Misospipe Revrh." I was pretty impressed!

At the end of today, Don will be (in his words), halfway done with the first third of the last third of seminary (!). Basically, the current fall quarter is halfway done today. Then just winter and spring quarters to go. We can't believe how fast the time has gone. The week of Thanksgiving we will have our next vicarage interview with Dr. Neilsen. He'll be the one trying to match us up with a church for a "convertible" vicarage. Basically, the hope is that Don would do his year-long internship at a church somewhere in the country. Toward the end of that year, if we and the church all agree that it's a good fit (which is usually what happens), Don would be ordained as a pastor in our Lutheran church body and also installed as a pastor for that particular church. He would then stay at that church until he decided to take a call somewhere else or began graduate school or....? (Who knows what God has planned?)

The rest of the family is doing well. I've posted some recent photo albums on Picasa - please check them out! Noah just turned 4 months old and was in the 90th percentile for height and 75th for weight (basically where the girls always were as well). He "talks" to us all the time and is showing signs of being a thumb sucker like Bethie. He may be able to sit up on his own sometime in the next month - he's sure trying! He has recently begun flinging his upper body backward when you're holding him - I've almost dropped him several times! He can roll from back to tummy (and does so obsessively!) but then he lays on his face and screams. The girls did the exact same thing. It's fun (not). We're still working on his sleep. The last two nights he has only woken up once to eat, which is an improvement. Sometimes he'll nap for longer than 45 minutes or an hour at a time, but not often. He'll get there eventually!

Elizabeth is 2 1/2 and definitely acts like it! She has begun having tantrums and wants things her way. The saving grace is that her moods don't last long and it's usually easy to get her out of them. Yesterday she wanted someone to taste the "tea" she had made. I was busy cooking dinner so I told her to ask Hannah. Hannah was busy drawing or something, so she said no. Bethie headed toward the den where Don was but I told her not to bug Daddy, he was studying. So she took her tea, sat down on the floor in the hallway (and by the way, she was wearing her Easter bonnet), and put her face in her hands. You have never seen such a sad, dejected little girl. She didn't cry or throw a tantrum, she just sat there being sad by herself. So of course I stopped making dinner for the moment and asked her if she needed a hug. She did, so we cuddled and drank tea. Then all was well. Don't get me wrong, she has her share of defiance and tantrums too, but this was an incident that just shows her sweet spirit. Recently Hannah had a minor injury (can't remember what), and Bethie just stood next to her, gently rubbing and patting her arm to help her feel better. She's such a sweet heart!

I've begun another year of MOPS and my good friend Mendy has joined as well. Now that we have the Yukon, we're able to carpool the 20 miles to church for meetings, so that's working out nicely. I'm still going to Bible study on Monday nights, reading through the Bible in two years. I'm now more than two years into the process, which means that we've now circled back and are reading stuff I read last fall. But there are a lot of segments along the way that I never read, so my plan this final year is to catch up on all of those and have read the entire Bible by the time we leave seminary next summer. I've been doing a little child care as well, both exchanging with friends and also for money. I am tutoring a student in Precalculus once a week and participate in various seminary activities. I helped with Field Day, attend women's events, and we all go to the Family Night dinners on Tuesdays.

Finally, we are asking for your prayers. Don's fall quarter tuition is due Friday, October 16 and as of today, we don't know how we are going to pay that bill off in full. God has been so amazingly gracious to us so far - we haven't incurred any debt in the two years, 3 months we've been in St. Louis. We would like your prayers that God would continue to provide and for wisdom as to whether it's time to take out the first student loan. Thank you, God bless you, and as always, please let us know what we can pray for on your behalf. God created us to live in community with each other, even if we don't live in the same state!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Quick Hannah update with a couple pictures. Here's her kindergarten class (she's in red and blue in the lower left corner). She continues to do well and love school. Her teacher told me yesterday that Hannah is a joy to have in class, so that was nice to hear. She also has two loose teeth! She has been soooo excited about those loose teeth. She keeps grabbing the hand mirror from the bathroom and wiggling her teeth in the mirror. She even wants us to call her "Loose Tooth." We've been able to snap her out of several tantrums by calling her that because she gets so giddy she forgets she was having a tantrum. And along those lines, she saw a dentist for the first time since we were in Bakersfield. She doesn't have any cavities and the dentist says she's doing very well. Yay!

Here's another picture from the first week of school.
Time to go make Bethie some lunch. (Oh - if you read this on Thursday, pray that Don arrives home safely sometime around dinner tonight with our new car!)

Monday, August 24, 2009


I'm sitting here with a few minutes to kill before we go pick Hannah up from kindergarten - yes, she started kindergarten a week ago and is just loving it. She is making new friends and learning to write her name "Hannah" instead of "HANNAH." She loves art class and music class. She eats hot lunch at school (since we qualify for the free lunch program) and gets to play on the big kids' playground in the afternoons. She almost falls asleep during rest time, but won't quite let herself drop off. I can't believe I have a kindergartner!

Bethie is doing pretty well without sissy around. We have stopped a few times on the way home from dropping Hannah off and played at a park, which helps a lot. By the time we get home, it's almost 11:00 (time for lunch), and then nap is 12:30. She wakes up just in time to leave for the walk back to school. We're working on settling into our new routine :-) Here's one of my favorite pictures of the girls. This is Bethie's attempt at a smile. (We were at the MO History Museum in nearby Forest Park. The plane is an exact replica of Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis.)

Noah is almost 3 months old and he's beginning to settle into a routine as well. He smiles and "talks" to us all the time. He loves his sisters and is beginning to reach for toys and shove them into his mouth. His sleep schedule is still erratic - hoping to remedy that soon.

Don is out all day today at a nearby library working on a sermon he'll be delivering this Saturday night. Tomorrow he's going to pick up our new car! Our 13-year-old sedan barely fits the 5 of us and is starting to fall apart. After much prayer and research, we are blessed to have friends who are selling us a 2003 GMC Yukon for about half of what it's worth. We can't wait!

I'm excited for a new year of MOPS to begin and to really settle into a school schedule for Hannah. I'll be tutoring again this school year. I have one student so far, and she may be my only one. Given Don's crazy quarter coming up and three kids at home, it may be best to limit my time away tutoring. We'll wait and see how it goes. I participated in the county library's adult reading program this summer and read 20 books, which earned me two entries in the prize drawings. I won a $20 Starbucks card, so that was fun. Also, Don and I just celebrated 8 years of marriage, so while my mom was here visiting we went to the Muny (in Forest Park) to see their production of Hairspray and out to dinner at The Melting Pot - yum!

Time to leave soon for the walk to school to get Hannah. Feel free to drop a comment to let us know you were here or find us on Facebook: OR

Love and blessings!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

2 months old

Elizabeth, Hannah, & Noah on the 4th of July

We just got back from Noah's 2-month checkup at the doctor. He's doing just fine, except that he's had some congestion the last 6-7 days. The doctor said that he probably has a cold, but luckily his ears and lungs are clear. He weighs 12 lbs, 13 oz (75th percentile) and is 23.5 inches (50th percentile). Our next two goals are to get him on a better sleeping schedule during the day and to get him to take an occasional bottle.

In other news, Don is done with two of his three summer classes and earned an A in both of them. He'll finish his last class tomorrow. He's studying hard today for tomorrow's exam!

Also, after babying it along for several years, our 1997 Dodge sedan is finally on its last legs (wheels?). We have decided to purchase a larger vehicle and it's looking like it will be a 2003 GMC Yukon. Friends in Minnesota are getting rid of theirs and have generously offered to sell it to us for about half of what it's worth. What a blessing! We know that it will be tough to park in some situations and doesn't get great gas mileage, but there are many many other positive reasons for us to buy this car. If all goes as planned, Don will be flying up to Minnesota around Labor Day to drive it home. Hopefully the Dodge will limp along until then!

Hannah starts kindergarten in less than 3 weeks! I can't believe how the summer (not to mention the last 5 years of her life) has flown by. She'll attend Captain Elementary school, which is a public school in one of the nation's best districts. It's also immediately adjacent to the seminary campus and we know lots of other sem kids who will attend kindergarten or first grade there, so we'll instantly feel like we're part of the school community.

We were also very excited this past month as our 3-bedroom apartment grew to 4 bedrooms! The seminary apartments are built so that two bedrooms on each floor can either belong to the apartment on the left or the one on the right. Our next door neighbors moved out and we were able to "take over" their 3rd bedroom, which became our 4th. (If this is confusing, click here to see the seminary's housing page and then click on "The Woods Apts." under Floor Plans on the left. You can also check out the virtual tour if you want to see photos of the apartments.) This awesome acquisition allowed us to create a playroom for the kids. All their toys as well as a desk for Hannah's art projects, Hannah's dresser, and all her clothes and shoes are now in there. That gave us enough room to move a twin-size day bed for Hannah into the girls' bedroom. Just in time - she had outgrown her toddler bed! Their bedroom is now peaceful and (almost) always clean. So nice for resting and reading together in the evening. And Hannah can play alone or with friends in the playroom when Bethie is napping in the afternoon. The rest of the house is now a little neater because all the toys and art supplies have a home. We are so happy with the change and feel very blessed. Here's a picture of the girls having fun in the playroom on the first day we got it:

And here's Miss Hannah - so excited to have a big-girl bed!

Finally, please keep my Nana (Patsy) in your prayers. She had a hip replacement yesterday and we continue to pray for a full and complete recovery. She is so dear to our hearts and we know that being stuck in bed is really hard for her. Please pray for patience for her while her body heals and for her to be able to return to her regular activities soon. Thanks.

My quiet time to do a blog post is probably about over - Elizabeth and Noah are napping, but either one could wake up any minute. Hannah has been playing with a friend, so I had a (temporarily) quiet house! Blessings to you all and thanks for checking in!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Two-week update

Tomorrow Noah will be two weeks old! He is doing well and we are settling into a routine. He eats every two to three hours, so I'm pretty tired (as Don says, Mom's all-night diner is open!). His circumcision is healing well as far as I can tell, having never had that experience before! He will be baptized this Monday, June 15 here on the seminary campus by one of the professors. Dr. Jeff Gibbs and his wife Renee are pretty special to us. We met them on our very first visit here back in 2004 and have grown closer to them over the past two years. Renee is very active with the seminary wives and hosts the Today's Light Bible study I attend on Monday nights. Dr. Gibbs is brilliant and so gracious answering our theological questions when we have them. They often attend the Friday night bar-b-ques with the students and we are so blessed to know them and to have Dr. Gibbs perform Noah's baptism.

Hannah is doing very well with her brother. She still asks to hold him several times a day and is always loving on him as I feed or change him. Bethie is another story. She can take him or leave him. Luckily, she hasn't shown any aggression toward him, but she is having a lot more melt-downs and all-out crying fits. Poor girl. She's two (with all the emotional changes and challenges that come with that), she's very sensitive, and she has to share us with a new baby. Pretty much every evening between nap and dinner is one long crying fit. She's not eating much and really showing her stubborn side. I pray she adjusts quickly and we would appreciate your prayers too.

I've created a new photo album on Picasa with pictures from Hannah's birthday and Noah's birth. Go here to check it out.

Noah is waking up and we have to get ready for tonight's bar-b-que. Love to all!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Almost one week old

I thought I'd do a quick update on Noah before I feed him one last time before bed. Noah will be a week old tomorrow morning. He's been home for just over 4 days. He saw the pediatrician for the first time this morning and is doing great. He weighed 7 lbs, 5 oz at birth; went down to 6 lbs 12 oz when we left the hospital; and is up to 7 lbs 8 oz now. He's healthy and doing quite well.

Here at the seminary, we gather for Friday night bar-b-ques when the weather is nice. We went tonight and visited with friends and I couldn't help but flash back to last week's bar-b-que. I sat at dinner that night having no idea that at midnight I'd go into labor and have a baby boy by 6:00 the next morning! What a surreal experience I had tonight remembering a week ago.

The girls are doing pretty well. Hannah is such a help and asks to hold Noah several times a day. Bethie is having a little harder time adjusting, as we predicted. Here are two cute things they said recently. Don was changing Bethie's outfit and when he was done she stood up and proudly announced, "Daddy - I'm fancy-tastic!" And Don was being silly another night tying a red ribbon around his head. Hannah said, "Daddy, you're like little red robin hood!" We thought her mix-up was pretty cute.

Here are a few more pictures of Noah - one in the hospital and one in the car ready to come home.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

He's Here!

We are thrilled to welcome the family Noah Cornelius Ray!!!!

Noah was born yesterday, May 30 at 5:39 a.m. He was 7 lbs, 5 oz and 20 inches long. He has a head full of dark hair (though not quite as much as big sister Hannah) and gigantic feet!

I went into labor at about midnight on May 29/30 and after just under 6 hours of drug-free labor, Noah was born healthy and beautiful. He's currently about a day and a half old and sleeping peacefully in the bassinet next to my hospital bed. Our only glitch so far is that he appears to have somehow swallowed some meconium in the womb. We are just so thankful that he didn't inhale any into his lungs. The nursery was able to suck about 3 cc's of greenish yellow fluid from his stomach after he spit up that yucky stuff twice. Since then he's been nursing a little better and will probably continue to be fine from here on out.

Hannah and Elizabeth are just ecstatic about their new brother and are excited to have everyone come home tomorrow. Most people know that we were looking for a Biblical name for our son. We liked the name Noah both for how it sounds and for who it represents. In Genesis, Noah listened to God and, contrary to everyone and everything around him, built a ridiculous, gigantic boat and saved his family. And for those of you who don't know my family, Noah's middle name is after my grandfather, Cornelius VanLeeuwen (who usually goes by "Van"). My Papa is the family patriarch, really for both my side and for Don. He is a wonderful Christian man whose actions show his love for God and his family every day. Cornelius is also a Biblical name and his account is found in Acts Chapter 10. We pray that Noah will grow up to be a great man of faith, like each of the men he is named after.

These pictures are all from Noah's first day, in most cases taken the first time he was held by one of us. You can see how excited the girls are to hold and kiss their baby brother. They've been so cute with him!

We thank you for all your prayers over these last months. Our dear friends are such a blessing to us and we are grateful for your love and care. Please continue to pray for healthy mom and baby and let us know how we can pray for you. God's blessings to our blog readers - we love you!

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Fisherman and the American

DR: I was reminded of a little parable (included below), after coming across this article on "economic survivalists."

Blessings on your day!


An American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna.

The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish. "How long did it take you to catch them?" the American asked. "Only a little while," the Mexican said.

"Well, then, why don't you stay out longer and catch more fish?" the businessman inquired.

"I have enough to support my family's immediate needs," the content fisherman replied.

"But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, senor."

The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat...with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution."

He continued with his grand business plan, "You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But senor, how long will this all take?"

To which the American replied, "20, maybe 25 years."

"But what then, senor?"

The American laughed and said "That's the best part! When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions."

"Millions, senor? Then what?"

The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Life at Home

Our trip to California has come and gone. We had a great time and it went by way too fast. We were pretty busy and are so glad we were able to fit in a day trip to Pismo (including lunch at Splash Cafe - yay! The girls loved the clam chowder and building sand castles on the beach); a day trip to Pasadena to see Don's brother Dave, which included a trip to the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens and dinner at Buca di Beppo; seeing a show at the Gaslight Melodrama where my brother Christopher works (he's directing their next show! If you're in Bakersfield, go see a show there!); we went to church both Sundays and Ash Wednesday; had dinner with a big group of church friends (thanks Bob and Charlotte!); ate at Moo Creamery to celebrate Christopher's birthday; lunch with one of Don's good friends, her husband, and their new baby girl; and lots of play time with Noni and the toys and dolls she bought for the girls.

Now we're back in StL, back to real life, back to school (for Don and Hannah). Don thinks this will be a really great quarter for him. He's liking his classes so far and it seems like there might not be quite as much work as the previous two quarters. He's also doing an institutional module (hospital visits) at a hospital in Bellville, IL (about 45 minutes away). It looks like that will take a total of 3.5-4 hours a week, so it's a good thing his schedule is a little lighter otherwise.

The rest of us are doing well too. I'm now 28 weeks along in my pregnancy - officially into the third trimester. Other than some back pain and a little swelling in my hands and feet, I feel pretty good. The baby is growing as he should and kicks me all the time.

Hannah is still our bubbly, strong-willed, people- and activity-loving almost-5-year-old (how time flies!). She told us the other day about a dream she had (now, I'm not sure if these are actual dreams, or just stories she makes up, not knowing the difference between a dream and a fantasy): she rode a pony, a unicorn and a pegasaurus (her word) into outer space. We assumed that she had ridden them all separately, until she clarified that all three were stacked on top of each other and she rode them all at the same time. We were cracking up. She's becoming ever more creative in her artwork. In fact, her preschool was doing a unit on the ocean. The kids were brainstorming about various art projects and murals they could do and Hannah (according to her) was the only one with an idea. She wanted to paint sticks bright colors to look like coral. The teacher used her idea and it looked great. How fun!

Bethie will be two in a few short weeks (there goes that time, flying again). She knows almost all her colors now and sings ABCs and "Jesus Loves Me" regularly. She hates sharing her toys and wants to do everything herself. She totally doesn't get why she isn't capable of doing all the same things her big sister does and can't play with every single toy, all the time, at the exact same time. We have regular shrieking melt-downs as her frustration levels rise. She loves playing with and feeding her baby dolls. Last night I picked her up out of her high chair and she began giving me tons of kisses, grabbing my face and pulling it closer. She's so affectionate and funny.

Click here to see our most recent photos on Picasa, including Valentine's Day and our trip to California. God's blessings to you from us!

Friday, February 20, 2009

California Here We Come!

Today is (finally!) the last day of Don's quarter and we are headed to Bakersfield for the next 10 days! We are all super excited, especially the girls and their Noni. But when I told Bethie today where we were going tomorrow, she got a little peeved that Noni wasn't at her house right that second. I'm trying to explain that after she wakes up tomorrow we'll get on the big airplane and go to Noni's house, but she's still a little confused. We have a loooonnng non-stop flight from here to LAX tomorrow and return on March 3. Can't wait!

Don is currently at his last class for the quarter. He has to answer one question for one assignment and turn that in, and then he has to finish one take-home final. The final isn't due until next Friday, but he's going to try really hard to finish it tonight so he doesn't have to take anything to CA with him. I'm praying he finishes!

We're planning to visit Don's brother in Pasadena and maybe some of my family too. We want to spend a day at the coast (yay Splash Cafe!) and we also have several fun visits with high school friends and church friends planned, too. It's going to be a busy fast trip and we're really looking forward to it. Keep us in prayers for a safe trip. Blessings to you all!

Friday, January 23, 2009

It's a...


We had our comprehensive ultrasound today, which measured the baby, determined (his!) gender, looked at the heart, stomach, placenta and umbilical cord, diaphragm, brain, and other things. We learned that we are expecting a healthy baby boy! We are very thankful that he looks healthy and rather stunned that he is a he! Don and I keep saying, "What do we do with a boy?"

Here's another picture of his face and hand. He's a thumb sucker! (Just like Bethie.) We'll see if that continues once he's born, but he was sure going to town during the ultrasound. We could see his mouth opening and closing as he tried to get his thumb in there. It was very cute. We learned that he weighs exactly one pound now and is measuring about a week larger than his gestational age (the girls both did also).

If you're on Facebook, I've posted all the ultrasound pictures there, if you want to see more. (Just go to the Photos tab on my profile page - they should be easy to find.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Great Tragedy (subtitle: Kiss my wrist, please)

Miss Elizabeth has a had a tragedy:

I don't even know how she got this gaping wound, but for the past several days, at least ten times a day she says, "Kiss my wrist, please." She says it so sweetly and we just kiss her wrist and move on with least until the next time. :-)

(By the way, when I was uploading this picture, she saw it on the computer and declared, "That's my tummy!)

Even though Elizabeth won't be 2 until April 4, we definitely have a two-year-old in the house! I like to say that we have entered Do-it-myself-land. Our sweet-tempered girl now has a temper of her own. She throws tantrums when she's upset. Sometimes she simply collapses into a pile of mush and just sobs. It's funny to see how she's different from Hannah though. Hannah would (and still does) throw tantrums because she's mad and she's trying to get her own way. Often, Bethie's are because her feelings are hurt and she's so sad she just doesn't know how to deal with it. It's so sweet though because she'll ask for a hug through her snot and tears and as long as she has a hug, her teddy, and her thumb, she's happy. Here's a picture of her and teddy. Of the picture, we say, "It's just so Bethie."

In other news, we had our vicarage interview yesterday. We met with Dr. Nielsen, the vicarage supervisor here at the sem. We had about 5 pages of paperwork to fill out about our (mostly Don's) history and background, strengths, desires, preferences etc. in a vicarage congregation. The normal track is for Don to finish this school year and we would move somewhere in the country this August for a year-long internship. But it's looking more likely that Don will be asked to defer his vicarage and we would go in August 2010 instead. We'll keep praying about all the things involved with that and we'll know for sure if he's going to be asked somewhere around mid-March to mid-April. Keep us in prayer for wisdom and discernment to know God's plans for us.

We're trying (kind of) to get used to this cold weather. We haven't had any snow or ice really to speak of yet this winter, but it's dang cold! Tonight the low is supposed to be 3 (no, I didn't forget a digit), with windchills around -12. They're warning people not to go outside unless they have to. Unfortunately, tomorrow is my day to help take care of kids in my MOPS group, so the girls and I will be leaving the house at 8:00 or so tomorrow morning (when it's a balmy 4 degrees!). Argh.

Finally, we have our comprehensive ultrasound scheduled for Friday, January 23. We should be able to find out whether we're having a boy or a girl. (!)

That's it for now. More later!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Number of the Day is...

32! Today we celebrate the blessing of Don's 32nd birthday. (It's also Epiphany - the day we celebrate the Magi coming to worship Jesus.) Don's really busy this week - he has three papers still to turn in, so we didn't do a whole lot to celebrate. Hannah and I baked him a cake this afternoon and after we returned from the Seminary's family night dinner he opened his gifts and we did candles and cake. He's pretty tired after finishing one paper today and starting another.

Speaking of being busy, we have been. The last few months have been busy, and add to that me being pregnant and tired and I haven't kept up on the blog much. Just today I finally downloaded 122 photos from my camera that had been sitting there since early November. Then I uploaded them to so whoever wants to look through 100+ pictures may do so. To see our public gallery, go to

My mom and grandparents came to visit in early October. My grandparents hadn't been to St. Louis before, so we had a great time visiting the Anheuser-Busch brewery tour, going up inside the Gateway Arch and visiting the Museum of Westward Expansion underneath, touring the Kemp Auto Museum, frozen custard at Ted Drewe's, root beer floats at Fitz's, attending our church here, and spending time together as a family. What a blessing and the girls loved having Noni, Nana, and Papa here. Here are some photos:

This one was taken at the top of the arch.

We've been busy with other trips and activities too, but I'm starting to get pretty tired myself. I'll just wrap up with a request to keep Elizabeth in your prayers. She's had a cough for a month and the doctor put her on antibiotics. Pertussis (whooping cough) is going around here in St. Louis and even though the pediatrician doesn't think Bethie has it, they tested her anyway. She coughs off and on throughout the night which affects pretty much everyone's sleep except Don's (and even his sometimes). We'll find out on Friday if she has pertussis, but please pray that her cough goes away and that we can all sleep through the night again. Thanks, and as always, please let us know what we can be praying for for you. God's blessings, Happy Epiphany, and Happy New Year!