"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." ~ Matthew 5:8

Friday, April 10, 2015

National Sibling Day!

I'm so thankful for all of my siblings!

World's best twin

My beloved older sissy

My youngest brother-in-law!

Handsome Jacob

My four siblings still in Russia-I miss them every day!

Kali. Such a good friend...and sister!

Eliana: we have so much fun together!

Hope: she reminds me to cultivate my imagination!

Aren't they gorgeous? Christina, Kirsten, and Zhenya.

Kolya and pizza. Could life get better?

Wow. This is an oldie, but a goldie!


We have so much fun together!

Oh me, oh my. Very 90's, but Anna, John and I have been best buds for decades!

These awesome in-laws love their big brother!

My dear Julia, I need to get you out from behind the camera  and take more pictures of you!

Faith and Christina have turned into beautiful young women since this picture, but their lovely smiles and deep intelligence are the same.



This picture melts my heart!

Sarah and Matt have such contagious laughs!

With my eldest niece, Brielle

*To any of my siblings who did not appear as often, it's not that I don't love you! Just that I need to organize the pictures on my computer. ;)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Happy Half Birthday, William!

I can't believe our baby is 6 months old today! When I take the time to think back to all the joys and challenges, changes and learnings those months have held for us all, I'm amazed. I knew so little about being a mommy- and now I know how little I know. I don't take the blessing lightly, and am so thankful for our little man, and love him with an imperfect but unconditional, unstoppable love unlike any I've experienced before. Caring for him has revealed how much of a sinner I really am-and I'm guessing that will be a common theme throughout my years as a mother- but it has also shown me so much of the grace and kindness of the God who knit William together inside me.
"There are good things and hard things about every stage, so treasure the precious things and don't worry too much about the hard things, " were wise words my mother-in-law shared with me early on, and so far I have found that to be true. How quickly he changes!
William is (and always has been) extremely curious and alert. It's something even strangers comment on! While that curiosity may well keep me busy at times, I love that he loves to learn.

Willy is scooting backwards, getting up on his hands and feet,  and rocking back and forth, but so far can't figure out how to propel himself forward. Sometimes that frustrates him! However, he's getting good and making his way to what catches his eye...and nearly everything does. He sits up on his own, but only for a few moments. Then excitement overtakes him and he topples over! In true boy fashion he makes noise all day long: from grunts and groans when concentrating, to fussy whimpers, to contagious giggles.

Loves: Mommy and Daddy, his grandparents, aunts and uncles, his dog, going outside, spatulas and measuring cups, jumping up and down, reading (and chewing on) books, and bath time.
Not a fan of: Bed time, getting his face cleaned or clothes changed, and being put down after 5 p.m. (in his book, that's cuddle time!)

Eric and I love watching this little boy grow, and our greatest prayer and desire is that he would come to love and trust in Jesus as his only hope for salvation.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Our Growing Family

Our family and friends were not very surprised that not long after moving into our new home (more about that later...I hope!) we

Got a dog!
Her personality is sweet and quirky, and so is her name: Tankella. She's part American bulldog and so is built, well, like a tank; but that didn't seem too feminine for our new girl dog. Eric jokingly added "ella" to the "tank," and it stuck.
She loves cuddles and attention, walks, fetch, car rides, and her dog bed. She likes William and is very gentle with him. She does not like that she is not allowed on the furniture. All in all, she's a great addition to the family.