and... she's back

So it took me over a week to write another blog, but what a week it was.

My strep turned into pneumonia sometime over the weekend and it truly put me out of commission. I've spent the last few days feeling guilty for not being a better mom, wife, and house-mom to our girls but I'm feeling better every minute and I'm really thankful for God's grace.

Several updates - Elias' birthday party is tomorrow and we're so pumped! Thank you so much to friends and family who sent him such awesome stuff! Stace sent a stuffed animal that we've had to confiscate from his crib TWICE in the middle of the night because he'll stay up till 2 in the morning talking to it. Nick's dad sent him a 'pajama-gram' with some sweet footed jammies (complete with back-butt flap) and his name embroidered on them. My mom sent some amazing scrapbook pages for his 1 year old scrapbook, plus books and cds to listen to at night. His Nana Owens & Uncle Anthony sent some awesome rain boots and bath toys! Nick and I have officially still not bought him anything - but his scrapbook is underway and I feel good about that.

Another tidbit about Elias... just to make you smile. We've had to start putting his diapers on backwards because we've had two occasions where he deemed himself the picasso of poop. Just picture him playing in his crib quietly, us running in shocked, and throwing away alot of crib bedding. I'll let you fill in the gaps:)

Another update... we have a permanant assistant on her way! About two weeks ago, we were all sitting at a staff meeting when I received an email from and old South Carolina friend, Lauren Hogan, letting us know she was available and kind of in a good place to move. Long story short - the Lord confirmed it to her, and us and our first question on her "phone interview" was, 'so how soon can you be here?!'. We're trying not to inundate her and rush her... but we're so excited to know we'll be covered when Faythe makes her trip across the pond after her wedding. Speaking of Faythe - God is really blessing me through her. It's such a joy to have a friend living in the house and a partner in ministry that knows this ministry like the back of her hand. She's taken extremely well to Elias and we're hoping her fiance, Jimmy, isn't too jealous when he moves here this week.

... So I started wriitng this blog two days ago and JUST got back to writing it tonight. The birthday party was a huge success - Faythe, The Musicks, The Eisenharts, Cowans, & Stinsons all joined the pregger girls and us for a fun little soiree. The girls helped me hang streamers, Nick made gourmet grilled cheese sandwhiches with havarti, gouda, & cheddar cheese and Kalle made Elias his own personal cake. Nick only let Elias eat about 1/3 of it and I think one of the pregnant girls polished it off as soon as Kalle left. I'll leave this New Beginnings inhabitant unnamed, but we constantly joke that we're going to get her a t-shirt that says "Are you going to finish that?".

Lastly, I have to say I'm having a nice little bout of homesickness today - Elias' birthday party was bittersweet, as I would have loved to have my sister, Mom, and our whole set of family/friends here but I know we'll be together for the party that really matters in eternity. I made Elias a scrapbook for his birthday and dedicated several pages to family & friends, and one whole page to explaining why we had to move - even though we were leaving the most amazing support system ever. I pray that one day when Elias looks back on that book - he'll see the Lord's strength shining through those words and he'll be proud of us for stepping out in faith to follow what God said was right for our family.

Doing the scrapbook was really sweet for me - finding letters I've written to Elias since before he was born and throughout his first year. Seeing pictures of him with our family and friends, putting in letters my sister wrote him before he was born, reading what Nick had to say to him. In all my digging, my favorite find was a journal entry I'd written the day after Glory was conceived. I had detailed my day before - thanking the Lord for each hour, even the midnight pregnancy test Nick and I had taken just before we made her:). It was obviously negative. On the next page, I was trying to praise Him through my dissapointment in the negative result but told him - His timing was most important, when Elias was ready, when we were ready - when our family was ready. His timing is always perfect and I'm getting really excited about this addition to our family.

Lots of picture updates to come... our harddrive is about to bite it so I need to borrow a computer to upload some pics.
This week should be much calmer so I promise there will be more blogging.