Bird Houses, Bed Quilts, and Beginning Steps

It’s been a little quiet on the blog-front lately, so we thought it would be good to share some of the sweet moments we have enjoyed lately.  Just the other day, “severe epicness” in birdhouse form went up in our backyard.  As a celebration of his 7th birthday, Elijah was thrilled to spend the last few days with his Grandpa Bob “doing guy stuff” and making a bird community.   Why stop with just one house? We asked the Lord to invite wrens to come live in this not-so-humble abode, and we are hoping they pick one of the entrances that we can see from our windows.



Eliana also got some special girl time when she turned 9 this summer.  Grandma Ruth whisked her away on a fabric choosing, quilt piecing retreat, complete with giggles and chocolate breaks.  Now Eliana can wrap herself up in Grandma’s love anytime she feels like it.

Step by beginning step, our family’s heart and future are turning toward the nations.  The Lord has given us a timeline to pray and move into on our journey toward full time ministry at the Home of Life in Costa Rica.  We will spend 5 weeks there as a family this June/July, helping to receive two short term teams and doing some legwork for our long term move.  We hope to raise support this coming fall/winter/spring and begin language school in San Jose, Costa Rica in August of 2013.  Sometimes that seems like a long way away, sometimes it seems imminent.  We are leaning into the Lord for each step, trusting that where He has called, he will provide.

At the moment, Kris’s efforts are taking one form: Rubbermaid.  Given the humidity and critter potential of Costa Rican kitchens, she is investing her time and Christmas money strategizing pantry storage solutions.  Throw in some kitchen linens, a crock pot, and a set of stainless steel mixing bowls, and you have the contents of Kris’s Costa Rican hope chest to date.  These things will make the journey to the Home of Life this summer and wait for our family’s arrival in 2013.

Matt has re-begun the Gnuse kitchen renovation movement and has lined up time and helpers to work on updating the heart of our home in February.  In the meantime we have been making color choices, scouting out sales, and getting bids.  We need to sell or rent our home before going out on the field, so it’s time to make it as inviting as possible.  We are shooting for “cozy” even without one of our rhubarb crisps in the oven.

One definite blessing we are thankful to report: our suitcases this summer will not need to pack any pull-ups.  Ezekiel is doing great with using the toilet like the big boy he is.  Thanks be to God, the giver of all good gifts.

Training Up a Child in the Way He Should Go. . .

Often, I feel like I should only post amazing and profound things here.  But “amazing and profound” is not an every day event for us in this season. So instead, here’s a glimpse into our days of late.

So what’s up around here lately is a focus on what must come down, and where to put it when it does come down.  That’s right, we’ve been potty training.  It’s been a long 10 days, but we are getting there.  Along the way we have spent a lot of time together in the bathroom reading books, singing songs, doing puzzles, and playing with toys–only a few of which fell into the toilet.

I'm a Robot!

Time to get down now?

I confess that this was a season that I was not looking forward to, but after the first few days of learning it has become a sweet time of focusing on the youngest member of our family.  Ezekiel has a personality all his own, a mixture of strong will and charm that we will be excited to see the Lord fashion into a unique blessing for His kingdom.  And it the meantime we are celebrating the dry big boy pants, learning “when to hold ’em, when to fold ’em,” and sanitizing those fallen toys.  I promise.

Where in the world have we been?

After asking Matt what our login and password might be, I have finally found my way back to our blog. I don’t know if anyone out there in ReaderLand will be around to check up on us after such an absence, but I thought it would be good to touch base again. It was a hard adjustment to come back to the States from our time in Costa Rica. Everything felt too big, too clean, and too nice. Then came the return of TOO BUSY!

So, what has the Lord been doing in our lives for the past year +? Well, The biggest item of note is that we had a darling son March 12, 2009 and named him Ezekiel John.

This is my favorite picture of him a few days after he was born.

Here’s what he looked like this afternoon, enjoying his lunch.

Just to reassure you that the cheerio eventually made it’s way to the right spot. . .

. . .and that Eliana and Elijah adore their baby brother!

I think I will sign off, now, but will hope to keep making posts now that the ball is rolling. Blessings to you all!