Friday, November 30, 2012

Twins: 16 weeks

Well…almost.  It will be 16 weeks on Monday.  Here’s the latest pictures and updates from my sonogram and appointment today.  The twins like to cuddle, so we couldn’t tell the gender yet {it’s a little early yet anyway}.  I have to have my anatomy scan at the hospital for a more detailed scan since twins are considered a high risk pregnancy.  Hopefully we will have that the first week of January {since we will be in Denver for Christmas}, and then we can tell you what we’re having!

Twins 16 weeks JPG
{click to enlarge}

I labeled the sono picture so you could tell what was going on…since they were snuggling so close!  And below are closer pictures of the sonogram.  We got one nice picture of the twin whom the sonographer labeled “b.”

Twin B 15 weeks 4 days

twins labeled 15 weeks 4 days jpg

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Little Splash of Christmas

I was excited to decorate for Christmas early this year.  I have several reasons…like we are traveling for the holidays, so I want to enjoy my own decorations.  We are trying to find a better apartment in preparation for the twins, so we may be moving by the 15th.  If I decorate now I can still feel like I had Christmas.  And we opted against a tree this year, so we had everything on hand that we needed!

On Saturday night I got down my little box of Christmas ornaments, and my artificial garland, and we set to work.  Well…Ben set to work.  I let him do it this year. {smile}

Nolan was very excited about the lights.  He loves to plug and unplug anything electric.  This keeps Mommy on her toes!  He was constantly watching Ben as he tested the lights, hung the garland, and adjusted things.  Then he wanted in on the action too!

Decorating for Christmas 2012

Decorating for Christmas 2012   Decorating for Christmas 2012

Decorating for Christmas 2012   Decorating for Christmas 2012

Elaine was busy with the snowmen.  I have a lot of snowmen decorations that we get to leave out after Christmas is over.  She was only too happy to help with the ornaments!  She was a flurry of movement as she dug little hoemmade funky ornaments out of my tiny box and ran them over to Daddy.  Maybe next year we will attempt a tree and she can hang the ornaments herself.

Decorating for Christmas 2012

Decorating for Christmas 2012
Ben commented that most of our ornaments say “Andrea” on them.  When I got married, Mom gave me all of the ornaments that I had made in church and Sunday School through the years.  I’ve tried to add a few homemade ornaments each year, and we have been given a few.  But it’s true – many of them say “Andrea” on them!

Decorating for Christmas 2012   Decorating for Christmas 2012

Here’s what we finished with!

Decorating for Christmas 2012
I will miss these bay windows when we move.  They are lovely!

Decorating for Christmas 2012
The radiator functions as my “mantle” & I enjoy decorating it!

Decorating for Christmas 2012  Decorating for Christmas 2012
I think this was a Pinterest idea.  I stole it from someone for sure!  I snagged a couple of cheap candlesticks at the thrift store and painted them red.  Then I added a pickle jar and a canning jar, also with spray painted lids.  I hope to change the sparkly balls out with the seasons, since I have red in my living room.

Decorating for Christmas 2012

Decorating for Christmas 2012
I told you I like snowmen!

Decorating for Christmas 2012

Decorating for Christmas 2012
When we were first married we didn’t have much on our tree.  I wanted a star for the top.  So Ben made a cardboard star and covered it in foil.  It has been our “centerpiece” each year since then.  With everything that has been going on Israel recently, I felt even more “proud” to display my Star of David this year!

Decorating for Christmas 2012
Nolan’s handprint from his first Christmas

Decorating for Christmas 2012  Decorating for Christmas 2012
Elaine’s footprint from her first Christmas, and this jolly Snowman Bell was Elaine’s choice to add to our collection this year!

I have just come across something called the “Jesse Tree” as a form of Advent.  With moving and everything else going on I may not start it this year.  My kids are still very young too.  We made a paper chain last year out of the different names for and prophesies of Christ.  Elaine was very lost.  But I definitely want to do something like this as a tradition in the coming years to teach my children to focus on Christ, and not gifts , during this season.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Elaine’s 3 Year Portraits

On a whim, this morning we threw some stuff in the stroller and walked the 10 blocks to Owl’s Head Park to take some pictures of Elaine.  It was cold, but the kids were happy and I knew it would be a while if I didn’t do it today.  And I managed to capture a few good shots…at least they capture Elaine how she is.  We tried to get Nolan – he is almost 17 months.  He wasn’t quite as happy around the camera, and he certainly didn’t want to pose with his sister.

Elaine 3 Year Portraits Head Shot B&W

Elaine 3 Year Portraits   Elaine 3 Year PortraitsElaine 3 Year Portraits
{drinking in the sun}

Elaine 3 Year Portraits
{I think this one is my favorite.  Can you tell she is cold?}

Elaine 3 Year Portraits B&W   Elaine 3 Year Portraits B&W
{a couple of black & whites…just because}

Nolan 17 months Elaine 3 Years Portraits
{finally out of the stroller, Nolan was interested in nature, not pictures}

Nolan 17 months Elaine 3 Years Portraits

Nolan 17 months Elaine 3 Years Portraits

Nolan 17 Months Portraits

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: New Backpacks and the One Where I Turn 30…

New Backpacks
{can I just say that Nolan was the cutest thing ever walking to the laundry mat in his own backpack…}

New Backpacks

New Backpacks

My 30th Birthday

My 30th Birthday
{more on my birthday later…but yes, I am 30 now.  Bring on the grey hair.}

Monday, November 12, 2012

An Update on Our Church’s Recovery from Hurricane Sandy

I intended to write this post for my Thankful Thursday post last week.  But…life happened and I never got to sit down to share an update.  Much has transpired since my last update on our church and how we are recovering from Superstorm Sandy.  I wanted to be sure and keep my out-of-town friends “in the loop” especially since I know that many of you are praying for our church and church family.  We need your continued prayers, and hopefully this update can help those prayers to be more specific.

Last weekend we had a team of seven young men from Maranatha Baptist Bible College come to help demolish the damaged areas of the church {floor, bottom 4 feet of sheet rock, etc.}.  They brought a generator with them which allowed us to have a short service together on Sunday. 

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The Maranatha Crew with our Pastor.  They worked long and hard and were a great blessing!

Pastor preached and one of our Russian men translated.  We had been given money to distribute necessary items to our neighbors in the community.  After the service folks headed out with bags of snacks and essential items.  The bags also included a tract and a Gospel of John.  There was a table set up on the sidewalk to offer breakfast and coffee to church members and neighbors alike.  I wasn’t able to attend this service because it wasn’t a great place to have the kids.

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Our church’s first gathering after the storm.  As my friend Grant said it, “Even in a room that's dark with no power, the entrance of God's Word gives light.”

During the week a crew from Pennsylvania came and brought two generators, construction lights, and building materials.  We are unable to obtain sheet rock and plywood right now, because of the shortage of these items in the City.  The men replaced the bottom four feet of dry wall in our annex and classrooms.  When they left, they gave us one of the generators so we could continue work and hold services yesterday.  We also had a relative of our Russian Pastor bring a small group to help do some work.

Photo Nov 03, 2 47 34 PM
Pictures of the garbage that we removed from our buildings.  Ben said it was over 300 trash bags full.  Amazingly enough, the garbage company took it all at once!

Photo Nov 03, 2 47 44 PM

Photo Nov 03, 9 55 36 AM
{That’s Ben & his Dad you see there}

Tonight we are expecting another crew from Florida.  They are also bringing some building materials I believe, as well as a contractor, electrician, and some ladies to do the cooking for their crew.  They will be working on our auditorium, and Pastor said he expects it to look quite different when we gather again next Sunday.

Yesterday I was able to attend the brief service with Ben.  The kids did pretty well, all things considered.  Pastor shared a challenge from Nehemiah, about how Nehemiah was moved when he heard the state of Jerusalem.  We were challenged to not only rebuild the physical building of Bethel Baptist Fellowship, but also to “rebuild” spiritually and care for the souls of those in our community.

The Lord has opened many doors to our neighbors around the church.  Many of them have been without power for two weeks.  Because that everything in the area was submerged in several feet of water, the power company has to check the lines and circuits at each building individually before power can be restored.  Yesterday a crew of power trucks from Detroit were working on the street next to our church.  One lady in our church was ecstatic that they were finally here to check the meter!

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Distributing necessary items and hot coffee to our neighbors

photo (1)
The Maranatha crew handed out these invitations to people to join us for our first Sunday gathering.  They are in English & Russian.

Our church has two storefront building, but in between our storefronts is a Chinese restaurant.  The owners live above the restaurant.  Their daughter Mona has attended many of our children’s events and outreaches over the years.  This family lost everything – their restaurant equipment, food, and they have not had power for two weeks.  Our church has been able to reach out to them and help with food and blankets.  We even let them hook up to the generator during the afternoon.  I am praying that this will cause them to be more open to the Gospel.

Please continue to pray for us.  Several families in our church have been displaced and are still seeking temporary and permanent housing.  Many churches from across the country have given financially.  Some have helped us order new hymnals.  Some have given their benevolence offering.  Others have sent crews to help us rebuild.  God has truly been good in the midst of difficult circumstances.  We are praying that our neighborhood of Sheepshead Bay will be open to the Gospel like never before, and that the trying circumstances from Hurricane Sandy will leave people tender and not hardened to the Lord.

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Specific Prayer Requests:

  • A couple need an apartment.  They have temporary housing but it is not close to church.  They lost most of their possessions also.
  • A family of four need an apartment.  They also lost many of their possessions.  They need to stay in the church’s neighborhood to be close to church and job as they don’t have a car to be able to travel far.
  • Families and church to regain power soon
  • Open doors in our community
  • Quick restoration of our church building so we can resume services

All pictures are from our church’s Facebook page.