Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Kingsbridge National Ice Center

I blogged previously about an area in the Bronx which is our prayer focus for a future church plant.  The Kingsbridge area in the Bronx is home to the Kingsbridge Armory.  It is a great landmark, and it would be easy to tell people that our church is located by The Armory.  We knew that there were plans to renovate the old Kingsbridge Armory, but nothing was definite yet.

Kingsbridge Armory Ice Rink News story

On Tuesday, Mayor Bloomberg announced that a deal has been struck to transform the Armory into the world’s largest indoor ice rink facility.  It will have nine regulation size rinks, and cost $275 million dollars.  The project is expected to be completed by 2017.  This project has been debated and in the works for more than ten years, according to the New York Daily News.

This area is now even more of a prime location for a church plant.  Think of the people that will be drawn to Kingsbridge area just because of this ice skating complex.  In addition to the local people, we would have the opportunity to reach many other people who come for events.  It also means that real estate prices in the area will probably increase and it will cost more for us to rent a meeting space.

Though we are not for sure that God is calling us to this area, we are continuing to pray for His specific direction.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Wordless Thursday

Nolan on the phone
Nolan can say “Hewo” and “Bye” on the phone now!

Nolan on the phone

Nolan on the phone

Picnic at the park
Picnic at the park – Daddy is bouncing them on a bouncy bridge

Picnic at the parkPicnic at the park

Picnic at the park
Happy to be out of the house!

Picnic at the park
Nolan discovered a squirrel, and they played chase around the fence.  Every time Nolan moved inside the gate to get the squirrel, he hopped through the bars.  When Nolan came around to get him, he would hop back.  Nolan had great fun!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Weekend Funnies

:: When driving home, the Verrazano Bridge was shrouded in heavy clouds so that you couldn’t see the top of it.  Elaine looked up and said, “Oh, no!  The bridge is broke!”


:: Once when Nolan was wearing his sunglasses I told him he was “hot stuff.”  After we left the doctor’s office, Nolan put his sunglasses back on.  Elaine said, “He looks like hot stuff again, right Mom?”

img_1483:: Elaine wanted to know where a certain man’s wife was.  The man is a widower, and we tried to explain that his wife was with Jesus in heaven. 
Elaine:  “Oh, well he needs to get a new wife.”
Me: “Well, maybe he will sometime, but probably not yet.  He’s not ready yet.”
Elaine:  “So, in phree (3) hours he will get a new wife?”

:: At naptimes and bedtimes we have really been praying for the babies to come soon.  Today Elaine made this announcement: “We have been praying for them a lot, but they are taking a long time to come!”

:: There is a Smart Car which parks in our neighborhood, and we often point it out to Elaine.  After we got a new van, Elaine told us that our van was not smart because it didn’t know where our house is.


:: Nolan has learned the word “hot.”  He puts out his hands like a stop sign and says “ha. Ha. Ha.”  We were eating ice cream last night and he declared each bite to be “ha” and blew on it before eating it!



Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thankful Thursday: A New Van!

In October when we found out that we were having twins, Ben told our Pastor that there were three things God was going to have to do to get us ready.  We needed a new house, a new job, and a new van.  Little by little, in just His timing and way, God has provided those things.

We moved into our new apartment {on the 1st floor!} on December 15th.  In January, Ben launched out into Home Improvement Contracting business on his own.  It was nerve wracking to not have something steady & consistent, but as we trusted God, He provided job after job after job.  The only work Ben has missed since January are the days he has chosen to take off.  This arrangement has also been a blessing as I have had more doctor’s appointments that a normal pregnancy.  Ben’s flexible schedule allows him to watch the kids while I go to the doctor.

When we announced my pregnancy to our family, we asked my dad to help us find a van.  He is the “car guy” and I don’t know if there has been a time when he wasn’t looking for a car for someone.  He did a lot of research and searching, finally helping us decide to look for a Toyota Sienna between 1998 and 2003.  We were also searching for a low mileage vehicle, as we plan to take it on the road for deputation in the next couple of years. 

We “looked” at vans in Florida, Texas, Alabama, California, and other places.  Every time we thought we had found “the one”, something fell through.  Then Ben found a 2001 Sienna with 75k miles, just 3 hours from us, in Hampden, Massachusetts.  The price was a bit lower than everything else we had seen.  Surely something must have been wrong with it.  I almost didn’t forward it to my dad for his opinion.

New Van

Dad said to investigate it more.  Ben’s dad drove down to test drive it and see if it was as good as the pictures made it seem.  The dealership agreed to change the timing belt at no extra charge.  We sent a deposit, and the van was ours!

In addition to this, our church took a collection toward our van fund, in lieu of a baby shower. {Which was never expected, by the way.  Babies 3 & 4 don’t usually get a baby shower!}  Through their generosity and our savings, the van is basically paid for.  We had expected to finance part of the purchase.

On Tuesday Ben drove up to Hampden to get the van.  Now everything is in place for the twins to arrive!  We are praising the Lord for His amazing provision.

New Van
Elaine loves the little compartment and cup holder next to her seat.  Nolan likes the air vents over his head.  I am loving the keyless entry.  We are truly blessed, and even spoiled!

New Van

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Playing Doctor

Playing Doctor
Giving “Manny” some medicine

Playing Doctor
Reading the Bible to Manny so he would feel better.

How do you like the combination of doctor outfit and monkey hats?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Singing Kiddos

My kids have been singing up a storm…I think it’s the sunshine and nice weather!

Nolan randomly breaks out into a song–and it is always this one!
Did you know that Elaine can spell? Well…sort of. She got in a bit of a hurry! Check out the laugh at the end!


We corrected the spelling problem, and she gives it another try in Take 2!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Feeling the Babies Kick
Elaine & Nolan Feeling the Babies Kick

Nolan's Cast
Elaine and Mommy signed Nolan’s cast

Playing Trains One Handed
Trying to fix the train bridge with only one hand…

Monday, April 8, 2013

The First Break

While we had lots of fun flying kites at the park last night, the day didn’t end quite so fun for Nolan.  After the kites, we stopped off at the playground for a few minutes.  The kids wanted to go on the tire swing, and Ben was spinning them around.  Suddenly Nolan let go, and landed with a thud on his back.

He cried for a while and I thought he just got the wind knocked out of him, or really scared himself.  During supper and the rest of the night, however, it because apparent that he was favoring his left arm.  We checked his elbow and it was not dislocated.  We figured out it was his wrist that was hurting.

When he would try to use his hand to pull himself up, or to stand, he would cry in pain.  He woke up a couple of times in the night crying, presumably from bumping his wrist.

This morning we took Nolan to the pediatrician, who noted a little bit of swelling and sent us for x-rays right away.  It was a beautiful 70 degrees outside, so we walked the four blocks to radiology.  This is where I became really grateful that Ben had taken off the morning to help us {and that he is self employed and can take off the morning}.  Because of my pregnancy, I am not allowed in radiology, yet a parent was needed to hold Nolan for his x-rays.

Nolan's Fractured Wrist
Waiting for the pediatrician

Radiology gave us an enveloped full of films, and sent us back to the pediatrician to learn the results.  We were told that he had a couple of fractures and needed to be casted.  The problem?  No orthopedic doctors could fit us in today – in Brooklyn, Manhattan, or Staten Island.  Nolan’s doctor did find us a 4 p.m. appointment…in Long Island. 

After lunch and a short nap for the kiddos, we piled into the car for the trip east.  The orthopedic doctor told us that Nolan had two minor fractures in his wrist.  They would heal on their own, but for Nolan’s comfort they wanted him to wear a cast during the healing.  It was an easy appointment because there were no bones to be set.  After the cast was dry, we were on our way home.  Nolan will wear his cast for 2-3 weeks.

Nolan's Fractured Wrist
I was not allowed to take pictures during the casting process…the doctor was sensitive about having his face in any photos.

Nolan's Fractured Wrist
Finally got a smile!

Nolan's Fractured Wrist
Poor little man!

This was the first time anyone in our family has broken a bone…including Ben and me.  But, with four kids and two of them boys, I’m sure it’s just the first break of many to come.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Let’s Go Fly a Kite!

One of Elaine’s favorite movies is Mary Poppins.  Last fall I got two kites at a tag sale for $1.  We got to fly them one time, but Mommy isn’t very good with kites.  After our nap today, Daddy took us to the park to fly our kites.  It was nice and windy!

Elaine did a great job helping to get her kite in the air, and tugging on the string so it wouldn’t fall down.  She had a fabulous time!  Nolan’s kite ended up with a hole in it, and we couldn’t get it to stay in the air.  He didn’t seem too bothered by it, and enjoyed tinkering around the grass.  Elaine even shared her kite with Nolan {did that really happen???} but he wasn’t interested.

Flying a Kite

Flying a Kite

Flying a Kite

Flying a Kite

We had a few raindrops and it got dark, but we had a wonderful time.  Just like a typical girl, at one point Elaine was trying to multi-task.  She was flying her kite with one hand and “helping” Nolan with his kite with the other hand.  Elaine was funny trying to help with the kite, running back and forth, and telling Daddy how to fly it.

Flying a Kite

Flying a Kite

Flying a Kite

Flying a Kite

Here are a couple of videos.  It was very windy, so there is a lot of background noise.  I think you will still laugh!

She tried really hard, but that kite just wouldn’t go up!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Coffee Filter Butterflies

Coffee Filter Butterflies Text jpg

Today I’m guest posting over at the Imperfect Homemaker about a craft I made with the kids a couple of weeks ago.  Head over here to check it out!

Wordless Wednesday: New Umbrella

Nolan was given a new umbrella.  Though it was sunny & beautiful, the kiddos begged to go for a walk with their umbrellas.

New Umbrella

New Umbrella

New Umbrella

New Umbrella

New Umbrella

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Tradition Continues…

Somewhere in my box of treasures I have an envelope that has my name on it, written by my Grandpa Paul.  Inside is a small stash of $2 bills.  For many Easter’s when I was growing up, Grandma & Grandpa gave each of us grandchildren a $2 bill.  And since they are not made anymore, each year I would tuck the new bill away in my envelope to save.

Yesterday, my kiddos received Easter cards in the mail from “Old Grandma & Grandpa”.  {Elaine gave them that name at Christmas, in order to distinguish them from my Mom & Dad. 

Two Dollar Bills for Easter

Two Dollar Bills for Easter

Two Dollar Bills for Easter  Two Dollar Bills for Easter

Two Dollar Bills for Easter

Now that the grandchildren are all grown, and many of us are married, my grandparents have continued the tradition with their great-grandchildren. This is the first year that they understand enough to open the mail themselves. The neatly pressed bills got a bit crumpled.  Nolan doesn’t have a clue what he received, but Elaine exclaimed, “Money!”  They may not understand completely the “treasure” they received, but I will stash the envelopes away for them until they do.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Resurrection Sunday

Our family on Resurrection Sunday…

Resurrection Sunday 2013
This was taken after church, so the kids were not really thrilled to be doing a picture.

Resurrection Sunday 2013

Here is Nolan and Elaine at home before church.  I was blessed to have a dress in the box that fit Elaine, as well as shoes.  Nolan is wearing his suit from last year…I just let out the hem.  He’s gotten taller but not wider, so it worked out well!  We picked him up a new shirt and some shoes at the thrift store.  His hat matched perfectly…hooray for Children’s Place clearance!

Resurrection Sunday 2013

Resurrection Sunday 2013

These three little girls are always together at church, and yesterday they were all sporting new dresses!  If you ask Elaine about her blessings, she always names her friends first – Adelei & Selah, and Elli & Havilah (they attend different churches).  I think seeing her friends at church is the highlight of Elaine’s week!  We did get to see Havilah yesterday because her family came over to join us for dinner.  Ben did most of the prep work on Saturday, and he even washed the dishes for me too!  Maggy brought half of the food, so I didn’t have to do much but sit back and enjoy the delicious dinner.

Yesterday morning I played the piano for the Russian congregation.  They had the Lord’s Supper as part of their celebration of Jesus’ resurrection.  Though I couldn’t understand what was being said, I could understand the spirit of the service, and participate with them in remembering Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary, and His triumph over sin & death.  The body of Christ is an amazing thing – though we are different, we come from different backgrounds, we speak different languages – yet we are one in Christ.  We are united in Christ’s victory.

As Pastor spoke of preparing for the Rapture in our afternoon service, I was reminded that I am the Bride of Christ, and that my Bridegroom is eagerly awaiting the day when He will come back to claim me as His own.  It brought to mind again that this relationship is only possible because of Christ’s death on the cross to pay for sins, and by His victory over death at the Resurrection.  Praise the Lord for a risen Savior!

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:55-57