Friday, January 31, 2014

And We’re Off!

January 22-26, 2014.  Our first deputation meeting. It seemed so far away when we scheduled it last November.  Then it seemed as if we would never get healthy enough to go anywhere.  And then panic set in when I realized how much we didn’t have ready – like our display table, video presentation, etc.

Packing for the first deputation trip
I got to pack up these kiddos for a “vacation” as Elaine called it.  Cutest items I ever found in a suitcase!

We left Wednesday morning in 13” of snow.  The sickness which had traveled through our family several times had finally settled on me – the night before departure.  I felt horrible when I woke up, and I didn’t want to go anywhere.  Ben loaded the car – including a new roof top bag which had to be adjusted – in 5 degree weather.  There was no place to pull up in front of the house to load because all of the snow was plowed into our “spot” by the fire hydrant.

All of this combined to make us a little late hitting the road.  Even though we didn’t have any responsibilities in the opening service that night, we still wanted to be there.  We drove into the hotel with 20 minutes to unload the suitcases, feed the babies, and change clothes.

We were doing great until we discovered that irons were only available on request.  Okay, we go wrinkled.  We were doing great until I went to comb my hair and discovered I left the toiletry bag in our bathroom at home.  It’s okay – it was only Mommy’s toiletries.  Everyone else’s things are accounted for.  We were doing great until we discovered that I had the wrong address written down for the church.  We went the wrong way.  Good thing it’s only a mile from the hotel! 

We walked in partway through the opening prayer, just as Pastor Wells was asking God to bless the Hamilton’s.  He did – all week long.

Trinity Baptist Church, Keysville VA

Trinity Baptist Church, Keysville VA
Trinity Baptist Church meets in a converted convenience store.  Pastor Wells moved to Keysville and started renovating the building before the church was born in December 2011.

Here are a few of the blessings of the week…

  • There was a huge fruit basket and gift box waiting for us in the hotel room.  The kids were delighted with the little things meant just for them. 
  • Many of the toiletries in the gift box were just the right replacements for what I had forgotten. 
  • The Wal-Mart gift card provided the rest, along with food to have breakfast and lunch in the hotel room {much easier with four little kids than eating out!}. 
  • A man at the church bought our breakfast on the first day.
  • After the second night I was feeling much better, and I even slept the other nights!  The kids adjusted to napping together in the motel room (and it usually worked out that I got to take a nap with them).
  • We got a call on Sunday morning from another church (the mother church of Trinity which is a 2 year old church plant), and we were asked to present our ministry at Grace Baptist Temple on Sunday night.  So – we got two meetings in our first trip!
  • Trinity Baptist Church was the perfect church for us to begin deputation at.  It was a small church, and understanding of our kids just learning the ropes of being in a new church.
  • We were provided accommodations at the motel just a mile from church, and a prophet’s chamber at Grace Baptist Temple.
  • Our video presentation went smoothly at both churches.
  • The love gifts from both churches more than paid for our expenses to travel to VA.
  • No vehicle issues – just a lot of dirt!

Trinity Baptist Church, Keysville VA

Pastor Wells’ family includes eight kids – the youngest two are identical twin girls just a month older than our twins.  Unfortunately, the flu was making its way through their family (and much of the church) so we didn’t really get to see them at all.  But we made good friends with two other missionary families – The Suttle’s planting a church in Maine, and the Goosman’s heading to the Orkney Islands of Scotland..  The Suttle family was particularly encouraging as they are at the end of their deputation journey, and they are also planning to stay stateside.

Our goal is to have 25 deputation meetings this year, so that we can hit the road full time next year.  We are praising the Lord that after only a month of contacting churches to set up meetings, we are 40% of the way to our goal – we have 10 meetings scheduled for 2014 and one for 2015!

{9} Months

Yesterday the twins turned 9 months!  I can hardly believe they are that old… until I try to pick them both up together.  It gives me a backache now!  It seems that every day brings a new skill or a new milestone, and I feel very certain that they will be walking soon.  This mommy is definitely NOT ready for that!

Liberty 9 Months jpg

The picture says it all – she is a fat little girl who is catching up to her brother in weight.  (I weighed them at home, so it may not be completely accurate.)  She is very active – diaper changes are more like diaper wrestles and usually leave me frazzled & frustrated. 

Liberty 9 Months crop   Liberty 9 Months

Liberty still loves bath time.  We have a blue spoon in the bath toys bucket.  Liberty always seeks that toy out in the tub.  Yesterday she dug through the bucket and came up with the blue spoon – it’s definitely a favorite!  If Nehemiah takes it from her she puts her head down and cries, and usually comes up with a face full of bubbles because she forgets she is in the tub!

Liberty 9 Months
Proof that she can laugh & smile!

She is a great eater, but particularly loves to feed herself puffs.  She always gobbles the sweet potatoes or the green veggies, but not so much the fruit.  {What a blessing if that characteristic sticks around!}  She has had rice, potatoes, cheese, and eggs to self-feed also. 

Liberty 9 Months
“classic” Libs right now!

When it’s nap time, Liberty lets you know.  Her cranky side comes out strong, but if you put her in the pack n play she cuddles right down with bunny and goes to sleep.

Liberty  had two teeth come in on January 16th (or at least that’s when Mommy found them).  She said “da-da” on the 19th, and participated in her first missionary deputation meeting on the 22nd!

Nehemiah 9 Months jpg

Nehemiah is my happy, fun-loving, cuddle man.  When he hugs your neck he really squeezes, and it melts my heart every time.  He is super ticklish, especially by his neck.  It doesn’t take much to make him laugh.  He loves to play with his big sister Elaine.

Nehemiah has a really long torso, and he is much taller than Libs.  Weighing only about a pound more than his twin, he is much more lean & skinny.  I even had to take tucks in his pants!

Nehemiah 9 Months

Nehemiah’s favorite meal seems to be breakfast.  And if he doesn’t get it “on time” he really starts screaming.  He’s getting pretty good at throwing a tantrum, actually.  He especially likes to self-feed, so he loves to eat rice.

Nehemiah 9 Months

He gets a lot of enjoyment out of chasing a ball or toy across the floor.  He gets the same enjoyment out of stealing a toy or pacifier from Liberty’s hands.

Nehemiah 9 Months

Nehemiah 9 MonthsNehemiah started clapping on January 15th, the day after he looked at Ben and said “da-da-da-da”.  But if you say “Nehemiah, clap-clap or say da-da” he gets very shy and hides his head and giggles.  He added “mom-mom” to his vocabulary on the 19th, and made “real” crawling his habit on the 24th.  Nehemiah came on deputation with us too :) and quickly won the hearts of everyone he smiled at.

Both twins are sleeping through the night… intermittently.  It seems that they have a secret pact that Mom isn’t allowed to sleep without interruption.  One night it’s Liberty, the next Nehemiah.  Oh well.  Hopefully they’ll grow out of it!

Monday, January 20, 2014

{8} Months Old

Twins 8 Month Photo Shoot
Pictures taken on January 3, 2014

Since the babies are rapidly approaching the nine month mark, I thought I should sit down and write the eight month post.  Everything kinda runs together these days, so I’m glad I wrote out some notes a couple of weeks ago!

Liberty is a funny girl.  I get lots of smiles and giggles when we’re at home, but she is pretty cold and unfriendly to anyone else who tries to talk to her.  She is very energetic and curious about her surroundings.  She has learned her way to the bathroom, and if she is ever “missing” I know to find her there.  It has been challenging to remember to put the trash can up and close the toilet lid.  I try to keep the door closed, but Elaine and Nolan are always helping to undo any success in that area! 

Twins 8 Month Photo Shoot    Twins 8 Month Photo Shoot

Twins 8 Month Photo Shoot    Twins 8 Month Photo Shoot

Liberty is always on the move, and seamlessly goes from crawling to sitting, to standing, to crawling again.  Because of the way she does this, she always ends up sitting with one leg in front of her, and one leg behind her.  And her tongue is usually hanging out, as in this picture!

First Trip to the Library

Liberty has been doing the best with solid food.  She picks everything up with her fingers and puts it straight into her mouth.  In addition to paper {!}, she really enjoys feeding herself puffs and rice.  The paper thing baffles me.  If there is a wet wipe, a tissue box, or any kind of paper around – Liberty will find it and try to eat it.  She seems to particularly enjoy wet things, so the wash cloth in the bath tub and the wet wipes have to be kept out of reach.  She still loves bath time, but now tries to climb the slope at the end so that she can reach the shampoo bottle.  She never succeeds!  She is really good at finding the diaper basket and stealing wipes out of the box.

Twins 8 Month Photo Shoot

Twins 8 Month Photo Shoot

Twins 8 Month Photo Shoot

Libs sleeps through the night most of the time.  She is uber difficult during changing time.  She hates to lay on her back, so diaper changes are more like diaper wrestles.  She sleeps on her side snuggled with a bunny or a blanket.

Nehemiah is my “buddy”.  Nolan has picked up on that nickname and insists that we don’t call him “beebee ‘miah” but “buddy” instead.  Nehemiah pulls himself up to standing all the time, but once there he has a hard time getting down (unlike Liberty).  When I put him to bed, he always stands up as I leave the room.  Then a few minutes later he cries because he can’t get down, and I go in and tuck him into bed again.

Twins 8 Month Photo Shoot    Twins 8 Month Photo Shoot

Nehemiah is a good eater and not nearly as messy as Liberty.  He prefers his food pureed, and doesn’t like anything that he has to chew, even though he has two teeth now!  He was the first to get a tooth, and #1 was sighted on Dec. 20th.

Twins 8 Month Photo Shoot

Twins 8 Month Photo Shoot

Nehemiah usually wakes up at least once to eat at night.  This is nice snuggle time, but momma would usually prefer uninterrupted sleep! 

Nehemiah is always very focused on the “TV” (we just use the computer)whenever we are watching a movie or an old show at lunch time.  He can barely eat because he is so in tune with what’s on the screen.  He seems to particularly like to play with Elaine.  She is great at giving him attention and sharing with him, and he always crawls around following her as she plays throughout the house.

Twins 8 Month Photo Shoot

Twins 8 Month Photo Shoot

He is the friendly-to-a-fault member of our family.  Strangers stop us frequently with an “Are they twins?” or “Two boys?”.  It doesn’t matter who is talking or what they say, Nehemiah gives a big grin and sometimes a laugh.

Nehemiah really looks just like Ben now.  However, he is super ticklish, and I think that comes from my side of the family!  Even the threat of a raspberry sends him into hysterical laughter!

Twins 8 Month Photo Shoot

Saturday, January 18, 2014

American Museum of Natural History

On Tuesday I joined my friends Maggy & Joanna at the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan.  Their girls (Elaine’s friends) are both in Kindergarten this year and they are studying dinosaurs.  We were invited to tag along on their field trip!

It probably doesn’t seem big to most of you, but this was a very big adventure for me.  Why?  A couple of reasons.  It seems I have had at least one sick kiddo for quite a while, so we really haven’t been out of the house much.  The twins are much more mobile now and I am “out of practice” at being out of the house with four littles.  But the real reason is that I planned to drive.  To Manhattan.  By myself.  I have lived in Brooklyn for three and a half years, but I have never done any driving in the City.  I was always either with Ben, or I took the train.  I knew the train was an impossibility with the stroller and the twins, so it was drive or stay home.

The driving part was actually relatively easy.  There was a little bit of traffic exiting the FDR, but I had no complications – until I tried to park.  Apparently it is street cleaning on the West Side on Tuesdays.  After circling for over a half hour, I finally snagged an empty spot and stayed in the car until the time period was finished.  Elaine was bummed to eat lunch with her brother in the car instead of with her friends in the museum, but it was okay.

My next hurdle came when I reached the front of the museum.  I had forgotten that there were a lot of steps!  I assumed there was a side ramp, but apparently the accessible entrance was way back over where I had parked.  With two kiddos desperate for the potty I opted to pull the stroller up the steps rather than walk all the way back around in the rain.  Getting up the stairs wasn’t that much of a problem…until I realized that the doors were revolving doors.  My double stroller wouldn’t fit. 

I still didn’t want to go down the steps and all the back around to the accessible entrance, so I carried the twins and my bag through the door with Elaine and Nolan in tow.  I plopped them on the carpet out of the way and went back for the stroller.  I was very fast, but when I got back inside there was already someone asking “Who left these kids here?”  Next time I’ll go around.  We took the proper exit when we left.

We had a good time in the museum and being with our friends again. 

Museum of Natural History
The best “group shot” – Nolan, Ian, Hava, Elaine, Elli

Museum of Natural History

Nolan likes his triceratops dinosaur the best.  But he can never remember what it’s called.  So he runs up and says, “What call this, Mommy?”  I reply, “Triceratops.”  He walks away muttering “’Ceratops.  ‘Ceratops.” He was excited to see a real triceratops, and all of the other dinos and skeletons hanging from the ceiling.

Museum of Natural History
The twins had a good time, even though they were in the stroller the whole time!

Museum of Natural History   Museum of Natural History
Masks in the discovery room

Museum of Natural History
I love their little feet and shoes!

Museum of Natural History
My four littles

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Mommy & Daddy Look-Alikes

The twins seem to be growing at light speed.  I am noticing more individual personality traits.  I am learning their likes.  I am seeing their sin natures.  But I am also seeing that they are very much like a miniature Ben and Andrea.  It wasn’t completely apparent to me at first, but Liberty is definitely looking like a Godby, and Nehemiah is a little Ben (not completely sure if he is more Hamilton or Kuenzi, but he is definitely Ben).

We have been putting together our video for our church plant in the Bronx, so I have been searching through a few old pictures (you know… from way back when they came on film and had to be developed!).  I’ve found several that show a striking resemblance to our twinsies.

Ben's baby pictures
If I didn’t know any different, I would say this was Nehemiah.  It is really Ben.  The hairline, eyes, and the ears sticking out, along with that pointy chin are definitely my little Nehemiah!

Ben's baby pictures
Same thing – could be Nehemiah’s double!

Elaine 14 Weeks portrait daisy dress
This is Elaine.  She also takes after the Hamilton/Kuenzi side, but this picture in particular reminds me of my ever smiling little man.

Nehemiah's Tooth
Nehemiah – first tooth.

Twins 8 Month Photo Shoot    Twins 8 Month Photo Shoot

Twins 8 Month Photo Shoot
Can you see the resemblance?

Here are some of my baby pictures…

Andrea baby pics   Andrea 2 years old
Liberty smiles like this now

Andrea Badingham England 3 months
And these are Liberty’ eyes…

Andrea in high chair in Badingham
Chunky, fat baby with puffy cheeks…

Andrea in puppy bed

Twins 8 Month Photo Shoot   Twins 8 Month Photo Shoot

IMG_1009
See?  She can smile!

Ben and I have both been commenting a lot lately that Nehemiah looks just like Ben, and Liberty looks just like me.  Do you see it, or am I going crazy?  (I might be going crazy anyway…)

Here you have it – Little Andrea and Little Ben

IMG_1011

IMG_0992

And just for the fun of it – these pictures could be my Nolan.  Liberty looks a lot like him too!

Andrea with sandwich in highchair

Andrea with sandwich in highchair
Same cheesy grin!

Andrea