Friday, June 24, 2011

Loving Family Time

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Lately, Stan and I have really been loving US. :) Ha ha... That sounds funny. Let me try again. We have come into a place of enjoying our little family unit at another level and have been even more intentional lately about spending time together - just Stan and Isaac and me. Interestingly, every Friday night for the last several weeks we have ended up free and have done things together as a family (except last Friday night - we went on a DATE - just the 2 of us! Monumental! Mental note - - must schedule another one of those SOON! :) )

Anyway, here are some pictures from our recent family excursions. Nothing super spectacular - just us enjoying...US. :)

Life is good. :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Recent Pictures of Our Boy :)

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Just a cuteness update. :) These pictures were all taken within the last 3 weeks.


Our (New) New House

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Hey again friends,

A couple weeks ago I posted this note on Facebook to explain our current housing situation. For anyone who isn't up to date on what's going on with our family, this would be a good place to start. :) Here ya go:

Hi friends....

We have had a significant change in direction in the last couple of months and I wanted to fill you all in on it.... Most of our friends know that in February we relocated to the Northeast Neighborhood of Kansas City, MO, an urban neighborhood in the heart of the city where our church family has spent the last decade + investing in the community. We moved into a house that we were planning on buying (and are currently renting) from some friends who had moved out of state due to a job change. We were so sure that this house was what God had for us...and it HAS been what He's had for us.... but for a much shorter season than we anticipated. Due to some significant hold-ups in the process of getting all of the paperwork together to purchase the house, the interest rate on the type of loan that we were going to need in order to purchase the house went way UP... which put us at a place where our monthly payments, had we gone forward with the purchase of the home, would have been RIGHT at the brink of what we could afford....we could have "eeked by" with our payments that high, but we would not have had much margin in our finances at all, and this house needs several thousand dollars worth of work that we would have had a tough time figuring out how to afford/save up for with a payment that high.

Soooo... several weeks ago, with heavy hearts (because we LOVE so much about this house), we started looking at other houses in the neighborhood, just to see if the Lord wanted to open something else up for us....and, after a couple of weeks of looking, we found "OUR" house. It is probably 2/3 the size of this one, but it makes better use of space so actually has 5 bedrooms with a possible 6th bedroom, and 3 full baths. It is, ironically, on the same street we currently live on, just about 4 blocks south (closer to our church)...It was a "for sale by owner," so the funny thing is that we would not have FOUND this house had we not lived where we currently do, because it was not advertised online. The house is in GREAT shape and has been VERY well taken care of. It has a beautiful deck in the back and a great playground set that Isaac will love as he gets older. The roof, furnace, AC, windows, electric, kitchen, bathrooms, etc. are ALL new within the last 3 years (actually I think it's 5 years on the AC). All of the rehab is very well done. Our utility bills will be MUCH less expensive because of the new windows, AND there is an atic fan that does a GREAT job of pulling cool air through the entire house, which will save us even more. ANYway... I could go on... but suffice it to say that we are super excited about this house. We are currently under contract on it (I forgot to mention that it is significantly less expensive than what we would have paid on our current home, which brings our monthly payments WELL within the range of what is comfortable for us budget-wise) and we are set to close on or before July 25th, assuming all goes as expected with the appraisal process. God is good and knows exactly what we need....and then gives us what we WANT, too. Wow. We feel so blessed.

So... with all of that said... I've gotta say that this house that we have been renting from our friends has been a GREAT blessing to us and we have so enjoyed it. I will be sad to leave it but Stan and I feel so much peace about the direction God is leading us. So, in a few weeks, we will (sheepishly :) ) send out aNOTHER "We're moving - please help!" email to our wonderful church family... sigh... I can't believe we're moving again. :-/ Definitely have moments of frustration over that. But more than that I'm in awe of God's leadership and His goodness to us in this season. He is so faithful.

On a slightly different, but connected, subject, we are so excited that our friend Jerusha will be moving in with us in the near future! She is in our house church and we have been enjoying getting to know her...and have felt like the Lord wants us to pursue community with her on a more intentional level. Isaac loves her, WE love her, and we are just soooo looking forward to having her in our home. :) Our new casa has plenty of room.... she will actually have her own "mini-suite." :)

And THAT... is that. Questions? Shoot. :) Love to y'all.

A New Season

I can't believe how long it's been since I've blogged. Truthfully, I don't know if I can fully explain why. The first few years of our marriage included so many circumstances through which I don't know how we would have made it without being able to chronicle our journey and have all of your support and prayers along the way. And then....along came our Isaac! He has been such a gift to us....and a challenge also. Over the last 9 months (can you believe it? 9 months!) since his birth, our lives have slowly (oh, so very slowly) become more and more manageable, but those first several months were incredibly difficult. Isaac has had acid reflux (still has it, but it is controlled by medication pretty well now - praise God.), and, while I want to avoid going into all the details of WHY it has made life so difficult in this post, I'll just say that it has. He has also been a cat-napper (meaning, his naps have mostly not been longer than 40 minutes) up until the last month or so....His naps are mostly longer now - again, PRAISE GOD. He is doing so much better at playing for short periods of time by himself, watching me work, so I am starting to be able to get things done around the house now to a degree that I haven't been able to in a looonnnnng time....and there are days that I actually sit down, or lie down, and REST during his naps now. This is so fabulous... I will never take a baby who naps NORMALLY (like Tali did) and sleeps through the night for granted again! :)

Anyway.... I have felt inspired to blog again lately for several reasons.... possibly mainly because I actually feel like I can handle (and ENJOY!) my life again these days, so I have time and mental energy to put into more intentionally sharing our lives again. I wanted to start fresh with a new blog, new title, etc., because I feel like the Lord has brought us through some fairly difficult times (between the loss of Tali and all of Isaac's difficulties) and out into a spacious place again, where we don't have to fight quite so hard to maintain perspective. When God made it clear to us that we were to name our baby "Isaac," I felt strongly that his name (laughter) spoke of the season that God was wanting to bring us into, after all of the intensity and grief around our situation with Tali. I didn't know at the time that I would have to hold onto that word from the Lord by faith for so many months after his birth. But I am so glad that we have held onto it....God is bringing us into a season of FELT, EXPERIENTIAL Hence, the title of our new blog: "A Time To Laugh" (Eccl. 3:4).
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